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Author Topic: LOST - Your "Must Answer" Questions
docmagik
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What questions do you absolutely need answered by Lost, or you'll feel let down?

The producers have already stated they're not going to answer everything.

One group of questions they've said they're not going to answer are mechanical questions--what they call the "midichlorian" questions. "Why can Walt attact animals?" They feel that whatever answer they give (It's an ultrasonic frequency his brain gives off) will just feel bogus, like the midichlorian thing did in Phantom Menace. I can see that, and I guess I agree.

But the mechanics of story, who does what and why, it seems to me like they can't avoid answering. Personally, at the end of the series, I'll be really disappointed if there are a bunch of places, all over the show, where if you go back and watch it, you'd go, "Wait, if the smoke monster was really ____, then in this episode why would he _____?"

I want character actions and motivations explained.

For example:

1. Who have the others really been working for? If Ben's been their leader this whole time, has he really been working for Jacob or smokey? It would seem like he was kind of working for Jacob, with Richard bringing him lists, but then:

1a. Why would Jacob tell Locke he had to kill his father?

1b. Why would Jacob have them set up a brainwashing facility? Or was the brainwashing facility Dharma's, and the others just started using it? Who would Dharma have been using it on, since they never used it on any of the Losties? Why would the Others start using it if they were really following Jacob? (Yeah, since the brainwashing facilities was one of our first BIG glimpses into the Others and Jacob, I really want this one explained.)

2. Walt. Why did the others want him? Did Jacob tell them to get him?

3. Who heals people, like Locke and Rose? Is it Jacob? Then why does Locke learn in the alt that healing isn't what matters? Is it Smokey?

4. Who makes it so the women can't have kids? Is it Jacob? Smokey?

***

Believe it or not, I'm NOT as curious about the statue. Since it doesn't seem like it would explain any of the story, I'd be totally cool with it if that went completely unexplained. Same with the numbers. There was a time when I really wanted a cool explanation of the numbers, but not so much any more.

I just want to get why people were doing what they were doing at any given point.

*****

What about you? What answers do you need in order to feel satisfied?

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LargeTuna
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Who were the first people to ever go to the island and why?

How did Shanon's inhaler make it to the caves when she never found it? (On the season 3 commentary on expose the writers said Nikky and Paulo found it in the forrest and Paulo just tosses it to the ground, but they had to cut the scene and it never made it on the DVD's)

What caused black smoke to become black smoke?

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Bella Bee
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I want to know why all of the main characters have killed someone.

I want to know how old Richard is - and why he followed Jacob for x-number of years without having a clue what was going on. Who would do that?

In the 80s, why did Jacob want the Others and Ben to kill Dharma?

They're going to have a horrible time explaining it without the actor (who must be about 47 years old by now) but I want to know what was going on with Waaaalt.

And what happened to Vincent, obviously.

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Samprimary
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1. wtf?

2. wtf

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Bella Bee:
I want to know why all of the main characters have killed someone.

Have they? Have Sun, Hurley, and Jack? If I've forgotten, please refresh my memory.
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The Rabbit
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I think Locke/Smoke Monster's line from last week pretty well sums it up.

"Why are they on the island?" And by they, I mean every one Jacob, Esau, Richard, the others, Dharma, Blackrock, the Oceanic Flight, the Al Jira flight, the "rescue" team, everybody.

What other questions they need to answer will depend a great deal on the answers to that question but based on what we know about it so far I think following are likely.

1. What is the nature of the contest between Jacob and Esau?
2. What does it mean to be a candidate? What are they candidates for? How did they become candidates? Why are some no longer candidates?
3. Who are the others and what is their roll?
4. What roll did Dharma play in this contest?
5. How does Desmond fit in the picture? Why don't the rules apply to him?
6. What roll do the children (Walt, Ji Yeon, Aaron, Alex) play? Why do pregnant women die on the island?
7. Free will or destiny?

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Strider
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I think some of you guys are putting a bit too much on Jacob.

We have no indication that Jacob wanted Locke to kill his father, or that Jacob wanted the clockwork orange torture room set up, or that Jacob wanted Dharma purged. All we know is that he let those things happen, but not that he had any active part in them. I assume Ben wanted Locke to kill his father. And that Widmore, as leader of the Others, ordered the purge(Ben hints at this in season 4 during his conversation with Hurley)

Rabbit, Sun shot that Other lady on the boat at the beginning of season 3. I think Hurley and Jack are murder free. Is Jin? Did he actually kill anyone in the beach shootout at the end of season 3?

