Will the finale pose more questions than it answers? You betcha. "Lost" (8 p.m., ABC) wraps up with a two-hour season-ender that may or may not explain how the Oceanic Six were returned home, and, more to the point, why others remained behind and why the Six felt compelled to lie about their survival and time on the island.
Viewers unfamiliar with the drama may find the paragraph above slightly baffling. Sorry, it's a "Lost" thing. You wouldn't understand. More to the point, I feel sorry for you if you're not following "Lost."
"Lost" now ranks among the best dramas on television, and it is arguably one of the best that has ever been broadcast. It has been compared to "The Prisoner," a peerless British drama that lasted just one unforgettable season. "Lost" has been spinning its remarkable yarn since 2004, and we've been promised two more seasons. Unlike "Twin Peaks," "Lost" has never been strange for mere effect. Every odd thing has been explained at some point, and everything has made sense in its own strange way.
The ancient Greek philosophers told us that character is destiny. And with great TV shows, character is everything. That's why "Lost" ranks up there with my favorites - including "The Sopranos" - fictional universes where you're not only familiar with the characters, but where you care deeply about them and think you know their quirks and ticks. You think about them even when you're not watching, and you miss them when they're gone.
That's why the recent turn of events on "Lost" is so potentially challenging and heartbreaking. Do we really want to leave Locke and Sawyer behind? Of course not. And neither do the Oceanic Six. Why else do Jack, Kate, Hurley and the rest seem so tortured in the flash-forwards to their Brave New World?
If you're not watching "Lost," you're missing something special. Spend the summer catching up with the series on DVD. I guarantee you'll be hooked - and join the rest of us in waiting for "Lost"'s return.
¢ The gripping documentary "At the Death House Door" (8 p.m., IFC) profiles the Rev. Carroll Pickett, a minister who spent years as the chaplain at the penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, creating an acclaimed prison choir and counseling death-row prisoners during their final hours before execution. The film also follows a group of journalists as they investigate a wrongful execution and documents Pickett as he painfully reveals his feelings to his family and explains his evolving feelings about capital punishment and pastoring to the incarcerated.
Tonight's other highlights
¢ Angela Kinsey and Oscar Nunez from "The Office" scour Los Angeles for talent on "Last Comic Standing" (7:30 p.m., NBC).
¢ The family of a girl allegedly possessed by the devil is slain on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
¢ An ultimate fighter vanishes on "Without a Trace" (9 p.m., CBS).
¢ "Tougher in Alaska" (9 p.m., History) looks at logging.
¢ "Step it Up & Dance" (9 p.m., Bravo) airs part 1 of its finale.
¢ The documentary series "True Life" (9 p.m., MTV) looks at separate Internet identities.