Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sun and Jin

In the spirit of posting questions prior to episodes in which their probable answers will be revealed (err, sorry Richard), here are some thoughts on our season and a half separated lovers, Jin-Soo Kwon and Sun-(?)Kwon.

Jin has gone through an arc of maturation and growth that really isn't too different than Sawyer's journey up until he brought Juliet's corpse out of the wreckage of the Swan Hatch. Jin and James both crashed on the island in 2004 after leading lives of criminality and deceit. Both gained sustenance while on the other side of the law--Jin could at least pay the bills for Sun's lavish habits when he was in the thick of thug life, while Sawyer assumed the liar's life so adroitly that no one would be able to play him out of his lifelong hunt. Jin nearly sacrificed his marriage because of the corrupt lengths that his desire for self-sufficiency and independence pushed him to accept as justifiable. Sawyer did sacrifice his membership in any relationship, family or otherwise, because being out for himself negated the possibility of being out even a little bit for any other single person, and he knew it.

Jin found out enough about himself to do the right thing, to make the choice about his life that Jacob claims to have brought everyone to the island to do, a bit sooner than Sawyer. He's shrugged off the toxic Korean machismo he came to the island with while the keeping the healthier side of such feelings: the veneration and protection of his wife. He's forgiven his wife for straying from their partnership by literally renouncing the man he was before coming to the island. And finally, he made the choice that Jack could never make: He renounced his desire to be with Sun again because he believed her safety was greater than any wish for reunion he might have. I believe Dr. Shephard attempted to set off a hydrogen bomb simply to have a meager chance of reunion with a woman who would no longer recognize him? Basically, there's nowhere further for Jin to go. As far as a candidate for protector of the could do worse.

But, he'd never take the job if it meant separating himself from Sun for eternity. Sun Kwon (nee Paik) has seemed a little bit lost without a garden to periodically uproot. She's been a witness to some pretty crazy sh*t since returning to the island (i.e., the dead are now walking) but she's kept it cool. Perhaps hanging out with Capt. Frank has led to a bit of his squinty eyed fatalism rubbing off on her. As we've seen, Jin's already learned to cool his desire for reuniting with Sun if the circumstances ask too much, e.g., Sun's safety. We haven't seen Sun undergo any similar test. Her desire to be with her husband is exactly the vulnerability that MiB seems to delight in using to manipulate people toward committing actions that they might often consider morally repugnant. Mark my words people, Jin and Sun's reunion will not come without cost. I don't know if she (or he) will be faced with as brutal a dilemma as Ben posed to Jack in the Season 3 finale--but the MiB won't let an opportunity to gain an upper hand on Ilana and the other candidates slip out of his grasp like this.

I suppose that's the question I'm most interested in for these two. What will they be asked to sacrifice in order to be together? Will they do it? Some Lost-watchers feel that since it's the final season, the show has a duty to begin killing off its characters. I'm not really with that. And Jin and Sun being as 'side' a character as you get these days (excepting perhaps Frank), I really hope that premature death isn't in store for either of them. Their island story is always quite a bit richer when these two actors are together, so I'm rooting for a living, breathing reunion.


Well, they were finally reunited, and it felt so good. Actually it was kind of...unemotional. I mean, on the most recent Doc Jensen Totally Lost video they excerpt that Dez/Penny phone conversation at the end of 'The Constant' and just seeing that snippet, my heart is immediately in my throat and the tears are starting to flow. Jin and Sun deserve a reunion scene with that level of emotion. Especially after the incredibly wrenching scene of Sun watching from the helicopter as the freighter blew up with Jin on the deck. Maybe I'm just too cold...but I didn't feel it. Their reunion seemed rushed and abbreviated at the same time. They deserved better.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

{4,8,15, 16,23,42}

I'm satisfied with the explanation of the numbers so far (after Dr. Linus). I've read others who are most definitely not. But if the numbers are people, well, the numbers are people. It may seem a little like solving a mystery by saying 'oh that? there never was a mystery'. But I can't see being more satisfied if it was revealed that the numbers are the coordinates of the island in 6-dimensional space, or the solution to Fermat's Last Theorem, or the total number of times John Locke said 'Don't tell me what I can't do!' before his untimely passing. Throughout the show they've been formal signifiers of the story's greatest, most overarching theme: the conflicting roles of fate and chance in shaping our lives.

