But before we get to all that...favorite line from last night?
Frank: Don't bother me!
Ben:...Sounds like they're making progress.
With that out of the way...theories:
Well, let's start with the obvious, shall we? Those of you who were quick jump on the 'everyone's dead, what a cop out!!' bandwagon, just back it up a second. Christian said, when Jack asked the question, that some people died before him, and some after. Therefore, logic would tell me that one thing is for sure: The Island Timeline is 'real life'. Right, so what the hell is Flash-Sideways about?
The word people seem to think was missing from last night's finale was 'Heaven'. They're all going to Heaven because they're all dead, except for Ben, who is remaining in Purgatory, which, in turn, makes The Island Hell...I don't think so.
Let's examine, for a minute, The Flash-Sideways. In this 'alternate reality', what's wrong with these character's lives? Nothing. The Sideways Time Line is, for the most part, ideal. But to really understand it, lets get a tad more specific, shall we? Let's look at Jacob's Candidates:
Locke- Has Helen. Without a doubt, the biggest difference between the time lines, and really, the only one that matters. That, and how he lost his ability to walk. As it turn's out, ol' pops isn't half bad after all, in this wonderful little world.
Hurley- Seemingly runs the world. Incredibly successful and is the self-proclaimed, 'Luckiest Man In The World'.
Sawyer- Forms an all-star Detective team with Miles. The important change here is that he is on the right side of the law, and has someone else who depends on him
Sayid- Well, he isn't with her...but at least Nadia is still alive, and she still needs him.
Jack- Has a son and is on great terms with his ex-wife, Juliet.
Jin/Sun- Very...very...happily together, though not married.
These are the differences matter. All of the candidates have someone that depends on them. And sure, minus a few aspects here and there, they all have happy existences. What I'm trying to get at is this:
They are all leading lives that have the criteria opposite from what they did before. This is important because their flawed existences where nobody depended upon them is what made them Jacob's Candidates.
The other important aspect of the Flash-sideways is that The Island has sunk. When, nobody can be sure. Therefore, i'd venture to guess that this other reality is more or less...timeless...maybe...
So what's the scene in the Church?
I think it is possible that this other timeline is happening after everyone involved has died. NOT IN THE CRASH. I've heard this sentence all over the place today by people who clearly have not been paying attention AT ALL, and it has been driving me to the point of raging madness.
Christian told Jack some people died before him, some people died after him. So they did not all die at once. Another quote that proves this is: "You were a great Number Two." Hurley and Ben's interaction shows us that Hurley's duration as Protector of the Island has come and gone. Which happened after Jack died.
Now, The Church.
Lost has always shown symbolism from multiple religions, most notably Christianity and Buddhism. Because Damon and Carlton stated they wanted the end to be left open for interpretation, which, by the way, is the only way the show could end while staying true to itself, I think they made the end ambiguous so you didnt' have to conform into believing everyone went to Heaven at the end, which many on the web have been quick to think today. Here's what i think...at least for the moment:
At the end we have two main groups of people. The Redeemed and The Condemned. Those that were in the church at the end of the episode were the people who were 'redeemed', they have made up for their faults and their wrongdoings and therefore, their souls are allowed to 'move on'...whatever you want that to mean.
The Flash-Sideways, therefore, would be this 'Other life' that Desmond has always talked about seeing people in.
The Condemned, as stated by Michael in "Everybody loves Hugo", must roam the island as the whispers. They did not make up for their faults.
Now this is where my idea gets a little tricky: Ben.
Ben was offered the chance to come into the church. Therefore, redeemed. Except one person doesn't think Ben is deserving of redemption: Ben. Ben CHOSE not to enter the church. He came with everyone else, but just remained outside.
However, what did Ben do to get himself redeemed that Michael didn't? Now, yes, i understand that Harold Perrineau's departure from the show and all the drama there is probably the main factor for him, same with Mr. Eko. But Mr. Eko said he was not sorry for what he had done before he died. So...no church for the man with The Jesustick?
But Michael only killed two people, and betrayed the survivors...but he came back, he came back and helped everyone get off the island. Ben killed tens, possibly over a hundred people, and allowed his own daughter to be shot. He also killed Jacob, Protector of The Island. Yes, it was awesome when he saved Hurley...but does this one good deed redeem everything else? I'm not sure. As I said, I'm still trying to work everything out in my head...but slowly. These are just theories I've thought about today, without even a second viewing yet, so don't be too harsh, ok? But aside from overall meanings lets talk about last night some more.
Damon and Carlton did a great job. As with the rest of the series, I thought that writing was 100% on point. As for the performances...the best they have ever been. Charlie seeing Claire on the stage? Incredible. And how about that rock fight, huh? it felt ike the ultimate Hero Vs Villain situation. It felt like the last twenty minutes of a Bond film. What I'm trying to get at is that the whole episode felt like a movie.
If...I were to make one change. I would have switched a few lines around. Remember when Jack pushed MIB off the dock a few episodes ago with the line of "John Locke told me I had to stay." Well how cool would that fight have been if Jack kicked him off the cliff with that line?!
But, that is simply my own little idea. I thought the scene was expertly executed the way it was, that's just another, equally awesome route they could have taken.
The choice to have Vincent stay with Jack at the end, richard' first gray hair...Brilliant. The writing last night was perfect. They were very careful to give Lost an ending that stayed true to the way they wrote the rest of the show, and I think they did that.
I think the show deserves Emmy noms and Emmy wins for Best Drama Series this year. I think Michael Emerson, and Terry O'Quinn deserve best Supporting Actor noms, although they will both be defeated by John Lithgow in Dexter. They were incredible...but they each have one, and Lithgow was just off the charts. However, it really is time Matthew Fox landed in the Best Actor category, yes? I'm not saying he's got it in the bag, but I think he should be nominated. And I'm positive the writing for "The End" will take home some gold.
I'll continue to flush out my ideas some more, but it is very hard. There are plenty of questions and topics I haven't covered...but I'm getting a bit lengthy here. So questions like What is Vincent? What was the Hurley/Ben administration like? How did Jacob get off the island?-These will all just have to wait.
I'll miss it, I really will. True, there are some big questions I still want answers to, but last night was incredibly satisfying to this die-hard fan. I've been obsessed with stories my whole life, and this has been one the best ones ever told...I truly believe that.