Blogging LOST: The End (Thankfully).

I’m not going to recap the final episode of Lost, scene for scene. If you were invested in the show all six seasons, chances are you watched it last night just like I did. If you were a lapsed viewer who tuned in after years away, just to see how it ended, chances are a blow-by-blow recap would read like Aramaic. And most importantly of all, what happened in the two-and-half-hour series finale really doesn’t matter, in light of the show’s final five minutes.

What happened, happened, right?

In the end, we find that, contrary to Cuse and Lindelof’s promises to the contrary, all the characters on the show were, in fact, dead. The island did, in fact, represent some sort of purgatory. And once Jack the Hero enacted some pointless ancient island quest, he was able to free most of the characters we recognized to enter a stained-glass-windowed church in LA that represented a type of heaven or eternal resting place.

Yeah. What do you know?

I haven’t encountered too many fans who weren’t at least a little let down by this resolution. The whole, “Surprise! You’re all dead!” thing seems far too convenient for a show that encouraged its audience to invest so much time cracking codes and trouble-shooting mysteries. If you think about all the websites with secret messages and comic book plotlines and DVD commentaries and literary references and numerical fake-outs this show employed over the years, in light of the show’s last few minutes, it’s enough to make you want to throw something at your TV.

The episode opens in alterna-LA, with Jack’s dad’s previously missing coffin finally being delivered. The rest of the scenes in this timeline consist of playing out Desmond’s mostly successful attempt at getting the band back together. The majority of the principal cast is at Daniel’s Driveshaft concert (a really bad contrivance in a season of bad contrivances). There, it’s a mass hook-up of lost loves who, upon touching one another, see a montage of their island lives flash before their eyes. Most of these reunions are unsurprising. Daniel and Charlotte and Charlie and Claire are predictable, for instance. But a few of the situations that spark people’s memories are more interesting: Kate and Claire remember each other when Claire goes into labor at the concert and Kate assists with delivery… again. At the hospital where Jack operates on Locke, Locke remembers Jack in the recovery room, as he wiggles his toe in a throwback to the pilot, where he’s able to do the same, post-crash. An ultrasound sparks Sun and Jin’s memory, though Juliet, their obstetrician has no recollection of them. Then back to unremarkable reconnections, Juliet runs into Sawyer in the hospital lobby and they rekindle their flame at a vending machine.

Randomly, elsewhere, Boone fakes being beat up so that Shannon can intervene as Hurley and Sayid look on from Hurley’s Hummer. Sayid goes out to assist a knocked-out Shannon, who immediately revives at his touch. And they make out as Boone and Hurley kind of creepily look on.

And here’s a good time to wonder why *everyone* had to be paired with a female character before transitioning into “Heaven.” I’m sure Sayid would’ve been grateful enough he made it, what with being an assassin and all; he didn’t need to hook up with the chick he only spent three episodes wooing, four seasons ago.

In other random restarts: Kate finally comes down on the side of Jack, of all people, as her one true love… which is such a cop-out, considering the whole time she was engaged to him during the (now pointless) flash-forward season, she was pining for Sawyer—and as soon as she got back to the island last season, she started giving him The Eye. And even earlier this season, she wept profusely when he confessed to her that Juliet was his one true love.

I think this is the last time I’m typing One True Love. I can’t.

Anyway, after every Adam has found his Eve in the alternate timeline, Jack finishes a little project he’s been working on in the island timeline. It begins with he and Fake-Locke heading toward the Cave of the Light of Good and Evil. They take Desmond with them because both of them figure he’s the key to either destroying the island or saving it. Jack says that he intends to kill Fake-Locke when they get there. Fake-Locke is all, “I’d like to see you try.”

They lower Desmond down a waterfall. He pulls a boulder from the center of the fountain where the light emanates. Think of the boulder as bathtub drain-pull. When he pulls it, the light goes out and the island begins experiencing a series of earthquakes and aftershocks. We spend about 45 minutes thinking this occurrence killed Desmond, since he screams, “Nooooo!” and then doesn’t respond to anyone’s attempts to call down to him.

Fake-Locke is really smug at the sound of Desmond’s defeated cry, so he races out of the cave, toward the ocean, where he intends to escape.

Elsewhere, Lapidus, Miles, and Richard are working to repair the Ajira plane so they can leave the island as well.

Fake-Locke and Jack have an epic battle. Of course Jack wins and Fake-Locke dies, and who didn’t feel a little bad for that poor schmuck, considering everything he’d been through?

Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley assumed that when Fake-Locke died, the island would stabilize, but it turns out the earthquakes/aftershocks are persisting. Fake-Locke told them that if the Light went out, the island would sink to the bottom of the ocean and it appears he was right.

But Jack, of course, has super-secret plans he hasn’t told anyone about. He intends to go down the waterfall himself to return the Drain-Pull of Good and Evil and hopefully get that Light on and poppin’ again.
Hurley and Ben say they’ll come with. Jack insists Kate and Sawyer go find Claire and convince her to join them on Lapidus’ Flight to Anywhere But Here.

Back at the cave, Jack does a transfer of power to Hurley. He says he was only supposed to be Island Guardian long enough to kill Fake-Locke and successfully plumb the Tub of Good and Evil. He expects to die down there. Hurley cries about it. But he does accept his role as Island Guardian. Reluctantly.

Jack succeeds at replacing the boulder and getting the Light back on. Hurley asks Ben to be his Guardian’s Assistant. Ben humbly accepts—and how long do you think it’ll be before he’s shooting and manipulating and lying again?

Back in alterna-LA, Jack finally shows up at the concert, where he was supposed to meet his son, sister Claire, and his ex-wife… Juliet. (Yeah. Whose idea was this?) Kate meets him at the edge of the tent and she’s kind of vampy and moony and he’s supremely weirded out by her because he doesn’t recognize her. But since she’s had her memory jogged by being wrist deep in Claire’s placenta, she totally remembers him. Again, if she remembered him, she also remembered Sawyer… and how much more she was obviously into him than she ever was Jack. But that’s moot.

She offers to take Jack somewhere. They wind up at the stained-glass-windowed church. Jack says this is where he was going to have his father’s funeral. Kate urges him to go inside where, “we’ll all be waiting when you finish.”

Jack heads in to view his father’s body. But when he touches the coffin he finally experiences his full montage of island-life memories. Confused, he opens the coffin and finds it empty. Turns out, his dad is now standing behind him.

And they have the most infuriating conversation in the history of series finales.

It’s some new-agey nonsense about how There is No Now, Here. Jack cries as he and his father embrace and Jack asks if this means he isn’t “real.” His father reassures him that he is, in fact, real and so were the “experiences” we faithfully watched for six seasons, but all of that is irrelevant at this point, because now he’s reached the Church of Improbable Endings, which Christian Shepard calls “a place you all made so you could find each other again.” Or something. He says that everyone there died at some point, either long before Jack or long after, and that they’ve returned to each other because the most important moments of their lives were shared with these people.

It’s really cheesy.

So Jack walks out there and everyone’s hugging. It’s like the end of an SNL episode… without the obnoxious saxophones. Notably missing are all the Black characters except Rose. I also didn’t see Daniel and Charlotte. You can correct me if they were there—and talk about whoever else was missing in the comments section. At this point in the episode, my eyes were crossing from the Christian-Jack conversation and I wasn’t entirely focused. Was Miles there? Was he the only one there with no “Eve?”

I should probably note that Ben sat outside the church the whole time, refusing to go in because he had some things to work out. At one point, Hurley comes to get him and tells him that he was a “good number two.” Ben says that Hurley was a “good number one.” So I guess their island deaths were much, much later than Jack’s.

Also, Ben gets to genuinely apologize to Locke for killing him back in the day. Locke totally doesn’t care anymore—and why would he? He’s off to spend eternity, walking… even though he’s conspicuously sans Helen.

While everyone’s blissfully reuniting (and Kate has curiously undergone a spontaneous outfit change from slinky black tube dress to some sort of blue cami and with jeans), Jack has surfaced on the outside of the cave, back on the island.

He’s bleeding from a stab wound Fake-Locke inflicted and he crawls into the jungle to die. He does, but not before Vincent shows up, sniffs him and lies down beside him. We close-up on his open eye one last time, as it closes. Permanently.

So. You know all that Dharma Initiative stuff? And Jacob/MIB? And all those times the Others kidnapped the Losties and vice versa? And all those red shirts who died in gunfights and explosions? Remember Widmore and Ellie? Remember Jughead the Hydrogen Bomb?

Turns out all of that was filler.

