Monday, May 24, 2010

"The End": The Missing People

As I said in my recap blog post of last night's episode, I believe that the sideways world was a place between worlds, between the living and the afterlife, where Jack had to come to terms with certain things in his life to move on. (I used the term purgatory, but as some have pointed out, that’s a term specific to certain religions, even though I was using it as a synonym for a holding place before the afterlife.)

The question I asked in my blog was, why were certain people missing? In the moment I wondered if the ones who weren’t there were perhaps in Hell, but even as I suggested that I was uneasy with it. Does Eko deserve to be in Hell because he sacrificed his life and happiness for his brother’s? His famous last words are ones of a man who is not repentant, but they are glorious in their beauty: “I ask for no forgiveness, Father. For I have not sinned. I have only done what I needed to do to survive. A small boy once asked me if I was a bad man. If I could answer him now, I would tell him that... when I was a young boy, I killed a man to save my brother's life. I am not sorry for this. I am proud of this! I did not ask for the life that I was given. But it was given, nonetheless. And with it . . . I did my best.”

I’d like to think he didn’t end up in Hell, but that that beautiful final image, of him walking away with his brother as they bounce the soccer ball together – thus meaning they actually finished the game rather than killing a man and having Eko carted away – is the place he went to. A place where none of the bad ever happened, and he grew up entirely differently. I hope for Eko that he, too, found a sideways world of happiness.

What about Michael? I think it was established that because of what he did on the island, he is caught in the island purgatory and is one of the many whispers in the jungle right now. Will he ever be able to redeem himself? It’s not clear... since the scene in the church represented all of the people across all time (Hurley could have lived another thousand years for all we know, yet he is here in the moment of Jack “moving on”) and Michael wasn’t there, there’s a suggestion that perhaps he’ll never escape it.

Walt, I think he was just a production problem. The people in the church appeared to Jack the way he remembered them. Kate might have lived to be 92 (when she sees Jack she looks at him with love and says, “I’ve missed you SO MUCH” like she’s been separated from him for years) but she’s going to look to Jack the way he remembers her on the island. Walt was 10 years old, with a high-pitched voice. Jack never knew him any other way. So it wouldn’t make sense to bring in Malcolm David Kelley, who is 18 now, with a deep voice and probably taller than Jack. So I think that was purely production, and no meaning can be attributed to it beyond that.

What about Miles and Lapidus? I think the people gathered in the church were people who truly affected Jack’s life, and everyone there did. Maybe Penny didn’t, but since Desmond was a constant to Jack, and Penny is the constant to Desmond, she needed to be there. So I don’t have a problem with her being there (besides the fact that Penny and Des are my favourite couple and I was THRILLED to have them together!!)

But what do you think? Was there someone missing from the end scene that should have been there?

63 comments:

JS said...

Actually Adewale asked for 5x the amount offered to appear in the finale/final episodes, so the negotiations "broke down". An unfortunate production challenge. His character should have been there.

Joan Crawford said...

I think Eko did go to Heaven with Yemi. Eko and Yemi didn't need all the island people to move on, they were really only connected to each other. The last scene was of Yemi waiting for Eko to show up and them moving on together :)

I don't think if you weren't in the church that time that you go to Hell - like Anna Lucia - she isn't in Hell, she's just figuring her stuff out still.

redeem147 said...

I don't think that Michael could be there without Walt, so he wasn't going to show (which tied in to stuff said on Jimmy Kimmel).

Any time Kate had been apart from Jack could be a long time to her, because she never saw him again after she flew away. I hope she had a long life. Maybe she hooked up with Nathan Fillion again (I would.) ;)

I feel bad for Aaron if he has to spend eternity as an infant.

Maybe Jin and Sun's daughter - she was on the Island. Just cause you couldn't see her (no womb with a view.)

I don't think they're just people who were important to Jack on the Island, but people who were important to each other.

There could have been another group meeting with Keamy, Widmore, Mikhail, Anthony Cooper, Zoe....

"Going down?"

Anonymous said...

I do not think the Sideways/purgatory is only a construct for Jack's life and existence. Just the plain fact that things happened when he was not around, and Christian tells him that it was a place made by all of them to remember each other, points to this being constructed with a broader scope and scale. Once Jack moves on, will Daniel and Charlotte disappear? Will Ben? Clearly there is more to this place than Jack. I would like to relate the sideways reality to the afterlife of "What Dreams May Come". Souls both aware and unaware of what took place before, and the unaware also able of become aware. I really love this possibility.

Joan Crawford said...

Umm, or what JS said. Heh, whoops :)

Chris said...

Vincent is missing. Don't dogs deserve to move on too? He was there for Jack when he died... They should have had him sitting next to Rose and Bernard.

mck said...

I wasn't bothered at all by the people who weren't there. It felt natural that those characters weren't ready yet.

Joan Crawford said...

I think Penny was in because seh was instrumental in rescuing of them. Whereas Helen was important to Locke, she didn't so anything directly for the survivors.

I DON'T KNOW - Lord helps me - I needs to know! Somebody just tell me what the hell is going on :(

The Sideways world - everything is different so...you had to do all different stuff. Like t-ball and karate and camping trips. What, you just "downloaded" a past that fit in with what you had to do as an adult? Or you just show up and spend the nights crying in the bathroom mirror: "I can't remember anything! God help me why am I a cop and what have been doing for the past 37 years!?"

