May 24, 2010 @ 6:31 am | Filed under:

Here be spoilers, of course. Don’t read this if you haven’t watched the LOST finale.

Yes, the reunions made me cry, every single one of them. Jin and Sun’s joy at seeing Detective Ford: one of the best moments of television ever. And: Shannon and Sayid. Claire and Charlie. James and Juliet: by then I was sobbing. You got it, Blondie.

When Jack walked into the church, I gasped with delight because for a moment there I was sure that Mr. Eko was going to appear—as a priest, of course.

Instead, I admit it: profound disappointment.* When the coffin was empty, and there was a footstep behind Jack, I knew it was Christian and I yelped an involuntary “No!”

Because, you see, I really wanted to know what happened. While the characters were still alive, on earth. Instead, the show jumped us over the final chapters to the last page of the book. It’s a good page: after purgatory, they go to heaven. That’s the greatest good there is, the ending I am literally hoping and praying for.

But in terms of this show I’ve been invested in for six years? I wanted to know what happened in this world, not the next.

About halfway through the episode I began to wonder if the Sideways reality had been a very long denouement—it struck me as a clever solution. Something would happen in the climax, some kind of Electromagnetic Desmond-triggered jump to an alternate reality, a parallel universe or something—which would have been painfully hokey, but I was giving the writers props for figuring out a way to give us plenty of satisfying detail about how everyone turned out (via a whole season’s worth of Sideways scenes) without having to squeeze it all into the last ten minutes.

But that wasn’t what happened. The Sideways reality wasn’t real. It was a kind of gentle purgatory, more akin to a dream than anything else. You know how sometimes as you’re swimming up out of a dream toward wakefulness, you can steer the dream a little? That’s what the Sideways reality was. Dreams stitched together from fragments of memory and longing, affording the characters the opportunity to make better choices—at least in relation to the each one’s fatal flaw. Thus James, instead of becoming a con artist as despicable as the one who ruined his childhood, becomes a heck of a good cop. Jack, the wounded son, becomes a decent father. For the sake of Alex, Ben sacrifices the opportunity to seize power. There’s actually quite a lot to talk about regarding each character’s purgatory experience.

(Including the interesting fact that Ben, despite apparently doing a good job as the Island’s #2 protector in the part of his real life we didn’t get to see, felt in need of more purgatory time at the end of the episode. Locke goes into the church, and then into the Light, but Ben remains sitting in the courtyard near the statue of the risen Christ. He gratefully accepts Locke’s forgiveness, but doesn’t feel worthy of heaven yet.)

But before I can get there—I’m sure I’ll spend weeks pondering the purgatory experiences—I have to get past the disappointed ache. Jack’s story had a good and satisfying ending. (I loved that last moment with Vincent, the bamboo, the closing eye.)

But what about Desmond? He didn’t make it off the island. Did he get back to Penny? Did she wait and wait and wait for him forever (until death)? Or did Hurley find him a way back home? Ben said “no one leaves the island” was a Jacob thing (and anyway, there was quite a bit of coming and going on the old submarine). So, okay, I can let myself suppose that Hurley and Ben found Desmond a way home to his wife and son. BUT I WANTED TO SEE IT.

I suppose supposing is what we’re left with, as far as the rest of the earthly stories go. There really weren’t many of our friends left alive by the end of the season, were there? Jin, Sun, and Sayid had joined Charlie, Shannon, Boone, Locke, Faraday, Charlotte, and Juliet.

So. Claire and Kate go home to Aaron, and Claire climbs back to sanity. It’s interesting to note that their purgatory experiences depended on one another: Kate carjacking Claire’s cab, then—here’s Kate’s better choice—risking her own freedom to return for Claire (aha! major real-life choice, returning for Claire on the island, being paralleled by a purgatory choice, returning for Claire at the bus stop). And then their moment of remembering happens through the birth of Aaron, the most significant event in each one’s earthly life. Kate’s whole arc was about learning to take care of someone other than herself. Claire’s whole arc was about her reluctance to accept motherhood.

Sawyer’s arc was about choosing to be one of the good guys, not one of the bad guys. I recently rewatched the first few episodes of season one and was interested to remember how early Sawyer shows his true colors, right there in the beginning: having immediately established himself as amoral and self-serving, he then calmly and heroically steps into the path of a charging polar bear and shoots it dead, saving several lives. That was the real James Ford, the guy who claimed to care about no one but himself, but who made the heroic choice in every single moment of crisis. The guy who jumped out of the helicopter to save his companions (or at least to save Kate), that’s the real James, the one Juliet got to live with for three years in the only stable relationship of his life. Their reunion made me happiest of all.

I have more sorting out to do about other purgatories. Widmore’s is interesting, and Eloise’s—especially the odd note of her final scene with Desmond, when she asks with such genuine distress whether—shoot, what were her exact words? they were significant, and Desmond’s reply, something about not leaving yet—and we had “when you’re ready to leave” with Jack, too; with him it meant letting go of life. Dying. Eloise’s plea is curious, because it’s almost as if she knows what Desmond is doing (serving as a kind of angel to shepherd, ahem, his friends out of purgatory into heaven) and wants to remain in purgatory with Daniel a while longer.

For now, my busy day calls. More later. I guess I’m making my peace with the purgatory realities. And I get that the island story had to end somewhere; we weren’t going to see the entire rest of Sawyer’s life, or Kate’s, or Hurley’s…but I would have liked glimpses. Yes, that’s it, that’s where I feel left hanging. I needed a glimpse of Claire (with her hair finally brushed) reuniting with her young son (and her mother! who was in a coma last time she saw her!), and some moment between Kate and Sawyer to hint at what possible consoling future they might have together—certainly a deep and beautiful friendship. A few brief moments would have done me. Or just one more episode, an epilogue in which Hurley and Ben get Desmond safely home, we see him reunited with Penny, and there’s some resolution with Kate, Sawyer (and his daughter!), Claire, Aaron, and maybe Sun and Jin’s daughter.

It was strange to get to the part where they’re all happy together in heaven—the ending I am ALWAYS hoping for—and feel deflated. Maybe I’m just mourning their departure. Denial (that’s it? no, wait, I need more!) is, after all, the first stage of grief.

*As you’ll see in the comments, the resolution is growing on me, the more I think through it:

…I’m back to agreeing with the reaction I had halfway through last night—that the sideways timeline was going to turn out to be denouement, and was therefore a brilliant idea, allowing us to see how things turn out without there having to three or four episodes following the climax. I mean, it took Tolkien a whole book to wind up LOTR to our satisfaction. It would have been horrible not to know what happened when the hobbits got back to the Shire. And the LOST characters: we *needed* to see them resolve the critical issues each of them was wrestling with for six years.

