Thursday, 4 March 2010

Lost Blogging Collective Q&A - Week 4

As we have had a massive response to this week's Q&A, I'll dispense with the preamble and get straight to the answers. Thanks once again to all who have taken part so far, and for your continual support!

The Questions

1) What is Jack's "mission"?

2) In the 'alt' timeline, do you think Ben, Ethan and Dogen are just regular people, or are these some undercover Others?

The Answers

Izi @ Not Confused, Just Lost
1) Jack's entire purpose in life is to save people, I'll bet this mission will be one final opportunity to save all of the people he loves. I also think this mission will result in his death. Me and Jack have one thing in common we both want him to be a martyr. He seeks martyrdom because he wants a purpose in life and I want his martyrdom because I don't want him to be happy, I want him to be dead.

2) I would be very, very surprised if the former Others were still a cohesive group in this other timeline. Without the Island these people don't really have a purpose, they don't have anything holding them together. They also probably don't have Dharma to fight against. Without anything in common I don't think these people would be drawn together.

Ernie @ Gulf Coast Offense
1) The easy answer is that Jack's mission is to stop Man in Black and take over Jacob's role as island protector. Is there more to that mission? Of course there is, this is Lost. (The easy answer is never the right one on this show). I can't wait to see when Jack and Man in Black (or fake-Locke) come face to face. How will Jack react to seeing the man that he broke into a funeral parlor and busted out, the man who he outfitted with his dad's shoes to serve as a proxy for his own father's corpse on Flight 316 and the same man who was his opposite on the island walking around, seemingly alive, on the island. This is a scene fans are strongly anticipating.

If Jack's mission is to take down Man in Black/fake-Locke, will that mean also saving Claire and Sayid? Or could it mean killing them? Does his mission also involved ghost Christian, who many fans also believe was Man in Black all along? Will we see Christian on the island again now that Ilana said Man in Black can't change forms again. I guess I'm throwing out more questions than answers to this question. Clearly I come from the Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse school of Q&A.

If Jack's mission is to take out Man in Black, then he would be basically serving in the same role that Ben did for Man in Black ... essentially a pawn. Man in Black used Ben to kill Jacob, surely Jacob wouldn't "use" Jack to kill Man in Black. That's why I think there's more to this mission. Jack's a fixer, so is he in place to "fix" the island? It's a stretch, but is the whole game between Jacob and Man in Black been going on because something with the island is broken? Dr. Shephard is going to be the man to fix it.

2) I think there's way more to Ethan, Ben and Dogen being part of the 815ers sideways lives than just random meetings. I hope we get more of the Others new story than just these couple of seconds meetings off island. Their dialogue with the 815ers has been loaded with double meanings and it seems like they could know more about what's going on. Are they checking in with them to gauge how much they might know and see how they are adapting to the new timeline? Do they need the 815ers to make the first move (i.e., they can't say push them or provide any info, it has to be the Losties decision)? Is this how the two timelines will ultimately converge? Has Jacob placed these Others in the 815ers lives to keep moving them toward a certain outcome and that outcome includes the flash sideways world and island world converging, finally ending Man in Black and Jacob's "game"? Remember, it only ends once, everything else is just progress.

Ms Wendy @ It's About Bunnies!
1) Back in Season Three, Locke had a vision where his "mission" was to "bring the family back together". I wonder if Jack's mission is to "keep the family together", once they've been reunited. ("If we can't live together...we're gonna die alone!") And by doing that, revealing the importance of "The Numbers" being together, especially in light of the upcoming war.

2) I want to think that Ben, Dogen and Ethan are still somehow part of the Others. The way people are congregating in this time line, it almost feels like "Well, since you can't go to the Island, then the Island is going to come to you".

But what I think may be happening is that Ben, Dogen and Ethan are just regular people. With all the Wizard of Oz references in the show, they might be like the farmhands that were Dorothy's companions on the yellow brick road to Oz.

Paul @ Room 23
1) Well the Jack and Locke’s struggle has always been a big part of the show. Another big part of Jack’s arc has been to be able to get out from under Christian’s shadow to become the leader that he’s meant to be. Jacob of course knows that Jack’s job will be major so he’s allowing Jack to get to the point where he can really accept the role of leadership. Of taking care of the island and of watching over everyone that’s supposed to be on the island. Part of getting there will be to have a final struggle with Locke/MIB.