The Question Mark said...

I agree that some characters, like Ana Lucia and Michael, still have issues to work out and may not have been ready to leave just yet.

I think the key to understanding why some people were in the church & some weren't lies in Eloise's convo with Desmond. She asks if he'll take Daniel away, and he says no, Daniel isn't going with him.
Good people like Miles, Des, Charlotte, Frank, Walt, and Richard...they will all go through this same situation. However, they were not especially important people to Jack and the other Losties in the church.

The crash of 815 united them under a common banner. By working together & sharing experiences, they became one another's constants, for lack of a better term :P They all needed one another to continue on, whereas people like Daniel or Richard had needs that lay elsewhere.

I think the best way to sum it up is: because the people in the church DID learn to live together, they COULDN'T die alone.

Lexie said...

I think your explanation about the fact that everyone in the church was someone that directly affected Jack (or in Penny's case, affected the person who affected Jack) is a sound one. Miles was my love of life...but he didn't have much to do with Jack, even when they had screen time.

Lapidus, as the producers have admitted since practically his introduction was a great comedy element, who served a purpose occasionally. He also had very little affect on Jack's life.

I was surprised that we saw Ana-Lucia in the sideways world, but she didn't appear or otherwise remember things. Also, was Desmond so 'special' because he was Jack's 'constant'? Was that why he was chosen in the sideways world to sort of Shepard them all to the church and understand?

Honestly, I was just relieved that a) Juliet and Sawyer ended up together again, b) Hurley lived and became the protector, c) that Miles survived and d) Claire and Charlie had a tearful reunion (I was also happy to see Penny, though my family wasn't).

I don't ask much of my series finales except to keep my ships alive. I'll forgive almost anything else (though in general I was po'ed about Richard's past) honestly if you keep my ships alive.

Loretta said...

@Nikki: I agree completely about the Eko reunion with his brother. As Teebore said in your first review of the finale, this seems as it may have been our first vision of the Sideways-verse, which I actually think completely fits with the character, and provides an emotionally compelling and satisfactory resolution to his journey (even all the way back in season 3).

What about Michael? I think it was established that because of what he did on the island, he is caught in the island purgatory and is one of the many whispers in the jungle right now. Will he ever be able to redeem himself? It’s not clear... since the scene in the church represented all of the people across all time (Hurley could have lived another thousand years for all we know, yet he is here in the moment of Jack “moving on”) and Michael wasn’t there, there’s a suggestion that perhaps he’ll never escape it.

Sadly, I believe this is correct. I say "sadly" because I never thought Michael was that bad a guy. He was manipulated due to his love for his son, and ultimately I don't think he committed acts worse than many of the others we've seen.

What about Miles and Lapidus? I think the people gathered in the church were people who truly affected Jack’s life, and everyone there did.

My problem with this theory is that it places the entire Sideways-verse as something seen through Jack's eyes, which I don't think was the case. Christian said that it was a place that those who gathered in the Church had created together, meaning that the most important people in all their lives had to be present. So, for example, Claire wasn't there just because she was important to Jack (of course she was). She was also there because she was important to Kate, evidenced by both of them getting their memories back during the birthing scene.

Also, I guess I can't see the Sideways-verse as being Jack-centric because that relegates the other characters to being less important to LOST as a whole. While the story of LOST was certainly Jack's hero's tale, it was also the tale of all these other individuals. Therefore, the missing individuals' importance to Jack shouldn't be the only deciding factor--whether they were important to Sawyer, or Sayid, or Charlie should also play a role.

So I'm kind of attempting to force myself to settle on the "not ready yet" explanation, which would result in those individuals moving up in a different group--perhaps one would be a Freighter-centric Lapidus/Miles/Charlotte/Daniel group.

Of course, I also think that it's possible that not everyone in the Sideways-verse is actually a soul traveling on (as I said in one of my comments on your original post). Of course we know that David Shepard never existed, but it also seems like perhaps Sideways Helen was a construct of John Locke's desires, and like Danielle and Alex were constructs of Ben's.

Also, sorry if this is really rambling--I can't even settle on one theory of myself, and I'm sure I'm going to be having internal arguments about this for weeks (years?) to come.

Lexie said...

but Question Mark: Desmond WAS at the church (with penny).

Its too bad about Eko, though I am kind of miffed because why should he get so much more than any of the actors?

Well arguably Whidmore, Ben and Michael all have the most 'issues' to work out in regards to their activities and behavior on the island and off it. Ben I think has a good shot at one day joining the ranks of the Church folk because he was redeeming himself by helping out Hurley. Whidmore and Michael...they both have a lot to account for in their actions and decisions. Of all the Island Folk Michael definitely acted the most selfishly (he said it was for his son, but as with Whidmore, you can't use your children as an excuse).

I don't think the Sideways universe was meant to be seen as 'this is Jack's view', but as a collective thing. Christian said, emphasized in fact, that the sideways world wasn't linear and didn't prescribe to the notion of 'now'. I guess purgatory is the wrong word, that kind of means some sort of 'judgment' to me is waiting.

Though in one religion isn't 'Earth' described as being the waiting room between Heaven and Hell?

Susan said...

I completely agree with Chris. Vincent should have been in the church and I think sitting next to Rose and Bernard would have been the perfect spot.

JS said...

@Joan Crawford - I am also willing to believe what we saw of Eko with Yemi upon his death is our first glimpse of the sideways world.

