Lost - Purgatory

Lost Spoilers ahead

Last night's episode of Lost put a solid structure on one of those internet theories about the Island. This theory states pretty much exactly what has been said in the last two episodes that "all the 'survivors' of 815 actually died in the crash and the island is Purgatory." Naomi confirms this by saying that in the real world they found Oceanic flight 815 at the bottom of the ocean, in tact, with all passengers in tact and very dead. Locke's father also says the same thing.

Lets examine everyone else's back story of how they got to the island. Naomi's helicopter just crashed in the sea, Desmond was thrown overboard in a violent storm, Juliet drank some unknown substance given to her, Locke's father was smashed into a median, Danielle's research ship crashed on the island. Perhaps they did all die, and this is the gateway to the afterlife. Perhaps their actions on this island will determine where they spend enternity. The island follows a similar construct to life, but with a few changes. If you die on the island, do you go to hell or heaven? Is the island itself Heaven, considering the others are a group of "good" people. Since Ben is their leader, does that make him God, or Jesus? Or is the Island hell, as Locke's father puts it, which would make Ben Satan or some devil?

I guess this explains why the others kidnap certain people. They are separate the bad ones from the good ones.. The heaven candidates from the hell candidates.

Does this make the big bad black cloud of smoke the Reaper?  Does that make the sonic fence the divide between heaven and hell?
The whole thing with the babies also promotes this theory. Life cannot be conceived on the Island, because everyone is already dead. I guess the writers believe that Life begin at conception. This is why Claire's baby is fine, and why all the other mothers die before the baby is born.

However, this whole "island = purgatory/afterlife" debate has a couple holes in it. What about Michael? If this is the afterlife, where did Ben send Michael? To be reborn? To heaven? Or to wake up from purgatory back in the real world? What about Ethan? If he can leave the island to the real world and recruit people like Juliet, what does that make him? An angel?

How do the numbers play into this theory?

The end of the season should be interesting.. even though this concept is very Twilight Zone-esq. The really hasn't been a lot of build up, but it seems like the other's incoming attack on the survivor's camp with be the climax. Along with whatever Jack knows.

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