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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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Solomon Martinez   June 13th, 2013 11:22 pm ET

I believe that Jack didn't die in the finale episode. He probably just passed out from the loss of blood. Then most likely Rose and Bernard find him becuase they were probably looking for Vincent and nurse him back to health. Then Jack and Desmond leave the island for good on Desmonds boat. The whole purgatory thing in the finale could of been just a dream or another story...


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Logan   April 22nd, 2014 10:42 pm ET

The reason Jacob made up the rules that he did is because of the rules that the "monster" made as a kid for the game he found on the beach. When him and Jacob were playing the game Jacob said that the "monster" made up the rules, so the "monster" said that one day Jacob would be able to make up his own rules.


Sam   December 26th, 2014 12:50 am ET

I just don't get how Kate was in the afterlife before Jack even though Jack died first.


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Jim Daley   March 25th, 2017 10:07 am ET

Juliette set off the nuke down inside the pre hatch. That should've killed everyone. Nobody has mentioned that. I thought that was what produced the alternative reality. I also thought that would've been a much better ending than we're all Dead. In the science fiction aspect, they still could've remembered their time on the island and reunited with their respective soul mates. That's what I thought would happen. I think less people would've been dissappointed by the final episode if they hadn't all died. Hurley was a successful entrepreneur Syed met his soulmate Jack and Kate wound up together Sawyer was a cop, of all things, but that was cool for a con man to be a cop in his alternate reality. I was a little dissappointed but I will fill it in, let go and move on.


Melvina   March 27th, 2017 9:48 pm ET

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Larry Cochrane   April 21st, 2017 11:31 am ET

Guess I am a late bloomer to the Lost series. I actually found it on Netflix last year. I started watching the first 2 or 3 episodes and LOST interest. After 8 or 10 months later. I started at the beginning again. After watching all the series in full. It was truly amazing show. After I finished watching The End episode yesterday. I doubt a season 7 would be possible now. Since all the characters are presumably dead, but I'd like to see Lost revisited. Thank you ABC for truly amazing TV series.


Jared   May 2nd, 2017 11:53 pm ET

I think that letting the viewer come up with their own theories was a cop out by the producers. They were in over their heads with all the unexplained plot holes in this show and that's as simple as it gets. For Pete's sake it's a story about a group of castaways who time travel, speak with ghosts, and a shapeshifting smokey poltergeist (who sounds like a crank when it moves btw) fighting with his twin brother over an island that shifts through space time. When you are going that big, it's impossible to keep track. Let the viewer figure it out, smh!


melody harris   May 29th, 2017 4:13 am ET

after reading all the comments here, i believe i have a wonderful solution to finish out lost in a way pleasing to all. i have an answer to all the characters on the island, even the ending. would love to speak to the producers for a sequel to the show. i believe an ending that doesnt leave everyone hanging would be better. yes time has gone on since the show but that can play into a new series of lost but with a new name which i will not state on here. i hope the producers will contact me so that i can share with them.

i, too, have just finished watching the entire series. i started when it came out but thought it was not something i would want to watch. i had a busy life and really didnt have time to sit and watch. i will tell you that after a few episodes i couldnt stop watching and would sit up till wee hours of the morning watching. thinking of my interest and the above posts this could be another hit right here.

may 28th 2017


Emme   February 9th, 2018 10:20 pm ET

I've often wondered what kind of trouble Kate landed in when she got back to the world. As part of her probation agreement she wasn't supposed to leave the state (or the county?).

How long was she actually gone? Because it feels like more than a month. Was she supposed to be checking in with anyone?

And how did Desmond ever leave the island that final time? He's not on the plane, and Sawyer and Kate took his boat to Hydra Island.

It's been a year since I watched my DVDs. I guess it's time for a fresh binge.


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