Counting Down to the End of 'Lost'

Lost’s final season has been a wild ride. Answers to almost six years of mysteries have been unraveling like a spool of thread ever since the series premiere on Sept. 22, 2004 -- but this season, revelations have arrived faster each week. It’s hard to believe ABC is airing the season finale Sunday (7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET), which will no doubt be epic and satisfying. The answers so far have felt satisfying, anyway.

No, these aren’t lost souls from a plane crash, stranded in purgatory, as many early fan theories suggested. The story is deeper and richer and more imaginative than that. And doesn't it feel like there's so much more story to tell? Every Lost fan has a list of questions you wish Lost would explain, and it often feels like the suspense will never end!

At least we have learned the following: The Island is home to a special, spiritual place -- a life force, so to speak -- that connects everyone and everything. The woman (played by Allison Janney) who raised Jacob (Mark Pelligrino) described the heart of the island as the source of “life, death, rebirth.” One person has the burdensome job of protecting it at all costs, an assignment Jacob inherited from his "mother." 

But now, because his brother -- the Man in Black/Smoke Monster (Titus Welliver) -- discovered how to kill him, Jacob needs to pass the job on to a qualified candidate. Jack (Matthew Fox) recently volunteered, but will he hang on to his new role? For now, Jack is tasked with preventing Jacob’s brother, Man in Black/Smokey Monster, from destroying the island.

However, there’s still so much more to find out! Here are the mysteries I’m crossing my fingers we'll finally solve:

How will the alternate ("sideways") timeline get reconciled to the one on the island? Will these two worlds collide? What time frame are we truly in? And what is Desmond’s (Henry Ian Cusick) role in this? How does this "failsafe" thing work?

Is Ben (Michael Emerson) good or evil? The man is a master of deception. Season after season, he’s flip-flopped from victim to tyrant and back again. Has he been acting as the Man in Black’s pawn for years, thinking he was following Jacob’s orders when he was unwittingly following the bad guy? Was he showing his true colors in last week’s episode, aligning with Bad Locke/Man in Black?

And was Charles Widmore (Alan Dale) good or evil?

Will Kate (Evangeline Lilly) choose Jack or Sawyer (Josh Holloway)? And how will Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) fit in?

If characters die on the island -- like Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Sun (Yunjin Kim) and Sayid (Naveen Andrews) -- are they really dead? Will they live on in the alternate timeline?

Will Walt (Malcolm David Kelley), who had such a pivotal role in the first season, come back?

The finale is going to need every last second of its two-and-a half hours to explain all this. Like any Lost fanatic, I can’t wait! On the other hand, I’ll also probably be grieving the end of this incomparably wild ride.

PHOTOS: The Burning Questions You Wish Lost Would Answer!

How do you think you'll feel when Lost is over? Chime in below!

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