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Posted at 2:41 PM ET, 05/25/2010

The 'Lost' madness continues

By Jen Chaney

Finale analysis | Gallery: The end of 'Lost' | 'Lost' Central

The series finale of "Lost" aired two days ago. It's over. But because this is "Lost," a series that never wavered in its ability to keep generating unanswered questions, it's not really over.

NOTE: If you haven't seen the finale yet, proceed with caution. There will be spoilers ahead.

The conversation about what happened during that two-and-a-half hour, weepy trip to church is still going on all over the Internet, not to mention inside our own heads. As Jeff Jensen said of the final moments of the series during part one of his analysis of the finale -- that's right, he's turning his final column into an epic, minus the Target commercials -- "I wonder how long it will be before I can think about any of that without getting choked up? " Jeff, I'm wondering the same thing myself. Hasn't happened yet.

I'm still sifting through the wreckage, so to speak, trying to make sense of what we saw Sunday night as well as over the six seasons that preceded it. Example: on the way to work this morning, I realized that Jack's non-existent son David shares a name with another non-existent guy we met on the show back in season two: Hurley's buddy Dave. (Coincidentally, executive producer Damon Lindelof's father also happened to be David.) Really, we should have known that kid was just a figment all along.

If, like me, you're still hungry for any more "Lost" nuggets you can get, I've gathered some of the best stuff on the Web right now to satisfy that Oceanic craving.

For starters, here's video of Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (found via The ODI) talking with Diane Sawyer about the finale. It was taped last Thursday, but they do talk about the finale in the video. Sawyer, however, does not ask them to confirm that the Losties have not been dead since the beginning of the series, completely shirking her responsibilities as a responsible journalist. (Just kidding ... mostly.)

Speaking of the "They've been dead all along" theory, Nikki Stafford, author of the Finding Lost book series, has written a lovely post that argues persuasively in favor of the explanation Liz and I also tried to reach during yesterday's analysis and captured a bit more forcefully in the discussion: The Oceanic 815 passengers did indeed survive the crash, were not living the entirety of the series in purgatory and died later, at various times. Stafford also notes that the wreckage we saw as a coda to the finale here in the States was not even shown in Canada, which means those who view that as proof that the crash killed everyone may indeed be placing too much significance on it.

An item from Fancast and posted on DarkUFO also addresses the wreckage imagery and, based on an unnamed source, says it was intended as a buffer between the final moment and the local news but nothing more. The same item also says we will indeed see Walt again, but not until that season six DVD gets released in August.

For those still (understandably) frustrated by the mythological matters that never got addressed on "Lost," spend some time with Lostpedia's mysteries portal, which breaks down the issues that have been solved, partially solved, unsolved or explained canonically. Drill down into the pregnancy section, for example -- which Lostpedia characterizes as partially solved -- and you'll find all sorts of episode-specific info to refresh your memory. (By the way, and try not to spit up when you read this, but the portal only puts nine items on the completely unsolved list.)

And when you need a break from Lostpedia, here's a video that runs through a long list of unanswered questions from the duration of the series:

Sometimes the best way to say goodbye to a TV series is by summing up all its lessons in a song. That's what the band Previously on Lost does in this Lost Untangled video; their "what it all means" tune begins at about the 1:30 mark, after ABC's gratuitous DVD promotion.

And last of all -- at least for the time being -- is an interesting tidbit about the final moment of the series, found via Dark UFO. Someone posted the opening seconds of the "Lost" pilot on YouTube a few weeks ago, but ran them in reverse. And guess what? That pretty much parallels what Jack did when he laid down amidst the bamboo and passed on in the end of the show. A new video, that runs the finale ending alongside the backwards-pilot moment, shows just how much the two scenes share in common. Duration of both portions of video:108 seconds.

By Jen Chaney  | May 25, 2010; 2:41 PM ET
Categories:  Lost, TV  | Tags:  Lost  
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If Dr Linus goes back to the Rousseaus' for coq au vin night and they have a mutual reawakening, how would that evening end? I imagine Ben would want to steer conversation away from things tropical.

