LOST Questions, or “I wish I weren’t overly analytical”

My desire today was to blog about something of some consequence.  However, I think that it will take a mental purging of my internal crankiness about LOST to even get me to the point where I can.

Let’s say, first of all, that I never believed that LOST would answer all of my questions.  I hoped, but I never believed.  Second, don’t fill up the comments here with the basics.  I get the basic timeline:

People’s lives intertwine

People get on plane

Plane crashes

Hijinks ensue

They ultimately all die

They go to purgatoryish place and reconnect

They go to LOST heaven led by Dad.

Third, I understand that this was mostly a show about personal redemption and relationships, so spare me the “you missed the point” comments.  All that said, the nerd in me needs some answers.  So, if you would like you may contribute answers here.  You can put them in a comment or you if you are also overly-analytical and verbose and put something long and interesting together, I will post it here as a blog post (email me at charlie @ cloften.com ).

In no particular order:

What didn’t Walt and Michael get included in LOST purgatory and heaven?  For heavens sake, Boone is there.  Boone?   A case could also be made for Anna Lucia.  She showed up in purgatory.  Maybe she has more work to do.  I could go on here.  I’d find a way to get Lapidus and Richard in as well.  Not crash survivors you say?  What about Desmond and Penny?  OK, I’m done.

Who made the island and for what purpose?  What is the gold light thing?  Aren’t the answers we need really the bigger picture metaphysical questions?  For real, right?  No? Just me?  Fine.

Who put the crazy lady who killed Jacob’s mom in charge?  Then who put them in charge all the way back to the creator, I guess.

With Locke/Smokie/Esau dead, would anything have happened (big picture) if the island had gone down?

Is anybody else wishing they would make a buddy comedy following the wacky antics of Hurly, Ben and Vincent as they try to figure out how to run the island and work together?  You know, Perfect Strangers meets Gilligans Island.

That’s enough for now.  Maybe no one is going to comment and I just got a good rant out.  If not, we could keep this convo going a while.

My guess is that 24 will end a little cleaner.  Jack will kill everyone.  We will be left to think Jack may be dead, but he will survive for the movie.


13 Responses to “LOST Questions, or “I wish I weren’t overly analytical””
  1. Alana Boles says:

    I think the island is a symbol of life and Jack’s time on the island is symbolic of one’s life; that he died at the end and went to a good place/heaven meant he succeeded in the “life.” What did you think about him being stabbed in his side? And then being a “sacrifice” for the island? Remind you of anyone? :)

    As for “24,” I think Jack needs to be killed. He is way out of control. I know he IS Jack Bauer, but still.

  2. Brett Harkey says:

    Michael wasn’t included because he is a trapped soul on the island as a result of his heinous act agains Anna Lucia. He and all of the other whispering souls…

    Walt wasn’t included because the actor hit puberty. Even Lindelof, Cuse and Abrams couldn’t do anything about that…

    Don’t know why Lapidus and Richard weren’t there. One idea. This afterlife/purgatory experience was JACK’S experience. These were the people who were important to Him. Not necessarily to the whole show or to the other people.

    As for the bigger meta-narrative (who made the island, why is it there, etc): if they told us all of that it would be akin to the end of a Scooby Doo episode (too simplistic, too closed). By not revealing all of those answers, they leave it mysterious and allow the mythology to persist. Most great literature does this and I think the producers very intentionally made this choice.

    Mother (crazy lady) was likely recruited by another “light protector” before her.

    Smokey is dead, but the island still needs to be protected and the light still preserved. Therefore, if the island sinks, it is implied that bad stuff happens throughout the world.

    By the way, Hurley is by far my favorite character. He’s like the skipper and Gilligan rolled into one.

  3. cloften says:

    Ok, so Michael is out, but Ben is really close? I’d put Paulo in before I’d let in Ben.

    Also, how do you go this entire season without one Mr. Eko reference or sighting?

    I could get drawn into the “these are the people important to Jack” deal. Boone is the counter-example to just about everything. Really? Boone? Also, I think you only put Shannon in because of the contrived love story with Sayid. She should go about as much as the dude who was the teacher at Ben’s school that blew himself up with dynamite a while back.

