'Six in Six': Questions about the Others I hope aren't 'Lost' in Season 6

terryoquinn_lost_290.jpgWe're coming to the end of our two-week look at The Others, a group that will no doubt help shape the ultimate fate of " Lost." Since we've covered so much territory, I thought I'd give a handy run-down of everything we've discussed up until this point.

Overview of the structure of The Others

A proposed timeline for The Others' history

Are The Others the "good guys" of "Lost"?

The evolution of The Others' isolationist tendencies

The Others and the lists

The issue of Charles Widmore's mysterious fortune

Analyzing the quality of The Others' leaders over the years

Whew. I got exhausted just coding all those links. But looking over those entries once again, I thought it best to do another installment of one of my off-season series, "Six in Six," in order to sum up this fortnight's worth of entries. Today's topic? The six mysteries surrounding The Others that I insist, nay, DEMAND get answered in the final season of "Lost." And if they don't, well, um, I'll pout. A lot. Take THAT, Darlton.

Why doesn't Richard Alpert age?

A no-brainer pick, really. Of all the questions I have, this one has the greatest chance of actually being answered next year. And by "greatest chance," I mean 100%. It's the closest thing to a sure bet other than Kate at some point declaring that she's coming with you.

What is so important about The Temple?

Other than Ben's journey inside in "Dead is Dead," (the events there revealed to be a big ol' con by season's end), we know almost nothing about this central place in Others' life. We know that going in there can turn you into something else than when you entered (see Danielle's baby daddy, young Ben Linus), but we've also heard it called "the last safe place on the Island." Is it the precursor to Room 23? Smokey's homebase? The Island's version of the Tower of Babylon? Enquiring minds want to know.

Wherefore kidnap, Others?

The recruitment process for the Others pre-Purge is sketchy at best. But in the time since the Purge, we've seen active recruitment off-Island (Mikhail, Juliet) as well the as forceful abduction of several of Oceanic 815's members. They seem particularly interested in children, no doubt due to the fertility issues that plague their society. Did The Others always have to resort to coercion and kidnapping, or is this a recent phenomenon?

What are "the rules?"

More than once, Ben Linus and Charles Widmore have referred to "the rules," a code of conduct that extends not merely towards mere morality but extend beyond as well, even so far as preventing the two from ever killing the other. Are the rules established by the Island? Jacob? The universe preventing time travel paradox? The answers may lie in the nightmares of an off-Island Charles Widmore.

Annie, are you OK? Are you OK, Annie?

I have not overtly addressed this topic in the last two weeks, since it's more of a Ben issue than an Others' issue. On the other hand, her influence over Ben shapes his overall ethos, and therefore is still related to the last two questions. Annie, alongside Emily Linus, are the two most influential people in Ben's lives. Harper mentioned during a therapy session with Juliet that she "looked like her," referring to either Annie or Emily. Annie's absence casts a long, long shadow, one as invisible and almost as wide as that cast by Jacob or The Man in Black. Speaking of those two...

Do the Others truly serve Jacob or The Man in Black?

Jacob's hands-off approach might be intentional, but it's allowed for a tremendous degree of misinterpretation, corruption, and overall chaos as his potential chosen people keep getting his message and meaning wrong. As such, we may learn that everything that The Others thought they were doing in honor of their unseen leader may in fact have been aiding the enemy. It will be interesting to see the veil lifted from their eyes as Ben emerges from the statue with Jacob's blood on his hands. Perhaps only through his death could Jacob truly set them free to perform the tasks they were always destined to achieve.

Those are my burning questions about The Others for next year. What are yours?

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