Saturday, August 31, 2013



Those words come from an anagram for the initials of the final candidates at Jacob's fireside chat: Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sawyer.

All those words are clues to the saga that was about to conclude.
Shark was the unemotional predator, Flocke.
Hark was the call to arms of Widmore's men coming to the island to stop Flocke.
Rash were the decisions the 815 survivors were making on the fly.
Ark is the vessel of salvation, in this case Frank's plane.
Ask was the request by Jacob for a volunteer to become the guardian.
Far is the next meeting place for their reunion.
Jar was Jack's final scenes in the bamboo grove after Flocke was pushed over the cliff.

There is no way TPTB knew these words would fall out of the candidate circle of initials to explain the end of Season 6. It is just another coincidence. An interesting coincidence, no doubt.

Fans searched for clues hidden in background images, hidden in words, hidden in names or hidden in plain sight. The search was monumental because fans sought answers to their questions. And since answers were not forthcoming from the scripts, fans had to make due with their own theories and rationalizations. So we keep pondering the Big Questions by throwing old, rusty darts on the Blast Door map hoping to spark some new insight into the mysteries of the series.

Friday, August 30, 2013


Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good. — Ann Landers

 There were many Machiavellian characters on LOST. But who was the "nicest?"
Different people may have different definitions or parameters for the term "nice."
The dictionary defines the term as:

1.  pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory;  (of a person) pleasant in manner; good-natured; kind: he's a really nice guy.
2.  fine or subtle: a nice distinction;  requiring careful thought or attention: a nice point.
3.  archaic term:  fastidious; scrupulous (very attentive to details).

Nice is more a middle of the road, nonconfrontational, safe person to be around.

Under definition number 1, most people would say Hurley would be the nicest. He was always respectful to other people's thoughts or opinions. He was not judgmental. He had an easy going outlook on island life. He kept his own issues hidden as to not burden his friends with his problems. He was good natured and kind.

Under definition number 2, Jack may be a choice because at times he dwelled on the fine points of a situation. He was detail oriented in a calm way.  He did not like to go half-cocked into the jungle without first making certain of the details of any plan. 

Under definition number 3, the most scrupulous, anal-retentive person on details had to be Ben. Most people would not consider Ben a "nice person," but he was a nice villain. There were a few other characters who bent toward detail analysis such as Artz, who started science projects on the beach (including toxic spiders) to the lecturing on the instability of explosives (which led to his demise.)

On the other side of the scale, Sawyer was probably the least pleasant of the main characters. He was irritable, got under other people's skin, rude, crude, snarky and rarely thought of the group ahead of himself. Kate was a pleasant person to be around, but she had a cold distance that made it difficult to make friends or trust other people. Sayid also had a cold dispassion about him that made many character uncomfortable around him. Part of this could have been stereotypical prejudice; part of it could be that others viewed him as a dangerous person capable of harm.

NICEST                                                                                                                       LEAST NICE 
Hurley * Frank * Bernard * Libby * Rose * Jack * Claire * Charlie * Kate * Sawyer * Ben

It appears that being "nice" was not the key to salvation from the Island.
Both Hurley and Ben wound up on the doorstep of the after life church. Together.
Frank, Claire, Kate and Sawyer all made it off the island on the Ajira plane.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower" - - - Steve Jobs

The Apple Computer co-founder was also fond of saying that he did not believe in focus groups where consumers would tell companies what features they wanted in their electronic products. Jobs was insistent that he would tell them what consumers wanted before they knew they wanted it.

Being light years ahead of the curve is one thing, but understanding the dynamic of interpersonal skills is another. As a brash, combative and anal-retentive boss, Jobs had his employees both fearing and worshipping him because of his innovation push towards continued excellence.

The theme of leadership was prominent in the LOST series. It was something that a few characters sought as the ultimate goal in their lives: Widmore, Ben, Locke. A few characters never wanted the role of leader put upon them: Jack, Sawyer, Hurley.  In many respects, the various island story arcs were variations of the child's game of follow the leader.

The pinnacle of leadership would be a devote following. Jacob was a cult figure to the Others, even though few, if any of his followers actually met him. The closest encounter we have is Dogen's back story, when he said he met a man who could save his son from terrible injuries, but it would cost the father (Dogen) a life of service to the island at the Temple. Dogen accepted his punishment for his actions and became a high priest for Jacob's vague vision of the balance between light and dark forces.

But Jacob kept in the shadows. He was a loner. He did not need the adoration of people in his presence. It appears the humans brought to the island were treated more like intellectual pawns in his thesis game with MIB. At some point, a leader needs an emotional connection with his people in order to lead them to the right way.

Widmore was once a co-leader of the Others, but he was banished from the island for allegedly having an off-island child. As a result of his banishment, Widmore spent his entire lifetime trying to return to the island and seek vengeance against Ben and his followers. Widmore's great leadership was purely based on the power of money. He had a lot of it; and he used his wealth to create an army of mercenaries. Those people were only connected by the promise of personal wealth and not of greater purpose.

Ben also ruled with an iron fist. His followers were mostly fearful of his wrath. He used mental manipulation to hold his followers on their paths instead of voluntary devotion to his cause.  Once Ben assumed leadership of the Others, he really had no great vision of what to do next. He started to do side projects like fertility studies which the native hostiles, including Alpert, found disconcerting and not within the framework of the island's purpose.

Locke's tenure as a leader was short. He desperately wanted to be treated and respected like a leader. But most people considered him a fool. When Locke became a leader, it was because the group had come to a crossroads. He got his small band of followers because he promised hope when Jack was still stressing practical necessities of survival.

Jack was thrust into a leadership role based upon his outward skill set as a doctor. People respect a doctor who has special knowledge and skills to help heal people in the time of need. The crash survivors naturally migrated toward the doctor for comfort and advice. Jack's quiet acceptance of his role helped solidify his position as beach camp leader.

But at the same time, Jack did not innovate or create a grand vision for the survivors to follow. Jack did not set down a rescue plan. It was Michael who had the idea of the raft. When Jack was captured by the Others and learned of their ships and technology, he did not fashion a plan in order to use those tools to escape the island. When the freighter arrived at the island, Jack naively accepted their offer of help when other survivors, including Locke, were skeptical of their motivations. Jack's leadership was mostly following the cues of other people's ideas. Jack never had a grand plan of his own.

Even when O6 crazy Jack wanted to get back the island, he had no clue how to do so. He was at the mercy of devious Ben and Eloise. At that point, Jack became a follower. When he time traveled to 1977 Dharma, it was Sawyer who was in charge of their little group. Jack became a wall flower until the final Jacob camp fire scene where he volunteered to be the guardian in order to stop MIB from leaving the island. But as the guardian, Jack had no clue on how to defeat MIB. He gave no direction. He gave no grand speech to mass his troops for battle. It was merely a series of fortunate coincidence that felled MIB.

Even at the end in the bamboo grove, Jack as the leader, was not even mourned by his fellow survivors. They did not stop to honor Jack. They fled to the Hydra Island to catch the plane flight off the island. There was no greater purpose in their actions. It was all personal, selfish survival.

Though leadership was touted throughout the series, there really was no true leader amongst any of the characters. Perhaps the message is that leadership is a hollow title. There is little respect or little rewards in taking the responsibility or accountability for your actions or those of your followers.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


 A "portal" is a doorway, gate, or other entrance, esp. a large and elaborate one. It also means in computer science, an Internet site providing access or links to other sites. As an adjective, portal means of or relating to an opening in an organ through which major blood vessels pass, esp. the transverse fissure of the liver.

There were many heated debates during the original series about whether the island itself was some form a portal to another world, universe, or dimension. The portal idea made sense to some because of the bizarre unexplained components of the early series story construction. Further adding to the mysteries were the hieroglyphs in the FDW that indicated that there were several "gates" that the wheel moved to including "Earth gates."

