The End

Greetings for the final time my Losties. I have the say it’s been a hell of a wild ride. I’d like to thank all my readers and my OMGWTFLOST friends out there for the crazy support. I’m already going through the show withdrawal. Like…really. I was thinking on the train yesterday how I can’t believe that Lost is over. Yes, yes it’s just a TV show, but it was such a freakishly good TV show despite all of its flaws. It’s really hard to believe that these characters (yes I say characters) that we’ve grown to care about and root for and love and hate will no longer be part of our weekly TV adventures. I hope the producers, directors, cast and crew are aware of what a game changing and notable show they were a part of and appreciate that fact for years to come, I know their audience did! With that small note of thanks, let us discuss (at length) The End.

Now that we know how Lost ended, we can discuss it from a more general and all encompassing view. We know now that the sideways flashes were in fact a holding point, a purgatory like state for all of our beloved Losties after they had died. Their deaths were both on island and off; both sudden and late in life. But they all gathered together for each other in the end. I thought it was quite a beautiful ending. I rewatched it twice since Sunday and each time I watched the island mysteries grew less and less important, and I cried even more. For those who thought it too sentimental and cheesy I say, “Get over it.” That’s how life is. In the end, all you’ll want will to be with the ones you love too.

The episode started out with what I thought was a nice montage of island life juxtaposed with sideways life. In the sideways, Christian Shepherd’s coffin arrives at LAX. Lostpedia tells me that, “the box that the coffin, was transported in has stickers displaying the following airport codes: BWN (Brunei International Airport), GUM (A.B. Won Pat International Airport, Guam), HKG (Hong Kong International Airport, China), and LAX (Los Angeles International Airport).  Elsewhere Jack studies X-rays, Ben makes tea, Locke prepares for hopeful surgery, Sawyer is at work. The sideways world seems calmer. Everyone seems a bit content. Heck, the whole place seems kind of heavenly. Outside of a church (Note it’s the same church where Eloise hawking held her meetings with the Oceanic 6) Kate waits in the car while Desmond helps an Oceanic truck driver unload Christian Shepherd’s coffin. I thought that guy Bocklin would end up being someone we’ve seen before but, no dice. When Des returns to the car, Kate ironically asks, “Who died?” Uh, well turns out all of you. The episode is full of little foreshadowing snippets like this and I’m surprised we didn’t all see it coming. Back on the island, Sawyer approaches jack about his new position, saying, “Why don’t you come down from the mountain and tell us what the burnin’ bush said.” Just in case, I’ll provide the explanation: “In the Biblical book of Exodus, the burning bush is the location at which Moses was appointed by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into Canaan. “Come down from the mountain” refers to the later story of Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, which had been written onto stone tablets by God Himself.” Kate seems genuinely upset that Jack chose to become the new Jacob. I wonder if she’s upset because of her later declaration of love? A lingering hope that they’d always end up together? She tries to convince him by saying that nothing is irreversible. Cue another foreshadow from Hurley: “This would all be so sweet if we weren’t all about to die.”

One of the best scenes of the episode, in my opinion, was enlightened sideways Hurley recognizing sideways Charlie. The cuteness of the grin spreading across his face and the “You’re like, my best friend, Dude,” suggestive chuckles that he’s got going on are seriously great stuff. I could tell Jorge Garcia and Dominic Monoghan must have been having a blast filming that scene, with Charlie being a drunken ass and Hurley a happy goofball.

At the well, Sawyer spies on Ben and MIB/Flocke, trying to figure out where Desmond had gotten to. I think the sound Ben made when Sawyer elbowed him in the face was one of the best sounds that’s come out of Michael Emerson. It was just utterly hilarious. Sawyer explains to Locke, that they’re, “Not candidates anymore,” yet sneaky about revealing who exactly took over Jacob’s duties. From a dog paw print in the dirt, Flocke figures out where Desmond has gone. I’m so glad they included Rose and Lumberjack Bernard (and Vincent!) in the series finale; it just wouldn’t have been the same without them. Though Doc Jensen has some opinions about their reclusiveness. He says, “They had a rule: ”We don’t get involved.” The Rose-Bernard relationship is inspiring for its commitment, but I think Rose was dead wrong. If you draw breath in this world, you have a responsibility to engage it and redeem it. You don’t get to hide away from the problems of the world or the concerns of your fellow man. And even if you try, the world will find you, whether you like it or not. To her defense, when Fake Locke threatened to kill Rose and Bernard if Desmond didn’t bend to his will, Rose piped up and told Desmond not to buckle. In that moment, she was a hero; she was willing to die for him and their right to self-determination. But the final judgment on her wrong-headed isolationism was revealed by the simple fact that she was there at the end in that church, a vested and invested member of a larger spiritual clan. Like it or not, you’re a member of the family of man. Deal with it.” As for sideways Rose and Bernard, someone on DARKUFO points out, “First we hear Rose say “You can let go now” twice to Jack after the turbulence in the plane (almost as if she had those near-death flashes then and realized where she was). THEN we see Bernard coming from the toilet and he says “I almost died in there”. Rose replies by saying “I missed you”. Just the way she says that, in such a peaceful tone and if she had been missing him since a long time. Bernard replies with “I missed you too, beautiful”. He just had gone to the bathroom! It’s almost as if they were saying this because one of them died before the other and hence they missed each other.” I hope that after the island story was said and done, Island Guardian Hurley managed to convince the two of them to stop being so reclusive, and to go chill out with him and Ben once in a while.