    As far as “Scooby-Doo” goes, if that’s what this is, fine. It’s the same reason I don’t get art museums and didn’t like the ending to No Country for Old Men. I just want them to apologize for all the “all your questions answered” promos. This mathematician/philosopher doesn’t appreciate that.

    The crazy lady sure was a bad appointment by somebody, but the bigger question is who was the first protector and established by whom.

    We were led to believe that Smokey had to be stopped. Once Smokey was done, there was never a case made that the island had any impact on the world.

    Furthermore, Jacob’s brother gets tossed into the light and comes out Smokey. Jack goes down there and literally, nothing happens to him. Mom said a fate worse than death would happen. It did happen to Smokey. Why nothing to Jack? Because he’s a light protector? If so, boo! Desmond was exempt we know, but come on now.

    Sawyer gets the slight nod over Hurley because of the best one-liners and nicknames in TV history.

  4. Jennifer Byrd says:

    I think your friend Brett makes some good points. I thought the people in the church were the passengers on the flight, but I was confused about why Desmond, Penny, and Juliet were there. I like that they are there because they are important to Jack. I also thought it was appropriate that Ben was outside the church, instead of inside.

    I’m not sure that there is a good explanation of why Shannon and Boone were there, other than the popularity of the characters and requests from fans.

    I thought the open-ended questions about the source of the light, the reason for the light, etc. were too much. I think that the idea that they had to turn the light off to kill fake Locke/Smokey was significant, but I wish we knew why turning it back on made everything okay again (or, like you pointed out, why it was necessary once fake Locke was dead).

    I just wanted to say I laughed at your Twitter feed, because I dreamed about the LOST finale, too. I think that’s what I get for watching it just before bedtime.

  5. Sammy Grimes says:

    The most I know about it is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-DShnvNNv0
    Otherwise I’ve never watched and don’t plan too.

  6. Elise says:

    I got the impression long ago that the actor who played Mr. Echo left the show disgruntled, so that’s probably why he wasn’t in the finale.

  7. Nardo the wretch says:

    I think other cast members weren’t at the church in the end b/c the time on the island wasn’t the most memorable/important moments of their life. They had other people, and moments in life that were more important to them. When they did take the trip to the afterlife it would have been with another group of people.

  8. Brett Harkey says:

    Great points, Charlie. Honestly, I think we could wonder all day about why one person was in the church and why another one wasn’t. In the end, I’m not really sure we’ll ever know. A nod to providence, perhaps?

    As for the “all your questions answered” promos, the producers actually talked about that in one of the podcasts. Essentially, they have very little control over what ABC decides to do with those promos. ABC was just trying to hype up the show so more people would watch. The producers in their podcast were essentially saying that there were many questions that would never be answered. (And for what it’s worth, I loved No Country For Old Men – especially the book, but the movie too – haha).

    I think personally that the crazy lady might have gone crazy because she had been there for so long (hence the “thank you” when MIB killed her). She might have been a good appointment at one time. And crazy lady told Jacob and MIB when they were kids that the light needed to be protected from people who would come to the island. Smokey didn’t even exist at that point yet. So after Smokey was gone, the island/light still needed to be protected. Why? Not sure about that one. Mother just said that “If the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere” (implication: that’s a bad thing).

    I love Sawyer too. There are definitely days that I could vote him in as #1. Wish they would have kept up his snarky one liners near the end, but they seemed to diminish.

  9. Keith Warford says:

    Brett & I are almost in thought locke-step… I’m almost completely satisfied with how it all went down. There were never going to explain “why is the island and it’s power”, which I think too many expected (ditto my frustration with Matrix complainers). Lindelof & Cruse said they would not explain away all the mysteries long ago, because it makes it lame, like Lucas explaining away The Force (Midi-chlorians).

