Monday, October 25, 2010

LOST Series Finale - The End

Hello my dear friends -

This is it.

This is the Mother of All Posts.

If I were you, I would watch "The End" again before continuing on. Even if -- or perhaps I should say especially if -- you weren't too fond of it the first time around. I speak from experience when I say that it's much more enjoyable when you're not trying to figure out what's going on in the ALT world because you already know the twist.

If you don't refresh your memory of the finale, you might not have any idea what I'm talking about in this post. It's my fault that so much time has gone by since the last episode of Lost, but it'll be your fault if you don't revisit "The End" before you read the rest of what I have to say, and as a result find it hard to follow the details.

So, now... is everybody ready?

Good! Here we go.

Get comfortable.


I'm truly sorry that this post took so long for me to finish. I was working on this little project. It was kinda the reason I left Corporate America in 2007... so, you know, I couldn't really say "Screw you, John Wiley & Sons! Even though you took a huge chance on me -- a no-name, first-time author -- I'm gonna write about Lost instead of finishing my manuscript per our legally binding contract! HA!"

And so I appreciate your patience. I have a feeling that the people who were constantly hollering at me about publishing this post have already forgotten the show and will never visit this site again anyway. Whereas the people reading this right now are the ones I've always written for: the true fans. The people whose lives, like mine, were forever changed by the series. I know that these readers understood that I had to keep my priorities straight. I can only hope that they (meaning you) enjoy this last analysis and forgive me for the delay.


Long Live Locke reader "notWalt" made an insightful comment here on the site at the beginning of September. He/she guessed that since (at that point) four months had passed since Lost's May 23 conclusion, my final post would probably be "more reflective. I also suppose that it will be more emotional. Since it isn't an immediate reaction, it could be more of a goodbye to an old friend..."

notWalt hit the nail on the head, ladies and gents. This post isn't going to be like my others. Oh, there will be the song-lyric headings and roll-over picture captions and an analysis of the final episode of Lost... but I'm also going to include some very personal thoughts and background -- things I have never written about until now -- so that you can understand where I'm coming from. Because, as proven by the comments on the short post I put up the same night the finale aired, people's reactions to "The End" were closely tied to their own thoughts and beliefs about life, death, and religion.

So you need to know where my head's at on those topics in order to comprehend why I was, and continue to be, so attached to the show, why I might be a little more forgiving of the series' weaknesses than some other bloggers and critics, and why I loved the finale so much. Therefore, we need to go back to 2004. (If you don't care about any of my personal experiences that shaped my feelings about the series, that's totally fine... click here to flash-forward to the Lost analysis.)

In May 2003, I graduated from business school and moved back to Chicago. A small number of my classmates ended up in Chitown with me, and we decided to have "TV night" at my place every week in order to stay in touch. Being the b-school dorks that we are, we decided to gather together for The Apprentice, which premiered in January 2004. We liked it well enough, but by Season 2, which premiered on September 9, 2004, it was losing a bit of its luster. (Little-known fact: Donald Trump was one of my heroes in the sixth grade and I was already reading his books back then. I also applied to, but was obviously not chosen for, Season 3 of his show.)

I'd heard about a show called Lost and was excited that it starred Merry from Lord of the Rings (Dominic Monaghan), so I started watching it on September 22, 2004. Within a few episodes I'd convinced my other friends that we needed to switch our TV nights to Wednesdays and watch Lost instead of The Apprentice.

My first Lost write-up was for Episode 9, Sayid's initial flashback ("Solitary"). Each week I would email my thoughts about the show to my friends, and before long these messages were being forwarded all over the place and I had a distribution list of hundreds of people. My brother was largely responsible for growing my readership on the east coast.

You might remember that the early seasons of Lost were plagued by several hiatuses and weeks where they'd air reruns in order to encourage more people to get into the series. In Season 1 there was a big break between episode 18 ("Numbers," which aired on March 2, 2005) and 19 ("Deus Ex Machina," which aired on March 30). During that break, my brother went into the ER for breathing pains... and was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Spoiler alert: my brother went through seven months of chemo and two weeks of radiation, is now fine, and has been cancer-free for five years. But on that awful night in March 2005 when I got the call about what was going on, the first thing through my mind (ironically enough) was, "Oh my God, isn't that what Charlie had on Party of Five? Didn't he die from that?!?!"

As you may recall, Charlie on Party of Five was none other than Matthew Fox, who I had a hard time seeing as "Jack" on Lost at that point in time. He was still Charlie to me (I also had a hard time accepting Lost's "Charlie" as anyone other than my hobbit buddy... needless to say, I was very confused).

Matthew Fox's character on P05 did have Hodgkin's but didn't die from it, probably because it's known as "the best kind of cancer to have." But that show was always so freaking depressing that I guess my mind just assumed/falsely remembered that he DID die, and all I knew was that my "little" brother (he was 26 at the time) had this same kind of cancer. I was terrified about what might happen to him.

(Let's lighten things up for a second, shall we? Yes, he's talking about cancer so it's not exactly a humorous clip, but this just might be one of the first and best examples of Matthew Fox's scary-good man-crying abilities. And this was TEN YEARS before Lost!!!)

Between episodes 18 and 19 of Season 1 I spent a few weeks on the east coast with my brother and the woman he would eventually marry. His treatments were an awful ordeal, as you might imagine. By the time Lost returned with "Deus Ex Machina," my brother had started his chemotherapy, and the show gave all of us something else to think about -- something else to focus on. It helped my family through the worst time of our lives, and so even back in Season 1, I knew that there was simply no way I could ever have negative feelings about the series.



It probably goes without saying that when someone you love receives such a shocking diagnosis, you really start to question things. You start to question the meaning of life, what happens when you die, whether or not there is a God, whether our fates are already sealed, and why bad things happen to good people. You also start to realize the importance of family and friends, and of having hope. And -- if you're lucky like my family was -- you will experience the kindness of strangers on a near-daily basis, and you will remember that no matter what the news tries to convince you of at every waking moment, the vast majority of people are goodhearted and quick to help others.

I saw all of these same questions, themes and lessons reflected in Lost. I understood the 815ers' fear of the unknown. I related to how hard it must be for each of them to trust complete strangers. I initially was drawn to Locke's confidence that everything was happening for a reason... but then when "Deus Ex Machina" aired right after my brother's chemo started -- and there was that scene that still makes me cry to this day, where Locke's banging on the hatch and screaming "I've done everything you wanted me to do, so why did you do this to me?!?!"... and then the light comes on -- for some silly reason, it just really moved me. I took it as some sort of cosmic message of hope or something. Hey, when you're beside yourself with the worst kind of worry, you start associating a lot of very out-there things to your situation, OK? Don't judge!

Here's the kicker, though. The character I related to the most -- and I know this might come as a surprise to anyone who doesn't actually know me -- was Jack. Even if my brother hadn't gotten sick, I would've seen myself in The Mad Doctor, because I'm always trying to "fix" things -- people and situations -- even when they are beyond fixing. My nature is to take charge. Those who know me best might describe me as "controlling." So when my brother ended up in the hospital and there was nothing I could do about it and there was no way I could directly help him get better, I felt quite desperate and overwhelmed. The same kind of feelings that I imagine might drive a person to believe it was a good idea to use the Amputron 2000 on their clearly dying friend (RIP, Boone). So yeah, the secret's out: Locke was my favorite character... but had I actually been on the Island, I would've been on Team Jack.

One-third of the way through Season 2 (November 2005), I traveled east once again to go with my brother to his final radiation treatment. He's been healthy and cancer-free ever since, and got married last summer in Ann Arbor, Michigan -- home of the Dharma Initiative. I can only guess that since he played a large role in helping to pull together ideas, theories, and details for my posts -- both before, during, and after he had the Big C -- the show will always hold a special place in his heart as well.

I want to take a moment here to say that I know my family is not the only one Lost helped through a tough time. In fact, one of my dearest Lost-blogger friends, Karen -- who I had the great pleasure of meeting in person in Hawaii during the Season 6 Sunset on the Beach premiere event -- battled cancer during Season 1 as well. Her story will leave you in tears, but it will inspire you, too. It will also make it clear why Lost is not "just a TV show" to so many of us. You can read Karen's story here. She is one of the most awesome and positive people I know.


One thing I'll never forgive myself for is deleting -- or otherwise losing track of -- an email my brother sent me during Season Two. He could tell how attached I was getting to Lost, he knew how much time I was pouring into my posts, and he feared my obsession would not end well. He wrote something like, "They're never going to be able to wrap up the series in a way that everybody's going to like. We're bound to be disappointed. So just enjoy the ride and don't even think about how they could possibly end everything."

I'm happy (and, admittedly, relieved) to say that not only did I follow my brother's advice and thoroughly enjoy the ride over the last six years, but I was also thrilled with how everything turned out in the end. (Granted, it took a little time for me to feel that way. And for the record, my brother loved the series finale as well.)

My hope is that this post will help some of the people who didn't like the finale to be able to look at it through my eyes and thereby salvage some of their otherwise positive feelings about the series. But fear not, I'm not going to try and convince anyone of my point of view, or chastise those who hated "The End." We're all entitled to our differing feelings and opinions, and Lord knows that -- as I think I made clear above -- it would've been hard for me to have ever been disappointed with the show. I seriously don't think there's anything they could have done that would have ruined the series for me. It's just not possible.

Well, OK, maybe if Miley Cyrus had showed up. But that's about it.


All right! Let's get into the actual episode, shall we?

I think the only way I can tackle the finale is chronologically -- although where it makes sense I'm going to group certain scenes together even if they didn't run back-to-back.

Let's begin with the opening montage.

That montage consisted of shots of several characters in the ALT world, followed by what they were doing on the Island, inter-spliced with scenes of Christian's coffin being unloaded from an Oceanic plane and then taken to the church in L.A., where Desmond and Kate were waiting in the parking lot.

For all of Season 6, I had assumed that Oceanic would never find the coffin in the ALT world. I figured that the ALT timeline was going to merge with the Island timeline, and somehow Jack's father would still be alive. So I was pretty surprised that the finale opened with a box labeled "human remains" that presumably carried Zombie Dad's casket. However, because they were still showing scenes of Jack, Locke, Ben, Kate, Sawyer, etc., both on the Island and in the ALT world back-to-back, I thought that confirmed the theory that by the end of the 2.5 hours, the two worlds would've somehow combined -- or each character would end up picking which version of their lives they wanted to live out.

While I didn't really think Kate's disbelief at Christian Shephard's name was as funny as others seemed to, upon rewatching the episode I definitely caught and fully appreciated the quick, knowing smile Desmond flashed after Kate asked, "Who died?" Brilliant.


Next up was Jack transforming into "the new Jacob" by the water. I was really relieved that they didn't have Jack start acting any differently than he always had -- that would have been lame.

Sawyer quickly realized that Jack wasn't suddenly infused with any specific ideas about how to proceed -- while the Mad Doctor knew that he had to protect the light and that they'd all be killed if MIB had his way, it was Sawyer who figured out that Desmond must somehow be the key to everything. So he set off to see if our favorite Scotsman was still stuck down in the well.

On the Island, Hurley was starting to get a sinking feeling about everything, whereas in the ALT he was totally kicking butt and taking names. He pretty much had a very disturbed Sayid held captive in his Hummer, and then went to pay his old best friend a visit. Almost all of my favorite parts of the finale revolved around reunions in the ALT world, and Hurley and Charlie's half-reunion was no exception. In fact, it might've been even more awesome simply because Hurley -- with that HUGE smile on his face -- knew what was going on, but Charlie didn't.

The interesting thing to me was that earlier in the season, Charlie clearly had some sort of subconscious idea of where he truly was. That's the only way to explain how he had no fear of walking into traffic or drowning in a car with Desmond in "Happily Ever After." It was like he knew enough to understand that he needed to convince Desmond that there was something strange going on... but then never came full circle himself. Charlie simply thought that on the ALT 815 flight, he came close to death and had a life-altering vision of the love of his life -- who was someone he'd never met. He thought (and so did a lot of Lost fans, myself included) that he was peering into an alternate universe and seeing another life he'd lived out.

And so that's why he resisted Hurley's first attempts to get him to come to the concert, and therefore Hurley had no choice but to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart.


Back on the Island, Ben is with Fake Locke at the well. I think it's very important to note here that even at this late stage in the game, Ben is still up to his old tricks. You might remember that in the last few episodes leading up the finale, I couldn't figure out whether Ben was just acting like he was on the MIB's side, or if it was some elaborate scheme. But the scene where he outed Sawyer and held him at gunpoint made me believe that Ben was playing both sides. He still had the walkie-talkie in order to communicate with Miles in case things headed south and he needed a Plan B, but hanging with the survivors wasn't his first choice. He was truly hoping the MIB was going to turn over the keys to the Island. And I think this is just one of several bad, selfish decisions that Ben was still trying to atone for when we see him in the ALT world outside of the church at the very end of the finale.

After Ben forced Sawyer out of hiding, Sawyer and Fake Locke exchanged words and Sawyer confirmed that Desmond was the MIB's secret weapon.

More proof that Ben was still "a bad guy" at this point: he was stunned that the MIB let Sawyer leave unharmed. Once Sawyer headed back to rejoin Jack and the others, Ben finally confronted the MIB about the Island's fate.

BEN: When you said you were gonna destroy the island, I thought you were speaking figuratively.

FAKE LOCKE: Because I said I'd leave you in charge once I was gone? I'm sorry if I left out the part about the island being on the bottom of the ocean.

D'oh, Ben, you just got served!

And so did we, the viewers. You don't think they put in that line about the Island being on the bottom of the ocean to continue to fool us into thinking that the ALT world would end up being the final version of events? Remember how Season 6 started out with the ALT Flight 815... and then took us underwater to see the ruins of the Four-Toed Statue?

I'm not too proud to admit that I thought the MIB's line was another oh-so-obvious clue that the ALT world would win out.

Next, Fake Locke retrieved Desmond from Rose & Bernard's B&B and -- together with Ben -- they started the march toward the heart of the Island. Ben was quick to switch off the receiver when Miles called in news of Ageless Richard's retrieval. (I was very happy that Smokey hadn't killed Richard -- that would've made me very angry if he'd gone out like that after the awful life he'd led.) Without any guidance from Ben, Miles and Richard decided to stick with their original plan of going over to Hydra and blowing the Ajira plane sky high.


Over in the ALT, Sawyer gets word from Miles that something fishy is going on: Miles just saw Sayid -- who should've been in a jail cell -- roll onto the concert grounds in Hurley's hard-to-miss ride. Sawyer decides to go warn the Kwon's that their attacker might be on the loose.

At that same time, Sun and Jin are met by none other than Juliet (was anyone surprised by this? No? Me neither) and she begins to perform an ultrasound on Sun. This scene right here is a perfect example of why it pays to rewatch the finale now that some time has passed. Because when I first saw it on May 23, it was of course emotional -- but it was nowhere near as emotional as it was when I revisited it a few weeks ago, after I knew the big twist.

On the night the finale aired, when I was still trying to figure out what the ALT world was -- and when I continued to believe that this version of events might "win out" over the Island timeline -- I interpreted the scene of Sun and Jin's awakening as one where they remembered all of these awful things some other version of themselves had been through and how horribly it had all ended. I assumed they were beyond appreciative that they'd been given another chance, if you will, to live out their lives and raise Ji Yeon.

