Whether you’ve been watching Lost for one month or six years, there’s a lot of pressure on this Sunday’s finale to deliver the goods. Viewers want an emotionally satisfying, information-laden, logical resolution to one of the most ambitious television series of all time. And yet, with only two and a half hours remaining, we still don’t have a very good idea of what that resolution is going to look like. This week’s installment of our favorite island drama gave some interesting answers and left us with a season’s worth of questions, but it’s time to focus on how everything will wind down. For insight into the possibilities for the finale, we looked to our favorite recappers, bloggers, and commenters for answers, perhaps for the last time ever.
• Since it appears that alt-Hurley has already come to terms with his life in the original timeline, the finale’s going to be all about the sideways characters grappling with their suddenly downloaded memories and what to do with that knowledge. Either they’re going to have to make a choice to reject one timeline and all that comes with it, or they will somehow become complete in the sideways universe with these memories. [Tuned In/Time]
• Battlestar Galactica’s finale involved an opera house. Lost’s finale looks like it will partially take place in a concert hall. Could this be a hint that Sunday’s finale will end similarly? [MTV Movies Blog]
• We know who the expected guests at the concert are, but what about the unexpected arrivals? Keep an eye out for Eloise Hawking making a last-ditch effort to keep the sideways universe intact. [Watcher/Chicago Tribune]
• Though it wouldn’t be his intention, Desmond entering the source would set off a chain reaction of events that would destroy the island. Hopefully Jack the Protector can keep that from happening. And if Des is going to be successful in taking down Smokey, it’s going to require action on his part in both timelines. [Mistaking Coincidence for Fate]
• Getting the gang together just to help them “remember” the original timeline isn’t worth all the effort Des is putting forth, so there’s got to be something more important he’s after. It’s possible the epiphanies in the sideways universe will somehow help out the surviving members of the original timeline in taking Smokey down. [Magic Lamp]
• Ripe for death in the finale are Sawyer, Kate, and Hurley, since they were only being kept alive because they were candidates. Now that Jack has taken over, one or all of them could perish in the final showdown. [TV Squad]
• The best way for the series to end would be for Jack to find out that everything he had been told about the Source is flat-out wrong, and that everything we’ve seen is the result of a campaign of misinformation. [AV Club]
• We seem to be headed for another eternity of strife, with Jack in the Jacob role and Ben playing the part of Smokey. But Desmond is a game-changer, and he’s likely to ask everyone to “let go,” encouraging these characters to question dogma and move beyond it. That’s the only way the cycle of violence wrought by the island can come to an end. [Slate]
• Doc Jensen isn’t so sure our castaways can even kill the smoke monster — after all, how does one destroy something that is just pure (evil) soul? Maybe the trick is getting him to do it himself, playing on his nostalgia for once being human. As for protecting the cave, maybe everyone will wind up protector. If every man has a little bit of it inside himself, why not just redistribute the contents of the cave among the world? Doc posits that Desmond popping inside is the way to do this (though he also argues that either Ben or Hurley will end up as the island’s new protector). Plus: Ben is totally conning MiB. [Totally Lost/EW]
• What was up with Desmond prank-calling Jack about Oceanic finding his dad’s coffin? Is it to keep him away from the concert everyone seems to be heading to? Maybe he needs to be at the airport from some reason, possibly to get on a plane. [Ed: Where IS Christian’s body, anyway?] [ArtsBeat/NYT]
• Desmond called Jack about the coffin because he has it waiting in Hurley’s Hummer, putting four generations of Shephard men — Jack, Christian, David, and Aaron — all in the same place at the concert, along with every other character (click through to see this writer’s idea of their paths to the concert, though Sun and Jin are a bit up in the air). Speaking of Aaron, it’s very likely that 57-month-pregnant Claire will go into labor at the concert. Perhaps they’ll need an airlift to the hospital, piloted by none other than Frank Lapidus. And while we’re on the subject of Aaron, he’s not who Jacob was talking about when he told Kate he crossed her name off because she became a mother; he crossed her name off because she is pregnant, with a baby conceived during her and Jack’s sad we’re-going-back-to-the-island-sex before they headed for Ajira 316. [JOpinionated]
