Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lost: Beware of the beard

Wow. After Monday night and this, I really feel like I'm going to have to take back a lot of those "'Lost' could learn a lesson or two from 'Heroes'" columns, you know. Season finale spoilers coming up just as soon as I pick up some good vibrations... Oh, and if you're visiting this blog via an RSS or XML reader (which doesn't have spoiler-protection, since I publish entries in their entirety), I'm warning you right now that I'm getting into some hardcore wackiness right from the jump.

Obvious first question: when did you figure out that the flashback was not, in fact, a flashback, and why? The beard alone had me raising an eyebrow, and once Jack's ex-wife turned up alive and well, my wheels started spinning about whose death in the newspaper story could have Jack this upset (we know how Jack found out about Christian's death, and his mom was still alive when he went to Sydney, and I don't think Bai Ling was a candidate), but the tipping point was the cell phone, which looked far too sleek for Jack to be using pre-2003. By the time the car pulled up at the airport, I knew it would be Kate.

Which isn't to say I was unsatisfied with that portion of the episode, or the episode as a whole, which was packed with the kind of bing-bang-boom payoffs to elements from earlier in the season that the "Heroes" finale was sorely lacking. (And I'm going to stop making the comparisons right now. Or not. I'm writing as I go, a little too keyed-up for bed just yet.)

Hurley's magic bus turned out to be there for more than comic relief and a piece of Ben's biography. Charlie sacrificed himself as Desmond predicted. (And how frikking scary was it to see Bakunin smiling in the porthole as he pulled the grenade pin? Was he blowing himself up because Desmond's spear shot had already killed him, or will he return next season to continue his role as the island's Rasputin?) Alex found out that Rousseau was her mother -- from Ben, of all people, who occasionally does the decent thing, even if it's for a manipulative reason -- and Sawyer finally got his revenge for Walt's abduction on his watch.

(Speaking of which, Malcolm David Kelley's appearance was a good reminder of why Cuselof had to get him the hell off the island. What was he, eight feet tall? On the downside, boo to ABC or Cuselof or whoever for putting his name, and Sonya Walger's, in the guest credits, the same way that the big surprise of the "Veronica Mars" finale got spoiled by that. As "Battlestar Galactica" proved this season, you can shock people a hell of a lot more if you save a name or two to run after the episode's over, contractual obligations be damned.)

But while it's fun to dwell on all the big action beats of the finale (also including a trussed-up Sayid letting his feet do the talking to that dude's neck), what we obviously have to spend the next eight months analyzing is where the hell the show goes next season. Does the flashforward come true -- and, if so, does rescue happen immediately, or is there somehow a way to stall it? Or is this something like the "Five Years Gone" scenario from "Heroes" (there I go with the comparisons again), where someone with time-altering powers (oh, I dunno, Desmond?) prevents it from happening? Or, to get back to "Galactica," is this a legitimate time-jump, one that will eventually have Bearded Jack gathering all the survivors together to return to the island and some kind of premise reboot?

In the here and now, is Ben right about Naomi's people, or is this just more of his paranoid ravings designed to keep anyone from leaving the island? (Naomi did, after all, know who Desmond was, and who Penny was; Penny's "I'm not on a boat" confusion doesn't automatically mean Naomi's people aren't working for her; it could just be that she thought it would be adequately conveyed to Desmond that she wasn't there.) Who's the person in the coffin? Is the "he" waiting for Kate at home Sawyer, or was he the one in the box?

I have pissed and moaned about this show an awful lot this season, and I still feel like a lot of the complaints were justified -- especially about the six fall episodes, and Jack's idiotic behavior throughout -- but I have to give Damon and Carlton credit for pulling things together in the home stretch. They gave us an original castmember flashback episode that didn't feel redundant ("D.O.C."); a great showdown between the two Sawyers'; Locke returning to crazy, when-in-doubt-blow-stuff-up form; some superb action and confrontations throughout the finale, and the massive mind(bleep) of Bearded Jack back on the mainland.

Back at the start of the season, before I had gotten burned out on The Others' torture and manipulations, I said I didn't honestly care if I ever got real answers to the show's mysteries, so long as the series kept me entertained on an episode-by-episode, or even moment-by-moment, basis, and this last batch of shows has sure done that. I refuse to waver from my "they're making it up as they go along" theory until proven otherwise, but at the moment, I don't much care. That was a lot of fun, and this hiatus is going to feel awfully long.

What did everybody else think? I'm sure everybody has their theories and analysis, so fire away.

120 comments:

Alan Sepinwall said...

And, as Treacher points out, Bearded Jack talks about Christian like he's still alive. Is he just high on Oxy, or is there a reason the coffin was empty?

Anthony Cantor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yeah, his talking about his dad was the only thing that I was confused about that. Because other than that I was totally convinced from the first scene that it was going to be a flash forward.

Walt's appearance, besides being totally ruined by the billing, was also a bit ridiculous. He looks SO much older now. And they've obviously manipulated his voice to sound younger, but it sounded incredibly awkward coming from someone so grown up looking.

Charlie's death kind of annoyed me. Wouldn't any rational person have gotten the scuba gear ready and THEN entered the code? And if it hadn't been for Desmond telling him he was going to die, was there any reason Charlie would have been so determined to lock himself in that room? Was there no reason he couldn't have shut the door from the outside? And it's not like they weren't able to hold their breath long enough to swim down there in the first place.

I'm really not sure about the Naomi stuff. I don't think she's working for Penny and I think Claire getting on the helicopter will ultimately prove to be a bad thing. But since we've seen the flash forward we know at least some people live. And Jack didn't say "we shouldn't have trusted Naomi" to Kate, just "we shouldn't have left the island." Also, if Ben was so determined for them not to call Naomi's boat, don't you think he would have been screaming "she's not who she says she is!" so everyone could hear?

Anthony Cantor said...

Great comments, as always.

First, a question: Do we know exactly how Penny knows which frequency to broadcast on to reach Desmond?

As for Christian, I think there's some ambiguity there. At the hospital, Jack is drunk when he tells the other doctor to call Christian to compare his drunkenness to Jack's. The other doctor gives Jack a pitying look at this point, so maybe Christian is dead and Jack's mention of him is an example of intoxicated rambling.

At the pharmacy, though, Jack tries to get a prescription supposedly written by his father, but when the pharmacist tries to call Christian to confirm, Jack says he's "out of town." So maybe Jack hasn't told anyone his father is dead and is using him to get prescriptions. Or maybe their rescue sent them back to, for lack of a better term, an alternate reality (a la sliders?), which we've already seen in a sense through Desmond's "second chance," although the lesson there was that the universe aranges things so that it always works out as it is supposed to.

Thoughts?

Devin McCullen said...

And he claims to have a prescription signed by him. I knew something was off about the flashbacks, but I didn't really figure it out until Jack was meeting a mysterious someone. There had to be a payoff, so it was either the future or Jack was in on things all along.

But I was actually kind of annoyed by the ending, for 2 reasons. First, it's too up in the air. I don't know where we're going to be next year, and I don't trust them to make sense. (I'm sure we'll find out if the flashforward is permamnent before next season starts and I'll feel better.)

Second, I was still too busy being pissed because right when Jack was about to wreck everything, Ben and Locke STILL won't explain what's really going on. There has to be a point where protecting the secret is less important than preserving its existence.

Still, there was lots and lots of cool stuff. Hurley with the van was completely awesome, and I totally didn't see it coming.

Nick said...

I suspected we were seeing the future at around the second or third flashfront; by the time Jack was breaking into the medicine cabinet, I was absolutely certain. Since the flashback-per-episode format has become so cumbersome, I'm gladdened and intrigued by the possibility of a good change. My vote's on Locke or Ben as casket contents. Who else would die with no one showing up and provoke such a reaction ("Why would I go to his funeral?") from Kate?

