Saturday, May 01, 2010

Lost... and Gone Forever Bye Week Spectacular!

Welcome to the “Lost… and Gone Forever Bye Week Spectacular!” Inside, you'll find my current "Death Watch", rankings of each season of Lost, my predictions for the final five episodes, and the meaning of life (seriously).


Death Watch. There are only five hours of Lost left. This means for the first time in the show’s history, literally every character’s life is at risk. I could see the writers killing most of the main characters or I could see the writers killing none of the major characters. The truth will probably lie somewhere in between. Let’s rank them, starting with the safest characters and working our way up to the most at risk:


Vincent – I’m not sure we’ll actually see Vincent again on the show, since that would force the writers into explaining what the hell Rose and Bernard have been up to all this time on the Island. Did they “jump” to 2007 after the Incident along with everyone else? Did they stay in 1977 and live out the rest of their lives on the Island (somehow magically avoiding Smokey, the Others, and Dharma)? It feels like the last time we saw them, during last season’s finale, it was meant to be their farewell on the show. I know a lot of people have been asking about them, but I think the writers want us to forget about them and assume they had a happy ending, living a simple life happily ever after on the Island.

As for Vincent, years ago the writers assured us that he is the one character on Lost that would make it to the end – which is good news for me, since I would gladly kill off every other character on the show as long as Vincent lives. I would be perfectly fine with the series ending with everyone dying, and Vincent running out of the jungle, tail wagging, realizing that he gets the Island all to himself to dig, swim, and play.


Hurley – In terms of actual characters on the show right now, Hurley is the only one I consider “safe”. He’s the heart and soul of the show, as he is now the only character left who hasn’t become “dark” in some way. There’s no tortured past, drug addiction, undead zombie-ness, or murder with Hurley. He talks to dead people, and had some bad luck after winning the lottery. That’s nothing compared to some of the drama that our other Survivors have experienced in life pre and post Island. I could see him becoming the new Jacob on the Island. I could see him becoming the new Alpert on the Island. I could see him living happily ever after on the Island hanging out with Island spirits and ghosts. I could see him returning to the real world with a newfound “luck” in life. Basically, I can realistically see any of these things happening – but not Hurley dying.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for any other character on the show…

Danger Zone:

Jack – Before Lost started, the writers originally planned to kill Jack during its first episode – which makes it seem like killing him now would be no big deal. But a lot has happened since then. More than any other character (outside of Locke), Jack has done nothing but suffer over the past six seasons of the show. He stepped up in a leadership position immediately after the crash, and because of it, has felt the weight of the all the Survivors on his shoulders ever since. When characters die, he feels it more than anyone else – he blames himself and questions what he could have done differently along the way. His fatal flaw is the desire to “fix people” and “save them”, which has led to a lot of internal pain and suffering over the years. But I think because of this, he’s less likely to die. Even in his newfound “enlightened” state where he is letting others make decisions and trying to follow the desires of the Island, he hasn’t quite found redemption yet – he’s not yet to the point where he can let out a sigh of relief that his work is done. I could see him reaching that point by the end of the show, when he can stop worrying about everyone else, accept that he did his best, and let go. Once he gets there, I could see Jack dying. Until that point, he’s safe.

Jin – I really debated who is more at risk between Sun and Jin, because I think both are in trouble (ever since Jin jinxed them by saying “we’ll never be apart again. I promise you”). On the one hand, Jin has never gotten off the Island and has never seen his daughter – so it seems like he should live long enough to get those opportunities. But on the other hand, I could see him heroically dying to save Sun. Sun and Jin represent one of the only chances for a couple to receive a happy ending on the show, so it wouldn’t surprise me if both somehow survive – but it seems like the writers are setting us up for heartbreak.

Sun – If I had my choice, Sun would die and Jin would live. I think it’s funny that people seem to view Sun as this innocent little female who just wants to have her happy family together. Pre-Island, Sun was an adulterous, deceptive person. Post-Island, Sun was seemingly in cahoots with Widmore and focused on killing Ben, manipulating characters like Kate in the process of accomplishing her plan. Honestly, she’s a real B – and I wouldn’t be sad if she died on the show. Let Jin live and raise his daughter. Sun would probably just be a negative influence on her anyways. However, the one thing that helps Sun out more than Jin is that she’s one of the few females left on the show… and as you’ll see, things aren’t looking good for any of the rest. Unless the writers are total misogynists, there has to be at least one female standing at the end, right?

Claire – Claire is a tough character to read, mostly because we don’t know if she is truly the walking undead – or if she’s still alive, but been so manipulated by SmokeLocke that she appears to be in the same state as Sayid. If she died in the Barracks explosion of last season, she’s as good as gone. She’ll carry out the remainder of her “mission” for SmokeLocke (which probably involves attempting to kill Claire) and then no one will have any use for her. Aside from Kate (and potentially Jack), the rest of the characters have written her off as being unworthy of tagging along in any escape plans, she seems unfit to raise Aaron, and I have to assume that leaving the Island would make her drop dead, as she would no longer be under the “magic spell” of the Island / SmokeLocke. If she is actually alive and just totally messed up by being left alone on the Island for three years with SmokeLocke, there’s a chance she makes it out alive to ruin Aaron’s life and be tormented by the demons of her past killing for the remainder of her days. So either way, no happy endings for Claire.

