LOST- Answering Questions that Were Left Unanswered When It Ended

LOST lives on!

The writers of LOST are getting exactly what the want- for their fans to continue discussion about what really happened in the finale and to give each other reasonable explanations for all the show’s mysteries.  Here’s my attempt at answering a bundle of popular questions.

“So did everyone who crashed on the plane died in 2004, and that’s why they were all in purgatory (“the holy lobby”) together at the same time?”  No.  Each character died at whatever point they died in real life.  Charlie drowned in 2004.  Jack was stabbed to death in 2007.  At some point later, as the island’s protectors, Hurley and Ben eventually died- whether they were murdered or died of old age, in who knows what year. 

Everybody at some point died, (like we all eventually will) but not because of the plane crash in the first episode.  Because the afterlife is not restricted by time, they all met up at the same time in purgatory (the waiting time before they go to Heaven) before entering Heaven together.  So all people arrive in the afterlife at the same time, essentially, since time doesn’t exist in the afterlife.  For more explanations of the finale, read this: LOST Recap: Finale- “The End”.

“Did Ben not go to Heaven?”  He did go to Heaven.  Eventually, maybe even ten minutes after everyone else.  But he wasn’t ready to enter when the rest of them were.  He didn’t feel worthy because of all the bad things he did in his life- he had trouble accepting the fact he was worthy.  But ultimately he redeemed himself by protecting the island post 2007 when he became the #2 to Hurley.

“How was Jacob able to leave the Island?”  Jacob was never really confined by the limitations of the past. 

“What did it mean to be “special”?”  This is referring to seasons 1 and 2, regarding the children.  They were special because they were children.  Since it was impossible for babies to be born after the bomb exploded in 1977, the Others (Ben, Juliet, etc.) wanted to raise them as their own, hoping they would eventually forget the ways of the world they were born into.

 “Why did Ben and Widmore hate each other and want to kill each other’s daughters?”  They got in each other’s way since they were both strong-willed men who were very focused on what they wanted out of the island.  Ben wanted to please Jacob.  Widmore wanted to make money of the island’s electromagnetic properties.  So when Widmore indirectly killed Alex, Ben wanted revenge by killing Penny.

“What was the Smoke Monster, and why no name?”  The Smoke Monster was a manifesto of the evil that was held inside the island by that plug.  I’ve heard that in the season six DVD’s, we will learn that the Man in Black’s name was Samuel.  But ultimately, the fact that he didn’t have a name just made us more intrigued by the mystery of it all. 

“Who was on the island before “Mother” and the twins?”  Other random people just like them.  They weren’t important since they were before Jacob and The Man in Black and had not contact with Jack Shephard, whose human life the show was based around.

“Is it really an island or a “cork” to guard the door between Heaven and hell?”  Not between Heaven and hell.  But between hell and Earth.

“What was the deal with the numbers? Just Hurley’s curse or did they have some importance overall?”  It was just Hurley’s curse- just a very interesting part of his life.  Some people’s lives are filled with peculiar coincidences.  Even the flight gates were these numbers, Jacob couldn’t have planned all the number coincidences.

“Was Jacob’s cabin built to contain the Smoke Monster? The ring of ash around it?”  Absolutely.  It was an attempted trap to contain him.  The holy ashes prevented him from crossing- we’ll never know why.

“Why did people “see” Walt after he left the Island?”  The Smoke Monster scanned the memories of people and would use those images as library of people to appear as.

“Where did Michael the Russian come from? And how did he know Korean? “  He seemed to have military experience, which would explain his ability to speak multiple languages, especially because of Russia’s proximity to Korea.  The Others hired him at some point based on his useful credentials.

“Who was Henry Gale that parachuted onto the Island?”  A random, unlucky guy who for some reason ended up there like the rest of them.

“In Jacob’s cabin, who said “Help Me” to Locke? And Ben couldn’t hear it.”  That was Jacob trying to recruit Locke as a candidate, but Jacob didn’t want to recruit Ben.

“Who was Dharma and were they important? Were their experiments important? ” They were a group of scientist who came to the island to explore the capabilities of the island and its mysterious electromagnetism, which obviously healed people of cancer and caused the crippled to walk.

 “Who built the 4-toed statue?”  An ancient people group a long time ago, possibly the first to inhabit the island- one of which may have become the very first protector of the island.  Maybe centuries before Jacob was born circa 10 A.D.

“Libby used to be crazy and was in the institution with Hurley. Then she was fine and sold Desmond her boat?”  She was unstable- she was absolutely crazy at times, then at others, seemed perfectly normal.  The craziness was taking over her normal life.

