Hubby and I are/were complete Lost fanatics! For 6 years we have been watching Lost and I have to say it has been very emotional wasting those 100 odd hours of our life, but worth it :) 6 years ago was when we first met and became an 'item' so Lost has been that extra bit special for that reason too.
I know a lot of Lost fans are saying the finale was a disappointment but I have to disagree. Yes a lot of things were not explained like the numbers and what happened to Walt? But I really loved the way they tied it up. Lost would not be Lost without some unanswered questions and some leeway to allow us to make up our own minds. And anyway, when dealing with themes such as life, purgatory and the afterlife there is only so much the writers can achieve. A lot of it is down to symbolism and individual belief systems, for none of us really know what is waiting.
Here is how I saw it:
The plane did crash on the island and there were survivors, the life they were living on the island was real, if you like. Jack's dad, Christian, even mentions that the island was real. However the 'sideways flash' life they were living (where Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 landed in Los Angeles instead of crashing on the island) was purgatory.
In Purgatory the characters needed to meet each other in order to remember and 'let go'. For most of them it was love that allowed them to remember and let go. As Lock says to Jack 'you don't have a son'...Jack had a son in the sideways (purgatory), even though he was childless during his life (eg on the flight and the island). Jack invented and needed David (his imaginary son) to be able to reconcile his issues with his own father, which was the one thing keeping him from moving on.
Benjamin Linus doesn't go into the church at the end because he has still not moved on and forgiven himself for the deaths of Rousseau and Alex. In the sideways, Ben is Alex’s history teacher and joins her and her mother for dinner, becoming for a moment part of their family. Ben obviously needs a bit more of this experience (although a fantasy) before he can forgive himself and join the rest of the group in moving on to the afterlife. Or another thought of mine is perhaps he is scared he is going to hell or what the 'afterlife' holds for him?
I think a lot of people are getting confused by what was real and what was purgatory (a stop gap) because of the concept of 'time' during the show. Time is a central theme which runs throughout and as Christian explains at the end 'there is no now'. So although Hurley and Ben were left on the island at the end and Kate etc managed to get off the island, everyone eventually dies. Perhaps they lived until old age, when they die is irrelevant because everyone eventually dies. So although we saw all the characters at the end reunited in the church it does not mean they all died at the same time and at that age.
Another issue with time which seems to have left a few people questioning things was the bomb going off. The sideways wasn’t the result of the Oceanic plane crash, or the Season 5’s nuclear bomb detonation. The bomb served a useful purpose, but it didn't kill everyone – it propelled the characters from 1977 to 2007 to defeat smokey and protect the island.
There are a lot of things in between which I still haven't had time to ponder such as the Dharma Initiative etc but I only watched it last night so these are my first thoughts.
I might just have to waste another 100 or so hours of my life and watch it all again now!