Thursday, July 31, 2014


It was explained by TPTB that LOST should be viewed more as a character study than anything else. The focus was on the characters and not on the mysteries.

And that is still a sticking point with some fans. As one blog commentator said long after the show concluded:

If the entire series turned out to be just about the characters and the relationships they/we build in life and how important they are, following us even into the afterlife, then what about all the relationships that Sawyer, Kate, Miles, or any of the survivors made AFTER they got off of the island? Reason I even bring this up is because of what Christian said to Jack in the church and what everyone else mentioned as well, “Some died before you, some died long after you”. So....we are to assume then that when Sawyer or Kate or any of the survivors died, whether it was right after Jack or 30 years after him, that NONE of the relationships that they built were important? What if Sawyer went on to get married and have kids. When he dies the ONLY person in his life that ever meant anything was Juliette?!! Also, a huge lesson we were all supposed to learn was to “let go” of the past. Well how the hell is having them all meet up in the church together letting go of that past?! Even in death they (whomever made it off the island and died sometime later) were still holding on to the experiences from the island, the past!!! 

The season finale is what it is and I can’t change that but I don’t understand any of the fans supporting or being okay with it. Makes me think that most people have no idea what’s going on in life and just skate through it blindly. 

Taking the writers words at face value was a critical viewing experience. Fans were led to believe that the show was a well crafted literary masterpiece of characters, action, drama and mysteries.

There is a valid point to what Christian told Jack about everyone in the church waiting for him died before and after him. If this is a true statement, and that the island time was most important to the characters that they had to reunite in the afterlife in order to move on to eternity, then

a) the characters like Sawyer, Kate and Claire left brutally lonely and unfilled lives after Jack died. Which is hard to believe considering Sawyer had a daughter he cared about. Claire had a son. And Kate had her freedom from the law. None of these characters would not have had any new relationships at all?

b) when did the characters who died long before Jack "actually" die? This may be one of those misdirected throwaway lines the writers used to get out of explaining what is happening in the story (equivalent of a fumble in football), but it seems to erase any "good" times that a character had before the island. For example, Locke had a great relationship with Helen. Why was that erased by the island time so that Locke is in the church alone? Boone had no one as well? How sad is that? Boone could not have been reunited with his mother or father? 

Since time was handled as a nebulous concept in LOST, when people died may be irrelevant to the analysis of Christian's final speech. 

For example, if this is a character study, it is just as likely it is a character study of lost dead souls than of human survivors of a plane crash. If the characters were already dead before getting on the plane (symbolic of taking the ferry across the River Styx), then maybe this was like a test of lost souls who really did not have any strong personal bonds to carry them through to the afterlife.

But since the writers failed to clarify what the sideways world represented in relation to the island world, viewer's personal answers to the gaping holes in the story line are just not as fulfilling as knowing what the show's creator's really wanted to express with the climax and ending. Taking from what the blogger said above, it was the writers who had no idea what was going on in their characters lives and just skated through blindly to the Season 6 ending. 

People cannot really disagree on the ending because the ending is obtuse. 

If TPTB came out and said this is what the ending means, then people can then accept it on face value or disagree with it. But leaving it open to speculation is a Soprano cop-out to conclude the show. Just calling it a show about relationships is another weak point. Every show is supposed to be about character relationships. Otherwise, the show would be about watching paint dry on a wall. 

And even if the crux of the show was about relationships, and finding lost soul mates, then no one can really defend why Sayid, who pined for Nadia for 6 seasons, would wind up with Shannon in the afterlife. If the island was the test for Sayid to give up his past (Nadia), and the way he passed the test was to get in the sack with Shannon, what sort of metaphysical-intellectual system are we dealing with here? 

And then the opposite was also in the church at the same time. Rose and Bernard did not purge their past in order to make it to the church. Quite the opposite, Rose and Bernard's strong bonds from the past kept them together through the island ordeals. So, on one level, they did not "let go" of their past in order to move on in their afterlives.

When you don't know what to say, you say things that are vague gibberish hoping that the listener will take those words and create their own interpretation and understanding. Politicians do this technique all the time in order to bolster support without saying much of anything. But LOST was not a political stump speech. It was supposed to be one of the greatest action-adventure-dramas in television history. 

Perhaps the lasting relationship of the series was that between the fans and TPTB. In some ways it is still a strong connection. In some ways it is still a simmering disappointment. In some ways it is like a parent who loves their child but knows he can do better. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Medical science makes great leaps year after year.

One of the greatest successes has been in the area of organ transplants.

From a science fiction standpoint, would it be a great leap to have "mental" transplants.

The idea of reconditioning a person's brain function has been around for centuries. Ancient people bored holes into skulls to let out "evil spirits" who may have been causing seizures or dizziness. Electroshock treatments were used to try to alter the pathological condition of criminals in a means of rehabilitating them.

As a different explanation to the "smart drugs" post, there may be a day in the future where science will allow people to transfer, transpose or overwrite a person's brain and memories and implant new ones.

Brain washing has been used in the spy game. Emotional abuse has been seen to alter people's character and behavior (mostly for the worse). But those techniques and trauma is used to suppress and repress a personality and memories.  If one transplants an entire new persona, with "fake" memories that seem real, does a person believe in his or her new self?

Probably to absolutely.

