Be forewarned that there are SPOILERS contained herein. If you have yet to watch this episode, or the episode in its entirety, you would be wise not to read. I also may spoil other endings as well (though nothing too recent). You have been warned!!
Well, here we are, the very end of Lost. I have a lot to say regarding the finale. I'll begin with a few general thoughts before moving to the specifics.
First, we have the title "The End." Simple and straightforward, the title was an object of derision among some of us who hoped for a title more engaging. But I've been thinking about it and there may be intentional meaning to it. The first thing it calls to my mind is the final book in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which curiously also ended on an island. I also think of the Beatles song which (almost) closes out the Abbey Road album. "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Essentially, that's the point of the finale for good or ill, and so it is very possible the title was deliberately chosen to reference this, and not merely to signal a finality (a finality I might add which is lacking).
For the most part it succeeded as a final couple hours of television better than some series have. It certainly has its issues, but I think it's safe to say that it will be remembered in the annals of television finales. While it doesn't approach the perfect brilliant tie-it-all-up-neatly package of Arrested Development's finale, it does avoid some cliches. Though on the other hand, it also lovingly rips off like 15 different endings. The joke "alternate endings" on the Jimmy Kimmel show focusing on other famous finales sadly rings a little true. And I'm mostly not talking about TV either; I mean film and literature as well. Some of these I will point out more specifically, but at various times the finale seemed to me to echo Star Trek II, Star Trek III, The Sixth Sense, The Lovely Bones, The Third Policeman, The Matrix Revolutions, Children of the Mind, The Last Battle and Lord of the Rings.
Due to the revelations of the episode I can no longer refer to events in the sideways universe seperately. So this will be a little more stream of consciousness as I watched the episode than prior reflections.
It was an interesting choice to open the episode with the delivery of Christian's coffin. The coffin played a big role, and echoes the coffin stuff from the first season. Jack fought so hard to get that thing on the plane (it was the whole reason he was on the plane), so to see it finally arrive where it should is a certain closure. This coffin is different from the coffin seen in the real universe though. I wonder why that is. Also, in the prior episode, Desmond called Jack PRETENDING to be the airline, saying they'd found the coffin. So did Desmond just go buy a coffin and pretend it was Jack's? Or did he somehow find out about it? Was the coffin always empty? If so, that points much more to it being a ruse of Desmond's to get Jack to the church.
The first shot we see on-island is of jack in the water, and we see the sunlight reflecting prominently off of the surface. This image of light and water struck me, considering the importance of the water and light in the cave. This shot was intentional, and to have it be the first island shot of the episode drives the theme home subtextually.
I was waiting for the Star Wars reference, and thought it had passed when Hurley mentioned Yoda. But then we got it; Hurley says "I've got a bad feeling about this." It was an appropriate choice, and also a great Star Wars shout-out, since the line has been used in every Star Wars film.
It was interesting to here Kate tell Jack that nothing is irreversible. This is an echo of what sideways-Jack told Sideways-Locke at the start of the season. Are we to infer that he remembered it from Kate having said it? I'm also wondering what the significance of the line is. What does that mean, that nothing is irreversible? Are we supposed to agree or disagree with that statement? I'm not sure it really tied into the other themes of the episode, and I'm not sure how I'm meant to take it.
I love that Charlie returned. It was always such a waste that Charlie died (and note: Desmond was bloody wrong and no helicopter ever took Claire and Aaron away; Charlie died for nothing!). I thought it was hilarious when Hurley shot him with the tranquilizer. Sayid's just dumbstruck: "What was that?" "Oh, that was Charlie."
It was good to see Rose and Bernard again, though I figured they would show up again. It was only fitting. Kind of a bummer Walt never gets his dog back, though. It was good of them to help Desmond, but unfortunately the reappearance of Rose and Bernard also creates a major continuity question. They built that little house and all in the 1970s. Then they flashed forward in time with everyone else after the Incident. But the house doesn't time travel with them. In the time travel we saw in season 5, the only objects that traveled with you were ones you were in contact with. So it is impossible that their entire living complex traveled with them. This means that either A) their house remained untouched and undiscovered for thirty years on the island until they flashed back into it and took up residence again or B) it was destroyed at some point in the thirty years and they rebuilt it. Rose's statement strongly implies it wasn't B, but I think that the other scenario strains credibility. I'm willing to suspend disbelief about a magical cave of light never being found, but a big house? Nobody ever came across it in thirty years? And it didn't even show any wear! That was a misstep, or at least a bending of the rules solely to give them a cameo appearance.
