Monday, December 19, 2011
"[Lost's] finale was the crowning disaster, the Scooby-Doo ending to end all Scooby-Doo endings. After hinting for years that their nonsensical mess would add up to something, not only did the producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof fail to address a tiny fraction of the trillions of mysteries they introduced, but they threw out the Lostpedia with the bath water, scrapping all of those riddles for the equivalent of Lucas’s teddy-bear victory dance: a celestial moment with the survivors, hugging and holding hands in the afterlife.
"This is all ancient history — or would be, if not for the fact that the implosion of “Lost” was like a dirty bomb that made the world unsafe for serial dramas to this day....
"The problem lies in the fact that the dead-end suspense and pill-popping, knife-wielding darkness of today’s TV dramas shove more subtle pilot candidates out of the way. The empty thrills, the ticking clock that never runs down, the pointless twists and turns that are neither motivated nor resolved, all degrade the audience’s palate until all we can taste is blood, all we can see is teenagers in hot pants, all we can hear is flat dialogue and all we can expect at the end of season is a giant, flashing question mark.
"And that’s sad, because it’s also true that television writers are taking big risks in their laboratories these days. They’re experimenting with speeding up and slowing down the time line, trotting out unlikable characters and testing our tolerance for crazy, for demented, for morbid. Instead, they should focus on testing our tolerance for smart, complex characters and nuanced stories, just as “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” and “Mad Men” did. Because some of us have been burned too many times to head back into that jungle maze yet again."
The analogy of writers using "thrill pills" to lead lab rats (viewers) through a dead end plot arc dead ends through a maze of story lines to a WTF? conclusion was a long running criticism of the LOST anthology and brought up here several times.
It is a cheap story format to throw out bizarre events, cloaked clues, mysterious dangerous secondary characters to scare, threaten, or haunt your main characters - - - but just throwing elements at them is like endlessly shooting bullets in a video game that leads to no where except shooting more bullets.
Maybe the most inadvertent Easter Egg of the whole lost series was Daniel Faraday's lab rat (Eloise, named after his mother) time maze which meant nothing in The End.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
In trying to find an analogy to help clarify the concepts lost by TPTB when the series concluded, one can find context by examining the Mayan culture.
In the Mayan culture, the underworld was called Xibalba, as a place below the surface of the Earth associated with death and with twelve gods or powerful rulers known as the Lords of Xibalba, often referred to as demons and are given commission and domain over various forms of human suffering: to cause sickness, starvation, fear, destitution, pain, and ultimately death. These Lords all work in pairs to sicken people's blood; to cause people's bodies to swell up; to turn dead bodies into skeletons; to hide in the unswept areas of people houses and stabbed them to death; andto cause people to die coughing up blood while out walking on a road. The remaining residents of Xibalba are thought to have fallen under the dominion of one of these Lords, going about the face of the Earth to carry out their listed duties.
Xibalba was a large place and a number of individual structures or locations within Xibalba, among these was the council place of the Lords, the five or six houses that served as the first tests of Xibalba, and the Xibalban ballcourt.
Xibalba seemed to be rife with tests, trials, and traps for anyone who came into the city. Even the road to Xibalba was filled with obstacles: first a river filled with scorpions, a river filled with blood, and then a river filled with pus. Beyond these was a crossroads where travellers had to choose from between four roads that spoke in an attempt to confuse and beguile. Upon passing these obstacles, one would come upon the Xibalba council place, where it was expected visitors would greet the seated Lords. Realistic mannequins were seated near the Lords to confuse and humiliate people who greeted them, and the confused would then be invited to sit upon a bench, which was actually a hot cooking surface. The Lords of Xibalba would entertain themselves by humiliating people in this fashion before sending them into one of Xibalba's deadly tests.
The city was home to at least six deadly houses filled with trials for visitors. The first was Dark House, a house that was completely dark inside. The second was Rattling House or Cold House, full of bone-chilling cold and rattling hail. The third was Jaguar House, filled with hungry jaguars. The fourth was Bat House, filled with dangerous shrieking bats, and the fifth was Razor House, filled with blades and razors that moved about of their own accord. A sixth test, Hot House, filled with fires and heat, is identified. The purpose of these tests was to either kill or humiliate people placed into them if they could not outwit the test.
This underworld contained 9 levels. For those souls who could finish their journey, there was the possibility of 13 levels of heaven.
What was the LOST series to the characters but "rife with tests, trials, and traps for anyone" who came to the Island. Much of the island action centered upon long treks through the jungle, fighting off unknown forces, and dealing with people like Ben whose main purpose was "to confuse and humiliate people."
What greater "test" was Ben bringing Sawyer to the cliff face of the island and pointing to Sawyer's chest scar to tell him he implanted a device that would explode if he ever left the island. Was it true? Was it a bluff? Was it shear madness? But it did cause Sawyer to change his own plans to stay on the island until the miracle Ajira plane take off at the End. We do not know when Frank got the plane off the ground whether Sawyer's chest sprayed the cabin with his blood and guts, but we do know that Sawyer found his way to the afterlife party.
Jacob was another character to used, abused, confused and tormented other people that he brought to his Island realm. Jacob may have thought it a evil diversion with his brother, using human pawns, like two Lords of the Mayan underworld playing a game.
Since the biggest unanswered LOST factor was what the Island actually was, we can only speculate on what it could represent in order to fashion a coherent, orderly and plausible end result.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje (Mr Eko): He was in "Faster" (also featuring Maggie Grace, Shannon).
Sam Anderson (Bernard): Guest starred on an NCIS episode and has a small role in a movie called "Water for Elephants."
Naveen Andrews (Sayid): ????
L Scott Caldwell (Rose): An episode of Grey’s Anatomy; theater work.
Nestor Carbonell (Richard): Guest in episodes of PSYCH and is in an upcoming movie "Cristiada" a Mexican film, in English with Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria.
Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond): Did two episodes of Law and Order SVU
Jeremy Davies: Has a supporting role in ‘It’s Kind Of a Funny Story’ but be sure to see him in ‘Justified’ he has a recurring role in Season 2. Kick ass show.
Emilie de Ravin (Claire): Two B movie roles announced.
Michael Emerson (Ben): Has new show "Person of Interest."
Jeff Fahey (Frank): B-movies projects.
Matthew Fox (Jack): Working on a movie in Cleveland, where he got arrested for an off-set altercation with a bus driver.
Jorge Garcia (Hurley): He stars in the upcoming ‘Alcatraz’ television show which may be hit or miss on the schedule.
Maggie Grace (Shannon): Was in ‘Faster’ with Mr Eko and will be in the next Twilight movies.
Josh Holloway (Sawyer): Guest appearance on "Community" and linked to several potential film projects.
Daniel Dae Kim (Jin): In the bad reboot of "Hawaii Five-O!"
Yunjin Kim (Sun): Nothing in America.
Ken Leung (Miles): Guest appearance on "The Good Wife."
Evangeline Lilly (Kate): In the movie ‘Real Steel’ with Hugh Jackman.
Rebecca Mader (Charlotte): Television appearance and role in a Jim Belushi B movie.
Elizabeth Mitchell (Juilet): Lead in "V" TB reboot.
Dominic Monaghan (Charlie): Has movie role.
Terry O’Quinn (Locke): Was pegged to team up with Michael Emerson on buddy script pilot which went no where; wound up with role in "Hawaii 5-0."
Harold Perrineau (Michael): In two indie films, ‘The Hungry Rabbit Jumps’ with Nicolas Cage and January Jones and ‘Cooler’ a indie comedy with Jim Parsons and ‘Inferno:A Linda Lovelace Story’ in production.
Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia): In sci-fi film, "Battle Los Angeles"
Ian Somerhalder (Boone): In the "The Vampire Diaries."
Julie Bowen (Sarah), stars in "Modern Family."
Katie Sagal (Helen), in acclaimed cable series, "Sons of Anarchy."
Saturday, November 19, 2011
What was the great redemptive journey of Jack?
Did he make amends with his father? No.
Did he find true love? No.
Did he make any lasting, trustworthy friends? Not really.
Did he make a huge sacrifice for his fellow survivors? Maybe.
Jack took the Jacob gig really by default. No one else wanted it. And, if you look at the awkward writing of the light cave scene, there was no magical morphic event between Jack, Hurley and Ben. Jack just made it up. It was like the last semester high school senior transfer student taking the blame for a prank in the school cafeteria because he had no friends and was mad at his parents for making him move from school to school.
After choosing Hurley as his replacement, Jack descended into the Light Cave, and according to several sources "saved the Island from destruction by sinking into the ocean" and being teleported to the field, he sees the Ajira plane fly away, "he knows that he has fulfilled his purpose and ultimately his destiny."