Wouldn’t it have been better to just say that everyone died in the initial crash during the pilot episode—and everything that happened thereafter was a figment of Jack’s colossal ego and need for validation? Couldn’t his dad have told him that Jack never would’ve been at peace, if he hadn’t concocted a scenario in which he saved not just friends and loved ones but the whole of humanity?

… And that’s why we got all the events of this ridiculous series?

No. No, apparently, that wasn’t as good a solution as saying that everyone died at different times… but all chose the day Jack died to hook up at this Church of SNL-Hugging.

It might’ve also made more sense if this were a “Heaven” exclusively for the crash victims who comprised our original cast. Instead, there are people there who weren’t on Oceanic Flight 815, like Ben and Desmond and Penny and Miles (if Miles was, in fact, there). Oh, and what of his ability to speak to the dead? Wouldn’t any of them have been able to tell him it was all a dream and they used to read Word Up magazine? I mean, what gives? Really.


slb (aka Stacia L. Brown) is a writer, mother, and college instructor in Baltimore, MD. Check her out here: and here:
  • I think Daniel was in the church but not Charlotte. On Jimmy Kimmel, Harrold Perrineau mentions that Michael is stuck on the Island “whispering” because of the bad things he did and that Walt was not on the show anymore because he grew up too fast. I don’t know why this couldn’t be explained as part of his being “special” but I guess they already had too much going on anyway. Oh and Sayid and Shannon snuggled up was totally vomit-inducing. I had mentally blocked that they had ever hooked up.

    I was disappointed by this finale but I was prepared to be disappointed so I am now just glad it’s over.

    • Scipio Africanus

      I still don’t know why they couldn’t just get another young black boy to play Walt. I’m pretty sure that was another dog playing Vincent.

  • “Turns out all of that was filler.”

    I’m not sure that is the case, though a lot of that hangs on the Hurley/Ben exchange at the end. If the island isn’t real (and is merely a kind of purgatory) then Hurley and Ben being in charge of the island doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, though I don’t think that reading is entirely ruled out. The alternate universe was the filler (in terms of story) but was more consequential because it was, in the end, “The End.”

  • Val

    I’m just glad I never watched Lost.

  • laura

    i also don’t agree that the whole thing was some sort of mental purgatory. remember, jack’s dad said that everyone dies eventually, and that there is no “now”.
    i think what damon and carlton tried to do (not very well, imo) is leave the ending up to our interpretation. i believe that they probably died at different points and all ended up at the church before “moving on”.
    i refuse to believe we watched 6 years of filler. i REFUSE. it was real. wasn’t it? yeah, it was totally real. i absolutely did NOT waste 6 years of my life. right? RIGHT??

  • Scipio Africanus

    Whether or not the island itself or ths sideways life specifically were purgatory is not that important. The point is that something like a purgatory was at the core of what Damon and Lindelof had intended all along. It had to have been embarrasing to them when people started guessing that from basically week 2 or 3 of the series, back in September and October of 2004.

    All this time they had so many of us thinking they were going to blow our minds with some brilliant stuff, only to realize they really only ever possessed a germ of a cool idea, not a well developed or well executed work.

    They were faking it for 6 years.

    Side note, this finale made me respect the Sopranos finale that much more.

    • quadmoniker

      incorrect, i never thought they were going to blow my mind with brilliant stuff.

  • keke

    the island was real it just happened at some time in the past. the exchange between ben and hurley alluded to that. and the sideways world was a sort of purgatory or alternative world where they got to make amends and let go of their hang-ups and eventually move on.

    I don’t think this was the greatest finale of all time, but i am actually content with the way it ended. I do have an issue with the sayid and shannon reunion…please. i would have liked to see a desmond and penny montage, i don’t understand why michael is stuck on the island. he has done some horrible things but so have the other characters, and michael did try to make amends.

    so it wasn’t flawless, and i can understand some of the frustration that many Lost fans have with this ending. But I am pleased….I thought parts of the finale were very touching.

    i can honestly say that i liked the way the show ended

    • Zesi

      agreed. basically–some…well a lot…of people died on the island. some died before (like jack’s dad) and some died after. but i was never a person who was really into all the speculation–it made my brain hurt.

  • I don’t think they were all dead. The island adventures were real. Christian said so. Also, Hugo and Ben made it clear they really did live out as the leaders of the island, and Kate’s comment to Jack made it clear that she had lived decades after he passed away. The last five minutes were them meeting in a heaven that exists outside of chronological time. So Kate can be there at the same “time” as Jack, but in reality she is getting there 50 years later.

