TEN Things That Need To Be Answered On LOST
January 30, 2010

From the first few minutes of the premier, it seems like Lost has raised hundreds, if not thousands of questions that need answering. However, as I sit down to think about what questions truly NEED to be answered in the final season that is about to begin, I am shocked to find it really boils down to just ten questions – some simple, some complex.

If you look at the "Unanswered Questions" page on Lostpedia, you have to laugh out loud at some of the questions people have put up there. Will my enjoyment of Lost be increased if we find out why Desmond was dishonorably discharged from the military? Heck no. If anything, I would be upset if the writers wasted time in going back and answering such trivial matters. Every minute is precious in the final season.

This isn’t a post about predicting what’s going to happen – it’s a post about identifying the big questions for the season. We’ll worry about addressing them each as they come up over the course of the season through the traditional episode previews and analyses – which will include my usual smart-ass sidebars. But these are the things that should be in the back of your head as you watch Lost’s final season. So without further ado, I give you my "Top 10 Unanswered Questions on Lost That Need To Be Answered", along with the likelihood of each happening:

10. Juliet and the Jughead (100% Chance of Being Answered). The final moment of Season Five sneaks onto the list at the last moment, narrowly bumping off "What happened to Kate’s black horse" as the tenth biggest question we need answered this season. Exactly what happened when Juliet detonated the Jughead will be one of main driving forces of the Season Six storyline. It seems that we got a sneak peak in the trailer where our Survivors suddenly find themselves back on Oceanic 815. Is this a new reality? If so, will they have memories of their time on the Island, or will they all be strangers? Or did the Jughead just magically blast our Time Traveling Survivors back to the "present" in the current timeline, neatly tying up all the time traveling antics from last season? After the bumping around on the flight and then nothing happening, does Jack know what they missed?

The answer to this question will have a huge effect on what the overall "point" of Lost really ends up being… is it fundamentally a show about traveling through time and changing the past, or a show that proves that’s impossible even with all the Island’s magical "unique properties"? Is it a show about accepting fate or changing it to save the world? They’re really big questions that we might not understand fully until Lost is over.

http://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=Elizabeth-Mitchell.jpghttp://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=Elizabeth-Mitchell.jpgAs for Juliet and the Jughead, it’s an answer we should receive fairly early on in Season Six (after the writers probably totally confuse and mess with our minds for the first episode or two).

9. Adam and Eve (90% Chance of Being Answered). The identity of Adam and Eve seem like a fairly minor outstanding question on Lost. In fact, I’d be willing to wager that 50% of people who watch Lost have totally forgotten about the brief scene in Season One where Jack comes upon two skeletons with white and black stones laid to rest in the caves. However, early on, Damon and Carlton pointed to this scene as "proof" that they’ve known what they were doing all along, and had a master plan – as opposed to me, who makes stuff up as I go along akin to Saturday night at the Improv… like this post – who knows if I’ll be able to come up with 10 Unanswered Questions or not? Stay tuned!

So, back to the issue. This makes Adam and Eve extremely important characters to the obsessive fans of Lost. It also makes you wonder how important these characters will be to the storyline of Lost itself. http://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=AdamandEve.jpghttp://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=AdamandEve.jpgI have a hard time believing the writers (in 2003) sat down and said "Hey, we need to include a scene where Jack comes across two skeletons because in Season Six we’re going to reveal that they are two non-important background characters. The audience is going to go crazy when they find out we knew this all along!" No – something tells me that these characters are going to be fairly major – like, Jack and Kate, Desmond and Penny, Jacob and Anti-Jacob, etc… and I do think we’re going to go crazy when we find out.

8. The Island History (75% Chance of Being Answered). There’s a lot you could group into this category – everything from the creation of the Island itself, to who installed the Frozen Donkey Wheel, to who built the Four Toed Statue, to the fate of the crew of the Black Rock (and maybe the S.S. Minow).

The Lost creators have always said that the Island is a character on the show, yet it’s the character that we know the least about (save for a few newer characters). A true "Island flashback" could quickly and effectively answer a lot of these questions about the history of the Island, yet I almost feel like the opportunity to tell that story was during last year’s time-traveling shenanigans. Or maybe we’ll find out all these answers through flashbacks of the life of the eternal Richard Alpert? I know some fans are going to want all the nitty-gritty details about every era of life on the Island. I don’t need that, but it would be nice to get some explanation for some of the more major events in the history of the Island.

