“The End” Recap and Analysis …
Previously, on Lost:
Goodbye to all my friends at home,
Goodbye to people I’ve trusted,
I’ve got to go out and make my way,
I might get rich you know I might get busted,
But my heart keeps calling me backwards,
As I get on the 707,
Riding high I got tears in my eyes,
You know you got to go through hell,
Before you get to heaven,
Big ol’ jet airliner,
Don’t carry me too far away,
Oh big ol’ jet airliner,
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay …
This week, on Lost: LA X. Christian Shephard has finally reached his destination – or at least a package with his name in big, bold stencils indicates as such. While his coffin is loaded on board a truck by a pony-tailed baggage handler, AlternaJack sits in his office, going over x-rays. Jack prime washes his face, and ponders his wet, aged hands. AlternaBen steeps some tea with his good arm, while Ben loads a cartridge and ponders how long he’ll have to continue killing people. AlternaLocke takes one last look at his wheelchair as he’s wheeled away on a gurney toward his healing surgery. AlternaSawyer wraps up his day in the police force, as Sawyer takes a seat next to Freckles on a log and checks her gunshot wound. AlternaKate sits in the AlternaCamaro as the Oceanic delivery truck pulls up to a church, and AlternaDesmond meets the pony-tailed delivery guy and signs for the package. The two lift the coffin onto a dolly and Desmond asks pony-tail to wheel it around back. As Desmond heads back to the Camaro, we know it’s time to start. Let’s get to it.
“His name is Christian Shephard? Seriously??” Seriously, Freckles.
Kate wants to know why she’s here, but Desmond can’t tell her that – and he especially can’t tell her why she’s here. As for why he’s here with her – well, Des has to show her. I’d like to have a nickel for every time Kate Austen has heard that line.
On Island Prime, Jack is shin-deep in a pool of water, either zoning out or realizing his destiny – it’s tough to tell which. Sawyer shows up, wondering what the hell just happened all up in here, but Jack has absolutely no idea. All he does know, however, is that Jacob said they have to head over to the local Home Depot, just past their bamboo forest, because that’s where the light at the heart of the Island resides. Sawyer postulates that Desmond is key, because Ol’ Smokey needs him to snuff out the light. Jack says that Jacob didn’t say anything about Desmond, but Sawyer shuts Jack up real quick-like, saying that it doesn’t seem like Jacob said anything about anything. YEAH. “It’s kind of true, dude … he’s worse than Yoda,” says Hurley. DOUBLE YEAH.
Sawyer heads out into the brush to find Desmond, and Hurley admits that he has “a bad feeling about this.” Star Wars geeks around the world rejoice.
Cue the last swirling Lost!
LA X. The Flightline Hotel. Hurley’s Hummer pulls into the parking lot, and Hurley shows Sayid a tranquilizer gun to try and jog his memory. It doesn’t work. Hurley jumps out, telling Sayid to stay put and to trust him, dude. There’s no indication of trust just yet, but Sayid does as he’s told. Upstairs, Hurley knocks on a door and Charlie answers, looking like Richard Alpert, wearing a ton of mascara. Hurley grins like a sodding idiot, announcing that he’s there to pick him up for the concert, and Charlie tells him to bugger off. Hurley apologetically tranqs his bass-playing ass.
Downstairs, Hurley loads the hobbit into the trunk. Sayid asks what that was, to which Hurley responds, “That was Charlie.”
On Island Prime, Jack, Kate and Hurley trek along with the Giacchino trekking music in the background, and Kate and Jack have a little moment about destiny versus free will. Hurley notes that it would all be so sweet if they weren’t all about to die.
Over at the well, Locke is curling some rope, while Sawyer looks on from the bushes. It’s not long before he pulls a Kate and finds himself at the business end of Ben’s rifle, becoming a hostage. Sawyer and Locke engage in some witty repartee in which Sawyer admits that he knows Smokey needs Desmond in order to destroy the Island. Then Sawyer realizes that Ben’s most recent bruises are starting to clear up, so he elbows him in the face and exits stage left. Ben wonders why Locke isn’t going after Sawyer, but there’s no need – oh, and he’s really sorry about destroying the Island, but Ben is more than welcome to join him on his little boat when it all sinks to the bottom of the sea. Sounds fun.
Locke kneels, noticing tracks. “I think there was a dog here,” says Locke.
I really want a Vincent.
VINCENT! Rose, Bernard! Desmond! It seems as though Rose and Bernard rescued the Scot from the well, but Rose doesn’t mince words, telling Des that as soon as he’s up and able, he’s able to get the hell out of their camp. She and Bernard are through with the A-Team’s adventures. It’s about that time that Bernard returns from fetching breakfast, and he’s caught more than fish – Locke and Ben come slithering into camp. Locke whips out his giant knife and informs Des that if he doesn’t follow his every word, he’ll gut the lovers and make it hurt. Des has no choice but to do what Smokey demands.
Locke, Des and Ben trek off through the Jungle of Mystery, past some banyan trees. Smokey eyes them warily. He remarks that Desmond has no idea where he’s taking the Scot, but Des says it’s probably somewhere with a bright light. Just a hunch, says he. There’s a burst of static, and Locke asks what that was. “What was what?” asks Ben, his usual cat-that-ate-the-canary look across his face. Locke turns to walk off and Ben hides the walkie talkie in his pocket. Smooth, Benjamin. Real smooth.
Miles is on the other end of the walkie, wanting to know where Benjamin is lurking. Seems he’s founds something. That something is Richard Alpert, who has seen better days. Richard tells Miles that they need to stay on mission – they need to blow up the plane.
Over in LA X, Miles sees Sayid drive by in the HurleyMobile and gives Detective Ford a call. They need to keep Sun safe, since she’s the one who identified the Iraqi. James heads over to the hospital to check on the Koreans.
