Monday, May 24, 2010
"The End" of LOST
The implications of Jughead were unsettling. I didn't want the Island to not matter and be wiped clean. Season Six opened with the Sideways while act one opened with everybody awaking on the Island. Throughout the season, I let the Sideways unfold without thinking too much into it. Once the Island memories began, I knew it was safe. Jughead's purpose was to prevent The Incident that would lead the hatch being built and Oceanic 815 landing on the Island. It never did work. The Losties caused the incident that would eventually bring them to the Island. It always mattered. I open with this because...
It is time for me to guide you about what exactly happened in the final two scenes of the show. Christian explained to Jack that they were all dead and that everyone dies sometime in their lives. He told Jack that the experience on the Island actually happened. Folks, it's not hard to understand. Stop treating LOST like it's an impossible puzzle to figure out. It's a story about these people and their meaning in one another's lives. Christian explained that they all created this place, these sideways, together so that they could be together, remember, let go and move on. It does not mean that they were dead all along. Listen to what Christian said. It was all real. The experience on the Island was the most important time in their lives for themselves and each other. As for the final seconds of the flash sideways, when the bright light embraced them all and the scene went white...well, that is open to interpretation. And I'll offer my interpretation as I journey through "The End."
The journey of LOST has been very special for me. It's hard to convey in words just how important the show became to me throughout the six seasons I watched it. I've defended it. I stand by it. It premiered while I was a senior in high school (a very special year in and of itself) and I am a college graduate now that it has ended. I've long said that it doesn't matter what other people say against the show because it really doesn't. It became an extremely personal experience for me during the first season and continued to become even more personal as the series progressed. As I've said, it's hard for me to convey just how much this show meant to me. Throughout the days leading up to the series finale, I thought a lot about this show and reflected on what it's meant to me. The simple answer: the characters and the journey they took together. And as I continue with this, I think my tremendous love and respect for the show will be well represented. Let me dive in...
Six years ago, Jack awoke in a bamboo forest and sprung into action. In "The End," he died where it had all begun. Damon spoke about the circularity of the story in a Rolling Stone interview earlier this year before "LA X" had aired. His work was done. The Island was his destiny. The story of LOST has largely been about Jack Shephard. He was a broken man and alone when he came to the Island. He never resolved the issues he had with his father. The memory of his father haunted him until he died. In addition to the unresolved issues he had with his father, he had dark qualities. He was a man who stalked his ex-wife, Sarah. He destroyed his engagement with Kate because he was jealous of Sawyer but it mostly came from within himself. He was just broken. He was tortured because he left the Island. He had Hurley telling him that he had to go back. Mostly, he was haunted by a man named John Locke. Not in actuality of course but rather the ideology that John Locke represented; the unwavering belief in Locke that they had all been brought to the Island for the reason and that the Island was Jack's destiny. The death of Locke sent Jack over the edge. He wanted to die but then he was resolved to return to the Island. In "Because You Left," Ben tells Jack to pack up all of his things because Jack will never return to Los Angeles. Jack says "good." Slowly, Jack's purpose actualized. It became clear to him that he had to do what he did in "The End." He had to put an end to the cycle of misery that began when Mother killed Jacob and his brother's biological mother. In season five, Jack did not have the epiphany he needed. I'll argue his epiphany occured after his outburst in the lightouse when he sat on a cliff and stared out at the ocean, thinking about what he has to do. In season five, Jack wanted to erase his past. He wanted to wipe it all clean: the misery and the pain and the suffering. He didn't want to deal with his past and all of the mistakes. But it wouldn't be that easy because Jughead never worked. He couldn't wipe it all clean and it took Jughead and the aftermath, Juliet's death and all to truly change Jack. He was quiet and reflective throughout the begining of season six. He apologized to Sawyer for Juliet. He chose his actions carefully. He didn't give Sayid the poison pill just because some man he had just met told him to do it. He restored purpose to Richard Alpert's life in the Black Rock as Richard awaited the end of his life. He was a man who acknowledged that he ruined everything else in his life. He could admit his mistakes. Once he had thought carefully, he figured out what needed to be done. He embraced his candidacy. He volunteered to assume the role of protector of the Island. He confronted the Man in Black with no fear. He stood up to the Man in Black and hated him for disrespecting the likeness of John Locke, a man who was right all along and a man Jack only wanted to thank. The story of Jack was like the thread Jacob was working on in "The Incident." It takes a very long time. It took a very long time for Jack to be where he was in "The End."
But it took a long time for him to figure out who he was. Remember the scene in "Something Nice Back Home" when Jack read that passage from Alice in Wonderland to Aaron? I mentioned it earlier this season. It's about the puzzle of identity. Who are we? Ah, that's the great puzzle. That scene affected me so much that I built an entire episode of my podcast on that idea. Alice felt different in the morning and wondered had she been changed in the night and if she had then who indeed was she. The Sideways reflected this passage. Who are these characters? The Sideways cemented these character's identities rather than re-define them. The Sideways cemented everyones relationships and their connection with one another. It was about Jack letting go finally and moving on after he realized he had died. It was about all of the characters never dying alone. Live together or die alone. None of them could die alone. They had to be together. That philosophy has been the heart of the series. Christian said everyone created this place together so it's only natural that they leave this place together.
