Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly, plus special guest Jeff Jensen
Washington Post "Lost" bloggers and Entertainment Weekly's "Lost" columnist
Wednesday, January 13, 2010; 2:00 PM
Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney at their new time, each Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, to talk about "Lost." In addition to discussing the looming final season, the "Lost" ladies will focus every chat during the month of January on highlights from the series's run.
This week, readers are encouraged to chat about their favorite science-fiction (read: geeky) moments from the show's history, the scenes that made you pause and, not unlike Hurley, say: "Dude. Whoa." Joining Liz and Jen for the discussion is very special guest Jeff Jensen, senior writer and "Lost" columnist for Entertainment Weekly. As his "Lost"-analyzing alter ego, Doc Jensen, Jeff has made Liz's and Jen's heads explode (in a good way) on more than one occasion and he will undoubtedly do it again during this discussion. In addition to great sci-fi moments in "Lost" history, the trio will take questions about the upcoming season as well as ABC's apparent desire to keep milking the "Lost" franchise for all McPatchy's cows are worth.
Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006. When not debating the merits of Sawyer's hotness, Liz Kelly writes the Celebritology blog and Jen Chaney acts as movies editrix and DVD columnist for washingtonpost.com. For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit washingtonpost.com's Lost Central.
Jen Chaney: Well, we're getting down to it now, aren't we? The season premiere of the final "Lost" is (ack!) now less than three weeks away.
We're going to be talking about some of our favorite sci-fi-ish moments during today's chat but we also welcome questions/comments about breaking "Lost" news, including yesterday's news from the TCA press tour that both Michael and Libby (yay!) will definitely be back for at least some of this season. (We can see from your questions that you're already a *little* excited about this.)
Speaking of excited, we're pretty thrilled ourselves to welcome the one, the only, Doc Jensen to today's discussion, the brains behind the "Lost" analysis over at Entertainment Weekly. Welcome, Jeff!
Liz Kelly: Speaking of Jeffs, also make sure to watch our quick video interview with Jeff Fahey (aka Frank Lapidus):
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Jeff Jensen: Thanks for having me! Always a pleasure to chat up Lost in your company. Let's roll!
Macon County ,TN: Anybody else STILL get confused when Jack refers to Charlie? (b/c of Matthew Fox's character on Party of Five)
Jeff Jensen: As Jack is so often told on the show: "Let it go."
Jen Chaney: Actually, I had this problem for a brief period when season one initially aired.
I got over it pretty quickly, but I'm glad to know someone else had the same ludicrous issue.
Thank God Vincent was named Vincent and not Thurber. That REALLY would have screwed me up.
Libby!!: I am SO glad they have brought back the actress who played Libby for the final season. I -might- be able to live not knowing how Walt's storyline resolves, but Libby would be burning in my brain forever.
Jeff Jensen: I've never really understood the Cult of Libby. Maybe it's because of that reveal at the end of "Dave," that she was in the mental institution with Hurley--clearly that left a mark. But beyond that ep, the Desmond/boat scene, and the Hurley washer-dryer scene, she did little to impress herself on the narrative. All to say, for me, she's one loose end that could have been left to dangle. But cool she's coming back.
Jen Chaney: For me, the mental institution thing -- and a lot of the knowing facial expressions she makes throughout season two -- always gave me the impression that she was connected to the island or Widmore or ... or ... or something by God! And that's why I was and am intrigued to figure out what her deal is.
Who the heck just shows up at a coffee shop and offers to loan a dude a boat, even if he is a hot Scotsman? Something's fishy there.
St. Somewhere Else: Libby's coming back, Libby's coming back! Thoughts ladies?
Liz Kelly: I'm as excited as the next Libby-loving fan, but considering that LindeCuse has said Libby's story is one that may not be resolved, I wouldn't expect too much. I'm thinking we may see her do something closer to her season 4 cameo.
John Locke: I predict that I am dead.
Liz Kelly: Well, as Ben said -- dead is dead, so you may be on to something.
Jen Chaney: I predict you are dead, but also -- in some weird physical form that I still don't get -- also alive. You know, just to cover myself.
Jeff Jensen: I predict your are a deluded fool who has rarely been correct about your own fate. So I'm thinking you're wrong.
Sayid on NBC: Naveen Andrews is guest starring in tonite's Law & Order SVU.
Liz Kelly: Well, I guess he's finally arrived. Will he be playing an ex-Republican Guard bad ass?
Ohio: I just rewatched 'Meet Kevin Johnson' and had forgotten about Michael's inability to kill himself. What does that tell us about dead Losties potentially being alive this season? Kind of conflicts with/sort of the opposite of the dead is dead theory, no?
