Monday, May 24th, 2010

43 Answers To Unanswered Questions About "Lost"

God, Veronica. My afterlife is so boring. If I have to sing Kumbaya one more time... I am a "Lost" apologist. Best to get that out of the way first. The show came to me at an important part in my life. I had just moved across the country and into my cousin's guest bedroom about 40 miles north of Los Angeles proper. I knew no one. ABC premiered the show two days after I settled in. I spent the first year of my West Coast existence logging onto every "Lost" message board on the Internet. You know those people who were obsessively dissecting the Blast Door map in season two? That was me.

Not coincidentally, it's one of the only shows I've watched from pilot to finale on a week-to-week basis. It's a lot tougher to critique something when you live with it for that much time. You learn to accept its faults. And if you don't, then you're obviously a self-sadist.

But, as a network television show that was filmed over a six-year period-as opposed to pretty much every form of media where the schedule allows for planning the complete narrative before shooting-there were bound to be a few holes left the storytellers couldn't get to. Let's try to logically fill in a few of those, shall we?

So, what the fudgesicles happened in the finale anyway?

Here's what I got: All the stuff that happened on the island actually did happen. ("Whatever happened, happened.") Meanwhile, all the stuff that took place in the "sideways" universe this season was really in a Matrix-like purgatory after each individual character died, although they all died at different times and although they all resemble each other from the period they "knew" each other, because it would be too "Six Feet Under" if Kate came to the church as an old woman. And all this despite what Christian Shephard said about everything being "real."

Come again?

Let's take Jack's life for instance: He dies on the island at the end of the finale. Afterward, he wakes up in purgatory and goes on living, la-tee-da, in this fake life until he's forced to realize that he's dead. Meanwhile, everyone else who survived the island stuff (Ben, Hurley, Sawyer, Kate, etc.) live their own lives until they eventually die and are then transported to this purgatory universe via some psychic until they themselves are forced to realize they're dead. Seeing as this is an ensemble show, everyone needs to realize at the same "time" (though there is no "time" here) in order to "move on."

The island wasn't purgatory?

Oh no. All that stuff was real. It's probably best to look at the show in two separate phases: (1) All of the stuff in seasons 1-5 and the island action in season 6; (2) All of the "sideways" stuff in season 6. If you wanted to make it into a timeline, take all of (1) and then, whenever a character dies, they go into a holding chamber. Once everyone dies, in their own timeline, the holding chamber opens and (2) starts. The series concludes with everyone in the church together going into The Beyond.

Can you somehow use "The Sixth Sense" to explain this?

Sure. They're all Bruce Willises and, I guess, an Emotional Experience is Haley Joel Osment. That Emotional Experience could be Sawyer and Juliet touching, Claire looking at Baby Aaron, etc. Once they're woken up, they do their best to facilitate Emotional Experiences for the others characters.

That certainly didn't help.

Let's move on then.

Why does Ben stay back?

My guess is he wants to spend time with his daughter-and maybe even bang the non-crazy Rousseau a bit-before moving on. Or perhaps since he's a stone-cold killer he has more atoning to do before some higher being allows him to move on. I'm rooting for the hot making out with Rousseau scenario. She cleans up real nice.

What about the other people who don't go?

Each one has their own reason not for leaving yet. Eloise wants to stay as long as possible with her son Faraday, since she has a bunch of guilt left over from killing him before he was born. (Don't get me started with that time-loop.) Not sure about Charlotte. Ana Lucia is "not ready yet," according to the all-powerful Desmond, for whatever reason. Michael, meanwhile, is still stuck on the island with a whole lot of other lost souls, whispering away for a long, long time.

Then what happened when the nuclear bomb went off? It didn't split reality?

Not really. It just shot them back into present-day, the island-half of season 6. As far as it starting the "sideways" universe, that was more due to the fact that if the island didn't exist-if the plane was allowed to land instead of crash-then the Most Important Part Of Their Lives would have never occurred. Meaning, the island has to not exist in this made-up purgatory so they can continue pretending they're not dead. Does this make sense at all?

Uh. Sure…

Think of it like this. You're a ghost but you don't want to move on. So you create this dream world where things are different for you. Have a bad relationship with your dad? Now you can redeem yourself a bit by having a great relationship with your son? Looking for revenge because a con man indirectly killed your parents? How about, this time, you use your street-smart powers for good and be a cop?

Oh, sort of like Mulholland Drive?

Sure. Like that. Except not as blatant a "happy place." Reality seeps in a bit more often here, so much so that they find themselves living nearly the exact same lives, even ending up on that same fateful plane in this dream world. And sometimes, the world they create is not always great. Kate's still on the run from the law. Charlie's still drugged up. Desmond, instead of being in love with Penny, is globe-trotting on Charles Widmore's expense account and macking on stewardesses left and right.

That sounds alright to me.

Stop being a jerk.

So, if all of the island stuff actually happened and not purgatory, can we nit-pick it?

Can we ever!

Fill in the blank. The island was ____.

A mysterious, magical place with a bunch of healing power and a shitload of electromagnetism. It was difficult to find, maybe because Jacob was camouflaging it. Basically it was the fountain of youth, the Universal MacGuffin, that thing everyone is after once they realize it exists. It's why Widmore and Ben have been fighting with each other for its ownership for so long.

Speaking of those two, they had some "rules" that were never explained. As did other factions. What was the deal with all those rules?

