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Posted at 4:01 PM ET, 05/18/2010

The 'Lost' 5: Questions ahead of 'What They Died For'

By Jen Chaney

Who's the cutest "Lost" couple?Cast your votes in our 'Lost' Superlatives poll. Results will be announced Monday, May 24.

I've got some major, headache-inducing questions to raise ahead of tonight's last, pre-finale episode of "Lost." But before I delve into them, I need to raise some new business.

Item No. 1: During season one, our Losties placed messages in a bottle. Now we're asking you to do the same, albeit in online, prognostication-style form: We want you to predict the final scene of "Lost," in 350 characters or less, via our freshly launched Message in a Bottle page. We'll start uncorking the bottle -- and sharing predictions -- once we amass a few. And we'll share the most spot-on ones on Monday, May 24, after the finale airs.

Item No. 2: Now that we've asked for predictions, we need your questions. I am headed to New York on Wednesday to interview none other than Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, ahead of this week's finale.Surely you readers have more than a few questions you'd love to ask. Send them my way, and I'll aim to pose at least a couple of them to the "Lost" executive producers.

Now on with those questions.

Warning: Some light spoilers ahead...

1. Is Desmond dead?

After last week's "Across the Sea" flashback-to-end-all-flashbacks, some of us may need a minute to remember where we last left our central narrative on the island. So quick refresher: Jin and Sun drowned, Sayid blew up (by choice), MIB vowed to "finish what he started" (more on that later) and Frank Lapidus got knocked down (and, apparently, also killed) by a falling door as water flooded the sub. But what of Desmond? Is he still in that well? Or is he dead, too?

My bet is that he's alive, and that Sayid helped him get the heck out of his pseudo-Hatch.

2. In a related question, why didn't MIB kill Desmond himself?

Funny you should ask, because in this preview clip of tonight's episode, Sawyer asks the same question. And please enjoy the Polish subtitles:

Jack suggests it must be against MIB's rules, and I suspect he's right. But what does that mean? Still trying to wrap my brain around that, but here's a guess: Desmond is "special." And special might mean that he, too, is not entirely human. If his body is inhabited, partially, by some of the electromagnetism -- or whatever's in the freaky golden water we saw last week -- MIB may be unable to touch him.

3. What's up with the ashes?

Hurley still has in his possession Ilana's bag of ashes, which she collected inside the foot, after Jacob died. But apparently, as this second episode preview shows, Smaller Ghost Jacob kind of wants 'em back. Why? And how is it possible for a ghost to steal ashes?

Hey, I don't know the answers. I'm just asking these questions in the hope that one of you can figure it all out.

4. Water, water everywhere

When asked about the "Lost" finale, some of the actors -- including Josh Holloway -- have alluded to filming in wet conditions. Which leads me to believe that maybe what MIB means by finishing what he started involves going back to his donkey wheel -- the one he tried to use in "Across the Sea" -- and making another attempt to escape the island. An attempt that will plunge everyone under the sea, bringing our two narratives back together, giving our Losties the baptism they need and sending us all nice and damp in to Sunday's finale. Anyone? Maybe?

5. So, like, what did they die for?

Some previously bumped-off characters will make a reappearance in tonight's episode. (For the benefit of the highly spoiler-sensitive, I won't say who.) And given its title ("What They Died For") it would seem this episode may finally explain why the island let some people die and not others. Is it because their purposes had already been served? Or because their demises were necessary to get our Losties -- or at least Jack -- to the point where they are now: ready for salvation?

One of the brilliant things about "Lost" is that it started out as a show about people trying to be saved in the literal sense -- to get off an island after an unanticipated disaster. But we now know that's not it at all.These people are looking to be saved in a less tangible, more spiritual way. Here's hoping that tonight, and in the finale, at least some of them finally reach that peace. That way all those who did die won't have done so in vain.

---
'Lost' Farewell Fest!
Speaking of the finale, join us on Thursday, May 20 from 6 - 9 p.m. at The Reef in Washington, D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood to say goodbye to our favorite show, and yours. More details

By Jen Chaney  | May 18, 2010; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  Lost, TV  | Tags:  Lost, Lost 5  
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Comments

It's 350 characters, not words.

Posted by: eet7e | May 18, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure? 350 characters is only about three sentences. That's not enough for some people to explain the meaning of Vincent the dog.

Posted by: buffysummers | May 18, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

You know, I'm sitting here at work, wasting the last few minutes here getting all verklempt that this will be the last. full. weekly. episode. of. Lost......EVAR!!

**weepsuncontrollablyontokeyboard**

Posted by: wadejg | May 18, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Desmond isn't dead. The last thing Sayid said was the location of the well with Des inside and that "you'll need him." It'd be pointless and silly for him to lie right before he sacrificed himself to save everyone... nothing left to lose/gain.

Posted by: WestEndEliz | May 18, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Desmond isn't dead. The last thing Sayid said was the location of the well with Des inside and that "you'll need him." It'd be pointless and silly for him to lie right before he sacrificed himself to save everyone... nothing left to lose/gain.

