It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress. - Jacob
Well, last night, it ended brilliantly. After six great seasons, Lost ended its run as only Lost could, on its own terms. There was laughter and crying, fights and reunions. The finale had it all. Sure the ending will be what people remember, but the 2 1/2 hour finale captured the essence of the series and thankfully transformed the sideways world into one of the most meaningful aspects of the show.
On first glance, I loved 2 hours and 15 minutes and then only liked the end, but didn't love it. But I went back and watched it again (starting when Jack enters the church), and I don't think it could have ended any better.
I'm going to miss Lost, but I'm glad that it went out on its own terms. Not many shows get to do that. The creators got to share their vision for the show from beginning to end, and it was a heck of a ride. Sure there are some questions left unanswered and still some mysteries out there, but does it really matter? The island is a mysterious place, who wants to know everything about it and ruin our chance to speculate?
The Ending The thing that most everyone will focus on is how it ended. The first 2 hours and 15 minutes built up to that church scene. Jack was clueless up until the end, sort of like the audience. I'll admit that while it was happening, I wasn't even sure what was happening. I started to worry that the end would be too vague, and we'd have no clue what just took place.
A lot of people are jumping on the "It was purgatory all along" bandwagon, but it was so much more than purgatory. Sure if you want to label it, purgatory is an easy classification, but I thought Michael's explanation for the whispers was a better justification of the purgatory theory than the sideways world was.
Lost is and always has been Jack's story. It began with Jack's eye opening in the "Pilot" and ended with his eye closing. Many had guessed that the final scene would be Jack's eye closing (even me) and when you think about it, that's the only real scene that it could be.
For years the show's creators have hinted at knowing the final scene of Lost, and fans have had a field day speculating what it would be, but as with most things Lost, fans over analyzed it to the max. Turned out it was the most simple, most logical final scene the show could have used. They even went further by having Vincent there to bring everything full circle from the "Pilot," as much of "The End" mirrored season 1.
In the sideways world, I like how the characters got enlightened at different points. I liked how some toyed with those not enlightened yet. It was like a big inside joke that they wanted each other to be in on, but each had to find out in their own way. I like how satisfied they were once they became enlightened. No one freaked out about being dead. They were happier than we've ever seen them on the show and they all created this together for each other, which is hard to understand. Us as Lost fans want to see everything happen on screen. How did they create this place for each other so they would all be together one last time before they moved on? Really, it doesn't matter. This place was created, and they were all able to share a happy moment together before moving on.
I thought that they'd be moving on back to the island. It just seemed that they were going somewhere, and the way every said I'll see you there, I thought there would be the island. It wasn't. It was the special place they created for themselves to meet up. Christian Sheppard (enjoyed Kate questioning and laughing at that name) set the record straight and helped Jack to realize what was going on (even when Christian opened the church doors, I thought outside would be the island instead of light).
The entire scene with his father was awesome. Of course the coffin would be empty. Its been empty for as long as we've known these characters (since they crashed). Ever since "White Rabbit," we've waited for Jack and Christian to have this kind of talk, and it was well worth the wait.
Other Tidbits: Two Star Wars references in the first 10 minutes. What more could you ask for?
I was surprised that Smokey was disposed of so early in the finale, but that let the ending be more about the main characters. Once he became "mortal" was he even a threat anymore anyway? Why did he want to leave so badly? What would have really happened to the world if he did leave? As much as season 6 played up his desires, all we have is Jacob's word to go by as to what would happen if he got his wish.
I'm still not clear on why the island was at the bottom of the ocean in the sideways world. Is the island dead too? Was this just a red herring for us to think MIB had succeeded? Or was this part of the plan that they put together?
Jack's "mystery" wounds turned out to both be courtesy of MIB. His ever bleeding neck wound was from the tip of his knife and what Jack's mom had told him was an appendix scar turned out to be a stab wound.
I was surprised that Hurley took over for Jack. Many people were speculating that would happen based on Hurley's comment last week about at least it doesn't have to be him. I figured Jack's tenure would be a short one, but I guess I thought that he would be the last island protector. I'd love to see more of Hurley with his #2 Ben running the island and bringing people there.
Did Hurley get Desmond off the island and back home (remember the sailboat is still at Hydra Island)? That was the first order of business for the Reyes/Linus run of the island. I wonder what Hurley's "rules" for the island would be? Ben was catching onto the island's game and realized that just because Jacob ran things one way (with it almost impossible to leave the island), that didn't mean that was the only way to run things.