Jack's purpose was to free the Island from itself, if that makes any sense. It does to me. As I've written, Jack needed to end the cycle created by that dysfunctional family. He succeeded Jacob to defeat the Man in Black. After he had kill Smokey, he told Kate, Ben, Hurley and Sawyer that he needed to restore the light of the Island. To kill Smokey, he needed the light to be put out by Desmond. Desmond did his job and survived because electromagnetism has no effect on him except for a nosebleed. The Smokeness died and NotLocke became corporeal again. Jack and MIB had an epic fight on the cliffs near the cave as the Island slowly destroyed itself. MIB wanted to sail away while the Island went under the sea but eventually Jack killed him with the help of Kate. But MIB stabbed Jack and it was a deep wound. Meanwhile, Ben had been communicating with Miles, Richard and Frank. Instead of blowing up the plane, Frank wanted to fly it off the Island. Sawyer and Kate needed to get to Hydra Island to be on the plane. Hurley wanted to stay with Jack and Ben said that he was going to go down with the Island. And Jack needed to restore the light. This led to what is already one of my favorite scenes in the series. Kate wanted Jack to promise her that she would see him again. Jack was silent. He couldn't. He knew that restoring the light would kill him and so they kissed. Kate cried. Jack cried. Kate told him that she loved him and Jack said, "I love you." Matthew Fox's delivery was perfect. It brings tears to my eyes as I write. Sawyer and Kate went on their way to Hydra Island. Jack's final words to Kate were about his sister. He wanted Kate to convince Claire to go with her because of Aaaron. She said she would.
Jack continued his journey with Hurley and Ben. They reached the cave. Hurley began to panic because Jack was going to die and then Jack told him, "it needs to be you, Hugo." Hurley teared up. After "Everybody Loves Hugo," myself and many LOST fans speculated that Hurley was going to replace Jacob. In fact, that speculation has existed since season five. Possibly season four. Ben summed up why Hurley was right for the job. After they had pulled Desmond out of the cave and to safety, Ben comforted Hurley after Hurley had a good cry following the restoration of light and what Hurley believed to be Jack's death down there. Hurley had no idea where to begin. Ben told him to start with Desmond by helping him return to his wife and his son. Hurley didn't know if people could leave the Island. Ben said that THAT was how Jacob ran things. What Hurley does, Ben told Hurley, is take care of people. And it's so true. Hurley has always taken care of everyone. Hurley asked Ben if he would be his number two because of all his experience. Ben was taken aback, speechless and accepted.
Jack did restore the light, the source and he sat there, with a knife wound, engulfed by the light smiling and crying. Soon we saw Jack awake in on some rocks. It seemed that he would not die but no, he was about to die. This is where the sideways and the Island finally became one.
The episode opened with Christian's coffin arriving at LAX. We got a sweeping montage with an intense Giacchino score. All along, we tracked the coffin until it arrived in the church parking lot. Desmond, who understood everything, signed for it. The delivery man asked him if he was a priest or something. Desmond responded "or something." He returned to the car where Kate sat, confused about what was going on. She asked Desmond why she was there in the parking lot. Desmond told her "I can't tell you why you're here." Kate was confused because Desmond had brought her here. He told her his name and explained that he was a friend but he still couldn't tell her why she was here. He also wanted to leave but where did he want to go. Well, Christian explained that pretty well. The journey for the Losties we've grown to love over these six season in the sideways was all about remembering. Sun and Jin remembered and became aware after the ultra-sound performed by Juliet. Juliet and Sawyer became aware and remembered after meeting in the hospital vending machine room. Claire and Charlie became aware after the birth of Aaron. Kate remembered and became aware after delivering Aaron just as she delivered him in "Do No Harm." Sayid remembered and became aware when he rescused Shannon from a dude beating up Boone. She, too, remembered and became aware. Locke remembered and became aware after Jack had fixed him. He flashed Jack the best damn John Locke smile I've ever seen and he told Jack that he doesn't have a son and that he wished Jack would go with him. But Jack wasn't ready yet. After this awareness, this awakening, they all knew where they had to go. They had to go to a church. Eloise Hawking touched me when she asked Desmond whether or not her son would be going with them. Desmond said "no. not with me." And he grabbed her hand in a gesture of comfort. These two souls who have such impact on one another's lives. Daniel and Charlotte even shared their own moment though they were not going with those in the Church.
Before the Church, the concert was a brief meeting point for the Losties. After the concert, Jack had finally arrived to be with his son but his son was nowhere to be found. Kate was there, looking beautiful in her black dress. She finally remembered everything at this point. She approached Jack to let him know that the concert was over. Jack recognized her. Kate said it's because she stole his pen on the airplane but Kate made it clear that they both know each other. Just as he did in the hospital with Locke, he had flashes of his Island memories. And she would tell Jack that she missed him so much as if it had been years since they saw each other. In fact, it had been years. She hadn't seen him since that day on the cliff. But Jack wasn't quite there yet. Kate asked Jack to go with her to the church. Jack did. They arrived in his jeep. She told him to go around back and that she would meet him in there.
Before we saw Jack enter the room where his father's coffin was, we saw Ben sit outside on a bench. He, too, remembered and was aware. Locke arrived and wheeled himself to the church. He and Locke were finally going to have a scene I've been waiting for since 507 (that's episode lingo). Ben apologized to John for murdering him and he explained that he was selfish and jealous of John. Locke wondered why. Ben explained that Locke was special and Ben wasn't. Locke forgave him as I imagined he would. It was a beautifully acted moment. Ben told Locke to stand up because he didn't that wheel chair. Locke did. He asked would he see Ben in the church. Ben told him that he needed a little more time outside. Hurley soon came out and wondered would Ben be joining them and Ben said no. Hurley thanked him for being an awesome number two. Ben told Hurley that he was an excellent number one.
