The questions: What happened in the LOST finale? What did it all mean? Were they dead the entire time? Was the island purgatory?
You didn’t think I’d let this go without a post did you?
Near the beginning of Ask Asher Anything we answered a question about LOST theories. Now, as the series came to a close on Sunday night in an epic two and a half hour production, we have to address the question on the mind of seemingly the entire internet, what did it all mean?
The executive producers and those most directly responsible for the show, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, intentionally left the ending open for interpretation, but if you look closely, there is one definite explanation that close inspection of the finale will lead you to.
See it turns out that no, the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 from Sydney to Los Angeles were not dead the entire time. The internet is abuzz with people who did not understand the final moments of the episode and took Jack saying “I died too,” to his father, Christian Shepard, to mean that they’ve been dead the entire time. This is not the case.
Instead we see the real, living Jack Shepard die while he is talking to his father in what we believed to be a “flash-sideways” timeline. However, the plot device that was so cleverly disguised as what would have happened had 815 never crashed on September 22, 2004, is revealed to be a sort of after-life meeting place for those who were involved in the events of the past six seasons. For all of season six we were led to believe that two timelines had emerged. In fact, there was only the original Island time line, whatever happened, happened and this purgatory-like state where the Oceanic survivors and those important to them were able to meet.
At one point or another the survivors of Oceanic 815 all die. We’ve seen “Losties” like Boone and Locke die in the real-time events of the show’s six seasons, which ended with real-time Jack Shepard dying in the same spot he woke up after the crash. At later or earlier points in the original time line, everyone else eventually dies, including the man Jack entrusts the job of island safe-keeper with, Hurley.
When they have all finished their own lives, they enter the plane of existence that we had considered to be a “flash-sideways” all season long. This existence was created for the sole purpose of allowing the Losties to meet up again before they could move on. This is why those who have their realizations of the original time line see much more than a few days into the LOST series, they see their whole lives, even into what would be considered their sideways “future.” Because they are actually dead, they begin to realize their entire lives, but especially their time on the island, which Christian Shepard labels as the “most important time of [their lives.]“
When they finally are all cognizant of what their lives meant and how much the Island and their experiences there mattered, they can finally all move on, with a man named “Christian Shepard” leading the way.
So I’ll go out on a limb and ask, are there any more LOST questions you’d like to have answered? I’ll pose and answer a few more before LOST completely goes away, but I don’t want to see that day come.
Thanks for the question!