What could more simply and succinctly embody this duality than a sequence of numbers? At first glance, numbers can seem completely inert, governed only by the self-evident (and boring) rule that one must follow another. Why must 109 follow 108? Why is Sawyer on the island? To many of us (and many of the show's characters, at one time or another) the answers are the same. Because one thing led to another. Cause and effect, nothing more to it than that. The only reason John shows up at Jack's hospital is because any injuries that happen in that district are treated at Jack's hospital. And the force that led him to crash in just that district: Chance, Randomness, whatever you want to call it. Picking Jack's district from any other district is no different than picking 16 instead of 8 from a hat full of numbers.

It's not necessarily so, though. All collections of numbers need not be there by randomness alone. If I write down the sequence {0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144} I am most definitely not writing down randomly selected numbers. The reason I included 34, for instance, rather than 35, is because I know the rule that dictates the identity of every member of that sequence. I know that the rule permits those numbers, and only those numbers, to populate that sequence. And even if I didn't know it, if I was clever enough I could determine it simply by knowing the sequence. The rule is, in a strange way, embodied in the members of the sequence, though not in the inidividual members--I can no more tell you what the rule might be if I knew only the identity of 3 than I could if I knew only 13--but in the sequence as a whole. The rule of randomness, of anything goes, can be dissolved in this and other cases to reveal a deeper, ordered reality beneath, but one must be patient enough to allow time for the revelation of the picture in all of its parts. After 5 years, the rule that orders our Lostian universe is now known, and that rule is called 'candidacy'.

We now know that the numbers signify a collection of very specific human beings. And we also (probably) know the rule that includes those particular human beings, and their corresponding numbers--rather than others. That rule is called 'candidacy'. It cannot be written in summation and limit terminology, but it is a rule all the same. Expressed in more mathy terms, suppose we know that some function takes a number and adds 1 to it, that is, f(x) = x + 1. We can go on to say that with great confidence f(3) = 4 because, and only because, we know that f signifies the function x + 1. We do not know as much about our equivalent function in Lost: the function 'candidacy'. We can guess that the input to the function is all of the names on the Lighthouse wheel. We know that the function's output is {4,8,15,16,23,42}--which could also be written as a list of people. But though we know the name of the function--'candidacy'--its inner workings remain a black box. We simply do not know why we end up with the candidates we have, because we don't know what 'candidacy' really is.

That, to me, is the true mystery of the numbers: What is it to be a candidate?
There are several numbers-specific sub-mysteries that I hope will be revealed as we learn about more about the candidates:


1. What makes a person a candidate?

2. If the numbers are associated with our heroes—in their capacity as ‘candidates’—why have they been associated with such bad luck for those close to either Hurley or Phil Toomey?

3. Who and what was the source of the numbers broadcast which both the French Team and Phil Toomey heard?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Once and Future Charles

Considering the surprise (not really--thanks very much rules that force a guest star's name to appear in the beginning credits even if he shows up for only the last 5 seconds of the show) appearance of Charles Widmore at the conclusion of Dr. Linus, it appears I've got little time to put this post up.

And I want to. Because Charles Widmore is a tricky guy. And he's lucky enough to be played by three actors who all have the gravitas to make us viewers know that...this is not a dude to be trifled with. But its 2007 Charles that will be returning, and Alan Dale will be a very welcome injection of cold, unyielding will after the coming and going of whiny temple translators, the meekening of Benjamin Linus, and the (funny, but enough already) frequent 'Hurley asking cute questions that the fan community also wants to know' moments.

Recent developments do suggest possible motivations for Charles's actions. When Flocke tells Ben that when he leaves, someone must be left behind 'in charge of things', its a mythology reveal we hadn't heard of before, and also another piece in the puzzle of 'what MiB wants' (a post I'll try to write before next week). But...could Widmore be allied with Flocke and trying to angle his way into this (genuine?) position? Who knows. In Widmore's loyalties are...murky. Two separate posts, one titled 'Why Widmore really works for Jacob' and the other 'Why Widmore really works for MiB' could easily be written. Each would be very long and, and each very well buttressed with incidents in the show to support their respective arguments. So I won't do that here...I'll just go ahead and present:


1. What is Charles Widmore’s goal?

2. Is he currently allied with either MiB or Jacob? Has he switched alliances in the past? It’s pretty unambiguous that Bram and Ilana are adherents of Jacob. Yet they tell Miles that Widmore is on the ‘wrong side’. But we know that Widmore (with Ellie? After Ellie?) led the Others for a considerable amount of time…and the Others are Jacob’s boyz.