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The Rabbit
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I just remembered that Hurley killed someone with the van at the end of season 3. So it might in fact be everybody.
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Strider
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Forgot about that.

Also, Jack would have murdered Locke had Locke's gun been loaded after the whole Naomi thing. But I can't think of any particular instance where he killed someone.

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docmagik
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Strider, you misunderstand my question. 1a and 1b were offshoots of question 1, that only apply if the Others really are working for Jacob/trying to do Jacob's will/are followers of Jacob. I'm asking why the Others were doing all these things it doesn't seem Jacob would ever want them to do. Basically, I'm asking for the Other's motivation, the Other's endgame.

Like Locke's father. We don't know that Ben got anything out of it. We don't know that Richard got anything out of it. But both Ben and Richard wanted to help it happen. And somehow they used the island's "metaphorical magic box" to make it happen. What magic box are they using that doesn't involve Jacob?

My questions are all basically who is doing what and why.

So for Jack's Dad being killed, my question is who's ordering it and why.

My question about the brainwashing room specifically ended in "Why would the Others be using it if they were really following Jacob?"

In other words, why the disconnect between "We follow Jacob" and "We do all this stuff that seems so contrary to what Jacob would want"?

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The Rabbit
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doc, You seem to be presuming that Jacob is a loving, benevolent leader. He may be, but the truth is that we know almost nothing about him. We don't really know what motivates him, what rules he follows or what he is (was) trying to achieve. The same is true of his adversary (whatever you prefer to call him). We still know almost nothing about them.

One of the constants of this show is that the characters are complex. No one is either good or evil. They all do things that are altruisistic, kind, and decent and they all do things that are selfish, violent, and mean. Given that, I don't expect that Jacob's conflict with his adversary will turn out to be good vs. evil either. I could be mistaken but I expect it won't be that clear cut.

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Strider
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It seems to me the conflict between Jacob and his adversary is more along the lines of man is redeemable vs. man is inherently corruptible(and cannot be redeemed). I agree with Rabbit that looking at it as a conflict of good vs. evil misunderstands the nature of the show. I think from very early on we've been shown that "redemption" is a very significant element of LOST.

doc, I didn't misunderstand your point. Even if The Others ARE followers of Jacob, or working for him or whatever, and even if Jacob IS giving lists to Richard, that doesn't mean that all The Others actions are dictated by what's written on those lists. Free will, remember? And as we've seen, Jacob believes in the possibility of progress, but doesn't seem to want to force or influence it, he wants man to find it for himself. So The Others, or the leader of the Others, might order a Purge of Dharma, or the torturing of people, and Jacob may have nothing to do with it. He may or may not be happy about it, all we know is he doesn't stop it. But I think you're making an unwarranted assumption in regards to all actions undertaken by The Others, and Jacob's role.

Jacob may have hope for humanity, but Esau is at least partly right, or has been right thus far, as evidenced by the brainwashing room and much violence.

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docmagik
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There is confusion, but it's entirely my fault. I numbered 1a and 1b like they were the questions I wanted answers to, but really they were questions that were meant to show the nuances of the relationship the Others have with Jacob in exactly the way you're describing.

I DON'T think Jacob wanted the brainwashing facility or Locke's dad to die, but my numbering them that way made it easy for it to seem like I did.

I think, like you described, there are times where the Others are kissing up to Jacob, times where they are acting out of their interest as Others, independent from Jacob, and times where they are motivated by their own intrests as individuals, independent from being Others.

What I'm saying is, I want to be able, upon re-watching the series, to have it be clear what people's motivation are at any given time. I want to understand who's doing what and why. I don't think that's midichlorian "explaining," I think that's just the story.

So a better list of questions would be:

1. What are the nuances of the motivations of the others? What do they think they're doing for Jacob, and what do they think Jacob is doing? What motivations do they have for following him? How much are they actually following the smoke monster instead (like when Ben sees his Mom, are we safe to assume that's the smoke monster?)? What do they see as their "big picture" purpose?

2. Who had anything to benefit from Locke killing his father? What would it have to do with being leader of the Others? Who do the others see themselves as, both in relation to themselves, and in relation to Jacob, that they'll all stand around waiting to see if Locke would kill his own father, or be cool about having Locke as their leader once he'd done it?

