Part of me thinks that we shouldn't jump right into our normal over-analyzing of the episode, nit-picking details and trying to reconcile what we just saw with the previous 119 hours of the show. On a strictly emotional level, the Lost finale was fully satisfying, emotional, epic, sweeping, and felt more important than any television finale I've ever seen. The wife was in tears. I was confused as I tried to work it all out in my mind. In short, it was everything you would want from the final episode of Lost. If you didn't tear up a little when Vincent laid down next to Jack, you do not have a heart. The final ten minutes were about as perfect as anything I could have imagined for the last Lost - and the episode as a whole had everything I wanted - action, closure, callbacks to the major moments from the previous five seasons, and plenty of perfect "character moments" that are really going to make us all miss these characters.
But I suppose I need to give you something, so that you can sound smart and impress your colleagues tomorrow morning at work - so here's my take on the ending.
Flash Sideways. Finally, it all makes sense. Although this is definitely up to some interpretation, here's my Cliff's Notes understanding of the Flash Sideways.
- The Flash Sideways were, effectively, purgatory.
- The world in the Flash Sideways was somehow mutually created by all of the Lost characters, as a place to "meet up" before moving on. Per Christian Shephard, "this is a place that you all made together so that you could fine one another. The most important part of your life was the time you spent with these people. That's why all of you are here. No one does it alone. You needed all of them, and they needed you." For what? "To remember and to let go."
- The Flash Sideways were a place to work out and accept the things that each person did in life, to come to terms with their lives before moving on to the afterlife - whatever that may be. It's a beautiful symbolism that ties into the overall Lost theme - finding redemption in life, accepting those decisions in death - and then MOVING ON.
- Everyone dies - but they didn't all die together. We're trying to fit the Flash Sideways in a very linear timeline, and that's the problem. "There is no now, here." They're a different world - separate from the physical one that we live in. Some characters died long ago (Charlie), some died in "The End" (Jack), and some are going to die, even though we don't know when or how (Hurley, Ben, Kate, Sawyer, Frank, Miles, Claire... and even Richard Alpert - although I didn't see him in the final scene).
Beautiful, hopeful, powerful stuff.
There will be all sorts of full analyses of this episode and the entire series forthcoming - but for now, I kinda want to sit back and bask in the Losty goodness of this episode (and watch Jimmy Kimmel).
But for now - discuss!