Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lost: Speculation Roundup, Summer '09

As we head into the fall season, with spoilers and speculation for most shows spilling in at rapid rates, one show remains as elusive as ever when it comes to grasping the future. Even with a much-YouTubed Comic-Con panel, two frustrating almost-ARGs, and dozens of interviews with death-wishing Matthew Fox, Lost fans have little to go on so far.

Mind you, the cast isn't even back on set yet, so this silence is to be expected. But this season is particularly befuddling, because it feels like we have nothing to do. Think about the end of season three and the questions that arose from the famous "snake in the mailbox." How did Jack and Kate get rescued? Did anybody else get rescued? Who's at home wondering where Kate is? Who's in the coffin? What made Jack lose it? Is Christian Shephard alive?

I mean, I probably could have spent the entire hiatus just musing on the possibility of that little Jaby sitting at home missing his mom.

The end of season four brought more complicated questions, involving the island's disappearance, Ben's turning of the frozen donkey wheel, and Locke's apparent death. However, our fandom seemed capable of handling that. We'd spent the whole season being prepared for that finale, through Ben's appearance in Tunisia in "The Shape of Things to Come," the flashforwards revealing the lives of the Oceanic Six post-island, and the previous year's coffin question.

This year, though, and I know I don't speak for everyone, but there seems to be a feeling of a collective okay, huh? Because every question we could possibly ask: Is Juliet dead or alive? What about Sayid? Where did Ilana come from and why does she know so much? relies upon one bigger question:

Did Jack's plan work?

And I, at least, feel pretty incapable of answering that question, especially since, after five years with these guys, I'm sure Darlton will come up with something totally different than what I'm thinking. So today we'll round up the Lost news and discuss a popular theory on the future of the show, one that seems like the most likely explanation and yet one that is almost undoubtedly wrong.

More...

Here's what we know. Some folks are returning. Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet will be around for a few episodes (with most of them being at the beginning of the season). Ian Somerhalder (Boone), Jeremy Davies (Faraday), and Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) will all spend time on the island. Emilie de Ravin (Claire) is returning for the entire season. And there are rumors floating around about short-term returns for both Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko) and Greg Grunberg (The Pilot).

We know that the first episode of the season is called "LA X."

And that's pretty much it.

The producers have answered a few questions about season six, and have reassured fans that the last five years of the timeline will not be irrelevant, likely ruling out an explicit "reset," wherein Oceanic 815 lands safely in Los Angeles and everyone goes on as usual. (Damon Lindelof also said flat-out that season six will take place on the island.)

That said, this idea of a reset does have interesting implications. And we've been teased about it so much that to just say "Jack was wrong" would feel like a cheat, too. There's part of me that really does want to see a reset, to see what would have happened to these people without the island. Would Charlie have continued to use? Would Sawyer have continued to con his way across the country? And of course, if you're me ... would Jack and Kate live up to JJ Abrams's original assessment that those two know each other "within the context of a universal recognition"?

There are elements of a reset that would be awesome. There's the potential to seal the deal on the ever-present element of fate in Lost. If Jack and Kate (or anyone, for that matter) feel a pull to each other even after the reset, well, then that's going to force them to deal with this concept of destiny.

So I think what a lot of people--myself included--are expecting is something a little in between. How about an episode (or, most likely, the entirety of the two-part premiere) of course correction? Imagine it playing out like "Flashes Before Your Eyes," with the plane landing safely at LAX and watching everyone go on about their lives. Kate goes to jail, Jack buries his father, Charlie struggles to find another fix, Claire gives Aaron up for adoption...

And yet... It would be monumentally epic to have Jack see footage of Kate on the news and feel so compelled by it as to go to the prison and meet her. (Similar to how Faraday was moved to tears by the footage of the 815 wreckage in "Confirmed Dead.") And we know what has to happen here, too--

Charlie, Boone, Eko, the pilot--everyone who died on the island will die in the reset, too, as the universe course corrects. Our guys, perhaps with the help of Faraday, who, of course, was not on Oceanic 815, begin to put the pieces together and realize what's going on. Things get weirder and weirder in reset world, until finally--THUD--the universe rights itself and everybody wakes up on the island.

Couple of problems with this:

1. It doesn't account for Claire. Could the course correction jolt her out of whatever state she was in when last we saw her, hanging out with her dad in the cabin?

2. It doesn't account for Desmond. This reset would theoretically throw Desmond back to the island. Is that possible? How would that affect the story?

3. We still haven't addressed the fact that it was 1977. If they course correct back to the island, would they wake up in '77 or would they rejoin the rest of the team in this millennium?

4. We still don't know what's to come of Juliet and Sayid. Dead? Alive? Somewhere ambiguously in-between?

It's enough to make a person say, Screw it, speculating on this crap isn't even worth it. Hopefully with the cast going back to work soon, Dark's sources will start gearing up again, too, and we'll get more information soon. Surely by the time the premiere rolls around, we'll have a better idea of where this thing is headed.

There's also this casting tidbit, from Ausiello--

The first official piece of new casting for Lost’s sixth and final season has arrived — and it’s surprisingly detailed. Team Darlton is looking for an actor in his mid 30s to late 50s to play…
Lennon: Scruffy, edgy, charismatic, and slightly stir-crazy, Lennon can be deferential when it’s called for.

He’s the spokesperson/translator for the president of a foreign corporation. He’s a wily negotiator, and far more powerful than his lowly position would seem to indicate.

Now, Lost has been known to use business-type descriptions for their more mythological characters. Jacob's nemesis was described in the original casting notice as a "corporate raider looking to take over his next company." So I think it's less likely that he works for Widmore or Paik, which have been popular suggestions, and more likely that he's a Hostile or an Other or a member of the Black Rock crew. Definitely sounds like it could potentially be related to ye olde Jacob vs. Esau.

But how does that relate to this concept of the reset? In his last moments, Jacob assured Non-Locke and Ben that "they're coming," and I took that to mean that our heroes, those touched by Jacob, are on their way. Would a reset make this easier? Harder? Impossible?

This is so difficult!

Share your thoughts in the comments ... I could use some help here.

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