May 27, 2010
As Jacob once famously said “It only ends once, everything else is just progress.” On Sunday night, after six eventful years LOST came to it’s final moments, and overall I found it to a very satisfying send-off to my favorite show. The biggest message of the episode was about remembering and letting go which I think not only applies to the characters but to us as viewers. I’ve had few days of remembering to process everything that happened and before I completely let go, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the finale and what what I think it all means (starting with the events on the island).
Jacob once described the island as a cork to keep evil in, which we found out was true both metaphorically and literally, but I also think the island is perhaps better described as a balance scale (like the one found in Jacob’s cave). My theory is that the island is what keeps the balance in the world of good and evil (this I’m guessing is what Mother meant when she somewhat clumsily stated that the heart of the island contains what’s already in each person). The Monster / MIB represented the evil in this equation and the island was his prison. Smokey’s quest throughout his entire existence was to kill Jacob and/or his candidates (basically any island protector) so that he could destroy the island. Implications were that if he were to succeed the balance would tip in the wrong direction and all the good in the world would cease to exist. After his plan to kill them all in the sub failed, he needed Desmond as the fail-safe to bring down the island and everyone with them. What he didn’t count on is that once Desmond pulled the plug all the rules of the island were null, allowing him to kill the candidates directly but more importantly allowing himself to be killed.
So we get the showdown on the cliffs and Jack got to use his flying jump punch skills plus some foreshadowing of the big reveal ending with seeing how Jack received his fatal wounds. By the way, I think my favorite back-and-forth of the episode was when Jack told Locke he was going to kill him and when asked how he said “it’s a surprise”. That’s just bad ass any way you look at it. Really after everything Jack did throughout the series that frustrated me as a viewer was torn away as the episode progressed making the ending much much more powerful. Jack always talked like he was in control and while his intentions were good he usually made foolish, impulse decisions that often hurt the people around him. In this episode he completed his series-wide transition to a man of faith and became truly heroic. The final shot with him lying in the bamboo field and watching his friends get rescued while he breathed his final breath was beyond gorgeous. His eyes closing was as perfect of a last shot that you could ask for.
Did anyone notice that the sound that the Ajira plane made flying overhead was the same sound heard whenever we heard whenever we transitioned to the flash sideways? Very fitting considering that was the last thing Jack heard before he dies and enters that realm. Just another reminder of how meticulously the creators have prepared for this ending. I remember at the beginning of this season I was worried that if Jack, Faraday, and co. succeeded in changing the future it would render everything they went through on the island meaningless. Instead the flash sideways went a completely different direction and became a tribute to and celebration of the very real relationships and experiences from the island. I’ve always argued that LOST is a character show first and foremost and in “The End” that was proved without a doubt.
While many may have expected the show to spend time answering long-standing questions about pregnancy, time-travel, the Dharma Initiative, and WAAAALLLTTT, the show instead focused its attention on the realization moments for the characters all of them which were highly emotional sob-fests. Notable was Sawyer and Juliet’s moment (which paralleled the on-island events of plugging and unplugging the island) explaining Juliet’s final words, “It worked”. I also loved John Locke’s realization moment which called back to “Walkabout” and ended with Terry O’Quinn smiling which is always amazing. Then there’s the mind-blowing moment where Jack realizes when seeing Christian’s empty coffin that he and everyone around him is dead too. The concept of being together with your loved ones after you die is a lovely idea and it was realized very well. The combination of seeing the Losties reuniting intertwined with Jack’s heartbreaking death scene with Vincent by his side was one of the most poignant and beautiful moments I’ve seen captured on screen. It’s so much to take in that I really didn’t fully process the final scenes until the second time I watched, which got me more than a little misty eyed. I’m sad to see the show go but also overjoyed that it ended on such a gorgeous, triumphant note.
If anyone has any more thoughts about the finale, feel free to share in the comments.
- I was excited to hear today that there was an epilogue produced telling the story of Hurley and Ben’s rule of the island. I’ve always loved Hurley and Ben’s interactions (the candy bar, the Hot Pocket), so I think it was awesome that they ended up as No 1. and No 2. on the island.
- Lapidus lives! And he apparently hates using walkie-talkies. What a chill dude.
- Who else thought Jack was going to emerge as the Smoke Monster at the end? I’m still not entirely sure how MIB became the Smoke Monster or if Smokey was instead unleashed.
- What happens to Jack and Juliet’s son in the sideways / afterlife world now that his parents are both gone? I guess since he doesn’t really exist he just disappears?
- So much great foreshadowing between Jack and Locke in the sideways. “There’s always the chance that I could kill you”, “See you on the other side”, etc.
- I like how many things are left open to interpretation. I think there will be discussion on the finale / show for a long time. I’m wondering actually happened at the end of season 5 when the bomb went off anyway? Why was the island underwater? What about Desmond’s vision of Claire and Aaron leaving on the helicopter?