EW.com recently polled their readers on what they considered the “must-answer” questions for Lost before it comes to an end. Over the course of three posts I’ll reproduce the Top 15 questions that got raised, and then provide my best attempt at answering them. If anything it may at least prove to be amusing once the finale is over and we all (hopefully) know the real answers. Let’s get cracking with Part 3, questions 5 to 1.
5: What happened to Claire?
5: What happened to Claire?
Aaron's Aussie mommy survived a rocket attack on her cabin — or did she? She seemed fine, but soon after, she disappeared into the jungle with her father, Christian Shephard (also Jack's dad), who may or may not be a ghost. She's been MIA ever since.
First up, I am definitely of the belief that Claire is not dead. Miles pretty much confirmed it already when he mocked Hurley for having conversations and interactions with dead people. His curious looks over Claire were nothing to do with him thinking she was dead and more to do with him having an eye for the ladies and getting interested in getting intimate with MILF Claire.
So last we heard of Claire was that she went wandering into the jungle with Christian Shephard, leaving behind Aaron, only to later be viewed in Jacob’s Cabin, happy and carefree. Given how much she cared for Aaron we have to assume that Christian either brainwashed her (her carefree manner called to mind her demeanour when she was drugged by Ethan in The Staff Station) or he told her some incredibly convincing things that compelled her to leave Aaron and go with him.
Throw into the mix the notion that Christian Shephard was really Nameless in disguise, then this trickster character convincing Claire to do his bidding has an element of nasty ploy about it that suddenly makes Claire’s position worrying. She may have appeared happy and carefree, but that might be because she had been wholly duped and is being used in ways she doesn’t understand. Richard Malkin the psyhic warned that bad things would happen if she did not raise the child herself, and it’s arguable that this was Nameless’ intention.
Jacob’s Cabin has been burned down now, of course, which makes the matter of where Claire is residing even more perplexing. Fact of the matter is, I’m stumped, and I suspect the issue of what happened to Claire and what she’s up to now is one of those mysteries that we’ll only ever be able to hint at once we’ve been drip-fed just a little bit more information. I feel this is something that strikes right to the core of the big reveals about the show we’re all waiting to be hit with.
4: What was up with Walt?
Our top four ''Lost Must-Answer Mysteries'' were the only ones to receive more than 5% of the total vote — an indication, I think, that one fan's mystery is another fan's ''Who cares?'' Anyway, Walt. Maybe psychic. Seemingly capable of astral projection. Ben told Michael that his son proved to be ''more than we bargained for'' after they took him from the raft. What did that mean?
Walt had displayed psychic ability (touched Locke and knew he was opening ‘the hatch’ and warned him against it), astral projection (appeared dripping wet to Shannon a couple of times, as well showing up as ‘tall Walt’ to get Locke out of the mass grave) and bird-death telekinesis (displayed capacity to make birds slam themselves into windows and walls to their doom with his mind, as shown in the episode Special and the Lost mobisode Room 23).
On an Island that can emphasise and produce such phenomena already, it’s perhaps understandable that a ‘special’ person like Walt that could already do these things would be considered very valuable. Instead of being a glowing bulb, being on the Island could supercharge his powers and make him a blinding light. Perhaps that was what The Others hoped for when they took him; that his suped-up powers would help them. As it turned out he was more than they bargained for, perhaps indicating that his existing powers, bolstered on the Island, were just too much for them to control (again, the mobisode Room 23 suggests as much).
The issue of Walt’s astral projections to Shannon and Walt definitely deserve explanation – the rest of it could be left as it is without causing anyone sleepless nights. What worries me is that why Walt, speaking backwards, dripping wet, appeared to Shannon as he did won’t get explained at all – and that will be a massive gaping frustration in the show.
3: What is The Monster?
Look at that picture. Need we say more?
I still believe ‘the monster’ is man-made. I’ve thought that from the start, as a consequence of the machine-like noises it makes. Potentially it was a force that existed on the Island that the Egyptian civilization on the Island managed to harness and filter into the tree-uprooting, hooting, camera-flashing, death-machine we’ve seen.
What we do know about it is that it possesses the capacity to scan people, as if according some form of judgement. It can also kill people quickly (like the pilot of Oceanic 815) or it can apparently give them space to confess before it picks them up and slams them about (like Mr. Eko). Ben’s mission to confront ‘the monster’ to face judgement over his actions pretty much confirms that it is the Black Smoke’s function to dispense punishment as the ‘figurehead’ for some form of law and order that resides on the Island.