And then Jack entered the room where his father's coffin was. Once he touched the coffin, he remembered but he was not yet aware. He opened his father's coffin. It was empty. When Jack turned around, there his father stood. And this is when Jack remembered and became aware that he died some time ago on the Island. His father told him that he, too, was dead and then Jack broke down in his father's arms. It was a scene six seasons in the making, ever since Jack found his father's coffin empty in "White Rabbit." Jack told his father that he loved him. He wondered why he was here. Christian said that there is no here and now, that this place was created he and his friends to find and remember one another. But why Jack asked. To let go explained Christian and to move on. The years Jack spent on the Island were the most important part of not only his life but everyone else he knew and their lives. They could only leave together. Jack soon emerged from the room with his father and he saw all of his old friends. He shook Sawyer's hand. He had a huge hug with Hurley. He said hello to everybody: Desmond, Penny, Claire, Charlie, Aaron, Libby, Sayid, Shannon, Boone and Locke. Oh, and of course his Kate. After they had all reunited, they sat in their pews as Christian opened the main doors of the church and wonderful light poured in and then all went white.
We soon saw Jack lie down, near death from his wound and from restoring the light, at the same spot he awoke three years earlier. His eyes were wide with anticipation, or at least it seemed like it. Out of the jungle came Vincent, just like in the "Pilot." Instead of running past him, he laid down next to Jack. Jack reached out his hand to touch Vincent and then looked up and saw his friends leave on the Ajira plane. His right eye closed.
Kate, Claire, Sawyer, Miles, Richard and Frank did leave the Island on the Ajira plane. Frank fixed what he needed to fix with the help of Miles and Richard. Kate and Sawyer arrived on Hydra Island. Kate convinced Claire that she could leave the Island and raise her son. Claire was afraid because of what she became on the Island. But Kate asked Claire to let her help with Aaron and that eventually Claire will remember how to be a mother. The sentiment "let me help you" was said by various characters throughout this episode and it's a very significant. DL & CC talked about these characters helping one another at the Times Talk. It's just part of the idea of togetherness. All of these characters were lost in their own way and needed each other during their redemption journey. It's about never doing it alone. There were no scenes from Ajira landing on the runway. No reunion between Claire, her son and her mother. Each one of them would eventually die. Some sooner than the others but everyone dies. One can imagine that they all stay connected until they died and then found each other again. I imagine Kate and Claire remained an integral part of each other's lives. As the plane took off, Kate and Claire clutched hands and held each other's tightly. Sawyer looked at the Island one last time and a tear rolled down his cheek. He was finally free. So was Claire. And I imagine all of them had nice lives before they died. Just because we didn't see it doesn't mean it didn't happen. We didn't need to see their stories unfold off of the Island either.
I have so much more to write about the finale so now this entry transitions into the the "sort of bullet points" section. Feel free to get up, stretch, grab a beverage, maybe a little snack because I'm just getting started. Are you all ready now? Good. Let's go:
--The second to last image of the show was overwhelmingly emotional because of Vincent. He laid with Jack until Jack passed away. My own dog passed away about a month ago and I was with him until the end of his life so that scene really just hit home. I noticed that Vincent looked so much older which makes sense if Madison still portrayed Vincent.
--I've never felt as emotional as I during the finale during a television show. "The End" is a intense emotional experience. Damon and Carlton said that, when crafting the finale, they asked themselves what they as fans would want to see in the finale. More so, DL & CC knew that fans would be sitting in their homes aware that this episode was end of the series and would already be emotional. They wanted the emotion on the screen to be as intense as the emotions the viewers felt about losing this show. I felt that they achieved their goal. We witnessed many reunions because the sideways was all about these characters remembering one another and being together in the end.
--The Sun and Jin scene was intense in the hospital. My mother predicted the ultra-sound would awaken the memories of Sun and Jin. It did. Juliet, my favorite fictional fertility docter ever, came into the room and was the same sweet Juliet we said goodbye to in "LA X." She had not yet remembered of course but sweetness is just part of her makeup. The scene mirrored the one in "D.O.C" when Juliet does the ultra-sound and she sees her child for the first time and finds out that the baby is Jin's. Suddenly, Sun remembered everything that she and Jin had experienced on the Island, remembered their entire lives together. She began crying and soon Jin remembered as well. Juliet told them that the baby was healthy. Sun told Juliet that the baby is a girl. Jin told Juliet that her name is Ji Yeon. Juliet told them that it's a lovely name. Sun and Jin no longer were burdened by her father, no longer burdened by running because it had all ended long ago on that Island and it took them some time after dying in the submarine to realize that they had been dead. Sawyer arrived in their hospital room because Sayid had escaped. He didn't want him to come looking for Sun and Jin. But it didn't matter. Jin smiled at Sawyer, so happy to see his old friend. He and his wife made it clear that they didn't need to be watched or looked out for. They told Sawyer that they would see him there, at the church. Sawyer was befuddled but that is for a different paragraph. I would like to thank Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim for their six years of work on LOST. The development of Jin and the evolution of their marriage is a highlight of the series for me. The two actors played their characters stories with a beautiful pathos and ethos and I think the Sun/Jin story is one of the best love stories ever written in a television show. I was completely happy with this final page in their story.
