‘Lost’ Pre-Game: 7 Episodes Left

Posted: March 30, 2010 in Jeff Holland, Threat Quality
Tags: , ,

By now, everyone should be more or less caught up with the last episode of Lost. You know, the one that promised an extended flashback utilizing a guy we know to be centuries old and privy to a whole mess of the Island mythology only hinted at – an episode that presumably would follow Alpert’s arrival on the island, his initial meetings with Jacob and Smokey, and his subsequent dealings as advisor to the island residents?

Well…you got those first two. If 2/3 of the episode wasn’t “Richard in Chains in the Black Rock” – just so the slow readers in the audience were able to pick up on the Richard-Slave theme – it might have gotten to the other stuff. But no time!

But hey, longtime viewers did get one burning question answered: What happened to the statue? Turns out, it got bashed to nothingness by a wooden boat (which was not similarly smashed to bits, which…look, I’m no physicist, but wood vs. granite…I don’t know if that can really happen). It was such a monumental event that it got all of 20 seconds of screentime.

As the ABC promos declare Only 7. Episodes. Left!, even the most patient viewers have to be wondering if that’s enough time to satisfactorily answer everything (key word: satisfactorily – by which I ask, was anyone particularly sated by how off-handedly the numbers were explained away? Or, the statue’s destruction – something that we assumed was a big deal?).

With help from Friend of Threat Quality Matt Burns, here’s a starter-list of things that would seem to be kind of essential for the story to reach a full conclusion, that still need to be addressed:

How did the Dharma Initiative find the island?
Who built the temples and statue and whatever else is on the island?
Others history – what’s the deal there? (If only to explain Hawking and Widmore’s motivations better.)
How are Desmond’s time-travel/constant issues part of all this?
What’s the deal with Aaron and that whole childbirth dilemma?
And, obviously:
Who the hell ARE these two guys that are apparently so integral to the overarching story?

These aren’t niggling little things – these are Big Questions the show introduced that directly inform the backstory (Island/Others/Dharma) or have been implied to be important to the island’s/castaways’ future wellbeing (the fertility issues, the time-travel, Aaron’s importance).

And it seems like a tall order to answer all these in seven episodes (well, the last one will be two hours, so there’s that), while also devoting time to the sideways flashes.

OH! – “What is the significance of the sideways flashes?” – that’s another good one.

Keep in mind, I’m not someone who’s waiting for the show to fail. And I do have a certain amount of faith in the show, that the writers know the questions they want to answer. The finale will deliver A Conclusion. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being just a little worried that they’ve introduced too many new elements to the last season, to really stick the landing in six hours of television (once you subtract commercials).

So, how about you, Lost viewer? Are there more essential dangling threads that must be added to the list? Are there a few you could care less about? Have some of these been answered while I wasn’t looking? Can I possibly ask more questions?

Sound off below.

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Comments
  1. Moff says:

    How great would it be if we got to the last episode and it ended and they announced a surprise extra season?

  2. Jeff Holland says:

    The season 7 flash-back/forward/sideways will just be Walt’s after-school job at a Mr. Cluck’s. It will NOT be well received.

  3. Tad says:

    I have a feeling the finale will be focused no the Jacob/MIB arc, with the first hour probably digging back to their origins, and hopefully hitting the Temple/Dharma topics on your list. The the second hour will be the reveal of which of the candidates take over for Jacob. If they haven’t done it in a previous episode, my money is on the winning candidate to somehow reconnect the sideways world with the island world.

    Oh, and my interpretation was that it was the tsunami wave that broke the statue and carried the Black Rock into the middle of island. They could probably have done a better job showing that through the viewpoint of somebody on the boat looking off into the distance, because the way they showed it sure gives the impression that the boat broke it. But like you said, granite > wood.

  4. Jeff Holland says:

    That’s why they had to change Rock-Paper-Scissors from its origins of Guy-Sailboat-Statue. That version of the game was no fun.

  5. th3chicg33k says:

    The writers have gotten us this far, so I’m confident they won’t leave us in the lurch. But there’s still a part of me that thinks they have bitten off much more than they can chew. Let us not forget that while the writers have given us a great show, they also gave us Nikki and Paulo.

  6. Moff says:

    @th3chicg33k: Are you serious? Nikki and Paulo was one of the greatest episodes ever. I wish they’d done a couple more stand-alone, Twilight Zone–homage stories, that one was so good. And the callback this season was priceless.

  7. braak says:

    @Moff: Yeah, I think Nikki and Paolo wouldn’t stand out so much as an example of a bad episode if the writers had just run with the idea and established as a convention, rather than a peculiar exception.

  8. Moff says:

    I had no idea it was even considered a bad episode. It’s like, one of the handful Mrs. Moff and I bring up on a regular basis. And even though the plot is an old chestnut, I think the episode stands up as a good example of how the Lost creators can do classic story structure and more contemporary in-jokes and Easter eggs.

  9. Jeff Holland says:

    I loved the Nikki & Paolo episode, too. You had to respect the writers for saying, “You want these guys dead? Fine. We’re gonna kill them through THE ENTIRE EPISODE.”

    (Which made me enjoy Miles’ throwaway comment a couple episodes back about the two schmucks buried with a sack full of diamonds that were going to make him rich.)

  10. Tad says:

    Yeah, I think everybody enjoyed the killing-off episode, it was the ret-con “nikki and paulo were here all along” clips in the previous half-season that were annoying.

  11. braak says:

    I am going to say something: we will never find out the significance of Desmond’s time-travel stuff. I think this is because it wasn’t really significant. His time-switching was an effect designed to illustrate the principle significance which was “electromagnetism can make things travel in time,” which was the set up for the castaways going back to the 70s, which was itself the set-up for the sideways flashes. Basically, if the sideways flashes turn out to be significant, that will reveal the significance of Desmond.

    (Also…uhm. Maybe Kate will turn out to be someone’s constant, which will be how the two universes get squished back together.)

  12. Jeff Holland says:

    Well, next week’s a Desmond episode – I could tell that because of the incredible bagpipe usage in the promo – so one way or the next I think they’re gonna get into this.

    I suspect they used bagpipes because there are no immediately recognizable songs about kilts or scotch.

  13. Lisa says:

    Well there’s one thing about the sideways LA-verse and the real verse that caught my attention last week… Widmore specifically told Jinn that if Smokey/Flocke/whateveryouwannacallhim gets off the island that Sun, their daughter & Penny would NOT EXIST… And then Sun gets shot in the LA-verse in the belly just before telling Jinn she’s preggers. So….. Is that how they’re connected??? Smokey gets off the island in the last episode and we see that the LA-verse is what’s real? Good for some (Hurley, Jack, Miles) not so good for others (Sun & Jinn, Sayid, Kate). Maybe that’s forshadowing something too.

    Whatever – I’m excited for the next 6 episodes!

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