'Lost': Story tellers

Yunjinkim_lost_s4_240 Quick programming note here on the Lost blog: the Lost Butterworthed Gallery has been updated with new images. If you've seen the gallery already, go back for more goodness. If you haven't, dear God, what's wrong with you? It's like visiting the Louvre, only with more syrup. And really, who wouldn't want to visit a saccharine-laced Louvre? Exactly.

In yesterday's entry, I posted ten possible topics of discussion for the two-week interim between the first part of "No Place Like Home" and the two-hour finale. Among the first responses, the genesis of the Oceanic 6's cover story seemed to generate the most interest. Coming in dead last? "Hurley: Boxers or Briefs?" Shoulda seen that one coming.

So in today's entry, I'll look at what I feel are the five most likely sources of the cover story.  I'll also look at the pros and cons of each, and then let you, the readers, decide what's correct. (We could let the producers and writers of Lost decide, but really, where's the fun in that?)

In order from least likely to most likely, according to my Lost-addled brain:

#5) The Freighter Four

Pros: They each have knowledge of their mission to the Island, are by and large now sympathetic to the Lostaways, and could provide crucial intel on both the freighter, Widmore's plans, and the Island in general to the Oceanic 6. Three of them also have good reason to stay behind on the Island, with Lapidus providing the most likely method off the Island for the 6.

Cons: Not only are the Freighter Four spread out across the Island, but we've learned over the course of the season that they were largely duped from the get-go as to their specific roles in the "rescue" mission. And while I'm sold on Faraday and Lapidus as clearly in the "good guy" camp, I still don't completely trust Charlotte and Miles.

#4) Oceanic Airlines

Pros: The Oceanic 6 could very well be shocked and dismayed upon learning they were the only six who successfully left the Island. This would leave them susceptible to a PR storyline created by Karen Decker and Oceanic Airlines,  a story that is false but would allow them to potentially move on from their recent tragedy. This formulation also allows for someone in the Lost mythology to have ties to Oceanic Airlines and provide this story as cover for future events.

Cons: I think I simply want a more emotional, personal, haunting reason for the secrecy of the Oceanic 6. Having it be a simple PR story that the 6 go along with doesn't feel dramatically appropriate. I want this cover story to not only cover the truth, but a deep well of pain on the part of the Oceanic 6. (I know: I'm a cheerful fellah.)

#3) Jack Shephard

Pros: The de facto leader of the Lostaways becomes the de facto leader of the Oceanic 6, at least through the press conference. While the 6 slowly split in the following months/years, they still adhere to the story because they begrudgingly believe it's the best and only option available. This option assumes that the 6 all realize Jack made the wrong call in contacting the Freighter, but believe that leaving and maintaining the cover story makes the best of a broken situation.

Cons: Who in the name of Dharma Dan would listen to Jack Shephard at this point when it came to tactical strategy? Then again, Kate seems to have no problem shacking up with him the future, so I guess Jack lives to screw up another day. (I like Matthew Fox, y'all: I just think the show makes him unlikable at times, especially when it comes to making BIG DECISIONS RELATED TO THE GROUP'S LONG-TERM WELFARE.)

#2) Benjamin Linus

Pros: It's Ben Freakin' Linus, people. Who better to concoct a ginormous lie with long-term payoff?

Cons: I'm still not sold that, at the point the Oceanic 6 leave the Island, they would acquiesce to anything Ben had to say. Even if Ben made a compelling argument that this was the only way to save their friends/save the Island, I can't see Jack and Sayid going along with it. But hey, I can't see how Keamy isn't about to kill him seven ways from Wednesday, but we know Ben will survive that, so anything's possible.

#1) Penelope Widmore

Pros: My absolutely favorite option at the moment. She's appeared in the last two season finales. She's an incredibly unlikely option, in that she's out of the collective fan consciousness at the moment.  This would pay off Charlie's sacrifice, explain her future absence, give her a potential reunion with Desmond, and set in motion events that would ricochet into the next two years.

Cons: It's a bit deus ex machina, I know. And while I'm part of the Penelope Widmore Fan Club (Boston chapter), I'm not sure everyone would be as enamored of this option as I am. In addition, I think the Des/Penny reunion should be in the series finale, not a season finale, to reach maximum impact. And since I've gone on record as saying this will happen, I've ensured it will never come to pass.

OK, people...those are my five options. Which ones resonate? Which ones ring false? And which ones did I miss? Leave your answers below!

Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.