Tuesday, April 30, 2013


When the badly damaged Ajira plane rambled off the island and into the sky, it added another mystery as to why the passengers on that rescue flight would wind up with dying Jack in the sideways church.

The sideways world we were shown lasted approximately two weeks from the landing of Flight 815 in LA. The concert, Desmond's round-up of characters, and the church reunion occurred in the last two days. Jack died on the island apparently on the last day of the sideways world events. But those on the Ajira plane left the island (seen alive) and did not die (to our knowledge) until some time after Jack, but they were all "dead" in the church to meet awakened Jack.

It is hard to grasp the non-linear time step from island to sideways world. When Christian says the sideways realm has no past, present or future but just "now," it is not an answer with any factual basis. How can every person in the church have a different "now" but be brought together to go to the next stage of the after life?

We believe that Hurley and Ben stayed on the island for some time, presumably to shut it down. However, we know that Rose and Bernard were content to stay in their island shanty for the rest of their lives. Considering that Rose's cancer was cured by the island, this couple probably had at least another decade or more on the island. So we have people living years on the island but wind up dead in the SW church in less than a day.

Or do we?

If we look at the final chronology of events, Jack is "awakened" in the sideways world just before he "dies" on the island. From lostpedia:

Jack greets Desmond and Penny, shaking Desmond's hand. He hugs Boone. On the Island, he stumbles through the bamboo forest, passing the white tennis shoe that once belonged to his father's corpse, now worn and dirty after 3 years exposed to the weather. At the church, he hugs Hurley. Claire, Charlie, Sun, Shannon and Sayid all gather around Aaron. Jack greets Sawyer before noticing Kate, and she holds his hand as they sit down in the pews. On the Island, Jack comes to the spot where he woke up from the crash and collapses to the ground, still clutching at his wound. At the church, everyone else sits down. Christian puts his hand on Jack's shoulder as he passes by. On the Island, Jack is laying on his back on the ground when he hears a dog bark - it's Vincent. Vincent greets him and then lays beside him. At the church, Christian walks down the aisle and opens the doors, leaving and letting a bright white light fill the room. Everyone gazes at their surroundings, Jack and Kate share a glance. On the Island, a dying Jack witnesses the Ajira plane fly over head. He smiles, knowing he isn't going to die for nothing. At the church, Jack is swallowed by the white light. On the Island, Jack's eye closes. He is gone. The end.

It is revealed to Jack that everyone is dead by Christian BEFORE Jack dies on the island. Jack is told that everyone in the church has been waiting for him, that "they are all dead too," BEFORE they leave the island on Ajira plane.

Here is one of LOST's greatest paradox: you cannot be alive when you are dead or dead when you are alive.

This paradox may have been glossed over by most viewers because of the emotional bent of the concluding scenes and the sparse script devoid of explanation.

So how could anyone on the Ajira flight have a life post-island? Did the plane crash into the snow globe the moment Jack's eyes closed for the last time?

And if the passengers on Ajira flight reached the mainland safely, that would mean that each had a life expectancy of 30 to 50 years. During that time frame, would they have not "moved on" to meet new people, have new relationships - - have a different life than those months on the island?

Of course they would have had to change. Kate would have reunited Claire with her mother and Aaron. They would have returned to Australia leaving Kate alone in her suburban home. Is that a life for her? Or would she have re-connected with her husband in Florida? Wouldn't Sawyer reconnect with his daughter? Or partner up with Miles to con people with ghost story scams? As a result of their final rescue, none of the passengers on Ajira had any reason to be in the sideways church except for nostalgia. For if there lives were so incomplete, terrible, lonely and worthless in the real world, then they mentally checked out into the fantasy land of the sideways world earlier and quicker than anyone watching could have imagined.

Of course, there is another explanation. As Jacob opined, none of the main characters had any life to go back to; that is why they were his candidates. One could take that speech to really mean that the candidates were lost souls, already taken away from their mortal plain, to serve a higher purpose in the first level of eternity.

Which gets us back to the problem with Jack's life actually ending in the bamboo field on the island after the fight with Flocke. If Jack was the new island guardian, and he survived the light cave radiation, he would have been immortal like Jacob. So Jack's island "life" may be a transitory illusion.

Monday, April 29, 2013


One of the most glossed over but irritating topics of LOST was punishment.

The series moral compass was pretty much lost and malfunctioning if you look at the character's crimes and their resolutions.

Sayid was a torturer and murderer. If one believes that he would have got out of Iraq alive after the war, he received no punishment for any of his war crimes. Further, Sayid was never punished for any of the crimes he did when he was Ben's off-island assassin. And the island pain, torture or killings had no effect on Sayid allegedly going on in the after life in a happy state.

Kate was a murderer, thief and insurance fraudster. If one believes that she had a "trial" for her crimes (which was legally impossible and incorrect), Kate received less than a slap on the wrist: probation without major restrictions for cold blooded murder, insurance fraud, robbing a bank and stealing cars?

Ben was a mass murderer. He killed dozens of Dharma people during his purge. He killed his own father with poison gas. On the island he kidnapped people (Juliet, Walt, Zach, Emma). He tortured people (Jack, Sawyer). But in the end, Ben is not punished for any of his transgressions.

Even good guy Jack was never punished for his role in his father's drunken malpractice death. If Jack was part of the cover-up of his father's mistake, changing medical records, etc., Jack should have lost his medical license and faced criminal and civil penalties. But nothing happened to Jack (except for his own self-abuse of guilt).

So why was LOST so devoid of punishment for the characters blatant crimes? Some believe that the LOST saga was a series of personal redemptions, but it is hard to say any character could be redeemed without some moral punishment for their gruesome sins against their fellow man.

The lack of a moral barometer is a support for those who believe that the island was not a purgatory. There was no need for punishment of the characters because they were all victims of Jacob and MIB. But that does not absolve the off-island issues.

The only suffering the characters had was the "fear" of the unknown, the smoke monster, the Others and their own self-worth. But fear is an introspective, mental condition.

One could argue that the lack of any punishment for anyone's crimes is because a sociopath, in their own mind, does not punish himself for his actions. If the series was contained in the imagination of a sociopath, that would partially explain why the "punishment" factor is lacking throughout the series.  A sociopath does not believe he has done anything wrong.  In some respects, such a person lives in a fantasy world.

So it is an odd hole in the series that punishment was not a bigger event.

Friday, April 26, 2013


I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
In a poker game, a small "tell" can give another player the "big picture" of what cards his opponent may have - - -  that gives someone confidence and the strength to move forward.

Confidence means:

the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something;
the state of feeling certain about the truth of something;
a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities; or
the telling of private matters or secrets with mutual trust.

Trust was one of the pronounced themes of LOST. Characters constantly asked each other whether "they trusted" them or their decisions. Some said yes, some said no, and some lied to gain one's trust.

Beyond the hard core daddy or parent issues of the main back stories,  the main characters did have major unresolved "trust issues" to resolve. For example:

Jack did not trust his father. He even suspected that his father was behind the break up of his marriage to Sarah. Jack came to distrust his father's skills as a surgeon. That was the focal point for the severe break in their relationship.

Kate apparently trusted no one but herself. She got other people, mostly boys and men, to trust her, but in the end those trusts were betrayed in the most tragic ways.

Locke had a history of being "too trusting" of other people, who used him as a scapegoat, a mule and a victim. Locke was aware of his own character flaw, but could not change. He became a bitter and angry man - - - which ruined any chance to have a normal life. His need to have a trusting relationship with his father destroyed his relationship with Helen.

Sawyer used the concept of trust to gain an advantage in conning his marks. But he fell and trusted one of his victims, and that put him on the path of normalcy (with the birth of his daughter) rather than his path of revenge. When he trusted an old friend's information about his parent's killer's location, that trust turned Sawyer into a cold blooded murderer.

