It's been nine months of anticipation, endless theorizing and analysis.
Tonight, a legion of devoted and often-obsessed fans will be begin their final descent into the nether world of "Lost," one of television's most complicated and engaging sci-fi dramas.
To be a "Lost" fan is often to be alternately mystified and slack-jawed. Each episode has been dissected at online fan sites run by devotees known as "Losties," some of whom rewatch portions of episides frame by frame to make sure they didn't miss one of the dozens of clues tossed out each week by the show's creators.
Because the show's creators rarely put anything into the show that doesn't have some sort of meaning, fans twist and turn with every plot line and look for hidden meaning in every nook. Books and comics read by the characters on the show are devoured for hints and characters' names are searched for possible anagrams.
There are two types of people in the world: those who follow every twist in "Lost" -- and those who have no idea what it's about.
In the nearly nine months since last year's season five finale, fans have had plenty of time to theorize what will happen to the characters they've come to know so intimately since "Lost" premiered in the fall of 2004.
When the screen went black in May, dark heroine Juliet had plunged down a cavernous hole and bashed a rock into the nuclear warhead that the time-traveling castaways had hoped would reset the past.
A 4-minute, 8-second video clip on ABC.com -- get Lost fans? Get it? -- recaps Juliet's struggle to set the bomb off, then gives spoiler seekers a peek into the world after. Or, some may say, the world before.
The rest of the events in the two-hour season premiere are anyone's guess. Show creators Cartlon Cuse and Damon Lindelof have been tight-lipped about the blast seen in the final minutes of last season, leaving fans to speculate whether it even happened and, if it did, who survived.
"Lost's" Jorge Garcia, who plays the wisecracking could-be-crazy Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, said he's been happy all along just to watch the show unfold with the rest of America.
"When we started to travel through time, we said, 'Oh, great, now where are we headed with this?' But I trust the writers. I was just like, 'OK, let's see how it's going to unravel,'" Garcia told ABC's "Nightline." "I'm the kind of person that likes to watch the magic trick happen, rather than trying to constantly figure out how they did it."
Michael Emerson, who plays the near-perfect villian Benjamin Linus, told ABC News NOW that he expects fans will be pleased with the season premiere.
Spoiler alert! Catch a sneak peek of the first few minutes of "Lost," which premieres this Tuesday, Feb. 2 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.
"I think they have every right to expect to both enjoy and be perfectly satisfied by the final season," Emerson said, calling it "bigger, more climactic, more mind-bending than any previous season -- and that's saying a lot."
Matthew Fox, who plays the island's tortured de facto leader, Dr. Jack Shephard, told "Nightline" that "Lost" worked right away because it was a show that demanded more of typically passive television viewers.