It was bound to happen sooner or later. I’ve been a “Lost” fan since the beginning and have been waiting for just the right time to devote this column to the show. I questioned doing this at first, thinking I would alienate too many readers on campus, but it seems like every day I meet a fellow “Lost” fan. Then there’s the fact that I honestly don’t care if I alienate you. If you don’t like “Lost,” keep moving. This column is for the devoted followers who have taken the time to get lost in this captivating world of mysteries.
I bring up mysteries, because that’s what I want to discuss in this column. Going into the final season, the one thing on everybody’s mind was, “Are the show’s producers going to answer all our questions by the time the series finale cuts to black with that ominous tone?”
SPOILER ALERT. Three episodes in, I would say the sixth season has brought us more questions than answers. This leaves us with 15 episodes left and many questions still to be answered. At this point, I’ve come to the resolution that the producers won’t answer every question. There’s always those minute details, like the Adam and Eve skeletons in season one, that may go unanswered much to the dismay of diehard “Lost” fans — I’m still holding out that they are Bernard and Rose. However, there are questions that must be answered for a satisfying finish to the show’s six-year run. What are these questions exactly? Let me break it down for you.
Jacob vs. the Man in Black
The most recent episode, “The Substitute,” started the groundwork for finally understanding the relationship between these two. We now know that the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 were brought to the island as candidates chosen by Jacob as protectors. While this only explains why six of the survivors are on the island, it’s a start.
Now it wasn’t explicitly stated, but I hold that by killing Jacob, the Man in Black has been forced to take on the role of the island’s protector and to do so in the body of Locke. He clearly doesn’t want this position — he has said from the beginning his only desire is to get off the island — so he is recruiting. While first inclination would say he is recruiting for someone else to be protector, his conversation with Sawyer in the cave makes it seem like he would rather play on the survivors’ desire to go home to have them help him get off the island.
Clearly there’s some kind of good vs. evil battle going on between these two. If their intentions weren’t enough of a clue, there are the black and white rocks on the scale and in their scene together on the beach, Jacob wore white and the Man was in black. Then there’s Locke’s foreshadowing soliloquy with the black and white backgammon pieces in season one and the black and white stones found on the Adam and Eve skeletons.
Regardless, there’s still a lot that needs to be fleshed out about this conflicted relationship, including their origins, their exact intentions and how these coincide with the island’s mysteries.
Jacob likes numbers. That’s the reasoning fake Locke gave Sawyer in “The Substitute” for each name scrawled on the cave walls including a number. Now, it doesn’t take a “Lost” genius to realize the numbers corresponding to Jacob’s six candidates are the infamous 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 of “Lost” lore.
To this point we know that the “cursed” numbers were used by Hurley to win the lottery, inscribed on the hatch, entered into the hatch computer and part of the Valenzetti Equation, which predicts the end of humanity.
Going back to the numbers and names Jacob wrote on the cave walls, you’ll notice the first number, four, went with Locke who was also the first of the six candidates to die. Is this a coincidence? Probably, because eight is Hurley and I don’t see him dying anytime soon. At any rate, I guarantee these numbers are more than just a random fancy of Jacob’s.
This is the term ABC has given the alternate timeline that now exists because of the Jughead explosion. In this world, the island is underwater/never existed, Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed and Benjamin Linus teaches European History. What the ultimate purpose of this alternate timeline is, I have no idea.
I do know that, at this point, I have a hard time investing in the flash sideways stories, because while they are interesting, I don’t yet know their purpose. I originally held that they were a way of showing that the survivors’ lives would have been worse had they never gone to the island — Charlie is arrested for drugs, Kate is a convict, Sawyer never meets Juliet, etc. — but this changed after seeing Locke and Hurley better off in last week’s episode. So now I don’t know what to think. I just know this question needs to be answered.
The man who never ages…
Since his inception in season three, Richard Alpert has been one of the show’s most enigmatic characters. The greatest of these mysteries is why he never ages, but his origins, his role on the island and his various relationships with Ben, Jacob and the Man in Black are still up in the air.
Going off fake Locke’s comment about seeing him out of chains, I wouldn’t be surprised if Richard came to the island as a slave on The Black Rock. While that would answer one question, it’s only a start to the mystery that is Richard Alpert.
No, I don’t mean the mysterious group of people on the island who roam around the Temple and the four-toed foot of Taweret, the Egyptian goddess of childbirth and fertility — though I do want to know the mystery behind the Temple and the Egyptian references on the island, especially whether the collapse of the statue has something to do with the island’s pregnancy problems.
Who I’m talking about is characters like Walt, Libby and Charles Widmore. I want to know why Walt is special, what happened to him in room 23 and why does he keep appearing dripping wet to the survivors on the island? Also, why was Libby in the psychiatric ward with Hurley? Are we ever going to see her again?
Then there’s Widmore. We know he used to live on the island until Ben exiled him for an off-island relationship that resulted in a child, who we can safely assume is Penny. From there, the man is a mystery. Is he good or evil? He helped Locke in his quest to get the Oceanic Six back, but until that point he wasn’t exactly friendly. Why does he want to get back to the island? Is it simply to return home? Is it to enact revenge on Ben? Or does it have to do with the mysterious “war” of his? Whatever it is, let’s hope this man doesn’t remain shrouded in mystery.
Tony Lewis is a senior majoring in journalism and legal studies. Have your own questions or disagree with his theories? Let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org.