Wednesday, April 28, 2010
From this episode, we can glean seven golden island rules:
Rule #1: No one comes to the island without Jacob’s permission.
Rule #2: MIB is trapped on the island because Jacob won’t let him leave. MIB cannot leave if Jacob (or his successor) is alive.
Rule #3: MIB cannot leave the island even by killing Jacob because someone will take his place.
Rule #4: Jacob can grant eternal life (with his touch to Richard), but he cannot give resurrect dead people or absolve people of their sins.
Rule #5: MIB believes that it is in all human nature to be bad, to sin, to corrupt or destroy, and Jacob brings people to the island to “prove him wrong.” All prior people brought to the island to prove MIB wrong are dead.
Rule #6: The island is a gate or cap that stops evil, malevolence from spreading (to somewhere?)
Rule #7: Jacob does not intervene or interfere with people brought to the island (even though MIB can), so he appoints Richard to be his intermediary, to act on his behalf.
MIB calls this place Hell, and tells Richard that Jacob is the devil. In order to escape Hell, one must kill the devil. Richard's attempt to kill Jacob was MIB's first attempt to kill Jacob. We can infer that MIB cannot directly "kill" Jacob. He needs to act through some one else.
Jacob denies that he is the devil or this place is Hell. He nearly drowns Richard in order to prove that Richard is "still alive." Richard's fear of going to hell for eternity for his crime of murder is absolved by Jacob's touch, the grant of eternal life on the island (which is a similar "deal" he made with Dogen.)
Jacob and MIB give Richard conflicting information about themselves and the nature of the island. There is no critical reference point to judge the credibility of either Jacob or MIB.
The relationship between Jacob and MIB is telling: they act like co-workers at a postal sorting station. Jacob is the supervisor and MIB is his subordinate. MIB has grown tired of his job, and wants to leave, but Jacob won’t let him quit or go home because there is still work to be done. They have the mannerisms and inside jokes of long time colleagues. It is clear that they are not human beings. They are supernatural beings who have been on the island for an extremely long time (from the beginning of time?) The enhanced version of the episode used the word "form" to describe Richard's visions. A manifestation, a version of something or someone, a ghost or spirit. MIB freely admits that he is the smoke monster. MIB states the vision of Isabella was taken by Jacob (the Devil). He also states that Jacob is not the smoke monster who killed the Black Rock crew, but that he was. (If MIB is correct, then there appears to be two different shape shifting entities on the island. If MIB is conning Richard by deception, then it would appear that MIB can form multiple manifestations at the same time, i.e. Isabella and the smoke monster.)
It may not make any great difference in the end. Since the dramatic opening plane crash, we have led to believe that our main characters are "survivors," human beings who are thrown into a chaotic survival story, with dangers and mysteries to solve in order to get back to their true lives. We have been so caught up on what is real, believable or true, that eyes have been glazed over by the possibility that everything we have seen is not real.
The Black Rock was lost at sea in 1845.
But in Ab Aeterno, it is setting sail for the New World in 1867. Or is it, Jack Sparrow?
In 1867, the Black Rock could have been a ghost ship, a means to ferry "lost souls" to the island by Jacob.
All ships/craft come to island are lost/ghost ships. Everything is an illusion to prove a point between Jacob and MIB about human nature.
Souls that arrive on the island are meant to believe that they are still "alive." Richard sees other captive slaves being "killed" by the first mate after the ship has been impossibly tossed more than 20 stories through a carved stone statue to rest in the middle of the jungle. Jacob makes Richard "believe" that he is alive by nearly drowning him in the surf. The same is true with the Flight 815 survivors, they see a scene of carnage on the beach, and a man getting "killed" by being sucked into a crashed, but running airplane engine. Horror, fear and chaos are motivators to create strong illusions.
The episode was also cast in clues about the nature of the show.
Isabella died of TB, but Richard's quest for a cure was a mere illusion. There was no cure for TB in 1867. The medicine was a hoax and the doctor was conning Richard for his money. The evil art of the con, misdirection and manipulation are key themes to LOST.
In the enhanced subtitles, it is stated Richard never had chance to bury Isabella. His burial of her cross necklace was symbolic for her burial. One could infer that Richard never had his trial for murder, that he could have been killed by angry mob chasing him from the doctor's residence to his home. Also, the scene in the prison is suspect for reality. A priest will not absolve a sin of murder at the same time that he is committing his own immorality in selling a prisoner into slavery. (Besides, the priest would not be the one to release a prisoner set for execution). This sets into Richard's mind the false salvation as "living" as a slave.
The men in the Black Rock cargo hold miraculously "survive" a wooden ship being raised and thrown from a height of more than 20 stories onto its keel (where they were chained to the rafters). They "awaken" with the thought of themselves being alive.
Ship officer Jonas Whitfield elects to kill the "surviving prisoners," fearing that if they lived, they would turn on their captors. He was about to kill Richard when the Smoke Monster (MIB) appears and attacks the ship, killing the remaining crew but leaving Richard in chains. We are told that five days pass, when Richard sees an apparition of his dead wife, Isabella. We are told that this is not Isabella. Hearing the return of the smoke monster, Richard tells her to run, helplessly listening to her screams as she was "seemingly attacked" upon going above deck by the smoke monster. On the sixth day, Richard is "awakened" by the smoke monster who has taken the "form" of MIB. Richard has had no water or food for six (6) days. In normal circumstances, a human being could not reasonably survive 6 days without food or water in tropical conditions and if the person was not top physical condition.
The focus on the butterfly traveling through the cargo hold is another important clue. The butterfly is symbolic of souls in a journey to the afterlife. What we are seeing in the first meeting of MIB and Richard is not the last survivor of the Black Rock being rescued, but the next person to be tested by the supernatural beings in the experiment about the corrupt ability of human nature.
When MIB comes to Richard and gives him water and says he is a a friend, this is a lie. He has started to weave his arc of corruption of Richard's heart and mind. He confirms Richard's assertion that they are in Hell to instill the "fear" that he can use to "control" Richard's actions. When Richard asks about Isabella, MIB says that "he has her," implying that she was captured by the Devil (Jacob). MIB explains that Isabella was not running from the black smoke (him) but from the Devil. He adds that he saw the Devil take Isabella but couldn't stop him, which we can assume is a lie in order to gain Richard's trust. Richard begs to be freed so he can save her and MIB says he will help, as he also wants to be free, so he has a "deal" to make with Richard. He will free Richard, if Richard will murder the Devil. Richard is confused because he was sent to Hell because of murder, and another murder would not set him free; but MIB waves that off as mere word play. MIB plays to Richard's known weakness to generate the bargain: freedom in exchange for murder. Thereby, MIB proves the point that human nature is weak and corruptible.
Richard sets off to murder Jacob to gain his freedom from Hell. But Jacob disarms him in a fight, and convinces Richard that he is not the Devil, the person he saw was not Isabella, that he was not dead, and the island is not Hell. Now, Jacob weaves his own illusions upon Richard's scarred psyche:
Jacob says that he has brought everyone, including the Black Rock to the island. Jacob uses a bottle of wine as a metaphor for the island. The wine inside the bottle is evil, malevolence; the bottle (universe or realm of existence) is containing it because otherwise "it would spread" to some unknown place. Jacob states that the cork represents the island, holding the darkness where it belongs. All the people Jacob has brought to the island in the past "are all now dead." Nothing Jacob says to Richard confirms that the island is an actual place on planet Earth. It is used to manipulate Richard's mind into buying into the premise that the island is an important place.
Jacob says he wants people to know the difference between right and wrong without being told what to do. He is betting on the inherit "goodness" of humanity to will out over "evil" tendencies or base instincts of human nature. Jacob says that MIB believes the opposite: everyone can be corrupted because it is in their nature to be bad.
And here is the never ending experiment that Jacob and MIB have been conducting from the beginning of time: what is the true nature of humanity? Jacob's theory about the true nature of humanity has never come to pass because everyone that has been brought to the island has failed, by either corrupting, destroying, killing . . . which angers MIB, but which Jacob casts off as "progress." When they talk about "it only ends once," it means Jacob only needs to find one incorruptible soul to prove humanity has a chance of redemption.
