On September 22, 2004, the fictional flight Oceanic 815 crashed on The Island and six seasons of insanity ensued. As of this week it has now been 17 years since the crash and I finished rewatching the show for the first time since my previous obsession with it. Now older and more versed in critiquing film and television than in my middle school years, I wondered how well the infamous ending would hold up. Sometime during my watch of the sixth season I saw a tweet that reminded me of how much people hate the ending. I never held the animosity for it that this twitter user—and countless others—had, but I wondered what I would think now.
Last week my best friend and I turned on Hulu’s extended and uncut version of “The End” and watched as Jack takes on the role of Jacob, the island’s protector. This show covers not just one plane crash, but multiple—along with time travel, world ending hatches, multiple timelines and more if you can believe it. And did I mention polar bears? So how do you end a show with so many loose ends? The writer’s answer—wrap it up in a nice little bow.
What makes this ending so great, clearly only in my humble opinion, is that it doesn’t matter what happens between Jack’s death and his arrival at the church. What matters is the characters got to meet each other in the end and finally live at peace among one another. It makes me so happy to see these characters—who have been through so much—finally happy and with the people that they love. The flash-sideways moments are equally as bittersweet.
The climax of each character reuniting with their loved ones is exactly what I want to see after seasons of them getting split apart by the island’s treachery. My personal favorite that gets me misty-eyed every time is Sawyer and Juliet. Not too much earlier, we saw hard-to-love Sawyer ripped apart from his love Juliet in a scene that makes me cry to this day.
During this last episode, you get to see characters that you haven’t seen in seasons, which is utterly amazing when your favorite characters got killed before the halfway mark of the show. The characters reuniting in the flash-sideways are an emotional reminder of what the characters have been through on the show and why it is so satisfying to see them win, just for once.
Not to mention the fact that (excluding Jack and a couple of others) they literally get off the island. Is that not what the audience wanted-to see them get un-lost? Found, if you will? After I finished this episode, emotional and reminiscent of the show as a whole, I was left wondering what audiences wanted to happen. Lost—a show which often ponders the meaning of fate—confronts it in its final episode, and it’s more than enough for me.