At the hospital, Sun and Jin are discussing the suckier parts of being shot, when Juliet pops in for a visit. Wait, JULIET?? Yes! It seems as though Juliet Carlson is alive and well in LA X, and an acting OB/GYN. Juliet squirts some of that magical sonogram gel on Sun’s pregnant tummy and they all have a look-see. That’s all it takes for Sun and Jin to have a full-on awakening, as they get the mystical flashes from their lives on Island Prime. The lovers are ecstatic, and Juliet doesn’t know quite what to make of it. They inform her – in English! – that the baby is a girl, and her name is Ji Yeon. It’s pretty awesome that the awakenings can even transfer language skills. It’s sort of like the Matrix. I half expect the next person to “awaken” and say “I know Kung Fu.”
“Okay, whatever you say … crazy Asians.”
On Island Prime, Sawyer reunites with the other Candidates and fills them in on Locke’s plan. Jack says it doesn’t matter if Locke gets Desmond first or not, they’re all going to the same place, so they might as well head to the bamboo forest and end it all.
In LA X, Locke is getting ready to go under the knife, and he and Jack share a moment. Jack is confident that the procedure will work, and Locke asks if the doc is sure. Jack tells him that there’s always a chance that he could kill him, but he’s trying to make ol’ baldy feel better. Everyone has a big sitcom laugh. Locke asks if they ever found Jack’s dad, and Jack affirms that they have. Locke hopes that’ll bring him some peace. Jack tells John that if he can fix him, that’ll give him all the peace he needs.
Isn’t putting a skull cap on Locke a tad unnecessary? It’s not like he’s going to shed during the operation. Also, not to give anything away, but this sure as hell must be heaven, because there’s no way Locke could walk into Jack’s office in the morning and then go under the knife in the same afternoon.
On the dock on Island Prime, Miles picks a grey hair out of Richard’s head, showing that the pretty old Spaniard can age. Richard smiles, saying that he just realized that he wants to live. Miles quips that it’s really good timing. They untie the outrigger and head out to see toward Hydra Island.
On the way, they bump into something – a dead body – then hear a call for help in the distance. LAPIDUS! Son of a bitch, the old cantankerous pilot is still alive! They haul him in the outrigger and fill him in on the plan to blow up the plane. Lapidus says that’s kind of unnecessary – they should just leave on the plane and make sure Smokey’s not on board. How we gonna do that? says Richard. “In case you haven’t noticed,” says Frank, “I’m a pilot.” Hell yeah you are, Chesty.
Frank doesn’t need to transcend – he’s just too damned cool for that kind of stuff.
Over near the old golf course clearing, Jack and Co. meet Locke and Co. and Kate opens fire. Must be PMS. Ben and Desmond hit the ground – after all, Kate’s usually on the other end of a rifle – but Locke keeps on trucking. “Better save your bullets,” he says. Oh, the irony in that statement, Smokey. Just you wait. He walks over to Jack and they have a little talk. Jack tells Locke that he knows all about his little plan with Desmond, and that instead of stopping him, he wants to go with them. Locke thinks that Jack’s a bit loopy, but Jack is clear about what has to happen. He’s going to go with them, and let Desmond do what Desmond needs to do, and then Jack is going to kill Locke. Well, naturally, this makes Locke pause for a moment, until he asks Jack how he plans to go about. “That’s a surprise,” says Jack. Seems ol’ Doc Shephard has a little Kobayashi Maru up his sleeve. Aww, yeah.
Over in LA X, Jack and Juliet share a moment with young David at the hospital. It seems as though Juliet and Jack were married once upon a time, and produced the virtuoso pianist. Jack hands his ex tickets to the concert and tells David that he should take his Aunt Claire, mentioning that Juliet should like her since she’s extremely pregnant. A little prenatal humor there. Chortle.
Jack sure does like his pretty blondes. It’s amazing that he ended up with a brunette. Still, like the saying goes – “Gentlemen prefer blondes, but they marry brunettes.”
As David and his mother get on the elevator, Sawyer steps off, and he comes this close to reconnecting with his Island sweetheart.
On Island Prime, Jack, Locke and company trek through the Jungle of Mystery towards the bamboo forest. Sawyer inquires as to Jack’s plan, and Jack actually has no idea, other than he suspects Desmond was brought to the Island as a weapon. “Hell of a long con, Doc,” says Sawyer. And how, says I.
The group reach the bamboo, and Locke says it’s the end of the road for everyone except for him, Jack and Des. As they all set off into the thicket, Hurley tells Jack that “I believe in you, dude.”
Jack, Locke and Des reach the golden hole, and Locke ties a rope around a tree while Jack secures the other end to Desmond. Des tells Jack that all this doesn’t matter – he’s seen the other side, and that he’s going to go there. It’s a place where they can all be with the ones they love. Maybe there’s some way that he can bring Jack over there, says Desmond. Jack, in his last bit of protesting, tells Desmond that it all matters – that what happened, happened. Then he and Locke lower Desmond down, down, down … toward the heart of the Island.
Once again, Jack and Locke look down a deep hole, wondering what’s below. And both times, Desmond is the one in the hole. Great symmetry.
In LA X, Hurley and Sayid sit in the dark outside a bar in the Hurleymobile, and the two share a moment. Hurley tells Sayid that he’s a good dude, despite what everyone’s been saying about him. Just then, there’s commotion outside the bar, and a woman is in trouble. Sayid leaps to the rescue, beating the snot out of the guy, and helping the damsel in distress. It’s Shannon! The duo do the little sideways reminiscing two-step and are instantly in love. Back at the Hummer, Boone tells Hurley that it was a pain in the ass getting his sister here from Australia. Hurley says yeah, but that it was totally worth it. Maybe I’m a sap, but this was a totally awesome scene.
