This article contains spoilers for the Lost finale and the epilogue “The New Man In Charge.”

Perhaps you may have heard, but the Lost finale was a touch controversial. As one of the biggest network TV dramas of all time and one of pop culture’s great “mystery box” stories, this ABC series had a lot of questions to answer in its final season.

Some would argue that Lost did a mostly fine job of resolving its many mysteries. In fact, that’s the official position taken here at Den of Geek. Many others, however, have found the finale’s focus on emotional catharsis over logical resolutions to be unsatisfying. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, something that the latter crowd sometimes misses in their interpretation of the Lost finale is that “The End” isn’t really the end. That’s right: there’s an epilogue to the Lost finale that you may not have even heard of.

The Lost epilogue is titled “The New Man in Charge” and was initially made available on the DVD boxset for the show’s sixth and final season. The episode is 11 minutes long and consists of two brief scenes designed to wrap up some of the lingering questions from the show’s run – particularly the fate of long-missing character Walt Lloyd (Malcolm David Kelley).

“There was a lot of Walt worry and that led to us making this epilogue for the DVD called ‘The New Man in Charge,’ in which we resolve the Walt of it all,” co-showrunner Damon Lindelof told Vulture in 2021. “People don’t consider it part of the canon. I do, but the look on people’s faces when they’re like, ‘What about Walt?’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, we did this thing, and it’s on the DVD’ — they just look like they want to strangle me, so I get that.”

While interesting and helpful, this epilogue is oft-forgotten in the streaming era as online interfaces rarely carve out the server space for surprise “bonus” episodes. In fact, you won’t find “The New Man in Charge” on either of the major streaming services that Lost in available on at the moment – Netflix and Hulu. Thankfully, you can find it now on YouTube pretty easily. So we did just that for you. Give the full 11-minute epilogue a watch then meet us on the other side for a recap and rundown of the Lost questions it answers.

What Happens in The Lost Epilogue?

“The New Man in Charge” consists of two short scenes. In the first scene, newly minted Island liaison Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) arrives at a Dharma Initiative Logistics Warehouse to tie off some loose ends. The facility, which operates out of Guam’s Orote Peninsula, consists of two men in Dharma tracksuits who have been cobbling together air drops of supplies for the past 20 years.

Ben explains to the two workers that the Dharma Initiative no longer requires their services because the Dharma Initiative hasn’t existed for almost 20 years now. The requests they’ve been faxed are automated and have come from Dharma’s Lighthouse station in Los Angeles, which tracks the location of The Island. The men are understandably confused to have been let go so abruptly so Ben allows them to ask a question each. After answering where the shipments have been going to (the Island, which continually moves around the globe), Ben decides to just show them the orientation video for Dharma Station 1 “The Hydra” to head off other questions.

The orientation video, which features our old friend Dr. Pierre Chang (François Chau) walks fresh Dharma recruits through the purpose of the Hydra Station. In short, they’re doing simple animal studies…along with some human experiments on the Island’s natives known as Hostiles. In true Lost fashion, the video leaves the two workers with more questions than answers but Ben is on a tight schedule and has to go.

Next up, Ben arrives at the familiar Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute (which previously housed both Hurley and Libby). It turns out he is there to see Walt Lloyd, the ultimate dangling thread from Lost‘s run, having departed the series midway through the second season. Ben apologizes for that nasty bit of kidnapping business and affirms that Walt is special. He then invites him to come back to the one place he truly belongs: The Island.

Walt leaves with Ben to a car outside where Hugo “Hurley” Reyes (Jorge Garcia) is waiting. Having been crowned the Island’s new Jacob-esque deity in the series finale, Hurley appears to be looking for special individuals to help him run things. How can Walt assist with the Island’s continued protection and maintenance? That’s just one last question the show leaves lingering.

What Mysteries Does The Lost Epilogue Resolve?

While “The New Man in Charge” does end on another enigmatic note, it is also features answers to some of Lost‘s many lingering questions. Here is everything we find out from the epilogue…

Why Was the Island Still Receiving Supply Airdrops?

In Lost season 2 episode 17 “Lockdown,” the Islanders are shocked to discover a fresh batch of supplies resting on a pallet in the middle of the Island with a parachute attached. Did this reveal that someone was still out there tracking the Island and keeping note of their every move? Nope! All the airdrop indicated is that the Dharma Initiative was really terrible at logistics.

