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Some Initial, Scattered Thoughts On The Lost Finale

Wow. Just … oof. The series finale of Lost left me emotionally drained, and with 14 pages of notes, so I’m giving my initial thoughts in bulleted, somewhat coherent, form:

• With most of the remaining mythology unpacked, to mixed results, over the past handful of episodes, the writers wisely focused here on the characters, resolving some key arcs that began in some cases six years ago.

• Those tuning in to learn the Secret of the Island were undoubtedly disappointed. The finale may have offered a few answers — if only a few — but in the end it raised even more questions. I’m fine with that. I never kept a tally of the show’s unsolved mysteries, and I never expected the finale to deliver the solutions in a nice, neat bow. Lost ended as it began … literally.

• Of course, at this very moment at a Lost viewing party, someone is jumping up and down, shouting: “See? I told you they were all dead!”

• Longtime fans were rewarded with one incredible character moment after another. “The End” was both a farewell and a homecoming, allowing us to see faces we haven’t encountered in a long while, even if it was only long enough to say goodbye. I was shocked to realize I was happy to see Shannon, whom I never liked.

• I teared up several times throughout the episode, and very nearly cried outright in the closing moments.

• My lord, how many commercials were there?

• As nice as it was to see that Richard Alpert hadn’t been killed by the smoke monster and Lapidus hadn’t died on the submarine — we didn’t really think they were gone, did we? — it felt like a bit of a cheat to see them both alive. Of course, Frank still had an important part to play; there was a plane to fly.

• We got the answer to at least one persistent question: “Where are Rose, Bernard and Vincent?” Rose just wasn’t sure when they were.

• The finale, if not the entire series, was about the redemption of Jack Shephard. I’ve mocked him endlessly for his self-absorption and his crying and his ability to screw up everything, but here he was the hero, sacrificing himself for the Island and for his friends. This ending has me reevaluating Jack, and feeling a little bad for thinking so poorly of him.

• But Jack wasn’t the only one who was redeemed in the end. The final scenes between Ben and Locke and Ben and Hurley outside the church were unbelievably moving.

Ben: “I’m very sorry for what I did to you, John. I was selfish and jealous. I wanted everything that you had.”
Locke: “What did I have?”
Ben: “You were special, John, and I … wasn’t.”
Locke: “If it helps, I forgive you.”

• As anticipated, much of the action on the Island centered on the long-building battle between Jack and Locke, or rather between Jack as the new guardian of the Island and the Man in Black inhabiting Locke’s body. I just didn’t expect the fight to be so physical and so brutal. The shot of Jack and Locke charging at each other on the cliff as the storm raged around them was just amazing. The ensuing fight, which left Jack mortally wounded and Locke dead on the rocks below, was somewhat shocking.

• I loved seeing Hurley in the flash sideways as the man with all the answers, rather than the guy with all the questions, as he brought together Sayid and Shannon, and delivered a tranquilized Charlie to the benefit concert. (As an aside: I never bought the Sayid-Shannon relationship, and I still don’t.)

• The idea of Hurley as the Island’s guardian and a grateful Ben as his assistant/advisor pleases me to no end.

Hurley: “You were a real good No. 2″
Ben: “And you were a great No. 1, Hugo.”

• So … the ending. I’m still processing it, but it’s clear that they’re all dead — “Everyone dies sometime, kiddo,” Jack’s father tells him — with Eloise Hawking’s church serving a gathering place or clearing house. “There is no now here,” Christian Shephard says. “This is a place you all made together so you could find one another.” So the flash sideways was some kind of purgatory where all, or most, of them led existences somewhat different from their earlier lives. (Michael, Walt, Daniel and Miles, for instance, don’t appear in the church. And Ben tells Hurley that he’ll remain outside.) It was only when they came in contact with each other that they remembered their time on the Island.

But when did Jack die? Hell, when did any of them die? It’s complicated, naturally. If, as Christian says, there is no “now,” then, say, Kate could’ve died years after leaving the Island but still interact in the flash sideways and in the church with Jack, who (presumably) passed away as shown, with Vincent at his side. Maybe? I don’t know, I’m still digesting.

