Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lost: You (still) want answers?

Tonight's "Lost" is the only repeat of the season ("Ab Aeterno," the Richard episode), so I figured I'd use the opportunity to re-ask a question from the start of the season: which mysteries will you be most disappointed if they aren't answered by season's end?

And to that I'd now add this: based on how this season has gone, and how some mysteries like the whispers have been explained, have your expectations for the final episodes changed?

122 comments:

Anonymous said...

What actually happens if Aaron is raised by another? A great deal was made about this in the first season with the psychic, but then it was just sort of dropped.
Also, what makes Walt special?
However, I don't really expect either of these to be answered.

Jick said...

Claire and Aaron getting on a helicopter, as per Desmond's prophecy.

Jonathan said...

I second the question about Walt. We spent so much time on him, and how he was special but I fear we will never find out or be given enough clues. Even the season finale was centered around Walt!

Dilemma said...

Why can't babies be conceived on the island? This was a huge plot point for more than a season, and it's been completely dropped.

Ed O. said...

I'm still a little unclear about exactly how and when the Dharma Initiative came to the island, etc... Its not really a mystery, but I'd be interested in more explanation (which I know I won't get).

Also, have they ever really addressed the issue of why women on the island can't have children? Has that been answered and I missed it? It was such a big deal the first few seasons and it seems like they let it go.

Felipe said...

Who's behind the Dharma Initiative? Sometimes they look like good people, sometimes bad, but how it connects to Jacob and/or MIB?

Will Jack find redemption? I really think that Jack is the central character of Lost, in the sense that all other story lines, main themes and dynamics go through him, his existence, his desires and will.

Who will stay and who will leave the island?

How the hell are their going to put everyone in the sideways world in a room together to discuss what to do in the island?

Alex said...

I think I'm entitled to them...

Anonymous said...

My only question is:

Why a repeat here with 5 episodes or so left? Why not 2 weeks ago to make sure at least the entire 2nd half wasn't interrupted?

Anonymous said...

Best guess as to why now - last Tuesday before sweeps starts (I believe) which gives the most flexibility to make changes if there had been a news event or something that results in preemption earlier in the season.

Tyler said...

I would still like further clarification on who exactly Ben was talking to. If the man in the cabin was Christian, and Christian was the Smoke Monster, then it wasn't Jacob who was running the show. If it wasn't Jacob making lists then what did the Smoke Monster want with the Tailies. I won't be disappointed if that question isn't answered, I'll just be a little confused.

As for this season's answers, I've been fairly pleased. Nobody is ever going to be happy because, given how much speculation has occurred around this show, every answer is either going to be "obvious" or out of left field.

Anonymous said...

@Dilemma: It wasn't directly answered but the answer was implied. Women could have babies before 1977, but not after. The Incident is the reason why women can't have babies, due to the radiation. I would have liked it if they said it clearly in the show (or even now, which they won't, I'm sure) but I'm content with that answer as I could easily piece it together after seeing S5.

As for my questions: Jacob, island history, more stuff about Desmond, Smokey/MIB, and that stuff that we know shall be answered. Adam & Eve, too. Walt is something I REALLY want answered and am really upset at Darlton for not thinking that through. Other than that, I think I'm good.
P.S. I would also like to see the Claire/Aaron prophecy stuff that Desmond said, but if nothing happens, I can accept it.

Matt K said...

I want emotional closure for the characters, even some that aren't technically alive. At this point, I couldn't care less about anticlimactic "answers." If they had introduced fewer questions along the way, answers would be more important, but it is far too muddled for me to care.

JD said...

Why to kill Jacob or Smokey, the killer can´t let him talk first, but Ben killed Jacob after a looong conversation?

But if they will come with more "black-rock-smashed-statue-and-go-to-the-middle-of-the-jungle" explanation, I really don´t care.

Anonymous said...

1. Who or what made the Dharma food/supply drop in the second season? Someone in another thread said Widmore, but this was before Desmond turned the fail-safe key, so how would he know the coordinates of the island?

2. The time-skip ocean shootout from last season. I know its not that big a deal compared to some other mysteries, but I want an answer!

I think fans are missing that one of the main questions/mysteries of the series has been answered this season. Why are they there on that island? I thought the cave/lighthouse reveals with the numbers & names was awesome. One of my favorite moments of the season. I loved Richard's backstory [I had guessed older, Egyptian]

Anonymous said...

Richard and the other Others' massacre of the Dharma group still seems a bit odd and unexplained. I suppose the slaughter may have been at the behest of Smokey, in some manner, but it's still the most brutal mass murder depicted during the whole series. And yet Smokey/Jacob continued to let Dharma lackeys stay in the hatch unmolested for apparently decades. (Easier to have Dharma do the button-pushing work than to have one of the Others do it?)

Jen said...

I've basically given up all hope that any questions about Walt will be answered. If somehow, the writers manage to address this, I'll be so unbelievably happy/amazed that I'm sure any other nitpicks I have will just disappear (yeah right).

Seth said...

Walt. I know his growth spurt made things difficult, but I think we need some answers related to his character. Otherwise, I think I can go with whatever they choose to answer or not. But some explanation on Walt. He still must have importance, since it was his image that Locke saw in season 3? that got Locke out of the pit.

Anonymous said...

I'm through trying to hold these showrunners accountable for any of the stuff (for lack of a more inappropriate word) they dream up, then throw away once they realize it was a mistake. All I want now is for Jacob and Smokey to make sense. If and when they do, I can sell my DVDs, stop trolling Lost-related websites, and put this show out of my mind forever.

Thank God.

RachelP said...

I'm also voting for the Dharma massacre as my biggest unanswered question. Secondary to that, what is Jacob's true nature? Because he certainly seems like a bit of a dick, and if he's representing "good," then the entire concept of good versus evil is called into question.

Remember when we all thought that the Others were a bunch of hillbilly child-stealing psychos with a pet mechanical dinosaur? Ah ... good times!

Scott said...

I've always wondered why Ben didn't have someone from his group manning the Swan station and pushing the button. Why leave that important task up to Desmond? Did Ben not realize the consequences of failing to push it?

All of the events of the last four seasons were set up by Locke's decision not to push the button and Desmond's use of the failsafe key. It made the island visible to the outside world, which allowed Widmore to find it. That caused the rescue of the Oceanic Six, the eventual time travel back to the 1970s, and the current sideways universe.

Anonymous said...

I came into this season with lower expectations for answers than my friends did, who had long lists of things that didn't make sense that they hoped would be cleared up. But the amount of answers given is far fewer than even my modest expections.

Worse yet some of them don't make much sense. If Man in Black appeared as Christian Shephard in all those appearances then how was Christian on the freighter in season 4? If the whispers are just ghosts then why did they make their murmuring right before the Others would appear so many times?

It has become pretty obvious by now that the season was structured as a nostalgia tour of landmarks and cameos that the producers thought the audience wanted. But I think they misread the audience in that respect.

I still enjoy the actors and the location and cinematography and Giacchino's work. Just very disappointed in the writing.

As for the series finale, I expect some sort of rabbit pulled out of a hat, figuratively of course. Some sort of big special effects moment, like a fusing of the two timelines or the island being sunk. It'll be fun but I'm not sure it will make up for what came before.

Kate said...

Well, I hope the last few episodes DON'T spend much time on Walt or Aaron as characters. I don't mind getting a brief explanation of their specialness if one is really needed, a la the whispers, but no more. I just don't have anything emotionally invested in them (maybe Aaron, a little bit, as he pertains to Kate and Claire).

That aside, I feel like I'd be relatively fine with anything they wanted to throw at me except for the Reset Button. All I ask is that everybody makes it to the end of their character arcs with their memories and selves intact. I don't expect every single person to get redemption or justice or a heroic sacrificial death or true love or whatever, but I really don't want them to get stuck in an endless loop, and I don't want them to forget.

J said...

I simply wanted a run without reruns, and am therefore devastated and dissatisfied and never ever watching this show again foot stomp.

(Those with questions about the Dharma Initiative and Alvar Hanso should Google themselves up the "In Search Of"-like "Mysteries of the Universe" series of web things. I think it's also on the Season 5 Box Set.)

Josh said...

I think that the nature of Jacob and the Man in Black has to be the most important mystery, at this point. I would hope that we'll get some answers there, if only so we get Mark Pellegrino and Titus Welliver to return.

I'm fine with the way the season has gone; I still think that this is the best show on television (with the caveat that I don't get HBO and am a season behind on Breaking Bad), and haven't felt disappointed in the show at all (well, there WAS the Kate episode, but less said about that, the better).

With regards to this season's answers, I'm cool with them; though I wonder a bit about the whispers connected with the Others, I'm curious if that's meant to be something Jacob told Richard to do; as in, "You can use the whispers as a kind of warning call for your presence." That might be bunk; the reason I'm not annoyed at it is because it was always pretty low on the list of things I needed to know.