Richard is given a second "deal," this one from Jacob. He will stand by his principles and will not interfere with human behavior and events on the island, but he says Richard can be his "representative" who can step in on his behalf. When Richard says that in return he wants his wife back; Jacob admits he cannot do this. Richard then asks to be absolved of his sins, so that he will not go to Hell. Jacob says he cannot do that either. It shows that Jacob is not a god over humans. He is not part of their rituals of death. He has no power to forgive mortal sins. Richard then asks to be granted eternal life, and to never die. Jacob says that he can do this, and touches Richard on the shoulder, sealing Richard's fate as island advisor forever.
It is stated that this was the first attempt by MIB to "kill" Jacob in order to leave the confines of the island. After Richard returns, MIB is aware that he failed. Richard gives him a white stone from Jacob. Later, when Jacob meets MIB he asks about the gift of the stone, MIB tersely tells Jacob not to gloat. MIB admits that he did send Richard to kill Jacob because he wants to leave the island. MIB asks Jacob to let him go. Jacob tells MIB that, "as long as he is alive, that won't happen." MIB responds that is why he will kill Jacob. Jacob responds that someone will replace him, to which MIB says that he'll "just kill them too."
One of the definitions of the word "kill" is to put an end to or cause the failure or defeat of something, such as stopping the experiment, switching off a computer or a process. I believe that the terminology of "killing" someone in the island realm as not physically killing human beings, but ending their mind-soul involvement in the Jacob-MIB human behavior study.
The term "mind-soul" represents two similar possibilities that could be used as the foundation of the story mythology. Jacob may be bringing the "minds" of people to the island, re-creating their forms and mental processes, and allow their avatars to draw on their memories to interact with others to determine their true natures. In the alternative, Jacob could be hijacking "souls" of departed humans to test his theory of human nature in a purgatory type setting. In either situation, we are not dealing with real human beings in a real human world situation. It is similar to the super-intelligent alien beings experimenting with human behavior in the Star Trek pilot, where mind manipulation made illusions reality.
If Jacob and MIB are alien scientists drawn to human research, it would make sense to use the minds or souls of the mentally ill, or criminals, the "lost souls" in society, that would not be easily missed in their own time lines, to be made captives in the island experimental realm.
And what would be the ultimate "pay-off" of this long human experiment? Something many people have dreamed about for a long time: first contact with intelligent life outside our planet, and answers to humanity's big questions.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Some random comments:
"Season 6 makes me sad."
"I don't understand what its about anymore."
"This season really annoys me."
"Past seasons moved along slowly developing the story, scene by scene. This season, it seems scenes are thrown together."
"Why is the story now so twisted with parallel time lines and alt universes?"
"There is no overall cohesion in Season 6. The story line is all over the map."
"I think we are heading to the characters having farfetched endings to their stories."
"I don't know if the writers will wrap things up that will actually make sense."
"This season has dragged on, and the explanations of the mysteries so far have been disappointing."
"I think the writers are going to wrap things up as uneventful as possible, leaving the viewers to come up with their own explanations."
"There’s many other names for it too: malevolence, evil, darkness. And here it is, swirling around in the bottle, unable to get out because if it did, it would spread. The cork is this island and it’s the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs."
Good and evil coexist on the planet. Human beings can be extremely kind (sacrificing) and extremely cruel (destructive). Temptation and sin is common place. So it is not like the "forces" of evil are not already present in our character's world.
Malevolence is the wish to do evil upon others.
Evil is the attempt to harm others (with immorality) as embodied or associated with devil.
Darkness is wickedness, distress, gloom with the lack of spiritual or intellectual enlightenment.
Why the island is the great gate between our world and projected dark chaos is the number one mystery to be explained by the ending.
Monday, April 26, 2010
"Lost is a show full of mystery, but I don't think finding "the answers" has ever been the point."
If Lost was merely a multi-layered mystery upon mystery, a journey for just for the sake of throwing mysteries against the wall to see what's sticks, and that the journey alone is enough to satisfy viewers, what a fade to black disappointing end to the series. Depressing. A good mystery story has a beginning, mysteries, clues for the viewer to analyze, character motivations, a mid-point where all the issues are concentrated, then the rest of the story to unwind, discount, or test the theories leading to the climatic ending of solving the mystery or mysteries.
If Lost's creators believe the ride is more important than the substance, they are mistaken. If the show is like a roller coaster thrill ride, we have been strapped in for a long 6 year ride of loops, twists and turns, only to find that there is no track at the end of it! Yes, "it only ends once," said MIB (hopefully in a deeper, different context).
There is much debate on the partial "rules" given by Jacob or MIB to our castaways.
For example, Flocke says he cannot get over water as the smoke monster. He needs a body and boat to leave the island.
But then, some speculate that MIB was Christian both on the island (that's what Flocke said to Jack) and off-island (not confirmed.)
With the symmetry of show story scenes popping up constantly in Season 6, maybe some of the disconnected minor details can answer some of the speculation, or add some circumstantial evidence to the discussion.
Flocke told us that Jacob had stolen his body, "his humanity," and that wanted to kill Jacob for a long time (1867 beach scene). When Jacob "stole" MIB's body is unknown, but it is probably before 1867 death threat. So if MIB was the "original Jacob," then who is really the current Jacob?! And the current Jacob took MIB's body, did he not also gain access to all his memories, thoughts, logic just as MIB has a Flocke with Locke's mind and memories? Does that also mean that MIB's form was really a predecessor of taking Locke's form?
If MIB-Smokey can shape shift into various forms (Yemi, Christian, Locke), why could it shape into the form of Jacob, a body he was once quite familiar with - - - so that leaves open the question of which entity was the "off-island" Jacob.
MIB cursed the amount of time and effort he had to go through in order to get Ben to "kill" Jacob in the statue. Now, did MIB really mean just the psychological stress he put on Ben from early childhood, to the purge, to leadership of the Others, to his abandonment by Jacob after blindly following him? If MIB could not leave the island, then Ben would be his only long term pawn.
MIB also indicted that he needed a "body" in order to form his human appearance. He said he used Christian's on the island. He also used Locke's (but not the actual body). So, the question remains "how" does MIB use a dead body and why a body is needed in the first place. But it does put a spin on Locke's FDW moment. It was ghost Christian who told Locke he had to turn the FDW on his own. He also said not to trust Ben, but go see Eloise Hawking about returning to the island. Christian also told Locke that he had to die (sacrifice himself). When Locke turned the wheel, he foomed from the island, but apparently ghost Christian did not. If MIB was using Christian's body to make the arrangements, why would he need a dead Locke to return to the island? Or take Locke's form when Ben knows he is not really Locke?
Maybe it has something to do with an unspoken "rule."
The only connection between Jacob's killing and MIB's taking over Locke's body is Ben. Ben is the one who killed Locke in the hotel room. It was Hawking that said they "all" had to go back to the island, including dead Locke. (And ghost Christian told Locke about Hawking, a person he never met.) It infers that MIB-Christian was allied with Hawking-Widmore in getting Locke back to the island. Once back on the island, Flocke convinced Ben to kill Jacob. Now, Jacob apparently bled out in human form from the knife wound, but when Sayid attempted the same on Flocke, nothing happened. If Jacob had "taken" MIB's original human body, is this why there is a difference?
It still does not answer the reason why MIB had to take Locke's form instead of remaining as ghost Christian. Especially, if the end game deals with manipulating Jack. It is a footnote that Jack never resolved his differences with either his father or Locke during their lifetimes.
But if the Lost saga ends with the end of the Jacob-MIB conflict, is there any meaning to the fact that Ben killed both Jacob and Locke? In order for MIB to leave, the same person had to "kill" both Jacob and Locke? The smoke monster once tried to drag Locke underground until Jack saved him. And there is some rule that candidates, like Locke, were not supposed to be killed by MIB.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I know that any past speculation on my part will probably be wrong, which is fine, but I do want the Big Premise revealed and these questions answered by the end of the show:
Who is in charge? I mean "really" in charge, the one with the final say. The power behind the throne. The man behind the curtain reveal whether it be Satan, God, a character or someone else who clearly says who and what he is.
What is the island? The island has been described as its own character. What exactly is its manifestations, powers and goals?
Where are the main characters going (final fates) One would hope that the final fates of the entire cast is not merely that of final red shirts in a cosmic game of tug-of-war between two supernatural titans.
Why were the main characters really brought to the island? Random coincidence will not be a good explanation of why so many desperate individuals were placed on Flight 815 for it to crash on the island. There should be a rational explanation for why the characters were "needed" in order to resolve the global story line.