3. What's the history of the brainwashing facility? Is it Dharma's? Is it the Others'? Did it start out as Dharma's and then become the Others'? What's the purpouse of it? Which of the others knew it was there and which didn't?

3. What's up with Walt? How did they know he had powers? What did they want with him once they knew he had powers? Was it because of Jacob? Was it seperate from Jacob?

4. Why do people get healed? If it's just an attribute of the island, why does Locke seem to heal and unheal and innoprtune moments? Is it Jacob? Is it Smokey?

5. What makes it so the women can't have kids? Is it a function of the island? Is it Jacob? Is it Smokey?

*****

As for good vs. evil, that's something I've taken from the podcasts the producers do. I absolutely agree it's going to be nuanced--Jacob handed a kid the pen so he could write a note about killing a man--a note that would solidify the shape that of that kid's life. And you're right, it could all still get stood on it's ear.

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The Rabbit
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doc, I think you are too focused on the details and are likely to be disappointed because of it.

Why is the brainwashing station so important? It showed up briefly in one episode and didn't play a particularly important role then. From my perspective, its already reasonably well explained. We already understand Ben's motivation for using it on the kid (was it Karl?). He was trying to protect his teenage daughter from what he felt was an unsuitable boyfriend in a situation where accidental pregnancy meant certain death.

The only thing left to explain is Dharma's motivation for building the station in the first place and I just don't see them going into that kind of detail. The Dharma initiative was doing all kinds of weird experiments on everything from training polar bears to time traveling bunnies, a brainwashing station is hardly the weirdest then they had going. It would take them a whole season to explain every weird Dharma station and its purpose and it would be a pretty yawner of a season at that. The Dharma initiative was motivated by the desire to study the island scientifically. We might learn more about why they were interested in the Island, but the details of why they did particular studies are not really interesting to me.


The much more important questions to me are

1. Why is the Dharma initiative on the island in the first place? 2. What role do they play in the conflict between Jacob and Esau?
3. Were they candidates (whatever that means)?
4. Was everyone on the island brought there by Jacob, or did some groups (like Dharma, the US military and maybe Widmore's ship) manage to find the island on their own despite Jacob and Esau?
5. Why did the others wipe out the Dharma initiative and why did they wait so many years to do it?

Somehow, I have a feeling that they aren't going to fully answer at least some of those questions but I hope they give us a better picture than we've got now.

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Strider
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quote:
5. What makes it so the women can't have kids? Is it a function of the island? Is it Jacob? Is it Smokey?
I always thought this had something to do with Ben. We know children can be born in 1977(though for some weird reason women who are eight months pregnant are forced to travel on a submarine. Part of the deal with the Natives maybe?). We know that Ben's mother died giving birth to him at the beginning of her third trimester. And we know that women on the Island don't make it past that point in their pregnancy. Seems too much of a connection to me. I'm guessing the change took place at some point during Ben's leadership, and may or may not be a subconscious thing happening.

There was also a really interesting line in season 3 when Richard is talking to Locke and helping him with the Cooper situation. Locke asks why. And Richard answers something along the lines of, "Ben has been wasting our time with novelties like the fertility problem." Which I thought was a really intriguing way to put it.

In general I agree with Rabbit though, I doubt you're going to get answers to many of your questions, but especially the brain washing room one.

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docmagik
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quote:
doc, I think you are too focused on the details and are likely to be disappointed because of it.
If you're looking for every question people want answers to to be a big one, you're likely to be disappointed in a lot of us. [Wink]

They're not going to answer everything. We know that.

But somewhere along the line, everybody has one or two details that hooked them. It's not the same ones for everybody, and it's not for the same reasons.

Me, I'm hung up on the brainwashing room. You're not.

Some people want to see the statue being built or know it's history. I don't care about that.

We're all different. And we all get that some of us are going to get our answers and some of us aren't.

For me, it hooked my brain. Something about the combination of where it showed up in the story and my need to know why the kidnapped people on the plane just hung out with the others. Did those folks learn something? Or was it the brainwashing room? Or something else?

Why the kidnapped tail section survivors stay with the others so complacently is one of the things I want explained, so maybe my questions about the brainwashing room are tied to my caring about that question.

Which ties back to my original question about the motivations of the others.

You're right. It's not the most important question of the whole show. And your questions are very good. I especially like number 4.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
f you're looking for every question people want answers to to be a big one, you're likely to be disappointed in a lot of us.
But you didn't call this thread "Questions you want answered", you called it "Your "Must Answer" questions". Perhaps I miss understood your intent, but I thought the goal of this discussion was to whittle down all the unanswered questions to a few core questions that they have to answer to satisfactorily close the story.

