From the opening of the hatch door to the introduction of flash-forwards, Lost’s epic season finales have consistently redefined the series and its direction. Last night’s finale revealed the bigger picture even as it upped the chaos, finally giving us the background on Jacob, but ending with an event that makes 2010’s sixth and final season impossible to predict. And so we’ve compiled a list of questions — some lingering, some brand-new — that we demand be answered. Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, take note.
• What happens after the bomb explodes? Does time reboot, meaning that Oceanic 815 never crashes and we’ve wasted the last five years of our lives on this show?
• What’s the relationship between Jacob and the other guy? They could be brothers with a rocky past (think Jacob and Esau), powerful gods waging a sort of war, or something else entirely. More important, why is their speech and appearance completely contemporary when they’re on the Island a couple of centuries ago?
• What did their conversation mean? “You did it to prove me wrong,” says the nameless guy. “You are wrong,” replies Jacob. Later Jacob says, “It only ends once; everything else is progress.” They’re clearly commenting on the trajectory of the show, but the nature of their disagreement is mysterious.
• What’s the “loophole” the other guy found in order to kill Jacob? Disguising himself as Locke seems to have been the game changer, but that’s merely what we see on the surface.
• Why does Jacob die so easily? He appears wherever he wants, speaks any language he chooses, and stays young and handsome forever, but being stabbed and thrown into the fire quickly ends his seemingly immortal, jet-set life.
• Why did Jacob show up in all of those characters’ pasts? It would be one thing if he was somehow helping them, but giving little Sawyer a pen and angry post-surgery Jack a candy bar seemingly won’t affect anything. Was he just checking out the people he wanted to bring to the island, or was he intervening in important ways? He did have a hand in Nadia getting hit by the car — or at least, Sayid not being hit by it.
• What is Radzinsky working on? He told Dr. Chang he came to the Island to change the world. It has something to do with the pocket of electromagnetic energy they’re drilling into, and he referenced Edison. Maybe he just wants to make a better lava lamp?
• What language was Richard speaking to Ilana? We’ve seen Others/Hostiles speak Latin in the past, so that’s a safe bet, but it could be anything as far as we can tell. And why did she call him Ricardus at first?
• Why is Jacob so indifferent to Ben? As the deposed leader of the Others pointed out, he had carried out Jacob’s every command only to get the cold shoulder.
• In their own time as leaders on the Island, did Charles and Eloise ever get a much-coveted audience with Jacob? If so, that would imply they were destined to be in charge, unlike Ben.
• What is Frank Lapidus a candidate for? Ilana and company seem to have taken a liking to the pilot, showing him the corpse of Locke and taking him on the journey to Jacob’s cabin. Are they going to make him one of their warriors?
• What’s up with Rose and Bernard, who managed to live for three years in a house they built on the Island, undetected by Dharma and the Hostiles? Suspicious, or merely dramatically convenient?
• What happened to Ilana’s face? She was wrapped in bandages in a hospital bed when Jacob came to call upon her for help. Did he fix her face the way he brought Locke back to life?
• What is the extent of Jacob’s power? He revived Locke after he was pushed out of a window, brought the Black Rock to the Island, and he even weaves a nice blanket. What else can this guy do?
• Who broke the circle of ash around the cabin? If Mr. Evil was locked up in there, this would’ve allowed him to break out and ultimately kill Jacob. And who would have aided in his escape?
• Why do they burn the cabin? Maybe they’re trying to hide evidence of its existence from someone.
• What happened to the statue? Once a towering piece of stone, it was later reduced to a foot. Sun asks Ben what happened, but Ben feigns ignorance, and Sun doubts him as always.
• Did Jacob ever live in the cabin? It looks like he was calling that foot home for a long time. Either the cabin was his inland getaway or Ben was lying all along about that being Jacob’s residence.
• The core of a hydrogen bomb falls who knows how many feet and fails to detonate. Why?
• How was Juliet even remotely alive after taking that plunge? The hole seemed endless, but she had enough energy to sit up and pound that bomb with a rock.
• What is this coming war? Several allusions have been made to a forthcoming battle, though we don’t yet know the terms and what the fight is over. Control of the Island and mastery over time and history seem like strong possibilities.
• What is the smoke monster? It flies, it kills, it taps into memories, it lives underneath the temple, and it doesn’t like sonic fences. This is the oldest mystery in the series, and we have a sinking feeling we won’t find out until the very last episode.
• What are the laws of time travel? All this arguing over whether or not you can change the past has replaced the reason versus faith debate. Hopefully the first episode of season six will swiftly provide an answer.
• “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” We now know that Jacob lives (lived?) in the foot of the statue, but what can be found in its shadow? Even if this is just a riddle that functions like a secret handshake, which it likely is, the answer must be significant.
• Who are Ilana and her people? Maybe they’re ex-Others, maybe they work for Widmore, or maybe Jacob brought them to the Island. We need to find out what they want and how they know so much.
• Where is Claire? She was last spotted in Jacob’s cabin hanging out with her/Jack’s father, and that was after she mysteriously disappeared one night. Is she dead or just somewhere in the jungle?
• Who or what is Christian Shephard? He could be a ghost, an entity created by Smokey, or just a resurrected version of his former self, which is plausible since his corpse has never been found.
• What is the Dharma Initiative? They’re interested in polar bears, electromagnetism, psychological experiments, and utopian societies. But we still don’t know what they’re doing on the Island or back at HQ in Ann Arbor.
• Why are Eloise and Widmore enemies? The former lovers either had a bad breakup or a major disagreement. Is all this happening because Widmore slept with a woman off the Island?
• What does the U.S. Army know about the Island? In the Dharma station below the church, Jack noticed military photos of his sometime tropical home taken in the fifties, and we know they brought Jughead there. Aside from nuclear testing, what was the American interest in the Island?
• Why did Jack, Kate, Sayid, and Hurley vanish from the plane while everyone else remained onboard? Was it because they were meant to travel back in time or because they had not successfully replicated the conditions of the Oceanic flight?
• What year did the Ajira flight land in? With Dharmaville looking dusty and out of use for a long time, it’s not clear if the plane landed in the future, or in an alternate reality of some sort.
• Why is Desmond “special”? Faraday told him that he was not subject to the normal rules of time travel. Does that mean he’ll be the one to save the world from disaster?
• What are the numbers? They were on the hatch door, in the radio transmission, Hurley’s winning lottery pick, and so on. Now we need to find out if they are lucky or cursed, and why.
• In the early seasons, whispers could be heard in the jungle before the Others showed up. What are they?
• Who are Adam and Eve? The lonely skeletons dressed in Dharma garb in the cave have never been identified. Could they be some of the Oceanic survivors?
Any glaring omissions? Obvious answers? Let us know.