No tease this week -- the Doc wants to see what unfolds in real time -- but that doesn't stop a ''Lost'' executive producer from having a little fun with us. Plus: commentary by blogger J. Wood, and theories Doc J hasn't pursued -- yet

By Jeff Jensen
May 23, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Art Streiber

‘Lost’ (S3): 5 things you WON’T see tonight


Your cryptic preview for the two-hour season finale of Lost is as follows:


Sorry. I just don’t want to know ANYTHING before tonight. I’ve made it nearly two weeks without peeking at any of the fan sites out there that purportedly have every last detail of the season finale — about what happens to Charlie, about the game-changing twist that will alter the show forever, about the outcome of the clash between the castaways and the Others. And if you wish, you can hunt those spoilers down yourself — but don’t you dare share them with me. I don’t want to know. I feel like I know too much already, due to the nature of my job. But I don’t know what this ”rattlesnake in a mailbox” game-changer is, and I don’t know who ”wins” the beach battle royal. It’s been a long, sometimes frustrating journey, this tumultuous third season of Lost — but I think the show is finishing very strong, and better, seems poised to head into this very, very long seven-month hiatus stronger than ever. For all of those who’ve stuck it out and kept the faith, it’s time to reap a wonderful reward — the joy of total mind-spinning, capture-the-imagination surprise. And I think we’ve all learned that’s what we REALLY want from Lost. Not ”answers,” but rather ”inspiration.” Fire our imaginations. For the past eight weeks since ”Expose,” Lost has been doing just that, and since ”One of Them,” it’s been doing that better than ever. (Just my opinion.) This is my last look at Lost for a long while. I want to enter into it with no expectations other than to be dazzled. And that won’t happen if I’m spoiled. So…no tease. Just hope that tonight’s episode will live up to the past eight weeks of mounting, intensifying awesomeness. Will it succeed? Come back tomorrow for my last Lost TV Watch of the season and we’ll pass judgment.

With all that said, I do have a treat for you. I asked executive producer Damon Lindelof if he might be willing to tell us what we WON’T be seeing on tonight’s finale. He obliged — and then some. Here, Lindelof offers something we at EW love more than anything: a list!


5. Rose quietly snuffing the life out of Bernard by holding his nostrils closed while looking distractedly at Aaron’s car seat.

4. Hurley feeling a great disturbance in the Force (”as if many voices cried out and were suddenly silent”) because his cousin back in Valencia, Calif., was blown up in a nuclear explosion and no one seemed to give a crud.

3. Kate and Juliet doing each other’s hair and nicknaming Jack ”McIntensey” and Sawyer ”McMurderedTheManWhoConnedHisParentsy.”

2. A character travelling back in time to warn all the other characters to do something, but by doing that something, they prevent a future that might have happened but never did had the character not travelled back in time, thus negating the entire reason behind everything.

1. Sanjaya.

As to what you WILL see?


Jack not only smiles once…he smiles TWICE.

NEXT PAGE: The final Doc Jensen column of the season — Part 1


I planned this column to be the swan song for the year, but then two things happened. 1. I got sad. 2. It got to be very, very long. So I came up with a solution: a two-part goodbye! This way, I can delay the parting-is-such-sweet-sorrow stuff, but also be my usual overly verbose self. Today: Excerpts from my journal of Lost theories — all the Big Ideas I never got around to developing properly this season. On FRIDAY: Finale reaction! Reader mail! Winners of my ”Why was Sawyer barefoot?” candy-bar contest! But first…

Remember in the season finale of Heroes how Molly the Human Hero Tracking System said there was one super-powered person she couldn’t locate — a seemingly sinister entity that looks back at her in her mind when she psychically searches for him? Spooky, huh? Clearly, Heroes was laying the foundation for its Big Bad Guy of season two. And clearly, it can only be one person:



A possible ”real science” explanation of Lost

Guest commentary by J. Wood, author of the great new book Living Lost and writer of one of the best Lost blogs out there, housed at J. recently sent me an email with this take on the Island. Given that his theory addresses Desmond’s visions of Charlie’s death and Naomi’s claim that the Oceanic 815 passengers were all found dead — storylines which may be coming to a head tonight — I thought this would be a good time share Mr. Wood’s theory with you:

”I’m under the opinion that each time Des saves Charlie, he’s changed not only the future, but the present and past as well.

”It’s like this: The island sits on an interesting geologically unique electromagnetic crux, and I [look] into the possible importance of that in my book. For some time, Brookhaven National Labs has been doing some experiments to prove the idea that there are more dimensions to space than we know, and those experiments require massive amounts of electromagnetic energy. The short version is that it has to do with Minkowski space — that’s the three-dimensional Euclidian space we know + time as a fourth dimension. A physicist named Minkowski realized that by considering time as a component of space, Einstein’s special theory of relativity worked out just fine (and Einstein explained his theory through the twin paradox). The Brookhaven experiments may be confirming that there are multiple dimensions that we’re existing within, and these experiments were going before Lost ever began.

”If time is part of space, our conception of time is way off; time doesn’t move so much like an arrow, rather all time is occurring at once. We just don’t experience it like that, just like we don’t experience all space at once, but only experience our immediate space. Besides, if we experienced all time at once, that’d really twist our heads.

