Saturday, March 30, 2013


Christian Shepard is an anomaly.

In the fourth episode of the series, Jack begins to see visions of his dead father. A father who he was estranged from ever since Jack squealed on his father's alcohol induced medical negligence. Christian lost his medical license and his son.  Apparently, Christian went to Australia to see his former lover, Carole Littleton, who was severely injured in an automobile accident with his illicit daughter, Claire. Jack's mother sent him to Australia to bring back his father, but Christian spoiled that reunion by dying of an alcohol induced heart attack.

Jack accused his father of embarrassing him in front of other doctors during his internship. Then Jack believed people at St. Sebastian believed Jack got his position because of nepotism and not skill. But despite their rocky relationship,  Jack did not find work at a different medical facility which probably led to the staff's view of Christian's favoritism to his son.

Jack had a cold and distant relationship with his father as he grew up. Christian reinforced negative comments, like Jack did not have the stomach to be a leader; that he could not make the "hard" life and death decisions, and that you cannot "fix" everybody. It would appear that this is a long succession of daddy issues as Christian inferred that his own father did not approve of Christian's marriage to Margo, Jack's mother.

Christian's sudden death racks Jack's mind and emotional state. Jack cannot solve the problem of not correcting his relationship with his father. One can assume that this strong emotional state and memories of his father were "used" by the island (especially MIB) to manipulate Jack.

Following the crash of Oceanic 815, the Man in Black took on the appearance of Christian and began appearing to many of the survivors:
He appeared to Vincent and told him to wake "his son," whom he claims has "work to do."
He appeared to Jack a few days after the plane crash and led him to the caves. Years later, when confronted by Jack, MIB/Flocke would admit to using "Christian's form" when leading Jack to the caves, claiming that he was trying "to help" the survivors.
He appeared to Claire in the jungle and convinced her to abandon Aaron and follow him into the jungle.
He appeared in Jacob's Cabin and instructed Locke to move the Island.
He appeared to Locke in the FDW and told Locke he needed to find everyone, bring them to Eloise, and "to die" because "that's why they call it a sacrifice."
He appeared to Michael on the the freighter just before the explosion.

Even after leaving the Island, the image of Christian appeared to Jack. Christian appeared to Jack twice after the departure from the Island. First, Jack caught a glimpse of Christian as he walked by in the hospital. The second time also occurred at the hospital, while Jack was working late hours. He heard a smoke detector go off in the lobby. Christian said Jack's name from a nearby sofa, but one of Jack's co-workers appeared and Christian vanished. Believing this to be a hallucination, Jack requested a prescription for clonazepam.

The evidence suggests that throughout the series the image of Christian was a mere illusion. Christian was not Jack's father, but a re-creation from Jack's own memories but controlled by a supernatural smoke monster. The reality of the fake Christian was enhanced by the memories of other characters, like Sawyer and Ana Lucia's interactions with Christian in Australia. Jacob and MIB used that information to construct a puppet that could guide and manipulate Jack. There was a deep seeded need in Jack to seek final approval from his dead father. The island illusionists used that emotional pit to lead Jack to serve the Island/MIB/Jacob purposes. 

Since Christian was not "real" in the sense of a reincarnated person or even an independent ghost/spirit protecting Jack from the evils of the island conflicts, we must look closely at who was fake Christian. We have an admission from MIB that he used Christian's form to lead Jack to a fresh water supply to save the survivors. Why would MIB want to keep the crash survivors alive on the island when he told Jack centuries before that humans were destructive and corrupt?  MIB's grand plan was to use the survivors (especially the candidates) to "kill" Jacob so MIB "could leave the island." However, if Christian's image was seen by Jack off the island, who was that Christian?  If MIB was truly trapped and could not leave the island, it must have been Jacob. This would be evidence that Jacob was also had smoke monster shape shifting powers. That would make sense, since two equal smoke monsters would not be able to kill each other.

But if Jacob was Christian to Jack in the off-island appearances (we were shown Jacob touching other candidates off island so he had the power to leave the island at any time), why could Jacob not pretend to be Christian on the island?  Jacob said he never interfered with the people he brought to the island, but that is a bold face lie. Even MIB told Alpert early on that Jacob was a liar.

So we have island Christian being the smoke monster illusion in a physical form. But then, we have one more grand appearance of Christian in the sideways world. Christian is the master of ceremonies at the sideways church. Why is he the only parent of the 815ers present? Was Christian's appearance needed for Jack to be awakened so everyone could move on in the after life? But was that really Christian?!  Could this sideways master of ceremonies be the mirror reflection of the island's master of ceremonies, Jacob?

In the sideways church, Jack goes into a back room where his father's coffin is placed near a stained glass window reflecting all major religions. Jack touches the coffin and, with his memories awakened. He opens the coffin only to find it empty. Christian then enters the office, and explains to Jack that he had died and that this reality had been created by Jack and his former friends in order to find each other and "move on" together.

CHRISTIAN: This is the place that you...that you all made together, so that you could find one another. The most...important part of your life, was the time that you spent with these people. That's why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.

JACK: For what?

CHRISTIAN: To remember...and to...let go.

The two shared a hug. We are led to believe that Jack and his father have reconciled their differences. But there is one glaring hole in Christian's explanation. Christian did not create the sideways world, Jack and his island friends did. So why is Christian truly part of this sideways reconciliation or is Christian a mere "prop" like Jack's sideways son, David?

After Jack reunited with his friends at the church's nave and sat with Kate at a pew, Christian emerged and briefly patted his son on the shoulder. He then opened the church's doors, allowing a bright light to engulf all those present as they crossed over to the next stage in their afterlives.

It would seem that the ending was brought about by a supernatural power - - - one that would have been beyond a mortal soul, such as man like Christian Shepard. It leads to an open question: was the sideways Christian a final illusion, possibly Jacob in disguise, rounding up the lost souls that helped him escape from his own island purgatory?

Friday, March 29, 2013


The character of Jacob may be the hardest nut to swallow. Was Jacob a god, a devil, a spirit, a smoke monster or an illusion? 

Jacob came to the island in his mother's womb. Claudia was a woman in the classic Roman period (27 BC to 400 AD). She was shipwrecked on the island. She was separated from her ship crew. she was befriended by an island woman, who midwived the birth of twin boys. Then the island woman (CrazyMom) killed Claudia. CrazyMom then raised Jacob and his brother.

From what we were shown, CrazyMom was the only person on the island when Claudia's ship wrecked during a storm. We do not know her back story or how long she had been the island guardian. However, she grants Jacob and his brother a form of eternal life and she set a rule that neither could harm each other. CrazyMom was like a lighthouse keeper. Isolated, alone, but with a specific important job to do, one that apparently she was either chosen or manipulated into taking.

There was a growing consensus that Crazy Mom may have been human at some point. But on the island,  enlightenment changed her being into a semi-god status. She was probably tricked into becoming the guardian. She needed to trick someone to take her place, and children are easier to manipulate. Only when she could confer her powers onto another being (like Jacob), could her job be complete and she could pass on (to next life, rebirth, etc.) So being a guardian is not all it is cracked out to be. The parallel with Desmond and the button is the best way to look at this theme. You believe you are doing something important and good - but you grow weary and tired of your obligation, so you also want to pass it on to someone else, so you can achieve your personal peace.

Crazy Mother kidnaps Jacob and MIB and raises them as her own. She sets the rules. The children cannot harm each other. But we will learn that there are no real rules on the island.

MIB grows weary of the island and goes to live with the surviving Romans, who are tapping the EM Life Force in an attempt to “go home” or leave the island. MIB has contempt for the humans, but needs their knowledge and technology to break CrazyMom's rules.

Crazy Mother is upset with MIB, and kills all the Others, which makes MIB mad with rage so he kills her. In his own rage over the death of his alleged mother, Jacob kills MIB (or destroys his soul) by throwing him into the Light Cave where MIB is transformed or released into the smoke monster. This transformation apparently binds Jacob and MIB to eternity on the island, together.

Jacob views the island as home and needs to be protected; while MIB views the island as a prison. As the protector, the leader, Jacob sets “the rules” between themselves.  In order to ease his mind, he creates a "game" to play with MIB/Smokey which is the manipulation and destruction of lost human souls.

CrazyMom called the shipwreck survivors "people," like it was a derogatory term. MIB also called the people brought to the island in derogatory terms: people always "fight, destroy and corrupt." But Jacob, who was the only person allowed to bring people to the island. Jacob  remarked it all was "progress" in some grand plan between Jacob and MIB. But it appeared that for hundreds of years, people brought to the island "served" some vague purpose.