Hurley could not trust even himself. He knew that he was finding solace in food when his father left him, but he could not stop himself. He could not trust himself to act rationally. He trusted other people, including his mother, to make decisions on his behalf.

Sayid trusted that his superiors would make the right decisions. But once he was put into personal moral conflicts, he began not to trust himself. He knows it is wrong to follow the path of darkness, and he betrays himself when he continues to torture and kill other people.

But on the other hand, event those with trust issues held themselves out in a confident manner.

Jack was quite confident (really, overconfident) in his abilities. He was quite uneasy in the position of leadership, but his medical skill confidence (the count to five stress release) allowed him to become the leader of the group.

Sawyer was always about showing confidence, almost in a reckless manner. He may have relied on instincts and the cleverness of a fox to charm the pants off of his marks. His confidence was part and parcel with being able to control the situation: create the ideal situation (the set up) to run his game (which had become second nature to him).

Sayid was also confident because of his military training. He was aware that he could defend himself at any cost. He was aware that his analytical skills could get him out of troublesome situations.

On the other hand, Hurley lacked the most confidence. He was shy and meek. He avoided confrontation. He would go out of his way to avoid trouble. He was not a risk taker. He felt that things happened to him - - - he was cursed, the unluckiest man on Earth.

Kate also lacked confidence in herself. That was the result of her bad decisions and her inability to take accountability for her bad actions. Since she had no control over her life, she lacked any confidence in herself to change to become a normal person. She tried once, marrying a police man in Florida, but at the first sign of her troubled past catching up to her, she fled like a scared mouse.

So there were various undercurrents of confidence and lack of confidence throughout the main characters. In some ways, several characters sought validation for their trust issues. Others could never truly cope with gaining any level of confidence or trust in their fellow man or woman. They (especially Hurley) always found doom around the corner.

Jack always had some level of personal confidence. So when he became the next island guardian, that was no real surprise. He accepted it by default since the other candidates stood silent after Jacob's campfire chat. It is not really clear that the other candidates even trusted Jack would accomplish the plan to kill Flocke. Sawyer, for one, made haste to get back to the plane to get off the island. Kate could have made the greatest character change if she trusted herself completely and stayed with Jack on the island, but she did not - - - she ran away not relying upon her true feelings.

It is possible that regret and not confidence or trust was the universal bond between the main characters in the after life. Confidence alone cannot explain the motivations and actions of the characters throughout the series. Hurley did not have the confidence to replace Jack as guardian; he had to have a strong crutch in Ben by his side. And what was the final resolution for Jack? His meeting with his father did not resolve any trust issues per se. His reunion with Kate may have offered him a third chance with her. Why Kate chose the after life to bond with Jack is also a mystery because there were other men in her life that she had deeper emotional connections. Jack and Kate had trust issues on and off the island. But if the island was the high point of her life, then regret that she abandoned Jack could explain why they were together in the end.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Ancient humans universally believed that the earth was a flat disc that was covered by a globe. The glove was the universe. The stars, planets and heavenly objects were attached to the top of the globe. These early humans believed that god or gods created this special place for them.

That human perception changed in the Middle Ages when scholars found out that the universe did not revolve around the Earth, but that the Earth revolved around a sun. It set off a fundamental change in humanity. The science of observation, experimentation and manipulation of nature would soon challenge then overtake primitive notions of man's relationship with nature and their religious beliefs.
The pure scientists believed that truth could only be measured by factual observation and repeated analysis. Those who thought to explain the unknown in the world held to the religious overtones of gods, spirits, fate and faith.

One could argue that the science versus faith theme was a major component underlying much of the LOST plot lines. One could find the hard evidence of this dynamic with the conversation Jack had with Desmond:

JACK: So, before you ran off, I guess you just forgot to mention that you still have a sailboat. Why'd you come back?

DESMOND [laughing]: Do you think I did it on purpose? I was sailing for two and half weeks, bearing due West and making 9 knots. I should have been in Fiji in less than a week. But the first piece of land I saw wasn't Fiji, was it? No. No, it was here -- this, this island. And you know why? Because this is it. This is all there is left. This ocean and this place here. We are stuck in a bloody snowglobe. There's no outside world. There's no escape. So, just go away, huh. Let me drink.

Desmond described the Island as a "snowglobe" after experiencing navigational difficulties trying to escape it. Desmond had tried to flee the Island in his boat, but he steered due west rather than the necessary bearing. As a result, he arrived back at the Island.

We are shown evidence of early man's perception of their world: a snowglobe universe. Even with the high tech science brought to bear on the Island by men throughout the centuries (including the Dharma stations), the setting of the Island still harbors the first representation of man's concept of his universe: the snowglobe.

Was this a coincidental, off-the-cuff remark in dialog?  There were other references to snowglobes in the series:

1. A page in Hurley's Spanish comic book showed a dome covering a magical city.
2. A snowglobe was on the counter of the shop where Michael pawned his watch in Meet Kevin Johnson.
3. There was a large bluish globe on the top shelf of the bookcase in Aaron's bedroom.

If there is one constant in Hollywood is the point that nothing is totally new. The LOST writers were fans of Alan Moore's graphic novel Watchmen, which  contained a few references to snowglobes. One character dropped a snowglobe as a child in a scene similar to Sun's in "Further Instructions". The character imagined the inside of the snowglobe as a "whole world; a world inside the ball." The person references that they are inside a ball in some different sort of time. The comic also featured an tropical utopia Antarctic base shielded by massive glass hemisphere from the snow outside.

One theory is that the Island is indeed a snowglobe, on Earth but in a slightly different dimension or time. Whether it is a nexus, portal or bridge to the after life or parallel universe is open to discussion.
In this view, the characters have been transported to what would seem to them to be a magical place (like Oz) where their perceptions of their universe do not match their current surroundings.

Another theory reflects that the possibility that the snowglobe statement is a clue to the big premise of the series. In the 1980s, the TV drama St. Elsewhere  featured a Boston hospital and its staff that were revealed, in the final episode, to exist only inside a snowglobe, imagined by an autistic boy. Some viewers connected that premise when they saw the Hurley-centric episode, "Dave,"  which focus was on mental illness and hallucinations, that strongly suggested that the Island was all in Hurley's imagination.

When one tries to figure out the premise of LOST, one must consider even the smallest clues having possibly the greatest impact on our collective understanding. The simple concept of the snowglobe, from historical reference to child's toy of imagination, is emblematic of LOST.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


In any grand storytelling, the main characters are pushed along by events in order to come to some final revelation or conclusion to the ills that had befallen them. The means of moving the story along is through the use of secondary characters, interesting settings, conflict, actions encouraging reaction and resolution.

We know how LOST ends. But what were the fundamental or core elements in the six seasons that made that conclusion possible. As millers would say, one has to separate the wheat from the chafe.

The final scenes involve two different places: the sideways church and island. Were they both critical to the resolution of the characters fates? Yes and no.

The church was used as the meeting place for the lost souls who found themselves in friendship and common adventure. They had to "wait" until Jack arrived, and apparently the only way to get Jack to the church was to stage his father's funeral. The reunion could have occurred anywhere in fake LA, at the concert or at the hospital. What the church provided was some symbolism that the main characters were dead.

The island was used as the back drop for most of the conflict, terror, betrayal, learning lessons and bonding moments between the main characters. Was the island itself a necessary aspect of the conclusion? Could one have used a different setting to bring together the characters together to ward off supernatural plot lines? Perhaps, but the use of a "plane crash" as the impetuous to throw diverse characters together in one perilous group was a good dramatic choice.

So there is some valid reasons that the island and the church were used to develop and end the LOST saga.

Then, we must peel back the need for all the characters present at the church. Were they necessary parties to conclude the story?  Doubtful.

Now most religions, agnostics, and spiritualists cannot believe that there is nothing after one dies. Since human beings are highly intelligent but cannot answer the fundamental questions of their own existence, the conclusion is that there has to be a greater being, a greater purpose or "something" else when one's mortality ends. What is next is unknown, and a great many writers throughout history have given their speculative prose on the subject. But the LOST writers did not. We were bathed in the white light wash of nothingness; no explanation what was next for the characters.

