Thursday, December 30, 2010

UNLOCKING THE KEY TO LOST


The following is not a theory, but more like a thesis. An analysis of the elements presented by the creators of LOST in order to establish an unknown, unexpressed or clouded explanation for the premise of the show and its disjointed parts. To unlock the mysteries of LOST, which I believe have even escaped the minds of TPTB, one needs to find the Key. In the search for the Key, we have backtracked from the End to find a coherent explanation of the duality plot lines of the Island and Sideways realms.

As the previous posts have concluded, the pivot point character was Desmond. He was the character that began to bridge the two realms and bring the other Lost Souls to the church. But it took him a great deal of time and events for him to come to the realization that he was dead and further, accepting his death in order to reconnect with his past in order to move on.

The critical points in the End can be summarized as follows:

At the Sideways benefit concert, Eloise Widmore joins Desmond, saying that she thought she made it clear that Desmond should stop what he's been doing. Desmond says she did, but that he ignored her. She asks, "And once they know, what then?" and Desmond answers, "Then, we're leaving." With concern she asks if they are going to take her son. Desmond assures her, "Not with me, no."

Jack arrives at the concert after it has ended. Kate is there and he says he is looking for his son. He recognizes Kate and asks where he remembers her from. She tells him that she stole his pen on Oceanic 815. Jack is confused, he says "and that's how I know you?" Kate says that is not how he knows her. She goes up to him and takes his face in her hands telling him how much she has missed him. Jack flashes, seeing images of himself and Kate on the Island, but still resists. She tells him that if he comes with her he will understand.

She takes him to the church, the place Jack was going to have his father’s funeral. She says they are waiting for him “once he is ready.” Jack asks, “ready for what?” Kate responds, “to leave.”

At the reunion with his dead father, Jack comes to the realization that he is dead. Everyone is dead. Christian explains to Jack that they aren't leaving; they're moving on. Jack asks where to, and his father tells him, "Let's go find out."


If one objectively looks at the dynamic of the End as the solution of Six Seasons of LOST mysteries, only one key plot point was revealed and resolved: Eloise's demands to Desmond to stop what he was doing so Daniel would not be taken away from her.

Eloise Hawking Widmore is the Key to LOST.

Eloise Hawking is the only character that had "full knowledge" of the Island events and the Sideways world consequences. It is quite the simple but straight forward explanation lacking in the convoluted plot twists of the series that everything could truly be explained through the actions, manipulations and motivations of Eloise. The only issue truly resolved in the End was that Eloise did not "lose" her son, Daniel, to the 815ers who were "moving on" into the light at the conclusion of church meeting.

Now some may complain that the show was really all about Jack. But did Jack finally resolve his father issues in the End? No. Did other characters resolve their issues? Sayid and Nadia: the opposite happened. Locke, who was abused in the island world, left without anyone. Michael did not get over his issues with Walt, so he is apparently left with the guilt of an island ghost. The island events were themed by significant "daddy issue" subplots. But in the mirror realm of the sideways world, there is only one clear "mommy issue" plot: Eloise and Daniel.

The simple bridge between the Island and the Sideways world was a simple, personal, introspective "awakening." In the End, the only thing the 815ers did was realize that they were dead and accepting their deaths. Knowing that someone would attempt to "awaken" Daniel (most likely Desmond since Daniel considered him his metaphysical "constant"), Eloise attempted to keep that knowledge from all the characters in the Island realm.

As previously posted, the story premise has to be the Island and Sideways worlds are spiritual planes of existence. After death, one has a reincarnated new life. And in this new life, you may not realize that your human existence is gone because everything seems so "real." Using the concepts of the split between the ba and ka from ancient Egyptian mythology, Eloise could craft or control two separate spiritual planes to stop the characters' ba and ka from reuniting ("awakening") and moving on to a different plane of existence in the after life.

Eloise's role in both realms could be considered the puppet master, a gatekeeper of souls, the wizard behind the curtain, the high priestess of death. Only she knew knew the awakening rule. She confused the lost souls into believing that they were still alive. They were told that their survival depended upon running through a maze of dangerous missions. The Island was really a place that Eloise created to contain any person who could lead Daniel to his awakening in the Sideways realm. Eloise was motivated by the fear that she would lose her son forever.

Eloise was close to Brother Campbell. She used that relationship to get Desmond into a monastery so he could be locked away from Penny, a connection to Daniel. But that plan was ruined when Penny came to pick up wine at the same time Desmond was being kicked out for ill behavior. Eloise used Widmore to continually throw a wrench into Desmond's relationship with Penny. She used Libby to get Desmond the boat that he thought he could use to win a sailing race to "prove" to Widmore he was worthy of Penny.

After Sarah's surgery, and after promising her a "miracle," Jack takes a jog in a stadium. He notices Desmond who is jogging up the staircase next to him. Jack races to catch up to him but rolls his ankle and falls. Desmond comes to Jack's aid. After Desmond asks why Jack was "running like the devil was chasing him," he discusses Sarah's procedure and how he made a promise he couldn't keep. Desmond wonders out loud whether he actually did save her, but Jack tells him it would be a miracle. Desmond also leaves with the foreshadowing quip, "See you in another life."

Desmond takes Libby's boat, but then becomes shipwrecked on the Island. He is put to work pressing the Numbers in order "to save the world." Eloise tells him that his fate is to press the Numbers. That his sole destiny is to stay in the Hatch and forget any notion of being with Penny. For three years, Desmond accepts that role. It is only after he begins to be aware that he is "being conned" by Kelvin, that he fails in pressing the buttons. In that moment, he is aware that he can leave the island and return to Penny. But what stops him? The sudden arrival of new characters, the Others and the 815 survivors, who again, occupy Desmond with obstacles on leaving the Island (and returning to Penny).

It is an elaborate "con" that Eloise attempts to maintain; the only problem is that Desmond and the other characters retain their personalities and "free will" to make choices. The critical choice for Desmond was to use the fail safe key to "die." Even with that sacrifice in his mind, Desmond really did not want to "die," but get back to Penny. The island realm does not "kill" spirits such as Desmond. They continue to live until they accept their death in the real world.

The events then lead Desmond to Penny in the Island world. In order to stop the bridge from forming, Desmond is still "pursued" by Widmore in an alleged attempt to keep Desmond and Penny a part. But Eloise knows where Dez is. She allows him the fantasy of a life with Penny and his "son" in order for him to keep the illusion of living forefront in his mind. By doing so, she risks flashes of the other realm and concepts of death to overwhelm Desmond so that he could awaken and spoil the critical balance Eloise is trying to maintain in the Sideways world.

In the Sideways world, Eloise is queen of the land. She has a doting son, totally under her control. She has got the wealth, status and privilege of society. Charles Widmore is a corralled provider of all her needs, including keeping SW Desmond in check as Widmore's respected, trusted number two man (which is the mirror opposite of Island Desmond whose focus was trying to get the respect and trust of evil Widmore.) She has to keep Penny away from Desmond in the Sideways world. It is too dangerous if they have a relationship in both planes. That is why Widmore has Desmond putting out corporate fires all over the world. It is unintended consequences that lead to Desmond to be in LA at the same time Charlie meets Daniel for the benefit concert.

The Sideways and Island realms are mirror images of each other: they are not exactly the same, but mere reflections upon each other. But if one holds up a right hand looking in the mirror, it appears that the reflection is holding up its left hand. If one looks to try to formulate this distinction in fundamentals between the worlds, this sums up each existence:

Island world: live together or die alone.

Sideways world: die together or live alone.

Since there had to a balance between the two partial realms, one could write a formula:

Sideways = Island

or

DT/LA = LT/DA

Eloise did not want to live alone without her son, Daniel.
That is the key motivational force weaved throughout the End.

So Eloise knew what the final formula was in order to manipulate its components.

Using math to move the components, a new formula emerges:

T = DT x DA/LA

or

T = 2D/L

or finally,

"Live Together = 2 Die Together" (LT = 2DT)

Here may be the underlying principle: One needs to die twice in order to live together.

This was the one clear Truth from the End.

Eloise "lost" her one chance to be close to Daniel in the Island plane or in their real life; and she knew she would lose him if he awakened in the Sideways plane. That is why she attempted to imprison Desmond in the Island realm, along with any other person he had contact with, in order to stop their spirits or knowledge from crossing over into her fantasy life in the Sideways existence.

So one could conclude that the core of LOST was one twisted, manipulative, selfish mother (Eloise) attempting to keep her son (Daniel) with her forever.

Friday, December 24, 2010

THE PIVOT POINT

The following is not a theory, but more like a thesis. An analysis of the elements presented by the creators of LOST in order to establish an unknown, unexpressed or clouded explanation for the premise of the show and its disjointed parts. To unlock the mysteries of LOST, which I believe have even escaped the minds of TPTB, one needs to find the Key. In the search for the Key, we find the most probable explanation for the show mythology in ancient Egyptian death concepts, including the role of duality.

