Wednesday, April 30, 2014


If there was ever a character that deserved better, it was Helen Norwood.

She was only in a handful of episodes, but her character was actually the only true shining light in the series.

Helen was introduced at an anger management support group which Locke became a new member. After his outburst at the group about their whining, Helen approached Locke outside and told him that she appreciated his candor and shared his frustrations. She also flirted by telling him that she liked bald men - despite Locke not being bald she said that she was prepared to wait. 

Their friendship moved to the bedroom fairly quickly and continued to blossom. During a meal at a restaurant, Helen gave Locke a key to her flat as a six-month anniversary present. She told him that she'd followed him and discovered that he was sneaking out at night to lurk outside his father's house. The gift of the key was given on the condition that he stopped going there, to which Locke agreed.

Helen was the only person who truly loved Locke, with all his faults and pains. She was his soul mate. During the period before Flight 815, Locke intended to marry Helen.

But in typical Locke fashion, that plan fell a part. Just as Locke was preparing to propose to Helen over a romantic picnic, Helen read Anthony Cooper's obituary in the newspaper and that the funeral was scheduled for that day. Helen accompanied Locke to the funeral to support him. 

Some days after the funeral, Cooper revealed to Locke that he was still alive and convinced him to participate in a criminal financial scheme in exchange for a share of the money. Locke's suspicious behavior and a run in with some criminals searching for the double-crossing Cooper led Helen to follow him again. She turned up at the motel where Locke was meeting Cooper to hand over the money. She demanded of Cooper: "Are you him?", slapped him and berated him for his treatment of Locke before leaving to go back to her car. Locke caught up with her in the parking lot outside and pleaded for forgiveness, went down on one knee and proposed. Helen shook her head and drove off, never to see Locke again.

After Locke returned from the Island to reunite the Oceanic Six, he asked Widmore's driver, Abaddon, to find Helen for him. He was against the idea, but eventually found her.  Helen died of an apparent brain aneurysm on April 8, 2006. Abaddon brought Locke to the cemetery where she was buried in Santa Monica, California.

Nothing is really known about Helen after she left Locke in the motel parking lot. Some speculate that the break-up with Helen was in the mid 1980s. If that is true, Helen had twenty years to get over Locke. But it hard to believe that Locke ever got over Helen. Locke's life did change on September 22, 2004 when he boarded Flight 815. He had hit a new low in his personal life. Ironically, the crash gave him a second chance to prove himself to someone. We know he never really did.

Because in the flash sideways fantasy world, John was engaged to Helen and they planned on getting married in October 2004. Being very sick of the wedding planning, caterers, bands, and picking out fabrics for chair backs (both a shade of green), she asked John if they can "do it shotgun style" in Las Vegas instead. She also mentioned taking her parents and John's father with them, to which John replied that Helen deserved better and he knows everything will be done. However, Locke's father is in a nursing home. He was described by his son as a "great father," and after John received his flying license he took Cooper along as his first passenger. This first flight resulted in a horrendous crash that paralyzed John and put his father into a vegetative state. Helen was the one who helped care for Cooper.

When Locke tells Helen he met a spinal surgeon on his flight from Sydney, Helen thought it may be destiny and thinks that John should call him. The next day she overheard John on the phone with Dr. Jack Shephard's office but he hangs up. She was glad John called and wanted to know when he was getting a consultation from Dr. Shephard. Locke confessed that he was fired from the box company. When his case of lost knives was returned, he told Helen to open the case and explained what happened when he tried to go on a walkabout but was not allowed to go. John acknowledged that he knows, she wanted him to go to more consultations about his back and "needed him to get out of this chair," but also shared with her that he doesn't want her to wait for a miracle, because he believed no such thing existed. She replied there are miracles, but assured him that he was the only one she ever needed, and ripped up Jack's business card.

After Locke's hit and run accident, Helen rushed to her fiance's bedside at the  hospital. She thanked Dr. Shephard as the two embraced. It was the miracle that she wanted Locke to have in his life.
But when Locke was cured of his paralysis and his memories of his former life were restored, he "moved on" without Helen. And that puts a heartless stab in the "happy ending" staged in the sideways church.

It seems that the sideways world was pure fantasy of Locke: he imagined a loving father and a great fiancee. He reversed the blame for his own injuries by hurting his father and himself in a plane crash. It is the mirror image of what was happening in the island realm.

Helen, which means "shining light" in Greek, was the sole person in the series who could have actually saved Locke from his own inner demons. But Locke rejected her. As a result, we can imagine Helen living a lonely and bitter life just like Locke. It would seem Helen should have been given a better fate.

But she did not have her own after life dream scape. She did not "move on" with her fiancee.  She may not have "moved on" at all. She was merely a fantasy footnote in Locke's dream world. Perhaps the lesson is that Locke did not deserve a woman like Helen because he could not see her great qualities through his twisted anger demons.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. ”
— Ernest Hemingway 

There is something to be said of a great writer giving us insight into his craft.

Huck Finn was once called the prototypical "American novel" because it brought forth the striking detail of real life America, with rich but folksy characters, in a time like the nation was still in its global innocence. It is set in rural America in the mid 1800s, when the young nation was on the cusp of breaking a part due to the issue of slavery.

Huck was a secondary character in Twain's Tom Sawyer's novels, but when put into the lead role Twain could embellish the stereotypical characters of his era.

Even to this day, the novel incites wide debate among critics, academics and teachers. Many believe that the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn explores notions of race and identity. An obvious complexity exists concerning the runaway Negro slave character called Jim. While some scholars point out that Jim is good-hearted, moral, and not unintelligent, others have criticized the novel as racist, citing the repeated  use of the "N" word  and emphasizing the stereotypically "comic" treatment of Jim's superstition and ignorance. But one cannot ignore that Twain was a ruthless satirist. He had the gift of using a person's own words and actions as the literary sword of their own discomfort or demise.

The novel is a precursor to all our current culture's "road pictures." The format is simple: put the main character on the road away from the familiar security of his home and have him interact with new strange people and dangerous situations. It is how the character deals with these new stressful situations that brings out the true inner character of the person. 

Huck struggles not only with the challenges of his strenuous journey, but also with the 19th century social climate and the role it forces on him regarding Jim. Throughout the story, Huck is in moral conflict with the received values of the society in which he lives, and while he is unable to consciously refute those values even in his thoughts, he makes a moral choice based on his own valuation of Jim's friendship and human worth, a decision in direct opposition to the things he has been taught. Mark Twain, in his lecture notes, proposes that "a sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience" and goes on to describe the novel as "...a book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers defeat." To highlight the hypocrisy required to condone slavery within an ostensibly moral system, Twain has Huck's father enslave his son, isolate him, and beat him. When Huck escapes – which anyone would agree was the right thing to do – he then immediately encounters Jim "illegally" doing the same thing. 

But the entire novel is not seen through the clarity of black and white morality. Huck has to navigate a minefield of criminals, deadbeats, drunks, highwaymen, murderers, thieves, con men and phonies who may make good arguments for their behavior as it being their own lot in life. It shows that American life at the time was as murky as the Muddy Mississippi.

The color of men and women of the lower classes, digging out a living on the edge of civilized society, made Twain's characters come more alive to the educated East Coast readers who was his audience. Twain wanted to transport his readers to a world so different, dark, wild and dangerous that it would make the small hairs on their neck bounce to attention. For many Americans had become their own gentry, wealthy enough to have estates and leisure time. The stark contrast between the American classes is what Twain's novels shed light upon.