There were three sets of rules that were independent of each other. Ben and Widmore couldn't kill each others' kids, a pact they apparently made off-camera at some point. When Widmore broke that rule, all bets were off. The second set of rules were that Jacob and The Man in Black couldn't kill each other, a magic rule (magic meaning it couldn't be broken) sent down by crazy Allison Janney. This is why Ben was needed as a murdering intermediary. The third set was another magic rule that The Man in Black couldn't kill any of the Candidates. He could kill people who weren't, however, which accounts for him killing Mr. Eko. I mean, other than the fact that the actor who played Mr. Eko, for whatever reason, hated working in Hawaii.

What was that Smoke Monster anyway? Am I wrong to think he was some kind of manifestation of Pure Evil who'd destroy the world if he got off the island?

I'm comfortable with that. Once The Man in Black got tossed into the Light, let's say it took the evil in him and turned it into smoke. And if he got off the island, he could fuck everyone up. That sound good?

…. Sure.

Meanwhile, Jacob being alive kept him on the island. That whole corked bottle thing. Once Jacob was dead, he could leave. As long as the Candidates were dead. Or something.

Or something?

There are plenty of inconsistencies in this.

Like what?

Well, why does the island need to be sunk for him to leave? Why didn't he just do another one of his "Get The Candidates In One Place And Kill Them All" plans? If those large electromagnetic pole thingies could keep him on the island, why didn't they just put those on the island's perimeter? Why was magic ash able to keep him at bay… until it wasn't anymore?

Next: So what was the deal ages ago with that ash that surrounded Jacob's cabin? And what happened to Evil Sayid?

134 Comments / Post A Comment

I need someone to explain exactly why I hated it so much. Actually to be fair there were huge streaks of the episode that I really liked! Then the senseless emotional grade-grubbing got exhausting. And then came The End, which, BLOODY HELL.

oudemia (#177)

Yes, this. Mr. Oudemia and I last night basically came to the same conclusions as Mr. Paulas about what was going on . . . but hated it. The moon-faced gawping + clip show that preceded each "awakening" *did not help.* So, ok, fine, time in the "dead zone" is entirely non-linear, so Kate can become aware of what is what before Jack does, even though he dies before her. Fine, I can live with that. But Sayid gets stuck with Shannon 4eva? Not Nadia?

maebefunke (#154)


Screen Name (#2,416)

I have theory. But first, the main complaint: The series finale was essentially the last half hour; everything else leading up to that was truly awful TV writing. The conscious nods by the writers to preempt criticism – probably half a dozen in the first hour alone – (for example, Locke telling Jack he's surprised Jacob selected him since the choice was so obvious) were actually painful to watch. It was well below what I thought were fairly high standards set the past couple of seasons.

As for my theory? In fairness, I suspect you had 4-6, maybe as many as even 8, well-intentioned and talented people sitting in a room with multiple competing ideas on how to tie up the story lines without an ability to reach a solid consensus on which necessary logic flaws would be allowed. The results were too many concessions to the lowest common denominator that everyone could agree on and a finale that pleased very few by really trying hard to please so many.


And I've been a fan of this show for six years.

screen name this is just pure laziness by abc. they wanted to end the show but knew they couldnt do it in one more season so they screwed the viewers. And I love how everyones naive enough to fall for the whole "we dont need to answer everything" attitude.

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

It's definitely a hate-able show, but that's been the case since those goddamn slow-motion montages in season 1. I certainly think the tone of the show remained constant since day one; even those Desmond-Penny episode everyone loves are ripped basically from romance novels.

i loved the show, and watched EVERY episode on the day it got released. The show was just so dark, im very dissapointed in the happy ending.

paco (#2,190)

The finale was terrible, indefensible, and a huge Fuck You to the shows fans. (I was a fan through Season 3, when I gave up.) This is the basic thing for me: the show built its audience by piling on mystery after mystery and insisting that these bizarre mysteries would be explained. And then, in the end, they told the fans to "let go" and "get over it". The purgatory afterlife had little to do with the island and was not much more than a glorified prom reunion for the cast. It's a little sad to see the disappointed fans struggle and tie themselves into knots in their attempts to convince themselves that this was the best of all possible endings. It wasn't. It was some lazy-ass shit typed out by somebody at a Coffee Bean in Westwood on some random Tuesday afternoon — and that's what this series, it turns out, has always been. End of story.

@Paco: Agree 100%.

But unlike you, I didn't give up after season 3 – I stuck it out all the way to the end. Fool that I am.

sunnyciegos (#551)

I must be losing my mental faculties, because I liked it.

Anyone who was naive enough to make an emotional investment in the promised mythological arc clearly hadn't had their faith in teevee writers obliterated by the X Files in its later years. Best just not to worry about that stuff.

I also didn't get the Kate Hate. I thought she was all right.

kdub454 (#5,247)

If you stopped watching after season 3 I see no reason for you to be "tying yourself in knots". I think it was a good show, sure the ending could have been better, but yoni have to cut them some slack. They wrote the show so viewers would continue watching. One of my favorite things about the show (which the writers definitely intended to do) was to allow each viewer the opportunity to interpret the show in their own way. I enjoyed reading the blogs and the potential theories that people came up with, and it was that interactivity with each individual that made the show so popular. LOST is not a show for those looking for simple entertainment, it was created to make people wonder and think. If you don't like it, then why bother coming to the website and blogging about it? As for the afterlife (purgatory) it was created to demonstrate. What life would have been like without the pull of the island (in the words of the producers). It allowed us to see what would have happened if the plane had not crashed (a pretty big question), while simultaneously explaining faraday's theory. Was it the best way to end the series? Probably not, but it wrapped everything else up nicely at the end and gave closure to the majority of fans. There's additional footage and answers in the box set, surely they will be posted online within hours of it's release. The writers did their best to answer many lf our questions with podcasts, emails, and the show itself, and I (watched all of the shows since season 1) enjoyed the mystery around the show. I know that a lot of people are unhappy with the ending, but I look back on my favorite show of all time and am glad that I watched it.

