washingtonpost.com
The 'Lost' Hour

Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
washingtonpost.com Staff
Friday, May 2, 2008 2:00 PM

Has "Lost" got you a mite confused and ready to hurl at the next mention of smoke monsters? Or do you have the fate of the Oceanic 6 and the Jack-Kate-Sawyer-Juliet love square all figured out? Who got Scooby Dooed this week? Are you a new viewer, adrift on an unfamiliar isle or an old hand ready to bare knuckle some quantum physics? In either case, we're here for you and armed with more mediocre puns and pop culture references than a hunky con man than you can shake a stick at and ready to explain exactly what it is that Cheech Marin and Bai Ling have to do with any of the above.

Post.com "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney will attempt to get to the bottom of these matters every Friday. Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006.

A transcript follows.

When not debating the merits of Sawyer's hotness, Liz Kelly writes the Celebritology blog and Jen Chaney acts as movies editrix and DVD columnist for washingtonpost.com.

For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit washingtonpost.com'sLost Central.

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Jen Chaney: I begin today's discussion with a programming note and a confession.

1. Miss Liz is not joining us today as she is off this afternoon. So I will be steering this crazy freighter solo. Try to go easy on me.

2. The confession: Due to scheduling issues, Liz and I blogged immediately after last night's episode. Both of us were tired, so if we missed some important clues/issues, we apologize. It was late. Our brain cells weren't at their productive peak. And Liz was still struggling to cope with so much Kate in a single hour.

Nevertheless, I know you will help to bring it all back together during today's discussion. (It's amazing what a little sleep, some caffeine and a few hours to digest the episode will do for you.)

I'll get things started by posing a provocative question. If you needed to be operated on, who would be your preferred surgeon: Jack, Juliet or Christian Shephard?

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Columbia, Md.: Interesting that Jack told Kate that she wasn't even related to Aaron . . . I'm assuming that Jack still doesn't know that he is, in fact, related to Aaron?

Jen Chaney: See, I thought he did know that, based on the line delivery. The implication of that line, to me, was you're not even related and I am the one who is. Maybe I was reading too much into Matthew Fox's acting choices, but that was my take. It's unclear exactly when Jack realized this, though.

I also that was emblematic of Jack's self-absorption. On one hand, he's a good guy and I think genuinely wants to help people. But on the other hand, his desire to assist is almost like a disease at this point. When he said "I'm the one who saved you" to Kate, it made it seem like he deserved a reward in a way. Although, at the same time, if Sawyer flaked on Kate and he was there for her, I can understand why Jack would feel that way.

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Bozeman, Montana: Note that the appearance of Jack's father in Jack's medical office suite was heralded by the alarming of a smoke detector. Could this be a sly clue from the writers that the apparition of Jack's father is actually our old island-friend Smokey in disguise?

Jen Chaney: That's interesting. I don't know if I buy it necessarily, but I like it.

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Reston, Va.: The Millenium Falcon. Why was it on the floor? Here's my theory: It's a reference that Sawyer 's presence is still around. He of the Han Solo-like hero archetype.

Now, does he come back at the end to save Jack from Darth Vader?.....and who would Darth Vader really be?

Jen Chaney: Darth Vader = Ben? Or maybe Jacob? Actually, that would be perfect if Christian is related to or an offshoot of Jacob.

I think the Millennium Falcon's presence is a reminder that the polar bear is Chewbacca. There, I said it.

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Northern Virginia: I'm the guy who had the dilemma with his wife's c-section conflicting with last week's episode. I wound up taking the path of least resistance, which was to catch it on abc.com early Saturday morning. In reading the Celebritology post and the chat later on, I noticed a couple of references to Ben-in-the-desert being the opening scene of the episode. However, the online version starts with the Risk game (and I always thought Iceland was the key to that game, btw), with the desert scene coming in later on. Am I misunderstanding the comments, or does the online version differ from the televised one? If so, why would they do that?

On another baby-related note, I appreciated another poster's suggestion that an awkward man-date with Bernard could help solve my issues. While this never occurred, so far as I am consciously aware, we did wind up giving my daughter the middle name "Rose", which wasn't a name we had been considering during the pregnancy. Another manifestation of the power of The Island, perhaps?

