Monday, March 31, 2014


There were several major elements in the LOST saga which do not appear to be compatible.

The first, and most confusing aspect to LOST, was time travel. The idea of a human being going back and forth to the past or the future is physically impossible. It is pure science fiction. It is a device to throw a character into an unknown situation in order to elicit a reaction.

Second, there was concepts of the supernatural. The smoke monster does not exist in our current world. It has to be something supernatural, beyond nature, because we know that smoke cannot aggregate, travel with intelligence, steal the minds of individuals and transform into human beings. This is also science fiction.

But every person today time travels. People time travel every day of their lives, and not just in the linear clock from dawn to dusk. People who access their memories are effectively time traveling back to their past. Those memories can be good or bad.  But they are strong enough emotionally to be stored in one's long term memory.

People also time travel to the future. It is called dreams. The element of subconscious interplay with memories, experience, emotions and events creates a fantasy scape similar to the manifestation of a smoke monster. Depending on whether a person can control their dreams, then act upon them during their waking lives, is transformational.

A child could dream to one day become a fire fighter. He can imagine himself as a grown man riding in a hook and ladder engine racing to a blazing fire. He takes those dreams and places them into his memory. He uses his subconscious to help him run scenarios on how to achieve his goal. As he grows up, he channels his time and resources into becoming a fireman. He goes to school. He stays physically fit. He enrolls in the academy. He works on his training. He reaches his goal and then assigned to a fire station.

It may take years in order to accomplish such dream. But that is why people need to sleep - - - to recharge their physical body, but also organize their mind to meet their dreams. A cluttered or disrupted mind will not help a person achieve their goals; it may create the situation where nightmares begin to control their thoughts - - - making them a mental wreck.

The time travel and supernatural elements to the series may be only metaphors for a series of character developments as individuals try to take control of their own fantasies without applying their dreams in their waking lives. It is only when a person has the courage to take action on their inner feelings in their waking life can there be true change and new beginnings. Instead of "what could be" a person who awakes with road map to a goal, can achieve that goal - - - whether it be a career, a project completion, or even relationships.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Homes and Hues had a recent article on theme baby nurseries.

LOST was featured in the article with this picture:

What every child needs: a Dharma tagged polar bear.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


There is a mild debate whether LOST was a science fiction or a fantasy show.

For those sci-fi fans, their fiction is rooted in science and principles of technology that can be extrapolated into future applications. For example, in the original Star Trek, a digital clipboard the crew used seemed beyond the current sciences, but today the tablet computer is mainstream.

On the fantasy side, people who like their fiction in new worlds or magical realms like Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings, find interest in the minute detail of these strange, exotic lands and environments. In the Potterverse, it was the new language of those books that captivated young readers - - - it opened a portal into a new imaginary world beyond Disney.

In some ways, sci-fi fans want some tangible base in which the story can have a foundation. In fantasy, it is a vivid intangible elements explained within their own environment that is the hook.

These types of stories run parallel tracks. They each have their good points and bad points. Each can have very good premises and story telling ideas.

LOST certainly stressed a lot of science in the series. The references to the Dharma stations invoked many classic fields of study including biology, psychology, chemistry to sonic technology.  In fact, many fans sought out scientific explanations for the island, time travel, the electromagnetic fields to even the ghost images the characters interacted with while in the jungle.

LOST also had a lot of mythical, supernatural elements. The large portion of the later set designs with Egyptian hieroglyphs seeded the viewer with ancient cultural beliefs in the after life. The supernatural elements included the unexplained smoke monster - - was it nanotechnology or an evil spirit? Some find a basic hero story of Jack slaying the dragon (Flocke). And then there was the sideways world in which everyone was dead but living complex human lives.

Part of the problem is that both sides are right. LOST shifted between the various story genres at will, which causes some form of confusion, inconsistency and practical errors. As the series went on, the continuity of story lines became more problematic. Was LOST going to stay an adventure-survival story as it warped into a sci-fi drama? And when it changed to supernatural elements and the sideways parallel universe, and the Desmond superman arc against EM energy, was fantasy how the show would be explained to the fans?

The vagueness of the producers lack of explanations of their own vision also clouds this debate. For if the writers wanted us to make our own sense of what was shown, then those producers and writers should not be upset with our criticisms or opinions. For if the producers and writers would come out on one side of the debate, sci-fi or fantasy, that would eliminate a great deal tension between these story forms. But then again, it would open another avenue of inquiry on that road and whether the stories made any sense in that genre.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Throughout history, the Golden Ratio has been deemed a magical mathematical formula that is the basis of the greatest engineering feets (i.e. the pyramids) to objective marks of human beauty.

The Golden Ratio is 1.618.

The human eye is drawn to this proportion.

It somehow fits the world into our long term mental picture of our environment.

Throughout history, some of the greatest mathematical minds of all ages, from Pythagoras and Euclid in ancient Greece,  through the medieval Italian mathematician Leonard of Pisa and the Renaissance astronomer Johannes Kepler,  to present-day scientific figures such as Oxford physicist Roger Penrose,   have spent endless hours over this simple ratio and its properties. But the fascination with the Golden Ratio is not confined just to mathematicians. Biologists, artists, musicians, historians, architects, psychologists, and even mystics have pondered and debated the basis of its ubiquity and appeal. In fact, it is probably fair to say that the Golden Ratio has inspired thinkers of all disciplines like no other number in the history of mathematics.

In the numerology of LOST, 1.618 can be interpreted as follows:

1. The number 16 and 18. In the candidates representation, that would mean Sayid and
Kueffner is a surname that appeared to be scratched off on the lighthouse dial.

2. 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 can be added, subtracted or used to get many other number combinations to include 16 and 18 (16 + 2).

Kueffner is a name that means "barrel maker" in German.

In historic Germany, why were barrel makers so important? Barrels were needed to ferment and store beer or "spirits."

That may be another clue that the LOST island and events was part of a spiritual world, as referenced through Sayid's "multiple" deaths from wounds that could not be healed in the Temple pool, to the shocking reincarnation, to his final demise by bomb detonation on the submarine.

Spirits may inhabit us in multiple lives.
Kueffner \
ku(e)-ff-ner\ as a boy's name is a variant of Kiefer (German), and the meaning of Kueffner is "barrel maker".

Thursday, March 27, 2014


We live in a 24/7 cable news culture which is thin on facts and fat on heavy speculation.

Even today, almost three weeks after the Malaysian plane went missing, the truth is that investigators and the public know very little. The only known and proven facts are that the plane last made radio contact at 1:21 a.m. on its flight path to China and that the plane never arrived in China.

The rest of the "news" has been pieced together by unconfirmed reports, hazy sat-images, vague press conferences from government officials who do not trust other nations in the region, and panels of alleged experts spouting off wild theory after wild theory.

It is hard to watch highly paid broadcast journalists ask someone if the plane could have disappeared through a tiny black hole, or was diverted to a magical island like in LOST. Then to have the response state that a tiny black hole would have sucked the planet to oblivion and that LOST was just a television show should have stuck a knife in that squealing pig.

But it did not. Another week of speculation and accusations that the pilots may have landed the plane as part of a terrorist plot. That the plane could have been hijacked or the pilots wanted to commit suicide. None of these reports helps the families cope with their losses.

References to science fiction shows like LOST as a viable explanation for a plane crash is beyond belief. Has popular culture rotted our generation's thinking ability? Where is the filter before speaking to tell a person "that is a crazy idea, don't say it out loud!" Is someone next going to speculate that the South Indian Ocean debris could have been "planted" as part of a larger conspiracy?

