Sunday, August 09, 2009

Thoughts on Season Six

There seem to be two predominant questions the Lost Community is focused on leading up to its final season:

  1. What will the storyline for Season Six center around?
  2. What will be the “flashes” of Season Six?

In this post, I’ll give you my opinion on both.

In thinking about how Lost is going to wrap up, I found myself thinking about the first season. Damon and Carlton have mentioned that Season Six is going to feel like Season One, which makes a lot of sense to me. Consider this – there’s no way that the Lost creators could have known that their show would be such a smash hit before it premiered. We’ve been told that the complete storyline of Lost has been laid out from the start – but it’s not as though they had six seasons of Lost planned from the beginning. It got me thinking – what if Lost had been a total failure? Would it have been possible to scrap a lot of the details and tell the basic story of Lost in 22 episodes, had it been cancelled after its first season?

As complex as the Lost storyline is, your initial response is “no f-ing way” – but I can’t help but think that the writers had a Plan B to tell their story in much fewer episodes, just in case. In a Cliff’s Notes version of Lost, it seems possible to cut out all the stuff about the Dharma Initiative, the Tailers, the Freighters, the Oceanic Six leaving (and returning to) the Island, the time travel, and even whole characters like Desmond and the Widmores. Strip away all those details and you would be left with the “basic” story of Lost – a story about a plane crash on a mysterious Island, and the discovery of that Island… a story that could quite possibly have been told in one season, if needed.

What the heck does this tangent have to do with the two questions from the start?

If you think about it, a good chunk of that “basic” story of Lost has yet to be answered – how much do we really know about the Island and its funky powers? What about the mysterious Others? The answer is “not much”. It only seems fitting that Lost’s final season returns to its roots from the first season and answers the questions first posed in its first episodes.

That means finally getting some legit information out of Alpert (and probably Ilana’s Crew as well) about who the Others are and what they are tasked with – protecting the Island? Serving Jacob? Saving the world? In the process, we’ll also learn exactly what powers the Island does and doesn’t have and why it’s so important… or if it’s those ON the Island that make it so “special” (Jacob and AJ). Once those questions are answered, it will be very clear what role our Survivors have in all this – be it in helping to protect the Island or joining forces in the battle of good vs. evil for control of the Island.

That’s what I think Season Six is going to center around – at least as of right now.

Notice what’s missing? Anything related to “alternate realities”.

It seems like everyone is assuming that Season Six is going to be some sort of alternate version of Season One, with some suggesting that Oceanic 815 never crashes – and others that it still crashes, but now Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer, and Jin have pre-existing memories of the events from the first time through (thanks to Jacob touching them). I just can’t see either of those storylines being very satisfying (or possible).

Some of the speculation stems from the following videos shown at Comic-Con:

Some of the speculation stems from the rumors about formerly dead cast members Charlie, Boone and Juliet coming back in Season Six for a few episodes.

But there are a ton of problems with this alternate reality / changed future storyline.

For one, if Oceanic 815 never crashes on the Island, the show is done. None of the characters would know each other, the past five seasons would (cheaply) be undone, and the show ends with everyone miserable. Even if the Jacob-touched characters retained their memories, it would be a re-hash of last season to have them have to gather up characters and find a way to return to the Island.

If Oceanic 815 still crashes, but our Jacob-touched Survivors are cognizant of the events from the first time around, they could do things differently – better perhaps, to prevent some character deaths – but it would still be cheating the audience out of the first five seasons. Also, even if they’ve got characters like Charlie and Boone signed on to guest star – they’re still missing a lot of other Season One characters, including some that are impossible to bring back like a young Walt.

If Season Six features “flashes” that show “what could have been” if things had worked out differently, that wouldn’t ruin the main Island storyline – but what would the point be? It seems like a waste of time to show stuff that “could have, but didn’t” happen based on the actions of our characters.

So how do we explain the return of the dead characters? And what are the Season Six “flashes” going to be all about? It brings us to question number two…

Given the direction I’m guessing the storyline will go (learning about the Others / the Island), it would make total sense to revisit some of the scenes from Season One (and earlier seasons) – but not in an “alternate reality”… but from an alternate perspective – like from that of the Others.

