Monday, May 24

Lost: Season 6, eps. 17 & 18 (and then some) Discussion


I've started work on the column for The End. While I'm trying to include as much in the way of "summarization of concepts" as possible from the run of this column and the show, it's going to be a highly-truncated version by dint of the fact that I could easily write a treatise on this stuff large enough to tear a hole in the fabric of space/time/Chud. If you're interested in delving even deeper into the "meaning" of The End, and into the kinds of themes, allusions, references and overarcing subtextual stuff that makes this show so much fun for some of us, you should consider shooting me an email ( and signing up for my Back to the Island mailing list.

You'll get information on the progress of Back to the Island: The Book, as well as sneak peeks (including sections of the text as it evolves and stuff like the now-in-progress cover design which, thanks to the volunteer efforts of one of the column's readers, promises to be awesome) and the opportunity to influence the book's content through your votes, among other things. There is no obligation to buy, as the infomercial said to the overeager consumer. If you've enjoyed these columns and you'd like to show your support for them/me, please consider signing up.


Communion. Community. Communication. Connection.

Lost ended as it began - with a disparate group of wounded individuals finding their meaning in one another. As Christian Shephard flung wide the doors and in poured the Light, I felt filled with the same Oceanic sensation that united them beyond death. I've never been much of a television person overall, so maybe this feeling is typical to finales. I wouldn't know. What I do know is that this episode/these episodes was/were everything I wanted it/them to be.

To see Hurley assume the Island role and ask Ben to help guide him moved my soul. To watch the Castaways connect and draw closer to rising, to converging, gladdened my heart. To witness Jack and Anti-Locke in mortal combat as the Island shook around them thrilled the blood. To hear the awe in Richard's voice when he regained his mortality made me smile in it's quiet, obvious wisdom.

I could do this all night - name moment after moment and attach superlatives - but I sort of want to bask in the afterglow of this. I want to let the image of the stained glass with it's panoply if religious symbols float in my brain for a bit. I want to recall Ben's sad/happy, sorry/grateful talk with John outside the church, and John's beneficent forgiveness. I want to savor the fact that it's Kate who finally lands the killing blow against Anti-Locke, a mother protecting the cause of life against death (with a killer one liner no less). I want to savor Jin and Sun and Charlie and Claire and Kate and Jack and Sawyer and Juliet (!) as they awaken.

I'm doing it again. I want to know if this moved you as it moved me. I want to know what your thoughts and feelings, comments and criticisms are, directly following The End. Let me know in the comments, and let me know if you're free Thursday night, for another Lost get-together. Thanks for reading, and Namaste.

Original Post:

Discuss here. I've been stuck on an airplane for 8 hours, so I haven't had time to write up a proper intro for this post. Really though, what can I say that hasn't been so wonderfully well-expressed by all of you over the past week. I hope it's enjoyed by all of us, and I hope you'll grace me with your thoughts, comments and reactions after The End ends.




  1. gotta say this is the best finale ive ever seen.. and ive seen alot of them.. LOSt has demostrated that it needs to clean out the EMMYS....

    King Krims

  2. Stunning. Simply beautiful and quiet. Not what I expected. No explosions, no major deaths, except...well, you big epic "this is the end" set pieces. Just the characters, being the characters and I loved it. I cried when Syaid touched Shannon and I cried when Charlie and Claire kissed. I loved it.

  3. I'm sure that the message boards for IGN, AICN and CHUD (also known as we hate everything) are going to bitch and whine and say it sucked and they copped out and point out that THEY could have written it better, but as a writer I can say that they're WRONG. this was perfect. I am in awe that they stayed the course all the way till the end and they told the story they wanted to tell. Bravo, Darlton, I am in awe.

  4. Perfect. Simply perfect. The final scene, when he saw the plane flying away.

    Bravo, Lost.

  5. Morse. Glad you were able to get back in time to watch the show! Being trapped on a plane on LOST finale night sounded like either a cruel joke or bad meta-joke. Want to say thanks very much for your great LOST write-ups. I've enjoyed them very much. I also look forward to what you work on next. "Namaste".

  6. It was everything I wanted. Long live the Second Snake! Instareaction coming when I get this (sniff) dust outta my eyes.

  7. Most satisfying finale. Holy shit, they stuck the landing. Or should I say, they really soared ... ?

  8. And, yes, long live the Second Snake!

  9. Just got back from seeing it in a theatre with 550 people who loved every second of it.

    I can't think of another show that ended quite as satisfyingly as that one. And I was doubly surprised when I found myself wanting to get more of the flash-sideways as the episode went on.

    This ending was sort of the culmination of all of our theories, and none of them. It was truly unique .

    Anyway, write on, please.

  10. I only have one qualm with the finale: what the shit was the island?! I wanted more detail.

    It was, however, a really beautiful end to a wonderful series. Great way to say goodbye, and no doors left open.

    I cried for a long time, though. Not a single one of them truly got a happy ending.

  11. Slamboni here, got lazy.

    One more thing. What would it have mattered if the MIB made it? If he won?Seeing how everyone died anyway, I'm not seeing the difference. The good guys won, but was it purely self-sacrificial? I'd love other views on this.

  12. Someone I know put it really well: "LOST finale: my heart says yes; my brain says "wait a minute...""

    I was extremely satisfied with the ending from a character perspective. But from a storytelling perspective, my first reaction is that it left way too many things unanswered.

    I don't need EVERYTHING explained, but it just seems like they punted on a lot of things that they built up over the years -- why were Aaron and Walt special?; why was the Island under water in the FST/purgatory/whatever it was; what was Mrs. Hawking's role, and what was the deal with fate course-correcting?; etc.

    And, to be honest, the ending seemed to me to minimize the entire Jacob/MiB conflict, which the entire last season had built up so much. The big Jack/MiB fight really came down to just about 2 minutes. This was the "war" we'd been told to expect?

    I need time to digest. I'm thrilled with the characters' stories. I'm just not sure about everything else.

  13. One of the saddest, but most satisfying ends to a story I've experienced in a long time. Yep, I felt heartbroken when Vincent laid down. It wasn't the resolution that a lot of folks wanted, I'm sure, but it was the ending that true fans of the characters will understand, and appreciate in the long-term. Hope the message people take away from this is one of a positive, soul-felt nature. Not going to be another show quite like it, and I'm sort of glad.

  14. Wow. So great, but so sad. It won't be the same without having episodes of this show to look forward to. This show has been so amazing - it's writing was top notch. The acting was always much better than just about anything else on TV. Such a contrast to shows like Fast Forward. And honestly, the music is one of my favorite things about it. Sometimes it was so beautiful and moving. I will truly miss this show.

    Btw, did anyone else love that Target commercial with the smoke monster and a smoke alarm? Loved it.

    Can't wait to read your column on it MMorse.

  15. I thought of yet another question. I'm nitpicking because j don't want closure! I want to keep it alive ... :(

    If the sideways flashes were more of an afterlife... Why did our Losties have a different past/present/story? That makes no sense to me.

  16. Well, that was lovely. Certainly, a lot of the niggling questions we've all had were not answered, but you'd have to be one cynical bastard to not have been swept away by the beauty and grace of The End. I wept frequently and openly during this finale and it was wonderful.

  17. Wow, are you kidding me? I definitely don't want to disrespect anyone here. I'm glad you all enjoyed it. This has been my favorite Lost blog and for that I am truly grateful. However, I just thought it was absolutely awful. Looking back on the whole show, none of it made any sense. I could go on for hours explaining why I am so disappointed but I will save it for another day. Needless to say, while I was not expecting the show to be based in science or even science fiction, the fact that it was 100% religious craziness really puts me off.

  18. I've been a huge lost fan since it began, and I'm glad everyone here enjoyed it and I loved this blog, but wow... this finale was incomprehensible. I wasn't expecting answers to everything, but as another commenter said... what was the island? The end made me think that nothing on the island actually happened (?) or that it happened in a purgatory-like state (?)... so confused. Were the flash-sideways the part that wasn't real?

    I've seen every episode at least twice, so it's not like I'm a casual fan. And character moments aside, it seemed like the end not only failed to answer basic questions about the show, it actually confused them more.

  19. I think that many of us accepted a long time ago that this was a program about the characters and not about the Island as such.

    Personally I thought the final episode was beautifully done, although I'm seeing a lot of confused tweets from people saying they called it after season one, but I'm not sure they 'got' the final episode.

    It wasn't what I expected. And for that I'm truly thankful to the writers who made a show that I'm proud to say I watched from start to finish and got up at 4:30am in the UK to watch the final episode of.

    Unresolved threads of story? Sort of. But I think that misses the point of the end.

  20. I'm way more towards the "loved it" end of the spectrum. I had some nitpicks, and I would have liked some sort of explanation for the island and the wackiness that happens on/because of it .. but despite that I loved what I was presented with. I get that the mysteries and oddities take a backseat the characters, and this episode really did a good job of illustrating that, particularly toward the end. It was a fantastic ending to an amazing show.

    That being said, a couple small things about the episode.

