As we approach Season 6, I thought we should review the many, many, many, questions that Lost has given us that have still not been answered. In a recent interview, when asked what central question Lost must resolve, Damon Lindelof said, “The only question that’s ever mattered to us is
what is going to happen to these people. What is the character resolution?” I agree that this is very important, but he then went on to kind of downplay all the “crazy island mythology stuff.” While I don’t feel that these mysteries have to be resolved directly, I do feel that the resolution of the show must at least give us the means to explain them. After listening to a number of Lost podcasts and reading numerous blogs, I’ve listed what seems to be the most popular questions below, and have added a few of my own. Feel free to contribute with whatever mysteries you’d like solved or scenes you’d like to see before Lost concludes in May.
I’m dividing these questions into “Must Answer,” “Should Answer,” and “Would Like to See Answered, But Could Be Left Open For Interpretation”
So, here we go…
1. What The @#$%^&* Is The Island?
Is it a vortex or gateway to another dimension? A time machine? A computer simulation? Purgatory? An anomaly in the fabric of space-time? An alien spaceship? An inter-dimensional Tardis of sorts? The workings of Hurley’s mind? A complex video game? The result of a mobius loop or time glitch? A project from the future to save mankind? None of the above but something really cool that no one’s thought of? A metaphorical microcosm of our world that will never be explained within the realm of the show because our world is not fully understood either? Just an island?
2. What Is The Black Smoke Monster?
Nanobots? The course-correcting of fate? A computer anti-virus program? A guardian of the dead? The energy of the island or the Man In Black? A taxi receipt printer?
3. What Are The Numbers, What Is Hurley’s Connection To Them, And Was He The One Reading Them On The Broadcast Recording?
Are the numbers a hint sent through time by Hurley to teach his other selves how to avoid the Incident (since it is the station number for the Swan)? A glitch in the computer simulation? A time and date that warns of the end of the world? The number of days in the six levels (or seasons) of a video game they are all interactively playing? A code or equation to save mankind from extinction? Something the writers just put in to drive fans nuts? Something the universe snuck into the show to teach viewers to search for hints in their life?
4. Why Is Everyone From Oceanic 815 Connected?
Were they all hooked up together in a simulation that blended together their memories? Is fate bringing them together for some higher purpose? Was it just a coincidence? Did Jacob do it? Is it a course-correction?
5. How Can Dead People, Imaginary People/Animals, and Doppelgangers Appear on the Island?
Is the island the afterlife? Are these entities caught in time? Are they programmed into a simulation to help resolve issues (i.e., Anthony Cooper, Yemi) or do they (i.e, Christian) just appear in a simulation when they are speaking to the unconscious participants from the outside world? If the Losties’ minds are connected in a simulation, can their memories just appear on the island (i.e., Kate’s horse, Hurley’s imaginary friend Dave, etc.)? If the island is real, does its electromagnetic properties cause hallucinations?
6. And The Skeletons Are…(Drumroll)
Jack and Kate? Sawyer and Kate? Jack and Juliet? Juliet and Sawyer? Goodwin and Juliet? Harper and Goodwin? Bernard and Rose? Aaron and Ji Yeon? Jacob and his enemy…in drag? Damon and Carlton?
7. How Is It That Walt and Miles Have Powers?
Is it because they were born on the island (if Walt was too?) Are they genetic experiments? Are they hybrid humans? Do they have some slight abilities made stronger in a simulation? Are they just special? (While Darlton have hinted that Walt doesn’t need to be featured to explain his character resolution, I would love to see him show up at a key moment, now a master of his powers, and kick some ass!)
8. Who Is Jacob And That Other Guy And Why Do They Hate Each Other?
Are they gods? Aliens? Programmers of a simulation or game they’ve been experiencing? Time Travelers? Time Lords? Body Snatchers? Game Players? Archetypes of Randolph and Mortimer Duke from Trading Places?
9. Why Do All The Losties Have Issues, Especially Daddy Issues?
Were their lives off because of a glitch in time? Does the simulation recruit problem candidates or criminals to help them solve their issues or rehabilitate them? Were all their daddies involved with the island somehow, and so, not in their lives as much? Were all their issues a result of being in the wrong timeline? Was the main purpose of the issues simply to add drama to the show?
10. Who Exactly Are The Others and What Are They Doing There?
Are they from the future trying to change the past? Are they the therapists helping patients in a simulation? Are they lost souls stuck in purgatory?
11. What’s Locke’s Resolution?
If the real Locke is dead, is there a part of his story we haven’t seen yet—perhaps in the past? Since his body was dumped out in the shadow of the statue, is he the one who will “save us all?” (His character arc must be resolved in some way.)
