Lost Season Six Preview

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end for the weirdest network drama of recent times. It’s remarkable that a show about manipulative demigods, Luddite cults and time travel can last six seasons in today’s TV environment, let alone become as big a hit as Lost. To celebrate, I rewatched the first five seasons over the past couple months, and I made some damn lists. On with it. (Spoilers, obviously)

Ranking the Seasons

1) Season FiveNon-stop action, more answers than in any previous season, no bum episodes, no boring character-building flashbacks. Season Five ran on all cylinders from start to finish, and featured the best Lost romance to date – Sawyer and Juliet.

2) Season OneThe first season ventured too often into cheesy fare like music montages and imaginary peanut butter, but it had a killer premiere and set the stage well for the rest of the show. Despite some unnecessary flashbacks, this season is surprisingly rewatchable.

3) Season ThreeYes, yes, yes. The worst episodes of Lost’s run happened in S3, but so did some of the very best. And once the series started to build momentum near the end of the season, it never really petered out. Also, the best season-closing scene of any TV show, ever.

4) Season FourA lot of action, but we knew where it was headed most of the time (the Oceanic Six getting off the island). This season felt like a set-up for Season Five rather than its own thing. Way too much of the action was about various groups of people marching back and forth across the island.

5) Season TwoThis was where it was the most clear that the writers were scrambling to fill time, and didn’t really know where the show was headed yet.

Favorite Episodes

1) Flashes Before Your EyesIn which we first get a glimpse of Desmond the time traveler, and first comprehend exactly how much of a mindfuck this show is.

2) Not in PortlandJuliet’s first flashback episode gives us some new information on The Others, and builds out Juliet’s character with some new facets.

3) Through the Looking Glass“We have to go back!” My love for drug-addled, Nirvana-listening Crazy Jack knows no bounds.

4) LaFleur – We get completely immersed in 1977, and in the Dharma Initiative.

5) The VariableBye bye, Daniel. We hardly knew twitchy ye. Also, it got a lot harder to hate your mother when we saw how hot she was while on the island.

Least Favorite Episodes

1) Stranger in a Strange LandThe secret of Jack’s tattoos! Bai Ling! Kites!

2) Further InstructionsFeaturing a mute Locke in a sweat lodge, at his most irritating, and youngish Locke as part of a marijuana-growing cult. Beats the typical Locke themes into the ground.

3) Born to RunWe learn that Kate has risked her life (and killed!) for a sentimental toy plane.

4) S.O.S.Rose and Bernard’s flashback. The sound of millions of TV sets across America fast forwarding in unison.

5) Collision – Cements any remaining possibility that Ana Lucia might work out. But hey! It’s Brenda’s prom date from 90210!

Three Things Lost Lovvvves to Do

1)      Brutal pistol whippings and rifle butts with no lasting repercussions.

2) Show a character talking off-screen or from behind, then slowly reveal the character’s face. And it’s shocking!

3) Have Ben reveal a crucial piece of information – but because it’s Ben, you have no idea if he’s telling the truth.

Three Moments that, Were I the Kind of Man Who Might Cry at a TV Show, I Would Have Cried at

1)      Charlie dies, floating away and crossing himself.

2)      Juliet screams for her life, and tells Sawyer that she loves him, before letting go and dropping down the Incident pit

3)      Desmond and Penny have a phone chat in The Constant

Favorite Moments

1)      The first flash-forward.

2)      The flaming arrows.

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3)      Arzt blows up.

4)      Finding out Desmond’s kid is named Charlie.

5)      Hurley throws a Hot Pocket at Ben.

Favorite Characters

1)      Desmond –  First, the episodes centered on him have consistently been among the series’ best. Second, I’m fully invested in the happiness of Des, Penny and little Charlie. Third, he’s just a well-written character: the perfect mix of cowardice and heroism, regret and hope. Or maybe it’s just the cool accent.

2)      Ben – Michael Emerson is the best actor on the show, hands down (the same was true of The Practice – and that cast featured Lara Flynn Boyle!). Benjamin Linus is never anything less than captivating, and the way that the writers have kept his ultimate motivations hidden has served the character well over the long haul.

