(Episode: The End
. Spoilers ahead. Lostpedia synopsis here
It was a satisfying ending, relative to what the show had become.
The flash-sideways eventa are actually a future situation: the "Lost" universe's afterlife, where people exist in a sort of limbo vaguely resembling their former lives, mixed with their hopes and frustrations. When they realize that they're dead and remember their previous lives - something triggered by contact with people with whom they shared their most intense moments in life - they are ready to move on to the undisclosed next phase. (Maybe they're each given their own hatch-riddled island to rule.) Desmond has been arranging for many of the Losties to gather in one spot - Jack being the last to come around - before moving to Phase 2.
In the earthly timeline...
Richard and Miles are on their way to Hydra Island to blow up the plane, but plans change as they discover Frank Lapidus alive in the sub flotsam. Instead of blowing up the plane, they now plan to fly it.
Desmond had been rescued from the well by the Nadlers. They had been avoiding all other human contact, but broke their Prime Directive for this one occasion. MIB and Desmond arrive to collect Desmond upon threat of MIB-inflicted knifely death; Des complies.
They meet up with Jack and his party. Ben secretly lets Jack's people know he's been in radio contact with Richard and his pals, and that they're fixing the plane for flight. They go to the cave. Jack, MIB and Des go in.
Desmond is the only one who can approach the "cork" in the Cave of Light and survive. He does MIB's bidding. The light goes away, the island slowly begins to crumble, and MIB is mortal again.
Jack battles it out with MIB at the cliff and is critically wounded by a knife to the abdomen. MIB struggles to finish the task, but Kate shoots him with a single rifle shot. Jack invokes captain Kirk in Star Trek III and kicks MIB down the cliff.
Sawyer and Kate take the sailboat MIB planned to board and head out to Hydra Island, in radio contact with Miles, Richard and Frank. They catch their departing flight just in the nick of time.
Meanwhile, Jack passes the Guardian torch to Hurley. He has to go in the cave and restore the light, invoking Spock from Star Trek II. He drags unconscious Desmond to the rope, restores the "cork," and Hurley and Linus pull up what they think is Jack but is Desmond. Hurley offers Ben the job as his Number Two.
Jack survives his knifely and electromagnetic injuries long enough to leave the cave, either at a different exit point or some time after Ben and Hurley have left. He collapses among the bamboo, sees the Ajira plane flying safely overhead. Trusty Vincent the Dog comes to be with him at his last moments. Jack dies in joy, accomplishing something that really mattered.
Labels: Lost, Television