Reformatting a hard drive is the closest analogy to this theory.

By altering the character's past, one can easily manipulate and control their future.

How many LOST characters could have been brain transplant recipients?  All of them.

As a few viewers remarked during the original run, many characters flashbacks did not line up exactly with the personality matrix of the island world, and clearly not with the sideways world.

Why would someone want to take a character and make a "new" Jack, a "new" Kate, a "new" Locke, etc.?  Because he could. And for some reason, it appears the likely source of that reprogramming is Jacob, who by his "touch" altered the lives of all his candidates and people brought to his island laboratory. Recall, Jacob and MIB's conversations about the humans coming to the island was couched in socio-experimental terms, that in the end no matter who came to the island, they would become corrupted and die. LOST could be seen as a rogue human experiment by attempting to alter a person's brain memories in order to see if the transplant could truly change the person's actions.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


A BBC article indicates that medical research continues to focus in on using "smart drugs" to enhance brain function. Depending on the source, humans only use 10 to 20 percent of their brains. Some compare brains to supercomputers (even though human functions at faster speeds). In trying to tap the inner (and allegedly bigger) computing power of the human brain, chemical alteration is the research to increase cognition.

Cognition is a suite of mental phenomena that includes memory, attention and executive functions, and any drug would have to enhance executive functions to be considered truly "smart." Executive functions occupy the higher levels of thought: reasoning, planning, directing attention to information that is relevant (and away from stimuli that aren’t), and thinking about what to do rather than acting on impulse or instinct. You activate executive functions when you tell yourself to count to 10 instead of saying something you may regret. They are what we use to make our actions moral and what we think of when we think about what makes us human.

 In one respect, the last paragraph sums up many of the elements contained in the LOST story lines and companion theories. There was mental altering experiments, drug use, stress tests through various jungle missions, physical pain and emotional manipulations and the alleged "vaccine" that was given to various characters.

The idea that the characters were part of a group trial on a cognition "smart drug" protocol could help explain and tie in the various theories surrounding mental attributes such as hallucinations, fantasy, dreams or even game theories. No one knows what would happen if science unlocks the full potential of human brain power.

The trailers for the new movie, Lucy, portends that higher mental cognition would unlock and unleash the ability to alter gravity, magnetics and matter. A human with supernatural abilities (not unlike the powers of a smoke monster). This is not to say that this movie is a riff on LOST or its story elements.

But the power of the mind is an untapped potential which could lead an individual down a fictional  path that seems perfectly real and complex.  This powerful mental journey could explain either the jungle world or the sideways realm or both.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


The cable TV ads have been hyping a new sci-fi series, The Intruders, in which the premise seems to be that undead spirits come back to take over bodies of real people in order to do no good.

Why spirits would need to take over human bodies to do their evil deeds is unknown. The classic ghost story has transparent forms causing havoc in people's minds. It is like when the smoke monster, MIB, took the form of dead John Locke. He really did not have to so it.  At the time, some speculated that it needed to have a dead body in order to reincarnate in its form. However, MIB/Smokey did it without a body with island Christian.

The premise could be an explanation of the two different worlds LOST created in Season 6.

In the sideways world, all the characters were dead. Dead for a long and short time. If this is the true point of beginning, that the characters were dead before the series began and dead before getting on Flight 815, then perspectives change.

If everyone was dead already, and living in a purgatory setting as boring and mundane as their past lives on Earth (which they have repressed including their own fates), how do dead souls dream?

One would expect that being spirits, their dreams may not be confined to a human brain in REM sleep but could be projected without physical limitations because spirits are closer to energy beings than humanoids.

Perhaps this collective spiritual dream state created the island story. (This is the exact opposite position that most viewers perceive the series based on how events unfolded over the years).

The island could be a fantasy island for the dead.  Think about it: the main characters did irrational, stupid, crazy things without thinking about the consequences. It was an adventure vacation for some. It was an intense emotional soul search for others.

Now could the spirits rematerialize as human beings in the real world? Perhaps.
Or would it have been easier to commandeer human beings and steal those bodies for their vacation fun?

The physical imagines of the characters are the same in the sideways and real world, but that is a matter of convenience. Sideways Jack spirit was someone else's ghost who just wound up in real world Jack's body. And the interloper theory helps explain why some characters had dramatic life shifts after boarding Flight 815. This would include the experienced pilots, who lost control of their plane. It also includes Jack, whose human body and mind would not have become the "leader" that spirit Jack wanted to be in the sideways world.

The main characters were kidnapped by sideways world spirits who needed to re-live some part of their lives in order to break the bonds of their purgatory.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


One of the early serious plot lines revolved around the danger of pregnant women on the island. They all died before giving birth.  This was a serious story line, repeated twice in the show: first with Claire and her abduction, and second with Sun's "miracle" conception. (There is major flaw in the sideways arc that both women who gave birth in the island time-sphere gave birth to their daughters in the sideways after life.)

The reason why pregnant women died on the Island before they could successfully give birth was vaguely couched as an "infection." People, especially pregnant women, had to have shots in order to save themselves and their babies. But the cause was never explained. Ben kidnapped Juliet to have her investigate the island birth problem because she successfully got her infertile sister pregnant. Juliet was supposed to solve the problem, but did not. There was some aspect of the pregnancies that may have been tied to fetus "time skipping," but that was actually before the FDW was introduced as a deux machina device.

