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Yes, but it had no real significance.
It was revealed on the special features disc in the Season 2 Lost boxset that it was an easter egg. In the commentary for that episode, it is mentioned that the DHARMA logo was meant to be a lot blurrier and more of a mystery, but due to poor special effects, it ended up clear as day.
The DHARMA Shark was nicknamed Ezra James Sharkington by Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse on the Official Lost Podcasts and he makes another appearance in the island-underwater scene in "LA X." Edit
As hinted at in Orientation (2005), and confirmed in Season 3, the polar bears were part of experiments going on at DHARMA. The bears were being trained for increased intelligence and to be able to survive in a non-arctic habitat.
Some viewers continue to question how the bears got from Hydra Island to the main Island. Obviously, at some point when DHARMA shut down the bears either escaped or were released. The question of how they got to the main Island is mostly based on fan ignorance of polar bears. Polar bears are excellent swimmers, probably the best mammalian swimmers other than dolphins and whales. Polar bears have been known to swim dozens of miles between ice floes and the relatively short distance between Hydra Island and the main island would be an easy distance for them to cover.
In "The New Man in Charge" epilogue, it was confirmed that DHARMA brought the bears to the island to use as test subjects at the Orchid station. Edit
Before Season 4, Lost produced a series of short movies known as mobisodes. These were billed as "Lost: The Missing Pieces" and were advertised as "filling in gaps in the series." While the quality and interestingness of the mobisodes varies, they mostly contain little important information. Instead they are mostly interesting diversions, with many being slice of life episodes. The only one which has, potentially, important significance to the plot is the last one to be broadcast, "So it Begins". Edit
According to Ben, Jacob knows all the secrets of the island. Jacob is first mentioned in The Man Behind the Curtain (2007). He appears (briefly) in the cabin scene in that episode. In The Incident: Part 1 (2009), Jacob is shown in full, and is played by Mark Pellegrino. He is clearly not the man who was in the cabin during The Man Behind the Curtain (2007), and in the same episode it is confirmed by Ilana that Jacob has not been using the cabin for some time. This has led to speculation that the man in the cabin was not actually Jacob, but The Man in Black/Smoke Monster, which is sustained by the fact that the ring of ash surrounding the cabin has been disturbed, allowing the Man in Black inside (who would normally be unable to cross a layer of ash, as we learn in Season 6). More proof comes from Cabin Fever (2008), where John Locke enters the cabin and finds Christian Shephard inside; the Man in Black later confesses in Season 6 that he was impersonating Christian on the island all along.
The Season 6 episodes Ab Aeterno (2010) and Across the Sea (2010) finally revealed more about Jacob's role on the island. His mother Claudia was shipwrecked on the island in 44 AD, where she gave birth to him, but also to the Man in Black, who is Jacob's fraternal twin. Both were raised by an unknown woman who was already present on the island. She served as the island's caretaker, especially guarding the "Source". The caretaker duties went from this woman to Jacob, who has fulfilled the role for nearly 2000 years. Unfortunately, during a fight with the Man in Black, Jacob threw the latter inside the Source, causing its 'evil' power to become manifested as The Smoke Monster. Jacob compares the island to a 'cork', that keeps the island's evil power (i.e. the Man in Black) stuck in a bottle. As long as the caretaker lives, evil cannot escape the island. The reason that Jacob (and the Island) have summoned the survivors of Oceanic 815 to the island is that he is seeking a replacement for himself. However, his actions are constantly manipulated by the Man in Black, who desperately seeks a way off the island.
Jacob's old age and ageless quality are apparently properties bestowed upon him by the Island, in his role as the Island's caretaker. Jacob can instantly travel to any place and time on Earth where he wants to be: he can be seen talking to Hurley in the USA just hours before Hurley's flight to the Island, yet a few days later, Jacob is already back on the Island without any indication that he used the same plane. Jacob is also there on the exact moment of John Locke's spine-breaking fall. It is implied that Jacob has full access to the Island's electromagnetic properties that manipulate time and matter, something which other inhabitants can only do with limitations and less control (through the Dharma experiments). When Hurley becomes caretaker, he can be seen traveling to and from the USA in one of the Dharma vans ('The New Man in Charge'), suggesting the Island's caretaker can use some kind of instant teleportation. However, Jacob is not immortal, as he can be killed quite easily. Before his death, Jacob can prevent the Man in Black from getting off the Island; after his death, the Man in Black cannot change into another form, suggesting that Jacob has powers in death which he does not possess in life, and vice versa.
