And that is still a sticking point with some fans. As one blog commentator said long after the show concluded:
If the entire series turned out to be just about the characters and the relationships they/we build in life and how important they are, following us even into the afterlife, then what about all the relationships that Sawyer, Kate, Miles, or any of the survivors made AFTER they got off of the island? Reason I even bring this up is because of what Christian said to Jack in the church and what everyone else mentioned as well, “Some died before you, some died long after you”. So....we are to assume then that when Sawyer or Kate or any of the survivors died, whether it was right after Jack or 30 years after him, that NONE of the relationships that they built were important? What if Sawyer went on to get married and have kids. When he dies the ONLY person in his life that ever meant anything was Juliette?!! Also, a huge lesson we were all supposed to learn was to “let go” of the past. Well how the hell is having them all meet up in the church together letting go of that past?! Even in death they (whomever made it off the island and died sometime later) were still holding on to the experiences from the island, the past!!!
The season finale is what it is and I can’t change that but I don’t understand any of the fans supporting or being okay with it. Makes me think that most people have no idea what’s going on in life and just skate through it blindly.
Taking the writers words at face value was a critical viewing experience. Fans were led to believe that the show was a well crafted literary masterpiece of characters, action, drama and mysteries.
There is a valid point to what Christian told Jack about everyone in the church waiting for him died before and after him. If this is a true statement, and that the island time was most important to the characters that they had to reunite in the afterlife in order to move on to eternity, then
a) the characters like Sawyer, Kate and Claire left brutally lonely and unfilled lives after Jack died. Which is hard to believe considering Sawyer had a daughter he cared about. Claire had a son. And Kate had her freedom from the law. None of these characters would not have had any new relationships at all?
b) when did the characters who died long before Jack "actually" die? This may be one of those misdirected throwaway lines the writers used to get out of explaining what is happening in the story (equivalent of a fumble in football), but it seems to erase any "good" times that a character had before the island. For example, Locke had a great relationship with Helen. Why was that erased by the island time so that Locke is in the church alone? Boone had no one as well? How sad is that? Boone could not have been reunited with his mother or father?
Since time was handled as a nebulous concept in LOST, when people died may be irrelevant to the analysis of Christian's final speech.
For example, if this is a character study, it is just as likely it is a character study of lost dead souls than of human survivors of a plane crash. If the characters were already dead before getting on the plane (symbolic of taking the ferry across the River Styx), then maybe this was like a test of lost souls who really did not have any strong personal bonds to carry them through to the afterlife.
But since the writers failed to clarify what the sideways world represented in relation to the island world, viewer's personal answers to the gaping holes in the story line are just not as fulfilling as knowing what the show's creator's really wanted to express with the climax and ending. Taking from what the blogger said above, it was the writers who had no idea what was going on in their characters lives and just skated through blindly to the Season 6 ending.
People cannot really disagree on the ending because the ending is obtuse.
If TPTB came out and said this is what the ending means, then people can then accept it on face value or disagree with it. But leaving it open to speculation is a Soprano cop-out to conclude the show. Just calling it a show about relationships is another weak point. Every show is supposed to be about character relationships. Otherwise, the show would be about watching paint dry on a wall.
And even if the crux of the show was about relationships, and finding lost soul mates, then no one can really defend why Sayid, who pined for Nadia for 6 seasons, would wind up with Shannon in the afterlife. If the island was the test for Sayid to give up his past (Nadia), and the way he passed the test was to get in the sack with Shannon, what sort of metaphysical-intellectual system are we dealing with here?
And then the opposite was also in the church at the same time. Rose and Bernard did not purge their past in order to make it to the church. Quite the opposite, Rose and Bernard's strong bonds from the past kept them together through the island ordeals. So, on one level, they did not "let go" of their past in order to move on in their afterlives.
When you don't know what to say, you say things that are vague gibberish hoping that the listener will take those words and create their own interpretation and understanding. Politicians do this technique all the time in order to bolster support without saying much of anything. But LOST was not a political stump speech. It was supposed to be one of the greatest action-adventure-dramas in television history.
Perhaps the lasting relationship of the series was that between the fans and TPTB. In some ways it is still a strong connection. In some ways it is still a simmering disappointment. In some ways it is like a parent who loves their child but knows he can do better.