Meanwhile, Richard Alpert begins to age!!!! My theory is that since Jacob had died, his touch and his influence died with him. Thus Richard’s immortality was taken away. It’s a nice ending for the character; his immortality seemed at times almost a curse rather then a blessing.

Sailing out they manage to find LAPIDUS!!! I mean, I had a feeling this guy was dead (read my open Hawaiian shirt tribute in an earlier post) so I was actually surprised that they had him live. I mean, I guess they NEEDED him to fly the damned plane. And his point about “Hey why don’t we just TAKE the plane and LEAVE and then Smokey won’t have it” idea was kind of a duh moment. I mean, did anyone else actually think of that before the whole sub incident? Seems quite logical, much more so than blowing it up and being trapped there forever.

It’s very appropriate that Sun and Jin are the first of the episode to have their “revelation”. I guess I was right all along, Juliet WAS Sun’s baby doctor!! Score one for me! Their moment is quite sweet and a TOTAL tear jerker. Having the sonogram and seeing Ji Yeon on the screen enlightened them both. Even though Jin never met his daughter, the fact that her existence was the trigger for his afterlife revelation was such a heartbreaking moment. Even Sun said to him, “I remember.” As if remembering your own, underwater death was an easy thing to do. Yet could you imagine having such a revelation? That you and your husband died a horrible death together but that you were now in the afterlife with the love of your life??? DAMN Lost.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Jack was prepping Locke for his spinal surgery. I just noted some more bits of foreshadowing dialogue on my second watch. When Locke asks him if it’ll work, Jack amusingly remarks, “Well there’s always the chance that I could kill you.” Though what we are watching is in fact Jack and Locke, we’re meant to connect it to Jack and MIB on the island. Jacks remark there reflects his witty statement on the island that MIB’s death will be “a surprise.” It’s quite nice to see Jack almost come alive again. Over the past could of seasons, he’s been quite defeated, messed up and even depressing. His returned confidence is refreshing. It’s good to have Hero Jack back. Locke jokes that Jack seems, “like the obvious choice” for Jacob’s replacement. Well yeah we all knew that, but at least the job has gotten the mope out of him. Also, Matthew Fox is quite sexy when he’s playing hero and not doing pouty Jack faces.

As the whole lot arrive at the Light Source, Jack, Des and Flocke head closer to the Heart of the Island, while Kate, Hurley, Sawyer and Ben wait a little behind. Like he was when Flocke found him with Rose and Bernard, Desmond is still quite agreeable and cooperative with both Jack and Flocke. His words reflect the whole end game of the episode: “It doesn’t matter, him destroying the island, you destroying him. You’re gonna lower me into the light and I’m going to go somewhere else. A place where we can be with the ones that we love. And we don’t have to ever think about this damned island again.” Such a poignant note from the cheerful Scottsman. I mean, he pretty much laid it all out right there, and told the audience what was happening. Yet we’re so caught up in this science fiction, alternate dimension idea that we fail to see what’s really going on and what’s really important. Much like our Lost characters. Ah humanity! Jack retorts that he’s tried that already, that there are no shortcuts or do overs. And he is exactly right, whatever happened happened. But he’s not seeing the big picture that Desmond (somehow) can ultimately see. Why can Desmond see these things? Why can his consciousness go back and forth in time? Why is he resistant to such high levels of electromagnetism? It’s never really explained word for word. But, like many before and after him, Desmond is special. Perhaps Dharma was right after all, and his years of injections and solitary confinement perfected his resistance. The result now is that Desmond has the ability to enter the Heart of the Island without being affected. Desmond is the one that can put out the light and survive.

As Flocke and Jack lower Des into the Heart of the Island, Jack says to him, “Don’t get yourself killed.” Again with the unseen foreshadowing! It does happen to everyone. I really liked the moment between Jack and Flocke discussing real John Locke. I’ve always thought it a shame that such an awesome character died without accomplishing anything awesome, but Jack’s comment to Flocke was the affirmation that Locke’s character needed. Telling Flocke that he, “disrespect[s] John Locke by wearing his face. You’re nothing like him,” and insisting the Locke was right about almost everything was, I thought a respectable and noble statement. I also liked their duel stare down into the Source, mirroring their Season 1 discovery of the Hatch’s ladder.

Down in the well, the Heart of the Island is quite interesting. Desmond passes skeletons and various other tunnels and Cerberus vent looking holes. Who made those? Any questions will simply lead to more questions…

A large oblong stone stands in the center of a glowing pool of water that seems to be filling and emptying via these other tunnels and waterfalls. Lostpedia tells me that, “The plug in the Source has markings on it. The clearest markings are cuneiform script. This form of writing was used for a very long time by different civilizations in the area that is now Iraq, notably Akkadian/Sumerian language groups C5000-1000BC.” Looks like we’re dealing with the very first inklings of civilization here, though I don’t believe they’d created this cork, more like they marked it.

As Desmond enters the pool, his body is flushed with electromagnetism, but he manages to take hold of the stone and uncork it from the pool. (Note that this uncorking makes the same sound as when the island would flash back and forth through time.)  Suddenly, the water stopped running, the pool dried up, fiery light emanated from the hole in the pool, and the earth began to crack and shake.