I'm also not disappointed that the mysteries that have been revealed haven't been shockers; frankly, it would annoy me more if the logical answer (the smoke monster having manifested as previously dead people) was thrown out for something initially shocking that made no sense in the long run.

So, in essence, why can't it be next Tuesday night already?

J said...

But seriously, the LESS time they spend answering questions, the happier I will be. Even when the explanations have been satisfying, the reveals themselves have all been 'splainish handoffs. If it's going to be as lame as "What is the island?" "The island is x!" then just hold a press conference.

Anonymous said...

what are the "rules" that stop jacob/MiB AND whitmore/ben from killing each other? who put these rules in place? what are the details?

Swedge said...

If it's going to be as lame as "What is the island?" "The island is x!" then just hold a press conference.

I couldn't agree more with that. Stage a reveal in a dramatically interesting way or just don't bother.

Anna said...

Walt..

The significance of the numbers...

Good or evil - Charles Widmore?


I think the early mysteries stand out the most because at that point we assume we would get all of the answers. As the story became more complicated and weaved around (in time and place)and it became obvious that we couldn't possibly get all of the answers that i didn't pay as much attention to 'questions' and didn't really have the bandwith to become invested in the later characters like with Ilana.

Along the same lines, i do want to know the fate of my favorite characters (i would be disappointed if i don't know what happened to Sawyer or Hugo) - and really hope that at least some of them have happy lives (even though Terry O'Quinn has knocked it out of the park this season, i've grieved the loss of Locke on the island.)

bjc5379 said...

Walt hasn't been a vital character since the end of Season 2. People need to stop worrying about why he was so special.

I want answers that concern the final season and the conclusion of the series.

Walt does not matter anymore. Get over it.

Hatfield said...

Yeah, but that's ridiculous. The show kept hammering his importance over and over, even having Sawyer and Locke discuss the strangeness of a taller version of him appearing to John. If there is no further mention of Walt, that'll just be lazy.

I need to know for certain what is up with Christian, how long someone else had been using Jacob's cabin, why Richard (as Jacob's proxy) would allow the DHARMA Purge, and what the hell is up with Eloise and Widmore. Also Walt. I feel like most of those will be answered, but if not that will leave holes for me.

Ben Guest said...

@Alex You want the truth!?!

dickey simpkins said...

I'm more concerned with the characters getting their due closure than finding out the answers to some less than trivial stuff. Does it really matter who Adam and Eve are at this point? Or, if the writers never explain the big deal about Walt?

In 20 years, people will look at Lost and wonder what the big deal was. I commend the show for throwing a lot of stuff out there and getting its viewers to actually think and talk (or type), but you guys think the show will have a longer-lasting cultural impact than, say the X-Files?

medrawt said...

I'll third or fourth the idea that Darlton is better off not answering something than answering it in a way that's flat, anticlimactic, or whatever.

I think they've basically committed themselves to explaining more about Jacob / Smokey; there's a lot of facets there that I'd think it was very strange to leave mysterious. The one that most concerns me, and that I think is most likely to get left on the table, is the distinction between Jacob / Smokey as powerful entities and The Island as a powerful and willful entity of its own. I don't care if they say "what the Island is" - but there have been unexplained phenomena that seem to be directed in a way that implies a consciousness, and that seem to be outside the purview of what Jacob and Smokey can or do accomplish - if it really is all Jacob and Smokey, a bunch of stuff doesn't make sense unless it gets handwaved with "we were lying".

i.e. - That people are cured of illness, and nobody gets sick, doesn't beg for an explanation, but Ben getting a tumor on his spine, given the context, does. Michael not being able to die until his duty is resolved. The visions visited on some but only some people.

Kirchhoff said...

Why did the island heal Locke's legs and Rose's cancer, but not Ben's spinal tumor?

Media Mindset said...

I want to know who those couple bag of bones in the caves were. With the way time is sorta all mashed up on LOST I have been thinking it might be Jack & Kate but from someother time...I don't know. Is that just stupid?

JD said...

I suspect all of the general ones that everyone has asked (Why were Walt/children in general important? Libby's mysteries, the island's weird healing poweres, Why exactly those numbers?) are probably not going to be answered. To not have my comment deleted, I won't talk about the questions I suspect will be answered based on accidental spoilers I've come across, but there are a few I want to touch on.

Why is the Smoke Monster a smoke monster exactly? What's with the weird clangy noises?

Why did the man at the asylum know about the numbers that Hurley eventually used to win the lottery?

Why are some ghosts real (the ones Hurley sees), while the MIB is a faker? Yes we know Christian was the MIB, but how did he appear to Jack off of the island in the flash forward? And why did Claire appear to Kate as a ghost in her dream in the flash forward warning Kate not to come back when she would have wanted to be with Aaron? And why wasn't Aaron important (and Jin/Sun's baby) to come back to the island?

Milaxx said...

Guess I'm easy. I don't expect all the answers to be given. As long as they entertain right up to the end I'm okay. I want this show to end and be able to go back later and rewatch and discover things I overlooked.

Peter said...

A quote from Lindelof: "Absolutely. I assume that as a physicist, you say, “Force equals mass times acceleration,” and you can explain why. But when you spend time with a 3-year-old, you quickly find out that one question just begets another—there’s a “why” in the wake of every “why”—and the only way to end the conversation is to say, “Oh look, a Chuck E. Cheese!” The show is doing its best to say, “Oh look, Chuck E. Cheese!” For example, we’ve now given the viewers as much as we’re willing to say about the numbers, and we’re moving on. The characters are going to ask “What is the island”, and “Why are we here”, but more importantly, “How is it relevant to me.” They’re not sitting around in smoking jackets talking about the theoretical notions that we are, as audience members."

There is going to be a lot left unanswered, I cannot wait to see the internet explode.

Source: http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/04/27/potd-the-lost-showrunners-office/

Anonymous said...

I would love to know who/what was continuing to do the Dharma Initiative supply drops that the losties came across in Season 2.

Hoosier Paul said...

To me, the central mystery is: "What's the deal with Jack's tattoos?"

Oh ... wait. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the stuff written here. Who are Adam and Eve? Why is Walt special? And for pete's sake, if women couldn't have babies because of the radiation from The Incident, why hadn't Ben et al figured that out yet? They had their own sub, and employed doctors and scientists. Clearly they were capable of running some kind of standardized test for fallout that would have given them a clue.

I'm also intrigued as to Ben's relationship with Jacob, and the reason behind his destruction of Dharma.

Most of all, I want to know why Jacob is on the island, how he got there, and who/what exactly Smokey is. It isn't enough to tell me they're supreme, godlike beings. I need facts, darn it!

The Pagan Temple said...

"The show kept hammering his importance over and over, even having Sawyer and Locke discuss the strangeness of a taller version of him appearing to John. If there is no further mention of Walt, that'll just be lazy."

If Walt was to appear in this season, his "specialness" would be all too apparent, what with the way he's grown. That's not the problem, the problem would be, how exactly does that work into the plot, and why? I doubt they have enough time to deal with that. They should have made this season a twenty-two episode season, but of course ABC is too cheap for that.

George said...

1) Who built the temple, when, and why? (otherwise we wasted 4 episodes this season.)

2) Why can a sub get there but other vessels cannot?

3) Why can't rivals just kill each other (Smokey/Jacob; Ben/Charles)

4) What's up with wheel to spin the island through time - who and when was that put there?

5) Why hasn't Widmore just destroyed the plane and gone home since that is how Smokey wants to leave?

6) Why could Jacob leave the island but Smokey cannot?

7) Why was Ben able to summon Smokey?

8) How and when did Widmore learn of Desmond's significance?

Liz said...

I really don't mind if the series ends with a great many mysteries left unsolved. What will be satisfying to me, ultimately, is a sense of resolution for these characters.

Bitsy said...

George:

5) Why hasn't Widmore just destroyed the plane and gone home since that is how Smokey wants to leave?

That's not why he's there. He's doing something with the electromagnetic radiation on the Island and probably trying to control the timeline or something.

6) Why could Jacob leave the island but Smokey cannot?

I think he's almost like Dogen, in being able to keep something in or out while he's alive. Now that Jacob's dead, he can leave, he just hasn't yet.

7) Why was Ben able to summon Smokey?

It seems like anyone who finds that cave beneath his house can. There's no evidence to the contrary.

But sadly, my friend, it seems most of your questions will not be answered and once the show is over you'll be forced to storm Hawaii or wherever Cuselof hide to get what's owed.

Granger said...

Watching Ab Aeterno again... Why is Ilana in bandages??? And notice she's healed in the very next scene in which she and Jacob are talking.

debbie said...

