Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lost - "LA X"

The phrase “most excited ever” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Here we stand, less than one week away from the start of Lost’s final season. I can’t think of any storyline – in any medium – that has held onto its secrets as long as Lost has. We’re going on seven years of debating the mysteries of Lost Island and its characters… and after all that waiting, it’s finally time to get some payoff (or a disappointment so big that it will send the globe into a worldwide depression the likes of which we’ve never seen).

Let’s do this.

Episode Title: “LA X”

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: Lost Season Six has been under more lock and key than all other seasons combined. Sure, the creators of Lost have always been super secretive about their show, but never to this extent. They went so far as somehow convincing ABC to not air a single frame of Season Six in any of their previews – which is pretty much unheard of for promoting a television series.

(Note: or at least they were supposed to. Eagle eyed viewers noticed there was a single new frame of footage snuck in with the latest Lost commercials, featuring this shot of a gun-toting Claire:


Curiously, this frame has since been removed from the commercial, as if they realized the error of their ways and / or got a stern talking to from the Lost writers.)

What could be the reason for all this uber-secrecy? Per Wikipedia:

Season six is the first and only season of Lost ever to not feature any kind of preview or official promotional material such as sneak peeks and promo pictures for future episodes since the Lost producers consider any single frame from the first episodes to be too revealing. According to Lindelof, "even a single scene from the show would basically tip what it is we're doing this year, and what it is we're doing this year is different than what we've done in other years".

If that doesn’t make you giddy like a school girl, you should probably stop reading the Blog right now. Your kind isn’t welcome here.

The thing is, Damon is totally right. As I mentioned in my “Top 10 Unanswered Questions on Lost” post (below), the storyline for the final season of Lost could go off in a number of very dramatically different directions, all depending on what exactly happened when Juliet detonated the Jughead. If they’re doing “something different than what they’ve done in past years”, it may indicate that we’re done with all the flashbacks and flashforwards. If that’s the case, and we’re finally going to have all the action take place in the “present”, showing a single shot of our Survivors could very well reveal what happened to the audience. If we saw our Survivors clean cut and back in the “real world”, we know that they were able to change the past. If we saw a single shot of our Survivors in Dharma suits on the Island, we would know that it didn’t work.

Here’s the thing - I’ve spent more hours thinking about and analyzing Lost than 95% of the world’s population, so you would think I’d have a hunch about what’s going to happen in Lost’s final season… but you would be totally wrong. I have no freaking clue what the final season of Lost will hold. It’s equal parts maddening (“I should be smart enough to figure this show out!”) and exciting (“It could be anything!”), but above all else, it makes me truly appreciate all the lengths that the show’s creators have gone to in order to keep it a surprise.

Which brings us to the season premiere, intriguing titled “LA X”. It’s our first (and as you’ll see in a moment, the ONLY) clue about both the first episode of Lost’s last season – and the direction in which the show is heading.

Most people know that “LAX” is the airport code for the Los Angeles International Airport, which of course, is where Oceanic 815 was originally headed on September 22, 2004. Is the episode title our proof that Juliet was successful in changing the past? That she prevented the Swan Station from being completed – in turn preventing Desmond from needing to push the button – in turn preventing Desmond from failing to push the button while off killing Kelvin – in turn preventing Oceanic 815 from crashing onto Lost Island? Will the final season of Lost will focus on what our Survivors do with their new lives, as complete strangers, having never been to the Island?

Hell no.

As I’ve said before, although the writers have teased us with the concept of doing a “reset” and changing the past and future, it’s the ultimate cop-out because it wipes away all the stories, emotional attachment to the characters, and character development that we’ve watched over the past five seasons. So it can’t be that simple.

It’s also important to note that the episode title isn’t simply “LAX” – it’s “LA X”, with a space between the “LA” and the “X”. So it’s not simply a reference to the Los Angeles airport, although I do think that’s a piece of the puzzle and not an intentional misdirect.

In researching the episode title, I discovered that the Los Angeles International Airport wasn’t always called “LAX”. Back in the day, it was simply referred to as “LA”. But as the country added more and more airports, the abbreviations were expanded to three letters. “LA” changed to “LAX”… but the “X” actually has no meaning or symbolism. Weird, right? Could this mean that the episode title also has no meaning or symbolism?

Double hell no.

This is “Lost” we’re talking about, and with the exception of a few lousy episode titles over the years (I’m looking at you, “Eggtown”), they almost always deliver – summarizing a key theme or moment of the episode while offering a double meaning for the obsessive among us.

While I think the reference to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is intentional, and not simply a red herring, I think the bigger deeper meaning comes when you read the episode title as Los Angeles X. To me, it makes me think of an “alternate” Los Angeles… which is exactly what I think we’re going to get in the first episode of Lost’s final season. But before we break it down any further, let’s see if there are any additional clues from the rest of the episode information…

Guest Stars: NONE.

