Over the past few weeks, I have started to enjoy the flash-sideways storyline more and more. It started with “Happily Ever After” and has continued ever since. For a plot device that I was suspicious about in the beginning, I was surprised how much I’ve ended up enjoying it. I specifically liked the emotional experience of “Island illumination” that the characters were having. So that brings us to tonight. As much as I enjoyed seeing the Island story come to a close, I was mostly effected by flash-sideways illumination events. And even though they all had strong emotional resonance with me, two of them in particular brought me to tears. The first was the interaction between Sun, Jin and Juliet. It was great seeing Juliet again and it made sense that she would be the OB/GYN attending to Sun in the sideways world. I was surprisingly not very sad when Sun and Jin died in “The Candidate,” but I guess what had been pent-up all came out when they had their simultaneous flash of the Island in tonight’s episode. I was overcome with emotion but also found myself laughing when they started speaking to Juliet in perfect English.
The second time that I became emotionally devastated was when Kate, Claire and Charlie had their flash when Aaron was born. I was okay until Charlie came back with the blanket and then the waterworks were unstoppable. I suppose it was residual emotion from Charlie’s somewhat untimely death in “Through the Looking Glass,” but I just couldn’t stop crying. I actually started laughing out loud at myself for being so effected by these scenes but I was just so happy for Sun, Jin, Charlie and Claire!
As expected, the concert at Pierre Chang’s museum was the culmination of sideways Desmond’s work to get most of the Oceanic 815 passengers together. Of course there were the stragglers like Sun and Jin; Sawyer and Juliet; and Sayid and Shannon but thankfully they had other help in experiencing Island enlightenment.
On the Island, things played out mostly as expected as far as the Jack vs. Locke storyline went. It was a pleasant surprise to see that both Jack and Locke were humanized as a result of Desmond’s extinguishing of the light in the cave. It certainly made killing the Man In Black a lot easier. I only wonder why Jack didn’t become a new Smoke Monster after reigniting the light in the cave. I was really expecting Jack to be the new Smoke Monster to Hurley’s Jacob. Many of us have been expecting that Hurley would be the actual replacement for Jacob and it was very sweet to see him ask Ben to become his equivalent of Richard. It was even nicer to see him thank Ben for being the best Number 2 late in the flash-sideways. Here’s a thought about Ben: when he didn’t join the Oceanic passengers in the church, I don’t think it was because he was not welcome. Instead I think it was because he was still alive on the Island as the replacement for Hurley after he died in some future time.
The obvious big topic of controversy and discussion will the be final few minutes of the episode; Namely that Jack went to his father’s coffin only to find it empty…again. The revelation that Jack was dead initially caught me off guard and my mind race to explain how and why all the other Oceanic passengers were in the church. But as yechiel eckstein explained, everyone dies sooner or later. Everyone was gathered together because they were so important to each other at that time in their lives. That is quite a change from what Jacob said about their lives in “What They Died For.” They went from being flawed and alone in life to having an extended family on the Island.
So what are we to make of the presence of Hurley, Kate, Sawyer and Claire in the church? As I said earlier, I feel that this gathering occurs sometime after Hurley has passed on the stewardship of the Island to Ben in the future. Kate, Sawyer and Claire were seen escaping the Island with Frank, Richard and Miles. But they may not have ever made it home. The plane may have crashed. Or on a lighter note, they may have made it home and lived out their lives. But in the end, they too died (will die as the case may be). The point is that at some point all these Island souls meet up in this church as they move on to the next life.
My third and final bout of tears came in the ending moments of the series as Jack stumbled his way back to the bamboo forest where he first awoke on the Island. As he laid down, I was fine but when Vincent came out of the jungle and laid down next to him, it brought up memories of “Jurassic Bark,” the most touching and cry-inducing episode of the Futurama ever. As Vincent laid down and rested his head next to Jack, I couldn’t help but cry. And as the corporeal form of Jack closed his eyes for the last time, I felt that it was a perfectly poignant ending to such a fantastic television series.
Of course there were open storylines that I knew would never be closed and others that I thought for sure would see resolution, but like life, some things are just left as questions. It has been a hell of a ride. There were some down times and things that I would have done differently, but I don’t think I ever would have come up with some of the amazing stories that the writers of LOST have crafted for the past six years. All good things must come to an end and I am at peace with that but I will miss seeing these characters in new adventures for a few weeks every spring. So long LOST. Thank you for such a great story that has made me think and kept me guessing until the very end. It has been a pleasure.