LOST SERIES FINALE RECAP: So… It Was Heaven?

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This is a Recap of the Lost Series Finale, “The End”, originally airing on May 23rd, 2010. I have used every possible joke about spoilers and the word spoiler in years of doing these upfront spoiler warnings, so for the last one ever, lemmie just say, “There are spoilers about the show Lost in this.” Hmm, that felt weird. Better just start writing.

Congratulations, everyone…

Six years and 121 1/2 hours of our lives, down the light-drain (in a good way), and it all comes down to this. Time’s a-wastin’ – put on your custom-made Losting caps (if you’re a true fan you made one), cause it’s Lost Series Finale Marathon Recap Time…

ISLAND PUN

The End begins with a dramatic montage bringing us up to speed on Jack’s missing dad-coffin and everything under the sideways sun, forcing everyone at home to very briefly entertain the thought, “They wouldn’t be so ambitious as to have an entire finale with just music, would they?” The dialogue begins on the island and Lost-tasia 2000 is averted, with Jack — symbolically standing up to his knees in baptism-lookin’ water — explaining to Sawyer that they have to beat Locke to the light at the center of the island, past the bamboo forest and beyond gumdrop valley (it’s the finale, might as well go for broke). Hurley isn’t thrilled with Jacob’s instructions though, joking that he “says less than Yoda”, then drops in another Star Wars ref with an “I got a bad feeling about this,” followed by one final “I’m afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive.”

Sawyer breaks off to spy on Locke and is quickly caught by Ben, and when he’s forced to talk to Locke, he learns of Locke’s plan to use Desmond to destroy the island, which confuses him because Jack wants to use Desmond to save the island, but the time for questions is over so who’s really jotting stuff down at this point. Sawyer turns the gun on Ben and leaves, and Locke suddenly notices the footprints of a dog — could it be Vincent? Or Walt and he’s a dog now? — and he’s like, “Aha! These dog footprints will allow me, an immortal, magical column of smoke that’s presided over this island for eternity, to find some dude.” The footprints lead Locke right to the vacation hideaway of Rose and Bernard, the We’re Not Gettin’ Involved Twins (why doncha get a cabin in Switzerland am I right?? – World War II Comedian), and Locke threatens to kill them painfully if Desmond doesn’t come with him. Desmond realizes that this will not affect the show in any way, but still obliges.

Ben receives a transmission from Miles, who’s found Richard lying in the grass (toldja he wasn’t dead) and wants the three to reconvene to blow up the Ajira plane. What?? That was already three weeks old last week – are they opening a vintage accomplishments store? Are they even in the same show as everyone else? Maybe Lost is teasing preview clips from the ABC summer series “Plane Blower Uppers”? Hopefully there’s a huge “Plane Blower Uppers” countdown in the corner blocking the important final shot.

Two more important things then happen:

1) Richard finds a gray hair!

2) Richard finds Frank, who has many gray hairs!

The Lost finale is apparently sponsored by that Just For Men “Touch Of Gray” commercial, where the dude’s secretary is like “I’m ready for that important blowing you meeting.” If so, I have been won over by this product twice.

So what’s gonna happen at the cave of light? And what does the ending all mean?? Vincent is prominently involved, right??? Losts more to cover, after the jump:

Back with the people doing things that matter, Sawyer tells Jack about Locke’s Desmond plan, and Jack says he also has a plan that involves Desmond and he can’t reveal it yet but seriously it’s like soooo much better than Locke’s doodoohead plan. The two groups converge, because they’re heading to the same place and doing the exact same thing–whoa! Kate just shot Locke seventeen times. Turns out, the seventeenth time you shoot the magical immortal smoke monster, the bullet kills him like a normal human. LOST. End of series. Jay slash kay! Kate wastes another minute of our precious finale time. Locke tells Kate to save her bullets to shoot him later when he’s normal.