Ben – Much like Jack, it seems like Ben still needs to reach total redemption to complete his character arc. Sure, he might have been a pawn all along, manipulated by Anti-Jacob into being a “bad guy” on the Island – killing people, orchestrating the Purge, potentially ending the world by killing Jacob – but he’s gotta end up being a “good guy” right? I mean, all he ever wanted was to help the Island and be loved. He can’t help it if someone smarter and more powerful than him tricked him into doing the wrong things all these years. There’s no life for Ben off the Island (as shown by his Flash Sideways, where the best the writers could come up with is that he has a decent relationship with his dying father and helped Alex get into college), so his story either ends with him remaining on the Island, or dying to make up for all the wrongs he’s done over the years. Either way, the conclusion to his character arc should be pretty powerful, as he’s been one of the best written characters on the show over the years.

Miles – There’s really no compelling evidence one way or the other for Miles. His character serves a purpose on the show, he’s likeable, and still has a little bit of mystery left (how exactly he is able to communicate with the dead) – but I think most people assume at this point we’re not going to get a firm answer to that question. Like I said, I like Miles, but I see him being caught in the crossfire in the “Battle for the Island”, with the writers (and audience) thinking to themselves “It’s sad – but better to lose him than Kate / Sawyer / Jack / Hurley”.

Frank – Pretty similar to Miles, except it seems like the only reason the writers are keeping Frank around is that he could potentially fly Ajira 316 off the Island (laugh). Once that plan is eliminated / the characters realize how absurd it is, Frank’s in the same boat as Miles (literally?) – an acceptable casualty that will make the audience sad, but preserve the main characters to live another day.

Man, this is getting depressing. If you thought those were bad, wait until you see the rest!


Desmond – Widmore told Desmond that he would need to make a “sacrifice”, or else we’re all dead. Widmore also told Desmond that he needed to make sure he could live through another catastrophic electromagnetic event, or else we’re all dead. It seems like Widmore is prepping Desmond to do something similar to turning the fail-safe of the Swan Hatch, where he’ll be exposed to high levels of electromagnetism, but that it’ll save the world (at least the people in Reality #1, perhaps). Desmond seems to have accepted his fate in Reality #1, which makes it seem like his story is going to end one of two ways – being the hero, saving the world, and sacrificing himself in the process, or being the hero, saving the world, and somehow coming out on the other side alive. But if that were the case, I don’t think Widmore would have used the word “sacrifice”. He would have said something like “I need you to do something”. Maybe Widmore is wrong, but I’m not optimistic.

Sayid – Let’s face it, Sayid is already screwed. He’s the walking undead. He’s got nothing to live for either reality. He’s being prepped by SmokeLocke to be an emotionless killer because “it’ll make his upcoming tasks easier”. As I mentioned last week, the only way Sayid can have a semblance of a happy ending with redemption is by dying in some heroic fashion in an effort to help save the world / the other Survivors. There’s also the chance that he dies as our Survivors / Widmore defend themselves against him. Either way, death looks to be the only ending for Sayid’s story.

Sawyer – It seems a little unfair to have Sawyer die on the Island, as he’s one of the few characters (along with Jin and Miles) that never got the chance to leave and see what life would have been like if they never crashed on the Island (short answer: still pretty crappy). Because of this, he’s got a single-minded approach to every action her performs from here on out – getting the hell off the Island. He’s willing to do anything to achieve that goal, even if it means leaving people behind (Jack), cutting losses with others (Claire), or making deals with the enemy (Widmore and SmokeLocke). Unfortunately, I think it’s this obsessive focus that is going to get him killed. Live together, die alone. The good news is, as awesome of a character as Sawyer has been, he’s sure to die in some awesome, heroic fashion – saving Kate, saving the world, or at least getting off a hilarious one-liner in the end… and hopefully saying “Son of a Bitch” one last time. When all is said and done, we’ll look back on Sawyer as having some of the biggest character development on the show – and being more of a “hero” than any other character. Sad.

Alpert – This one is actually not a bad thing. Alpert’s “happy ending” is to finally be able to die, to finally be reunited with Isabella in the afterlife, and to finally be able to leave the Island. I’m not sure what the “rules” around his immortality are, but I’m guessing that someone else could kill him (which is why he asked Jack to blow him up in the Black Rock), leaving him open to being a casualty in the “Battle for the Island”. If not, perhaps once the Island spell is broken – the Candidates are all eliminated and SmokeLocke is defeated – the curse on him will be broken, and he’ll no longer be immortal, making him instantly succumb to old age. Unlike the rest of the characters on Death Watch 2010: The Final Countdown (with a sweet techno intro by the band “Europe”), we should all be pulling for this one to occur… and I think it will.

