Wednesday, May 26, 2010

LOST Episode 6.17: "The End" (The Final Analysis)

I looked into the eye of the series, and what I saw was beautiful.

I appreciate your patience, Lost friends. After first watching the series finale among 2,000 fellow fans in LA on Sunday night at Jay and Jack's party, I sat down to watch it alone two additional times. The first was to enjoy and absorb without commercials and reactions from others, and the second was to take extensive notes.

Because this was the final episode, I will spend more time analyzing what happened rather than theorizing about the possibilities. I choose to celebrate the reveals and revelations rather than dwell or focus on questions/mysteries that remain unanswered. Answers are great, but they do not weigh me down to the point of anger or distraction.  

I have been avoiding other coverage and feedback about The End until after I am able to publish this, but I am very aware of the mixed reactions from fans and the media alike. This will become more obvious once you read my analysis below, but I absolutely loved the series finale of Lost. I thought it was perfect (with one exception) and it exceeded my expectations - especially the last ten minutes. You are entitled to your opinion about it, and I respect that, but nothing anyone says will ever change how it made me feel. 

Before we get started, a few housekeeping items need to be addressed. First of all, for those who are new to this site (better later than never!), I'd like to let you know that this is and always has been a spoiler-free theory site. My analysis is purely speculative and should be interpreted in that light, I am wrong quite frequently, I make mistakes and miss key points on occasion. I love and appreciate feedback, but politely ask that it is constructive in nature and moderate all comments. 

In addition, I needed a new name for the Flash Sideways - at least the last few minutes or conclusion/resolution of it. So I have dubbed the gathering of souls at the church above the Lamp Post as the Lobby of Letting Go (LLG). 

Without further ado, let's brace ourselves for startling epiphanies and then prepare to move on together... 

The Great Purgatory Debate

I'm sure that this will be the subject of great debate for years to come for all Lost fans, but I do not consider the Flash Sideways world to be Purgatory. This world did not already exist; it was created by this particular group of people to be reunited before they all moved on to wherever they were going after death. It was a necessary gathering point for them to convene once every single person was ready to remember and move on. 

That almost all major religions and faiths were represented by items (Buddhas, crosses, Hindu paintings, menorahs, rosary beads, the star of David, Virgin Mary statues) in the church office where Jack reunited with his father seems to indicate that beyond those doors - each of those people were destined for various places. After all, when Jack asked his father where they were going, Christian responded with "let's go find out."

[sidenote 1: I am not religious by any stretch of the imagination, so I may be misinterpreting this symbol, but...there was a wheel in the stained glass window of the church which immediately brought the Frozen Donkey Wheel to mind.]

[sidenote 2: the two angels next to the doors that Christian opened at the very end reminded me of Charlie's hallucination in S2 (Fire + Water); he had a vision of his mother and Claire as angels on the beach in similar attire.]

If anything, the island served more as Purgatory than the Flash Sideways; it certainly tested the souls and character of those who had suffered in the past. Which leads me to...


For six seasons, I believed (like many of you) that the island was a place where people had a shot at redemption. As it turns out, the island was just a stepping stone and testing ground for souls to then congregate in the Lobby of Letting Go; the adventures and anguish on the island provided them with the necessary emotions and experiences to prepare them for memory epiphanies when they were finally ready to move on in the LLG.

When Des told Kate that "no one can tell you why you're here," the same could be said for everyone who ever landed on that island. And, in shades of Jacob, Hurley told Sayid that "it's your choice; if you stick with me, you'll be happy you did."

I realize that some people might still question what the island is, but I consider it both context and character. 

One of the more interesting differences between the island and the LLG is that the island prevented women from having children. In a way, the fertility issues were the island's way of thwarting repeat mistakes from future generations of island inhabitants, resulting in the infamous Progress.

I really appreciated the parallels occurring concurrently in the LLG and on the island between Jack and Locke. Some of their dialogue was equally telling and entertaining.

Hospital, as Jack and Locke each believe their plans will work on the island:
Locke: "Are you sure this is going to work?"
Jack: "Yes, I'm very confident that it will. There's always the chance that I could kill you."

Hospital, after Jack kills Locke on the island:
Nurse: "Nice work, Dr. Shephard."
Locke: "It worked."

On the island:
Jack: "I'm already dead. This is the way it has to happen."


One of my favorite aspects of the memory epiphanies each person experienced in the Flash Sideways and LLG was the sense and look of absolute joy and recognition on their faces. I was particularly fond of Hurley's grin at Charlie and Jin's smirk at Sawyer.

I do love that they collectively created a new version of Oceanic 815 that safely landed in LA, leading them all to the LLG.  And that Desmond noted that Jack was happy when they spoke on that flight. 


To me, the coffin was empty both on the island after 815 crashed and in the LLG church because it represented and was for every single one of them. 


To those who are displeased that love played a major role in the conclusion of the series, I would simply remind you that they have been headed in this direction since The Constant. So many people list that as their favorite episode of all time, and mention the emotional resonance of THE phone call between Desmond and Penny. I'm not sure why anyone would be surprised or discontent to learn that matters of the heart are a major factor in the lives of those in the LLG; that love has the ability to help them remember, understand and then move on. 

Desmond tried to explain to Jack on the island that "it doesn't matter" because he was going to "a place where we can be with the ones that we love." 

What I find fascinating is that Locke and Boone were the only two who were alone in the end. We will never know who Boone's Constant was, but the island seemed to be Locke's. 

In Happily Ever After, Charlie revealed to Desmond that on flight 815, he had a vision that we knew was Claire but witnessed in this episode. "A woman, blonde, rapturously beautiful - and I know her. We're together, it's like we've always been and always will be. This feeling, this love...I saw it, just for a moment; I saw what it looked like." Charlie was on the verge of his memory epiphany but Jack disrupted it by resuscitating him. 

I am a bit baffled as to why Penny was in the LLG, given that she is the only one who was never on the island. Perhaps she was there because the rules don't apply to Desmond and he was able to bring her along to move on with his Constant.


My one complaint with the series finale is the inclusion of Shannon. For six seasons and in flashbacks, flash forwards and the Flash Sideways, Nadia has been Sayid's Constant. Sayid and Shannon shared a few weeks together on the island before she died, and I don't consider their time together and Flash Sideways reunion to be worthy of a memory epiphany. 

In S1 we saw that Sayid carried Nadia's photo with him wherever he went, and that almost everything he did was motivated by his love for her. In Solitary, he revealed to Rousseau that her inscription on the back of that photo read "you will see me in the next life, if not this one." And yet we get Shannon in the next life? COME ON.  

I feel as though they chose Shannon simply because Maggie Grace was available and agreed to appear in the finale. I realize that Nadia wasn't on the island and would not have been in the LLG with him, but I would have rather seen Sayid experience his epiphany through Hurley and then move on alone in the LLG. 


As many of you know, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Jeff Fahey on the eve of the series finale. I posted it on Sunday morning, only to find out during the episode that he had lied about the fate of Frank. 

Given the secrecy surrounding the finale, I can't blame him; it's his job. I actually found it quite amusing, and we have since spoken and laughed about it together. Stay tuned, as I will be posting his thoughts about the finale soon.


I am aware that such speculation will never be addressed, but that does not stop me from pondering the actions of other familiar faces in the Flash Sideways. When Eloise asked Desmond if he was taking her son Daniel, Desmond responded "not with me, no." I interpreted that to mean that Daniel would be moving on, but not with that particular group.  Personally, I envision him having the epiphany on a first date with Charlotte, and they would then join Miles, his father, Naomi and Frank (both of whom we never saw in the Flash Sidewasy) to move on together.  I was a bit surprised that Daniel's first handshake with Charlotte did not result in the epiphany, but I suppose that neither of them were ready yet.


Locke, to Jack: "You don't have a son."

Jack needed both David and his father in order to experience the awakening and awareness. To me, David Shephard only existed in the Flash Sideways as an an emotional anchor and bridge for Jack to the LLG. It was a place that they all created together, and Juliet and Jack were the last two to experience the epiphanies that allowed them to remember and then join their friends in the LLG. They created David together, knowing (subconsciously) that they would need him in order for it to work, for them to eventually let go and move on.  


I have to say that I have been hoping for that father/son embrace since the fifth episode of the series, White Rabbit. Whether or not you have daddy issues, you have to admit that when Jack and Christian shared that long overdue hug, it was very moving.


As I've mentioned a few times this season, it does not appear to be mere coincidence that Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sawyer were the final four from 815 battling it out to save themselves and the island. They were the very four that the Others kidnapped after Michael lured them into a trap to get Walt back, the very four on the dock in the S2 finale.

I laughed along with everyone else when notLocke pointed out that Jack was "the obvious choice" to replace Jacob, but I wasn't surprised at all when it turned out that Hurley would be the chosen one. After all, when he was taken along with the other 3 above, it was because the Others thought he would be the best person to deliver the message back to the remaining survivors on the beach. An early contender indeed. 


When Desmond uncorked the heart of the island, it not only rendered Smokey useless - it made Alpert mortal again.


I did not love the Disney sparkles in the magical light emanating from heart of the island. But I did enjoy the Indiana Jones feel and score that accompanied the Jack and Desmond scenes down there. 

I am a fan, however, of the light behind the doors of the church in the LLG as a nod back to the light both at the heart of the island and shooting up from the Swan hatch where Locke's journey took a major turn. 