There has been a lot of controversy over Jacob's motives for doing things. For instance, according to Ben, Jacob won't allow anyone to leave the Island. Although it has been shown that leaving the Island is perfectly possible, the point can be made that the ones who succeeded, became so depressed or obsessed that they had to return. It is not entirely certain if Jacob is always responsible, though. The caretaker can "command" the Island to do many things (such as protect certain people from harm), but there are just as many instances where the Island seems to 'act' on its own. It can influence events all over the world, like preventing Claire from signing her adoption papers; some of the characters are told that "the Island is not done with them", like Desmond Hume and Jack Shepherd; Michael Dawson can't kill himself or be killed by others, because the Island needs him. Jacob's explains that he has marked several people as candidates to his succession as caretaker of the Island, because he feels their presence on the Island is absolutely necessary to keep the Man in Black stuck there; the Island seems to have set in motion the chains of events that made them all board the same plane which subsequently crashed on the Island and miraculously survive.
Others have criticized the fact that Jacob had summoned people to the Island and kept them idling by themselves, without giving them proper explanation of what they are doing there or what is expected of them. This is answered in the episode "What They Died For", when Jacob explains that he chose candidates who were like him: flawed, alone and looking for a purpose. His view is that people should be able to find out right and wrong without him telling them. They should make their own choices and not be manipulated into it; he wants them to find out for themselves what the Island is and what it is capable of, before he shows himself. This may be indicated by Richard's line to John, that Jacob eventually would have come to him. This is also what kills him; Jacob does not try to prevent his own death when Ben comes to kill him. Miles later comments that Jacob hoped up until the last moment that Ben would do the right thing. Edit
In Cabin Fever (2008) it is revealed that Richard Alpert visited Locke as a child. Yet Locke doesn't recognize Richard when they first meet on the Island. The answer is simple: Locke only met Richard for a few minutes, when he was a young child and never met him again until he landed on the Island. Edit
Bernard had been sitting next to his wife, Rose, in the middle section he had gotten up to go to the bathroom and thus was with the tail section survivors after the plane crash. However, when Ana Lucia found him he was strapped into a chair as if he had been seated there all along. The answer to this question is simple. When the turbulence started on the plane Bernard sat down in a nearby empty seat in the tail section and buckled in. Edit
Jorge Garcia who plays Hurley has lost weight. He's noticeably heavier in Season 1 than in Season 6. However, the producers have said before that they were not going to force Jorge to lose weight just to maintain verisimilitude on the show.
In Season 2 Hugo was in charge of the food from the hatch, and he ended up eating a lot of it, and we can assume he kept some for later because he is often seen eating DHARMA food in later scenes around the Island.
In fact, the food supply on the Island has, for the most part, been sufficient. The Island also has healing powers, which could have an effect on Hurley's weight as well.
Hurley was only on the Island for just 100 days for the duration of the first 4 seasons (September 22, 2004 - December 30, 2004). When factoring the food he was eating from the Swan Station, plus poor dieting in general and a deficit of exercise(apart from the occasional hike), it's unrealistic to expect him to lose a noticeable amount of weight in such a short amount of time. Plus, once he got off the Island at the end of Season 4, he went back home for 3 years and resumed his normal lifestyle, which probably meant relapsing back into some of his old eating habits. Edit
Some people have raised this objection to Aaron's inclusion in the Oceanic Six. The truth is that the name "Oceanic Six" is a media term applied to the six people who were rescued from an Island after the crash of flight 815. The fact that Aaron was not actually a registered passenger of Flight 815 (since he had yet to be born) is irrelevant (and one could point out that he definitely was on the plane when it crashed, even though it was in his mother's womb). Edit
In Season 3 finale "Through The Looking Glass", Charlie drowns in the underground "Looking Glass" station when Mikhail blows out a window, causing it to flood. He didn't swim out because the window was too small.
Some have theorized that another reason Charlie could not have swam out the porthole is because the ocean water was vigorously flowing in to the station through that window, and the force of it would have been too powerful for Charlie to push through (*After fighting the rushing water to write his final message, and likely short on breath while doing so, Charlie knew it was important to relay the message to Desmond. Moments after he likely realized fighting what he knew as fate and the pretext of saving Claire and Aaron he didn't chance trying to change Desmonds "flash forward" by altering the outcome. [In which was explained by Desmond earlier in the season]).
However, this is partially incorrect as the porthole was only three quarters of the way up the wall, not at the absolute top, which means that once the water level reached the top of the porthole, it is scientifically impossible for the room to continue flooding(unless there was a major leak into the main compartment, which was evidently not the case as Desmond was standing at the door and there was no flooding taking place in his compartment), thus leaving Charlie with at least 10-20 minutes of beathable air trapped in a bubble at the top of the room. Opening the door at this point would have been extremely difficult due to the fact that if the door were pried open, the effect of the water rushing out would immediately slam it shut again(slightly refreshing Charlies air bubble in the process). It's possible that Charlie reasized this and drowned himself intentionally rather than spend his last moments futilely gasping what air remained trapped in the room with him.