Blackcapricorn (#4,791)

After reading this, I am glad I didn't watch the show. I saw one episode the first season, said "they are all dead and in purgatory" and left it at that.

kdub454 (#5,247)

You don't have any idea what you're talking about…
First of all what you just said was not the ending of the show (maybe if you had actually watched the show you would have known that.
Second, you're like the guy that walks in at the end of a movie who just assumes that you knew what happened and that the end inexactly what you "knew" and that you're glad you didn't waste your time.
The fact is that you still watched, read about, or listened to lost or someone talking about it at one point in time and that you were intrigued enough to do some light reading or maybe watch the show. If you didn't enjoy it, that's fine. But don't pretend that you watched the show all along, and that you know anything about it.

En Vague (#82)

All the Parts Don't Matter.

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Oh, wow. I should watch that show sometime. Not.

forrealz (#1,530)

I don't believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape.

Bittersweet (#765)

Me too. I also believe in your adorable avatar. We are getting one later this summer. (A corgi puppy, not an avatar. Although an avatar might be cool, too.)

forrealz (#1,530)

Oh, lucky! I'm not allowed to have a dog in my apartment– have to be content with the avatar pup for now.

ps.I like to think the duct tape scene was an embedded acknowledgment from the LOST writers that the finale was poorly crafted– but at least it was an ending.

How did Bronson Pinchot's character fit into all of this?

Zack (#2,609)

I thought the sideways universe was just the pilot for the Miles/Sawyer led Law and Order: Los Angeles?

maebefunke (#154)

This would be a great time for a "Backdoor Pilot" joke involving Lapidus.

lol hugo would make a great PI whippin around in that car of his

jim morrissey (#5,110)

best recap i think i'll read. i am processing the overall concept and i have to say that i kind of like where they were going but it's execution was cheesy as hell. could have done without the hallmark moments…could have done without the light and cheesy effects.

Maevemealone (#968)

Having given up all emotional investment in this show two episodes in this season, I didn't care that it was a horrible sappy ending. I was just glad it was over and done with. I no longer wanted answers. I sobbed like (I'm told you do during)The Notebook.

Vincent running out of the jungle to lick and sit with Jack as he died? Kill me now! I blubbered. I choked up again this morning as I was waking up as I thought about that scene. I want to die with Labrador kisses and hugs.

All I could really thing was, "Wow, dogs really do want to drink our blood."

Maevemealone (#968)

Oh Gawd, sorry for the school girl overshare, that's disgusting. Having missed most of this season, I also noticed: everyone was FAT!!! Claire looked chunky. Also, she's a dwarf?! She was shorter than Jack's imaginary son! Desmond needs to keep his sleeves rolled up, those forearms do most of the acting. And his stubble and face dirt keep it slim. Dirty is better. Chahlie! also looked chub.

Maevemealone (#968)

Vincent's collar would have said "I am drinking your blood because I love you"

oudemia (#177)

I like Chahlie so. much. better. with his eyeliner though.

I kept thinking that they had given her more chin to match the incredibly fake pregnant belly that she kept tossing around with her hips. Also, Jack, even though I loved him, seemed to be filling out an A cup.

breccia (#2,412)

Crying over Jack was one of the darker moments of my life.

Maevemealone (#968)

I was actually fine with Jack dying, I was just touched that Vincent didn't want him to die alone. And that Jack smiled and appreciated the company. Oh god, I'm choking up again. YOU BIG DUMB DOG I LOVE YOU! Also! Vincent wasn't in the church! Vincent lives FOREVER!!!! (As it should be for good dogs)

Joe Gallagher (#4,773)

All dogs go to heaven provided heaven isn't some sideways purgatory as laid out by Christian Shephard.

wb (#2,214)

Vincent showing back up was the highlight of the finale for me. If only the polar bear had shown up too . . .

cherrispryte (#444)

This has, more than anything else I've read/heard, helped me understand and be less angry at the finale.

Though I still think the entire "afterlife" business is a cop-out. I was going to do a whole bunch of nitpicky questions, but I am trying to be content with not knowing.

they WANT you to be content with not knowing, because they were too dang lazy to answer everything and needed to end the show this season. its ok, be mad!

cherrispryte (#444)

but i am always so mad …..

All I thought was (& again this morning) Jack/Charlie is really hot.

There was a character named Rousseau? I hate myself for asking, but how did this work out for you all?

oudemia (#177)

And a Locke. And a Hume.

You're a strong woman.

deepomega (#1,720)

Subtlety, thy name is Lost.

Joe Gallagher (#4,773)

And a Faraday.

David Cho (#3)

There was a character named Christian Shepherd.

wb (#2,214)

Great moment #2 in the finale: Kate saying something like "really, his name is Christian Sheperd?" And after that and Vincent's return, it was all downhill from there.

oudemia (#177)

"Christian Shepherd" I will never, ever get over.

NominaStultorum (#1,638)

Charlotte Staples Lewis!

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

And, I got to say, one of the best parts of the finale were them calling themselves out to the ridiculousness of that name.

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

Christian Shepherd, I mean.

myfanwy (#1,124)

So basically it was Donnie Darko but with more self-absorbed characters and WAY LONGER.

contradicto (#443)

I think this is the most succinct description yet.

maebefunke (#154)

What sin did Daniel FarraWidmore commit that led to him being stuck in that stupid hat in purgatory?

cherrispryte (#444)

My money's on baldness.

tgab (#3,941)

Thank you for writing a piece that doesn't gloat in its hatred and condescension for the show. It wasn't a perfect ending, but what would have been? Lost entertained me for six years. Thanks for helping to put some of the pieces together. As for the whole Tunisia thing – that's actually one of my favorite mysteries and doesn't need to be solved. Did the country have a collective heart attack when John Cusack fell out of the sky onto the New Jersey Turnpike in "Being John Malkevich"?

