It’s the series finale of Lost, and it’s definitely an ending.  Trying to wrap your head around this series finale is probably going to take some time.  I just finished watching and still need to think about it.  I didn’t instantly hate or love it.  For now, enjoy this recap of how it all ended.

To simplify the finale, I’ll start with everything on the Island and then move to the altverse, which will make a lot of sense to anyone who’s already seen it.

On the Island, Jack is the new Jacob and the others await his orders.  The first priority is getting Desmond, but they don’t realize he’s already out of the well.  Sawyer goes off to find him.

At the well, Ben pulls a gun on Sawyer, but the situation is quickly turned around.  Sawyer tells Flocke that they didn’t take Desmond, and that he’s not a Candidate any more, giving Flocke the knowledge that someone was chosen to replace Jacob.  Sawyer leaves and Flocke notices paw prints around the well.

That can only mean one thing: Vincent!  Not only is the dog back, but so are Rose and Bernard!  They rescued Desmond from the well, breaking their cardinal rule of not getting involved.  Flocke and Ben track them down, threatening to kill Rose and Bernard unless Desmond comes with him.  Rose doesn’t care, which is awesome of her, but Desmond goes anyway.

Elsewhere on the Island, Miles finds Richard Alpert, who survived the Smoke Monster attack.  They still plan on blowing up the plane and hop in a canoe to get to Hydra Island.  Miles finds a gray hair on Richard, so I guess Jacob’s everlasting life is wearing off. 

On the ride over they find Frank Lapidus, who is also miraculously alive.  Much like Mark Twain, rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated.  Instead of blowing up the plane, he offers another idea: leaving on the plane without Flocke.

Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley hike to the bamboo to find the cave of Light and so do Flocke, Ben and Desmond. The two groups meet up and while Kate is out for blood, Jack tells her to calm down. They agree to go together, but Jack makes Flocke a promise: “I’m gonna kill you.” I really like the new Jack.

Once they reach the bamboo, Flocke suggests that only he, Jack and Desmond keep going to the cave. They show up and start to tie up Desmond so he can go down and find the Light. Desmond’s plan is to go into it and hopefully get transported to the altverse. He somehow knows all about the other world and tells Jack all about it.

They lower Desmond into the cave. Once he’s down there, Desmond finds the pool of water with the bright Light and a giant rock serving as a cork for the pool of magic. He goes in, resisting the electromagnetism, and pulls out the cork. The water drains, the Earth shakes and it fills up with some weird lava-like substance.

It turns out Flocke was right. The Light is out and the Island is shaking and starting to sink into the ocean. But Jack was also right, because without the Light, Flocke is now vulnerable and can be killed.

Flocke runs off to take his boat to Hydra Island to leave on the plane while the earthquakes cause a giant tree to fall on Ben. Miles calls over and tells everyone to meet them at Hydra Island to leave on the plane.

As Flocke reaches the cliffs, Jack finds him. It’s raining pretty heavily and the two engage in a rather out-of-place epic fight scene. During the struggle, Flocke stabs Jack, but Kate shows up just in time to shoot Flocke. Jack gets up and finishes him off by kicking Flocke off the cliff. And just like that, Flocke, aka the Man in Black, is dead.

Also just like that, the rain clears up and, without explanation, Ben is safely walking around no longer trapped under a giant immovable tree. On the cliffs, they make their final plans.

Sawyer and Kate are going to the plane to leave. Jack is staying behind to put the cork back in the cave and get the Light turned back on. Ben is staying behind on the Island and Hurley is staying with Jack.

Before leaving, Jack and Kate settle the long-standing debate over who she’s in love with by professing their lover for one another and sharing a big kiss.

Back at the cave, Jack decides that since he won’t be coming back up, Hurley should be the new Island Protector. That’s was an insanely short reign for Jack. Hurley is reluctant, but eventually he drinks the water and becomes just like Jack. There’s no chanting, so I’m not sure if this ceremony has any validity or magic, or if it’s just a silly, pointless exercise in futility.

Ben and Hurley lower Jack down where he finds Desmond. Desmond is upset that his plan didn’t work and he’s still there. Jack ties him to the rope then goes into the empty pool with the red lava lights. He picks up the cork and pops it back into place. The pool fills with Light, water and electromagnetism.

Ben and Hurley pull up Desmond. Once they realize Jack is a goner, Hurley accepts his role as Island Protector, but he asks Ben to be his co-Jacob. Ben accepts.

On Hydra Island, Sawyer and Kate pick up Claire and get on the plane with Lapidus, Miles and Richard. The Ajira 6 take off and fly away.

All that’s left is Jack, who somehow drifts out of the cave. He’s dying, but manages to stand up and walk through the jungle to the bamboo where he first landed on the Island. He falls down and sees Vincent come over, mimicking what happened in the very first scene of the series. And in the final shot, a bookend to the first shot of the Pilot, Jack’s eye closes.

So Jack died, Hurley and Ben teamed up to heal Desmond and protect the Island, and Lapidus, Sawyer, Kate, Claire, Miles and Richard all flew home. That’s how the Island story ended, but keep reading to find out what the alternate universe really is.

The story on the alternate universe begins with Desmond signing for the arrival of Christian Shephard’s coffin at a church.  Kate is amused that someone is actually named Christian Shephard, and it’s probably the first time a lot of fans really thought about how ridiculous that name is.  She’s still unsure what’s happening, but Desmond promises her that he’s going to show her because he just wants to leave.
Desmond’s partner in crime, Hurley, tries to zap Sayid’s memory back by showing him a tazer.  It doesn’t work, so Hurley goes to his next task: picking up Charlie for the concert with Daniel Widmore.  Hurley is super excited to see his old pal Charlie, but since the rocker is reticent, Hurley zaps him.

