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May 27, 2010 1:09 PM   Subscribe

There will be a 12-14 minute epilogue on the Lost complete series collection that will reveal a little bit of two characters being a "great number one" and "great number two". Also, a round-up of some amazing post-Lost finale observations from around the Web, beginning with a Bad Robot intern's pontifications on the finale and the meaning of the series. More inside ...

Hurley Time, a pontification on the Age of Hurley, and comparisons with Buddhism and Christianity -- really, a rather dynamite essay that I thought deserved a better fate than being lost a thousand comments in.

Lostpedia's post-series mysteries roundup.

Lostpedia's exclusive interview with the show's creators.

Unanswered Lost Questions (video and transcribed).

The "meaning" of the footage we see during the credits.

And, given the finale's end, a Redditor points out a particular Easter egg in "This Place is Death" that might be given new, ouroboric meaning (mp3).

(I'm aware we have a Lost finale thread, but it's already at over a thousand comments, and I thought it might be useful for navigatory purposes -- as well as for purposes of highlighting some great post-finale stuff on the Web -- to have a new thread.)
posted by WCityMike (122 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Lostpedia interview's particularly interesting, as well -- particularly this question and its response:
Carlton, I read that you worked with Robert Coles at Harvard. When I was a child, I was interviewed for Coles' research regarding the way that children perceive God. Did your work with Coles influence your contributions to the Lost Story? And which one of you is the C.S. Lewis fan?
posted by WCityMike at 1:12 PM on May 27, 2010


So this Lost, it ended?
posted by Houyhnhnm at 1:13 PM on May 27, 2010


LOST was the X-Files and I claim my £10.
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1936291
posted by eatdonuts at 1:13 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


From the meaning of the footage link: Well, ABC wants to clear the air: Those photographs were not part of the "Lost" story at all. The network added them to soften the transition from the moving ending of the series to the 11 p.m. news and never considered that it would confuse viewers about the actual ending of the show.

Never considered? Wow.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:16 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


From the meaning of the footage link: Well, ABC wants to clear the air: Those photographs were not part of the "Lost" story at all. The network added them to soften the transition from the moving ending of the series to the 11 p.m. news and never considered that it would confuse viewers about the actual ending of the show.

Never considered? Wow.


ABC = A Bit Clueless
posted by Hutch at 1:20 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have to say that after reading the very succinct sidebared summary of lost I feel very good about my choice not to invest time in watching it.

If only i could have known about BSG...
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


It should be utterly obvious but the above link will indeed include SPOILERS.
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM on May 27, 2010


Very clever, Metafilter. The other thread's well over 1,000 comments and so you bring it HERE to start anew.

Like a second season.
posted by grubi at 1:24 PM on May 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Artw: It should be utterly obvious but the above link will indeed include SPOILERS.

Indeed. In fact, I crafted the above-the-fold text quite carefully so that it didn't spoil anyone just scanning down Metafilter's front page. But, frankly, if I'm looking to avoid finale spoilers, I would have to be dumber than a sack of hammers to click on a bunch of links specifically noted as people's reactions and analyses to the finale and not expect to get things spoiled out the wazoo.
posted by WCityMike at 1:26 PM on May 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have to say that after reading the very succinct sidebared summary of lost I feel very good about my choice not to invest time in watching it.

it's succinct, but it's a lousy substitute for actual narrative. Even knowing the spoilers, give it a shot. You might be surprised.
posted by grubi at 1:26 PM on May 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


From the Hurley Time essay: "Lost conjured the Christian mythos and then teabagged it in the face."

Heh.
posted by davejay at 1:30 PM on May 27, 2010


LOST was the X-Files and I claim my £10.
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1936291


This video has been flying around the web this week and everyone has been a-flutter about all the so-called important questions that were left unanswered. But there are so many in there that are so trivial.

Off the top of my head, questions like: "Why does the smoke monster make mechanical sounds?", "What happened to the original Henry Gale?", and "Who was Libby's previous husband?" are things that were unimportant for the most part even the first time they came up, let alone now after the finale.

Just my opinion, I think I just watched the show in a different manner than some others who are being really vocal these days.
posted by dnesan at 1:32 PM on May 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


neat. i fell in line with most of this, except for thinking that the alternate timeline was something hurley did for them all for an afterlife reunion. and it was neat to have it clarified that the dharma initiative was part of jacob's plan as well, and why it went wrong.

i didn't find the photos at the end if the episode confusing at all, though.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 1:32 PM on May 27, 2010


Next on ABC, The Hurley & Ben Hour

Theme Song:

Hurley & Ben / Two best friends / Look over there / A po-lar bear! / But I don't care / Because I'm with Ben / Aaaand he's my best friend!

Scene New Plane Crash:
New Survivor: W-Where Are we?
Hurley: You're on this island and you can't get off unless you have a submarine, or perhaps a few other conditions, but it is kind of complicated. Also if you hear whispers it is dead people talking. I'm immortal and if you let me touch you I can make you immortal too. Also there's this cave thing in the middle of the island and if you go into it (which you can't because only I can go to it), but assuming you have like a Desmond among you, any Desmond's here? Well if you ever go to the cave and see the cork thing DO NOT PULL IT OUT. Everything starts to collapse and I will no longer be mortal. Anyone here looking to sex it up? Don't worry about getting pregnant, island's a natural contraceptive, which makes this an especially awesome place for Catholics. Also, there's all kinds of relics on this island, don't ask, because I don't know either. Okay let's get you guys to the village ...

[Ben sneaks around in the background with tattered clothes, looking like a plane crash survivor]

Hurley: Ben? Ben! I thought we agreed, no more sowing seeds of discontent.
Ben: I'm not Ben, I'm ... I'm, my name is Jesus Buddha.
Hurley: Ben ...

[Ben looks down, then gives Hurley puppy dog eyes]

Hurley: And that's our Ben!
posted by geoff. at 1:32 PM on May 27, 2010 [37 favorites]


I really like "Hurley Time". It makes me feel a lot better about the purgatory curve-ball.
posted by codacorolla at 1:37 PM on May 27, 2010


The real explanation
posted by aerotive at 1:38 PM on May 27, 2010 [18 favorites]


fallacy of the beard: neat. i fell in line with most of this, except for thinking that the alternate timeline was something hurley did for them all for an afterlife reunion. and it was neat to have it clarified that the dharma initiative was part of jacob's plan as well, and why it went wrong.

Well, worth noting that the guy worked for Bad Robot only until 2007, and that some people have pointed out problems with what he said (e.g., he says Ben wasn't in the church because they kept J.J.'s script for the series end, written right after writing the pilot, perfectly intact, and Ben didn't show up until Season 2 – to which a respondent pointed out that Desmond & Penny were in the church).
posted by WCityMike at 1:38 PM on May 27, 2010


Jorge Garcia (Hurley) read the final lines of the final page of the final script on a podcast:
The plane clears frame, finally free of the Island.

Jack Shephard has done what he came to this place to do.

He has found his purpose.

He has found love, and been loved.

He has finally found a way to love himself.

The bamboo sways across the blue sky and Jack Shephard's eye closes one final time.

He is gone.

The end.
posted by WCityMike at 1:40 PM on May 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


I thought Bono was The Great Number Two...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:43 PM on May 27, 2010


I do NOT like the "bad robot intern" explanation. This show doesn't examine anything that has to do with 'spirituality' outisde of the vaguist, most meaningless type of spirituality.
posted by codacorolla at 1:45 PM on May 27, 2010


...a respondent pointed out that Desmond & Penny were in the church

their characters might have been intended as part of the story all along (such that they were written into the ending), while it's been said a few times that ben was always intended to be on the show for only a short period. in any case, i don't take any interpretation as authoritative (and i don't think the creators necessarily want clear interpretations), but the ones listed here seemed to make sense.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 1:46 PM on May 27, 2010


geoff.: You're on this island and you can't get off unless you have a submarine, or perhaps a few other conditions, but it is kind of complicated. Also if you hear whispers it is dead people talking. I'm immortal and if you let me touch you I can make you immortal too. Also there's this cave thing in the middle of the island and if you go into it (which you can't because only I can go to it), but assuming you have like a Desmond among you, any Desmond's here? Well if you ever go to the cave and see the cork thing DO NOT PULL IT OUT. Everything starts to collapse and I will no longer be mortal. Anyone here looking to sex it up? Don't worry about getting pregnant, island's a natural contraceptive, which makes this an especially awesome place for Catholics. Also, there's all kinds of relics on this island, don't ask, because I don't know either. Okay let's get you guys to the village ...