Once I watched it again, though, it became clear that their reactions to their life-flashes stemmed from the fact that they had no regrets in their lives. If they had to do it all over again, they would still choose to die together. Since I'd been extremely critical of the way Jin and Sun went out, in some weird way their scene in the hospital helped soften the blow for me a bit. Yes, they did really drown together in the submarine. Yes, in the end, they chose to stay together rather than fight for Jin's escape so that he might back it home to their daughter. But that was their decision. They'd spent the last several years fighting to get their relationship back on track, and now that they were finally together, they weren't going to leave each other. (And dammit if we didn't have to see Sun screaming her guts out in the flashes -- AGAIN! That scene still kills me.)

After Sun and Jin have their freak-out, Juliet's like, "These people are weird," and busts outta there.



On the Island, Sawyer rejoins his friends and confirms that Locke is planning to destroy the Island. But Jack is not fazed by this -- nor does he care who finds Desmond first. "We're all going to the same place, anyway," he reasons. "Then it ends."

In the ALT world, Locke and Jack share a quick conversation before Locke's big surgery. Then Locke asks about the missing coffin, and Jack shares that it's supposedly been found. Next:

LOCKE: Well, I hope that brings you some peace.

JACK: If I can fix you, Mr. Locke, that's all the peace I'll need.

While we all know about Jack's obsession with fixing things, we also know that he's never going to really be at peace until he comes to terms with his daddy issues. And simply finding Christian's coffin and subsequently laying him to rest probably isn't going to be enough. Clearly Jack is still in denial about this, though.

At this point in the episode I figured that one way or the other, we would definitely end up seeing a Christian/Jack reunion. And since I didn't see the big twist coming, that's why I continued to assume that the ALT world was real and that the coffin would be empty and Christian would be somehow found alive... and Jack would come to understand how all of this was possible when he experienced what Des, Hurley, Sun and Jin already had, and the memories of his "other" life on the Island came flooding back to him.


Back on the Island, Miles and Ageless Richard come to realize that Ageless Richard is no longer so ageless. So now he's Just Like The Rest of Us Richard... as well as the first person on the planet who actually seems pleased to find his first gray hair. Jacob's immortality spell has been broken... but Richard realizes that he's not ready to die just yet. So he and Miles continue on their way, and take off in an outrigger toward Hydra.

That's when -- surprise, surprise -- they run across good ol' Lapidus, who'd been floating at sea since the submarine blew up and sank. I thought it had been a little bit fishy that we never got a "final death shot" of our favorite pilot, but I was still surprised that he turned up again and was basically in one piece. I was NOT surprised, however, that he was mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. He made it clear that they were absolutely not going to blow up the Ajira plane, because he fully intended to fly them back to civilization.


When Jack and his group were shown traveling up the mountain just as the MIB, Ben, and Desmond came into view, it very much reminded me of the scene in the Season 3 finale ("Through the Looking Glass") when Jack and the 815ers confronted Ben on the way to the radio tower. Back then, Jack went berzerker and delivered a royal beatdown to Ben. This time, Kate pumped about ten bazillion bullets into Fake Locke -- only to realize that he couldn't be harmed.

"You might wanna save your bullets" the MIB shouted, all smug-like. That advice was going to come back to haunt him...

Then Jack and the MIB had their own little war of words, which ended with one of my favorite exchanges of the episode:

JACK: I'm gonna kill you.

MIB: How do you plan to do that?

JACK: That's a surprise.

I love it when Jack tries to be funny! I love it even more when he actually is funny, like this time. I also enjoyed the worried look that quickly crossed Fake Locke's face after Jack's threat. MIB no likey surprises.

Here's yet another thing I thought was pretty cool about this scene: How the two sides realized it was pointless to do anything other than travel together to the Magical Cave of Light. I'm glad they didn't do some lame "race to the cave" or have Jack and Fake Locke try to stop each other or something. They were each confident in their plans and knew that one of them was going to be proven right, so -- as the MIB said -- they might as well just get on with it.


So everyone treks to the cave, and on the way, Jack tells Sawyer that he believes Desmond is actually some sort of weapon that can be used against the MIB. He reasons that Jacob wouldn't have been on the lookout for Desmond's return if his powers could only bring about the destruction of the Island.

Eventually the MIB suggests that only Jack and Des continue on with him. The trio gets ready to lower Des down, and that's when the Scotsman decides to drop a bomb on Jack. He tells the Mad Doctor that nothing they're doing matters, because there's "another place" that Des is going to travel to once he hits the light -- and that Jack is in this other place too... and he's happy.

When I watched the finale the first time, I assumed this scene proved what we all had assumed since "Happily Ever After" -- that Widmore's experiments sent Des over to the ALT and back, and that he had full memory and knowledge of what that world was. It was another sly move by the writers that furthered the theory that the ALT was some sort of "way out" for our beloved 815ers.

The second time around, however, it was clear that Desmond obviously did not know the truth about the ALT. His short time in the ALT (which, remember, was only his consciousness traveling -- not his physical body) led him to believe that he'd seen a different instance of his life where everyone from the Island reconnected (because of him) and lived... happily ever after. (The title of that episode sure takes on a different meaning now, doesn't it?) Des was convinced that this other life would play out regardless of what Jack or the MIB did on the Island. I think he was trying to make Jack feel better -- or less stressed out or something -- by assuring him that everything was going to be OK because nothing they did mattered. But Jack was having none of it: "All of this matters."


Back in the ALT, we learn that it was in fact Juliet whom Jack had been married to (no surprises there) and who was therefore David's mom. They confirm plans to attend the benefit concert together (with Auntie Claire) while Sawyer arrives at the hospital to check in on Sun and Jin.

Meanwhile, Hurley pulls into the parking lot of a seedy bar and has a little chat with Sayid. Sayid is continuing to grow impatient about what's going on, and Hurley tries to have the old "you're really a good person!" chat with him. Sayid, of course, proves Hurley's point when he jumps out of the Hummer in order to rescue... Shannon. D'oh!

Yeah, you could say that I didn't really like this part. Those of you who've been reading my posts from the beginning know that Boone was one of my least favorite characters, so I was in no way happy to see him again (though I'm thankful that we didn't have to witness his awakening). And the Sayid and Shannon relationship had always seemed forced to me -- serving no purpose other than to help Shannon find self-redemption before the writers killed her off. It's pretty clear that Nadia was Sayid's soulmate. BUT... now that we know what the ALT was, it kind of makes sense that Shannon had to be the one to stir Sayid's memory. Did we have to see them making out, though? No.


On the Island, the moment of truth drew closer. While the group Fake Locke and Jack left behind waited for something to happen, Ben's walkie-talkie lit up. Though no one actually ever told the group back on the main island that Lapidus had been recovered, Miles did make it clear that the plan had changed and they now intended to escape by plane. That's when Claire arrived on the scene and started firing shots. Richard tried to talk her down and convince her that she could tag along, but she just walked off.

At this same time, Jack and the MIB were lowering Desmond down into the cave. I 100% thought that Des was going to be a goner. I never in a million years expected him to survive until the end of the show -- I thought his and Penny's love story would always be the "tragic" one. Turns out that was Sun and Jin's role to play. But I watched Des dangling above what I was sure would be his death, I was really sad. Such a great character -- only to be sacrificed, I thought.

As Jack and the MIB waited to see what effect Desmond might have on the light source, they delivered yet another classic exchange -- one of my favorites of the season:

MIB: This remind you of anything, Jack?

JACK: What?

MIB: Desmond...going down into a hole in the ground. If there was a button down there to push, we could fight about whether or not to push it. It'd be just like old times.

JACK: You're not John Locke. You disrespect his memory by wearing his face, but you're nothing like him. Turns out he was right about most everything. I just wish I could've told him that while he was still alive.

MIB: He wasn't right about anything, Jack. And when this island drops into the ocean, and you drop with it, you're finally gonna realize that.

And then the two men peered down into the cave just like they peered down into the hatch in the last moments of Season 1. This moment was pure genius.



If you didn't feel a thrill -- a rush -- when you watched this scene, then it must take a hell of a lot to impress you.

Fake Locke's second mention of the Island ending up at the bottom of the ocean continued to solidify the theory in my head that the ALT world existed as a result of something that happened on the Island. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was so completely fooled.

This is probably where I should take a moment and address a few things about Locke. Rest assured that there's going to be an entire section devoted to my favorite character later in this post, but considering the conversation we just covered between the MIB and Jack, I think it makes the most sense to mention the following two points now:

1) Jack realized that Locke had been right all along: the Island is special, they'd all been brought there for a reason, and they all had a role to play. It turns out that Locke's role was helping Jack believe all of this. If it hadn't been for Locke, Jack would not have been able to come to terms with the fact that he needed to accept his destiny as the New Jacob and save the Island (and, in turn, all of humanity).

2) On the Island, until the point where Locke left via the Frozen Donkey Wheel in Season 5, he was 100% Real Locke. Some people wanted me to address the theory that Locke had turned into the MIB or was at least partially being controlled by the MIB as early as the fourth episode ("Walkabout") of Season 1, when Locke first encountered Smokey. To me, this theory doesn't make any sense -- no offense to those who came up with it. If you've got the MIB saying in the Series Finale that John Locke "wasn't right about anything" -- that wouldn't really jibe with the notion that the MIB and Locke were one and the same for Seasons 1 - 5, now would it?

It also wouldn't make sense because Smokey tried to kill Locke by dragging him down into a hole in the ground in the Season 1 finale.

And then there's the fact that Locke realized those who had left with Lapidus were never supposed to have done so -- and he knew that in order for them to each play their individual parts, they all had to come back to the Island, together. If Locke and the MIB were one, why would the MIB want his biggest threats to return? Why would he want them to fulfill their destinies? Why would he care about finding Helen after he was back in the real world? Or Walt? And most importantly, why would the MIB be trying so hard to convince everyone all Season 6-long that Locke was just a crazy fool... if the person we'd come to know and love as John Locke was really the MIB the entire time?

It just doesn't make sense. I think that when Locke "looked into the eye of the Island" during his first encounter with Smokey, all that happened is that Smokey/MIB did his typical "mind scan" routine and then immediately realized that this was a man who could be manipulated. A man who desperately needed to believe in something. A man who needed to feel important. And so Smokey showed Locke a vision -- something that Locke called "beautiful" and later described as a "white light" -- that would make him feel special so that later... much later... the MIB could put his plan into effect.

It was Ben, however, who ensured the success of the MIB's treachery. By killing Locke in Los Angeles and then insisting Dead Locke be taken back to the Island with the rest of the 815ers, Ben unknowingly played right into the MIB's hands. And then when Locke appeared to come back to life after the Ajira flight? Well, Ben was scared to death and knew that he better do whatever "Locke" said... especially after Alex -- in a vision conjured up by Smokey -- told him to. In Ben's eagerness to ensure that he remained the leader of the Others by murdering his biggest threat, he was outwitted by the MIB (whom he didn't even know existed at that point in time). Craziness.


Down near the Heart of the Island, Desmond found his footing and moved toward a pool with a beam of bright light emanating from its center. Scattered around were the skeletons of those who most likely attempted this same mission before him -- that couldn't have been a confidence booster. But it was definitely a hint for us that this Island Drama had been going on a long, long time.

In what might have been the biggest Here Goes Nuthin' moment of the series, Des waded into the water and underwent a unique form of electromagnetic shock therapy. I could barely watch this part -- I was so sure he was going to do whatever he needed to do and then crumple to the ground in a bloody heap.

It turned out that what he needed to do was uncork the light -- a fairly literal translation of Jacob's wine bottle analogy from earlier in the season. Now, I haven't been able to read other takes on the finale, but I do know that a lot of people thought this whole cork thing was lame. While it definitely took me a little off-guard (a cork? really?), I was more perplexed by how UNcorking the light would somehow turn it off. To me it would seem like corking it would make the light go out. But I digress... all that really matters is that there had to be SOMETHING for Des to do down there that Jack could then later undo. None of us knew that Jack would have to undo it as we were first watching it, though, and so it might have seemed a little silly. Quite frankly, if someone had already accepted a Frozen Donkey Wheel as a means of time and space travel on the show, then I really don't understand any bitterness or disbelief over a cork. What else could it have been down there? A gigantic light switch? The means by which Des had to get the job done were neither here nor there -- all that mattered was that when he accomplished his task, it didn't immediately destroy the Island (like the MIB had figured)... nor did it make the MIB go poof (like Jack had figured).

It did seem like the situation was working in the MIB's favor, however. Once the Light went out, the Island began violently shaking, the pool started glowing lava-red, and it appeared that perhaps the volcano that we'd gotten hints about over the past several years was finally going to erupt.

Above ground, Fake Locke's all "Nyah nyah!" and attempts to run off, but not before Jack tackles him, gives him a big ol' punch in the kisser... and then they both realize that Fake Locke is bleeding. So yeah, the Island is falling apart all around them, but the MIB is once again mortal, too. Win-win?

Jack barely had time to fully realize the implications of the MIB's situation and subsequently dazzle us with one of his full-on Cocky Grins before he was pounded with a rock.


In the ALT, things were heating up as the benefit concert got underway. Charlotte and Faraday met for the first time, but neither experienced a flash (that we saw, anyway). Juliet was called back to the hospital, and David and Claire end up at Table 23 (ZOMG THAT'S ONE OF THE NUMBERS!!!) with Kate and Desmond. Des seemed pretty damn pleased with himself, which was hilarious the second time I watched the finale. Kate and Claire were like "What tha...?", which was funny both times.

After an intro by Pierre Chang, Charlie took the stage with Drive Shaft and Faraday (I don't care that his last name's Widmore in the ALT) and started playing some downright awful music. Charlie spotted Claire in the crowd and simply couldn't take his eyes off of her. Here was the woman in his Mariah Carey-like Vision of Love! I adored that part. But then, as we all kinda expected, Claire started having labor pains and left her table to try and... do what exactly? Who knows.

Well, I guess Claire was simply trying to NOT have a baby in front of everyone else. Kate follows her (resulting in another twinkly-eye moment from Des) and, just like on the Island, has to calm Claire down and help her through the delivery. Also just like on the Island, Charlie joins the women but then is sent off to get things that will help.

Unlike Sun's soul-rattling scream or Juliet's Death Fall, Aaron's birth scene is one that I didn't mind seeing again, especially in this new setting. I am so happy that it was THIS experience that brought on Kate's awakening and not something having to do with the freakin' love quadrangle. It proves how much Aaron really did impact her life. I teared up a little during this scene on May 23... but I downright lost it at this part on my recent rewatch.


Next it was Claire and Charlie's turn to experience a rush of memories. (Can we assume baby Turniphead had his own awakening as well?). All of the pieces quickly fell into place for the Bloody Rock God, who hadn't realized the full scope of things during his initial flashes on the ALT 815 flight when he nearly died from choking on a baggie of heroin. Now he remembered you, all, AND everybody! He did know the woman from his earlier vision... he had tried to comfort her on their first days together on the Island (yay for the peanut butter flash!), he had grown to love her, and in the end, he had sacrificed himself in the hopes of saving her and her son.

Outside, Eloise confronted Des about his intentions. She was worried that, despite her warnings, Hume was going to continue to meddle with things and "take" her son. I think this was one of the only instances where Eloise ever looked completely vulnerable. Now we know why. She wanted more time with Daniel... and she needed to get over what must have been extraordinary guilt for killing him. On that note, so many things -- Faraday's death being a prime example -- that I just assumed would magically become "undone" by the end of the series, had truly been set in stone the moment they happened. I know that some people who didn't like the finale's twist never want to revisit earlier seasons of the show, but scenes like Faraday's death (and Alex's death... and Locke's death) -- basically all of the big crazy moments of Season 5 that a lot of us figured could and would be changed -- were real. For me, rewatching them with this new certainty gave them even more gravitas then they had already carried.