”So if we’re dealing with Minkowski space and all time is occurring at once, then there is only a present, no past and future. Furthermore, with enough electromagnetic energy, you can play on the boundaries between these dimensions. It seems we have the geologically unique electromagnetic energy, and Des is tripping along the dimensional boundary of time that the electromagnetic implosion has exposed. So perhaps when Des saves Charlie, he’s not just changing the future (as it were), but also the past and the present. If that’s the case, one of those acts of heroism may have altered history, and Flight 815 was found with everyone dead. Only the island is immune from these fluctuations, again because of its geologically unique electromagnetism.

”I hope that makes a little bit of sense.”

NEXT PAGE: The Doc’s Unfinished Lost Theories


Crazy ideas that the author never had a chance to explore this past season — and maybe for good reason.

THEORY! The Dharma Initiative was investigating the potential for psychic communication, as well as the effects of psychic manipulation.

Secondary meta Lost theory: Lost itself is investigating the potential for communication between its audience and the show itself.
Big question: What happens to the identity and integrity of the artist when he/she allows himself/herself to be influenced by his/her audience?
Research: Harold Bloom — literary critic, famous for his manifestos The Anxiety of Influence and A Map of Misreading. Also a noted failed novelist: wrote The Flight To Lucifer, a fan fiction interface rife with David Lindsay’s 1920 sci-fi novel The Voyage To Arcturus.
MEMO TO SELF: Apply Bloom’s ideas of originality and influence to analyze anew the opening sequence of the first episode of season two. Be sure to incorporate: Mama Cass’ ”Make Your Own Kind Of Music” and the recurring themes of immunization and quarantine in the Hatch. Ask: Is the Hatch a conceptual diorama of Bloom’s ”anxiety of influence”? Can the Numbers correlate to Bloom’s ”six reversionary ratios”? (Try not to make it boring.) Also: Instead of relying solely on Wikipedia entries and other dubious Web pages, actually try reading The Flight to Lucifer and The Voyage To Arcturus before deconstructing their Lost resonances. And make sure you make lots of snarky jokes about the irony of a literary critic also being a crapstatic novelist.

THEORY! The Dharma Initiative was trying to save the world by using supernatural means to export Mikhail Bakhtin’s idea of ”Carnival” throughout the world.

Secondary meta Lost theory: Russian egghead Mikhail Bakhtin advocated the novel as a valid means of expression, helped bolster the legacy of Fyodor Dostoevsky, and influenced a broad swath of mid-to-late 20th-century literary analysis. Similarly, Lost is exalting the novelistic possibilities of serialized television. Its ability to succeed in this endeavor has exciting implications for the future of TV storytelling. Go Lost!
Make the following highly dubious claim: When Lost introduced the name ”Mikhail Bakunin” into the show, they were secretly hoping that we would mishear it and stumble across ”Mikhail Bakhtin” instead.
MEMO TO SELF: It could be argued that Lost has extrapolated several essential Bakhtin ideas and rendered them fantastically, particularly Bakhtin’s notions of chronotype, grotesque, polyphony, and especially unfinalizability. Investigate all these ideas in the context of these Lost elements: the Whispers, the Countdown Clock in the Hatch, the flashback structure of the show, themes of redemption, and the variety of landmarks on the Island that have provided the inhabitants with a sense of identity and meaning within the grand context of human history. Or something like that. (Don’t forget to make it sound like you know what you’re talking about even though you don’t!)

NEXT PAGE: More Unfinished Lost Theories and the Doc Jensen Manifesto

THEORY! The Dharma Initiative was an experiment in psychic marketing. The world-saving idealism was a bunch of crap. That was just a story — a Trojan horse — designed to push an agenda: subliminally influencing people to buy and eat Apollo candy bars.

THEORY! Lost is a meditation on the evolution of media and the impact of external forces on artistic integrity.

MEMO TO SELF: It’s curious to me that many of the hatches are linked to a distinctly different form of media technology. And if you follow Dr. Marvin Candle as he has appeared on Lost, a chronological pattern is detected. The Swan: film. The Pearl: television. The Flame: computer. Now, the unfolding story of media’s progression of film to computer is the story of increasing interaction between consumer/producer, user/programmer. In the Swan orientation film, the order is clear: do NOT communicate with the outside world. In the Pearl orientation films, occupants are asked to communicate by sending diaries through pneumatic tubes. It also should be noted that asking TV viewers to keep diaries of what they watch is EXACTLY how ratings information for TV shows used to be collected and tabulated. Finally, in the Flame, Dharma agents could access an interactive Marvin Candle video after mastering a computer chess game. The twist: the interactive video provides instructions on blowing up the Flame in case it is invaded by ”hostiles.” Taken together, the Marvin Candle progression is a cautionary tale about cultivating interaction between the artist and the audience. It also could be a parable about human relationships in general. What happens to the writer when he allows a reader into his process? Similarly, what happens to the individual when he comes part of a couple or a community?
ADDENDUM: The presence of Apollo candy bars in the Dharma stations = the evolution from traditional advertising to product placement. Now if you excuse me, I feel like eating some chocolate.


A perspective of Lost; a theory of popular culture; a call to action; and a joke, all rolled into one! From Y: The Last Man number 54, a comic book written by Lost scribe Brian K. Vaughan, the following is a snippet of dialogue between two friends, both artists, one slightly more pretentious (idealistic!) than the other.

CAYCE: You’re right that not everything we do has to have some kind of social agenda, but that doesn’t mean it can only be anesthetizing crap. We could create something new, something that challenges our audience at the same time it’s helping them escape. Artists are supposed to hold a mirror to society, but ours could be a… a f—ed-up funhouse mirror!

HENRIETTA: What in God’s name are you talking about?

Doc Jensen says: Amen.


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