And there were plenty of people who had an impact on Jack (Ben!) who weren't there because they weren't ready. I'll buy that for a dollar.

Ambivalentman said...

I feel that a lot of people are taking on the notion that this was all a design to help Jack move on. While I love the ending, I don't love this interpretation because it almost seems to imply that the entire narrative was just about Jack.

What I've always loved about LOST was that it was truly an ensemble where the protagonist could change from week to week.

For me, the reason there were missing people is twofold: 1) These characters, like Ana-Lucia, were "not ready yet" to make the move to the afterworld, and 2) These characters were the ones the mattered most to each other during the course of the story.

What a daring decision to turn the Sideways world into a way station for the Afterlife ala "The Lovely Bones." It is truly in keeping with LOST tradition that we would get an ending that challenges us this way.

Lexie said...

@Loretta: I tried to explain to my dad that sideways-world was more of an idealized version of what everyone wanted in their lives, but my dad just snorted at me for overthinking things.

Maybe it was kind of both--it was their idealized lives and what 'could have been' if the island was truly never part of their lives. Jacob's touch, as much as it marked them as candidates also seemed to have made them...separate. And they felt that. It was kind of a paradox--Jacob 'touched' them because he felt a kindred with them, but its his touch that set them apart. Without it Jack was a more confident man, Sawyer erred on the side of the law, Kate...actually Kate seems to have done the exact same thing, and Hurley wasn't 'unlucky'.

Lexie said...

@Ambivilent: I don't think the entire sideways-world was to help Jack move on, but the final scenes when everyone is gathering at the church, that definitely was. Getting the players into position, such as it was.

poggy said...

@Loretta: Also, I guess I can't see the Sideways-verse as being Jack-centric because that relegates the other characters to being less important to LOST as a whole.

I don't remember if I read it at Nikki's main finale post or somewhere else (I'm binging on reviews and iscussion right now) but, aside for casting problems, I think the church scene reunited those whose life changed on - or because of - the island(aside from Christian who is, a t this point, the constant between the world of the living and the world of the dead). Perhaps, in spite of all the crazy stuff he was dragged into, Walt had more relevant experiences in his off island life. And I'm pretty sure Eko "moved on" right after his death, perhaps because he *was* a genuinely spiritual person.

...I also find it interesting that the whole sideways plot device is rmeiniscent of that of the movie "The others" :)

Joan Crawford said...

And what about the people who die in the sideways world? Like Keamy - he apparently had another chance and messed it up. So...he gets killed and goes to hell? How can you die in the sideways world when it isn't even real?

Wanda said...

I don't think Penny belonged there, unless Charlie Hume was with her. Or baby Aaron, since they were alive at the time of Jack's death in the real world. I do see this as Jack's reunion team rather than everyone's.

Otherwise Helen would surely have been there for John.

I agree with Loretta about sideways Helen being like sideways David Shepherd--or sideways Daniel Farraday. A fantasy a loved one held onto, about how his or her life could have been different.

We all missed Mr. Eko. He was such a great character. And Walt.

Joan Crawford said...

Yes, why baby Aaron but not baby Charlie?

Loretta said...

@Poggy: I don't remember if I read it at Nikki's main finale post or somewhere else (I'm binging on reviews and iscussion right now) but, aside for casting problems, I think the church scene reunited those whose life changed on - or because of - the island

I do think this idea is correct, though it still leaves open to interpretation the question of whether some of the "missing people" had more important experiences off-island (arguably Walt since he seemed to have moved on when Hurley and Locke saw him, and he was also so young when it all happened) or whether some people weren't "ready yet" (arguably Charlotte and Miles, especially when you consider that they both spent portions of their childhood on the island).

changeling said...

I agree with Loretta re: the sideways-verse wasn't Jack's purgatory only or even primarily; it was about all of the characters coming to terms with their lives.

The only groan-worthy part of the finale, for me, was the fact that Jack passed the torch to Hurley instead of Ben. Come on! Hurley?? Ben was ready to die for the island, and despite all the terrible things he did, I always felt kinda sorry for him ("He's the only one that will have me!!" Boo hoo.) Anyway, the island meant more to Ben than it did to anyone, I think, even Locke. By rights he should have been able to play number 1 for a while.

I was happy to see Shannon with Sayid. Who says you can't have two loves of your life? The fact is that Nadia was married to Sayid's brother (with kids) and Sayid is not the type to betray his brother, even in the afterlife ;) In any event, Shannon was part of the island. Nadia was not.

Deb said...

My mind cannot settle on a solution to what these 6 years of LOST really meant. Mostly I am thinking that some of the details of each character's story were filled in such as in our dreams; we put there what we need to work out in real life. But how everyone's dreams overlap....haven't worked that out yet.

Seems the only "real" thing we saw in any episode was the plane on the bottom of the ocean.

As for Adewale - I think Carlton and Damon were generous the other night when asked about him, saying he left the show because his entourage could not join him from London. At the time I heard he was booted because he was egotistical and everyone hated working with him. JS's comment about him asking for 5x the amount offered fits in with this hearsay.

Thanks, Nikki, and all other posters for helping decipher all that we have seen on LOST.

Loretta said...

@Joan Crawford: And what about the people who die in the sideways world? Like Keamy - he apparently had another chance and messed it up. So...he gets killed and goes to hell? How can you die in the sideways world when it isn't even real?

