Monday, June 30, 2014


Another fan based theory was allegedly attributed to a cast member. It basically states that the series is all about the characters, and their collective fate to meet and interact on the island.

Fan Theory: All the survivors were fated, as John Locke has said, to be on the flight, and to end up on the island. In other words, the island chose them.

The pre-island connections between castaways keep adding up as the seasons went by and the flashbacks were interconnected at times. Incidents like Claire’s psychic convincing her to take the fatal flight (and playing a part in Eko getting on), Hurley making the flight despite all odds, Jack talking his way (or, his dad's body's way) on board and Sawyer getting deported lend a lot of credence. Every character we see seems to have had a reason for being on that flight of all flights.

Fans also use the following quote as evidence of this theory:  "Lost is a very big metaphor for every single character's mental state of being, psychological, and emotional state of being and we're on this island to be mentally, psychologically, and emotionally found. We were all chosen specifically because we will facilitate that for one another," said Evangeline Lilly.

Even though the producers  said early in the series that there’s a rational, scientific explanation for everything that’s happened on the show, that statement created skepticism with each passing season as the faith and mysticism have been become major themes.

In the post-ending conversations, the producers did say that the show was "character driven" and that the focus was truly on the characters. They also indicated that the final season was to raise the big questions about life, its meaning and people in one's life, but leaving those answers to the viewers to decide.

Since there was no rational, scientific explanation for the sideways universe or the parallel lives of the characters themselves, if LOST was merely a disjointed "character study" many people would find that a poor bait and switch.

There is no problem to have the story "hook" that a diverse group of characters were somehow "fated" to come together to do something important.

Fate is the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power. It is the course of someone's life, or the outcome of a particular situation for someone or something, seen as beyond their control. At times, individuals come to the conclusion that the outcome of a situation was "destined to happen,"  turn out, or act in a particular way.

In Greek & Roman Mythology, it is  the three goddesses who preside over the birth and life of humans. Each person's destiny was thought of as a thread spun, measured, and cut by the three Fates, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos.

"A fate worse than death" is a very old saying which foretells that something unpleasant will happen to someone. Perhaps, the characters being sent to the island was a fate worse than death, because they could not die until they redeemed their past - - - something that was holding them back. The fate theory is a subset of the theories that believe that characters were "tested" by supernatural beings. The reason for the tests is unclear, and the reward apparently was the ability to "move on" in the after life.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Another fan theory from the later seasons dealt with trying to answer the question of what was the light in the secret cave that Jacob was protecting.

Fan Theory: The Light is Time.
The Egyptians partially blocked and channeled the light (i.e., time) and began to manipulate it. In fact it appears that the Egyptians installed some sort of valve device that could alter the flow of time, depending on how the cork was placed in the device time could be slowed, sped up, or even regulated to flow normally (as it was in the end of the End). The instant that the Egyptians manipulated time there was two serious side-effects. First, the past, was no longer just a memory. The past became an actual entity because now the past exists in more than just the mind, now the past actually exists in the real world because by manipulating time you are not allowing the past to be “let go” (by creating the ability to travel back to it). Ultimately the entire message of the show LOST was our struggle to let go of the past and not be consumed by it, yet LOST took this concept a step further and designed the show around our character’s battling their pasts in a very real way. In LOST the flash backs of our characters not only told the back story but also helped to define the monster which was a combination of all of their pasts and others that had come before them. Thus, the birth of the smoke monster was a side effect of the very first manipulation of time.

Therefore, the ancient Egyptians were the first to manipulate time, but in doing so they created the smoke monster which is really nothing more than a physical version of the past.

The light = time (the future, hope, etc.)
The smoke = the past (the exhaust of our lives)

The second side effect of the first instance of time travel was that the area around the source of light/time was no longer attached to it’s surroundings either geographically or in time. The entire area was “lifted” from it’s location and had become a “floating” island in time. Finding the island took more than just knowing geography but also took knowing how to determine where the island might be in time via reading other similar electromagnetic pockets of energy around the world. The ancient Egyptians secretly handed down the instructions for locating the island in time from generation to generation (eventually ending up in the hands of Eloise Hawking).

This is a more elaborate version of the "second chance" theories, wherein the main characters were brought to the island to have a "second chance" to redeem their inner fears, demons or mistakes. However, this theory postulates that the way one can re-live the past is to actually go back in the past.

The ability to harness the "power" of time would drive men like Widmore to do anything to get their hands on the island. By being able to control time, a person could be immortal, rich and powerful. One could move people around the globe like chess pieces to change past events to re-write the future.

The explanation that the ancient Egyptians found the source of time, as a tangible thing, tries to tie in the Egyptian materials shown throughout the series. The Egyptians were highly advanced in engineering, mathematics and astrology. Further, ancient people did not view time as a linear constant that modern mankind thinks of time today. The ancients thought time was cyclical, like the seasons.

The idea that the smoke monster was the creation of the first attempt to control time (by embodying the past in a cloud of smoke) appeals to the clues that how did the smoke monster manipulate itself by creating past memories for Jack (his father) or Kate (her horse)? The smoke monster was more than just the concentrated events of the past, since it could also manipulate matter to create human beings and interact with others in present.

If LOST was merely about letting go one's regrets, that seems to be an underwhelming lesson for the show. Because not all characters seem to redeem themselves or change their ways. It also does not fully explain why some characters died on the island after confronting their past regrets instead of living forward in the present (like Boone, who found out that Shannon no longer needed him and vice versa, was killed by falling off a cliff).

The light and dark themes could be time (present) and the past. It could also represent in Egyptian culture life (light) and death (darkness) for the Sun god, Ra, had a nightly journey through the underworld only to rise at the dawn of each new day.

Even those who may have understood the light being time, were not able to control it. Turning the FDW teleported a person backward in time to the North African desert. Eloise Hawking had trouble finding the island since it may have been moving in both time and space. If she could not control the island, who could?

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Another fan theory that was quite popular back in the day. This theory began near the end of the third season, and modified through to the end.

Fan Theory: Time Loop Theory 
It suggests the island itself is in a perpetual time loop, disconnected from the time of the rest of the world, and pushing the button was resetting the time loop to keep it there. It's why people don't age, why women can't give birth and much, much more.

It's a very intriguing concept, but the time-travel exploration of the past two seasons suggests other ways these characters are zipping through time. It is like Groundhog Day but with a twist, as the day's events don't repeat themselves,  just the characters biological state stays constant.

But there is a question why some people time shift and others did not. There is another question why some people like Desmond mentally time shifted and others did not. Some fans believe in the end time travel was not an explanation but red herring filler to keep the series on the air.

But for the sake of argument, if the island was in its own "time bubble," what could that mean? Clearly, one could consider this the "fountain of youth," a mythical place that explorers have tried to find since landing in the New World. Perhaps that is why Widmore was keen to return; after leaving the island, he began to age normally. Likewise, when Alpert was on the plane leaving the island, his hair began to gray.

But how time worked on the island would still be subject to debate. Women on the island did get pregnant and go through the first two trimesters. It was near the end that things would go wrong and the expectant mothers would die. So time does not fit a linear pattern, or even a daily skip. It was once described as a rapid river, and as such it meanders and at times circles back around events (rocks or obstacles).

If the island was out of time, then it would not have been difficult to find because an island is a stationary object. However, it was difficult to find so there is an element of spacial flux at work. Daniel's rocket experiment confirmed that the island itself was a moving object. This result defies normal Earth physics.

This brings into the realm of possibilities that this island is in a different dimension, where are thoughts and truths about physics and nature are different - - - altered but close to our experiences of reality.

If the characters are in a place that has shifted from both normal time and space, how could anyone leave to go back to their old life? The logical answer is that they cannot. They are trapped in this time-space sphere. But we were shown powerful people like Jacob leaving the island to recruit "candidates" to come to the island to joust with the Man in Black. We don't know if the island universe is a parallel one where everyone on Earth has a time-space shifted twin, but that fits into the mold of consistent sci-fi logic. The island then would be a sub-universe in a twin parallel universe, which would then mean that the "real" characters in our world were not harmed, aware or lost on the island. And the last statement is the problem with a time loop theory: to explain the concepts of the time bubble leads one to discount the connection to our own world.

