I just realized I haven't posted on Lost yet this season, but if there were ever an episode to post about, last night's would be the one. Spoilers, of course.
The obvious place to start is at the end of the episode, which was really quite shocking to me. I think I said something like "Kate? What? Shit, this is the future?!" when she walked out of the car. So should I be taking this for what it appears to be? A flash forward? (Isaac pointed out that the funeral parlor Future Jack went to was called "Hoffs Drawlar," which is an anagram for "Flash Forward.") But is it truly the future in a linear sense? Or are we dealing with some alternate universe/story Ben has told Jack about the future that we haven't seen happen yet/fear dream of Jack's related to his decision?
Throwing me off of the theory that it is a linear flash forward were Jack's allusions to his father being alive. Sure, saying that the prescription was from Dr. Christian Shepherd and not Dr. Jack Shepherd wasn't an indication that Christian was alive, but Jack also told the Chief of Surgery (Mike Cannon from Las Vegas, played by James Lesure--of course, I didn't realize that 31 year olds made Chief of Surgery at large LA hospitals) that he should track down Jack's dad to see who was drunker. One would think the Chief would be aware of whether Jack's dad was dead. Or was this just drunken, angry rambling on Jack's part?
And if this is a linear flash forward, or even some alternate universe, will we be seeing more in the future? I guess we know that Jack and Kate make it off of the island, and so does the person in the coffin, assuming that s/he was also an island dweller (a reasonable assumption). Two people I spoke with have guessed it was Michael, which may make particular sense given the race of the funeral director and the fact that Michael never had much money off-island and the funeral parlor was in a poorer area. However, Michael was a NYC inhabitant, so I'm not so sure (although I found this enhanced blow-up of the article and it appears to say the person was from New York in it, which would definitely bolster the case of it being Michael, although it also appears that the person's name starts with a "J."). And I would think Walt would attend his father's funeral, assuming he made it out. My initial thought when I saw Kate was that the person in the coffin was Sawyer, but when Kate said that she should go home because "he" was going to wonder where she was, I assumed that "he" was actually Sawyer.
What does the flash forward mean? That Ben and Locke are right and they never should have left the island? (Although Ben couldn't totally be right, if he said that Jack would be responsible for killing all of his people.) That Jack just can't handle life when he gets back? I know he isn't that popular among viewers, but I like Jack, and I don't want our hero to end up a broken man. He actually had quite a few Charlie Salinger moments in there, particularly when he told the Chief that he couldn't be helped. Just like when Charlie had cancer. Poor Jack/Charlie.
And speaking of Charlies, there is, of course, Charlie Pace. Poor, poor Charlie. We knew it was going to happen, and I have to admit to shedding a few tears. But why did it have to happen in that way? The entire time he was locked in the room, Gobo kept saying "why doesn't he just swim out of the window?" Which would have made sense, particularly because drowning is apparently a really bad way to go. It doesn't make sense that he wouldn't at least try to do what he could to escape. Of course, he did use up precious time by giving Desmond his final message, although one would have hoped he could have provided a little more information for Desmond--particularly, from whom he learned that it wasn't Penny's boat.
But Isaac had an even better point, which was that Charlie could have actually left the little room he was in before the Russian blew it open and instead closed the door from the outside, where there was SCUBA equipment. I write this off as Charlie never being the brightest bulb.
A ton more happened. Walt (who apparently is taking the antidote to the drugs Eyeliner Guy must be taking) talking to Locke. In...real life? A vision? Using his special powers? Naomi not being sent by Penny, meaning her people could be exactly what Ben says they are, or something else entirely. Bernard totally caving in, which pissed me off to no end. First off, they should have never let Bernard--an unproven guy who isn't physically fit (remember the trouble he had trekking from the Tailies' area to the beach?) and hasn't been in a fighting situation before, or even gone on a "mission" with the other Losties--be one of the three shooters. But even once they did, would he really give up his wife and everyone else to save Jin? I didn't think he would have done that to Rose. Sure, I believed it when he ran, but not when he gave the information so readily. And why did Ben order his people not to kill Jin, Sayid and Bernard? I have to admit, one of my happiest moments during the episode was when Hurley saved the day. I was so proud of him. (The other was when Rousseau elbowed Ben.)
This doesn't even address all of the other questions that have arisen during this season, most prominently who/what is Jacob, who can see or hear him, why is he in that shack, and what is his power?
And so we now have to wait eight more months until the next episode and maybe get some answers. I looked back at my post from last season's finale, and although a lot of those questions still haven't been answered, we really did learn a lot. I guess I'll wait to see how much is resolved next season.