Damn it! Something else to hurt my brain!

I don't think island made just Claire crazy.

JS said...

@Changeling - yes, a lot of people have said the same about leaving Hurley in charge instead of Ben. But. I think think Ben's full redemption will come in service to someone else instead of in service to himself. Just like he said to Locke, he wasn't special. But Hurley was. Anyway, that's what I am going with. They left plenty for us to make up for ourselves.

lostreflash said...

@Lexie @Ambivalentman

I actually do see LOST, and especially the FSW, as being very Jack centric. One could argue that the version of LOST viewed by the audience was the Life and Death of Jack Shephard. It would have been different if it was Kate, Sawyer, or Sayid centric. While we have seen much of their respective pasts in FB and FF, that narrative was necessary to allow us to understand the characters, and ultimately, their relationship to Jack. Jack needed them, and they needed Jack, just like Christian Shephard said. And as far as the end-scenes, had it been non-Jack centric, who would have met us on "The Other Side" -- for Jack it had to be Christian. His father. I think it is fair to say that regardless of religion or belief, people believe that someone you love will be "there" waiting for you, to help you cross-over. Christian provided that for Jack. And once he accepted that, he took another step in being reunited with those he loved.

I also think this is why certain characters were not present at the church. Their "crossing over" gathering occurs/occurred/with occur another "time" with different people needing to be present. I kind of like that, especially for the peripheral characters like Miles, Charlotte, Faraday, etc. Some of course was for convenience too -- it would have been tragic for someone like Desmond to be there without Penny, etc.

I'll also toss out that Vincent was specifically not there in the church because he represented a guardian or a guide. Perhaps Vincent was once someone or something that held a higher spiritual calling. I realize that answer is based on belief, and I think that's the point. For me, I was glad Vincent was there for Jack so that he didn't "Die Alone", and I was just as happy not to see him in the church. He had a higher calling.

But in the true spirit of LOST, your points are well-taken and just as likely to be correct as mine. I just see some things from a different point of view.

And there you have it.

Rad said...

My only problem with Penny was that Jack has never actually met her. He has heard of her through Desmond but they have never crossed paths. I think the sideways reality was each character's personal reality up until the moment Jack passed. Once that happened, all of the Losties were drawn to each other and down the rabbit hole we go.

Their realities existed separately until it was time for them to come together, their fearless leader had joined them and it was time to move on from this place they had all created.

I agree with Anonymous that things happened when Jack wasn't around so I don't think it was totally through Jack's eye.

Wanda said...

(Hmm--thought I posted this already. Apologies if it double-posts.)

I don't think Penny belonged there, unless Charlie Hume was with her. Or baby Aaron, since they were alive at the time of Jack's death in the real world. I do see this as Jack's reunion team rather than everyone's.

Otherwise Helen would surely have been there for John.

I agree with Loretta about sideways Helen being like sideways David Shepherd--or sideways Daniel Farraday. A fantasy a loved one held onto, about how his or her life could have been different.

We all missed Mr. Eko. He was such a great character. And Walt.

ODM said...

@Rad

Jack has met Penny -- she picked up those who became the Oceanic 6 on her boat. Admittedly, it was a cursory relationship, but I think seeing Desmond without Penny at "The End" would have been much worse.

humanebean said...

I'm firmly in the 'those who were not in the church were not a) ready to move on and b) key players in the 'Move Jack Along' party. Ben is the key to both these notions as he is the only one of the individuals from the Island who truly fits both of these categories who is present but does not go inside the church for the end.

Once again - it's all about choice. Michael isn't there because he hasn't yet made the 'choice' to move beyond his feelings of guilt and shame (sins) for his actions. He presumably spent some time as a 'Whisper' on the Island, advising/trying to help Others during the Hurley/Ben Administration and ultimately (we hope) is able to 'move on' - but is not a key player in Jack's growth and thus a candidate (you should pardon the term) for Jack's Church Party™.

Ben exercises his choice: perhaps he could move on but recognizes that he wants/needs a bit more time to understand his life and work through his feelings about it. It's crucial, though, that he chooses to be at the Church to genuinely express his remorse to Locke and to be an ancillary part of Jack's 'crossing over'.

Chelsea said...

I think Vincent wasn't there because he didn't need any help moving on. Dogs DO go to heaven!

Or maybe he's one of the whispers on the Island, along with Michael and Tall Walt.

J.P. Harvey said...

i just found your blog ..i wish i could go back and read it all ..

I sat here and teared up reading it.

Thank you.

poggy said...

Re: Hurley being in charge of the island - I think the key to it is exactly that Hurley didn't want the job, while Ben wanted it too much. Even redeemed, Ben would still have an individualistic approach to the task - it's him and the island, more than the people who (get to) live on it. While Hurley has always been concerned about building a community, he was the one who settled arguments, distributed food, "coached" Sawyer into connecting with the rest of the castaways... I honestly would want a leader/guardian like that, as much as I love Ben. Who gets to be the Richelieu in that, anyway ;)

Rad said...

@ODM, totally forgot about her picking them up, thanks.

@HumanBean, you think Ben's dinner with Rousseau had anything to do with him not wanting to "move on"? His shot at love and to be Alex's stepdad is within reach. "You guys go on without me, I just met this crazy French chick and we're starting a book club tomorrow. First book is The Stand. Stephen King I know, I know..."

humanebean said...

