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108 Remaining Questions on LOST

Posted by CJ Cregg on May 21, 2010

Dr. Candle returns with questions about this Sunday's finale

Dr. Marvin Candle returns with another guest post as we gear up for the 2.5 hour LOST series finale on Sunday.  In this post, he lays out the 108 questions remaining to be answered.

4 8 15 16 23 42

Dr. Candle writes:

On Sunday night, Lost has two and a half hours to clear up 108 mysteries. And then the show will be gone, just like that. Bloop.

The list of remaining mysteries compiled below is not for the faint of heart—heck, it might even give supreme list-maker Jacob a run for his money—but come Sunday night night, those of us who have caught the lost sickness and forfeited our souls can start pulling out our chalk and crossing out mysteries like candidates. Good luck!

Four Mysteries We Will Almost Certainly Get Answers to On Sunday Night:

  1. Is Richard dead? My guess is no.
  2. Where are Rose, Bernard, and Vincent?
  3. What did the dying Juliet mean by “it worked?”
  4. Who is David Shepherd’s mother? Hint: it probably has something to do with question 3.

Eight Major Mysteries That The Show Really Needs to Address:

  1. Why do pregnant women on the island die after 1977?  The answer likely has something to do with the Jughead explosion, but it’s still rather unclear if that bomb went off at all—and, hey, if people watching can’t tell whether or not a nuclear bomb exploded, the writers probably could clarify things just a little bit.
  2. How did the flash-sideways world come to be, and why is everything so different? Sub-mysteries involved in this one include: why doesn’t Miles seem to have his power in the flash-sideways? What is the blood spotting on Jack’s neck? Why was Desmond on the plane? Why wasn’t Shannon on the plane? Why did Claire go into early labor? Why are the lostaways’ lives so different in the flash-sideways world, even before the flight? Why is the island sunken? Why is Ilana an American lawyer—it implies that not only did the island sink, but that Jacob, perhaps, never existed.
  3. What exactly is the “sickness?” Does the monster control it, or does he merely take advantage of its mind-addled victims? And how did Dogen’s test detect it?
  4. Why did Jack, Kate, Hugo, and Sayid flash through time to 1977 when returning to the island (and not Sun or Ben, for instance?)
  5. What was the deal with Walt? What powers did he have and why (considering his apparently summoning the bird and having premonitions about the hatch)? How did he appear to Shannon, Sayid, and Locke when he wasn’t there? How did he contact Michael through the Swan computer? And what exactly happened during his time with the Others? The show has implied that dead mystics, like Jacob, can appear across the island at various ages. This explains “tall ghost Walt” IF Walt were a dead mystic. Maybe Walt had some Jacob-type power. Or maybe he died and got the sickness, like Sayid, but was immune to its soul-devouring influences as a child. Not sure. It leaves a big hole if left unaddressed in the finale.
  6. How did Miles gain his power?
  7. What prompted the Purge of the Dharma Initiative? Who ordered it and why?
  8. Are the numbers really anything more than a divine coincidence?

Fifteen Other Big Mysteries That Still Bother Us After Six Years:

  1. Why did the Smoke Monster kill Mr. Eko? Disagreements between writers and actors is not a legitimate excuse. The smoke monster judged him and deemed him unworthy. However, with what we know the the smoke monster now, here’s my theory (though it is a stretch): Eko was not a candidate, meaning Smokey could kill him. Since Smokey can take the form of those dead on the island, Smokey’s plan was to kill Eko, then infiltrate the survivors camp in Eko’s form, much as he did with Locke. Eko’s rising status in the camp as a kind of leader/prophet would have allowed Smokey to manipulate the lostaways. However, Locke and company found Eko’s dying body before Smokey’s plan could go into effect, meaning no one would be fooled by his disguising himself as Eko, so the plan never went any further. Not really expecting an answer on this one.
  2. Where did the Dharma food drop at the end of season 2 come from? Why? What is the state of the Dharma Initiative today?
  3. How did the Man in Black, as a boy, see his dead mother? It seems like all the other island ghosts were manifestations of the Man in Black, or visible only to Hurley, who has documented mental issues, allowing him to commune with the dead.
  4. How did Smokey appear at the donkey wheel to Locke while he was flashing through time? A few possible explanations: 1) the donkey wheel chamber is free from time shifts, allowing anyone who enters it to enter it in “real time,” regardless of time shifts, 2) the smoke monster can break into sentient pieces, leaving one to flash through time with Sawyer, Juliet, and the gang, and another to stick around in present time to talk to Sun and Frank in Dharmaville, 2007. Again, I’m giving the writers a lot of slack on what, really, is probably just a continuity error.
  5. Why do our heroes’ memories of their island lives only begin to set in AFTER the landing of flight 815?
  6. Why did the hatch doors say “quarantine?” Was it simply a scare tactic to keep hatch workers inside?
  7. When Locke saw the monster at the beginning of season 1, he saw a “bright light?” What exactly was he looking at?
  8. When Locke and Ben visited the cabin in season 3, what exactly was going on? It seems that “Jacob” was actually the Man in Black, taking advantage of Ben’s ruse of an “invisible” Jacob to manipulate both Ben and Locke into thinking they’d experienced a real Jacob where, in fact, Ben had never expected one. Was the Man in Black somehow restrained in the cabin? Not entirely, as smoke monsters and apparitions flitted about freely. The incident remains a mystery.
  9. Why did Ilana’s crew burn the cabin? Just out of spite? And with faith that the fire wouldn’t spread?
  10. If Jacob claims he doesn’t like to directly interfere with visitors to the island (to Richard, in “Ab Aeterno”), why does he bend this rule so clearly when off the island?
  11. How does Jacob get off the island and back again so easily, while the smoke monster is left there?
  12. How did young Ben get back to Dharma after being saved by Richard at the Temple?
  13. Who was shooting at Sawyer, Locke, Juliet, and the gang from the outrigger during the season 5 time flashes?
  14. Why did the Others (including former 815 passengers, like Cindy and the kids) not jump through time with the lostaways? There is maybe some sort of initiation ceremony conducted in the Temple than protects them from such effects—though this doesn’t explain why Juliet, a former Other, flashed through time.
  15. What is Ilana’s backstory?
    Sixteen Mysteries That Seem to Have Been Forgotten/Overlooked in Other End of Lost Mystery Countdown Lists:
  1. What was the deal with Malkin, the psychic? His own words imply somebody paid him off to get Claire on flight 815. It could have been Jacob, or Widmore, or Hawking.
  2. Why did the Others masquerade in rags? Maybe simply to hide their identity from outsiders, and to keep with Jacob’s simple lifestyle preference.
  3. Why did Desmond’s vision of Claire getting on a helicopter never happen? Charlie prevented Desmond’s other visions from happening exactly as Desmond had seen them. Maybe his “Not Penny’s Boat” warning changed fate in this situation also.
  4. Where does all of Ben’s money come from?
  5. Why did it seem like the cabin could move?
  6. Who was the real Henry Gale? How did he die? My guess/hope is he was working for Widmore.
  7. Why were the snippet of the Swan Orientation film and the glass eye in the Arrow station?
  8. In season one, Locke’s legs stopped working as he and Boone approached the Beechcraft. Why? It may have had something to do with the time flashes, as the last chronological moment that Locke has been to the place, he’d been shot in the leg (by Ethan), though he himself had not experienced this moment yet.
  9. In season 4, Jack saw a vision of his father and smoke alarm went off. Was this Smokey? If so, how was he off island? The easy—and somewhat cheap answer—is that Jack was merely low on sleep and half-dreaming/having a premonition about the smoke monster. The same explains Kate’s vision of Claire in a dream around the same time.
  10. Did a young John Locke somehow see the future, as demonstrated by his drawing of the bald man and the smoke?
  11. How did Charlotte Malkin see Yemi in a dream? Maybe this was just foreshadowing that an afterlife really DOES exist in LOST’s universe.
  12. Who exactly was Naomi? Why did she know so many languages? Why would Widmore hire her with knowledge of Desmond (and his picture, for some reason) but not inform her about the survivors of Flight 815?
  13. Did Richard really see Kate, Jack, and company die in 1977? He told Sun he did. So what happened when Jughead went off?
  14. When did the flash-sideways Ben and Dr. Chang get off the island? They were both on it when the Incident happened, but clearly both got off before it sunk. When and how and why did they leave?
  15. How did Smokey appear as Christian on the freighter if he can’t cross water in smoke form? Maybe he could before killing Jacob.
  16. What happened to Christian’s coffin in the flash-sideways world?