• Is it weird that despite the warm, fuzzy feeling of seeing so many beloved characters together — I almost wrote “alive” — in the church, I was upset that the whole purgatory-flash sideways thing meant that Jack’s son David never existed? Hearing Locke say, “You don’t have a son, Jack,” was a punch in the gut.

Hopefully, I’ll have more after I’ve slept on things …


  • Jake

    Good points there, but when you said, “when did they all die” couldn't it be that everyone did die when the atom bomb went off, and its kind of like two alternate realitys? Thats sort of what I was thinking a little bit, or was the time on the Island after the bomb just the real reality? If so then life is gonna be sad for all those people probably. Kate will never get over that last intense, and massive kiss she got from Jack, boy did Matthew Fox really lay that one on her. Hugo and Ben will probably hate each other too. Ben will die and Hugo lives forever as the protector, man will he be bored. Then again it's just a show, and damn there was way to many commericals.

  • DS

    I think Hurley says “you WERE a really good number two”, reinforcing that they lived on past Jack and had their own lives

  • Jake

    thats a good point.

  • Liz

    thank you so much for posting these little notes. these are all things that i thought at one time or another during the show and i'm happy that they're here to help me remember and to clarify some issues. i wasn't sure about the ending, it felt a little off to me. but, your tiny little explanations helped me understand and organize my thoughts and now i know that this was such a fitting end to a fantastic series.

  • Guest

    Jack definitely does *not* die at the end of the final episode. Full clarification here:

  • Jade

    I think the ending summed up a lot of things and yes it is clear that they are all dead, but it's not clear when they all died…does anyone remember that Richard declared that they were all dead and that was a while back…meaning that when people come to the island they are all dead? I think there are certain things that are clear and certain things that will be left up in the air for everyone to interpret differently…

    Did they all die when the plane crashed and the island was a stepping stone before they could get together and realize that they are dead and move on if they had done some questionably/bad things? because Ben declared he was going to stay on the island…and he clearly did not move on… orrrr did they really crash on the island and as each one died they moved on to the other LAX land to wait there until they could get together and move on…Also it seems like…certain people were left out because they either did something bad to make them remain stuck somewhere and unable to go on with everyone else or they did move on…like Alex or her mother…etc…

  • Jonah Weiland

    Kevin, right on about the final moments for Ben in the episode. Just outstanding stuff. The greatest villain redeemed.

    Yes, there are so many questions left unanswered, but after so may disappointing series finales over the years (Sopranos, Seinfeld (to a lesser extent) and many others), this was an extremely satisfying ending that, as you mentioned, focused on the characters rather than obsessively answering questions.

  • Jonah Weiland

    Also, despite having such a small role in the show — and it's overall mythology — I think Lapidus may be in my Top 5 Characters list, were I to make a Top 5 Characters list.

  • Kevin Melrose

    Right. It'd briefly occurred to me that, as Jake suggested, they all died when Juliet triggered the atom bomb. But that exchange between Hurley and Ben indicated that life continued for some of them in a linear fashion.

    Besides, if they had died with the flash, it would make the entire final season a dream of some kind, which I'm not willing to accept. (Also: Penny wasn't on the island, yet she was with Desmond in the church.)

  • Kevin Melrose

    It's funny, but I was thinking of Seinfeld last night as I was writing about the “homecoming” aspect of “The End,” with the return of so many characters. The difference is that with Lost it actually worked …

  • Greg

    With Hurley as the new “Jacob”, that means Ben was the new “Richard”, so I figured Ben probably lived a very long life, too.

  • tomdaylight

    Bit of a stretch. It looked ambiguous enough to me whether he died or not.

  • Stephen G

    I won't say it's the greatest finale ever, but it did manage to be satisfying. I think the only genuine disappointment I had in it was the inability to get Ecko back for even a quick cameo, though I understand why that wasn't in the cards.

  • demoncat

    i would have to agree about being ben telling jack he had no son was a gut punch not to mention all of the losties in the end dead. a shock but given lost s history not surprising and one way to send the series off with a bang.