    -How did Christian know so much? I get that they needed an exposition machine, but why him? Why would he know anything more than any of the other dead people at that point? Why not just have Eloise pop into the church for a minute and basically say the exact same thing, then leave and go spend some quality time with her son for like the first time ever.

    -Obviously it's a finale and they have to be as visually impressive as possible in certain scenes .. but Jack's flying face punch had me laughing for like a minute. So ridiculous, I loved it.

    -Was anyone else worried when Kate kissed Jack and he started to see some flashes? I was thinking, "That man tends to smash things he doesn't understand. I'd take like 2 steps back, Kate."

  21. Analog Olmos here from the Chud boards:

    I'm finding myself in the camp of "heart loved it/brain fighting it."

    After reflecting I realize that of all the questions left, there's really only one that bothers me and threatens to damage my enjoyment of and appreciation for the finale:

    It was never, ever demonstrated what exactly the consequences of the MiB leaving the Island would be, or of the Island being destroyed for that matter. And that's a big deal, because it's the whole motivation for the final showdown.

    Sure, we were Told By Mother that the Light can't EVER go out (it did) and that the MiB Could Never Leave because it would mean the End Of EVERYTHING. But there was never any internal logic to either of those claims within the narrative: MiB leaving while leaving the Light intact would seriously seem to have likely minimal to zero negative consequences for humanity, other than perhaps a few random smoke-monster murders on the mainland when someone got on his bad side. If we were to believe that the simple act of him leaving would threaten existence, then we needed some kind of hint as to why the heck this would be the case.

    And if the Light going out meant "It Goes Out Everywhere," then why did the only effect seem to be on the Island itself (no scenes of worldwide destruction, or tidal waves a la The Abyss poised to erase humanity), and why was it so easy to reverse? The Light of Creation goes out, which should mean the end of all existence.... but it was only out for 10 minutes, so it's no big deal?

    Seriously, I need some help with this because it's really, really starting to bug me the more I think about it.

  22. Amen brothers- to act like the ending is sacrosanct is bogus. Morse, you can enjoy the ending (as I did), but there is some SERIOUSLY lousy story telling going on here.
    I am definitely in the heart/head split.
    I can live with the way too quick ending on the island with out much in the way of answers.
    My issue- the build up the sideways makes little sense on the context of where they chose to end it(and I am not opposed to how they ended it)
    And for the rest who are going to come off to those of us who did not expected something else or something better, but rather expected better execution, we have the right to be annoyed just as much as you have the right to be elated...
    its like the world's biggest Rorschach test

  23. to Michael:

    You cried when Sayid touched Shannon? Really? They were together what, 2 weeks? lol Sayid´s true love was whatshername. Shannon just gave him a hard on and since Kate was taken, there wasn´t much left on island.

  24. To everyone with issues as to the storytelling details and what was left unresolved:

    You of course have the right to be disappointed or even furious with this episode. There are lot of elements that, from a storytelling viewpoint, make little sense. But, in all honesty, what were you expecting?

    This is Lost. It's always been brilliant and frustrating both. The creators of the show weren't going to change the formula. They said they wouldn't be focusing on the mysteries to end the show. They said they'd approach the ending from a character perspective and that's what they did.

    I started looking for, and finding, value in the show beyond its mysteries between last season and this one (coincidentally, about the same time I started reading these recaps. Thanks Morse!). I tried to accept the show on its own terms instead of mine, and I found I enjoyed Lost a lot more for it.

    Despite what I said above, it was not the perfect ending to the perfect show. But it was a perfectly appropriate ending to THIS show, and stayed true to what this show has always been about.

    Bravo, Lost. Can't wait for the recap.

  25. It's a sign of lazy writing when you leave most of the mysteries to be resolved by fan speculation and DVD extras. BSG "God did it" finale all over again.

  26. I have to say, the look on Hurley's face as Charlie opened the motel door was worth the price of admission alone.

  27. While I thought the ending was emotional, and I did enjoy many of the reunions, I had a lot of problems with the end.

    1.) If this were the ending that they were going to lead up to, I feel like a lot of time this season in particular was wasted with things that really don't matter. Details about people's lives in the flash-sideways/in-between world? Not really necessary, since that world was created as a means for their spirits to find one another after death. Far more time could have been devoted to resolving the other stories. Which brings me to:

    2.) Jack died on the island, but there were lots of characters who got off/lived after the island incidents were over. It feels disatisfying not to know what happened in their lives afterwards. What happened to Claire and Aaron? Kate? Sawyer? Miles? Richard? How did Desmond get off the island? To say that the rest of their lives weren't important seems odd. Same goes with Hurley and Ben as protectors of the island, and people like Ji Yeon.

    3.) It seems as though in the end, Dahrma, the Others, Jacob, the MIB, and everything else has little to do with the conclusion. Kind of a let-down when you've been following the mysteries for so long.

    4.) There was no call-back to the scene in "The Little Prince," where the time-travelers are shooting at folks in an outrigger! (I was sure that would come up somewhere...)

    5.) The scene when Ben gets squished by a tree, no one can get it off, and then the next scene he's out and seems to be fine. o__o Wha?

    6.) What did Eloise Hawking have to do with anything then? Was she just hanging out in this psuedo, in-between world enjoying the fact that she could be the mother to her son?

    If everything relates to Jack, it was very good as everything came full-circle for him. But the story wasn't just about Jack, it was about everyone else too. And in terms of a conclusion for them, it felt a little ... unsatisfying. :\

  28. It's interesting. Darlton said all along that the end would be the complete story for these characters, but that it would be open to interpretation as well. I wondered how that would play and now we know. As a viewer from day one, I can say that I do have a few questions that weren't answered but overall, I am satisfied with the conclusion. I'm heartbroken that it's over, but I liked the symetry of Jack walking back to the place he woke up and laying down to die. I loved Ben looking so happy that Hurley asked him to be his number 2. I will revise my earlier statement and say that I didn't cry when Sayid found Shannon, it just brought a tear bto my eye to see him happy, really happy for only the second time on the show. My mind may have trouble with it later, but unlike past finales "i'm looking at you Alias, X-files and Buffy" this time my heart felt good when the screen went blank and LOST appeared, silently, for the last time. The show told us the story, not that we wanted, but that IT wanted to tell. Color me happy.

  29. littlescarf, you asked all the questions i asked...
    its seems like they shot most of the flash-sideways for something else... I'd bet money that NONE of the actors knew that the church scene was going to be them basically waiting to get into heaven (?)
    eloise in the sideways as well as daniel in the sideways were mystifiying for no good reason... erg

  30. Oh, I forgot one of my questions!

    7.) Who the heck was David?! Obviously he never really existed, so why was he present in this in-between world? He just sort of disappeared during the concert, too. He's never even mentioned again after Jack leaves the concert with Kate!

  31. I encourage everyone here to air all of their honest thoughts about the finale, and I'm glad that those of you who came away disappointed are keeping it civil. Thank you for that.

    I understand the frustration regarding unanswered mysteries - I share some of that frustration. But in terms of these characters and their journey this was the ending I'd hoped for.

    And I'm personally pleased as punch by the open-endedness of the Castaways' unseen futures, both off and on the Island. Knowing that some have escaped and some have stayed is enough for me.

  32. Morse, I loved this finale more than I thought possible. I can only compare it to the emotional peace I've felt after reading the last sentence of a truly great work of literature. Not only were there elements that appealed to me so personally that they alone would have made me weep (a dog lying next to a dying man to comfort him, for instance), but the fact that the show ended with such happiness at its core, such an encouraging and inspiring show of pure love... I just didn't think it was possible. I walked around for two hours after the finale just reeling from the power of it, and I woke up this morning thinking about how touching it was. If I can find the courage I'd like to write a more specific and lengthy piece about what the episode did to me emotionally and why, and if I can, I'll post it here.

  33. little there were SOOO many details of the sideways we could nitpick... such as david...
    the more i think about it, the more there was obviously missing from the episode... that DVD is gonna be packed- i hope?

  34. WOW! It was a late night!

    After sleeping (barely) on it I am still digesting. I can understand what everyone is saying, all the reservations about it are warranted. I agree, from a character perspective it was a good ending. This finale was all about letting go.

    Narratively speaking, from this season and series as a whole, a lot was lacking. I was not expecting all answers to the mysteries, but expecting more due to the build-ups.

    I'm with Scarfgirl - I was expecting when they were in the outrigger and found Frank, that they were going to see the time jumping characters and start shooting at them.

    Positives - I liked that, regardless of the continued lives of the survivors that escaped, (or if even Desmond did), what matters is in the end, they found each other in the afterlife, so they could be awakened, to enable themselves to move on. Not all chose to move on, like Ben (and Michael from earlier this season), who chose to stay until he felt he was ready. I liked that a lot. I loved seeing the reunions and the real joy that these people finally were able to feel. Letting go and embracing one another. I loved Ben's face as he was finally accepted/needed the way he always wanted to be. I liked that when the light went out, it was more scientific than religious, or at least a balance, that the destruction was gradual. Loved Juliet's return, and that her awakening happened when she actually died. Sideways Purgatory, love it!