See, that's the thing: Hurley isn't bound by the rules Jacob put into place, and it's my take (and I think that of a lot of others) that a lot of those things were rules Jacob put into place -- or rules that their Mother put into place that Jacob didn't change, since he was a major momma's boy. (Remember, Mother believed that men were inherently evil as all get out.) So the "only one heading" rule? The "women can't have babies and die during childbirth" rule? Both could easily be things that Mother and/or Jacob put into place to limit the human population on the island. Once Hurley is MotherEarthHurley, those rules should become things he can influence.

The one hink in that is that one would think he'd have released Michael, were that the case. But I think that goes back to the same reason Ben wasn't in the church. He was offered an opportunity to come in; he declined, because he wasn't finished on the Earth. He had a fatherhood in Purgatory with Alex which he could finally experience, and he hadn't yet forgiven himself for his evils. I think that's why Michael wasn't in the finale -- the in-universe reason, at least -- because Michael couldn't forgive himself, which would probably bypass Hurley's ability to "release" him.
posted by WCityMike at 1:47 PM on May 27, 2010


So, long story short: Did they not survive that crash?
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:57 PM on May 27, 2010


The Bad Robot theory has already been proven fake. You might want to edit the post.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:57 PM on May 27, 2010


Crap. If I'd seen this thread before posting this in the other thread, I'd have just put it here (since that thread seems pretty over, and is also mega-long).

Mighty God King's response to the 100 questions video is pretty spot on, both in terms of the plausible answers he provides, and the bit at the end about how most of the questions are really dumb/nitpicky and don't matter.
posted by sparkletone at 1:59 PM on May 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hurley isn't bound by the rules Jacob put into place

So basically, they were all there 'cause "God" was fucking around? What, they couldn't resist the BSG finale?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:59 PM on May 27, 2010


roomthreeseventeen: The Bad Robot theory has already been proven fake. You might want to edit the post.

Per the link, "I've spoken to ABC and they have confirmed that this person did use to work for ABC as an Intern but were released 3 years ago."
posted by WCityMike at 2:02 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jacob wasn't god.
posted by empath at 2:02 PM on May 27, 2010


WCityMike, well, then they are a really bad speller who I don't believe was ever in the writer's room.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:03 PM on May 27, 2010


roomthreeseventeen: WCityMike, well, then they are a really bad speller who I don't believe was ever in the writer's room.

Well, you sure showed me who's boss!
posted by WCityMike at 2:09 PM on May 27, 2010


The plane clears frame, finally free of the Island.

Jack Shephard has done what he came to this place to do.

He has found his purpose.

He has found love, and been loved.

He has finally found a way to love himself.


The bamboo sways across the blue sky and Jack Shephard's eye closes one final time.

He is gone.

The end.


Show don't tell.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:11 PM on May 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oops "Jack Shephard has done what he came to this place to do." is meaningless as well. My bad.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:12 PM on May 27, 2010


Well, you sure showed me who's boss!

In your face!
posted by grubi at 2:19 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


sparkletone: Mighty God King's response to the 100 questions video is pretty spot on, both in terms of the plausible answers he provides, and the bit at the end about how most of the questions are really dumb/nitpicky and don't matter.

As someone who didn't like the end, his list reads as not-at-all spot on. The deal with Kate and the horse was that the island is weird? That's an interesting answer to you? Why not just copy and paste that 100 times?
posted by neuromodulator at 2:20 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


A few of the answers are pretty good, but yeah, 75 non-answers just pisses me off. It's basically other fans saying "Shut up, thinker! Some us just want to watch TV without thinkings!"
posted by grubi at 2:24 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Just squeezing the turnip. One...last...drop...
posted by Thorzdad at 2:25 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, there are many more drops to come, I think. This is a MAGIC turnip that Jacob made by dipping a regular turnip in the super pool. It never runs out of juice.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:28 PM on May 27, 2010 [9 favorites]


That's an interesting answer to you?

It needs to be an interesting answer? Rather than pasting it, I'll simply direct you to the couple of paragraphs at the end of the list on MGK. In the case of this particular question... "Most of the rest are just “why does this show like to create an atmosphere of mysterious weirdness” and if you keep asking that maybe you should have been watching, I dunno, Desperate Housewives." is the most applicable, I think.

Like, what answer for the horse would be acceptable to you? And would be cool? And would matter to the plot of the show, rather than ruining an interesting, surreal moment by explaining that it's all midichlorians?

They're on a MAGIC ISLAND, and you need 100% explanations for why weird shit happens on a magic island?

NB: I'm not unsympathetic to all the questions, but the horse one would be a good example of something where no rational explanation could be satisfactory, and none is needed for the story to progress. Kate's on a magic island. She saw a horse from her past while on that magic island. What do you want here?
posted by sparkletone at 2:28 PM on May 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


Q: Why was the horse there?

A: Because it made for a good scene transition to Kate's flashback sequence.
posted by empath at 2:30 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Would it be so hard for the producers to admit they simply goofed and failed to explain the things they said they would?
posted by grubi at 2:34 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


When did they ever promise to 100% explain everything? My recollection of interviews says that they've been explicit about not doing that. They were going to answer certain major questions that mattered in the context of giving the show the ending they wanted it to have, and were going to leave the rest alone.
posted by sparkletone at 2:37 PM on May 27, 2010


Kate's on a magic island. She saw a horse from her past while on that magic island. What do you want here?

Yep, this. At the point where this stuff was happening, the story was still about "this island they're on is a very strange place". A point they began driving home the very first time you saw the trees shake from the beach. Later on, when we understand just how crazy the island is ("cork in a wine bottle" type crazy), the viewer now accepts the island-brand wackiness and now wants a non-mystical answer. A plausible explanation is that the horse is yet another appearance by the MIB, as a possible early attempt to co-opt Kate as part of a long term plan. But that's just where I hang my hat, this sort of thing has clearly been left by the writers as an exercise for the viewer.
posted by dnesan at 2:41 PM on May 27, 2010


Sparkletone: I don't need %100 explanations. I need to feel like their particular magical island has some sort of sense to it that it operates by. I wouldn't mind something like, "Jacob and the Man in Black probe people's minds for stuff from their memories to manipulate them with," if that had been developed further within the show. I wouldn't be, "Yeah, but how? That doesn't make sense." But the fact that I accept a magic island doesn't mean I don't want some sort of internal logic.

Like, imagine if in one scene Frodo gives the ring to Sam and Sam puts it on and he can fly with it, instead of turning invisible. I don't think it would be weird to question why it works differently for Frodo, even though I've already accepted a magic ring. I'd like an in-world explanation that makes sense as to why it does different things for different people. Otherwise it just seems like, "It would be really cool if Sam could fly for this scene," which is how the bulk of Lost is reading to me, now that we supposedly have all the explanations we're getting.

But, I've beaten this horse to death (ho ho) in the other thread, so I'll bail on this one. Sorry for starting over.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:45 PM on May 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


I need to feel like their particular magical island has some sort of sense to it that it operates by.

Then you missed the point of the show entirely.
posted by empath at 2:48 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, as far as the mysteries, how many would be solved, and which were most important, Cuse & Lindelof did what they said they'd do three years ago--from January 2007:
CC: Lost is driving toward an ending and that ending is: Are these people getting off this island? What is the nature of this island? What is going to happen to them? What is their ultimate fate? What is their ultimate destiny? Those questions need to get answered.

EM: And you guys know all of the answers to all of the questions?

DL: We can hand you an envelope right now and we could seal it in a safety deposit box and it would say in that envelope: Here's what the island is. Here's why these people came to this island. Here's roughly what the events of the last episode of the show will be. There are certain things that we cannot predict. If we add a new actor to the show like Michael Emerson [Ben] or Ian Cusick [Desmond] we're still telling the same story but we want to get to it in a different way because we'll put it on the backs of the people whom the audience is jelling with. How we got there and which characters would be involved might be a little bit vague, but the actual answers to the mysteries, the nature of the island, what the monster is, the function of the monster, when the Others came here, why the black rock is in the middle of the island, the explanation for the four-toed statue, those things we know the answers to. How we're going to reveal those answers becomes the slippery slope of the show.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:49 PM on May 27, 2010


I really feel like some people wouldn't be happy without a Lost RPG sourcebook, entirely defining all the abilities and powers of the various characters, and including random encounter tables.

