question of the day: How will ‘Lost’ end?

Lost returns for its final season on Febuary 2, and already speculation in running wild as to how the series will end 18 episodes later, in May. The cast and creators spoke at an industry event in California yesterday, promoting the show and dropping hints as to what we might be in for. (Note: there are no spoilers for the final season in what follows, but if you missed the last episode of the previous season, you might want to skip the first quote to follow here and skip to the second.) Via MSN:

When “Lost” last left off, Ben (Michael Emerson) had killed the island’s mysterious Jacob, producers revealed Locke (Terry O’Quinn) was actually dead and Juliet disappeared into a flash of light after a nuclear warhead exploded. And that’s where things will kick off this time around, according to Executive Producer Carlton Cuse.

“The season premiere picks up right after the finale, and we really don’t want to say too much about it. We’ve obviously been very circumspect about the sixth season … primarily because there’s this big cliffhanger; Juliet hits this bomb. There’s a white flash. What happened?” Cuse said. “Jack and Faraday were postulating that was going to reset the clock and the Oceanic 815 would fly along and land in Los Angeles. If she taps that bomb and something else happens, maybe they’re still stuck on the island. We don’t really want to kind of give away what the show is going to be this season.”

And how will it end? Everyone involved is doing nothing but teasing:

Lindelof also hinted the show’s ending is likely to spawn a reaction not unlike that experienced by another famous show that wrapped its run — “The Sopranos.”

“I don’t think it would be ‘Lost’ if there wasn’t sort of an ongoing and active debate amongst the people who watch the show as to whether or not it was a good ending,” Lindelof said. “If I could put on my predicting hat, there would be people over here who say it’s the worst ending in the history of television, and hopefully to balance them out, my mom, who will say it’s the best ending, although she doesn’t understand the show.”

And why he might have any insight is a mystery, but:

So far, Matthew Fox, who was not present at the panel on Tuesday, is the only castmember to admit knowing the end of the show, which has seven episodes left to shoot.

Last fall, he told British late-night talk show host Jonathan Ross, “It’s going to end with a very specific image … I know what that image is.”

So, what do you think that specific image will be? How will Lost end?

(Perhaps we’ll come back and revist your predictions in May and see how close you got.)

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