In the history of aviation, 102 commercial planes (with 14 plus passengers) have gone missing and were never found. It is possible that the investigators will never find the actual wreckage of Flight 370 or the black boxes. We should just wait and see what is actually found, and not get caught up in the over dramatization of the tragedy for cable ratings.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


What happened when a person came into direct contact with the light source?

The first instance we know of was Jacob's brother drifting into the main light cave, and then a raging smoke monster flew out. The question is whether a human being or soul that comes into contact with the light turns into a dark smoke monster.

It is a good question. And it would help explain a lot of mysteries.

Desmond was consumed by the light when he turned the fail safe key. He should have been killed, or better, he was killed but "reborn" by the light itself. So what would the light create? Another smoke monster.

As a result of that incident, Desmond became special or different, in both time and space.

When Jacob finished the frozen donkey wheel his brother started, we assumed he used it. Did it turn him into an ageless smoke monster? He used the FDW to leave the island to go touch his candidates to bring them to the island.

When Ben used the FDW did he also die and become a smoke monster, too? Despite all the beatings, injuries and near death experiences, Ben never died on the island time periods.

When Locke used the FDW to re-set the time skipping island, did he die in the teleportation to the desert? If so, how could he have died in the seedy hotel room if he was a smoke monster? Because Ben, another smoke monster, killed him.

So when Locke's body returned to the island with Ben, who really assumed its form? We all assume that it was MIB, the darkness created from Jacob's brother's death in the light cave. But could have been someone else?

Since we don't know what the smoke monster was, we can't say for sure how many of them inhabited the island. Some believe that there was a smoke monster judging each person on the island; that a person's subconscious itself manifests as a smoke monster. 

Monday, March 24, 2014


If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes. — Andrew Carnegie

Carnegie was a turn of the century business mogul who obtained great happiness through the accumulation of wealth. Wealth equaled power, freedom, luxury and philanthropy. 

There were only a few characters focused on a set goal.

Bernard's goal was to find a cure for Rose's terminal cancer.  He failed (unless you believe the island's magic prolonged Rose's life).

Sawyer's relentless goal was to find and kill the con man who destroyed his family. He succeeded by killing Cooper on the island, but not after becoming the man he hated his entire life.

Locke had a very weak goal of finding a "new family" unit or home where he fit in as an equal. He never found one.

Jack also had a very weak goal of getting his father's approval and acceptance. He never really received that acknowledgement from Christian.

Widmore had the ruthless goal of conquering the island. He failed when Ben killed him.

Kate had the transient goal of avoiding justice for her crimes. She also failed, but she really was not punished for them.

Sayid had the goal of reuniting with the love of his life, Nadia. But he failed in his own quest, both in real life and in the after life.

Desmond also had the goal of reuniting with the love his life, Penny. He found her and they moved on together.

Charlie had the unrealistic goal of getting his band back together. But he failed. Then on the island he had the goal of saving Claire. But he also failed in that rescue promise.

Then there were many characters who really had no goals. Hurley. Boone. Shannon.

None of these stated goals and resolutions were compelling or realistic. None of these goals had profound happiness as the end result. As such, LOST is really a series of sad consequences masked by an action-adventure overlay.

There are some universal basic human goals.

1. Goal of affiliation
In the most part humans are social so they want to be liked. Rejection is no fun and we'll do almost anything to avoid it. Not only do we want approval from specific people, we also want it from society at large.

2. Goal of accuracy
People who don't care about doing things correctly never get anywhere in life. To achieve our goals in what is a complicated world, we have to be continually trying to work out the best course of action.
Influencers understand our need to be right and so they try to offer things that appeal to our need for accuracy. For example, experts or authority figures influence people heavily because they offer us a 'correct' view or way of doing things, especially one that we don't have to think too carefully about.

3. Goal of maintaining positive self-concept

People want to protect their view of themselves because it takes a long time to build up a semi-coherent view of oneself and one's place in the world. We want to maintain our self-esteem, to continue believing in the things we believe in and to honour whatever commitments we have espoused in the past. Persuaders and influencers can leverage this goal by invoking our sense of self-consistency.  

Further, there are six basic attributes to build, foster and maintain an intellectual, human society:

The six basic pillars to build a sustainable society are equity, sustainability, productivity, empowerment, cooperation and security.

Equity is the idea of fairness for every person, between men and women; we each have the right to an education and health care.

Sustainability is the view that we all have the right to earn a living that can sustain our lives and have access to a more even distribution of goods.

Productivity states the full participation of people in the process of income generation. This also means that the government needs more efficient social programs for its people.

Empowerment is the freedom of the people to influence development and decisions that affect their lives.

Cooperation stipulates participation and belonging to communities and groups as a means of mutual enrichment and a source of social meaning.

Security offers people development opportunities freely and safely with confidence that they will not disappear suddenly in the future.

The main characters, at times, exhibited the three basic human goals affiliation, accuracy and positive self-esteem, but for the most part those personal goals had brooding negative connotations inside each character.

Perhaps as a result, the main characters could not come together as a cohesive community on the island because they lacked the will or consensus to build one using the six pillars  equity, sustainability, productivity, empowerment, cooperation and security.

If LOST was meant to be mostly a character study of individuals and their behaviors, it is difficult to argue that the individually and collectively the main characters reached many "happy" goals or achieved happiness on the island.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


"People who have power look for fights. People who don't have power lose everything."  - - - Masashi Kishimoto

Who were the most powerful people in LOST?

Widmore was a powerful businessman who could do just about anything, including "faking" the 815 crash site with corpses. He was ruthless. He showed no mercy. He did everything he could get back control of the island, including sending mercenaries to kill everyone.

Ben was a powerful leader of the Others. He manipulated his followers by a combination of fear and mental brain washing. He also was ruthless and showed little mercy to his enemies. He helped wipe out Dharma compound by betraying his co-workers with nerve gas. That was his first coup; his second was exiling Widmore from the island.

Jacob was the island guardian. He had immense power of an immortal being. He could grant eternal life as he did to Alpert, but he could not bring back the dead to life. He could bring people to his island. He manipulated his followers through surrogates, adding a level hidden control over the people who believed in him. His followers would worship him but never see or hear him.

Eloise seemed to know everything about everyone. She knew the power of the island. She knew how to find the island. She knew how to manipulate people to get to the island. And she was the only person fully aware of what the sideways world was, and that awakening her son who make him leave her. If knowledge was power in the series (as I believe), then Eloise was a very powerful character who used it to her advantage.

But at the same time, Widmore lost his island conquest goal when he was killed by Ben.

Likewise, Ben lost his control and leadership of the Others when he killed Jacob.

And Jacob lost his followers when word spread that he had been killed by Ben and Flocke.

Widmore lost everything material in his life that he acquired under the most brutal means, but somehow he was rewarded with a blissful life in the sideways world.

Ben lost everything in his life, including his family, friends and followers, but he was somehow rewarded with a second chance in the sideways world where he did not have to move on. He was granted a similar reward as Eloise, the knowledge of the sideways world realm, and an opportunity to keep the fantasy world alive in his own mind.

Jacob had lost his family while on the island. He was trapped there as the light source guardian. He spent thousands of years trying to find a way to leave, but the smoke monster kept him imprisoned on the island. When ghost Jacob told the final candidates that when the fire (his light) would go out, he would be no more - - - it would seem that Jacob received no reward for his island service. He lost everything and everyone close to him.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


One of the themes of the show was love, lost love and strange romance.

As an alternative to what happened in the series, which characters should have gotten together:


This was originally proposed in the writer's guide. It makes sense. Both characters gave their fellow castaways a negative impression. Sawyer was hoarding valuable materials. Shannon was drawn to rich men who could take care of her. It seems like a logical and compatible match.


