So it’s finally over. After six seasons of drama full of twists, turns, comedy, romance, thrills, mysteries, and so much more, Lost has come to a conclusion with a lot of questions unanswered and a lot of debate to follow. The finale episode was simply titled, “The End” and what an ending it was. So the main question that a lot of us were left with as the word LOST centered our televisions for the last time was: What just happened?
For anyone who is confused, let me shed some light on the subject (no pun intended). The big mystery throughout the final season was: What does the flash-sideways mean and how, if any, does it link to the on-island action? We found that out during the final moments of the finale in the conversation between Jack and his father Christian.
The flash-sideways is a place where there is no time and is an in-between place from the real world to the afterlife. It’s a purgatory of sorts. And all of the castaways were in this world, desperately trying to find each other. Most made the connection through love, which seemed like the single most important feeling to be allowed into the Church and to be ready to move forward. As the characters touched their loved ones, they remembered the events of their lives on the island. After that, they were quick to accept the place they were in and were ready to move on. Everyone except Jack.
But that was just Jack being Jack, right? It took him five seasons to accept that he was there for a reason and to believe in the fate he was destined for. The same went for the flash-sideways. Everyone who was ready knew what they had to do after they saw the flash of their life, but not Jack. He saw the flash a few times. He knew he remembered certain people before, even when he just met them. He just couldn’t let himself believe this was what everything was about. That is until he placed his hand on his father’s empty coffin and spoke with his father face-to-face. That is when he was finally ready.
The scene when Jack joins everyone in the church with all of the castaways and their loved ones greeting him with smiles, handshakes, and hugs… that was a beautiful moment for Lost. Jack was their leader from the start, their leader who saved the island, and their leader to take them to the next stage of the afterlife. What a poetic and touching conclusion.
Of course, these are just my feelings and opinions on the finale. There are a lot of people who are upset, confused, and frustrated at how Lost ended. Those people are the ones who cared more about finding out the answers to the many mysteries and tying all the loose ends, such as: who the hell were those Temple Others, why did that pool have healing properties, what was the deal with Walt, and who were shooting at the castaways during the fifth season flashes?
But I think those people are missing the whole point of the show. Lost isn’t about answering questions to all of its mysteries. It’s about something greater altogether. It’s about how the human condition works, how everyone is unique and when put in extreme situations, how would people respond? It’s an in-depth character study for these flawed people in pain and who desperately need to reset their lives. This is what the island gave to them. A chance to change, to better themselves, and to better one another.
But it wouldn’t be an episode of Lost without raising some questions. So what was the meaning of the island and the light in the cave? I already mentioned how I feel the island was the place where these troubled characters were selected and brought to better themselves, but that light in the cave? Maybe it represents the real world. We’ve been warned that if that light goes out, everyone we love will die. And the MIB wanted to so badly destroy that light because it would finally allow him to leave the island. Interestingly enough, when Desmond dislodged the boulder to turn the light off, MIB became mortal. This led to Jack’s battle between MIB that ended with Kate shooting MIB in the back and Jack kicking him off the cliff.
But seriously, what does the light mean? Maybe it’s the faith inside everyone that there is something greater after we die. Whether that represents faith in heaven or not, the light could be the idea that everyone has the choice to believe. Without that light, there is no faith, there is no hope, there is no future. Without the positive aspects of believing, why would anyone care if tomorrow existed?
Something that I’m curious about after the series has ended is what Juliet said in the first episode of the sixth season. She said, “It worked.” The idea was that exploding the nuke will destroy the pocket of energy that caused the plane to crash onto the island. But after the explosion, they were still on the island. Since the flash-sideways was a purgatory, that obviously wasn’t what Juliet was talking about. So what “worked”?
After all is said and done, after the plane crashes and the survivors spend years on the island, after Jack saved the world from the smoke monster and restored the light in the cave, after Hurley and Ben stay to protect the island… we all simply die. That’s the inevitability about life. Even the never-aging Richard or the immortal Jacob… everyone dies eventually. It’s the only guarantee in life.
So we’re reminded of that very certainty in the church. While the castaways are seated with their loved ones, they are finally ready to move onto whatever is next. “Live together or die alone.” They chose to live together.