2) I don’t think that they are undercover Others, but rather going through the same process of development that Jack and all of the rest are going through. I do believe though that somehow the flash sideways world is connected to the island world and that everyone has been placed in the world when and where they have been placed in order to help them gain something that will somehow help their island selves. Their meet ups are not coincidences.

The Shapusens @ Shapusens On TV
1) Well, if Jack’s mission is to smash everything in his path and try to destroy the island whenever possible, then he’s doing one hell of a job so far. In all seriousness, despite Jack’s multiple epic fails, tears, and Jack-faces, it seems like he is poised to be Jacob’s replacement. Whether he chooses it or not, Jack somehow always ends up being the one to make the big decisions. People look to him and respect him. Well, at least they do on the island. Off island, not so much. When he said he came back to the island because he was broken and he was stupid enough to think the island might fix him, he might have been on to more than he realized. Without the island, he was an absolute mess. An alcoholic bearded loser. We’ve seen the island heal physical ailments (Rose’s cancer, Locke’s paralysis, and Jin’s sluggish sperm), but can it heal Jack’s spirit? If so, than the logical Jack might be wooed by island faith to follow in Jacob’s footsteps.

Personally, I’m more interested in Hurley’s mission, which seems to be to get people where they need to be. That perfectly describes our old buddy Abaddon, as well as Richard. Methinks the island has a lot more in store for him as well.

2) No, I don’t think that they are undercover others. I think that there may very well be a faction of Dharma/Other survivors out there with some sort of agenda, but I don’t think these folks are among them.

Until someone convinces me otherwise, I am sticking to my guns that all of the events we know to have happened prior to the bomb’s detonation in 1977 are identical in both the original and sideways time lines. Otherwise, how would Ethan even exist? He wouldn’t be alive in the Sideways-verse if Amy and Horace hadn’t conceived him on the island, or if Juliet hadn’t delivered him. I have a feeling that Dogen wasn’t on the island in the ‘70s, or else he would have been a little more in the loop about our time traveling friends. And we all know that little Ben was on the island before the bomb detonated, but he must have escaped the island before it ended up under water.

I think that Sideways Ben, Ethan, and Dogen all represent the people they could have been without the island’s interference. They still have the same basic personalities, and some of the same background, but they aren’t driven by the same things. That being said, I’m a little concerned about what’s going to happen once these two timelines begin to merge. Do we think that everyone will start to gain memories from the original timeline, or just the surviving losties? I don’t think we want Ethan remembering anything if we can help it, and I’m a little concerned about what Sideways Locke might do if he remembers how Ben killed him.

Will aka "Sagacious Penguin" @ Stuff And Nonsense
1) We now know pretty conclusively that Jacob has a plan for Jack. We know it's important to Jacob's on-going mission to protect the Island, and we know that the only way it can happen is for Jack to learn of his own importance and accept it on his own terms -- free from the stranglehold of control and expectations that his father has previously wielded, and that now Jack suspects Jacob of wielding. Clearly Jacob wanted Jack to feel he's broken free from this 'watch' -- just as Jack wanted his son David to feel free from his own critical eye in the Altered Universe. So now Jack is staring at the ocean, and I suspect preparing to do everything in his power to resist being a pawn - which must be exactly what Jacob wants from him.

Why does Jacob want Jack to be rebellious? My guess is that Jacob wants Jack to end up in the Man In Black's camp, placed there by Jack's own self-wielded disobedience against the Island. That way when the MIB finally reveals his hand and makes his play, Jack will be in the perfect place to realize the true stakes and stop him. Jacob wants Jack to do nothing less than to put an end to the MIB and the threat he poses to the Island. Someone else will be the next Jacob, I suspect (My money's on Hurley), but Jack will be the one to rally our other Survivors (even Sawyer) to put their collective feet down on the MIB and his intentions.

2) Call me crazy, but I'm going to go with the simple explanation for this one. Ben, Ethan and Dogen are just regular people in the Altered Universe. Ben and the rest of the Others managed to get off-Island before it was taken to the bottom of the ocean, and have continued to live their lives unaffected by its influence. Though, like Jack and his mirror-gazing, they've probably been experiencing uncanny non-memories of a different life for quite some time. If there is a plant in the AU, I vote for Desmond. His appearance on the plane was just a bit too short/sudden for comfort, and Faraday has told us he's special before. I think it's his job to somehow wake up our AU characters and remind them of their true Island-bound destinies...