They have many things in common (medicine, hatred for Ben). Juliet was used as bait to lure Jack into Ben's plans, but we get the impression that she did harbor real feelings for him. If we get rid of the time traveling nonsense, Jack and Juliet were "married" once in the sideways world so one could assume that at a subconscious level they would have wanted to be a couple.


This would have combined fire and gasoline to create the new power couple to succeed Eloise and Widmore for island control. Ben has the social skills of a repressed child while Ana Lucia was a forward, aggressive and take charge woman.


It would have made more sense for Locke, who really knew what it was like to be raised without a caring father, to help Claire with her baby. There was a hint of this possible relationship when Charlie went into a bender as Locke helped Claire by protecting her and building a crib. Locke had more necessary skills to provide for a new island family than Charlie.


There were the outcasts more comfortable alone than in the group. Both are clever and resourceful persons who could create a formidable opponent. There was a glint of their personalities when Rousseau captured Sayid and began to torture him for information. Maybe bondage would have brought them closer together.

Friday, March 21, 2014


In the past few months, there has been an increase of traffic to the site, which now has gone past 12,000 unique site visits. There is still an interest for LOST related blogs and content after ten years.


We can have peace if we let go of wanting to change the past and wanting to control the future. — Lester Levinson

It is probably universal for a person to want a few basic social acknowledgements in their life: acceptance, security, friendship, love, trust or accomplishment. It is when a person tries to go to extremes to reach those goals, he or she becomes anti-social.

In all of our character studies, the most extreme spectrum may have been Ben.

His back story is cruel. For no apparent reason, his parents decide to hike through the Oregon woods on December 19, 1964 while his mother, Emily, is very, very pregnant. As a result of the walk, she goes into premature labor. His father, Roger,  panics, but is there to deliver Ben. But his mother bleeds to death, sending Roger into a spiral of anger, depression and regret. He would blame Ben for killing his mother, which is a false statement  but it would haunt and change Ben forever.

After Ben's birth, a distraught Roger flags down a car driven by Dharma leader Horus. Horus and his wife, Olivia,  help the Linus family. It is this random meeting that would lead Roger and Ben to the island. Roger was unable to cope with the pressure of fatherhood, the loss of his wife, and the responsibility of caring for an infant. He drank heavily, and could not hold a job. This increased his hatred towards Ben. 

At some point, Roger reconnects with Horus, who invites him to work for Dharma. Roger accepts the offer, and Ben and his father reach the island with other new workers. But the cruel reality of Roger's life hits him again hard, when he finds that the job he gets is that of a lowly janitor. 

Ben has an opportunity to change his life on the island. He is an quiet 8 year old boy. He is smart, attentive, and polite, but extremely shy. His social skills have been repressed because of his father's mental abuse and alcoholic rages. Ben becomes bitter about his lot in life. He longs for a normal family life, and the Dharma group, even though they are nice people, cannot substitute for his family.

Ben's life was immediately different than from the states. The Dharma compound routinely faced attacks from the Hostiles, the native people on the island. Roger, now an alcoholic, neglected his son. Ben did make one friend on the Island - a young girl named Annie. On Ben's ninth birthday, Annie carved two dolls, likenesses of the two children, and Ben kept them for the next 30 years. That same night, he saw his mother's ghost in the jungle. He later packed his belongings and went out in search of her, and he came upon Richard Alpert, one of the Hostiles. Richard was intrigued to learn Ben had seen someone who'd died off the Island, and he said Ben may be able to join the Hostiles one day, if he was patient. 

Three years later, Ben thought he found his chance when he heard that Dharma had imprisoned one of the Hostiles. Ben brought the man a  book and food (earning Roger's abuse). Ben later broke him out of his cell, setting fire to a van to distract those watching. But the prisoner turned out not to be a Hostile at all - Sayid was a time traveler from Ben's future. Knowing what Ben would become, an evil psychopath, Sayid shot Ben in the jungle, leaving him for dead. Jin found the wounded Ben and brought him back to the Barracks where Juliet tried to operated on him and  Kate donated blood. When it became clear that they could not save him, they sought the help of Alpert. Alpert told the time travelers that if he took Ben, it would be irreversible; he would be changed forever. Ben was taken to the Other's Temple, where we would later assume he would have been put into the reincarnation pool like Sayid would be during the final season.  Apparently, the temple ritual  robbed Ben of his recent memories of being shot by Sayid (but we cannot be for certain) and changed him forever. According to Richard, from this point on, he would "always be one of us."

The Others returned Ben to the Dharma camp, but told him to be patient. When the time was right, he could join the Others. Young Ben was then primed with the mental time bomb of leaving his father and the Dharma collective. It was a long ten years or so that Ben endured living at the Dharma camp after his temple rebirth. 

Ben would remain with the camp, eventually becoming a "work man" like his father. But he remained in touch with the Others, and when Widmore ordered the Initiative eliminated, Ben sided with the Hostiles. On Ben's birthday one year, he  released gas that killed all the Dharma members. Ben killed his father personally with a separate gas canister, responding to years of ill treatment. Richard offered to retrieve Roger's body, but Ben declined.
Though he'd helped defeat the Others' enemies, Ben still answered to Widmore, and the two maintained a rivalry before and after the Purge. In 1988, Widmore ordered Ben to kill a Rousseau who'd crashed onto the Island. Ben discovered she had a baby girl and spared them both, kidnapping the baby Alex and bringing her to the Others. Widmore initially ordered the baby killed as well but eventually relented and allowed Ben to raise her. Widmore had a daughter, Penny, of his own with an unknown woman from off the Island. When Ben discovered this infidelity some years later, he had Widmore exiled from the island. Ben then replaced him as the leader of the Others. As leader, Ben frequently traveled to the mainland, developing a wide network of resources. He restricted most of his people from leaving the Island and used deception and secrecy to control them. Ben found himself a victim of secrecy as well - despite being the Others' leader, Ben never got to visit the Island's Protector Jacob.  Jacob communicated only through Richard and sent Ben instructions and lists to follow. It was a bit ironic that Ben's entire plan was to join then lead the Hostiles, but once he reached that position he continued to be controlled and put into his place by an unknown man, Jacob. 

Ben would become to associate Jacob with his father. Everything Ben did for them, he would not receive the acceptance, security, friendship, love, trust or accomplishment that he craved from a father figure. This simmering torment would lead Flocke to manipulate Ben into killing Jacob, thereby changing the balance of power on the island forever.

Ben only found peace when he gave up control, his ambitions, and his personal darkness, to become Hurley's assistant guardian. When he awoke in the sideways world, filled with his past memories, he decided to stay to "work things out" with his father, Rousseau and continue to protect Alex, even though they were apparently in the after life, and Rousseau and Alex's island memories of Ben would be harsh hatred for what he did to them. Even if Ben could try to "change" that past, in the sideways world he realized that he could not. Further, he could not control their future responses when they awoke, but Ben seemed to be okay with that - - - because he would try to influence the sideways present to repent for his past by being a kind, caring and trustworthy person. But we really don't know if that would have worked.

All of the couples in the sideways church has at least a strong bond on the island. Those who did not, like Locke and Boone, were left alone. It would seem that would be Ben's fate as well because he passed on moving on with Hurley's group. So there may have remained a hint of Ben still trying to change his past by trying to bond with Rousseau and Alex in the sideways world.