At the edge of the bamboo forest, Ben picks up a transmission from Miles. Miles tells Ben that they’re going to fly the plane off the Island and that they all need to haul ass over to Hydra Island so they can escape. This is about the time that crazy Aussie Claire comes out of the brush with a loaded rifle and starts making them all do the meringue. Richard tells her to pipe down, so she does, reluctantly, sitting down to sulk in the sand.
It took six seasons, but I finally discovered the most awkward screen cap in the history of Lost. I have no words.
At the concert in LA X, Juliet is wearing a particularly fetching little black number. If anything else happens in the scene, I’m not really aware of it.
Over in the band tent, Charlotte wakes Charlie up and he gets to drinking. Daniel is there, and introduces himself to Charlotte. They exchange flirty glances, but there’s no shiny Island flashback between the two. I guess they have a few more lives to live before they get their own montage.
David and Claire make their way to table 23, where Desmond and Kate are already seated. Kate and Claire are surprised to see each other. We, however, are not. Up on stage, Pierre Chang introduces Daniel Widmore on piano, with Drive Shaft in accompaniment. Daniel takes his seat and starts up the classical piano, while Charlie and his band look out, awkwardly, into the audience. Charlie spots Claire and the two share a brief moment before little baby Aaron decides he’s had enough and starts the delivery proceedings. Claire makes a run for it, with Kate and Charlie hot on her heels. Has anyone else noticed how big Claire’s stride is? She walks like she’s playing Twister. Is it just me? Maybe it’s just me.
On Island Prime, down in the heart hole, Desmond starts making his way toward the fun part. There are lots of old skeletons strewn about, like in a Dragon’s den. A little further in is a shiny pool, with what looks like four or five handmade ports in the cave wall, feeding water into the pool. It’s all very mystical. Even the music says so.
Anyone ever read It? Deadlights, man … deadlights. We all float down here, Georgie.
Desmond, being all mutant and stuff, steps into the shiny pool and a surge of electromagnetic force wracks his body in pain. He suffers through it, pulling the giant drain plug that keeps all the water from seeping through. Suddenly I’m reminded of a similar scene in Star Trek II, when a certain Vulcan sacrifices himself in order to stop the radiation escaping from the warp core. Anyone … anyone? At any rate, the water starts draining out of the pool and the whole thing starts shorting out and winding down like somebody flipped the switch over at ConEd.
Suddenly, it’s dark. Des tries to pull himself from the pool, but can barely make it from the lip. From the hole where the plug use to sit comes an eerie orange glow, and Desmond screams NOOOOO. Jack and Locke, at the top of the waterfall, look down and hear the screams. Locke points at Jack and tells him that it looks like the good doctor was wrong. He bids Jack adieu. And then the Genesis device kicks in, the whole Island shakes and shimmies like it’s quickly dying, and all hell breaks loose. Does anyone else feel like they’re watching Star Trek II and III, or is it just me?
Outside the heart hole, there are all manner of styrofoam rocks flying about. Locke emerges, but Jack is quick on his heels, jumping on his back and driving him to the dirt. After impact, Locke notices blood on his lips. “Looks like you were wrong, too,” says Jack. Hell yeah! Then Locke knocks his ass out with a rock and gets the hell out of dodge.
If it bleeds, it can die. This is so epic I might just pee myself.
Backstage at the concert in LA X, Claire goes into labor and Kate delivers the baby with Charlie looking on and they all have an awakening and it’s quite beautiful. Whatever. Meanwhile, outside Eloise confronts Desmond, saying that she told him to stop this. Desmond tells her that he chose to ignore her, and that after this, they’re all leaving. Eloise looks up at her son and asks, woefully, if he intends to take her son. Desmond holds her hand and tells her “not with me, no.” The old time lord is appeased.
Back on Island Prime, all hell is continuing to break loose. The whole shack is shimmying, when everybody’s moving around and around and around … ahem, excuse me. Anyways, the cameraman is getting time and a half with all the shaking, and everyone falls to the ground. A tree breaks free and Ben shoves Hurley out of the way, sacrificing himself and becoming pinned. It’s all really touching. Over at the heart hole, rain starts to pour and it wakes up Jack. He heads into the hole, calling after Desmond, but there’s no answer. He runs out into the jungle.
At the entrance to the bamboo jungle, everyone’s trying to get the log off Ben. Shit’s flying everywhere, and it’s raining cats and dogs. Suddenly, there’s a voice on Ben’s fallen radio. It’s Miles. He and Richard and Lapidus are working on the plane and he suggests that they all hightail it over to Hydra Island so they can get the heck off this doomed rock, cuz they’re leaving in an hour. Sonofabitch, says Sawyer, appropriately. Ben tells them they can get there because Locke has a boat. Suddenly, getting Ben out from under that tree seems to be a top priority.
“What the hell is going on, Kate?”
“I’ll tell you what’s going on … there’s a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING IN CENTRAL MINNESOTA!” God bless lost-media.com for their awesome screen caps through the years.
Speaking of Locke and his boat, old baldy is standing on the cliffs at Jacob’s ladder, rain is coming down in sheets. He’s smiling. Suddenly, Jack screams his name, and Locke turns around. He’s not smiling anymore. He draws his knife. The two old adversaries start toward each other – Jack running down the slope, while Locke tracks close to the ground, skirting upwards. The two meet in the middle, and Jack leaps high in the air, one fist coming down strong, as if it were suddenly apparent that he had read a few X-Men comics in his youth.
Wolverine would be proud, Jackie boy. Berserker rage!
An epic fight ensues, far too grand for this mere mortal to express in words. It’s Shakespearean in theme, Homerian in scope and Bruckheimerian in execution. Basically, they kick the snot out of each other for two or three minutes. Eventually, Locke gains the upper hand and drives his trusty blade deep into Jack’s side. Understandably, that hobbles Jack just a bit. He rolls over and Locke pins him, thrusting the blade toward Jack’s neck. He fends off the newly-humanitized smoke monster, just barely, as Locke carves a wound in his neck. (See, I italicized that so you all would realize that’s the reason why Jack’s been battling a neck wound in LA X.)