A more reasonable question is why Charlie shut the door to the room, allowing himself to drown. There was breathing apparatus in the station and the moon room was large and would take some time to fill. Conceivably he could have simply run out of the room and swum out of the station along with Desmond. The closest thing to a good answer that fans have come to is that when Mikhail blew open the window, Charlie decided that he had to fulfill Desmond's vision after all. If he drowned then Aaron and Claire would escape the island per helicopter. If he did not die then anything might happen. It's also reasonable to believe that he locked himself in to prevent Desmond from potentially killing himself by trying to communicate with Penny while the room flooded. Edit
Desmond maintains in season 3 that he has seen a vision of Charlie drowning, and Claire and Aaron leaving on a helicopter. Both Claire and Aaron ultimately got off the island, but it was actually only Aaron who got off by helicopter; Claire did not get away until three years later, by plane. Desmond's other visions seemed pretty accurate, so this brings up the question why this one wasn't.
Several reasons can be given. Perhaps Desmond's vision wasn't too clear, he may have seen Aaron in a helicopter and assumed it was Claire who was with him. But Desmond was pretty adamant about seeing Claire get in the helicopter, so this is probably the least likely scenario.
Another is that Desmond may have inadvertantly interfered in the vision. Remember that he had told earlier that the visions are like a puzzle and he could see only its individual pieces. So in order to get the entire picture, he had to let the separate pieces happen, otherwise "the picture changes". Perhaps Desmond wasn't supposed to go to the Looking Glass station himself, or did something he wasn't supposed to do. Either way, he may have changed a piece of the puzzle and thereby the outcome of his vision.
A third theory is that the nature of the visions isn't necessarily what is going to happen, but simply what Desmond needs to see. Remember that his visions were preceded by a flashback, where he relived an episode of his own past. This may have been the island's way of explaining him (through Eloise Hawkings) that some things are meant to be and that some people are destined to die. It seems kind of strange that the Island wants Charlie dead just when Desmonds has the ability to save Charlie time and again; if the Island simply wanted Charlie dead, why not do it before that? The answer may be that the Island needs Charlie at a certain place and it uses Desmond to get him there. It shows Desmond how to save him, and when they are both convinced the visions are real, it shows him a vision that will ensure Charlie's coorporation and sacrifice. The vision of Claire and Aaron excaping may simply be a false prophecy to get Charlie at the Looking Glass, and play his destined part. The Island simply couldn't afford to lose either Desmond or Saïd or some of the candidates, since they have yet larger parts to play. Edit
An image, taken from an early episode in Season 1, has been circulating on the web which shows Walt standing in front of some of the wreckage. Some claim to be able to see a DHARMA logo on the fuselage, which led to speculation that maybe DHARMA was involved in the crash somehow. However, the producers confirmed that at that point in Season 1 they had not yet conceived of the DHARMA Initiative, let alone designed the logos for it. The markings are instead standard markings present on many jet liners. Edit
In one podcast Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse implied that there was an important clue in the Pilot that everyone had missed. They have since confirmed that this was just misdirection on their part.
Some, however, continue to speculate that something which was missed in the Pilot was the Smoke Monster attacking the plane. There is a piece of footage which, when viewed at slow speeds, clearly shows a dark shape zooming towards one of the engines, which then explodes. However, the producers have stated that this is not the Monster, but is rather an improperly rendered CGI effect. What was supposed to be a piece of debris flying away from the exploding engine instead became a dark shape flying towards it.
Some also believe that the hidden clue is the Back Gammon game that Locke describes on while introducing it to Walt. He explains that it is the oldest game in the world dating back thousands of years as ancient artifacts from Mesopotamia were found that resemble Back Gammon. Also, he describes how one side is light and the other side being dark. This could be describing Jacob (light) and his Nemesis (dark). Jacob and the Man in Black can indeed be seen playing a similar game (Senet) in Season 6 episode Across the Sea (2010). Edit
Yes and no. The writers have stated that they had a long range plan for the series, and that they generally had long range plans for each season, with the freedom to elaborate on the major storylines and add subplots as they went along. For instance, it was their idea from the beginning to have several characters get off the Island halfway through the series, as opposed to ending the series that way. However, the DHARMA Initiative was not conceived from the beginning, but came about during pre-production for Season 2. Other spontaneous additions occurred in the third season. As it was unknown how long the entire show would run, the writers had to slow down the progression of the main storyline in the first half of season 3 with new subplots and flashbacks. Writer and producer Carlton Cuse admitted that some of those episodes are among the creators' least favorite, as they really didn't know what else to tell about the characters' past. When it was finally decided that the show would end in its sixth season, the writers called it "immensely liberating" since this meant that they could finally start wrapping up storylines.
