Lost: Some Series Finale Questions and (We Think) Answers

Lost series finaleWe’ve been getting a whole lot of questions and comments about the Lost finale. So, we’ve put together some answers based on what we saw and can put together. Some it is conjecture since we don’t have absolute answers to some of the questions but they seem to make sense based on what we do know.

Did the characters all die in the plane crash of Oceanic 815?
No. Their story on the island really happened in their lives — from when Jack opened his eyes in the pilot until he closed them in the finale. The part that didn’t happen in the real world was the so-called flash-sideways that we started seeing in season six.

What was the “flash-sideways”?
Christian Shephard tells his son that it was created by the group as a way to find each other once they’d all died and were ready to move on. These people were all connected and experienced the most important time in their lives together. It seems like a purgatory where they could also work out their issues. Jack worked out his daddy issues via his son (who wasn’t real). Christian also tells Jack, “Everyone dies sometime,” and that some of the people died before he did and some died long afterwards.

Who was in the church?
Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Desmond, Penny, Rose, Bernard, Charlie, Claire, Aaron (as a baby), Jin, Sun, Sayid, Shannon, Boone, Libby, and Hurley.

Would you have skipped the afterlife aspect?

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Why wasn’t Gin and Sun’s child in the church?
Probably because she ultimately didn’t have a big connection to her parents. She never met Jin and Sun left and died when she was very young.

Why wasn’t Walt in the church?
Presumably because the island didn’t play a big impact in his life as a whole. He was only there for a few months as a child.

Why wasn’t Miles in the church?
He seemed to have a good relationship with his dad and perhaps wanted to spend more time with him because he didn’t get to in life.

Why wasn’t Daniel in the church?
Desmond told his mother that it wasn’t time for him yet. She seemed relieved and likely wanted to spend more time with him. Daniel had also just connected with Charlotte.

Why didn’t Ben go into the church?
He said that he wasn’t ready yet and still had some things to work out. He did do some good stuff but had killed a lot of people. We know by his conversation with Hurley that he played his role as #2, the “new Richard,” very well.

What happened to Michael?
As we saw in a previous episode, his spirit is still on the island, whispering with the other bad people. Sad.

Did the plane with Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Claire, Lapidus, and Richard crash?
No reason to think it did. The plane wreckage we saw with the final credits is what was left from the original crash. It’s very rusty and in the same place on the beach. Turns out ABC added the final credits images.

Who survived?
Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Claire, Aaron, Walt, Richard, Lapidus, Hurley, Ben, Desmond, Rose, Bernard, Vincent, and perhaps some of the Others and Whidmore’s crew.

Did Desmond get off the island?
Hurley asks Ben to help him get Desmond get home. One would assume they did, though the exact “how” isn’t clear.

How was Kate able to kill fake Locke?
When Desmond pulled the stone cork, it seemed that the island’s power was turned off. The island was being destroyed and both Jack (as the new Jacob) and fake Locke could hurt one another and be killed. When Jack replaced the stone cork, the island power was restored.

Why did the producers do the afterlife ending?
Only they know for sure. Other than it being an interesting storytelling device, it was perhaps the only possible way to give any kind of happy ending to most of these characters. Without it, we wouldn’t have seen characters like Boone, Jin, Sun, Libby, or Sayid after their deaths. We’d just be left with a handful of survivors who survived the brutal island experience. It seemed like most people were hoping for some kind of happy ending for the characters and that’s what we got.

What do you think? Would you have preferred to have an ending where only a few survived and just ended with Jack’s death?

Canceled and renewed TV show

50 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. CJ says

    I like Vicki’s ending above. However, as for ther “real” show, I was sorely disappointed. I totally GET what they were trying to do but for me, it left too many questions unanswered. Many authors do that. Write a great story or screen play then leave the ending up to the reader/viewer. I HATE THAT! If that makes money then anyone can write a story without a satisfying ending. What’s the point except to tic off the reader/viewer? The show “Damages” had the best finale EVER. It tied up EVERY loose end that was presented throughout the season. It’s at the top of my list as best finale ever.

  2. Hansi Rojas says

    Thanks Robin! I agree with you too.

    Totally true that if Desmond was the only one special enough to stand the “electromagnetic heat”, how did Jack survived then? Wouldn’t that make Desmond pointless…?

    There are several loose pieces; some of them I could have forgiven, but only in exchange of the fundamental answers of the “what” & “why” of the island.

