"Lost" fans gear up for series finale

TORONTO Sun May 23, 2010 9:10pm EDT

(L-R) Cast member Emilie de Ravin, co-creator and executive producer Damon Lindelof, executive producer Carlton Cuse, and cast members Terry O'Quinn, Michael Emerson and Jorge Garcia of the series ''Lost'' participate in a panel discussion about the show's final season at the Disney ABC winter 2010 Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California, January 12, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

(L-R) Cast member Emilie de Ravin, co-creator and executive producer Damon Lindelof, executive producer Carlton Cuse, and cast members Terry O'Quinn, Michael Emerson and Jorge Garcia of the series ''Lost'' participate in a panel discussion about the show's final season at the Disney ABC winter 2010 Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California, January 12, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Danny Moloshok

TORONTO (Reuters) - The characters of sci-fi TV drama "Lost" wrap up their adventures on Sunday in a highly anticipated finale that may yield even more questions for fans after six seasons of plot twists on the show's mysterious tropical island.

To keep fans glued to television screens, the ABC network is airing a two-hour retrospective, "Lost: The Final Journey" ahead of the show's two and one-half hour marathon finale at 9 p.m. EDT, followed by late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live: Aloha to Lost."

In 59 countries, the final episode will air simultaneously or within 48 hours of Sunday's U.S. and Canadian broadcasts.

Since it's debut in 2004, "Lost" has won 58 awards, including Golden Globes and Emmys, and while viewership has fallen since its early heyday among TV's top-rated dramas, "Lost" still averages around 11 million viewers weekly in the United States and has devoted followers in some 220 countries.

Those fans will be looking for answers to key questions about the series' numerous mysteries, but the "Lost" creators have already warned that, despite the extended finale, many lingering questions will likely go unanswered.

Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have said that the final episode's storyline will continue on a season six DVD with upward of 20 minutes of additional material.

Part supernatural adventure, part character-driven drama, "Lost" has evolved from the story of 48 survivors of Oceanic flight 815 who find themselves stranded on a mysterious island into a complicated, mythological tale with an expansive cast.

The series-ending season No. 6 began in the post hydrogen-bomb haze of the 1977 Swan construction site explosion, and it has progressed at a break-neck pace, shifting through time periods and giving more back story on strange characters like Richard Alpert, Jacob and The Man in Black.

Fans were taken into a "sideways" alternate universe, which may come to a climatic end when Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer and other key characters meet at a concert they've been wrangled into attending by Scotsman Desmond Hume.

Last Tuesday's episode, entitled "What They Died For," saw Jack drink from Jacob's cup and ascend from good doctor to the island's new protector. But it remains unknown if Jack, and the surviving candidates, can defeat The Man in Black, who is currently in a parasitic relationship with John Locke's corpse and hell bent on destroying the island.

In Sunday's finale, the 114th episode and fittingly entitled "The End," fans will be looking for new light on key questions to relieve six seasons of mystery fatigue. Yet, "Lost" has been exceptional precisely because its plots have been bereft of answers.

So, viewers should prepare themselves: they may never know why polar bears inhabited a tropical, seemingly-deserted island paradise.

(Reporting by Ashleigh Patterson, Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)