3)      Juliet – It’s not just the low-cut tops. Juliet was given one of the great character introduction scenes in history, and followed that up with three seasons of no-nonsense decision-making and ass-kicking. And she always had Sawyer’s back.

4)      Sawyer – An obvious choice, but he’s pretty fucking cool. Equally adept and comic relief and pathos.

5)      Sayid – The Iraqi Jack Bauer, only much smarter. Sayid is always right about everything. His only mistake was not making sure Little Ben was dead after he shot him.

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* Charlie slid off this list during my second viewing of the series. Too much imaginary peanut butter, and too much sulking during Seasons Two and Three.

Most Underrated Character

Jack – The younger Dr. Shephard has gotten a bum rap over the years. It’s not often a show has the balls to make its leading man such a paranoid bastard. Jack’s also been repeatedly blamed for poor leadership decisions by other castaways when he never even wanted to be a leader in the first place.

Least Favorite Characters

1)      and 2) Rose and Bernard – Oh, how they suck. They suck when they’re apart. They suck when they’re together. They suck in flashbacks. They suck in 1977. They suck when Rose is being a schoolmarm-ish bitch. They suck when Bernard is trying to spell out SOS in sticks. They suck when they don’t care that a nuclear bomb is about to be detonated. They suck when Rose chides Charlie to stop feeling sorry for himself AFTER HE WAS HANGED. They. Are. The. Worst.

3)      Kate – Fuck you, Kate. Your backstory episodes are always boring, and you provide the impetus for other characters to act their most childish and inane (Jack, Sawyer, Juliet…). That’s because everyone has to fall in love with Freckles. How could they not? Ugh. Kate was written poorly from Day One, and her motivations are ever-shifting.

4)      Ana Lucia – Yep, I’m on this bandwagon. Terrible actress, terrible character, terrible story. A perfect example of the powers that be recognizing their mistake and erasing it before it dragged the show down permanently.

5)      Mr. Eko – The most disappointing character on Lost. After starting off with a ton of promise and intrigue, Eko ended his run as a poorly schemed composite of Locke and Sayid.

Most Overrated Character

Hurley – Listen, at the beginning of the series, I liked Hurley as much as anyone else. In later seasons, though, he grew dumber by the episode. And the whole “Hurley is a surrogate for the audience thing” too me out of the moment whenever it happened. I don’t need characters on the show responding to message board chatter. I certainly don’t need Hurley to explain Time Travel for Dummies. Also, Hurley’s whole “I can’t lie anymore!” arc when he was off the island was illogical and irritating.


Underutilized Actors/Characters

1) Lance ReddickHis Matthew Abbadon is foreboding, mysterious and kind of cool, but Reddick showed on The Wire that he’s capable of so much more.

2) Michelle ForbesToo talented an actress to play an uninteresting five-minute part as the Oceanic Six executive. Here’s hoping we see more of her in Season Six.

3) M.C. Gainey Tom/Mr. Friendly got more screen time than anyone else on this list, but he always left us wanting more. I’d happily watch a whole episode devoted to his backstory.

4) Alice EvansMiddle-aged Ellie Hawkins.

5) Kevin DurandKeamy, the bad-ass militia leader/bounty hunter whom Widmore unleashed on Ben. He made a great villain, but could have stuck around longer, or been something more than a cartoon.

Unanswered Questions

These are notes I jotted down while re-watching Lost, arranged in the order of how important it is for me to see them answered. I’m leaving out the basic, “What is the island?” because a) I don’t think it can be feasibly explained to my satisfaction, and b) I’m not sure that I really care.