They drive to the concert where Miles also arrives and sees Sayid in the yellow Hummer.  He’s confused so he calls up his partner, James, to let him know.  James decides to go protect the one surviving witness, Sun Paik.

Speaking of Sun and Jin, they’re at the hospital waiting for an ultrasound.  Their doctor arrives, and it’s Juliet!  Only now her name is Juliet Carlson, her maiden name, meaning she never married Edmund Burke.  Juliet shows them the sonogram and as they stare at their baby, Sun and Jin both have flashes of their original timeline life.  All of their memories flood back and they smile at their daughter, Ji Yeon.  They also both speak perfect English.

Juliet leaves and bumps into Jack, aka her ex-husband.  That’s right, as many, myself included, already guessed, Juliet is David’s mother.  She has the tickets for the concert and leaves with David just as James arrives looking for Sun Paik.

Across town, Hurley is onto his next mission by taking Sayid to a bar fight where some guy is getting his ass kicked while his nervous sister watches on.  Sayid gets out to save the day and sees that the siblings are Boone and Shannon.  He takes one look at Shannon and the two have a flood of emotions as they remember their love on the Island.
They kiss while Boone goes to chat with Hurley, because Boone was in on the plan.  There’s no word on how Boone got his memories back, but I’m guessing it was from drinking blood in Mystic Falls.

Finally that night we get to the concert where Daniel Widmore bumps into Charlotte backstage.  Juliet gets a last minute call from the hospital and has to leave, so David and Claire make their way to Table 23, where they’re seated with Desmond and Kate.

During the concert, Charlie sees his beautiful blonde woman in the audience, but Claire has to go to the bathroom.  She leaves and Kate follows her.  In their absence, Mrs. Hawking comes over to find out what Desmond is doing.  He’s still going through with his plan, but he promises her that he won’t take her son Daniel.

Backstage, Claire is about to pop, so Kate has to deliver the baby.  As she does, she flashes on the original timeline and her memories come back.  Charlie shows up and thanks to seeing Claire and Aaron, their memories come back as well.  The power of love really does solve everything, because it’s causing a flood of memories to come clicking back into place.

At the hospital, Locke’s surgery is completed and he wakes up surprisingly early from anesthesia and can already wiggle his toes.  He also has all of his memories back, because apparently the love of his life is the ability to walk.
James shows up to protect Sun and the result is the funniest scene of the finale because Jin and Sun know exactly who Sawyer is and they’re amused that he’s a cp, but he has no idea who they are.  They leave and James asks Jack where he could get some food.  He points him to a vending machine where James orders the only thing people ever eat out of that vending machine, an Apollo Bar.

It gets stuck so he tries to pull it out when Juliet arrives to suggest turning off the power.  He does, she gets the Apollo Bar and hands it to him.  When their fingers touch they start to flash on their happy life together and pretty soon they remember everything and he holds her as hard as he can.

So now Jack is the only one left without any memories.  He shows up at the concert where Kate gives him a few cryptic hints about who he really is.  She drives him to the church where his father’s body is waiting.  She goes inside and tells him to go in through the back to the coffin, and she’ll be waiting for him when he remembers.

In the front of the church, Ben is waiting outside when Locke rolls up.  They are now both totally aware of the original timeline, which is a little awkward since Ben killed him.  Ben sincerely apologizes and Locke accepts before going into the church.  Ben also explains that he’s not ready to leave, so he’s going to stay in the altverse for a little while longer.

Hurley also pops his head out and sees Ben.  He thanks him for being a great second-in-command, so it’s at this point when you start to realize that the characters in the altverse have memories of everything, including things that happen in the future of the Island.

Finally everything is explained when Jack goes to the coffin, touches it, and flashes on everything. He opens it up and finds it empty. Christian Shephard is standing behind him, and Christian’s job is exposition.

Basically, the altverse is Limbo. Or Heaven. Or a Second Life. As Christians explains, “There is no now here,” because the entirety of the altverse takes place after death. Some people died before Jack, some long after, but it’s all the same. And they all need to gather because the time they spent together on the Island was the most important time of their lives, and now that they’ve recognized that, they’re ready to move on.

First, it’s time for a high school reunion where everyone hugs everyone else in the church. I know it’s a matter of contracts and schedules, but I’d feel a lot better if they were able to get everyone here instead of just some of the actors who had the availability to make it to Hawaii when this scene was filmed.

In the back of the church, Christian opens the door and a bright white light fills the room. It’s time for everyone to move on from Limbo and let their souls rest, or whatever happens after you realize that you’re dead.

And that’s the strange metaphysical note Lost ends on. My immediate reaction is mixed. I loved the episode for what it was and I loved a lot of the individual scenes. I’m also fine with the notion that the altverse was Limbo. Where I start to have problems is the fact that none of that has anything to do with what happened for the first five seasons and it has nothing to do with the Island.

The altverse seemingly had nothing to do with the Light or the other mysteries of the Island, and I still have no idea what the Light is, who Jacob was, what the Smoke Monster was, etc. From where I sit, the only major questions the finale answered are questions the show made up for the final season, questions that didn’t exist before the flash-sideways.

But those are petty concerns. For everything else, including the beautiful symmetry of ending with Jack in the bamboo as he died, with a close-up of his eye closing, I commend Lost for going out with style, if not substance.

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.