LOST 6.17 The End – Analysis

The more I think about this episode the more I really love it.


Remember this season how Des was so calm cool and collected around Sayid and MIB, two of the most dangerous men on the island?  It’s because he was convinced that his role on the island was 100% correct.  He even feels a bit indestructible.  Now back in Season 2, Des and Locke argued over whether the button needed to pushed or not.  Des thought it had to be pushed because flight 815 crashed after he stopped the button pushing (he had done this job alone for three years).  But in a reversal from Season 2 and against my expectations, Desmond who was so confident in his mission to save the world, loses it instead.  He tries to “uncork the bottle” in the cave only to see it start the destruction of the island.

This is one of the most subtlest themes of LOST.  We can do what we think are the most meaningful tasks for years and years here on Earth only to find out they weren’t really that important after all.  In fact, the tasks are not the important thing, it’s what we do to take care of each other that’s important.

MIB and Jack have the ultimate argument to prove who is right.  MIB sees destruction of the island, and Jack sees destruction of MIB.  Who will be correct?  Actually neither and both.  Des nearly destroys the island, but in the process turns the MIB into a mortal which allows Jack (in one big epic “boss” battle) to do away with MIB – with a little help from his good friend Kate.  This ties all the way back to the Season 1 finale when Jack tells her that after they open the hatch they will have a “Locke” problem and does Kate have his “back” and yes, she sure did!

Again its friendship that saves the day.  Speaking of which Hurley saves the day and the lives of so many people in this finale.

  • He saves Charlie by bringing him to the concert to meet Claire.
  • He saves Sayid by telling him he needs to stop believing he is a killer because he really is a good man.  Sayid proves it, by getting Boone out of a fight, and thereby reunites with Shannon.
  • He saves Jack by taking over the role of protector which allows Jack to make the sacrifice to save the island
  • He saves Ben by making him his counselor / assistant on the island, so Ben can rule without having to resort to drastic measures when he did the job before alone.

The whole of Lost is about characters not what they do to save the world, but how they love and sacrifice for one another.

  • Charlie sacrificed so Des and Penny could be reunited.
  • Kate gave up Aaron so Claire would have a purpose to her life.
  • Des turned from coward to brave defender of the island so that they could escape (remember Des saying it’s all a bloody snowglobe and there is no escape).

But for Ben there was no sacrifice.  He was motivated by greed and lust for power on the island.  He lost the one thing he truly loved, Alex. He killed Widmore to get revenge for her death. Then he killed Locke because he never believed he was special.  Correction:  Ben did make a sacrifice (see comment below).

4 Responses

  1. “The more I think about this episode the more I really love it.”

    I totally agree with with you, TLE. I’ve now watched The End in it’s entirety three times, and the last ten minutes about a dozen times. I still tearing up each time.

    I do have one question that’s lurking in my mind and perhaps someone can help me with this:

    If the smoke monster is no longer a threat and the Losties have all left the Island, what is Hurley and Ben protecting?

    • buzmeg,
      I guess I can only offer you some possibilities. One is sort of rational and one theory that’s a bit crazy.

      1) Smokey is really dead, but the protectors still need to keep men from coming to the island to try and “steal” the light for themselves.

      2) Smokey is alive even though the “form” of Locke is dead. So Smokey went back to his cave awaiting his next victim. Gee, I hope Desmond didn’t die on the island and Smokey took over his body. Yikes, that would be bad, very bad.

  2. Ben did sacrifice, but it wasn’t until he was in the Sideways world. He had the opportunity to become principal at the school but he would have to sacrifice Alex’s college goals to do so and he didn’t. Which is why he wasn’t ready to “move on” with the rest when John asked him if he was coming in to the church. I think Ben wanted to linger a little longer in the realm where he was able to feel and be genuinely loved.

    • Thanks Minnie,
      I like your comment and it makes sense. In the sideways world, Ben gets to be loved by Alex. And maybe he even gets to have a family if he and Danielle become a couple and raise Alex together. The sideways world seems to be a place to fulfill the dreams you were never able to have in the “real world”.

      Some Thoughts on Sayid:

      I also had a similar thought about Sayid. He ends up with Shannon of course, but he could have just as easily ended up with Nadia. Instead Sayid is given a choice in sideways world and follows the path of the killer he thought he was in the original timeline.
      He could have been with Nadia if he chose to – and here is how. It sounds sort of wrong, but hear me out. If Sayid had let his brother suffer the consequences for his dealing with the mob, his brother would have died and as his brother Sayid could have married Nadia and raised her kids (who adored him). Even Nadia recognized this when she said to Sayid for him to not intercede in his brother’s problems.

      But Sayid still thought the only way to deal with the problem was violence. Of course violence seems to follow Sayid wherever he seems to go. Like when he saved Shannon and Boone. But this time Hurley convinced him he was a good man, and Sayid did not kill the mugger. He didn’t get Nadia, but he did get Shannon.

      The sideways world is where you truely find happily ever after, and then you can move on to the next world (through the door that Christian opened).

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