This would have been a mind-blowing ending to the show, based upon the strange passage of time on the island and past events:
Tale of Two Cities, S3E1
The fake Henry Gale tells Ethan Rom and Goodwin to each go to one of the crash sites, that Goodwin can make the shore in an hour. They are both instructed to act as survivors in shock. They must come up with an adequate story if they are asked, but stay quiet if they aren't. He tells them: "Listen, learn. Don't get involved." They also must provide him with "a list" in three days. They both run.
My speculated end of show:
Mid air plane crash over island. Locke peers up to the sky. Then he yells, “Jack and Sawyer, there may be survivors.” He then instructs them to go to each crash site and fit in. Listen. Learn. Don’t get involved. “I want a list in three days.” Then Jack and Sawyer run into the jungle.
I was one in the minority of viewers who believed the whole LOST island construct had to be about the after life. In trying to put together the elements, I proposed a complex solution.
D.O.C. = Dead on Crash
The passengers are not in purgatory but Hell. Ben, a minion for the Devil, needs to create “new life” in Hell to form an army to go back through the Gates of Earth to battle Angels from Heaven on Judgment Day. He uses grim reapers like Alpert and Ethan to collect the scientific talent he needs to create his Hellspawn army. However, good and righteous people that have core values rebel against him. In the end, those who sacrifice and battle for good would be rewarded in the end by god (like a new life). The idea of the characters being dead has been reinforced by new characters coming to the island and saying that the 815ers were killed, or they themselves had been killed (Locke’s father was in a car crash.)
Naomi's statement to Hurley is too big to be a red herring. It makes sense that all the passengers died in the crash. But then what happened to them? Many cultures believe that when you die on earth you are re-materialized in either Heaven or Hell. Some cultures believe that you are re-materialized with the possessions around you when you die. Just before a person dies, it is said that that their life "flashes" before their eyes. This could be data collection from a person's memories for the re-materialization in the next realm.
What if the 815ers landed in Hell but don't know it? Hell is supposed to be fire and brimstone. But what if it is an island of psychological fears and tedious eternity is one's penance? (punching in numbers every 108 minutes, staring a TV monitors, watching patients die in OR, running away from Smokey).
In hell, a pregnant woman who dies can come to term; but a woman in hell can't come to term to create a "new" life.
But this little corner of Hell is special because Satan's minions (Ben's business card) are on a special mission: to create new life to go back through the Gate to Earth as the Devil's Hell Spawn army for the Rapture/Judgement Day. Juliet's research is all about creating new life where it should not occur naturally. That is why Ben will never allow her to leave.
So once the 815ers realize that they are "dead," and the evil purpose of the island Others, the epic battle between Good and Evil will occur.
(During the season, I speculated that when Jacob was confronted by Dead Locke at the Tarawet statue, to answer the plea, "they are coming," the cliffs would suddenly be filled with black winged devils ready to begin battle for control of the Island, which was the portal to heaven's gate).
And with various mythologies about the after life, and the LOST characters seemingly in endless missions, quests or tests, more background reasons for this theory:
Hell has seven Lodges, matching the seven Levels of Heaven. Medieval scholars worked out the different kinds sinners allocated to each Lodge, and each sub-section of each Lodge. Satan, naturally, is at the very bottom.
Although many parts of Hell are ablaze with fire, Satan himself dwells in a frozen lake of ice -- at least, according to the poet Dante.
Holy angels may also be found in Hell, dealing out punishments, controlling operations and keeping Satan and his minions in check. One such angel is Abaddon, known as the Angel of the Abyss, who keeps the keys of Hell.
In Season 3, Sayid and Kate ascended to the upper level of the Flame with Beatrice as a hostage. They came upon Mikhail, who was holding Locke as a hostage and during the confrontation, Beatrice and Mikhail began shouting to each other in Russian.
(Lostpedia Translation from Russian)
--Beatrice: "We can't risk it, you know the rules."
--Mikhail: "There's still a way out."
--Beatrice: "We won't let them into the territory. You know what to do. It is an order."
--Beatrice: "(English) Just do it, Mikhail!"
(Mikhail takes aim at Beatrice)
--Mikhail: "(English) Forgive me"
(Mikhail shoots Beatrice)
Since nothing in Hollywood is never truly unique, I thought the premise of LOST could be a modern adaptation of Paradise Lost (with elements of Dante's Inferno):
In Milton’s world view, the universe was represented just like the mobile above Aaron’s crib. The universe of planets, sun and stars was encapsulated by waters which fed the Earth and kept the raging forces of Chaos at bay. Outside the Universe sphere are the separate spheres of Heaven and Hell. In Dante’s work, after the rebellion in heaven, Satan and his devils were cast into Hell in the midst of Chaos. God then created a new universe which housed a new creature, Man, on Earth. Satan built a bridge to Earth through Chaos and brought evil to mankind, which lead to the banishment of man from Eden to the mortality of Earth.
In religion context, man has both a body and soul. Upon death on earth, one’s soul travels to another plane of existence. Some religions base that upon the sins of the past; others various stages of enlightenment and reincarnation; hell (punishment), purgatory (penance), limbo (pagan paradise) or heaven (resurrection, eternal paradise). In the afterlife, souls have new bodies (vessels). Various stages of the afterlife may be present in the ether of the after world, as the soul is cleansed of its mortal sins toward a path of enlightenment on final judgment. The mind would control afterlife matter.
What was left in Milton and Dante’s works was the revenge of Satan against God. There is an inference that Satan at some time would rise up to fight another battle for heaven. As Satan had found a path to invade his spiritual form to Earth, it would probably be much harder to breach the gates of heaven.
Thus, we get to the island. The island is a way station, a nexus point between the gates of heaven and the afterlife universe. The Hatch and the Numbers were the mechanism to maintain an electromagnetic barrier between the nexus bridge and the gates of heaven so Satan’s minions could not invade. When the numbers were not imputed to vent the EM, an alarm would sound, an internal barrier would drop and symbols would appear. I translated those Egyptian symbols to say “He escapes place of death.” Once the EM force field was down, the nexus point (island) was exposed - - and other souls (devils) could arrive through either Chaos or through a gate to Earth to take control of this strategic place.
The passengers on 815 were already in their afterlives. In the flashbacks, there are clues that these characters died: examples -- Hurley: deck collapse; Kate: car accidents; Sayid: Iraq war casualty; Rose: terminal cancer; Rousseau: shipwreck; Desmond: lost at sea in small boat. How everyone got on the plane is like the comment from Defending Your Life, how one imagines their demise is how they are transported to the next level of existence.
Three characters are special. They were either stillborn, or died shortly after birth. This would mean that they had no mortal sins. Ben (premature and born on roadside), Locke (mother hit by car, premature), and Alex (mother shipwrecked or died of the sickness). When Ben stated that he was born on the island, it was a reference that he was actually arrived in the afterlife as a rarity, a human soul without mortal sin. This would imply that he would have angelic powers. But those powers could be corrupted by other, fallen angels or Satan’s minions.
Stranger in Strange Land,
The tattoo that Achara designed on Jack's arm translates to "He walks among us, but is not one of us."
I was still struck by this unexplained clue. Was Jack to become a religious symbol in the grand final battle between Heaven and Hell, as the "son of Christian?" In the end, some believe it was a much simpler statement: that Jack was the only one who truly "sacrificed" himself so that his friends could "live," i.e. leave their island prison. But there is no context for this explanation, even today, as we don't know if any of the survivors truly had a post-Island life.