It’s hard to believe there have only been 118 hours of “Lost.” Considering how many episodes I’ve watched repeatedly, I’ve spent at least 250 hours watching the show. That’s just a smidgen over eight days. But as every die-hard fan knows, watching the show is only part of the fun. You have to discuss it with your friends, read about it online, come up with theories and so on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been introduced to a stranger at a party, and before I know it the two of us are talking about “Lost.” Talk too loud at a restaurant and somebody at the next table chimes in. “Lost” is ultimately a social experience. I’ve probably spent over 500 hours on my obsession with the show. That still doesn’t seem like much, so I’m probably estimating it on the low side.
Now there are only three-and-a-half hours left, and there will be no more new episodes. Of course, people will continue talking about what the finale meant, but that’s just not the same. After the hoo-hah about the inconclusive conclusion of “The Sopranos,” it gradually receded in memory and people went on with their “Soprano”-less lives.
As this is my last chance to prognosticate about the show, I’m going to use this blog post to express my current theories. I hope that some of them will be right, but I know that a lot of them will be wrong. That’s what I love most about the show, the way it continually surprises me.
Anyway, if you don’t want to think about what might happen, then you should stop reading right now.
The story is shaping up as a pretty simple battle of good versus pure evil. So, good has to win, right? The producers aren’t going to send us away with all our characters dead and the world coming to an end, right? On the other hand, having goodness prevail is a little too easy, and the writers have never taken the easy path. And that is why I believe they have introduced the so-called “Sideways World,” the one where flight 815 didn’t crash and where certain details were different (for example, Desmond was on the plane).
We know a few things about the Sideways World. Number one, the island is under water. To me, this means that in the Sideways World, the Man in Black has won, the island is gone and he is now off the island and about to wreak havoc on the world. Number two, the Sideways World is “real,” in the sense that the people in the Sideways World have awareness of their lives on the island.
So I think good and evil both win. There is the world on the island where evil loses, and there is the Sideways World where he wins. But after the Man in Black is beaten on the island, does that mean that the Sideways World will dissolve into pixie dust? I don’t think so. Again, it’s too easy.
I think the Man in Black has to be beaten twice.
But who is he in the Sideways World? Ben and Locke are too obvious. Will the Man in Black look like himself or will he take the form of one of the other characters? And who’s going to beat him? Well there is one main character we haven’t encountered yet in the Sideways World, and that is Juliet, who will be revealed as—BIG SURPRISE!—Jack’s wife. I think she’ll play an important role.
And obviously Desmond will be vital to the defeat of the Man in Black on the island. No way did Sayid kill him. And a lot of members of the main cast will walk the plank soon, but that’s not exactly a big deal when there’s only three-and-a-half hours to go. And even if they die, they’ve still got another life in the Sideways World, so it’s not like they’re off the show or anything.
Finally, I believe the show ends as it began, with Jack’s eye opening and him lying on his back in the woods… and him running to the plane crash on the beach. I have believed this since the producers started messing around with time and space on the show. I have believed this as soon as the characters began waking up in some other time zone or place with a close-up of their eye, that was it for me. I had no idea how the producers would get us there, but it always seemed the most poetic way to end the show. So now I know what the deal is: This time Jack won’t get to the woods via flight 815 of Oceanic Airlines, he’ll get there because he is now Jacob’s successor and the new protector of the island. And we’ll understand that everything that is about to happen to the characters on the plane from this point forward will be different. This will leave the continuing story open, but our understanding of the overall meaning of the series will be satisfied.
Another bonus will be that most of the cast members who were off the show will be back for this scene, which will be great news for all the Ian Somerhalder and Maggie Grace fans.
I realize that there are countless story issues with my theory—Jack was on the plane, for one thing—but it is the richest and most poetic resolution for the story. The writers will provide explanations for all the inconsistencies in order to make such a beautiful conclusion possible.
What do you think? There’s only a few days left for you to tell me I’m wrong, before Sunday comes and the producers prove I’m wrong.
Still, my fingers are crossed for a spin-off. I’ve heard that ABC is talking to Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson about “Ben and Jerry,” where O’Quinn reprises his best-known role before “Lost,” Jerry Blake in The Stepfather. (What is it about O’Quinn and knives?) Imagine the havoc those two could wreak if they came to a small town! Ben would betray everybody and Jerry would kill his family. And then they’d move on to a new town and a new cast for every season! That would be a pretty good show. I know I’d watch it.
POSTSCRIPT: Well I actually got the close-up of the eye part right, even though I missed how it would be closing, not opening. Aside from that, the only thing I picked right was Juliet as Jack’s ex-wife, a commonplace prediction on the web. I knew my prognostications would be wrong, but it was nice to have one final chance to make a prediction before the show’s beautiful conclusion, which I am still thinking about, and I’m sure will think about for a long time. It was great to witness what is certainly one of the great events in TV history, and maybe the first time something like that was followed in such a worldwide, communal way through social media.
Reid Rosefelt is a veteran film publicist based in New York City. He has promoted hundreds of films, for such diverse moviemakers as Jim Jarmusch, Pedro Almodóvar, Errol Morris, Ang Lee and Werner Herzog. His personal clients have included The Sundance Institute, IFC and HBO Films, as well as Harvey Keitel, Ally Sheedy and the late Adrienne Shelly. His production publicity credits include Desperately Seeking Susan, The Godfather: Part III and, most recently, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. His blog can be found at http://my-life-as-a-blog.com/.