For if the island time-space bubble was floating about on Earth, then those captured inside its time-space matrix would never be able to leave. Six days on the island could equate to six decades in the world outside the bubble. If one thinks that an element of quantum mechanics like time is embedded in each living organism's DNA, then removing that living thing from its normal environment would most likely cause death.

Time travel, mental time skipping and the like was a real problem in the LOST story lines. It was not well explained and mostly shown in contrary context to normal science fiction standards.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Another fan theory to try to explain LOST. It deals with the idea that the viewers did not see what was really going on.

Fan Theory: It is all a hallucination.
The island isn't exactly ''real.'' All characters are aspects of one person (usually attributed to Jack or potentially supernatural characters like Hurley and Walt); or everyone is still on the plane trying to survive massive turbulence by escaping into a mass delusion.

Many people thought that the main characters were part of some collective unconscious state, from being all mental patients, to being coma patients hooked up to a central processing center, to being avatars in the world of cyberspace (like Ghost in the Shell). Hallucinations would neatly explain many things, like Walt's comic book polar bear and appearances by Jack's dad and Kate's horse. Hurley's imaginary friend "Dave" also puts into play the mental health issues relative to hallucinations, whether normal or drug induced. Also, conspicuous lit references like An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge suggest that not everything is what it seems on the island.

In order for a hallucination theory to work, the subject(s) need to be confined in some limited space in order to be monitored and then fed the drugs to continue to cause the behavior. There was once an episode in Max Headroom which is an analogy to this premise; a company used a drug cocktail to put people into REM sleep in order to record, then re-sell the people's dreams as entertainment. The profit motivation to keep the characters in a fried brain state makes sense since it would be a cruel but realistic endeavor by corrupt scientists. One of the academic great quests is trying to understand the human mind, how it works, and better, how to manipulate it.

Keeping hundreds of characters confined in one mental stage would be like trying to herd cats. Since every person's mind has its own unique memories, dreams and escape fantasies, it would hard to imagine a reasonable situation where someone could keep those hundred subjects narrowly focused on a single setting: the island.

This theory may have merit, but it would really be a disappointing conclusion to the show. As some would remark, this would put LOST plot twist resolution on par with Dallas' horrible "it was all a dream" reboot.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Another fan theory from early in LOST's initial TV run. It bridges the gap between death and rebirth in a grus

Fan Theory: Brain harvest.
The Oceanic 815 passengers actually died in the crash  but "their brains were salvaged and preserved on ice." And then a super-sophisticated future society salvaged their brains and implanted them into new genetically engineered clones, and put them on the island. The Others are part of this futuristic society, creating an "elaborate psychodrama" to help these unreconstructed 21st century personalities evolve spiritually, so they'll be fit to live in the "Brave New World" that exists outside the island.

Again, this theory tries to explain the initial gut reaction of viewers that the passengers of Flight 815 perished in the crash. It does a very LOST plot twist, to reveal yes they died, but not in the conventional sense.

The island as a stage set from a future society to "rehabilitate" century old brains is pure science-fiction. But as a concept, workable. It would also help explain what the smoke monster was: it was how mankind would fully evolve beyond a physical body and into a form of matter-energy beings.

It would be like archeologists from the 28th Century finding a group of computer hard drives in a secure government facility. In order to study and understand the 20th-21st centuries, they would want to "reconstruct" those memory banks.  With human subjects, advanced technology could be used to clone the actual humans and reconnect their brain's memories to see how each individual's personality would manifest itself in a series of experiments and tests. With such technology, the advanced scientists could test the limits of human free will, or suggest alternative outcomes in decision making processes. Or, as suggested in the theory, recondition the subjects "primitive thinking" to conform with their advanced society.

The concept that the characters were probed and forced to make difficult choices with little information or analysis was a theme inside the show's tangent plot lines. And the fact that each person was having strong memory flashbacks while on the island could give rise to the notion that the strongest memories would have survived the best in suspended animation. It also fits into the future story lines about the island being able to give "rebirth."

But one flaw in the theory is that someone with advanced scientific knowledge would have had to preserved the characters brains immediately after the crash. We have no evidence of an advanced alien medical staff on the island prior to the crash. And if there were advanced beings on the island to begin with, there would be no need to wait centuries in order to experiment with these human subjects.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


In another view of the LOST attic of fan theories, this was a new one on me. This one was created around the first-second season:

Fan Theory: Charles Widmore is using the island to test out psychic marketing. Widmore and the Others are both separately trying to make use of the facilities left behind by the Dharma Initiative for their own ends. And Widmore wants to use the arcane Dharma science to create a new form of "direct marketing" — beaming product marketing directly into your consciousness. And the Oceanic 815 castaways didn't crash on the island, they landed there and were fooled into thinking they crashed. It's possible that Widmore brought the castaways to the island to use them as "test subjects for Widmore product/market research testing." In any case, Jack and the other castaways will discover in the second season finale that they didn't really crash, when they find a landing strip hidden on the other side of the island.

This theory tries to explain away two major issues with many early fans. First, that the passengers on the plane would not have survived a plane crash at cruising altitude. In this theory, there was no plane crash; it was a mental deception. Second, it attempts to explain why and how Widmore became so powerful on the mainland and so obsessed with the island's "powers."

There is plenty of evidence to support a mental-psychic-human experimentation theory to the show. It does help lessen the confusion about Jacob and the tangents like time travel (it did not happen because it was programmed to confuse the subjects). It puts a person like Jacob not as immortal god, but the head of research and development. He recruited test subjects to run grand mental experiments like Widmore's own son did with lab rats at Oxford. Daniel claimed to have found a means of time travel, but it is more likely he had a nervous breakdown knowing that his mental training techniques were being used by Widmore to manipulate a person's free will.

What the Others would have wanted with the Dharma technology would be similar: cult mind control.  If Jacob was not working for Widmore, he would have been a Jimmy Jones cult leader. Or, perhaps, both because the Others were actually earlier "test subjects" whose minds had such adverse reactions to the experiments they could no longer be returned to normal society on the mainland.

The theory was correct in predicting that there would be an unknown airstrip on the island. The theory is at odds with any product or marketing research analysis to the test subjects. If the focus was on creating habits or product preferences, the island environment did not allow for product recognition or choices. In fact, only a few of the castaways actually were subjected to the intense Dharma manipulative behavior exercises at a station: Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Carl, Walt and Desmond. The general "fear" of island dangers, such as the manipulative story of "the disease" and the terror of the smoke monster, were probably more control mechanisms to keep the subjects herded at the beach camp.

The idea that the castaways were subject to mental punishment and mind control dangers can be a good story line, but for what purpose? If Widmore was the man behind the curtain, what was he trying to get out of ruining other people's lives. He may have just been a meglomaniac himself, and torture was his amusement. It could be the ruins of a failed "re-education" process for the military to deal with anything from post-traumatic stress disorder to training cold blood assassins. But Widmore already allegedly had all the money in the world, why would being able to control purchase habits of nations make him any better off (richer, yes; a market manipulator of all goods, yes)? A military-industrial use of mental corruption seems to be a richer avenue of study than targeting preferences over brands of paper towels.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


The internet is a wonderful attic of miscellaneous information. In one cobweb corner resides other lost fan theories that were compiled over the years. We will review a few of the most interesting ones.

Fan Theory: The Dharma Initiative is using the island as a "sort of human recycling plant," taking "damaged, fallen people" and either rehabilitating them or junking them. And the Smoke Monster is the quality-control mechanism in this factory, testing people to see if they deserve to live or not.

This theory must presuppose that the world will have a bleak future where resources will be very limited and death panels will need to segregate who should live and who should die. In the 1960s and 1970s, there were academic and political discussions about world population growth and increases in starvation in third world countries. "Zero Population Growth" was the buzzword in advanced industrialized countries, whose birth rates today have plummeted to below replacement levels (which has caused the unintended consequence of immigration friction).

This theory also has the feel of a post-World War III reconstruction. In Europe, Nazi Germany had rehabilitation camps where people were sent to be "retrained" into nationalized policy citizens. In elitist and arrogant societies, those in control may perceive the lower classes as mere commodities or property to be discarded if they were "broken" or no longer served their purposes.

There were plenty of evidence to support this theory in the show. Dharma was powerful enough to create an elaborate series of scientific stations which mostly concentrated on the collection of data and manipulation of human beings. Room 23 was clearly a mind control facility. Other stations, like the Swan, were created to trick people into a certain mindless level of behavioral control, like typing in numbers into a computer every 108 minutes.