Andrew said...

Did Matthew Fox steal that beard from BSG's Aaron Douglas (Tyrol)?

I, for one, really enjoyed this. It was the first Jack-centric episode since Season 1 that didn't suck. And I don't mind the open threads if the new WTF moments are this entertaining.

the2scoops said...

Just rehashing some of my thoughts from ALOTT5MA:

Now THAT was a game changer. Heroes ran the season long race, but look at Lost coming back from behind for the season finale win.

I think we're looking at a time jump to the present, and the flashbacks will now cover the time back on the island until the present. Maybe one of the reasons Bearded Jack is wanting to get back to the island is that the beach survivors (Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, et. al) are still there?

Was it Locke in the coffin? And is it too much to hope the "him" Kate was referring to was her husband from a few flashbacks ago, Nate Fillion, now reunited with her?

Good Charlie death though, with that last message to Des. Nice save from Hurley. I was worried he and Bernard were going to get themselves killed.

I have to admit, despite the grumbling at the start of the season, I'm interested to see what happens next. Hell, I'm going to lose sleep trying to do a write-up.

Alan: speaking of time jumps, in your opinion did that work for or against Alias?

Kristin said...

I started to wonder aloud if it wasn't a flashforward when Jack stopped on the bridge and they wouldn't let us know whom he was calling.

I think the person in the coffin may be Walt. It was in a poor neighborhood, and it looked like a black neighborhood. Nobody was at the funeral because his mother is already dead, and I will guess that his dad died also before getting off the island.

I am wondering now if the next 3 seasons will be filled with flash-forwards rather than flash-backs. I think many who have commented here in the past have felt like the flashbacks are starting to get somewhat repetitive (depending on the character). Perhaps we are going to see how everyone turns out after getting back to the real world, and we won't know the whys until we watch the last 3 seasons of the island stuff.

Kate seemed fine. She wasn't in prison. She looked like she at least had some kind of money to look so nice. Just because Jack ended up miserable and a drug addict doesn't mean everyone did...maybe for some their lives got better.

This show just got great again!

Oh, and Charlie didn't get out of the room b/c Desmond told him he must die in this manner in order for Claire to be saved. There may have been an easy way out of his death, but he never would have taken it...it was all done for Claire & the baby.

Anonymous said...

Charlie knew, or at least believed, he had to die because Desmond told him that's the only path that would lead to Claire and Aaron getting on the helicopter. He thought that was the only way, so he made the sacrifice. I though that payoff was good, if not a little lost in the rest of the episode. After last week, I was much more empathetic for Charlie, but a lot of that emotional resonance was gone tonight, especially after the CHEAT of not killing Jin, Bernard and Sayid. I thought for a moment the producers really had the cojones to take them out... what with the "game-changer" they've been teasing.

All in all though, great cap on the season. Can't wait to see what's next.

jim treacher said...

I started wondering if it was a flash-forward when Jack's ex-wife showed up pregnant. "Okay, it's obviously not his... and we've never seen her with a kid..." Also, the little touch of gray still at his temples was another tipoff. But I didn't REALLY know until Kate showed up. And my goodness, that young lady certainly cleans up well, doesn't she?

It'll be funny if the Russian dude shows up next year with his arm blown off. Kind of like Herr Starr from the Preacher comic, just keep taking bits and pieces off him.

"Also, if Ben was so determined for them not to call Naomi's boat, don't you think he would have been screaming 'she's not who she says she is!' so everyone could hear?"

At one point I would have agreed, but by now we've seen so many characters NOT do or say the obvious thing, for the sole purpose of keeping things unclear to the viewer. That's just what this show is, take it or leave it.

The more I think about it, the more I'm wondering if Jack's dad faked his own death. Of course, then the question is why, but we've got until 2010 to find out. Ugh...

jim treacher said...

P.S. Hurley was TOTALLY A-TEAM.

Alan Sepinwall said...

And my goodness, that young lady certainly cleans up well, doesn't she?

I frankly prefer the sun-dappled island look for her. It's sorta like how almost every female Survivor contestant looks much better on the show than the reunion.

jim treacher said...

"I think the person in the coffin may be Walt. It was in a poor neighborhood, and it looked like a black neighborhood."

Or maybe, considering Kate's scornful reaction, it's Michael? He didn't really leave too many friends behind on that island. Not sure why Jack would be so busted up about his death, though...

Matter-Eater Lad said...

Maybe Hurley decided to set up all of his friends from the island when they got home...

jim treacher said...

And whoever it is is living in LA, if that narrows it down any...

J said...

Honestly fell for the flash-forwards because, like most Jack flash-whatevers, I zoned out during them. Addict storylines are so boring, anyway. The thing that weirded me out was that Sun and Jin seemed to be on the plane at the start; I started thinking alternate reality crashes.

In retrospect, I'd attribute Jack's mentions of his father to the drugs (the "bring him in and see which one of us is drunker" scene could have been a dark fatalistic joke).

The Charlie death was fantastic. Because (1) Charlie died, and (2) he died doing the most noble thing you possibly could do on this show: Passing along information. So much better than that false martyrdom from last week. Though I wondered if he couldn't just swim out the window.

Rousseau was awesome, Hurley was awesome, Sayid was awesome. I'm hoping the boat people bring a 3rd-party bit of malevolence. Flash-forwards will be fun, but let's keep the future in the future (and let's not change it - I like a future where Jack's very very unhappy).

Anthony Cantor said...

Also, in the final flash-forward, Jack tells Kate that he's sick of lying. What have they been lying about?

J said...

And whoever it is is living in LA, if that narrows it down any...

This screengrab of the newspaper article also mentions New York.

jim treacher said...

Watching the last 5 minutes again. Hey, what if the "he" Kate has to get home to is... Hurley!!! He's worth $150 million, after all.

Kate: "This is not gonna change--"
Jack: "No, I am sick of lying!"

What's that about?

Homertojeebus said...

Holy shit!!!!BEST EPISODE EVER OF THE BEST SHOW EVER!!!!

Jessica said...

I don't think they can do all flash-futures now instead of flashbacks because then we would know exactly who lives and who doesn't for the remainder of the series. As it stands we no longer have to worry about Jack and Kate's future on the island, so any plot involving them being in danger is essentially pointless. The more Lost includes flash-futures the more suspense the show will lose.

Filipe said...

am wondering now if the next 3 seasons will be filled with flash-forwards rather than flash-backs.

Probably a mixture of them, with the number of flash-fowards increasing every year. They are certainly not planing to reveal everyone who left the island next year. But I'd guess all Jack and Kate episodes from now on will be flash-fowards (which between this and Charlie's death already guarantee some improvement in the non-island stuff).

J said...

Also: Was it really such a huge problem for folks seeing Malcolm David Kelley's and Sonya Walger's names in the opening credits? It's not like their appearances in the episode were real plot-connected spoilers. If anything, it made me wonder in what context they'd appear, and if I'd blinked and missed Harold Perrineau's name.

jim treacher said...

Somebody in the Lost Easter Eggs comments points out that the funeral home is called Hoffs/Drawlar, which is an anagram for "flash-forward." D'oh! They're also dissecting a high-def screencap of the obit, and they think the dead guy might be an as-yet-unseen character named Jeremy Bentham (the name of some philosopher, which would fit with so many other characters' names). It is gonna be a long 8 months...

anon said...

