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"Lost" Series Finale Explained

Here I am writing a final blog post about what happened on Lost. Many are no doubt debating, not what happened during the show, but what was shown during the final minutes of the show. While I am not a writer or creator of Lost, I feel I have solved this one last mystery. After watching the finale, I pondered in my head what it all meant in the ending, and here is what I concluded.

Going back to the finale of season 5, we saw Juliet blow up the bomb. The idea was that blowing up that bomb would change their lives. The island would be gone and the plane never would have crashed. Well, it worked, but just not how we thought.

At the time the bomb was blown up, all our characters were pushed back to what can be called "current island time". Everyone assumes that this time coincides with the time in the flash sideways, flashbacks, and flashforwards. But it doesn't. The island is on its own time.

So all the events we saw on the island this season did take place. The quest of smokey to get off the island, the protecting of the "source" of the island, and so on. All of it happened and everyone was very much alive on the island. The opening of season 6 showed the island completely underwater. And this is where our crew, namely Jack, changed the course of events again. Jack ultimately save the island from dropping into the sea by putting that stone back in its place. And then finally, Jack died for his efforts, leaving Hurley as the protector.

In Jack's final moments, we see a plane fly overhead as he was laying on the ground among the bamboo. That plane was Oceanic Flight 815. The very same one we saw fly at the beginning of season 6. Except now the island wasn't underwater because Jack prevented that from happening.

Which brings us to the plane and the flash sideways. All those on the plane were alive. They never crashed, but through an unexplained reason they had a connection to those "themselves" from the island. The "awakenings" were opening the memories to what they had done on the island. So just as Faraday had explained to Jack in season 5: they blow up the bomb and their plane never crashes and they land safely in LAX. Their memory of the events on the island draws them together, with Charlie being the catalyst this season to bring them all together. And Desmond the one who helps everyone awake to these memories. And with this change of events Christian Shepherd never did die, but had his own "awakening". Faking his own death caused Jack to go to Australia so that everything could take place as it should.

This explanation makes "The End" worth it. Though we saw some of our favorite characters die over the course of 6 seasons, you could be satisfied that in the end they died to protect the island and a corrupt evil from escaping it. But at the same time the choices and events that took place by our favorite characters really saved them. They remember dying, though they never did. They remember a life on the island, but they were never there. And it is this ending that satisfies everything that happened. Because whatever happened, did happen.

This is the conclusion I drew from the finale. There were many others I contemplated before I came to this one. This was my conclusion because the others did not make sense. The above ending I listed was the only one that had no holes in it. Every other one would work for one reality but not the other. And so I feel 100% confident is this ending. And I am satisfied with the conclusion of Lost.

Comments

  1. I appreciate your effort to try to wrap up all loose ends, but I think there's no way for Lost to be seamless, that's just the nature of tv, you never know how far you have to push a story. One problem with the above is the issue of time. It's true that time is different on the island, and can shift, but it does so universally and still adhere's to certain truths. One truth is that Oceanic flight 815 takes place in 2004, period, wheather it crashes or not. The end takes place and Jack dies in 2007, so Oceanic 815 can't fly by overhead in 2004 - the time shifts don't happen in the air but not on the ground. It's all or nothing - and we aren't led to believe they are anywhere but 2007. The plane flying overhead at the end are those that escape the island.

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  2. Interesting thought. But the wings of the plane that flew overhead did not bend upward. And those guys had already taken off and flew away from the island as was showed when Sawyer looked out the plane window.The shoe, the dog and Jack laying at the bamboo. The moment he closed his eyes is the moment and died was the moment that he woke up when the plane crashed. He smiled when he saw the plane because he knew he prevented it from happening. He was right along.

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  3. how do you explain the end when jack sees his father and says he's dead? Im so confused...

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  4. How did Jack saving the island from sinking prevent the Oceanic 815 flight from crashing? Had the island sunk, would that cause the plane to crash? And if so, then the plane would have nowhere to crash to except the ocean since the island would be gone.