What’s fascinating, and growing on me, is the choice to resolve those issues 1) in the afterlife! and 2) to do it slowly, gradually, during the course of this whole season—out of sequence, really. (Which of course works fine with the wonky way we’ve flashed back and forth in time all along.)

Last night it felt like a cheat. Today, as I think back through what each of the characters actually accomplished in purgatory (now that I know, or am at least reasonably certain I know, that’s what/when it was), I’m seeing how I did in fact get the resolution I craved—I just need to reassemble the pieces.

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75 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Christina in MA says:

    Melissa, I’m pretty sure I saw Desmond and Penny in the church at the end. Thanks for your wrap-up of the the finale. Great to read!

  2. Christina in MA says:

    Oh, I just went back and re-read. You wanted to know what happened to D & P (and everybody) in real life. I need more caffeine, sorry!

  3. Jacki says:

    Lissa, great and thoughtful recap. But here’s what I got from it: nobody went home to their life because *everyone* was dead from the moment the plane crashed. Did I completely misconstrue this?

    I too was disappointed because there were a million island mysteries that I feel were left unanswered despite promises to the contrary. And frankly, purgatory? Wasn’t that everyone’s guess all along? Hardly a satisfying surprise ending…

  4. Jennifer says:

    Interesting thoughts. I tend to agree and was also irritated we didn’t see a ‘real life’ reunion with Desmond and Penny. I’m still mulling it all over this morning. I will say I was very disappointed we didn’t see Michael and Walt in the end. Michael was one of my favorites. At least Vincent was there.

  5. SteveB says:

    I think the giveaway in the sideways universe was when Jack’s son’s full name was Albus Severus Shepherd.

  6. Melissa Wiley says:

    Jacki, I think everything that happened on the island was real, as Christian assured Jack. When Jack asks Christian if the others have all died too (don’t remember his exact words), Christian says yes—some before Jack, some after him. There is no “now” where they are, in the afterlife—they are outside time. All time is now, there.

    So here’s my take: all the events on the island really happened. The *island* wasn’t purgatory—this season’s Sideways reality was. (In the Sideways parts, no one went to the island.)

    When each of the Losties died—some deaths we saw, and others haven’t happened yet (Kate, Sawyer, Claire, etc)—they went to Purgatory, which is depicted as a kind of dream-stitched world in which all of them intersect, just as our dreams are populated with people we know from real life. Eventually each of them (helped by Desmond, in many cases) made their way to the church, which served (as Christian said) as a meeting place for the people who had been part of the most significant experiences of their earthly lives—the plane crash & its aftermath.

    Make sense? The island happened. This season’s Sideways stuff was purgatory, not this world. When Kate (for example) shows up in purgatory, it could be fifty years after Jack dies on the island.

    Hurley and Ben lived on the Island long enough for Ben to do a good job as #2.

    (I don’t think we’re given any hints as to the rest of life for anyone other than Hurley and Ben.)

    One nitpicky thing I have is that baby Aaron shouldn’t have been there in the church. Aaron would be older in his afterlife self (presumably).

    As you say, many questions remain. What happens to the ghosts on the island? Will Michael ever make it to purgatory, let alone heaven?

  7. Melissa Wiley says:

    Jenn, your comment came in while I was writing mine. I see you missed a Michael reunion too. And Walt—it would have been fun to see an older Walt (since the actor is older now) reuniting with his dad, redeemed at last.

  8. Jennifer says:

    And also? (I have a feeling I’ll be commented a lot today!) What did the bomb do exactly? When Miles told Sawyer that Juliet said “It worked.” I can’t figure that out.

  9. Melissa Wiley says:

    I’m fuzzy there, but wasn’t the bomb set off to stop the island from skipping around in time? The time-skipping was beginning to kill them off, one by one, and would have killed them all if they hadn’t found a way to re-fix the island in place, temporally speaking.

    So that worked. The island stayed put in time after the bomb went off. Allowing the rest of Jacob’s drama to play out.

    In a way, everyone’s plans worked, eventually. Jacob called candidates to the island so there’d be someone to assume his role as Protector of the Gateway to Hell (or something like that) when/if Smokey ever took him out. Jack eventually, finally, answered the call. (Much of Jack’s arc had to do with letting go of reluctance to assume the responsibility people naturally put on him.)

    Desmond pulled the cork, which almost destroyed the island (and that would be bad) but rendered Smokey vulnerable to attack (so that was good). Juliet tipped us off to how that worked with her remark about the vending machine in the hospital. Unplugging it for just a minute was the key.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I thought the bomb was set off so they wouldn’t ever land on the island, as it was 1970 something then. Wasn’t that what Jack was trying to make happen? I can’t remember exactly.

  11. Melissa Wiley says:

    Whoops, I did it again! Went in to make a small tweak in my comment, wound up adding paragraphs, and yours came in while I was doing that.

    LOL, now I’m confused. You’re right, right? The bomb wasn’t to stop the time skipping. (What stopped that? I’m getting my seasons confused.) Jack thought if they destroyed the source of the magnetism that brought down the plane, none of it would happen. Right? I think you are right. Hold on, I’m working this out.

  12. Jennifer says:

    John Locke stopped the time travel when he turned the wheel thing.

  13. Jennifer says:

    And I missed the parallel with the vending machine! Nice catch!

  14. Melissa Wiley says:

    The bomb going off set up a tease—in the sideways reality, we saw a course of events that would have happened if people had never gone to the island after a certain date. No Dharma project. Ethan was a nice doctor. Rousseau didn’t get marooned & go crazy. She got to raise Alex.

    But the finale suggests that all those events were part of the purgatory reality. So now I have to work out what the bomb really DID do.

  15. Jennifer says:

    The “It worked” comment made the me think that the sideways story line was what Jack (ultimately Juliet) set into motion with the bomb, but yeah, then it just sort of faded off. I’m baffled. That’s the one thing that didn’t make sense to me. Just that one thing though. The rest of the show is crystal clear, LOL!

  16. Melissa Wiley says:

    ROFL!! Yes, just that one thing. 😉

    OK—maybe Juliet just meant “the bomb worked.” (In which case she was being wry.)

    But that seems weak. Destroying the bomb *didn’t* change history (if I’m right about the sideways stuff being purgatory). The plane really did go down. So what did the bomb’s destruction accomplish? Things were different on the Island afterward, right? I mean, the whole business with the guys at the Temple. They weren’t around prior to the bomb going off. Right?