  • Dan

    It really doesn't matter when they died in the sideways universe. The sideways existed out of time with the rest of the storyline. Everyone in the sideways was dead but everyone on the island time line was alive. They all died before or after Jack. Hurley's comments to Ben showed that there was time after the island finale where Hurley protected the island. So they all died when they died at any point in time. When they were connected with the island memories is when thy decided then could move on.

    So glad Lapidus survived.

  • SJB

    your the 1st person i've seen refer to “purgatory” which is the only logical explanation since purgatory is where we do penance for our sins and find redemption so we can move on to the next plane of existence (whatever that is).

  • Edward

    The finale itself was one of the most beautiful and satisfying I've ever seen. I don't know how anyone can be unhappy with it as an episode, it was just so touching.

    I think, however, that Lost from the beginning has been 3 main components, and I've watched the show for these 3 reasons equally:
    1) the main plot, obviously, where people crashed and try to get off the island and move from point A to B to C;
    2) a character drama, where the “why”s of the characters, and their relationships with each other, are all very important;
    3) a mystery, with clues and hints scattered throughout pretty much every episode.

    So while the finale, and the final season in general, was greatly satisfying on points 1 and 2, I do feel like they really did drop the ball on part 3. I realize there was a lot of mysteries, but in my mind 1/3 of the show was thinking “wow! look how well thought out this is, they've planted so many little clues and connections”. Unfortunately, about a third of those mysteries (some that were very important to the earlier seasons, like why Walt was special or why Claire had to be the one to raise Aaron) went unanswered. Some mysteries are better left unanswered, and I like that we'll never really know if the island is magical or just a pocket of electromagnetism, but others deserved straight answers.

    Still, it was a very satisfying finale when it came to the main plot and character arcs. It went beyond my expectations there.

  • scott

    Time and space only exist in this world. In the afterlife, there are no such things. It was spelled out that everyone died at different times. Also, David was Jack's son in Purgatory because he died before he could become a father, so to work out his daddy issues, he had to work through a relationship with his own son before he could let go of all that baggage and move on. Same with everyone else.

  • Travis Seary

    I walked into last night's episode not expecting all the answers to be given, and I was ok with that. Lost has never been a series that has spoon fed you anything so to walk away with questions pretty much sums up the crux of the show. I absolutely loved the first two hours of the show, many of the scenes leaving me with tears in my eyes. Then the last half hour began and it was like someone threw up all over it. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me in the same way as Dallas' dream sequence, or St. Elmo's snow globe reveal. I remember when I was in highschool I had written a story that ended in a similar fashion and my english teacher flat out berated me for using the cheapest literary crutch to finish a story. I will be anxiously awaiting to the see the other two alternate endings to see if they finished off the show in a way that is more palatable and far less nauseating.

  • Devon

    I definitely did feel Jack died with the closing of his eye. I think his purgatory marriage to Juliet proved this. Jack died, and while they didn't remember their time on the island, Juliet was the closest thing to a love interest for him until Kate died and joined purgatory. With Kate escaping on the plane, she lived out a normal “real” life, and the purgatory brought Jack and Juliet together to a degree.

  • Kiebler

    Comparing the Lost ending to Dallas' dream sequence or St. Elswhere's end is a mistake. Those shows basically said everything that happened didn't happen. That it was a dream or some child's fantasy.

    Everything you saw for the past 6 seasons on the island did happened to those characters. If you need to look at things chronologically speaking, the first moment of the flash sideways (Jack on Oceanic 815 in the season premiere) begins the moment Jack closes his eyes and dies on the island in the series finale.

  • steve

    even though its probably not the reason they started with i like to think that claire was supposed to raise aaron cause she went crazy without him and started helping Smokie

  • Hygena

    I am still thinking about the Finale this morning. No matter where you land on the issues and what got answered and what didn't, the fact that so many interesting discussions are happening means the ending made an impact.

    I don't mind having some mysteries to take with me. I experienced 100 different feeling over the 6 years of watching and I will miss the characters.

