Ha ha, I’m clever. To get you ready for the final two seasons of Lost, here are some of the questions setting my brain afire. I’m guessing season 5 will answer few of these and pose a whole mess of new ones before season 6’s Answer-a-Thon Extravaganza, but I’ll be sure to enjoy the ride this year nonetheless.
last updated 9/7/10 9:55pm
1) What is the black smoke?
From the moment our castaways heard those dinosaur/dump-truck roars emanating from whatever was crashing through the jungle, we knew something wasn’t quite right about this island. Pretty much the first “mystery” presented to the audience, Ole’ Smokey has kept our minds working overtime to try and figure out just what its purpose and origins are. A security system meant to protect the Island? The non-fictional source of the mythological 3-headed dog named Cerberus? A physical manifestation of Jacob? Nanobot swarm gone bad? Whatever the answer ends up being, it’s been fun watching Smokezilla wreak havoc.
Answer (2/2/10): The Black Smoke Monster is none other than Esau/The Man in Black. Who or what Esau actually is at still up in the air, so until we see his origins, this question still stands.
Answer #2 (5/11/10): Esau turned into Smokezilla after being thrown down the Waterfall of Light somewhere on the Island. We still need an explanation of what he is (don’t hold your breath), but it appears that golden light went out after he went down there. So he may somehow be carrying that light around with him.
2) What is the Island?
Perhaps the one, catch-all question to answer all questions. The flow of time, the “electromagnetic” anomalies, the four-toed statue, the hieroglyphics, the frozen donkey wheel; the list goes on and on. Why did Hurley and Sayid hear Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” (circa 1939) coming from the radio they repaired in season 2? Why are the Hostiles/Others so bent on protecting the place at any cost? Why did the Dharma Initiative settle there? Why is Widmore so desperate to wrest control of it away from Ben?
Answer (5/11/10): If we are to believe “Mother,” the Island serves as “the source of the ‘warmest, brightest light you’ve ever seen or felt’ at the base of the waterfall, it seems that light is responsible for life itself, as it lay within every man, woman and child living.” Extinguish the light and all life ceases to exist?
3) How old is Richard Alpert and just who or what the heck is he?
Starting off as just another Other, albeit a prominently-featured one, Alpert’s turned into one of the show’s most enigmatic characters. We’ve seen him appear in different decades apparently immune from old age; the only difference in his appearance some shaggy hair when Ben first meets him. And why isn’t he leading the Others? Why did he seek out Locke as a boy? Why did he choose Ben to lead them?
Perhaps it’s not up to him…
Answer (2/2/10): Based on Esau/Evil Locke’s comments in the season 6 premiere (intimating Richard was once in chains), Richard came to the Island on-board the Black Rock as a slave. Jacob undoubtedly tapped him to be a disciple-of-sorts, in the process granting him eternal life.
Answer #2 (3/23/10): Richard’s about 140 years old and we confirm Richard, nee Ricardo, came to the Island as a slave via the Black Rock. Jacob did indeed grant him eternal life in exchange for serving as the man in white’s tool to convince others of his benevolent nature and the benefits of doing good by their fellow man. Sort of.
4) Who is Jacob?
A man? An ideal? A fictional bogeyman meant to keep Others scared under their covers at night? Does he pre-date the Island? Is he the corporeal avatar of the Island’s “conciousness?” Is he nothing more than a penniless hobo hopping trains from place to place, in search of moonshine and cans of baked beans? (Yes, I’m surmising that Jacob will be portrayed by none other than Willie Nelson.)
Answer (5/13/09): We finally meet Jacob and his “friend,” Esau in the season 5 finale. The enigmatic man appears to have some level of omnipotence, and exerts influence on our castaways at certain points in history. Additionally, Jacob seems to be locked in a struggle for control of the Island (or perhaps humanity’s salvation) with Esau.
Answer #2 (5/11/10): Jacob and Esau were born to Claudia, who shipwrecked on the Island with the rest of her Roman crew. Shortly after giving birth, Claudia was killed by “Mother,” who eventually bestowed Jacob with the mantle of Island protector vis a vis a fine vintage of wine.
