Between the Smoke Monster, Mrs. Hawking, Jacob's cabin, the sideways timeline, and Desmond, is it even possible we'll get a Lost finale that satisfies the fan base?
—Peter B., via the Answer B!tch inbox
We've already been conditioned to expect not-much-of-anything from the show's creators, at least, when it comes to explaining most of the crackpot—and often discarded—red herrings we've seen over the years. Still, I have reason to believe that true fans (read: apologists) will like it fine. How do I know? I talked to a cast member, of course...
And a recent one, at that. I speak of Sheila "Zoe" Kelley, who, as she puts it, had the honor of being killed by the John Locke/Smokey Man Thing this week.
Here's what she tells me: "There are so many questions that were brought up that I'm not sure you're going to get the answer to all of them, but the satisfaction is going to be great, because—I suspect very highly—you're going to get answers to the core of the story, the core characters. And that includes the island as a core character."
Kelley's answer pretty much lines up with what rabid fans and Lost scholars—and there are such people, yes—suspect will happen with the finale. In general, they tell me, don't expect the Lost finale to be as satisfying as, say, the final episode of the Carson show, or Cheers.
"I am really hoping they pull this off," says David Lavery, co-author of Lost's Buried Treasures: The Unofficial Guide To Everything Lost Fans Need to Know. "But my expectation is to be kind of disappointed. But then again, that doesn't ruin the trip we've all been on."
But don't necessarily expect the kind of critical skewering fielded by Seinfeld or the creators of the Sopranos, either.
"Those who are looking for resolutions to major arcs and characters' stories will probably be satisfied," says James McGrath, a Butler University professor who teaches a course on religion and science fiction. "But those who have latched onto every detail and constructed elaborate theories will probably be left feeling frustrated."
My translation? If by "latched onto" you mean "paid attention to," or "noticed," then prepare to be disappointed. And when you are disappointed—so the conventional fanboy conditioning goes—it will be all your fault, for thinking in the first place.