Guest Star Breakdown: What is this? For the first time in Lost history, are there really no guest stars this episode?!? Nah – something tells me that if the Lost writers were able to convince ABC to not air any scenes from the sixth season in their promos, they’re also able to withhold the traditional listing of guest stars in the press release.

Again, I love their decision to go this route, as the guest star listing can often provide a good deal of insight to the storylines of an episode. But with none to analyze, we’re simply left with the season’s regular stars. In case you were curious, and since we don’t have anything else to discuss in this space, here they are:

"Lost" stars Naveen Andrews as Sayid, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Emilie de Ravin as Claire, Michael Emerson as Ben, Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, Matthew Fox as Jack, Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, Yunjin Kim as Sun, Ken Leung as Miles, Evangeline Lilly as Kate, Terry O'Quinn as Locke and Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana.

The interesting thing here is that Alpert and Ilana have been “promoted” to series regulars in Lost’s final season. Given that these two characters exist in the “current” storyline on the Island, it already eliminates the possibility that Juliet and the Jughead prevented Oceanic 815 from crashing – otherwise these characters wouldn’t be around. It also reminds us that after a full season on the sidelines, Claire is back (and apparently packing heat!) along with all the questions that surround her character’s fate and connection with Christian Shephard on the Island.


(The most noticeable absent character is Desmond… which is sad – since he’s such an awesome character, but also happy – since his life is pretty much perfect right now, meaning it has nowhere to go but down if he gets involved with the Island again. Stay away for your own good, Desmond!)

Episode Description: The aftermath from Juliet's detonation of the hydrogen bomb is revealed.

Episode Breakdown: I love it. The only thing this episode title tells us is that Juliet did indeed detonate the Jughead at the end of last season (which wasn’t really being debated, was it?), and that we’re going to find out what happened (thus answering Lost Outstanding Question #10 on my list!) It leaves the rest up to the viewer to wonder and ponder (two words that look like they should rhyme, but don’t) the mysteries of Lost for one last time.

So that’s all we get. From those few morsels of information, I’m supposed to come up with some genius, coherent theory about what “LA X” is all about. Yikes. Here goes nothing…

Here are the few things I’m confident about:

  1. The Island will remain a prominent player. From the start, I’ve said that Lost can never really stray too far away from the Island. More than just being a character on the show, it’s probably the most popular and important character on the show.
  2. The most interesting and important storyline on the show right now is the Jacob / Anti-Jacob storyline. It’s the storyline that will move story forward from an overall timeline perspective (it’s the one that takes place in the “present”), and it’s the one that will yield the most information about all Lost’s great mysteries. We need to get all our characters into this single storyline as quickly as possible.
  3. Whatever happened, happened. This still holds true – because without it, you can’t continue with the “present” storyline with Jacob and Anti-Jacob. It would be totally different and potentially eliminate the “loophole”. Also, as mentioned earlier, changing the past cheapens everything that’s happened for the previous five seasons.

So where does that leave us with “LA X”?

Somehow, against all odds, and against all the things I just said I’m sure about, I fully expect the season to start with Oceanic 815 successfully landing in Los Angeles. More specifically, I’m expecting a shocking opening scene where we see Oceanic 815 flying over the Island – and not crashing. It would just be a shockingly powerful and puzzling moment, and leave the audience wonder WTF (why the face).

But it’ll all be a tease.

Here’s where I struggle reconciling all this in my head. I’m expecting the writers to tease us with the notion that Juliet and the Jughead did change the past, even though we all know there is no way that could happen. I just can’t figure out how exactly they’re going to do it – because even the best explanations I can come up with still leave me wanting more.

The best I’ve come up with is the Lost version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. So for an episode or two, perhaps we’ll be treated to an “alternate reality” of “what could have been” if Juliet and the Jughead did change the past – only to find out in the end that it really didn’t work.

Initially, this seems like a cop-out and waste of time. Unless you approach it from the view of the audience realizing that the crash on the Island was the BEST thing that ever happened to our characters. The “alternate reality” or “Los Angeles X” scenes feature things like Jack spiraling out of control with drug abuse, Kate rotting away in jail, Locke going back to a miserable life at the Box Factory, and Boone becoming a vampire. Then when we finally realize it’s all a tease, we realize that even though it’s been a rough journey along the way, the Island is truly a “magical” place that changed all our characters’ lives for the better.

So that’s one option. Here are the other two I kicked around that were even worse than that:

1. A play on the concept of “The universe has a way of course correcting itself” that we’ve heard on Lost in the past. Even though Juliet and the Jughead temporarily changed the past, somehow everything still shakes down the way it always was supposed to be. The universe found a way for something else to bring down Oceanic 815, Desmond did something different with his time on the Island, etc. In the end, all our characters end up in the exact same place, even though some of the details in getting there have been changed. So even though detonating the Jughead threw a big rock in the stream, eventually, the stream found a way around and back down the path it started down.

