Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" bloggers
Wednesday, April 28, 2010; 2:00 PM
Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney each Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET to talk about "Lost's" sixth and final season. With the show taking a week off, they pause to evaluate the remaining mysteries. From the Island's infertility rate to "what's the deal with Walt," which ones still nag at you? Which ones do you think the show has to answer before the finale?
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.
Liz Kelly: Welcome to today's show where we will not be discussing, as per usual, last night's episode since it was a re-run of "Ab Aeterno." We can talk about anything really, but last week we did promise that we would compile a list of our top unanswered "Lost" questions. We did and it will be posting to the blog momentarily... we'll add the link as soon as it's up.
Jen Chaney: And in other news, we also posted a Q&A with Henry Ian Cusick that may be of interest as well. With all that said, let's get started.
Need Answers: I would like to know where Christian's body is. Now that we know MIB was appearing as Christian, hopefully we'll find out what happened to the body. Especially since when Locke returned to the island in a casket, he didn't disappear when MIB took him over.
Liz Kelly: Good point. Though as pointed out here as recently as last week, if MIB was appearing as Christian, but MIB also admits he can't cross water, then how did MIB as Christian appear on the freighter?
Washington, DC: Unanswered questions seem to revolve a little bit around true love: who is Jack's ex-woman in sideways land, is Sawyer Kate's true love, Jin/Sun, and what will happen to Locke/Helen and Penny/Desmond if sideways land collapses - will they, or anyone else be able to choose which world to live in. But, a more interesting question I read on the web, so its not an original thought at all, is Sayid kept saying that Flocke would reunite him with his love. Everyone, myself included, assumed Nadia, but what if he means Shannon?
Liz Kelly: Hmmm, that is an interesting notion, but I think we can all probably agree that when it comes to Sayid's feelings for Nadia and Shannon, Nadia is just going to win every time. I'm not doubting Sayid's feelings for Shannon, it's just that Sayid has much more history with Nadia and although his relationship with Shannon may have one day reached the same depth of feeling, it just never had a chance to get there. It was nipped in the bud.
Liz Kelly: And, as promised, our list of the five queestions we want answered by season's end.
Tampa, FL: In no particular order, I would like to know 1) Desmond said if Charlie pushed the red button then Claire and Aaron would leave the island together on a helicopter. What happened to that?
2) Why was Walt special? 3) Who was shooting at the Losties when they were time traveling in the boat?
Jen Chaney: We covered Nos. 2 and 3 in our questions, which you shall see shortly.
I am not sure if we'll get an answer to that first question, but if the narrative resets again before season's end, maybe.
Arlington, VA: Thanks for taking my question...What is up with Lapidus? In the last episode, when Sawyer's group walked onto Hydra island and Frank made his scene-killing comment, my first thought was 'this guy! why is he still alive and everyone else we have met from his group is either dead, or separated from 'the candidates' except for him?" Lapidus is fascinating to me, also, as the only person we haven't seen in the sideways-timeline who is still alive in the island world (or am I mistaken on this, I remember Greg Grunberg's voice as the pilot on sideways-815). I think there may be more to Lapidus than meet the eye.
Liz Kelly: I think there has to be a reason Lapidus is still hanging with the candidates, though I'm not convinced it's because he is possessed of any special knowledge or powers.
Hmmm... actually, I take that back. He is: He can fly a plane. And, as we know, there is indeed a plane on Hydra island.
Great Falls, VA: Submitting this a day early as I may be wrapped up in a meeting.
So I read an interview on Wired Magazine's web site that one of the mysteries that will NOT be solved is the significance of the numbers. Quote from Damon Lindelof: "For example, we've now given the viewers as much as we're willing to say about the numbers, and we're moving on." To which I respond in the most elegant way I can: "WHAT THE HELL?! THE NUMBERS?!" I don't see how they can think not addressing those is important. So do you think this is true, or is it a purposeful, um, "misstatement"?
BTW, here's the interview.
Liz Kelly: Ah yes, that Wired package of stories -- they managed to say so much, yet so little at the same time.