What the heck IS this thing?? For those of science, this could literally be what holds together the center of the earth. Our planet is, after all, full of molten hot magma and held together by various forms of electromagnetism. For those of faith, the Light is the source of life, goodness, energy, and perhaps that is what keeps Hell at bay. Unplugging the stone seems to have released both. Damon and Carlton said in their Lost podcast after the episode Across the Sea that the audience should think of this “Heart of the Island” as a literal heart. They went on the detail that the water can be considered the heart’s blood, and that all water throughout the island, in fact, could be considered the island’s life force, its circulatory system even. Water is a major essential of life on Earth just as blood is to a human body. That might explain the well of life giving water in the Temple. Could then the removal of the cork be equivalent to giving the island a massive hart attack? As the tremors continue, Flocke triumphantly marches away from Jack, claiming, “Looks like you were wrong” I’m not really sure what Jack expected to happen, but it didn’t seem to. Heck, even Des let’s out a howling, “Nooo!” having expected that he’d simply die and be reunited with Penny in the afterlife. Though Jack apparently had other thoughts on his mind, and his abrupt tackle of Flocke lead to something we didn’t expect: blood from Flocke’s mouth. The removal of the cork meant that MIB is no longer immortal.

Doc thinks not only did Locke become human again, but something much deeper may have happened to our Losties. He says, “The Man In Black, bonded to The Island since childhood and robbed of his body by his brother’s coil-stripping blunder some 2,000 years earlier, was finally unchained from his tropical ball and got his humanity back. But in the process, MIB also turned into something that Jack could murder; the angry old man became exclusively and perilously human, wholly flesh and blood. In that protracted moment in which evil was allowed to hold sway, I think everyone — the castaways; possibly all life in the world — lost their souls. In ”The End,” the struggle wasn’t just between life and death — it was a struggle to preserve the promise of eternity from a new modality of total annihilation. We’ve been told for many episodes that if the Monster left The Island, the castaways and their loved ones would cease to exist. I took this to mean that if Fake Locke got away, reality would go POOF! Instead, this is how I add it up:

1. In the Lost world, people are an inextricable blend of matter and spirit.
2. Fake Locke was all spirit — an unnatural state of being. But it made him invulnerable, because spirit is indestructible.
3. To kill Fake Locke, you had to either restore him to his natural state of matter and spirit… or convert him from all spirit to all matter, which is to say, a completely mechanical animal, and thus killable.
4. The rub is that to the procedure renders everyone into mechanical animals, which is to say, devoid of a soul.
5.Without the soul, we cannot pass into the next life or into the afterlife without our community of redemption partners — the people we love.
6. Fake Locke wanted to leave The Island.
7. Fake Locke was bonded to The Island by Island magic.
8. The same procedure required to break that spell (i.e., destroying The Island) is the same procedure that would convert Fake Locke and everyone into soulless zombies incapable of having a happily ever after with our loved ones (i.e., your community of redemption partners) because we need our souls to move into the afterlife.
9. Hence: Fake Locke leaving The Island = Annihilation (when you die) for you and everyone you love.”

Back in our sideways realm, Hurley and Boone had conspired to set up Sayid into coming to Shannon’s rescue. Their reunion was sweet and cute, but definitely not as touching as those we see later on. Maybe it’s because their relationship was so short lived and ended abruptly. Maybe because we all assumed Nadia would be Sayid’s enlightener. Or maybe it’s because Shannon was such a bitch. Vozzek69 notes, “Perhaps out of all of our characters, Sayid has endured the worst identity crisis. Even in the afterlife, he’s still struggling with past misdeeds. His time as a torturer in Iraq was capped with violence and killing, even after returning home. Cross-reference this with his on-island existence and you can add neck-snapping expert and notorious assassin to Sayid’s resume. Because of these things, he now has very little faith in the man that he’s become. “You clearly don’t know anything about me” Sayid tells Hugo, displaying a complete lack of moral confidence. Hurley’s all-knowing response has a golden shine to it, especially considering the role he ultimately ends up with.”

As for Boone, Vozzek goes on to say, “Our course we have to ask ourselves the next natural question: how long has Boone been set free? Was he just playing stupid on the plane during LA X, or did he somehow achieve enlightenment via Hurley, Desmond, or even all by himself sometime during this last season? Judging from his “pulling my leg” comments to John Locke on Oceanic 815, and the line: “This thing goes down, I’m sticking with you”, I think it’s more fun to believe that Boone has known all along. Maybe he was toying with Locke on the flight – trying offhandedly to jog his memory as Rose and Bernard did to Jack. It’s cool to look back on that scene and imagine that Boone already knows where he is, finally giving him one up on John after a whole season of playing the clueless sidekick.” I totally dig that theory.

Charlotte and Daniel had an equally sweet reunion, if not one that lead to complete enlightenment. They did have a glimmer, or a slight inkling of remembrance, but their love was never fully realized and their effect on each other not 100%, so I imagine that, like Ana Lucia, they’ll come around when they’re good and ready.

After his near death experience (kind of ironic now, that description) on the sideways flight of Oceanic 815, Charlie described a vision he had of a woman who sounded an awful lot like Claire. So imagine the cuteness of Charlie’s face when from the stage of Daniel’s concert, Charlie sees Claire right in front of him. I love how their eye contact is what finally triggers Clair’s into labor. Recognizing her form their previous encounter, Kate rushes to her aid, and in what must have been the fastest labor in the history of the world (did Kate even check how far dilated she was??) Claire was suddenly giving birth to baby Aaron.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Hawking confronts Des about his plans to enlighten everyone. We didn’t know what she meant as we were watching it, but knowing the end, I think it’s safe to assume that neither she nor her son were ready to move forward. I guess she was trying to keep this image of him, the one where he was able to become a musician (and where she didn’t KILL him) in his and her mind for as long as possible. She wants Daniel to have the life she never allowed him, perhaps that is what they both need to deal with.

