How're Those Questions & Answers Coming?
- Monday, March 29, 2010
That's what we were promised, that's what most of us want, that's what's at the crux of so many people thinking the producers haven't known what they're doing all along, or even believing, as one friend told me recently, "they just take a handfull of stuff and throw it against the wall and see what sticks."
Well, I get that. I do. I completely and totally disagree, but I get that. So for you readers who fit that category I present this special edition posting that catalogues all the questions as I've compiled them. If you have more, whether answered or unanswered or posed by Season Six, by all means, leave a comment and we'll add them to the list.
This little exercise has showed me that we've gotten more answers through the first nine hours of Season Six programming than we might realize. And if Ab Aeterno is any indication, they're going to start compiling in spades. So this is a good time to take a look at these things.
I still believe that "the Man Behind the Curtain" is rarely as exciting as the mystery itself, and LOST has truly bore that out over its history. The idea of what could be in the Hatch was so much grander than the answer which we now accept as part of the lore of the show. And truly, let's not forget, that this show is about two very important things:
- Characters who are dynamic like few others on television, who change, who become redeemed, who continue to fail, who continue to grow. As they are ever-changing so is the plot, so is the story, so is the mystery, so are the answers and the questions.
- A bigger picture being revealed slowly but surely. My friend and boss's boss Chad Nykamp likens it to Plato's metaphor of "The Cave," in which both these characters and we the audience began life not questioning the world we were given - one where, essentially - our heads were bound to only look forward in the darkness upon shadow puppets played upon the wall. Gradually, we are allowed a bit more and a bit more vision until our reality completely changes, and the small things that once seemed so tantamount just aren't that important anymore in the light of the bigger, more colorful story going on outside.
And LOST has been that way. In 2004 I would have described it as the story of a bunch of hurting people in need of redemption marooned on an island together who had to pull together to survive a plane crash. And there were a few weird things about this place and their stories, by the way. Now, in 2010, that's been completely flipped, mirrored if you will. We might describe the show as a huge mystery about heaven/hell, good/evil, won/LOST... and the people are incidental to the larger, grander plan, which was gifted to and for them all along anyway.
Every time those characters demanded answers they were either withheld for their own good, for the timing not being right to understand, or because faith was required of them. Every time they were promised answers it was from a growing malevolence that has had us viewing - at different times - each of the following as "the bad guy" -- from Sawyer, to Tom, to Ben, to Abaddon, to Widmore, to MIB. And it's possible we still aren't done with that progression.
Do we demand, do we believe, do we take joy in the journey to trust in the truth of the great story's Big-Picture ending? Maybe your choice depends on what you find below, and whether or not the progress is satisfactory to you at this late date in the show's run. So let's check it out.
The following questions are ones that I compiled during my January marathon watch-and-blog of the first five seasons of LOST, the ones that were still left open - by my reckoning - going into the final season.
What is "the sickness"?
The sickness Danielle warned Sayid about is the same darkness that has overtaken Sayid and Claire. It probably begins with dying or almost dying, and from there being "infected" and "claimed" by Smokey. It doesn't appear related to the sickness quite possibly concocted as a hoax by the Others to keep folks from leaving the Swan hatch (as in the Quarantine warnings), or to the time-travel sickness that killed Charlotte in Season Five.
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