I waited a few days to post this because it is impossible to dissect such a well written and brilliantly directed episode without a small spoiler. Let me start by saying "Lost" has redeemed itself in a two hour season finale that is arguably the series' best episode yet. It actually made me understand and accept the out-of-control spin the series started to take toward the end of last season.
From the moment it started it was clear that this episode was going to tidy things up. Okay, let's lay it out there, clean up the mess. Within the first few minutes the writers cleared up the confusing time frame of one of the key story lines. Before the first commercial we learned when (and why) Jack's descent into despair happens. More explanations followed, but as the puzzle pieces started flying into place, I realized the finale did a lot more than sew up loose ends. It literally "reset" the series much the same way "Desperate Housewives" did in its season finale two weeks ago (a new trend in serialzied television?). Next season, we can expect "Lost" to start fresh, builiding on a new set of story lines that will lead to what is sure to be a climactic conclusion when the series ends in a couple of years. It's sort of a metaphor that The Island itself was physically moved to a new location (kudos to the special effects team).
They've left plenty of questions to keep us coming back for more. We've learned The Survivors left behind on The Island face big "problems." Jack and Henry are on a mission to get the "Oceanic Six" to return to The Island. What of Desmond and Penny's future? Just where did The Island go? Have we really seen the last of Jin? And that final shot in the finale-how the heck did John Lock wind up in a seedy funeral home? Tune in next January.