How fantastic would it be to finally learn what the Others have been doing for the past five seasons while our Survivors have been on the Island? Have they been watching? Have they subtly influenced them (in a positive or negative way)? These flashbacks could offer answers to a lot of the open questions from earlier seasons, fleshing out the storyline while giving us insight into the last “mystery group” on the Island – the Others. It’s the story we’ve been waiting for since Season Three, but have only received hints and teases up until this point. Obviously the writers couldn’t reveal the full truth behind the Others until now – because they hold the key to the fundamental questions about what the Island is and what needs to be done to protect it / the world.

It also allows us to have a “curtain call” for some characters that we’ve lost over the years, as they appear in the Others flashbacks. Not only does this not negate the previous five seasons, it strengthens them, makes them richer, and gives us the chance to view them in a different light. We pick up right where things left off, the past has not been changed, we jump right into the action, learning more about the past along the way, find out the mysteries of the Island, have a battle of good vs. evil, save the world, and have our characters find redemption / death / closure to their plot lines.

So that’s what I think. What about you?


Leonel said...

I think the opening scene is going to be exact what you don't want - the plane landing as if nothing has happened, people going home without knowing each other.

Then cut and show them all in the island on the current time. Everyone saved will probably be shown like flashes and current time. I can't speculate much after that.

VictorC said...

Brian, I've never hoped you're right (as you usually are) about your theories more than this one.
Because the thought of all those seasons going to waste really bothers me, all those times we spent theorizing and discussing this show for nothing? that would ruin the genious of this show so far. Not to mention pissing me off.

Leonel, did you read anything Brian wrote? if the plane lands safely, there is no show.

Ms Terri said...

Very interesting theory! I agree that the Comic-Con videos might have been meant to misdirect, and instead of the alternate timelines that most fans now expect, we could be getting a retelling of the story via flashbacks instead.

Flashbacks would also fit in with what the producers said about Season 6 having the same kind of feel as Season 1, which was the most flashback-oriented season of all. And it also fits with what they said about Season 6 not being about time travel.

And I *really* like the whole idea of the story being told all over again from the beginning, but this time from the point of view of the Others.

One snag though -- if Season 6 is not going to be about an alternate reality, then what happens to all the characters when Jughead explodes? If they are not blown into a different timeline, then they would all just die on the spot.

-- Ms Terri (who was glad to have stumbled upon this post from a Twitter link)

Brian said...

Ms Terri - I think that's where the Jacob-touching comes into play.

Either as a result of Jacob dying (which "calls" those he touched to his side), or as a result of our Survivors dying (which activates Jacob's magic powers, a la John Locke after he was pushed out of the window by his father), our Jacob-touched Survivors end up in the "present".

This is bad news for Juliet and Miles, who we never saw get touched by Jacob...

Luckily, we still will have the opportunity to see those characters next year via Other Flashbacks :)

Ms Terri said...

Or perhaps it could be the bomb that pushes them up to the present.

Or maybe ... maybe they DO all die (permanently!) when Jughead explodes. Hmmm. It could be like a Shakespearean tragedy, with the stage littered with bodies as the curtain comes down.

It would make for a very short season if they were all shown to die in the first minute of the first episode. ;) But if the season restarts the story back at the beginning, as you suggest, then they could spend the whole season building up to the Jughead explosion ... and everyone dying could be the last thing that would happen in the last scene of the show. And then, fade to white, again.

This seems like a grimmer ending than I would expect the writers to come up with. But if we take Damon and Carlton's assertion, that there will be no time travel in Season 6, completely literally, then there will be nowhere for the Losties to go, no way to escape Jughead's impact.

... just thinking out loud ;)

Gibbo said...

I still don't think they have explained the whole ghost presence on the island yet and how people who are dead appear to people.

I'm thinking that this has something to do with why old characters are going to be in season 6.

Just a thought.

jack said...

Brian - excellent thought. if u r correct, i propose that C&L should be remembered for LOST as groundbreaking story-telling. very multi-dimensional indeed!

Haylscat said...

I like the idea of alternate perspectives- that theory is strengthened by the fact that Nestor Carbonell is finally signed on as a full-time cast member.

I was actually liking the theory of the six going back to the place where Jacob touched them and getting a chance, with all of their memories in tact, to still get on the Ajira plane (my thinking was that Juliette's probably brief cameo would be Sawyer going to the hospital where she works just to see if she is okay, or somehow stopping the Others from taking her to the island in the first place).

Reading your theory though, you are right that without the 815 flight, where would LOST be? All of the other characters besides the 6 would have been in vain, and we know that there is Claire storyline to be cleared up, so that wouldn't work. Good theorizing- I can hardly wait! ;)

Synchromystic Librarian said...


jon. said...

