Here is Brian’s take:
So I think I’m pretty pleased with the ending. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and it definitely succeeded in giving the characters closure, which I think was really what the show was about anyway. Everything else that happened along the way was just a vehicle to the same inevitable point…”it always ends the same.” I think this is about as good as they could have done. I do think it left enough vagueness that people will discuss it for a long time, which is cool really….
Everything that happened, happened. Whoever survived the crash, survived the crash. But they were all dead at the end.
Boone died from the falling plane. Shannon was shot. Charlie drowned. Jack was knifed at the end.
Those that were alive at the end of tonight went on to live their lives, and they died whenever they died. Bernard and Rose probably lived on the island for a long time before being ready to “move on.”
The Island was NOT purgatory, but the Sideways Reality WAS a kind of waiting room between death and the “next step,” which we saw as the bright light when Christian opened the door. The Sideways Reality was an artificial construct, which did NOT take place in 2004, as we had supposed, but was timeless, it existed outside of time. It was a construct, as Christian said, so that, after their individual deaths, whenever that happened, they could “find” themselves.
What we did not see was Hugo’s long reign as “Jacob,” which apparently he did very well, according to Ben. Perhaps Hugo and Ben went on to guard the Island for another 1000 years.
Those not in the church aren’t ready to remember and move on yet (Faraday, Miles, Charlotte, etc). Ben remembers, but probably didn’t go in because he wants to move on with Alex. (that’s also why Desmond said that Ana Lucia “wasn’t ready yet”)
Here’s my reply:
I pretty much agree. The writers did a good job of resolving things given the direction they wanted to go. Lost was about characters working out their issues and embracing the purposefulness of life — primarily love and sacrificing for others. And Lost rejected Smokey’s nihilism that there was no purpose to their lives, loves, or sacrifices. Smokey never worked out his issues.
I loosely guessed this at the beginning of this season: “In the conversation on the beach between Jacob and Esau in the final episode of last season, Esau says that it always ends the same way. I think he means that we all die. He repeats this theme when he tells Ben that only Locke understood how pitiful his life was — perhaps all life is. In Smokey’s view life is futile ending in death. Jacob agrees that it always ends the same way (we all die) but there is progress. Jacob believes in the purposefulness of life.” Then again, I guessed a lot of things.
But I don’t find this kind of storyline fully satisfying. If Lost is only about characters working out their issues, why bother with the whole Island thing. They could have had a big group therapy session. Characters need to work their issues out in a context that really matters — independent of them. If the story is only about them and their issues, why should we care about saving the Island? What does it matter if Smokey gets off the Island? The writers failed to give closure to the plot outside of the characters’ personal development.
One of many unresolved plot items — Did jughead prevent the hatch from being built or not? Why was Charlie’s sacrifice necessary or important? Why can’t babies be conceived and delivered on the Island? What about Michael and Walt?
I’m not asking for details. I’m saying that the show did a great job of resolving the soap opera aspects of the plot but failed to even address the action aspects of the plot. Character development without action development is only partially satisfying.