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Author Archive: "J. Wood"
Posted by J. Wood, February 2, 2010 10:43 am
Filed under: Contributors.
[Editor's Note, 2/2/10: Okay, so, we were wrong. J.'s back!
Editor's Note, 2/24/10: Okay, maybe we were wrong about being wrong. Here's an update.]
Hello to the Lost audience from a lost scribbler.
A while back I was writing a regular piece here on Powell's about each episode of Lost, specifically about the texts that were referenced/sampled by the narrative and how the ideas of those texts were in turn implemented in the narrative.
Then I got sick, and my posts became less regular, then irregular, and then there weren't any.
I'd like to start writing those posts again with this sixth and final season. However, there is one catch:
Leaving aside other details, when I fell off the face of the internet, I had only seen up through the fifth episode of the fifth season. I didn't want to watch more episodes for fear of learning something that might shade what I was already working on. So I held off watching new episodes in the hopes of catching up. I couldn't catch up.
(The catch is coming —)
Posted by J. Wood, February 7, 2009 6:51 pm
Filed under: Contributors.
[Editor's Note — February 2nd, 2010: We're pleased to announce that J. Wood is back for the final season!]
[Editor's Note — March 23, 2009: We have another update on J. Wood's health — read it here.]
And with a flash and a splash, Jin rises from the dead.
He wasn't the only one.
"The Little Prince" is named after the 1943 children's novel by French pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a rather existential little book about a pilot whose plane goes down in the Sahara (not near Tunisia). When stranded, he meets a little blond off-world traveler; "If you please -- draw me a sheep."
The narrator relates the boy's story, who left his little asteroid and flower to travel across the universe. His seventh stop is Earth. Why did he leave his asteroid? That's a good question. Another question: Why does the narrator call this kid a prince? There is no explanation. As the boy makes his way from tiny planet to tiny planet, he meets a variety of adult representatives (a king, a businessman, a drunk), and is consistently frustrated with them; adults are consumed with facts over qualities, ...
Posted by J. Wood, February 2, 2009 1:00 pm
Filed under: Contributors.
You'd think we'd start with Jughead. The episode is telling us to start with Jughead. It's part of the Universal Plot. But there are plenty of questions to be raised in this episode, and one thing was deceitfully subtle. I originally planned to focus on that subtlety, but my DVR has a habit of randomly deleting scheduled recordings (thanks, Comcast!), so I didn't get to watch the episode closely until the following day. For good or ill, that provided more time to find a lot more going on. The key symbol of the episode is the cracked bomb, threatening to release a lot more than it would seem to hold; it's an apt symbol for the episode itself. Rather than batter readers with a term paper, this post is broken up into sections that you can click on to jump down to. So first let's lay out some structure, and you can choose which section(s) you'd prefer to read:
Posted by J. Wood, January 26, 2009 2:00 pm
Filed under: Contributors.
What did one episode say to the other episode?
Smells like a purple sky.
(This was two episodes in one; hang in there.)
The fifth season begins with a double-hander belly-lander, "Because You Left" and "The Lie." The two episodes worked so seamlessly together that it would be easy to think it was one two-hour episode if the credits at the beginning of "The Lie" were missed. Many familiar elements were in place to re-situate the audience: The domestic montage opening sequence, complete with an old record playing and the showering up, reaches back to season two's "Man of Science, Man of Faith." The flashbacks and flashforwards are in place. There are some more copycat characters. Most of the familiar characters are present and accounted for, but there are no major introductions of new characters to make the audience deal with another story arc. Storylines from the end of season four are picked up on without delay. It's as if the narrative's event horizon is finally in view, and the various narrative threads that have been closing in towards each other are now starting to weave together.
But there were some different elements worth noting. There was no opening eye shot; we got the numbers instead. We also got a new kind of flashback, one that isn't character-driven and just for the audience. In moments like when Kate visits Sun in LA, we see a flashback on the freighter while Sun narrates. This is new; it directly acknowledges the audience, rather than expect the audience to figure out which character's perspective we're in. It also does the work of helping the audience-some perhaps just catching up or new-understand some of the background to the current story arcs. Hurley's quick recap to his mother of what actually happened on the island does the same work.