Just at the moment it seems that Locke has the upper hand, and old Jack is a goner, a shot rings out. Locke collapses, revealing Kate behind him with a rifle. “I saved you a bullet,” growls Freckles through gritted teeth. HELL YEAH, GIRL! It’s good to see you behind a rifle instead of in front of one.
Locke rolls over, grimacing, pulling himself to all fours. He looks up at Jack, blood pouring from his lips, and tells him, weakly, “You’re too late.” Jack rolls his eyes as if to say “whatever, dude” and kicks his bald ass over the cliff and down to the jagged rocks below.
Sucks to your assmar, Piggy.
In LA X hospital, Locke is out of surgery. Jack is with his nurse, wheeling John to the recovery room. The nurse makes a comment about his neck, and Jack wipes away a bit of blood from the wound that doesn’t seem to heal. Jack wants to shower and catch up with his son, but Locke is already coming out of anesthesia. Locke tells Jack that it works – he has feeling in his legs. Jack is stunned. He says that the probability of that is unlikely and uncovers Locke’s feet. Locke wiggles his toes, and gets his shiny Island Prime montage. He cries. Jack gets a brief glimpse of the Island, but snaps back. Locke is beaming, and is ready to move on, asking Jack to come with him, but Jack says he has to get to his son. “You don’t have a son,” says Locke, shaking Jack to his very core.
Back on the cliffs of Island Prime, Kate helps Jack. He says he’s alright – “Just find me some thread and I can count to five.” Nice pilot reference, dude. Sawyer and company show up to help, and they think it’s over. The Island shakes as if to tell them that they’re so very wrong.
In LA X, Sawyer visits the Kwons. He offers them protection from Sayid, but they just grin and say it’s not necessary. As they leave the room, Jin tells Sawyer that they’ll “see you there.” James is understandably confused.
On Island Prime, Lapidus is resetting the electronics on the plane and flipping a lot of switches, but something isn’t right. He sends Richard and Miles down below with a roll of duct tape to make sure everything is hooked up alright.
Across the way, the Island is still getting the shakes. Jack determines that he has to turn on whatever Desmond turned off. Kate wants Jack to come, but he knows he can’t. Sawyer and Kate make their way toward the Elizabeth, while Ben and Hurley decide that they’re going with Jack. Jack says his goodbyes to Kate, and they kiss deeply. They profess their love for each other. Then Jack turns and is gone, forever. At least until the next life, anyway.
Back at the plane, Miles tapes up some sort of electrical line with duct tape. Richard asks if he can fix it. Miles responds with the best line of the episode: “I don’t believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape.” Amen, brother.
Sawyer radios in, telling Chesty to cool his jets until they get there. Lapidus tells them they need to get their asses in gear. Sawyer sonovabitches and tells Kate that they’re gonna have to go cliff diving. So they do, and swim off for the Elizabeth.
In LA X hospital, things get interesting. Sawyer asks Jack where he can get some grub, and the doc directs him toward the nexus of all hospital-related activity – the magic vending machine. Sawyer tries to buy an Apollo bar, but it gets stuck. Enter the lovely Juliet.
“Can I tell you a secret? If you unplug it, and then plug it back in, the candy just drops right down.” Whatever you say, darlin’.
Sawyer does as blondie tells him and the lights go out, making it all romantic-like, and then they touch and there’s the shiny Island Prime moment and she asks him if they could get some coffee sometime, just like down in the pit when she dies – they could go dutch – and they embrace and kiss and it’s pretty much wonderfully awesome. The end. Aww, crap, there’s more show. Isn’t this what it’s all about, anyway?
Jack finally shows up for the concert, but everyone is tearing down. Kate’s there in her hot little black number. Jack feels like he knows her from somewhere, and it’s not just a line because she’s in a hot little black number. Kate tells him that they know each other better than just flight 815, and then she takes his face in her hands and he gets flashes of Island Prime. Jack takes a breather, not knowing what’s happening. Kate urges him to come with her. He considers it.
On Island Prime, the Genesis device is in full swing, wreaking havoc on the planet, ummmm, Island. Jack, Hurley and Ben are at the heart hole, and Jack is going down. Hurley is concerned with Jack’s survival, but it’s becoming pretty evident that Jack isn’t going to make it back alive. This doesn’t sit well with Hurley, but Jack tells him that this is the way it’s supposed to happen. Jack tells Hugo that it needs to be him to protect the Island – that of all of them, he is the best candidate. “Hurley, I believe in you,” says Jack. We do, too … we do, too.
Hurley reluctantly agrees. Jack asks for a receptacle, and Ben has an old Oceanic bottle. Jack walks over to a stagnant, malaria-ridden puddle, fills the bottle and asks Hurley to drink it. Insanely, he does. “Is that it?” asks Hugo. Jack smiles and puts his hand on Hurley’s shoulder. “Now you’re like me,” says Jack.
That is one poor choice for a grail cup.
At the plane, Lapidus throws some switches, kicks the tires and lights the fires, big daddy.
At the heart hole, Hurley and Ben lower Jack down. The Island shakes and the lose their grip, dropping Jack to the bottom. He unties the rope and heads toward the pool, finding Desmond passed out. Des comes around, blabbering about the light, and how he was supposed to move on after extinguishing it. Jack helps him to his feet, affirming that it was the stone in big hole that did the trick. Desmond tells him yah, but that it’ll kill him, so it has to be the Scot. Jack tells Desmond that he’s done enough, and it’s time for him to go home to his wife and kid.
“I’ll see you in another life, brother,” says Jack.
