SUPER DUPER, HEAVY DUTY, NO FOOLIN’ SPOILERS ABOUT LOST.
Tonight, the very last, final, ending, finale episode of Lost airs in a four and a half hour television extravaganza. Well, that count does include the two hour clip show so it’s more like two hours and thirty minutes—minus probably forty five minutes of commercials—but it’ll be a great 105 minutes of whatever new characters and random curveballs Lost likes to throw out at the last minute before everyone dies in huge explosions. Oh sorry, spoilers! Just kidding! That was not a spoiler, because everyone knows that all the characters are already dead from the plane crash in the Pilot episode. Just kidding again! Everybody is polar bears.
Though the idea of every character suddenly turning into polar bears is a bit too outlandish even for Lost, there has been a lot of crazy crap on this show. As Mark had talked about previously, the aforementioned polar bear was just the beginning. Pretty soon you have to deal with a metal hatch buried in the jungle. There is a hatch. In the jungle. What’s in there? Who built it? What does it all mean?! Funny thing about Lost that some people love and other, less fun people hate: Lost does not like to give you answers, and when it does it only leads to other questions and you’ll be lucky if you get answers to them. I once described this show to Erik by picking up a pepper shaker and hiding it behind my hand. “This is the entire show.” Oh, sure there are the characters and what they do and how they feel, but they rarely act in ways that resemble natural human behaviors during the show’s usual inexplicable and mysterious situations, and they’re frequently annoying. Like Jack. And Kate. And Clarie. And so on. (Another funny thing about Lost: the side characters are far more interesting and enjoyable, and usually way more sensible, i.e. Hurley and Miles).
We have a show that’s entirely devoted to what Mark called Polar Bear Moments, or what I’ll call because it’s what I say when it happens, Holy Shit Moments. Or, Uh What? Moments if it’s especially weird. I don’t watch Lost to see Jack make sad puppy dog eyes at Kate yet again; I watch to see what sort of crazy ass, bat shit, nutter butters thing is going to happen next, with occasional wisecracks from Sawyer. Okay fine, also the Desmond and Penny episodes. *sniff*
So here’s list containing ten of the craziest events from Lost, chosen by me, and arranged in some sort of arbitrary order. I also include how many episodes you’ll have to get through before you’re treated to whatever vague answer the show offers to this strange scenario (by the way, I’m considering each hour of the show an episode even if it’s a two parter so I may have gotten the math wrong; this ain’t exact science here, people). If you’re not current or have not seen the show but will eventually, I urge you not to read ahead and spoil yourself, because most of the fun comes from wondering, “What the hell was that?” and you’re left wildly speculating for god knows how long.
So yes, ENTIRE SHOW SPOILER WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! AROOGA!
10. The Polar Bear
We’ll start off with the easy one. Having a monster out in the jungle you just crash landed in is standard fare for this sort of thing, and like Lord of the Flies it’s largely unseen. But, we’ll get to him later. One of the first Holy Shit Moment comes near the end of the second part of the Pilot. A small group of the survivors are heading into the jungle to try to signal for help using the plane’s transmitter. Suddenly, A FUCKING POLAR BEAR ATTACKS! Holy shit! What the hell is a polar bear doing in a tropical island? Well they show up and are mentioned every now and then for a while, but their presence isn’t really explained until shortly into season two with an almost blink and you’ll miss it moment, but again we’ll get to that later.