Huck was not the brightest kid, but he did have what we would call "street smarts." He had enough gut instincts to get himself out of trouble. Likewise, he could be influenced to get himself into trouble. For in Huck's world, it was a self-sufficient time. He knew he had to take care of himself. He had to refine his natural skills in order to survive in the cruel world that was the river.

Wikipedia discusses that some scholars believe Huck's own character, and the novel itself, in the context of its relation to African-American culture as a whole. John Alberti quotes Shelley Fisher Fishkin, who writes in her 1990s book Was Huck Black?: Mark Twain and African-American Voices, "by limiting their field of inquiry to the periphery," white scholars "have missed the ways in which African-American voices shaped Twain's creative imagination at its core." It was suggested that the character of Huckleberry Finn illustrates the correlation, and even interrelatedness, between white and black culture in the United States.

But it could be simpler. Twain used the wild west simpleton culture of the Mississippi River basin to take and stretch the small people who lived and died in the country into bigger than life characters. Twain's stories were about America and how the American spirit was one of independence, freedom and self-reliance.

In the LOST story, the closest person to the Huck Finn character was Kate. She was from rural America. She grew up in the country. She got herself into trouble at a young age, but had the wits to charm herself out of punishment. She had the wild seed to runaway from home. She was not afraid to mix it up with the boys, to do crime in order to get what she wanted. She was a free spirit looking for adventure, while looking over her shoulder trying to avoid authority.

LOST came upon the American culture as we had turned the corner on the next century of progress. We were to accelerate the technology age that would rise all boats and continue to keep the U.S. the wealthiest nation on Earth. Just as Twain would have seen in his East Coast veranda party set, there was a laziness in comfortable surroundings that lacked the social responsibility of his peers. Freedom and independence has the cost of respect and accountability for one's fellow man and woman. It would be a hard sell to establish those mid 1800s themes into the LOST story line, except for the notion that many of the LOST characters refused to accept accountability or responsibility for their actions. The current American society is filled more with selfish children than in Twain's world of wild children lost in the coming moral calamity that would be the Civil War.

Monday, April 28, 2014


This is a chart of the six seasons of LOST based upon IMDb viewer ratings for each episode.

The two highest rated episodes were S3E22 "Through the Looking Glass" at 9.7 and  S4E5 "The Constant" at 9.7.

The two lowest episodes were S2E12 "Fire and Water" at 7.2 and S3E9 "Stranger in a Strange Land" at 7.2. 

S6E23 "The End" rated only a 7.9.

The rankings for each season opener:

1: 9.4
2: 9.2
3: 8.7
4: 8.9
5: 8.8
6: 8.8

Throughout the series, the median rating line from start to finish is 8.8 to 8.5.
The first season had a slow decline. The second season started off lower, and slowly went back to the level of the first season. The third season started lower than the second, but quickly moved up to surpass the high of the first season. The next season started at the level of season two and moved up a little. Season 5 started out lower than Season 4 but finished the same. Season 6 started very low and stayed pretty much up and down, with the second half cratering to the end.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


There were very strong clues throughout the series about illusion (there was even a boat in the marina by that name.)

The science of illusion is quite simple but with complex ramifications. Human eyes skim and our brains tend to jump to conclusions. The act of seeing something begins with light rays bouncing off an object. These rays enter the eyes through the cornea, which is the clear, outer portion of the eye. The cornea then bends or refracts the light rays as they go through the black part of your eye, the pupil. The iris — the colored portion of your eye — contracts or expands to change the amount of light that goes through.

Finally, the light rays go through the lens of your eye, which changes shape to target the light towards your retina, the thin tissue at the back of your eye that is full of nerve cells that detect light. The cells in the retina, called rods and cones, turn the light into electrical signals. That gets sent through the optic nerve, where the brain interprets them.

The entire process takes about one-tenth of a second, but that's long enough to make your brain confused sometimes, conclude neurobiologists.

By arranging a series of patterns, images, and colors strategically, or playing with the way an object is lit, the brain can be tricked into seeing something that isn't there. How you perceive proportion can also be altered depending on the known objects that are nearby. It's not magic — it's an optical illusion.

How can smart individual be "tricked" into seeing what is not there? Evolutionary scientists believe that this is part of a basic instinct of survival - - - the need to instantly recognize the environment and threats and act accordingly.  Early man was not at the top of the food chain. Large animals would attack human beings. When a mammal is a target of a hunter, it needs to develop sensory traits to help level the playing field. Optics was one of those means to detect predators.

 But the information had to be acted upon almost instanteously. And that is where human memory comes into play. If a person has had a similar experience, the brain will store important cues for instant access in case of danger assessment. The better survivors trained their mind and memory to act fast and correctly when in danger.

The application to LOST is apparent. Modern human beings have lost most of their survival instincts. This is because humans evolved into the top predator in most environments. The ability to fashion tools and weapons, strong shelters, and live in communities helped propel that change. But if the roles were reversed, as in the series, the ability to make tools, weapons, shelter, band together and quickly assess danger were all critical to the characters' survival. Or it should have been.

But with the introduction of supernatural or magical elements into the story line, the pure science of human behavior was diluted or removed from the story line equations of cause and effect. The characters were more likely tricked into seeing things that were not present; they were more apt to be manipulated due to their emotional faults than present reality. The island itself could have been a mad creation of a trickster who used the characters like lab rats running a complex maze. And the characters keen sense of believing what they were seeing would have been their ultimate downfall.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Squirrels got into a neighbor's attic. The critter control person placed two traps on the roof and eave. Within a day, one squirrel was caught in the wire cage.

Throughout the day you could tell that the squirrel went through the range of emotions. First, it was perplexed by getting caged in a wire box. Next, the mental gears tried to figure out a way to get out of the cage door. Third, depression set in. It would still still in the cage for long periods not moving. Fourth, there would be anger as it would attack the cage wires. Fifth, there was panic as it started to gnaw at the wire grid in a rapid fire bouncing of its head, trying to find a weak spot in a corner. Lastly, resignation. It lies motionless on the bottom of the age, exhausted from its fruitless escape.

Squirrels may be cute, but they are still rodents who can do vast amounts of property damage to a home. After a day, I was surprised that one of the area's large red tail hawks had not tried to swoop down and get a quick meal. It would have been interesting to see if the hawk could have managed to open or break the cage with its talons or beak.

In some ways, this real life nature drama is representative of the LOST experience.

From a character story line, the island was the trap. The characters were the trapped squirrels gnawing their way to freedom. They go through the range of emotions to the point where they give up and accept their cruel fates.

From a fan perspective, the show's early cleverness and plot twists were the traps that kept us watching for six seasons. We went through the same analytic processes to try to figure out the clues, the environment, the meaning of the island and a way for the characters to gain their freedom. Fans went through a range of emotions when characters go hurt or died.  When the show ended, many were left like the exhausted squirrel: perplexed, resigned, depressed and wondering what would happen next.

In the cage, the exhausted squirrel is trapped against the cold night elements. It gives up and dies.

In certain respects, that is what Jack did in the final episode. 

Friday, April 25, 2014


The producers at the Paley conference indicated that they wanted to finish the show with the big question, "what is life?" How the sideways world ending answer that question in itself is clouded in mysterious contradictions.

For science is trying really, really hard to answer that question.