When the concept of the "light force" which was described as "life, death and rebirth" was introduced as the catalyst to get to the End in Season 6, it added another level of evidence that the island sat on something more than volcanic rock.

A cross section from the clues results in the above diagram. The snow globe effect described by Desmond and confirmed by the difficulty of finding the island despite all modern technology shows the unique metaphysical properties of the island energy field. The light source was found in various wells or caves by islanders, who tried to tap it in order to escape the island's hold. Using the force by turning the FDW resulted in people being transported through both time and space. A disruption of the light force (the Incident) resulted in the island world (or some of the souls on the island) to violently time skip and nose bleed as their brains turned to mush. The events on the island were at least in part psychically connected to the souls trapped in a state of limbo in the sideways world.

If you look at the shape of the diagram, it occurs to me that it looks partly human. The snow globe is the human skull, as it protects and shields the brain from danger. The island could be the memory banks of the brain, its experiences and connections. The underground could be the subconscious where a person's dreams, fears, secrets and nightmares reside. The portal may be the engine or the heart of the person. In ancient Egyptian death rituals, a person's heart would be weighed against a feather to determine if the person was worthy of an after life. And the sideways represents the person's internal soul which remains hidden during life from the mind and subconscious but to be awakened in the after life.

The island construction could be symbolic of various beliefs in the after life transit of a person's soul (the collective personality, memories, accomplishments, sins, connections, and bonds) needed to move forward into another realm of existence.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


If one looks to a nexus point of the series, it is Australia.

Australia was a British penal colony. It was founded in order for the British to send the dregs of their society as far away as possible from their aristocratic society. Out of sight, out of mind. At the time, most of the prisoners would have died from the harsh voyage, disease or hunger. But that was the plan, to rid the criminals and their costs from the general, law abiding population.

Australia has been called The Land Down Under. It is a reference to its continental position on the planet in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also a clue to the harsh climate for most of the land mass and the tough conditions for the original settlers who thought they were sent to Hell.

 The LOST characters all converged in Australia.

Ana Lucia came with Christian Shephard as his bodyguard after she murdered Jason McCormick and quit the LAPD. She had a grave sinful secret that she kept with her. She was told by her mother to return home and own up to what she did, but in the series she never came home because of the crash.

Arzt was meeting with his internet "girlfriend" but after his alleged girlfriend ditched him in a restaurant, he was returning home, depressed by the entire situation.

Bernard brought his terminally ill wife Rose to see Isaac, a faith healer near Uluru (Ayer's Rock), on their honeymoon. Bernard was looking for a miracle cure. This trick upset Rose greatly, for she had accepted her fate and she wanted Bernard to do the same. Bernard's plan put a uncomfortable wedge in their marital relationship.

Boone went to Sydney to "rescue" Shannon from her boyfriend. Boone and Shannon had an inferred sinful past coupled with the fact that Shannon was an indifferent spoiled brat who was suddenly left on her own. Boone went to help heal their strained relationship, but never had a chance to work it out.

Charlie was visiting his brother, Liam, in hopes of reuniting their band, Drive Shaft.However, he found his brother content, happy and sober with his new family; a family that Charlie dreamed about but never could have because of his addiction.

Cindy, as a flight attendant for Oceanic Airlines, worked in LA and Sydney as part of her route assignment. Viewers thought that she may have been an Other planted on the Flight since she quickly assimilated into the Other culture.

Claire lived in Sydney. She was going to travel to Los Angeles to give birth and supposedly deliver her baby to adoptive parents connected with Richard Malkin. She was giving up her child because her boyfriend dumped her because he could not handle the responsibility of fatherhood, that she caused her mother's coma state from an auto accident, and that she could not stand her biological father, Christian, who showed up in her life after the car accident.

Eko was investigating the miracle of Charlotte Malkin as a fake priest. He finished investigation and he returning with fake passport as the start of a new wave of criminal dealings.

Edward Mars working as a U.S. marshal, looking for fugitive Kate (which makes no sense since he has no jurisdiction in Australia). But he arrested Kate and he was traveling back with her.

Emma and Zack were two children on the flight who were traveling back to LA to meet their mother. We can only speculate that they may have been children of divorced parents and this was a custody transfer, not unlike Walt to Michael.

Gary Troup was an author on a promotional tour for his novel, Bad Twin; It was believed that he was traveling home with his fiancee, Cindy (the flight attendant) according to the non-canon Lost Experience.

Hurley was following a lead her got from Leonard Simms about The Numbers. He went looking for Sam Toomey, the man Lenny heard the Numbers from. Hurley found out from Sam;s widow that Sam was dead and that confirmed that the Numbers were a curse. Hurley was returning home for his mother's birthday.

Jack, after  his mother, Margo begged him, went to Sydney to find for his father, Christian, and to bring him back home. Jack found his father dead from presumed alcohol poisoning which put Jack's mental state into an unstable mode as he had issues bringing his body home.

Jin was on an errand for Sun's father, delivering  Rolex watches to the criminal bosses, Keamy, in Sydney and LA.

Kate fled the U.S. to avoid criminal prosecution to work on a rural farm owned by Ray Mullen, who would later turn her in for the reward. She was on the flight bound to LA to face justice for her crimes.

Libby is another great unknown. We do no know why she was in Australia, or why she was on Flight 815. She just appeared as a survivor from the Tail Section, even though we would later learn that she was a former mental patient with Hurley at Santa Rosa.

Locke, who was confined to a wheelchair, tried to force his way on a vacation "Walkabout" in the Outback. When he was refused passage by the agent, due to his disability, an angry and frustrated Locke had to return to LA.

Michael, on request from Brian Porter, his ex-wife's widower and adoptive father of Walt, went to pick up Walt, after his mother's death, so he could live with him. Porter was freaked out by Walt's special abilities. Walt had strong abandonment issues from all his so-called parents.

Nikki was an actress who had a role in a TV show. Paulo was her lover, aiding her in the con of her director paramour. They stole the director's cache of diamonds and were fleeing to the U.S. to start a new life together.

Rose thought she was on her belated honeymoon with Bernard, but became upset when she found out that it was a trick for her to see a faith healer.

Sawyer was tracking down a lead on Anthony Cooper, the man who "killed" his family. Using the information from a fellow con man, Hibbs, he found the man he thought was Sawyer and killed him. But that was a mistake, a con; it was hit job for Hibbs. Distraught and drunk, Sawyer got into a bar fight which led to his expulsion.

Sayid was recruited by CIA agents Alyssa Cole and Robbie Hewitt to infiltrate a terrorist cell in Sydney by turn his old friend turned terrorist, Essam Tasir, in exchange for information on his love, Nadia. Sayid could not go through with the plan, but his friend died anyway. He stayed an extra day in Sydney to bury his friend, then he was going to LA to search for Nadia.

Scott had won a sales prize at work: two week Australian vacation, all expenses paid.He was returning home on Flight 815.

Shannon was living in Sydney with her abusive boyfriend. Having lost her meal ticket, she was going to con Boone into giving her money and a new place back in the U.S.

Sun was going to ditch Jin in the airport in order to runaway from her marriage and her father to start a new life, but at the last moment she  changed her mind and accompanying Jin to L.A. on Flight 815.

Vincent was Brian Porter's dog. He was given to Walt; they traveling to U.S. to live with him and Michael.

Walt lived in Sydney with his mother, Susan Lloyd, and adoptive father, Brian Porter. When his mother passed away, Brian freaked out with the responsibility of raising Walt so he got Michael to take him (which legally made no sense.)

Most every character in the series converged in Sydney with deep, dark, haunting secrets, sins and personal issues that could overcome the collective psyche of an entire plane of passengers on their long voyage home. There is a thought that there is a power of positive thinking. If so, then there would also be a power of negative thinking. So many characters on the plane had negative thoughts, fears, and mental issues  - - - could that psychic power brought down Flight 815 into a spiritual dream world of the Island? Or were these negative thoughts and sins the mere sorting device that teleported the "survivors" into the bowels of Hell for punishment or purification or redemption to find a path to the sideways church after life?