    I think Eloise wanted the bomb destroyed because that might have helped undo her shooting her own son in 1977. But we were assured that “what happened, happened.” Past events weren’t altered by the bomb. So I’m back to wondering what the bomb DID change.

  17. MelanieB says:

    I expected to be let-down. Going into this I saw no way they could resolve the two storylines to my satisfaction. And then I wasn’t. Not a bit. Partway through, I think at about the time Jin and Sun remembered or maybe it was Charlie and Claire, I paused the tv and said: “This is heaven!”

    I took Christian’s reply that it all really happened to apply to the Purgatory/sideways reality as well as the Island time line. They both really happened. Purgatory wasn’t a dream, it was more like a second chance.

    I suppose that fits nicely with my metaphysics because that’s how it is in Dante. Purgatory is a real place/time and what happens there is real and really matters (even though it is sort of also timeless and placeless because it exists in eternity). Desmond and Hurley are sort of like Virgil and Beatrice in the Divine Comedy, except that all the characters aren’t exactly Dante, more like the souls Dante meets who are in Purgatory.

  18. Jacki says:

    Oh vending machine = cork pulling! Love that! Lissa, your insights are great. Thanks! 🙂

    So, why did someone say to Jack (I typed Jacki, force of habit, LOL), “You don’t have a son.” Why didn’t he have a son? Did his son only exist in his sideways purgatory life? But why?

    And I want to know what happened to Jin and Sun’s daughter. And Jack’s ex-wife played by Julie Bowen, not Juliet (is that who it was last night? I’m already forgetting). And WTF was the polar bear? And if the island really happened, then how in hell do you explain a time-skipping, disappearing and reappearing, rotating, etc. etc. island???? I guess I’m just not cut out for fantasy, LOL.

  19. MelanieB says:


    I can’t believe I missed the vending machine unplugging as metaphor. That’s great.

    Am I being too credulous to think that somehow the bomb did cause the sideways time line and gave them that second chance? That somehow we can have both/and instead of either/or. Come on, can’t quantum mechanics wave a magic wand and make it so?

  20. MotherReader says:

    What I got from the bomb thing is that it was supposed to destroy the station before it was built, thus making it so that the plane never crashed on the island.

    What seemed to happen is that the bomb threw them back into the right time. It also seemed that it did indeed create a parallel time line for all of our characters – one that was subtly changed by things that would not have happened without the island. Juliet’s line “It worked.” seemed to collaborate with that idea, and I spent most of the time trying to think how the two parallel universes would come together.

    Honestly, I still am trying to do that, because I don’t like the writers ending which seems to be that Juliet’s line “It worked” was a huge red herring. It wasn’t about the bomb at all – in this scenario – but just a dying woman drifting from reality to the “waiting room” time where she says to Sawyer about the vending machine “It worked.” and “We’ll go Dutch.”

    That red herring line makes me the most annoyed at resolution that this is just a “waiting room” for everyone to catch up to each other. Because it means that all the awful things that happened on the island, did happen. And the characters had to admit that it was all so bad, that it was worth setting a bomb off in the hopes that it could make it so it didn’t happen. But now we are supposed to except that in the end, they all wait for each other to relive that time on the island? Not convinced.

  21. sarah says:

    Well, all I can say is that I’m glad I stopped watching at the end of season two becauseall of this completely bamboozles me! I always had the impression that after the first season they were kind of making things up as they went along, and this finale only reinforces that impression.

    And yet I feel a touch of grief about it all too, like someone who cries a little at the ending of a book even though she skipped half of it.

  22. Jennifer says:

    Good point MotherReader! I missed the vending machine “It worked” line. My children were still wandering about then, I think. Hmmm, off to think about this more.

  23. Melissa Wiley says:

    OK, this is not a banner day for me as a mother, LOL. Spent the morning at the park with my children and the whole time I was dying to come home and catch up on this conversation!

    Pam (MotherReader), THANK YOU—I wanted to look up Juliette’s death scene to see what the dialogue was. I knew “let’s go dutch” was in there somewhere. GREAT take on the “It worked” being words spilling into the island reality from purgatory. I think you’re right. And I actually quite like it. It doesn’t strike me as a red herring. It’s a moment when the veil between worlds is lifted.

    But yes, it does mean all the bad things on the island really happened. I think they did. I don’t see purgatory as a waiting room, though, where they’re hanging around waiting to relive those terrible things. It’s where they get a sort of do-over, a chance to make better choices (more on that in a second, in connection with Melanie’s comments). But the reliving the island events that happens when they reconnect—I saw that as the old “life flashing before your eyes” thing, only delayed until the end of purgatory time instead of happening at the moment of death.

    OK, backing up to earlier comments. Jacki, the polar bears were (I’m pretty sure?) part of a Dharma experiment. After Ben & The Others massacred the Dharma folks, the bears escaped. Or maybe they escaped at some other point. But anyway, it was Dharma that brought them to the island.

    As for the fantasy element of the island—time-skipping, healing, smoke monster, etc—well, yeah, it’s a very special place. 🙂 It’s got supernatural properties, as befits a place that serves as the cork to hell.

    Jack’s ex-wife (in the real reality, not purgatory) went on to have her real, regular life. She wouldn’t have shown up in Jack’s end-of-purgatory meeting room because she wound up not being one of the most significant people/experiences in his life. But he might have seen her in heaven (along with his mother and other folks who didn’t enter through that particular gate).

    Melanie, my take on whether the sideways stuff “really happened” is largely influenced by that Locke line Jacki mentioned. I was lying in bed for over an hour last night pondering that part!! Locke told Jack “you don’t have a son.” So I take it that Jack DIDN’T have a son in “real” (earthly) life. In his purgatory experience, he did. And I hear you on purgatory also having a kind of temporalness (now I’m just making up words—what’s the one I mean? it has TIME) and being “real” experiences in the sense that the choices the characters make, during their purgatory time, have real impact on outcomes (i.e. being “ready” to enter heaven). But not “real” in the sense that Jack has a real son waiting to meet him in heaven. I think Jack’s purgatory son was to help him understand the difficulties of the father/son relationship, in order to help him forgive his own father, and forgive himself for what he dd to his dad.

    BUT—none of that explains what effect of the bomb was, so I concede that your take might make more sense! Not that our takes are that far off. But I don’t think Jack had a real son in the afterlife.