A favorite symbolic thematic feature of LOST was the mirror. A mirror gives a person a reflection of one's true self. It is not an exact duplication, but a mirror image. When we try to piece together the fabric of the sideways realm and the Island realm, it is best to view them as mirror images, similar but not quite the same.

In each, characters lived apparent long, complex "lives." Similar, but not exact. One more idyllic than the other. The show's core appears to take the concept of Egyptian death rituals, including the division of a person's soul, as the stage to set up a dual character system: one part of the old individual residing in the Island realm and one part of the old individual residing in the Sideways realm. "Residency" in a metaphysical sense because each of these worlds is not "real" from our human perspective. For the island's mysteries and story lines to make total sense, those facts are not absolute truth from our laws or science; it is a spiritual world that resembles the look and feel of the Earth bound existence.

The Sideways world confirmed that the characters were spirits. They were all dead. For the mirror image duality to be in balance, the Island existence as a reflection for the SW cross-over would mean that part of the dead souls were lost in the Island realm. Only the reunification of both spirits would be total enlightenment and the ability to move on as a new whole (into the white light) to the next plane of existence. One has to accept the premise that once a person dies, they live on in the after life, in lost pieces searching for a new whole existence.

One can lift the dense fog of debate on whether the characters lived or died by simply deducing that the show was all about spirits. For if Desmond's consciousness from the Sideways (known dead) realm was interacting with Desmond consciousness in the Island realm, this realm would have to be a mirror image in order to make the connection. For how can a dead self interact with one's prior live self? It is too confusing. It is too disjointed. It does not adequately explain the connection.

Throughout the series, I picked up on the formula that "knowledge is power." Knowledge in the sense that a character finds out and believes that they are dead is when they can begin to direct their lost soul to connect with their counterpart in the sideways realm. On the island, characters had "perceived" power to manipulate others. Ben was a prime example. But if you recall, there were many messengers who told the characters that they were "dead:" Naomi and Cooper. Even Hurley mentioned at one point that he thought they were all dead, but he repressed the realization (but he could talk to dead people). When did Jack come to his own realization? After fighting Flocke, and lying down in the jungle and letting go in the End.

So each character is represented by mirror images of one's body and one's soul. There is a barrier between the realms that can only be crossed by the enlightenment or realization of one's own demise. But the tricky part is the Island characters were thrown to the primal underworld of missions, mysteries, conflict and danger that distracted them from asking basic questions or demanding detailed answers.

There was a nexus point between the two realms. And that pivot point was shown in one character, Desmond. If we trace Desmond's character backward from the End, we do not find him mentioned in Season One. He was not a major character in the series until the fail safe key incident and his "special" flashes of alleged time traveling consciousness episodes. (They may not be actual time travel consciousness but a static connection of memories from the sideways realm bleeding over into the island spirit.)

It was Desmond whose Island and Sideways souls combined first, creating one mind over matter, that led to events which brought the other characters home, together in the Sideways Church. With that knowledge, the fearful, cowardly, runner in Desmond's Island persona vanished; it did not matter if he was put on a large EM generator, thrown down a well, or shot through the heart. He knew he had his mirror image waiting in the Sideways world.

And to fully understand and appreciate the Ending as it was written, you have to accept that Desmond's transformation was the center the prime conflict for the entire series. Yes, it appears unbelievable that the Dharma-Others purge, the rage between Jacob and MIB, or the Widmore-Linus feud were not the basis for the story engine and ultimate climax for the show. But look at the final church scene: none of those Island conflicts were relevant, material or resolved in the End. There was no moral conclusion on who was good, who was evil, who was right or who was wrong. It really can be distilled into a very simple analogy: the characters split souls were lost on the story game board (a maze) needing to find each half in order to win rebirth in the after life. For the 815 survivors, the game board was constantly changing with different challenges, villains, inconsistent sciences, an inconsistent concept of Time and manipulations. Many story arcs led directly into unexplained dead ends, just like in a maze. Which is exactly what the puppet master behind the real conflict wanted to maintain forever.

But the puppet master could not keep Desmond, the pivot point between the two realms, from reaching his soul reunion. Once that first domino fell, Desmond set in motion other actions to bring the lost souls from the Island world through to the Sideways realm. The flood of island memories to the souls in the Sideways realm would have adverse consequences for the puppet master, who tried to stop the reborn characters from disrupting the Sideways world.

So if Desmond was the pivot point, his character's realization of the duality existence broke the barrier between after life realms, who was trying to stop him and why? Who was the Wizard behind the Curtain in this Oz? Who was the Key to explain the motivations, stories and ultimate conclusion of the End?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

FINDING A MYTH CORE

The following is not a theory, but more like a thesis. An analysis of the elements presented by the creators of LOST in order to establish an unknown, unexpressed or clouded explanation for the premise of the show and its disjointed parts. To unlock the mysteries of LOST, which I believe have even escaped the minds of TPTB, one needs to find the Key. In the search for the Key, one has to first try to determine the core of the show's mythology.

If you have the same character in two different places, seemingly at the same time, how does one reconcile this issue?

We were shown characters in action simultaneously on the island and in the sideways world. Example, Jack: in the sideways world he is a divorcee (from Juliet) with a son. In the island world, Jack is a divorcee (from Sarah) without a son. In the sideways world, Jack is a doctor. In the island world, he is a doctor trapped on a crazy island. In the sideways world, his friends "are waiting for him." (Which many have assumed means Jack needs to "die" on the island to go to the sideways world.)

Except, this is not a clear rule. Charlie died on the island. Yet, his ghost physically interacted with Hurley at the mental institution. Yet, Charlie was one of the last to "awaken" in the sideways world, with the birth of Aaron. Which also leads to a problem: how can an alive Aaron in the island universe not be alive in the sideways world?

Likewise, why are certain principal elements different in the island world versus the sideways world? Sawyer was a police officer in the sideways world, not a con-man. Daniel was a musician in the sideways world, not a theoretical scientist. Widmore was a mean spirited murderous businessman in the island world, but a great affable boss in the sideways world. It appears that each character has two sides to their personal coin.

In the wake of the show's conclusion, no critic, show commentator, or show writer has tried to fully explain this fundamental story structural problem. By not explaining the conclusion relative to the prior seasons' settings, there remains a huge disconnect in the fan base. Some don't care because a happy ending is all that matters; others found it a cheap cop out. There has to be a solution to this dogma.

For the show to stand up to reasonable scrutiny, the core or story foundation must be able to explain the apparent inconsistent duality of the island and the sideways worlds.

FIRST, let us look at the title.
LOST. As an adjective, it is defined as follows:
1. unable to find one's way; not knowing one's whereabouts;
2. unable to be found;
3. very confused or insecure or in great difficulty;
4. denoting something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered;
5. "having perished."

SECOND, "perished" means: "death, typically in a violent, sudden and untimely way."

LOST opened with a sudden, untimely and violent beginning: a plane crash. A mid-air catastrophic break up at 30,000 feet. Chance of survival: nil. But viewers saw survivors on the beach. But how does that mesh with the Flight 815 sideways world time line? It does not. The sideways world is not a "reset" of a time line from the island world perspective. It is its own independent world.

THIRD, then reconciliation assumption is that the game board (story foundation) contains two independent worlds with some bridge (means to transverse) between the two.

So what "known" concept can explain the inherit difficulties of this duality?

Ancient Egyptian mythology.

The ancient Egyptians view on the human soul has been lost to the average person. As an early belief system to explain the role of man in the universe, the human soul was described in five elements to explain life. Egyptians had a philosophy of duality; that there was light and darkness, which worked in conjunction against each other to balance the world. The philosophy was filled with symbols, traditions, rituals, judgments and magical spells which can be found peppered throughout the LOST stories.

The ancient concept of a person was that he or she was made up or exist because of five elements present in that person:

1. Name (ren): every person has one; it was stated that "if spoken you'd continue to live." (LOST cue: MIB, a dead person whose name was never spoken).

2. Shadow: part of the duality of the universe; always within a person; it also protects individuals but also needs protection. (LOST cue: the Smoke Monster)

3. Ba: attached to the physical body, it is a person's personality; it needs nourishment.

4. Ka: described as the "life force" in all things; intellectual and spiritual power; needs a body after death in order to survive. (LOST cue: the light cave)

5. Akh: the unification of the soul elements; if ba and ka don't unite after death, a person "will die a second time."

When a person dies, their ba and ka separate. In the underworld, a duplicate body must journey through dangerous tests in order to find enlightenment, redemption and final judgment. If successful, the ba and ka will come together and reunite to create a new "body" in the after life.

Was not Jack's ending, with his friends and father waiting at the church for Jack to "awaken," or join his memories of the island time with his sideways being (a temporary construct) to create a "new" Jack? Jack's "Ka" was waiting in the sideways realm for his "Ba" to complete its journey in the island realm. With the unification, Jack was then ready "to move on" in the after life.

