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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

will ‘Lost’ mysteries finally be resolved?

There’s a new billboard in Times Square for, ahem, Oceanic Air. And across it, someone has “spray-painted” Find 815.com. It’s very clever — both the billboard and the Find 815 site — and very frustrating. How long can ABC drag this out? Are we ever going to find out what the deal with the polar bears was? The black smoke? The ghost of Jack’s dad? Jack’s tattoos? The French chick? Wasn’t Claire’s baby supposed to be the spawn of Satan or something? Argh! This is excruciating!
Well, Lost returns on Thursday, January 31, at 8pm Eastern with a two-hour season premiere. (I haven’t seen it — won’t see it till Thursday night.) Finally. It feels like we’ve been waiting forever since the terrible tease the writers left us with, with that flashforward to Jack and Kate in the future, after they’ve been rescued (or have they?). Alas, because of the WGA strike, we’re only going to get eight new episodes, according to USA Today, but I’ll take them.

There are tons of theories floating around about just what the heck is happening on that island — I personally love the neverending random speculation of the Lost Theory Generator. Have I been keeping up with all the conjecture? Hell, I can barely keep up with my own ideas about the truth. Here’s a few of them:

• Walt is like that creepy kid from The Twilight Zone, the one who could make people disappear and stuff if they annoyed him. And what happened was, on the plane, Walt got peanuts instead of the pretzels he asked the flight attendant for, and, well, this is what happens when the creepy kid with superpowers doesn’t get his damn pretzels.

• Everyone is actually asleep in cryogenic freezers on a spaceship taking three hundred years to get to another planet, and this is their shared virtual reality. It was supposed to be fun and exciting and kinda like a theme park — you know, something to keep them occupied while they sleep. Except, of course, the AI that runs their little matrix has gone mad and is scrambling everything up because it finds messing with the meatbag humans fun and exciting. You can’t trust AIs.

• Polar bears. They’re actually waaaay more intelligent then we’ve given them credit for, and they’re pretty mad about the Arctic melting, so they’ve hypnotized all of us into believing there’s a mysterious show on TV about a group of people crashed on an island. The bears are torturing us, and we’ll never get any kind of resolution to the show (which exists only in all our heads, anyway).

• That four-toed statue? Clearly, Flight 815 went through a wormhole and crashed on an alien planet. And everyone has been infected by some alien spore that’s making them hallucinate (like happened to Spock in that one episode of Star Trek).

• It’s all someone’s philosophy thesis. C’mon: Locke, Rousseau, Hume… it’s some egghead’s idea of a joke.

• Remember how Oceania was the British/North American society in which Winston Smith lived in 1984? We’re assuming Jack and Kate and Sawyer and the Others and the everyone else are from “our” world, but what if they’re not? On the other hand, perhaps the producers and writers of the show are hinting that we cannot trust anything they tell us about this world, in the same way that the people of Oceania could not trust — if they even stopped to think about it — anything that their government told them…

• It’s all a giant opus of Gilligan’s Island fan fiction.

(Need to catch up on what’s happened so far? You can watch full episodes at the official ABC site for the show, or just watch the “Lost Recap In 8 min 15 sec!” It’s hilarious and informative.)

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  • RyanH

    Of course we will not find anything out. Or at least not until the ratings have slipped enough that the studio no longer cares about dragging it out as long as possible. You can feel it in the tone of the seasons. All though season one, there was a feeling of going somewhere. It felt almost inevitable. It was taking you on the journey whether you wanted to go or not.

    After that, it has been treading water. Even when individual episodes are good, the momentum is gone. Revelations no longer feel like parts of a puzzle and instead a question of what crazy shit they can convince the viewer to buy into this week. Now, much of this is entertaining and the characters are still solid, but the core of it is counterfeit. The studio is not going to allow them to do anything that changes the basic status quo until it has been milked for all it is worth.

  • Kate

    My understanding is that the creators came out last year and very firmly announced that they were doing 5 seasons, total, and that they did have a story arc in mind. So I don’t think this will be dragged out by the studio unnecessarily.

    I can’t wait for the season premiere!

    Best finale EVER last season. Unless you count the show finale for BBC’s “Life on Mars.”

  • patrick

    I’m guessing you haven’t watched the last season. Jacks tattoos where explained, Claire’s baby wasn’t so much about her baby but about her giving birth on the island, the french chick’s story has been explained for a while now, the black smoke was explained to be a security, defense, mechanism. Jacks dad and the polar bears still have to be explained, so I’ll give you those :P

  • Katie

    My biggest issue with ‘Lost’ right now is that I feel like the writers are making it up as they go along. I think they had a beginning and an ending but not really a solid way to go from point A to point B. But that’s just me.

    I also tend to think ‘Lost’ is a show better watched on a DVD marathon than a weekly basis. But again…that’s just me and I’ll probably end up watching it weekly anyway.

  • MaryAnn

    I’ve watched the last season. I still don’t think those questions were answered, at least not satisfactorily.

  • Maryann, I’m not sure where best to ask this, so I’ll just post here: Did you ever get an e-mail from me? I sent you one a few weeks ago, and I never got a response, so I’m worried it may have been eaten up into the ether of the internets. Should I send another copy?

  • Roger BW

    RyanH and Katie: yes, absolutely. Which is exactly the same feeling I’ve been getting lately about Battlestar Galactica, and got about Alias when that was going on: they know roughly what the Big (season?) Finale is going to be, but until then it’s just a matter of what crazy stuff they can throw in to drag it out a bit longer.

  • MaryAnn

    Sorry, Jurgan: I rarely get around to answering all my email right away, and some of it never gets a response. I’d do nothing else if I had to make that a priority. Your email is in my inbox, and I’ll get to it when I can. Sorry I can’t do any better than that.

  • lanchid

    Two hour season premier? Horse hockey!

    We get a one hour clip show and then a one hour episode. Frankly, I’d just recommend downloading the 2 free recaps on iTunes (a total of little less than 13 minutes, with no commercials) and do something actually constructive with the 47 minutes you’ve saved yourself, like organize your navel lint.

    I’ve grown quite discouraged with Lost, in case you can’t tell. I would have happily put up with all kinds of nonsense dragging out the mysteries of the island, et al, as long as the creators/writers knew where there were going and what they were doing. Once Lindelof as much as admitted they weren’t following a plan except in the broadest sense, I realized he’s the new Chris Carter and the viewers have been snookered into yet another X-Files debacle.

    And yet, I have plans to watch. So who really wins, here?

  • Maryann: It’s okay, I understand, I was just worried it had gotten lost. Knowing it’s there reassures me. I just didn’t think it would take so long, because it used to not take more than a week or so. I guess that just shows that the site’s a lot more popular today than it was a couple years ago.

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