Did Sawyer call Miles "Anus" several times in this episode?
I knew that Richard wasn't dead. Though he seems to no longer be immortal; his hair has started to gray. I wonder when that transition happened. Was it after Jack became the new protector?
In the sideways land, we finally saw Juliet. There were good things and bad things about her presence. First, I was shocked that she and Jack had ever been together. That's just insane, and seems to come a little left-field. Frankly, I had stopped even thinking about Jack and Juliet as an item, even though they were leaning that way in season three. To think of her as the mother of his child though is odd. And they didn't stay together, which makes me wonder why. (Not that any of this really matters, as we will soon see.) This smacks of the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale wherein Captain Picard had been married to and divorced from Beverly Crusher in the future. Juliet's surname here was Carlson. Is that her maiden name? Was her sister's name Rachel Carlson? In the island universe, her surname was Burke. We know she had been married and her ex was hit by a bus. But I find it interesting that she kept his name (or some dude's name) there, but reverted to her maiden name after leaving Jack. ...Unless she and Jack were never really together, and David is just the product of a random hookup.
There's more sideways confusion when it comes to Jin and Sun. I suddenly got to questioning why Jin isn't sterile in this universe. Never mind the question of what becomes of babies in this world; I just didn't get how he could even have one here. The Sun/Jin story was also the first time I got a hint of where they were really going with this. Up until then, characters had had flashes of the island lives when they were happiest and in love. These connections I got, but I thought it was more a past-life sort of remembrance; or an other life. In all that it still seemed to me almost like the sideways people were tapping into the minds of the island people. That's how it seemed to be in "Happily Ever After", when Desmond went in the box thing. But here, for the first time, when we see Sun's island memories it included their deaths. And I wondered how it could be possible that they had memories of dying. That was my first hint that they were actually leading us to see the sideways world as post-death.
It was also funny that Sun and Jin not only remembered who they are, but suddenly remembered how to speak English.
When Locke is being wheeled into surgery, he's wearing a shower cap. ...um, can I just ask what the necessity for this is since he's bald anyway? I'm no surgeon; just asking. It stuck out as odd to me.
I was bummed that Lapidus survived the submarine sinking, but not Jin and Sun. I know Sun was trapped, so maybe she was done, but it seemed a little unfair, especially since Lapidus is there only as a narrative function to get the plane in the air.
Now let's discuss one of the big similar endings this show rips off, and it's an odd choice. The Matrix sequels are generally derided, a tad unfairly, for the conclusion they gave to the saga. Why then, would Damon and Carlton borrow from it for their ending? It was right around the time Jack and Locke were both planning to head to the cave with Desmond that I sensed a Matrix ending coming on. So much of the Jack/Locke stuff in this episode recalls the Neo/Agent Smith stuff in the third Matrix film. There, it all built to a big fist fight where there could be only one winner and one ending. Think of Jack as "the chosen one", just like Neo. The One has a function to serve to put things aright, just as Jack has a "destiny" to do this. Jack claims he will kill Locke, something seemingly impossible. In fact, the Agent Smith in the movie is not even exactly the original Smith; it's Smith copied over the Oracle. Here, the enemy is Smokey in the guise of Locke. So Jack is facing a familiar foe who is more than that, just like Neo. As their fight actually built, the similarities seemed greater. In the film, Smith gets the upper hand on Neo after they have been very evenly matched. When Locke becomes mortal and Jack thinks he will win, Locke keeps fighting. There comes a point in the fight where I think Jack even said "you were right", which seemed to me to directly echo the end of the Matrix fight when Neo says Smith was always right. It's not exactly the same of course, but lest my argument here seem specious, I must point out that their climactic fight on the cliff occurred during a rainstorm, just like in the Matrix. They even went for the dramatic slow-motion jumping punch, which resulted in both Jack and Locke knocking each other back. This visually is a complete echo of the Matrix movie.
It was good to see Shannon again, and I like that she reawakens Sayid. Turns out he is more than a torturer; the things that woke his memory were the times he spent with Shannon. I want to know how she got to LA so quickly. The implication was that Boone brought her up specially for this. It seems also from here and from "LA X" that the wasn't on the plane. So why was she important? And how did Boone get awakened an privy to Desmond's plan? He just suddenly showed up with no explanation.
