’cause last night’s Lost was great. Plot line twists and narrative structure shifts have made this one of the best episodes to date. Most of all, the mystery the series depends on shifts even more by taking the main focus (will they get off the island) and answering “yes.” Yet there are three seasons remaining. Guess what? That wasn’t the real mystery here. The mystery of will they get off the island or who are the Dharma Initiative has been mostly answered. There are other mysteries (why have their lives changed/who is in the coffin, etc.) that are maybe more important. From the pages of Lostpedia,
This episode marks the beginning of the “flash-forward” mechanism and the decline of the flashbacks used in past seasons. Rather than primarily theorizing/speculating on what events will happen next, from now on fans will be given each character’s separate “endings” and will get to theorize/speculate on what happened that lead them to where they are now–whether it be life AFTER/OFF the island (e.g. Jack, Kate), life STILL on the island (e.g. Locke perhaps?), or how they ended up dead (e.g. the unknown body in the coffin).
That is one possibility. The time travel/time shift angle is most intriguing in Lost. Part of that angle is narrative structure (how to tell a story in a number of ways); the other part might comprise a sort of Phillip K. Dick/Marvel comics play on “What if…” What if coming back changed time (i.e., Jack’s dad is still alive; Kate is now not a fugitive)? What if coming back changes one’ s own narrative in unwanted ways (Jack wanting to go back…)? While “fate” pivots on a cliche trope for narrative (“it was our fate”), the show seems to play with it in both predictable ways (you can’t change destiny) and other ways (destiny may mean different things within different levels of time).
I’ll wait to hear what some fellow Lost watchers (Derek, Collin, Donna) have to say as well.