--Sawyer went to find himself some grub. He was unlucky with the vending machine. The apollo bar did not come out after his dollar. Juliet walked into the room and joked with him. Sawyer made it clear that he's a cop but Juliet didn't really accuse of him of trying to steal an apollo bar. Juliet told him how to get the candy bar: turn off the machine and then turn it back on. He turned it off. The candy bar fell. She reached in, grabbed it, handed it to Sawyer and then they remembered and became aware. The memories poured in from their time in Dharma times. Her death and his resolve to not let her die. Sawyer, full of memories and emotion, quickly asked her for coffee and she said yes but he only had a dollar because the machine took his other. She said that they could go dutch, and the "LA X" death scene finally revealed itself. The sideways represented Sawyer as he truly was. DL & CC explained that he's the same archetype. It makes sense he'd be James "LaFleur" Ford in the end because he had long ago ceased being Sawyer. I won't even argue that he ceased being Sawyer after killing Cooper because I don't really believe that. I believed he ceased being Sawyer because of everyone he knew. I think Josh Holloway was terrific the entire series. He brought a lot of depth to a character who initially appeared as if he'd be a true bastard for awhile but Sawyer became so much more. Season five changed his identity, his own self worth and the sideways finally cemented James Ford's identity. I would not have it any other way.
--I was so happy to see Juliet again. Elizabeth Mitchell portrayed her with the same sweetness I've grown to love about Juliet. I teared up a lot during this episode and even experienced a trembling lip or two but any scene with Juliet brought tears to my eyes. We found that she was the mother of Jack's child and that they were married once upon a time. But what does that mean in the sideways? Well, here's my own interpretation of that. She and Jack were inseparable for a lot of her time. Jack protected her when no one else would because she was an Other. Nobody trusted her. She took care of him while he was locked up in the Hydra station and he took care of her. They were going to leave the Island together after Ben's surgery. They worked together as doctors. She even loved him at one point and kissed him in "The Other Woman." I think that sideways story was a nod to that time in both characters lives. They needed one another for awhile. Jack was hurt by Kate. Juliet was just sad because Ben wouldn't let her leave the Island. As for their son, David, there's a number of things to think about. Juliet experienced so many mothers dying young on the Island along with their children and Jack had immense father issues to overcome. In "Lighthouse," we saw that his son was a way for Jack to work through the issues he had with his father. David existed to help both she and Jack to let go and move on. It was part of the process.
--Hurley and Sayid had one last adventure with one another. Sayid had no idea what was going on. Hurley made the first stop at Charlie's hotel room to pick him up for the concert. Charlie was still a mess and had no interest playing the show so Hurley shot Charlie with the tranquilizer gun. Hurley walked out to his car as Sayid looked befuddled by what Hurley was doing. It was very funny. Naveen played it perfectly. Before Hurley entered Charlie's room, he tried awaken Sayid by showing him the tranquilizer gun. They had had this experience before as they battled with Widmore's men in "Because You Left" and "The Lie." But it didn't work. Sayid was confused. Hurley took this moment to tell Sayid that he's a good person that, maybe because people have been telling him all of his life that he is bad he started to believe that, but he's good. And Hurley would know of all people. He was unconditional love personified and he loved all of his friends very much and he saw them as he truly was. After all, no one can become the next Jacob without that quality that made Hurley stand out. His ability to take care of people and make them feel safe and loved. He had a backup plan for Sayid. They sat outside of a bar and a fight ensued between Boone and a random dude. Shannon soon emerged and she got hit which is when Sayid sprung into action. And soon they both remembered and became aware of why they were here and they kissed. I've never written about the Shannon and Sayid relationship too much in Jacob's Foot.Her death had a big impact on Sayid so it was nice for them to have their time together in the end. Boone walked over to the car and joked with Hurley about taking his time while Boone got beat. Boone had remembered and become aware at some point but he and Hurley were going to give Sayid and Shannon some time together. The death of Boone remains one of those seminal moments in the show. He was the first. I thought it was great seeing both he and Maggie Grace one last time. And I can't say enough good things about Naveen Andrews. Sayid is the man. And I've got to deliver some words about Jorge Garcia. Jorge's acting is underrated in my opinion. He was so good in this episode and perhaps the real life end played a part in the emotions he displayed in his scenes. Jorge might very well be the MVP of the series and that is no disrespect to Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn.
--At the concert, David and Claire arrived at table 23 where Desmond and Kate sat. Juliet had to return to the hospital. Claire and Kate experienced a 'holy moly' moment when they saw each other again. Meanwhile, Faraday and Driveshaft began playing. Liam stepped on stage with his brother Charlie. Charlie looked disinterested and then he saw Claire. He was enraptured all over again. Soon she felt a kick and had to leave. Kate left to be with her. Before we knew it, they were backstage where Charlie was and the baby was coming. Kate remembered and became aware as she helped Claire give birth to her adopted son. The adopted son she spent three years of her life raising and probably many more years of her life with Claire, watching Aaron grow and live. Aaron came out crying and she handed the baby to Claire. Kate stood up and looked Charlie right in the eye when he returned with the water and blankets. She said, "thank you." Charlie said he only got blankets and water. But we all knew the significance of Kate's thank you. She thanked him for giving his life so that they had a chance to leave the Island. And soon, Charlie remembered and became aware. Claire, too, remembered everything and became aware. Words cannot express the overwhelming feeling of emotion I experienced when she held Aaron in her arms, cried and said simply with the happiest tone in her voic "it's Aaron." Oh, Claire. My lip was trembling. My eyes were extremely wet. Finally, she and Charlie remembered their life together and they had the best damn kiss of their lives after that. After the kiss, Charlie looked at Aaron and Claire with absolute love in his eyes. They were together again. They finally got their happy ending together. Their relationship always represented unconditional love, at least Charlie did. They were as close to a nuclear family as we would get on LOST. He wasn't Aaron's father biologically but he was Aaron's father. He died for them. It's that simple. Desmond told Charlie that he had a flash of Claire and Aaron leaving the Island and Charlie wanted that to happen so he died for them. They remembered it all. Claire remembered that he died for her and Aaron and Charlie remembered that he died. It was an absolutely beautiful moment, a scene I'll never forget and a scene DL & CC absolutely earned. Dom Monoghan was excellent and truly superb after his memory and his awareness returned. That was the Charlie Pace we all remember and love. And Emilie de Ravin was just out of this world awesome during that scene.