How did the supernatural events (such as the disappearing island) happen? Because so much science and scientific theory has been debated, discussed, analyzed and wrestled with, we are entitled to a real clear explanation of the supernatural events and the mechanics of them (including what is the smoke monster, what is it made of, what controls it, and what is its true purpose.)
O: Obnoxious - - - many of the sideways scenes were so contrived to be unbelievable, even in a fictional drama series.
S: Story line - - - it seems that the story is stalling, like grinding gears in an old car trying to get it to move in first gear. We have seen several episodes now that some describe as "moving the pieces around" before the action begins; less reshuffling the deck and more action is needed.
T: Time line - - - sideways Desmond is acting like island time line Jacob in trying to get characters to cross over between time lines. How one independent time line reality can influence the other is still a nagging question.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I thought Tina Fey (Zoe's) surprise exchange in Flocke's jungle camp senseless. You don't go into camp against a smoke monster who cannot be killed by conventional weapons. The ultimatum from Widmore to give back (Desmond) what Flocke took was at best a hollow threat.
Then, upon further reflection, I think it was not an ultimatum. It was a message that Widmore was ready to proceed with the end game. Widmore and Flocke are not the combatants, but more like allies. And when I mean end game, the final "home" points of a backgammon board, which each player trying to win by "taking pieces off" the board. Widmore's beach rocket launch wiped out a handful of red shirt Others. I think Tina and her boys are next. Then it just whittles down to our characters killing each other off.
The whole purpose of backgammon is to move your pieces from your enemies territory, safely around the board, to your "home" and then roll the dice and eliminate as quickly as possible your own pieces in order to declare victory. Locke explained the principles to Walt in Season 1, saying it was an ancient game, with black and white pieces (which we believe now represent good and evil). But in all things LOST, black and white could just mean gray.
If you land (or "claim") an unprotected opponent's piece, you can send that piece to the rail so it has to go back to the beginning to take the long, dangerous journey home. Flocke "claimed" Jack at the end of the episode, and Jack is literally back to square one on any attempt of getting off the island.
However, none of this metaphorical movement of characters (pieces) explains the incongruity of the sideways story arc.
People have picked up on the season picking up past scenes and recycling them with different characters, like Jack jumping off the boat to return to the island instead of leaving like Sawyer jumping from the helicopter when the O6 left the island sphere. Either there is a creative dry well, or the plan was to fold the show back on top of itself in a loop back to the beginning. For what purpose? No idea.
Continuity errors and unbelievable contrived scenes are probably the most frustrating part of this season for viewers. There is a level of anxiety that the show is ending turning into anger on how the show is ending. For long time fans, the feeling is we deserve better; better explanations, better action; and better consistent resolutions of the mysteries of the show. It may get to the point where we feel that we are airline passengers held on the tarmac for 6 hours waiting for an airport gate.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
1. Adam and Eve. Identity still unknown, but this season Hurley speculated that they could be one of them, who time traveled back to the island. Upon initial discovery by Jack, he found the black and white stones, which again have popped up on Flocke's scale in the ocean view cave.
2. The Black Rock. We now know that the ship was brought to the island in 1867, and Richard was on board as a slave. Once it was tidal waved to the center of the island by Jacob, the MIB told him that he was in hell and he had to kill the devil (Jacob). The Black Rock's biggest contribution so far is an unlimited supply of unstable dynamite.
3. The Blast Door map. (See below for translated image and discussion). The events stated in the map diagram have been basically unconfirmed, except that Hanso, the captain of the Black Rock, died on the island on his ship. There are several references to other stations, abandoned places, a 1985 unknown incident, and scrawls of a trapped mind about the disease, dragons, and hell.
4. Candidates. We have been told that Jacob continually brought candidates to the island, allegedly to replace himself. MIB has grown disgusted by humans coming to the island. We know who the candidates are, but we do not know for certain what the purpose of the candidates will be to conclude the story. Flocke is in need of gathering all the candidates together, in his words, so they could leave the island.
5. Dharma. We only know very little about Dharma. Only the remains and flash backs of the island time of Horace. We know that Dharma brought recruits to the island so that they could scientifically study the island's unique properties. But once the Others turned against them, Dharma was purged - - - wiped out - - - and Ben took over the stations and compounds. Ironically, Ben also recruited people to come to the island to do scientific work, like Juliet and the infertility problem.
6. The Discharge. When Desmond turned the Hatch fail safe key, the sky turned purple, the hatch door exploded all the way to the beach, and the station was left deep down inside an implosion crater. No scientific or sci-fi explanation has been made of what actually was the discharge (except vague reference to the EM), or why or how humans such as Desmond could have survived the blast.
7. Flight 815. We believe Flight 815 crashed on the island because Desmond failed to input the Numbers in the computer in a timely manner. This caused the EM to pull a part the plane, causing it to crash on the island. There is a parallel Flight 815 which landed safely in the sideways world. How or why the manifests of the flights are the same or different is unknown.
8. Hanso Foundation. The relationship of Hanso and the island dynamics-politics-power struggles has been merely glossed over as a footnote. We know Capt. Hanso died in 1867. However, we have no idea who created the foundation, and what its role is on the island.
9. Healing properties. The island healed Rose of her cancer, and John Locke of his paralyzed condition. No true explanation of how that happened has been said to date, but speculation runs the course that the EM is the source of the healing properties, the "sickness" may affect people differently, or that everyone was healed because they are "dead" and the island is the after life.
10. Hieroglyphics. We spent a great deal of time translating the hieroglyphs in order to find hidden clues. It is clear that the ancient Egyptian belief in the after life was represented on the island and in the temple. Dharma apparently believed some of that ancient religion because they wore Ankh, a symbol for life or eternity. But it is unclear whether the Egyptian decor and beliefs are mere relics from the island past or have any meaning in the present time line.
11. The Island. The island remains the biggest character and mystery. It is a character because people have referenced it as a person; "the island is not done with you" as spoken to Michael in NY when he tried to commit suicide. Ben snarked that the island will get them all in the end. The island has been seen to have supernatural properties, such as being able to move, disappear, hard to locate; and it has been described as "hell" by Richard.
12. Christian Shepard. His ghost image on the island was the first peek at future ghost interactions for the islanders. He was the original focal point of the "daddy issues" story that seemed to envelop most of the 815 characters back stories. Christian is still an enigma; is he truly a ghost spirit of himself, or is he a manipulation by either Jacob or MIB to get Jack to behave in a certain way. Christian has been seen by other characters not in the presence of Jack which led many to believe Christian had a greater role in the island chain of events. But as Season 6 winds down, Christian's presence is lost. Instead, we have the emergence of Flocke, and the unknown children who taunt Flocke as he gathers the candidates.
13. Jacob. We know Jacob has been on the island for a long time. We know he has a tenuous relationship with MIB, so much so that MIB convinced Ben to "murder" Jacob in the statue. But after being "killed," ghost Jacob has been moving around the island, speaking mostly to Hurley. He used a lighthouse to spy on the candidates lives, which freaked Jack out. The Others were Jacob's followers, and in Room 23 brainwashing video, there was a slide that said "GOD LOVES YOU AS HE LOVED JACOB." It is interesting to note that the viewer is told God loves them in the present tense, but in the past tense in reference to Jacob. Some speculate that Jacob may be a fallen angel, once favored by God but cast away for sins like Lucifier. For a character who was unseen for the first five seasons, Jacob now commands center stage in unraveling the island mysteries.
14. The Man in Black. We learned that the MIB has been on the island a long time with Jacob. We also learned that the MIB is the smoke monster, who has the ability to shape shift into the form of dead people (such as Locke). MIB stated that he was once human, and that Jacob had taken away his body, his humanity. MIB's stated goal is to take all the candidates in order to leave the island that has trapped him to "go home." MIB has little remorse for killing people who stand in the way of his goals.
15. Kate's Horse. This was one of the early projections, hallucinations or odd sights in the show. Why Kate conjured up her memory, or whether some one took her memory to give her a clue, is unknown. Other characters have had run ins with their dead parents, like Ben, Jack and Locke.
16. Lists. Apparently, Jacob was keen on making lists. That habit was passed down to Ben who liked to get list of people. The major list was that of the candidates, apparently more than 300 mentioned on the lighthouse dial.