In Bearded Jack's universe, everyone has a good relationship with his/her dad. Jack is sick of pretending he likes his. Kate gets financial support from living with hers, which she needs because she's raising Sawyer's baby (who'll wonder where she's been, since in this universe kids grow up fast -- see Walt). Sawyer, naturally, can't take it and shoots himself. Locke wants to shoot himself but can't. It's obvious when you think about it, really.

Oh, and as far as I could tell from my little TV, the Lookingglass door, like so many Dharma designed doors, appeared not to have an exterior handle -- See Desmond knocking on the window rather than grabbing at a knob or wheel. Still, water pressure would have kept the door shut anyway -- do you need to lock sub doors to seal them? I didn't understand why he didn't just swim out the porthole, nor did I understand why Penny spends her days sitting in front of a monitor. But despite that I still thought it was a great scene, especially with Charlie dying "words" for Desmond -- a warning and a heartbreak all at once.

I am really impressed at how the show committed to its characters in this home stretch of episodes. I'm not saying they succeeded completely -- this episode may not offset the Bai Ling episode for some -- but the writers really did reinvigorate Charlie, Locke, Sawyer, and Sun; they brought true closure to the Rousseau/Alex storyline; they adjusted from the Nikki/Paulo misstep _and_ the original handling of the others to give us Juliet, Tom, and Bakunin; they even acknowledged viewer love of Bernard and Rose and managed to develop the star-crossed love story of Desmond and not-even-on-the-island Penny Widmore. I think the writers made the right bet: If the characters are compelling viewers will forgive some amount of slack in the plot (see also the Veronica Mars finale in this regard). _Heroes_ didn't have enough similar character development to fall back on in its finale, and the finale, after all the buildup, just didn't deliver on plot.

So...I'm going to be waiting until January 2008, you say?

Anon

Homertojeebus said...

OK, everyone who ever said something bad about this show can just shut up now. This was the best season finale ever of anything. I am sooooo stoked.
So many people who watch this show complain contantly, wanting every question answered, every mystery solved. When Kate emerged from that car, how did it feel? Like Jack, didn't you all wish you were back on that island? The most pleasurable moments in this show, aside from the uniformly compelling drama, are the WTF moments that raise more questions. Yet even knowing this, your chief complaint about the show is that it doesn't extinguish it's own power source.
Next season will start out back on the island again, I don't think there will be any more flash forwards, and the last scene of this episode? It will also be the last scene in the series finale, hopefully 20 years from now.

Kurt said...

Why was Jack called a hero twice over? Maybe whoever got them off the island concocted a story about what happened on the island, about Jack being a hero, and that's what he wants stop lying about? It's pretty weird that Jack has assimilated back into his normal life as a doctor after being presumed dead in a plane crash. Again, I think that's because whoever was responsible for getting them back home made up a story that the rest of the world believed.

jim treacher said...

"...your chief complaint about the show is that it doesn't extinguish it's own power source."

For me it's not so much not getting answers as it is that the writers so often make the characters do things, or not do things, or not ASK things, for the sole purpose of keeping us in the dark. I like mysteries, but I don't like being manipulated. This episode, and the last several, haven't done that. The first six of the season sure as hell did.

Grimoald said...

Lost just completely blows Heroes out of the water in every single way, and the chasm between the two in terms of the acting and the writing is Grand Canyon-esque. Yes the mini-arc to start the season was lacking, but since then the show has been great. I will take some mystery and occasionally forced writing over the terribly constructed Heroes any day of the week. Just because stuff happens doesn't prevent it from being an average show.

I thought it was a flashforward from the beginning, I'm not sure why but the fact that such a meticulous show allowed gray to appear in Matthew Fox's beard and hair. I was convinced of it by the cellphone. I didn't know what was going on with the mention of his father. Realized it must be with all the maps in his apartment. Was glad to be vindicated by Kate's appearance (and immensely pleased that the didn't pull a switcheroo).

I think that it was Sawyer who would be alive at Kate's, and that the coffin contained Locke.

jim treacher said...

Or how about: I like mysteries, but I don't like it when the writers destroy my suspension of disbelief for no other purpose than to keep things mysterious.

Nick said...

I think the lies Jack mentions refer to the survivors' experience on The Island. Remember Ben's warning to Michael in the Season Two finale -- that no one would believe the story or that Michael would have to reveal all the sordid things he did?

J said...

What Treacher said. My main complaint is that the writers often retreat into less-than-compelling stories. As if they're afraid to pile on more info! Keep me waist-deep in WTF, and I'm a happy little polar bear.

Oh, and I'd assumed the "hero twice over" bit referred to the fact he went back to the car wreckage twice.

J said...

Also (yeah, I'm giddy): How great is it if the man in the coffin was a new character? Introduced to the show at his funeral?

They should cast Kevin Costner.

Iffer said...

All is forgiven.

Starting with Jack saying he was getting his people off the island and then coming back to kill Tom, a man he liked.

Then Hurley running over the guy to Sayid breaking the neck to Sawyer shooting Tom for the taking the kid.

Then they followed through I said please let Charlie sacrifice himself and they did.

At while I suspected it was a flash forward from the first instant, they threw me with the dad comment. I actually yelled at the screen-- please be Kate, please be Kate.

Lost now has free reign for me. They can do whatever they want so as long as year I get two hours like this.

The payoffs of payoffs.

THREE HUGE HELL YEAHS in a row

Jason said...

We actually figured it out as soon as they said they were descending into Los Angeles. The moment that happened, combined with the beard, it just didn't fit into the timeline -- and since we were promised a "game changer," I immediately figured that we were looking into the future. There was no more Jack story from the past to tell anyway.

Still, a fantastic episode. I just wish I hadn't figured out the twist 30 seconds in! But there was plenty more to appreciate about it.

Crewgrrl said...

Does anyone else think Jack was a big drinker before he got to the island? I always thought that based on his extra bottles on the plan right before the crash.

Toby said...

I think this was a total reboot and the flashback was the events on the island back in 2004. Jack was now in 2007 give or take and looking back on all of that.

I still think it was Michael in that coffin based on the neighborhood and Kate's contempt for the deceased.

This being a season finale, where was the Hurley Bird?

Locke killing Naomi (if she really is dead) puts him the villain category for me now.

That screen cap of the newspaper article mentions "A beam" - whoever was in that coffin probably haned himself. Again a good reason to believe it was Michael.

Anonymous said...

It's Jeremy Bentham in a box!

Homertojeebus said...

The coffin, I believe, contains Ben.
Jack is aggrieved because he believes Ben is his best/only shot at getting back to the island, while nobody else would give a shit.

ooda said...

Looks like it's time for me to pop down to Blockbuster and start watching the show again.

Matt said...

On the Alias comparison, I think the jump was a great concept and the reveal and ultimately explanation were pretty darn good. The problem was network interference. The squeeing fangirls got so upset by the concept that it might not be Sydney + Vaughn 4-eva! that the network forced them to turn Lauren into an evil robot rather than a 3-D character.

(Counter-example on that point--for all the flaws Grey's has had, one thing you can't deny is that they took the time to make Addison a fully formed and likable character, rather than merely the one standing in the way of Twu Wuv.)

Anonymous said...

I think Nathan Petrelli is in the box, and Kate recoiled because she doesn't vote for politicians of his party, much less attend their funerals.

Kevin O'Rourke said...

Somehow I know from the start, (perhaps the beard) that it was a futureflash. The talk of his Dad being alive is still post-island disorder -- On the Island Christain still walks around, combined with the drugs. The severe depression, the suicide attempt, the newspaper obit and the phone all said future to me.
Somehow I knew he was calling Kate. The hero "Twice over" comment sealed it for me. Hero once for getting "his people" off the Island and saving the folks in the crash on the bridge.

