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Lost - The Full Series Thread


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:unsure:

I can't believe the amount of whining towards Lost, as if some people were thinking that the finale would give all the answers. A whole bunch of people have willingly sat through 121 episodes of Lost, have been looking forward to the finale, only to tell it to sod off, the writers can go fuck themselves and the series was completely shit? Come on...if it was this bad, and so poorly written, why watch all 121 episodes? And surely, after watching 3, 4 or even 5 complete seasons of Lost, I simply can't believe anyone would think we'd get every mystery answered.

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:unsure:

I can't believe the amount of whining towards Lost, as if some people were thinking that the finale would give all the answers. A whole bunch of people have willingly sat through 121 episodes of Lost, have been looking forward to the finale, only to tell it to sod off, the writers can go fuck themselves and the series was completely shit? Come on...if it was this bad, and so poorly written, why watch all 121 episodes? And surely, after watching 3, 4 or even 5 complete seasons of Lost, I simply can't believe anyone would think we'd get every mystery answered.

I wasn't expecting EVERY mystery to get answered, I was expecting SOME answers. Instead all we got was an explaination of

what happened to the characters after they died

and the realisation that pretty much all of the 'mysteries' of the island weren't mysteries at all, but plot devices with no substance. As a viewer, why should I be happy with the answer to a mystery being 'just because.' I'm not saying the series was complete shit, obviously it wasn't, but a large number of people were kept watching on the promise that there would be some resolution to what exactly was going on. Most episodes ended on a cliffhanger that wasn't character based, it was mystery based, why shouldn't people expect some kind of an answer?

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I now know the ending to Ashes to Ashes thanks to this thread :unsure:

Yeah, I was thinking about watching that but thanks to the many spoilers i now know the ending. Can't put all the blame on this thread though, i've seen it on a few other websites comparing the two endings.

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I thought the ending was superb. I liked that instead of going answer crazy, they focused on resolving each characters storyline.

Apologies if this has been discussed, but I'm confused as to why michael didnt show up at the end.

I get michael was not there because of his sins, but in that case why were kimi (sp), ben, widmore and sayid all in the afterlife place?

All of whom have done much worse than michael, ben being the one who made michael do the things he did.

Claire too, killed that innocent guy in the jungle because she went mental about her kid.

Also if they were already dead, how was sayid still going around killing people? Where did they go after that? :unsure:

These are the only real things that confused me after the ending, other than just why MIB was meant to be evil.

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For all we know, perhaps the writers weren't even allowed to reveal more than they did, just in case Disney (or whoever else holds the rights) decides to milk the franchise to make some other stuff. I really hope we've seen all of Lost and the island, though. To me, demystifying it would take away a lot of the fun and excitement I've had over the last five years. I can understand why some are let down with the lack of explanations, but I don't understand those who think the lack of complete enlightenment renders Lost a waste of time and rubbish.

Some of my favourite movies, like Mullholland Drive and Eraserhead has a lot of WTF moments, and a lot of the mysteries of those films are still just that, a mystery. And I'm fine with it, just as I'm fine with all the weird shit that happened on the island.

I keep noticing a lot of people wanted an answer to what the origins\purpose of the statue was, and even the temple. I think it's widely accepted that the statue is\was egyptian, and if one can accept that, I don't really see the need for it explained any further. The egyptians raised nearly-impossible-to-make structures like the pyramids for their kings and queens and worshipped the sun as a god, so it's not really that far fetched to think they raised the statue to worship the seemingly magic energy on the island, an energy that was lifegiving. On the other hand, one could dive into egyptian mythology, read up on Anubis (which many thinks the Lost statue represent) and see that he is a god associated with mummification and the afterlife.

I'm happy to settle with the latter theory, and I don't need the writers to tell me that was their exact plan. Had they gone that route, to begin explaining the origins of the statue etc. we'd be waiting for another couple of seasons, and it would probably have been without any connection to "our" losties, so we'd sit around complaining that the writers had strayed too far off the original path instead.

Of all the mysteries given to us, there's only one I feel cheated by, and that's the Walt one. They made a great deal about him being special and important, the Others kidnapped him, he got rescued but they got him back, appearing before our losties, summoning rare birds, chatting with his dad on 70s computers from where ever and being able to go back to New York without making a media fuss?

