I've only written about Lost a couple of times here on Movie Pilot even though I am huge fan of the show and I think it's one of the best of all time, but that's only because the show has been off the air for years and in reality, there isn't that much to discuss anymore. However, one aspect of the show that was always up for debate years later: The ending.
Lost begins to confuse its audience towards the end of its six season run, especially those who did not binge-watch the show on Netflix or other streaming services such as myself. The ending shows the majority of the main cast in a church where they move onto heaven. The producers had purposely left the ending on a cliffhanger, and have since produced an assortment of plausible-to-ridiculous theories.
One popular theory was that everyone died in the plane crash of the pilot and what we see on the show is nothing more than a dream; a mirage. Fortunately, this theory has been debunked this weekend by none other than the main antagonist on the show and arguably one of the best television villains our TV screens have ever screened: Benjamin Linus, played by Michael Emerson.
Michael Emerson Confirms And Explains That Ending
Over the weekend, the cast and crew of The Walking Dead attended the annual Walker Stalker Convention in their show's backyard of Georgia. TV's most popular series owns that convention, but before The Walking Dead dominated cable TV, there was Lost, which ended only months before The Walking Dead made its series debut in 2010.
During a panel, Michael Emerson confirmed what is true and not true about the series finale of Lost and offered his perspective of what the finale truly meant. Six and a half years later, he gave the most clear answer we've gotten regarding the controversial ending to the hit series.
Basically, Emerson just denied the theories of thousands of fans who believed they all died on the island after the plane crash. Personally, this is music to my ears as it makes the show feel a lot more grounded and unless there was a much bigger explanation, it wouldn't make sense to have a "dream sequence" otherwise. Emerson expands with what seems to be an explanation of how the rest of the cast and crew interpreted the finale — and it is very relieving to hear a final answer:
"The ending is way in the future. Years, centuries, millennia have past. We're in an anti-chamber to the hereafter, to eternity, if you will. All the characters on the show have come here to celebrate the end of life. They're all gonna pass through to a happy afterlife.
Just as in a Shakespeare, everybody goes two by two. It's couples. That's because, I think, by the rules of 'Lost,' you can only pass into heaven (if you want to call it that) with a mirror redeemer. With someone who has loved you without reservation. For yourself.
"Everybody had that, I think, except for Benjamin Linus, that's why he can't go. That's why he has to wait. He needs to find his mirror redeemer."
After debating the meaning behind the show's finale for years, an answer has finally been given. The island was real and that everything we saw happen on there was real. Besides the sixth and final season where they begin to include the sideways timeline, all the events took place in real time.
The Island was Real is Confirmed
The most popular explanation for the ending of Lost was the fact that the island served as purgatory and that the castaways could only move onto heaven when they have made up for their sins. While it isn't exactly "purgatory" itself, some of those Shakespearian themes crossed over on to the show when dealing with the passing onto heaven. Michael Emerson does every viewer of the show a big favor by confirming this and then elaborating on it further.
In Season 6, every character who was still alive went through a complete character arc which ended up with them redeeming themselves by doing a good deed and then they were able to die and pass onto heaven. This also explains why Ben Linus stayed back to watch the island as he was the one character who did not have a mirror redeemer. The idea of purgatory has been around forever and Lost did a spectacular job representing the concept on the small screen, even though it didn't sit well with the whole entire audience. Even though Christian explains the ending to Jack in the church during the final ten minutes of the series, the ending still manages to confuse people to this day and it's refreshing to get some extra clarification from an original cast member.
How do you guys feel about Emerson's explanation of the ending of 'Lost'?
What do you guys think? Is purgatory a good explanation for the ending of LOST? Discuss below!