LOST: “How’s It Going to End?”

"The End" Draws Nigh . . .

Does It End with a Whimper? A Bang? Or Doesn't It Matter?

April 18, 2010
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I’ve seen every episode of ABC’s LOST. Most of them more than once. I don’t think I can say that about any other TV show—certainly not any other serial drama. I’ve read and posted about LOST on message boards, talked endlessly about it to people in person, via email, on Facebook (the impetus for this article), written about it here for hollywoodjesus. What I’m trying to say is: I am a Lostie. I love the show, I’m dedicated, invested, I care about it and I want everyone else to too . . . because, to me, it’s worth it.

And that’s why it’s a little bitter-sweet to say: it’s all going to be over in about a month. Once that last episode—entitled “The End”—airs on May 23, there’s no more LOST. So, like other Losties, what’s been on my mind a lot lately is exactly how it’s going to go down. What will happen last? How will it all be resolved? In my mind, this plays out to a memorable (and deliciously double-meaninged) moment from The Truman Show: “How’s It Going to End?” asks Sylvia’s pin, to which Truman retorts, “I was wondering that myself.” So, “How’s It Going to End?” Well, as a Lostie, I have some random thoughts, which I present presently. Btw, while no official “spoilers” follow, speculation that assumes a certain level of reader familiarity with and reflection on the show does, so be aware . . . and don’t get upset if I end up predicting correctly (or not) ;).

It’s going to end with babies.

Fans know that babies and pregnancies and children play into the plot of LOST quite a bit—and so do themes of birth and rebirth. For this reason, the ending has to have something to do with babies. This probably involves Jin seeing his daughter for the first time, probably has something to do with Claire and Aaron, perhaps has something to do with Jack and his son, maybe Walt, maybe Alex, maybe Charlie . . . Something in me feels like Jacob and/or the real John Locke need to “come back” somehow—and not just in the Hurley/Miles way of “coming back.” This may or may not involve literal babies, but it certainly keeps to the theme of birthing. Speaking of babies, babies usually involve love, so:

It’s going to end with couples.

This is an easy one. For the past few episodes, LOST has seemed hyper-focused on the different romances in the show’s history—going back as far as Richard Alpert and his wife Isabella, to the present with Desmond and Penny, and into alternate time with Hurley and Libby. All of this will likely continue and end up with a series of reunions: Jin/Sun and Desmond/Penny are obvious ones, but I also think there’s potential for Claire/Charlie, Hurley/Libby, and others, especially given the flash-sideways possibilities. Also, Sayid—in keeping with another big LOST theme—will somehow self-sacrifice himself by the ending, thus ending up with Nadia, and Kate and Sawyer probably end up together. What? No Kate and Jack? Oh, no . . . Jack’s going to be too busy for love . . . but more on that later. Speaking of flashing-sideways:

It’s going to end with one timeline.

Right from “LA X,” the Season 6 opener, there have been hints that the two timelines now being followed on LOST are headed for a merger of some sort. It isn’t coincidence, obviously, that the same people keep coming up in both timelines. It isn’t coincidence that Jack has wounds in the alternate timeline that he can’t remember. And, since “Everybody Loves Hugo,” it’s now apparent that multiple people are actually aware of the two timelines simultaneously. All of this argues for some kind of reconciliation of the two. Now, I can’t say exactly how this will happen—will one reality disappear? Will we end up with some combination of the two? Something else entirely?—but it will likely be just one of many effects all tied to some grand final event, which almost definitely involves Jack, so:

It’s going to end with Jack Shephard.

Jack can’t end up with Kate because, no disrespect to her, he is destined for something greater. He is candidate number 23. He is going to be the new Jacob . . . or something like that. Of course, I’m not Cuse or Lindelof (or Matthew Fox, hint, hint), so I can’t give specifics, but given the development of Jack Shephard’s character—along with numerological clues, the clue of his name, etc.—it seems likely that he’ll somehow end up staying on the island and with some kind of role as leader/protector, as has been variously held by Jacob, Richard, Ben, Ilana. Jack began as the “man of science,” but has since become the “man of faith.” He has consistently taken on the mantle of leader. He’s got nothing else, really, relatively, to prioritize over the island, unlike many other “candidates.” The majority of character-centric episodes are about . . . Jack. Episode 1, Season 1 began with . . . Jack. Somehow it’ll all come full-circle to him. Well, it’ll all come full-circle anyhow, so:

It’s going to end with redemption/reconciliation/resolution.

This is another easy one. All stories end with resolution, right? But for LOST, I think this means a few specific things. First, the big, big, big issues have to be dealt with. I’m talking about the island, Jacob, the smoke monster, Widmore, Dharma . . . the whole the-island-is-like-a-bottle-that-protects-the-world-from-evil thing that we learned in “Ab Aeterno.” Again, not sure how this happens exactly, but my predictions are that it means a revival and perhaps “ascension” of some sort for Jacob, a “torch passing” for Jack, a defeat or binding of the smoke monster (whatever he ends up being), sacrifice for Sayid, rebirth for John Locke, a renewal of the island that affects every other character and the world-at-large (timelines merging, etc.). Second, I believe there will be, somehow, ultimately, the specific vindication of Benjamin Linus. And though I’m particularly looking forward to this, I don’t want to get into how/why I think it will happen, but— Mark. My. Words.

Finally, all this redemption/reconciliation/resolution will be—if it already hasn’t been made obvious over the course of six seasons—essentially spiritual in nature. LOST isn’t just good versus evil on small scale. It’s not just cops and robbers or something. The redemptive, and arguably specifically Christian, nature of this entire epic story is being told with the broadest possible brush: a magical island that some are destined to find, seemingly supernatural beings who duel over the lives of mortals, themes of love and hate, life and death, reason and faith, freedom and fate, sin and salvation. It has to end just as big, just as spiritually large, as it began, as it became, as it has become for Losties like me, which is why:

It’s going to end with . . . hey . . . I don’t care how it ends.

It’s true. I just don’t care how it ends. Now, don’t get me wrong—I’m going to watch it. I’m probably going to watch it multiple times, with discussion, and so on, just like always. I very much care what happens and how it ends in the sense of wanting to, needing to, have the coming resolution. But I don’t care in the sense that there’s no way they can mess it up. I’m going to be satisfied, whatever the ending, simply because . . . LOST has earned it. There have been other stories in my life with so much build-up that the payoff at the end couldn’t possibly deliver, but not this time. I’m at peace with whatever ends up happening. “Whatever happened, happened,” and “Whatever happens, happens,” as the show so often reminds. Even if all my expectations, desires, predictions for the finale end up being dashed on the rocks of the metaphoric island, it’ll still be okay. For six years, I’ve been entranced by, enlarged by this story. If the ending can’t match that, it will only be because LOST, in the end, is as unmatchable as it is unmatched.

And so, on May 23, I look forward to finally knowing the answer—Cuse and Lindelof’s answer—to “How’s it going to end?” because certainly, “I was wondering that myself.” But for me, in the end, it’s already answered anyway: it’s going to end perfectly. It’s going to end just as it does, just as it should. In “The End,” it’s going to end . . . and I can’t wait.

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credit: TheMovieDB.org

Matt Hill has contributed to hollywoodjesus for the past decade, taking on movies, music, books, games and other topics. He writes from Michigan, where he lives with his wife and kids. Visit facebook.com/sundayiam for free music from his sweet, super-secret Christian rock band.

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