    Ok, that all said, my gripes are - No explanation about the numbers. They popped up everywhere all series long, and all we got was "Jacob had a thing for numbers"? Really?
    How was there Egyptian anything on the island? Especially on the cork keeping the light lit. WTF? Ben trapped under a tree, fight between Jack and Locke raining, next scene all clear, Ben fine, we're all fine here (I can look past this one actually). There is more but my head hurts as I feel like I am being awakened.

    Loved the Target commercials!

  35. I can maybe explain David - as Locke said, "you don't have a son". It was a manifestation from Jack's mind in the world Jack created for himself. He made him up to fill a void. That's why when he started waking up, David disappeared. He was no longer needed.

  36. My head is still wrestling with what I witnessed last night, which is right where I hoped to be by this point. I didn't want concrete answers and resolution. I wanted to continue to wonder, just as I am. Was the alt-verse the result of Hurley's reign? Was it his way of "doing things differently"? Was it his way of "doing what he does best" in taking care of people? The stained glass window along with the rest of the mixed bag of religious relics and symbols sitting around in that room makes me think so. It's like an ideal created by a modern "island protector" with a much more modern world view.

    And I liked how the whole heart of the island thing played out. There's still the sense of physical scientific properties at work in the way it turned red and seemed almost volcanic once the water reservoir was uncorked and how it returned to form once the water flowed back in to cool (or balance) it. That in combination with what MIB said about the wheel and how it channels water and light makes my mind go crazy with theories as far as how it all worked, and will make re-watching the show that much more compelling to me from that perspective. And it also makes me wonder, was all of that the result of how an "island protector" with an old world perspective and understanding would set things up?

    So, yes, I loved it and my mind will continue to chew on it for weeks and months to come, I'm sure. Thank you, MMorse, for all you do here. I was a late-comer, but have been enjoying and have been inspired by your read on how you see things. I never thought I'd ever say this about a television show (or a blog that covers it), but I truly feel richer through this whole experience.

  37. one thing i HATED about last night- the number of commercials.

    Which is weird considering they probably did not do any more than usual, but they were heavy handed in placement- i think?

  38. One quick comment about the heart of the island:

    did anyone else see a similarity between what desmond was doing down in the hatch (pushing the button periodically to vent electromagnetic energy) and what desmond and jack did at the heart of the island (extinguish the light just long enough for antilocke to lose his power and immortality)?

  39. Well, I'm just happy that the greatest mystery of all was answered, albeit in a round about way. I am speaking of course of the mystery of the facial hair. I had always wondered how every guys facial hair on the Island kept that perfect 2-3 day growth when we saw that Jack, at least, was capable of growing a full beard away from it's influence. And now we know that it was merely one of Jacob's many rules (note that Jacob, himself, favored that style).

    All in all I'm very happy with the finale. Yes, there are plot threads left dangling and some logical inconsistencies here and there, but I loved that show, warts and all, like no other for 6 years.

    Can't wait for your wrap up, Morse!

  40. I'd like to piggyback on Darth's take on Jack's son:

    I'm sorry to say that, after thinking about it on the commute, I believe Jack's son, David, was just a construct of Jack's mind/spirit/experiences, a self-created symbol of his desire to atone with his father. Well, maybe I shouldn't say "sorry."

    It's kind of sad to think that this lovable, sweet kid was just that, though. To take this theory further, I believe that the sideways/simulacrum world, even though it was a creation of the castaways' love for each other, is very real unto itself, meaning that David's life there is very real and will continue, albeit without his dad and mom. You could start a spinoff starring just the "left behind" people trying to figure out what happened to their loved ones, if this were the case. These people, including David and Peggy Bundy, would be "Lost" themselves -- lost in an existence, a metaphorical island, created by others.

    Maybe this line of thinking holds the key to the existence of the island itself, too: that it was created as some other group of people's step toward even greater enlightenment.

  41. Oh, and Steve, I think that in the end Aaron was important not because of who he was or what he could do, but rather in the way the he served to unite the castaways and provided a chance at growth for Kate, Jack, Claire and Charlie. He was also the reason that Kate (and by extension the rest of the O-6) went back to the Island allowing Jack to fulfill his destiny.

    As for Walt, my guess is that he was "special" in the same way as the MiB and that therefore he was sent as far away as possible. Jacob didn't want his brother to have a "candidate" of his own.

  42. @ Colonel - To piggy back on your piggyback:

    "...the existence of the island itself, too: that it was created as some other group of people's step toward even greater enlightenment."

    This could be explained by the existence of Michael and the other spirits residing on the island that could not move on.

    @Christopher - I agree with your thoughts on Walt. I stated a while ago that bad things happen to those that are identified as "special".

  43. JDR22 Here...

    This was the first time since Ab Aeterno that I watched a LOST episode as it aired. Let me just cut to the chase: I loved it. It was profoundly emotional to experience it with my wife, who has watched LOST with me from the beginning.

    I can see some people complaining that some "loose" story threads weren't addressed, and I REALLY can see a lot of people turned off by the overtly spiritual ending. I'm not a hugely spiritual person, but everything about this episode just felt...right (including the end).

    The amazing thing to me after the finale is how little some of the dangling threads bother me. They are fun to try and figure out, but after the end I find myself satisfied beyond what I expected.

    I didn't have a problem with the storytelling. In fact, I thought to myself several times how well-written it was compared to Across the Sea. It flowed and felt organic, and I loved all the character moments. Was it perfect? I think it's as perfect as any LOST episode has been.

    I agree with MMorse almost completely in how I feel about it. Some people say they have a heart/head split, but my head and heart were intensely satisfied. I'm sure there are things left unaddressed (actually, I know there are), but I'm surprisingly okay with it. I know we're going to get some more answers with the DVD bonus features, but I'm very happy with how the character stories played out (and love the significance of the Sideways).

    Unlike Across the Sea, this episode was polarizing for the right reasons. It presented controversial ideas, but executed them brilliantly.

    I'm happy to say that LOST had a magnificent end. I expected nothing less.

    I'm not sure how long I'll stick around here (or any LOST site for that matter), but it's been a great run, and I appreciate this blog very much!


  44. I am going to sum up. The show started with Jack and these other characters, all who were "lost". In The End, they were all "found" by one another.

  45. I texted a friend on the west coast last night after the finale... just one word "Wow". That sorta sums up my entire Lost run. As I watched Jack stagger back to his awakening point on the island, the idea of the ending of a closed eye became perfect symmetry. And Vincent laying beside him brought a tear to my eyes.

    Now the one big thing I'm trying to figure out is Desmond. He could see the other world. Throughout both realities it seemed like he was trying to cross-over to the other one... that's where I'm getting a little LOST.

  46. I must confess, I had seriously mixed feelings last night after watching the finale. I think the aforementioned heart/head split sums it up well. But dwelling on it today, it is starting to sit with me much, much better and make great sense as a closer to this fantastic series. The last shot was perfect. I look forward to watching it again and letting it all sink in more free from my own expectations and ideas of what I thought I wanted to see.

    JohnM: I'll take a crazy stab at the Desmond conundrum. That too left me a bit puzzled, and, I must say, as much as they had built Desmond up, I was hoping for a bit more. However, I think the key to understanding his motivations at the end was really right there in the season 3 episode "Flashes Before Your Eyes." That episode title might just have a whole new significance now after seeing the flash sideways afterlife (or whatever you want to call it) reveal. What if all that we've seen in the sideways was really LOST's take on what flashes before these characters eyes, so to speak, in the moments as they are dying (Light at the end of the tunnel and all that, and Juliet's death at the beginning of the season I think totally suggests this)?

    Anyway, sorry for the tangent. As for Desmond, I think his consciousness traveled to his afterlife self this season, where he was awakened, but then came back to his living self on the island. Thus, the Desmond we see after this in the sideways then, was actually Desmond's consciousness after/at the point of death, and he understood what "leaving" meant. But the living Desmond on the island had simply seen a glimpse of the sideways, but didn't really know what it was, just that he could be happy there. So he simply wanted to get back, but didn't really understand how, I assume, until he later died.

    At least I think that makes sense. Brain is a bit overloaded and mushy right now. Can't wait for the last column!

  47. I am surprised that nobody has mentioned this ...

    What are everyone's thoughts about the last scene they showed during the credits? The wreckage, with the engine still in tact? That baffled me...

  48. Yeah now that I think about it, Across the Sea was even MORE pointless in light of the finale...

  49. Darth, I took that as the ajira flight crashing on the island instead of making it off. The crash was obviously different than the pilot... I'm surprised no one asked about it though.

  50. JDR22 Here...

    @Leadership - Your statement makes no sense. We needed to know about the Light in the Cave, and Jacob & MiB's back story (though it was more significant for the previous episode). I didn't like Across the Sea, but it had crucial information.