Danny aka "Vozzek69" @ Things I Noticed
1) Jack's mission is to take over Jacob's role on the island. Like Locke, I think he's going to have to die to accomplish this. Jack's ending won't be a happy one, which kind of sucks for him, but his destiny has always been sacrificial.

2) In the ALT timeline, Ben, Ethan, and Dogen are regular people. The view we had of the underwater island suggests there would still have to be Others (i.e. the sonic fence), but I'm thinking those Others would be radically different people.

Benny @ Finally Lost
1) Jack's mission is to go back-to-back episodes without shedding a tear. I think Jacob's plan is to get all the crying out of the way early on so Jack has no tears left. This plan is foolish because like the energy pocket he destroyed, Jack's tears are practically limitless and unfortunately there are no nukes left on the island to stop them.

On a serious note, I think Jacob wants Jack to kill someone. Unfortunately it is probably Sawyer. FYI if Jack is responsible for the deaths of Sawyer and Juliet I am going to be in the market for a new flat screen TV because metal objects will be thrown into my screen like I forgot to type in the hatch code...

2) In order to answer this question you must first answer whether you think the nuke sunk the island. Unfortunately I flip-flop on that issue worse than Juliet deciding whether to help/stop Jack detonate the nuke (tear). Today is a "nuke sunk the island" kinda day so I'm going to work with that.

In addition to sinking the island, I think the nuke fractured time and sent our Losties back to Timeline Prime's present, while warping everyone left on the island to Tunisia. This could explain how Ben, Dogen & Ethan all got off the island. Assuming this crazy theory is true, then I think it's safe to say that Ben and Dogen are retired Others, while Ethan is just a regular creepy man. Dogen strikes me as someone who was an Other before 1977 and as Richard said about Ben, "He will always be one of us now", thus they become ex-Others. Ethan was obviously too young to be an Other but he'll always be creepy.

Anna @ Four Toed Foot
1) I think that Jack first needs to “fix” himself. It was pretty clear in “The Lighthouse” that he still needed to let go of some baggage, but it seems to be falling away now. Like Jacob said, he DOES have what it takes. He has always been the guy you can count on in a jam… he was the one who sprung into action at the very start of the show’s pilot and since then has only continued to at least TRY to act in the best interests of everyone else. Even when he was a kid he had the natural instinct to try and be the guy who saves the day. In addition he is a healer of all things… a brilliant surgeon… a miracle worker. If only HE would realize these things about himself instead of concentrating on how he might somehow fail…

I could totally see Jack becoming the new Jacob and Hurley the new Richard Alpert at this point.

2) If there is no Island, then I suppose I do not see a need for there to be Others. If there is no Jacob, then there is no need for him to have “people”. I think that X-Ben, Ethan, Dogen, etc. are just there to remind us about fate and course-correction… how some encounters were always meant to be no matter what.

Then again, there could always be a second Island… but I’d better not get into that!

Michelle aka "Miss Scarlett" @ Knittnfool
1) Well... it will clearly be about "Daddy" issues. I think his mission is personal. I believe he has to come to terms with his relationship with his Father and start living his life fully. He seems to still live as if there is a higher authority weighing his every decision, that he must impress. Perhaps there is. But the issue is that he is not making true decisions, because he is too concerned with what another person will think/believe and so he vacillates between dogmatically making choices/declarations or avoiding making a choice e.g. drinking, 'I-don't-knowing', shouting, crying.

As much as Jack's assumption of the roles of responsibility/leadership/rescuer has dominated his storyline, I don't believe he will ultimately take over Jacob's position or make the big sacrifice needed for a resolution to the series.

I think his mission is to become a whole person. An adult if you will. Do both Jack's need to do this? It remains to be seen. At the moment it appears that Off Island Jack is in a much healthier place than On Island Jack. I think On Island Jack has some catching up to do...

If he is meant to become the Leader/Rescuer of the Losties + Others (and by that I mean everyone!), if that truly is his mission, then I think he must first achieve the Mission of becoming a whole person. Without that he will not be much of a leader. In saying that, the leaders we have seen have not always been the best...