Jen Chaney: Congratulations on your newborn! You know that little girl is going to grow up and say things like, "You watch your tone, Red." Gotta love Rose and her sass.

To your other point, I think we meant to refer to the Sahara scene as the opening of the flash-forward. The "they're here" scene was really the opener of the episode. Presumably what saw online is identical to what we watched on live broadcast TV.

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U Street: Is Claire dead? Why was ghost-whisper guy so chill about her walking into the jungle with an old man? what?!

Jen Chaney: The Claire is dead, or at least a ghost of some sort, theory was floated (har, har) on EW today by Doc Jensen. It would explain why Miles is so interested in her. But if Christian is "walking dead," his coming to get her, but leaving the baby behind, suggests she perhaps died in that moment, almost like an angel bringing her into the flock or something.

I am still not 100 percent sure is dead, but I 99.99 percent sure that if she isn't yet, she will be before the season is over.

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Manassas, VA: Interesting how the writers keep referencing Star Wars. I've been wondering if the Island is a stand in for the idea of the force, with Widmore and Ben serving as two opposing sides trying to control it (you decide who's the Jedi and who's the Sith). That would put Locke and Jack as the two that need to choose a side. That is, for lack of a better way to put it, their destiny. Jack shouldn't leave the island. Once he does, he spirals downward and realizes he must go back. He can only be who he can be on the island.

I know, completely nuts and proves I'm thinking way too much about this show!

Jen Chaney: I don't think it's so nuts. And thinking too much about the show? Please, you know who you're talking to? And I don't just mean me or Liz, I mean all of us in our little "Lost" community.

I hadn't carried the Locke vs. Jack thing to the point that they might have to choose between Ben or Widmore. But that's an intriguing proposition.

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Silver Spring, Md.: Hurley's assertion that the 6 are dead -- perhaps a jab at the widely held early theory that the Losties were dead and the Island was Purgatory?

Jen Chaney: It could be. Or it could be ... THE TRUTH.

I am thinking the Losties are not dead in the traditional sense, but in the flash-forwards, they may be sort of shadow selves. Again, I refer everyone to timelooptheory.com, which offers details about how that might be the case.

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Vienna, Va.: So about Smokey and Jack's father...

My friends and I have developed a theory that Smokey is some type of nanotechnology that can take many forms. The ghosts or visions that many on the island see are manifestations created by Smokey. When Ben isn't manipulating it, the Island is.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, that's not so different that what I suggested earlier about it manifesting in different forms. But is it a technology or, as it appears to be, some sort of spiritual entity? I am still not sure. And I am not sure how or if Ben manipulates it. Seemed that way last week, but that whole notion still isn't gellin' for me.

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Washington, D.C.: So, does Christian = Smoke Monster? It creeped me out that his appearance at Jack's hospital triggered the smoke alarm.

Jen Chaney: Okay, apparently many of you are liking this theory. If we assume the smoke monster isn't a single entity -- in other words, that Christian Shephard isn't the equivalent of Bruce Wayne and Smokey isn't the equivalent of Batman -- then it's possible there could be a connection.

In the past we have talked about the idea that Smokey can assume many forms and may present him(her?)self to people based on whatever their psychological issues are. If that's the case, Jack could well see the monster as his dead since Christian is undoubtedly the biggest influence of Jack's psyche.

All that said, I need more information. And I think we might get at least some of it in next week's episode, when Jacob is explained and Christian makes another appearance.

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Capitol Hill: Remember the creepy psychic who told Claire that she HAD to raise the baby? Well, if it turns out that Claire really is dead...what evil/crazy things are to come?

And why does Kate get the baby? Hurley or even Sawyer has a deeper connection to both mom and baby!

Jen Chaney: Great question. It seems like nothing good can come of separating Aaron from his mother. Aaron was born on the island, then removed from it, which is not done. I don't know what the ramifications are, but it seems like they must be dire.

Sawyer evidently chooses to stay on the island, as Jack said last night. As for Hurley, not sure why he doesn't take Aaron. Hopefully we'll know soon.