    I won't pretend that I got everything I need as far as mythology goes, I want more. However, I was VERY satisfied on a character level, and that mattered more than I thought. It was enough for me to be fine with a lot of things that weren't answered (it also helps that we're still going to get more with the DVD set).

    It's amazing to see the varied reactions to The End. Devin Faraci has officially accepted his role as Head Douche. Man, I can't stand that guy. How can you be such a good writer, yet be so simple-minded? The only good thing he ever did was allow MMorse to be a site contributor.

    I'm so thankful for thoughtful recappers who look at the show for what it is, and don't superimpose their ego over everything they watch. There is a lot of blatant idiocy going around, and while I expected it, it doesn't make it any less pathetic.

    In the meantime, I'm looking forward to re-watching the finale. I want to see how The End sits with me over time. For now, though, count me in the "Very Happy LOST Fan" category.

  51. Hey Morse - I just thought of this, the headstone pic I made saying RIP Lost is a lot more poignant now!

    I bounced around to other sites, blogs, posts and it is poisoning my brain. I agree with JDR, my head hurts with the idiocracy I am reading from so-called fans. Although disppointment is to be expected with a finale, and we all had some, but WOW. Overall I thought the finale was good, and closed out the characters well. Loose plot threads make for great conversation and theories. Not all out hatred. I am appalled.

  52. JDR22 Here...

    @ Darth - It's pretty sad. I don't think it's the number of complainers as much as how loud they're complaining.

    I'm glad I watched the finale when I did, and allowed myself time to come to my own conclusions (though I didn't sleep much last night). ;-)

    Everyone has the right to their opinion, and I have the right to not read/acknowledge those opinions. If you want to have a mature conversation, that's one thing, but if you want to spout vile just thanks.

    I'm good.

  53. I'm late to the commenting game here, but wow. The more I let this one marinate, the happier I am with it. I haven't been genuinely moved by something to that extent in quite a while, and for me that counts for more than anything else. It wasn't anything like what I expected it to be, but it worked, for almost every character on every level.

    Lost has made me rethink how genuinely awesome TV can be as a medium, or how awesome long-form story-telling can be in general, because a finale like this means so much after knowing all of these characters for a full six years. Sure, it may have been messy and imperfect, and some loose ends are never going to be tied up, but I think that's a bit of what makes Lost so fantastic. With a show that's so focused on ambiguity and epistemology, it would seem hollow to me if they tried to wrap everything up in a neat bow. Instead they went with the idea that's been there since the beginning - you can't get answers to everything, so be kind to the people around you, and do the best that you can. And I thought that was really powerful.

    Glad most of you guys liked it!

  54. I loved it. It felt real, and it felt complete.
    As soon as it ended I had to get up and go on a walk, and as I slept, all night my dreams were full of castaways and other 'Lost' iconography.
    I see lots of people on the net complaining about the ending.
    I think it is a wonderful ending, which requires much of the viewer, and gives these finely wrought characters as close to a happy ending as could be.
    The mobius-strip quality to the narrative is made that much richer with an 'ending' like the one we watched last night.

  55. I literally just finished watching this now, so I haven't read any of the comments and I apologise for repeating stuff if other people have already said it.

    I'm sure there are probably a lot of haters out there, but I just wanted to say that never has a piece of television, or cinema, or any other art form played with my emotions even half as much as this finale did. I'm a wreck.

    What this finale has to say about friendship, love and communion was beautiful, and even though I honestly have no clue of the answers to many of my biggest questions from over the past six years I am somehow, against all the odds, completely satisfied with what I saw.

    This was the perfect send-off for the characters, and when Jack lay down next to Vincent for that stunning and apt final shot, what I felt more than anything was a sense of closure.


  56. To everyone wondering about the shots of the plane crash site over the credits, it didn't mean anything. You can also see the survivors' old campsite in those shots, which you wouldn't if they'd died in the crash or if it was a crash of the other plane.

  57. Seriously, are people just IGNORING the last season's sideways half and the inconsistencies in the storytelling? Must be. Again- I have NO ISSUE with the ending. Rewatached and cried again, but as much as Faraci might be a head douche, he is not far off on a lot in his Chud piece at least on this season's failings.
    Mind you, I still think it is a great episode, but it makes me despise chunks of the sideways story this year.

  58. I thought it was a really wonderful final epsiode... I agree with Todd in that the frustrations people are voicing have more to do with the structure and storyline of the final season as a whole (and on some points I'm in agreement). It was a weird season; but is that really so bad?

    It's kind of like shitting on your kids painting. It was a gift, dammit.

    Like Twin Peaks, The Sopranos, The Wire, we'll never have a show quite like Lost again.

  59. "The only good thing he ever did was allow MMorse to be a site contributor."

    Just to clarify things so credit/blame is properly attributed - I owe my current mainpage presence to Chud's Eileen Bolender, who works behind the scenes on the site's backend. Also to folks like Diva and Jacob Singer on the boards, who emailed Nick Nunziata. I don't know that Devin's ever read my stuff. He was, however, responsible for offering me the Sanada interview which he certainly didn't have to do, and I appreciate that. He's left me to spin my wordy ramblings without negative comment, and I appreciate that as well.

    His comments on the show don't bother me. I don't think he's right/fair in his assessment. And while it's apples and oranges to a large extent, I do think it's strange to read his impassioned and thoughtful review of the Battlestar finale against his evaluation of Lost. But he's entitled to that opinion regardless.

    Don't let him get to you.

  60. After letting "The End" ruminate in my mind for a couple of days, I feel I can finally talk about it after processing it for a bit. Several of you know that I've commented on this site for a while and that Lost is one of my favorite shows of all time. So, on to the thoughts of the finale.

    I absolutely loved about 85% of the finale. All of the island scenes were the cast, crew, and writers performing on a level that we haven't seen before, and that's high praise considering the 119 hours that came previously. Seeing Jack and the MiB's battle on the volcanic cliffs was epic beyond belief. Watching Jack stumble back to the bamboo forest to lay down and die was quite possibly the most powerful moment that I've seen on television. Knowing that he'd accomplished what he was meant to do, saving the Island and his friends, he finally earns peace, quiet, and redemption, and then closes his eyes. Absolutely stunning.

    I still feel that season 6 is the weakest out of the series. It definately is tied with season 5 for the most ambitious, but this season felt quite uneven. I really like that after all of the philosophy, the nature of man, faith, science, and community that Lost decided to handle their own take on death. Having said that, the finale left me kind of cold to realize that the entire Sideways (or AfterFlash as Sam McPherson on TV Overmind calls it) was a figment, and largely meaningless to the Island story. The castaways created this alternate reality for themselves to help process their deaths and then move on together. I really like that Lost is addressing this philosophy on death, that very much fits in with the rest of the show, but I really don't like that they presented this idea to the audience as a long con. One thing I don't like about this, is that it makes "Happily Ever After" kind of pointless from the island standpoint. Desmond being able to see into his "purgatory" means absolutely nothing for what happening on the Island.

    Once again, this reaction is within 48 hours of the finale. I have to come to terms with what my expectations were, and what was shown. It doesn't mean that what was shown wasn't good, but it wasn't what I thought it would be. Given some more time and possibly a rewatch through the entire series, I'm sure I will probably change my outlook on the AfterFlash.

    Thanks to Morse and everyone for making this my favorite site to read and talk about Lost. I hope that the relationships made here will not end with the show. We've had a good run, may we all find a peaceful bamboo forest to lie down in.

  61. "I hope that the relationships made here will not end with the show. We've had a good run, may we all find a peaceful bamboo forest to lie down in."

    Hi Ho,

    I'll second that. I hope that some of you will choose to follow me to my next "virtual bamboo forest" and take a non-lethal seat next to me.

    The new Chud project is coming, just as soon as I close the Back to the Island column out to my satisfaction. Those of us who want to stay Lost can continue to haunt this site, where I'll be posting notices on The Book and offering space for you to keep discussing the show.

  62. With ya Hi Ho...
    my point blank-
    as a stand alone, I LOVED the episode. it was moving, it wrapped things up etc.
    as part of the whole series, and a series finale, at best I guess I was 50/50- feeling that the 15% you mention which is majorily the ending of the sideways was over the top
    as an ending to this season, which was different, interesting etc... very let down, and again mostly due to the ending of the sideways...
    as hi hi suggests its a long con... i am still firmly convinced that they had another idea in mind, but went the easy way out based on a variety of factors:
    1. they wanted eko and could not get him... what place did he have in the sideways?
    2. they finally got shannon, but only for the ending...
    how would sayid's ending have played out had they NOT gotten maggie grace back?
    3. Boone was good enough to be in the ending and the beginning but nothing else?
    notice, i don't nitpick the mystery questions from the mythology etc... I am placated on that front

  63. @Hi Ho: My opinion on the sideways/afterflash world has actually become more positive in the ensuing 48 hours. It might stem from my mini-vindication over the feeling I've had all season that the sideways world always seemed a little "off" or "artificial" with respect to the connections made among the characters. (Although my vindication pales in comparison with Morse's "Second Snake" theory. All hail!)