Jack tells Locke he’s going to kill him, but can’t tell him how, because “It’s a surprise”. Everything Jack does is a surprise, because Jack does not know what he is doing, so this is technically true. Locke, Jack, and Des wander through the bamboo forest and enact their mutual plan to tie Desmond to a rope and lower him down into that light we learned about two weeks ago, which will either destroy the island or destroy Locke, depending on how well the rope is tied. Desmond tells Jack, “Destroying the island, destroying Locke, it doesn’t mattah…” Why not? We’ll get to that in the Sideways part. Still got a lot more Regularways to cover.

The dudes planning to destroy the plane decide, what the hell, Frank’s alive, he’s still wearing his pilot’s uniform, let’s fly out of here! Miles tells Sawyer they’re flying away, so hit him up with a text whenever they’re done with the ultimate battle between good and evil. In the meantime, Frank will repair that one side panel and one wire that got slightly damaged when the plane crashed into the island. He’ll then take off on the sand by spinning around and, something, or, whatever, let’s go back to the more realistic sideplot about the fistfighting immortal Gods.

Locke tells Jack once again that the actual John Locke was wrong about everything, and Jack’s like “Oh we’ll see about that but I’m probably wrong strike that last part I’m still talking haha oops! Not oops. I’m Jacob now, I don’t oops anymore.” Turns out, the inside of the Cave of Light is Disney’s Splash Mountain ride:

Way to slip that in there, ABC.

Desmond enters the cave of light, walks past two skeletons of Indiana Jones Persian ExtrasTM, and pulls the giant stone drain plug out of the light drain. Let me back up a sec – there is a light drain. Ok, back to the present – all the water and light drains out of the cave, and fire starts burning through the hole where the light was shining. I’m no Light Doctor, but it looks bad.

Locke gleefully declares “Looks like you were wrong – goodbye, Jack” and the camera starts shaking a lot. Loose individual rocks start falling all around everyone, and a futuristic woman’s voice comes over the speakers saying “Thirty minutes until island detonation.” Jack reacts by punching Locke and cuts his lip — HUMAN ALERT! — causing Jack to happily exclaim “Looks like you were wrong too!” Smoke-free Locke uses his old-fashioned human hands to bash Jack with a rock real fast and runs away. Jack wakes up from his brief rock-unconsciousness, yells to Desmond to no avail, and confronts Locke on a cliffside before he can get to his boat and sail away, as magical smoke monsters who aren’t magical anymore tend to do.

Jack’s really pissed off now, because it’s raining a lot harder on him than it is on Locke:

Jack and Locke then proceed to re-enact the opening sequence from Ninja Gaiden:

Locke manages to stab Jack once in the side, then gets the point of his knife slightly into Jack’s neck — OH MY GOD IT’S THE SIDEWAYS WORLD NECK INJURY, as Jack’s assistant points out in the sideways world by saying “Good surgerWHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR NECK” — but just when things look hopeless for ol’ Faileypants, a gunshot rings out, Locke slumps over, and the shooter Kate delivers her one liner “I saved you a bullet!” (B-minus). They kick Locke off the cliff, and he falls to a lower cliffside, dead for like the fourth time, thus completing his dead punch card and earning him a free dead at Deadie’s.

Jack and Kate are joined on the cliff by Sawyer, Hurley, and Ben — who had a giant tree fall on him, and when Kate & Sawyer tried to move it Sawyer declared “It’s too big – we’ll have to wait til it cuts away and cuts back and Ben’s just somehow with us again” — and the group decides to split up, with Sawyer and Kate heading for the plane, and Jack, Ben, and Hurley heading back to restore the light that Desmond drained out of the light drainey thing of light drain, or whatever, my brain’s so far beyond broken at this point, just gonna try to keep throwing random words out there and see if any of them make sense / end up being jokes. Only another hour to cover!

Before they part, Jack and Kate share one more final kiss (GAYYYYYY – where’s the FIGHTING and the BEER and FOOTBALL, RIGHT DUDEZZZ????). Sawyer and Kate call Miles and realize they’re gonna be late for the fixed plane spin-around sand takeoff, Sawyer yells out a pissed “Son of a MOTHERF***ER!” (steppin’ it up for the finale) and they jump off the cliff into the water to hurry up, with Sawyer diving head first cause he’s him. They make it just in time, board the plane, and fly home. Really? Really. And they grabbed Claire on the way. That was easy. (- Lostples)

During the commercial break, the Smoke Monster appears in a Target commercial:

Tiger Woods lost his endorsements but the giant murdering pillar of smoke that represents pure evil is still getting retail spots? Zingo!