Time to Answer: Twenty seven episodes
9. The Sideways World
I’ve tried to include at least one moment from each season of Lost, but I’m sorry to say that season six has been largely less crazy and curveball throwing, and more like lining up all the pieces on the board so that the game can finally end. Not to say that it hasn’t been entertaining, just…less crazy. There’s also a new storytelling technique that—one last episode away from the end—I’m still not sure where they’re going with it. See, after Juliet detonated Jughead back in the Seventies at the Swan Station construction site (if you’re just tuning in, I’m sorry that statement made no sense), the screen goes white and we fade into Jack back in his seat in Oceanic flight 815. Are we having another flashback? It seems so because Jack asks for some more vodka, just like he did way back in the Pilot. But his hair is different, though that may just be because it’s been five years since they’ve filmed this scene. Turbulence hits and everyone in the audience expects the plane to crash just like it did last time, and then suddenly…nothing happens. The turbulence ends and the plane continues on as normal. Huh, I guess that plan to change history with the nuclear bomb really worked. The camera then swoops down from the plane and into the ocean, where you see THE ISLAND HAS BECOME COMPLETELY SUBMERGED. Uh what? We have a parallel reality here, folks. Like I said, we still don’t have an answer to this one because they’ve been exploring it all in the last season. I’m sure we’ll get a definite explanation for the whole Sideways World (as it’s called by the showrunners) by tonight. Probably.
Time to Answer: Sixteen episodes, I assume.
8. Locke stands up
I usually tell people to wait until the forth episode before making up their minds on whether to continue with Lost. Sure, the Pilot has that insane and exciting aftermath of the plane crash, the mysterious monster in the jungle, the polar bear, and the French transmission (which is pretty creepy in its own right). But then the next episode is a Kate episode, and they are the worst. But through those three hours, there’s been a bald guy in the background acting a little weird. Locke has been alternately nice and ominous, and in this episode’s flashbacks, we see him as a pathetic loser with delusions of being a manly adventurer in the wild Outback. But he can’t go on his walkabout. Locke is denied by a tour company and told that he simply can’t do it. Well, why not, we all ask. Because HE’S CONFINED TO A WHEELCHAIR. What do you mean he’s in a wheelchair? We’ve seen him walk around for three episodes. Well, that’s when we flashback to the crash and we see Locke wake up, wiggle his toes, and then HE STANDS UP. Holy shit! How the Island healed him has not been made entirely explicit, but it will be clarified that the Island has magical healing properties. Why? Because a wizard Smoke Monster/Jacob did it, that’s why. The bigger mystery is how Locke became paralyzed in the first place, which won’t be answered until well into season three.
Time to Answer: Fifty seven episodes! Jeez.
7. The Coffin
In the final episode of the third season, we see Jack sporting a terrible beard while stumbling around drunk and complaining about this father. Nothing new here! Though the beard is strange since we’ve never seen it before. Oh well, he must’ve had a beard at some point in the past. Actually, it turns out to be a Flashforward and we’re seeing the future where Jack and Kate got off the Island somehow! And that’s not even the crazy part! Jack sees an obituary that makes it him super extra sad and drunk, so he goes to see the coffin. Which is, of course, closed because this show is Lost and we’re not going to find out who died for, oh, a while. So naturally we spend the entirety of next season wondering WHO IS IN THE FUCKING COFFIN ALREADY, and this being Lost, we don’t find out until the final moment of season four. The camera pans down to reveal that it’s Locke. JOHN LOCKE IS DEAD! Holy shit! How did he die?! Luckily the wait for this explanation won’t take as long.
Time to Answer: Seven episodes
6. The Crate
This one is a follow up to the last one. So Locke is dead, but Jack needs his body, along with the rest of the main cast who escaped the Island, so that he can return to the Island because he’s Jack and he needs to ruin everybody else’s lives so that he can fix them. Thanks to Ben (oh, Ben), Jack manages to convince everyone to get on the correct plane leaving at the correct time that allows them to return, except that Jack, Kate, Sayid, and Hurley get transported back to the seventies version of the Island in the Dharma Initiative. (Wait, what? That’s right, time travel!) But everybody else is back in present time in the Island, including a walking, talking, back from the dead John Locke. What! Again, that’s not even the crazy part. Everyone assumes that the Island resurrected him because that’s just how the Island rolls. But Locke is a little cranky about this whole ordeal over the past five seasons and wants to go talk to Jacob, Island Master. Along the way, Locke tries to convince Ben to kill Jacob because he’s such as dick. And Ben goes, “You know, you’re right. He IS such a dick!” So two of them go into the statue to give Jacob the business, but suddenly Ilana shows up (whoever she is) with a crate that she says contains something very important. Well, what it is already! So she dumps the contents on the beach and IT’S LOCKE’S DEAD BODY! Holy shit! Then who is that over there claiming to be Locke and is with Jacob right now and might totally be stabbing him? Turns out that he’s the guy at the beginning of the episode in the flashback to ye olden days who told Jacob that he totally wanted to kill him. WHOOPS. So who is the fake Locke? You’ll find out next Lostweek, same Losttime, same Lostchannel.