Sometimes, even the long-term plans changed. One example of this is Michael Emerson as Ben. Originally he was hired only for the one story arc in Season 2. At the end of that arc he would have been revealed to either be an innocent man, or some low-level Other who might return occasionally as a recurring character. However, the producers were so impressed with Emerson's performance that they decided to hire him as a series regular. Not only did they make his character the leader of the Others, his story arc was also of major importance to the plot.
Subplots often changed depending on the popularity of characters. New characters like Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez) and Nikki & Paolo (Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro) were introduced, but killed off when they proved to be unpopular with many fans. Conversely, Hurley's brief love interest Libby (Cynthia Watros) was a beloved character, but the writers ran out of story ideas for her, so they decided to kill her off as a shock factor for both the characters and the audience. There were plans to explore Libby's past, but most of these never made it to the screen when Watros was no longer available for filming.
More often than not, the writers found themselves faced with practical issues and limitations that forced their writing. Probably the best example was Walt (Malcolm David Kelley), who had to be written out at the end of the second season because the actor playing him was aging far more rapidly than the character he was portraying. Another specific example of a forced re-write was the character Mr. Eko, who was originally supposed to remain on the show, and was to clash with John Locke throughout the third season. But Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had asked to be written off Lost, citing a desire to return to London after his parents' recent passing and to direct a film there. Budgetary constraints also influenced the outcome of some storylines. The writers had purposely hinted at the presence of a dormant volcano on the Island in the third season episode 'The Man Behind the Curtain', with the intention of making this volcano the setting of the series finale. Originally, the volcano was to act as the Island's "cork", keeping the Earth's 'evil' contained, and it was here where Jacob threw in the Man in Black, causing the latter to change into the Smoke Monster. In the finale, the volcano would start to erupt as Jack and the Smoke Monster battle on its slopes. However, much of the season's budget had already been spent on the set for the Others' temple, which forced the writers to scale down their ideas. The idea of the volcano was subsequently re-written as 'the Source', an underground water-filled cave that was cheaper to build and film.
In an interview with Lostpedia, David Fury, who wrote a number of important first series episodes, commented that the "Whispers", which were eventually explained as souls who never "moved on" and which were first shown in the episode 'Solitary' which he wrote, were initially supposed to be the Others who at that time were conceived of as feral jungle dwellers. After Season 6 ended, Fury also contended that there was no definite long term plan for most of the show's mysteries, and that, as in any tv show, LOST made up some of its stories as it went along. Edit
Jin was simply within the area of effect while the helicopter was not. The line has to be somewhere and the helicopter was near it but on one side while Jin was on the other side.
Another explanation is that the area of effect around the Island is like a dome (we see a dome of white light radiating off the island, which keeps getting bigger just before the island disappears), the helicopter was above that dome and Jin was within the dome.
This question begs the answer: The bearing Faraday gave Frank were clear especially on the map on the copters instrument panel. A right angle (90 degrees) parallel to the beach line suggests that when Lapidus left the freighter he resumed that bearing and moved outside the purview of the islands influence. It was always assumed the freighter was within the islands bounds, and upon the explosion Jin was in that "Dome" as described above. Edit
This was a compromise between ABC studio and the writers. During production of season 3, both parties went into negotiations about the remainder of the series. The studio wanted to get three additional full seasons out of Lost before the end (about 24 episodes per season, so 72 more); the writers felt that they only had enough material for two more full seasons (about 48). Both parties finally settled on three additional, but shorter seasons (16 episodes per season, coming to the number 48 desired by the writers). Edit
The statue, seen in full for the first time in season 5, represents Taweret, the Egyptian goddess of childbirth and fertility, and also the protector against evil.
The Season 5 finale and Season 6 revealed that many people prior to the crash of Oceanic 815 have found their way to the island, either by accident, or because the Island (or Jacob) made them come over. The most logical explanation would be that a number of ancient Egyptians once arrived on the Island. These Egyptian inhabitants were probably also responsible for the countless hieroglyphic-ornamented ruins on the island. The most prominent of these include the Temple of the Others (the Pyramid surrounded by the Temple Wall), the underground tunnels and catacombs, as well as the remains of a large structure seen in The Brig (2007) where John Locke's father, Anthony Cooper, is tied to a column.
We know from Season 3 that one of the Island's properties is that men become more fertile, producing more sperm cells. The Egyptians may have noticed this in the increasing amount of offspring they produced, and therefore built the statue of Taweret as a sign of gratitude to the her. Egyptian gods are usually hybrids between humans and animals (Taweret displays characteristics of hippopotami, lions and crocodiles), and the four toes instead of five may reflect this.
Many of the ruins on the island show a resemblance to the seven wonders of the ancient world (see for more information). The statue of Taweret may have been the analogue for the Collosos of Rodos, or the statue of Zeus at Olympia; the Island also contains a lighthouse, a pyramid, hanging gardens, a mausoleum and a temple. The Egyptians probably had encounters with the Smoke Monster as well, which would explain why they built a special temple for him: they see him as the aid of Anubis, god of Underworld, and built the temple to appease him. Edit
In Season 5 Ilana and Bram use the question "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" as a shibboleth to determine who is on their side. In the Season 5 finale they ask the question of Richard and he answers them in Latin.