The coffin confuses me. At first I though Rose, because it appeared to be an African-American neighborhood and the funeral director was Black. And she had Cancer.

Although, that doesn't explain why no one showed up at the funeral. (But at the time, I think, we were lead to believe that Bernard was dead.) But not wanting to get into the whole Island Hero thing with the funeral director would explain his response to the friend or family question. Also, at the end Kate just says, "Why would I go the funeral?" no his or her, just the funeral.

The shot of Jack's apartment with the maps, told me that he has been trying to get back to the island. Perhaps he wanted to get back to the Island to help Rose, because she didn't have Cancer on the Island.

I get a sense that next season will be the struggle to get everybody off the Island with futurefashes from the gang of what happens to them once they get home. The producers have indeed changed the game. Now the audience is going to be pulling for them to stay on the island.

TL said...

Re: Christian, Jack just stole some left-over perscription forms from his dad's practice, which he probably still had at the office. That's why when the pharamcist was going to call, he said "don't bother," or something to that effect. Christian is dead, Jack was just trying to bamboozle the pharamcist to get drugs. I don't think it's supposed to be a mystery.

Re: the coffin, when they gave us the God's-eye-view shot, did anyone else notice that the coffin looked short? Not child short, but too short to hold a person of Sawyer's size. Maybe it was just an optical illusion, or maybe I'm wrong (my wife didn't notice).

JR Nelson said...

Am I the only person who thinks the person in the coffin was Ben? When asked if he was friend or family, Jack said "neither." It would also make sense. Everyone was starting to abandon Ben and he was panicking. It would be all too appropriate for him to die alone with no one to come to his funeral.

Andrew said...

Re the Flash forward, unstuck in time or year in Baltar's hair, a flash forward is probably the best answer. It's giving the audience information that the character's don't know. Oedipus didn't know that the king he was killing was his father, but the audience does. Jack is so determined to get off the island and get the 815 survivors off the island, but he doesn't know that he's happier on the island than he will be off the island. None of the characters are seeing the future to influence their actions in the present (ala Back to the Future 2 or Heroes) but we the audience see what will happen.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope, though, that we don't learn too much about their futures and get so far ahead of the characters that we have to wait for them to plod through their presents and immediate futures to catch up with us.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Christian is dead, Jack was just trying to bamboozle the pharamcist to get drugs. I don't think it's supposed to be a mystery.

But there's also the moment where he tells the chief of surgery something like "go up to my father's office, and if I'm drunker than him, then you can fire me!" The pitying looks given to Jack by the chief and everyone in the hallway can be interpreted one of two ways: 1)Christian is dead, and they all now recognize what a looney-tunes Jack has become; or 2)Christian is alive, and they all feel sorry for being so wacked out on booze and pain meds that he's making a scene at work.

the2scoops said...

If anyone is in that coffin, it's Ben or Locke. Can you imagine how despondent either of them would be if they got yanked off the island? It would be like Brooks getting out in "Shawshank".

Speaking of leaving the island, didn't Rose say she could never leave due to her cancer?

No new episodes until January? After THAT finale? Wow, payback for all the criticisms is harsh.

Alan Sepinwall said...

No new episodes until January? After THAT finale?

Try February. At least, that's the current plan.

And try being a "Sopranos" fan, where the hiatuses can run into the years.

TuckPendleton said...

Stand back while I finally put that college degree to use...

This device of letting us know the outcome of Kate and Jack (and presumably others) is something Brecht did often in his plays: by letting you know the outcome (for Brecht it was in placards before each scene that gave a 2-3 sentence summary of what would happen -- I'm thinking mainly here of Mother Courage and Her Children) you could focus solely on the action in the present, and that made what was happening all the more tragic, because you knew how things were going to turn out. Maybe the Lost writers have those chops and maybe they don't, but I think it was a pretty great move to breathe some new life into the show.

Four years of college = one Brecht reference many years later. Nice.

Re: the coffin...come on, people! Don't be so narrow-minded. Because you see a few black characters in a run-down neighborhood, you assume the person in the coffin must be black? It could be ANYONE in there (save Jack or Kate). Besides, you have to have more faith in the Lost writers that they'd be less on the nose than that.

I think the "dad" reference was also drug-induced.

Anyway, I for one wouldn't mind more flash-forwards, or even a stretch of eps at the end where we see how they survive once off the island. For me, the best part of "Castaway" wasn't the island part, but watching as Tom Hanks tries to re-assimiliate to society. Because, really, after going missing for __ years, the characters would still be "Lost" in mainstream society, right?

Carmichael Harold said...

I couldn't help but get the sense from the empty funeral parlor in the flash forward that the "live together, die alone" mantra that Rose rightly mocked in the episode may become quite literal after they get off the island.

Not that they will be experiencing some sort of Final Destination-type immediate reckoning with death, but that the island experience renders them isolated from the normal world and unwilling to be with their fellow Losties.

Carmichael Harold said...

Didn't mean to repeat your last point, Tuck. Damn my typing skills.

I agree with you that in many ways the flash-forward was a pretty amazing way to breath new life into the show. My main concern is that the show will focus too heavily on the flash-forwards at the expense of what happens on the island, and I think the show tends to be much more interesting on the island than in the flashes.

TuckPendleton said...

I'd also like to tip my hat to ABC for allowing Lost to go to smaller seasons, (16 eps, right, Alan?) and to run them all in a row again.

While it means waiting until '08, it also means (hopefully) higher quality episodes, and no repeats...and if this is also the opening of the door for more networks to use the BBC formula for smaller-run / limited-run, yet seemingly always high quality series, I'm all for it.

BF said...

I don't think the "Brooks" theory holds, because apparently a fair amount of time has passed (enough for Jack to take multiple trips to Tokyo, Sydney, etc.) If Locke and or Ben were to return to the mainland, I think they'd miss the island much quicker and would off themselves within the month.

The two things I've learned this TV season:
1. Rob is not Jesus.
2. Bernard is not Rambo.

BWC said...

Well, Tuck, Brecht told the audience what was going to happen in a scene because his aesthetic depended upon undercutting suspense and empathy, which isn't really the modus operandi for big network TV hits.

I'd be surprised if they go to the flash-forward too often next season, the same way they didn't spend any present-day time off the island this year despite showing the arctic station at the end of Season 2. Lost is all about suspense and unanswered questions.

As a side note, I've also noticed that every time a big movie based on a true event opens, there's always a chorus of people wondering why you'd want to see a movie where you know how it turns out (Apollo 13 comes to mind). There's a reason Brecht's aesthetic hasn't caught on in mass entertainment, although I do wonder whether all those same people really head out to Shrek 3 thinking the green ogre's going to die miserable and alone at the end. With almost any entertainment we can have a pretty good idea of what will happen (most of the major Losties will survive) and still watch to see how it will unfold.

Homertojeebus said...

Something else I liked was how towards the end of the episode, it seemed several times as though they were teasing the audience with that final "LOST" title that we all dread at the height of our ecstasy. A few times, they did a characteristic pullback with the score building, only to go to the next scene. A couple of times I was like, "No, no, not now!!" but I was too riveted to check the time remaining on my DVR.
I guess that's the true test of a "LOST" episode: When that title comes up, do you scream "Nooooo!" There were less of those this season, but this was worth it.
Actually, there are 3 basic types. 1.The "Noooooo!" (Last night) 2.The "Whoa." (last week
) 3. The "Huh?" (Last season's final scene) You can't have #1 without a bunch of 3's, and a couple of 2's, but the 1's are Awesome!

Toby said...

I'm sticking with the theory that the coffin contained Michael.

The idea that it could be Locke, Ben, Sawyer or Juliet doesn't make sense.