That chaps me just a little bit, too. It would annoy me less if the numbers were no longer an active device being used in service of the story, but they are: They appeared this season in both the cave (where Locke took Sawyer) and next to the candidates' names on the lighthouse wheel (the place where Jack smashed the mirrors). So it would make some sense for us to finally get a definitive answer re: those numbers.
Jen Chaney: I read the Wired stuff, too, which was great, but didn't answer a whole lot. Then again, I don't expect a lot of concrete answers before the finale anyway.
Re: the numbers. I don't think that's a purposeful misstatement. I think they put out enough information for viewers to conclude that those numbers were important to Jacob, as we learned this season. And for those who followed the ARG however many seasons ago, they also already told us the numbers were related to the
Beyond that -- and I'm surmising here -- I think the Lost writers probably want to keep some element of mystery around the numbers because that's what made them cool in the first place. The first time you saw Hurley win the lottery with them, and then when you later saw them on the hatch door, you freaked, right? Like, holy Hugo, what the heck does THAT mean?
To outright tell us would take away whatever pieces of that glee-inducing mystery remain. Please note, this is me, pretending I understand what goes on in the minds of the "Lost" writers and creators when, really, how could I?
I understand the frustration and desire for a more concrete explanation. But that's where I suspect they're coming from.
San Diego, CA: I think my questions/issues have mostly been discussed but here they are:
-What is the deal with Widmore? I think that will definitely get wrapped up since he's been so involved of late.
-What is the deal with Walt? What were the Others doing to him?
-How did the Dharma Initiative get to the island and really, what was their deal?
-Why did entering the numbers on a computer in the hatch have any effect on the electromagnetism of the island? Seems like some sort of program could have set up to do it manually somehow.
-Why do pregnant women die on the island?
-I was going to ask about the polar bears, but I looked at lostpedia and it seems like they answered that (at least partially) and I forgot about it.
Liz Kelly: Right, Widmore's motivation has been hard to pin down. Is he trying to stop something, start something, or exploit the island? We still don't know.
We discuss Walt, Dharma and pregnant women in the
(so take a few minutes to read). But I'm with you on wanting to know what happened to Vincent. And, hey, while we're at it, what has become of Bernard and Rose?
The Woodlands, Texas: So, I just read your list of 5 questions and I agree completely, especially with #1. Now, if I may add one to the list...the show simply canNOT end without revealing who Adam and Eve are! And, secondarily, but perhaps related, we also must get some closure on Rose & bernard and their hippie-style life on the island.
Jen Chaney: Ah, yes, Adam and Eve was another on our list. But since we limited it to five, we had to bump a couple.
Re: Claire and Aaron on the helicopter : My thought is that we WILL see Claire and baby Aaron board onto a helicopter... only it will be in the Sideways world. (perhaps new mom and baby need to be medevac-ed somewhere?) Why isn't it possible that some of Desmond's flashes were of the Sideways world?
Jen Chaney: Good point. It's totally possible.
Greenbelt: What oh what became of L'il Ben's childhood sweetheart, whasername?
Back when Ben was Benry and evil incarnate, this girl was the only link to goodness and warmth in his childhood, something that stuck with him hard enough that he still had the doll she gave him years later.
Did she bug out early like Charlotte? Did she join the others? Did Teen Ben (TeeBee?) kill her along with the rest of the DI?
Liz Kelly: I'm guessing we won't get an update on Annie, but you never know... SPOILER ALERT... since we have been told to expect a romance for Ben in an upcoming episode.
Hey, what do I really know?: I will admit I could be wrong, but I have a suspicion that the twist to "Lost" will be that most people have mistakenly assumed that MIB/Smoke Monster is evil. The man of faith, Locke, looks into it early on and is not frightened. If the island is a bad place that had to be destroyed in the past by a nuclear explosion, I suspect that Jacob was defending something evil. Just my guess.
Jen Chaney: You're not the only one saying that right now. I agree that it's very possible a Jacob/MIB switcheroo could take place.
Liz Kelly: Or that we find out that neither Jacob nor MIB is completely good or bad...