Jeff Jensen: This is a very good question. I think if you thought about it, you'd get an answer. And you'd probably be right.
Liz Kelly: Wow, Jeff's almost as good at the evasive answer as a cast member.
Actually, I was thinking about that yesterday when Jen and I were interviewing Lapidus -- I wonder if the cast members go through training in how to answer a question without answering a question... because, really, they've got it down to a science.
Jen Chaney: I am not sure I entirely believe the "dead is dead" concept anyway. But in Michael's case, the issue is the inability to off yourself. So I don't see thatt as a conflict with the dead is dead theory since it's not as though Michael was dead but not really at the point when he tried to shoot himself, if that makes sense.
So, in summary, this three-pronged answer has been evasive, off-topic and confusing. Thanks for playing!
Dallas TX: Best SF moment: Ben turning the frozen donkey wheel, followed by the first mind-boggling timeflash and then by the Island "vanishing."
That really moved my island.
Liz Kelly: That was a pretty big moment in geekery.
I want to add one of my least favorite sci-fi moments (and then I'll step out of the way to avoid being pummeled by Jen and Jeff): The moment Ben goes under the temple to meet the smoke monster -- you know when smokey surrounds him in a "Wizard of Oz" montage with clips of Alex surfacing through the clouds. A little hokey, but what do I know?
Jen Chaney: We're not going to pummel you. It was definitely very Wizard of Oz-y, I agree.
I think my favorite sci-fi moment/episode -- and the one that really started to take the show more definitively in that realm, in my view -- was the "Numbers" episode. All the business about Hurley winning the lottery and those numbers resurfacing in various ways was the moment when I was like, "Okay, I need to start spending a lot of time looking up stupid 'Lost' crap on the Internet."
Which, really, is what great science-fiction is all about!
Scranton, PA.: Kate and Sawyer are destined to be together. In the end we will discover they are the Adam and Eve skeletons discovered in Season 1. Can't wait to find out. P.S. Thank you Obama.
Jeff Jensen: Wow! The president is a SawKat!
Roger Linus: Hey, seriously, way to post casting spoilers. :(
Liz Kelly: Sorry Uncle Rico, but the Libby/Michael news is everywhere, so it would be difficult for us to talk about the upcoming season without it coming up here.
Vienna, Va.: Favorite sci-fi moment was the beginning of the second season when there was the entire start up of the episode from Desmond's point of view in the Swan. You thought it was a flashback, and then all of a sudden, he has to dash in to input the numbers and then you realized that this person is in a very strange situation and then on the island. Very sci fi - seemed like such a normal morning ritual, until suddenly it wasn't.
Jeff Jensen: Probably my fave season premiere after the pilot. That sweep of three episodes to launch the season was the Big Bang of my own theorizing. The Hatch clues, the orientation film, the Locke/Jack conflict, the lit references--mindblown.
Liz Kelly: That was a great episode -- for many reasons, another being that it was our first introduction to Geronimo Jackson.
Another favorite sci-fi moment for me was our first peek at the blast door map. It was one of the first indications that our characters had stumbled into a truly mind-bending riddle. Plus it was just neato.
Jen Chaney: Yeah, season two was the season when "Lost" turned into a non-stop Easter egg hunt. Started a bit in season one, but in the second, the hose was turned on full blast.
Kush Columbus GA: Favorite characters/romance other than the square?
Liz Kelly: We might have to save this for another chance.
Is there "Lost" fan romance fiction? If not, Jen and I may need to launch a cottage industry.
Jen Chaney: I can totally see us writing a bodice ripper with Sawyer's head on a Fabio body. It shall be called: "My Love, My LaFleur."
This is a tough question. For me it's a tie between Jin/Sun and Desmond/Penny. (I also want to cast an honorable mention vote for Locke/Helen.)
Jeff Jensen: A couple years ago, I would have said Des/Pen. Last year, I became convinced that Sawyer and Kate should be together... but then Sawyer and Juliet changed my mind. But you know, the Lost "Last Supper" promos have totally reminded me that the romance that means the most to the show--and me--has been the one that's been there from the beginning: Jin and Sun.
rosslyn: What happened to Vincent? Do we know and I can't remember?
Liz Kelly: You must have missed the episode in which Vincent was transported to the Island of Dr. Moreau and refitted with human legs.
Okay, I kid. I believe when we last saw Vincent he was happily ensconced with Rose and Bernard at their jungle bungalow.