On Hydra Island, Sawyer sees part of the main Island sink into the Pacific, and all of a sudden we’re at the climax of a Stephen King novel. Lapidus barks some orders. Kate finds Claire and begs her to come with them, while the Ajira plane starts to taxi, off in the distance. Claire goes apeshit, telling Kate that she can’t leave because the Island has made her crazy and Aaron can’t see her like this. Kate says she’ll help her, and that Aaron can have two moms, if that’s cool. It is, and they all lope off toward the plane.
Lapidus is all set to go, and guns it forward. Sawyer, Kate and Claire manage to hit the runway before takeoff, and Lapidus orders Miles to open the door for the late arrivals.
Down at the heart, Jack grits his teeth and struggles mightily and manages to place the ornate stone back into the power hole. He collapses, exhausted and wounded, as the reddish glow slowly dims.
At the plane, Sawyer, Kate and Claire are ushered on board, and Lapidus guns it as the ground cracks beneath them. The plane speeds along the makeshift runway, and the passengers grip their armrests. Lapidus grimaces and coaxes the plane to go faster, faster, the runway running out quickly, telling it to come on, come on, until, just at the last second, he’s able to guide the plane up and into the air, narrowly missing the end of the line. “Amen,” says Frank. Rock on, says we.
Down at the heart, the Island quakes are subsiding. Jack is still wounded, but water soon starts to flow into the pool and the peaceful, powerful golden glow returns to the centerstone. Up at the top of the waterfall, Ben remarks that Jack did it, and Hurley orders that they should pull Jack up. They tug at the rope, as heroic music plays. Down below, the pool fills with water and the golden glow swells. Jack leans against the sides of the pool, laughing, joyous at the thought that he has finally found his destiny and it is fulfilled.
Yeah, I’m always happy when the hot water finally kicks in, too.
Up top, Hurley pulls on a hand, believing that it is Jack, but Desmond is pulled up instead. Hurley yells down below for his old friend, but it’s no use. Jack is gone.
In LA X, Locke’s cab pulls up to the same church that Desmond ushered Christian’s body into earlier. The cabbie helps him into his wheelchair, and he rolls off toward the entrance. Ben sits on a bench out front, and Locke says hello. He asks Ben if everyone is inside, to which Benjamin replies that most of them are, yes. Ben stops Locke and apologizes for what he did to Locke – he was selfish, jealous and wanted everything that he had. John doesn’t quite understand and asks Ben what, exactly, John had. “You were special, John … and I wasn’t,” replies Ben.
“If it helps, I forgive you,” says John.
Ben agrees that it does help. Locke grins his Lockian grin, and asks what Ben will do now. Ben tells John that he has some things to work out, and that he’ll probably stay awhile. Locke starts to wheel away, but Ben tells John that he doesn’t need to be in the chair anymore. Locke pauses, then pulls one leg after another out of the chair, standing and casting the chair aside forever. “Goodbye, Ben,” says Locke, as he heads up the stairs and into the church.
On the Island, Ben and Hurley are out of the hole, now, Ben braces Desmond’s head with his pack, while Hurley contemplates the future of things. Hugo is fretting about his place on the Island, wondering how he will fill Jack’s shoes. Ben chimes in and tells him that Hurley will do what he does best – take care of people. Hurley can start by helping Desmond get home. “But how,” asks Hurley. “No one is supposed to leave the Island.”
“That’s how Jacob ran things,” says Ben, being awesome. “Maybe there’s another way. A better way.”
Hurley asks Ben for his help, which takes Ben aback. Hurley needs someone with experience, at least for a little while, and Ben is the best candidate for that job. Ben agrees, saying that he would be honored. “Cool,” says Hurley.
In LA X, Hurley comes out the front door of the church, noticing Benjamin sitting on the bench. He urges Ben to come inside, but Ben is reluctant, saying that he thinks he’ll stay out there for awhile. Hurley considers it and moves back toward the door, pausing for a second to tell Ben that he was a “really good number two.” Ben tells Hurley that he was a “great number one” and Hurley tells Ben “Thanks, dude” before turning to head back into the church.
Jack arrives at the church in his old Bronco, with Kate riding shotgun. She asks if he recognizes the place and he does – it’s where he was going to hold his father’s funeral. Kate tells him that he is still holding his father’s funeral there, and that he can go around back – she’ll be waiting for him inside.
On the Island, Jack wakes up on the same rocks that the Man in Black was found after his foray into the heart of the Island. He clutches his side and weakly gets to his feet.
At the church, Jack heads through the back door. He enters a chamber, and notices a coffin. Hesitantly, he circles the coffin, afraid to acknowledge what might be within it. Eventually, he pauses and reaches out a hand, pressing it against the wooden frame. Instantly, Jack is filled with images of his awakening on the Island, and the subsequent moments that made up the most important part of his life – the bamboo forest, his rescue of Claire and the survivors, Boone’s death and most notably, his love and time with Kate. Suddenly, it’s very clear to Jack – he’s lived another life, and it’s time for him to come to terms with the memories and the love from that experience.
Shocked, Jack backs away, then lifts the lid of the coffin, peering inside. The coffin is empty. He sighs, and closes the lid. “Hey, kiddo, ” says a voice behind him. Dad? asks Jack.
He turns. It is, indeed, Christian Shephard. “Hello, Jack,” says Christian.
Jack is very, very confused. “How are you here?” questions Jack.
Christian says, very clearly, “How are you here?”
Jack pauses for a moment, contemplating his father’s words, then doubles over with realization. “I died,” he says, with a sinking finality. Christian comforts him, telling his son that it’s okay. They embrace, and profess their love. Jack asks if his father is real, and Christian says he hopes so. Everything is real – everything that’s ever happened to him is real. All those people in the church are real, too.
“They’re all dead?” asks Jack.
“Everyone has to die sometime, kiddo,” replies Christian. Some before, some long after, says Christian. Jack asks why they’re all here now.
“Well, there is no ‘now’ here,” explains Christian. “This is a place that you all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That’s why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.”
“For what?” asks Jack.
