The Swan has a film reel Orientation, the Pearl uses VHS. This is because the Electromagnetism abundant in the Swan would wipe a VHS tape.
The Big Bad is trying to do what the heroes were trying to do back in seasons 1-4.
A story-within-a-story novel briefly featured on the show was released in print between Seasons 2 and 3 as part of Lost Experience ARG. Even though it was supposedly "written" by a character from the show and contained references to Alvar Hanso, Paik Industries and Widmore Corporation, it turned out to completely fictional even in the word of Lost and offered no valuable clues or hints whatsoever. Except one, prominently featured on the cover. The title of the novel is Bad Twin which, once Fridge Brilliance kicks in, pretty much sums one of the biggest twists of the Final Season and could explain much of what's going on if you knew what it actually meant.
Actually, this was a clever bit of Foreshadowing. As shown in Across the Sea, the Source is where all life comes from. It only makes sense that, in Purgatory, there would be no life, thus no Source, and a sunken island (L.A.X.)... Quite the bit to take in.
Anthony Cooper is brain dead in purgatory. Thus he can't even think about moving on.
The would-be adopted mother of Aaron in the flash-sideways was crying because her husband left her. He didn't leave her in the obvious sense; he left her because he moved on.
Eloise Hawking, by refusing to let Desmond take Daniel with the rest of the cast out of the sideways world, is giving Daniel the life she didn't let him have when he was alive. He and Charlotte don't move on with everyone else because that way they get a chance to have a life together.
Likewise, Ben chose to stay behind rather than move on with the Losties even after he discovered that he was in Purgatory and could remember his former life on the island — he stated that he wasn't "ready" yet. Why not? Well, by deciding not to move on with the Losties, it allowed him to instead stay with Alex, supporting her as her tutor, as a father-figure and as a friend. He could watch her succeed and grow into the adult that she would have been if she'd been born away from the island with a normal life and a clean slate. Now that he could remember all the terrible things he did during his life, Ben still felt guilt over Alex's death; he chose to stay behind and see his adopted daughter achieve the future that she missed out on. He wasn't ready to lose her again.
Jacob, and the other Island Protectors, were guarding The Source (represented by a big light). What is the last thing that happens in the sideways universe? Christian leads them into the light.
Juliet was brought to the island to help the Others with the fertility issues. In the season five finale she damaged Jughead enough to cause the incident, which is strongly hinted to be the cause of the pregnancy issues in the first place.
The Man in Black/Smoke Monster killed his adoptive mother, the crime which lead to Jacob throwing him into The Source and made him Smokey. He ended up being killed BY an adoptive mother himself, Kate.
When Locke confronts the man in the cabin (he was the Man in Black posing as Christian and pretending to speak on Jacob's behalf), he claims "I'm here because I was chosen to be". Look at Christian/MIB right after that! He has to repress a grin and then gives John a BS approving face, stating "That's absolutely right" with a mocking light in his eyes. It looked weird back then if you noticed it, but now that we know what the MIB thought of Locke and what he was planning for him...
Made doubly brilliant when in The End MIB taunts Jack (as the new Protector of the island) saying that he seems like the "obvious choice". Jack throws this back at him by responding that no-one chose him, and he made the decision himself. Anyone notice how taken aback MIB was by this? Jack is deciding his destiny for himself, rather than letting anyone choose him like Locke did, making him a real threat to MIB, whereas Locke was only a pawn who MIB could manipulate.
In the Season 1 episode "White Rabbit" the Man in Black as Christian baits Jack (who is a candidate) into falling off a cliff, which conforms with the rules that he can only kill a candidate indirectly.
Same with Hurley in "Dave".
Note that both Jack and Hurley became protectors of the island in the end. Most of the Man in Black's plans work around complex traps, deceit and indirect manipulation (when he's not in smoke-form, anyway). He was observing the Losties since the moment they crashed, so he must have understood very early on that a number of the Losties were candidates and therefore couldn't be directly killed by him; apparently he decided that Jack seemed to be the most "obvious choice" in terms of a successor to Jacob and promptly tried to lure him to his death first in an uncharacteristically straightforward manner. At some point, the Man in Black obviously noticed the same dangerously redeeming potential in Hurley and also attempted to dispose of him by driving him to suicide. Both times, the Man in Black sensed a real threat; both times he abandoned his chessmaster tendencies to deal with the problem as swifly and directly as he could; and both times he turned out to be 100% correct.
