Tuned In

Lostwatch: …and That, My Friends, Is What You Call a Game-Changer

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SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched last night’s Lost yet, come back at a point in the future when you have.

ABC/Mario Perez

So I am enough of a dork that I watched the prequel clip-show, “Lost: The Answers.” And irony of ironies, it turned out the show actually had an answer in it, though I didn’t realize it at the time. At one point, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof are talking about plot possibilities, and Lindelof says something to the effect of: “Well, they can’t get off the island! That’d be the end of the show!”

Har har! A funny man you are, Mr. Lindelof!

“Through the Looking Glass” indeed. So they got off the island? (Or, rather, at least two of them did?) So the flashbacks are now flash-forwards? So night is now day and day night? Awe. Some.

The mega-twist in last night’s episode scares me a little. But it’s a good scared. I wonder how we continue getting stories on the island now, for instance, and how those stories can have urgency now when we know that the Losties are getting off. [Yeah, Charlie’s death was foreordained too, but it was one person. And the person was Charlie.] But I can’t wait to see how the writers will pull it off, and more important, I have confidence they can do it. Every season ending, the writers have thrown in a twist so bizarre and far-fetched, it seems to take the show flying over several species of shark. Each season the show makes the twist pay off, despite some grumbling. If you don’t have faith in Lost by now, this is simply not the show for you.

The Big Change raises a lot of questions, of course. Who’s in the casket? (Ben? Sawyer? Locke? Michael?) [The Lost Easter Eggs site has screen captures of the obit, and suggests the deceased may be “Jeremy Bentham”–typically, a philosopher’s name.] Who is the “he” Kate needs to get home to? Did everyone really get off the island with Jack and Kate? Or just some of them? What is the “lie” that Jack’s so guilty about? Is Christian really still alive (and still a drunk) in the future, as Jack said? Where was Desmond, and what did he do with the knowledge that it was not Penny’s boat come to save them? Who did come to find them, and what were their real intentions?

How about all our unfinished business with Jacob, Dharma and Ben? (One guess: the Losties do get off the island–but not until later in the series. Something happens to forestall it.) Does this mean Michael comes back next season? Does the show now become about what’s happened to the characters in the future, with flashbacks to the Island (and if so, didn’t we try that once and call it The Nine)? Or does the flash-forward turn out to be a Desmondian alternate future, and come 2008, we’re back on the Island again? Do we rename the show Found?

But wait. We’ve got eight long months to theorize all that, and you can have at it in the comments. Let’s not forget to remember the other hour 55 minutes of a most excellent season finale.

* Charlie. Yes, I cried again. But we knew it had to happen, after the producers chickened out of killing him in season one. And in a way, his sacrifice this week was even more noble–he had already turned off the jammer, and could have endangered Desmond trying to get to freedom; instead, he chose to die anyway, to save Des.

* Jack whupping Ben: sweet. Sayid going Jack Bauer and killing a dude with his feet: sweet. Hurley crashing the microbus of death into the rifle-toting Other: sweet, sweet, sweet.

* Speaking of which, Sawyer’s shooting Tom in cold blood was a good touch: it gave us the satisfaction of payback and–through Hurley’s objections–questioned whether we should have found it so satisfying.

* Walt! Or Jacob! Or Spirit of the Island in Corporeal Form played by Malcolm David Kelley! Whatever your name is, good to see you back!

* “Alex, this is your mother.” “Will you help me tie him up?” Very Alias, that moment. And: “I didn’t want him to get you pregnant. I suppose I overreacted.”

I may add to this later, but I’m sure you all want to comment, so let’s get it posted. In all, a fitting cap to what turned out to be an excellent season, the fall mini-run notwithstanding. There’s a lot we still don’t know, and that’s as it should be, but Lost left us with a little closure (especially, the Losties finally winning one against the Others) and a good balance of answers to mystery–unanswered questions, after all, being the reason we watch the damn show.

Getting off the island, it turns out, is not the end of the series. Learning “Why?” is the end of the series. And I for one am glad the end is not here yet.