As Lost fans prepare for the tonight’s premiere of Season 5, it’s possible that the excruciating wait and anticipation for new episodes have made viewers forget some of the show’s problems. Many people have the idea that Lost is an intricately-plotted tale with story points that have been in place for years. And it is…mostly. But for all their planning, Lost’s writers have left a pile of loose ends as large as Hurley himself which clearly indicate they’ve been making it up as they go along to at least some extent–and here are 10 reasons that prove it.
10) Claire’s Mom Is Very Opinionated for a Woman in a Coma
When Claire found out she was pregnant, as detailed in Season 1, she and her friends were terrified that her mother would disown her if she found out. Yet, in Season 3, it was revealed that Claire’s mother was in no position to disown anybody at that point or even know Claire had been knocked up — she was in a coma after being injured in a car accident.
9) The Disaster of Nikki and Paulo
The writers of Lost had the bright idea in Season 3 to introduce two new castaways, pretend they had been there the whole time, and then insert them as obviously and annoyingly as possible. The producers said the creation of the characters was in response to fans wanting more of the background castaways to receive screen time. Perhaps if they had thought to do that earlier, it wouldn’t have been an issue, but that late in the game it was horrible. The one redeeming factor was the totally creepy demise that befell Nikki and Paulo.
8) The Other Others Who Died Off-Screen
When viewers finally got to see the inner workings of the Others’ little civilization in Season 3, the makers of Lost made sure to introduce some intriguing characters at the Others’ camp. There was Isabel, the hard-nosed “sheriff” who you wouldn’t want to cross. And hapless Aldo, who was once fooled into giving up information by Alex, Sawyer and Kate in a hostage gambit ripped off from Star Wars. These and other characters from the Others were never seen again, but many fans figured they would show up at some point. Nope. The producers of Lost announced that most of the Others they had bothered to introduce has been killed off-screen during the beach raid in the Season 3 finale. These days, the Others are pretty much decimated and a non-factor other than Richard Alpert, who seems to have preceded Ben’s perfect little community.
7) The Wasted Tail Section
A good portion of Season 2 focused on the “Tailies,” the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors who crashed miles away from the beach. Looking back, it’s a wonder the makers of Lost even bothered. Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez), after a huge build-up, was shot dead prematurely along with Libby (Cynthia Watros) by Michael, who really didn’t have much of a reason to kill them other than to sabotage his character–think about it. Couldn’t he just as easily held the gun on them and threatened to shoot them unless they released Ben? What was the point of him sticking around the camp, anyways? The producers said the drunk-driving arrests of the actresses who played those characters had nothing to do with it, but the timing of Ana Lucia and Libby being written off in a fell swoop sure was amazing. Additionally, Mr. Eko, the most interesting of the bunch, died way too soon, but that was because actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje wanted to leave, apparently. So, the only lasting effect of the Tailies saga is that Rose got Bernard back. That’s fine and dandy, but altogether the storyline was pretty pointless.
6) Boone’s Transformation from Leading Man to Sacrificial Lamb
Ian Somerhalder was originally the third-billed star of Lost and seemed to have a future as the brash, wannabe leader of the survivors. This all changed when the writers decided at the last minute to have him accompany Locke to dig up the Hatch, which would ultimately lead to Boone’s death. It’s documented that this wasn’t the original plan and that Somerhalder was devastated at his early exit from the show. The writers decided that having Boone be “a sacrifice the island demanded” would fuel tension between Locke and Jack; also, Somerhalder turned out to be a terrible, terrible actor. The show’s first main character’s death was shocking, admittedly. But Boone’s absence made his sister Shannon irrelevant and led to her death, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, since Shannon’s character had no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and Maggie Grace was an even worse actress than Somerhalder.
5) The Hatch
There’s a lot of things that don’t make sense and are inconsistent about the Hatch (a.k.a. The Swan). There’s the comical fact that for all the heartache and backache Locke went through in trying to open the Hatch, there was a flimsy door nearby the whole time that would have made life much easier. When the inside of the Swan first appeared, it looked like a loft apartment in New York City, but quickly morphed to look like the bowels of the subway. Also, why were Hurley’s evil lotto numbers on the Hatch, other than to freak Hurley out?
From the very beginning of Lost, we knew Walt was special. He had obvious psychokinetic powers and was practically a Holy Grail for the Others, who went out of their way and firebombed the survivors’ rescue raft to capture him at the end of Season 1. After all this to-do about Walt, though, Ben quickly relented in Season 2 and gave him back to his father as a reward for betraying his fellow survivors. Was Walt really nothing more than a pawn? Sure, a mobisode made before Season 4 showed that the Others feared Walt’s abilities to murder small birds with his mind, but
they must have known what they were getting into when they kidnapped him. No, the real problem was that the creators of Lost forgot that actor Malcolm David Kelley was not Emmanuel Lewis, and would age much faster than the snail’s pace of time that went by on the show.
Now, admittedly, Lost‘s writers and producers said they’ve always had a plan for Kelly’s growth, but the truth is we’ve seen no evidence of this plan. Mostly the plan has seemed to be “give no screen-time to Walt,” with Plan B being “if we have to show up, have him kneel behind a window or something.” Maybe Walt will finally get his due in Season 5 now that the show’s timeline has caught up to him. Let’s hope so, since it feels like the ball got dropped on his storyline. Of course, Walt’s dad Michael also got the shaft with the derailment of their tale.
3) The Deal with the Others
The Others were one of the first big mysteries of the island that viewers encountered and, looking back, it seems they were kind of a mystery to the writers, too. The Others stole away survivors, especially children, and seemed to quickly brainwash them. They traipsed around in animal skins and threw their whispers around the jungle, seemingly a very part of nature itself on the island. When we finally met them, though, they were just a bunch of modern outcasts living in the island’s suburbs. Why take the kids? Why kill the Tailies, but not the main cast? Why bother with the disguises at all? Why all the whispering? Unfortunately, now that the Others have been decimated, it doesn’t look like we’ll ever find out.
2) The Giant Four-Toed Foot Statue
It was one of the most tantalizing scenes ever shown on Lost and still is: In the Season 2 finale, Sayid, Sun and Jin sailed around the island in Desmond’s boat and spotted on the shore a stone foot of what must once have been a giant statue, probably from antiquity. And it had four toes! This had to be a big clue about the origins of the island, right?! You’d think this would have been a big deal, but it was never mentioned again. Fans continue to ask about it, and it appears that the creators of Lost swear it will be address in season five…although they said previously it would be address in season four, and season three before that. Until we find out otherwise, we’re calling the stone foot was just thrown in because it looked cool, not because it served any story purpose. We’ll be totally delighted to be proven wrong.
1) Nadia (or, Sayid’s the Playa)
Sayid’s long-lost love Nadia has to be the biggest botched storyline in the history of the show. After the plane crash, Sayid said Nadia was dead, apparently killed in Iraq for being an insurgent. His grief is assuaged when he begins misguidedly hooking up with uber-annoying Shannon, who managed to get herself blown away in front of him by a trigger-happy Ana Lucia. Sayid eventually leaves the island in Season 4 to find that Nadia is alive, but the writers quickly killed her off again because she was an abandoned plot point by that time, anyway. But here’s the kicker: A flashback reveals the CIA told Sayid that Nadia was alive not long before he got stranded on the island. So, there’s no doubt: Sayid lied about the love of his life being dead so he could have some hot tropical island sex with the bitchy blonde! That dog!
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.