The Man in Black mentioned his desire to go home (both in his and Locke's form). Given what we know now, I have to question whether or not he knew he was already dead and actually meant that he wanted to "leave" via the LLG. 

Additionally, when he promised Sayid that he would see the love of his life again (NOT Shannon, I might add), he may have been referring to the LLG or afterlife.


The last scene in the LLG represents the end that Jacob referred to. Desmond himself said that "we're all going to the same place. Then it ends."


Earlier this season I suggested that perhaps Kate was a variable that notLocke underestimated, and it appears as if that is true on some level. Although she was inconsequential to his master plan because she was no longer a Candidate, he never bothered to kill her. Even after she shot him several times when they encountered one another in the middle of this episode, notLocke ignored Kate. When she shot him in the end, I actually cheered out loud for Kate for the first time in six years.

While I have been openly critical of her character, I admit that I am pleased with how they ended her time on the island. She followed through with her original reason for returning to the island (to bring Claire home) rather than making a decision based on Jack or Sawyer. Yes, she was with Sawyer when they joined the Ajira plane, but after that kiss with Jack it is quite obvious she and Sawyer were merely and coincidentally on a mission together to get home. 

It is worth noting that Kate has the distinction of being the only person who was on all four flights: 815 (crash and Flash Sideways) and 316 (returning and leaving the island).


In Further Instructions, Locke created a sweat lodge and experienced a very vivid vision with the assistance of a hallucinogenic paste. A few scenarios from his dream are now quite relevant to the Flash Sideways reunions in the finale.
  • When Boone appeared to Locke, he pointed to a wheelchair and said "you're going to need that." In The End, Ben told Locke that he doesn't need a wheelchair any longer.
  • Claire, Aaron and Charlie appear to Locke as a happy family of three.
  • Boone told Locke that Sayid will take care of Jin and Sun, and in The Package - Sayid killed Keamy and the other Widmore thugs after they kidnapped and tied up Jin.


I laughed out loud when Sawyer actually referred to notLocke as Smokey, like most of us have been doing. And, of course, you had to love that he referred to Lapidus as Chesty again.

Other nickname highlights included Sawyer's use of Magic Leprechaun (Desmond) and Lapidus' use of Ricky Boy (Richard Alpert).

Did you notice that in the Flash Sideways, Sawyer called Jack 'Doc' even though he was wearing a suit and no ID badge? Sawyer then paused in a moment of deja vu, right before experiencing his epiphany thanks to Juliet.


In What They Died For, Desmond said that Ana Lucia was "not ready yet" to go with them. I assume he meant that she had not experienced her island memory epiphany yet (which we know because she didn't recognize Hurley), and no one from that group was the person who was supposed to help her remember. 

When Ana Lucia does finally experience the jarring realization that she is dead and needs to move on, I have to think that she might postpone that journey until she makes amends...much like Ben has chosen to do ("I have some things I still need to work out").


S1: Pilot
Jack saved Hurley's life by yelling at him to move right before the wing of the plane crashed down the beach. In The End, Ben saved Hurley's life by pushing him out of the way of a tree that crashed down during one of the island's uncorked quakes.

S1: Deus Ex Machina, S3: I Do
Both Anthony Cooper (to Locke before kidney surgery) and Ben (to Jack before spinal surgery) said "see you on the other side." In the end, Jack said the same to Locke before his spinal surgery.

S1: Born to Run, S2: Lockdown
The Flightline Motel is where Kate used the pseudonym Joan Hart and where Anthony Cooper stayed when Locke helped him retrieve money from a safe deposit box (which led to his break up with Helen in the parking lot). In The End, Charlie was staying there when Hurley shot him with a tranquilizer gun. 

S1: Do No Harm
Jin brought Charlie to help Kate deliver Claire's baby in the jungle. He told her "I have water, I have towels." In The End, Charlie brought a blanket to Claire just after giving birth to Aaron, but "I couldn't find any water."

S1: Exodus
Jack and Locke look down into the Swan hatch (where Desmond was living) for the first time after blowing off the door. In The End, Jack and Locke look down into the heart of the island for the first time after lowering Desmond down the waterfall.

S2: Man of Science, Man of Faith
Jack operated on his future wife Sarah after a car accident and she was miraculously able to wiggle her toes after he 'fixed' her. In The End, Jack operated on Locke and he was miraculously able to wiggle her toes after he 'fixed' him.

S3: Flashes Before Your Eyes
Eloise Hawking told Desmond in his flash back in time that "pushing that button is the only truly great thing that you will ever do." In The End, Hurley told Charlie that "playing this show is the most important thing you'll ever do."

S3: D.O.C.
Juliet took Sun to the Staff station to give her an ultrasound. In The End, Juliet gave Sun an ultrasound that resulted in her memory epiphany. 

S3: Through the Looking Glass
On the beach, the Others captured Bernard, Jin and Sayid. When contacted by Ben via walkie talkie, they were instructed to kill them but shot into the sand instead. In The End, Claire shot into the sand in front of Alpert, Frank and Miles while Kate was on walkie talkie and horrified that she might have shot them. 

S4: Meet Kevin Johnson
Right before he was shot and killed, Alex's boyfriend Karl said "I just have a bad feeling about this." In The End, Hurley says "I got a bad feeling about this." [sidenote: that phrase is a well-known Star Wars reference]

S4: There's No Place Like Home
After Penny's boat rescued them, Jack and co. parted ways with Desmond and he said "see you in another life, brother." In The End, Jack's last words to Desmond on the island were "see you in another life, brother." And indeed, that is what happened.

S5: Because You Left
Sayid brought Hurley to an apartment 'safe house' and was shot by a tranquilizer dart. In The End, Hurley brought Sayid to a motel and then shot Charlie with a tranquilizer dart.

S5: This Place is Death
Before turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel, the Man in Black (as Ghost Christian) told Locke that "I believe in you, John. You can do this." In The End, Hurley told Jack that "I believe in you" and Jack said the same thing to him a while later.

S5: The Incident
Locke (as the Man in Black) kicked Jacob into the fire after Ben killed him. In The End,
Jack kicked Locke off of the cliff and to his death after Kate shot him.

Jacob handed Jack an Apollo bar from his hospital vending machine. In The End, Juliet handed Sawyer an Apollo bar from that same hospital vending machine.

S6: LA X, S6: The Last Recruit
When Locke told Jack that his condition was irreversible, Jack responded with "nothing is irreversible." Desmond later warned Claire that "you could find yourself in a situation that is irreversible." In The End, Kate told Jack that "nothing is irreversible."

S6: LA X
Right before she died, Juliet told Sawyer that "I have to tell you something. It's really, really important." Miles later revealed that she wanted to tell Sawyer that "it worked." In The End, Juliet said "I have a secret" and then "it worked" (about the candy bar) right as they touched hands and experienced their memory epiphanies together.


According to Jacob, "it only ends once; anything that happens before that is just progress." To me, Hurley and Ben represented another iteration of island leadership, taking over for Jacob and Alpert.  Together they were another round of progress.

I am not at all in favor of a Lost spin-off or movie, but it would be fantastic to see a comic book or graphic novel chronicling the adventures of Hot Pocket and Bunny Boy. 


I don't know about you, but I was rather surprised to see that the wine allegory was real; that there is a giant cork keeping the island afloat. 


Jacob traveled off island to make physical contact with specific characters at various points in their lives, designating them as Candidates. In the Flash Sideways, the same type of contact served to stir up memories of their pasts on together on the island. Claire taking Charlie's hand. Juliet's ultrasound instrument on Sun's stomach. Kate grabbing Jack's face. Juliet handing Sawyer the candy bar. Jack touching his father's coffin. 


Jack: "There are no short cuts, no do-overs. What happened, happened. Trust me, I know. All of this matters."

That statement holds true and is very significant. Everything we witnessed happened in one timeline; the Flash Sideways world and LLG exists without time attached to it. All flashbacks and flash forwards actually took place, as did everything on the island (from the very early notMom days with Jacob and his brother Zac Efron to the military days of young Widmore to the time shifting years in the Dharma Initiative).

Everyone died, but at different times, including the next generation. Ji Yeon and Aaron were alive and with their grandparents off island, and died eventually. The same goes for Charlie Hume. *CORRECTION: Sadly, Jin never actually met his daughter - but as so many of you pointed out in the comments, it is possible that Sawyer met his daughter Clementine after leaving the island on the Ajira plane. Good catch!

Everyone who died on the island, died on the island. Jin, Sun and Sayid perished in the submarine, Jack in the bamboo field, etc. 

We don't know WHEN or where the passengers of 316 died (Alpert, Claire, Frank, Kate, Miles and Sawyer), but they did eventually after finally escaping the island. 


When Jack confirmed to Hurley that "it needs to be you," the look on Ben's face in the background was heartbreaking. He finally realized that he was never meant to be a #1. Jacob never believed in him or gave him a real shot, but Hurley did and he humbly accepted the offer. His surprise and joy was reminiscent of the moment he shared with Ilana when she told him that "I'll have you."


Correct me if I'm wrong, but we didn't see Boone experience his island epiphany. Given his chat with Hurley about and involvement with reuniting Shannon and Sayid, he clearly had one.