What he says, an answer which apparently satisfies them, is "Ille qui nos omnes servabit" - "He who will protect us all." Edit
No; Nestor Carbonell, who plays Richard, has naturally dark eyes with thick, well-defined eyelashes. If you see him in other roles, such as in The Dark Knight, where he plays the mayor, he looks the same. Carbonell revealed on the fifth season DVD extras that not only does he not wear eyeliner, mascara, or makeup of any kind to make his lashes and eyeline appear as dark as they do, but also the makeup artists for "Lost" actually use concealer on his lashes and under his eyes to try to tone down the natural darkness of his eyeline. Edit
JJ Abrams was heavily involved in the creation of the show but had essentially no involvement in the show after season three.
When ABC was developing Lost, they approached JJ Abrams, who at the time was producing Alias for the network, to revamp the original proposal. Abrams brought on Damon Lindelof, and the two of them created the premise and characters of Lost. Abrams developed the opening sequence and theme song and developed or co-developed many of the ideas in the show such as flashbacks, and the hatch. He also wrote and directed the Pilot. Abrams production company, Bad Robot, continued to produce the show throughout its run. However, early in Season 1, Abrams began devoting more and more time to developing "Mission Impossible III". At this point Carlton Cuse came on as a show runner with Damon Lindelof, and Abrams stopped having any day to day input into the show. His last credited contribution to the show was co-writing the Season 3 premiere "A Tale of Two Cities". Edit
Lost began as a suggestion from ABC executive Lloyd Braun for what he referred to as "Castaway: The Series", a scripted show which would combine the survival aspects of the Tom Hanks film with the group conflict dynamics of reality tv show Survivor. Writer Jeffrey Lieber was asked to develop a series based on that concept. He pitched a series he called "Nowhere" which would lack the sci-fi elements of Lost and be more focused on group dynamics and conflict. He developed a number of characters for the show and wrote a pilot. ABC ultimately passed on Nowhere and brought in JJ Abrams to develop the idea into a series. Lieber felt that a number of the characters and concepts which eventually made their way into Lost were similar to his own ideas for Nowhere and he asked the Writers Guild of America for arbitration. The WGA ruled in favor of Lieber, saying that his ideas contributed substantially to the characters and pilot of Lost. Lieber is credited as a co-creator on all episodes of Lost and receives appropriate paychecks, but he has had no creative input since ABC rejected Nowhere. Edit
In the episode "Ab Aeterno" we learn that Richard came to the Island in the 19th century and spoke Spanish as his native language. Several Spanish speaking fans have noted that Richard doesn't speak Spanish with the accent used in Spain but with one that sounds more Latin American . However, as the title card in the episode reveals, Richard is not from Spain itself but rather Tenerife in the Canary Islands, a Spanish colony off the coast of Africa. Canary Islanders speak a dialect of Spanish closer to Latin American Spanish than that spoken in Spain and at least one fan native to the Canary Islands felt that Richards accent was a reasonable approximation of a Canary Island accent. Also, he speaks perfect American English in the present because after a couple hundred years on the island, it would be more than enough time to perfect a language, several in fact. Edit
The infamous Numbers, 4, 8,15, 16, 23, & 42 were first revealed in the season one episode Numbers (2005). The Numbers, individually, collectively, and in their summed form of 108, appear numerous times throughout LOST whenever numbers are mentioned. They were meant as Easter Eggs during the first few seasons, where their recurrence would signify their importance.
David Fury, who wrote the eponymous season one episode where the numbers debuted, said that in coming up with the mysterious sequence of numbers he deliberately chose numbers which had already been mentioned on the show, to heighten their importance. For example, 4 is the number of years which Locke had been a wheelchair, while 8 and 15 made up the flight number of the plane which brought them to the Island.
One of the series' recurring themes is the juxtaposition of coincidence versus fate, and the Numbers are no exception. For example, the Number series was apparently broadcasted from the radio tower on the Island, and picked up by military personnel stationed in the Island's vicinity. One of the soldiers who heard them repeated them to Hurley while they were in the asylum. Hurley used the numbers in a lottery, and subsequently became a millionaire. However, he claims that the Numbers are cursed, since the money it earned him brings nothing but misery to him and the people dear to him. On the Island, the Number sequence is used to reset the computer at the Swan Station every 108 minutes; failure to do this supposedly leads to a cataclysmic event. The Numbers are also used as a serial number on the hatch of the Swan Station.
