Wow. What a finale that was! Lost never does disappoint when it comes to season enders. I wasn’t sure of the best approach to dissecting this jam-packed episode, but I’ve settled on listing the major events and revelations, and analyzing them one by one. Here goes:
- Kate and Sayid team up with Richard and the Others to rescue Ben from the soldier guys – How did the Others know that Ben was being taken to the helicopter? How ever they knew, it was quite something to see Sayid et al fight and defeat the bad guys. The events at the helicopter were pivotal to the rest of the episode. It enabled Ben to return to the Orchid, and Richard’s deal with Kate and Sayid allowed them to fly off the island, no strings attached.
- Walt looks his age! – It’s convenient that the show has flashbacks three years in the future, allowing Walt to make an appearance with no questions asked about why he is bigger and taller. Hurley was only partly honest with Walt about why they are lying about their plane crash and rescue, because he saw the ship explode with Michael on it. But who would want to break the news to a kid that his dad died in a fiery explosion?
- Locke and Jack had an interesting conversation outside of The Orchid – Locke wants Jack to reconsider leaving the island, telling him he’s “not supposed to go home.” “You’re gonna have to lie about everything that’s happened since we got to the island – it’s the only way to protect it.” Jack ended up taking this advice from Locke, but he lied to protect his friends, not the island itself. Locke also talks about his faith in the island’s miracles, and Jack can’t deny that after witnessing the entire island disappear right in front of him.
- I’m not sure what Daniel knew, or thought he knew, about what was going to happen on the island. Did he think that the solider crew was going to kill everyone? I don’t think that’s it, or he would have insisted that Charlotte leave with him. I think he knew that it was going to be moved, and he didn’t want to be lost somewhere that no one knew about. And he told her that if she stayed, “It could be forever.” That suggests that he knows he won’t be able to return to the island. Miles also seemed to know some things – he knew it was safer to be on the island than on the freighter, and he also knows something about Charlotte’s past. (See “random theories” below).
- The Orchid is a station where the Dharma Initiative conducted experiments with space and time and white rabbits, which was possible because of the island’s “unique properties.” According to the orientation video that Locke watched, “the vault was constructed next to a pocket of negatively charged exotic matter.” (whatever that means!) Too bad that the video started rewinding right when the guy was about to tell us what really happens to the white rabbit when it seems to disappear. (I guess that in reality it jumps forward in time?)
- There were complications with the helicopter – The shootout in the jungle resulted in bullet holes in the fuel tank, so they had to get rid of extra weight to make it to the freighter. How noble of Sawyer to risk his life and sacrifice the chance to be rescued, to save the others. What did he whisper to Kate? It had something to do with what she was doing for him in the flashforward of another episode. He said, “Just do it for Alice.” That’s his daughter, right? After his sacrifice, if Kate and he ever meet again, I’m guessing she’d be willing to give their relationship another go.
- Sayid removed Hurley from the mental institution to take him somewhere safe, now that Bentham is dead. When Sayid told Hurley “they said it was suicide” (that killed Bentham), it made me think that either Sayid killed him, or that there are mysterious circumstances surrounding his death. See “Random Theories” below for my take on Jeremy Bentham, aka John Locke. Who is watching the Oceanic Six, and why? Is it Charles Widmore’s people?
- The freighter actually exploded! – That was an intense scene, with Desmond screaming at the copter not to land, Jin trying to make it up to the top deck, and Christian Shepherd appearing to Michael to tell him “you can go now” just before the explosion. So, it seems clear that Michael’s work on behalf of the island is finished, and that he is dead.
- Not so clear is Jin’s fate. They’d have us believe that he died in the explosion. But… notice how they cut away from him standing on the deck well before the explosion, which would have given him enough time to jump out. There were several people in life jackets running around on deck, and they along with Jin could have had time to jump ship. Also, when I paused my DVR on the shot of the ship just before it exploded, I didn’t see anyone on the ship. Wouldn’t that be a happy reunion, for Sun and Jin to reunite one day and for him to meet his child? We can hope! Some of you are probably wondering where he would go even if he did make it off the ship. Well, Daniel’s raft was nearby, and perhaps they will pick up Jin and somehow survive. I think they would find a way to have Daniel back on the show next year, since he’s an interesting character, so for that reason alone I think that we haven’t seen the last of the raft, whether or not Jin is on it. 🙂
- Sun approached Mr. Widmore about doing business with him – the business of finding the island, perhaps? Why, indeed, would she want to help him? She said, “You know we’re not the only ones who left the island.” Maybe she wants to find Ben, because she blames him for everything that happened, that led to Jin’s death.
- Ben takes on the task of moving the island, which means he can never come back. I guess this is one of “the rules of the island.” He leaves Locke as the new island leader. There’s some weird island hierarchy that we don’t have the full picture of yet.
- Ben turns the wheel to move the island. I’m guessing that it moved it in space and time? Notice that he was wearing the same jacket he had on when he “landed” in the desert in Tunisia. So he obviously did some time traveling as a result of turning the wheel. You have to wonder who or what put this big wheel deep in the earth that’s a last resort measure. That was a cool scene, though, from Ben turning the wheel to the island up and disappearing! Where did the island and its inhabitants go?!