3. What angle is Widmore playing? Why?

4. Did Widmore expect/anticipate that Desmond would be drawn to the Island. Is he aware of Desmond's specialness?

5. What rules do he and Ben refer to in their nighttime conversation? Are they the same rules as the barefoot forest boy reminds Flocke of?

Why were the Others going extinct?

Sickness is a constant Lostian theme, more frequently alluded to than nearly anything but the clash of destiny and free will or the ill effects of bad dads. Danielle mutters about losing her crew to the sickness. Claire is convinced that sickness has attacked Aaron. Desmond, and Inman (and presumably Radzinsky) stow themselves in the Hatch for years, dutifully injecting vaccine to avoid the sickness. And now, Sayid and Claire have apparently succumbed to a sickness that has 'reached their hearts'. Still, there's one prominent sickness on the show, that's actually been, y'know a sickness.

At some point after 1977, those women whose fetus was conceived on the island died, as did their undelivered infant, at some point in the 3rd trimester. That Ben decided modern science was the answer to the problem, and thus brought Juliet to the island is, in retrospect, surprising. Ben knew quite well that the Island's effects on human health was, basically, magical. That he considered it possible that science might trump the island spirit's whims is questionable. He very well may have brought Juliet to assuage the fears of the lower ranks of the Others, who perhaps were not quite initiated into the Island mysteries and retained a dependence upon science and reason to explore the unknown.

But...perhaps Juliet's name was on one of the Richard Alpert couriered 'slips of paper' that Jacob sent on over Ben's way. Maybe Jacob wanted her to come because he thought, maybe, she might be so gifted as to thwart the sickness afflicting his devout followers. It all kind of depends on who (and there are really only two choices) was responsible for the illness.

I've seen Jacob suggested as the illness's cause on several forums, but to me, it just doesn't seem like Jacob's style. The guy hardly ever actually 'makes' something happen, he cajoles, suggests, requests, and manipulates others into positions where they are presented with a choice of either a.) do the thing Jacob wants or b.)do the opposite of the thing Jacob wants. Like in Dr. Linus, when Flocke waves a hand and Ben's ankle manacle just falls open...I couldn't see Jacob intervening in things so directly. So my prediction is that the MiB is directly responsible for the baby plague. Why? Well, let's look at what the presence of the illness led to:

1. Juliet came to the Island
2. The Others (maybe) had to recruit more heavily off-Island.
3. Ben becomes the girfriend's-dad-from-hell for poor Karl.
4. The Others (likely) became progressively more male-biased.

I really don't see a pattern here. But I still believe MiB's responsible.

And, Lost has officially identified the statue as 'Tawaret', the Egyptian deity of childbirth and fertility. It's all connected. Somehow.


1. Why did pregnant women and their children die before coming to term starting some time after 1977?

2. Who's responsible?

3. Does the Island connection to Tawaret have something to do with the sickness?

Team Ilana

Ilana and Bram know things. They know certainly know things that the audience doesn't know, and things that Ben (and even Richard) don't know about. At this point (after Dr. Linus) a few mysteries concerning them have been addressed, but several remain--enough that when Ben gets the drop on Ilana and has her at gunpoint, I coldly and calmly addressed the television and said "If you let Ben murder Ilana before we know anything about her, I will go smokey on your ass"...or something.



1. What is the club that Ilana and Bram belong to? What is its purpose? How old is it?

2. To whom is its existence known? only Jacob? Richard? the Leader of the Others?

3. Now that Jacob is dead, is she simply playing it by ear or does she have an objective?

Now that 'Dr. Linus' has aired, we know a little more. Ilana has said that Jacob 'is the closest thing to a father she's ever had'. Wha? Didn't expect something like that. I was thinking that she was the leader of an organization not unlike the one that was trying to assassinate Indy when he was looking for clues to the Grail's location in the 3rd movie. If Jacob is the closest thing she's had to a father...what happened to her real father? PREDICTION: We will find out more about Ilana's real father.

