[No spoilers in this post aside from the names of the last four episodes.]
Fans of Lost are eagerly and somewhat tensely awaiting the last four episodes of the show that’s amazed, addicted and confounded us since 2004. Some of us have diligently been avoiding spoilers, even the titles of the last episodes, which are (last chance to back away from the computer before learning these title names, in case you care) the episodes titled “The Candidate” (May 4), “Across the Sea” (May 11), “What They Died For” (May 18), and “The End” (May 23).
If you didn’t get a chill down your spine as you read the titles of those last two episodes, you might not be a big enough “Lost” fan. If you didn’t feel your heart drop at “The End,” then you probably haven’t given much thought to the show’s scientific, religious and literary themes, or to character arcs, or to the storylines’ sideways reboot with last season’s explosive finale. And you haven’t been listening to podcasts or reading the amazingly-detailed weekly reports by EW’s Doc Jensen. But the rest of us have.
“Lost” fans want resolution, but beyond that, we want great, layered storytelling. We want an end with poetry and justice. We might want another one of the show’s famous winks to the fans – a glimpse of Arzt; a Frogurt appearance; a Sideways Nikki and Paolo story that lasts two minutes and in which they stll get buried alive, because they still suck. We don’t want an ending that “cheats” – if this series finale illustrates that it’s all a dream in Hurley’s head, producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof are going to have their heads handed to them by fans.
Spiritually, we yearn for some characters to be redeemed. Much dialogue on the show has centered on this premise of the Man In Black as the evil force on the island, but now people are beginning to ask questions about the ambiguity of the good/evil Jacob/Man in Black structure. Who is good and who is evil? What does it mean to become a “candidate,” and And what does it mean to be “claimed” by the island? Is Claire evil, a tool of the MIB? Sayid was resurrected, but as what? Is there any redemption to be found in his storyline? And is manipulation by Jacob any better than being claimed by the MIB? If “war is coming to the island,” and one side is Widmore and the other side is the MIB, then does Widmore represent Jacob? And what does this all say about the issues of determinism and freedom of choice?
We want a real ending, which means that some of our favorite characters may not survive. but not so much that we feel emotionally destroyed at the end (“Buffy” series finale, you still slay me). Some storylines are likely to be outed as red herrings or go unresolved, while others will surface with a vengeance. And while some people will engage in deathbed repentance, others will perish, unpenitent, immutably and irretrievably doomed.
We want to know what it all means, but suspect that – as in life – certain things will go unanswered.
What’s the #1 thing you want from Lost’s final four episodes?