In The Lost Experience (an alternate reality game), a DHARMA Initiative video explains that the Numbers are factors of the (fictional) Valenzetti equation, which claims to predict the time when humanity will go extinct. As such, the DHARMA Initiative is claiming to do experiments to alter these factors and to avoid humanity's extinction. This might explain why the Numbers were used so prominently in the Swan Station and how the sequence got spread to other parts of the world. Yet, the origin of these individual numbers remains unexplained.
In season six, it is revealed that Jacob, the Island's caretaker, has been searching for a replacement. Using the Island's powers, he has been appointing candidates who were then 'called over' to the Island; through a series of coincidences (but more likely supernatural intervention), they all ended up on the same airplane and miraculously survived the crash on the Island. In his search, Jacob made use of a lighthouse with a huge dial; every degree on the dial somehow showed the image of a location of a possible candidate. Jacob finally narrowed down the list of candidates to six, each person associated with a dial number: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42. Since these people were vital in keeping the Man in Black from escaping the Island, which would end the world, this may have been what the Valenzetti equation was referring to.
However, why each of the candidates was associated with a particular number is never cleared up. It may simply signify patterns of coincidence or fate, or however the Island runs things. The creators of LOST have also indicated that they never made up an explanation for the Numbers. The specific numerals were chosen so as to create connections with already established story elements, such as Locke having been in a wheelchair for four years, the flight number being composed of 8 and 15, etc. The numbers were selected randomly, although some were picked for their role in certain religions and popular culture (e.g. 42 is an important number in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, whereas 108 is important in Hindu and Buddhist mythology).
So despite these revelations, the true nature of the Numbers remains elusive, as the writers intended. Edit
Daniel maintained that altering the present by going back into the past and changing the chain of events is impossible. Let's say you have event A, which leads to event B, which in turn leads to outcome C: Equation A --> B --> C. Let's assume event A is the building of the Swan. Building this hatch in 1977 leads to the event that Desmond, who works there, forgets to push the button one day in 2004 (event B). This, in turn, causes a large buildup of electromagnetic energy, leading to the crash of Oceanic 815 (outcome C). When outcome C has occurred, this chain of events has become fixed. A, B an C are constants that cannot be influenced anymore. Following this theory, travelling back in time and intervening (Iv) to disrupt event A in order to prevent B and C from occurring, would be of no use. Either those actions fail to prevent event A, or they will actually cause A to happen. The chain of events is maintained in any way: Iv --> A --> B --> C. Another example: Sayid tries to kill Ben in order to prevent him from becoming an evil adult. This causes Kate and Sawyer to take Ben to Richard, who cures him, but through which he becomes one of the others.
Later Daniel revises this theory, stating that it IS possible to change the present, as long as there are variables present (in this case, people who travelled in time and and try to alter it). In this new theory, it is possible to intervene (Iv) and prevent A, by changing it into another event (say D) which will lead to a whole new event E and a new outcome F: Equation Iv --> D --> E --> F. For instance, by destroying the pocket of electromagnetic energy with a nuclear bomb (Iv), the Hatch cannot be built and A will not occur. Event D is that no station is present from 1977 on. This will cause E: no energy buildup is present to disrupt Flight 815, and this will lead to outcome F: Flight 815 does not crash and lands safely at LAX.
Juliet eventually succeeds in detonating the bomb, but it has an unforseen effect: instead of being killed in the blast, the survivors find themselves in 2007, but still in the same timeline they had once left when the time-jumps occurred. Perhaps the bomb triggered the electromagnetic energy on the island to cause a final time-jump to the future. Whatever the explanation of this unforseen time-travel is, the remains of the imploded Hatch are still there, indicating that the attempt to prevent it from being built has failed, and the first theory seems to apply: it has been impossible to change the present. However, it seems that the intervention has caused another timeline to branch off from 1977, in which the Hatch has indeed not been built and Oceanic 815 does not crash (second theory). So it appears that from the point of intervention, two timelines have sprouted, one following the A --> B --> C equation, and the other the D --> E --> F.