2. A play on the Desmond flashes. When Desmond was involved with the implosion of the Swan Station, he ended up naked and gained the ability to see the future. What if when Juliet detonated the Jughead, something similar happens – but our Time Traveling Survivors see the “alternate reality” future in flashes (and – fingers crossed – Juliet and Kate end up naked).

See what I mean? Each of them would technically work, but none of them are great. And I’m expecting (read: hoping for) something much greater from Lost.

The bigger problem that we haven’t discussed yet is the pesky issue of getting our 1977 Survivors back to 2007, where they need to be for the main storyline to continue in the present. I see two options available here:

1. Quite simply, the detonation of the Jughead “zapped” them back to their true time. Heck, maybe you even tie this in with the whole “Universe Course Correcting” thing. Maybe the Universe doesn’t want our Survivors to change the past, and in order to prevent it, it flashes them forward to 2007 right before the Jughead detonates.

2. Jacob touching the Time Traveling Survivors in the past effectively “activated them” to be called upon if / when he dies. Ben stabbing Jacob and pushing him into the fire “calls” our Survivors to Jacob, even though it means pulling them through time. Kinda “magical”, but Jacob seems like a magical kind of guy.

See how crappy all these theories sound? I told you this season is impossible to predict! Those crafty writers!

At any rate, those are the two major storylines you should be thinking about for the next week – getting all our Survivors back together, and figuring out how they’re going to trick us with the “Los Angeles X” alternate reality. Or you could just sit back and relax, knowing that we don’t have enough clues to make any really good educated guesses, and just enjoy the surprise.

Also, you might want to start saving up all your brain cells and analytic abilities for immediately following the Season Premiere. Check this out:

Lindelof finally conceded that "by the end of the season premiere of season six, you will have pretty much all the fundamental building blocks you need to put together a hell of a theory as to what it all means and where the show [will] end."

Translation: after the next two hours of Lost, I’ll have no excuse for not being able to figure out how Lost will end and how all the mysteries and storylines will tie together.

Yikes. That’s a lot of pressure. And it all starts this Tuesday.

Programming note!


8:00 – “Lost: Beginning of the End” (clip show)

9:00 – “LA X, Part 1”

10:00 – “LA X, Part 2”

11:00 – Visit “Lost and Gone Forever” for the group freak-out session

Until then, Happy Losting!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Top 10 Unanswered Questions on Lost That Need To Be Answered

Over the course of the past five seasons, 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 its final season, I am somewhat shocked to find it seemingly boils down to ten questions - some simple, some complex. Hey, I'm a realist. In looking at the "Unanswered Questions" page on Lostpedia, I 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. 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. Will our Survivors suddenly find themselves back on Oceanic 815, landing safely in Los Angeles in 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? 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.


As 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 us for the first episode or two). Jerks.

9. Adam and Eve (100% 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… like this post – who knows if I’ll be able to come up with 10 Unanswered Questions or not? Stay tuned! 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.


I 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, to who installed the Frozen Donkey Wheel, to who built the Four Toed Statue, to the fate of the crew of the Black Rock. 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 start, Lost has always been pretty ambiguous about who is “good” and who is “evil”, preferring to color most characters a nice shade 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?

Long-time readers of the Blog will remember that my original “series ending” for the show involved 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. It would have been 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 probably 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 / 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!)


Much 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 posed the same question. Every year since Season One, I’ve been super confident that we’re FINALLY going to get the answers in the upcoming season. Well, I’m 0 for 4 so far. 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.

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?


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?


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’ll grow bored with it. If it’s the former, expect answers early on in Season Six. If it’s the latter, probably not until the Series Finale.

2. The Funky Island Stuff (50% Chance of Being Answered). This is a general “catch-all” for all the other funky stuff that has happened on Lost Island over the years: The whispers. Characters seemingly disappearing and reappearing. The Others being freakishly strong. The "unique magnetic properties" of the Island. The Frozen Donkey Wheel. Time Travel. Richard Alpert never aging. Walt being special. Aaron being so important the first season, then forgotten about for the next four. The Sickness. The Numbers.

I could go on.

The point is, there’s a lot of really weird stuff that has happened on the Island over the years, and we haven’t gotten a good answer for 95% of it. The odds are that these strange occurrences are not all connected – and there’s just as likely a chance that the writers play the same “We Don’t Want to Ruin the Force” card with explaining some of the more esoteric items on the list (like time travel). But I think we’re owed a decent explanation about all the funky Island stuff that touched on our characters – like the Walt and Aaron questions, along with the things that we’ve seen numerous times over the course of the series (like the whispers and the Numbers).

I put it at 50/50, but really think that sidestepping the major funky Island stuff is a major cop-out that would mean these things were used for convenient plot points but without having any real explanation – knowing full well the audience would spend hours upon hours trying to come up with one. Don’t disappoint me, Lost writers.