Kate – This one pains me, but I have to face the facts. Of all the remaining “main characters” on Lost, Kate is the one with the least “meat” to her story. She came back to the Island to rescue Claire and reunite her with Aaron… which is looking like a terrible idea. Before she left, she already gave Aaron away, so there’s no way that she could reclaim him upon return from the Island. She’s already attempted a relationship with Jack that failed. What else does she have in life? But the biggest reason that I put Kate at the top of the list is that unlike all the other remaining Survivors on Lost, she isn’t a Candidate. For Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, and Jin (or Sun), it seems like all the major players in the Battle for the Island have a reason to keep them alive and together – be it to become the new Jacob, or leave the Island together – but the common theme is that whatever they do, they have to do as a group (according to SmokeLocke). This makes Kate the odd man out. Or, the “odd hot woman out”. Sure, there are plenty of B-list characters that could die (Frank, Miles, all of Widmore’s crew), but if the writers are going to punch us in the gut with a major character death – it’s going to be Kate… and it will achieve its intended goal. Characters on the show are going to be upset and have a newfound purpose and desire, viewers at home are going to realize that the stakes are raised and anything can happen, and Season Six will finally gain some of the emotional power that’s been sorely lacking.

It’s just a shame we’ll lose the only eye candy left on Lost to achieve these goals. Damn you writers!


The End. You’ll notice that the overall theme of the Death Watch was just how dire the situation is for a lot of characters on Lost, how little they have to live for in Reality #1, and how there’s a lot of opportunity for multiple characters to die “heroic deaths”. When did Lost become the most depressing show on TV? From a big picture perspective, what is the fundamental take away from the story of Lost? From the start, the writers have told us that Lost is about “life”. Does this mean that the story of life is one of depression, death, and being puppets in some game being carried out by mysterious God-like beings?

Before we tackle the meaning of life (that’s right mankind, I’m going to answer this little question in this Blog!), let me give an overview of how I see the season (and series) wrapping up:

Team Sawyer (Sawyer, Kate, Sun, Jin, Hurley, Claire, Frank) are captured by Widmore. Luckily, they’re on Hydra Island, where there are plentiful Polar Bear cages / underwater chambers to hold prisoners (see: Season Three). They won’t be there long.

Team SmokeLocke (SmokeLocke, Jack, Sayid, any surviving Others) will still make their way over to Hydra Island – after all, that’s where all the other Candidates are, that’s where Ajira 316 is, and that’s where Widmore is. There’s no point in sticking around on the Main Island at this point in the game.

This sets up the “Battle for the Island” that we’ve actually been talking about since Season Four. Crazy. Team SmokeLocke will probably have a two-front approach – attacking Widmore’s people and rescuing the Candidates. Note that this is where things get bad for the non-Candidates, since there is less motivation to protect them in a heated battle. SmokeLocke is going to be focused on rescuing Sawyer, Sun/Jin, and Hurley – along with Sayid and Jack, that’s all he needs.

Team Alpert (Alpert, Ben, Miles) is the wild card. I’m expecting them to show up as some unexpected visitors during the battle. They’re not concerned about who wins or loses – they’re simply focused on blowing stuff up to ensure that no one leaves the Island – especially not SmokeLocke.

Who wins in the end? I think Team Alpert will succeed in destroying Ajira 316, but logic tells you that Team SmokeLocke (who, you know, have a Smoke Monster on their side) will be able to defeat Widmore’s army of nerd scientists. However, I do think that with Widmore’s dying breath, he’s going to reveal that although SmokeLocke thinks he has won – Widmore still has an ace up his sleeve… Desmond Hume.

Note that at this point, EVERYONE is on Hydra Island except for Desmond – who is theoretically still at the bottom of the well (although there is a chance that Sayid helped him out when he was mysteriously gone last episode). It’s only logical to have the action shift back to the Main Island, but why? I’m thinking at this point, Widmore reveals why Desmond is the key to saving the world, and what task he gave him before sending him off to be captured by SmokeLocke.

What is this plan? Based on the “catastrophic electromagnetic event” talk, it seems as though Desmond is going to be exposed to the Island’s funky core. I’m picturing Desmond doing something along the lines of turning the Swan Station Fail Safe or the FDW, basically completing some act that destroys (sinks?) the Island once and for all, or at least makes it so that SmokeLocke can never escape.

The important thing is that this will create a “race to find / stop Desmond” between competing Teams from Hydra Island back to the Main Island… and how are they going to get there? The Outriggers. FINALLY, after being teased all season long, we’ll see the other side of the “Juliet shooting someone in the back Outrigger” scene from the time jumping escapades of last season. This will either end tragically (Juliet killing Sawyer!) or heroically (Juliet killing Evil Sayid!) – but either way, this is one question that will be answered.

From here, the details get a little fuzzy. I still can’t put together a logical explanation for the final few scenes of the series, since they would need to tie back in with the Flash Sideways (which you’ve noticed I haven’t mentioned at all in this theory), something I don’t really understand. Conceptually, it would make sense that Desmond’s “catastrophic electromagnetic event” might bring the two realities back together the same way that Juliet and the Jughead split the apart – but that leaves us with Lost ending with everyone dying as Desmond destroys / sinks the Island. Again, pretty depressing.


Maybe it’s better we not try to figure out exactly how Lost is going to end, just in case we accidentally guess right. Let’s focus on something easier – the meaning of life.

Regardless of how Lost ends, it’s pretty clear what the overarching theme of the series has been – and if Lost really is about life, than what the purpose of life is. It’s really quite simple:

To leave it a better place than you found it.