Arlington: You get all meta with your five questions - I want to know the stupid stuff we've been worried about all this time: the food air drops, who are adam and eve, why was Libby in the mental hospital, the "psychic" and what he saw that made him make claire take the plane, why was desmond in prison? I bet we will get the answers, but they will be as throw away moments in the way Christian/MiB and the whispers were.
Jen Chaney: Well, I think we were trying to examine the broader narrative issues, though some of them relate to the smaller ones (like the air drops) that you mentioned.
We could probably make a list of 50 smaller issues we'd like to know the answers to, but never realistically will.
Liz Kelly: And it's been done. I can't find it now, but I know we linked earlier this season to someone's list of the top 100 lingering questions.
Here's the thing: If we're going to get anything answered -- and time is running out -- I want the BIG questions settled. Yes, it would be very cool to know the full scoop behind some of the lesser mysteries, but given the choice I want to come away from six years of watching this show with big revelations.
I wish they could do both -- provide answers big and small -- but they'd basically have to take an entire episode and have LindeCuse or someone sit in a chair and tick through a mega list, one by one.
Boston, MA: This is a little thing, but I think about it a lot. In the season 3 finale, when Charlie is unjamming the radio equipment, he is told that the code was programmed by a musician and that it's Good Vibrations. Charlie wasn't part of the time shifts, (unless he's really alive?) so was is Daniel Faraday? It seems to important to be a throwaway line.
Jen Chaney: I hope it was Daniel. And I hope they return to little moments like that to bring things to a closure.
At the moment, I remember thinking somehow Charlie must have programmed it in a parallel universe. But we didn't know Faraday existed at that point, and Daniel makes more sense to me now.
Other option: a member of Geronimo Jackson is responsible.
Liz Kelly: Speaking of Geronimo Jackson, that Wired package linked above has a great explainer about the story behind the band.
Daniel, Ann Arbor: What was Daniel Faraday doing those three years he was at the Dharma Institute after he went back in time to the 70s?
Liz Kelly: Another good question. I imagine he was geeking out, physics style.
Jen Chaney: Programming Good Vibrations into the Looking Glass station keypad, I hope.
Answers : I think there are a few, like the MIB/Jacob relationship, the New Kid on the Island, etc. But I hope we don't get a lot of exposition on some of the smaller questions. For example, I would've been fine without the whole Whispers explanation from last week's episode.
Here's my big one, though: What is in MIB/Locke's backpack? I mean, what could a Smoke Monster need to pack? PB&J? Lunchables? Pudding cups?
Liz Kelly: Smoke monster kibble?
Jen Chaney: Oh, definitely a snack pack or two. Probably some Capri Sun.
DC: I want to know why Jacob/Richard took out the Dharma people with Ben. That never made sense. And, did we ever find out what happend to Ben's girliefriend Annie?
Liz Kelly: I think we pretty much know the answer to your first question. We have to assume the Others were on island before Dharma. So imagine their dismay when a load of educated hippies shows up and starts messing with the island's electromagnetism. The Others viewed the Dharmas as a threat. A threat that had to be neutralized.
Though, now that you mention it, why couldn't the Others have just gassed the Dharmas on their own, years before, without Ben's help?
Jen Chaney: Hmmm ... I'm just spitballing here, so bear with me.
I've assumed now that Ben thought he was following Jacob, but really was following MIB this whole time without realizing it. And Richard was the one who brought Ben to the temple, so ... is it possible Richard also mistakenly thought he was listening to Jacob but really was getting guidance from MIB? He did talk to MIB first, and if it's true that once you talk to that dude, you're with him whether you like it or not, that would make Richard with him, wouldn't it?
So, getting back to your point, maybe MIB was waiting for Ben, as the loophole, so he could manipulate him into doing his dirty work and becoming a leader of the island, a role he couldn't fully assume until he got rid of Dharma, under the tutelage of Richard.
Did any of that make even the most remote sense?
As for Annie, I think LindeCuse said on one of their podcasts that we won't be hearing much about her again. So I think she was significant to the plot of that episode, a symbol of Ben's lost innocence, but she isn't a relevant figure in the wider narrative.