The one downfall of this theory is apparent. If the situation was dire, this island facility is too small to take care of the masses of broken humanity. Instead, one would have to look at the island as a prototype facility, to test the scientific theories of human recycling. The fact that early Dharma visitors "volunteered" like Ben's father to come to the island reinforces the notion that Dharma was preying on the weak or weak minded. Likewise, kidnapping professionals like Juliet to run experiments would show the ruthless above-the-law arrogance of corrupt political elite.

The other problem with this theory is that by the time 815ers crashed on the island, Dharma had been dethroned from power. The Others or native people were in charge of the island and its facilities (most were closed). The Others had no reason to continue Dharma's work. The 815ers may have had their individual personal issues, but they were not collectively "damaged" beyond repair.

And as an origin story for the smoke monster, it tries to make the advanced technology of Dharma as being the manifestation of the "evil" that Dharma would have represented in its hey day. However, with the ancient hieroglyphs contained in the temple and island monuments, the smoke monster appears to be older than Dharma - - - that the smoke monster was already present on the island when Dharma came to build its facilities. Whether Dharma "captured and trained" the smoke monster to do its bidding would be the subject of debate, because we still don't know whether Smokey was an animal, an alien or evil incarnate.

The "testing" of individuals may have been a way of getting around the purgatory theme that the show's producers denounced early in the first season. The concept of "testing" souls is also part of the Egyptian religious rites. The theory that damaged souls have a chance to "redeem" themselves before dying is a new, secular concept. However, there appears to be more gray area in the LOST story lines than black and white moral lessons.

This Dharma theory would have had a stronger argument if Dharma was still an active player when Flight 815 crashed on the island.

Monday, June 23, 2014


It is highly unlikely that a series like LOST would today be made on a traditional network.

It seems all the unconventional shows are being made on HBO, Showtime, SyFy or BBC America.

The fracturing of the Nielsen rating viewer is also a factor in why large ensemble cast shows with long serial plot lines have fallen out of favor. They are just too hard for casual viewers to follow.If you can't follow, they will not watch.

Cable television could get away with running a full episodic season for a television show because there was not the advertising fever in the executive suites.  Cable networks made their initial money from just being on cable operators menus with carriage fees. But as the cable network has matured and the viewership fractured from the Big Four over-the-air networks, advertising has become more of an issue for every type of broadcaster.

In addition, new forms of distribution have started to make a run even at cable broadcasters. Netflix and Amazon are using streaming technology to run their own new programming to viewers. YouTube had been running advertising on its "channels" for years under a model of mostly free, user created content.

The new streaming shows fit into old network shoes like one camera situational comedies rather than grand, on location ensemble dramas like LOST. And the new medium has not been able to have the support to keep a show running for six years.

In all broadcast entertainment, shows are hits and misses. Every year the networks have a "pilot" season where hundreds of test shows are reviewed to determine whether they will be picked up. Out of that production company pitches, only a hand full will get the green light. It is a long shot to get anything substantial made today, even though there are more outlets of show distribution.

The economics of the entertainment industry is growing, but at the same time narrowing because viewers can cut the cable cord and be entertained in various alternative ways. The newer game consoles have tried to recapture some of those lost demographics by integrating TV and streaming multitasking to create a "new" TV experience.

If the show runners came to a network today to pitch LOST as a Survivor meets Agatha Christie meets Star Trek, a network executive would reply that they already have those shows; do you something else to pitch?

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Many ancient cultures had elaborate burial rituals, with some of the concepts unclear to modern archaeologists.

In ancient Egypt, there were burial manuals, Book of the Dead, which were supposed to help the deceased in his or her passage through the underworld in order to have their souls reunite with their body in paradise.

The scarab beetle was a significant symbol in that culture. It is known to roll large balls of dung and depositing them in deep burrows. The female beetle would lay its eggs inside the ball. When hatched, the larvae would consume the ball as a food source. When consumed, the young beetles would emerge from the burrow. At that time, the ancients believed they were "born."

The ancient Egyptians worshipped the beetles as "Khepera," associated with the creator god, Atum. Khepera was thought to use its antenna to symbolically push the setting sun along the sky, which was directly related to the passage from night (the underworld) to the day (rebirth).

Scarab amulets were often placed over the heart of the mummified deceased. These heart scarabs were supposed to be weighed against "the feather of truth" during the underworld's final judgment ritual. Many were inscribed with magic spells. At that ritual, a person's heart, if heavy with sin, would be weighed against a feather. If one's heart weighed less than a feather, the soul could move on to paradise. If not, the soul was damned to eternal nothingness.

The Egyptians took things that they saw in nature, used them as symbols to connect with their gods, in order to bridge the gap between this world and their god's paradise after death.

The concept of mummification is another key aspect of the burial rites. Just as with the scarab beetle, a body is encased and then buried in the ground. It was that procedure that would lead to a metamorphosis from an Earthly body to change into a spiritual one that could move on in the after life. Again, the ancients saw in nature a caterpillar spin a cocoon to seemingly die in a airless pouch, only to later emerge as a "new" being, a butterfly. This is what the Egyptians thought was going to happen to them after death: that their body would be transformed into a new being - - - the five aspects of the human soul reuniting with a new body in heaven.

We dwell on Egyptian mythology because LOST itself dwelled on Egyptian mythology a lot. This was an intentional choice by the creators and writers of the series to have hieroglyphs in the temple which contained passages from the Book of the Dead. One has to assume that so much time and effort in the background words and symbols was important to understand the series as a whole.

Whether the Island's main characters were going through an underworld journey or symbolically going through a metamorphosis of their soul, mind or personality, it really does not matter in this discussion. What the Island was trying to accomplish was to give each person an opportunity to have an introspective ritual for which that person could realize a fundamental change so that they could be "reborn" and live a better life (now or in the future). For some, the future was death itself. Others, it was the opportunity to live a better, more meaningful life, off the island.

Whether the LOST writers pulled off this complex symbolism to actual character development is debatable because of the conflicting narratives used throughout the series. But seen through the eyes of an ancient Egyptian priest, LOST does contain many ancient life and death concepts.

Friday, June 20, 2014


LOST was a great show during its day, but it has not had the staying power of other television franchises.

LOST never made a dent in syndication (in reality based on the way it was serialized instead of the original self-contained episodes).

LOST never made a dent in post-run secondary sales in DVD box sets.

There was some merchandise along the way (with a great deal fan created).

There were some secondary works, but again it was mostly fan fiction or fan books taking an academic approach to the symbolism and theories of the show.

More importantly, LOST did not create any groundswell for a spin-off or continuation series.

The closest thing was the added short in the box set for Hurley's time as island guardian (which was a lame attempt to answer some irked fans unanswered questions) but fell flat. It would have been possible to pitch a Hurley-Island spin off with Ben, but the reaction to The End made it difficult to understand the need or want to rework a skipped segment as its own show.

LOST did not have the staying power to fans like shows like Star Trek, which continue to have a loyal and hard core fan base. LOST had no fan conventions. LOST had no toy figurine lines. LOST had no movie specials. LOST had no secondary cast series. LOST did not spawn a novel or comic book catalog.

LOST got lost in its own story telling in such a way that there was reasonable way to make future derivative works.

A fractured fan base did not help, either. For those who loved the ending wanted more - - - to continue to connect with their favorite characters. For those who were mad about the ending - - - they wanted nothing more to do with the series. For those who were sad about the ending, they either sit and ponder what could have been or have faded away.

It is like an associate of mine who said he was going on vacation. When asked if he was going some place unique like Hawaii, he replied that he had been to Hawaii once, and he had no desire to go back. Once was enough for him. He had no reason to go back. In a way, when bearded Jack kept thinking he had to go back to the island he really had no reason to go back. In the same way, for many viewers today, they have no reason to go back either.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Another "what if" alternative for LOST: going to school.

If LOST was set in a school environment, how would the premise and characters change?

It is noted that there were several educators and highly skilled people in the cast of characters: Arzt was a science teacher, Juliet a medical researcher, Jack a physician, etc.

If we put the characters in a small liberal arts college in an isolated forest in a small rural outback setting, during the summer when the campus is at its bare minimum of staff and students, what would happen?

We could imagine the faculty including Jack, Juliet, Artz and Ben (from his sideways role).