Although I remain a tad confused about Widmore's role in the big picture, I am leaning toward the idea that he knew that everyone on the island was already dead. Assuming he was on the same page as his wife Eloise, who was definitely in the know, I have to believe that he told Desmond about the bright light; about the sacrifice he needed to make to save them all (Happily Ever After). 

Widmore wanted Des to uncork the heart of the island because he knew that it would render Smokey powerless (no matter whose form/body the Man in Black was currently in), making him human and susceptible to injury and death again.  Ironically, Jacob thought that if the cork was taken out of the bottle/island, evil would escape rather than be quelled.


I had often wondered how it could be that Christian appeared to Jack off island in his medical office when the Smoke Monster (in any form/body) could not leave the island. I now believe that Flash Sideways Christian was the one who appeared in that particular scene.

By the way, I loved that Kate made fun of his name. I've been doing it for years.


Jack never needed redemption, at least in my eyes. But he certainly earned his hero status this season, and I really loved his final journey. Jack's scenes in the finale with Locke were electric, intense and epic. 

It is interesting that even though he was the newly anointed island leader, Jack could be killed. It look centuries for the Man in Black to find a loophole that would allow him to kill Jacob, and obviously Locke he knew he could kill Jack because he was no longer the Man in Black.

For what it's worth, I have never been a 'shipper but always believed that Jack and Kate belonged together. I was also never a huge fan of either character (and received more than my share of grief for it over the years), but am very satisfied that they reaffirmed their love for one another on the island and were together in the LLG before moving on.


It is safe to say that no one was surprised to discover that Juliet was Jack's ex-wife in the Flash Sideways. That being said, I was ecstatic to just hear her voice again before she then entered the room to meet Sun and Jin. As always, it is a treat to see Elizabeth Mitchell on Lost


They were still alive when everyone else either died or left the island, so I love the idea that they eventually passed away together there in the Drama-Free Jungle Condo. Of course it would have been fitting and appropriate for them to have been the real Adam and Eve skeletons.


Let's not kid ourselves, most of us cried at various points throughout the finale, but the waterworks turned on at full capacity when Vincent appeared to keep Jack company as he passed away. Full circle from that very spot on 9/22/04, and....scene.

Final Giveaway

The winner of the cool Dharma shark tee, randomly pulled from a hat with names of those who left comments on my last episode post, is Kyle S! Please email me your shipping address. 

For my final giveaway, a Kate action figure is up for grabs! To be eligible to win it, simply leave a constructive comment below and I will announce the winner next week.  

Christian Shephard said that "the most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people," and that is how I feel about this show and the fans. Whatever happens in my life, I will always look back fondly at this entire experience and regard these six years as some of the most profound and significant of my life. 

The last line ever uttered on Lost was, appropriately enough, delivered by John Locke: "We've been waiting for you." I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I had been waiting for all of you...and am now ready to move on when you are.

Right now I feel strangely at peace and have a somewhat guilty sense of relief, but I'm sure both are stages of grief and denial. The book of Lost is not closed for me - it will always be a major chapter in my life, one that I can reopen and revisit at any time. 

I am unable to express just how much your support has meant to me over the years, and will dedicate an entire post soon to doing just that. 

It is just after 3am and I am experiencing a wide range of emotions with the realization that this is my very last Lost episode analysis post. So I will close with the only words that come to mind at this hour and this point in time. Thank you.



PurpleLostPrincess said...

Jo, thank you so so much for all your work and comments over the years (although I only discovered you in season 6). I love the way you have provided us with the links between all that has happened before and what happened in 'The End', it has certainly helped me. I feel the same way as you about how it has ended and it's a joy to find I'm not alone. I have two close friends who come round every week to watch LOST, and I used to be a very emotional person but in the past year or two I've not cried at anything at all (all sorts of personal reasons!). However, I blubbed all the way through this episode, and they are pleased to have me back lol!!

One thing that still provided me with confusion, is the fact that the Oceanic 6 did actually make it back home, and I struggled to understand where that fit into the whole conclusion. You have helped me to lay it all out and make sense of it all and clarify that it was in fact real...

Many thanks and Namaste!

Tyrinna (PurpleLostPrincess)

Sherylm said...

Thank you, Jo, that was a very thoughtful analysis. I'll just say that although I loved the character of Nadia and the actress who portrayed her, I was very happy to see Sayid end up with Shannon. Their relationship, while short, was very intense and with Nadia, it became obvious that Sayid could never leave go of his past and his own self-imposed cultural expectations. Like Rose and Bernard, Sayid and Shannon formed a couple that went against convention and enriched Lost all the more for it. It was a very bold move when Sayid and Shannon became romantically involved in 2004 and I'm glad it did not just slip out of mind. In "real" life, people often think they have to be with a certain person, when someone completely different would be much better for them. Only a few of them are lucky enough to realize that in the end, like Sawyer did with Juliet.

It's hard to believe it's really over but I look forward to reading your thoughts on other topics.

LisaCPhotography said...

Great job as always! I was hoping that if Sawyer and company got home on the plane, that he could have met his daughter. Keep on writing, I'll keep reading.

Sanddab said...

Wonderful analysis, Jo! Just a bit of help with Penny's connection to the island and LLG is through her bloodline... Daddy was a leader... and perhaps a weaker one, her proximity to the island when she was on her way to rescue the O6 (that's closer than Nadia ever got anyway).

The one correction/disagreement I might have is that Sawyer would never know his daughter. He went home and we don't know what he did when he got there or how he used the time until his death. I personally imagine that the changes to his character as the result of his island experience would allow him the possibility of being involved in Clementine's life, especially because of the Kate/Aaron and Cassidy/Clementine playdates. But obviously she was not a major influence in his post island life since she's not at the LLG.

Anyway, thank you for your insights. It is always a pleasure reading them. Namaste!

Beena said...

I really enjoyed reading your post! I particularly liked all your references to parallels, as I noticed many, too, while watching The End. One of the most notable parallels, is that while John Locke actually suffered and survived a bad fall, it is a fall that ultimately killed MIB! Another is, that while Jack "fixed" Locke physically in the sideways world, it is Locke who did the most to "fix" Jack spiritually in their island life. Some of the best dialogue in The End, is Jack acknowledging that while arguing with MIB. Locke makes the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good, down in a hole, turning the wheel, leaving behind the island he loves. Jack, down in yet another hole, makes the ultimate sacrifice, staying behind on the island and corking it back up for the greater good. This episode was jammed pack with parallels. So I am really glad you went into detail about many of them. There are probably even more!

I have to say, that it might not be true about Sawyer never meeting Clementine. We have no way of knowing what his life was like once he made it off the island before he later died at some point. No way of knowing, one way or another. I am inclined to believe he would have made the effort to contact her.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this - and all your other - analyses. I have enjoyed reading them very much. I am with you in that I loved the finale, and to me the islanders in a "holding place" made perfect sense (after Chrstian explained it to me lol). I do think Jin and Sun's death would have resonated with me more if I known they had really died (instead of half believing that the sideways world was the 'real' one) but in the end, it was a beautiful place and way for them to come together and prepare for what was coming next

I am - wllk always be - a Sawyer fan, he's by far my favorite character on Lost and has been since the moment he shot the polar bear. I am not a shipper either, whatever (whoever) Sawyer wanted was a-okay with me. I was a bit disappointed he didn't have a "hero" moment on the island in the finale, but I loved his "sideways" story and I was standing up when Sawyer and Juliet finally awakened together and was literally jumping up and down and squealing like a crazy person - my twitter post right after was that I was the happiest person in the world so maybe I was a shipper after all :)

I will miss Lost more than words can say but i have had a lot of fun imagining what the story that the Ajira group came up with when they landed to explain Claire and Sawyer's being alive when they've been placed by Whidmore and the oceanic Six as being in the bottom of the ocean and especially how they explained Richard :0

lost4evr said...

WOW!!! I just realized this will be the last ever recap of LOST that I will be reading from you Jo :( Always looked forward to your thoughts and insights. You always caught things that totally escaped my view. Your parallels in this installment are spot on. Also enjoyed the trivia tidbits like Kate being the only one on all 4 flights and Kate, Jack, Hurley and Sawyer (the Fantastic Four?!) being the ones kidnapped by the Others in S2. I too loved the ending and thought it was quite fitting for LOST. Much like life I let "stuff" get in the way of what's really important when in reality it's all about the connections people make with each other. Connections that transcend even death. I think back in my subconscience I knew that. Now, I can let go of all the minutiae and start living it. But only by the grace of God did a little tv show called LOST cross my path allowing this epithany or revelation if you will...just another bible reference :) BTW, I call dibs on the stained glass window of the church if it goes up for auction :) Thanks for sharing with us throughout this journey Jo. Namaste

Jayne said...

Thanks, Jo, for all of your hard work these past years! I'm a devoted reader/fan, and first time commenter =)

Like many fans I watched, re-watched, and re-watched again, The End over the past few days. I cried each and every time. Those "aha" moments were incredibly satisfying and intense. I also loved the goofy grins on the ones who knew but couldn't say yet - most notably as u mentioned Hurley with Charlie and Jin and Sun with Juliet and Sawyer.

Like you I was confused about Shannon. I feel cheated a bit. There have been theories that this was JACK's story and that is the only context that it makes sense. But then I'm confused as to why, say, Jack's mother wasn't there. Is there another LLG that he would see her in? Maybe I just answered my own question - he would see her in her own LLG... OK I get it.