Here we go:

The MIB is a level 18 Wizard with a shapeshifting specialty. Once per day he can take the form of a dead person if his incorporeal (smoke monster) form has contact with the body, or if he passes a wisdom check, he can read a character's mind and take the form of a memory. This lasts for 2d6 minutes.
posted by empath at 2:54 PM on May 27, 2010 [10 favorites]


Was there an explanation for the four-toed statue given? I can't recall. Not that I found it one of the things that was interesting/troubling. Just curious.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:55 PM on May 27, 2010


I wouldn't mind something like, "Jacob and the Man in Black probe people's minds for stuff from their memories to manipulate them with," if that had been developed further within the show.

I see what you're saying, but at the same time, I felt this was developed sufficiently.

MIB openly admits to showing up as dead people to freak out the characters/manipulate them in various ways. At some point in the final season, he and Jack have a conversation about whether it was him showing up as Christian. When asked why he did that, MIB's explanation is that he wanted Jack to follow him to the cave where they'd find a water source they desperately needed to stay alive. MIB had also by that point appeared as Yemi, and some other people.

Jacob's manipulative tendencies tend to manifest in other ways. But given that conversation, there's no reason to think that the horse wasn't him messing with Kate.

And apologies if this seems like a rehash of the discussion of the previous thread. I figured since the questions video showed up here, an attempt at responding to those questions would be worth posting as well, even if it meant rehashing some of this stuff a little.

That Hurley Time essay is pretty great btw.
posted by sparkletone at 2:56 PM on May 27, 2010


I didn't understand the finale much at all, and yet I cried on at least 4 separate occasions.

Perhaps the producers were making a point about head vs. heart right there.
posted by LordSludge at 2:58 PM on May 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Was there an explanation for the four-toed statue given? I can't recall. Not that I found it one of the things that was interesting/troubling. Just curious.

Not a complete one that I can recall. It's a statue of some Egyptian god/goddess (I forget which one) and we know that it was standing in its entirety up until The Black Rock is smashed into it by a wave when it wrecks on the island. That much, plus the fact that Jacob lived in the base of the statue for quite a long time is all we're given.

Presumably it was built by the same people who built the temple, but that's pure speculation. The show never said who built it or why it has 4 toes.
posted by sparkletone at 2:59 PM on May 27, 2010


And apologies if this seems like a rehash of the discussion of the previous thread.

No apologies necessary! Discuss away. I just meant I didn't want to make it all about my responses again.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:01 PM on May 27, 2010


Was there an explanation for the four-toed statue given? I can't recall. Not that I found it one of the things that was interesting/troubling. Just curious.

I'm no Egyptian mythology expert, but when we saw the full statue it was of Taweret, and as far as I understand it, it's not unusual for a depiction of Taweret to have four toes.
posted by dnesan at 3:18 PM on May 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think the problem isn't that it had 4 toes, but that an episode ended with someone saying: "Why does it have four toes?" DUHN DUN DUN.

And while it was kind of explained later tangentially as: "Because it was a statue of a non-human", it was never explained with the same emphasis the question was asked, which is probably at the core of a lot of the complaints -- a lot of foregrounded questions were answered in the background.
posted by empath at 3:22 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


neuromodulator: "I don't need %100 explanations. I need to feel like their particular magical island has some sort of sense to it that it operates by. I wouldn't mind something like, "Jacob and the Man in Black probe people's minds for stuff from their memories to manipulate them with," if that had been developed further within the show."

They explicitly showed this happening to Eko back in Season 3 (detailed view).
posted by Rhaomi at 3:28 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you were constructing the final episode of a long-running popular series, and your over-riding concern was to make the series as valuable a property as possible in terms of syndication rights and DVD sales...

Would you resolve all the mysteries which have been the essence of the show as neatly as you could, or would you do your best to make them completely unresolvable so people could fight over them for the next decade?

Would you make a coherent final episode which stood on its own. or would you pack it as full as you could with pieces of previous shows and thereby almost require people to watch those previous shows to have any chance of making sense of the final show?
posted by jamjam at 3:29 PM on May 27, 2010


They were going to answer certain major questions that mattered in the context of giving the show the ending they wanted it to have

And since the ending they wanted it to have was "yadda yadda yadda, you're all dead happily ever after, the end," there were no major questions that mattered.
posted by The World Famous at 3:39 PM on May 27, 2010 [2 favorites]



I really feel like some people wouldn't be happy without a Lost RPG sourcebook, entirely defining all the abilities and powers of the various characters, and including random encounter tables.


This sourcebook is nothing but pages and pages of random encounter tables!
posted by Zaximus at 3:45 PM on May 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


To me, the biggest question remains how Anthony Cooper (The Man From Tallahassee) got to the island. I didn't get it then, I don't get it now.
posted by norm at 3:59 PM on May 27, 2010


I'm just annoyed that I'd have to spend money on the DVDs to see the extra footage - on the COMPLETE Lost series...that's not gonna cost chump change. I call bullshit on that. Hopefully someone will upload it somewhere and share.

I don't know, I just get the feeling that the producers kind of enjoyed jerking us around about things. This extra footage is just another way to do that. Instead of being grateful for all the fans who stuck with it --- and trust me, at times it wasn't easy -- and posting this video to their site, they try to milk more money out of us. It's their same MO: dangle the carrot and let the fans go nuts.

Don't get me wrong though, I loved the show and most of the ending (well up until Jack opened the coffin), and I do plan on one day watching the whole thing again, after seeing how it ended. I got frustrated with the finale because all these years they've been talking "rules, rules, rules" and then in the finale, it was like, "yeah, we don't need to follow those rules, let's just wrap this thing up". AIRGH!
posted by NoraCharles at 4:01 PM on May 27, 2010


I understand a lot of the criticism of the show. Of course things we're never developed completely, nor explained. Kinda figured that out the same time the writers admitted they were just making shit up, seeing how it played out. At some point, as a writer, you just abandon the other possibilities and focus on one.

Trying to "figure it out" is impossible. The writers couldn't even do that.
posted by iamck at 4:03 PM on May 27, 2010


they are a really bad speller who I don't believe was ever in the writer's room.

Don't worry, I'm not going to post about the show here. I took over the other thread way too much. I'm just popping in to say that writers are not expected to know how to spell. Many professional writers suck at spelling.

I am one of them. Yet I've had four books published by major publishers. I've never been able to spell, and it sometimes seems like half the words I type have red lines under them. I always correct them, even on the web, but some people don't bother making corrections, unless they're doing something for their job.

You're the only person who brought up the spelling thing here, but tons of others have brought it up in the linked thread, as proof that the guy couldn't be a real writer. I am VERY skeptical that he actually worked on the show, but not because he's a bad speller.
posted by grumblebee at 4:04 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm just annoyed that I'd have to spend money on the DVDs to see the extra footage - on the COMPLETE Lost series...that's not gonna cost chump change. I call bullshit on that. Hopefully someone will upload it somewhere and share.

You can be sure it will be. You can also be sure that it won't have any more satisfying answers then you already have.
posted by empath at 4:05 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do think the "let's include bonus stuff that any true fan would feel necessary to see" in deluxe releases as a kind of lame thing. I don't even think it's necessarily financially motivated, in my naive little universe, but sometimes from the idea that "we need something special for the fans for the whole box set." Unfortunately, this almost always punishes the fans who were buying the non-deluxe releases the whole way. It's a neat idea with practical implications I don't like.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:12 PM on May 27, 2010


There are only two unanswered questions I care about:
1. What would happen if the island were destroyed?
2. What would happen if MIB got off the island?
In other words, what were the stakes? People lived and died to protect the island and stop. If you tell their story and don't tell us why it's important, why should I care? And they basically said, "don't worry, it is important, you'll see why, just trust us." So I think those are the only answers they "owe" the fans.
Did they answer those questions and I missed it?
posted by PlusDistance at 4:16 PM on May 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


To me, the biggest question remains how Anthony Cooper (The Man From Tallahassee) got to the island

Well, Ben had him tied up the first time we saw him on the island, right? So I assume Ben's agents kidnapped him and brought him there as part of Ben's maniuplation of Locke.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:21 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, long story short: Did they not survive that crash?

It turns out they were all actors on a show and there never was any crash!

(/pedant)

That kind of reminds me of reading through American Psycho (spoiler alert?). All of the things the Bateman did to those women left me feeling sick. Then someone says to me, "But you understand that it was all in his head right?" as if that should make the graphic depictions of what I read any less shocking. So when a fictional character tortures, murders, and eats women in a book, I'm right to feel disturbed, but when a fictional character only fantasizes about that in a book, I should be fine with it?
posted by ODiV at 4:21 PM on May 27, 2010


Both sets of killings are equally fictional, is my point.