We can imagine summer students who need to bump up their grades: Hurley, Claire, Charlie, Boone, Shannon and exchange student Sayid.

We could have the intense grad students in Daniel and Charlotte.

We can imagine staff or administrators like Eloise and Widmore running a very bureaucratic and controlling university.

If the premise of this show is "what is the meaning of life," this tranquil college setting could turn on its head when a military-industrial experiment goes terribly wrong - - - and a smoke monster is created that terrorizes the campus community.

The Others, or in reality the nearby rural town folk, get upset with the mysterious but dangerous things happening to their people that is traced back to the university. Many of the townies seek revenge on the administration and student body, i.e. a mob of Ethans going after college students and staff members. Locke may be their leader, making bad decisions that increase tensions and cause more problems.

The campus, now totally isolated and cut off from the world by the Others sabotage, (no communications, no cell phones, no internet, no access to roads, etc), now must pull together their own personal ambitions and agendas to "work together" in order to survive the brewing summer war.

In this plot setting, there is a clear understanding of what is happening to the main characters. The cast can still have their individual traits, flaws, character problems, manipulations and back stabbing twists, but at least the sides are known and the dangers have realism.

This alternative story universe could have worked and eliminated the need for red herrings like time travel and sideways alternative worlds.

Monday, June 16, 2014



In Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, the Grim Reaper visits a lovely little dinner party to inform the guests that unfortunately they're dead. After refusing wine and poking a man in the eye, he leads them to heaven, where there is, of course, a nice musical number.

The same could be true for LOST.

Instead of a dinner party, the guests are passengers on a plane.

And instead of a direct flight to heaven, the guests are given one last adventure on a mysterious island.

Instead of the Grim Reaper, it is Christian who gets to spoil the adventurers surreality.

Jacob is the reaper because he was the only one who could bring or allow people to the island.
Christian was an island smoke monster vision in order to get Jack to play "island adventure" with his new "friends."

It is a nice children's theme birthday bash, the island adventure. Part laser tag, part follow the leader, part pin the blame on the donkey . . . good stuff.

Such a light and whimsical idea of the island as an after life carnival attraction run by Jacob, and immortal who tries to give lost children one last ride of their lives, presents a more sympathetic view of the roller coaster island events.

If the producers and writers now claim they were trying to present Big Questions like the meaning of life . . . . why skirt the issue? Python embraced it and poked the viewer in the eye with the absurdity of a cocktail hour purgatory.

So why can't LOST be perceived the same way?

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Media editors like to reconstitute old stories on their anniversary dates, and throw the banner "something of the century" in order to get views.

We have passed the anniversary of the alleged "Trial of the Century," the O.J. Simpson murder case.

It is only mildly debatable of what the facts of the case disclosed to the public; but there are still a divide on whether O.J. was the killer of his estranged wife. He was found innocent by a criminal jury but found guilty in a civil wrongful death suit (in which the burden of proof was less).

Simpson sits today in a Nevada prison on an unrelated conviction.

The Simpson case does show America at its best and its worst. And television was the center piece of this cultural roller coaster ride.

Simpson was a star football player. He was a powerful running back who set records in the NFL when pro football was just starting to make its inroads onto American television viewing habits on Sunday afternoons. Sundays were the traditional day of rest; family time not television viewing time. Simpson's mad dashes for touchdowns helped solidify football as the new American pastime.

Simpson was a celebrity. He got national commercials. He was cast in movie roles. He was living the American dream. He was rich, successful, and had the perks of stardom even after his football career was over.

Just as the media likes to build up celebrity stories, it likes to tear them down.

When the slow speed Bronco chase was shown live on national TV, where a fleeing O.J. was attempting to avoid an arrest warrant, the birth of the new celebrity trial had began. This domino led to the LA trial being televised nationally. It led to attorneys playing to the camera and not to the court. It led to an extremely drawn out soap opera that in any other non-televised courtroom would have been slapped down to a one week trial at best. But the weeks droned on because it was "free" programming for the cable network "news" channels who were in the infancy of building audiences. It spawned a cottage industry of legal "analysts" doing play by play and color commentary like the trial was a football game. This led to the current malaise of over analysis and tabloid coverage of any legal case on television.

In some respects, the "reality" of a real man on trial for "real" murders was something that TV executives found "compelling" television. The concept of "reality" television was born in the midst of the muddy gray areas of the situation. Witnesses became quasi-celebrities which birthed the cable culture of the D-list celebrity who is famous for doing next to nothing. In certain respects, this was also the dawn of being rewarded for bad behavior - - - a reality show staple.

So with this backdrop, LOST hit the airwaves approximately 10 years after the Simpson circus. As such, some viewers may have found it a breath of fresh air - - - an intelligently written show with a large ensemble cast of relative unknown actors in a situation familiar to anyone with a basic education in literature: the castaway story.

Some critics immediately called LOST the show of the decade; a must-view show. Appointment television when you needed to actually plan to sit in front of the TV on an appointed day and hour in order to watch the program.  The hype of the show did run up the flagpole some thoughts that LOST could be a show of this generation, but never got to the point of being accepted as the greatest show ever (because that opinion is too personal).

Just as people got caught up in the Simpson trial, LOST had the same elements: relationships, failed love connections, anger, murder, mysteries, misdirection, sleazy characters, bad blunders and an ambiguous moral compass. And just as with the Simpson trial, the conclusion of LOST still stirs some debates years afterward.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


There are a few large missing links in the LOST mosaic.

BEN'S MOTHER.  We only saw her briefly in the woods just prior to child birth. What type of person was she? Was she connected to the island in some unknown way?

SAWYER'S FATHER. We never saw him, but his reaction to his wife being swindled (a murder-suicide) must have been part of a pre-existing, driven or obsessive personality that had to have had left an impression on young Ford. Was Sawyer really trying to become Cooper or trying to run away from becoming his own father?

JACK'S MOTHER. We only see her briefly in the background. She seems to be a country club wife, a border line timid alcoholic who puts up with her husband's successful practice because of the status and lifestyle she had come accustomed to over the years. What kinds of morality and life lessons did she impart on Jack?  Was she a counterbalance to Christian's negativity?

JACOB'S FATHER. Where was he after the ship wreck? Why did he not go looking for his wife (and if found her after childbirth), go looking for his son? Was Jacob's mother "alone" on the ship - - - a widow or a slave? And Jacob not having a paternal influence in growing up alter his outlook on life?

SAYID'S MOTHER. We saw a brief glimpse of Sayid's stern father during a flash back to Sayid's Iraqi childhood. It seems that the father had great influence on Sayid become a strong man. But was Sayid's mother overwhelmed by his traditional father and culture so much so that it put the guilt and shame into Sayid's subconscious to be a better person than his father?

SHANNON'S FATHER. We only saw him in the emergency room, from the same crash that led Jack to his miracle surgery on his future first wife. Was Shannon's father a doting one, always bailing her out of trouble so much so that she grew up lacking any responsibility or accountability for her actions? Is this why Boone had to try to assume a parental enforcer to try to get Shannon away from being a spoiled trust fund child when her father died? The one fact that hit Shannon hard was once her father died, she was cut off from the family wealth. She was on her own, still making bad choices. In some respects, her old life died with her father.

CHARLIE'S PARENTS. We don't know much about them. It seems that Charlie was closer to his brother - - - that was his family. Were Charlie's parents so cold to him that Charlie escaped into the literature of what a perfect family was supposed to be like (and transferring that notion onto Claire and Aaron)?

DESMOND'S PARENTS. We know nothing about the raggy man. Desmond lacked discipline, drive, goals and steady work ethic to survive in any sort of middle class existence. Was his parents free spirits, hippies or outcasts who left him at an early age to fend for himself?  If so, this young independence must have been a strong survival instinct for Desmond, so much so that he was afraid to commit to things because it would strangle his independence streak.

It seems one or both parents background was missing in the back stories of several major characters. The missing parent character traits could explain the motivations, fears and direction of the main castaways and how they interacted with the people in their lives.

Friday, June 13, 2014


In much of the 10th anniversary discussions, there have been many posts about what fans truly miss since LOST concluded its television run.

A summary of some of the comments:

1. We miss the characters. In a certain respect, a devoted television show creates characters that become one's surrogate friends and family. We want to get together and see them week after week.