@Rad - yes, I really do think that his recent connection with Rousseau and recognition of the role he played in mentoring Alex is a big part of Ben's decision. We've heard again and again that 'there's always a choice'. Ben, who has presumable redeemed himself through many years of loyal service as Hurley's "#2" and recognizes that he wronged John Locke and that Locke's forgiveness is essential to his spiritual progress ... nonetheless chooses to remain behind while many of the significant others (pun very much intended) in his Island story have chosen to move on.

And, hey, having already noted how smokin' hot Rousseau appeared in the FST, I'd say he made the right call, wouldn't you? ; ]

Rachel said...

I agree (as I said in the recap thread) with most of the posters here that the sideways/purgatory/after-life place was not just for Jack. They each had their things to go through, and the "so-and-so isn't ready yet" was a very common theme.

Walt and Eko seem to be gone for obvious casting reasons. Michael, as was already noted, seems to have been established as remaining on the island as a whisper. (side note: thought it was funny when Kimmel called Harold "Michael" and didn't even realize it for several seconds. HA! Also was bummed that the only thing Nestor Carbonell got to say on Kimmel was a story about how he does NOT wear eyeliner. *yawn*)

I think most here have hit on the right idea, something that I also mentioned in the recap thread, that the people who were in the church were there because they had worked together to create something together.

This quote from that NY Times article is pretty instructive, I think:

"If there’s one word that we keep coming back to, it’s redemption. It is that idea of everybody has something to be redeemed for and the idea that that redemption doesn’t necessarily come from anywhere else other than internally. But in order to redeem yourself, you can only do it through a community. So the redemption theme started to kind of connect into “live together, die alone,” which is that these people were all lone wolves who were complete strangers on an aircraft, even the ones who were flying together like Sun and Jin. Then let’s bring them together and through their experiences together allow themselves to be redeemed. When the show is firing on all pistons, that’s the kind of storytelling that we’re doing.

I think we’ve always said that the characters of “Lost” are deeply flawed, but when you look at their flashback stories, they’re all victims. Kate was a victim before she killed her stepfather. Sawyer’s parents killed themselves as he was hiding under the bed. Jack’s dad was a drunk who berated him as a child. Sayid was manipulated by the American government into torturing somebody else. John Locke had his kidney stolen. This idea of saying this bad thing happened to me and I’m a victim and it created some bad behavior and now I’m going to take responsibility for that and allow myself to be redeemed by community with other people, that seems to be the theme that we keep coming back to."

Sylvia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rad said...

@Human Bean, he definitely made the right move. He was Hurley's #2 for a long time I'm guessing. Time to look to look out for the real #1 now (pun intended) lol

Anonymous said...

@ Rad : You got the closest to how I've decided to read Ben being outside the church. He could move on if he wanted to, but he's in a place where he is actually having a positive effect on Alex's "life". Whether the other people in that world are actual souls, or just fill-ins...I'd love to believe that Ben wouldn't pass up the opportunity to see Alex live in a world where he didn't eff it all up for her.

Shari said...

Clearly Eloise knew what was going on during this "sideways" world. Why was she so upset when Desmond didn't listen? Why was she so scared he was going to take Daniel? Was SHE just not ready to let go of the son she never really had in the real world?

Matt said...

My great hope is that Ben chooses to stay behind not just to reflect on his life, but for Alex and Rousseau. I think Ben would want to help them move on too and that's why he stayed behind rather than leave.

Anonymous said...

Walt wasn't there because he got off island as a kid and lived a full life after meeting lots of people that were more important to him then the castaways and so he didn't need them to move on. The others daniel frank miles charlotte I would be fine having been explained the same way...or its just maybe that they weren't on the island as long as the others.

Michelle said...

I believe that the missing people didn't have any unfinished business left for them to stay and wait for others. To Nikki I didn't reading your blog until the end of season 4 and you and the community helped me gather my theories. Every Wednesday my coworkers and I would have our discussions of what we believed Lost to be. I am happy with the finale as I feel they left me feeling complete. There are still things I wish they
have answered but even with the unanswered questions I feel like Lost didn't leaving wishing that there was another (even though I would love another season!)

JS said...

@Sylvia – If you mean the church by Jack’s moving on party, yes, Bernard and Rose were there. And the island at the bottom of the ocean was a construct of the sideways, not something that actually happened. At least in the reality we know and love.

Gracie said...

Vincent! I was looking specifically for Vincent, and I see Chris has the dog, and Chris agrees that Vincent should have had a prominent place between Rose and Bernard.

IMHO Vincent's absence was a glaring oversight by TPTB. Whatever you want to think Vincent is/was i.e. guardian, angel, etc., I think he should have been there to welcome Jack to his journey.

Mom! I'm not sure how this whole thing would work if you're still alive, and I don't know if she would be, but the obvious answer to me here wasn't mentioned by anyone else. I thought that Jack's Mother should most definitely have been there. Even knowing what we know about Jacob, Mom figures prominently here because:
1. She insisted during an argument with Jack that he go and get his father in Sydney and bring him home. SHE is the reason Jack was on that plane, per se. (Aside from Jacob.)
2. Her husband, Christian, is in the coffin in the cargo hold.
3. Of all people, Mom should've seen what the trip (and crash) did to her son when he returned with the Six.
4. After losing control of his life and turning to alcohol and pills, he went back to the island again. (I don't remember, but I do not think she knew that in advance.)
5. Both her spouse and only child were involved in 815. Veronica Hamel (mom) certainly should have been there!