If there was a lesson here it is that no matter what you do, you cannot change the past or control the future because it has too many variables.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Healing comes from taking responsibility: to realize that it is you - and no one else - that creates your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. — Peter Shepherd

The obvious healing done on the island were Locke's miracle cure from paralysis and Rose's cure from terminal cancer.

Just because they survived a plane crash, medically, that would have not changed their terminal conditions. We were led to believe that the "unique" electromagnetic properties of the island cured people.

But the explanation of the curing energy is contradictory to other events on the island. People died all the time, from bullet wounds, to pregnancies, to spider bites, to drowning, to time travel nose bleeds. And it did not cure Ben from his back issues. 

It also did not explain how Jacob and Alpert became "immortal" beings. Alpert never aged a day after several centuries on the island.

An alternative (unpopular) explanation is that people were cured of their human illnesses and conditions because they were no longer human, i.e. dead. The characters merely misconceived their situation as their souls were reconstituted into new after life bodies.

There is a second alternative approach to the inconsistent "cures" of the island. The human beings who "survived" the plane crash crossed through a nexus or portal into the spirit world, where both living and dead souls could interact. In this intermediary place, dead souls would be immortal, and real people could still "die." But even in this special place, the uneven application of life and death is still a problem.

Beyond the physical ailments, most of the characters had emotional and mental issues. This extra baggage came with them when they boarded Flight 815.  It is possible that the key to the cure was each person taking responsibility for their own actions and their own lives. Acceptance and accountability would set one free.

Early on, Rose knew that everything was going to be alright; that she would be reunited with her husband shortly. How could she know that? She was calm, at peace, staring out at the ocean when she schooled Jack. Rose was in pain from her terminal cancer. Once she "survived" the plane crash, her pain was gone - - - and being a bright woman, she knew that the only way that could happen was that she had died. And since she accepted that fact, she had internal peace of mind. 

Every person had to come to that realization in order to have peace of mind. It literally took Jack to the end of time to accept his own death. Only then did his mental state unlock, and he was free to move on.

So there are two different kinds of healing with three different means of looking at the island as the means of that healing power.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I read recently a fan post trying to explain why people who were unhappy with LOST's ending. The poster said the reason was that those fans were unhappy in their own lives.

I disagree. It is disconnected conclusion. Even if fans were unhappy in their personal lives, they use entertainment like LOST as a means to escape their dreary lives. Fans who invested a great deal of time and energy in the complex story lines were promised and then expected a grand finale. If fans were disappointed by the ending, it was not because it mirrored their own personal lives. Quite to the contrary, LOST was supposed to fulfill happiness in them.

The disjointed "happy ending" that many fans enjoyed for the main characters is a throwback to some cultures were stories have to have a happy ending. Fairy tales are a good example. But dramas are not fairy tales unless things get mixed up along the way.

CHANGE: Don't just talk about it, go out there and do it. Don't just meditate about it, go out there and create it. Don't just pray about it go out there and take action; participate in the answering of your own prayer. If you want change, get out there and live it. — Steve Maraboli

Why LOST so drastically changed course on itself is a mystery. It was not answered at the 10th Anniversary Reunion or any subsequent interviews. 

We have discussed a theme of change before in reviewing LOST. One could find unhappiness in all of the main characters:

Jack: unhappy with his personal life to blame his father for everything wrong with it.
Hurley: unhappy with his personal life to blame his father's abandonment for his situation.
Locke: unhappy with his personal life to blame his father for betraying and stealing from him.
Claire: unhappy with her pregnancy because she came from a one parent home and can't handle responsibility.
Charlie: unhappy with his personal life because his band was his family unit when it broke up.
Kate: unhappy with her personal life because her mother loved an abused man more than her.
Bernard: unhappy that his wife had incurable cancer and he was desperate to find a miracle cure.
Sawyer: unhappy with his need to revenge his parents death that he turned into the man he hated all his life.

Every person has unhappiness in their lives. Life is a roller coaster, with highs and lows.

Many of the main characters did little to relieve their unhappiness. Exceptions included Kate, who blew up her house to "save" her mother. But that led to even more unhappiness and a fearful flight from justice. Also, Sawyer killed an innocent man because of his own personal demon for revenge.

Even during the series, the characters did not actively try to change their circumstances. They more often than not allowed things to happen to them. They were content to allow circumstances control them like a swift current carrying their body downstream. The merely accept where the current will take them, instead of swimming to their own shore.

And if LOST was a character driven experience of adventure, enlightenment and change, very little of that made it into the pages of the scripts. In the sideways church, they all appeared to be happy, but why? It would seem the reunion made each of them happy because they shared a common experience on the island. But for most, they never survived that experience. They never came to terms with their personal unhappiness. In the finale, all that happened was that their souls came back together in the after life. That reinforces the unhappy fact that the characters did not change at all. One could say that fate brought them all together; and fate would take them back into the light.

And that is a better reason for fan unhappiness with LOST's ending than trying to blame the fans for their own unhappiness.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


To be honest, I always thought Miles' "power" to read the last thoughts of the dead was pretty much a stark naked con to comfort family members (for a price).

But in the world of pseudo-science, there is now an article allegedly explaining this power.

In the Australian Journal of Parapsychology, June, 2013 issue, there is a paper which deals with the subject matter of  Psychological phenomena in dead people: Post- traumatic stress disorder in murdered people and its consequences to public health.

The journal abstract states:  
The aims of this paper are to narrate and analyze some psychological phenomena that I have perceived in dead people, including evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in murdered people. The methodology adopted was "projection of consciousness" (i.e., a non-ordinary state of consciousness), which allowed me to observe, interact, and interview dead people directly as a social psychologist. This investigation was based on Cartesian skepticism, which allowed me a more critical analysis of my experiences during projection of consciousness. There is strong evidence that a dead person: (i) continues living, thinking, behaving after death as if he/she still has his/her body because consciousness continues in an embodied state as 'postmortem embodied experiences'; (ii) may not realize for a considerable time that he/she is already dead since consciousness continues to be embodied after death (i.e., 'postmortem perturbation' - the duration of this perturbation can vary from person to person, in principle according to the type of death, and the level of conformation), and (iii) does not like to talk, remember, and/or explain things related to his/her own death because there is evidence that many events related to death are repressed in his/her unconscious ('postmortem cognitive repression'). In addition, there is evidence that dying can be very traumatic to consciousness, especially to the murdered, and PTSD may even develop.

In order to have a scientific truth, the author's conclusion needs to be repeatable by his peers. I cannot fathom how one could set up an experiment to duplicate these conclusions.

But in an extremely odd way, this paper hits on various science fiction points contained in LOST.

Projected consciousness could relate to Desmond's flash forward premonitions in a time altered world.

One of the ideas I had early on is that no one survived the plane crash, but those lost souls on Flight 815 failed to realize that they were dead. This is the paper's "postmortem embodied experience." Their consciousness continued to live on as each person survived the crash - - - living, breathing, interacting with other consciousness streams united by the same ending experience.

The manner of death, such as a plane crash or murder, would somehow heighten the duration and post-traumatic stress of a dead person's consciousness.

The main characters continued to repress their past actions, but the island projected to them symbols of their pasts (like Christian or Kate's horse) so they could remember that they were dead in order for their souls to move on.

And the author's claim that he can interview the dead by extending his own consciousness could be the method that both Miles and Hurley used in order to communicate with the dead. However, Hurley had the additional strange attribute to physically be with people he knew were dead, and to have physical contact with them (Charlie and Ana Lucia).

Monday, March 17, 2014


After ten years, LOST's management team continues to avoid answering the tough questions about their own series. At the Paley Center Television convention, several members of the LOST cast and the show runners appeared on a panel discussion. According to, there were several statements made by the creative team (and my commentary):

Were they dead the entire time?
"No. They were not dead the entire time," Carlton Cuse said. 

