Are there seriously only four more episodes this year? And then only one more season after this? Cue my panic attack and withdrawal symptoms now, please.

First, I want to give credit directly to the guys who write "Lost."  All of you.  Because the more you've gotten a handle on the show, the more you've grown confident in the answers behind what you're doing... the more I think you're going to pull it off.  Because you do magic tricks on this show.  You take this bits and pieces that you've laid out over the last five years, and you connect the dots, not because you knew exactly how you'd get there, or even if this is exactly where you'd end up, but because you were confident that the world and the cast of characters you've created will give you the right opportunities to pay things off.  It's a game, and that's the thrill.  When you've asked the audience to invest in a show like this, it's a high-wire act.  Can you stick the landing?  You'll have to excuse me if I'm watching out of the half-fear that at some point, the show will simply drive off into a ditch and implode. 

But we're not talking about an ending that's in some unforseeable future.  It's next year.  They've got to be talking about how this ends right now, already fairly clear in the ideas they're hoping to pull together by that point.  In order to pull off all those magic tricks, you've had to introduce new characters over the course of the show.  When it really works, you get a Desmond or a Ben.  Guys who are part of the larger fabric of the show.  When it doesn't really work, Anna Lucia leaves the show early.  That's part of the freedom of a story this big.  People don't have to be in the whole thing.  They can just play a part.  And some of them exit stage left.

I think tonight is the night that Miles became a Desmond or a Ben.

[more after the jump]

By that, I mean an out-of-left-field character who has that one episode or that one moment where they just clicked into the big picture, where they offered a storytelling opportunity that pays off in spades.  And I think I know exactly where they're taking Miles and his father this season.  And I'm totally fine with that.  If they do, it drops a lot of other opportunities into the writer's laps.  It is a stroke of lucky genius to connect Miles back to Pierre Chang, the man on the tapes, the original face of DHARMA.  And if they do what I think they're going to do with Miles offering his father some information that leads him to make a difficult choice, it casts so much of the show in a different light.  And they didn't plan all of that ahead of time.  They couldn't have.  But along the way, as the opportunity presented itself, they figured it out, and the result is one of those episodes that plays as both pure pleasure and information overload.

The fallout from Kate's decision to take Ben and Sawyer's decision to help her is starting to settle, and it's going to get very ugly very quickly.  The teams are coming into focus, and what's interesting is the way there are more players in the game than we thought there were... or maybe I should say there are different players in the game.  Widmore's goals and tactics, all conducted from off-stage this week, are fascinating.  And I honestly don't know who's "good" or "bad," and I'm not sure I think it matters.  I think the Island is the hero of the series, and ultimately, I'm rooting for The Island to win.  Whoever it has to use, however it has to use them, the Island has a plan.

Sawyer is pretty much done as "LaFleur" after this week, and I think he and Juliet are about to get to called out as fakes.  That doesn't mean everyone's about to get their cover blown.  Jin and Miles and Hurley could be all right, at least for a while.  And they need to be for certain things to play out.  Now that Faraday is back, I think some big answers are about to get laid on us.  No doubt, he's been putting the pieces together, and he's back to bring the whole season full-circle.

We still don't know why Miles can hear dead people, or read them, or sense them or whatever word you want to use.  But we have a better idea that it's tied to his being from the island, and that someone has the answers that he's looking for.  The cult or the secret society or whatever the hell they are that we met last week and then saw again this week... with the guy from "Choke" playing a much bigger role this week... is starting to get sort of creepy as they come into focus.  They seem pretty confident about what they know.  And if they're not working with Widmore, and since I don't think they have anything to do with Ben, who are they with?  And what do they know that we don't?

Of course, the thing that I'm sure resonated the hardest with a lot of people, and that people are going to be talking about today, is the stuff with Miles and Hurley.  And this is where that magic trick I was talking about really took place this week.  Because they used Hurley just right, to pile on the exposition, but they also kept him funny, and they also used him to connect up one big ass piece of mythology with the serial number on the Hatch, and they also used him to play a fun time travel joke that played right to the geeks.  And even better, his personal moments pushing Miles and Pierre together was pretty great.  Miles and Hurley are the best comic duo the show's ever had.  Ken Leung is the perfect foil for Jorge Garcia, and I hope they stay connected through the home stretch of the show.

A word on the schedule. I am annoyed to the point of blue balls at the clips show scheduled for next week, but there are mitigating factors that seem to me to be a fair trade. There are four more episodes. If they showed them straight through, we would see the last one on May 13th. So next week is a clips show, then there's one on the 29th, one on the 6th, and then part one and part two of the finale on May 13th. So it's the same thing, but now we get a two-hour "Lost" that night, which sounds like fun to me.

Also, I don't know if you look ahead at episode titles or not.  I normally don't make it a habit, but I was looking up the credits for tonight on the IMDb and I looked at the schedule.  The title for the finale seems to me to promise something pretty awesome.  Bigger than moving the Island.  Bigger even than not punching in the numbers.  Big.  The moment we've all been waiting for, actually.  The answer to many of the biggest questions there are.  "The Incident." I don't care what else is going on in May... on that night, I'm at home, I'm watching as it airs, and there is NOTHING ELSE going on.

Finally, I want to know what the f'ing f is in the Shadow of the Statue.  Right f'ing now.

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