What bothered me the most was the filler episodes, the Nicky and Paolo one in particular. That was screen time they could have dedicated for something fare more entertaining, or even useful, but those filler episodes are what I think was the most annoying aspect of the series.

I'm also a bit let down that we didn't get more background on the Degroots and Alvar Hanso, but hey, overall, Lost was a great journey to me, and I will forever cherish it as a highly original series that stood out in a time where series made for TV became more popular than movies.

Also if they were already dead, how was sayid still going around killing people? Where did they go after that? :unsure:

They didn't know they were dead, they had to be "awakened" to know. In the afterlife, they either continued doing what they were good at, or what they were always meant to do. Jack was a doctor in the real life and the after life, because he was good at it. Sawyer was a conman in the real life, but would've become a copper if he hadn't been stuck on the thought of seeking out revenge.

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I don't think MIB was particularly evil. Just that after 2000 years of being imprisoned on the island, of trying to find a loophole in Jacob's rules, of scanning and killing people who came to island, his moral compass was as warped as compasses on the island were. Like he said, he just wanted off the island and nothing was going to stop him doing that.

And to address the cabin - it was clearly another manifestation of Smokey, wasn't it. Ben even said in ep 16 that he thought he was summoning the monster, but that in fact it was controlling him. So if Ben was going to the cabin and speaking to someone, he was clearly speaking to smokey who was telling him what to do.

I watched the ending last night and I got all choked up again. I really felt for Jack at the end. His last faltering steps to where it all began, Vincent laying at his side, his last sight being of those he helped get off the island. All this intercut with his joy at being reunited with everyone in the church. Slightly mawkish it may have been, but after 6 seasons of being with these characters, I didn't mind that.

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Of all the mysteries given to us, there's only one I feel cheated by, and that's the Walt one. They made a great deal about him being special and important, the Others kidnapped him, he got rescued but they got him back, appearing before our losties, summoning rare birds, chatting with his dad on 70s computers from where ever and being able to go back to New York without making a media fuss?

What bothered me the most was the filler episodes, the Nicky and Paolo one in particular. That was screen time they could have dedicated for something fare more entertaining, or even useful, but those filler episodes are what I think was the most annoying aspect of the series.

In regards to Walt, it's well documented that the kid grew up and basically it would have looked silly to have the same actor lookign remarkably different every season so they cut him out of the story. I reckon that Walt was to be far more important if the show had only run for one season, but as it grew, they had to rethink his part in the story. I think Walt was going to be what Desmond turned out to be. Don't birds fly by some kind of magnetic pull, migrating and finding their way by it? If so, I would imagine that Walt was somehow special like Desmond turned out to be in regards to his immunity to electromagnetism. Or something.

As for the filler episodes, they had no idea when they were going to finish the story at that point. I think they made the ultimatum somewhere towards the end of season 3 to ABC that they were going to finish the story in three more seasons or they wouldn't do anything more. It's around that point, midway through season 3 that the main closing arcs start to appear.

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They didn't know they were dead, they had to be "awakened" to know. In the afterlife, they either continued doing what they were good at, or what they were always meant to do. Jack was a doctor in the real life and the after life, because he was good at it. Sawyer was a conman in the real life, but would've become a copper if he hadn't been stuck on the thought of seeking out revenge.

Yeah I understood that, but am still not sure why those people made it there, but michael didnt- when all were responsible for much worse things than michael.

In regards to Walt, it's well documented that the kid grew up and basically it would have looked silly to have the same actor lookign remarkably different every season so they cut him out of the story. I reckon that Walt was to be far more important if the show had only run for one season, but as it grew, they had to rethink his part in the story. I think Walt was going to be what Desmond turned out to be. Don't birds fly by some kind of magnetic pull, migrating and finding their way by it? If so, I would imagine that Walt was somehow special like Desmond turned out to be in regards to his immunity to electromagnetism. Or something.

That makes sense. Though didnt they address his aging, by moving the timeline forward 4 years (or something) during season 4 (when walt made breif appearances)?

They should really have resolved it then in some way.

RE:the MIB, its confusing as at points they hinted that if he got off the island it would be very bad for everyone...but never explained why.