  • Lost Boy

    I kind of felt like the island was the purgatory and the flash sideways was more like limbo where they waited to get together and go to the afterlife. That's just me though. That's what I liked about the finale. It leaves it up to the viewer to draw their conclusions.

  • N.V.

    I have to say I was one of those expecting more answers. Over several years we waited for answers to be left still questioning. I felt I didnt so much explaination about each character.

    Also, (I think I missed a chunck of season one) I didnt quite understand the ending relationship with sayid and shannon. I thought he was soooo in love with Nadia? It was akward.

    I'm dissapointed. I wanted more. I counldn't sleep trying to make sense of it.

  • rikemice

    The island was real. Jack's dad explains it by saying something along the lines of “What happened to you really happened.”
    Charlie drowned, Juliet fell down the shaft, Jack died on the island, Sawyer and Kate died after that sometime after, Hugo and Ben stayed on the island (and died sometime later) …

  • BAT

    A satisfactory ending, but I'm still very disappointed that the Sideways world wasn't a real alternate reality, but just purgatory. It felt/feels like a cheat and a cop out. Other than that, I really dug the episode as a whole.

  • Mike

    the ending in my head is better: They destroy the island but realize it has also moved back in time before the Jacob's mom was shipwrecked, and they all end up in an alternate reality, but people from the plane remember their alternate lives because they caused the events to happen. That way, Jack can have his son and mostly everyone ends up happy, except for Rose who dies of cancer.

  • colin russell

    Maybe Ben had killed Penny, he was looking to do that and it may have happened off screen at some point.

  • DJ

    To me this last season was in Jack head, and when he said everyone was dead they were not, but in Jack's mind everyone made peace and had a happy ending! There is lots of unawnsers questions.

  • Steve

    Right on here. There were so many series finales that were outright bad. You hit it right on with seinfeld sopranos deadwood. Lost had an amazing finale which rewarded long time viewers for being loyal to the end no matter how you interpreted it. It was very emotional t end like that and it was so well done. Jack dying with Vincent next to him was so moving and I like how they left it open for the viewer to think about how Hurley and Ben ran the island after everyone either died or left. Really great job and it will be hard to ever create a series to top this and even harder to create a worthy series finale for any show.

  • ThatTalkingGuy

    So the main mystery that got resolved is the nature of the existence of the sideways-universe, a completely new plot addition that they added in just this season.

    The only reason I cared about the sideways-universe is to see how it connected with the island. I'm not a big fan of creating a new mystery to have a shock ending instead of dealing with the stories and situations we have been following for years. Cheap cop out. If they wanted purgatory, the whole island should have been purgatory.

  • Kiebler

    The purpose of the sideways world was to give the characters a world that was not influenced by the island/Jacob where they could overcome the self destructive issues that plagued their island universe lives.

    Basically, they all got what they most wanted and in the end they had a choice. 'Let go' or stay in that world. Most left. Some stayed.

  • Edward

    Ya, I think I've kind of taken that as my “not really answered, and probably not how the intended it, but I'm going to use it anyway” answer.

  • ThatTalkingGuy

    But it was still something supernatural and completely independent of the island supposedly. It seems incredibly silly to me that the big reveal of this show was something introduced in the final season and is tantamount to “everybody dies eventually”. What did that have to do with the struggles of the island, their fates and the numerous other strange mysteries that plagued them throughout the series.

    It seems to me that they wanted to do a story about people's lives after death, but didn't have the guts to go full-force with it and make the entire island a place after death. So they decided to cop out and resolve the flash sideways world that way instead.

  • Kiebler

    I don't think it was supposed to have anything to do with the struggles of the island. They were two independent stories.

    Think of it this way. You've got the conflict on the island that will take 5 and a half seasons to resolve. Then you've got to have a resolution/reward/happy ending/conclusion/whatever for all the characters (most of which have died) that will take half of 1 season. Now you can plow through the Island story with no flash-sideways and sum up the island storyline by mid-season and then jump to the characters resolving their issues in the afterlife. But that is boring and no one is going to stick around for 8 episodes that are strictly made for these characters to develop into the people they were supposed to be in a world that not only lacks the island, but any real danger because you know they're all already dead.