17. Lock down Incident. There is little clarity on what the lock down incident meant during the time of Dharma or during the rule of the Others after the purge. It is suggested that Kelvin and Radinsky used the lock down protocol in order to trigger a Dharma food drop, in itself, a strange event that is difficult to explain if the island was hidden.
18. The Numbers. The Numbers were the most repetitive mystery, weaved throughout the character stories and island sets. The Numbers had to put into a computer every 108 minutes or some one would escape a place of death (according to the hieroglyph alarm). The Numbers were believed to be cursed by Hurley. Some speculated that the Numbers were part of the variables to the equation that determined the end of the world. This season, we learned the Numbers apparently only meant to designate the names of Jacob's remaining candidates.
19. Orientation films. The Dharma videos narrated by Dr. Chang, using different aliases, vaguely inferred that each Dharma station was segregated from the main barracks, each with its own specific purpose and protocols. No one has been given a complete explanation of the work(s) being done by Dharma on the island. The entire Dharma purpose has been eliminated from current island events.
20. The Others. They were called the native "hostiles," by the Dharma group, who had an uneasy truce with them until Ben helped the Others purge the science community in 1992. The Others had been on the island for at least fifty years from the fooming 815ers in the Jughead bomb episode. It appeared that they were nomadic or tribal. It was learned that they were followers of Jacob (during Ben's time), but unclear if they had any history with the temple or its beliefs. It is inferred that the Others may have been the survivors of past Jacob recruits, and the leadership of Ben bringing his people to the island to maintain control and order.
21. Pillar of Smoke. It was never clearly explained, but Rousseau deemed it a sign that the Others were ready to attack . . . when they stole Alex and then Aaron. It was never really connected to the smoke monster, whose entrances have been marked by mechanical sounds.
22. The Sickness. The disease that Rousseau mentioned, and which Desmond, Claire and the Others were vaccinated for has never been explained fully. The sickness was seen after Rousseau's crew was taken under the temple wall by Smokey, and then returned to camp with the intent to murder Rousseau. Desmond was told to take the vaccine, until he saw Kelvin's hazard suit had rips in it . . . meaning that the claim was false. Juliet told Claire that she needed to be vaccinated in order to save her baby, because she said all babies and their mothers died on the island prior to child birth (which was not true because Ethan was born on the island).
23. The Statue. The four toed statue was confirmed to be that of Tawaret, an ancient Egyptian goddess of evil and fertility, who protected souls through their journey through the after life. The destruction of the statue was confirmed in the Black Rock story, where a tidal wave crashed the ship over the statue.
24. Supply drop. As mentioned above, how and why there were supply drops on the island (by parachute) when boats could not find the island remains a nagging mystery. Also, why the drops continued after the Dharma purge. Note: viewers have not seen a supply drop since the Hatch exploded.
25. Time Travel. Early on, TPTB stated that the show was not about time travel. As the seasons wore on, it was clear that the characters did physically time travel from 2004 to 1954, to 1860s, to 1977, and then to 2007. The mechanisms and sci-fi mythology of what kind of time travel is in LOST has not been explained, and as such leads to rampant speculation of paradoxes, parallel universes, multiverses or some other explanation not related to time travel (mind control, hallucinations, mental instability, reality perceptions).
26. Temporal displacement. Before the concept of full time travel hit the show, we saw Desmond has mind "flashes" which were explained that his conscious was time traveling to another time frame. In order to avoid nose bleeds and brain death, Faraday said that a person has to have a constant in both time frames. (However, everyone subject to these events had constants, including family, colleagues and co-workers but they met with their demise while Desmond did not). Why there was a difference between mind travel and full physical time travel remains unexplained at present.
27. The Temple. The Others considered the Temple to be the safest place on the island. It was an Egyptian temple with scripts toward the sun god, Ra, and the after life. The Others sought refuge in the Temple from MIB-Smokey, which is strange since Smokey actually lived under the Temple walls. The Temple housed Dogen, the mystic master, who said that he had made a deal with Jacob to save his son from death from an accident he caused, but he was bonded to the island service and could never see his family again. Many believe that Jacob made cruel bargains with lost souls like Dogen or Richard in their time of grief. Some called it deals "with the devil." The temple served as the stage for MIB-Flocke's smoke monster rampage which killed the Others who decided not to follow him.
28. Whispers. The jungle whispers were always a cause of concern; they usually were followed by bad events, such as the Others showing up with guns. This season, we learned from ghost Michael that the whispers are actually dead souls "who cannot move on." This means that the island has trapped dead souls (which sounds like purgatory).
29. Mittelos Bioscience. Like Hanso Foundation, Mittelos was mentioned only in passing as a possible player or power behind the Dharma throne. Whether it contributed anything significant to the current island events is doubtful.
30. Walt. Early on, Walt was the focus of being "special." He was the one of the few survivors who did not want to leave the island. He sabotaged the first raft. He made a connection with John Locke, who also believed in the special nature of the island. When Walt was kidnapped by the Others, he was taken to Room 23. It is unknown what happened to him, but in the end, he was released to leave the island with Michael, his father, in exchange for Kate, Jack and Sawyer. Walt did return as a tall ghost when Locke was shot (and dying or dead) in the purge pit. He told Locke that he had further work to do. (It may have been reference to turning the FDW to stop the island time skips.) How ghost Walt appeared to Locke, or why he was "special" and did not return to the island, are all unanswered questions.
31. Widmore. We know he was once a leader of the Others. We know that he was banished by Ben from the island for his off-island behavior (i.e. having a child, Penny). Widmore became a wealthy industrialist who said he has taken decades to try to find the island again. His relationship with Eloise Hawking is muddled, as Daniel Faraday is their son in the sideways world, and believed to be their son in the island world - - - but why Daniel does not have Widmore or Hawking as a last name clouds the issue. In any event, Widmore has no regrets in sacrificing his teams in order to get what he wants, and according to some, Widmore's only goal on his return to the island is to seize its power.
So, of the 31 main mysteries, we truly only have the answers to only five (5): the Black Rock, the Lists, the Numbers, the Statue and the Whispers. That is only sixteen percent.
Monday, April 19, 2010
In the beach talk between MIB and Jacob, it was Jacob who continually brought people to the Island, to the disgust of MIB. MIB charged that Jacob was the person who stole his body, "his humanity," leaving MIB in the form of a shape shifting smoke monster.
When Michael made his deal with Ben to leave the island, he did so by a series of events which included homicide of two people, Libby and Ana Lucia. When Michael returned to New York, he could not commit suicide, either by ramming his car into a brick wall or attempting to shoot himself at point blank range. Tom Friendly told him that "the island was not through with him" so Michael could not die. At the time, it was an unbelievable statement. How can an "island" stop a human being from committing suicide?
When Michael returns to the island, he is Ben's inside man on Widmore's freighter crew. When Michael takes his box into the engine room, it is a case of explosives. He prepared to activate the bomb but Ghost Libby briefly appeared to him and told him not to do it. She quickly disappeared and Michael shook off the apparent hallucination. He punched in a detonation code, but at the end of a short countdown, rather than detonating, the bomb popped up a flag reading "NOT YET". He was then summoned to the radio room by Minkowski. On the other end of the line was Ben, telling him to sit tight and gather a list of names of the crew.
It is some time later when Michael learns that Keamy had set up a room of C4 explosives with a dead man switch. He tells everyone to leave the room as he attempts to slow down the countdown. Once Michael is alone, a person he never met, ghost Christian appears, telling him he can "go now." The freighter then explodes, apparently killing Michael instantly.
Both Libby and Christian were "dead" when they appeared to Michael on the freighter. Why a figure Michael did not know told him he could move on (commit suicide so to speak) when Libby had already contacted him is open to debate. Libby was a survivor who Michael had killed so her spirit could have sought revenge and had Michael kill himself. Christian was a doctor whose oath was to save men but he allowed Michael to die on the freighter. The ghost appearances and their motivations are quite confusing, especially in the context of the Whispers, souls "trapped" on the island.
Michael did not get his reward of death as his soul is now trapped on the island. (Or so it says.) But does that also infer that Libby and Christian's souls are also trapped on the island? It clearly sounds like the island is a form of purgatory. All the ghost visions or reincarnated people (like Patchy) are trapped soul's on an island purgatory?
