Spoiler alert: I know some of you DVR’d the finale, and thus, don’t want to be spoiled. And while I doubt any of you would come to this site, I know my first paragraph appears if I post this elsewhere, and well … consider this filler to help hide your eyes.
OK… on to the review.
The sideways world wasn’t necessarily purgatory, but it was something very much like it.
The island? It was (and is) very much real.
What happened on the island … happened.
“Lost” always was about Jack’s journey, and the final scenes — his death in the bamboo field and his ascent into the “great beyond” — marked the end of his journey.
And with that, the best show in television history came to a wonderful, beautiful and completely satisfying end for me. Not all the questions were answered, and even the ending is up for debate.
But for those of you who expected “The End” to be gift-wrapped in an all-too-obvious manner, I ask you, “What show have you been watching?” As if “Lost,” the show that tossed in time travel, sideways arcs, flash forwards, painted bunnies and all sorts of Alice in Wonderland references over the past six years, was going to end it without some sort of mystery.
So was the island real, or did they all die in the crash?
I suppose this is up for debate, and it sure would be hard to go back and watch the show knowing none of it really happened.
Fortunately, there’s a key line delivered from Hurley to Ben standing outside the church that put it all in perspective for me.
Hurley: You were a real good No. 2
Ben: And you were a great No. 1
The key word being, of course, “were.”
Then throw in Christian Shephard’s discussion with Jack before guiding him to his friends:
“”Everyone dies some time, kiddo. Some of them before you, some of them long after you … there is no now here… This is the place you all made together so you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time you spent with these people. That’s why you’re all here. Nobody does it alone, Jack: you needed all of them, and they needed you … to let go.”
In other words, the island happened. Jack died on the island, Vincent at his side for comfort, watching a very real plane leave the island with a very real Kate, Lupidus, Richard, Sawyer, Miles and Claire (looks like Desmond’s vision to Charlie in Season 3 was mostly true).
Hurley would go on to protect the island with Ben at his side. Desmond, I’m assuming, would be allowed to leave because Hurley wouldn’t have the same rules Jacob used. The survivors would go on to lead real lives.
So the church scene? The sideways world? I believe it was a world created by the nuclear bomb Juliet detonated in the 70s, but none of it was real. It created an ideal world for Jack, one where he would have a son (and thus, work on some of those daddy issues he had in real life), but a false world. Its purpose was to bring the survivors of Oceanic 815 together to “move on.”
Tons of Christian undertones, with a load of other religions thrown in there. “Lost,” if anything, has always been about faith, and I’m happy that’s the way it ended. I’m happy to have seen the happy ending, even if it meant death for some.
Most of all, I’m happy the ending has us thinking, theorizing, debating.
So was the island so great afterall?
There’s a reason they gave us the Jacob backstory, though in retrospect, they could have wrapped up that whole Jacob-Man In Black story in 10 minutes.
Was it important though?
I think the Jacob character served its purpose. Jacob was the island’s protector, and he believed for hundreds of years that he was protecting the island from evil. He believed he was bringing in candidates for a reason.
So was it a valid reason?
Well, the island was certainly special (healing powers, movability, polar bears, etc.), and I think the Dharma Initiative’s purpose was the discover these powers (and it’s the whole reason Widmore wanted to return, though it’s still debatable whether his reasons were for good or evil … I say both).
But we learned when Desmond “unplugged the cork,” Locke, or the Man in Black, wasn’t suddenly all powerful. The exact opposite, in fact … he was human. Did Jacob know this all along? Did he just not want his brother to leave?
Or was Jacob protecting the island based on false information handed down from his mother back in 48 BC? That’s a possibility.
I say the island was special because otherwise, Jack would have died for nothing. Otherwise, Hurley wouldn’t have been chosen to protect it. Otherwise, we would have wasted six years watching a show about some dumb ol’ island for nothing.
But in the end, “Lost” wasn’t about the island. It was about the characters — mostly Jack.
Again, I don’t think the island was purgatory, and I believe the survivors really did crash the plane and were really attracted to the island for a purpose. Jacob brought them to the island because they were flawed, like him, and because they were there to find redemption.
The finale itself
I could go on and on asking more questions like “Where was Walt?” or “Why didn’t Michael reach enlightenment” or “WTF?” … but I won’t.
I will say, though, the 2-and-a-half-hour finale was excellent, even with all those damn commercials.
The scenes in the sideways world where our heroes learned why they were there were touching: Sawyer and Juliet’s being the best (love the coffee line), followed by Charlie, Kate and Claire and Sayid. I was somewhat perplexed why Shannon was Sayid’s trigger and not Nadia, but oh well. Small beans.
And on the island, I was happy with the story of Jack’s sacrifice … how his death mirrored his arrival on the island (tying in nicely with the mirror theme the show used in Season 6). Jack even had the Christ-like abdomen stab wound, though on the opposite side of where he was injured in the Season 1 pilot episode.
And with that, I’m done writing about “Lost” … for now. I know I didn’t do it weekly this year as I’d done in the past, and that’s mostly a time issue rather than a “love the show” issue.
I’d be happy to discuss The End with anybody who wishes to give me their ideas.
Until then, see you in another life, brotha.
Below: A Youtube Rip of the last minute of the finale. I’m sure somebody will have it taken down soon, though.