The final season of ‘Lost’ was released on Blu-ray yesterday, thus ending our six-year journey with the show. As most fans are no doubt aware, the box set not only contains all of the broadcast episodes, but also a new 12-minute epilogue scene called ‘The New Man in Charge’. Naturally, the first thing I did after getting home yesterday was to fire up that scene. As promised, it does indeed contain answers to some of the loose ends that the series left dangling. How many answers, and are they worthwhile? Follow after the break for a recap and analysis.
The epilogue can be found on the last disc of the ‘Lost: The Complete Sixth Season‘ box set. It runs only 12 minutes long, so don’t go in expecting an entire episode’s worth of story. A 1-minute clip from this scene was previously released by the studio to promote the video release. That clip, in which Ben Linus visits a DHARMA Logistics Warehouse in Guam, is where the epilogue starts.
“I’m from the home office,” Ben announces, and states that he’s there to shut down the operation. As we’ve already seen, this explains the mystery of the DHARMA food drops. As he’s packing up to leave, one of the employees exclaims, “We deserve answers!” He speaks for the audience too, no doubt. In response, Ben agrees to let them watch a DHARMA orientation video for the Hydra Station, which he conveniently has on DVD in his briefcase.
The following five minutes are that video, hosted by Pierre Chang. An earlier review by TV Overmind describes this portion of the epilogue as an “answer-fest.” I think that’s exaggerating a bit. However, Chang does rattle off explanations for several things, as if checking them off from a list of questions that fans demanded be answered.
Among the points addressed here are:
- Why there are polar bears on the island – For animal research and experimentation, of course. I feel like this was already sufficiently explained in the show and didn’t need to be covered again. The reference to fish biscuits is funny, though. Chang has the best line of the epilogue when he sternly advises, “The bears are not your friends” immediately after we see a one-armed employee walking away from the animal cages.
- The Hurley Bird – We don’t see it, but we can hear it in a covered cage in the background behind Chang. He mentions something about experiments with genetic alteration.
- Why he has so many names – Chang instructs the viewers not to release his real name to outsiders, or he’ll have to use aliases. He practically winks at the camera when saying this. It’s a bit much.
- Why no babies can be born on the island – Apparently, the high electromagnetic levels on the island are harmful to the early gestation period of a woman’s pregnancy. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really make sense, or else Sun would have had problems with her pregnancy.
- Room 23 – Used by DHARMA for the interrogation and brainwashing of “Hostiles” (i.e. the Others). A combination of drugs (cooked up by Dr. Oldham, no doubt) and the ‘Clockwork Orange’-like film strip puts subjects into a trance and effectively prevents them from remembering what had happened to them after they’re released. This is another topic that I felt was clear enough in the show. It certainly wasn’t one of my most burning questions.
At the conclusion of the video, Ben goes on his way. This all takes up approximately 8 minutes of the epilogue. The last 4 minutes are devoted to one additional scene where Ben visits the Santa Rosa Mental Health Facility (the loony bin where Hurley spent a lot of time). There he finds… Walt! Geez, he looks old now. He’s playing ‘Connect Four’, just like Hurley used to do.
Ben tells Walt that he’s special, but doesn’t elaborate. “We need you. You have work to do.” He asks Walt to come back to the Island to help his father. When Walt protests that his father is dead, Ben tells him, “Doesn’t mean you can’t help him.” He busts Walt out of the joint and brings him to a DHARMA van with Hurley waiting in the back seat. Hurley also entreats Walt to come back to the Island with them. “It’s where you belong. It’s where you’ve always belonged.”
And that’s pretty much it.
I don’t know. I can’t say that I honestly expected any more closure from ‘The New Man in Charge’ than the series finale already provided. Yet this scene still feels pretty frivolous. I’m glad that the DHARMA air drop was eventually addressed (my personal bugaboo), but most of the mysteries tied up in the epilogue seem very inconsequential. Then again, perhaps that just goes to prove how inconsequential most of the fanboy whining and moaning about the finale episode has been.
I’m glad to have gotten this little extra grace note, but personally could have lived without watching this scene and still been satisfied with the series run.