#Lost: Answering the Unanswered Questions
One of the greatest legacies of any fantastic television show, especially one as mysterious as Lost, is the unanswered questions that linger and tease the brain. Here I attempt to unravel the tangled web & put the pieces in perspective.
I grabbed this list of questions from: LOST Season6 Blogspot
- What is the history of the Others? Where did they come from? Why did they kill off the Dharma Initiative?
There have always been Others; visitors to the Island. Ancient cultures like egyptian and greek have clearly influenced the Island, The shipwreck that brought Claudia also brought other castaways (later befriended by MiB, & slaughtered by Mother), and Oceanic 815 for example. There always seems to have been indigenous people living on the Island, referred to as Others, or Hostiles, or now like Rose & Bernard. In Dharma’s glden age, and later the apex of Ben’s New Otherton, they had pretty easy ccess to & from the island, and would assumedly add to their numbers whenever they wished. This type of hubris would usuallylead to a Purge.
They killed off Dharma in the most recent Purge, orchestrated by Ben with Richard. The Island seems to rid itself of infection from time to time by various means.
Theory: Time-trvelling back to Dharma in the 70s paradoxically saved most of their lives, as Dharma evacuated most of its personnel before the Incident.
- What’s up with Walt’s powers? How did the Others know about them?
They didn’t. Not at first anyway. They abducted him because he was a child, and the Others had a habit of taking kids that ended up on the Island due to their own fertility woes. Walt was also used as leverage later for Michael to carry out ben/Christian(Fake jacob’s) orders.
After some of their initial brain-washing experiments (Room23) they realized he was special, and potentially dangerous. Ben decided to get rid of Walt & Michael ASAP. mobisode: Room 23 (I think)
Theory: Walt had a special connection with animals. His bond with Vincent was prevalent, but also was interested/knew about animals (later ep). He may have ‘drawn’ the polar bear to them in the pilot, and attracted the birds to the window of Room 23.
- How did Cindy the stewardess and the two children from the Oceanic flight come to be among the Others?
The Others were not entirely exclusive, and indoctrinated not just kids, but those who could help/staff them.
- Why exactly did Jacob pick these particular folks as his candidates? He tells them because they are “flawed.” Seriously, this is the best the show’s producers can do? By that standard, any random human fits the bill! Six years and all we get is, “they’re flawed.” Criminy.
Jacob was looking for potential candidates (the exact criteria we don’t know) but they all shared some traits: alone, flawed, seeking redemption, and have the potential to fulfill their destiny. Casted not just individually, but as a group as well; Jack wouldn’t be Jack withut Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, etc. Jacob’s intervention steered the most important 6 candidates towards the same fate. Everyone else just happened to be on the fateful flight.
- Jack is now Jacob’s successor and it’s his job to protect the magic golden light at the center of the island. But why? What has this light ever done for anyone apart from turn them into smoke monsters. What’s so danged good about the island. Everyone on the danged thing has been threatened, beat up and killed, it seems like. Sure, it has healing properties. But, to what purpose? Locke was made able to walk again so he could get killed by an evil entity that wants to destroy the self-same healing island. This makes NO SENSE people. And if the point is that it’s not supposed to make sense, that’s not coming through clear either. It’s all random and tossed together.
I’ll get back to this one when I figure out what the question is.
- Why was Ben selected the leader of the Others? And why, ostensibly in the name of Jacob, do such horrible things to people? Did Jacob intend this? Why did the Others go along with it? Why did Richard go along with it?
Ben was chosen as leader of the Island the same way Others always chose their leaders… those that seemed to be ‘in tune’ with the Island, and may have been destined to lead them. Ben’s resurrection at the Temple after being shot by time-jumping Sayid paradoxically gave Ben this distinction.
Ben was an essential part of the MiB’s ‘loophole schemes’ long before he was aware of it. Just as MiB had to set up Loke to a position of importance, it was primarily to get Ben to actually kill Jacob.
- * Why did Jacob exclude Kate from being a candidate because she’s a mother? Wasn’t Sun a mother also? Wasn’t Jin a dad? Aren’t Jack and Sawyer also dads? Is Jacob a sexist pig?
- What was Ben’s breakfast on the beach with Kate in season 3 all about? We didn’t see any of their discussion.
A wonderful scene to exemplify Ben’s pseudo-society resort of new Otherton that he had established. He was showing off to kate the luxurious life the Others led, in stark contrast to the image they portrayed to the Losties initially (fake beards & rags to imply their low-tech nature).
- Why does the smoke monster kill some people and not others?
