The series finale for Lost airs tonight in the US. Fans, like me, want a great ending and some answers. Here are the biggest questions that remain. These are things I need to know!
Bear in mind that the series' creators have said we won't learn the name of the Man in Black or the identity of the people who shot at the outrigger in season five. And note that I believe that not every question should get answered, not if part of the pleasure of Lost is untangling its mysteries.
With a little help from a couple of fellow Lost obsessives, this is what I've got, starting with the island-timeline version of all of our characters...
Jack What I think has happened: The main protagonist of Lost has given up on his romantic interest in Kate en route to becoming the new Jacob, the protector of the island. He's no longer hated by Sawyer, since he was right about the submarine bomb, if not the 1970s Incident bomb.
Leftover Questions: When will Jack see his dad again and will he discover that the Man In Black was lying about impersonating his father? ** Will Jack be able to fix the island? ** Why was the one of the first references to Jacob in Lost history (the first??), a season three line from one of the Others, about Jack not being on Jacob's list?
Kate What I think has happened: Kate has come back to the island for Claire, but is now trekking with Jack, Sawyer and Hurley. And I believe she is back into self-preservation mode, done with her Jack/Swayer dalliances.
Leftover Questions: Is Kate giving up on bringing Claire home and therefore committed to her own reunion with Aaron? ** If she is not done with her dalliances, will she wind up with Jack, Sawyer or Hurley?
Sawyer What I think has happened: Sawyer messed up and blew up the sub, making a miserable man more miserable.
Leftover Questions: Does Sawyer have any more of his mission to perform on behalf of Charles Widmore? ** Is Swayer over his anger with Jack regarding Juliet's death, or will that hatred return?
Hurley What I think has happened: Hurley, long a hanger-on, has seen his power to talk to the dead increase his odds for survival, but with Jacob gone and Jack possibly the new Jacob, Hurley's back to being a hanger-on. Maybe he'll get some last-minute survival instructions from Sayid? Jin? Sun? Obi-Wan's ghost?
Leftover Questions: Are we done with the numbers, or will one of Lost's greatest elements of intrigue make one final appearance, tied to the character who is most closely identified with them? ** Oh, and why was Libby stalking him in the asylum before she knew him?
Claire What I think has happened: She got left off the sub, ditched by her brother and former friends, stuck with Man in Black — but was mysteriously absent from the most recent episode of the show.
Leftover Questions: Where in the world is Claire? **Will she get her revenge on Jack and friends for leaving her off the sub? ** Will any re-appearance of Christian, something that seems necessary for Jack's character, have any effect on her? ** Will we finally see her get on a helicopter, leaving the island with a baby, something Desmond promised Charlie in season three would happen if Charlie allowed himself to die?
Miles What I think has happened: Miles booked it to the jungle with a walkie talkie, Man In Black not in pursuit.
Leftover Questions: What in the world is Miles doing surviving all the way into the series finale? ** Will he walk over Jacob's grave and discover the man was lying? ** Or will he walk over to Widmore's corpse and figure out what Widmore's island-return agenda was really about?
Ben What I think has happened: Ben is hanging out with Man in Black, always scheming, always knowing that a guy who looks like John Locke is a threat.
Leftover Questions: Will Ben finally get to have his big scene with Desmond, a man with whom he co-existed on the island at a distance for so many years but with whom he has barely talked during the duration of the series' run? ** Why did he kill Locke in season five after hearing Eloise Hawking's name?
Richard What I think has happened: The smoke monster knocked Richard around. No mortal man could survive such an attack, but Richard Alpert is no mortal man.
Leftover Questions: Will Richard's aging-resistance persist, now that Jacob is completely gone?
Frank What I think has happened: He drowned in the sub disaster.
Leftover Questions: Did he really drown in the sub disaster?
Widmore What I think has happened: He was shot by Ben after whispering something in the Man in Black's ear.
Leftover Questions: Was Widmore telling the truth about having a change of heart about things? ** Was he really able to return to the island because Jacob recruited him? ** What was he trying to accomplish by bringing Desmond to the island? ** Was he serving some higher agenda all along, making Desmond's life so tough due to some master plan orchestrated by himself and/or Eloise Hawking?
Desmond What I think has happened: He got out of a well, thanks to Sayid (or Miles?) and is… somewhere.
Leftover Questions: What is so special about Desmond and his resistance to electromagnetism? ** Why has Desmond always been an exception to island rules? ** When will Desmond apologise for having a bad vision that made Charlie kill himself — or was Desmond lying to Charlie all along?
Cindy What I think has happened: She survived the temple attack, I think, only to wind up with other former Others in Man in Black's service.
Leftover Questions: Are Cindy and the rest of the former Others, Ajira survivors and other non-named characters still a factor in this series?
Eloise Hawking What I think has happened: She's not appeared in the "main" timeline this season, last seen outside of the hospital where Penny was with a pre-Widmore-abduction Desmond.
Leftover Questions: What was her reason for sending the Oceanic Six back to the island last season? ** What has her relationship with Charles Widmore been in recent years and how is she involved in any of his recent actions? ** What is the true nature of her reaction to killing, then raising her son — one of trying to maintain the current timeline or of trying to trigger an alternate one, say, a flash-sideways?
Man In Black What I think has happened: He has decided to destroy the island, using Desmond for that.
Leftover Questions: What did Widmore whisper to him? ** Who, among our cast of heroes, can he really not kill, and has that changed now that Jack has accepted the Jacob role? ** Was the Man In Black telling the truth when he told Jack he had impersonated Christian Shepard?
Flash Sideways What I think has happened: Our cast of heroes (and Ben) are converging to a meeting, one orchestrated by a Jacob-like Desmond.
Leftover Questions: Is Jack "awake" to his island-timeline life — and if meeting one's true love is the thing that wakes you up, does running into Kate or anyone else wake him up? ** Why does Jack's neck sometimes bleed? ** Why did Christian leave Jack and Claire a music box? ** Who is Jack's ex-wife? ** Where is flash-sideways Juliet? ** Where is flash-sideways Eko? ** Where is flash-sideways Frank? ** Where is flash-sideways Richard? ** Where is flash-sideways Jacob and Man in Black? ** If the flash-sideways is a timeline divergence, when did the timeline diverge? ** What caused the timeline to diverge, be it Juliet blowing up the bomb at the end of season five or what? ** Why is the island underwater? ** What is Desmond's agenda? ** Why is Desmond preparing to go to the concert where Jack and his son will be if he already phoned Jack to tell him to go to the airport to pick up his father's coffin? ** Is Desmond going to ask these people he is gathering to undo their timeline, and would a happy-dad Jack or a life-coming-together Ben agree to abandon their building bliss? ** What does Eloise Hawking know about the nature of the flash-sideways, and what is she doing to preserve it or destroy it? ** Same question as above, but with Daniel Faraday?
Other Leftover Questions What was up with the polluted water in the temple and the false resurrection of Sayid? ** Why was Walt considered to be so special in season one but a non-factor by season six? ** If Mathew Abaddon worked for Widmore — he is the man who recruited Naomi and other freighter folk — then was it Widmore's plan to have Abbadon, disguised as an orderly, tell John Locke to go on a walkabout — and why? ** Is the Man in Black the light that needs to be preserved on the island? ** Who was right: Man in Black, who believes, as his mother said, that people will always fight, or Jacob, who believes progress is always possible and that man will not always corrupt?
*** OK, everyone, before the finale airs, what are the answers?