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Lostwatch: You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Be Stranded Here, But It Helps

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SPOILER ALERT: Friends don’t let friends read Lostwatch before seeing the show.

On the WABC New York channel 7 broadcast of Lost, there was a commercial for the New York Lotto Megamillions Jackpot. Perhaps not the best sponsorship for an episode of the show about a former mental patient who wins a lottery; is cursed with bad luck; ends up wracked with guilt believing he’s responsible for a plane crash; and nearly throws himself off a cliff.

Tonight’s Hurley flashback episode did little to advnce Lost’s glacially moving überplot. But it was a nice comment on the meta-story of the legions of Lost fans stringing together elaborate theories as to what the island is and why the characters are there (purgatory, government plot, alien petri dish, etc.). When Evan Handler materialized out of Hurley’s subconscious to tell him that the entire island journey had been a figment of his imagination, he was basically channeling the voices of some of the show’s more rabid, theory-spinning fans. (A little like The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy speaks for its exacting Internet fans.)

"You me this island, that peanut butter–none of it’s real, man! … I’m part of your subconscious, man! All of the people on this island are!" I mean come on: who among us doesn’t have a coworker who’s had this same theory? The beauty part is, it was an entirely plausible theory, because TV–from the it-was-a-dream season of Dallas to the entire runs of St. Elsewhere and Newhart–has told us it is. (And in fact, the last shot showed us that Libby was a patient in the same psych ward, so I suppose the crazy-person’s-dream scenario is not entirely off the table.)

Meanwhile, in the stingy five minutes or so we got of the interrogation of Fake Henry Gale, we got a couple further tidbits. First, the revelation–in the debatable case that Fake Henry was telling the truth–that the doomsday clock in the hatch does nothing when it runs out. (Although, since Fake Henry is an Other, why would he have been as surprised as he claimed to be about the operations of the hatch?) And second, the hint that some all-powerful, unnamed "He" is in command of The Others–someone far more powerful than the bearded tough guy we’ve seen on the show. ("Him? He’s nobody!")

So who’s the big He? Alvar Hanso? God? A lunatic who dreamed up the island? All of the above? As they say, crazier things have happened.