Woodbridge, Va.: My favorite moment is not really a science fiction moment, but it was great none the less. The reveal in the season 4 finale that it was John Locke in the coffin was the biggest shocker to me. The reveal left me reeling for a few days after the show.
Jeff Jensen: I was initially bummed that they waited the whole season to get back to the coffin--but when they did, and they revealed who was inside: Worth the wait.
Theresa Spencer: Why can't I get into Jeremy Davies' LU class? Does he hate me?
Jen Chaney: Yes. Yes, he does.
Actually, your note reminded me that I still have to take my last Lost U. class on philosophy. Once I pass, I can sign up for second semester courses, although it sounds like Davies's class will be full again.
Dang it! His class is so popular. Must be the live mice that draws 'em in.
Predictions!: What is the most amazing thing in the last five seasons that any of you were actually able to see coming? AKA, has all of our pontificating actually resulted in something?
Jeff Jensen: No.
Auckland, New Zealand: If I may please move the island, we've all our lists mysteries that season 6 may or may not bury but can we please look at some of our favorite resolutions? It's a giving hope thing.
Season 5 was a stunner for this: How were they to return to the island? How did they all end up on the plane? How did Ben end up an Other? How did Locke die? All great set-ups and solutions while still leaving us with that "Lost" feeling.
Looking forward (and back (and (er) through)) to season 6 and your chats.
Jeff Jensen: Tim, I like your positivity. Personally, I really enjoyed how in Season 2, they cultivated all this intrigue about The Button: Does it REALLY do something or not? I enjoyed that build up--and I really liked the payoff. "Ooops." And even though Season 3 was much maligned, those last 6-7 episodes were dynamite, the way the Desmond/Charlie storyline paralleled the Ben-beach invasion-plot and how both came together for that awesome Through The Looking Glass finale. I am now reminded: Lost really knows how to build and payoff during a season. Gives me great hope for this year.
Arlington, VA: I had this whole really long monologue about how my favorite "sci-fi" parts of Lost tie closely into spirituality and religion, and it is still unclear (especially given Jacob's unknown role) whether the events that have transpired have been dictated by science (DHARMA's supposed goal) or faith (the Others' supposed goal).
But then I realized what I was saying was making no sense, and I was making my head hurt, so instead I am just going to say....
less than three weeks!!!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!
Love you guys!
Jen Chaney: Love you. And WOOOO HOOOO back at ya.
Vancouver, BC: One of my geekiest moments on the show is the scene in 316 where Eloise Hawking explains how the Dharma Initiative found the island. The Lamp Post, with the big swinging pendulum over the map, was such a great set. "This is how they found the island" still gives me chills.
Also, nothing beats John Locke coming out of the cabin and saying he's going to move the island? And then when it disappears with that "BLOOP!" Crazy.
Jeff Jensen: I think I'd be hard pressed to come up with my most favorite scifi geekout. I think the mythological moment that has most captured my imagination was the Jacob/Man In Black conversation--but that chat required five full years of pretext to fully super-charge its context with cryptic coolness. If I had to single out a single fantastical sci-fi moment, I would choose... TWO! 1. Ben and Locke in Jacob's shack; 2. THE CONSTANT.
Jen Chaney: Those two are definitely way, way up there. Can't even count how many times I rewound the invisible-Jacob-in-the-rocking-chair scene.
Jeff Jensen doubter: Jeff, do you actually watch LOST? You don't like Libby or John Locke, two of the characters the LOST audience is not only crazy about, but has been conditioned to like.
Jeff Jensen: You got me. I'm a Lost fraud.
Jen Chaney: Finally, the truth is out there: Jeff's never even watched an episode. I mean, it's obviously true since his opinion re: two characters allegedly differs from the majority.
Liz Kelly: I'm not sure his name is even really Jeff.
Milwaukee, WI: The one that hooked me was in the very first episode -- when Sayid figures out that the French distress call has been playing for 16 years. I'm a little disappointed the whole French expedition mystery, and the circumstances of Danielle's message (what was outside the door?), haven't been fleshed out further.
Liz Kelly: Good point -- there were some great sci-fi moments in season 1 and that's when we were able to be th most surprised by them, since we didn't yet have much of a handle on what was happening. The recording was a good one... as was the sudden appearance of a polar bear and, of course, our first run-in with Smokey.
Jeff Jensen: True confession: I always thought The French Lady was cooler in theory than in reality. Maybe it was the casting. I never thought she paid off, even before her storyline ended with "Eh" payoff.