He said that theory may have been exacerbated by the closing shot of the show. (A screen shot is at the bottom of this blog's home page). An ABC executive had suggested they include a buffer between the last scene and the commercial break, so the producers found some footage of the plane fuselage sitting on the beach. That footage incited the theories that everyone aboard had actually perished.

The characters definitely survived the plane crash and really were on a very real island. Damon Lindelof added of the incorrect purgatory theory: "For us, one of the ongoing conversations with the audience and there was a very early perception, was that the island was purgatory and we were always out there saying, 'It's not purgatory, this is real, we're not going to Sixth Sense you.'"
But that scene of everyone in the church? Yeah, they’re all dead there.

And there lies the problem with the creators-writers position. There is no bridge between their constant denials about there being no purgatory, and the fact that the show's climax is set in the after life. And TPTB do not explain how the characters got to the sideways world, living a separate but parallel lives from their mortal island lives. And to blame ABC for the final debris field scene is also absurd since it was the show's producers who had final cut on the finale.

How the characters evolved:
Lindelof admitted that when they cast the show, there was no script. Kim read for the part of Kate. "There was no Sun in the 'Lost' script — because there was no 'Lost' script," he said. "Jorge read for Sawyer, because Hurley didn't exist."

And how did they decide Locke had been in a wheelchair? Lindelof revealed that while shooting the pilot, Terry O'Quinn would go down the beach and listen to his iPod during breaks. Co-creator J.J. Abrams pointed at O'Quinn and told Lindelof, "That guy's got a secret." What secret? "You figure it out."

The bravado needs to stop; the series did have a script by Jeffery Lieber that was greenlit by ABC to start production. No television network starts a production without one. When JJ Abrams got on board, the script was reworked but the essence of the pilot remained, as an arbitration panel found for Lieber in a subsequent creator dispute.

But what this one story does tell us is a bit of confirmation that the writers were creating characters, scenes, information by the seat of their pants. It seems to tout their self-stated genius, but it also questions on whether there was a clear plan for the show from the very beginning.

 Killing off characters:
As many "Lost" fans know by now, the initial plan had been to kill off Jack in the pilot episode. Luckily, ABC executives questioned that move, and the show's producers changed their minds. Instead, the first major character they killed off was Boone, played by Ian Somerhalder, who took the decision so well that Lindelof joked, "We gotta kill more of these guys!"

In the original Writer's Guide, Boone was going to have a bigger role in the series. But that did not happen. As previous posts showed, the writer's guide was quickly dismissed by the show runners, which again is evidence that there was no clear plan for the show.

The outrigger scene:
Lindelof and Cuse admitted that there is an answer to who shot at Sawyer on the outrigger. But the writers ultimately decided that it was "cooler" to keep it a mystery.
"The scene exists. It actually is on paper," Lindelof said. Years from now, they'll auction it off for charity.

This is another "cheat" on the fans/viewers. It is not "cooler" to fool fans into wondering, speculating or arguing over points of the show, when the writers and producers intentionally keep that information from the fans/viewers. The idea of writing a mystery story and NOT solving the mysteries is illogical. Some believe that the producers really did not have a reasonable explanation for this time traveling paradox, so keeping it a secret was better than getting flamed on community fan boards.

 Easter eggs that were never laid:
An audience member asked about the Easter eggs that "Lost" became famous for, and Lindelof said the one he was proudest of was an egg that was never meant to be an egg.

He recounted that someone sent him a screencap from the pilot of Walt standing in front of the fuselage. There was a burn mark on the fuselage that looked like the Dharma Initiative logo — but this was before the writers had even conceived the Dharma Initiative. "Whoa, this is an Easter egg that we did not hide," Lindelof said, jokingly adding, "And I lost all faith in religion."

Again, this a tactic admission that the story producers had no real clue where their episodes would take them. Not knowing about the Dharma Initiative means that half the series was mere inconsequential filler. Such admissions further dilute the integrity of the show's original story line and further calls into the question the plot of the ending.

Hating Nikki and Paulo:
As they've said before, the writers introduced Nikki and Paulo as a reaction to fan discussion about the background characters. But even before the backlash to those characters began, the writers themselves started hating Nikki and Paulo. So they decided to acknowledge their "horrible mistake" in the episode "Expose."

This is another odd turnabout by the producers to deflect criticisms against them. "The fans asked for it," should not be an overriding concern to a creative team that knows what it is doing.
How the ending came to be:
As Cuse said, "The show was about people who were lost in their lives." And as he and Lindelof discussed the ending of the series, they agreed it should be spiritual.

Lindelof added that they decided to "solve a mystery we never asked: What's the meaning of life, and what happens when you die?"

Except, they never answered that grand question!  The murderers, con men, cheaters, liars and psychopaths all wound up in a happy fantasy after life (sideways world) with absolutely no punishment for their mortal crimes, sins, transgressions, etc. There was no redemption. In fact, the ending is less spiritual in the context of who these people really were - - - how they lived their lives should have put them through a gauntlet of pain and suffering (i.e. the purgatory angle). But there was no bona fide moral to the LOST story. If anything, it stated it does not matter what bad things you did in life, you will get to heaven with your friends and co-conspirators. And, the final unanswered question remains unanswered: what happened to the characters when the doors opened and the church was engulfed in white light?

The more TPTB speak of LOST, the less cohesive their vision for the series comes to the forefront. The less answers, even now 10 years removed, will be forthcoming.  It gets a twinge of a con-man's victim after a while; "what happened to me?"


“Winning that’s joyless is like eating in a four-star restaurant when you’re not hungry,” basketball legend Bill Russell once said.

And for many, that kind of empty reward at the conclusion of LOST still leaves a bitter taste. The final episodes were not as much about resolving the initial story than trying to back out of a freshly painted corner.

One of the lingering problems about LOST is that it quickly lost its original vision, as set forth in the original pilot episode and writer's guide.

Instead of having episodes that focused on one basic story, the writing changed from simple, defined episode plot to a series of mixed up stories being interrupted by new events.

First, the flashbacks. They were used to tell the back stories of the main characters. But instead of flushing out major character traits, they became used to take up more screen time than actual island stories.

Second, within the island story line, a situation rarely resolved itself. Instead, a new event, mystery or action interrupted the characters mission. Then the missions began to drag over from week to week.

Third, came the "twists."  Out of nowhere, strange things would pop on the screen not to enhance the story but to shock the viewer. A sudden death of a character is a prime example.

This makes it hard to watch if you were a casual viewer. Ratings continued to decline from Season 1, but there was an avid base of support, and glowing media reviews, to keep the "smartest show on TV" on the air. This is why this highly touted show never could sustain re-runs in syndication; it is too hard to follow.

There are plenty of explanations for why the express story structure of LOST was abandoned. It could be that J.J. Abrams was an absentee producer, off doing films, rather than keeping the series on point. It could be that the shake up of ABC network executives who then forgot to ride herd on the initial concerns and requirements of the show. It could be the writers thought they "were smarter than everyone in the room" and did things their own way because they could. It could be that the writers were making it up as they went along, without a plan (as many critics said after Season 6).

It was probably a combination of all those factors that gave us the LOST series that was aired on ABC.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


In trying to find patterns between characters, we almost forgot to focus in on major differences.