You can take this at both a micro and macro level. On the micro level, life is all about the people you meet, the connections you make, and the influence you have on them – positive or negative. Hopefully, when you die people are able to say that their lives were better because you were in them. On a macro level, it’s about the bigger picture things – saving lives, protecting the planet, inventing things that make us all a little more “enlightened” about the human condition. It’s very rare for a single person to accomplish one of these macro goals, but we have numerous occasions to be a part of a group that works towards achieving these loftier goals.

When you think about it, people today are standing on the shoulders of the people from yesterday – and it’s been that way from the start. We’re slowly becoming smarter, creating more technology, and understanding more about life. It’s all thanks to the micro and macro contributions from those who came before us. What are we building towards? Total enlightenment? Eventual destruction of the world? Sadly, I think both are equally likely.

What does any of this have to do with Lost?

If Lost = Life, it helps explain what this crazy show has been about. Sure, there are a lot of mysteries along the way – including those that we won’t get answers to – but that’s life. There’s all sorts of stuff in real life that I don’t understand and probably never will (women, Calculus, how airplanes fly), but in the end it all comes down to one overall purpose – making it better. On Lost, we’ve seen that from the start. On an individual character level, we’ve seen people helping other people – literally saving lives and figuratively “saving” souls. On a bigger scale, it looks like Lost is building towards one of those rare situations where a small group of individuals have a chance to achieve one of those “macro” steps forward for the human race – preventing the world from going to hell, or from ceasing to exist, or whatever the hell happens if SmokeLocke leaves the Island.

The moral of the story is that even if all our characters end up dying in destroying the Island, it’s really not as depressing as it seems – they saved the world, giving life the chance to fight another day and continue to improve.

Like Jacob said, “it only ends once, everything that happens before that is just progress”.

Rankings. Okay, enough “smart person talk”. Let’s move on to something more fun. I’m always a big fan of making lists of rankings to see how things stack up to each other – you know, just in case someone ever puts a gun to my head and forces me to pick my favorite CD of all time, I’ll have an answer (Jack Johnson, “In Between Dreams”). It seems only appropriate at this point to take a fond look back and rank the six seasons of Lost (of course, since the sixth season hasn’t ended, its position could jump around quite a lot over the next five epiodes):

6. SEASON SIX – Not a huge surprise here, since the season hasn’t ended yet – and without understanding the Flash Sideways yet, a full 50% of the season is still a mystery – but at this point Season Six has paled in comparison to the previous five. As I look back at the episodes from this season, not a lot are jumping out as “classics” like each prior season has had. Are there any episodes (outside of maybe “Ab Aeterno”) that you can see yourself watching multiple times? I’m not seeing many. Remember all the Temple stuff that dominated the first third of the season On-Island? Was there a point to any of it? Is anyone looking back fondly on the time our characters spent there with Dogen and Lennon? Doesn’t it seem like we could have skipped that storyline and just had our Survivors divided between Ilana and SmokeLocke from the start? Since then, things have picked up – but the combination of wasting a third of the On-Island action with not really understanding / appreciating the Flash Sideways yet, it means that only about 20% of Season Six has been awesome.

Like I said, this is all going to change based on the last five episodes – but I figured we should include Season Six on the list anyways – and it lands at the bottom.

5. SEASON FIVE – Simply put, Season Five should have been better. The writers took a big risk in Season Five by introducing time travel to the show, allowing the audience to view some of the major events in the Island’s history through the eyes of our characters (genius), and then leaving them in the 1970’s, setting up the writers to give the audience something they had been begging for since Season Two – learning everything about the Dharma Initiative! But it turns out that the common view of the Internet didn’t match the view the writers had for Dharma – instead of being genius scientists attempting to save the world through their crazy experiments on a magical Island (which we all assumed), they turned out to be beatnik hippies who didn’t seem overly competent or interested in the great things that could be accomplished using the Island’s powers. Disappointing.

The other disappointment was the hokey way in which the Oceanic Six returned to the Island (that’s right, I’m still not over the ridiculousness of Eloise Hawking telling Jack that the flight had to be recreated as closely as possible – and I pray every day that the writers explain this further in the last five hours of the show). I think Season Five is an example of the show suffering by keeping its characters apart for too long. While it was great to see relationships between Sawyer and Juliet / Jack and Ben develop, I missed having the whole gang back together.

Season Five definitely had its highlights (“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”, “The Variable”), but it doesn’t stack up to the rest.

4. SEASON FOUR – Season Four is the shortest season of Lost (stupid writers’ strike), told the story of the Oceanic Six, and had one of the best Lost episodes of all-time (“The Constant”). It introduced us to the Freighter, awesome characters like Daniel Faraday, and huge sci-fi jumps like the Frozen Donkey Wheel. On the whole, the season works – it tells a tight, action-packed storyline – plus, it has a totally fresh take on the flashes by using Flash Forwards for the first time.

In the end, it’s not higher on the list because of how few episodes there were. There simply wasn’t a lot of time to let the characters “breathe” and have enough moments to build up the emotional impact of the season. It’s a huge contrast to Season One, where the writers almost took too much time in soaking in the atmosphere and experience. If the writers had a few more episodes to play with, I’m quite confident this season would have been higher on the list.

