We’ve re-watched the Pilot episode, and the recap show, and we can’t put off the inevitable any longer. It’s a unique feeling to anticipate and dread the same event with such equality, but the time is upon us. We wanted all of our new episodes in a row, and they gave it to us. We wanted an end to horrible happenings like Nikki and Paulo, and they gave it to us. We wanted answers, and in the past season, they gave that to us as well. Now, as the curtain falls on what I can only assume (if you’re reading this), is a form of TV religion to you, we want closure. Would we get it?
114 episodes down, and one more to go. I’m sad to say these words…it’s time for “The End”
(For those of you that are unfamiliar with my recaps, please mouse over the pictures for captions underneath, and enjoy this picture of me in all of my Lost Geek-dom right before the Finale started tonight)
As we saw our final 'Previously on Lost' opening segment, we were reminded right away of Jacob's directions to Jack in 'What They Died For', telling Jack that the job of Island protector was his for "as long as you can." Many commenters last week speculated that this interesting choice of words foreshadowed a short reign for Jack, and that the finale would result in another change. I wasn't in this school of thought until I saw this segment to open the episode.
The episode itself opened with a fantastic scene transitioning between the Flash Sideways (FS) World, and the Island World, and also transitioning between characters, all the while interspersed with Christian Shephard's coffin making its way off of the Oceanic plane. We saw an opening shot of Jack in his office, then to his healing hands in the water on the Island; to Ben making coffee with his arm in a sling, then to him loading a pistol on the Island and looking at Flocke, which then cut to the real Locke in the hospital, saying goodbye to his wheelchair; from Sawyer the cop, to Sawyer on the Island tending to Kate's wound, and ending with Kate waiting in the car for Desmond. An absolutely beautiful scene, and all with no words spoken.
In the parking lot where random delivery guy is dropping off the coffin, Desmond appears out of nowhere to sign for it. The delivery guy, who was rocking a spectacular ponytail, asked Desmond, "Are you a priest or something?", and I loved how he answered with "Or something."
Then Desmond said something that was confusing at the time, but a hell of a lot clearer at the end, as he told Kate "No one can tell you why you're here, Kate. Certainly not me." So where the hell was 'here' supposed to be? At this point, only a few scant minutes into the episode, colour me confused.
On the Island, Jack had a conversation with the other members of the Final Four, explaining what Jacob told him about the heart of the Island and that, as he put it, "we need to protect it." No...it wasn't a team sport. It was pretty specific, this was your responsibility, not everyone else's. I didn't see Hurley or Kate or Sawyer drinking from the stream with Jacob last week.
Jack: "Jacob didn't say anything to me about Desmond."
Sawyer: "Doesn't sound like he said anything about anything."
Hurley: "That's kinda true, dude. He's worse than Yoda."
We returned from the first commercial break to find Hurley and Sayid at the Flightline Motel, which you die-hards will recognize as the same place that Anthony Cooper's con went down with John Locke, and where Helen found out that John had been meeting Cooper. Hurley had a great line in the Hummer on how Sayid didn't recognize the tranquilizer gun, which was interesting since he had two run-ins in the show with them in the past.
But the one thing that came out of this scene, which really set the emotional tone of the entire episode for me, was the pure unbridled emotion that we saw in Hurley's face the moment that he saw Charlie. And even though our little Drive Shaft Hobbit did his best to be antagonistic and confrontational, the joy that Hurley was exuding just couldn't be contained.
And the look on Sayid's face when Hurley dropped an unconscious Charlie in the back of the vehicle after sedating him...well, that was the first of many moments tonight that made me laugh out loud.
Back on the Island, Kate was asking Jack why he accepted the responsibility from Jacob. As he explained to her that the Island was all that he had left, and the only thing that he hadn't managed to ruin, I wondered if the Island stream cocktail from last week actually made Jack lose some of his self confidence when it appeared that he had actually gained a peace and solace that he hadn't had before. Kate echoed the words that Jack spoke to Locke in the FS World at the end of L.A. X, when she told him "nothing is irreversible."
