Lost recaps: Season 6, Episode 16
‘The End,’ Or: Huh.

Published May 24, 2010 on

This was a very long episode, and this is going to be a pretty rough recap. If you just want answers, skip to the end. My feelings will be a little hurt that you didn't read my oh-so-carefully spurted words, but you can always go back and read the whole thing when you're ready to let go.

Previously: The last episode happened.

On the Island, everyone pretty much runs around, getting their physical bearings. Sawyer volunteers to retrieve Desmond from the well while Jack, Kate and Hurley head to the Source tunnel. When Kate asks why Jack took the job, Jack says it's because it's the only thing in his life he hasn't managed to ruin. "Nothing's irreversible," Kate intones. Hurley: "This would be so sweet if we weren't all about to die." Yep.

Sawyer is intercepted by Ben and NotLocke, who are also looking dumbly at the well. NotLocke and Sawyer poke at each other about destroying the island, which is the first time Ben has considered that NotLocke meant it literally. Sawyer beats up Ben once more for old times' sake, grabs his gun and bolts. NotLocke and Ben follow some dog tracks to... Bernard, Rose and Vincent's cabin! Somehow, Bernard, Rose and/or the luckiest dog in the world got Desmond out of the well; they'll give him breakfast, and then he needs to be on his way, because they don't get involved. Why? I can tell you this one: Because unnecessary drama is bad news. Stuff like this tends to happen: NotLocke appears with his knife and threatens to kill Bernard and Rose if Desmond doesn't come with him. Desmond shrugs and joins NotLocke.

Somewhere along the line, Sawyer catches up with his party. So two groups meet in a clearing on the way to the Source tunnel: Jack's little version of Camp Jacob, consisting of himself, Kate, Hurley and Sawyer; and NotLocke, a quiet Ben and a weirdly cheerful Scotsman. Kate tries to shoot NotLocke; NotLocke suggests she save her bullets. Since they're all heading in the same direction, they decide to go together, with the obligatory cross-talk threats and intonations about ends and death and stuff. Privately, Sawyer asks Jack what's going on. Jack is betting that if Jacob brought Desmond back, he's some kind of a weapon. (Sawyer: "Hell of a long con, Doc." He should know.) At the edge of the bamboo forest, NotLocke strongly suggests that only he, Jack and Desmond continue the rest of the way. It goes without saying that he flashes his knife.

While this is happening, Miles finds Richard by the New Otherton barracks. Richard's dazed, but nothing that will keep him out of the finale. Miles and a twitchy Richard jump into an outrigger and start paddling towards Hydra. Along the way, among some submarine debris, they find Frank, patiently floating on a bunch of life rafts. (Have to say it: Told you so.) New plan: Get to Hydra with Frank, fix the Ajira plane and get the hell off of Dodge. On the Hydra beach, they encounter a brooding Claire, who fires warning shots and declines to come with them.

Jack, NotLocke and Desmond arrive at the tunnel with a plan to find out who's right about life, the island and everything: Lower Desmond over the edge of the waterfall, and have him walk towards the light. Desmond grins and gibbers about how he's going to be going somewhere else, somewhere they can all be with the ones they love and never have to worry about the island again, a place where Oceanic 815 never crashed and Jack seems happy. Jack patiently explains that there are no shortcuts; what happened, happened, and all of this matters. Right, then. Down goes Desmond, while NotLocke and Jack snark to each other about whether or not Original Recipe Locke was right then, and which one is right right now.

At the bottom, Desmond walks past some skeletons to this shining pool with a little carved plinth or something in the middle. For some reason, he decides he has to wade through the pool and remove the pillar, even though he sustains a serious electric shock when he steps into the water. Clearly, he didn't get the memo about the cork and the wine bottle, because when he does? The golden light goes out, replaced by a red one, and flames, and smoke, which seem to be emanating from the vaguely demon-shaped hole the pillar was stopping up. Also, the Island starts shaking. Frequently, and a lot.

Jack and NotLocke duck out of the tunnel for a tussle, and could it be any more obvious that most of those rocks are painted styrofoam? Sorry, back to suspending disbelief. We've come so far; why stop now? Oh, also, NotLocke can suddenly bleed again. He takes a rock, bashes Jack over the head and runs.

A quake topples a tree in the little waiting clearing. Ben pushes Hurley out of the way and finds himself trapped beneath the timber. Kate, Sawyer and Hurley have a tough time moving it, but a radio transmission from Miles apparently gives them the off-screen mojo to move it. Because if they're going to get to Hydra in time for take-of, they're going to need to get on NotLocke's boat.

Jack tracks NotLocke to the cliffs, and they have this epic fight -- and did I mention that this is all at the edge of a freakin' cliff? A cliff which is actually starting to crumble into the sea? A quake results in NotLocke's knife ending up a bit away. The tussle continues. NotLocke regains control of the knife, stabs Jack in the side, draws blood from his throat, and is taunting Jack about dying for nothing when an approaching, pissed off Kate shoots NotLocke. Jack kicks him over the side of the cliff, where he lies, broken and still, on a plateau below.

