As promised, here’s the first installment of "Letters from The Flame." Seems like a good name for this weekly feature, no? After all, before Locke went and blew it up, the Flame served as a communications station on the Island. Feels only fitting to name this reader Q&A after one of the 429 things on the Island that Locke has destroyed. The premise is pretty basic: every week, I’ll post reader comments and answer reader email concerning anything and everything Lost. If you want to send me a missive, by all means, email me!

On with the first edition…

I noticed in the first two new eps this season the credits listed Fisher Stevens and at least the second new ep listed Harold Parrineau (Michael). Now, I was pretty sure I knew who Fisher Stevens was, but I never saw him in either episode, and I don’t recall seeing Michael. Did I miss something?

Andrea C.

Andrea: Fisher plays Minkowski, the as-yet unseen Freighter. So technically, yes, he’s been in the episodes. As for Harold, he definitely wasn’t in the episode. I would have noticed, since I probably would have picked up on a guy shouting "WAAAAAAALLLLLTTTTT!" every thirty seconds.

Hey man, I read you Lost blog, (awesome by the way) and i remember you saying something about more than one level to the hatch map and it being in infrared light or something (i think that was you)…well watch this trailer for the video game…if you pause it at 1:25 (I had to DL it to pause it in the right spot) you can see the old map with some new stuff in red (maybe infrared) on top of it.

Stephen W.

Excellent catch, Stephen. Here’s a better screen-shot of what you’re talking about. On the Blu-Ray edition of Season 3, the producers did mention an extra layer to the Blast Map. This got me excited, thinking that somehow the Boaties were going to bring with them a device that would reconstruct the Swan Station back to its former glory. But instead of such a fantastical device allowing us to view the Blast Door Map again, turns out we’ll see it in the video game. Which just goes to show you that I often let my imagination get the best of me.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ll be buying this video game. I mean, if I have a chance to be awful at video games WHILE being awful at predicting plot twists in Lost, well, that’s a chance I’ll always take.

Early in ["The Beginning of the End"}, when they are cuff Hurley and he is doing his Oceanic 6 plea, during one of the shots there is what looks like a sideview mirror (only the shape is more like a video camera screen) with a person in the reflection watching what is going down…Who is it?  Beats me, but the placement of the reflection is clear as can be and certainly deliberate.

David K.

David: I’m pretty sure this is the man you’re looking for. Not sure his presence is anything more than an Easter Egg, but that’s definitely him.

Where are the rest of the Others at this point???  There were 2 or 3 on the beach that "shot" Sayid, Jin, and Bernard, where did they go?  Where are the rest?  My initial answer to my wife was that they were on the other island, but I’d like a real answer.

Ken T.

Well, Ken, the Others on the beach are dead as can be. Tom, Ryan, and the other Other that didn’t get blown to smithereens were killed (by Dharma van, broken neck, and gun-shot). The rest of the others, led ostensibly by Richard Alpert, are heading to what Ben called the "Temple." We don’t know anything about the Temple at this point. Clearly it’s a place of refuge for the Others, but other than that, it’s anyone’s guess. Perchance it ties in with the four-toed statue? It’s all up for speculation at this point.

Started reading this and it’s pretty damn fascinating.  Too long to post in your blog, and definite food for thought.  I’m about halfway through it and had to send it on to you.  GREAT info on the Gedanken experiment and scientific, real-world consequences of time travel.

Maria H.

Real-world consequences of time travel? Sign me up! I think I read this write-up a few months ago, and I had the same thought then as I do now: who would DO that to a cat?

I will say, however, that the basic premise, which is one I’ve espoused here in the last few weeks (the Losties are both alive on the Island and dead in the real world) seems to have been debunked. Thanks a lot, Jeff Fahey. Thank a freakin’ lot. Doesn’t mean time anomalies can’t exist in the show; just means that I have to rethink the application of the Orchid Station to Abaddon and the Oceanic 6. Which is cool, cuz like, I wasn’t doing much this weekend anyways.