3. SEASON ONE – The season that started it all – compared to the later seasons of the show, Season One feels totally different. There’s such a relaxed, deliberate pace to the storylines. The writers are in no hurry to get anywhere, and are perfectly continent to let the camera linger on gorgeous shots of the Hawaiian scenery. While there are hints of the mysterious, nothing is definitive in Season One. In fact, as I originally noted in my analysis of the Season One finale, it’s almost as if the writers were afraid to reveal their true colors in Season One – they were trying to keep everyone happy as long as possible by not revealing too many sci-fi elements, promising us that everything would be explained by pseudo-science, and keeping the stories very realistic – focusing on survival and getting off the Island, as opposed to the current storylines focused on saving the world and stopping a God-like being from leaving the Island.

In fact, it would be quite possible for someone to use Season One of Lost as their base, and spin it off in a totally different direction quite successfully. There are plenty of “hooks” to build on, but just basing things off Season One, anything was possible. Even without all the mythology and action-packed storylines, Season One is totally enjoyable on repeat viewings, reminding the viewer of simpler times, and a simpler storyline.

2. SEASON TWO – It’s the season that gave us the Dharma Initiative, Desmond Hume, the Tail Section, Benjamin Linus, and the Others. It’s the season that first started splitting our Survivors apart into groups (which helped tell multiple storylines at once… but has also strained the story a bit over the years). It’s the season that gave us the Blast Door Map, which seemingly was my post that “hooked” the majority of you readers. Although there were some sub-par episodes (“Fire + Water”) and storylines (Sayid being in love with Shannon? Really?), on t was a great season, full of great episodes.

It took everything that we loved about the first season and built on it, giving the hardcore fans the mythology they were hoping for, introducing a tangible “enemy”, and giving us great new characters in the process (Desmond and Eko).

1. SEASON THREE – It’s funny, because Season Three represents both the best and the worst of Lost. Remember, Season Three is home to “Stranger in a Strange Land”, the episode so bad that it forced the Lost writers to demand an end date for their show. It also was the season that started with Jack, Kate, and Sawyer on Hydra Island for six episodes in the fall – and then endured a three month hiatus before picking back up in the spring. Yet for my money, the ending stretch of episodes of Season Three are as good as the series has ever had – culminating in perhaps the greatest episode of television I’ve ever seen (and certainly the most shocking) – “Through the Looking Glass”.


But there are a ton of gems throughout the whole second half of the season – “Flashes Before Your Eyes”, “The Man from Tallahassee”, “The Brig”, “The Man Behind the Curtain”, and “Greatest Hits” were all fantastic episodes… and the pace of the On-Island storyline was fantastic. We were hurtling towards the conclusion and couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next (as opposed to other seasons that have felt like we were sitting around and waiting for the finale, because we knew they wouldn’t make the big reveal before then).

Yep, in Season Three the good outweighs the bad – and the good is SO GOOD that it vaults the season to the top of my list. If I was going to re-write the ending to Lost (which I still might do, if the ending sucks), I would start with Season Four – I don’t think there’s any way I could improve on where the writers left us at the end of Season Three. It’s the best of what’s around.

Questions and Answers. Okay, finally I promised to address any questions that you guys posted in the Comments section to last week’s post. Here we go!

Sba said...

Any Fringe fans out here?

Brian says…

I would like to be a fan of this show. I think I’d like it (especially the episodes that deal with the big picture mythology – more than the “monster of the week” ones) but I do not currently watch it.

smacky said...

What about when Juliet shot someone in the pursuing boat when they were time jumping? Is that still to happen? Every time they mention a boat I fear it will be an outrigger and Juliet is getting ready to appear and shoot someone!

Brian says…

Yep – as I mentioned in my predictions for the rest of the season, this will absolutely be addressed. There may be some questions from the first few seasons that never get answered, but the writers introduced this in the middle of last season – it’s fresh in their minds, they knew where they were going with it, and they’ll get us there when the time is right.

Sawyer5665 said...

I wonder what Sayid was looking for in the jungle when Flock found him and asked him what took him so long? Sayid then lied and said he killed Desmond. Anyway, it looked like he was really looking hard for something. Was he looking for something to pull Desmond up out of the well?

Brian says…

It’s possible. If Desmond is already out of the well, it’s also possible that he’s going to do his “catastrophic electromagnetic event” while everyone else is on Hydra Island, which could give us that amazing visual of the Island sinking while everyone watches on from Hydra – although then I don’t know what you do with the last four hours of the show.

Derek said...

Why hasn't juliet been shown in reality 2 yet?

Do you think faraday will appear again in reality 2? Is desmond is constant or is charlotte? The writers seemed to have changed their mind about this...

Brian says…

Smart money is on Juliet being the father of David, right? She’s really the only “main” character that’s left whose appearance could offer any sort of emotional impact on the audience. Since she’s currently on another show, I’m sure the writers wanted to maximize her time that they had her on Lost – meaning that she probably won’t appear on the show until the finale, where they can give her character closure as well as revealing her place in the Flash Sideways.

The whole concept of the “Constant” is something that exists in Reality #1 – not Reality #2 (since in that reality, Faraday never did the experiments that messed with his brain, requiring a constant in the first place). In Reality #1, Desmond is his Constant. In Reality #2, Charlotte was the “emotional connection” that led to his epiphany. Two totally different things.

