I personally believe this has to be one of the greatest endings a TV series has given us. There seems to have been a great divide in the audience with this ending. I think it can be summed up in a simple comparison:
- Those who HATED the ending were looking for answers.
- Those who LOVED the ending were looking for resolution.
And this is a fine line, but in the grand scheme you have to understand the concept as a whole. I don’t think you can single out bits and pieces of the show that you may not understand and need answers to the details to enjoy and be satisfied with the whole. I am in the resolution came, and think the show resolved itself beautifully.
To try and simplify it, the Sideways world is nothing more than their “waiting room” after their death. Everything that happened on the island is what was “real” life. The entire show was not a Purgatory type existence, and I don’t even think the Sideways world was either b/c the characters didn’t have to wrestle or overcome their sins. I think it was more intended of a place to reflect on their life and death and remember what was instrumental and important in that.
What was Dharma? Dharma is what we were told Dharma was. What about polar bears, time travel, Tunisia? The problem for some is the time travel, strange phenomenon and other properties of the island, but I think that’s in the greatness of the show; the writers applied real world theories and science and religion to create this island that somehow had these strange abilities. I think in order to enjoy the show, there has to be some faith or general acceptance of the magical properties surrounding the island, so that you can move on with the story and not get bogged down with the details.
This ending was great the first time, extraordinary the second time and unbelievable the third … i may even go at it a few more times. Each re-watch completes your understanding of how the pieces fit together, and i think makes the show that much more epic. I was thoroughly satisfied with the way LOST wrapped up. This is not to say there aren’t questions I would still like to have answered, but those questions don’t limit me from understanding and enjoying the concept, entertainment and escape the show provided.