As we cut to the well that didn't contain Desmond, and see Sawyer skulking around in the bushes, I had to point out that I found it a little inconsistent that our established 'near all-knowing' Flocke couldn't tell that Sawyer was spying on him from 15 feet away behind a single bush. I didn't think that Flocke, who knew who died and who didn't on the sub while he was standing on the dock in The Candidate, now was hoodwinked by what was, in essence, a situation straight out of a Spy vs. Spy cartoon. Although from a pure enjoyment standpoint, this scene got high marks for the swift elbow to Ben's face (and his ensuing groan), and the fact that Sawyer referred to Flocke as 'Smokey'.
But once Sawyer revealed to Flocke that they were no longer candidates (what is the deal with everyone just giving up info that puts them in danger in the last few episodes?), which implied that a new protector had been chosen to replace Jacob, didn't that make the rest of the Candidates expendable? It seemed like an obvious question to wonder why he didn't kill Sawyer on the spot, but now Sawyer, Kate, and Hurley were non-factors if Jack was the Protector.
Then Flocke addressed the situation that I brought up last week in my recap (albeit in the Comments section), if Flocke promised Ben the Island, and then declared he wanted to destroy it, then why would Ben help him? Flocke brushed it aside with a cavalier "I'm sorry if I forgot to mention the part about the Island being on the bottom of the Ocean."
What's that around the well? Dog tracks? Sounds like the return of our favourite Lost canine, which can only mean one thing...Rose and Bernard are back! Making their now annual once-a-year-Island-appearance in the Season Finale, the mystery of who helped Desmond out of the well was solved. (Many of you predicted this in the Comments section last week, and I didn't think it was going to be them. Wrong again.)
While they're not enjoying their morning coffee in Dharma Initiative Collector Mugs, or checking the fish traps (a nod to Jacob, perhaps?), they were living a simple life with no 'getting involved', and no 'drama'. Rose confirmed that they were travelling in time with no concept (or care) of how long it had been, or even what year it was. And Bernard was rocking a spectacular beard, wasn't he? Take that Mr. Friendly and your lame-ass glue on beard from Season 2...our resident dentist just blew you out of the water.
After breaking their rule to help Desmond, it all seemed fine and dandy as Des appeared ready to head on his way. But Flocke showed up with an ultimatum for Desmond...to come with him, or he would kill Rose and Bernard right in front of him, and 'make it hurt'. Even though Rose told him not to, we knew that Des would choose to go with Flocke when faced with that choice...you didn't really expect to see a violent end for Rose and Bernard in the Series Finale did you?
But here's the question I have. If Desmond understands what his purpose is on the Island, then why would he choose to save them? I understand the choice from a thematic and plot standpoint, but using logic...saving the world from a monster that will destroy it vs. saving 2 old folks who you shared a beach with for 2-3 weeks? Really? I understand that even if he said "Go ahead", he wasn't getting away from Flocke anyways, but the point is still pretty valid, I think.
On the outskirts of the Dharma barracks, Miles reported to Ben (via walkie) that he had found Richard alive. When we last saw Richard, he was being throat-chopped into the distance by the Smoke Monster, and when we last saw Miles, he was reportedly running through the jungle to get away from Flocke. Well then, why the hell did he come back to the Barracks, where he found Richard? I'm not even going to worry about, I'm just happy that Richard was still alive, as I steadfastly declared last week.
Back in the FS World, Sun is recovering from her gunshot wound almost as well as Kate was on the Island, and when Jin mentioned that a doctor was coming, I got a little giddy. And yes, I full-on fist-pumped when Juliet walked in the room, even though I was 100% expecting her to be in this episode. As I've mentioned in the past, isn't that part of the magic of this show, that they can put on screen exactly what you're expecting to see, and it still gives you that sort of reaction?