    • slb

      When I said, “Surprise! You’re all dead!,” I meant at the end of the show. In this church where they all end up, they are, in fact, dead and we have no way of knowing when/how some of them got there. That’s… kind of a rip-off for me. For the characters who died during the run of the show, there’s closure and for the remaining people (like Sawyer and Kate and Desmond/Penny), there’s not? We just meet up with them all again in some non-linear space where there’s no time? Why? Just so we can see the cast together one more time? That didn’t satisfy me.

      Also: I missed Kate’s comment(s) to Jack? What did she say?

  • Jordan

    I liked the ending. While the plot twists and creepy stuff was very entertaining I think the characters were more important. I’m glad we got to see how they all ended up, parallel universe and all.

  • slb

    Okay. I just read this and suddenly felt as at peace with all this balderdash as the people in the SNL Church at the end:

    I’m just going to forget about everything that happened to these dead characters now.

    • Zesi

      everything in that piece was spot on—except that she called Rose an asshole? i mean, really? Rose was great!

    • Scipio Africanus

      I skimmed that and it all made sense. The problem is that the first few seasons were all about x,y, z (Walt, Dharma, kids/babies, etc.) and the resultion of the show ended up being about a, b, and c (no pun.)

      If they only ever wanted it to be about x, y, and z then they went about the wrong way. They gave us a tantalizing and exciting narrative base in the early days. It’s as if they got caught up in that early phase and forgot about what their purported main objective was – what we saw in the finale.

      They erred in the executing of their vision.

  • Pingback: The End of Lost as an End to Mystery « Pax Americana()

  • Oh, I just assumed they died of old age. Kate’s comment to Jack about missing him was the hat tip to this. She spent the next 4 or 5 decades with him gone.

  • I think the point of the entire series comes clear at the end: If you are single, you are going to Hell.

  • liciabadazz

    I was quite annoyed by several aspects of this ending…

    …and is pregnant Sun dead too? And pregnant? What does this mean about the baby? And how come we never saw any flashes of their lives that we hadn’t seen before? I’m sure that they had to have done things that we hadn’t seen – like Hurley and Ben, what ever happened to the adventures of Hurley and Ben?…

    Further, the SNL hugging at the end brought home something that’s been a point of contention with me for the entire show …besides the whole “if you’re single, you are going to Hell” annoyance… the show also seems to be saying that if you’re not straight, you’re going to Hell. Seriously? Not one gay person on the whole show?

    • keke

      I don’t think that the “real” pregnant Sun is dead. The “real” Sun died on the island, along with Jin. They drowned in that submarine. Which means that Ji Yeon was raised by her grandmother back home.

      The Sun in the alternate/sideways/purgatory was pregnant.But *I believe* that was just the way she remembered herself. That was the way she envisioned her life and maybe she wanted to experience the moment of finding out the baby was alive with Jin by her side. Unlike on the island when Jin was not there when Juliet gave the ultra sound and she was still keeping her pregnancy a secret cause she was unsure if Jin was the father.

      I can understand wanting to see more of what happened to them, but I thought it was ok to leave all of that open and up to personal interpretation.

      I really don’t get the whole “if you are single you are going to hell” angle. That observation goes way over my head.

      you are right, they never had a gay or lesbian couple on the show, and i never thought about it till you pointed that out.

      • Thanks for the Sun clarification – it does make sense that in her (and Jin’s) perfect world, they would both be there to raise their child…although, this whole thing is still too much “Dallas” and too little “Wizard of Oz”…

  • l.

    this is my favorite line, ever:

    “but all chose the day Jack died to hook up at this Church of SNL-Hugging.”

    it is taking me way too long to understand/process the finale.

    I haven’t decided if that is a good thing, or a bad thing.

  • quadmoniker

    I haven’t really commented because I was late to watch it and I am still mad. Basically, the writers’ ending tells me that the entire series was a colossal waste of my time. So, tanks, Lost producers!

    • slb

      Yeah, there are basically two attitudes with which to approach this: Cuse/Lindelof lied to us all abt the series’ endgame and we’re frustrated or Cuse/Lindelof were misunderstood geniuses who gave these characters some sort of transcendental enlightenment that should’ve satisfied us all.

      I can’t ride with the latter.

  • janice

    PostBougie is my favorite blog right now, but this is a pretty whiney assessment of a good show.

    • slb

      Thanks for this thorough and constructive critique.