Jack and Locke peering down into the cave purposefully mirrored the closing shot of season one with them looking down the hatch. The dialogue mentioned that already, and I thought it was a great scene. Jack acknowledging that Locke was right, and Smokey holding on to his insistence that Locke was a fool, even while he pretends to be him. The shot down the hole was just a very nice touch, icing the cake. There were a lot of nice mirror images and shots that recall others in the episode, though some were more successful than others.
Not being able to resist a final numbers gag, Jack's table at the concert was table 23.
I have to say, I was fine going along with the metaphor this season that the island was like a cork. ...But Desmond got down to the heart of the island and we learn that the island has a LITERAL cork. That to me really stretched credibility and bordered on the silly; and I'm talking sillier than the frozen donkey wheel stuff. What exactly does this cork do? It lets bad stuff out? That's it? If the electromagnetic magical light or whatever is harmful to most humans, why exactly does this spot need to be protected? Isn't it unlikely that anyone besides a Desmond (Arthurian?) figure could pull the stone out? Is the stone somehow related to the Smoke Monster, or not? The one thing that I did like about it was it opened a vent that seemed to be volcanic. This is the only time we've finally been told more about the volcano on the island alluded to in "The Man Behind the Curtain". Did the volcano ever erupt before? If so, was it a catastrophic uncorking event, or something different? Is this cork chamber a low-tech ancient version of the Swan Hatch in its own way, trying to contain massive geothermal energy from escaping and wreaking havoc?
I liked Daniel's concert with DriveShaft. It's a shame we didn't get to see a bit more of Liam; all the cutting away made me wonder if they'd even gotten Liam for the show. I also wanted to hear more of that musical experiment; it seemed really interesting, and reminiscent of Symphony and Metallica. I was expecting the piano strains to eventually lead into "You All Everybody". I'd have liked to have heard a bit more of the music.
I like that Charlotte appeared again, and the gag with the note on Charlie was hilarious.
I will maybe give them a little bit of wiggle room in this area since the sideways world isn't exactly real (or is it?), but that was the quickest birth I've ever seen, even for TV. Claire suddenly just says "The baby's coming!" Does her water even break? I like that Charlie gets involved, since he was there for Claire's birthing on the island and it lends it a nice symmetry. But on another level, he's been drinking and tranquilized for the past several hours; is he the best choice to rely on for help with a delivery? I also question the logic of him being there, since it's shortly after the concert began. Either it was really short or there's an early intermission, but he seemed to have left the stage awfully soon.
I find it very funny that Kate essentially discovers the island in Claire's vagina. She looks inside, probably sticks a hand in the area, and all her memories of light are awakened! It was just oddly comic to me. I hope Claire doesn't have a Smoke Monster in THAT magic light cave.
Getting back to the illogical birth, Claire literally sits down and then the next minute pops out a baby. That's ridiculous. I thought I saw a peek of an umbilicus at one point, but can't be sure. Regardless, it stretched credibility. Was that the point? Was this not literal, exactly?
Of all the sideways love reunions, I liked the Claire/Charlie one best. It was effective. For sideways Charlie, it was something that didn't just come out of the blue; he'd been actively searching for this person all season. There was something very strong about their reunion. I kind of wanted him to call Aaron "turnip head".
Even though it led to the aforementioned Matrix moment, I was pretty pleased to see the rain. It used to rain every five minutes on the island, and now I don't think it has rained literally all season long. Maybe not even for much of a whole two seasons. So that rain was a long time coming I think, and made it feel more like the old times. Also, our characters' first real meeting with the monster (when he ate the pilot) occurred in the rain, and its fitting that it ends in the rain too.
Right around this point in the episode I had a bad feeling I knew where the story was going. I thought that the island would indeed sink, and that they would all leave it. Then somehow they would transport or reawaken in the other universe so that the other universe was actually the future of this world. Maybe it was all a kind of Matrix-like hallucination, or maybe some other manipulation of their minds, but the sideways were a construct after the island until their island memories were reawakened. Or even worse, for a moment or two it seemed that the Losties in both universes would head toward the source of light, and the universes would cancel each other out, while everyone lived on in the light ("heaven" as it were). While some of this sort of panned out, I was glad that it didn't exactly, and was happy that the finale kept me guessing, at least on the island side. Just when I thought I knew how certain beats would play out, things shifted. I liked that; I hate when stories get too predictable.
