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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lost: Questions Answered

Just because the show is over for the year doesn't mean I don't still have a few more Lost posts up my sleeve. As promised, here's a look back at the various questions raised throughout the season, and what kinds of answers we received. Was the show, in fact, as terrible about answering questions as some believe? Let's just say that while I had a hard time coming up with a new ways of saying "I don't know," I was genuinely surprised at some of the questions from early in the season that actually got resolved. Most of the big unanswered ones, it seems, are tied in some ways to the bigger mysteries that have been around for much longer than this season.

4x01: The Beginning of the End

Why are there only six known survivors of the crash?

They were in the right place (helicopter) at the right time (when the island moved).

Was everyone else left behind, or dead?

A little from column A (Locke, Sawyer, Juliet, Claire), a little from column B (Michael, Jin, Claire)

Did others get off the island unknown to the public? If so, how and why?

Ben did by turning the frozen donkey wheel that moved the island. Desmond also made it off, and stayed hidden to avoid the wraith of Widmore.

WIDMORE!!

We can safely presume that Jack and Kate are part of the Oceanic 6 along with Hurley; who are the other three?

Sun, Sayid and Aaron.

If Claire and Aaron got rescued (as Desmond’s flash suggested) would Aaron count as one of the six, since he technically wasn’t on the Oceanic flight?

Stupidly, yes.

Who are the “they” referenced by both Creepy Maybe Lawyer and Ghost Charlie?

Jury is still out on this one officially, but presumably, "they" are the rest of the 815ers and the Others still on the island. After all, at this point, we only know for sure that Locke survived the moving of the island, and at the point that Hurley was visited by Abaddon, he may not have even known that.

What secret are the six keeping and why do Hurley and Beard-o Jack want to go back?

The secret they are keeping is the truth about what everything that happened in the wake of the crash. We know that Beard-o Jack wants to go back because he was somehow convinced by Bentham nee Locke, presumably by tales of the horrors inflicted on those left behind.
Insane-o Hurley, however, by the end of the season, seemed less eager to go back for some reason.

Did Naomi really cover for the Lostaways, as Kate believes, or did she transmit some kind of message to her people before she died, either through the phone or her dying words? Does she have a sister?

Yeah, she was sending a message to the freighter. No sister for Naomi.

Who was in Jacob’s cabin?

Still not sure.

Was that Locke’s eye (I think so)?

Still don’t know.

Who was in the chair?

Christian.

How did Charlie appear before Hurley in the hospital? Was it just crazy Hurley (remember, Dave smacked him on the island too, and Hurley ultimately decided he was a figment of his imagination)? Was it Smokey or Jacob or whatever causes dead people to be seen on the island? Can the island’s “power” to make the dead appear reach that far?

The appearance (both on and off the island) remains one of the show’s bigger unresolved mysteries, one that likely won’t be resolved for some time.

Was Creepy Maybe-Lawyer actually a lawyer that worked for Oceanic? If so, will we be seeing more of Oceanic in the flash forwards? Perhaps they’re going to be set up as yet another mysterious corporation with hidden agendas, like the various Widmore companies, the Hanso Foundation, and Mittelos Bio Science.

It seems that so far, Oceanic has managed to avoid being lumped in with or setup as a conspiracy-laden, darkly connected company. They did not, it turns out, have any hand in creating the Oceanic Six lie or in compelling the Six to lie about their experiences on the island.

Oh, and Abbadon’s deal remains an ever-growing mystery.

I missed it in the episode, but the internet lists Desmond as having gone with Jack’s group-why?

Desmond’s motivations for following along with Jack were never addressed (in fact, "The Constant" aside, Des kind of got the short shrift this season) but it all worked out well for him in the end, I suppose.

4x02 Confirmed Dead

Why do the Freighties want Ben?

They are acting on orders from Widmore, who presumably wants Ben captured in order to remove him from their game and leave the island open to Widmore.

Who’s his man on the boat?

Michael

Anyone we know?

Yes. Looking back, did anyone honestly think it would be anyone but Michael?

How’d that Dharma polar bear get in the desert?

No official answer yet, but I’m sure it’s no coincidence that when Ben pushed the frozen donkey wheel, he ended up in the relatively same place as the polar bear skeleton. Some theories abound that Dharma was training and using the bears to turn the wheel.