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  5. and richard said to jack in the island...that they were all dead

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  6. The conversation between Jack and his father at the end is the key to everything. When Jack realizes he is dead he asks if the rest are all dead, his father replies "Everyone dies some time, some before you and some long after". When he asks why they are there here and now, his father replies "There is no now ... or here". And when he asks where is this place, his father replies "This is the place you all created so that you could all meet again" (or something like that)When I first watched it, I assumed that his appearance at the church immediately followed his dying on the island and that that time line was 2004 immediately after Oceanic 815 landed safely. But that didn't really make sense and didn't explain why Kate, Sawyer, Ben, Claire and Hurley were at the church since they were alive when Jack died - which seemed like a large loose end.However, based on the information above taken together, I think it is reasonable to conclude the following:1. The flash sideways timeline is really much after 2004 - after everyone in the room has finally died. Everyone assumes that it is 2004 since Faraday said that if they blew up the station, the plane would never crash - but that in fact didn't work.2. Oceanic 815 still crashed, even though they blew up the station, and everything that happened in the first five season actually happened - although a lot was left unexplained which flawed the ending in my opinion.3. Hurley and Ben stayed on the island for a time but eventually died as well - based on Hurley telling Ben he was a great #2 and Ben responding that Hurley was an awesome #1

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  7. In my interpretation the bomb they exploded at the end of season 5 saved Oceanic 815 from crashing. Jack change time again and the island did not sink because of him. The bomb saved the plane, and Jack saved the island. Everyone landed and was happy. No alternate timelines. Everything coexists in the same timeline.

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  8. How would you explain Jack identifying his father's body in Sydney? since the plane crash happened on the way home we saw him identify Christian's body at the morgue....also, what would you say to expain the bright light Christian walks through at the end? Just wondering. Interesting theory.

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  9. Unless you believe that Jack changes timelines for himself when he replaces the key just before he dies, I think that the plane he sees is Lapides leaving the island - not Oceanic 815. We know that prior to replacing the key, a series of events took place with the people on that plane. So unless he changes timelines at that moment, there are two planes heading to LA if the plane he sees is 815.

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  10. If the bomb going off didn't keep 815 from crashing (as some are saying), then I'm wondering why Miles told Sawyer that Juliette said (from beyond the grave) that, "It worked."

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  11. Jack identified his father's body in Sidney, BEFORE he was on the island. But once he was on the island, they blew the bomb up. Blowing up the pocket of EM energy thus getting rid of the need to push a button every 108 minutes making it impossible for Desmond to cause the plane to crash. Everyone on the island continued to exist though as usual, catapulted forward in time from the bomb going off. Did the Jack on the plane that didn't crash identify his father's body? Maybe, maybe not. There is no way to tell how events happened that weren't shown once they changed the course of events.The light Christian walks into for me is metaphorical of things like the hatch or the light source of the island. They are the unknown. And now everyone had a chance to progress forward with their lives, no longer caught by the hold of the island.

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  12. My point was that Jack identified the body BEFORE they were on the island. You said that Christian faked his own death to get Jack to Australia so he would be on the plane, however, in the "sideways" story-line he still believed his father to be dead, meaning he must have identified the body while in Sydney- - since they were RETURNING from Australia in the season 6 opener. Why would he have still believed his father dead had he gone to Sydney and realized the death had been faked?Interesting about the light...but why would the island have a hold on them if they blew up the island and had never really been there?

