LOST Recap: Finale- “The End”

I loved it.  Absolutely.  And I believe it was the best, and really, only way, to end the show.  But it just took me 24 hours after watching to understand why.

The entire show was just about Jack Shephard.  Everything else, including the island and its ability to heal people and time travel, the Smoke Monster, the Dharma Initiative, the Others, Jack’s friends, Jack’s enemies, the light in the cave… All of it were the parts of Jack’s life that ultimately mattered to his existence.

In the likeness of the movie Vanilla Sky, when you’re dead, it’s all over- so why focus on the character’s earthly life after they die?  But the writers of LOST took that concept to a new level by acknowledging that all the mysteries, actions, heartaches, and triumphs all boil down to one thing- the people that were involved in your life.

Even Vincent the dog’s best purpose on the island was to comfort Jack as he died.

I definitely plan to write much more in the near future answering the remaining questions about LOST: Why was The Man in Black never given a name?  Who was the first protector of the island?  Did it really matter that Desmond and/or Locke typed the code every 108 minutes?  What was really accomplished by Juliet sacrificing her life by detonating the bomb in 1977?

But as for today, I think it’s more important to focus exactly what happened in the finale.  The most begging question is what’s up with the flash-sideways?

The first time we saw the characters of LOST in the finale season, they were on the plane.  Note there were never flash-forwards or flash-backs during the flash-sideways, indicating no past or future in that timeline.  They weren’t reincarnated, having to live their lives all over again, in this version with the island being sunk.  The alt-reality was simply an “acknowledge your dead and that your life mattered” precursor to the afterlife, often referred to as “purgatory” or “the waiting room”; it started with the plane ride.

Keeping in mind that life on the island (and “the real world”) continued after Jack died, that Hurley and Ben served as the island’s protectors for the rest of their lives, that Claire, Kate, Sawyer, Richard, Miles, and Frank all left the island and lived normal lives back in the United States or wherever they chose to re-establish their lives… they all still died at some point.  Most of them of old age, living to be in their 70’s.

And once they died, before going to Heaven, they were reunited, having the blessing remembering how they mattered to each other.  And since time, in essence, doesn’t exist in the afterlife, they all met at the same time, since it didn’t matter that Jack died 40 years before most of them did.

But because Jack was the main character of the show, the show stopped with his earthly death.  The rest of the living characters lived their rest of their lives and eventually died, the show just didn’t continue to follow their earthly lives.

So when Jack died in 2007 (three years after originally crashing on the island), and (say, for example) that Kate died in 2051, they met at the same time in “the waiting room”.  (Because time doesn’t exist after earthly life ends.)  Then they went on to Heaven with the rest in the church.  (And Ben went once he was ready.)

The writers were clever to utilize a nearly universal belief that there is some sort of life after death.  The episode was quite saturated in Christianity (which was a smart idea since most of America identifies with some version of it), yet didn’t write off other popular international religious beliefs, thanks to the “major six religions of the world” stained glass window in the church.  The point wasn’t to depict any religion’s specific teaching on the afterlife as specifically accurate, but to instead play and expound on our perceived general ideas on life after death and the importance of the people in our lifetime after we die.

I don’t see how LOST could have ended any other way.  Yes, technically “all our questions” were not answered.  But it involves using our imaginations and clues from the show to fill in the blanks, as we as Losties have been doing the whole time.  It will bring me much joy to take matters into my own hands by filling in these blanks with many more LOST posts to come.

Comments welcome.

(They will most likely be spun off into a new post if they are interesting, insightful, or raise a good question; or instantly deleted if they are full of nerd spite: “NO!  You’re wrong!  What really happened was…  Looks like you never thought of that while trying to make your weak point, did you?…”).

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/37320802/ns/today-entertainment/

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LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 13- “The Last Recruit”

Jack and Sawyer are both against The Smoke Monster, so technically they’re on the same team.  Sawyer is escaping The Smoke Monster, while Jack is choosing to face him head-on to attempt to defeat him.  Ultimately, the ongoing theme of science vs. faith and dark vs. light will take place when Jack soon challenges The Smoke Monster.