Getting this information isn’t a given, and I can appreciate leaving some of the "mystery" of the Island left unexplained to allow the Island to be different things to different people – but I think we’re due for at least a healthy chunk of information about Island History this season.

7. Good and Evil (10% Chance of Being Answered). From the getgo, Lost has always been pretty ambiguous about who is "good" and who is "evil", preferring to color most characters a number of shades of grey. It’s a realistic way to approach things, and allows the audience to draw their own conclusions about the moral justifications of each characters’ actions. I like it. But in the end, don’t we need some answers about the true motivations of characters like Ben? Has he really been doing semi-evil deeds all for the benefit of the Island? Or is he just a pawn in a bigger game between Jacob and Anti-Jacob? And with the introduction of Jacob and Anti-Jacob, don’t we need to know which one to be rooting for in the final season? Or is the whole point that both make good arguments, and it’s up to the viewer to decide whose side they agree with more?

My biggest fear is that the"series ending" for the show involves our Survivors triumphing over the Others in some fashion, only to discover that by doing so they accidentally ruined any chance for saving the world / world peace / etc. This would be the ultimate "twist" at the end which would make you go back and re-watch the series from a totally different perspective. Over the years, I’ve realized this p

robably isn’t going to happen – but fundamentally, I think the audience still deserves to know if the actions of our Survivors on (and off) the Island made the world a better / worse / or the same place.

6. Jacob and Anti-Jacob (85% Chance of Being Answered). As referenced under "Good and Evil", one of the biggest questions to come out of Season Five is "who – or what – are Jacob and Anti-Jacob?" Are they gods? Non-aging folks like Alpert? Time traveling buddies like Bill and Ted? People from an alternate reality trapped in ours? You can come up with countless semi-plausible explanation, and the answer has huge ramifications to the entire series. Are Jacob and Anti-Jacob two more intriguing side characters in the Lost universe, or are they the two most important characters in the Lost universe that we were only introduced to during hour 103/121? (Note: if this is true, man, no wonder they weren’t worried about fans "figuring out" the show way back in Season One!)

http://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=Jacobs.jpghttp://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=Jacobs.jpgMuch like finding out what happened when Juliet detonated the Jughead, the answer to this question has the power to fundamentally shift what Lost is actually about, and what the point of the show ends up being. Are our characters merely puppets in the game of two eternal entities, or are they critical players in a scheme to save / destroy the world? I think it’s less likely that we get an explanation of precisely WHAT Jacob and Anti-Jacob are, but I expect we’ll find out their intentions and how are Survivors come into play early on in the season – and it’ll be a driving force for the remainder of the series.

5. The Others (50% Chance of Being Answered). Every year since Season One, I’ve been super confident that we’re FINALLY going to get the answers in the upcoming season on the Others. Every year I’ve been as correct about this as I was about Gore really winning Flordia. Will this year be any different? Will Season Six be the year we FINALLY learn who the Others are, where they came from, what their purpose is, and what their "rules" and "laws" are? Or will we once again be teased with fleeting glances of their society and lives while being kept at a distance to never fully understand these mysterious Islanders? In a perfect world, we would FINALLY get to see some of the events from the first five seasons from their perspective, or at least learn what their intentions were for all the stuff they did for the first five seasons of Lost (I’m looking at you, kidnapping Claire, injecting our Survivors, stealing people based on Jacob’s list, sending Ben to the Swan Hatch, etc.)

Maybe Season Six will start with Alpert (and Ilana) explaining the culture of the Others, who Jacob and Anti-Jacob are, and what they all need to do to (which will drive the action for Season Six). Or maybe they’ll be all mysterious and only give partial answers, like they have for the past five seasons. It seems like the writers have had ample opportunities to explain The Others during the first five seasons and passed them up, which means either the answers are so revealing they had to be held back for the final season – or they have no intention of ever giving us this much detail. Here’s hoping for the former, but I put this one at a 50/50 chance at best. I think these guys just like tormenting us.

4. Fate vs. Destiny (50% Chance of Being Answered). This is one of the "headier" outstanding questions on Lost, and probably not the first one that people think of in the grand scheme of things – but I think it’s extremely important to the audience understanding the fundamental question of "What is Lost about?"