12. Where Did Richard Alpert Come From And Why Doesn’t He Age?
(I’m sorry, but “Jacob made me this way” is not an answer.) Was he one of the ancient Egyptians? On the Black Rock? A pirate that attacked the Black Rock? An alien or god of sorts? Is he a guardian of the dead? Part of the computer program and not even real? A time traveler? The favorite form of the black smoke monster? A product placement for Guy-liner by Maybelline (Yes, I know he was born with it, but maybe it’s Maybelline!)?
1. What Exactly Is The Four-Toed Statue, When/Why Was It Built, And What Happened To The Rest of It?
Anubis? Sobek? Taweret? Is it what the aliens really look like without their human skin? Part of a game? Part of a previous or test version of the simulation? Something built by an ancient civilization from Tunisia that was teleported to the island? An embodiment of fertility on the island? A way to scare off would-be invaders? Did it get destroyed from an earthquake or volcanic eruption? When the bomb blew up? From the Incident, i.e., energy released from the island? Did it get knocked down from the Black Rock when it got sucked in like a magnet to the middle of the island?
2. How Come Babies Conceived On The Island Can’t Be Born There After Ethan?
Was he that ugly? Did the island go into the future so souls didn’t exist there? Did the destruction of the statue have something to do with it? Is it because you aren’t really conceiving in a simulated world, and Ethan was just part of the program? Are there no new lives created in HELL???
3. Is There A Reason Many Episodes Started Out With Close Ups of an Eye?
Is it just a stylistic thing? Does it mean that a player is downloading into a simulated character? Is it showing us into their soul? Is it a metaphor for them being dolls or avatars in a program?
4. How did The Black Rock End Up In The Middle of The Island?
Did the island move into the same space it was occupying? Did the island’s magnetism suck it up and bring it inland? Was it just part of a previous game/simulation? Was it built there as a replica? Is it really a flying ghost ship?
5. What Is Jacob’s Cabin, What’s That Ring Around It For, And Did Horace Build It?
Is it a time-out zone for those who were bad and the ring is like a sonic fence? Is it a reset zone in a game where you come back if you have more lives (like how the munched ghosts in Pac-Man always returned to the center box)? Is it where you go when you are half-in and half-out of the simulation and the ring is the walls of the anomaly? Is it where you go when you are stuck in dimensions? Timelines? Lifetimes? Did Horace actually have a hand in building it like in Locke’s dream? Is the ring Jacob’s ash brought back to the past? Was it broken by Claire? Is it a literal “loop hole”???
6. Who Was The Bearded Figure Locke Saw In Jacob’s Cabin The First Time?
Jacob? His Enemy? Christian? Locke from another timeline? Locke stuck in time? Goodspeed stuck in time? Desmond stuck in time? Some dude who worked on LOST?
7. Is Claire Dead Or What?
If so, why did she show up in the cabin with Christian? If not, why did she show up in the cabin with Christian?
8. What’s The Big Deal With Aaron?
Why Is Goober so special? Is he Jacob? Did Claire go into a simulation to see whether she should give up her baby or not and that was why she was told to raise him? Does he grow up to become the true leader of the island? Will he then be banished or killed like the other leaders?
9. What Are The Whispers?
Voices echoing through time? Voices of people in the outside world talking during exciting parts of the simulated adventure? The spirits of the island? Time looping over itself? The voice of the island? Souls trapped in purgatory? The voices of the Others? Voices of castaways past? Voices in Hurley’s head?
10. Who Will Kate End Up With?
Jack? Sawyer? Juliet? Herself? Cassidy? Her boyfriend when she was a kid? Her boyfriend when she robbed the bank? Her husband? Her horse?
11. The Real Henry Gale?
This just seems to be a personal one but I’d really like to see what the deal was with the balloonist who somehow ended up on the island. What’s his story? Was he just sucked into the island vortex Amelia Earhart style? Was he living out a fantasy or practicing a real balloon race in a simulation? Did he come from the land of Oz?
12. What is the Temple And Who’s In There And Why?
Inquiring minds want to know!
13. What Is Jacob’s Tapestry?
Is it an outline of the history of mankind? Is it the programming code for the story within the simulation? Is it just a hobby?
14. What Exactly Are The Rules That Ben And Widmore Must Play By?
Are they the same rules Jacob and his opponent seem to have? Are they the rules of a game?
15. Who Was Shooting At Sawyer, Juliet, Charlotte, Locke, Etc. When They Were In The Canoe?
Was it themselves in another timeline? The Others? The other Others?
16. How Are There Two Lockes?
Is one just the Smoke Monster and/or Man In Black? Is he Locke from an alternate dimension or timeline? Is he just Locke’s avatar being played by another player?
17. What Did Exploding The Bomb Do?
Did it cause a time loop that has prevented history from moving forward? Did it set things straight? Did it blow up the island? Did it cause a Mobius loop for just the Losties? Is this illustrated by Alpert’s stopwatch?
