Monday 2 June 2008

Lost without Lost?

So we finally reach the end of another season of Lost. As usual the season finale (split into three episodes) posed as many questions as it answered; and as usual gave little indication of the direction which the next series (Season 5) will be taking.

So what did we find out in this episode, and what are we now wondering? Well, we finally discovered the identity of the body in the coffin which we first became aware of way back at the beginning of the season. Just bear in mind, there is very little that happens on Lost that is not without some significance. The body in the coffin is Jeremy Bentham. But who is Bentham... have we all missed something? Bentham it turns out is a pseudonym, but as luck would have it (for me) I know exactly who the real Bentham is (or rather was) and with that knowledge you might already have guessed who is in the coffin. Jeremy Bentham was a philosopher at the turn of the 18th/19th Century... much as John Locke was a philosopher some hundred years before - coincidence? Of course not, and indeed we find out that the philosopher's namesake in the coffin is one and the same as the other philosopher's namesake.

What interests is whether there is any significance to Bentham in respect of one of his most famous ideas, the panopticon. The panopitcon was a theorised prison (never built) which allows an observer to observe all the prisoners without the prisoners being able to tell whether they are being watched. Does this mean that the island is some giant experiment, or more immediately is this some sort of reference to Dharma and their stations?

One of the fantastic moments was when Ben finally carried out Jacob's request (delivered by the urbane Christian Sheppherd) to move the island. It wasn't figurative or metaphorical we finally discovered but quite literal, as Ben turned the wheel and the island vanished before our eyes. Finally we find out how Ben turned up in the desert wearing cold weather gear.

We finally saw the 'Oceanic Six' leaving the island... who didn't enjoy Sawyer's leap from the helicopter (in a fantastic echo of the Davidoff Cool Water advertising campaign!) and who didn't shed a happy little tear when Desmond and Penny were finally reunited.

However, we have lots of new questions waiting to be answered (in addition to the litany of still unanswered questions). How did Locke get off the island? How are they all going to get back? What is with the un-dead Christian Sheppherd? Is Claire dead? Will Sun betray the 'O6' to Charles Widmore? Will Ben track down Penny? What will happen to Charlotte, Daniel and Miles?

Roll on January 2009 and Season Five!