'Lost': Letters from the Flame, Season 5 preview edition

Emiliederavin_lost Here it is, as promised: your Lost questions answered! This is a long one, since you  had many questions regarding Season 5. So I tried my best to answer as many questions as I could. Next week: my Top Ten Best and Worst eps, and Season 5 starts! Should be an awesome week.

How many episodes? Will they make up for the lost ones (pun intended) last year?
The Man from Tennessee

There will be seventeen episodes in total, but how they decide to air them is slightly up in the air. For instance, next week's premiere night will start with a one-hour retrospective, then go into back-to-back episodes. After that? Interpretive dance on your local networks explaining what the heck you just witnessed.

Will you be posting an analysis of any of the new trailers/clips that have been put out since the first one?
Renee

I stopped watching right around the time they started showing that crazy Druid Math stuff. At that point, I decided I'd seen too much. Not like I'd walked in on my parents making a baby, but I decided to stop looking all the same. Course, ABC tried to kill me during this week's "enhanced" repeat of "There's No Place Like Home" by slipping in new scenes and promos throughout the night. I just need to be as surprised as possible to properly enjoy the show. If I see something in these promos that helps predict something else while watching, that just ruins it for me. Speaking of "enhanced episodes" and things being "ruined"...

In watching the enhanced version of the Season 4 Finale, they explicitly state in the bottom screen text that Jacob ordered the moving of the Island. You however think it's notChristian's doing. Do you think this is just misdirection by the Lost Crew?
Dan

Taking something mentioned in the enhanced episodes as canon is something no one should ever, ever do. That's like seeking love advice from Flavor Flav. The writers/producers of Lost have nothing to do with the written content shown on screen during these enhanced episodes. They are in fact written by the students of Elizabeth Sherman, a 4th-grade teacher in Middleboro Elementary School. It's the only possible way to explain how things like, "This is a flash forward" pop up onscreen as an enhancement. So, even if it is Jacob's doing, and I'm totally off on my theory, this is not what disproves it.

(Incidentally, over on our Facebook group, a few readers had great suggestions for what SHOULD have been in the enhanced text. I think DebC's "Off island, Kate can't find her pants," was the best one. Someday I'd love to MST3K these things properly.)

How much does Christian Shepard know? Does he pass that knowledge onto Claire or maybe Jack sometime in the next 2 seasons?
Chris

Johnterry_lost_240 All depends which Christian you're talking about. But make sure to take another look at this entry from a while back, which has many points still valid today. But it's important to make a distinction between the three Christians: the one before the crash of Oceanic 815, the man in the blue suit on the Island, and the man in the brown shirt on the Island. Three different entities, sharing similar characteristics/psychologies but all fundamentally different. And figuring those out will take up a good chunk of the next two seasons. I think reader mri has a related question, actually.

Why did Claire's mom wake up? She'd been in a coma for several years, so randomly waking up doesn't seem likely. I'm willing to bet that she woke up when a bungalow in New Otherton got BTRWRTHD...
mri

Never thought about this until your question, to be honest, but you're right, it's fishy. First off, Claire's mom went into a coma thanks to a car accident. This put Christian Shephard into play, which notChristian can exploit on the Island later on. You can look at this two ways: the Army of the Dark got to her to get her daughter on the Island, or the Army of the Light woke her up so she might meet Jack at Christian's funeral. Your call.

This may not relate to Season 5 exactly, but I've always wondered if the island wouldn't let Jack die in a similar way to Michael b/c he still had 'work to do'. If so, did he think he could finally end it all (after multiple attempts maybe) when he saw the obituary for Bentham? What is your opinion on this?
Andy

I think you're 100% right that Michael's inability to commit suicide is directly linked to Jack's inability to jump off the bridge at the end of Season 3. Remember, Jack never met up with Michael on the Kahana, so would have no idea about the Island's ability to stop death in its tracks. There's also a good possibility Jack only really went insane in the membrane upon Locke's return. Before, he was pill-popping and generally unpleasant, but Locke's arrival marked the point in which Jack put down the razor and started riding the crazy train.

Ryan, I'm sure you saw it, but since you didn't mention it anywhere: In the latest (and I assume last) Dharma all-access video, Darlton take us to the writers' room, and they show us a Living/Dead/Undead wall, and Claire and Jin appear to be on the living side, while Christian is in the undead category. Do you see any meaning in this, or does it just mean that they will still appear in the show?
sin laden

I'm tempted to make a "sometimes a Living/Dead/Undead wall is just a Living/Dead/Undead wall" joke here. But if Claire can survive an RPG'ed bungalow, Jin can survive a C4'ed Kahana. Given that the Island's reach extends past its shores, it's certainly plausible. And while I don't think anyone besides Vincent is above being killed by Darlton, I'll be shocked if they kill off Claire before she sees Aaron again. They'll either get the happy ending promised by Desmond's vision, or she'll pull a Lily Potter. One way, or the other, that's how it'll go down.

How do think Jack and Ben will convince the other O6 to return to the Island?
Shaggysteve

I think Jack's pretty much going to do whatever Ben tells him to do. He's Anakin after allowing The Emperor to kill Mace Windu at this point, just a broken man who's given himself over to someone he truly doesn't understand. Ben's most likely course of action is to put the Oceanic 6 in a position where they 1) feel they have literally no choice but go back, due to legal issues or life-threatening circumstances, or 2) make them feel as if it's THEIR idea to go back to the Island. Remember: it's all about will power. These people all have to WANT to go back. Jack can't just hit them in the head with a lead pipe, stick them in the back of a minivan, then drive them all down Interstate 305 to go back to the Island. Speaking of that bearing...