In its haste to flee the Island after the Hostiles/Others initiated a violent cleansing known as “The Purge,” the Dharma Initiative clearly just forgot to flip some switches. The Logistics Center in Guam was never relieved of duty and therefore kept sending along supplies to nobody.

Why Were There Polar Bears on the Island?

Per the orientation video for Dharma Station 1: The Hydra, polar bears were a crucial element of animal research being conducted on the Island. Part of that research consisted of the usual stuff – bear pushes button, bear gets fish biscuit. But there was another part of that research that clearly got a little stranger.

Dr. Pierre Chang alludes to polar bears’ intelligence, resistance to electromagnetic energy, and acclimation to cold climates as the real reason for their purpose on The Island. Tying all of those elements together, it becomes clear that polar bears were being trained to push the frozen wheel under the Orchid Station. We see in the season 3 finale how the pushing of this wheel shifts the Island through time while also teleporting the wheel-turner. Unfortunately, that means that many of Dharma’s polar bears were transported to Tunisia where they eventually died.

Why Did Dr. Pierre Chang Go By So Many Names?

The orientation video for The Hydra seen in the Lost epilogue was undoubtedly the first one recorded because it’s the only one to feature Dr. Pierre Chang using his actual name. In future orientation videos, he will be known as Marvin Candle, Edgar Halliwax, and Mark Wickmund. Near the beginning of this video he urges the watcher to be discreet about what they’re about to see because “I would not want to resort to using an alias in the future.” It would appear, then, that someone was not discreet.

What Was With That Weird Bird on the Island?

While many Lost viewers were understandably chiefly concerned about the Smoke Monster and the polar bears, there was another strange beast introduced early in the show’s run. In the season 1 finale, Hurley hears something call his name in the jungle. Then in the season 2 finale, the sound is revealed to have come from an enormous parrot-like bird. The “Hurley bird” isn’t seen or heard from after that, but “The New Man in Charge” decides to settle the nature of this mystery anyway. The bird was just another animal experiment from the Dharma Initiative, who created hybrid birds that they cheekily named “Hy-birds.”

What Was Room 23?

Early in season 3, Kate and Sawyer come across a backroom in The Hydra known as “Room 23.” As evidenced by an Other named Karl being subjected to a strange propaganda film, it appears to be used as a sort of brainwashing tool. The Hydra orientation video reveals that is not entirely true. Room 23 is more of a memory-wiping mechanism than it is a memory-altering one. The Dharma Initiative would periodically kidnap Hostiles/Others to glean information about their culture. After doing so, subjects would be entered into Room 23 to have their memory of the abduction erased and preserve the truce between Dharma and the Island’s natives.

What Happened to Walt?

The removal of Walt as a main character on Lost is clearly an aspect of the show that even the producers feel conflicted about. In that same interview with Vulture linked above, Lindelof expresses his frustration for not finding a way to get Walt in the final scene alongside the other supporting characters finding each other in the afterlife.

Lindelof attributes Walt’s absence to not being able to properly explain why the character would appear as an older version of himself in the show’s flash-sideways purgatory. He also claims that that precluded the return of Walt’s father Michael, played by Harold Perrineau, as well. In a 2023 Vanity Fair expose, writer Maureen Ryan reported that Perinneau felt marginalized as a Black actor on the show and pushed to exit the series early.

“The New Man in Charge” then operates as a sort of mea culpa for fans who wondered whatever happened to Walt. Unfortunately the answer to that is not a particular happy one. It would appear that Walt has been at a mental health facility ever since he arrived back home from the Island at the end of season 2. One can only imagine how hard it was to explain everything that just happened to him on a mystical Island.

While the Lost epilogue doesn’t articulate exactly why Walt is “special,” it does, at least, reaffirm that he is. It also suggests that his future is brighter than his past. If Hurley is the new Jacob and Ben is the new Richard then somebody’s gotta take Ben’s old spot as leader of all the lost souls who find themselves on the Island. Based on this epilogue, it’s clear that Walt will do a better job of it than Ben ever did.

All six seasons of Lost are available to stream on Netflix and Hulu now.

The post The Lost Epilogue Answers (Some Of) Your Finale Questions appeared first on Den of Geek.

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