Ten years ago today, a little show premiered on ABC and became one of the most talked-about, polarizing, revolutionary projects in television history.
That show was called Lost.
On Sept. 22, 2004, Lost debuted with a stunning two-hour pilot, and over the course of six seasons, caused a seismic shift in the way viewers watch, think about, and discuss television. The mysteries at the core of the show spawned dozens of fan sites, where people would exchange theories about the Smoke Monster, the Others, Not Penny's Boat, and the Dharma Initiative.
Many of those mysteries were answered by the creative team led by showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. But some were not.
Here are eight unanswered questions that still haunt our dreams at night — and our best attempts to KISS (keep it simple, stupid) them away:
1. Why was Walt so special?
He just was. In 2011, Lindelof himself said at Comic-Con that Walt is special "because he is." That's it, there's no crazy weird reason.
Yeah, he exhibits magical powers, like having premonitions. But there were other "special" people on the show, too. Hurley and Miles could see ghosts.
In a DVD extra called The New Man in Charge, Hurley rescues Walt from a mental hospital to take him back to the island. It's strongly implied that Walt will succeed Hurley as protector of the island. So perhaps he is special because he was fated to become a protector.
2. Who was on the other outrigger?
In the Season 5 episode, "The Little Prince," Sawyer and Juliet and a few others get into a gunfire fight with mysterious enemies on a boat. Before they can learn of their identities, there is a time-travel shift.
There is an answer to this one — it just hasn't been revealed yet. Earlier this year, Lindelof admitted that they had written a scene explaining who those mysterious enemies were.
"It was going to air in the final season, and it definitely answered who was on the outrigger,"he said, adding, "But all the writers… thought it would be much cooler not to answer. … The scene exists on paper. Years from now, for some excellent charity, we'll probably auction it off."
Watch the scene:
3. Where was Christian Shepherd's body?
Jack was on Oceanic Flight 815 to escort his father's corpse back to Los Angeles. After the crash, when Jack found the casket, it was empty.
Later, the Man in Black/the Smoke Monster appeared as Christian Shepherd, as he could take the form of anybody whose body was on the island. But what happened to Christian's body then? Likely, the Smoke Monster got rid of it to keep messing with Jack's head.
4. Why didn't Sun go back to the '70s with the rest of the Oceanic Six?
When the Oceanic Six made their attempt to return to the island, Eloise Hawking told Jack that they had to recreate the circumstances of the first plane crash as closely as possible. But that didn't happen, and Jack, Kate, Sayid, and Hurley time-traveled to the '70s. Sun was the only one who crashed with Ajira Flight 316 on the island in present time. Why?Many fans speculate it's because she wasn't a candidate for the protector job and the rest were.
5. Why can Jacob leave the island, but the Smoke Monster can't?
When Jacob pushed his twin brother into the stream leading to the Source, it killed his brother'sbody but transferred his consciousness to the smoke. Our theory is that this smoke is inextricably tied to the Source and cannot exist away from it. Jacob, though very, very old, is still a regular person and can do regular people things, like travel.
6. Why did Desmond have a false vision of Claire and Aaron leaving the island on a helicopter?
Desmond had premonitory flashes, and one of them was that Claire and Aaron would leave the island on a helicopter — but only if Charlie died. That never happened. What gives?
Well, first, Desmond's visions weren't of the actual future, just a possible future. And perhaps even telling Charlie about his premonition altered the course of events.
7. Did Walt psychically bring that polar bear out of Hurley's comic onto the island?
The Dharma Initiative used polar bears for electromagnetic research, so that explains the presence of them on the island. Did Walt, with his special mind powers, unknowingly attract that polar bear to attack Kate, Sawyer, and the rest of the survivors in Episode 1? Theoretically, it's possible, but it's simpler to think that it was just foreshadowing.
8. Why are Walt, Michael, and a bunch of other characters not present in the church?
The whole point of being in the church was to "let go" — and you could let go and pass on to the afterlife with the people you wanted to let go with. So, Michael wasn't there because the island wouldn't allow him to let go; he was doomed to be one of the Whisper people. Walt wasn't there because he might have wanted to let go with other people.
As Christian Shepherd explained to Jack, "This is a place that you… that you all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people on that island. That's why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you."
So, the people who were in the church were the people who wanted to be together in the church.