Is Ben sick of getting his face pounded yet? What’s that, three, four times in a day?

You’d think so, but he just keeps on picking fights…

Whose eye was that at the window of Jacob’s cabin last episode? I was pretty sure it was Locke’s, but now that seems unlikely, since this episode, Locke didn’t seem to know that Hurley had seen the cabin.

Still no answer, though Locke seems to be out of the running.

This may be a nitpick, but why was Lawnmower Man so sure the other pilot’s wedding ring wouldn’t have fallen off in the course of the crash/decomposition on the ocean floor?

Never addressed; probably just me being nitpicky.

We know a little more about Naomi now, but we still don’t know how or why she got that picture of Penny and Desmond.

And we still don’t.

What was Faraday so upset about in the beginning?

No idea, but the notion of Faraday being a Desmond-esque time traveler has been suggested.

Did he know someone on the plane?

Unclear, but probably not.

Is he (being a physicist) why the Freighties were able to find the island?

Partially; he was certainly aware of the island’s “unique properties” and the correct approach/departure bearing.

What was the case of gas masks for?

We saw Charlotte and Daniel using them while they worked to neutralize the Tempest station in "The Other Woman"…

Were they going to gas Ben?

…but they’d probably have used them for that, too.

4x03: The Economist

This is an older, ongoing one, but this episode brought it up, and then, frustratingly, didn’t answer it: why DOES Kate want to leave the island so badly?

Still no clear answer; sure, once she got off the island things worked out pretty well for her (new son, fancy house, not in jail) but she didn’t know it would work out that well while still on the island.

Who is the titular Economist?

Both his identity and the level of his overall importance remain unknown.

What was the deal with the bracelets? Naomi’s seemed to be personally inscribed, but then Elsa had one: was her bracelet the exact same one as Naomi’s, and Sayid gave it to her? Why? If it was a similar but different (different engraving or something) bracelet what was the point of the emphasis the camera put on it? Simply to emphasize the thematic parallels, or something more?

The producers admitted the bracelets to be a narrative device, and not a clue or something with further plot meaning.

Why is Sayid working for Ben?

Ostensibly to avenge Nadia’s death, but I’d imagine that at the point of their collaboration that "The Economist" presents, there is more to it.

What is Ben’s goal?

Presumably it’s all part of the war he’s waging against Widmore.

What exactly happened the last time “Sayid thought with his heart?”

That line remains unexplained.

Why did they meet at an animal hospital?

Unknown, and probably not important.

Has Ben always been able to perform the “field surgery” he administers to Sayid?

See above.

Where does Sayid’s flash forward fit in the flash forward timeline? I’m guessing after Hurley’s but before Jack’s, but that’s just a guess.

The overall flash forward timeline is still a bit hazy, especially this episode’s.

Where’s Nadia in the future?

Dead.

Is she how Ben is controlling Sayid, or a casualty of the last time Sayid “thought with his heart?”

Probably not; she was killed by one of Widmore’s hired goons. But that was according to Ben, so it may not be entirely true.

4x04: Eggtown

Eggtown? Where’d that title come from? The eggs Locke made Ben at the beginning, and Miles’ egg shaped grenade breakfast at the end? Some kind of philosophical chicken/egg theme? Is that the name of the Dharma barracks/New Otherton?

Nowhere of any significance, according to the producers. Amongst all the varied theories I read, I forget their actual explanation, but it had no bearing on this episode or the show as a whole.

Is Kate really not pregnant, or was she lying to provoke Sawyer and give her a reason to leave again?

As far as we know, Kate was, in fact, not pregnant.

Where does Kate raising Aaron fit into the psychic’s predictions for Claire? In Raised By Another, back in season one, the psychic Claire visited in her flashback made it very clear that Aaron must be raised by Claire, going so far as to dupe Claire into meeting with potential adoptive parents in LA so that she’d be on Oceanic Flight 815. The implication was that the psychic knew the plane would crash, thus forcing Claire to raise Aaron as her own. With this episode, we have to wonder, was Kate’s adoption of Aaron something the psychic was trying to facilitate or prevent?

None of the psychic’s predictions have been addressed thus far, and I fear that it was forgotten. Aaron, on the whole, was setup to be someone of some significance in the first season. With Claire’s weirdness at the end of this season, I have hope that wasn’t entirely forgotten.