This does not stop the quakes. If anything, the Island's even more temperamental.

Hurley, Ben, and Sawyer join Jack and Kate. Jack thinks that whatever Desmond turned off, he needs to turn back on; if that doesn't work, everyone really should be on that plane. New plan: Everyone but Jack gets off the Island. Ben declines to leave the Island, and Hurley declares he's with Jack. So Jack and Kate have an epic kiss and love fest good-bye, and Sawyer and Kate head for the boat - which ultimately involves jumping off a cliff, because time's running short: Frank wants to leave the ground while there's still ground to get off. He sends Richard and Miles to fix some hydraulics with a page of instructions and a roll of duct tape. Richard is a bit incredulous, but Miles says perhaps the wisest words ever uttered on this show: "I don't believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape."

Trailed by Ben, Hurley helps Jack back to the Source tunnel. Jack explains that he's going alone. Hurley is aghast: How's Jack going to survive if Desmond didn't make it? Half a second later, Hurley realizes the answer. "Hurley, I'm already dead," Jack patiently explains, clutching his wounded side. "This is the way it happens. This is what I'm supposed to do." Hurley stubbornly insists that the Island needs Jack. Jack thinks it needs Hurley, adding that he believes in Hurley. Hurley agrees to take on the Island, but he's pulling out as soon as Jack comes back. Ben produces a water bottle so Jack can give him a drink from the stream. Jack places a hand on Hurley's shoulder: "Now you're like me."

Hurley and Ben lower Jack, though thanks to another quake, Jack hits the ground with a definite thud. He finds Desmond lying next to the empty pool. Jack starts dragging Desmond back to the rope as Demond explains that the pillar thing needs to go back in the hole at the bottom. Desmond thinks he has to do it himself, but Jack sends Desmond back to be with his wife and son. And Jack? "I'll see you in another life, brother," Jack tells him, and finishes tying the rope around Desmond's waist.

Kate and Sawyer straggle up to the Hydra beach, where Claire is sitting. They can hear Frank starting up the plane. Kate insists Claire come with them, promising to help Claire with her re-entry into the world of sanity and motherhood. The three of them make it to the plane just in the nick of time, joining Richard and Miles in the main cabin. Kate holds Claire's hand, and the plane takes off, just clearing a mountain.

Jack replaces the pillar, then collapses in the empty pool. The red light and fire and smoke continue for a bit, and then the water starts pouring in and the golden light returns. Ben and Hurley pull up what they think is Jack, but is, of course, Desmond. Hurley's a tad distraught, realizing that Jack's gone. Ben, tending to Desmond, explains that Jack did his job -- and now it's Hurley's. "What the hell am I supposed to do?" Hurley cries. Ben suggests he do what he does best: Take care of people, starting by helping Desmond get home. But how, if people can't leave the Island? Well, Ben points out, that's what Jacob thought. Maybe there's a better way. Hurley asks Ben to be his Number Two. Ben is honored.

Jack wakes up on the stream bank. We'll get back to him soon.

That Sideways Timeline

Everyone pretty much runs around, getting their social networking bearings. As they watch Christian's casket being delivered to the church, Desmond won't give Kate any answers about why she's there, though she does get a good laugh out of the name "Christian Shephard." Jack will be late to the concert at the museum, what with operating on Locke, so David will go with Claire and his mother -- Juliet, of course, a fellow doctor at the only hospital in Los Angeles, with whom Jack still has a friendly relationship. WIth Sayid in tow, Hurley picks up the drunk Drive Shaft bassist (a tranquilizer dart is involved), and they all head to the museum. There, Miles catches sight of Sayid and calls the guy I'm still calling Sawyer to check up on Jin and Sun.

Juliet administers an ultrasound to Sun, and she has flashbacks of the ultrasound Juliet gave her on the island. Upon seeing the ultrasound, Jin has similar flashes of their Island life. They suddenly speak perfect English.

Juliet's called back to the hospital, so it's just David and Claire joining Desmond and Kate at table 23 when the concert starts. Kate's a little weirded out about seeing Claire again. Claire is more focused on not giving birth, when she's not wondering why Charlie (who was roused by Charlotte just in time for the show, giving the writers an excuse to have her meet Daniel) is looking at her from the stage. She excuses herself, and Kate follows her to a backstage area, where she almost collapses. Yep, that baby's coming now. Charlie materializes in time for Kate to send him for water and blankets. Kate coaches Claire through the quickest childbirth ever, and they both get flashes of delivering Aaron on the island. Charlie rejoins them with blankets in time to get the rest of his island flashes of Claire and Aaron. The three of them coo at each other. Kate looks kind of blissed out.

Eloise sits beside Desmond, making it clear she's not happy about all this. But Desmond says he won't take Daniel with him, so she doesn't throw a fit or anything.