Still, if foster-filial devotion is left as the only motivation for Ilana's actions, and if Bram and Co. were simply muscle that she had hired on, that would be, um, unsatisfying. Especially since its now clear that she knows elements of Jacob's grand design (i.e. candidates) that Richard is unaware of.

UPDATE AS OF THE DAY BEFORE 'THE LAST RECRUIT' AIRS... Aargghh!! She's dead?! Before she told us anything about where she came from and why? Her only role was as a clean-up plot device? Need Sayid to get on Ajira 316, but written yourself into a corner now that he's explicitly stated his opposition to the idea? Why just take your script and soak in our patented Ilana-bath--solves all your knottiest plot development problems with no sweat! Need Ben to stay with Team Jacob even after he's murdered Jacob? No problem? Ilana-bath can handle character motivation issues just as easily as character location issues!

The show's not over, dead's not really dead on 'Lost' anyway, I know, I know. I'm pissed, though. Impatient, whiny, and immature. But pissed.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Mystery of the Outrigger Shootings

Plenty of people watch Lost. And plenty of people who watch Lost could care less about how one goes about deciphering the runes on the Temple walls, or reading theories about the origins of Jacob and Man-in-black’s conflict as a dramatic evocation of a drunken argument between Kierkegaard and Flannery O’Connor concerning the capacity of men to be redeemed in the eyes of something greater than men. But...they do care about exactly who shot, stabbed, thunked on the back of the head, strangled, or otherwise attempted to murder someone else.

Sometimes we learn the culprit of such an act in the same episode the offense occurred—like when Charlie knocked out Sun in ‘The Long Con’. Sometimes it takes a couple of episodes for the mystery to be solved, as when John eventually confesses to Sayid that it was he who knocked him out during the attempt to triangulate the radio tower. And sometimes it takes a season and a half, a la the interval between learning that Locke was dead, and eventually learning who was responsible. Well, there remains one festering, unsolved shooting that we’ve yet to get a clue on: The outrigger shootings of ‘The Little Prince’. But, But…I have a theory!

I will now predict who was responsible for shooting at Sawyer, Locke, Juliet, et al as they rowed toward the Orchid (this is recapitulated from a comment made here): I think we’ve been given enough clues (in the episode ‘Lighthouse’) to solve this mystery: I propose that Claire was in the pursuing outrigger that opened fire on Locke, Sawyer, and Co. when they were attempting to row to the Orchid Station, and it was Claire whom Juliet hit when she returned fire.

Jin uncovers the first clue during his brief perusal of Claire's tent before she comes back with the still-alive Justin. He's only able to poke around in Krazy Klaire's Kreepshow Karriage by using an oar as a crutch. I didn't catch it on the first viewing, but on my rewatch it scanned as not random right away, cuz this was one symbol heavy episode. In the next scene, Claire tells Jin he was lucky she was here to patch him up, not like the time she stitched herself up after she was shot, she claims by the others, in her left thigh.

If, as [another commenter] suggested, Flocke came into existence on the island 3 years before 316 landed, he may have been one of the others on the outrigger with Claire.

As far as why she might shoot at the Lefties, I’d recall that Claire doesn't seem to need a reason to kill Others. If she was deceived into believing, or simply assumed, that Others were on the boat, I've no problem believing she'd shoot to kill. As to why MiB would specifically advise Claire to shoot at the boat, I can think of nothing. The shooting didn't force the Lefties to do anything crucial that might fit into some kind of time loop stratagem—a la the compass—and the flash back to Rosseauvian times occurred next.

So, that's my case for the 'Claire-shooter' theory. However, there’s considerable evidence against it in the same Season 5 episode. Sawyer finds an Ajira water bottle in the outrigger on the beach. Now, if we take the presence of the Ajira bottle in the outrigger to date this flash to post 316 landing (I'm surprised, but Lostpedia lists the exact date of 316's departure as unknown, but taking place sometime in 2007) we might think the flash these events occurred in was in 2007. But—remember the instantaneous night to day transition 316 makes during its descent to Hydra Island? Could 316 have taken off in 2007, but descended onto hydra island at the same instant the island moved through spacetime, thus landing at some other time than 2007? It’s conceivable, but I think a couple of now-revealed S6 pieces of information limit any possible 316 timeshift from its L.A. 2007 takeoff timeframe to the 30-odd minutes that Faraday recorded in his 'launch the payload' experiments. This puts the Lefties (unknown to them) setting off to row toward the Orchid in 2007. Their camp is pretty decrepit, conceivably the result of 3 years of decay.