Cue the moment that gives Jin and Sun their 'awareness', as Juliet gives Sun an ultrasound, mirroring the same situation that happened on the Island in the Season 3 episode D.O.C. On a side note, for those of you that have become accustomed to my 'Mirror Image' examples in past recaps, I have decided to be extremely selective with the ones I choose for this episode, as we saw so many mirror moments triggering the 'Flashes.'
The scene with Sun and Jin becoming aware made it clear that everything comes back...happiness, pain, suffering, death. Because as we saw the happy moments between the two of them, we also saw the freighter explosion, and their deaths on the sub. As Juliet showed them the picture of the baby on the ultrasound, Jin said to Sun, "Did you see?", and I relished the double meaning of his question. And I did enjoy Juliet's face when they switched from Korean to English.
After fleeing the Flocke and Ben Well Party, Sawyer caught up with the gang again, and then found out that he was going to end up with them again, anyways.
Jack: "It doesn't matter if we find Desmond or he does, James. We're going to the same place."
Sawyer: "Then what?"
Jack: "Then it ends."
Which made me think back to the conversation between Jacob and MIB on the beach when we first met them, when Jacob declared that "it only ends once." And this was going to be that once. As they walked up the hill and the camera panned back, I noted this as Mirror Image #1: echoing the same shot (and similar situation) that we saw as the Losties travelled to the radio tower in the Season 3 Finale, Through The Looking Glass.
In the FS World, Locke is being prepped for surgery when Jack comes in and they have an interesting conversation about Jack's confidence in the fact that the surgery will work. When Locke questions his confidence, Jack responds with another great dual-meaning line, "Well, there's always the chance that I could kill you." Damn, I love these writers.
Newsflash! Richard has a grey hair! That's right, the Ultimate 5 O'Clock shadow apparently is now aging, presumably due to the death of Jacob. Looking back on the deal that Jacob made with him, it seems like a pretty raw deal if it's nullified when Jacob dies. He did say to Miles, "I realized I want to live", which I'm calling Mirror Image #2: echoing the line he spoke to Jacob in Ab Aeterno when Jacob was treating him as his own personal dunk tank volunteer.
Miles and Richard then took the outrigger from the dock, and as they teased the fact that a storm was coming, didn't you expect to finally see the other half of that outrigger scene in the rain that we saw last year? Sorry, too bad...just one final tease from Damon and Carlton. As they paddled through the debris from the sub, they also stumbled across a floating Lawnmower Man, aka Frank Lapidus, who I also insisted was not dead.
As they hauled him up into the outrigger, we got what I am referring to as Mirror Image #3: echoing when Bram and Ilana transported Frank from Hydra Island after the initial Ajira crash, as Frank laid in the canoe prone on his back in both instances. And as the three of them discussed their plan, why did no one think of just flying away instead of blowing up the plane before??
Flocke's group and Jack's group finally met up in an old-fashioned duel-type of atmosphere, with one faction cresting a hill and bracing for conflict. Just when I thought it was going to be one of those fantastic standoff scenes, Kate lost her freaking mind, grabbed Sawyer's gun, and started firing at Flocke. I was scared for her, because I had postulated in the past that Flocke responds once fired upon. (Remember how Richard yelled at everyone at the statue to not fire on him?)
Typical Kate, though, wasn't it? Impulsive, hot-headed, and 'think first, ask later'. Desmond and Ben hit the dirt as Kate fired away, and Flocke simply strolled past her, advising her to save her bullets. Then, Jack and Flocke came face-to-face in their inevitable (verbal) standoff, and after Flocke declared that Jack was "the obvious choice" (foreshadowing, and a knowing nod to the die-hards once again), we got this exchange:
Jack: "You think you're gonna destroy the Island."
Flocke: "I think?"
Jack: "But that's not what's gonna happen."
Flocke: "Well, what's gonna happen, Jack?
Jack: "I'm going to kill you."
Flocke: "How do you plan to do that?"
Jack: "That's a surprise."
Flocke: "OK, let's get on with it."
Wow, ramp up the awesome factor. That scene was fantastic.