I think Ben and Locke would have made the same choice Rousseau did, to stay on the island. (Although she may have changed her mind once she was reunited with Alex.)

Besides, don't most people have their funerals back where they came from or at least where they had roots? If Locke returned, he'd be back in Tustin, I think. Ben probably would have been near Portland (although he should have been in prison!). Juliet would have been down in Miami where her sister lived. And Sawyer down in whichever Southern state he came from.

The only one to fit the community and the lack of mourners to me would be Michael. Not even Walt would be there for him.

Homertojeebus said...

Alan, that gives me an idea for your Villains column: Bad Robot. Who ever wants to see that guy?

tomok97 said...

I think the coffin contains Swayer. He has no immediate family and almost everyone he came in contact with he hurt. So an unattended funeral would make sense. Also, on the outside chance that someone would want to attend his funeral, he used so many aliases chances are an article reporting his death would contain a name that people would recognize.

That being said he is a conman and we never actually saw inside the coffin. So who's to say that he's really dead.

Anonymous said...

There's no way the 2 living father references by Jack were drug induced. Thats 2 important of a detail to be treated that weay by the writers.

I think it means that they may have come back to an alternate reality. And thats why they have been "lying". They obviously couldn't tell the truth about their pasts or everyone would think they were insane.

Plus, if it was the same reality they left from, wouldn't Kate be imprisoned? It would have been hard to slip back into hiding after their return to society, assuming its a media worthy event when a plane load of assumed dead people suddenly get rescued.

Homertojeebus said...

OK, but why would Jack be sobbing about Michael's death?
Jack is sobbing because he needs to get back to the island. Ben or Locke are the only ones who make sense here, and I don't think Jack views Locke as "neither."
Of course, with no knowledge of the intervening events, it could be Chuck Cunningham in that coffin. If it was taller.

Anonymous said...

There's just no way that they're making it up as they go along. Or rather, they definitely are making up mini-arcs and specific character developments on the go, but they certainly had their "big answers" in place from the start -- as is obvious if you look back to see how carefully information has been parcelled out over the past three seasons. In this large schema, it's really a pretty elegantly designed show. I'm kind of amazed that anyone could think it's all off the cuff at this point.

Dave said...

homertojeebus said:
"OK, everyone who ever said something bad about this show can just shut up now."

I suppose I could...

"The most pleasurable moments in this show, aside from the uniformly compelling drama, are the WTF moments that raise more questions. Yet even knowing this, your chief complaint about the show is that it doesn't extinguish it's own power source."

It's great that you like the endless stream of mysteries. Really. But some of us want an occasional answer.

Far from extinguishing its own power source, this show appears to be a perpetual motion machine. Proportionally, we know less now than we knew before the season started. We've been given a lot of new questions and very few answers (I know I wasn't all that curious about Jack's tattoo.)

We know at least three groups of people (Dharma, Hostiles and the Not Pennys) are/were interested in the island, but we have no idea why.

We know there's a mysterious ghost in a shack. Don't know much else about him, but we know where he lives.

We know pregnant women die on the island.

We know some people heal very quickly on the island (as long as they weren't pregnant).

We know Eko thought the smoke monster was judging him.

The things we know seem more like questions than answers to me.

Don't get me wrong -- I liked last night's episode. Things happened. It was fun to watch. But I'm disappointed with the season as a whole because I'm the kind of guy who wants answers to questions. That's okay. You're not the kind of guy who needs answers. That's okay, too.

velvetcannibal said...

Well. After getting fed up in season two and skipping it, only to come back after the first six episodes of season three... I made the right decision. It helped that there had been so little of Jack, but I could tell almost immediately that this was the future. The beard and the age lines around his face told me, plus the blatant alcoholism and drug use. Jack was always an alcoholic but it didn't fit the timeline for him to be this terrible.

With that said, do we consider it a flash forward? Or is the Island itself now considered the flashback? What is our present?

Knew it would be Kate getting out of the car.

Michael, Locke, Sawyer, Juliet. Those are my guesses for the casket.

With the discussion of pregnancy earlier in the episode, I think Kate was getting home to her son by Sawyer. I doubt she's still with him.

I loved Charlie's death and actually felt a tiny bit sad to see him go, but I agree with the person who said the emotional resonance was lost in the time between episodes. Hurley was completely awesome and Sayid's neck snapping skills are frightening.

I thought it was interesting to see Ben tied to a tree the way Locke's dad had been tied a few episodes ago. Creepy.

Who is Naomi? Where is she from? Does it matter that it's not Penny's boat? Will Desmond give them a warning? Also, now that Charlie is dead, who will Desmond have those flashes about now? Are the flash forwards going to be every week and describe the journey of the Losties as they decide to go back to the Island? Is Jack's dad really dead or is someone else actually his father?

These mysteries are more interesting than stupid revelations about tattoos. I'll watch next year.

the2scoops said...

If it's not Penny's boat, and Naomi knows Des from the picture, I'd be guessing the boat/bad guy involves Papa Widmore.

My guess about Ben or Locke in the coffin comes from how upset Jack was about getting back to the island. If Ben or Locke, who are tied to the island, are his best shot at finding his way back and either of them dies, Jack figures there is no hope and takes that long walk off a short bridge. And both Ben and Locke have pissed off or cut off enough people in their lives to justify an empty funeral home.

BTW, let's not focus on the fact it was a "black" neighbourhood, focus on the social conditions. A little ramshackle funeral home would indicate a pauper's funeral. No money for a big fancy funeral.

TL said...

But there's also the moment where he tells the chief of surgery something like "go up to my father's office, and if I'm drunker than him, then you can fire me!"

Yeah, I remembered that right after I posted. I'd lean toward your explanation #1, otherwise, they're throwing all sorts of curves that I'm not sure they'll be able to pay off.

Anthony Cantor said...

As for Penny sending transmissions to the island, do we know how she knows which frequency to broadcast on to reach Desmond? I suppose she could be broadcasting on a range of frequencies, but she asks Charlie "how did you get this frequency?", which indicates that she knew that that specific frequency would reach Desmond.

Kristin said...

I like the theory about Ben being in the coffin, because it would fit with Jack's statement about being neither a friend nor a family member. It would also explain his devastation at Ben's death...since he did explain to Kate that he was desperately hoping to crash on the island again. Ben is probably the only way back.

OR my other thought, now, is that it is a character whom we have not yet met.

I think they put the lines in there about Jack's father to throw the audience off the idea that it was a flash-forward. But it also served to reveal, upon reflection of the episode, that Jack is losing it. He is so drugged out that he doesn't realize his father is dead. And, thus, the pitying look from the other doctor.

I think the lying Jack mentioned was them lying about what happened on the island. They probably had to make up some story that would make sense...not smoke monsters, four-toed statues, and a possible ghost.

I still can't get over how good this season finale was. There's no way they are writing this on the fly. No way.

Taleena said...

OK,
Don't care about Jack-forwards and I don't see any mention of thos here but:

"Go to the temple I'll meet you there?"

Is this a temple full of four toed statues?

Homertojeebus said...

My Old Testament is a little rusty, so I'm not sure how to apply them all, but there were a ton of biblical references, too. The Moses reference was obvious even before Naomi brought it up, and by the end, Jack seems to be denied entry to the "promised land". (Plus, duh, I just noticed, his name is Shepherd)Also, Saayid tells Jack not to look back, no matter what, an obvious reference to Lot's wife. Both parables involve people cursed for failures of faith. If the guy who came up with all of that Jacob stuff is reading this, what do you think?
Also, to be clear, I meant for my "Shut up!" to the naysayers as a good natured taunt, not an insult.
I don't think Charlie's death was diminished at all by the "cheat" from the last ep. In fact, it was magnified. Also, that whole scene had such a great mixture of shifting moods and pacing.