Sayid FTW: I don't think Sayid killed Desmond.. When he tells FLocke "I killed him and if you don't believe me, go look" Sayid gets a huge smirk on his face. Its a throwback to when Sayid actually dug up the body when Ben was lying about the hot air balloon. Sayid has proven he's smarter than Ben and now MIB/FLocke. Desmond must be alive..
Jen Chaney: Desmond is definitely alive. And I say this because I drew the same conclusion you just drew. And also, having talked to Ian Cusick, I know Desmond is in additional episodes.
I don't know if Sayid is necessarily outsmarting anyone right now, though. He's half-comatose. I think he may have just taken what Desmond said to heart and realized that killing Desmond to bring back Nadia is a false, pointless path to travel.
washingtonpost.com: Here's that list of 100 unanswered Lost questions Liz mentioned earlier.
Wheaton, Md.: I think my biggest frustration with Lost this season (and recently) has been the writers' "waste" of time as it relates to answering the questions we all want answered. Maybe they'll get to the big 5 you posted but I could certainly see a scenario where they don't have time. They spent so much time introducing new characters instead of using the season to wrap this stuff up.
Liz Kelly: And you're not the only one who feels this way. Looking back over the season, Dogen and Lennon and most of the time we spent at the temple really seem like a big waste of time. Time that could have been spent exploring Libby's back story a bit more or answering the myriad other questions we're bringing up today.
Jen Chaney: Well, on one hand, I think they have to tell a story. If they approached this like, "We have this many episodes to share this many answers," that would turn the show into an itemized list rather than a narrative.
But I completely agree that I don't know why we spent so much time with Dogen and Lennon. If those guys served a crucial purpose, I still don't know what it is. I think all the key things that happened at the temple could have happened more quickly, definitely.
Arlington, VA: Ben gassing Dharma: I think he did do it under Jacob's orders. I think the electromagnetism is part of the key to keeping the cork in the bottle and keeping MIB trapped on the island. Jacob didn't like Dharma messing around with it, so he offed them. I believe Jacob (or his minions) have been know to kill before to "protect" the island?
Liz Kelly: Agreed -- but did they really need to wait for Ben's help to kill them off?
Desmond: "having talked to Ian Cusick, I know Desmond is in additional episodes"
While I agree with your other logic as to why Desmond is probably alive, the above line certainly doesn't prove it - there are all sorts of dead folks showing up in this show.
Hmm . . . could Locke inhabit Desmond's body and get off the Island using that electromagnetic machine and Desmond's special powers?
Jen Chaney: Fair enough, fair enough. I didn't ask Cusick if Desmond becomes a ghost on the show. And I suppose that's possible.
But, as you also noted, I still don't think Sayid killed him. So we're back where we started.
San Francisco, CA: One question I would like to have answered before the show ends is how the DHARMA Initiative found or even knew about the island? Did Jacob "bring" them there, similar to that of the Black Rock, and if so why?
Chances that gets answered in the next 5 episodes?
Liz Kelly: That is a good question... I'm guessing Alvar Hanso had something to do with cluing them in to the island's existence. He was, after all, a descedant of one of the Black Rock crew members.
Ballston, VA: Two questions:
Why did the Others launch the purge against the Dharma Foundation?
What exactly are "the rules" that have been mentioned primarily in regards to the conflict between Ben and Widmore, as well as Jacob and MIB? What are the rules, who made them, and who keeps track of when the rules are broken?
Liz Kelly: The rules! Thank you, good point. Since that kid keeps popping up and mouthing off about rules to MIB, we'd better get some clarification.
Like you said, if Jacob and MIB are subject to rules, then who is above them in the hierarchy?
Seattle, WA: Is it likely, given the importance of Australia (Oz) in the show, that the series will end with Dorothy (Claire?) clicking her ruby slippers to go home?
Jen Chaney: Ha. I kind of doubt it, but then, this show has surprised me before.
As I said in a "Lost" 5 entry in the blog a few weeks ago, I do think there's an important "Oz" lesson that has and may continue to come into play as we approach the end. And that's the comment the Good Witch makes to Dorothy, about how she always had the ability to go home but had to find out for herself.