So I'm curious what you and your readers think about that - if you believe it was Jack's story.

Thanks again for all your wonderful insight. I'll see you in another life, brotha!

Maram said...

Jo, I loved you finale recap as I loved the previous ones, one thing I am proud of is knowing all the great LOST fans, maybe I never met in person, but I am glad to be a part of a beautiful community .. Thanks for everything ....

As for the END, I Loved it and there is nothing that can changemy opinion, it was EPIC and it was BEAUTIFUL, cried like a baby at the end but loved it ... For me I am very satisified and I am glad for that ...

Hope I win the Kate action figure, she's been one of my fav characters from day one, and after she killed notLocke I guess lots of people loved her ...

Thank You for Everything once again ..

maram ...

neyala said...

Jo, I just have to say that I live in Spain and I've always read your blog. I think you've done a great job and you've helped a lot of people with your analysis and with your theories.


alarose20 said...

Hey Jo! It has definitely been a great ride, and it was awesome meeting you in Hawaii earlier this year for the premier.

One thing I wanted your opinion that I didn't see you write was an idea I had now knowing what the flashsideways were.

I always wanted to know why Eloise was so omnipotent all the time. It's like she knew EVERYTHING. We first say her in Desmond's moment when he went back in time after flipping the failsafe, but what if he really didn't go back in time? What if what we saw was him crossing over into that world that they created, and meeting Eloise who was already aware or what was going on on that side?

Just a thought...
Take care, and good luck with your next endeavor!

Erin said...

Jo - a beautiful analysis. I think Desmond is representative of the story of LOST, and Penny is representative of us. All of LOST has been about that story finding its way to our hearts, never to part again.

Erin said...

As to Shannon, I didn't like her and Sayid together much on the Island, but that's largely because Essam died as a result of Sayid trying to get to Nadia, and I felt like that rendered his death meaningless. But in truth, we might say that he died to lead him to Shannon. And hence his death has great meaning. Everyone's church, I think, looks different. Perhaps Sayid's is a mosque. And Essam is one of the ones inside.

Anyway, a really beautiful write-up, Jo. Thank you.

cheeky monkey said...

Thank you so much for all your hard work over the seasons! You have helped clarify things many times for me, and I truly appreciate it. Even on this recap I loved the picture you posted of the back room of the church. I didn't even notice all the different religious items in there, so although I also didn't take the sideways as strictly purgatory, this made it a bit more clear. I look forward to following you on AOL, you are very entertaining!

lennyg said...

Jo - worth the wait. You never disappoint.

}i{ said...

Jo...I found your blog too late in this journey (halfway through this season) but I have really enjoyed coming here in the last few weeks to read your thoughts.

You're not alone in your emotions. I also feel a sense of peace when I think about the ending of LOST, which is surprising and makes me feel guilty as well.

At any rate, I'm just thankful for the ride.

canhamam said...

Oh, Jo - thank YOU!!! This community has helped me so much over the years, in my quest to understand why the island and its people were so compelling to me.

Your thoughts and insights have enhanced the beauty of this once-in-a-lifetime show. And may I just add one thought: I still believe Sawyer may reunite with his daughter when the Ajira flight returns him to temporal reality. At least I hope so, for his peace of mind and spirit!

Again, blessings and Namaste, treasured guide.

Unknown said...

Thanks Jo! Thanks for being a constant to all of us.

I'm slightly confused by the Chaz Widmore explanation. You said you're "leaning toward the idea that he knew that everyone on the island was already dead." I think he had some knowledge that we will never be privy to, but I don't think he thought that everyone on the island was dead. It was clear that he was aware that Desmond was the key to defeating the Man in Black (aka Samuel:

Sommery said...

Thanks Jo. I came late to the party, but I am glad I came. I loved the way LOST ended. Since Sawyer did finally get off the island, I would hope he finally got to meet Clementine, though I don't think Cassidy would believe he's the same Sawyer she knew (he's not). I loved the fact that Kate had her epiphany while helping to deliver Claire's baby (again). While I'm happy that Kate and Jack were together in the end I believe that Aaron was her true love. I think Kate always had a good heart, but she was somewhat selfish until she became a mother to Aaron. I am sad that the show is over. But I'm glad to know that unlike life, I can always hit the rewind button on Lost and relive every moment, over and over again.

Tyler said...

Thank you for the posts, I have been a longtime reader of your site. I have rewatched the final 10 minutes of the series at least 5 times and it never gets old. I think it was perfectly done.

On a side note, Sawyer could have been reuinited with his daughter at some point, considering he made if off the island in the ajira plane and lived a (hopefully) long and happy life before moving onto the LLG.

Thanks again!

Tyler B.

Unknown said...

When I watched it, I took it as they all actually died in the Oceanic 815 plane crash. Jack was thrown into the bamboo field by the pond and he stumbled into the bamboo field and died (which explains the full circle). During the time that he was dying, his mind created this story - kind of a flash sideways. The other people (Kate, Sawyer, etc) were the souls of the other people who died on the plane crash that Jack had met or created some sort of connection shortly before they died. As each person on the plane crash perished, they all had similar experiences (similar to Jack's flash sideways) as they were dying. In the end, the group was all in purgatory and moved on to the afterlife. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's very similar to the story Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. said...

There are so many cynical people who don't get why we love Lost so much & I'm so glad that people like you completely understand why we do. It became so much more than just a TV show to fans & I'm glad that you loved the end as much as I did.

It's been a great time & I've always enjoyed reading what you have to say. Thank you so much for being one of, if not the biggest, Lost fan out there!

Barry said...

One quick point first: you mention Sawyer and Jin never met their daughters. We actually don't know if Sawyer meets Clementine, but I'm assuming if they make it back to civilization successfully on 316, he'll find his way to Cassie and meet his daughter. Having Kate, Claire and Aaron with him should ease the encounter since they've all met previously.

I love the idea of a comic/graphic novel about Hurley and Ben's days on the island. I see Hurley understanding the need to bring people who are troubled to the island and using their survival instincts as a way to grow just as Jacob did. Only with less lethal, wild methods. I can see him using the lighthouse to visit other people's lives in the outside world, bring them to the island in groups and provide them with a place to discover who they are supposed to be - working together. They can discover the 815 wreckage, wonder about it, find the barracks or Dharma Hatches, and find out the mysteries of the island without the constant conflict that Jacob had to deal with the MIB. Hurley's kind heart could end up helping hundreds, even thousands of people as he lived out his days on the island with Ben (who like Richard builds and nurtures a new community of Others) and Rose and Bernard (who I see being the less insane equivalents of Rousseau).

Like Ben says, maybe Hurley can do it a different way.

Islandgirl said...


I have read your LOST blog for quite a while now. I've enjoyed reading your insight and thoughts. The online community of LOST fans are unlike any other... and you are no exception. Thanks for all the time and effort you have put in over the years. It's indeed hard to let go, but we all have the memories (and, come August, the box set!) to go back to any time we need our LOST fix. Good luck in all of your future endeavors! Namaste. :)

Anonymous said...

I too was confused about Penny being in the LLG, but the more I thought about it - it made sense to me. Christian told Jack that "the most important part of your life was the time you spent with these people." I think Penny did play an important part in Jack's life. She rescued him and the others that became the Oceanic 6 and was there when they came up with the plan to lie about what happened. The same lie that ultimately led to Jack's life spinning out of control because he left the island.

That's just my take on things, but it made me feel better about the ending.

UPennBen said...

I think Sayid absolutely had to be with Shannon to go into the light.

Throughout the series, everyone always told him that he was a killer, that was all he could ever be. Clearly, Sayid hoped this was not true, but could never shake it, not even in his flash sideways. Even in his construct, Nadia was married to his brother. Sayid deep inside realized that he could never be with her because she would always remind him that he was a torturer.

When he was with Shannon, he was simply a man in love. And that is all he ever wanted. Choosing Shannon was Sayid's act of free will.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for all the hard work you do!! I look forward to reading your Fringe recaps next year :-) One point where I differ from you opinion is Jacob's line that it only ends once. To me, his two main goals were to find his replacement and to kill mib. So once Jack accepted the role and then he and Kate together took care of mib, Jacob's end happened. The progress he spoke of, to me, was in bringing different groups of people in the hope of finding a replacement. Thoughts?

Unknown said...

PS - Two other points: 1. I've now been referring to the flash sideways as the in-between(Lovely Bones). 2. A question/confusion I have now is who are the "ghosts" that visit Hurley in his flash forwards? Specifically, Charlie and Anna Lucia. He also mentioned playing with Eko. But in these, Charlie and Anna Lucia know Hurley, and Charlie tells him he needs to go back to the island. It can't be in-between Charlie, because he didn't have his memories yet. My only thought is that it was somehow smokey, but if smokey can't leave the island, then what? Can someone help me understand this? Oh yeah - also Libby off island to Michael in the hospital.

Kristi said...

Thanks so much for your blog, Jo! It has made my Lost-viewing experience richer. And as I continue to digest the finale, your comments on the significance of the variety of religious symbols (and final destinations) were a big help!

Kevin T said...


Thanks again for the wonderful recaps.