Once Charlie, Claire, and Aaron were a big happy family again, Des arrived on the scene with his little told-ya-so look at Kate. It should have been a huge clue as to what was really going on when no one got angry or upset after they relived their memories. It should have been a sign as to what the ALT world represented when everyone seemed at peace and failed to question anything once they had their awakenings... but I still had no clue about the upcoming Gotcha! moment

MOVE, $&%)#!

Over on the Island, the earth was crumbling beneath the survivors' feet. Quake after quake knocked everyone over, and soon a mammoth tree started to fall -- with Hurley in its path. In an uncharacteristically heroic move, Ben pushed Hurley aside and took the hit himself. I think this was the exact moment when Ben finally began an unfettered path toward redemption. He had certainly had his good moments before, but as we'd witnessed earlier in the finale, the more cunning and selfish side of him often reared its ugly head before he ever fully committed to being "one of the good guys."

Sawyer then realized that that the MIB might have defeated Jack and the obliteration of the Island might well be under way. At that same time, Miles radioed in again and said that they'd be taking off from Hydra in the Ajira plane in an hour. That's when Ben let everyone know about Fake Locke's boat.


And now came the time for the final Jack/Fake Locke battle. Thank God it was replete with sleeting rain, earthquakes, bodies flying through the air, AND slo-mo! For it was a very epic battle, indeed.

Fake Locke was peering over the cliff, thinking about how he was going to make his escape before the Island went under, when lo and behold, Jack appeared -- and he wasn't gonna take it anymore! I'm sure it wasn't actually meant to be funny, but I must admit to laughing when the two men starting running toward each other. It was so primal -- like old-school cavemen stuff. Kill or be killed. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, I just found it slightly humorous.

Since I'm admitting I giggled at Jack hurling himself onto Fake Locke, I must also admit to being utterly and completely shocked when he was so viciously stabbed in the gut. There was a part of me that always assumed Jack would die in the finale... but it was a pretty small part. Truth be told, it was really Desmond and Ben who I figured were definite goners. I thought both of them would go out in some completely heroic way, à la Sayid. But I was wrong. Jack's wound was bad, and he knew it. As Fake Locke was in the process of giving him another slash to the neck (the same spot that was constantly bleeding in the ALT), Kate arrived on the scene and showed how well she'd listened to Fake Locke's previous orders.

She growl-yelled "I saved you a bullet!" as she shot the now-mortal Fake Locke. I'm not one for cheesy lines like that, so I definitely cringed at this part. But I was happy that in the end, it was Kate who ended up saving Jack. No, this has nothing to do with my preferences about the love quadrangle (because I had none), it simply means that I appreciated the mirroring (along with the contrast -- yes, there can be both) between the series' pilot and its finale. In the first episode of Season 1, Kate helped Jack by sewing up his nastiness from the plane crash, despite the fact that she was incredibly nervous and thought she might puke. Now here she is at the end of the series, saving his LIFE, and not at all hesitant about doing it. I'm not trying to make any point about Kate growing as a character per se, since we know she was already quite comfortable with violence before she ever stepped foot on Oceanic 815. I just liked how the two scenes seemed to be like bookends or something. Hopefully at least one person out there understands what I'm getting at.


Jack made double-sure the MIB was out of their lives for good by kicking him off of the cliff. And then the directors made sure there were no doubts in the audience's mind by showing him again a while later, still all crumpled on the ledge below. Ding, dong, Fake Locke is dead!

Jack then turned to Hurley and Ben, who had somehow gotten out from under the tree that three people couldn't budge just a little while earlier (seriously, what up with that?). I have to say, I was surprised that Hurley stayed. I guess I thought that Hurley was really one of the only characters remaining -- besides Claire -- who truly had a reason to go back to the real world. That reason being his parents. But perhaps he knew in his heart that he still had another role to play on the Island.

As for Ben, well, it was a given that he would want to hang around. He was truly like a captain determined to stay on board a sinking ship -- and he pretty much said exactly that:

"If the Island's going down, I'm going down with it."


The Island was indeed going down. There was no time for drawn-out goodbyes -- Jack knew he had to go back to the Cave of Light, and that the others had to bust it to Hydra right quick. Kate reluctantly accepted this and gave her ex-fiancé a kiss, they each said "I love you," and then Kate prepared to jump into the ocean and swim to the boat with Sawyer.

Around this time I started to really worry for Jack, Ben, AND Hurley.


In the ALT, Locke's surgery was over, and shortly after he was wheeled into the recovery room he surprised Jack by waking up despite heavy anesthesia. What's more, he claimed to know the surgery worked because he could already feel his legs again. To prove it, he wiggled his toes... which brought on a wave of memories from the Island.

Remember that it's likely Locke had already received a series of flashes after Desmond ran him over earlier in the season... but now John had achieved total recall. I selfishly wish that Locke's awakening had been a little longer and more emotional -- I wish they had shown his off-Island attempts to get the Oceanic 6 to go back, and I also wish we'd seen a glimpse of his reaction in the ALT once he remembered the part about Ben strangling him. But oh, well.

Locke, like all the others who were suddenly in on the big secret, seemed at peace. He wanted the same for Jack, but Jack was too unnerved by everything John was saying. Especially the part about him not really having a son. When I first watched the finale I just chalked that line up to the fact that Locke was so deep in his Island memories that he didn't realize that in the ALT world, Jack DID have a son. Now, of course, I can't believe I didn't register that huge hint.


Elsewhere in the hospital, Sawyer's trying to convince Sun and Jin that he needs to protect them from Sayid, and it takes everything in their power for them not to pat him on the head like an over-eager puppy and then burst out laughing. Sawyer's like, "Whatever!" and goes in search of food -- passing Jack in the hallway and calling him "Doc," presumably out of (subconscious) habit.

Once Sawyer got to the vending machine, we all knew that Juliet wasn't going to be far behind. Which inevitably meant that another round of Juliet's Death Fall lurked in the not-too-distant future. I armed myself with tissues.

Unbelievably, this scene exceeded my very high expectations. I LOVED how they tricked us for an entire year into thinking that Juliet's Season 5 dying words of "It worked" had meant that the Jughead "do-over" plan had succeeded, and that what we were seeing in the ALT was perhaps the result of their efforts. Instead, "It worked" was what Juliet said to Sawyer in the ALT after he followed her advice of unplugging the machine in order to get his Apollo bar out... and she said it at the exact moment that triggered both of their awakenings.


And then yep, of course, there was the freakin' Death Fall again at the end of their respective flashes. Like Sun's Soul-Rattling Scream of Agony, Juliet's Death Fall (well, really more Sawyer's reaction to it) gets me every time. I love, love, LOVED how their conversation about going dutch for coffee was seamlessly woven into the ALT. The editing together of the flashes and the real-time ALT was simply amazing. Juliet's wincing of the painful reality of what happened to her was what I was expecting/hoping for from Locke... but at least we got it here. This scene was perfection. PERFECTION, I tell you!!! Once again I must say that if you weren't impressed by the Juliet/Sawyer reunion sequence, I have to wonder what exactly it would take to make you raise an eyebrow, nod in approval, and utter, "Bravo."

I guess this scene put an end to the Love Quadrangle once and for all. Right?

Over at the concert, Kate was attempting to seduce Jack into remembering his Island life by slinking up to him in that va-va-voom black dress. But he was lame and still in denial.


On the Island, Jack, Hurley and Ben made it back to the Cave of Light, and Hurley finally realized what it was that Jack intended to do. It's always been tough for me to watch Hurley break down, and this time was no exception. Not only was it sad to see him so distraught, but when he took on the Jacob role, it also confirmed my fears that Jack was going to die. Now, I've been annoyed with Jack several times over the years just like everyone else, but I never wanted him to die. Boone? Yes. Ana Lucia? Yes. Nikki and Paulo? Yes. Jack? No.

But there Jack was, dipping a water bottle into some nas-tay (and presumably magic) puddle and then turning over the Island Protector role to his most loyal friend. The only thing that made me feel better about this scene was that it proved correct the hunch many of us had after watching "What They Died For." Here's what I wrote in that post: "Hurley just said, 'I'm just glad it's not me.' That gives me the sinking feeling that something's going to happen to Jack and it WILL be Hurley who has to take over. That line was way too out of place for it to not eventually have meaning."

This was another scene that I thought was handled very well overall -- Hurley's protests were spot-on, but what I loved even more was how the camera cut to Ben, who was clearly uncomfortable and of course more than a little bit forlorn about not being The Chosen One... again. I mean, there's not a guy who loves the Island more than Ben. But that proved to be his downfall, as well... and I think the looks that Ben gave while Hurley was making the transition showed that he was beginning to realize that.


Over on Hydra, Kate and Sawyer make it to shore and find Claire, who was still stubbornly refusing to join their escape. She didn't want Aaron to see her with her bad weave and preferred the company of Squirrel Baby to humans. But Kate tells her that the MIB destroyed Squirrel Baby and so now there's pretty much nothing left for her on the Island... and not to worry because she knows a real good stylist back in LA. So Claire relents and the trio is able to wave down Lapidus before he runs them over.

Miles and No-Longer-Ageless Richard pull their friends on board, and the Ajira plane achieves liftoff. I was 100% expecting it to blow up, or something else major to go wrong. I thought maybe they would slam into the protective shield around the Island and all get nosebleeds and die... but I supposed that once Jacob ceased to exist, all of his ways of keeping the Island hidden went poof as well. Lapidus and crew seemed to be in the clear. I couldn't believe it. But once I started believing it, then I became really sad. Sad because Sawyer was without Juliet, Claire didn't know the son she was going back to, and Kate didn't really have anything TO go back to. Of all of the original 815ers, so few finally had a chance at a "normal" life again.

Then I made myself cheer up by thinking of the possibility of a spin-off entitled No-Longer-Ageless Richard's Adventures in the Real World. Sure, he'd left the Island before... but he was always working for The Others. Now he'd have a chance to... I don't know... go to Vegas! That's a show I want to see! ABC, are you listening?


Now came the moment of truth. Jack went down into the Cave of Light and found a still-alive (yay!) Desmond. Des was totally confused and downright depressed as to why he was "still here" and not in the happy world he'd been sent to during Widmore's experiment. But he quickly got his bearings and tried to talk Jack out of his suicidal plan. Jack replied by ordering him to find a way back to his wife and son, and told him he'd see him in another life, brother. (VERY forced... but you can't blame them for putting it in there.)

Jack helped Des back into the rope sling and then made his way to the drained pool. You could tell his knife wound was getting the best of him, but he still managed to return things to the way they were in the cave... and The Light eventually started glowing as water began rushing in to fill the pool. Jack was whooping it up, all alone -- happy that he finally achieved his purpose on the Island. But all I kept thinking was, "Get out of there, dude! You're gonna drown and/or get electrocuted!!!!"

As Jack and his kinda maniacal laughter dissolved into a sea of yellow light on the screen, I assumed that was the last we would see of him on the Island, and I was not happy.

Above ground, Hurley and Ben hauled the rope up... only to find Desmond on the other end. That's when the loss of his buddy hit Hurley full force, and I was sad all over again.


Believe without a doubt that at this point in the finale, on the night of May 23rd I was experiencing what I can only describe as pure, unadulterated panic. There were mere minutes left in the series, and I couldn't fathom how they were going to be able to explain the ALT and finally reconcile the two worlds and, you know, make Real Locke somehow come to life again on the Island like I always wanted.

I started to get the sinking feeling that there was going to be a huge twist -- the kind of twist that I'd hoped and prayed would never happen. The kind of twist where someone wakes up and it was all a dream... or a virtual reality game... or a science experiment. Something that would negate all of the characters' experiences on the Island.

But I forced myself to stop worrying about it, because it was time for the Locke/Ben reconciliation. Locke pulls up in a cab to the same church where Kate and Desmond had been in the beginning of the episode while they were waiting for Christian's coffin. This was also the same church that served as the home of the Dharma Lamp Post Station in Season 5 -- where Eloise Hawking explained what the Oceanic 6 had to do to get back to the Island -- so I figured that maybe this church would end up being some sort of portal where the Island and ALT worlds would intersect... or SOMETHING. Once again, I was way off.

Ben was sitting quietly in the courtyard as Locke, still in a wheelchair, made his way to the back entrance. I realized at this point that we weren't going to get to see Ben's awakening -- he'd already had it. We can assume he started to piece things together after he saw a few flashes when Des gave him the beatdown in "What They Died For." I'd wager the rest of his memories were brought on by some interaction with Alex shortly thereafter.

Locke and Ben's exchange was brief, but filled with sadness. Ben apologized for what he'd done, and explained he'd acted out of selfishness and jealousy. Locke was a bit confused as to what Ben had to be jealous of, but forgave his old frenemy nonetheless. The two men wouldn't be going inside together, however -- Ben said that he still had some things he needed to work out. His last words to Locke were a gentle reminder that he probably didn't need the wheelchair anymore. And with that, Locke stood up and walked into the church.

I still had no idea what was going on. Did this mean Ben was going to stay in the ALT world while everyone else was going back to the original timeline?!? But wouldn't Locke still be dead in that other timeline?!? GAH!


On the Island, Ben was tending to a passed-out Des, and Hurley was coming to terms with Jack's death and his new appointment as the Island's protector. At first I was like, "Why does there need to be a new Jacob if the MIB is dead?" -- but now I think that over the course of six seasons it became pretty clear that on top of Smokey/MIB, there had been a human threat against the Island as well. Remember that "Mother" -- Jacob and MIB's mom -- was obviously protecting the Island's Light against ne'er-do-wells before her dark-haired son turned into Smokey. There would always be people up to no good that would want to exploit the Island's powers, or turn it into some sort of tourist destination -- or worse -- and so that's why it will always need protecting.

On that note, when The Light was first mentioned this season, I know a lot of people were frustrated about exactly what it was. They wanted a concrete answer. I personally think we had been given one long before we ever learned that there was literally a glowing light in a cave. It was made fairly clear pretty early on that should the Island ever fall into the wrong hands, it would ultimately mean the destruction of the world. I don't know if any of you have ever read The Road (or seen its film adaptation), but in that book -- which takes place in a post-Apocalyptic America -- a father talks to his son about "carrying the fire." That's immediately what I thought of when The Light was first referenced on Lost. Does anyone really need a drawn-out explanation for this? Isn't it pretty reasonable to assume that The Light was meant to represent what is pure and good in the world... and in each of us? Knowledge, empathy, sympathy, kindness, bravery -- all of that. That's what The Light is. And in the universe of Lost, the Island held the source of The Light. Are there other explanations? Of course. But that's mine.

Anywhoo... back to poor Hurley. He was totally distraught about the responsibility he now held and the great burden on his shoulders. He was at a loss as to how he could ever help Des get home -- until Ben reminded him that all of that tomfoolery about not being able to leave was Jacob's way of running things. "Maybe there's another way. A better way," Ben suggested.

And then Hurley asked for Ben's help. I really loved this scene. It was right up there with when those two shared the Apollo bar. They make such an unlikely duo, but somehow it just works. And Ben was finally happy. He wanted nothing more than to help Hurley -- and you could tell that he had absolutely no hidden agenda this time. He wasn't going to try and usurp Hurley's power... he wasn't going to plan a revolt with the remaining Others... he wasn't going to do anything except assist Hurley in figuring out how to go about changing things on the Island for the better.