I forgot Jack has a son in the flash-sideways world.  Who else could Jack’s ex-wife be other than Juliet?  I can’t think of a better candidate.

Hooray, Jin and Sun reunite, at last.  I just wish it wasn’t tainted by the unbelievable storyline of Sun not being able to speak English until she saw Jin again.  But hey, I can’t complain.  They’re back together and they weren’t instantly shot by Faux Tina Fey as soon as they reunited.

Yeah, Jin and Sun have to stay alive a while longer to establish the importance of Baby Kwon as one of the chosen Kwon.

In case you missed last week’s recap for “Everybody Loves Hugo”, click on this link:

http://wp.me/pxqBU-IN

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 11- “Happily Ever After”

Everybody loves Desmond.  And Desmond loves Penny.  Even when he’s in a flash-sideways and has never met Penny before, the Scottish fellow still has memories of her and is in love with her.  If that ain’t love then I don’t what love is.

This big reveal of this episode is that the flash-sideways really are connected to what actually happened.  Daniel, Eloise, and Desmond all end up becoming aware that their flash-sideways life is not the way it was supposed to happen.  The island should not have blown up.  Therefore, the plane was meant to crash on the island.  Which of course comes down to the philosophical challenge between Jacob and Esau (“The Man in Black”).

It was fun for us to see Charlie and Desmond relive that fateful Season 2 episode as a drowning Charlie placed his hand up against the window.  Even when he’s a heroine obsessed jerk, it’s hard not to like ole Charlie.

Hard-core Losties took special notice of the balance scale in Widmore’s office along with a model ship which caught Desmond’s eye.

Widmore told Desmond that Penny and his son will be gone forever if Desmond doesn’t help Widmore and his minions.  I’m seeing Widmore the way I used to see Ben Linus: A man determined to do whatever it takes for his higher purpose, even if it means innocent people die in the process.  But not necessarily an evil man.

Desmond is special, of course.  So he escaped Widmore’s torture chamber unharmed and actually motivated to help Widmore even further.

Ironically, the half-Scottish, half-Peruvian actor who plays Desmond, Henry Ian Cusick, played the part of Jesus in a 2002 movie called The Gospel of John.  So this isn’t the first time he has played a compassionate man who becomes a savior for the greater good of mankind.

Sounds Like Someone’s Got a Case of the “What If’s?”

If you could “redo”, would you?  Should you?

It’s only natural to think, “If only I could go back in time with the knowledge I know now…”  That goes through my head way more than it should.  About all kinds of things from my past.  But to be able to do that would mean I would have the mind of a 28 year-old and the body of a kid.  Unfair advantage.

I’m sure it all goes back to the hidden (male) feeling of inadequacy:

I should have made a point to build stronger friendships with certain people in high school and been more involved with school events, like decorating of the halls for Homecoming Week which I skipped out on.

I should have focused more on writing while I was in college.

I should have just gone to the University of Alabama and saved my parents thousands of dollars instead of going to a private college in Virginia.

Here’s the irony.  If I would have done those things differently like I “should have” done, I wouldn’t have gained the experience that I have know to even though that those things were what I would have wanted.

I would have probably just have ended up more confused with even more “should have’s”.

So I here am, still paying off college debts because I was “supposed to” go to Liberty University in Virgina.  When I could have just gone to Alabama.

In theory, if I could go back and do things in the parallel What If Universe, I would have been more confident in high school, I wouldn’t be in debt because of college, and I would have gotten a more specific education and would now be a famous author with a major book deal and a 40 state tour to sell my book, Scenic Route Snapshots.  They end up making a movie from my book, starring James Franco.

That’s me totally romanticizing my life.

But I’m here instead.  A great life.  I wouldn’t change a thing.