Time to Answer: One episode.
5. Juliet Sees the Crash
Lost usually likes to throw the ultimate curveball in their season premieres by starting off with some character in some location that we’ve never seen before so that we’re totally lost (hur hur). Season three begins with a blonde woman with the most annoying smirk in the world but who ends up not being too bad as she goes about her daily mysterious routine. She mysteriously looks in the mirror and is mysteriously sad, she bakes some mysterious cookies, and then holds a mysterious book club. Suddenly, there’s a mysterious earthquake and everyone rushes outside to what’s apparently a quaint suburban town. What the hell is this? This is not my beautiful Lost! And hey, it’s that guy with the crazy bug eyes our heroes captured, beat the shit out of, and suspected he was one of the mysterious Others of the Island! Um, what? They all look up to the sky and it’s not a bird, it’s not a plane—oh wait, it is a plane. IT’S OCEANIC FLIGHT 815 AND IT’S BREAKING APART IN FRONT OUR EYES AND CRASHING RIGHT NOW! Holy shit! And then the camera pulls back to reveal that the cute little village is actually stuck in the middle of the Island and that’s where the Others live! Double holy shit!
Time to Answer: Uh, I guess there wasn’t a specific question this time; I just thought this was a great moment. I guess the question could be when the Others took it over from the Dharma Initiative, and that would be a span of nineteen episodes.
4. Finding Desmond living in the Hatch
So here we have another season opener opening on some random person going about his daily life. This one actually happens before the Juliet one, but I like Desmond better so it comes later, er, before the, um, next number on the list. So he wakes up to the sound of his alarm, does some computer work, exercises, showers, eats breakfast, when suddenly—KABOOM! His whole apartment shakes but instead of, say, investigating the matter in a normal fashion like our pal Juliet, he arms itself and activates a series of mirrors to look down a hallway. Okay that’s a bit strange, dude, but you’re the mysterious guy in the strange apartment. You’d know best. We then follow the mirrors down the hallway and up a shaft to the gaping faces of Jack and Locke looking down because they just exploded the hatch last season. THERE IS A GUY IN THE HATCH AND HE’S BEEN LIVING IN THE HATCH FOR GOD KNOWS HOW LONG! Holy shit! Turns out, he’s been manning a station that prevents the end of the world every 108 minutes. Whoa. Far out. It seems that the station was built by the Dharma Initiative in the 1970s. Who are the Dharma Initiative? Glad you asked.
Time to Answer: two episodes.
3. The Swan Orientation Video
Desmond doesn’t take too kindly to strangers in this part of town so he decides to have a little Mexican standoff with Jack until Kate actually does something for once and breaks it up. Unfortunately, this makes Desmond accidentally shoot his computer. Desmond flips the heck out at this and runs off screaming “brutha” over and over again. But before he leaves, he advises our heroes and Kate to check out this cool movie hidden in the bookcase. This is the Dharma Initiative’s orientation video for the Swan Station, and it is crazy and a perfect example of Lost providing an answer while giving you several more in the process. As Dr. Candle (Who’s Dr. Candle?) tells us, the Dharma Initiative (What’s the Dharma Initiative?) built this station and others like it to study the crazy magic science of the Island (What’s an Island?) and oh hey look, polar bears! But then Dr. Candle mentions an “incident” that happened at the station which now requires someone to enter the numbers code into the computer every 108 minutes …or else! Um, what? But the computer’s broken and they can’t enter the code! Bum bum BUUUUUUUUUM! (Don’t worry, they fix it in time.) But just what was this Incident? You’re gonna have to wait a while folks.
