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'Lost': 4 scenarios for what's next

Doc Jensen returns with his ideas on how all the castaways will be brought back together again. Plus: the epic conclusion of Totally Lost, and…don’t miss the column’s surprise ending!

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Matthew Fox, Lost (Season 5 -- Episode 16: The Incident, Part 1), ...
Mario Perez/ABC

INVOCATION
In which a quote attributed to a great poet is used to summarize the columnist’s assessment of his relentless Tommy Lee Jones-esque hunt for answers to Lost‘s fugacious and fugitive mysteries.

”Curiosity is kept upon the stretch from page to page, and from volume to volume, and the secret, which the reader thinks himself every instant on the point of penetrating, flies like a phantom before him, and eludes his eagerness till the very last moment of protracted expectation. This art of escaping the guesses of the reader has been improved and brought to perfection along with the reader’s sagacity…” —Samuel Taylor Coleridge, circa 1794, from his review of The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe, the most popular novelist of her day.

WELCOME. AND APOLOGY.
So: This column is, like, four weeks late or something. Please forgive me. Other work — as well as researching, for reasons I wish not at the moment to disclose, the literary criticism of Mr. ”Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and baffling literary cipher that is Ann Radcliffe — got in the way. Additional reasons for my delay: 1. Wanting to finish the equally tardy season finale of Totally Lost, which you will find at the close of this column, as if some freaky four-toed foot to this monument of ruinous, airy talk; 2. Finding the right words to articulate the large swath of theory below, particularly Scenario 2. Describing this time-travel paradox stuff — dudes, that s— be hard! And I’m still not 100 percent confident I nailed it. You shall be the judge.

I had previously billed this column as the last of the year. I originally envisioned an epic, filled with theories, illuminating research, and the results of my Lost Must-Solve Mystery Survey. But stuff has happened. Developments have occurred. Things have changed: This here collection of fractured thoughts and ill-considered wordsmithery won’t be my last Doc Jensen column of the year — not by a long shot. More, soon. First:

”THEY’RE COMING.”
That’s what Jacob said — right before Ben, seething from decades of neglect and silence, stabbed his ephemeral liege in the heart with a ferocity (and dubious technique) unseen onscreen since Glenn Close went after Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction. (”I’m not going to be ignored, Dan, er, Jacob!”) They’re coming. If the blood-sputtering Magnum Other meant our quantum-boggled castaway friends trapped in the Dharma/Jughead past, then how the heck are they going to get from 1977 to 2007? Matthew Fox says: Glad you asked! The actor reportedly teased the solution last week: Appearing at the Monte Carlo Television Festival, where Lost was being toasted, Fox was quoted as saying that the resolution to season 5’s fade-to-white-hot cliffhanger will be ”very surprising — and probably fairly confusing, initially, to the audience.” TV Guide‘s summary of the event goes on to report that Fox also offered a hint of the final year’s structure and said he believes the audience will find the show’s climactic season ”incredibly satisfying.”

To which I say: Who cares?! Why settle for electrifying and legitimate insight from the star of Lost when I can just give you four dense, borderline-incomprehensible scenarios that attempt to describe how season 6 will bring all the castaways back together again? So step aside, Jack: Let a REAL expert tackle this sitch:

NEXT PAGE: Scenarios 1 and 2: Deus ex Jacobus — or a Joker in the deck?

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