Or for that matter, can anyone Jacob brought to the island truly leave? Ben seems resigned to the fact that the island "has it in for" everyone, especially after Ilana blew herself up with the Black Rock dynamite. Ben refers to the island almost as a spoiled, vindictive child (which in some respects mirrors his own life story). Which is quite possible since three unknown mystery children have popped up around wandering Flocke this season.
What power could keep souls in a state of being trapped in one place? And is this the true "power" that Widmore is seeking on his return to the island? The power to manage soul's in the afterlife?
MIB appears to be one of those trapped souls, too. He remembers part of his past "humanity," and shows the ebb and flow of emotions in his Flocke form. But for some reason he has transmuted from a mere ghost form into a shape shifting smoke monster.
The short answer to what the Whispers represent does not answer the bigger question: what is the island?
Saturday, April 17, 2010
What were the key mysteries contained on the blast door?
There are references to "incident of 1985." It is noted that multiple escape conduits blocked after the incident. We are not totally clear what was that incident.
There are references to abandoned stations, from the incident or "possible catastrophic malfunction of the Cerberus system." Smokey was called the Cerberus. This infers that the smoke monster may have been an integrated into Dharma's command systems.
There is also a notation: fatalities: 5.
There was an aborted station #7 of large number of underground springs "heavywater table." Heavy water was used as an early component of nuclear energy.
Then there are the comments or statements:
"Save yourself from hell."
"There are dragons here."
"A mouse does not rely on just one hole."
"I think we're on the same wavelength."
"Lift up your heart lift up your heart lift up your heart."
"Don't consider that anything has been done if anything is left to be done."
"The wrath of the gods may be great, but it certainly is slow."
"I think therefore I am depressed."
"Its a bad plan that can't be changed."
"The disease worsens with the treatment; the remedy is worse than the disease."
I doubt if the LOST writers actually knew this: in the 1970s, there was an industry rumor that there was a patron who had the same idea. He/she secretly funded a British band to combine elements of classical music and rock to create a new genre. The band was called Supertramp.
The band have several successful FM singles, especially from the album "Breakfast in America."
Friday, April 16, 2010
Least we forget, we saw Libby at Hurley's mental hospital, as a patient, in the episode "Dave."
In that episode, Dr. Brooks arrives and he talks to Dave and Hurley, before taking a picture of them. After he leaves, Hurley shows Dave the pills Hurley did not swallow. In another meeting, Hurley starts to talk about the accident when Hurley walked onto a deck and it collapsed killing two people, which lead Hurley to believe he caused it. Brooks, however, says that it was not his fault, since there were already 23 people on, while it was built to hold 8. He also reveals that after the accident, Hurley was in a catatonic state, in which he stopped talking, going out and even sleeping. Dr. Brooks then said Hurley's constant eating was the way he chose to punish himself. Enraged, Hurley says that his friend, Dave, was right about Brooks being a "quack", to which Brooks shows him the picture he had taken earlier. To Hurley's surprise, Dave does not appear in the picture, since Dave, as Brooks reveals, is a figment of Hurley's imagination.
In the last flashback, returning to the scene where the Polaroid picture was taken, the camera pans to show patient Libby at another table, watching Hurley posing for the picture with no one next to him, thus confirming the imaginary nature of "Dave."
A couple of points from the island time line:
1. Libby and Hurley were at the same mental institution, in the same day room. Yet, on the island, they never mentioned that they knew each other or recognized each other from Santa Rosa. That continues to bother us, since both have been labeled as having "problems with reality."
2. Hurley's "catatonic" state from a porch collapse that killed two "unnamed" people was only glossed over, but may be a clue of why Hurley can communicate with dead people. One early theory was that it is easy for a person to communicate with the dead, if in fact, they are also "dead." They may be dead but not know they are dead . . . which could be a perfect, logical explanation of the Island: Land of the Unknowing Dead.
The idea of Libby and Hurley being "soul mates" only in a cross-over moment between two alternative universes (or two different "realities") for people diagnosed with "reality disorders" is probably too much Season 6 gloss (muck) over past story lines.
We have the Hugo-Libby "soul" connection in the sideways world.
We have the Hurley-Libby "soul" connection in the island world.
And we have the Hugo-Libby connection at the off-island mental institution.
It gives pause, and some circumstantial evidence, that if LOST is a masked "love story," we have been put on endless trails of relationships gone good and bad (like test marketing a new spice blend for Mr. Cluck's chicken) leading up to the shy Hurley making his real connection with Libby.
It can be that all the island turmoils, character interactions, love and hate, pleasure and pain, were in the minds of our two institutionalized, fearful and shy soul mates. That the entire story is about two people in a mental institution too shy to directly say hello to each other; but can imagine what things would be like if their imaginations could run wild.
Since we don't know Libby's back story, it could also be said that if it is not in their collective mind, Hurley and Libby's story could be one of personal journeys of unresolved emotional turmoil where their souls in death "cannot move on" without first learning about true love.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
In the past, there was one way I believe kept Smokey from escaping the island . . . it was the Numbers which contained the EM forces (so Smokey could not attain full power). The Numbers were the magic spell combination lock to keep Smokey in place. Now, I can see the possibility of Smokey getting all the Candidates (which represent The Numbers) to Hydra expecting that his invisible chain to the island be broken, but in a twist of fate, the Numbers activate and "seal" Smokey away forever.
There is another mysterious child roaming the island. He is carrying a stick or a spear (like the one Flocke was carving in his stalled camp). The new boy is dressed like the other mystery boys: in old, 1880s clothes of the Others.
When the first blond boy came across Flocke with Sawyer, Flocke was told he could not kill him. Flocke was surprised that Sawyer could see the boy. Flocke ran after him. Initial impression was that this could be a young Jacob.
The second child was a dark skinned, dark haired boy in the temple before Flocke came to destroy it. This boy did not have any speaking parts; and was never seen before or after. It was like no one really noticed him. Initial impression was that it was the soul of a young Sayid or young MIB.
The new child appears older, taller and leaner than the prior two. Again, no speaking parts. Flocke was surprised that Desmond could see this boy.
The pattern of new characters without any explanation can be aggravating or the key to the solution of the island mysteries. These children are not normally "seen" by island residents as Flocke has been surprised that Desmond and Sawyer's reactions. Are they ghosts like Michael? Why would a smoke monster be afraid of ghosts? No, there is something more to these children. They are more important than the Others, and probably more powerful than trapped dead souls (Whispers).
O: Obnoxious - - - the uncanny non-ability of our characters to think for themselves; they have to be prodded, pushed, manipulated or told what to do by soldier women, ghosts and monsters. The uneasy story concept of "trust" without a reason "why" has been a long term problem which the final season has not changed. Also, the island events seemed like you were watching a three shell con game on the board walk, with different groups splintering up to go in different directions.
S: Story line - - - Michael's explanation of the Whispers (as being dead souls who can not "move on") fits into the main theory of the show that the island is part of the after life. Many critics of this plot point cite this as a throw-away check list grasp at straws by the writers.
T: Time line - - - the continuity errors continue to mount, even on the island. Before, it took a full days hike to get to the Black Rock from the beach; in this episode it all happened TWICE in a day.
In past seasons, when people or their minds became out of sync, they had dangerous and deadly nose bleeds. Faraday said that the person's mind was time traveling and it could not comprehend the multiple events without a constant in both time periods. It may have been a throw-away science explanation of the events as baby steps into the full physical time travel story arc to come. But the show made the point that our characters had ONE BODY and ONE MIND. When the 815ers "foomed" back into island time, there were no known duplicates still in 2007. When Desmond "flashed" to images of the future, he was still in one body on the island.
With the sideways world, we see TWO BODIES and TWO MINDS of the characters. In order to be consistent, that means the sideways story must be set in a different universe (in order to comply with our basic knowledge of human existence). "Different" universes were confirmed in the enhanced versions of earlier season episodes that clearly spelled out the significant changes that have happened in the sideways world, i.e. Jack having a son.
From a logical construct, if you have two "real" universes (parallel or a multiverse), they should be "self-contained," that their physical planes of existence (space) is different. Otherwise, you would have have two Jacks wandering the halls of one hospital.
Since both universes are separate and distinct, they should co-exist without any cross-over or "overlap."
