SPOILER WARNING: DO NOT read this until after you've watched the series finale episode of LOST!
So this is it. LOST is over. "The End."
I'm going to post more detailed notes about the finale soon, but I needed to spend some time to get some of my thoughts written down.
First I need to discuss the flash-sideways. We find out in the finale that this entire season the so-called "flash-sideways" have been nothing more than a fictional universe concocted by the collective minds of the Oceanic Flight 815 passengers (plus a handful of other people like Desmond, Penny, and Juliet, apparently) as a way for them to have a "class reunion" of sorts before passing on into the afterlife. (I'm sure there will be different interpretations, but that's what I got out of it.) The flash-sideways didn't really take place in 2004; it was only meant to look like it did. This, of course, fooled the viewers into thinking that when Juliet detonated the hydrogen bomb in 1977, this event created a rift in the space-time continuum that created a parallel universe, including a new 2004 where the Island had sunk long before Oceanic Flight 815 took to the skies. It turns out there was no rift, no sunken Island, and no parallel or alternate 2004. In fact, as evidenced by Hurley and Ben's conversation outside the church, the flash-sideways actually took place sometime in the future—probably a long time in the future, since Hurley and Ben had clearly spent some time working together on the Island, and presumably Hurley would have lived as the protector of the Island for a long time before ultimately dying, like Jacob. What really bothered me was the fact that the writers completely ripped off the flash-sideways storyline from a terrible 2008 movie that was in itself a ripoff of LOST in many respects. Or perhaps, as conspiracy theorists might suggest, the writers of Passengers somehow heard about the ending of LOST and stole the flash-sideways concepts for their awful movie. Either way, now that I know what the flash-sideways really was and how it concluded, I would rather have skipped the entire flash-sideways plot altogether and had a much shorter season and a much more enjoyable final episode of LOST. If you haven't seen Passengers and you have a masochistic desire to subject yourself to watching it to compare it to the flash-sideways, you can watch the movie instantly online if you have a Netflix account: http://netflix.com/Movie/Passengers/70104310
Thankfully, in spite of the flash-sideways the whole series didn't crash and burn in the final episode. Setting aside the bizarre "class reunion" post-death ending that takes place sometime in the future, there was also the "present-day" (technically 2007) ending that shows Kate, Claire, Sawyer, Miles, Richard, and Frank leaving the Island for (hopefully) the last time. We also get to see Jack's ultimate heroic sacrifice (or stupid, totally avoidable sacrifice, depending on your perspective), giving his life to save the Island along with Hurley, Ben, Desmond, Rose, Bernard, Vincent, and anyone else who may have been living somewhere on the Island. Hurley becomes the new Jacob when Jack dies, and Ben finally gets his wish of being someone important to the Island, a true right-hand man rather than just a pawn in someone else's game.
It's a bit odd, though, that there's no more Man in Black, no more smoke monster—no more evil force to oppose the forces of good on the Island. So what's Hurley going to do? Maybe the cycle of people coming to the Island, fighting, etc. described by the Fake Mother and the Man in Black will continue. Maybe Hurley will help everyone who arrives on the Island to get back home; Ben said that taking care of people is what Hurley does best. In any case, it just doesn't seem like the Island would be as interesting without a smoke monster.
...Or maybe when Jack brought back the light, the Man in Black was resurrected again as the smoke monster. More theories, mysteries, and observations about the finale will be posted here soon.
All in all, I've thoroughly enjoyed LOST and I'm glad that I've taken this journey. To everyone who contributed in any way to the making of LOST, thank you!
Be sure to tune in to my (potentially) last-ever live LOST podcast, Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 at 10 PM Pacific (1 AM Eastern). Listen live, participate in the chat, or call in to discuss the finale. Details are here: http://talkshoe.com/tc/16338
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