“To remember,” says Christian. “And to let go.”
Jack says that Kate mentioned they were leaving. No, says Christian – not leaving … “Moving on.”
“Where are we going?” asks Jack.
“Let’s go find out,” says his father, with a grin.
Jack and Christian walk out from the side entrance and into the main vestibule. All of the main players are there, smiling and reminiscing. Old lovers have been reunited – Hurley and Libby, Sawyer and Juliet, Sayid and Shannon.
On the Island, in the jungle, Jack hobbles along, bleeding.
In the church, Jack greets Locke, and the two smile and shake hands. “We’ve been waiting for you,” says Locke.
Jack continues his Island trek through the bamboo.
Jack turns to see Desmond, with Penny. He shakes his hand, and the two share a cherished moment. Boone makes his way over, and embraces Jack.
Jack stumbles through the bamboo grove, slowly now, inching toward the spot where he began, passing by his father’s white tennis shoe, suspended on a branch.
Jack and Hurley embrace, Hugo wrapping Jack in a huge bear hug. Charlie and Claire hold baby Aaron so tight while Shannon and Sayid look on with love. Sawyer and Jack hug it out, too. A long road, down a crooked path, but straighter than true with friends like you.
Finally, Jack and Kate find each other, and she brushes the hair from her face and smiles deeply. He takes her hand and walks into the group.
Jack, finally exhausted, reaches his destination in the bamboo jungle and collapses.
Jack and Kate take their seat in the pews. Slowly, everyone else does, as well. There are many smiles and kisses, the warmth and comfort of old friends and deep love abiding. Christian walks amongst them, and grips his son’s shoulder in fatherly love.
On the Island, Jack lies in the loose bamboo leaves, his strength waning. He looks left and right, seemingly alone, until a familiar bark echoes in the background. Faithful Vincent is soon with him, and the dog lovingly kisses Jack’s cheek as he smiles at the appearance of his oldest friend. Knowing that Jack is fading, Vincent lies down beside Jack and brings him comfort.
In the church, Christian makes his way to the front doors. Gripping both, he opens them, bathing the inner church with bright, golden light. The dear, old friends look around at each other and smile, knowing that their next journey – no matter where it might be – will be taken together.
On the Island, Jack and Vincent lie together in the bamboo forest, just as they did when Oceanic 815 crashed on the Island so many years ago. Jack gazes up at the sky, his view obscured by the bamboo, swaying in the wind. Suddenly, the Ajira plane rockets past that visible pocket of sky, and Jack smiles, knowing that everything that he’s lived for, everything he’s been searching for – everything that’s real – exists forever in that moment, and his will is done.
Needless to say, I found this episode of Lost very moving.
Although I steer very clear from the myriad Lost forums and blogs out there for fear that they will taint and twist the thoughts that spew forth in this column, I do spend a fair bit of time on Twitter. And from my time on Monday hearing the differing opinions bouncing back and forth about the finale, I have to wonder if some people out there were watching the same show I was for six years. There are many out there, like me, who thought that the series ended the way that it should, and that there were enough questions left – very personal questions that would leave you pondering the series and much more important beliefs for decades – but there are just as many out there that seem hurt, confused and, well, lost after Jack closed his eye and moved onto a higher plane.
Honestly, I liken it to a very similar finale from a few years past – that of Quantum Leap. Most thought that Sam Becket would finally leap home and live happily ever after, but the show delved deeper into the concepts of free will versus predestination. Sam was given a choice as to whether he would return home and live out his life, or if he could do one final good deed and then move onto another level of his journeys. In the end, Sam chose the honorable route, sacrificing the one thing he wanted – to go home – for the good of many. It’s the age old choice of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, or the one. Jack made a very similar, personal choice when he volunteered to take on Jacob’s duties, and then again when he chose to relight the fire at the heart of the Island, even though it meant certain doom. How can anyone be disappointed in that ending? These are heady issues, far beyond those of the everyman – Jack didn’t have to sit at a bus stop and contemplate whether to take the #23 or #42 bus downtown, or agonize whether he should see Annie Hall for the fifth time or take a chance on MacGruber. Jack chose life or death – an epic, mythical choice that extends to the very roots of all our cultures and our existence. I can’t comprehend disappointment at that level; clearly it’s a lot of youthful souls crying out because they’re sitting on the bench outside the church, not yet ready to move on.
But enough of that. Let’s get some good old-fashioned religion, shall we?
THE WINDOW TO THE SOUL
You all remember this, right? Well, let’s break it down, from top, left to right: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism.
Islam. The crescent moon and star have many interpretations, and the exact origins aren’t defined. However, many scholars believe that early use of the icons comes from the Babylonian gods of Sin – the moon god, or father of time – and Shamash – the sun god, judge of heaven and Earth. The symbol was a metaphor for the mystical powers granted to the Babylonian king during his rule.
Judaism. The Star of David may originate from the shield of David mentioned in a blessing used on Saturday and holidays. This shield – basically God – protected David in battle. Of notable mention: the Hebrew word Olam Ha-Ba means “the world to come,” and refers to the age of the Messiah, as well as the afterlife. It is used in the Mishnah: “This world is like a lobby before the Olam Ha-Ba. Prepare yourself in the lobby so that you may enter the banquet hall.” Another text states that “the world is only like a hotel. The world to come is like a home.”
Hinduism. Hinduism is represented by the Aum – or Om – the most sacred symbol in the Hindu dharma. It represents a mantra, or uttered word, and symbolizes the infinite ultimate reality and the entire universe. The letters in the Aum each stand for something different: A is for creation, U is for preservation, M is for destruction. The three portions of the Aum relate to the states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep.
Christianity. The Christian cross represents salvation, redemption and sacrifice. God the Father sacrificed his only son, Jesus, so that everyone’s sins could be absolved. Jesus acted as the proxy for every person on Earth as he was crucified.