So once he was introduced, it just seemed like he wasnt being in any way unreasonable in wanting to leave-as it was never explained why it was so important that he stay.

Why were they so determined to keep him on the island? If he's not evil why not just let him go, then all this trouble could've been avoided.

Although I think theres something I must've missed or have forgotten for that to not make sense :unsure:

That and the walt stuff could really have done with a decent resoloution.

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I think the implication from the finale was that the only way he could get off the island was to become mortal and to become mortal the island had to be switched off, so to speak (by removing the plug from the pool). This would be very bad for everyone in the world. Of course, the only way to destroy him was to make him mortal, which is why they needed desmond to remove the plug and then probably put it back again once the job was done.

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Would all the people who hated the magic cave have been happier if it was Captain Nemo what done it? The film with the giant crabs was even madder, but I bet nobody questions the logic of these two loosely-linked islands.

Sometimes with fantasy and sci-fi you have to accept what you're given and roll with it. If you start questioning it all in the minutest of details it's bound to fall apart a little, especially over the course of 120 episodes! Fuck, most fantasy/ Sci-Fi films can't keep it together for two hours.

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I think the implication from the finale was that the only way he could get off the island was to become mortal and to become mortal the island had to be switched off, so to speak (by removing the plug from the pool). This would be very bad for everyone in the world. Of course, the only way to destroy him was to make him mortal, which is why they needed desmond to remove the plug and then probably put it back again once the job was done.

Yeah, that makes more sense.

But in the show, once the plug was removed he became mortal, then once it was put back the island was fine. Why didnt they do that and let him go on his way. Sounds silly, but that seems like the obvious soloution :angry:

Although, its heavily implied that no one knows exactly what will happen- so I guess that explains that.

But eloise, and various people seemed to know what was going on (in season 4/5) and what needed to be done.....

Argh, my brain hurts and I'm now starting to pick at things that dont need picking at!

I actually love that its left us with a lot of mystery :unsure:

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If you start questioning it all in the minutest of details it's bound to fall apart a little, especially over the course of 120 episodes! Fuck, most fantasy/ Sci-Fi films can't keep it together for two hours.

That's what some Lost fans have been doing since season 1 though, with the audio samples, screencaps and Dharma logos on sharks. They've always taken that stuff further than the writers seemed to have intended to - with the fanbase they created a monster (lol) they couldn't control. Not that I've ever felt the need to examine everything that closely, but I can understand how people would be disappointed with the finale after being immersed in every detail of this story for years.

I think Michael had moved on after he told Hurley about the whispers, or after Hurley changed the rules to set everyone free or some shit.

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Yeah, that makes more sense.

But in the show, once the plug was removed he became mortal, then once it was put back the island was fine. Why didnt they do that and let him go on his way. Sounds silly, but that seems like the obvious soloution :angry:

Although, its heavily implied that no one knows exactly what will happen- so I guess that explains that.

But eloise, and various people seemed to know what was going on (in season 4/5) and what needed to be done.....

Argh, my brain hurts and I'm now starting to pick at things that dont need picking at!

I actually love that its left us with a lot of mystery :unsure:

Again, I'm theorising, but putting the plug back in could well have reverted him back to Smokey, only this time he had escaped the confines of the island. Would you want to run the risk of letting an unkillable smoke monster with no moral guidelines out into the world?

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i don't think people wanted everything answered, they wanted one question answered (which if it was done right would put everything else into context and make it make sense). "What is the Island"?

After building that up for six series, to not reveal it - is one of the biggest fuck U's in TV history. Its like building up to what is in the hatch, and then cutting away to something new and hope the audience forgets all about it.

I think it is VERY CLEAR that the island was originally conceived as Purgatory, and the Losties as Six Sense/"Nicole Kidman Other" like souls that were trapped between somewhere life and death - but had no idea. That was the twist. And the audience guessed it. They were also more successful than they imagined and had to make the series longer than planned.

The purgatory context for the island actually resolves a lot of the problems and mysteries of the first series (as it was originally conceived by JJ. Abrams to be a short run of 12 episodes). Thats why we were seeing there past lives flashbacks, thats why there was a list, and thats why the original others (prison wardens of this place) treated them with contempt. Thats why children were removed (because they were innocent souls). The only sinister things on the island were them and the security system - smoke monster. The losties had to come to terms with their past lives and then to move on.