The next scene took place in the ALT, with Ben still sitting alone in the courtyard. Hurley appeared on the balcony and wondered what Ben was doing, since everyone else was already inside. After Ben told Hurley that he didn't think he was coming, Hurley just smiled and thanked him for being "a real good number two." At this point I was thinking, "OK, so this is taking place AFTER their joint stint ruling the Island... but where are they all going that Ben's not?" I assumed that maybe the rest of the group was going to go back to the Island somehow, but now that Ben had fully realized how much the Island could bring out the bad side of him, he wanted to stay and live out his life in peace with Rousseau and Alex. I was about to find out how wrong I was...


It turns out that Jack did end up leaving the concert with Kate, who of course took him to the church. On top of being a Dharma station, Eloise's office, and a meeting place for the 815ers, it was also where Jack had been planning to hold his father's funeral. Kate told Jack she'd see him inside.

And then the moment of truth was upon millions of Lost fans around the world. WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL WAS GOING ON? On the Island, we saw that Jack had emerged from the cave, and was now lying bloody and broken on the rocks. My first thought that he was going to be the new MIB (remember that MIB's body has been found in a very similar position) and I was like, "AWW HELL NAW!" But then Jack got up and started limping toward the bamboo grove. He didn't look treacherous or evil or possessed. I let out a sigh of relief.

Then the scene switched to the ALT. What I figured at the moment Jack went in and was alone with the coffin was that he would open it up and he would be inside of it. I didn't have enough time to process what the implications of that would be, and I was definitely still thinking that the two timelines were going to merge... or one was going to win out and destroy all evidence of the other... or something like that. Now I know that it was this total and complete lack of preparedness for the Big Twist that caused my initial knee-jerk reaction to the final scene to be one of disbelief... and hate.

So Jack places his hand on the coffin, much like he did back at Hoffs-Drawler funeral home after Locke (or, "Jeremy Bentham") died. It was this gesture that brought back the flood of memories from the Island. He touched the coffin a second time, and even more flashes appeared. But dammit, he still didn't get what was going on... though I finally did.

"#($%*#(@(%*$(#(!!!!! THEY'RE ALL #)$%*@#*#)$#)%)## DEAD!!!" I either shouted out loud or screamed inside my head (I had friends over, so I was probably trying to be polite) around this time. I was sorely, sorely disappointed when it all dawned on me.

Because I was so utterly thrown by what was going on and in denial that it was happening, I don't think I actually heard what Christian said to Jack the first time I watched the finale. If I had, it would've made me feel much better -- immediately. For I had assumed that all of the Losties had ALWAYS been dead -- ever since Oceanic 815 crashed on the Island. That the Island really had been freakin' purgatory like so many people had insisted ever since Episode 1. But ol' Zombie Dad was quick to say that wasn't the case: "Everything that's ever happened to you is real."

I just wasn't listening.


Christian went on to say that where they were was a place they'd all created in order to be able to find each other again. Some of the people who were there had died before Jack, and some who were there had actually passed away long after. Basically they were in a place that wasn't really anywhere on the space-time continuum, which I later had to chuckle about, because as we all know from the backwards-audio in the Clockwork Orange Rave Room from Season 3, "Only fools are enslaved by time and space."

When I spent some time thinking about this "place" that we referred to as the ALT throughout all of Season 6, I came to the conclusion that it was in no way Heaven... or the afterlife... or anything that may be connected with any particular religion. This extravagant world that the characters lived in without realizing they were dead was something they had to power to create BECAUSE they were on the Island. ONLY because they were on the Island. That was one of the Island's powers, and they all figured it out and made use of it in order to reunite one final time before... before what exactly? Who knows!?! But in no way do I think that the writers were trying to say that this is what happens to ALL of us after we die. It's what happened to these characters because of the extraordinary experience they shared on the Island. (Oh, and by the way... since Des was uniquely and miraculously special, he got to bring Penny along for the ride. See? Is it that hard to come up with our own answers? I think not!)


And so Jack sees all of his old friends again, and then Locke speaks the final words of the entire series: "We've been waiting for you."

If you didn't realize it before, you probably have since: Lost was very much about Jack. Sure, it was about all of the other characters we loved as well and their respective paths to redemption, but clearly The Mad Doctor was the one that they all didn't want to -- or couldn't -- move on without. The series began with him and it ended with him. It revolved around him needing to fulfill his destiny -- the six seasons followed his journey to come to terms with the fact that he even had a destiny in the first place. And here I was SO SURE that it was all going to be about Locke. Realizing it wasn't was like when it dawned on me that the Star Wars films weren't about Luke, but rather Anakin. D'oh!

Back on the Island, Jack comes to his ultimate resting place -- exactly where he first woke up in the bamboo grove after the Oceanic crash. And then -- I don't care WHAT you thought about the finale -- when Vincent padded along and settled in next to Jack as he took his dying breaths? Well, we all lost it there, didn't we?

In the church, the reunion has settled down, and everyone takes their seats -- looking very much like they were all back on a plane. Christian walks down the aisle and opens the door to let a blinding white light stream in and engulf the room. Everyone looks happy and at peace.

On the Island, Jack gazes up at the sky and sees his friends flying home to safety in the Ajira jet, and he knows he has done his job. He fixed things.

And with that, the series concluded exactly the opposite of how it began -- and of how many of us thought it would end: Jack closed his eyes.


As I mentioned, oh, 12,000 or so words ago, I'm not here to try and convince anyone of anything. I'm not here to try to change anyone's mind about the finale, and I'm certainly not trying to defend the show's writers. But a comment left by LLL reader "bill" on my Instant Reaction post intrigued me. He observed that the people he knew who didn't like the finale could explain why they didn't like it... but those who approved of it could only say "I liked it" without any further discussion. So now what I'm going to try and do is explain exactly why I liked the finale.

Regarding what many viewed as an overtly religious theme in the last episode... like I said above, I think that what we saw was what happened to the characters on Lost. I never felt like the writers were trying to suggest that this is what happens to everyone after they die. And I definitely don't think they were attempting to push some sort of Christian view of Heaven or anything like that. In fact, I was a bit annoyed at how blatant they were at putting just about every religion known to man's symbols all around in rooms where Jack and Christian were having their little chat. It was like they wanted to ensure everyone saw something from their own religion, and I thought it was a bit pandering. On that note, I can certainly see why atheists were annoyed... but yet there have been very, VERY overt religious symbols and undertones in the show since the first episode back in 2004, so it's not like the writers were trying to pull some "Gotcha!" move in that respect. These religious themes were nothing new.

Further, at no point was it explained what was going to happen next to the Losties. All we know is that because of their time on the Island, they were able to all reunite once they'd died... but BEFORE whatever happens next. So pretty much anything's game. They could go to Heaven... they could be reincarnated... or they could just dissolve into dust and it's game over. We don't know, because that's not what the point was. The point of the entire series was that "no one does it alone." It wasn't "Hey, we're going to trick millions of unsuspecting dorks around the world into believing in X religion!"

I consider myself a spiritual person, but not necessarily a religious one. I have traveled all over the globe and have spent time with people who celebrate all different religions. Yep, even that one. Yes... even THAT one! (The world's major religions have much more in common than most people assume, by the way...)

I also have several friends who are atheists and I understand where they are coming from, too, even though I myself do believe that there is some sort of higher power out there. But I have no idea what happens after we die, and I don't think anybody does. So was I offended that my favorite show depicted "moving on" as being engulfed by a bright white light? No. Did I like the idea that perhaps -- even if you never spent any time on a magical Island -- you could meet up with your loved ones after you die? Of course I liked it. Why wouldn't I want to see all my peeps again? I don't see what the issue is, and I truly didn't understand what the controversy was over this part.

And yeah... they all met up in a church. So what? Were people not watching the same show I was watching all along? There were ALWAYS religious themes in this series! And really, where else were the Losties supposed to meet up? Walmart? Seriously -- it makes me very, very, very sad... crushed, even... to think that some fans' enjoyment and love of the show was ruined by something like the fact that the final scene was in a church. Could it be that people were interpreting that scene in a way that was never intended? Did it touch on a nerve it wasn't meant to? Is it possible that people were just upset that they didn't see THIS particular ending coming and so they felt "tricked"? Was it really SO BAD that someone would feel compelled to write off the entire six-season run? I just don't get it. I'm not being sarcastic here. I really don't get the disappointment.


So I covered the fact that I liked the finale because 1) I took no issue with its depiction of a pseudo-afterlife that only existed for the Losties, 2) I like the overall idea of being able to reunite with loved ones once you've passed on, and 3) the religious overtones were nothing new and therefore nothing for me to get annoyed about at this late stage in the game.

But the biggest reason I liked the finale is that -- despite how incredibly badly I wanted to see Locke alive and well and running around throwing daggers on the Island in all of his glory once again -- there was no twist that wiped out everything we'd seen our beloved characters experience since 2004.

That is what I was most worried about all along. I know that a good chunk of the fan base was hoping for some huge shocker that would throw the entire series into a new light, thereby making a rewatch not only fun, but almost necessary. I wanted nothing of the sort. I wanted everything that happened on the Island to be real. I think if it hadn't been, that would've been the biggest cheat of all. Everything we saw the 815ers (and others) go through would've been pointless had the Island never existed, or had the ALT truly been a different timeline where Oceanic never crashed, or had it all been a virtual reality game, or whatever.

So I can only assume that a significant percentage of the people who didn't like the finale were mad that they don't have a good reason to rewatch the series. They WANTED a big switcheroo that changed the game and had far-reaching implications, back to the beginning of the series... so they felt tricked because the ALT didn't provide that -- and they never saw the twist that it did bring coming. Whereas I never saw the ALT's twist coming, either, but would have felt tricked if it had been pretty much anything other than it was. Once I realized that I'd misinterpreted the final moments, I couldn't have been happier with how everything was tied up. And if there's anything worth rewatching -- it's Season 6. There are hints about "letting go" right from the beginning -- including Rose telling Jack that "he can let go now." (Of course he didn't listen, though.)

In the end, Lost was about people who crashed on a magic Island -- how the relationships they formed and the experience they had changed the rest of their lives. There was never going to be any big shocker of an ending that threw the entire series into a new light. The fact that all of us were expecting one is probably what led to a knee-jerk reaction of disappointment for many people. It did for me -- I thought I had the ALT all figured out. But after mulling it over for five months, I dare say there's no better way the story could have ended.


Lest anyone think that I felt the entire series was flawless, I will now list the things that bothered me the most:

  • Pretty much the entire Jacob/MIB arc -- including Jacob's "followers" like Ilana and Bram. Believe it or not, I don't think any of it was needed. I think that they could've actually achieved all of the same major plot points without us ever physically seeing Jacob, or knowing any of his/the MIB's backstory. Smokey could've just been a badass spirit on the Island and he could've still hijacked Locke's body. The Island could have been responsible for summoning each of the characters to their Oceanic flights. And then we would've been spared "Across the Sea" (Jacob/MIB's backstory), one of my least favorite episodes ever.
  • Keeping with the above, I'm disappointed that we nerds spent so much time trying to figure out who matched "Jacob's eye" ... and then his profile in the cabin... and who broke the ash circle, and all of that stuff, when none of that ended up making any sense at all. First the ash ring was meant to keep Jacob (?) in the cabin... or was it Smokey? Then it was meant to keep Smokey out of the Temple grounds... but Dogen also had to be alive for it to work. Huh? I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.
  • The poorly written dialogue attempting to clarify the more confusing elements of the show. Exhibit A: Faraday trying to explain the time-jumping. Exhibit B: Ms. Hawking trying to explain what the Island was. Exhibit C: Michael trying to explain the whispers. I apparently was in the minority and did NOT want answers, especially if they were going to come in such awkward form. Which leads me to...
  • "The New Man in Charge." Lord, how I despised this "epilogue" that was included on the Season 6 DVD set. So I'm not even going to talk about it. I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist. Because those 12 minutes, my friends, are what happens when a show's writers are trying to appease part of a fan base that is unhappy about not having absolutely everything spoon-fed to them.
  • I feel that Widmore's storyline ended much too abruptly, and I think overall his character was given the short shrift. He was a badass mo-fo and after all that back and forth and cat and mouse FOR DECADES with Ben -- who supposedly COULDN'T kill him because of "the rules"... he gets shot to death by Ben? Whaaaa?

All in all, there's not a lot I didn't like about the show. Were there more things than the above that annoyed me over the past six years? Yes -- a ton. But I can't even remember them now. So that means that they weren't that disruptive.


And now, a word on my favorite character and the namesake of this site: John Locke. I've already said that I really thought he would be alive and well again by the end of the series. Now that I know that he truly was murdered by Ben (in the episode I saw filming in Hawaii, no less!) and that he felt dejected and like a failure when he died... and that he really did write a suicide note to Jack that simply said, "I wish you had believed me"... it just breaks my heart. It also blows me away that the writers took such a HUGE gamble by killing off one of the most -- if not THE most -- beloved characters on the show. I mean, Terry O'Quinn won an Emmy for that role, for God's sake. That's confidence, people. But if they hadn't done it, we wouldn't have gotten to see the awesomeness that was Terry as the MIB. Those devilish looks will haunt my nightmares for years to come, I tell you.

I've made peace with Locke's story arc now. Although Locke didn't survive until the end of the series, Jack couldn't have fulfilled his destiny and saved the Island (and the world) without him. Locke was a man who had a pretty boring life before he came to the Island. Boring... and so, so pitiful. Man oh man, how I cried at all of his flashbacks... his backstory just kept getting worse and worse! But then he came to the Island, and he could walk again. And he had the time of his life when he was there. The Island gave him the power to walk again SO THAT he would come to believe so vehemently that they were all brought there for a reason, and that the Island was a special place in need of protection.

He had his moments of doubt, but overall his conviction in the roles they were each meant to play is what led him to leave the Island and try to get everyone to come back. That same conviction is what ended up helping Jack to see the light. Ben saw Locke's power, too... he saw that the Island smiled kindly upon him -- and, as he admitted at the very end, it made him jealous. Jealous enough to want to get Locke out of the picture permanently.

Locke's story is also ultimately a cautionary tale about not just believing in something blindly. His faith in the island -- which was understandable because he was miraculously able to walk again after the crash -- led him to quickly be identified by the MIB/Smokey as someone who could be easily manipulated. But in the end, it was that same naive nature of Locke's that helped Jack realize the man he was once at odds with had spoken the truth -- they were all there for a reason.

Do I wish things had turned out differently for old baldie? Duh, yes, of course. Seeing him so at peace with Helen was the main thing that made me start hoping that perhaps the ALT was real. If I were writing the show, would I have found a way to bring Locke back, and would the final shot of the series be on the Island with the rain pouring down on Locke's face and him smiling and raising his hands toward the heavens in a moment of pure happiness? Um, yes. But do I like the show any less because this isn't what happened? NO.


So here's the deal. There's a ton more that I want to say, but it's been over five months since the finale, and I've been trying to finish this post for the past several weeks. If I don't wrap it up now, it's never going to happen. So allow me to quickly cover some of my favorite things about the series, with the promise that I intend to revisit a few points in more detail come early next year.

