Here we are. The end is nigh. By this time next Monday morning, Lost will be over, the story will have been told, answers may or may not be given, and we'll either be impressed with the end or infuriated. There's not doubt that, either way, we'll be frustrated, since I doubt masterminds Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof are going to give us easy answers and a nice, neatly-tied-up ending to their complicated tale.
But let's focus on last night's episode: what did we learn? We learn that Jacob is about to disappear forever, and he brought our survivors to the Island as Candidates for protecting the Glowy Cave, plucking them from their miserable lives to give them a sense of purpose. The Candidates are not a set in stone ordeal, but rather a choice given to the remaining few (Hurley, Sawyer, and Jack); Kate's given the option as well, even though her name was crossed off the list (because she became a mother, and therefore had something important off the Island). Of course, Jack takes up this mantle, and Jacob performs the same ceremony that Mother performed on him many, many, many years ago, saying, "Now you are like me." I wonder if he actually is, since there's still two-and-a-half hours of the show remaining, so there's plenty of time for that to change. Personally, I was hoping Sawyer would do it, since he's easily had the most redemptive tale yet.
Meanwhile, Ben's defected to the dark side again, helping The Man in Black/Un-Locke/whatever-you-want-to-call-him kill Zoey (thank God, I was never fond of her), Widmore, and potentially Richard (though I hope not; we had a whole episode this season about him, so he had better get a proper goodbye). But a part of me doubts whether Ben has really gone bad again, seeing as how he redeemed himself earlier this season (though that could be manipulative Ben just being Ben). Now the two of them are going out to find Widmore's failsafe, Desmond, so that Un-Locke can destroy the Island.
In Alternate-World, Desmond is finally rounding up everyone in hopes of uniting them with their Island selves. I have theory about this: the Alternate-World is just another plane of consciousness, and the Incident at the end of season 5 split the survivors' consciousnesses between the two planes. If that makes sense (though this one is arguable too, and perhaps even more confusing). However, I wonder what Desmond means by Ana-Lucia "not being ready." Also, I really enjoyed the various references in Alternate-World to the Island-World, such as Danielle saying that Ben is like a father to Alex and Jack and Locke's scene together, in which they have a fate-vs.-coincidence discussion.
So where's it all going? I have my ideas, and I'm anxious to know the truth. But in the end, whatever happens, happens. I'm glad I went along for the ride. Be sure to keep an eye out for my post-finale post, where I'll probably lament the end of the show and wonder what I'll do without it.