They All Died on the Plane Crash, and It’s OK
They all died on the crash of Flight 815. Of course they did! There was no way they could have survived plummeting 40,000 feet. HOWEVER, the island has a way of re-animating the dead. I believe that Jacob brought the candidates to the island to defeat MIB. Bringing them to the island meant having them perish in a horrific plane crash and then reviving them to carry out their mission. One part of their mission was to defeat MIB, the other was to find redemption. Part of finding redemption was helping each other (No Exit channeled as Live Together, Die Alone). When the mission was completed, they all met up in the church and moved on.
Here is some of the supporting evidence for my theory.
1. There was no way they could have survived the initial crash.
2. The last shot over the closing credits was the wreckage of 815 – with no survivors. I checked to make sure it was not Lapidus' Ajira flight, and I saw the Oceanic logo.
3. In Season 4, “Confirmed Dead,” Richard Abbadon assured Naomi Dorrit that there were no survivors of Flight 815
4. In season 5, “Some Like It Hoth,” Naomi tells Miles that she wants to recruit him to find someone on an island that “has a number of deceased individuals residing on it.” (More on this later)
5. There are numerous other references to the Island being hell or the afterlife. One example: Season 3, “The Man from Tallahassee” and “The Brig,” where Anthony Cooper tells Locke that he remembers being in a car accident (read – he died) and waking up on the Island, which he thinks is hell.
6. There are numerous examples of people being resurrected on the Island. Not just Locke as MIB, but Mikhail’s numerous rebirths, Jin surviving the freighter explosion, Frank Lapidus surviving the sub explosion, anyone surviving the detonation of Jughead.
WALKABOUT AS A LONG CON
Reading the series as a whole from the perspective that the characters all died in the crash of Oceanic 815 reveals “Walkabout,” one of the greatest LOST episodes ever, as a masterful long con by the writers. What made “Walkabout” such a fantastic episode at the beginning of season one was the reveal that John Locke was in a wheelchair. That badass John Locke was in a wheelchair before coming to the Island (!), we thought. How cool is that?!? The beauty of this reveal is that the audience’s level of willingness to suspend disbelief was so strong that by marveling and wondering at John Locke’s “cure” on the island we missed what was staring us in the face from the start: all of the characters miraculously recovered from the death and shattered bones that surely resulted from the crash of Oceanic 815. “Walkabout” was the beginning of a fantastic long con that the writers perpetrated on the audience for six years. Misdirected into being awestruck at the rather small detail of John Locke’s recovery, because Locke had been in a wheelchair, we overlooked the equally implausible recovery of the rest of the “survivors.”
MISDIRECTED IN SOME LIKE IT HOTH
Some Like it Hoth was the Miles-centric Season 5 episode where we learned how Miles came to the island. It includes the following exchange between Naomi and Miles where we see Naomi recruiting Miles for the freighter:
NAOMI: I’m leading an expedition to an island. And on the island is a man that will be very difficult to find. That’s why I need you.
MILES: Need me for what?
NAOMI: This island has a number of deceased individuals residing on it. And as this man is the one responsible for them being deceased we believe they can supply invaluable information as to his whereabouts.
This exchange suggests two things in the light of the series finale. First, the statement that “a number of deceased individuals” are “residing” on the island may readily be interpreted to include our LOSTies who perished in the crash of Oceanic 815 and who are now running around in reanimated form. Second, in this scene we are led to believe that Naomi is recruiting Miles to help look for Ben. But I think the man “very difficult to find” is actually Jacob. Jacob was surely responsible for the LOSTies being deceased (he brought them to the island via plane crash), and the LOSTies, as his candidates, could very well be the key to finding him. At this point we have to assume that Naomi was working for Charles Widmore. Jacob told Widmore what to do after the freighter blew up (and killed any remaining living persons on it).
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHERS?
So I can see some of the questions of this theory. What about the Others? And the Dharma initiative?? And the people back home in Season 4??? Were they dead as well? Here’s what I think:
1. The Others and the Dharma Initiative and anyone else who happened upon the Island in a plausibly survivable way – this list might include Desmond - they were alive. They were able to “see dead people” by virtue of being on the Island.
2. The people back home in Season 4 are a little more difficult to explain. However, remember that only Jacob’s candidates were the ones who got away from the island. They were “special,” and the outside world was able to interact with them. But it was kind of funny – for all of their fame and fortune, the Oceanic 6 seemed to be peripheral to the goings-on of the world back home. They were like psychic paper – they registered on people like Jack’s mom and Kate’s housekeeper, but they were never intimately involved with anyone but themselves. The exception to this rule is perhaps Nadia and Sayid. Then again, that relationship was all-too short-lived.
BUT WHAT ABOUT CHRISTIAN?
In one of the final scenes of the finale, in the church, Christian tells Jack that his fellow LOSTies were “the most important people in your life.” While you could interpret this to mean that Jack was alive during his time on the Island, you can also say that Christian’s interpretation of “life” is not limited to the time spent before Jack’s mortal death on Oceanic 815. It could include his resurrected experience on the island.
SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
I think it will take some time to think through exactly what all of this means for the story of LOST, and the six years we spent with the series. I think it’s a pretty good ending. I don’t hate it, I think the writers handled it well, but I need more time to process it. They generated the buzz they hoped for with this ending – LOST’s ending will become one of those iconic endings like the Newhart ending and the Soprano’s ending. I don’t think that the first six seasons never happened, I think that our LOSTies lived a resurrected life for six seasons on the Island.