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Annandale, Va.: I think Christian is dead but somehow reveals himself to certain people like Jack and Claire. Did Miles actually see Christian with Claire, or just hear him? His discovery of the bodies seemed like a well placed reminder that he can hear dead people. And I don't think he gave a descrption of who Clair went off with, only that it was a man. Also, the doctor who approached Jack when he saw Christian didn't seem to see Christian either.

Jen Chaney: True, when Jack has seen Christian others have not. And I'd have to review it again, but Miles's description was focuses on hearing that Claire called him dad but he didn't have much of a visual description.

Again, why he didn't wake up Sawyer or ask Claire where she was going, I don't know.

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Bailey's Crossroads, VA: Is there no longer a online discussion during the episodes? Or is there a new way to find it? Both last noght and last week Thursday I tried to find it but could not. I miss the camraderie. Thanks.

Jen Chaney: Sorry, we stopped the during-show discussions -- otherwise known as yaplets -- because we felt it would be better to do these day-after discussions instead. The camaraderie was very nice, though. Hopefully you're still finding it here, even if it's not of the "in-the-moment" variety.

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Naboo: Is there a non-spoiler answer to when last night's flash forward took place? After the trial and before the beard, definitely; but was it before or after Jack and Hurley's game of HORSE at a cleaner, brighter, Santa Rosa?

Jen Chaney: Several questions about this, so let's try to break down the timeline, at least partially, once and for all.

I am going to lead Sayid out of it for the moment and just focus on Hurley, Jack and Kate.

First, Kate goes on trial for murder, etc. Jack tells her he doesn't want to see Aaron, blabbidy blabbidy.

Hurley goes to see Sun and Ji-Yeon.

Sometime after that trip, Hurley is back in L.A., crashes his car and goes to a mental institution, where he hangs out with Mr. Driveshaft and tries to tell Jack they need to go back to the island.

Jack changes his mind about Kate, decides to make a go of things with her. Sees Hurley in hospital, starts freaking about being a dad and seeing his dad. Starts hitting the pills. This, contrary to what I said in the blog, is around August 2007, not '06. Got my Yankees/Sox series mixed up, based on the screenshots circulating on the Web.

Jack and Kate split and Jack begins downward spiral -- filling in the blanks on this one, since we haven't seen this in an ep yet.

Jack hits rock bottom, tries to commit suicide and can't, tells Kate "we have to go back" and season three ends.

BAM

LOST

Does this make sense to everyone? Or am I high on Jack's sleeping pills and microwbrew?

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Boaties: I get a bad feeling about Charlotte. While I generally trust Faraday, I think she is much more coniving. Regardless, I think she'll be the reason Sun gets home safe and sound.

I'm also thinking their plot lines will get cut due to the shortened season. I would really like to know more about Faraday's "constant" but wonder if/when we will.

Staying w/the boaties, props to the chopper pilot who covered for the gang in the woods!

Jen Chaney: Yeah, Lapidus is a stallion.

I agree about Charlotte, though I don't think she's evil to her core necessarily. Her nostrils are constantly a'flaring. And it's hard to trust someone whose nostrils are always flaring.

I beleive the writers have already said plot lines will be shortened and that we won't learn as much backstory about the freighter peeps as we would have under normal circumstances. But the total number of episodes in the series will come out the same, so we will hopefully cover that ground next season or in the (tear) final season.

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Alexandria: Regarding why Miles just let Claire go... admittedly it's a pretty mundane reason for Lost, but I kinda thought it was just because he's pretty much a jerk. Not a bigtime baddie like the guys with guns going around killing everyone, just your garden-variety selfish jerk. Sawyer wasn't being nice to him and he couldn't really do much about it so when the opportunity came to either be helpful or do nothing, he just did nothing.

Jen Chaney: Wait, you're explaining something via a basic personality flaw? How can this be?

Ah, I'm kidding. You could very well be right.

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Lost on the Olympic Penninsula: Thanks for having these discussions. My daughter (who pays more attention to Matt Shepard than I do) thinks there's a correlation to Jack's mental state and his facial hair:

Clean shaven Jack = earlier flash forward when he had his life together.

Scruffy Jack (last night) = he's starting to drink and lose it.