    Despite its apparent artificiality, though I think it's somewhat reductive to label the sideways world as simply a "figment." It's a reality in its own right even if it is a collaborative creation or, if you will, a "sea of stories" filled by the castaways' interconnected consciousness.

    I think the sunken island at the beginning of the sideways/after arc is an indication that in the castaways' shared consciousness the light, at least for their purposes, no longer needs to be protected since it's in all of them, as I believe Morse and some others have suggested in their pre-finale theorizing. The sideways/simulacrum world is very much a reality to them and, I believe, to the other people that populate it, although it's easier for the castaways to attain further enlightenment since they gave most or all of their lives to protect that light in their prior existence. Think of them as shamans.

    So while the sideways/simulacrum arc may not have had much impact on the island arc, I believe it serves as a poignant and illuminating validation of the events in the island reality.

    Man, I'm going to miss this! I can't wait for the book, Morse. To echo Hi Ho, I'd also like to thank Morse and everyone else here for the experience. What an island we've made for ourselves!

  64. When the box set comes out I plan on rewatching the entire series to see how it is with all this new data. I would really like the ability to still talk about it. I do not want to lose access to the great minds that frequent this site.

    I was up all night last night cruising the internet and I have to say, without a doubt, that this site is the best. Everywhere else, and I mean everwhere I went, was full of either haters, non-believers, or just people who did not get it, and wouldn't get it if you smacked them in the face with it (believe me I tried). That said, I really want to stay in touch.

  65. I wanted to apologize for this comment:
    "Seriously, are people just IGNORING the last season's sideways half and the inconsistencies in the storytelling?"
    While I find it mindboggling inconsistent, even my wife could have cared less about how the sideways was told when it was said and done- my point being just as I can be disappointed, you can get elated... but as stated before- it ends up being a rorshach test, you are going to see what you want in there...

  66. Todd,

    Is a Rorschach test a bad thing? If an explicit point of the show, from beginning to end, has been to dramatize irreducible, unanswerable questions, then is leaving us with an ending that operates to instigate discussions a failure? Or a success?

  67. JDR22 Here...

    @ MMorse - It goes to show you how little I know about what goes on at CHUD. Thanks for clarifying, now I know that Devin has no redeeming qualities. ;-)

    Seriously, I don't HATE the guy, it's just fun to rag on him because he seems to thrive on being an absolute tool (there I go again...).

    I've still yet to re-watch the entire finale, but I re-watched the last 15 minutes to see how it played. While I still found it emotional, it's hard to beat the experience of my first viewing.

    The dust is settling in my mind, and while I loved the finale, the initial emotional glow is wearing off, and I'm starting to really think about it from a more objective viewpoint.

    I'm beginning to understand the heart/head split a little more, as my heart absolutely LOVED everything that happened, but my brain is starting to realize that all the pieces don't exactly fit just right.

    Don't get me wrong, I still love LOST. I think we got a great ending to the Sideways (and I don't feel the revelation at the end made me despise an part of it). I loved every beat of the finale. I think we got a great final sequence on the Island with Jack in the bamboo. Perfect closing shot.

    That said, it's still nagging me that they couldn't have incorporated more answers to the Island mythology into this final season. Not only that, they dropped story lines they started (infection, anyone?). I understand the view that while the Sideways acted as a beautiful epilogue, it didn't really affect anything on the Island. There's some truth in that.

    I will argue that what we got was better than simply answering mysteries with no deep character resolution, but they could have balanced the two a bit better.

    As I write this, I realize that I'm placing my expectations of what LOST could/should have been onto what the show ended up being, and while that's not fair, it's inevitable. As I stated before, I'm good with the show from an overall character perspective.

    As far as the mythology.... I'm not sure.

  68. I don't know why I just thought about this... Does anyone know what happened to Cindy, Emma, and Zach?

  69. D,

    Presumably they are still on the Island. I'd imagine that Hurley and Ben will take care of them, and perhaps help them to get home.

  70. From what I've read, most people think Jughead was a red herring. I'm not sure if I buy that. I think that Jughead may have been the catalyst for the sideways world, just like we all suspected. The only difference is, there were never two Jacks, or two Lockes. Their consciousnesses only made the journey over after death. Jughead created a world between worlds, where the Island was underwater, and the castaways never crashed.

    I think that this ties in nicely to Daniel's talk about the nuke in Happily Ever After, and Christian's comment that it was a place "they all made."

    What this means for the overall narrative is that, while the Season 5 finale was about Jack undoing (or fixing) the past, the end of Season 6 was Jack remembering the past, and allowing himself to let go. He didn't have to 'fix' the past, as Jack's life with the crash was much more meaningful and fulfilling than one without.

    Of course, I could be way off.

  71. Ok allow me to illustrate one of my BIGGEST gripes with the sideways...
    we see juliet as she is dying saying the lines about getting coffee- going dutch and then miles saying that her last thought was "it worked."

    most of KNEW it would come back in the sideways and REALLY had the appearance of the "awakening" we expected ala- they had not seen each other in sometime...

    look at the context under which they meet in the sideways (and don't get me wrong, those two had me sold... it was moving), but the lines were arbitrary considering where and how they were... "it worked" referred to the candy machine, ok... but getting coffee, going dutch? WHA???

    and for those that want to make the case that this ending will be satisifying for the "character people" and they are basically saying screw the plot and mysteries people, well why? Again, this comes back to execution... I DEFINITELY did not need every answer, but as others have pointed out, they left SO MANY dangling (created in this season alone, let alone all the old ones)- check this dude out:

  72. Morse, I'm kinda ok with the Rorschach test- except that not everyone wants to have to guess what the meaning of everything... I think we are clearly showing that people did want answers. The question becomes the quality and quantity. One of the only ways i think I can rationalize the entire sideways is that it is Jack's fever dream as he dies like an occurrence at owl creek. But that's a fleeting thought when i start to think about the sideways... and obviously... more people cared about what was happening with the island and less about the "epilogue" - this is where I join some of the complainers...

  73. "Morse, I'm kinda ok with the Rorschach test- except that not everyone wants to have to guess what the meaning of everything..."

    Oh, I agree with you here. And as I'll make clear in the column, even I don't want to have to guess the "meaning of everything." But you have to admit that, like it or not, all of us ARE actively guessing at the meaning of "everything" (life, death, purpose, existence, God, reason, morality) every time we open our eyes. While I do sincerely understand the complaints about unanswered questions (Sayid's arc this season will continue to bother me for instance, as will the undefined nature of "infection" in general as presented) I sincerely admire that Lost mirrors the Existential, answerless state of our actual existence.

    We all want answers to "the big questions" of life, the universe, and everything - to steal a Douglas Adams title. Yet, we rarely get them. Instead, we create our own meaning, our own answers, down on the ground among our fellow human beings, in an attempt to make the inexplicable explicable. Lost has dramatized this on multiple levels.

    Shorter version: It's a finale that allows you to get out of it what you put into it. Some people see that as lazy. I don't. I see it as a conscious choice. Whether that works for you or not (and it does, overall, work very, very well for me) is a subjective matter that I'm happy to see stay subjective. Frankly, these sorts of discussions are FAR more interesting to me than whatever discussion we could be having about, say, the expositional answer to why Walt was or wasn't special (though again, I reiterate that I too wish we'd gotten more concrete answers, or at least substantive hints, to certain questions or unresolved plot points).

  74. @Morse - Well played Sir, well played. You get what you put into it.

    I have been trying to rationalize all the open ended plot points that did not get definitive answers (as we all have to a point). I can understand the complaint and gripes out there. I agree that like Todd said, not all of us want to do that. True, I didn't want to do that either, but it is what we are doing anyways, and have done all series long. Why would the writers change that formula? It has worked for this long.

    I see the series like a work of art. Inerpretation is left to the viewer for as long as that viewer invests time into the painting. Look at a Van Gogh painting. Any one of them you could ask "Why did he paint the stars that way?" or "Who was that man?" You will never get an answer. He also never really changed his style. You either like it, make do, or you don't.

  75. Darth Said: "I see the series like a work of art. Inerpretation is left to the viewer for as long as that viewer invests time into the painting. Look at a Van Gogh painting. Any one of them you could ask "Why did he paint the stars that way?" or "Who was that man?" You will never get an answer. He also never really changed his style. You either like it, make do, or you don't. "

    But Van Gogh didn't present the painting as a mystery, say he was going to tell you the answer, then just change his mind. He presented it as art.

    I don't mind LOST being viewed as art, and I don't want it to be a puzzle that is completely solved. However, I do want enough pieces to make the puzzle cohesive. It seems like the writers went to town creating mysteries that they never intended to address. That is why a lot of people are upset.

    I understand the attempt to rationalize what we got by saying, "Well, life doesn't give us answers." However, with this type of show, they should have tried a lot harder to incorporate those answers into the narrative. They said that they would only answer questions that the characters cared about. So make the characters care about them!

    Based on the answers we got this season, I think it may have been wise to not attempt to answer everything. It's possible that the remaining answers are so lackluster, that answers alone would have been unsatisfying.