We really don't know that: because we don't know what the Island was or what it's true purpose is. We know Hurley and Ben took over the Island for a period of time. But we don't know what they did. We know Hurley's time as Island chief folded back immediately to Jack's awakening at the church. So one could argue that Hurley was the man behind the curtain all along, gathering the 815ers in the church, and not Jack.
It was Hurley who was left behind with the mission. And the sideways world construct, with the characters all living a seemingly normal and happy life, was all a fabricated dreamscape until Hurley came back to and awakened most of them after Desmond became conscious of his island past with Eloise. Who created the sideways holding pen? Hurley, so he could gather all the LOST souls in the afterlife? Eloise, who wanted to keep her son close to her? Only a person "alive" in island realm could create the sideways "dead" world to know about both worlds simultaneously.
And Jack never seemed to have the imagination and interpersonal traits to create an entire functioning new world construct. Who had the greatest psychic imaginative traits? Walt and Hurley. But Walt had been written out of the main plot and the Ending, so that leaves Hurley, not Jack, has the probable key character in putting the lost souls in place at the End.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
In "White Rabbit" episode, in a flashback, Jack as a young boy lies on the ground in fear as a playground bully threatens him, while his friend, Marc, is being beaten by another bully. Jack, seemingly out of character, attempts to intervene, resulting in him getting a black eye from the bully.
Later on, Jack explains the fight to his father who tells Jack about his day at the hospital. Christian, while drinking whiskey, says that he is able to cope with the difficult job of surgeon because he "has what it takes." He claims that he can make life or death decisions daily because even when he fails, he can live with the consequences. He concludes that Jack should not "decide," because if he failed, he wouldn't "have what it takes."
On the island, Locke claims Jack's White Rabbit is the vision of his dead father, an illusion to a character in Alice in Wonderland that leads the main character down the rabbit hole and into a dangerous fantasy world.
If LOST was all about Jack, was the trip to Australia to retrieve his estranged father's body the cusp of his life suddenly falling (literally from the sky) into a dangerous fantasy world on the Island?
In life, Jack was told he was not a leader because he could not handle the "wrong decisions" which would cost people their lives. On the island, survivors came to him to make decisions for them - - - life and death decisions on survival, which path to take, who to trust, and where to go.
If one takes all the plot elements, flashbacks, island time, and flash forward arcs, nearly all of Jack's decisions were the "wrong decisions." He really did not have a good instinct at reading people's inner motivations. He really did not want to make close friendships because that would lead to trust. His story is really one of being beat up, physically and emotionally. By the time Jack gets on Flight 815, he is spent. He is lost. He cannot change his relationship with his father. He can never show his father that he was wrong when he said he could not handle the consequences of life and death decisions. Only in a fantasy world could Jack face his White Rabbit.
So how does Jack actually meet his father in "real time?" His flashbacks are mere memories. He finds his father dead in Sydney. His interaction with his father on the island is mere illusion because it cannot be real: is Christian a guardian angel? a fellow traveler trapped in a fantasy-purgatory realm? is Christian a mere delusion? There are two ways to reconcile this premise: the plane crash sent Jack into a fantasy world made up by his mental images or Jack perished in the crash with everyone else and this was his Egyptian style journey through the underworld.
The only time Jack speaks to him on the same plane of existence is in the church at The End when it is revealed that they are both dead. But that short conversation never solved or resolved the deep "daddy issues" Jack had throughout the series.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Jack Shepard was born on December 3, 1969. The most significant historical event on that day was that John Lennon is offered role of Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar.
Sandwiched between that trivia were too more significant events:
on December 2, 1969, the Boeing 747 jumbo jet made its maiden flight from Seattle to NYC;
on December 4, 1969, the Chicago police raided a Black Panther apartment in a hail of gunfire, killing several militants which caused an uproar in the city.
Why did the writers choose December 3, 1969 as Jack's "birth date?" What is the significance of that date in history?
The 747 jumbo jet was a major advancement in airplane technology. It was big enough to haul a great number of passengers, or more importantly, open its hull to international cargo flights. The age of globalization was just beginning with the advent of long distance air transportation.
The idea of man flying through the skies on wings is an ancient doctrine. Early man believed that their gods were winged creatures that descended from the heavens to give them life and guidance. Winged creatures came to symbolize change. Migrating birds signaled the change of seasons. Winged creatures also symbolize angels and demons of death.
The central focal point for the LOST mythology was Flight 815, a long distance, international flight. Coincidence?
Chicago was the hot bed for racial tension in 1969. The Democratic convention of 1968 turned into massive riots and confrontation between the police and protesters. Tensions were high. Within months in 1968, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated by lone gunmen. Riots burned major urban areas. Protesters wanted the end of Vietnam. Change. It was the Establishment against the Revolutionaries (which included subgroups of intellectuals, hippies, militants, communists, anarchists).
Another major plot line for LOST was the dynamic between the Survivors (middle class establishment types) and the Others. Coincidence?
Between the two news events is the John Lennon story. Lennon was the most vocal, political and boundary pushing Beatle. He was the focal point of controversy. People were drawn to him for hope and in anger. He was an international celebrity. He once said that the Beatle were bigger than Jesus Christ, which angered most Christians throughout the world. So there was some irony about Lennon being offered the role of Jesus in a rock opera.
Jesus Christ Superstar was a rock opera produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical started off as a rock opera concept recording before its first Broadway performance in 1971. According to Wikipedia, the musical is based very loosely on the Gospels' account of the last week of Jesus' life, beginning with the preparation for the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem, and ending with the crucifixion. It highlights political and interpersonal struggles between Judas Iscariot and Jesus, struggles that are not in the Bible. The resurrection is not included. It therefore largely follows the form of a traditional passion play.
The work's depiction offered a free interpretation of the psychology of Jesus and the other characters. A large part of the plot focuses on the character of Judas, who is depicted as a tragic figure who is dissatisfied with the direction in which Jesus steers his disciples. Twentieth-century attitudes and sensibilities as well as contemporary slang pervade the lyrics, and ironic allusions to modern life are scattered throughout the depiction of political events.
The flashbacks in LOST appear to show the preparation, motivation and coincidence of the passengers on Flight 815 departure from Sydney in a similar way to the last week of Jesus' life. After the crash, the psychology and manipulation of personal beliefs was a continual struggle for Jack, his fellow survivors, and his interaction with his captors, Ben and the Others.
In The End, Jack must come to terms with his interpersonal struggles and sacrifices himself in the same way Jesus is crucified for his followers. For some, LOST could be considered a personal passion play of Jack's character in attempting to reconcile his life choices to find a personal redeeming moment of self sacrifice; instead of trying to "fix" others, he finally "fixes" himself.
Friday, November 11, 2011
For those who liked The Ending, the answer is never.
For those who disliked The Ending, the answer could be unclear.
For the casual viewer who got pulled into the hype of the first season, but
never was a die hard fan, the shark jumping moment could be:
A) when the smoke monster appeared;
B) when the Others appeared;
C) when the Tail Sections survivors were introduced;
D) when time travel was introduced;
E) when the Hatch imploded but Desmond survived;
F) when the fake wreckage site was found;
G) when Jack screamed "we have to go back!"
H) when the Jacob and Man in Black story arc came into full view.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
So when Fox touted its new prime time offering, Terra Nova, it hit an immediate dud here. Not to get sucked into another multi-year commitment of tele-viewing, one looked to the Big Premise.
And it had a major flaw. If you have a time portal and need to save mankind, why set it to go back the land of dinosaurs? Even first graders have the basic knowledge that the dinosaurs became extinct by a massive global upheaval. Why teleport to a time line which will lead to mass extinction? Would it not been better to set the portal to a post-dinosaur era? (Yes, but what about the dramatic fun of being hunted down by T-Rex in Jurassic Park overset film footage reels?)
In LOST, the Frozen Donkey Wheel spit out its turner to the North African desert approximately five months in the past. One could handle re-living five months off-island, but not millions of years into the past. What about immunities? Modern man has lost many of its hunter-gatherer environmental balances. The distant past would have virus and bacteria strains harsher than today. What about the environment itself? It was hotter, volcanic and its plant life could be more toxic (non-domesticated) in a sulfur rich environment.
The lesson learned from LOST is not to get hooked on the pilot trailer without thinking about the main story premise to see if you can really suspend belief for more than a season.
Monday, September 26, 2011
An edited summary of the article follows:
NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) — Damon Lindelof only wanted a gig writing for "Alias" when he agreed to meet with J.J. Abrams about "Lost" -- and the pair threw in lots of wild elements just because they never expected it to get on the air.