I just have to quiet that daydreaming tendency in me that wonders “what if?” Of course if I really lived in that What If Universe, I have a feeling I would still end up in the same place.  Dang flash-sideways.  Actually, things would probably be less desirable.

I would always be wondering how my life would have been different had I left the state of Alabama after high school graduation.  I would always be curious about that exotic life I never got to live.  I would be envious of the life I live now.

It’s often easiest to want the things we can never have.  Like the ability to go back and live in the What If Universe.

Whether or not my life would be changed, I couldn’t say the same for the lives of a few others in my life.  The reason my sister and her husband met was because of where I went to college.  Out of state.  The kids they end up having, in some fashion, I helped bring them into existence by my random dream to go to college in Lynchburg, Virginia.

And another married couple I brought together unintentionally:  During my senior year of college I ran the front desk of Liberty University’s brand new state-of-the-art student center, equipped with an Olympic sized pool and 6 basketball court.  I worked the early morning shift with a girl named Jen.  Every morning these two funny guys named Chris and Jesse came in to work out in the gym.

A few months went by of the usual random conversations I would have with them as they came in. The whole time, Jen was right there sitting beside me- the more soft-spoken one of us who observed and participated in our conversations of the day:  “Which movie is scarier?  The original Willy Wonka or The Wizard of Oz?”

For my birthday that year, Chris and Jesse performed a special dance and song they had written just for me, with the lyrics, “Naughty Nick, naughty, naughty Nick…” The corresponding dance moves involved syncopated pelvic thrusts and a finale where they pulled underwear out of their shorts and left them on the floor as a birthday souvenir.   (Check the comments on the “About the Author” tab on this site.  Jesse recently reminded me of all this, bringing this post into existence.)

Soon after, I took off a day from work.  I returned the next day to find out that Jen agreed to go on a date with Chris- a motorcycle ride and dinner, to be exact.  That was five years ago.  They have since been married and recently had their first child.

What if?  What if I wouldn’t have forced my friendly abstract banter with those two guys day after day?  Would Jen and Chris have broken the ice?  Or would he have just been another guy going to the gym have morning and she just another girl checking for student ID’s at the front desk?

Have I changed their lives forever by playing an off-beat pawn that caused them both to be on the same track?

The same could be said for John, the guy who introduced my wife and me to each other.

Thank God for all the times we don’t get to live out the “what if’s?”  My guess is that it’s often the somewhat seemingly bland path we did choose that leads us to take the scenic route.  And that leads us to the things we love most about our lives.

For the more comical version, read “Must Punch Punk Kid in Face”  http://wp.me/pxqBU-F5

LOST Recap: Season 6, Midseason- “Ab Aeterno”

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

After going on a LOST recapping hiatus since this season’s premiere episode, I came out of hiding to praise the job well done of the long awaited Richard-eccentric episode.  I feel so relieved, excited, and passionate about LOST again.  Because the show has finally stepped back into its former mystique while at the same time taking a giant step forward.

It’s not that I wasn’t a fan of the flashes-sideways.  They were cool.  I liked learning where the characters would have ended up had things gone differently.  But after a few episodes, the game started getting stale.

Yes, I get it.  James and Miles would have been buddy cops.  Ben and Dogen would have known each other through a high school.  Kate would have still ended up helping Claire.  Jack would have meet Locke and offered to help him gain his mobility back.  (And I’ve read an interview with one of the writers that said Hurley and Libby have a baby together in an upcoming flash-sideways.)

The first half of this season, to me, has felt more like a group of forsaken bonus episodes.  I feel like last night’s episode was the first real episode of the season.

Last May when I did my Season 5 finale recap, I predicted that Richard came to the island as a Spanish explorer in the 1600’s and was killed by the Smoke Monster.  So I was a little off.  He was a Spanish slave in 1867 from the Canary Islands (Spain) who became shipwrecked on the island.  I also predicted that the whole premise of LOST was a game between Jacob and the man I still refer to as Esau.  It now clearly appears that is indeed the case.