Was it dumb luck that brought all our Survivors to the Island in the first place, or was it a greater power (Jacob / God / Vincent) acting upon them to ensure they ended up there? Are they all part of a massive plan, or was it all luck and coincidence that brought them all together? Is there some unifying trait that ties all the Survivors of Oceanic 815 together and makes them "special", or are they just a group of strangers who survived a plane crash in the middle of the ocean on a funky island? Is the story of Lost about how those strangers dealt with an extraordinary experience, or the story of some very specific people being called to the Island for a very specific purpose?

http://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=Fate-1.jpghttp://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=Fate-1.jpg

Then there is the big outstanding destiny question from last season, whose outcome is still unknown. Is it possible to change the river of the future if you throw a big enough rock? Or are we predestined to travel down that path no matter what we do? Did "whatever happened, happened", or "whatever happened, happened unless you’ve got a Jughead"? I could very easily see the writers leaving this one up to the more philosophical viewers in the audience, but personally would like some hints at the answer.

Which leaves us with "The Big Three"…

3. Smokey (95% Chance of Being Answered). The first WTF moment of Lost is probably the longest running mystery on the show. Smokey’s presence was felt in the pilot episode, and over the past six years we’ve gotten better views of him… and even some hints at his motivation and purpose – yet we still have no idea what he is and what drives him. Is he Nanobots? Is he the physical manifestation of the Island Spirit? Is he an extension of Jacob or Anti-Jacob? Does he simply act as the judge, jury, and executioner for the Island? Has he always been there? Was he created or born? Why does he sometimes attack people vs. scanning them vs. morphing into people to talk to them (or so it seems)? And why do the pylons deflect him?

http://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=Smokey.jpghttp://s15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/dmbeternal/?action=view&current=Smokey.jpg

So many questions.

I’m confident we’re going to find out some answers about Smokey. We may not get the "nuts and bolts" explanation of how he works (since the Lost writers are on record as saying they wouldn’t go into as much detail as explaining what "The Force" is, since that ruined Star Wars – or so I’ve heard), or what he is made of (probably because there is no good "scientific" explanation since the writers ruled out Nanobots years ago), but I think we’ll get a solid explanation of his purpose. The fact that the writers have waited so long to give us that answer means one of two things – either he is directly related to Jacob / Anti-Jacob, characters that we didn’t meet until the fifth season finale (thus, they couldn’t explain Smokey before then), or, it’s something so big and critically tied to the mythology of the show as a whole that when it’s revealed, the show will lose all mystery and we]
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Glenn Moss
Born in 1952 (you do the math), making me one of the proverbial "old farts" involved in toys, comic books, and other juvenile activities that everyone said I should have outgrown decades ago. Fortunately, my wife of 36 years is an understanding soul. A firm believer in the philosophy of Groucho Marx, George Carlin, Robin Williams and Chris Rock. Am now indoctrinating my grandchildren to carry on so that when I finally fade away there will be another generation of odd neighbors who seemed nice and kept to themselves.
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8 Comments »

  • j1h15233 says:

    For anyone who doesn’t want any spoilers about season 5 please don’t read the rest of this comment. I won’t mention the name but if you’ve seen season 5 you’ll know who I’m talking about….I kind of think Adam and Eve may be a certain corpse we saw who also happens to be walking around commanding other people. One with white and one with black.

  • Bill says:

    I have high hopes for this final season. For the most part, I think I’ll be happy. But the sheer number of questions (many of which appear under the character specific section) seems impossible to adequately answer in the time alloted. I’m sure some of the more diehard fans will be upset that some particular detail was overlooked, but overall, I believe we’ll be happy.
    At least I know what I’ll be doing every Tuesday night for the next few months.

    • Glenn Moss Glenn2000 says:

      I agree completely, Bill. The fun of LOST is that no matter how many questions are addressed, there will always be more of them that are unanswered. And, yes, I think many of the diehards will be gnashing teeth and wailing because everything isn’t served to them on a silver platter. Truth to tell, I think that if we got 100% of the multitude of issues addressed it would be a disappointment. Half of the fun is the pondering of the questions.