I love the show, the character, the storylines...but what it has been mostly about for me is John Locke. Altho this is not a question I want anwered, the thing I want most is for there to be some kind of justice for the original Locke, who I have rooted for from the start. I want him to still be in there, somewhere, or at least be proved to NOT have been a sucker.

Richard Alpert Slam Dance said...

I have never been too concerned with the more minutiae-ish mysteries that so many of the internet fans have obsessed over. To me the show is about the story and the characters. All the crazy mysteries is just the stuff that made the journey fun. In the end, that stuff doesn't matter.

Not only that. The writers didn't have answers back when the mysteries were introduced. They were just cool things to do to make a neat show. And now that we're getting after the fact answers. Basically the best idea the writers were able to come up with now. It feels really lame and tacked on. The whispers and smokey being Christian just felt blah and insultingly expositional.

And another reason I care zero about getting little trivialities answered at this point. THE SHOW IS CRAZY SCI-FI. Shouldn't "It's a magical island that moves with supernatural beings and time traveling" be enough of an answer to things that didn't make sense? Basically "it's all magic" is the answer to everything. Finding out what sort of magic, to me, is stupid and dumb and who cares. Had the show never taken the hard sci-fi turn it did a couple seasons back, answers would've meant something. If crazy things happen in a real world scenario, then yeah. I'd want to know why or how. But when it's already been established that anything can happen for any reason. I don't care at all.

Just tell me a good story and give me the proper conclusions to these characters' arcs. That's all I ask.

Richard Alpert Slam Dance said...

It's like with the Star Wars prequels trying to explain the Force by talking about midichlorians. What exactly does that add to what I already knew? Nothing. It's just stupid. All we needed to know what that there was this thing called the Force and what it did. It's not real, so why try to explain it in made up jibberish? Exact same goes for LOST. We already know that we have crazy mystical time traveling island. That should be enough.

Michael said...

I've given up any hope on Lost ending in any satisfying way. I was a die-hard fan back in Season 1 but when I watch now I try to turn off my brain and not think about anything too much so I don't get annoyed. It'll be interesting to see how much backlash there will be among the hardcore fans once the show ends and inevitably disappoints them in some way or another (I feel like most people who watch the show up to this point are hardcore fans anyway). If the BSG finale (which I enjoyed) is any indicator, things will be pretty heated.

Ben said...

bjc5379 said...

Walt hasn't been a vital character since the end of Season 2. People need to stop worrying about why he was so special.

I want answers that concern the final season and the conclusion of the series.

Walt does not matter anymore. Get over it.

-----------------------------

Yeah, not so fast. As others have said, the Walt story line was a crucial piece of Season One. Heck, along with the Hatch, it was THE cliff hanger! Also, when Walt talks to Locke in NYC, he informs Locke that he had been having dreams of him back on the Island, I think wearing a suit and surrounded by people who wanted to hurt him.

Now, obviously that is Flocke, but somehow Walt could see that. To me, that shows relevance. They can sum up Walt without having to bring Malcolm D. Kelly back I'm sure.

Otherwise, most of the remaining questions have been said and I loved that someone else questioned why Ben would Desmond to be in charge with pushing that button all that time.

Anonymous said...

@JD "Why did the man at the asylum know about the numbers that Hurley eventually used to win the lottery?"

The radio tower on the island was broadcasting them and he heard it at a listening post when he was in the navy or something.

medrawt said...

Richard Alpert Slam Dance -

I agree that the Star Wars prequels are a good example of misunderstanding what the audience needs to know. The Force didn't need explaining. We understood what was important, and popping the hood to see what George Lucas came up with was bound to be unsatisfying; the ineffable should stay that way.

BUT

Saying "it's magic so it doesn't have to make sense" is shit storytelling. There's a difference between the unexplained and the contradictory, and unfortunately the writers of this show have piled up a lot of stuff that's probably going to be left contradictory. I picked out the stuff I did in my prior post because it seems like the show has committed itself to seriously dealing with Jacob and Smokey and, implicitly, some elements of the Island. The other stuff may fall by the wayside, and at this point it might be the right choice, but I'll think it was a final let down if they don't wrap up the stuff they've seemed concerned about for the last two seasons. i.e., imagine that the Star Wars movies had involved a major storyline about trying to answer the question of what exactly the Force was, committed screentime and narrative energy to that, and invested the audience in that question. Well, then it's a question that requires an answer. Mitochlorians was lame because it answered a question the movies never asked in the first place. Whether or not it's why you watched the show, the writers of Lost have very intetionally raised a lot of questions, both about the mystical/sci-fi stuff and about their investigation of some philosophical ideas.

Jonah said...

I am utterly baffled at the fan obsession with Adam and Eve, and the fact that the writers are actually addressing it years later. If I were them, I'd forget about it. There was lots of throwaway weird stuff that happened in the first season, and there's no need to explain everything.

That said, I would like everything that is "magic" but is not overtly tied to the Island to be explained. Walt, Aaron, Miles, the psychic, the faith healer Isaac, and Abbadon; all character who seemed to be supernaturally adept but did not get their abilities from the Island (except maybe Miles). I want to know why they have those abilities.

I don't care if it's a mystical or scientific explanation as long as it's an explanation. Presumably, all "magic" in the series ties back into Jacob, the MIB, and the Island, so I'd like to know why those characters were given their powers. If it's just "some people are gifted" and it has no relation to the Island, then I'll be pissed.

Adam said...

big question: Who are the good guys?

small question: how did Ben's crew do all that research on the Oceanic survivors?

Anonymous said...

walt

Sam Hobart said...

RE: Walt - based on completely non-spoiler based circumstantial evidence and a gut feeling, not to mention the fact that we saw Michael as a representative for the whispers, I don't think we're 100% done with the kid yet. I'm not saying we're going to get more than 5 minutes devoted to him the rest of the season but I think we're going to get something.

RE: the following
"I feel like most people who watch the show up to this point are hardcore fans anyway"
While I don't disagree with you're premise, the context implies that only a small number of people, i.e. the Battlestar Galactica audience, are still watching. If the ABC promos are evidence enough, Lost is averaging about 9.5 million viewers per episode, down from a season two premiere high of 23 million. Battlestar Galactica was averaging around 1.5 million by the end. And the season 6 premiere brought in 14 million. I think we'll see at least that many come back for answers in the final episode.

As for what answers I think we'll get, I think we'll find out what Jacob and Smokey are about, what the island is and some ancillary stuff that matters to the characters. I have quite a bit of faith (certainly more than my Lost obsessed wife does) that the writers know what they're doing and are going to wrap up more than we think in these final five episodes. Here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

For me the central mystery is: Will any of the female characters be significant to the endgame and mythology of the show?

By significant I mean, "stand alone" significant, not significant because of their relationship to an important male character.

I just about quit it all the week that focused on Alt Desmond's desire for Penny,Daniel's desire of Charlotte and Charlie's desire of Claire with no regard to the women's desire for, or memory of, the men. The experience of transcendent connection seemed to be for male characters only. I felt somewhat vindicated when we had the episode that focused on Libby's desire for Hurley, it balanced things out somewhat. Overall the show robs the female characters of mythological weight and transcendent story lines. They seem tacked-on, like an afterthought. They have succeeded in stringing me along for six seasons, but I think I can officially declare myself disappointed because even if they pull some switcharoo and the female characters become important, it will suck because they haven't laid the groundwork.

I kept hoping that something meaty would materialize for one of the female leads. If I'm feeling charitable, maybe the writers were hosed by Elizabeth Michell's departure, maybe they had something planned for her other than the origin for Sawyer's grief and Jack's guilt.


Libby - Dead / object of desire/ source of male grief
Compare wih Hurley, magical powers, candidate, significant.
Shannon - Dead /object of desire / source of male grief. french speaker/ (some hint at seeing Walt)/Said dater
Compare with Boone, Locke acolyte, mystic vision quester, airplane finder
Sun - mute follower, formerly Paik takover mastermind, Jin rescuer?
Claire - Madwoman/ Mother
Juliette - Dead /source of male grief
Rousseau - cool and capable while alive now Dead. No mystical properties.
Ana-Lucia - kickass while alive, now Dead
Kate - follower
Mrs. Hawking - Important baddie?
Charlotte - Dead / Object of desire


What's remarkable to me is that the women don't form bonds or antagonisms with eachother and they aren't linked to the mysthology of the island and they rarely discover anything cool like hatches, have communions with the island, see Jacob's cabin, or go adventuring solo.

The only exception I can think of was the fantastic episode where Juliette handcuffs herself to Kate and they flee smokie and kick eachother's asses.

Do we have a comparable female relationship to Walt/Locke, Boone/Locke, Charlie/Locke, Charlie/Desmond, Jack/Sawyer, Jack/Ben, Ben/Jack, Jacob/MIB. Almost all the great stuff is guy/guy. Why?

