At last! Doc Jensen's final 'Lost' column will arrive next week! What was your favorite Doc theory?


Image Credit: ABC

I remember the exact moment my relationship with Lost changed from giggly enjoyment to full-on brain-crush obsession. It was the very first scene of season 2, which indirectly introduced elements that would come to define the show — Desmond, Dharma, the Swan, the Island’s mysterious energy, an occasional fascination with the music of Mama “Cass” Elliott. The second season of Lost felt like a deep-dive into all sorts of upper-stratosphere stuff — philosophy, quantum physics, implications of alternate universes and mysterious forces, yeesh, maybe even time travel. Fortunately for obsessives like me, EW’s Jeff “Doc” Jensen started writing regular Lost columns that year, relentlessly postulating brain-teasing theories regarding the show’s multiplying mysteries. Next week, just in time to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Lost‘s controversial series finale, Doc Jensen will at long last deliver his long-promised final Lost column. To get you psyched, we decided to dig back into the encyclopedia-sized Jensen archive to re-examine Doc’s theories. What was your favorite Doc Jensen theory? Here are mine…

Some of them were far off the mark; some of them were surprisingly on the money; and at least a few of them made quite a bit more sense than the show’s actual answers. That’s part of the fun about writing (and reading) about TV shows: You’re on the journey right alongside the show’s creators, with plenty of detours (Hydra Island!) along the way. Here are three of my favorite Doc Jensen theories. Now tell us yours!

The “Evil Aaron” Theory: An oldie but goodie from one of Doc’s first columns, this early attempt at a unified theory of Lost proposed that the Dharma Initiative had engaged in the human testing of test subjects who possessed psychic powers (a strongly implied plot point back in the days before the actor playing Walt grew too tall too quickly). One of these test subjects, a man named Aaron, had died as a result of electromagnetic testing, but his radioactive corpse was stored inside of the Swan station. Aaron’s ghost haunted the island, seeking a new body — and he found one, in the form of Claire’s unborn baby (whose name, “Aaron,” he psychically suggested.) You could actually argue that elements of this theory were surprisingly spot-on — the Man in Black was, after all, a dead being seeking a form of resurrection.

The “Grandfather Pair ‘o Docs” Theory: In the middle of season 5’s “316,” we were randomly introduced to a new character: Jack Shephard’s grandfather. The scene stuck out for a lot of reasons — especially considering Lost‘s obsession with father figures — and it led Doc to theorize that Grampa Shephard was, in fact, an older time-tossed Jack, sending his younger self off on a great adventure.

The “Henry Gale is Gay” Theory: The best thing about Lost in the early days was that, because we knew so little about all the characters, we were free to assume literally anything about them. That was especially true of Michael Emerson’s “Henry Gale,” the mysterious man captured by the castaways. “Henry” claimed to have crashed on the island in a balloon on a honeymoon adventure with his wife — who was buried under the crash site. At the crash site, Sayid found a buried body… but that body was a man named Henry Gale. Doc’s theory:

“The Henry Gale that’s dead and buried under the balloon really is the spouse of the fake Henry Gale. The two men were ballooning around the world on their honeymoon when they crashed on the island, and the real Henry died of the mysterious disease. ‘Henry’ lied to the castaways because he wasn’t quite sure how enlightened they were on the issue of gay marriage.”

Way off? Sure, but man, that would’ve been awesome!

Your turn, readers! What were your favorite Doc Jensen theories, postulations, and solutions?

Read more:
Totally ‘Lost’
‘Lost’ finale recap
‘Lost': YOUR 20 Best/Worst Moments

Comments (174 total) Add your comment
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  • MWeyer

    EW, I say this because I love you. The show is over. LET. IT. GO.

    • bruno

      yah, i kind of agree. love you, doc. but let’s let it go now shall we? if not for the time passed but for the fact that it chose to end on such a horribly low note. whenever i feel betrayed, lied to, and disappointed, i think of damon lindeloff…

      • jesslyn8706

        Just Damon? Carlton gets no credit? (I actually love the finale. It lined perfectly back up with the show I fell in love with in Season one.)

      • anonymous

        touche !

      • GunnerGA

        The full run of LOST is like an excellent book. Like a book, it never gets old to talk and analyze the nuances of the story. Unlike Happy Days, or M*A*S*H, I continue enjoy delving into those small nuggets I may have missed the first time around. So, if you do not like the show, read another page. They are designed for the ads anyway. The content is not relevant. But I do love hearing and sharing thoughts about the program. For me at least, it was truly a fun experience to share with my family. Now… i have Fringe – not LOST, but still fun.

      • William Shatner

        “I’d just want to say…….GET A LIFE! will you people? I mean for crying out loud, its just a TV show! I mean look at you.”