Smokey is a force of nature, the personification of death. He kills people. A lot.
However he cannot kill the candidates directly. He also has weaknesses to sand, ritualistic circles of ash, or in one case, potentially was thwarted by the threat of dynamite.
- Why did the smoke monster kill Eko, in particular? What did the monster see/sense in him?
Eko was a powerul figure of faith, and was presumably a person of interest to Smokey to twist & bend Eko to his will. He attempted to break Eko by taking the form of his dead brother, Yemi. Eko had already found his redemption through faith, and would ultimately serve no purpose to MiB’s schemes, so he killed him.
- Why did the magic light turn the man in black into a smoke monster? If the light is such a good thing, why did it create an entity that goes around killing essentially innocent people?
Smokey has clearly been around for a very long time, he’s pictured with the egyptian god fo the dead Anubis in the hieroglyphics beneath the Temple. I don’t think Smokey was ‘created’ by MiB’s murder, more awakened by the violent sacrifice. As MiB died within the source, the sacrifice merged his soul/being into that of the Smoke monster. Since Jack died in a similar fashion (and ended up in the same spot/position as MiB did) I theorize that Jack is the new adversary on Hurley’s Island.
- Why did the Others initially disguise themselves as shipwrecked pirate types? What was the point?
Subterfuge & power struggles. They were making the Losties think they were simple folk, plainly living on another part of the Island, and that they preceded them. They kept their cushy lifestyle secretive, since you can assume most people stranded on a desert Island would try and reach The Resort.
- What’s up with the sickness that killed off Danielle’s team? [Were they killed by Smokey or turned evil by him? Or both?]
Assumedly the same ‘sickness’ that infected Sayid. This may be a simpler way to explain the influence of Smokey, or ‘evil’.
Also, since Rousseau had to piece together the answers herself in her addled brain, she may have included ‘clues’ that were intended to reinforce the Dharma quarantine stories used on Swan attendants.
- Is the Dharma Initiative still active at all?
Assumedly no.There appear to be operatives from the Others scattered about our world, and the Widmore corporation & fronts, but assumedly Dharma has disbanded. One could assume the island undertaking was huge & expensive, and failed miserably as far as the outside world is concerned.
Dharma backstory is explored more in LOST: Via Domus & some of the ARG’s
- Who was behind the air drop of Dharma supplies that has benefited the Oceanic survivors? [There was a drop after the Oceanic survivors arrived, wasn’t there? Or was this an old drop that Hurley discovered? I may be misremembering.]
Technically never explained, I assume it was supplied by either The Others or their network of off-island Others. It was a bigger deal when we thought the Island was self-contained & shot-off from the outside world, but as we know that wasn’t the case. It may have been requisitioned by the hand of Jacob or the MiB, but that’s just theory.
- Why do women on the island die instead of giving birth?
The Others were unable to reproduce on the Island. Assumedly since ‘The Incident’ which would likely have left radiation & other fun side-effects behind.
Another theory is that the scientific side-effects of the ‘magic’ of the Island, strange phenomenon, electromagnetism, and so on may have contributed to this mysterious form of population control. The fact that the statue is Tawaret, a deity of fertility & pregnancy, may indicate that the Island’s residents have always had a problem reproducing.
- Why did the Others steal children?|
Because they could not reproduce themselves, only bring in others to their secret Island. There is also a precedence of ‘special’ children fatefully arriving, so assumedly they would test for this.
- What’s behind the apparent healing properties of the island?
Effect of the Source of Light on the Island, and in its water table. The Temple as a concentrated source of this blessed water, and submerging the nearly dead would restore them with the light of life. This overall effect diffused throughout the entire Island is apparently enough to heal Rose of her cancer, as well as the other healing properties.
- What’s responsible for the visions of animals and dead people the crash surivors sometimes see on the island?
The Smoke Monster has taken a number of forms throughout the series, but always of the dead. there is no reason to assume he cannot take the form of an animal, or other images he is able to derive from scanning your memories.
There may have also been artisitc license taken in that the characters own delusions or visions may have been hallucinatory.
- What’s the deal with Libby, killed in season 2, who evidently gave Desmond the sailboat that landed him on the island and who once was in a mental ward with Hurley? [Despite Libby’s recent appearance this season, these questions were not answered.]
Libby’s backstory is convoluted at best. Involving lost (rich) love, mental problems (perhaps as a result of them), and perhaps a tendency to show up at fateful times.
