As we draw this story to a close, I'm of extremely mixed feelings. I'm sad that a great show is ending. I'm happy that a source of carpal tunnel syndrome is ending ( I mean, have you ever tried to have a recap and review up on a website twenty minutes after watching it? Ouch!) I have realized that like in life, LOST has illustrated that although I've wanted answers throughout this show, finding the answers means that The End is near. And so it is.
As Christian Shephard's casket pulls into LAX, we see all the Losties and their parallel lives. Desmond takes delivery of the coffin and then gets in a car with Kate. She asks him who he is and what he wants. Desmond explains that he's her friend and he wants to leave….
Hurley and Sayid go to pick up Charlie, who has a bad attitude.
Miles, at the Widmore benefit concert, spots Sayid and Hurley and calls Sawyer
While Juliet gives Sun an ultrasound, the Kwons both experience a flashback to the island, including their deaths. They regain their ability to speak English (transferred across timelines), much to Juliet's surprise.
Jack and John share a bit before he puts Locke under the knife to fix his back. Jack gives the concert tickets to Juliet, who he was married to-- the mother of his son.
Sayid asks Hurley what they are doing. Hurley won't tell him. A fight ensues in the alley, Sayid jumps in to rescue a damsel in distress… who turns out to be Shannon. Boone and Hurley had set it up.
At the concert, Juliette gets a page from the hospital, while Charlotte Lewis wakes Charlie and meets Daniel. Charlie sees Claire from across a crowded room. Claire staggers off to find a bathroom, she has apparently gone into labor. Kate follows her to help. While helping Claire to deliver, they flash sideways as well. Charlie brings her a blanket, and flashes sideways, too.
In the hospital, Jack has finished with John, who is nearly immediately able to move his toes… and as he does so he flashes sideways and remembers everything. Jack has manifested a cut on his neck that he sustained in the dramatic cliff fight in the other timeline, but he has yet to 'flash'.
Sawyer (Detective Ford) tries to put the Kwans into protective custody, which amuses them to no end, as he hasn't flashed yet.
Sawyer and Juliette encounter each other at the recalcitrant candy machine, and flash on each other and immediately commence to snogging.
Jack finally shows up at the concert, and Kate greets him. She puts her hands on his face and he flashes, partially. She beckons him to come along…
… to the Lampost station, inside the Church. John and Ben meet outside the Church. Ben apologizes for killing him, and John forgives him. Hurley comes out of the Church and tells Ben that he was a great 'Number two', Ben tells Hugo that he was a great 'Number one'.
Jack goes into the Church and finds his father's coffin empty. Christian appears behind him. After a moment, Jack realizes that he's dead. He and Christian go out into the Church, where the main characters have gathered to 'move on'. Even though they all died at separate times, since there is no 'now' in the afterlife, they can all gather before they walk into the light.
Sawyer asks Jack what happened… Jack explains to the rest what Jacob told him. It seems that everything hinges on grabbing Desmond. Sawyer goes off to the well to find Desmond, the rest head to the heart of the island.
Hurley has a bad feeling about this.
Smokey McLocke and Ben capture Sawyer rather easily. Sawyer escapes just as easily, giving Ben his 64th bloody nose since the series began. Sawyer knows that Smokey needs Desmond to destroy the island… but splits before Locke spots dog tracks.
Desmond has been rescued by Rose and Bernard. They broke their non interference vow to pull him out of the well. Vincent the Dog, however, unwittingly leads McLocke and Ben to their lovely little hut. Some arm twisting occurs, and Desmond goes with Locke.
Miles finds Alpert, alive. Richard has admirable focus: After an encounter with the Smoke monster, he still wants to blow up the Ajira plane.
Sawyer rejoins Jack, Kate and Hurley and informs them of Smokey's plan. Jack seems relatively unconcerned.
Miles and Richard paddle off to Hydra Island to blow up the island, and pick up Lapidus who has somehow survived. Lapidus isn't crazy about their whole 'blow up the plane' idea, and reasons that Smokey won't have a plane if they take it first.