The main island characters have also started living in Desmond's nightmare. As the island becomes unstuck in time, those who were on the island during the event are flashing uncontrollably back and forth in time, as Desmond has done for so long. We learn a few things from these events:
For one, Desmond is a lot more connected to the island than previously known. Why? No idea yet, but he's somehow special, and in some ways that whole storyline is starting to echo not only Locke, but James Cole from the Terry Gilliam film 12 Monkeys. In the film, Cole was chosen to flash back in time because he has a good memory and can bring necessary information from the past to the future. Likewise, both Desmond and Locke are entrusted to remember into the future by Faraday and Richard.
However, in the film Cole complains that the stresses of moving across time are too much for the human brain, and he becomes "mentally divergent." There's no telling if Lost will go down a similar route; it seems the flashes here put a physical stress on people, as witnessed by Charlotte's gushing bloody noses. However, if we look back to the beginning of the season four episode "Confirmed Dead," Faraday has a minor emotional breakdown while watching the news coverage of the (faked) Oceanic Flight 815 recovery.
The flashes also do something interesting for the audience; the structure of narrative events as experienced by the audience now reflects the structure of events on the island. For four seasons we've watched the narrative jump from the island time to flashbacks and flashforwards, and we've had to piece together events in order to make sense of the storyline and locate ourselves in relation to that storyline. This is just what the island characters are forced to do now; piece together out-of-order events to make sense of them, and locate themselves in relation to those events. In this way, the experiences of the watchers and the watched converge through the narrative; either the audience once again becomes a participant in the story, or the characters become participants in the audience experience-the two reflect each other, like mirror twins.
That disjointed and reconstructed experience of narrative time and island time recalls a theme hinted at through references like A Brief History of Time, A Wrinkle in Time, Black Holes & Time Warps, and Minkowski: Wormholes. The freighter Minkowski was a nod to the Polish mathematician Hermann Minkowski, who in 1907 worked out the mathematics for Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity (Minkowski was Einstein's professor). In his calculations, he found that the theory worked if three dimensional Euclidean space was expanded to include time as a fourth dimension. This meant that time wasn't just something we experienced, but that time occupied space like mass-time was part of space, spacetime. This also meant that just as all space is existing at once, so did all time, but just as we experience space in a mediated way — we can't be everywhere at once — we experience time in a mediated way.
A wormhole is a shortcut through spacetime to overcome this limitation, and could theoretically be created by utilizing something called the Casimir effect. Ostensibly, a wormhole could allow us to experience different places in time, just like we can take a plane to experience different places in space. Both Wormholes and the Casimir effect, as well as Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne, have already been discussed in the Orchid orientation video and the first, eleventh, and last posts of the fourth season, so we'll save some space here. But we have all the ingredients to make one: Crazy electromagnetic properties? Check. Casimir effect? Check. An enormous source of energy? According to Dr. Marvin Candle in the Orchid, check.
Posted by J. Wood, January 20, 2009 2:00 pm
Filed under: Contributors.
It was to begin again.
The fifth and penultimate season of Lost is nigh, and at this point, there are a lot of past-present-future narrative knots to untangle. Time is out of joint, as is the island, and the future isn't what it once was. What we can be sure of is that, with only 34 episodes left, Messrs Cuselof, et al., will be flooding our screens with more information than their tiny dimensions and our powers of perception will be able to handle on one viewing alone. So the virtual community convenes once again to knock our collective noggins together and see what we can find, and to watch for the creators watching us watch them.
Before I go any further with this preliminary post, just know that this post is not as long as it looks. Last season ended with all kinds of talk surrounding writers and thinkers like Jeremy Bentham, Philip K. Dick, and Joseph Campbell. In trying to find some apparatus that would help to organize all the developing storylines, I was looking for some sort of basic catalog that might help with some overall structure. There are many out there, and most are written for the aspiring fiction writer, playwright, or screen writer. However, the plots described were more often than not too general to be of much use in these circumstances.
