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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Revisiting our "Lost" questions -- Plus five new ones

We had questions. "Lost" gave us some answers.

After a one-week break in the action following the Sawyer-centric "LaFleur," now seems like an opportune time to revisit Channel Surfing's "Lost" questions prior to the Season 5 premiere. Somewhat surprisingly, Thomas Rozwadowski and Adam Reinhard came away more than satisfied with the results -- which bodes well for the series as it speeds towards its eventual conclusion.

Here's what we learned so far, plus five fresh queries as we buckle up for the rest of this Season 5 Dharma van ride through the island '70s. Shambala!

1. What becomes of island time? Adequately answered after a nose-bleedin' (and almost too convenient) plot device that saw the island skipping like a record through various events in time. Thanks to some writers' strike shortening, the glimpse of Rousseau arriving on the island likely served as a farewell to that flashback-laden loose end. Meanwhile, we learned a hydrogen bomb labeled Jughead was on the island, Charles Widmore was a bit of an obnoxious prick back in the day, and Miss Eloise Hawking may or may not have been a foxy, gun-totin' blonde.

All in all, the trip through the island archives was exciting, exhilarating and at times, quite amusing (Sawyer cursing the sky.) Thanks to Locke turning the donkey wheel once again, the island is stuck in the '70s, where we find James Ford LaFleur, Juliet and Jin shacked up with Horace Goodspeed, and at the end of the last episode, a returning and completely clueless Oceanic Six minus Aaron. Now comes the real question: is a new timeline developing thanks to the Losties being displaced in the '70s, or did the Losties create the crazy, new post-crash timeline because of their misplaced presence in the '70s? (Yes, that sentence is supposed to be confusing.)

2. What’s with the cryptic use of pronouns? “You're not supposed to raise him, Jack." "Don't you dare bring him back, Kate.” This mystery remains unsolved, thanks to Claire remaining M.I.A. this season and Kate blindly dismissing the "What became of Aaron" query by telling Jack that he is never to broach the subject again. Hmmm ... is it Aaron or is it Locke? We know that Dead Locke's arrival on the island led to re-animation, but whether he's a Christian Shephard-like ghost or a full-fledged mango-eating human remains to be seen. Either way, Locke's island reinvention is an interesting wrinkle that no one on the Ajira plane (except probably Ben) saw coming. Is that good or bad?

3. Speaking of Claire, what the heck happened to her? Cue cricket chirping. No Claire this season. Not even a mention, as best we can remember, though that was expected thanks to Internet leaks pointing to her return in Season 6. Patience, people. Patience.

4. Is Ben good or evil? We didn't expect an answer to this loaded question, and in typical "Lost" fashion, both sides of Ben were on full display early in Season 5. This much we do know: Ben could care less about being called out as a liar. We also know he had been spying on all the O6 members, caused Kate grief by ordering DNA tests, and likely was the mastermind behind the dastardly dart blowers tracking Sayid.

Once Chaz Widmore entered the fray with Locke as Jeremy Bentham, things got really interesting. In a juicy twist, Ben used his suicide hotline skills to save Locke, only to strangle the poor bastard moments later. He also tricked Widmore off the island and pushed the donkey wheel when he wasn't supposed to, leading to Locke's second turn that stopped the island skip-a-thon. He's also guilty of probably 1,000 different lies to Jack, and lest we forget, he's sporting some MAJOR battle wounds for reasons unknown (but we'll get to that with one of our new questions ...) As Sir Simon Milligan might say, we're leaning towards eeeeeeeeeeeevil.

5. Should anyone dare mess with Sun? This one didn't turn out to be as important as we thought since Sun's island return was cemented rather easily with the simple offering of Jin's wedding band. We also knew that Jin was still alive ... so .... yawn. Then again, it's possible that Sun has some double agent mojo goin' courtesy of her Widmore connections. Ben may still want to watch his back, or at least hire Vincent as his island food taster.

6. Is Charlotte an island native? Are redheads hot? It would appear our dearly departed Ms. Lewis was telling the truth (as far as we’ll probably ever know) when she said the island is her place of birth. We know now that her parents were part of the Big D, and that she was squeezed out during a time when island babies and their moms survived the birthing process. The question now is, will Daniel tell her what he swears he won’t?

7. Why “Jeremy Bentham,” and how did Locke get off the island? OK, in retrospect, this was a pretty lame question. It would have been better to ask, say, HOW DOES LOCKE DIE, or something like that. But the answer to how John Locke became Jeremy Bentham does have a nice wrinkle to it. After disappearing off the island via pushing the donkey wheel (how does that work exactly? Another question) John is tracked down by Widmore, who provides him with his cover, named after another famous philosopher. (Good thing he didn’t go with L. Ron Hubbard.)

8. Was Ben lying to Locke when he said he couldn’t get back to the island? Apparently. And Ben didn’t seem too apprehensive of his ability to do so, either – he sat quietly on the Ajira Air flight, reading “Ulysses” and chatting with Jack. Not exactly the actions of a man doubting the odds of his return home. It’s possible, of course, that Mr. Linus’s bloodied, beaten appearance post-landing has something to do with Bossman Jacob expelling the little twerp.

