PREVIEW: THE INCIDENT
The end of season 5…the beginning of season 6
Jack’s on his way to detonate Jughead. Locke’s on his way to kill Jacob. Sawyer’s on his way to the mainland in the company of his current lover, his older lover, and much crunchy silence. And we are on our way to another nine months without Lost. Forget about the castaways — how will we survive?
Since ”LaFleur,” I have argued that season 5 has been modeled on season 2, and I believe my theory has held. Season 2’s finale, ”Live Together, Die Alone,” hinged on a Big Picture binary question: Does the button really do anything: Yes or no? The season 5 finale, ”The Incident,” hinges on the resolution of a similar, black-or-white issue: Can the past be changed: Yes or no?
”Live Together, Die Alone” had castaways trekking to rescue Walt from the Others, only to be betrayed by one of their own, Michael. In ”The Incident,” we have castaways — and many Others — trekking to meet the most mythic of Others, Jacob — although another castaway, Locke, is plotting a betrayal once they get there.
”Live Together, Die Alone” culminated with the destruction of the Swan, which unleashed a blast of energy that should have killed the characters at ground zero (Locke, Desmond, Mr. Eko) but didn’t. Tonight’s fifth-season finale concerns Jack’s attempt to destroy the Swan in the Dharma past in hopes of both ending and saving lives. Will Jack’s plan work? That is, will season 5 continue to follow season 2’s trajectory? Or have we been set up for a wild deviation that will send Lost into surprising new territory in its sixth and final season?
Finally, ”Live Together, Die Alone” gave us Desmond’s back story: how he came to the Island, how he became trapped in the Hatch, how his actions affected the collective destiny of the castaways. I predict something Desmond-esque will happen in ”The Incident.” I don’t know what, but it will happen, by golly, because this theory needs to work!
By this time tomorrow, we will know at least this much: There will be no more Lost for the rest of the year. I know, I know: Why do I have to keep reminding you? But unlike Jack, I choose to deal with my present instead of blotting out the past to make it go away. And so this week, we grieve the end of the season — and we celebrate! Because I truly believe this has been a pretty freakin’ fun and altogether fulfilling year of Lost. No, it hasn’t been perfect. (Jin and Sun kinda got short-changed, as did Desmond and Penelope.) Confusing? Oh, yeah. I think we’re all looking forward to no longer asking, on a weekly basis, ”When are we again — 2007 or 1977?” and ”So does Ben remember being shot or not?” Still, Lost managed to keep the hardcore fans engaged and electrified during what was basically an elaborate setup for next year. I was entertained; I was moved; I was inspired to think about stuff. Deep stuff, like causality and quantum physics and the dynamics of redemption. Bottom line: Season 5 was a big winner in my book — my second favorite season of the series after season 2.
In this column, I’m going to make three big predictions pertaining to the season finale. We’ll also look back on the year that was, with highlights from every single episode, plus my picks for the best episode and best moment of the season. At the end, you will find the new episode of Totally Lost, which features an interview that Dan and I did with Lost exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. Plus: an update and announcement about last week’s Lost Mystery Resolution Census! But first, let’s review what happened last week, courtesy of ABC’s action-figure revue show, Lost Untangled.
NEXT PAGE: Doc Jensen’s Theoryblast!