Then I came across a slightly obsessive late 19th century French literary critic named Georges Polti, who wrote a book called The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. Polti doesn't take credit for the list, though; he claims it was the 18th century Italian dramatist Carlo Gozzi who determined the thirty six situations, and that his math was checked by both Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. It's a hard list to top. Polti also does the heavy lifting of categorizing and breaking down all the possible variations within his thirty six situations, and he seems to revel in such work, but it yields a book that's about as enjoyable to read as a blueprint. However, it is still used by those who make their livings out of crafting narrative, and is surprisingly useful for understanding where Lost is coming from and where it might be going. Reading the various Lost storylines against Polti's list even hints where some of the complicated romantic storylines might emerge from. This isn't necessarily to say that the writers are definitely using this text, but it is to say that it can be usefully applied.
Rather than break everything down that Polti does, with numerous subgroups under each situation, below you can see just the thirty six situations themselves, with some representative examples from Lost. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I'm sure people can add to it — in fact, I hope you do. If you would like to see an outline of just the situations with their subgroups, click here, and you can see why I did not go into the subgroups. Polti was dealing with ancient, Renaissance, early modern, and contemporary drama from his day, and as such his situations can seem a little odd to a modern eye (see Situation 26, Crimes of love, Subgroup E: A woman enamored of a bull). In fact, after reading his list, it seems much drama has put some interesting twists on these situations.
Lost always generates a bit of tension with its audience in the gap between episodes. Time is not only distorted in the show itself; a day for them can be a week for us. For this reason, many prefer to watch a season again on DVD uninterrupted, when storylines don't have as much time to simmer in your subconscious and make you question why this survivor is getting romantic with that Other, or why a plotline was introduced and not followed up on for four weeks. Hopefully, the following list will help some to see some possibilities in such time gaps, and alleviate some confusion.
And with that, I give you the list. But please note, there is an announcement at the end of this post. If you don't want to read through the entire list, please skip down to the announcement, because it has a direct bearing on where this little Lost part of the web will be heading this season.
Posted by J. Wood, June 3, 2008 10:18 am
Filed under: Contributors.
There's no place like home, but you can't go home again. That was already laid out in the monomyth structuring much of Lost's subtext, Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces. The quickest way to show this might be:
- A person leaves home to take care of some business. The person eventually crosses a threshold that divides the homeland from some other land.
- There's a whole bunch of trials, temptations and dangers to be faced. If the person can successfully navigate those trials, the person's consciousness is changed. If the person doesn't successfully navigate the trials, well... (see Ben not being allowed back on the island)
- After finally taking care of said business, the person eventually gets back home, but the person really isn't the same person as before because of the change in consciousness — the person is more like person2; same memories, same general identity, but a changed outlook that makes persona experience home in a different way. Person2 may even have a hard time relating to the homefolk because person2 can't express what it is she or he experienced out beyond the threshold.
If this sounds vaguely like Dorothy's journey in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, that's no coincidence. According to Campbell, this model was the basic DNA for all mythic narratives; Dorothy, Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Yossarian, a person's basic experience from birth through old age, a spiritual seeker's exploration of consciousness, going away to school or the military, you name it.
But stories are more interesting when they can manipulate the mode, break into new territory and redefine previously understood ideas. The Oceanic 6 have certainly returned home, but they're not quite the O6. They're more like the O62, and they couldn't tell the homefolk what they've been through even if they wanted to. (Who would believe them, and how would they explain the lack of an island?) In most monomythic stories, the person returns somewhat more than she or he was before leaving; the O62 are both more and less, in some ways exaggerations of their strengths and weaknesses. What's more, those strengths and weaknesses seem to be the reverse of what they were on the island: Sayid, the man who walked away from torture, is now Ben's hired assassin. Jack, the social leader and healer, is verging on a heavy case of delirium tremens and can barely manage himself, let alone a scalpel. Hurley (with the help of Libby) went from finding an inner strength and confidence in his own mental stability to playing chess with dead Nigerian warlords in the Santa Rosa mental hospital. Sun has gone from a near-shrinking violet who was looking for a back door out of her marriage to a corporate titan living for the memory of her husband. Kate, always on the run and making just the wrong choice at the right time, has become a pillar of stability in her role as surrogate mother. Ben has gone from a kind of island shaman-king to a permanent state of exile, stuck in a cycle of vengeance and samsara out in his own private Land of Nod. We don't yet know about Desmond or Lapidus, but we do know something about another islander, Locke. The news isn't good.