Disbelief Suspensi, ON: I can tolerate a passenger jet breaking apart in mid-air with lots of survivors, time-shifting, "flashing" through time, rooms that let little bunnies time-travel, implantable devices that let Claire get sick so Juliet can rescue her, Nigerian drug planes landing in the South Pacific, and any one of a number of plot-devices that stretch the limits of believability.
But something really bugs me about the idea of a hydrogen-bomb (a known scientific entity) completely and precisely neutralizing "a pocket of electromagnetic energy" that is powerful enough to destroy the world (clearly a piece of scientific fantasy). So count me in the category of those that think the Losties caused the Incident...
Jen Chaney: Duly noted. I think it's good to know when you've hit your limit on belief suspending.
Jeff Jensen: Yeah, I gotta admit, the whole energy-negatation thing didn't really fly with me, either. The worst think about it was that it undermined the intelligency of Daniel Faraday, who's supposed to be, like, a genius. Still, my hunch is that this bit of sci-fi hoo-ha will prove irrelevant to how that moments pays off. Not that I know ANYTHING...
Esau: What is the first appearance I made on the show?
Liz Kelly: Well that's a trick question. Because if you're talking about Esau as portrayed by Titus Welliver, then we have to go with the season 5 finale. But he's also now portrayed by Terry O'Quinn and, well, there's some debate as to when exactly Esau first asserted his influence over Locke's body. Did he really have to wait for the real Locke to die or did he possess him in some form way earlier in the timeline?
Jeff Jensen: I say your first appearance was in the very first scene of the pilot, when you trotted by Jack's head and then took into the jungle to look for a tree to pee on.
Jen Chaney: I saw it was in the "Expose" episode, when you briefly appeared in the background as Nikki was bitten by that spider.
What, the rest of you didn't see that? You didn't study the screen shot? Don't you people pay attention?
What's up, Doc?: Hi ladies, Doc! Jeff, Lindecuse say they have known the final image since season 2. Care to hazard a guess as to what it might be? My money is on a closeup of Jack's eye opening, signaling that the loop is starting anew.
Jeff Jensen: I teased my answer to this qustion today during an interview with GQ. My prediction: John Locke will be resurrected and assume Jacob's role on The Island. The final image will have Locke on the beach, waiting for the arrival of new castaways. He will be joined by the entity we currently call The Man In Black, but he will be wearing a new guise: Ben Linus. They will talk, and Ben will say, "Do you know how badly I want to kill you right now?" Locke will look at him--and they'll both chuckle. BONG! End of LOST.
Jen Chaney: Ooh, that's good, Jeff. The loop still starting anew, but with a different image than Jack's eye.
For a long time, I thought Jack's eye would be the closer, too. But now I am hoping it isn't a. because too many of us already had the same thought, so it wouldn't be a big surprise and b. we already had that Jack's-eye-redux moment when the Losties landed on the island again in season five.
That season two clue, if accurate, makes me think we'll return to the Hatch. And maybe the last moment of the show will be akin to the last moment of the season one finale: someone looking down into the Hatch again. Or perhaps, someone looking up and out?
I don't know, the one thing I think we all agree on is that the final moment will take us back to something significant from the very beginning. And, like the rug in "Lebowski," hopefully it will tie the whole room together.
Liz Kelly: I'm a fan of the "loop repeating itself" theory, too. Probably because (like LindeCuse) I adored Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series and although it was ultimately a frustrating way to end such an epic tale -- kind of a slap in the face -- well, it grows on you.
Columbus, OH: In reviewing a bunch of episodes in advance of the new season, I can find one thread throughout the entire series that stands out above all: Everybody Gets the Crap Knocked Out of Them, and Someone Gets the Crap Knocked Out of Him in Every Episode. People get hit by oars, gun butts, rocks, sticks, iron rods, chains, you name it. I think Jack has lost a few gallons of blood by now, and Ben should be an arthritic heap, in particular. All these people are basically uninsurable.
That is all.
Jen Chaney: The characters being uninsurable, Obama attempting to get that new health care system in place ... finally, the idea of the State of the Union and the "Lost" premiere synching up makes complete sense!
Jeff Jensen: In the series finale, we will learn that this is the ONLY reason why Jack was brought to The Island: to patch everyone else up. All his other heroics? OVERSTEPPING HIS BOUNDS. He was supposed to be McCoy, dammit, not Kirk!
Gaithersburg, MD: Sorry Liz, there's already a TON of fanfic on Lost. Google "Lost fanfic", but be warned, some of it is NOT printable in the WaPo or anywhere for that matter!
