Lost’s mysterious island left the airwaves in May but viewers got a chance to revisit some of the Island’s inhabitants one last time when the series epilogue, The New Man In Charge, leaked all over the Internet last Friday.
The epilogue, which will appear more legitimately on the Season Six DVD collection, is clearly split into two segments. Both segments are written for the fans, but the first half is a thinly veiled dialogue between the show’s creators and viewers while the second half seems to be a story the writers wanted to tell but felt they couldn’t wedge into the show’s final season.
Welcome to the Dharma Initiative…
The New Man In Charge can only be described as housekeeping. It’s as if the writers scoured the Internet looking for the top five questions fans had about the Dharma Initiative and addressed four of them. Using an old Lost plot device (that at its best can serve as cleverly disguised exposition), the writers tell the audience where the Dharma food drops came from, why the polar bears were on the island, why pregnant women had such a bad go of it on the Island (they always died) and what that eerie techno brainwashing room (Room 23) was. While never explaining how Dharma got there in the first place, this first half does a fairly good job of answering some of the questions people plague Damon Lindelof’s Twitter account with on a daily basis.
We have to go back…
The second half of the epilogue revisits a plot thread that’s been dangling for four years. Much more than simple housekeeping, this segment revels in everything that Lost did well – the actors give compelling performances, the writers convey a strong sense of mystery and urgency and Michael Giacchino provides his trademark menacing music. While this segment holds a tone similar to that of the series finale, it uses none of that episode’s much maligned mechanics. It takes place in the same universe where Oceanic Flight 815 crashed and reveals what happens when Hurley takes charge of the Island. I’d say more, but that would be spoiling the surprise (Want a surprise of another sort? Actor Jorge Garcia is gracing the cover of Weezer’s forthcoming album, entitled Hurley).
The New Man In Charge is not a profound piece of art that will change the way you look at life. It is definitely not the greatest thing since sliced bread and it will not stop those inclined to yell at the series’ creators from doing just that. Instead, it is a fun epilogue to one of the most beloved and successful cult television series in history. It is a chance for the show’s producers to take one last journey their fans.