This penultimate episode begins, as the first episode of the first season of LOST did, with Jack’s eye opening. This is in the afterlife, and Jack notices bleeding in his neck and seems puzzled by it, just as he did in the first episode of this season. He gets a call that Oceanic has found his father’s coffin. But the call is actually from Desmond. Later, Desmond fights with Ben, and as he is punching him, Ben remembers. In the school infirmary, Ben tells John that the man with whom he fought had told him he wasn’t trying to hurt John, he was trying to get him to let go. Desmond then goes to the police station and turns himself in to James Ford. He is put in a cell with Sawyer, next to Kate’s cell. Ben gets invited to Danielle and Alex’s home for dinner. John goes to see Jack in his office, thinking that all the things that are happening for a reason. Jack says he thinks he is mistaking coincidence for fate. John says he is ready to get out of his wheelchair. Desmond, Kate, and Sayid are sent in a police van to county jail. Desmond says that they will stop soon and be freed and he asks them to promise to do something for him. Ana Lucia lets them go, and then Hugo brings money to her. Hugo is surprised that Ana Lucia isn’t coming with them, but Desmond says she isn’t ready yet. Sayid goes with Hugo and Kate goes with Desmond.
On the island in the present day, Jack gives Kate stitches. Kate talks about the need to kill “Locke” who had caused the death of Sun and Jin, the latter never even having had the chance to meet his daughter. Jack says he knows. They then set off to find Desmond, with Jack saying that, if “Locke” wants Desmond dead then they are going to need him. Later, Jack and Sawyer talk. Sawyer says he killed Sayid, Sun, and Jin, but Jack says no, “Locke” did. Then young Jacob asks Hugo for the ashes he took from Ilana. The ashes are then placed on a fire, and adult Jacob appears, saying that when the fire burns out he will never see him again. They can all see Jacob. Kate says she wants to know what all those people died. Jacob says that he brought them there because of a mistake he made a long time ago. He is responsible for making the “monster” that way. Jacob says he didn’t pluck any of them out of a happy existence, they were all like him, alone, looking for something they couldn’t find out there. They needed the island as much as it needed them. Jack says he will do it. Sawyer quips, “And I thought that guy had a god complex before.” Hugo says he is glad it isn’t him. Jacob takes Jack to water and performs the same ritual his adoptive mother had, giving him a drink, and then saying, “now you’re like me.”
While there is something deeply satisfying about Jack embracing this as his destiny, while in the afterlife he revisits elements of conversation that John Locke had with Mr. Eko. The explanation of why it is dangerous for the smoke monster to leave the island, however, ought to have been more compelling. While having a smoke monster roaming around is an inconvenience, the dwellers on the island managed OK most of the time. And so more ought to have been said about this e.g. that he had become infused with the light of the island, and his departure would put it out, or something like that. (See my earlier proposal for the “Midi-chlorian ending” for LOST).