Rethinking 'Lost': The Character Drama vs the Sci-Fi-Ish Series
Rethinking 'Lost': The Character Drama vs the Sci-Fi-Ish Series
Yes, I'm still up, trying to take everything in. So forgive me if these next paragraphs
sound a bit incoherent--but please know I tried.

Last night's Lost was such a great episode, both because of the return of several of our favorite characters (mine would be Daniel and Desmond and, along with him, Penny) and because of the answer we've been searching for in the past ten weeks.

Read our full recap: Desmond violates the rules

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Sure, there's always been a connection between the original timeline and the alternate timeline--it's something we've seen every flash-sideways character think about, but never realize--but only this week did we see people become totally aware of these connections. Sure, Desmond was the special one, he who survived the implosion at the hatch and had all those flings with constants and variables in past seasons. But now he's connected the dots--all those flashes of Charlie dying for Claire, and more importantly, him and Penny together--he's out to save to world in his little way.

Only he's got to do it in the alternate timeline. Or so the last scene in this week's episode suggests.

Lost began as a character drama, above all, and I'm happy--and at the same time, a bit discombobulated--that we're returning to that. Suddenly, we're talking about connecting with your true love, connecting with what's meant to be even if it means crossing two timelines. Suddenly, it doesn't matter whether Jacob or the Man in Black are slugging it out, and whether the people who's taken sides, unwittingly or otherwise, survive. Call it the ultimate means of course-correcting, to borrow Eloise's line (Hawking, note) from a few seasons back. All these theories aside, it's all about getting back to normal, to what is supposed to be.

I'm not suggesting all these concepts that we were introduced to over the past six years (or, in my case, seven months) will be thrown away because this is all about love, and looking for it. I reckon all these things about electromagnetic anomalies and free will's battle versus fate will come in somehow. The thing is, once it's all done, it's about the characters more than these crazy theories. It's like, well, being in love--when suddenly you drop everything and set off to pursue it, if you choose to do so--like, say, Sun not caring about everything and just wanting to reunite with Jin,

I never thought I'd write that last cheesy sentence on a Lost article. It's hard giving the show a rethink after all that we've been through.

Still, I have a few questions, the most important being: how will all these connect in the end? With what seems to be two Desmonds swapping places--a naïve one and a fighting one--I can't quite get the point yet, without thinking of either more complicated scientific theories or the alternate universes in that other J.J. Abrams project, Fringe. I'm sure these two will be different.

I'm now thinking Lost's alternate timeline is, in Desmond's words, an "idea"--a hint of what could've been if things went totally wrong. The two warring factions on the Island will come in the picture somehow. Those elusive rules--the ones Eloise (Widmore) had, the ones Ben had before--will come into the picture somehow.

But, when it all ends, it's not going to be about that. We'll discuss them six months after the finale, sure, but what matters more is, what they're searching for has been found.

And, perhaps, that's what "Happily Ever After" ultimately meant.

(Image courtesy of ABC)





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