Amaneldth said...

Did I miss something? What happened to Bernard and Rose?

Brian says…

As I mentioned earlier, I think the writers want us to forget about them. It seems like a dangling storyline, but I don’t think most people care about them enough to bring them up again and have to explain what they’ve been doing for the past few months / years.

stephenf44 said...

Nice overall analysis, but you lost me on Juliet and the Flash-sideways. Juliet was in reality #1 as she apparently jumped back and forth to reality #2 -- isn't this the counterexample of saying the bleeding only goes one-way?

Brian says…

Good point. I guess I was more thinking that no living character in Reality #1 has had an epiphany where they see things in Reality #2, even though a ton of characters have had intense emotional moments. Maybe that’s because they need to experience sunshine happy experiences to match up with their experiences in Reality #2? It just seems like if Reality #2 has always been there, someone would have become aware of it at some point this season, aside from Juliet on her deathbed.

Brendan said...

I have no doubt the Juliet-shooting-someone-in-and-outrigger scene will be shown again. I'm guessing they're holding off until the finale. If I had to guess who gets shot, I'd say it's Ben, Richard or Miles. It just seems like it has to be someone who wasn't in the outrigger with Juliet, because why would they shoot knowing that Juliet would shoot back?

Brian says…

Because they are all on a “race” to the Island, and think it’s SmokeLocke’s Outrigger in front of them? If there are multiple Outriggers in the water (with opposing sides in each of them), it’s likely there is some gunfire going back and forth – Juliet’s Outrigger could suddenly appear in the middle, and either side might think it’s the enemy.

Hedy said...

Also, does this explain the lists? The people that weren't on the list turned out to be candidates?

Brian says…

There have been multiple lists over the years, for multiple purposes. For example, the one list contained the names of people that Ben needed to manipulate to get Jack to perform his spinal surgery. Other lists were from Jacob, outlining the “good people” that would be worthy Others. I don’t think Jacob ever produced a list of just the Candidates, or else Alpert would have known about them – which he didn’t.

Dave Harty said...

Is there any chance that reality #2 bled into reality #1 for Sayid? In reality #2, Sayid told Nadia that he could never see her again (opposite of what he was promised by Smoke Locke). He then had a change of heart about killing Desmond in reality #1.

Maybe AJ's promises in reality #2 will start to unravel and those in reality #1 will realize that there is nothing better waiting for them - all "smoke and mirrors" as Brian would say.

Regarding Ben working for AJ all this time, wouldn't Jacob have confronted Ben with the truth as he was about to be stabbed? I know I might be tempted to raise this point if I was not the one ignoring Ben for so long.

Brian says…

It’s possible, but you would think we would have noticed if Sayid experienced such an epiphany when he was about to kill Desmond. Like I said, I feel like it should be a two way street. If the two realities are both equally viable, when a character comes to an epiphany in one reality, shouldn’t that same character have the equal and opposite epiphany in the other? They don’t, which is why it seems like Reality #2 is the fake one (“smoke and mirrors”), and we’ll eventually come to the point where our Survivors will be put under a spell to see that Reality – but Juliet’s experience seems to contradict this point. I don’t know.

And yes, it seems like Jacob could have very easily prevented his death. Perhaps he’s like Anti-Jacob – he was ready to “leave”, but couldn’t until he was killed – he just didn’t bitch and moan about it all the time like Anti-Jacob.

Rob Rose said...


I've come up with an explanation for Christian's appearance 1) to Michael on the Freighter and 2) off island to Jack... its quite simply actually... and makes COMPLETE SENSE. (although personally I think the writers just luck out that it makes sense)

The explanation is simple...



Two things bring me to this conclusion that seem pretty obvious to me. The first is that DEAD LIBBY had previously appeared to Michael on the freighter, accompanied by the whispers... confirming that the dead have the ability to travel over water. The second bit of proof is simply the fact that right before Christian appeared on the freighter... Michael heard the whispers.. which we now know are the dead people trapped on the island, I.E. Dead Christian Shepherd.

Why Christian was the one to tell Michael he could die now, is anyone's guess.. but it looks like that's what happened.


During the time of the Oceanic Six's three years off island. Hurley had been shown to have been being visited by those who died on the island (Charlie, Mr. Eko, Anna-Lucia etc..) Apparently, its been revealed that these people were NOT any kind of apparition of Man In Black or Jacob, but rather the dead people themselves...

EARLIER IN THE DAY Before Jack saw his father, he visited Hurley... Hurley told Jack that he had been talking to Charlie... and that he had told him that Jack would be visiting... before Jack left the hospital, Hurley told Jack that "he told me that someone was coming to visit you[Jack] too" and that it would be soon. That night he saw Christian at the hospital. So its apparent that it was ACTUALLY Christian who appeared to Jack off the island.

Brian says…

It would work – but it doesn’t feel right to me. Why would Christian Shephard care about Michael, the Freighter, or anything besides talking to his estranged son, Jack? The Off-Island experience with Jack makes sense, but the Freighter still does not. I think we need to just chalk it up the writers being inconsistent / unsure of how it was all going to play out. It seems like they gave us their final answer on Christian Shephard, and we need to stick with it.


Rob Patterson said...