The island itself was ancient and was a somewhere remote on earth that could only be reached through a bizarre bermuda triangle like set of co-ordinates. It was a place where life met death, and where the living that had made it to the island (dharma) could experiment. It was a place where the physical world broke down and provided clues to life's greatest mysteries. This was a place of legend and urban myth. Dharma were properly more scared of the supernatural losties than the other way round and the big thing the survivors would have to discover for themselves (that no-one could tell them) is that they were dead.

Jacob and his brother were purgatory's yin and yang guardians - that were forever stuck there. With one wanting desperately to pass from this place to the next existence and the other trying his best to make all that travelled through his island's confines understand why they were here.

You could argue that this is still all there in the writing. But by inventing the wanky conceit of an alt purgatory they effectively say the island doesn't matter and that the ALT is the important bit for the characters.

The finale was beautifully acted, written and directed. but it the lacked the balls of its conviction, and ultimate undoes a lot of the good the series had produced. The only people I suspect were really LOST, were the writers and producers of the show.

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Again, I'm theorising, but putting the plug back in could well have reverted him back to Smokey, only this time he had escaped the confines of the island. Would you want to run the risk of letting an unkillable smoke monster with no moral guidelines out into the world?

I did originally type something similar in my post, but then removed it for reasons unknown:D

Thats pretty puch the explanation I've gone for. It makes sense, but I do think it could've and should've been addressed more directly.

Even with just a line like what you've written :unsure:

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i don't think people wanted everything answered, they wanted one question answered (which if it was done right would put everything else into context and make it make sense). And that was "What is the Island"?

After building that up for six series, to not reveal it - is one of the biggest fuck U's in TV history. Its like building up to what is in the hatch, and then cutting away to something new and hope the audience forgets all about it.

I think it is VERY CLEAR that the island was originally conceived as Purgatory, and the Losties as Six Sense/Nicole Kidman Other like souls that were trapped between somewhere life and death. That was the twist.

This context for the island actually resolves a lot of the problems and mysteries of the first series (as it was originally conceived by JJ. Abrams to be a short run of 12 episodes). Thats why we were seeing there past lives flashbacks, thats why there was a list, and thats why the original others (prison wardens of this place) treated them with contempt. Thats why children were removed (because they were innocent souls). The only sinister things ton island were them and the security system - smoke monster. The losties had to come to terms with their past lives and then to move on.

The island itself was ancient and was a somewhere remote on earth that could only be reached through a bizarre bermuda triangle like set of co-ordinates. It was a place where life met death and where the living that had made it to the island (dharma) could experiment in a place where the physical world broke down and provided clues to life;s greatest mysteries. This was a place of legend and urban myth. Dharma were properly more scared of the supernatural losties than the other way round and the big thing the survivors would have to discover for themselves (that no-one could tell them) is that they were dead.

Jacob and his brother were purgatory's yin and yang guardians - that were forever stuck there. With one wanting desperately to pass from this place to the next existence and the other trying his best to make all that travelled through his island's confines understand why they were here.

You could argue that this is still all there in the writing. But by inventing the wanky conceit of an alt purgatory they effectively say the island doesn't matter and that the ALT is the important bit for the characters.

The finale was beautifully acted, written and directed. but it the lacked the balls of its conviction, and ultimate undoes a lot of the good the series had produced. The only people I suspect were really LOST, were the writers and producers of the show.

I can't understand how you've managed to put all that together about the island but can't make that last step to accepting the alt-reality was brought about because of the island, and very likely facilitated by it via Hurley. If there hadn't been an alt and they'd all 'moved on' from the beach at the end would that have been acceptable?

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I can't understand how you've managed to put all that together about the island but can't make that last step to accepting the alt-reality was brought about because of the island, and very likely facilitated by it via Hurley. If there hadn't been an alt and they'd all 'moved on' from the beach at the end would that have been acceptable?

yes because we would have known what the island was. That would have been dramatically satisfying.

the ALT circumnavigated the the island's meaning, and just turns it into a place where stuff happened. The important bit in the story is the ALT (as that's where the character's learnt to wake up). And we hadn't watched six series of that.

