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Lost: Big Questions

February 24th, 2010

Charlie from LostSo watching Lost is like putting together a puzzle.  But rather than having all the pieces, you only get 10 at a time.  And the 10 you get don’t necessarily relate to the ones you already have or even each other.  If you don’t like putting together a puzzle and need all the pieces before you start, I’m sure you are not reading this post.

So that said, the last 6 years have brought up some big questions.  The first was “What is in the jungle monster thing that ate the pilot?”.  Second was probably “Why is their a polar bear in the jungle?”  Now those questions feel quite insubstantial.  Here are the following questions I’m most concerned about, right now:

1. Why is the island worth protecting? MIB claims that Jacob is looking for a replacement.  The Losties are candidates.  Clearly Jacob has been on the island for 100’s if not thousands of years.  What has he been protecting?  DHARMA thought the island was scientifically relevant.  It seemed to have an energy that allowed for time travel.  That seems like one aspect.  It is not merely time travel.  It’s a nexus point.  A location that will sway the balance of power between good and evil to whomever controls it.

2. Does magic exist in the Lost universe? The Lost episodes seem to fluctuate between very high level science/science fiction stuff and some straight up wacky mystic stuff.  In season 1 the monster seemed quite mystical, in fact Locke was in “Awe” of it.  Later we see it as a smoke monster that can take forms of people (although it may be limited to dead people).    And yet there seems to be a concerted effort to make it sound like mechanical/technological.  After a season of “Faraday” and advanced physics and science, we are introduced to ancient temples with healing pools, wheels of time, and Alexandrian lighthouses with magical mirrors that see to distant locations or other universes.  Will these be “scientifically” explained?   The fact that many of the characters try to “make sense” of what is going on, is very scientific in nature.  A large portion of the conflict has been Locke’s “faith” versus Jack’s “science”.  Should ever an explanation be “it’s magical” I think I would be disappointed.

3. What are the “rules” and what prevents people from breaking them?  Who defines them? Several characters have been restricted by “the rules”, Ben and Whitmore, Jacob and MIB.  Mostly it has to do with killing each other.  But MIB found a loophole.  Which doesn’t seem like much of a loophole since all he did was ultimately get Ben to kill Jacob.  It doesn’t seem like, with all of the Smoke Monsters abilities, he couldn’t have seduced someone else to kill Jacob in hundreds of years.  There must be more to “the rules”.  MIB seems to simply want to leave the island and live his life.  Why can’t he?

These are the questions that consume me as I try to put the Lost puzzle together.  I certainly hope that the final season continues to provide satisfying answers.

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