Before her death in 2005, Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper of the Netherlands was the oldest woman alive. She lived to be 115 and three months old.
Surprisingly though,  CNN reports that when she died, her brain was still in good shape - no sign of Alzheimer's or other diseases typically associated with old age.

Scientists wanted to know her cause of death, and by implication how she lived so long. They now say it might have to do with dying stem cells.

Scientists at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam say at the time of van Andel-Schipper's death, she had just two blood stem cells.
Blood stem cells are what your body uses to replenish your blood. Humans are typically born with around 20,000 of these cells, and on average about 1,000 work to keep your bloodstream pumping.
But this study suggests over time our stem cells weaken and die out, which might actually limit the ability of your stem cells to replenish your tissues.

"Once the stem cells reach a state of exhaustion that imposes a limit on their own lifespan, they themselves gradually die out and steadily diminish the body's capacity to keep regenerating vital tissues and cells, such as blood," the study states.

Although it's not known for sure whether van Andel-Schipper died because of this exhaustion, this study does reveal her white blood cells were mutated, leading scientists to wonder if some genetic mutations are actually harmless.

The scientific community will debate whether it could mean that  "Genetic mutations may hold the key to a long life."

The researchers, whose findings were published in the journal Genome Research, say more studies are needed to investigate whether dying stem cells can cause death at extreme ages.

Likewise, medical science still does not know why certain people get cancer (the mutation of cells which destroy vital cells and organs) and other people with the same environmental factors do not. The human body is a complex bio-chemical-electric factory of inter-related factors which creates a living human being. 

At some point, medical science will try to inject substitute blood stem cells into patients to see if that treatment can prolong their lives. Immortality is something that human beings have dreamed about for ages, since the fear of death (and its unknown) has been culturally significant throughout history.


Hold on to your seat belt and oxygen masks.

All the passengers and crew of Flight 815 died in the plane crash.

But that is alright.

Because everything we saw thereafter was the main characters' version of heaven.

The adventure, the romance, the fights, and more importantly, a way that they each wanted to end their own lives - - - on their own terms, in their own way.

When the TPTB weasel their explanation that the ending was about the big life and death question, but don't answer it, then we must our own profound conclusions.

Even poor Locke, in the bitter end in a seedy hotel room, distraught that he could not accomplish his mission, took his own life (abet, at the hands of crazy Ben) which caused the other O6 members to rethink their views on Locke's words . . .  allowing them to return to the island to save their friends. Locke was told he had to die in order to save the island (and his friends). To die to save something more important than one's self is a heroic gesture. Locke's measly life had no heroic elements. If this was his "second chance" at death, then he went out nearly on his own terms - - - a personal sacrifice to help those trapped on the island.

The same is true with Jack. He really did not have to die in the bamboo grove. But that is how he saw himself being the hero, the way "to fix" the island trap that snared his fellow survivors. This is the way Jack saw himself - - - dying as a leader to save his followers. Something his father told him he did not have the stomach to do in real life.

As goofy as the scene played out, Jin wanted to die with Sun in the sinking submarine. He realized dispute all their troubles, he could not live without her. He would sacrifice himself to stay with her so they could be together, forever, in the after life. And in some respects, Sun wanted the same thing. She left her child to go back to the island to find Jin, not knowing if he was alive or dead.

The main characters used some supernatural time space displacement between this world and the next, to change fate and tragedy into their own means of living their mortal coil - - -  finding a little personal happiness in the midst of disaster (which for most, included their off-island, preflight lives.)

There is not to say there are multiple worlds within a single perceived world. Many astrophysics theorists believe that there are multiple universes slightly out of phase with our current visual one. Some theorists also believe in a causal multiverse, where every person's decision opens a new tangential universe time line.

The plane crash event could have split the main characters human time line into several tangential realities: a spiritual universe and a dream universe. In the end, the universes intersect to form a new, third reality. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Ben's story could have been the most profound change. The character was not supposed to last more than two or three episodes, but the intense evil brought to the screen kept Ben in the series to the very end. From filler arc to full time character, that was the shifting sands of the LOST story line.

The writers were themselves lost in how to keep a critical darling of daring story telling sharp and new episode to episode. In various hits and misses (see, Nikki and Paulo), Ben captured the real danger of a mad man against the basically naive and overconfident surviviors.

As an adult, Ben sought power and control because those things were never a part of his childhood. He became so obsessed with changing his depressing, measly little life that he snapped and committed mass homicide in order to become the leader of the Others.

How can a shy, innocent boy turn into a mass murderer? Then why could many viewers be drawn into his character so much to call him their favorite?

Ben was extremely possessive of the objects, information and people around him. You can see a god-like demeanor in his thought processes, much like a Sim City game player has the god-like authority to build or destroy his town and people at will.

Since Ben did not have a great childhood, he wanted the things normal children had like possessions, objects, toys and adventures. So as an adult, those lost events wormed their way into his dark mind. Instead of material toys, he collected people to do his bidding. If he wanted a fertility specialist like Juliet, he would kidnap her. If he needed a spinal surgeon, he would bribe, manipulate and torture people to get cooperation. Everything around him was his to do what he liked . . . that was Ben's world view.

But at the same time, he pledged some sort of alliance with Jacob, the island master. But we don't think Ben ever saw or spoke to Jacob during Ben's leadership of the Others. We believe that he only got the information from Alpert, and took the myth and manipulated the Others to follow him. He controlled the natives by claiming to be the word of Jacob, when in fact, that was probably a lie.

It was only when Ben actually met Jacob with Flocke, that Ben broke down and his anger swelled enough to kill Jacob with a magic knife. As such, it doomed Ben to his own island damnation until out of pity, he was spared his own death.

Whether that single act of kindness which he never had during his life "changed" Ben to really become "one of the good guys" is not absolutely clear, but he did move the side to allow Jack and Hurley to take the position he most coveted - - - island guardian. Since he could never control the one thing he desired his entire life, the island, Ben at some point was at peace. It did not make up for all the bad things he did in his life, but at least now he realized the errors of his ways. Errors that would never be punished, even in the sideways after life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


In the continuing LOST universe, there are three basic choices a viewer has to make (during the series and upon reflection ten years later) of what they believe happened to the plane passengers.

As the human beings are falling from the sky after Flight 815 breaks a part in mid-air, something will happen to them.

One option is that the human beings miraculously survived the plane crash.

Another option is that as they were falling, they went through or were diverted into another plane of existence, possibly a spiritual realm, but they were still physically alive.

Final option is that the passengers fell to earth and did not survive the plane crash. It was their souls that carried on in an after life which looks real.

One: alive on earth.
One: alive somewhere other than earth.
One: dead in the afterlife.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


What if . . .  Kate was the person who died in the bamboo grove at the end of the series?

The series originally was to focus on her, as Jack was supposed to have been killed off at the end of the pilot episode (to bump up the reality factor).

If Kate was to be the focal point, and thus dying in the bamboo field while any of her fellow survivors left the island, does that really change things?

In reality, it was Kate's gunshot that took down MIB/Flocke, not Jack's hand to hand combat. Jack merely kicked the body over the cliff. Instead of going with Kate and Sawyer, and to rescue, Jack sacrifices himself to stay on the island (presumably so he would not bog the other two down; but none of them knew the condition of the Ajira plane or whether it had already taken off). In some respects, Jack's "sacrifice" was not much since if he wanted to be with Kate, he would have asked her to stay on the island or he would have gone with her to the Hydra Island. But since he did neither, it could only mean that he was over her. He had nothing left to go back to.

