So, the final episode is now a thing of the past, and the biggest thing I now realize is: the vast majority of people in the world are miserable, idiots, or a combination of both.
Looking at some message boards and comments on Twitter and Facebook, the feedback from the finale tends to come into three categories.
1) "Thank goodness LOST is over. I never watched it --or I watched it in the first season then stopped -- and I'm sick and tired of people talking about it. Good riddance!"
To these people, I say, what's your problem? It's a television show meant to entertain people. If you didn't watch it, then why do you care one way or the other about it coming to an end? Your life is no different today than it was yesterday.
The only reason to be so angry is that you're jealous that other people were able to take enjoyment out of something and that clearly you need to find something in your own life to get excited about.
Yes, some people take fandom a bit too far and may become obsessive about shows like LOST, but that's still no reason for someone who doesn't watch the program to develop such hatred for it. Indifference I get, but anger? Get a life, will ya?
2) "Huh? What the heck was that ending? They were dead the whole time? WTF? These writers suck!"
Some of these comments come from people who didn't watch the series on a regular basis, and simply tuned in to "see how it turned out" so they could be part of the water-cooler chatter this morning. I'll dismiss those. After all, you can't be expected to take a 300-page novel, read the first chapter and then the last three pages and expect to "get it."
But for those who actually watched the series on a regular basis and still don't understand the ending… I don't get you.
Spoon-feed me the answers, please.
No, they didn't all die in the plane crash in the pilot episode. How do I know this? Because Jack's Dad actually said so without any equivocation in the coffin scene with Jack. He explained that everything that happened on the island actually happened.
He also clearly stated that everyone there is dead - because everyone eventually dies. He also added that some died before Jack did, and some died long after he did. The Flash Sideways may well have been a sort of "waiting room" or Purgatory, but the whole six seasons of the show were real.
I have no issue if you didn't like this "final reveal" or didn't understand HOW this alternate universe was created. But if you're going to yell at the show's writers for "wasting six years of your life because they were dead the whole time" when the show spelled it out so clearly that's not what happened, then you really should stick to shows like "Two and a Half Men" where piped in laughter and other audience cues can fill in for your own listening skills.
3) Finally, we get to the last, rational group of comments - the "I liked it" or "I hated it" opinions, all of which are valid, so long as your sole reason for not liking the ending is that they didn't answer every single question they posed along the run of the series.
What series finale could answer every single question an audience might have? Take M*A*S*H* for example - yes, the war ended and everyone got to say their goodbyes and go home. However, Klinger was staying in Korea to search for his bride's parents. The show didn't tell us if he ever found them.
Similarly, we don't know how any of the characters lived their lives from that point forward. Does Hawkeye ever see B.J. again? Does he go crazy? Does he become chief of surgery somewhere? Who knows? The point is, reunion movies and spinoffs aside, either a show ends in "everyone is dead" or we fade to black and the rest of the characters' lives remain mysteries to us.
So, yes, they are all dead in the church. However, that's not a "cop-out ending" in my opinion. We don't know what happens to the gang on the Ajira flight. We don't know how long Hurley and Ben stay on the island and what they do there. That's not a deal-breaker for me. The show can't go on forever, so at some point, the story has to end.
Emotionally, I think the episode was incredibly fulfilling. We got to see all the characters reach some sort of closure in the alt-universe and each "spark of recognition" was well done and appropriate. From the main plot standpoint, we did achieve resolution of the battle between Jack and the Man in Locke, though I certainly wasn't expecting the "cork in a bottle" metaphor to not actually be a metaphor, but an actual cork in a bottle.
I wish that we got a better understanding of exactly how the Purgatory was created and a little more explanation as to Desmond's gift and what exactly the "rules" of Jacob and Smokey were and why they were what they were… but in the end, this was always a show about the characters.
Mom always said not to push Brother into the magic shiny fountain.
We watched together to see them live together, and in the end, the writers decided that none of them would die alone either.
I think we can all live together with that.