Perhaps the most interesting thing about LOST last night was that, finally, no new grand mysteries were introduced and it marks the second episode in a row where a conversation is had where people ask the right questions and get something more than circumlocution. Last week it was a young Esau with the apparition of his birth mother and yesterday it was Jacob during his fireside chat with the remaining candidates.
The first thing that hit me as the credits rolled was that, if Jack is the new guardian of the Island and its refulgent center, then who is going to be the next Smokey? I suppose there doesn't necessarily have to be one but, with the black and white dichotomy and Dogen's lecture about that scale inside every man with good on one side and evil on the other, there surely must be an antagonist for Jack.
How about Ben letting Widmore suck on some lead? He has now avenged Alex's death and knows that Esau's plan is to destroy the Island so Smokey's offer for Ben to have the Island all to himself is now off. Doing away with the Island presumably means snuffing out the light at its center which pits Esau against Jack. After all, he swore back in the day that he'd kill Jacob and any who dare replace him to get off the Island.
Jack asks Jacob how to kill Esau but the erstwhile keeper of the Light doesn't know. But, he says, they'd better figure it out because Esau will most assuredly try to kill them. My guess is that what the Light giveth, the Light taketh away. Jack is going to have to trick Smokey into the Light and let its beautiful electromagnetic radiation wreak the Casimir Effect on his ass. Either that or you have to nuke him from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
In the flash-sideways world, Desmond is massing his horde. But to what end? He gets all the Losties together again and then what? I'm not sure but I think Eloise Hawking will be seen again. On the Island, Widmore supposedly brought Des back as a failsafe in case Smokey had managed to kill the candidates. Exactly what Desmond would be able to do remains a mystery but he survives in both worlds and appears to be a lynchpin in both. And Jack's bleeding neck returned. The last time we saw that being in the season premiere.
There are still tons of variables out there. For instance, there are all these souls which call the Island their purgatory away from home. They might not like the idea of destroying the Island all too much. On a less supernatural front, Miles is still out wandering, though it's debatable exactly how getting weird feelings when treading on ground underneath which lie corpses is going to do anyone any good. And I don't think Richard is dead yet either. A little worse for wear, no doubt, but he's still around. Desmond is incommunicado but he'll show up and Claire is around too. Plus Ben is still a wildcard.
1) Ben has been a great character with an air of mystery about him and a boatload of ambiguity. I think it would be nice if he retained those characteristics at the end but I have a feeling that he is going to turn to the Dark Side. Sayid redeemed himself despite having been "claimed", but I don't think Ben is in that same predicament. He's not interested in redemption. He's a-redemptive. It doesn't even register in him. He wants the Island but he's gonna have to stop Esau first and then deal with Jack.
2) Hurley must live! Otherwise The Dulcinea will fall into a deep depression.
3) Sawyer feels guilt over Jin and Sun's death. (And Frank and Sayid too.) He's sacrificed himself in the past and I suspect he'll do so again. Anthony Cooper is dead so it's his time. R.I.P. Sawyer.
4) Can we please see Kate in her underwear one last time?