I hope (and think) it will play out somethink like this. Good thinking that they must've had SOME one season ending in mind from the beginning. Though, they could also have tweaked that once the show was a multi season hit.

Iäm thinking we might have two levels of flashbacks:

1. back to season 1, as seen from the perspective of the others

2. the season 1 behaviour of the others could in turn be illuminated through flashback to much older periods on the island, like Richard's arrival, plots AJ has put in motion that nudged some of the others to do things in season 1, what moves Jacob made, and so on.

Because season 1 was so much about understanding the present behaviour of the survivors through their flashbacks. Likewise, to understand the other's season 1 behaviour we could get their pre-crash flashbacks.

Kristen said...

This is the best theory for Season 6 that I've read so far. It gives the writers a chance to explain the mysteries of the island (which may make the sci-fi elements seem less far fetched) and allows the story to remain character focused - which is what sucked me into LOST to begin with.

HOWEVER, some of you may have seen these "Mysteries of the Universe" clips on ABC’s website: It may be more misdirection, but it makes me nervous.

Jenn Wilkey said...

Jon. -- I would LOVE to see Richard's arrival on the island. He is the most mysterious character on the show.

Brian et al. -- please correct me if I'm wrong - but is it possible that Jughead did blow up? And that is "the incident?" or am i missing something? I just feel like if you hold to the "whatever happened, happened" thing, that Jack is NOT changing history in any way... feeling clueless...

Steve said...

I feel that there is a lot of misdirection. If you ever listened to the podcasts, you've heard Damon and Carlton complain about chaning the future, they critisized "hero's season 1" for having Hero tell Peter to 'save the cheerleader'. In that if you save the cheerleader, there would never be a reason to come back in the first place. They complained about bad time travel. They used examples like 12 monkees, which is basically 'what happened, happened'.

What this means, and I'll bet on it for any takers, is that there is no way the "incident" ever happned other than the way it happened. (See Marvic Candles arm for the real clue, he LOST it in the finale, he's always lost it).

What does this mean for Juliet? Well, as much as I don't want to see her dead, I believe that Brians explenation is probably right. She's on the show in Others flashbacks, just like Charlie and Boone. I don't think it amounts to much more than that.
I'm not buying the misdirection, these guys are geeks and they're toying with us, playing into the blogsphere rumors to entice us. I don't buy it. The incident is what it is and always was, as so was the plane crash. That's the easy part.

Now, this doesn't answer anything about Clair, Christian, the 'touching by jacob', who is alpert or MAN #2, the black rock, the statue, the tapestry, etc.

In reflection, I think the simplest solution this is that Jacob and Man #2 have different perspectives. They are eternal on the island. Jacob enjoys playing "God", he tries to bring people along, form a group of people that he kind of feels he is resonsible for. He sees the potential and good in man. He sees the potential and tries to tap it.

Man #2 is the pessimist. He feels that even with good things, that man will implode and only bring destruction so why bother. He is very tired of Jacob drawing people to their island and wants to be through with it.

Man #2 seems evil, opinionated and stuck in his ways by comparison, but I get an eerie feeling from Jacob in that he is kind of playing 'god' and in a way, this is entertainment. Kind of like pets. So is he really 'good'?

I feel that there is probably a third party here, but I'm not going farther. I think Brian is brilliant for stripping away all the distractions to get to the root of the story.. which is sort of what I've tried to do above as well.

Think about all the crazy theories! Remember the discussion of clones? What, we chased the 'bad twin' book and thought we saw twins on the boat. In the end, it was nothing at all.

VictorC said...

Well said, Steve.

Leonel said...

victorc - yeah I did read what he wrote. I still think the shock of seeing the plane landing is too big for them to pass up. Exactly because we think there's no show if the plane lands is why I believe they would do it.

Can you imagine your "WTF?" moment seeing it happen? Then you discover that's a vision/alternate universe/whatever you call and the "real" world is still on the island.

Maybe I didn't explain myself well at first - I'm thinking they're going into a paralel universe story, however they choose to arrange it. "current time" is present with everyone still stuck on the island, taking the present action, and "paralel fixed universe" could be spiked in as "flashes" (flashlels? flashverse? nah it doesn't work) just like flashbacks/flashforwards were used before.

Probably there's some impending doom in their "fixed" universe that jacob convenient shows them what they need to do close that timeline and turn everything back to normal. Maybe they'll just start disappearing back-to-the-future style the further along the alternate goes. Or whatever.