I loved:

  • How we all got so great at figuring out anagrams
  • Looking for Easter eggs and giving the pause-button a workout
  • That people were moved to read books that appeared in the show
  • That the cast and crew met so many fans at so many incredible events around the world, and that so many Lost fans met each other
  • All of the hilarious show-inspired t-shirts
  • That I would lay in bed with my mind whirring for hours after every episode
  • That the show motivated people -- myself included -- to visit the gorgeous island of Oahu
  • How so many smart and dedicated fans came up with elaborate theories that actually made sense!
  • That the show drew upon everything from pop culture, to physics, to philosophy, to ancient history, to religious works (and more)
  • That Lost made people THINK
  • The fact that we will never be able to see the numbers without pausing
  • How millions of people around the world now have the love for this show in common
  • That Jack and Locke proved there's room for both science AND faith
  • That I was inspired to start writing again because of Lost... and that so many others were as well


I want to thank each and every one of you who have checked back in to see if I was ever going to finish what I started! I really appreciate your incredible patience, and I'm thrilled to have gotten to know so many of you over the years.

This is not goodbye. This is not the last post I'm going to write about Lost. Sorry Zombie Dad, but I can't let go just yet. After I'm past all of the hoopla with my book launch, I intend to do some sort of "Reader Mailbag" thing starting in January 2011. I'll write a short post when I'm ready to have people submit questions for it.

Until then, I've covered in this post how you can keep track of me and what's going on with my adventures in publishing. I hope you keep in touch!

And last, but not least...


JACK: Jacob didn't say anything to me about Desmond.

SAWYER: Doesn't sound like he said anything about anything.

HURLEY: That's kinda of true, dude. He's worse than Yoda.


HURLEY: None of this is ringing a bell, is it? You me, tranquilizer gun?

SAYID: You are insane.


JACK: I'm gonna kill you.

MIB/FAKE LOCKE: How do you plan to do that?

JACK: That's a surprise.


RICHARD: Can you fix it?

MILES: I don't believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape.

Don't cry, Jack!


I wish I had some sort of award to give out to anyone who read all of this, but I don't. But you do have my sincere thanks. I hope it was worth the wait!

Until the first edition of Reader Mailbag...
- e


Erika (aka "e") said...

Here are the songs I drew from for the section headings:

Dey Know (Remix) – Shawty Lo
Do Re Mi – The Sound of Music soundtrack
Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
Every Day is a Winding Road – Sheryl Crow
So Much to Say – Dave Matthews Band
New Version of You/Felicity Theme Song – JJ Abrams and Andrew Jarecki
Hallelujah – Ryan Adams
In My Life – The Beatles
Superman (It’s Not Easy) – Five for Fighting
Touch of Grey – Grateful Dead
Blue Orchid – The White Stripes
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Jungle Love – Steve Miller Band
Bells for Her – Tori Amos (changed female references to male)
Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant
Jungle Love – Steve Miller Band (again)
You Were Meant for Me – Jewel
Move B!tch – Ludacris
Are You Gonna Go My Way? – Lenny Kravitz
That’s All – Genesis
Say Goodbye to Hollywood – Billy Joel
Happiness – Grant Lee Buffalo
Again – Janet Jackson
Just Breathe – Pearl Jam
Dirty Water – The Standells
Wild Thing – Tone Loc
If I Ever Lose My Faith in You – Sting
Closer to Free – BoDeans (Party of Five shout-out!)
Dying – Hole
42 – Coldplay
Ms. Jackson – Outkast
Instant Karma – John Lennon
Thank U – Alanis Morissette
My Happy Ending – Avril Lavigne
Close Enough to Perfect for Me – Alabama
Good Enough – Sarah McLachlan
My Favorite Things – The Sound of Music soundtrack
With a Little Help from My Friends – The Beatles


- e

Arjun said...

Saved for a long read that I can savour. This is the last post and it deserves respect!

Marebabe said...

Oh, goody!! I've just skimmed through it and looked at all the pictures and headings... and NOW, I'm going to read slowly and savor every word. Thank you for this! Thanks for all your epic posts about LOST.

Anonymous said...

wow, e... that was *amazing*...

*kristYn from cali*

MamaJolley said...

I read most of it - will go back and read/re-read when I have more time.

Thanks, e - and I'm with you about having so many friends as a result of Lost. Very cool!!

Unknown said...

Beautiful recap, E!
For me, the final episode was perfect!
Sure, there were some questionable episodes along the way, but in "The End" it was all worth it!

Thanks for the ride, Erika!


solmaz said...

Thank you Erica for your post and for reminding us what a great show it is. We dedicated 6 years of our lives to LOST so I can say that I didnt mind dedicating so many minutes of my time reading the finale post. I love this show and it was all worth it.
Also, I am glad to hear that your brother is cancer free and doing great.

jezz said...

I just wanted to say a big massive THANK YOU! Ive really enjoyed reading your posts over the years and you have made Lost more enjoyable for us. We have had our own theories during the 6 seasons and every time checked out what 'Erika' thought and were always pleased when it happened to be the same as we thought!

I loved everything about Lost including the finale, for me it answered enough questions to leave me with tears in my eyes but a smile on my face. I absolutely loved the claire/charlie scene and have watched it 3 times now and cried everytime!

Thank you once again Erika and i look forward to your new posts in January 2011 have a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful New Year xxxx

Anna said...

aw, E, it was worth the wait! The only regret I have is not finding your blog until the 5th season!

I read it straight through, laughing (IN THIS OTHER PLACE YOU'RE NOT SO PISSY, BROTHA!) and crying, reliving it all over and over. I've rewatched the finale a few times since May and each time I love it more and more.
Your bookend theory about Kate and Jack was right on, I dug it, believe it, and I'm sure I won't be the only one.

I cannot tell you how much your personal thoughts meant in this, I hear you, I really do. My dad died in 1997 and we used to watch all kinds of stuff together, The Twilight Zone probably the most, and back, way back in the day where you threw out the MIB/Devil theory, I think I said it before, it gave me goosebumps! This show has linked so many things together for me, and I'm so happy there are other crazies out there like me who dug it and saw it in a personally positive light.
Thanks for taking the time to do this, it has literally made my day!

Dave Murray said...

Thanks for the write-up. Your passion for Lost and the peace you've made with its conclusion mirrors my own. I have my own opinion on two points and thought you might want to reflect on them:

First, "This extravagant world that the characters lived in without realizing they were dead was something they had to power to create BECAUSE they were on the Island."

In my view the opposite is true. The producers are putting this experience out there as a potential thing that could happen to any of us when we die. What mattered the most was not that each character had an adventure on a magical island, but that they made connections and helped each other get where they needed to be: the example of Locke helping Jack believe is a great one, and "nobody does it alone" and all that.

The display of various religious icons was not a defensive "don't judge us!" move, but a reflection of the fact that what happened in ALT was not invented by the producers but rooted in ideas from all of those religions. The idea of being at peace and not afraid when confronted with death, of making connections, of experiencing a "life review", and so on.

Taken this way, Lost is a source of ideas or template to live our own lives: make connections with others, learn to let go, and don't forget to have fun (build a golf-course, push a VW down a hill) from time to time. In the end, even if we die and don't wake up to a limbo where we re-connect with our loved ones past and living, what about the way we lived could have been improved?

I've been thinking about life, death, and consciousness since Lost ended (also coincidental with turning 30 this year) and sense that the producers of Lost have had the same thoughts and conversations and what's on screen is the output of that.

Second, I hope that you'll give The New Man in Charge the same benefit of a second viewing that you did the finale. I think it will benefit in a similar way. I think of the first part of TNMIC as just good fun, having a little fun with the questions that Lost raised and some peoples' fixation with them. The second part is more narrative and emotional and to me it strikes the right balance of adding to the story by hinting at its epilogue without tarnishing the perfect ending of The End.

Good luck with your book and future endeavors.

- Dave

Scott said...

I'm starring this one in Google Reader to come back to tonight, when the kids are down and the house is quiet. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks again for keeping us updated and throwing down the LOST 411 over the years. Reading the last post tonight will be bittersweet.

Congrats again on the book!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing about your brother. You're absolutely right that the way that we viewed the show was shaded by our real life experiences.

Two days after Sun and Jin were murdered together on TV, my aunt and uncle were murdered together in real life. It certainly changed the way that I saw "The Candidate". One one hand, it was hard to find entertainment out of murder. On the other, it was made even more poignant.

Still reeling from the funeral and figuring out how their 5 children keep going, "The End" came along. I'd be lying if I said that I loved it, but there was something beautiful about believing that death is not the end. It wasn't a hack religious version of heaven but a longing affirmation that there is something else--something better.

I've been so grateful for this show, and I miss it dearly. Thanks for your wonderful insight.

Jennifer Isaac said...

Love it, love it, love it! Thank you! Ready to get back on track now with my rewatch. And so excited about the reader mailbag - I've actually stayed off the blogs, etc. since the day after the finale cause it was just too sad, but I know your Reader Mailbag will be just the ticket!

Scott said... I'm crying all over again.

In case you're interested, I put up my thoughts on the "Sideways Timeline" a while back, and I think they are pretty similar to yours.

Thank you SO much for sharing this your time, talent, and passion for this show with us. You and your blog not only greatly enhanced my experience watching LOST, it even inspired me to start doing my own recaps, which re-awakened my love for writing.

Thanks again, and good luck with your book!

Joshua said...

Brilliant post, wonderful recap... I will miss your episode recaps, e!!

I loved the finale and bawled each time I watched it (currently 5 lol).

Glad you enjoyed it (after a while) :)

Josh x

Anonymous said...

Great job E! Very much worth the wait!

Kelly, UK said...

Thanks e, that was epic! I will have to read it again. Still not very pleased with the wimpish way they tried to please every religion (which I don't think are all compatible), but overall I have loved watching Lost and getting to know the characters and watching them grow. It truly was a journey, and one I will have to relive one day from start to finish.
Your thoughts have always helped me to order my thoughts and sometimes consider things from a different angle. I only followed your blog because it seemed to me the best around. I love the comedy you draw out, your honest and emotional response, and the conviction and questioning in your writing, digging deeper. You've made the experience much richer and I love the community feeling on here. Thanks for all your hard work, and for free! A labour of love. Outstanding!

HeavyRaines said...

Thanks Erika, definitely worth the wait!

The people who are irritated by the spirituality of the finale just don't get it. I am a devout atheist but I still loved the ending and thought it was a great story. Just because you don't believe in it, doesn't mean you have to poo-poo a work of fiction that references it. BAH!

SKID said...


It's me the Faraday Tie guy. . . .and yes I bid on it during the auction . . . only to be outbid by like $2,000. Oh well.

Loved the final post.

One thought . . .

Might you separate the Epilogue (you said you hated) into TWO distinct sections?

The first 6-7 minutes of cheesy "Let's answer some questions to quiet the rising tidal wave of outrage" is one I join you and others with a collective cringe . . .

. . . but the final few minutes that chose to not GIVE me an "answer" but at least allowed me to IMAGINE . . . the reunion between Walt and Vincent.

THAT scene played out in my mind gave me much needed closure.

I will check back for more.

What a journey. In the words of Bernard . . . I hope you find what you are looking for.


Unknown said...

Thanks E-I am crying like a baby just like I did the night of the finale. I haven't watched it again for that very reason! Am I the only person that wanted them to stay on the island to be the new protectors (or others)? I could have dealt with that better :(

Unknown said...

Another great recap! I do miss them so.
I'm of the thinking that the island was originally intended to be purgatory and once that was figured out the writers went with a plan B. I can't blame them for an instant, they had a show to make and I think they did a great job. I was a bit shocked back at the reveal but this was never anything new for this show. I was shocked by most of the finales, this one shouldn't have been any different. I think I was more worried (and rightly so) about everyone complaining about it. I could feel the complaining instantaneously.
While I loved the finale the first time I watched it (for the record - It was beautifully done! The awakenings were lovely and make me ball like a baby every time. The final battle between Jack and Locke was exciting, includeing that slow mo jump of Jack's that only a commercial ruined. I loved the callback to Jack and Kate talking about a "Locke problem" and Kate telling Jack she'd have his back. Boy did she! The whole finale was perfectly executed even if that last 5 minutes or so was a shock. So there haters! I have lots of reason for loving it, you want more, let me know) I continue to love it more with every viewing and there have been several viewings. It was a touching and thoughtful ending to the show. Maybe folks wanted more of a season 4 finale, all hectic and explosiony, but I thought this ending was sweet and I much prefer it.
I've made some great friends through this show and I've had many great experiences and have been to some awesome parties for this show. It's been a fabulous ride that I wouldn't trade for anything. Aw, I'm getting sad again, I do miss the show. Better suck it up and get back to work.

Looking forward to your future endeavors!

Robert Chapman said...

*Raises an eyebrow* *nods in approval* Brawo! What a fantastic article, my friend!

I found this article through a re-tweet on Twitter and when I saw how huge it was, I didn't plan on reading all of it. Surprisingly (and yet, not so surprisingly) I was unable to stop reading, absolutely amazing finale/series review.

I want to also say that I'm really glad you're brother is okay. Glad your story there had a happy ending.

I was planning on doing a re-watch for Lost any day now, been gearing up towards it since the series ended, but now ... I'm sure I'll still do it, but I realize how inferior anything I could ever write will be compared to this absolutely amazing article. I really have no idea who you are or anything, like I said, just saw that Twitter post and was drawn to it, but geez ... you're one special girl. Amazing writing there.

Um... I have a blog where I do gaming/television articles ( and I will be doing some more Lost posts, but I certainly have my work cut out for me if I want to do anything close to as epic as this is. I agree with everything you've written here, they are literally my thoughts put on paper... er ..internets. Although when the final twist was revealed I stood up (exactly the same as I did with the season 3 finale) before anyone else in the room and shouted that I knew what was going on. "They're dead! They all met up in heaven!" although it's not exactly heaven, as you said.

Anyways! Long comment. Awesome read! Already re-tweeted it myself and I'll probably link to it when I start writing my articles on the re-watch. keep up the amazing work. Love Live Locke!

Anonymous said...

It was worth the wait. I loved it.
I thought The End was perfect. I so disagree with the comment that those who loved the finale can't say why they loved it and you proved it so well. The only thing I was disappointed with at first was the fact that I didn't feel like rewatching the entire show but guess what? I am rewatching it already and I'm loving it.
I haven't been able to let go yet. I'm rewatching the show, I still visit Lost blogs everyday. Now that your finale post is up I feel like there's no more Lost stuff for me to wait for and that makes me so sad. Thank you for the ride, E!

Unknown said...

Whoops! You know what I meant. Long Live Lost!

Sava said...

Hey Erika,
Great job finishing up an epic tale, and I'll miss the memories of watching the episodes of Lost and Apprentice. Very fond remembrances.

I, unfortunately, was not a fan of the series' ending, and hoped that they would've followed Stephen King's precedent about ending the story with many open questions in order to savor the journey and leave the imagination to wander. While he does go ahead and answers many/most of the open questions in the epilogue/Coda (, he gives the author a chance to reflect.

While ABC and the fan base wouldn't approved, I think a such an excellent and well-written series would've been immortalized even more.

Thanks again, Erika, for being a great fan--- it was great to share a part of it with you.

Anonymous said...


I thought it was cool that Jack turned over the reigns to Hurley, because (back in season 1, when Hugo built a golf course), Jack told Kate something along the lines of:

'I havent been able to sleep because I'm trying to make everyone feel safe; Hurley builds of golf course and everybody feels safe'

I thought that really reflected Jack telling Hurley-
'It was supposed to be me so I could (save the island)... but if somebody has to protect it... it should be you, Hugo.'