Backstage, Claire continues to push and “I’m with the band” Charlie runs off to find some blankets. I have to say, I’m not a huge Evangeline Lilly fan, but this scene was probably her finest acting moment in all of Lost. It was another moving revelation and I especially happy that Kate’s enlightening involved Aaron’s birth, and not some sappy moment between her and one of the guys she had to choose between. Jacob was right, Kate changed when she became a mother and the only constant man ever in her life was Aaron. Once Claire sees and holds Aaron, it’s clear to her too. Their bombardment of Charlie and his realization was another tear jerker. Theirs was another incomplete relationship, but what they had on the island was enough to solidify their connection. Dominic Monoghans performance was amazing as well, and the peanut butter flashback inclusion made it all the better.

Back on the island, Jack and MIB’s final confrontation begins. Oh man, this whole scene was cool. The pouring rain, the chopper shots over the cliffs, the music and the cinematography were all awesome. The flying Hero Jack commercial cut was as suspenseful as any worthy action film. I freaking loved it!

Vozzek notes, “Some amazing imagery was captured here: Jack now looking black, Locke now looking white – good vs. evil personified. The whole thing was one final nod to the game Jacob and his brother started nearly two thousand years ago, and that game came to a violent end right here atop this cliff. We need to realize that the realm of the island has been under Jacob’s direction for a very long time. As the man in charge, he’s the one who has made the rules, just as his brother one day said he could. To Jacob and the man in black, the island’s jungles have been a tremendous gameboard. The black and white motif is a visual representation of their childhood senet game – a game started centuries ago when they set the very first two pieces down on the board. Over hundreds of years, their game has evolved into using people instead of playing pieces. The stakes have gotten higher. Jacob’s sworn protection of the island has been balanced precariously against the dark man’s overwhelming desire to leave. They’ve fought against each other, disagreed with one another, and placed life-or-death bets over whether mankind is inherently good or bad. To them, the island is exactly as our main characters have seen it: a black and white battlefield pitting destiny against free will.” As they continue to fight, MIB gets the advantage and stabs Jack in the side…right where his appendix would be. Then, moments later, MIB’s knife nicks Jack’s neck, right where his cut has been all season. It seems as if we’ve been witnessing the sideways universe trying to enlighten Jack all along. His appendix was taken out by Juliet on the island, yet in the sideways world that never happened (explaining why he asked his mother in the season premiere when he had gotten it taken out). The cut on his neck repeatedly reopened throughout the season, almost egging Jack on to realize and remember the wounds that would eventually lead to his death.

Then, a quick shot in the back knocks MIB down, and the gun wielder, Kate, remarks, “I saved you a bullet!” Lost of folks are disappointed in what they think is a cheesy one liner. I don’t really have an issue with it. I’m also happy that Kate finally lived up to something. I always thought that she was kind of all talk, and considering there are a ton of films these days where scripts are apparently being changed so that male characters aren’t being saved by and thus “emasculated” by female characters (specifically the changed ending to Angelina Jolie’s SALT comes to mind, look into it), it’s good to have a female character affect the outcome of a fight. Jack didn’t seem too emasculated anyway, as he kicked MIB off the cliff to a rocky death.

As soon as that John Locke body fails, another one revives. In the sideways world, Locke begins to stir and awakens from his spinal surgery. After a few moments of regained feeling, Locke repeats Juliet’s premiere phrase, “It worked.” He of course, meant the surgery, but we all know now what he really meant. “Walkabout” still is my favorite episode of the entire series, so the flashes of that episode during Locke’s enlightenment were thoroughly moving and really effective in reminding us that this character was once noble and admirable in his personal quests. I just wish he had gotten to realize them in life.

