ABC Clarifies “Lost” Ending

Warning: SPOILERS ahead for the final moments of “Lost.” If you haven’t seen it and don’t want to know, please turn back now.

Sunday night as “Lost” faded to its conclusion, some fans were thrown a loop by images of the wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815 sitting on the beach. The images, played over the closing credits, led many fans to believe that the survivors of the flight hadn’t actually survived by had been dead the whole time.

Apparently that wasn’t the intention of writers Damon Lindelof and Carleton Cuse. The images were put in by ABC to ease the transition for the final moments of the show to your local news.

Maybe ABC forgot that fans of the show are a bit obsessed and tend to analyze every last details and morsel of the show.

To the end, the network has issued a clarification and apology.

An ABC spokesperson wrote in an email Tuesday: “The images shown during the end credits of the Lost finale, which included shots of Oceanic 815 on a deserted beach, were not part of the final story but were a visual aid to allow the viewer to decompress before heading into the news.”


  1. notme says

    I think they were dead since the bomb went off. How else could have Juliet’s body have survived the blast?

    I think the final season (both island and “sideways”) took place in the “afterlife” when they were all dead.

  2. says

    I prefer to think it was intentional and that there were no survivors, not even poor Vincent. That scenario allows the past six years to make a lot more sense then thinking they did survive and actually physically experienced all those flash forwards and flash sideways.

  3. says

    To notme: I think Jack’s dad, Christian answered that when he responded to his son’s query “What happens now?” with “Jack, here there is no now, everyone has died at some point in their life.”

  4. says

    What I took from that was that what happened from the beginning of the series to the moment Jack closed his eyes that last time, all happened as portrayed. Why else would they all remember the events between the crash and the final showdown? All the flashbacks, flash-forwards, all of that can be mapped out in a sequential timeline with little or no difficulty.

    (As for the bomb? The bomb goes off, the explosion is contained by the pocket of electromagnetic/temporal energy at the Swan site. This provides the energy to revert all the Losties back to their true time. Subsequently, back in 1977, the Dharma folks seal the anomaly, now with extra radiation, behind the concrete wall that the Losties found in the Swan Station in season 2. But the effects are still felt, because women on the island are unable to successfully deliver children if conception takes place on the island…something that was only true after the Incident.)

    Once Jack closed his eyes and passed on, that’s when the “sideways” world comes into play. While the characters worked out many of their issues on the island, they still had lingering issues to resolve. They were resisting the need to let go of those issues and move on. Which is why the line of demarcation, for me, is that initial scene in the “sideways” timeline when the plane shakes, Jack grips the arm rests for dear life, and Rose turns to him and says, “It’s OK to let go.”

    Of course, YMMV…;)

  5. KG from DC says

    All the bomb did was propel them forward to the present. So coupled with the power of the isalnd, she wasn’t obliterated in the explosion, she died of the wounds from her fall and being crushed by the beams. It was interesting that when Juliet said, “It worked” was a reference to her in the afterlife when she helped Det. Sawyer get the candybar. Ha! I also like that when Desmond removed the “cork” and wasn’t transported to the sideways universe, it was because he just MISINTERPRETED the sidewyas universe. That was when I realized what the sideways universe was… well, that and the convo between Desmond and Eloise.

    Awesome ending.

    It’s funny listening to people who never watched the show, but watched the LAST episode and complain because they didn’t “get it.” No, really?

  6. ALibertarian says

    I thought the “alternate” ending on the Jimmy Kimmel show after LOST (with Bob Newhart) made as much sense as the real ending.

    There are so many things that this bogus ending lets them just ignore. I’m not just disappointed but pretty angry at all the wasted time.

    I was at a DragonCon panel a couple of years ago with the writers where they claimed they had the basics of the story arc completed before the show even went on the air. If this was it, they didn’t do anything original.

  7. Shrew says

    The people in the church were all important to each other and died at different times. But they wanted to continue onto the next existence together. So they agreed to meet at the church after they had all died.