    I'm not saying this to complain as much as I'm trying to figure out what happened on the part of the mythology.

  76. So Ji Yeons most important part of life is being born? And that goes for Aaron too? Sucks to be them. And no heaven for either Michael or Walt? Michael being condemned because of what he did but Walt is condemned because he is special, i e being born special? Lucky that no mentally disabled or gay people were on the plane. And Morse, i suspect you see Mona Lisas face on Mars, which means that you'll probably see grand philosophical conundrums in fingerprints or the golden ratio. You are the con-men behind Lost's bread and butter.

  77. I just can't step away from this finale- darn DVR.
    I rewatched the christian/jack closing- I firmly am in the camp that the sideways fits the mode of being jack's final thoughts before he dies- EXCEPT for the clunky dialogue given to Christian to explain everything. If that were were better and spoke more about Jack's creating this scenario... I would have bitten...

  78. @Johan_K - I can only speak for myself, but you're condescending tone is a put-off, and really not welcome here.

    MMorse (and anyone else, for that matter) has the right to appreciate LOST for what it is.

    And in regards to this: "Lucky that no mentally disabled or gay people were on the plane." What?!? Are you implying that LOST is somehow prejudiced against minorities? It would be interesting to see the world as you do, maybe for a day, I don't think I could handle more than that.

    I would respond to some of your intelligent observations, but I couldn't find any.

    Either get some manners or get LOST.

  79. Anon: Im sorry if my tone is condescending, english is not my first language, but if you require fealty before discussing i can at least say that i have read Morse's thoughts on LOST since day one, and i started a fan but grew weary of the increased lenght and the decreased content. But each to his own of course.

    What i meant was that it seems, at least to me, that Walt did not get into heaven because he was special, i e he was born special. If being born a certain way is a crime against godhood then that says something about the values of the writers of LOST, does it not?

  80. @Johan: Fealty? Seriously?

    And, really, the real reason Walt wasn't in the church at the ends comes down to his age. He didn't stick around on the show for too long because he grew too fast, as kids that age tend to do. Now consider that the sideways/simulacrum/purgatory world the castaways and friends created was "set" in 2004, there's no way they could have gotten Malcolm David Kelley back looking like he did back then. Sure, maybe they could have shot a body double from behind, but why bother?

    And the writers of "Lost" are doing anything but disqualifying people from "heaven." If anything, they're suggesting that anybody (yes, including Walt) can become enlightened through communion and self-sacrifice.

  81. @The Colonel: Yeah, why bother. It's isn't like Christian explicitly said that some died after Jack, but they looked like they looked because that was their most important time. So Michael could have had a later important time or whatever. So the conclusion is either that the writers were to lazy to wrap all the characters arcs up or Walts absence is meaningful. My interpretation, using the razor, is the former, but then again, i'm a man of science. Men of faith will see Jesus in the toast, not because it's there but because they want it to be there.

    So Aaron and Ji Yeon became enlighted through the self-sacrifice of being born? And Michaels self-sacrifice were not enough for redemption? Or maybe his most important time were not the time he went trough the jungle looking for his kidnapped son.

  82. “And Morse, i suspect you see Mona Lisas face on Mars, which means that you'll probably see grand philosophical conundrums in fingerprints or the golden ratio.”

    Honestly, I’m not sure if all of this is meant to be good-natured ribbing or a dismissive insult. I'll assume it's the former, because I prefer to think well of people (call it my willingness to see "Jesus in the toast").

    While I’ve never seen Mona Lisa’s face on Mars, I have most certainly contemplated the golden ratio/golden section – as have a good many philosophers. Like, say, Pythagoras. Adolph Zeising, a mathematician and philosopher who felt the golden ratio expressed a spiritual "law" also springs to mind. Might I suggest the book "The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi"?

    “You are the con-men behind Lost's bread and butter.”

    Exposed at last! You caught me. I've been working with Lost's creators this entire time, attempting a massive practical joke on all of you. Since I've been found out, want to know what the answer to Island infertility really is?

    ...Peanut allergies.

    “If being born a certain way is a crime against godhood then that says something about the values of the writers of LOST, does it not?”

    It might, if there were any indication whatsoever that “being born a certain way is a crime against godhood” on this show. I find it amusing and more than a little ironic that I’m apparently looking for Mona Lisa’s face on Mars by talking about, say, the books that are presented to us on the show, while you’re apparently engaging in an argument about “godhood” (which may or may not even exist in Lost’s universe) and being born “special” that has no basis in the show’s reality whatsoever. People in glass houses, Johan, should probably refrain from stone-throwing.

    “My interpretation, using the razor, is the former, but then again, i'm a man of science. Men of faith will see Jesus in the toast, not because it's there but because they want it to be there.”

    Just a suggestion: You might want to think twice about using such a broad brush to paint what amounts to the majority of humanity. That’s not very scientific of you. Men of Science – the ones that I respect and admire at any rate – prefer intelligent argument over baseless hyperbole.

    I won't censor you for having an opinion I disagree with, or for apparently thinking I'm full of it. That said, I will warn you now: the moment that your comments personally attack another reader of this site I will remove you. Insulting my readers is not tolerated. Choose your words wisely in this regard.

  83. @ Johan K - I see part of whay ou are saying with: "...Or maybe his most important time were not the time he went trough the jungle looking for his kidnapped son."

    Michael, like Ben, chose not to move on. He decided to spend his "purgatory" on the island as we saw him when he spoke to Hurley.

    I do not agree with the redemption part of Walt, Aaron, or Ji Yeon. They were not in the church scene because that was not where they decided to have THEIR "purgatory" be. As Christian stated, this was a world that created by the castaways we saw there.

    This scene was cetainly not a "disqualification" into heaven for anyone by any means. If you notice, the church was not of any religion. The stained glass had many different faiths pictured. So to say "heaven" is even wrong. It was mentioned as "moving on".

  84. Let me rephrase that, because as I read what I wrote, it can come across wrong. I was not saying that "you" are wrong to call it "heaven". I was meaning that I was wrong to call it that. Since there was no religion specified, it is left open to all faiths' meaning of the term "moving on". Call it what you wish.

    I apologize for the confusion on my part.

  85. Hi everyone, first time on this blog. I really liked the ending of LOST. But something kind of bothered me.

    Did I see wrong or Aron was still a Baby on the church at the final scene? If that is so, what happened? Didn`t he get out of the island and grew much older? Shouldn´t he be at the age of which he died?

    Or is it that that isn`t Aron as him but just as everybody else remembers him? (except for Kate and Jack who saw him until he was 3 years old, and Claire who apparently went off the island and raised him)

  86. Greeat question ... I overlooked this... I took Aaron being born as a device to awaken Claire, Kate, and Charlie. Not that he was actually "moving on" with them.

    I would think since Aaron was not "awakened" like the others, he was in the same category as Jack's son David, and did not actually exist as a soul in their "purgatory' world.

  87. @Morse: It's neither, it's just my observation and interpretation. Take it as you want. A lot of people see Mona Lisas face, i have too, there is no shame in it more than you yourself attribute it. About the golden ratio i can only say that coincidence can have remarkably beutyful consequences, this does not imply design nor meaning, but there will allways be tendency to attribute it.

    With bread and butter i did not mean that you were their accomplice, just their mark, as we all are. Think about it, LOST itself being the long con to divorce you from your money and time. Mission succesfull it seems. But believeing that the writers had that level of sophistication is another example of seeing God in the Abyss.

    No, you misunderstood me, about being special. It was a comment on an earlier stated theory of why Walt did not meet up. The rational explanation is that the writers couldnt be bothered to include him, and then let people attribute any meaning they want to his absence, one being that he was a potential Flocke candidate. If that were so then he was doomed just because he was born a mutant, and X-men have thaught me that prejudice against mutants are not nice.

    Yeah, i did not mean litarally scientist, i meant Man of Science in the Lost way, rational vs irrational. Locke being the man of faith interprets the factual existence of smokemonsters and whispers and buttons as evidence for the Island having sentience and a special plan for everybody. But just because there is lightning and floods does not mean there are a man in the sky watching you. Locke saw Jesus in the toast, and that is not rational. Seeing meaning in Lost, for me, is the same thing.

    @Darth and a3: Aaron and Ji Yeon were at the temple, as babies, implying if you interpret Christian literally, that their most important time were during the timeframe of the series. They were not simulacras, Christians said so too (everybody is real), so this means they lived completly unimportant lifes, whatever that means. What i meant with the Michael comment about the jungle were that maybe his most important time were, i dont know, maybe Walt being born, or his first kiss or whatever? I mean that this could explain in-universe why Michael choose not to attend the temple meeting. But i guess that means everybody went to heaven, Keamy and Flocke to. So no need for redemption what so ever.

  88. JDR22 Here...

    I just re-watched the finale. Let me say this first: I teared up during the broadcast on Sunday night, but didn't really cry.

    Today, when it was all over, I was sobbing like a baby. I think knowing what the Sideways was allowed me to appreciate every "awakening", and I also think my initial confusion about the end kept it from really hitting me.