Would have Kate made a similar and fatal choice?

Probably not. She was a runner. She kept on the move, one step ahead of trouble. She would have wanted off the island as badly as Sawyer. If she had injured herself in the final battle with Flocke, she would have gone great lengths to get back to the Ajira plane, not for Claire sake (again, when Sawyer and her left the island for the plane they had no idea if Claire was there or even if she was still alive). Kate's inner core was one of self-survival. Her independence and cunning kept her one step from the law most of her adult life. She would not have wanted to give up and slink off into a jungle clearing to die a lonely and undignified death.

So there would have been no emotional string pull that many fans had when Jack closed his eyes for the last time if Kate was the lead player.

Monday, April 21, 2014


It may be as simple as a child's concept of lost and found.  When a child loses something they want, they cry to their parent to find it. Or replace it. Or find it again. In a material world, people do hold onto certain things tightly for personal or sentimental value, like a child's first teddy bear or blanket.

There is something comforting that strangers in public places have lost and founds, where people who have lost something may have an opportunity to regain what they had lost.

The same can be applied to LOST.

The main characters "lost" something they needed to find.

Example, Jack lost his father and he was desperate to find him.  In the process of the search, Jack himself lost his own mind to alcohol and drugs. The ironic twist to his search was that images of his ghostly father were smoke monster illusions, and that in order to find his father Jack had to die.

Hurley could have had a similar path. He lost his father by abandonment at an early age. But Hurley did not go searching for his father. His father returned to the family only after Hurley won his cursed lottery winnings. With sudden wealth, Hurley lost part of his innocence and his ability to be his simple self. People wanted things from him (his money). He became more reclusive and sad. His lost his simple life, so he went to find the answer to the cursed Numbers. He found them throughout the island - - - as premonitions of danger and pain. In another ironic twist, Hurley found the life he was looking for with Libby only after he died.

Sawyer lost his family at an early age. He vowed to "find" the man responsible for ruining his life. In another ironic twist, Sawyer's search turned him into the con-man he resented for his entire life. It led him to killing an innocent man. He was no better than Cooper. It was after he crashed on the island did Sawyer find the man who ruined his life, and took his revenge. But that did not solve the problem that he lost his life in the process of revenge. Again, he only found true happiness without deceit or deception after he died in the sideways world with Juliet.

The island could be symbolic as a lost and found box. In it, various aspects of a person's life that had been discarded or lost could be found.

But what did the characters actually find on the island?

A purpose?
Romance or love interest?
Moral guidance?

It seems those factors only came to light in the sideways world.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


During Michael betrayal during the rescue of Walt, Kate, Sawyer and Jack were captured by the Others. Jack was separated from the polar bear cages. Juliet was to work him over to gain his trust so Jack would agree to perform surgery on Ben.

Sawyer and Kate were captured to be slave labor to help the Others build a runway in the jungle. This is the runway that the Ajira plane would crash land on in Season 6. Why or how Ben would have known that when Kate and Sawyer were captured is another one of those logic flaws in the main story line.

We learned many things about Ben's past. He did not have a happy childhood. His mother died in childbirth, and his father hated him. At a young age, he was taken to a mysterious island. In school, he had only one friend, Annie, who apparently left with a large group (women and children) prior to the Incident. Ben never had a very good social life in school or as a young adult. He did not have the personable skills to charm the ladies.  We know that he came across as a stalker with his perceived relationship with Juliet. Ben's jealousy led to Juliet's lover's demise, and Ben's statement that he owned her. But she continued to reject him.

So when a new lady winds up in his camp, Ben takes it upon himself to try to impress Kate. Mr. Friendly takes Kate to the showers and gives her a new sun dress. She is taken to the beach to have a pleasant meal with Ben. He tries to lay on his charm; and infers that he can make her life better if she plays along.

Tom and three Others bring Kate to a breakfast meal with Ben; freshly cooked food, utensils, and coffee, with a pair of handcuffs on the side. Ben tells her to handcuff herself or she gets no coffee. She asks "what did you do with Sawyer and Jack?" But Ben notices that she started the question with Sawyer and not Jack. Kate asks for her clothes, but she is told they burned them. When she asks why he's doing all this,  Ben states that he gave her a dress to make her feel "like a lady," fresh food to make her feel at home, allowed her a view of the beach because her friends are seeing the same beach, and utensils to make her feel civilized. He tells Kate that he gave all those things to her so she'll have something to hold on to, because "the next two weeks will be very unpleasant." 

This scene is cut off before we learn the actual "details" of the deal Ben wanted to make with Kate. It is one of the holes in the story that could have set the stage for understanding the motivations of both Kate and Ben. We believe that Ben was trying to manipulate Kate in order to get her to convince Jack to operate on Ben. But it seems that this beach meal would have had more long term impact than just a manipulative promise - - - Ben was more effective at getting people to do his bidding out of fear than kindness.

We can infer that there was some mild pass made by Ben to Kate at the beach. That would explain why upon Kate's imprisonment in the bear cage, she had the carnal urge to jump Sawyer. Was this a reaction to a revolting deal ("be my island girlfriend") proposed by Ben? 

But we know Kate was just as manipulative with her good looks to control men to do her bidding. In some respects, Kate and Ben are similar loners.

It could have been as simple as promising Kate that she would get off the island after Ben had his surgery. Or that she had to give herself to him in order to save her friends from certain death.

In the O6 story arc, when the helicopter crash survivors made it back to LA, and crazy Jack calls Kate to the airport, I always felt that when Kate said she had to leave to "go back to him," that she reluctantly meant that she had to go home to Ben. (In reality, Kate needed to go back to Aaron.) But if "he" was "Ben," would have been a major plot twist bombshell. It would have put the beach meeting at a whole different level of devilish intrigue. Whose side was Kate on? She got away with murder because she went with Ben. She would lead a rich but unhappy life because that was her deal with the devil. That would be her punishment. Ben would get what he always wanted: a home and family life as part of the deal (abet a loveless marriage).

An alliance between Kate and Ben would have been a devious under-the-radar thread that would have turned viewer heads around like in the Exorcist. Clearly, they would have been the island power couple (which would mirror the theme when Eloise and Widmore were in charge of the island inhabitants).

The Kate and Ben beach scene could have led to much different and dynamic story line than what finally happened in both Kate and Ben's story arcs.  Why Kate returned to Jack in the end really does not make sense, since her memories of living with him in LA ended badly. She only wound up with Jack because Sawyer had found Juliet (which itself was odd because it took a time traveling passage for Sawyer to find a woman who made him grow up and take some responsibility.) But nothing was worse than Ben's apparent pining over Rousseau and his affection for Alex. Ben's sideways quest to have a happy life with Rousseau and Alex seems insane, because their island memories of him would be toxic. It would have been quite the twist in the church if Ben did go inside with Hurley, with Ben taking his place in a warm embrace with Ben (leaving Jack and Locke to mirror each other alone in the front pews of the church).

Saturday, April 19, 2014


LOST's show runners continue to stonewall fans about even the simplest of story plot points. At the Paley Center reunion event, TPTB said the script showed who shot Sawyer in the time travel outrigger scene, but it was deleted from the actual filming. Asked what happened, TPTB said it was better to leave it a mystery than give the fans the answer.

Well, that is plain lame.

Why is this one plot point so important to keep it a mystery? It makes no sense, since Sawyer getting shot in the outrigger scene had no lasting effect or change in the rest of the story line (from what we can tell).