If you believe the story was really Jack's story, then meeting his father was a "key" resolution. But even at the meeting at the coffin, there is very little interaction or resolution to their personal conflicts or bitterness. Once it is known that they are dead, nothing seemed to matter to them. All one's cares, emotional baggage or regrets vanish when you are dead (is that the lesson of the series?) So if this was Jack's story, it could have ended with Christian taking Jack into the church to meet his mother or other family members to move on together, as family, into the after life.

But that did not happen. When Jack enters the nave of the sideways church,  he is greeted by Locke, who kindly tells him, "We've been waiting for you." He then greets Desmond, Boone, Hurley, Sawyer and Kate. Joining them are Charlie, Claire, Aaron, Jin, Sun, Sayid, Shannon, Rose, Bernard, Juliet, Libby and Penny. Along with Christian, these are the only characters who find their end.

Why were all these people in the church "more" important to Jack than say, his mother, or his hospital colleagues, or any friend from his childhood? This aspect of the conclusion literally wipes out the meaning and consequence of all the back stories, and all the back story secondary character involvement in the plots.

The writers probably thought that many viewers had emotional connections with the various characters so they needed to give those viewers some closure in the final scenes. This catch-all type of sentimental ending is a growing trend in American entertainment. In  recent American entertainment, characters act like clowns, fools, and unlikable jerks only to turn icky sentimental in the last reel.When main characters like that have a sentimental, happy conclusion for no apparent reason, the viewers become lost.

To conclude Jack's story,  did Christian, Locke, Desmond, Boone, Hurley, Sawyer, Kate, Charlie, Claire, Aaron, Jin, Sun, Sayid, Shannon, Rose, Bernard, Juliet, Libby and Penny have to be there at the church?

Rose and Bernard: no. This couple's real connection was between themselves. They did not Jack or the others to find happiness or peace. On the island, they went off on their own to get away from those people. Clearly, Rose and Bernard's presence at the church was unnecessary, immaterial and counter-intuitive to the characters own actions.

Sayid and Shannon: no. Besides the fact that Sayid pined for another woman throughout the series, there was no connection with Shannon to any other character, including her brother Boone. Sayid was a second class citizen to an outcast in the survivor beach group. He turned evil in the end, so his presence is no support to Jack's awakening or conflict resolution.

Desmond and Penny: no. Desmond tried desperately to get away from the island and the people who were there. He was not part of the 815 group. He was a loner who only wanted to have one person in his life, Penny. And when he did, he cut all ties to the O6 crew. Penny had no connection with anyone else at the church. So like Rose and Bernard, their presence at the church resolves nothing in the Jack story.

Jin and Sun: no. Like the other married couples, Jin and Sun led an isolated existence on the island. Sun made a slight connection with Kate, but not enough to call her a close friend. Jin's only connection to the group was his loyalty to Sawyer, during the time skip to 1970s Dharmaville. It would seem that Jin and Sun would more likely find final comfort with themselves and their child in the after life than at Christian's funeral.

Charlie, Claire and Aaron: maybe. If this was about Jack's passing, then his step-sister has a place but during the course of the series she was odd footnote in Jack's life. But then again, if this weak "family" tie brings this sub-group to Jack's conclusion, where is Jack's mother? She was more important in his life than Claire or Charlie.

Hurley and Libby: maybe. Jack had no connection with Libby. She is only deemed Hurley's "reward" for being a good person. Hurley himself had an odd relationship with Jack. He was a follower. He was also the butt of Jack's irrational wrath at times.  One cannot say they were ever as close as blood brothers. But since Hurley was such a beloved character by fans, he had to be present at the end, smiling to the camera as if to say to the audience "everything is cool."

Locke, Boone and Juliet: no. If Locke was a symbol of Jack's professional failings, then there should have been other patients with greater impact on his life present at the church than Locke. Boone was a true island medical failure - - - Jack could not save him. If Boone represents the regret or guilt of Jack, then that has no place in a sentimental wash of resolution conflict with his father. Juliet was one of Jack's tormenters in both existences: as an island captor and in the sideways world as his ex-wife. She only had a passing connection with Jack so her presence in the church does not add element of resolution conflict in the Jack story.

Sawyer: a probable yes. If there was any rival in Jack's life (besides his father), then it was Sawyer. Sawyer brought out the best and worst in Jack's personality. Sawyer's actions led to Jack turning away from his scientific, analytic anal retentive ways to turn into a human being. That being said, Sawyer was not by Jack's side fighting the final battle. So, Sawyer's presence at Jack's after life launch may be puzzling but could have its place in the broad specter of Jack's character growth.

Kate: an improbable yes. If Jack's story boils down to a love story, he winds up with the flippant Kate. Why the light switch turns on for Kate when there back story is filled with troubled times is another one of those wishy-washy boilerplate endings that many people loathe. Why was Kate of all the women characters in the series, the "right one" for Jack? And why did Kate wind up with Jack when she was married to and in love with a Florida policeman (and to our knowledge, never divorced). Even non-Kate haters hated this aspect of the ending. The only explanation was that Kate "saved" Jack by shooting Flocke. But even in that emotional moment, Kate did NOT stay by Jack's side. She fled the island. So where was that everlasting connection?

So, if one really wanted to focus in on Jack being the story of the series, the final resolution could have happened anywhere - - - surrounded by Christian and/or Kate. The rest of the ending presents conflicting and more unanswered questions.

If the sideways world was a mirror image of what the characters truly wanted in their lives, Jack's mission statement of "Live Together or Die Alone," has the aspect in the conclusion of one "Die Together or Live Alone."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Monty Python used farce to enlighten the human experience. One of their iconic song lyrics said "Look on the Bright Side of Life."


Let us look at the bright side(s) of the LOST series.

First, it was a major return of the serialized American television drama. Most television shows are self contained episodes. But LOST was built upon the weaving of episode upon episode to create a vast and complex story line, which was unique but also a throw-back to 1970s miniseries. Networks viewed these long, drawn out story arcs to be risky and unable to hold an audience from season to season.

Second, it was pushing the edge of an ensemble cast. Most television dramas focus in on a hand full of major characters and one-off episode guest stars. But LOST flooded the pilot episodes with more than a dozen "main" characters - - - which showed the chaos, complexity and mystery of so many different back stories. The idea of having such a large cast helps create more conflicts between the characters. Like sporting matches, the group subdivides into competitive teams - - - leaders and followers (which was a rampant theme in the series).

Third, LOST tapped into the general concepts familiar with most avid readers of American literature. The classic shipwreck story of survival on a tropical jungle is a prototypical story engine that most people could relate to; many people were hooked into the concept because they had thought about what they would do in a similar situation. The idea of the miracle of surviving a plane crash being muted quickly by the terror of a mysterious smoke monster captured another classic American television concept: science fiction. So the series quickly found two base audiences: action-adventure drama and science fiction.

Fourth, LOST began its first episodes showcasing "likable" characters. The survivors seemed like nice people put into a horrible situation. Every viewer could readily identify with one or more of the main characters: Jack, the healer; Kate, the runaway; Hurley, the loner; Locke, the faux outdoorsman; Rose, the spiritualist; Sawyer, the troublemaker; Charlie, the strung out musician; and Claire, the pregnant and scared young woman. As the series progressed, many viewers attitudes towards these characters changed as their actions or back stories unfolded which is probably the only true element of TPTB's mantra that the show was all about "character development."

Fifth, the biggest contribution of LOST to this television era was its cross-over into the social media world. LOST fan sites immediately sprung up on the internet. Fan reviews of each episode included detailed comments from other fans. Entire fan communities grew up around a single television series. Whether by accident or design, the way the series was constructed in convoluted flash backs, unanswered questions, clues or alleged Easter eggs, kept fan interest and debate lively between episodes  - - - and even after the show went on seasonal hiatus. New internet friendships were created by the common interest of sharing ideas about the show. In this respect, LOST was an accidental pioneer of real time social commentary on television shows.