The best explanation for the apparent inconsistent duality of the island and the sideways worlds is that the basic building block for the LOST mythology is ancient Egyptian religious concepts of a person's spirit being divided at death to journey through tests in the underworld in order to reunite to live on in the after life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SEARCH FOR THE KEY

The following is not a theory, but more like a thesis. An analysis of the elements presented by the creators of LOST in order to establish an unknown, unexpressed or clouded explanation for the premise of the show and its disjointed parts. To unlock the mysteries of LOST, which I believe have even escaped the minds of TPTB, one needs to find the Key.

What has been missing from LOST is the foundation from which the elements of the conflicting story arcs can consistently cohabited in one story universe. The explanation of LOST has been masked in smoke and mirrors; it was merely "a character driven" show. But somehow, whether by accident or stroke of luck, the series wound up with two disjointed universes or settings: the island framework and the sideways (Purgatory) reunion. No one has fashioned a comprehensive and cohesive explanation for these two disjointed story lines.

Now, was the island world and the sideways world "real" or mere illusion? Or does it really matter? I guess it depends on whether fundamentally you believe in life or death. Or whether one can postulate that there is neither a life or a death but a complex existence.

One of the most frustrating, in-you-face elements to the show was the massive amount of resources devoted to the unexplained Egyptian mythology. A highly advanced, rich in symbolic ritual, ancient culture which has been "lost" to most modern Anglo-Saxon communities, Egyptology could be considered an important clue to finding the Key.

A mystery can be facts lost in the present collective memory of society. LOST was a show that promulgated numerous "facts" about the characters and their events without a detailed understanding of the background components like Dharma or the Temple complex. There have been religious connotations throughout the series; the morality juxtaposition of science versus faith. There has been the secular survivalist motivations of the Others or the Widmores who sought power for personal goals. But these groups (and individuals as "pawns" in their elaborate power plays) have to be placed on a single game board (the story universe).

Just as Ben told John Locke that the island contained a Magic Box, where anything you wished for would come true (including the teleportation of Locke's con-man father to the brig for his son's final confrontation with his past demon), the game board has to set forth the fundamental four corners framework for all the stories.

In reviewing the last episode, then going backward through the series (as time itself was a misnomer throughout), it came to pass that the game board would most likely be the mythic concepts of ancient Egypt. Fundamentally, the disjointed time lines of the island and the sideways world can only be relatively explained by borrowing from Egyptian religious beliefs. (And this is where the die-hard LOST fan would challenge the notion that the church in the End has anything to do with ancient Egyptian practices. Precisely, as many critics found the writers had boxed themselves into tangent stories and character flaws to have a satisfactory explanation of the End.) A footnote in the End that the characters are "all dead" is not a satisfactory explanation of how or why the characters wound up in the church in a sideways world. There has to be a better explanation.

The characters are pieces on the story game board. Are the characters "real" human beings or illusions? We saw people "survive" an unreal plane crash in the pilot episode. Yet, we also saw known "dead" people interact with the survivors. How can points like this be reconciled into the big premise of the show?

Was the show about faith, science, religion, science fiction and/or fantasy? There are elements of each in every modern religion. And if one traces modern religious concepts, the root of many concepts is the mythology of ancient Egypt. Egypt was one of the first cultures to hand down a detailed account of its complex belief system of how human beings fit into the colossus universe.

This thesis will attempt to explain the ancient beliefs as the system for the LOST construct.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

REVERSE ENGINEERING

Let us talk about Reverse Engineering.

It is a concept that takes an existing Thing, and tears it a part to figure out how it works.

In the crooked path of tangent dead ends, LOST as a "Thing" needs to be de-constructed in order to find any salvageable, redeeming cohesion to the Ending.

To preface the following, I have no doubt that TPTB had any clear road map to the Ending. All the creators had was the final image, of a plan leaving the island. How the show found its way to that point was a twisting path of "character development," strange events and odd back stories. Some may imagine that all the character filler was compressed so tightly that the end created a seam of coal. Or in the bedrock of the story lines, there may be a glint of some untapped jewel; a theory that not only unifies all of the LOST world views, but turns the Ending upside down from the stand point of a secondary character.

As previously posted, in order to get a full picture of the debris field of the 815ers story lines, one has to examine the wreckage from a different perspective.

When a writer sets down to create his master works, he knows the basic elements of a story: a beginning, a middle and an end. Character, action and resolution. How those pieces are interwoven are the key to the reader's understanding and appreciation of the whole work.

Now, some writers know of the general plot line before writing their story. Some may pencil an outline of characters, actions, events, issues to be resolved. Some writers may just start with a title and forge forward with their chapters, with the twists coming from their creative minds free style. "Making it up as it goes" has some advantages and some disadvantages. It allows one's mind to roam free to make connections not already penciled into a steady outline. It does allow one's free form approach to veer off course. The danger is losing track of the pieces that comprise a satisfying resolution.

But for many mystery writers, the key to their stories ending properly is that they write the ending first. There is a common sense notion to knowing how something will end before you begin the journey. And that approach is what I used to try to find greater meaning to the End of LOST, by reverse engineering the finale. To answer the question posed: who was the wizard behind the curtain?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

PREAMBLE TO THE KEY

As television critics and entertainment magazines begin to rev up their "Top TV" lists for 2010, one suspects that LOST will make the copy, probably both in the Best drama category and the Worst (ending) category.

In the sweeping bait and switch ending for most viewers, with the sideways purgatory being the Deus Ex Machina, a contrived plot twist to save the show from its written painted corner containing all the prior story lines, clues, sci-fi arcs and illusions, LOST continues to sit in the pit of collective stomach of die-hard viewers like undercooked Thanksgiving feast.

Many people felt that the show centered around Jack, as he was the focal point of the pilot episode. But it is well documented that Jack's character was not even supposed to be a main character; that he was supposed to "die" shortly after the pilot episode to impart "shock value."

Then a few people felt that Hurley was the center piece of the show framework. Hurley was the first character cast by TPTB. Hurley was always lurking in the background as events unfolded around him. He was special. Connections seem to link to him and his mental institution. For a time, some theorized that the whole show concept was a figment of Hurley's mind, evidenced by the physical contact with known ghosts.

The show actually had an episode entitled "Deus Ex Machina." Shortly after the series was renewed, the island plot lines took off in back story tangents, the most important centering around the awkward life of John Locke, including the pivotal story of Locke losing a kidney after being conned by his own father. Some fans thought they were "conned" by the Ending in the sideways church, while others found a calming inner peace like Locke did in his last discussion with Ben.

So, who was the focal character that binds all the interwoven plot devices and story lines together?

It was not Locke, whose character morphed into a dark villain supernatural creature called Flocke. LOST was not about Flocke or Jacob, whose subtext was merely a call to the supernatural elements of the story.

It was also not Hurley, who wound up as the second in command then the island's new "leader."
His island story was left to the ether of speculation as he returned to the church to remain mostly in the background.

So most people think the focal character was Jack, since everyone in the church was "waiting" for him to arrive and awaken to the afterlife. Except for the metaphysical inconsistencies of Jack "dying" on the island while simultaneously living a sideways existence, only to merge moments later at the church with complete knowledge of his past, Jack served only as the football (the symbol for the viewers journey through the characters' white wash rapids) being carried and punted through the end zone when the white light engulfed the church pews.

Despite the construction of the ending, Jack was not the key character from which the foundation of LOST was built upon.

Friday, October 15, 2010

FOOD DROP

In the segment of "The Man in Charge," Ben goes to the Dharma Guam logistics shipping warehouse to terminate the two pea can labeling pallet jockeys. Ben says he is from the home office, and the men's services are no longer required because there is a new man in charge ("Hurley")

The whole purpose of this DVD bonus segment was to allegedly answer one of the hardcore fan's mysteries . . . why, after Dharma was wiped out, the Island continued to receive food pallet drops.

It was speculated by the blast door and Hatch workers that it was triggered by a breach of the count down timer, presumably opening a window into the Island's electromagnetic snow globe for the pallet to fall through.

But the DVD explanation of two robotic workers filling pallets with Dharma labeled food containers does nothing to solve any mystery of the series. In fact, it is counter intuitive. The worker's dot matrix printer goes off with the coordinates for the launch window. He tells the other guy to hurry up with the pea labels because the pallet is ready to go. Go where?

At the Lamp Post, Eloise told Jack and the rest of the O6 people that the Island had moved and it was difficult to locate. The large pendulum and computers were used to try to locate it. After a while, she said Ajira 316 was the only way to get back to the island because it would fly over the island just as Oceanic 815 did. She also said that Jack had to re-create the flight as close as possible, or "so help us God."

So, in reality, it was not difficult for the Guam suppliers to get the coordinates for the food drop. How they were signaled the Island coordinates, unknown. Why they were located in Guam, unknown. Why no one from the "home office" ever showed up at the place before, unknown.