    The creators did something very interesting to keep us guessing while giving all the characters the endings they deserved and needed. For some people that unfortunately adds up to a big letdown. Personally, I enjoyed being kept guessing.

  • ThatTalkingGuy

    That's exactly my problem with it. The big finale was a big finale to the flash-sideways story. That's not the story the viewer has been invested in for the entire series. If you want to do the flash-sideways, fine..go for it. But it should be secondary to the main plot and the real twist ending should deal with the island and not this side story that turned out to be completely independent.

    I'm all for creating discussion, etc. But they seemed to fail at ending the main story in exchange for giving us a twist ending on this independent story that really ended up being meaningless as far as the mythology goes.

  • ThatTalkingGuy

    In essence it seems like a bait and switch. They knew the audience was hungry for answers and a twist, but they instead provided them in the sideways universe. Disappointing.

  • Kiebler

    I can see where you're coming from in that the Sideways story felt like it had a more impactful ending than the Island one. But the Island story did have an end and I found it simple yet satisfying enough; the good guy gave his life to beat the bad guy and save his friends. I suppose your enjoyment of it relates on how much importance you place on finding out answers and twists. But as the season went on I found myself caring less and less about a lot of the questions. Most things I didn't know the answer to I just chalked up to “because Jacob wanted it that way” and I'd wager I'd be right.

    The only one I really wished they would have addressed was that the hell was up with Walt? But I guess thats something I'll just have to try and figure out for myself.

  • R.J. Ryan

    I'm in the LOVE Sopranos finale/HATE Seinfeld finale camp — and a big fan of both shows over their runs. Years on, both finales have achieved iconic status — Seinfeld as a teachable “what not to do” moment and Sopranos as a mold-shattering challenge to the audience.

    The showrunners of Lost completely earned the right (via making hundreds of millions of dollars for ABC/Disney over the last 6 years) to end this show any way they liked, and they said going into this that the ending could be polarizing and would split the audience.

    Would I have preferred a “hard sci-fi” big finish? Sure! But good for them for ending it on their own terms. I really hope Cuse and Lindelof do another series soon. Lost was not the best TV series in history but it might have been the best CAST TV series in history — all those people were a lot of fun to watch.

  • asterisk

    I look at Walt as a big red herring. Somebody who was a possible candidate (possibly with his psychic-ness) that never panned out, and Jacob looked to the other candidates. Much like how Jacob said in response to Kate when she questioned whether or not she could still be a candidate since her name was crossed out in the cave, “It's just a chalk line in a cave.” (or something to that effect). Kate was trying to read into something that didn't have anything to read into.

  • Matty

    Ok. Here's my 'take' on why the flash sideways still remains relevant. For me, there's this long simmering debate about free will versus predetermination. In the afterlife/purgatory that the Oceanic survivors made, it is a 'reality' that is ALL about free will. Everything that happens and develops in this alternate universe was exactly what the recently deceased chose to have happen to themselves so that they could finally resolve whatever hangups they had in life. In the real universe, we don't get that kind of control. In the end, the question of free will vs. predeterminism is a bit of a macguffin. It was the experiences in a predetermined universe manipulated by Jacob/God/MIB/Devil that the Lost characters chose to bring with them to a free-will universe since it was the place where they truly discovered what the substance of their being was.

  • Yo Pelowski

    As a non-long-time LOST viewer (I gave up in Season Two) can I clarify a few things here so that I know I'm not just imagining things? Watching the final episode, some thoughts I had way back when seem to coalesce with some new ones to form this picture of biblical allusion:

    False Locke=Devil
    Ben=Paul (?)
    etc. etc.

    This definitely is not just wishful thinking. Jack's charge to Hugo that he can't go where he is going and that he must take charge now is like Jesus' charge to Peter to be the rock on which the church will be built: his handing him the bottle of water to drink and saying “Now you're like me” (pure) after he drinks it is also a clear allusion. Ben, whom admittedly I don't know so much about, was the persecutor figure working under the Locke-Devil against Jack-Jesus until he redeemed himself and became second in command to Hugo's Peter.