Hurley was raised in a strict Catholic household.
His mother was an overbearing force, especially after his father left the family.
Hurley was very shy around girls; he was very self-conscious about himself and his appearance.
He never had a girlfriend. The one girl he asked out was taken away by his best friend.
He was socially awkward around the opposite sex.
When his mother pushed him to find a nice girl, Hurley went farther and farther into his shell.
He lacked confidence or ambition to change his background existence.
In some respects, he hid behind his behind the counter fast food hideaway.

So Hurley had a bummer life, but so did many of the other main characters. But what was different with Hurley was that he was the only one who was still a virgin. Everyone else had had relations, before, during and after the island events. Hurley was portrayed as clumsy around women.

The simple symbols around his life turns on this personal stress. It is said that men think about sex more than a 100 times a day. It would seem that based upon his upbringing, social skills and shyness, Hurley could have reverted himself into a mental shell to hide from the rejection, disappointment and pain of trying to meet expectations in a real relationship. From the phonetics of Mr. Cluck's to the drumsticks to multi-millionaire status without any woman vying for his attention (recall, Anna Nicole Smith's marriage to the old oil tycoon), something is off.

Participate in your dreams today. There are unlimited opportunities available with this new day. Take action on those wonderful dreams you've had in your mind for so long. Remember, success is something you experience when you act accordingly. — Steve Maraboli

He was a young man who had nothing but his own personal dreams. Hurley thought he could not find his own happiness without hurting people around him. He blamed himself for his dad leaving home. He blamed himself for the porch accident. He never had any ambition to have a career with a good paying job. Winning the lottery was a fantasy come true. Money solves all problems, or so the saying goes. But in Hurley's case, it bought him nothing but pain. Thus his devine curse was rooted in his analysis of the world around him. The Numbers were the trigger point of pain.

But nothing like that had to be real. In his dreams, Hurley could have gone through the various scenarios like winning the lottery to find out that he always ends up alone. His subconscious continues to feed his insecurities about women to the point where he has to increase the fantasy situations in order to find a sliver of happiness.

He transforms a catatonic patient, Libby, into his dream woman lost on an island. They would have an awkward romance. But in all his past dreams, she is taken away from him. He then thinks the only way he can have her is in the next life, after death.

It is plausible theory that an lonely young man with an avid imagination spiked with mental illness could craft a diverse fantasy universe where he is the self-loathing broken loner seeking a soul mate.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


The problems with the LOST characters may have been caused by their inherit flaws.

One basic human characteristic is tribalism. Humans have a kind of ingrained fear or distrust of the "out-group." It's a previously adaptive trait that binds small groups of individuals together and prevents them from wandering off or joining other groups. But it also leads to ethnocentrism and divisions between groups. For example, medica studies show that the use of oxytocin may increase feelings of trust between individuals, it also increases fear of others.  This characteristic was obviously important back when we lived in family clans or tribal arrangements, but today it leads to all sorts of social problems, including racism, prejudice, and our inability to empathize with people we don't immediately know.

The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence.  But that speed of thought has annoying glitches that cause us to make questionable decisions or make wrong conclusions. These mistakes are a consequence of our limited intelligence and predisposed tendencies. Examples include the confirmation bias (we love to agree with people who agree with us), the gambler's fallacy (the tremendous weight we tend to put on previous events that aren't causal factors), our tendency to neglect or misjudge probability, and the status-quo bias (we often make choices that guarantee that things remain the same). Some of these are adaptive traits, but others are simply cognitive deficiencies.

Confirmation bias is an easy one to understand. We love to agree with people who agree with us. It's why we only visit websites that express our political opinions, and why we mostly hang around people who hold similar views and tastes. We tend to be put off by individuals, groups, and news sources that make us feel uncomfortable or insecure about our views — what the behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner called "cognitive dissonance."  It's this preferential mode of behavior that leads to the confirmation bias — the often unconscious act of referencing only those perspectives that fuel our pre-existing views, while at the same time ignoring or dismissing opinions — no matter how valid — that threaten our world view. And paradoxically, the internet has only made this tendency even worse. As a result, people are less and less inclined to listen to other people's views or even to think about reaching compromises because somewhere on the net they can find support for their positions.

In-group bias is somewhat similar to the confirmation bias is the ingroup bias, a manifestation of our innate tribalistic tendencies. It is said that part of this effect may have to do with oxytocin — the so-called "love molecule." This neurotransmitter helps to forge bonds between people in our in-group, performs the exact opposite function for those outside our group. To outsiders,  it makes us suspicious, fearful and distain other people.  Ultimately, the in-group bias causes us to overestimate the abilities and value of our immediate group at the expense of people we don't really know.

The Gambler's Fallacy is a glitch in our thinking. We tend to put a tremendous amount of weight on previous events, believing that they'll somehow influence future outcomes. The classic example is coin-tossing. After flipping heads, say, five consecutive times, our inclination is to predict an increase in likelihood that the next coin toss will be tails — that the odds must certainly be in the favor of heads. But in reality, the odds are still 50/50. As statisticians say, the outcomes in different tosses are statistically independent and the probability of any outcome is still 50%. This gives a person the false notion that events are not random. One can ride the dice rolls to victory. This positive expectation feeling often fuels gambling addictions. There is also the sense that our luck has to eventually change and that good fortune is on the way. It also contributes to the "hot hand" misconception. Similarly, it's the same feeling we get when we start a new relationship that leads us to believe it will be better than the last one.

Rationalization is a process which tends to gloss over one's mistakes to justify a prior decision. Example, if you bought something totally unnecessary, faulty, or overly expensive item, people tend to rationalize the purchase to such an extent that you convinced yourself it was a great idea all along. It is mental mechanism that makes us feel better after we make crappy decisions, especially at the cash register. Also known as "Buyer's Stockholm Syndrome," it's a way of subconsciously justifying our purchases — especially expensive ones. Social psychologists say it stems from the principle of commitment, our psychological desire to stay consistent and avoid a state of cognitive dissonance. 

Neglecting clear probability is another strange twist in brain analytical function. Very few of us have a problem getting into a car and going for a drive, but many of us experience great trepidation about stepping inside an airplane and flying at 35,000 feet. Flying, quite obviously, is a wholly unnatural and seemingly hazardous activity. Yet virtually all of us know and acknowledge the fact that the probability of dying in an auto accident is significantly greater (1 in 84 chance) than getting killed in a plane crash (1 in 12,000) — but our brains won't release us from this crystal clear logic.  It's the same phenomenon that makes us worry about getting killed in an act of terrorism as opposed to something far more probable, like falling down the stairs or accidental poisoning. This is our inability to properly grasp the sense of peril or risk - - - which often leads us to overstate the risks of relatively harmless activities, while forcing us to overrate more dangerous ones.

Observational Selection bias is that effect of suddenly noticing things we didn't notice that much before — but we wrongly assume that the frequency has increased. A perfect example is what happens after we buy a new car and we inexplicably start to see the same car virtually everywhere. A similar effect happens to pregnant women who suddenly notice a lot of other pregnant women around them. Or it could be a unique number or song. It's not that these things are appearing more frequently, it's that we've (for whatever reason) selected the item in our mind, and in turn, are noticing it more often. Trouble is, most people don't recognize this as a selectional bias, and actually believe these items or events are happening with increased frequency — which can be a very disconcerting feeling. It's also a cognitive bias that contributes to the feeling that the appearance of certain things or events couldn't possibly be a coincidence (even though it is).

Status quo bias is an inherit form of security in one's place. We humans tend to be apprehensive of change, which often leads us to make choices that guarantee that things remain the same, or change as little as possible. Needless to say, this has ramifications in everything from politics to economics. We like to stick to our routines, political parties, and our favorite meals at restaurants. Part of the perniciousness of this bias is the unwarranted assumption that another choice will be inferior or make things worse. The status-quo bias can be summed with the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" — an adage that fuels our conservative tendencies.

