WARNING: spoilers for Lost follow.
One of the criticisms that makes me think people really weren’t watching the final episode of Lost that closely, which I’ve seen all over the place, showed up in comments today:
I agree with much of the criticism and I’ll throw in one of my own: Shannon. I know Sayid’s lost love from iraq wasn’t on the island, but she’s the one he should have wound up with.
See, here’s the thing: the entire point of the “afterlife” isn’t to make people happy, because what was evident from the entire season was that given a chance, some people are just going to keep punishing themselves for their sins, imagined or otherwise. Locke did it (stuck back in the wheelchair, and this time it was genuinely his fault as opposed to somebody else doing it to him). Charlie did it (hedonistic rockstar lifestyle which actually just made him desperately unhappy). And Sayid especially did it, giving himself an afterlife where not only was the supposed love-of-his-life not his wife but where he’d still done all the horrible things he felt guilty about, and on top of that he was forced to do things that would only isolate him further from her.
It’s obvious why Sayid constructed his afterlife in that way: because as much as he loved Nadia, the primary emotion she inspired in him was guilt, both for what he did directly to her/allowed to happen to her in their younger days and for allowing her to die when he got back from the island. That’s exactly why Nadia couldn’t be the one to help Sayid “let go” – the guilt she represented was what he clung to hardest. And that’s why it had to be Shannon who made Sayid remember again: because she was the only memory of happiness strong enough to make him do it.
And this is consistent with the other afterlives. Locke’s lady disappears once he remembers (triggered by feeling his feet again and suddenly remembering the first time he felt them again, not by Twoo Wub) because she was never really there, just like Nadia wasn’t really there. Jin and Sun’s memories aren’t triggered by their love for one another but by seeing their child again/for the first time. And so forth.