Posted by: HardyW | May 25, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Here's the only question I have left for Lindelof and Cuse: Why should we believe anything you ever tell us again? You pulled a real long con on us...

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 25, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I am at a total loss how anyone would possible think they have been dead the whole time. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but it's very clear they survived the crash and everything that happened on the island happened.

-jacob brings them to island
- Jack saves island
- Hurley takes over with Ben and guards island until he passes it on (ala a bottle of water)
- Sawyer, Kate, Miles and the others get off island and live out their lives. (so the new Sawyer\Miles spinoff cop show is still alive)
- At some point they all die, meeting up in sideways world before moving on.
- Jack dies on island like we witnessed (Jack ER spinoff show is dead)

Once they all die and meetup finally in sideways world, they move on to ???

Seems like the only questions left are about some of the island mysteries. Everything else seems straight forward. I have no clue how anyone can think the lostie were dead the whole time. Makes no sense.

Posted by: Skotie68 | May 25, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Nikki Stafford, with one exception. She seems to be asserting that the Sideways gathering was solely for Jack's benefit -- to help him "move on." But it seems to me that would not explain the need for all of the other awakenings, and in particular Desmond's role as the facilitator. Unless, I guess, the others had already moved on, but were pulled back to Sideways, by their love of Jack? And Desmond was just fulfilling his promise to see Jack in another life, brutha?
As for the wreckage, in addition to what has been said, I noticed footprints, and what looked like a tarp shelter in one of the shots. So I think this is what the wreck site looked like after the story ended, not what it would look like if their had been no survivors at the beginning.

Posted by: Epigon | May 25, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for posting that analysis by Nikki Stafford. I was beginning to fall into that camp of: the rest of the island stuff was a big red herring. But I'm not so sure now.

And that video you posted is beautiful. Made me weep all over again.

Posted by: monk4hall | May 25, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

There can still be a Jack ER spinoff.

"Sideways Hospital".

Posted by: Ghak | May 25, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Glad you liked the video, monk4hall. What I love about that especially is how nicely it ties in with that oft-repeated phrase: "Nothing is irreversible."

Posted by: Jen_Chaney | May 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I was discussing the Lost Finale with my son yesterday although he does not watch the show. He said that on Fox's Simpsons show that in the opening Bart is seen writing on the blackboard that they all died and the dog was dreaming. That made me think that may be the dog was the only survior and had this dream. But then why did it not include Walt and Michael?
I guess that I could believe that the Losties all died but before entering the after world they were given a chance to see what life could have been.

Posted by: speed_bump2002 | May 25, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's the only question I have left for Lindelof and Cuse: Why should we believe anything you ever tell us again? You pulled a real long con on us...

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 25, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Hear, hear!

Posted by: eet7e | May 25, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

This is all sooooooooo 2008.

Posted by: ntrlsol | May 25, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

That video is fantastic and the creator a genius!

Posted by: teamn | May 25, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

and you don't think that the fact he was doing the same thing in the bamboo field as he did in the pilot (the crash) isn't yet another sign that he in fact died in the crash and the island was a purgatory for everyone else -- that they found their need for completeness and forgiveness during the entire 6 year series and entered the "church" as the portal to "heaven" together after they had found their "entry ticket" . . . they all died in the crash (or some other time for those not involved in the crash) and the island was the purgatory place they all needed to prepare for the other side . . . all the flash forwards, backwards and sideways was some step towards finding that completeness and forgiveness that allows them to move on . . . the creators could NOT say "Yes, you figured it out" in the first season and then spend 5 years telling the story we all knew about . . . they had to lie to us in order to keep folks interested in the show . . . I don't mind -- the ride was terrific!

Posted by: RBCrook | May 25, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I wish I lived in the parallel universe where Lost didn't suck, because in that universe, the writers had enough respect for their audience to develop a complete framework for the show when they had the chance to (3 years ago when they set an end date for the series, for example). But I guess that means that the writers would have actually had to work at it, instead of giving us a grab bag of science fiction concepts and pretentious philosophical references stolen from better minds. You know, Messrs Lindehof and Cuse, some of your audience actually knows how to read, and has had their expectations set by writers who were a heck of a lot better at it than you guys...

