'Lost' (S4): Doc Jensen returns! | EW.com

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'Lost' (S4): Doc Jensen returns!

Season 4 premieres Jan. 31 -- but before we return to The Island, our expert already has some Web-inspired theories cooking

Matthew Fox, Lost, ...

The wait is almost over. The fourth season of our mutual fixation Lost is almost upon us after a long, restorative, and well-negotiated break. My crazy-tank has been topped off, and I’ve got ideas to burn…though upon completing the first draft of the text you’re about to read, I realized that the Doc Jensen cogs had acquired some crust and rust during the layoff. That isn’t all bad for me. I recently visited a Lost fansite and saw a puzzling, preposterous image that I hadn’t seen or thought about in many mad moons: the four-toed statue. I found myself intrigued all over again. Time may have dulled my Lost mind, but not my interest.

Of course, the anticipatory excitement of season 4 is undercut with bittersweet reality. Lost was only able to finish half of its 16-episode season before the Writers Guild of America went on strike. According to sources, if Lost can’t resume work by Jan. 31 (the same date the new season premieres), it will start becoming logistically impossible to produce a full season of shows. (My understanding is that this goes for most every other scripted series on TV, too.) The situation will become more complicated if the strike pushes into the spring and postpones the back half of the season altogether. Last May, when ABC and the producers of Lost announced that the series would end after three more seasons, they agreed to only make 16 episodes during each of those years. The logical implication would seem to be this: ABC can’t just simply increase the size of 2009’s 16-episode pod in order to make up for a strike-shortened season — not without reworking the terms of the pact they hammered out earlier this year. And so, once again, another season of Lost will come with the distraction of sideshow drama concerning the future of the series itself.

All to say: Happy New Year!

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DOC JENSEN’S FIVE FAVORITE NOT-NECESSARILY-MAJOR UNRESOLVED LOST MYSTERIES THAT I HOPE MIGHT GET LESS UNRESOLVED OVER THE COURSE OF SEASON 4, BUT IF THEY DON’T, THAT’S OKAY, BECAUSE LIKE I SAID, THEY’RE RELATIVELY MINOR UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES

I’m just saying, it would be neat to learn more about:

1. The four-toed statue
2. The whispers
3. The pile of unclaimed Pearl Station diaries
4. Desmond’s inability to escape The Island after the castaways relieved him of button-pushing duty
5. Why Mr. Friendly (may he rest in fake-bearded peace) told Kate, ”You’re not my type.”

NEXT PAGE: Digging in to two new online Lost experiences…