Negativity bias is the tendency to fixate on negative things. People tend to pay more attention to bad news — and it's not just because we're morbid. Social scientists theorize that it's on account of our selective attention and that, given the choice, we perceive negative news as being more important or profound. We also tend to give more credibility to bad news, perhaps because we're suspicious (or bored) of proclamations to the contrary. More evolutionarily, heeding bad news may be more adaptive than ignoring good news (e.g. "saber tooth tigers suck" vs. "this berry tastes good"). Today, we run the risk of dwelling on negativity at the expense of genuinely good news. If presented with studies that  crime, violence, war, and other injustices are steadily declining,  most people would argue that things are getting worse — what is a perfect example of the negativity bias at work.

Bandwagon effect is a principle that one gets acceptance in accepting the consensus. Though we're often unconscious of it, we love to go with the flow of the crowd. When the masses start to pick a winner or a favorite, that's when our individualized brains start to shut down and enter into a kind of "group think" or "hive mind" mentality. But it doesn't have to be a large crowd or the whims of an entire nation; it can include small groups, like a family or even a small group of office co-workers. The bandwagon effect is what often causes behaviors, social norms, and memes to propagate among groups of individuals — regardless of the evidence or motives in support. This is why opinion polls are often maligned, as they can steer the perspectives of individuals accordingly. Much of this bias has to do with our built-in desire to fit in and conform.

Projection bias is a way individuals look at the world around them. As individuals trapped inside our own minds 24/7, it's often difficult for us to project outside the bounds of our own consciousness and preferences. We tend to assume that most people think just like us — though there may be no justification for it. This cognitive shortcoming often leads to a related effect known as the "false consensus bias"  where we tend to believe that people not only think like us, but that they also agree with us. It's a bias where we overestimate how typical and normal we are, and assume that a consensus exists on matters when there may be none. Moreover, it can also create the effect where the members of a radical or fringe group assume that more people on the outside agree with them than is the case. Likewise, it can create a sense of exaggerated confidence one has in predicting the winner in a sports match or an election.

Current moment bias is the tendency to live in the present moment. We humans have a really hard time imagining ourselves in the future and altering our behaviors and expectations accordingly. Most of us would rather experience pleasure in the current moment, while leaving the pain for later. This is a bias that is of particular concern to economists (i.e. our unwillingness to not overspend and save money) and health practitioners. In a 1998 study, when making food choices for the coming week, 74% of participants chose fruit. But when the food choice was for the current day, 70% chose chocolate.

The anchoring effect or the the "relativity trap," this is the tendency we have to compare and contrast only a limited set of items. We tend to fixate on a value or number that in turn gets compared to everything else. The classic example is an item at the store that's on sale; we tend to see (and value) the difference in price, but not the overall price itself. This is why some restaurant menus feature very expensive entrees, while also including more (apparently) reasonably priced ones. It's also why, when given a choice, we tend to pick the middle option — not too expensive, and not too cheap. But that thinking does make the end choice a logically better one.

It is not perfectly clear why these biases and effects are so ingrained into human behavior. Some sociologists believe that these may be leftover defense mechanisms from the hunter-gathering period in human development. Others believe that much of these traits are learned behavior from the environment around you. If you are a child with a single parent welfare mother who does not work or betters herself, that environment could cause the child to integrate living for the moment traits or accept one's lot in life quicker than a person in a middle class family where goals and change is taught on a daily basis.

If you re-read the above list again, your own mind can flash to various characters who displayed those bias or traits during the series. It is like a mental popcorn maker. It also helps understand the notion on why so many of the main characters never could change their paths.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian. — Shari R. Barr

Many of the characters could have considered having a trying childhood or a "hard life."

But very few understood their predicament in order to change their future.

The classic example of this was John Locke.

Things he could not control:

1. Abandoned by father
2. Crazy mother giving him up to foster homes
3. Being bounced from foster parent to foster parent.

Things he could control:

1. Doing well in school, especially in math and science.
2. His attitude towards making friends.
3. His temper.
4. How he handled his relationships.
5. Making obtainable goals.

In LOST, Locke was more resigned to his fate than making things better through his own determination. Fate is the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power. Locke believed that his fate decided his course for him, from his parental abandoment to subsequent serious injury as a cruel twist of fate.

Yet, the only fate common to everyone is the inescapable death of a person. In Locke's case, it could have been many deaths. A little part of him died when he was old enough to realize that his parents did not want him. A little part of him died when he met his crazy mother who must have put the impression that he was "special" in his mind (a mild that may have become self-delusional). A little part of him died when he put unattainable goals in the early stages of his high school years. He wanted to be a popular jock and not a nerdy science kid. He fell into the trap of popularity as being more important than lifetime skills. He desperately wanted to be liked by other people; but he came off cold and distant. The result was that he turned inward, in his own shell. He abandoned what other people told him, and fell into a personal rut of meaningless jobs and spurts of self-discovery which always ended badly.

Locke was lost from an early age. He never got to the point of accepting his lot in life to make an assertive change in direction. If the supernatural situation which he fell into, the plane crash and the island, was a second chance to change his behavioral anchors, Locke failed at the task. Initially, he was assertive but then was spurned. People liked Jack better than him. It was high school all over again. He had important skills that were diminished by Jack's better skills. This is why Locke resigned himself to accept things that would happen to him. He believed in fate, that his life was predetermined to be bad.

And it was. He was bitter. He was naive. He was trusting. He was bad at decision making. His analytical skills led to the mistake with the Hatch lockdown. He could not convince people to his way of thinking. He allowed other people to control him or use him like a pawn. Even in death, he was a puppet called Flocke.

There was once a line that said "don't confuse coincidence with fate."  In Locke's case, he did. Even in the fantasy world after death, for no apparent reason he could not move on with Helen, who was his partner in that world. Why? He destroyed his personal relationship with her off-island by being obsessed with his father's betrayal. In the sideways world, it was the exact opposite. His father was an invalid. He was with Helen. Was that all pure fantasy? He had no bonds to keep Helen in the sideways world church? If not, why did he accept that loneliness when Ben chose to keep working on his relationship issues. Or did it really matter at all? The dream is not reality. It only makes sense if one erases the sideways story lines. Locke's fate was to die alone, over and over again.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


When Flight 815 crashes onto the island, there is a diverse population already on the island.

There are the Temple people, led by Dogen. It would seem that these are the traditional Jacob worshippers. They do not leave the temple for fear of being attacked by the smoke monster. For some reason, the temple is sanctuary against the monster (or as long as Jacob is alive). These people may be the oldest large group on the island.

The Others may be an off-shoot of the temple. But they tend to live throughout the jungle, in a nomadic lifestyle. They use tents and make camp for weeks at a time. This is the main core group, which contains a mix of older island populous and new recruits for Ben's army after his purge of the Dharma collective.

There are still a few Dharma people left on the island, such as Mikal, Mrs. Krug and Kelvin, who still manned the Swan station. At one point, the Dharma science group had a truce with the Others over the control of the island. Dharma built several major stations on the island, which means at some point it controlled the island at will. But perhaps, under Horus' leadership, the scientific community dwindled - - - especially just prior to the dangerous Incident experiments to tap the island's energy source. As a result of the numbers loss, the Others began to attack the Dharma holdovers. Dharma collapsed due to Ben's purge.

There were also three stray individuals on the island. Danielle, the last remaining survivor of her shipwreck, had been living off the land for 14 years. Jacob had been the island guardian for centuries, mostly holed up in the foot of the Tawaret statue. Then there was MIB, the smoke monster, who may have been the oldest creature on the island.

