"Lost" Questions I Need Answered

There won't be any gaming for me tonight, because Lost returns at 9pm ET. I've got a batch of questions that I hope they'll resolve this final, sixth season. Unrepentant season 1-5 spoiling in this post.

I approach each season of ABC's narratively labyrinthine Lost with nagging questions. I was sure I'd have fewer coming into tonight's Season 6. The plan was that my wife and I would re-watch the five preceding seasons during January (ok, my plan, not hers). Watching all of that would make us super-smart about Lost, capable of figuring it all out. But. We're only up to the final third of Season 2. So much for studying up and being able to answer my own questions.

Still, it's not all our/my fault. There are big questions about ABC's Lost that viewers like me need answering.

Some of these questions I've asked before Some are new. All are bugging me:

1) Did Charlie die in vain? (aka is Desmond a liar? Or an inept visionary? Or both?)

The emotional crux of season three is the death of Charlie, the heart-of-gold ex-junkie who lets himself be drowned in an underwater Dharma station. He lets this happen because, earlier in the season, future-seeing pal Desmond tells him that Charlie's death is a necessary element of a future that has Charlie's island love, Claire, and Claire's baby, Aaron, get on a helicopter and rotor off to safety. Charlie struggles to accept this fate and finally does. He dies a hero. What a guy! Oh, but sorry Charlie, Claire goes missing late in Season 4, hasn't been back since except in some sort of in-the-cabin maybe-dead kind of way, while Aaron's been off the island doing just fine. Neither Claire nor Aaron left the island via helicopter, so it seems Desmond's visions of the future aren't so accurate. Or Desmond is a villain or a liar. What's up there?

2) Speaking of Desmond, when are he and Ben going to talk?

Desmond — sometimes deranged, sometimes time-warping and (see above) possibly villainous Desmond — was introduced in Season 2 as a man who spent several years on The Island, pressing a button, thinking the outside world was toxic, believing he was just about alone. Also in Season 2, we meet Ben, leader of the tribe of Island natives who have been masquerading as workers in the Dharma Initiative, the very group that Desmond believed was orchestrating his button-pushing existence. So when Ben and Desmond crossed paths some time after they both encountered Jack, Kate and company, should they not have said something to each other? Possible things they could have said: Desmond to Ben: "Wait, you were here all along and could see into my hatch?" ... or... Ben to Desmond: "Good work lying to these airplane crash survivors. Of course we knew about each other, and Jack is a moron for not realizing that you're in on my schemes"... or.. something. Instead, as best I can recall, Ben and Desmond have yet to have had a major scene together. Why not?

(UPDATE: Reminders remind me that, while we may not have seen Ben and Desmond talk, we have seen them brawl. I still think they need to talk and explain who knew what.)


3) Where are Claire, Walt and Cindy?

Claire: Dead or alive? I don't know, but people who are related to Jack seem to like appearing in the Island's mysterious cabin. I'd like an answer please. Walt: Special but not that special? Walt was a magic child in the early seasons, showing up as a soaking wet distraction that helped Shannon walk into Analucia's line of fire. He was the boy who inspired Locke to climb out of a pit of corpses. He was so special that Locke was creepily teaching him backgammon and telling him a still-untelevised secret early in Season 1. Yet Walt wasn't important enough to go back to The Island in Seasons 4 and 5? Odd. And Cindy, the flight attendant: You're one of the final justifications for the Tail Section Season 2 plot-line Cindy, but instead you just vanished, then showed up early in Season 3 with some kids in tow. What's your deal and can you justify the whole Tail Section diversion? Bernard sure can't, and the rest of them are dead.

There are plenty more things to wonder. Will those "Adam and Eve" skeletons seen in the caves of season one turn out to be the corpses of any of our beloved Lost survivors bounced through another time warp? Who is Ilana and this new faction of people who lug Locke's body around in Season 5? Is Charles Widmore on the side of the angels after all? Why was Farraday crying the very first time we saw him? What is the point of Miles in this show?

Oh, I could go on, but, instead, let me end, in Lost fashion with an ending I've ended with before. Two theories about what could be revealed in season six that I formulated back in May:

An old theory I still like: In the past, Eloise is informed - via Jack or Faraday's notebook - about who will be the passengers of flight 815. She then spends her life making sure those people get on that plane. Their presence on it, therefore, is not a coincidence but the satisfaction of another time loop.

A new theory I like: The emotional finale of season three - Charlie's sacrifice in the underwater base - was ruined for me when in season four the prophecy the future-seeing Desmond predicted to Charlie - that Claire and the baby would leave the island in a helicopter if Charlie died - was disproved. That vision can't come true if Claire's been killed/disappeared. But what if Season 5 splinters the cast into a new timeline? And what if, in this new timeline Claire and the baby do get off the/an island in a chopper? Then we'll have to look at Desmond anew: as a man who doesn't just see the future, but who sees multiple possible futures.

Please no spoiling Season 6 just yet, but, otherwise, if you've made it this far, you truly care about Lost's crazy narrative. So answer my questions, please.

Oh, and what are the odds that for the fourth straight season we end Season 6 with Locke's body in a box? The man sure likes to rest in peace.