Last night was the two-hour season finale of Lost. As with all things Lost, it was drastically over-hyped. But it was pretty good. Here are my thoughts on it, in case you're interested.
Confirmed dead: No one, except an Other shot by Sawyer. This is surprising, given the fact that the title of the episode was "Live Together, Die Alone." But then again...
Very likely dead: Desmond, who suddenly became really important in this episode. Desmond was at the epicenter of the magnetic freakstorm, and the sense of things was that he was sacrificing himself to save the island in some unexplained way. But he could still be alive, for reasons which will become apparent below.
Probably dead: Locke and Eko. Both were in the hatch when the hatch imploded/exploded, so their survival seems unlikely. From the producers' standpoint, however, it would be surprising if they killed off Locke and Eko, since the two characters are extremely popular (especially Eko). Popularity aside, however, the writers seem to have made a hard turn toward full-frontal Sci Fi and away from all that spirituality crap they've been carping on for the past two seasons, so killing off the Island's two spiritual leaders may be a dramatic way of sealing that deal. With the mystery of the button revealed, Locke and Eko's dueling faiths have lost their place in the show. Also, now that Charlie has thrown all the heroin into the ocean and made his peace with Claire, he doesn't seem to need spiritual guidance anymore.
Possibly dead, or in serious danger: Sayid, Jin, and Sun, who promptly vanished from the plotline as soon as Sayid discovered that the hut city was fake. The radio silence from that end of the storyline really bothered me.
New Information About the Hatch
This was the big selling point of the show: They were going to reveale (1) what happens when countdown goes past zero and (2) why the plane crashed. Since Lost is too stingy to make more than one big revelation per show, these two things are the same thing. It turns out that pushing the button every 108 minutes discharges some build-up of electromagnetic energy, and failing to press the button causes an electromagnetic shitstorm. How do we know this? Because the last time Desmond didn't press the button, the plane crashed! Damn you, Desmond!
New Information About the Others
Not much. I was hoping for a big show-down with the Others at the end of this episode, but there wasn't one. The Others pwnt the Castaways, just like always. The only thing we really learn is that NotHenry is the leader of the Others, which is kind of cool but doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But, given the demeanor of NotHenry in the final scenes and Beardy's terror at having to explain to "Him" why Ethan messed up the list project, I think that when NotHenry said the man in charge was a "great man, but not a forgiving man," he was actually speaking accurately about himself, not just making shit up.
We also learn the real names of Beardy (Tom) and Mrs. Clue (Bea).
There are also some hints that the Others aren't/weren't part of the Dharma Initiative, which would be a big surprise. Kelvin refers to "hostiles" when he talks about leaving the hatch, so he could be talking about the Others. Then again, he could have been lying to keep Desmond from going outside, or he could himself have been fooled by the DI higher-ups as part of the mind experiment. The Others, meanwhile, at some point were in charge of the medical hatch, but they may have taken that over. Also, if the Others were part of the Dharma Initiative I would have expected the compass bearing they give Michael at the end to escape the Island would be some permutation of "the Numbers," but it wasn't. It was 325. 324 would have been 3 x 108 (108 is the number of minutes between button pushes and also the sum of the Numbers), so the magic compass bearing is one number off. Very strange.
At the end of the day we still have no idea who the Others are. When Michael asks, "Who are you people?", NotHenry's response is "We're the good guys." So all we know is what we've known all along: The Others are some weird culty group driven by an odd definition of "good" that includes deceit, murder, and kidnapping. If I had to guess, I'd say the Others are Scientologists (oh snap!).
The hut city was revealed to be fake, but we already knew that. What was surprising was that the hut city hatch was also fake. It seems like they're setting up a lot of complicated questions regarding the Others and the Dharma Initiative that will fuel the action next season as Jack, Kate, and Sawyer begin their lives as kidnappees.
New Information About the Island
Again, not a whole lot. And nothing really concrete. We know that Desmond has been sailing for two months trying to get to Fiji, but ended up back at the Island. He says that there's no outside world, and that the Island is a "snow globe," which is an interesting concept and one that has certainly been thrown around. But, in the final scene we see a team of Russian scientists monitoring electromagnetic activity (on a computer with an English user interface!), and they seem to pick up on the freakstorm that Desmond unleashed. So there's enough outside world to observe the Island. But, the fact that the Russian scientists were in a cold, snowy environment lends some additional meaning to Desmond's "snow globe" comment.
Not really any new information on the plague, the security system didn't make an appearance, and no sign of Rousseau except one of her traps.
New Wacky Connections
The big one, obviously, is that Libby gives Desmond the boat that lands him on the Island. This is the third incarnation of Libby we see: a smartly dressed, affluent widow with strawberry blonde hair. This Libby will later turn into a brunette with a debilitating mental illness, and crazy Libby will eventually become sandy-blonde Psychologist Libby. Rumor has it that we're going to learn Libby's story through flashbacks next season, even though she's dead.
Also, Kelvin was the U.S. Army guy who in Iraq who turned Sayid into a torturer. Thanks to JMV for alerting me to that.
Penny's father is connected to the Dharma Initiative. He knows that Desmond is going on this sailboat race, and somehow sets it up so that he ends up on the Island. Once on the Island, Kelvin dutifully keeps Desmond locked in the hatch for two years, long enough for Penny to finally forget about him and marry whoever Penny's father wants her to marry. But Penny gets wise to this and figures out that she'll be able to find Desmond by looking for electromagnetic anomalies. In the final scene of season two, Penny's scientists call her and tell her that they may have found Desmond (this would be one reason for Desmond to survive the clusterfuck, since that would enable us to learn more about Penny, Desmond, and Penny's father next season).
Meanwhile, we'll learn a lot about the Others, through the eyes of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. Alex will probably become a principal character, since she's an Other but not fully on board with them. Hurley will return to camp and tell his sad tale, and Sayid and Jin will lead an expedition to rescue Jack, Kate, and Sawyer that will take at least half the season to get off the ground. If Locke and/or Eko are still alive, they'll join the campaign. Otherwise it'll probably be Brand New Charlie. Michael and Walt will probably return at some point, and Michael will help rescue Jack/Kate/Sawyer to atone for his fatherly sins.