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February 1, 2010

LOST's Ultimate Question

Will the sixth season move from “where are we” to “why are we?”

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If you haven’t yet had a chance to rewatch Lost’s season 5 finale, “The Incident,” I highly recommend you find time to do so between now and tomorrow night at 8/7c. Without the question of what’s going to happen to distract your viewing, you can spend more energy picking up the details you may have missed the first time around (or just plain forgot sometime in the last nine months). This episode is so much more than an exciting race to turn back time — it’s a meditation on the nature of good and evil (note: not necessarily good vs. evil), the consequences of choices, and, of course, the ultimate showdown in the fate vs. free will debate.

I think we’re about to get an answer to that last question — the premiere will pick up right where we left our castaways, and those first few minutes should make it clear whether Jack's plan succeeded. But a brand-new promo, the first to feature season six material, hints that there may actually be a bigger question at stake:

(Promo discussed after the jump)

After months of rewatching, I had nearly forgotten the excitement of not knowing what comes next, but one line in particular really caught my attention:

Locke: “What if I told you I could answer the most important question in the world?”

Sawyer: “And what question is that?”

Locke: “Why are you on this island?”

We haven’t really dealt with this question of purpose before, but it may be the question (in Lost as in life). The answer, as this promo suggests, seems to lie in the redemption paths that lie ahead for each character. It brings to mind the last verse of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” which goes:

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.

How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fullfill the book.
Won't you have to sing
This songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs -
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

The question for our castaways has never been about freeing themselves from the island, or from time, but about freeing themselves of the pain and hurt their past decisions have caused themselves and others. Is this possible? How will they do this? And who (or what) is the real source of change? These are the questions I’ll be following as the action unfolds.

How about you? What questions do you hope the show will answer?

Related Tags: Lost, redemption, TV

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