On a side note, the actor who plays Richard, Nestor Carbonell, is a Spanish-Cuban American who does not actually wear eyeliner, despite popular assumption.  He just has really thick eyelashes.

While some Losties are disappointed that the six seasons of the show have all led up to a moral chess game between two spiritual beings, I think it’s the only plot that the series could have that is grandiose enough to pull this all together.

Because just like real life, when all it’s all over with, it will be apparent that we were all participants in a sci-fi story alongside a spiritual war.  Yes, our life matters and is real, but ultimately we have a spiritual audience watching us and even influencing our personal decisions.  Brilliant.

Read “SCIence + FaIth = Sci-Fi” http://wp.me/pxqBU-1N

As for who and what exactly Jacob and Esau are, here is my guess.  Jacob is an angel and Esau is a demon.  Here is why they are not God and Satan.  When offering to grant a wish to Richard, Jacob says he can not raise the dead nor absolve Richard’s sins.  God would be able to.  But as an angel, Jacob is restricted by what God allows him to do.

Jacob’s gift of everlasting earthbound life is interesting.  It keeps Richard from going to hell, but makes his earthly life a form of hell by keeping him trapped on Earth while still not reuniting him with Isabella.

“Ab Aeterno” (the name of the episode), which is Latin for “since the beginning of time” or figuratively “since a very long time ago”, was by far the most blatantly Christian episode to date:

Richard learned to speak English by reading the Bible and carried around his wife’s cross necklace.  When Richard was shown to us in the prison, he was reading the 4th chapter of Luke which tells about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan to turn the stone into bread (the lust of the flesh), to worship Satan in exchange for the domain of the world and all its glory (the lust of the eyes), and to attempt to commit suicide knowing that God would save him anyway (the pride of life).

This concept was later reiterated in 1 John 2:16- “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

I wonder if this was intentionally (and loosely) played out with Richard through the episode:  Esau granted Richard the lust of the flesh when he freed him from his chains and gave him food and water.  Hurley enabled the lust of the eyes to Richard through his vision of Isabella.  Jacob granted Richard the lust of the pride of life by giving him earthly eternal life.  That could all be a coincidence, but maybe not.

In other Christian elements, Jacob asked the priest, “What can I do to earn God’s forgiveness?”, which is a pointing towards the need for God’s grace.  Also, there was the use of the word “sin” by Jacob when he quoted Esau, “Everyone is corruptible because it is in their nature to sin”.  Explicitly New Testament Biblical.

So far, Jacob has not yet been able to prove his case to Esau, that a person can ultimately choose good over evil.  He continues to bring people to the island to find someone who will be his representative of righteousness (symbolizing followers of Christ), since Jacob himself refuses to force his will upon anyone.  And of course that’s another obvious reflection of God and his relationship with humans: The granting of free will.

Esau/Billy Joel

As for my predictions for the last half of the season:

Ben Linus: I stand by my belief that he is ultimately good.

The Smoke Monster (Esau): It is a “soul train” that collects the spirits of those it kills, so that it can take the human form of them once they are dead.  Sometimes it “takes pictures” of their good deeds when it flashes the light at them to decide whether to collect them (by killing them) or keep them alive, like it did with Eko in the first season and with Richard back in 1867.

The List:  Jacob touched 7 potential “saviors of the island” back in their past including Kate (as well as Locke, Hurley, James, Sayid, Jack, and Sun/Jin), but for some reason Kate’s name wasn’t written on the cave ceiling when Faux Locke took James there: Kate somehow disqualified herself.  Also, no one knows whether it’s Jin or Sun that is on the list because only their last name shows up- but I predict it’s their kid instead, not either of them.

The Flashes-Sideways:  Not what actually happens, only glimpses.  The island is reality.

I will close with a few other quotes from the season so far that really stood out:

“I am not a zombie.” -Sayid

“John Locke was a much better man than I’ll ever be and I’m sorry I murdered him.” -Ben Linus

“I’m the smoke thing.” -Faux Locke (I like this name for him best because it rhymes with “Mohawk”.)