--Jack had to miss the concert because he was performing surgery on John Locke so that Locke could walk again. Before Locke entered the surgery room, Jack told him that he'd see him on the other side. He really would. Following the surgery, Locke awoke quickly and moved his toes. Jack looked like how he did when Sarah began wiggling her toes in "Man of Science, Man of Faith" We received a mirror shot of Locke waking up from the plane crash and wiggling his toes because he had regained the ability to walk and Locke suddenly remembered and became aware. He tried to tell Jack what he had just saw. Jack saw a flash but got freaked out. The two began to argue like old times and then Jack left. I've already talked about the final scene between Locke and Ben but I'd like to say more. Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn create magic together. John Locke was an amazing character and the levels and depths that Michael Emerson could go to as Ben are phenomenal. Locke's poignant line "Goodbye, Ben" really moved me because of what they just shared: remorse and forgiveness and we saw, on the Island, Ben's remorse for killing Locke when he buried him. He spoke with sincerity and from his heart when he commended John for being a man of faith and better man than he will ever be. I wrote in "the Substitute" that I wanted peace for John Locke. Well, peace came to John Locke. And I think Ben will eventually find peace in this sideways after he's dealt with all that he had done in his life but I think he's earned the forgiveness with everyone who was so important in his life or at least a place where he can be forever with his daughter, Alex. There's no finer ending for those two characters than the closure they both received because of another. No one is ever alone. Holy moly I'm going to miss this show.
--Desmond had remembered and became aware after he met Penny. His mission, along with Hurley, was to lead everyone to this same moment so that they could leave together because no one dies alone. He couldn't tell anyone why he was here but he knew that they all had to leave, to let go and move on. On the Island, he told Jack, as they walked to the cave of light, that what they were about to do did not matter. Desmond believed that once he shut off the light, he would disappear. In other words, that he would die. He understood exactly what the sideways were but he just didn't know he would live the rest of his life with his wife and son before returning to that place to leave. He told Jack that Jack was in this place too but Jack assured him that what they were doing mattered. Desmond did not die when he shut off the light. He eventually was pulled up on the rope by Hurley and Ben. Hurley believed it was Jack because the light had been restored. Desmond was also rescused from the well by Rose and Bernard. He made a deal with Smokey to do whatever he wanted. He didn't want Rose or Bernard killed. MIB didn't truly understand Desmond's specialness and he made a rare miscalculation. I think Desmond wasn't afraid at the well in "The Last Candidate" because he knew. But anywho, in the sideways, Ms. Hawking asked Desmond at the concert whether or not he forgot what he had told her. He didn't. He just chose to ignore her. It was a really moving moment when Eloise inqured about whether her son would be moving on and leaving with everyone else. Desmond grabbed her hand and said 'no not with me' (i know i'm repeating myself) which is just beautiful because Daniel will leave with his mother and hopefully Charlotte and his father when they are ready. Not everyone was ready. Finnoula Flanagan was just wonderful in her only scene and I always enjoyed the relationship between she and Desmond. It was simply a very nice moment. Henry Ian Cusick was fantastic as well.
Also, I'd be a true so and so if I forgot to mention this. The assumption by all was that Desmond had died after putting out the light. Smokey had died but Jack needed to restore the light. Yes, I know I've been over this. Anywho, Jack returned and found Desmond lying on the ground, alive. Desmond was groggy and out of sorts but he soon recognized what Jack was planning to do after Desmond said he had to put the stone back into the hole to restore the light. Jack was having none of it. He brought Desmond to the wall and tied the rope around Desmond's waist. As he was about to leave, Jack said to Desmond: "I'll see you in another life, brother." It was awesome. Earlier, when Desmond told Jack all about this other place, he told Jack that they flew on Oceanic 815 together. I do wonder if Jack was becoming aware of where he was going as he neared the end of his life on the Island. Meaning existed when he repeated Desmond's famous words to him. The two of them met in a stadium after Jack performed surgery on Sarah. Jack sprained his ankle and Desmond ran over to help him. They talked about miracles. Jack thought he had let down Sarah. He thought she would awake with no feeling in her legs and would still be unable to walk. Desmond asked him to consider the idea that he did fix her. Jack said no, that it's impossible. But Desmond believed. And Jack needed this belief but he didn't gain it until much latter. But I think Jack had an inkling, something inside of him telling him that he would see everyone very soon.
And one more note about Desmond. The end of season two involved the destruction of the Hatch. There was a failsafe he could turn after the computer had been destroyed and a moment of overwhelming enlightenment happened. He remembered the night that he wanted to kill himself. He had accidentally killed Kelvin but that was the night Locke had accidentally led Boone to his death all because he believed the Hatch was what they were supposed to. Locke pounded on the hatch and yelled that he had done everything the Island had ever asked him to do and wanted to know the Island just did what it did to him. Desmond heard this pounding on his roof, ran and turned on the light. The light restored John's faith while Desmond realized that he was not alone and he cried and he laughed with joy. That same idea holds for the end of Jack's life and his farewell to Desmond. I had wondered if that Alice passage related to a possible post-Jughead world because Jack seemed to be remember his appendix but those scars were from his death. His knife wound and his neck wound.