Who are really the good guys and bad guys? Who is strategically allied with whom?
Who are the Others/hostiles?
What is the monster?
What is the point of contention between Jacob and the Man in Black? And who/what are they?
How does the monster decide whom to kill?
Are there larger stakes beyond what happens on the island? Why do people keep saying “God help us all”?
What are the whispers in the jungle? Are the whispers the Others?
Why can’t people have babies on the island?
Was it really Jacob in the cabin? Really him giving Ben orders the whole time?
What makes Walt special?
Who did or didn’t want the Oceanic 6 back on the island? And why?
Why can Desmond see the future? What makes him special, so the rules of time travel don’t apply to him?
What is the temple/sanctuary? Why is it the last safe place on the island? Why does the monster guard it (if it does)?
How do the Others/Jacob determine who is good and bad, and who makes their various lists?
What ritual did the others perform on Ben? Why will his innocence be gone?
How do the Others come and go after the sub blows up?
Whose decision was it to kill the Dharma people? Why then?
Why doesn’t Alpert age?
How does Faraday’s mom know Desmond’s future? And why would we all die? And how does she know the red shoe guy dies in advance?
What happened to Claire? What did Christian do to her?
Are Charlie and Christian ghosts off the island? If not, WTF?
How did Widmore change the rules by killing Alex? What were the old rules?
Was Ben’s endgame really all about his surgery?
Why did Jacob want Nadia dead?
‘Sup with the numbers?
Why do people keep seeing Walt or Taller Walt on the island?
Why is Desmond Faraday’s constant?
Who does Christian really work for?
Why does Aaron need to be raised by Claire?
How did the island get healing powers?
Why was Ilana in the hospital? How does she know Jacob?
Why does the island heal some people but not others?
What happened to Cindy and the kids? Why did she join the others?
What’s up with the ash surrounding the cabin?
What was the incident?
Why did Desmond see Claire getting rescued?
Does Ben remember meeting Sayid as a kid?
Why didn’t the Others move with the island?
What did the monster do to the French people? What is the “sickness”?
Who was watching Hurley? Who was waiting in Sayid’s room?
Why didn’t Ben summon the monster sooner? Why does the monster come when called?
Who was in the cabin when Hurley was there?
What is Lapidus a candidate for?
Who are the Ajira people?
How did Jacob communicate with Ben?
Is there more to the numbers than what we already know?
Why is Locke such a cockmonkey?
Why did Ben want John not to push the button?
How is the monster a security system?
Why did the psychic tell Claire she needed to be on THAT flight?
Why can you only leave the island via one specific compass bearing?
Why were the Others barefoot and filthy creeping through the woods?
Why did the monster spare Eko first, then kill him?
WTF with the magic box?
Does Ben know Widmore used to live on the island? What’s their backstory?
Why was the head monk pictured with daniel’s mom?
Why did Locke see a bright light when he saw the monster?
Why did the monster flash bright light at Kate and Juliet?
How can Jacob or the Others cure cancer of people off the island?
Does Ben being unable to kill Widmore equate to Man in Black being unable to kill Jacob?
Who was communicating with Michael through the computer?
How does Faraday know about the island’s effects?
Why was Libby in Hurley’s mental hospital?
Who killed Abbadon?
How did the Others decide which Tailies to take?
Who drops off the food and why?
What were the Others watching, according to Cindy? What were they trying to accomplish on the island?
Why didn’t Ben just ask Jack to do the surgery?
Why was the hatch under “quarantine”?
Why didn’t the Others take Jack, Kate and Sawyer the FIRST time they had them at gunpoint? Or any other time?
What tests were the Others running on Walt?
What was the point of Tom’s fake beard?
Why wouldn’t the island let Michael kill himself?
Why does Charlotte hide being able to speak Korean?
Why did Little Ben see his dead mother?
Why does Klugh ask Michael if Walt appears places he shouldn’t?
Who was supposed to raise Claire’s baby in LA?
What were Charlotte and Faraday hoping to achieve on the island?
Why does the monster sound like a roller coaster?
What was the map on the hatch door for?
Why was Desmond in jail?
What miracle happened to Abbadon?
Why does Ben kill Locke? After he mentions Eloise Hawking?
Why doesn’t the fence keep others out?
Who built the statue?
Why does the sky turn purple?
Why were the others building a runway?
Did Ben really see someone in the chair in the cabin?
Why does Jacob’s cabin move?
WTF with Ghost Horace?
Who put the donkey wheel there?
Why does “Jacob” hate technology?
Why did Miss Klugh tell Mikhail to shoot her?
Why did Locke see a bright light when he saw the monster?
How did Radzinsky end up in the hatch?
Was Nadia really murdered? By whom?
Why did Sayid flip flop on Ben so easily?
What was the point of the pearl? Who was stationed there?
Why can’t the monster get past the sonic fence?
How did the others know Sawyer killed the dude in Sydney?
Harper to Juliet: “you look just like her.” Who?
What’s up with the limitless energy and electromagnetism?
Why does Chang use different names?
Why can’t Christian help John up?
Does Kate know Claire is jack’s sister?
Why do Widmore and Hawking send their son to his death?
Why do three different people call the island death or hell?
Why did Rose say the monster sounds really familiar?
Why is north not where it should be on the island?
Why did Ben lie to the Others about the looking glass station being flooded?
Why didn’t Ethan just kill everyone with guns when he wanted Claire?
Why was Charlie acting weird after the hatch blew up?
Why dies the island want Locke to discover the plane and get Boone killed?
Why did Widmore want Miles, Faraday and Charlotte on the island?
Who is the others’ sherriff? That lady.
Where did the others spend 2004 – 2007? Why didn’t they go back to the barracks?
Why didn’t Cesar trust Ilana?
Why does Ben tell Rousseau to run the other way when she hears whispers, if she wants Alex to live?
WTF with Jack’s appendicitis?
Why would computer communication cause another incident?
Why did Jack lie to Kate about going to see Hurley?
Jack took flying lessons? A little coincidental, no?
Why was Ben really looking at that picture of him and Alex?
Why was Faraday crying when he saw the TV footage of the wreckage?
Why did Locke become suicidal so easily?
Where did the dead Henry gale come from, and why didn’t Ben think Sayid would dig it up?
How does Miles know Ben turned a wheel?
The others saw Pulp Fiction? Yet Carl doesn’t know what the Brady Bunch is?
Bai Ling, seriously?