Mar (#2,357)

Malkovich. And your example is NOT ANALOGOUS Y'ALL. A better analog would be, "What if 'Dallas' had never explained who shot J.R., and instead skipped ahead to all the characters being dead and in heaven, don't worry about it?"

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

I'm positive this is a bad idea asking this question — especially since I don't want to take on the role of Defender Of The Show — but your "Dallas" analogy assumes that something wasn't answered on the show. So: What needs to be explained? (Spoiler: My explanation will probably feature the phrase "it's magic", which you'll have to live with in a show featuring ghosts, people talking to ghosts, time travel, etc.)

Mar (#2,357)

OK, I'll bite. The big unanswered question of "Lost" is "What was the island?" That was the central question that all "Lost" plotlines, from S1 on, were leading to. The design of the show encouraged fans to believe that the finale would basically be an exegesis of What the Island Is, containing therein explanations of all the krazy koincidences, fertility problems, Waltness, Egyptology, etc. ad nauseum. Yes, there were probably too many dropped threads for Cuse et. al to resolve with a single theory, but a plausible explanation for the Island could have been constructed that hit ~60% of the mysteries, which in all fairness is what the fans deserved. "It's magic!" does not satisfy.

Furthermore, even the magic explanation didn't get sufficient expansion. If they had to go with a supernatural explanation, couldn't they have embroidered it a bit? After all, the show has always indulged in free will vs. fatalism themes. Couldn't these themes have been woven into a magical mythology that encompassed the show's existing mysteries, rather than one that focused mainly on new characters like C.J. Cregg? Why didn't Jacob know more about the island? What did he even do all day, besides weave?

Mar (#2,357)

I mean, we have no actual evidence that the release of the light would have had any negative impact outside of the island. What would have happened to the world? Jacob claimed that something bad would have happened, but he was just going by the word of lying, murdering C.J. Cregg, an ancient person with no understanding of science but lots of archaic superstitious beliefs. She lied to MIB about the outside world existing at all; who's to say that she didn't lie to Jacob too? She told J that entering the cave would result in a "fate worse than death" (BTW, this is exactly how the Victorians euphemized rape) and yet nothing adverse happened to Jack or Desmond after they entered the cave. Sure, you can fan-wank it that Desmond's resistance to electromagnetism somehow protected him (fucking Desmond's resistance to electromagnetism, how does it work?) but why did Jack survive? You could argue that Jack survived because he was the Island's Protector, but Jacob was also an Island Protector and C.J. still told him not to go into the light.

Also, would anything bad have happened had MIB made it off the Island? Is there any reason to believe this is true, other than the word of lying, murdering C.J. Cregg? Not really. So, the entire finale was 90% predicated upon the vague words of an untrustworthy character introduced in one of the penultimate episodes. When you consider the metric tons of foreshadowing leading up to this denouement, which entirely ignores them, the finale truly appears to embody ridiculous, deus ex machina writing.

That said, I'll admit the finale felt emotionally resonant and exciting for much of its running time; however, it didn't do what it was supposed to do, namely explain what the flip was up with this weird island.

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

(Note: This is all related to Island stuff, not Purgatory. That'll have to wait for another time. But I don't think we're really talking about that section of the narrative anyway.)

I think that, when all is said and done, the main theme of the series will be that, no matter what people think they know, no one knows anything. Whether it's C.J. Clegg, Jacob, MIB, the people who work for Dharma … they're all making assumptions about what is happening on the Island based on what people before have told them. Look at Jacob and MIB: After 2000 years on the Island, they're still arguing about whether or not the Island needs a Protector; they really don't seem to know much more about the Island than Locke does after spending 3.5 seasons on it. Even Desmond, the character who most resembled a God-like entity with his (seeming, although I argue not) ability to navigate between the Island and the Sideways universe, really didn't know shit; he "was wrong" about what happened when he pulled the plug. So, I think the big Takeaway Idea of "Lost" is the whole "don't like to people who claim to know everything" concept. (Check out Charles Fort for more on that!) All anyone on the Island ever had to go on — from the Temple folk, to Richard, to Desmond and the button, to the people taking books and books of notes on the Button Pushers — is rumors and traditions handed down by unreliable people over centuries and centuries. In other words, religion.

So: There is no REAL answer for "What Will Happen If/When ______?" At least, there's no one on the show to REALLY answer these questions. Will the MIB destroy the world if he gets off the Island? I can't imagine it'll be a good thing, but who knows if it will end all life. Jacob sure doesn't. And I'm guessing MIB doesn't know himself. Is the Light in the Cave the most important thing in the world and in need of protection? It seems like it's what's holding the Island together, and the Island has magical healing properties which are good, but who's to say that the entire world will die if the Light goes out. You can't completely trust C.J. Clegg's claim since, you know, she's fucking insane. These are the same kinds of questions that every religion has about the Afterlife. And, in the same way, every religion has answers. But none of them are provable. Which isn't to say this is an anti-religion screed by the writers. (Maybe an anti-organized religion sentiment, if you want to read it that way.) There IS real magic out there — the same kind of magic that's out there beyond the stars, in our DNA, in quantum physics, in how female ejaculation works — but anyone claiming to be 100% sure about what it is, is full of shit and not to be trusted.