Eko was killed by the smoke monster. Eko was therefore not a candidate. It always struck this troper as harsh that Eko was killed in response to his declaration that he did what he had to do and was therefore not sorry. But what if Eko was a candidate until, in embracing his past, he made himself no longer a screwup, thereby dropping off the list of potential candidates and becoming killable by the monster?
More firdge brilliance in the DVD epilogue as Hurley and Ben pick up Walt saying he can help his father, then drive off leaving the audience hanging, but this probably explains why Michael and Walt were conspicuously missing from the Flash-sideways timeline and the church at the end.
One more: watch Richard's feature in season 6. He's sent to kill Jacob and Jacob beats the snot out of him. Then watch the last scene with Jacob, MIB, and Ben in season 5. The MIB certainly has had time to work out the kinks in the loophole. Jacob didn't resist when Ben tried to kill him, not only because he was hoping he was wrong about Ben, but also because escaping from the room would have meant revealing himself to his people, something he refuses to do. Thus, by trying to escape, he would have violated his own code of ethics.
The differences in timeline of the flash-sideways represent what the characters believe they should have done. The things that aren't different represent the things that they believe were the right choices.
Jack has a son that allows him to realize the hardships his own father went through with him. Also he's Amicably Divorced.
Eloise Hawking allowed her son Daniel to pursue his dream as a musician.
Possibly unintentional: in "Pilot" the cast was facing the camera and sitting in aisles of a plane while it was crashing. The tail end behind them ripped off, opening the plane to a harsh crash. Completely contrasted in "The End" in which the cast was facing the camera and sitting in aisles of a church. Christian opened the door behind them, letting in a white light and enabling them to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Talk about Book Ends.
The Tearjerker page made me remember the scene where Eko and Yemi are in the afterlife as kids moving on. Eko is absent from the AU because he already moved on. His time with Yemi before they were corrupted was his favorite part of the life, whereas everyone else was still incomplete. His absence was a clue to the AU the entire time!
The series ends by having the main cast remembering everything important that happened in their lives (which was on the island with their True Companions, accepting it, and moving on. In a way this is what the creators are trying to tell their fans: you had this incredible journey with these people, but now it's over; just accept it and see what else is out there.
It wasn't until the second time I watched the intro to the Season 3 premiere of LOST that I realized it was actually a parody of the start of the Season 2 premiere. Now I appreciate that scene a lot more. Cyclone49
When we see the well in season 5, I was confused as to how 'the ancients' knew that this spot in particular would be such an effective place to set up the infamous Frozen Donkey Wheel, but then I realized; they knew to build the well and FDW here because Locke Sawyer and the time-flashing assorted losties had brought the rope through time to be stuck in this spot, presumably to be found later by the people who built the well. — StarStormXIII
More theory than actual brilliance, but I like the idea: One of the questions was why Locke and Ben wound up in Tunisia after they turned the donkey wheel. Well—Tunisia = part of the Roman Empire and home of Carthage. What if this is where the Man in Black and Jacob's mom was from, and this is the home MIB wanted to get back to? akm879
It's never directly explained why the others needed Michael to bring Hurley, Kate, Sawyer and Jack to the others (except for needing Jack to operate on Ben). Then, in the penultimate episode of the series, 4 seasons later, those 4 characters are the remaining living candidates to replace Jacob.
Why doesn't Richard show up in the flash-sideways timeline in season 6? It's because he was more than 100 years old when he met the losties. In his ideal life, his wife wouldn't have died in 1867, he never would have traveled to the island, and he would have died (naturally or otherwise) long before the losties were even born.
Juliet tells Sawyer in the season 5 finale that she's going to help Jack because "I changed my mind." At first, this seemed somewhat contrived and cheesy in a "Ha ha, women change their minds" kind of way. Then I realized that a major theme of the show is fate vs. free will, and free will seems in that episode to be a concern of Jacob's, and Juliet's first scene in the series is debating the existence of free will on the island, and she apparently dies at the end of the episode to allow the plan to succeed, so now that line seems like a mission statement. — Idle Dandy
Desmond's catchphrase: "see you in another life" always seemed irrelevant, meaningless and a strained attempt to connect the flashbacks with present-day happenings. Now in the final seasons, those words are literally true. He is meeting everyone in another life!
