5 Questions the Lost Writers Need to Answer (And Why They Won't)
Hurley was speaking for a whole bunch of Lost fans when he said that, and thanks to a strike-shortened Season Four (only eight episodes in the can) we're wondering just how many answers we're going to get. Unfortunately, we're pretty sure not even the writers have answers to the mysteries we want solved most ... or at least not good ones.
What's the deal with Walt?
Amid the ragtag team of survivors, somewhere between the quasi-superhero doctor and the background-dwelling Scott (or is it Steve?) on the screen time ladder, there used to be a small black kid named Walt. Several episodes early on hinted at mental powers allowing for everything from weather control to the ability to attract wild, often dangerous, animals with the power of his thoughts.
Later he returned in a vision, to provide the survivors of Flight 815 with important information through the somewhat dickish use of backwards talking.
At one time Walt seemed to be key to the fate of the survivors. Unfortunately for the show's producers, while time on the island moved at the leisurely pace of a month-or-two every season, the actor portraying Walt, Malcolm David Kelley, had this annoying tendency to age a full year with every calendar year that passed.
Walt in Season One, Season Two, and an artist's rendering of his projected appearance in Season Six.
The answer was to write Walt and his father, Michael, out of the show, which came to fruition when they boated into the wild blue yonder at the end of Season Two, leaving behind a whole pile of unanswered questions.
In what is widely regarded as the most retarded of the fan theories, it has been speculated that Walt and Aaron, the recently born child of Claire, are both magical children and will prove to be the countering "dark" and "light" forces of the island. At first blush, the theory hangs together perfectly, especially since the black/white contrast has been prevalent throughout the show's run. However, we have since found a snag in this theory: through some diligent research, we have come to discover that not all black people are evil by default.
Also, Aaron's just a baby, and while pre-teens may not be the toughest sons-of-bitches in the world, if this struggle comes to pass, we're laying heavy money on Walt simply punting Aaron into submission.
Others think Walt can merely astral project himself (meaning he can have out-of-body experiences at will) as part of his magical superpowers. Though this does little to explain why his voice is a full octave lower with each appearance.
We're sorry, but if you were hoping for a non-magical answer to this one, you're probably out of luck. If you were looking for all your answers to come from sound science, try some other show, like CSI. OK, bad example.
Will They Tell Us?
You'd better hope so, because Michael (played by Harold Perrineau) will be back for Season 4, and if Walt doesn't come with him, we can all look forward to another season of Michael looking disheveled and shouting "Walt!" several hundred times.
Of course, Walt returning doesn't in any way guarantee he'll bring answers with him. Don't be surprised if the writers spend all their time trying to explain why the supposed 10-year-old grows a fuller beard than Jack.
What's the deal with those first survivors who were kidnapped, and what do the Others want with them?
In the survivors' first days on the island, the evil natives (the "Others") infiltrated the group and formed a list of people to be kidnapped and dragged off into the wilderness for reasons which, we could only assume, were terrible and vile.
Later the survivors got a glimpse of some of the hostages being walked through the jungle, catching the feet of some of the children dangling a battered teddy bear (above).
Maybe we're just partial to all things list-related here at Cracked, but we really wanted to know what it was that earned those "lucky" few a spot on the kidnap list, and what the Others have been doing with them the past month-and-a-half. The producers seem profoundly less interested.
Well, we know that some of the kidnapped have turned up with the Others, clean, unharmed and willingly cooperating with the bad guys. We know that for the show to make any damned sense at all, the kidnapped survivors have to have been brainwashed somehow, which almost guarantees that this is not going to be the actual explanation.
You may recall that when the show's hero, Jack, was being held in a cage by the Others, one of the kidnapped (Cindy the flight attendant), showed up outside the bars and managed to speak to Jack without revealing a blessed thing about where they've been kept or what the Others had done with them. This is mainly due to the show's usual technique of having characters in the middle of a profound mystery suddenly confront someone with all the answers, and then not bother to ask them a single relevant question.
This led to the ridiculous exchange where Jack screamed at Cindy to go away, and Cindy stared back in utter confusion at his reaction. So apparently the brainwashing eliminated the part of the brain that understands that people react badly to being locked in a freaking jungle cage.Anyway, as Cindy turns away we see the children that were glimpsed in the jungle earlier. To make sure we get it, they zoom in on the teddy bear.
Notice the bear looks as good as new (the leg isn't taped up any more). What the hell?
Will They Tell Us?
It appears that Lost mysteries come in three flavors:
Mysteries that are never solved.
Mysteries that are solved and sort of make sense.
Mysteries that are solved and the solution is retarded.
We're going to speculate that this one will be number 3. The early glimpse of the Others and their hostages appears to have come at a time when the writers hadn't quite worked through what the "Others" were yet. Both the teddy bear in the jungle and Cindy's inexplicable reaction to seeing Jack in the cage have the feel of scenes that were included specifically to be baffling, purely to distract us from the fact that they hadn't really explained the last baffling thing.
What's the deal with Libby?