The producers have said they are going to leave a lot of things unanswered, so at the end of last season I started thinking about what questions they have to answer to create reasonably satisfying sense of closure. I asked the question here at the end of last season but it didn't go anywhere. I knew there was some big question they had to answer but I couldn't quite find a way to phrase.

In a "sneak peak" of this season, they showed the scene where Locke says the bit about the most important question being "Why are you on this island?" When I saw that, my brain went "BINGO". That's the big question they have to answer this season, why all the players are on the island. If they can answer that question in a satisfying way, none of the details that aren't connected really matter.

I think including that bit in the sneak peak wasn't arbitrary. I think it was the writers way of telling us what kinds of answers we are likely to get and what kind we aren't. I think they were trying to focus people on the core issues. It was a way to prompt people to let go of the little details they latched on to and start thinking about the big picture.

So I've been trying to formulate questions that I think relate to that key question. Like I tried to say before, the exact answer to that question will really determine what other questions they have to answer.

[ February 26, 2010, 05:24 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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The Rabbit
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doc, I think your question of why the kidnapped crash survivors are willing to join the others so freely is a really good one. But for me, that's part of the bigger question of what the difference is between those who are taken in by the others and those who aren't.
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docmagik
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quote:
But you didn't call this thread "Questions you want answered", you called it "Your "Must Answer" questions".
Okay, that's the misunderstanding, then. For me, I intended more emphasis in the title on Your as opposed to The. But the quotes around "must answer" clearly make your interpretation more logical than my intended one.

And this thread's a great place to talk about both. What are the questions we each really, really want to see answered, or we'll be personally dissapointed, and what are the questions they have to answer or they'll have dissapointed everyone.

I guess my answers for both of those overlap. I don't really believe they have to explain stuff like the exact incident of Locke's father's murder, per se.

What my fear is that, upon re-watching the show, moments like that will not only not make sense, but will seem totally wrong in light of the explanations given.

Like (to use an answer we know is absurd), hey, when it turned out that Richard was really an angel cast down from heaven in chains, and has since been trying to earn his way back into God's good graces, how does that jibe with his wanting to help Locke kill his Dad?

I'm afraid of the show turning out to be full of moments like that.

My hope is that, they've got explanations for everything that are so clarifying that, upon re-watching the show, you say, well, I get why they might be doing that, now that I understand them better.

My dream is that, rewatching the show, everybody's reasons for doing everything is perfectly clear.

That's sort of what the show was about, the first couple of seasons, really. Showing us, through flashbacks, why the people on the island were doing what they were doing. Can you imagine if they'd never showed us Eko's flashbacks? He'd have been a crazy man wandering around, not talking one minute, building a church the next minute, pushing the button the next minute. But once we get the flashbacks, he becomes totally understandable. Even if the show doesn't explain why he's doing some specific thing, we get it, because we know him now, so things make sense to us.

I hope that Ben and Richard become like that, and that the Others, as a group, become like that. That the things they're doing make sense, because we've seen what their motivations are.

Edit: to clarify a new point in a way that didn't make it look like it was a clarification of an old point

[ February 26, 2010, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: docmagik ]

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docmagik
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What about what happened to the little girl whose doll Ben carries?

Would that be a personal must answer or a big picture must answer?

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Strider
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I'd consider that a personal answer. I grant it's interesting, and I'd like to know too. But...she's either dead, or she isn't. And she may or may not have had a significant impact on his character, or not. And his keeping the doll as an adult is certainly important to his character. But, I don't think finding anything out about her will answer and important questions about this Island, or Jacob, or the Numbers, or destiny or redemption...etc.
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Da_Goat
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Why were Nikki and Paulo ever in the show?
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Hobbes
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Where does the Sun go at night?

Hobbes [Smile]

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Geraine
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My questions:

Who are Adam and Eve?

Where is Rose and her husband? Still out in the jungle?

How did Jacob and Locke-ness get on the island?

Who are Jacob and Locke-ness really?

and finally:

What in fact does the scouter say about Goku's power level?

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Strider
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Geraine, I think your first two questions answer each other. [Smile]
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Geraine
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See, I thought that too, but I assume that Rose and her husband would have traveled forward in time along with the bomb squad.
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