Above: "LOST: Flight 815 Crash in Real Time," by YouTube user pyram1dhead
As of today, it is but one week until the premiere of the sixth and final season of the television show, "Lost." It is both an exciting and bittersweet occasion; though the new season brings new episodes and answers to long lingering questions, it is also the last season. There is no more.
- Spoilers and Predictions Found Below -
Last season was splendid due to its commitment to explore the issue of time travel and how interlopers from the future prove the concept of fate by only being capable of bringing about that which has already occurred. Some of the characters, however, unconvinced that what happened has already happened and cannot be changed, detonated a hydrogen bomb on the island in the late 1970s, where they found themselves after a number of anomalies stranded them there. If the program is to remain consistent in its theory of time travel, then the resulting explosion would change nothing about the future: the castaways would still find themselves on the Island in 2004 after having survived the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. All efforts of the characters to change that fate from the past would inevitably fail, as they were destined to crash on the Island, face the Others, find themselves transported to the past, attempt to change the future, but only bring about the future that brought them to the past in the first place to bring about that same future.
But as a narrative strategy, that may not be very satisfying. It would not be very pleasing to the audience to learn in the first several minutes of the premiere that all of their favorite characters were obliterated in the explosion but failed to change the future. So, I predict one of two possible outcomes which will be revealed in the first episode of the sixth season. One, viewers will learn that despite what we saw there was no explosion at all. Certainly, the last image we saw was the character of Juliet Burke frantically hitting the bomb and then a flash of white light. But that is not necessarily confirmation of an explosion; it may have just been a fade to white.. Two, and probably more likely, we will learn that the characters were successful in both detonating the device and changing the future. In so doing, their 2004 will be radically transformed: instead of crashing on the island in September of 2004 as we know they did, their plane will not crash and they will travel from Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles, California without incident, thereby erasing the events of the first five seasons. The characters, who came to know each other well over the past five seasons, will exit their plane at LAX never having met. But what then? Perhaps the Island will draw them back together in the unexplained mysterious ways that it does so many other things. I'm curious to learn how the cliffhanger will be resolved. And I will, in a week.
The YouTube video above, by the way, is a splendidly fun experiment by the enterprising user, pyram1dhead, who created a 24-style real time mash-up of all of the views and vantage points of the crash of Flight 815 from various episodes throughout the past five seasons.