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.)

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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Wed, Jan 13, 2010 11:47am

The Island regenerates?

Wed, Jan 13, 2010 12:08pm

The Polar Bears are actually an advanced race who were playing with us puny humans the whole time.

Jason M.
Jason M.
Wed, Jan 13, 2010 12:37pm

It ends just like it began, with a close-up of Jack’s eye.

Wed, Jan 13, 2010 12:52pm

It’s actually a sequel to St. Elsewhere and thus dreamed up by the same autistic kid.

Dr Rocketscience
Dr Rocketscience
Wed, Jan 13, 2010 12:54pm

With the whole site nuked from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

No, no, wait… that’s the end of Avatar.

Wed, Jan 13, 2010 1:39pm

The big mystery is still the Jacob / “Esau” origin concept.

Here is my personal theory behind LOST; it’s about 85% complete.

Jacob, “Esau”, and the entire land comprising the island were originally from the distant future, but were all sent back to the distant past due to a time travel experiment gone devastatingly wrong. This explains why the island has several features that do not belong; it has both (a) been around for centuries with various people visiting, and (b) existed somewhere else on earth.

This means that the landmass which comprises the island currently exists somewhere else on Earth, possibly landlocked, as it has yet to be sent back in time.

Jacob is 100% human and “Esau” (the black smoke / the man in black / Jacob’s nemesis / Evil Locke) is a nanobot colony AI.

Like most robots, “Esau” has a set of logic rules comprising it’s programming. These rules include (in no specific order)
(A) protecting Jacob
(B) maintaining the timestream by making sure the future which sent it back in time is the future that will come to pass; otherwise there will be a massive timeline-destructive paradox event, which will wipe out the universe.
(C) cannot self-terminate

“Esau” has several abilities which includes
1) turning into the black smoke
2) becoming or projecting various images
3) restoring human bodily function
4) bequeathing nanobots to a target human
5) a memory database containing the entire recorded knowledge of human history up till the point of the event which sent it back in time.
6) the same database can access languages and other knowledge.

By bequeathing nanobots to a human, the human in turn can bequeath a portion of these to another target human; this is a conscious action – the human must know he can do this in order to do it. To protect Jacob, Esau gave him nanobots to maintain him; this is why Jacob does not age. Jacob in turn, gave some nanobots to Richard (without explaining the concept to a stranded Egyptian), which explains his ageless-ness. This is also why Jacob knows how to create textiles and fish and survive and speak languages.

I’ll go further into this, but I need to address something I noticed, which is why I went the nanobot AI time traveller route.

When Jacob visited each person in the last episode of season 5:

– Hurley was released from prison, creating a O6 out of jail huge news story.
– Sayid was at the death of Nadia; they both might have died in the assassination attempt, creating news.
– Kate was about to get arrested and given a public police record.
– Sawyer was at his parent’s funeral, which is usually announced in the newspaper.
– Locke had fallen several stories, and would have died, which would be in the newspaper.
– Sun and Jin were at their, likely newsworthy (Paik Industries daughter marriage today!), wedding.
– Jack was at a hospital where he worked.

All were publicly-recorded events.

Jack’s doesn’t stand out as newsworthy, but maybe his patient was supposed to die or something? Possibly there might have been a notable lawsuit involved, or something; I’m not sure. If you knew Jack was working at a hospital, chances are it’s pretty easy to locate him there on any given day.

Anyway, if you had knowledge of all public records in recorded history, those could be easily used to locate all of the above people off-island to gift them with Jacob-owned nanobots.

This also explains why Jacob touched each person; he gave them some nanobots (especially in the case of Locke). Why?
(1) to restore life to them
(2) to make them untouchable by “Esau” by making them “smell” like Jacob.

I cannot yet explain how Jacob gets off the island, but since in my theory the island is also from the future, it probably contains the original time travel laboratory from the far future, as well as a futuristic method of transportation, likely linked to the Frozen Donkey Wheel.

Jacob is trying to change the timeline.
He doesn’t really want to be here, but he wants to do something to alter his own fate.

Esau is trying to maintain the timeline.
He wants the future that sent him back to the past to exist so there is no paradox.
He hates Jacob for trying to change things, which constantly make things harder to work through.
Esau wants to kill Jacob to stop him from manipulating the timestream, but cannot due to the logic rules inherient within him.

Jacob, having some of Esau’s nanobots, also knows these rules.

Esau kills various people he comes across, as they are supposed to be dead and/or are changing the timeline.
When Locke and The Black Smoke encounter each other, the smoke doesn’t kill Locke, either because
1) he smells like Jacob’s nanobots (much like when Smokey didn’t kill Kate and Juliet(?) in the tree).
2) he is already supposed to be dead, according to the news reports, so Esau can tell he is a paradox.
This is why Esau picks Locke to manipulate. He sees that Locke doesn’t belong in the timeline thinks Jacob trusts Locke.

Esau also knows that Sun, Jin, Kate, Jack and Sawyer all have nanobots on them and smell like Jacob.

What he doesn’t know is that now Hurley and Sayid have nanobots, as they were touched when they were part of the Oceanic 6.

Now, as stated, Esau picked Locke as his disguise because Locke is a living paradox due to Jacob’s involvement. Therefore the concept behind Locke being a paradox helps break some of the logic rules which bind Esau from allowing Jacob’s death. By masquerading as Locke, he can finally manipulate the world to where Jacob gets killed and the AI is absolved.

How this all figures in with Juliet and the alternate timeline, I’m not certain, but obviously Jacob is trying to remove his future from coming true. I’m sure someone else can work out the last 15% of my theory.

Wed, Jan 13, 2010 2:46pm

Locke wakes up screaming in his bed. His bedmate, Bob Newhart, tells him to shut up and rolls back over to sleep.

Wed, Jan 13, 2010 11:03pm

stop talking about nanonbots you sound like an f$%$%N idiot…your theory is baaaaaad !

Thu, Jan 14, 2010 10:30am

And yet “peter”, you’re the one who can’t bother to hit the shift key and you’re using an ellipsis instead of a period to separate your sentences. Excellent work.

Wed, Jan 27, 2010 11:04am

yeah, too bad the producers said nanobots were not involved. a long time ago.

Wed, Jan 27, 2010 12:05pm

My only predictions are that:

1) JoshDM’s theory is fifty times more thought-out and logical than anything the creators have actually thought of as they winged it through five seasons — even though it uses the “Time Cop” theory of time travel.

2) PaulW’s ending would be fifty times more satisfying than the ending that will actually happen.

3) After the Soprano’s-like no-we-had-no-idea-how-to-end-this ending (the only hint/rumor that rings true), as retribution fans will create an alarming amount of slash-fiction starring the polar bear.

Wed, Jan 27, 2010 4:19pm

Yeah “j”, they also said TIME TRAVEL and ALTERNATE TIMELINES weren’t involved a while ago too.

See how that paid out for them. Do you believe everything you read from people who are producing a series that they want you to watch, but don’t want to give away or confirm their own theories?

Of course they’re nanobots. There’s been nothing in the show to say they’re anything else.

Wed, May 05, 2010 3:15pm

Last image~Vincent (as Jacob) staring as MIB/Smokey, drown as Island sinks.

Wed, May 05, 2010 4:10pm

I started catching the syndicated re-runs (the show started back when I had no time for evening shows), and I noticed something: are Locke and Sawyer related?