- The Oceanic Six, Desmond, and Frank had to hope for the best when the chopper ran out of fuel, and they got it. They all survived the crash into the water, and had the foresight to drop the life raft in along with them, and then they came across a rescue ship that just happened to belong to Penny Widmore, Desmond’s one true love!
- Desmond and Penny have a tearful, happy reunion – Hooray! At least things went well for someone. Too bad that Ben is trying to hunt down and kill Penny. For now, I guess Desmond and Penny will sail the ocean blue to their heart’s content.
- Claire appears to Kate (in a flash forward), while sitting on Aaron’s bed, and tells her emphatically not to take Aaron back (to the island, I assume). If Claire is speaking on behalf of Jacob, then Ben must be working against Jacob now, since he wants all the rescued survivors to return to the island. By the way, Claire’s exact verbiage, “Don’t you dare bring him back,” suggests that she is still on the island, rather than this spirit of her just being on L.A., in which case she should have said “take him back.” Or, maybe the writers have bad grammar skills.
- The Oceanic Six agree to lie about what happened to them, in order to protect those they left behind, as well as themselves. Their reasoning – whoever faked the plane wreckage and whoever sent the freighter to kill them, will probably continue to hunt them down unless they play along.
- Jack breaks into the funeral home to view Jeremy Bentham’s body. He is joined by Ben. Jack tells Ben that Bentham told him that after he (Jack) left the island, some very bad things happened, and that they were Jack’s fault. (I am guessing we’ll see these play out next season). Bentham also told Jack that he has to go back. Ben then tells Jack that “the island won’t let you come alone. All of you have to go back.” Here’s the kicker – Ben means that he also has to take back the body, which – surprise! – is John Locke.
- Ben has a few ideas for how to get back to the island, as well as how to convince everyone to go.
- So there’s the season finale, broken down into bite sized pieces. We have 8 or 9 months to figure it all out! Below I’ve included some of my theories/ideas in a bit more detail.
- Charles Widmore used to be the leader of the island, as Ben has been, and as Locke is about to be – In the finale, Ben said that the person who moves the island could never return to it. He sacrificed himself to save the island. Perhaps the reason Charles can’t “find” the island is that he, too, once moved it as a last resort. Hmm… In a previous episode, Charles said “That island’s mine, Benjamin. It always was. It will be again.” In that same episode, he said that he’s kept a bottle of scotch next to his bed at night “ever since the nightmares started.” I imagine these nightmares are actually visitations by people from the island. We’ve seen other former island residents being visited by terrifying visions of people (Kate sees Claire, Jack sees his father, Hurley sees Charlie, etc.), so this also supports my theory that Charles has been on the island before. That’s the only evidence from the show that kind of supports this theory. Another thought – maybe Charles Widmore is older than everyone thinks. Could he have been the captain of the Black Rock? Maybe that’s why he was so interested in the painting of the ship at that art auction. Was the Black Rock the first human contact with the island? If Widmore was on the Black Rock, then that would give him rightful ownership of it, I suppose, if we’re going on the rule of exploration and discovery.
- Charlotte is Ben’s childhood friend from the island. – I know that Charlotte is younger than Ben, but perhaps the island’s mysterious time properties could account for this supposed age difference. According to Miles, Charlotte has been on the island before, and has spent a long time trying to get back to it. And Charlotte said that she’s still looking for the place where she was born. Now, Ben’s childhood friend’s name was Annie, but that doesn’t mean Charlotte couldn’t be Annie. I wonder if she still has the other doll (remember that the two of them had a pair of little dolls or something?) Why would the writers show us Ben’s relationship with Annie and then not provide any closure, unless it was going to play a role later on?
- Jeremy Bentham is more than a name – This isn’t so much a theory as an observation. As we know, the writers often name characters after historical figures. I thought Bentham sounded familiar, so I looked him up. Jeremy Bentham was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. Sounds like a good pseudonym for John Locke. (Incidentally, John Locke was a 16th century philosopher who described the mind as a blank slate.) What’s even creepier about Jeremy Bentham is this, and I’ve borrowed this passage from Wikipedia:
- “As requested in his will, his body was preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet, termed his “Auto-icon”. Originally kept by his disciple Dr. Southwood Smith, it was acquired by University College London in 1850. The Auto-icon is kept on public display at the end of the South Cloisters in the main building of the College. For the 100th and 150th anniversaries of the college, the Auto-icon was brought to the meeting of the College Council, where he was listed as “present but not voting”. Tradition holds that if the council’s vote on any motion is tied, the auto-icon always breaks the tie by voting in favour of the motion.”
It seems obvious that the writers are adapting this idea of Jeremy Bentham’s body in a box, and turning it into John Locke in a coffin. Maybe Locke had the real Jeremy Bentham in mind when he chose that name. Maybe dying was part of his plan to get back to the island. He may be dead, but just as the real Bentham was considered a tie breaker in votings of the college council, Locke must be present when the others return to the island. Perhaps his presence will be a deciding factor in who wins, Ben and the Oceanic Six, Jacob, Charles Widmore, or someone else. Besides, I wouldn’t be surprised if Locke comes back to life when/if they return to the island, since it’s a place where miracles happen. It will be a long wait until next season!