Locke’s successful surgery seems to hit Jack too, who has a momentary flash, but shakes it off. He’s still fighting his remembrance. Locke questions him further asking, “You don’t remember?” but Jack runs off, claiming that he’s got to get to his son. Yet Locke confirms what we’ve been wondering all along, replying, “You’d don’t have a son.” And thus it’s revealed: David never actually existed. His existence in the sideways world, in Jack’s afterlife more specifically, was so that jack could deal with his own father issues. Doc adds, “We forget that Christian was trying to change his life before his death. He had enrolled in AA and was trying to get sober. He had come to realize he had psychically wounded his son with his crap parenting and was trying to atone for it. But Jack rejected his father’s contrition and atonement. He couldn’t let go of his anger and resentment; his whole damn fixer identity was glued together with his daddy bitterness. Jack busted up his father’s bid to go sober after suspecting that he was having a romantic relationship with his ex-wife Sarah. Even when Jack realized he was dead wrong, he still clung to his anger. Christian, destroyed, spiraled into relapse, and then to his death in Australia. And so began Jack’s journey to The Island. Now reconsider David. When we first met him, he and Jack didn’t have the greatest relationship, either. Then Jack made a bid to atone for his crap parenting, and what did David do? He forgave his father and reconciled. David became the son Jack wished he had been to his father — the son who could forgive, and move on.” Jack was so concerned in life that his horrible relationship with his father would lead to his own inability at being a good dad. So in his limbo, in his almost heaven where things are better than on the island, Jack has a son, and is a good communicator and a good father, and that’s what he wanted all along.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Jin and Sun are preparing to leave when Sawyer finds them and tells them he’s worried for their safety (with Sayid on the loose). They give Sawyer the same, loving and goofy smiles. I especially loved Jin’s. He almost couldn’t control himself upon seeing his old Dharma buddy. Sun comforts Sawyer’s worries by telling him, “It’s ok, I am safe “as there’s nothing to worry about now that they are together. Jin tells him, “see you there” and the hilarity of Sawyers “See me where?!?” is a nice final moment of Sawyer humor. He makes his way down the hall, a little confused, and bumps into Jack. After Jack gives him directions to the vending machines, Sawyer unknowingly says, “Thanks doc.” Yet…Jack wasn’t wearing his lab coat, or an ID badge. It’s as if Sawyer instinctively knew that Jack was a Doctor. Down by the vending machines, Sawyer and Juliet meet once again. Their witty banter still present, they finally click over the passing of an Apollo bar. I admit I was expecting something a little more grand and significant for their reunion, but the subtle, dark hallway turned out to be perfect. Their enlightenment specifically was tragic to watch and almost painful, considering that they both remembered flashes from Juliet’s plummeting death. But in the end, they both remembered their three years (yes, the longest Lost relationship I think) and even regained their flirtatious humor. It was really touching and beautiful, kind of reminded me of my own relationship: two smartasses who can’t help but get sappy for each other. I knew these two would end up together. Sawyer and Kate were great friends and had all the sexual chemistry, but when it comes to actual, long lasting love, it’s Juliet with Sawyer and Jack with Kate all the way. A cool note from a DARKUFO theorist: “Thinking back on the Sawyer and Juliet scene with the vending machine. They basically describe EXACTLY what is going on at the island, and how to kill Flocke. So the candybar is stuck, and Sawyer is banging on the machine. Juliet tells him a little trick. She tells him to unplug the machine to fix it, and maybe her most important clue, that its technically not even against the law. Why is this important? Well, what is going on back on the island?? Desmond UNPLUGS the island/cork. Then what happens?? The light goes out! What happens when Sawyer unplugs the vending machine? All the lights go out! And now back to Juliets comment “it’s technically not even breaking the law”, what does that mean? It’s basically this, when the island was ‘plugged in’, it was considered breaking the rules (or the LAW!) to kill Flocke. But once unplugged, it’s technically no longer considered ‘breaking the law’ to kill Flocke. So, once the machine is plugged back in, and once the island cork was plugged back in, all the lights come back on and everything is fixed.”

Back on the cliffs, it’s decided that Jack needs to go back and fix the Heart of the Island to stop it from sinking. Ben and Hurley decide they’d rather take their chances with Jack than climb down the cliffs, while Kate and Sawyer decide to head for the plane on Hydra Island. Kate and Jack’s final moment was a bit predictable, but still poignant I think. After all the trouble they had off the island, Jack always knew he had to come back to try and fix things, and Kate probably always knew that she’d lose Jack to the island. She says to him, “Tell me that I’m going to see you again” confirming that that is all we want in life in the end anyway, to see the ones we love again. It’s almost like Sun and Jin, that they’re separated the moment they rekindle their love. It’s almost ridiculous that she has to go off with Sawyer, and bittersweet that those two live on without their loves for the rest of their lives. They also manage to find Crazy Claire. Doc notes, “I thought her Island storyline was probably the weakest thread in the finale. A hasty, too-compact resolution for her character. I loved the way she was reintroduced into the series. Her Rousseau makeover was great, and the Emilie de Ravin played it well. But she got lost along the way, and if the season could have given us one more hour, I think it should have focused largely on Claire. Or maybe this hour could have been the hour that Lost gave to ”Across The Sea.” The episode could have been a shared Claire/Man In Black flashback story — an hour about mad mothers, about how Mother’s actions thousands of years earlier had forged a dark mythic legacy for The Island, about the time Claire and MIB spent together during those missing three years. I think said story could have found a way to address the baby-making problem, too.” Cool idea actually, too bad.

After this moment, we’re back at the concert where Jack arrived late to pick up David (who seems to have disappeared, cause well…he doesn’t exist). Even while they’re chatting, Jack suspects he knows Kate from somewhere, but can’t pinpoint it. They discuss her stealing his pen on the flight, but Kate confirms, “No, that’s not where you know me from.” She touches his face and he has a flash, but still he is resisting. I like how, just like jack wasn’t the one to enlighten Kate, it also doesn’t work the other way around. They’re connection was strong, but not as strong as Kate’s to Aaron, or Jack’s to someone else. We don’t yet know what will enlighten Jack, but Kate promises to lead him there.

Back on the island, Jack, Hurley and Ben have arrived back and at cave entrance to the Heart of the Island. Jack knows that he probably won’t survive the task of recorking the island, and so he passes the torch of Island Guardian to Hurley (ah, so that’s why he went with them. But doesn’t Ben look a little peeved?) Jack has Hurley drink from the blood water of the island, but no Latin this time. Perhaps Jack didn’t really have time to learn the words. I guess it makes sense that Hurley would be next in line for the throne. He’s been special the entire series, and people have been suspecting that it’d be him for weeks now. I love Hurley’s reluctance combined with his sense of duty. He agrees to take over but only until Jack, “get’s right back up here, dude.”  Once down in the well, Jack finds a muttering Desmond. Des apparently underestimated his own electromagnetic powers considering that he keeps muttering about how he was supposed to die and be transported to his afterlife. As Doc1 says, “The lesson: No one can ever be completely correct about anything — especially when that something is ‘’The Meaning Of All Existence’ “. What he didn’t understand, I’m guessing, is that “the island wasn’t finished with him yet.” Or rather, his family wasn’t finished with him yet. Jack tells him to go home and be with your wife and son (and maybe get 22 different types of cancer from his lifelong radiation exposure?). Then, I almost died, DIED I tell you when Jack finally says to Des, “I’ll see you in another life, brother.”