  24. MelanieB says:

    Maybe “it worked” wasn’t a red-herring at all but an indication of how we are to read the relationship between the bomb and the sideways time line. Why not read its repetition by Juliet at the vending machine as an indication that somehow her sacrificial action in detonating the bomb was instrumental in creating this place where they are able to be reunited? Certainly redemptive sacrifice has been a major theme of the show. I think what all the convoluted alternate timelines do is buy a way for multiple characters to save the world– or at least each other– through selfless action. Everyone gets to be the hero. Thus both Desmond and Jack must descend into the hole in order for the monster to be slain and the world to be saved. Hurley and Jack both must drink the cup and become the guardian.

    I think the sideways timeline is more than just a waiting area. The characters aren’t passive there but are actively engaged with each other. I think it’s somehow a secondary space for them to refine and reflect on the rough lessons the learned on the island. A sort of finishing school perhaps.

  25. MelanieB says:

    Lissa, we were both responding at the same time and in similar vein.

    I’m sort of glad to know I’m not the only one who couldn’t sleep after watching this. Or who’s had a less than stellar mom day. (Though I did make a huge effort to get us all outside. We planted seeds and weeded the garden with all three kids helping me. So there was that.)

    I hadn’t really thought about Locke’s “You don’t have a son” line. For whatever reason it didn’t jump out at me. I’m going to have to ponder that. Maybe re-watch the scene. My first gut reaction is to wonder how much of an authority Locke is and can I just explain it away. Because I really, really liked Jack’s son and I’ve got amazing skills of denial.

  26. Melissa Wiley says:

    OK, I’m going to have to write another post. My brain is going to explode. As I think through all this, I am more and more inclined to think they got the ending RIGHT. (I just still really really want an epilogue showing Hurley & Ben getting Desmond home.)

    See, I do think it ended the exact right way—Jack’s eye closing, his death, the plane overhead. That was pitch perfect. And since the events I still crave resolution for (Desmond, Kate/Claire/Aaron, Hurley & Ben as island protectors) come, chronologically (in real/earth time) AFTER Jack’s death, we couldn’t see them in this series.

    (And of course we don’t necessarily have to SEE those events because we can imagine them. I just really really really wanted to see them.)

    As I think through this & talk it over with Scott, I’m back to agreeing with the reaction I had halfway through last night—that the sideways timeline was going to turn out to be denouement, and was therefore a brilliant idea, allowing us to see how things turn out without there having to three or four episodes following the climax. I mean, it took Tolkien a whole book to wind up LOTR to our satisfaction. It would have been horrible not to know what happened when the hobbits got back to the Shire. And the LOST characters: we *needed* to see them resolve the critical issues each of them was wrestling with for six years.

    What’s fascinating, and growing on me, is the choice to resolve those issues 1) in the afterlife! and 2) to do it slowly, gradually, during the course of this whole season—out of sequence, really. (Which of course works fine with the wonky way we’ve flashed back and forth in time all along.)

    Last night it felt like a cheat. Today, as I think back through what each of the characters actually accomplished in purgatory (now that I know, or am at least reasonably certain I know, that’s what/when it was), I’m seeing how I did in fact get the resolution I craved—I just need to reassemble the pieces.

    (MOST of the resolution I craved. Because I cannot bear the notion that Desmond didn’t get back to Penny and Charlie in the real world. And now we’ll never know. Except that their flash-of-reconnection didn’t include any hint of their being together again. Sob!)

    Anyway, I need to keep thinking/writing about the purgatory arcs. The critical choices they made that served as their do-overs. For Kate, definitely it was the going back for Claire. That compromised her own safety/freedom and she wound up getting caught because of it. For Jack, the choosing to start over with his son—but I need to rewatch those episodes to remember exactly when the critical moment of choice was.

    Sawyer, I think, made the right choice even before we picked up on his purgatory storyline. He became a cop instead of a con. He put bad guys away instead of putting on their skin.

    Locke. His choice was to forgive himself, I think. But need to think about that more.

    Ben, as I already said, sacrificed an chance to seize power. BUT —oh, interesting! I just realized—I’m not sure he still needed to ‘right that wrong’ in purgatory, because he made a good, right, selfless choice during a critical moment in the real world—on the island, when Jack appointed Hurley his successor. There was real pain on Ben’s face: “Why not me?” But he didn’t say it, nor act out of that sense of aggrieved hunger for what he felt he ‘deserved.’ He always wanted to be special, and was so often passed over, and here was another time where someone didn’t even CONSIDER offering him the job. I was holding my breath, waiting for him to attack Hurley, or seize the water bottle and gulp it himself. I thought he was going to be a Gollum. But he wasn’t. He accepted that Hurley was the right person for that role. He humbly and gratefully accepted the #2 position. And Hurley told him, after death, that he did a good job!

    So it’s interesting that he was still working out that issue in the next life.

  27. Jennifer says:

    Lost, in general, was a bad parenting experience ’round here. “Mommy just wants to watch ONE HOUR of television a week!!! Is that too much to ask?” This is a fun conversation. I agree with Melanie (on her blog) that it was emotionally satisfying even if not everything adds up exactly.

  28. Melissa Wiley says:

    Now that I’ve got a good chunk of writing out of my system, I can go read Melanie’s post & others! I needed to think out loud a bit first.

  29. SteveB says:

    big rip off not getting to see desmond and penny reunite….but suddenly realized, since both shows have taught us that there are no coincidences, that i’m fully expecting desmond to show up on the finale of flash forward to bring Olivia Benford home.

  30. MelanieB says:

    re: Desmond. His/Libby’s boat is right there. Jack and Kate took it to the other island. (In fact I think that’s why they took that boat, to remind us of Desmond’s way off.) All Ben and Hurley have to do is take him over in one of those handy outriggers that are all over the place and pack him off back to Penny. So for me just the recognition of the presence of the boat gave me the payoff I needed.

    I agree about Ben’s willingness to take the #2 spot was redemptive. That crumpled little-boy look on his face when Jack offered the protectorship to Hurley was so piercing.

    Ben also had that moment of throwing himself in front of the tree to save Hurley. That was a minor grace note but somehow it seemed really necessary to have all the Losties struggling to free Ben from that fallen tree.

    For Locke I think it was forgiving himself, yes. But also admitting he needed help, allowing Jack to perform that operation that he’d been resisting. Remember his early refrain: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” Being vulnerable and allowing Jack to fix him was a major concession of weakness and brokenness. (And how Christian is that? We have to admit we need a savior!)

    I think the assembling the pieces method of storytelling really satisfies something in me. I watched Memento and Pulp Fiction and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind over and over precisely because I get hooked on the process. Hmmm…. might be why I loved Eliot’s The Waste Land so much as well. (That was almost the title of my blog, by the way, but for the fact that it was already taken.)

  31. SteveB says:

    one thing that hit me, though, would be comparing last night’s end with the end of the narnia series, when they head off to aslan’s country.