    Jack’s father said some things that I think were supposed to be taken as truth. He told Jack he (Jack) was real and that everything that ever happened to him was real. Jack asked him if the people in the church were all dead. His father said everyone dies some time. Some before you, some long after you. I think he was talking about the people in the church because Jack goes on to ask why they are all here now. His father answers “Well, there is no now here” and he looks around with his eyes as if to indicate he is talking about where they are standing. Jack asks where they are. Christian answers that this is a place that you all made together so that you could find one another and that they were moving on.

    Perhaps because Ben and Michael had killed people they couldn’t move on. Ben said to Locke that he had some things he had to work out so he was staying a while. Remember Michael saying he had to stay on the island because of what he had done? I think they died at different times because when Kate met Jack outside the concert she told him she had missed him although he didn’t know who she was yet.

    I don’t think the flash sideways was real. Locke told Jack he didn’t have a son. Locke woke up and was able to move his feet immediately after the surgery. He was able to get up and later walk. That wouldn’t be possible if it has been real.

    I think the island was real. When they were at the church, Hurley told Ben he was a great number two and Ben told him he was a great number one referring to the island. I believe Jack died on the island after plugging the hole. Lapidis, Sawyer, Kate, Claire and the others made it off the island in the plane, led their lives and died later and met at the church.

  8. Kurt_eh says

    So, who else got a Wrath of Khan vibe when Desmond pulled the lid off the warp drive? Erm, I mean uncorked the Island. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Bob says

    I have some theories on these issues myself. First off, the Bomb. All that happened after the time jumping had been over for several years, and the past group had been happily living on the island for quite some time. However I think that there was one final time jump that happened right BEFORE the bomb went off. If you remember the time jumps were always accompanied by that bright white flash of light which was brilliant on the part of the makers of the show, since that bright white light was misinterpreted as the bomb going off.

    Now as for the Sideways universe, which I think I would call Purgatory… I’m fairly sure that time doesn’t move the same in that world that it does in the real world, so people there don’t arrive at the same time. They were always there, just waiting to remember what happened to them on the island so that they could let go and move on. So when Desmond saw that place, after the electromagnetic experiment, it was actually more akin to a near death experience, then when he came back to the real world he mistook it for some kind of alternate reality, but I think that the OTHER version of himself, the one in Purgatory, knew that it wasn’t so. From that point forward he tried to help everyone to realize what that place was, and get them to remember, knowing that none of it was really real, in the literal sense.

    Then the Brothers: This part I think I KINDA

  10. Bob says

    … er, sorry. Kinda understood.

    So Jacob and the Dark Brother, (DB for short) used to play this game, for which DB had made up the rules. They Jacob made up another game, one where he would bring certain people to the island, specific candidates, which DB could try to get to kill one another, but could not kill himself, or it would be considered cheating. This is where it gets a little difficult to verbalize; DB and Jacob took the game so seriously, that even after Jacob died, DB was still following the rules. Thanks to the “compulsion” laid upon them by their “mother” (which I think was just a story she told them, and they believed) they could not kill one another. So instead DB had to get someone else to Kill Jacob, in this case Ben.

    But here’s what I don’t get: How did he become the Smoke Monster? Why didn’t Jack become one? Why did DB become mortal when the plug was pulled? What was up with the temporal distortions, in getting to the island, or the time jumps? Why did the statue have only 3 toes? What was under that plug? How did Richard become Immortal, which also ended when the plug was pulled? What is the correlation between the Numbers and the Names of the Candidates on the wall and the numbers for the Button under the Hatch? Am I the only one who noticed that a lot of the numbers of the main characters were the same as the numbers in the hatch? Hurley’s numbers that is? Who are the “Others” other than just a bunch of people who live in a Temple? What was up with the Resurrection water? What exacly happened to Siyed? Did Desmond ever get off the island? Did Hurley get Jacob’s Magical Powers to time travel, and control certain things on the island? How much of the mystical rules, were just plot contrivances, and which were set in place beforehand, so that the writters could use them as tools to tell the story? In short, What the Heck is Up with that Island?