Which leads to the strange behavior of Jacob. If it is true that he continues to bring people to the island (like CrazyMom did to find her successor by shipwrecks?), as a demi-god why did he need people to build temples or Dharma stations? Likewise, why would he need to leave the island to recruit in order to protect it? Besides, that would prove MIB was right: there was something "across the sea."  But maybe bringing people to the island for centuries was all Jacob's cruel, new game with his brother, that "lowly people" are bad and their CrazyMom was right. However, "across the sea" could have used as a metaphor. It could mean across the galaxy, the plane of existence, the after life or dimensions.

Jacob had the ability to leave the island and "touch" candidates and manipulate man or nature to get them to the island, so there was no logical reason why Jacob needed an elaborate  plan was to find a successor: he could have kidnapped a person, made him guardian, then flee the island. There was no need for an elaborate, centuries long, twisted tale of treachery, worship and murder.

The only conclusion is that Jacob never "left" the island, per se.  If he could not physically leave the island, then he would need "help" from the people he brought to the island. Help him to do what?

We assume that when MIB killed CrazyMom and Jacob killed MIB, Jacob's soul was "imprisoned" on the island forever. But after his guardianship was secure, Jacob did leave the island so the concept of Jacob being trapped on the island would be incorrect. We also assume that MIB is also trapped on the island by being a smoke monster, but we don't know if that is true.

One interesting discussion point was why Jacob or other demi-god on the island need people to build huge monuments or temples.  Or why MIB/Smokey needs a dead body in order to take human form.
The island powers do not enable the guardian to create mass - he simply can influence people. Jacob seemingly can't just blink, and presto - we have a lighthouse. So proponents of "the Genie theory" that island guardians could create anything with a blink of an eye surrendered with this explanation. If Jacob, MIB or smoke monsters cannot create objects or things out of thin air (or in nature with fundamental elements), then that could mean that they themselves have no cohesive mass - - - that they are truly spirits seeking a material world.

And even after Jacob's "death" he created himself as a man and as a young boy to interact with people still left on the island. So if Jacob could re-create his spirit into various forms, then one could assume that he could have done that before Ben stabbed in the statue. And we know that MIB is the smoke monster who can create various human forms, including Flocke.

We have been told that Jacob was the one who has been bringing people to the island. Was it was not for MIB's sake?  One explanation is that Jacob accepted the fact that he caused a cascade of events that led to both his CrazyMom's and brother's death. His world had ended. He was left with a substitute brother, the smoke monster. He was looking for a candidate so he could die (his punishment) and rejoin his real brother in death, but he had not found one person who would "accept" the position as guardian. So there had been a complex con-artist adventure story under the guise of emotional brainwashing to beat down Jack to accept the guardianship.

But is the real island conflict simply that MIB's ghost does not want Jacob to scheme his way off the island by death; he wants to continually punish Jacob for what he did to MIB by keeping Jacob on the island for eternity? Except, MIB's "loophole" was a means to actually "kill" Jacob - - - to break down the barrier of god-like status with the lowly human beings brought to serve him. The means of leaving the island was an act of betrayal, just as MIB's death was caused by an act of betrayal.

In one respect, the island also served as a prison for the 815 characters. Part of them were trapped in the island drama for no apparent reason except to free Jacob and MIB from their servitude to some unknown higher deity. Perhaps, with Jacob and MIB's island deaths, they would be awakened in their own parallel sideways world that their real mother created for them.

 But what was Jacob supposed to represent in the series?

The boogie-man? The man in the shadows? The puppet master? The means to the end?

If one looks at the full storyline, the Jacob character is the most important element to the island conclusion - - - but at the same time the most irrelevant character in the 815ers after life reunion.

In one respect, Jacob was a psychopath. He kidnapped, cajoled, manipulated and killed people he tricked into coming to the island. He stalked his candidates from a young age. From the light house wheel, at least 340 people were brought to the island and did not "pass" his test to become the next guardian. If one did not become the guardian, MIB/Smokey disposed of them. There is a tag team mass murder dynamic.

Why would someone he vowed to protect the life force extinguish so many people who contained the life force?  It makes little sense. As MIB told Alpert, Jacob was "the devil." In certain respects, that is the truth. Jacob's island and Jacob's rules created hell for the people brought within its sphere. Whether this hell made the characters better people is debatable. Most never changed or were redeemed in the sense of valor, heroic actions or moral absolution.

Jacob is not mentioned in the sideways world. He is not seen. He is not referenced. He is not part of anyone's consciousness. He is a nullity.

Then we get to the unanswered question: was Jacob "real" in the first place?  A human being that lives for thousands of years is not a normal human. An entity that grants immortal life to Alpert, but cannot reincarnate his dead wife, but create her image is a cruel master.

It may be that CrazyMom was the psyche of a messed up individual or the personification of an evil soul reaper. Jacob could be that supernatural grim reaper.

But the series did not dwell upon the religious overtones of right, wrong or ultimate judgment. Jacob did not judge people, per se. He merely drafted them as candidates, players in this island game of chess with MIB, and let them find their own way to life or death. The idea of a guardian with no guidance is strange. One with ultimate power who refuses to use it to better mankind is not a hero.

Jacob's death did not seem to be a heroic gesture. It seemed like a slow suicide pact coming to bear. Jacob's death did not seem to change anything on the island. Flocke was still Flocke. The faux crisis of Widmore's attack was still present. The characters running through the jungle without a clue what to do continued on endlessly. It took five and three-quarter seasons to get four candidates around a campfire with Jacob's spirit to have one person, Jack, accept the guardian position. It seems like the worst goose chase or snipe hunt in history. And with Jack taking over for Jacob, how does that transform a smoke monster into a mortal being? Jacob's brother was already dead. Jacob himself was already dead. The people on the island had no real means to leave so the island would protect itself by sinking to the ocean floor.

Jacob as a character has little value in trying to figure out what was the big premise of Lost. In order to get to a quick wrap up, the Jacob-MIB conflict was thrown together as some focal resolution point. But even that conflict was erased by the meaning of the sideways after life. So what if the Lost characters were already dead? Did Jacob, in any way, help them on their after life journey?  One could only argue that Jacob brought together people on the island not for his benefit, but to allow a host of lonely people to "die together" in the after life. If that is the takeaway point of the series, it seems 99 percent of the stories were hollow and shallow.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


If there was ever a title of the most mysterious woman on Lost, Eloise Hawking would probably take the crown. Even though she did not appear until Season 3, her presence and manipulations are fully interconnected in the character story arcs to conclude that she was an important pivot point to the entire series.

As I have indicated in previous posts (check the archive keyword under Eloise), Eloise Hawking has an unexplained puppet master role.

We know very little about her except she knows a lot about everyone.

We know she was a young woman on the island in the 1950s. During a time flash, she meets Daniel in a time skip. We know that in 1977 she was at odds with Charles Widmore over leadership of the Others. It would seem that the strong personalities of Eloise and Charles pushed Alpert's role into the background. It is during that time skip that she kills her own son, Daniel, in the episode, The Variable. As Daniel fell, he realized that he had been shot by Eloise, and whispered to her that she had "known it the whole time." Confused, she asked him who he was, and he revealed that he was her son, leaving her standing over him, shocked.

We can assume that as an Other, Eloise was fully informed about the Island's properties and the need for its protection. She also knew about its power. And it seems that she did not shy away from gaining power and control over other people. We must conclude that the 1977 time skip had a profound affect on Eloise and her relationship with her son. She forced him into advanced science including electromagnetism and theories of space time.

We know that Daniel Faraday was her son (by blood with Charles Widmore). We do not know why Daniel's surname is not Widmore (could it be Eloise's maiden name?) But we do know that Widmore was banished from the island because he had an off-island affair which led to the birth of Daniel's half sister, Penny Milton, who herself must have kept her mother's maiden name. It is an unusual convex of names: Faraday, a scientist renown for electromagnetic studies, and Milton, whose great work Paradise Lost about the story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men" is one of the main themes of the entire series.

In the sideways world (after life), Eloise is in complete control of her situation. She is married to a rich man (Widmore), and has a dolting musical son, Daniel. She has Widmore keeping Desmond occupied with global business meetings. In The End, Eloise met Desmond once again during the concert, aware that he had awakened several people to their former lives. She believed that if her son Daniel remembered his life, he would be able to finally move on, possibly departing from her. At Eloise's request, Desmond agreed not to awaken Daniel.

It is then have the full revelation that Eloise Hawking is the woman behind the LOST curtain.

She is the mastermind behind getting the 815ers “back” to the Island. She is the person who pushed her son, Daniel, into the complex physics of time travel. She convinced Widmore, her ex-husband, to fund the research and expedition back to the Island. She cajoled people to get back to the island to “save the world” or to complete their destiny. Was Jack’s destiny to replace her insane son’s plan to blow up the Swan station before the Incident (which, in theory would have killed Eloise before giving birth to him) in order to re-boot the time line of events where Daniel does not die by Eloise’s hand in 1977? It seems quite convoluted and complex.