Sunday, August 25, 2013


LOST was about fan exploration and finding hidden meanings in each episode.

In that regard, here are keywords associated with various characters:

CHARACTER 1: smile, mainline, asinine, lineman, seminal, alumni, insane, jumble, menial, nebula, nimble, simile, usable, abuse, alibi, alien, amuse, annul, blame.

CHARACTER 2: geyser, heresy, heroes, gorse, horse, house, rogue, rough, rouse, shore, shrug, sough, surge, usher, goer, gory, gush, hero, huge, rosy.

CHARACTER 3: choke, clone, colon, coke, cone, cool, echo, neck, nock, hole, hone, hook, jock, joke, lone, loon, one.

CHARACTER 4: serfdom, deform, adore, arose, dream, frame, major, smear, arse, dame, dare, deaf, deja, dose, fade, fame, fear, foam, jade, more, read, roam.

CHARACTER 5: nauseate, astute, attune, estate, nausea, statue, eaten, satan, snake, stake, state, stunt, taken, tease, tense, ante, east, keen, sane.

CHARACTER 6: Apache, arcade, phrase, preach, sacred, scrape, search, spread, ahead, cadre, caper, chase, crash, parse, reach, share, space, spare, spark.

Can you match those characteristic words to a specific LOST character?

It came to me that the character names may contain hidden meaning because words matter to writers. So I decided to run an experiment by putting main character names into an anagram generator to find keywords to see if those results matched the characters personality traits on the show.

Those were some of the results for six main characters on LOST.

The characters associated with each result:

1. Ben
2. Hugo
3. John
4. James
5. Kate
6. Jack

Saturday, August 24, 2013


There is a theory that the entire LOST world was one person's nightmare. The prime candidate for the dreamweaver is Hurley.

Nightmares, and dreams in general, occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage. Depending on how long you sleep, your body goes through four to six cycles a night, and the REM stage gets longer with each sleep cycle. Most nightmares happen during the last 1/3 of your night’s sleep.

For most people, nightmares aren't a major problem:  only five (5) percent have a clinical nightmare problem where the dreams are too severe or frequent. But 85 percent of adults still experience normal nightmares— 8 to 29 percent of people claim to have nightmares on a once-a-month basis, and two to six percent have nightmares once per week.

Experts say anything from everyday stress to trauma (nightmares are common in post-traumatic stress disorder) to just good-old-fashioned watching scary movies might trigger nightmares. But if you want to dodge a restless night pockmarked by bad dreams, you might want to rethink having that pre-bedtime candy bar.
Eating anything right before bed boosts metabolism and temperature, states the Cleveland Clinic. That upsurge leads to more brain activity in REM sleep, prompting more dreams. In a sleep study,  of 389 subjects, 8.5 percent blamed bouts of bad dreams on food.

Biochemists at Australia’s University of Tasmania also studied the effects where they added mustard and Tabasco sauce to the dinner plates of six “young, healthy male subjects.” The spicy kick of the condiments “elevated body temperature during the first sleep cycle” and increased the subjects’ total awake time and sleep onset latency, or the time it takes to go from fully awake to fast asleep.
It’s not just the spicy stuff to watch out for, though. Another study that showed that junk food—ice cream and candy bars were used in the experiment—triggered more brain waves, causing seven of ten participants to experience nightmares.

How you sleep also plays a role in what kind of dreams you’re in for. A 2004 study found that left-side sleepers experience significantly more nightmares than right-side sleepers. And according to Prevention magazine,  sleeping on your stomach —the least popular sleeping position—leads to the most emotionally charged dreams.

When looking at the research studies in a LOST way, you can find a pattern emerging in the Hurley character. He had emotional trauma as a child. He took to Apollo candy bars as a means of coping with his personal issues. Those candy bars caused him to have eating and self esteem issues. Those compounding issues of appearance, acceptance, likability and self worth could translate into vivid nightmares because Hurley did have an active fantasy imagination.

Friday, August 23, 2013


The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
— Walter Bagehot 

"Don't tell me what to do!" 
That was John Locke's defensive line in the series.

Did the main characters succeed in doing what other people told them they could not do?

Jack's father told him he could never be a leader because he lacked the guts to make hard life and death decisions. Jack became the leader on the island, and his decisions did lead to life saving and life taking decisions. Did the 815 survivors respect and follow Jack? Yes. Did Jack earn the respect from his father? Apparently all is forgiven after you are dead.

Locke's counselors told him to stay in school and push for a math and science career. But he rejected their advice. Locke wanted to be a jock, a popular guy, in the "in crowd," to be cool. As a result of his own perception of what he wanted to become, Locke curried favor with no one. He went from dead end job to dead end job. He was not happy. He was the low man on the totem pole. He had no family support so he sought out surrogate families such as the commune, which turned into a bitter betrayal of his trust. On the island, he was given an opportunity to remake himself one last time: as a heroic survivalist who was both feared and respected. Did the island inhabitants respect and follow Locke? At times, maybe a little. Did Locke earn the respect from those who doubted his abilities and beliefs? The only person who came to that conclusion was Jack after Locke died at the end of the O6 story arc.

Kate's mother told Kate that she needed to turn herself in for her crimes. That she had to stop running away from her problems and face the consequences for her actions. But Kate continued to run away. First from her mother, then from her husband, and then from the island. She never truly faced any punishment for her actions (the legal story arc in the series was a farce). The one glimmer of redemption was her quest to find and reunite Claire with Aaron. But in reality, Kate was running away from the responsibility of raising Aaron. She had no idea if Claire was still alive on the island when she agreed to return. And she had no idea whether she would survive the trip or escape the island a second time. Did Kate earn the trust and respect of her mother? No. Did Kate earn the trust and respect of her fellow 815 survivors? Yes and no, because Kate was a fence sitter on most major decisions, often changing sides in a leadership battle for no apparent reason.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


The finality of LOST has one element that no one can dispute: death.

Everyone was dead in The End.

It is just a question of fact, metaphysical, spiritual or cosmic, when each character actually died.

But they all died.

Then one must ponder if that is the ultimate truth, that everyone dies, what was the show's belief system towards death?

In The End, all major religious symbols were contained in the stain glass. But the series as a whole had no deep moral, right or wrong, punishment for sins or crimes lessons. It had an atheist tone even though there were clear religious themes like faith versus science, etc.

There were three main religious philosophies that were in the series. First, there was a deep connection to the ancient Egyptians. The first great civilization had extremely detailed religious death rituals, embodied in the Book of the Dead and other tomb hieroglyphs. In order for a dead person to reach paradise in the afterlife, the deceased body and soul would be separated upon death. The dead would be reanimated in the underworld, where there would be numerous tests, dangers and conflicts. If at the time of judgment, one's heart weighed less than a feather, that person was fit to move on to the afterlife, to be reunited with its soul in paradise.

The ancient Greeks also had a similar view of the after life. In it, they believed that a dead person's soul would be re-established with speech and movement in the after life realm, where the person would be subject to punishment and purification. After this stage was completed, the dead person would be "reborn" in the realm of the gods.

Then there was the Buddhism-Hindu elements. Buddhism follows the basic Hindu doctrines of reincarnation and karma, as well as the notion that the ultimate goal of the religious life is to escape the cycle of death and rebirth. Buddha asserted that what keeps us bound to the death/rebirth process is desire, desire in the sense of wanting or craving anything in the world. Hence, the goal of getting off the endless wheel of reincarnation necessarily involves freeing oneself from desire.Nirvana   is the Buddhist term for liberation. Nirvana literally means extinction, and it refers to the extinction of all craving, an extinction that allows one to become liberated. Individuals do not possess eternal souls. Instead of eternal souls, individuals consist of a "bundle" of habits, memories, sensations, desires, and so forth, which together delude one into thinking that he or she consists of a stable, lasting self. Despite its transitory nature, this false self hangs together as a unit, and even reincarnates in body after body. In Buddhism, as well as in Hinduism, life in a corporeal body is viewed negatively, as the source of all suffering. Hence, the goal is to obtain release. In Buddhism, this means abandoning the false sense of self so that the bundle of memories and impulses disintegrates, leaving nothing to reincarnate and hence nothing to experience pain. It is imperative that the dying individual remain fully aware for as long as possible because the thoughts one has while passing over into death heavily influence the nature of both the after-death experience and, if one fails to achieve nirvana, the state of one's next incarnation.