But it does give me the sense that the two guys were stuck in a monotonous packing routine for eternity - - - - a form of corporeal punishment. Now that Hurley was in charge, the workers were released from their bondage, in their purgatory.

Yes, if you want to try to fit this extra scene into the LOST as shown on television picture, the sideways world, the Lamp Post, the Island , and now the Guam station, were all creations of the dead Dharma people who used their experiences to create memories so they could be remembered by others in the afterlife in order to move on.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

XIBALBA


When cable diving last week, I came across a "double take" image on the History Channel. The illuminated green water at a cave entrance sure looked like the Light Source cave in Lost. The narrators were describing a global network of six ancient openings or gates that old civilizations believed were passageways into the underworld or Hell. The cave image above is from a Mayan location in Belize. Once the investigative team entered the cave, they found it a dangerous place, littered with human bones. They said the Mayans used this place to go to the underworld, and to make human sacrifices to their gods. By appeasing their gods, they could sustain life on the surface world. The Light Source cave was also littered with human skulls and bones.

The concept of gates to a different dimension were part of the Lost mythology. The FDW room had hieroglyphs that made mention of Earth gates. The countdown timer in the Swan could have been used to maintain closure of a gate (a place of death). And the Light Source cave contained a hieroglyphed plug that when removed, caused the light to vanish and the island quake. That mechanism caused the "immortal" Flocke to turn into mortal form (from death, to life, to death).

Friday, September 10, 2010

ALA LOST

"Even when we were writing the script, the most important issue was how much of the puzzle we should solve and how much we should leave as mystery."
Satoshi Kon, the late, great Japanese animation writer-director

Recent Hollywood reports indicate that television and film producers are gravitating toward the Lost script model of many mysteries unsolved or unresolved for the sake of character development. Script writing and story telling is quite different than a Jason Pollock painting. But that is the tenor of the creative community: the ending is not as important as the journey. This does not sound like a promising trend.

It is one thing to hide clues within the story (including the background). But it is another thing to show facts and circumstances as clues when in fact they have no bearing on the ending. Finishing a 1000 piece puzzle with 5 pieces missing may be no big deal since the big picture can be seen, but finishing the same puzzle with 500 missing pieces is wrong.

Another Hollywood staple is the re-make. Take an old classic show or film, and recast it with new actors and writers. In the vast majority of cases, the remake of a show is a pale comparison to the original show.

A side note to the Lost model is a report that Hollywood was in the midst of trial ballooning a remake of Gilligan's Island, but with a modern, "Lost" sexy twist to the characters. They described the updated characters "ala Lost." The only thing the shows have in common is that passengers are lost on an unchartered Pacific Island.

You had the bumbling first mate, Gilligan; the overweight dim witted captain; the uber rich couple; the snotty tall fashion model; the naive farm girl; and the professor who could make a coconut radio but not a life raft. There was nothing controversial; it was plain vanilla television comedy.

If you apply the Lost characters to the Gilligan remake, here is possibly what you would get, based upon their Lost resumes:

The Skipper: Locke
Gilligan: Hurley
The Professor: Sayid
The Howells: Penny and Desmond
Ginger: Shannon
Mary Ann: Kate

Somehow, that cross-characterization into the Gilligan world does not seem too interesting, especially if it is still supposed to be a comedy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS


Another site recently pointed out an interesting (continuity) question: Why did the Egyptian hieroglyphics (in Dead is Dead) depict the smoke monster seemingly hundreds of years before we saw it created?

Anubis first appears in the Old Kingdom texts (2886 BC-2181 BC). The Roman Kingdom to Roman Empire spanned from 700 BC to 1453. Many believe that the shipwrecked Claudia, the Roman mother of Jacob and MIB, was probably from the Roman Empire period of 70 BC to 30 BC (which corresponds to the last Pharaoh of Egypt, Cleopatra.)

The real question is then: Why did the Egyptian hieroglyphics (in Dead is Dead) depict the smoke monster seemingly THOUSANDS of years before we saw it created?

In the Season 6 mythology, we were told that the Smoke Monster was created when in Jacob's rage, he threw the dead or dying brother into the light source (against his mother's teaching) and the Smoke Monster emerged from the Source.

However, it is possible that the Smoke Monster had existed before but it was "bottled up" at the source until another human soul came by for it to attach to and leave its underworld prison. The blast door showed the island "security system" as Cerberus, Hell's three headed vicious guard dog. If you believe that the island is a forehell in the afterlife, the concept of pure evil incarnate as the Smoke Monster can be a timeless beast that may have challenged all the island souls since creation, including the ancient Egyptians thousands of years before Jacob and MIB.

It would make sense that an Egyptian underworld god like Anubis would have to deal with an evil entity like the Smoke Monster. For if the Smoke Monster was not Jacob's brother, but an evil spirit that assumed MIB's personality and memories (and added to its own like how to make a FDW), the material was present in the story to make a rich tapestry of character development. But TPTB missed an opportunity to tie together all the diverse plot elements into a final cohesive ending.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

23 OH

WIRED.COM published an article on the release of the $230 Lost: The Complete Collection Blu-ray box set, containing all 121 episodes and extras. The collection’s Season 6 disc includes a 12-minute “New Man in Charge” epilogue featuring Hurley (played Jorge Garcia) and Ben (Michael Emerson).

The collection also features a black stone/white stone Senet game, a replica model of the island; an Ankh bracelet similar to the one worn by Dharma Initiative member Paul and carried by the Tawaret statue, a black-light pen; assorted keepsakes; plus 30 hours of previously released extras and a disc of new bonus material.

The 12 minute epilogue sole purpose has to be to sell Season 6 discs. As a previous rant concluded, if TPTB wanted to answers the mysteries, they should have done so in the finale.

Now, the collection "features" are just as off-base. The whole mystery of the Egyptian culture, temple, religion as symbolized in the Senet game and Ankh bracelets was a non-factor in the climax of the story, and totally brushed a side as any foundational material for the ending. It does sort of back slaps die hard fan researchers who tried to find meaning in the forgotten LOST story lines and touted island features now being put into a box like a cheap, miscellaneous Kracker Jack toy. It just adds to the confusion of what LOST was really about. If the Senet game, Egyptian gods and symbols were so important now, why were they not adequately explained within the show itself?


Monday, August 23, 2010

LO$T BY THE WAYSIDE

Recession? What recession when crazed fans with alleged disposable income bid on LOST auction items. The New York Post reports big dollars . . . like con man Sawyer's briefcase full of dollars . . . was spent on prop and show items.

As the Post stated last weekend's "Lost" auction, props, scripts and clothing from the show went on the block, bringing in a surprising batch of bids. For example $47, 500 was dropped on the Dharma van Hurley saved the day with in the season three finale. A stripped down, rusty clunker from the late 1960s goes for a price of a loaded SUV? That's more than a Barrett-Jackson car auction value. What show value did the van provide? It was first the tangible hope of Hurley to rekindle his broken spirit like fixing cars with his father. It was then the instrument of change from pacifist Hurley turning into killer when he mowed down the armed Others on the beach. Turning point for the series? No, because none of that mattered in the end.

How about a staggering $27, 500 for the Lighthouse Wheel? At least the winning bidder will not have to squint on HD TV photo captures to determine who was really on the wheel and what were the real numbers. But what would anyone use it for? A large dining room table (some assembly required)? Your own fortune telling reading kiosk on the carnival broadway? An SBA loan would be a cheaper alternative. Was the Lighthouse wheel any more important than the Dharma van in the final plot of the story? No.

The Frozen Donkey Wheel that triggered the island to time trip went for $25, 000. This was once one of the great mysteries of the story: how did it work, what was the science behind it, and who made it? We learned in the rushed MIB back story that MIB and his Roman friends created it, how it works, no one knows, and its relevancy to time skips was left unanswered. The FDW could have been the centerpiece of the island explanation, but it was only another plot dead end.

Likewise, the Swan station Hatch Door & Computer went for $16,000 each. The Hatch Door was one of the greatest, time consuming off show research clue machine for die hard fans. Translations, time lines, an early island map - - - all clues to unravel the darkness. The computer that needed attention every 108 minutes or "god help us." Even Faraday's clue rich in science theory Journal with Jughead Details and "Des is my Constant" went for $27,500.

But, the importance of those items we, as fans, placed on them were totally irrelevant to the writers when the story of the island was wrapped up.

Jacob/MiB's black & white rock scale sold for $8,500. Most viewed the whole black and white stone thing as symbolic for good and evil. But in the story conclusion, there were no moral standard for good or evil. So the prop itself symbolizes merely the gray conclusion of the show.

Locke's compass went for $8,000. This is one of the enigma props. It time traveled separate from Locke, as a means of showing Richard the truth. But what truth? That Locke had to become the leader of the Others; but that was not the real John Locke.

Jack's passport sold for $4,750. Now, we all know identity theft can be costly, but Jack Shepard did not appear to be too wealthy for an alleged miracle working neurosurgeon.