Just like everything in LOST is equally fictional. You can say, "Well this actually happened in the show, and this other thing was just a delusion or an alternate timeline so it didn't actually happen." But when the show is this unclear and muddled then it's all pretty much a wash.
posted by ODiV at 4:27 PM on May 27, 2010


There are only two unanswered questions I care about:
1. What would happen if the island were destroyed?
2. What would happen if MIB got off the island?
In other words, what were the stakes? People lived and died to protect the island and stop. If you tell their story and don't tell us why it's important, why should I care? And they basically said, "don't worry, it is important, you'll see why, just trust us." So I think those are the only answers they "owe" the fans. Did they answer those questions and I missed it?


Well, there were plenty of cryptic warnings about the end of the world and the death of everyone. As for the mechanics, I think it goes like this:

The Source at the heart of the Island is the mythical axis mundi, the crossroads between hell, heaven, and earth, the origin of "life, death, rebirth." Its light is found within every person, and its power can be controlled and directed by the Island's protector.

After being tossed into the Source, the Man in Black was irreversibly fused with the power of the Island and bound by Jacob's rules (no leaving the Island, no killing the Candidates, etc.). The only way he can escape is if he breaks that bond. And the only way to break it is by disturbing the Source and snuffing out its primeval light. That's why he becomes mortal after Desmond "pulls the plug" -- the Island no longer has power, he's no longer an immortal cloud of smoke, Jack is no longer protected by the rules, and anyone is free to leave.

Of course, since the Source is the spiritual underpinning of the world, disturbing it has dire consequences for humanity. As the Mother said in "Across the Sea," "if the light goes out here... it goes out everywhere." Exactly what that means is left to the imagination. Perhaps the world will crumble just like the Island. Perhaps all life will die out. Perhaps the dead will no longer be able to move on -- that white light in the final church scene looked familiar, didn't it? Whatever it is, it is Very Very Bad, on a cosmic level.

Speaking of which, the themes of myth, spirituality, and legend exhibited in the last few episodes have got me thinking. Egyptian artifacts have been scattered throughout the show (the statue, the lighthouse, Jacob's tapestry, etc.), but I was intrigued to see hieroglyphics scrawled all over the sacred stone plug at the heart of the Island. Apparently these unseen Egyptian castaways not only predated Jacob and his "mother," but were intimately involved with the mythical Source of the Island's power. So I did some poking around Egyptian mythology websites and found some interesting things:

From The Story of Re:
Now Re was all-powerful, and he could take many forms. His power and the secret of it lay in his hidden name; but if he spoke other names, that which he named came into being.
From The Story of Isis and Osiris:
In the days before Re had left the earth, before he had begun to grow old, his great wisdom told him that if the goddess Nut bore children, one of them would end his reign among men. So Re laid a curse upon Nut - that she should not be able to bear any child upon any day in the year.

Full of sorrow, Nut went for help to Thoth, the thrice-great god of wisdom and magic and learning, Re's son, who loved her. Thoth knew that the curse of Re, once spoken, could never be recalled, but in his wisdom he found a way of escape. He went to Khonsu, the Moon-god, and challenged him to a contest at draughts. Game after game they played and always Thoth won. The stakes grew higher and higher, but Khonsu wagered the most, for it was some of his own light that he risked and lost.
From the entry on Senet (the board game the young Man in Black found in "Across the Sea"):
Appearance: The senet board consisted of thirty squares in three rows of ten. The last five squares generally were marked with hieroglyphic symbols. During the Old Kingdom, each of the two players had seven playing pieces. Later on, this number was reduced to five pieces each. In fancier New Kingdom sets, the pieces were sometimes made in the form of kneeling, bound captives. Movement of the playing pieces seems to be determined by tossing knucklebones or sticks with different colored sides, similar to modern games which use dice. The rules of play are not exactly known.

Meaning: The senet game was connected to the afterlife. Senet boards were often placed in tombs (Tutankhamen was entombed with four, it is assumed that the game was a favorite of his). The game was supposed to be a pasttime for the deceased. However, symbolically the game also was connected with the attainment of the afterlife by the dead. In many tomb paintings and Book of the Dead illustrations, the deceased is shown playing the game with no visible opponent. It may be that in these cases, the person is playing against the powers of the beyond. Winning against these opponents may lead to good fortune in the afterlife.
From the entry on Pools (i.e., the pool at the Temple, and the one surrounding the Source):
Like many ancient cultures, the Egyptians believed that the world emerged from primeval waters. The Egyptians personified these waters as the god, Nun. The pool often symbolized these waters of the First Time. The young sun god was often depicted rising from a pool of water that represented Nun. The pool was also related to the Afterlife, as seen in the image to the right.
From the entry on Brazier (which bears a resemblance to the uncorked Source):
It was a symbol of fire in Egyptian art and of fire's connotations. Fire was a mysterious and potent entity in many ancient cultures. It is found depicted frequently in Egyptian art.

Fire seems to have a life force of its own and thus was a symbol itself for life. At the sed festival, which renewed and gave new life to his reign in Egypt, the pharoah would light a symbolic fire. The sun was seen as the "fire of life". The uraeus, a symbol of the sun, was often portrayed spitting fire at the sun's enemies. Heliopolis, whose name literally means "city of the sun" was sometimes represented by a brazier. A pair of braziers represented the "Island of Fire" where the sun was born. This island was also a metaphor for the dawn.

Fire was also closely related to the Underworld. Much like the medieval Christian concept of Hell, the Egyptian Underworld was filled with fiery rivers and lakes. The Underworld was also inhabited by many fire demons who threatened the wicked dead. These demons wear depicted with the hieroglyph of the brazier on their heads. The Lakes of Fire in the Underworld were drawn like normal pools of water, but with braziers on each side and fiery red (instead of blue) wavy lines transversing them. The Lakes of Fire were also shown with baboons seated at each corner. These lakes were only troublesome for the wicked, the righteous could drink of them and be refreshed.
And finally, from the myth of a man seeking a spellbook of the gods:
'First he created a magic cabin that was full of men and tackle. He cast a spell on it, giving life and breath to the men, and he sank the magic cabin into the river. Then he filled the Royal Boat with sand and put out into the middle of the Nile until he came to the place below which the magic cabin lay. And he spoke words of power, and cried, "Workmen, workmen, work for me even where lies the Book of Thoth!" They toiled without ceasing by day and by night, and on the third day they reached the place where the Book lay.

Then Nefrekeptah cast out the sand and they raised the Book on it until it stood upon a shoal above the level of the river.

'And behold all about the iron box, below it and above it, snakes and scorpions twined. And the serpent that could not die was twined about the box itself. Nefrekeptah cried to the snakes and scorpions a loud and terrible cry - and at his words of magic they became still, nor could one of them move.

'Then Nefrekeptah walked unharmed among the snakes and scorpions until he came to where the serpent that could not die lay curled around the box of iron. The serpent reared itself up for battle, since no charm could work on it, and Nefrekeptah drew his sword and rushing upon it, smote off its head at a single blow. But at once the head and the body sprang together, and the serpent that could not die was whole again and ready for the fray. Once more Nefrekeptah smote off its head, and this time he cast it far away into the river. But at once the head returned to the body, and was joined to the neck, and the serpent that could not die was ready for its next battle.

'Nefrekeptah saw that the serpent could not be slain, but must be overcome by cunning. So once more he struck off its head. But before head and body could come together he put sand on each part so that when they tried to join they could not do so as there was sand between them - and the serpent that could not die lay helpless in two pieces.

'Then Nefrekeptah went to where the iron box lay on the shoal in the river; and the snakes and scorpions watched him; and the head of the serpent that could not die watched him also: but none of them could harm him.

'He opened the iron box and found in it a bronze box; he opened the bronze box and found in it a box of sycamore wood; he opened that and found a box of ivory and ebony, and in that a box of silver, and at the last a box of gold. And when he had opened the golden box he found in it the Book of Thoth. He opened the Book and read the first page - and at once he had power over the heavens and the earth, the abyss, the mountains and the sea; he knew what the birds and the beasts and the fishes were saying. He read the next page of spells, and saw the sun shining in the sky, the moon and the stars, and knew their secrets - and he saw also the gods themselves who are hidden from mortal sight.