A few things:

- I too thought the wheel on the stained glass might represent the frozen donkey wheel and thus some sort of hybrid faith/religion that the writers were using to create their own form of post-death world. However, I was since informed that the wheel is actually the Buddhist Wheel of Dharma, which would be a very fitting religious symbol to use.

- At the LOST Live event, didn't they tell us all that we would see Malcolm David Kelley in the finale??? I didn't see him anywhere. And why was he and Michael not in the LLG?

- It did seem somewhat arbitrary that some of the Oceanic Flight 815'ers were there while others weren't. I mean, Jack did have some flirtation going on with Ana Lucia so why not have her end up there?

Thanks Jo!

Aaron said...

Great job as always Jo. It's been a pleasure reading your thoughts. I'm going to miss checking my RSS feed for your recap.

Amazing 6 years.

Unknown said...

There's one thing no one has mentioned. I still chuckle when I think of how Lapidus explains his return flight with 5 passengers. Kate, who was one of the original Oceanic 6 and the only returning Agira passenger. Miles, who arrived by a freighter a long time ago. Clare and Sawyer who were declared dead by the Oceanic 6. and Richard, who is totally nameless in our 2010 world. How did they lie themselves out of this one? If they told the truth, then I imagine all of them spent their remaining time in Hurleys old room at the Mental hospital!!!
Thanks for all your work Jo, I really enjoyed your perspective.

Barry said...

Since time is fluid and relevant in the in-between, maybe Hurley's ghosts are our flash-sideways folks, but after their awakening and before their journey onward. Nothing says the amount of time that passed that evening of the "concert" had to be a regular # of hours... maybe after Charlie awoke and understood his situation, he was able to move around and visit Hurley in the real world, then come back to be with Claire and Aaron and wait for Jack to arrive, so they could all eventually leave together. He knew Hurley needed an extra "push" to get him to where he needed to be as well.

Same for Ana Lucia - I would imagine she eventually came around, had her flash and visited Hurley but had to find her own way.

gabo said...

I was waiting for your thoughts on this episode, thanks Jo.

As for Shanon being Sayid's constant, maybe she was meant to be that way since the beginning, all this in light of this Bad Robot writer review on 'The End' where he states that this episode was really written from the beginning and even though they had to make some tweaks (like Ben appearing on it) it may be the answer to that.

It has been a great ride, and I'm really disappointed at all the people disappointed at the finale. I guess this came to tell us who really was a lost fan and who was just a casual viewer. For me, it was beautiful.

White Rabbit said...

I'm still working through your analysis, but I just wanted to comment on purgatory. Purgatory is a place of punishment, and that's not what we saw in the flash-sideways. It drives me crazy when people use that term. This afterlife was mostly the writers' invention, so Christian terminology simply doesn't fit. I agree with your reading on this completely. I prefer to call it a limbo - a world between worlds, an antechamber to the afterlife.

Also, the donkey wheel is a Buddhist symbol. Very relevant!

smacky said...

Spot on, again, Jo. I agree, the only problem I had was Sayid and Shannon being together. But maybe the fact that Sayid lost Nadia in both worlds (hit by car, married to his brother) that they simply weren't meant to be.

It almost would have made more sense to have Boone and Shannon together (not as a couple!) because she was clearly Boone's constant. But, ironically enough, Locke helped Boone "let go" of Shannon before he died on the island in season 1!

Final point, Sawyer COULD have gone to see his daughter sometime between returning from the island and dying. He could have had another 40 years or more to consider it!

Kaiti said...

Oh no, why did you remind me about Widmore? Just when I thought I had a handle on the finale, now I'm confused again!

Rumsy4 said...

Nice recap, as always! I too was surprised to see that there literaly seemed to be a cork in the heart of the Island. This makes me wonder if Jacob did venture there at some point, or if his Island guardianship led him to understand a lot about the nature of the Island over the millenia (literally). However I disagree that Jacob did not know what would happend upon "uncorking". He is the one who brought Desmond back to the Island, via Widmore. As Juliet explained in the flash Sideways, it's not cheating if you unplug it briefly before re-plugging it. And in that short window, Flocke could be killed. I also feel that Jacob was coaching Hurley to take over for him all along. He's the one Candidate Jacob has had the most direct interaction with.

I've never been a big fan of the infamous love triangle, but I liked it that Kate finally made her choice at the end. Kate has never been a favorite with me until lately, but I literally cheered when she delivered the fatal shot to Flocke! I loved the Suliet moment in the flash-sideways, but it's impact was lessened for me because Sawyer appeared to be moving on from Juliet's death a little too soon on Island.

I'm not sure Richard started ageing because of the brief uncorking of the Island as much as due to a change in the leadership of the Island.

Ben+Hurley= Burley? Hurben? I love it!

It's been a great ride!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping to sort things out in a very neat way. I always loved the parallels, which helped me to recall things that I wouldn't be able to recall by myself. I really love your attention to details. Thanks so much for the all the analysis that you've done and for being such a great guide. =)

I definitely love the finale. No matter which way I look it, it was the best ending and it was so beautiful and fitting for Lost. Really didn't see the ending coming, nice twist. I love the emphasis on whatever happened, happened and that everything matters. Everything that we have been watching was real and everything that the characters did, all the torments and love they went through were significant.

Despite the fact that it makes much sense that this is Jack's LLG(as you called it), but I believe it was for all of them. No matter what these guys have gone through in their life before or after their life on the island, I believe the experiences on the island would be strong enough to make it the most important part of their lives. After all, it became the place where they found redemption or whatever they've been looking for. So it makes perfect sense to me that this group of people should move on together.

Once again Jo, thanks so much for everything.

Hillary said...

SIDENOTE 1: I totally thought of the Frozen Donkey Wheel, too! But I just looked it up and it’s Buddhist – Bhavacakra:
* Wheel of life
* Wheel of existence
* Wheel of becoming
* Wheel of rebirth
* Wheel of saṃsāra
* Wheel of suffering
* Wheel of transformation

“The wheel is divided into six sections” or six seasons maybe? OK, I’m pushing it…

How effing appropriate, and I believe intentionally used since we first saw it.


As pretty as Boone is, he’s probably his own Constant.

I don’t get the Penny thing, either. But reconciled it by considering Ben had somehow managed to kill her? Or something. I dunno. Dammit! I am sure (hoping) that when their Radio Silence is over, Darlton will address it.


I wasn’t surprised by Shannon being there because of what happened between Nadia and Sayid in the Flash Sideways. He’d made peace with their not being together (especially after marrying his milquetoast brother) and in Shannon was able to make a connection without such a tortuous past. Not that I didn’t prefer the chemistry between Nadia and Sayid. And not that I don’t think Maggie Grace is probably a really cool chick IRL, but…of course she was available to be in the finale. (burn! lol)


I take pleasure in knowing David Shephard is still alive, for the next four weeks anyway, on Saving Grace…lol


I loved Alpert’s expression at this! Interesting that the Man in Black (this has got to be a nod to King’s “Dark Tower” series – which everyone must read!) had greys. I guess they were to have sprouted before he stopped aging. No wonder he hated Jacob with his lack of grey hair and non-receding hairline…lol


Everything we witnessed happened in one timeline; the Flash Sideways world and LLG exists without time attached to it. All flashbacks and flash forwards actually took place, as did everything on the island.

Agreed!! (Although I prefer “Evil Beiber” to

Sadly, both Jin and Sawyer never actually met their daughters.

Daddy issues abound!


Is it fathomable that Shannon was somehow Boone’s epiphany, but she wasn’t his? Just as the Ultrasound was for Sun, but not Juliet?


By the way, I loved that Kate made fun of his name. I've been doing it for years.

For serious! But I don’t think I’m in the minority (you included) in having believed there was an obvious purpose behind the Shephard name since day one.

‘Shippers (and other musings):

I’d long hoped Kate ended up with no one just because I knew it would piss people off, because I’m kind of an a-hole that way…hahahaha But I did always like Kate and I think it’s because I could relate to her in many ways – which is probably why I never liked Sun, cuz I couldn’t relate to her at all. I’m curious to see if this will change over time as I change over time.


I totally texted you when Juliet showed up. I couldn’t help myself, as much as I hate being interrupted during LOST! (Rewatches included)


I want to print that final shot of Jack and Vincent to put on my LOST wall. OMG, I love that shot so much. I haven’t searched yet. But of you know of a hi-res version I can get my hands on, LMK. :) I also loved Kimmel’s joke Monday that within a few hours Vincent would just end up eating Jack…lol

And now I shall read the other comments left before mine!

Pat said...

Jo, your analysis is like a plane zooming through a clear sky--leaving a white trail of crystal behind it. (I mean that, but I also really want the Kate action figure!) I love the design of your blog and the way you can so clearly bring the key metaphors and events together across 6 years of storyline.
My favorite of your analyses for THE END are your parallels---and the fact that the Losties not only found a life that mattered on the island, but they carried some serious gunslinging, tranquilizing, dialogue-grafting skills back and forth between their island battles and LLG memory-making lives. Some skills are just too cool to let go.

Valerie said...

Thank you, Jo, for your wonderful after episode posts. I wish I had discovered you sooner and I'll probably go back and read your thoughts on the show when I go back and watch the series all the way through again. lol!

One of my favorite parts was Sawyer and Juliet's awakening. The pure joy on Juliet's face just moved me and I'm actually tearing up right now just thinking about it. lol! Their moment together is one of my favorites of The End.

