Lost: What Did You Think of “The End?” (Initial Reactions)

Lost series finaleTonight we bid adieu to Lost after six seasons on the air. The series finale had a lot to live up to and, without question, it wasn’t going to please everyone.

The producers have long said that the series was about the people. The title referred to their place in life and, through their experience, they grew and changed. In the end, all of our Losties (and many of their loved ones) are all together again, bound by the most important time in their lives — their time on the island.

In looking at the immediate reaction, it seems that many people feel cheated. I think it stems from (I believe) the misconception that the characters were dead the whole time.

We were told that the Losties were not dead and not in purgatory and they weren’t. Their experience on the island was real. They were all dead by the end of the show, in the church — a place they all created so that they could reunite once they had each passed away. As Christian told his son, some of them died before Jack did (on the island) and some died after.

What did you think of the series finale of Lost? Satisfying or upsetting? Love it or hate it? How does this one rank against other series finales?

UPDATE: If you were confused by the final images, blame ABC.

106 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. iluvfoodsomuch says

    i don’t know what to think. the only reason a lot of the questions were brought out was to keep our interest. the creators had no intention of answering some of the big things. true the show was all about the characters, but why did the creators throw some things out there if they weren’t going to explain them? a lot of it was unnecessary. looking at the ending, there was no need for a magical island, no need for anyone to have special powers, no need for a smoke monster, no need for rules to the island, and no need for time travel. they could have made this show more realistic and throw out all the scientific or fantasy like questions. but instead they chose to include this nonsense for no reason but intrigue. the show was all about the characters and not about any of the other stuff. yea the other stuff was great for character development, but the characters could have reached the same conclusion in a manner that made more sense and wouldn’t have disappointed so many in the end. the ending pretty much made all unanswered questions irrelevant and these unanswered questions were a major part of the show. thus, much of the show is irrelevant to the ending.
    even though there is so much to complain about, i can’t sit here and say i didn’t love every minute i watched this show. im going to miss it and i can only wish there will be another show half as good as this one

  2. William says

    It was clear they died I think when the bomb went off cause if you remember Richard said it ” I watched them all die.” When would he had been able to see them “all ” die?

    • Sara says


      Listen to what Jack’s father said again… They didnt all die at once, but they are all dead in the sense that everyone dies.

      Richard saying things like “This is hell” and “everyone of you is dead” were just red herrings.

  3. Judy says

    I was disappointed in the finale. Didn’t make much sense to me. Like alot of people said, it didn’t answer alot of simple questions. The end proves the writers have no imagination afterall. Bummer!

  4. Carroll says

    The end left me with unanswered questions and feeling a bit cheated, especially after watching the 2 hours before when everyone was raving about how beautifull, satisfying, ad nauseum it was. IT WAS NOT. It was hokem, veiled in tear invoking heart tugs, ie Kate/Jack, Sawyer/Juliet, etc. It was nice to see Charlie, they killed him way too early. But what was up with Desmond and Penny being at the church. The 2 of them were not on the island. I don’t recall Penny even getting there. Her hateful father made sure of that. Anyway, there were way too many little things that didn’t add up and lots of big ones. Big time thumbs down. I think those of us who rearranged our schedules for 6 years ahould have been given a better end.
    Boy I hope “24” is better tonight!!!!

    • Unprejudiced says

      “……………………everyone was raving about how beautifull, satisfying, ad nauseum it was”

      I totally agree. Listening to people going on like that makes me think either they work for ABC or came into LOST somewhere in season 6.

      The ONLY emotions the finale held for me were anger and disgust. By the time it was over and I realized that Lindelof & Cuse were really doing this I wanted to throw up.

      If there was any beauty or satisfaction to this episode I couldn’t see it thru the hundreds of curtains of incomplete plotlines obscuring my view.

      Had they delivered on the promise of answers that they have been giving us IN EVERY SINGLE PROMO for the last 3 years at some point in the last 30 or 40 episodes which were primarily filler anyways, then I may have found something redeeming or enjoyable about this “Goodbye to the people we have called suckers for 6 years” ending. But we will never know because the powers that be chose to slap us in the face instead……………

      I like the 24 finale! I can’t wait for the movie ^^

  5. Mike says

    Will people please quit bringing up Walt? They have explained a million times about him, and I am tired of people choosing that as a sticking point for them to be upset about some part of the show. The kid was 11 playing an 8 year old. Obviously, he hit puberty and there was no way for the show to show how an 8 year old would grow that much in a couple of years. Bad planning…sure…but not that big of a deal.

    • Unprejudiced says

      It is a big deal.

      Walt was a major plot device and some form of finality should have been brought. There are plenty of ways (especially in a sci-fi show) to get around his appearance.

      Also, had Walts total lack of impact or follow thru been the exception rather than the rule I doubt that many people would be talking about him……………..

  6. iHateStupidEndings says

    As an episode of a tv show – ANY tv show, it was pretty good … but as the last and FINAL episode of a show that riddled us with mysteries aplenty … it was severely lacking. I am a writer myself and I loved that I never thought I could easily write better than any of the episodes … until ‘Across the Sea.’

    ‘What They Died For’ re-established my faith only to have it shattered by

    ‘The End.’

    Thank you Damon and Carlton … you both suck.

  7. Kate says

    Honestly, I think the writers muffed it big time. They had three years, 48+ tv ‘hours’ in which to bring the story to a conclusion. But rather than answer the real questions they had raised — where did the island come from, who were these various groups of people Jacob kept gathering, what was the Dharma Initiative really trying to do, why were pregnant women dying — they decided to basically throw out that entire framework in the last season and start a new story with a bunch of mystical mumbo jumbo. And within the -new- story they did answer the new questions, but they basically threw out most of what happened the entire past five seasons to do it. And that is why this finale was a complete failure.

    Go into the light? Really? Could it possibly have been more hackneyed?

    • Sara says

      I watched all of lost in 3 weeks time period and I agree that the last bit could have been a standalone show in and of itself.

      I don’t know why they decided to ignore the whole first part, but I feel like I could have just watched the first episode and the last season and that could have been a show.

  8. lostfanstrugglingnomore says

    After sitting up most of the night ‘replaying’ the final episode in my mind, and then waking up to a more complete sense of the message and the characters’ experiences, I agree with mikeedee’s interpretation — and it was basically what I had worked out for myself after staring at my bedroom ceiling for 3 hours(!) but it continues to bring a clarity – and consistency – to what I saw and how to interpret it.

    In the end, it was really mostly about those main characters that we had grown so attached to; I agree that the details of the lighthouse and Jacob and his brother were, in a sense, secondary. To know in the ‘grand scheme’ of things that the island had these unique properties and that stopping and restarting its generative power had implications for people on the island and perhaps the world at large was enough to know. The details of the lighthouse or how these people became candidates were less relevant than the fact that they had all come together (via Jacob) in the first place; because it could have been any of us — any of us who has ever felt disconnected and out of faith with the universe, our fellow humans, or ourselves.

    In addition, though, I would just add to mikeedee to say that I don’t know that Jacob and his brother was such a very simple a case of good vs evil — as Ben says to Hurley there may be better ways of doing things than Jacob’s way, so Jacob was not perfect goodness nor was Man in Black perfect evil – at least not at the start, and perhaps not ever. He seemed to represent that part of ourselves that is self-destructive and hurtful to others and when we justify those actions by saying that we have no choice, or that we are at the mercy of our impulses or bad character or upbringing, or whatever the excuse, justification, rationale is for hurting ourselves or others. Jacob, on the other hand, while also not perfect goodness, at least seemed to represent that part of ourselves that makes choices to do the right thing. None of the characters were purely anything since the show was also a metaphor for the human struggle within ourselves.

