“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
– T. S. Eliott
I bet you were wondering if I’d quote the Doors. Fine, I will.
This is the end, my only friend, the end … of my four part “Journey to Redemption.” This is where we take a brief look back at where we have been so that we may know where we are going. This is where we figure out how “Lost” might end.
In part one I introduced you to the monomyth, or the twelve major steps along the journey. As a quick reminder they are:
1. Ordinary World
2. Call to Adventure (Catalyst)
3. Refusal of the Call
5. First Threshold (Big Event)
7. Approach to Inmost Cave (Pinch)
8. Ordeal (Crisis)
9. The Reward
10. The Road Back
11. The Showdown (Resurrection)
12. The Realization (Return with the Elixir)
In part two we explored how the first five steps made up Act One of a story and how Season One of “Lost” was that Act One. We learned how our four heroes see themselves: Jack – a savior (doctor), Kate – a fugitive (murderer), Sawyer – a con-man (a complicated man), and Locke – a mysterious hunter. Each have been given an opportunity to find their true identities, but because of the wounds they carry with them, they refused and needed outside help in the form of a mentor or sidekick to take the next step and cross the threshold into their journeys.
In part three we made our first startling discovery of what this journey may mean. As Season Two unfolded our heroes were tested with the question of “who are the Others?” Are they friend or foe? After realizing that Benjamin Linus was the man leading the “Others” and manipulating almost all the events on the island it became clear that he is our heroes’ true nemesis. By the end of Season Three our heroes entered their approach to their “inmost caves” and got what they wanted: apparent rescue or an island community. The will soon learn that what they wanted was the worst thing that could happen to them. It has become clear that Season Four will end with a Crisis, bring Act Two to a close, and things will seem most bleak.
Now, with part four, let’s look at the last steps of our journey and enter Act Three.
9. The Reward
This is the beginning of Act Three. By this point our heroes are living their truth with nothing to lose and accepting the consequences.
Both Jack and Locke have accepted their roles as leaders of their respective tribes.
However, Locke is a step ahead of everyone, as usual. The island has made his purpose clear; he is to protect it. We see him making decisions, under various influences, and taking responsibility for them. Now if my Season Four predictions hold true then we will find Locke at the beginning of Season Five mounting an insurrection against the islands newest inhabitants. Ben will appear to be his ally, but Ben has already gone through this journey and he now sees himself as beyond merely protecting the island. Ben has developed a God-complex. It is most notable in that he has tried to create life where he shouldn’t; using machines and technology. What would Jacob say? Where does that technology come from? Charles Widmore. So why does Ben want to destroy him? He sees him as another God, competing for control of his universe. As in Highlander, “There can be only one.”
Jack is just starting to assume his true essence as leader. It is already obvious that at the beginning of Season Five he will try to reunite the Oceanic Six and return to the island. The question is why? As I’ve speculated he will come to despise himself in the Season Four Finale, but that isn’t enough for him to realize he has to go back. I think the first piece of that puzzle will come early in the season (if not the end of this one) when Jack will discover just exactly who Aaron is, or more specifically, who Claire is. It will lead Jack on a Season Five journey to Australia. Where he searches his father’s mysterious past and discovers how he really died (oh yeah, I’ve never bought into the “drank himself to death” explanation). The answer to that question will galvanize Jack’s resolve to return to the island.
But Kate is harder to convince. She’s free…so to speak. She can’t leave California but her real prison was the deal she struck to get her freedom. She has Aaron in her care because of Charles Widmore. He is the “him” she was referring to in “Through the Looking Glass.” The whole purpose of her trial was to put the lie on record. In Season Five Kate will be forced to re-embrace her old identity as a fugitive when she finally chooses to go back with Jack, despite knowing what returning to the island will mean for her (think Eko).
It won’t merely mean returning to see Sawyer. Though at the beginning of Season Five expect Sawyer to have been left for dead and now trapped by the island invaders (who I’m still calling the “Freighties”). Sawyer’s unique situation will give him the opportunity to see just who is on the other side. Now, being emotionally attached to the community he has joined, Sawyer will use his skills as a con-man to discover what Ben’s true goal has been all along. It’s not merely creating new life, but recreating life. The boy really misses his mommy.
With his true purpose uncovered, this will force Ben to leave the island, seemingly defeated, but now he’ll have the Oceanic Six, who are unaware of what has actually happened on the island, and he can manipulate them to his purpose.
However, by the middle of Season Five nearly all of the mysteries will be revealed and the goal will become clear: Save the island and make sure no one will ever find it again. Thus begins the road back.
10. The Road Back
There is really only one purpose to this point of the journey – rededication. This is where the hero, realizing his true goal, must achieve it or die trying. It is often depicted as a chase scene in most feature films. It will be the second half of Season Five for “Lost”. So expect the action to be at break-neck speed and a finale that will be bigger than any “Lost” has seen thus far.
For the Oceanic Six it will mean enacting a daring plan to return to the island. I believe that through their contact with Charlotte and Daniel, Jack and Kate will discover the many “tentpoles” that hold up the island “tower.” These “tentpoles” are the areas of the world where on-island phenomena have appeared off-island (i.e. Tunisia). If items can leave the island through these “tentpoles” or doorways, they’ll discover a way to reverse the doorway and go to the island. They’ll discover this at a price, because Ben, the one person already aware of this, will kill the man who gives them this information – Sayid. There are many other twists and turns that I expect (Ben/Charles kidnapping Ji Yeon, Michael destroying the freighter and himself, Desmond reuniting with the Six and Penelope helping them fight her father, etc.). No one is safe.