There can only be a few reasons for this stubborn stonewalling:

1) TPTB are lying when they said there was an explanation in the script.

2) If they tell us what they wrote, it would open them up to fan criticism over the scene and the whole time travel paradoxes that were also never explained by the show.

3) They neglected to fully think out the ramifications of the "action" sequences and red herrings to keep fan interest as to paint themselves into a writer's corner they could not get out of . . . which would confirm the criticism that the writers and producers did not have a coherent finished story when they started the series.

4) They have convinced themselves that unanswered mysteries are more important story telling than the standard mystery series which solves the issues with clues, deduction, and reasonable explanations. It goes along the line that they perceive themselves as the smartest guys in the room and we, the public, don't get their genius.

5) They cannot explain the outrigger event without triggering a cascade of questions about other plot points which had little to no bearing on the finale. If fans were told that the writers were merely throwing strange, unrelated but shocking twists into scripts willy-nilly, then the "greatest" show on television would be a fraud, a bait and switch, a major disappointment.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Here is an early cast still for LOST showing the main characters with the beach wreckage.

Of all the cast members shown, only one, Walt, was stated to be alive off the island (since we don't know if Ajira plane made it home).

There are debates whether any of the characters survived a mid-air plane break up. There are theories about whether the characters were cloned, saved by angels, teleported to a supernatural place, souls in purgatory, or experimental lab rats in a mental maze.

Whatever the true purpose of the characters, this photograph is a metaphor for each character (and the collective group's) standing in the wreckage of their own personal lives. How could they have survived a plane crash when each of them barely survived in their own lives? All of them were broken, physically and/or emotionally. All there futures were suspect and dark to foreboding. In one way or another, they had all messed up something important in their lives. It was an irreversible action that has no second chance, except in death (as in Jack's reunion with his father in the sideways church). There was little hope of cleaning up the wreckage of their personal lives back home. They all were doomed to some form of misery. And misery loves company.

The wreckage, misery, loss of direction, drifting away from responsibility or change is what is the common thread amongst the main characters. The were all lost to the fates that troubled their personal lives. The only happiness they would truly find was in their after life reunion, which is a sad commentary on life itself.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The cast, the crew, the writers and the producers have never stated definitively what was really happening to the characters on the show. The only conclusion we can make is that no one really knows. By design, chance or bungling, the creation of mysteries was more important than solutions. This leaves a gaping comprehension hole the size of the universe.

At times, cast members have mentioned discussions with fans about theories. Jorge Garcia once mentioned that one fan thought that as Flight 815 passed through the island's electromagnetic field, everything was cloned, and the show was all about their clones. There is really nothing to dispute that fan's theory ("the photo copier effect") or prove it.

But there has to be some logical construct to at least get a detailed understanding of the show's diverse pathways.  As with the above graphic I stumbled across on the web, at each critical moment there is at least two clear choices.

The vast majority of people believe that the characters did board an airplane in Sydney. (There are several theories that state the contrary; that the entire show is the dream state of character(s)). Once the plane went over the island, at the same time of the electromagnetic burst, something happened.

We were led to believe that the plane broke up at cruising altitude. We saw the tail section break away from the main fuselage. We saw the wreckage on the beach, and the injured passengers. The plane crashed on a tropical island. There were some survivors. That is one conclusion.

However, later on in the series, Flight 815 makes a routine landing in LA. We would later find out that this "sideways" world was "created" by the characters as a means of getting back together. In this sideways world, everyone is dead.

We have two simultaneous parallel story tracks.

What is the reason for the sideways place? Everyone on board had in his or her own mind the expectation and dream to land in Los Angeles and to continue on with their lives. Whatever happened to Flight 815, it charged those memories and dreams to create the sideways universe. A "waking dream" is an involuntary dream while a person is awake. The dream state is that person's present reality. This must have been impressed upon each of their souls as a result of the plane crash.

But if in fact the sideways world was created at the time of the plane breaking up and crashing, all the characters in the sideways world were dead. That leads to one of two possibilities: everyone on the island was killed in the plane crash, or the characters survived in another supernatural place.

How can a person be in "two" places at once? Just as one can space off and daydream during a business meeting, that person is actually in two places at once. He or she may be hearing the business discussion around the table, but part of their mind is off at a distant place or memory. This lends some support to a possible dream state happening to the characters.

Then the question becomes can a dead person dream?

If the sideways world was the daydream of the characters, their last living moments impressed in the electromagnetic neurons of their brains, it could have been carry forwarded into the next level of existence.

This gets us to the final piece of the story. Characters in the sideways world were not aware of their true existence until they were "awakened" to the island memories. What were the island memories? In an endorphin charged fear of dying in a plane crash as the plane broke a part, it was the will to live. The island world was the will to remain alive - - - a dream scape by dead souls who did not want to realize or accept their fate. The characters continued to chase "life" on the island.

What was the one thing that could shock a sideways soul into remembering happened to him or her? To awaken or sever the island dream of life to recognize that you were killed in a plane crash. Jack was shocked by the notion that he was dead when he met his father in the sideways church, but he quickly accepted it and was at peace.

Just as the sideways world in the afterlife seemed "real" to those who had not been awakened, so to would have been an island dream world that would seem just as real.

TPTB continually state that the characters were alive. But they don't say when they died. They don't explain how the sideways world was created but acknowledge everyone is dead. They created this two place story. We are just trying to make sense of it.

If the island people thought they were alive, does that mean they were not in purgatory? No, if one considers a dream state not an after life realm.

If the sideways people thought they were alive, does that mean they were not dead? No.

One definition of being "alive" is (of a feeling or quality) continuing in existence, as in keeping hope alive. If one has the severe emotional will to "cheat" death by keeping one's memories alive in a supernatural time and place, then the show expands the normal concept of being alive to another plane of existence. TPTB claim that the ending was all about answering the meaning of life and what happens after you die. If we take them at their word, so be it.

But both the island and sideways story lines need a clear nexus in order to make sense.  Since the creative forces behind the series do not or cannot fully explain their own story (and hide behind their clever mysteries), we are left to investigate all the possibilities to reach some consistent probabilities.

This Dream State theory weaves together the simultaneous parallel yet supernatural time periods with the major clue of the dead "awakening" in the after life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


There is a theory that at some point, human beings will evolve beyond their physical existence. Science fiction writers have been using this idea for a long time, to create intelligent beings made purely of energy and thought.

One would think that evolving beyond a physical body would have its advantages. This new being would not have hunger, the need to consume food in order to survive. It would not feel pain as it would not have a nervous system connected to cells and organs. It would not have emotional bursts since it does not have the stressful demands for food, water, rest and procreation.

Based upon this scientific theory, one "unified" explanation for LOST is that the smoke monster was one of these non-physical body beings. Whether it evolved from humans or aliens is not really the issue. It could have been the last of its species. If so, there could be a vast sense of loneliness. So how could such a higher form of "life" cope with such loneliness?

Humans gather comfort in surrounding themselves with lower life forms. We call them "pets." If the smoke monster wanted companionship, mental stimulation, a sense of purpose or even something to do - - - then bringing those interesting, complex, emotional, primitive, cunning, violent people to his island.

We know that the smoke monster(s) could take the form of human beings (usually dead ones). When they reanimated humans, the smoke monsters had access all the memories of those people. They used those memories to manipulate the other characters into action or inaction.

