“Lost”: “The End”


Monday night update, after a second viewing: I revise my thinking a little bit. It’s not that the flash-sideways is strictly Jack’s construct to ease his passage to death — (or reincarnation, I got a strong “next chapter” vibe this time around.) But the flash sideways world is the construct that all of them need at their moment of death, whenever that is. As viewers we need to get over the notion of linear time — as Christian sez, some died before you, some died long after. There’s no strict calendar for this passage, but that is why Hurley speaks to Ben about their island time in the past tense. And it’s also why Ben has the option of opting out, as it were, at least for that moment. He’s still working through his personal construct. But unlike on the first viewing, I do believe they’re all moving on together — hence the white light flooding the church.

The shots of the wreckage over the credits are still gnawing at me. I’m 85% sure it’s old glimpses of Oceanic 815. I need to get out season one and study the early wreckage scenes to be absolutely sure. Though I suppose even if it is meant to be Aljira, we know how it winds up for Kate and Sawyer.

By Cynthia Littleton

(Jon Weisman’s initial thoughts posted below)

And in the end … the hero sacrifices himself for the greater good.

In hindsight the ending of “Lost” should have been clear, based on all the hero’s journey sagas going back to Homer et al.

It is a credit to the show’s depth and breadth of characters and storytelling that it wasn’t. Jack was our hero from the start, of course, but the show took so many twists and turns, and characters like Locke, Sawyer, Ben and Desmond took the spotlight at various times that by season six it was easy to lose sight of Jack’s central role. But they never really knocked Jack out of the center of the action for too long, from the role he played in rounding the Oceanic 6 up to go back to L.A. to detonating the atom bomb to the fact that season six opened with a flash-sideways from Jack’s P.O.V. Live together, die alone — except Jack didn’t die alone, in his mind.

Here’s my first stab at what we learned in the final 15 minutes or so, formulated with the help of my fellow “Lost” finale viewing comrades, Variety‘s Stuart Levine and Priscilla Levine, who kindly hosted our party at their house, and Variety’s Justin Kroll and Rick Kissell.

The flash-sideways that we saw this season were Jack’s fantasy visions of what became of the core Oceanic 815 group. It was part of the “letting go” process that Jack went through after he died. I believe Jack died on the island after he stuck the role back in the hole plugging the rock back into the hole that allowed the beautiful white light to come back, rather than the fiery color and the quaking and shaking the erupted after Desmond pulled out the rock — which Kroll quickly observed symbolized the cork in the wine carafe that Jacob used as a visual aid to explain the evil-containment imperative to Richard.

The exact timing of Jack’s death may be open to interpretation. But it’s impossible to quarrel with how they handled it — Jack lays himself to rest in the bamboo field, the very same spot where he first woke up on the island that was to provide him with the biggest awakening of his sorry life. Closing one eye carefully in the same way it popped open with a start all those seasons ago. And just as Vincent was there when he first awoke, so the faithful hound lies down to see Jack off into the next world. His fellow castaways do the same thing in his flash sideways, that’s why Kate and others urge Jack to come when he’s “ready” to leave.

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  2. Ben says:

    Lostepidia provides some interesting possibilities:
    The wing thing is just a goof; this was the Ajira flight. (BS, gotta think the Lost crew has more sense than that)
    It’s a NEW plane. When Jack re-stopped the ‘light’, or even when Desmond uncorked it, there’s the sound that’s become familiar with the release of electromagnatism. It’s possible this is the next group of people to reach the island (though, to be fair, they’ve rarely repeated the ways people get to the island… except for boats. But I suppose there are only so many ways people would be traveling by). We have to assume that the cycle of the island is continuous. Hugo and Ben clearly dealt with people on the island (the ‘you were a great number 2’ stuff). And even though the plane wreckage over the credits was apparently added by ABC later, it could work as a signal that this, like the statue, the black rock, the temple, is now just another ‘artifact’ of the island- a sign of what has happened there before. (by the way… WTF is that damned temple?)

  3. Ben says:

    NOT Ajira plane… Ajira planes have UPTURNED WING TIPS, leaving an oddly angled, but square, end. Look closely at the image of the plane flying over Jack at the end. Wing tips NOT angled! I know, I know, it’s an underside shot; still, as it flies away, you SHOULD at least be able to GLIMPSE the upturned tips. If not that, then I don’t think the visible end of the wings are not angled properly nor is the flat end large enough to be the Ajira flight. Also, the Ajira flight has a few things sticking out behind the engines on either side Look:
    Go to about 1:40 to see the plane go over Jack:
    Please, prove me wrong. Please. It would be SO much easier if it just was the Ajira flight.

  4. TV101 says:

    **i am 98.1% SURE

  5. TV101 says:

    I am 98.1% (grin) that footage over the title sequence was footage from the pilot/1st episode. Production was always thrilled to get that thing to Hawaii and I think that had several meanings from a story standpoint a tip of the hat to the crew and a throwback to the pilot. Just a guess. I don’t think that’s new footage, would be surprised to find out otherwise.

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