Homertojeebus said...

One more thing. Calling all obsessives. Since Desmond described this scene, I have been positive we'd seen it before as a flash/vision, by Desmond or someone else. Can anyone confirm this?

Anonymous said...

This was a great episode, but I'm with Alan. They are totally making it up as they go along. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But seriously, I bet even TPTB have decided who is in the coffin.

Alan Sepinwall said...

We never saw Desmond's flashes of the stuff in the Looking Glass, which led people last week to speculate that he was lying in some way to Charlie to further his own ends.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Oh, and it briefly occurred to me that, since Desmond had described it as Charlie flipping the switch as the place was flooding, that maybe Charlie would recognize that "Not Penny's Boat" was a bad thing, and turn the jamming signal back on just before he drowned.

TuckPendleton said...

Re: the "making it up as they go" --

When shows are pitched, networks (generally) want to see a pilot ep script, and then an outline for the next 12 episodes or so, and then a broad, five-year plan for the show.

The reason the networks want five years is so the show will reach 100 episodes, at which point they can be sold into syndication.

So, while I agree with the poster above who said they are inventing their mini-arcs, there had to be a long-term plan in place for ABC to buy the show, and greenlight the most expensive pilot ever filmed. Because ABC knew that at the end of Years 1-5, there would be these certain tentpole moments or "game-changers" -- the hatch, the flash-forwards, whatever.

Now, that five-year plan Abrams/Lindelof/Cuse laid out, could've been BS, knowing that the Abrams brand was enough to get them in the ring, and they would figure it all out later, but I don't think that's the case. I think they are working towards these tentpole moments each year, and occasionally they do it a little less than gracefully.

TL said...

I'm going to cast my vote for the coffin's tenant as being either Ben or someone we haven't seen yet. Michael likely would have gone back/been taken back to NY, not stayed in SoCal. Ditto Walt. Locke at least presumably has a crazy mother that would see him off, and possibly Peg from Married w/ Children too.

One thing we can be pretty sure of: It's not Hurley.

Tom said...

Why do we think that there is anyone in the coffin? Remember, we never actually saw inside of the thing.

Kristin said...

Well, the funeral guy did say there was a viewing earlier, not a funeral, and then he was going to open up the casket for Jack, but Jack didn't want him to do that.

Unless you think the funeral guy was "in" on some kind of deception, I believe there is a real dead person in the coffin.

Jenniifer J. said...

It's hard to post so late in the game as everyone has nearly mentioned everything already.

I will go on record as saying I believe the producers are not making it up as they go along. I'm happy to say I've never given up on this show even when it has been done less than gracefully (I agree) as someone else mentioned. As an actor I feel a great need for suspending all disbelief while watching anything. (Hence why it took me so long to register the flashforwardness of it all.)

Two things not mentioned:

1) I think it's possible that Desmond will no longer have the ability to see the future due to Charlie's hard knock on his noggin' in "Greatest Hits" last week. I say this as Charlie asked Des last night if he was having flashes and Des wasn't, but also Charlie is the only one that Des has been having death flashes about. It would be a nice circle for it to end there.

2) Why has no one brought up that Jack told Kate he loved her on the island trek last night? 2b) Plus, no one's even mentioned Juliet kissing Jack. I'm not the biggest Juliet with Jack fan (though I do think her character is fascinating) but her "don't wait up" comment was funny.

Loved Hurley using the Dharma bus to create huge change; loved Sayid's using his legs to break that guy's neck; loved Charlie's final moments; loved liking Jack again; loved Jack beating the crap out of Ben; I think Locke seeing Walt is the island's smoke monster doing it's mojo.

It will be so difficult to wait for so long to see the show again especially with the producer's going "radio silent" for the off time. They're not too happy that the flash forward was revealed pre-season finale. They wanted it kept secret. Most people complied, but one person didn't. Don't know who. I don't blame them for being unhappy and disapointed.

I can't wait to see what's in store. I trust this story. I trust these producers and the vision they have for the show. I don't care if there are flashbacks or flashforwards or both. I don't care because I know I don't need to...the producers proved that with such an amazing finale last night. I think the next 3 years will be a heady ride.

Anonymous said...

The island somehow creates some type of doppelgängers. I use the term, although I don't think they're all evil twins, but I also don't think they are clones.

That would explain a number of things...

#1) Jack's dad being alive.
#2) Perhaps we meet Kate's step dad in a future Episode and if he's not dead...she's not in trouble.
#3)The "others" are doppelgängers. That's why they don't age. Ben ages because he's from off Island. As does his "daughter". Walt is a problem as he's appeared to age.
#4) Eko's brother sure seemed evil - bad things would happen if he got off the island. As I'd assume if other bad twins did...
#5) Jacob is variant of this process...
#6) Doppelgängers can't reproduce.

Anonymous said...

TuckPendleton.....

The thing about networks needing five years to sell it into syndication iisn't really true anymore. There are DVD sales and so many cable outlets that shows go into syndication before 100. Also, my main argument is always this: JJ Abrams also created Alias and he and all the writers of THAT show admitted they were making things up as they go along.

Anonymous said...

#6) Doppelgängers can't reproduce.

Neither can replicants.

Jennifer J. said...

Maybe JJ learned from Alias? Maybe not. I do know that I've heard interviews with Lindelof and Cuse where they state "x" was always something meant to happen be it in any one of these seasons. The most recent examples coming from this season finale episode. I highly doubt that "all" is as they go, maybe a bit is, but I'm thinking most is not.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Jennifer, Michael Emerson was only supposed to be in two episodes until Damon and Carlton saw what he could do. He's been the most dominant figure of season three. That sure doesn't sound like a cohesive master plan to me, even though I'm glad to have Emerson around.

Kristin said...

I think there is a master plan, in that, they understand what the island is/does, there was a plan for people before the island, people on the island, people after the island. That's all you really need to believe in order to think there is a plan to this.

I write books. I usually know the basic plot of my book, how it will end, and who some of the main characters are. But a lot of times the middle can be a mess. I can understand how the creators/writers of the show can partially outline things in this show, yet still make stuff up on the fly.

Each year is like a new 'book.' They might have a beginning point and an end point, but need to work out the details. I am sure they knew how they wanted to end this year well in advance. And that is why the middle got muddled. Middles are always hard. And now that we have seen the last few weeks, we can understand why they had to have certain things happen and set up certain relationships. It could have been done better, but now it makes some sense. You can't just write like that without having some endpoint in mind.

Alias is not a good comparison to Lost because it was on the cusp of cancellation the first year or two. It never had the support that Lost did. Also, we don't know what the network required of JJ Abrams and his crew before they would green light this show.

jim treacher said...

I'm starting to rethink the "Christian is alive" theory. Didn't Jack go to the morgue and view his dad's body? Hey, maybe Christian bribed the morgue guy: "Just let me lay here for a minute and hold my breath while my son mourns me..." Or, maybe not.

"One thing we can be pretty sure of: It's not Hurley."

Heh!

"Why has no one brought up that Jack told Kate he loved her on the island trek last night?"

Because it was spoiled in every single promo.

jim treacher said...

I also like Kristin's book analogy. Remember, these guys are huge Stephen King fans...

Alan Sepinwall said...

"Why has no one brought up that Jack told Kate he loved her on the island trek last night?"

Because it was spoiled in every single promo.