  32. MelanieB says:

    Oh and Richard Alpert. He had the perfect grace note which suggested an entire future for him: when Miles pulls the gray hair. He’s now aging again and will live out his natural lifespan and eventually die. This makes him exclaim that he wants to live again. Life without the hope of moving on is not worth living; but when there is that hope he can face day to day existence again.

    And isn’t that why Jacob’s brother/the smoke monster is so angry? He’s dead but not dead. He’s stuck on the island and can’t move on. There is no possibility of redemption or an afterlife for him.

  33. Melissa Wiley says:

    Steve, yes, ‘higher up and further in’ was on my mind through that whole bit.

    Melanie, OH THAT’S RIGHT about the tree—I forgot about it this morning, but I loved that last night. And thanks for pointing out about all the Losties working together to save Ben.

    Desmond has a boat. I feel better now.

  34. MotherReader says:

    The effect of the bomb in the Purgatory idea (which is what I meant by “waiting room” and I think the phrase was used in the episode) is possibly nothing at all. Meaning, the bomb going off was “the Incident” referred to in Darma lore – the one that required a containment protocol for all time afterward. So it goes to the concept that they can’t change the past, because it already happened – and always happened with them in it setting off the bomb and creating “the Incident.”

    But the bomb did throw them back in the correct year – not the 1970’s. I suppose it’s possible that it created the Purgatory/waiting room reality, though that’s far from clear.

    You’re right that the line isn’t a red herring, more like a false trail for me, because it appeared to verify that the bomb going off did change the past and set off a parallel reality where they never experienced the island. It’s only in the last few minutes of the show that we learn that isn’t the case, which is a big twist.

    I saw a great article on the episode from LA Times. Linked to it on Facebook. The idea is that the show was never so much about the answers than the questions.

  35. Melissa Wiley says:

    I loved the gray hair bit, too. Richard’s joy.

    About the smoke monster: he wasn’t really Jacob’s brother, right? He was an evil force that gained mobility when Jacob killed his brother, thus giving him access to a body.

  36. Melissa Wiley says:

    Pam, re the show more about questions than answers—that was something that worried me, heading into the fifth season. JJ Abrams gave a talk at TED a couple of years ago. He brought out this box wrapped in brown paper with question marks on it. Said he’d bought it at a magic store as a kid—a mystery box—you bought it without knowing what was inside it.

    And he never opened it.

    For him, its value WAS the mystery, the questions, the sense of infinite possibility.

    When I heard that, I told Scott: I am suddenly very worried about how this series is going to end. I want ANSWERS, and I’m afraid they’re not going to be inclined to give them to me.

    I’m actually kind of relieved we got as many answers as we did.

    Still so much unknown, though. The backstory of the boys’ foster mother and the other people on the island. The fertility goddess statue. Smokey’s origin. (Jacob’s brother transformed? Or Jacob’s brother’s body taken over by something else?) The stone & hole themselves—who built them?

  37. Melissa Wiley says:

    I don’t think the bomb created the purgatory reality because I think the heavy church imagery at the end suggests a pretty traditional conception of purgatory. (Although, erm, a great deal less fire in the purging. Emotional fire, I suppose.)

    Oh my gosh—I just realized—this purgatory is really one big GROUNDHOG DAY. (A movie I adore, btw.) That connection has been gnawing at me all day!

    But you & Melanie are right, the bomb bumped the Losties back to the right time period. That’s what I was missing. Thanks.

  38. MelanieB says:

    Steve, I definitely thought of the Last Battle connection.


    Abrams’ TED talk about the mystery box worried us too. Domn’s the kid who opens the box as soon as it comes in the mail. Forget about delayed gratification of actually waiting for Christmas. I’m somewhere in between. I can handle some unanswered questions but not all. Maybe knowing about the mystery box in advance sort of prepared me to not get all the answers so I came into it with deliberately reduced expectations as to having all revealed.

  39. MelanieB says:

    I thought the smoke monster wasn’t really Jacob’s brother when we saw Jacob bury his brother’s body. Then I started to think he really was supposed to be the brother. I’ll have to go back and review the last two episodes to see what data suggested that because I can’t remember it all. The big one, though, was that the recap before the finale referred to him as Jacob’s brother. I’m assuming what the narrator tells us in the recap is supposed to be canonical.

  40. Melissa Wiley says:

    Mm, I missed the recap. Interesting.

    I thought they left it ambiguous, but I thought Jacob killed his brother (though it was a clumsy and unclear bit of storytelling) and the smoke monster swooped in—or maybe even *came to be* as a result of the fratricide so near the source. (Broken heart of the island?)

    But it’s fuzzy. He used Locke’s body and other bodies to ambulate in human form. But Jacob saw him as his brother—and if Smoke Thing was just borrowing the form, why would he borrow other forms? (Oh, wait—to achieve some kind of result with people who knew those forms. The Losties knew Locke & had more reason to trust him than some stranger.)

    But I need to rewatch, too. Too much to hold in one head.

  41. Mary-LUE says:

    This has been such a fun comment thread to read. My husband watched a few eps recently and the finale but didn’t see enough to be interested in this debrief of it. My son, who watched the series all along, became disenchanted with it this season and would not be interested in the depth of the story/character analysis here. It’s like a breath of fresh air for me!

    I will add to Melissa’s comment about Jack’s choice being the cop before the con. I also think he had a choice to make when he let his partner know his story. He revealed himself to his partner in a way he hadn’t with anyone before. I think that was another significant choice for him.

  42. MelanieB says:

    The recap was quite handy in helping me get some of the arcs straight in my head.

    I agree even with the recap that it’s hazy, though.

    Well Jacob did bury his brother’s body. Remember, we found out that the “Adam and Eve” skeletons from the caves in the first season were the foster mother and he brother. So the smoke monster was using his form and Locke’s and others’ but his corporality whatever that was is somehow separate from that of the corpse. That’s why I was initially leaning toward the demon theory. A sort of Pandora’s box. If he is the brother, then it’s as a “lost soul”.

    I agree the forms seem to e chosen for their utility. But he (it?) also did seem to have an affinity for Locke as well.

  43. Theresa says:

    I think the smoke monster was definitely Jacob’s brother. If you recall he said that he used to be human, have a body, etc, but that Jacob took it, (“my humanity”) from him.
    Coming in late to this convo, but enjoying it. I found the ending to be very satisfying. Though, like you I would loved to have seen more of the “what happened next” I also realize that we saw what was really important-the true resolutions to the character arcs. We can assume much of the rest. I have to admit, though, watching Jack die really tore me up. Much more than I thought it would. I kept hoping he’d pull through somehow.