'Then, rejoicing that the priest's words had proved true, and the Book of Thoth was his, he cast a spell upon the magic men, saying, "Workmen, workmen, work for me and take me back to the place from which I came!" They brought him back to Koptos where I sat waiting for him, taking neither food nor drink in my anxiety, but sitting stark and still like one who is gone to the grave.

'When Nefrekeptah came to me, he held out the Book of Thoth and I took it in my hands. And when I read the first page I also had power over the heavens and the earth, the abyss, the mountains and the sea; and I also knew what the birds, the beasts and the fishes were saying. And when I read the second page I saw the sun, the moon and the stars with all the gods, and knew their secrets even as he did.

'Then Nefrekeptah took a clean piece of papyrus and wrote on it all the spells from the Book of Thoth. He took a cup of beer and washed off the words into it and drank it so that the knowledge of the spells entered into his being. But I, who cannot write, do not remember all that is written in the Book of Thoth - for the spells which I had read in it were many and hard.
Magic cabins? Invincible "serpents" that are thwarted by dust? Divine knowledge and power imparted by drink?

In light of all this, and based on myriad other things like the DHARMA Initiative, the Frozen Donkey Wheel Dharmacakra, the bardo-like afterlife, etc., I think it's safe to say that the underlying mythology of Lost is a blended mishmash of all major world religions, and that its basic mysteries are supposed to be just as imponderable as the gods and myths and curses of ancient times.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:46 PM on May 27, 2010 [54 favorites]


dnesan: "Kate's on a magic island. She saw She's on a horse."

So, Kate's shilling for Old Spice now? Does that mean the Old Spice ship is the Black Rock?
posted by mwhybark at 4:57 PM on May 27, 2010


i wish i could favorite rhaomi's comment 108 times.
posted by empath at 4:57 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rhaomi: "The Source at the heart of the Island is the mythical axis mundi, the crossroads between hell, heaven, and earth, the origin of "life, death, rebirth." Its light is found within every person, and its power can be controlled and directed by the Island's protector."

Or, put another way and rerunning a familar trope: "Fucking magnets! How do they work?"
posted by mwhybark at 4:59 PM on May 27, 2010


Lost the gamebook

1) You walk through the jungle. You hear noises. You decide to:

a) Carry on. Go to 1.
b) Arm your gun and point it to where the noises came from. Go to 2.

2) It was one of your friends, who decides to join your party. Go to 1.
posted by surrendering monkey at 5:05 PM on May 27, 2010


That Hurley Time post on Reddit is flippin' brilliant. This past season I amused myself with the notion that Hurley would take Jacob's place, and I guess I was right. Garcia is a really good actor and Hurley is the Everyman character, the court jester, the one person who doesn't really have an agenda and isn't afraid to say what the other characters are thinking. Hurley cut through the bullshit.

I demand that ABC begin a spinoff with Hurley, Ben, and Desmond entitled "Protector".
posted by zardoz at 5:10 PM on May 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually, the best interpretation of LOST may be that it established pretty early on that the whole thing was Hurley's dream and nothing in the series after that point ever contradicted that. Hurley's role in the finale can be seen as confirming that.
posted by The World Famous at 5:13 PM on May 27, 2010


So...Vincent was midichlorian Eve's first pet? Pretty neat how they tied the two mythologies together like that. But I think that cameo from Cancer Man in the last episode was a bit, y'know, bluhh, and I don't consider it canon.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:17 PM on May 27, 2010


You know, just for the hell of it, I started working on answers to the "Unanswered Lost Questions." I got 20 in and got waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay bored. But maybe it'll be of interest to some.

1. Why did Esau kill the pilot?

By virtue of his rank and the situation, the pilot could have become the Castaways' leader. With the marshal accompanying Kate also dead, leadership fell more towards those who demonstrated leadership qualities. Perhaps had the pilot lived, he could've shortened the stay on the island, which might've negatively influenced Esau's plans to get off the island.

2. What did Locke see when he saw Esau?

I don't think he saw anything more remarkable than the way Esau was appearing to everyone else.

3. What's with the polar bear in Walt's comic?

The polar bear was presumably brought by the DHARMA Project for its zoological experiments. Hurley could speak Spanish and is a geek, and so brought a Spanish translation of Green Lantern and Flash: Faster Friends, Part One along with him on the plane, which Walt later found. The fact that it features a polar bear was a false lead by the series' writers; it doesn't have in-universe significance.

4. Where's Christian Shepherd's body if it's not in the casket?

Given the amount of chaotic scattering of plane cargo and wreckage, it could be anywhere from the bottom of the sea to some undiscovered place on the island. I could easily see a hinge or clasp breaking, allowing the casket lid to open (either fully or just the viewing portion) and allowing Christian's body to fall out as the plane was coming apart. Additionally, if Esau is going to pose as Christian Shepherd, it makes perfect sense that he might somehow bury, hide, or otherwise get rid of the actual physical body in order to further confuse Jack.

5. Why did the psychic insist that Claire fly on Oceanic 815 and why did he insist that Claire had to raise him?

The episode "?" has Richard Malkin (the psychic) telling Eko that he is a fraud as a psychic. A deleted scene from that same episode has Malkin (the psychic) telling Eko that he was paid $16,000 by the couple that was going to adopt Aaron to convince Claire to board a plane. That might address why he was so emphatic about that particular plane.

As for insisting Claire raise him, it could be as a counterbalance he did to try to assuage himself of guilt for taking the $16,000 bribe, which he might've perceived would have the end result of separating Claire from her son. In other words, he'll live up to the letter of his agreement with the adoptive parents by insisting she get on the flight, but stack the deck against the adoptive parents by then playing a routine that Claire must be the one to raise Aaron.

6. Why did the Others want Walt so bad?

They had already shown a predilection for capturing children from other settlements (Ben, Ethan, etc.); in addition to that, presumably they had been spying on the Castaways and had witnessed signs of Walt's abilities by the end of season one. The two combined probably resulted in their strong desire to acquire Walt. They may have even seen his abilities as somehow connected to their own aspects of Island-oddness, such as Richard not aging.

7. Who sent Kate the letter about her mother being treated for cancer?

Whoever sent her the letter knew to where to send it, and knew which pseudonym to use. Based on that, I would guess that it was a childhood friend of Kate's, or a friend of the Austens, who lived in the same town as Diane and interacted enough with her to know what was going on and then pass along the news.

8. Why does Walt appear to warn Locke about the hatch and how does he know about it?

Walt's abilities have been shown to be fairly sizeable, even before he landed on the island. Remember the scene with the bird slamming into the window when he got angry ("you're not watching!")? The Island is magically malleable -- it is open to manipulation by people such as the Mother, Jacob, and Esau. I think that Walt's existing psychic abilities have the ability to interact with that malleability: that's why, for example, the rain suddenly stopped when Michael promised to go looking for the dog once the rain stopped. Probably, at the beginning, Walt wasn't even aware of it.

That sublevel connection to the island's "malleability field", for lack of a better word, maybe is how he somehow knew about the hatch, although I don't think it was conscious knowledge. I think it was similar to an alert that just popped up from his subconscious. Where did the alert come from? Perhaps Walt saw a flicker of any one of a half-dozen bad moments we'd later see involving the hatch -- Kate screaming in fear as she was pulled down, the subsequent standoff with Desmond, the hatch's explosion -- and interpreted it as something to avoid and warn them away from. Perhaps he was picking up on a message that either Jacob or Esau were passing along, or perhaps not even a message -- perhaps just a feeling that Walt was reading.

9. Why does Esau make mechanical sounds?

We don't know what Esau's black cloud form actually is, and we won't. It can become solid enough to shove people around, yet ethereal enough to be smoke. It can travel speedily, stop suddenly and hover, and so on. It can form images within itself (as it did with Eko's past). Presumably, whatever substance the smoke is made of, it makes that sound as a function of its existence.

10. How does Walt apparate before Shannon?

I think, again, it's Walt's abilities interacting with the island's "malleability field", either picking up on something from the future (and maybe misreading it?) or causing the island to get things confused. When he appears before her, he says, in reverse speech, "Don't push the button. Button bad." It could even be that Esau was able to use Walt's appearance, even though Walt wasn't dead, because of Walt's abilities and how they interfaced with the island. This might make sense since Locke is the Man of Faith in that episode's title, and has faith in pressing that button.