5) What do the Numbers mean?
This has pretty much been answered, albeit not in a very satisfying way on the show itself. Rather, it was revealed via one of the offseason hiatuses that the Numbers are “the core numerical values of the Valenzetti Equation,” which predict the point of human extinction. Alright, that’s fine, but why do they keep popping up everywhere?
Answer (8/24/10): We’ll just have to settle for the answer the Lost Experience gave us in the Valenzetti Equation.
6) Who are Adam & Eve?
Remember them from waaaay back in season one? The two skeletons lying together in the Caves carried a bag containing a white and black stone.
Locke later appeared in Claire’s dream with the stones for his eyes.
I have a feeling we may never get the answer to this until one of the final episodes of the series, with a flashback to the very origins of the Island.
Answer (5/11/10): Adam = Esau. Eve = Mother.
7) How does the Hanso family tie in to the Island?
We know Magnus Hanso wrecked his ship, the Black Rock, on the Island in 1881, but was he really transporting slaves to Sri Lanka? Or was he, too, searching for the Island? Why was Charles Widmore so intent on getting the Black Rock first mate’s journal at auction? Did Hanso survive the shipwreck and manage to get off the Island? (I’d imagine so, since Alvar Hanso started his foundation generations later.)
Answer (3/23/10): Well, Magnus Hanso did not survive, if we are to believe the dastardly first mate that killed all the slaves but one after the shipwreck. It’s hard to say whether or not Alvar Hanso will figure again on the show — we may have seen the last of the Hansos.
Answer #2 (9/7/10): An entry from the Black rock first mate’s journal from the complete series box set:
December 19? – I awoke paralyzed by fear. Amidst the sounds of the night, there was something else. Though faint it sounded like the whispering of voices seemingly all around me. Then a scream froze in my throat – In the doorway to my cabin stood a shape –
It was Captain Hanso. Pale and fearful as if he’d seen the devil himself. I provided him a whiskey with h opes of putting him back in bed should any crewmember see him in this state, but the poor man seemed beyond calming. His mind was beset by conspiracies involving a man he called “Jacob” who Hanso believed commissioned this very expedition with the intention of bringing us to this maddening place.
Once Hanso was back in his quarters, I immediately reviewed the shipping receipts, but found no mention of any “Jacob”
If anyone is to get us out of this, it will not be that fool.
December 22? – Our lookout claims he has spotted two men on the shore of the island at the foot of the statue that has the crew so concerned. Another hallucination, no doubt. The wind freshened considerably… it appears a storm is imminent.
God save us all.
8) Who is Charles Widmore?
During the confrontation between Ben and Widmore in the latter’s London apartment, Charles tells Ben everything he has was stolen from him. Was Widmore the “leader” Ben replaced (who has since been replaced by Locke)?
Answer (4/8/09): Widmore was indeed the leader of the Others/Hostiles prior to Ben’s manipulating him out of it; Charles being led off the Island at gunpoint. Widmore was on the Island at a young age, having been “chosen” by the Island and/or Richard Alpert to lead them.
9) How did Rousseau’s crew die?
Rousseau, perhaps a few nickels short of a dollar, described the crew of her research ship dying of a mysterious “sickness” shortly after wrecking on the Island. Is she telling the truth? Did she kill them? She, like Claire, gave birth to a baby on the Island, something the Others aren’t able to do.
Answer (2/11/09): They were infected/possessed/killed by Smokezilla. Either that or Rousseau went batshit and killed them.
10) What’s the deal with the Dharma Initiative?
Why are they on the island? To make the world a better place? Something more sinister? If the Others/Hostiles really are “the good guys,” as Ben claims, perhaps so.
Answer (8/24/10): Started by the DeGroots, the Dharma Initiative’s original aims centered on bettering humanity vis a vis various scientific pursuits on and off the Island. That evolved (or perhaps devolved is a better word choice) into experiments of a more exploitative nature that put them at odds with the Island’s hostile, indigenous population.