If it was Claire & 'friends' shooting at the Lefties, she would've been injured, at most, just days previous to her run-in with Jin. Obviously, this wouldn’t be enough time to heal from the wound. Still, I'd be really, really surprised if we didn't have a Claire-centric flashback episode later this season, so let's hope we find out more about her past 3 years on the island!


1. Who was the culprit in the outrigger shootings? Why did they fire on the Lefties?

2. Was one of the shooters wounded? Who?

3. When did the shootings take place?

Ghosts and Zombies

Talking to dead people is scary. I can’t say this from personal experience, but the people I respect a lot like Hugo Reyes, John Locke, and that lady from Medium (which Wikipedia says is now on its 109th episode!!? And Firefly gets canceled before it gets to 15!! Anyway…) tell me so. They tell me that even just seeing dead people is a tad frightening. Like, if you were just going about your morning, brewing some coffee and enjoying a blueberry pop-tart and then a dead person started staring at you from the other side of your bay window, it’s likely the pop-tart would fall to the floor and you’d sit absolutely frozen until the coffeemaker overflowed onto your pants and scalded your leg. If, by then, the dead person has mysteriously disappeared, you might then run outside and frantically start digging around the bay window with your bare hands, or hide on the other side of the house while intermittently poking your head around the corner to see if you can surprise the stealthy dead person, or begin incoherently pleading with passers-by to join you in an ad-hoc zombie hunting posse. My point is, all of this would be hilarious for your neighbors to watch—even if they couldn’t see the dead people. The reason your neighbors like it when you see and talk to dead people is that it always adds drama to the generally boring world that they’re watching go by.

When you throw dead people into the mix, predictable tasks are discarded in order to pursue maniacal chases, familiar faces invoke wild paranoia rather than comfort, and decisions you make that seem perfectly sensible in the context of chasing/running from dead people appear unbalanced and dangerous to say, your girlfriend.

So when dead people pop up in the exciting stories I read & watch in order to retreat from my generally boring world—I get nervous because hey, why would the creators need to use a prepackaged, off-the-shelf literary device to manufacture dramatic tension when they can manufacture it with the writing and story itself? Sometimes, I can get so paranoid that I think the creators are cynically inserting dead people in the story just to provide information that the plot hasn’t allowed a character to know, or to move a character somewhere the plot wouldn’t otherwise allow them to be, or to in some other way bend/break the rules their own plot has imposed upon them.

Of course, there’s one story where the creators can go nuts with dead people: the zombie story. A zombie story isn’t the same as a ghost story. In a ghost story, no explanation as to how the dead are able to appear to the living is necessary. The tension and eeriness of the successful ghost story is directly driven by the supernaturally exposed decay of reason and predictability that the apparitions signify. In a zombie story, the dead are brought back to the land of the living, but it’s accomplished by a force that has its own, likely twisted, but rational and coherent reason within the plot. 28 days later is a zombie story (duh); Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a zombie story (I’d argue); The Ring is a ghost story. Obviously, Lost isn’t a pure zombie or ghost story, but as the origin of the apparitions is revealed in more depth (as I hope it will be), I really, really hope it turns out to be part zombie story.

The characters in Lost thought they were living in a ghost story for the first 5 seasons. With the appearance of unkillable unLocke and ghost Jacob, some (i.e. Sawyer and Sayid) may suspect their now within a zombie story. Us viewers though, have a lot more evidence than even Sawyer and Sayid that it’s a zombie story, given unLocke’s acknowledged ability to come to us as ‘someone we know, someone who has died’. I’ll stop this ramble now…but not before I note that there’ve been many, many apparitions on this show, and I’d argue that if some of them have been zombies, then they’ve all been zombies (that is—not ghosts), and if so—they all require an animating reason to have acted the way they did.

Obviously, I am more than a little fixated on this question. This may stem from another recently ended, very popular TV drama (which will remain anonymous in the interest of non-spoilerage) that made frequent use of ‘apparitions’. In this show, the ‘apparitions’ successfully heightened dramatic tension on an episode-by-episode basis in addition to creating overall, years-long story arc spanning questions about the very basis of both the show’s mythology and the identity and motivations of key characters. The final explanation of the apparitions in this show was, imho, both a massive letdown, and a serious punting of the authorial responsibility of not concluding stories with a ridiculous Deus ex Machina.