I'm not going to take any real space on this, but in the FS World, what 98% of the Lostiverse was predicting came to fruition when Juliet was revealed to be both Jack's ex-wife and David's mother. I haven't been this shocked since Tiger Woods had a press conference admitting his extramarital affairs.
Back to the Island and what can only be described as the most awkward group walk ever. At the mouth of the bamboo field, Flocke, Jack, and Desmond carry on alone, but not before Hurley tells Jack, "I believe in you, dude." At the entrance to the Cave of Light, the light is noticeably fainter than when we saw it in Across The Sea. Just before entering the cave, Desmond enlightens Jack:
"This doesn't matter, you know? Him destroying the Island, you destroying him. It doesn't matter. You're going to lower me into that light, and I'm going to go somewhere else. A place where we can be with the ones that we love. And not ever have to think about this damn Island again. And you know the best part, Jack? You're in this place."
Jack responds with a curt: "There are no do-overs. What happened, happened. All of this matters." At this point, I was starting to believe him.
The awkwardness of the most unlikely tag team in Lost history continued as Flocke and Jack lowered Desmond down the waterfall. It was weird watching the teamwork of the two of them, and I started to note that this was a mirror image of when they went down to the hatch for the first time...but then Flocke made the comparison for me. Oh, what the hell, I'm still calling it Mirror Image #4. "Just like old times", Flocke said.
Jack took umbrage with that comment and snapped back, "You're not John Locke. You disrespect his memory by wearing his face, but you're nothing like him. Turns out he was right about most everything. I just wish I could have told him that while he was still alive."
Flocke insists he is right about Locke, and Jack says that they'll just have to see.
It's the ultimate pissing contest.
Ironically over a waterfall lit with yellow light. My apologies for the imagery.
Then the camera pans down the waterfall in a shot virtually identical to the final shot in the Season 1 finale, as Jack and Locke peered down the hatch. Mirror Image #5.
Once Desmond is at the bottom of the cave, he sees skeletons (?), and a pool with channels heading outward (to the Temple perhaps?). As he enters the pool to pull 'the cork', we see his unique resistance to electromagnetism as he fights off the effects. As the light goes out and the cave goes dark, the Island rumbles, and Flocke proudly proclaims his victory to Jack, "It looks like you were wrong."
But as Flocke leaves the cave, he is attacked from behind by Jack, and as we see Flocke realize that he is bleeding, Jack throws his words right back in his face, "Looks like you were wrong too." Clearly Jack's plan was to let Desmond extinguish the light since that would be the only way to physically kill Flocke. A good plan that seemed like it was destined to end right outside the cave until Flocke remembered a lesson taught by his mother when he was only minutes old...the time-honoured 'grab a rock and bash them in the head' plan of attack.
On Hydra Island, the Pilot, The Ghost Whisperer, and the (Formerly) Ageless Wonder found themselves face-to-face with an angry Claire. As they were communicating with Kate via the walkie, we got Mirror Image #6: Kate listened through the walkie as shots were fired into the sand on the beach, presumably killing her allies, just as Jack listened on the walkie as shots were fired on the beach in the same situation in Through The Looking Glass.
I'll wrap up the concert in a rapid-fire format: Juliet left David with Aunt Claire, who she just met (mother of the year), Charlotte was the hottest wake-up call service in history, Charlie actually wore eyeliner (unlike Richard), the gang sat at Table 23 (the numbers!), Desmond smirked as he asked Claire and Kate "Do you two know each other?", Eloise asked Desmond not to take Daniel, and Drive Shaft's music has the same effect on Claire as raw sea urchin.
The only major situation coming out of the concert was the birth of Aaron, mirroring the Island events, and bringing Charlie, Claire, and Kate all to full 'awareness' status. It was an emotional scene, and lots of kleenex was used in our house. The only thing that was missing, was Charlie calling Aaron 'Turniphead'.