11. How does Walt communicate with Michael using the Swan computer?

I don't think it was Walt. I think it was Esau. I think it was done to break Michael off from the team spirit of the Castaways (remember, despite Walt being kidnapped, at the time this happens, Michael is on "watch duty" -- meaning he's agreed to SIT IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER FOR 108 MINUTES while his SON IS MISSING) and make sure he only has tunnel-vision centered around the "I'm going to save my son" quest -- no matter what form of betrayal or hurt that ended up inflicting upon other individuals (as it ended up doing, e.g, the death of Libby and Ana-Lucia).

12. What was the deal with Kate and that horse?

My guess is that the horse is an manifestation of the Island that derives from the wild survivalist part of Kate -- the criminal outlaw -- whatever part of her she sees as the "bad, evil girl" that she thinks she inherited from her father, that's nonetheless quick, capable, and handy with a gun. The part we see her really enjoying in the "shared-heaven" universe. The wild horse helps her escape from Marshal Mars' custody when he captures her. She's telling coma-fied Sawyer about the horse when the spirit of Wayne Janssen (her biological father) possesses Sawyer's body and grabs her and asks, "Why did you kill me?" It's right after the speech where she owns up to it to Sawyer that they both see the horse.

13. Why are supplies still being dropped on the island after the purge and by who?

If the Others can create a false front such as Mittlelos Bioscience to recruit Juliet, perhaps they were able to interact enough with the "real world" to make sure the supply drops kept coming, for their own use. Alternatively, perhaps the DHARMA Initiative, before setting up on the Island, bought massive bulk supplies from somewhere, rebranded them with the DHARMA logo, stuck them in a warehouse, and set up a 50-year contract with a warehouse and shipping company to drop them off. ("All of the support you will need, including regular medicine and food drops will be made in perpetuity" -- from the Sri Lanka video from "Lost Experience.")

14. What triggered the lockdown, and who on Earth would design black lights to light up showing secret thingies during the lockdown?

The lockdown triggers when a supply drop is happening -- except on those occasions where the lockdown subroutine was manually triggered by Kelvin, Radzinsky, Desmond or John Locke. Why? Well, it was clear through the whole "quarantine" riff that the DHARMA Initiative didn't want its people interacting with the real world, so the lockdown probably was so that its people had no chance of interacting with whomever was flying the planes that make the supply drops.

As for the black lights, given the DHARMA Initiative's founding and cultural rooting in the '70s, is it particularly unusual that they'd like black lights for a sense of the melodramatic and mysterious? (After all, Dr. Pierre Chang introduces himself as Marvin Candle in the Swan orientation film, Mark Wickmund in the Pearl orientation film, and Edgar Halliwax in the Orchid orientation film.)

As for the "secret thingies", it appears most if not all of those were done by bored technicians waiting for said lockdowns to end.

15. What happened to the original Henry Gale?

This question really asks how he died. There's no way to know that. We know his balloon crashed, that he died of a broken neck, but that he didn't die before having the opportunity to write on a $20 bill, "I'm hiking to one of the beaches to start a signal fire, but if you're reading this, I guess I didn't make it." The cause could've been something as innocuous as some aspect of the terrain (tripped over a rock) or it could have been a murder by an Other who knew how to break necks, or by Esau. Given that the manner of his death doesn't significantly affect the story one way or the other, and the plot didn't lay down any contextual clues or mystery, that's probably why a lot of people are answering this with "who cares?".

16. What happened to Libby in between the mental hospital and getting on the tail section of flight 815?

The only thing we know about that time is the scene we see where she gives Desmond the Elizabeth. So we don't and won't know what happened to get her released, and we don't and won't know what had her getting on Oceanic #815.

17. Who built the four-toed statue?

There are lots of ruins and buildings on the island that were built by a civilization or civilizations whose story we haven't seen. The Temple, the wells, the cave that housed the Source. Presumably, they built the statue. Presumably, they were Egyptian, given that it's a statue of Taweret.

18. Why does only one specific bearing get you off the Island?

I'm guessing that the Mother first instituted that -- but merely as that bearing being the "doorway" both in and out. My guess is that she primarily wants it in order to limit who comes into the Island from the ocean, since she sees things so fatalistically. "They fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same." Presumably one specific bearing (by sea) will get you into the Island, and vice vesa.

19. What are the heiroglyphics on the Swan countdown timer about?

"The red and black hieroglyphs from the failure sequence were translated by Damon Lindelof to mean 'underworld'." Perhaps it was a DHARMA Initiative inside joke by way of saying, "You're about to die"?

20. Why does Tom feel the need to wear a fake beard?

The Castaways are living by the skin of their teeth. The Others are living in houses, with ovens, showers, beds, book clubs, and so on. That probably was something that, strategically, the Others didn't want to let the Castaways know about.

Super-quickie answers to some of the remainder:

31. Why can't women on the island have babies and what does that have to do with anything?

Given her opinion, Mother Earth wanted to avoid men covering the island via reproduction. So she made it that way, and Jacob, being a momma's boy, kept the policy up.

32. What was that Russian letter in Mikhail's typewriter?

Translated.

33. Why is the supply drop menu hidden behind a game of computer chess?

See earlier re: obfuscating as much as possible islanders' access to the real world.

34. Why did Ben give Juliet that weird mark as a punishment? What was that about?

Lostpedia article: "Juliet is a traitor and a killer."

35. What's the deal with Jack's tattoos?

"These characters are pronounced yīng jī cháng kōng in Mandarin. They are taken from a famous poem "Changsha", written by Chairman Mao Tse-t'ung (Pinyin: Mao Zedong) in 1925. They may be roughly translated as "Eagles strike the wide sky" or, more simply, "The eagles fly upon the sky." Within the poem, the eagles are an example of creatures fighting for freedom. The traditional gloss of the line also sees the eagles as representatives of the gifted members of society using and displaying their abilities."

36. Desmond knew a monk? How did that monk know Eloise?

Not totally answered there, but relevant Lostpedia article.

45. Who's the R.G. on Naomi's bracelet?

"Bracelets are frequently used by US military personel to remember fallen comrades whom they were close to [...] it has been strongly implied that Naomi has military combat experience, it is very likely that "R.G." was a team member in one of her units."

46. Why is there a difference between the times?

Not totally answered there, but relevant Lostpedia article.

47. Who is 8220;the economist8221; and why did Ben want him dead?

"The "economist" was an associate of Charles Widmore who employed Elsa to get information about Ben from Sayid."

48. Why was Ben so surprised that they could kill Alex?

Not totally answered there, but relevant Lostpedia article.

49. If Esau can't leave the island and Christian Shepherd is Esau, how did Christian appear in LA and on the freighter?

IMO, Esau was not behind all post-death appearances of Christian Shepherd.

50. How did the monster get into Jacob's cabin?

The ash color was different?

51. Why ask Locke not to tell anybody that he saw Claire in the cabin?

He didn't want people to know he was impersonating Christian Shepherd?

52. Why did Ghost Horace direct Locke to the cabin and tell him Jacob was waiting there?

We know Esau can take the form of dead people. Jacob wasn't waiting there, Esau was. So Esau basically told Locke to meet him at the cabin.

53. Why did the Oceanic Six name Charlie, Boone and Libby as the other three survivors? What's the logic in that?

"The order in which Boone, Libby, and Charlie supposedly died matches the order in which they actually died, as well as the rough timeframe of each death. Boone did in fact die of internal injuries following a plane crash (though they were sustained in a different plane, which fell from the trees), ("Deus Ex Machina") and Charlie did drown shortly before they left the Island. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1") Libby's actual cause of death (accidental gunshot) ("Two for the Road") was never revealed. "

57. Why don't the rules of time travel apply to Desmond?

Not totally answered there, but relevant Lostpedia article.

58. Who were the people trying to kill Sayid and Hurley?

Not totally answered there, but relevant Lostpedia article.

61. When the gang was unstuck in time, who was that shooting at them from the outrigger?

Darlton: "We can't entirely deny that we're taunting you."

66. How did the producers of the hit TV show "Expose" deal with the death of their two lead actors?

Nikki's "Corvette" had already died and was a guest actor, and Paulo wasn't on the show.

71. How did Richard bypass the sonic death fence?

Couldn't he just turn it off? It wasn't meant to keep him out.

73. What's with all the hieroglyphics under the temple?

See #17.

74. Why did Widmore tell Ben to kill Rousseau and the baby, and then let Ben keep the baby anyway?

Because even Widmore can't easily tell someone to kill a baby?

78. Why can Jacob leave the island, but Esau can't?

Jacob's still a human rendered special by the potion; Esau was killed in the cave, with his consciousness or what have you transferred into cloud-shape. Different form factors, different restrictions.