Jack, Hurley and Ben arrive at the Cave of Fire (formerly Light) and Jack drops the bombshell that he has to go in alone, and when Hurley objects that it’s suicide and that a small handful of people don’t want to see Jack kill himself, Jack tells him “I’m already dead” and “This is how it has to be,” reading right out of the Handbook of Cryptic Island Quotes that Jacob passed down to him. He tells Hurley that Hurley is the one who has to guard the island, not him, and that it always had to be Hurley. Jack asks for something to drink out of and Ben produces a plastic water bottle — the island would’ve been really screwed the past two weeks if these dudes weren’t so good at carrying drinking things around with them — and Jack makes Hurley drink mud water out of it, sans island prayer, and hopes it makes him immortal. He tells Hurley “You are like me now,” the same crappy catchphrase that Jacob used twice, and hopes to someday get royalties from the “You are like me now” t-shirts that no one will buy.

Hurley and Ben lower Jack into the cave, and Jack revives Desmond, ties him to the rope, and gets Hurley to unknowingly pull Desmond back to the top. While still in the cave, Jack replaces the drain stone thing and all the light comes back. Yay, the light! We learned two weeks ago that there can’t not be that light there, so it’s good that he brought the light back. Jack laugh-cries as the light washes over him, just like we did two episodes ago when we first heard the light being described.

Outside the cave, Hurley mourns Jack’s departure and confesses to Ben he has no idea what to do, and Ben answers “You just do what you do best, Hurley. [Reeeeesist... eat.... joke.........] Help people. Help people EAT! Dammit, I couldn’t resist. Well, I just made the rest of eternity awkward.” Hurley asks Ben to be his Number 2 anyway, and Ben happily accepts. As much as I love both Michael Emerson and Jorge Garcia, I cannot imagine their eternity on the island together is anything less than excruciating.

The final scene of islanddom concludes with Jack stumbling back through the forest, looking not un-Jesus-like with his bloody side wound, before collapsing on the beach and staring up at the sky just in time to see the Ajira jet pass overhead. He is joined on the beach by Vincent, who calmly lays down next to him; frankly, I’m glad the Lost producers used ONE of my suggestions that I stuffed into that damn suggestion box (Carlton Cuse’s shower).

We can debate the merits of the ending all we want — and we will, a couple billion paragraphs down — but I think we can all agree that Vincent has been and remains the most crucial element of the show. Besides, of course, Dogen. AND HIS NAME BEGINS WITH “DOG”!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m literally gonna burn the water cooler to the ground tomorrow with all this theorizin’, if we had a water cooler and if water coolers could burn (they’re full of water).

THE END OF SIDEWAYS WORLD AS WE KNOW IT

The sideways world was off the movie HOOK this week, with just about every plot mixing together into one rich stew full of slightly-too-long montages of stuff from past seasons. So many people had visions this week, there’s not enough memory on the internet to hold the required amount of Vision’d graphics, so here they all are up front:

How many visions occurred this week? Let us count the ways:

  • Hurley shoots Charlie with a tranquilizer when Charlie refuses to leave for his big Driveshaft / Daniel Widmore Grammy performance. While there, Claire delivers her baby backstage (when in sideways…!) and Claire and Kate and Charlie all celebrate their sudden memories by not being concerned about getting covered in afterbirth.
  • Faraday (now Daniel Widmore) runs into Charlotte after she finishes helping Charlie:

    Those two share some memories, and some TONSILS! (Fifth grade high-five!)