If it seemed like the writers were making things up as they went along, by the way, they often were. And also? Lindelof tried to quit the show, again and again.
These were just a few of the admissions Lindelof shared about one of television's most beloved shows Thursday on the seventh anniversary of its first airing on ABC.
Lindelof was an established TV writer himself, working on NBC's "Crossing Jordan," when he first met Abrams. He told interviewer Andrew Jenks, host of MTV's "World of Jenks," that he had been "stalking" an ABC executive friend for years to get a job on Abrams' spy series "Alias."
Eventually the executive, Heather Kadin, called him in January 2004 saying he could meet Abrams about a project.
"The bad news is," he recalled her saying, "it's this ridiculous show idea about a plane that crashes on an island and everyone here doesn't think anything is ever going to happen with it. But Lloyd Braun who was the president of ABC at the time, just thought he had lightning in a bottle: He wanted to do a drama version of 'Survivor.'"
Braun had told Abrams he had a script for an island drama but wanted him to "work your magic on it," Lindelof said. He said Abrams told Braun he was too busy, but would supervise another writer.
"So Heather told me, you meet with J.J., this pilot goes nowhere, but then you get a job on 'Alias'!"
But the pilot went somewhere. Lindelof came in with plenty of ideas, including nonlinear storytelling and flashbacks.
"The biggest issue with a desert island show was the audience is going to get very frustrated that the characters were not getting off the island," he said. "My solution was, hey, let's get off the island every week. And the way we're going to do that is we're going to do these flashbacks. We'll do one character at a time and there's going to be like 70 characters on the show, so we'll go really, really slow, and each one will basically say, here's who they were before the crash and it'll dramatize something that's happening on the island and it will also make the show very character-centric."
Abrams liked the idea, and also had another: "'There should be a hatch on this island! They spend the entire season trying to get it open. And there should be these other people on the island,'" Lindelof recalled Abrams saying. "And I'm like, ''We can call them The Others.' And he's like, 'They should hear this noise out there in the jungle.' And I'm like, 'What's the noise?' And he's like, 'I don't...know. They're never going to pick this thing up anyway.'"
Lindelof said the idea to tell the story out of chronological order came in part from "Pulp Fiction."
Lindelof said he almost immediately felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running the show -- and repeatedly decided or tried to quit. By its eleventh episode, he convinced Carlton Cuse, who had been his boss on CBS's "Nash Bridges," to come in and help him lead the show.
He said he agreed with critics who said the show could never last more than a season.
"If we put it on the air and we're like, there's a polar bear in the jungle, somebody better know where the (expletive) that polar bear came from," he said. "That pressure was enormously debilitating."
Abrams, meanwhile, had "plausible deniability" because he had left the show in Lindelof's hands to focus on movies, Lindelof said: "When the torch-wielding mob shows up at his house, and they're like, 'Where does the polar bear come from?' he could say, I'm working on 'Mission Impossible,' go to Damon."
He said he resolved to quit after 13 episodes, then after the first season. Eventually the show went six seasons with him and Cuse in charge.
He also said the show might not have lasted more than three seasons without the Internet, because it allowed fans and the show's creators to spur each other on. He noted that 23 million people tuned in for the first episode, and only 13 million for the finale -- a sign that the show lost many people as it went on. But those that stayed with it did so in part because the Internet gave them somewhere to vent, he said.
"What got them through those periods of doubt and 'Are you going to break my heart?' was their feeling that they were communicating with us," he said.
But trying to please fans was a Catch-22.
"There were these two things happening on the show from the minute it began. The first thing was that the audience really wanted to feel like they had an impact on the show," he said. "And the other thing was, you didn't want us to be making it up as we went along. You wanted us to have a plan, you wanted us to have a big binder with the entire show and you didn't want us to deviate from it. And the audience didn't realize that there's a huge contradiction between these two ideas. If you want to have a say, then there can't be a binder. And if there is a binder, then we're basically going to be like, 'we don't care what you guys have to say. We're just turning to page 365 and we're doing Lupitas.'"
He added: "The show had to become sort of an exercise in, 'Here's what it's going to be, guys: We're going to come out and we're going to play our set, and once the set is over you guys can shout out what songs you want to hear and we'll do those for the encore.' And that was the way that we modulated it, and maybe it worked and maybe it didn't.
"But the interaction of the Internet and our genuine desire to hear what the fans were saying and make ourselves accessible to the fans was absolutely essential to the show's success. I am absolutely convinced that we probably would not have made it to season three or season four at the most if the Internet didn't exist."
If the Island was Jacob's inheritance from Crazy Mother, why was it so important he bring the 815ers to it? Jacob was a supernatural being; the evidence shows he was more than 200o years old, that he could change appearance, and that he could communicate in the flesh after being killed and burned to ashes after Ben's murder of him in the statue.
So one of the great unanswered questions is whether Jacob actually died at all. In the great con double crosses and misdirections afforded in the dead end plot tangents, we never see Jacob cease to exist. After his death, he appears to Hurley as set forth in Lostpedia:
He appeared as a boy once more to Hurley, demanding that Hurley give him the ashes. Hurley asked why and the boy replied, "because they're mine." Once Hurley took them out, he snatched them and ran. By the time Hurley caught up, Jacob appeared as an adult, next to a fire, which he had thrown his ashes in. Hurley gathered Jack, Kate and Sawyer and brought them to Jacob.
The four of them were able to see Jacob this time. He apologized to Kate, who blamed him choosing Candidates for the deaths of their friends on the submarine. Jacob told them that he made a mistake, which made the monster the way he is and explained the reason for the Candidates. Sawyer asked why he should have to suffer for Jacob's mistake when he was doing just fine until Jacob interfered with his life. Jacob pointed out that none of them had happy lives, they were all flawed, which is why he chose them, because they were all like him, alone looking for something that they couldn't find.
Jacob was a shape shifting supernatural being. He appeared as a boy, as a man, and as a dead man. He could of also appeared as a smoke monster (which would answer the question why he could not kill MIB because they were both equal smoke monsters; one viciously bad and another more cautious - - - remember scanning Juliet in the mangrove roots instead of killing her?) Or Jacob could appear as another person, never to die - - - like Mikhail, the Russian who we saw "die" multiple times but to return to harass the 815ers.
It would seem inconsequential for a super being like Jacob to toy with the lives of inferior beings like the 815ers. Unless, as the beach scene with MIB infers, he was bored with his temporal existence.
For all of the religious ramifications at the End Church, there was nothing truly redeeming in the Jacob and Candidates story line. The Candidates and friends who wound up at the church for the after life journey were still murderers, adulterers, liars, thieves, criminals, drunks, drug abusers and down right dark personalities - - - who also committed similar acts of violence, betrayal, sex and lies while on the Island seeking Jacob's judgment.
If Jacob's real goal was to be a heavenly prosecutor to determine the weight of each character's soul, then Jacob is a symbol of Lucifer, the fallen angel in early Judeo-Christian beliefs. He is the con artist who messes with God's new species of Man, by setting in motion the exile of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. And what if the Island was a similar setting; an after life con that offers the characters a chance of redemption when in reality there is none.
We are led to believe that the characters in the church are going to heaven when Christian opens the white light of the doors. However, prior to that, Jack asks his father what is next. The answer is unclear, just that they are going to "move on." It is equally probable that the souls of the church goers could go to heaven (which is the happy ending) or to hell (the unseen finish of a long con).
If would be the perfect diversion for Lucifer to give souls "false hope" of redemption; a cause to fight for; a chance for final happiness in a warped sense of a juvenile game of combat soldier with changing rules or little consequence. If Jacob was really a Lucifer in disguise, how does that make you view the Ending differently?
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
It was not on a bridge or at a chain link fence on the LAX grounds, but Matthew Fox got into an alleged altercation with a bus driver in Cleveland, Ohio.
New reports state that a drunken Fox was trying to board a private "party bus" to get back to his hotel, but the female bus driver would not allow him on. Fox then allegedly punched her, and she struck back, reportedly cutting his lip in the process.
There is an old saying, "truth is stranger than fiction." It seems the Lost's star's character of Jack has taken the fictional pages into current reality.
If only he yelled at the bus driver, "We have to GO BACK!!!"
UPDATE: AP reports:
Cleveland prosecutors will not charge Matthew Fox on a complaint that the star of the “Lost” television series punched a private bus driver last month.
