First, sorry for creating a thread for this, as this forum seems flooded with all sorts of things at the moment (as one would expect), but I had a thought that I think deserved to be shared.
I am in the camp that is frustrated by a lack of satisfactory answers to mysteries because I believe that good storytelling requires resolution to the plot. If you disagree, fine, that's your business. However, I'm here to tackle the claim that "any answer the writers give will not satisfy you" that some people have thrown out. It's true that some of the answers this season (the whispers, Christian being MIB sometimes, etcetera) were handled clunkily, and people have said that's the case. As a result, others claim that we'd dislike any answer given. I'm here to demonstrate why that's not true. And here's why:
They did it just fine in season two.
There were probably two pretty big things in the first season that got resolved really nicely in season two. First was the big question: why the heck did the plane crash anyway? And the other was, hey, how'd that light turn on in the hatch when John Locke was emotionally destroyed after Boone's death.
These were mysteries that went unanswered for quite some time, but got GREAT resolution at the end of season two AND featured character development along the way. For both we get this character Desmond, who is desperately seeking the approval of the father of the love of his life. We see a moment of great hopelessness for him--he's about to kill himself, and along comes Locke, a man who has lost his way. This interaction causes them to both find a new faith, inadvertently through one another--John's sense of purpose is restored when he gets a "sign" that he's meant to work with this hatch, and Desmond becomes more hopeful that he's not destined to push this stupid button his whole life. We also get a pretty coherently written and presented explanation for the crash and why Desmond didn't push the button the day Oceanic 815 crashed. These mysteries was clearly planned out by the writers and executed in a way that was not only nicely executed but had SIGNIFICANCE TO THE CHARACTERS AND THE THEME.
My whole point in bringing this up is that the writers were, at one point, capable of doing both--having mysteries that got good resolution as well as taking the characters to new and interesting places, using the two bridged together to get thematic cohesion. A few other people have been discussing why character and mystery don't have to be mutually exclusive, and this, I suggest, demonstrates that. It also providesa stark contrast for how later mysteries were poorly done, while STILL dropping the ball on character arc.
Thoughts? I'm interested in peoples' responses to this.