Any theories on the ‘whispers’? First, we were lead to believe they were the others, but that’s obviously not true. Could it be Smokey or even Jacob? And what exactly do you think they’re saying?

Alex H.

Alex: You can read transcripts of the whispers here. Now, these are unofficial, to be sure. As far as I know, no one directly associated with Lost has confirmed these to be 100% correct. However, having read them, it’s hard to not come to the conclusion that dying on the Island may not be the be all and end all. I don’t think they are singularly Jacob or singularly Smokey, unless you want to think of Smokey as the physical embodiment of those whispers. I personally don’t think so, but I could see one making a pretty valid case for that theory.

I’m EXTREMELY interested to see what happens when Miles hears the whispers for the first time. That should be…enlightening.

The following three questions come from reader ShaggySteve. His prodigious output has earned in the inaugural "Message in a Bottle" Award.

Frank Lapidus says that he was supposed to be piloting Oceanic 815.  What if the other 3 from the copter were supposed to be there as well?  We saw Dan crying, perhaps this is the reason why.  Miles, being a psychic could have foreseen the crash.

Not a bad theory, although it evokes  the film Final Destination, so points deducted for that. I think we’ll learn all four have important skill sets that would enable them to best survive the unique properties of the Island. (Furthermore, I’m fairly certain the character of Faraday is how we’re going to find our way back to Libby. Mark my words. Methinks he either spent a bit of time in the same mental ward as Hurley, or was a patient of hers at some point.)

I am getting more and more skeptical about Danielle’s back story.  She says she was on a Science expedition that crashed on the Island, yet we have seen no wreckage. Also she says her ship-mates were killed due to a virus. Is it possible she is a part of Dharma?  Maybe this is why she has been in hiding, and Dharma was who her distress call was for?

The entire notion sickness/quarantine plot in Lost is something I’d like addressed sooner rather than later. I will see your "skeptical" and raise you a "dubious." As I’ve mentioned before, I’m anxious to see a Danielle flashback that either covers 1) her initial time on the Island, or 2) her initial encounter with Ben after he got caught in her net. (Whether or not he got caught on purpose is also something I’d like to know.)

My other question was about something Naomi said to Abaddon.  She said, ‘What if we find survivors of Oceanic 815?’  Abaddon says there are no survivors.  Why would she say this?  However, the more I think about it, it could just be that this is just the closest island to the wreckage.

Abaddon’s motivation is so murky right now that to venture a guess would almost be insulting to you, the readers, and the Internet as a whole. Part of the problem is that while "Confirmed Dead" was wonderfully specific in terms of geographically locating its off-Island action, it was woefully inadequate in providing a context of exactly WHEN they happened.

I rewatched the beginning of "Confirmed Dead" tonight, and while the television news broadcast refers to Christiane I having searched the Sunda Trench for two months, they give no context as to when the wreckage was found in relation to Oceanic 815 disappearing. The reporter even goes so far as to say that the wreckage confirmed what officials had "long feared." Doesn’t necessarily mean what Faraday et al. witness didn’t happen months after Oceanic 815 went down, but it doesn’t rule out the discovery of the wreckage much later than that, either.

Trying to establish a time-line of post-Sunda events will be tricky, but essential, in piecing together the story of Season 4 (and beyond). Hurley’s flash-forward took place after the discovery of the wreckage, for instance, but before Bearded Jack Attack featured in "Through the Looking Glass." The lack of specific context is intentional, I’m sure, in that more specific clues would give away the game earlier than the writers and producers would like it.

For example: each of the four Boaties’ off-shore events took place in context of the Oceanic 815 wreckage being discovered. But the scene with Naomi and Abaddon lacks such context. Perhaps that encounter took place well after that day. Or, perhaps, well before. All options are in play, I think.


Thus endeth Week One of "Letters from The Flame." Thanks to all the readers that submitted questions or comments. Once again, email me with anything Lost-related and I’ll do my best to answer your question or share your insight!

Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.

Posted by:Ryan McGee