I didn’t find out until yesterday that images of the original Oceanic Flight 815 were shown over the credits of the Lost finale on Sunday night. Up here in Canada we rarely get the same promos for next week’s episodes or sometimes even the same credits as the shows broadcasted in the United States. So I was surprised to hear that a lot of people were very confused by the images of the plane crash on the beach that they saw after the final title card appeared at the end of the finale.
While I was watching the last few minutes of the finale I was a bit confused. My first thought was that Christian Shepherd meant that the whole island was purgatory. I actually found myself shouting at the TV “but the showrunners promised that the island wasn’t purgatory!” And I suspect those images didn’t help anyone who still believes this (because apparently a lot of people do). But ten seconds after the finale ended, I got the real point of the last few scenes.
So let’s be clear: everything that happened on the island, happened. All of it was real. The Oceanic plane crash, the polar bears, the Others, the deaths of people like Boone and Ana Lucia, the hatch, the time travel to the 1970s, the Dharma Initiative…all of that was real. The only thing that wasn’t real (or, at least, that was purgatory or the afterlife) was the sideways world.
You can go right ahead and completely disregard those photos, because the Lost showrunners didn’t even include them in the show – the network did. According to the LA Times:
“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,” an ABC spokesperson wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.
So what do those crash photos mean? Absolutely nothing. Unlike every image, book, quote, hieroglyph and facial tick that appeared in Lost that we’ve all discussed to death over the last six years, those last few photos meant absolutely nothing. And thank God for that, because the finale was confusing enough.