So here we are back on LOST Island, for the final time, The End. It's sad and wonderful and I'm going to miss wondering what will happen next to this group of people, and I'm crying more than teary-eyed Jack ever did, but here we go. Answers are coming.
Island Desmond has caught a glimpse of the Sideways world, the only Lostie in the Island world who has (except perhaps Juliette). This is why he can be so calm in the face of Smokey. He thinks he has seen a better world. He isn't afraid to die. He's the embodiment of an enlightened soul. Sideways Desmond has the whole story. He wants to gather all the Losties and go "home." It is significant that Sideways Jack can attempt to "fix" Locke, but he can't keep his appointments to pick up Christian's coffin or get to his son's concert. He is in a fog, unable to awaken his Sideways self, no matter how often that cut on his neck bleeds. Christian's coffin finally reaching its final destination mirrors Locke's coffin returning to the Island.
Sideways Hurley, who remembers everything and has joined Desmond in the job of shepherd, is beyond happy to see Charlie. But that doesn't stop him from knock-out-darting the bratty rock star and kidnapping him to make sure he gets to the concert.
Juliette, Jack's ex (big duh) gives Sun a sonogram which jolts Jin and Sun back to the future, complete with English speech mastery. Everyone's awakening is a happy thing, even the ones who have died on the Island. It also seems that people who are still alive on the Island (Desmond, Hurley, Kate) are good at awakening and guiding their friends who died in another life, brotha.
On the Island, Jack wants to "Shephard" the remaining Losties to the golden heart of the Island, to kill Smokey. Sawyer sets off on his own to find Desmond. Hurley rightly says, "I've got a bad feeling about this." These Losties still haven't learned that it's no good when the tribe splits up? Sonofabitch!
Kate tries to reach Jack, who is now all about his purpose, tries to convince him there's more to his future than just the Island, "Nothing is irreversible." Hurley brushes past them, "This would be so sweet if we weren't about to die." On the Island Jack and Hurley know why they're there. Kate is still finding her way.
Sawyer spies on Smokey, is caught by Ben, but quickly turns the tables on his captor. For a moment I thought Sawyer was going to tell them he was the new Jacob. Guess he's done conning. Elsewhere in the jungle there is . . . Vincent! Rose! Bernard! Taking care of Desmond, until Smokey shows up. This is a total shout-out to the fans, who have been whining "Where's Vincent?" forever. And seeing how Rose and Bernard are faring is a nice way to tie up their story as well. Any second now we're going to hear someone yell, "WAAALLLTTT!!!" Just kidding. I really hope not.
Richard gets his first gray hair. Jacob's final disappearance from the Island must have released him from his "gift." He and Miles are derailed from their plan to blow up the Ajira plane by . . . Lapidus! "In case you haven't noticed, I'm a pilot." They run across Claire, who still seems a bit bonkers, and doesn't want to go home with Miles & Co. For a moment I was afraid that newly mortal Richard would get blown away, but Claire isn't that crazy. So glad that "Chesty" made it. And can fly whoever is left off this rock.
Jack and Smokey have a killer exchange about Jack being the new Jacob. Smokey, disappointed, "You're sort of the obvious choice." Jack, "I want to go with you [to the heart of the Island]." Smokey, "Why?" Jack, "Because you think you're going to destroy the Island I've sworn to protect. But I'm going to kill you." Smokey, "How are you going to do that?" Jack, "It's a surprise." Jack, do you know how much I LOVE you right now?
Hurley, full of love and faith, as always, "Jack, I believe in you, dude." Jack and Desmond set off with Locke towards the Island's heart. Desmond tries to convince Jack, "This doesn't matter, you know." He tries to show Jack a glimpse of the other world, much like his counterpart is doing to the Losties Sideways. Island Desmond may not have the whole picture. But Jack is past all that, past his own future. He has his purpose and he knows the cost. "What happened, happened."
When they reach the golden grotto and lower Desmond down a waterfall shaft on a rope, Smokey tries to bring back memories of Locke, Desmond and the Hatch with Jack, who doesn't let him blow smoke. Jack can see Smokey clearly and isn't fooled by the face of Locke that he wears. Can Smokey not go all smoke anymore? He seems pretty contained. But Smokey is right, it is an apt comparison. The pair stare over a waterfall, much like they stared down into the mysterious Hatch. But there is no air of mystery this time, just foreboding.
