In The End, Some Answers To 'Lost' Finally Found Tonight, the television series Lost comes to an end after six seasons. Host Liane Hansen talks to Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Jensen about what mysteries may actually be solved.
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In The End, Some Answers To 'Lost' Finally Found

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In The End, Some Answers To 'Lost' Finally Found

In The End, Some Answers To 'Lost' Finally Found

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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(Soundbite of theme song, "Lost")


Tonight, the television series "Lost" comes to an end after six seasons. If youve never seen "Lost," it can be a little tricky to explain. It began with a plane crash on a mysterious island somewhere between Australia and Los Angeles.

(Soundbite of television series, "Lost")

Unidentified Man: Stay away from the gas. Stay there.

HANSEN: Jack, Hurley, Lock, Kate, Sawyer, Michael, Sayid, Sun, Jin, and the other passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 go about the business of survival and getting rescued.

(Soundbite of television series, "Lost")

Mr. DOMINIC MONAGHAN (Actor): (As Charlie Pace) Guys, where are we?

HANSEN: But things get weird. There's a polar bear.

(Soundbite of television series, "Lost")

Mr. MONAGHAN: (As Charlie Pace) That can't be a polar bear.

Mr. IAN SOMERHALDER (Actor): (As Boone Carlyle) It's a polar bear.

Mr. NAVEEN ANDREWS (Actor): (As Sayid Jarrah) It's a polar bear.

Ms. EVANGELINE LILLY (Actress): (As Kate Austen) It's a polar bear.

HANSEN: A group of not so friendly inhabitants on the other side of island.

Mr. HAROLD PERRINEAU (Actor): (As Michael Dawson) Who are you people?

HANSEN: And a monster made of smoke. And the island contains more mysteries: there's the secret hatch and a button that must be pushed every 108 minutes, there's time travel, a four-toed statue, a nuclear bomb, a temple, a parallel universe, and plenty of walking and talking dead people. Believe me, Im as confused as you are.

We're joined now by "Lost" scholar Jeff Doc Jensen, a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, who's at NPR West. Welcome to the program.

Mr. JEFF DOC JENSEN (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly): Thank you for having me.

HANSEN: Jeff, I hope you dont mind me calling you a "Lost" scholar but, you know, the columns, the recaps you write - you dig deep, you theorize, you compare "Lost" to "Alice in Wonderland" and to the songs of Huey Lewis...

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: ...and The News. I mean, is really nothing off limits for you here?

Mr. JENSEN: Absolutely not. I do have a lot of fun with it. I definitely blur the line between sort of whats there to be read and what am I sort of projecting upon it. There are so many different theories, so many different ways to read it, from the spiritual to the political to the downright silly.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JENSEN: I specialize in almost all three of those and several more.

HANSEN: Im thinking of it as a very weird "Gilligan's Island," you know?

Mr. JENSEN: Yes, exactly.

HANSEN: Now, you were able to be on the set while they were filming the finale, right?

Mr. JENSEN: I saw them shoot a scene that will fall in the final 10 minutes of the episode. It was a pretty big scene that didnt really explain a lot but, at the same time, seemed to be pretty implicitly clear what was going on in the show.

HANSEN: Do you know how it ends?

Mr. JENSEN: I dont know how it ends, although the scene that I saw seemed to suggest a lot of possibilities - well, one possibility in particular.

HANSEN: We really don't want to spoil it for everybody.

Mr. JENSEN: No, we don't.

HANSEN: But - what kind of ending is going to satisfy people? An open-ended one or one that finally just goes boom, that's it, you know, like "The Sopranos" where it was like boom, shot?

Mr. JENSEN: What I expect "Lost" to do in its final episode is to be open to interpretation, like "The Sopranos" ending was, with one big exception which is that I think it will be emotionally satisfying. It seems to be that that is where they are taking this show in its final two-and-a-half hours to really kind of pay out on character arcs and to be sort of a really emotionally satisfying experience. Where the show will never be able to win is sort of in this area of answering mysteries.

HANSEN: You know, today is Sunday the 23rd - 23 is kind of a sacred number among the "Lost" fans. I mean, first of all, why?

Mr. JENSEN: Well, 23 is one of the numbers. The numbers are 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42, and they all add up to another big sacred "Lost" number, which is 108. And these were the numbers that Hurley played in the lotto and became a multi-millionaire. But there are also numbers that were very important to the sort of mad scientist enclave on the island from the '70s called the Dharma Initiative.

HANSEN: So, I mean, I was thinking 23, you know, the 23rd Psalm, giving...

Mr. JENSEN: Oh, well...

HANSEN: Oh, I've set you off on a tangent, haven't I?

Mr. JENSEN: Well, 23 interfaces with a lot of aspects of "Lost." There is the 23rd Psalm, which was a very important episode in "Lost" in season two about a character named Mr. Echo. And I also thought that where you were going is that on the 23rd of May this year is Pentecost and there's a huge religious reading of "Lost" that says that perhaps, you know, Pentecost, which is the day that, like, apparently, like, God gave the Holy Spirit to all of his disciples is somehow "Lost" will sort of, like, thematically link to that as well.

HANSEN: Right. And the 23rd Psalm is: The Lord is my shepherd, I...

Mr. JENSEN: I shall...

HANSEN: Right, yeah. Do you have a favorite episode or a favorite moment?

Mr. JENSEN: My favorite moment ever of "Lost" occurred in the second season in an episode called "Orientation." And in this episode, Jack and Locke are down in the hatch and they have found this computer and they found this sort of protocol to an orientation film that said you had to input this code every 108 minutes.

And Locke thought it was his destiny. He thought that there was some grand purpose behind inputting this code and he was sort of the man of faith of this show. And Jack Shepherd was like, no, this is crazy, this is nonsense. And, like, he was the man of science. There's no reason to do this.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Lost")

Mr. MATTHEW FOX (Actor): (as Jack Shepherd) It's not real. Look, if you want to push the button, you do it yourself.

Mr. TERRY O'QUINN (Actor): (as John Locke) If it's not real, then what are you doing here, Jack? Why did you come back?

Mr. JENSEN: And Locke responds in this great line reading by the actor Terry O'Quinn: it never has been easy.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Lost")

Mr. O'QUINN: Why do you find it so hard to believe?

Mr. FOX: Why do you find it so easy?

Mr. O'QUINN: It's never been easy.

Mr. JENSEN: But themes of faith and doubt and the spiritual themes of this show always meant a lot to me. And in that moment between these two guys, I kind of felt like that's my experience. I think that's the experience for a lot of sort of people who have aspire to be spiritual, whatever. It's just sort of this war in themselves of faith and doubt, of believing and being cynical, especially now in our culture. That moment, for me, is what "Lost" is all about.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Lost")

Mr. O'QUINN: It's a leap of faith, Jack.

HANSEN: Jeff Jensen is a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly. Thanks so much for joining us.

Mr. JENSEN: Thank you.

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