  • When Sun sees the ultrasound of her baby, she remembers Juliet giving her the ultrasound on the island! And Jin like, remembers something too! They can now speak English again. Jin’s like “I will have an American cheeseburger.” Ha ha ha! These knuckleheads’ll be juuust fine.
  • Jack’s ex-wife is, as we all predicted in 1993, Juliet. Juliet now works at the same hospital as Jack, and when Sawyer goes to visit Sun to warn her about Sayid being on the loose (not much Sayid this week, huh?), he runs into Juliet at the famous money-stealing vending machine where Jacob once helped Jack. When Sawyer and Juliet exchange candy, they also exchange MEMORY CANDY. Remember that time they had sex for three years ’cause there were like two women in the Dharma Initiative? Turns out they’re soul mates.
  • Hurley and Sayid park on a random street where Shannon is being fake-accosted. Sayid runs to the rescue, recognizes Shannon, and they instantly start making out (Get an island you two!) Boone then says to Hurley “Aaaaaaaacting!”, and Hurley gets the reference but agrees it’s really random. Hurley then decides, “Let’s leave these two murderbirds alone…”
  • Locke sees his legs and has visions of his legs on the island. That one wasn’t hard.
  • Jack, of course, is bringing up the rear with the visions, even though he’s spoken like nine island catchphrases to Locke in the last three episodes. Kate mercifully comes up to him and goes “You really haven’t had the visions yet? Fine, here, help yourself. Also, want to join the Pen 15 Club?” Jack does. His son yells “Radical!” LOST.

The Sideways World comes to a mega-conclusion with all the characters convening in a church for Jack’s father’s funeral. Ben is sitting in a bench outside the building, unwilling to enter, even when Hurley tells him “You made a great Number Two. Also you were a good second-in-command on the island. OHHHH BURRRRNNNN I SAID YOU WERE POOOOOP!!!”

At Kate’s encouragement, Jack enters the church through the back, circles Christian’s coffin, then touches it and has even more visions (CUT TO: “There is no way we could’ve fit this episode into a two hour block” – Carlton Cuse. “You absolutely needed to show like a full minute of memories every time people had memories, cause we never would’ve known what was going on otherwise” – Us.)

Jack finally opens the coffin, and inside is…

Where’s Christian Shephard? Why right behind Jack, appearing in the flesh in an unambiguously divine, “looming over Jack, in the halo of the window” shot, to tell Jack that even though they’re both dead now, he’s disappointed in his son cause Jack will never have what it takes to be a coffin opener.

This leads into the weightiest scene in Lost history, in which Christian describes to Jack that everybody dies, there is no “now”, and that everyone needed Jack, just as Jack needed everybody else. They’re also not “leaving,” as Kate said, but “moving on”. Where? “Let’s go find out,” Christian says. The show concludes with all the characters hugging and pallin’ around (Present: The Usuals, plus Desmond, Boone, Rose & Bernard, Charlie, Penny, Shannon, Libby, Juliet; Notably Absent: Ben, Richard, Michael, Walt, Eko, the boars from the Black Rock). Everyone is really, really happy, despite the absence of Horace.

SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

We knew Lost wasn’t gonna wrap everything up in some neat little bottle o’ sand — anyone who complains the ending was too ambiguous hasn’t been watching the right show, or is a bear who just woke up from a six-year hibernation and also doesn’t understand human concepts because he or she is a bear– but the ending sure was a lot more directly “heaven” than I would’ve expected.

The island itself wasn’t heaven, but, rather, some kind of vessel that lead to all the characters reconvening after their deaths at some indefinite point in the future, all living vastly improved lives and remembering their past memories alongside their true soul mates. The final scene takes place in a church — albeit one with artifacts from multiple faiths — with everyone happily greeting one another and the ever-unsubtlely-named Christian Shephard opening the doors to a blinding light. Even though no one dropped the H-bomb (a literal one or a word with an H), the last scene was pretty damn Heaven-y any way you slice it with your “it could’ve been interpreted a number of different ways” knife. I’m throwing one of those on my wedding registry.

To keep things simple, here in this 93rd paragraph of this blog post on a pop culture humor site (there’s at least one or two jokes in this, I think – Control-F “jokez”, they’ll come up), I’ll break down my thoughts on the ending into two sections: My initial reservations about the way it ended, and my eventual acceptance/justification for the way it ended.