Sixth, as a result of these new fan communities, viewers began to reach out beyond the confines of merely watching and digesting their program, to research and writing elaborate and complex theories about the program. I learned more about ancient Egyptian culture, rituals and religion than in any school course because of LOST. The "expansion" of personal knowledge of researching bits and clues  shown in the series and then sharing one's findings in the community was a unique aspect of the LOST experience. Sadly, no other show since has galvanized its fan base like LOST.

Seventh, as a bold and risky script concept, LOST's initial success allowed networks (and cable channels) the basis for green-lightning more "unconventional" shows. Networks like Showtime and HBO suddenly began taking risks with high-concept shows. Other networks allowed niche shows to soldier on if its fan base was vocal enough to keep it on the air.

Eighth, there was a backlash against future LOST-type shows. The pendulum swung back toward single camera situational comedies, but with "elevated" writing (such as the scientific facts spoken in every episode of The Big Bang Theory.)  Networks were willing to give writers and show runners more rope to play with, but once things got "too complex" to follow, then those dramas were hanged out to dry.

Network executives knew that die-hard LOST viewers, after spending so much time and energy on their show for 6 long seasons that presented hundreds of questions with vague to misleading answers, were exhausted by the end.  A disappointing end to the series is a bitter folly for some. Some critics believe that after LOST, American viewers lost it’s patience for a long, serial suspense dramas that raised more questions than answers from season to season. Once a show becomes too complex, or when the series starts "to get that Lost feeling,"  many viewers will jump ship.

It does push network executives and production firms to avoid their new shows to have roller coaster type scripts and story lines that end  "with the lack of viewer pay off.” In some respects, new drama  shows are catering concepts that are less complex, and each episode having a distinct and clear guaranteed pay off in the framework of a cohesive story. This is the good fall out from the LOST experience.

However, some networks have gone completely in the opposite direction to push cheaper, easily produced with no plot or story line fodder such as reality programs. Those programs do not challenge viewer's minds. They are mostly idle time killers. This is the bad fall out from LOST.

Ninth, a lingering aspect of the LOST experience may be nostalgia. It may be part of the show itself, or it may be part of the community feeling some viewers experienced on-line. It could be the wispy sigh of "what could have been" which is the normal regret of passing youth. LOST is one of those series that one can sit back and ponder. Since the series conclusion was so open-ended and ripe for personal interpretation and re-interpretation, it may linger on like the fog hiding the footprints in a Scottish moor.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Let us presume that all the LOST characters from Flight 815 survived the plane crash and were "alive" on the island. They were all "saved" because a mysterious supernatural being named Jacob needed one of them to man-up and become the island successor guardian - - - to "kill" the MIB (smoke monster) because for no apparent reason, Jacob could not kill it because it was against the rules.

Rules, mind you, that Jacob broke by actually killing his brother after he killed their Crazy Mother. Jacob's action of beating his brother and throwing his body into the light cave apparently killed him and turned whatever spirit or soul into a violent smoke monster. Jacob took his dead brother and Crazy Mother and buried them in the water cave (Jack found them and we knew the bodies as Adam and Eve).

So the whole plot line reasoning about Jacob needing a successor was totally flawed. He was an immortal being, so how could he actually die? And when he did die by being stabbed by Ben in the Tawaret statue, he apparently "lived on" like a smoke monster creating images of himself as a young boy to torment MIB/Flocke, steal back his ashes from Hurley, and making his big pep rally speech to his remaining candidates around his last campfire.

Near the end, Sawyer asks jack why Locke didn't just kill Desmond. Jack suggests maybe it was one of his 'rules'. Sawyer suggests that he himself was responsible for the deaths on the submarine, because he attempted to defuse the bomb against Jack's advice. Jack insists that Flocke killed them. Behind them,  Hurley is confronted by young Jacob who asks for the ashes, then snatches them and runs off. Hurley chases him and comes across adult Jacob seated by a fire. Jacob tells Hurley that the ashes are in the fire and that when the fire goes out, he will not be seen again, adding "We are very close to the end."

Why Jacob needs to be a boy to get his ashes back is strange, since Hurley knows of the adult Jacob from the lighthouse. So there is no need for another level of confusion. 

As night falls, Hurley leads Kate, Sawyer and Jack to Jacob's fire. Jacob greets them by their first names. Hurley is surprised that they can all see Jacob. Kate asks Jacob whether he is the one who wrote the names on the wall, and whether it is their candidacy that ultimately led to their deaths. She also demands to know that Sun, Jin, and Sayid didn't die for nothing. Jacob says he will tell the group what they died for and why he chose them. He adds that by the time the fire is out one of them will have to take his place as protector of the Island.

Jacob explains that a very long time ago he made a mistake, and as a result there is a good chance that everyone is going to die. He acknowledges that he is responsible for the current state of the Man in Black. The Monster has been trying to kill him and that when it succeeded, someone would have to replace him: that is why he brought them all to the Island. Challenged by Sawyer, Jacob explains that he didn't drag anyone out of a happy existence but that they were all flawed. He says that he chose them because they were all like him - all alone, all looking for something that they couldn't find. He says he chose them because they needed the Island as much as the Island needed them. Jacob tells Kate her name was crossed off because she became a mother, but that she is not disqualified. He explains that the task for the candidate is to protect the light at the center of the Island.

In essence, there were five candidates left on the island: Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Kate and Ben. Austin and Linus had their names crossed off in the cave. Why Ben was no longer a candidate is never explained; he seemed to be the most prepared and most willing to take charge. But could a guardian killer become the guardian of the island? It would appear that is how Crazy Mother operated when she murdered Claudia to take her children. Ben did the same thing by kidnapping Alex from her natural mother. We must remember that the guardians are not high moral beings. In fact, they are really self-centered, narcissistic demi-gods. From that perspective, Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Kate and Ben each in their own way "qualified" for the guardianship job.

Jacob never explains why the light source needs to be protected, or be protected from Flocke. His statements that the candidates friends deaths were in furtherance of a plan to find a new guardian ring hollow. If MIB wanted to kill Jacob, he could just kill him (since Crazy Mom's rule was that the brothers could not harm each other, which was false). Jacob could avoided being killed by NOT bringing anyone to the island who could be corrupted into killing him (as what happened with Ben). So in reality, Jacob continued to lie to his final candidates. He wanted to bring people to the island so he would "die."

Jacob then says that they must do what he couldn't do: kill MIB (Flocke). Jack asks whether that is even possible and Jacob says that he hopes so because "he" is certainly going to try to kill them. Jacob offers the remaining candidates a choice of who will take his place - Jack accepts, acknowledging that he is on the island for this very purpose. Jacob asks Jack to affirm this decision, and is pleased when he does.

Again, if Jacob is a supernatural being with full knowledge of all the island's properties, he is lying to Jack on whether MIB/Flocke is a being capable of being killed. Jacob would know. And this elaborate ritual is merely a mask to get these lost souls to buy into the dirty deed: MIB/Flocke must die.

So why would Jacob hijack human beings to come to an island that contains the entire life spirit of the universe? If one looks closely at the dark side of these proceedings, it is because it was Jacob, not MIB, who was trapped on the island. MIB was a spiritual security system that kept Jacob was leaving the island realm; he was the jailor and Jacob was imprisoned (for killing his brother perhaps?) But we saw that Jacob left the island to "touch" his candidates. But perhaps that was an illusion (or the candidates were dead but hijacked on their way to the after life).