    Some clever stuff there but some examples of them trying to be too clever also, methinks.

  • Ryan

    I think that the fortune teller told claire to keep and raise aaron so that she wouldn't be a candidate and have to stay on the island. like when jacob told kate she was crossed off the list because she became a mother

  • scott

    The whole island will sink and destroy the world was a McGuffin. People who think the story sucked because the McGuffin wasn't explained, well…

  • Dangersmith

    After watching the LOST finale a second time (from my dvr), a lot of lingering questions got cleared-up for me, big time.
    I think someone here might have touched on some of these already, but I'll hit a few points that stood out to me.

    - First of all, the passengers from flight 815 WERE NOT DEAD THE WHOLE TIME! The whole being dead all this time is one theory I find completely bogus. Too simplistic.

    -Christian's explanation to Jack in the church is key to explaining a huge portion of the mysteries.
    – “Everything you experienced in your life was real…”
    – ” You all built this place so you could find each other…”
    – you're not here to “leave' you're here to “move on”
    – ” some died before you, some died long after you…”

    - The island is real, it's mysteries are real and the experiences people had on the island were real.

    - Jack dying on the island after defeating Locke 2.0, was his actual death. Not before that, not on the plane, but right there in the jungle as we saw it.

    - Ben and Hurley went on to take care of the island as best they could, and I'd like to think they did a great job, before they grew old and died many years later.

    - Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Miles, Richard and Lepedis literally made it off the island in that plane, and went on with their lives.

    - I don't think the 'Flash-Sideways'/ alternate reality was any kind of 'purgatory' per se, rather, just what Christian explained. A place they built, a construct, to help find or receive one another once they pass away.

    - Regardless of when each person passes, they're still able to reunite at the same 'time' in the church, since I'm guessing time works differently 'there'. “There's no NOW here…” .

    - Earlier this season, ( a dead ) Michael explains to Hurley that all the whispering on the island is from people who have died, but can't 'move-on'. Christian mentions the phrase to Jack in the church, which probably explains why Michael and other dead souls were not in the church (they probably couldn't make it to the shoot, or something).

    Okay, that's enough. I don't want to write a dissertation. Those are some of MY conclusions . I must say that my initial confusion and slight disappointment completely changed after a second viewing. It was also much shorter without all those frigging ads!

  • nik

    You're spot on with all of this. Good stuff. I wish more folks online paid this much attention.

  • Jean Michel

    Dude, Christian says it plainly. “There is no now.” and some of them died shortly after Jack and some very long afterwards, but due to the whibbly whobbly timey wimey nature of the afterlife, they all end up in that purgatory at the same “time” kinda and in the visages that they remember from their greatest chapters in life.

  • markw

    I took the ending to mean that they all died in the original plane crash and experienced all the island stuff while in Limbo. The main characters only come to realize it at the end because they were the ones that had the hardest time letting go of life.

  • Teddy

    Everything you wrote I thought the samething. on when Jack died..I believe he died that final scene in the jungle after walking out the cave, I think Katie and the rest died at different points in their life but after death they all met at the same moment. I think regardless of age when they died, the appearances they had was how they are remembered by each other, that's why Bernard & Rose don't look old and Aaron is a baby. Hugo & Ben interaction prove this by their answers proved that they worked with each other for a while after Hugo took over, their convo was that of reflection of the past.

  • Johnny

    Not really, as Ben states “you don't get to save your daughter” when he kills Whidmore. That shows that Ben believes Penny is alive. He would know otherwise had he killed her,

  • AquaFan36

    I understood it as….
    Everyone on the Oceanic Flight originally died when the plane initially crashed, and that their purgatory began on the “Island.” They needed to all finally get brought together (both physically & emotionally) in order to “move on!” Eveyone else (Miles, Ben Linus, Richard, Charlotte, Desmond and Penny, & Lepitus) also had died seperately and were also in a state of purgatory. Richard for example finally accepted his death & after a very long time in purgatory finally was able to move on…. etc.