The root of Hindu religious beliefs is that one should strive to connect one's self, the Atman, with the Godhead, the Brahman, which is the spiritual source of the material world. Hindus also believe in reincarnation, samsara, and that one is reborn into a station and particular set of circumstances in life depending on one's actions, karma, and duties, dharma, in the previous life.

The goal is join the Godhead and get off the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, which only leads to suffering, because of man's incessant and insatiable desires. In Hindu religious beliefs, there are four ways (yoga = path) of achieving this union:

Jnana Yoga: based on knowledge
Bhakti Yoga: based on service to God
Karma Yoga: based on work for God (ie, not for oneself)
Raja Yoga: based on psychophysical exercise.

In LOST, the light cave force was described as "life, death and rebirth," which parallels the Hindu principles of the after life. LOST was also a bundle of character memories being re-worked or re-ordered which follows a pattern of thought in Buddhism. The ancient Greeks felt that after death, punishment and purification was necessary in order for a soul to move on in the after life. Likewise, the ancient Egyptians believed that there had to be final judgment in order for one's body to be reunited with its soul.

Perhaps the problem with LOST was that it jumbled these religious tenets not create a unified belief system for the show, but only to add a layer of conceptual confusion to the show's premise.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


There have been a few essays recently on the undercurrent of most American animated films. The broad subject matter of the main characters has been the road to capturing self-esteem. The character's life is mundane, boring, repetitive and confining in such a pigeon holed way that the character needs to dream his own bigger, brighter future.

I did not realize that the audience, American children, had such self-esteem issues. It may be why animated features on the whole are widely popular.

To be esteemed, one would need to be admired or respected by his or her peers. For self-esteem, it is confidence in one's worth and abilities. In the LOST world, those two concepts clash in the main characters. In order to have self-esteem, the characters need to be admired or respected by their peers.

For example, Locke was a haphazard grinder in real life. He bounced from job to job. He was not particularly good at anything. His boring life led him to fantasy role playing games, even as an adult. None of his supervisors admired or respected him. In turn, Locke always wanted to show other people that he was worth something. That is why he stalked his con-man father, to see why even donating a kidney did not garner him any respect or admiration from Cooper.

Kate was a flippant child. What comes around goes around. She grew up in a stable home, but lashed out for attention by trying to steal a lunchbox at the general store. She was bored with her life. She had little direction. She dreamed of doing something, but no one ever encouraged her to follow her dreams. As a result, she had a very narrow, child like view of the world. Her solution to "save" her mother was the cartoonish blow up the abusive husband. The fall out was severe: her mother reacted negatively toward her. Kate could not understand what went wrong.

Jack was clearly crippled by the lack of respect his father game him. From early childhood, Christian did not pat Jack on the back. Jack struggled to get his father to notice his accomplishments. The lack of acknowledgement from his father led Jack into repressed anger and a single minded will to "fix things." Even if his hospital peers admired his "miracle" results in the OR, Christian never did. It was that cold detachment that was the deep canyon between their father-son relationship.

The island gave the main characters an opportunity to gain some self-esteem. The survivors were given a choice: get along or die. But factions never got along. And a lot of people died.

Locke has a roller coaster ride. He reinvented himself as some outback survivalist. But instead of being admired, he was feared as being a loon. Kate was so obsessed with her past remaining a secret that she came off distant and aloof. Her  tracking and shooting skills came in handy at times, but she was never looked upon as the leader of any group. Jack was an immediate leader in the eyes of the survivors for one simple reason: he was their only doctor. He was needed to help everyone survive. He took charge immediately after the crash, barking out orders like it was an emergency room. People saw and respected his skills. They assumed that Jack meant what he said; that he a plan that would save them. But even when Jack was rewarded with the support of the group, he was quite uncomfortable in taking command. His father always knocked him down a peg when leadership issues arose in their conversations. It may have been a defense mechanism by Christian so his son would surpass his accomplishments. But it held Jack back for a long time in accepting his role as the group's ultimate leader.

It was only after Locke had died did Jack realize what Locke was trying to tell him. At that moment, Locke was finally respected by some one. Only when Kate wrangled Claire onto the Ajira plane did she fulfill her personal goal of helping save someone else instead of running away. She would earn Claire and Aaron's respect. And it was only when Jack accepted his fate to become the island guardian, to defeat MIB and release his friends to leave the island in peace, did Jack find his own self-esteem.

Friday, August 16, 2013


LOST would have been completely different if the original plan had gone forward.  The character of Kate was first intended to be the leader of the survivors, after Jack's character was to be killed off in the pilot episode.  Later, the writers found that killing Jack in the first episode would raise feelings of betrayal and anger in the audience. They decided instead to have the Oceanic pilot  killed in Jack's place.

Originally,  Kate was written as an older woman traveling with her husband, whom she is separated from after he goes to the bathroom right before the crash. This idea was still employed, but with the characters of Rose and Bernard.

The first twist would have been having a strong willed woman and a doting husband dynamic in the beach camp. Would Kate's husband tried to change his personality to become more forceful? Would he object to Kate taking a leadership role? Would this have been the Jack and Locke dynamic?

The second aspect of this would have been whether the survivors would have accepted Kate as their leader. Certain cultures, such as Sayid's, would have objected to a woman in charge. Other men could have put on a macho behavior in order to make themselves seem more important (for self centered reasons such as corrupting limited resources).

The third aspect of this would have been altering the Sawyer love interest. If Kate had a husband on the island, she would not be available to use her "charms" on either Sawyer or Jack. If she did, it would cause more conflict in the beach camp because her betrayal of her husband would have negative consequences with the other camp members.

If Kate and her husband were to be the Rose and Bernard characters, it would have been hard to mesh a story to fit their personalities. Rose had accepted her fate. She would have rather be left alone than make decisions or lead missions. Bernard only wished to make Rose happy. They found that mutual happiness by going off on their own into the jungle as introverts.

There were a few aspects of Kate's actual characterization which could have confused the plot lines.  Kate was involved in many car crashes in her flashbacks. Car crashes were symbolic for change or even the after life. Kate was one of two characters to have escaped the island twice (Frank being the other person, who was key in getting them rescued.) Either the island did not have a great pull on her, or she knew something the other survivors did not know about their situation.

One could say that Kate's time on the island was a means of replaying her life relationships. The island characters were substitutes for her failed relationships. If she was in a purgatory state, she would have had to resolve these relationship issues in order to move on with her life or after life.

Off the island, Kate was a runaway, a criminal, a siren who manipulated men to help her. She learned that her cuteness was a powerful tool to get her own way. Her childhood friend, Tom, was a perfect example of this character trait. She led him on, then caused him pain. We can see the same threads with her relationship with Sawyer. When Kate finally thought she could change and settle down, she married a policeman and started to live the suburban wife lifestyle. But she never resolved her problems, which put a strain on that relationship. When things were getting close, she panicked and fled. We can see the same story line in Kate's relationship with Jack.