    Well, there was no confusion this time, and it hit me like a ton-o-bricks. After this viewing, and after thinking about it, this is exactly how LOST should have ended.

    That said, I still wish they would have addressed more mysteries throughout, but I can't think of a more fitting conclusion to the show than The End. One that makes every one of my nit-picks tolerable (not that there's a lot, but still).

    Upon re-watch, I was happy to notice that the church had a mutli-denomination/multi-religion setting. At first, I thought it was just a Catholic church, and thought that making it a specific "Christian" ending might put off a LOT of people. I now realize that's not the case, and I think that makes it much more poignant. It works well to have it open to interpretation in that way.

    So, yeah, even better on re-watch for me. Now I just need answers to some of those pesky little mysteries so I can stop thinking about them.

    Whew. I'm spent.

  89. I'm glad that so many of you seemed to like The End. I'm actually envious of you. But I couldn't feel anything but being underwhelmed and disappointed. I've made my peace with the fact, that many things were being left unanswered but I would have preferred a different explanation to the season mystery than "they're all in purgatory". Maybe because I'm not a religious man and don't believe in an afterlive, I don't know. But I guess the way counts as much as the destination, so I'm glad to have been so thoroughly entertained by this series, although because of the final outcome, as a narrative whole it couldn't convince me.

  90. That's the devious part, at least for me, JDR. If they'd given you answers to some of those pesky mysteries, you wouldn't be turning them over and over in your mind, at least not long-term.

    Again, whether this works for the individual is subjective. For me it MOSTLY works well ("Infection" and all of its surrounding details - the inoculations, the Electric Sayid Darkness Test, his resurrection, etc - really bugs the heck out of me). But when it comes down to it, I'm much happier being left with the ability to theorize over much of this stuff. I'll talk more about this in the column, because for all the bellyaching on the net about the unanswered questions, I think there's positive aspects to it that are worth discussing and considering.

  91. Citizen,

    Do you need to be religious to enjoy a story with spiritual qualities? Do I need to be an Atheist to enjoy an agnostic/Atheistic show? There's no God in Deadwood (not one that matters in any real sense), and yet it's probably my favorite show of all time.

    Asking because I'm curious as to your overall answer, not because I think it's wrong to have that reaction.

    That said, I don't think Lost's ending has to be percieved as "religious" at all, despite the afterlife aspect. I'll explain more in the column.

  92. What's interesting to me in the discussion- just as I suggest this is like a huge Rorschach, which Morse suggests is ok, that is not what most people want out of their movies, their fiction, or their TV shows. (Yes, I realize, this is suggesting that we are just giving people what they want, which clearly, the producers were not going for.)
    I find this somewhat troubling for future episodic TV in general. Just as folks look to The Sopranos ending and bemoan it or the BDG ending, in many ways you can divorce that episode from the rest of the narrative and be fairly satisfied with the ending. Not so much with this ending. Jensen suggests but does not expound upon this idea that "the sixth sense in two hours is ok, but over 18 hours?" Which is more or less what we got with the sideways, I'm not bemoaning the island story- the lack of answers on that front, and Devin posted a HUGELY funny video of just a smattering of questions on Chud from
    MY point with the lack of clarity, or more importantly societal norms, is what Devin pointed out in his G4 appearance. This show was not ALWAYS about just the characters, as they even said on point in the show, EVERYTHING MATTER including the island stories that more people wanted... no sideways implications etc that did not further the story of the lost people.

    Back to Rorschach test- they have proven fallible for their lack of reliability:

  93. Also a gripe in the discussion and the problem with the norm of everyone being able to view whatever they want out of the finale? Well less about the finale and more about what it is says about people- we want our view of what we saw validated... you don't have to agree, but for gosh sake... don't pity me, hate me, loathe me, etc just because i did not see the schooner in hidden image (guess that movie reference?)
    what slightly annoys me about this too- the producers have dropped a bomb amongst their fans and just walked away...

  94. @Todd - Although I agree that the masses do not want a Rorschach test out of their entertainment, I do like a show that makes me think. That is exactly what Lost did, but too much so. I agree, that what this might mean for future TV. It failed in its overall arcs that it created from the start, to which we were originally told "Don't worry, we have (and had) a plan, all will be revealed."

    Was that a Mall Rats reference?
    Not only did they drop the bomb and walk away, they have gone into hiding for a while.

    I am also not bemoaning the finale. I appreciate it for what it was. I enjoyed the ride and I believe the finale ended on the same foot as every other episode has. We will all be talking about this series for a while to come. I do plan on watching the series again when it comes on Blu-Ray. Most of all, I can't wait to read Morse's column!

  95. "you don't have to agree, but for gosh sake... don't pity me, hate me, loathe me, etc just because i did not see the schooner in hidden image."

    Seems like a Mallrats reference to me.

    Todd, above all else, I think that this quote is apt, although perhaps not as you intend. Why would you "pity" or "hate" anyone because they do or do not like a television show?

  96. This is the actual ending that should have been...

  97. I dont pity or hate anyone for their interpretation of the ending. It just did and did not work for people of a varying degree. As I suggested, for me it worked on an emotional level 100% when watching the island side of the equation and probably 75% on the sideways, but there are people who just CANT STAND the finale because it was not their cup of tea and they bemoan those that will not see it their way and likewise(and I daresay moreso) for those that LOVED the ending (perhaps because it did go for the emotional appeal more than answering the analytical questions that people wanted) who pity those that "just didn't get the ending." Ala many of the people that are going after Devin on Chud... that's not to defend him, I take my shots at him all the time...

  98. JDR22 Here...

    I just want to chime in an say something:

    It's a television show.

    You either like it or you don't, but there's no reason to get as worked up as a lot of people are getting.

    Now, it might be easy for me to say that because I enjoyed the finale, and because it resonates with me more and more as time goes by, but it's not the end of the world.

    I have decided not to visit any more LOST forums from now on. At some point you have to make up your own mind. I'm sick of the loud, obnoxious haters. I'm done with "professional" commentators (read: Devin Faraci) who feel the need to impose their opinion on everything, while disrespecting anyone who feels differently.

    I'm just done with it.

    Watch the show. Make up your own mind.

    Move on.

  99. JDR,

    Yours is a mature perspective. I appreciate it, and I think the vast majority of the people who read this site appreciate it as well.

    People can and should disagree about entertainment without making things personal. I think Back to the Island's readers have done a phenomenal job of proving that.

    I recommend reading professional critics Todd VanDerWerff, Noel Murray and Drew McWeeny for an overall-positive, non-dickish view of film, TV, and entertainment in general.

    Also, y'know, me. 'Cause I'm selfish.

  100. Well, I think it fair to say that the ending didn't answer very many questions, and left a huge amount to interpretation, but I, for one, absolutely loved it.

    I love all the island mystery stuff, but realised long ago that most of it was mystical mumbo jumbo for the sake of it, probably sent to send the fans off to the internet to research the shit out of every little clue.

    But while all that sci fi stuff was entertaining as hell, it didn't hold a patch to Sawyer and Juliet in love in Dharmaville, or Sun and Jin, finally re-united and then cruelly killed, to see Ben's love for his daughter, or John wiggling his toes, or Charlie's list for Claire, or Hugo's love and loss of Libby. These moments were the magic bits, and the last couple of hours was just one magic bit after another - I welled up when Sayed got it on with Shannon, when Hurley couldn't stop smiling at Charlie, when Sun and Jin 'got it' at the ultrasound, and when Juliet and Sawyer got their cup of coffee.

    Jacks final words with his father, and the final meeting in the church, was all just gravy to me. Hugo and Ben at the end, explaining all that happened after on the Island with just a few words between, and then Jack closing his eyes as he see the others escape on the plane, with Vincent at his side, well, magical!

    And it was a great punch up between Jack and Anti-Locke - Jacks flying punch being a particular highlight for me!

  101. @JDR - I feel ya! I "lost" my grip with other sites 2 days ago because of that very reason. People are hating and pushing their opinions way too much! Especially for a TV Show. It's not like this thing was a religion, although we all watched religiously.

    After looking at other sites, I found myself understanding other people's gripes and then getting upset myself. It's one thing to leave the show wide open for interpretation, but to not appreciate fellow fan's thoughts makes it lose it's luster.

    The more you read, the more you are infected by the anger and hate.

  102. JDR22 Here...

    @MMorse - I appreciate your attitude, as well as most others on this blog.

    @Darth - Here's how it went for me:

    I watched the finale while it aired and loved it. I went to bed that night intentionally NOT reading reactions because I wanted to come to my own conclusions.

    Then the next day I started to read different opinions. There were enough negative reactions to make me think, "Well, maybe I missed something. Maybe it wasn't as good as I thought." I started to let the negativity in...

    Then I watched it again, and loved it even more the second time. I began to connect the dots from earlier in the season, and the themes of the show started resonating with me. Yet everywhere I went, there were the "haters", and I just realized that I need to be fine with how I feel, and not try to justify it.