Buddhism. The wheel is one of the most important Buddhist symbols. Buddha was said to have turned the wheel of dharma, and thus the wheel is known as the dharmachakra, or wheel of law. The turning of the wheel symbolizes change and spiritual growth. It also represents the neverending cycle of rebirth – of which no one can escape without the teachings of Buddha. The wheel – and dharmachakra – have been a very large part of the Lost mythos since the very beginning.
Taoism. The Yin-Yang is a familiar symbol that most recognize as representative of balance, or opposite and equal qualities in a paradigm. The universe seeks equilibrium; without such balance, it will fall to entropy and cease to exist. The yin-yang is present in everything, especially nature, as plants and animals are born, live, procreate and die, fulfilling their cycle, but leaving a legacy to preserve balance.
YEAH, GREAT… SO WHAT’S IT ALL MEAN?
I believe that this finale – and, indeed, this series – has ultimately triumphed because it left itself open to personal interpretation. Most anyone could connect to a particular character, and be touched and live vicariously through their eyes. The finale – although mostly centered around Jack’s transition from one journey to another – is the greatest example of this quality. We didn’t get all the answers, but that’s fine by me. I would rather be left with a sense of wonder, and lots of food for thought, as that has been the nature of the series as a whole. Lost leaves a legacy of philosophy and introspection that will be talked about for many years to come, and will certainly be rediscovered by generations beyond ours.
For the final drink recipe there was only one clear choice, and just like this episode, it may be polarizing – especially for those whose minds aren’t so clean. I get the feeling that would be about 95 percent of you. So dry your crying eyes and get out your favorite cocktail glass; everything’s going to be just fine.
THE HAPPY ENDING
- 2 jiggers vodka
- Fresh orange juice
- Club Soda
- Cranberry Juice
- Fresh lime
Pour the beautifully crisp vodka into your glass with some crushed ice. Add a splash or two of fresh orange juice, then fill the rest with the sparkling club soda. Stir gingerly. Add a dash of lovely cranberry juice at the top for color and pep, and a squeeze of lime juice. Sip leisurely. Don’t worry, be happy; three or four of these, and you’re bound to transcend.
Although I believe that everyone should take what they will from Lost and the finale, I will share my reflections with all of you because, well, it’s my column and I can do what I want. Also, it’s going to be the last time I get to ramble on incoherently about the Island and its mysteries. Let’s do this!
This dimension or plane of existence represents the culmination of many lifetimes and connections – this was the most important time in the lives of those touched by the Island and they were all intertwined intimately. It didn’t matter what time they ultimately died, as this was the pivotal point of their lives – the hub of the wheel. So even though Hurley stayed on the Island and may have died many, many years later, his consciousness shifts to this moment because this is the moment; the moment from which everyone was moving toward and from which their experiences would move away had they not died on the Island.
The beauty of the arc of the series is that this ending is completely open to interpretation. Many believe that everyone died and this is the transition area – purgatory, if you will – before they get to move onto heaven, or achieve nirvana, or whatever afterlife you may believe in. But because the story also involved time travel and quantum mechanics and introduced the possibility of the existence of multiple dimensions, it can also satisfy those that would rather prescribe a more scientific explanation. This other world could be a parallel dimension, and an area where their consciousness would migrate toward when they died. The migration would be independent of time and space, and represent a moment when the two worlds were at their closest. The Island was a conduit for that overlap, becoming a nexus where the consciousness of everyone could overlap. Desmond represented the full culmination of the traits of science and faith in one character – he is the Variable, able to shift his consciousness across time and, ultimately, dimension, but he was also a man of the cloth. He is the embodiment of a man of faith and a man of science.
Personally, I don’t think you have to interpret the end as one path or another. It’s not wholly a matter of faith or science – the two can meet in the middle, and support one another rather than being at odds. As a man of faith and science, the finale represents a brilliant culmination of these aspects. You can believe that this final staging area is the gateway to Heaven, or the final step before nirvana. Alternatively, you can postulate that the group consciousness was able to make the quantum shift to another plane of existence, another dimensional state. In the end, though, aren’t these seemingly-diametrically opposed paradigms actually one in the same? After all, what is heaven but another realm of existence?
In the context of what happened, memory denotes heaven – it’s a place where our greatest memories can live on, and we can reconnect with those people that meant the most to us. This area, the church, was nothing more than a gathering place – a transition spot where everyone’s consciousness could transcend and move onto the next level of existence. Those in the room know that they will be connected forever because they have found what they were looking for – whether that’s peace, love or redemption. Those, like Ben, who stay behind are those that haven’t quite made peace with their soul’s inner turmoil. Ben now has a chance to become a father and live another life, caring for his daughter and, perhaps, finding love and acceptance. Perhaps he will transcend in this life, and move on, or he may live several more lives before he truly finds what he’s looking for.
Could Island Prime have been a glimpse into another reality altogether, another plane of existence, and a stepping stone in the path that branches infinitely? Life – existence – is made up of these never-ending branches. Some choose the right path on their first try, but others stumble and walk down dark, dead-ends. They must retrace their steps. The characters in Lost have all been down those dark dead-ends, but the Island was the beacon that lead them out of darkness. The light that shone so bright from its interior was that which we all seek – it is the light of hope and of truth and of redemption. When it was said that if the light was allowed to go out, it would go out everywhere, that referred to the infinite power of the Island to bring about change – and change for the greater good. In the end, everyone who set foot on the Island found a bit more of that light inside them than was ever there before, and it illuminated everything. Most importantly, though, it showed them the way home.
THE LAST RANDOM BITS
A few quick shoutouts, separate from last week’s: To MeatyDoughnut on Hobotrashcan, thanks for reading through the years and for popping in from time to time with some really heady thoughts. For the record, though, I’m on top of the anthuriums. To makitt on LiveJournal, nicely done with the Juliet call. You totally nailed that. It’s almost as if you wrote that bit. Did you? On Twitter, @powlsy is the biggest Lapidus fan I know, and got a real happy ending on Sunday. I found this bit of fun in powlsy’s Twitter feed on Monday morning.
