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May 25, 2010

Geek Out!: Five unanswered 'Lost' finale questions

Posted: 01:28 PM ET

Editor's note: Geek Out! posts feature the latest and most interesting in nerd-culture news. From sci-fi and fantasy to gadgets and science, if you can geek out over it, you can find it on Geek Out! Look for Geek Out! posts on CNN's SciTech blog.

There are many, many questions still out there about "Lost," some which were answered vaguely, many that are "up for interpretation," shall we say... and the series finale itself raised some questions as well.

Here are just five of the frequently asked questions about the way the show ended, and my best educated guesses on the answers:

Q: Did all the characters die in the original plane crash?
A: No. Going by what Christian Shepard told Jack (and the fact that the final scene showed Jack's death), everyone died at different times, some on the island, others many years later. In the case of Hurley and Ben, it would appear that they died after perhaps thousands of years protecting the island, like Jacob, based on their exchange about being a great number one and number two.

Q: Why didn't Ben go into the church? Why was Penny there? Where were Michael and Walt?
A: It would seem that Ben, despite knowing the truth about purgatory (that's what we'll call it here, anyway), chose to stay there a little longer as a father figure to Alex. Desmond and Penny weren't on the plane, but Desmond brought all these people together, and Penny was the reason he "let go" and had a connection to everyone else there.

Michael's ghost is presumably still on the island, whispering. Walt either wasn't ready to "let go," or already has, which brings us to the next question...

Q: Why were people the age/state they were in purgatory? Why did Aaron have to be born again, for example?
A: One presumes that Aaron lived a long full life, but he had to be born in purgatory for Claire to "let go." Everything that people needed to "let go" was there for them if they were willing to accept what had happened to them.

The sixth season premiere actually implied that Rose might have been trying to help Jack "let go" while on the plane, and she said those words to him herself (this scene was replayed on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" special after the finale). This might also partially explain why Walt wasn't in the finale, as most people in purgatory would remember him as a kid, not the teenager that the actor (and character, when Locke last saw him) is today.

Q: What was that light/"source" on the island after all? How did that cork get there? What were those skeletons below the waterfall?
A: For those looking for concrete answers, this could be the most frustrating question of all. Last year, executive producer Damon Lindelof told E! Online, "I feel like you have to be very careful about entering into Midi-Chlorian territory (referring to the oft-maligned Star Wars Episode I)... But 'What is the Island?' That starts to get into 'What is the Force?' It is a place. I can't explain to you why it moves through space-time—it just does. You have to accept the fact that it does."

The "source" is whatever you interpret it to be. In "Across the Sea," it was implied that Jacob and the Man in Black's Mother was not the first protector of the island, and that many people have been there and have dealt with the light or "source" while they were there. The Dharma Initiative is just one example of that.

The skeletons and the cork are likely representations of people who were there before the Mother even got there.

Q: Did Ajira Flight 316 return to the mainland safely? We saw the wreckage of a plane during the end credits.
That was the wreckage of Oceanic 815, which I would interpret as further confirmation of Jack saying, "There are no shortcuts, no do-overs – what happened, happened. All of this matters."

The plane did crash, they did land on that island, and the "flash-sideways" was only a "do-over" in the heads of the crash survivors and others. One can assume that Kate, Sawyer, Claire, Richard, Miles and Lapidus all landed safely and went on with their lives.

And speaking of moving on with our lives, here was Lindelof's final "Lost"-related tweet before going to an "undisclosed location:" "Remember. Let go. Move on. I will miss it more than I can ever say."

There is no doubt in my mind that this series and this finale will continue to resonate and be debated for years to come. And that's exactly the way the makers of "Lost" wanted it.

Share your final thoughts on "Lost," not to mention my interpretation of the finale's big questions, in the comments below.

Filed under: Geek Out! • television


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LBF   May 26th, 2010 2:59 pm ET

"So, call me John and I will call you Jack. You believe in science, that it is because it is. You want the facts. I believe in faith, that life continues after death. And that was the point I believe, to make the audience debate this epic struggle."

You got it wrong. I'm not Jack, I'm not the science based one. I'm the faith based one, as apparently, are you.