--I'm glad that Jack and Sawyer finally made amends and particularly enjoyed how they greeted one another in the Church. I think I devoted enough words to Jack too. But I can devote a few more. MIB took the wind out of my sails. As he and Jack lowered Desmond into the cave, I immediately thought of the hatch and Jack/Locke. Jack then reminded Smokey that he was not John Locke which set the stage for the epic fight on the cliffs.
--Jeff Jensen's cover story on LOST opened with describing a scene that would take place in the last ten minutes of the show but I always interpreted that as the last night of shooting. Maybe it was. But Jorge Garcia, on his podcast Geronimo Jack's Beard, talked about the last night of shooting being wet and hard and twenty hours. It must've been the cliff fight. I've listened to LOST commentaries and for some reason the name of the stunt coordinator escapes me but he staged an epic fight between Jack and NotLocke. I bet we'll see a making of feature on the DVD. It was epic. Jack Bender and LOST crew, bravo. I kept awaiting the "twist" as one might call it in the back of my mind. I knew that when the sideways was reveleaed it would be something I didn't see coming. I did not see this coming. In fact, during this entire season, I followed what Damon and Carlton said. Don't think about it too much. Be patient and, eventually, it will reveal itself. They earned my trust and I'm quite happy with how the story concluded. I thought it was beautiful. But I must get back to the episode.
--Rose and Bernard AND VINCENT! They continued to live in their homemade retirement home. Bernard went to check the fish traps so they could feed Desmond. Rose told Desmond to leave as soon as he is better because she and Bernard don't want to be involved in any of their drama. I've always loved Rose and Bernard. Bernard is even part of the biggest surprise on LOST for my friend STEVE: the reveal that Bernard was white. I can't quite disagree. Who expected a white man to approach Michael, Sawyer and Jin and reveal himself to be Rose's husband? And their episode "S.O.S" is a beautiful 43 minutes of story. L. Scott Caldwell and Sam Anderson were so tender together. My thanks to both of those terrific actors.
--How about Frank J. Lapidus being alive? I was sure he was dead. Glad he wasn't because he got my jagirl off of the Island. Not only that but he basically fixed an entire airplane by himself with assistance from Richard and Miles. Best part: he slowed the plane down for the late arrivals Sawyer, Kate and Claire. Jeff Fahey was awesome in this role. He delivered the funniest lines. He just went with the flow and then finally was able to fly off the Island.
--I don't think an infection really existed. I don't think anything was wrong besides the fact she was alone on the Island for three years, had no idea what happened to her son and was manipulated by MIB to do his bidding. She was the old Claire on that Ajira plane. She emerged when she grabbed Kate's hand. I wrote pretty much what I've wanted to about Kate and Claire's story in the past but I have one more thing to add: it's been one of my favorite storylines. I felt extremely attached to their story for some reason. The final image of them alive was an image I wanted to see since Kate explained to Ms. Littleton why she was going back to the Island. Huge fan of Kate being the one to convince Claire to leave the Island with them. Claire worried because Aaron wouldn't know her and the Island had made her crazy. She said she forgot how to be a mother. Kate would help her remember. But I've covered that already. I'm a fan of Emilie de Ravin's for life because of LOST. I thought this was a particularly good Claire season. I missed her a lot during season five. Season one will always be my favorite Claire season. Emilie, you are awesome and after seeing the Jimmy Kimmel special I must say this: she has amazing legs.
--Evangelline Lilly knows how to tug at my heart strings. She was amazing during this episode. The Kate/Jack goodbye. In fact, this is as good a place as any to write about the "choice" as it's been called by various critics. The triangle had been over since Sawyer found Juliet. It became about Kate and Jack finding their way together. They had extremely tender moments together this season. I think of the scene when Kate was going to leave The Temple in "What Kate Does" and how she and Jack were together. After all, these two were going to be married. They met when Jack asked her to stitch him up. They had some extremely rough times but I think Jack loved her all along. Josh Holloway said he thinks Sawyer and Kate was something that wasn't built for a lasting relationship. The seeds were there for Jack and Kate, you know once Jack healed himself and became whole. It took returning to the Island. I never rooted for a particular relationship to succeed in LOST. Well, Claire and Charlie. But I really did like Jack and Kate together. I didn't like Sawyer with Kate as much as I liked him with Juliet. But their goodbye scene, Jack and Kate's, combined with their reunion in the sideways was extremely powerful. If you just imagine Kate living a long life and then dying and after all that time finding the love of her life and finally in a place where she can be with him forever, it's just a powerful thing. The same with all these characters. It had been a long time since they were all together and the fact that they had died and were moving on together is just beautiful. I think Matthew Fox and Evangelline Lilly were outstanding tonight but they've both been consistently wonderful for the entire series. When Kimmel introduced Matthew last night, his eyes were red and he admitted he had just watched the end and it means alot to him. I would've started a standing ovation for Matthew because he was simply outstanding last night.