Am I the only one that remembers that once upon a time they said they'd have "real world" explanations for everything? Or did I imagine that?
Liz Kelly: Jen and I may need to explore and report back. Thanks.
Claire: Okay, I submitted this too late last week so I'm going to throw it out there now. My gut tells me that Claire was alive when she disappeared, and was still alive during the time shifting and ultimately, the Jughead detonating. I think it would be a cool out-of-left-field thing if she turned out to be "Eve", but who that would make Adam, I don't know.
Liz Kelly: Well, that's an interesting thought. And we know Claire is coming back in some form this season (sorry Roger Linus guy). And Adam would obviously have to be Charlie who somehow survived the flooding of the Looking Glass.
Favorite romance: Bernard and Rose...hands down, with Jin and Sun bringing up a close second. I really hope we get closure on Bernard and Rose. I feel like we got cheated out of their story last year.
Jen Chaney: Ah, yes. Agreed. I love the Bernard and Rose, too.
Jeff Jensen: I love me the B&R, too. But if I don't see them ever again, I'll be okay. Love, Heartless Jerk Jeff
Liz Kelly: What, no votes for Nikki and Paolo?
Woodbridge, Va.: Romance is all fine and dandy, but let's here it for the best Bromance of Lost - Hurley and Charlie!
Liz Kelly: All the bromances seem to involve Hurley. Hurley and Charlie, Hurley and Sawyer, Hurley and Miles. The guy's irresistible.
Jen Chaney: He really is.
Jin and Bernard had a brief bromance, when they went out on the raft together and Bernard gave him husbandly advice.
But my vote is a tie: Hurley/Charlie and Hurley/Sawyer.
P.S. That is the last time I will use the word bromance in this chat. Thank you.
Liz Kelly: What is the female equivalent of a bromance? "Bramance" ??
Washington DC: If the Swan Orientation film is number 2/6, and the Pearl is number 5/6, why was Marvin Candle's arm hurt in 2, but not in 5? And in 5, why did he reference the incident, when we know his arm was hurt in "The Incident?" Make any sense? THEORIZE!
Jeff Jensen: I used to want that mystery resolved--but I find myself now hoping we never get clarification. This is a part of the Lost/Dharma mythology that is probably best left to our imagination to build out, dream into.
Jen Chaney: I honestly can't explain it. Would love to, but I can't.
And I agree, that's one of those small mysteries I'll be okay with not entirely understanding.
Fairfax, Va.: Liz - thanks for the heads-up about Josh Holloway on "Ellen" today, but I was already at work by the time you posted it. Any ideas where I might be able to find it on the internets later on?
Liz Kelly: Ayup -- right here.
Philadelphia, PA: What do you think the chances are that the ending of 'Lost' will include the destruction of the island. I've always thought the passing reference to the island's volcano during Young Ben's class pointed to this.
Jeff Jensen: NO. THE ISLAND WILL NOT BE DESTROYED. OVER MY DEAD BODY!
Australia (is the key to the whole game): Jeff, I appreciate your willingness to openly critique the show while at once celebrating its always-awesome potential. Certain ideas have been executed poorly, and some frustrating ideas have benefited from brilliant execution. That said, which character trope are you most eager to move beyond: Ben telling a lie? Or Locke believing one?
Jeff Jensen: Assuming we get to hang with the Living Locke once again, I would like to see the man grow some discernment. So your Locke postulation, for sure.
Chad (Chicago, IL): To stick with the sci-fi theme -- are Jack-Kate-Sawyer merely Luke-Leia-Han Solo, but without Luke-Leia/Jack-Kate being siblings? And if so, what does that mean for the final season?
Jen Chaney: One thing: Ewoks!
Man, I am super-sarcastic today. Sorry, guys.
I think there are "Star Wars" elements in there -- obviously the writers are fans. But the Juliet element (the aforementioned square) mixes up that Leia/Luke/Han Solo situation a bit. In other words, I think it's a bit more complicated than that.
Jeff Jensen: It means that the show will end with Jack taking Darth "Man In Black" Vader's head off and revealing Christian Shepard inside.
Bromantic: It's womance.
Liz Kelly: Thanks for clearing that up.
Memphis, TN: Is it just me, or does anyone else want Sawyer and Kate to end up together? They connect so much better than she did with Jack or he did with Juliet. He's a con looking for redemption; she's on the run from the law trying to redeem herself. And why do so many people hate Kate? I realize these may be small issues compared with the bigger complexities and themes of the show, but I hope this relationship will be resolved by the finale!