Time to Answer: A whopping seventy nine episodes!
2. Jacob’s Cabin
Lost is all things to all people. It’s a realistic down to Earth show that’s completely crazy and swarming with smoke monsters and magic powers. It’s Castaway meets Survivor. It’s a comedy, it’s a drama, it’s a mystery. It’s a cop show, it’s a conman show. It’s several foreign movies. And one time, it even turned into a horror show. After a season or two of teasing us about a mysterious entity called Jacob who controlled the Island, Locke demands Ben to take him to Jacob because Locke has bucketfuls of questions just like the rest of us. Ben says okay. So he takes Locke to a dark, derelict cabin that’s out in the middle of the jungle for some reason. Ben tells Locke to turn off his flashlight because Jacob hates technology, and they go in. It certainly is dark and mysterious in this cabin, what with the jars of liquid and the weird dog painting and the gloom. Ben starts talking to an empty rocking chair as if Jacob were sitting there, so naturally Locke thinks this is a put on. He isn’t having it so he turns on his flashlight. Suddenly, the room starts to shake, stuff flies off the wall, there’s a quick shot of someone in the chair, and then a deep voice calls out, “HELP ME.” Holy shit! Get the hell out of there, Locke! Do not go messing around with some haunted shack! It was never made entirely clear what all that has about, but it’s safe to say that it was not Jacob since he ended up being a pleasant blonde guy, though he has short temper sometimes. It was probably the other guy, the evil one.
Time to answer: thirty five episodes (I guess).
1. The Smoke Monster Revealed
This is really my favorite part of the show and one it’s most famous characters: the smoke monster. That thing never fails to weird me out, and was the first real Holy Shit Moment. First, the monster was teased the night of the crash. All the survivors are sitting around being lazy recovering when roars and weird mechanical scary sounds echo from the jungle. The survivors all go, “What the hell is that?” and so does the entire audience. The next morning, Jack, Kate, and Charlie head to the cockpit of the crashed plane out somewhere in the jungle to find a transmitter to signal for help. They find the pilot there badly hurt but alive. He gives them the transmitter but before he can of any other use, the agonizingly unseen monster makes his soon to be familiar noises and freaks us all out. The pilot has time to say, “What the hell is that?” before he’s pulled through the cockpit window, mangled, killed, and thrown into a tree. Scary! The monster appears a few times through the season and into the next, always freaky, constantly teased, never fully revealed. Locke even confronted it onetime and it spared him. (He described it as a bright light, something which it’s now obviously not, and it’s still not clear what that was about.) Then, almost halfway into the second season, the awesome and sadly missed Mr. Eko is trekking through the jungle when suddenly, roar, here comes the smoke monster again. But instead of running like everybody else, he stares it down because he’s that badass. Thanks to Mr. Eko’s badassery, we finally get to see the monster in all its glory when the two have their staring contest. Is a dinosaur? An angry boar? Some guy’s billowing parachute? Nope, it’s a CHURNING CLOWD OF BLACK SMOKE! Hmm, does that sound impressive if you’ve never seen it? Well it is! Holy shit! Really you guys, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! Don’t worry, you’ll find out…eventually. But every time it shows up and it will wreak havoc, make cool noises, take out red shirts, and will be crazy and unnerving.
Time to Answer: Seventy episodes.
There are obviously a lot more crazy moments than these ten, but I stuck to a number. Because numbers are VERY IMPORTANT until they’re not. The whole reveal of the Flashforward itself is pretty crazy. Then there’s a whole time travel season. I’m hoping that the last episode tonight will be able to throw some surprises at us, a few more curveballs. Lost has a pretty good track record of finales that pull off a bunch of crazy events and tense moments, some good character bits, and then change the game entirely for the next season. Since this is the game ender, they should have free reign to be as crazy as possible.
And if it’s disappointing, well at least the rest of the show was great. Except for that episode about Jack’s tattoos. Yech.