And I just loved Jack in the end. He's not one of my favorite characters but I admired him and his actions in the end brought him full circle to peace.

I too LOVED the finale and no one can change my mind about it. I respect those who hated it because some of them have valid arguments but I just don't know how you can't love pieces of it too. lol!

Thank you again.

- H said...

Really lovely, Jo. I woke up this morning with U2's "Bad" stuck in my head. It's worth looking up the lyrics & giving it a listen:

"To let it go!
And so fade away
I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping"

Namaste, lady! (MOC815)

1Miletogo said...

Awesome recap as always Jo. It has been an amazing journey with LOST. It really goes beyond the writing, the acting, and the production of the show. It is like a large family, and I'm already looking forward to a reunion.

Your writing is always full of life and really leaps off the page with what we saw. Thanks again for everything Jo!

We still have so many things to theorize about the show too :)

Kelly said...

First, thank you. I only started reading your recaps this season, but they've all been great.

I too loved this episode - it just worked for me in every way. (I'm not even too bothered by Shannon because Nadia, in any life, was out of Sayid's reach and I always kind of liked Shannon and her snarkiness.) I do think you're a little wrong about the kids. Not Ji-Yeon, but I want to believe that Kate succeeded in getting Claire home to Aaron and that Sawyer, all redemptified and matured from the island, sought out Clementine and that Hurley, new island leader, changed some rules and let Des leave and find his family.

Anyway, thank you again.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for your analysis of the show week after week - I always enjoy reading them!
I believe that when Jughead was detonated, it worked... but everyone there died. Due to the fact that the soul is eternal, the souls of those who died at Jughead (as well as though who died earlier and later) melded with the souls from the alternative time line who were living the laternate life. Everything that happened, happened - both on and off the island and at different times. Desmond and Hurley were special and knew that they had to reconcile the memories of the "island" souls to the memories of those who were re-living their lives so that they could move on once they did die. Jack was the one remaining person who still needed to remember - he had to unite his "man of science" soul with his newfound "man of faith" memories/feelings which was more of a struggle for him than it was for the others. So... at the end, the man of faith all along (John Locke) triggered the man of faith memories in Jack who therefore was finally able to rest. I enjoyed the finale but was put off by the ending as well. I think the writers has their closing scene determined since day one and tried to fit the ending around that rather than writing something more coherent. All in all however, I loved the finale and will always love each and every character they introduced.
Lost will be sorely missed!

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

I just found you recently and wish I have been reading you forever. Your insight and feelings about LOST are just like mine. I, too, am one of the ones that absolutely LOVED the series finale. I'm not quabbling about the questions remaining, how the writers copped out, etc etc., I took their story as they gave it to me and I was completely fulfilled. I will never forget LOST or the friends I have made through it all across the world.


lostforever18 said...

Jo, your post brought me to tears! THANK YOU so very much for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us throughout this entire experience! You are truly an idol of mine, and I’m so grateful to you for sharing in my emotions! I was so happy to read that your thoughts on this final episode were so similar to mine. So, what do you imagine happened to Desmond after the others left on the plane. Do you think he stayed behind with Hurley & Ben, or did they somehow Donkey Wheel him back to Penny and Charlie Hume? I will miss your posts as much as I will miss Lost! Thank you! Thank you! Stephanie Ras

Anonymous said...

I have loved reading your breakdowns,Jo. And that you were committed to a spoiler free environment.

The End has deepening resonance for me with each passing day, and I love how they clearly created a Team with these persons, up until literally the end - reminiscent of 'soul groups, as I've been telling anyone who will listen!

Thanks, Jo.

Mama Lost

Brian said...

Jo, good stuff. You are one observant viewer, able to make all kinds of connections.

About Widmore, I think you were confusing his LLG status with his real-life one. In the LLG, he is Eloise's husband still, whereas in real-life they were no longer together. In the LLG, Widmore could have known all because Eloise did, but in real life it is likely that he didn't. In real life, Jacob visited Widmore off-island and told him to come back. He told him to bring Desmond, and he may have given Widmore exact instructions to pass on to Desmond: go to the light and uncork the thing, which will allow MIB to be killed.

Widmore's role, in the grand scheme of things, was to help defeat MIB by bringing Desmond back. The grand purpose for all in real life was to defeat MIB and continue the life/light of the island. I feel that this important mission was downplayed in the finale and became rather anticlimactic.

(BTW, Jack was able to be mortally wounded by MIB because the cork was out. When he put the cork back in, he had already transferred island leadership to Hurley, so Jack was back to being a mortal again. How Hurley and Ben could die, I don't know. Perhaps they voluntarily gave up their jobs as island protectors.)

Personally, I think the show would have been much better without all the LLG stuff. Yes, the flash sideways was intriguing, but only because we didn't know what it meant. In the end, I think it weakened the show. That's my opinion, for what it's worth. I appreciated some moments in the LLG, particularly Juliet and Sawyer finding each other and Jack and his father reuniting, but I could have lived without that.

What was most moving for me was Jack's death, particularly with Vincent there. That dog broke my heart.

Shelly said...

Jo, thank YOU. I've been wondering what you thought of the finale. I liked it but didn't love it. The ending felt a little like Titanic, which I loved so I'm not sure why it was a bit disappointing.

I thought the SAME thing when I saw those two angels on either side of the door as Christian walked through! I was almost waiting for them to move. :)

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us over the years!

Robin said...

Hi Jo,

I am certain there were two Christian Shepherds on the show. Ghost Christian Shepherd and MIB Christian. The basis for this is the mobisode with Christian sending Vincent to go wake his son up because he has work to do. This just echoes the Christian we saw in the LLG. The Christian we saw in White Rabbit though? I am pretty certain that's the Man In Black. He almost led Jack off a cliff! Then, of course, the Christian we see in the cabin with Claire was Man In Black. But in LA, the Christian Jack saw in his hospital I would think is Ghost Christian trying to get him to come back. I also think it was Ghost Christian who appeared to Locke in a dreaming, telling him to tell Jack he said hi. Finally, I can see Ghost Christian, as Jack was dying, telling Vincent to go be with his son and lie with him in his last moments.

cookie c. said...

thanks so much for your blog. i agree that we all have our own interpretation of lost and that's exactly what made lost so great, the viewer got out of it what they brought to it and just like any great experience, that relationship changed as each informed the other. i found this quote yesterday: 'we may not have it all together, but together we have it all' - unknown. lost was more than just a show, it created a community and your recaps/analysis/humor played a part in making my lost experience great. thank you.

Dustin said...

Brilliant as always. Thanks for sharing over throughout the seasons!

FETTS said...

If I don't read all of this now then it won't be over! :(

White Rabbit said...

Thank you for this final post!! I love yours posts and will miss them as part of the entire Lost experience.

My own interpretation generally agrees with much that you've said. However, I think that Jacob and MIB were not able to kill each other because of their "mother's" spell (for lack of a better word) that did not allow them to harm each other, even in the guise of the Smoke Monster. Jack was never bound to such a spell, and was therefore mortal. The island's protector, as we saw with Jack, and Jacob and his mother before him, is ageless, but mortal - there is an important distinction there. The Protector can be killed, and that's why we also saw Hurley in the LLG.

I really love your take on the flash sideways as a world not bound by time - that is the perfect explanation that I have been searching for.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your journey with us!!!!

Unknown said...

Jo, thank you for your blog, it's been such a treat each week reading your thoughts.

One thing, you say it's interesting that Jack could be killed even though he was such a fresh new leader. Well, I believe that since he was injured when the cork was out, since it seems that it makes the island loose it's power (how Locke died), and it couldn't heal his wounds once the cork was back in place (maybe the island takes a little bit to re-boot).

again, thank you for your thoughts throughout the years

Unknown said...

Awesome and in depth review. Thanks for the personal take and very thorough take on the many aspects of the finale. The final scene was all too fitting and really leaves a strong lingering sense of closer yet also tragic. If vincent didn't lie next to him I was going to say "live together, die alone" fits all too well.

Anonymous said...

Poor Lapidus - can't imagine what his explanation is gonna be when he gets home. The plane is in pretty rough shape, and Kate is the only original passenger returning with him. Not only that, but he's got 2 people on the plane from the original Oceanic flight that have been confirmed, and reconfirmed dead. There's also a ghost whisperer and some dude that's been alive since the 1800's. Suffice it to say, I think that Frank may be fired.

I wonder if Claire and Sawyer will claim their settlement from Oceanic.

Let me first say that I loved season 6, and in particular the finale. That said, here are a few things I would have liked to have seen:

The outrigger chase from the other side (I don't really have a great theory as to who was in that outrigger).

A better less expository scene explaining the whispers. For example Hurley could have stumbled into new otherton where all the dead dharma folk were following some others around and whispering.

A scene showing the statue of tawaret being built.

An explanation of Walt's abilities.

A scene showing how the food drop arrived on the island (perhaps a scene at Ann Arbor with someone reporting that they lost one of the food drops again because it approached the island at the wrong trajectory, or maybe during the time flashes someone could have touched it before one flash, released it and then flashed again).

Sheindie said...

Sayid could be 'just a man in love' with Shannon w. no baggage. With Nadia, he would always be 'the torturer' .... and so, Sayid felt whole and 'good' with Shannon. imo =)

DTwombs39 said...