18. What Happened To The Losties That Were Near The Site Of The Incident?
Did they all die as Richard Alpert claimed? Did they just flash to another timeline (making it seem like they were obliterated)? If so, is that timeline different than their previous timeline (i.e., Oceanic 815 doesn’t crash)? If the Losties did die, did they just die within a simulation and they are actually now back in the real world with the other Losties who supposedly died? If so, will we see these Losties interacting with the formerly dead Losties/Freighties in off-island flash-forwards or flash-sideways?
WOULD LIKE TO SEE ANSWERED BUT COULD BE LEFT OPEN FOR INTERPRETATION
1. How Is The Island Able to Move In Time And Space?
Is it moving through a worm hole? Is it part of a game and moving it is a strategy? Is it a cheat code in a computer game? Did it never really move but was just an illusion on par with David Copperfield’s disappearing Statue of Liberty?
2. How Was Desmond Able To Time Travel?
Was he just experiencing his memories? Was just his consciousness time traveling? Did the reset radiate his brain to be an antennae for time travel? Is he just special? Did he just soak up the island energy? Did he become radioactive and unstable? Did messing with a glitch in a simulation cause him to reset the game and experience the reboot?
3. How Did Mikhail “Patchy” Bakunin Keep Coming Back To Life?
Was he just badly injured and playing possum the first couple times? Was he alive in the future so couldn’t die in the timeline? Was he just resetting his video game character or rebooting into a simulation, or perhaps, did he just have multiple lives to play with? Is he an alien? Did he have two twins? Was he a master of time and space?
4. What Was The Purpose of The Looking Glass Station and Why Was There a Musician There Programming The Code?
Is it a way to manipulate frequencies? A way to test life underwater? A way to test the boundaries of the island vortex? Just a way to get The Beach Boys mentioned on the show, or give a hint about “good vibrations”?
5. Why Are So Many of the Characters Named After Famous Philosophers, Scientists, and Writers? And How Did Daniel Faraday Get His Name??
Is this just a hint of the writers? Are they the screen names of those playing the game/simulation? Were they given those names so they could be tracked in alternate dimensions or timelines? Were the writers just paying tribute to their heroes?
6. What Are The Black And White Stones Found In The Skeleton’s Pockets?
Was the purpose of the game to get the stones? Is it just a metaphor? Do they give you the power to control the island? What stones?
7. Why Were Hieroglyphs Used In The Swan Station When The System Failed?
Was it a secret code for those in the know? Was Radzinsky just messing around? Was he influenced by those on the island? Is all of the programming code for the simulation show up as hieroglyphs there?
8. Why Were There Polar Bears On The Island?
Did they come through the frigid zone where Ben turned the wheel? Were they trained to turn the wheel and that’s why they were in Tunisia with the collar? Were they just animals being experimented on? Were they just a test to see if the simulation would be safe for humans? Were they put on the island to be saved because all other polar bears in the world died out?
9. Who Was Continuing the Supply Drop After DHARMA Died Out?
Was it just on autopilot for ten years? Was it just part of the simulation to keep the subjects moving along and not worrying about food? Were they sent from the future through time? Was it send from DHARMA in Ann Arbor who were somehow in the dark about their fellow on-island DHARMA-mates?
10. Why Did DHARMA Need Their Own Generic Food Brand And What’s The Deal With Geronimo Jackson?
Is all food DHARMA in the future because it’s all synthetic? Is it just because it’s a simulation and none of it’s real anyway? Were the founders of DHARMA in the food production business/talent scout business? Was it just so ABC wouldn’t give out free product placement or wanted to save royalty fees? Was Geronimo Jackson a hint that all of this was occurring in an alternate reality?
11. What Left All The Hieroglyphs And Ancient Contraptions On The Island?
Was it an ancient people that lived on the island? People from the future who got trapped in the past and tried to warn their descendants or future selves? Was it a programming design just meant to make the island seem old? Is it programming code for the simulation itself?
12. Why Do The Others Speak In Latin?
Is it like some kind of fraternity? Is it a Skull and Bones kind of society? Is it their own code they use within the game so the opponent doesn’t know what they are doing? Is it how those in the know in the simulation talk to one another without tipping off the patients? Are they just really old?
13. How Does The Island Have Healing Properties?
Why does it giveth to some and taketh away from others? Is it because if you aren’t sick or injured in your real timeline then you aren’t in this one? Is it because you’re just playing an avatar in a simulation, like the paraplegic protagonist in Avatar who was able to walk once downloaded into his alien body?
14. Why Did Jacob Visit Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Sayid, Hurley, Jin, And Sun And Why Did He Touch Them?