Desmond sees the eye of the Island and it's beautiful. And hurts like hell. His nose bleeds, he pulls out the "cork," and it all goes dark. And then red. Jack and Smokey hear his screams. "Looks like you were wrong, Jack." Jack follows him out of the cave and wallops Smokey until he . . . bleeds. "Looks like you were wrong, too." Smokey can be killed. He's mortal again.
Sideways, everything is progressing. Hurley, the love doctor, tells Sayid not to let others tell him who he is as they drive up to an alley, where Sayid finds Shannon, love, and reawakening. Boone is already enlightened. All is going according to plan, but what exactly is the plan?
Juliette, Claire and David arrive at the concert. Charlotte tries to rouse Charlie and has a moment with Daniel (one of clarity?) Desmond seats Claire and Kate at the same table. Pierre Chang (not the puppet) introduces the musical act. Charlie sees Claire from onstage, who looks up and starts to have birth pangs. Kate, you better help her birth that bay-bay!
Kate is amazing with Claire again and they both flash to the Island. Charlie brings a blanket and Claire's touch brings him to his Island senses. Their lives may be a bit better Sideways, but they've been in a fog. Desmond checks in to see that all is as it should be. "Do you understand?" Kate, "I know."
Back on the Island Ben saves Hurley from a falling tree but gets pinned beneath it himself. The Island is covered in a downpour as Lapidus, Richard and Miles continue to get the plane flight-worthy and Kate, Sawyer and Hurley try to free Ben, who tells them that Smokey has a boat. Jack, meanwhile, is hell-bent on killing Smokey, who he now knows is mortal, and chases him to Jacob's cave with the numbers. I'm worried that Jack will not make it out of this. Smokey stabs Jack. "I want you to know that you did it all for nothing." Kate arrives and shoots Smokey, "I saved you a bullet." Smokey tells her, "You're too late." Jack kicks him over the side of the cliff. Adieu, Smoke Monster.
Kate, "Locke's dead. It's over." The Island is still shaking and rumbling. Sawyer, "Sure don't feel like it's over." Ben tosses the walkie talkie to Sawyer. Jack and Sawyer shake hands, finally make amends. Kate and Jack kiss goodbye. Ben, "If the Island's going down, I'm going down with it," and Hurley, "I'm with you, dude," go with Jack to try and re-cork the Island. Sawyer and Kate take a leap of faith off the side of a cliff into the sea.
In the hospital, Locke is awake, tells Jack, "It worked." Is he talking about the end of Smokey? "I can feel my legs." He flashes back to the Island. "Did you see that? We need to go." Jack has a momentary flash, but blocks it, says he needs to go see his son. "You don't have a son, Jack. I hope that somebody does for you what you just did for me." Locke is on the path.
Detective Sawyer sees Sun and Jin in the hospital. Jin is amused that he is a "cop" and overjoyed to see him, "We'll see you there." "See me where?" Sawyer sees Jack in the hospital, but also runs into Juliette. A minor power outage and a candy bar gives them their flash of recognition, complete with Juliette falling down the shaft. "We should get coffee sometime." Fans everywhere sigh with satisfaction.
The good doctor has arrived late to the concert. Who is going to shake Jack out of his Island denial rut? Kate, of course. Kate walks up to him, "It's over [the concert]." She admits to stealing his pen on the plane. He still has no flash. "I've missed you so much, Jack." Jack, per usual, is such a hard-head, tries to block what's happening. "If you come with me, you will understand."
Jack is so going to die on the Island. He touches Hurley. "Hurley, I believe in you." Jack transfers Island protectorship while Ben looks on in awe, jealousy? But Ben gives Jack an Oceanic 815 water bottle to perform the ritual. Awesome. dude. Hurley takes a sip, "Is that it?" Jack smiles, "Now you're like me."
Jack crawls down into the cave to find Desmond, who thinks it didn't work, "You were right, Jack." Jack laughs, "There's a first time for everything." He tells Desmond/Odysseus to go home, find Penny. "What about you, Jack?" "I'll see you in another life, brother."