But even if the smoke monster evolved into a higher order, the ending of the series did not shed any light on this theory or what the smoke monster really represented on the show. It could have been merely symbolic of the fears, anxieties, traumas and spiritual bankruptcy of certain characters. But the show runners would not need a supernatural being to coax those traits from human beings; they are messy enough ruining their own lives to have those matters come to the story surface.

The smoke monster is an enigma. It seems to be a supernatural, intelligent and violent force not known in nature.

Monday, April 14, 2014


If you crash landed on a tropical island, what five items would you want to have with you?

It is almost a universal question for hikers, explorers, adverturers, campers and in LOST, survivalists.

My five items are fairly straight forward.

1. A large knife. Growing up in the 1960s-1970s, America was, in retrospect, in the end phase of its knife culture. My father and his father always carried pocket knives. It was a basic tool. In the scouts, we learned early on how to handle a knife. A knife is a versatile tool. It can be used for cutting, sharpening and digging tough terrain. It can also be used as a defensive weapon.

2. A compass. If one is lost in unfamiliar place, it would be helpful to have a compass to get one's bearings, especially if there is a tropical canopy which could confuse the direction of sunlight. A compass is a navigation tool. It is also a psychological boost to a lost individual because it gives factual information to a person in a time of high stress or crisis.

3. A copy of the U.S. Army's Survival Manual. The book's description sells the importance of such a resource: Army Survival Manual is the finest single source for self-reliance for all extreme circumstances. A must for anyone who wants to know how to survive in primitive conditions. The book is very straightforward with many pictures and user-friendly illustrations, written in easy to understand language. This is just some of the survival information that this book provides: All-climates: arctic, tropics, temperate forest, savannah or desert. All-terrain survival tactics. The Will to Survive. Identify poisonous snakes, as well as edible and non-edible plants. Survival Medicine. Wilderness medicine. Techniques on first aid. Survival in the hottest or coldest of climates. Survival Planning. Make polluted water potable. How to find water. Ways to trap and collection techniques of water. Covers navigation and compass use. Find direction using the sun and stars. Weapons and Tools. Recognizing signs of land when lost at sea.

4. A first aid kit. One of the most important aspects of survival is one's health. Water is a key necessity. Also, the ability to limit open wounds or cuts because infection could zap one of strength and kill you. A complete first aid kit gives a person the ability to protect against small scrapes and bruises turning into a major medical emergency.

5. A fire starter kit. A flintlock (which is a piece of metal and flint, struck together to create a spark to ignite kindling) is another frontier camper tool which many people are now unfamiliar. One of the most important things for survival is building a fire. Nights even in tropical areas could plunge. Dampness from torrent rains could soak clothing and shelter so the need to be dry to avoid rot and disease is apparent. Otherwise, one would need a good supply of matches in order to start fires.

These five items are in the practical elements for survival. However, each person may have a different understanding of their own skill level or strategy for survival. Some may wish to have a sat-phone, or a flare gun to signal help. Some may wish to have rope in order to lash wood together for a better shelter. No matter the items, one needs a standard of common sense in order to survive.

Some considered Alpert's "test" to young John Locke a survival test.

In 1961 or 1962, Alpert came to Locke's foster home under the guise of evaluating a gifted child for his future education. Alpert presented a five-year-old Locke with a test involving six items. Alpert placed a compass on a table with five other items, asking Locke to identify which "already belong to him." 

The items were a brass compass, a baseball glove, an  old book whose cover bore the title, "Book of Laws"  which Eko will tell Locke a story about the "Book of Law", i.e., the Old Testament, a vile of sand, a knife and  A comic book, Mystery Tales, issue 40 from April 1956 (right before Locke's birth), bearing the subtitle, "What was the secret of the mysterious 'HIDDEN LAND!'"

A time-traveling Locke had previously given Richard a compass, a compass that Richard would return him to Locke years later, in 2007. Locke crashed on the island with a collection of hunting knives.

A young child may have taken the baseball glove or comic book. But Young John debated selecting a container of granules and the compass before settling upon a knife.

Disappointed, Richard collected the items and left, leaving a dejected Locke with his angry mother.

If Alpert's test was a survival test, then Locke in my estimation would have passed because a knife is a good tool. If Alpert's test was learn about Locke's true self, then the knife as a weapon could have been considered evil. But it also could have been symbolic to defend the island (though the vile of sand would have been a closer representation or connection to the island proper). Likewise, the bible could have represented being "good."  The baseball glove and the comic book as being childish. And the compass representative of being able to find one's own way in the world (something Locke clearly did not do in his own life).

Sunday, April 13, 2014


A focal point to the Hurley character were several things that could be interpreted as dreams.

For example, his ability to interact with ghosts. One place that happens in normal people is in dreams.

Ghost dreams:
In general, seeing ghosts in your dream symbolizes aspects of yourself that you fear.
This may involve a painful memory, guilt, or some repressed thoughts. You may be anxious about your ability to achieve something in real life. Or, you may be afraid of death and dying.
If you were frightened by the ghost or it spoke to you, this is a warning that some powerful pressure will be put on you to join in a scheme or activity which is against your principles. Resist the temptation with all your strength, and if necessary get help from a trusted friend or adviser.
If you dreamed of being a ghost, this symbolizes a feeling of disconnection from life and society.
This dream may be a calling for you to move on and abandon your outdated modes of thinking and behavior, and make a positive change in attitude.

Another aspect of the Hurley character was called the "Hurley Bird."  It sounded like it called his name when in danger, near danger or avoiding danger on the island.

Bird dreams:
Birds represent physical and emotional freedom.
They can also represent religious feelings.
Some more meanings: Dreams of black birds represent the “dark side” of the dreamer’s personality.
To dream of bird poop is a lucky omen, foretelling good fortune.
To see bird eggs in your dream symbolizes money.
To see birds hatching in your dream means you will be successful in your goals, but not for a while.
To see a bird nest in your dream represents independence and the need for allies.
To dream of dead or dying birds foretells a period of coming disappointments. You will find yourself worrying over problems that are constantly on your mind.
To dream of aggresive birds (if they were attacking you, or killing people, in your dream) is a warning to be careful with those around you.
Take notice on who you know in your waking life that could remind you of a bird, or who has a name that sounds like a bird’s name – this is the person to watch out for.
To dream of a cooked bird, suggests that you’re feeling guilty about something. You fear that someone will “find you out”, or believe they already have. 

Of course, Flight 815 was a big part of Hurley's life.

Dreams of airplanes are also common, and follow a similar tact as bird dreams.

Airplane dreams:
Escape from the mundane exigencies of the lower world.
The search for higher consciousness.
Travel into the higher realms.

Hurley also was consumed with his personal curse of his lottery winnings.

Wealth dreams:
Wealth for a poor person in a dream means trouble, because wealth can divert a poor person from the straight path. Wealth in a dream also denotes a righteous wife, a successful business, imposing one’s conditions upon his enemy, or subduing the evil of a jealous friend.

These standard dream interpretations mirror the character traits of Hurley in the series. So is it possible to link these dream states to what was the series to conclude that LOST was set inside Hurley's own dreams?

Saturday, April 12, 2014


A recent article in the publication Frontiers in Human Neuroscience tries to pinpoint a supernatural account to a scientific explanation.

A young, healthy, 24 year old  Canadian woman told scientists that she could create her own "out of body experiences."  This concept has been reported before by people who have had "near death" experiences where they state that at some point, they float above themselves (as medical personnel work to revive them), aware of the surroundings and sometimes see a bright one light.