Michael
poggy said: "I think the church scene reunited those whose life changed on - or because of - the island....."

I agree with this, and this is what made me wonder why people were so hard on Michael after he had died trying to find redemption.
I will agree with Loretta and say that Michael should've been there for all the reasons Loretta posted.
If I can see past the image of FLocke to have Locke be welcome there, I think I would welcome Michael too. Having your child taken from you and trying to handle threats against that child or deal with a lack of knowledge about the childs welfare, would make a parent, any parent, insane to a degree.
They were pulling Michael's strings in all the right ways to get him to do all the wrong things. When Michael was brought back to the island via the freighter, he DID try to help the Losties, and died for his efforts. And I see a world of difference between Michael and Widmore.

Survivors
I think that everyone who survived the crash of 815, even the marshall, should've been there to honor the man who originally said, "Live Together, Die Alone." The Question Mark says that best!

Joan Crawford said: "Yes, why baby Aaron but not baby Charlie?"

Joan, if I am understanding this correctly, there was only one baby present (to me it appeared to be Aaron). In order for anyone to be there, they had to be dead. One of these children had died before Jack did, or before his "leaving party". (I presume it was Aaron, but I'll never know unless somebody can clarify this for me.)
IF I'm figuring out my dates correctly, and I'm not sure at all that I am, Little Charlie would have been more of a toddler than a infant, right? Wanda said they were alive at the time of Jack's death, but how could you know what was going on back home? Maybe Aaron (or Charlie) had passed on? (There's a confusing date differential here. Aaron has been off the island for at least three years, and I'm not sure the age of Charlie.)
Joan Crawford said, "How can you die in the sideways world when it isn't even real?"
Joan, IMHO, I think that's the best question on this page! Thank you! Sideways Keamy would seem to prove that for some people they're damned if they do, and damned if they don't, doesn't he?

Nikki Faith said...

I think that some people that weren't there just weren't personally ready to move on yet. And, others just didn't have the same tie to the island that those present did.

redeem147 said...

Vincent wasn't there because he went to doggie heaven. Just like all my pet dogs did. My mom told me.

I also don't think everyone in the sideways world was a person working through things. Helen could have been a construct, who in her actual afterlife was with people she was close to - she and John had broken up. I'm pretty sure the guy who delivered the casket was.

I'd like to think Danielle and Alex were real, though.

Joan Crawford said...

@Gracie - "How can you die in the sideways world when it isn't even real?"

Thanks, Gracie, though, the more I think about it - how can you have a child (David) in a world that isn't real?

Poor David was just a construct. A need filled by Jack. It gets all goddamn Matrix-y when I think about it too much. What was David?!

Greg Spira said...

I don't think the alt/post world existed according to Jack's perceptions, but I do think the people in the church appeared according to the way Jack knew them. Jack knew everyone there. He did not know Helen, and he did not know little Charlie, so they did not "show." One might have expected little Charlie to be older since Jack knew him better at age 3 than when he was a baby, but not if Jack was seeing him only in relation to Clair and not as an individual person, which is the only way it really makes sense for any baby to appear there at all.

Overall, I think it was composed of the group that was important to each other, and that was not just from Jack's perspective. Ignoring Michael, Walt, and Eko, who are not there because of casting issues, the only other person who I think you can argue "belonged" was Miles. But that's very iffy - I doubt the character of Miles would say that he ever felt like part of the group. And besides, the person gathering the group, Desmond, has never met Miles.

Otherwise, no one was particularly close to Daniel or Charlotte. The only character there who Frank spent a whole lot of time with was Sun.The only question about Nikki and Paulo is would the castaways rather spend time with them or with Arzt?

Just looking at rough estimates for the episode counts of regulars who were not regulars for all 6 seasons

Claire 71
Charlie 64
Ben 59
Juliet 48
Michael 48
Desmond 45
Miles 34
Walt 32
Shannon 32
Lapidus 30
Alpert 29
Rose 25
Rousseau 25
Boone 24
Ana Lucia 24
Libby 22
Daniel 22
Charlotte 20
Eko 20

So, if you were a season 1 cast member, or you were featured in more than 45 episodes, you made it into the room or outside the building, which the exception of Michael and Walt. The only characters who did not fit that description and did make it to the church were Libby, Bernard and Rose.

Thomas said...

in addition to the $ issues with Adewale... i think Eko and Richard probably moved on immediately after they dies - they had their s*^t figured out, didn't need the limbo time and headed toward the light asap.

Rufus said...

@Nikki said: (I used the term purgatory, but as some have pointed out, that’s a term specific to certain religions, even though I was using it as a synonym for a holding place before the afterlife.)

I was one of the people confused about the use of purgatory which I chalk up to its use in movies as hell and the fact I grew up Lutheran and we didn't use the term. My knee jerk response is because of my experience of Dante and other uses of the term that signified hell. I get what you are saying and hope you weren't insulted.

RobolaVirus said...

After much deliberation between me and my Lost cohorts, we opine the following:

They did not die in the crash – the island happened and was such an instrumental event in all their lives that as they ‘awoke’ and remembered everything in “purgatory” they actively sought out the other people from the island that were important to them so they could awake them as well. In fact, the only reason we were told this story about these particular people is all because of the island.

