I was hoping for a few "
" 's at my "Dane was right" post before I posted again. I don't agree with Dane at all; I find virtually no "textual" evidence for his interpretation and I think I can point out some inconsistencies in it anyway.
Alright, before I go on a loosely-structured ramble about the show as a whole I want to say a few words about season 6 itself.
I think that it is the second-worst season of the series. Like season 3 (the worst) it had five or six good-to-great episodes but taken on the whole it was not satisfying. Why? Well, early on in the season all we got out of the on-island action was a bunch of campy, ultimately useless temple action. Things were being stalled for no real reason; it certainly wasn't coming from the characters (which is something I will be bringing up a lot regarding season 6). In fact, there were plenty of characters that didn't have anything to do in this season, or when they did do something it turned out to not make any sense whatsoever (Sayid was a mess of motivation, Ben's actions pretty much made no sense and had no impact, etc).
But the flash-sideways was what really hurt season 6. For the first half of the season it was pretty much impossible to be engaged with it. The audience has no idea what it was or whether it had any connection to the on-island characters. I imagine most people rejected it as "false" and expected everyone to wake up from it and choose the "real" world or something. I knew in advance what it was - a holding cell for the afterlife in which people needed find each other before being able to move on - and with that knowledge the flash-sideways doesn't work, either. There are so many red herrings and shit that doesn't even make sense. Jack's son? Nadia's kids? Those kids don't exist in the timeline proper. Either they are someone else's kids who needed to imagine themselves as being children of other parents for their own moving-on needs or, um, something else that doesn't make sense, I guess. How about people that die in the flash-sideways, like Keamy and Mikael? How do you die twice? I suppose that one way out of this shit would be to say that the people in the church are the "real" dead people in that world and everyone else are "fake" people that they constructed along with the world. But that excludes the characters that weren't in the church like Ben, Alex, etc. Anyway, the flash-sideways was unengaging and nonsensical.
The last part of the season worked as episode-to-episode entertainment. Which, not coincidentally, is how Lost