I think their could be a continuity issue with the old Faraday explanation. The nose bleed problem dealt with individuals mentally time traveling within the same universe, but at different points in time. That was the basis of the Eloise lab rat experiment at Oxford. We are now presented with a totally different issue: an individual mentally time traveling between two universes, which are not in sync in time. One would think the mental leaps between two universes would cause not only nose bleeds but exploding heads.
The idea that sideways world is three years in the past to the events in the island world bothers me. If the Incident that happened on the island world caused chaos or a change in the sideways world, then what is the problem? The 1977 Jughead incident appeared not to harm the normal development of the sideways world characters. The 2004 815 plane crash on the island appeared not to affect the normal development of the sideways world characters. The only differences between the worlds were personal choices and not interference from forces from the other universe. Since both worlds developed independently, through personal choices to similar events, there has not been presented any compelling reason why one universe needs to "change" or interfere with the other.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
1. The Whispers are lost souls of the dead who cannot "move on," most likely because they have done something wrong (like Michael murdering Ana Lucia and Libby on the island).
2. There is more than one "island" of electromagnetic energy on Earth, as Flocke explained to Desmond. In the Pacific, that place where compasses go wild is called "The Devil's Triangle."
Most viewers have been convinced that the island was never a place for the living dead to work out issues prior to final judgment. The reason was TPTB said after the pilot in Season 1 that the show was NOT about purgatory (i.e. how could anyone "survive" a plane crash?) Viewers were led to believe that our main characters were living human beings thrust into a weird island survival situation, somewhere between Robinson Crusoe and Lord of the Flies.
But multiple people speaking with ghosts, supernatural demon beasts, and a shoot first ask questions later mentality against the value of (human) life, adds up to the island being a place of death. Hurley's main concern throughout the episode that he did not want anyone to get hurt or "die." Then Ilana goes Arzt and blows up. Then Hurley blows up the Black Rock. It is not that his friends would "die," but they would "move on" without him. As I have theorized in the past, all the characters have been "dead" since S1E1. It is just that they don't know it. It is only after they realize their plight-situation, comes the enlightenment to "move on" to the "next life," which in most respects apparently mirrors your old life (see, sideways world).
It may not be a fairy tale ending to LOST, but the theme may be that if you make mistakes, bad choices in your life, do not worry, because you will have a second chance in your second life after you pass on.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
1. The Smoke Monster, the shape shifting, mechanical sounding "security system."
2. The Sickness which took Rousseau's crew (Smokey induced), and for which Dharma, Desmond and Claire were vaccinated for early in the show.
3. Why the island is difficult to find? How can an island "disappear" (by turning FDW)? The "snow globe" was the comparison by Desmond sailing around it.
4. The large electromagnet pockets of energy, which were capped by the Hatch and possibly set off by Jughead.
5. The "mind time travel," consciousness which led to nose bleeds and death.
6. The "physical time travel" between 1977 and 2007.
7. The reincarnation of the dead, like Sayid in the temple healing spring.
8. The Minkowski diagrams of space time as written by Daniel in the island and sideways time lines.
9. The sonic fence and gray ash as barriers against Smokey.
10. Immortality granted to Richard by Jacob.
11. The lighthouse's ability to watch people throughout time.
12. The ability to see and talk to dead people (ghosts).
13. The island's healing properties to cure Rose's cancer, and allow John Locke to walk again.
Do any of these sci-fi elements have anything in common?
A. The island has special properties which could be related to the unique EM energy.
B. Smokey could be a by-product of the island's unique EM energy in a different form.
C. The EM energy could be the engine/power for the island to defy the classical laws of physics
and allow for time travel.
D. Electromagnetic devices are used in some forms of physical therapy, so the island's unique
EM could be the source of supernatural healing abilities in humans (except in certain instances when people still die).
E. The EM energy could be used to read the memories of human brain, and other forces could use that information to reconstruct "ghosts" or physical "zombies" to interact with people on the island.
F. EM energy is a form of a wave, so in science fiction speculative behavior, a different wave form (such as a sound wave) could disburse, disrupt or refract the EM waves.
G. The Sickness could be an overdose or sub-atomic exposure of the EM energy which causes death or transformation into an alien being.
One could argue that the thread that weaves all these sci-fi elements together is the unique electromagnetic energy of the island. How this would work may never be explained by the writers, which would be a real disappointment.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The difference between the Daniel drawing and the Minkowski diagram (below post) is that Daniel has connected two axis points not on the coordinate grid, but the axis themselves. Real Time connected to Real Space Imaginary Time. I can't fathom the implications of Einstein-Minkowski and quantum physics, but space time is three dimensional space with the representation of a fourth dimension called time. From what I gather, time in classical view point is linear in nature, and in space time a constant that does not reposition matter-energy within the 3D grid. Quantum theorists state that time is more than linear perception but actually is a curve, whatever that could represent I do not understand.
We see events through our perception of time, which could be an illusion different from real time. It sounds like a universe of gray area in the gray matter of human understanding.
But we have been caught in a two reality trap with the island time line and the sideways world. If you believe in parallel universes, then those two worlds should remain separate and a part. If you believe there is one universe, but there is a time distortion, there could be a secondary illusionary time line. One is real and one is false-positive.
It appears that Desmond is being set up as the literal "portal key" to bridge conscious memories between the two worlds, the island time line and the sideways world. The EM computer graphic is a metaphor for the intersection of worlds through Desmond. However, that does not show how other people are knowledgeable about both planes of existence (Hawking, Charlie, and presumably Widmore).
If this a multiverse add-on in Season 6, then the following would have to occur: 1) one time line would destroy the other; 2) the time worlds would have to be sealed off from each other; or 3) one time line is found purely an illusion in the mind of someone who is bridging the realities. Early on, some people thought the island world could have been an illusion of a crazy person (Hurley). Now, we are directed toward the unknown "special qualities" of Desmond as a clue to answer the two disjointed, inconsistent time lines.
This does call into question "Why this story line and why now?" Besides the series end is coming up extremely fast, why add such a huge, new physics problem on the final examination?
Friday, April 9, 2010
This is a screen cap of Desmond looking at the flight board in the sideways universe. It is interesting to note that Flight 815 is different. It's status board was blinking "Arrival," while the other flights just posted Arrival. It is also interesting to note that Hurley knew the baggage claim number before it was posted (which could have been given by a gate attendant), but the image above gives one at least to ponder whether in the sideways universe, Flight 815's "status" is in limbo, whether it truly arrived or that it crashed.
For those who believe the time worlds will merge (because of the conscious bleeding overlaps in Season 6), 815 crashing on the island time world is incompatible with 815 arriving in the sideways world. In order to stop the universes from colliding upon themselves, those with knowledge of the cross-over would need to be eliminated - - - but how? Is island universe ghost Charlie really sideways Charlie bleeding through? To eliminate the cross throughs, does both universe Charlies need to be killed-eliminated (if the real Constant in this story is your own self?)
Thursday, April 8, 2010
O: Obnoxious --- after Toasted Dez greets Widmore, instead of telling us what he has been "enlightened" by during the torture session, Desmond merely states he understands and is willing to do what Widmore asks of him. It is another prime example of NOT letting the viewer in on what is really going on . . . annoying, especially in the race to the show's finish.
S: Story line --- Most viewers and reviewers were extremely happy that the sideways world has bleed into the island story arc. Desmond, Charlie, and Hawking all know about the alternative universe, the island, which is apparently a "violation" of some more unknown rules. It is unknown whether this overlap of consciousness is real (see, Bleeding post below), or part of some mind control to test candidates.
T: Time line --- the potential merger of the sideways world and the island world creates intellectual issues. The sideways world did not split off at a certain time and run parallel; it went back further in time as shown by Jack's early age appendix operation, or Sawyer becoming a policeman and not a con artist. The two time lines cannot cohesively merge because of the significant differences in events and life choices. The other aspect would be that one time line would overwrite or destroy the other; except that should have occurred already if the island events are "leaking" into the sideways world, or vice versa. Time travel paradox theory gets multiplied by any crossover.
I think the correct term for flashes between universes is "bleeding through" (in homage to the recent rash of head gashes). I also believe that if both universes were real and were to merge, instead of nose bleeds, characters' heads would explode.
I also have come to a speculative conclusion of where the writers may be headed: that one of the universes does not exist; it is an illusion, a Room 23 construct, part of a long con. That is probably the sideways world.