    It doesn't make you a sap or an idiot to like the ending of LOST. There's no reason to let other people affect how you feel about something.

    That's my main point, and I think people here get that.

  103. JDR22 Here...

    For those interested, here's an intriguing article about what we might see on the upcoming complete LOST collection:

    Now, I'm not big on E!, but it's tantalizing!

  104. That is tantalizing.

    So, what do you folks think about the way that the home of the Island's heart was portrayed? Did you dig that it seemed to be a kind of proto-Swan Station, with various tunnels leading away from the Source, and a man-made, cuniform-etched 'cork' keeping something at bay?

    Of all the unanswered/ambiguous moments from the episode/the show in general, this is probably my favorite. I love that it suggests a whole unseen history with its multiple skeletons and inexplicable architecture.

    Your thoughts?

  105. I truly do think that it is proof of the excellence of the show that people have these varying gut reactions to the finale. I still am thrilled I was able to experience this show as it was being made, and while it was airing. I don't believe anything like this has ever happened on network TV, but let's hope that it won't be the last.

    @JDR22- I completely get where you're coming from post-finale. There's nothing worse than hearing someone hate and deride something that you love. I still enjoy to read some of the balanced recaps to see if there was some stuff that I missed (Jensen's EW recap is the first one that he's done that's not bloated, and is actually quite good), but this is the only site where I will post comments and read others. I'm glad that this is a place where we can talk about the show, even disagreeing viewpoints, while still being civil and respectful to everyone else. So, JDR22, I'm glad that you're continuing your comments, because I really enjoy hearing what you, and other fans have thought of the episode.

  106. Morse, I absolutely loved the "Heart of the Island" location! I think that it perfectly encapsulated everything that I love about the show being able to give a location an "instant history" without having to explain it. It was instantly tantalizing, dangerous, mysterious, and exciting. The set design on this show has been nothing but fantastic every damn time!

    My favorite sets have been this one and the part of the temple wall that Ben fell in to be judged in season 5. That was another location that needed no explanation, yet still maintained all the mystery.

  107. Agreed, Hi Ho. I dig the heck out of the Underworld Temple also. I love what it suggests, but doesn't state, about the ancient people of the Island and their relationship to the/a Smoke Monster.

    InstaPoll for everyone!

    What's your favorite Island location? Why?

  108. Always wish we saw a bit more of the temple, but again- this is something i savored but did not care if I saw much more of in the end...

  109. Re: The heart of the island. Extremely tantalizing, yes. It makes me wonder what the hell was there when those particular ancient people decided to put a cork in it.

    Favorite island location: Probably the Frozen Donkey wheel.

  110. Yes I agree about the room which held the cork. One that showed us an extensive history in the details without explanation leading us in wonder.

    I keep sensing Spin-Off! Who's on board?

    My favorite location is difficult to choose. This new cork room takes first place for me behind the temple underground and donkey wheel room. This is because those other locations are a result of this cork light room. The reason being is that the ancient Egyptian symbols that are present (in all rooms) shows us that the history of this goes back 4000 years or more before Jacob.

  111. JDR22 Here...

    @Hi-Ho - Thanks for the comments! I always look forward to what you guys/gals have to say here.

    @MMorse - I completely agree about the "Cork Room". I love that it's a sort of proto-Swan Hatch/Temple setting, and makes me feel much better about what we were shown in Across the Sea (I wish it made the episode better *wink*). I like that it's history is implied, which makes it mysteriously intriguing.

    As far as my favorite location - I always enjoyed the Swan Station for some reason. But if it came down to it, it would be between the Frozen Donkey Chamber and the Cork Room. They have the biggest impact on the mythology, and suggest a lot about the prehistoric history of the Island.

  112. So, a friend of mine came across this link to a post from a person who served as an intern for Bad Robot a few years ago. It gives a description of how HE views the ending and what it all means from the viewpoint of someone sitting in the writer's room for Lost.

    Also, he says several times that this ending, from the point where Jack places his hand on the coffin, to Jack closing his eye, was a scene written by JJ himself immediately following the Pilot and that's actually why it's only the original castaways. Really well explained and thought out, essentially how I had come to terms with the finale as well.

    Outstanding final episode, I've really appreciated reading all of your thoughts on this as well. This is truly a great community, and one can only hope that another show inspires such conversation and camaraderie.

  113. @ Conrad -

    Great summary. However, I do have a couple of issues I would like to point out with what was said there.

    (1.) In the first paragragh, it was said that "...Jacob had to deal with a malevolent force (MIB) that his mother, nor Hurley had to deal with." How do you explain the mural that was found under the temple, seen just before Ben confronted Smokey? It was a mural of an Egyptian god sitting in front of a fire with the smoke monster on the other side. The Egyptian artifacts, temples, and scriptures had to have been there prior to Jacob/MiB being born according to historical facts.

    (2.) In the third paragraph: "Making Ben believe he was doing the work of Jacob when in reality he was doing the work of the MIB. ... He was the leader. He spoke for Jacob as far as they were concerned. So the "Others" killed Dharma and later were actively trying to kill Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley..." Richard was also part of this group, who was Jacob's appointed advisor. How does this fit with the picture depicted in "Ab Aeterno"? Richard was to intervene where Jacob couldn't/didn't. Why wouldn't Richard speak up if Ben was influenced by something other than Jacob?

    (3.) Lastly, in paragragh four: "Or did Jacob have another list of Canidates from the Dharma group that we were never aware of? That's a question that is purposley not answered because whatever answer the writers came up with would be worse than the one you come up with for yourself." There were ongoing lists. The names arounf the dial in the lighthouse, as well as the cave, showed names of people in DHARMA. Goodspeed, being one of them. The names can be found on Lostpedia, or any screencap.

    Do not get me wrong, like most, I enjoyed the finale on an emotional level. The only disagreement I have with the sideways, is that if the sideways was created by the core people, then the other people in the sideways NOT in the church at the end (Anna Lucia for example) really should not have existed there in the sideways.


  114. JDR22 Here...

    @Conrad - Thanks for the link, that was a good read.

    @Darth - His perspective is from the "inside", not the end-all-to-be-all (though I agree with a lot of what he says).

    You said: "The only disagreement I have with the sideways, is that if the sideways was created by the core people, then the other people in the sideways NOT in the church at the end (Anna Lucia for example) really should not have existed there in the sideways."

    His point (which I happen to agree with) is that they ALL created the Sideways (including Ana Lucia, Daniel, Widmore, etc), they just didn't "move on" with Jack/Desmond's group. They had to become ready on their own terms, and with their Soul Mates/Constants. This makes sense to me, and I think it's a really cool concept.

    Now, you may view it a different way (which is why I love it, it's open to interpretation), but that's how I see it.

    I really like the inside perspective, as it helps illuminate what the writers were going for (and what I feel they achieved).

    The fact that the ending was JJ's from the start is just pure awesome.

  115. @JDR - Good point, from the all inclusive list of characters. I took it to mean that the "all" was reference to those that moved on. It can go either way, which is why it is awesomeness known as LOST.

    I also love that the ending scene was written by JJ and they stayed true to it.

  116. I take much of what the producers say about the making of the series with a grain of salt- see the development of characters here:

  117. I like that summary too on the whole, although I think that whether or not Lost ultimately landed on the side of Fate is actually up for debate.

    My only real quarrel with that post is the following assertion:

    "the reason Ben's not in the church, and the reason no one is in the church but for Season 1 people is because they wrote the ending to the show after writing the pilot."

    If this is the truth, and JJ genuinely wrote it, then the presence of Libby, Desmond, Penny and Juliet shows remarkable foresight. This makes it seem unlikey to me that, insider or not, the writer of this piece had as much insight as they claim.

    And my contribution to 'favourite island location' debate: I would have to say The Hatch. Never did another location, in my opinion, exert such an influence over any of the characters. I love the ways it revealed both their greatest strengths and weaknesses, forcing Jack and Locke in particular to face their flaws and insecurities head-on. The fact that it ended up being a microcosm of the island at large is just the icing on the cake.

  118. Finally got around to reading all of the comments on this post. WHEW. What I appreciate the most about this blog is the general level of respect that permeates the majority of the comments.

    I don't have much to say in regards to the finale that hasn't already been said. I'm just waiting for Morse's last column (eegad).

    Really, I wanted to get in on the "Favorite Island Location" thread (because I'll miss the comradery of the Internet community this show produced). If I were to pick solely on my attachment to the location in terms of its place in the show, I'd have to go with the Hatch, because it's really what ramped up my general curiousity about the intricacies of the show.

    But, just from a reflective perspective, I have to say I loved the design of the Lighthouse. It was a beautiful reflection (you can shoot me in the groceries for this pun) of the science/faith dichotomy of the show, an elegant balance between the mechanical and scientific practicialities of how it functioned and the magic of reflections of time and space which would requier A LOT of faith for one to trust. Plus, it just looked badass on that cliffside, especially with Jack sitting by it, contemplative after doing his standard Jacksmash.