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October 10, 2015

'Lost' - 'The End' Recap (Series Finale)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 24th 2010 2:31AM
'Lost' - 'The End'(S06E17/18) I was right! I was right! Well, I was probably more wrong than right, but I was right about one key thing, which makes me very happy. Happy not just because I'm right, but because what I'm right about is just so appropriate; so perfect for this series finale.

As finales go, 'The End' will definitely go down as one of the more satisfying ones; even though it didn't come close to answering all of our questions about the Island and its special properties. But creators Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse promised that we would be satisfied with the conclusions of the character arcs, and in that regard I think they're right.

At two-and-a-half hours, I'm still digesting everything they threw at me. I struggle at times to sort out a typical one hour episode, much less a feature film length one. But I'm glad the finale will linger with me in the weeks to come, because it is bittersweet saying goodbye to 'Lost.' There has been nothing like it on television, and there may never be again. That it succeeded at all is a miracle.

The question of when the beta-verse occurred has finally been answered, and while it was 2004, it wasn't at the same time. The beta-verse was an equivalent to the Purgatory many religions believe in. As I indicated, it was a place where everyone seemed to be doing better; they'd achieved their root desires and passions, but it was by no means perfection. As such, it could not be Heaven. If this is to be equated to that belief system, then it was appropriately Christian Shephard who opened the doors to Heaven, awaiting all of them who'd come together.

The characters we'd come to know and love needed one another, and that's what the Island gave them. They needed to find one another in the beta-verse as well, to emotionally resolve their experiences on the Island. For most of them, that trigger was love. For Benjamin Linus it was brutality and violence, which is why he did not go into the church (notably of many faiths). He did not feel he was yet ready to transcend, or move on, to the next plane.

It's still unclear exactly what the Island was, though I'm sure many have theories already. I'm sure I'll come up with one in the next day or so, but right now it's a little too fresh and muddled in my mind. That thing i was right about? That Hurley would ultimately take on the mantle of protector of the Island. Perhaps the Island is the spiritual center of our world. The "other Mother" from a couple of weeks ago was the sole guardian for a long time.

It was only happenstance that a set of twins came along to be the next generation, unless you believe it was by design. Only one could be the guardian, so what role could the other play. Perhaps there is only ever supposed to be one guardian, and when there is things are peaceful. Because the Man in Black existed, and became what he was by killing the "other Mother" and enraging Jacob, the Island became more tumultuous.

Hurley selecting Ben as his "#2" fulfilled Ben's lifelong passion of being special, but it was done in the real world. In Purgatory, he was a far kinder man than he'd been on the Island, but he didn't have Alex as his daughter; instead he had her as a student. As it turns out, he may well be on his way to a relationship with Danielle Rousseau, depending on how the properties of that world work.

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If the gang in the church go through the light, does that version of Purgatory still exist, and if it does, are they still a part of it for Ben, or will they have all mysteriously vanished? Time has no real sense there, so I'm sure everything can happen however it needs to.

I'm pretty satisfied with the beta-verse being a level of the afterlife, awaiting the opportunity to move on to something even more perfect. The only thing needed to do so, is the ability to forgive. Not only those around them, but most importantly themselves their shortcomings.

At the same time, there's a part of me that things making it all about explaining the beta-verse was a pretty clever way to get out of explaining most of the mysteries and secrets of the Island. I'd liken it to when a magician uses misdirection to keep the audiences eyes away from the sleight of hand.

I'm not saying I needed to know all of the secrets of the Island, but they certainly left a lot more open to interpretation than I expected. By the way, if Desmond pulling the plug on the light made Jack and MiB-Locke lose their immortality and powers, how was Jack able to transfer the role of guardian of the Island to Hurley? How could the water have still had any of those properties?