The decision was made “after a thorough review of the facts,” a city spokeswoman said in a statement on September 16, 2011.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
At other times, it appeared to be manic, primitive angry killing monster when it killed the French science team or Eko. It lead to a wide range of speculation of whether the Monster was a machine or an intelligent being or whether it was some transformed homicidal beast. Or a representation of the Devil as Evil Incarnate as the temple people called it.
Since its appearance in Season 1, Smokey was the metaphor for the series. It was the abstract representation of Charlie's ultimate question of not where the survivors were . . . but What is the Island?
The island was not an earth bound geophysic rock that emerged from volcanic activity to appear above the level of the Pacific Ocean. It moved. It vanished. It was "hard to find." It was unworldly.
Smokey was alleged to be the Island Guardian, a security system to take down outsiders who came to its shores to steal, corrupt or control the island's special properties or powers. But who controlled the guardian? When Ben opened his secret closet and released water down the small shaft, he "summoned" a violent smoke monster to attack the freighter soldiers. It was said at the time that water and electricity don't mix, so maybe that is why Smokey appeared in an uncontrollable, violent state, so much so that Ben yelled at everyone to flee the barracks. But at other times, Smokey appeared to act on its own, living in the underground temple walls, coming out of the cracks to attack or terrorize visitors.
It would have been interesting to have Smokey been explained as a hybrid, steampunk type ancient intelligence that was triggered by the release of water into a DaVincian machine to create-release the smoke monster.
But the island storyline collapsed in twists, turns and so many dead ends that the nature of the smoke monster was muted and whitewashed over. The smoke monster turned into the shape shifting Man in Black character, the devil, the dead soul of Jacob's brother, the darkness to the island's light life force. Overt symbolism glazed over what fans really wanted to know - - - what was the smoke monster, what was it made of, how was it created, how did it operate and how did it think.
And we were left in the dark as to whether there was just one smoke monster, or whether Jacob was also a smoke monster (after Ben killed him in the statue and his body was burned) or whether Crazy Mother was also a smoke monster (she alone killed an entire village of Roman sailors just as Smokey did to the slave ship crew).
It is now a noticeable trend in Hollywood series that in the beginning, writers put together key story elements that lure, entice and captivate the audience. But some time in the middle of its run, the show changes gears - - - leaving initial fans flummoxed, confused and at times dissolute or angry. It is like basing an entire show around two incapable characters then at the end switch to them getting married and living happily ever after - - - with no memory of the past conflicts.
LOST may have been the show with the most grinding script gear shifts of all time. And the symbol for the forced story shifts is the smoke monster entity.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
At the end of Season 1, "Exodus," we had the Others take Walt from the rescue raft and blowing it up while Hurley panicked at the sight of the Numbers on the Hatch cover as Locke was ready to explode it open. We were left with the view of the Hatch shaft, which Locke believed was the key to their destinies.
At the end of Season 2, "Live Together, Die Alone," we had Desmond turning the Hatch's fail safe key causing the explosion-implosion at the same time Michael and Walt get on a boat for freedom after Michael double crossed the survivors. At the end Penny gets a message from the listening post, "I think we found it." They found the Island.
At the end of Season 3, "Through the Looking Glass," Charlie dies but writes on his hand NOT PENNY'S BOAT to Desmond. It ends with a new flash forward of suicide Jack on his binge of self destruction at the airport, yelling "Kate, we have to go back!"
At the end of Season 4, "There's No Place Like Home," the freighter is destroyed as the helicopter is running low on fuel; Ben turns the frozen donkey wheel and the Island vanishes. The Oceanic Six are rescued by Penny's boat, who fake a cover story, and leave Penny and Desmond who says, "see you in another life brother" to Jack. In the flash forward, it is revealed that Jeremy Bentham is dead John Locke.
At the end of Season 5, "The Incident," the Island is split between 1977 and 2007. In 2007, outside the statue, it is revealed that inside Ilana's crate is John Locke's body to the horror of Richard. Inside, Ben kills Jacob for Flocke, but Jacob's last words were "They're coming." In the 1977 time, Juliet is ripped down the drilling hole with Jughead bomb. The episode ends with Juliet pounding a rock on the warhead, leaving the viewer wondering if it exploded in a white flash.
If cliffhangers are supposed to be the most important story elements, were they in LOST?
Season 1: Escape by the raft foiled and the Hatch the new mystery found.
Season 2: Escape granted to Michael and the Hatch is destroyed.
Season 3: Escape is foiled because Not Penny's Boat and Flash forward tells Jack needs to get back to the Island.
Season 4: Escape is granted for Oceanic 6 and Flash forward tells Jack that Bentham is dead John Locke.
Season 5: Escape is granted to Ben by the FDW but death for Jacob and Juliet, who tries to detonate the bomb to reset the Island time.
As a key plot element, escape or rescue from the Island was foiled, achieved but in the end a non-factor because many of the survivors never left the Island or the twist was those who did escape wanted to return.
The Hatch was supposed to be a critical element in the survival of the 815ers. It was only a holding device to drumbeat the Numbers are being a key role in the Island mysteries (which turns out to be not true).
The battle for the control of the Island between Widmore's freighter crew and Ben's Others was a non-issue for the controlling entities were Jacob and MIB.
It was inconsequential whether Jughead exploded or not. Time patterns, the FDW, Faraday's scientific observations and what was the Island remain without a real explanation.
None of the driving cliffhanger plot points: escape, the Hatch, Jughead, the Others, the frozen donkey wheel, had any impact in the final season as solutions to the nagging questions about the Island.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Several years ago, Stephen Hawking wrote an article where he thought that limited time travel was a remote possibility, if one would only go into the future, through a wormhole using a massive particle collider and a super fast spacecraft. In sum, unrealistic and impossible to pull off.
Some scientists began to believe time travel might actually be possible when superluminal -- or faster-than-light -- propagation of some specific medium were discovered. It was later found to be a visual effect, but the idea that a single photon could exceed the speed of light lingered, and with it, the possibility of time travel.
But in a study published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Physical Review Letters, Shengwang Du and his team measured the ultimate speed of a single photon and showed that it cannot move faster than the speed of light.
"The results add to our understanding of how a single photon moves. They also confirm the upper bound on how fast information travels with light," Du said in a statement put out by the Hong Kong University of Technology and Science.
"By showing that single photons cannot travel faster than the speed of light, our results bring a closure to the debate on the true speed of information carried by a single photon."
So Time Travel is impossible. The scientific basis for the science fiction application of the literary format of the genre is for naught. The light, from the Cave or the Frozen Donkey Wheel, could not have created the LOST characters from time traveling in our physical world.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
for it appears the format-formula-mystery style is being rebooted in the new JJ Abrams
As at least one Deadline Hollywood reviewer of the sneak trailer panned, " the show has qualities I’m not sure are admirable, or even enjoyable anymore – namely, the teasing of a mystery that will be revealed in a very contrived, gradual way for as long as the audience will allow. What do I mean when I say contrived? Well for example: Sam Neill’s character clearly knows more than he says, it’s obvious to every character in the room, yet nobody forces the issue, nobody asks obvious questions, and nobody demands non-enigmatic, clear answers (blame Lost for making this acceptable: Benjamin Linus invented this game). Personally, I find characters not asking obvious questions any normal person would ask simply because it’s too early in the season to ask them a lazy way to write; others are more tolerant of it: the show seemed to be play well and got enthusiastic applause in the end."
Characters who do not force answers to their questions but go along for the ride style of television is not good for drama or mystery shows. To call it misdirected is one thing, but to call it LAZY is a true bitter indictment of the past use of the LOST genre.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
In this one hour story, we have various elements of mystery and science fiction intertwined in physics properties:
1. A lost star ship must have crashed on a foreboding, stormy moon.
2. A landing party trapped in the midst of a strange, electromagnetic storm.
3. A strange electromagnetic energy invades a human host and suppresses their character and memories with a new personality.
4. Once returned to the Enterprise, the EM hosts take hostages and try to seize control of the ship. They claim they are the conscious minds of the lost star ship bridge crew who seek to rescue their fellow ghost crew members to take them back to earth "to rest."
This quick and simple story "fact" structure is easily understandable and in sci-fi terms, reasonably believable. This is the base line for the character interactions, violent interactions,
and the ultimate climax twist of unraveling of the true identities of the EM beings as being prisoners exiled on the moon penal colony.
What LOST lacks in end game analysis is an initial, simple story "fact" structure from the beginning of Season 1 which would be reasonably believable through to the ending story climax.