1. Who is responsible for the island apparitions?
2. Are there some ‘apparitions’ that are ‘astral projections’ of a living person (i.e. Walt) and some that are ‘zombies’?
3. Are they all ‘masks’ that hide the same essential being beneath? Who is that being (obvious candidate: Smokey)?
4. What causes them to appear to certain characters? Can anyone see them?
5. To what ultimate (or proximate) end have they been deployed?
6. Are White-shoe Christian and Cabin Christian identical?
7. Is the same force responsible for waking ‘apparitions’ also responsible for dream ‘apparitions’?
8. Why did off-Island apparitions only appear to the Oceanic 6 after they left the island? Why not before they arrived?
9. How is Hurley’s ability to see dead people related to the force behind the apparitions? How about Miles’s abilities—any relation there?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Magnificent Man

Ah, Jacob. You'd been alluded to for like ever before we caught a glimpse of you. For a while, I was convinced you were a piece of subterfuge constructed by Ben. Then I thought you were really Charles Widmore, pulling the strings of everyone on the Island through some unknown means. Later, I thought you were a never-seen, or mentioned, former head of the Dharma Initiative. I imagined there had been a split in the DI, and one side went native with you as their Kurtzian leader, joining forces with, and later, assuming the leadership of the Others.

Then after you (I thought, at the time) moaned 'Help Me' to John Locke, I sort of gave up speculating about you, assuming you were just the disembodied G-d force animating the Island. What you needed help for, I couldn't imagine. When John received his island-moving instructions from Cabin Christian, I took CC's assurance that he could 'speak' for Jacob to sort of confirm that Jacob was the Moses-like island G-d, communicating thru ghosts he was able to invoke.

Then, watching the first 10 minutes of 'The Incident' Ming and I turned to each other and stared, our third eyes wide open and locked.

During the Great Lost Hiatus of 2009 (GLH9) I became a more than a little nervous. Did Lost just reveal the Big Bad...and the Big Good? Was a show that thrived on unreliable narrators, instantaneous reversals of fortune, men of faith who cautioned against coincidence, and men of reason who were slaves to their impulses going to rewrite itself as the millionth unnecessary chapter in ye olde booke of the battle between untarnished GOOD and pure EVIL? This show has been about many things for five seasons, but never about a noble group coming nobly together to the noble thing on behalf of their vanquished general's fallen nobleness. That kind of transition in storytelling would absolutely suck the life out of any post-finale rewatch of earlier seasons--every great character developing moment, would be seen instead as the invisible hand of Jacob. Or that other dude.

Despite Dogen's (RIP) insistence of 'evil incarnate', I've dialed down my nervousness quite a bit at this point (after 'Sundown'). Where Jacob and his beach-bud come from remains a (delicious) mystery, but they've both passed with distinction from the (apparently ancient) Other school of communication--dangle grandiose fantasies of wish fulfillment among subtle and reasonable requests to perform a task that, though simple, must remain vague, thus keeping their mark distracted as they're maneuvered into positions where the only choice remaining is a bad one. If the reveal of Jacob's and UnLocke's styles continues along these lines, I'll consider it a suitably strange spin on the old, generic tale to keep me happy for future Lost-watches.

Even now, a third of the way through Season 6, Jacob's origins and motives remain--I think--mostly a mystery. Nearly all the evidence we have of Jacob's character has been dispensed by UnLocke--hearsay from a hostile witness. I'm not saying I'm hanging life and death on every one of the questions below being wrapped up, but they're what I think about when I think about Jacob. So, let's begin.


1. Why isn’t Jacob more clear and direct with his wishes? Why does he hide his motives and goals from his allies? What code of conduct does he impose on himself? Why?

2. Who is Jacob? Was he, like his adversary, once a man?

3. Is beach-Jacob the original face of that 'which lies in the shadow of the statue'? Or is he only the latest successful ‘candidate’ in an eternal cycle of supernatural essences assuming some kind of manly guise?

4. What is Jacob’s endgame? Is it simply as MiB tells Sawyer: That his endgame is finding the ‘new’ Jacob? Would such a passing of the torch constitute what beach-Jacob was referring to with ‘It only ends once.’? If the events of Lost represent his endgame, what was his pregame, middlegame, etc? What was he up to, and why, in the period in between the construction of the Temple, the tunnels, the statues, etc and when the eldest of our Lostaways (say, Christian Shephard) were born?

