Powered by i.TV
September 20, 2014

Ken Jennings thinks Lost is making a mistake this season

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 6th 2009 2:33PM
Lost logoI'm a sucker for time travel shows. I loved it when Star Trek did it (all of the Star Trek shows did it, several times) and Back to the Future is one of my favorite films. So I'm really enjoying Lost this season, with it's time-tripping and skipping. But I have some problems with it, and so does Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings.

Jennings mentions on his blog that he thinks the writers have actually answered too many questions, which isn't a complaint that you hear from Lost fans too often. He thinks if they had left more plot questions, some of the things that happened in previous seasons "could now be explained as the actions of Future Juliet or Future Sawyer or somebody."

Jennings thinks it's smart that the show has the rule that you can't change what happened, because if something happens a certain way it will always happen that way. But I think the show is breaking that rule here and there.

Right after Daniel told the others (small o) about the time rule, he immediately went to the hatch and talked to Desmond about how he can change things. And then he and Desmond saw the bright light that signaled another time jump. Or how about this week's episode, when Sawyer saw Kate helping Claire deliver her baby. A bright flash happened then too. Wouldn't Kate and Claire have seen that back several seasons ago? (And was Claire alone with Kate when that happened? That's a different post altogether...). Didn't Juliet shoot someone in the canoe?

I don't think the show is playing 100% fair with the time travel stuff (nor do I think the writers knew where the show would be in season 5 a few seasons ago), but I don't think it's hurting the show either.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

36 Comments

Filter by:
William Gunn

And let's not forget potential paradoxes. Or the Heinlein Solution to the Grandfather Paradox. Basicallly, whenever you travel back through time, you enter a different worldline.

Finding a particular grain of sand on an infinite beach would be child's play compared with finding your original worldline!

February 27 2009 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William Gunn

"The future is the past, the past is the future. It gives me a headache." - Kathryn Janeway

Time Travel stories can be very good, they can also reflect lazy writing. So far "Lost" has leaned in the "good" direction. But it's just a matter of "Time".

February 26 2009 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim

this show is really good. but it is getting way to confusing to watch.. i really like lost but its getting to hard to follow. but otherwise this show ROCKS!!!!!

February 11 2009 at 8:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Moose A. Moose

Uggghhh. Another person talking about this "always" crap. Let's go back to season one for a second. Remember the episode "Numbers" where Hugo sets out to find the "French chick"? Say Jin went with him and saw Danielle. Who they recognize or remember each other?........ No........ Why?......... Because he hasn't met her yet. Jin doesn't travel back in time and meets Danielle until they've been on the island for a while.

Jin didn't "always" meet Danielle. He didn't meet her until he traveled back to 1954. The two of them could have frolicked on the beach like two preschoolers during the first four seasons. But until the moment where Jin actually goes back to 1954 and meet her, they never met.

2-07-2009 @ 3:35PM
Franklin said...


So, for example, Jin is not altering the timeline as he interacts with young Danielle and her crew. He always existed in Danielle's past.

February 11 2009 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Moose A. Moose's comment
Moose A. Moose

**Edit to some of stuff above**

Uggghhh. Another person talking about this "always" crap. Let's go back to season one for a second. Remember the episode "Numbers" where Hugo sets out to find the "French chick"? Say Jin went with him and saw Danielle. Would they recognize or remember each other?........ No........ Why?......... Because he hasn't met her yet. Jin doesn't travel back in time and meets Danielle until they've been on the island for a while (season 5).

Jin didn't "always" meet Danielle. He didn't meet her until he traveled back to 19??. The two of them could have frolicked on the beach like two preschoolers during the first four seasons. But until the moment where Jin actually goes back to 19?? and meet her, they never met. In seasons 1 - 4, Jin didn't go back to 19?? and meet Danielle and her team so they haven't yet met. Thus, they didn't "always" meet. Ugggghhhh.

2-07-2009 @ 3:35PM
Franklin said...


So, for example, Jin is not altering the timeline as he interacts with young Danielle and her crew. He always existed in Danielle's past.

February 11 2009 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Norrell

I am totally dumbfounded over that character Teresa!!! Who is she?? Why is she bed ridden?? I have so many questions about this Character!! It kinda makes me wonder what type of person the scientist is. Did anyone pick up on that part when he told the military girl on the island when she was taking him to the bomb that she reminded him of someone? He meant Teresa right? I want to know more about her...! LOL
I love this show!! :)
I apologize for referencing a couple episodes back but I haven't had a chance to come on here and ask about it and I unfortunately missed last week. Plan on catching up tonight. Still left in limbo about her though.

February 11 2009 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
stban

I think the writers made some mistakes with the whole time-traveling plot... For example, when they found the conoe and use it to go to the other side of the island and they're being shot there's a flash and they travel to another time right? Well, if they can't change what is already done, wouldn't the canoe dissappear? Pardon my english, I speak spanish.

February 10 2009 at 10:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to stban's comment
Sam

There's only one timeline, and the canoe was always taken by them. There never was a timeline where they didn't take the canoe. So they didn't "change" anything.

February 11 2009 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
philly_phenom

I'm going on the theory that only the time jumpers see the flash - hence Kate & Claire not remembering it.

February 09 2009 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sam

I agree with Andy. Ken is saying that if the writers had left more unanswered questions, they could have had the time travelers tied into a lot more mysteries and the writers would look like geniuses.

But I think there are a few genius opportunities left - like Adam and Eve, the four-toed statue, Jacob, and the genealogy of the various characters.

February 08 2009 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ConspiracyGuy

Ken Jennings is not praising LOST, it's a backhanded compliment a la Jack Donaghy!

What Ken Jennings is saying is that the writers of LOST are being lazy with regards to using time travel to sew up plot holes.

He is not saying that the writers have explicitly answered a lot of questions. He is saying (sarcastically) that all plot holes and threads can be tied up with the time travel literary device. Any unexplained mystery can be answered with: future "sawyer" did it, or "future Locke" did it, etc! (He was being sarcastic about leaving more plot threads, just so that you can say a time traveller did it!)

So for Ken Jennings, he is (sarcastically) giving the advice: Showrunners, you don't need to think things through with regards to plot, if you find yourself in a difficult situation, use time-travel! The panacea for all plot holes!

In defence of LOST: Lindelof and Cuse did mention that certain things in season 1 were set up for a big payoff in the finale, just so that you couldn't accuse the writers of making everything up as they go along.

February 07 2009 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy

Bob, I think you completely missed Jennings' point. He's not saying they're answering too many questions, but rather that they didn't set up enough questions in the first place. Which would make it something they did "wrong" in previous seasons, not the current one. This way they could use the time-traveling they're doing now to explain a lot of confusing or mysterious events in the past, rather than just the few they have to work with (the whispers in the jungle, the giant foot, etc.). As far as I can tell his post doesn't have any actual complaints about how this season is going.

February 07 2009 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Follow Us

From Our Partners