Why did Miles specifically ask for 3.2 million? Ben obviously recognizes there is some significance to that specific amount.

No idea; may have just been a number. The producers have said the Freighties back story was the biggest victim of the strike-shortened season, and that they hope to get some more of it worked into upcoming episodes.

What were Daniel and Charlotte doing with the cards? Testing his memory? Or testing some kind of clairvoyant power? Was it part of the “work” they stayed on the island to do?

Uncertain on all fronts, but it probably had something to do with Daniel’s work with radiation (that we saw in The Constant’s flashback) and/or his possible time travels.

Why doesn’t Future Jack want to see Aaron?

Hasn’t been made clear; all we have are theories.

Did he and/or Kate do something to Claire in order to get rescued, and Aaron reminds him of that…

Nope.

…or does Aaron just remind him that others (possibly including Claire) got left behind/killed in the course of their rescue?

Maybe. Then again, until Bentham shows up, the Oceanic Six have no idea what happened to the island or the people on it.

Does Future Jack know that Aaron is his nephew?

Yes, and he knew it during this episode’s flash forward.

Was Miles talking to ghosts before Kate walked in?

No idea. Probably not a big thing.

4x05: The Constant

Who wreaked the communications equipment, and why wasn’t Minkowski allowed to fix it?

Michael, on orders from Ben. It remains unknown why Minkowski wasn’t allowed to fix it, but I suppose it could be chalked up to general freighter-weirdness.

Who opened the sickbay door? Ben’s man on the boat? Michael?

Presumably Michael.

The producers have been specifically very adamant that none of their time travel stories will cause a paradox; so how do they explain the fact that Future Daniel had the correct specifications to give to Desmond, because Desmond gave them to Past Daniel? Does Daniel have memory problems (as has been suggested previously) so that when he’s on the island, he doesn’t remember Desmond visiting him and giving him those specifications?

I believe Dr. Bitz told me a way to explain this without creating a paradox, but I’m not about to try to write it all out here. Also, probably Daniel’s memory problems.

Why did 1996 Desmond’s consciousness come forward?

Don’t know.

Is there some significance to that time?

Don’t know.

Why was Penny calling the boat constantly?

Unclear

Why was Minkowski under strict orders to ignore the calls?

Widmore was most likely trying to keep Penny out of the loop; his knowledge of her actions, however, remain a mystery.

What caused Penny to go from “leave me the hell alone, Desmond” in 1996 to “a person with money can find anyone” before he went on the boat race, and then, subsequently, seemingly devoting her life to finding him?

Unanswered, but hopefully their story isn’t over quite yet.

Could the effects of traveling through whatever-it-is around the island that distorts time be the cause of the “sickness” that afflicted Rousseau’s crew?

I fear that with Rousseau’s untimely death, many of the lingering mysteries surrounding her and her crew, like this one, will go unanswered.

Does Desmond’s time jumping have anything to do with him getting kicked out of the army, as established in his first flashback?

Still unknown.

When did Daniel write that Desmond would be his constant in his journal? Right before we saw it, or in 1996, after Desmond visited him, or somewhere in between?

Don’t know.

When/where did Present Desmond’s consciousness go when 1996 Desmond’s mind was in his body (in the present, Desmond was either conscious with his 1996 mind or blacked out, when his mind was back in 1996). For that matter, last season in Flashes Before Your Eyes, when Present Desmond’s mind was in the past, reliving all those events and talking to creepy jewelry store lady, where/when was Past Desmond’s mind?

The exact mechanics of Desmond’s time traveling are still unknown, and probably won’t ever be addressed in detail.

4x06: The Other Woman

Once again, who his Ben’s man on the boat blah blah it’s Michael…

Yup. No surprise there.

If their mission was benevolent, why didn’t Charlotte and Daniel just tell Jack and Co. what they were doing?

Plot hammering.

Was the scene between Locke and Claire setting up the events that will cause Aaron to be raised off the island by Kate?

Not really.

What does it mean that “Ben is exactly where he wants to be?”

This is still unclear, although one could assume he wants to be near Locke.

It has to be asked: was everything Ben told Locke about Widmore true?

More or less, though he did claim ignorance regarding information he did in fact know.

That's a lot of questions already; let's pick this up next week. In the meantime, feel free to answer any questions I may have missed or correct any answers I may have misunderstood.

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