2. We miss the adventure. Every week there was some strange plot twist that would make us squirm or jump off the chair in a WTH? moment. It was a series with a grand scale and good cast. It seemed like it was filmed like a summer movie and not as a staged set production.

3. We miss the community. LOST was one of the first shows in which the Internet brought together fans from all over the world to discuss their TV show in nearly real time. It was the community aspect of the show that many miss the most - - - the debates, the personal theories, and the research of the clues that spread knowledge about literature, music, physics and Egyptology among commentators and bloggers. It also brought together people who in turn became good friends.

4. We miss scheduling time to watch. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, as time goes on and each of us grows older, we have less time to schedule a set appointment to view a show. Today, with streaming services, internet show pages and DVR on demand, fans don't need to have any appointment viewing in order to watch a show. It takes away from the "shared" experience back in the day. No one talks about discussing a show the next day over the "water cooler" at work.

5. We miss the "what if" wonder of the series. As many of the actual characters had transference moments within their own personalities, viewers were captivated and transformed into the fantasy world of the show as close bystanders to all the action. Rarely does a TV show put the viewer in the front seat where the action was.

6. We miss the answers. Yes, there are many viewers who upon reflection have "moved on" without their personal questions being properly answered, but there are still a few who quietly lament the fact that they were disappointed on how the show wrapped up. Even 10 years after, the opportunity is available for the writers and creative team to give us their vision of the unsolved mysteries, but they care not to share or explain. So even in the joy of the series, there is some melancholy.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true. - - - Leon J. Suenens

 If there was one Dream Master, for which the entire series was inside his/her head, who would it be?

First, there are several types of dreams. There are day dreams, where a person loses track of his/her conscious self in a real world/public setting. They go into sleep mode like a computer does; ready to wake up when some outside force interrupts their escape from reality.

Second, there are traditional REM sleep. Researchers have concluded that REM sleep is an important aspect of human health. Some believe that the brain needs to reconfigure the day's events into memory pathways so a person can problem solve in the future. Others believe that a human body needs to rest in order for its organs, tissues, blood supply and nerve endings can regenerate from a long and stressful daytime of activities. In order for the body to rest, the brain must "trick" the subject into having dreams (adventures and thoughts) so the rest of the body can heal.

Third, there are night terrors or nightmares. These are spawn from the subconscious fears every person has from their instinctive distrust of the darkness or wild animals, to interpersonal relationship problems caused by the social, moral or cultural pressures of daily life.

The entire LOST saga could fit into any one of those categories: escapism, rest or nightmares.

Candidates for the LOST dreamer:  

1. Libby. When we saw her in the day room of the mental hospital, she was in a "blank stare" like she had zipped out on her meds. She seemed unaware of her surroundings, yet, she was staring at Hurley (who would later not recognize her on the island.)  This non-recognition is the building block for the thesis that Libby's escape from reality in a mental institution created the various "coincidental" characters that invariably got caught up on the island: Desmond and the boat; Jack as a hospital doctor she saw in passing; Locke, whose crazy mother was institutionalized  in the same facility; to even criminal psychological evaluations on people like Kate, Sawyer or Cooper. The main characters could have been composites of the people who would live and work at the mental hospital. They could have been the personality traps she wanted to release, such as motherhood (Claire), freedom (Kate), moral strength (Rose), intelligence (Juliet), leadership (Ana Lucia), or beauty (Shannon).

2. Sayid. He was the one who needed the most "rest," as his life was a turmoil. From a young child, he was dealt a rough hand. He had to step up to do the dirty deeds. He was trained to kill. It went beyond his religious beliefs, but he continued to do what he was told. He became a torturer, which led to mind torturing him. So when he went to sleep, he dreamed of a more idyllic paradise away from the war torn nation of Iraq. He would be the center of a noble journey to find his true love, happiness, acceptance and friendship with everyone in the world. But which each happy segment of island life, his memories of his real life would take over in violence, mistrust and self doubt. He tried to run away to protect the others in his dream world, but he could not - - - he would return to hurt them and himself over and over again. In a dream state, the mind can play simulator and go over problems to find different end games. In Sayid's case, the end to ease his pain would be death - - - which played out in several different ways in the island dream world (plane crash, being shot, tortured, and blown up by a bomb on the submarine.) To him, LOST was a series of stories on how he could possibly fit into a different world from his own.

3. Hurley. He was the one most open about his fears and concerns. He understood and accepted his weak mental state. He blamed himself for causing others pain. He acknowledged that he was "crazy," but that could have been a misdirection to deal with his constant nightmares. Hurley was a bundle of self doubt, lack of self-esteem, introverted neurosis, shyness, lack of social skills, and the inability to find acceptance in himself. He was a follower, not a leader. He was a wallflower, not a lover. He was person in the crowd, instead of the center of attention. As a result, he consumed the various aspect of escapism culture: television shows, comic books, movies. It was those aspects that fueled the improbable and disturbing island adventures that were Hurley's own night terrors. Hurley lacked the focus, will power and applied reasoning to follow through on things; that is why he was comfortable as a low wage fry cook. In the same way, that is why the LOST stories were a jumbled mess of half baked or incontinent conclusions because that is the way Hurley's real life was - - - a random smattering of thoughts and ideas that could mesh well brainstorming comic book hero plot lines that never would amount to any logical conclusion. Hurley felt hopeless in his real life situation. He had a single mother who pushed him from the nest but he resisted. He felt abandoned by his father. He believed he had no future. These thoughts would amplify his nightmares as these were real burdensome issues. He could only find happiness with people as "mixed up" as he was, his imaginary characters who we would come to know as the LOST cast.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


In the last post, we reviewed probably the four biggest "clues" shown in the series: The Hatch, The Blast Door Map, The Egyptians and The Lighthouse.

All were physical objects that contained highly detailed information we fans thought were vital clues.

The Hatch gave some of the castaways some hope for rescue. It gave a few, like Locke, purpose. It gave the beach camp some needed supplies. But what it did not give everyone was shelter. That was the odd aspect of the story line: the beach camp was surrounded by danger - - - the Others kidnaps and the smoke monster attacks - - - why didn't Jack move everyone underground? Instead, he kept it a secret. And once the rumors spread in the beach about the hatch being opened, why did not the camp people demand access? Instead, they decided to stay on the beach instead of going to safer areas (including the caves). For some reason, the castaways were more comfortable on the beach. Was it because that is where they landed; survived? Was it because they did not want to miss sighting a rescue ship? Was it because to them it was their new "home?"

The Blast Door Map outlined the entire unseen Dharma story arc. Research facilities, the smoke monster, an accident, experiments and unknown island mysteries were all scrawled on the door. The island once housed a large and complex military-industrial complex doing highly theoretical and advanced research projects. And this type of detail spawned viewers into theorizing about worm holes, star portals, parallel universes, space ships, psychological experimentation, mind control, mind manipulation, torture chambers and death. But the vast library of possible science fiction story lines or answers never came to the forefront. The main characters themselves never were too interested in these stations for what they were supposed to do . . . they were merely back drops. One of the worst misuses of these sets was the chemical weapons station, where the computer was set to countdown mode to release the toxic gas . . .  but we all saw clearly at the entrance the power switch to shut down the facility. The "danger" was merely an illusion to test the resolve of Jack and make him trust the Others' spies. But then again, the Others wiped out the Dharma folks for no real reason other than a territory dispute over control of the island. Why the Others felt they were good and everyone else coming to the island was bad was nothing more than a childish refrain developed over centuries of Jacob's laisse faire leadership.

It is hard to imagine that the Others were the children of the ancient Egyptians, the servants who were brought to the fore-hell of their Pharoah's journey into the underworld. In the ancient rituals, kings and queens were buried with their possessions and servants in order for their souls to have the means to navigate the challenges of the underworld journey. This journey was supposed to be a dangerous but magical adventure that only the worthy could successfully complete. In some respects, this description does fit in what some of the characters were doing on the island. There was a theme that the survivors had to work together or die alone. An individual needs group support in order to achieve positive results. It is how the group works together that was important. If you are on the same page, great things can be accomplished, from building the great pyramids to the island's temple. But the ancient culture myths involve the after life, something that TPTB abhorred discussing from Season 1 to the present. LOST was wrapped up in the cloth of life and death story lines, but the premise of a land of death was not acceptable to most.