I sure wish I would have been referred to this blog earlier!!

Jason said...

Jo, your analysis is always great, I have been following your comments since the beginning of this last season. I just have to disagree with you in one point, although I just watched the last episode once and might have left some detail unnoticed. It is about your comment on the fact that although Jack had been appointed Island leader he could be killed, but not Jacob while he was occupying the same position. I think that Jack could not be killed until the moment that Desmond uncorked the Island. From that moment on, both Jack and the Man in Black turned into mortals.

Unknown said...

I think that Shannon and Sayid were both happiest on the island. I believe that Sayid changed when he fell in love with her so that's why they had the flashes that opened Sayid up to "letting go."

Baldwin said...

Great post Jo! I'm wondering what your thoughts were on the final image of the idling 815 crashed plane...


Unknown said...

Hi Jo,

I am beyond thrilled to read your recap and find that you loved The End as much as I do. My only 2 real issues are of course, Shannon and that there was no Desmond/Penny enlitghtenment moment in the Sideways world. While, I find it ridiculous that after Shannon was there with Sayid at the end and not Nadia, I can let it go and move on. But I felt that I needed to really see that moment between Penny and Desmond, afterall they were the heart of the show, in my eyes. While I loved that Jack and Kate, and Juliet and Sawyer ended up together, for me, the true love story was Desmond and Penny. I hope that perhaps this will be on the additional 20 minutes of the Blu Ray.
I have to say that I was beyond thrilled to see Vincent back for the final episode. Just seeing him brought on the waterworks for me. I'm an animal lover anyways, but I guess to me he symbolized a being on the island that wasn't 'broken' and needed to be tested or redeemed like everyone else. He was innocent and worry free and he lived a carefree life on the island with Bernard and Rose. If there was a test for Vincent, he certainly passed when he laid down beside Jack at the bamboo field. Oh did I cry at that scene!

If Matthew Fox doesn't win an Emmy for this performance there is something wrong with those academy folks. His acting was magnificent! I just lived everything about him in this episode.

Anyways, to wrap up my comment, I just want to say thank you Jo! You really forever changed the way I thought about LOST and made it a much more enjoyable and special experience for me. I didn't get into LOST until about the third season. My boyfriend at the time, now husband, always watched it and I refused to even give it a chance and watch a single episode with him. He would beg me to just watch one episode, if not just for the beautiful scenery. Finally, 3 years into lost I watched 1 episode, and I was hooked. What the heck had I been missing for the past couple of years? That night I added the Pilot episode DVD to my Netflix que and haven't looked back since. I think the following season, 4, was when I found your blog and couldn't believe all the things I was missing while I watched the show. I'll be the first to admit that I am not a sci-fi junkie, but by reading your blog, I realized that there was so much more to LOST. That things on the show had meaning and the writers were just brilliant. They didn't just write dialogue on a piece of paper, their words meant something and it was up to me to figure out what they meant to me. I know it sounds completely ridiculous, but I believe LOST has made me a bette person, if anything The End did. After I finally finished crying, I felt a sense of happiness, that everyhing in my life was going to be ok. That maybe, hopefully, my brother who passed away 2 years ago will be waiting for me in an LLG type place one day. Wow, that's pretty corny, but it's the way I feel. :)

So, thank you. Thank you for letting us come along thus journey with you. I'm sad it is over, but I'm glad that it happened. I will always remember it and now it's time to move on.

Not sure if anything will take the place of LOST and these beloved characters, but I do hope to read more of what you hav to say, regardless of the topic.

Take care, Jo. Namaste. :)

Vanessa said...

Jo - Thank you so much for all of your insight over the years. I've felt like a much more informed LOST watcher for having your analysis to help me make sense of the island mysteries.

I do think that Shannon was the right ending for Sayid. Nadia was definitely his constant but I think Sayid and Shannon had a very deep, true connection where they accepted each other for exactly who they were. I don't think it was the constants who were present with each other at the end, it was their soulmates.

RowanRaven said...

Thank you so much for all you have written/blogged about our beloved LOST. I can't believe it is over, yet I must learn to let go and move on. This has truly been an incredible experience. The End was emotionally powerful (like a Jughead to my heart!) and I'm still weepy (especially when I see that darn screencap of Jack dying next to sweet Vincent).

Thanks again! See you in another life, bruthah (sistah!)!


Erin W said...

SIDEWAYS CHRISTIAN! D'oh! The perfect identification of the Christian that Jack saw late at night at the hospital! THANK YOU! I LOVE THAT!

Did I miss you mentioning Juliet's "we can go Dutch" which has now been explained, since James only had one dollar left? I loved that whole exchange between James and Juliet, and of course thought of you immediately.

Jo you've been a delight, one of my first follows on Twitter, and one of the few for whom I receive mobile notifications, since I never want to miss one of your tweets or posts! You have a gift and I am so pleased that it is being recognized. I really look forward to reading your work on AOL and will hopefully be seeing you on Twitter - and at Comic Con! - for years to come!
- Erin/@Loster21

queenie2342 said...

Thank you for the time and effort you have taken to write this blog I have enjoyed your thoughts immensely.

I thought the finale was beautiful, and I was so moved that I could barely sleep afterwords.

I have a few thoughts:

It's fitting that Boone and Locke should be considered "paired". Boone was Locke's acolyte and the only one who always believed in Locke. That had to mean something to both of them.

Even though I never liked Shannon, I can see why she is Sayid's soulmate. Nadia is like Jack's "need to fix things" -- the source of self-prophetic failure, inadequacy, and punishment -- something that needed to be let go.

I loved it that Kate was awakened by helping Claire deliver Aaron. That had to have been the defining moment of her life as was the three years she spent caring for him. Besides, I'm still convinced she is pregnant with Jack's son, from that last night before the Ajira flight, and returns from the island to discover her pregnancy.

maven said...

Thanks again, Jo, for a wonderful and thoughtful look at the finale. I'm on the same page as you and thought it a perfect ending to this fantastic experience. The idea that those important to you can meet with you in the LLG no matter when they too have died is a beautiful thought. Everyone in that room seemed so at peace.

Jo, I consider you a dear friend who has been on this journey with me. Hope to see you down the road!

the flour child said...

jo, thank you.
there are so many words, so many arguments and agreements, so many emotions, so much of everything.

but most of all, thank you, for sharing your view of lost with the world, and i'm excited to have been able to read it in real time.

may the world continue to hold it's treasures for you to write about! i look forward to them, and have dogeared my lost life chapter as well.

love and dharma :)

JennGrant said...

i wish i had found you sooner. thanks for the thoughts, words and your time. to me, lost ended as it should have. it was beautiful and a nice thought that we will all see in the end. i have never been drawn to a show the way i have been to lost and there is comfort knowing that other feel the same. thanks again for putting your thoughts out there.

Kevin Watterson said...

Your analysis is good, but I disagree with it.

Ginny said...

Jo...thank you for being here and the wonderful finale analysis. You said it so well that Lost has been and will continue to be such a part of my life. I have read many books, articles, columns, analyses and reactions to this rich and inspiring show! I have accumulated ideas, emotions, thoughts, questions, answers and a very long book list over the past 6 year. I am still in denial that Lost is over, but know I can revisit the island and characters time and time again. I loved the finale, cried and laughed as so many of us did, and still get choked up as I think of it. My husband and I have had many conversations since Sunday evening and love the thought that after we die our souls will cluster with each other and our children. It's such a comforting feeling! Thank you Jo for your insights over the years...namaste.


~ Brigid said...

Jo I truly enjoyed reading your Blog...I do however have some info for you. If someone has already told you this please forgive me for repeating.

Your mention of the stained glass in the LLG really caught my eye. But the Wheel in the glass is not a reference to the "Donkey Wheel" but is actually the Pagan symbol for the Wheel of the Year which tracks all Pagan holidays, the Solstices and Equinox. I have one hanging in my living room. As I told my husband I was thrilled that the writers chose to include that symbol alongside the other major religious symbols of the world....because as a practicing Pagan for over 30 years I find its symbolism to be as important as the rest.

Thank you so much for your theories, thoughts and time...its been very enjoyable.


Just Thinking said...

Hi Jo-

Just wanted to say it was great to meet you in LA, and that you did a terrific job with the actors panels at the J&J show.

I am late to your party here, but also enjoy your break down of the show very much.

I did not find the finale as much of a tear jerker as some- but it did a good job of connecting with the fans - with the writers having a good idea of what we know & think.

One thing I remembered was Hurley saying "I'm glad it's not me." when Jack took Jacob's water. Foreshadowing I guess.

Thanks again for all your work!

Susan said...

Thanks very much for your time and talent over the past six years. Can't imagine making this journey without you sharing your perceptions and insights.
Thank you most particularly for sharing your thoughts about Des and Widmore. I have been puzzling about that portion of the story and your points are relevant and brilliant.
Look foward to your additional posts.

Unknown said...

The wheel is a traditional symbol of Buddhism. 8 spokes symbolizing Buddhism's eightfold noble path. No FDW here...

Ashley said...

"It is interesting that even though he was the newly anointed island leader, Jack could be killed. It look centuries for the Man in Black to find a loophole that would allow him to kill Jacob, and obviously Locke he knew he could kill Jack because he was no longer the Man in Black."

