Okay, after all my speculation recently I feel like I need to comment on last night's finale. It was certainly the game changer that they had told us it would be, but I found it to be really depressing.
I know there is a lot of speculation as to whether Jack was really having a flashforward or when it was taking place. The plane crash occured in September 2004 and they have only been on the Island for a little over 3 months. In the flashforwards, Jack speaks of his dad being alive (we thought he died before the plane crash), but he also uses a 2006 Razr phone, Kate drives a 2006 Volvo, and the newspaper on the plane was the April 5, 2007 LA Times. So at least those two make it off the island and it ruins Jack's life. In some Shangra-La/Star Trek 7 Nexus type plot line Jack is desperate to get back to the island. Is this an alternate timeline, one of many possible futures, or what will really happen to the characters? The episode was called "Through the Looking Glass," is this a mirror universe or does time run backwards on the Island like it did in Alice in Wonderland?
I found the episode depressing. So far the show has focused a lot on redemption. The characters face and overcome their sins. They fix their issues and come to terms with their past. The Island has been a place of physical and spiritual healing for most of the characters. But this flashforward highlights the opposite. Off the Island, Jack slips into drugs and alcohol and comes to the brink of suicide. He studies maps and flies in hopes that he will crash again. It is just such a depressing view of the future (and who was in the coffin???).
Anyway there are three more seasons to fill before we get the final answers, so what we think we know now might change. And of course the finale brought up a number of other questions - who is Naomi working for? What is this temple the others are heading for? So here's to WAITING until next February for the next chapter in the story.