• But why would Desmond want Jack at the airport? If the island is underwater, there would be nothing for a new plane to crash on to. On island, meanwhile, Richard definitely isn’t dead, and he’s going to team up with Miles. Might they head to Hydra and find an also not dead Lapidus floating in the sea? [Long Live Locke]
• The fact that the bamboo grove where Jack first landed is right next to the cave and heart of the island proves that he really has been the candidate all along. Could his final acceptance of this be why he’s bleeding in the sideways world? Does it reflect his saying good-bye to mortality? This blogger isn’t certain what will happen when everyone “wakes up” in the sideways timeline, but is confident they’ll all do it at the same time. [Televisionary]
• Why do we keep seeing that cut on Jack’s neck? Because he’s going to get that injury on the island right when the two timelines merge together. Also, can MiB exist in Locke’s form off the island? [TV Guide]
• It was a bad move on Smokey’s part to tell Ben he was going to destroy the island — considering he just promised Ben he could have it, why would Ben help him if he’s only going to destroy it? Also, where did Jack get that cup? [Videogum]
• The Washington Post’s dueling bloggers are indeed dueling when it comes to the finale, as one of them is doubting sideways Desmond’s intentions, noting that he doesn’t seem like the nicest guy in this world. However, the other argues that Des is doing exactly what he told Ben he was doing — he does want to wake them all up and make them whole. Chances are this wake-up is going to happen at the exact same moment that MiB tries to destroy the island, but perhaps sideways Desmond’s efforts will save things … and reunite him with Penny. [Celebritology/WP]
• Jack isn’t going to stick around as the protector of the island, and the show itself has provided proof: First of all, from Mother’s words (“I see now that it was always you”), it looks like the island has chosen past protectors, not vice versa. Jacob noticed Jack’s hesitation in volunteering for the job, and also told him to protect it for “as long as you can,” which could be no time at all. Finally, if it seems like anyone on this island is sure of what they’re meant to do, it’s not Jack: It’s Desmond. [Watch With Kristen/E! Online]
• No theories from this blogger, but she does ask an interesting question that could have serious implications for the finale: Why are there different degrees of visions? Hurley seems to remember everything and everyone (i.e., Ana Lucia), yet Ben only remembered getting beat up by Desmond. What happens if everyone doesn’t wake up completely? [Nik at Nite]
• Assuming Smokey succeeding in destroying the island creates the sideways timeline, where is Smokey in that timeline? Could he be someone who died in the original timeline? Or could he be someone we hadn’t met before, like David Shephard? [Tom and Lorenzo]
• David probably isn’t the Man in Black, but what if he’s a device constructed to keep Jack invested in the sideways timeline? What happens if Jack has to choose between worlds? It seems there’s something keeping them all distracted — Kate’s running, Hurley’s happily Rich, Sayid travels the world, Sawyer’s still obsessed with Anthony Cooper, Ben meets Rousseau just as he gets his “wake-up call,” etc. P.S. Hurley’s probably taking Sayid to see Shannon. [It Happened Last Night]
• Redemption is definitely a major theme this season, but what about loneliness? Jacob — pretty much the loneliest guy out there, having lived alone on an island for 2,000 years with a murderous monster masquerading as his brother — points out that our candidates were like him, “all alone, all looking for something you couldn’t find out there.” Watch for this theme in Sunday’s final chapter. [Lost Blog/Filmfodder]
• Commenter uberlegitimate doesn’t buy Widmore’s excuse that Jacob sent him back to the island. Instead, he returned (both times) to take the power of the light in the cave, and planned to use Desmond to get it.
• Dignell guesses that Sawyer will be the one to reconcile the timelines. His life isn’t great in either one, and, despite his snarky comments, he looked a bit jealous as he watched Jack drink with Jacob.
• Tights_are_not_pants thinks that walkie-talkie was more for Miles’s protection than for a way for Ben to keep in touch with him. Remember when he smashed that walkie from Widmore earlier in the season? Could any electronics function as a low-level pylon? If there’s one thing Ben always has, it’s a plan.
• Sboobydoo doesn’t think Widmore died when Ben shot him, either because he was wearing a vest or because of the “rules” they mentioned a few seasons ago that prevent the two from killing each other — rules that MiB doesn’t know about. Don’t discount Ben’s redemption plotline with Ilana so quickly.
Other Lost Posts:
The Sawyer Likability Index
The Eight Greatest Possibly Wrong Lost Theories Ever
The Twenty Most Pointless Episodes of Lost