Full beard Jack (last season's ender) = suicidal.

Which makes us wonder how he would be if her grew a Porn Mustache like Jason Lee.

Jen Chaney: If he starts looking like Lapidus, Jack is toast.

That's a very good theory. The fact that Kate said something about him getting scruffy suggests the writers are trying to get that message across. Kudos to your daughter for picking up on it.

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Silver Spring, MD:"in keeping with the Yankees/Red Sox thread -- saw that the Yankees swept the Sox in a five-game series. Which means the flash-forward was August 2006."

Doc Jensen says the game score was 5-0, not the series score -- which puts it in 2007.

Jen Chaney: I know, I know. I was not the only one to make that initial mistake, but I have (course)corrected myself, see timeline response above.

Thanks for clarification, though.

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Kack: I really can't buy Jack and Kate as a couple--for one, their uni-name is what I feel when she's on the screen (vomit/kack), but Matthew Fox can't even evince, in his acting, feelings of love for her character. She's spiritually repulsive. This could be an argument that Evangeline Lilly is, in fact, a good actress, and that the show hinges more on her evilness than we ever imagined.

Jen Chaney: Liz, is this you?

Look, Kate is not my favorite character necessarily. But the loathing some of you feel is hard for me to understand. Spiritually repulsive? I mean, that's just ... wow.

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To Bozeman, MT: I totally agree. What else would explain the SMOKE detector going off, but, well, a SMOKE monster!

I came to the series late, so maybe this is already established, but... is the Smoke Monster Jacob?

Jen Chaney: Nothing is established. It's possible Smokey is Jacob but no one knows. I think the two are related, as I still think Jacob also manifests himself in different ways.

Again, we should know (I hope!) next week.

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Washington, DC: What was it that future-Kate said about the status of Sawyer? He's alive?

Jen Chaney: I believe Jack said he chose to stay. Which suggests Sawyer is alive, but still on the island.

I don't know why we didn't think of this last night, but I think odds are that Kate's favor for Sawyer involves looking after his darling Clementine, Sawyer's daughter. Kate actually knew Sawyer's baby mama but did not realize it at the time. Maybe she realizes it now.

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Washington, D.C.: According to imdb, Richard Alpert is back next week. Woohoo!

Jen Chaney: It is true. Abbadon returns as well (yay Lance Reddick!).

The following week, which begins the finale, is a cast of thousands from Oceanic past, including Hurley's parents, Nadia and some others. I am way intrigued by that.

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august 06 vs 07:"This, contrary to what I said in the blog, is around August 2007, not '06. Got my Yankees/Sox series mixed up, based on the screenshots circulating on the Web. "--- really? I did some googling this morning and the general consensus seemed to be august 06-- that august 07 is a possibility (both had a sweep) but that 06 is more likely because of A-Rod's comparative performance (and Jack's muttered curse of him).

Jen Chaney: Well, in the screenshots, though it appears they are talking about '07. See here.

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Redmond, WA: Who was that strange looking guy in the preview for next week?

Jen Chaney: The dude who said he'd been dead for 12 years? That was one Horace Goodspeed, the Dharma guy who brought Ben and his father to the island.

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Glover Park: I feel the need to point out something that has been mentioned on a couple other message boards. The smoke alarm in the hospital did not go off, as everyone has been saying. It was beeping because the batteries were low. Does this change the significance of Christian's appearance in relation to the smoke monster? I don't know. But it's not as if the presence of smoke set it off or something. It's a cool theory, but I don't think that that was the intended meaning.

Jen Chaney: You know, this is the sort of common sense approach we need.

You're right, it was the batteries. But maybe that little suggestion was a nod to the Smoke Monster, even if we shouldn't literally interpret it as a sign that Christian is Smokey.

Thanks for getting everyone's heads on straight.

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wait...: I thought there were two more seasons after this? I thought it ended in 2010?

Jen Chaney: It does. Did I say otherwise? If so, I didn't mean to. We have two more seasons to go after this one ends.

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Kack again: No, not Liz, but she is clearly right in her distaste for Kate! I haven't seen one action from that character that seemed authentic or altruistic. We do not really know who she is. (Oh, other than a conniving murderess.) There is nothing bright about her spiritually--I see her character as very dark.