Did that somehow persuade them to help him in the future? Did it set them on a course to arrive on the island? Was he really just a therapist regressing them in a simulation to deal with their repressed issues?
15. Why Did Pierre Chang Have So Many Names And Why Were Three Of Them Related To Candles, i.e., Marvin Candle, Mark Wickmund, Edgar Haliwax?
Was he just doing it for shits and giggles? Was he trying to keep his identity a secret for some reason? Were they just the various screen names he used in a computer game? Did he not want his son Miles to know who he was when he showed up? Are they three different versions of him in various timelines?
16. Why Was Ilana’s Face All Bandaged Up And Why Did Jacob Need Her? What’s Their Connection?
Did Jacob recruit her for a game of sorts? Did she undergo plastic surgery and she’s actually a character we know? Was her face mutilated from an accident and she longed to live her life in a simulation with her original appearance? Did Jacob just know that Sayid would once again fall for a femme fatale?
17. What Was The Sickness?
Was it a result of time travel? Being in the wrong timeline? The island’s magnetic properties? A glitch in the program? A computer virus? Not having a constant?
18. What Exactly Did Typing The Numbers Into The Swan Station Computer Do? What Did The Fail-Safe Do? And What Made The Sky Turn Purple And Knock Desmond’s Clothes Off?
Was it a slow release of the radiation of the bomb or the energy from the island? Was it all just an experiment? Was it a way to keep a computer glitch in check and for that reason, couldn’t be done by computer?
19. What Was Libby Doing In Australia? Hell, What Was She Doing On The Show?
(Slight Rumor Spoiler) Yes, I originally heard that Cynthia Watros was said to not be returning to the show, and Darlton said there wasn’t much left of her to explain, but then what was the point of her character? Now, I’ve heard rumors that she may in fact have agreed to come back so hopefully we’ll get some answers. I personally feel she was in cahoots with Widmore from the get go. Hope we find out.
20. What Did Jacob’s Enemy Eat When He Told Jacob, “No thanks, I just ate”?
I honestly haven’t heard a single other person comment on this or think it to be important in the least. I’m just not sure why the camera seemed to linger on the Man In Black after he said it, as though, there was something more to this story. Is he a cannibal or something? Did he eat crow? Eat his words? I may be looking too much into that scene, but there just seemed to be something there.
21. What Was Olivia Goodspeed’s Relationship With Horace And What Happened To Her?
Okay, we know from the “Mysteries of the Universe” segments that Olivia made it off the island, assuming this is even canon which I don’t think it is. Still, what happened?
22. Was Olivia Goodspeed’s Mock Volcano Eruption Foreshadowing Or Red Herring?
Remember when she showed the volcano to her class with young Ben and Annie? I believe she mentioned that the island had once had a volcano on it. Are we like, gonna get to see that?
23. Speaking of Annie, What Ever Happened To Her?
Did she grow up to be someone we know? Did she die? Did Jacob’s enemy eat her?
24. How And Why Did DHARMA Come To The Island?
Was it to change the world as Radzinsky claimed? Did they have a connection in the know? Did someone from the army stay behind or tip someone off? Are they the facilitators of a simulation? Are they on the cutting edge of quantum science working on time travel?
25. What Happened To The Off-Island DHARMA (Ann Arbor) After The Purge And How Did Ms. Hawking Get A Hold of Their Lighthouse Station?
Did they decide to abandon the project after the purge? Was there never really anyone there to begin with and it was just kind of a code word? Are they the facilitators of a simulation, hooking people up to a virtual reality world? Were they researching the findings of their DHARMA-mates in the field, and had enough to go on for years once they had been killed? Did they have to go into hiding, fearing for their lives? Are they really Hawking, Whidmore, Christian Shephard, David Reyes (Hurley’s dad), Mr. Paik, etc., who have taken on secret identities?
I actually have many more questions. What was the deal with the Hurley Bird? The black pillar of smoke that the Others used? Why did the Others take the kids? Is Locke really special or not? Why did the pictures on the wall change when Miles went to Ghostbust that house? Why do so many people (Pierre Chang, Montand, Patchy, Kate’s farmer guy) lose appendages or body parts? What’s in the guitar case Jacob gave to Hurley? Who are Widmore and Hawking really? Why does everyone want to become leaders when nothing good ever becomes of the leader? How much drugs did Damon and Carlton have to consume to come up with the outline for this show??
What about you? Anything not covered above that you need answers to? Anything that I think must be covered above that you don’t really care if you get answers to? Do you think we’ll be able to get most of these answers—either directly or indirectly??? Do you even care?
Marc Oromaner is a New York City writer whose book, The Myth of Lost offers a simple solution to Lost and uncovers its hidden insight into the mysteries of life. He can be contacted in the discussion section of The Myth of Lost Facebook page.