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The CUSE Initiative

There's a lot of talk about how terrible TV is these days and as a whole, I tend to agree. If you're looking for quantity, you're just not going to find it. But if you look for quality and you know where to look, good TV is there for the findin'. Whether it's on the pay channels (Dexter, Californication, Big Love and The Wire (RIP)), Basic Cable (Damages and Mad Men) or even Network (Lost, Sarah Connor Chronicles (which is decent enough) and The Office), there's just enough out there to keep even the most ardent TV critic sated until next season.

Most specifically, if you were ever a fan of Lost, you have to be drooling in anticipation for tonight's episode. This season has been nothing short of fantastic and a complete return to form for one of the most consistently compelling shows on TV. Let the naysayers have their "but it's not leading anywhere" opinions, we know that's not true. Sure, a good chunk of the things we thought were important ultimately won't be, but that's a product of our overactive fascination with the show and the writer's ability to make us question every single scene and fact we see on the screen.

If I were
Hereos' creator Tim Kring, I'd be Tivo-ing this season of Lost and going over it with a fine tooth comb (Lord knows most everything else from that show is "borrowed" from another source). Lost was in deep Hanso Foundation Certified doodie this time last year after it became abundantly clear that they were dragging their toes without any kind of clear time frame to work with. Now that they know exactly how long they have to tell the story, everything is meaningful and impactful. Heroes went down the same path last season, assuming that viewers would just keep showing up even if the shows were filled with useless scenes and uninteresting characters (You could practically hear the NBC execs screaming "We need more black and latino characters!" through the screen) that we didn't care about. Lost was able to recover, but something tells me the less-organic Heroes will not.

What makes
Lost so compelling (imo) is the seemingly never-ending layers of questions and mystery (many of which do get answered, as long as you're paying attention). In a way, the Syracuse basketball program is in a similar state. So many questions about the future. So many unanswered mysteries to unravel. Through examining Lost, can we possibly gather the information we need to answer them? Let's try...

(By the
way, no discussion of this season of Lost can go by without mentioning the amazing work of Michael Emerson a.k.a. Ben this season. When he let loose on Juliet last week, telling her "YOU'RE MINE!," I mean, how could you not get goosebumps? Eeeeevil.)

The Lost Mystery:
Will we ever see Michael and Walt again?
The Cuse Mystery:
Will we ever see Donte Greene again?

Well, if you're a big fan of the show you probably already know the answer to that. Even if you're just a casual Internet browser you probably know the answer as well. And if you don't know the answer, you probably will in about eight hours.

As for Donte, we cannot predict the future but much the same way we pretty much know the answer is yes to Michael & Walt, we know the answer is Yes for Donte. And not unlike Walt, we expect Donte to return older, wiser, stronger and with more facial hair.

The Lost Mystery:
Who's behind all of this? Hanso? Widmore? Jacob?
The Cuse Mystery:
Who's really running things around here? Boeheim? Hopkins? Gross?

The last few episodes have teased (and out-right told us) a lot of information about Widmore being the evil mastermind destime to control the island. But that still doesn't explain why the island is the way it is and what's up with our old friend Alvar Hanso. Something tells me the Widmore stuff is a rouse and Widdy is ultimately just a pawn on Hanso's chessboard.

As for SU, Boeheim looks like he's aged another five years from this team. There's grumblings that they respond better to Hopkins, who built up more rapport in recruiting most of them. We already know Hopkins is going to take over one day, but is it happening sooner than expected? Or
is it happening just as DOCTOR Gross would like? The plot thickens...

The Lost Mystery:
In the future, who are all of the members of the Oceanic Six?
The Cuse Mystery:
In the future, who are all of the members of the Syracuse Starting Five?

We already know about Jack, Kate, Sayid and Hurley. I suppose Aaron counts too, huh? We also know Ben got off the island but signs point to that being secretive (um, the fact that he's pretending to be a vet who is actually sending a contract killer around the world to hunt down people). So that leaves one slot but who is it? In last season's final episode, we found out that one of the survivors dies and it's someone Kate wanted nothing to with. We also know from the newspaper Jack reads it was a man (Sawyer? Locke?).

My guess? It's Michael. At this point, we know that if Michael comes back (ahem), it's going to be as a patsy and traitor, hence Kate's disgust. But with this's best not to guess.

As for SU, let's assume Devo and Rautins are at full-strength for next season (they should be). Flynn is a must, Devo is there as is Greene and Harris. That leaves one slot. Onuaku gets the nod over Kristof! (for now) but the Belgian and Rautins are the first ones off the bench. Along with Sccop, Rick and the newbies it will be so nice to have a little depth, won't it?

The Lost Mystery:
What's the deal with kids on the island?
The Cuse Mystery:
What's the deal with the kids coming in next year?

Juliet was brought to the island to figure out why women who get pregnant on the island die in childbirth. She never found the answer but Claire giving birth to Aaron certainly added to the mystery. And then there's Sun, who got pregnant on the island. Is she a goner?

All signs point to her not making it off the island so that's not a good sign. Best case, since we only know of one more survivor, if she did make it off it wasn't with a kid. Or Jin. Something bad's a-comin'.

As for the Orange, another top-rated class is approaching. Hopefully this season will have given SU fans a chance to recalibrate expectations. No longer will we have "Carmelo-and-Gerry-like" expectations of every freshman class and that's good. The big question will be where the new guys fit in. Mookie Jones and Kris Joseph are expected to compete for PT but the Orange suddenly have a wealth of depth.

We probably won't know where they fit in until the season begins. But in this case, all signs point to something good a-comin'

The Lost Mystery: So is Jack's Dad alive in the future or what?
The Cuse Mystery: So is Boeheim going to be the coach in the future or what?

In last season's finale, drunk Jack tells one of his co-workers to "get my father down here, get him down here right now, and if I'm drunker than he is, you can fire me." But...isn't he dead???

Likely, we'll find out that Jack is just delusional/drunk or having visions of his father who's spirit(?) is still on the island. Then there was that weird moment this season when Hurley looked into Jacob's cabin and the person sitting in Jacob's chair looked surprisingly like Christian Shepard. WTF indeed.

As for Cuse, don't write off old Boeheim just yet. Sure, back-to-back NITs is nothing to be proud of but with the talent, facilities and reputation the man's got, he's going to be just fine. Yes, Hopkins is waiting in the wings but he's got too much respect for Boeheim to push him out. And Gross doesn't have the grapefruits to even suggest it. If Jim leaves, it'll be on his terms. And it won't be for at least a few more years it seems, barring another Final Four run in the very near future.

Call me when Syracuse has a losing season, THEN we'll start really questioning things.

The Lost Mystery: Hey, what ever happened to that four-toed statue?
The Cuse Mystery:
Hey, whatever happened to that new arena/stadium?

Probably best to forget about both for now.