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Lost Redux: Wow. Just...Wow. We Finally Know What the Island Is

Lost, Nestor Carbonell ABC/MARIO PEREZ

Dear Academy of Television Arts and Sciences: You can just go ahead and give Nestor Carbonell that Emmy he clearly earned on tonight's Lost. No, there's no need to vote or anything! It's a done deal. Thanks.

Dear Lost fans: Holy @#$%! Was that an amazing episode or was that a mind-blowingly amazing episode wrapped in all kinds of fantastic!

Get on in here for scoop on what sure feels like the best Lost episode yet this season (ever?!) where we finally found out what that damn island is, and Richard Alpert ripped our hearts out with a shiv...

That Four-Letter Word! After much vague and (sorry) probably annoying teasing on my part, you all finally learned the four-letter word that describes the island tonight: CORK! One O. No A's. No E's. And you better not whine. (Get it?) In case you missed it, here are the uber-important mythological words you must devour, ponder and treasure, courtesy of the Almighty Jacob (whom I finally believe is fully good despite his nefarious beginnings on Dexter):

"Think of this wine as what you keep calling hell," Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) tells Richard Alpert, holding the wine bottle. "There's many other names for it too--malevolence, evil, darkness, and here it is, swirling around in the bottle unable to get out because if it did, it would spread. The cork is this island. And it's the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs."

So Now We Know What the Island Is: Or rather, what it does. It prevents all Evil (the Man in Black) from seeping out into the rest of the world, which would be a very bad thing. We had hints of this with Hurley's numbers, which came from the island (overheard by military personnel stationed in the Pacific) and wreaked all kinds of havoc on Hugo's loved ones. Imagine, if those numbers are a teensy trickle of wine that aerated out, what the entire bottle would do to the world as we know it. Not good.

Lost Jacob Mark Pellegrino

And Now We Know Why the Losties Are There: "That man who sent you to kill me [the Man in Black] believes that everyone is corruptible because it's in their very nature to sin," Jacob explains. "I bring people here to prove him wrong and when they get here, their past doesn't matter. I [want] them to help themselves to know the difference between right and wrong without me having to tell them. It's all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything."

The Island Is a Sort of Purgatory: It's not hell, and the Losties aren't dead. But they are given a second chance at reclaiming their innocence because "their past doesn't matter." Redemption is a very real element of this island and very much attainable unless you're poor Sayid.

Sob! Call me a sap, but I started tearing up when Jacob described the island and then touched Richard (just as he has the Losties on the list of candidates) to give him eternal life. Such a great, emotional payoff to so many big questions. But the waterworks really came right after--in the scene with Richard and Isabella's ghost communicating through Hurley, which has to be one of the most spine-tingly epic scenes of this series so far. And it just sets up where everything is heading…

Spoilers: Spoiler Line: Do Not Cross

More Four-Play: Just what you wanted (no?) a new four letter word that will be revealed in two weeks which is very important. If you want to play along, here goes:  This word has no A's, one E, and as of episode 11 it will be clear that this four-letter word is what this series is ultimately all about. It's also the word that just might end up connecting the two worlds (the island and the Flash-Sideways Los Angeles) we've been seeing all season long.

Scoop on next week's episode:

  • There's a reveal about Jin and Sun that will shock you. They are ­­*o* *a*****!
  • We'll see Daniel Dae Kim shirtless. (You're welcome, Josh Holloway, who lobbied for that. And you're welcome, world.)
  • Fake Locke reveals what they need to leave the island.
  • We learn that a female Lostie is "expendable."
  • There will be a "package."

Got Q's for Nestor Carbonell? In the middle of watching this insane episode, I booked some phone time with Nestor because clearly, there are things we must discuss! Send me your questions/comments for Nestor via Twitter @kristinalert, via email tvdiva@eonline.com or in the comments below. Then check back tomorrow afternoon for answers.

Favorite Comment of the Night So Far: "So the island is on top of a hellmouth? Forget the Oceanic 6 and the rest of them. What we need is Buffy and the gang to cork it."--Avond76 via Twitter

What did you think of tonight's episode? Agree that it's the best so far this season? Anyone think it's the best episode of all seasons? Discuss!

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Oh, and did you hear that Michael Emerson was injured shooting one of his last Lost scenes ever? Marc Malkin has the scoop.

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