The aptly titled LOST finale, 'The End,' left viewers plagued with mystery. The ending was absolutely beautiful - the episode proved that the six-season television drama really was all about love. As the episode progressed, each character was flooded with memories from their actual life, simultaneously realizing they're in an afterlife reunited with the ones they loves. While major questions were left unanswered - the numbers, the connection to ancient Egypt, the moving of the island - the core idea was revealed: purgatory.
Fans guessed last night's not-so-shocking conclusion in season one: the Oceanic 815ers are in purgatory. Although producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse originally denied that the island acted as limbo for the survivors, they were clearly just trying to throw us off their path. Regardless, the two-and-one-half-hour series finale drew in 13.5 million viewers and countless online discussion forums.
We may never know where the island is, but we finally know what the light protecting the island is. Jacob, Jack and Hurley's job was to protect the light by preventing forces from removing the literal cork and unleashing evil unto the world. Seems that those images of Jacob explaining the island's purpose to Richard was more literal than figurative.
Sideways Flash and Purgatory
The show has seen many timelines: island time (present and 1970s), flash backs, flash forwards and flash sideways. All of these seemingly confusing events and timelines came together last night to reveal the purpose of the show: purgatory. The characters weren't just lost in the real world of the island - they were also lost in the "sideways" universe triggered by last season's hydrogen bomb. This sideways universe, which had Oceanic 815 landing at LAX and the characters trying to redeem their past sins, was actually a gathering place for the dead as they wait to move on.
The show's final scenes featured two much-anticipated reunions, Christian and Jack Shepherd and the Oceanic 815ers, intertwined with Jack's final moments of life on the island. As Christian explains to Jack that everything that has happened in his life was real and did matter, Jack realizes that he is dead. It was this realization that finally allowed Jack to passover and reunite with his island friends. After the tearful reunion, Christian opens the chapel door, ending their purgatory and leading them to heaven. Meanwhile, island-Jack collapsed from his wounds, was licked by Vincent the dog and shut his eyes one last time - a mirror image from LOST's first scene.
At its core, the show is about love. LOST has always been at its best when it focuses on the characters, not the mythology, and last night was no exception. The reunion-esque finale focused on love - remembering love and falling back in love. The most poignant love stories played out last night were: Charlie and Claire's three-seasons-in-the-making reunion, Sawyer and Juliet's not-so-tragic embrace, Sayid and Shannon's we-belong-together glances and Jack and Kate's it's-about-time declaration of coupledom. Other notable tear-inducing couples include: Rose and Bernard, Jin and Sun, Hurley and Libby and Desmond and Penny. (*note in the above clip how the camera pans in on all the couples before Christian Shepherd opens the door to heaven)
It may have taken her six seasons, but Kate Austen finally made her choice: Jack Shepherd. The ever-present love triangle had Kate flip-flopping between the show's resident hotties, but ultimately it was island-savior Jack who won Kate's heart.
Moral of the LOST Story
Last night's poignant ending reaffirmed what Lindelof and Cuse have been telling us since the start: the island exists; what happens there matters. If the light had stayed out, the world would have ended. They also reminded us that ultimately we all die, but if we live together, we won't die alone.