Lost’s Final Episodes: My Top Ten Fears
Well, only six episodes to go. Some of my theories have been dramatically disproven, others are still flopping on the table, awaiting further evidence. It’s been a pretty good ride so far… but there have been almost as many questions as answers, and we have a scant six episodes left. I hope the Lost team can write their way out of their current predicament, but like millions of others, I am just a little worried. So I decided to face my nightmares, by compiling a list of my personal Top Ten Fears for the final run of my favorite show.
10. Hello, I’m the Architect.
It would suck not to get answers to all our 1001 questions about Lost. But it would suck only slightly less to get all our questions answered, one by one, by some random armchair-bound David Attenborough clone, for two hours straight. I have no doubt that there’s a metric ton of exposition ahead… let’s hope the writers handle it with minimal talking heads.
9. Some sort of dumb, dumb Jin and Sun tragedy.
I cannot possibly be alone in my annoyance that Sun and Jin have been running around the island for a season now, just BARELY missing each other. A season ago, when it was revealed that Sun took over her father’s company and was in a position of power, it seemed like they were setting the scene for tragedy… that she would become a villain, and botch her chances at reuniting with her husband. But that hasn’t happened… nothing in either of their stories has set them up for meaningful suffering. If they don’t meet up alive again, at least for a moment, it’ll just be the writers kicking puppies in the face, and making us watch. Not cool.
8. A Jack Shephard surgery scene as pivotal plot point
I like most of the recurring motifs on Lost. Most of them resonate with me, to some degree. Most. But I just can’t take the whole “it’s Jack’s destiny to perform lots and lots of surgery” thing. Not because I’m squeamish, but because… it’s stupid. It drags the show into B-grade medical drama territory. But I’m worried that, in the end, it’s Jack’s destiny to perform a spinal operation on Jacob’s ashes, or remove a gallstone from Smokey. No thank you.
7. Ben Linus, random douchebag, standing around, confused by his lack of importance
Here’s the thing: in previous seasons, Benjamin Linus was part of the mystery. His motivations were unclear, but it appeared that there was some method behind them, some sense of purpose leading him to make what were, on the surface, pretty unfathomable moves. Nine out of ten Ben decisions led to him being beaten within an inch of his life… but it was interesting because of his constant pronouncement that he had a plan. This season, he’s just been a deer in the headlights, making us wonder why Widmore ever gave a damn. Pick it up, Linus! Give us some final insight, some final sense of what made you tick, before the clock runs out.
6. Here Comes A New Challenger
In the beginning, there were the survivors, and the Others. Then there were the Tailies, the main survivors, and the Others. Now there are the Survivors, the Widmore people, the Others, the Dharma Initiative, the Ajira folks, the Candidates, the Smokey-followers, the Dead People Hurley Sees. Rose and Bernard were not wrong to run to the other side of the island and grow beards. It’s damn confusing keeping track of all the factions and allegiances. At this point in the show, we need to start seeing the deeper connections between all these groups. But I’m deathly afraid we’re going to get something else: for example mercenaries in neon-green jump suits, led by Eloise Hawking. By attacking the island, they force all the other groups to unite, without explaining why they were ever fighting in the first place.
5. Jacob resurrection.
Nuff said. This would be awful. (Note: Flash-sideways Jacob, if you’re out there, I don’t mean you. You’re cool.)
4. Which timeline’s real? You decide!
Last week’s Desmond episode quelled some of my fears about this… but since they first showed up, I’ve been a little scared that the two timelines shown back to back in the show would only be connected…. thematically. If this is true, we’ve been watching three months (and counting) of writer’s remorse. They have lost interest in the convoluted crap they crapped out on craphole island, so they’re cutting it in half, and intercutting it with a one-season short story they wish they’d come up with six year ago. Hopefully those Flash-Sideways will start answering questions about the past and present of our show, instead of just providing contrast and tone for the real story.
3. The Smoke Monster is Carl.
Goddamn, Carl was the worst.
The writers have been very careful not to give Smokey a name. Every time some method of addressing him comes up, the characters go to verbal gymnastics to avoid doing so. This is probably being done partially to keep the theory that he’s the devil alive. But I’m increasingly nervous that it means something else: that in one of the later reveals, Smokey will turn out to be someone we know, blown back through time by some sort of crazy flash-sideways accident.
There are a few ways that this revelation could turn out interesting, and about a billion ways it could just ruin everything. The safe money for this scenario is on Aaron. The crazy money’s on Walt (an extreme way to wrap up all his loose ends without actually showing too much of Malcolm David Kelley), or that lab assistant Faraday mentally vaporized through his time-travel experiments, because who really knows her story anyway. But the possibilities are endless, and terrifying.
2. The European Ending
Desmond bites into an orange, stares into the purple sky. “The war is coming, brotha.” Miles and Hurley shake hands for the last time. “Are you ready?” Libby asks. “We have a long journey ahead of us.” Kate’s horse suddenly appears, looks into camera. Cut to black, ten seconds. End credits.
It is my hope that the Lost team understands this: they are not making the Sopranos. I’m not saying it’s wrong for a show to end this way… in fact, I may be alone in this, but I thought the last scene of the Sopranos was sort of awesome (after I had a day to digest it). In some shows, it’s interesting to leave some threads hanging, to allow the viewer to connect the dots. But “what just happened?” does not work well for a show that has spent six years teasing us with the promise of answers. CG budget be damned, I want to see some resolution, happy or not, for this tale.
1. The angel-wizards did it.
But even worse than an artsy, vague ending is an ending which hand-waves all potential questions away with one overarching, mystical solution which solves nothing. This island is the vacation home of God and the Devil, and THAT’S why everything’s so crazy! Did you notice, lots of weird stuff happened these past six years? Must’ve been that ancient Egyptian magic. Go about your day.
I don’t mean to come off like a faith-hater. It’s just that they’ve done a lovely job, throughout the show, of walking a line between the rational and magical… and also between the notion of the authentic experience, and the Long Con. It’s part of what’s made the mysteries so compelling… the sense that these insane phenomena might be outcroppings of some underlying structure. The early part of the season has been dedicated almost entirely to a religious/mystical explanation of events (which, incidentally, explains very little). Because Lost tends towards reversals, this gives me hope that the other shoe will drop someday soon… that the two realities, and the strange characters inhabiting them, will be wrapped into an explanation that brings it back to the decisions of human beings, not the whims of gods.
While not perfect, they’ve set up the pseudo-science of quantum realities and time-travel as a perfect means to combine the notions of “destiny” and “choice”, and a perfect structure to . But there’s always the off-chance that they’ll just continue to ride religion like a broomstick, sweeping all those unsolved mysteries, from Dharma drops to disappearing cabins to Walt, under the rug.
Allright, that’s enough worrying. Lost is on tonight, and I plan to be on my couch, finding out why Hurley sees dead people. Maybe they’re broadcasting, like Desmond’s visions, from the alternate timeline… ah, more theories. What the hell will I ramble about after May?
(Thumbnail courtest of pinkraygun.com)
PS – As I finished writing this, I noticed there was another blog out there about Finale Fears! Since we’ve been on the other side of plagiarism debacles at Popten, I thought it’d be better to share the love, and link you to Paste’s article (featuring some voices that far outrank my own). Enjoy.