--Finally, the church scene. The final setting of LOST. I wrote in the "What They Died For" entry that LOST is a deeply spiritual show. I'll reiterate: season one of LOST is extremely spiritual. Spirituality doesn't necessarily mean religious even though the show ended in a a particularly Christian way. LOST has taken different elements from religion and used them in their show. We had a particularly spiritual arc for Mr. Eko in which he literally assumed his brother's role as a priest though he wasn't an ordained priest but he became a man of God. Spirituality is about this sense and belief in something larger than this world, it's about faith but not specificially religion. Damon and Carlton had no problems embracing the time travel and sci-fi roots of season five. Well, they also had no problems telling people that season six is a deeply spiritual season. It was about coming together because spirituality is a lot about community and the people around you. People light each other up. A fan asked a question during Times Talk about Desmond telling Jack that he needs to 'lift it up' meaning his ankle but all of these characters were lifting each other up. They needed each other to help them on their own individual redemption paths. Damon said that awareness began to creep in as well as memory whenever a character would offer their help to another character. It's about helping. In fact, here's a good place to highlight the only question I've ever had answered by DL & CC. The question isn't as important as the answer they gave. The gist of my question: why only writing teams for nearly five seasons? It was random but I had the chance, through my queston, for them to read of my gratitude towards the show. I wasn't sure it'd be answered. I just hoped that they saw my thank you for the six seasons and that they knew I had so much escaping into this world on a weekly basis. Well, they did answer. It's the final question in the Q&A and can be read on lostpedia.com. Their answer for why only writing teams for nearly five seasons: it ties into the basic theme of the show...no one does it alone. I get it, readers. It's like what Jorge responded with when DL & CC asked him why he didn't go to them for additional info about the end: "I think I got it." I get it, too. Jack, in "White Rabbit," says "if we don't live together, we're going to die alone.I've watched it for the characters. They've been the most important part of the series. I loved the mysteries and the mythology, too, but if I didn't get answers I wouldn't have minded. I wanted character resolution and closure though. That was the absolute most important aspect of the show to me. The church was the culmination of those words that Jack spoke so long ago. I was overwhelmed by the second to last scene in the show with Jack hugging and saying hello to all of his friends while Giachinno score played. It was a score that combined all of the major musical themes of LOST. We saw Libby, Rose and Bernard, Hurley, Boone, Shannon, Sun and Jin, Charlie and Claire and Aaron, John Locke, Sayid and the words of Jack's father who playing in my head because this sudden clarity had overcome me as I watched the show. I kept waiting for the moment through the finale when the audience would become the character who needed to become aware of what exactly these Sideways were. Meaning crept in slowly when Jack realized he had died on the Island and he hugged his father. His father said, "I love you son." And then it came, my awakening and my awareness, in these words: "This is a place that you’ve all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That’s why all of you are here. Nobody dies alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you." And there it was. In five sentences, the story of LOST had come full circle and to a complete and natural resolution for me. It was a character study about these people and people in general and about how they exist and act in this world and it wasn't afraid to ask a lot important questions about the nature of humanity, life, death, love, redemption, etc.
I think it's clear that I loved the finale. It was everything I wanted from this show. I don't regret a single second that I spent watching this show or freaking out after a cliffhanger or arguments I've had about the show. I don't regret a single second I spent writing these entries about LOST or the articles I wrote for The Quad or the extra time I spent while laying out a section to include a picture of LOST and plug for Jacob's Foot. I don't regret a moment I spent listening to the LOST official audio podcast or reading the interviews I read. I don't regret the time I spent on thefuselage.com or TWoP's message board, reading and reacting to what other people have thought. I don't regret all the times I re-watched episodes nor every single week I spent writing about this show in between seasons five and six. I'm so glad that I didn't stop watching because me and season two of the show had been on rocky terms. I still remember the day I saw "Flashes Before your Eyes" and realized that my show had returned. I don't regret listening to the commentaries nor watching special features about the making of the show. It was the greatest television experience of my life. That may sound silly but fiction plays a huge role in everyone's life. We crave good stories and we hold onto good storytelling for life. I'll never forget these characters and these stories nor the writers who brought me and all of us fans this world into our homes. One of the last scenes in Woody Allen's movie 'Deconstructing Harry' comes to my mind as I write this. In his movie, the character Woody portrays is a fiction writer and he has a terrible time functioning in life. He's on his way to be honored but he continues to screw things up with those he once shared special moments with as well as his own family. Throughout the movie, the stories come alive. As the movie progresses, Woody himself becomes all of these character and the distortion is no longer there. A piece of him existed in all of these characters so by the end he enters the stories. Soon, he sees all of the characters he created and they have assembled to honor him and they love him because he created them. And then Woody delivers these lines that I feel conveys the same feelings I have for these fictional characters created by Damon Lindelof, JJ Abrams, Carlton Cuse and the rest of the writing staff: "I love all of you, really. You've given me some of the happiest moments in my life. And you've even saved my life at times." It might seem ridiculous for someone to feel this way about a show. If so, then I am a ridiculous man because this show has rocked my world. I had so much fun.
Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wrote "The End." Damon's been there since day 1 when he and JJ Abrams frantically prepared the treatment. Carlton arrived in early season one and together they truly created the world we watched for six seasons. I can only imagine how these two felt as they said goodbye to the show, the cast and the crew. They knocked it out of the park and it's fitting that Damon Lindelof gets the first writing credit for "The End." Jack Bender, the visual mastermind of the show, directed this episode. He's directed some of the greatest episodes of LOST and is essentially responsible for the look of the show. I hope we get some behind the scenes stuff on the dvd for this episode. I imagine we will because I want to see how Bender approached some of most emotional scenes of the finale.