Jack and Locke's struggle reminded me so much of the end of Star Trek III when Kirk fights Kruge on the dying Genesis planet. The earthquakes and falling debris. The fight on the cliff, even as large chunks fell away. Much of the fight, right down to the chokes, reminded me of that movie. If Kate hadn't shown up, I was wondering if Jack would have kicked Locke off the cliff. It was right around that time I started to get frustrated with all the many ending similarities I was seeing. I mean, if Locke had suddenly told Jack that he was Tyler Durden, I wouldn't have been surprised at that point.
The show also recalled for me Spock's climactic death scene in Star Trek II. In the film he goes into this chamber full of dangerous radiation that would kill a normal man and dies to turn on the main energizers which are on this pilar in the center of the room. At first I thought of this when Desmond went in, and then again when Jack said that he had to go in and fix it, and they tried to talk him out of it.
Best line of the night goes to Miles: "I don't believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape." That's a motto to live by.
If you've read my previous posts, you'll remember my disdain for Juliet's appearance at the start of the season. I didn't understand why they brought her back only to kill her again. But when Juliet reunited with Sawyer by the vending machine, that conversation finally made sense. Somehow dying Juliet transferred to this universe briefly, just as Desmond did, or sideways-Charlie did. So when she says that line about getting coffee and how they could go dutch, she's reminiscing about this conversation by the vending machine, which she must have had a peek at. This brief knowledge of the sideways land also must be what prompted her to say "it worked". So at least that's something. I liked that moment finally connecting.
It's interesting that Hurley was appointed the protector of the island, the job he didn't want. And maybe that's the way it should be. ...of course, that's just like the end of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. So when he said last episode "I'm just glad it's not me," that was set up for this. I like Ben being his number 2, kind of his Richard. There was also an interesting point about Jacob made. Jacob was still good, but you don't have to see him as fantastic, and the show didn't paint him that way. Ben says "That's the way Jacob ran things; you can do things differently." I wonder how Hurley runs things. Does he get Desmond off the island? And more importantly, are Cindy and the kids safe? What about them?? Does Hurley ever let them go home too? Because poor Zach and Emma haven't seen their mom in over 3 years! I wonder what Hurley did with the job, and whether he ever appointed a successor. Do he and Ben both die leaving the island without a human presence, or were they replaced to start things over again? Is it ever possible for a Smoke Monster to rise again if someone goes inside, or is that all done with? I'm not really sure I see what exactly needs protecting in that case...
I note that the shoe is still in the tree, which is a nice symmetry to the pilot even if it's a little silly that it's been there for four years. And I must say that I am so pleased with myself about the ending (at least on the island). I called about a month ago what the final shot of the series was, and I was totally right. Matthew Fox said that he's known that was the end all along, and it really wasn't all that hard to figure out, especially toward the end. Right around "The Candidate" I decided definitively that the end of the show would have Jack in the jungle and a close-up on his eye closing, mirroring the first shot of the show. And that's exactly what happened. They even threw in Vincent! Did Vincent die too, or was he just sleeping?''
Now let's get to the kooky end of the sideways world. We are told that Jack in fact is dead. That they are all dead. When he goes inside the church, it is not specific to one religion, but has articles of most major faiths, most notably expressed in the stained glass window. Now, on the outside it is clearly a Christian church. At first it bothered me, thinking it was a very ecumenical church, and then (knowing they were leaning heavily to the death angle) that they were going to say all faiths are they same. They ain't. Not all dogs go to heaven (not all faiths even HAVE a heaven). Christianity especially is exclusive; it cannot coexist with some of those others. So that I found somewhat trite, patronizing, or just silly. But when Christian said that this was a place they all made, I looked at it differently. It was no longer the SHOW preaching a message that all roads lead to heaven or whatever; the church interior was a place of community for all the Losties. Therefore, it's representation was a mix of all of their faiths. The church outside was Christian, the church inside was a different place. That's how I saw it. Some might interpret Christian's words to mean that the whole sideways universe was created by the Losties, but I don't buy that. I think he was just referring to the church; the place where they would all meet. It's also interesting that Ben chooses to stay outside; they welcome him in, but he remains outside because perhaps he feels he's not exactly one of them. I really like Locke's forgiveness of Ben. It was a nice scene.