1. The Fate of the Survivors of Oceanic 815 (100% Chance of Being Answered). Finally, we get down to the whole point of Lost in the first place. Lucky for us, it sounds like the writers are 100% committed to answering this outstanding question – “What happens to our Survivors after the crash of Oceanic 815”? From the start, this series has been about the characters. While we’ve been tempted by all the Hanso and Dharma Mythology and Funky Island Powers, in the end, it’s really the characters that matter – and that’s why they’ve been the focus from the start. There are a lot of big questions to be answered in the last season. Who will live? Who will die? Which characters will reunite? How will the various “love rhombi” shake down? How has the experience with the Island changed each character? Is it for the better, or for the worse?

These are the big questions.

In addition, there are definitely some much more minor character questions that would be nice to see answered. But if we get the big answers, then these are just the cherry on top. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of unimportant “Unanswered Questions” on Lostpedia. But I’ve gone through and whittled their list down to the “more important” unanswered questions for each character, to keep in mind as the final season progresses:


  • No unanswered questions.


  • Why was Cindy taken by the Others so much later than the other Tailies? Was Cindy on the list? If so, why wasn't she taken sooner? If not, what changed?
  • How and why has Cindy been "converted" by the Others ?


  • What was the original purpose of the implant?
  • Why did she abandon Aaron?
  • Why did Christian bring Claire to Jacob's cabin?
  • Where is Claire now?


  • What caused the bad luck surrounding Hurley and Sam Toomey? Is there really a curse with the Numbers?


  • Why was Jack so far from the crash site when he woke up, in a bamboo forest which is impossible to just fall through in?


  • Will he ever reunite with Sun?


  • No unanswered questions.


  • Why was Libby in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute?
  • Did Libby remember Hurley from the hospital? If so, why did she pretend not to know him?


  • How did Locke acquire his knife throwing and tracking skills?
  • How and why was Locke cured of his paralysis?
  • Why did the Monster not attack Locke at first, then later drag him into a hole?
  • Why do Locke's legs sometimes fail him, such as when he and Boone were on their way to find the Beechcraft?
  • Why does Locke have a special connection to the Island?
  • What is the connection between Locke and Anti-Jacob?

Mr. Eko

  • Why did Smokey kill Eko?


  • Why did Rose seem to know that Bernard was alive? Was she in denial, or did she somehow know?
  • Is Rose's (presumed) cancer in remission? If so, why?


  • No unanswered questions.


  • If the government officials told Sayid that Nadia was alive before he boarded Flight 815, why did he then tell Danielle Rousseau that Nadia was dead?


  • Does Walt have "special powers"? If so, how and why?
  • What did Walt see that frightened him enough to want to leave the Island?
  • Why did the Others want Walt?
  • Why do Shannon, Sayid, and Locke see Walt in places he shouldn't be?
  • Why did the Others make Walt take "tests"? What were the tests for?


  • Why did Matthew Abaddon send a cultural anthropologist on the mission to find the Island?


  • Why was he crying about Flight 815?
  • What was the purpose of his experiment on the Island?


  • Where did he get the photo of Ben that he showed to Jack and Juliet?
  • Why did he choose to stay on the Island?

The Others

  • How many Others are there?
  • Why were the Others at war with the DHARMA Initiative?
  • Why do the Others want the survivors to stay away from parts of the Island?
  • Why did the Others kidnap members of the Tailies and various children?
  • Why do they believe they are "the good guys"?
  • Why do the Others take blood samples from the people in their custody?


  • Why did Alex disagree with what the Others are doing? Why was she different from the Others if she'd been raised by them her entire life?
  • How did Alex's relationship with Karl form? Who are Karl's parents?
  • How was Alex aware that Ben might not be her father?


  • Why did Ben see his dead mother twice?
  • How did Ben become the leader of the Others?
  • If Ben wanted to capture Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, why did Tom not do so during their first encounter?
  • How did Ben get caught in one of Danielle's traps? What was he doing alone in the jungle? If he wanted to infiltrate the Losties' camp, why didn't he send someone else?
  • Why did Ben tell Locke that nothing would happen if he did not push the button?
  • Why did Ben order Richard Alpert to take all the remaining Others to the Temple?


  • What is the ash-like substance around Jacob's cabin?
  • Why did Jacob make a list?
  • Why do the Others have such faith in him as their leader when they have not even seen him? How do they know that he is a "great man" or a "magnificent man", just from Ben's reports?
  • Was it Jacob who said "Help me" to Locke, and why did he say it? Why didn't Ben hear it?
  • Why does Jacob's cabin appear to Hurley, and seem to shift around?

Richard Alpert

  • Why does Richard appear not to be aging? Is Jacob really the cause of this?
  • How and when did Richard arrive on the Island?