2) I think they are regular people. Significant, yes; but regular all the same. I do not have any evidence to support my opinion. I hold to it nonetheless. ;-)

Chris @ SuperDuperStream
1) Well it would appear there are three prevailing theories - Jack is the new Jacob, Jack is Smokey's killer and Jack is nothing but a cry-baby. There's valid arguments to be made for all sides, and while one of them is likely (our writers are fans of traditional (read: clich├ęd) storytelling), I am hoping for a fourth option. I see Jack becoming the new Smokey in some form, with Hurley being the new Jacob. Why this makes sense to me, I can't quite say - maybe it is Jack's anger, maybe it is Jack trying to be a hero but usually failing, maybe I think there is more to the loop/Candidate program than simply finding a replacement for Jacob. In order for the cycle to continue, there must be two sides - a black to the white, a Smokey to the Jacob, a Jack to the Hurley. That is why Jack cannot simply be told his destiny - I mean, who would choose to be a 'monster'?

2) Again, although it makes sense from a practical, traditional storytelling point of view, I am one of those in the camp that believes the nuke didn't sink the Island, but perhaps instead set off a reaction that cause the volcano (or something else) to sink the Island. It is far-fetched, but in this scenario it gives Ben and Ethan plenty of time to get off the Island. They might not have became fully fledged Others, especially not Ethan, but there is most likely more to Alt Ben and Alt Dogen at least than meets the eye. I'd also be surprised if we didn't see more Alt Others - Juliet (David's mother?), Goodwin (Juliet having an affair with him behind Jack's back?), Richard (a student counsellor at the Alt School?), Tom/Mr Friendly (principal at the Alt School?), etc.

I don't foresee them being a united, Illuminati-esque superpower like they are in the 'original' timeline, however I believe (or hope) that some of them such as Ben, Charles Widmore, Richard, Dogen, have some semblance of Other-ship and are pushing certain people towards a 'new' destiny.


  1. I know that Benny posts on his own blog what his favourite answers are and, while I have refrained from doing so thus far, I think I may begin to do so as well.

    So, this week I think my favourite answers are, for question # 1 - Sagacious Penguin. Although I believe that Jack will be the next Smokey, I hadn't really thought too much about what Jacob has been doing to/with Jack, but with S.P. having pointed it out, I can now look at Jack smashing the Lighthouse mirror as the right thing to do - destiny - perhaps Jacob wants Jack to get angry, to embrace his dark side and become the Smokey monster, to continue the loop.

    Will this may be the complete opposite of what S.P. was meaning, I can also buy into Will's point of view and I can 100% see Jack being the one to destroy Smokey in the end, just like Will has predicted. So, for having an original prediction, and for opening up my eyes towards my own prediction, S.P. gets my vote for #1.

    Question #2 is a tie however. I think both Benny and Anna have provided really interesting, original theories. First, Benny reckons that the nuke could have transported people from the Island, for instance to Tunisia, which would explain Ethan's appearance in the Alt Timeline. I love this idea, especially as it would give us reason to re-explore Tunisia's role in the Lost mythos.

    Secondly, although Anna immediately discredited it, she touched on something important that we have all kinda missed - there IS a second Island, the one with the Hydra station. Where is that now that "the" Island has sunk? Is it on the ocean floor as well, or are the polar bears alive and well and running around on Island #2?

  2. LMAO at Benny's Jack answer...and many many visions of Jackface now dance in my head...

    Great Q&A as always.

    And of course it's still a blast to be a part of it. Thanks again Chris!

  3. I have a feeling that our Losties, Jack included, will come to a conclusion on their own...that things aren't always so "black and white", and that in all likelihood they should not be engaging themselves in MIB and Jacob's game. At all. While it seems like Jacob is supposed to some sort of good guy, is he really? And I think Jack and the other Losties have always had minds of their own, so in spite of any manipulation by anyone else, they seem like eventually they would not be drawn in to the overall game at hand. Just my opinion.

    I also think that the sideways flashes are showing us a life without those manipulations. I think we are seeing a life without Jacob, and not just a life after the bomb changing things. Because many of the changes in the sideways flashes seem to reach further back than the 70's...possibly as if none of these people were ever on the island, ever "brought" there by Jacob.The conclusion I come to after seeing the sideways flashes, is always the same. Even though their lives aren't perfect, they are without Jacob, is better! He's supposed to be a good guy, but I only see him being better than MIB by degrees. I could be way off base, but that is the conclusion I come to when I see how much better off the Losties and even the Others seem to be without ever having been to the island. JMO

  4. Yeh, that's a good answer Beena. I still maintain that Jacob isn't the "good" guy - perhaps both Jacob and Smokey are bad, and everyone would be better off without them.

    Maybe our characters are "Lost" because of the Island and they need to reject it's influence to be fixed/found, as opposed to the start of Season 1 when we all thought these characters were broken/lost and that the Island would fix them.


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