No one who watches Lost expects complete perfection in the story, and all the facts that Lost has to keep straight. With all the complications Lost entails, there are bound to be some continuity errors and plot holes. Lost fans have ranted about certain continuity errors for years, but have swallowed their tongues. For the most part, such errors have been kept under reasonable control – yet as Season Five goes on, the continuity errors displayed on Lost have begun to get a little too distracting.
Leaving aside all the pratfalls and mistakes that may have been made in time travel this season, Lost has started to make a few more glaring mistakes than usual. Some of them have not been too big, but have been a bit distracting as the story moves along. Others are complete contradictions to what we’ve been told before. And one big continuity error, which may just be another Lost mystery, needs to be explained very soon or else the whole season could come apart.
One obvious continuity error was made when calling back to the Season Four finale. In the last scene between Jack and Ben, Jack explained that Locke told him “very bad things happened” which were his fault. In this year’s premiere, Jack further told Ben that Locke said Sawyer, Juliet and the rest would die if he didn’t come back.
But when we finally saw Jack and Locke face off in the mainland in “The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham” it did not turn out this way. Locke never said “very bad things happened”, never said that they were Jack’s fault, and never mentioned Sawyer or Juliet by name. What’s more, Locke never told Jack that Ben was off the island, as Jack claims he did in the Season Four finale. For a scene that was this important for both Jack and Locke, the Lost masterminds did not completely get the facts right. That, or Jack was too high in the Season Four finale to remember correctly.
Another continuity error got the Lost powers in trouble with one of their departed actresses. When Charlotte Lewis was first introduced by Ben, he said she was born in 1979. Yet when Sawyer and the left-behinders arrived in DHARMAville in 1974, Daniel spotted a toddler Charlotte running around. Presenting Charlotte as a toddler in 1974, even though she was supposed to be born in 1979, was an obvious error. Ben could have been lying about Charlotte’s age, of course, but Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse explained instead that Rebecca Mader, who played Charlotte, was trying to make Charlotte younger when she arrived. This set off a mini spat between Mader and the producers, which could have been avoided if the Lost continuity was preserved.
The DHARMAville arc also had a bit of an error when Horace Goodspeed was reintroduced. In 1997, Horace had a pregnant wife in new character Amy. However, when we first met Horace in “The Man Behind The Curtain” flashbacks, he seemed to be together with a woman named Olivia. This error was fixed when the Lost powers explained that the actress who played Olivia could not be brought back. It turned out to be a simple re-write of history, but at first, it looked like a careless error.
Another error came near the end of “Namaste” when Sun found out from Christian that the rest of the Oceanic 6 were in 1977. In the end of that scene, Lost fans spotted the image of a girl standing behind Sun. Many thought that Claire might have been there, still following her father around like when we last left her. Others thought it was a brand new character. But it was just a member of the Lost crew who didn’t get out of the way, according to Jorge Garcia himself. That wasn’t a continuity error, but one would expect the Lost team to be a lot more careful – since they know Lost fans will catch these errors. That kind of lack of forethought may be at the heart of these increased continuity errors.
But the biggest continuity mistake of all may come from Lost’s most important development of the moment. That being that Sayid met young Ben in 1977, and shot him with intent to kill. The debate about whether this changed the future, created alternative timelines, or whether this was always supposed to happen is one thing. What is another, is the fact that if Ben did survive this, every single interaction he had with Sayid from 2004-07 has had him hide the fact that Sayid tried to kill Ben as a boy, and probably helped create the Ben we know.
How could any human being alive – even a super liar like Ben – interact with a man who almost killed him as a boy, and not give anything away? Most of all, when Ben first met Sayid in “One Of Them” and got tortured by him at the hatch, why in God’s name did Ben not break from being hurt by Sayid again? Obviously, there is no way in Hell that the Lost writers anticipated what was to come when they had Ben and Sayid meet in “One Of Them” But by Season Four, when Sayid became Ben’s assassin, they had to have an idea.
So hopefully, by then they came up with a plausible reason why adult Ben could be so composed around Sayid, if he tried to kill young Ben. It can’t just be a case of Ben hiding something – because even Ben has to have his limits about hiding a personal bombshell like this. If they can’t make Ben seem plausible in hiding this personal history and bitterness around Sayid all this time, then it will be the largest continuity error in Lost history, and do severe damage to the mythology.
If they can make this make sense, however, then it is just another Lost mystery answered, instead of a massive plot hole. But with Lost making more plot errors and mistakes than usual lately, their recent track record inspires a little less hope. We are finally approaching the point where major answers are coming, and this entire show will be explained. But the recent carelessness in certain areas from the Lost masterminds may be an ominous sign – if they’re making these mistakes in answering questions now, how will they keep things on track for the final season?
For five years, Lost fans have tolerated a lot of errors and missteps, but their patience will wear thin if they stumble like this at the finish line.
Entertainment Weekly- “War erupts over Charlotte’s real age!” ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/03/lost-exclusive.html
Dark UFO- “Mystery woman cleared up?” darkufo.blogspot.com/2009/03/mysteries-woman-cleared-up.html