'Lost' Preview: Now The Merge Is Done, Is The Death Count Next?
'Lost' Preview: Now The Merge Is Done, Is The Death Count Next?
Isn't it a little funny that, in the same week, Lost and Survivor--one of the shows the former took inspiration from--will feature a merging of camps?

Only, of course, the circumstances are different. In Survivor, it means the stakes are raised, as game play shifts from the group to the individual. In Lost, it still stays in the group, as everyone attempts to get out of the Island through whatever means. But, the worst thing that could happen to you in the latter is elimination, and your chance at a million dollars fizzling away. In the former, it's death.

Spoiler: Who's returning in tonight's episode?

The official synopsis for tonight's Lost is pretty straightforward, if not ambiguous: "Alliances are forged and broken as the Locke and Jack camps merge." Then again, the merging of the two sides was an unlikely one: we all thought it would be a battle between these sides. But now that Hurley negotiated the survivors on his side to make peace with Locke to lessen the chances of any casualty, the idea of Jacob going against the Man in Black--at least in actual, strenuous warfare--is moot. Sure, there'll still be disagreement between the survivors, but this isn't for a million dollars. It's for survival, and eventual happiness.

Maybe the battle now shifts elsewhere. One, there's Widmore, still out to claim the Island for himself. Perhaps he's angrier now that Desmond, his "package", was taken away from him. He's not going to stop at anything, not even the Man in Black, and now the merge has taken place, the chances of fatalities just spiked up.

And then there's Desmond in the alternate timeline, he who got a hold of the Oceanic 815 manifest and tracked everyone, helping them find their true love, and fusing the two timelines together. I still don't know what he's up to, but what if the battleground between Jacob and the Man in Black actually lay in this timeline, rather than the cork that is the Island? Then again, maybe both timelines matter--there are battles, after all, that are more suited in some places than others.

Photos: See the photos from tonight's episode

All I'm saying is, with little over a month before the final curtain is drawn on May 23, expect many more things to change. A smaller head count, perhaps. Lost returns tonight from 9pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)