    I think my initial hesitation at really embracing the ending last night was the realization (if this interpretation is correct) that in the material world people like Sawyer and Juliet did not get to live the happily ever after in the material/physical world; that their separation by Juliet’s death at the time of the hatch building did occur. But, this morning as I’ve been thinking, I have taken solace in the idea that their reunion in the spiritual world was complete and ‘eternal’ in a sense – although it’s hard to overcome my own attachment to happiness in the material/physical world and wanting to see it for those characters played out. Maybe that’s another way to interpret Jacob and his brother: Jacob more fully embraced the world of the spirit while his brother was more attached to the physical/material world: the classic struggle between spiritual/esoteric/enlightenment and material/scientific/non-enlightenment.

    I will miss this show!!! Thanks for the six amazing years!

    • mikeedee says

      Point taken about the fuzzy lines between Jacob’s ‘good’ and his brother’s ‘evil’. Jacob wasn’t particularly pleasant to Ben in the temple under the statue and the lifetime’s worth of growing frustration Ben had built up because he wasn’t entrusted by Jacob with any of the island’s secrets (“What about me?”; “What about you?”) eventually got the better of him and he snapped.

      Jacob and his brother’s upbringing from the woman who killed their real mother (again, unexplained) could I suppose have been influential in the inherent flaws of their respective characters.

      Just look at us! Discussing the possibilities, so many of them. So much still unknown but we are given pockets information to allow the main story just enough cohesion to still make sense in its own way. Incredibly thought provoking, we’ll be talking about this for a long time to come.

      And to think that some people are saying the writers just gave us a cop-out ending not sophisticated enough for its fans!

      • says

        @mikeedee: I think some people are looking for concrete answers to every question and are frustrated that the finale didn’t give them. Ultimately, I think they answered the important ones.

  9. Norman says

    It seems to me that when the writers started working on this season that they did not know how to wrap up the story. So instead of answering the questions about what the island was, where it came from, the Dharma initiative, etc. they just came up with the “flash-sideways” and created new questions that they could answer.

  10. Jenny says

    I find it hard to comprehend the comments which suggest that this finale was not sophisticated enough for the Lost audience. In my opinion the finale was true art and as the actors stated before it aired it was beautiful. The show was always about the characters, none of the mysteries and questions that everyone is demanding should have been resolved would have even been shown without the characters. The main plot line on the island was resolved, Man in Black died and Hurley became the new Jacob. Desmond got home to his family and Claire back to Aaron. What happened to Miles, Frank, Richard, Kate, Sawyer and Walt is up for interpretation, but they all eventually died with nothing more significant than their time on the island happening.

    In response to the unanswered mysteries, I believe some people just need to accept that some things just happened. For example many ask how did Man in Black become the Smoke monster when Jack and Desmond both went down there and came out alive? Jacob wished for him to suffer a fate worse than death, so being that Jacob was protector of the Island, it happened. What were the numbers about? Jacob had a thing for numbers. Why have several seasons centered on the DARMA initiative for it to be made irrelivant in the end? Looking back over the seasons it was pretty irrelivant, they came to the island, got killed and thats about it. The main mystery of the the Island was why can dead people be seen wondering around and what was the smoke monster; this was answered. Time travel and electromagnetism were just repercussions caused by people interferring with the islands light.

    The final ending has been critised and praised for being too religiously based. I for one didn’t even consider God or pergatory in my interpretation of the final scene. For me it showed the shows creators view on what happens after death. They all found each other again and moved on, to what? nobody knows. Their time on the island became the most important part of their lives, many died there, found (or refound) love or simply found themselves. But the main idea was that they achieved it together and wouldn’t have achieved it without the Island. The finale gives the simple message that we cannot go through life alone, which is what many of the castaways did for so long.

    You might have a different interpretation to mine, which is why I consider it a form of art. It was a unique ending, beautifully acted and directed and one which shouldn’t be forgotten.

    • Evan says

      AMEN Jenny!! I loved the art of the episode how it truly was about the characters and not of the schematics of the island or time travel. While these questions are yes important to answer, the entire show was ALWAYS based around the intricacies of the characters and their love and connection with each other.