Team Locke runs into Team Jack. Smokey dismisses Jack as the obvious choice to replace Jacob, Jack says that he wants to travel with Locke, through the bamboo forest and to the cave of light… and then Jack will kill Smokey. How? It's a surprise.
The group gets to the bamboo forest, and Jack, Smokey and Desmond head into it alone. They approach the cave of light. Desmond tells Jack about the sideways timeline and that they can all be happy. Jack has learned that there are no shortcuts, and that everything matters. They lower Desmond into the cavern of light and argue about old times, reminiscing about Locke and the hatch. Jack expresses regret that he didn't have the chance to tell Locke that he was right while he was alive. McLocke disagrees… but then of course, he would.
Desmond reaches a pool of water where the light is brightest, surrounded by sarcophagi and bodies. With lightning flashing about him, he moves a stone in the middle of the pool. The light goes out, and Desmond screams. McLocke believes that he has won, but on the way out of the cave, Jack punches Smokey… and draws blood! Stunned, Smokey hits Jack with a rock and stumbles off into the forest.
The forest, meanwhile, is trying to tear itself apart along with the rest of the island. Ben is pinned under a large tree. While the others try to rescue him, Miles and Lapidus are trying to put the plane back together.
Jack reconfronts Lock in the pouring rain on the rocks outside the candidate cave. Mighty fighty-ness ensues. Jack gets stabbed, badly and is on the loosing end of the fight when Kate shoots Locke. He pushes Locke over the cliff, and the storm stops… but the earthquakes continue. Jack knows that he has to go put the rock back where it belongs back in the cave of not-so-much light. He tells Sawyer and Kate to head for the plane over on Hydra island, while Ben, Hurley and he head for the cave.
When they arrive at the cave, Hurley realizes that Jack will not survive what he has to do. Jack agrees and tells Hurley that he's the one who should be taking care of the island. He was only 'Jacob' for the length of time that he had to be to accomplish this, but as a caretaker, Hurley is a better choice. They do the water ceremony, and Jack goes down the hole. He finds Desmond, who is very disappointed that he didn't go into the other reality. Jack finds out what he needs to do, and tells Desmond that he'll 'see him in another life'.
Lapidus, Miles and Alpert finish up on the plane and fire it up. Kate, Sawyer and Claire barely make the flight, which according to the conventions of the genre nearly doesn't get off the ground.
Jack struggles to put the 'stopper' back in the pool. He achieves this, but the stopper doesn't stop things…. immediately. A trickle of water turns into a deluge, the fires of hell turn to light and Jack laughs as the pool turns into a well of light.
Hurley reluctantly takes on the responsibility of protecting the island, but asks for Ben's help to get started.
Jack stumbles out of the creek that leads into the cave, hurting but surprisingly not dead yet. He stumbles through the bamboo forest to the spot where he landed after the original crash of flight 815. He lies down, and Vincent pads out to comfort him. In a mirror image from the opening seconds of the beginning episode, the camera focuses on his closing eye as the plane carrying Kate, Sawyer and the others heads for the sky.
A good story, well told.
I'm sure that the ending is going to cause much debate, and much misunderstanding, even though it was pretty clear to me. It all happened, it was all real. The flash sideways was a sort of afterlife, until they were ready to move to the 'real thing'. They all died at different times, as Christian Shephard says, 'Now' is meaningless.
All stories end in death. Everybody dies.
I liked the flashes- they were cool reminders of why we care about these characters and their relationships. And it seemed that it was important WHO triggered the flashes. Desmond knew all the time that there was a place where they could be with their loved ones… dare I call it Heaven? Then why did it look like a U.U. church?
Here at the 'bot we are going to do some more post-mortems ('scuse the pun) on the show, but for right now, I'm going to turn this loose to you, the brightest commenters on the web. I have some more thoughts, but we'll hit those a little later in the week.
What did you think?