Jen Chaney: She's obviously not a straight-up good girl. But she tried to help Sun when she thought Sun wanted to go to Othertown to save her baby. (Wasn't the right move, but Kate didn't understand why.)

I don't think she's evil to her core. Honestly, I don't think anyone on the show is. They're all more complicated than that.

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San Angelo,Texas: Could the six be having problems off the island cause they do not have a strong constant(sp)

Jen Chaney: That's an interesting idea. The constant thing would come into play if they are stuck between two times in some way. And that could explain why Kate is happy in future; if her constant is bisected between Jack and Sawyer she's got one on each side of her journey. Not true for Jack, Hurley, Sayid and -- though we can't know his state of mind right now -- Aaron.

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Centreville, Va.: Is it bad to want them to kill off Jack and Kate and give Rose and Bernard more story?

Jen Chaney: Not for the actors who play Rose and Bernard.

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New Jersey: Hurley couldn't have taken baby Aaron because he's off his rocker.

But in seriousness, the story had to be that the child was Kate's because of the mythology of the Oceanic Six. Even if the survivors agreed to tell the public that it was Claire's baby, and Claire had died, there is NO WAY they would be able to keep the child once they returned to society... Aaron would have ended up in the social service system... or at the very least with Claire's next of kin. (although, perhaps that would be Jack?)

Anyway, if it was important to the Losties to get Aaron off the island, either Kate or Sun would have to lay claim to the child. And seeing as how she was still pregnant at the time...

Jen Chaney: Well, he didn't go off his rocker until later.

I forgot to mention this earlier, but I also think the public is led to believe that Aaron is Kate's. She is the only woman who gets off the island and it's more heart-wrenching somehow, to see a "mom" and her child as survivors.

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Chicago: Any clue as to what Kate was saying on the phone when Jack walked in on her? I tried several times but could not decipher it. Something like "he's gone for an hour"? Curious if it gives any clues to her favor for Sawyer.

Jen Chaney: I tried a few times, too. I heard Jack doesn't get home until around 8 and something else to the effect of being gone for an hour, as you said.

I think she's meeting with the mother of Sawyer's daughter and Clementine. That's just my theory. I don't think she's talking to Sawyer on the island, as someone else posited.

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LA, CA: I learned a new word from your wrap-up, diaphanous. And if that's what Kate is going to wear from now on, then I say Here Here. Every episode should start like that. Good thing Liz isn't here or else this wouldn't make it through.

Jen Chaney: That's the word of the day: Diaphanous. Almost as good as cahoots.

I posted this merely to provide fairer and more balanced commentary about Kate. Mission accomplished.

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Wash DC: It's possible that the flashfoward was shortly after Jack's previous visit to Hurley to play horse. In that flashforward, Jack says "maybe I'll grow a beard". Then last night Kate says "I bought you a new razor" and Jack answers "Don't like the scruff?" It would also be a basis for the hospital to call Jack to come visit Hurley--would they know about Jack otherwise?

Jen Chaney: Yes, I believe last night's events occur after the HORSE game.

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Washington DC: I don't think that Lost is some Star Wars copy (clone). I believe the producers and writers are more original than that. There may be shout-outs, but it's not a metaphor for Star Wars. We'd all get bored with that too easily.

Jen Chaney: No, no I don't think it's the same story as "Star Wars." I think those shout-outs though sometimes provide clues for where the "Lost" narrative might be heading. At the very least, they provide something for us to analyze.

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Brookfield, WI: What is your take on the ever so passionate kiss shared between Kate and Jack? Hot or not? This is only the second time we have seen them kiss, right? Also, do you think this flash forward/off island Kate is really in love with Jack, or has she settled, because her true love, Sawyer, decided to stay on the Island?

Jen Chaney: I thought it was kinda hot. But I have to say, part of me thought Kate was so predictable as the shower occupant that I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be awesome if he opened the shower door and it was ... Libby?" Granted, it wouldn't make sense, but it would be a killer surprise.

I believe Kate genuinely loves both of them, for different reasons, because they represent the two opposing forces of her character. She's a conflicted person, but I think being a mother, even a fake one, seems to have centered her somehow.