  44. Melissa Wiley says:

    More questions. Whose bones were outside the cave?

    I’m not clear on what happened when the cork was removed. Did the Light drain away? Or disappear because the water stopped flowing? And it seemed there was smoke/something (white smoke) coming out of the hole.

    In the episode with young Jacob, the foster mother says the Light is the Source, and there’s a little of that light in everyone, and some people try to get more of it (I think she put it like that was a bad thing). And going into the cave would make something very bad happen (a fate worse than death)—which IS what happened when Jacob pushed his brother into the cave. Being Smokey is a fate worse than death.

    Mother said if the light goes out in the Heart of the Island, it goes out everywhere. But that wasn’t exactly true—at least, it didn’t happen instantaneously. Things started to crumble (literally), but the Light didn’t “go out” in anyone.

    What is the connection between the Light in the cave and the Light shining through the door to Heaven? Same light, presumably?—that is, the same “Source”?

    I need to revisit the episode where Jacob explained the cork-in-the-bottle thing. He made it sound like what was inside the bottle was evil, and the Island was the cork holding it in place. After revisiting the Mother/twins episode, I see how differently Mother talked about it. But maybe I am misremembering what Jacob said then.

  45. Theresa says:

    Well, we don’t really know what would have happened if Jack had not got that cork back in on time. Certainly something very bad was happening and re-corking it stopped it.
    And the light did go out for Smokey–or at least he was made mortal, giving Jack (and Kate) a chance at killing him. Sp perhaps that was a taste of things to come if the cork was not re-stoppered.
    As far as the source goes–could be the source of both good and evil, depending on how it is used. Sort of like “the force” in Star Wars.

  46. Theresa says:

    My take on the skeletons at the source was that we do not know who they were, just there to imply that others had tried to reach the source, but did not survive. This is why Desmond was necessary to do the uncorking.He had that special ability to survive enormous amounts of electromagnetism.

  47. Jamie says:

    I don’t have time to read all your comments, but Melissa, I totally agree with all you wrote, feeling exactly the same way.

    One thing I just have such a hard time grasping is the “Lost Purgatory” is just not what I picture Purgatory being. It was too…nice.

    I want to know the why’s and when’s and all the details, I want to see their lives more too, but you know, that is how it will be when we die, we want to know so much, but at the time we actually die, none of it will matter.

    It’s also a genious media thing, I mean, with an ending like that, how many people will buy the series? Lots.

  48. Ellie says:

    To me, Desmond was a sort of demi-Angel, there to guide …

    I really loved this series, and I was not at all disappointed by the ending — very happy about that! lol For me, knowing that Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Lapidis, Claire, and Richard successfully left the Island, and knowing that Desmond was okay and had his boat and Hurley and Ben to help him leave; knowing that Hurley and Ben went on for some length of time on the Island … Oh, yes, that was good enough for me. I can write all manner of fictionaries in my head regarding Hurley’s life on the Island, and Kate and Claire and Sawyer. I feel they gave me enough to go on with …

    I think Aaron was a baby in the church because that’s who he was as part of the dreamscape, in order to help Kate and Claire and Charlie come to terms (come to the Light *smile*). Seems to me that many of them were not represented, in the church, as how they appeared at the times of their deaths.

    I think each of the Guardians will have their own relationship with the Island, with their place on it, with the LIght and their interpretations of their job, their responsibility etc. So I don’t think that Jacob or Brother or their foster mother (or the Faraday/Widmore clan, either!) had a corner on the market of completely understanding the Island and the Light. So we can only take their commentary as being representative of what that individual understood at the time.

    It’s a very special place, the Island (of course! *smile*), and what the residents do with their time there and with what is possible to do there is awfully important, I think, and not fixed, not bound in quite the way Jacob (for example) tried to make it. Or believed it had to be.

    Enough rambling for now. Thanks for the post, Lissa 🙂

  49. Sheila says:

    Halfway through I said to my husband “This is a Jacob’s Ladder!” Remember that film? I think that’s what the writers wanted to do, but they like confusing us, which is why there are no clear answers. As for the bomb going off, I’m reminded of a moment in a Doctor Who episode, where the Doctor tells some soon-to-be-killed-horribly space people that he can’t help them because their deaths are a “fixed point” in time. And he can’t change fixed points. I think the bomb was a fixed point, that had to happen for no good reason other than that it had to happen, which ever way it eventually occurred. It’s meant to BE, not meant to make sense.

    And I think the Island was Purgatory. I don’t think it was real per se; a reality for the dead but not for us in the living world. That’s why everything was sometimes so arbitrary and unexplained. Desmond was a sort of guiding angel, lost at sea long ago, with Penny after him on her endless & fruitless search. How she ended up in the church at the end is yet another mystery. Have you seen his YouTube compilations of brotha’s? Or Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘alternate endings’? My favourite is the first one (spoilers!).

  50. Melissa Wiley says:

    Mmm, Sheila, I think all the island stuff really had to have happened—or else there would be no bond between many of the people meeting up in the church at the end. Sayid wouldn’t have met Shannon, let alone been her soulmate. Ditto Claire & Charlie. If everyone died in the original plane crash, so that the whole six seasons took place in purgatory, it would mean all those relationships happened in the afterlife. As a story, it doesn’t make sense if the island events weren’t real (imo). The birth of Sun’s child in Korea; Sawyer sending money to his daughter via Kate; Claire’s mother coming to LA and discovering she had a grandson; and many other events that occurred off the Island—they wouldn’t be real either, if the Island was purgatory.

    I agree Desmond had a special guiding-angel role, by the end. He somehow got to be a steering force in the purgatory (sideways) experiences of the other characters. A lovely notion.

  51. Melissa Wiley says:

    Jamie, yes, the Lost purgatory is hardly a place of refining fire, eh? It’s more like a cross between the purgatory of Tolkien’s short story, “Leaf by Niggle” (a wonderful read, by the bye), and what Bill Murray went through (not after death) in Groundhog Day. A chance to do things all over again in a familiar world.

    Ellie, I loved your comments. Thank you. I have come around on the baby Aaron point! 🙂

  52. MelanieB says:

    I think Ellie is onto something about the guardians’ knowledge of what exactly the source is. Jacob is such a flawed character. he thinks he is good and that his mission is so important that he lets it twist him so that the end justifies all sorts of terrible means. And obviously the Mother was deeply flawed too. You wonder who passed on the role to her. It kind of felt like a Pandora’s box thing to me; but I haven’t thought all that through.

    I do wonder about the combination of water and light at the source and how it ties in with all the baptismal imagery throughout the series. Maybe something to tease out there?