It actually takes any meaning or value away from the island.

"What is the island?" is the only question that needed answering.

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yes because we would have known what the island was. That would have been dramatically satisfying.

the ALT circumnavigated the the island's meaning, and just turns it into a place where stuff happened. The important bit in the story is the ALT (as that's where the character's learnt to wake up).

It actually takes any meaning or value away from the island.

What is the island is the only question that needed answering.

If there was no island they wouldn't have developed as characters, they would of just continued their unhappy/doomed life and wouldn't have met special people in their lives.

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i don't think people wanted everything answered, they wanted one question answered (which if it was done right would put everything else into context and make it make sense). "What is the Island"?

It was a magic island ffs, with a magic light in the middle is that not enough!! :unsure:

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Found a couple of good posts which for me sum up all that was right and wrong with the ending:

http://nyti.ms/9P96qP

http://designwoop.com/2010/05/lost-finale-explained-well/

The second linkis a very interesting read IMO, pasted below:

Lost Finale Explained Well!

This was posted by a Writer from Bad Robot that worked on lost (not by me in any way)…

First … The Island:

It was real. Everything that happened on the island that we saw throughout the 6 seasons was real. Forget the final image of the plane crash, it was put in purposely to f*&k with people’s heads and show how far the show had come. They really crashed. They really survived. They really discovered Dharma and the Others. The Island keeps the balance of good and evil in the world. It always has and always will perform that role. And the Island will always need a “Protector”. Jacob wasn’t the first, Hurley won’t be the last. However, Jacob had to deal with a malevolent force (MIB) that his mother, nor Hurley had to deal with. He created the devil and had to find a way to kill him — even though the rules prevented him from actually doing so.

Thus began Jacob’s plan to bring candidates to the Island to do the one thing he couldn’t do. Kill the MIB. He had a huge list of candidates that spanned generations. Yet everytime he brought people there, the MIB corrupted them and caused them to kill one another. That was until Richard came along and helped Jacob understand that if he didn’t take a more active role, then his plan would never work.

Enter Dharma — which I’m not sure why John is having such a hard time grasping. Dharma, like the countless scores of people that were brought to the island before, were brought there by Jacob as part of his plan to kill the MIB. However, the MIB was aware of this plan and interferred by “corrupting” Ben. Making Ben believe he was doing the work of Jacob when in reality he was doing the work of the MIB. This carried over into all of Ben’s “off-island” activities. He was the leader. He spoke for Jacob as far as they were concerned. So the “Others” killed Dharma and later were actively trying to kill Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and all the candidates because that’s what the MIB wanted. And what he couldn’t do for himself.

Dharma was originally brought in to be good. But was turned bad by MIB’s corruption and eventually destroyed by his pawn Ben. Now, was Dharma only brought there to help Jack and the other Canditates on their overall quest to kill Smokey? Or did Jacob have another list of Canidates from the Dharma group that we were never aware of? That’s a question that is purposley not answered because whatever answer the writers came up with would be worse than the one you come up with for yourself. Still … Dharma’s purpose is not “pointless” or even vague. Hell, it’s pretty blantent.

Still, despite his grand plan, Jacob wanted to give his “candidates” (our Lostaways) the one thing he, nor his brother, were ever afforded: free will. Hence him bringing a host of “candidates” through the decades and letting them “choose” which one would actually do the job in the end. Maybe he knew Jack would be the one to kill Flocke and that Hurley would be the protector in the end. Maybe he didn’t. But that was always the key question of the show: Fate vs Free-will. Science vs Faith. Personally I think Jacob knew from the beginning what was going to happen and that everyone played a part over 6 seasons in helping Jack get to the point where he needed to be to kill Smokey and make Hurley the protector — I know that’s how a lot of the writers viewed it. But again, they won’t answer that (nor should they) because that ruins the fun.