Kate had a streak of sentimentality. She courted a gang of bank robbers to create a situation where she could go into a safety deposit box to get Tom's toy airplane. After using the gang leader, Jason, she discarded him because he had little value to her anymore. Kate's relationship with Locke was at the same level. Kate would use Locke to counterbalance her disagreements with Jack or Sawyer. He was a buffer to get what she wanted; and the end she also discarded Locke who died as a result. Her one true girlfriend in the series, who she confided in, was Cassidy (who happens to be Sawyer's baby mama). She was Kate's one person support group when things got dicey. On the island, Kate tried to be that supportive role to Claire, under the guise that if Kate could save Claire (rescue her and reunite her with Aaron) then Kate could redeem and save herself. But this was really a substitution for her failed relationship with her mother, for whom she tried to "save" by blowing up the house with her abusive father inside. If Kate had an island friend, it could be said it was Hurley because Hurley was everyone's pal. He would listen to her, and not judge her.

It is possible that Kate so badly burned the closest people in her life that she could never see them again in the after life. She got her friend Tom killed in a police chase. She destroyed her relationship with her mother, who turned Kate into the authorities. She killed her bank robber boyfriend in cold blood. And she abandoned her husband, Kevin. That is why those people were not part of Kate's "awakening" in the sideways after life.

So in order to get past the sideways purgatory, Kate needed to find substitute relationships that would last the passage into the after life. The island gave her the opportunity to amend her past faults, be less selfish, and to make new stronger bonds with people. This may be why many viewers did not like the Kate character. There was always a hidden motivation that they picked up on the screen. Kate's motivation was to bond with other lost souls in order to move forward.

A few people never trusted the Kate character. Their suspicions fall from the fact that Kate was not seen on the beach where the middle section of the plane was found (including Marshal Mars). She was found wandering the jungle, unhurt. There are a few explanations for this: one, she was in a daze and wandered off the beach, but that is unlikely; or two, she was already dead but in spiritual denial. Her eagerness to dive head first into any mission was based in part because she subconsciously knew it really did not matter. Her outward strength would forge new friendships with the other lost souls.

Just as her time on the island and O6 story arc was conflicted and unbelievable at times, Kate's awakening was also written haphazardly. A mental light bulb was turned on and everything was great. She couldn't have been "waiting for a long time" for Jack unless her (after life) wait began when she first saw Jack near the beach after the crash.

Kate's cold detachment could have been the result of her character going through this underworld passage before . . .  and failing. If car crashes are symbolic of death, then Kate had several "death" story lines to come to terms with her personal failings. How did she suddenly become an expert jungle tracker, a marksman, a mission specialist, and survivalist? Just from being an Iowa tom-boy?

It was probably a good decision not to have Kate as the survivors leader. It would have created too many tangent story lines. And her likeability factor waxed and waned during the series. But the idea of Kate being a focal point does give us a possible path into the deep roots of the series premise and themes if the goal of each character was to find substitutes for failed relationships in order to take charge with one's after life.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Change your thoughts and you change your world. — Norman Vincent Peale

There was one point in the series were executives decided to pull back on a story line because they feared the audience would clearly believe that the whole series was all inside Hurley's head.

Hurley is involved in an accident in which a deck collapses as he steps onto it, killing two people. Even though there were too many people on the deck prior to his arrival, Hurley feels great guilt.  He sinks into a depressive state, so his mother enters him into a psychiatric institution. There he creates an imaginary friend called "Dave" and meets Leonard Simms, a patient who keeps mumbling the numbers. Hurley's condition eventually improves; he leaves the institution and he resumes his job at a fast-food restaurant. He uses the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 in the lottery, and wins the jackpot of $114m. Hurley begins experiencing constant bad luck, and as his net worth increases, so does his bad luck. Hurley suspects the numbers he used to win the lottery are cursed, so visits the institution again to speak with Leonard  He tells Hurley the man who could explain the mystery of the numbers, Sam Toomey, lives in Australia. Before Hurley can travel to Australia, his father returns to the family. He convinces Hurley to go to a psychic to cure his curse, but Hurley discovers his father has paid the psychic to lie. Once in Australia, Hurley visits Sam Toomey's wife who reveals that Sam was driven to suicide to escape his constant bad luck. Halfway through the return flight the plane hits turbulence splits in mid-air, crashing on an island in the South Pacific.

This is the basic foundation for Hurley. A young man who believes he is cursed by bad luck. He retreats from his curse by creating his own fantasy world as a protective barrier. Everything after the porch collapse could be his imagination. Everything. The mental hospital, Leonard, the doctors, staff, patients - - - everything, including his fast food work, his friendship with Johnny and the clerk, Starla, that he finally asks out but that relationship ends badly with his best friend stealing her away.

No matter how Hurley tries to create a fantasy world in his head, his mental processes always turn the tables on him like a conscious nightmare. So he adds more and more supernatural and magical elements to his thought processes in a complex labyrinth to hide from reality. All the characters we met on the series were created in Hurley's head.

In some way, all the action of the series centered around or through Hurley. But as some sort of self-preservation defense mechanism in his own brain, Hurley is never injured despite the island dangers. Even when he was kidnapped by the Others, they let him go back to the beach camp, where for no apparent reason, he did not tell the plane survivors of Jack, Sawyer or Kate's fate.

Another clue that everything was created in Hurley's head was the fact that the Numbers kept popping up in diverse circumstances. The Hatch door serial number. The Hatch countdown clock timer. The names of the Candidates. The lottery ticket. It is beyond coincidence. Those were Hurley's numbers. The numbers were the anchor for his mental issues. 

We know that Hurley had a vivid imagination. He created "Dave," an imaginary friend who could physically push Hurley around. If Hurley created a Dave, who could have created the island and all the characters on it. He was a fan of complex and strange worlds like in Star Wars. 

The further link to Hurley is that he was "special." He could see the mysterious Jacob. He could also talk to him. He would interact with ghosts. This could be a direct result of Hurley being "haunted" by the ghosts from the porch collapse. His guilt created a fantasy world to mentally punish him. He also saw visions of his "friends" throughout the series in odd situations, like Charlie, Claire, and Eko. He cannot tell whether Locke is real or a ghost when he is visited at the mental hospital.

Hurley was one not to freak out about his island situation. He was content to be in the background, friendly and laid back while the characters around him got the action. He was the man behind the curtain. He lived vicariously through his characters on the island stage.

Hurley could suffers from some form of delusional schizophrenia. He sees people, but he doesn't imagine events. Or Hurley suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder, also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. He is thus the same person as imaginary friend, Dave. Or Hurley could have a combination of disorders including depression to create a catatonic fantasy world where he could have been Dave, who was Libby's ex-husband, which would explain their hidden connection. Hurley's fantasies created a Dave-Libby relationship to test his curse so that his primary consciousness would "have a chance" with her. It sounds crazy, but in the course of Hurley's memories, he lost his first crush Starla to Johnny. It would be difficult to reverse the course of lost love when your cursed depression controls all your thoughts.

Hurley is aware that he has mental problems.  He believes he is crazy, which in turn has resulted in several genuine mental instabilities, such as paranoia and hallucinations. Those may have been enhanced by the people he may have met in school, the porch party,  or the mental institution.

Hurley also manipulated some structure and items during the series. It is believed that he found Jacob's cabin and then made it disappear. He is the one who created the flashbacks in island time in order to run away from dealing with his own personal fears or grief. Hurley created the Hurley Bird as a warning device to his imaginary friends. Hurley started an 20 year old abandoned VW van on shear "hope." The jungle whispers were all the characters in his head trying to get through to his consciousness. Hurley created Jacob and MIB and the Candidates game in order to determine whether he was worthy of trust and respect in his own mind. If he could convince himself that he was worthy, like Luke Skywalker, he could free himself of his curses.

It did happen. Hurley wound up as the last Candidate to be the Guardian. He succeeded against his fears to become the leader. Even though he was always in charge of the events, he was never in mental control of the events, until he claimed the guardianship.

This was a crossroad. It could be considered a "breakthrough" moment. Instead, Hurley created another fantasy world, one on the light side as compared to the island's dark side. In the sideways world he was successful, confident, and in love. He gathered his imaginary friends together in the church so they all could go on his next adventure. None of the people in the church were dead because they were never alive. They were all living in Hurley's head.