Speaking of kisses, the finale is supposed to have the most tremendous kiss in "Lost" history. I don't want to share my theory about what that might be because if I do, it might not come true.

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Washington, DC: One thing that doesn't really make sense to me is Kate's secrecy regarding Sawyer - I mean, why can't she just tell Jack what she's doing? Does she really think that she is going to be able to hide it?

Jen Chaney: Well, I think Jack answered that question for us. Because he'll start yelling crap like "Who were you with? I saved you! You're not even related to him!"

Kate knows Jack well enough to know he would be jealous and paranoid and if she is really just trying to help Sawyer's daughter, she figured there was no reason to share that information with him, especially if she's not doing anything wrong or unfaithful.

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Boodleville, MD (again): Would somebody explain the apparent contradiction (pointed out in the episode) of Jack getting sick (appendicitis) on the island -- where people get cured, not sicker.

Jen Chaney: All right, I'll try. It seems to me that when people come to the island already sick, they can get better. But it's possible to get sick, and progressively sicker, on the island.

Otherwise, Boone would not have died. (It all comes back to Boone.)

So far no one has answered the surgery question. Come on, people. One of these days a character from "Lost" will have to operate on you and if you don't figure this out now, you won't be prepared!

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The Kiss: Hurley and Libby!!

Jen Chaney: Oh, nice. That's not even what I was thinking but that would be awesome.

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The anti-The Secret:"I don't want to share my theory about what that might be because if I do, it might not come true." I like your anti-The Secret approach to life. Steer clear of Oprah, though.

Jen Chaney: Will do, my friend. I met Oprah once, briefly. She thought I was crazy. Can't say I blame her.

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Chattanooga, TN:"...because if I do, it might not come true."

Desmond and Sayid?

Jen Chaney: This is another possibility. I like Hurley and Libby more, but this has so many possibilities.

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Lost in Montgomery Village...: I can't find this week's Dueling Analysis--did the Post bury it somewhere because it was taking to much attention away from the "real" news?

That said, I'm really loving the season and pray pray pray that it doesn't go the way of X-Files.

Jen Chaney: No, no. Not buried. It's in Celebritology, where it always lives, and also on the "Lost" page. To make your life easier, though, here is the direct link.

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Jen Chaney: Wow, there are so many questions. I'm sorry I couldn't get to them all. I am going to close the discussion with a flurry of fun "big kiss" guesses.

And since you pulled my leg, I will reveal the kiss I am hoping we will see. Well, actually, there are two I'd love to see....

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The Kissing Land: Sawyer and Hurley?

Jen Chaney: That's been a long time coming. Would be delicious.

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Arlington, Va.: Ben and Juliet

Jen Chaney: Ew. Are you trying to make me throw up the tortilla chips I just ate? Come on, man.

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The Kiss: Michael and Sun!

Jen Chaney: Yeah, I think the sexual tension there died three seasons ago. Nice guess, though.

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Malpractice Alley: Bernard, hands down.

Christian is dead, Juliet is nuts (who in the HELL lets her patient stay awake during an appendectomy!), and Jack is such an overachiever he'd probably throw in a little unnecessary heart transplant during a gall bladder removal.

Bernard, at least, knows how to administer anesthesia.

Jen Chaney: Finally, some surgery questions, which I am throwing in, too.

Bernard may not be Rambo. But he's a hell of a dentist.

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Re: choice of doctor: Juliet, hands down. Jack is a drunk and Christian is both a drunk and a possible smoke monster.

Jen Chaney: This is the most rational thing I have heard all day.

The last thing you want is a Smoke Monster operating on you. (I know, I know, he didn't set off the smoke alarm. It was the batteries. And Ross and Rachel were on a break. Sheesh.)

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The Kiss: Desmond and Penny!

Jen Chaney: Ah, now someone who is speaking my language. This would be as spectacular as what I originally had in mind: Claire, who upon departing this life will reconnect with and kiss our long-lost Charlie, who died in last season's finale.

Get the chills thinking about either of these options, actually.

And on that note, I am off to play a grand old game of Risk. See you back here, same time next week.

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