Got more LOST questions?  I’m ready to tackle them.  Just leave them in the form of a comment.  Thanks.

LOST Recap: Finale- “The End”

I loved it.  Absolutely.  And I believe it was the best, and really, only way, to end the show.  But it just took me 24 hours after watching to understand why.

The entire show was just about Jack Shephard.  Everything else, including the island and its ability to heal people and time travel, the Smoke Monster, the Dharma Initiative, the Others, Jack’s friends, Jack’s enemies, the light in the cave… All of it were the parts of Jack’s life that ultimately mattered to his existence.

In the likeness of the movie Vanilla Sky, when you’re dead, it’s all over- so why focus on the character’s earthly life after they die?  But the writers of LOST took that concept to a new level by acknowledging that all the mysteries, actions, heartaches, and triumphs all boil down to one thing- the people that were involved in your life.

Even Vincent the dog’s best purpose on the island was to comfort Jack as he died.

I definitely plan to write much more in the near future answering the remaining questions about LOST: Why was The Man in Black never given a name?  Who was the first protector of the island?  Did it really matter that Desmond and/or Locke typed the code every 108 minutes?  What was really accomplished by Juliet sacrificing her life by detonating the bomb in 1977?

But as for today, I think it’s more important to focus exactly what happened in the finale.  The most begging question is what’s up with the flash-sideways?

The first time we saw the characters of LOST in the finale season, they were on the plane.  Note there were never flash-forwards or flash-backs during the flash-sideways, indicating no past or future in that timeline.  They weren’t reincarnated, having to live their lives all over again, in this version with the island being sunk.  The alt-reality was simply an “acknowledge your dead and that your life mattered” precursor to the afterlife, often referred to as “purgatory” or “the waiting room”; it started with the plane ride.

Keeping in mind that life on the island (and “the real world”) continued after Jack died, that Hurley and Ben served as the island’s protectors for the rest of their lives, that Claire, Kate, Sawyer, Richard, Miles, and Frank all left the island and lived normal lives back in the United States or wherever they chose to re-establish their lives… they all still died at some point.  Most of them of old age, living to be in their 70’s.

And once they died, before going to Heaven, they were reunited, having the blessing remembering how they mattered to each other.  And since time, in essence, doesn’t exist in the afterlife, they all met at the same time, since it didn’t matter that Jack died 40 years before most of them did.

But because Jack was the main character of the show, the show stopped with his earthly death.  The rest of the living characters lived their rest of their lives and eventually died, the show just didn’t continue to follow their earthly lives.

So when Jack died in 2007 (three years after originally crashing on the island), and (say, for example) that Kate died in 2051, they met at the same time in “the waiting room”.  (Because time doesn’t exist after earthly life ends.)  Then they went on to Heaven with the rest in the church.  (And Ben went once he was ready.)

The writers were clever to utilize a nearly universal belief that there is some sort of life after death.  The episode was quite saturated in Christianity (which was a smart idea since most of America identifies with some version of it), yet didn’t write off other popular international religious beliefs, thanks to the “major six religions of the world” stained glass window in the church.  The point wasn’t to depict any religion’s specific teaching on the afterlife as specifically accurate, but to instead play and expound on our perceived general ideas on life after death and the importance of the people in our lifetime after we die.

I don’t see how LOST could have ended any other way.  Yes, technically “all our questions” were not answered.  But it involves using our imaginations and clues from the show to fill in the blanks, as we as Losties have been doing the whole time.  It will bring me much joy to take matters into my own hands by filling in these blanks with many more LOST posts to come.

Comments welcome.

(They will most likely be spun off into a new post if they are interesting, insightful, or raise a good question; or instantly deleted if they are full of nerd spite: “NO!  You’re wrong!  What really happened was…  Looks like you never thought of that while trying to make your weak point, did you?…”).

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/37320802/ns/today-entertainment/

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 15- “Across the Sea”

Biblical Esau losing his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup

I refuse to refer to Jacob’s twin brother as “The Man in Black”- I will only refer to him as “Esau” until I am given an actual name from an upcoming episode, if that even happens.  To me, the struggle we see between Jacob and Esau on LOST is at least 50% familiar from the Biblical book of Genesis.  So that’s why I call “The Man in Black”, Esau.  Here are some comparisons:

In the Bible, Jacob and Esau were twins, like on LOST. 