Locke wakes up from his surgery the second he's in his room, to Jack's consternation and amusement. The fact that Locke can already feel and move his feet? That's just plain weird. But not as weird as those quick flashes Jack gets of Locke watching his foot move on the Island. Also, Jack has another one of those weird cuts on his neck -- which is exactly where Locke's knife cut him on the cliff.

Hurley makes sure that Sayid sees a fight outside a bar and feels compelled to jump out and rescue a damsel in distress. The damsel is Shannon. The fight was orchestrated by Hurley and Boone, who watch as Sayid and Shannon get their own flashes.

When Sawyer finds JIn and Sun at the hospital, they are cheerfully on their way out. Which is kind of weird. Jack points Sawyer to a vending machine for some food. The vending machine promptly eats his dollar, leaving him wrestling the machine for his Apollo bar. Juliet materializes with some suggestions. They touch, and get their flashes, and kiss, and we hear both sides of Juliet's dying mumbles from the season opener, suggesting they go out for coffee, dutch.

Jack arrives at the museum; he runs into Kate, who informs him that the concert's over. He tries to figure out where he knows her from. She reminds him that they were on the same flight, and she stole his pen -- but says that's not where. She touches Jack's face, delivering a few more island flashes. He's seriously freaked out. Kate smiles patiently. "I know you don't understand, Jack. But if you come with me, you will."

Locke arrives at the church via cab. Ben sits outside, looking in. Ben tells Locke that "most of them" are inside. And he apologizes for what he did to Locke: He was selfish and jealous. Locke was special, and he wasn't. "Well, if it helps, Ben, I forgive you," Locke says, and Ben tells him that it does help. Ben opts to "stay here for a while," and tells Locke he probably doesn't need the wheelchair anymore. Ben's right. After Locke goes in, Hurley comes out and invites him in. Ben declines. Before he goes back in, Hurley tells Ben, "You were a real good Number Two." Ben returns that Hugo is a great Number One.

Jack and Kate pulls up at the church -- the church where he was going to have his father's funeral. Kate sends him around the back, and says they'll all be waiting for him inside when he's ready.

In the church, Jack walks into an office or something. There may be a more proper name, but never mind. In any case, the name probably doesn't apply, as this particular church office is decorated not just with crosses, but with a menorah and a stained glass window featuring the symbols of several major world religions. Also, Christian's casket is there. Jack gets more Island flashes when he puts his hands on the casket, from Season One stuff to kissing Kate goodbye. Jack takes a breath, opens the casket, and... it's empty. "Hey, Kiddo," a voice says, and Jack turns to see his father.

(Was anyone who's ever read or seen an epic work of sci fi surprised by that? Every one of them involves a scene near the end when a friendly authority figure summarizes the world. Christian isn't particularly friendly, but he is family, so that will have to be enough.)

Jack starts firing off questions: If Christian died, then how is he here right now?

"How are you here?" Christian asks back.

"I died," Jack realizes, starting to cry. They hug, in a way they probably never did when they were alive. Jack asks if Christian is real. Christian explains that both of them are real -- and that everything that's ever happened to him is real, and all those people in the church are here, too. Jack's caught on the whole "everyone's dead" thing.

"Everyone dies sometime, Kiddo," Christian explains, patiently. "Some of them before you, some long after you." There is no "now" here: "This is a place where that you all made together so you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people." That's why they're here: "Nobody does it alone." They need each other to remember, to let go, to move on. Where are they going? "Let's find out."

Jack and Christian go into the church, where pretty much the whole cast is there, hugging and reuniting. (And by "pretty much the whole cast" I mean everyone from Jack and Locke through Desmond and Penny. Everyone is paired or family united up. The exceptions seem to be Michael, who's stuck on the Island; Walt, who I think has put all this behind him; and Vincent, because dogs probably have a completely different vision of the afterlife. And Mr. Eko, because: Who?)

On the island, Jack staggers through the bamboo. We flash back and forth a few times: Stumble; hugs; straggling; smiling; careening; hand-holding; collapsing. Island Jack lies on the ground among the bamboo, hears a bark: Vincent. Vincent lies down next to Jack. Jack sees the airplane flying overhead and smiles.

Christian walks up the church aisle and opens the door. There's a bright, bright light, that fills the sanctuary, until all we can see is the suffusion of white.

On the Island, Jack's eye closes. As you knew it would.

As the credits roll, we see the rusted remains of Oceanic 815.

The Bad Robot is silent.

So. To sum up: The Sideways world is kind of an afterlife holding area -- not so much Purgatory as a really fancy waiting room -- where everyone hangs out, waiting for their loved ones. All the Sideways coincidences and flashes have been part of the process of these people remembering why they're so important to each other, and of letting go.

The Island was real.

Vincent is the best dog ever, except maybe that one you had when you were a kid.

People are connected.

Everything ends.

I need sleep. I have more to say, but I'm seriously drained.

In the meantime: Thoughts? Questions? Thank-you gifts?

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