  • What does Juliet's mark mean?
  • Does Juliet know more about Smokey than she says?
  • Did Jacob really cure Rachel's cancer?
  • Is Juliet dead or alive?


  • Does the glass eye found at the Arrow belong to Patchy?


  • How was Tom able to both leave and return to the island?


  • Why did the Others want Aaron?
  • Why have the Others seemingly stopped trying to get Aaron since his birth?

Christian Shephard

  • Why did Christian want a bodyguard while in Australia?
  • Why did Jack see Christian in the jungle?
  • Since Christian's coffin is empty, where is his body?
  • Will Claire learn that she and Jack have the same father? Does anyone know?
  • Why did Hurley see him in Jacob's cabin?


  • What happened to Desmond during the discharge? Why was he naked but uninjured?
  • What is the nature of Desmond's flashes?


  • How did Radzinsky come to the Island?
  • When and how was Kelvin Joe Inman recruited to assist Radzinsky?
  • How and why did Radzinsky have the map of the Island memorized?
  • Why did Radzinsky go to such great pains to conceal the map on the blast door?
  • Why did Radzinsky edit the orientation film?
  • Why did Radzinsky shoot himself?

Phew. Like I said, most of these are pretty “minor” questions in my book (except the ones that cross-over with the Top 10 List I posted above) – so as long as we get the big answers, I’m okay with some of these smaller answers being left to our imagination / lame fan fiction that will surely follow Lost’s conclusion this spring.

So there you have it – then ten things I’ll be looking (and hoping) for during Lost’s final 18 hours. Most TV shows live and die on a season-to-season basis. They have their good seasons and their bad seasons. Even if there are some underlying storylines, they’re still judged on an individual per season basis. But with Lost, it’s all come down to this. It’s kinda crazy to think about, but most of us have invested an insane amount of time getting to this point with the assumption that it’s all going to be worth it. Don’t worry, I give us a 90% Chance of Being Correct.

Less than 3 weeks from the Season Premiere!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The "Lost Supper"

It starts.

This week, I received not one - but TWO Emails from Fans of the Blog (FOBs) with different requests, a sure sign that people are not only starting to think about "Lost" again, but are visiting the Blog again! I guess it's time to get the ol' gang back together and get some original Lost content back up on the Blog in preparation for the sixth and final season of the potentially greatest television program of all-time. Here were the requests:

From FOB Heidi: "I'm sure you've seen the Lost Supper advertisement. In addition to being awesome, I'm sure it's full of hints / clues / things to drive us crazy with. If I may be so bold, can I request a post on this?"

From FOB Nate: "It's sometimes hard to find older articles on your Blog. It would be awesome if you had a page that listed each episode and provided a link to the Blog post(s) for that episode."

Never one to disappoint my fans, let's tackle the first request.

Here is the "Lost Supper" promo in question:


Let the record show that there was also a second, similar but not Last-Supper-y promo released at the same time:


So what do I think?

First, I agree with FOB Heidi - the "Lost Supper" one is awesome. Yes, it's been done before. Both Battlestar Galattica and Sopranos did something similar... and you could argue they did it better by more accurately recreating the true Last Supper painting by DaVinci. For those of you who forget your high school art history books, or haven't visited Milan lately, here it is for a point of reference:


As you can see, the true Last Supper painting depicts Jesus with his twelve apostles, chilling for one last meal before all the events of his betrayal and crucifixion go down (also known as "The Stories at Church Right Before Easter" to the Catholics). According to scholars (and by "scholars", I mean Wikipedia) the painting portrays the reaction given by each apostle when Jesus said one of them would betray him. Since most of us aren't familiar with who each person in the painting represents, here's a quick rundown, starting at the left and moving to the right (matching them up with their corresponding Lost character):


James the Lesser







James the Greater





When you start comparing the Biblical figures to Lost characters, you'll stumble upon the first issue with the "Lost Supper" - there are too many Lost characters. Everything to the left of Ben matches up nicely:

Bartholomew = Ilana

James the Lesser = Alpert

Andrew = Claire

Judas = Sayid

Peter = Kate

John = Sawyer

Jesus = Locke

Thomas = Jack

James the Greater = Jin

Philip = Ben

But then you run into issues with Hurley, just like if you were having a crowded deck party and he showed up.

In the Last Supper, the apostles all seem to be gathered in groups of three. In the Lost Supper, Hurley seems to be the fourth member of the Jack / Jin / Ben group. So does that mean we make him the next apostle, Matthew - or that we skip him and start back up with Sun as Matthew?

The good news is, based on the blatant deviation from the original painting, I don't think there is any important symbolism between Hurley, Sun, Miles, and Frank and their potential apostle counterparts. Let's focus on the rest.