The odd principle for resolution of the LOST series was a concept of "awakening." Wake up from what? Hurley was the last person to enter the church. His breakthrough would be to awaken from his fantasy-vegetative state in order to live a normal life. But in the sideways fantasy world, Hurley does not have a normal life but embraces the unknown in a new phase of his fantasy world.

The theory that it was all in Hurley's head makes sense to explain away the continuity errors, the unsolved mysteries, the unanswered questions or the skewed plot lines. An immature adult with mental disorders does not create a perfect hidden world of make-believe characters without making mistakes because he does not know any better. It may not be a satisfying premise for most viewers.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Many people believe the LOST saga was the story of Jack. Jack coming to terms with his father issues, especially life and death leadership decisions. It seems to be a roundabout away of getting to that point, especially where all the characters wound up in the End.

But what if the story was not about Jack but Christian. Christian was the master of ceremonies at the End. Was it his connections that brought Jack to the End?

Christian had three significant encounters during the latter stages of his life.

First, he hired Ana Lucia to be his bodyguard to go to Australia to confront is daughter, Claire. It was through that short relationship with Ana Lucia where Christian began to deal with his own family issues as a wayward parent.

Second, when Christian tries to tell Claire that she is keeping her vegetative mother alive "for the wrong reasons" (guilt over causing the traffic accident), Claire is hostile towards Christian, severing any possible relationship with him.

Third, after a bad encounter and argument with Ana Lucia, Christian winds up in a bar where he meets Sawyer. They discuss Christian's strained relationship with his son. This is the last point where we see Christian alive. Later he is found dead of a heart attack/alcohol abuse.

We are led to believe that Christian was the first person out of these encounters to die. But what if that was not true. In the back stories of Ana, Claire and Sawyer, there were deadly encounters which could have caused their demise. Ana was shot in the stomach (while pregnant) as a police officer. She could have died from those wounds. Claire was in a serious traffic accident (while pregnant). She could have died from those wounds (as her mother did). Sawyer's father was distraught over financial ruin caused by a con man. He committed a family murder suicide (which in today's news often includes the entire family, including children). In the alternative, Sawyer's con artist past could have caught up with him via the double cross and he could have been killed by fellow criminals.

The idea that Ana, Claire and Sawyer predeceased Christian is important if you can fathom an angel theory. Just like Clarence in the film, It's a Wonderful Life, the angel had to come to earth to save someone in order "to get his wings." Since Hollywood rarely has a unique idea, it is possible that at one point Christian was the George Baily character, at his wit's end. Ana, Claire and Sawyer all had experience in broken families so they could understand Christian's issues with his son.

Christian's "reward" in the end of the series was to be reunited with Jack, and to go into the church and open the doors to cast the Light upon everyone in the church. Was this where Christian and the others "got their wings?"

There is a corollary to the angel angle; Ana, Claire and Sawyer were not devote moral role models. As such, they had insight and personal experience on the dark side which could be used to get straight forward Jack to see Christian's faults and understand them.  It is the devil that knows you.

It is possible that Christian's "Australian" trip was much like the 815 flight: a passage into the underworld. He met people who were going to help him through the various levels of eternity (Ana, Claire and Sawyer). In turn, Christian's connections with those people allowed them to get back onto their own passage through the underworld. As a result, the lost souls of Ana, Claire and Sawyer got on Flight 815 to help Jack and the other departed souls. As Locke (possibly as MIB) told Shannon  in the jungle that "everyone got a new life on the Island,"  and advised her to start hers, this is what Christian's connections began for Jack.

Each of the character connections helped Jack become a complete person. Ana brought in street toughness. Claire brought in venerability. Sawyer had cunning. Libby brought charity. Charlie brought sacrifice. Kate brought adventure. Hurley brought friendship. Locke brought faith. Bernard and Rose brought trust. Boone brought enthusiasm. Ben brought evil manipulation. Sayid brought punishment. Juliet brought caring. Shannon brought selfishness. Walt brought childhood wonder. Vincent brought comfort. Without all those elements, Jack could never become a complete person. Likewise, all the other characters needed to experience and understand those same elements in order to find their acceptance of fate, duty and their own deaths.

LOST was all about accepting one's ultimate fate: dying. The church in the End after death was the ultimate goal for all of the assembled characters. They were ready at that point to accept their deaths and move on into the after life, together.

Just as Christian's Australian trip was his "island journey," Christian returned the favor for Jack by creating key connections in the after life to allow Jack to awaken to his fate and join him in the church at the End. The benefit was that as a result, Jack was able to bring along many of these connections with him toward eternal happiness as complete beings.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


A correspondent from Forbes magazine was at a Disney event last weekend.

The report was from Disney's D23 Expo. This is the Disney-centric expo version of comic-cons.

At the show, visitors got to see glimpses of new materials from  Pixar, Disney Animation, Marvel Studios, and some of the upcoming live-action tent poles. Some stars made appearances, like Angelina Jolie, to plug her next movie,  Maleficent, in which she plays the Sleeping Beauty villain in a film told from her point of view. 

But the reporters' big news item from the expo was on  J.J. Abrams’s upcoming summer 2015 tent pole Star Wars Episode 7.  Visitors learned absolutely nothing about Star Wars Episode 7.
There was no title announcement, no casting confirmations, no teaser posters, nor any major acknowledgment behind ‘Yes, J.J. Abrams is still directing’ and “summer 2015′ is still the goal. 

How refreshing. No spoilers. No news. Nothing.

It was a shock to the fanboy collective when Lucas sold his bounty to Disney. Disney is in the "franchise" business and Star Wars is an iconic franchise. The reboot has the entertainment industry on pins and needles. (Especially this summer when Hollywood' had a record number of blockbuster box office busts.)

There are two camps in regard to Abrams, the movie director. Younger audiences tend to like his Star Trek reboot. Older, original die hard Trek fans do not care for the Abrams version of the franchise. It overwrote much of the canon elements of the original series. So there is some unease when Abrams was tapped to make the seventh Star Wars installment.

In retrospect, there were very few spoilers in the LOST saga, in part due to its long story format and its disjointed segment sequences (flashbacks/real time/flash forwards) and its inability to answer deep questions without raising more mysteries. For example, even today, no one can definitively say what the smoke monster was, or what it truly represented.

Monday, August 12, 2013


There are only four more episodes of the sci-fi comedy Futurama left. This show did not take itself too seriously because it was a comedy. It had distinct characters. It also had core science fiction world standards that did not change from series to series. The show itself was canceled several times, but brought back to life on cable. In some respects, it was the little show that could. The future is coming to an end.

In relation to Futurama, LOST probably would have not made it if it started this year. There are plenty of science fiction, vampires, monsters and end of the world shows on television, but none of them have the cult following to get a canceled show back on the air. LOST started out with a high note because of the pilot episode - - - plane crash survivors on a mysterious island with monsters and a polar bear. Network television was a lull (just before its fragmentary viewership declines of today).

Around Season 4-5, I always thought that the rabid fan base would have had at least one person take the show and re-edit it into chronological order. Put all the flashbacks into place to see if the story structure made any clearer sense. Even today, there are fans who make Star Trek fan episodes.  I thought one college student or underemployed person(s) would put LOST in a final fan show reel. But to my knowledge, no one ever did that.

It would have been more complicated by the insertion of the flash sideways story arc. That would have to be a separate, independent story.

But in the chronology of events, it seems that the sideways world as being the show's conclusion point was in the island's chronological future. The sideways characters were waiting for their characters to remember their island experiences in order to move on through purgatory. The sideways world was first shown in Season 6 so many assume that it was created at the end of Season 5 (when Juliet said "it worked.") Her passing into the after life at that moment helped create a non-traumatized fantasy world we called the sideways existence.

That would be one explanation. The other is that the sideways world was created first. Lost souls in the after life were given a chance to find new relationships and strong bonds needed to pass through their after life journey. The island was merely a test of departed souls a kin to traveling through the Egyptian underworld for judgment.