They tried to do some stuff with Claire/Kate but it was never followed for more than an episode or given any mythological weight. The women are totally outside the mythology as far as I can tell.

What do you guys think? Can you think of other examples of transcendent moments for female characters on Lost?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they're oblivious of their fans because prior to this season I thought they knew what the fans wanted or at least enough to satisfy. This season, in ways, has been so off putting that it almost feels like a new show.

I want to know why any of this matters. Why does it matter if the MIB is on the island? We've been told by Jacob that he is bad but it doesn't feel that way.

Why does the island matter? We know it has scientific properties that can be exploited. Actually, this answer is just fine.

Why does Jacob matter?


I hate shows that lean on faith in some higher power. I believe in faith in correlation to action - one acts out of the belief their doing something greater, they take the risk and have courage - but I don't believe in faith of G-d or destiny.

If you want an example of a show that's wrapping up beyond expectations it's supernatural. A show that discusses religion and asserts it's real but does so in an unorthodox manner. They way they've shaped the characters and have shown the power of choice has been far superior than that of LOST (at least for this season).

JWIII

christy said...

I saw the tweet about Walt being the front runner for the mystery poll, and I totally agree. I've wished at least since last season that Walt would end up being the one that comes in at the end and saves everyone. Either literally, or just in the sense that he ends up becoming important to the resolution in a cool and unexpected way. In other words, I really want to see some more Walt before the series is done.

I wouldn't say it's a deal breaker or anything--probably the closest thing I've got to that is a not-unhappy ending for Hurley, but that's not a mystery, plus really I'm pretty much open to anything as long as it's cool--but you could say it's my fondest wish for the finale.

Suzombie said...

What about Ben's friend Annie and that creepy wooden doll? And Goodwin wife's comment to Juliette that she looks just like her? What about that?

Anonymous said...

The Walt mystery is one of the important ones to be sure but if I had to pick just one, I need to know who was in the cabin and how they got out. At that time, smokey seemed to have free roam around most of the island so it doesn't seem to be him.

UnHoly Diver said...

I have only one question; as a dog lover, I wanna know what happened to Vincent???

Anonymous said...

Unholy Diver,

you are not the only one!
i was going to write about vincent but ya beat me to it.

as long as i see vincent again i will be happy.

J. Maggio said...

Generally, I am in the “I don’t care about answers” category. But, I feel like people want it both ways with the answers. It appears that some people wont think for themselves at all regarding the answers, and hence cannot figure out some basic stuff like why there were pregnancy problems, who was using cabin, or what the loophole was. Yet when the creators come out and say something, like the Whispers, they call it lame or the DOUBT it. Personally, I rather everything be implied. But, I feel like the whispers reveal was for people who judge an episode by how much “information” they get. Lame.
I just don’t think there is that much we cannot piece together, or that has not been answered already, just think.

Numbers: This is answered. The numbers are the people AND they are variables. To Dharma, they are the variables in the equation that will save the world, AND to Jacob/MiB they are the final 6 candidates. This makes perfect sense: the people are the variables. This perfectly represents the science/magic theme of Lost. I think the show will end with some awesome BLENDING of magic and science. For example, the island is corking “evil,” but that “evil” is probably the same as the electromagnetism. The whispers are ghosts, or they are brain patterns left behind via dead people? Smokie is a magical genie, or he is the manifestation of the electromagnetism in a conscious form? The island itself is a “magical” place or a place simply with some neat physical qualities? There are no answers to these things. It is both, neither, whatever. Much of this is how one frames it. To me, that is the only reasonable answer to the debate of science versus faith, (old) Jack vs (original) Locke. In other words, there exists various data in the world–empirical, intuitive, etc. And how we define those things is how we make sense of the world. Different people make sense of the world in different ways. To me this is key, and–if they go down this path–I think it would be brilliant and sophisticated philosophical stance. The numbers, pretty much as explained on the show, are key to this theme. Think, people, THINK.

J. Maggio said...

Ben’s Spinal Tumor: I think they answered this in the show. He was losing his way. He was not in-tune with island anymore.

MiB as Christian: Some people are having problems with the Christian as MiB reveal. I feel this is another example of people not THINKING about the things. THINK. They will not be explicit about things. (And, when they are, like the whispers, people bitch.) It makes sense completely: MiB became trapped when Jacob died, and could only be Locke or Smokie. He could no longer just take other forms. (This is implied by Illana earlier in season, and made explicit by Damon and Carlton in an official podcast.) Many fans had predicted that MiB was Christian, because all of MiB/Christians’s moves either tried to harm the Losties, or fed into MiB's loophole. Additionally, people also are complaining that Christian was off the island. But, MiB's ESSENCE is trapped on island, yet he could clearly manifest to people around the world. (Hence, he is Christian on freighter and in Jack's office. He is likely also Charlie to Hurley. Charlie's comment to Hurley "Beginning of the End" is the same as Flocke's to Sawyer in "The Substitute": "I am dead but I am here." ) Once Jacob is dead, Smokie is stuck in ONE corporeal form. (He is now only Locke and the Black Smoke.) However, because he is corporeal now, he *can* leave the island--assuming he leaves with or, maybe, kills the candidates. In other words, MiB's essence has always been trapped on island. He became corporeal in Locke's body, and hence could possibly leave, once Jacob died. It might be explored more, but I think it fits perfectly now. It just takes people a little thinking.

Small Side note: If you look at Smokie/MiB’s motivation as pushing people toward the moment when he can take over Locke’s body, and then convince Ben to kill Jacob, then most of the apparitions make sense as Smokie: Charlie, Christian, Horace, even Walt. (And, before you ask if he could become someone who isn’t dead, I would say he can be anyone who he scans via the dead body or via a live body. So, as long as he scanned someone who knew Walt, he could appear as Walt. Locke had to be dead for him to END up in Locke’s body when Jacob died.)
Whispers: I think if we frame the whispers in the context of the ghosts trying to warn some of the living when danger comes, then it makes fine sense. “When you hear whispers, you run the other way.” The whispers would also warn of smokie, Others, maybe even bad weather.

J. Maggio said...

Claire/Aaron/raised by another: This is semi-legit question. I feel it will be addressed somewhat since Kate, Claire, etc are still talking about who raises Aaron. Plus, MiB talked about it with Kate.

Walt: They *might* explore this, but, really, he is simply special. Hurley and Miles are special. It is a magical island in a magical world. How could they really “explain” this?

No Babies on island: The incident did it. Ethan was last baby conceived AND born on island. Done!

J. Maggio said...

How did Dharma find island: Who cares?

Dharma food drop: Widmore, remnants of Dharma, or a Dharma food drop that missed coordinates and it jumped through time. Really, who cares?

Outrigger shootout: I think that will come.

The cabin: MiB was using it. Ben never spoke to MiB or Jacob. He thought Jacob was in cabin, but he wasn’t. Richard likely knew this. Or he found out after Man Behind the Curtain. (Ben told Richard about crazy shit in the cabin, Richard went there and noticed that “someone else was using it.” Etc) Jacob moved back to foot of statue. Also, I think Alpert revealed something key. “Jacob never tells us what to do.” So, I it is funny how much Richard, Ben, Widmore, and (O)thers–now Hurley–have used Jacob as an excuse. They use him as a conversation-stopper, in the same way “God told me to do it” is a conversation stopper. It kills discussion, and it kills democracy. But, I assume, that Jacob must have given *some* lists and instructions to Others. Lots of the Others are candidates–not final ones, but on the dial/cave–and hence, I imagine, Jacob wanted them there. Picket, Juliet, Ben, and other Others are candidates, even if only the “temple” Others seemed to know the importance of the Candidates. I think LOTS of Richard’s actions have come from Richardhimself, and not Jacob. It is likely that Jacob told him to protect some people, and maybe to tell Ben to tell people to build a runway, but I doubt that Jacob told Richard to kill the military, or Dharma, or etc. Now, it could be that given the evil/magnetism of the island, that Richard and company were justified in preventing the military and/or Dharma from releasing it, but I do not think Jacob told him to do that. And, it could also be that it was at this point that Jacob began keeping Richard somewhat in the dark. Clearly the Dogen/Lennon and Ben/Richard teams knew each other, and they were allies, but it is unclear the actual relationship. It seems that Jacob had a lot more interaction with Dogen and his peeps then he did with Richard’s people. I think Richard lost his way somewhat, and that is why he was partially out of the loop.
Purge: I think Richard’s losing his way explains a lot, as well as a power grab by Ben and Widmore. (Remember, Widmore was leader when purge happened.)

J. Maggio said...

Button-pushing: Patchy Michel’s story likely applies to Radinsky and Inman

Who built the temple: Yeah, um, who cares?

