May 8, 2009
This season of "Lost" has been the story of how five of the Oceanic 6 - all but young Aaron - returned to the island, which has jumped back in time 30 years.
When four of those five - Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Sayid (Naveen Andrews) -- finally are reunited with Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell), Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), Miles (Ken Leung) and the now dead Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) - back on the island, they find themselves 30 years in the past.
Heading into the two-hour season finale on Wednesday, May 13, Sun (Yunjin Kim) is in the present with Ben (Michael Emerson) and Locke (Terry O'Quinn), who are battling over who will lead the island. "In the grand mapping out of things, one would assume Sun has a larger role to play," says Lindelof.
Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid are all in 1977. Sawyer, Juliet, Sun's husband, Jin, and Miles have made a home for themselves there among The Dharma Initiative, a group that's set up camp to study the island and construct research facilities. Sawyer, Jin and Miles are all part of Dharma's security team, but that cover has just been blown.
Dharma has enemies on the island, The Hostiles, so the Initiative is a bit jumpy. The arrival of Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid upsets the balance; exposed as outsiders, Sawyer and Juliet are forced to arm themselves and fight their way out.
Meanwhile, Jack and Kate must decide their next course of action.
"There are two fundamental approaches to the show. There's the Jack approach, which posits that there's no real explanation for what's going on. Or there's the Locke approach, which assumes that everything on the show is happening for a very specific reason. We are very strong supporters of the Locke approach," says Lindelof.
The reason some folks have traveled back to 1977 was explained by memory-challenged physicist Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies). Faraday thinks people might be the variables in time-travel equations. That means it might be possible to diffuse the electromagnetic energy that brought down Oceanic 815 by exploding a hydrogen bomb (named "Jughead") that just happens to be on the island, allowing the past - and thus the future -- to be changed. Faraday dies before he has a chance to test that theory out, now it's up to Jack, Kate, Sawyer and the rest to decide what to do - try to change the future or let it ride.
"Not everybody is interested in Faraday's mission," says Lindelof. "It's a very divisive issue and one that the audience is feeling too. It would be a big cheat, erasing the last five years of the show, and making it so that we never came to this island in the first place."
Jack, however, has already expressed interest in Faraday's mission, while Kate is clear she wants to stick with the life she has. Regardless of what Jack and crew decide, next season will find the show's core characters all back on the island resolving why they landed on the island in the first place.
In the finale, more will be revealed about such mysterious symbols as the four-toed statue and the Egyptian hieroglyphics, says Lindelof.
The show has been a wild and often confusing ride, but Lindelof and Executive Producer Carlton Cuse say they know exactly where it's all headed.
"That was a conversation that started back between seasons one and two of the show," says Lindelof. "We are following the plan pretty much to the letter, although there is room for improvisation." Lindelof says next season - which will be the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning series' last - will bring things full circle.
"Season six will feel a lot like season one," says Lindelof. "The focus comes back to the characters with whom we began. We've been winnowing away everyone else who came along. The Tailies are gone, only Miles [Ken Leung] is left of the Freighter Folk and only Juliet [Elizabeth Mitchell] is left of The Others. We're getting down to the end now."
"The metaphor we like to use is that this is a road trip. We know we intend to end up in New York City, but maybe we'll pick up a hitchhiker or stop at a bar and get drunk along the way," says Cuse.
"And then linger there for six episodes," jokes Lindelof.