Getting Ready to Get LOST
Posted by CJ Cregg on February 1, 2010
The final season of LOST returns to ABC starting tomorrow at 7 PM. If you’re anything like me, you spent much of last season being a bit confused and wondering how the writers are going to wrap this all up in a handful of episodes. I asked my friend, Dr. Marvin Candle, to write up something to both jog our memories about what happened last season and to take some guesses at what’s going to happen this season. Here’s what Dr. Candle had to say:
“Come on, you son of a bitch!” – Juliet Burke, The Incident
In “Exodus, Part 2,” the raft-blasting finale to LOST’s monumental first season, Dr. Leslie Arzt got a chance to trek into the jungle with the “cool kids,” and, in the hopes of playing the hero, took into his hands a temperamental stick of dynamite. Things did not go well. LOST Lesson #42: Explosives can be dangerous, and are best handled with more than a mere mud-soaked t-shirt.
Since then, the stakes have gotten significantly higher.
2009’s penultimate season of television’s most endearingly baffling and excruciatingly addictive program ended with a our ragtag band of geographically and chronologically misplaced adventurers taking a gamble yet again–this time not with dynamite, but with a pressure-triggered nuclear bomb, set to explode on impact (with a little last-minute modifications on the part of everyone’s favorite mortally wounded genuine Iraqi). Some combination of Faraday’s high-falutin’ physics lesson, John Locke’s dead-legged desperation, and a case of the pretty-fugitive-girl-doesn’t-do-Taco-Night blues had turned Dr. Jack—the show’s resident pragmatist—into a full-fledged convert to the cause of Benthamanian destiny. The pitch? If the Lostaways trigger the bomb on the island in the past, nothing after 1977 ever happens. Time resets. Oceanic 815 never crashes. No Swan Hatch, no French lady, and no Nigerian drug runners. No not-Penny’s-boat, no Medusa spiders, and no invisible peanut butter. That is, if it works. The bomb could merely make Jack, Sawyer, Kate, and the gang go all Arzt on us loyal fans without changing a single thing. As Miles—increasingly becoming the show’s clearest voice of reason, despite talking to corpses and demonstrating, at one point, a questionable penchant for pop punk piercings—noted in last season’s closing moments, it’s entirely possible that the bomb had always exploded, and that Jack and Co. were merely recreating the event that forced flight 815 down in the first place.
Confused? Good. With LOST, that’s kind of the point.
Flash-forward (or backwards, or maybe sideways) to Juliet, bloody and broken at the bottom of a drilling shaft, beating the nuke with a rock in desperation. The screen turns white. And LOST addicts everywhere hold their breath. The writers, it seems, have taken a similar gamble. This is no cliffhanger pop rocks or even pyrotechnics. Resetting everything is a narrative hydrogen bomb. If it works, the improbable will come to be. But if it doesn’t work, there’ll be nothing but rubble and, maybe, the lingering threat of radiation poisoning through the end of the series.
All signs point to a narrative reset of sorts. So what does that mean for us, as viewers, invested in five seasons of character development, only to see it wiped away in a flash of white light? The mere thought makes my nose bleed—and not in a cool, hopping-through-the-1950s kind of way.
Most avid LOST fans—the ones who’ve stuck with the show this far—are willing to believe that the writers will keep the final season on course, but, in our hearts, we’re probably all holding our breath a bit, like Juliet, cringing as she pummels that bloody-rocked bomb. In a way, it’s amazing the writers have managed to make the show work as long as they have, through all shades of twists and turns and dumbfounding revelations, and, if any show has proven it can make these kinds of things work, it’s LOST…BUT this is the final season, people! Time to make it count. There are two sides—one is light, and one is dark. All we can do is hope that LOST, as a series, chooses the right one. This season has the potential to be fantastic, capping off a six-year run for one of the most original programs in television history. Then again, it could turn to the dark side, and we could wind up watching Hurley and Ben trading quips with the Ewoks. And let’s face it: The Ewoks sucked, dude.