My Mini-Theory

Here’s my stab at a Doc Jensen-esque theory to explain the gist of the show’s mysteries, with far fewer comic book references:

The island was created by Jacob and the Man in Black as a game board upon which to test their theories. Jacob believes that mankind is capable of good, and capable of change, and the Man in Black disagrees. So they created a world that they could both manipulate to see who’s right. Jacob chooses people to bring to the island, then makes sure they get there. The people he chooses are on his infamous lists, everyone else is just a long for the ride.

The Others were originally Jacob’s servants/disciples; the people that had passed his tests. Somewhere along the way, though, they were set adrift, and lost touch with Jacob and his principles. The entity residing in the cabin was actually the Man in Black, or other entities working for him. Christian and Eko’s brother and any other dead creature that shows up on the island are all working for the Man in Black. The Man in Black is also the Smoke Monster in human form.

Widmore, Ben, the Others, the Ajira people – all of them are neither good nor bad. They’re all working for their own selfish means. Like Sawyer told Jack in the Season 5 finale, “I don’t speak ‘destiny.’ What I do understand is a man does what he does ’cause he wants something for himself.” All these warring factions are just proving the Man in Black’s point: that people come to the island, start fighting, and destroy each other.

A codicil to this theory is that pretty much everything from the first two seasons should be ignored, from a mythological standpoint, because the writers hadn’t figured out where they were going yet.

And that, in a mere 3,000 words, is our Lost Season Six Preview. Let’s do this.

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2 Comments

Filed under Television Has AIDS, The Dilemma

2 responses to “Lost Season Six Preview

  1. Pingback: Lost: How a Resurrection Really Feels « Pop Culture Has AIDS

  2. My goodness! I was hoping for answers in the new season but Ive been left with even more questions. What the hell is going on?? The only thing I can tell is Locke is dead (really???) but if anyone would make use of his body, should it not be thesame DEAD body that would be made use of? (Unless its revealed Locke was cloned in d next episode which is very unlikely)And now weve got 2 story lines (again!)I cant seem to find Faraday as well, maybe he will answer some questions. One things for sure thoughNext episode is eagerly anticipated.

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