“Whatever happened, happened.” Season five of the acclaimed introduced this phrase to succinctly contrast its concept of time travel with other popular concepts. In fact, frequent-voice-for-the-audience Hurley references explicitly so can differentiate that idea of time travel from what its characters are experiencing.
By the end of the season five, we’re made to question this notion that has been so carefully crafted. Perhaps the first answer we will get when season six begins on Feb. 2 will be whether or not Jack was correct in thinking that events can be changed for the better.
It should be the beginning of many answers to come, answers that fans have been waiting on for years now. The show has always encouraged a lively tradition of speculation due to the amount of care put into crafting the mythology of the universe by its writers and creators.
The fact that has these things going for it in combination with strong character-based writing makes it a rare breed of TV shows indeed. It’s a program that stands out and reminds us that when firing on all cylinders, the medium of television can succeed creatively on the same level as a well-plotted novel or film. need not be a guilty pleasure for anyone.
There are too many open-ended mysteries to mention within one article, but I thought it would be informative to run down some of the things that I’m most interested in seeing resolved in the final season. Please note that this is intended for fans up-to-date with the latest episodes, because there will be, by necessity, a few spoilers from the five already aired seasons this point onward.
Let me encourage those who haven’t been watching this show to stop here. ABC’s official website is currently streaming every episode from the beginning should you decide to check it out.
Locke’s Destiny: as his character-centric flashbacks have shown, John Locke is a man that has endured one tragic circumstance after another by the people who betray his trust. Whether it was his conniving father, his only lover leaving him on one knee, his comrade at the plantation who turns out to be a G-man or the phone-sex operator, John is always eventually betrayed.
When he arrived on the Island, it finally seemed like he had found a purpose. We were told that John Locke is special in that he has a destiny to fulfill on the Island, the destiny of leadership. Lost had showed us his miraculous healing and eventually his literal resurrection.
Yet season five’s time travel shenanigans methodically demystified the legend of John Locke, culminating in the last episode where we are made to believe that all of John’s time on the Island had been in service of leading him into one final con of cosmic proportions. Did we also get misled into thinking that Locke would ever be anything more than a patsy? I’m looking forward to the way his arc will resolve in light of the two personalities last season’s finale had introduced.
Jacob/The Man in Black: at the outset of the show while there were still no answers to any big-picture questions, there were a lot of speculations about supernatural forces at work on the island. Is the Island itself sentient? Just who are the Others? Why must a button be pushed in the Hatch to “save the world?” As some of the questions eventually unraveled, we were led away from supernatural explanations.
However, with Jacob and his nemesis coming to the forefront, seems to be asking us to look at things through that perspective of supernatural interference once again. Two ageless men now seem to have been fixing everything that’s happened since episode one. One of them can grant his ageless quality to others (Jacob to Richard), and the other can alter himself to look like another person entirely.
The Man in Black now seems to be the most likely candidate behind many of the “ghosts” seen on the island and possibly even the smoke monster itself. Now that we know the conflict between these two has been affecting the castaways since before they arrived on the Island, the entirety of the first five seasons must be re-evaluated in the light of what their motivations are.
Widmore/Hawking/Ben: Speaking of motivations, where do these characters’ loyalties lie? Although Ben has perpetually been an obtuse character (occasionally too obtuse to be believable), we now know a bit more about him than at the beginning. We now know that he legitimately cared for his daughter, he cannot stand being left out of the loop or not being recognized and he had daddy issues like many other characters on .
The specifics of Ben and Widmore’s conflict haven’t been explicitly expounded upon and yet despite them being clearly pitted against each other, Ben has no problem working with Eloise Hawking, mother of one of Widmore’s children.
The interactions of these powerful characters are intertwined in such ways that that it’s hard to make heads or tails of anything with the working information we have. I’ll be looking to see which of these (if any) will turn out to be the “good guy.”
There’s plenty of time in the remaining 17 episodes for writers to wrap up this tale up nicely. Here’s looking forward to the most entertaining drama that’s not on NBC’s late night lineup.