I've written this throughout. It got dusty last night in my house. I was quite emotional watching the episode. It began during that montage and one of the most unexpected 'dust' moments came when the credits ran for the final time because Sam Anderson's name was first and I realized that every former cast member with a starring credit who had returned was going to receive one final starring credit. Amazingingly, I haven't given credit where credit is due for the cast members who appeared in this finale. There's Jeremy Davies who portrayed Daniel Faraday. He even found his Charlotte in a moment I briefly mentioned many words ago. Daniel didn't recover from her death. He spent three years of his life trying to figure out how the Oceanic 815 crash could be avoided. But it couldn't. He just never considered this extraordinary sideways. Rebecca Mader portrayed Charlotte. Cynthia Watros portrayed Libby one last time. And then, finally: Madison the dog as Vincent.
I think I've reached the end. I know there's going to be so much more that I'll want to write about this finale and this show and I will somewhere and at some point. But this is the end of "Jacob's Foot." I probably was writing for only myself through this period of LOST blogging and that's okay. But I wasn't alone. I'd be stimulated by arguments on message boards and would mostly write about my frustrations with the fans. But Doc Jensen even brought Jacob's Foot into this world. Doc is a man whose work about LOST I really respect and admire. He responded to some of my tweets and even retweeted a poem I sent that had alot of parallels with the sideways and, in fact, this TS Eliot poem is worth looking at considering the ultimate resolution of the show. But you don't need to really. The show speaks for itself. Thank you to all who have read this at some point. I hope my intense love for the show wasn't annoying but I'm sure it was. Anywho, before Jacob's Foot unties its shoe for the last time, there's two important things left to do and I have one more paragraph for the show.
I just wanted to share something Doc wrote at the beginning of his part one recap of the finale and one of the points of the finale: the show wanted to rediscover and reinvent spirituality for a new generation that falls easily to dubious ideas and has a hard time believing in anything. I just think that's a wonderful idea and wanted to share. My final paragraph regards us fans, the ones who have followed this show and life after LOST. I felt all sorts of things last night as I wrote, watched Kimmel and realized that I have no show to watch on Tuesday night. This morning, I read the final LOST related tweet of Damon Lindelof's. It's simple but it provided even more clarity. I think he wrote it for himself and for the fans. What he wrote invoked the three themes we saw at the very end of LOST:
Remember. Let Go. Move on.
TO THE RANKINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS FINALE
I've been writing for nearly 8 hours straight. I went to sleep at 3:30AM and woke up around 9 and immediately began writing again. I wrote for four hours after the finale end and then around eight by the time this baby is actually posted. During this, me and STEVE spoke on AIM to rank for the final two times. But I'll get to the all-time rankings in a bit because after all we had to finish our season six rankings. Since Widmore died last episode and Jacob's ashes burned away we removed them from the rankings so we ranked only fifteen and, in rankings finale tradition, we commented on each character. There's some movement in the rankings. Claire did not make it back to the top 5. It would've been forced on my part. I love her so though. Hurley jumped to number 2. MIB fell on STEVE's list and other some other characters moved but, you know, the rankings are fun to read with the commentary so do enjoy the final edition of the LOST season rankings.
AFTER EPISODES 17 & 18
1. Jack-what a way to end his story.
2. Hurley-unconditional love personified
3. Desmond-i'll see you in another life, brother.
4. Kate-she was so sweet this episode.
5. Ben-in the words of Locke, "goodbye, Ben."
6. Claire-my girl.
7. Jin-he spent more time at no. 7 than any other character. it has to be this way.
8. Locke-that smile he flashed Jack was EFFIN AWESOME.
9. Sawyer-james ford.
10. Sayid-wish we could've avoided zombie Sayid.
11. Miles-awesome dude.
12. Richard-huge fan of richard but he's a victim of the numbers game.
13. Frank-he is a fantastic pilot.
14. Sun-always ranked her low so why stop now?
15. Man in Black-smokey was so awesome.
1. Jack-the overall MVP of the series
2. Desmond-please grow the hair and beard back
3. Kate-she looked great
4. Ben-the selfish bastard was finally not looking out for himself
5. Richard-finally seen his grey hair
6. Frank-Frank to the rescue!!!!!!!!!!
7. Jin-he spent more time at no. 7 than any other character. it has to be this way.
8. Claire-kinda weird how she looks better pregnant than normal.
9. Locke-the man of faith.
10. Sawyer-a real bust this season.
11. Miles-probably a millionaire off the island now.
12. Sayid-bust this season sadly.
13. Man in Black-a bust for me at the end, i expected him to be more but i'm okay with that.
14. Hurley-still should have jumped out of that helicopter.
15. Sun-sun is 15 for no reason
THE TOP 50 ALL TIME LOST CHARACTERS!
These rankings took in the totality of every season. It represents our favorite characters and our least favorite characters. I stunned STEVE with my 50th character but I really disliked her. STEVE also expected Claire to be number 2. But she isn't. I don't have much to add. The rankings speak for themselves. Enjoy.
50. Ana Lucia
38. Dr. Arzt
36. Tom aka Mr. Friendly
34. Dr. Chang
31. Ms. Hawking
29. The Man in Black
22. Daniel Faraday-Widmore
21. Danielle Rousseau
13. Mr. Eko
45. Dr. Arzt
36. Dr. Chang
35. Daniel Faraday-Widmore
31. Ms. Hawking
23. Ana Lucia
18. Man in Black
14 Danielle Rousseau
13. Mr. Eko