      • Mother Nature

        Amen, Bruno.

      • Linda P

        Someone who posts as “William Shatner” says “get a life”?? Ha, ha – that’s a little ironic.

      • Dee

        You should consider following your own advice, you haven’t exactly let go of it either. You’re here reading the article and commenting. If you were over it you wouldn’t have bothered. I’m quite happy for another Doc Jensen Lost article so I don’t mind if he hangs on for a while.

      • Drew

        You’re an idiot.

      • Josh M

        Linda isn’t a Saturday Night Live fan, I guess.

      • FireflyIsStillCancelled

        Sheesh – Have your heard the continual gushing over “Firefly” by the writers of this magazine/website? That stupid show barely lasted a dozen episodes and is nearly a decade old and we STILL have to hear the geeks pining away over it. By comparisson, I think a little nod to LOST now and again isn’t that bad.

      • jjd

        Hopefully someday, Carlton and Damon come out with a book about LOST. I’d rather hear their thoughts than this Doc guy.

      • BG 17

        Trust me, Doc came up with theories that would have made all the seasons of Lost tie up nicely, instead of the lazy ‘bait and switch’ ending that Cuse and Lindelof came up with. Those guys overcooked their 6 course meal and decided to buy TGI Fridays instead.

      • Juneau

        @GunnarGA – unlike a book, it had no ending.

    • Ben

      since when are you not allowed to revel in great shows/movies from the past? isn’t that what it’s for? i don’t think the makers of great landmarks in pop culture (for example, Lost) make this stuff so they can be forgotten and buried in the dust.

      • tracy bluth


      • Dan

        By the way, I’m not a spammer, just wanna share my thoughts too! Feel free to leave me comments. I’m a true LOSTie and really miss the social aspects of watching this show.

    • Leithen

      I agree. You can also apply this to Buffy, in my opinion.

      • Johnification

        So, not on the air = not worth talking about anymore?

      • Leithen

        Did I say that? No.

        I just believe that those two shows (and Firefly) get more retrospective praise than they deserve.

      • Matt

        How dare you! I, for one, will never stop talking about Buffy. I think, unlike Lost, it had stunning character development that you could trace throughout all seven seasons, and though the show didn’t have a mysterious endgame, it did have a point, a defining allegory or metaphor that ultimately tied the entire together. Whatever you want to say about lost, there ARE layers to Buffy which I think and hope will encourage discussions for years – nay, millenia – to come. So there.

    • matt

      Never let it die, Doc. SPIN OFF.. PLEASE.

      • drew

        We Gotta Go Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • JFWilder


      • Lostie

        I would go back in a minute. I haven’t rewatched it…but I would. And I didn’t find the recaps until the final season, would love to read the recaps and watch the episodes.

        To each his own, don’t judge me or the other “losties”. Let us desire to relive the Lost days and you do whatever you want…don’t judge me

    • Jamie

      You obviously were not a fan. I was a huge one, and love to relive it any way I can. Sh shutup and let him do it!

    • superfan

      Really? for the crazed LOSTies, a year after the finale, we still miss it. It will be nice to catch up with Doc Jensen and his take on the finale.

    • Color Me Impressed

      Finally! Thank you for not forgetting about us Doc!

    • Douglas

      Excuse me? If you don’t want to read about LOST, then don’t, but why should we who still love LOST (I’m exactly halfway through rewatching the entire series on DVD for the third time. It never grows old) not continue to share with each other about it just because YOU are over it? It’s a rich series with much to delve into. Talk about cultural Fascism; ordering a magazine/website to stop discussng a popular topic just because YOU are tired of it is selfish, narcissistic, and bone-headed. Go read something else, MWeyer

    • ks


    • Mike B

      Yeah. It just reminds me how they ripped us off and took the easy way out.

      • Angela

        The easy way out would’ve been if they attempted to answer all the questions, which, from what I’ve heard, though I haven’t seen the show, is what happened with Alias. That made people SO happy. They knew the finale would be controversial, and you may not like it, but at least be grateful that they could end it the way they wanted to, that the show didn’t get canceled and they could tell their story. You just have to accept that it’s their vision, not yours; there’s no way they would’ve done it exactly as you wanted it to happen.

      • c jones

        my only problem was that the purgatory universe didn’t matter at ALL! I do agree that is was a wonderful finale. But they could have spent the alternate world half of the story for a big finale and used those 1/2 hours to resolve mysteries instead. But the purgatory idea made those 1/2 hours wasted. exciting maybe but wasted in the end.

      • Juneau

        Then they shouldn’t have promised during season 3 that they had an ending in mind that explained all the stupid, pointless mysteries they continued to spew. The said that because they were rapidly losing viewers. I naively believed them and wasted another 3 years on the show wanting to see how all the loose ends would tie together.