In the end, Jack got to do what he always wanted to do from the very first episode of the show: Save his fellow Lostaways. He got Kate and Sawyer off the island and he gave Hurley the purpose in life he’d always been missing. And, in Sideways world (which we’ll get to next) he in fact saved everyone by helping them all move on …

Now…

Sideways World:

Sideways world is where it gets really cool in terms of theology and metaphysical discussion (for me at least — because I love history/religion theories and loved all the talks in the writer’s room about it). Basically what the show is proposing is that we’re all linked to certain people during our lives. Call them soulmates (though it’s not exactly the best word). But these people we’re linked to are with us duing “the most important moments of our lives” as Christian said. These are the people we move through the universe with from lifetime to lifetime. It’s loosely based in Hinduisim with large doses of western religion thrown into the mix.

The conceit that the writers created, basing it off these religious philosophies, was that as a group, the Lostaways subconsciously created this “sideways” world where they exist in purgatory until they are “awakened” and find one another. Once they all find one another, they can then move on and move forward. In essence, this is the show’s concept of the afterlife. According to the show, everyone creates their own “Sideways” purgatory with their “soulmates” throughout their lives and exist there until they all move on together. That’s a beautiful notion. Even if you aren’t religious or even spirtual, the idea that we live AND die together is deeply profound and moving.

It’s a really cool and spirtual concept that fits the whole tone and subtext the show has had from the beginning. These people were SUPPOSED to be together on that plane. They were supposed to live through these events — not JUST because of Jacob. But because that’s what the universe or God (depending on how religious you wish to get) wanted to happen. The show was always about science vs faith — and it ultimately came down on the side of faith. It answered THE core question of the series. The one question that has been at the root of every island mystery, every character backstory, every plot twist. That, by itself, is quite an accomplishment.

How much you want to extrapolate from that is up to you as the viewer. Think about season 1 when we first found the Hatch. Everyone thought that’s THE answer! Whatever is down there is the answer! Then, as we discovered it was just one station of many. One link in a very long chain that kept revealing more, and more of a larger mosiac.

But the writer’s took it even further this season by contrasting this Sideways “purgatory” with the Island itself. Remember when Michael appeared to Hurley, he said he was not allowed to leave the Island. Just like the MIB. He wasn’t allowed into this sideways world and thus, was not afforded the opportunity to move on. Why? Because he had proven himself to be unworthy with his actions on the Island. He failed the test. The others, passed. They made it into Sideways world when they died — some before Jack, some years later. In Hurley’s case, maybe centuries later. They exist in this sideways world until they are “awakened” and they can only move on TOGETHER because they are linked. They are destined to be together for eternity. That was their destiny.

They were NOT linked to Anna Lucia, Daniel, Roussou, Alex, Miles, Lupidis, (and all the rest who weren’t in the chuch — basically everyone who wasn’t in season 1). Yet those people exist in Sideways world. Why? Well again, here’s where they leave it up to you to decide. The way I like to think about it, is that those people who were left behind in Sideways world have to find their own soulmates before they can wake up. It’s possible that those links aren’t people from the island but from their other life (Anna’s parnter, the guy she shot — Roussou’s husband, etc etc).

A lot of people have been talking about Ben and why he didn’t go into the Church. And if you think of Sideways world in this way, then it gives you the answer to that very question. Ben can’t move on yet because he hasn’t connected with the people he needs to. It’s going to be his job to awaken Roussou, Alex, Anna Lucia (maybe), Ethan, Goodspeed, his father and the rest. He has to attone for his sins more than he did by being Hurley’s number two. He has to do what Hurley and Desmond did for our Lostaways with his own people. He has to help them connect. And he can only move on when all the links in his chain are ready to. Same can be said for Faraday, Charlotte, Whidmore, Hawkins etc. It’s really a neat, and cool concept. At least to me.

But, from a more “behind the scenes” note: the reason Ben’s not in the church, and the reason no one is in the church but for Season 1 people is because they wrote the ending to the show after writing the pilot. And never changed it. The writers always said (and many didn’t believe them) that they knew their ending from the very first episode. I applaud them for that. It’s pretty fantastic. Originally Ben was supposed to have a 3 episode arc and be done. But he became a big part of the show. They could have easily changed their ending and put him in the church — but instead they problem solved it. Gave him a BRILLIANT moment with Locke outside the church … and then that was it. I loved that. For those that wonder — the original ending started the moment Jack walked into the church and touches the casket to Jack closing his eyes as the other plane flies away. That was always JJ’s ending. And they kept it.

