Two months ago you couldn't have made me watch Lost with a ten-foot pole made of weed. Then one night I got bored and dipped my little pinky toe into an episode. The following 80 hours are a vague blur of me eating sandwiches on my couch, debating whether or not to go piss, and occasionally shouting "No... NOOOOOO!" I am now such an ardent Lostiac that I've coined my own term for Lost fans and devote most of my free time to reading Lostpedia entries on the Dharma Initiative and trying to plot out what's going to happen now that the ship's blown up and Ben made the island disappear by turning the polar-bear crank in that weird arctic chamber behind the time machine (whoa, sorry, spoiler alert. Shit). I like to call these guesses my Lost What If?s. Here are a couple of recent ones I've been cooking up for all my fellow Lostiacs to chew on.
1 - The one character everybody likes but has gotten like a pube's worth of screentime is that weird Chinese doctor from the training videos. So what if they start the whole new season with a flashback of him making the videos? They could totally play it like they did when they flashed back to the Others watching the plane crash, where you see him waking up in a nice house, so you think oh, it's the present and he's on the mainland, but then all of a sudden he walks outside and BOOM he's in that crazy island village.
2 - So they should totally start with him filming one of those training videos (it'd be really cool if it were for, say, the Arrow, or one of the other hatches they haven't done much with), but then what if something interrupts them? Like, maybe the Others attack the camp or, wait, better--what if they accidentally discover the polar-bear room behind the time machine they're building? Eh? Pretty good, right?
3 - Ooh, and just to hammer home the Whaaaa??!? factor they should totally cut away at the last second to some insane anachronism, like an old-timey portrait of Sawyer on the wall. Or suddenly one of the Dharma workers is that scientist guy. And he can have some sort of private smirk with the camera. Like everybody's talking about the time chamber and one of the other guys says something like "Time travel? You gotta be kiddin' me," and he's all "Yeah... that's crazy talk." OK, intro taken care of.
4 - There'll probably be a bunch of boring LA stuff while everybody onshore decides whether or not they want to go back to the Island. And if the flash-forwards from the last season are any indicator, they're most likely going to drag this shit out as long as possible. Easiest way to do that? Pit everybody against each other. So like, Ben will be working with Jack and Sayid or something to get them all together, but then the Korean girl will decide to team up with the rich British guy to kill Ben, and Hugo will decide to get himself thrown in jail by confessing to all Sayid's murders or some such.
5 - I don't want this to be the case (because it's extremely corny), but I can totally see Cheech Marin giving Hugo some "follow your heart" advice which leads him to reveal the whole secret about the Island to his mom and turn himself in to the cops or mental hospital guys. This would make the most sense after a car chase in which Sayid was darted asleep and Hugo got pulled over by the ghost of Ana Lucia (who has weird eyes). Also, this would probably be a good time for Hugo's mom to make some crack like "Who left a dead Paki on my couch?" (It's cool because she's Mexican.)
6 - Similarly, you know there's going to be some crap with Kate and that baby. Best case scenario from my perspective: A couple lawyers show up to blood-test her and the kid without revealing who hired them and she takes off and we see precious little of her for the rest of the early episodes (except for a stop at the Korean woman's hotel room, who figures out that they aren't trying to expose her secret).
7 - One thing they could do to spice up all the shitty LA stuff is have a bunch of the Others scattered throughout the scenes. For instance, what if Ben Linus went in to a butcher shop and that blonde girl from earlier on was working there and agreed to take care of John Locke's body for him for a couple days. Or what if he went to some secret room after Hugo turned himself in to the cops and met the motherfucking woman who won't sell Desmond the ring in that one episode and shows him how time works? I just got a massive chill down my spine thinking that one up.
8 - Now, as for the Island, how about instead of moving somewhere else on earth it's moving to different places in time? I know this kind of fucks with the fact that the people on the helicopter actually see the island disappear, but work with me here. Since Daniel Farraday would be the only one who understands all this stuff, he'd have to make the rest of the survivors follow his chimplike frame over to the hatch they blew up to make them understand. Even then, I bet Sawyer's still going to be all shirtless and obstinate.
9 - Following the obligatory break down of how time works for the regular folks (which will probably rely on some condescending metaphor like grooves on a record) they should make all the island dudes get in a big fight over what to do next. Like have Sawyer and that dentist guy with the black wife try to set up camp but Bubbles and the rest of the people realize it's worthless, then that Asian guy could go off and use his death-sensing powers to catch a boar--that kind of thing.
10 - Throughout this argument (which could be drawn out upward of 8 or 9 minutes if they split it up into a bunch of little one- and two-line scenes), there should be one guy we've never seen before on the Show who keeps bitching about things and being a pain in the ass, just so you know exactly who's going to die as soon as shit kicks off.
11 - Finally, when said shit does kick off, it should be so fucking left-of-field that people have to tap their eyeballs on the shoulder and swig from an acorn labeled XXX to be sure of what they just saw. They've been waiting, like, a couple months for this, so you can't half-ass it with like a dart attack or some guns or something. It's gotta be something awesome like... OK, how about this? Out of NOwhere that bitchy guy just gets hit in the fucking chest with a flaming arrow. YEAH! Right? And then all of a sudden they're running and all these flaming arrows are raining down on them like it's fucking Braveheart and Sawyer tucks behind a tree so he thinks he's safe but suddenly THWACK an arrow lands in the tree a fucking inch away from his face! I am fucking JACKED right now just imagining how cool it would be if this scene happened.
12 - So everybody runs away from the arrows and we think we're about to see who was shooting them, but then ZWOOSH, the Island slips through time again and Sawyer and some of the others get attacked by these weird WWII-era soldiers who sound Australian. Sorry, I mean, what if all this crap happens, then they get saved at the last minute by John Locke?
13 - Speaking of Locke, I'm guessing they'll keep him separate from the rest of the folks on the Island so he can have his own little time adventure. It probably involves him seeing the drug smugglers' plane get shot down and getting shot by Ethan (they've got to bring him back for at least a couple scenes, everybody loves looking at his weird, sunken face) and getting healed by that guy Richard who never ages. That last part would make a great lead-in for him to explain to Locke that he has to go back to LA and die for everybody to return to the Island.
Anyways, these are all my guesses for now. Tune in on Jan. 21 to see if I got anything right. Oh, and after they find the old Swan hatch, Daniel Farraday stays behind and meets Desmond (back before Desmond's met any of the rest of the people) and tells him to visit his mom in Oxford which he then wakes up (in the present) and remembers.
Update: Here's another good corker for them. What if they have Chinese guy (who they alternately refer to as Dr. Chang and Marvin Candle) have a baby even though he's on the island?! It'd be like "What? Whoaaaaa [holding head]." I bet it would be so intense you wouldn't even notice that Chang/Candle was passing Dharma groundskeeper Ben Linus. Thanks to Agent Mule for pointing out this "possibility."
All stills courtesy of ABC.