Someone, I don't remember who, made a point about Jack claiming he felt no different after drinking the water and taking on Island Protector responsibility. It seems to me that's the writers doing their best to equate the God-like Jacob (and the millions of Island Protectors who came before him and after Hurley) to nothing more than another fallible man. Just another preacher, basically. Perhaps he has a bit more insight from years of experience, but when it comes to delivering the final answers to life's big questions, he's just guesstimating.

And yes, this can all be seen as a bit of a cop-out by Lindelof and Cuse if you'd like. But, to their credit, since day one they've been claiming that the show was all about Characters not Plot. Flawed, fallible characters, from everyone on Oceanic 815 to the person who first brought C.J. Cregg to the Island and told her what the "true answers" were. The fact that we're looking to Lindelof and Cuse themselves — flawed, non-Godlike human beings without any real answers — might be the final meta-argument for the show's thesis itself.

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

Also: If anyone has pliers and lube I can borrow to help get my head out of my ass, they'd be much appreciated.

Mar (#2,357)

Oh man. That's a pretty eloquent defense–better, I'd argue, than the show deserves. It addresses the "faith vs. reason" theme pretty well, so you could say that "Lost" achieved thematic resolution on that front.

Leaving aside the "Heaven" ending, as we've agreed to do, I personally wasn't watching "Lost" for the metaphysics. There were philosophical aspects to the show, but they were so binary that I wasn't necessarily all that interested in them. I saw it as a mystery that mixed action/adventure 1920s jungle explorer stuff with sci-fi elements. As such, I really wanted Poirot to come out at the end and say that the Island was a time-traveling space ship that got fucked up by Egyptians, and it needed to be protected from the outside world because if it was ever used, it would screw up the fabric of time or whatever. Also, it would turn out that lots of the characters were actually ancient aliens and it would be scary. And Ben would be one of the aliens and he would murder all the boring characters early in the finale (like Jack and Kate and Claire) and then the rest of the Losties would have to team up to battle Ben and the Smoke Monster and Walt and Eloise Hawking and Marvin Candle and ghost Michael and alternate reality Ana Lucia would show up to help and maybe there would be swords and Dharma sharks. I'm not a sophisticated viewer; I like my pulp fiction to be pulpy.

I like your ending much better!

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

On the record, I wouldn't be opposed to that ending either. That would be fun and it would be nice to get a whole bunch of closure. But this show has never been about closure — which is why the whole Purgatory side of things still seems a bit "off" to me, although I guess you could argue that didn't provide many substantial answers other than the group moving off into the WHITE LIGHT! — so an ending like that would have been kind of against the tone of the show. If that makes sense. Plus, people would have been pissed if it was a spaceship. I certainly wouldn't be here trying to defend it.

yourfavorite (#5,112)

Who put the wheel in the wall if Crazy Lady killed the Man in Black and blew up the hole that he had dug?

Daisy (#2,667)

The Others?

whoever you want.

heck for all we know hugo could have ate some bad dahrma ranch which made him time travel back 1900 years. after that he ate a bad can of dharma spinich, turned into popeye, and dug his ass down there and tossed that dang donkey wheel into the stupid light. well thats my theory anyways.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Keep that damn chicken quiet!!!

Don't stop believing…

oudemia (#177)

Hand me that sno-globe.

DigThatFunk (#2,457)

Keep fucking that chicken!

breccia (#2,412)

I would like to begin this comment by saying I CRIED SO HARD (in other words: I am not a pure hater.) I mean, crying while lifting my hands to the heavens, yelling: "WHY IS CHRISTIAN SHEPARD HEREEEEEEEAAAUGHHHH" but whatever. Emotionally I played right into their hands, yet was still frustrated over what they were doing and wanted to force a re-write. Standard Lost procedure. Full circle.

So anyway, it is kind of shitty that when everyone yelled "IT'S PURGATORY!" in season one, the writers/creators vehemently denied it to prove how super creative and mysterious they are, but then at the end were like "naw, purgatory was there it was just not where you thought lol!!" They should have just stuck with the predictable island-purgatory if they wanted to go down that afterlife/redemption road. If they didn't — why they hell couldn't the sideways timeline be a REAL timeline where they are all aware of their lives on the island and have a chance to live "better" lives? There was enough time fuckery that this would be completely understandable and satisfying.

oudemia (#177)

Heh, yes — while watching last night I thought, aha, they're slowly collapsing the island timeline into the LA-flash-sideways timeline (and this can be explained by some mysterious electromagnetic macguffin whatever) and that was fine. But nooo! They're all dead! But the island totes wasn't purgatory! So there! No backsies!

deepomega (#1,720)

So while I only watched 2.5 seasons of Lost, I've been reading recaps out of a sense of schadenfreude, to see if my gut feeling that they had no idea what they were doing was correct. And the thing that's bothering me now is that… setting off the bomb didn't do anything? What? That was a complete fake-out? Am I misreading this?

cherrispryte (#444)

Setting off the bomb sent them to the "current day". It didn't, apparently, create an alternative universe. Unless it did.

deepomega (#1,720)

And also the numbers didn't mean anything, right? They just showed up a lot. For no reason.

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

The bomb just bumped them into current time. That was all. BUT if you want to take it further … the bomb's goal was to reset the timeline, destroying the island back in 1977 meaning that the events that would have caused the crash never happened, right? Well, that's what happened with purgatory, but that was more coincidental due to the island being the Most Important Thing in their lives. I can try this again if this still doesn't make sense. I'm not happy with it as is.

Daisy (#2,667)

I'm mostly with you, Rick? But could you say it again/differently so I'm sure I know what you mean?