Speaking of Twitter, the feeds were alive with the sounds of kvetching on Sunday night, as Cleveland ABC station WEWS suffered technical difficulties, rendering much of the finale useless to viewers. For instance, during Christian Shephard’s “What’s it all about?” speech, it was complete silence, so viewers could see Christian was alive, but had no idea what the hell was happening. I can’t imagine being the station manager that night – this would be worse than the infamous Heidi Game. Twitterer and Hobotrashcan reader Stephen Foskett was part of the nightmare and provides a rather amusing reenactment of his Sunday night.
The only thing that disappointed me was the fact that Vincent wasn’t in the church. Unless he ultimately ends up with Walt again in this reality, in which case that’s okay. I also loved that Vincent stays with Jack at the end, because no one dies alone. I love that dog so much that I wouldn’t have been disappointed if it had all turned out to be his dream.
I doubt I’ll buy the extended collection that’s due out in August, as I have no desire to know any of the “secrets” that the producers want to share. I’d rather speculate for eternity, thank you very much.
Eloise has always been hip to the multiple dimensions and time. She is like Desmond and can see the paths ahead and behind. There may be others like her, and some may keep the secret to themselves, while others choose to spread enlightenment. This is a fascinating argument for some of the great spiritual leaders throughout human history.
Speaking of the Quantum Leap finale (which you should all watch – what’s wrong with you?), when Sam is taken to his “lobby” to talk to what many assumed might be God in the guise of a simple bartender, the barkeep gave him some sage advice: “Sometimes ‘that’s the way it is’ is the best explanation.”
Watching the finale live was a treat, mostly because of the amazing Target commercials. I think the failing Dharma keyboard was my favorite.
I couldn’t go a whole season without putting fitting this damn thing in somewhere.
There were many unanswered questions after the finale, so I’ll go over some of them very briefly …
Where was Walt and Michael? Michael was not yet ready to move on, much like Ana Lucia. They were both pretty awful in their lives on Island Prime and, even though Michael sought redemption on the freighter, his consciousness was not yet ready to transcend. As for Walt, his time on the Island was important, but brief, so it’s likely that he went on to bigger and brighter things in his life, creating a new transcendence nexus for his afterlife.
Who said “help me” in the cabin? Your mom.
What’s up with the Dharma food drops? Well, Desmond and Kelvin had to keep the Swan stocked with something, right? It’s likely that the Initiative was still functioning in some sort of capacity in order to keep the Swan operational, and after the purge, there was no way in hell anyone was going to set foot on that Island without the Marines in tow.
What about the numbers? It’s likely that they point toward a connection with a reality that’s a “step back” along the journey of the survivors. Each iteration of a lifetime brings with it certain connections that grow and multiply with successive iterations. The numbers are representative of those iterations – they’re simply connective baggage that is tossed about in the Island’s nexus. We’ll probably never know where they originated, or their true significance, but that’s okay by me.
What about the sickness? Either a rumor perpetrated by Dharma for control, or spread by the Others for somewhat nefarious purposes. Still, the sickness could have been real – the sickness relating to being mentally ill and transformed, like Rousseau’s science team. Just a guess, really – they really let this one slide as the seasons wore on.
Yeah, well what about the baby thing? Electromagnetic interference. It was used to explain just about everything else on the Island.
It’s about time to wrap things up, but before I go I thought I would share some future plans with all of you. Although Lost is at an end, Down the Hatch will live on as a column on Hobotrashcan. Joel and I are still working out the kinks in the format, but imagine me taking a different, random TV show or series each week and dissecting it, Lost-style. Yes, that could mean Two and a Half Men or Jersey Shore, God help me. It’s very likely that I’ll rely on readers to supply me with viewing suggestions, so check back in a couple of weeks and see what we come up with. Also, if there are any games enthusiasts out there, I’ve recently become the Durham Games Examiner over on Examiner.com. The articles I write over there might not change your life, but at least they’re guaranteed to be shorter than an unabridged War and Peace. Oh, and don’t forget to tune into the Hobo Radio podcast this week – I’ll be on there, bringing some class to the proceedings for a change.
THIS IS THE PART WHERE I CRY
The end is near; time to pack my things and learn to let go. More than any other show, Lost has profoundly affected my life in ways far greater than this weekly column and the great people who have shared their thoughts, support and affinity. I’ve been with the show since the very beginning, and for over six years I’ve watched these characters rise and fall, suffer and triumph, love and be heartbroken. In a way, Lost has been my constant during those years, as I have done a lot of living in that time, just like the survivors of Oceanic 815. This show has seen me through four job changes, five moves, the loss of two dear friends and four relationships. When Jack’s eye opened in September of 2004, so did mine; I started to let go of an old life and embrace a new one as I applied for a job in Boston. Four months later, I was there, on a new path and beginning a new journey, one which would become a long trek down a crooked path. I’ve come full circle now, and like those intertwined survivors I am ready to let go and to move on – not only from Lost, but from the struggles and heartaches, mistakes and missteps of my past. I’m ready. I’ve opened the door and the light is warm and bright, and full of hope.
For all of you out there who have come along on this journey, I wish you all the best. And as I’ve come to realize, remember always: even though the jungle may be dense, the path strewn with peril and your destination not wholly known, you’re never truly lost if you’ve found yourself.
See you in another life. Namaste.
Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. Michael Emerson, Lost’s Benjamin Linus, called Kirkman’s recaps “one of the smartest articles I’ve ever read about what goes on on our show.” Thanks to Jimmy Kimmel, Kirkman almost got his wish of Lost ending with Bob Newhart waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette, complaining of a strange, strange dream. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.