As the premiere of a new season of “Lost” approaches – (it airs Jan. 21, but all the diehards already had their Blackberry calendars on alert anyway) – rumors are swirling as to what comes next for the Losties both still stranded and on the mainland.
Season Four began with the castaways and company divvied up into those who wanted to be found and those heeding Charlie Pace’s final warning: beware the rescue squad. And it ended with them similarly split by the disappearance of the island, moved by Ben in time and space to hide it from competitor Charles Widmore.
Six survivors made it home while some, including lovable rogue Sawyer, sociopath Others leader Ben and blonde doctor Juliet remained on the island. A few others, such as time-traveling physicist Daniel Faraday, are unaccounted for because they were on a boat between the helicopter and where the island once was.
In the fourth finale, it was revealed that in order to rescue those left behind, the Oceanic Six – Sayid, Hurley, Sun, Kate, Jack and Aaron – must return to the island.
It won’t be easy and other escapees like Desmond, Frank, Walt and even the dead body of John Locke are necessary to the plan’s success. This could take up most of Season Five’s plot, including answering how Locke made it off the island, why he was living under the alias “Jeremy Bentham” and what ultimately killed him.
According to co-creator and producer Damon Lindelof, the upcoming season “is about why [the people who have left the island] need to get back.” Lindelof also said there will be significantly fewer flashbacks and flash-forwards as the show has finally caught up with itself in real time.
One-time series regulars Michael, who died after the freighter he was aboard exploded, and Claire, who may or may not have shown up as a ghost, are both no-shows for this season. Her story has been put on hold until the sixth season, which makes sense considering how jam-packed Season Five looks to be. Jin, also on the freighter, is on board for the fifth season, making the outlook on his character’s future sunny.
Writers have also confirmed that nature woman Danielle Rousseau and maligned cop Ana-Lucia Cortez will be coming back from the dead for short stints.
Some intended storylines pushed back from the fourth season due to the Writer’s Strike are scheduled to be explored this season, including the reason Libby was in the mental institution, why Ms. Hawking was in a photograph with Desmond’s monk, what happened between Ben and the real survivor of the hot air balloon crash and the four-toed statue seen by Sayid, Jin and Sun.
Previews on ABC’s Web site have also shown Kate fleeing with Aaron after being ordered to submit to a maternity test she will undoubtedly fail and Ben and Jack preparing to gather the rest of the Oceanic Six to return to the island — but who actually makes the journey remains a mystery.
Season Five of Lost premieres at 9 p.m. on Jan. 21 on ABC.