This addition of Loose Ends looks at the atomic bomb known as Jughead.

At this point, LOST is a collection of loose ends that we’re all waiting to see tied up at the conclusion of the series. Not all of them will be, of course, and there are so many it would be a quixotic endeavor to attempt to document them all between now and the end of the show.

With that in mind, I’m starting with a loose end that isn’t terribly significant, but that has been bothering me for a while. Unlike the Dharma Initiative (which I plan to get to next) it’s a safe place to start because the show isn’t likely to address it.

The loose end I’m starting with is Jughead – the Hydrogen Bomb that was left on the island in 1954 and buried by the Others until 1977, when it was used to do… well, whatever it was that happened at the end of Season 5.

If you’re a fan of LOST, I can’t recommend Lostpedia highly enough. The site has meticulously documented everything on the show and thoroughly connects the dots between the appropriate elements. Each entry concludes in a list of unanswered questions, which range from the obvious to the inexplicable.

Here are the unanswered questions on the Jughead entry:

  • Why was the bomb leaking radioactive material if it was so new?
  • Would the leaking affect whether the bomb will detonate, or the force of an explosion?
  • What was leaking from the shell of the bomb but not from the core that Sayid and Jack carried around?
  • What kind of damage would result from a 6-8 megaton bomb?
  • What happens to the radioactive bomb casing underneath the barracks?

All of these are good questions (and the last one might have something to do with the fertility problem) but they don’t answer my big question: You’re telling me that a hydrogen bomb went missing and the US Government just forgot about it?

Look, the bomb was buried in 1954. In 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for giving atomic secrets to the Soviets. The summer1954 was the height of the McCarthy hearings. With all of this Cold War paranoia, a missing H-Bomb seems like kind of a big deal.

Also, the blanket explanation – that the US tested bombs in the South Pacific a lot back in the 1950s – still doesn’t entirely hold up. I find it hard to believe that the US military would load the baddest weapon known to man on a boat and tell the crew, “Yeah, just cruise around the South Pacific until you find an island that looks uninhabited, then go ashore and blow it up.”

It’s possible that the US Army brought the bomb to the Island with the intent of destroying it, but the fact that the soldiers bothered to set up the tent city in the Island’s interior deflates that theory. It’s awfully late in the game to introduce the idea that the US government has some sort of vested interest in or knowledge of the Island, but otherwise, Jughead’s presence really doesn’t make any sense.

Any other loose ends or character profiles you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments section.

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Doug Clinton

Douglas Clinton was born in rural Connecticut at the tail end of the disco era. He attended Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, Massachusetts, where he lettered in two sports and wrote, directed, and performed in several Spanish language films. Following high school, he spent his summers as a postal worker and studied Political Science in the Netherlands. During this time, he also wrote for the insanely popular yet tragically short-lived sketch comedy show Mass Hysteria. His first three plays, The Life and Times of Princess Sophia, The Prophecy of the Shoe, and Princess Tabasco Saves the Universe all debuted in Hardwick, Vermont between 2002 and 2004. After college, he spent three years as a full-time volunteer, for which he was inducted into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. He currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his cats H.I. and Ed(wina).

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