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'Lost' Ends the Season Wonderfully

The strike-bitten 2007-08 TV season has been over for a week, but only now served up its last, great offering: the fabulous fourth-season finale of ABC’s Lost.

For once on this series – and definitely for the first time for a season ender – there was a real sense of closure. Usually, on Lost, it’s more like, if I can coin a word, openure. For every door that shuts, three windows open.

But the two-hour season finale actually answered more questions than it posed. How did Sawyer and Locke get left behind? Why did Ben show up in the desert wearing a parka? How and why did the Oceanic 6 present a plausible cover story? What happened to the freighter, the helicopter and the island? And why, once Jack got off the island, would he feel driven suddenly to go back?

Yes, of course, other questions remain.  Did other characters, particularly Jin and Michael, actually die in the freighter explosion?  Where, or when, did the island move to? And with Locke identified as the mystery man in the coffin, what does that mean for the Oceanic 6’s inevitable island return, with Locke’s body in tow? Can the island restore Locke to life, as it did his legs? Or will Locke become a new resident of the cabin, like Jacob and, it seems, Jack’s father and sister? Or is that Jack’s destined destination as well?

I don’t have a clue, even with all the clues being handed out on Lost. All I do know, and it’s plenty, is that no prime-time drama on TV right now gives me more pleasure. And that waiting for the next episode – in, sigh, 2009 – makes me wish I had a Dharma time-travel station of my own.