    • RAND(TR)

      I can’t believe it has been a full year since Doc J. PROMISED his final Lost article. FINALLY!! To Weyer, Sure, it’s over but it is SO worth revisiting. Join us, why don’t you……..

    • Sara

      I only take time to read and make comments on articles / topics that interest me. I’m sorry that you don’t have the mental capacity to do the same. Anyways..I miss Lost and it’s a great show to reanalyze. Love reading the old theories:) PLEASE Keep writing more Lost articles!!! (BTW-I loved the ending!)

    • kgb

      You still clicked on the link, idiot.

  • Radzinsky

    YES! Bring back LOST! Bring back LOST! Bring back LOST! Ignore the idiot first poster!

    • Michael

      Agreed. I miss “Lost” so much… :'( *tear*…

      • Juha

        Yes they can tell if you smoke by your blood. And, anyone who doesn’t smoke can smell it on you, your hair, ctlhoes, etc. If you are sick from anything to do with your lungs and you are still smoking ..

    • Dee

      You tell ‘em Rad!

  • Really?

    I am still waiting for the final column on “Square Pegs”. Did I miss it?

    • lefty

      You win today…haha.

    • c jones

      give him time, he’s working his way back to it. Veronica Mars update should be next. Doc should get out a column on Square Pegs in about a decade or so!

  • Radzinsky

    Jeff Jensen, you are a hero. Your “Lost” postings will remain some of the greatest theories of all mankind, up there with Newton, Einstein, Copernicus, Skinner, and Hume.

    • LOL

      Doc J 2016!

  • Doc Shephard

    Tell them I’m still alive!

    • Hollow

      Jack or Christian?

      My main theory was Christian was alive the whole time…oh well

  • MCS

    The season 5 episode is called 316.

  • TQB

    Seriously? SERIOUSLY? A year later? I admit I was still excited when it was going to be delivered “before the end of the year” (Doc’s own words) but I have to tell you, even I don’t care anymore.

    Too little, too late.

    • Dgently

      So agree. I can’t believe Jeff gets away with being so unprofessional – with repeatedly lying to his enitre Lost readership.

  • Justin

    Really? What could possibly be said from Doc Jensen that hasn’t already been said? I loved his Lost columns every week. But realllyyyy?? Why? We need another one of these an entire year later? What could he possibly have to say?

    • LOL

      You’ll find out soon enough.

    • Juneau

      Remember who you’re talking about. It’ll be 30 pages long.

  • DJ Rogue

    Seriously? Next week? You DO know that Judgment Day is tomorrow, right?

    Nice timing Doc!

    • Jack


  • tracy bluth

    I really loved his last (unfinished) columns about what the island was. I really enjoyed them all, even the extremely crazy ones.
    Also, Darren, loved your appearance on this week’s Lost episode of College Humor’s “Nerd Alert”.

  • Squelman

    I barely remember the show (I used to be consumed with it but that seems like a long time ago). I’ll still read what Doc has to say about it. I might wait a year or so to read it, but I’ll get to it.

  • CandaceTX

    keep minin that well….

  • Growler

    So wait Darren, Doc J. had to enlist YOU to deliver this message? I guess he’s busy! LOLOL!

  • Leithen

    This is an article announcing there will be an article?

    Slow news day, huh?

    • steve

      yeah this is ridiculous. and the first 20 comments apparently don’t realize that either. this post was a waste of my time.
      oh, and Jansen jumped the shark during season 6 so to answer the Q, would have to be a theory before that.

      • Angela

        Then don’t frigging post! We’re not wasting your time. You’re the only one that can do that.

  • Kevin

    I’m still hoping I’ll wake up and find out that the “finale” was actually just part of a nightmare that I am still stuck in the middle of. There’s no way this brilliant show ended so poorly!

    • JaySin420

      Yea I was the biggest Lost fan ever but I feel the same way.

      To me, the entire final season was the biggest letdown in the history of television.

      • Alfredo

        Sadly, I agree. The whole final season was a big F you to Lost fans.

      • as a gal

        Absolutely agree with Kevin, Jay, and Alfredo.

    • Diana

      noooo… but it was so poignant and peaceful and there was such resolution.. i thought it was perfect and beautiful! but respect the oposite opinion

      • phd

        i wish more people felt that way I hated the ending, but loved the journey…

        if more fans could agree the ending was polarizing…

        we could ALL celebrate the highs and lows.

    • B

      I loved the end. Watch it again. I’ve seen it a couple of times and it still moves me.

    • Angela

      Sorry you feel that way. I feel the same way as Diana. I loved it, but I respect that it was polarizing and that many were disappointed, but you have to hold your end of the bargain too by realizing that there were also a lot of people who felt satisfied with the way it ended.

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