Liz Kelly: Why do so many people hate Kate? Well, I can't speak for all of us, but here's my reason in a nutshell:
The only unselfish thing she's done over the past five seasons is to leave Aaron with his grandmother and return to the island. Every single other decision she has made has been in service of her own fickle heart. She's, at varying moments, twisted both Jack and Sawyer up so much they don't know which way is up; she outed Naomi's presence in the camp just to score points with Jack (who at that point was way into Juliet) and -- even before arriving on the island -- she used people and threw them away. Think of the poor Australian farmer she left dead in her wake. The woman is a menace to society!
Jeff Jensen: I've long cheered Sawyer and Kate. I kinda never understood what Jack sees in her. Actually, I've never understood what Kate saw in HIM--he only ever makes her feel crappy about herself. She deserves better. Someone asked earlier in the chat if I ever predicted something that came true, and yes, there is one: That Juliet would die. I knew that the second I saw how awesome she and Sawyer were together in "LaFleur." I thought, "The only way they can now allow Sawyer and Kate to be together is to kill Juliet." Because if he dumped her for Kate, the audience would have puked with rage.
Jen Chaney: Oh boy. So much to respond to here.
Re: Liz and the Kate hate -- I think it's an instinctive female response to dislike Kate for all of the reasons, many of which are valid, Liz mentions. (The killing-people one being chief among the valid ones Liz mentions.)
As observers of a broader narrative, though, I think we can see that Kate is a more empathetic character than that. Like all of the Losties, Kate really wants to do the right thing, but her nature sometimes wins out. She knows this about herself and she hates it. Hence, the conflict between Jack and Sawyer, the guy who is supposed to be good for her and the one who is supposed to be bad.
To counter one of Jeff's points, I completely understand what Kate sees in Jack. He's a handsome doctor, the guy your mother always told you to love. And at least initially, he is a leader. But he's also very conflicted and confused and Kate understand that about him. They connect on that. And at first, I think she believes he can make her be that better person she always wanted to be.
That said, I like the idea of Kate and Sawyer both trying to be better people and finally succeeding in the final season and meeting each other in the middle.
In summary, I could swing Jater or Skater on this.
God, I am such a GIRL.
Jon Stueve (@LOST_WFTB), Plano, TX: one of the things that's sprung from LOST is the fan community. Do you think Losties are the new Trekkers (often confused with Trekkies, which is derogatory... I kinda hate myself that I know that. -sigh-)
Jeff Jensen: Yes.
Esau: You're all wrong - it was in "So It Begins"
Jeff Jensen: Oh, go play in a firepit or something.
Des Moines, Iowa: At what point do you realize you are too obsessed with LOST?
Jeff Jensen: Right now.
Des Moines, Iowa: At what point do you realize you are too obsessed with LOST?
Jeff Jensen: Right now.
Milwaukee, WI: Favorite Lost sci-fi moment: Hurley rewriting "The Empire Strikes Back", although I wish he'd take up rewriting "The Phantom Menace".
Liz Kelly: Okay, you win.
Thorsten, Luebeck, Germany: Hi Liz, Jen and Jeff! Do you think that Esau is the only one capable of using other (dead) people as sleeves on the Island, or do you believe Smokey is the shapeshifter? Or both? ;))
Jen Chaney: I think Esau and Smokey may be one and the same. And I also don't think Esau is the only one capable of assuming another form.
So no, maybe and perhaps?
Jeff Jensen: I like the way Jen thinks.
Esau: Hey, at least I didn't post spoilers.
Jen Chaney: We're sorry, we're sorry! Sometimes we forget that other people don't spend half their lives reading Tweets and news stories about the latest "Lost" developments.
Best "Whoa, Dude" Moments: 1. Reveal that Bearded Jack's Flash back was actually a flash forward. 2. Beam of Light shooting out of Locke's hatch. 3. Henry "Ben" Gale's creepy and malevolent smile while locked in the hatch's jail cell. 4. Dark-haired Libby's appearance as a patient at Santa Rosa State Loony Bin.
Jen Chaney: I'm going to add to that the ending of Ji-Yeon, when we realized that Jin and Sun's stories were unfolding in entirely different times. Ticked off a lot of people, but brilliant story-telling.
The first flash-forward is probably the Best Whoa, Dude Moment, though.
Jeff Jensen: The Michael double-shooting.
Hydrogen Bomb: In response to the person bugged by the use of the "hydrogen bomb" -- as I recall, they didn't actually detonate a hydrogen bomb. What they tried to drop into the hole was the DETONATOR from the bomb, which itself is a small nuclear bomb (much, much smaller). The bang would still have been really big, but not island-destroying big.