In the Bible, Jacob was smooth-skinned and Esau was hairy.  On LOST, Jacob dresses in white, Esau in black.  They are physically opposites in both instances. 

In the Bible, Jacob was his mother’s favorite.  On LOST, the mother favored Esau.

In the Bible, Jacob took Esau’s birthright.  On LOST, Jacob took Esau’s destined role as the island’s protector. 

The greatest thing I learned from watching “Across the Sea” is this: Jacob and Esau are not the original “eternal life” cursed inhabitants of the island.  The woman who raised them (the stepmom from the movie, Juno) had been cursed before them, evidently from drinking what I am currently calling The Fountain of Youth, making her (and eventually Jacob) the protector of the island. 

By drinking the water, a person gains eternal earthly life.  And apparently a person once a person does that, they can only die if someone who hasn’t drank from The Fountain of Youth or is The Smoke Monster kills them.  That is the “loophole”.  The only way to lose eternal earthly life after drinking from The Fountain of Youth.

Going back to the Season 5 finale, Ben killed Jacob.  And Ben had never drank from The Fountain of Youth and he definitely wasn’t The Smoke Monster. 

And of course that’s why Juno’s stepmom (the lady who killed Jacob and Esau’s real mother, who was evidently Spanish, like Richard) thanked Esau when he accidently stabbed her to death.  Because he freed her from having to live forever on the island.  Though it meant she could no longer be the protector of the island, she had at that point already given the water to Jacob and he drank it.  Perfect escape for Juno’s stepmom.

So who was the first person to drink from The Fountain of Youth?  Mysteries…

After Esau lost his human body by becaming The Smoke Monster, he decided to take on the form of his now dead body by default.  That’s why he appeared to still be alive in the Season 5 finale as Richard’s slave ship was coming up in the distance. 

I predict that Jacob and Esau had been playing their “I’m trying to kill you” game for a decade or two before Richard arrived, because they were both familiar that the fact that men come to the island to destroy and that it always ends the same.

Jacob reading Everything That Rises Must Converge

I will close with notable quotes from “Across the Sea”:

“It’s inside of every man but they always want more.”  -Juno’s stepmom referring to the light that turned Esau into The Smoke Monster.

“If the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere.”  –same thing

“One day you can make your own game and make up your own rules.”  -Esau to Jacob

“I needed you to stay good.”  -Juno’s stepmom

“I’m special, mother.”  -Esau

“Promise me you’ll never go down there… It’s worse than dying.”  -Juno’s stepmom warning Jacob about the light that turns people into The Smoke Monster.

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 13- “The Last Recruit”

Jack and Sawyer are both against The Smoke Monster, so technically they’re on the same team.  Sawyer is escaping The Smoke Monster, while Jack is choosing to face him head-on to attempt to defeat him.  Ultimately, the ongoing theme of science vs. faith and dark vs. light will take place when Jack soon challenges The Smoke Monster.

I forgot Jack has a son in the flash-sideways world.  Who else could Jack’s ex-wife be other than Juliet?  I can’t think of a better candidate.

Hooray, Jin and Sun reunite, at last.  I just wish it wasn’t tainted by the unbelievable storyline of Sun not being able to speak English until she saw Jin again.  But hey, I can’t complain.  They’re back together and they weren’t instantly shot by Faux Tina Fey as soon as they reunited.

Yeah, Jin and Sun have to stay alive a while longer to establish the importance of Baby Kwon as one of the chosen Kwon.

In case you missed last week’s recap for “Everybody Loves Hugo”, click on this link:

http://wp.me/pxqBU-IN

LOST Recap: Season 6, Midseason- “Ab Aeterno”

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

After going on a LOST recapping hiatus since this season’s premiere episode, I came out of hiding to praise the job well done of the long awaited Richard-eccentric episode.  I feel so relieved, excited, and passionate about LOST again.  Because the show has finally stepped back into its former mystique while at the same time taking a giant step forward.

It’s not that I wasn’t a fan of the flashes-sideways.  They were cool.  I liked learning where the characters would have ended up had things gone differently.  But after a few episodes, the game started getting stale.

Yes, I get it.  James and Miles would have been buddy cops.  Ben and Dogen would have known each other through a high school.  Kate would have still ended up helping Claire.  Jack would have meet Locke and offered to help him gain his mobility back.  (And I’ve read an interview with one of the writers that said Hurley and Libby have a baby together in an upcoming flash-sideways.)

The first half of this season, to me, has felt more like a group of forsaken bonus episodes.  I feel like last night’s episode was the first real episode of the season.

