Eric Fingerman writes: ”What happened to your promised column about all the mysteries we hope would be answered? You asked us to e-mail them to you and I haven’t heard anything back from you or seen a column on it. (Unless I missed it somehow.)”
Eric, you missed nothing. The delay in posting that column had much to do with the recent onslaught of Lost work here at EW, the sudden succession of episodes that addressed (to varying degrees of satisfaction) several of the most-cited questions (What’s Jacob’s backstory? How was the Monster created? Which candidate will become Island guardian? Who are the Adam and Eve skeletons? Does Fake Locke really want to help the castaways get off The Island?), and the simple fact that it’s pretty hard to sift through 2,168 emails, many of which contained not just one question but lists of unranked questions, accompanied by 3,000 word essays about their relevance. They made for great reading, but it made for time-intensive tabulation.
The results of my (extraordinarily unscientific) survey exposed a tricky irony. Fans are unified in seeming to think that Lost is loaded with unanswered questions, and they are unified in resenting anyone who tells them that wanting answers isn’t all that important to a satisfying finale. (Translation: Yes, I did feel the scorch of your flame earlier this week when I took a swipe at ”answer zealots” in my recap of ”What They Died For.” While I do not share your position, I do respect your experience and understand your frustration. I was rude and have been properly shamed.) At the same time, what I’ve found is that when you begin pressing fans on which questions and mysteries they most want to see resolved, there is a striking lack of agreement. One person’s ”What was that all about? They never explained it!” is another person’s ”That’s not a big deal to me. Besides, I think the show gave me enough to figure it out on my own!”
While three questions/mysteries did distinguish themselves from the pack, only one question got more than 10 percent of the vote, and the drop-off after that was steep. (This includes the aforementioned questions/mysteries that recent episodes have answered.) The remainder of this column will focus on the top three vote-getters. I’ll provide my theory for each. There will also be a line that asks ”Will Lost address this question in the finale?” If you don’t want to be spoiled, you may want to skip my responses, which are based on previously reported info, not inside intel. To be super-safe, each of these lines will contain a SPOLER ALERT!, even if my answer is ”I don’t know.”
The top vote getter?
Why was Walt special? Why did the Others kidnap Walt, and what was up with Walt’s apparent supernatural abilities?
Percentage Of the Vote: 15%
Will Lost Address This Question In the Finale? [SPOILER ALERT!] Maybe. During their Times Talk last night, Lost exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof revealed that Walt will be appearing in the series finale.
My Analysis/Theory: I don’t think the Others had any clue when they abducted Walt that he had ”powers.” See: Ben’s line to Michael that Walt was ”more than we bargained for.” Walt was only significant to the Others as a pawn in a larger conspiracy designed to get Jack to operate on Ben’s spine. More specifically: The Others kidnapped Walt in order to manipulate Michael into luring Jack, Kate, and Sawyer into a trap. As for Walt’s ”powers,” this is where I break ranks with many Lost fans. Over time, I have come to accept that the Lost world allows for the existence of inexplicable supernatural phenomenon and allows for people with inexplicable paranormal abilities. Some, like Miles, understand how to use these powers. Some, like Walt, do not. I prefer to see their ”powers” or ”curses” as fantastic, metaphorical expressions of their character issues. BOTTOM LINE: I’d always take more info on the matter — but I don’t feel like I need further resolution of Walt.
NEXT: No Other babies?