The subject of the study said that she can have these experiences at will. The woman not only described what this was like but researchers studied her brain while she had an “extra-corporeal experience.”

In order to test her account, scientists did a CAT scan study while she was having one of her events. “She appeared surprised that not everyone could experience this,” the study authors wrote.
She first remembers willing herself out of her body when she was in preschool, using it as a “distraction during the time kids were asked to nap.” As she grew up, she assumed “everyone could do it.”

When in such a state she said she could see herself in the air above her body. She could watch herself move but was aware that her “real” body was not moving.

“I feel myself moving, or, more accurately, can make myself feel as if I am moving. I know perfectly well that I am not actually moving,” she told the researchers. “There is no duality of body and mind when this happens, not really. In fact, I am hyper-sensitive to my body at that point, because I am concentrating so hard on the sensation of moving. I am the one moving – me – my body. For example, if I ‘spin’ for long enough, I get dizzy. I do not see myself above my body. Rather, my whole body has moved up. I feel it as being above where I know it actually is. I usually also picture myself as moving up in my mind’s eye, but the mind is not substantive. It does not move unless the body does.”

In the case study, researchers conducted tests that included MRI analysis and questionnaires. What they found was that the brain during such “extra-corporeal experiences” exhibited activation in areas that are consistent with other studies about out-of-body experiences, which neurologists had associated with hallucinations.

The data suggest that the ECE reported here represented an unusual type of kinesthetic imagery that shares some features of previously described out-of-body experiences and some features of more typical motor imagery. The cerebellum also shows strong activation that is consistent with the participant’s report of the impression of movement during the ECE. There are also left middle and superior orbital frontal gyri activations, structures often associated with action monitoring.

The researchers called the woman’s experience “a novel one,” as she was healthy, young and didn’t have any brain abnormalities.

They acknowledged that there are limitations to the study in that it only relies on one woman’s account. However, they wrote that due to her level of detail and unusual descriptions, “we are inclined to take her report at face value.”

Overall, the authors believe this woman’s experience could mean that others have such an ability to will themselves out of their bodies as well, but, perhaps like this woman, they don’t report it because they think it is normal and widely experienced. The researchers also wondered whether if it is an ability held by infants and children that is lost and forgotten without practice.  

The application of an "out of body" experience to LOST is not a new idea. One theory is that the plane crash survivors were having out of body experiences - - - some believe human souls migrate from the body with the same consciousness, awareness and memory. The concept that the main characters were souls freed from their human bodies to re-imagine their lives on an island before moving on in the after life does match up with The Ending.

Friday, April 11, 2014


On September 22, 2004, at 2:15 pm local time, Oceanic Flight 815 left from Gate 23, and took off from Sydney, Australia, scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles at 10:42. 
Approximately six hours into the flight, the crew encountered problems with their radio. Having lost contact with ground control, the pilot decided to alter course and "turn back" towards Fiji. 

Approximately two hours later, having traveled more than 1000 miles off their planned course, the plane hit turbulence, which eventually resulted in the plane's crash. The plane had suffered a mid-air break up and crashed on an uncharted Island, with more than 69 passengers and 2 crew members surviving the crash itself. Later in the series, six of those survivors made it off the Island and became known as the Oceanic Six.
Eight hours after take-off would put Oceanic 815 on the Island around 10:15pm Sydney time, later local time since they were flying eastward (Fiji is 2 time zones later, Tahiti is 4). However, it was clearly mid-day when the plane lands, and on the printout from the Pearl found by Locke and Eko, it is clearly shown that the Swan's system failure occurred on September 22, 2004, at 4:16 pm.  This is another indication of the time discrepancy the Island and the outside world.  Similarly, Ajira Flight 316jumped from night to day after experiencing severe turbulence following a bright yellowy white flash.

At first, everyone believed that the airplane crashed due to mid-air turbulence which tore a part the aircraft. Later, on the island, Desmond believed Flight 815's breakup and crash by his failure to enter The Numbers into the Swan computer, causing a large burst of electromagnetic energy. However, the last explanation was that the plane's off-course deviation and arrival to the Island's airspace was  Jacob supernatural ability to bring  the plane because many of the flight's passengers were candidates to replace him as island guardian.

Two months after the crash, wreckage was found in the Sunda Trench in the Indian Ocean near Bali. All of the passengers were presumed dead. In reality, however, the discovered wreckage was staged by Charles Widmore to keep people finding the real plane crash site.  

There are several aspects of the event time line which really do not make much sense. First, if the real reason Flight 815 crashed on the island was that Jacob made it so, then there really was no reason why the pilots were off-course for two hours before the break-up. Jacob could have just instantly taken the plane and diverted it directly to the island. This would have been more feasible especially if his "powers" got all his potential candidates on Flight 815 in the first place. 

In addition, if Jacob had such supernatural powers to divert and break a part of airplane, did he not also have the power to teleport just his candidates from plane as shown when Ajira plane crash landed on the island? The Oceanic Six members were teleported into different times.

It also quite bothersome that if Jacob's sole goal was to get his candidates to the island, why did he need to "kill" 253 other passengers and crew?

The second issue is why Desmond believed he "caused" the crash by not putting in the Numbers. At the time of this reveal, it was an "ah-ha!" moment of clarity to viewers . . . it actually explained a real island event. However, this explanation was taken away as a red herring by the Jacob story arc. It is strange that Hume, who supposedly was not a candidate, somehow got sucked into the island snow globe. The one person who really wanted to get rid of Hume (by manipulation) was Eloise, who actually knew her own "future-past" of killing her time traveling son.  It is also odd that Widmore would have known about the 815 crash on his mystery island when in fact, he could not find it.

The whole idea that Jacob brought other people to the island, including Widmore's mercenaries, to "test" his candidates also seems to be stretch. How did the violent forces of soldiers or even the smoke monster actually factor into the final decision? It did not. Ghost Jacob merely asked for a volunteer in the end. So all the criss-crossing double crossing events on the island had little basis in resolving the reason why Flight 815 crashed and why there were certain survivors.

When one looks backward from Season 6's explanation of the plane crash (Jacob's doing), it really puts no context into the island events. The main characters were like lab rats running a confusing maze for no apparent reason. There is an overlay of cruelty by a bored, unsympathetic supernatural figure, Jacob. Why would he have taunted the pilots with 2 hours of being off-course? Why would he have snapped the plane in two, killing most of the passengers and crew on board? Why would he allow the other inhabitants to kill each other off, then go after his precious candidates?

The LOST story line was like the plane crash: an ugly debris field of a tangled mess of ideas and plots which cannot be put back together.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


There is probably a connection between the human heart and the heart of the island. Both represent the cycle of life and death. Both want to be controlled by other people. Both are powerful forces for good or evil. And the basic literary role each symbolizes, could be applied to the other heart.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


You can wrap a rich story around a simple idea. For example, in Casablanca, the story world centered around a simple piece of paper called Letters of Transit, which allowed the holder free access out of  war torn North Africa to America. The establishment of this simple idea, freedom by means of a piece of paper, cascades into a series of mysteries, deals, romance, betrayals and resolution of some big concepts.

LOST also featured a large cast of character actors like Casablanca. But while the Bogart film centered around a bar, the LOST world was spread out over an island, then dimensionally, all over the world.

LOST started off with a simple plot point: rescue. Rescue meant hope to the survivors just as the possibility of receiving letters of transit meant hope for those refugees trapped in North Africa.