Who built the statue: People; move on.

Who built the wheel: Maybe a little more relevant than temple / statue, but still probably just a magical wheel. Big deal.

Desmond’s vision regarding claire: Desmond was lying to find Penny, or it happens in Alt and Desmond is special and the flashes were bleeds of Alt.

Basically, Richard Alpert Slam Dance has it right. (See above)


****Legit questions, because it plays out in/effects the STORY:

Rules between Jacob/MiB, and how do rules translate into Ben/Widmore/Others

Motivations of Jacob/MiB.

How did Smokie become smokie… again, motivation is key here.

Nature of infection/claiming

Motivations of Hawking

Desmond’s purpose

Alt purpose

Reasons that characters are chosen. Why are these people important?

I am rewatching show with GF--we are at end of S3--and it is amazing how well, with a little thought, it holds together. There are some things that are dropped by writers, but overall it fits nicely. And, S1 fits the BEST with S6. (The light/dark theme is all over S1.) But, yeah, people THINK. It seems like people want a Matrix 2/3 style solution. I would rather a Twin Peaks style ending.

Benj said...

Reading the forums all over internet - I hope the writers don't listen to them.

People are asking questions that have been answered for ages like the polar bears, or don't accept answers that were given plainly like the Numbers or Christian because they built some other theories in their head. And sometimes they want answers to mysteries that never existed (the Hurley bird - who cares ? - or why is Aaron special - he is not and never have been, the medium was a scam and said it himself).

And a lot of mysteries can be answered by deduction like the "quarantine" sign on the hatch door (to keep the Swan people inside and not wandering around) for example. You just need to put the pieces together.

Anyway, I also expect some answers and I also know that they made up some of the stuff on the way, that they changed things, that they had some external problems (like the actor playing Walt growing up too fast), and that some things don't and won't add up. Live with it.

Anonymous said...

Re: Adam & Eve

Maybe I'm alone here, but I was pretty confident Adam and Eve were Bernard and Rose. They were clearly on the island when the nuke went off (or didn't go off... whatever) and they're the only ones on the island we haven't seen since then. I know we saw Rose in the flash-sideways, but I discount that.

They had such peace the last time we saw them -- such little desire to do anything but grow old and die together -- that I could see the island just being done with them.

Again, maybe I'm reading too much into it. Just a thought.

Tyroc said...

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT!!!

Joseph said...

I would say everything about Walt. first seasons of Lost are pretty focused on him, and we still don't know why he si so special, why the others tested him etc.

belinda said...

I really hope we'd see Juliet again.

As for Aaron and Walt and why they're so special (and heck, even the whole child obsession thing with the Others - who took the kids, or the inability to have babies with the Dharma - which was kind of explained, but wasn't very satisfying), I wish that would have been discussed instead of say the temple for the first 4-5 episodes of the season. I feel like now, there's just not enough time to devote any time to them (or whether any explanation would be satisfying), so I suppose that's probably left as a mystery.

I don't want a specific answer to everything in LOST (some things are better left unanswered) - but as much as I love the characters and their stories, I am hoping for a better explanation (scientific, most preferably) for the mystery of the island - because evil trying to escape the island and protected by Jacob (who I find too insufferable and am actually rooting for Smokey to kick his ass!) is a little too preachy and myth-y for my taste.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where it seems to be going, so instead I would love for them to get into the older generation - Widmore, Hawking, Paik, and the Dharma boss just a little bit more because I'm still not seeing some of the motivations of those characters behind what they did (or what they are about to do - like why Widmore is suddenly so knowledgable about Jacob/Smokey and why he's hell bent on 'saving the world' when we've been given no indication he's the hero type).

Rodolpho said...

Well, I yet have a lot of questions I wanted to be answered that are coming along the last 5 seasons.
let me just toss them and see what sticks:

1) Who are Jacob and Smokey/MIB and where are they from?How old are they?
2) Who are those childs on the jungle?
4) What the fuck is the island?
5) Why is the island unlocked byt time/space?
6) What the heck happened with Dharma people?
7) Why smokey never tried to kill Dharma people or even Desmond before?
8) Who were in the Cabin talking with Ben?
9) Who are Adam and Eve?Are they Bernard and Rose that got stuck on the 70's and couldn't move on as the time went them by?
10) How is Desmond getting all survivors at the sideway world together to discuss what to do next at the real timeline?
11) What the fuck is the island then?
12) how are they putting out all the misteries around Walt?

As for the series finale, I expect some sort of rabbit pulled out of a hat, figuratively of course, But I'm well ok knowing that they won't answer a bunch of questions taht has been given along the series.

Ok, I just want it to head an ending, i mean, not really an ending, but a light in the end of the path to all of those characthers whose I care so much about.

Follow me guys @rodolphocuenca

Anonymous said...

J Maggio, thanks for posting. I really enjoyed your reflection and would enjoy a finale that balances religion/science.


JWIII

Gridlock said...

I keep coming back to "Ricardus" (latin! hint hint!) being on the Island "longer than you could possibly imagine" turning out to be "since about 1860".

If the rest of the show has hyperbole of this calibre then I guess it turns out Walt's talent for making PB&J sandwiches is why they wanted him so badly, etc etc.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me a lot of the last season of Battlestar Galactica. That series had so many problems and plot holes built up from the previous two seasons, but we believed *up until the very end* that they could be resolved by the finale, which is why when it was all over and none of it made any sense, the backlash came so late and so quickly.

It's a fun's duty to trust that none of the plot holes will be *official* until the series is over, but I have a feeling that close to none of our questions will be resolved.

It will be a blast, and it will probably be pretty clever, but we're never going to to know who built the Frozen Donkey Wheel, or why Chang changed his name for each orientation video, or what the deal with Aaron or Walt is

We're never going to know why Micheal couldn't kill himself, or how Tom knew that he couldn't

We're never going to know the non-real-world reason why Smokey killed Mr. Eko.

We're never going to know why the Others didn't just walk up to the 815 survivors and say "Hey, you guys look lost (getit?), wanna join us?"

We're never going to know what any of the "lists" from seasons 1-3 were all about.

We're never going to know about Kate's horse, or the Hurley bird, or any of the other retroactively stupid "Twilight Zone-y" things that randomly dropped by to tease us while the show was in its stride.

Now, I'm happy to blame it all on the "make it up as you go" nature of television, and for a show that didn't know what it was doing until the middle of the third season, they've done a fine job keeping it mostly together.

But... unlike many other people, I'm not one of those "Mysteries-shmisteries, I want to see a resolution to the *characters*" types. Personally, I feel that this show stopped developing the characters once the pre-815 flashbacks ended.

It's pretty much a plot-only show now, and I'd be just as happy if they spent the rest of the series sitting in a convention hall auditorium spelling out the plot in stages and explaining every mystery one-by-one in detail. That would actually be nerdy fun.

I mean, other than for the purpose of revealing plot details, reversals of fortune, and dramatic ironies, has any of these characters actually grown since the middle of the third season? Has any of the relationships changed or developed, a la Jin and Micheal, or Locke and Eko?

The only exception would be Richard, but his long-awaited episode is really the first we've heard of him at all, so I don't think that counts.

Speaking of plot mysteries, remember when at the end of season 5he said "I'm this way because of Jacob" and we're all "Oooo, I wonder what that means?" Well, turns out, 12 episodes later, it meant literally that and nothing more.

Anyway, I'm along for the ride, and having a good time with it, but I'm rolling my eyes at every new magical thing that happens. Remember when this show was about conspiracies, fake beards, and electromagnetics? Now it's all magic temple water and lighthouse mirror portals.

The one thing I want from the season finale is just a little more science fiction, and a little less "God, ur, the Island did it" hocus pocus.

LDP said...

I hope the show leaves some mysteries unsolved. As several posters have already pointed out, the questions are better left unanswered if they can't be addressed in a dramatically interesting way.

However . . . I would like to know more about the significance of the numbers.

dez said...

Because he certainly seems like a bit of a dick, and if he's representing "good," then the entire concept of good versus evil is called into question.


At this point, it seems more like order vs. chaos than good vs. evil. Order and chaos don't necessarily have to be all good or all bad for each.


I would love an answer to the mysteries of Walt, MDK's growth spurt be damned.

Brian said...

J. Maggio said...

Small Side note: If you look at Smokie/MiB’s motivation as pushing people toward the moment when he can take over Locke’s body, and then convince Ben to kill Jacob, then most of the apparitions make sense as Smokie: Charlie, Christian, Horace, even Walt. (And, before you ask if he could become someone who isn’t dead, I would say he can be anyone who he scans via the dead body or via a live body. So, as long as he scanned someone who knew Walt, he could appear as Walt. Locke had to be dead for him to END up in Locke’s body when Jacob died.)