Last May when I did my Season 5 finale recap, I predicted that Richard came to the island as a Spanish explorer in the 1600’s and was killed by the Smoke Monster.  So I was a little off.  He was a Spanish slave in 1867 from the Canary Islands (Spain) who became shipwrecked on the island.  I also predicted that the whole premise of LOST was a game between Jacob and the man I still refer to as Esau.  It now clearly appears that is indeed the case.

On a side note, the actor who plays Richard, Nestor Carbonell, is a Spanish-Cuban American who does not actually wear eyeliner, despite popular assumption.  He just has really thick eyelashes.

While some Losties are disappointed that the six seasons of the show have all led up to a moral chess game between two spiritual beings, I think it’s the only plot that the series could have that is grandiose enough to pull this all together.

Because just like real life, when all it’s all over with, it will be apparent that we were all participants in a sci-fi story alongside a spiritual war.  Yes, our life matters and is real, but ultimately we have a spiritual audience watching us and even influencing our personal decisions.  Brilliant.

Read “SCIence + FaIth = Sci-Fi” http://wp.me/pxqBU-1N

As for who and what exactly Jacob and Esau are, here is my guess.  Jacob is an angel and Esau is a demon.  Here is why they are not God and Satan.  When offering to grant a wish to Richard, Jacob says he can not raise the dead nor absolve Richard’s sins.  God would be able to.  But as an angel, Jacob is restricted by what God allows him to do.

Jacob’s gift of everlasting earthbound life is interesting.  It keeps Richard from going to hell, but makes his earthly life a form of hell by keeping him trapped on Earth while still not reuniting him with Isabella.

“Ab Aeterno” (the name of the episode), which is Latin for “since the beginning of time” or figuratively “since a very long time ago”, was by far the most blatantly Christian episode to date:

Richard learned to speak English by reading the Bible and carried around his wife’s cross necklace.  When Richard was shown to us in the prison, he was reading the 4th chapter of Luke which tells about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by Satan to turn the stone into bread (the lust of the flesh), to worship Satan in exchange for the domain of the world and all its glory (the lust of the eyes), and to attempt to commit suicide knowing that God would save him anyway (the pride of life).

This concept was later reiterated in 1 John 2:16- “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

I wonder if this was intentionally (and loosely) played out with Richard through the episode:  Esau granted Richard the lust of the flesh when he freed him from his chains and gave him food and water.  Hurley enabled the lust of the eyes to Richard through his vision of Isabella.  Jacob granted Richard the lust of the pride of life by giving him earthly eternal life.  That could all be a coincidence, but maybe not.

In other Christian elements, Jacob asked the priest, “What can I do to earn God’s forgiveness?”, which is a pointing towards the need for God’s grace.  Also, there was the use of the word “sin” by Jacob when he quoted Esau, “Everyone is corruptible because it is in their nature to sin”.  Explicitly New Testament Biblical.

So far, Jacob has not yet been able to prove his case to Esau, that a person can ultimately choose good over evil.  He continues to bring people to the island to find someone who will be his representative of righteousness (symbolizing followers of Christ), since Jacob himself refuses to force his will upon anyone.  And of course that’s another obvious reflection of God and his relationship with humans: The granting of free will.

Esau/Billy Joel

As for my predictions for the last half of the season:

Ben Linus: I stand by my belief that he is ultimately good.

The Smoke Monster (Esau): It is a “soul train” that collects the spirits of those it kills, so that it can take the human form of them once they are dead.  Sometimes it “takes pictures” of their good deeds when it flashes the light at them to decide whether to collect them (by killing them) or keep them alive, like it did with Eko in the first season and with Richard back in 1867.

The List:  Jacob touched 7 potential “saviors of the island” back in their past including Kate (as well as Locke, Hurley, James, Sayid, Jack, and Sun/Jin), but for some reason Kate’s name wasn’t written on the cave ceiling when Faux Locke took James there: Kate somehow disqualified herself.  Also, no one knows whether it’s Jin or Sun that is on the list because only their last name shows up- but I predict it’s their kid instead, not either of them.

The Flashes-Sideways:  Not what actually happens, only glimpses.  The island is reality.

I will close with a few other quotes from the season so far that really stood out:

“I am not a zombie.” -Sayid

“John Locke was a much better man than I’ll ever be and I’m sorry I murdered him.” -Ben Linus

“I’m the smoke thing.” -Faux Locke (I like this name for him best because it rhymes with “Mohawk”.)

Read LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 1- “LA X” http://wp.me/pxqBU-vo