Locke. There are a few obvious references here. Locke as Jesus is a no-brainer. He was dead, and seemingly came back to life for most of Season Five, until we found out in the finale that he was dead all along and the "New Locke" was really just a shape-shifting Anti-Jacob. So the question becomes - does this painting hint that Real Locke might come back to life in Season Six? It would be nice for Locke to have a happy ending to his life story, where he was repeatedly kicked in the groin at every turn instead of it ending with him being tricked into committing suicide, thinking it was the only way to save the Island (the ultimate groin kick). Bringing the dead back to life seems a little out there, even for Lost - but there's a chance that if Juliet changed the future by exploding the Jughead, in the new reality, Locke would be alive and well.

On the other hand, what if the painting is actually just showing us the Anti-Jacob Fake Locke as Jesus? He is giving a sort of devilish, "I know exactly what I'm doing" grin, like he just found a loophole he's been searching for for hundreds of years. In that case, should we re-examine who is "good" and "evil" on Lost? Maybe, contrary to my Season Five analysis, Jacob is the "bad guy" and Anti-Jacob is the "good guy"? Or is this proof of Carlton and Damon's shocking religious beliefs that Jesus Christ was actually a "bad guy" because of all the holy wars and such carried out in his name?

Probably not. There are a number of options available here, but until we find out the nature of Season Six (alternative reality, more time traveling, zombie season with the dead coming back to life), it's impossible to settle on any definitive answer for the symbolism as "Locke as Jesus".

Jack. Here's a much simpler one, Jack as Thomas... aka "Doubting Thomas". There was an interesting scene last season of Jack and Ben inside a church. Ben is praying in front of the painting "The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" and tells Jack the following story:

When Jesus was going to return to Judea, where he would likely be murdered, Thomas wanted to go along, to die with him... but he isn't remembered for this brave act. Instead, he is known as "Doubting Thomas", who refused to believe that Jesus had come back from the dead until he saw it with his own two eyes and put his fingers in the wounds. Jack asks if Thomas was convinced, to which Ben replies "we're all convinced sooner or later, Jack."

For most of Seasons One through Five, Jack was the "Doubting Thomas" about the power of the Island. He represented science and logic, and was the counter-balance to Locke's faith and belief in the power of the Island. However, we saw Jack shift from his doubting ways in Season Five, as he seemingly became a full-fledged believer in the power of the Island and our Survivors' destiny there. Keep in mind that when Jack last saw Locke, he was dead. Jack ended up in the 1970's, Dead Locke (and Fake Locke) stayed in the 2000's. Again, depending on what happens this season, Jack might finally come face to face with Fake Locke. Will he once again be "doubting" of the authenticity of Fake Locke, which may once again put Jack into the "hero role" if Anti-Jacob truly turns out to be evil? Or will the Real Locke come back to life in the new season and resume his role as the "Man of Faith", once again pushing Jack back into the real of being a "Man of Science"... or will the two have their roles flip-flopped in a huge twist of irony?

Kate. Initially, Kate as Peter doesn't seem to have any obvious connections. Peter was "the Rock" upon which Jesus built his church. He is acknowledged as the first Pope and one of the prominent early leaders and voices of the Catholic Church. Seeing as Kate pretty much hates Locke and never believed any of his ramblings about the Island (see: Kate circa Season Four and Five), she doesn't seem like a potential future leader for Locke's "Island Believer Movement". But then I was reminded of Peter's actions in the "Easter Story". Although he was basically number two in command amongst Jesus's crew, he denied Jesus three times while the acts of the crucifixion were going on. Then he realized the error of his ways. Perhaps we'll see a similar change in Kate. I mean, after all, she's going to have a hard time denying Locke's claims about the power of the Island after being magically sent back in time upon returning to it, right? Maybe once (if) Kate returns to the 2000's, she's going to be a full-fledged believer in the Island, and be a crucial part of carrying on Locke's mission? Or this could just be a subtle reference to Kate's "rock"in' body. Zing.

The Rest. There's not as much to go on with the rest of the characters. Sayid as Judas seems like it should have some deeper meaning, but how did Sayid betray Locke? If anything, Sayid denied the opportunity to kill Locke in Season Two (at Shannon's request). Sayid as Judas would work if Ben was Jesus... but Ben is Philip. There's not much there either. Philip was crucified with Bartholomew (Ilana), where his preaching prompted the crowd to set Bartholomew free. So maybe Ben is going to sacrifice himself to save Ilana at some point? It's a stretch. James the Lesser is only mentioned in the Bible three times, so there's not a lot to go on in looking for connections to Alpert. John (Sawyer) is the brother of James the Greater (Jin) - but something tells me those two characters won't suddenly find out they are related... and that's it. At least as far as the Biblical references are concerned. Now let's turn to the picture itself.

Picture Pages. The Lost Supper acts as a really cool "summary of the series" type of picture.

The Oceanic 815 acts as the table. The characters are all using airplane-style trays and plates. Everyone is consuming Dharma Foodstuffs - beer, pop, peanut butter, wine. The remnants of the Swan Station Hatch are in the background. The table is comprised of those who figure to be the "main players" in Season Six, characters who we've picked up along the way. But is there any "deeper meaning" to be pulled from the props?