  11. jay says

    I love the ending of lost, it leaves those sci-fi geeks with little faith scratching and clawing for answers… They need to consider this:

    The ending underscores the whole point, just have faith, in the end, it’s whats important.

    Time travel, polar bears, black smoke, none of it matters, none of it is important, whats important… is the relationships you form, who you’ve helped, and where you’re going.

    That’s it. That’s the message, and all the speculation in the world, will never explain how the island moves, who the others are, or how it all started, because trying to explain it, misses the point. Which is the point.

    The message of Lost is… Don’t be (lost) looking for answers to questions that don’t matter. Seek the truth to the important ones, and all else will become meaningless.

    and the brilliance of the approach in Lost is that it really doesn’t matter what faith you channel your energy toward in seeking the answers, just pick one and do it.

    That’s why they have characters from every corner of the globe. The search is universal. The different faiths are channels to the same answers.

  12. Walt says

    You guys really need to get out more often and get a real life. Obsessing over a frickin TV show demonstrates y’all have real emotional issues.

  13. Kyle Nin says

    I never thought the images of the crashed plane were part of the episode. When the word “LOST” comes up, that’s the end of the episode. Anything else is just extra (of course, usually, they show previews during that time, but since this was the last episode …)

  14. Emily1999 says

    I would almost rather ABC said nothing at all. You are right fans of the show are obsessed with every last detail of the show. This whole idea was terrible on ABC’s part. I spent the finale in Brooklyn with 4 or 500 or people, enjoying the experience and watching this amazing tribute band Previously On Lost. Lot’s of people starting talking about it right away and it added to the fun. This apology is kind of lame. Either way I will miss the show so much and all the unanswered questions. BTW the band is rad, they write music recapping all the episodes. Found them here:

  15. Marshal says

    The only dealth/purgatory stuff was the sideways timeline of this last season. Everything on the island and the flash backs and flash forwards really happened. I didn’t see that as too hard to understand. I think people are looking past the mark about this.

  16. Martha says

    I am with Bob. Too many unanswered questions.
    Life is suppose to be for finding answers to your questions, before moving on.
    How could Lost move on when they left to many unanswered questions?
    The end was too open ended for my liking and the story line was too sketchy for my liking.
    Yes, we are suppose to use or imagination and knowledge to connect the dots, but I couldn’t connect some of them, so the picture was unclear to make a sure choice of the solution.
    I am not religious and to people that faith is the answer to everything, is just their way of resolving the story line to fit into their way of perceiving the world.
    My personal opinion is and what I could conclude, is life isn’t necessarily what you perceive it to be.
    It was unfortunate that the ending, seemed so faith based (the church concept), not giving a factual, scientific explanation of the island and all the weird things that happened there.
    Sorry to say I think Lost, lost it at then end. At least for me.

  17. Pete says

    I agree with Martha, the ending was lame. The whole point about creating mystery and questions is so that the dots can in some way become connected. I think Lost was more about creating questions than actually answering them… I agree with Bob…. there was far too much unanswered, and Bob just mentioned 2% of it… I’m sure if we reviewed every episode 1 by 1 we will remember all the unanswered questions stockpiling. But by the end of it I guess the producvers didnt care.. they had made their money by then…

  18. whocares says

    I felt like I just spent 6 years being conned – that is until I realized what I think is the real truth to the whole copout ending of LOST – the producers wanted to go out on top at the end of season 5 – they decided to end it at that time and announced it, made preparations, etc. In writing season 6 I believe they came up with some of the most brilliant writing they ever had – but it was just too late – that’s why even though they had said they wouldn’t end it with an ending like -it was only a dream – or something to that effect – they came just as close – they are probably not talking about the ending because they are bummed too – hat’s off to Jimmy Kimmel –

  19. John says

    I would have been happier with the Bob Newhart ending or even a good Pam and Bobby shower scene. I think the best ending would have been for another nuke to go off but more of a MOANs. Have the glowing light at the bottom of the well be a reactor core or something and then as it is uncovered, the camera would do a rapid withdrawal through the forest and continue on until the island was a distant shot in the ocean. Then suddenly you see a small flash followed by a massive mushroom cloud. I think that would have been a fitting end to the last 6 years I wasted watching it.

