schmiss: (' said the lady to the man she adored)
[personal profile] schmiss
I will make a general Lost finale post, eventually. This is for my thoughts about the last ten minutes of the episode. I loved it. Some people didn't. This is my attempt at explaining what I thought it was, with the caveats that 1. I was watching through a haze of tears and 2. I am a little tipsy, so I may have missed important things.

The way I see it: the flash-sideways timeline was not capital-p Purgatory; but it was a purgatory of their own creation. The best analogy I can draw is if you've played Silent Hill 2, you know how in the end you discover that all the monsters and Maria were James's way of dealing with his disgust with himself? The flash-sideways was how the people on the plane dealt with their problems, except they dealt with them constructively. It wasn't just irony that made Sawyer a cop, or that had Ben save Alex (and become a surrogate father to her).

Now as for why some people were in heaven and some weren't. On his show, Jimmy Kimmel suggested that the moment of turbulence in LA X, when Jack was clutching the armrest, was a few seconds in which Jack experienced, in some blink-of-an-eye subliminal way, everything that happened in the "real" timeline. From the moment he woke up in the bamboo to the moment he laid down and closed his eyes. When Rose looked over and told him he could let go, that was the beginning of the new life he created for himself. He gave himself a son so he could know that he wasn't his father, nor was he the man his father treated him like. He created a former relationship with Juliet to atone for their strained relationship on the island. He fixed Locke, because he was feeling guilt over having never appreciated or believed in him while he was still alive. etc, etc.

And that applied to every single person on the plane. From the ones who died quickly, like Boone and Shannon, to the ones who stayed on the island for a long time, like Ben and Hurley (more on that in a bit). Eventually they died with unresolved issues and were drawn to each other in this in-between place where they tried to change their fates, starting with the plane crash.

From what I can tell, the only people in heaven were:

1. The people on the plane, in the original timeline (most everyone)
2. The people who sacrificed their lives for the island. (Ben - because he worked as Hurley's number 2, Juliet, Desmond)

The only exception is Penny. I guess they didn't want to show Des without her. And Christian Shephard, although I suppose you could rationalize it; his last thoughts in the Australian dive bar were of the son he never cared for, and he couldn't reach closure until Jack did.

As for what happened to Richard, Miles, Frank, Charlotte, and Daniel, I suppose they didn't have anything to let go of, because they settled themselves on the island. Evidence of this could be that Charlotte and Daniel interacted, but didn't flash off each other; they were only there to move along Charlie, Desmond, and Sawyer's plots.

The Richard, Miles, and Frank thing gets more confusing. Richard and Frank didn't appear in the flash sideways, so I guess we can assume that they had no need for resolution. Miles did, but - as best I can remember - he only appeared in connection to other people. He was there to facilitate James's story and to listen when James needed to confess about Sawyer. (TOTALLY UNRELATED, back in the real timeline, I ship Richard/Miles 4reals. Their scenes were totally cute. I choose to believe they hung out afterward.) [ profile] buongiornodaisy made a really beautiful point in her journal about the fact that Richard's storyline was initially about his will to die, and in the end became about his discovery of wanting to live. And that's what he got. That's why he didn't have to appear in the flash sideways. Just like Lapidus resolved his guilt over missing the 815 flight by taking them home, and Miles resolved his anger toward his father by seeing that Dr. Chang actually saved them. Charlotte found the island and the odd man who warned her of it as a child. Daniel I'm unsure about - his issue was so twisty and turny that I'm not sure how he could resolve it, unless the reset itself ended it - so there's possibly another loose end.

As for some more unanswered questions:

What happened to Hurley and Ben? They must have given up at some point and let the island go and let themselves die. Did they pass it on to a new generation of protectors?

What about the survivors who weren't in the episode? Either they had already reached closure, or they were still in purgatory. For example, we saw Ana Lucia, who was a plane crash survivor, in the sideways. Was she a creation of Desmond's mind, to pull him out of a tight scrape? Or was she really there, still trying to atone for what she'd done wrong? Same with Michael, Walt, Eko, even Nikki & Paulo. Obviously some of this is because of actor availability but you have to wonder if some of these omissions were purposeful as well.

How the hell did Desmond traverse between the timelines? I guess this would suggest that the constructed timeline was as "real" as the real timeline... which is pretty trippy to think about. Reality, it's like, in your head man.

What was Ben's unresolved business? I took this as him simply being unready to face his curtain call, perhaps a mixture of both cowardice and a desire to experience the normal life he'd never known before. However maybe I missed something more important.

Alright, let me know if this entry makes any sense at all and feel free to nitpick away at it. I might update it when I've rewatched the episode.
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December 2011

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