Lost is full of big mysteries. I mean, if I ever happen to meet someone who likes Lost and they find out that I happen to know a fair bit about it, you can guarantee they’ll ask me questions like: What’s the Black Smoke? Who is Jacob? What’s the significance of the four-toed statue? Why do dead people keeping showing up? What are The Whispers? Where is the Island? And so on. The big stuff, basically.
Thing is, I’m fairly sure we’re going to get our answers to those questions. Probably they’ll be a crushing disappointment, too, but that’s by the by. What’s rattling around my brain are some of the smaller, perhaps even overlooked, mysteries. The answers to questions no one ever asks.
Let’s start off with a classic. What do The Others call themselves?
I’ll be honest, this used to worry me right around the time of Season 3, when we were starting to spend more and more time with The Others. The very definition of their collective name the others is based around the principle of their being apart and unknown. The more familiar they become the harder it becomes to define them as “others”. Luckily Season 3 and onwards has so far managed to preserve the title of “Others” on this group of Island dwellers by completely not having any of them talk about what they call themselves.
The question still remains, though. What do they call themselves? When they’re sticking posters up around The Barracks advertising the latest group meeting, what do they define the group as? Jacobites? Islanders? Junglists? Goodies (as in Ben’s affirmation that they’re “the good guys”)?
When this guy. . .
. . . introduces himself how does he finish, “Hi, I’m Ricky Alpert, I’m a. . .” This is definitely need-to-know information. How The Others define themselves ought to shed a great deal of light on what they are doing on the Island, so Season 6 better cough up an answer.
And speaking of The Others, what’s the deal with this chick?
I think we’re all agreed she probably wasn’t in with The Others before the crash of Oceanic. (Although those mad bastards Ilana and her team all happily crashed on the Island so maybe that certainty isn’t so certain after all.) And yet The Others snatched Cindy away and then she turned up all glowing and chilled out and talking about how she’s there to watch.
I want the reasoning behind that statement qualified. I want to find out whatever it was Cindy found out that quickly made her decide that the people that had been terrorising her before kidnapping her were actually an OK bunch and worth hanging around with.
I also mentioned Ilana, so it’s worth flagging up this question mark:
WTF? You’d wonder if it was some kind of flesh-searing burning incident, but she doesn’t bear any scars. So either Jacob healed her (despite tellingly never touching her in the scene where they met) or the bandages covered injuries that weren’t permanent.
If all these questions feel a tad too relevant, dare I even say essential, let’s throw out some real zingers likely to produce a shrug of the shoulders and a miffed expression. Like what was “the Tampa Job” that Sawyer and Hibbs were involved in that created such a rift between them?
And how did that small Beechcraft from Africa end up on the Island?
And how did Hurley get the nickname ‘Hurley’?
And when he once claimed to Walt that he was known as “something of a warrior” back home what the hell did he mean? Because Hurley and warrior are not two things that go together at all.
And was this mofo psychic or not!?
And what about Ms. Hawking? Did she actually work in that jeweller’s shop?
Or did she get a job there when she realised Desmond’s consciousness had flipped back to his own history and he was going to go and buy a ring in this version of events and she needed to be there to make sure he didn’t? (Insert brain meltdown here.)
And speaking of Desmond, what did he do to end up in prison?
Sure, it was a military prison but a prison none-the-less and he got put there for not following orders. But for some reason it seemed to give Widmore the right to call Desmond a “coward”. And considering fathers that have been somewhat rough on their prospective son-in-laws, how about Mr. Paik and Jin? What was the meaning behind sending Jin off to deliver those bloody gold watches around the world?
Fanciful theories have suggested the gold watches have a tracking signal inside which would allow Paik to pinpoint the location of the Island that he knew Jin was going to crash land on! Madness, I tells ya! Madness!
But then Lost and all its infernal questions will make you mad. Perhaps the biggest ‘small’ question for me is that perennial chestnut I always tend to keep coming back to: What’s the deal with the Swan Station computer?
Why the hell did Dharma make people enter a code rather than just automate the ‘venting’ of the electromagnetism? I’ve speculated elsewhere that it was a means of conducting further psychological experimentation, but it’s pure speculation. And what was with the hieroglyphs? Just another form of the psychological test, to panic the participants into thinking something terrible would happen if they didn’t push the button?
Trouble being, of course, that something terrible does happen!
Don’t even get me started on the head-banging, elbow-gnawing infuriation of trying to work out what would have happened had Desmond not turned the Fail Safe. . .
And how come Dharma were broadcasting ‘the numbers’ from the radio tower on a loop? When ‘the numbers’ were heard recently (Season 5, episode The Little Prince) there was the suggestion that it was Hurley’s voice reading them out! So whilst we’re on the matter of why broadcast ‘the numbers’, the identity of the man whose voice recites them could also use some clarification!
The list goes on, and if you happen to have some little questions that remain unanswered I’d be amused enough to hear about them. I might even try and answer them because, let’s face it, we’re probably never going to get a proper answer to most of them so I’m unlikely to run the risk of being proved wrong!