80. What's the deal with the pool bringing people back to life?

The water's the same water as we see in the Source, which is "the goodness inside everyone." Remember, when we first see it, we just see plain water, but Dogen et al. are freaking out because the water's light's gone out. Means its natural state is lit-up water, which would make it Source water.

82. What is the infection? How did Claire get infected? How did Sayid get infected? Why did Sayid need to take a poison pill when all it took to uninfect Sayid was a simple argument from Desmond?

Someone else said there is no infection, it's just PTSD-style MiB mental manipulation. I agree.

87. Why didn't Sun tell Jin to leave so their daughter wouldn't be an orphan?

I know, right?!?

88. Where did Jacob and Smokie's mother come from?

Given the immortality thing, I'm guess the Egyptian settlement or prior.

89. Where did Jacob and Smokie's other mother come from?

A Greek sailing vessel?

95. Wasn't Sayid's soulmate Nadia?

He does a great job in his full blog entry on the subject, enough that he swayed me.
posted by WCityMike at 5:25 PM on May 27, 2010 [18 favorites]


I've mentioned before that I had watched less than a full hour of "Lost" when I pitched an idea for an article about Hurley, which was published on the eve of the "Everybody Loves Hugo" episode (self-link with real name by-line). I am so delighted at that part of the way the show ended, but I'm really really hoping Terry O'Quinn sells his show idea for him and Michael Emerson (doesn't look good; he first publicized it back in February and hasn't talked much of it recently) because otherwise, we might just get "Hurley's Fantasy Island" (remember, ABC owns "Fantasy Island") with Jorge Garcia, Emerson & maybe Henry Ian Cusick, maybe some other ex-Losties and I fear that nothing good will come of that.

One other fascinating sidelight of "Lost" for me is how the showrunners, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, became bigger stars than most of the actors. Doesn't happen often, extra rarely for a writing team, let alone a team that hadn't been a team before this show. Lindelof got co-creator credit, but Cuse was brought in after the pilot when J.J. Abrams (the already-superstar producer) phased himself out of the daily operations. And look at their prior credits! Cuse was creator of "Nash Bridges", the detective show where Cheech Marin played a cop (I knew he was capable of freakiness, just not sure if it'd be GOOD freakiness; still, it SO explains how Sawyer became a cop in Sideways World). Lindelof had never been a showrunner; he had co-produced and story-edited "Crossing Jordan", working for Tim Kring, who went on to createperpetrate "Heroes"! Carlton is 14 years older than Damon; not many successful writing teams with that much generation gap. But their decision to make themselves the 'faces' of the show in the later seasons (especially the non-serious promotional stuff... working with muppets? they ARE muppets!) And the decision for them to go into hiding after the finale was very smart - I'd be kind of surprised if they ever work together on anything again; expectations would be unreasonably high.

Anyway, for the benefit of all the MeFites who have made these "Lost" discussions more Classic for the MetaFilter Universe than "Lost" is for network television: I think we all need this (pdf).
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:06 PM on May 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


sparkletone: "Crap. If I'd seen this thread before posting this in the other thread, I'd have just put it here (since that thread seems pretty over, and is also mega-long).

Mighty God King's response to the 100 questions video is pretty spot on, both in terms of the plausible answers he provides, and the bit at the end about how most of the questions are really dumb/nitpicky and don't matter.
"

66.) How did the producers of the hit TV show “Expose” deal with the death of their two lead actors?
They killed off both characters and then elevated existing characters in importance to compensate. Ironically, when the show ended after a hit six-year run, some dork put up a video of “one hundred unanswered questions about Expose,” which included things like “why did Steven drink an entire bottle of hot sauce? What was the point of that?”
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:11 PM on May 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the funny thing about that one is that it's an irrelevant question. Nikki's character was a guest character for one season and was already off the show – she died in the last scene she shot. Paolo never was on the show. And no, I didn't remember any of that until I read Lostpedia's "Expose" article. :-)
posted by WCityMike at 8:23 PM on May 27, 2010


For whatever reason, people (even prior to the finale) are demanding more specific answers from LOST than from any other story. I've seen why the polar bears? all over the place, and the clear and given answer is: they were brought as subjects for Dharma's experiments. Ok, but why? I dunno - and you wouldn't ask that of any other story - no one watches When Harry Met Sally and says ok - so they got married - because they fell in love - but why?!
posted by moxiedoll at 9:16 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've never watched Lost, but I can't seem to get an answer to the only question I've had all along :

what do those numbers mean?
(and is there even a definitive answer?)
posted by revmitcz at 9:29 PM on May 27, 2010


what do those numbers mean?

They don't mean anything.
posted by The World Famous at 9:32 PM on May 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


the numbers
posted by joeblough at 9:48 PM on May 27, 2010


what do those numbers mean?

If you accept the Lost Experience ARG from a few years ago as "canon," the Numbers are components of the Valenzetti Equation, a formulation from an eccentric scientist which predicts when humanity will become extinct. The Hanso Foundation/DHARMA Initiative is dedicated to finding a way to alter the variables of the equation in order to prolong the lifespan of the human race.

Going solely by what's seen in the show, the Numbers are an emergent property of the Island's mysticism, a spiritual version of pi or the Fibonacci sequence or the Golden Ratio. And because the main characters are so integral to the Island's destiny, the numbers recur in their lives. It's also why they're used by DHARMA (in the button mechanism) and by Jacob (in identifying Candidates).

I think the issue is a good argument for the way Lost ended. They could have tried the first approach and explained the Island in terms of pseudoscientific jargon like quantum flux or time waves or whatever. But that ends up sounding unrealistic and hokey. I like the latter approach, which grounds everything in the ineffable nature of myth, metaphysics, and cosmology. There's not a pat answer for everything, but it gives the story more weight and leaves room for interesting speculation.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:49 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


This LA Times blog post is an interesting take on some of the complaints people have had about the finale.

He mentions that quite a lot of the supposedly unanswered questions have in fact been answered - it's just that people didn't like the answers. I'd agree with that, not based on the previous Lost thread we had here which was mostly sensible discussion, but going by the Lostpedia forums. There's a couple of people there are still complaining that the statue never got explained, but if you've been reading there for a while, you know that those are the same people who'd constructed an elaborate theory about Egyptian mythology and how it tied into Jacob's life. Same with the numbers, same with the Santa Rosa, etc.

I've always thought that the answers would be very simple and basic, because as much as I enjoyed digging into the mythology I think you've got to accept that this was mainstream television. The people who'd worked up an idea about how Tawaret represented Jack/Juliet/Ben/Vincent or whatever had over-thunk their beans.
posted by harriet vane at 1:44 AM on May 28, 2010


The show featured two "wizards" of sorts who did lots of inscrutable things. Why is "a wizard did it" not an acceptable explanation for the other inscrutable things?
posted by minifigs at 6:02 AM on May 28, 2010


One interesting thing that has come out of the Lost finale is the in depth discussion of storytelling.
posted by drezdn at 6:06 AM on May 28, 2010


Huh. Apparently I missed the explanation that Ben had Cooper abducted- I thought he had been mystically transported there. That's been bugging me for a while. Chalk that up to a stupid answer, not an unanswered question.
posted by norm at 6:13 AM on May 28, 2010


I think a lot of these mysteries are being explained. This is good, and ultimately, satisfying. However, there will be a few questions which cannot be satisfactorily answered, as there are conflicting pieces of information.

I will point out one: Smokey killing the pilot because he was a possible leader? I call bullshit. The man was trapped in the cockpit while the passengers were banding together. And he never spoke to another person from the crash until *minutes* before he is killed. Smokey killed him for some other reason (I tend towards the "to cause chaos and frighten the shit out of people" explanation), and Smokey didn't really care about the leadership of the survivors until the final season, really.

When you're THAT powerful, do you give a shit who's in charge, or do you just go around killing willy-nilly?
posted by grubi at 6:33 AM on May 28, 2010


Considering how similar killings went on Lost, I always assumed that the Pilot wasn't really a pilot but was a priest who pretended to be a pilot in order to help his brother smuggle drugs or something. The smoke monster sensed this and smashed him for it.

Otherwise, Smokie knew he wasn't the real pilot and was so pissed that Lapidus wasn't there that he killed him.

The last other option, the Smoke Monster had flashed forward where he saw the first season of Heroes and knew that Parkman had another destiny to fulfill.
posted by drezdn at 6:38 AM on May 28, 2010


I think Smokey killed the pilot for the same reason he killed everyone else on Richard's ship: he's a fucking smoke monster.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:04 AM on May 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


<>

Stop calling him Esau, his name is Samuel.