I don't get why the coffin was STILL empty. I kind of expected it to be, but what it did was call to mind that we never learned why the original coffin was empty! There are a number of mysteries I didn't expect them to answer here, but that's one since it's so thematic to the show that would have been answerable in this episode. Just have Christian say one or two lines about where his body went. The fact that there is a Christian Shepherd ghost person also corroborates my theory that this Christian was the one who appeared to Michael on the freighter (and maybe even to Jack off-island?).
As an ending, it's hard to say how to feel about the "and they all died" bit. With all the talk about light and such I expected they'd get to the heaven bit eventually. And I'm glad they didn't try to say that the sideways land WAS heaven, because that would have made no sense (people got shot!). Still, there's a certain unsavory taste about it. On one level it mostly works for this episode, and gives it all a certain emotional feel, but taken with the whole season it starts to become shaky, as it opens the doors for too many questions. The whole season has literally been one of smoke and mirrors, and it felt like we were getting that sort of trick played on us here. That the whole season with its flash-sideways had been a long con perpetrated by the writers. We knew from the beginning of the series that the island was real; that they were not all dead and the island was not purgatory. ...So then they decided they'd make up a world AFTER the island that WAS. Well, that's not even the right word. Purgatory is so named because it burns away your remaining misdeeds until you are purified for heaven. But that doesn't quite seem to be what's at play here. I don't exactly understand the purpose of the sideways world. Why even have it? Why not just die and go into the light? Why is there an in-between place at all? It's a strangely common idea in literature, and one I simply do not understand. Why would someone WANT to believe that there's another barrier in your way before you get to heaven? And what suddenly made it time for them to all go? Ms. Hawking was apparently trying to keep them from going. What was that about? And does that mean that she was dead there too? Jack just had to realize he had died? That's it? That's just (SPOILER ALERT) Bruce Willis realizing he's a ghost at the end of Sixth Sense! Only in that, it was the real world! Here, they've created a whole separate world for that delusion. There's a sort of sense of time to the place, even if it's outside of normal time, and it's logic is lost on me. All the Losties were there together, but they all died at vastly different times. Charlie died three years before Jack, who died after Jin and Sun, but they all died before Ben and Hurley, etc. And yet they all coexist in this sideways world at the same time. So if you enter this world when you die, did they all enter at different times? People may want to cite The Third Policeman, but in that instance it was a big final joke. That was all one man's experience, and it was hell; a hell that repeated. That's not what we saw here. I would have been able to go with it had it been solely Jack's experience, but it wasn't. We saw the re-awakenings of ALL the Losties. This means they were all there at the same time having the same experiences as Jack. And as I said before, it also wasn't just some kind of collective dream created by them. There were others who didn't go yet. Ana Lucia "wasn't ready". Eloise seemed frightened that Daniel might be taken away from her, and Desmond told her he wasn't going then. So clearly this is an actual place, a kind of spiritual dumping ground that people leave at different times. That makes the times of their arrivals even more bothersome. We saw days pass in this world. It was a normal sort of world. People were shot! People DIED. What the heck happens to people who die in the sideways world? Are their souls obliterated? And then there's the more confused issue of children. We saw two babies, one in utero and one being born! That baby Aaron is not the soul of dead Aaron, is it? I should hope not! Why do they even exist? And Jack "doesn't have a son", but David is there. So what is he? Is he just a spectre created by Jack's fantasy until he realizes he's dead? It just seems bizarre to me for a whole world to be created where people go on living normal lives where good and bad things happen to them until they "move on". What if they had never awakened? What then? If this universe had existed only in this episode, or maybe a couple before it, I might have bought it. But after a season's worth of seeing events play out, it just seems wrong to think of this whole universe as some sort of limbo.
The bonding beyond time and space with bonds of love, the "light within all of us" as Jacob might say, seems also to recall what Orson Scott Card might call philotic connections between these people. It's similar to the end of the Ender saga.
Desmond on-island got a peek of this universe while in the box, and it was in search for that light that he went into the cave. He was trying to get to the wonderful universe with no island just like everyone else was trying to get to the one where there WAS one that they remembered. Fine. But what about sideways-Desmond? Now, in "Happily Ever After" I presumed that we were witnessing something like "The Constant" or "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and that island Desmond had jumped into sideways-Desmond. But now it seems that's not exactly it. So was sideways-Desmond dead too? And why did he seem to have all this power of manipulation and such that no one else seemed to have? What was so special about him? And I also noticed that Penny wasn't there, which troubles me if Desmond was indeed dead like everyone else. Had she already passed on? Had DESMOND already passed on, and was sent as an emissary like Christian?