There are skulls positioned below Sayid and Hurley, which may mean their lives are in danger... or they could have just been cool-looking props. The inclusion of the Swan Hatch and 815 wing could hint at a "repeat" of Seasons One and Two, proving that our Time Traveling Survivors did change the past... or they could have just been cool-looking props. In the end, that's kinda where I come down - they threw some stuff in the picture that looks cool and represents the series as a whole - but there isn't a lot to be learned from it.

As for the second picture, this looks like a much more traditional Season Six promotional image. There are a few minor changes, most notably the order of the characters. Claire goes from being buddies with Ilana and Alpert to being next to Ben. Does this represent her switching sides from working with the Shadow of the Statue to helping Ben? Sun and Jin go from being separate in the first picture to being reunited, couple-like in the second. You have to hope this means that they'll finally get their reunion in Season Six. Hurley moves down next to Frank, and Miles moves in between Alpert and Sayid. Is this an effort to group our happy, humorous characters together on the right, and keep the ones with mysterious connections to the spirit world / Jacob on the left?

You could spend a lot of time analyzing yourself in circles about this (Doc Jensen) - but I don't think it's worth it. I think there may be some small deeper meaning hints in the Lost Supper picture, but I think the second picture is the stock Season Six promotional picture, using the cool set they had already constructed. Remember how people spent hours analyzing the Season Five promo with Faraday's missing foot and the vines growing all over? Nothing has come from that (yet), and I kinda think the same is true here.

Instead of wasting our time on that, I think we should get down to the bigger questions... like the Top 10 Unanswered Questions on Lost, along with their likelihood of being addressed in Season Six. But that's a Blog for another day. Coming soon. Teaser!

(Oh - what about making a page that would have links to everything I’ve written about each episode? That seems like a lot of work – but I’ll see what I can do when time allows. I guess I should have said “I only disappoint my fans 50% of the time” at the start of this post, huh?)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

For Your Consideration: "Chuck"

With the premiere of the final season of Lost less one month away, I'm sure we're all having trouble falling asleep at night - counting not just the days, but the hours, and minutes, and seconds until Lost returns to feed our addiction one last time. What can we possibly do to occupy our minds for the next month?

For your consideration: become an uber-fan of "Chuck".

You've heard me talk about "Chuck" on the Blog before. I kinda love it the way that a kid loves candy and fresh snow. So here is my attempt to make you love it too.

First off, the good news is that unlike "Lost", you can start watching "Chuck" right now and be able to pick it up immediately. In fact, the basic storyline of "Chuck" is so simple, I'll summarize it below in 18 words:

Average loveable nerd accidentally gets all the government's secrets downloaded to his brain. Action, comedy, and romance ensue.

Knowing only that (which I'm sure they will expand upon during a "previously on Chuck" montage to kick off the new season), you will be able to sit down and enjoy Chuck. It won't take you long to figure out that relationships between the characters that have developed over the past two seasons, and the episodes are stand-alone-y enough that each one provides a nice little story with a beginning, middle, and end... with a few more complex underlying storylines running along in the background of each to tie it all together.

For those who are willing to spend the next two minutes of their lives getting a more in-depth explanation of "The Story of Chuck, So Far", the next few paragraphs are for you. For the lazy among us, skip ahead to the pictures of pretty girls, where I'll outline "The Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Watching Chuck"...

Chuck Bartowski is living a simple life working as a computer expert at Buy More. One day, he receives a mysterious Email from his former college roommate, Bryce Larkin. Unbeknownst to Chuck, Bryce was actually a rogue CIA agent who stole all of the US Government's secrets (that were stored on a big computer called "The Intersect") and Emailed it to Chuck just before being captured / shot by the CIA. When Chuck opens the file, he is shown a series of rapid-flash images that represent everything the US Government knows about enemy nations, secret plots to destroy the world, etc. After the experience, whenever Chuck sees something that "matches" to one of the images, he "flashes" on it, meaning he suddenly knows things - like the man he sees walking across the street is actually a secret Russian spy - or things like that. But he's just an average nerd - even though he has this information, what can he do about it?

Well, once the government finds out that all their Intersect computer was destroyed by Bryce and all their secrets are stored inside Chuck, they send a CIA agent (Sarah Walker) and an NSA agent (John Casey) to protect Chuck and help carry out missions. Chuck provides the brains / information, they provide the muscle / spy know-how. As you can imagine, hijinx ensue as Chuck gets involved in the missions, accidentally saves the day, and comes to grip with this new "secret identity". Buy More Nerd Herd by day, Secret Government Agent by night.