In Season 1 when Claire was pregnant with Aaron and got kidnapped and experimented on by Ethan, was a member of The Others who had a focus on children. They would later kidnap the tail section children.  Ethan was likely working with  Juliet to help Claire – he gave her injections, but those cause strange pyschotropic events in Claire's mind.  Claire was rescued Aaron was born on the island (something that was not supposed to happen). One explanation is that it was likely Aaron born on the Island without incident because Claire was already far enough along in her pregnancy before coming to the Island (just like Jacob and the Man In Black’s mother).

However, the pregnancy issue popped up again in Season 3 when Sun learned that she was pregnant (“The Glass Ballerina” & “D.O.C.” ) and was a the prominent focus of Juliet’s flashback arch (“One of Us“). If Sun conceived on the island, she was in mortal danger just like the dead Other women who could not come to term. One hard explanation was that Sun was pregnant before she arrived on the island, and that the baby was not Jin's. However, the baby problems occurred in island women in their third trimester, so both Claire and Sun would have been in danger. Another factor for Sun was that her daughter was born off the island which somehow saved the mother and child from the island's deadly "infection?"

One simple observation is that the motherhood drama was a story arc that fizzled out after Claire gave birth and Juliet was killed off.  It was filler drama because who is more at risk on a dangerous island than a pregnant woman?

However, in Desmond's island back story, we were told that everyone on the island was at risk. That Desmond had to take injections and not go outside because of the infection. We later learned that Kelvin was lying to Desmond. So it is possible that there was no island"infection," and that the pregnant women never came to term because of some other factor, such as poor prenatal care or individual risk factors (because at some point, there was a thriving community with Dharma, with children and a school).

One other explanation I had during the original series run was that pregnant women could not come to term on the island because the island was hell. In hell, sinners were not allowed to bring new life into a realm of punishment. A newborn has no sin to be punished so it would not be allowed to be born. And Ben, as a minion for Satan, was trying to get around that rule by finding a way to regenerate a new army for the devil himself (who could be the evil incarnate - - - smoke monster).

Likewise, there is a story problem with pregnant women in the sideways after life. If the sideways was purgatory or even a slice of heaven, why would dead women give birth to their already born children? That does not make any logical sense.

It would seem the infection of the island, whatever realm state it was, could have been a misstatement of some kind of dream-hallucination state that women with issues believed that they were pregnant and going to have a child. In the sideways world, in a similar vain, the reward for certain women was to give them what they dreamed about but did not achieve in the real human life: having a baby.

The fact that we never found out why pregnant women were dying on the Island still bugs a great deal of LOST fans. It is one of those sub-plots that was conveniently dropped but then later contradicted by other events.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


The island "rules" were a fast and loose term used by the writers to NOT explain critical points in their story.

The show runners played things fast and loose, hoping that the momentum of the characters’ story arcs and the whole “good vs. evil” showdown would be enough to appease most fans. But the promise of an intellectual drama was what most fans wanted to see.

One explanation of the island mythology has to be centered in "Across the Sea," the Jacob origin story in Season 6. The semi-explaination what the island was – a sort of container for a very important energy that seemingly links this world with worlds beyond... or something else.  There is a view that the unique "energy" is actually a form of light and water, and if that light goes out and the water stops flowing, so the world is basically end.

Everything magical or fantastic about the Island stems from this energy, and many of the technological oddities found on the Island (the Swan Station from Season 2) are a result of the Dharma Initiative trying to harness and control that energy (i.e., man trying to bend magic and mysticism to the will of modern science).

However, there are some things that were definitely left unexplained: Why did the Man In Black become a smoke monster when he was exposed to the light (was it a manifestation of his corrupted soul?); What is the nature of the “rules” that governed certain aspects of the Island – who could come and go, who could kill who, who was healed from injury (Locke, Rose), who lived forever (Richard). How were these rules established and maintained?

We were vaguely told that the island guardian made up his own rules, but what we came away with were a lot of vague pseudo- explanations. But if Jacob's rules controlled the island, he would never die because that was against the rules. And the randomness of who lived and died on the island, who was saved and punished by the smoke monster, also did not fit into any established rules. So why was MIB was obsessed with “finding a loophole” in order to kill Jacob? And since MIB was NOT Jacob's brother, who Crazy Mother said he could not kill, then Jacob could have destroyed the smoke monster long ago. If Jacob would not allow or could not kill the smoke monster/MIB, then how could Jack and Kate do it?  Some say that since Smokey was connected to the energy source, and when Jack had Desmond “turned off” that energy by re-setting the cork, Smokey "lost" his powers and was merely flesh and blood again. Except that does not make any sense. The cork was in the bottle and MIB still had all his powers. When the cork was removed, MIB still had his powers. Since we don't know how MIB was created in the light cave, nothing is canon.

If Jacob's final rule was "if I die, you can die," then that is not a dramatic loophole for the smoke monster. The smoke monster's statement that he wanted "to leave" the island mirrored Jacob's brother's, but since MIB was not human, where could it actually go if it was tied to the light source?

Without rules, one cannot have order. And with LOST's non-rules, the story is tangled in messy inconsistencies and legitimate questions.

Monday, July 21, 2014


There has been a difficult explanation of why Desmond was the one who would shepherd the Losties to the final reunion.

One of the biggest things people seem to be questioning is how Desmond was able to “wake up” from the purgatory universe and how he had the know-how to “wake up” the other characters. 

Desmond was not an original cast member. He did not survive the plane crash. He was never really part of the beach camp. He really did not care which side to take, Jack, Locke's, or anything else except to get off the island and back to Penny. In the story progression, Desmond's character began as arc filler, to add another piece to the Widmore story (that his daughter was involved with a loser).

To our knowledge, Desmond was not "touched" by Jacob to become a candidate. He was sent on his insane quest to show-up Widmore by winning a solo sailboat race across the Pacific. How a stupid and dangerous thing would make a rich girl swoon is another matter. But that was his plan. However, since Dez had no money and no boat, he had fallen back to his comfort zone (a depressed, self doubting existence of inner pain and regret). But out of no where, widow Libby gives him her late husband's boat. Too coincidental? Of course. That is the LOST tangled ball of strings story writing.

We can assume it was Widmore who recruited Desmond to get the boat and race across the Pacific. What better way to get rid of a problem then send him into the vast ocean? But for some unknown reason, Desmond shipwrecked on the island. How he got through the barrier is unknown, but if Jacob was to be believed, only he could allow people to come to the island. Of course, Jacob could have been lying - - - a Desmond got through because there is no evidence that Jacob ever knew Desmond existed until late in Season 6. So Widmore got rid of his problem. But at the same time, Widmore's other big problem was finding the island. He was working with Eloise to do that - - - and probably had spies try to tail Ben or his people when they went to the mainland (again, why would Jacob allow free passage by the Others since Jacob had no real "work" for them to do for him.)

Some fans believe that the first true love story of the series was the Desmond-Penny affair. It was that bond that led to the concepts of having a "constant" and being a "variable" in the island's time skipping equation. But Desmond was not the only one with a constant. Everyone has a constant - - - someone they knew or bonded with such as a parent, friend, spouse or child that they love and want to protect. But somehow, the writers tilted Desmond's relationship as special. The only difference between Dez and the rest of the characters was the likely fact Desmond was never supposed to be on the island. That may have been the wild card MIB was looking for in his own "loophole" theory.

In many viewer's explanation of the sideways reunion, it is Desmond (specifically through his past connection to Penny Widmore) that is the “constant” in the show. No matter what happens, when, or where, Desmond seems somehow immune to the Island’s energy (which has electromagnetic properties) and has a sort of awareness that can transcend space and time (his consciousness shifts seen in episodes like “The Constant“). These “shifts” and Widmore’s explanation that Desmond is special because of his resistance to the Island’s energies, imply that Desmond would even be able to “shift” his consciousness back and forth between this universe and the sideways purgatory one, catalyzed by Widmore’s team placing him in that huge electromagnetic machine in the Season 6.

Based on the show's apparent reasoning, that Desmond – after having his consciousness
“shifted” to the purgatory reality – would “wake up” after encountering HIS constant, Penny. It’s another fast and loose metaphysical explanation, but one that some people think works within the framework of the show. 

 Except, in the sideways world, other characters encountered their constants - - -  like Jin and Sun. Together, they should have awakened first especially with their traumatic ending on the island.

So if the island EM "blocks" memories of the past life, then why does it fail when Desmond starts rounding up the other cast members? Sayid instanteously remembers everything when he finds Shannon? But his entire life centered around Nadia - - - even in the sideways world. The major inconsistencies with the amnesia in the sideways world is baffling when one considers the quick cascade of memories flowing from one concert setting.  Worse, is the awakening of Claire and Charlie - - - and Kate - - - only by the "re-birth" of Aaron in the sideways world. If Aaron was alive in the real world, he could not be a fetus in the sideways world. He would have lived his life on Earth then died and gone to purgatory-heaven-whereever as an adult. The Aaron rebirth sequence calls into question whether there were actually two different dimensions at play.

The writers tagging Desmond "special" so he can get everyone magically back together was too convenient. The show had labeled other characters as "special" including Walt and Locke, but they really had no role in bringing the cast back together. It is hard to believe that the writers knew Desmond would be the final key when the show began since Desmond was not even written into the show until much later. And many viewers believe that Jack should have the key to the series and its resolution.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


One explanation for the Season 6 sideways plot exit into a confusing after life realm is that two points have to be taken as true.

Christian told Jack in the finale that in the sideways world he was dead (they were all dead) and that his friends died before and long after him.

In other words, people take Christian's comments as the basis that the plane crash and island events were real - - - that Jack and his friends survived the plane crash and were alive until they lived out the remaining time on Earth. The sideways universe was a "purgatory," a place where souls put themselves in limbo until their friends died on Earth.
Each person in this “purgatory universe” created a reality for themselves based on their lingering issues in life – that which they could not “let go” of. For Jack it was Daddy issues; Kate, the guilt of murder; Sawyer, the quest to find “Sawyer” and be a better man; Sayid, the unrequited love of Nadia; Charlie, looking for something “real” like a family instead of trivial past fame as a rock star.

The explanation is that the main characters made a connection amongst themselves because they were all  still attached to their  personal life concerns. Because of this strong island survival connection,   they never forgot the journey and growth they had experienced because of the Island, and then each character could finally understand the connections and “purpose” brought into their damaged lives by being there. With that greater understanding of themselves, they were each ready to “leave” or “move on” to the next phase of existence – i.e., the true after life. 

This view does not answer all the lingering questions, like how a dead soul can create a memory blocked sideways world with thousands of strangers based upon the "unforgettable" island experiences. Who or what directed each character's dead soul into a cosmic holding place - - - to actually live out totally different lives than the past, including Jack having a son!, and not making those "new" experiences count for anything except filler?

As explanations for the ending goes, this falls into the supernatural bin.

But look at a few other key elements of the sideways story arc. Eloise, who had present knowledge in both the island world and the sideways after life, tried to keep Desmond from "remembering" his past because she feared Desmond would awaken Daniel, who would leave the sideways world and Eloise. Why was Eloise so hellbent on keeping Daniel in the dark about his life and his current death status? Simple: she feared that Daniel would leave with the other Losties to the next phase of the after life.

But was Eloise smarter than the rest? The puppet master of the entire series? If we look at the Season 6 back story of the island, the answer would be no. Eloise would have just been another "candidate" brought to the island by Jacob. It would then seem that Jacob was the supernatural being capable of creating an after life purgatory.

Jacob did grant Alpert "immortality" on the island. And if one looks at the canon that only the island guardian can bring people to the island, then Jacob manipulated the lives of all the characters to come to his island world. There is something "mad scientist" about Jacob collecting human beings with personal issues and faults to conduct some crude and cruel experiments on them. It is then probable that Jacob orchestrated his candidates to get on the same plane in Sydney in order to crash it on his island. In normal circumstances, everyone on the plane would have died. But Jacob intervened magically and "saved" his candidates from certain death. (Or perhaps, reincarnated them as human beings without their souls - - - which were dispatched to the sideways purgatory to continue to live a false life).  The split soul concept is found in ancient Egyptian culture, which was featured heavily in Season 6. 

It comes down to a personal definition of "life." Is life the mortal existence on Earth? Or is there a life "ever after?" 

All cultures have some sort of "creator" mythology. A super being, usually from the stars,  that created all life on Earth. The same could be true for the sideways world - - - some creator imagined a continuation of the characters' airplane journey without the detour to the island - - - while Jacob kidnapped the characters to his island. Perhaps, this is the real conflict between Jacob and MIB. Jacob was the one how kidnaps souls for the island world, while MIB is trying to find a "loophole" in Jacob's game. It is possible that MIB's loophole was the creation of the sideways world (since as a smoke monster, a supernatural being that can manipulate matter and memories of human beings to take any form). 

If MIB created the sideways world in order for the characters' souls "to remember" the island, that could be the check mate move - - -  no one before had ever "remembered" the island after dying. Once the island was recalled in the after life, Jacob's game was revealed to his superiors as an unsanctioned interference with normal people's lives. Thus, knowledge of the island was the key to stop Jacob's candidate games (like a Hunger Games for lost souls).

Saturday, July 19, 2014


In an alternative universe, not being the sideways one, what could have happened in Season 6 stripped away the after life parallel story line?

The fork in the road is the solution to the cliffhanger of Juliet pounding a rock on the atomic bomb while the Incident was happening, imploding the Hatch dig site.

Alternative 1A: Juliet somehow detonates the bomb and there is a huge explosion.
Result: Everyone on the island would "die" due to the nuclear blast and radiation fall out.
Problem: Then the paradox of killing the people in the 1970s would destroy the future, including Jack, Kate and the others being born,  and Flight 815 would have never crashed on the island.

Alternative 1B: Juliet does not detonate the bomb (which we believe we saw in the series), but the implosion causes her severe injuries which she will succumb.
Result: Everyone except Juliet would be "alive" on the island, but put back into their real time lines.
Problem: This implosion event in the 1970s would have changed the course of the Dharma collective, most likely causing it to fall a part (which actually may have happened) and thus not allowing Ben to become the leader of the Others. A leaderless Others would be merely the nomadic remains of other candidates brought to the island.

If we take the latter and move forward, the "re-boot" of the series would eliminate the Widmore-Others conflicts with the plane survivors. They would "disappear" from Season 6 as they would have been eliminated in the alternative.  This leaves the plane survivors back at the very beginning of their journey: to point where they survived the plane crash and are looking for rescue in order to survive.

The alternative Season 6 would have been the basic struggle to get off the island. There would be no Ajira rescue plane because Ben would not have built the runway. The final conflict remaining between the survivors would have been simple: those who wanted to go and those who wanted to stay on the island.

Those who wanted to stay on the island would include Rose and Bernard, who had little to do with the politics and violence swirling around the island groups. Also, Kate and Sayid would have nothing to go back to on the mainland so they probably could care less about rescue. Despite their personal differences, Jack and Sawyer would want to get off the island.  Sawyer's plan was always to leave. Jack had his mother and career to go back to, as well as his "duty" as leader of the survivors to get them home. Sun would want to leave to be reunited with her daughter. Claire would want to be reunited with Aaron. The other survivors like Hurley could be neutral.

Jin perhaps has the skill set as the son of a fisherman to take Michael's place and build a rescue raft. Sawyer had experience building the first raft.  The only person left to sabotage this plan is Jacob and the smoke monster, MIB.

We assume that Jacob and MIB would want everyone to stay on the island and fight, kill and corrupt for their amusement. But even if we take those supernatural beings out of the equation - - - no reference to them in Season 6 - - - there still could be major conflict as the island's resources could be at issue between the rafters and the beach camp.

Alternative Season 6 could have concluded with the tearful launch of the raft and its occupants. As they cross into the horizon, those who stayed behind make a vow to make their own family and community. But immediately after the launch, there is a violent tropical storm that hits the island, causing havoc and hardship on those who stayed behind. This is another cruel "re-set" of the plane survivors who have to start once again from scratch to rebuild their camp.  The series could end with a pan of the beach away from the beach camp, to find specific objects from the raft, coming on shore with the driftwood storm debris.

Friday, July 18, 2014


There are many new pilots making the television rounds like The Strain, The Leftovers and  Intruders which apparently quickly set the stage with a HUGE mystery as a means of locking in viewers' interest. When pitching these shows and discussing them with the media, the producers stress the mysteries and eventually concede that the series would not be another LOST.

Another LOST meaning that the new shows will fully explain the premise and mysteries set forth early on in the plots.

So one of the lasting legacies of LOST is the express promise to networks and viewers that a new show will not be another LOST.

It is one thing for the LOST creators-producers-writers to bristle at fans criticism of the ending of LOST, but to have people within the industry raise the question at the very beginning has to be a real blow to the stomach.

One of the tenets of Hollywood has always been to steal from successful films and shows. Success breeds imitation to outright copying. The sales pitch usually includes that the new show is "like" this one, or "has elements" of this other one . . . as a means of giving a network executive some context and level of comfort that a familiar story has a better level of success. In the early LOST materials, the creators used the same type of marketing technique to get their pilot green lit.

But to have a calling card that the quick hit opening show mystery is NOT going to be like LOST has to be the life preserver thrown to the network prior to the ship setting sail. It is ironic that a show that still finds its way into many critics Top Ten lists is now a moniker to television insiders of what is not going to happen.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Does LOST work as any of these genres?

1. Action series?

Yes and No. There was plenty of action including memorable explosions such as the Hatch, the ambush of the Others in the beach camp, Artz handling the TNT and the endless running through the jungle scenes. But some of the explosions or action sequences were unrealistic or mere twists to jump start a sagging plot line. The whole Jughead detonation to reboot the time line only accomplished a cliffhanger.

2. Adventure series?

No. An adventure series is where the protagonist(s) have to overcome a series of challenges, events, villains in order to reach a specific goal. The Indiana Jones films are clear adventure series where the lead is setting forth on a quest to find something. Even Michael Palin's travel shows are his adventures in strange lands and cultures which leads him to his final conclusions on the people and places he encountered along his journey. LOST had a series of "missions" that the main characters went on, but very few had a clear focus (except "rescue" missions). Some people considered the mission creep in the series as filler to keep the characters moving and exploring the island but the characters rarely used any of the knowledge gained to better their situation. A bunch of disconnected adventures does not make an adventure series.

3. Romantic show?

Yes but more no. Characters liked and disliked each other. Some had passionate affairs, some had personal regrets. When Sayid spent years pining over his life's love, Nadia, but winds up with his very short hook up partner in Shannon in the sideways ending, viewers were both confused and angry.  Likewise, when Jack wound up back with Kate, it seemed more like she was the last one standing than the passionate love of his life. Only Rose and Bernard seemed to have a lasting, true love which was sealed prior to their island life.

4. Mystery series?

No. Mystery shows construct complex story lines filled with clues so the viewers have a chance to figure out the mystery before it is revealed in the ending. In LOST, the writers-producers set out to intentionally raise mysteries and questions without the intellectual bargain to give viewers their solution in the end. It cannot be a mystery series if the mysteries are not solved.

5. Science fiction series?

Yes and no. It did have many sci-fi elements like the smoke monster, and scientific references to unique electromagnetic properties, but extrapolated science principles into credible sci-fi canon was diluted when supernatural elements without explanation overwhelmed the plot lines. The immortal beings of Jacob and MIB was so different than the Widmore-Dharma-Others scientific questions and quests to control the island that it clouded the stories and facts of the first five seasons.  A true sci-fi series like Star Trek or Star Wars sets forth a clear vision of the story's universe and keeps true to it. LOST had so many continuity issues within the overlapping story lines to have no clear vision of its own universal structure.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Medical science is conducting trials on a process that is attempting to bring the dead back to life. It is quickly replacing a person's blood with cold saline solution to create a suspended animation where the brain and other organs shut down but do not die. This gives physicians time to repair damaged organs and revive the patient.

Science fiction has its share of bringing back souls from mummies to vampires to Dr. Frankenstein.

In LOST, one of the open questions is still whether the main characters were "alive" or "dead" on the island. One group believes they died in the plane crash and the island was their purgatory. Another group believes they survived the plane crash and were human survivors on a mysterious island.

But what if we twist those beliefs.

The theory is that the main characters were dead souls in the sideways world, but they were brought back to life on the island world in order to work out their past life's issues.

It is a handy theory because it in some ways neutralizes the "are they alive or dead?" debate with a unique premise that the characters were both dead and alive.

The "reincarnation" takes place in the after life when the souls take "a plane ride" to LA, but are split into a new body as an island survivor. As a survivor with no memory that they are already dead, continues to live out their lives through their memories, which are reinforced by the island's supernatural smoke monster. The island is a form of group therapy for troubled souls who have regrets that hold them back from moving on in the after life.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


There is an interesting concept, which may have roots in ancient Asian cultures, that states that individuals in the present are basically recycled souls.

We do not have the individuality that we think we have because we are the continuation of past lives, in different bodies, with different memories, experiences, etc.

It is a form of reincarnation, but different. It states that the soul or spirit is the living being, not the human form that looks us in the mirror each morning. The spirit is a non-physical form that inhabits flesh and bone (or in some cultures all things).

The application of this concept to LOST is interesting because the characters who were brought back together in the end church had very little in common besides the island experience. One would think that in an after life setting, the departed would reunite with the parents, siblings and spouses - - -  not a raggy band of misfits.

But step back and view the characters not as human beings but the 10th, 20th or 50th version of a spirit. Spirits whose past lives are repressed until their awakening prior to their next version.

As such, the reunion was not about the human characters but perhaps a long standing family or community of like spirits who have completed their last past human existence and are now ready for the next one.

There is some science to the notion that we are not individuals but a collection of past lives: in our DNA. It contains the genetic material for past generations so in fact we each our living histories of many people's pasts. Whether this past DNA is computer code that has an effect on our mental processes, and how our personality leads our lives, is unknown.

If LOST is viewed not as a human drama but as external spirits riding through a material world it does change the entire outlook of the series.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Success is relative: It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things. ” T.S. Eliot

By most objective means, LOST was a successful series. Most American television shows do not last 6 seasons. It had a strong, vocal and loyal fan base. It built on an on-line community that was intensely into their show. It was a good show, but for many it could have been better.

And that is the rub that still divides various fan factions to this day.

Part of the lingering issues deal with expectations and promises.

First, TPTB promised that there would be answers to the major mysteries contained in the series. By nearly all accounts, that did not happen.

Second, based upon the success and action in the first season, and the fan community efforts to analyze and create theories of what was happening inside the show, expectations for a mind-blowing ending were raised by the LOST writers who added layers and layers of questions upon the show's mysteries. The finale split viewers into two basic camps: those who liked and approved the ending because their characters found happiness; and those who felt disappointed that the ending did not resolve their burning questions.

This mess could have been successfully resolved if the writers explained how the characters got to the sideways after life - - - whether the island was a purgatory or real, and if real, was it Earth or a parallel universe, and if so, how did they get there and more importantly, how did they get out of there? Instead, the writers and TPTB refused to explain their thought processes of their own story, stating that certain questions were never meant to be answered at all. 

This mess could have been controversially resolved by not having Season 6 at all; having a Sopranos style ending in Season 5 with Juliet banging on the atomic bomb casing then having a searing white light as she whispered, "it worked." 

Well, mess may be a harsher term now four years removed from the ending. A disorganized clutter of shelved library books would be a better description. For those who had prior doubts that the writers could pull off the great literary feat of neatly tying up all the diverse story lines into a nice dramatic package, they feel a shallow victory because they wanted the answers. And the odd thing is that even if the answers were not what they thought should happen or fit into their view of the show, there would be conclusive answers! End of story. Fin.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


There is a new comic book that has strange themes similar to LOST's story construction.

It is called The Life After by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Gabo, on Oni Press.

The central theme of the story is religion in the surveillance age.

At the start of The Life After, a young man named Jude breaks the monotonous routine of his life, forcing his way off the bus he takes every day to chase after a woman he’s never met. What seems like a romantic moment of a guy getting up the nerve to meet the girl of his dreams quickly turns into an even bigger moment that begins to reveal Jude's world for what it really is. When he then meets deceased novelist Ernest Hemingway, the only other person who sees the world for what it truly is, that's when the comic really gets started.

The premise is a twist on a story about religion - being watched over by a higher power - but using modern technology of the surveillance age to show that events in an afterlife are all false.  That in this world, faceless individuals monitoring and orchestrating every person's  move.

LOST dealt with big concepts of life and death, but in either a bloody plot twist fashion or a overreach of white light conclusions.

One similar key is that the characters in the comic and the series may not be aware of their true existence. They go about their business like they are alive, but in fact their own perception of themselves and the world around them is false. LOST was filled with clues telling the viewers that the events they were watching were not real, an illusion, imaginary, or a deception. Individuals with sketchy backgrounds like Eloise seemed to be watching over and manipulating the characters.

But LOST did not sort out or judge the characters by good or evil. People "died" whether they were good or evil. Whether the watchers did it more amusement or for another purpose is unclear.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


There is a common tread throughout the vast history of human cultures: burial customs.

Despite different beliefs, the common thread is that humans hope that their life will continue on after their Earthly demise.

In modern times, people are buried in cemeteries that contain neatly mowed grass, flowers and trees. It is a garden setting. Relatives and friends can return to recall fond memories of the departed in these memory gardens.

If we take this concept and apply it to the other side of the equation, LOST's island could also be considered a memory garden for the departed souls.

Not to label it heaven, purgatory or hell, but just a place where memories are revisited and replayed in order to release any final regrets before a second life begins.

It is a logical to tie the island to the sideways world if in fact both exist on the same level of existence. They can co-exist since time does not exist in the after life, but that realm is eternal.

