So now you know.
In tonight's episode of Lost, we learned what the entire series really is all about.
It's a four-letter word. It's not spoilery. And according to Damon Lindelof himself, it is what Lost "always has been…always will be."
That word is...
As in, test tube.
As in, test tube monkeys!
[Sorry, an old inside joke I couldn't resist--a source once told me test tube monkeys were inside the hatch, and I, um, believed him.]
The real word is:
You all already figured it out, right?
Well, I would still like to consider myself only partially lobotomized, if you don't mind, because (a) I need to make up for that monkey incident and (b) Damon Lindelof made me think I was smart!
A couple weeks ago, after I got a little intel on tonight's episode, I floated the following theory to Damon: "Is it safe to say that at its very core Lost is a love story?"
Damon replied: "You are the very first person ever to get the meaning of the show. Yes. It is a love story. Always has been...always will be."
I tell you this not to brag (Damon's message framed above my mantel does the trick), but because if you are a fan of the show's "constants"--Desmond and Penny, Charlie and Claire, Sun and Jin, Rose and Bernard, Daniel and Charlotte, Richard and Isabella, etc.--then, like me, those words from Damon just might be the sweetest ones you've ever heard about this series.
Obviously, there will be plenty of other things going on in Lost's final episodes: What happens to the Man in Black, the Island, Jacob, etc. But after tonight's episode, I think we can safely assume why the actors and producers keep saying that the end of Lost will be "emotional"--and why Carlton Cuse told us, "If it matters to our characters, it matters to us"--because a huge driving force in the end is whether the Losties will reconnect with the people they love...or not.
Which brings us to the not-so-sweet part: Damon also told me: "It's gonna get painful before it's over."
WHAT WE LEARNED
The Flash-Sideways World Is Probably Not How Things Are Supposed to Be: We know this first from Charlie (Dominic Monaghan was back, yay!), who recounted his near-death experience to Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) tonight: "I'm slipping into the abyss and then I see her. A woman. Blonde. Rapturously beautiful. And I know her. We're together. It's like we've always been and always will be." [Editor's note: Sound familiar? Those are Damon's words!] "This feeling, this love."
Later, Daniel Faraday Widmore (Jeremy Davies) tells Des a similar "love at first sight" story of spotting Charlotte (Rebecca Mader) at the museum, and delivers this money Q: "What if this all this wasn't supposed to be our life? What if we had some other life, and for some reason we changed things?" Hmmm…what if? Then the Sideways Losties would certainly have some work to do to set things right! Eloise, knower of all things, help a brotha out!
Desmond and Penny Are One of the Greatest TV Couples of All Time: That stadium scene tonight? Are you kidding me?! Epic. Freaking epic. I don't know why Joseph Fiennes is so worried about that other guy trying to steal Sonya Walger on FlashForward, because clearly her chemistry with Desmond Hume is off the charts.
Desmond Is Important Now: Our favorite time-jumping Scotsman appears to be the only Lostie who can withstand massive amounts of electromagnetic energy without frying his brain. (Who needs a silly race around the world when you can do that?!) This special gift seems to be the reason the Man In Black (Terry O'Quinn) was not pleased to see Desmond Hume on Charles Widmore's submarine ("I don't like surprises"), and why he sent Sayid (Naveen Andrews) to kidnap Desmond at the end of tonight's episode. According to Widmore, Desmond's "talent is vital to our mission," and we shall see if Widmore's endgame is the same as Jacob's, Hurley's and Jack's: to stop the Man in Black.
Easter Egg: We're slyly reminded that Desmond always had his "talent" by the reappearance of George Minkowski (Fisher Stevens) as his chauffeur in the Sideways world. George, you may remember, was the communications officer who went crazy and ultimately died on the freighter, while Desmond was able to survive the "Flashes" as he bounced back and forth between realities in Lost's first-ever foray into time travel in the episode "The Constant."
WHAT LIES AHEAD
The Two Worlds Must Be Coming Together…Right? After all, Desmond is getting his hands on the flight manifest with the mission of showing the other Flight 815 passengers what he saw: The life they are supposed to be living. See you in another life, brotha, indeed!
Hurley! Next week's episode is Hurley-centric, and there will be some sadness. As you can tell from tonight's promo, Hurley will be leading Jack to see what they are supposed to do. Anyone else loving that six seasons in, the two guys you'd never have thought would be most important are running the show: Desmond the Hatch dude and Hurley the comedic sidekick?
Oh, Lost, how I love you. I don't even need to meet you on the stadium steps to remember how much.
There's a coffee shop at the corner of Sweetzer and Melrose. I'll meet you there in an hour, 'kay?
In the meantime, who would like to meet me in the comments to discuss the LOVEly direction that Lost seems to be heading? Are you digging it? Anyone else agree that tonight's episode is their favorite of the season, perhaps the entire series?
All I know is that the idea that we all have another someone (a "constant") we are destined to be with, and not even an atomic bomb or evil personified can keep us apart, well, that is just a beautiful thing.
And for you with the hearts of stone, fear not: You'll get your sci-fi and mythology, too.
Check out what my WWK "constant" Megan Masters (swoon) had to say about tonight's episode in her on-camera debut, at AOL's Instant Dharma!