Jack manages to place the cryptic stone back into its slot, ultimately ending the island’s massive heart attack. The water begins to flow again, the light returns and life breathes back into the island. Matthew Fox’s superior acting moment is here, as Jack sobs happily when the blood water is restored and the island comes back to life. The only thing (I swear! The ONLY thing) that I don’t get is why Jack didn’t become a Smoke Monster type thing (or something worse as Allison Janney would have said) when the electromagnetism hit him. He seems to have been blown out of the well (albeit at some other mouth) just like MIB’s body was. Explanation please? Really Darlton, that’s all I need, and it’s a heck of a lot less than other crazies.

When they realize that Jack is gone and Desmond doing ok, Hurley and Ben fully realize their predicament. Hurley is now the protector of the island, yet in a really tender moment, he asks Ben to stick around and help him out. Ben agrees and suggests that they help Demsond get home. When Hurley counters with the fact that no one can leave the island, Ben responds, “That’s how Jacob ran things.” Most likely to keep his candidates close at hand, but at least it was clear now that it is the guardian who makes the rules, and Hurley can change whatever he wants, including getting Desmond back to Penny, heck maybe even getting Cindy and the kids back home. We know Bernard and Rose will hang around because of her cancer being kept at bay, so does anyone else feel like they’d really, really want to see how Hurley runs things with Ben as his sidekick?? I mean, that spinoff seriously needs to air right after the Miles and Sawyer buddy cop comedy. Their amazing rapport is reflected back in the sideways world outside Eloise’s church. Hurley comments that he was a great number 2, while Ben confirms that Hurley was also a great #1. Again, I’d LOVE to see the blast they had. Also, was Hurley’s last word of the series in fact “Dude”? Can someone confirm that for me? Hurley asks if Ben will be joining them, but Ben declines, I suspect because like a few before him, he’s just not ready. Looking back, I’d say he still had some issues to work out with his parenting of Alex, and also his many acts of murder.

Speaking of his acts of murder, who should roll up at that moment but the post-surgical John Locke. As John wheels to go in, Ben says he is sorry for what he did to him. He says he was selfish, jealous and wanted everything John had. He says that John was special and that he wasn’t. John says he forgives him. Ben tells him how much it matters to hear that. Looking back, this is kind of a poignant scene to think about. It implies that all of us are on the same page in the afterlife, heck even murderers. Something to mull over. Doc writes, “I’ve heard that some fans didn’t like the implications of Ben’s decision. If souls are allowed to kick around Purgatory for eternity and figure themselves out, then doesn’t the Sideways world effectively cheapen the Island story? If our redemption issues can be processed easily and painlessly in the cushy limbo of our own blue heaven, then what does it matter what manner of evil that we commit or suffering we endure in the world of matter? It’s a fair point — but it misses some points, too, and besides, the criticism can’t be fairly applied to Ben because it doesn’t take into account facts that are in evidence. Apparently, both he and Hurley enjoyed a fruitful partnership on The Island in the post-castaway era. I like to imagine Ben did much to change during that time, and that perhaps the principled teacher that he was in the Sideways world was a fair representation of the man he became in The Island world. I think the example of Ben tells us something about how Lost‘s version Purgatory works for all souls. Yes, you can stay and ”figure things out,” but this introspection doesn’t change who you are. Or rather, were. You don’t get to craft a flattering interpretation of yourself. You don’t get to accumulate more experience to improve your chances at heavenly election. You only get one life to live, and the opportunity that the Sideways world provides is the chance to puzzle together and come to grips with the person you became while you lived it. “ Ben suggests to Locke that he doesn’t need the chair anymore, and Locke, triumphantly, and awesomely, stands on his own. Vozzek says, “For Locke, the ALT world has been all about him clinging to his paralysis. This was a form of self-flagellation – although he had Helen, happiness, and everything else, John still didn’t feel he deserved to walk again after what he’d done to his father. Ben helps him to realize that he can walk, and he can let go. Learning what we do about the alternate timeline however, Anthony Cooper’s inability to move or speak now seems to have sinister karmatic undertones” THIS was where I started to get a little skeptical about the sideways world. I mean, miraculous alternate dimension or not, I don’t think that’s possible after major surgery. But John Locke finally getting up out of that wheelchair was a great moment.

Nearby in the parking lot, Jack and Kate arrived. Jack asks why Kate brought him to the place where he was going to have his father’s funeral and Kate responds, “Because this is where you’re going to have your father’s funeral.” Again, his father issues, his father’s death and the underlying affects are the main thing that Jack has to face here in this sideways world, before he can, as Kate says, “leave.” He enters the back of the church. High on shelf sits a Jewish menorah and a statue of Buddha. On the wall hangs a painting of Vishnu. Through the stained glass window shines a Christian cross, the Islamic star and crescent, the Star of David, an Aum, a Yin Yang, and a Buddhist Dharmacakra (what I originally thought was a donkey wheel, ha!). It seems that something all encompassing is at work here, something no one religion can comprehend or explain.