Did the EM burst from the hatch that Desmond forgot to press the Numbers actually "cause" the crash of Flight 815 or actually "save" the souls by entrapping their spirits in EM beings to re-inhabit their bodies post-crash? The latter could be the jumping off point to tie the Light Cave and energy source of the Frozen Donkey Wheel Cave as life-giving EM, whether as a physical property or as its own intelligent being. If the island EM was combining its life force and intertwine its intelligence with dead souls who came within contact with the island, whether as an experiment, or to stop boredom of a trapped being, that would make a sound sci-fi base.
It could also explain why Desmond and the others who should have been blown away by massive EM energy bursts (from the Hatch and the Widmore experiment) did not die because if they were already part EM energy, the EM would not "kill" itself.
Throughout the series, many people thought the island was its own "character." But in the end, the island was merely an island with unique properties. Nothing in the final episodes told that the island had any controlling influence over the characters. Which is probably a shame since that could have easily bridged to the sideways world "holding tank" created not by the characters (human beings) but a higher intelligence in a EM created world (like program bytes running on a computer hard drive).
From a writing perspective, TPTB could have created a known sci-fi "fact" base early on in the series, and layered conflict and twists to come to a reasonable explanation that would have tied the island events and sideways world together. But for whatever belief, they decided to keep everyone in the dark.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
A simple breakdown of key elements of the Island would help.
Real, unreal or science fiction.
1. Passengers surviving a mid-air mid-ocean plane separation and crash.
Not real. There are many real world examples with the same conclusion: no survivors.
2. Passengers believing they survived a mid air mid-ocean plane separation and crash.
Science fiction. There would have to be some story mythology explanation of how the
passengers could survive a 20,000 foot plunge. TPTB never gave an explanation of how
the characters survived the crash. A sci-fi explanation could include that the characters
"re-materialized" due to the unique EM properties of the Island, like spirits being reincarnated.
3. The Smoke Monster.
Science fiction. There is no basis in current science, technology or nature for an intelligent mass of black smoke that can shape shift into various forms, including dead people.
4. Time Travel.
Science fiction. The turning of the Frozen Donkey Wheel displacing certain characters into different time periods throughout history cannot occur on Earth. The inference is that the wheel was somehow attached to the life force pool, which somehow controlled time and space for the island and its residents, and when turned, major changes would occur. However, these time-space jumps did not create any paradoxes for the time travelers.
5. Electromagnetic Energy.
Real and unreal. EM is a real physical property on Earth. EM can be manipulated to create forces which can be used in working machines, such as bullet train propulsion systems. But the use of massive electromagnetic energy assaulting Desmond in the hatch "implosion" and Desmond's being thrown into the massive electro-arc by Widmore would have killed a normal human being.
For those who accept the sideways world explanation, but somehow grasp to the "real" comment for the Island explanation - - - as being a "real island" on Earth with "live" characters who survived the plane crash, one must review the key elements to accept the objective reasoning that the Island is purely a science fiction realm and not a real island.
If one starts with the premise that the Island is not real, but a magical science fiction realm, then the unreal events on the Island itself become more palatable from a story construction stand point.
Friday, May 27, 2011
One has to take personal theories out of the discussion. For a few, LOST did not End like they "thought it would." Adding insult to injury, those who adorned the End hedge the conclusion without all the answers as being the TPTB's present to the audience to make up their own final theories. But in rebuttal, it is the job of the author to put together a satisfying and/or clear ending to the author's story.
So when did the LOST creators get lost?
From a practical perspective, it was probably during the end of Season 1, when ABC renewed the series. From that point, the creators had to create more episodes and create buzzworthy filler to the end game.
From a plot line perspective, it may have been the need to continually add new characters to keep the mystery engines going full throttle. The addition of the Tail Section survivors had little lasting impact on the final story arcs. What about Nikki and Paulo? Yeesh. Dharma and the Others, the time travelers, the Temple, Ajira survivors - - - more red shirts than red meat for the story.
From a character perspective (it was all about the characters we have been constantly been lectured since the End), what character event put the story arc(s) down the rabbit hole?
The death of Eko?
The disappearance of Claire?
The whole ghost Christian thing with Jack?
Michael and Walt leaving the island by betraying the other survivors?
Faraday's death and the end of sci-fi explanations?
Juliet's death and the end of time travel to the void of the after life?
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Now they were ready to "move on" and discover what was next. Jack entered the nave of the church, where he found Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Hugo, Libby, Desmond, Penny, Jin, Sun, Claire, Charlie, Aaron, Sayid, Shannon, Boone, Rose, Bernard, and Locke. After they all had greeted each other warmly, they sat in the pews. Christian walked to the back of the church and opened the doors, revealing a bright light which filled the church as everyone smiled and we assume "moved on."
Who arranged this after life meeting? It appears that Christian was the master of ceremonies since everyone was waiting for Jack to arrive. Arrive in the sense of "awakening" memories of the Island. It was Christian who told Jack the muddy answer to the series great mysteries:
1. People in the church died before or long after Jack.
2. But "they" and "their lives" were "all real." Meaning that the sideways world realm was also real as well as the Island world.
3. That "they" created the sideways world as a place to wait for his arrival.
4. That there was no "time" in the sideways realm, but merely "now."
5. And once together, they all could "move on."
6. The church guests were the most important people in their lives.
This does not explain if the characters created the sideways world (as a holding room in the after life) would not remember the Island/real world prior to their own deaths. If the sideways world had no function of time, then there was no need for a complex alternative reality of Jack married to Juliet, having a child, healing Locke, etc. The souls would merely need to be in sleep mode until they all arrived at the church. And this is where the Answer falls a part; if everything we saw was "real," then it was all by series definition, "unreal." If the dream/fantasy experiences the characters created in the sideways world are "real," then the same could be said of the Island experiences. Which leads to a big sinkhole question: if both realities are real, then how did the 20 characters in the church find themselves, bind themselves together, to journey to the after life?
And to be perfectly honest, not all the characters got along on the Island. Example, Rose and Bernard were fed up with the lot and went off on their own. Locke and Jack never saw eye to eye. Sayid turned into an evil zombie. Jack and Sawyer were at odds most of the time.
Also, there were no deep, strong, global character connections prior to Flight 815 crash on the Island with the 20 friends in the church finale:
Christian: Jack's father
Jack: knew Christian; chance meeting with Desmond at stadium
Kate: knew no one prior to the 815 flight
Sawyer: knew no one prior to the 815 flight
Juliet: knew no one prior to the 815 crash
Hugo: may have known Libby at the mental hospital
Libby: may have known Hugo at the mental hospital
Desmond: knew Penny; chance meeting with Jack at stadium
Penny: knew only Desmond
Jin: married to Sun
Sun: married to Jin
Claire: was pregnant with Aaron
Charlie: knew no one prior to 815 flight
Aaron: knew no one prior to being born on Island
Sayid: knew no one prior to the 815 flight
Shannon: knew brother Boone
Boone: knew sister Shannon
Rose : married to Bernard
Bernard: married to Rose
Locke: knew no one prior to the 815 flight; but maybe aware of Hugo working at box plant.
Besides limited family relationships, there were no strong friendships or bonds between the entire group of characters and each other prior to the 815 flight. But we are told by TPTB that it was all about this group in the end.
The conclusion was not about the plane crash, the Island, the smoke monster, the hatch, DHARMA, the Others, Widmore or the freighter, Rousseau's science team, rescue or return, time travel, Jacob, or MIB. We were told that it was about the 20 people in the church who had the greatest impact on each other during their collective lives.
For those who loved the LOST ending, this character "feel good" reunion was enough. The statement that the show "was all about the characters" is only true to a certain point. A story teller needs to move the characters through events in order to reveal truths to the audience.
Now, for some who don't want to acknowledge the issues with Season 6 and the End, they claim that the brilliance of the series is that the creators left the questions unanswered so the viewers themselves could fill in their own blanks. That is a cop-out. One does not buy a mystery novel to read and then find the final two chapters missing. No, critics say there should have been a viable explanation at the conclusion of the series. Why were those 20 people in the church so important to each other to the exclusion of their other family members or pre-flight friends?
A year after the finale, the LOST phenomena has all but passed into the footnotes of television history. Some consider it one of the top ten shows of all time. Others ponder the great first seasons as a missed opportunity for greatness in the disappointing end. A few truly believe that the series should have concluded at the end of LOST's fifth season - - - with a real cliffhanger instead of a headscratcher.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The critics, writers, reviewers and fans have been wrestling with a Unified Theory to explain all the mysteries thrown at us during the six seasons of the show. It was a rebuttal to the critics that said the show runners were "making it up as they went along" with no rhyme or reason to the story lines, plot twists, new characters or strange dead ends.
If one believes the whole roller coaster ride was merely employment search for Jacob's replacement as Island guardian, who wound up with the job in the End? Hurley.
