'Letters from the Flame': Your burning questions about Season 6 of 'Lost' answered

jorge-garcia-lost-s6-320-2.jpgJust 48 hours to go until there's brand spanking' new " Lost" on your television screens, people. And as the magic hour approaches, you've got a lot on your mind. So I asked for your most burning questions last week, and am here today as answer as many as I can.

One quick programming note: in case you missed it, I announced a series of live "Lost" chats starting this Tuesday at 7:30 pm EST. If all goes well, I'll run one each Tuesday night leading up to the newest episode of the show. If they go well, I may host more. But more on that later. For now, onto your burning questions!

As is the case with most great shows, I'm late on the bandwagon. I've just begun Season 1. My question: What's the deal with Kate? Why was she arrested? And what is that monster in the jungle?
Waheed M

 
Just follow the plane and the horse and you'll be fine, Waheed. OK, I'm kidding, but honestly, I might stay off the Internet until you're fully caught up. Heck, I might bunker up myself now that the first hour premiered last night in Hawaii. I might react like Hitler in all those NSFW redubs of "Downfall" if I hear one single thing about the premiere before it airs.
 
I honestly want to know how prevalent we think the Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle will be, who she'll end up with and if there's any weight AT ALL to the notion Jack and Kate are half-siblings?
Andrea

 
Yea, I'm gonna put this at the same odds that Charlie Hume=Charlie Pace: a big ol' fat zero. Know how I always say you should never say no? Well, I'm saying no. As both fans of "Star Wars" and people that have learned from its mistakes, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that the writers of "Lost" would have decided a long time ago if Jack and Kate were have siblings. No need to repeat all the icky feelings people had upon learning Luke and Leia were related in "Return of the Jedi."
 
On the other hand, "Lost" sort of encourages fans to make connections where there are none. For the first part of Season 5, many people were CONVINCED that Faraday and Charlotte were siblings. The "Lost" universe is so connected that sometimes it's often tempting to make associations where none exist.
 
As for the triangle: let's assume our major players make it out of The Incident. (It's a good assumption.) I'm guessing Sawyer's grief pushes him towards the dark side something fierce. Think "The Brig" times twenty. Think about who Sawyer might blame for the events that led up to Juliet. And think about how notLocke might use that anger to his advantage.
 
What is up with the Shephard family? What is the significance of father, son, and grandson all being on the island?
splinter

 
Well, technically Aaron's not on the Island anymore, but I get your point. Back in 2008, I wrote an article that compared Christian Shephard to The Comedian from "Watchmen." A lot of that article's hysterically inaccurate given what happened in Seasons 4 and 5, but I still like the notion that everything that happened pre-Island for Christian Shephard functioned in much the way things did post-Island for Eloise Hawking. In other words, by actively trying to prevent destiny, he only accelerated its speed.
 
How do you think Jack's character arc is going to come to an end? I have long believed, as far back as Season 1, that Jack's story would include a resolution with the people that caused him his greatest personal conflict; in this case, Locke & Christian. With Locke, he'd have to resolve the faith vs. reason conundrum, perhaps finding the balance by finishing Locke's mission of saving the Island, and with Christian, he'd have to forgive his father for his sins and finally see that his dad was always preparing him for his true destiny. This also gives Claire herself an important part of the endgame, w/o Aaron, as Jack's sister and a human link to his father.
Other Sean

 
Yup, what you said. Sounds about right to me, with one vital part missing: Jack has to forgive HIMSELF, not just his father. It seemed for a while that Jack was finally making peace with Locke in Season 5, but by season's end I think he just swung all the way from Science Land to Faith Country without finding that sweet spot in the middle that both men were meant to find together. Only when he finds that middle ground will he be ready to confront his father on the Island. And oh baby, Cabin Christian versus the Jack/Locke Man of Science/Faith Hybrid? That's a Pay Per View Battle for Progress right there, people.
 
One of my big questions about Season 6 is who Terry O'Quinn will be playing? Do we think we have a full season of NotLocke in store - or will the original Locke somehow find a way back to us (excluding flashbacks)? And given how much I (and I think the audience in general) have invested in rooting for Locke to be something more than the dupe he has been shown to be to date will the ending satisfy if Locke does not have a chance to redeem his actions?
rjstewar

 
OK, one paragraph per question: while I can't see notLocke surviving five minutes past the end of "The Incident" (wouldn't Richard and Co. just storm in and kill him?), it can't be that simple. Even if The Man in Black did all this just so he himself could die, wouldn't it be dramatically unsatisfying to have him vanquished in the first episode of Season 6? Maybe The Order of the Shadow of the Statue storm the remainder of Tawaret and find a broken Ben and Jacob's ashes. That means Season 6 turns into a witch hunt for notLocke, who starts recruiting people to take down the Order from the inside.
 