And how about the fact that Jack uses the catchphrase on Desmond in The End. After all, it is literally true.
Speaking of other lives, when I first heard Kate tell Jack that she had missed him so much, I thought it was a throwaway line. But after the ending in which Jack dies protecting the Island and Kate flies away on the Ajira flight with Claire, it has become the beginning of the teary-eyed sequence that was the last half hour of the End. Of course, Kate would have missed Jack quite a bit as she probably died forty or so years after he did.
The apparitions of Christian Shephard in places where the Man in Black couldn't possibly be (on the freighter with Michael, off the island with Jack, in the distant past with Locke) appeared to be egregious plot holes, but make perfect sense as of the finale when it's revealed that , at least some of the time, the apparitions were actually the soul of Christian Shephard himself and not the Man in Black.
Why was Claire the first woman in decades who was able to safely deliver a baby on the Island? Because she's a Candidate, with all the requisite Plot Armor.
Actually I think that has more to do with the fact that Aaron was not conceived on the island.
They both make sense for Claire, but Sun's pregnancy cliches the Candidate Plot Armor theory.
But Sun gets off the Island before the illness typically set in, apparently rendering her safe.
In the episode "Across the Sea," Jacob and his brother's flashback episode, there is a character referred to only as "Mother." She is played by Allison Janney, the same actress who played C. J. Cregg on The West Wing, and she is not the kids' actual mother. C. J. stands for "Claudia Jean." The boys' real mother's name is Claudia.
The job of good speculative fiction is to make some kind of statement about the human condition. Darlton's brilliance was to illustrate their statment using not just the show, but their fanbase. What's their statement? That spending your life trying to find out the answers to the big questions is a disappointing and ultimately fruitless use of your time on this Earth: every answer will be disappointing, or will just lead to more questions, and that's assuming there actually is an answer. The value of a human life is in the connections we make, with family and friends and other human beings. Within the show, this is illustrated through the characters and their eventual fates. Compare Daniel (trying to unlock secrets of the universe) and Locke (determined to unwravel the mysteries of the Island) to Kate (adopting Aaron), Sawyer (devoting himself to keeping the time-travelling Losties safe and getting everyone off the Island) and Jack (sacrificing himself to save everyone else). But the REAL brilliance is that this statement was even more perfectly illustrated by fan reactions to the Grand Finale. The fans who were only concerned with getting answers to the mysteries were disappointed and wound up regretting their time spent watching the show. The fans who were more concerned with the characters and their journey thought the finale was fantastic and moving.
In early season 1, when Locke shows Walt backgammon, he states that the game is "Two players, two sides. One is light, one is dark." This pretty much summarizes the relationship between Jacob and his candidates and the Man in Black, way before the creators even thought of the conflict.
There are lots of other Locke-MIB hints in season 1 too. Smokey's theme playing while showing Locke in "Tabula Rasa", his encounter with the Monster, Jack warning they're going to have "a Locke problem" to Kate in the season 1 finale.
Sawyer's line to Juliet during their reunion in the flash-sideways, when they remember their lives, is just so brilliant, and incrediblymoving. After they both remember that Sawyer couldn't save Juliet as she fell down the magnetic pit, he grabs her into a tight embrace and whispers, "I got you. I got you baby." Because he couldn't get her the first time.
Ben is originally the show's resident Magnificent Bastard. However he suffers a massive Villainous BSOD after his daughter is killed by Keamy, a mercenary hired by his enemy Charles Widmore, and again after he discovers he's been the Unwitting Pawn to the Man in Black the whole time, and as a result Villain Decay as well leading to his Heel-Face Turn. However at the end of the series he appears to pull a Face-Heel Turn by becoming The Dragon to the Man in Black and betraying Widmore before finally killing him, then seemingly agreeing to kill the remaining survivors for Mi B, and during this time Mi B tells him about the boat he plans on using to escape the Island. However it's revealed that Ben was a Fake Defector who immediately returned to the survivor's side after Mi B went to the heart of the Island without him and he saves Hurley from being crushed by a tree. While stuck under the tree, Ben tells Kate about MIB's boat in order to help them escape, but it's also likely that he knew MIB would be heading there too, and that the survivors, especially Kate, wanted to kill him to avenge the deaths of their friends on the sub. Sure enough, Kate shows up in the nick of time to stop Mi B from killing Jack, which leads to the Man in Black's death. So not only did he outgambit his enemy who was at least partially responsible for his adopted daugther's death, but he also outgambits the SMOKE MONSTER, who had used him as a pawn for years, showing that even after pulling a Heel-Face Turn, he was still a Magnificent Bastard.