Claire's squirrel baby, one of the most disturbing and bizarre props, sold for $2,750! Now, the writers gave the whole Claire alone in the jungle three years after being blown up by Keamy's crew no coverage. It was one of those sink holes in the overall story line of the show. Was Claire dead? Why did she leave Aaron? Then why did she blame others for her own choices? Was she a Flocke zombie? When did she create the squirrel baby? Was she insane? The most disturbing thing about this is what will the winning bidder do with it!! I don't think too many people have jungle manger scenes for the holidays.

A "portion" of the cave ceiling with candidates names went for $650. I don't know what the ceiling was made of (paper mache or plaster), but what would you use name and numbers for, new postal box name tag?

Finally, the Pilot Script signed by JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof sold for $15,000. Well, there was a third guy who created the original pilot script. But if you wanted a copy of the series first show, you could print out a copy of the transcript from lostpedia for a lot less money.

The auction tells us a few things. One, LOST fans are still rabid enough to bid way too much money for show trinkets. Two, ABC and the studio were quick to destroy all remains of the show as quickly as possible; no re-boot, prequel or sequel in the works.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

THINK TANKING

"It’s been a little more than two months since Lost aired its final episode, fittingly entitled The End. Much has been said and written about how the soulful sci-fi drama wrapped things up — or didn’t, depending on your perspective. There were those who loved it, there those who hated it, and there were those who to this day still don’t quite know what to think." - - - Doc Jensen, EW, 8-10-10.

The conundrum. The confusing or difficult question or problem which remains unanswered to any global satisfaction.

Conundrum was first recorded in 16th century literature by Thomas Nashe, who used it as a term of abuse for a crank. It was then later used to denote whim or fancy.

Many lost blogs have closed shop, and many fans have moved on in silence. However, the community still seems to be simmering in a mental crock pot. Maybe they are waiting for the final box set for the final answers. But let's be real: TPTB concluded their series without any final answers.

As Lost's biggest proponent just said, in describing the show:

soulful - - - which denotes spirituality in life and death, even though TPTB claimed the show was not about purgatory or the afterlife, but ended the show there anyway;

sci-fi - - - science fiction is taking known facts and transforming them into realistic future applications, but without some explanation of the mysteries it is not science fiction but red herring diversion;

drama - - - the tension between human beings that results in conflict that is resolved in the end, which is still open to heated debate depending on one's own perspective.

There are fans who to this day still don’t quite know what to think about the show, and as Time lingers on, less and less people will actually Think about it.

There are reports that the special feature in the Lost DVD box was leaked on the net for a few hours. According to a few viewers, the epilogue promises to answer some, but not all, of those lingering questions that the fan base had once the series finale aired back in May.

This will bug some people. TPTB begged for an additional 20 minutes for the finale. They needed it to wrap up the story. Now, there is additional story to answer some "lingering" questions, that were raised in finale?!! If you could not tell your story in the allotted SIX seasons, it adds a measure of insult to the aggravation of disappointed viewers that it will cost them money to buy a DVD that may, or may not, help with the series resolution. That could be considered by some as a form of abuse.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

DOES IT MATTER?

Prying eyes in the LOST garage sale catalog have found MIB's cast chair indicating that the character's name is allegedly SAMUEL.

Another biblical name, for a Hebrew prophet and ruler. In the story, that would make Jacob and Samuel brothers. The oddity is that no one, not even his family members, ever called MIB by his alleged real name.

Man in Black was an attempt to add more mystery to the spirited Smoke Monster. It may go down in LOST lore as another convoluted back story question that will never be truly answered.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

AN AFTERLIFE VIEW

During Season 1, TPTB were adamant that the show was "not about purgatory" when many viewers realized that no one would have survived a mid-air separation plane crash. Purgatory is believed to be a place of moral redemption where souls are purified of evil in order to be saved. Semantics aside, the "afterlife" as depicted in the show may be a place without any moral consequences. Many viewers have concluded that MIB/Flocke was not necessarily good or evil. At the same time, they reflect that there were no adverse consequences for the killings on the island by Sayid, Jack or Kate, as they all wound up in the anteroom to heaven in Eloise's church.

A very simple explanation of the show's big premise is that the characters' souls were on personal quests or adventures missing in their past real lives until they found enough quality in spirit to let go of their regrets and move on. If the characters could create the sideways "reality" in the afterlife, certainly they could have collectively created the island adventure scenarios in another afterlife setting. As Christian explained in the afterlife, there is no concept of time (past, present or future, just "now.") No "real time" line would negate all the paradoxes in the time travel flash issues of the island events. The whole show could be viewed as a series of re-sets or modes in a video game. And as such, a character could "die" multiple times because even though it appears to be real, it is only an afterlife reality.

Let us focus on Jack. Jack came to the realization that he was "dead" dead in the end at Eloise's church. The context of how he "died" was the spliced scenes of Jack dying on the island after resetting the light source. However, Jack was also in Eloise's church in the O6 world which would be also be an afterlife creation. In that context, Jack's death to get to Eloise's church as a member of the O6 would mean he would have "died" either (a) with the helicopter crash landing in the ocean; or (b) if he "survived" that, then he would have at least died with everyone in the 815 crash.

Jin was awakened in the sideways world with Sun. The context of how they "died" was in the submarine explosion. Except, Sun was at Eloise's church in the O6 arc, which makes her demise prior to the submarine drowning, like Jack, either in a helicopter or Flight 815's crash. Concurrently, Jin would have "died" in the freighter explosion making his return to the island also an afterlife experience with those who remained on the island. The premise that the characters are merely spirits or souls in their own construct of an afterlife playground erases all the debates about continuity errors, factual inconsistencies, or unbelievable dead end story lines.

It would appear that in the characters afterlife, the collective memories can be used as powerful mental highways to bridge or bring lost souls back to each other during their personal (mis)adventures in the spirit world. No good, bad, right, wrong, moral, immoral, judgmental or punishment for the choices made by the souls because it is not our world perspective, but the world the souls created for themselves.

Monday, July 5, 2010

THE CHURCH

It took a long time to make an obvious connection. It may put to rest what LOST was all about (or that TPTB just stumbled upon a coincidence that makes pure sense.)

The church. In "The End," Christian specifically told Jack that "this place" was created by all his friends so they could find each again in the afterlife. Christian also told Jack that this special place "they all created" was real, and the things that happened to him was also "real." Everyone takes away from this finale sideways twist that the Lost Souls met up in a form of purgatory, or an anteroom world prior to making the final journey to heaven.

Except, we forgot about the church! Eloise Hawking operated the Lamp Post out of the same sideways world church! As lostpedia describes it "Jack meets Christian in the back of Eloise's Church in Los Angeles. Together, the two join the rest of their friends in journeying on to the white light."

If the church was a sideways world creation by the departed, then one could rationally deduct that the church in the O6, off-island story line (the Lamp Post) was also a sideways world creation, too. And that makes perfect sense, as the nonsensical, inaccurate, hard to believe events in the sideways world (Jin & Sun English awakening) mirror the inaccurate, hard to believe events in the O6 world (Kate's trial errors). None of those events were really "real" in the sense of the character's original life times.

If the location of the church is sideways world in the afterlife, then the characters themselves who interacted in the off-island world were also in the afterlife. And if the O6 left the island to the off-island afterlife, and they did not "die" on the island, then it is logical to assume that the O6 were already dead on the island. Whether they died in the crash or before the boarding of Flight 815, the show takes on reincarnating "course correction" theme that Eloise Hawking talked about with Desmond. People may physically die in their real life, but just don't "die;" they go through a series of spiritual tests of character and redemption in order to move on. (There is strong evidence against certain characters never having a clear redemptive moment in the End; the Sayid story line for example, where he continued to kill because he was a born killer.)

If the church in the sideways story arc is in the afterlife, and the same church is present in the O6 off-island story line, that means that the O6 story arc was also set in the after life. In fact, the odd unnatural abilities of the characters in the off-island world is shown to be purgatory: example, Michael's inability to "kill" himself in NYC because "the island" won't let him. The island is the after life community of lost souls. When Michael's ghost appears to Hurley on the island, he says he is a spirit trapped on the island. In other words, Michael is trapped on the island because he has yet to get to the next level of redemption. It also makes more sense that Hurley and Miles can "speak" to dead people or see ghosts because they are also dead. The island represents the collective subconscious memories of lost souls in the after life seeking some sort of second chance to set the mistakes of their lives in perspective.

One of the quiet underlying themes of the show was "knowledge was power." In this situation, it appears that various levels of knowledge of the character's own demise, and the reluctant "acceptance" of it, is the key to "awakening" in the end.