So it came down to five people. Jacob only needed to convince, con or manipulate one person to kill Flocke. The motivation was simple: Flocke killed you friends and he will kill you. If he kills you, he will destroy the world. Heavy stuff. But if you recall, people have tried to kill Flocke but nothing harmed it. There is no magic switch to turn MIB into a mortal human. The campfire going out to end Jacob's time was a ruse because when Ilana found the ash pit, it was already extinguished so by common sense, Jacob's life was extinguished as well. But that is not the case as he continued to appear to the candidates.

It seems almost absurdly stupid. It is the make-believe aspect of the explanation that makes one recall two little kids playing pretend WAR in their back yard. Both shoot each other with toy guns, and one has their dramatic "you got me" dying moment. Then they get up and do it all over again. We have no proof that either Jacob or MIB "died" as a result any event on the island.  We were just swept away into the sideways vortex.

But then again, in the context of the end, was the island conflict all that important? There appears to be faulty logic to try to bridge the island events to the fantasy of the sideways world. For if the island was the "most important" part of each of the church members lives, why not did they not all "reunited" on the island and live FOREVER together? It would seem that the island was no longer important (even though we were told that it was the source of life, death and rebirth). The island was merely closed like a bad diner going out of business.

Friday, April 19, 2013


In the last post, we reviewed the strong connection of the same church in the island time frame with the conclusion of the series in the sideways church. One could conclude that both places are the same church. The open question is if the churches are the same in time, place, dimension; real or imaginary or a combination of real and fantasy.

If we try to align the time lines of the series into three connected components, the above chart is useful. The Lamp Post station under Eloise's church in Los Angeles has information from the military in the 1950s. It must have been created by a military-industrial (Dharma) initiative to relocate or "find" the island. And once it was found, the Others purged Dharma severing the connection to the island. But that connection was re-established by the Widmores (Eloise and Charles) after they were banished from the island. This Lamp Post station had to remain in operation in order to "find" the moving island after each FDW turn; we know that Ben had used the FDW before and wound up in the North African desert. The key characters associated with the original Lamp Post are Eloise, Faraday (who we believe is the clever man who created the pendulum device to find the island), Dharma scientists, Widmore (the money man) and probably Ben because he knew of all the Dharma stations.

The key elements of the Lamp Post were knowledge, power and manipulation. The unspoken realm of the island and its powers were contained in the files and curator of this station. All those factors had to be used "to find" the island, which meant "finding the light."

Once the island is "located," it can be controlled by outside forces. In theory. That is what we were led to believe by the alleged conflict between the native Hostiles (Others) and Dharma, then Widmore and the Others. It seems like the same tragic play being performed over and over again, but with new cast members. During the series, the key island power players were Jacob, MIB, Jack (as the survivors de facto leader), Ben and the Others. To sort these connections back to the Lamp Post, we know that Eloise and Widmore were proto-Others, and the Others were the chosen people to maintain human security on the island. We believe that the only reason the mysterious Others arrived on "their" island was because of Jacob. But again, Jacob and his brother (MIB) were also brought to the island. The unanswered question is whether the Others go back further to the builders of the temples, etc.

Once on the island, the key factors for anyone who arrived on it were adventure, life-death danger, and friendships. As Jacob told his remaining candidates around the campfire near the end of Season 6, he chose them because they all were lonely, miserable people in meaningless lives just like himself. We only half of Jacob's story: his mother was murdered by the island guardian and kidnapped into becoming the next island protector. But we know of nothing of Jacob's father. Was he a Roman? Was he a Roman god? If these island adventures were mere sorting tools for this continuous play to find the lead characters for the next production, then Jack and Ben (who had more knowledge than anyone left on the island) were the key characters to move the island to its final curtain.

But what was the purpose of the island? Was it to create life and death situations, put people into danger, to forge strong bonds, to create lasting friendships in lonely people's lives? If so, then the island was a massive set to create the sideways fantasy world. The characters memories, activities, viewpoints, actions and reactions were the building blocks for an after life portal.

Throughout the series, many viewers commented that the island appeared to them to contain some form of portal to another time-space dimension (whether it was a wormhole, riff in the fabric of space between parallel universes, or a stargate). Despite all the inconsistencies and flaws of the island story lines, one has to consider that the result appears to be the creation of a purgatory alternative world.

The key elements of the sideways world were fantasy, awakening and self-realization of death. During the series, many viewers believed that the inconsistent story line arcs and conflicting sci-fi explanation of events were only understood if we were not viewing reality but some form of dream state.

There is a split among the key players in the sideways world. Christian and Jack are the final players in the church. Everyone present is "waiting" for Jack to awaken so they can begin, continue or end their journey in the after life. We are led to believe that this Christian is Jack's real father - - - but in all island events the vision of Christian was an illusion created by the smoke monster to trick or manipulate Jack. Those tricks and manipulations led to Jack becoming the next island protector, replacing Jacob (and in some respects freeing MIB from the chains of the island).

The other important group is comprised of the Others of Eloise and Widmore, and Desmond who acts as the bridge between the two potentially conflicting groups. In the sideways world, Eloise continues to know everything about their situation and their pasts. She is the one who is manipulating her in-the-dark husband, Widmore, to keep Desmond "busy" in global meetings, deals, etc. and away from Penny and Daniel. The reason to keep Desmond away from the family is that Eloise knows that if Daniel awakens, he will "leave" her forever. This paranoid devotion has a Bates Motel feel to it. Nonetheless, Desmond is the good soldier and does Widmore's chores until one of them, dealing with a mental rock star Charlie, begins the investigation and discovery of the reality of the sideways world.

Why Desmond would want or "need" to awaken the other Flight 815 island folk is unclear. He really never had a strong group connection with them. He may have felt "guilty" for causing Charlie's death, but Charlie would have died (and did in fact die on numerous occasions) without Desmond's interventions. The only thing Desmond cared about was Penny, so once he "found" her, they could have moved on by themselves. Penny had no connection with any of the Flight 815 people. The only reason Desmond would have remained in the sideways church was that he found true friendship or brotherhood with these lost island souls.

But in the end, it was Eloise who really got what she wanted: her sideways family of Widmore and Daniel at her beck and call. She could maintain her complete fantasy life as long as Widmore and Daniel remained in the dark about their past life. It would seem a long and tortuous con by Eloise to round up, trick people to get lost on an magical island, and to first "die" without realizing their plight, then round them up in the after life to set them off on their way without disturbing her relationship with her son, Daniel.

One has to try to match up the churches to find the common connection to try to unravel the unspoken dimension of the lost story arcs.  The churches had no religious significance or symbolism in the actual scripts; but the setting does form the basis to trace the elements and motivations of the characters tied to them. The church was the key element that allowed the transition or transformation of the characters lives into the after life.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


One of the few settings that bridged both the island time line and the sideways realm was the church which Eloise told Jack, Sun and Desmond was The Lamp Post, a former Dharma station that contained a pendulum swinging over a global map as an island tracker.  In the fantasy sideways world, the church was created to bring together the 815 island survivors to begin, continue, or move on in the after life. So the church is a key element in trying to figure out what happened to the characters.

 This is the Lamp Post church that part of the O6 visit in order to find a way to get back to the island.

This is the same church but in the sideway world at the end of the series.

First, why was this station called the Lamp Post?

By basic definition, a "lamp" is a noun for a device for giving light, either one consisting of an electric bulb together with its holder and shade or cover, or one burning gas or a liquid fuel and consisting of a wick or mantle and a glass shade, for example,  a table lamp.

It also can mean an electrical device producing ultraviolet, infrared, or other radiation, used for therapeutic purposes.
An alternative definition is that of a literary source of spiritual or intellectual inspiration.

The word comes from the Greek, for "torch."  In American lexicon, "passing the torch" is a phrase that imparts the transfer or transformation of some person, business, event to another person. It is the bridge between the past and the future marked by an event in the present.

The basic definition of the noun "post" is  a long, sturdy piece of timber or metal set upright in the ground and used to support something or as a marker.

Alternative uses of the word post include (as with obj. and complement) to  publish the name of (a member of the armed forces) as missing or dead.

It is derived from the Latin for "beam."

If one puts the root for the Lamp Post it could mean "light beam." It is the same church in The End where the characters leave in the white light. So could the Lamp Post church be both the door and exit to the after life?

On a side note, the word "Post" can have a clue or reference to Wiley Hardeman Post (1898-1935), a U.S. aviator.  He was the first man to fly solo around the world 1933, accomplishing this in 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes. He was flying near Point Barrow, Alaska, with Will Rogers as his passenger when their plane crashed and they were both killed. Desmond was trying to win a solo race across the Pacific. And Flight 815 was a famous plane crash within the context of the series.

We were told that the church station was created by Dharma (and possibly with the help of Daniel Faraday.)  The station appears to have been built upon the intelligence gathered by the U.S. Army in 1954, since Jack sees a photograph of the island taken by the military in the pendulum room.

The Lamp Post station was run by Eloise Hawking. She is the one character who appears to know "everything" about the strange events and the island properties, but keeps everyone in the dark about its true nature and purpose.

We know that the only people who visited the Lamp Post church were Eloise, Ben, Jack, Sun and Desmond.

How did they “create” a church in the sideways world that only a few of them saw?

It gets back to the Christian conundrum : everyone created the sideways fantasy, but how and when when none of them remembered their past?

Well, only one person knew about the past: Eloise. She was overly protective of it. She warned Desmond not to wake the others. She feared that if Daniel remembered his island past, he would leave her forever.  So Eloise knew about the church, its purpose, and the concept of awakening which she warned Desmond not to do.

Desmond is the only other person at the church who was awakened in time to create
the place. But his real role was gathering all the souls at the concert so they could finally awaken. Once awakened, they were directed to go to the church, but we are not clear by whom. If we believe it was Desmond, then we can also believe that he was still be manipulated by Eloise to round up the people who could take her son away, and get them out of her current "life."

The sideways arc only took approximately 14 days in sideways time. So logically, it was created on the 14th day before Jack died on the island.

Going back to island time, the sideways world had to have been  “created” at the same time as Ajira Airways Flight 316 experiences a flash of light 10 hours after take off (in the middle of the night in on a Friday in late 2007)  during which Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid vanish and the remainder of the passengers and the plane time shift to daytime in December 2007.  Some speculate that is the similar to the time shift phenomena in "The Constant" that Sayid noted after flying from the Island through severe turbulence to the Kahana with Frank Lapidus and Desmond. He noted they arrived in the middle of the day after taking off at dusk but traveling only a mere 40 nautical miles. The pilot, Frank Lapidus, maneuvers the plane around the suddenly looming Island to emergency land on Hydra Island's runway. It is interesting to note that Frank is a key player in both those airborne "flash" experiences. Was Frank a mere drunken background character with severe guilt, or was he more of a guardian angel able to get people "where they needed to be" (a theme of Eloise throughout the series).

The church is a key clue in trying to understand the significance of the sideways conclusion. It must be symbolic of life and death, the core of all human existence. It must be the means to get from life to the after life since that is where the characters end their journeys. The church could be the elusive portal of unique energy properties (now the white light) which could mirror the green Life Force found in the island cave (which represented life, death, and rebirth).

The church is one of the biggest clues to who was really controlling the LOST characters. Eloise was the only character who understood both the island and sideways realms. She was the one who created and maintained the church, in both worlds.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The LOST alumni have been struggling to find their next, big role. Several have been in pilots, short lived series, and character acting in movies.

Funny Or Die's Steve Jobs movie "iSteve" has just been released online. The movie stars Justin Long as Steve Jobs and Lost's Jorge Garcia as Steve Wozniak.

Long is the Apple guy from the iconic Apple television commercials.

This movie is in reaction to another biopic starring Ashton Kutcher which will be released later this year. It seems that this movie may be a light parody of the Hollywood fare.

Jobs was the legendary founder of the personal computer company that has revolutionized how we communicate, interact, and digest media content through iPhones, iPods, and iPads. Wozniak was Jobs' original co-partner, the engineer who helped developed the early computer products.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


If there is one continuing problem with the LOST conclusion is that it did not solve the biggest issue of all: what was the big premise of the series?

Was it purely a real life drama of survivors of a plane crash?

Was it a science fiction adventure story about survivors of a plane crash?

Was it a fantasy story, like the Wizard of Oz, where people are transported to a different time, place, dimension, reality?

Was it a surreal to absurd hybrid of various elements of drama, science fiction and fantasy?

Depending on how one views the story premise, there are different answers to the big remaining questions.

Readers of quality fiction demand that the author give me believable characters, in realistic situations, reacting naturally to harsh events, solving problems within their intellect or means, and finding a final resolution to their adventure-quest-issues.

LOST gave us none of that.  No one can tell us (and TPTB refuse) what the story was really about.

If one takes every character and every back story as a puzzle piece, the resulting pieces do not fit together. It is a jagged mosaic of conflicting facts and circumstances. There is no clear, direct conclusion to any of the story plots. There is no great "ah ha!" revelation of character development in the end. Season 6 muddled and whipsawed through new character back stories in an attempt to get some substance to end the series, but those tangents had no material bearing on the final scenes.

So viewers are left to their own devices, their own opinions, and their own questions.

Friday, April 12, 2013


To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.
— Baruch Spinoza 

Did LOST have its own philosophy?

Philosophy is defined as the study of the fundamental nature, reality and existence; a set of views and theories of a particular person concerning an area of study; the study of theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience; an attitude held by a person or organization that acts as a guiding principle for behavior.

Philosophy comes from the Greek word for "love of wisdom."

There were few, if any, wise men and women in the series. Throughout the series, no one actually knew what was going on. Even when the characters wised up and began asking questions, they never pressed to find the real answers. Thus, the viewers were left in a lurch in the information void.

 If we grind down LOST to its bare essential elements, it has to be a story about life and death. So was the series all about the study of the belief, nature and behavior of human beings through their passing life through death?

Most people will concede that the sideways world was the after life, a purgatory. The basis of that information is from Christian speaking to Jack. (There may be a few people who discount the versacity of Christian or the unbelievability that souls can create an complex parallel fantasy world. These people fall into the category that the show was not about real people, but in a dream state or within a video game). 

Now, many of those same sideways purgatory believers doubt that the island was also part of the after life. They firmly believe that the island events were real happening to real people.

Now, the consensus is that the flashbacks of pre-island life were real world events. Each character's backstory needed some logical, concrete context from a real world setting.  


Some viewers have fixated on the ghost Michael Hurley conversation to pin point the island. Michael tells us that the whispers that the characters heard were "trapped souls" who could not leave the island. Michael, himself, acknowledges that he is trapped soul. This means that some part of the island is spiritual in order to collect and trap a human spirit. It makes sense that Michael's soul would be trapped since he committed two murders on the island. But if the island is a soul containment realm, then how did the human characters get to it?

That is the big premise unanswered question of what is the Island. Is it a real place where real people survived a plane crash? Or is it an unreal place (spirit world) where real people have to cope with their personal sins (like hell or judgment)? Is it an unreal place where dead souls have to redeem themselves in order to leave on the next leg of their after life journey? The last question creates continuity issues since Michael is a trapped soul murderer while Sayid is a free soul murderer in the sideways church. 

A few people believe that the island is like a holding cell: part real and part unreal. Human beings who are in the process of dying (where their time slows down to stop) have one last opportunity to sort themselves out before moving on to heaven, purgatory or hell. Time on the island would be like the time of purgatory sideways world - - - irrelevant and non-existent; non-linear and unmeasurable. A few dying seconds in the plane crash could be three years in island event time.

One thing is clear: LOST gives us no direct parameters or viewpoints about the goal posts between life and death. The lack of a moral compass in most of the LOST characters is another indication that the island events are not part of any religious cycle of testing, punishment or redemption.

There may be one disheartening note. As Jacob told his campfire candidates, he picked them because they all were like him: living lonely and miserable lives. So when the reunion is held at the church after everyone's life has ended, it is a reunion of lonely losers. What is extremely harsh is that except for Jack, none of the other church members were greeted by their dead parents or ancestors. Except for Boone and Shannon, none of the  church members were greeted by their dead siblings. Isn't that extremely odd?

 It would seem that the message is that friendships (no matter how short or shallow) are more important than family. If that is the real litmus test for after life salvation, the vast majority of people would reject it. Family, even with all its complex issues, is still the bedrock foundation for all human existence.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


No matter how much we analyze, brood, think, speculate or brain numb the information and story lines of LOST, there are several major questions that remain murky, unanswered, debatable to unfathomable. No one really knows the intent of leaving mysteries unanswered in a long running series for whom the fan base spent their waking hours trying to come up with the answers.

The main questions (in no particular order) that remain:


Was it actually a Pacific Island on Earth? Was it place in a different dimension, like a spiritual realm? Was it a spacecraft since it could allegedly move in time and space? Was it the figment of some one's imagination?


We were told that it was the source of life, death and rebirth. Was it a spirit? Was it a vague Star Wars type reference to the force that Jedi could manipulate in nature? Was it intelligent? If the light source was the power of life and death, then why did it need a human or spiritual protector? And if so, why did Jacob allow so many civilizations and people over the thousands of years to come to the island with the intent of exploiting its special properties? (The Romans, Egyptians, the U.S. Military, the Dharma Initiative). And did the guardians such as CrazyMom use the light use to destroy people? And how did she set the rules that would bind Jacob and his brother for centuries? Is the light the power to be a demi-god and set one's own rules?


This is a hard one. We know that Jack was the first character to appear in the show by opening his eye and the last to close his after being the last one to awaken in the sideways church. One could say the first shall be last and the last shall be first. The last major character introduction was Flocke (MIB) so was he what the LOST story was really about?


We discussed Walt's character in a previous post. But this question remains one of the top give gnawing issues on most fan blog lists. Was Walt psychic? Telekinetic? Alien-hybrid? And if Walt was so special, why did Ben let him leave the island?


There were some hue and cry after the finale on this point. In the off-island O6 story arc, Jack had his time with Kate and they broke a part. They were incapable, at odds on the island and off the island. Kate was not part of Jack's fantasy sideways world. Jack was not part of Kate's fantasy sideways world. If Kate truly loved Jack, she would have stayed with him on the island instead of getting on the Ajira plane. Yes, she was fulfilling her mission to get Claire back to Aaron, but once Claire was on the plane, Kate could have gotten off. But she chose to run away, again. In the sideways world, Jack's love was actually Juliet - - - which is an odd choice, too, considering she was once his captor. But it also was not Sarah, the one woman in his life that he pined over. Then, why Kate?


There was a specific and dangerous element of the story that we were warned about: the sickness. It took Rousseau's crew. It was going to take Claire and her baby. It could have injured Sun and her baby. How can an island with magical healing powers allow a deadly disease to destroy human beings? But again, the sickness should have infected everyone - - - since only a few got shots, but none of the 815ers came down with the sickness (except Sayid or Claire, if you believe Dogen that the "sickness" was a metaphor for evil or the darkness.)


The island as an entity had no consistency in "saving" one injured person over another. Rose was cured of cancer, but Ben developed a spinal tumor. Locke was cured of his spinal paralysis, but Boone could not be saved from his fall. Patchy got shot and killed numerous times. Michael crashed a car and attempted suicide but lived. Some people like Artz got blown up by unstable dynamite while other people did not. The inconsistency or lack of life and death rules on the island continues to trouble many fans.


This is a concept that is way, way, way out there with no explanation. It is based upon Christian's speech to Jack in the backroom of the church. If everyone died at different times and by different means, how did their "souls" create a vast, complex, physical universe in the after life? How could someone who was "alive" create their existence in the sideways world? How could someone who was dead freeze their after life journey in their own fantasy world? And when did this world start? By whom? The first person to die or the last person? And how would that person "know" to put in secondary bad guy villains into the sideways stories when they never met them?


Normally, the end of a good book or movie there is a moral lesson or teaching about the characters. It is hard to pin point any final lesson or moral compass in The End. In fact, the entire six seasons of LOST had no moral consequences for any character's actions, good or evil. For example, Sayid's character does not change from his murderous, torturer ways. He is not punished on the island for his deeds; in some respects he is rewarded even after he is reborn as evil in the temple. And if the story is of Jack's happy reunion with his friends, what was the sacrifice he made to change the problems and ethical lapses in his past? There were no great moments of change. He gave up nothing to die on the island because the dangers of rescue or leaving were abated before Jack collapsed in the bamboo clearing. Was the lesson that friendship is the most important thing in one's life? But that is a weak and simple view - - - since some of the characters in the church never truly got along during their lives.


LOST presented us with both metaphysics and quantum theories to unravel. How could the island move in time and space? How could only certain characters leap to 1974? How did only Desmond's mind flash to alleged future events? And how could characters actions change the fate of the future? There was so much gibberish on the basis of time travel but there was no concrete answer to the clues. So how did Minkowski die without a "constant" when in fact everyone knows of a person in their past and present to latch onto (a sibling, friend, colleague, etc.) Were these plot points merely unbelievable filler? TPTB created these story paradoxes then left them to hang to move on to the next cliffhanger or plot twist.

There are many other side questions like if Jacob was the only one who could bring people to the island, how could Ben leave the island freely to recruit new members such as Juliet? And why did pregnant women die on the island? And why did Alpert scold the Others about Ben's focus on Dharma stations and science? Why was it so difficult to "return" to the island when Ben and Dharma had regular submarine trips to the mainland? Why did the food drops continue when the Dharma people were mass murdered by Ben? And how could food drops magically appear immediately after a lock-down event if the island was thousands of miles off Portland?

Every person who watched the series has their own burning questions about the show, its plot lines, its character choices, and how the series ended.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


We were constantly told that Walt Lloyd was "special." So much so that the Others kidnapped and allegedly did experiments and tests on him. His father, Michael, went murderously insane trying to get his son back. There was a lot of action around the Walt character, a lot of blood shed and tears - - - but for what end?

Walt was born on August 24, 1994 to Michael Dawson and Susan Lloyd. In some respects, Walt came from a broken home. His parents never married. Michael went from job to job while Susan became a highly paid professional. After Walt was born, Susan took him to Europe. Two years later, Michael was in a car accident after they had an argument. At that time, Susan told Michael that she was going to marry her boss and she wanted his consent so her husband could adopt Walt. This would terminate all parental rights to his son.

Michael tried to fight the process, but in the end he gave up. He thought Walt would have a better life with his mother.

We were shown that Walt has some unexplained spooky powers as a child. The prime example was that he would think about birds and suddenly they would smash and die against the nearby window. It was so weird that his step-dad Brian freaked out and sent 10 year old Walt to live with Michael when Walt's mother died of "a blood disorder." Brian told Michael that "there's something about him (Walt). Sometimes, when he's around, things happen."

We are never told whether Walt's special powers are real, imagined, coincidental or magical.

On Flight 815, Michael is bringing Walt back the United States to start a new life.

Walt's character was the flash point in the first four season finales:
1) he was kidnapped by the Others;
2) he escaped the Island;
3) he appeared as a ghost to John Locke;
4) he was visited by Locke on the mainland.

Walt had special abilities to see or control nature. But he also may have had the ability to appear as a ghost image after he left the island.But he did tell Shannon not to "press the button." He had knowledge of the Hatch, but did not warn Locke about not opening it. (One could argue that ghost Walt was merely another ruse by the smoke monster to manipulate Locke).

It could be said that Walt was the spy within the group. Who would consider a young boy as a dangerous smoke monster? But that would assume that Walt was not alive, but we were shown Walt leaving the island with Michael after Michael betrayed his friends.

For a boy who never wanted to leave the island, Walt had no indication that he wanted to return to it. Did the Others traumatize him when he was kidnapped? Did Ben want him off the island because Walt's special abilities would lead to a coup like Ben achieved against Widmore?

Or was the real problem with Walt is that the actor grew up during the first four seasons which did not fit the script time line of the island. That may be why the mulligan of Time Travel was introduced into the series as a Hail Mary pass to keep the character of Walt relevant. But that failed. All the build up about Walt being a central character, a major clue to unravel the mysteries of the island, were scrapped when he left the island.

When he was captured, the Others said he was safe, like Emma and Zach. But the children taken to the island were never truly safe; especially when Flocke was on its rampage in Season 6. We have discussed the treatment of children by TPTB throughout the series. 

Walt makes no appearance in the sideways world. One could assume that he was alive. Or one could assume that he was not ready to move on, reconcile with his father who was trapped as a whisper on the island. But Walt never wanted a relationship with Michael. Walt probably wanted to punish his father for abandoning him as a child. As a result, some theorize that if LOST was about the a mental world of anger, abandonment and punishment, then the series could have been found in the vivid imagination of a special child like Walt.

Walt turns out to be an early captured pawn, and a discarded piece on the island chess board. He has no role in the conclusion of the island 815 saga. Walt was built up to be a central pillar of the answers to the island's mysteries, but he literally out-grew his purpose.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


In any epic adventure story, the main character (the hero) must go through various stages or ordeals that allows the reader/viewer to see the hero take on adversity and come to a rewarding change at the end of his journey.

Does LOST fit into this epic story telling format?

If Jack is the centerpiece character for which the LOST universe, what was his journey all about?

First, there was nothing harsh about Jack's background. He came from a wealthy home. His father was a highly compensated surgeon in Los Angeles. He did not have any real obstacles growing up. He did not have the issues of a poor child facing daily adversity in the inner city.

Second, Jack's home life is typical for that socio-economic class. When a father works hard in a hard stress occupation such as medicine, there is some disconnect between father and son. Jack was an only child so that could have added pressure on him to succeed. It also would possibly cause some isolation since he did not grow up with siblings to interact with on a daily basis. But being an only child in an upper middle class family in itself does not cause "hardship" usually associated with a hero about to take a life changing journey.

Third, Jack's personality apparently was to be competitive with his father. Jack took it personally that he had to be as good, or better, than his father. Jack followed in his father's footsteps, including working under his watch at the same hospital. He never broke the parental bond, even in his career path. This shows that Jack at some level is insecure. This insecurity could be the result of his comfortable upbringing.

It is not that a person in an easy lifestyle can be the center of a personal conflict. For example, Dan Akroyd's character in Trading Places gets his world turned upside down, from country club to poverty, caused not by his own actions or behavior but at the mere whim of his alleged mentors. But Jack never gets turned inside out by an out-of-character situational change. As a spinal trauma surgeon, he takes on matters of life and death on a daily basis. The bloody aftermath of the plane crash would not be outside the realm of his past experience in coping with the human condition.

Fourth, Jack's position of authority never truly changes after the 815 crash. Despite the appearances and flashback statements from his father that Jack lacked leadership qualities to make life and death decisions, Jack as a surgeon is the captain in the operating room - - - everyone on the medical team would follow his instructions and lead in treating a patient. So it is not realistic to believe that Jack did not have the leadership skills to take charge in an emergency when 815 crashed on the island. The proof is that the survivors immediately gravitated toward him because he took his instinctive action in helping other people. Again, this is not a revelation for a physician.

So we have a talented surgeon thrown into a medical emergency situation which he handles like any other competent physician would in a code red emergency room triage. Instead of a clean hospital, the setting is on the sandy beach of a tropical island.

Fifth, what was Jack's "true" island ordeal? At first glance it seems a simple question. But it hard to answer. What were the bad things thrown at Jack to solve? There were many injured people - - - which is normal based on his medical experience. He treated the people as he found them so that was not an "ordeal" but another day at the office. There were many scared individuals in shock after the crash. Again, he deals with people in shock all the time. Then, there is emotional state within the group to do something to help rescue - - - but Jack, in treating accident patients, had experience dealing with emotional family members who ask difficult questions. The only "burden" placed on Jack in the first days after the crash was the role of "group leader." Again, Jack was used to giving "orders" to stabilize a patient's situation. It really would not be a big stretch for Jack to use his knowledge and experience to stabilize the beach survivors into work groups. In fact, he solidified his role with his "live together or die alone" speech.

The role that Jack now plays is a father figure. Why that would be an emotional burden on his soul is stated in the estranged relationship he had with his now dead father. He never had the opportunity to set things right with Christian. Jack was the cause of his father's fall from grace (but from a medical-legal basis, Jack's career should have also been over as he was part of the "cover up" of Christian's errors). Why Jack would fell more "pressure" as an island leader is not really clear. He would get into paternal type conflict with other group leaders, such as Locke, but Jack's character never changed as a result of these strategy conflicts.

Six, if the burden on Jack's soul was his decisions causing other people to die on the island, then it was a burden shared by all of the survivors. Jack's decision to move to the fresh water of the caves saved the survivors from an early demise, but that important event was orchestrated by the smoke monster in Christian's form. Jack continued to chase the fake ghost of his father from the moment he left Los Angeles until the moment he closed his eyes for good in the island bamboo forest.

So if Jack's entire journey was one of self-reflection on his strained relationship with his father, that seems like a weak foundation for a six-year long series. Further, he never truly resolved his relationship issues with his father.  He never broke the bond of his father's shadow because at the end, he needed his father to guide him to the next level of existence.

Jack's island life mirrored his previous life as a surgeon in LA. Jack's role as a leader of the survivors was not that much different than his role as operating room leader. The only change to Jack was the "guilt" of leaving people behind after the O6 rescue. This guilt drove him to drinking and drug use. Why this guilt of leaving people he only knew for a few months behind would drive him nearly insane is hard to believe. And the only way to resolve his guilt is to go back to a hellish island prison seems illogical for a man of science. Is the personal toll that the guilt inflicted on Jack (by his own hand) the adversity that a real hero needs to overcome for the greater good?

Probably not.

But then, viewers will state that Jack's personal sacrifice of himself to be the temporary island guardian (which cost him his own life) was needed to save his friends. But if you look objectively at the facts, most of Jack's "friends" from 815 were dead (Locke, Jack, Charlie, Jin, Sun, etc.) The only people allegedly "saved" were Kate, Sawyer and Claire - - - but it was Frank, as the pilot, that actually got those people off the island (rescue), not Jack. And Rose and Bernard were not "rescued" by Jack's demise - - - they were content to be left alone on the island. So what did Jack's death accomplish? It punted the responsibility of the island to Hurley. But does a hero delegate his role to another lesser character to finish the task? It was Hurley, through Desmond, through Charlie, that awakened the souls in the sideways world, not Jack. Jack was literally the last person to the after life party.

So when commentators believe that the LOST story was all about Jack, then what was Jack's story resolution? In the end at the church, there was no great moment of remorse, apology or understanding with Christian. It was just a light bulb moment that Jack realized that he was dead, that everybody was dead. If the message is that death solves all human problems, then Jack's story is not unique.

Jack as a hero figure went through many missions and conflicts as the leader of the 815 group, but those events and adversity never truly transformed Jack into a different human being or allowed him to gain a special insight that he was lacking before his adventures began. And his reunion with his father at the church was anticlimactic. It did not solve any of his daddy issues.

The only thing that occurs at the end is that the other people in the church "waited" for Jack. They waited for him to realize that he was dead in order for all of them to move on in the after life. At best, they believed that Jack was the glue that kept their group together. At worst, it was a plot device to create a happy ending. One could argue that all the people in the church led very lonely lives. The greatest moments of friendship, for good or ill, happened because of the crash of Flight 815. But that is not an epic heroic journey, but more like a nursery rhyme.