    And re those final scenes with Jack Locke and Desmond and then Ben Hurley and Jack, I keep coming back to Frodo, Sam and Gollum at the Cracks of Doom.

    If I can somehow reconcile Pandora, baptism and the crack of doom, will I figure it out? Maybe there are more hints earlier that we missed because we didn’t know what we were looking for yet. We are so going to re-watch all the dvds. Soon.

  53. MelanieB says:

    Maybe the Heart of the Island is J.J. Abrams’ mystery box?

    Oh and I love the Leaf by Niggle comparison. Though Groundhog Day kind of works too. Loce both of those.

    Also, I’m so jealous of your plan to re-watch with Jane. How fun to be able to see the whole thing for the first time through her eyes!

  54. Hannah says:

    Haven’t read the comments exhaustively, but I’ll just chime in and say that I agree with you in feeling emotionally satisfied by the finale (MUCH more than I expected to, actually) but of course still having some gnawing questions that may resurface when we do a re-watch. I agree that some sort of epilogue would sure be nice. As in, what about Richard? I told my husband, “He’s never been on an airplane before!” What’s he going to do in the “real” world that he enters? What about Kate — will she go to jail for violating her parole? Or will she and Claire raise Aaron as dual mommies (how confusing for him)! Will Sawyer reconcile with Cassidy? How long did Hurley and Ben tend the island and from what did they have to protect it? How did they get Desmond back to the “real” world with Penny — did they use the frozen donkey wheel? etc. etc. etc. I guess it’s all left up to our imaginations!

  55. MotherReader says:

    I can answer a couple of those questions. Richard has been off the island on behalf of the others. He visited Locke as a child and recruited Juliet – so he’d be fine in the real world. I think that Desmond could get back to Penny on the boat that was still on the other island. As for what happens with the rest – we’ll never know.

  56. Ellie says:

    I have this vision of Kate and Sawyer starting over in Australia, close to Claire and Aaron (and Claire’s mother). Hurley, as the new Guardian with Ben as #2 has access to all manner of things — money, passports, etc as well as the power of the Island itself, which the Guardian seems to have some ability to manipulate. And Ben has the knowledge and experience to be the facilitator between Island/Hurley and the world, so I could see Hurley being able/moved to help those who were able to leave.

    Just rambling thoughts really …

    And, it seems to me that the producers would easily be able to make a feature film now, of some adventure set during Hurley’s tenure as Guardian.

  57. Ellie says:

    Oh, yes, one other thought … Ben remained outside the church because he hasn’t yet forgiven himself. It is one thing to forgive others, and to accept the forgiveness of others — both, we are called to do, just as we are called to love one another. But, we also need to be able to love and forgive ourselves, and to accept in our hearts that we are beloved children of God.

    But I don’t think Ben has forgiven himself for Alex’s death. He’s just not there yet. He’s close though, look how near he is! And everyone who we saw there, in the pews … I think they’re waiting for Ben.

    I definitely want to go back and re-watch the entire series.

  58. Michelle says:

    I liked and disliked “The End”, but I am ok with it. The reunion I liked least was Sawyer and Juliet’s. Yes, it was emotional, but it felt rushed to me especially compared to the time given to the others. Also, the words she spoke were not in the same order as in “LA X”, because she said the coffee lines to Sawyer, but Miles had to tell him the “It worked” line. Call me nit-picky, but that set up the whole belief that the “flash-sideways” world to work as an alternate timeline.

    I think the flashes of realization had several layer of meaning to them. Not only showing the characters that they were dead and ready to move on, but also that they had overcome their flaws, not just in the “purgatory” time, but also while they were alive.

    I’m still digesting it all, but it has been fun. I can’t wait for my husband to start watching it, so we can talk about it!

    Thank you for thinking out loud here so we could chat.

  59. Beth says:

    Just saw the finale last night (always a couple of days behind with LOST) and am still processing. This post and the comment thread really help…you all are dealing with all the things I’m dealing with! I thought the finale included moments of lovely catharsis, but also ultimately did not feel totally satisfying, for all kinds of reasons. And you all are helping me think through why.

    One of the things I really want to understand (and still don’t) is Smokey. Melissa, you wrote: “About the smoke monster: he wasn’t really Jacob’s brother, right? He was an evil force that gained mobility when Jacob killed his brother, thus giving him access to a body.”

    I still don’t know. I went back and forth on this — was the Smoke Monster something simply released when Jacob acted in anger and threw his brother into the cave? We know it sometime wore his brother’s face, but it wore a lot of faces, including Locke’s in the end. But he never used the actual body of Jacob’s brother (which got buried in the Adam and Eve cave) or Locke (which got buried by Ben on the island). So how did Jacob killing his brother give the Smoke Monster “access” to the body? Why, for that matter, did it seem so important to Eloise and company to get Locke’s body back to the island – and did the proximity of Locke’s body enable the Monster to wear his visage?

    And what about poor Jacob’s brother — was his soul somehow caught up in the Smoke Monster, and seeking release? For a while I had that feeling (especially since they spent so much time on Jacob and his brother, and gave us sympathy for Jacob’s brother — his namelessness, his longing to leave, etc.) But if that was true, then I needed to see something happen when Fake Locke died to either indicate MIB’s soul was released or Smokey was finally destroyed or something. Instead we just see the broken body of Fake Locke — and I don’t even know how he got that body or what his death means. Temporary victory? Ultimate victory? If Smokey’s “gone” why do people have to continue to guard the cave? And if he’s not gone, what was the point in fighting against him for so long?

    Just lots of questions…

  60. Melissa Wiley says:

    Beth, after revisiting the episode about Jacob & his brother, I’ve come around to the theory expressed by Melanie above—that Smokey really was Jacob’s brother, somehow transformed by entering the cave while still alive. In that episode, “Mother” says the Source is a place of birth, death, rebirth—and that entering it would mean a fate worse than death.

    I like Ellie’s take— that all of the guardians of the Source are flawed and lacking, to various degrees, full knowledge and understanding of what exactly it is. (Mother, Jacob, even Jack & Hurley—look at how little Hurley knows when he is made a guardian.) So Mother’s explanation about the fate worse than death has to be taken with grains of salt.

    But certainly, becoming an evil smoke demon would be a fate worse than death.

    As (I think) Melanie (or Pam? Theresa?) pointed out, the Man in Black said he had been human once & Jacob had changed that. (Of course, we know he also tells lies. So does Jacob.)