However, the final episode reveals this to be untrue. The new timeline is revealed to be a form of the Afterlife, or Purgatory, where everybody ends up after their death. So we can assume that there was only one timeline after all, in which the present cannot be changed: Iv --> A --> B --> C. It can be postulated that the explosive power of the bomb and the electromagnetic power of the pocket cancelled each other out, or the electromagnetic power absorbed the blast of the bomb. In any way, this (temporarily) drained or closed the electromagnetic energy source, long enough for the DHARMA Initiative to build a station around it and regulate its power. Years later, the survivors watch the infamous DI instruction videos, in which Dr. Chang mentioned an "incident" taking place (referring to the opening of the energy pocket and subsequent electromagnetism being released). Note also that the intervention by Jack and his friends caused Dr. Chang's hand getting crushed, explaining his prosthetic hand in the videos. So when they watched these tapes from the past, they never realized that they themselves had already played a part in that history (although from their perspective, this still had to happen). All events finally lead to Desmond forgetting to push the button one day, causing Oceanic 815 to crash. So in travelling back in time and trying to prevent their crash from happening, Jack and his friends actually caused all the events in the past to happen ("What Happened, Happened"). So in short: no, Daniel's plan did not work. Edit
Many fans believe that there is a "Lost DUI curse". Specifically they believe that the producers, whether intentionally or not, punish actors who receive Driving Under the Influence convictions by killing off their characters. The theory was started after Ana Lucia and Libby were killed in a single incident months after the actors who portrayed them were both arrested for DUI in a single incident. Similarly, Mr Eko was killed after the actor who portrays him (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) had a moving violation, and Jin was apparently killed after Daniel Dae-Kim received a DUI. However, it should be noted that many Lost actors have received moving violations without having their characters killed; also, Adewale was reportedly killed off per his own request, because he wanted to do something else; Daniel Dae-Kim's character Jin is revealed not to be dead at all in Season 5. Edit
The monster is Jacob's brother, whose name was never revealed and who is simply known by Lost fans as The Man in Black. He was born on the Island almost two thousand years ago to a Roman woman, who was shipwrecked and washed ashore while being pregnant. Jacob is his fraternal twin brother, who was born first. An unknown woman, who was already on the Island as the Island's caretaker, helped with the birth, but subsequently killed the mother; she raised the boys herself as she wanted them to remain pure and uncorrupted by other people.
Years later, the boys learn that there is more to the world than just the Island. Although Jacob eventually accepts his place on the Island and assumes the role of its caretaker, the Man in Black wishes to leave. After learning that his real mother was killed by his foster mother, he chooses to live with other people stranded on the Island, who are trying to use the Island's electromagnetic power to leave. However, his foster mother prevents this and kills the rest of the Island's inhabitants. Enraged, the Man in Black kills his foster mother, which in turns causes Jacob to take revenge on his brother. Jacob throws him into "The Source", and subsequently, the Black Smoke monster emerges from it. Although it was never explicitly explained what happened, the Man in Black's lifeless body was subsequently transported outside of the Source, but his soul/life energy/personality appeared to have become fused with electromagnetism from the Source.
According to their mother, the Source is the origin of "life, death and rebirth"; there is a bit of it in any person, but "they always want more"; entering the Source would be "a fate worse than death". Somehow, a form of energy that is normally confined to the Source has been freed in the form of the Monster; people who subsequently enter the Source do not turn into Black Smoke monsters. The noises he makes are likely due to metal-like minerals clanging around and his roar is a siren-like sound that he makes on his own. Others think the noises are simple every day objects being projected somehow from the monster, made possible by the fact it can "scan" a person's memories which is actually shown in a couple of episodes. In the Pilot episode there is a conversation going on in the background in which Rose mentions that she knows exactly what one of the noises are as she's heard it before in the Bronx. Another hint is in "Walkabout", where a roll-tape calculator in Locke's cubicle makes a noise identical to the "ticka ticka" sound that is one of the two most common sounds we hear from the Smoke Monster. The actual calculator sound has a weird echo effect applied to it in the scene, possibly to get our attention- or possibly to indicate that the Smoke Monster is actually made up of the remnants of the Past.
The Smoke Monster seems to represents the general principle of 'darkness' or 'evil', that is found in religious or philosophical believes of almost any civilization. It has also been interpreted as a physical embodiment of the Past; as Jacob is symbolic of the Future (white v. black). Although its (meta)physical characteristics remains largely unknown, it is highly associated with death; it can take only the form of dead people, it cannot cross a barrier made of ashes (burnt remains of dead people), and if it escapes from the island, it will bring about the end of humankind. It can show images and form tendrils when in smoke form. It is invulnerable in human form (save for certain conditions described below) and possesses enormous strength when in smoke form, easily lifting several people into the air and destroying objects. For some reason, it cannot pass sonic waves; a characteristic that can be exploited by creating a sonic fence to keep it out. The fact that it was able to fuse with the soul, essence or life energy of a human being who desperately wanted to leave the Island has released it from its prison, wanting nothing more than escape, but this is prevented by the presence of the Island and its caretaker, Jacob, who both act like a 'cork' that keeps 'evil' bottled. To that end, the Man in Black takes on the form of many deceased people to manipulate the inhabitants of the island into (unknowingly) helping it escape. After Jacob's death, it can only take on the human form of John Locke.
One of its ways of persuasion is its speech; Sayid receives a blade from the Others with which he can kill it, provided that he not allow the Monster to speak to him. When Sayid fails to do the latter part, he thrusts the knife into the Monster (in human form) anyway, but this has no effect. Claire later remarks to Jack that the Monster recruited him when it spoke to him, which it also did to her. There are also more physical ways of 'recruiting' people through some sort of 'infection', as seen by Sayid who was revived by the Monster (and subsequently had a 'darkness' growing inside), and Rousseau's expedition team, who came into contact and became evil afterwards. Although the Monster can influence people in such ways, this is by no means permanent, as Sayid and Claire show when they redeem themselves.
