Everybody has an opinion about how Lost will end—including half my office. I never realized how many Lost fans I worked with until our chatter on Wednesdays started sounding like meetings of the A.V. Club. There were the hushed one-on-ones at 8:30am, when we would start our day ripping on golden caves and gratuitous miscasting (CJ from West Wing? Really?). Conversations ratcheted up over our second cup of coffee, and finally got a bit ridiculous around 5pm, when we would yell across the office about "evil escaping and ruling the Sideways world."
After six seasons of smoke monsters and polar bears, time-traveling islands and dead men walking, this show can only get deliciously weirder. Before tonight’s penultimate episode (and the 2.5 hour finale on Sunday), we offer some of our more…creative possibilities for the show’s end:
"Ever since ‘Ab Aeterno’ revealed that the island was a cork designed to stop evil from spreading throughout the world, I’ve been convinced that the sideways-verse isn’t quite as great as it seems: If the island sank, then the evil escaped, right? My prediction: Our castaways will be forced to choose between their island and sideways-verse fates. The latter seems better (Jin and Sun are together, Hurley’s a happy bazillionaire, Locke’s marrying Helen, etc.), but it will be revealed after everyone but Jack opts to live out that life that it’s an alternate-reality hell where…Nikki and Paolo (or ’Nip’) are Hollywood’s most famous couple." —Matt
"It’s tricky. For all I know Sawyer gets snuffed in tonight’s episode. But for now, when it comes to the last castaway standing, my money’s on the Mouth from the South. Why? No other character has shown more growth. Back in Season One—before the Others, before the Dharma Initiative, before Charles “bipolar Thurston Howell the Third” Widmore—Sawyer was the villain. Greedy, self-absorbed, and unrepentantly sarcastic, he horded medical supplies, splattered tree frogs for kicks, and swore his endgame was ‘every man for himself.’ The nickname-spewing ex-con’s only goal was killing the man who done him wrong as a kid (a goal that he achieved in Season Three). But season by season, we watched Sawyer soften—like the bunnies in his beloved Watership Down paperback—until he was sticking his neck out for fellow castaways and diving out of mainland-bound choppers for the greater good. What better coda for the show than to make Season One’s most hated the series hero? So come finale’s end, I think he’ll be the Candidate, the one protecting the island from smoke monsters and time share-resort developers. Again, this is assuming he doesn’t get killed in tonight’s episode. If he does, cribbing Sawyer’s own signature phrase, I say, ‘Son of a bitch.’" —James
"When Desmond turns the wheel in the well, it will magically repair the split between the ‘Island Universe’ and the ‘Alternate Universe.’ Anyone who is dead in either universe will reappear, alive and well, in the now singular neo-Island Universe, but they will be able to leave the island whenever they want. By this time Jack, Hurley, and Sawyer will have died in the Island Universe. Jack will lay down his life to save the remaining survivors; Sawyer will then lay down his life for Freckles, and Hurley will lay down his life for a ham sandwich. Desmond will perform a murder-suicide on Penny, child, and self in the Alternate Universe so they all survive. Those who are alive in both universes (Kate, Miles, Ben) will spontaneously combust. The Smokey-Man-In-Black will throw Widmore in the glowing cave, so that Widmore becomes the new Smoke Monster, unable to leave the island, ever. Locke will be alive in neo-Island Universe, and he and Boone will fall in love and share the job of protecting the island, happily ever after." —Kelly
"Jack’s the candidate—I can smell ‘martyr’ a mile away. He’s made the ultimate transition from man of science to man of faith, and it only makes sense that he’s stuck guarding the island with the Smokey version of his Man-o’-Faith foil, Locke. But before that happens, everyone else is going to die (sob) and ‘come to life’ in the Sideways world, where they’ll all have ‘memories’ of the island and be friends and have BBQs in Hurley’s backyard. And Walt gets recruited out of high school to play for the New York Knicks." —Laura