Lost, Season 6

Season 6: I'm Pissed
Talking television.
Feb. 3 2010 12:02 AM

Lost, Season 6


I knew that the detonation of an H-bomb, which closed Season 5 of Lost, would be a noisy act to follow. But I never expected the show's creators, always eager to retrace their own steps, would revisit the blast twice in the debut episode of the final season.

The first replay of the blast projects Lost's characters to a "present" in which Oceanic Airlines 815 completes its flight from Sydney and lands at LAX. Everybody who died in Seasons 1 through 5 now appears to be alive—I'll reckon even Mr. Eko will show up sooner or later. The other leaves Jack, Kate, Hugo, Jin, James, Miles, et al. on the island where, um, most everyone has miraculously survived the blast with no more damage done to them than if a single stick of dynamite had exploded.


Is this any way to treat a loyal audience? Split the story into two different times and have the characters inhabit both and then cut between them? I haven't been this pissed at a pop-culture product since DC Comics killed Superman and then brought him back.

Lost has become the show I love to hate because its creators are forever pulling bunnies out of their hats to 1) advance the story and 2) make the previously preposterous plot elements hang together. This special two-hour opener litters the screen with bunnies.

I won't deny that some of the bunnies resonate at a frequency that makes you take notes. For instance, the episode riffs on death, dying, and the resurrection of the previously dead like a jazz master. You've got two men in coffins—John Locke on the beach and Dr. Christian Shephard, Jack's dad, lost in transit. You've got the double burials of Juliet, first from the blast and then in a conventional dirt nap. Jack saves Charlie from choking to death on Oceanic 815 when he pulls a condom filled with dope out of his throat. And Jacob, who endures a flash-cremation moments after Ben slays him with a knife, appears like Banquo's ghost to Hugo. He gives him a hint on how to save the gravely wounded Sayid: Take him to the temple, Jacob says. And sure enough the healing waters resurrect Sayid after he's died.

That the creators thought it necessary to throw a big, carved ankh—the Egyptian hieroglyphic character for "eternal life"—into the story only demonstrates how devoted they are to keeping Lost on an infinite loop. By making death so abundant (I've lost count of how many people have been shot in the chest) and rebirth so cheap, the creators of Lost have really made it easy for themselves. But now I'm repeating myself from my first dispatch.

I look forward to Seth's take, because he is the mellow to my jaundiced yellow. But it's Chad's account that I crave. He kept my interest in the show alive in Season 5 with his learned if slightly tipsy explanations and apologias for the skitty-skat plots. Heal me, brother Matlin! Bring the show back to life for me!

Slate V: Previously on Lost: LAX

Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.



The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?


“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.