Although never explicitly confirmed, it is strongly implied that Jacob's and the Man in Black's foster mother was a Smoke Monster herself prior to her death: although she does not elaborate, she seems to know what will happen after someone enters the source, suggesting she experienced it first-hand; she is able to drag the unconscious Man in Black, a person considerably heavier than herself, from down a well, is able to break the well, fill it up completely with sand, and single-handedly kill an entire village of people (a fact that the writers themselves commented upon as "impressive, especially during the day"). We later see how the Man in Black stabs his mother with the knife that Sayid also tries to kill the Smoke Monster with, and he does it without giving her the chance to talk to him (as Sayid was instructed to do, but failed). Mother finally thanks him for killing her, as if freed from a horrible curse. All of this implies that the Smoke Monster is not necessarily inherently evil, and its disposition strongly depends on the person with which the energy from the Source binds; it also suggests that when a Smoke Monster is killed, the energy returns to the Source, and the 'job' of Smoke Monster becomes available for the next person to enter it (in this case, The Man in Black).
When Desmond enters the Source and allows the water there to drain completely, the yellowish light disappears and a very menacing red color emanates from within the earth, and the Island starts breaking down. However, it also has the effect that the Man in Black is immediately rendered mortal and unable to enter his smoke form. When Jack and Kate kill him, and Jack allows the Source to flow with water again (he seems to 're-ignite' the yellowish energy in the water by touching it, affirming mother's claim that a piece of this energy is inside all people), the Black Smoke is presumably 'imprisoned' again at the Source. Jack presumably transports out before he can merge with it. Edit
No, he is dead. Jack asks the people in the hospital to find his father because at that point he is drunk. He asks them because he wants to tell himself that he's not becoming his father. In one episode, the Man in Black confirmed it's been him all along. However, it is widely belived that the Christian Shephard that Jack saw off island in the flash forwards was merely a hallucination caused by his drinking, as the Man in Black has said he can't leave the island. It could also be Christian's spirit himself visiting Jack, just like Hurley experienced: when he went off the island, he was visited by the spirits of Charlie, Mr Eko and Ana-Lucia. Edit
Some fans assumed that the alternate timeline seen in the "flashsideways" of Season 6, was one where the only difference was that Flight 815 did not crash. Given that presumption they were confused by the fact that Jack has a teenage son who was never previously mentioned on the show and that Sawyer "suddenly" became a cop when he was previously a con man. In reality, the flashsideways timeline has differences which predate Flight 815. It is revealed that the island is underwater, and therefore, it has not affected the lives of the characters to the extent it did in the other timeline. In addition to Jack's son and Sawyer's career, there's the fact that Hurley is lucky rather than unlucky and has never been in a mental institution. Desmond was onboard Flight 815, and has never been on the Island. Daniel is a musician instead of a scientist. Kate was charged with murdering an employee of her stepfather rather than her stepfather, and Locke is engaged to Helen and had gone to Australia on a fake business trip rather than being separated from Helen and using his vacation time to attempt a walkabout.
All of the lifestyles above are all created by the minds of each individual in the Afterlife as a way of eventually meeting up with everyone else from the Island. They did not exist, therefore Jack never had a son, Sawyer was never a cop, etc. This is all revealed on The End (2010). Edit
Christian revealed to Jack that he is dead, making the "flashsideways universe" Purgatory, or Limbo, as the place between life and Afterlife is often called. Everyone in Purgatory has become lost, and they needed to find each other and come to terms with their past lives, in order to advance to the eternal Afterlife. We see that all main characters needed to experience a strong emotional event, which would remind them of their previous life. This immediately made them realize that they had died and that their present 'life' was the Afterlife. Upon touching his father's coffin, Jack has his flashback, where he remembers everything up to his last moments before death. The idea is that everybody we see in the final meeting scene have simply died at some time or other and have finally been re-united - Locke murdered, Jack dies on the Island, and characters such as Kate and Frank will have simply died of other causes at some point after leaving the Island.
On the island, Desmond pulled the cork from the Source, which turned the Man in Black in Locke's form into a mortal. Then Kate shot the Man in Black and Jack kicked him off the cliff, killing him. With the Man in Black dead, Jack made Hurley protector of the Island and then Jack headed down into the Source to rescue Desmond and replace the cork, saving the island. Soon after, Jack stumbled out to the bamboo forest where he died with Vincent sitting next to him as he watched Ajira 316 fly off the Island (with Sawyer, Richard, Kate, Miles & Claire on board). Edit