Wasn't there a moment when the young Jacob/Man in Black's mom told them they could never harm each other? I would assume that the stipulation literally just applied them them as brothers. As Jack was not MiB/Smokey/UnLocke's brother, it didn't apply?

DW said...

I did want to post a final thanks for your always thoughtful and compassionate recaps. I came late to LOST (late in season 2, some random episode with Locke in the hatch that hooked me) and caught up first with Lostpedia and then the online episodes when they were posted on

I found this blog at the end of last season, when Jo (and really almost no one else) did the complete five-season rewatch. The past few months, I had your posts to look forward to first thing Wednesday mornings, knowing you had been up late connecting the dots and sorting through your initial reactions.

I didn't love the finale; never much of a fan of Jack, or sanctimonious Jacob, let alone a spiritual and sentimental recap with a suddenly benevolent Father. And like Grissom above, I tend to prefer the idea the final shots of the crash wreckage implies--that they died in the crash and this was all in Jack's head as he lay dying. I don't think that diminishes what went before.

My favorite moments this week were Kate slaying the monster and Sun's sonogram by Juliet, under vastly different circumstances than the last time we saw that scene. And Kate and Sawyer jumping off the cliff for the sailboat, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Your posts and analysis have always show a great generosity. Sincere thanks for sharing this journey.

DW said...

Ashley, my understanding about why Jack and Smokey could kill each other was because Desmond had unplugged the island's magic. This was why Richard had his first gray hair.

When Jack re-corked the golden pond, Hurley (and Ben?) then became immortal.

Unknown said...

First of all thank-you for allowing us to go on this amazing journey with you. I can honestly say that the Lost fans who waited pateintly for your blog every Thursday and this year every Wednesday we give you a wholeheartedly 'thank-you'. Like a lot of fans I am still marinating the finale, so at this point I urge the Lost fans who didn't like the episode or didn't understand it to re-watch it and perhaps that will give you the closure that you need. I think that is what all of us need and want. I, however am finding it very hard to 'let go'. I had the Lost first season photo as a screensaver for my PC and Tuesday morning I made it my screen for my Blackberry storm AND I made that haunting Lost finale music as Jack lay dying my ringtone. Can you help me with the name of that musical piece? How fitting that Damon Lindeloff tweeted some of what Christian Shepherd said: Remember. Let go. Move on. But it is so hard to do! Thanks again Jo!

Wendy said...

Wonderful write up - I am impressed by your thoughtful and fluid writing and will have to catch up on the rest of your blogs! I am going definitely going to be watching and re-watching for years to come!

Here's some questions: Do you believe that Penny was with Desmond perhaps because she was on the rescue boat? Just a theory. Why was Miles still trapped in the sideways time continuum instead of in the church with the rest? Why—in the sideways world—did Charlie stay a musician and Jack/Juliet a doctor, when everyone else’s occupation changed?

Van said...

I agree with you that it should have been Nadia and not Shannon. Maybe Shannon and Boone could have moved on together, although creepy and weird, it would be fitting.

And when Christian said his speech about "the time spent with these people was the most important part of your life" I thought the exact same way you did! I was like this is true about the show, the fans...everything. I guess it's time we start working on moving on as well.

MeganHouseDir said...

i finally feel complete after reading this. i was so unsettled for the last few days. i knew this would work!!! thank you so much jo!! LOST would NOT be the same without your blog. it has been my pleasure to read!! xo!

chasingthestars said...

I have to admit I completely forgot about Nadia during the finale, although I was a little confused as to why Shannon was even there in the first place seeing how she was never an important character. I think you're completely right about the LLG (excellent name by the way, I will definitely refer to the church as that from now on) being where MIB would have Nadia and Sayid reunite, although as much as it bothered me having him be with Shannon I prefer that to him being alone because all of his issues throughout the series have stemmed from his separation from Nadia and his loneliness.
Great review, you even mentioned a couple parallels that I didn't notice, and if I'm being 100% honest that last bit made me tear up a little..

Can said...

Namaste Jo! I'll miss my Wednesday morning reading. I've enjoyed the outlet.

Unknown said...

Jo, thank you for the great commentary and thoughtful introspective of Lost. Unfortunately I only came upon you blog a few months ago, but I have been reading up on your analysis. You are a thoughtful and intelligent writer (something we see very little of these days). I hope you can earn a living writing because I feel you have integrity and insight to the subjects you write about.
I only hope there is more to your life than a television show. I know you along with millions of others have a lot of emotion and time invested in this show and I hope you can invest as much time and energy into real life someday. Believe me, I'm into getting away as much as the next person, but you have to realize that we as a society need to put this much effort into important issues that affect all of us. I always laugh when I read how much time and energy are spent are frivolous subjects such as television, video games, celebrities etc. I champion your efforts and I only hope one day people of your caliber are able to put as much energy and dedication into causes that have real meaning to our everyday existence.

Slice said...

As a fellow LOST Blogger, I share your sentiments, and have always thought of you as our "Source, Heart of the Island (of fans)". Thank you for your fantastic memory, and extremely well thought out theories, etc.

A couple constructive thoughts:

Once Juliet detonated the bomb in the season 5 finale, the intense amount of energy surged our friends from 1977 back to the present. We were led to believe this massive amount of electromagnetic energy also created the sideways timeline (which obviously was LLG). The bomb was nothing more than a Flux Capacitor.

We were given clues throughout the final season that the sideways timeline was, indeed, a staging area before moving on to the afterlife or heaven. Rose told Jack in the season premiere (after all the turbulence on the plane), “you can let go now…you can let go.” These clues were consistent throughout the season. So Jack died in 2007, for all we know Kate could have died in 2077. Since the most important time of her life was spent on the island, when she died her spirit moved on to this ‘spiritual plane’ that looked a lot like Los Angeles in 2004.

shar said...

Great job Jo, as always! I had some similar thoughts to you. I too have made fun of Christian Shepherd's name for a long time. I thought that after "The Constant" LOST was a love story. Although I thought about just Penny and Desmond. There were more, but I can't remember. I'm going to miss reading your thoughts. But I think I'm beginning to let go. I want to reawatch eventually, maybe after the DVDs come out. You should do a blog like this for Fringe!
Thanks for all your hard work!

Anonymous said...


I couldn't close the book on the show without reading your post. Thank you so much for all your dedication the past 6 years. I doubt there will ever be such a powerful show in our lifetimes and none of us would have had the full experience without your guidance. Namaste,


Luke Temple said...

Ah, I loved the finale, and I think it's a grower too. The more I consider it, the better (and more tragic) it gets. I can't believe that even after being no.2 on the island for however long, Ben still doesn't join them. That's very sad.

I do think the 'holding area' (I like this term), overshadowed the actual story. It didn't really register who had survived, and Jack's sacrifice until afterwards. But still, it was epic, and a fitting end. The cynics, as far as I'm concerned, don't get it!

Thanks for your reviews, I found this site during your season 5 rewatch and really enjoyed it. I have no idea what I'm going to watch now!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo,

Thanks as always for sharing your thoughts on what was a fantastic end to an unforgettable journey.

I'm not here to say goodbye however! There's no doubt in my mind that we'll meet again at the inevitable conventions that will take place over the coming years.

It was great having a drink and chatting about Lost with you at the awesome Hootenanny party. Next time I'll be choosing a "dude" question to save my embarrassment though :p

You did a great job hosting the panel at Jay & Jack's and I'm sure the actors enjoyed it as much as you did.

Above my PC next to my Smokey DCaaPB print hangs the framed Damon signed Marvel comic that you gave away and every time I look at it I think of you <3

Like yourself, I've re-watched The End a few times now and every time Christian talks to Jack it takes me back not only to LA, but to Lost events and conversations I've shared with fans from all over the world. To me that scene eclipses the Desmond and Penny phone call because that was DL & CC talking directly to us and they love the fans just as much as we love them.

See you in another life sistah!


Unknown said...

I'm pretty sure that Lapidus never had to explain the return trip. I can see him putting that plane down in some deserted airstrip somewhere and all of them quietly going their separate ways, never to speak of it again. If the plane was ever found, it would just be another mystery.

agent385 said...

Thank you Jo for your ever-so-interesting comments on the best show ever! Looking forward to a new journey with you as we all move on...

Mike B. said...

Thanks for all the insight over the years. It was a pleasure.

rachie said...

Outstanding post, as always. I haven't wanted to read it until now...I'm still oddly (though probably not odd at all to many others who have been huge Lost fans as well) in a bit of denial that it's over. I've bookmarked a handful of finale analyses and other related articles, but this is the first I've read.

Your post gave me a fair amount to think about. A lot of it is in line with my thoughts about the finale, but as always there are other things you have considered/theorized that hadn't occurred to me.

And embarrassingly...the name Christian Shephard NEVER at all occurred to me as being more than just a name. I didn't make the connection AT ALL. How I was able to understand more complex bits of the story, but that never even crossed my Haha!

I'll have to keep reading things from you. I can't say goodbye to Lost AND your writings both!!

tobordab said...


It took me this long to allow myself to read some analysis. I have purposely stayed away from most of the online discussion on The End. I must say, I'm so happy I read your post on the finale. I appreciate your fairness and honesty and I wish more of the online community in general was as respectful of others as you have been. Thank you for helping me understand and further appreciate the most important piece of fiction ever to cross my path. Good luck in your future endeavors. I'll be reading.