Read LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 1- “LA X” http://wp.me/pxqBU-vo

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 1- “LA X”


“When I die, what do you think will happen to me?” -Sayid


The anticipation… Such a big deal! Like being a kid… So exciting!

Yet now that the 23 millions of us have seen the first two hours of the final season of our favorite show ever, we’ve got our homework cut out for us. Watching LOST is a serious event. The whole time I’m taking notes, scene by scene.

Our predictions about the two different Last Supper promotional photos featuring the LOST cast were accurate: There are two main different timelines going on. No more flash forwards or flashbacks. It’s like those Choose Your Own Adventure books.  We are now dealing with the narrative device referred to as “flash-sideways”.

But by the finale, does only one of these destinies become the real one?  The writers of the show aren’t saying.  They don’t want to acknowlege either of the realities as the alternate one.  Until the finale episode, all we can do is just enjoy seeing what would have happened had the plane never crashed.  Because we’ve always been curious anyway about that.

There are two main parts from the episode that keep bouncing around in my mind.

The first: Who is in Sayid’s body now? Jacob. He told Hurley (in the new unknown year with the temple and the new Asian dude with long hair) to take Sayid to the temple (even though Jacob died an hour before in 1977). Sayid died at the temple (or was murdered by the men that were supposed to save him), then soon after comes back to life. That’s no coincidence.

In one of The Lord’s Supper parodies, Sayid assumes the role of Judas and John Locke represents Christ. Prediction: The new Sayid will betray the new Locke. In other words, Jacob will deceive Esau by making him think Sayid is still alive.

There is much irony in Sayid’s asking of what will happen to him when he dies. He was assuming and referring to his soul’s judgment to hell. But for us viewers, we now see this was a foreshadowing that the thing that would happen to him when he died is that Jacob would take over his body.

Going back to the fact that Jacob told Hurley to take Sayid to the temple in 1977, this solidifies a theory and anwers a mystery that we’ve been wondering since the 2nd season.  After a person has died on the island, and after Esau (or Jacob) takes the form of their body, they can appear as that person at any point in the past, but not in the future. Dying as that person prevents them from living on in present day.

When Jacob appears to Hurley and he had already been dead for an hour, remember that he was killed by Ben in the future.  Therefore he was able to go back in time and instruct Hurley to set up the takeover of Sayid’s body.

Pretty clever, yes?

The second thing bouncing around in my head is this: What year are Jack and Co. stuck in on the island? Based on the temple’s structure and the clothing, I assume sometime in the 1500’s, at the latest. I call this timeline “The Turban Times” because of the burgundy turbans worn by some of the temple mongers.

We’ve been introduced to two new bad guys. I think they’re bad guys. The Japanese dude with long hair. Until I learn his name and until I learn his actual ethnic background, I will call name him Emperor Miyagi. And his weird looking scientist friend, Dr. Hooknose. Both of them appear to be up to no good. But right now we’re still trying to sort out who’s good and who’s bad.

I hold true to my predictions that somehow in the end Ben Linus will end up being a good guy. Based on the fact that Benjamin in the Bible was righteous. Even the good guys are at least a little bad on LOST.

In closing, I have a feeling that the Egyptian cross, the ankh, will continue to have a major symbolic meaning for this final season. It is the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life” and represents the deities of the afterlife. The ankh was believed by the Egyptians to protect them against sickness, infertility, and a loss of psychic powers.

When it’s all said and done, the struggle on the island will all come down to Jacob and Esau’s struggle for eternal life, which they attempt to maintain through the appearance of the bodies of those who have died on the island. Sort of like on the movie The Skeleton Key.

And those who for whatever reason made their way to the island are forever exposed to the game of Jacob vs. Esau. That is, unless the alternative timeline proves to be solid. I have a feeling it won’t.

Read my recap from last night’s episode:

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 14- “Across the Sea”