  • CantinaDan says:

    Thanks for this blog, Glenn. I’m a fan of the show but have a hard time retaining a lot of details. Your list of questions really helped to get my brain prepared for this season.

    • Glenn Moss Glenn says:

      You’re welcome, Dan. There has been so much “stuff” generated by LOST that, even with a scorecard, it’s hard to keep track of all the players.

  • Darrell says:

    My bet on Adam and Eve? Rose and Bernard.
    One of the staples of time travel in the comicbooks world is that messing with the past doesn’t change the future, it simply creates a divergent time line, an alternate reality.
    I think that the corpses are Rose and Bernard, who may have not traveled back from the past with the rest of the gang when Juliet detonated Jughead. Although it wouldn’t explain why they didn’t …
    I kind of hope not because I love those two, but it would make some sense, especially in light of the white stones/black stones thing …

    I do think, though, that they need to address the Walt questions first and foremost. So much of his story drove parts of Seasons 1 and 2 that it would be a shame to let it just sit there unanswered.

  • Howard the Duck says:

    Is it too late to ask a question of my own?

    Okay, it seemed to me that when Sawyer, Jack, Kate and all the other time-displaced characters ‘woke up’ after Juliet’s detonating the bomb, that the hatch site looked like it had never been built in the first place. Am I seeing things?

    1) How can ANYTHING that happened after the detonation in 1977 have taken place? There would be a gigantic blast crater, not to mention nuclear fallout and the lack of vegetation or any other signs of human presences.

    2) Never mind the fact that Oceanic 816 seemingly never crashed on the island, why would the island be sunken beneath the water? Intact, I might add. A big-ass bomb would destroy, not sink the island, right?

    3) Well, for the whole Jacob being killed by Fake Locke/Smoke Monster reality to still be going on, that would mean that anything that is happening in ‘the present’ springs from a past that has the hatch being built, and later on, Desmond pushing the button until he fails to do so(causing the crash of 816) And that same past’s future has Locke preventing the button from being pushed, thereby destroying the hatch. So, the hatch site in the present(with Juliet being rescued then dying in Sawyer’s arms and all the temple stuff) MUST be the hatch AFTER it was destroyed due to Locke’s interference. Right?

    Grrr…:)

    • Glenn Moss Glenn2000 says:

      Howard,

      First of all, with LOST it’s never too late to ask a question. Hell, the show always produces more questions than answers!

      Actually, the hole in the ground where Juliette was burried was the remains of the Swan Hatch. The hole was the result of Desmond turning the fail-safe key that caused the sky to turn purple/white and blow off all of his clothes.

      Apparently what happened was when the bomb went off it interacted with the energy source that Dharma folks had tapped into and caused as time/space rift. The Oceaniac 815 survivors and their pals were all returned to the “present” time (the time where John Locke killed Jacob and Sun is looking for Jin and John Locke is now the dark man).

      Based upon real science you’re probably right about what would happen if a hydrogen bomb went off. Just look at Bikini Island. But, for better or worse, we’re not talking real science here on LOST. It’s like comic books and Bugs Bunny cartoons; real science takes a back seat to pseudo science.

      Not being a co-worker of the guys on Big Bang Theory, I really don’t know what would happen if you could find such an energy pocket and then set off a nuclear bomb on it. But the writers of the show believe it allows for time travel with few ill effects.

      Apparently what also happened, and was evidently not in Daniel Faraday’s notebook, was the possibility that the event would not only return the Survivors to the “present,” but fractured time/space and created an alternative timeline where Oceaniac 815 didn’t crash and that is what we’re watching as part of the storyline for the final season. How they plan to merge the two timelines I have no idea yet. But that’s half the fun of LOST.

      Yea, the Island was underwater and looked pretty much in tact, but again we’re dealing with LOST science not real science. Afterall, when the first Hydrogen bomb went off on Bikini Island it didn’t sink into the Pacific.

      You’re last comment may be a vital clue that has not yet surfaced (no pun intended) in the show. There may be more than the two timelines we’ve seen so far in the program this season. It would be reasonable to think so. How could Desmond be on the flight unless the Island sank in 1977? Is there another timeline that fractured off in 1977 that had an impact on everyone on the plane that we still have not seen because we’re only viewing them in the “current” timeline? I don’t have any real ideas yet that I can share.

      LOST always gives you more questions than answers.

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