The sense that the character's memories created the sideways afterlife world is also apparent in the island world, too. Hurley was reading a comic that featured a polar bear - - - and one turned up on the mysterious island. As a child, Locke drew a smoke monster - - - and one turned up on the mysterious island. It was the collective imaginations of the characters that created the Lost Worlds. It would also explain Ben's "magic box" comment when Locke's father, Anthony Cooper, suddenly showed up on the island, claiming he was dead from a car crash.

Look at the constant from both ends of the spectrum: the flashbacks (pre 815) and the sideways world - - - Eloise. In Desmond's back story, she was the one who told Desmond about "course correction" that people cannot change what will occur to them. She also told Desmond that he should not be with Penny. Fans knew that Eloise had special powers and knowledge beyond normal comprehension. In the sideways world, Eloise scolds Desmond not to contact Penny. Why? Because she knows that if Desmond is awakened to his past purgatory cycle with Penny, he would awaken the others, including her son, Daniel and Widmore, which could lead to Daniel leaving her. The whole Eloise story arc could be considered as an after life guardian over-protecting her son for her own selfish purposes (maybe penance for killing him on the island during a time flash.)

It would also give some insight on the inconsistent, paradoxical confusion of the concept of Time during the show. If we parse the show into its main parts (pre 815 flashbacks, 815 crash/ island events, the O6 off island, and the sideways), then the concept that these are all "acts in a death play" makes some sense. A course analogy: each main part is a deal in a poker game; the players (characters) have to deal with the hand they are dealt (missions, events, beatings, etc), and if you go "all in" on a matter and lose, you "die" and have to sit out for the next "deal." Even in Vegas, people shift around from table to table, trying to get a new dealer, or meet some new people. This may be why there were so many undercurrent connections between the passengers before 815 crashed on the island. However, there is a conscious barrier between the hands (cycles) that is only broken upon final "awakening." We may have only seen four or five of these after life "re-sets" or deck shuffles during the show, but not in chronological order.

If you believe that the show was all about lost souls from the very beginning, LOST makes more sense and all of the blatant inconsistencies, dead end story lines, continuity errors, and open ended questions fade away. Dharma, Jacob, the Smoke Monster, time travel and all the other prop story lines were all mere fantasy tools and props from the characters own imaginations and narcissistic view of themselves of how they thought their lives would be if they were not "dead." In the afterlife, their collective memories were used to create situations, interact with strangers, overcome adversity and personal fears, with the goal of individual enlightenment.

The sideways world was created by Jack's friends in the afterlife.
The world they created was "real" in the afterlife.
Eloise's church was in the sideways world.
Jack's friends first went to Eloise's church in the O6 story arc.
That means Jack and the O6 were in Eloise's church in the afterlife.
The O6 arc and the island events were on in the same world.
That means if the O6 were in the afterlife after leaving the island, they could be dead on the island (in the island after life).
This place was Death. What the characters died for was the chance to meet other lost souls in the afterlife for a chance to move on together instead of dying alone.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

RE-WRITE

After the finale, I read many reviews and blogs. I agreed with much of the disappointment about the show not answering dozens of critical questions that had been center pieces of the story since Season 1. I could understand the frustration from some elements of the fandom.

There are a brave few who are on the web trying to "re-write" the show (via fan fiction) to answer their questions. It may be a way to keep the series alive or to buffer the show's real dead ending with something more palatable within each fan's own show theories.

LOST, the show, appears to be more theoretical and than the reality showed in the finale. It is an odd mirror image where the fans invested "more time and research" into the show than the show's own producers.

After the finale, I spend two quiet evenings scratching out the unsolved mysteries, key plot elements and the key character back stories to see if there was a way to tie virtually everything together. In a few hours time, and some encyclopedia research hours, I had created a complete outline that could rationally explain the keys to LOST. I then found it quite disturbing; if I could have scratched this out in two nights, why, over six years, did TPTB not have it done?

So I had the story elements to "re-explain" the LOST world(s). And I was thinking of using this blog site to publish those ideas. But then I decided not to. It was not my place to correct the story that TPTB wanted to show the world. Any brilliance in making the puzzle pieces (concepts and ideas) fit would be better used in my own sci-fi story. And when I mean disjointed pieces, I include The Numbers, Egyptology, symbolic tangible items, the light and darkness, theology, quantum physics, core concepts of humanity, transportation incidents, the periodic chart, Hawking's pendulum construct, life forces and the debate between faith and science. Yes, Virginia, there is a coherent story within those diverse elements.

Friday, June 25, 2010

CONSTRUCTION ZONE

I can see why there is a growing trend in the analysis of the finale that critics find the whole ending badly constructed by the writers. It was like the saw horses were put in the lanes, but the workers were no where to be found to actually fix the roadway. Trying to map out any true cohesive concepts and character lessons in Lost is becoming harder and harder.

In construction, people plan out everything on blueprints and drawings to connect all the pieces to form one solid structure. The same holds true for story telling. If a writer creates a concept, he or she needs to make sure the action explains the concepts in a meaningful fashion. And if one fashions a concrete idea, it needs to be strong enough to hold the weight of criticism.

There was little foundation for the concept of the sideways ending. If the characters "created" the sideways world to "remember the most important thing" in their lives, why would they "forget" the island events in their own sideways world? It is a baffling contradiction.

Well, some would say they had to "remember" or be awakened in the sideways world. Then, if you "forgot" about the place to meet in the after life, then how could you "find" it? To become awakened presupposes that you know where to be at the right time; and the inference is that the sideways world was not the next normal place for souls to go after death.

Plus, if the characters created the sideways world as a fantasy holding tank until everyone else arrived, why did early arrivals make such stupid choices? Example, island dying Juliet's last words were to her love, Sawyer. But in the sideways world, she is Jack's ex-wife. Why is there no carry over of her emotional last moments on her soul into her sideways story line?

The same goes for Kate. In her sideways world view, would she not have at least sought to rekindle the happy moments of living with Jack in the O6 time frame? Especially, since there emotional departure after killing Flocke on the island?!

And why would Jack's sideways story focus on a life and son with Juliet? One could rationally see Jack trying to make things right with his first true love, Sarah, in the sideways gambit. That would make more sense than a cordial divorce with a make-believe son with Juliet. If that is what his subconscious wanted, then why did he immediately move on with Kate?

The whole "love of one's own life" concept is totally destroyed by the Sayid choice. Shannon. Really? Every season Sayid's story centered around Nadia. She was center stage in his sideways story, too. But a two-week island fling with Shannon trumps a life time of yearning? For many, this was the most disappointing aspect of the church reunion resolution.

And there is a real core sadness, too. If Hurley's only love was Libby, whose only true romantic "quality" time was in the make believe sideways world, then Hurley lived a sad and lonely life. Then add to his story the fact that Boone and Locke showed up to the church with no one to share the moment - - - how sad was their lives? Dying in the island time frame was the "best" thing they had??

And how the show treated children was center to some people. Was Aaron's most important time of his life the island? Was he merely a "prop?" Was David just a figment of Jack's daddy-issue imagination. What ever happened to Emma and Zach?!

For the finale was supposed to be all about the characters, "character" was lacking in the end. Did they know it was fantasy land with no consequences? If the sideways world was purgatory, a place where one is to seek redemption, then it was a total failure. Example, Sayid kept killing people, Desmond severely injured people, and Ben kept scheming people. If you compare the island and sideways characters, there was no dramatic change in the personalities, their motivations, their sins. The end did not have a soul cleansing reunion but a mere show cast party.

So what were the BIG changes to the characters in the finale? What were their individual spiritual realignment moments? How were these lost souls found?!

Nothing. They just died at some point. That's all. Nothing changed in their collective behavior, conscious memory, or even in their dream fantasy world. Even though cloaked in religious overtones, there were no rewards for being "good" and no punishment for being "bad." The characters remained essentially the same, like raw materials being fed down a cosmic processing plant.

Monday, June 21, 2010

HOW IT SHOULD HAVE ENDED

Since the finale, the negative reviews seem to be pounding the neutral-to-sweet "nice" ending for the characters reviews. The vile appears to be directly inserted into Season 6's bag of tricks: creating another new "story telling device" (the sideways world) while at the same time allowing all the important island events and mysteries to become meaningless. Some say the producers merely kept throwing "effects" at the audience for five seasons to keep the show alive. The critics howl that the producers had no legitimate story basis or "cause" for any of those "effects." Some have charted the unanswered questions as purely dead ends, throw out to the viewers with no preconceived answers. It is like Eloise, Faraday's lab rat, running a maze of dead ends; the only solution to the vexing story problems was the "sideways exit."

Some harsh critics view the last season and wrap up as the producers being "intellectually dishonest" to the fan base. If you are going to hoist science, science fiction or fantasy elements into a show, you should know the reason why 1 plus 2 equals 3. Otherwise, the even the charge "they are making it up as they go along" would be a sounder position than "they had no clue what they were doing; they were just throwing crazy twists against the wall to see if the viewers stuck to it." Like monkeys in a zoo throwing objects at each other for their own amusement. So, there is some bitterness in a growing number of hard core fans that they feel they were "conned" by TPTB into watching a unique sci-fi show that had no lasting "pay off" explanation.

