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Lost: How It Ended

Updated on June 4, 2010

For a really good explanation of the show in its entirity, check out this article by a writer who works with JJ ABRAMS.

Lost Explanation

It ended in almost the same way as it began – a close up on Jack Shepard’s fading iris.

This time, however, the eye closed.

The series finale of Lost made 13.5 million viewers flick on their T.V’s and watch the two and half hour conclusion. Some had already written off the show as a convoluted mess, already accepting that the finale would disappoint them completely. Others, like me, believed in the core of show, and had high hopes that the last scene would deliver nearly everything we wanted.

So what happened?

The biggest moment came near the end of the two and half hour epic after the story of the Losties on the island had been concluded. Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Frank, and Richard were able to fix the plane and fly away from the Island, just as Jack ‘replaced’ the cork at the centre of the Island.

Sound confusing?

The six year show created more questions than it could ever answer; many people thought that writers were just creating these questions just keep the viewers hooked. Aside from the numerous unanswered questions, below that mine field of problems, lay the true heart of the show – almost like the heart of the island, hiding beneath all the mystery.

It is, and always has been, a show for the characters and about the characters. Lost in its true form is a breathtaking character study that studies every single realm of human spirit. Which is why, in my opinion, I thought the last twenty minutes of the show were absolutely perfect.

In the sideways universe all the Losties start to become intertwined together. Kate and Sayid are in a jail where they are saved by Desmond and Hurley; Jack does spinal surgery on John; Juliet and Sawyer run into each other at the hospital after Sawyer goes there to check in on Jin and Sun; Claire and Charlie have a reunion at Faraday’s concert. When they come into contact with each other they have an epiphany of sorts – a flashback to their time and love shared together on the island.

Everyone, after this revelation, goes to a church – the one where Jack was supposed to have his father’s funeral.

Jack takes the longest to have his epiphany, and when he does, it happens like this:

In the flash sideways world Jack asks his father, who suddenly appears: “How are you here? You’re dead.”

In which he replies: “How are you here?”

The revelation occurs to Jack the he, like is father, is also dead. He touches the coffin and suddenly remembers all the events on the island.

Then he enters a church.

There he sees everyone on Island; they hug, shake hands, kiss. Violin music plays softly, then loudly in the background.

There’s a white light and as it fades away the scene shifts back to Jack’s eye on the island, closing.

What does this all mean?

It means that the sideway universe was created by the Losties as a ‘waiting’ room as sorts. It was a place they all created for each other in order for all of them to be together. The Island and all the strange happenings that took place there did happen and were real. The purgatory aspect of the show was not the entire six seasons, but just the sideways universe in season six.

Proof of this?

  • When Kate and Jack first meet in the sideways world, Kate says to Jack, “I missed you so much.” This implies that she had lived a much longer life after this island, one without Jack.
  • Hurley tells Ben: “You were a real good number two.” And Ben replies: “You were a great number one.” This says that they both lived together on the island after Jack died, with Hurley being the new Jacob and Ben the new Richard.
  • Jacks dad explicitly said: “Some died before you and some long after you… time doesn’t matter here, there is no now. Everyone was waiting for everyone to be able to move on together.”

The island was a place where what happened was very important for the lives of each character. Every one of them came has a character flawed, coming from a life where they were missing something, or had done wrong in their lives. They all, in the simplest way, needed redemption. Now whether they were brought to the island was because Jacob chose them, or because it was ‘destiny’ and the pull of the Island, remains up for debate. The events on the Island forced the Losties together; it forced them to love, to find truth, to find faith. It was the most important part of their lives.

By having the finale end the way it did, in a church with all the Losties together and ready to move on, it embraces one of the fundamental themes of human life. It’s that we all must connect, be able to love, to forgive and to find redemption. We must be able embrace life as gift and – not to sound completely cliché – live life to the fullest.

So when the final violin music played and Jack’s eyelid slowly closed, I wasn’t cursing the producers and writers for not giving us the answers we thought we deserved. I praised them for giving us the biggest and most important answer of all.

Jacks father couldn’t have put it any better.

Jack asked him: “Why are we all here?”

In which he replied: “To remember. And to let go.”

What are your thoughts on the finale?


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    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      I did not 'get it' when I watched the final episode but reading your Hub has cleared it up for me. Thank you great write-up :-) Thumbs up !

    • vanchen profile image

      vanchen 7 years ago from British Columbia

      The interesting thing about the finale was that most of the flashbacks the characters had with each other were back with the time they shared together in season 1 and 2; in fact many of the characters in the church died in those seasons as well.

      Seasons 3 4 and 5 were where the confusing and crazy plot started to unwind.

      Which is why, like you said, you could actually enjoy the finale for what it was.

    • M. T. Dremer profile image

      M. T. Dremer 7 years ago from United States

      I haven't watched lost since part-way into the third season. However I caught the second half of this finale and I enjoyed watching it. My knowledge of the seasons in between was hazy, based on what people told me, but I was able to piece together enough that I wasn't too hopelessly lost. But as you've pointed out, the point of the show wasn't necessarily to confuse people and I think that's why I was still able to enjoy it even though I was way behind the story. I could see the importance of their lives together and the reunion at the end. I think it was a great way to end the series, very sad, but great. Part of me wishes I had watched more of the show, but the other part of me just wants to remember it fondly (and I worry that a lot of the plot lines might make me angry in retrospect.)

    • Jackson Riddle profile image

      Jackson Riddle 7 years ago from Melbourne

      Lol, I stopped watching about halfway through season 3. In season 2 I had already guessed they were all dead and in Limbo/purgatory.

      Good hub though :)

    • vanchen profile image

      vanchen 7 years ago from British Columbia

      Thanks for all the comments everyone.

      Everyone wants a lost encyclopedia with all the answers. I ask why? Isn't it more fun to speculate for years to come, instead of having a definite answer. It was a great journey our characters went on, one i'm glad i spent six years taking.

    • jobister profile image

      jobister 7 years ago from Anaheim, California

      Very good hub, I agree with what you've posted it. People shouldn't dislike a show for its last 5-10 minutes rather appreciate the entire show from start to the very end. It was a story told by someone else and it was well told very well in my opinion. This show was certainly a major part of my life for the past 5 years (I started watching in season 2 and was hooked instantaneously). For all the people who disliked the ending, I would ask them how they would've ended the show without coming up with a ridiculous ending.

    • JoeWalmsley profile image

      JoeWalmsley 7 years ago from Detroit, MI

      I loved it. You said everything I tried to say, but better. I'll be sure to point anyone to this hub who doesn't understand what was going on. Very cool!

    • johnsams profile image

      johnsams 7 years ago

      Enjoyed reading your hub. Explains it all. Well done!

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      At the time of writing this, I still haven't seen the final episode, but I admit to being a mostly confused follower, enjoying the show where we learned about each character's past. Those parts of all the shows seemed the most interesting.

      Thank you very much for this hub - you have explained a lot more to me than I would ever have worked out for myself. I'd heard second hand from people who had watched the final episode that it was 'rubbish' and 'explained nothing'. Obviously these people lacked the ability you have to think, watch carefully, listen and express yourself, so thank you again :)

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 7 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Beautiful hub! I couldn't agree more.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      great write thanks