Kate and Sawyer find Clare while chunks of the Island fall into the sea. Sawyer, economic with his phrases as always, "That ain't good." Lapidus is trying to take off, until he sees them running towards them on the runway. "We've got some late arrivals." Miles is happily sarcastic to see Sawyer, "Way to wait until the last second." Frank gets them in the air. Sawyer looks a little airsick.
Jack manages to get the giant stone cork back in the eye of the Island, which seems to stop all the crazy earthquakeyness. Water flows again and the light comes back. Ben and Hurley pull up on the rope, rescuing Desmond, thinking it will be Jack. Hurley, full of grace, asks Ben to help him take care of the Island.
Jack is done, but seems happy, down in the water, down in the light. Neither he nor Desmond became smoke monsters when confronted with the Island's source. Desmond because of his special magnetic properties and Jack because his purpose was true, full of love.
Sideways, outside a church, Hurley tells Ben, "You were a great number two." Ben smiles and answers, "And you were a great number one, Hugo." But he doesn't go in with Hurley, who doesn't prod him. Kate and Jack drive up. "This is where you're going to have your father's funeral."
Jack goes in the back entrance of the church. He touches the casket and his Island life is revealed. The casket is empty, but Christian is there. Jack, "You died. How are you here right now?" Christian, "How are you here?" Jack, "I died too." He starts to cry, as do I and I suspect everyone else who's watching. "It's OK son." Jack doesn't quite understand. (You're not alone Jack.) He doesn't believe that Kate died. So why is everyone out there, in the church? What is this place? Christian is full of love and answers for his son. "This is a place you all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life is the time you spent with these people. I was here before you, you are here before some of them."
Sideways is a place beyond time, heaven's waiting room. Jack can be in the room with Kate even though he died long before she did or will. The Sideways world was a house of mirrors, a "better" world of their own creation, without the Island, Jacob or their real, pre-Island lives. It's a way station, where the Losties could always find one another before they were ready to cross over. But after they died and went Sideways, they couldn't or wouldn't remember their time on Earth, on the Island. Desmond, the constant, woke them up to their lives, to their love for one another. Jack embraces his father (closure!) and then enters the church to embrace his friends. Everyone is there, except Ben, who isn't ready to cross over, who believes he must stay in purgatory.
Island Jack wakes up downstream, in a similar spot to where Jacob found his brother. He is no longer the protector. He heads back to the bamboo grove, where his Island adventure began. Thank goodness for Vincent, who approaches and snuggles up to Jack so he doesn't have to die alone . . . Sniff. Jacks stares up at the sky and watches the plane, carrying his friends home, to safety, fly overhead. Perfect symmetry, as his eye closes.
So where does that leave the adventure that was LOST? What did they die for? Major themes—the Island as source of life, religion, faith needing to be protected—these people were thrown into life and death struggles to accomplish that. Science versus faith. Choice versus destiny. The possibility of redemption—for all of the Losties—but shown most completely through the character of Jack. There were many other underlying themes in this rich and complicated tale—parenting issues, the fact that they were all killers, the power of love across time and space. Rich and varied storytelling.
There are also, of course, some unanswered questions—if new Jacob Hurley and new Richard Ben stayed to protect the Island, who took over after them? Did they select candidates, like Jacob did, or I suspect, let someone freely choose the job? Let whatever happen happen? I'm sure Hurley was a better protector than Jacob. The Island is undoubtedly safe, constant, not underwater. It just seemed underwater to the Sideways Losties because it was buried in their subconscious and had to be awakened. The Island is still important, the most important thing that they have ever done together, besides love one another. It was the catalyst, even more than Jacob, to discover their love for each other.
My kid was sick with a tummy ache most of the evening, so I felt like I was missing some of the details and will have to watch the finale again. As well, I'm sure, the entire series. But I suspect that LOST won't be crystal clear on second viewing. Like most good art, good novels, LOST is something to contemplate, to interpret. Not everyone will agree on what it all means.
To paraphrase Kate, I'm going to miss you so much, Jack. And all the rest . . .