Jeff Jensen: Still makes no sense. Actually less sense.
Influential Literature: I was recently reading Lostpedia's book list - with all the books that might have influenced the mysteries behind Lost. A lot seem pretty close in concept to Lost (Island by Aldous Huxley, The Moon Pool, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Stand, etc.).
Do you think "the answer" is in one of these or other inspirational books? I mean, the writers are obviously fans of literature. I'm guessing they reference as many books as possible to throw readers off the trail of "the answer." It doesn't seem far-fetched for them to have taken bits and pieces of sci-fi mystery from major works (i.e., being unstuck in time) and grafted it onto one long master work. I don't want to sound doubtful of their skills, but are the writers really capable of creating an entirely original mystery? Finally, if the writers did use a particular work, would they had to have obtained permission first? Or credited it?
Jeff Jensen: No, I don't think the books explain Lost or hold the answer to Lost. I think the lit referencing is--for the most part--about revealing thematic meaning and plot possibilities through linking to those books or existing in ironic juxtaposition to them. That said, some lit references were meant to foreshadow developments. In season 2, when Lost gave us Incident At Owl Creek Bridge, the intention (the producers explained) was to tease the episode DAVE, which was in turn supposed to play with--and debunk--the whole 'it's all taking place inside someone's head' theory, which--SPOILER ALERT--is the huge twist of the cited book. In other words, there's an example of a lit ref. designed to tell you what WASN'T true about the show.
Jen Chaney: I don't think they were necessarily trying to mess with our heads every time they introduced a lit reference, although it was cool when, as Jeff mentioned, there were hints involved.
I think it was a way to connect the Lost narrative to other narratives and also -- and this was just a happy accident, maybe -- get viewers to read some really great works. I think it's one of the great achievements of the show, actually, that it made one or two of us actually visit or revisit "Slaughterhouse Five" or "A Brief History of Time," etc.
Chicago, Ill.: How stir crazy are you guys getting at this point with only 3 weeks to go?
Also Doc, when can we expect to start seeing new episodes of Totally Lost this season?
Jeff Jensen: I WANT THE PREMIERE NOW!
TOTALLY LOST: Premiere date is most likely Feb. 1. We'll be back with an ep that previews the season and tries to make you laugh with ill=considered jokes. Oh, and Dan will take off his shirt. Beat THAT, Sawyer!
Liz Kelly: Well, there's a reason Jeff and Dan are the kings of Lost coverage. Another: Jen and I can't take off our shirts. Sigh.
Jen Chaney: Well, we could. But it would be a terrible, terrible idea, primarily because we would lose our jobs in addition to the shirts.
I wouldn't say I'm stir crazy. Excited, a little nervous? Yes, mainly because I know this means Liz and I have lots of late-night duel-analyzing in our future.
N. Canton, OH: I have a couple sci-fi moments that remain mysterious to me. The mystery of Walt is at the top of the list. Why could he control birds? Why was he captured by Clugh and considered special? We probably won't get a great resolution to this in the last season, but I feel it's unfortunate this storyline never was fully developed.
The other moments: Mikhail (why wouldn't he die already???) and the sound barriers that keep out the smoke monster. How/why do they control Smokey?
Jeff Jensen: They don't control Smokey. They never did. Smokey just made them think they did to keep peeps where he/she/it wanted everyone.
Liz Kelly: I'm with you on the Walt storyline. That's one I really wold have liked to see resolved. It held a lot of promise and was dropped like a hot potato. Maybe this leaves room for a Walt spinoff show: "I See Dead Birds."
Rick (Los Angeles, CA): Doc, I LOVE your work and always look forward to your articles.
Doesn't it seem like Jack's been terribly marginalized? He used to be the show's lead and was an awesome hero. Are they done with his character or will he return to prominence this season?
Jeff Jensen: I think the problem with Jack has been that the story brought him to a place where he could not progress any further until the final season. Jack has issues, his arc has always been about either pushing through those issues or being destroyed by them, and that moment is Season 6 material. I think he's been parked/stalled there for awhile so as not to undermine his larger arc. I'm thinking Season 6 will get him moving/activated again.
Mikenitz, Toledo, Ohio: Who the hell is "Ray", REALLY? I posit he IS Jack (ala Doc), and do you believe he will play a significant role in Season 6?
Jeff Jensen: You mean Grandpa Ray? I'm totally with you. That HAD to be setting up SOMETHING.
