Lost has always been a show that has posed far more questions than it has answered. The prior seasons have always pulled back the scale of the narrative rather than simply closing out a single story. Let’s sit around the fire and discuss some very rough thoughts about the episode after the break…
After the first season introduced the characters and the Island. Then, Rousseau and the Others. The Dharma Initiative and the Island’s unique electromagnetic properties. Ben Linus and Charles Widmore were involved in some kind of global war. Time travel and frozen donkey wheels. Then the latest pull back revealed some long-lived guardians of the midichlorians at the center of the Island.
Will this be satisfying at the end of the series? It’s hard to tell at this point. But this episode did certainly have a lot of action and surprises. Unfortunately, much of the action seemed to preclude the possibility of learning about the war between Ben and Charles Widmore.
How long has it been since we’ve spent time with Ben Linus in this season? Sideways Ben had a Des-induced near death experience and flashed on his Island experiences (mostly of getting beat up by the Lostaways.) And only after that does he get to spend time with Alex and Danielle. Michael Emerson played a nice beat of recognition that he knows that he lost Alex, who was his adopted daughter in the original timeline and he served as a father figure in the sideways world.
Jack has continued his evolution to man of faith from skeptical man of science who wanted to use any means possible to get off the Island. Original recipe Man in Black was like pre-Oceanic 6 Jack– all he wanted was to leave the Island. But leaving the Island forced Jack to realize that original recipe Locke was correct that the Island is a special place (complete with glowing cave of mystery log flume ride.)
But we’re not going to have an idea of what the stakes of the sideways universe are until the finale. We still don’t know what the interaction between the increasingly-aware of the other timeline characters in the sideways world and the original recipe lostaways will be.
So ultimately, I worry that judgment of the entire sixth season is largely dependent on how well the show sticks the landing in The End. Considering all of the narrative threads the show has introduced over the last six seasons, is it going to be able to tie them all up in 2.5 hours?