If one believes the whole struggle was merely a game between Jacob and his deceased brother's spirit over the own mutual destruction, who would up at the end game? Hurley (along with Jack, Kate and Ben).
And if a "game" is the underlying theme of the Island conflict, was it merely a long lost game of Senet that is the key? Hurley did not play that game - - - he played Connect Four.
Connect Four is a game of dark and light pieces placed on a board that is six rows across and seven rows down (a total of 42 spaces). The object of the game is to get four of your colored pieces in a row - - - horizontally, diagonally or vertically.
Hurley was seen playing Connect Four at the mental institution with catatonic patient Leonard Simms, who beat Hurley. Simms continually muttered the Numbers to Hurley and Dave, Hurley's imaginary friend. Simms is a former marine who in 1988, with Sam Toomey, heard the Numbers while at a government listening post. Toomey used the Numbers in a game of chance, and a plague of back luck followed him. They believed the Numbers were cursed; it led to Toomey's suicide and Simms' insanity.
At the mental institution, Dr. Brooks told Hurley that he knew about "the accident" in which Hurley blamed himself for going out on a porch, which then collapsed, killing two people. Dr. Brooks told Hurley that 23 people were on the porch that was only constructed to hold 8. That as a result, Hurley was in "a catatonic state." Dr. Brooks prescribes medications that Dave tells Hurley not to take - - - and Dr. Brooks photographs Hurley with Dave, but the photograph reveals that Dave is not in the picture. (Also at the facility, Libby as a patient is taking her medications when the picture is being taken - - - and Dave can not be seen from her viewpoint.)
We have the connection of catatonic patient histories with Leonard and Hurley. There connection increases when Hurley returns to the hospital to tell Leonard that he used the Numbers and won the lottery. Simms comes out of his catatonic state to berate Hurley for what he had done; he screamed "You've opened the Box!"
Later in the series, Ben tells Locke about the island powers and a magic box. If he wished something, it would appear on the island. Shortly thereafter, Locke's father, Anthony Cooper, appears in the dungeon. Cooper claims he was in a serious automobile accident and the next thing he knows he is strapped to a torture chair. Cooper also states during this meetings that he believes they are all dead and in Hell.
We never see an actual Box. But if Simms was correct in that using the Numbers for luck would open a box of curses, it could be a metaphor for opening a Pandora's box which means to start something that many new and unexpected problems. The Numbers were a trap when used to gain money on games of chance as it cursed the victor with subsequent bad luck leading to a mental breakdown.
IN the episode, "Dave," we learn of the Numbers past and the ramifications upon Hurley. We also learn that the original script was rejected by ABC because it would lead many to conclude the whole LOST saga was all "in Hurley's head." However, the episode still points to that theory through Hurley's interactions with Dave on the island.
During the food drop find, Hurley runs away to find Dave's slipper in the jungle. Later, he chases Dave through the jungle to the beach and Eko's church under construction. Frustrated, Hurley goes to Sawyer for his medication because "he's seeing a bald guy in a bathrobe." Sawyer says Hurley is "nuts," and they fight. Hurley decides to head to the caves to live alone. Dave appears during this long walk. Dave convinces Hurley that he is still at the mental hospital, but in a coma. Dave says that everything that's happened since Hurley "locked Dave out of the hospital" is all in Hurley's head. Dave leads Hurley to the edge of a cliff and tells him if Hurley jumps "everything will return to his old life." To show him, Dave jumps first. Hurley is about to jump when Libby suddenly appears and stops him. Hurley rationalizes that he is a comatose dream, that nothing is real including Libby, especially since he could never have such an attractive woman like him. Libby replies that "he is regressing," and tells him that she likes him. She then kisses him (which stops Hurley from jumping) and says she "does this feel real?"
One of the odd things about the Hurley-Libby relationship is that neither acknowledged knowing or seeing each other while at the mental hospital. They were in the same small day room. They had the same nurse. They would have seen each other on a daily basis. Yet, when they meet on the island, there is no recognition at all. And Libby does not tell Hurley their kiss is "real" but whether it "feels real" as in a vivid imagination or dream state.
The dynamic pull between Dave and Libby is strange. Dave offered Hurley a chance to "get out of his coma" by leaping away from his dream state while Libby interrupted the plan by saying, like a physician, that Hurley was "regressing" (from what?) Regress means to return mentally to a former stage of life or to a supposed previous life. One could surmise that Libby did in fact stop Hurley from returning to his previous (non coma) life. If Hurley was in a coma, but his subconscious created a vivid imaginary life of riches, heartbreak, curses, adventure, and now love, his ego might not want to let go of the fantasy world. To our knowledge, Hurley never actually returns to his normal, pre-accident life.
In reciting the Numbers, Simms stressed the number 8, which was Hurley's candidate number from the Lighthouse. If one grids out a Connect Four game board in numbers, you would find that there are no living candidates that make a four square connection. So the board itself is immaterial to the conclusion of the Jacob-MIB conflict.
A further examination of the base elements of the game: Jacob said he was looking for one candidate to replace him, but did not say how he would defeat MIB. The Numbers were important components throughout the Island so they must have some significance. The Six Numbers add up to 108. Who were the Four left to battle MIB at the End? Jack (23), Kate (51), Hurley (8) and Ben (117). Their candidate numbers total 199, 91 more than the Numbers. There is no Candidate 91 that we are aware of. What made MIB human so he could die? The re-boot of the cork at the Light cave. Who was present on the same team for that event? Hurley (8), Jack (23), Ben (117) and Desmond. Now, Desmond name was never mentioned as a candidate. He had no number. But Desmond was always mentioned as being "special," a wild card even on the Island. The other three numbers total 148. There was one other "special" person who was missing from the island, Walt Dawson. Dawson's number was 40. So if one assumes Desmond was a substitute "special" person, the opposite of Walt, the connection between the four at the Light Cave would be 148 minus 40 or 108. Since there were four candidates working together at the same "reset" of the Light Cave (the Box), that combination allowed the Box to be resealed and end the Jacob-MIB conflict. The cursed bad luck that plagued Hurley would be cured, and he would remain the Island guardian until he decided to "move on" to the sideways after life.
But again, to our knowledge, Hurley never actually returns to his normal, pre-porch accident life. After MIB's demise, believe Hurley is no longer cursed: he is large and in charge on the Island making his own rules (which is the exact opposite of his pre-accident life).
There was an episode in Star Trek:TNG called "Remember Me." Dr. Crusher was taken through an experimental warp bubble into her own reality created by her own thoughts at the time of the accident. A mysterious Traveler tells the crew that humans have a limited understanding that the mind can alter time and space. In this context, Dr. Crusher's thoughts at the time she was transported into the alternative realm constructed an elaborate cascade of events of the alt Enterprise crew disappearing because her pre-accident conversation with a colleague was about how so many of their old friends were gone. Only after she figured out that she was in her own reality did she realize that there was a gateway home, through a white light vortex. The underlying human condition of the episode was that perception can be reality.
Which gets us back to Hurley's porch accident. He comes out on the porch, and it collapses - - - and his last thoughts may have been "it's my fault that people got killed or hurt. I am cursed with bad luck . . ." That mental state could have created his own alternative, complex reality in his coma or catatonic post-accident condition, with vivid characters and places that his mind perceives as real. What could also enhance the experience would be the the connection that the other Island characters were actually other party guests he knew or saw before the porch collapsed which sent him into his alternative reality.
Hurley appears to be a good keystone for the beginning and the end of LOST. It is interesting to note that the show's themes of good or evil, redemption or greed, black and white morality have no bearing on a non-judgmental character such as Hurley, especially if it was Hurley's reality at issue.
The four points of LOST could be family, friends, life and death. Throughout the series, there were never more content of family, friends, life and death than through Hurley's character.
Were Dave's statements to Hurley the unified truth to LOST?
Monday, May 23, 2011
Today marks the first anniversary of the LOST finale, "The End."
A few people will load a DVD or tape into the console tonight to re-watch the finale. I have yet to re-watch the episode since I was caught up in the blogosphere and media blizzard of pros, cons, indifference, analysis and paralysis that were spawned by the final conclusion of the show.
But that tide of emotive angst and release quickly dissipated into the darkness of a turned off television screen. Not even the release of the Box Set with new epilogues or the Lost Encyclopedia stirred any renewed excitement about the show. It was over. The fan discussion groups, the comment boards, and dedicated LOST web sites began to fade away. The intense discussions and theory debates were over. The tribal community spirit that the show created has been lost, never to return. Sentimentalists will sniff once or twice today. Realists would have moved on to some other preoccupation. Scholars will keep the volumes of reactive words buried on the book shelves until another time.