What I Didn’t Like About The Ending:

The entire series was about the island; every twist, every motivation of every character, and every season arc very directly and specifically involved the island, the things on the island, getting to the island, or leaving the island, and in the very end, the island itself didn’t end up being involved with the show’s resolution. The island was essentially a literal place of existence (with numerous magical/metaphorical elements) that served to forge character relationships and funnel into the sideways dimension and eventually, some sort of nirvana final-world or whatever was behind that really light door (A lamp store? Not ruling anything out at this point). Obviously the island was still important in the finale, but in a show that was “island this” and “island that” and “son of an ISLAND bitch” and “whatever islanded, islanded” and “Yeeeeaaaahh baby, yeaaahhhh! Island,” it was bizarre to have a dramatic conclusion that in a way didn’t really have much to do with the island itself.

Interestingly, the sideways reality more closely resembled purgatory (or limbo) than the island — maybe the producers called an audible after everyone theorized that the island was purgatory two episodes into Season One — but the sideways world appeared to function as a kind of meeting place where the dead congregate and after the appropriate amount of waiting, struggling, and coming to an epiphany, then move on to some vague afterlife together. I didn’t expect nor even want every possible question about the island to be somehow answered, but it was an odd dynamic to accept the island as more or less a stepping stone for a more permanent, more complete other-world conclusion that we’d only seen hinted at in the last of these six seasons. It wasn’t as circular as I was expecting, even if they did stick in Jack saying “see you in another life, brothah” and a close-up shot of his eye closing:

Jack got a lot tanner in six seasons. Makes sense.

But still, I thought there was gonna be some super-circular revelation that tied everything together in some unexpected but cool way, like the Jack neck injury times 10. I just really like circles though. I’m five.

What I Did Like About The Ending:

Call this devil’s-advocatey or over-interpretation if you want (the latter is impossible with this show, so don’t actually call it that), but Lost bombarded us with six seasons of mysteries, magic, twists, literary references, philosophical references, cultural references, and more questions than you can shake a stick at (there were literally so many questions, if you picked up a stick and started shaking it at the questions, the questions would knock it out of your hand and molest you with it), and in the very end, what do we get? Not many answers, not many loose ends tied up, and certainly not much information as to what the frickin’ island was.

So what’s the point?

It’s about people, people.

Lost — and by extension, really, life — is about the people. It’s about love. It’s about hanging out and laughing together in a symbolic-ass church. It doesn’t matter how many hours we burn trying to draw a parallel between Sawyer reading Watership Down on the beach and how that relates to Keamy’s rabbitlike tendencies — in the end, all that will ever truly matter to these characters is the relationships they’ve forged with one another.

Is this perhaps a slight loophole, with the producers constructing a show built on mysteries and detail and ultimately concluding that in the long run, mysteries and details are insignificant? Yeah, probably. But the pro-people thing was a gooey enough sentiment for me to lighten up on my whiny questions, at least until, like, tomorrow.

So, the Dharma people were kind of the “apply reason and science to faith” alternative, but do they not go to heaven, or go to their own heaven? Also, isn’t this heaven gonna be awkward with Sawyer, Jack, Kate and Juliet all there? Also also, are there no gay soul mates? Ahh well, questions for another day. Wait no, there is no other day. This is it. This is the end of Lost. And no one on the show even made a “found” joke?? WHAAAA???

Kinda weird that there’s no more Lost, huh? It’s like losing an old friend that used we used to make fun of every week, but still loved. Or at least put up with. But they were always there, and that was the important thing. OH MAN, it’s kind of like, even when we got mad at Lost, the important thing was that we still had a relationship with it – THAT’S JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE IN THE END!!!!!!!!!

This is it, Losties – Lost finale thoughts? Interpetations of the ending? Like/dislike of the ending? Feelings on the series as a whole? Leave ‘em all in the comments.

That’s it! It’s officially over. Thanks to everyone for their Lost-thusiasm over the years – it’s been fun, even If I’ll assuredly die from speech-bubble-Photoshopping withdrawal within the month.