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  13. I kinda like your explanation, but it still doesn't touch the problems I have with the episode...like the fact it was written like a 1930's afternoon matinee serial to cover over plot holes and ignore others....like how Kate, Hurley, & Sawyer, were suddenly able to get Ben out from under a tree & run half way across the island in 5 minutes to save Jack. It would've taken longer. Plus, what happened to the real flash sideways alternate universe that the "1977 island sinking" created? I HATED finding out that this whole flash sideways was really an afterlife truck stop. That's not a plot twist or unexpected turn, that's just a gimmicky shell game that doesn't really work with the rest of the series/story...the more I think about it. By the way, if the Island was a cork in a bottle to keep evil & stuff from escaping to the rest of the world, then why was that seemingly important point not even referred to in the finale? Seems like it was the focus of protecting the island, and yet it was somehow not the really mentioned in the end. There were actually a bunch of significant plot points that presented as important details but ignored in the finale as if they were never brought up.Don't get me wrong though, I like that the episode didn't answer all the questions raised in the series. I like that kind of thing, but, they really needed to address the questions they presented as key points.Hate to say it, but the finale was so horribly written, that it ruined the entire series for me...all in about 15 minutes. I'll never be able to watch a repeat of an episode again, without thinking of the implausible ending. I hate it & can't get over it...and I'm usually a laid back sort when it comes to TV shows. I hope they remake the finale, I want one that actually feels like it goes along with the story they've been telling us for 100+ episodes. This one didn't, it just didn't.

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  14. Devon, I pretty much agree with you on the whole thing. That ending felt really out of place from the whole show. Maybe because they forced an ending that allowed them to do what they always did with the show, theorize and predict. But like you said, it didn't feel like Lost at the end. This sounds like a contradiction. But it's true. They didn't ruin the series for me with that ending, but they did damage my view of it.Of course, had they had a definitive ending, then audiences would have been upset too. Because there is no way to appeal to everyone. That's why I think they made an ending that didn't define exactly what was happening. But shame on the writers for doing that, if that is what they did. Because you need to have confidence in the story you are telling and not cater to the whims of an audience who is only guessing at what will come next instead of knowing.

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  15. I am afraid that I don't understand the logic that brought to your conclusions - Namely:You say "They remember dying, though they never did. They remember a life on the island, but they were never there. And it is this ending that satisfies everything that happened. Because whatever happened, did happen." - Huh??? So all that happened on the island was all in their collective imaginations - like it was all a dream? So the Flash Sideways timeline was real life and everything else was some fabrication or imagination? That's a pretty lame ending and doesn't seem to be consistent with the last ten minutes of the The End.You also say "And with this change of events Christian Shepherd never did die, but had his own "awakening". Faking his own death caused Jack to go to Australia so that everything could take place as it should." But, at the end he told Jack he was dead and Jack then figured out that he too was dead. So that whole conversation is totally inconsistent with the Flash Sideways being the only 'Real' sequence of events where nobody has died. Plus the comments between Hurley and Ben regarding being #1 and #2 - how does your theory explain that?And, finally you say "In Jack's final moments we see a plane fly overhead as he was laying on the ground among the bamboo. That plane was Oceanic Flight 815." But - like a poster below pointed out - how do you reconsile that Jack died in 2007 and saw a plane from 2004 fly overhead. If you explain that by some sort of time travel, there was no other indication that anything like that happened. Plus, where did the dog come from - since he was on that plane?.I know that the whole ending, and the show in general, was very confusing and needed bridges of faith to connect the facts, I don't see how you can be 100% sure your theory is correct based on these discontinuities of the logic that was the basis of your conclusions.

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  16. Bill, the timelines coexist. If the plane never crashed they were never on the island. The events on the island are real and the events in the flash sideways are real. All of it happened. But in the flash sideways, since the plane never crashed, none of them went through the experiences. But there is a connection between the two coexisting timelines that allow them to remember all of the events that took place.

