'Lost' Aftergasm: Setting Up the Grand Finale
'Lost' Aftergasm: Setting Up the Grand Finale
"Follow the Leader" is an episode that cannot be judged out of context.  It may as well have been considered part one of a three-part finale, seeing as its main purpose was to position all the pieces for the two-hour finale.  And holy crap what a finale it might be.  As opposed to last season, where we more or less knew the direction Lost was going, I really don't have a clue what will go down next week.  We don't know where the castaways will end up, we don't if the the two timelines will merge, who will live, who will die, who will be reanimated, who's full of crap, who will turn on whom, or what in the hell the inevitable final game-changer will be. 

I have issues, sure, but who doesn't with Lost?  There are dangling story lines that I'm skeptical of.  The time traveling of season five have served to up the level of difficulty for the writers.  On a show that already made it nearly impossible for itself to tie up all the loose ends, the addition of complicated time travel was a stroke of madness.  But, the results have been surprisingly sensible.  It could have become an incomprehensible quagmire, but the plot has been taut and enlightening.  

Let's discuss some things, shall we?

Sawyer and Juliet

In the "Scenes from next episode" we are spoiled by the reappearance of Sawyer, Juliet and Kate back on the island.  The sub turned around, or the trio was flashed back to the island or something.  Regardless, they return and never end up on the mainland in the late seventies.  Weirdly, I'm disappointed by this.  More than anyone else, I root for Sawyer.  When he told Juliet they'd buy Microsoft and bet on the Cowboys, I got a little bit giddy.  I want those two to have a happy, Dharma-free life, even if it meant we wouldn't see them again on Lost.  However, the second Kate climbed down into that sub, we knew that plan went out the window.  That scene was beautifully done, the silence and changed expressions of Juliet and Sawyer telling the whole story.  They knew, right then, that a fairy-tale ending was no longer in the offing and might never be.  

Kate's Rationality

While Kate's appearance in the sub annoyed me, I loved what we saw from her earlier in the episode.  Putting her foot down in regards to Jack's plan was refreshing.  Jack has rarely been correct on the island, and his new plan to reset everything with Daniel's nuclear bomb explosion plan is suspect at best.  That plan, to me, was borne out of Daniel's romantic desperation.  I think he was just grasping at straws in the hopes that he could bring Charlotte back to life.  Jack, similarly, is desperate to reset everything and will defy any and all logic to accomplish that.  He's probably a bit suicidal, so either way, if the bomb just ends up killing everyone, he still accomplishes something.  

Richard Alpert

Does Richard Alpert remind anyone else of Tom Hagen, Robert Duvall's consigliere character from The Godfather?  Similar demeanors and roles.  Alpert is the island's consigliere.  He has acted in this advisory role for decades.  But, you have to wonder how much he actually knows and who he's working for.  Sometimes he seems like the only person who actually knows anything, and other times he appears to be just as much of a charlatan as Ben Linus.  I was expecting the episode on Wednesday to give us a lot more insight into who Richard Alpert is, but I'm just as baffled as ever.  He has to know more than he's been letting on, and I don't believe for a second that he saw all those people die like he told Sun.  What his motivations are, I don't know.  I suspect we'll find out next week.

Locke and Jacob

Out of all of Lost's dangling plot threads, the one involving Jacob frightens me the most.  Jacob's been built up for so long, that the eventual reveal of his true nature, the confrontation with Locke, will ultimately be disappointing, as will the explanation of what he is.  Maybe it will explain everything, but I don't know how it doesn't come off as hokey or confusing.  I've always had faith in the Lost writers, but count me among the Jacob doubters.  I hope I'm wrong.  Also, I doubt Locke will be killing Jacob next week.


So, the big question - how will the season end?  There appears to be a universal assumption among Lost fans that the two factions of characters, now thirty years apart, will be brought back together.  This is an intriguing idea, but how can this reasonably be accomplished?  In the great scheme of things, they are spread across random periods of time.  More donkey wheel action?  If Jack's plan ends up working, and Oceanic 815 lands safely in Los Angeles, the series would be over, right?  Or maybe the bomb goes off and the plane crashes on the island anyway.  Trying to predict next week's finale is a fool's errand, anyway.  We all know that.  We know that the writers have something outlandish and awesome in store.  They always do.  That's why we watch Lost.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer