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Lost

My Lost Theory

Not that anyone should necessarily care what I think or what I speculate, but I have a theory as to how Lost will end. And since I have the Internet at my disposal, I figured I’d go ahead and blab it to the world.

There are no spoilers below…as long as you watched the Season 6 premiere. If you didn’t, then avert your eyes and click away now, lest you learn something ahead of time!

But as long as you’ve seen the first episode of the season, there’s nothing below that will spoil you.

So.

Right now, the season is proceeding on a dual-track, following Our Heroes as they live one timeline on the island (the timeline we’ve been following since September 2004) and another, alternate timeline in which Jughead sank the island and, consequently, Oceanic 815 landed safely in LA. We get to see the same characters live dramatically different lives and explore different sides of their personalities, as well as different outcomes for their actions.

It’s a great way to move the story forward, but obviously the show can’t end with two realities. It’s just not satisfying from a storytelling point of view to say, “And at the end, Jack lived happily ever after…except for this reality over here, where he didn’t.” An audience craves closure, not quantum uncertainty.

How, then, can this bifurcation be resolved by season’s end? Which reality is the “real” reality, the audience may be wondering.

Well, here’s my theory: Lost has always been — at least in part — a show about the tension between the doctrines of free will and predestination. I happen to believe that the show is coming down on the side of free will (blather about “course correction” to the contrary). What could be a more powerful invocation and endorsement of free will than to end the season with the characters themselves, in effect, in control of the story?

Let me clarify. At the end of the show, the characters in each reality will have an opportunity to see the OTHER reality…and decide for themselves which reality they prefer to live in. They will have an opportunity we’ve all wished to have — “If only I’d known the consequences of this decision or that decision” — and will get to choose their path. Charlie, for example, would look into the island reality and see that he’s dead there…but might decide that his heroic death is a finer fate than the drug-addled one rolling out before him in the safe-landing reality.

For a show that has prided itself on its philosophical underpinnings, this could — if done properly — be a mind-blowing way to wrap things up.

What’s YOUR theory for the end of Lost?

Lost: I Knew It

After watching Lost‘s first season on DVD, I called a friend who had been watching it from Day One and said, “I don’t know if this show should go past four seasons. But if they really want to stretch it, I have an idea: They should jump ahead and follow everyone after the rescue, with flashbacks to the island.”

He agreed this was cool.

So tonight, when Jack showed up wearing a beard on an Oceanic flight, my spider-sense started to tingle. And I knew, immediately, that we were seeing a post-rescue Jack.

And God, was it good.

With this episode, Lost has done what I thought was impossible — it has made me crave it again, with a hunger I haven’t known since somewhere in the second season. Yes, there were still some niggling annoyances (Charlie locking Desmond out of the command room instead of getting out himself and just running like hell — they would have had PLENTY of time to escape the Looking Glass). And I am really, REALLY tired of Mikhail the Super-Regenerating Russian. When he tapped on Charlie’s window with a hand grenade, I groaned. It was like a bad parody of a Friday the 13th movie. I’m starting to wonder if Mikhail’s real name is Kenny and he’s originally from South Park, Colorado, not Russia.

Either that, or maybe he’s descended from Rasputin.

Anyway, given the island’s predilection to heal people, I couldn’t even take seriously the many, many deaths this episode. Although God knows it was beyond awesome to see Sayid snap that guy’s neck with his feet. (In three episodes, of course, that guy will be walking around.)

All that aside, I was truly amazed at the writers’ guts in showing that Jack is not the hero they originally wanted us to believe he is. For more than a season now, Jack’s treatment as a hero has been at odds with his actual portrayal. Now we see that his destiny is, in fact, to screw up, make the wrong decision…and live to regret it.

Lost is back. Now we just have to make it through the long wait until January, 2008. Fortunately, we’ve gotHeroes this fall to make it hurt just a little less.

Lost: Penultimate

This show is like a frickin’ Zen paradox: “How can a TV show be both shocking and yet also utterly predictable…often in the same instants?”

Because you know what? The instant Liam gave Charlie the Ring of Magic DS-itude, I knew (even before Liam telegraphed it) that Charlie would give it to Aaron. But I didn’t predict the reveal of Charlie leaving it in the baby’s crib (and Claire leaving it behind — oops!).

And as soon as Juliet said that Ben claimed The Looking Glass was flooded, I knew that it wasn’t and that Charlie would find air there. And of course there would be people there, though I admit I was expecting Locke and Boone and a bunch of other allegedly dead folk, not More Generic Others with Guns.

The Others stepping up their schedule and attacking early? Duh. Predictable. Karl risking life and limb to alert the castaways? Not predictable.

See what I mean?

Even Jack suffers from this dichotomy — he’s acting more like cool season one Jack, but he’s still an asshat in my book for his behavior earlier in the season. Next week’s Jack-centric finale better damn well explain why he’s been such a dick recently. I still think Sayid should have kicked him in the nads.

Lost: Say WHAT?

OK, I just… I have nothing to say.

I mean, this was either the most brilliant, revelatory episode of this show ever…or it was the one we’ll all look back on in a year or so and say, “Yeah, that’s the one where it all went irretrievably to hell.”

Jack is a royal asshole, though. He has no right to be such a prick to everyone else, especially with his, “I hadn’t decided what to do about it” crap. This isn’t a monarchy, Jack.

Oh, and, uh, writers? Producers? Killing Locke? Not a good idea. There

Lost: The End is in Sight

So, ABC and the producers of Lost have announced their plans to end the series. Very interesting.

Not sure how I feel about it so far except to say that I’m concerned that corporate interests are outweighing artistic merit, even in this instance, wherein the suits were most likely loathe to commit to an end date. It seems like a compromise in which no one wins.

See, here’s what bugs me: Why three 16-episode seasons?

Those short seasons are going to kill the creative momentum of the show. You’ll get four months of island-y goodness, followed by EIGHT MONTHS of nothing.

I’m sure someone somewhere is thinking of The Sopranos and how that show has managed to navigate short seasons and remain popular, but I’m unconvinced. To me the whole thing smells of stretching the show to its sixth season by hook or by crook.

Otherwise, why not just do two 24-episode seasons? Run ’em in blocks of twelve episodes each, uninterrupted. That gets you to five seasons, the same number of episodes, and ends the show without risking further hemorrhaging of the audience while people forget every last detail during those long eight-month hiatuses.

Just one man’s opinion, of course. Still, it’s good to see that the end date has been set. The producers have been telling us for a while now that the lack of an end date was responsible for the season two and three padding. Let’s see them put their money where their mouths are: season four should kick off with absolutely no padding and be balls-to-the-wall movement from the get-go.

Right?