When Jack turned the island over to Hurley, he didn't do any special chants. He just had him drink and said now you're like me. I guess the leader does things his own way or maybe the ceremony doesn't matter as much as the next person's belief in being the leader.
Where exactly did Frank land Flight 316 and how do they explain where they've been? I know its not important to the series, but still an interesting question. Also, how much C-4 was wired on the plane? Surely Widmore wired it with more than just the one stack that MIB used to make his bomb in "The Candidate"?
I loved everyone's reaction to when they became enlightened. As tough as it had been to watch the sideways world all season, once they became enlightened they became the Lost characters that we've known and loved all these years.
I found the group inside the church somewhat disappointing. I expected more characters or for the church to be full of everyone who was involved in Jack's life. I know this isn't possible with the large cast, but it would have been cool to see everyone. I guess not everyone was "in" on the meet up in the afterlife or not everyone was eligible.
I'm glad that Christian confirmed that it was all real. If they would have alluded to the island time line have never happened or that the sideways world would be the ending time line (as many fans were upset about all year), I wouldn't have been happy. I also liked his explanation on the "now." It had a Doctor Who timey-wimey feel to it. I like that they didn't all die at once (some may have died 50 years after Jack), but they all were there together. It did have a Titanic feel to it though. What if Kate got off the island and live a happy life with someone else (like Rose in Titanic), but when she died, instead of spending eternity with her new husband and family, she went back with Jack.
I loved the Claire/Charlie enlightenment scene the best. Sure, I might have teared up a bit for that one. Surprisingly, I didn't at the end. That was the most emotionally touching of the night for me.
At what point did Rose and Bernard become enlightened? Seemed like they were in on it from the beginning of the sideways story on Flight 815. Throughout the sideways they played a part similar to Desmond in helping people along.
When and how did Boone become enlightened? I also find it a little odd that Shannon was the one who jarred Sayid as his true love, but it fit the story. It was just a bit off since he only knew her for such a short time, where he loved Nadia his whole life.
Ben didn't go into the church because he's not ready to move on. Now that he's enlightened, he wants to spend more time with Alex and her mother, Rousseau. Who would have thought that Ben would have made it to the end of Lost? I figured he'd see his demise sooner rather than later, but it was good to see him make it until the end.
What does it mean to not be ready yet? And what will happen to the characters who aren't ready or choose to stay in the in-between, specifically a character like Eloise Widmore? She seems to be fully aware of what's going on but isn't moving on.
When they first showed Jack outside the cave after we all thought he was a goner down there, I thought he was the next smoke monster. I'm glad they didn't go that route.
What are we to think of the changes in people's lives before they got enlightened now? Things like Jack having a son, being divorced from Juliette, Sawyer as a cop, Locke being paralyzed in a plane crash, Sun and Jin not married, etc.? Were these just things to keep them in the in-between or obstacles for them to overcome to enlightenment? What happens to David since he didn't exist in the real time line? Or did he? Was he someone else in the other time line?
What is up with the writers infatuation with drains? First Ben uses a dirty drain to summon Smokey, then the heart of the island is just a drain, and Desmond pulls the plug? That whole heart of the island cave is tough to comprehend, but this is Lost, so just go with it.
With all the earthquakes after the plug was pulled, I was thinking that we'd finally get to see the island volcano. Some of those scenes were a little too obvious that the actors were reacting to the camera shaking. Its tough to pull off real feeling tremors, but they showed these so much, they started feeling a little "B" movie-like. The foam boulders were a little unrealistic too.
Everyone was wrong about what would happen with the heart of the island. Locke thought the island would be destroyed (and it looked that that was going to happen if Jack didn't plug it up), but it made him mortal. Jack was wrong, but it allowed him (with Kate's help) to kill MIB. And Desmond was wrong because he thought he would leave the island and be with Penny in the sideways world. He had knowledge of the other time line, but did he realize everyone was dead over there?
The sideways had nothing to do with MIB winning the war or destroying the island. It didn't have anything to do with Jughead either, so I guess we got the definitive answer on Jughead not working. But why did Juliette say it did work? She clearly see the in-between world?
I'm curious to see how the finale holds up on subsequent viewings. There was so much tension and excitement built up leading to the ultimate end, but now that we've seen that ending, will we view the 2 1/2 hours differently?
There are tons more to discuss, but the good and bad news is, we now have nothing but time to discuss them. There's no more Lost. It's time to move on and let go.