What else? Chuck lives with his sister Ellie and her husband Devon (also known as "Captain Awesome"). Awesome accidentally found out about Chuck's involvement with the government last season, making him the only person outside of Sarah and Casey who know his secret. Chuck's best friend is Morgan, who also works with him at the Buy More. Oh - and Chuck is madly in love with Sarah, even though she tries to keep things professional, she kinda likes him back - but they've gotten past second base with each other.

The big cliffhanger of last season was that there was a new and improved version of the Intersect computer created. This time, Chuck intentionally downloaded it to his brain, only to find out that some of the "enhancements" included instantly teaching him fighting skills (kinda like in the Matrix where they would "download" karate moves or whatever).

That's it.

I promise the show isn't as "nerdy" or "sci-fi" as that description may have sounded. Everything on this show is totally rooted in 100% reality once you accept that Chuck has all this information inside his head.

So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Watching Chuck:

1. This is Sarah Walker. Need I say more?



2. Jeffster! One part Jeff, one part Lester – they’re two of Chuck’s nerdy co-workers at Buy More, who play in a rockin’ cover band on the side that has been featured a few times over the course of the season. Enjoy their greatness – and a little bit of the happy /sweet / feel-good side of Chuck at the same time:

3. Lost Tie-In! Just in case you are so obsessed with “Lost” that you couldn’t imagine spending any time watching a TV show that wasn’t in some way related to “Lost” – you’re in luck. During an early episode of Chuck, he began flashing on a rapid series of images, and uttered “Oceanic 815 was shot down by…” before being interrupted by a new flash.

4. Guest Stars Galore. The main cast of “Chuck” is fantastic, top to bottom. The guest stars are equally awesome. Here’s a brief listing of those who have appeared on “Chuck” in its first two seasons:

  • Dominic Monaghan (aka, Charlie from “Lost”)
  • Rachel Bilson (aka, Summer from “the OC”)
  • Tony Hale (aka, Baby Buster from “Arrested Development”)
  • Andy Richter (aka, Conan O’Brien’s hilarious sidekick)
  • Scott Bakula (aka, Dr. Sam Beckett from “Quantum Leap”)
  • Chevy Chase (aka, Clark Griswold)

On tap for this upcoming season? Kristin Kreuk and Stone Cold Steve Austin both appear in the Season Three previews.

5. Critics Like It! Don’t trust me and my wacky opinions? What about these other people?

  • “Chuck wipes the floor with the other fall debuts” - Rolling Stone magazine
  • “One of the Top 10 TV series of the year” - The Miami Herald, The New York Observer
  • “One of the few bright spots in television” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • "The show pays attention to the mechanics of storytelling and doesn't just try to coast on the comedy. Given the level of attention paid to all those other things—emotion, suspense, plotting, character—Chuck ends up being one of the TV scene's greatest pleasures at the moment." – The Chicago Tribune
  • “The show is a delight” – Time Magazine
  • “Chuck is the most purely entertaining show currently on television, whether you're talking network or cable. What makes Chuck so special ... is that there's a fundamental warmth and humanity underneath the jokes with a cast of appealing characters played by very good actors.” – The Star Ledger

6. I Promised NBC You Would Watch It. In December, I ended up at some swanky NBC event in New York City courtesy of the Hot Wife’s sweet job perks. After having a few drinks, I ended up talking to some NBC Executives, and found myself thanking them for bringing “Chuck” back for a third season, after it was on the brink of cancellation last year. They told me they were debating between renewing “Chuck” or “Medium” – but decided on going with “Chuck” because it attracts young, fun, awesome viewers like you and me. I promised them I would drive up ratings by talking about the show more on my Blog. Don’t make me look like a jackass. (Wait, probably too late for that – but still…)

7. The Episode Titles. They may not be as “deep” as the episode titles for “Lost”, but they’re equally creative and fun. Every single episode is titled “Chuck vs.” Something. But it’s not as simple as being the “bad guy” of each episode. Here’s a sampling of “Chuck” episode titles – and after you watch each episode, each one makes total sense:

  • Chuck vs. The Tango
  • Chuck vs. The Imported Hard Salami
  • Chuck vs. Santa Claus
  • Chuck vs. The Suburbs

How fun is that?

8. It’s the Happiest Show on TV. In previous years, “Pushing Daisies” gave “Chuck” a run for this title – awarded to shows that provide 100% pure, happy, entertainment. But now that “Pushing Daisies” is no more (tear), “Chuck” is the undisputed champ. After each episode of “Chuck”, I’m happier than when it began. If you don’t like being happy, then by all means, do not watch this show.

9. The First Season Three Preview is Really Good. This four minute clip embodies all the great things about the show. Watch and enjoy:

10. Did I mention that Yvonne Strahovski is very physically attractive?





Chuck returns Sunday, January 10, 2010 with a two hour premiere at 9/8c before moving to its permanent timeslot of Mondays 8/7c.

Watch it.

You won’t regret.

If you do, I’ll give you your money back.