    It was like taking us all the way thru Mordor to destroy the ring, whithout explaining what it was or why it had to disapear, either at the begining or the end of the journey. Can you imagine The Lord of the Rings that way??

    It would be frustrating at the plot level, exactly what happend with Lost.

    • says

      @Hansi Rojas: Regarding the “electromagnetic heat,” it seemed to be turned off until Jack put the stopper back in. Once he did that, the light was getting more and more intense. He was then thrown (we assume) out of the cave and died soonafter. It could have been the stab wound or the exposure to the “electromagnetic heat” that ultimately killed him.

      • Hansi Rojas says

        Dear Admin,

        I cannot deny your asumption, but Jack seemed pretty much immersed in the light when they cut to the next scene.

        Do you remember how ended that guy in desmond’s episode when he was “irradiated” in Widmore’s test chamber?

        To me the problem is that the end left too much open to assume, especulate & theorize.

  3. J.C. Windsor says

    With a series as complex and mysterious as Lost, I thought the ending was as good as it could have been. Things wrapped up nicely with the characters on the island. There were survivors that were able to escape, Hurley and Ben stayed behind to protect the island (a move that made sense), and while Jack’s death was sad, with all the twists throughout the series, I wouldn’t classify it as shocking. The only real question that we’re left with there is if and how Desmond made it off the island. As far as that flash-sideways storyline; I thought it was very heartwarming to see many of these beloved characters reconnect, once they realized who they were. Faith has always played a major role in “Lost”, and the ending that implied that these characters were dead and ready to move on together was quite touching. It was a bittersweet ending. Sad, because we know they’re dead, yet happy because they are together. We understand from what Christian said, that some of these people died long after Jack. There’s no reason to believe that the survivors didn’t live long and happy lives.
    Of course there are still some questions that weren’t really answered, mostly about the island itself. What exactly was the island? How did it come to be? Who was the lady that pretended to be Jacob and the Man in Black’s mother, and how did she come to be protector of the island? How did falling into the light cause the Man in Black to become the smoke monster? I’m sure there are a million more questions that people might have. However, with all the speculation and possibilities, I’m afraid that if the producers tried to answer all those questions, it would have been impossible to please everyone.
    I am satisfied with what we were given. I think it was a great way to finish off one of the best shows in history.

  4. Robin says

    I agree with Hansi Rojas!!! The island WAS important to the show, and it was a major draw for many, many viewers. And, I also remember multiple times the writers talking about how the island was a character, too. However, we never learned anything, really, about the history or secret of the island. Yeah, they indicated that the light was a metaphysical source for life, and that the stone held everything in place…. but, hello – you’re not supposed to go down there, right? It’s a fate worse than death, if you do…. I get that Desmond was immune to that, but Jack wasn’t. He didn’t become a smoke monster. MIB became the smoke monster just a few seconds after shooting down the cave shaft. And Jacob wouldn’t have dared go down there as his mother asked him not to – even after he was ‘ordained’. So what gives? And, we still don’t really understand why the island needed to be protected? It seems that the protector didn’t really have a whole lot of power over the ‘infidels’, anyway. For a while, I thought that knotty mommy hair was also a smoke monster because of the massive destruction she wrought on MIB’s people. However, there is no indication that she was – and there is no way that she could have filled in that well and done all of that destruction by herself. And if Jacob could leave, why couldn’t MIB before he became smoke monster? Are we to understand that it was simply knotty mommy hair’s desire that he stay and that Jacob may have helped him leave if he hadn’t have killed knotty mommy hair? I think some clarification on that would have been nice.

    I am not saying that I didn’t like the character driven storyline. I actually thought it was quite clever. All I’m saying is that I didn’t really get closure without some island explanations, and that it really disappointed me. Loved the ending – wanted more. I think viewers deserved more.

  5. Have Faith says

    I’m sad to hear people who have loved the show for so long express feelings of disdain or contempt at the finale. “The End” was beautiful. Having the flash-sideways ending up as a meeting point for the characters prior to moving on to an afterlife was not meant to be a “middle finger” to the fan base; it was meant to give us a feeling of closure, which I appreciate. It was amazing to see Hurly and Libby finally together on that long awaited first date on the beach, and to see Sawyer reunited with Juliet. I would have it no other way.