Unknown said...

YAY have waited so long for the wrap up and it was worth it! I loved the finale and really enjoyed reading all you thoughts! Thanks!

Katie Kat said...

Ah Erica, you just simply ROCK! I'm all misty-eyed again. And NO, I didn't go watch the finale again, because I've watched it TWICE and I end up crying so hard, I can't stand it!

I thought the show ended so beautifully, so perfectly - it just slammed me in the emotional solar plexus! It filled every need I had for the show, even though it didn't do a lot of things I thought I wanted it to.

One of the most amazing things to me matched up perfectly with one of your points here - I was all set to re-watch the show and find all the answers and have all the mysteries solved, but now I have NO desire to re-watch it at all. And I don't mean that in a bad way! I just mean, it's DONE. I feel like I knew these people and lived their lives with them, and now they have gone on to WHATEVER better place there is.

I've adored ALL of your insight. You and Vozzek were my FAVE Lost bloggers and you are both still people I respect and will continue to love reading your stuff.

Good luck on the book - we'll keep up with you on Facebook and LLL!

Matt Roeser said...

hey e! AWESOME can't wait to read this! now that you've finished this post, you should write a "guest" post for our LOST Rewatch...

Check it out:


Anonymous said...

Congrats E! And thank God this post is done. I can finally re-watch the finale and delete that 2.5 hour episode from my DVR! I've been looking forward to the post, and your book, for sometime. Good luck!

~Karen~ said...

Dearest Erika,
Thank you for the shout-out. You and I both know this is waaaay more than a TV show.
It has played an important role in our particular journey and will always hold a special place in our heart. For me it was a great source of strength and enlightenment while I struggled through the most important and challenging time in my life.

I know we both have more LOST to write about. For me, there is always something new to learn from this wonderful story. It truly has taught me many things, and on many levels.
I am very grateful that LOST brought us together and I am proud to know we are forever friends.

Alisha Rene' said...

e - I'm still not done reading. Had to make dinner and all (families, jeesh, the nerve)
So far, I lurve everything. I am one of the people that from the very beginning of The End - I absolutely, unconditionally loved all of it.
A recall an interview with Darlton about what was important to the characters equates to what was important to what was told. I let go, enjoyed that ride and cried to my wee heart's content the reunions and realizations.
I have completed my first novel, with never an intention to write one, because of LOST. I have met people and gained friendships that NEVER would have existed without it.
I support my love of the way it ended by saying it had so much more to do with life than the way a regular television show. Things that I correlate to it will be forever linked.
I have enjoyed all you have shared with us and I'm going back to finish the rest of the post. thanks again e, for everything.

Anonymous said...

Dear Erica,
I loved your post and agreed with 99% of it. Can't believe this is the last post on new material. Your humor and insights have made watching Lost an even richer experience.
The 1%: I agree with Dave Murray's comment about the life they all made together being accessible to everyone, not just those who lived together on the island.

Erika (aka "e") said...

Just wanted to thank everyone for their nice comments...

... and also say that I LOVE the idea Dave Murray (above) put forth about how what happened to the Lost characters is a potential for any of us. That is quite a comforting thought indeed. Thanks for sharing it, Dave!

- e

chopster said...

Thank you for this! I was eagerly but patiently waiting. It was worth the wait!! I will now re-watch the show with your comments in mind and I will eagerly watch for your future comments in the new year. Best Wishes in all your new endeavours!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I can't say i loved the ending as it just brought up more questions. Like can Ben go on living in the alt-verse and how and when did hurley die etc etc etc. Like many others i planned a re-watch of the entire series but after that ending there is no way I would do it if I was paid.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, e, your finale recap was defnitely worth waiting for. Five paragraphs in I was crying, then laughing, then in total agreement with you and then not. I had the same roller coaster of emotions that I had with LOST over the past 6 years.

I, too, went through several years of traumatic emotional family events while LOST was on the air (2004-2008). I believe I identified with the characters and themes so strongly because I needed something to believe in during this trying time, and something to take me away from what I was going through. As ultra cheesy as it sounds, LOST was my saving grace during this part of my life.

The way you described your confusion and emotions at the end of THE END was so close to what I felt when watching it. I was confused, upset, bewildered and I, too, thought they were trying to say the LOSTies were dead the whole time. I was at the Jay & Jack finale screening in LA and couldn't even stay there for the after-podcast live taping because I was so upset. I kept thinking..."Why is everyone else not as upset as me? Did I miss something? Am I the only one who didn't 'get it'?"

I stayed home from work the next day to re-watch it and got so much more out of it. I cried my eyes out and felt really at peace with the ending.

My final take on it was that the myths, the details, the Others, the whispers, the numbers, yadda yadda yadda...none of it mattered except for this wonderful group of people who cared for each other and shared this incredible experience. I try to think of that when I get bogged down at work, or at home with bills and the end it all means nothing, and the only thing that matters is who we loved and who loved us.

Thank you for sharing your LOST journey with us and for making us laugh and cry along with you.

Jennifer said...

Erika- when I learned you posted this today, I was so anxious to click on it and voraciously read it! I love your posts and blog, and was thrilled to learn it was finished. But when I actually saw it, I paused for a minute, and thought twice because now it really all feels "over". Sigh....First off, I had no idea about your brother. I am so glad you shared that with us, and so happy to hear he is cancer free! I had very different feelings the 2nd time I watched the finale of LOST, too. I was so confused/caught off guard to fully understand it when it first aired. Plus, I was in a room full of people and we were all talking and crying and tired from our all night LOST party! I rewatched it later in the week alone. Big mistake- way too emotional! But wow, what an ending it was, and I am so glad I was hooked for 6 years! Thanks for all of your posts and sharing your devotion with everyone! Also, I loved the use of the Po5 theme song lyrics "Everybody wants to be closer to free"! The only reason I even started watching LOST was because "Charlie" from Po5 was in it! haha!
Best wishes for you and your writing career and thank you for sharing part of it with us!


Kim-the-girl said...

I think I let out a whoop of delight when I saw your new post... THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! This was amazing, well worth the wait. Made me want to go back and watch all of season 6...

Unknown said...

Well, you've done it again. A great review.
It was really worth the wait, and getting to read more about how you got started only made it better.
And now its my turn to thank you for making me, and tons of more people, enjoy Lost 4815162342 times more than I would have if I havent read your reviews.
Will look forward for your book.
Sincerely, a since-mid-3rd-season-mexican Fan.

Anonymous said...

A short comment on your "controlling" skills. If you were on the island you wouldn't have been on Team Jack just because he is a controlling character as well. Therefore a conflict issue may had risen.
My thought is that you would be leading the (no-more) Locke team and Locke would be under your "command".

You may as well had been the Alt-Locke! :-))

Anonymous said...


Excellent post! Well worth the wait!

Thank you also for including the section where you expressed whether certain elements should have even been introduced (i.e., Jacob & MIB, etc.). This actually helped me balance my love-hate emotions evoked by the Finale.

While I liked the Finale as an episode on its own, I was, and am, still angry about the wasted episodes over the years, traditionally known as "throw-away" or "filler" episodes, that could've been used to explain simple things that went completely unaswered.

I'm not asking for much here! I'm tempted to rattle off several of the remaining unanswered questions, but my point here is that there were a lot of wasted episodes and dead storylines that could've been replaced with just a few minutes, interspersed across seasons of episodes to answer these and many other basic questions, all while keeping the element of mystery alive.

Instead, Season 6 seemed rushed at times with super-quick answers (e.g., Michael's dumb "whispers" explanation; the contrived "Beyond the Sea" episode, inc Mom & MIB's skeleton revelation).

I hate to say it, but I actually think I could've done without a lot of the ALT world if it could've meant getting more answers about the "Others;" the island itself, its origins, its history of protectors, its true importance to the rest of the world, etc.; the significance of the island's light; and more about Whitmore and Alvar Hanso.

I'm glad you have an upcoming mailbag. I hope others share my questions, as well as my frustration about wasted opportunities the writers had to be better stewards of the previous episodes they had; but also my continued appreciation for the overall show.

I still do not have closure, though I enjoyed the Finale, and didn't get offended at all by its ecumenical, religion-oriented ending (in spite being a devout, conservative Evangelical Christian). This show has never touted any theological prowess, so I feel sorry for those up in arms with its spiritually convoluted ending.

I don't know when I will go back and watch the seasons again. I have to admit to still feeling salty about all of the unresolved conflicts.

I think movies like the "Sixth Sense," and more recently "Inception," have spoiled us with surprise endings that force us to go back and dig deeper in multiple re-viewings.

For now, I just don't feel like going back to watch Lost over again. I know my emotions will subside in the future, but I even hesitate to recommend it to people who have not ever seen the show, because I fear they will be mad at me once they reach the end and will likely, perhaps inevitably, feel cheated with all of the loose ends left unresolved.

I can't believe it, but I think I'm actually grieving! And I'm in-between the stages of denial and anger. I need time to heal.

Finally, would it be so bad to campaign the writers & ABC to have one or two more seasons, chronicling the Hurley & Ben years? Doing so would yield a ton more fans, money, and allowance to take their time and answer all remaining, significant questions. What else does ABC have going on? C'mon, everyone! Hurley & Ben! Could be some more of the best TV ever!

Start the campaign! Forget the elections! Hurley & Ben & ABC! Make it happen!

Sorry for the long post,


Alisha Rene' said...

comment V.2
Seriously -- it makes me very, very, very sad... crushed, even... to think that some fans' enjoyment and love of the show was ruined by something like the fact that the final scene was in a church. Could it be that people were interpreting that scene in a way that was never intended? Did it touch on a nerve it wasn't meant to? Is it possible that people were just upset that they didn't see THIS particular ending coming and so they felt "tricked"? Was it really SO BAD that someone would feel compelled to write off the entire six-season run? I just don't get it. I'm not being sarcastic here. I really don't get the disappointment

The only thing I haven't done yet is make it Oahu - eventually...
I loved:

* How we all got so great at figuring out anagrams
* Looking for Easter eggs and giving the pause-button a workout
* That people were moved to read books that appeared in the show
* That the cast and crew met so many fans at so many incredible events around the world, and that so many Lost fans met each other
* All of the hilarious show-inspired t-shirts
* That I would lay in bed with my mind whirring for hours after every episode
* That the show motivated people -- myself included -- to visit the gorgeous island of Oahu
* How so many smart and dedicated fans came up with elaborate theories that actually made sense!
* That the show drew upon everything from pop culture, to physics, to philosophy, to ancient history, to religious works (and more)
* That Lost made people THINK
* The fact that we will never be able to see the numbers without pausing
* How millions of people around the world now have the love for this show in common
* That Jack and Locke proved there's room for both science AND faith
* That I was inspired to start writing again because of Lost... and that so many others were as well

Erika - thanks again for your blog, for sharing your life and stories with us. For making understand certain lyrics to songs I hadn't known before and most of all - just being you.

I look forward to Jan '11.

Alisha Rene' said...

I had a whole second comment written out and google booted me hissy fit ensues
Well - I totally couldn't agree more with this statement Could it be that people were interpreting that scene in a way that was never intended? Did it touch on a nerve it wasn't meant to? Is it possible that people were just upset that they didn't see THIS particular ending coming and so they felt "tricked"? Was it really SO BAD that someone would feel compelled to write off the entire six-season run? I just don't get it. I'm not being sarcastic here. I really don't get the disappointment.

I forgot the other stuff I wrote....Erika, thank you again for sharing your life and thoughts with us. I wish I could say I had been here since the beginning but I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog during season 4. Here's to a happy healthy life to you and your readers. See you Jan '11.

d. said...


Nicky said...

A huge huge thank you for this and all of your previous posts. I have loved them, each one, even if I haven't always agreed with them. THANK YOU :) (And yes, I loved the finale - I just "got it" ...)

Jesse Duckett said...

Well done e. Thanks for another wrap-up.

You had mentioned that re-watching season six will show you little hints along the way. One of the hints, that absolutely thrilled me, was when Fake Locke stabbed Jack in the finale. I automatically shot back to one of the first episodes in the season when Jack was looking in the mirror and talking to his mom. He noticed a huge scar on his side and she told him it was from his appendix being removed. When I first saw that episode I was really excited because I figured it was the connection from Juliet performing the appendectomy. But when Fake Locke stabbed Jack, I just about jumped out of my seat. I tried explaining this to those watching with me. They had no clue what I was talking about. So, all I could do was give props to the writers, "Well done. Well done."

Anyways, I loved the series. I don't care that things weren't answered. As proven by the horrible answer for the whispers, the fans tend to come up with much better answers anyhow.

Take care E.


Anonymous said...

Hi, e. You don't need to apologize for the timing of this recap. For me, it's been something I've looked forward to for months as a last horrah for Lost in my life...even though I'm def gonna rewatch the whole series eventually. I loved the wait mainly because once this was published, that ends my Lost experience.

I've watched the finale 3 times so far and will watch it again, I'm sure, before I buy the Season 6 DVD set. I'm not quite finished with Season 5 yet and since S6 just finished a few months ago, I'm going to wait for a little bit before I buy and watch S6.

I can't thank you enough for your recaps through the years. You, Ryan and Vozz were the three recaps I read religously. Doc Jensen went way to deep in the mythology. You brought a lot of common sense, practicality and theories. Ryan brought insight and backgound info and theories. Actually, you both brought both of those things and more. Vozz brought just about everything. Between the three of you guys, I felt fully informed.

I LOVED the finale. Lost started out as a character study and built these characters and made us love them...well, most of them. Each season, even with it's sidetracks, hatches, Dharma, freighter people and time traveling (my favorite), Lost always found ways to further develop the characters and help us see things through their eyes. The finale went back to this character-centric writing to answer THE question of Lost: What happens to our beloved characters when all is said and done? And, to hell with mosters, hatches, Dharma, etc. I think I'm babbling now, but hopefully you can decipher what I'm trying to say.
Like you've said to me on FB, this season was very poignant for me. I'd always looked forward to the last season, although not enough that I didn't enjoy every moment of the show. It was very difficult watching it after having suffered the soul swallowing lose that we did. It gave me something to concentrate on and look forward to. We don't much of the latter anymore.
So, I'll take my time reading your recap. I'll have to, I guess, due to it's length! Which is just another awesome thing. It needed to be long.

Good luck in your futuer endevours. I'll be checking your site off and on to see what you are up to.

See you on Facebook.

Bert Hooks

P.S. This was my favorite line, too!

MILES: I don't believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape.

LinnyM said...

2 words- THANK YOU!!!

Casper said...

Thanks, e. You're the best.

Anonymous said...

HI Erica,

This marvelous recap of The End makes me sad that I didn't discover your site (or any other, for that matter) until after Lost ended and I was missing it so much. For some reason during Lost's run I never thought of looking for Lost blogs on the Internet. Maybe it's a generational thing as I'm probably old enough to be your mom. Anyway, better late than never, as they say.

I was so happy to read a recap that agreed with me about John Locke as currently I'm reading many opinions about him being completely taken over by MIB from the get-go that really annoy me. As people are rewatching the series (which I am, for the first time), they are projecting MIB's motives onto Locke's every move, turning him into a creepy villain instead of the wonderful Island loving guy that I remembered from years ago. So it was great to read your post and discover I'm not the only one who still honors this wonderful character. Another person who has written some wonderful things about Locke and Lost is Pearson Moore, now writing at Dark UFO(he has recommended your posts,by the way).

