Sunday, January 31, 2010

UPDATED: More Unresolved Mysteries and Questions for Season 5

A year ago, before the Season 5 premiere, I posted the five major questions (from a Yahoo! Canada article) that may be answered at the end of Season 5. I've been meaning to update it with the answers we got during Season 5, but it keeps slipping my mind. Now, two days before the Season 6 premiere, I am answering the questions, if I can.

  1. What happened to the Island?
  2. How does Locke become Jeremy Bentham?
  3. What's going on with Widmore and Ben?
  4. Who the heck is Jacob?
  5. What happened to Claire, Jin, and Michael?
What happened to the Island?

In the season-4 finale, "Other" boss Ben (Michael Emerson) turned a frozen wheel and - poof! - made the island disappear, along with Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Locke (Terry O'Quinn), Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) and other "Lost"-aways; the Oceanic Six fled on a helicopter. Ben - landing in North Africa - aimed to protect the island from arch-nemesis Charles Widmore (Alan Dale), who seeks to control it. The show has been exploring the space-time continuum, and that theme will be heightened this season in the search for the island.

As we learned in the first five episodes of Season 5 ("Because You Left," "The Lie," "Jughead," "The Little Prince," and "This Place is Death"), the frozen donkey wheel somehow slipped off its axis. This sent Sawyer, Juliet, Locke, Miles, Daniel, Charlotte, Rose, Bernard, Vincent, Neil Frogurt, and the other survivors to different yet important moments in the past and future - i.e. the dislodged donkey wheel sent the castaways into time travel. They came back in time - 1954, 1988, and select moments after the crash - and went forward in time - most notably, in 2007 or 2008, where they found an Ajira Airlines water bottle and a group of still-unknown people shooting at them in the middle of the ocean. Unfortunately, the frequent jumps in time messed with their heads and they started having nosebleeds, headaches, and dizziness. Charlotte was the first one to be affected by temporal displacement and the first - and only - one who died. Miles, Juliet, and Sawyer - in this order - were also affected. When Locke went down the well near The Orchid, he met Christian Shephard, who told him that he was supposed to move the Island, not Ben. He turned the frozen donkey wheel and was sent to the Tunisian desert. Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Daniel, and Jin (who had rejoined his friends after being saved by Danielle Rousseau and her science team) realized that their nosebleeds, headaches, and dizziness had disappeared. They ended up in 1974, during the DHARMA Initiative's heydays.

How does Locke become Jeremy Bentham?

The cliffhanger revealed that Locke was "Jeremy Bentham." Under that alias, he apparently died after visiting Jack and some others who left the island with troubling news: They need go back. While visiting Locke's casket, a cryptic Ben tells Jack they must rally his fellow crash survivors - and return with Locke's lifeless body. Lucky for Jack, Ben always has a secret plan. Emerson tells New York magazine his bug-eyed alter ego will "carry on what seems to be his calling or his life's work or his war, whatever it is - I'm not sure exactly what it is." But it includes orchestrating a survivors' reunion. 

We learned in 5x07 ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham") that when Locke landed in Tunisia, with his leg injured when we went down the well, he found cameras all over the place. When Ben landed there in Season 4, there were no cameras. Later on, we find out that Charles Widmore put them there. Widmore gave him a new passport with a new identity: Jeremy Bentham. With Matthew Abaddon as his chauffeur, Bentham visited Sayid, Hurley, Kate, and Jack, who all refused to come back to the Island. He also visited Walt, but he didn't mention anything about returning to the Island, as well as Michael's fate. He promised Jin that he would not let Sun come back to the Island, and he kept his word. His failure to convince the Oceanic 6 made him want to take his life. But just before he succeeded, Ben barged in his hotel room and persuaded him not to commit suicide. After Locke told him about Jin, who was alive, and Eloise Hawking, who knew how to return to the Island, Ben strangled Locke to death.

When Ajira Airlines Flight 316 crashed on the Hydra Island, the survivors found Locke, alive and in a nice suit. When Caesar, the leader of the Ajira 316 survivors, and Ilana asked him why they never saw him on the plane, he said he didn't remember being on the plane. He did remember dying, and upon seeing an injured Ben, and that Ben murdered him.