Jack approaches his father’s coffin, circles it once, and holds out his hand to touch it. What followed is probably one of the best edited and most beautiful sequences I’ve ever seen on Lost. The moment Jack’s hand touches his father’s coffin; it cuts to the very first Lost image: Jack’s eye opening on the island; the bamboo trees flowing in the wind. He’s still a bit reluctant, but he develops the courage to continue. Placing his hands back on the coffin, everything floods through him, and he begins to remember. First it’s our hero shot from the pilot episode: Jack running towards the plane. Then, helping Claire, the pregnant woman, a doctor’s first instinct. Then flashing to giving Rose CPR, then saving Charlie after his hanging by Ethan, trying to save Boone; all those of his fellow castaways he treated as patients; that he tried to fix. Then his friendships: Sun, Hurley, Sayid, Shannon, the Kwons. Then Sawyer, brilliantly his flash goes to the moment when Sawyer told Jack about his encounter with Christian at a bar. Then Kate, finally Kate, in multiple scenario’s multiple flashes, all reflecting the love from his previous life.

He opens the coffin, only to find nothing inside and suddenly, Christina Shepherd is behind him. Are we seeing a ghost? Knowing the end, I guess so. Jack tells Christian he doesn’t understand, that he’d died and asks him how he is here. Christian simply, yet eerily asks, “How are you here?”

It hit Jack earlier than it hit me. He had died too. But when? How? I almost launched into a tirade, shouting “but Darlton said they weren’t dead!!” When I realized that back on the island, we were about to see exactly how. Christian goes on to explain that they are all real, Jack’s life was real, and the people in the church are real. Jack cries into his shoulder, and who wouldn’t at the realization of one’s death and afterlife, especially with a reunion with a parent. Christian reassures him, explaining that “everyone dies sometime, kiddo. Some before you, some long after you.” Christian further explains they are all here now because “There is no now, here“, and that Eloise’s church is a place they all made together to find each other, because the most important part of Jack’s life was the time spent with these people. They made it so they could find each other, remember, and “move on.”

Damn…

So, the entire Season 6 sideways story arch was some kind of afterlife waiting room. A Limbo/Purgatory type place where they could all come together, remember each other and move on. Matthew Fox mentioned on Jimmy Kimmel’s special after the finale that there are some specific religions that believe that you must remember your death before you are allowed to move on. Now, not every characters specifically remembered their deaths, some in fact were enlightened by birth, but in the end, everyone had to remember their most important people and the most important parts of their lives. Vozzek says, “”I’m real, you’re real, everything that’s ever happened to you was real…” – This isn’t just Christian Shephard talking here. These are the writers and producers, explaining to us exactly what happened. Everyone in the church is dead too. Some died before Jack, some afterward. The place they’re at now is timeless… there’s no past, present or future. The only stipulation before moving on is that everyone must come to terms with their past life’s issues, and that they need to do it on their own – without being told.”Where are we, dad?” Jack asks, echoing Charlie’s infamous question from season one. “This is a place that you all made together, so that you could find each other”, Christian explains (note his use of the word ‘you’ and not ‘we’). In so many ways, it’s a lot like the island. The island also became a place made by Jack and his friends, filled with whatever real-world baggage they brought in with them. Just as they did in this place, our characters had to work out their past issues before being allowed to leave. Looking at it this way, the island becomes just another level of enlightenment – a more interactive layer of reality in which our characters could grow emotionally and spiritually before moving on.”

Jack enters the nave of the church and meets Kate, Hurley, Libby, Sawyer, Juliet, Desmond, Penny, Sun, Jin, Charlie, Claire, Aaron, Sayid, Boone, Shannon, Locke, Rose and Bernard. People were confused as to why some folks were there and other weren’t, especially Des and Penny. Doc thinks, “Desmond wasn’t an Oceanic 815 castaway. Why was he tasked with the work of their Sideways world enlightenment? Because Desmond was the person technically responsible for the defining experience of their lives: crashing on The Island. If Desmond didn’t leave the Hatch to chase after Kelvin, if he hadn’t given into his rage and killed that man on the rocks, he wouldn’t have missed his button-pushing shift, and the plane wouldn’t have crashed. The rejoinder that it was Jacob who pulled the castaways to The Island doesn’t cosmically absolve Desmond of his actions. You always have a choice. And Desmond chose not to push the button. The consequence: crash. Last season, Lost cited the book The Little Prince that includes the great line ”You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” The word ”tame” in this context means ”to create ties.” Desmond created the tie that bound the castaway spiritual clan. So he became responsible for them. Forever.” Jack is welcomed openly and lovingly as the group shares embraces and enjoys their reunion. They all take seats in the church pews as Christian walks to the back of the church through the middle aisle, pausing by Jack briefly to put his hand on Jack’s shoulder. Note that, “Christian is there as a shepherd, herding his son into the next life. He doesn’t actually sit down, he just makes sure everyone is seated” Christian opens the doors of the church and glowing white light, perhaps the light of the island, the light of life, from beyond the doors fills the room. Jack exchanges a smile with Kate, and then looks ahead as they are engulfed by the light

This is all coinciding with Jack, back on the island, stumbling back through the bamboo forest near the heart of the Island. He passes Christian’s old, beat up white sneaker left hanging from the tree ever since the Pilot episode. Eventually, his wounds get the better of him and he collapses. As he’s taking his last breathes, Vincent, freaking lovable Vincent, who greeted Jack in the Pilot when he first woke up, comes out of the brush. I’m a sucker for dogs, so I totally lost it here. Vincent, like any dog, knows more than people sometimes, and he lies by Jack, to comfort him, to simply be with him as Jack passes. After making it so that everyone can live together, Jack doesn’t have to die alone.

