DarkUFO - Lost

Exactly two years from now, when ''Lost'' is in the home stretch of its final season, I have no doubt that the editors here will suggest the nifty idea of setting the stage for the show's climactic arc with (what else?) a list. In fact, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sneak into my secret room (sorry: can't let you in) and confirm this inevitable assignment by popping into the future using my own wormhole-powered Quantum Leapster. Just let me set the controls and follow the directions on my ancient hieroglyphic tablet here and...BZZZZZZ-BLINK. Bingo! There I am, sitting at my desk on April 25, 2010, typing up the list, just as I expected (except for the part where I'm actually employed by Wood Cabinetry Weekly; what the hell happened to me?), and there it is, sitting very high on this ranking of all-time pivotal Lost moments, the scene that we all witnessed in last night's episode: Ben's shell-shocked reaction to the assassination of his adopted daughter, Alex: ''He changed the rules.'' As for No. 1 on the list, that would be season 5's revelation that Jack is actually...BZZZZZZZ-BLINK. Damn! My frakking Quantum Leapster ran out of juice! Stupid alien technology! Maybe next week....

Of course, the irony of my fantastical scenario lies in the profound significance of Alex's death. The future has become unknowable and unreliable — at least as far as the once great and powerful Oz of the Others, is concerned. ''He changed the rules,'' muttered Ben, his battered and bloodied face dawning with horrifying awareness. ''He'' is Charles Widmore, the man on the other side of the cosmic chessboard to which fate-whipped Ben is shackled. And in ''The Shape of Things to Come'' — the ninth episode of Lost's fourth season — the whiskey-soused, nightmare-plagued billionaire Brit made a desperate, most unexpected move against Ben in his mad bid to gain (or is that regain?) that which was once his in the past, or (buckle up for this one, kids) that which was supposed to be his in the future.

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