Locke ended up being the one in the coffin (although he was one of three options; if any leaks escaped, two other endings were ready in the wings, one with Sawyer in the coffin, and one with Desmond). Locke is now confirmed to be Jeremy Bentham, another in the Lost list of Enlightenment philosophers. And he's an interesting choice: When forging his ideas of utilitarianism and legal positivism, Bentham forcefully broke from the theories natural rights and social contracts put forth by the philosopher John Locke. Island Locke's name change introduces a narrative and metaphysical break that gives rise to all kinds of fun new complications, particularly when it comes to island Locke's uncertainty between faith and reason.
Rewind: One thing the islanders seem to be living in is a state of nature (especially the Others). Many Enlightenment thinkers had strongly-held opinions about the state of nature: Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) thought that life in a state of nature was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." John Locke (1632-1704) differed from Hobbes, believing that the law of nature was reason itself, so in a state of nature people naturally and reasonably acknowledged each other's rights to life and property. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) looked upon the state of nature more kindly than Hobbes, but didn't agree with Locke that reason emerged fully-fledged in the state of nature; reason, Rousseau thought, needed some sort of structure to help it mature.
All three believed that people were born into a state of nature with certain natural rights that were unconditional and not granted by some sovereign. Locke expresses his position in Two Treatises of Government (1690): "reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions." But there are some problems with Locke's position: it puts a lot of faith in humanity's natural inclination toward reason, and it claims that because something is (reason is the law of nature), then something ought to be (no one ought to harm another). Bentham, going off David Hume, would have a real problem with this logic.
These proponents of natural rights also argued for the need of a social contract to protect those rights; individuals would give up some of their personal liberty to an authority in turn for certain guarantees and protections (which happens on the island when Jack and Locke become the custodians of the guns in the Swan Station). Sometimes these contracts were used to justify political power, and other times they were used to justify revolt against political power. Bentham would also have a problem with whole notion of social contracts protecting anything like inalienable rights.
Posted by J. Wood, May 17, 2008 5:36 am
Filed under: Contributors.
How many times do I have to tell you, John? I always have a plan.
You can almost hear the writers in Ben's voice, letting the audience know that something big is coming. With the extra hour added for the finale, it seems the job of "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1" is to finish setting up everything that will be overturned in the next couple of hours.
We see how the Oceanic Six make it off the island — we're not sure how they got on the Coast Guard plane to begin with, but we see them edgy and getting their stories straight during the flight. The Oceanic representative, Karen Decker, has the story all set to present; they made it to a nonexistent island south of Sumba, Indonesia, called Membata. Membata-bata is actually the Indonesian word for "ambivalent," a perfect adjective to describe the O6's demeanor after rescue. None of them seem too convinced about what they're doing, and the press are pretty dogged about getting to the bottom of their story — and that's how you know this is fiction; if this were the real world, the press wouldn't have worked to ask
Posted by J. Wood, May 12, 2008 3:39 pm
Filed under: Book News.
What if Keamy had a sibling? What if Keamy killed that sibling?
There's some reason to consider this, but it'll first take some working through "Cabin Fever" and the multitude of narrative and mythical mirror-twinned and paralleled coordinates. Every now and then an episode like "Cabin Fever" helps the audience (and probably the writers) get a snapshot of just where and how these coordinates are related, and they're so prevalent in this episode, this piece could almost be written in two columns to map out the conjunctions.
Start at the macro level, with the overall shape of the narrative. The first three seasons went through the Lostaways first encounters with the Others; their first encounters with the Tailies and the DHARMA Initiative; and the Survivors clash with the Others. The end of the third season seemed to be some kind of hinge where the second half of the narrative — the next three seasons — reflexes back upon the first three seasons. That means some of those original coordinates will be revisited, but since we're working back, not in the same way. Now we're seeing role-reversals and narrative mirror-twinning that expands beyond characters into groups, scenes, themes, and even structure (flashbacks and flashforwards).
There once were the Others and the DHARMA Initiative, two factions in a struggle over the island who protected the island from outsiders who mean the island harm. Now the survivors have split into their own two groups caught up in a minor struggle over domain, and they all in turn side with the Others (at least Ben) to protect the island against a new group of outsiders, the Freighties. The Survivors have taken on the role of the Others.