Perhaps Baby Aaron is just a placeholder, like the doll that Claire made on the island. Aaron wouldn't remember his time on the island, so he wouldn't meet these people in the afterlife. However, this would mean that Aaron doesn't actually ever meet Claire, and doesn't remember Jack or Kate...
Not necessarily. It's possible that Aaron has a placeholder Claire, Kate, and Jack in his own afterlife.
What will AU Alex say when she realizes the exact moment she died? Oh poor Dr. Linus...
Possibly not as bleak as it seems, this one. If Ben chose to stay behind in the Sideways so that he could remain around Alex and watch her have the life he felt responsible for taking from her, it's possible that the memories of her former life weren't triggered until after she had achieved her dreams in the Sideways. Alex could have finally recognised her adopted father for who he was, understood why he had purposefully stayed with her as her mentor and subsequently forgiven Ben for her death. In the end, her forgiveness may be the final obstacle they both need to surpass in order to let go in the Sideways; just add an unburdened Rousseau to the picture and you have a girl able to move on to the next chapter with both her mother and father at her side, symbolizing the loving and whole family she never had whilst she was alive.
Jin declaring that he and Sun will never be apart again, and deciding to stay and die with her instead of saving himself may seem sweet and poignant... until you realize they've just orphaned their baby daughter.
LOST: The ending of "The End" gives us a pretty bad bit of Fridge Horror: so we know Michael's spirit was trapped on the island, but there was a chance that maybe it was the power of the Man in Black or the same thing that acted as the source of his power that was keeping Micheal and the other ghosts there. But given that Michael was absent entirely from the flash-sideways universe, which we find out is purgatory, this means nothing that happened on the island in The End changed his fate, or that of the other souls trapped in the jungle. Poor Michael is still trapped on the island, long after his friends have moved on to the afterlife.
The epilogue has Ben asking Walt come to the island to help his father. When Walt responds that his father is dead, Ben tells him that "you can still help him"... implying that Walt can somehow free his father.
Or at least keep him company, since Walt is one of the characters shown to be able to communicate with the dead. Thanks troper, I hadn't seen the epilogue yet, but that makes me feel better about that aspect of the ending.
Also, Desmond's conversation with Eloise makes it clear that other characters will still "move on" with their own circles of loved ones, even if not with our core group. This explains the absences of certain characters, such as Richard, who likely moved on with his wife, or Eko, who was actually seen after his death (back in season 3) reunited with his brother in Nigeria. So Michael, Walt, and Vincent are likely present in the afterlife. They're just not with Jack's group in the church. The fridge horror for this troper was what happened to Keamy, Omar, and Mikhail. What happens when you die in the afterlife? - What happens to them? They move on to their next Subsequent Life with the exception that it is truly a sideways translation, stagnating until they achieve the realizations required to pass into a more advanced Subsequent Life ... the horrifying logic then is that if they were truly flawed instead of going forward they may end up going backwards and backwards and backwards until they straighten themselves out!
Aaron "moves on" at the church his mother, fair enough. However in the afterlife he's a baby? What kind of life did he lead, that there was nothing in his afterlife that he needed to face before he could move on? Probably an extremely short one.
Desmond knows that there's a better world out there with Him and Penny, but doesn't know it's the afterlife. All he knows is that it's a wonderful place. How long before you think he tries to get back there, especially if the real world treats him like shit compared to the beauty of what he saw in Happily ever after? Desmond isn't long for this world, and Penny and his son are going to live with the fact that their husband killed himself. Worse still, he might try to take them with him.
