Whispers explained, eyes opened, and a Scotsman down a well make for a big week
What is the nature of the Flash Sideways?
It has become the sole question that matters at this point in the home stretch of "Lost," and how they stick the landing all depends on the reveal and the execution of the wrap-up. There have been clues trickling in for weeks now, starting with episode 6.06, "Sundown," where Sayid's Flash Sideways had the distinct feeling of a deal with the devil gone subtly wrong. There have been complaints from fans this year that the way characters keep crossing paths in the Flash Sideways/Timeline A stuff is "too convenient," but I think it all makes sense if you accept that we are seeing a construct, a Timeline in which people have been given a second chance at things that is supposed to keep them distracted by "solving" their imperfect lives. The question remains... how could that be happening, and who did it to them? And with only a few hours left in the season, at what point will we see the mechanism that kicked Timeline A into existence?
There's an amazing, ambitious video game called "Fallout 3" that is set in a post-apocalyptic American landscape dotted with underground bunkers known as Vaults. Most of the game plays out in a fairly linear fashion, but there's one Vault in particular that you walk into, and when you hook up to the life-support machines you find there, you are suddenly launched into a radically different game, set in an idyllic black-and-white "Leave It To Beaver" version of the 1950s. Why and how and what you have to do to make it back to the real game is one of the most deliciously weird and creepy left-turns I've ever encountered in a game, and I walked away impressed by the ambition of that choice. The safe thing to do for the producers of "Lost" would have been to make this final season a single linear storyline that just answered questions set up by the first five seasons, running down them like a checklist. That would have been safe and satisfying and completely predictable. Which is why I'm glad and surprised that they chose instead to layer in a whole new element to the show's mythology, using one of the most outrageous storytelling choices in the entire six years of the show.