So, the options are that the survivors were alive on the island, but as people died they went to purgatory to create the sideways realm, waiting for their friends to join them (but somehow not remembering the island experiences at all). Or, the sideways world was created first by greater beings who sorted the lost souls into groups and put them on a spiritual island to allow them to learn, live and grow.

The latter seems to make more sense since all the characters "awakened" in the sideways world. There is no evidence that their physical forms left the sideways existence to the island. There is no parallel universe explanation for their feelings, thoughts or experiences from the island realm. The apparent end game of the series is to find a group of people close to you (the church reunion) so you can move on in the after life.  The lost souls' future was molded by their pasts. Their pasts were recreated on the island so they could work through their personal issues. It was when they remembered the bad times as well as the good, did the souls reawaken in the sideways world. The island was a dream scape compared to the sideways world.

But then again, we have no clue what the real future of the characters was going to be after Christian opened the church doors. Would their memories get erased again? Would they be transported to heaven or hell? Would they go to another spiritual plane of existence to continue to work on their personal problems?

They would not have gone back to the island like Groundhog Day. In the sideways world, when the plane did not crash, we saw a glimpse of the island under water. It was gone. It's purpose complete.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


We know the numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) were representations of Jacob's candidates who were to be the next island guardian. But as the series started to wind down, and the numbers were being clarified to the viewers, there was one strange twist that is often overlooked by us.

When Hurley and Jack were sent to the lighthouse, Jacob told Hurley to set the lighthouse dial to 108. 

The dial read:
108 - Wallace 

This person whose name was also written on the cave wall.  But angry Jack smashed the mirrors before Hurley could set the dial to 108. Jack smashed the lighthouse mirrors because he saw that it was a machine that spied on him throughout his life. He was angry that he had been secretly chosen to crash land on this island. It was through the lighthouse that Jacob found his candidates and brought them to the island.

This scene opens the possibility that Jacob had "given up" on the current castaways as his successor. He may have needed the lighthouse mirrors to project his image or spirit into the real world to contact "or touch" Wallace and bring him/her back to the island.

But since Jack broke the lighthouse, Jacob could not call another wave a cavalry candidates to his aid. He was stuck with the 815ers. That is why later on Jacob told Hurley that moping Jack "had to figure things out himself." That thing was an acknowledgement that at some point Jack would have to sacrifice himself for the benefit of his friends. There was miracle fix for his situation.

Who could this Wallace be?

Philosopher Robert Wallace is well known for his fascination with numerology, and had a famous connection to Hume, another famous philosopher whose name Desmond shares. Wallace may not be a specific person but it is likely at least a reference to the philosopher, as the show does like to give its characters the same names as famous philosophers (Hume, Rousseau, Locke, etc.)

Wallace, named after a economist, could have been The Economist that Sayid assassinated on the golf course.  Sayid was told that there were men who killed worked for Widmore and who were involved in Nadia's death.  Then the name would  have been scratched off before Hurley was to set the lighthouse (unless it was going to show Sayid's action to warn Jack that Sayid was now evil.)

It is more likely that it was a new candidate which never made it to the island. Someone that Jacob needed to call and bring to the island because he was running out of viable candidates to defeat MIB. It was possible that since Jacob's demise, he could no longer operate the lighthouse in the flesh, so he needed Jack or Hurley to call the new candidate to the island.

The call for reinforcements would show that whatever was happening on the island, Jacob feared that he was losing control of the situation. Though we are never told the actual outcome of MIB leaving the island, we are led to believe that the consequences would be dire to all mankind.

Or Wallace could have been a clue to premise of the series.

The novel, A Wrinkle in Time, was seen on the program. Charles Wallace was a character in that series of children's books. He was a psychic child in stories about time/space travel, changing the past, series of "might-have-been" events, turning point events battles between the powers of good and evil, a large evil cloud called The Black Thing (in the movie, The Darkness) and an evil intelligence called IT who controls people's minds.

These are the same themes running through the LOST saga. Walt was a psychic child who longed to change his past. The Black Thing is the smoke monster. An evil intelligence (Dharma, Ben, Jacob) controlled or manipulated characters' minds. The white and dark stones were supposed to symbolize some conflict between Jacob and MIB.

Friday, August 9, 2013


There were various animals on LOST.

Only one had an official name: Vincent, Walt's dog.

Vincent was an alleged survivor of the plane crash hold. He was found wandering the jungle. He was also last seen coming to Jack when he passed on in the bamboo grove.

Some have thought that Vincent could have been a representation of the White Smoke Monster. Vincent was always near the action, especially running off into the jungle "just" before something bad happens or "leads" the people on a chase that helps them find something important. As a dog, people on the island would not see him as a threat. He is the perfect spy. Perfect cover. He could have been Jacob incognito.

The dog has long been considered a liaison between the physical and non-physical dimensions. Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Celtic and beyond have all prescribed the dog as a sacred guardian of the Otherworlds - those realms outside our daily/mundane experience. If you hear of dogs being symbols of death - this is the connection: Dogs are the guardians of ephemeral domains, and can even serve as spirit guides in non-physical journeys. 

As we learned in the End of the series, the sideways world was a place of death, a purgatory limbo of the character souls waiting to be awakened. LIkewise, the island realm could have been real, semi-real or another underworld of the dead (Hell).

The second most significant animal on the series dealt with birds. Fans named the squawking bird that taunted Hurley the "Hurley Bird"  because it apparently called out his name. When he asked his friends whether they heard it, they made fun of him. Many fans thought that bird was a warning to Hurley to be careful. Others thought that it was just another clue that Hurley was seeing things, like Dave, as in being crazy.

Many people view birds as a symbol of freedom (such as the American Eagle symbol), or even as symbols of the future. Their ability to soar high into the sky and their proximity with the sky makes them desirable for humans who cannot fly without substitute wings. From time immemorial, mankind has considered birds to be signs of eternal life. Many stories and folklore suggest that birds were taken as signs of renewed life, often as a transition between life and death.
Hurley's ability to see and talk to the dead may be part of the Hurley Bird experience. The bird could represent the transition phase from being alive to being dead. In the Middle East and Asia birds are symbols of immortality. In East Indian mythology, all birds represent a "departed soul" and in Christian art, birds are often depicted as saved souls.

The crane is a symbol of long life and immortality. The eagle represents power, resurrection and generosity. The falcon signifies, "A Light that Shines in the Darkness". The nightengale suggests love and longing. The owl is often associated with death and darkness; but it also can bring wisdom, insight and virtue. The peacock heralds in springtime, birth, new growth, longevity, and love. And the tiny sparrow, represents the love of God for even the "least" among us. The Hurley Bird best fits the sparrow symbolism.
The other aviary connection to LOST was with Walt. Walt had a special mental attribute which could cause birds to crash or kill themselves. In Australia, he caused a bird to crash during a fit. Outside Room 23, many dead birds were found after Walt's session. 

In some cultures, a bird is a symbol of betrayal. In Walt's case, his anger at his situation of being abandoned by his father and losing his mother could have set off his ESP abilities to lash out at inferior creatures.

Then there was the polar bear. A bear often symbolizes contradictions.

Indeed, the bear is a  symbol of motherhood and child protection in Native American cultures. Of course a wild bear is potentially explosive so that territorial nature invokes representation o sovereignty, courage and themes of a warrior spirit such as bravery.

In Scandinavian legend the bear was an aspect of the god Odin, and Berserkers were known to wear bearskins to enhance their ferocity in battle. Such vicious looking warriors were insured a victory. 

In Greek cult following of Artemis. a god huntress,  her maiden devotees would don bear dressings as a symbol of hunting prowess and power. 

Ancient  Celtic lore indicates the bear is grounded in a heroic aspect, we also see it connected to the godess Berne who is associated with lunar movements.
Bear meanings associated with the moon continue in Pueblo Indian lore in which the bear is connected to underground temples. Here the bear is said to oversee the movements of the night, and lives in time with the tribe's cycles with the moon.

