The island wasn't a cork.... it was the Titanic!! Or James Cameron's version of it anyway. I kid, because I love. And I did love the finale. Now that I've stopped crying for a few minutes (something sure to be re-initiated by writing this) I guess it is time I get down to the discussion.
No real recap for this one, because I am not going to write a novel. You see how long they can be for an hour episode - can you image one that is 150% longer?!?! Ridiculous. So here is the brief brief brief recaps:
Island: Jack and UnLocke both want to use Desmond for their plan. Des uncorks the island - it goes all red and scary and starts to collapse. But it also makes Jack and UnLocke (and Richard, it would appear) mortal again. So Jack, with more than a little help from his gal Kate, kill UnLocke and then Jack goes back and re-corks the island. Jack, Kate, Claire, Frank, Miles, Sawyer and Richard leave on the Ajira plane. Hurley is left in charge of the island with Ben as his number 2. Jack dies in "his spot" in the bamboo field, with Vincent by his side.
Sideways: Each of our faves have their "flash" and remember their lives. They meet in a church of some sort (Unitarian based on that fab stained-glass window). Jack finally flashes and sees Christian who explains this is a place they all created to find each other. It is where they meet up to "Remember, let go and move on." To heaven, or your afterlife of choice. And then they all go into the light.
Alright... before we get to the nitty gritty, can I just talk about a few things I really loved about the episode? Hands down the funniest moment for me was Jin and Sun meeting up with a still unaware Sawyer in the hospital. The look on their faces, especially Jin, when Sawyer said he was a cop was priceless. Because, really, isn't that the face we all made when that revealed to us earlier this season? That was what Sawyer gave himself in this place? Of course he did. And then there are the tear-jerkers. Frankly every "awakening" or whatever you want to call it was tear worthy for me. I basically cried for 2 1/2 hours. Not counting the tears shed while watching the recap! Jin and Sun remembering over the ultrasound of Ji Yeon. Charlie, Kate and Claire flashing over the birth of Aaron. But best of all, and therefore last, except for Jack of course, is Sawyer and Juliet and their "cup of coffee" moment we have waited all season for. I know that there are Skate-shippers who would have liked to see this foursome wind up in another way, but I really don't see how that ever would have worked. But then again, I've always been a Jater. :) Also loved the symmetry of certain things, especially the moment of Jack and Locke looking down into the unknown where Desmond was (the light/the hatch).
So the end..... Let me make try to clear it up for those that seem confused (something I guess it is easy to be with this show, although I thought this part was well explained) the island was NOT purgatory. Frankly, I don't really see the Sideways reality as purgatory either. Limbo maybe... I'm not as well-versed in these things as they don't exist in my religion but I've always thought of Purgatory as a negative place you go to instead of getting a decision made (heaven/hell) and Limbo as a sort of holding room. Whatever you want to call it - the Sideways Reality was a place our Losties created for themselves so they could go into the light together. They seem to have made it what they wanted to be, what they always hoped for or maybe what they felt they deserved. The island, on the other hand, was real - it was the only reality. If they died there, that is where they died. Charlie died in the Looking Glass station. Sayid, Jin and Sun died on that submarine. Shannon died in the jungle when Ana Lucia shot her. Jack died in the Bamboo field. And the list goes on (sob). As for the 6 on the Ajira plane, Hurley, Ben and Desmond - well that is anyone's guess. But I hope Ben and Hurley succeeded in getting Desmond back to Penny. But eventually, like the rest of us, they all died too. I assume for Kate it was a long life, which is why she said to Jack as he started to flash that "she missed him" because now that she flashed and "understood", she remembers living her whole life without him. Make sense? Kinda?
Now... onto some other questions I have read throughout the day. Again, this is all up to interpretation. These are just my thoughts and what I've taken it all to mean.
"If they are going to heaven, why didn't Eloise want Desmond to tell everyone, or Daniel to go?"
I think she didn't want Des to follow through or want Daniel to go merely because she wasn't ready to give up her time in the Sideways reality. In real life she killed her son. He didn't get to live a long life because of her itchy trigger finger. I think she was afraid of losing him again. No one really knows what is in that light, not even Eloise, so she wanted Daniel to have this life with her before she was ready to "let go and move on."
"Why didn't Ben go in the church?"
Like he said, he still had things to do. I assume, mostly that would have to do with Alex and Danielle. He would want to get them to flash before moving on. Of anyone on the show, Ben has those most apologies to make. And since it was something he didn't get to really do in life, this Sideways is where he will take care of it.
"Why weren't Miles, Richard, Michael or Walt (etc etc) in the church?"
Ok... easy one first. Walt and Michael weren't there purely for logistical reasons. The actor who plays Walt has grown a lot, even from the last time we saw him when the Oceanic 6 went home. He is about 6 feet tall now. How do you explain why these people created a sideways reality that is supposed to take place when he was 9 years old, but have a Walt that looks old enough to buy beer? There is just no way to do that. And if Walt isn't going to be there - no Michael. So let's pretend that they had things to do, like Ben. As for our freighter folk - well, I don't know. They weren't part of the group that mattered? They had other plans? I don't know about that one. And we can right it off to maybe they weren't ready. Desmond had opportunity to have Miles, Ana Lucia and Charlotte flash but didn't. So maybe there is some point where they will be ready. Lastly, Richard---- he wasn't part of this group, not really. His time was with Isabella in whatever year that was. Not 2004. What would Richard be doing in 2004??
"Sayid and Shannon?? Really??"
Ok.... I guess I understand being a little annoyed by this one. Buuutttt, if we are going with the idea that the island was the most important time in their life, than for Sayid, his love is Shannon, not Nadia. And really - even in this sideways reality he didn't really have Nadia. She was still never really his one love.
"Wait! Did that plane wreckage during the credits mean that they were all dead?"
Or some such nonsense is what I've been hearing. I say with with all the authority of someone who has not had the question answered by Darlton, but with a lot of common sense. NO! That footage was not some sort of sign that they were all dead. It was just b-roll footage of the wreckage from Season One. What would those finale scenes have meant if they were all dead? If they were all dead the whole time it would directly contradict what Christian told Jack! I think it was just a way to have something run with the credits that is a nod back to how this all started.
In the end, I guess I understood that this was a love it or hate it sort of show and finale. Though people who say they don't like it because they wanted it to be [fill in the blank] annoy me. It was never ever going to be what you wanted it to be! It was going to be what Darlton always had planned. And really, how beautiful was it for it to end on a close up of Jack's eye closing? As our eyes opened to this world, so did Jack's, and as we say goodbye, Jack's eye closes. Team Darlton loves symmatry.
Alright guys, your turn! Tell me what you thought. Love, hate, complete and utter confusion? Let me know. Any questions?? While I'm no expert, I'll give it a shot. If only to make you feel better. Besides, Team Darlton ain't talking so you are just stuck with me instead.