A number of episodes from this season contain scenes that mirror moments from previous seasons, thematically tying the scenes together (again in a very mirror-twin fashion). Consider the scene from "Confirmed Dead," when Jack and Kate walk Miles and Faraday through the jungle; when Miles's scanner starts to beep, he pulls his gun and wants to follow the signal (turns out it's Vincent). Jack tells him to put the gun down, that he has people in the jungle with guns aimed at their Freightie heads, and a warning shot is let out from the jungle. This mirrors the scene from the second season episode "The Hunting Party" where Jack, Locke and Sawyer meet Tom out in a clearing, guns drawn. Tom tells the Lostaways to put the guns down, but Jack challenges him, saying (like Miles) that he doesn't believe Tom had anyone else out in the jungle with him. At that Tom yells "Light 'em up!", the Others light their torches, and they find themselves surrounded by people with guns. It's the same plot, but the roles have been reversed. Likewise, "The Constant" pointed back to "Flashes Before Your Eyes," and the tenth episodes of each season has so far concerned themselves with parental themes ("Raised By Another," "The 23rd Psalm," and "Tricia Tanaka is Dead"). There are many more such connections; just take a look at the books appearing in the narrative for some roadsigns.
The flashforwards are also working their way backwards, so the flashforwards earlier in the season occurred later in the narrative time of the off-island Oceanic Six, and those flashes are working their way back to when they first made it off the island. While one narrative timeline (the island) heads in one direction, the other narrative timeline (the flashforwards) work in the opposite direction; one heads from order to disorder (the island), and the other leads from disorder to order (the flashforwards). This would be a good place to review the concepts of entropy and the arrow of time, but that's been written about here before, so let's not take too long a sidetrack. But it's worth noting that in thermodynamics, entropy tracks the direction of energy moving from order to disorder, which is also how we measure time. Nineteenth century Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who built on the work of Michael Faraday and whose namesake was used for the Maxwell Group in the alternate reality game Find 815, had a famous thought experiment about how thermodynamic entropy (and time) could be reversed — Maxwell's Demon. Think about that when we watch the island narrative time moving in one direction, into increasing disorder, and the flashforward time moving in reverse, into increasing order; the narrative itself is demonstrating one of the principle subtexts.
The clearest mirror-twining in "Cabin Fever" is with Locke and Ben. For some time now, the power dynamic of the scientific Jack and the spiritual Locke has shifted to a new dynamic between Locke and Ben (which also plays into the focus shift from the Survivors to the Others, and the Survivors as the Others). Locke was recruited by Ben and the Others last season, and had to sacrifice his father, Cooper, to prove his intentions. Ben has played on Locke's nascent sense of exceptionalness, and it's now clear that the Others have been trying to recruit Locke for some time; Ben, typically playing all sides of an issue, at once helps by bringing Locke into the fold, and also attempts to take Locke out because he represents a threat to Ben's leadership. Ben seems to recognize both the parallels, and the differences.
Locke and Ben were both born prematurely into single-parent homes, and both mothers are named Emily, but Ben's Emily died, whereas Locke's Emily gave him up for adoption. As boys, both were quiet and had displayed a certain facility for learning (especially science), but the one who was recruited to the island rejected his calling, while the one who ended up on the island embraced it. They both have some kind of psychic sync with the island; whether that's through Jacob or has something to do with the island itself remains to be seen.
But one thing is becoming increasingly clear: Ben is a pretender to the island throne. We got the intriguing suggestion that he was ordered to commit the purge, presumably by Jacob, but we also know Ben seems to always have more reason to bend the truth than disclose it, so this isn't certain. Did Ben orchestrate his own coup for leadership, or was he somehow chosen by the Others? And what might have been if Locke had just picked the book instead of the knife when Richard visited him as a boy? Or if Locke had just gone to science camp when he had the chance? Because if Locke had chosen correctly, Locke would have been on the island and most likely already the de facto leader of the Others by the time of Ben's birthday purge.
Richard came to young Locke with a very Professor X offer of an education at a school for extremely special kids. The test Richard gave Locke (and we assume was not administered to Ben) is one the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes as given to him when he was two years old. The 13th Dalai Lama died in 1933, the year Lhamo Thondup (Tenzin Gyatso) was born, and a retinue of Tibetan Buddhist monks set out in search of his reincarnation. The idea is that once the Dalai Lama dies, his spirit would be reborn in another individual, who is then sought out and trained in order to fulfill his highest capacities as a spiritual and political leader.