Jen Chaney: I don't know how significant it will be, but I agree, there's something to it. I mean, he just *happened* to have Christian's shoes.
And Jack, just *happened* to get a call about his grandfather trying to leave the nursing home as he's having doubts about putting something related to his dad in Locke's coffin? Not buying that.
Also, a bit of a parallel between Granddad wanting to escape the home and Jack wanting to escape the island (at one time) and not being able to.
Final Image: My opinion is the final image will be of Locke, waking up on the Island, alive.
Instead of Jack.
Otherwise, the same scene. Those who died there will be trapped there, but those still alive can leave.
Jen Chaney: Interesting.
N. Canton, Ohio: In one of the earlier seasons, Charlie has a vision of Claire and Hurley on the beach in a biblical scene. The background in this scene was yellow and reminded me very much of the Lost Supper promo photo that was recently released. Any connections?
Jeff Jensen: Hmmm. Check back with me on Friday at ew.com--I might be able to shed some light on that. So to speak.
Jen Chaney: I'd have to go back and watch that scene again. Visually -- and certainly in terms of a spiritual theme -- that's clearly right-on.
Good observation, N. Canton.
Lost, Future of: What are Doc Jensen's thoughts on the possibility that ABC will make "Flash Forward" a direct spin-off of "Lost"?
There have been only a few small hints of this, but, still, the idea of turning "Lost" into a prequel of that disappointing show really annoys me. FF is based on a good concept, but so far I've found the show to be poorly plotted, poorly written and poorly executed. Moreover, it's engineered to "reboot" every season to avoid the need for an end-date; which means they have no need for a cohesive story because they can just say "that was a different multi-verse, this is a new one."
I hope I'm wrong because I'd really like "Lost" to finish up on its own terms, not as part of an attempt to launch a lesser show.
Jeff Jensen: I have no thoughts on that one... except that, like you, I hope you're wrong!
Toronto, Ontario: I heard yesterday that Michael and Libby will be returning and will appear in Season 6. Has there been any information regarding a return for Mr. Eko?
Jeff Jensen: Nope.
Jen Chaney: I think that's pretty doubtful. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje didn't want to be on the show anymore and, in Eko's case, I do think dead is dead.
Benjamin Linus, Portland, OR: What about me?
Jeff Jensen: What about you?
DON'T STAB ME! I'm just askin'!
New York, NY: Jen and Liz, when do you think the 70s losties will start the Season? Is Dharma time a thing of the past?
Doc, Do you think the Deus Ex that had some on Flight 315 blip to the past, others stay in 2004 ending up heading to the past will be explained, or is this one of those things an audience just has to accept to move the story forward in a pleasing way?
Jeff Jensen: I definitely think there was intentionality behind that move and I think s6 will address it. It should.
Jen Chaney: I think the season starts again in 2004, at LAX, with no crash.
At the very least, I'm betting we're back in '04.
Liz Kelly: I'm with Jen. I'm thinking we're going to reset to 2004. But I'm not sure that's the only place we'll be in the timeline.
Reston, Va.: Liz, Jen, you know I love you, but my geek-brain is exploding over the fact that Doc Jensen is sitting in on our little chat! I'm wondering what his position is on the Ben, Good or Evil, debate.
Jeff Jensen: All this depends on what was meant when by Richard's statement that if he saved Young Ben, the kid's innocence would be lost and that he'd become one of them. My theory? In being saved, Ben basically lost his free will and became a pawn of The Island's will, an extension of it. Ben is basically then exempt from good and evil; his fate is controlled by a greater intelligence/agency. The question is: Is That greater intelligence/agency good or evil? (Assuming I am correct.)
Jen Chaney: And this supports my theory that Ben deserves a little of our sympathy. Thank you, Jeff Jensen!
And this chat isn't little, Reston. It's epic. Huge!
Seriously, we were very happy to have Doc with us today, too.
Liz Kelly: Okay, thanks for joining us today. I wish we could have gotten to more of your questions and comments, but our hour's up and we don't want to hog Jeff all afternoon.
The good news: We'll be back next week -- same time, same place -- to chat again. In the meantime, watch the Jeff Fahey video interview and stay tuned to the blog tomorrow for part two of our talk with Fahey, about his efforts to end refugee warehousing in Africa. Cuz, you know, it ain't all always about the island.
Jeff Jensen: Thanks for having me! Can we do it again during the season?
Jen Chaney: Of course, we'd love it.
Sorry we couldn't answer everything today, guys. You inundated us with awesomeness.
Keep it coming -- we'll be back next Wednesday at 2, with hopefully yet another special guest!
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