If the producers and writers wanted to make a meaningful ending, they could have done so if they really wanted to do so . . . they could have tied all the elements into "their" sci-fi world, but in the end they did not even try that route. They decided to keep their story world vague and story line unexplained and confusing in order to not to answer the hundreds of burning questions from the fans.

For some fans, they are now looking for an external answer to disappointing conclusion. The most bitter question is "why?" Why create a new fabrication to end the show (dead limbo sideways purgatory)? Why throw out mysteries and events you had no answers to? Just to be smug? Just to mess with people's minds? Pure laziness?

The funny thing is that if those spiking questions are true, then TPTB could have played their hand better. In reading both sides of the Ending issue, there could be only one way to let the series live on with some vitality. They could have saved themselves the grief of the teeth grinding anger of Season 6 by merely ending the entire series with the Season 5 cliffhanger! Yes, the screaming Juliet fade to white light ending. It would have drawn comparisons to a Sopranos WTF? ending, but at least the fans could still rationally debate what it all means (or could mean). Season 6 flushed all rational debate down the toilet. After another season, we still really don't know if Jughead exploded; whether "it worked," whether the island was another sidecar rest stop in purgatory, whether it was just Jack's redemptive dream or plain shenanigans.

Monday, June 14, 2010

WHAT TO BELIEVE?

For those souls wandering the Internet like lost travelers in a desert, searching for the Answers to LOST, take your time wandering around my miscellaneous ramblings from Season 6.

Since the conclusion of the series, it is becoming more evident that people will believe what they think "should" have happened than what really happened (or apparently happened) on the screen.

For example, in Doc Jensen's last epilogue, he tries to find closure on the Desmond symbolism with a show referenced novel entitled The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien. " Now, the link seems pretty clear, at least to my eyes. The Third Policeman is the story of a nameless narrator who realizes at the end of the story that (1) He is stuck in a constantly repeating cycle of unchangeable history from which he can't escape; and (2) He is actually in hell, for he has been dead for the duration of the tale. The natural application of The Third Policeman to Lost would be as foreshadowing for the Sideways world twist."

It is an attempt to explain the Sideways afterlife as different than the Island real life; but one could take his evidence and conclude that both the Sideways and Island events were in the afterlife.

The critical church scene between Jack and his father actually re-enforces that everything was in the afterlife:

VOICE: Hey, kiddo.
[Jack turns around to see his father standing behind him.]
JACK: Dad?
CHRISTIAN: Hello, Jack.
JACK: I don't understand...you died.
CHRISTIAN: Yeah. Yes I did...
JACK: Then how are you here right now?
CHRISTIAN: How are you here?
JACK: I died too...
[Jack begins to cry as he remembers.]
CHRISTIAN: It's okay...it's okay. It's okay son.
[Christian approaches Jack and they hug each other.]
JACK: I love you, dad.
CHRISTIAN: I love you too, son.
JACK: You...are you real?
CHRISTIAN: I should hope so. Yeah, I'm real. You're real, everything that's ever happened to you is real. All those people in the church...they're real too.
JACK: They're all...they're all dead?
CHRISTIAN: Everyone dies sometime, kiddo. Some of them before you, some...long after you.
JACK: But why are they all here now?
CHRISTIAN: Well there is no "now" here.
JACK: Where are we, dad?
CHRISTIAN: This is the place that you...that you all made together, so that you could find one another. The most...important part of your life, was the time that you spent with these people. That's why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.
JACK: For what?
CHRISTIAN: To remember...and to...let go.
JACK: Kate...she said we were leaving.
CHRISTIAN: Not leaving, no. Moving on.
JACK: Where we going?
CHRISTIAN [smiling]: Let's go find out.

Christian's statements can be taken into the context of his definition of "real." He acknowledges he is dead, but he is "real" to Jack. And "everything that has happened " to Jack "was real." If being dead in the sideways world is "real," then so to can being dead in the Island world also be "real." It follows one notion that life is not a linear composite of birth, living, dying, death, and an afterlife in heaven or hell. It follows the pattern that once a person dies, he is "reborn" in an afterlife existence consisting of many layers, many attempts to redeem their souls, in order to find cosmic enlightenment.

An overall supernatural afterlife structure makes all the dead end island story lines easier to digest. In an afterlife SAT test, candidates often skip over questions they cannot answer. Some who fail, re-take the test until they get a passing score. Whether this one realm of the dead concept works for the average fan is open to debate.

Juliet's dying thought, "it worked," had nothing to do with Jughead exploding (it probably did not detonate). It is more likely she meant that she found an off-ramp on the afterlife highway, a rest stop, where she would wait for the other characters to finish their island tests, so they could move on together in the afterlife. It makes sense that only a dead person (on the island) could "make a place" in the afterlife where all of their souls could meet in the future (now).

Friday, June 4, 2010

POST ISLAND: ART

FINAL REPORT CARD

In less than two weeks, the buzz and reaction from the LOST finale has died down to the last ember in the campfire. The fan blog posters have said their peace and started to sever the ties that bound them for the past six years. The graduation of fan interaction is upon us. Time for the final report card for the show.

LOST was a television show that captured the hearts of minds of its viewers. Some became engaged, some confused, some adamant, some drifted away. The series needs to be judged as a television series as the sum of its parts.

CHARACTERS: There was a diverse group of characters; "good guys," villains, intriguing back stories, with different ideas and agendas. The compound qualities of the character base was much more than an average television series that recycle stereotypical characters. GRADE: A

ACTING: There have been some exceptional performances from Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson, to average fair of Matthew Fox, to some cardboard cut-out acting from some of the other characters. As a result, the overall ensemble performance was above average. GRADE: B

FORMAT: The use of new story telling techniques such as flashbacks, and flash forwards made the show different from average shows. However, the difference to some became an annoyance as the editing tricks were used more to create or maintain mysteries than advancing the main story. GRADE: B-

PACE: The pace of a show is an important component. Did the series "move along" crisply enough to maintain interest? The first season clearly had its legs underneath it as the viewer explored the island along with the survivors. But at times, the story seemed to bog down on back and forth understated missions. In the last season, there were times when the characters merely sat around and waited. With the conclusion of the sideways reveal, some people think most of the island elements were mere unexplained "filler." GRADE: C

STORY LINE: This category must be broken into three sub-parts: plot, climax and conclusion.

a) PLOT: The apparent survival of the plane crash was the hook that got most viewers attention in the pilot episode. Then, the sudden arrival of island mysteries (like the smoke monster) made survival story even more compelling. If you add in the plot twists, con games, and mysteries, the show was layered and complex. It lead to viewers researching elements of the show outside the (TV) box. GRADE: A

b) CLIMAX: Every good story needs to have a defining, heroic, action filled peak for the story to resolve itself and its main character(s) to find what they were looking for. In the beginning, the whole purpose of the characters was "to leave" the island; be rescued. When some did in fact get rescued, the purpose shifted to "going back" to the island. When they returned, the purpose then shifted from leaving the island, to taking sides in a mysterious conflict between Jacob and MIB. The unwinding of the characters appearances into mini-climatic actor show reels turned the build up into a soap opera formatted conclusion. GRADE: C

c) CONCLUSION: Even after a climax, there needs to be a final resolution for the characters. Something that ties all the loose ends together into one coherent package for the viewer. The series finale drew remarks from viewers of being satisfied with the ending, to down right anger-betrayal. Many were disappointed that the island mysteries were not resolved, or that the ending added more questions than answers. Many were okay with the ending but disappointed or underwhelmed by the conclusion of the series. GRADE: C-

PREMISE: The show's premise was hidden from the very beginning. What was the show about? Were the characters in purgatory? Did the plane crash have survivors? What was the Island?! After the show ended, no one can truly answer these basic questions with any 100 percent accuracy. The show producers ended the series in a vague sideways feel-good moment without answering the Island questions. GRADE: INCOMPLETE

If you add up the grades for a cumulative or comprehensive grade for LOST, the final over all Grade would be a B (minus). This means that the show was above average by television viewer standards, but not great. The steady decline in viewership has to be taken into account as well. A complaint that the show filled up on questions with little or inconsistent answers ("they are making up as they go") was never put to rest. It may have been part of the higher expectations, or the massive amount of hype for Season 6, that led to viewer angst, anxiety toward the end. As one TV critic remarked, "it could have been worse."

SIDEWAYS LOOK AT 06

With the reveal that the "sideways" world was something created by the 815ers so they could be together when everyone arrived (awakened) for the next journey in the afterlife, we must ponder one last look at the other flashes. The sideways Season 6 story line was a dream like state, not reality (even though Christian said "everything was real"). This sideways world contained many miraculous, strange or unbelievable medical situations that resolved themselves quickly. In past seasons, we found numerous medical and legal factual errors. Most egregious were the elements of Kate's "trial" in LA after the O6 were rescued.