Twenty-Three  Mysteries That We’ll Just Have to Accept as Part of the Mystical Island Mumbo-Jumbo Explained Away With The Fairytale-Like Episode, “Across the Sea:”

  1. What is the island and the light? A locus of incredible energies. That’s all we’ll get. Deal with it.
  2. What is the monster, exactly, and why do ash circles apparently keep it at bay? And how did Dogen keep Smokey out of the Temple prior to his death?
  3. How does Jacob give life/immortality to those he touches?
  4. Why does the island heal? The healing energies are linked to the Temple spring, which is likely linked to the “light.” In fact, the Temple may be built over the “light.”
  5. What exactly happened at the hatch implosion? Likely a time-flash a la season 5, but on a miniature scale, flashing Locke, Eko, and Desmond out of the implosion crater and only a few hours into the future.
  6. What is the exact nature of the time anamoly and all it entails (Desmond’s premonitions, Desmond’s reception of a message from Dan through time, the freighter doctor washing ashore before his own death, Faraday’s rocket experiment, the time-jumps, etc.)?
  7. Why did Jacob’s mother kill his birth mother?
  8. Why had no one seen Jacob’s lighthouse before? Besides that, what is the whole deal with the lighthouse? Who made it? How does it work?
  9. Why can the candidates see dead Jacob?
  10. What was up with the message in the ankh? Dogen said it was a warning to protect Sayid, but why go through all that trouble, especially in transporting it through time?
  11. Where did the giant statue of Tawaret, the temple, the tunnels and the ruins come from? A documented long history of peoples come to and settling on the island is likely the only answer we’ll get.
  12. How did the Beechcraft transport to the Island?
  13. Why did the Ajira flight need to recreate the circumstances of the 815 crash?
  14. What are the “rules?”
  15. Why is Smokey stuck in Locke’s form after killing Jacob?
  16. How did Jacob find/select the candidates?
  17. Why did the freighter crew suffer from such strong “cabin fever?”
  18. What was the exact nature of Richard Alpert’s test for the young John Locke?
  19. Why couldn’t Michael kill himself? And why, later, was it okay for him to die?
  20. What caused Ben’s tumor and Jack’s appendicitis?
  21. How does flash-sideways Hawking seem to know about the other universe?
  22. How was the camp of the Man in Black’s people destroyed in 43 AD? Allison Janney may be awesome, but come on.
  23. How did a dying Charlotte know the donkey wheel was beneath a well?

Forty-Two Minor Yet Totally Legitimate Mysteries That You Won’t See On Other End of Lost Mystery Countdowns:

  1. Why was the iteration radio signal being broadcast when the Ajira plane went down? Hadn’t Jack changed the transmission at the end of season 3?
  2. When Kate woke up in 2007 after the Incident, why was she in a tree?
  3. Why did Charlotte know Korean? She had no good reason to know it. A fun explanation would be that Jin taught it to her as a child. It’s possible.
  4. Who were Karl’s parents? He could not have been conceived on island, so why was child brought there?
  5. Did the Others start with Richard’s arrival on the island? Sure. Why not. Makes sense.
  6. In season 5, Hurley and Miles carted the body of a man named Alvarez to Dr. Chang. Why did the body need to go to Chang, and what happened to it?
  7. Why would Widmore rig the Ajira plane with C4? Just as a last resort to keep Smokey on the island? Explain the logic to me.
  8. Who was chasing Sayid at the beginning of season 5? Probably Ben’s agents, prodding him towards a return to the island.
  9. What happened to all the other 815 survivors after the time flashes? Probably killed off by Others, or assimilated into them.
  10. Who was the “her” that Juliet resembles for Ben (alluded to in season 3)? Probably Juliet herself, who saved Ben when he was a child.
  11. Why was Nadia killed? Ben claims Widmore did it, to get Sayid back to the island. I guess that makes enough sense.
  12. In season 2, we learned that Penny was engaged while Desmond was in prison. Who was her fiance?
  13. Why was Desmond in prison? Probably for deserting during one of his time flashes.
  14. How did Miles know Charlotte had been on the island before by the end of season 4? He likely put it together after being on the island. He’s a clever guy.
  15. How did Ben’s mom appear to him on the island? Usually, Smokey needs the body to be on island to take its form. The only good explanation is that Roger packed Emily’s ashes, or maybe had donated her body to Dharma.
  16. Why was Kate in Australia? And how did she get there, if she was a fugitive in the States? She is a clever girl. And maybe used her honeymoon tickets.
  17. What was the point of the Pearl Station observation tubes? I think the answer is nothing. The pearl station workers were subjects of a behavioral experiment. This was never entirely clear, though.
  18. How did Ben get caught in Rousseau’s net? On purpose?
  19. Why didn’t flash-sideways Jack remember his appendectamy scar?
  20. What is the back story of the Other’s off-island recruits, like Tom or Mikhail?
  21. Why did Locke kill Naomi? It was so out of character. Maybe Tall Ghost Walt was somehow Smokey manipulating a desperate Locke. But still—why?
  22. Why does the flash-sideways Desmond not appear to have any brothers? Widmore notes that he has no family to worry about, though, in past episodes, we’ve learned he had to raise his own brothers.
  23. Who built the lamppost station?
  24. Where was Dan born? On island or off?
  25. In season 4, if Widmore sought to capture Ben, why did he send the first team of scientists to the island before sending mercenaries? Probably because the first team’s crew all had previous links to the island, acting as a way to forge a portal of contact/conduit onto the island for Keamy and the goons to follow.
  26. Charlotte had a sister. Where was she during the Dharma days?
  27. Did Ethan recall meeting Locke in the past when Flight 815 landed?
  28. How was the Dharma-Hostiles truce established?
  29. Did Rousseau recognize Jin in 2004? Probably not. They had only fleeting contact, plus she’d gone a bit crazy. Memories aren’t so strong that she’d instantly recognize his face 16 years later after really only spending one day together, especially if she encountered him out of context.
  30. When did Ethan officially defect from Dharma? Not until the purge? Or before that?
  31. Who killed the Ajira crash survivors on Hydra island? Probably the smoke monster. It could have been Widmore, but there’d really be no reason to do that, for him.
  32. It’s been implied that Ben has been off island at times (like in Tunisia, before, for instance). When, and why?
  33. If the Others knew of Desmond being in the hatch, why did they permit him to stay there? Perhaps because they saw the button as important and would rather have someone else take care of it than to have to do it themselves.
  34. What exactly is the nature of Ben and Hawking’s relationship in 2007?
  35. What happened to Kate’s husband, Kevin? He seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. You’d think he would show up and confront her, especially when she returned as part of the Oceanic Six. It’s possible he did and that it happened off screen. It’s possible that he was too embarrassed by what happened that he never spoke of it. It’s possible he died and Kate never learned of it, or only did off screen.
  36. Why was Richard so hairy in 1973?  Maybe that was just his style that year.
  37. Why did Radzinsky kill himself? Sick of the button, probably.
  38. In the pilot, why did Jack wake up so far away from the crash site?
  39. Who was Caesar? Just a red herring?
  40. Is flash-sideways Kate really innocent?
  41. What was Sawyer’s “Tampa job,” referenced in season 1?
  42. Okay, Lost is over. What do we do with ourselves now?
[My answer to the last question is ‘rejoice.’]
Thanks, Dr. Candle!

4 Responses to “108 Remaining Questions on LOST”

  1. Mr. Feeny said

    What an incredible post. I have one to add…perhaps to replace one of the basically answered ones.

    If Ben and his father were on the island in the sideways world, how did they get off? The island is at the bottom of the ocean, presumably because of jughead in 1977. But, wasn’t Ben still on the island at the time? When did he get off? He wasn’t on the submarine, was he? If he was, I’ve forgotten. But that’s the only way he could have avoided the sinking island and gotten to the sideways world, where I think we’re supposed to assume history has only changed since 1977, right?

    • Mr. Feeny said

      Nevermind, I now see that was in your list of 16. What about this one? How could Ben have killed Widmore? In season 4, the episode where Alex died, Ben told Widmore he couldn’t kill him. This might be on your list too…I’ll have to reread.

  2. Ben said

    I haven’t watched more than three episodes of the show… but all I want to say is… I thought for sure Feeny would have written a list of fully 108 questions… not C.J.! Very out of actual personality (not character).

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