We are left to wonder if and how Ben and Hurley got Desmond off the Island, and what happened next to them, but those are questions I don't mind lingering. I'm not sure why the Island had to be sunk in the beta-verse, or how it would have come to be that way. It's also still a mystery how they traveled through time, what the light was (as well as its dryer, redder alternate), how you can move an Island, why it is so hard to find from the outside world and vice-versa, who the "other Mother" was, and why the light needs to be guarded. We also never learned why Walt was special.

But again, if it was about satisfying closure for the characters, we got that in spades. Even the characters we didn't see seemed appropriate. Ana Lucia wasn't ready yet, as Desmond said, because she's not ready to ascend. Michael, likewise, is probably not ready to atone for his sins. Perhaps we are to believe that Walt was not dead, even though time didn't really matter in the beta-verse. I'd like to think rather that he wasn't in need of this stage of the afterlife an went straight on to what was next.

I enjoyed every single connection moment that trigger memories of their real lives back on the Island, Kate again helped to deliver Aaron, while Charlie and Claire rediscovered their love. Sawyer found it over a candy bar with Juliet, while Sayid saved Shannon from a beating. Locke's coming when he wiggled his toe is perfect, as that was the defining moment of his personality on the Island. Jack, of course, resisted as long as he could, but eventually succumbed to the flashes of truth when touching the casket that did not contain the body of his father.

Visually, It was appropriate that Jack made his way back to the exact place he awoke on the Island, passing one of the tennis shoes his father was wearing in the casket, and even had Vincent by his side when we had our closing shot of his eye closing, rather than opening. While there are a lot of unanswered questions, we are supposedly promised additional scenes (about 20 minutes of them) on the DVD set that will answer yet more of them, as well as other answers given by the creators.

That ought to give them some extra time to come up with them.


--Juliet said "it worked" about the bomb, but it doesn't appear that it did. They all died at different times to go to the beta-verse, so what worked?

--So they introduced a brand new concept at the beginning of the sixth season, and that's what they explained in the finale. What about the first five seasons of questions?

--My theory on the people in the church was they were the people who were ready to move on. Some people weren't there, which means they either weren't ready or didn't need this step in their afterlife progression at all, like perhaps Walt and Faraday.

--Perhaps the other people around them in the beta-verse weren't even those people. It's more like Aaron was a construct of the beta-verse to serve a purpose, but the real Aaron's "soul" wasn't in that body as he, like Walt, maybe didn't need this time in Purgatory. The same would apply to most of the other peripheral characters.

--What? No Nikki and Paulo? Oh yeah, straight to Hell for those two.

--Why did they have to go back to the Island in the first place? Because Hurley and Jack were off the Island? Nobody else left was good enough? Sawyer was there, and he was a candidate.

--It was a new "Oceanic Six" that left the Island, including Frank Lapidus, who flew them out the first time. This time around it was him, Miles, Richard, Sawyer, Kate and Claire. Only Kate and Frank got to escape the Island twice.

[Relive all your favorite moments with clips and full episodes of 'Lost' over at SlashControl. Check out the full version below.]

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David morales

Well, that's funny, apparently the show was trying to make money.After all, looking on the bright side, the theme of show is perhaps to tell people that they have so many deep questions and they are trying to find answers for them, end up giving up. Just like the show, didn't answer all the "real" questions, it just gives an explanation that most people are satisfied in the real life(what happens after death, differing from one culture to another).
Some people believe this, or that...and ignore the real questions that start with why??? The purpose of what most people have beliefs, is only to give them comfort, that they are not hopeless of a inevitable dark-unconcience death. People on the island living their lives wanted to believe in some purpose because they didn't wanted to feel a void inside just like people in the real world.
Back where I was at; so that is why the show made so much money, and became so popular. It played on people's, hope, curiousity, faith, higher being of life, and mostly the questions that matter most but give up trying to find the answers to... using the characters imitating that behavior.
In other words, YOU GOT SERVED. I didn't watch lost- for ha, what? 6 years!! but have friends tell me about it, made me curious enough to just watch the last episode. "Everything that has a beginning has an end"-Matrix Revolution. Even this show. Ironic the show is call LOST!! don't you feel LOST! LOL!