  20. Steve says

    Can’t anyone who LOVES the ending just see the truth? The writers had to keep a show about people on an island on the air with high ratings for 6 years. They kept all of us tuning in for 2 reasons. 1. The great characters…we cared for them. and 2. The shocking, mysterious, happenings. I firmly believe that the writers threw everything including the kitchen sink into 120 hours of the show to keep people tuning in every week. The draw of our love for the characters and our desire to find out the ‘answers’ translated in ratings = $$$. It’s a GD business people. As you go back and watch the DVDs and you think things will finally make sense, I predict you’ll see the raw truth. There are so, so many inconsistencies, rabbit holes, etc. and the reason lots of people are pissed off is this: They see that the writers JERKED them around for the sake of $$$ and ratings. Those of you who aren’t bothered by it are more character oriented and perhaps massaged by your own faith in your life. The proof that Damon and Carleton are loser, idiot writers is this: 1. a vast number of fans are still totally confused….and 2. a vast number of fans get the ending and see it for what it is: a cop-out of major TV writing proportions because they could NOT finish the show and have it make sense…so let’s all go to church…all the mysteries don’t matter…no, they just kept us watching for 6 years, dummy! Go to my page and become a member…lots of good stuff on it..!/pages/I-Hated-The-Bogus-Ending-Of-LOST-And-Want-A-6-Year-REFUND-Of-Time-Wasted/124349837588288?ref=ts

  21. Thomas says

    Actually, on a show with no 100% definitive answers on the world that its characters were portrayed, every viewer has a right to their own interpretation of the show AND the words communicated by its makers. As for elements of faith and science, both can lead you into wars, sometimes by its deciples sometimes by its counterparts, but for this show, its just paid theatre and we must ‘let go, and move on’ because of a number of us cannot live together in our opinions of it.

  22. Wenky says

    The stained glass window in the church depicting the six major religions made it clear to me that the writers didn’t have a clue as to what they were doing. They threw in the kitchen sink as Steve said, going for the shotgun effect, hoping that we’d all find some meaning. It was an irresponsible ending, a cop out, the lowest common denominator, insulting to our intelligence. Shame on them.

  23. says

    Sure, Steve…those of us who loved a particular piece of fiction are the self-delusional ones. Not the guy that has devoted time and effort on a Facebook page, and spamming the internet to solicit members, to complain because he didn’t like the end of someone else’s story. Sure.

    Let me ask a simple question: if I’m happy about the ending and continue talking about it because it makes me happy to discuss it with other happy people, and you’re pissed about it and continue wailing about it because you just keep getting more and more pissed, who is the one more likely to have a stroke over a TV show?

  24. Tejaswi says

    Ok Guys here’s my take

    The island is real. And its purgatory. Or smthn like that. Its a place for lost souls to wander or, ultimately move on. It has always been that. Untill jacob makes a mistake and creates the smoke monster. Then the island became smthn more then just purgatory. It became the place where the devil lived and where it needed to. Forever. Jacob brought people to the island to find his replacement. Or whatever. Some of these people got inquisitive. And built a dharma initiative. They were actually already dead. The plane crashed the island because Jacob wanted it to and not because desmond pushed the button. The sideways flash was just another dimension in the afterlife, since we all know the afterlife is infinite. The nuclear bomb went off and lead them to believe they never crashed. But it was all part of the plan to help them to be together again, and to understand their relationships. Locke was right. They were not supposed to leave. There WAS no LEAVE. There was just the moving on thingy. And they werent ready for it yet.

    In the end, the devil was vanquished, everyone “woke up” and got together. They were chosen because each of them were lonely. They died alone.
    But they moved on together. Which was the WHOLE point of the series. To be together and find ur loved one. To be in that infinite afterlife together.

    And that my friends, is what LOST was all about. They FOUND each other in the end


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