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Posted at 2:08 PM ET, 04/28/2010

The 'Lost' 5: Our top unanswered questions

By Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney

John Locke, or is it the Man in Black?, may be at the heart of many of 'Lost's' mysteries. (ABC)

Despite the gaping hole left in our lives by the lack of a new episode last night, our minds remain as over-occupied as ever with "Lost" as we head into the final three episodes ahead of the series finale.

As promised in last week's "Lost" Hour chat, we spent the extra time afforded by the show's one-week hiatus considering some of "Lost's" lingering unanswered questions. No, we won't get answers to every single poser, but there are some pretty crucial mysteries yet to be solved. Below, we detail the top five questions we demand (that's right, demand!) be answered by the time the closing credits roll on May 23. We'll talk about these -- and your top questions -- today at 2 p.m. ET.

1. Why the (now somewhat lost) focus on kids, babies, pregnancies?
Sure, this season has concentrated on candidates, MIB vs. Jacob, Charles Widmore's arrival and Desmond's new-found mission, but once upon a time -- oh, say, the first few seasons -- kids had an important role in the show's plot. Oceanic 815's junior passengers were kidnapped, the Others (in the form of spooky Ethan Rom) tried to take baby Aaron from Claire before he was out of the womb, Walt was also nabbed by the Others and taken for some kind of testing. Oh, and let's not forget the fertility research conducted by one Dr. Juliet Burke -- whose sole purpose in joining our little show was to figure out why women couldn't carry babies to term on island. But, since the days of Taller Ghost Walt and last year's focus on ping-ponging through time, we've kind of lost the thread of why kids were important to the Others. The emergence of the tow-headed pre-teen who appears to MIB may mark a return to the significance of the young ones.

2. Who are the island "natives," really?
We know the Dharma Initiative was run by a group of hippies in jumpsuits, but what was the group -- funded by industrialist Alvar Hanso -- really doing on the island? Most hippies we know aren't overly interested in electromagnetism (unless it leads to some kind of more intense high). Plus, wouldn't Dharma's stateside handlers have realized they could stop the food drops once Ben gassed the entire Dharma camp? And who were the Others -- meaning the group once led by Charles Widmore and/or Eloise Hawking -- exactly, and when did they arrive on island? And what of the shadowy other Others -- the ones who chased Sawyer after the time flashes, but were never quite visible?

3. How do the healing properties of the island work? Is it related to the electromagnetic anomaly?
We've seen some pretty miraculous recoveries -- the previously wheelchair-bound John Locke can walk, Rose's cancer disappears, wounds mend at an accelerated rate. But why? And why didn't the island heal Boone, Shannon, Libby, Ana Lucia or longtime resident Ben Linus who needed Jack to intervene to cure him of his spinal tumor? Can all these incidents be explained in those simple, oft-repeated terms: the island was done with some of them, but not with all of them?

4. How will the island story and sideways world converge?
Sideways world -- the flashes to a Los Angeles in which our characters, who never crashed on the island, are similar but not quite the same -- is a season six construct, but one that has quickly become central to the plot as we speed towards the May 23 finale. Clearly, what is happening in sideways world will have a big impact on our characters. But, umm, how?

Over the past few episodes characters in sideways world have started to become aware of their island life. Desmond, Charlie, Daniel Faraday and Hurley have all had awakenings that allowed them to re-access their memories of what happened on the island and, specifically, their lost loves. But where is it all going? Desmond is clearly on a mission to push the Oceanic survivors into remembering (hence his running down John Locke to put him in contact with spinal surgeon Jack Shepard), but what happens next? Will sideways world disappear? Will off-island self-awareness free our characters to act on the island? Is it all just a nice time-filling distraction?

5. Who are Jacob and MIB, really?
As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, the struggle between Jacob and the Man in Black is relatively new, though we've long heard about the shadowy Jacob. But what's the deal? Are they nemeses on a par with God/Satan? Two sides of the same schizophrenic coin? Will the "candidate" replace one or the other? And while we're asking way too many questions, here's another: How did those two guys -- the ones we saw chatting before Alpert and his Black Rock showed up -- wind up on the island in the first place?

By Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney  | April 28, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
Categories:  Lost  | Tags:  Lost  
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Good questions. From the LOST rumor mill we will likely get answers to all of them, although maybe not to our satisfaction. The questions dealing with healing (3) and pregnancies (1) are the ones I'm thinking we will NOT get really good answers to, since the story lines have been pushed to the back burner. But the other three had better be resolved by the end or many people will be disappointed.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 28, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Can we not get past discussing Lost? Accept it: it's over!

Posted by: lskloven1 | April 28, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Can we not get past discussing Lost? Accept it: it's over!" Posted by: lskloven1

No we can't. Glad you're along for the ride : - )

Posted by: dojemc | April 28, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Um, last time I checked, it's NOT over. Several more weeks, several more episodes. The uninformed and ignorant should learn when to keep their fingers off their keyboards and put them back where they usually have them. Don't worry, you can still choose whichever orifice is your favorite.

Posted by: PerfectlyCromulent64 | April 28, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure the other Others are going to be MIB's group as they paddle to Hydra Island.

Posted by: charodon | April 28, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I have been a fan watcher of LOST since the very first episode and I am still LOST. I look forward every week to the show and even watched the episodes with the crawl at the bottom. After watching that, I could understand what was going on, but ABC stopped the rerun episode and put DWTS on instead. I am not a fan of DWTS and was unhappy with not seeing LOST. I will miss it and know it will come out on DVD. I will have to have the whole series in my DVD library.