I think that may be true of MIB, and I think it's definitely true of our core characters. They are in control of their own destinies, but no one can explain that to them. They have to realize it themselves.
Liz Kelly: I really like what Jen just said. Though it is important to remember that although Dorothy had the ability to go home all along, she first did Oz -- and we assume the world -- a huge favor by killing the Wicked Witch. Perhaps our Losties -- at least our candidate -- will have to pass a similar trial before they come to the realization that they had the power to leave all along.
And what happened when Dorothy did wake up back in Kansas? The storm had lifted and she chalked up her adventures in Oz to a crazy dream. I could be wrong, but I seem to recall LindeCuse once saying that our Losties are not dreaming their island existence.
Throw Desmond Down the Well...: "Jen Chaney: Desmond is definitely alive. And I say this because...I know Desmond is in additional episodes."
Although I agree Desmond is alive... his future episode appearances are not proof of this. Ilana was unexpectedly Arzt'ed, and lo and behold she appears in the very next episode, in the sideways timeline.
Liz Kelly: I love it. Artz'd is a verb.
Western MD: Here's my question: what the heck am I going to do on Wednesday afternoons without this chat? Work?!?
Liz Kelly: Dude, Jen and I have been wondering the exact same thing. Oh wait, this is work!
Jen Chaney: I seriously remain in some form of denial. I can't even think about what I'll do when all this is over.
Perhaps spend my time creating "Lost" mash-ups, or coming up with fun, new "Lost" T-shirt ideas?
College Park MD: Dear Jen &Liz, Thanx very much for articulating those 5 questions. They are really the most important points we like answered.
Liz Kelly: Well, thank you.
I just wanted to add that while we're being hyper-critical of the show in today's chat, that the reason we care so much is because "Lost" is so good in the first place. The writers set the bar pretty high, so we're expecting a top flight (no pun intended) ending that will both satisfy our need for closure without totally jumping the shark. And, you know what, I think they're gonna pull it off.
Jen Chaney: I hope they pull it off.
We're all so whiny about the things we don't like, but I can't even imagine how hard it is to try to write a show ike this.
People keep asking us which show we'll focus our next dueling analysis on, and the answer is: probably none. I can't imagine a show causing this kind of stir on the Web and generating as much dissection and creativity as this one did. Really can't.
I'm Lost without LOST: hi ladies -- submitting late today so I hope you'll be able to ruminate on my one-and-only yet-to-be-answered question:
what is the point of it all, or rather, where have the past 6 seasons been leading us? is it that the ultimate goal of everything was to position a final candidate to take over the island and/or save humanity? i think the answer to what it's really about, is a big enough answer to answer all the smaller questions.
Jen Chaney: What is the point of it all?
Dang. Can we answer a question so all-encompassing and massive in a mere online discussion?
And yet I think that's exactly the right question to ask. The show is about people who are constantly asking themselves what the point of it all is. They want to know what the meaning of their lives is, ultimately.
I suspect "The Answer" won't be something as simple as, "We just needed a candidate." Meaning, I think the show -- on both a basic level, and a larger thematic one -- is about bigger matters than that. I think you're implying the same thing.
I mean, can one person or candidate be the answer? "Lost" is a show about community, in my view. It has to come down to more than just that.
You know something? I just typed a bunch of words and I don't think I actually said *anything.*
Liz Kelly: No, you make sense, Jen.
I thought about this "what does it all mean" last night after watching a bit of the "Ab Aeterno" rerun. Jacob talks in that episode about his belief in man having free will to shape his own destiny, to choose good over bad. And I think that ties in to your idea of the show's ultimate meaning being more than just a candidate.
It is about man. About every man and the eternal struggle between good and evil. And about whether we are able to control our own destinies or are buffeted about by fate.
Those are themes shared by most comic books and a significant portion of great literature. It may be simple, but it is eternal. So, why not "Lost"?
When Farraday was off-island...: ... he was in Ann Arbor - I'm pretty sure that was actually said at the time.
Jen Chaney: Right, we know that. But what did he do while he was in Ann Arbor? Take in a Michigan football game? Make some important discoveries about the island? I think that's what we'd like to know.