  • Paul

    Damon and Carlton said in an interview that there was no importance to Aaron. The psychic that told Claire that she had to be the one to raise Aaron was a fraud. They've gone on record saying this and that the only person who believed that Aaron being raised by Claire is important was Claire

  • Paul

    Damon and Carlton said in the official Lost podcast that there are no Alt. endings. They ones on Jimmy Kimmel were obvious jokes and they only wrote the one ending. It wasn't a cop out, they lived their lives, died, went to the flash sideways universe and moved on. They weren't dead the whole time.

  • Lapidus

    yeah, a great ending. the survivors – Frank (yay!), Richard, Miles, Sawyer, Kate and Claire in the plane, and Hugo, Ben, Desmond, Rose, Bernard and Vincent on the island – could have died decades after Jack put the plug back in the magic hole.
    It was a relief to see that the writer's did honour the viewers as they said…exemplified by Christian saying “everything on the island happened. there is no time in this now” – so only the flash-sideways in season 6 was 'imagined' – the limbo the island characters inhabited as a way to say a final goodbye to each other collectively before they moved on.
    Sure we can nitpick on no Walt, Michael or Eko…but great series nonetheless.

  • Ryan

    I haven't read through all this so I'm sure someone has said this, but they key to getting “when did they all die” was in a line from Christian: “some of them died before you, some of them long after.”
    They didn't all die at once…folks like Shannon, Boone, Sayid, etc died before Jack. Others like Kate, Sawyer, etc went on to lead presumably full lives before eventually dying. The flash sideways was a place where they could all wait for each other until they were ready, for one final reunion, before moving on together.
    Why? Christian said it to Jack and it seemed true about the rest:
    He told him that the time he (Jack) spent with those people was the most important time of his life. Given the state of everyone else before coming together, I'd say that was true of all of them.
    Interestingly, it seems that some characters weren't “ready” to move on, which was Desmond said of Ana Lucia in the episode before when Hurley said “Is she coming with us too?”. This is also interesting in context of those who knowingly chose to not move on, like Ben for whatever his reasons were (more time with Alex?) and Eloise (who has always just wanted a place where she could be with her son and redeem herself from killing him the way she did in her past).

    As a character moment or ideal, it couldn't have been better. Here's my overall thought:

    The finale, in it's own context was perfect for what it set out to do. HOWEVER, the series overall would have been better if we had more answers in the episodes prior to the finale.

  • colin russell

    Ok, good point. I can go with that.

  • Troy

    They didn't all die on the plane.


    ok here is my theory

    the sideways was a place where they all could do the things that they never could do in their lives like jack became a father, locke was able to be happy with himself and let go of his father, hugo had confidence in himself, sawyer was finally a good guy etc etc. the island was a place where all the LOST souls could gather (as explained by michael) these souls will try to find the light or the cave and if they do they move on to the afterlife. the whole island sits on a wormhole which explains the time travel. also did anyone notice the glass behind christian at the church when he was talking to jack it had all many religious symbols. one more thing whats with all the father issues almost very character had a father issue

  • Curious George

    Sorry, but didn't the creators of the series originally said this wasn't supposed to be a purgatory?

  • Mario

    Hm. It is interesting what you say about them dying after the atom bomb went off at the end of season five but I see a problem with that. Part way through the finale I was thinking that as well because some of them didn't see to recollect any events past that initial explosion. One example of this is Sawyer and Juliet's recollection of what happened. They both saw Juliet fall but didn't seem to remember the aftermath.
    Anyway, the problem I have with that is that some of them recollect as well as mention events that happened after the bomb went off. Most noticeably Hurley and Ben who mention stuff that happened after Jack fixed the island. The whole “you were a good number 1. you were a good number 2″ is a straight up reference to events that happened after the bomb went off as well as after what we, the viewers got to see.

  • Guest

    The Island wasn't purgatory and never was. The flash sideways was (or at least some kind of “in-between” place).