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

Let's try it like this: Purgatory was "sideways" where everyone was "living" without having known each other, right? Why did they not know each other? Because if they DID then remembering the Most Important Part of their lives would have shocked them into remembering they're dead. Simple "Sixth Sense" logic. The weird thing is, this was the original intent of the bomb: To restart the timeline to a place where no one knew each other. SO: While the bomb didn't work like that in the real world — it just shot them ahead in time — it did work, sort of, in the afterlife. God, I hope that helps in the least bit.

berthamason (#740)

Rick, I'm so sorry — I've seen every single episode of the show and I still don't understand your explanation. But I'm trying!

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

I actually think I'm needlessly making this more complicated than it is. Let's just say that no, the bomb didn't really work as intended. It just threw them back into the present.

Daisy (#2,667)

I like that better, Rick.

amockingbird (#2,015)

I understand your explanation of the sideways purgatory, it's clear and awesome and the whole "they couldn't remember the island because then they'd know they were dead" cleared that right up for me.

I just don't think there's an explanation for detonating a nuke and no one having radiation issues and just ending up in the future/present. So don't hurt yourself trying. Though, if the nuke did go off in 1977, then all the Dharma people would have left first, right? And wouldn't have been around to be purged by Ben? So wouldn't the timeline have changed in at least that way? Crap, I'm thinking again, must stop that.

Daisy (#2,667)

I think the bomb explosion was The Incident, just as Miles had suggested/asked. And I'm not crazy about the fact that Miles and Sawyer were partners and best friends in the sideways/meetup world, and never 'reminded' each other about the island.

wb (#2,214)

Last shot should have been: Jack looking in a mirror, seeing the Man in Black's reflection, and then Jack repeatedly banging his head against the mirror, laughing like a lunatic.

Brad Nelson (#2,115)

Where's Annie?

Brad Nelson (#2,115)

Rereading this, I now realize your reference is wholly intentional. SORRY FOR RUINING THE JOKE EVERYONE

mjwilstein (#934)

in case you missed Jimmy Kimmel's alternate endings, you can watch them here:

Brian Perry (#5,118)

And here's one more – mine: (not to imply that I've got anything on the Kimmel staff)

Here's the real answer to most of the (highly valid) questions this show left totally unresolved:

Because the writers were just making this shit up as they went along the whole time, and never had any intention of "answering" the questions they invented in order to keep us watching by string us along.

That's why.

Yes, I am bitter. I wasted six years being invested in this show, only to get totally screwed over. I got punk'd – and unlike other Lost "true believers," I'm unwilling to come up with rationalizations for why the ending didn't suck because I'm in denial and don't want to admit that IT SUCKED.

Because it sucked.

oudemia (#177)

Yep. The line the writers were feeding everyone — that they had the whole thing worked out from the beginning — was clearly a pile of shit. And a lot of stuff that happened (bopping around in time) now seems to have happened solely to prolong the show's existence.

ALSO! While I agree that everything that happened on the island "happened," the show's quite deliberate lingering on the not-very-survivable-looking flight wreckage for the final seconds of the series is going to convince a lot of people (including the NYTimes it seems) that the Losties were dead the whole time.

gumplr (#66)

But "The Constant" was sooooooo good, right?

oudemia (#177)

I take it all back. I just got an Awl newsletter, so it seems pretty clear we're all dead.

oudemia, I think they did have it all plotted out for 4 years but the network wanted 2 years extra so they had to pad it. Plus everyone pretty much guessed that they were dead/in limbo but the writers kept denying that.

Daisy (#2,667)

That newsletter's certainly given me emotional flashbacks!

my favirote episode

oudemia (#177)

@kitten: Right. I find it hugely annoying that from episode 4 of the show on, viewers were saying, "Jesus, this will be irritating if they are all in purgatory." And the writers swore it wasn't so. And now the writers can say, "Well, they weren't in purgatory then, just later." Feh.

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

Do this then: Just forget about the "sideways" stuff in season 6. That's more epilogue, anyway. The rest of the story still works as is. (I think.) And, I mean, of COURSE the writers didn't know EVERY beat of EVERY story since day one; if they did they wouldn't need a staff of writers working with them every season. But I think they did have the final battle with Jack and the Locke/Monster planned from the get-go. And Jack dying and closing his eye. My guess is the "sideways" stuff was added during the writing sessions between seasons 3 and 4, after the 3-season deal with ABC was worked out. That's still knowing the show more in advance than most network programs, right? And if it wasn't going to be the "sideways" stuff, it'd have just been other stuff to fill time, like back-story for Ilana and the Temple folks maybe. Even if this didn't succeed completely, I like that they gave at it shot with being profound by doing the "sideways" thing instead of just spinning their wheels with back stories of characters who ultimately weren't too important to the story.

everyone should be very angry at abc for not answering massive amounts of questions. I mean 7-10 would have been ok but this is rediculous!! This is just like ordering a pizza and getting 4 pieces of meat on the thing. I at least wanted a dedicated answer to why the button had to be pused every 108 minutes, and what exactly it did…….

Daisy (#2,667)

In case, like me, you got hung up on the whole 'the time you spent on the island with these people was the most important part of your life so you're moving on with them' thing–when Sayid was there with annoying Shannon instead of Nadia, and Juliet was there without her sister and nephew, and Desmond and Penny and Jin and Sun were there without their respective kids, and Jack's mom wasn't even there, etc.–it helps to look at it solely from the perspective of Jack's life and his experiences with those people on that island. Maybe everybody else got that right away, but it really bothered me. That whole meetup was about Jack and his island experiences, and the idea is that everybody has their own meetup(s), right?

thats the problem, no one knows (regarding your final sentence). for every theory you have theres gonna be a 100 from other people. I guess its whatever you want it to be. Thanks ABC

Maevemealone (#968)

Well, if they're going to heaven, maybe those people are already in heaven or will eventually join in their own time? I share the disappointment in Shannon, that was always a disappointing story arc.