Anyway, you did a wonderful job with this recap and it was well worth waiting for. Even better is knowing you are not completely done with Lost. I'll look forward to your mailbag posts early next year.

Meanwhile, thanks so much for taking the time to do this, and good luck with the book.

Lydia said...


This was so worth the wait!

Thanks for finishing it up and thanks for loving the finale as much as I did!

Tom B. said...

thanks for that - well worth the wait.
Amazing I still get incredibly emotional just reading about and seeing the screen caps from the enlightenment moments. Charlie/Claire, Shannon/Sayid, Sun/Jin, and especially Sawyer/Juliet.

Unknown said...

Thank You E !

Anonymous said...


I'm a long-time lurker (since season 3, in fact) but for some unexplained reason I have never posted. After the end of the show was announced, it almost seemed as though my first comment HAD to be about your series finale write-up.

That being said, I would like to wholeheartedly thank you for the hours of enjoyment you have given me with your remarkable recaps. I couldn't begin to quantify the amount of time I have spent on your site (and nevermind the amount of visits with fingers crossed that this last recap would be posted).



Andrea said...

Dear E-

My brother convinced me to start reading your posts at the end of Season 2. It became our thing to watch Lost and call each other during every commercial. On the weekends we would get together at my parents' house and read your posts. We did this until Season 5. He was hit by a car while riding his bike a few days before the season premiere. He ended up in a coma for five months. In the beginning I would bring in your posts and read them to him...until I realized he was never going to wake up. I stopped watching Lost and reading your posts for over a year. When he died I wasn't sure I could ever watch it again. I wasn't ready to let go. The week before the season finale I had a change of heart. I watched all the episodes of Seasons 5 and 6, and I read every one of your posts. For me, the finale was amazing. I felt like my brother sent it to me, as a message to let me know that he was ok. I watched it over again, and cried again, every day for the next week. I felt very final, but I knew that I still had your last post to read. I am going to save it to read at the cemetary on the 2nd anniversary of my brother's accident. I'm sorry for the sad story, but I wanted you to know the very important role that Lost, and you, played in the lives of my brother and I. We will always be connected...

Thank you and good luck with your book!

Unknown said...

•How so many smart and dedicated fans came up with elaborate theories that actually made sense!
Loved this part most of all. I fell in line with them all.And died right where I stood.
So I quess it wasn't the destination but the journey.
On the magic island part...
"Fire in his eyes and smoke coming out of his nose"
The taming of Bucephalus was more believable.
But thank you Erika. For now I've heard of you. And wish you the best. You have to be the smartest pirate I've ever read.
And for all that I am grateful.
__Love Denny

Erika (aka "e") said...

Hi everyone -

Just wanted to check in again and thank you all once more for the incredibly nice messages. They mean so much to me.

I'd also like to extend a virtual hug to tlclark1, Joe Cool/Bert, and Andrea for sharing their personal stories. My heart goes out to you all and yours messages brought me to tears. I hope that time helps heal all wounds and that you find the peace you each deserve. And yes, we ARE all connected, forever. I find that to be a very comforting thought, and I hope you do, too.

- e

Spanio said...

I'm glad that I finally got to read your write-up on the final LOST episode ever of all time forever. Somehow you always seem to validate the time I've spent thinking about this show.

I'm really glad to hear that you're planning on writing even more about the show though, because I felt that this write up was severely lacking in discussion about all the theories that have been bouncing around out there since 2004.

I am one of the camp who would've liked a little more information on THE LIGHT than what the show provided.. but I've done a lot of thinking about it myself.. and you might just want to take a look at something called the ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM. It pretty much includes all of like EVERYTHING all at once. I'd have zero problem saying that that's what THE LIGHT really is.

Also, I've been assuming that THE LIGHT we see come uncorked in the finale is the same light we've seen countless times through out the show (frozen donkey wheel, the light released by turning the failsafe key, the light that skipped people through time itself).

So yeah, totally happy with your decision to keep on discussing LOST because all these months after the finale, I STILL HAVE THINGS TO SAY. Hopefully it's cool if we talk about them.

Anonymous said...

It has been an amazing read, thank you so much e. I've been reading your recaps over at Darkufo but I'd become a lurker the last couple of years.

I have been of the mind that there's no question in why the island needs keeping an eye on. As we have seen, when people are left alone with something undefined and mysterious they drill holes into it, makes mechanical systems to harness it's power etc. We had a whole season that ended with Radsinsky yelling KEEP! THE DRILLS!! GOING!!! and an atomic bomb dropped over those drills.

and while looking at Ben's defeated face at Hurley's inauguration, I thought, that duo, Hurley and Ben, made for an amazing force to keep an eye on the island. Ben loved it so much that he could disregard people and Hurley loves people and brings out the good in them. And HURLEY's in charge :D

So thanks, This was a pleasure to read!

kms7443 said...

Incredible post!! Thank you for your thoughts over the years. I loved the finale. I am re-watching the series and loving every minute.

Dr. Adam Norten said...

Thank you so much e!!!

Anonymous said...

I jumped into LOST mid-season 4 thanks to my husband's incessent nagging. So it was because of him that I started watching. It was because of you, however, that I understood any of it. And it was because of LOST itself that I fell in love with the island, the people, and now can proudly claim to have watched every episode from seasons 1-4 in a few short days. Let me tell you, I wish I'd waited and seen it all at once, but your weekly posts were a great place-holder until each new episode of the last couple of seasons appeared. Thanks for your efforts to carry us infant-LOSTIES along with you on your journey! You've been fantastic and I think I'm going to really enjoy your new book. Good luck with everything!
A Nebraska Fan

j O R d i V a L B u E n A said...

Thanks for all the fantastic work, you've made me enjoy LOST even more. I wish you the best for your book and for everything!
Thanks again.

notWalt said...


Thanks for the wonderful celebration of Lost. Thanks also for the shout-out in your opening! I came to your blog late (sometime in season 5, I think), but it became my favorite for Lost. Frankly, I think I overdosed on reading reviews of the The End in May & June and yours coming some months later really let my brain recover and let things settle down.

I had thought that I would want to re-watch the whole series soon after The End, but I haven't had that craving yet. I think you touch on that nicely, though I do think that I will eventually start it all over again. And while I thought your delayed post may have been like putting off saying good-bye to an old friend, I now look forward to future visits with that friend.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

WOW Music Studios said...


Thanks for the awesome series wrap-up. I am really glad that you will be continuing the blog, and I definitely will be keeping up with your other blog. Gotta get me my e-fix!

My husband and I also intend to read your book very soon. I am totally lame when it comes to business, but my husband, the econ-major dweeb will hopefully be able to fill in the gaps for me. :)

Good luck with all of your future endeavors, and thanks, again, for all of our creative, insightful, and humorous LOST postings.

--Emily (another e)

jantje_lover said...

Thanks e for the great recaps, I've been following your blog since S4, wished I had seen your earlier, nevertheless I applaud you and I applaud Lost for its awesomeness!

Tarah said...

Thank you, E.....for finishing what you started!! This was a great recap, and has made me rethink the finale some and even maybe want to revisit the finale. (which I've had sitting on my DVR since it aired...haven't wanted to watch it again, but haven't brought myself to delete it) I have enjoyed reading here, and am looking forward to still checking in on your other blog. Also, looking forward to reading your book! I'm downtown Chicago every so often visiting with family....maybe some day I'll run into you there.

Anonymous said...

How can you say that only the losties created this place when millions of other people exist in it? Eloise exists in it and she doesn't want her son awakened, this has nothing to do with them. The alt was some sort of lymbo that they all met up in and they needed each other to move on, they didn't create it simply for each other. Also, the light isn't goodness, its time itself. Mother said it contains, life, death and rebirth which is time. Every man has a little bit of this in them and they always want more, its time itself. This is the source of time and if it goes out then time itself stops and the world ends. This is how the island has its powers, this is how the donkey wheel works. If you run light through water it slows down the light and you can bend it, hence MIB's explanation of how he was going to build the donkey wheel to get off the Island. There were answers all around I just think the producers are not going to spell it out for you.

Erika (aka "e") said...

Hi there Anon -

My assumption was that those "millions of other people" were not actually real. I mean, I don't think that was REALLY Keamy, or Keamy's spirit, or any true version of Keamy that was shot by Sayid in the ALT. I think all of those other people were just like figments of the Losties imagination, because the entire place was special. I guess I would compare it to The Matrix maybe... like the other people were "characters" in the world or something.

But that's my explanation and how I see it and I know there are other ways of looking at it. Just like The Light. I think for anyone to say The Light IS x, y, or z with 100% certainty is kind of silly. It's open to interpretation, as was much of the show, which is why we all loved it so much. As you said yourself, they didn't spell it out for us, which is why there's no one "right" answer.

- e

Unknown said...

That was wonderful! Not sure if I ever posted a comment here before or not, but I had to thank you and will keep checking back.


PS: I finally started reading Watership Down this week. It's one of many that LOST has led me to read.

Sammy Jean said...

I just wanted to take some time to thank you for your extremely heartfelt recap. Your story about your brother made me cry! I'm so glad that LOST meant as much to you (and millions of others) as it did to me. It is really evident after reading your post that you put many, many hours into it, and that means a lot. You have so much going on, but your finale post was worth the wait! You are extremely good at organizing your thoughts about an episode and putting them into words - blows me away! Maybe it's because most of the time I'm too awe-struck and confused to talk about an episode. That's a big reason I started reading you - to clarify the things I didn't understand! How DO you do it?? Also, it's rare to find writers who put so much emotion and love into a side project! I will forever continue to read everything you write because of that. I look forward to buying your book on Monday!

Marc said...

Thanks E...

Worth the wait for what was the best recap of Lost Finale and consistentally the best recap of every ep of the series.. you are the best.. good luck with your book and I look forward to reading any more future thoughts you would like to share on lost. Also, I just got the encylopedia and i have only gotten through a few pages.. but its pretty awesome.. and thus far confirms a lot of the things that we were left to assume which to me has been really cool.

GARRY UK said...

I did it, I've read the post and it all makes sense, I have to say I was still a bit on the fence teetering between I hate the ending/I love the ending (Light/Dark?).

This Post has made my mind up once and for all, I STILL LOVE LOST and I love the ending.

Well done e -, fantastic, I forgot how much I missed this blogg, even though I must have checked back here probably three or four times a week.

One very small thing I thought you may have picked up on, and believe there are many more over the years that I have forgotten about, and like you say if they've been forgotten then they weren't important.

However this one relates to - "But there Jack was, dipping a water bottle into some nas-tay (and presumably magic) puddle and then turning over the Island Protector role to his most loyal friend."

When Jack dipped that bottle into the water for Hugo to drink, this was when the "cork" was out of the hole, and with the cork out of the hole there was no more magic.

Do you reckon Hugo didn't really get any magical powers? Or does it not matter?

Once again thanks e - :-)

Danielle said...

Wow - I think I need to digest your comments for awhile then read them again. Lost has been the only TV show to really capture my attention and take me on a personal journey. In a couple of years I will revisit my friend again.

Thanks for your insight, humour, dedication, and truth. I appreciate it.

All the best with your book.

Carla Hays said...

Erika -

Well worth the wait! Good luck with your book! Funny how it all ties together - Lost, your writing, book deals, etc. :) As a fellow writer, I plan to re-watch the finale, then re-read your finale post, and then write my response to you. We share a love for all things Lost, and I felt as you did about the ending - I half expected a "Sixth Sense" kind of shocker, which, of course would then give me reason to go back through the whole thing with a fine-tooth comb, saying "Oh, we should have seen that! It's so obvious now!", but was fearing the worst - a lame ending that would be so un-Lost-worthy that we would have considered the last six years to be a complete waste of time. How fitting the ending truly was, and yes, there were holes and unnecessary plot/character lines, but May 23, 2010 made that all o.k. Back at ya later, e!


Thirty-Fiver said...

Erika, that was just beautiful. It was the perfect way to revisit the finale (length and all!). I'm actually happy you waited until now to post it.

Going over what I liked would probably make this comment as long as your post so I'll just say that I completely agree with not understanding all the hate that came with The End, and everything you said about Locke was spot on. The writers were VERY bold to actually kill him in S5, he most certainly was the best character (my favorite character of ALL TIME), and I have no problem saying I still get choked up while watching his backstory. I could always relate to him on so many levels.

I have to say, though, I feel like the only one who enjoyed Across the Sea. Sure, the kids' acting was cringe worthy at times. But the main reason why I really liked the episode (other than getting a good dose of Titus Welliver and Mark Pellegrino) is that during my first viewing I had the same exact feelings and thoughts that I had during S1. The whole episode had this S1 feel to me in that I didn't know the characters the episode focused on, other than those characters I didn't know who was on the Island, what was on the Island, etc. We had gotten to know the Island so well over the years, but in this episode the mystery of the Island (probably my second favorite character) was brought back. The Light, the FDW, Mother's role, the specialness of MIB, etc were all things I enjoyed seeing.

Also, I shared your frustration with the whole ash ordeal. The Cabin became one of my favorite mysteries after The Man Behind the Curtain (my favorite non-Locke/non-finale epi) but I lost some of my intrigue after we started to get conflicting information. The LOST Encyclopedia clears up this particular mystery. I'll refrain from summing up what was said as I'm not sure if you'd like to read it on your own, but if you'd like me to go ahead and post it for you, I will gladly do so.

Thanks so much for this and good luck to you going forward.


P.S.- I was jealous when I first saw your pic with Terry last year, but after seeing that he signed it, now I'm just green with envy! :D

dmalato2 said...

Great job on the recap e. Emotional, funny, you hit all the right notes with it. Well worth the wait. Thanks for taking to the time to write all these recaps over the years. It made the journey through Lost a little more fun.

emwal said...

Erika, someone on the UK Lost group I belong to on FB posted a link to your blog.
I'd just like to say thanks. It was great to read your point of view on Lost, and to have my memory jogged on a few things! I was more than happy with ALL of Lost, including how it ended. I cannot understand those who think the ending was crap or a waste of their television viewing time. Loved every minute, good for something to end and leave you wondering!
I've saved this blog to my favourites, and will have another read I'm sure :)

GARRY UK said...

EMWAL - That was me :-)

GARRY UK is Garry'Brotha'Miller.

But it is my secret identity, so please don't tell anyone ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing it, e!
It was great. I read parts of it over a 2 week period, just so it would last longer!!
Just finished it today.
Thank you, sincerely. Greg

Jenni said...

Thank you, E, for all of your wonderful Lost insight through the years. Not even sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but it's always been one of my favorites, and I will miss reading it...hopefully According to E will be able to get moving again now that your book is out! :)

Neil D said...

Well worth the wait. Sorry I doubted you.

ICE-H said...

Thank you for this amazing review! Truly The Mother of All Posts! I share your opinion about most of this stuff, but I found that most interesting parts are the ones that our opinions differ. It is very interesting to see things from different perspective.

PS. Congratulations on your book! :)

LauraA said...

Thank you for this! I was definitely one of the fans who hated the ending and couldn't imagine watching the show again, but reading this has finally made me think that I should watch it again, this time not looking for all the answers, but just enjoying the ride.

Pat Speaks said...

Took my time reading it over a couple of days. Thought your post was great. I'm one of the ones who loved the ending and couldn't tell you why. Have always enjoyed your posts.

Anonymous said...

Thank you from Finland :)

Claire said...

