Penultimate.

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There are three and a half hours left in the story of Lost.

Gone are the days of pushing a button in the Swan Hatch, finding fresh water to stay alive, burying the bodies of survivors past, wondering whether or not Mr. Friendly was the leader of a renegade sect living in the jungle, and arguing about Richard’s alleged eye liner. We have reached a point of no return, and are faced with the reality of time: three and a half hours until the final fade to black scene.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this inevitable week, wondering how I’d be feeling, how much we would ‘know,’ and curious about whether or not we’d be able to see what was coming. Truth be told, a lot of people are fairly cynical about how many mysteries are still out there and how much time is left, claiming there is no way everything could be answered and tied up by Sunday night.

The truth? I think those people are right. It simply won’t happen.

And I think this is how the producers want it. I have moved past the “I need answers and I need them now” stage and accepted the fact that the ending of Lost is very likely to have some closure, but a lot of ambiguity, too. I believe the ending will mean different things to different people, and that the producers are going to leave questions out there so the conversation continues. So the story continues. And so Lost continues.

Which, I’d like to point out is fairly ironic, seeing as the Dharma Blog arose out of a need Charlie and I noticed to have a central place to talk through this show. To discuss. To theorize. To research. To process. I believed (clearly naively) that if enough people got together and talked about this whole story, we might be able to figure it out…or come pretty darn close to it.

And now, I’m realizing that it might not be figure out-able. It might not be concrete.

And because of that, the story of Lost might never end.

Who knows: when Charlie and I are celebrating our 50th Class Reunion (go Knights), we might still be arguing about whether Locke or Mr. Eko was right to not push the button in the season two finale…about whether Sawyer’s character came full circle or was left unfortunately abbreviated…about whether Jack was ever able to really forgive himself for what happened to his father…about whether or not Man in Black was the victim of circumstance and not purely evil...and about who the hottest female character really was (nevermind…only Charlie will want to talk about that).

By providing an ending that is not concrete and open to interpretation, I truly believe the producers have given us a wonderful gift: Lost will still be ‘our show’ after the series finale. It will be our show, our theories, our bizarre knowledge of the time-space continuum and electromagnetism, and our memories of a great six seasons of television. The best show there ever was.

And so, folks, it’s time to prepare for the final journey. Following tonight’s episode, we have a mere 5 days to process and prepare for Sunday. And Sunday will come to fast, and Sunday will leave too soon. Monday morning will arrive. We will walk into work/school, bleary-eyed for the last time, and head to the Dharma Blog. We’ll shake our heads no if our boss asks if we want to talk about it (and secretly want to say “Yes, please, I need to talk about it!”) We’ll probably go to Chipotle, which is an ideal place for comfort food and a guaranteed food coma to numb the pain…

And so will begin the next chapter of Lost…a chapter of our lives defined by our own understanding of what happened, things both seen and unseen. We’ll continue to live it. It will still be our show.

Call it a loophole.

Where we left off…
Prior to the Jacob / Flocke flashback of last week, we were at a pretty hard-core point in the storyline. As you’ll recall, the episode prior had a small catastrophe/tragedy with the explosion of the submarine and subsequent deaths of Sayid, Sun, and Jin. (And for all of you who are saying to yourselves “How do we know they are dead????”, I have no proof or reason or evidence to answer your question. I just think they’re dead. Their stories had come to a close. Hate me, but that’s what I think.) There is inconclusive evidence about Frank, but I’m leaning more towards the “he’s dead, too” column than not. That being said, I’ll probably roll my eyes and nod in agreement when/if he emerges to save the day and fly the Ajira jet off the island.

Moving on.

So the submarine exploded and killed three main original characters. Shocker! But right before the explosion, Sayid shared highly important and valuable intel with Jack about Desmond. Remember? “Listen carefully. There’s a well on the main island a half mile south from where we were just left. Desmond is inside it. Locke wants him dead, which means you are going to need him. Do you understand me? … Because it’s going to be you, Jack.” Then, BOOM.

Post underwater explosion, Jack, Hurley, Kate, and passed-out Sawyer washed up on the beach (to be determined if they are on Hydra beach or main island beach…I vote main island…), exhausted and overwhelmed. A highly emotional scene followed where the information was shared about the fate of their friends. Tears were shed, both on screen and off screen (at Charlie’s house in particular…). Let’s face it: that scene was a doozy.

Meanwhile, back on the dock, Flocke and Claire watched for the reemergence of the submarine. When it didn’t happen, Flocke seemed to be both angry and a little nervous when he said “It sank” to Claire. Claire asked if that meant everyone was dead. Flocke responded “Not everyone.” As he walked away, Claire asked where he was going. Flocke responded “To finish what I started.”

L O S T

So where do we go from here?
Tonight’s episode is called “What They Died For.”

Can I get an AMEN?

In the context of “The Candidate,” the obvious ‘they’ reference is the trio of Sayid, Jin and Sun. Yet, in the broader context of the show (and the mere 3.5 hours remaining), perhaps the episode title is referring to all of the individuals who have died since the Marshal’s death on day 1? What did everyone die for?

Now that’s an interesting question.

Some of the survivors seemed to have purpose in their death. Best example of this would be Charlie. Charlie’s death was preceded by his selfless act of opening up communication with Penny, finding out it was “Not Penny’s Boat”, sharing that with Desmond, leading to contact with the freighter, leading to getting off the island, leading to returning to the island, leading to the loophole, etc. It was absolutely for the greater good.

But what about all of the innocent people who died on Oceanic 815 to get the ‘candidates’ to the island? What did THEY die for?

With all of the death during the last six seasons, I’m hoping justification comes in the form of the end game of Lost somehow involving SAVING THE WORLD. Otherwise, I’m not sure if it has been worth all of the loss. If the show proves that man is innately good? Meh. If it proves that redemption is possible? Bah. If it proves the island is the Fountain of Youth? The Source of all Life? (Yawn.) Nope, saving the world. S a v i n g t h e w o r l d. If that is what they died for, I’ll carry the torch of Lost to my grave.

But back to tonight. Jack is going to figure out (with Desmond’s help) how to stop Flocke (and save the world?). They will make the choice tonight to follow through on whatever that task is (perhaps sacrifice and death?). And if they succeed, they will save the world. And I will be happy.

Disclaimer!
As we race towards the series finale, we are getting a lot of answers, in rapid fire, about some very crucial characters. In light of this reality, The Dharma Blog would like to issue a simple disclaimer about the next section. The following information you are about to read is Maggie’s somewhat-insightful-and-never-completely-accurate, opinion about the Guest Stars on tonight’s episode and what might be on the horizon for these fine folks. Maggie consults a number of websites, including the press releases issued by ABC Medianet, to uncover this information and speculate, but she never consults any spoiler sites. So, if you are a Lost purist and want to know watch tonight’s episode without the knowledge of the Guest Stars or what might happen, you should stop reading now. However, if you do want to know (even if it is just to tease Maggie tomorrow about how horribly wrong her predictions were), by all means: continue reading.

Guest Stars
Michelle Rodriguez as Ana Lucia, Mira Furlan as Danielle Rousseau, Alan Dale as Charles Widmore, Tania Raymonde as Alex, Mark Pellegrino as Jacob, Dylan Minnette as David, Sheila Kelley as Zoe, Kenton Duty as Teenage Boy, Wendy Pearson as Nurse Kondracki, Ashlee Kyker as Student, Ernesto Lopez as LAPD Cop.

Maggie Says
Making their final curtain call, we have Ana Lucia and Danielle. It seems logical, as this season has provided opportunities for characters-gone-by to bid a parting adieu. Watch for Ana Lu Lu to pop up in a Sawyer-the-cop scene in the alternate timeline. With Danielle, I’m wondering if she still is Alex’s Mom in the alternate world?

We have both Jacob and Young Jacob (or as the press release says, “teenage boy”) this week. Interesting and confusing. I wonder when the action will take place on-island this week.