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

Obviously, it's up to interpretation, but I'm going to say no about it merely being Jack's own experiences. My take is its more of a collected hallucination by all of the people who were on the island. Which is why it was Sayid/Shannon not Sayid/Nadia. And Juliet's sister wasn't there. Or Jack's mom. I'm sure there's plenty of hole in this, though.

also, nadia and the kids and jacks mom werent there cus theyre not dead yet?

cherrispryte (#444)

yeah but then, is Aaron dead? why was he there? and why is it only some of the people who died on the island? Where's Libby and Mr. Eko and Nikki and Paulo and Dr. Arzt and all the other people who crashed on 815 – let alone on the Island as a whole.

And Boone's voice is definitely some of the whispers, so he should be stuck on the island with Michael.

Daisy (#2,667)

Libby was there. And what I think is: the other people you mentioned just weren't series regulars. I mean, really. They weren't part of Jack's core group of people that he was connected to on the island. Mr. Eko would probably be at Charlie's meetup, but he's not at Jack's. And Aaron is in Jack's meetup because he played an important role in Jack's island experience. If we go by what Christian said–that 'there is no now here,' and that 'everybody dies some time,' then, yes, at some time, Aaron, like everybody else, is dead, but it's irrelevant if all we're looking at is Jack's meetup. Not everybody in that church died before Jack, in a linear, chronological sense.

You reminded me of another question, though: We didn't see Rose and Bernard 'remember,' did we? On the meetup/sideways plane to LAX, Rose told Jack to 'let go.' And remember how weird Bernard was when Jack found him and asked for details about Locke's plane crash? So what's that all about? I mean, do you think we're supposed to take from that that they replaced Hurley and Ben as protectors of the island? Because Hurley and Ben both had to 'remember,' too, in order to participate, right? Rose and Bernard had said they didn't want any part of any island drama, but once Jack rebooted the island and Hurley and Ben made some changes, maybe they reconnected?

Daisy (#2,667)

And by the way, Paulo was there, at the concert. I can't recall when or where, exactly, but I swear I saw him in The End.

Daisy (#2,667)

Oh! I do think it's messed up that Walt wasn't at the church, but I think that can all be chalked up to general writing/casting/puberty error.

Jeff Barea (#4,298)

Look Nick Denton aka iPhone, I'm not going to read posts if you do not enforce the "gotta post dick pics" rule.

Did i miss something with what happened to all those kids that got kidnapped by the others in season1 and 2?

Mar (#2,357)

It doesn't matter. All that matters is that some of the Lost characters went to heaven.

–the Gospel according to Lindelof and Cuse.

What was the deal with the polar bears? Did that ever get explained?

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

We did. They were brought on by Dharma for some kind of experimentation and stuck in those cages. We never found out the specifics of the experiments, but we didn't get specifics to ANY of their experiments.

oudemia (#177)

So there was no relationship between Walt's comic books and the polar bears?

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

I'd say no, just like there was no REAL relationship between both Miles and Hurley talking to dead people. It's not like they were separated at birth or something. Walt wasn't creating the polar bears. They were just part of the coincidental, "everything is related" stuff in the show.

Daisy (#2,667)

I thought those were Hurley's comic books anyway. And with the polar bears, I thought maybe they were trying to see if they could train the polar bears to push 'the button' in the Swan hatch?

Daisy (#2,667)

Could somebody remind me of why, when Sun and Locke passed each other on their gurneys in sideways/meetup St. Sebastian, Sun freaked out and yell-whispered to Jin, "It's him! It's him!" in reference to Locke?

William Young (#5,138)

You're not the only one lost about that.

Initially, I thought it was that Sun had already had her little satori/epiphany moment and I'd forgotten it, but obviously not.

SaltTooth (#915)

Is no one else completely obsessed with the implications of Faraday's "blending of classical and rock" on the fragile New Music Community in New York? I can't deal with my life.

Kataphraktos (#226)

This series finale was brought to you by Ron Moore and the writing crew of Battlestar Galactica.

Walk into the Starbuck Light, bitchez!

Daisy (#2,667)

Once Jin and Sun were dead, and Jack and Sawyer had reached an understanding with each other, why didn't Kate just ask Sawyer to explain to Jack about Clementine?

Tricia Romano (#5,126)

Late in the game here: Last night I did what I always do, which is read everything possible on the Internet about Lost (if I did this for a more important topic I would probably be making lots more money). I found this post from a blog (link below). It's an old post from 2007 claiming that it had leaked plot outlines for the rest of the show. You will notice a lot of things are more or less accurate, and tons that are very different. My theory: they were planning to fill out the sci-fi time travel/evil widmore/ben thing, and then at the last minute–perhaps a third into writing season 6, they tossed out key eps that would have wrapped it off that way, in favor of the more 'spiritual' hokey stuff we ended with, including 'across the sea.' this may explain why it felt like there were two totally different shows happening at the same time.

take a look at this. it was written in may 2007

stuff that came 'true' more or less

"- There will be 3 "flash-forward" episodes 2008 season, 3 "flashforward episodes 2009 season (including its finale), and 10 of the 16 episodes in the 2010 season will be flashforwards." [note, these would be the 'sideways']

-"- 2008 season premiere has partially been filmed already. The rescue does not occur by helicopter. They meet the ship on shore and the "rescuers" come on smaller boats."

-"- Desmond gets out of the hatch in the 2008 season premiere"

-"- Locke does not return to the show until severeal episodes into the 2008 season"

-"- Explanation that is revealed near the end of the 2008 season: Dharma Initiative has created a "time door". One end of the door exists in present time in Antarctica. The other end of the door is the Island. However, the Island exists in the "time bubble" in which it remains in the past. Everytime someone (Desmond) pressed the switch in the Hatch, the Island was reset further back in its own time, while the present continued onward.'

