spoiler alert - don't read this post if you haven't watched the last episode and care about that kind of stuff
I think Jack's father summed it up: "To remember. And to let go." That was the whole last episode for me. To remember the last six years, and to let go of this story that will probably stay with us for a long time. I've been thinking about the last episode for a few days now, and I have to say that I loved it. When I was first watching it, I loved it up to the end. Like many fans, the last thirty minutes were iffy with me. When I started to realize that the sideways world wasn't "real" in some way, and that they were going to "leave", I started to get nervous. But, a few days later, I re-watched a few scenes, and I cried all over again, and grew to love what the writers and actors had done. They brought all of us to a place to remember and to let go.
OK, details. LOVED the James/Juliet scene by the candy machine. Hands down the best part of the whole series. Jin/Sun remembering is tied for me with Kate/Claire/Charlie. They were both great and made me cry. I'm glad that Kate ended up with Jack, but it didn't make me cry the way I cried when Juliet said, "Kiss me James" and he called her Blondie. I'm so so glad they ended up together.
But then again, Sayid? With Shannon? Are you kidding me? Why didn't he get to be with his true love Nadia? I never really liked Shannon anyway, so maybe it's just me. Another thing: purgatory? the place between? I don't believe in that, but it worked. While I was watching it, I got it. (I still don't believe there is such a place, but if I'm wrong, that's ok too.)
Hurley being the Protector of the Island = genius. Pure genius and I never saw it coming, but it was a great move. I was so sad that Ben sat outside the church, but that was true to his character - he was always on the outside of the survivor group. I'm glad that Locke forgave him. Even though the whole series was Jack's story, it turns out that Locke was right about everything and, in a way, he was a hero too (it's not his fault he was the smoke monster for awhile, right?).
Some things I never got until the end:
Jack's father's name: Doctor Christian Shephard - hello Christ figure. How did I miss that???
The Numbers: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 - 42 is the answer to Life The Universe And Everything. Missed that. (One of my students would be thrilled that 23 is one of The Numbers. I guess there is a whole movie about The Number 23.)
Questions I Wish They Would Answer:
Who is Penelope's mother?
How did Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking get involved with the island?
Widmore, Hawking, Faraday - why all the different last names?
All in all, I'm happy with the ending. I'm going to go back and watch the last season, now that I know some of the answers. I'm sad to see it over, but it was time.