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.