I still think we'll see the plane land. But for some lost sleve-trick-reason it won't have *really* landed.

What do you think the opening scene of the season is going to be? Think of the previous opening scenes.

Gibbo said...

I think the start of the episode might be on a plane, it might even land........but then you realise this is just a plane that Jack or someone caught sometime before the crash.

Leonel: I think what your suggeting wouldnt only ruin the show for everyone thats invested time into it, it would also be very very complicated to pull off. It would also be very difficult for your average viewer to understand.

Steve: Very good post, I agree 100%.

J. Solomon said...

Did you see they revealed the title of the first episode of Season 6?

It is LAX, to the best of my knowledge.

Steve said...

I don't know... Not much time to resolve such a major twist, and such a poor timeline inconsistancy. If the final season is like the first in that it's more character focused, I just don't see such a twist. I'm writing multiple timelines out.

And as for a full season based on landing in LAX: I say that logstically it's nearly impossible to get all the cast members back.

While I'm sticking to my guns on what I know of Damon And Carlton, the the fasibility of casting. I am looking at the previews and the LAX title and considering some sort of alternate, not timeline, but perhaps the island or jacob showing some sort of vision what if?

I know there are those who will say that Jacob's plan all along was to prevent locke from coming to the island by landing at LAX, but It makes no sense as it would degrade the first 5 seasons to nothing more than filler. No 'shock value' is worth that.
barring some sort of genius writing or vision sequence.

BlackRob said...

Based on what Damon and Carlton have said and the videos I think that the plane will land safely in LAX. However, all of those touched by Jacob will still be called to the island and get there by some other means. History will course correct. I don't think this will betray the storyline at all b/c I think the ultimate story is about the island, Jacob, and the individuals that Jacob touched. The other survivors and Dharma are secondary.

Steve said...

The episode is NOT LAX.

It's supposedly


with a space.

Obviously not the ONLY meaning in the title.

J-Bos! said...

Good catch Steve. Obviously a bit of misdirection is in play now with that. (Among several other things) 'X' could mean 10 with LA standing for something else or it could be 'X' as in a variable.

Steve said...

Ahh..that has a potential.. a course correction in that the plane instead of crashing, the people jacob touched still come to the island? And maybe a couple others as well?

But it doesn't make sense with Hurley landing safely, but then again he wasn't touched was he?

I still say this will destroy the first 5 seasons. But I'm putting some faith in the shows creators here. But lets just say that with these promo leaks, I'm actually discoraged, and I'm not as excited about the new season as I have in the past.

Not that it's any less fun to guess as how the show will start?

jack said...

Agreed - let's have faith in C&L. They've proven to be very 'fan driven' and would not jump the shark in an attempt to appeal to the lighter viewer.

Joey D. said...

Or how about this....

What if the opening scene is like Leonel says. The plane landing in LA. But what if it is like what happened to Desmond in Flashes Before Your Eyes? The bomb going off at the Swan site sends Jack, Kate, Hurley, ETC, into a similar situation as Desmond in Flashes? They realize that they are in a different time period only to be sucked back to the island like Desmond when he got hit with the paddle?

Steve said...

Joey, I like that.. it does indeed look like we'll see some cool island stuff, but I now believe the plane will land. I don't like it.. but...

If you're going to mention 'flashes before your eyes', I could sort of see that.. at least in that this is how they 'know' each other. But remember that time does correct itself, so this could very well send them back to the island.

As someone mentioned earier, this means that we sort of have a repeat of coming back to the island again, which is sort of a season 5 repeat, which I don't like, or alternate timelines, which I also hate.

However, when you mention 'desmond' type movement, it does make this all possible.

I'm hoping and have some faith(though weaker than before) that they will have some innovative original idea that all clicks, and the desmond time jumps is the closest thing that I see.

Remember the dead guy who washed up in the shore prior to being killed in season 4(if I remember that correctly)?

I'm not going any further, but as you can tell I've pretty much come to terms with my denial of an LAX landing.

dj (David Jones) said...

Pretty good, Brian.

I honestly considered the Others' perspective thing, but I also wondered if there would be an alternate reality. I thought the bomb might happen and create two realities: One that would happen if they never crashed, and one that threw the survivors back to the present upon Jacob's death.

I like your version of it better. BUT, I think the Comic-con videos lean towards the dual reality thing.

It'd be a scenario in which everyone would die in the crash reality versus how they would live if it never happened. I could see them doing it.

But I hope your idea wins the day.