The Lighthouse gave us Jacob's plan which was to spy on off-islanders to find "candidates" to replace himself as island guardian. Why an immortal with some god-like powers needs human "candidates" to replace him is one of the large unanswered questions of the series. And what Jacob needed to guard and protect was not fully explained, since the light source (life, death and rebirth) seemed to be a stationary fixture. But since the island was cloaked and hard to find, why was a guardian needed to protect something hidden from mankind? And was it not the fact that Jacob bringing people to the island made the the island open to human attack? It is a contradiction easily solved when Alpert landed on the island. Jacob could have given Alpert the guardianship - - - which he would have accepted since he knew he was dead, and this was his punishment for murder (in hell) to remain on the island forever (and away from his wife's soul). But then, where would Jacob go? Is the after life of an immortal so boring that non-existence is a better alternative than life itself? That seems to be a sad and pathetic explanation to the final big story line.

If the four big clues were mile posts in the LOST journey, where did they take us?

One explanation was that it was not the journey, but the relationships between the characters was the most important thing.

A relationship is the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected: the study will assess the relationship between unemployment and political attitudes. It is the state of being connected by blood or marriage; they can trace their relationship to a common ancestor. It is the way in which two or more people or organizations regard and behave toward each other.  It is an emotional and sexual association between two people.

Is that what LOST was about? A patchwork quilt of various relationships: good, bad, ill conceived, short, long, tortured, fractured, weak, cold, angry, manipulative to friendly? A graduate student looking at the raw data of such relationship pairs and sorting them into categories would a) be boring and b) not very productive for gleaning insights into the vast story tangents thrown at us in six seasons. All the clues made a clueless stew of information about relationships but no real conclusions about them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


When the series was unfolding, fans went nuts on several things we thought were the Holy Grail of plot clues.

1. The Hatch.

Oh, Locke's epic quest to open the hatch. He himself told his fellow castaways that the answers were down the hatch.  In certain respects, he was right. In other respects, he was wrong (as the plot went down the rabbit hole on the Dharma story arcs).

The Hatch had the potential to be the game changer. It set forth the following points:

a) There was an advanced technological people who inhabited the island in the recent past.
b) The Numbers were embedded in the island's past history through the countdown timer.
c) The hatch computer seemed to control the "unique" electromagnetic properties of the island, which we were led to believe in the end was the Light Source.
d) It gave us the first "orientation video." This was the introduction of the scientific experiments that the Dharma group was conducting on the island. It began the connection between the polar bear, and future stations showing brain washing and human experimentation. Some fans concluded that the island was one large psychological facility (which leads to possible explanations such as the characters being institutionalized and programmed to believe they were on an island.)

2. The Blast Door Map

Instead the Hatch was the treasure trove of set design: the blast door map.  When Locke, the keeper of the Hatch protocols, got trapped under the blast door during a drop, the blue light revealed the details of the island map. This was probably the most focused HD screen shot of the series.
The map gave investigative viewers many great details, such as the smoke monster being a Cerberus, a warning to escape "from hell,""the remedy is worse than the disease," various areas of unstable conditions, a reference to dragons, cosmic coordinates, other science stations, an unknown center, shutdowns, escape areas and "an accident."

3. The Egyptians

There became an overriding set design with Egyptian hieroglyphs during the latter part of the series. One had to see that all the background glyphs were created in extreme and accurate detail - - - so they had to be important to the story line. Many of the Egyptian writings were about life and death, Egyptian burial rituals, and the ancient beliefs in the after life. While the producers-writers dismissed the notion that the characters were in "purgatory," the use of so much Egyptian mythology in the sets, including the temple and its life spring, made many believe that despite what TPTB were telling the world, the filmed episodes clearly represented a potential journey through the after life.

4. The Lighthouse

The last great clue was Jacob's Lighthouse. It also contained hieroglyphs, but this one came with an explanation from the immortal leader. The lighthouse had a dial which could be turned to view the past lives of the "candidates."  The clue that the people who came to the island were not accident victims but intentionally culled and diverted to the island by Jacob alone brought a new realm of theories to the fan community. A candidate is a person seeking to hold a position or office. A candidate who obtains that office usually acquires power or control over something important. This was part of the story arc of Jacob and his brother, both diverted to the island in ancient Roman times by a Crazy Woman who was seeking her own "candidate" to replace her endless guardianship of the island. In the end, Jack reluctantly became the new island guardian to help slay MIB-Flocke from escaping to allegedly "destroy the world." But the final plot never explained the elements, purpose or powers of the guardian had over the island's heart. It also did not explain the sideways world or the show's conclusion.

These four items were the viewer launch points to various show theories which sustained them from episode to episode, series year to year.

Monday, June 9, 2014


In a column in June, 2010 Psychology Today, the writer made an interesting observation on the LOST conclusion.

He remarked that at the end of the day, relationships is what really changes us. We change because our behavior is impacting someone or something in a way that we don't or they don't like. When he watched the last episode of LOST, he believed the show was not being about a problem or puzzle to be solved, but about the people who were stranded on that island and how they lived and learned together.

He understood that many fans felt the producers of Lost could have or should have tied together the entire plot line.  What happened to Walt? What was the meaning of Jacob and his family? In the end, he opined that the only way to end such a confusing story is the same way we manage our confusing lives, "to embrace relationships." That's what he said he did when he watched the show;  he mourned, cheered, puzzled and ultimately came out without real answers, but connected to their experience.

He acknowledged that the ending placed fans into two camps. One group is frustrated. They are angered by what the writers have "done to them;" confused by the end that didn't provide them with the answers they wanted, they complain that they were lead astray. The other group talks about the beauty  of the end, the way the last frame had us watch Jack's eye close the same way it opened. We are left with the circular beauty of life.

The author found himself  in the middle. He felt confused and frustrated by the ending, but still he liked the enjoyment of watching the main characters lives unfold and discussing the complex relationships that were the foundation of the story line. He decided to let go of his questions and just enjoy the final moments of the show.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Since the LOST 10th anniversary brought out the good and bad from TPTB, it is probably a good time to review some of the comments in the context of a show community blogger.

1. I don't have a problem with the producers-writers believing that they achieved what they had started to do with LOST. It was their story. It was their show. They were driving the bus; fans were merely passengers enjoying the (bumpy) ride.

2. I don't have a problem with where the producers-writers ended the show. I, like many other people, had a problem in how the show got to the ending. Today, TPTB indicate that the purpose of the last season and last episode was to raise the Big Questions, like what is life? What is the after life? What is human spirituality? It is proper for a creative team to raise these historic and grand questions which mankind has thought about since the existence of human time, but to raise them without answering them is wrong. The solution of allowing the viewers to grasp their own insight from the final season seems like punting the ball on second down and one yard to go.

3. I don't have a problem with the producers-writers killing off all the characters by the end of the series. Hell, I was an early proponent of the crash-purgatory theory. In many ways, that theory still makes the most sense in trying to explain the sideways-afterlife ending. But again, if TPTB wanted to keep the claim that the passengers of 815 survived the crash and the events happened to live human beings, then they should have been much clearer about that point - - - and told us when each person "truly" died (i.e., when did Sayid die - - - in the war, in the crash, in the temple, or on the sub?)

 4. I don't have a problem with fans who were satisfied with the ending. I believe these fans stripped the event story lines from their focus on the characters themselves in order to conclude that the happy ending was good. That is what entertainment is about: getting a personal connection and interpreting it. However, I don' agree with the interpretation that this is the only rational conclusion a fan can have when the series ended.

5. I have a problem with the TPTB's criticism of fans who believe they were "making it up as they went along." By their own comments, the producers-writers used flashbacks to "slow the story line down." They became obsessed with the flash backs and moving the story line away from a linear progression in order to elongate the series. Then flashbacks became filler; and filler became inconsistent canon. LOST started out as an action-adventure-drama of plane crash survivors, but it veered off course by Season 3 into a science fiction-fantasy world. The problem is that TPTB never explained this significant change of direction in the story elements. By making promises that there would be a rational explanation for the events, then not delivering on that promise, supports the criticism. Even today, TPTB have had ample opportunity to explain what the premise and how the story event interacted in the grand scheme of things - - - but they choose to allow all those questions to remain mysteries.

6. I understand that the producers and writers claim that their vision of LOST was fulfilled when the series ended. They ended the way they wanted it to end. That is their right. But for viewers, there is still the open question: could LOST have ended better?

Saturday, June 7, 2014


In all the professionals, people used to documenting their days, only one person actually wrote down their narrative - - -  Claire. Claire had a diary in which she recorded the events in her life.

Claire kept a diary, in which she wrote frequently. She wrote down her dreams in it, including the one in which her baby was stolen. After Claire was kidnapped by Ethan, Sawyer made fun of Charlie by mockingly reading an entry that claimed Claire was getting tired of "that has-been rock star." When Charlie read the diary, he saw a packing list for her trip and that she wrote: 

"I realized I really like Charlie. There's something about him that's just so adorable and sweet."

He also saw that she had written down her recurring dreams of a "black rock" (though it appeared to be of an actual black rock, not the ship). After she returned to the survivors' camp, she tried to use it to recover her memories by writing them down, but ultimately got help from Libby to remember what happened to her at the Staff medical station. 

On the page Charlie views before the one that reveals Claire's feelings towards him, the words "I HATE HIM" are mysteriously written on their own, under what appears to be a list of things Claire misses from the outside world. Also on this page is a word or short sentence that is blurred out. 

There are several ways to view the diary. First, it could just be a diary. A memory book of events, feelings, emotions and thoughts by an individual. Second, it could be part of the story engine. Either Claire herself (and her memories) or those words are feeding smoke monsters/island to re-create those events in her life in order to experiment or experience her raw emotions. Some could argue that Claire's own thoughts in her diary are the active island dreams that played out in the series as real life events. Third, the diary could be planted "new" memories to replace her real world experience. She was kidnapped and had severe memory loss (which was convenient plot point). The diary would be a natural way to try to remember her own past. But it could have been a false past. Recall, she went to the same psychic that Eko wandered into researching his miracle woman.  It could have been an elaborate plot or conspiracy to implant suggestions into a person's subconscious then unleash it in a controlled, stressful laboratory environment (the island).

The island was filled with science stations doing research into mind control, mental suggestion and stress observation. Using Claire as a test subject to determine if false diary memories could replace forgotten real ones seems to be on par with the military-industrial background of the Dharma mission.

Did Claire's diary notations have any impact in the series story? She was searching for a new family after her car crash that injured her mother and alienated her sister. Then, in an unlikely scenerio, she found a respected half-brother, Jack, who cared for her and her baby. She also found an unlikely sister in Kate, who helped save Aaron from the island dangers.

Claire's diary could have been the foundation, the heart of the LOST story lines. But there was not enough meat on the bone to carry all the various tangents to make it a credible theory.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Esquire magazine had a recent interview with the LOST showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.  In the interview, TPTB made several interesting statements and admissions about their series:

Point One:  TPTB wanted to make sure there was no ambiguity as to whether we were finished. We'll call the final episode "The End," we'll kill every major character off — and then not only kill them off but show what happens to them after they're dead. That's as far as you can go!
We thought about reincarnation but that was just a step too far.

Point Two: The TPTB thought early on that the story couldn't be told chronologically. We understood that one of the challenges of the show was going to be that we had to slow things down. There was a natural inertia of the show for them to get off the island or for them to begin resolving some of the mysteries on the island. The flashback, on a narrative level, became a way of slowing down the storyline but also starting multiple stories in multiple places in time. We wanted it to allow us the largest canvas possible so when you step back from the show and look at the overall image, there were interesting things happening anywhere in the image. So when one place was running low on story you could go start work on another area until you suddenly realized how it connected again. 

Point Three: In the middle of season three, TPTB alleged asked ABC to end the show --- three years out - - - the idea that the narrative device was going to flip out of flashbacks and into flash forwards. Once we did that we assumed people would stop asking us if we were making it up as we went along because you have to move forward on the trajectory you've set up.  Once we had the end date it really allowed us to plan out what it was that we were going to do for the remaining three years of the show.

Point Four: TPTB were aware that someone re-edited the entire series into chronological order. Lindelof said he wished he had the time to watch that and I love it when fans reshape the story to fit their own specifications. But for TPTB, so much time and energy went into designing these episodes. So the idea that someone unwound all that stuff just to tell the show in chronological order makes it the least interesting version of Lost

Point Five: TPTB admitted that they trapped themselves into  corners while writing the show.
"A lot of times we intentionally painted ourselves into corners. As Damon used to say, "Well, then we'll just walk up the wall." That was a fun part of the storytelling — to create challenges for ourselves."

Point Six: There were regrets in their stories.  The only place we ever got stuck was when we did things we regretted doing, not that they were narrative cul-de-sacs but like Nikki and Paulo. That was an example of a story idea where once we'd initiated it we regretted having done it. Or, on a smaller scale, when we told the story of Jack flashing back to Thailand and how he got his tattoos, we really regretted that we had decided that was a worthy flashback story. That story became really instrumental in convincing ABC that we needed to end the show. We were like, "Okay, this is what flashbacks look like now so it's probably a good idea if we figure out how much longer this show is actually going to go." 

Point Six and One-Half: The worst episode of Lost was  the episode where Jack gets his tattoos in Thailand.Even the TPTB think it's cringe-worthy, where he's flying the kite on the beach. It was not our finest hour. We used Matthew Fox's real tattoos. That's how desperate we were for flashback stories.

Point Seven:  TPTB knew early on how committed the fans were to the show. The show took on that of a cult life. Which is very rare because usually what defines a cult show is that there are not a lot of people watching it or it's on the verge of cancellation so people are rallying around it. But Lost had this huge viewership and it also had this cult fanbase. One thing we never predicted was that as the show was launching there was also the advent of social media. We were making a show that was intentionally ambiguous and was a mystery. All of a sudden there was this vehicle by which people could communicate with each other over the Internet. The show and social media just happened to come along at the same time, and it was the perfect thing for people to talk about over social media. We benefitted from this natural confluence of events. It was just sort of alchemy. 

Point Eight: TPTB's favorite  Lost fan theory? Cuse said there was a theory that it was all taking place in the dog's head. Lindelof remarked that one of the most popular theories during the first season was that they were in purgatory — that they had all died on the plane. That was not our favorite theory because it feels like we were saying it in season one, we were saying it in season two, and we're saying it three years after the show ended that it wasn't that. Cuse said " It's okay, nobody believes us." Another popular theory was that the island itself was some sort of crashed spaceship and the hatch only fed into that thinking. The idea was when they blast this thing open and go down they're going to be inside of some UFO and then the island is just going to lift off out of the water and blast into space for season two. There was a part of me (Lindelof) that was always like, "It would be so great if we actually did that!" 

Point Nine:  Lost posed a lot of really big questions relating to ideas like good versus evil, science versus faith, and life after death. Did TPTB think it successfully answered any of them? 

"I think those are ultimately non-answerable questions and I think we tried to always be ambitious in our storytelling. We decided the worst thing we could do would be to play it safe. The show had become successful because we had made bold storytelling decisions and we had to continue to make them. We knew that some of these decisions would lead to a polarization among the fans. When you tackle unanswerable questions like "What is the nature of existence? What happens after you die? What is the meaning of our lives?" there are not empirical answers, but we tried to show how our characters were wrestling with those questions," Cuse said.

"When you talk about something like faith and science on a meta level, it doesn't matter what the show said. When the show ends there are still all these questions that are going to exist. Is there always a scientific explanation for everything in the natural world? Is there a God? The show isn't going to be able to answer that. But we were pretty clear and explicit in our storytelling as the show went on that we were committed to what would be defined as supernatural explanations for things versus natural explanations," Lindelof said.

Point Ten: The literary references, images of classic books on the show and music used on the shows had nothing to do with understanding Lost. Even if fans would digest all that literature or music,  it might give you some answers to your life. But it would not give you the answers to Lost

Point Eleven: TPTB's favorite episode was "The Constant."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


It has been said in ancient times that the eye is the entrance to man's soul.

The opening and closing of a person's eye was a key symbolic feature in LOST.

From an island story line perspective, it all began when Jack, lying alone in the bamboo grove, opens his right eye. What does that action represent?

The right side of the brain is allegedly the analytical side of the mind. The other side is the creative side. The right side of the brain houses the logical constructs of human existence - - - sight, problem solving, applied knowledge, etc. Any person alive needs those brain functions to stay alive.

But if the eye opening represents the opening Jack's mind to his soul, then that puts a whole different context and premise to the series.

Whether you are in the camp of Jack being alive or the camp that Jack died in the crash, there is a third possibility: Jack was alive after the crash, BUT he never moved from the bamboo grove. Everything we saw and Jack "experienced" was his through his soul.

If Jack landed on his back from the free fall from the broken plane, most likely he would have crushed his spine, causing paralysis. His will to live and to help his fellow passengers was strong enough for him to release his inner self, his soul, to reach out and interact with other souls in something similar to a vivid dream.

Since a major reference point in the series was ancient Egyptian death rituals, this release of the soul and its own physical journey through the underworld, can also be adapted in the above situation where Jack is still alive, but unable to move; but his soul manifests itself to go help others. In an odd way, this could also explain the great mystery of the smoke monster - - - it too is a soul of a living person. Since a smoke monster can manifest itself in any shape or form, such as human like the Man in Black or Christian (based on memories), then Jack's smoke monster could manifest itself as Jack. In fact, everyone on board who survived could be smoke monsters. An island filled with smoke monsters who do not realize that they are disembodied souls trying to find answers to the questions that haunted them prior to boarding Flight 815.

Because if Jack never moved from the bamboo grove, it would explain why the series ended with him in the same grove. In his final battle with Flocke, he was far, far away from the beach camp. He was in no condition to trek miles back to the grove through the mountain terrain. It is more reasonable to believe that his soul returned to his body for its unification.

It is the return of his soul to his body, when Jack can be at peace. When Jack then closes his eye, he dies - - - thereby releasing his soul from the earthly attachment of living - - - so it can be awakened in the after life.

This theory is much more "spiritual" in context than what the writers-producers vaguely said during their post-LOST interviews.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Damon Lindelof was interviewed recently by the New York Times. He still seems bitter about the reaction to the end of LOST. Lindelof still not quite over what happened with the community reactions after the final episode of LOST.

LOST was both a critical and a popular hit when it debuted in 2004. He does not mention in the article that immediate reaction could have led to the series downfall. But the popularity show with a vibrant fan community using the web to interact after each show created an internal pressure to enhance the show with the clues, red herrings, misdirection, blind alleys and smoke monsters. Six seasons later, when the much-anticipated, much-podcasted, much-blogged-about final episode finally arrived, Lindelof and his fellow show runner, Carlton Cuse, felt they had brought the series to a satisfying close. 

They believed that the show’s main character, Jack, dies while saving the world, and there was a well of light, and also the afterlife.  However, a great deal of the fan base did not agree. For once, the ensemble cast was stronger than one main character. Second, Jack dies while "saving the world," but there was no explanation of what danger the world was in - - -  or why Jack had to die in the first place. The "well of light" was a misconstructed concept which was not integrated into either the original story line or explained in any rational science fiction basis as being the key to understanding the series. The Jacob-MIB story arc did little to rationalize why Flight 815 crashed on the island and how the characters could save the world from immortal monsters. And we don't know who or what made up the monsters. Finally, the Season 6 sideways "afterlife" was a lightning rod to certain fans to scream that the producers lied to them in early interviews that the series was not about purgatory or the afterlife.

The show’s most vocal fan contingent was not pleased. After the finale, they took to Twitter, where Lindelof was an active and lively presence, to tell him how he ruined their favorite show and wasted six years of their lives. Critics similarly decimated Lindelof and Cuse; one declared that “Lost” “ended in the worst way possible.” George R. R. Martin, author of the “Game of Thrones” novels and a co-executive producer on their HBO adaptation, summed up the magnitude of the disappointment when he told The New Yorker his biggest fear in ending his own series: “What if I do a ‘Lost’?”

Lindelof was devastated. He’s a zealous consumer of culture writing, and those critics who blasted “Lost” were ones he otherwise respected and agreed with. He tried not to care, to remember that he loved the ending and maybe that’s all that should matter. “But it’s like no, that’s not all that should matter,” he says. “I didn’t make the [finale] up in my head and sit in my room and basically weep and applaud myself for having designed this great TV show in my brain. I put it out on the airwaves for millions and millions of people to watch, with the intention of having all of them love it, and understand it, and get it.”

There were a lot of fans who liked the ending. But four years later, the negative reaction to the ending still haunts Lindelof. Until last year, his Twitter bio read: “I’m one of the idiots behind ‘Lost.’ And no, I don’t understand it, either.” There, he welcomed his detractors, retweeting their most virulent insults.

If the showrunners ended the show the way they truly wanted to, then that is fine. It was their show. But fans expected more from them. The promises that everyone would have an explanation and that the story tangents would be wrapped up in a mind-blowing explanation never came. Instead, the weak explanation was that some mysteries should remain mysteries (or the fans can make up their own conclusions).  As I have written in the past, a writer has certain obligations to his or her readers. One of them is not to write a grand, twisting mystery story then forget to publish the final chapter. And that is the gnawing cancer of the series: the lack of a visionary ending.

The End could have been so much better.  

I think much of the negative reaction of the ending could have been cooled off if the writers-producers went out on a limb and fully explained their series premise and foundation plot points. 

I think more fans would have understood and accepted the afterlife season if the producers told them by the end that everyone died in the crash, but their "lost" souls continued on in a human form on a magical island to stop the disastrous conversion of the real world and a spiritual realm.

I think fans would have also understood and accepted the premise that the 815 survivors were still alive, but living and trapped  in a different dimension in time-space or spirit world. The reason no one could escape the island is that no one could return to the human world. If the fans saw the main characters come to some enlightenment to such a predicament, then we can see a road to the conclusion that the only way to escape this trap was to die and go to sideways heaven.

But by not writing a complete ending of the series, Lindelof and Cruse opened themselves up to the type of criticism they got from the fan community. Some believe they painted themselves into a corner by throwing out major plot twists and new questions just for the sake of keeping fans engaged in the series. But even those twists became unruly and confusing, such as the time travel story line. 

Then the die hard fan base saw the detail in the set designs, especially the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the lighthouse dials, and the various science station experiments, and wondered how all this fit together as the explanation for the events happening in the series. Why did the producers put in such detail but not use it to make a clear and final statement of LOST was truly about.

They did say that the ending was to take their "character driven" story into a final "spiritual conclusion." However, there was little morality or redemption in the final season. Characters were turned into Star Trek red shirts. Evil people like Ben got to the same afterlife nirvana as a good character like Hurley. There was no judgment, no punishment, no moral trials. There was no life lesson being taught in the sideways arc.

All art is opinion based; and each object of art is judged by individuals based upon their experiences and personal tastes. Because LOST left a bitter taste in both the minds of the producers and a large portion of the fan base, that means there was a huge opportunity lost with this series.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


While the concept of "suspended animation" is in the realm of science fiction,  some scientists are testing out a similar process in order to explore health care options to long space travel.

They prefer to call it “emergency preservation and resuscitation.” Basically, their goal is to suspend life to keep patients alive during dangerous operations through the use of internal cooling. A patient’s blood is completely removed and replaced with a cold saline solution, slowing down metabolism and reducing oxygen needs. The body cools to about 50ºF, basically inducing hypothermia. This will supposedly help buy time for important surgery for patients suffering from a massive heart attack or a shooting. A heart-lung bypass machine restores blood circulation and oxygenation for resuscitation

The trials are currently being tested on 10 patients expected to die from their injuries, with survival rates less than 7%. For now, this is only for those who have “suffered cardiac arrest after severe traumatic injury, with their chest cavity open and having lost at least half their blood already,” according to CNET’s Michelle Starr. The procedure has previously been tested on pigs successfully, though some pigs needed their heart jump-started.

If successful,  this procedure would benefit healthcare in the long run, but astronauts who want to travel through space for months at a time. For the biggest problem with deep space travel is fuel and food supplies for the crew. If one is in a state of suspended animation, the theory goes that you don't have to metabolize normal foods in order to sustain life. Your body slows down to the bare minimum of existence.

It may be a long way off to get an acceptable success rate. But at 7 percent, it seems too low to be a workable solution. Then, look at the LOST characters. Did even 7 percent of the characters survive the island?

What if the characters were really test subjects in a state of suspended animation, but the network of monitors and feedback loops cross connects everyone into a community consciousness?

What if the characters were actually deep space astronauts on a mission, but in their semi-coma state begin to die off during the journey. As such, a psychological barrier forms with the remaining souls - - - an idyllic island mental setting to process their fate: death.

Or it could be a similar journey of dead souls to the after life (sideways world).