July 05 2010 at 1:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The vending machine worked. Juliet wasn't talking about the bomb, all she was doing was saying the same lines as the scene when she met up with James in the room with the vending machine. When he unplugged the machine he was all "oh crap!" when the lights turned off, and she laughed and handed him his candy bar and said "it worked."

May 31 2010 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David H

All the people saying "it was about the characters, not the mysteries" are merely pulling the wool over their own eyes, ignoring the gaping holes and omissions in the story so they don't feel like they wasted 121+ hours of their lives watching this donkey's ass of a TV show. I enjoyed parts of it, but overall it was obvious the writers had no effing idea where they were going or what they were doing, and the fact that they admitted as much doesn't make it OK. It just makes them look like what they are -- bozos who took people for a ride yet expect to be called geniuses.

May 28 2010 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
I digress

If the island has so much to do with magnetism what if by arriving there, they just moved in and out of common reality, that their essences and souls had become magnetized and in some ways tied to the island, formed as it's own compound. The island is like a magnetic well, that needs to exist for everything else to exist. I don't know, I'm just trying to come up with something although I do appreciate the answer to the beta-verse. I just always felt the island was like the plug, this sinkhole of everything that needed to be for the world to be. It's literally dimensions within dimensions but then I use math to explain everything.

May 26 2010 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I note all the good points. But the one thing, that wasn't said that I found inexplicable was the fact that if MiB had lost all his powers, then how could he hold up the image of Locke and how could he live in the first place?, as it was the light that granted him "life" once more...

May 26 2010 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Im lost

May 25 2010 at 6:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Juliet saying "it worked" was in reference to Sawyer getting the candy bar back. We were just seeing one side of that whole converstaion in the first episode.

I think that Richard became mortal agian when jacob past control over to Jack.

May 25 2010 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what the hell is FST? what is beta-verse?

May 25 2010 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"By the way, if Desmond pulling the plug on the light made Jack and MiB-Locke lose their immortality and powers, how was Jack able to transfer the role of guardian of the Island to Hurley? How could the water have still had any of those properties?"

What if Desmond pulling out the plug means that Jack never did transfer the guardian role to Hurley? What if Hurley never was the guardian and the dialogue with Ben outside the church was like a inside joke between them?

Hurley followed them in the church and he did see the light when daddy doctor opened the door. I think that means he is dead, so he can not be the protector of the island.

i don't know...

May 24 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rpm's comment

rpm: This was covered earlier. When the plug was pulled, it made Jack and smokey's body mortal. It didn't make it so Jack was no longer the island's protector.

If you want proof of this, look back in "What They Died For". Jacob was able to pass along the job of island protector to Jack as a ghost!

May 25 2010 at 12:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked the episode because it did such an excellent job of bring things full circle. Jack started out this series a a man of science whose main flaw (or just a significant character trait) was that he was always trying to fix things--including some things that just couldn't be fixed. In the finale, Jack's goal, Jack's purpose in life, the "what I'm supposed to do" end all to end alls, was for Jack to "fix" the island, which he was able to do. The island was fine until the introduction of Jacob AND the man in black. The was somehow something that protected that entire world by being there, and the creation of the man in black and his wanting to leave and/or destroy the island threatened the world's existence. Jack had to kill the man in black and then restore the island to its role as protector of earth, and finally appoint the new protector of the island itself. In accomplishing all this, Jack "fixed" everything, and in being done--he died.

I think its really kind of beautiful in a way.

What was the island? It was literally the thing that protected the world. What was the man in black? He was a boy given powers who then used them for an evil purpose, and that threatened the island. Who were the candidates? They were the people brought there to do a job Jacob couldn't do--kill the man in black in order to protect the island.

So many people are clamoring for answers. I say we all got answers. SOme of you just don't like the answer you got because you want it to be something else. Its your forest for the trees moment, people.

May 24 2010 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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