But I have to step outside of the parameters of this recap for just a moment and say, as a red-blooded male who thinks Evangeline Lilly is one of the most beautiful women on the planet...how on earth did it take 115 episodes to get her in a little black dress? Ok, back to the episode...
...and to the ultimate confrontation. Jack and Flocke...on the cliff...in the rain. I expected Flocke to chuck that knife at Jack like Locke did into Naomi's back in Season 3. But no, it was a head-on collision, and a running punch from Jack that looked like something out of a Mission Impossible movie. The wall crumbled, Jack got stabbed, and just as we saw Flocke ready to plunge his knife into Jack's throat...Kate saved the day with a well timed shot, and the deliciously snide comment, "I saved you a bullet."
Then Jack gave us Mirror Image #7: as he kicked Flocke off the side of the cliff in the exact same manner that Flocke kicked Jacob into the fire in the foot of the statue. The Island Protector and his nemesis, only the roles are reversed. In a vicious drop, Flocke met his end on the rocks below, and the sound editing team deserves an Emmy for the disgusting crunch we heard as he landed.
A beautiful transition to the hospital in the FS World, and a nurse telling Jack 'Nice work Dr. Shephard", as Locke is being wheeled out of surgery. We get the explanation on the neck wound (as was suggested by many readers last week), and John Locke waking up early, wiggling his toes, and triggering his own flash.
Sawyer was in the hospital as well, and after being told by Jin and Sun--with knowing smiles--that they would "see him there", he ran into Juliet at the vending machine, and we got the expected 'We can go dutch' scene we've been expecting since L.A. X as they both had their respective flashes with each other. "It worked", she told him, echoing her words that we heard via Miles regarding the bomb. I give credit to Josh Holloway, who I've never been a fan of, for the pure emotion in this scene. Fantastic.
Back on the Island, Jack explained that he was going to have to go back and turn the light back on. I won't refer to this one as a mirror image, but it's the same situation that we saw with the Frozen Donkey Wheel. Just as Locke had to go correct it after Ben turned it, Jack has to go undo what Desmond did.
Kate pleads with him to leave it and let the Island destroy itself, but he insists he has to finish it. As he convinces her to leave on the plane and take Claire home to Aaron, she says to him "Tell me I'll see you again", and his silence speaks volumes. They exchange 'I love you's, and I was emotional. Call it cheesy, call me schmaltzy...I can take it...but I've been a Jater since day one, and I've always felt that Jack and Kate belonged together. So this final exchange between the two of them validated that it was the right thing all along, and I'm happy it ended that way.
But man, talk about an awkward boat ride with Sawyer right after that, huh?
Sawyer called Miles 'Enos' (again, like on the Dharma Security team), called Hurley 'Bigfoot', and in my personal favourite, called Frank 'Chesty'. Just squeezing in a few more nicknames before it ends, huh Darlton? Personally, I prefer Frank 'The Walkie Talkie Chucker' Lapidus...what the hell was that about?
FS Jack gets his own flash with Kate at the end of the concert, and Island Jack heads back with Hurley and Ben to go into the cave. I've long maintained that Hurley is the heart of this show, and has been for 6 years, but the scene in front of the cave as Jack explained to Hurley that it was him that needed to protect the Island...it was proof. The heart of the show at the heart of the Island, and his innocence refused to let him believe that he couldn't find a way to not let Jack die. Jack ended this by telling Hurley the same thing Hurley told him at the same spot, 'I believe in you."
The ceremony transferring power from Jack to Hurley (as was predicted by many of you last week. Damn you're good.) said a lot. It was the third ceremony we saw, and all 3 were slightly different. The one common thread was the drinking of liquid, and I would suggest that the key element in all 3 ceremonies was simply the pure belief that this ceremony did what they believed it did. Jack did no chanting as Jacob or his mother did, he just gave Hurley a drink of dirty stream water in an Oceanic water bottle. How fitting.
Down in the cave, before Jack completed his role, and played the ultimate game of Perfection by popping the cork back in the pool, he solidified his sacrifice by saving Desmond.