This will make the “second purge” by Locke, Claire, Richard, and “The New Hostiles” that much more dangerous. It will be the Season Finale and it will not go according to plan. There’s no gassing the island, so it will be upfront and brutal. Expect heavy casualties – such as Claire, Richard, Charlotte or Daniel, and the outcome will most likely fail though the full outcome will not be revealed unless the Oceanic Six return in the finale. The main thing will be that the two groups will learn that divided they could not save the island.
And now, this is it ladies and gentlemen. We’re entering Season Six. Grab a Dharma bunny and hold on tight.
11. The Showdown (or Resurrection)
It’s the big face off and it comes in two forms. The hero faces his nemesis one last time; and, the hero makes one final attempt at living life true to their essence. There will be many subplots resolved in this Season, but there is only one major goal: Save the island and prevent it from ever being found again.
Ben, the nemesis, knows that he’s been “outed.” No more games. He must also reach his goal or die trying. His only hope is returning to the island to destroy it. Ben will be under the belief that life cannot be recreated unless the whole process is started over. While new life may be created, he cannot bring back the dead unless he forces the island to bring itself back from the dead.
Jack , Kate, Desmond, Hurley, Sun, and Aaron will return to the island knowing what Ben is going to attempt to do – destroy the failsafe and cause the island to collapse on itself. Jack and Locke will finally unite as the leaders, but will they remain united? That is what will determine the Series Finale.
Jack will finally accept his role as leader/savior. He has already shown, on many occasions, that he cannot accept defeat. He cannot “let it go.” However…
Locke is a man who sees himself as the island’s chosen protector. Is he willing to share that role with Jack, let alone step aside and allow him to do it?
Their struggle will finally bring an end to Kate and Sawyer’s struggle.
Let me be more precise. I believe that they will fail. Ben will detonate the failsafe and cause the island to begin to implode. They will fail because ultimately, Locke will betray Jack in some manner, but in so doing he will actually allow for Jack to truly save them, because Jack will have to travel back to the moment of the plane crash, but he will be unable to do it alone (perhaps bloodied and weak) and the only person who will be able to help him is Kate. Sawyer will recognize this, and for the good of everyone he will let her go and she will finally make a decision to stay with someone – Jack.
This will bring us to what I have always expected to be the realization of the show.
12. The Realization (Return with the Elixir)
In the aftermath of the final showdown we see that the hero has changed, grown, or finally figured something out. They have achieved their destiny, their true essence.
If Locke had accepted the purpose he initially sought when he entered the Swan station then none of this would have happened. But if it hadn’t, then the island, and the world, would have been destroyed (according to the Valenzeti equation) if nothing was done and Ben was never confronted. Therefore, Locke’s desire, and ultimate failure, will be his ultimate achievement. For in allowing Ben to achieve his goal and destroy the fail safe he will provide Jack and Kate with the opportunity to travel back through time and save everyone.
Sawyer’s journey, however, has always been inward. The complicated man will finally be able to put others ahead of himself when he gives up “surviving” for “living.” He’ll place his hope in the belief that if Jack and Kate succeed, and change the outcome, that maybe she’ll choose him.
Jack and Kate, savior and destroyer, will journey back to the island, back to the plane crash, with the realization that both must face their fear. The series will end the same way it begun, with Jack waking up in the jungle, stumbling out to the plane crash, rescuing people, then finding Kate, coming out of the jungle. There will be slight differences, ones that will let us know that this time things will be different. Perhaps Kate won’t be rubbing her wrists where her shackles had been. Perhaps, Gary Troup won’t get sucked into the jet engine. Either way, the end is where we start from.
All will be redeemed or face judgment. I believe Locke and Sawyer both will find redemption, while Jack and Kate are given the opportunity to try again. They’ll most likely discover that in one of the “loops” they were Adam and Eve, or that perhaps Desmond and Penelope are. Which makes us wonder, how will our other favorite characters’ stories end?
PURE SPECULATION (i.e. I haven’t done the research necessary to give a more detailed theory)
Hurley will survive to the end. In fact, he’ll be the one that captures/kills Ben after he detonates the fail safe. Of course it will be too late, but he’ll spark the idea of “creating our own luck” which will lead to…
Desmond, still alive, telling Jack that if he goes into the “rift” created by the new detonation that he’ll be “unstuck in time” and that in “another life, brother” he might be able to prevent this outcome, or at least delay it.
Sun, who left Ji Yeon with Penelope off island, will be reunited with Jin (assuming he died on island) when she helps…
Michael destroy the freighter, thus, insuring that the only way to and from the island is through the “tentpoles” that will be destroyed when the island is destroyed.
The whole discovery of the “tentpoles,” as I’ve pointed out will cost Sayid his life. He’ll beat the tar out of Ben once more, but this time, Ben will manage to kill him.
Ben will ultimately be judged by the island. When he comes face to face with Smokey, he’ll wish he got bounced from tree to tree.
The remaining cast – Claire, Alex, Danielle, Richard, Charlotte, Daniel, Juliet….don’t expect them to make it to the end of Season Six. I’ll miss Claire the most…and cheer when it’s Juliet’s turn!
When Season Four returns from hiatus we can watch closely to see how this journey unfolds. Will I amend this theory? No. It will neither stand nor fall based on one episode, or two, but instead based on the final two seasons. However, I will begin a new series I’m calling, “Breaking Lost” where I take each part of an episode (From teaser to tag) and analyze the structure in order to determine the intent. If each episode is a piece of the mosaic then understanding the purpose of the episode is like looking at the picture on the box to see where that piece should go. In that way, we can continue to follow the subplots while keeping an eye on the big one.
Hope you enjoyed the journey. Leave a comment to let me know what you thought.