And because no one cares. No one here, anyway. If there are still Jack/Kate 'shippers in existence, or people who care about the quadrangle in general, I haven't seen them hanging here. (Outside of Jim and Pam, this isn't a very 'shippy site.)

libby said...

small coffin=dog inside! Kate never liked that darn dog! Seriously, I didn't get why Kate was okay with post-island life and Jack was soo torn up about it. That's the big mystery for me... Fantastic episode!

Jennifer J. said...

Alan, is this a verbal equivalent of a smackdown on me? ;)

Kristin, thanks for your post. It explained in detail what I only said in a few words. What you said is what I meant. This is why they can only mean to have Ben in 2 eps, Alan, and see how amazing he is and change things. Who wouldn't find a way of keeping Emerson on? He's one of the great things to happen to the show. You always promote change when you can.

As for the Jack/Kate question I posed, I really never meant it as a 'shipper question. It was only just a question. And, yes, it was "ruined" by the promos. I guess I just thought someone would have something to say about it, that's all. It was meant so innocently. *sigh* I guess I'll just have to "accept" the smackdown and move on.

Oh, and I choose to "hang here" because you write well and I'm interested in what you have to say. I'm also very interested in what posters have to say. I always like it better when people play nice and agree to disagree rather than get "I know more than you do." I thought that was this place.

velvetcannibal said...

jennifer j,

I don't think Alan was giving you a smackdown there. He was just being pretty blunt about the general attitude towards Jack/Kate/Juliet/Sawyer on this particular blog. I hope you don't take offense.

Personally, it was kind of a non-event for me. The only love story I'm invested in on TV these days is Jim and Pam from The Office, and that's still secondary to the comedy. What I found much more interesting than the little "I love you" moment was the fact that in the future, Kate and Jack are clearly not friends. She doesn't want anything to do with him, it seems. I'm wondering what happened there, or if it's something that happened with her that drove him into alcohol and drugs again.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I always like it better when people play nice and agree to disagree rather than get "I know more than you do." I thought that was this place.

And I think this is that place. I'm sorry if my tone seemed harsh. It wasn't intended that way. I was just trying to explain the lack of response to the Jack/Kate thing by noting that neither I nor any of the commenters has ever had much to say about them or the other members of the quadrangle, so the "I love you" wasn't likely to drive a lot of discussion.

I also think Kristin's book analogy is a good one, and I understand that there has to be wiggle room, especially over a long 22-24 episode season. But there's the wiggle room of finding a place for an exceptional actor within your master plan, and then there's the wiggle room of turning an entire year of your show over to a guy who was only supposed to be around for two episodes.

I like Damon and Carlton quite a bit. They're smart, they will admit to their mistakes far more than some other showrunners I could name (one of whom will be back on the air tonight at 10 on NBC), they have a sense of humor about themselves, and when they're on their game -- as they've been with the last several episodes -- they make superb television.

But I still believe the master plan is really more of a work in progress. Maybe they do know all the answers about the island, about Smokey and Jacob and Walt's psychic powers and Mr. Eko's brother's plane, and maybe they don't. But the storytelling over the past three seasons has been too haphazards, too full of starts, stops and abrupt changes of direction, for me to believe that they mapped most of the broad points out before they began the series. They may have known a few things up-front, but I think a lot more has been figured out along the way.

Or maybe it's really all a matter of needing a fixed end date -- not to mention fewer hours to fill per year -- and the pacing of the next three seasons will be far more consistent than the first three.

TuckPendleton said...

I agree with Kristin and Jennifer...while they didn't know that Ben/Emerson would turn out to be such a huge character, they surely knew that the Others were on the island, that there would be significant conflict between the tribes, etc, etc. I think that they have the right to revise their characters as they go...that doesn't mean they are changing their overall, broad story directions.

For instance, to me, the Looking Glass station with the two random women feels, well, random, but the overall beat of the possible rescue group/another enemy coming to the island does not.

And yeah, Jennifer, don't take offense, this is pretty civil place to make comments. I think you'll see there's a very good ratio of signal to noise here.

Carmichael Harold said...

Alan, I'm not sure I'd be willing to generally defend TPTB from the allegation that they're winging it, but with Emerson/Ben, it's entirely possible that they both hired Emerson for only a couple of episodes and that they had a plan for a Ben-like figure all along. Once the saw how well Emerson fit in, they decided to morph his character into the character we all now know and love. That sort of small-scale audible calling is much different from the idea that they are making up the mythology and overall character arcs as they go along.

Valerie said...

I think that Ben thinks that the plane crash survivors are there to take over the caretaking of the island and the islands greater mysteries. I feel like I imagined this now, but didn't Ben point out to Jack that there were 40 others and 40 survivors? He also told Jack that he helped take out the 40 DHARMA INITIATIVE people so his new band of friends could run the island.

This would explain why Locke is so adamant about keeping his people on the island. He believes that it is their destiny to take over the care of the island. It also explains why Ben doesn't want Naomi and her people to set foot on the island.

He must believe that they want to hurt the island.

There's no way for us to know who is in that coffin. Enough clues were not given.

I think the smoke monster operates much like the planet in that Russian movie Solaris. The planet's inhabitants somehow manifest themselves into people they've seen in crew member's memories in order ot gain the trust of the crew.

Obviously, the smoke monster is doing something similar. It is reaching into people's minds in order to learn whether or not they are good for the monster's island.

For me, the smoke monster is what Ben and the Dharma project were trying to study and to protect.

Valerie said...

Regarding the flash forward, any theory about an alternate reality makes sense.

Otherwise, Kate would be in prison. She is a fugitive to the extent that a law enforcement officer followed her around the world to bring her in.

And I could agree with the commenter who thought he saw Gin and her husband on the plane with Jack. I thought I saw them as well.

The alternate reality theory is supported by Naomi's claim that their flight was found with no survivors. But who knows if Naomi was telling the truth.

My guess is the next season will open with a flash back of Naomi and her crew with a hazy explanation of why they are looking for Desmond.

jim treacher said...

Whether or not you think the writers know where they're going, no matter who you think is in the coffin, or whether Jack's dad is really dead or not, or who Kate's living with in the future, or if it's even the future or an alternate reality... I think we can all agree on one thing: Verne Gay is hilarious!

Jennifer J. said...

Thank you, VelvetCannibal, Alan and Tuck. I appreciate the help getting over my "offense taken." Alan, I'm sure it was bluntness and not harshness, but sometimes, words on a page just don't convey the proper tone one wants.

Velvet: I agree my interest in any relationship lies in Pam and Jim, though I watch that show b/c it's hilarious (often.) Actually, truth be told, I might watch it b/c I've become obsessed with loving it!!!! ;)

I think we can all safely agree to disagree about producers/show runners knowledge and lack of it. I did like the way you put it, Alan. I do like that these 2 guys will admit their mistakes.

By the way, do you happen to know which site did give away the flash forward spoiler? If so, it would be great to know just to avoid that sight for the next 3 seasons! ;)

Valerie: I find your smoke monster/Solaris mention very intriguing. :)

Jennifer J. said...

Oh, I have this feeling that Kate is going home to Sawyer's child (their child) and not Sawyer. I have a hard time believing Sawyer in a relationship even *if* he can get past this "I think I like me this killing people stuff now." ;)

Anthony Cantor said...

To the question of who awaits Kate at home, I don't think it is a child. She says something to the effect of "he'll be wondering where I am." This conjures up a [suspicious] significant other, not a child. (Referring to a child, she might have said "he won't know where I am."

J said...

*I would think -- okay, hope -- that four years into this thing, the producers have a general outline and a bunch of specific plotpoints to hit. Otherwise that writer's room is going to be a very scary place come 2009. Like any good bit of direction, you hope there's an overall goal but make adjustments for compromise and serendipity along the way.