I noticed that Michael wasn't there in the church, but I guess that's because he's a Whisper on the island. ...So the Island IS in a way a purgatory, so what use is this sideways land, again? It's a bummer Michael can't leave. Maybe when Walt dies, that love connection will draw Michael's ghost away and they can "move on" together. It was a bummer not to see Walt. Was there even a mention of him? I think we were lied to when Carlton said Thursday, and I quote, "But you will actually see Malcolm before all is said and done." I am bummed about not seeing Mr. Eko. Perhaps he still had some things to work out? More likely they couldn't get Adewale for the finale. I just hope he's not cursed to be a Whisper too... And wait another second.... if all these people are dead and they don't know they're dead, what about the dead who visited Hurley, like Charlie and Mr. Eko?? Did Charlie (who KNEW he was dead) visit him, THEN get stuck in sideways land with amnesia? I mean, it just doesn't seem to make sense. An idea like this frankly doesn't work on a large scale with so many characters. I appreciate the intent and on an emotional level it works okay, but even different worlds have their own logic, and I just feel right now that the sideways world doesn't.
On the whole, it was a relatively satisfying finale. I was with it for most of the show. I was a bit off-put by the whole dead ending, but mostly because of the broad logical consequences it has. I still think there was a nice emotional element to the piece. While I do find this sort of "in-between" afterlife thing to be a silly idea in general (not just in this story but in others as well), it was more satisfying to me than something like Pan's Labyrinth, which I felt really cheated by. If they had ended by saying that EVERYTHING was a con and they had been dead they whole time I would have been as annoyed as if it had been a virtual reality game. But they didn't do that. It was saddening that so many children were left orphaned. For all their talk of it being a definitive ending, I disagree. We could have a "Ben and Hurley: The Lost Island Years" show. And consider that all the Losties had issues with their parents, and now we leave so many kids without parents. How many failed projects will it be before Lost: The Next Generation, when Zach, Emma, Walt, Ji Yeon and Aaron all return to the island for their own adventures? There were a number of things not really explained by the finale. In fact, besides the nature of the sideways universe, and a couple other things by inference, I'm not sure they answered ANYTHING with the finale. It's unfair to expect the last episode to do the work of a whole season or so. I did not expect a lot of answers frankly, but I am disappointed at the number of threads from the first season (or even first episode) left unresolved. This I do not fault the finale for; it's something that should have been done two seasons ago. So I can't lay that blame on the finale, but on the whole the show dropped the ball in places. We never learn WHY the numbers were being broadcast from the island's radio tower, or why the Others wanted Walt, or why Libby was in Santa Rosa, or why the Smoke Monster used to rip trees out of the ground for no reason. And Isn't it odd that Rousseau called the Monster a security system protecting the island when in reality everyone else was protecting the island against him? The one answer I fault the finale for not giving is what happened to Christian Shephard's body. That was a mystery very relevant to Jack and to the themes at the end of the episode with the empty coffin reprised. That was a mistake. Still, there was a certain goodness about the finale. It wasn't horribly lame, and if it took a leap and stumbled at the end, at least most of it worked pretty well. It doesn't all work. It thankfully doesn't hurt the entire series too much, but does make this season seem a little off. Honestly, if all that I'm left with is some open-ended questions and a not-quite-logical final season thread, that's better than I got with Galactica which was disjointed from the beginning. I'm glad they didn't pretend to give an answer that was impossible, and just at least gave us none. For some strange reason that's better.
It's not the best finale ever, but it's also not the worst. How I feel about it will change a bit I'm sure over the years as I watch the series as a whole. I think what bothers me most is that the children ended up being forgotten collateral. This was just like Sam's wife on Quantum Leap. That's another series who's finale was weird, and I liked it, but it fell apart at the very end. I wouldn't say the entire Lost finale fell apart, and I certainly don't think that the whole series fell apart (not like say, making every other person a Cylon for no reason). But there was something unsettling. I did like that when the credits began to roll, we were shown just bare wreckage on the empty beach. That was a nice final image; the island with the remains, but with no human presence. Humanity banded together and went to a higher plane (no pun intended). Maybe that's what we are supposed to take away from it; that they left behind the shell that brought them there (the plane), and moved on. Lost has always been about letting go, and whether or not I agree with the way they did it, they absolutely carried that theme through the end of the series.
It's been quite a ride.
"Let us also go, that we might die with him." -- Ben Linus, quoting Thomas