As season 4 concludes tonight, Doc Jensen speculates on the fate of the Oceanic 6...and everybody left behind
Terry O'Quinn, Lost


The last Doc Jensen of the year? No, that’s next week, when we’ll wrap up some unfinished business before hugging and waddling into our caves for hibernation. But tonight does mark the last Lost of 2008, which is pretty weird for me to fathom. My memory of recapping this season’s premiere, ”The Beginning of the End” — clacking away at my computer while watching some hired help install carpet in the family room; my wife screaming ”Noooooo!” as that distracted-obsessive Lost look settled into her husband’s eyes — was only minted yesterday, or so it seems. And now it’s almost over. Here, with the final tease of the season, is executive producer Carlton Cuse, coauthor of tonight’s two-hour extravaganza, ”No Place Like Home (Parts 2 and 3)”:

”Our characters’ fates and our story for the season all comes down to this: Who’s right about the island? Jack the empiricist or Locke the man of faith?”

Which reminds me of something I was thinking about the other day…


Last season at this time, we got an epic story about how Jack’s moment of triumph on the Island (beating Ben; staring down Locke; procuring rescue for his fellow castaways) was juxtaposed against a future-set story that saw Jack at his lowest moment, all boozy and delusional and suicidal. Meanwhile, Locke was a proverbial dead man walking. Beckoned from the Dharma mass grave by Ghost Walt and bleeding from the gut, Locke tired to prevent Jack from bringing doom upon the Island.

This season seems to be ending with a role reversal. Now we have Jack staggering through the jungle with a bleeding gut, thanks to a recently removed appendix. (One wonders in retrospect if that bit of business at the beginning of the season, in which Locke explained to Sawyer that his daddy-swiped kidney helped him cheat death, was intended to foreshadow the current extracted-organ drama of his Island mirror twin, and could this sentence be any longer or more artlessly mouthfully?) (Yes.) Meanwhile, Locke appears to be getting his big hero moment. He’s going to descend into yet another Dharma portal of sci-fi hell and ”move” his beloved Island. Whatever that means exactly, though it appears from Cuse’s tease that a defining moment is upon us — and by ”us,” I do mean the fans. For quite some time now, a debate has raged in Lost fandom about which kind of worldview should win out when it comes to resolving the show’s many mysteries: Scientific or Sci-Fi? Naturalistic or Supernatural? Stephen Hawking or Stephen King?

I doubt tonight’s episode will fully resolve the debate — but I wouldn’t be too surprised if the episode causes the debate to boil over. All to say, the message boards should be quite frothy tomorrow.

How Lost Fans Are Celebrating the Season Finale

While at church last week, my wife and I passed a group of people talking excitedly. No, not about a particularly tasty Communion service — they were Lost fans plotting a viewing party. A costume party, at that. I know many of you are planning on doing the same. To add to your fun, I offer this party game, sent to me by Karen and Joe of Portsmouth, N.H. Karen wrote the following (deeply appreciated) e-mail:

NEXT PAGE: Karen’s e-mail and game, and a possible polar bear explanation