I think the sideways world was a way to attempt to overwrite the real world to test candidates, to see if they could be fully mind controlled by Widmore. In the sideways world, Desmond's only purpose was to serve Widmore. He had no family life. He was all work. Complete loyalty. No questions asked. After the EM blast, those are the strong memories that are guiding Desmond, who now suddenly is following Widmore's orders.
The other candidates have too much "free will" or other baggage (like daddy issues) to be totally manipulated and controlled by the island keepers like Widmore.
Comic book science answered my question about Desmond's being EM-microwaved: Widmore was not "testing" him but actually "creating" a new Smoke Monster (DeSmokey) to take on the old one, Flocke.
I can see this projected sad ending: Desmond defeating Flocke in a smoke and lightning battle. But instead of keeping the false memories, Desmond sees flashes of his real life with Penny and his son. He rushes to the Hydra dock to find Widmore's sub already leaving the island. "Come back! Don't leave me here!" he screams.
From the deck, Widmore tells him he was the sacrifice the island demanded, that he can never leave the island, and that he could never see Penny or his son again.
Enraged, Desmond turns into a dark smoke monster and turns back into the jungle, ripping up trees along his path, just like the old Smokey in Season 1. He has become the new island Cerberus.
The whole island story would loop back on itself. This is how MIB "lost" his humanity, because he was turned into the island security system, a smoke monster, by Widmore's predecessor, Jacob. MIB was trapped on the island for eternity. Over time, he could not stand his plight and just wanted to end - - - cease to exist. Suicidal. The island does create a sense of madness in people.
Then over the final credits we could see Desmond wandering the beach and coming across the same Jacob-MIB beach scene, but this time when he says "You don't know how much I want to kill you," he would be speaking to Widmore.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
"Stop talking, Hume. I've heard what you've had to say, now you listen to me. I want you to stop."
"Stop? Stop what?"
"Someone has clearly affected the way you see things. This is a serious problem. This is, in fact, a violation. So, whatever you're doing, whatever it is you think you're looking for, you need to stop looking for it."
"Do you know what I'm looking for, Mrs. Widmore?"
"I don't know why you're looking for anything. You have the perfect life. On top of it, you've managed to attain the thing you wanted more than anything, my husband's approval."
"How do you know what I want?"
"Because, I bloody do!"
"I need to see that list or you need to tell me why I can't."
"Because you're not ready yet, Desmond." She walks away.
The "someone" who told Desmond to change the way he thinks about himself was Charlie.
Charlie telling Desmond was "a violation."
Desmond already has "a perfect life."
Desmond can't change his life because he is "not ready yet."
In the Doctor Who mythology, every person's choices in life creates a multiverse that follows that path, and over time there are infinite, separate universes based on the variable choices of all humanity. Some turn UK into current reality, others turn into steam punk dictatorships.
We can get the sense of "concurrent" universes in this exchange. There are no paradoxes in the time space continuum if each universe remains separate. Hawking knows that. She is aware that the paradox rules have been violated if someone changes their current path by interacting with its concurrent alternative reality.
When we first met Hawking, the clock keeper lectured Desmond about "course correction." That if a person was supposed to die today, and some one (like Desmond) intervenes to stop the accident from happening, the saved person's demise is merely delayed an hour, a day, a week. Hawking must be a time paradox officer in charge of making sure that the concurrent universes do not come into contact with each other. The double star brooch she was wearing could symbolize this twin Earth concept.
It could also mean that she was speaking that Desmond had a "perfect life" and he was not ready for the "change" which would be his "life after death." In the sideways world, he has yet to fulfill his fate or destiny so he cannot be influenced by an alternative world where Penny was his centerpiece. Charlie is Dead Charlie in the island world. He has been popping up to guide other 815ers in their decisions (especially Hurley). Did "Dead Charlie" slip through (consciousness during near death experiences or physically through a portal to sideways world) with memories of the alternative reality which makes him crazy enough to attempt to change his other life? And the lives of the other castaways?
There is much double speak in trying to keep the premise in the dark. Widmore's warning that all you love will cease to exist if MIB succeeds in his plan, does not make total sense if you are also in multiple alternative universes. Charlie does not need to change anything in the sideways world if he wants to live happily ever after with Claire. Claire is alive, pregnant, and alone in LA (and about to be rebuffed by the adoptive mother). The term "happily ever after" was never put into any context in the actual episode. It is usually associated with the end of "fairy tales" or at weddings ("until death do you part.") So two explanations of the title: this is a fantasy world or this is the after life when your one true love is lost.
1. Widmore taking three days from LA to the island with a drugged Desmond just to test him between two high voltage electromagnets seems stupid. If he wanted to "test" Desmond, he could have done so in LA in an industrial complex with machinery he would know would work. Widmore had not been to the island in 25 years, so how would he know whether the island had the test equipment or whether it would still work? You would not go blindly on a voyage without such testing if Desmond was key to defeating MIB.
2. The Charlie babysitting mission. What is extremely weak about this whole segment is that if Driveshaft, the band, was still performing (it was not pre 815 crash) then band members would travel together to their gig, with their roadies and their equipment. And if it was just two hours before the gig when Desmond arrived at the party, the rest of Driveshaft would have been there doing their sound checks. The show would have gone on without Charlie.
3. The science of the show is getting lost.
Electromagnetic radiation (EM) takes the form of waves in a vacuum or in matter. It consists of electric and magnetic fields which oscillate in phase perpendicular to each other and perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation. Electromagnetic radiation is classified into several types according to the frequency of its wave; these types include (in order of increasing frequency and decreasing wavelength): radio waves, microwaves, terahertz radiation, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays, and gamma rays. EM radiation carries energy and momentum which may be imparted to matter with which it interacts.
The dual coil device appears to be two large electromagnets. When the red shirt gets caught up, he is burned to death, which imparts that radiation is deadly to humans and probably beyond the visible light spectrum. When Desmond is toasted, the computer graphic has him in the middle, actually absorbing the waves (or the very least negating them). The energy that killed the red shirt did not kill Desmond (it suddenly enlightened him without explanation).
Now, why is Desmond's EM shield important? If Flocke is Smokey, and Smokey is made up of EM energy, then Desmond could interact with him without being killed, except that when we have seen Smokey attack, the victims are crushed and torn a part, not burned to death. So maybe Smokey is indeed more mechanical than electromagnetic. But that does not make a charged Desmond a lethal weapon against Smokey. The only shield we have seen is different wave form: sound waves (the sonic fence).
4. The real illogical part is after toasting Desmond, he turns into a polite zombie ready to do Widmore's bidding. Which gets me back to a headache that continues to be shown lately: most of the characters have forehead wounds - - Widmore and Desmond are the latest. Sun got her's last week, and Jack has been sporting his unhealed mark for some time now. I get the sense that either this is to symbolize the characters have been lobotomized or "claimed" by some other force.
5. Dan Faraday-Widmore deux machina revelation of quantum physics on his musician note pad was really, really lame. This on top of his Love Line chatter about hitting on redhead Charlotte on the rebound from her Sawyer fumble. And considering a total stranger gets Desmond to follow a hallucination (bump on his head) defies common sense for the Desmond character of being a cool, collective, smart businessman. The sudden thrust of trying to appease viewers, some not buying the current heavy religious context, by now throwing old science theories into the story line, is like pouring mush into a simmering gumbo.
6. Continuity errors are dumb distractions for most, but get on my nerves. Point one, when Widmore and Flocke met at the beach, the sonic fence did not encompass the plane. The plane which Flocke said he needed to get off the island. Point two, the plane's tail is pointing (almost overhanging the beach). It should be pointing down the runway toward the center of the hydra island, and not on the beach.
7. The Desmond-Penny stadium hook-up had timing issues. If Hawking said the party was to start in two hours, Penny is running up and down stadium steps. It takes time for Desmond to find her, so when they get a coffee date in an "hour," does that mean Penny is ditching her brother's big party?
I had the image of a piece of Swiss cheese as plot unfolded; partially because I always felt that the sideways world was mere "what if" filler, and maybe because it appears that TPTB are going to try to "force" a reunion of alternative universes for no apparent reason.
LOST is like an old rusted car sitting in a field. It may have some of its old character lines covered in rust, but you don't know if it will ever start again. You may kick the flat tires, and check to see if the engine still has all its parts, but the mechanics of machinery may have seized up. You may think the rusted clunker next to it may have some useful parts, but the cars are not compatible: one's a Ford and the other one's a Chevy.