Jack: "Go home to your wife and son."
Desmond: "What about you, Jack?"
Jack: "I'll see you in another life, brother."
I still need to sum up the final 15 minutes, and make my closing thoughts, and it's ridiculously late as I'm writing this, so I'm going with some bullet points for the next few items:
- Hurley became Jacob (Jack), Ben became Richard, and the others left on the plane.
- I wish Kate and Sawyer would have looked at each other on the plane and said "Good thing we built that runway."
- Where is Desmond?
- The final scene outside the church with Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson made me realize that I'll likely never see them on screen together again. That is a travesty, those two were absolute magic together.
Now, let's talk about the last 15 minutes, and the big reveal, because this is what the major topic of conversation is going to be coming out of this episode. I'm not going to break it all down, just give you my initial thoughts on what it means.
I was plugging along in this episode, loving everything I saw, and then when Christian showed up and started explaining to Jack, I wasn't sure I was very happy with what I was hearing. I loved the way it was presented, but I wasn't sure how I felt about what it meant.
Upon further consideration, and another viewing, I'm very happy with the end. I'm of the mindset that the FS World was the 'afterlife' for our Losties, and as Christian explained, a world that they created to find each other. The Island was not purgatory, and what happened there, indeed happened. But the Flash-Sideways world wasn't real...and once they made the connections they needed to make, to form this afterlife community with each other, that was their own closure, and they just needed to wait for each other to be ready...to 'let go'.
Desmond was acting as the Shepherd of this group, leading his flock (neither pun is intended, honest) to come together in full awareness of what this all meant...full understanding. We were given hints, many of them in this episode:
- Desmond describing himself not as a priest, but "or something".
- Desmond telling Kate what 'here' was.
- Locke saying to Jack before surgery, "See you on the other side."
- Desmond speech to Jack at the mouth of the cave about it not mattering.
- Desmond asking Kate after her flash with Claire if she understands.
- Jin and Sun telling Sawyer "See you there."
- Locke telling Jack he doesn't have a son.
I'm sure a lot of people don't like the ending, but I do. Maybe I'm wrong in my analysis...I've been wrong before, but I think I am understanding what I saw, and I'm at peace. I loved the imagery of everyone in the church together.
And the final scene of Jack laying in the bamboo field and being joined by Vincent before seeing the Ajira plane fly overhead and closing his eye...beautiful. Just beautiful.
So that’s it.
“The End” in so many ways.
I’m not sure where to go from here. As I mentioned in the past, I came late to this party, and recapping this past season has been an unbelievable pleasure for me. What started out as a small project for me and a few friends has blossomed into something beyond my wildest expectations. A very special thank you must go out to DarkUFO for allowing me to be a part of this unbelievable community of fans and friends. And an even bigger thank you to him for the countless hours and tireless effort he has put into making this community the fantastic place that it is. Words aren’t enough, my friend, and I was thrilled when you announced that this site would continue on after the Finale. Your legacy deserves a very long shelf life. My words of praise with neither be the first nor the last.
As I mentioned in my Ode To Lost earlier this weekend, I’m considering recapping the show from the very first episode, with the new perspective of having seen the Finale. I’m not sure if I will, but I’m bouncing the idea around. I want a reason to keep writing…and to maybe keep this show alive a little longer. Call it selfish, but while I’m ready for the story to end, I don’t think I’m ready for a world without these characters just yet.
If I decide to recap the old episodes, they will be posted here,so I hope you’ll come along for the ride. (And if DarkUFO wants them posted there as well, I’d be only too happy to have them there) Many of you have come to the site already, joined as Followers, and also added me on Facebook, and that has been very flattering. Feel free to add me or send me an email if you ever want to chat about Lost, or anything else.
And now, I’m afraid I can put it off no longer. I’m trying every way I can to NOT type that last sentence and say good-bye…but it’s time. It’s been a hell of a ride. And I’ll miss it.
So Thank-You. Good-Bye…and for one final time…Namaste.
I think I'm ready to let go.