*I actually sort of fear the final season in general. I hope there are a lot of loose ends. I hated having the polar bears explained away.

*The more I think about it (and February's a long way away), the more I'm sure we're in for additional flash-forwards. Otherwise, Jack's pathetic breakdown is going to be the series' endpoint. It's a dark show, but that's a really dark ending. I wouldn't be surprised if the producers find a reason we have to take Jack back to the island, in the future, somehow.

*A show this complexly plotted can't venture into "What If?" alternate reality futures. Not the way people depend on the way visual information is doled out. That's one of the reasons, I imagine, Desmond's flashes are only shown if they can be reconciled within a single, Desmond-POV episode. Heroes was predicated on violating a premonition, so a "Days of Future Past" stand-alone was possible.

(Also: Another failing of Heroes' finale was that it -- assuming characters who seem to be dead actually are -- erased every interesting development in its dire future, making it a wasted hour.)

But flashing forward and backward into and out of different realities? Trying to figure out which future alt-history elements are relevant? It might entertain the more gobbeldy-gook theories, but I can't think TV producers so good at managing information would let their show spiral out of control this way. It would border on incomprehensible. It's amazing enough people now accept series-lenghted arcs.

*And one of the reasons Jack's "I love you" to Kate seemed totally irrelevant: Well, look at where they end up.

*Speaking of dark ends, someone in another forum pointed out how much thoughts of suicide figured into last night's episode.
-- Charlie killed himself
-- Did Rasputin?
-- Future Jack was about to
-- Locke put a gun to his head
-- Attempts to go back to the beach were labelled a "suicide mission"
-- According to someone who analyzed screenshots of the L.A. Times, the other articles came from an issue from 4/05/07, the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide
-- Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice" was blaring from Jack's car
-- People cobbling together screenshots of that obituary seem to have found the body was "hanging from a beam"

Anonymous said...

I didn't immediately believe the alternate reality idea, but how else can you explain the idea that the plane was found underwater and the passengers identified, as naomi claimed? They seem to be hinting that ben was at least partially telling the truth about her, but that would be an odd story for anyone to invent.

Anonymous said...

Earlier, I was not suggesting that the "alternate reality" was a reality that could be avoided somehow. I think it indicates that the island took them in from one reality/dimension and spit them out into another.

jim treacher said...

"I didn't immediately believe the alternate reality idea, but how else can you explain the idea that the plane was found underwater and the passengers identified, as naomi claimed?"

Cover story.

J said...

how else can you explain the idea that the plane was found underwater and the passengers identified, as naomi claimed?

I was mostly referring to explaining away onscreen events as possible realities. Like: "Bearded Jack, he exists on Earth-X." But I think the producers have publicly denounced the whole "they're dead/in limbo" thing, right?

I've no idea about the found crash. Staged? A lie? I'm sure we'll find out more once there's more contact with folks from off-island.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how they can start having flash-forwards now for characters. Wouldn't that ruin the opportunity for writers to kill of main characters if we see them all in flash-forwards having gotten off the island?

I can't see the flash-forward scenes continuing unless it ends up being some kind of alternate universe.

anon said...

treacher,

Huh. You're right. Verne Gay IS hilarious!

Anon

JL said...

This is a piece of what I think is happening...Jack is like Desmond. What I mean is that, he keeps repeating his life or certain points from his life like Desmond. Jack just doesn't talk about it. I think after leaving the island they end up in some type of alternate reality. Think about it, no matter what Kate has been through she would end up in jail once they were rescued. I think that she probably has the perfect life with her childhood sweetheart and doesn't want to leave, because she doesn't have to run anymore. I think Christian Shepherd is alive, but they didn't show him, so they didn't give too much away. C'mon, who couldn't tell Locke was in the coffin?

Last thing. Remember when Jack was in the hospital and his hand was shaking? He couldn't control it. Go back and watch the pilot. Look at how Jack is moving his left hand when he wakes up. Also, notice how he isn't surprised to see a dog(Vincent)in the middle of the jungle. Why would he start running? He didn't know where he was going, or did he?

Janna said...

I don't know if everyone has seen this already and I am way behind..

Just checked out the oceanic air website

http://oceanic-air.com/

If you select the text BEHIND the text..and copy it into a word document there are some very interesting drawings and a cry for help. Check it out..

jim treacher said...

At least with Heroes, Verne's been paying attention...

Anonymous said...

Following up on Janna's post, this is what it says ...

"If anyone should find this message, please get word I'm alive and stranded on an island somewhere in the South Pacific. Please send help soon. Things are bad. And they're getting worse...
I survived a horrific plane crash and am stranded on an island somewhere Northeast of Australia and Southwest of Hawaii. In the event that I am never found, please forward word of my fate to my parents."

If memory serves me correct this wasn't there when I hit the site last week.

velvetcannibal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
velvetcannibal said...

RE: Kate not being in jail.

Wouldn't it be easy enough for her to manipulate some dead Lost person's passport before everything is sorted out? Didn't she get caught doing that way back in the beginning of the show? She could assume someone's identity, if only temporarily, and continue living in hiding after that. Jack contacted her by cell phone, but that doesn't tell us anything about her status as a fugitive other than she's not in prison at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree Kate has to be using some sort of alias. There is no way they would just let her go free because she crashed on an island. One of my thoughts was maybe all of them are using aliases except for Jack

J said...

I don't see how they can start having flash-forwards now for characters. Wouldn't that ruin the opportunity for writers to kill of main characters if we see them all in flash-forwards having gotten off the island?

If anyone's going to keep all the appropriate cards to their chest, it's the Lost producers. FutureJack is obviously pretty isolated from the other Losties; his attempts to get back to the island would make "Jack epsiodes" far more interesting than flashback eps. I like the idea of a finale crosscutting between the Losties finally getting rescued and FutureJack making his way back. Or, you know, whatever they come up with.

But flashforwards can be used to raise questions and introduce characters, too. You're just working at the puzzle from a different corner.

Travis said...

I'm having a hard time beleiving that the 'flash forward' with Jack & Kate meeting near the airport is really an honest 'flash forward'. Have we discussed how Jack's beard on the island is grey, yet his beard in the 'flash forward' is very dark? Did I miss that conversation?

While this was given away by the preceeding 'Lost: Answers" episode shown before the finale (where the producers told us that they have now shown us the past, present, and future) I can't help but think that life on the island is the future, and the 'flash foward' was really the present.

Or something along those lines....

jim treacher said...

So he uses Just For Men. Being a suicidal junkie doesn't mean you have to COMPLETELY give up on your appearance!

If there's somehow a past where Jack and Kate knew each other before the crash (but then pretended not to when they first met, even though there was nobody else around), and they'd both gotten "golden passes" from Oceanic Airlines for some reason, and Jack flies over the Pacific once a week and hopes the plane crashes because he needs to get back to some island? Which he's never been to before? Oh, and if he has a phone that didn't exist until 2006, but it's before the crash in 2004? Then you're right!

Kris Eton said...

I don't think using more flash-forwards would ruin anything. It would be possible that only some of the Losties left the island...and, therefore, we see their futures. But others could decide to stay behind and continue on as island residents...and we wouldn't see them back in the real world. So there could still be some mystery as to which Losties might die, which we will see in flash-forwards, and which are just still having a wild time on the island.

There are many ways around revealing too much. We don't have to see everyone's fate...they could play around with some of them right off the bat, and leave the rest as mysteries for awhile. Plus, was anything taken away from knowing Charlie would eventually die? I think, in fact, it actually heightened the drama. It was only a matter of time before Desmond could no longer keep him from his fate.

I have no problems with finding out certain characters are dead...and then not finding out how they died for awhile.