LostgroupIt was good enough to make your skin crawl, as fine a finale as TV has seen since No. 6 returned to his London apartment only to have the whole mess start anew as the midget and tall, top-hatted guy drove slowly past his flat. (If you’re confused, go rent the DVD set of Patrick McGoohan’s "The Prisoner.")

Of the many questions raised by "Lost’s" powerful two-hour finale, the biggest one that came to my mind is: How long are we going to have to wait for the show to come back! As "Lost" segues to its 16-episode season next year, we could be on the hook for eight months or more! Say it ain’t so Steve! C’mon Jeff Bader, ABC scheduling dude extraordinaire, have mercy! If ABC opened the the year with a clip-show recap, like the very entertaining spesh with showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse that led into Wednesday’s finale, the season could start on Jan. 9 (assuming show stays on Wednesday, which I vote for) and run through April 23. Or take a week off for another creative clip or even bloopers special halfway through and that’d take us through April 30. Let’s not wait, guys. May sweeps are outmoded!

Of all the super-fine moments in the third-season closer, perhaps the most satisfying for fans was Losthurley watching Hurley ram that VW bus through the encampment to take out that mean, burly Other. It was pure vindication for the good-hearted soul who’d spent the previous 65 minutes being told he was too rotund to be of help in the castaways grand rescue and resistance efforts. (Hurley’s feat will also fuel conspiracy theories in the L.A.’s South Bay area that Jorge Garcia’s character was named for one of the great drummers of our time, George Hurley, of Minutemen fIREHOSE and Vida fame, who’s known for driving his V-Dub buses and minivans as if he’s possessed by the spirit of Jacob.) The finale was also a tour de force in varying degrees of facial hair for Matthew Fox.

Like all good segs of "Lost," the finale raised far more questions than it provided answers. Some of the questions we get to ponder during the next 200-plus days before we get our next fix:

1) So Jack’s dad is not dead?

2) Who’s the third maybe-pregnant woman? We knew Sun was expecting, we knew Kate was going to be in the family way after seeing her unprotected relationship with Sawyer blossom, but who’s the inhabitant of the third tent that the Others wanted to abduct?

3) Who was in that casket in the funeral home in the really bad part of L.A. that Jack visited but didn’t look at?

Lostcharlie_2  4) Is Charlie really a goner?

5) Is Mikhail, aka Cyclops, really gone, this time?

6) What’s the deal with Penelope? How is it that she just happens to have a direct channel into the Looking Glass station?

7) Why did Walt appear to spur Locke out of his bony resting place?

8) Is there a shred of truth to Ben’s contention that the people behind Naomi’s arrival want to "kill every living thing on the island?

9) How is creepy Richard going to handle things now that he’s got to do Lostnestor

double-duty on the island and on CBS’ midseason drama "Cane"?

10) What’s the big mistake the future-Jack refers to in his tearful reunion with future-Kate, which brings us back to…

11) When oh when is "Lost" coming back?!?

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