9. Where will Desmond/Penny fit in this season? Do we know the answer to this yet? Sure, the reunited lovebirds are new parents, on the lam from Daddy Widmore and his thugs, and Desmond had that memory-dream hybrid thingy with Daniel asking him to find his mother. But what good did Desmond finding Ms. Hawking accomplish? It sure didn’t save Charlotte’s life, as Daniel was hoping. And the Humes’ trip to L.A. only brought Penny into the waiting clutches (presumably) of revenge-happy Ben. Likely we’ll learn more about her fate soon, but until then, Penny and Des have kind of been non-starters this season.

10. How big of a role does Jack’s dad play? Humongocolossagantic. Even if we don’t see him the rest of the series, he’s still the dude who told John how to get off the island, and then told him to find his son. If Locke had not been able to tell Jack that poppa says hi, no way does Jack ever go back to the island, and no way do the other dominoes fall. Whatever Christian Shepherd is – ghost, hallucination, Smoky in disguise – he set the rest of “Lost” in motion.

And five new questions ...

1. Who do you have in the island death pool? In the kind-of-a-spoiler-but-more-of-a-bummer department,'s Michael Ausiello revealed this week that two Losties are supposed to die by season's end -- one major and the other major-ish. We surmised that the major-ish one would likely be Penny Widmore following Ben's frantic phone call to Jack during "316." After all, there's no way Ben would make that promise to Pa Widmore (I call him P-Widdy) and not follow through.

As for the major one ... it's anything goes thanks to that end date. Sayid has been fairly useless for a few seasons now. Sawyer's arc of redemption appears complete. Daniel Faraday seems like the sacrificial lamb type. And of course, there's Desmond's island fate being tied to Penny's potential death ... which could also spell doom for a certain Mr. Linus.

2. Is Richard Alpert a ghost? He doesn't age. He likes eyeliner (um, do ghosts wear eyeliner?). And he certainly alluded to some level of supernatural prowess by telling Horace that the sonic fence may stop others but not "us." Then again, maybe he just knows about the nifty earplug trick. Because of the mystery surrounding him, Alpert has always been one of "Lost's" most captivating characters. Early on, we thought he might be a time traveler extraordinaire. But now that Locke has been re-animated -- a telegraphed move that followed in the mystical footsteps of Ghost Dad Christian Shephard suddenly spouting island wisdom -- it appears the living dead on the island are pretty darn special. Richard Alpert may be one of them, though it then begs the question, do ghosts have to keep truces with normal Dharma folk?

3. Why/how did the O6 split up post-crash? You know how it is when you go on vacation. Little Bobby wants to go on Space Mountain, Susie wants to shake Mickey's hand, and Dad just wants to stay in the hotel room and watch pay-per-view skin flicks. But what could account for our returning castaways getting separated, not just spatially, but in time too? Jack, Kate and Hurley have hooked up with Sawyer and crew sometime back in the Nixon Administration; Ben is curled up on a cot in the same period as Locke, Frank the pilot, and maybe Sun; and Sayid is ... wait, where the hell is Sayid? All we know is this: there was a flash of light, and Jack wakes up in a familiar bamboo patch, albeit in the '70s. The plane has landed more-or-less in one piece over on Hydra Island in the present (maybe), and there's a bunch of injured passengers, but no one seems to be dead. On the contrary, it brought corpsified Locke back among the mango-eating living.

Is it possible the flash was another time-jump, and the plane simply got caught halfway between eras? But how could that teleport Jack and Kate off the plane, while the others had to land like normal people? And seriously, where the hell is Sayid?

4. What's Faraday up to? Daniel Faraday is a man with a plan. Right away in the first episode we saw something that made no sense: Faraday in a spiffy Dharma jumpsuit and helmet, prowling around the future site of the Orchard Station. Now that it makes sense how he got there, what's he doing? What has he figured out? The obvious guess is he's going to push the donkey wheel and get the mystical time record back in the groove. But is it as simple as that? And could it have anything to do with saving Charlotte?

5. What effect do the castaways have on Dharma? Sawyer is chief of security. Juliette fixes vans. Jin ... has a jumpsuit with "Jin" stitched on it. Obviously they're not supposed to be there. And it's likely that they won't prevent Ben's purge or contribute to any huge scientific breakthroughs. But our gang has been having an effect on the daily goings-on of DI, whether it's James talking Horace down after a fight with his wife, or Juliette delivering Amy's baby. Heck, remember the scene with Horace tossing dynamite? Where else have we seen dynamite before? And who was it that told Horace about the Black Rock?

There are bound to be several of these cool insider moments for fans, but will it amount to anything? With the addition of Jack, Kate and Hurley tonight, Sawyer will have to expand his lie to accommodate the discovery of his "boatmates" after three years. And what happens when Young Ben shows up (you know he has to.) What would be stopping Sawyer from taking the kid for a swim out in the riptide? And if Locke is also in the same time period and somehow finds his way to the village, how many questions do you think he's going to have for a certain Dr. Marvin Candle?

"Namaste" airs at 8 p.m. tonight on ABC.

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,, and Adam Reinhard,



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