Jen's spitball: If you are automatically with whomever talks to you first, wouldn't that mean everyone is with MIB? It seems that almost everyone (maybe not Widmore and Ellie's company in the 1950s) has encountered MIB as either the Smoke Monster or a ghost within their first few days on the Island. Hardly anyone meets Jacob, and so far it's been after they've met MIB. The only exceptions might be people Jacob touched before they came to the Island, and Desmond.
Jen Chaney: I'd have to think through that and figure it out. The key is you have to hear actual words from MIB, I think. (Again, still spitballin'.)
I don't know if that's right, by the way, particularly because I think Jack still has a piece or two of his soul in tact, despite his MIB contact. But it would explain why Jacob tried to touch everyone before they got to the island -- a pre-emptive strike, if you will.
dogen: Well, Dogen was in Sideways LA with his son alive who also competed (I think) against Jack's son to get into that music school.
Jen Chaney: Right. But why did that need to happen? What does Dogen add to the story?
Maybe he adds something, but I can't figure it out. And dang it, I want someone to explain!
Lost in LA: In response to your question #3, there is enough evidence I think to conclude the island can heal most injuries except for wounds that will cause imminent death. Mortal wounds that would kill a person pretty darn quick it seems can only be healed by Jacob. Candidates seemingly cannot die (remember all the times Michael tries to kill himself or Locke survives the multiple gunshot wounds) except when Jacob lets them die, e.g. Michael getting blown up on the boat. If so, then this means that Jacob let Locke die rather have the cord Ben used to strangle him break.
Liz Kelly: But wasn't John Locke's gut shot gunshot wound mortal enough for you? And yet, he got up out of that mass grave and got back to work (after a little encouragement from Ghost Walt).
Jen Chaney: Also, was it Jacob letting Locke die? Because clearly that was not in his best interest.
Or is "the island" synonymous with MIB, who has been imprisoned there forever, maybe as long as the place has existed?
Awaiting the Pay Per View: I'd pay $19.95 to watch Lindelof and Cuse sit on 2 chairs on an empty set and answer that list of 100 questions.
Liz Kelly: Same here. Scarily, the two are swearing that they will not talk about the show once it ends.
But I have to believe that means something more like "We won't talk about it for a while, like until the complete DVD box set comes out."
Alex., VA: The Dharma sub - why didn't MIB just jump on the sub and go? You know, before Locke blew it up.
Jen Chaney: Great question. He's said he can't cross water, so that could be part of it.
But this goes back to my previous point: maybe MIB has been able to leave all along and only thinks he can't. The same reason some of our Losties have often thought they were stuck in the lousy situations they found themselves in -- because bad daddies, society, whatever, kept telling them they were. And they believed it.
Lost Finale Party Help: I kinda want to have a LOST party for the finale, but I kinda want to watch the finale alone. What should I do?
Liz Kelly: That is a dilemma. I'm wary of the party idea because it would be way too distracting -- at least for me.
Why not do a party on a different night? Or a cocktail hour earlier in the evening, before the finale airs? You might miss some of the hoopla run-up programming, but I doubt that'll be much of a loss.
Jen Chaney: I have the same dilemma. I hate the idea of sitting alone and not doing something to commemorate this momentous occasion.
I am thinking a party on a different night is in order. Maybe Liz and I can whip something together for folks in D.C. Anyone know of a spot that would be willing to host a "Lost" happy hour on one of the nights before the finale, without charging a rental fee? I have no doubt we could meet a minimum bar tab.
If you're not in D.C. and still want to throw something yourself, it's also worth noting that Lost is going to be on for like seven hours on May 23. Well, okay, not seven. But pregame begins at 7 p.m. and the actual episode doesn't start until 9. So, as Liz suggested, a cocktail hour or gathering before the episode is very feasible for those trying to plan at home.
Liz Kelly: Alrighty, thanks for all of the great questions -- I have a headache now, but it's a good "Lost" headache. We'll be back next week -- same time, same place -- to talk about "The Candidate."
Jen Chaney: Indeed we shall. See you next week at 2. Thanks, all.
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