This two-part season finale starts with what we assume to be a flashback, but later learn is a flash forward. Jack is taking an Oceanic flight, and spots an obituary in the newspaper, which he tears out. It brings him to tears when in his car after landing. He makes a phone call, but doesn’t know what to say when leaving a message. He gets out on a bridge and is going to jump. He says “forgive me.” But a car crashes behind him, and he runs to help. Later, the news wants to talk to him, considering him a hero for saving the woman. At the hospital, his ex-wife Sarah shows up, because she is still listed as his emergency contact. He is drinking and popping pills. He wants to perform the surgery on the woman who was in the accident, but her doctor doesn’t think that’s necessary. Jack goes to Hoffs/Drawlar funeral parlor. He is the only one to have shown up for the viewing. The man there asks Jack, “friend or family,” and he says “neither.” Jack says the casket doesn’t need to be opened.
In the present day, they make preparations for the plan. Rose makes Bernard say, “I am a dentist, I am not Rambo.” Then everyone except Sayid, Jin, and Bernard heads for the radio tower. When the Others come into the camp, they manage to shoot two of the three stacks of dynamite, but not the third. Seven of the Others are killed, but then they apprehend Jin, Sayid, and Bernard. When they threaten to kill Jin, Bernard tells them what they want to know.
Naomi asks Jack what he did for a living before he became Moses. When their friends don’t catch up with them, Sawyer and Juliette head back to the beach. She had said that she knows where there are guns, but then admits she lied, and when asked why she is going back, she says “karma.” Sawyer asks about why they had him breaking rocks, and she says it is a runway, and then adds jokingly, for the aliens. Hurley catches up with them and wants to go with them, but Sawyer tells him he would only get in the way.
Two members of the Others are beating Charlie in the Looking Glass station. When they go to call Ben, Charlie sees the room with the blinking yellow light. Desmond wakes up in the outrigger, and Mikhail stars shooting at him, so he swims down to the station. Ben tells Mikhail to kill Charlie as well as the two operatives. Mikhail is shot by Desmond before he can kill Bonnie. Bonnie tells Charlie that the code is a numerical rendering of “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys – it was programmed by a musician. Charlie types in the code, says “So much for fate,” then responds to an incoming transmission. It is Penny. But Charlie learns that it is not Penny’s boat. Desmond runs to try to talk to her. Charlie locks him out, then Mikhail sets off a grenade and it floods the room. He manages to communicate to Desmond that it is not Penny’s boat before he drowns. And the last thing he does is to cross himself. At that moment, Aaron starts crying.
Ben tells Richard to take everyone else to the temple while he goes to the radio tower. Alex goes with him. Ben tells Jack that they need to talk. Ben says that Naomi is one of the bad guys, that she represents people who have been trying to find the island, and if they get here, then everyone on the island will be killed. Ben says that his people will kill Sayid, Jin, and Bernard unless he brings him Naomi’s phone. Gunshots are heard through the walkie talkie, then Jack punches Ben, then radios Tom and says that once he gets everyone rescued, he will come kill him.
Jack says they should tie Ben up and take him with them. Ben tells Alex that Danielle is her mother. Danielle asks her if she wants to help her tie Ben up. Jack tells Kate that he wants Ben to see that he failed, and then he’ll kill him.
Hugo uses the bus to rescue Sayid, Jin, and Bernard. Sawyer shoots Tom even though he had surrendered, says it is for taking Walt off the raft.
We see that Locke survived being shot. He finds a gun and wants to shoot himself, but then he hears whispers and then sees Walt. He tells him he has work to do. Later, as Naomi gets a signal on her phone, Ben pleads with Jack. Then Locke throws a knife at her, and then points a gun at Jack. He can’t bring himself to shoot him, but says “You’re not supposed to do this.” Jack talks to someone on the freighter.
At the end, we see Jack sitting amid maps, his house a mess. He calls someone and says he needs to see them. They arrange to meet out at the airport. Kate says that she saw him on the news, “still pulling people out of burning wreckage.” He replied by saying, “old habits.” He talks about using the golden pass they gave them to take lots of flights, and them praying they will crash on the island. The season ends with Jack telling Kate that they weren’t supposed to leave, and that they have to go back.
The introduction of flashes forward was very clever and powerful. In terms of drama, storytelling, religious imagery, and satisfying drawing together of past themes while carrying the show forward, this was a fantastic season finale.