In fact, many ancient peoples understood the connection of the moon and the bear because of the bear's hibernation patterns. But more importantly, our nature-savvy ancestors recognized the dual nature of the bear.

The nature-based mindset followed the "sleeping" (hibernating) and "waking" nature of the bear and assigned specific meaning to each of these phases of the bear's life. In the LOST ending, the characters must come out of a personal hibernation to "awaken" in the after life.
These animals appear to represent the spiritual aspects of the series storylines and theories that surround the show as being one of a journey or passage to the after life.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. — Dale Carnegie

 There are two general types of people: leaders and followers.

Leaders are those who take charge of a situation or group. They want to be in control. They have analytical skills to motivate people around them towards a common goal.

Followers are those who don't want to be in charge. They do not want the responsibility to oversee or control the collective work group. They would rather be told what to do rather than be proactive and seize the moment.

Leaders: Jack, Ben, Widmore, Eloise, Keamy, Sawyer (only by default), Horace.

Followers: Hurley, Charlie, Claire, Kate, Sayid, Sun, Jin, Boone, Charlotte, Daniel, Dogen, the Others, Dharma workers.

Then there are few characters who were independent and did not want to lead or follow: Rose, Bernard, Juliet, Michael, Shannon.

All these characters had continuous fears and doubts about themselves:

Hurley: being liked, respected, useful.
Charlie: being alone, addicted, useful.
Claire: being a mother.
Kate: having a commitment, being responsible or accountable to anyone.
Sayid: being evil, inability to change, to find happiness.
Sun: being dependent, weak, controlled.
Jin: being poor, ashamed of his family past, respected. 
Boone: being acknowledged, respected, trusted, useful.
Charlotte: finding a purpose, a talent
Daniel: being acknowledged, respected, and worthy of affection.
Dogen: being punished, martyred.
The Others: belonging to something
Dharma workers: belonging to something.

Their LOST experiences did involve those characters coming face to face with their fears and doubts. Most fell back to the comfort of their habitual inaction. Their fate was held by the people around them. They could not trust themselves to change to become fully confident and courageous in their own abilities. Hurley wept in fear when Jack passed on the guardian role to him. Claire never reconciled her fear of motherhood when she left the island as a zombie shell of herself.

The characters who were followers were the most "lost" in the LOST bunch. They would defer decisions to other people around them who had stronger opinions, even though they knew that it was the wrong course of action. Kate was especially keen on doing this mental gymnastics as she attempted to follow many opposing leaders at the same time (Jack and Sawyer dynamic.) As a result, she never grew as a person. It solidified her personality of being a runner, someone who avoided responsibility or accountability (the hallmarks of leadership).

But in the end, curiously, both leaders and followers who took two different paths in their island adventures and decisions, wound up at the same place.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat. — Napoleon Hill

Many characters had strong feelings of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. Ben informed Locke that the Island was a metaphoric "magic box" where wishes could be granted. In Locke's mind, he wanted to have a showdown with his father. He believed the island granted him that wish.

But desires can also include emotional feelings, sexual wants or an acceptance to belonging to someone else. Kate had numerous sexual relationships during the series but was left with an unfulfilled desire for lasting happiness.

Desire could also be the quest for status or achievement. Charlie always wished to be a rock star, and for one fleeting year he lived his dream. But that dream collapsed quickly under the trappings of stardom. On the opposite end, Hurley tried to run away from his fame and fortune.

Maybe opposites do attract like magnets.  Charlie wanted the fame and fortune but Hurley despised it. On the island, they became good friends.  Kate was always looking to run away from her problems while Jack ran head first into problems in order to solve them. The same could be true with Sawyer and Juliet. Even people in a close relationship had polar opposite beliefs. Rose was a realist on her cancer fate, while Bernard was a dreamer looking for a medical miracle in any corner of the planet. Sayid did the dangerous, hard, dirty work while Shannon was the rich girl who would not lift a finger to help another person.

Some people believe the whole story was just about the main characters finding their "soul mates."
This generalization has too many exceptions. Rose and Bernard were already soul mates before coming to the island. Locke and Boone never found their soul mates because they were alone in the end church. 

Was the final bonding moment commonality? The reason Charlie gravitated towards Claire and her baby was that Charlie was alone in the world. He wanted to have a family, his own family. But his drug addiction and fleeting fame made it impossible for him to correct his path. Claire was also on a downward path. Her car accident destroyed her family relationships with her mother and sister. Her boyfriend dumped her. She wanted to have her own stable family life, but thought she could not do it alone. 

The one common trait Hurley and Libby had was that they were both institutionalized at a mental hospital. It was strange that Hurley never recognized Libby from their time together in the same day room at Santa Rosa when the Tailies were reunited with the beach survivors. And we really have no motivations or desires from Libby that matches what Hurley was thinking or feeling about his life.

Then again, one would be hard pressed to find anything in common between Jack and Kate or Sawyer and Juliet.  Medical professionals whose oath is to do no harm are matched in the after life with murderous criminals. Were Kate and Sawyer the best Jack and Juliet could do?

Maybe a closer analogy is that the island's wishing well was more like an internet dating/match site. There may be some good matches, but most of the output data is just random pairings.

Monday, August 5, 2013


A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. — George Bernard Shaw

 It is hard to determine who made the most mistakes on LOST. Every character made their mistakes, some of which had lethal consequences. Then there was point where the background characters who had nothing to do decided to get involved in the action (i.e. the Doc Artz dynamite proposition.)

There was a core set of characters whose lives were basically spent doing nothing productive.

Locke dabbled from job to job, but he really wasn't good at anything. He would have moped through life but for the 815 plane crash.

Kate would not have accomplished anything in her life because it was her nature to be constantly on the run from authority.

Sawyer would have accomplished nothing legal as he was set in his criminal persona to allow him to change.

Hurley, with or without his lottery winnings, would have become a house hermit and he would have not personally accomplished anything.

Charlie led the rock star "one hit wonder" lifestyle, but that sole accomplishment (a footnote in musical history, a trivial trivia questions) meant that he would have accomplished nothing significant as a solo artist.

Claire made a big mistake getting involved with a man who ran off once he knew his was a father, leaving her to be an unwed mother with little apparent work skills to support a child on her own.

Then there was those who made mistakes in order to gain accomplishments in their lives.

Jin made the mistake of marrying Sun because that bond put him into the sleazy debt of his father-in-law in the quasi-criminal world of the family business.

Likewise, Sun made a mistake in marrying Jin as a means of rebelling against her dominant father by bringing home a poor door man. She compounded her mistake by having an affair which would have brought shame on the family name.

I think Jack also made a big mistake in trying to follow in his father's footsteps. I don't know if Jack was happy being a surgeon. He may have been better off playing his music as a free spirit than going to medical school. There was never going to be a recognition by his father of Jack's career accomplishments because Christian had already surpassed his son at every level. What lies in the shadow of a dominant father figure? A cowering child.

All of the above characters had personal regrets prior to boarding Flight 815. What had they completed in their lives? They had achieved some levels of success to none at all. 

Only a few of the characters actually accomplished their goals when surviving the plane crash: leaving the island. Only Kate, Claire, and Sawyer actually made it into the Ajira plane to leave the island. Locke left the island, but in his mission to get back to the island he made the mistake of trusting Ben, which led to his demise. (On the TV series, we only see Hurley next in the sideways world - - - which we now know is when he had already died. We don't know for sure if Hurley ever left the island.) The rest made new mistakes which cost them their chance of rescue.

Jack made the fatal mistake of becoming the island guardian. Sayid made the mistake of coming back to life then trying to be a martyr on the submarine (which cost the lives of Jin and Sun). Charlie made a similar mistake in drowning in the underwater station.

Maybe there was a Darwinian undercurrent through the series. The best and brightest may have a chance of survival, but in reality it is still random chance. If one makes mistakes, it may increase the odds of a bad result.