    Mother was guarding the cave before there was a Smokey. Guarding it from the wickedness of men, she implied—men who would perhaps try to go in and capture its power, and maybe turn into Smokies? But we don’t know anything about why she believed that, or how she became a guardian, or what happened to scare her so deeply that she would murder to protect it.

  61. Melissa Wiley says:

    Oh, and I do think Smokey needed Locke’s body on the Island in order to assume his form, and he wanted Locke specifically because he was an influencer of other Losties & Others. When Ben arranged for the Oceanic Six (and Locke’s corpse) to return, wasn’t he acting under what he thought was Jacob’s orders, but was really Smokey? (Something else I’ll have to revisit. Foggy memory.)

    And all I can remember about Eloise’s motivation is that she was maybe trying to change history so that she wouldn’t kill her own son.

  62. Melissa Wiley says:

    Oh, and I wasn’t at all convinced Smokey/Locke was really dead either! I mean, by the end I took it on faith that he was, but I wasn’t certain just because he was shot & broken on the rocks. Heh. I would have liked some visual confirmation that the Smoke desmokified.

    So his death means victory over the danger of that evil escaping the island (or presumably even worse: destroying the island altogether, as he was bent on doing by the end). But the danger that preceded him—the danger of men misusing the Source—the danger that directed Mother’s actions, and then Jacob’s—that danger still exists.

  63. Melissa Wiley says:

    A comment from my hubby:

    re: not being sure whether or not Smokey had really left Locke—not sure where I read it, but I loved how someone pointed out that Jack kicked him off the ledge and killed him…but even then, even after being kicked off the ledge, he hit and got stuck on a rock below. Even in death he couldn’t leave the island.

  64. MelanieB says:

    re Smokey desmokified: I thought we were given a confirmation that he was no longer smokey, so to speak, by the very fact that he could now be hurt whereas before he’d been impervious to bullets and the like. Didn’t he also verbally confirm to Jack that it seems he was right? which I took to mean Jack’s promise to kill him… somehow.

  65. MelanieB says:

    “Even in death he couldn’t leave the island.”

    Wow! Great point.

  66. Melissa Wiley says:

    I think I took it that the temporary quenching of the Source rendered Smokey mortal/vulnerable again (and Jack too), but he didn’t stop being evil. Seems like if the reset had desmokified Brother, he would have stopped trying to kill everyone—he would have been happy to be HIMSELF again. Maybe?

    So…(thinking this through) it was the ritual of the water-drinking that conferred immortality, and it was that part that was reversed when Desmond pulled the plug. Smokey became mortal, but he was still evil. Jack remained mortal even after he restored the plug to its place. It was the pseudo baptism (with eucharistic overtones, since the water was drunk instead of poured over) that imparted immortality, and that’s what Smokey lost when the Source was drained.

    Sad that he couldn’t have gotten his soul back along with his mortality.

  67. Jo says:

    Lissa, about Aaron being a baby? I think everyone was in the church at the same age they were while on the island. (which was quite handy with the actors who were available) Not sure if i might have skimmed over someone else coming up with that in the overwhelming number of comments above. LOL

  68. Beth says:

    Good stuff on Smokey, and helpful.

    I think I was maybe too influenced by Doc Jensen’s idea that Mother’s “fate worse than death” line (about going into the cave) was based on experience. He speculated that perhaps she had been Smokey herself, that she was in fact both Island Guardian *and* Smokey, but split the job between her two sons. Highly speculative that. It seemed to make sense when I first read it, but don’t know how I feel about it now. 🙂

    But I think it makes sense to say that the guardians don’t have much of a clue really (any more than the rest of us, even the show’s writers!?) what the cave was fully about. Witness the fact that Jack, Flocke and Desmond all had very different ideas/hopes about what might happen when they went inside. And isn’t it interesting that none of them “became Smokies” — well, Flocke already was (and the effect of Desmond unplugging the light made him mortal again, hence killable). I think what protected Jack and Desmond was not their knowledge, but their love and willingness. They weren’t going into the cave in an attempt to grab or exploit what they found there, but to serve others.

    Makes you wonder who was most responsible, originally, for the formation of MIB/Smokey — Jacob, for throwing his brother down the cave in anger and vengenance, MIB for having the kind of grasping? exploitative? soul that could either be wrapped in Smokiness or malevolently transformed by it, Mother for setting her boys against each other and for passing on violent ways…and of course ultimately, whatever evil was lurking in the heart of the cave to begin with.

  69. MelanieB says:

    Well now I wonder if the evil was in the smoke or already present in the soul of the MIB. Or rather was there something about the MIB that opened himself up to the evil of the smoke? In the same way that a person who is possessed has usually done something to allow evil a foothold. Playing with tarot or ouija boards or mediums is often associated with possession.

    I’m also curious about the smoke’s affinity for Locke. Was that something that Locke also had in some degree? Both had that need for autonomy and control, in Locke’s case there was a prioritizing of answers over people. Though of course Locke does escape with his soul, even though he was almost a suicide.

    There’s a thought: Did Ben in killing Locke save his soul by preventing his suicide? And for that matter was Ben planning to kill Locke all along or was it suggested by what Locke said about Eloise Hawking?

  70. Tracey says:

    I so enjoyed this discussion! Re: Juliet and the bomb. My take on it is as she entered the ‘light’ she had a vision of meeting Sawyer in front of a vending machine. It could be that she thinks the bomb really has kept them from crashing because she is ‘meeting’ Sawyer in a foreign context. Another view is that she is talking about the candy bar (I think she actually says, ‘It worked’ when Sawyer unplugs the machine and the chocolate bar falls out). Regardless, a clever way to keep the audience speculating throughout the season.

  71. Melissa Wiley says:

    Look, ya’ll, A LOST cartoon. This made me so ridiculously happy just now. 🙂

  72. Melissa Wiley says:

    Melanie, maybe it was because the MIB had just killed Mother. He was thrust into the Source with an unrepented mortal sin? (Not that I really think the show was working that closely to Catholicism—I think it borrowed elements from various belief systems to stitch together a big thick patchwork quilt of spirituality.)

    But maybe that’s why Desmond and Jack weren’t transformed. Desmond was pure of heart, and all Jack’s sins had been absolved, or counterbalanced, or something, by his willingness to accept the role of Protector—the sacrifice he was willing to make.

  73. Melissa Wiley says:

    Oh, and what an excellent metaphysical riddle you’ve posed there re Locke maybe being better off b/c of what Ben did!

  74. Madame says:

    I love these posts. Thanks for shedding light on one of my favorite shows of all time. I enjoy reading everyone’s posts and look forward to your thoughts as you rewatch the series. I am rewatching over the summer. As a teacher, I have the time.