I don't exactly know which events happened in which part of the Season 5 finale, so my review may be a little choppy. Sorry!
Wow, Wow, WOW!! I feel like my mind was taken apart, and completely rebuilt last night, by the sheer shock value of this episode. Everything was so touching, and intense!
Rose and Bernard finally reappeared, and it was kind of sweet. They seem happy, so that's nice for them. I don't think they will play much of a role in Season 6, by the looks of things.
Desmond and Claire were both notably absent from this episode. I can understand Claire's absence, although I half-expected her to show up at the last moment... However, Desmond!? Why wasn't he involved with ANY of the major storylines this season? Geez.
Seeing Charlie's 'Drive Shaft' ring was very sweet. There were a lot of sweet little moments in this season finale, including Sayid being happily together with Nadia. I hope Sun and Jin can reunite in Season 6, though.
It was nice to see the mystery of Dr. Chang losing his arm revealed. Another big reveal? John Locke is DEAD!! Jacob's enemy, an unnamed ancient man that lived on the Island hundreds of years ago, has been reanimating his spirit all this time!! Talk about a big shock! I now have a new, even larger respect for Terry O'Quinn's acting than before -- he executed this double-agent role flawlessly. It was incredible. It also explains the reason why the compass paradox can exist.
My hat also goes off to Michael Emmerson's acting. Killing Jacob was such a climactic, intense event. I like how that storyline was written, although now I wonder what kind of role Jacob's enemy will play without Jacob actually being around...
Now, for the best written storyline -- Juliet Burke. Apparently, she is pretty much a goner. But the acting... The writing... It was STUNNING. SO incredibly well done! She rocked the finale so hard. I loved everything about Elizabeth Mitchell's performance, and the cliffhanger? Ahh!!!!
The finale wasn't exactly perfect. Desmond's absence was pretty weird. The first half was definitely not on the same level as the second, more thrilling half. But the writing was so excellent, and the acting was great, too. Next season will be truly unreal, I think!