After a brief glimpse of the Ajira plane taking off, rescuing Miles, Lapidus, Sawyer, Richard, Claire and his dearest Kate, Jack smiles, and in opposition to Lost’s opening moment, Jacks eye closes for good.

Damn.

Like I said in my previous post, I loved it and thought it was a beautiful ending to a beautiful show. Of course, like anyone, I’m slightly confused and still wondering about certain aspects of the island mythology that were weren’t given details on and questions that were never answered. Lost in the end, was science fiction, but that’s why it’s called science fiction. To people pissed off about not getting answers about how or why or who bits and pieces of the island I say this, THOSE ANSWERS DON’T EXIST. These things can’t happen in science as we know it so how could they possibly be explained?? Again I site the midichlorian thing from Star Wars: Episode One. Just accept that the Force is The Force. Anything the writers or producers come up with would have a) been completely made up b) probably been stupid and c) would have made for a shitty ending. And for those who could have rolled with a more spiritual answer ala Battlestar Galactica, please picture if some character came out and said, “I am God and I made the island to do XYZ it would completely take us out of the moment, not to mention alienate anyone whose God/Religion/Beliefs didn’t match whatever actor they hired to do so. The answers didn’t matter, the science didn’t matter, the ISLAND didn’t matter in the end. The show had always been about the growth and depth of its characters. Damon Lindelof summed up Lost this way: “The show is, at its heart and soul, a character study. We were fascinated as storytellers by what makes people the way they are.”

Also, I’m sure there is the argument for ‘They all died in the plane crash, but I just don’t think that happened. Vozzek thinks, “Going back to season one and the beginning of season two, and you’ll find TONS of references to everyone being dead. “We shouldn’t have survived… Three days ago we all died… There are no survivors of flight 815…” Early on, these things smacked us right in the face. Maybe these clues were a little too obvious, and the intelligence of the audience was sorely underestimated. At this point, admitting that everyone guessed the plot of the show simply wouldn’t be an option. The answer? A very long con: one that involved time travel, a critical event, and a newly modified version of the Purgatory/afterlife ending… the season six ALT timeline. The very fortunate victims of that con? Us. :)” And as for those wreckage shots over the closing credits, don’t read so much into that people. No it’s not confirmation that they had all died in the crash or that the Ajira plane never made it. It’s nostalgic. It’s a reminder that there was a whole other set of hundreds of people working on that island (Oahu) to make Lost work. Also, read this.

This amazing theory/summary was post by a theorist on Lostpedia and I simply must post it here:

“We are still on the island (4th Wall) The island is not a physical entity is a kind of concept. This island provides “questions” for those who are not ready to “to let go” or “to go.” The most interesting of this, is that the island concept does not only apply to the characters in the series, but for all people who are “thinking” about the series. Since we continue reading and discussing about it, WE ARE STILL ON THE ISLAND. We are still looking for “answers.”

Nothing that happened on the island was “real”. The life before the crash represents the life of a viewer before the “actual show”. The afterlife represents the point of view of the viewer after the show. The funeral represents the moment a viewer of show realize the “true”, which is not known at the moment. At the end of the show it’s not Jack’s homecoming in the church. Jack is in the pews facing the departed. It’s you. It’s you. You’re dead. You are part of the narrative. You are part of the cast, You are part of the production. You are the one being encouraged to move on. You are the one they have been waiting for

If you consider this as a possible explanation, and you start to think a little more about to it, you can discover that some of the stereotypes viewers can be represented by some of the characters:

Michael: it is the viewer who “abandoned” the island. He simply said, “this is crap” and did not try to find something good on it. This character does not appear in the “end” of the series, sharing with everyone else. So it represents the people who didn’t see the full show until the very end.

Ben: it is the viewer who understands, or thinks he understands what the island is. But, who is still “not ready” to “let it go”, in other words, “still have things to do”. The viewesr who want to say and research a little bit more about the show.

Jack: represents those who want a clear answer. Those who want to “come back” with a rational explanation of the events on the island. In the end, they probably understand and enjoy what happened on the island.

Sawyer: the viewers whose, at some point in the series, heart was “broken”, either because the favorite character died, “Juliet,” “Charlie”, or something happened and they fought with the island, and finally could never got over it. But nevertheless, they reached the end of the series with the “broken heart.”

Hurley: The people who enjoy to the fullest. The “crazy” or “geeks” who “saw things”, those how “followed” the leader and, at the end, those who are going to stay at the island forever.

Sun: The viewers who started out pretending they didn’t understand the show but really do since they started to watch the show to escape from a troubling aspect of their lives.

Jin: The viewers who never fully understood the show but tried and took them 3 years to do so.

Kate: The viewers that were undecided about liking or disliking the show but stuck until the end, and only as they part forever, they were capable of uttering “I love you.” Then they move on with their lives but treasure the memories forever.”

How awesome are those analogies? I’m totally a Hurley, natch

It was a GORGEOUS ending to a show that so reflected life. So the only way to adequately end it was to emphasize what we DO know about death. We want to be with the people we loved, and who made the most impact on our lives, and that’s about all we can hope for in The End.

Advertisements

~ by iamtheisland on May 28, 2010.

One Response to “The End”

  1. Beautiful work here, mon amie! As always, I love all the research and reflections you connect in your posts, and this is a piece worthy of The End 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: