Friday, May 27, 2011


For those who were angered, confused, disappointed, betrayed or dumbfounded by the End, there is something for you to consider: when did the LOST train go off the rails?

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


In "The End," Jack had planned to hold the funeral services for his father in Eloise's church. After Desmond helped many characters to remember their lives on the Island, they all met at the the sideways church. In a chapel filled with symbols of major religions, Jack found his father's empty coffin, just as he did on the Island. He then met his father, who helped him to understand the nature of his reality: Jack, Christian, and all of the people in the church had either died before Jack or a long time after him, but they and their lives were all real.

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


It was always strange that Jorge Garcia was the first actor cast in LOST, as Hurley. Hurley was often a character in the background, then in the foreground for comic relief, and then to represent the fans wanting answers to the mysteries. Why Hurley? "The first shall be last and the last shall be first." What is the lasting effect of Hurley in the LOST mythology?

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


"It's the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel Fine!" - - - R.E.M.

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


From January 19, 2010: 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


It is a simple question that has never been asked: when did the Sideways time line begin?

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?