    As for the question of why certain people were in the church and others weren’t, that’s easy! They were people who had a strong connection to Jack. The “Waiting Room,” as i like to call it, was created so that these people could connect before moving on to [pick your afterlife]. The people in the church were obviously waiting for Jack, since they moved on as soon as he arrived; so if they didn’t have a strong connection with Jack, why the heck would they stick around and wait for him? They wouldn’t.

    For those who argue that they wanted more answers, I must ask – answers to what? Maybe I watched a different show than you for the past 6 years, but I know all I need. Time Travel, the Light, The Rules… We understood them by the end, even if they never handed the explanations on a silver platter. Who made the rules? We need to know that about as much as we need to know where the numbers originated…we just don’t need to know! Any true fan of Lost was a man of faith, rather than a man of science – something Jack didn’t learn until he was off the Island as one of the Oceanic 6. If we got full and detailed explanations, I feel like the island would lose some of its mysticism – and as we learned in the finale: taking the power away from the Island will DESTROY they Island. I am simply content with knowing that the island was special, and that’s enough of an explanation for me. These things happened on the Island because they could. I have faith in the Island, and I was not left feeling confused at the end of the series. There truly was nothing more to explain about the Island itself; it was time to find closure with the characters we’ve known and loved.

  6. Well Done says

    I was pleased to see the “closure” of the characters and the interesting way the writers went from current to flashbacks from the past and then on to the the so called purgatory where all the characters touched each other’s lives as a sign that they were ready to move on to the afterlife. It was very touching and comforting when Jacks dad showed him the way to meet up with the others in the quaint little church and shown THE LIGHT as he directed them to the gates of heaven. I followed the first couple of years and know that the last 4 years were very much an adventure, but feel that the finale, as written, was very much expected and comforting to watch.

  7. Vicki says

    I have already rewritten the ending in my own mind. Instead of walking off into the “bright light,” in my version they check under the church to find out where the island is (because they can cross back into the other reality), and everyone but Ben, Hurley, and Libby return to the island. Ben stays to be with Alex. Hurley and Libby stay because Hurley’s life is pretty darned good. Everyone else, including Jack’s son, take their alternative-reality selves back to the island, where they settle down and become the new set of “Others” under Hugo’s leadership. Without The Man In Black’s influence, the island becomes a paradise where our friends live long and peaceful lives together.

    So there.

  8. Rachable says

    Rose, Bernard, Vincent, and possibly Hurley and Ben may have remained on the Island for a very long time, that still means that they survived, the island was real.

    What I don’t understand is why some of the characters that died earlier, such as Boone and Ana Lucia weren’t at the church. I guess because they were not as affected by life on the island, and the island didn’t help them to achieve what they were looking for.

    So I get the ending, and I like the ending, though I would like some other questions to be answered. And my biggest question is why did the Oceanic six need to go back to the island? ( i guess to sort out unresolved issues – Sun to see Jin, Kate to get Claire)

    I hope that the people that were left alive as we left the island (Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Lapedis, Hurley, Desmond, Ben, Richard etc) lived happy lives.

  9. sheila says

    i think that they should have made it more clear as to who survived. now some websites say no one survived and they were all waiting for jack. i don’t know. it seemed to me that the people who got on the plane survived. on the previous page, you say rose & bernard & vincent survive, yet they wernt on the plane that flew off. the finally definitely had poignant scenes. i found myself in tears when they all connect & remember in the sideways world, but i must admit, it should have been more clear and i’m still confused and yes i spent six years of my life watching lost hoping the ending, which didnt need to be happy, at least answered the questions which i feel it did not. as whoopi goldberg said on the view: “what the hell just happened”?

  10. Hansi Rojas says

    Not a fair ending to all the complexity of the show. It was not just about the people, but about the Island too.

    Even if I bought the “character focused” argument, the producers said since season 1 that the island was meant to be another character (check the dvd extra features).

    Why the contradiccion now?