It’s still unclear if the Black Smoke is a force for ‘good’, or a force for ‘bad’, or whether those terms even apply. Given that it’s the jewel in the crown of mysteries for the show there’s bound to be more about it. Like where it calls ‘home’, for example. We’ve seen it emerge from vents, and there’s evidently a network of tunnels that it moves around in. But where does it stop? Does it ever stop? Who does it answer to? If it was taking pictures of Kate and Juliet then who develops them!? I have a hunch that the Black Smoke is the moving part of a larger ‘thing’. Something buried deep within the walls of The Temple, underground, there’s the ‘thing’ that the Black Smoke is a part of.
If we consider the Island to be a proving ground of sorts, where mankind is put to test time and time again, watched over and coerced by Jacob and Nameless, then Black Smoke is perhaps both indicator and arbiter over events. Perhaps when ‘the monster’ stops going around uprooting trees and killing people, that’ll be when harmony has descended. Really, though, I won’t be truly happy unless the truth about the Black Smoke turns out to be something that never occurred to me in my wildest dreams and, frankly, my above suggestion seems mostly too ‘obvious’ to be correct.
2: Who is Jacob?
This was Top-10 material even before the season 5 finale, when Jacob was still a phantom. But after ''The Incident,'' when it was revealed that Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) was a youthful looking fortysomething, partial to fish, free will, and Flannery O'Connor, he rocketed up the charts. But he still came nowhere close to Number 1. . .
You can’t help but consider him a Christ-like figure. At the end of Season 5, when he appeared to have sacrificed himself deliberately as a small act for a larger vision, it called to mind Jesus on a cross. But such parallels strike me as too extreme. Mind you, when he goes over and touches Locke to apparently bring him back from the dead (I don’t think he really did, mind) then it becomes a tantalizing proposition. Not to mention all that business being a fisherman. All very Christ-like.
There’s the flipside view, of course. The one that suggests Jacob and Nameless – being good and bad – are just a big trick and in actuality Jacob is the bad one and Nameless is the good one. That might be the case. For sure, when he distracted Sayid it certainly seemed to create a situation where Nadia looked back at him, wasn’t looking at the road, and was so killed.
Or did Jacob actually save Sayid’s life and prevent both him and Nadia being hit?
Or was Nadia's death essential for Sayid to return to the Island? (That being the case, causing her death still doesn't strike me as a particularly 'good' thing to do.)
For the record, I am going with the idea of Jacob being a ‘good’ guy. And that he exists on the Island locked in some eternal game with Nameless, using the Island as a battlefield to prove whether or not mankind will ever progress from being consistently destructive time and time again. And whilst I label Jacob as 'good' that does not preclude him from doing deeds that aren't wholly good - but he serves a greater good.
This notion does promote Jacob to a demi-God status, of course, but since The Others have been following the word of Jacob for decades precisely like religious fanaticism then it’s a conclusion that’s been a good few seasons in the making. That he’s ageless, can appear anywhere, and knows things about people beyond what he ought to know, he’s certainly got that immortal superbeing vibe down to a tea.
I’ll just lay it out as I see it. Jacob is a Christ-like figure for good presiding over the Island, and Nameless is his opposite – a Devil-like figure for bad residing on the Island. How spectacularly bad that idea is remains to be seen.
1: Why doesn't Richard Alpert age?
This result (10.8% of the vote) surprised me: I thought for sure the Monster, the Island, or the Numbers would be up here. The phrasing of the mystery is pretty much exactly how everyone articulated it. Still, I interpret the question to mean that we want answers for the whole Alpert enigma. What's his role on the Island? How did he meet Jacob? And more importantly: Eyeliner or what?
I think that Richard Alpert doesn’t age because he is so in-tune with the Island, and has been for so long, the effects of healing that the Island has exhibited on other people is so extreme with him that it’s beyond healing and actually produced the effect of immortality. Consider Locke’s attunement was such that it mended his broken back and made a paralysed man walk again. Now multiply that attunement further still and you get to where Alpert is at.
Obviously such attunement is a rare thing, which is why only Alpert appears to be the sole person occupying this role. His dark eyeliner eyes (not actually from real eyeliner, of course) give him that whole Egyptian quality, too. And the name Ricardus suggests a much more ancient character than the more modern Richard we’ve come to know.
So as stated elsewhere, I believe Alpert was a part of the older civilization on the Island that built the four-toed statue, and put hieroglyphics about the place, and made a Temple, and because of his acute attunement Alpert survived to watch over the Island and usher in new people to help him watch over it: The Others. Whilst never being in charge of them, he is crucial in selecting new chiefs for the tribe as they come and go.
And so that brings me to the end of this exhaustive rundown of the big mysteries of Lost. I guess a lot of the fun is going to be in finding out the truth when the show comes back for its last (sniff!) series, but a little bit of amusement will be derived from coming back here and checking out these ideas of mine and seeing how close or, more likely, how far off they turned out.