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  17. Benjamin,Thinking that the timelines coexist was the Red Herring planted by Faraday when he suggested that by blowing up the bomb they could prevent the plane from crashing at all which would have eliminated the original timeline altogether as being real. And because he said that, everyone just assumed that the flash sideways was a parallel timeline in which the plane did not crash and ignored the inconsistencies in that timeline - such as people being there who would have still been on the island and the passengers on the plane were not the original passengers (e.g. Desmond and Ben).The revelation that this was not a 2004 no-crash timeline was the surprising turn at the very end since it was contrary to everyone's expectations. So I assert that the timelines were not parallel but sequential - which was revealed by Jack's father in the last ten minutes of the Finale and I think that was pretty clear - everything in the sideways timeline occurred after they had died and now since the final person had died, they could all move on together.I hope that eventually the creators will give their take on all of this and also answer some of the other unanswered questions - such as the significance of the numbers and why all the fuss about Claire raising her baby herself at the beginning just kind of died out. But, maybe that is too much to expect.

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  18. The entirety of the Flash Sideways was an afterlife created by the connections made by the survivors on the island. It consisted of their subconsciouses projecting past their natural lifes to a place where they all see eachother as they were on the Island. The Flash Sideways is only "real" in the sense that each person within it is mentally experiencing the events but not physically. It is the furthest extent of a Flash Forward possible. We flashed beyond the survivors' natural lives and into their last cognitive moments before they move on to heaven and/or whatever destination desired by way of each respectable religion. This guy's theory is bogus, under-thought, and flat out incorrect. LOST was a show that ultimately reflected how Lost souls can still find eachother, in this life and the next.

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  19. [...] “Lost” Series Finale Explained 367 hits [...]

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  20. Um..no haha. Sorry to say it, but you clearly didn't understand the ending or even the purpose of the show.

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  21. Well, I did understand, but I really didn't like it. So the above is basically me writing an ending that I like A LOT more.

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  22. That's crazy talk. The real ending had the survivors going on with their lives, Hurley was the new Jacob and in the end after everyone eventually died (Hurley and Ben probably lived another couple hundred years) they arrived at the same point together in the afterlife to remember their lives and be together.

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  23. Crazy talk is Sayid appearing to care more about seeing Shannon than not seeing the love of his life, Nadia. That's crazy talk right there!

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  24. You sure have been spamming the hell out of this post. You seem to be really reaching here with this interpretation. But hey, whatever makes you happy.

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  25. The season 6 reveal of what the flash sideways actually were is arguably the least ambiguous moment in the entire 100+ episodes of Lost, yet this guy writes this crap. What a joke.

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  26. [...] In September 2004, a television program began that completely changed my view of writing. That show was Lost. From the beginning the show captivated me. This wasn’t because it was science fiction, which many would argue it wasn’t in the beginning. And it wasn’t because it had big-name actors, because it didn’t. But Lost had writing that captivated me. Throughout the entire series the writers managed to create a world that you continued to question even as they revealed answers. The story appeared to be about people lost on a deserted island, but turned into an intricate plot that was bigger and more intricate than many realized. I enjoyed the show so much it is probably my favorite television show of all time, despite the fact that I didn’t care for the ending and ended up writing my own. [...]

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  27. Jamie hockenhull- manchesterApril 6, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    I have literally just watched the last episode, even though I kinda watched a " lost explained" video on YouTube which I regret doing, and so I knew what to expect which was very gutting for me. I do not have a theory like you guys but I do have a point to make that could explain how the ending became such a " **** block" to a definition of a perfect tv show, note I still think this. From interviews I have read and watched the fellows behind the series from like season. 2 or 3 have said they knew what the last scene and then the last episode I'd going to be like. There is the problem right there. Season 2 and 3 are that early on that to predict the end of to try and work towards something that far ahead is no gd, since that point the story evolved and grew into something truly awesome and amazing. The ending was a big constriction on this and I do not believe they sat down enough or took into account what the fans thought. I still thought that when the guys and girls met up in the alternate reallity it was great and I think that makes up for it. Tbh I love lost to bits and the guys behind it are kick ***, I know u all think the same right?

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  28. Jamie hockenhull- manchesterApril 6, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Purpose- I like it

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