For me the ending of this show means a lot. Not only because I worked on it, but because as a writer it inspired me in a way the medium had never done before. I’ve been inspired to write by great films. Maybe too many to count. And there have been amazing TV shows that I’ve loved (X-Files, 24, Sopranos, countless 1/2 hour shows). But none did what LOST did for me. None showed me that you could take huge risks (writing a show about faith for network TV) and stick to your creative guns and STILL please the audience. I learned a lot from the show as a writer. I learned even more from being around the incredible writers, producers, PAs, interns and everyone else who slaved on the show for 6 years.

In the end, for me, LOST was a touchstone show that dealt with faith, the afterlife, and all these big, spirtual questions that most shows don’t touch. And to me, they never once waivered from their core story — even with all the sci-fi elements they mixed in. To walk that long and daunting of a creative tightrope and survive is simply astounding.

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yes because we would have known what the island was. That would have been dramatically satisfying.

the ALT circumnavigated the the island's meaning, and just turns it into a place where stuff happened. The important bit in the story is the ALT (as that's where the character's learnt to wake up). And we hadn't watched six series of that.

It actually takes any meaning or value away from the island.

"What is the island?" is the only question that needed answering.

If there was no island they wouldn't have developed as characters, they would of just continued their unhappy/doomed life and wouldn't have met special people in their lives.

As other people have posted (neuromancer and comrade spring to mind) and you seem to be willfully ignoring, the island was, as Christian said to Jack, "the most important time in your life." This applied to all the characters. As Jacob said, they were all flawed, lost souls, with no one and nothing (except for Hurley, but he didn't trust all his money so also felt totally alone) of any value in their lives. The island and Jacob brought them together and gave their lives purpose and meaning.

The main thrust of the island's story as well was the story of Jacob and the MIB and their eternal struggle against each other.

Like the yin and yang symbol, the black and white that ran through the show, the story of the characters and the story of Jacob and MIB are intertwined and are what the show has been about since the beginning.

I honestly do believe that wanting to know exactly what the island is or was is missing the point of the entire show. Not to mention the fact that it would have been completely impossible to explain in any satisfying way.

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In the end, Jack got to do what he always wanted to do from the very first episode of the show: Save his fellow Lostaways. He got Kate and Sawyer off the island and he gave Hurley the purpose in life he’d always been missing. And, in Sideways world (which we’ll get to next) he in fact saved everyone by helping them all move on …

Absolutely.

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Found a couple of good posts which for me sum up all that was right and wrong with the ending:

http://nyti.ms/9P96qP

http://designwoop.com/2010/05/lost-finale-explained-well/

The second linkis a very interesting read IMO, pasted below:

I like that explanation for the island and it sort of fits in with what I thought it was. Still leaves some questions about the island and it's history though, was this the first smoke monster/MIB figure or is that something that repeats itself as well. I could see the light just being a light, some sort of focal point. The way the island actually keeps good and evil in balance is through the fight between the protector/smoke monster and their followers. Would have been nice if they'd given more on this in the show in a more concrete fashion, again the Jacob/MIB episode would have been the perfect place to resolve many of the questions about the island.

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I too would like to know what Whidmore's plan was with Desmond. I realise Jack said Jacob had that sort of thing in mind all along, but what did Whidmore think he was up to?

I always saw Whidmore as representing the idea of man wanting to use the power of the island for his own greed. A man bent on world domination. There'd had been various attempts to harness the power over the ages, the donkey wheel, Swan station etc, but no-one had actually been able to get to the source. Desmond was the one person who was able to do that. The actual details of this plan, we'll never know seeing as Ben put a full stop on that.

It's from events like this that I've always presumed that the protector ( by getting closest proximity to the source ) has access to all time-lines and saw how events would unfold. Therefore he gave Whidmore the knowledge of how important Desmond was, knowing that Desmonds actions would leave MIB vulnerable, and that Jack would make the 'free-will' choice to stop everything ending in disaster. He probably therefore also knew that Whidmore would be killed along the way and that his true intentions wouldn't overall affect the outcome.

Edit: The irony being Desmond was the person that Whidmore wanted nothing to do with, and did his upmost to distance him from his daughter as much as possible, becoming the most important person to him to realise his full desires.

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