Most of the actors of the show have walked away without many new credits except media reports that some were cast in new TV pilots or some B movie roles. Many of the Lost cast decided to take long hiatus from acting, fearing that they would be "type cast." Daniel Dae Kim did get a role on the ill conceived re-boot of Hawaii Five-O. Evangeline Lilly returned to modeling and is now beginning a family. It would seem that there is a zero chance of any sort of television reunion or rebirth of the series. The finale made sure of that.
Friday, May 20, 2011
TVGuide.com: How do you feel about heading into the end of the series?
Michael Emerson: I feel great curiosity, because from what I've shot up to this point, I don't see any end in sight. The storyline is continuing to expand instead of contract. It's grown more fragmented, rather than becoming more unified. The threads aren't joining up, they're flying away. It will be dazzling to see. Certain big mysteries on this show are being answered. Every episode, something huge is falling into place, but it's still a mystery.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
If you look at some sites, the flash sideways intercuts into the Island story line, begin with the Flight of 815 in September, 2004, and last only for about a week. And since the sideways world was alleged created by the Island characters after their deaths (from 2004-2007), there is some evidence that the sideways world was mirroring the Island time space of the middle of September, 2004.
Except, the sideways world characters had detailed, long term lives, such as Jack and his teenage son, which infers a longer "time period" than merely a week. And since Jack was married to Juliet, the sideways realm infers a totally different series of personal events than the reality of the Island realm.
Why are there such major changes? Why did the sideways world characters create new important people if they were merely "waiting" for Jack to die and "awaken" in the church? And if Jack died in 2007, why were some other characters who survived him (Hurley, Ben, Kate) already "awakened" in the sideways world before Jack?
You could look at these ponder points several ways: 1) you could flip the sideways world around as being the "true" event time line and the Island world as the awakening purgatory; 2) you could say the flash forwards and flash backs were also part of the sideways world and not part of the Island characters past (which means we know nothing about the survivors except was they said and did on the Island); or 3) the sideways world was a Ground Hog Day endless loop of September, 2004 until all the characters died and remembered that the sideways world was not real.
None of these possibilities truly answers the main question: when did the sideways world begin? Was it with Christian's death? Was it with Daniel's time skipping death before he was born? Was it when Jacob's brother died?
Saturday, April 23, 2011
One of the least discussed aspects of The End was the drop-kick revelation that the sideways world was a created after life realm for the island characters to re-group and move on together.
Just about every new character that was introduced to the island came as a result of a death or near death transportation: shipwrecks, plane crashes, even Juliet swallowing an overdose of pills to get on the submarine . . . why? If one takes Jacob's statement at face value, he was the one who brought "everyone" to the island.
But what really is the island? It was not merely a location, but TPTB and fan base concluded that the island was a character in itself, a conscious being of unknown power.
World One: The Island
The Island is the geographic location of LOST castaways, covering a period of at least 2000 years.
The Island has healing powers and cured John Locke of his paralysis and Rose of her cancer. It also functions as a "cork" that suppresses a dangerous force from escaping. At the Heart of the Island is a bright light, the source of "life, death, (and) rebirth" that needs to be protected. The current protector is Hugo Reyes. The protector also brings others to the island for various purposes, such as becoming the the new protector of the island.
The Island was apparently inhabited by Egyptians and possibly Sumerians and Southeast Asians in the distant past, and also was home to a village of Latin-speaking people who were shipwrecked there in the early first millennium. The Island periodically moves its physical location, as it took significant calculations to find since it is hidden from plain view. The Island was in the South Pacific Ocean in 2004 but could have been in the Mediterranean Sea at some point in its history. At the end, the island seems to submerge upon the passing of Jacob and MIB.
According to Jacob, the Island acts as a cork, holding back a malevolent force that would destroy the world if released. When the Man in Black made contact with the site of this suppression, the Heart of the Island, he transformed into a smoke monster that plagued the Island for thousands of years. A protector guards the Heart of the Island, the source of life, death and rebirth. Despite the Heart, or possibly because of it, not all who die on the Island move on - some remain, whispering. Other apparitions of unknown origin also appear, often confronting people with images from their past.
The Heart of the Island manifests itself as electromagnetism concentrated in specific pockets. The Man in Black's people dug wells at these sites, and the Dharma Initiative built stations, including the Orchid and the Swan. Lostpedia states that from at least 1977, when scientists penetrated a pocket, this energy has healed sickness, including cancer, paralysis, brain damage and male infertility, but it causes pregnant women to reject embryos, killing both mother and fetus. The electromagnetism also affects navigation, hiding the Island from the outside world (thus the reason rescue almost never came), drawing back those who leave the Island, moving the Island and even transporting travelers through time.
World Two: Sideways Realm
Lostpedia concludes that the Season 6 "sideways world view" was merely a new narrative technique - the flash sideways. Like flashbacks and flash forwards, flash sideways intercut into episodes' main action a secondary storyline, which covered the centric characters at a different time. The series finale revealed the nature of the world the flash sideways portrayed: it showed the characters meeting after death. As such, the flash sideways are in a sense Flash-forwards.
Lostpedia believes the sound cues reveals the difference and the connection between the two world/time periods: In "Happily Ever After", Desmond Hume transitioned between the original time line and the flash-sideways time line with the absence of the flash-sideways sound effect, in similar fashion to the way in which his story transitioned between present and past in "The Constant" without the flashback/flash-forward sound effect. However, the sound effect was used at the end of the episode, when he transitioned back into the sideways time line, indicating that this last flash was a normal flash-sideways, and not consciousness-travel, as the main body of the episode was.
Lostpedia concludes that the sideways world was merely a FLASH FORWARD in time to where all the Island characters were dead. The problem with that conclusion is that could not happen in a linear, chronological time line in one plane of existence.
Jack died on the island 14 days after Flight 316 crash landed on the island. That flight was around late October-early November of 2007, after John Locke is killed, which would make Jack's death on the island around November 14, 2007.
However, Jack awakens in the sideways church and is told he is dead, only a week after Flight 815 lands in LA, around September 29, 2004. On that day in the original island time line, Jack is trying to get people on the beach to move to the safety of the caves. During one trip to the caves, there is a cave in on or about September 29, 2004, which traps Jack (who is rescued with only a separated shoulder injury).
There is a significant continuity issue at play. If Jack was awakened in the sideways world time only AFTER he died on the island, then his death would have been as a result of the cave collapse on Day 8 after the crash of Flight 815 in 2004, and not Day 14 after the crash of Flight 316 in 2007.
Even if one accepts the concept of non-linear time (time is a meandering stream), there is still a problem of Jack having a separate sideways (flash back) existence in the sideways time than the reality of the island (present and flash backs) time line.
September, 2004 island time line: Jack is alive on the island.
September, 2004 sideways time line: Jack is dead in the church at his father's funeral.
November, 2007 island time line: Jack dies on the island.
In order to sync to the sideways time stamp of September 29, 2004 as Christian's funeral, Jack would have had to "die" in the cave collapse on Day 8 after the 815 crash. So how did Jack's body continue "on" in the island time for at least another three years?!
One could right off time as being immaterial to the LOST story, like Christian's lame explanation of the here and now in the sideways world not being the past or the present. But if "time" is irrelevant concept in the LOST mythology, why was it so critical to many of the story lines of Daniel, Desmond, the time skippers back to 1974 Dharma? One would have thought that the time frames from the island and sideways worlds would intersect at the same date in the End.
But as the island had two spines in topography, why were not the two different time periods fully explained in LOST?
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The blast door map noted a "Cerberus," a security system, guarding the island. The mysterious black smoke monster had a chilling sound (some believed it to be mechanical). The monster appeared to have only base, violent instincts. It killed the 815 pilot. It created a sense of horror throughout the jungle to survivors. But throughout the seasons, we did see contradictions. Kate and Juliet were saved by hiding in a banyan tree (though Juliet was "scanned.") Banyan trees are said to be home to "good spirits," implying that the monster was a "bad spirit." Ben used his secret closet and opened a drain to send water underground to "summon" the smoke monster, who arrived at the barracks in a rage to kill everyone there (Ben stated he had no control over it when they ran into the jungle). The monster also showed intelligence to take on other forms from character's memories, like Eko's brother when Eko refused to repent for his past sins.
There were always questions of what the smoke monster was made of; and what could repel it (the sonic fence? the rain? water?)
In Season 6, we learned "who" was the Smoke Monster, but not "what" it was.
