Who here has been following Lost? Its quality can be inconsistent, but when it's going right, man, it's just about the best thing on television. The last two episodes in particular have been really gripping: a tantalizing glimpse of cryptic writing which will keep the fanboys busy for weeks to come, and then last week a trippy exploration of insanity that provided an alternate framework for viewing the show.
Through my small but efficient network of sources*, I have come across the following information about the upcoming season finale. These count as MEGA SPOILERS, people! Do not read if you want to be surprised!
Several things will be revealed. First and most importantly, the island of "Lost" is filled with poison pineapples. Jack, Kate and Sun were poisoned in their first week. This does not manifest itself in physical weakness, but rather, they will each suddenly grow a third arm. The third arm, though, is not controlled like the other appendages; rather, it acts as an independent entity, a little like Ash's hand in "Evil Dead 2" but more mysterious and less malevolent. Needless to say the limbs will freak out the other survivors and these three will be kicked out, along with Jin who tags along.
This leads to the second revelation, which a lot of people have suspected all along: there are actually two factions battling for control of the island, not a monolithic group called the "others." The refugees will be captured by the group who they call the "strangers." Here they are re-united with Michael, who has pledged his loyalty to the Strangers in exchange for their help in rescuing Walt from the Others.
Meanwhile, back at the camp, Mr. Eko surprises everyone by crucifying Charlie and retrieving the rifle cache. He barricades himself in the hatch along with Locke, Ana-Lucia and "Henry." The rest of the camp watches in amazement as yet another plane crashes on the island. And inside, Mr. Eko reveals a hidden passageway that leads into the dark. In what seems like a deliberate echo of Season 1's ending, the last shot is of the four people aiming flashlights down a long, dark passageway.
Now, some thoughts:
First, the pineapple poisoning seems way out there. I don't think we've even SEEN a pineapple on this island, just lots and lots of cocanuts, but suddenly we're led to believe that they've been here all along? And, even more improbably, just three people ate them? There's something fishy about this.
The third arm sounds really intriguing, I can't wait to see what it looks like. The first thing I think of is "The Third Policeman," the title on the book Desmond grabbed from the hatch. Probably a coincidence, but I love the idea of appendages being policement. IF that's the case (and again, this seems like a stretch), those limbs are guardians and protectors of... the island? The humans? Dharma? In any case, expect them to play a bigger role soon.
We only see two of The Strangers (at least, that speak in the script I saw), and it sounds like both of them have third arms. None of The Others do. I wonder if there are two mutually exclusive diseases on the island - an Other virus and a Stranger virus.
I think it'd be great if we found out that The Others are really the good guys after all, but it sure seems like they won't be. We finally have confirmation of their army of lost children, which just can't be a good thing. The bigger question is, are The Strangers really any better?
Here's my totally wild theory: The Strangers are the direct descendents of the Dharma project, and the Others are the subjects of their experiments. One of the big "points" of the series will be that, while The Others committed all these bad things, The Strangers are ultimately responsible for what they did. Expect the blogosphere to draw lots of parallels between the show and upcoming actions by the new regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I've known for a while that Charlie was next on the kill list; they've been going out of their way to make him an unsympathetic character, plus he's probably the most high-profile actor currently on the show. Still, that was really harsh. I really dug Mr. Eko - the stuff he's doing might ultimately be for good, but he officially is out of the running for Favorite Character now.
And for the very end of the show, with the plane crash and the sideways hatch: it really feels like the writers of the show are having fun with us. They took so much flak for ending the show like that first season, it takes guts to do it again this time. That said, there's kind of a nice "Finnegan's Wake" quality to this. You can see the self-perpetuating cycle Dharma has created on the island, and can easily imagine that 15 years from now, Kate will be holed up by herself in some foxhole, torturing new survivors and trying to find out if they are Others. That's what's really chilling about the island - now more than ever, one feels that they're stuck in something so big that there will be no end to it.
UPDATE 4/13/06: I sent Pat the link and he shares his thoughts, including some great comments on Hurley and Libby's hand-made jam business.