Well... I think my best questions were from my post from the instant reactions, but here is a recap...

the importance of Widmore's team, camp, or technology?

-contain smokemonster, merely to deliver Desmond, destroy island?

How do the survivors defeat Smokey?

-electromagnetism, being a candidate (what the crap does that mean?), not leaving the island, stabbing him with a sword before he talks (the only way we have actually been told but probably wrong), dynamite?

What is the significance of the flash sideways? (so we know they are an alternate reality that is gaining awareness of island reality, but so what...)

-to show the personal sacrifice of the survivors (i think this is your current hypothesis brian), that they can defeat the smokemonster there, representing the smokemonster winning?

What are the remaining important factors to the storyline?

-jacob's ashes?

-the candidates (duh)


-electromagnetic pockets?

-flash sideways ephiphanies

-the sub

-the plane


-children (walt, jacob's or MIB's ghost)... (BTW... why can't the child showing up be one of the ghosts?)

-this factors into how it will be concluded right?

Also, i think you are dead on about the action headed towards hydra Island. Which consequently gives a great camera shot on the island sinking.... hmmm...

Brian says…

Too many questions, and I feel like I addressed a lot of these already. I’m acknowledging that I see them, but letting you know that I’m already 7500 words into this Blog post, and answering them all would cut into my drinking time today. Sorry.

Rob Patterson said...

What is the island?

-cork, purgatory, bridge between realities?

Brian says…

This one I’ll take. My big question is this – is there only ONE Island across both realities, or is the sunken Island in Reality #2 a copy of the Island we currently see in Reality #1? You’ll notice in all my theories, I’m assuming there is only one – and the Island is the nexus point of the Realities – but that’s a big assumption on my part that has almost no evidence to support it. But that’s what I think the Island is – it’s the axle and there are multiple realities branching out from it like spokes. It helps explain why it would be the gathering point for evil, spirits, God-like creatures, etc – it’s the center of it all, and maybe the pathway from one reality to another… or from life to the afterlife.

The Island is like Ohio – it’s the heart of it all.

Vidya said...

Brian - do you think that Christian Shepard appearing off Island and all the other "dead" people seen by Hurley were Jacob himself?

Brian says…

No – I think Hurley legitimately sees dead people (like Michael) – or at least their spirits, who take a break from playing shuffleboard in the afterlife to give him guidance because he’s got important things to accomplish, like helping save the world. If the world were to cease to exist, who would the dead people watch all day? It would be like taking away TV from you and me!

Rachel said...

In the episode rerun last night, they said that lock is still a candidate? It was sun or jin, jack, kate, hurley, sawyer and LOCKE. That doesnt make sense.

Brian says…

Maybe there’s still a chance for Locke to come back from the dead / overtake Anti-Jacob and reclaim his body, putting him back on the board as a potential Candidate? Or maybe the rerun was simply stating the final six Candidates, which included Locke, even though his name has now been crossed off the list.

mark said...

ok brian, here are some questions i have for you (and everyone) based on the assumption that if the MIB was responsible for all the island appearances of christian shephard, was he responsible for many of the other apparitions everyone else saw over the course of the series?

this would include a lot of random mysteries over the course of LOST, and raise some other very interesting questions...

- did he appear to charlie back in season 2 to try and convince him to drown aaron? is this further evidence that the MIB is afraid of aaron for some reason, or that aaron was (and maybe still is) a candidate?

- why would he take the appearance of kate's horse after sawyer, jin and michael's return? what did he hope to accomplish? and when did smokey get a chance to scan kate?

- did he appear to hurley as dave in season 2 to try and convince him to kill himself? when did he scan hurley? this would seem to make sense, it would be a way to eliminate one of the candidates within "the rules.."

- if some or even all of these mysterious appearances were by the MIB, i think the most logical explanation for how he scanned or learned about them was by taking the appearance of vincent. we saw in one of the mini episodes that christian finds vincent and directs him towards jack right after the crash. i think the MIB takes vincent's form after that point at different times to keep an eye on the survivors. what do you think?

- did he appear to locke as walt at the end of season 3, and give him instructions to kill naomi? why would smokey want to prevent the freighter crew from finding the island if they would come and kill everyone, including the candidates, therefore freeing him?

- do you think everyone who comes to the island is initially a candidate, but certain things they do can disqualify them and take them off the list? or does jacob choose people and find a way to bring them to the island?

Brian says…

You’re killing me. I’m in the home stretch and my fingers are pretty much typing without any input from my brain at this point, so of course the last question would actually contain like twenty separate questions. But here’s my best attempt to answer all of them in one fell swoop:

No, I think some of the apparitions are dead people (“those who can’t leave”, like Michael told Hurley), some are apparitions (like Jack suspected, brought on by the trauma of the experience), and some have been manifestations of Smokey. Going back and trying to figure out which is which might be a tough task – but one that we’ll have plenty of time to do after Lost concludes.

It would be awesome if Aaron were somehow involved in the final five episodes of the show to explain why he was so important in the first season, and not since then – but I just don’t see it happening. He’s off-Island, five years old, and living with his grandma. In Reality #2, he’s living inside Claire’s stomach. I don’t see how either can interact with our current storylines unless a grown-up Aaron comes back to the past (from the future, where time travel is possible) and kills SmokeLocke… but that would be super lame.