As to the second question: isn't it more remarkable that Locke, while alive, did NOT get redemption? That's a bold storytelling choice, one that undercuts both Locke's assumptions about his arc as well as the audience's assumption. In some form or another, Locke As We Knew Him will be onscreen again this year, whether in flashback, as Island ghost, or as part of the alternate reality stemming from Juliet's actions in "The Incident." Speaking of "alternate realities," let's get to some questions you all had about that topic.
 
Ryan, do you think the alternate storyline is going to be the only storytelling tool this season, one of many, or just a temporary way of moving the show forward? Since the flashbacks and the flashforwards served different purposes, and this was announced as a new storytelling tool in Lost it could work in its own peculiar way.
sin laden

 
Well, technically they never announced what the new storytelling tool would be. Everyone assumes (and rightly, I feel) that "alternate reality" will be that tool. I've looked at how that might be used here and here. I only have two worries about how they might be deployed. Worry #1: We spend half the season in some BS universe that simply shows a "what if" scenario, only to return to The Island with everyone going, "Boy, THAT was weird: OK, let's get back to the main action."
 
Worry #2: the "alternative realities" don't have moral weight. By this, I mean that it's all well and good to show a "what if" if there's only one other "what if." If you can simply spin a million ways in which, say, Kate's life plays out after she lands in Los Angeles (She dies alone in jail! No, wait, maybe she escaped and lives a life of regret in a log cabin! Actually, no, she escaped but then runs a successful chain of Blimpies!), then every "what if" turns into "who cares?"
 
I'm not particularly worried that either scenario will in fact play out, but they are in play. Personally, I'm going to be tickled to finally meet the "good people" waiting to adopt an unborn Aaron. That will be FANTASTIC.
 
So if Jacob's touch is so important - either in helping our heroes survive the nuclear explosion or in helping to transport them to the present time island or whatever the case may be - then what about Miles??? How is he supposed to survive, transport, whatever???
Elmomonster

 
Um, you see...well, the thing is...obviously, what's important about this is...hey, look over there, it's a unicorn with a bazooka!
 
*runs away*
 
In all of this talk about old characters coming back, rebooting time lines and what could have been if .... I've seen no talk about WAAAAALLLTTTT! Are we going to get any insight as to what Walt was/is/will be and what, if anything, he has to do with anything?
Arthur Dent

 
Already been thinking long and hard about this. Here's your answer, Arthur. The points still hold true to me. More thoughts here as well.
 
Can you or anyone else make sense of the first time that Ben takes Locke to the Cabin? Ben has clearly been there before and appears to be comfortable with Jacob throwing objects about the cabin. But I'm thoroughly confused was it Jacob in the house, the MIB, Christian Shepherd? And what do we make of the ash, and the cabin moving in space and time? HELP! WAAAAAAALT!
David

 
Everything you want to know about the crazy cabin can be found here and here. In short: Jacob USED to live in the Cabin, but was long gone by the time of "The Man Behind the Curtain." You can read even more thoughts here on just how cleverly The Man in Black used Ben's ignorance and Locke's blind faith against them. (Can you tell the cabin's been on my mind this off-season?)
 
So, here's something I've been considering. Kinda shallow, but still: What if MIB is actually the good force on the island. I know, he's in black, Jacob's in white, the symbolism is obvious, but I'm just curious to see what you think.
Jesse

 
Not shallow at all. Does a "good" guy let Nadia die? Let Sawyer pen a letter that will shape his soul into something only filled with vengeance? Let Locke fall eight stories? I've talked a lot about how Jacob and The Man in Black are representations of the "light" and "dark" sides of the backgammon board used by Locke in the pilot episode. But I think we really need to look less at the morality of the two bigwigs on The Island and look more at the moral state of the human characters that inhabit it. Assigning "good" or "bad" labels to anyone but them might be missing the point. And do I think that last sentence succinctly describes the major theme of Season 6? Perhaps. Perhaps I do.
 
  Ryan invites you to join the hundreds already in Zap2It's Guide to Lost Facebook group.
 

Photo credit: ABC