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 25, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

My biggest complaint, and the reason I hope that the writers aren't showered with accolades is the fact that they failed to consistently weave the tale of the island mythology with their character development. The real villain wasn’t consistently defined. First it was the “others”, then “outsiders”, then Whitmore. I don’t think they settled on the idea that it was the smoke monster who was the main antagonist until late in the series. Whitmore’s motivation should have been explained more, and although it appears that Ben served both Jacob and MIB, his and the smoke monsters actions were inconsistent. Was it Jacob’s, MIB’s or Ben’s decision to murder the DHARMA folks? Wasn’t it the smoke monster that saved everybody on the island by taking out Whitmore’s mercenaries? Some of these actions seem to go against the main motivation of the MIB to kill Jacob’s candidates. I could ramble on, but my main point is that the mythology of the island was really just eye candy to keep people interested so that they could tell their story of the human condition. If they had told a consistent mythological tale, while still providing the character depth, the show would have deserved to be much more celebrated.

Posted by: psubman | May 25, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe you're still maintaining that there is a possibility they all died in the crash. It's ridiculous -- I assume you ladies read all the comments out there on the web? Do you realize your kind are being bashed universally? If Diane Sawyer is a responsible journalist, then she knows that's a ridiculous question to ask.

Posted by: sncho8402 | May 25, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The Losties werent real- they were all symbols for Jacks life (each character showed how his father effected that aspect of his life - ie Claire=family, Hurley=self worth,Sun/Jin=marriage etc). Jack is finally successful in his attempt at redemption as shown by all the 'characters' achieving happiness in the flash sideways. Once this occurred his faith was no longer paralyzed (Locke) and he was able to move on. As Jack was finally successful, Desmond (the reset button) was no longer necessary. So technically, all the characters werent in purgatory or dead - only Jack was.

Posted by: sauce1 | May 25, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with shifting enemies? Think about it -- you crash land on an island, and no one comes to rescue you. You see and hear something massive uprooting trees at night, then strange people dressed in rags start trying to abduct your fellow survivors.

As your numbers begin to decline, through accidents and attacks, you start to uncover some more mystery on the island when you begin to discover the Dharma sites. Later, the people who presumably come to save you suddenly want to kill you, and then you start skipping through time.

I think it works fine, if you think about how you would respond to threats, real or not, after you survived a plane crash.

Posted by: megman | May 25, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Great story -- but why?

Check out the lyrics to Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

Posted by: cap41 | May 25, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I have to say that any show that can generate this much viewer reaction has to be considered a success. I myself have spent days poring over blogs and thinking about Lost, even though it wrapped on Sunday.

Although I was not thrilled with the lack of resolution to the "scientific" aspects of the storyline, and I do have issues with the finale, last night I finally got around to watching the Kimmel Lost wrap up show, and the last scene was a fake video of Snoop Dog smoking up the smoke monster. And it just cracked me up.

So at this point I think I'm okay with saying "what happened, happened," and I'm going to take Rose's advice and "let go" now. I think season 6 was LindeCuse's Phantom Menace season, but I'm not sorry that I put in the time to watch, enjoy and deliberate the meaning of Lost.

Posted by: NW_Washington | May 26, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: dinosaursinc | May 26, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

If you need some cheering up after the finale, check out this EPIC "LOST" parody:

Posted by: todders | May 26, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

jerkhoff and eet7e:

I believe you are wrong, my friends. It all mattered, and I think it was thought through much more cohesively than you realize. Albeit with considerable improv along the way and a few choices I would not have made myself.

Read the recap at the link below and then rewatch the finale. This link includes that leaked post by Greg Ernstrom, the junior production assistant at Bad Robot.

He reveals a number of the writers' goals and claims the last part of the finale, starting where Jack walks into the church, was written just after the pilot and was never changed.

I've checked this guy out. I think he's real. I think they did have the ending in place from the start. I think almost everything that happened happened for a reason. Read it, rewatch the finale. I believe you will be glad you did.

