Season finale: Lost (season five)

So many answers, so little time

Lost finale

Well, you’ve got to give them one thing: they sure know how to write a cliffhanger on Lost.

So, after four seasons of some answers, but few that have been that important, season five has been something of an answer-fest. While, in traditional Lost style, additional questions have been added to the pile, we’ve been finally getting somewhere with the mysteries that show has been building up: who are the Others? Why are Ben and Widmore enemies? What’s been going on during all those flash forwards? And what were the Dharma Initiative really like?

It’s almost been too much. With answers coming left, right and centre, a lot of the emotion and relationships between everyone were drowned out – intellectually satisfying maybe, albeit at a level of sci-fi and fantasy geekdom that no one truly saw coming in season one, but leaving the heart a little unsatisfied. Ben’s flipflopped so much we don’t know where we’re at; Jack’s been more than a bit limp; Sayeed’s gone a bit loony; Faraday came and went before he made any real impact; Desmond’s barely been in it. The only true joy has been pseudo-Locke and the Jack and Juliet show.

Ah, Juliet. Let’s hope she’s alive in the future.

Nevertheless, as these revelations have come in, we’ve been treated to one of the most multi-layered, intellectually clever shows in history as fore-shadowing (and I guess post-shadowing) has explained events that happened seasons earlier. If they’re making it up as they’re going along, they’re the best ret-conners in history.

What we appear to have (and I won’t say I told you so because I didn’t quite – right idea, wrong pantheon seemingly, unless that Apollo chocolate bar that Jacob gave Jack is a hint of something else) is a war of the Egyptian gods. One god wants to kill another god, Jacob, so he pretends to resurrect Locke to get Ben to do the job for him. And with the detonation at the end of the episode, as well as the numerous flashbacks of Jacob (or is it ‘Jacob’?) meeting up with the Losties during various events in their past, it looks like Jacob has been doing counter-manipulation involving time travel to plan for that contingency.

I’m guessing that the bomb detonating really does cause time to change; since we’ve got one season left, I’m also guessing that the Losties back in 1977 aren’t dead, the time line gets changed and they’re catapulted into our present. The new arrivals on the island who seem to know so much are presumably there to stop nasty brother god and the regime change; there’s going to be some significance to Hurley’s guitar since Jacob was at pains to give it to him and to get Hurley and the other players in place from a very early date. But who knows, maybe the time lines will all shift and some entirely new but related future will be in place.

What a cliffhanger.

See, that’s the fun thing about Lost – the guessing. It’ll be a shame when it goes. It’s an odd feeling – to desperately want to see what happens next, but knowing when you do that there won’t be much left. I’m looking forward to (sort of).


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.