Wrong. The MiB was not Walt.

Jack: “Why John Locke?”
Locke: “Because he was stupid enough to believe that he'd been brought here for a reason. Because he pursued that belief until it got him killed. And because you were kind enough to bring his body back here in a nice wooden box.”
Jack: “He had to be dead before you could look like him.”
Locke: “That's right.”


It couldn't be any more clear than that.

Schmoker said...

Pretty sure they answered a lot of the questions people have posed above. For instance, the why can't women have babies question was answered already. Jacob needed a reason for Juliet to come to, and stay on, the Island. That was the whole thing. He killed all those women to lure in Juliet, then told the Others to keep her there.

Juliet was a significant player. She saved numerous candidate lives, Ben's life twice, Ethan's life, and she helped Sawyer grow.

Oh yeah, and she blew up Jughead.
It was a big deal to get her there, and killing pregnant women was what Jacob came up with.

Yeah, that Jacob---what a charmer.

A lot of the other questions I saw have also been answered, but not so ham-fistedly as they did with the Whispers. We have to be able to put two and two together (sometimes getting five in the process) if we want to get some answers. The women and babies is one such example.

Me? I just want to know more about the cabin, who was in it when, what it meant, and whether the ash there meant anything. Because Smokey couldn't have been trapped there (since he was running around the Island all series), so was it to keep him out?

J. Maggio said...

Brian, if you read my comment, you know I addressed your issue. It is unclear if he can only appear as a dead person in his final form, now that Jacob is dead. In that conversation, he never indicates that he couldn't take the form of non-dead people as long as it is a temporal form. The conversation was specific to John Locke. And clearly that was a specific kind of "taking of body" since he needed the full body back to island. This is unlike, say, he ability to be Isabella or the various people Eko killed. You may be right, but I do not think that conversation was referencing anything but Locke. And clearly since he is "stuck" in Locke now, that is a special situation.

Susan said...

"If Man in Black appeared as Christian Shephard in all those appearances then how was Christian on the freighter in season 4?"

I think there's a rather simple explanation for this. MiB may be trapped on the island, but it's been proven that "the island" includes a certain orbit around it. For example, Smokey can travel between the main island and Hydra Island. Also, when the freighter blew up and Sawyer jumped out of the helicopter, he was able to swim back to the island after it was moved and "disappeared" - while the helicopter, which had gotten further out into the ocean, couldn't see the island anymore. So I think MiB would certainly have been able to act as Christian on the freighter.

To answer Alan's question: for me, it's about character resolution. I want to know if Sun and Jin will end up going home and raising their daughter together, who will raise Aaron, if Jack and Sawyer will find peace, if the dead characters will stay dead (Libby, Locke) or live in the alt-universe, etc. The big mystery for me is how the island timeline and alt-timeline are going to end up blending, or will it be a choice for the characters, or will it depend on their on-island alliances?

As for past mysteries, I'd like to know more about Eloise and Widmore and their history with Dharma and Eloise's connection to time travel; I'm curious about Walt but I'll live if they never get back to it.

I think the biggest question for me is "the sickness" - how is it caused? Is it natural, is it caused by the Temple or Jacob? And what does it mean - evil? Loss of soul? Loss of free will?

J. Maggio said...

The way I understand Smokie:

He can scan live or dead people. He then can appear as people he in those memories. So, he could scan Christian's body, and then appear as Christian. In this case, he would have all of Christian's memories. Or, he could scan Jack and appear as Christian via Jack's memories of him. I assume he needed Locke's body to come back so that he could scan his dead body and take all of his memories. He would need all of his memories to make the con-job complete, and fool Richard and Ben. Once Jacob is dead, he is now stuck in Locke's body.

Obviously much of this needs to be explained, but that is how I see it.

J. Maggio said...

Susan, your questions/opinions essentially match mine.

Only thing, Christian appeared to Jack off-island, so I do not think the whole "island radius" thing makes sense.

This why I think that Smokie's essence is trapped on island. He can manifest off-island.

He may be lying about whether he can travel via smoke across water, or that may be change due to being "set" in Locke's body now that Jacob is dead

Brian said...

Brian, if you read my comment, you know I addressed your issue. It is unclear if he can only appear as a dead person in his final form, now that Jacob is dead. In that conversation, he never indicates that he couldn't take the form of non-dead people as long as it is a temporal form. The conversation was specific to John Locke. And clearly that was a specific kind of "taking of body" since he needed the full body back to island. This is unlike, say, he ability to be Isabella or the various people Eko killed. You may be right, but I do not think that conversation was referencing anything but Locke. And clearly since he is "stuck" in Locke now, that is a special situation.

No I read your comment, I just find your reasoning confusing since the writers explicitly answered a question without going into a full-on info dump(Jack: "What about Walt? What about Ben's mother? What about Dave?" MiB: "No, Yes, No ...")

If it is important enough for the writers to explicitly explain ("He's stuck as Locke now" or "He had to be dead before you could look like him") then to me, it's pretty cut and dry.

Otherwise, why didn't he just impersonate Jack, Locke, Jacob, etc. at any point along the way?

That's the funny thing about answers is when we get them, folks still don't believe them. Kind of like the Whispers. We got a ham-fisted explanation of what they were and people still don't accept it. Same thing here: MiB assumes the form of the dead.

You see the little kids running around the island annoying the MiB. Clearly he didn't appear as them ... is it really so hard to believe that the ghost-Walt could be related to that?

Kyle said...

I find it very interesting reading through the above comments that someone will say that this or that question has been addressed indirectly and the answer is XXXX. Farther down the list is someone who addresses the same question but gives a completely different answer.

Maybe I'm being obtuse, but if there are so many different "answers" for the same questions floating around, has anything really been conclusively decided?

I really cared about the underlying mysteries in the first couple of seasons because I kept hearing and reading things like "we know the end of the story, we know where it is going, we know what we are doing, and there is an explanation for everything." Now I'm not sure any of those are true and it takes away from my enjoyment of the current episodes as well as the earlier seasons.

That being said, mark me down as "What's the deal with Walt?" He was arguably the main mystery of the first two seasons and to have no resolution or explanation verifies, for me at least, that the writers had no idea where the story would end up. And that makes me a little bitter.

J. Maggio said...

Brian, you may be correct. It is interesting that apparition Walt--if it isnt MiB--and Christian--who I will assume is MiB--used the same phrase: You have work to do. Hmmm.

Overall, tho, you have pretty much convinced me. This is especially true since I cannot think of another live person whom he appeared as. So you are likely correct. My bad.

J. Maggio said...

Kyle:

I think they did know the "end." They had a basic notion of what the island is, what the monster was, and why the 815ers were on island. It is the MIDDLE that was improved. Much of the Dharma / Others / O6 story was put there simply to fill out space and take up time. It also helped us get to know the characters and have some pulpy fun. But, it is funny that much of S6 could have come pretty much right after S1. The creators could have condensed S2-S5 into one season. (Though that would have prevented fun and interesting character moments like Dave, The Long-Con, 23rd Psalm, Ji Yeon, Not in Portland, Lafluer; as well as fun episodes like Tricia Tanaka is Dead, The Economist, Some like it Hoth... etc) But, yeah, I think beginning and end were pretty much intended. The middle, which is much of Dharma/fertility/Oceanic-6, was improved on-the-fly.

That is how I see it, at least.

J. Maggio said...

Also, Kyle, you wrote:

"Maybe I'm being obtuse, but if there are so many different "answers" for the same questions floating around, has anything really been conclusively decided? "

Yeah, I don't think in a story like Lost that youre going to get anything better than that. It is like, what is Bob in Twin Peaks? How could they answer that? It is turtles all the way down... :)

J. Maggio said...

Schmoker:

I think your answer regarding fertility issues is perfect when placed in the context of the Incident also causing the problem. On a scientific level, the EM and radiation cause the problem. On a mystical level, Jacob wanted to bring Juliet to the island. The show blends the "scientific" with the mystical.

And, remember, Juliet herself was a candidate. She is number 58. She just was not one of the final candidates.

Brian said...

J. Maggio said...

Brian, you may be correct. It is interesting that apparition Walt--if it isnt MiB--and Christian--who I will assume is MiB--used the same phrase: You have work to do. Hmmm.

Overall, tho, you have pretty much convinced me. This is especially true since I cannot think of another live person whom he appeared as. So you are likely correct. My bad.


I had to hit Lostpedia myself just to make sure before I posted that comment :-)

The only person whom the smoke monster has appeared as that didn't die on the Island was Isabella. Every other person died and had their corpse on the island (if Lostpedia is to be trusted).

That of course discounts Hurley's friend Dave or Ben's mother but we don't know that those were the MiB (and likely never will).

