Will Lost Jump The Shark In Sweeps?
Will Lost Jump The Shark In Sweeps?
Back at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con,  Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof - facing a packed arena of rabid Lostonians - promised two things in the early episodes of LOST season three's second half:  one, we would learn something about a character that would absolutely blow our minds, and two, there would be a 'game changer' of an episode with implications so wild many would say that LOST had finally 'jumped the shark'.

First off, I think LOST producers are being overly accommodating even mentioning the sport of shark jumping.  In the right hands a series can last any length it wants, just look at Doctor Who.  Today's generation of TV watchers can be a little cynical, I think, this doesn't mean producers of ultra successful shows like LOST with throngs of dedicated fans need to pander to half-baked pop culture phenoms based in celebrating failure. 

That said, we can't go back to San Diego and take the words out of Damon and Carlton's mouth, so let's examine, if we can,  just when these events may take place, or if they have even taken place already in the world of LOST.  Be warned,  while this article is mostly speculation, it does rely on some spoiler information to make its case.
First,  the foundation for this foolishness.  Not being able to find my transcript of the San Diego LOST panel,  I searched through TVGuide's archives and found this quote that sort of sums up the game:

"One is a character bomb, and that will happen within the first three episodes after the break," Lindelof reveals. "And the other is a more significant story bomb-- a game-changer that will happen shortly after." (Source - tvguide.com)

It is entirely possible these bombs will come back to back and will be in the first episode back (last weeks 'Not In Portland') as well as the forthcoming Desmond Centric 'flashes before your eyes' which airs 2/14.  There was certainly more than enough revelations in Juliet's episode to qualify as 'firecrackers', but no 'bomb' as we would have expected.  So either the LOST producers have seriously overestimated the impact of the Juliet reveals, or this wasn't it.  I go with, this wasn't it.

Now, it is entirely likely that both bombs occur in 'Flashes Before Your Eyes' for reasons that are pretty well foreshadowed in 'Not in Portland'. If you missed all the press, 'Not in Portland' was saturated with references to time and space in ways that were definitely meant to give your theory cortex a bearing.   How it all integrates, we don't know, but surely time, space, and the bending of such are a big part of LOST mythology.

'Flashes Before your Eyes'  is a Desmond centric episode that deals with his apparent ability to see the future.  However,  again the producers have offered some heavy clues as to what to look out for in this episode.  They have made several statements.  First,  there is a reason the Penny Widmore scene was at the end of the season two finale,  that reason will become clear in this episode.  Second, they are very wishy washy as to whether or not Desmond actually sees the future, yet we know he does.  Could it be, that he is actually seeing the past?  Could they be in a time loop?  The final clue is recent statements made to Entertainment Weekly that declare the flashback of 'Flashes before your eyes' will use flashbacks:

"in a way we never have before and never will again," hints Lindelof. "It'll either blow people's minds or chase them away for good."  (Damon Lindelof - Source Entertainment Weekly)

If you read that with the state of mind I did, you'll see why I think the character bomb and the story bomb come in the same episode, regardless of what they said at the San Diego panel.  The '...or chase them away for good.' comment is as close to saying 'will jump the shark' as you can possibly get, and there is no mistaking the chronology of these bombs:  character first, game second.  So what could LOST have planned for us?  Reading any further could result in spoilers.

What we know:  we know that Desmond tells Charlie he is going to die.  Okay, that is a character bomb in itself.  The death does not occur immediately, but will occur soon.  We also have heard through the rumor mill that Claire will get a new romantic interest this season.  Hmm, Desmond has already saved her once, he saves her again in 'Flashes', could it be that the writers are listening to all those Claire/Desmond shippers out there?

As for the game changer and how it relates to the flashback device.  Rumor has it there are periods in the flash back that intersect with the island and particularly the turning of the failsafe key.  How it is played out is a mystery, but we know that Desmond of the past has knowledge of the future, and may even have knowledge of Island Desmond.  That would be creepy indeed.  One thing that might upset the applecart a bit, and annoy alot of fans, if it is revealed that Penny's island discovery took place in the past and not the present.  Therefore, she is not looking for the island to find Desmond afterall... maybe she was just doing some real-estate work for the Hanso Foundation.

There you have it, our speculations and spoilers out for all to see.  The prediction then?  Game bomb and character bomb this Wednesday on LOST - 'Flashes before your eyes'.

Jon Lachonis - Buddytv, Features Writer



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