Posted by: kathlenemadson | April 29, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

these are questions i'd also like to see answered. what's the relationship between the dharma initiative and jacob? that would be another way of asking that #2. if they've been putting the numbers corresponding to jacob's candidates into the computer, there has to be a link between DI and jacob.

also, re: converging timelines. it seems like desmond's project is the result of an "accident." it seemed like widmore was testing desmond to make sure he could really survive the electromagnetism, but now it seems like he's making things move. i'm wondering if he's doing what widmore had in mind or not.

Posted by: plathman | April 29, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

While not on a par with the megaquestions you've listed, given how important Locke's death was to MIB's plan for a loophole, why did Ben change his mind after Locke mentioned Eloise Hawking, and strangle him, moments after saving his life? This ties in with the mechanics behind MIB's plan-what role did he play in Desmond's not pressing the button, causing the crash? MIB killed Eko-why not the candidates-the rules?
Even if such questions aren't answered in the remaining episodes, a DVD feature in which Lindelof and Cuse answer questions would be great.

Posted by: ravchanashor | April 29, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

KevinAF wrote:
Ben and Tom Friendly (he's got to come back/out)
Jack and Ana Lucia
Ford and Juliet
Hurley and Libby
Des and Penny
Daniel and Charlotte
Kate- life in prison
Locke and Helen
Posted by: KevinAF

I think you forgot one more, and it hit me last night's rerun was on:

Richard and Isabella

I think Richard will be sent back in time, with an antibiotic, to save Isabella, and they will live out their lives and dreams in the new world, and our lostees in sideways time, after sideways time wins, will meet up with Richard and Isabella's descendants. Actually, I'm wondering, if Richard does get sent back to save Isabella, whether he generates the sideways timeline.

As for Jack-Ana Lucia, not a chance. Jack will end up alone, maybe stuck on the island as new-Jacob, but alone, as will Kate, in jail.

Posted by: Fate1 | April 29, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm now completely convinced that Hanso funded Dharma to have a method to seal in MIB on the island, using technology. The electromagnetic bubble over the island, which was maintained by pushing the button every 108 minutes, kept MIB from going into the world. MIB manipulated Ben to destroy Dharma and later fostered conflict between the Others, who maintained the EM bubble, and our Lostees. The result, the bubble is gone and MIB can now leave the island. His plan is coming to fruition. Widmore is back to put the bubble back in place.

Posted by: Fate1 | April 29, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

1. Why the (now somewhat lost) focus on kids, babies, pregnancies?

Still unknown, but I'm guessing it had (had) something to do with the Swan station EM field, or the island not being stable in time.

2. Who are the island "natives," really?

Yea, good question. They had british accents, possibly descendants of a crew or two from the black rock.

3. How do the healing properties of the island work? Is it related to the electromagnetic anomaly?

Probably not. More likely due to the reality of the island being fleeting. Or more likely due to Jacob deciding who would be healed and who would not. Remember, Shanon died as did many others, and Ben developed a spinal tumor. While some healed other developed fatal conditions.

4. How will the island story and sideways world converge?

They won't. Both are existing parallel to each other but memories (Daniel's consciousness traveling?) are leaking through. I expect whole consciousnesses to go through from island to sideways world, and that is how the lostees will escape the island, just as Desmond's consciousness has made it completely through to sideways time. And the island timeline will come to an end, ending MIB as well, just as other ancient gods came to their ends (don't see them around anymore do we?)

5. Who are Jacob and MIB, really?

They go back to ancient times, MIB a god, MIB sentenced to the island (prison) and Jacob (mortal but like Richard can live forever) is the jailer. In the ancient myths the gods use to imprison each other because they could not kill each other. So they would devise tricks to trap each other. I think MIB was trapped by other gods, and Jacob, a roman soldier maybe considering how well he handled Richard on the beach, was asked to keep watch in turn for living a long life. I think Ilana was his love from ancient times. (so yet another couple ... Jacob and Ilana!)

Posted by: Fate1 | April 29, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Fate1 said, "The result, the bubble is gone and MIB can now leave the island."

Swan station was destroyed in 2004 (imploded when they stopped pushing the button). No candidates on the island from 2004 to 2007. So why didn't MIB leave after 2004? Jacob was not always there on the island, he left at times to "touch" Hurley an Sayyid.

So- if the EM kept MIB on the island before Dharma, then Dharma let it loose (in the Incident), then Dharma contained it with the Swan station, then Desmond and Locke let it loose again in 2004, then MIB should have been able to escape at that time. Unless, he also needed Jacob to be dead, not just off the island, but dead.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 3, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't seem Jacob was too concerned about the EM bubble being re-established, just that there be a Candidate to step up and take his place. This is what/who contains/holds MIB on the island.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 3, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I thought iitially that the "Incident" caused the pregnancy problems, and it's still possible that it did. Rousseau had a child after the Incident, but she may have been far enough along to have the child and not die. (Also Eloise had Daniel, but she left the island at some point-perhaps before she had him). But counter to this argument is the fact that Ben didn't go get Juliet to help "solve" the problem until about 2001. So why wait so long if the childbearing problems started in 1977 after the Incident? Something else may have happened.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 3, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Also I don't think Richard and Isabella will be together again. No time traveling for him. She's dead, and he will be soon. I think the island is done with him. I know I am.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 3, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

As for Widmore, I don't know exactly what he is doing, but obviously has to do with the EM. He has been portrayed as power hungry and ruthless, and so I think he wants to tap the EM for his own use, not to contain the evil.

Posted by: KevinAF | May 3, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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