What's going on with Widmore and Ben?

Widmore is the wealthy industrialist who staged the fake plane crash of Oceanic 815 and ordered a team of mercenaries on a mission to find the island and kill everyone on it. Widmore and Ben appear to have a deep-seeded rivalry, deepened further after Widmore's agents murdered Ben's daughter in cold blood. Off the island, Ben recruited Oceanic Six survivor Sayid (Naveen Andrews) as an assassin; he also dropped by Widmore's home in the wee hours, vowing to kill his daughter as revenge. Whatever game they're playing, it has rules - and Ben says Widmore has broken them. One possible rule: Widmore and Ben cannot kill each other. That would be a very Harry Potter/Voldemort-esque plot twist. 

As I mentioned above, Sawyer, Juliet, Locke, Miles, Daniel, and Charlotte travelled to 1954. Per episode 5x03 ("Jughead"), they met an ageless Richard Alpert, a young Eloise Hawking, and a young Charles Widmore. In 1954, Widmore was 17 and already arrogant and hot-headed. He claimed that Locke couldn't have known the Island as much as he did.(By the way, I guessed in my original post that Widmore "is either a descendant of Magnus Hanso or one of the original Hostiles," and boy, was I partly right! Hehe...)

Forty-year-old Widmore wasn't too happy when Richard healed young Ben (whom Sayid shot in order to change the future) in The Temple without checking with him. Richard told him that Jacob wanted him to do it. He visited young Ben and tried to befriend him.

Around 11 years after, Widmore instructed Ben and a teenage Ethan to exterminate Danielle Rousseau. Ben didn't know that the French woman had a child. His heart seemed to soften and he spared Rousseau even as he took the child. He did warn her that he'd kill her if she ever came after him. He also told her to run the other way if she ever heard whispers (which fuels theories that the Others or the Hostiles have something to do with the Whispers). Widmore, who was 50ish or 60ish at the time, was mad that Ben failed to kill Rousseau. He also wanted Ben to kill baby Alex. Ben refused and asked Widmore if killing the baby was what Jacob wanted. Ben offered the child to Widmore and told him to kill her, but Widmore left in a huff.

Several years after, Widmore was about to leave the Island forever, as he was exiled by Ben for breaking the rules. He often left the Island and had a daughter with an outsider (whose identity is still unknown or maybe unimportant). Even as Widmore was leaving, he still claimed that the Island was his and that Ben would never sacrifice Alex to protect the Island. Ben countered that the Island did not want Alex dead, Widmore did. Widmore's answer? "I hope you're right, Benjamin, because if you aren't, and it is the Island that wants her dead, she'll be dead. And one day, you'll be standing where I'm standing now. You'll be the one being banished, and then you'll finally realize that you cannot fight the inevitable. I'll be seeing you, boy." As we already know, Keamy shot Alex dead when Ben refused to come out of the house where he was hiding.

Widmore and Ben seem to fight over the Island; each claims that it is rightfully his. More than that, they seem to be fighting over whom Jacob chose to lead the Hostiles/Others. Widmore somehow took over from Eloise, who led the Hostiles in 1977. My guess is that Eloise left the Island either after the events in "The Incident" or when she gave birth to Daniel and never came back. Maybe even when Eloise was chosen as their leader, Widmore believed that he should have been chosen. I believe he wanted - and still wants - to exploit the Island's resources for his own purposes - e.g. to make him richer and more powerful. Ben, on the other hand, believed that Jacob chose him because of his unique ability to see and speak with his dead mother. He had done everything that Jacob asked him to do. Eventually, though, he used the Others and the DHARMA stations to cure the Island's fertility and pregnancy problems. So he also used the Island's resources for his own purposes.

I wonder if we'd learn more about Widmore and Ben's war in Season 6. Will it be addressed and culminated? Will we discover more similarities between the Widmore-Ben war and the Jacob-Flocke war, beyond the fact that they can't kill each other? Who will win: Widmore or Ben?