Jacob was appointed by Mother to be the new island protector in a simple ceremony outside the Light Cave. This was done because Jacob's brother's actions. Jacob's brother left their home to be with the Others, shipwrecked members of his real mother's crew. He learned that there was a place beyond the island, his "real" home. He lived with the Others and learned a way to leave the Island (by building the unexplainable FDW). In a rage, Crazy Mother killed all of the villagers so as to keep her sons on the Island. In response, Jacob's brother killed Mother, who had turned "mortal" through the transfer of the guardianship to Jacob. Her rules still applied to them: they could not kill each other. Jacob, finding that his brother had killed Mother, threw an unconscious MIB into the light cave - - - and as a result, the violent smoke monster rushed forth, leaving only Jacob's brother's dead body (for which Jacob buried in the caves with Mother as Adam and Eve.) It is unclear whether the Light Cave itself killed MIB, "awakened" by the man's presence or combined with Jacob's brother to form this new being. In any event, Jacob found a "loophole" to kill his brother; and his brother's alter ego, the Smoke Monster, spent centuries trying to find his "loophole" to kill Jacob.
As the Smoke Monster, it could manifest itself in many forms, including deceased individuals, most frequently as Jacob's brother (MIB) and in the end, the deceased John Locke (Flocke). As a mind reader and manipulator of matter, it is clear that the Monster was a dangerous force. The dynamic between Jacob and MIB continued to be one of sibling rivalry, an enlarged game of human senet.
The creation of the Smoke Monster is not clear. Some have suggested that Crazy Mother herself, was the Smoke Monster, who was really the immortal guardian of the Island. It was not explained how throwing a man into the Light Cave, the source of life, death and rebirth, would create a monster. We saw that the Light Cave contained skeletons of men, who apparently died trying to figure out the mystery of the light source. We also saw that once Desmond uncorked the stone, the Island went into chaos, and once Jack replaced the stone, the Island returned to normal but the Smoke Monster as Flocke suddenly turned "mortal" (as did other "immortals" such as Richard). How did this Island "re-set" button change the fundamental physical properties of MIB-Smoke Monster? And why did the immortal Jacob "die" before this Island re-set inside the Light Cave? Was Jacob also a smoke monster, with powers equal to MIB? If that is true, then why could Jacob leave the island but MIB could not? Was it just one of Jacob's own "rules?"
The majority of LOST fan base is probably satisfied with the knowledge that the Smoke Monster was part of the Jacob-twin brother back story. But a minority probably view the Smoke Monster sage as a lost opportunity to fully develop a sci-fi basis for the entire Island mythology.
We think we know who was the Smoke Monster (Jacob's brother's spirit), but not was never confirmed as fact. We all can agree that we don't know "what" the Smoke Monster was except a homicidal chameleon in MIB's form. We don't know if there were other smoke like monsters on the Island (but we know that trapped souls/spirits remain like whispers as Hurley found out in his last encounter with dead Michael). We don't know why the smoke monster was created or viewed as a security system by Dharma and the Others. We don't know what they thought it was protecting besides the island itself. And finally, we don't know "how" the smoke monster formed, transformed, lived and died (cease to be immortal).
What is the deal about the Polar Bears?
The polar bear question surfaced in the pilot as a puzzling mystery when a survivor's scouting party is attacked by one (and Sawyer pulls a gun and kills it). The polar bear is last seen in Season 3 episode, "Further Instructions."
Since it was one of the first "shock" revelations in the series, fans continue to hark back on the polar bear question to try to find some deeper revelation in the underlying LOST mythology.
Why were polar bears on the island begs Charlie's question, not where but "what is the island?"
According to Dharma information, polar bears were brought to the island for experiments. On the Hydra Island, they were kept in cages. They learned to get out fish biscuits from a complex puzzle machine. Dr. Chang in a film indicated that the bears were used for studies in electromagnetic research. The bears were used to test the frozen donkey wheel chamber, and were transported to the desert of Tunisia, where Charlotte found the remains of one with a Dharma collar tag. Ben and Locke also wound up at this exit point after turning the FDW.
For creationists (those who believe the island is the mental creation of some one or group), Walt was reading Hurley's comic book which contained a picture of a polar bear. The theory is that Walt's mental abilities created the polar bears on the island.
Another explanation was contained on the Blast Door Map. The Latin name for "polar bear", Ursus maritimus, is mentioned on blast door diagram, implying that the bears were used during experiments on the Island as follows: "STATED GOAL, REPATRIATION ACCELERATED DE-TERRITORIALIZATION OF URSUS MARITIMUS THROUGH GENE THERAPY AND EXTREME CLIMATE CHANGE. Valenzetti theorists would conclude that polar bears experiments to change arctic animals behavior and adaptation of harsh climates was an attempt to change the variables in the doomsday equation for humanity.
Alien theorists (those who believe aliens or alien technology was the root of the Island powers) thought this description was for the cosmic constellation of Ursus Maritimus, as an origin or nexus point in time space to the Island and its creators.
The science or science fiction aspects of the reasons why polar bears were on the island faded away but remained a gnawing mystery in some fan's minds. After the purge, why were the polar bears let out of their cages? Why use large, dangerous animals like bears to conduct experiments when the closest human counterpart is monkeys? Or in Ben's case, he directly used human subjects in his experiments to find a solution to the fertility problem.
The use of polar bears roaming a tropical jungle island was an absurd and strange hook in the pilot episode. It could be viewed now as a symbol or metaphor that the Island was not a real island, but a different place or realm where our notions of reality are not the rules.
Oh, The Numbers. The six numbers that haunted LOST fans for Six Years. Those pesky numbers kept on showing up on props, signals, odometers, cave walls, lighthouse dials, lottery tickets, flight numbers, the hatch door, computer screens, computer read-outs, and numerous theories.
The Numbers. 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42
Was there any final conclusion to what the Numbers represented?
I guess it depends if you think the Numbers were important.
Hurley thought the Numbers were important: as bad luck, a curse or a bad omen, every time he encountered them. Danielle must have thought the same thing, as the signal repeating the numbers led to her coming to the Island.
Many fans speculated that the Numbers had to deal with Dharma or some unknown group trying to change the values of the Valenzetti Equation. That theorem is a 1970s equation that attempts to determine the end of humanity. Dharma was conducting various experiments to either create, change or modify life in an attempt to change the coefficients of the equation to save the world. But that does not explain why the numbers were broadcast as an island location beacon; why they were on the hatch serial number; or why those numbers had to be put into the Swan computer in order to avoid a release of electromagnetic energy.
The fans really, really, really wanted an answer to the Numbers. They wanted the Numbers to be foundational to the whole story line. They have to be disappointed.
We found in the lighthouse and in MIB's cave, the Numbers allegedly represented potential Candidates.T he Numbers represented the last six candidates to succeed Jacob as island protector:
4 was John Locke, who was killed off the island, and his body taken by MIB to create Flocke.
8 was Hugo Reyes, who feared the Numbers the most, and wound up the guardian after Jack.
15 was James Ford, Sawyer, who never wanted to take responsibility for anything until he time traveled with Juliet.
16 was Sayid Jarrah, who was taken over by "The Darkness" and MIB.
23 was Jack Shepard, who defeated MIB and became the island protector for just a few short hours, until Flight 316, piloted by Frank, allowed Sawyer, Kate, Miles, Claire and Richard to leave the island.
42 was for Jin Kwon, who never left the island, who killed himself to stay with Sun in the sinking submarine.
Were the Numbers critical to the final explanation of the show? Or were the Numbers merely a clever plot device, a red herring, to keep fans watching intently and discussing the meaning of them from week to week? (I really liked by Periodic Chart of the Elements Theory). The conclusion, as written, the Numbers were basically used as immaterial bait to keep fans interested in the show. The function of the numbers being so coincidental throughout the seasons is an easter egg not found and left to rot in the yard. The idea that the Numbers were merely symbolic placeholders in Jacob's still convoluted plan to maintain the Island special powers seems disappointing, especially to die hard sci-fi fans looking for a deeper explanation. There is little elegance in the Numbers being merely a scorecard.
Considering the lighthouse contained hundreds of names and numbers crossed off during the centuries, the LOST numbers appear just to be random footnotes. And in the vetting of these final Candidates, there are very little cohesion or moral values between the actual characters. In fact, three had violent or criminal pasts (Ford, Kwon, Jarrah). Two were real life losers (Locke and Reyes, until he won the lottery then began to lose his mind). So by default, Jack winds up as the least flawed person on this list, if you exclude his personal life and drug addiction. In fact, none of the final Candidates had high moral standards to protect something so important as the Light and Island, the source of life, death and rebirth. I guess it is true, when your number is up, your number is really up.