The island itself was essentially a hotspot, a place where extreme levels of naturally occurring electromagnetism bridged this world with the next, allowing ‘impossible’ things characteristic of the afterlife (extreme long-life without aging, smoke monsters) to come over into our world. At some point, maybe in ancient Egypt, people came to the island and discovered the ‘Light’, realizing it had special qualities. These people facilitated the creation of a protector, somebody who would make sure the island would not be harmed and would not be abused, as they came to realize this light was a link to the other world and without the link, WE COULDN’T GO THERE. The island and the light was a portal to the afterlife and without it, it would all end. None of us would be able to transcend and would just...die. That’s what was being protected. MIB’s ‘fate worse than death’ was to be reincarnated as the smoke monster. No opportunity to move on, forever trapped on the island. He reasoned that by putting out the light, he could finally put an end to the rules that trapped him there and end his torturous existence.

MIB received the ‘fate worse that death’ BECAUSE he went into the light and essentially tried to enter the after life while he was still alive. You only get there one way (normally) so if you try to cheat the system, you become Smokey forever, or until what we saw in the finale happens and someone manages to kill you. And because the light was uncorked when he was killed, I don’t think he moved on. Instead he just died.

Desmond, however, was an anomaly: somehow able to resist the extreme levels of electromagnetism that exist at the bridge. This allowed him to travel over and become one with his afterlife self, basically awakening himself and subsequently becoming the catalyst for the awakening of the Lost crew. I don’t know what the afterlife is normally like. Maybe they’re forced to re-live their lives over and over in until they get it right, it doesn’t matter, we’ll never know. But, because of Desmond the Losties became aware of themselves and their lives, and were able to let go of the burdens they had in life and move on. The other people in their lives (parents etc etc) weren’t there because they didn’t have the island to connect them. Maybe Jack’s dad had already moved on, so he didn’t need to move into the light, instead he was an ‘angel’ or whatever, coming back to explain it to Jack (and to us).

As for Ben, he didn’t go into the church because the island and those people did not actually define his character. His only real love in life was his daugher, and he plans to provide a life for Alex in purgatory that he couldn't give her on the Island. After which time, she'll "awaken" and finally give him the forgiveness he needs -- forgiveness from her -- in order to move on. The fact that he was even there is a sign of utmost respect for those people, and him recognizing how important they were.

Michael, Walt, Eko etc were the same as Ben - while the island was obviously important, those people weren't the most important thing they ever did. I think Michael stayed behind to help Hurley long enough to gain access to the afterlife, but then spent it with Walt, not the Losties.

All in all, a truely memorable ending to a truely memorable show.

Rob, Nick and Sylvia

RobolaVirus said...

Forgot to mention Eloise Hawking is also in the same boat as Ben: aware of her life - as per her conversation with Desmond asking him if he was taking Daniel - but she remains in order to atone and make her life with her son right. The one she should have had originally.

Gracie said...

Joan Crawford said: "@Gracie -"How can you die in the sideways world when it isn't even real?"
Thanks, Gracie, though, the more I think about it - how can you have a child (David) in a world that isn't real? Poor David was just a construct. A need filled by Jack. It gets all goddamn Matrix-y when I think about it too much. What was David?!"


You're Welcome. But I can understand David, I think. David to me, was Jack's "fix" for his relationship with his father. In Jack's real world, I doubt if he would have ever chosen to have children because what was ingrained in him from HIS father was so poorly remembered. If you remember the story of "counting to five", there were two versions of that: Jack's and his fathers. Jack, I believe, suffered from "selective memory" because to him, most of his memories of his father were tainted. But in his dream world, he'd have been the perfect father, and with David he was able to be that and see it for himself. It was an ideal relationship that he didn't believe he would ever be able to have, enjoy, or trust himself with. Like he was unworthy of it maybe? I just can't understand how you can die there when you're already dead? That's like a catch-22 to me, which I believe I will figure out in time, but each time I try to work through it, I don't do anything but go around in circles. I might need some help here?

BTW: Sagacious Penguin? Your post at 5/24/2010 1:24:04 AM?
I thought the way you worded that was bloody brilliant! That is where I believe Hurley and Ben died. When it truly sank? Anybody else have a better answer?

Andrys Basten said...

Lexie and Susan,
I think they all sort of floated into gatherings focused on one or the other of them as appropriate and that whoever did show up, as in life, depended on how important they were to the person who'd just became a new member of the club.
Even if there is no absolute-now, there is probably a first instance?

To me, a lot of it seemed focused on his entry (he barely even knew he was dead) at a gathering of the souls for this
'occasion' (obviously I don't have a good fix on the idea.)

But if they "move on" -- do they come back for a new meet and greet? Sounded that way. Maybe to help the new one 'over.'

While I think it's a nice concept, I've wished that since this was a sci fi FANTASY story, they could have just gone for making the 'time'-bomb 'work.'

Critics would have given them a hard time for a 'happy ending' (as if 'art' is only about death and failure rather than upsides as well) but they'd carp no matter what.

Although I loved the first 2 hrs 15 minutes, I still am in a bit of a funk over that ending. That "You have no son, Jack" is just burned into me as an awful moment.

By the way, if Sawyer and Kate were to get together, the after-life church greeting of Kate w/Jack would not have been in so
'This is IT' mode?

Andrys Basten said...

I wrote the last one hours ago and fell asleep before waking up and pressing 'submit' :-) Now I see there were many more ideas since, all as fascinating as what I saw earlier and addressing other points.

To Joan Crawford, by the way, I agree re her explanation that David was a construct for Jack's "work" there.

But then we now have 'Which one is a real person sorting things through?" and which one is imaginary -- and do the other real people see someone like David???

Also, in reading along, I realized that even in the afterlife, this theory means there are still the 'in' folk and the 'out' for the gatherings :-)

I think this is one of those things that is best as a vague idea and that the concept of 'reason' as we know it here just can't do it for this kind of 'reality.'

Blam said...


Joan: Yes, why baby Aaron but not baby Charlie?

I've heard some folks theorize that while the afterflash world had a perceived history the characters' consciousnesses actually only entered it during the Oceanic 815 flight in "LA X" — evidence being the Acting! occurring on Jack's face. So if you go with that, it taking a few days or a week for them all to recognize what the world really was might make more sense (relatively speaking) than waiting years for Charlie to be born. I don't necessarily subscribe to the belief that that were only present in the afterflash for such a short period of time, but I do think that they had to wait for Aaron to be born because he was born on the Island and thus One of Them (to the point where he was considered a survivor by Oceanic), plus his birth being the trigger for Kate and Claire's recognition.

Joan: How can you die in the sideways world when it isn't even real?

Maybe the only "people" who die are hollow constructs filling out the scenarios of those who've manifested worlds like this, with the possible exception of deaths that are integral to the recognition and moving-on — like Christian's, which was revealed to be a non-death after all. Or maybe the people who die are indeed partly or fully in the afterflash world and their deaths are necessary to their journey of redemption or resolution, i.e. Keamy and Patchy; I'm no expert in Hinduism, but I think this ties into... dharma.

VW: phated — Classes that teach you to be totally funkilicious.

Blam said...


Rob, Nick and Sylvia: ... [T]his light was a link to the other world and without the link, WE COULDN’T GO THERE. ...
MIB received the ‘fate worse that death’ BECAUSE he went into the light and essentially tried to enter the after life while he was still alive. You only get there one way (normally) so if you try to cheat the system, you become Smokey forever, or until what we saw in the finale happens and someone manages to kill you. And because the light was uncorked when he was killed, I don’t think he moved on. Instead he just died.


Awesome stuff! Thanks for posting!

Lisa(until further notice) said...

I am totally on board with other posters that think Helen might be a "construct" like David. Bloody brilliant.

I have no issues with Sayid and Shannon. Shannon proved to Sayid that he was a good person and helped him to love again. Sayid proved to Shannon that SHE was a good person, not selfish and unnecessary. They started "moving on" when they met eachother.

I forsee a future waiting room filled with the KAHANA freighties having the time of their lives. Eventually Eloise will let go and in so doing let Daniel go as well. Then we'll have Charlotte, Naomi, Frank, Keammy, Omar, Minkowski, the Doc and others...most notably, Miles, THE MILLIONAIRE due to his lucky diamond cache find in Nikki and Paulo's grave. Yee-haw. They will have a good ole time in THAT church.

I fully believe the sidways construct was EVERYONE's journey. Only the last bit was Jack's, as he was the last one (stubborn as usual) to become enlightened. HE needed his Dad to get it.

Penny deserves to be there as she was searching for that island for three years and eventually led to them being rescued the first time. She is also Desmond's constant, and he was the one who helped them all remember.

Something else. Doesn't necessarily fit here but: Coupla things: Remember back when there was news that an official LOST call sheet had been discovered in a restaurant in Hawaii? Well, I didn't want to read it because I didn't want to be spoiled. But I went back last night and googled it. It has been authenticized, and knowing the end now and reading it...it was accurate. What was interesting was this: Describing the scene where Jack goes down to put the "cork" back in the bottle, it states that:
1. Jack finds Desmond unconscious; puts rock over hole.
2. Jack in HELL; light returns; water starts to trickle.
3. Jack in pond; nose bleeds; Desmond ascends.
4. Jack consumed by the light and water.

OH HELL? !

TM Lawrence said...

@Joan Crawford:
Totally agree, just working their stuff out, no hell. Hell is what happens only if the navel lint is not restored to the belly button of the world in the cave of wonders.

And Penelope did save Jack, but would be there regardless because Desmond without Penelope is just plain wrong.

Helen doesn't get to go yet because she's still paying off her debt to the Universal Mother for her role in Married With Children

Zari said...

“‘Lost’ finale bonus footage on DVD”: http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/

In an interview with G4's "Attack of the Show," "Lost" Emmy award winner Michael Emerson revealed that there is an "epilogue, a lost scene" on the upcoming "Lost" DVD collection that was not part of the series finale this past Sunday.

Emerson hinted that it will be around 14 minutes in length, and will explain more about what happened after Jack died on the island and Hurley and Ben took over as its protectors.

We were given an idea in one of the final scenes that these two were on the island for a long period of time, in an exchange between the two characters while in purgatory, but this is the first time we've been told that we might actually see some footage of their time "in charge."

It's unclear whether this footage will be part of the sixth season DVD set, or only in the full series set.

Deb said...

That would be an awesome 14 minute clip to see. I hope they include it in the Season 6 set and not just the series set for those of us who already own seasons 1-5.

WF - inceige - how I felt during many moments in the series finale!