<>
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:36 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Even with the spaces, my pedant tags didn't work. GAH.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:36 AM on May 28, 2010


THANK GOD he has a name.

Not kidding. That was bugging the shit out of me.
posted by grubi at 8:42 AM on May 28, 2010


grapefruitmoon: Stop calling him Esau, his name is Samuel.

"He shall be mine and I shall call him Squishy and he will be mine, and he will be MY Squishy!"
posted by WCityMike at 8:55 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The answer to all the questions is MAGIC ISLAND DONE IT.
posted by notmydesk at 9:01 AM on May 28, 2010


The non-answer to all the questions is MAGIC ISLAND DONE IT.
posted by grubi at 9:08 AM on May 28, 2010


The answer to all the questions is MAGIC ISLAND DONE IT.

Except that's just a guess, just like all of the other "answers" posited by people who are guessing what they think the "answers" might be.
posted by The World Famous at 9:09 AM on May 28, 2010


It's better to have stuff un-answered (although most everything I hoped would be wrapped up was, and rather neatly) than to have really really shit answers provided to mysteries that were, up until that point, rather cool. *cough* BSG! *cough*
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:21 AM on May 28, 2010


I'm fine with two simultaneous LOST threads if they're both about different things. If they're both about the same gripes people have about the show, then what's the point?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:02 AM on May 28, 2010


I'm fine with two simultaneous LOST threads if they're both about different things. If they're both about the same gripes people have about the show, then what's the point?

They're alternate realities of each other, caused by a differential split in Mathowie's source code. After this one times out, it will be revealed that this thread is really all in the mind of Cortex, as part of a nightmare in which he didn't nip this thread in the bud immediately after posting.
posted by norm at 10:08 AM on May 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Why does everything have to have a point? Can't you just enjoy the show thread for what it is?
posted by ODiV at 10:20 AM on May 28, 2010


Why does everything have to have a point?

You are aware "pointless" tends to be used as a pejorative for a reason, right?
posted by grubi at 10:42 AM on May 28, 2010


Instead of answering your simple and pertinent question, let me tell you a story while we walk through the jungle.
posted by ODiV at 10:50 AM on May 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


OH HELL NO. YOU TELL ME RIGHT NOW.

/me points gun at ODiV
posted by grubi at 10:51 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's ok, grubi. ODiV is just going to lead you in circles through the same little patch of jungle that you always walk through, just like every other time you have "walked through the jungle."
posted by The World Famous at 11:30 AM on May 28, 2010


I will point out one: Smokey killing the pilot because he was a possible leader? I call bullshit. The man was trapped in the cockpit while the passengers were banding together. And he never spoke to another person from the crash until *minutes* before he is killed. Smokey killed him for some other reason (I tend towards the "to cause chaos and frighten the shit out of people" explanation), and Smokey didn't really care about the leadership of the survivors until the final season, really.

Most likely, they didn't have a concept for exactly what the origin and motives of the smoke monster were at the time. But, given the things we learn later, it can be explained as just smokey lashing out (think about later, how he kills all the survivors of the Ajira crash in season 6 for no particular reason). The main characters weren't targets because they're candidates, and smokey can't kill candidates directly.
posted by gonna get a dog at 11:56 AM on May 28, 2010


In the original script, the smoke monster killed Jack.
posted by empath at 12:25 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


And I posit that the show would have been better for it.
posted by Night_owl at 12:33 PM on May 28, 2010


Oh, no.

Jack would have been played by Michael Keaton, and Kate would have been the leader.
posted by empath at 12:37 PM on May 28, 2010


I'm convinced ODiV is the Snark Monster.
posted by grubi at 1:08 PM on May 28, 2010


Most likely, they didn't have a concept for exactly what the origin and motives of the smoke monster were at the time.

starting out, the smoke monster wasn't really made of smoke, that i could tell. i don't think there necessarily has to be a reason he targeted the pilot; in the story it was the point where the danger of it became more real than scary sounds in the trees. (i do love that siren-blast kind of sound that goes with it.)

restarting season one this week, and it's neat revisiting it knowing the overall story; knowing where the mysteries fit in seems to shift my focus to a lot of the character stuff i might have overlooked before. i'm certainly more attached to them after going through the finale.

there are still little elements i find captivating. like the mechanical 'iteration' voice, and then on to the little dharma details that come on gradually later. (reminds me of little things like that in twin peaks, like when they play back the recording of the bird from the cabin, and it is saying "laura...laura...hurting me...hurting me...," which fucked my shit up for a week it was so creepy.)
posted by fallacy of the beard at 1:13 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm convinced ODiV is the Snark Monster.

Luckily, MeFi is often just a massive, neverending meeting of Snarkotics Anonymous.
posted by elizardbits at 1:22 PM on May 28, 2010


(reminds me of little things like that in twin peaks, like when they play back the recording of the bird from the cabin, and it is saying "laura...laura...hurting me...hurting me...," which fucked my shit up for a week it was so creepy.)

After seeing Fire Walk With Me, that scene is even creepier, IMO. Which is exactly why I'm excited to go back through LOST-- so many bits of Twin Peaks were better the 2nd time through (although, of course, some were much, much worse), and LOST was obviously a lot more thought-out than Twin Peaks.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:35 PM on May 28, 2010


restarting season one this week, and it's neat revisiting it knowing the overall story;

Please blog this somewhere. I'd like to know what people think of the earlier episodes knowing how it ends.
posted by empath at 2:19 PM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Luckily, MeFi is often just a massive, neverending meeting of Snarkotics Anonymous.

And me with a nearly complete lack of snarkahol.

Oh, look!
posted by grubi at 2:27 PM on May 28, 2010


i don't know that my re-viewing is a great measure, considering i didn't start watching lost (and luckily didn't know any of the story) until december 2009. rewatching it now, i wonder how my perspective would have been different following the story over a course of years, ruminating on each episode week to week and season to season.

the direction of the finale makes more sense in light of the first-season focus on characters, and i'm wondering how consistently i'll see that focus over the next seasons, or if, originally, it was my own oversight with being more captivated by the elements of mystery. but, for instance, jack's desire to take care of everybody i didn't seem to feel as strongly the first time around; there is one scene in which he has to take care of the dying u.s. marshal, and at the same time he wants to go with kate to try out the radio--he wants to do everything!--and then when he realizes he can't he kind of backs off, to the point where he is kind of re-recruited as leader. and also, i didn't feel as much the debate between him wanting to move to the caves and kate and others wanting to stay on the beach; i could understand it the first time around, but in new light it kind of makes sense how quickly, compared to the others, he wants to dig in for a longer haul, as opposed to holding out hope for rescue.

also, i think it's very early in the series that--supported by the tone of the finale--you see how the characters become intertwined and how each becomes to other a kind of key or found piece that they had lacked to get on with their lives--which makes me more interested in the degree to which jacob either influenced or recognized those issues (which he acknowledges clearly toward the end of season six) and how he selected the combination of them to complement each other in this respect.

anyway, so far it seems the story still holds something for me, even knowing what happens and what we will and will not come to know. but i'm generally a fan of rewatching stuff i connect with. i've been through twin peaks entirely maybe four times now
posted by fallacy of the beard at 3:06 PM on May 28, 2010


One of the writers has provided this explanation on the finale, which answered a lot of the lingering questions I still has. Well worth reading, trust me.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:17 PM on May 28, 2010


One of the writers...

that's actually the same content as the second link in the FPP.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:24 PM on May 28, 2010


(though, to be fair, that blogger in your link does not appropriately cite the source of the material but instead reformats it as if it were his own content, with the vague disclaimer that it was not written by him.)
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:39 PM on May 28, 2010


fascinating comment on that blog...
http://designwoop.com/2010/05/lost-finale-explained-well/#comment-26865
posted by gonna get a dog at 12:12 AM on May 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


In-between seasons 5 and 6 airing, I started to re-watch season 1. It was interesting to see how many themes were picked up again in the last season. It made me feel that although the details were clearly hashed out as they went along, the point and arc of the story had been well thought out.

I'll probably keep going with that re-watch, skipping a fair bit of season 2 (most of the flashbacks for the established characters, for sure) and pretty much all of the Temple scenes. I really feel like the beginning of season 6 was very poorly paced. If they'd cut some of the filler, maybe Sawyer's trip to Hydra island or Sun and Jin's reunion could have been given room to breathe.
posted by harriet vane at 4:26 AM on May 29, 2010


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