By the end of the series, several major population shifts happen on the island.

All the remaining members of the Dharma group were killed off.
The temple people who refused to leave were wiped out by the smoke monster.
Danielle was killed by Widmore's raiders.
Jacob and MIB apparently met their demise.
The remaining Others had left for hiding in the jungle, or in the case of deposed Ben, an assistant to the new island guardian.
And only six 815ers (Hurley, Rose, Bernard, Cindy, Emma and Zach) were left alive on the island. Rose and Bernard were at their own cottage away from everyone. Cindy, Emma and Zach were with the new Others group. Hurley was left in charge of the island itself.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


SPOILER ALERT: This post details the William Golding novel, The Lord of the Flies, which was part of the inspiration of the original screenwriter for the series LOST.

There were some clear elements of the novel, The Lord of the Flies, incorporated into Jeffrey Leiber's original LOST script (called Nowhere) and in the original series writer's guide. For those who have forgotten the story from their high school English classes, the story is set on an island where a group children have landed after surviving a plane crash.

In the midst of a raging war, a plane evacuating a group of schoolboys from Britain is shot down over a deserted tropical island. Two of the boys, Ralph and Piggy, discover a conch shell on the beach, and Piggy realizes it could be used as a horn to summon the other boys. Once assembled, the boys set about electing a leader and devising a way to be rescued. They choose Ralph as their leader, and Ralph appoints another boy, Jack, to be in charge of the boys who will hunt food for the entire group.

Ralph, Jack, and another boy, Simon, set off on an expedition to explore the island. When they return, Ralph declares that they must light a signal fire to attract the attention of passing ships. The boys succeed in igniting some dead wood by focusing sunlight through the lenses of Piggy’s eyeglasses. However, the boys pay more attention to playing than to monitoring the fire, and the flames quickly engulf the forest. A large swath of dead wood burns out of control, and one of the youngest boys in the group disappears, presumably having burned to death.

At first, the boys enjoy their life without grown-ups and spend much of their time splashing in the water and playing games. Ralph, however, complains that they should be maintaining the signal fire and building huts for shelter. The hunters fail in their attempt to catch a wild pig, but their leader, Jack, becomes increasingly preoccupied with the act of hunting.

When a ship passes by on the horizon one day, Ralph and Piggy notice, to their horror, that the signal fire—which had been the hunters’ responsibility to maintain—has burned out. Furious, Ralph accosts Jack, but the hunter has just returned with his first kill, and all the hunters seem gripped with a strange frenzy, reenacting the chase in a kind of wild dance. Piggy criticizes Jack, who hits Piggy across the face. Ralph blows the conch shell and reprimands the boys in a speech intended to restore order. At the meeting, it quickly becomes clear that some of the boys have started to become afraid.

The littlest boys, known as “littluns,” have been troubled by nightmares from the beginning, and more and more boys now believe that there is some sort of beast or monster lurking on the island. The older boys try to convince the others at the meeting to think rationally, asking where such a monster could possibly hide during the daytime. One of the littluns suggests that it hides in the sea—a proposition that terrifies the entire group.

Not long after the meeting, some military planes engage in a battle high above the island. The boys, asleep below, do not notice the flashing lights and explosions in the clouds. A parachutist drifts to earth on the signal-fire mountain, dead. Sam and Eric, the twins responsible for watching the fire at night, are asleep and do not see the parachutist land. When the twins wake up, they see the enormous silhouette of his parachute and hear the strange flapping noises it makes. Thinking the island beast is at hand, they rush back to the camp in terror and report that the beast has attacked them.

The boys organize a hunting expedition to search for the monster. Jack and Ralph, who are increasingly at odds, travel up the mountain. They see the silhouette of the parachute from a distance and think that it looks like a huge, deformed ape. The group holds a meeting at which Jack and Ralph tell the others of the sighting. Jack says that Ralph is a coward and that he should be removed from office, but the other boys refuse to vote Ralph out of power. Jack angrily runs away down the beach, calling all the hunters to join him. Ralph rallies the remaining boys to build a new signal fire, this time on the beach rather than on the mountain. They obey, but before they have finished the task, most of them have slipped away to join Jack.

Jack declares himself the leader of the new tribe of hunters and organizes a hunt and a violent, ritual slaughter of a sow to solemnize the occasion. The hunters then decapitate the sow and place its head on a sharpened stake in the jungle as an offering to the beast. Later, encountering the bloody, fly-covered head, Simon has a terrible vision, during which it seems to him that the head is speaking. The voice, which he imagines as belonging to the Lord of the Flies, says that Simon will never escape him, for he exists within all men. Simon faints. When he wakes up, he goes to the mountain, where he sees the dead parachutist. Understanding then that the beast does not exist externally but rather within each individual boy, Simon travels to the beach to tell the others what he has seen. But the others are in the midst of a chaotic revelry—even Ralph and Piggy have joined Jack’s feast—and when they see Simon’s shadowy figure emerge from the jungle, they fall upon him and kill him with their bare hands and teeth.

The following morning, Ralph and Piggy discuss what they have done. Jack’s hunters attack them and their few followers and steal Piggy’s glasses in the process. Ralph’s group travels to Jack’s stronghold in an attempt to make Jack see reason, but Jack orders Sam and Eric tied up and fights with Ralph. In the ensuing battle, one boy, Roger, rolls a boulder down the mountain, killing Piggy and shattering the conch shell. Ralph barely manages to escape a torrent of spears.

Ralph hides for the rest of the night and the following day, while the others hunt him like an animal. Jack has the other boys ignite the forest in order to smoke Ralph out of his hiding place. Ralph stays in the forest, where he discovers and destroys the sow’s head, but eventually, he is forced out onto the beach, where he knows the other boys will soon arrive to kill him. Ralph collapses in exhaustion, but when he looks up, he sees a British naval officer standing over him. 

The officer’s ship noticed the fire raging in the jungle. The other boys reach the beach and stop in their tracks at the sight of the officer. Amazed at the spectacle of this group of bloodthirsty, savage children, the officer asks Ralph to explain. Ralph is overwhelmed by the knowledge that he is safe but, thinking about what has happened on the island, he begins to weep. The other boys begin to sob as well. The officer turns his back so that the boys may regain their composure.

Many of the key opening elements of the novel are incorporated in the original ideas of LOST: surviving a plane crash, electing a leader, finding food, building shelter, laziness, malaise, fights over what do to, people doing their own thing instead of group needs, and violence.

There are even key aspects or events tied into the LOST mythology: the island monster that terrifies the castaways; the first boar hunt with Locke taking his victory into trying to become the group leader; the inability to fashion a rescue fire; a parachutist landing on the island (or even Henry Gale the balloonist); the power struggles and lack of trust; the missions into the jungle; the breaking apart of the main group into two camps; and betrayals from within the group.

LOST wavered off the Golding story path. Instead of focusing in on the survivors, the LOST writers continually threw non-group characters into the mix to force the action. Instead of the castaways trying to build a new society, it became more of a mixed-message game of follow-the-leader.

There is a similarity between the novel and show. The boys were too young to realize the morality of their actions. Their primal instincts took over any notion of right or wrong. Likewise, in LOST, the characters did not dwell on any moral or ethical aspects of their decision making or actions. At times, the castaways acted more like naive children than grown adults. In the novel, much of the problems were self-created by the children themselves, while in LOST, much of the problems were created by the writers forcing various tangents into the main story line.

The novel concludes with a much more realistic end to the saga than the LOST finale.