The resolution of the O6 character's issues mirrors the happy feeling church finale. It was all too good to be true. There were no true consequences for the past bad actions. It was not a reward, but in a way, a child's dream resolution of their problems.

If you take the similarities of the O6 off-island events and the sideways stories, one could conclude that they are one in the same.

When did the O6 turn into the sideways dream world to wait to be awakened?
1. They all could have died when the helicopter crashed in the ocean.
2. They all could have died in the original 815 plane crash. The island was their true purgatory.
3. They could have all died prior to Flight 815. The plane was the symbolic passage to the afterlife.

If one recalls many elements of the island, they are part of the collective memories of the characters. Hurley was reading a comic on the plane that contained polar bears. Polar bears appeared on the island. Locke, as a child, drew a smoke monster picture. The smoke monster appeared on the island.

If you also look at the list of unexplained continuity errors, most could be erased not as factual errors but dream like perceptions of reality if the sideways concept is applied outside of Season 6.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

THE BOMB OR THE DUD

People are still confused on what to take from the enhanced episodes of LOST. Some believe that it is merely "marketing department" annotations and not canon material. Others believe that TPTB have to have some input into the screen crawls otherwise their work could be contaminated with non-canon material. TPTB never denounced any of the enhanced materials. However, ABC admitted that it added the plane crash scenes over the End credits.

Now, the sideways world was subtitled as "what if" time line if Flight 815 never crashed on the island. In the End, we find out that if "what if" was fantasy, then that is correct. The sideways world was a made-up construct from the 815ers collective memories as a place to meet in the afterlife. (Who, what, when, where and how this occurred is a complete mystery.)

Next, the enhanced episodes stated that Juliet died when Jughead, the h-bomb, "went off." This is the apparent "Incident" that changed the course of the island events. If one suspends disbelief that a hydrogen bomb can be detonated by a rock, then how did Juliet not vaporize? How did all of the 815ers survive radiation fall-out and the shock wave? Further, the blast door map said the Incident happened in 1985; not when Juliet hit the device in 1977. If the bomb did go off, then the island world was not "real," but the illusion of reality. No one would have survived. If the bomb did not go off, and the drill hit an EM pocket that caused the sky to turn purple (and time flashed back to 2007), based on past experiences, the 815ers could have survived the jump. But that itself, does not put the island in the real world.

The problem with the island world is that light source and EM was never explained to any degree to determine what exactly is the island. Is the light source and the EM part of the same energy pocket? What is the energy pocket? What causes the EM and its "unique" properties? Why would you need to release the EM build up in the Hatch, but not in the island cave (the heart of the island) near the bamboo grove? And if an atomic bomb did go off, what changed? The sideways "events" were not created by the bomb, but according to Christian, it was made up by memories.

The whole mission to detonate Jughead appears to be a story dead end. It is one of many story line dead ends: why the Egyptian sets? who were the Others? what was Dharma really doing? what was the smoke monster? what was the lighthouse? what were Hanso, Widmore and Paik industries roles in the island? None of these story elements had any true relevance or material implications in the LOST ending of the characters being reunited in the church.

FINAL POLLS

The polls in the right hand column of this blog were closed about halfway through Season 6. It was to gauge the unscientific opinion of new readers. It was an effort to get people bridging the first season with the last one.

Did Flight 815 actually crash in S1E1 (the pilot episode)?
84 percent said yes; 15 percent said no.
After the first half of season one, one would have thought the yes answer would have been 99 percent. This was especially true after the show producers were adamant that the characters were not in purgatory.

But in the end, some are calling the sideways world purgatory (it is better named a waiting room to heaven than a place where people are working out their sins. Or in the hospital setting, a recovery room where characters were "awakened" by their past memories in order to "move on.") But the cross-over between the characters in the sideways world and the island world could mean that the worlds are connected in a single, spiritual realm where the sideways world is a repressed consciousness while the island is the conscious effort for redemption.

Did the plane crash? At the very least, there is the perception that a plane crashed and that certain souls survived it.

If Flight 815 crashed, where are the survivors?

Alive, on Earth: 30 percent
Alive, in a different realm: 30 percent
In limbo, purgatory: 30 percent
Dead, in the underworld: 7 percent

This may have been the most interesting aspect of the LOST Season 6 mid-point. Where the characters were was open to wide interpretation. In the end, the characters are "dead" in some afterlife realm, 37 percent would have been partially correct. If you believed the characters at some point were in a different realm, 67 percent would be partially correct. If you believed the characters were alive (especially on the island), 60 percent thought that was true. If you try to make a consensus out of these close opinions, it would seem that people believed the characters were "alive" but in a "different realm."

Then, if you factor in what Christian said, that everything Jack experienced was "real" including the sideways world, one could conclude that the show's unspoken definition of life and death does not have a normal definition. It could mean that the "reality" of human existence spans both being alive, being dead, then being "reborn."

Based on your (mid-season) expectations, how do you think LOST will end?

Great: 19 percent
Satisfactory: 28 percent
Underwhelming: 38 percent
Badly: 14 percent

Based on the reviews, comments and posts throughout the Internet, I think the vast majority of viewers found themselves in the Satisfactory or Underwhelming range. Many were satisfied with the sideways ending giving some happy-ending final resolution to the characters. But at the same time, there was major disappointment in the lack of answers to the island mysteries. Those who were satisfied with the ending have accepted the producer's premise that the show was not about answers but about the journey of the characters. In rebuttal, those underwhelmed (and the few really angry viewers) felt that if the writers were making a complex, layered storyline of events, mysteries and Easter egg clues, that they should have answered the questioned they posed to the viewers. Some felt conned or cheated in the end. Anyone can criticize the material presented to them; if this is how TPTB wanted to end their story, that is fine. But as some commentators said, "it could have been worse," or more to the point, "it could have been better."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

PERCEPTION PERCENTAGES

I was told that some one who watched LOST broke down the show as follows:

75% walking through the jungle;
5% of the time on off-island scenes;
5% of the time "waiting" for something to happen;
15% of the time something "happens."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

S6E17 (ALMOST) MIRROR IMAGE

I thought I had a Revelation about the End. Jack was wearing the same dark blue suit on the original S1E1 episode in the bamboo forest and during the church scene. If he was wearing the exact same suit and tie, that would have made for a very interesting speculative mind melt.

But, he was not. He was clearly wearing a different tie. If he had been wearing the exact same clothes, then one could reference that as the connection between the island and the sideways solution. Since he was not wearing the same clothes, one could reference that fact as stating that the island and sideways worlds were separate.

S6E17 WHAT CHRISTIAN SAID

It was not what Christian said to Jack, but how he said it that continues to cause problems in understanding the whole show construct.

In the church, Christian tells Jack that everything that he went through was real. But he also says that Jack is real, he is real, and the sideways world is real. Everything is real.

But we know that is not logically true because we were told that the sideways world was made up by the castaways as a place to meet in order to move on in the afterlife. The sideways world was not a "what if" Flight 815 never crashed; it was a holding pen for souls until Jack was ready to join them in an "awakening."

Everyone in the church was dead. Everyone in the sideways world was dead. Dead is dead.
But Christian called those sideways experiences "real." If dead is real, and the island was real, then one can argue that the island was also "dead." The island was a Dead Reality just like in the sideways world.

If the island was a level of the afterlife (the cast was dead or died in the plane crash), all of the legal-medical-science inconsistencies in the past story lines become immaterial because the island itself was a purgatory test of each person to redeem themselves. The sideways world was not a purgatory setting as the characters mirrored their bad behavior without any consequences (like in a dream state).

Friday, May 28, 2010

S6E17 QUOTATION

"At the innermost core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one's lost self." --- Brendan Francis

As I have stated previously, the characters in LOST all were deeply lonely individuals.

Jack is an example of the disjointed loneliness. As his consciousness dies in the bamboo thicket, his subconscious is entering the back door of the church, to be joined back into one self (soul).

S6E17 LIGHT CAVE LESSON

What were the series creators trying to tell us in their story? What were the lessons we were supposed to glean from their tale?

The light cave where Desmond pulled out the stone stopper, and where Jack replaced it was the heart of the island. This cave is the center of the LOST mythology and end game.

When the stopper was pulled out, the light source was turned off; evil was released (island began to have earthquakes); and the supernatural turned natural (Flocke into human form).

Likewise, when the stopper plugged the hole, the light source was turned back on; evil was trapped; so did the natural turn into supernatural(?)

The light was explained as being in everyone (is is "life, death, and rebirth.") The writers are referring to a universal soul concept, where everyone is connected by one giant life force.

However, we know from experience that darkness, evil is also in everyone. So why was there a need for a stone stopper on the island to keep evil at bay?

Once the evil was released, it appears to "consume" all the light (soul). It would turn everyone evil. As Flocke complained, it would take away "humanity."

So the lesson is that humanity is the balance between light and dark.