Still lost

When I started out last week to summarize what has happened on ABC’s hit television series “Lost” during its first three seasons, I had no idea it would require so much space. I figured one column would cover it, and that I would probably have to slip in a bunch of random fake information to make things interesting and fill up a page. In fact, I barely managed to outline the basic story and introduce the main characters, some of which, if you remember, are currently dead. The story, of course, is that a plane has crashed on a South Pacific island and the survivors would rather not be there. They scrounge a radio and try to call for help, but the signal is being blocked by a repeating SOS emanating from a big tower somewhere on the island. The message, which has been going out for 16 years, contains vital winning lottery numbers, which Hurley ended up with while he was in the nuthouse. He used the numbers to win millions of U.S. dollars, and then decided that besides bringing him good luck the numbers caused terrible things to happen to people around him, such as death. Bummer. Sayid, the Iraqi torturer, is captured by a woman named Rousseau who has been living on the island for a long time, and it turns out that she started the SOS message in an effort to become rich and be rescued. And she’s not the only one who was already on the island. It’s full of folks who don’t necessarily like each other. Anyway, since the radio won’t work, some of the survivors decide to build a raft, which might have worked if it hadn’t been sunk by some of The Others, which is what the survivors call The Others. Meanwhile, Locke and Boone find a hatch in the ground and spend a lot of time trying to get into it. They finally succeed by blowing the lid off with dynamite taken from an old wrecked ship. Unfortunately, Boone was dead by then. The hatch leads to an underground building that contains a button that has to be pushed every 108 minutes, after entering the lottery numbers on a computer, or else the world will blow up. And living in this place, pushing the button every hour and a half or so, is Frodo. Not really. It’s a guy named Desmond, who got stranded on the island while trying to sail around the world in a boat that was given to him by a woman who had been in the nuthouse with Hurley. Desmond is Scottish and calls everyone “brother,” because he lived in a monastery for a while, when he wasn’t being a bum or serving in the Scottish SAS or something. Desmond’s girlfriend is looking for him, which is why he wanted to sail around the world. Go figure. Then a fellow named Ben shows up and claims to have been traveling by balloon, if you can imagine, when he and his wife crashed on the island. He turns out to be one of The Others, and has Bad Intentions. Ben gets loose and then captures Jack, Kate and Sawyer, whose real name is James Ford, and keeps them locked up in animal cages on another island. Ben wants Jack to operate on him to remove a tumor he has on his spine, even though no one ever gets cancer on this island, because it’s a Special Place. So Jack operates on Ben, and in the process gets The Others to let Kate and Sawyer go. In return, Ben agrees to let Jack leave in a submarine, but before he can go, Locke comes along and blows up the sub. Bummer. Meanwhile, the Black Smoke Monster is still loose on the island, being menacing. It stares down a big fellow named Mr. Eko, who had been in the tail section of the plane, and was traveling as a priest, although he was really a drug smuggler from Africa. As it turns out, his brother, who was a real priest, and some other smugglers, had crashed on the island sometime before with a load of heroin hidden in religious figurines. This is the plane Boone was in when he was mortally damaged, because it fell off the cliff. Bummer. Claire was pregnant to begin with, and she was abducted by The Others and then got loose, and had her baby at the end of the first season. Charlie, who had been a key member of a screaming Scottish rock band, helps her take care of the baby when he isn’t trying to kill it one way or another. Then, Locke decides the button doesn’t really need to be pushed, so he and Desmond lock themselves in the hatch and let the timer run down, and the hatch explodes, but doesn’t kill anyone. The rest of the world is fine. Everyone is still trying to get off the island, so there will definitely be a fourth season. You’ll want to be sure to watch it, to see if any of the survivors get home, because, for sure, you can’t depend on this column’

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