Last week I toured around the internet looking for some old LOST sites, and found an increasing number of them have just stopped posting after 5 seasons. It may be that some people really believe that even though they invested a lot of time and resources into the show, it has dawned on them that they were riding along in a junker and decided to leave before it totally fell a part.
I also came across a poster who viewed LOST as a "Show About Nothing." And he or she created a cast logo from the old Steinfeld show, with Jack as Jerry, Locke as George, Kate as Elaine, and Sawyer as Kramer. And as this season slithers along, that theory is just as valid as any other one.
The show is trying to make the sideways universe as important as the lost island time line. In all the time traveling commentary, it was clear that in order to avoid paradoxes, the concept of parallel universes made the most sense in the sci-fi genre. But, LOST is trying to merge the consciousness of two separate universes in some weird cross-over way, which in itself creates a paradox which affects both realities. A person who is self-aware that he belongs in another time space will affect both his current and alternative time universe by trying to "set things right" = messy paradox.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Do any of the candidates show noble qualities of high moral standards?
Do any of the candidates show courage, summoning personal strength in the face of pain, grief or frightening circumstances?
Do any of the candidates show island achievements, a thing done successfully, usually with effort, courage or skill?
With all the episodes, events, missions, and tangents that the candidates have been involved in, it is hard to identify a single noble quest.
Jack's original real world quest was to find his father and return his body home. He failed.
Sawyer's original real world quest was to find the con man who drove his father to murder and seek revenge. He did so by strangling Cooper. But was that a noble act?
Kate's sole mission in life was to run away from her problems or responsibilities. She has not been able to settle down or face the music concerning her past.
Hurley really had no mission or direction in his life. His non-existence was changed by winning the lottery, which he learned was a curse. His return to the island was not noble, but more like guilt and peer pressure. Since returning to the island, he has become a speaking pawn for Jacob.
Jin's mission in life was to be successful, to get away from his poverty. He found himself as his father-in-law's lapdog in an unhappy marriage. Since, his goal was to reunited with Sun, but he has not been able to do so.
Locke's original real world quest was his personal acceptance by anyone (his father, Helen, his boss). But once he was "cured" on the island, he never achieved any of his new goals. He never was a good leader. He did sacrifice himself in the FDW to reset the island time skips, as in the end he was murdered by Ben and returned to become the new form of Flocke, who has killed many people.
What is the great, noble cause the candidates are supposed to embody and fulfill?
We don't know. The mere message of stopping Flocke seems like a hollow instruction without meaning.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
In the Pilot episode transcript, the words (not groans) associated with the Numbers (4,8,15,16,23, 42) come out to be: away, stay, help! help! me, three.
I first thought who was a passenger in seat 3 on the plane. Unknown. The only verified passengers with a three in seat assignments were Jack (23A), Rose (23D) and Bernard (23E).
Then I asked myself who was the third main character seen in the Pilot, and the third main character with dialog?
In the beginning of the episode we see: Jack open his eyes, Vincent in the brush, then Charlie standing too close to an engine.
Afterward, we hear Michael cry out for Walt, one redshirt warning about the gas, one redshirt yelling for help about his leg, Jack asking for others to help him lift debris, then Claire who cries out "Help! Please Help Me! Help me, please help me!"
There was a connection between the "threes:" Charlie and Claire. Their relationship was put off until Aaron was born. Charlie always thought his role as a protector of her. He sacrificed himself for the vision of Claire and Aaron leaving the island. And since Charlie left, Claire's life has been in a downward spiral of madness, darkness and hate. Maybe her last rational thought was to Charlie, as a guardian angel, to save her from evil forces taking over her on the island.
A guardian angel is a spirit who is believed to watch over and protect a person or a place. We have hints that there are several of those ghosts on the island: Christian watching over Jack; Jacob giving guidance in his role of protector to various people including Hurley. We have not seen Charlie back on the island. It could be possible that in order to be saved on the island, you need someone watching over you. Just as Richard was saved by his wife, who gave him new purpose.
(Of course, the vision may have been more manipulation than angelic intervention.)
Friday, April 2, 2010
Jack: his father
Claire: her maternal instincts
Kate: her freedom
Hurley: his mind
Locke: his legs
Sawyer: his parents killer
Rose & Bernard: their life together
Jin & Sun: the spark in their relationship
Sayid: his past
Charlie: his future (as rock n roller)
Boone: his sister
Shannon: her rich lifestyle
Walt: his mother
Michael: his job and his relationship with his son.
Now, halfway through the final season, has anything changed?
Dictionary definitions of LOST include:
"unable to find one's way,"
"something that has been taken away and cannot be recovered," and
"having perished or been destroyed."
Jack still has lost his father. He has not been able to make amends with him.
Claire still has lost her maternal instincts, Aaron is being raised by another.
Kate found her freedom but has trapped herself in her island soap opera.
Hurley still believes he is crazy. He is now the ghost whisperer.
Locke has lost more than his legs, he has lost his life.
Sawyer found his parents' killer and got his revenge. In doing so, he also found a stable,
normal time travel life with Juliet which he lost during the incident.
Rose & Bernard found their happy retirement in the jungle.
Jin & Sun have lost each other once the spark of their relationship was rekindled.
Sayid has lost his past, present and future.
Charlie lost his life.
Boone lost his life.
Shannon lost her life.
Walt lost his father.
Michael lost his relationship with his son by killing himself.
Not very pretty, except pretty depressing: 31 percent of the main characters are dead (not counting the two zombies, Sayid and Claire), and only 12 percent of the main characters found
any sort of personal peace (Rose and Bernard). The rest are still have lost the key component of their initial stories. The resolution of those initial elements seems inconsequential at this point in time.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Season 2 added the big mysteries of the Hatch, Dharma and the Tailies. The significance of these major elements has been muted this season: in retrospect, Dharma and the Tailies role was to provide red shirts.
Season 3 got us deep into the Others, Walt and Desmond's mind travels. Walt's "special" nature has been written off. Desmond's mind travels turned into total time travel by Season 6. The Others have turned into marching drones to red shirts.
Season 4 introduced us to the freighter crew, hope for rescue, who ended up as more red shirts.
Season 5 introduces us to the next wave of red shirts, the Ajira 316 passengers.
If you strip away the past seasons major mystery elements, minor plane crash survivors, the Tailies, Dharma, the Others and freighter crew - - - they were all disposal red shirts.
The current end game shows us that the stories of Egyptian ruins, the Black Rock crew, Dharma, and the Others are really immaterial or irrelevant in the Jacob-MIB saga. It is hard to believe but in reality Season 2 through Season 5 appears to be mostly red shirt filler and not connected to solving any of the real island mysteries.
A comparison of characters in Season 1 to present Season 6:
Season 1: a fixer of people, thrust into the leadership role by default with his "live together or die alone" speech.
Season 6: not a leader, a broken person following ghosts for no reason or purpose.
Season 1: a man with a second chance to get his life back in his survivalist dream.
Season 6: dead.
Season 1: a woman hiding her past, running away from her problems, with one goal to escape.
Season 6: bouncing back between Sawyer and Jack looking for a place to belong.
Season 1: nervous expecting mother.
Season 6: zombie following Flocke.
Season 1: "unlucky" winner who felt cursed and crazy by the Numbers; a follower.
Season 6: a conduit for ghosts
Season 1: on the verge of a new life with Nadia.
Season 6: zombie following Flocke
ROSE & BERNARD
Season 1: happy couple looking for peace.
Season 6: happy couple at peace in their island retirement.
JIN & SUN
Season 1: troubled married couple; Jin unhappy in job and Sun looking to flee marriage.
Season 6: separated married couple trying to get back together.
Season 1: Number pushing Swan station prisoner.
Season 6: drugged Package for Widmore
Season 1: advisor to the Others; Jacob's spokesman
Season 6: confused about events; now thrust into leadership role to stop Flocke.
Season 1: leader of the Others; murderer of his father.
Season 6: murderer of Jacob; follower of Ilana.
Season 1: trying to get off island to return to her sister.
Season 6: dead.
Throughout the entire series, only Rose and Bernard seem to have found real purpose (and they have been written out to live happily ever after in retirement.) The rest of the characters (living) have been bogged down in an endless game of tag or follower the leader with no clue of why they are doing what they are doing.