They made such a huge point all season of everyone heading to and from the island on the correct heading of 305 (if you didn't use that heading you'd be Minkowskied).

So, my strange question is - how could Sawyer have possibly swum back to the island on heading 305? Shouldn't we be seeing some problems pop up for him this season?
ElmoMonster

Joshholloway_lost_s4_240 I'm assuming the chopper didn't make whatever threshold marks the end of Island World and the start of the real world. Based on conversations Des had with Gault's replacement aboard the Kahana, I'm guessing that threshold sits at a 4-mile radius around the Island. Inside that 4-mile radius, you can pretty much go in any direction without getting your brains scrambled. It's like the Hotel California: you can check out any time you like, but if you don't continually go in a specified direction, you can never leave. But wait, ElmoMonster has more on his mind.

If getting Aaron off the island was so important to NotChristian's agenda, why not just have him get blown up on the freighter so there would be no possible way for him to return? The easy answer is that the Island won't let Aaron die, but isn't NotChristian calling the island shots at this point?

I'm going to continue the Harry Potter theme here, though come a bit short of calling Aaron The Turnip Head Who Lived. But I think we've seen time and again that while the Army of the Light and Dark are both powerful, they are not omnipotent. But let me post these next two questions as a way to expand yours.

Riddle-me-this:

How important will the almighty "list" be as it relates to time-paradoxes?

And in relation to that question, how important will it be to keep our "bunnies" apart from one another?
Brian of the North

What is Charlotte's true connection to the Island?
Lauren

Daniel Faraday states a central rule in Lost in "The Constant" when he says, "You can't change the future." But he says nothing of the past. "Course correction" is a natural and accepted part of this universe, and states that while things will generally end up as planned on a macro level, you can really mess stuff up on a micro level along the way. In other words: water's always going to trickle to the ocean, but has an infinite series of paths it can take in reaching its destination. Now, I think there's a great case to be made that "course correction" is in fact complete and utter BS concocted by Ms. Hawking, but I think Faraday's on point.

Now, Charlotte's connection to the Island may tie into the "lists" in that Abaddon either wants to send these four people into a situation in which three of them end up in the past while the fourth whisks Aaron off the Island, OR he HAS to put them into play because he's already encountered them in his particular past. This is all heady stuff, but from now on, individuals on this show are working just as Faraday's clocks in his rocket experiment. Everything, EVERYTHING is relative.

So Charlotte's search for home, that intrinsic sense of déjà vu, may in fact derive from her having been there in the past. But it's a past she's only now about to visit. This makes her discovery in Tunisia in "Confirmed Dead" a possible flashback AND flashforward. Ditto for Faraday and for Miles. Really, anything goes at this point.

But Lost has to be super duper careful in how they lay this all out, lest it turn into a Heroes-like debacle where multiverses spring up like so many Dharma stations.

So, let's say the island did travel back in time. I have no idea really but that's what it seems like in the promos. So if that's true... what do you think would happen if someone who was on the island when Ben moved it was on the island during the time the island moved to?
Griffey

Where did the island go? Sure, it disappeared but so far we haven't seen anything or anyone actually move into the past or the future. From Faraday's mouse to Desmond himself just experiencing different times, nothing has physically moved except for the island. So, where did it go?
A-Rob

According to this video, the people on the Island are in 1978. So, it's not "Where did the Island go?" so much as "When did the Island go?" 1978 seems a good assumption, which means we're going to see the Dharma Initiative in its heyday, not through cryptically edited orientation videos. It also means we're probably going to see familiar players as central characters in seismic events. Like incidents and purges. One might call their actions...hostile.

As for people coming back to life, I hope not. But one can't help but wonder if two Richard Alperts will now inhabit the Island, causing all sorts of Back to the Future II-type hilarity. Lord, I hope they have a solution for this in place, because that sorta stuff would drive me crazy. But this is what Brian referred to earlier about keeping the "bunnies" apart...two organic objects meeting different temporal versions of themselves might make everything go kablooey, as evidenced by another Pierre Chang classic.

How do you think the narrative arc is going to play out in Season 5, in regards to linking the Oceanic 6's reunion tour (set in the present) to the on-Island shenanigans (set in early 2005 through the present day)? And how are they going to work all that in with the flashbacks and flashforwards and time traveling, bunny or brain-style?
Other Sean

This season's time-traveling, decades-spanning storyline is no doubt both a response to the flashback/flash forward structure of the past four seasons, but also a payoff in some respects. The show has long shown the connection between seemingly unrelated events, and now we'll see how that plays out when events are both days and decades apart, depending on one's perspective.

Recall what Pierre said above: time is not only of the essence...it IS the essence? Does anyone actually think Locke was on the Island for three years before getting the boot? That the Oceanic 6 will necessarily end up in the middle of the Dharma Initiative upon going back? That the Island is the only place with unique, time-bending properties? Remember what Room 23 told us: only fools are enslaved by time and space. And there are some extremely smart people on and off the Island, forwards and backwards and time, and they are all fighting for a semblance of survival. And THAT, friends, is what Season 5 will be all about.

Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude, then peruses Zap2It's Guide to Lost Facebook group. He also encourages you to subscribe to the Zap2It's Guide to Lost Twitter feed. Last, but not least: check out the We Have to Go Back Gallery and make sure you're fully caught up before Season 5 starts!