In fact, with most interpretations of the ending, Kate, Claire and Sawyer haven't seemed to have done much with their lives, as the issues they're almost identical to their on island personalities in the afterlife. They probably don't live for long after they get off the plane.
None of the above discussions on the meaning of the FST are necessarily true. It's possible that the reason that all of the characters who did not die until after the original timeline played out looked the same age as they did when Jack died is because the FST is directly relevant to their experiences as a group rather than their experiences in the whole of life in general. Christian tells Jack something to the effect that "your time spent with these people was the best time of your life". Therefore, Kate, Aaron, Desmond etc. could easily have all lived to be supercentenarians and their experience in the FST reverts them to how old they were when the events happened (i.e. the bomb) which caused the FST to exist in the first place. The FST is not THE afterlife; it is a stage between life and death, and the fact that only the main characters gather in the church says to me that their presence there at all is because of their lives on the island. Therefore it makes sense that they would look how they did at that time, and it does not mean that the rest of their lives between the OT and the FST were devoid of happiness. I would have preferred it if the FST had been revealed as a direct side-effect of the island, similar to the whispers, and that it was in fact the real "magic box".
The news that the sideways universe wasn't "real" but just a preparation for the afterlife does cast a grim shadow over things. It means Jack's son isn't real, never existed. It also means Sawyer killed the Koreans for real, not just temporarily.
Actually, there are compelling reasons to think that David is the son of Jack and Kate. Their pre-Guam flight hookup is only weeks before the end of the series so Kate wouldn't be obviously pregnant yet. I mean, just look at how they cast the kid—he's got Jack's brown hair and Kate's freckles. In my mind this is actually Fridge Brilliance.
There's some fridge heartbreak in that last one as well. In s5 there are a lot of tropes that suggest Juliet is pregnant, but it's never spoken outright. The fact that in the afterlife she's David's mother, though, implies either that she was going to have a baby or at least that she deeply wanted one.
In season 6, the main goal is to prevent the Man in Black from leaving the island. This seems smart at first, given that he's an invincible immortal mass-murderer and, at one point, Widmore even claims that the Man in Black's release will result in the end of the world. But then "Across the Sea" aired, which shows that the Mother was deadset on her son's not escaping even before he became a Smoke Monster. So basically, she's just trying to keep him on the Island because she's possessive and crazy. And then, in the finale, the Man in Black becomes human again, but all the characters still think they have to stop him, and eventually kill him. Except for, of course, he's human again, and there's no real danger if he does escape. Admittedly, Jack went after him to avenge his friends, but still, when you think about it, the reason the Man in Black has been trapped this whole time is ONLY because his "Mother" was an obessed possessive bitch.
The intelligent, manipulativesociopath is "no real danger" just because he doesn't have superpowers. We really think that, the community who worships Xanatos and Ben Linus?
In episode 16, "Outlaws", one of Sawyer's flashbacks reveals that his mother ordered him under his bed so his father would think he was at his grandparents' house. After killing his wife, Sawyer's father enters his son's room and shoots himself. But why would he go there unless... Suddenly it seems Mrs. Ford made the right choice to have her son hide.
Which makes the fact that Sawyer expends so much time and energy in the pursuit of Anthony Cooper, who he blames (rightly) for the death of his family, rather sad, considering that Mr. Ford had likely intended to kill Sawyer after he killed Mary Ford and before he killed himself. Sawyer was seemingly trying to avenge a man who was going to kill him as a child anyway.
So, Ben and The Others kill the Dharma village? The one where the people running the experiments live? The one getting resupplied by those air drops? Well, if the Dharma village is dead, who is running the experiments? Is Dharma on the mainland getting any data from the island? Well, why do they bother to keep up the resupply effort into the Losties time?
The Epilogue actually featured Ben going around the mainland, telling Dharma employees that their services were no longer needed due to "new management." Apparently Jacob was sloppy.
This is how the polar bears and the sharks got loose.
So the Island is in the real world, where supernatural events can and do happen. But Purgatory has no magic at all? How the hell does the Afterlife come across as more mundane than than the real world?
The point of the afterlife was for the characters to sort out the many issues they had in life. Supernatural events prevented them from doing that in life, so having supernatural events in the afterlife would really unnecessarily prevent them from that goal AGAIN.