'Lost' Thoughts: The Ben/Widmore Problem, and an Idea
'Lost' Thoughts: The Ben/Widmore Problem, and an Idea
I've been thinking about Lost.  You never want to do too much thinking about Lost – it's better to have people around for a discussion.  Merely thinking about Lost is only going to knot up your brain with hair-brained thoughts and outlandish theories.  Aside from any ideas I might have come up with, I also have some worries.  At this point, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to worry about Lost – the writers have always delivered, the story has expanded at a rapid clip, and most every season 4 episode has been spectacular.  But, as much as I'd like to not think about certain things, there they are, peskily unmovable.  There are certain aspects of Lost that, at this point, worry me. 

Big Story 

Fellow BuddyTV writer John Kubicek wrote about this briefly in his Easter Eggs last Friday, and I agree with his basic premise – this  seemingly epic struggle between Widmore and Ben is really undermining the island characters we've come to know and love.  The overall story of Lost, it's becoming clear, is not about Kate and Jack and Sawyer and Locke  - it's something bigger, more diabolical.  Not to say that haven't, aren't and won't continue to be a part of that story, just that they aren't as integral as we would have assumed in season one.

However, it's hard not to give Lindelof and Cuse the benefit of the doubt.  In recent interviews, the Lost show runners have stated over and over again that Lost is much more a character show than a story/plot show.  This statement both worries me and makes me optimistic in regards to the problem laid out in the above paragraph.  It worries me because the fact that Cuse and Lindelof would answer questions about Lost's mythology in this way makes me suspect that covering every base and tying up every loose story end is not the highest priority.  There are going to be a significant number of Lost fans who will want every question answered.  I don't think I'm one of those people (ask me again near the end of season 6), but I also don't want a vague, the audience-fills-in-the-blanks resolution. 

Widmore and Ben's face-off, which has to receive a ton of screen time over the rest of the series (one would assume), is awesome.  I can't deny that.  It's just that the new-found scope of their story is threatening to undo the dramatic build-up between the 815 survivors over the first three seasons.  I refuse to believe that this was the planned progression of events from day 1.  Ben's story, I'm convinced, has been written on the fly over the past couple seasons simply because Michael Emerson is a god among men.  That guy is the quintessential villain of the TV serial era.  But, still, I don't see where this is all going or how the 815ers are going to be roped in to the Ben-Widmore story.  You just got to have faith in the writers, I suppose.

A Thought

Here's my new thought on how season 5 is going to play out.  The flash forwards can't last forever.  The idea of on-island flash forwards have been offered, as has an off-island present with flash-forwards back to the island.  But, I think I've come up with a more likely story device.  We know that the Oceanic 6 will get off the island by the end of the season (or, at least that's the assumption).  I think season 5 is going to get rid of any flash backs or flash forwards and simply show us a dual story – half off-island, half on-island, happening at the same "time" (because, as Faraday exclaimed, time is quite relative on the island).  That seems like the logical story progression.  The remaining survivors on the island coupled with Oceanic 6's attempts (maybe) to get back to the island, with Ben and Widmore lording over both.  How does that sound?

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of ABC)
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