Greg wrote more stuff in response to questions, but it has since been taken down from the Buffalo Bills fansite (where he thought he was just talking to about six of his longtime buddies). But I copied those passages and pasted them into the comments towards the end of Jen & Liz's dueling anlysis.

I think the long con was making doubters work so hard to see that their initial faith was not in vain. After six years, it's got to be worth a little more effort, no?

Posted by: MeriJ | May 27, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks MeriJ for the link. It was helpful and after much thought sort of follows my thinking. The following were paired in the church:

Locke however was alone as was Ben. So was Christian but I consider him to be the guide to the afterlife (Osiris - had to get an egyptian god in there :-). Ben not going in the church made sense since he was alone (maybe he was afraid of where he would go) but Locke being alone did not make sense. Helen was not there. If love was the key to moving on, what did Locke love? All the Lostees? I'll need to ponder this more.

But the pairs reminded me of the "constant" people needed when traveling through the time shifts, which were preceded by flashes, presumably of electromagnetic fields. Those with a constant, with a love, not only made it to sideways world but after touching their constant also made it to the church and the realization that they were ready to move on (except Locke who remembered the island world with Jack. Maybe his admiration and love for Jack was key...).

The church with its many religious symbols echoed Jacob telling Richard that MIB was evil and evil had many names in many cultures/religions/times. All spirituality is the same, just different methods of attaining the same end, which is a Hindu notion. And Jack walking into the light was similar to Jack corking the light on the island. The world exists between good and evil and the island is where it is all balanced. Jacob released smokey and Jacob worked centuries to kill him, and Jack, with Desmond's help, was the candidate that succeeded.

The light on the island was coming from below (hell). Its now corked and Hurley will ensure no one else finds it to release evil again, as Jacob accidentally did.

The button pushing had a purpose. It kept the island hidden so no more candidates could arrive. MIB, through Ben, set it up to thwart Jacob bringing Lostees, but Jacob found a way, by planting seeds of fate so the lostees ended up on the plane when Desmond failed that one time to push the button, allowing them to find the island.

Posted by: Fate1 | May 27, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse


I'm so glad you checked back in! I feared you were gone for good.

A few of us are still talking in the Duel Analysis comments section.

Posted by: MeriJ | May 28, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Actually, it did show the ending clips of the wreckage ONLINE on

Posted by: tsanbornca | May 28, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"I'm so glad you checked back in! I feared you were gone for good."
Posted by: MeriJ

On Tuesday night I did not know what to do. My first Tuesday without Lost. Luckily my daughter's high school graduation distracted me ... a little. Now I'm wondering, with all the questions still out there, whether Lindicruse will start selling answers, like what was Walt all about? They are the only ones who know, and its a gold mine. Knowing Hollywood, I can't imagine them letting the lucrative opportunity go by, unless a movie is coming of course :-)

Posted by: Fate1 | May 28, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I was "someone" who posted the opening seconds of the "Lost" pilot on YouTube a few weeks ago, but ran them in reverse ... I can predict what are the f* numbers who will win the JackPot in Lotery ... you can answer me for free ... in my YouTube Channel :

Tks Jen for your sweet reference.

A big Hug from Barcelona (Spain)


Posted by: joanriveracat | May 31, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

To Fate1 - I think Locke was alone and not with Helen because she was out of his life and died before he crashed on the island. Christian told Jack that the people in the church were the most significant in his life. That's why they created the Sideways world, so they could all come together after they died. So I took that to mean that they were all the most significant and made they most impact on each other's lives. I'm guessing that's why they put Sayid with Shannon, even though Nadia had always been his one true love.

With Ben, he didn't go into the church because he wasn't ready - I'm guessing he had to make peace with others who were more significant to him. Like Alex and Rousseau, maybe his dad, etc.

Posted by: luvlydawter | June 1, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

To someone's luvlydawter:

I believe you've nailed it.

Ben also had a long list of truly terrible deeds to reconcile. Even taking into account a few hundred years of service with Hugo.

Posted by: MeriJ | June 1, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse


I think they have shut down comments on the analysis of the finale. If so, nice knowing you and reading your comments. See you in another life brudda.


Posted by: dojemc | June 1, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

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