The Tibetan Bardo Thodol (Book of the Dead) describes the process an individual undergoes when they die and enter the afterlife. Someone who has sufficiently prepared his mind/concentration/soul will be able to avoid the journey and catch the early exit to nirvana; otherwise, increasingly unnerving tests await the individual. How one lived life (one's karma), helps determine whether a person will be reborn as a human, animal, or in some sort of heaven or hell. The realm to be reborn into, especially for a Dalai Lama, is the human realm, as it provides the best environment to work towards enlightenment.
Sidenote: The friend of the real Richard Alpert, Timothy Leary, thought the Bardo Thodol was the best expression he'd found of the psychedelic experience; he, along with Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert, wrote a kind of guidebook to psychedelics based on the Bardol Thodol called The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Two years after Thubten Gyatso died, his corpse still lying in-state, his head strangely changed positions, and was found facing northeast rather than south. So the monks headed northeast, and after some other signs and omens, they came across little Lhamo Thondup and gave him a particular test: They showed him a number of items, some of which belonged to the 13th Dalai Lama. If the boy recognized the items as his, that would be evidence that the Dalai Lama had been reborn. When they showed the boy the collection of items, he immediately claimed that items belonging to Thubten Gyatso were his, and that's how Lhamo Thondup became Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. That's just what the ageless Richard Alpert did with young John Locke.
Posted by J. Wood, May 3, 2008 7:00 am
Filed under: Contributors.
The appendix is a weird thing. Its full name is vermiform appendix, and it's a vestigial organ at the base of the large intestine, packed with useful bacteria once used to help us break down high-cellulose veggies. Charles Darwin compared vestigial organs to silent letters in words; the letters aren't pronounced, but they offer clues to a word's origins. Over the ages, as our diet became more refined, that original purpose of the appendix was lost, and we were left with a worm-like thing hanging out in our guts.
However, recent research suggests the vermiform appendix may have actually evolved into serving some other purpose in conjunction with the immune system; when good bacteria is wiped out of the digestive system because of some illness, that useful bacteria can be replaced by the stuff sitting in the appendix. This is especially useful in under or undeveloped areas, where sanitation is lacking (like the tropics).
In other words, the appendix is a kind of security system. "Vermiform" also means "shape of a worm." Seen any worm-shaped security systems lately?
This isn't to say Smokey is some kind of vestigial appendix,
Posted by J. Wood, April 25, 2008 12:37 pm
Filed under: Contributors.
***I began writing this while experiencing turbulence in a 737 somewhere over New Mexico. I am attending a conference in LA from Thursday-Saturday, and that means a Friday post may not happen on Friday. I originally planned on putting up some questions and then try to get back to this in a day or two. After seeing the episode, a good deal of those questions were addressed, and I just couldn't wait.***
The Short Time Mob moved in and wiped away six weeks.
Before the season picks up again, it might be useful to ask a few questions about what we know and don't know, and what answers we might look to for before this season is out. A list of a few head-scratchers is presented here, with some info divulged in "The Shape of Things to Come," and if you have any other problems you'd like addressed or think should be addressed in the next six episodes, add 'em.
What about off-island events that seem island-generated? Juliet's husband Edmund Burke was squished by a bus, her sister's cancer was cured, and Oceanic Six can't seem to die for trying (Jack tried to jump off a bridge when he was distracted by a convenient car wreck, and Michael can't manage to crush or shoot himself).
Let's talk about Hurley:
- What about his seeing Charlie?
- What does it mean that Hurley may be able to find Jacob's shack?
- What does it mean that Hurley saw Christian Shephard in that shack?
- Is Hurley becoming a problem for Locke, almost like Locke is becoming a problem for Ben?
Why is Christian kibitzing in Chez Jacob in the first place, and what's he doing alive? Is he even alive?
How did the Oceanic Six make if off the island, and what happened to the rest?
- How does Aaron fit into this, and will Aaron have some sort of spokesperson function like his biblical namesake?
- Is Jin actually dead in the future, or is he still on the island with the other survivors?