January 31st, 2008 is a date etched onto the very brain tissue of every Lost fan. As it was foretold on Lostpedia, that is the day that the show's creators will issue forth a new, fourth season, full of mysteries, clues, intrigues, and unneccessary grifting backstories for them to watch, revel in, analyze, and over-analyze to an embarrassing degree.

Lost is a unique TV show in that way because its viewing audience is made up almost entirely of Lost fanatics. Due to the show's intricate, maze-like plots, layered references, and the creators' propensity for mindfuckery, it's very hard to be a casual viewer of Lost. If you miss one episode, you may fail to see the significance (or insignificance) of something (or nothing…hi, Jacob!) three episodes down the road.

But ABC is trying to rope in the casual Lost viewers (if they exist), by re-airing last season's finale episode tonight, complete with pop-up explainer bubbles. What? Yes.

From the New York Times:

ABC is labeling its revamped finale "Lost, Enhanced," and it will include explanations of characters and events that will slide up in a bar of text at the bottom of the screen. So if Jack (Matthew Fox) is in the middle of a confrontation with Ben (Michael Emerson), Mr. Benson said, the running text commentary may explain that this is not Jack's first encounter with Ben, or that Ben was first known as Henry Gale.

Basically, it's like Pop-Up Video: Lost Edition, or Lost for dummies–a concept that sounds both fun and monumentally stupid, especially since none of the show's writers or producers participated, due to the WGA strike. What will this look like? What information can ABC explain in a bubble? Here are a few ideas:


Pop-Up:This may look like an ordinary island, but, seriously, it's not. For one thing there are smoke monsters here. What are smoke monsters? They're like these giant black tunnels of smoke that could be an island security system, or an electromagnetic…You know what? Let's not get into it. You should really watch Seasons 1-3.


Pop-Up: Walt "escaped" the island with his father (looong story) a little while ago. He was a little boy then. Now, he is at least 19. So, apparently both magic and puberty exist on or near the island.

Pop-Up:This guy's an Other. The Others are kinda…well, look they're pretty complicated. Let's just leave it at that.


Pop-Up: Jack's a doctor with severe daddy issues. Juliet's an Other with evil issues. Together, they're the MC Skat Kat and Paula Abdul of the island: they come together cause opposites attract. (This lends credence to the "Jack is actually a cartoon cat" theory, a theory which is largely nonexistent.)


Pop-Up: Sayid and Jin once saw this crazy, four-toed statue on the other side of the island. If you can figure out what that's supposed to mean, let us know.