The Island's great debate (supernatural possibilities vs. naturalistic explanations -- trust us, the cartoon pooch figures into this too) resumes in season 5, and the Doc wants to know which side you're on. Plus: Marvin Candle and the role of Fate

By Jeff Jensen
Updated January 20, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

Usually we begin our in-season columns with THE TEASE!, but ABC has been doing a fine enough job on their own by leaking various clips from tonight’s premiere, like this one:

This is the answer to the Mystery of the Empty Tomb — er, the Empty Coffin: Christian Shephard, the man with the Jesus pun name, is not dead. He’s not quite alive, either — not yet. It all depends on the final battle, one that will be settled, no doubt, by a choice that will be made by Jack. If he chooses one way, the timeline takes a form in which Christian remains dead. Jack will go to Australia to rescue his father from a drunken bender and find him in a morgue. If he chooses another way, the timeline takes another form — one in which Jack goes to Australia, finds his father alive, and brings him back… on Oceanic 815.

Until this issue is resolved, poor Christian flickers between existence and non-existence, much in the same way videogame characters do right after they get killed but just before they re-enter the game with new life. Of course, if this theory is correct, and if Jack chooses Door No. 2, then it begs the question: How might Lost be different if Jack’s father was among the surviving castaways?

Answer: Season 6, baby, Season 6.

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But first, there is Season 5, which begins tonight. To further prep you for the freaky fun time to come, I bring you the next installment of my recent interview with executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, which was conducted for the recent Lost tribute at The Paley Center in New York City. You’ll find some cool, revealing stuff within — including a teaser for a brand new series that will premiere at next week. It involves Lost. It involves video. And it involves, for better or worse, yours truly, Doc Jensen, and my good friend, awesome colleague, and frequent partner in Lost coverage, Dan Snierson. It is called ”Totally Lost.” It will be totally crazy, it will be totally fun, and it will probably totally destroy my career as an entertainment journalist, especially when we get to the full frontal nudity stuff. That was probably ill advised. But until my ship goes down: Enjoy.