  11. Rosemary Amechi says

    I am so happy for some clarity. Getting so absorbed in the lives of the characters and storyline means the writing was just that spectacular. Lost was like that exciting novel that you could not put down. The fact that it ended five days ago and I am still experiencing feelings of saddness over their deaths means they writers must have done something right. However, I am still confused on several points. I thought the ending with Jack and the dog could not have been more touching. As each person passed throughout the seasons, including Charlie, mega tears, Juliette and Jin and Sun, I had hoped somehow they would all be together. Although it was a surprise ending, more tears, mine, Ben’s redemption, and they would be forever together ,I felt it was bittersweet.
    I guess that’s just great writing!! I’m still crying! However, I was disappointed that Michael was not included. Regardless of his betrayal, as a friend pointed out to me, he did that to save his son, right? Being a mom, I can forgive him that and anyone of those characters would have done the same. He had no choice. Lost is one tough act to follow!! RA

  12. says


    I don’t feel they answered any of the important questions about the show.
    I really loved the more sci fi like aspects of the plot like the time displacement and time travel etc. which I don’t think they explored enough and just sort of left most of that hanging. But still the finale was very moving and the great acting was worth seeing and I will miss the show and wish they hadn’t ended it.

    • Melissa D. says

      The producers themselves added that, although other questions may be answered, the only ones they were focusing on were the ones that were important to the characters. The show was the characters, not the island, so they did answer the important questions, just not most of the island questions.

  13. Marcel Brunet says

    I saw the last seen as jacks funeral, that’s why he went in the back and everybody was waiting for him. It was the only then he knew why he was there……” I’m dead”

  14. PACE says

    I greatly disagree. The ending of LOST was very beautiful. It’s a show full of faith and that how it all went down. The last moments with Jack were very well done. Bravo to Mr. Fox. The scene between Jack and Christian was very touching. And it was the magnificent ending to a magnificent show. I’m sorry you feel like you’ve wasted six years of your life watching it. If you wasted so much time watching something you didn’t enjoy than you must have a pretty miserable life and I am sorry for that too.

    Directed to the question “Did Desmond get off the island?” The only possible way I can think would be that Desmond got back home to Penelope by the Man In Black’s sailboat. After all…he is an excellent sailor…

    • Anonymous says

      Jacob never seemed to have a problem leaving the island (remember he left the island to touch Jack, Kate, Sawyer, John, Sayid, Hurley, Sun/Jin), so I’m sure there was a more direct way to civilization than the sailboat.

      I also believe the Frozen Donkey Wheel would still be intact which would transport the person turning it to Tunisia.

    • Disappointed says

      The scene between Jack and his father was the only thing at the very end that showed any kind of clarity. Magnificent? Hardly. I just saw the finale to Law and Order and that had a better ending. If you watch a show for an extended period of time, speculation, half thoughts and outlandish storylines should not be the entire topic of conversation. The viewers are owed more than that. Once again, Hollywood doesn’t know how to make satisfying endings to anything anymore. This show bounced all over the place, we all continued to watch just to see how it would conclude and what we received was further confusion. Unfortunately, you feel that having an opinion which I am entitled to as well as yourself makes my life miserable, that itself is pretty lugubrious.

      • That Guy says

        I think your missing the point of the show completely. LOST is about more than just the island and its mysteries, its about the very flawed group of people on the island and their journey. I don’t know about you but I spent the last 6 years watching an extraordinary show with the best character development I have ever seen… That’s why I watched it… For the characters. As for the “omission” of characters, what exactly is lacking? Walt’s story is finished, he got off the island and lived his life. Why would he need to join the others in their purgatory? Michael is stuck on the island as a spirit, he will probably be there forever. Ecko is dead. The end. One of the major parts of the show is the conflict between science and faith, the island is meant to remain unaffiliated, you’re meant to come up with your own conclusions. LOST has always been a show that asks you to think for yourself, it wouldn’t be so popular if they spoon fed you answers. Go watch Heroes, then come talk to me about “total omission” of characters.

  15. Disappointed says

    It is so sad that Hollywood just can’t give you a decent ending to a movie, in this case, a long running television show. In spite of what others may say, the masses WANT CLOSURE, not CONFUSION! I shouldn’t have to speculate as to what happened to this person or that person about a show that is going off the air, there is nothing else to talk about so tell us straight up what happened. Unfortunately, with LOST their intent was just that and succeeded miserably. I for one, am glad that it’s gone and feel that six years of my primetime life was wasted on a show that did nothing but confuse, have ridiculous story lines from Polar bears to a smoke monster, to the total omission of certain characters like Walt, Mr. Ecko and Michael at the end, just to name a few. LOST’s attempts to confuse more than entertain is what inevitably will make it just another show that could have been one of the great ones but ends up being a great disappointment.

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