Who the heck is Jacob?
We've never seen Jacob, though he seems to be the all-knowing island messiah. The shadowy character lives in a creaky cabin that moves around a lot, hates technology and has communicated to the Others through Ben. Last season, Ben brought Locke to the cabin; Locke could not see Jacob but heard him say, "Help me." After Widmore's men stormed the barracks, Ben and Locke visited Jacob again - this time, Jacob spoke to Locke through a representative, Jack's ghost-daddy Christian (John Terry), who said to move the island. Ben, sensing that he'd been replaced by Locke, did the deed and peaced out. As far as we can tell, Jacob has unknown powers, dead people for friends and a cabin fever that keeps him locked in. Online theories abound: Is Jacob an ancient supercomputer, a divine entity, a superhuman being? Expect the unexpected, and expect to see more of him this season. 

We saw Jacob throughout the Season 5 finale ("The Incident") and learned a little about him. He was ageless, just like Richard Alpert (who claimed that Jacob made him ageless). He lived at the base of the four-toed statue, which is a variation of Taweret in its entirety. He also knew about Ajira Flight 316. Was he omniscient or did Ms. Hawking tell him about this? Most importantly, we saw him interact and touch eight Oceanic 815 survivors at various points in time: Kate and Sawyer as children; Jack, Locke, Sun, and Jin before the crash; and Sayid and Hurley after the Oceanic 6 returned to the mainland. He also told them things that would prove important in their lives. Did his touch mark them, to be destined to end up in the Island? Did he choose them? Why? Did he also visit and touch the other survivors (e.g. Charlie, Boone, Shannon, Michael, Walt, Rose, Bernard, Ana Lucia, Eko, Libby, etc.)?

I think the most amazing revelation was that Jacob touched Locke, who seemed to have died on impact, right after his fall. Because of his touch, Locke gasped, as if he came back to life. Everyone was saying that it was a miracle he survived that fall. It's amazing to learn that Jacob's touch was the miracle.

We still don't know why he was ageless or why Flocke wanted him dead. We still don't know what he really is to the Island. Are we going to learn more about him in Season 6? I hope so.

What happened to Claire, Jin, and Michael?

Claire (Emilie de Ravin), who we recently learned is Jack's half-sister, seemed to survive a house fire - but then things got weird. She walked off in the jungle with her (un)dead father Christian. The next time we see them, she's in the shack with Jacob, acting creepy. As for Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Michael (Harold Perrineau), they presumably died on the freighter when it exploded. In an earlier flash-forward, Jin's wife, Sun, was shown at his memorial in Korea. Some bloggers speculate he'll turn up in early episodes, dead or alive, this season. If he perished in the blast, maybe we'll see him cavorting with Jacob, Christian and other ghost people.

I've already discussed Michael's fate in my original post, although rumour has it that Harold Perrineau will be back in Season 6. I just don't know to what capacity.

Jin, whom we thought was dead, turned out to be alive!!! (Told ya.) In 5x04 ("The LIttle Prince"), we learned that he jumped off the boat before it exploded and sank. He was in the water for an unknown number of days, until Danielle Rousseau and her team of scientists found him in 1988. They brought him back to the Island and asked him to lead them to the radio tower. Perhaps to find out about the Numbers being broadcast, by a voice that sounds so much like Hurley's? Danielle promised to help him go to the old beach camp after he led them to the radio tower. However, the group never arrived there as the Smoke Monster attacked them. It killed Nadine and dragged Montand into the crevice at the base of the wall surrounding The Temple. Yes, this was when Montand lost his arm. Suddenly, there was a white flash and loud buzzing, and Jin was transported to a point when Danielle had killed the rest of her team. Danielle threatened to kill him too, but Jin was transported to a point when he rejoined his fellow survivors. When they were stuck in 1974, he joined the DHARMA Initiative with Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, and Daniel. He also found Jack, Kate, and Hurley in 1977. We last saw him with Hurley and an injured Sayid.

We still don't know what happened to Claire. But I'm sure her story will be revisited and we'll learn what happened to her in Season 6.

There are only 46 hours before the Season 6 premiere - the first hour of which has been screened last night at Sunset on the Beach (boohoo, I wasn't there!).

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