I do think that everyone that comes to the Island is initially a potential candidate – and after watching them for a while (both on-Island in the present, and through his Lighthouse, to watch their pasts), Jacob decides which ones are “worthy” of becoming official Candidates. This would also help support my theory that Jacob isn’t really all-knowing and all-powerful, but just uses the tools of the Island to appear that way (using the Lighthouse to learn about a character’s past, jumping around in time via FDW to interact with them and give them “pushes” here and there, etc.)

With that, here ends the final “Lost… and Gone Forever Bye Week Spectacular”. I hope you found it spectacular, and it has helped you prepare for the final stretch of Lost episodes.

Time for a beer (out of the sweet Dharma beer glass the wife got me for our anniversary):




Brendan said...

It will be simply a joy to read over your blog posts after LOST has ended and see how much you got right.

And then go back and watch the whole show over again from the beginning, looking for newly relevant clues, haha....

We'll all be saying "The Island isn't done with us yet!"

Rob Patterson said...

well done. That took like 20 minutes to read, i can only imagine how long to write.

Good call on all the hydra fighting and race back to the island. I begrudgingly understand your hesitation to predict the actual ending. Its crazy... Lost is over in 22 days!

Rob Patterson said...

BTW... kate dying will not be a sad thing, it will be as glorious as seeing claire man-handled by smokey.

John said...

I have a feeling that the sunken island at the beginning of this season is a head nod to MIB's success and is showing us how important it is to all the survivors that he be defeated. In re-watching Ab Aeterno and listening to Jacob's explanation of what the island is by using the metaphor of the wine decanter and cork. I am actually taking that quite literally as a cautionary tale. Have you ever tried to open a bottle of wine and ended up with a broken cork? The only way to get to the wine is to push the cork deeper in and, essentially, "sink it". That allows the wine to flow and, in our lost world, would allow MIB to spread all over the world. In the end, I suppose, I am saying that sinking the island is probably the worst thing that can happen for our Losties.

Rusty said...

Excellent post as always, Brian. My friend and I were actually discussing the seasons just the other night, and this is how I ended up ranking them (from best to worst):

1. Season 3 - as you said, starts out incredibly slow, but the rest of the episodes after the hiatus were just incredible.

2. Season 1 - for a long time, this was my favorite season. It wasn't until I re-watched season 3 on DVD that it got surpassed. I just think the character development and storytelling are so good in this season.

3. Season 2 - it slogs a bit in the middle, but the beginning and especially the end are very good.

4. Season 6 - I know I'm in the minority here, but I think this season has been fantastic. Other than the Kate episode, I've loved every one. I think not knowing what the Flash Sideways are/what's going to happen is very reminiscent to the end of season 3, which I obviously enjoyed. The past 5-6 weeks have been especially riveting to me.

5. Season 4 - Ben is one of my favorite characters, and I think Michael Emerson is incredibly talented, and I think he showed off all his acting range in this season. It was really the first time that he had no idea what to do.

6. Season 5 - Not a "bad" season by any means (most shows don't have good seasons that are the quality of this season), but it was a bit of a struggle to get through. It just didn't seem to fit in with the other seasons, and like you said, I think the writers dropped the ball with the time travel. It was the perfect opportunity for us to learn a lot about the Island's past through the characters' eyes, and we got nothing.

Salvar said...

As far as the ending predictions, I was with you up until you had them returning to the island to find Desmond. I'm sure they would want to, at some point, but by then it seems like their five hours would be up. If everyone but Desmond is on island 2, wouldn't that provide a perfect way for all the characters to watch the island's demise? Who knows how they would ultimately wrap up universe X, but I really think the island itself deserves a high spot on the death watch list.

Brian said...

john - Yes, as a matter of fact, I have tried to get wine out of a bottle without the assistance of a corkscrew - but I didn't push the cork in further, I smashed the bottle on a curb and attempted to drink from the resulting broken glass at the top of the bottle... before some "adult" came and took it away. Probably a smart decision in the end, but man was I mad at the time.

Brian Leonard said...

BEST BLOG POST EVER. Thank you, Brian.

mark said...

great post brian. thanks for answering my long and rambling, end of the fourth quarter, question.

i still think vincent's final appearance will be a jaw dropper, and will be used to somehow tie in and answer some big questions.

and i don't think as many of the main characters will die as you seem to be predicting. i think the writers know how invested we are in these characters, and will not kill them off in an arbitrary or rushed way now, one after the other, just because we're approaching the end. i think some will have tragic or incomplete endings, and some will die a heroic and sacrificial death. and some will be stranded on the island forever.

i don't think the island will sink as we saw in the season opener either. at least i hope not. i think that would give the story a definitive and conclusive ending, and i can't see that happening.

Sam said...

I am no Trekkie, but the fact that Hurley & Des are wearing red shirts scares me. I know Juliet was wearing one at the end of last season, and she bit it.

I hope the writes are just doing this to throw us off the scent.

Anonymous said...

The reason season 6 doesn't seem to stand up to the rest of the other seasons is because we already know the endgame for season 1-5. Once we know how LOST ends, I don't know how it can't be top of the list. I am sure there are a few twists to be unveiled in the finale.