- What’s up with the giant statue? Who built it? What is its significance?Ancient egyptians, the staue is of Tawaret. They constructed much of the early monuments & buildings, and may have been the first ‘civilized’ visitors/inhabitants to the Island around and perhaps before the reign of Mother. They built the statue, the Temple, the sub-temple tunnels, and the ‘plug’ and adorned it all with their hieroglyphics.
Dharma would later expand on this theme, with hieroglyphics in the countdown timer.
- Is there any explanation for why the man in the Dharma Initiative videos is at different times identified as Dr. Marvin Candle, Dr. Mark Wickmund, Dr. Pierre Change and other names and why the CIA agent who identifies himself as Joe Inman to Sayid tells Desmond that his name is Kelvin Inman?
Part of Dharma’s experiments were psycholgical in nature. Not just their own experiments on animals & mysterious phenomenon, but also its effects on people. Different instructions were given to staff of different stations (especially the Swan & Pearl) as part of these experiments. Later it was also implied that Pierre Chang made up these names on the spot as he was filming them.
Kelvin Joe Inman was the ‘full’ name of Clancy Brown’s character after ‘Joe’ was added as a red herring for the reveal of Inman’s involvement in both plots (to foil the dreaded ‘TVGuide- spoiler’).
- Why did the psychic in Australia encourage Claire to take the doomed flight?
Though he was later debunked by Eko’s flashbacks, the psychic may have had a brief moment of clarity (perhaps via Jacob’s influence). It was important for Claire to take that flight, as the most important part of her life would be her time on that Island. She is one of only two characters (Sawyer is the other) who arrived on Day One, and left on the very last day.
- Who is the man Sarah left Jack for? Why is she so reluctant to reveal his identity? Is he somehow associated with the Dharma Initiative and/or the Others?
Kind of an irrelevant question, as the main point was that Jack let his job take precedence over his whole life, and love-life. Conspiracy theorists may blame some other intervention, but I just think Jack was a jerk.
- What’s up with that polar bear in Tunisia? Was Charlotte part of Dharma when she found it, or was she snooping into what Dharma is all about? [Pretty much answered, I guess. We know Charlotte was investigating her Dharma past? The polar bear likely transported from the island ala Ben and Locke.]
- Who is Penelope’s mother?
Unnamed. But it may have been the character we know as Eloise Hawking. We know Widmore & Eloise had Daniel Faraday, it was unclear if she was also Penny’s mother.
- Why did Alpert want the body of Amy’s husband? [Was it merely as proof of retribution to the Others? Or did they do something creepy with it?]
I assume he was maintaining order within the Hostiles by bringing back the one resposible for the deaths of two of his own. Richard generally meant well, and I think he wanted to avoid further retaliation. I mean, other than the whole killing them off with gas thing…
- Who created the ancient temple on the island?
Ancient visitors/inhabitants to the Island. Perhaps the egyptians, but maybe other, later visitors. It seemed to be more Incan or Mayan in design. Either way, it seems to be founded & built upon a spring of blessed, light-infused water, so it’s effects would have been miraculous.
- How did the Others save young Ben after he was shot? [They put him in the dark pool, most likely. But we weren’t shown that this is the case.]
He was brought to the Temple and submerged in the healing spring-waters by the monk-like Others located there. His resurrection would mark him for leadership of the Others, and would begin his important role in MiB’s plan.
- What is Ilana‘s history with Jacob? Why was her face bandaged?
In my own twisted-paradox theory, her wounds were inflicted by the explosion that caused her ‘death’ on the Island.
- Is Locke really dead?
Yes. John Locke was murdered by Ben Linus off the Island.
Additional unanswered questions from Lostpedia:
- Why did Desmond tell Charlie he saw a vision of Claire and Aaron getting on a helicopter that could only come true if he died?
There is an important distinction on Lost of the things we are shown, and the things we are told about.
We know Desmond saw Charlie’s unavoidable death by a number of different means. I think he may have seen Aaron leave on the helicopter with Kate who he mistook as Claire, or simply lied to Charlie to give him an uplifting, fortune-teller type vision — some peace before his impending demise.
- Why did Claire abandon Aaron?
She was convinced by the Man in Black who at the time was disguised as her father, Christian Locke. She became ‘infected’ and was not of sound mind & body.
- What caused the bad luck surrounding Hurley?
Fate and coincedence, mainly. One could argue that each run of ‘bad luck’ was another step into pushing towards his ultimate goal, benevolent protector of a new age on the Island.
- What does Juliet’s mark mean?
She upset Ben, and the Others way of life. She was punished by branding, a primitive & effective message.
Have any other unanswered questions?
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