An excellent wrap-up to a very eventful final episode. When I first watched the finale, I was frustrated with all of the dead-end plot loops (although I recalled your comments that the show was about the characters, not the details) and the lack of something to bring the two worlds/timelines together...I also completely overlooked/missed Christian's big speech. The second time I watched it, maybe a week later, I was struck by how beautiful and peaceful the ending was. I absolutely loved it. Thanks, as always, for pulling everything together and writing these recaps so well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for years of interpretation and ideas. Your time has not been wasted.
Some years ago I decided to run a marathon. I started training with a couple of friends. We experienced months of treasured memories. Injuries, weather, goals accomplished were many of the new discoveries in our training. The day came for the "race". A little over 3 hours later it was over. After the pain and fatigue were gone, the elation and congratulations given. My thoughts were drawn to the journey. The days when I did not want to run. Days when the weather did not cooperate. Small injuries seemed large. Friends pushing me to stay on track. This journey is what was go great, not the race.
The journey we all took with Lost was epic. We may not have this entertainment experience again in our lifetime. Thank you writers and cast for an epic journey.

Anonymous said...

Hi Erica

Thanks for all the brilliant posts over the years, and to think it was it was only down to the guy that nicked your posts for his video blog (see I've forgotten his name already...).

However I'm one of those who think the ending spoilt it, as it just seemed the whole ALT timeline was rather pointless (I've no problem with the religious stuff). Also there was a real twist that could've happened that would have satisfied people like yourself who loved the finale, yet also allowed possibilitiy of the ALT being real as well, and that was simply to flash Desmond back to the past when he uncorked the island's light source, and get hime to meet up with Eloise (clutching Daniel's book with everything about time and everything) and Jacob (and get him to say 'Hi, I'm Desmond and I'm a candidate'). Bang! Either Desmond becomes the new Jacob, takes the MIB down (with the island sinking exactly as in the finale). Cue Desmond meeting Jack on the plane as in the opener.

OR... Desmond fails (his 'sacrifice'), and things pan out exactly in the 6 series with flight 815 crashing etc. etc.

However either way we can make our own mind up. Either Desmond was successful and the ALT was real, or he wasn't and the final scene/ALT was Jack's personal heaven and we takes our choice.

Also I can't believe the producers didn't consider this (surely they weren't that bothered that the whole series had to start and end with Jack's eyes opening and closing), plus they must have considered it, witness Desmond's conversation with Jack just before the uncorking. So yes, I'm afaid I think they blew it, when it could so easily have been so different (would be very interesting if there's ever a book about the making of Lost and how they decided on themes and how it was it was all going to end - think there could have been some interesting discussions on that one).

Finally, if people wanted some big theme as to why Desmond was successful, then it could be down to a mother's (Eloise's) love for her son and that was the big twist why everything happened as it did, and I think people would have been very happy with that one.


ad. said...

Thank God I checked back after chenking every day in september and then giving up ^^

Thanks for this and every other post, they were wonderfull.

A lot of people have had an emotional time during this show (6 years is long), I lost my 2 grandfathers because of the big C in that time, and lost was the primary thing that pulled my up. During the finale, I was reliving those 6 years, and it was hard :'(
Will surely miss it.

Thierry said...

Thx e for the post !!

Even if it took me weeks to actually realise it was posted i can assure you real fans do comes from time to time to LLL.

Tkae care and good luck with the book

YoYo said...


Anonymous said...

hi erika!! I just wanted to let you know of the infinite respect I have for you in writing all of your thoughts for the rest of us. Thank you for all of your work, and for sharing a part of your life with us lesser beings, who, if they're anything like me, lack the brainpower and recall to keep track of all the things that have happened over six years of lost. I've been reading your posts since about season 4 I believe, and I've enjoyed them immensely.... they've really helped me sort out my thoughts about the episodes. I really hope to rewatch the series sometime and maybe get more out of it! There's nothing else to say but thank you thank you thank you and best of luck in your future endeavors!!! (:

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for writing this. It was definitely worth the wait! :)

Adam said...

Thanks for the excellent recap. Your post inspired me to re-watch the finale for the first time since it aired. I didn't like it much the first time, but I agree now having re-watched it that it was about as good as it could be.

One thing that REALLY bothered me about the finale was all the continuity problems. Big things, like Ben getting out from under the tree to Jack ending up above ground after the Light came back on...and little things, like how it was pouring rain when Jack fought MIB but when they came back from commercial, it was bright and sunny out.

A small bone to pick, I guess, but it just seemed kind of patchwork to me. Like: we gotta get all this crap in there and we only have 2 and half hours to do it!

But as a whole, you're right, e, it was a good way to go out. Thanks for keeping me up to speed these past few years and for being a huge part of my enjoyment of LOST.

millar74 said...

wow! i finally got a chance to read this. i laughed, i cried and i realized how much i miss Lost. thanks for the summation. and good luck with your book. see ya at redblog

Peter said...

Thanks for writing such a great blog and making the show immensely more enjoyable for me. I hope you get addicted to another show real soon!

KMJoseph said...

I found your post by accident; a link from one of my daughter's friends...well written, well thought out and well received by me! I will follow your career! Good luck in all you do.

marie said...

I had honestly almost forgotten that you were still going to post your 'big' post and today I was thinking that I hadn't been on DarkUfo in a long time and your post was there!

I should have probably checked the length before starting to read, but oh well, I'm glad I did.

Your recaps have always been amazing, and I miss LOST.

Unknown said...

I'm sad that it took me until Thanksgiving to finally read this post. I had it saved since the day you posted it. But I just wanted to thank you for doing this. Seriously, so great!

Unknown said...

I can't believe it took my until Thanksgiving to read this (the whole thing!), but I'm so glad I finally did. Thank you for writing it. Seriously, love reading your thoughts.

Dreyesbo said...

Hey e!

As the poster above, I had saved this post when you first tweeted about it. But I just couldn't bear myself to read it. To do so would be akin to watching the final episode of Lost; like closing a chapter. Also, this review got me emotional, believe it or not. This was indeed a great series, and I'm glad you didn't stuck with The Apprentice.

It's been a blast to read your reviews since S4 (when I first started talking about Lost online), and to share our thoughts with you and other fans.

So I just wanted to say that I'm happy you liked the finale, as I did. And wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write these posts every week.

If I ever re-watch Lost (which I'll do, once I've given it enough time to sink in), I'll be here, reading every post since Solitary.

Thanks again for sharing it all with us :)

Ernie said...

Just getting around to reading this awesome post. Love it and thanks for blogging about a great show all these years. I will forever wear my Locke Lives shirt proudly

lostie david said...


I followed Lost since S1, but didn't read many blogs. Thank you so much for sharing yours with all of us.

I know many people misunderstood the finale/didn't like it. That's probably because Lost always tried to misdirect us; so we might have formed opinions (like "they all died in the crash?!?") at certain parts of the finale, only to discover or not take in bits of information we needed to make things "all better". Here's one piece of information I feel didn't get understood enough.

Christian: "There is no 'now' here."

I noticed you didn't use the P word (purgatory) but I think this is as good an explanation of what we were watching in the sideways. However, it is inflammatory just the R word (religion).

Anyway, thank you again for sharing your talents, and best of luck with your new book.


lostie david said...

Ah, I forgot to tip my hat on your mention of "The Road". I too made that connection, or similar. Leave it to the professional like you to put in print. The flame we carry is the light, etc. “...the breath of God was his breath yet though it pass from man to man through all time.”

Enough spam... and kudos to capping an excellent blog. You did "Lost" justice.


Gypsy Crow said...

I don't think I ever posted here but I wanted to say goodbye and thank you for all your wonderful Lost-thoughts. It was truly a remarkable journey, and having you and your words along the way made a good thing even better.
Many thanks, E. May you and yours live long and prosper, until the time comes to reunite in a Palace of Light.

Christine said...

Thanks for this post! Thanks for ALL of your insight through the years, your writing and insights made LOST even more enjoyable. Though I am one of those people who despised the finale, your post put it into a different perspective. Thanks again for all your hard work, appreciate it! :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of the great write-ups, and of course the time you put into them!

To me, the phrase "we either live together or die alone" rang through the finale. Of course they were all there with and for each other in the place they created for themselves to reconnect, but the real hero was Vincent, who was there with Jack in the end- so he didn't die alone.

Thanks again e!

Andy said...


best. christmas. ever.

I just read your post and like an unexpected gift your post was a joy to receive.

Thank you for your thoughts and theories and being someone to share the ride with.


Gumionday said...

E. Thanks for coming back and finishing your re-cap of the final episode. You did an amazing job as you always had before. I didn't find this blog until at least season 4 but I came here and read every entry since finding the site. I loved your re-caps and I loved seeing things from your perspective and seeing things I had thought of before. Just like you I am a huge fan of John Locke, and I wanted nothing more than him to come back to life in the end of the show but he played that part that he needed to and I think he played it the best. I will miss this show but I will miss coming to your blog each week and enjoying the show with someone I have never even met. Thank you for all of your hard work and most of all thank you for your love of John Locke. When I saw him in the coffin (S4)for the first time I was ready to walk away from the show, I was that devastated, but coming here each week kept me coming back for more and that hope that our man of the island would return. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ann said...

I realize that I'm a little late to this party, but I just read your recap and loved it. I actually did read the first sentence or two when you first posted it, but I took your advice to watch the season finale again first. I didn't actually do that until tonight, which was after I watched the entire series again. Thank you for sharing about your brother--I'm so glad he's doing fine now. And the photo of the two of you is priceless! I love your insight that “Lost” is so much more than a television show because of how it intersected with your life. I’ve felt that way about this show, too, and reading your blog has certainly enriched the experience. Thanks again for all you’ve poured into this over the years. I look forward to the mailbag!

samacleod said...

Thanks for all of the LOST posts. I loved watching the show and my favorite part was talking about it the next day with friends, coming up with theories and making charts to track information. I took a long break from all things LOST after the finale, and just two weeks ago started watching again from the beginning. What an amazingly put together show, with wonderful characters. Have enjoyed your commentary so much. You made it an even richer experience. Thanks!

notWalt said...

Gentle nudge....

"This is not goodbye. This is not the last post I'm going to write about Lost. Sorry Zombie Dad, but I can't let go just yet. After I'm past all of the hoopla with my book launch, I intend to do some sort of "Reader Mailbag" thing starting in January 2011. I'll write a short post when I'm ready to have people submit questions for it."

Erika (aka "e") said...

Don't worry, haven't forgotten -- still really swamped but hoping to get the post up by this weekend...

- e

Chris Johnson said...

I don't know why it took so long but I just read this today.

Wow... you are so great! I haven't seen the finale in several months. I saved it on my DVR for quite some time but it's gone now. I cried several times as I read and remembered. I loved it. Thanks for bringing it all back.

Long Live LOST.

lvpurpl said...

Loved reading your final Final, just as I have enjoyed all your posts. I am grateful for your excellent writing skills and sense of humor too.You even helped me to see more in the events that took place. I am a "lover" of the finale and share most of your same life/religous views. Can't wait to rewatch "The End" and for your next post. Glad you put up a FB notice.

Iqbal Brainch said...

It's 4:30am and I couldn't sleep so I just read this. Feel like I'm going through Lost withdrawal and I just took another drag by reading this blog. No other show will compare. Ever. Looking forward to reading Zero Sum Game.

Dominic said...

I can't believe it's taken me this long to make the connection, and am not sure if anyone else mentioned this before, but during the season premiere: interior shots
of Flight 815, with Frogurt sleepin
g in his seat. Could this shot serve as the biggest hint of all about the alt timeline? I'm going from memory here, but I don't recall any of the survivors shown on the plane having died prior to Season 6. Thoughts anyone?

Anonymous said...

Your thoughts echo mine in many ways. A couple of things I would add are:

1) The people I found who didn't like the finale were of two camps. One camp was looking to Lost as Sci-Fi and wanted scientific answers to the phenomena on the island and were disappointed. It was clear from the beginning to me that it was super-natural force and not one easily explained scientificly although there was some mixed in. Even if it were sci-fi most such programs head to ruin when they try to explain too much of a back-story, think Star Ward (prequels), Matrix (sequels) and Highlander (anything other than the original movie). Mystery is better and the writers left us with just enough.

The other camp rode the series from the beginning, suffered through red-herrings and hiatuses and such. I was no such person and watched the series straight through on Netflix and video over the course of a couple of weeks (wow...that was a "lost" couple of weeks LOL). I think they simply expected something so over the top in the ending that they set themselves and the writers up to fail. Expectations like that are hard to meet (think the reception of Empire Strikes Back - maybe the best written Star Wars episode yet not well received originally).

Anyway, I had no such expectations and I found the finale to be very satisfying.

Too bad I didn't watch all along, although imagine what it was like for me to immerse myself in Lost for a few weeks without having to wait more than a day for answers. It was sweet. Had I watched from the beginning I'm sure I would have found your blog. Even still, months after I watched it and nearly a year since the original airing of the finale I've enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for your effort on this and please excuse my long post :).

adriana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim said...

Erica, thanks for a fantastic last post (yeah, I just got around to reading it now).

I've just started rewatching the series from the beginning this summer, and it's amazing how many hints there are staring us in the face about the overarching theme of redemption. That's one of the things I've said this show was about since Sawyer was singing Marley on the raft at the end of season one, that the Island was giving these flawed souls an opportunity to redeem themselves before moving on in the afterlife (or whatever anyone may choose to call it).

Oh, and as for "favorite" things? One of mine has to be the off-season ARG stuff we were given to keep our interest peaked. The Oceanic and Ajira websites, Rachel Blake, Gary Troup's book, etc. I don't know how you felt about them, but maybe they're worthy of a blog post in the future?

Anyway, thanks for a wonderful blog. I just wish I had found it sooner than the 5th season. And this truly was a once-in-a-lifetime show. I'll never forget the people I "met" in the online discussion forums where we discussed and dissected every episode.

May all of us always be a little "Lost."

Linda said...

So I was always a huge fan of your blog when Lost was on the air, but I don't think I ever got around to reading this post until now. I just finished a marathon re-watching of the entire series - started on January 1st, when I was bed-ridden with the flu, and G4 happened to be having an all day marathon, so I figured, why the hell not? :) I am SO GLAD you loved the finale - I did too :) immediately afterwards back when I watched with everyone else, I didn't know what to think. I didn't HATE it like so many other fans seemed to, but I was feeling conflicted and needed a night to read some other people's takes and sleep on it. By the next day, I realized that I LOVED the finale. Everyone was mad because they wanted answers to the questions, explanations for every single weird thing about the island. But this is all you need to know in order to accept and appreciate the finale for the perfect ending it was: the show was NEVER about the ISLAND. The show was always about the PEOPLE and their relationships with one another - you touched on this point briefly but I really do think that this is the main message of the finale. IN FACT, thanks to my insane 5 episode a night marathon re-watch, I caught this line, spoken by Bernard, in "The Incident Part 1": "so we die. We just care about being together. It's all that matters in the end." - WHO KNEW that that one line was foreshadowing the entire point of the series? I feel sad for the fans who didn't understand the ending or were too caught up with wanting all their questions answered to look at the bigger picture. And I am normally someone with NO imagination who wants every single loose end tied up for me! And I STILL loved it! It was the perfect ending for this particular show. (I'll also add that I am an atheist, and I find it EXTREMELY annoying that people were bothered by "religious undertones" - people are being WAY too sensitive.) ANYHOW, I'm so glad I came back to read your write up as soon as I finished re-watching the whole series (which was my plan all along) :) thanks again, Erica!!