    • Sara says

      Wonderful post, though I feel like the Dharma initiative DID impact the end… it was what brought interest in the island, showed just how significant that light was in a scientific manner, it also was how Sawyer and Juliet found each other.

  11. mikeedee says

    After following the entire season avidly from start to finish I simply had to stay up to watch the finale. Even pre-warned that not every answer box was going to be ticked I had faith that the creators of the show would not sell us out. Looking at some of the comments a few seem to think that they did. I can’t help but wonder if they were watching the same show as me?

    Here’s my interpretation of the end, which may change slightly once I look at it again but the bones of it shouldn’t budge too far. The island does exist and everything DID happen there as we saw it. Attempts to harness and control the island’s very powerful and unusual position in space and time (in that its unique electromagnetic properties enable it to move through both in a non-linear fashion) by the Dharma Initiative were all just about the science. And yet there is more spiritual journey when we are given a glance at work by the early settlers who installed the wheel to do the same.

    Jacob and his brother is the classic embodiment of good v evil, derived (and explained) in the manner almost akin to the analogous storytelling of the Old Testament. Not every facet of their existence is explained to us, just those relevant to the story we are following, maintaining the air of mystery synonymous with the entire series. It was never just the science and those who expected it to answer everything for them (and feel cheated that it didn’t) just didn’t really get what the show was all about.

    We don’t know how the lighthouse worked, we are not told how Jacob knew which names to choose or how he knew about their lives before the crash. Was Jacob’s brother ever given a name? so many unsolved mysteries left hanging. What we do know is that events on the island did take place; they were real. They crashed, the found the Dharma sites, and the ‘others’, they travelled through mixed-up space and time, all of that.

    The flash sideways story is not just a simple purgatory cop-out. Christian hinted that in that place they had all made so they could meet up again before moving on there was no sense of then and now. Some had long lives before they got there, we were only looking through Jack’s eyes. Jack’s son – is it something he created for himself from the relationship he had with his own father perhaps?

    Had the ending been complaetely explained with cold science I’d have been very disappointed. Those who expected one shouldn’t have been watching. The show carried so much mystery and spiritualism; all those personal jouneys through their lives. Thankfully it was maintained for the finale, with just enough unexplained questions to keep the appetite whetted.

  12. Austin says

    My take on it was a bit different. 3 different “realities” all lead to the same place, ultimately.
    1st Reality) All died in the original crash in the world we currently know.
    2nd Reality) Their souls are somewhere between life and death, between physical and supernatural. aka The Island, escape from the island, and the return to the island.
    3rd Reality) What might have been if the plane had never crashed. aka “Sideways reality”

    Either way, their souls find each other because they are connected and are intended to “move on” together. Their previous lives were designed to give them an understanding and appreciation of what lies ahead in the afterlife.

    I loved it.

  13. victor says

    As a prefessional writer, I can tell you that in cases where you paint yourself into a corner, you have no class if you just shluff explanations. Even fantasy has to be based on some kind of theory, existinf or invented. These producers offered up garbage,

    • Simon says

      ‘As a prefessional writer, I can tell you that in cases where you paint yourself into a corner, you have no class if you just shluff explanations. Even fantasy has to be based on some kind of theory, existinf or invented. These producers offered up garbage’……………………
      You say that you are a professional writer; I don’t wish to appear rude but I would have difficulty in getting past a first paragraph of one of your works if it was written like this. Please check your spelling, and explain what you mean when you use a metaphor, ‘paint yourself into a cormer’. Also can I ask, what do you mean by ‘shluff’? Are you referring to Yiddish to sleep or using this word to express an urban connotation. I find your spacing or lack of it makes this paragraph rather untidy, however, I think one get’s the point, you didn’t enjoy the show, preferring to refer to it as ‘garbage’… This of course, is in your opinion.

      • Unprejudiced says

        I think garbage was fair……

        A rose by any other name……………………………………..

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