Sunday, January 31, 2010

Minor Mysteries

Two more days until LOST returns! Woo hoo! What are y'all doing to celebrate? I think I'm going to try to come home a bit early and make tacos for the show, provided the little LOST fan of the house cooperates (OK, she's never actually seen an episode and she wouldn't have the cognitive ability to even process anything that weird, glowing box produces until she's around two. But somehow I can sense this is a show she's going to love to eventually watch with her daddy). :)

There's preview footage of the first episode out there, but I'm staying as far away from it as possible; I want nothing to ruin my enjoyment of the season opener. Cold viewing, that's the way to go for something as special as this.

But in anticipation of the final season, I wanted to go over some minor LOST mysteries that I don't know if we'll ever get answers to - these are things that may not really be important to the overall plot of the show and may very well fall by the wayside when the finale fades to black and the final drum sounds. We know we'll find out certain things:

1) What is the Smoke Monster?
2) Who are Jacob and his Nemesis?
3) What is the Island, really?
4) Why do pregnant women who concieved on the Island die?
5) Who are Adam and Eve?

These are either core concepts to the central mystery of the show or, in the case of Adam and Eve, they're something Darlton said they put in the first season specifically to show everyone they weren't making it up as they went along.

But what about all the little nagging things we still haven't gotten answers to yet? Some things will certainly be addressed in the final season, but there's a lot of stuff on LOST that we could never find an answer to, yet wouldn't detract from the overall ending of the show. With that in mind, I'd like to present two lists: Five minor mysteries that I think will be addressed this season and five that I'd like an answer to, but I think might fall by the wayside. Part I is here and Part II will be posted tomorrow.

Five Minor Mysteries We'll Get Answers For This Season

1) Claire and Aaron

First presented in: Episode 1.10, Raised by Another

Big Question: Why must Claire raise Aaron alone?
Underlying Questions: Who exactly was Richard Malkin working for?

Claire and Aaron? A minor mystery? Well, yeah, given how the last couple seasons have gone - right now it certainly seems like Claire is dead and Aaron's not even on the Island. Quite a few of the early season storylines have kind of run their course in a rather unfulfilling manner, which makes me wonder whether we'll ever get a full payoff from them.

The episode that really got me hooked on LOST was "Raised by Another," which was the first real episode that suggested the people of Flight 815 might have been on that plane for a reason. Yeah, Locke was already in full Shaman mode by then, but at that point I had simply dismissed his certainty as a by-product of him getting healed. We knew the Island was special at that point, but we really didn't know that the survivors were special.

What we do know by now is that Richard Malkin was hired by someone to put Claire and Aaron on that plane. Now his "Claire raising Aaron alone" remark could have simply been a cunning ruse on Malkin's part to make sure Claire was on the plane. But that really doesn't jive with my spider senses, especially since we now know Kate raised Aaron for three years and didn't bring him back to the Island. Will there be consequences of that? Is Aaron really special? Does he have a destiny on the Island? All these questions should be answered by the end of the season.

But I do hope the writers address the Malkin subplot. Was he really hired by a time-traveling Lostie to make sure Claire got on the plane? Was there really a family waiting for Claire in L.A.? Was it Christian Shepherd's wife (Aaron's grandmother) and was Malkin hired by Christian before he died?

2) The Whispers

First presented in: Episode 1.09, Solitary

Big Question: What are the Whispers?
Underlying Questions: Are they coming from The Temple?

The Whispers have always been one of the biggest teases of the show, given the writers have put so much detail in the vague hidden dialogue they contain. For the longest time, I thought the Whispers were of DHARMA origin, given the mention of a remote viewing station on the blast door map. But now it seems evident that the Whispers are not only native to the Island, but seem to have some connection with the way certain Others appear and disappear out of nowhere (like Harper in "The Other Woman"). Ben also reinforces this when he steals baby Alex from Danielle, telling her:
"If you want your child to live, every time you hear whispers, you run the other way."
So if the Whispers are of Other origin, where are they originating from? Seems to me it has to be the Temple - only major Other place we haven't seen inside of yet. And we're certainly going to see inside the Temple this season, so we should get the answer to this too.

3) Walt's Importance

First presented in: Episode 1.14, Special

Big Question: What did the Others need Walt for?
Underlying Questions: What did they need him to do? Was it to work the "Magic Box?" Is it because he was an innocent child at the time, a "good person?" Were Zack, Cindy and Emma good people too?

Walt was arguably the biggest mystery of the first two seasons, but he's basically been reduced to visions and cameos since the end of Season 3 and doesn't really seem to factor into the LOST endgame given he's off Island as well. We know he has some sort of mental powers, including telepathy and telekinesis. But what did the Others really want him for? We know DHARMA was interested in psychic powers too - do they help control the inherent energies on the Island? Do they help control whatever makes the Magic Box work? Walt, to me, is tied inherently to the question of what is the Island - once we learn how the Island works, we should find out what they wanted him for.

But is Walt's usefulness also tied into the fact he's a child? The Others made lists, purportedly from Jacob, of good people. Zack and Emma were also taken as well, presumably because they were innocents. Would Walt have not been as useful to the Others if he was an adult? I'd love to see an on-Island flashback of Walt's time with the Others.

4) The Black Rock

First presented in: Episode 1.23, Exodus, Part I

Big Question: How did a pirate ship get to the middle of the Island?
Underlying Questions: What happened to the crew? What happened to Magnus Hanso?

There really isn't much we don't know about the Black Rock since the ARGs filled in a lot of its history (and last year's finale may have shown us its arrival on the Island). It would, however, be nice to see how the heck it ended up in the middle of the Island - was it dragged there by the crew or transported there by something in the Temple? Did Jacob or his Nemesis put it there?

My original theory was that the Island itself transported appeared under it suddenly, landlocking it in the Dark Territory, which would be so much cooler than some of the more mundane and simpler ideas. Don't know why not knowing this would bother me so much - maybe it's because the first time we see the ship in the first season it's just so darn cool. But because it's cool, we have to see that ship at least one more time before the end of the show.

5) The Supply Drops

First presented in: Episode 2.17, Lockdown

Big Question: Who's sending them?
Underlying Questions: Why are they still being sent? Didn't the Others notice them before?

Again a niggling question that just seems too big to be ignored. The DHARMA supply drops were still being continued some 20+ years after the Purge. Why? The obvious answer is that some remnant of DHARMA (like perhaps Ilana and Bram maybe) still exist in the outside world and they wanted to make sure that if anyone was still there pushing the button that they didn't run out of food. Of course, if DHARMA could get a plane of supplies onto the Island, why couldn't they send in another team? Just doesn't sit right with me there.

Furthermore, why didn't the Others ever notice these drops? They certainly must have noticed the plane flying overhead, right? This is one of those small things that it seems we'll likely get a throwaway line on - if we do catch up with DHARMA post-Incident as I imagine we will, someone is going to mention how they have to keep the Swan stocked at all costs so someone can push the button. C'mon guys, one line is all I'm asking for here. :)

So there we have five nagging mysteries I think we'll get the lowdown on this season. Tomorrow I'll post the five that I think will fall by the wayside instead. Then Tuesday is here! :)

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