The rest of the list seems to point to the alternate timeline plot moving forward. Jack’s son David is back (will his Mother be revealed??). Alex is back, which means we might get a little more Ben in the alt-world.

Finally, there’s Dirty Tina Fey (Zoe) and Widmore. Thanks for showing up, guys. Where were you when the submarine exploded and everyone died???

Episode Guide Says
While Locke devises a new strategy, Jack’s group searches for Desmond.

Interesting that Flocke needs a new strategy. Leads me to believe his old one wasn’t working. So, despite 1,000’s of years of planning, Flocke is thinking on his feet and improvising. Hmm. And will Claire be at his side? The second half of the description is where the action is going to be…and is the scene I have been looking forward to: Jack’s reunion with Desmond. There’s lots of information and intel to be transferred in those coming moments, so prepare for another onslaught of knowledge (What is Desmond’s deal? How does he know what he knows? Why is he so ZEN right now?) from these two.

Parting thoughts
Stop worrying. Start enjoying.

It’s always a pleasure, folks.

Namaste,
Maggie

6 Snarky Comments:

Anonymous said...

Great write-up Maggie -- what time is LOST on this Sunday?

Aimee said...

Question: whatever happened to Rose and Bernard?

bret welstead said...

Answer: whatever happened, happened. :-)

But seriously, that is a good question, and I've wondered about it lately. The last we saw them, weren't they happily living somewhere on the island? Why haven't they been placed on a side, as it seems the rest of the people on the island have?

bret welstead said...

Also, Maggie, I appreciate your Desmond-like Zen in the face of a "loophole" ending. I feel more like Flocke, suddenly needing to adapt, and just a tad panicky.

I love closure, I love endings where it all becomes crystal clear. Maybe I don't need to know all the mythology and the why and how, but I do want the ending to make sense and to be an ending. All the great stories have great endings.

Wouldn't it have been unsatisfying if Aragorn shrugged off his kingship and chose to continue a life of wandering?

Or if Luke let bitterness take hold and turned to the dark side?

Or if Star Trek kept cranking out more and more sequels, never giving up the ghost, forcing us to watch another rehashing of the same characters in the same tired story? :-) That would be awful.

maggie said...

Hello, all. To your comments:

(1) Thanks, anonymous! The finale on Sunday will air from 6 to 11:30 PM CST. Adjust for your timezone. First two hours are a retrospective on the series; then 2.5 hour finale; then 1 hour "Aloha to Lost" with Jimmy Kimmel.

(2) Aimee: We last saw Rose and Bernard living in their tropical jungle hut, happy and in love. While their characters did have nice closure (they had a well-acted parting moment with other survivors), I could see a situation arising tonight or Sunday where Jack et. al. run into them and they play some sort of role in the endgame. Or maybe not. Don't quote me on that.

(3) Bret: excellent analogies. I need closure, too, but I'm starting to accept that the show's closure might not be what I've anticipated it to be. Make sense? I'm trying to be as zen as possible...no need for my coworkers to see tears rolling down my face yet. The finale hasn't even aired!

To everyone else - Keep the comments coming, folks. How are you preparing for the finale? What questions do you want answered?

Laura said...

I really think that the finale will be open ended, and Damon and Carlton in a way confirmed that in an interview that I read. I think everyone is really hyped up for this, so they have to make it satisfying. People will really love it or hate it.

Also they said in the entertainment weekly mag "we had to kill Jin, Sun And Sayid to let the audience know we're not afraid of losing main characters" I think they're dead :(

Nytimes is hosting a Q&A with Damon and Carlton. http://www.tribute.ca/movies/TimesTalks+LIVE:+LOST/22431

I'm going to be in NYC on vacation during the finale, and have to convince my boyfriend to go back to the hotel room and watch it. I considered watching it with others in a bar or something, but I'm scared I might get annoyed if there is any ruckus.

Awesome job Maggie, going to miss reading yours and charlie's on tues/wed mornings.