I feel like a long term relationship has just ended.
During the final minutes of LOST’s series finale, I found myself quietly weeping as Jack and the gang finished their journeys. I thought the ending was a perfect one for the show, and one in which most people did not see coming, so much so that there were many who were left completely confused about the last 15 minutes of the program.
I would like to explain my take on things in order to help others either see the “light”, or maybe help you to construct your own theories about the end. Here is a helpful visual for all of you who hate reading:
Basically, the Flash Sideways Timeline is not a sideways timeline at all, but a post-death-pre-Heaven sort of deal. When the plane does not crash, but continues to LA, all of the characters on it are dead. The Flash Sideways is what each of the Losties experience when they die. They get a chance to reconnect with the people that meant the most to them in life, the ones that they loved and had an impact on them. Think of it as a DVD (or I guess Blue Ray) highlight film containing the culmination of your most emotional moments and experiences in life. After experiencing these “Top Ten” sort of moments in life, the character is now ready to move on, or travel to their final destination. Many faiths have different types of afterlife, so the show made this next step broad and vague, leaving each to insert their faith here and not think that the show was taking sides or pushing a certain religion.
“So what was real?!?” you may ask? Well, as Christian Shepherd (Jack’s father) said: “It was all real.” But to be more specific, all of the Lost characters were alive on the island and off, until they died. And when they died, they were transported to the Flash Sideways (final season alternate timeline), where they embark on their final journey of discovering that they in fact are dead, and eventually remember and enjoy their favorite moments, people, and connections in life. The thing that confuses people is that in the realm of Time, people die at different times. In this show, however, the afterlife (or pre-afterlife) is outside of Time. Therefore, when each individual dies, no matter what day or time in life, all of these people who were so connected with each other get transported to this final period where they were on the plane that did not crash, and are allowed a short season to make those connections and reminisce.
“Well what about the island and all its mysteries?” Well, LOST is a show about mystery. Period. Did you honestly think they would answer every single little question that you had? That would be some series finale, lasting a lot longer than the two in a half hour one that we were given. Here are some facts: The island was a real place, with very mysterious powers. All throughout the history of this island, people of many different kinds fought over it to harness, control, and explore these powers. Some took a scientific approach to it, while others had a very reverent awe and protective spirit for the island. Certain passengers on board Oceanic 815 were brought to the island on the hopes that one of them would accept the responsibility of protecting the island and its powers. Jack was the one who finally rejected coincidence and believed that he was brought there for a reason. And while his service as the protector the island was a very short period, he did his duty by setting things right (reviving the light) and passing the reigns to another protector (Hugo). After that, some people escaped the island (Kate, Sawyer, Frank, Miles, and Richard), while others stayed to continue protecting it (Hugo and Ben), and some ending their lives (Jack).
Here’s the part that confuses people: when Jack closed his eyes and died, he was instantly transported to the plane that flew over the island and had never crashed. Now, even though Locke had died way before that (killed by Ben in that apartment room in an earlier season) he was instantly transported to that plane at the same time. Because the afterlife was outside of time, it didn’t matter when people died. They all were on that plane together. If it helps, think of Jack being knocked unconscious right when he died, and being woken up on that plane that didn’t crash. Jack doesn’t know how long he was knocked out. It could have been years! Enough time for the rest of the people to live out their own lives and finally die as well. When you are sleeping and eventually wake up, do you know how long you were asleep? No. So how long could people know how long they were dead? The Flash Sideways Timeline just woke everyone up at the same time, even though everyone had died at different times.
The creators of the show stated that LOST transformed from a show about the mysteries of the island to a show about the mysteries of people and the connections and emotions that they share with each other. I thought that the ending of LOST was near perfect. I am so glad that I invested so much time and energy into the show. I do not regret the evenings spent watching, the conversations had, or even the books that I read because of this show. It has helped me to see the more important things in life: the love and connection that comes with interacting with people. Let us all treasure the time we have with one another. All good things must come to an end, sometime.