In the meantime, we can turn our thoughts to the questions. The biggies have always been out there–What is the island? Why does it heal people? What is the monster? Who were the Adam and Eve skeletons? And what’s up with the numbers?–while others have hopped a Dharma van to the front of the line only in recent seasons–Like why doesn’t Richard age? Who exactly is Jacob? What’s in the guitar case? And who are Ilana and her gang supposed to be, other than guerrilla-tactic pallbearers? We’re sure to finally get the answers (or at least some substantial explanations) in the show’s final 18 episodes.
Also, we’re supposed to see the return of some old friends–whether alive, dead, or somewhere in between.
In eager anticipation of Tuesday night’s two-hour premiere, we offer a pair of lists (not from Jacob, maybe, but just as good):
Twelve Lesser Mysteries of Lost That We’d Love to See Answered In the Final Season (in no particular order):
12) Why do pregnant women die? – A key question from season 3 has faded into the background.
11) What are the whispers? – We haven’t heard them for a while, but in season one, before we had ghost cabins and undead bald dudes, the whispers were the go-to creep factor on Lostaway Island.
10) What really went down with Cindy and the kids? – Kidnapped by the Others in season 2, the alcoholic-enabling stewardess and her tail section charges remain something of a mystery.
9) Who was Henry Gale and what happened to him on the island? – Okay, we know he was from Minnesota. We know he wasn’t the bug-eyed bastard eating the Dharma-brand Cheerios. How cool would it be to see what happened when his balloon blew off course?
8 ) Towards the end of season 2, a palette of Dharma food appeared out of nowhere. What? – Never got an answer on this one. We’ve seen plenty of the 70s now, but what exactly is going on with the Dharma initiative in this day and age?
7) Who was shooting at Locke, Juliet, Sawyer, and the gang from the outrigger full of Ajira water bottles in season 5? – This “flash” probably took place in the future, set some time in season 6. It will be fun to see it resurface after over a year.
6) How is it Miles does what he does? – His dying mother couldn’t give him an answer. Maybe somebody else finally will. Even on LOST, you can’t just drop a dude who talks to dead people into the mix and not address it. Oh, wait. I guess that’s two dudes…
5) How do Nigerian planes and English slave vessels wind up in the middle of a Pacific island? – It’s a good question, don’t you think? I don’t remember learning the answer to this one in high school.
4) What exactly is the “sickness”? – Danielle saw it. Jin saw it. The others seem to believe in it. And the Hatch had a quarantine sign painted on the back. Don’t tell me it’s just the swine flu.
3) What’s up with Claire? – Hey, girl, what’s going on? Haven’t seen you in a while. Was that psychic in Australia working for higher powers? Did you mentally project yourself into Kate’s dreams? Are you dead, or just hanging out with your ghost daddy? I’d love to catch up some time.
2) What is the Temple – We’ve heard about it in passing for years. It’s time we finally see it up close. After five seasons on one island, you’d think somebody would have seen such a place…
1) Where did the four-toed statue and all the ruins come from? – Your guess is as good as mine. And how was the statue destroyed? Are we supposed to believe Ben when he says he doesn’t know? Probably not.
The Top Twelve Departed Characters We’d Love to See Come Back (in Some Form):
12) Boone and Shannon – An appearance in the final season would make for some great semi-incestuous bookends to the series
9) Michael – Did he do the right thing? No. But did he deserve the fan backlash he ultimately wound up with? Not at all. Michael was always a more interesting character than most viewers were willing to admit. He was just a normal man–no super powers, no neck-snapping skills, and no perfectly chiseled swimsuit body–trying to do right. When things went wrong, he went through more internal anguish than just about anyone on the show. That scene in the hatch was downright Shakespearean.
That’s a lot to take in, but probably not nearly as mind-bending as LOST’s final season is shaping up to be. One last crazy theory? Hmmm…maybe Aaron is Jacob? That’s all I’ve got. It’s going to be a wild ride on Tuesday night. I’d advise the captain to turn on the Fasten Seatbelts sign.