Nobody who watches Lost was accusing Libby of being overly sane as her relationship with Hurley developed in Season Two. While it could be argued Libby wasn't exactly a knockout, the fact remained that she looked like this:
And Hurley looked like this:
The first time she leaned in to kiss him, there was a part of us that was genuinely afraid she was in danger of becoming supper. That being said, there were few moments in the show's history that came as more of a shock then the slow pan to reveal that Libby, the purported psychologist, was in fact in the same mental hospital as Hurley as a patient. The Lost writers had tied another knot in the tale that fans were eager to untie.
Then Michael shot her. So, that was the end of that, we guess.
Or maybe not. To further complicate things, the producers had Libby show up in a pre-island flashback of another character (Desmond--she gives him the boat he would sail to the island).
Some think Libby was working for Charles Widmore, Desmond's girlfriend's dad. The extent to how involved Libby is, and how many people she is responsible for sticking on the island, varies from wild theory to wild theory, but the consensus among all of them is that Widmore was responsible for her boat gift to Desmond, and damning him to a world of danger, confusion and sporadic bouts of nudity.
Will They Tell Us?
The producers have hinted that we will soon learn more about Libby, and that we will do so through the flashbacks of another character, the latter of which could have gone without saying as we would imagine a Libby-centric episode would be far from sweeps gold due to her current inability to do anything which doesn't involve lying still and decomposing.
What's the deal with the four-toed statue?
So survivor and ex-Iraqi Special Forces member Sayid leads a sailboat on a stupendously unsuccessful ambush mission against the Others, and they come across the ankle-length remnants of an enormous statue. Sayid pondered if it was more disturbing that the rest of the statue was missing, or that the remaining foot was four-toed. It's the four-toed thing, we assure you.
Given that the statue earned a dramatic chord and a spot in the ever-lengthening "Previously on Lost" segment for the Season Two finale, it seemed that answers to what the statue was and who put it there were soon to follow.
It's yet to be mentioned on-screen since. Executive producers did see fit to acknowledge that it was a remnant of the island's prior inhabitants, though we find it hard to give them credit for that, since nobody in their right mind would assume it was from future inhabitants.
Well, guess what. Some fans are speculating that time on the island moves in reverse, and the statue is in fact a remnant from the future when humans have evolved away that pesky little pinky toe. Supporters point to the apparently ageless Richard Alpert as evidence, who did not seem to age a day from a flashback episode that took place decades earlier:
They say the reverse-time even explains the frequent baby deaths on the island, as at a certain point uterus-time apparently just hangs a U-turn, causing the unborn fetuses to become unconceived and die.
Another, perhaps equally retarded theory is that the survivors crashed on one of the islands made famous in Greek mythology (specifically Homer's The Odyssey) in which references to four-toed natives are common. Therefore the whole thing may simply be one of the writers proving that he went to a private school growing up.
The most likely theory, one widely rejected by Lost fans, is that at some point in the past there was a sculptor who stepped back to admire the statue he'd spent three years carving, glanced down at the foot, squinted and said, "Oh, fuck me."
Will They Tell Us?
Initially, promises were made by producers that the four-toed statue would be one of the many mysteries revealed in Season Three, so chances are good that it will at least be mentioned at some point in Season Four. If we had to guess, we'd imagine it'll happen shortly after the fate of everyone on the island is decided and our three biggest questions are answered in next week's episode.
What's the deal with the numbers?
4. 8. 15. 16. 23. 42.
If there's any certainty in the world of Lost, it's that when there's a number ready to make an appearance, you can be damn sure it's going to be one of those six. Ana Lucia's row on the plane? 42. The number of years Rousseau's signal's been transmitting? 16. Episodes between when we all started wanting Charlie to die, and when he actually did? 23.
The first pieces of the numbers puzzle were set in place for those fans with enough free time to engulf themselves in "The Lost Experience" (the network's online tie-in to the show). They were revealed to be the core values of the Valenzetti Equation, which predicted the end of humanity. While this revelation did provide the proper amount of additional confusion, it did very little to explain why the numbers turn up in dozens of completely unrelated places and their tendency to cause doom and destruction wherever they appear.
This fan says the numbers don't actually mean anything, but were simply the means by which the island brought everyone to the island (they were Hurley's winning lotto numbers, the transmission of the numbers brought Danielle's boat there, and so on). The numbers exist, on their own, as their own evil entity. Like some sort of destructive devil in number form, that must be contained on the island and thus all who come across the number wind up there (or dead).
Will They Tell Us?
We're going to say right now that if there is an explanation it is exactly as mystical and nonsensical as that. They've taken it too far for there to be any kind of answer that makes the viewer say, "Oh, now I get it!"
The writers just went to the numbers well too many times on this one. In addition to all the places you see the numbers on the island (etched onto doors and hatches, entered as a code in their computer, printed on random objects) before that they were muttered by a crazy guy in a mental hospital, appeared on the dash readouts in Hurley's car, showed up everywhere in connection with the doomed flight (Flight 815, boarding Gate 23), appeared on LAPD police cars and even on the backs of a huddled girl's soccer team Hurley randomly saw as he passed.
We probably shouldn't be surprised that one of the show's creators (Damon Lindelof) told a ComiCon audience, "We may never know what the numbers mean."
We have a sneaking suspicion that the "we" there includes the writers.
We have a feeling that Season 4 of Lost will have fans wishing it had ended up on this list of 6 Shows (Thankfully) Canceled After One Episode. Or, in honor of Legos' 50th birthday, check out some awesome Lego creations..