5. Has any leader of the Others ever met Jacob face to face?

6. What is the disagreement that Jacob and MiB have? ’Still trying to prove me wrong, huh? ‘You are wrong.’ How does Flocke’s wish to escape his ‘trap’ relate to beach-MiB’s disgust with those who come to the Island and ‘corrupt’ it?

7. Can people find the Island without Jacob's 'bringing' them? Did Jacob 'bring' the Dharma Initiative?

8. When Jacob said 'What about you?' to Ben, was he coldly dismissing an errant peon, or gently attempting to begin a therapy session?

Really? Another Lost Blog?

What's the use of one more blog about Lost? Sure, watching and thinking and talking about the show is rewarding--I caught on to it in about midway through Season three and have completed a rewatch or two since then. I've read a lot of the professional commentary on the show in places like the Onion, the Chicago Tribune, and Zap2it--and the thoughtful analysis these writers provide is both enlightening, and capable of generating awesome comment threads.

A few of the professionals are scared that if they approach a genre laden show with creative, insightful analysis they'll see their official 'I alone can feel the pain of high TV art like the Wire and Mad Men' membership cards revoked (I'm looking at you Slate TV Club, NYT ArtsBeat, or this guy, who was able, with his extensive writerly gifts, to pen this line when considering Lost: "What I still don't have is any f@#!ing clue what Lost is about." Ah, thank you sir! Such erudite commentary reminds me why I must keep such dreadful low culture at bay. Please pass the Grey Poupon.

The coolest stuff I've read, and listened to, about Lost isn't written by either of these groups, though. It's composed by the zillion-strong population of awesome Lost Bloggers and podcasters. The ones that I know about, and visit are in the blogroll, but no doubt there's plenty of other writers putting out fantastic analyses and commentaries that I'm unaware of. Thankfully, most of these writers are more creative, more articulate, more knowledgeable about myth and literature, and funnier than I am. But Jacob help me, I still feel an irresistable urge to add one more dimly twinkling star to this already well-blazed firmament.

What this Blog is, and is not

There are a lot of awesome Lost blogs that do weekly recaps/reviews. This blog won't be one of them. I highly suggest visiting one or more of the 'Temple Masters' for masterful recaps. Many of these blogs also serve as the home of the most mind-melting, third-eye opening theories of Lost that have ever existed. Do yourself a service and visit them before May 23. It just won't be as cool once the show ends and we've figured out what is 'right' and 'wrong'. Anyway--while I've got my own show theories, this won't directly be a theory expounding site either.

This is going to be a Lost Questions Blog. Each entry will be about the questions--the unanswered questions, my friends!--that I have concerning a character, or an organization, or a demigod Island entity, or a particular psych ward patient, from the show's 5+ seasons. I'm going to attempt--using writing skills that mirror Tom Friendly's ability to throw perfect spirals--to sum up what these questions are, how I think they might be answered, and why they matter to me. In the cheerless gray eternity beginning on May 24 this year, I'll go back to these posts, and append them with my thoughts and reactions to the way the show did, or didn't address them.

Obviously, there's not much time left, so I'll try and get all my Q posts out in the next couple of weeks, and I'll likely spend more time on the Q + A posts beginning May 24. I'm not a Lost watcher who's all about the myth and theory and takes the character stories as a necessary evil (or vice versa), so expect this blog to introduce questions not only about four-toed statues, but about the state of the character's souls/spirits/destiny when this is all done.

Finally: If anyone other than me actually reads this, that's terrific. I'd like to consider this one more outpost, albeit drabby, crabby, and not too savvy, in the Lost community. Please comment away! Introduce your own questions concerning a particular topic! Theorize on what the possible answers might be! Discourse upon why these questions matter to you! The floor is yours, my learned friends. But...there is one very, very important caveat: THERE ARE NO SPOILERS ALLOWED HERE. NONE.AT.ALL. I consider a spoiler to be any information concerning the character-centricity, the guest stars, the plot, information concerning filming locations, info from media interviews/discussions (i.e., the Paley Center panel) that concerns unaired episodes. The second after the episode has aired, any of this stuff is fair game. Please be kind and don't spoil.