-"- Jack discovers sibling relationship to Claire in 2009 season."

You get the point.

I think they did have a 'master plan' and they unwisely scrapped it last-minute and gave us the the pap that was last night.

Another thought: What if there had been no sideways thread at all this season–and the finale scenes were just jack making his way to the jungle and dying, wouldn't that have been more truthtful and less manipulative and hokey? it would have been sadder but perhaps more real.


Mar (#2,357)

This is really intriguing. If it's real, I'm sad they didn't go with it.

Rick Paulas (#1,565)

The more I read the link you posted, the more I found it to be bullshit. The things you listed are the only things mentioned that are remotely true (with remote being the key word; aspect like "Jack and Claire are siblings" could have been figured out by anyone watching the show). What I'm saying is, whether or not these "leaks" would have made for a better version of "Lost" is up to your own interpretation. (It does get too sci-fi for my tastes; the show was always more fantasy than sci-fi.) But there's no way these were the original intentions of the "Lost" creators who then, at the last minute, decided to scrap them.

Greg Dewar (#5,128)

good recap, and more or less how I reacted to the show myself. There was a time when I was getting sick of it (end of s2 when they had this needless sadism in the show, too many unexplained things etc.) but they course-corrected and it was great escapist entertainment.

One thing to remember -the Island wasn't the only place on Earth with weird electromagnetic properties which people could manipulate, etc – it was however, the most powerful etc. Remember "Isaac of Uluru" in the Australian desert who healed people, but couldn't heal Rose because Isaac told her "you need to find another place, this one isn't going to help" and yet he'd been able to help other people just fine?

Put it another way – if you have a bazillion megatons of this stuff, and you're Some Dumb Person From the Olden Days, yes you'd call it the magic frakking cave and whatever, and if you have a tool like Jacob who makes up endless rules to manipulate people and creates smoke monsters, and so on, yes, you'd have whoever found the place end up making up some hokey religions which as we all know aren't nearly as useful as a good blaster.


mathnet (#27)

You make a strong point about female ejaculation.

Amanda Rimmer (#5,133)

I'm sorry people are disappointed about the lack of answers. I thought I would be, too. But I also think a 2.5 hour show of question-answering would have sucked. I said this before, and I'll say it again…you care about the numbers because you care about how they effected the characters. You don't really care about the numbers themselves. You took a journey with the characters. What they don't know, you don't know. The mystery drove the show, it drove and motivated the characters, but ultimately, it made no difference beyond that. Desmond: "None of this matters". Watching the finale, I kept thinking of Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle" and the karass. For those of you who are dumb enough not to have read that book (sorry, but you are dumb), a karass is a group of people who come together or find each other in each lifetime, in order to accomplish "God's will". Vonnegut suggests that we're all members of a karass. There are two goals for a karass: finding each other, and accomplishing something important. I think this might have been one of the ideas behind the finale. Aside from that, what did you expect? No one single character knew a damn thing. Jacob didn't know shit. Ben didn't know shit. Richard didn't know shit. How exactly did you think you would get the answers that you feel so desperately you needed? Look. You invested your time in this narrative because you cared about the characters. No one owes you any answers. Life isn't like that. And, actually, the writers could have been like, "Go fuck yourselves", and not even given us all those nice reunions or anything. Whatever. Piss and moan about it if you want. It's a stupid TV show. I enjoyed it and I'm happy with the way it ended.

cherrispryte (#444)

About Vonnegut – one of the key themes in a lot of his work is that life can't be taken seriously, and we're all just stumbling around like babies with our eyes closed. Lost has, from the beginning, taken itself incredibly seriously and leaned heavily upon general concepts of fate. If the ultimate message in Lost was "nobody knows anything, and maybe nothing means anything anyway" – that's a huge departure from where they started.

Also, I just picked up Cat's Cradle yesterday after not reading it for a few years. I wonder if I was subconsciously influenced?

Amanda Rimmer (#5,133)

You might have been. Vonnegut contends that life is bullshit, basically, so yeah. I don't know if I'd say that Lost took itself seriously, although the business of survival after a plane crash and all the events that occurred after that are pretty serious, in terms of how they effected the characters. I know it pisses people off that the writers just decided to be like, "Oh, no one knew shit, and none of it matters anyway"…but when, in life, are you allowed to know the answers, really? My friend complained that she thought some of the "puzzle pieces" would be fit together, maybe like the grand explanation in the Matrix. There are billions of puzzle pieces in our lives…few ever get put where they might actually belong. The Lost characters stumbled around like babies with their eyes closed for 6 seasons. In that light, I have trouble understanding why people think they should or would have gotten all the answers. I think people are just enjoying being pissed off about something stupid and pointless. Which was part of the point of that finale: don't waste your time on the stupid and pointless. Stop trying to explain everything. Let go…right?

Mar (#2,357)

Amanda, for somebody who thinks that "Lost" was a character-driven show, you're slinging around terms like "dumb" and "stupid" a little too freely.

Victor Castrejon (#5,142)

In Season 3 Pickett said "Shephard wasn't even on Jacob's list"

I just want that answered

Daniel du Prie (#5,207)

I still prefer the multiple universes explanation based on the sound and oft proven processes of quantum mechanics. Purgatory, Limbo…just too airy fairy Catholic to be believable.

kdub454 (#5,247)

I agree, but at least the show was entertaining.
What happened to Walt by the way? Why was he special, and was he the smoke monster when he appeared on the island?

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