Daniel’s Rube Goldberg trap explanation of how is is going to change the future by blowing up the past with members of the future at the event in the past fails to consider Ben’s terse statement “dead is dead” on the island. Daniel believes he can “fix things” and save Charlotte by stopping the Swan incident (massive EM release which would later be contained by the Hatch) by blowing up the pocket of energy with a hydrogen bomb. A bomb that would destroy the island and kill everyone on it - - - including himself, his mother and all the people who should have been on Flight 815. If the characters were truly “time traveling” in space time, they would only have one “life.”  If they are killed in 1977, would they be erased from the future itself? Or is this plan really the ultimate “course correction” of the paradox of time travelers meeting their parents and changing events that had already happened?

The real method to stop the release of energy that downed Flight 815 is found in the fact that Eloise pushed Desmond to the Island, “to save (her) world” meaning that she found a patsy in Desmond to push the button. If he had done his job, Flight 815 would have never crashed; the freighter would have never been launched to the Island; Daniel would have never been time shifted by the FDW, and she would have never killed him in 1977.

So which came first? Eloise’s plan or Daniel’s plan?

There was always a question of whether Eloise’s killing of her time traveling son, Daniel, on the Island in 1977, caused the Island to kill all pregnant women. It is also unclear as to the paternity of both Daniel and Penny. Was Penny a secondary dream to replace Daniel in Eloise’s own mental visions of her future? Was the imprisonment of Desmond on the Island the mental visions of Eloise to “save (her) world” i.e. Daniel from the fate of death at her own hands?

There is another aspect to consider: Lost in Reverse. Sideways is a purgatory wait station. The Island is the hell to test souls fears, sins through relationships, quests, tests, judgment or redemption. The flashbacks are not true memories, but the dream feedstock of the characters main fears and nightmares, because those mental conditions are repeated in Island events to see if the character can change, come to grip with those issues, in order to “move on.” Christian tells Jack that everything that has happened to him was “real.” But reality is a moving target concept. One can dream themselves into sweat filled horror which seems absolutely real. A psychopath can have “real illusions” and act them out in real life, like stabbing an individual who he thinks is a werewolf or zombie. The sideways world was “created” by Jack’s friends in order to wait for Jack’s death. How can you “interconnect” the minds, thoughts, memories and personality of a dozen people to create a whole new world. It sounds like a game platform. It sounds like an MMO. It sounds - - - like a crazy construct.  We know the sideways world is not real, but it had to be created by the memories or dreams of the characters, which differ from their flashback stories. An alternative dream world was created for Jack to return to the group who shared Island based adventures and breakthroughs like group therapy.

Or it could be a layered effect of interlocking Time. The ancient Mayans had three interlocking calendars to keep Time. One was a 9 month “human” cycle. One was the 12 month “harvest” cycle. One was the “cosmic” cycle. High priests could interlock all three calendars to predict future star events or predict the meaning of births.

Lost could represent a layered of “after time” calendars. A character may be “living” in several different “realities” which may or may not overlap. More likely, one parallel life feeds off the memories of an alternative past “after time” cycle. Take Eloise as the prime example of this theory:

Those layered clocks on human consciousness can overlap. It could explain Desmond’s mind flashes to future events. It could explain how Eloise knows the future, and knows how the after life gears of time work. It is why Eloise was so upset that Desmond was "awakening" other Island people in the sideways world. Eloise feared that Daniel would wake up - - - realize what his mother did to him in alternative time lines - - -  and leave her forever.

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

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

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

She takes him to the church, the place Jack was going to have his father’s funeral. This is the same church that the O6 got their instructions from Eloise on how to "return to the Island." It would appear that the church is a nexus point between the sideways and island realms.

When sideways Kate says they are waiting for him “once he is ready.” Jack asks, “ready for what?” Kate responds, “to leave.”

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

Once these Island visitors, including Desmond, leave the sideways existence, Eloise's long plan to safeguard her son from "remembering" or "leaving her" comes to her happy ending. It would appear that Eloise would have her son for all eternity so long as he does not remember his non-sideways past. The one element that could have dislodged those hidden memories was Desmond, who is now engulfed in the white light from the church.

If one objectively looks at the dynamic of the End as the solution of Six Seasons of LOST mysteries, only one key plot point was revealed and resolved: Eloise's demands to Desmond to stop what he was doing so Daniel would not be taken away from her. This puts Eloise in the position of the one person who had a major controlling influence on all the other main characters. She was the one pulling all the strings. She was the one that was truly manipulating the characters to reach not their goals, but her one objective: to be with her son in the sideways after life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Desmond takes Libby's boat, but then becomes shipwrecked on the Island. He is put to work pressing the Numbers in order "to save the world." Eloise tells him that his fate is to press the Numbers. But in reality, Eloise sole purpose is to imprison Desmond so he stays out of the life of Penny which could cause the sideways Desmond to awaken and take Daniel to the next level of the after life. That Desmond was told that his sole destiny is to stay in the Hatch "to save the world" (which really meant save Eloise's fantasy world) and forget any notion of being with Penny was the biggest con of the entire series.  For three years, Desmond accepts that role. It is only after he begins to be aware that he is "being conned" by Kelvin, that he fails in pressing the buttons. In that moment, he is aware that he can leave the island and return to Penny. But what stops him? The sudden arrival of new characters, the Others and the 815 survivors, who again, occupy Desmond with obstacles on leaving the Island (and returning to Penny).

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

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

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

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

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

Eloise's master plan was to stop Daniel from remembering his past. She did everything in her power to make sure that Daniel's after life was a narrow, non-scientific focus that centered around herself. And in the end, Eloise's plan worked: Daniel did not go away with the other Lost characters. So, Eloise was the only character who truly got all she wanted in the end.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


If one needs to find a poster child for the illogic of Lost, Benjamin Linus would be a finalist. When Michael Emerson was hired to do a guest shot as an Other late in Season 2, it was supposed to be a one-two episode filler showing the brutality seeping into the 815ers (Ben as Henry Gale being tortured in the Hatch). It was part of a tie-in to Sayid's flashback story as a torturer. But Ben's bug-eyed evil and calm manipulation that burst upon the scene as a perfect villain.

Ben was born prematurely in a forest on December 19, 1964 to Roger and Emily Linus. Ben was another one of the premature or miracle babies ("special"). His mother died in child birth. His distraught father was found by Dharma leader Horace, which led to Ben coming to the island.

As a young child, Ben had a lonely childhood. He had both mother (who was not there for him) and father (who blamed him for his mother's death) issues. Even at Dharma, he would have had a semi-normal childhood. But for some unknown reason, Ben snapped - - - and turned into a mass murder control freak. By the time 815 crashed on September 22, 2004, Ben had purged the Dharma group, killed his father, and became the de facto leader of the Others. He had manipulated a doctor, Juliet, to come to the island to deal with pregnancy issues, but made her a prisoner. When she rebuffed his advances, he made her suffer. He put Juliet's lover, Goodwin, on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the tail section survivors. He did, and died as a result. Ben made a point of showing Juliet his corpse in order to belittle her - - - and make her life hopeless.

Ben's character was dripping with inherit evil. He was the omnibus threat to the main characters. He was the man who killed without hesitation. It was this sense of danger, and Emerson's fine acting, that led to Ben staying on in the series.

For being the man in charge of the island, Ben directed the Others on their missions. He sent Ethan and Alpert off the island to recruit new members. He did not people to speak to the man behind the curtain, Jacob. Ben was all about following "his" rules. He was a dictator. People feared his wrath. He manipulated other people to commit horrible acts of cruelty. He took devilish pride when his schemes worked out well.

If the island was a symbolic hell, then why was Ben allowed to rule it like a king? Was he really the henchman of the Devil himself (Jacob)? Was his sole purpose to punish the souls who crashed on the island? It would seem indiscriminate and confusing role because in the case of Juliet, she did nothing we are aware of to be so brutally punished by Ben.

As the seasons wore on, Ben's command over the island weakened as the 815ers proved to be a bothersome lot. They were not the timid sheep of Horace's Dharma group. They had evil sinners in their midst on par with Ben's warped personality (like Sayid). After Sayid tortured Ben in the Hatch, Ben thought he gave the perfect cover story on Henry Gale - - - which everyone believed when Sayid returned saying he found the balloon and the grave. His story confirmation would give him the trust with the survivors. But Sayid did not trust him, and opened the grave to find a man and not a woman. This plot arc would have probably ended with Sayid killing Ben to put in the morality of the survivors into dramatic question. But moral themes of the series faded away quickly after Season 2.

Because there were people now on the island who would not trust him, Ben got angry. Because there were people now on the island who would challenge him, Ben got vengeful. In some ways he became the human smoke monster. One of the long story arcs was the battle to control the island - - - Ben verus Locke. But in reality, the real battle to control the island was the Others against Widmore's return. But that was not the truth, since in the end, the battle for the island was the supernatural sibling feud of Jacob and his brother, in the form of Flocke. Ben's role was diminished in island history as apparent authority. Jacob apparently wielded sole power. Jacob manipulated Ben better than Ben manipulated the others. Ben's downfall was letting his emotions be manipulated by Flocke to kill Jacob.

Ben's "life" ended with Jacob's death. Ben became a follower. He became an outcast. He lacked a purpose. He was lost. It was Jacob's confident soldier, Ilana, that gave Ben a glimmer of hope. It was Hurley that gave Ben his last island job as his second in command. But these moves gave Ben no redemptive epiphany. He was never truly sorry for his actions. He only felt sorry that he lost control over "his" island kingdom.

The sideways world view of Ben is one of tortured logic. How can a mass murderer go to heaven and not be punished for his crimes?  Why does Ben get to "choose" to stay in the sideways fantasy in order to work things out with Rousseau and Alex?  It is not crazy to assume if Rousseau "awakes" to the real Ben that she would not strangle him for the hell he put her through on the island. Why should Ben be rewarded for all the evil deeds he did in the non-sideways stories? Why should he be in control of his own after life destiny? It makes no sense.

This is a constant problem with trying to find meaning and structure with the sideways story mechanics. The sideways world has no moral compass. It does not punish souls for bad behavior. Apparently, it rewards some over others. And there is no reason why Ben would wind up with Rousseau in any alternative universe.

Can a child who grows up to kill his father, mass murder his Dharma colleagues, and direct kidnappings, torture and executions, fit for a heavenly reward in the after life? From what we are shown, yes. Ben's only punishment was his "loss" of island power. His only sideways punishment was one beat down by Desmond (unless you consider being a high school teacher a form of punishment). So Ben's invite to the church, with its multi-religious undertone, is systemic with the story flaws of the final season. There is no justification to put Ben in the same moral standing as a Hurley or a Penny.

Ben was a great villain. He was a great foil to judge the other characters. He was a great facilitator for plot twists. But in the grand finale of things, he was a minor, insignificant player. So was he truly a main focal point in the evolution of the 815 characters journey to the after life, or was he merely a prop in a delusional mind? Ben's character is easy to identify but hard to categorize. He was loved as a evil manipulator, but hated as a meek inconsistency in the end.

Friday, March 22, 2013


One of the characters that had the greatest importance (the big build-up) for the series conclusion was our lost Scot, Desmond Hume. In the end, his role was merely a concierge. For many, this was a great disappointment.

Desmond first appeared on the radar in Season 2. In order to stretch out the character tree, TPTB needed to craft a more "epic" and sympathic love story. So Desmond and Penny romance was born.

Very little is known about Desmond's background. His time line during flash backs do not have the continuity to be considered full truths. Some of  Desmond's life seems to be disjointed concurrent events. We are led to believe that he was set designer for a theatre company, a banished military corporal, a failed monk, a failed copier salesman, and a lost sailor. In 1988, he broke off his engagement with a woman named Ruth because he feared a committed relationship. Afterward, at the monastary run by Eloise Hawking's friend, Brother Campbell, Desmond meets Widmore's daughter, Penny. He has a relationship with her that her father disapproves (which is probably why Penny liked Desmond). But Desmond runs away from Penny when things got too serious. Then, he flip flopped mentally to get her back by "proving" something to her father (by winning a solo trans Pacific boat race). It seems all far fetched and a lame excuse to avoid marriage.

It is the failure as a monk that "tags" Desmond into Eloise's scheme to get Desmond onto the Pacific Ocean to be trapped on the island pressing a stupid button forever. Eloise, as Widmore's spouse (as depicted in the sideways world), had to be working in concert with Widmore under some guise to "protect" and/or "reclaim" the island from Ben and the Others. Eloise told Desmond that he was destined to "save the world."  And that is the HUGE mystery item for the series - - - a noble goal, a epic struggle, a great solution. So we are left guessing what was attacking the world, and how Desmond was destined to save it.

Desmond is also the character that starts the flood gate of "inconsequential" meetings with the other main characters. This script entanglements in retrospect only gave the series catch phrases but not plot momentum. Desmond meets Libby in a coffee shop. In less than five minutes, she gives a stranger her husband's boat. Yes, that is crazy. Desmond then meets Jack running stadium stairs. Both men have burning woman problems. Desmond tells him that he will see Jack "in another life." Desmond then crash lands on the island. He meets Kelvin, who just happened to be part of the American forces in Iraq who converted Sayid. Desmond was tricked into pushing a computer button every 108 minutes. Three years later, Desmond confronts Kelvin about the station. In the fight, Desmond kills Kelvin and misses the deadline to push the button. He believes the release of the EM energy from the Swan station caused Flight 815 to crash on the island.  (Except, the counter supernatural explanation is that only Jacob can bring people to the island.)

When Locke finds the Hatch, Desmond finds his way to escape his prison. Locke and the survivors then take his place on pure faith that pushing the button was important. But when Locke decides that this is a farce and destroys the terminal, causing an incident, Desmond takes the fail safe key and the entire station "blows up then implodes" into a large crater. By any standard, the force of such a blast would kill a human being. But Desmond awakes naked in the jungle. (Some believe that this may not have been Mr. Hume but a recreation. Or he had cat lives like Patchy.)  Afterward, TPTB created another strange plot twist of Desmond having "flashes" in time - - - which he believed he could see into the future. Some of his illusions turned out to be true, but some like the vision of Claire on the rescue helicopter, were false.

So if Desmond's sole purpose in "saving" the world was to press the hatch button, then he failed. He set into motion the MIB escape plan.

But then we were told that after Desmond left the island, found Penny and had a child, that he returned to the island to save his friends. There was no rational basis for this 180 degree turn. Desmond vowed never to return to the island because he knew it was a prison. He had everything he wanted off the island: Penny and his son. So what if the world would end - - - it would end with his family. So it puts that whole family dynamic in dispute when Desmond agrees to return to the island, as some sort of "weaponized" human being to destroy MIB. When the tech gets fried by the EM coils, any normal human being would also be fried. But not Desmond. He passes the test with flying colors. But for what purpose?

The only thing Desmond does is lift the stone cork in the Light Cave. Apparently, there is some EM radiation present (as with the remains of other people), but human Jack later goes into that cave to save Desmond without dying or turning into a smoke monster. So from the story itself, Desmond was not a key player at all. His island role was really overblown and found to be insignificant since Desmond does not kill Flocke, but Kate does (or so we are led to believe.)

So we have the super-fried Scot returning to the island to accomplish . . . . ? Nothing. MIB was created by the disruption of the light cave source so another disruption would not cause any change in MIB's existence. Did Desmond gain Widmore's respect by being a EM conduit? No. Did Desmond actually save anyone on the island? No. Did Desmond ever reunite with Penny? We don't know, but probably not if one gives any credence to the sideways arc.

In the sideways world, Desmond is the mirror opposite of his former self. He is Widmore's friend and confident employee. He is successful. He is trusted. He is in control. Then he meets a crazy musician named Charlie, who tries to kill him. By attempting his murder, Desmond begins to have strange thoughts - - - back to Flight 815. He investigates the passenger list and he begins to "awaken" the characters about their death-existence in the sideways world.

Now, if Desmond's island relationships were the "most important people in his life" since that is why he was in the church at the end, well, that is hard to believe. The "best" part of Desmond's non-sideways life was escaping the island and living with Penny and his son. So, if Christian statement was true, then Desmond's off-island life with Penny is false. This cannot be reconciled. Even if Desmond "awoke" himself in the sideways arc, there was no need to awaken anyone else - - - all he had to do was re-connect with Penny (who barely had any contact with O6). It would have been Penny, Dez and his son Charlie in their own after life church. But that leads to a crushing theory that Desmond's life with Penny was a pure fantasy - - - there was no blissful reunion, no child, nothing. That the sideways fantasy was a mere post-death continuation of a life fantasy.

Desmond's role was sold to viewers as being a lynch pin solution to the island mysteries. But he may have been just another rat in Daniel's Oxford lab maze. After Desmond awoke in the sideways world, he was confronted by Eloise at the pre-concert garden. She warned Desmond not to go any further. She did not want him to "take away" her son. Desmond said he was not there for Daniel. In Eloise's theory, this entire magical island drama was a scam to keep her external fantasy relationship with Daniel. Which means that at some point, possibly in the sideways arc, Eloise sent Desmond to the island just to avoid any memories of Penny in the after life. It seems like a huge effort for Eloise to tear a part time and space to exile one man to a hidden island just to shelter her son from leaving her (after) life. But that seems what happens in the end: Eloise's relationship with her son remains the same. Her "world" is saved, but not by Desmond "saving" it but "leaving it."

The Lost saga could have been told without the Desmond-Penny-Widmore triangle. As a second season character who lasted to the end, Desmond really had no significance except for being a literal lightning rod for plot twists and run up to faux danger.

For all the troubles, personal pain, physical damage, did Desmond's journey through Lost change his character? Not really. He was still used as a pawn in either alternative dimension. He was at the mercy of stronger leaders. He always kept trying to prove his worth. He was easily manipulated. If his only focus was to live happily ever after with Penny, then in a small way he succeeded in the end. (As said in previous posts, we do not know whether the white light ending in the finale meant a trip to heaven, or a trip to final judgment.)

One would have thought that if Desmond has super hero powers he would have had a more heroic role in the island conflict. He would have been able to take down both Widmore and MIB. But he did neither. He was a footnote in the main characters journey to the sideways church.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


An old error is always more popular than a new truth.
— German Proverb 

Dust is the accumulation of eroded, ground, atomized, broken down and dispersed elements of dirt. As we have ground through the full rerun cycle of Lost, what has been settled?

Not much. Subjectivity of the subject matter is still a personal opinion.

What were the major themes from season to season?
First, it was all about the crash survival and rescue.
Second, it turned into survival against a smoke monster.
Third, it turned into a cat and mouse game of combat with the Others.
Fourth, it turned into the survivors re-living their secret pasts and distrusting each other.
Fifth, it centered around a mysterious overlord named Jacob.
Sixth, it concerned "saving the world" from the invasion by Widmore's men.
Lastly, it was a battle between Jacob and MIB over the guardianship of the island powers. 

Did the 815ers survive the crash? Two schools of thought on that one: yes and no.
Did the 815ers find rescue? It depends if one thinks figuratively or literally.
Did the 815ers survive the smoke monster? It depends on what you believe the smoke monster(s) represent.
Did the 815ers survive the game with the Others? It was kind of a bloody draw.
Did the 815ers learn to trust each other again? In the final island season, the answer was no - - - deep seeded personality conflicts remained as tension between characters.
Did the 815ers find out about who and what Jacob was/is? Besides the short candidate's campfire in the final episode, no one really knows what Jacob is/was or represents.
Did the 815ers "save the world?" There is no evidence that anything that happened on the island had any bearing in the real world.
Did the 815ers have any significant role in the battle between Jacob and MIB? Since both Jacob and MIB were immortal beings, their own demise was of their own choosing . . . the characters actions were manipulations by the island gods.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


It was once believed that if one stared into a reflective surface, like a mirror or polished volcanic glass, the person would be transported to other worlds. More than 400 years ago, the Aztecs used mirrors to see the future.  Even during the 18th century era of enlightenment, many people would mediate in their reflection in order to "hear" angels give them prophecies about the future.

So what does this have to do with Lost? There was a theme around mirrors. Mirrors as a reflection or introspection of a character's soul. And throughout the series, we saw characters stare blankly out into the ocean (a reflective surface). Is this the portal to the off-island events and alternative realities?

It may be considered a sub-set of mental themes of the series. Are the characters crazy, or are they really crazy. Can someone really have a conversation with a dead person? Can a dead person actually physically assault a live person? Can disembodied souls remain as whispers? If the characters were all surrounded by a mirror surface (the ocean), is this an inner trace for each character to find what he or she lost in their real lives?

One would have hoped that all the characters would have some some profound meaning during their island stays. But in the end, there was no Great Plan revealed; there was no great understanding; there was no great bond between the characters. It was like they all got off the boat in the same port of call.

Which gets us back to the island itself. If the journey to and through the island was one to test the soul, to find redemption, then none of the characters really surged past the finish line. In fact, the best one could say is that most of the characters were "punished" mentally for their past transgressions, but the island did not change their base personalities (Sayid continued to be a torturer; Sawyer continued to be a con-artist, etc.). The only people "rewarded" by the island appeared to be Rose and Bernard, since her cancer was "cured" and they spent their time alone and happy. The only mental anguish they suffered as a couple was the separation when the plane crashed on the island.

Even if the island was a passage of punishment, that would mean that the reunion in the church was not the happy time most people believed what happened to the characters. What if the next leg of the after life journey was not to heaven (the white light) but actually to the next stage of death: judgment. Only after the pain of punishment is there a judgment to determine if a soul has redeemed his or herself to be worthy of a heavenly after life. So believed the ancient Egyptians. That belief is the cornerstone of most modern religions. So when there was lack of religious context throughout the series, and the mish-mash of all religious symbols in the church, one could assume that the characters next chapter would be answering for all their personal sins. They certainly did not reflect on their past mistakes in the sideways world. Once they were awakened, it was time to "move on." To what? Judgment. That is the most probable answer to the question.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


The one thing most Lost fans hate to discuss is the topic of Purgatory. Early in the series, TPTB clearly stated that the show was not about the characters dying in the plane crash and the island being purgatory. Well, throughout the series, the creators, producers and writers lied to the viewers during their plot points and story arcs allegedly having meaning, clues or substance. Many characters built their entire existence on a pyramid scheme of successive lies. Lying was a core concept of Lost. At come point, one has to accept the proposition that TPTB lied to the viewers about purgatory.

The question begins with the answer. The sideways world clearly was a place of departed souls. All the characters were dead "but living a life" of their own fantasy, according to the account of master of church ceremonies, Christian.  In one respect, dead was not dead. The sideways characters were involved in a complex, diverse and physical plain of existence. So why was that kind of existence only limited to the sideways premise?

Building upon the next concept that Christian stated that the sideways world was created by characters, but it had no concept of time (past, present or future), what came first - - - the island or the sideways world? This is a brain teaser because most people assume the sideways world was created by the characters in direct response to the island interactions of the characters. Except, there are logical inconsistencies with that premise.

If we narrow the analysis to the final candidates, we find that they have the following connections:

In breaking a part the three levels of Lost (pre-815, O6 and sideways), we find surprisingly that the candidates never really had any connection with each other during any time or event periods. In the pre-815 situation, none of the final candidates had any real interaction with each other. (It would be speculative at best to assert that Locke "could have" met Hurley while Locke visited his mother at Santa Rosa, but post-crash none of the characters had any recollection of prior meetings except for being passengers in the departure gate.) Even in the O6 off-island situation, only Hurley and Jack had a few encounters but were not close. Only in the sideways world is there the strongest connection: Jack and Locke, based upon a doctor-patient relationship Otherwise, the interactions between the candidates were in limited events of short duration.

We could gather from that information, that each level of Lost was an independent construct. They were not dependent upon candidate interaction or interconnected characters. Which in some respects is a surprise.

For if the characters created the sideways world because those church participants were the most important people in their lives, there is certainly scant evidence of any true friendships between them.
The only long term interaction between the church goers was on the island.

Which then leads to the ultimate question: what is the island? And this is where the purgatory doubters and haters do not want to go.

There is evidence that the island could be hell or purgatory. MIB called Jacob "the Devil." Cooper came to the island immediately after a serious traffic accident and believed he was transported to Hell. If the sideways world was an after-life holding pen, a purgatory for dead souls to occupy their minds until the time was right, then why dismiss the possibility that the other levels of Lost could also be after life creations?

Lost could be considered a multi-layered purgatory. Or in some descriptions, various layers of punishment in hell.

For example, many believe that the island adventures were merely tests of redemption for the characters. Each character arrived on the island with secrets, sins and unresolved issues. The island created all the elements to mirror those secrets, sins and issues in order to test each character to determine if they could change or resolve those issues; to repent, to become a better person, to change their evil ways, or to redeem themselves from their faults.

If we agree that the sideays world was a purgatory that allowed the dead souls to continue to figure things out (as Ben decided to do when he turned down a final church invitation from Hurley), then we can also say that the island itself gave the characters ample opportunity to figure things out.

One can then make the final connection: that the pre-815 world that we were shown was also an after life purgatory challenges and punishments. For example, Hurley in the pre-815 world was the luckiest man in the world as a lottery winner, but it caused him great anguish and grief. Money did not solve his problems, but actually caused him more pain and damnation. It would be an ironic trick that a character like Satan would have found amusing.  And the pre-815 after world would explain why all the characters were illogically rounded up onto one flight to LA. Each character wound up in Australia as a possible solution to a pressing personal burden: Hurley, the Numbers; Sawyer, revenge on Cooper; Jack, to find his father; Bernard to find a cure for Rose's terminal cancer; Locke to find freedom in a walkabout. But in another ironic trick, each of their quests turned up negative and a major disappointment.

One must picture that the all the characters are dead. Satan is the man behind the curtain. He has these dead souls to direct during their journey through the after life. Some need to be punished. Some need to be taught a lesson. Some need to find their own purpose. Some need to let go of their sins. Some need to let go of their unresolved personal relationships.

So, with millions of departed souls to manage, Satan creates vast realistic worlds based on the memories of the people he needs to push through to the final white light. If one accepts that the pre-815 world (the flashbacks) are one level of purgatory, we can see each character living a miserable, lonely life - - - but with an opportunity to change themselves for the better. But in some ways, each character wants to find an easy way out (like Kate, whose solution to everything is to run). So when the souls cannot personally evolve in the pre-815 world, Satan directs them to salvation in Australia. But none of the characters find what they were looking for; they obtain no peace. Therefore, Satan mixes up their post-life journey by putting them all on a doomed plane for a more intense purgatory - - - where their self-obsessed life troubles are now turned into daily life and death trials. On the island purgatory, characters will need to make friends and trust other people in order to survive. It is that forced co-existence that requires the souls to change. But some characters who were too comfortable in the island chaos, needed another testing ground - - - the off-island O6 realm was an ancillary purgatory to mentally punish the "lucky" characters who got off the island. The guilt of leaving people behind got to all of them. They had to go back, but in reality like the round up to Australia by Satan, the O6 survivors were meant to go back to the island to complete their tasks.

The sideways purgatory was a like a dream state for most of the characters. They still had problems, but there were more individualized and focused such as Jack working through his own daddy issues by his interactions with his faux son, David. Once Jack came to the realization of what father-son relationships were all about, he was truly ready to accept his own relationship with Christian. And in this final fourth layer of purgatory is when Jack found the truth and resolution of his tormented relationship with his father.

Lost could be viewed as increasingly difficult post-life proving grounds for each departed soul. Satan kept mixing up the character's lives in order to get them to personally evolve and "fix" themselves. It was when the main characters were thrown together on the island did they begin to really confront their personal demons and find a path to closure.

Lost can be viewed as a series of after life purgatories concluding with a graduation type reunion in the church at the end.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


He was the last candidate, and the least candidate. Jin-Soo Kwon was a man who chased his dreams but compromised his principles along the way.

Jin was born on November 27, 1974 to a poor fisherman and a prostitute. He grew up with his father in a single parent household because his father told him his mother had died when he was an infant.

Jin served in the national Army. After his service, he abandoned his village life to pursue a better life in Seoul. But since he had no connections or extraordinary skills, he landed entry level jobs as a kitchen helper, waiter then doorman. People would discriminate against his background of being from a poor fishing village. Yet, Jin normally took the slurs and continued to do his job until his manager refused service to a poor boy.

He met Sun Paik while working at her father's hotel. It was a fateful flirtation, since Jin was never in her social or political circles. However, as luck would have it, Sun was in the process of rebelling against her father's strict control over her life. As a result, she got involved with Jin as a means of escaping her father's control. But that soon changed when Jin's pride in a husband taking care of his wife took a back seat and submitted himself to work for Sun's father. Sun's father treated Jin as a lowly hired hand, making him do his dirty work. But in order to keep Sun in her customary lifestyle, Jin put up with this form of abuse. He had wanted to become wealthy. He wanted a beautiful wife. He wanted to live far away from his village. He found those things, but at a terrible personal price.

At their wedding, both Sun and Jin were touched by a stranger, Jacob. Sun thought that he had must have been a customer of her father's business. Jin lied to Sun about his parents, claiming that they were dead. But later, Sun would find out about his peasant father and his mother when she tried to blackmail her.

In order to keep his honor, Jin tried to conceive a child with Sun. However, the doctor told them that Sun was infertile. Jin was outraged by the fact, thinking that Sun had conned him into a barren marriage. But later, the doctor secretly told Sun that he lied; Jin was infertile. He lied because he feared Mr. Paik's wrath.

Jin's marriage soon took a sour turn. Sun was hoping to have a strong, independent husband who would have stood up to her father. Instead, she got a meek yes-man. Sun had hoped Jin would have enough backbone to escape with her, but he did not. This caused marital strife between them. This drove Sun into the arms of her English tutor, Lee. Sun had planned to flee her life in Korea. Mr. Paik learned of the inappropriate behavior, and told Jin to go to him and kill him over the statement that Lee was "stealing from him." But Jin did not have the instinct to kill him, just badly beating him up with a warning. However, when Jin was leaving the hotel, Lee's body plunged from the upper floors. (We can assume that Paik was watching Jin and made certain of Lee's demise.)

Jin went to see his father. He told him that if Jin loved his wife, then that is all that mattered. Jin took this simple wisdom with him. On a business trip to Sydney and LA, the couple plotted to disappear together in America. Sun did not trust Jin to follow through with the plan. She once thought of escaping by herself. At the Sydney airport, Paik's agent threatened Jin that he should not try to escape. Jin returned to the gate just as Sun was about to leave him, but they boarded Flight 815 together.


Jin grew up in a work centric self-sufficient environment. He was used to hard work and hard conditions. He also was trained to follow orders and to honor his principles. He had useful island skills of sailing, fishing, construction and hand-to-hand combat/military expertise.  His biggest downfall was his own pride. He would hate himself every time he swallowed it on the road to try to find a better life. It would be the deep rooted seed of his anger outbursts. His frustration with the inability to control his own destiny clouded Jin's judgment at times.


Though people are confused, Jin was the last candidate since in traditional Korean culture, a married woman would keep her own name (Sun Paik). Jacob's list for #42 Kwon clearly met Jin. And that would make sense, since Jacob often disregarded mothers and surrogate mothers from being a candidate. He was probably a final candidate because he would honor his commitment, and he would protect others as part of his honor code.

Jin's journey was a poor boy's fantasy. A lowly fisherman goes to the large city and changes his life. He meets his dream girl. He gets a well paying job. He finds a new family life. But in a twist, the dream comes a part due to the corruption by those in power over him. He finds the ruling class to be ruthless, unkind, violent, self-centered and unprincipled (which includes Sun). He has a hard time trying to justify his principles with that of Paik's norms and demands. And when the final aspect of his manhood his taken away from him (the ability to have children in his marriage), he snaps. He is trapped in a life he wanted but now cannot stand.

Jin's life takes the most roller coaster highs and lows. He never leaves the island. He repeats the jealousy and controlling behavior with Sun that broke a part his marriage. He is blown up (and presumptively killed) when the freighter blew up just as his marriage was rekindled with the prospect of rescue. He is thrown into the flashback Dharma world to become a minor player. When Sun returns to the island, he again vows to rescue her. He has seen the first picture of his daughter, so he believes that he has a traditional life waiting for him off the island. Just as rescue on the submarine is apparent, a C4 bomb is found on board, planted by MIB to kill all the candidates. When the bomb explodes, it unbelievably traps Sun behind equipment and pipes. As the submarine sinks, Sun pleads with him to save himself. But he stays behind with her as the compartment floods to the ceiling. (Some viewers thought that this was romantic, but it was still a suicide. And other people remarked that Jin never thought about his daughter back home - - - that she would have no parents if he stayed and died on the sub.)


In the fantasy world, Jin is having a secret affair with Sun. They are found out by Keamy during the business trip to LA. Keamy was hired by Mr. Paik to kill Jin for his behavior (mirrors that of tutor Lee's affair with Sun). The assassin's fee was taken by airport security, so Sun went to the bank to get more money while Jin was beat up by Keamy. When Sun found her secret account closed by her father, she knew Keamy would be upset. In the kitchen, Sayid was brought to pay for his brother's failure to pay, but Sayid killed them and fled. When Patchy came back with Sun and found the carnage, Jin fought him. In the fight, a stray bullet hit Sun in the abdomen. She tells Jin she is pregnant. She is rushed to the hospital, and once they see Juliet and the picture of their baby, both Jin and Sun awaken  - - - and begin to speak fluent English.

Jin did not have a strong personality. He played the role of a gray collar character (half blue collar, half white collar man). Since he was a quiet role player because of the language barrier, he was the weakest of the candidates. In fact, he may never have realized that he was a candidate. His sole motivation at the end was to be with Sun, forever.

He did try to meld with the group, especially after his estrangement with Sun. During the Desmond camping trip to the cable in Season 3, Jin told a ghost story in Korea which still managed to scare Hurley: "And the girl turned to the man who saved her and said , 'Thank God. I was afraid you were the Hook Man.' And the man looked at the girl with a smile and said, 'Don't worry, little girl. My hook is....STILL IN YOUR FATHER'S HEAD!'"

 Jin's story hook was that he was a decent man trying to fit into an unfamiliar circumstances. Unless he could find a way to get out of Mr. Paik's iron grip, he would never be a happy man. His final solution was to die together with Sun, even though that is in conflict with his traditional family values and role of being a father.

As with the other characters, Jin's sins and criminal behavior while working for Paik were never punished. His on-island rap sheet was similar:  He assaulted Michael on the island over his watch. He assaulted Eko. He beat up Patchy when he was captured while searching for Naomi. He killed two Others in the beach camp ambush. These may have been petty as compared to other main characters, but it shows that Jin's personality did not grow or develop during his island adventure. There was no enlightened moment where he vowed to discard any evil means to success. He never changed as a person.

Why Jin winds up in the church is also a subject of reflection. Jin's closest relationship was with Sun. Jin's closest "friend" on the island would have been Sawyer during the Dharma flash back era. But as a couple, Jin and Sun did not share any bonds with the other participants. They were never close with the other married couple on the island, Rose and Bernard. They were never particularly fond of Locke or Sawyer. They even grew weary of Jack when he began to trust people like Juliet. The Jin-Sun character was not a major puzzle piece in the series final reveal. They had little in common with the other church participants. The sideways arc showed no true interaction with the other islanders.

So what was Jin's reward for leaving his village to the unknown big city? He got caught up in class discrimination. When he broke that barrier, he turned into a person he used to hate. He married a wealthy woman who hated being controlled by her father. He accepted control by her father which alienated his wife. His life was spurious and devoid of hope. He was compromised and on the verge of total personal failure. Then he got a second chance on the island, in isolation with his wife to rekindle their relationship. But even that had its rocky moments. In some respects, Jin never gave up on his dream. And his dream met its conclusion when he died holding hands with his wife, Sun.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


If there was a character more puzzling and disturbing, one could argue that Sayid was that person.

Sayid Jarrah was born in 1967 in Iraq. While in school, a rich girl named Nadia once pushed him into the mud. Buy Sayid did not realize that was affection, so he ignored her. At an early age, Sayid was unafraid to kill - - - he killed a chicken when his older brother balked at his father's request. So we assume that Sayid had a normal Iraqi childhood in a stable family.

As an adult, Sayid was a communications officer for the Republican guard.  After the US invasion, a US soldier, Kelvin Inman, showed Sayid a video that his commander's nerve gas attack on Sayid's village. Enraged, Sayid turned into a torturer against his commanding officer. Instead of being killed by the guard after the Americans left, Sayid was promoted to the intelligence division where his skills as a torturer were used against military and civilian prisoners, including Nadia, for whom he allowed to escape. She left him a photograph that stated "you will see me in the life, if not this one."

In 1997, Sayid left Iraq in search for Nadia. It is not known how an Iraqi military officer would be allowed to freely travel the world or enter the United States. It is also unknown how Nadia left Iraq since she was considered an enemy of the state under a dictator's rule.

Sayid bounced around Europe doing semi-skilled labor such as working at a restaurant. (Which is the exact opposite of his technical expertise in all things electronic or military while on the island.)

In 2004, Sayid was arrested in London and given to the CIA for an undercover operation. The unknown reason for such an arrest would be dubious on legal grounds.  In exchange for the address of Nadia, Sayid would betray a friend in Australia, who was accused of being a terrorist. His friend killed himself when Sayid confessed, and Sayid stayed an extra day to give him a proper burial. As a result, he was booked on Flight 815. In the airport, he asked Shannon to watch his bags. Instead, she called the police on him as a "suspicious Arab." Sayid was detained by the police, but released in time to make the flight.


Sayid is a cold character. He has a distant and suspicious defense mechanism around others. He is analytical and tactical in his thought process. He is blunt in his opinions. He is self reliant. He is willing to get "his hands dirty."  In some respects, he had deep mental flaws. He was unemotional when he tortured or killed people. He was overly obsessive in regard to Nadia, even though in his own back story he never had a relationship with her prior to the plane crash. It seems that even though he had friends and colleagues throughout his life, he never had a real, personal relationship with a woman. So he had a split personality: an outward strong military man and a painfully shy,  introverted social phobia around women. He was slow to trust other people. He was a good judge of character, and often saw through another person's lies. He was level headed under pressure.


Sayid had the opportunity to make the most change, the most redemptive journey of all the main characters. He was a survivor. He survived the fall of the Iraqi guard. He survived the torture of his vengeful enemy in Paris. He survived an uncover CIA operation that went wrong. He survived the 815 plane crash. He "survived" being shot in the chest and "revived" after the temple water ceremony. (But as a result, he said that he felt nothing: no pain, no emotion, no anger.)

In one respect, he used his vast knowledge and skills to help the 815 passengers to survive on the island. He took responsibility for rescue specific missions like finding the radio tower. He had to overcome the initial distrust and discrimination by his fellow passengers. There was always an underlying tension between Sayid and Sawyer; and between Locke, who thought his outback skills paled in comparison to Sayid's infinite survival skills. The importance of Sayid was that he was the character for whom technology would be interpreted or utilized by the group.

Once he was accepted by the group, events changed to cause him to revert to his basic cold blooded self. It began with the torture of Sawyer for medical supplies. It continued to with capture of Ben at the Hatch. What he did to others did come back to him as he himself was a victim of torture by Rousseau. As a result, people around him could never really come to know him. People were uneasy around him because of his cold blooded killer ability.

Once he left the island as part of the O6, he found Nadia. But that relationship was short lived when Jacob "touched" Sayid, stopping him from crossing the street with Nadia, who was killed by an automobile. He was told that Widmore had killed her, so he he worked as an assassin for Ben. It was allegedly to keep the group left behind safe from Widmore.

He was opportunistic when it would give himself an advantage. In the return flash period, he tried to kill young Ben in order to reverse the future. But as a result, Ben was "saved" by Alpert which could have been tied to Ben's purge of Dharma. And Sayid himself was shot and allegedly killed because he was infected by "evil."  The reincarnated Sayid took the lives of Dogen and his temple assistant. He then went to follow Flocke as his personal enforcer.

Throughout Sayid's life, he never changed from the cold blooded killer that was trained by the Iraqi guard and honed with his interaction with Americans. In the submarine, he took the C4 bomb in his arms to flee the boat in an attempt to save his friends. However, he failed in the basic submarine protocol of closing the compartment hatches to avoid massive flooding and sinking of the ship. As a result, the bomb exploded killing Sayid, but also killing Sun and Jin. Sayid last moment of personal sacrifice resulted in two of his friends drowning in the submarine.


In this fantasy world, Sayid does not have Nadia. She is with his brother. While she has feelings for him, he puts her off. When his brother is involved in criminal loan sharks, Sayid reverts to his military warrior mode to take out Keamy and his men. As a result, Sayid is arrested for murder. He was kept in a holding cell with Kate and awakened Desmond, who arranged Hurley to pay the Ana Lucia bribe in order to get their release. Hurley took Sayid to kidnap Charlie for the concert. During the trip back, they saw a fight in progress. Sayid ran to the woman who was pushed to the ground. When he touched Shannon, he remembered his short island romance with her. (In fact, Sayid's relationship with Shannon lasted less than 5 days when a startled Ana Lucia shot and killed Shannon in the jungle.)

Despite his strong personality, Sayid remained a follower throughout the series. He was used as a tool for destructive behavior. He had many opportunities to change his militaristic torture and cold blooded ways, but he always reverted to his torturer past. It would seem that even from an early age, evil found root within his soul.

And he failed within his self-professed faith. He drank alcohol, had premartial sex, and killed other people, all which are against Muslim teachings. He had a faux religious firewall in order to justify his actions. In the end, he had no religious conversion. For a character in which the theme of good versus evil could have been played out effectively, Sayid remained effectively unchanged in the disturbing evil camp.

There are a few major issues with Sayid's happy church reunion with Shannon. First, Sayid "chose" Shannon as his soul mate after a few nights of island passion over his life long obsession, search and connection with Nadia? Most viewers could not accept the shallowness of such plot wrap. Second, Sayid's was never punished for his massive criminal acts, including killing more than 15 people. His sacrifice on the submarine was diluted by the fact that he believed that he was already "dead" and the consequences of his action killed two more people. It is debatable whether this counts as a redemptive moment for Sayid since Sayid was used as a tool by MIB to round up the candidates for their demise.

And why was Sayid even a "candidate" in the first place? His personality was one of a destroyer of lives and not as a protector. Even in his sideways fantasy, he was a killer.  So there was never any major life change in Sayid. But he was rewarded with an after life with a spoiled blonde woman whom he had a four night affair. Maybe that life would be his future hell.

Monday, March 11, 2013


If LOST itself was an enigma, then John Locke is the show's poster child.  Locke's entire life was filled with set backs, failures and losses which would make even die-hard Cub fans cringe.

Locke was born on May 30, 1956 to Emily Locke and Anthony Cooper, a traveling salesman (con man) who when he learned that he knocked up a teenager, tried to run her over with an automobile. This led to Locke being born three months prematurely, and called by some as a "miracle baby." Outside the incubator room, infant Locke was seen by Richard Alpert. Locke's mother went crazy, believing she could not raise a child. She was institutionalized at Santa Rosa. Locke soon entered foster care. Alpert returned to see Locke when he was five years old.  During this "test" of items that already belonged to Locke, Locke picked a knife which upset Alpert - - who left saying Locke was not ready yet. Alpert would return when Locke was a teenager, offering him a science camp invitation. But Locke rejected his science background because it was the cause of intense bullying by other students. Locke wanted to be the cool kid, not the science geek. When a teacher reminded Locke that he was not good at sports so as to pursue science instead, Locke said "don't tell me what I can't do."