What I think is interesting is how the writers try to throw us hints without explicitly saying something (The MiB had no clue about Sun's aphasia, the MiB sees ghosts and asks others if they can see them too, etc.) It's as if they're trying to tell us there are either limits to the MiB's powers or simply things that he's not aware/responsible for.

The flip side of my argument is that the writers haven't been completely consistent. You very well could be right for all I know. I just keep thinking that the writers are trying to give us answers without being too overt ... though the whispers thing was over the top: Hurley "So that's what the Whspers are!"

I will also put myself in the group that doesn't always like the answers given. After seeing that the MiB can't "smoke out" and leave the island we still can't account (100%) for his appearance to a bearded Jack off island (it even set off a smoke detector!) or even on the freighter. Yet I have to accept it was the MiB even though it's not consistent with what they've established and therefore annoying.

Kyle said...

"I think they did know the "end." They had a basic notion of what the island is, what the monster was, and why the 815ers were on island. It is the MIDDLE that was improved."

I'll buy that theory. I can see how they would have a general outline planned and then have to fill in the blanks with other, less integral material. The main question this would bring up for me is why then did they need a specific end date of 6 seasons. My best guess is that ABC wanted to milk the show a little longer and at that point the writers had some ideas they wanted to flesh out while still needing an endpoint to try and begin the wrapping up process. And that's totally fine, just say so. By saying "we really need this many episodes to give justice to the story and the characters," they were implying that almost everything done from that point on was intergral to the overall storyline. As far as I can tell, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Will we ever find out why the hell Claire vanished into the jungle? If she was so close to her baby, what was she doing chilling in a cabin by herself. How long has she known the monster, and how did it go about letting her know it was changing from christian to Locke.

If the monster took Locke's form how come Locker's body was still on the beach whereas Christian's vanished when he took his form.

This show has become so utterly ridiculous and unwatchable at times. So many things make little to no sense and so many other issues have simply been ignored. With only 5 episodes left, I have little hope that much will be resolved.

Damon Lindelof is also one condescending sob, although Cuse seems like a nice guy.

J. Maggio said...

The guy above, @3:08pm:

You know so damn little about Lost that I wonder if you even watch the show. There *are* unsolved mysterious happenings on Lost, but these are NOT them.

Claire took off with Christian partly because she was "claimed" and partly because Christian lied. If you look at Clair in "Shape of Things to Come" and "Cabin Fever," she has almost the same exact look on her face and attitude as Sayid did when he was first claimed.

See my above posts for explanation of smokie. (And, I acknowledge, we will likely get more about this as it goes on.)

What next, man? What is up with the polar bears? Why did Richard visit Locke as a kid?

Alan Sepinwall said...

J. Maggio, dial it back. Now.

Rule #1 of the blog, wherever it's located: Be respectful of other posters, and talk about the show, not each other.

Anonymous said...

Ha, I love people that get defensive when somebody doesn't like aspects of the show or disagrees with the direction in which it has been headed.

Thanks for shutting him up Alan. Keep up the good work, love you on the BS Report.

Jennifer said...

I must agree with anonymous that we're going to get practically no answers. And that ticks me off. They had several seasons once they knew the endgame was set, and instead we're getting Dirty Tina Fey and Dogen and Lennon introduced instead of finding out well, almost anything. What a waste of time, man.

I have to say that I've never been in love with this show. It has moments of brilliance/inspiration/crazy, a fair amount of so-so and some real turds, but it's not a consistent love for me. Probably because they set up so much cool shit and then never bothered to do much about it. And I don't think they are going to now.

I'm not even mad about it, just kinda irritated/disappointed that C&L are the kind of guys who can come up with plots, but not finish 'em.

Anonymous said...

Also, if Claire was all of a sudden claimed as you say, why was it so easy to do so? Everybody else was on the same part of the island she was, yet somehow she was the one person claimed?

We don't even know what being "claimed" means yet except that it is a sickness. To me though, Claire still seems pretty normal. Except for trying to kill Kate, she has interacted with everybody else as though they are still very close despite being away from each other for a few years. Sayid on the other hand could care less about anybody else at this point. So if both have the same sickness, the symptoms surely aren't the same.

As Jennifer said above, the temple storyline that dominated the first 6 episodes this season was completely useless and has provided nothing to the story. With so much still left to tie up, I doubt they will get to it now anyways.

Relax, J. Maggio, it's a TV show, no need to call other people out for how much attention they have or haven't been paying. People just have different opinions.

J. Maggio said...

Alan,

Dialed back.

I am sorry for ad hominen attack of first paragraph. I am sorry. But, as per your rules, I stand by next two paragraphs.

J. Maggio said...

As per the "claimed" aspect, most of the fan community suspects that the claiming occurred after Claire blew up in the explosion in Shape of Things to Come. She seemed out of it, and dazed. Miles stared at her THE SAME WAY he stared at Sayid in the temple scenes. They even had the whole scene where Claire said "I'll live" and Miles said "I wouldnt be so sure." Also, she had the same semi-drugged look that Sayid had.

Why would they, way back in S4, have Miles, the guy who talks to dead bodies, stare strangely at Claire? And then she goes off with Christian/MiB. He even says "I'm with him" about Christian in "Cabin Fever" the same way she says "You're with him" to Jack about Locke in "The Last Recruit."

I do get frustrated because I feel that people want things spelled out for them. A little thought makes 90% of it make sense. I also feel that the lamest parts of show are when they provide "answers" via sill exposition. (See the Whispers explanation.)

Anonymous said...

I do agree that both the whispers explanation and the Locke revealing he was Christian answers were extremely lame.

However, we can agree to disagree that 90% of what has gone on over the first 5 seasons, now makes sense in season 6.

asterisk8 said...

Gridlock said...

I keep coming back to "Ricardus" (latin! hint hint!) being on the Island "longer than you could possibly imagine" turning out to be "since about 1860".

If the rest of the show has hyperbole of this calibre then I guess it turns out Walt's talent for making PB&J sandwiches is why they wanted him so badly, etc etc.



It's only hyperbole if Richard was talking to a science fiction fan watching a TV show, hoping he's 2,000 years old. But alas, Richard was talking to a character on the show. Any normal person, especially a doctor, would find it unimaginable that Richard is 180 years old.

asterisk8 said...

Instead of expecting answers, I come at it from a different angle. Instead of answers, we get mythological detail. I'm sure there's a formal theory here that I'm about to inadvertently mangle, but I'll do my bet to describe how I see it.

A story, at its most basic, is characters experiencing conflict, right? Practically every effective story you can think of is a character going from the status quo, to a conflicted state which finally resolves into a new status quo. Stasis, flux, stasis. There are variations on that of course, but the two central elements: characters and conflict, are universal in every story we tell.

Resolution often comes in the story itself, and is the raison d'ĂȘtre for the story, but mythology has always had a secondary component of self-realization, or gnosis. Basically, the deepest and most satisfying answers can come only from within oneself. You cannot be told the answer. once one has fully engaged with the story – on not just a narrative level, but on thematic, aesthetic, and emotional levels as well – then the answers are obvious. Until we have all those answers, it's perfectly natural that ten people will see a foggy picture ten different ways.

Ancient mythology was so good at engaging on all levels that it became religion. When fiction does it, it becomes literature. Few TV shows have managed to fully transcend the confines of their medium without varying degrees of failure – The Wire being the paragon, in my opinon.

I digress.

Lost often brilliantly straddles that line between revealed mysteries and gnostic mysteries. In the end, the producers and writers will have given viewers resolutions to character arcs and a box full of puzzle pieces. The puzzle is for those who want to examine Lost on a deeper level. If you're interested in the answers to the mysteries, then, Darlton are saying, "Invest a little effort to solve them yourself." This is, after all, a show full of games. The whole show is a game in a certain light. Solving the puzzle might mean looking for patterns within the show itself, comparing Egyptian hieroglyphs, plugging Jean-Jacques Rousseau into Wikipedia, reading about relativity, analyzing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for similarities to season 6 (wink), etc.

I get it that not everyone wants to take time to put a TV show under the microscope like that, and Lost certainly shows some flaws under close scrutiny (as any honest fan can attest to), but I don't believe Darlton can be faulted for attempting such an ambitious experiment in television. This is a puzzle show on a scale unlikely to ever be attempted again. I'll forgive them some stumbles along the way so long as the mythological puzzle pieces I get lead to some satisfying gnostic realizations while I'm staring into my fridge at midnight.

Brian said...

J. Maggio said...

Brian, you may be correct. It is interesting that apparition Walt--if it isnt MiB--and Christian--who I will assume is MiB--used the same phrase: You have work to do. Hmmm.


True but Dogen's instructions to Sayid on how to kill the MiB were the same as the MiB's instructions to Richard on how to kill Jacob.

