In case you haven’t seen LOST’s finale yet, here’s your *SPOILER WARNING*
…They’re all dead. Some people died on the island. Some people died off-island. Some characters lived a long time after they left the island. Some probably died soon after leaving the island.
Once a character died, however, he or she went to this middle place (we’ve referred to it as the parallel timeline, the Alternate TimeLine, or 2004 timeline), a spiritual intermediate state is probably the best way to put it, in which they waited for one another. It was a place of their own collective imaginations; a place with features that mirrored their original lives and that functioned as a spiritual gathering place for our Losties.
When two characters met in this middle place, they remembered their relationship on the island. This remembering awakened them, so to speak, and then allowed them to “move on” together. The final image we have is of Jack, sacrificing himself for his friends and for the island, taking his seat at their gathering place, and closing his eyes in death on the island. His consciousness was reunited with his soul. (?) And maybe that’s the connection I was looking for with the air date being Pentecost…I don’t know if that’s it, but it could be…their spirits being awakened…or something….
Questions will linger for me, I’m sure. But most of those questions center on specific characters. This final episode, however, completed Jack’s story. It was important for Jack to protect the island by killing Brother and replacing the plug in the heart of the island. That’s it. That’s what he had to go back to do. Once the island was done with him, he died.
As for the rest of the show…
The middle place reunions were emotionally satisfying to me. I was teary at seeing my favorite couples “know” one another again. I can’t decide which one was my favorite because they were all so sweet, and I love a music-swelling flashback like nobody’s business.
There was one that I didn’t like: Sayid and Shannon. Even though they forged a bond on the island, I have always felt like his one true love was Nadia. But since she was never on the island…well, she didn’t get to be in the finale.
Some mysteries were solved: Juliet’s saying, “It worked,” always referred to Sawyer’s getting candy from the machine. Not, as I assumed, to the bomb going off in the hatch.
Those were my favorite parts because events on the island — getting across the island has never been so fast! — were a bit baffling.
My favorite on-island moments: when Jack and Kate FINALLY declared their love for one another; Hurley saying, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”; and Jack’s death.
The story continues…
Kate, Claire, Miles, Sawyer, Lapides, and Richard made it off the island. I imagine Kate helped Claire get to know Aaron and her not-in-a-coma-anymore mother. I also imagine she helped Sawyer become a father to Clementine. Lapides gave up piloting planes and started a submarine explosion survival training school. Richard aged rapidly and died. Miles continued life with his trick of talking to the recently dead because it’s lucrative and kind of cool.
Hurley and Ben stayed on the island as Protector #1 and #2, respectively. With Hurley as Island Protector, I bet island-living was way more fun: more golf and music and joy rides in the Dharma vans. Ben, the #2, went on to shepherd more “others.” Only this time, I hope he did a better job of it.
The island wasn’t finished with Desmond, either, though. I think, based on all of his touching of people in this episode, that he was the one who traveled from island to the real world, touching people in order to bring them to the island.
To Sum Up
I’ll admit that when the show was over I was disappointed. Really disappointed. So bummed that the only positive take-away for me was the soundtrack. I wasn’t sure of the creators’ message with the final scene, I didn’t fully understand “the point” of the island, I was left wondering what was real and what was after-life. But once I got these two things anchored: the island and all island events were real (not purgatorial) and the ATL was after-life, then I felt like I could start processing the story as a whole.
What I loved about the show from the start was still true about the show in the end. While on the island, the characters grappled with life’s ultimate questions. On the island, the objects of those questions took shape. And there were enough Christian undertones, even in the finale, to satisfy me. LOST isn’t anywhere near a perfect allegory of biblical faith, but some things were demonstrated well, like living in community, caring for one another, helping one another, sacrificing self for the good of another, the bond of marriage, faith, love, hope, redemption, grace, forgiveness.
I think the creators left it rather open-ended so that fans of any faith could conceivably be happy with the resolution of the show. I’m not going to become a hater because it didn’t perfectly fit my worldview. It’s a t.v. show. I have been thoroughly entertained with six seasons. Mission accomplished.
For the record, though, in case the show has you wondering, Jesus and eternity in the new heaven and new earth will be infinitely more satisfying! I encourage you to find a Bible and start reading a book in there called The Gospel of John.
Tonight, television entertainment will die with Jack Bauer. That’s it for me and television until someone creates something totally awesome again.