Posted by: WestEndEliz | May 18, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

On the issue of whether Desmond is still alive: a recent "next week on Lost" preview, aired at the end of the new episode, clearly showed Sayid firing his gun down into the well. The muzzle flash is visible for at least three frames and clearly emanates from the gun. However, when this preview was rerun the next Tuesday, the muzzle flash was replaced with a generic full-screen white flash. I was so surprised at this change that I had to go back and review the preview to make sure I hadn't been seeing things.

This small incident is further proof to me that the writers of this show have absolutely zero idea what they're doing -- and that they never did. They tell us how important the Adam-and-Eve reveal will be, but the easter egg they told us about in the February 7th episode clearly suggested that Adam and Eve were Bernard and Rose.

This show has to be judged on two levels. As pure TV, its only responsibility is to get us to plop our butts in a chair and turn to ABC for an hour. As science fiction, however, this show owes us at least a rudimentary amount of self-consistency in the internal world it creates. Last week's pathetic episode failed miserably at this -- it kicked every single question down the road, and the ultimate reveal of the entire six seasons of Lost turns out to be a large glowing vagina. I predict that tonight's show, along with the finale, will be one giant exercise in watching our heroes trudge through the jungle yet again (If I hear one more character say "I want to show you something" instead of answering a simple question, I will shoot my TV).

So the question I would ask Lindelfraud and exCuse is, "if you knew the identities of Adam and Eve from the very beginning, as you have repeatedly claimed, why did you tell us in the anagram on February 7th that they were Rose and Bernard?"

As a loyal viewer of Lost for the past six seasons, I feel like the ultimate fool. The writers promised us that this show existed inside a self-consistent, well-thought-out universe, and as of right now it looks like they were blowing smoke at us all the time. L&C had better have one heck of an ending up their sleeves, or they are going to lose millions in royalties on the DVDs. A bad ending will taint every single episode of this show which precedes it.

If it turns out I was wrong about this, I will be the first to offer my apologies to the writers and producers of this show. But if it turns out that you have taken us on one long, directionless ride, your loyal viewers will not be pleased. I sure hope that last week's truly pathetic episode was an aberration, but my suspicion is that that was all the explanation we're ever going to get...

Posted by: jerkhoff | May 18, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Liz and Jen,

You should have a contest for worst possible endings for Lost. My contributions:

1) Charlie, Daniel, Charlotte, Juliet, Boone, Shannon (and all the other deceased/demised Losties) in a shower, telling Pam that it was all a dream.

2) All the dead Losties floating like holograms, with a golden glow, above Endor, looking on happily while the surviving Losties celebrate with Ewoks over the end of MIB and Widmore.

3) Sopranos-style fade-to-black.

4) Coast guard pulls up and rescues everybody; Jacob and MIB escorted off-Island in straight jackets.

5) Cop Rock ending where everyone inexplicably breaks into a synchronized, Broadway-style song and dance number.

6) Inscrutable, German Expressionism ending, where we see Jack and Sawyer sitting together in a cafe, in black and white, pensively smoking cigarettes, but no dialogue.

7) Scooby Doo ending where everybody peels off masks at the end and we find out that nobody was who they said they were.

8) Monty Python ending where the camera pans back to reveal everything was a movie set. Scene of actors climbing into cars and being driven off, scene of crew disassembling and removing set.

Posted by: NW_Washington | May 18, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Actually, your versions (1), (3), and (7) are among the potential endings featured on www.atom.com. I think the Scooby Doo one is my favorite. They also have a good M*A*S*H ending.

Posted by: Janine1 | May 18, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

jerkhoff, i think i love you. best summation of my thoughts that i have not been able to articulate. ever. really ... love.

Posted by: esmerelda123 | May 18, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

That's more than 350 characters, wadejg.

Posted by: JoStalin | May 18, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I honestly think I'm even going to miss my weekly frustration once this show finally signs off. After a show like this, it's going to be hard for networks to claim they can't live up to the artistic standards or risk taking of cable networks. While some of their bets may not have played off wonderfully (Nikki & Paulo being the most glaring I think), a lot of their risks have really changed the TV medium. It's going to be lonely going through each week without having a something to look forward to each Tuesday. http://thesmogger.com/2010/05/18/looking-at-lost-the-five-best-risks-the-show-ever-took/

Posted by: mksmogger | May 18, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I came across an online community for individual seeking interracial love. It is --Mixed connect . c O m--- All singles there are seeking interracial dating or relationships. Interracial is not a problem here, but a great merit to cherish!

Posted by: sallyworking2006 | May 18, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I came across an online community for individual seeking interracial love. It is --Mixed connect . c O m--- All singles there are seeking interracial dating or relationships. Interracial is not a problem here, but a great merit to cherish!

Posted by: sallyworking2006 | May 18, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Liz, Jen and NW_Washington,

I've got one to add to the worst possible endings discussion - http://howlostends.com

Posted by: Bricomedy | May 19, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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