J. Maggio said...

asterik8, well said!

Brian, yeah, I got nothing for that. It will either mean something literally in the show, or it will be a motif.

Lepidoptera said...

My expectations have changed drastically this season. I now will feel that the writers/creators have outdone themselves if any of the following things come to pass:

1. There is a flash sideways that is remotely believable/interesting.

2. There is a single answer to a "mystery" provided that was not either guessed at ad nauseum in Season 1, or stolen from Science Fiction Cliches 101: The Lazy Chapter.

3. There is a medical diagnosis that is less insulting to my intelligence than: "Oh, man, she must have gotten hit in the language center of her brain."

4. Charlotte limits her one night stands with psychopaths to just one or two before she realizes she is Spanking the Monkey's "soulmate."

5. Jeff Fahey is given a single line of dialogue that is not absolutely painful to watch. IE "Looks like she got her English back!!!!"

6. A fraction of Lost apologists come clean and admit that this has been possibly the most squandered opportunity for greatness, NAY, goodness, NAY mediocrity, NAY, scant superiority to CSI: Duluth, in the history of the medium.

Anonymous said...

Here's one: what has been the smoke's motivation the whole series? Why kill the officer in the plane? Why let Eko live then kill him? Master plan? Bloodlust? I hope they tell us.

Anonymous said...

I will be disappointed if every single question is not answered. This is not unreasonable. If you don't have an answer, DON'T POSE THE QUESTION.

Chrissy said...

Seriously, I know the web would collapse in on itself if this was the case, but how the island has to be a space ship. Nothing else makes even the tiniest bit of sense. It's a space ship, with a wheel, and electromagnetic power centers, and it moves through time and space using space-age technology.

The radiation explanation for the women not being able to have babies doesn't sit right with me. We know that babies are only affected if they are conceived on the island, not if they gestate there. So, that seems to imply that the parents are passing something along that they have inside them practically from the moment they step on the island. It seems to me that if there is enough harmful radiation lying around that it consistently kills every single baby that is conceived there, it would be doing something else. Unless the island is keeping those consequences at bay, in which case, why don't people get sick when they leave?

That seems like an answer that just leads to more questions.

Personally, I would have been happy just knowing Libby's deal, but doesn't look like that's happening. So I'm ok with just riding it out.

Anonymous said...

What was the "magic box" used to bring Locke's Father/The Con Man to the Island? Why wasn't it used to bring all the "enemies of the Island" (Widmore and his agents) magically the same way and have them eliminated without any hassle?

I can't wait for the writers to claim they had no time to answer all the questions, yet they've spent huge chunks of time spinning their wheels on complete dead-ends, including the temple, Illana's crew, the 1970's, the Taillies, Widmore's elite task force (Charolette, Miles, Keamy, Faraday), heck, even the Others and Dharma qualify.

Just like having the main characters walk back and forth through the jungle endlessly - and going nowhere fast - these dead-ends are what I'll remember most. "Lost" will have its place in history as the series that killed off serial story-telling as an art-form because the feeling of betrayal it will leave behind will be so intense that any serialized show that follows it will be met with distrust and ridicule.

Anonymous said...

The "magic box" was the submarine. Ben was just messing with Locke.

Anonymous said...

If the Island is so difficult to find that even a guy with Widmore's resources couldn't do so before Desmond activated the "Failsafe key", then why would the Others need to build a fake primitive village and bother with disguises? Especially since they had access to hyper-modern technology (like the sonic fences and the underwater communication center), that can monitor their air and water space for invaders, not to mention access to a know-it-all deity whose main concern was protecting the island?

Who were the Others preparing for with their "primitive" act?

Anonymous said...

'The Purge' - Whose idea was it? Ben? Richard? Why do it? And why would Richard go along with Ben, if it was Ben's idea?

Also, per 'Ab Aeterno', Richard is the intermediary between Jacob and the people on the island. But back in Season 3, it is clear that Ben was the leader and Richard following him. How did that happen, especially since it turned out that Ben had never seen/spoken to Jacob.

Kalin said...

This:

""Lost" will have its place in history as the series that killed off serial story-telling as an art-form because the feeling of betrayal it will leave behind will be so intense that any serialized show that follows it will be met with distrust and ridicule."

And this:

"I will be disappointed if every single question is not answered. This is not unreasonable. If you don't have an answer, DON'T POSE THE QUESTION."

I have been recently re-watching some earlier episodes of BSG and feeling the hollowness of knowing the blandness of those mythology questions. I am expecting this feeling to be multiplied infinitely for LOST. I have been a seriously dedicated fan since the first season, and have turned many friends onto the show, as I love sharing my favourite series with my favourite people. I am beginnign to suspect, however, that once LOST ends I will never be able to recommend it to a friend again; the thought of making someone sit through multiple episodes and having to explain to them "don't take is too seriously, they never adequately address the meanings or origins of this catastrophic kidnapping/implosion/genocide/donkey wheel/etc."

tuesday said...

What questions do I want answered? How about all of them that were posed? Because why pose them then? Just to yank the audience's chain?

This show has so little respect for its audience. Darlton knew there was an avid fan base, knew people were theorizing and doing freeze frames, etc, and they encouraged it by planting tons of Easter eggs in each episode, doling out little "clues" to their "mysteries", some of which now turn out to be meaningless or "not worth answering". What was their point? just to keep us busy? To take the audience's passion for the show's details--something they encouraged--and now dismiss it is the height of assholishness.

For people on here wondering why fans don't accept the answers we've been given, I think it's because so much of the show has featured lies and half-truths that we don't recognize a straight answer when we get one. We've been poorly trained by these gimmicky writers.

asterisk8 said...

As an avid reader and fan of movies, I thought it was obvious from the start that certain mysteries would remain ambiguous.

Where is the law that says every mystery posed must have a definitive answer in the dialogue? Since when has any movie, TV series, or book been held to such rigorous scrutiny and survived unscathed? My favorite books, movies, and TV series are invariably the ones that leave thing to wonder about after they're done. Where was this sort of passionate reaction at the end of Return of the Jedi, when fans realized that George Lucas was not going to explain how the Force worked? If anything, fans of the original trilogy balked when midichlorians were revealed in Phanom Menace.

The way I see it, Lindelof & Cuse will ultimately fail for a certain segment of the fanbase, no matter what. There are those that feel as if they are "owed" something for the last 6 years of time and energy invested into the show, and in a certain sense they are right. I think it's debatable exactly *what* we are owed as fans, but I like to think that Darlton have thought about this. Until the final Bad Robot scurries across the screen, it's too early to say whether they've failed.

asterisk8 said...

For anyone with a few minutes to spare, here's J.J. Abrams giving a talk at TED on his personal take on the role of mystery in storytelling. If you've ever asked yourself, "Why pose a mystery on Lost if they don't plan on answering it?" here's an answer, from one of the show's creators.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/j_j_abrams_mystery_box.html

asterisk8 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
drbristol said...

When the creators insisted that "Purgatory" was absolutely not the answer, my first thought was that these were people under some type of group hypnotherapy to cure massive delusions, which explained the intersection of their lives and the occasional bursts of sanity/awareness that were fleeting, not quite a breakthrough.

As the seasons went on I ditched that idea because so many other details (Dharma, etc.) were introduced.

With so much unanswered with only 5 eps to go, and the apparent "two worlds colliding" plot device obviously coming, maybe wasn't nuts after all. Maybe MIB/Jacob are just our yang and yin (logic vs faith, soul vs mind, willpower vs temptation, etc.).

Whatever - I'm in this deep, I'm strapping in for the rest.

Tuesday said...

asterisk8 said...
"Where is the law that says every mystery posed must have a definitive answer in the dialogue?"

Lost built itself as a show all about these mysteries. So they created the expectation.

"My favorite books, movies, and TV series are invariably the ones that leave thing to wonder about after they're done."

I agree, but I feel that works best in a character-driven story. For example, I was a Sopranos fan. I really loved the Sopranos' ambiguous ending because I had to surmise what would have happened to Tony, knowing what I knew about his thoughts, his behavior. But I could do it because I understood the world he lived in. You cannot do that with Lost, with so many metaphysical questions unanswered.

Damon and Carlton believe they are telling a character-driven tale, but we haven't seen much character growth in ages. Certainly this season there has been so little time for the characters because they're so busy walking to the beach then to the jungle, then back to the beach, then sailing to Hydra, etc.

"Where was this sort of passionate reaction at the end of Return of the Jedi, when fans realized that George Lucas was not going to explain how the Force worked?"

As someone pointed out waaay upthread, the Force was never posed as a mystery that needed explaining. It was easy to understand without an explanation, even as a kid (which I was when I saw it)--it was an analogue to religion, to Faith. We don't get that in a mystery show so invested in planting clues for the audience.