But, I do not misinterpret anything. If they all died in the crash, the series makes no sense at all. For the Island to be purgatory, none of the side stories make any sense whatsoever. There would be no reason for these "pergatories" to cross paths.

There were plenty of hints left that the events on the island, were, in fact real. It is nonsensical for them to have gone through some sort of pergatory in the island, only to forget it all, and have to remember again in the sideways storyline. Lost is much more in depth then that. But in the end, it was always more about the characters than it was about the island. The island was just something that happened, the people were really what mattered.


Sean   May 26th, 2010 3:26 pm ET

Hey LOST writers if you read this and do it I better get some royalties! Only kidding, make the show and that will be royalties enough ( I wouldnt mind having my name in the credits though!).


Semone   May 26th, 2010 3:52 pm ET

Sorry I don't read all of them, but thanks!


Steph   May 26th, 2010 10:11 pm ET

The writers got out of control w/ their thoughts and were never able to come full circle with a solid conclusion. Hollywood has trouble editing themselves these days. Instead the writers decided to leave it open to interpretation whether you believe in the sci-fi mumbo jumbo theme, the biblical theme or the logical theme. Anyone can make up whatever ending they want because it was impossible to end anything w/ all the stuff they put out there. I choose the logical realist theme from the first episode / plane + crash on tropical island = death. Everyone on the island died there either by air or sea regardless of the time line and were stuck between heaven and hell (lost). There is no point to the story and most of the main characters if you do not accept the simple, logical answer of plane + crash = death. The only other reason for showing them crash on a plane together would be that it was a metaphor for "lost" souls crashing out of control in their lives and how literally lame would that be? No one could get pregnant on the island because guess what, you're dead (back when I watched the show Juliet said no woman was able to conceive so low and behold the dead Jin and Sun imagine they are pregnant). The three different life scenarios represented the "what if" they hadn't crashed scenario. Jack was shown at the end walking through the bamboo forest because that's where he landed when he was ejected during the plane crash. He was injured in the plane crash and subsequently died from his injuries not by the hands of Locke. Hey, there I just made up another ending! The Apollo candy bars, the scientific time travel out of Oxford, the magnetic fields, all the literary references, Walt having special powers, basically everything was written in for entertainment value to throw you off track of the real story theme plane + crash = death. There is no cryptic secret behind the Apollo bars other than one of the writers probably liked them as a kid. I'm sure there were people out there who tried to find what significant meaning they could extract from mythology, and I'm sure they were able to find some explanation for it too. These were the things the writers just threw in there, and I will give them credit for their creativity. I'm glad it's finally over, and I'm glad that I multi-tasked my way through the last three seasons w/ half an ear to the TV because it was a huge disappointment. But again – people – how did the show end: with dead people talking to other dead people at a funeral for a dead man that knew all along that he was dead (his casket was always empty); and a crashed plane on a tropical beach with no life in sight except for Jack who did fall down and die next to the dog (which was a great scene – I'll give them that). To conclude, plane + crash on a tropical island = death. All that happened after was the fantasy of how they engaged together stuck in limbo and what their lives could have been if they'd done things differently. And that my friends sums up the beginning, the middle and the end something that the writer's of Lost were unable to do.


Mel   May 28th, 2010 12:05 pm ET

@ gconnection

um, let me see:
Lost was written for entertainment.
The Bible was written for spiritual guidance.

and you are comparing the two?? Well, I guess it makes sense if your take on my comment is that the Bible is a great work of fiction. I, however, wouldn't begin to to put these two works in the same category. But, that's just me.


ian   July 4th, 2010 4:25 am ET

thanks for the ride

watched the last episode a couple of days ago and felt a little confused and disappointed with the last 10 minutes
never read anything on the internet about the series until reading this excellent blog

after watching the final episode again the ending is what you want it to be (happy or sad)
who says the light at the end doesn't lead them back onto the plane before the plane crash, the power of the island

watched nearly every episode twice, once stoned and once sober, i have to admit the former is better, hurley planning to rewrite the empire strikes back being one of many 'high' lights

lent the first series out to many people over the years and am sad that it has ended, but all good things eventually come to an end

i plan on quitting smoking tommoz

live, long and prosper fellow losties


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