    All that said, I do have a little gripe about this season’s ‘flash-sideways’ (which they’re not really, more like flash forwards). Basically, it boils down to a distraction. It had no impact on their lives on the island… That could have been done with any show or group of characters anywhere. AND, it will really be a pain to ever enjoy those episodes in repeat viewing because all those flash-sideways scenes are in essence like dream sequences in the future. Plus, in the end, they seemed to confuse those who weren’t paying enough attention, thinking too hard, or not hard enough, because I was reading comments like, “great, they were all dead!” – NO… In the future they are… we all are. DUH!!! BUT, this season’s ‘flashes’ did prove to be a great twist… I had them pegged as another dimension – alternate reality.

    My other complaint is with the multi-religion stained glass in the final Jack-Christian scene… Not necessary. We know they weren’t going to endorse one religion alone, but no need to patronize them all, thus risking offense to them all. Put a sour note on the ending for me.

  10. Lafe says:

    First, you don’t know me. My name is Lafe. I used to go to the Grove a few years back and I follow Brett’s twitter. That’s how I found your blog entry.

    I think the thing that you have to remember about why this character wasn’t in the episode or why this character was in the episode is that television shows aren’t created in a vacuum. Of course things have to be changed during the middle of the entire series. The actor that played Walt became a young man instead of a child. The actor that played Mr. Eko was evidently the one person in the world that really, really hates Hawaii.

    As for getting answers to questions we have had, it’s exactly like in life. We rarely get answers we are looking for in life, why should a television show be any different? We have to search, dig and ascertain our way little by little. This answer begets this question which begets these answers. This keeps repeating exponentially until the final episode, and really you could say the entire final season, there were just too many questions and not enough answers. So we have to figure it out for ourselves.

    Lost would not be nearly as satisfying or sustainable if we were given the answers. As an Ole Miss man, I feel it is my obligation to invoke William Faulkner’s storytelling. You take maybe his most famous short story, “A Rose For Emily” and see how leaving things in the subtext for the reader makes it much a more poignant passage. Sure, Faulkner could have said “Emily killer her boyfriend and slept next to his dead body for the rest of her life.” It gets the point across, but that sounds like something weird from CSI. It is creepy, sure, but it can be easily diminished and soon forgotten. Instead Faulkner wrote:

    Then we noticed that in the second pillow was the indentation of a head. One of us lifted something from it, and leaning forward, that faint and invisible dust dry and acrid in the nostrils, we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair.

    Faulkner didn’t come out and say exactly what happened. Instead he evokes the reader’s mind go to a place that is not comfortable and not safe. And in that place, the reader’s mind becomes truly haunted by the words. And they are unforgettable.

    Same thing goes with Lost, if we knew that Ben went into the church with everyone else it would ruin his character. Ben has been so unbelievably manipulative and uneasy for the past few seasons. He was maniacal and ruthless, and now we want to see him go in the church? I didn’t want to see that. What I wanted to see him do, he did. He apologized to Locke. And Locke forgave him. That’s all that mattered. If Ben walked in the church, it would have been a complete cop out. Enough people found redemption on the island, we still needed some characters looking for that same redemption. Ben obviously made huge strides in his redemption story, but if we saw him skip into the church arm in arm with Hurley, it would have rang false to every viewer that invest hours and hours into the show.

  11. Carolyn Loften says:

    I agree with Keith – the stained glass window wasn’t necessary. Much too PC for me.

  12. Scott Fitzgerald says:

    This final season has proven one thing: With 6 months, no direction, too many questions, and a push towards moral relativity, LOST became DUMB. Period. The window at the end said it all: Let’s put three of the world’s major religions that are out to convert followers, one of which wholly promotes martyrdom and hates the Judeo_Christian tradition, Christ Followers who embrace absolute truth, and let’s make one big happy hodge podge where they atone for their sins, and then they find each other through the darma process again. YAY! Not yay. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb. LOST is now the COEXIST bumber sticker of Television.

  13. Hi Charlie,
    I share your disappointment. I have the same and many more open questions, and I feel cheated. It took me a while to even want to write about it. I eventually did: http://bit.ly/aWHKJu I still love the show and the characters, but it was definitely missing a clear outline and the big “ahh” and “wow” at the end.
    And I agree too–24 is a different league. As we know now, after the 24 finale, Jack Bauer didn’t kill everyone, as you predicted, but it was a reliably great ending.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!