We've been puzzled all week as to why some Lost
fans thought that the entire cast died during the original plane crash and that the entire series was a dream. The producers said flat out that the Island events were real and that the castaways were alive. The writers had Christian Shephard tell Jack exactly what was going on: the church was a special Limbo place created by the castaways' connection to each other. Some died before Jack, some after, but as soon as Jack got there, they were all able to move on to the Afterlife (it certainly looked like Heaven to us) together. Clearly, Kate lived a long time after escaping the Island. When she fully Remembered her life, she told Jack how much she'd missed him. She had been missing him for a long time, as she most likely lived for decades after she left the Island.
Well, it appears that some people thought that final image of the plane crash on the beach somehow meant the castaways all died during the original crash. We just assumed the image was a closing nod to the first episode and had nothing to do with the storyline. That turned out to be true, but ABC has now
to The L.A. Times
that the image wasn't part of the show at all. In fact that image wasn't added by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. It was added by ABC as some kind of transitional image before the 11:00 p.m. news.
"The images shown during the end credits of the 'Lost' finale, which included shots of Oceanic 815 on a deserted beach, were not part of the final story but were a visual aid to allow the viewer to decompress before heading into the news," an ABC spokesperson wrote in an e-mail Tuesday.
Apparently it never occurred to ABC that adding an additional image to the broadcast would confuse some fans (and some TV critics, as it turned out). This was an epic fail on the part of ABC. The extra image wasn't shown on Canadian TV, and so the Canadian fans must have been extra confused when they read all the ranting and ravings on the Interwebs that "they all died, it was all a dream!"
Perhaps they'll delete that closing image for the DVD version. So far, we haven't heard a comment from Lindelof and Cuse, but we bet they were not happy about ABC's impromptu editing job.