As an adult, Locke went from odd job to odd job. His crazy mother found him working in a store's toy department. She told him he was immaculately conceived so he had a "special destiny," but an investigator found his biological father. As a result of this set-up, Locke met Cooper who conned him into giving up a kidney. Locke was bitter and enraged about being conned and that his father shut him out of his life. He stalked Cooper to the point he had to join an anger management group. But he felt he did not belong there, but started a relationship with the Helen Norwood, who would accept Locke with all his faults but one: his obsession with his con-artist father. As a result, Locke got caught up in one of Cooper's cons, helping his father escape with stolen loot - - - and losing Helen who rejected Locke's proposal.

By 2000, Locke was in a state of depression, on government assistance, and beginning therapy. He was approached by a young man who was concerned about his mother marrying a suspicious man, Cooper. When the man was killed, Locke confronted Cooper. During the confrontation, Cooper pushed Locke out an eight story window. Lying paralyzed on the ground, Jacob came over and touched him.

Locke was confined to a wheelchair. He remained bitter. He took a trip to Australia for an outback adventure, but he was denied by the travel group because of his physical disability. As a result, he left Sydney on Flight 815.


Locke could be considered a perpetual loser. He was unlucky in life, love and even death. He came from a broken home: a crazy mother and a missing father. He bounced from foster home to foster home, showing that he was not willing to fit into societal norms. He had grander visions of himself than what he talents could do. He was an escapist, more interested in the strategy of games than self-improvement. He always had a chip on his shoulder. He wanted to be respected, a leader, a man in control of his own destiny. But every time he tried to do so, he was given a great set-back. He was a depressed man with a depressing life story.


Locke's journey was more like a pinball being whacked from side to side by the paddles of life. He basically grew up an orphan, with no parents. So he had both mother and daddy issues. His decision making was always poor. He gave up science in high school (which could have led to a successful career), but then would dread the dead end clerical jobs he held as an adult.

Locke was the earliest main character "touched" by the island. In a matter of days from his premature birth, Alpert was present at the hospital. It was highly unlikely that a premature baby in rural 1950s America would have survived in an incubator and subsequent serious illnesses. Perhaps, that is why Locke was called "special."

Despite being special, Locke lived a less than ordinary existence. He never accomplished anything special or extraordinary. He was always looking for answers, including joining up with a commune, but never could find his true self. It created deep conflict within Locke, almost creating a split in his personality.

When he was paralyzed, Locke almost gave up. He set out to prove his co-workers that he could still do anything he wanted to do, including the walkabout. It turned into a miserable failure. Locke was returning to America as a broken, broken man.

But the plane crash suddenly freed him of his handicap and his past. Locke immediately transformed from wheelchair bound loser into outback hunter. He used the little trivia he knew on many subjects to impress his fellow survivors. The island gave him his second "miracle," and Locke jumped on the chance to become the person he could never be in his past life. Locke became highly motivated to become a smiling social person, to seek out friendships, and to position himself in a leadership role. He sought challenges to master. He wanted others to look upon him as an equal or superior. When he killed his first boar to provide food for the camp, he beamed with pride. They had accepted him and acknowledged his value as a hunter-provider. In some ways, this was Locke's dream come true.

But what would shatter that dream world was the fact that many of the other survivors wanted to leave the island. Rescue met going back to his stupid, miserable life. He felt that his destiny was the island, but in an ironic twist, Locke would never know he was a "candidate" to be the island guardian because he was murdered by Ben in LA. Locke would do anything to have his vision fulfilled, including manipulating people to do his bidding as with Sawyer killing Cooper so Locke could gain the leadership of the Others from Ben. Locke would pit his knowledge against Jack's leadership decisions in order to split the camp to garner some favor and acceptance by those who would follow him like Boone and Walt. And when there was more and more push back against his ideas, Locke would become more and more obsessive - -- about opening the Hatch, then entering the Numbers, then protecting the island from Widmore. But the reasons he stated for all his actions turned out to be basically wrong. The hatch was not the salvation. The Numbers were not the answer. The stoppage of numbers input turned into an implosion. No matter what he contributed to the island, Locke only turned into a prop for MIB's master plan in the End.

The John Locke that many fans embraced died in Season 5. He never got back to the island. He was never a player in the rescue of any of the 815 people. In fact, Locke's death was a meaningless death. Ben murdered Locke because Locke knew of Eloise Hawking, the woman who said she had a means to get them back to the island. Was it a mere jealous rage by Ben in killing Locke so Ben could try to regain his power position on the island? Or was it truly "course correction" at work: Ben had stopped Locke's own suicide so Locke was going to die in that hotel room anyway.

 Locke's death did not have a great impact on the O6 people. Jack was already tilted over the edge into drug addiction. Kate had begun to domestic pressure cook under the guise of raising Aaron. Hurley was crazed by visits by dead people. In fact, all of the O6 people rejected Locke's attempts to bring them on board to return to the island. It was actually Ben's manipulations that got the band back together.

It is probably fitting that Locke was a puppet on his island return. There would have been no room for another leadership conflict in the crisis of Widmore's arrival, the finale of the Jacob-MIB feud, and the uncorking (and rebooting) of the island world. Locke, as a person, played no true role in getting the 815ers through the Season 6 island dangers through the sideways church pearly gates. For some fans, that may be a disrespectful conclusion of this character's arc, but one must not confuse Flocke's grand manipulations in Season 6 with the Locke from Seasons 1 through 5.


In Locke's fantasy world, he was still with Helen. Locke blamed himself for his father, Cooper's, catatonic state. As a result, he refused to take any advice on getting himself "fixed" by surgery. Locke still worked at dead end jobs. When he was a substitute teacher, he met Ben. He told Ben to stick up for his beliefs and confront the principal. After rejecting sideways Jack's offer, Desmond runs his car into Locke - - - which set into motion a trip to Jack's hospital and the surgery that "awakens" Locke.

Now, why would Locke have fond island memories when he was shot and left for dead in the pit; that he turned the FDW and would up paralyzed in the African desert; that people rejected his leadership; he caused many people's deaths; and no one thought of him as a great man. His island life mirrored his pre-island life of being the fool doing foolish things.

Locke's story was one of agony and woe. In his personal end, Locke did not change. His last hour was that of a suicidal man who could not convince even one of his comrades to follow him. He was bitter, angry, depressed and felt that his life had no meaning. And his death did not change anything (because Jack was already searching for his island closure before Locke's death). It is even unclear whether a shape shifting monster like Smokey actually needed Locke's dead body in order to become Flocke (since he was in Flocke form when Ilana dumped Locke's corpse at Alpert's feet).

Locke's role on the island was that a bumbling adventurer. He was the counterpoint to Jack's temperate, pragmatic leadership. Even when Locke had  his "second chance," Locke did not grow as a human being as he continually reverted to his obsessively self-grandeur decision making which normally turned out to be the wrong thing to do.

Nothing could demonstrate that more than the church ending. He was in the church alone. Where was the one person in his life that loved him with all his faults, Helen? She had died before Locke. Abbadon brought a despondent Locke to her grave. It is hard to imagine that Boone was Locke's best friend, because Locke's scheme caused Boone's death. Outside the church, Ben tells Locke that he isn't ready to go inside yet. Ben tells Locke how deeply sorry he is for killing him, he wanted what John had. Locke asks "what did I have?" We never get the answer to that question in the script. Because, Locke never really had anything except a fantasy walkabout in the months he spent on the island. Perhaps, Locke's interaction with in the church courtyard was a release. Locke forgives Ben, which means that Locke has put aside his bitterness. But that would be more of a burden release on Ben's soul, a man wrought with the guilt over his actions destroying many lives.

Lostpedia remarks that Locke had at least one significant life experience in common with virtually every key plane crash survivor or island inhabitant. Locke was like the sponge of bad karma. He shared the pain of the people around him because he had gone through it himself. But he was never a very successful mentor. Even on the island, he turned into a loner. And that was his role: to be the foil for which others could banter or crush.

For a main character, Locke's end significance is minor. He tries to awaken sideways Jack after the miracle surgery, but that does not work. He arrives at the church still in a wheelchair, which symbolically means he is still trapped in his mental past. He does not resolve any of his deep personal issues with his mother or father. His death was not a personal sacrifice to save other people. The only sound thing he did when he left the island was not to try to convince Walt in coming back to the island. But even then, he had to lie to Walt about Michael.

So Locke's character had his good, bad and indifferent moments. One could say that the "best" time in Locke's life was surviving the 815 crash to become his alter-ego, "Island Locke." But even with Locke's passion to protect the island, he did not complete that goal. He was not even a player in the end game solution. Jack and Kate ended the Jacob-MIB game. So on the final scorecard, for Locke,  indifference seems to have won the day at the sideways church. Locke sits alone in the front pew. He appears to be content to hang on as a passenger for the next ride.