One could see Jack as being the Bogart character, Rick, who even though he did not want to be a leader of any cause, was caught up in the middle of most every other character's life.

Kate would have been Ilsa, the woman for whom Rick won then lost due to the war. In the end, Rick had to let Ilsa go on the plane, just as on the island, Kate left with Jack's rival, Sawyer, the Victor Laszlo character who would never get along with Jack.

Ben could be symbolic of the loose power manipulation of Capt. Renault. The Nazi major could be played by Widmore.

Hurley "fits" the Sydney Greenstreet role in size of his suit, as well as being a background supporting character consumed with the idea of controlling supplies in Casablanca.

Peter Lorre's character, Ugarte, was a hapless dreamer who overplayed his hand with the letters which eventually cost him his life. Locke had a similar role in LOST; he had a chance for complete rescue of his heart and soul, but misplayed the cards dealt to him.

But what would have been the letters of transit in CasaLOST?

Season 6's conclusion apparently states that the transit point for the main characters was the sideways world, an after life destination, where the lost souls from the island could reunited and remember their lives together, in order to "move on." Bogart's resolution in Casablanca was to hand freedom to the woman he still loved by putting her on a plane to America, sacrificing his own happiness and fortune, for a greater purpose. LOST has no such noble ending for Jack or the other characters. Heaven is a nebulous concept in LOST, just as the fog was symbolic of change in the end of Casablanca.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


For an unrelated reason, the childhood film, The Wizard of Oz, popped into my head.

Many fans have thought to find parallels of other literary works in LOST. The Hollywood saying is that nothing is ever original. I don't recall whether anyone actually made an illusions to the Oz story framework to the LOST adventure story.

It does have some of the general elements. There is a dog. There is a girl. And there are some mixed up people found in a weird, supernatural place.

As Oz is a nickname for Australia, which played a prominent setting in the series.

So whether the LOST saga is a re-telling of the Oz story is going to be a stretch. But, why not?

The easiest connection to both is the dog; Vincent as Toto. But that leads to an immediate problem. Walt was the owner of Vincent, and he left the island fairly early in the story line. Toto's owner, Dorothy, was the centerpiece character. Walt was not. But later in the series, Shannon took over care and custody of Walt.

Shannon was supposed to be a more important character in the original writer's guide. She was not the girl next store type (like Kate), but an attractive, selfish, rich snob who would have been totally out of place on the island. The idea that the island survival world would be filtered through such a character would have been okay.

Which character needed some courage? Hurley would have been a prime example of a shy, self-conscious individual who needed support to do just about anything, including asking a girl out on a date. The island would give Hurley many opportunities to learn and apply courage.

Which character needed some heart? Sawyer only held a black heart close to his vest. He did not feel for any other person; it was all a means to a con man's end. His life was solely focused on revenge for his parents deaths. The island would give Sawyer the opportunity to feel compassion and purpose.

Which character needed a brain? Locke did not think things fully through (most of the time). He had difficulty putting his ideas into reasonable action plans. He was a horrible judge of character. He rarely learned from his mistakes. The island would give Locke opportunities to learn about himself, learn to interact with other people, and learn to judge character.
So it is possible to fit LOST characters into the format of the Oz story. In fact, the original story line had Sawyer and Shannon becoming a couple, which would solve two problems: Shannon "finding" a purpose in her life, and Sawyer finding a person he could love. Hurley would find the courage to ask Libby out; and later, the courage to accept responsibility to the island protector. Locke would let his emotion override his brain's common sense, but he was the first person to figure out that the island was a magical place that needed his protection.

But the Oz story had a linear path. The gold pavers were to lead the cast to the Wizard, and for Dorothy, her wish to return home. In LOST, there was no golden road to a castle. The closest thing would have been the lighthouse and Jacob as the man behind the curtain.  But of the LostOz cast, only Hurley got to that lighthouse. And that meeting with Jacob did not give Hurley any more courage to forge ahead to confront MIB.

One could argue the golden brick road was symbolic as the characters path to heaven. Heaven (sideways world view) was the alleged end game to LOST, but not to Oz.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Of all the main characters, John Locke appeared to be the most "lost."

Even mentally impaired Hurley had a doting mother, and could have some social friends.

Jack had very few close friends, but he had the respect of his peers (until he went off the deep end).

Kate destroyed her own family, but found one girlfriend who was also running away from her troubles (Sawyer).

Sayid had betrayed much of his past, but he yearned to be reunited with his true love, Nadia.

Sawyer had the single minded avenger mentality to find the man who destroyed his family.

But Locke had nothing to counterbalance his own mental pain.

He had no friends.
He could not keep friends.
He lost Helen, the one person who could have given him a real life and home.
But he could not get beyond his own vision of personal hell.

And this lack of grip led him into fantasy delusions, such as being able to be an outback warrior even though he was confined to a wheelchair.

If the LOST story begins with the boarding of Flight 815 in Sydney, the man in the front of the line is Locke. He would have had an opportunity to view all his fellow passengers in the waiting area. He was the first to be seated by the crew, so he was on the plane to observe each passenger as they found their seats and stowed their luggage. He had the opportunity to make snap judgments on each person.

There is no question that his mental state was of bitterness, frustration and seething because he lacked control over the people and things around him.

And with this information, and his mind wired to play fantasy-strategy games, Locke could have channeled his anger against his fellow passengers. Misery loves company.

Could Locke's unbalanced emotional state have changed the course of Flight 815?
Could Locke's boiling anger explode the fuselage of the aircraft?
Could Locke's dreams of grandeur of himself created the Island as a symbol for what he wanted to be?

In any supernatural mystery, anything is possible.

Locke was the first, and only flight passenger, to have a deep "connection" to the island. He believed that he became one with it. He wanted to protect it from outsiders. He wanted to control it. He wanted to lead everyone through his vision of the present and his future.

As with everything in Locke's life, even this got screwed up by his own behavior. He had the opportunity to convince his fellow survivors that they should follow him because he had the skills to tame the island. But he failed. And once he failed, he began to search for a new island meaning to propel himself back in the spotlight of leadership. Again, he failed.

It would seem like Locke's life is a broken record of failure.

But if one looks at the island, it is a place of grand failure. Jacob was a failure, since Crazy Mother and his brother were killed. Jacob was a failure in bringing over centuries thousands of candidates to the island to watch them fail. Ben was a failure because his leadership dream was destroyed when he killed Jacob. Jack's pinnacle achievement in leadership (saving his remaining friends) led to his death for no apparent reason. Nothing here is noble. Nothing here is sacrifice. Nothing here is true redemption.

If the island is a symbol of failure, then it could be called Locke's Island.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


The origin of the smoke monster.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


The idea is that one could condense the drama of an entire film into one frame. It is not a new idea; movie posters attempt to capture the essence of the film.

Is there one frame, one image, one picture, that sums up everything LOST?

Is it:

1.  The graveyard next to the beach where many characters were buried?

2.  Desmond turning the fail safe key?

3.  Jack dying in the bamboo grove with Vincent at his side?

4. The smoke monster billowing above the tropical canopy?

5. The wreckage of Flight 815 on the beach?

6. John Locke in the coffin?

7. The imagine of the island deep under water?

8. The large pendulum device in the basement of Eloise's church?

9. Jack identifying his father's body in the Sydney morgue?

10. Flight 815 breaking up in the sky over the Dharma barracks?

In all the advertising posters for the show, the main element had always been The Island.