As a memory garden, the island serves to spotlight the characters first and foremost, which is what the writers claimed was their purpose to have a character driven show.

This concept does negate traditional story telling because the setting is not real, but surreal. The events do not have true consequences. It seems when a soul has worked his or her memories clear and accepted their fate, they can move on without strings attached to their next life.

Friday, July 11, 2014


In the past decade, there has been some scientific debate in regard to potential changes in the human species. In studying the genes of X and Y chromosomes, it appears that there is less genetic material in the Y or male chromosomes. And when compared to other mammals, there seems to be a pattern of the genes in the Y turning off over time. The Y component produces male testes and the male form of the species. But if it slowly fades away through an evolutionary process, that would mean that humans are moving toward a woman dominated society. At that point, scientists wonder how human beings would be able to reproduce.

In nature, mutations occur to solve such problems. Some animals can actually change gender in order to procreate. Others could possibly fold their genetic strands upon themselves to create a pregnancy with complete XX genetic material.

In any such transition period, the female population would statistically grow larger than the male population. Females would become the dominate society leaders. Females would then set the standards for procreation including identifying their attributes for their mates. In advanced cultures, this can take technology to the new level to remove the male element from the procreation process all together.

In the background of LOST, we see hints of this evolutionary process taking shape.

In the Others camp, Ben was the sadistic leader who had the power, but females like Juliet are smarter, shrewder and have more common sense to survive.

In the beach camp, Jack was the reluctant leader, but Kate seemed to have more common sense survival skills on their missions. She also had the skills to manipulate men to do what she wanted them to do for her. Also, Rose was a more dominate character than her husband, Bernard. Sun had a much more global perspective than Jin.

And the idea that Sun became pregnant on the island when she and Jin were infertile couple touches upon the end of the evolutionary cycle where females are self-producing their own offspring. Interestingly, her offspring was a girl.

The female characters in the series were reserved but had deeper strengths than most of their male counterparts.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Nature is full of infinite causes that have never occurred in experience. ” Leonardo da Vinci.

 The island ecosphere had its unusual properties.

The interaction between living organisms and nonliving properties was at times acute.

The island had tropical flora but temperate fauna.

The island had a rush, rainforest environment but few, if any insects or reptiles.

The island had intense but short rain storms. 

The sunlight was different on the island.

The waters off shore were circular in current, so as to be describe the island as being in a snow globe.

The island was a unique environment. Most of the characters adapted to the natural elements of the island. They found food and fresh water. But there was the sinister rumor that there was some "illness" or "infection" on the island that threatened especially women. 

The only top predator on the island was man. The polar bears that got loose in the wild were brought to the island for experiments. The only other thing that could do damage to man, woman or child was the smoke monster, who may or may not have been a natural thing. More likely, it was the supernatural formation of elements from a different dimension of space and time.

The energy source on the island was also not natural, but unique. Scientists described the island's electromagnetic properties as "unique" to dangerous. The light source was described as "life, death and rebirth," going beyond a mere natural energy source to a Divine supernatural force.

Perhaps if the biosphere of the island was explained more fully by the writers, we could have a better appreciation of the island and the context of how the characters were interacting with its natural and supernatural forces.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


"Today there's no legislation regarding how much intelligence a machine can have, how interconnected it can be. If that continues, look at the exponential trend. We will reach the singularity in the time frame most experts predict. From that point on you're going to see that the top species will no longer be humans, but machines," states physicist, entrepreneur, and author Louis Del Monte.

 Del Monte believes that by 2045, surrounding artificial intelligence and the singularity, an indeterminate point in the future when machine intelligence will outmatch not only your own intelligence, but the world's combined human intelligence as well.

The sci-fi threat that computers will overtake their human masters is a long running genre. Everyone remembers Terminator. The foundational facts of the rise of computing machines is that computers are doing more complex calculations faster than human beings who program them. Computers are also starting to "think" on their own to create their own "applied" knowledge to situational data inputs. Whether this awareness of applied knowledge or thought will create a consciousness is something that future philosophers and social scientists will have to debate.

On a parallel course, there is movement to integrate computer technology into human beings. Beyond just the current fad of wearable tech, people want to begin to implant microchips into themselves to speed up cognitive reaction. Medical science wants to explore the use of artificial body parts which leads to cyborg technology advances.

The convergence of these prospects can yield a sci-fi explanation for the LOST smoke monster. Computers are just hardware that intercept bits of electronic pulses coded as ones and zeros. The question is whether one can collect and manipulate those computer inputs outside the hardware box we know of today. It could be possible that merely a magnetic field could be the shell for the electric pulses to operate. As physics states, energy is matter and matter is energy; it is possible that an electro-magnetic computer could turn energy into matter and vice versa.

The smoke monsters form has always been a mystery. Theories suggested that it could be a) nano-technology microrobots swarming in a field; b) the representation of a evil soul; c) an alien from another world or dimension; or d) a weapon similar to a mustard gas cloud but with some built-in intelligence.

But what if the smoke monster was the internal components of a computer than released itself from the bonds of hardware and went out into the real world. If it was conscious, it would be like man reaching to the stars to explore space. A computer with the awareness of its trapped situation in micro-circuits in a laboratory may want to become its own explorer of the world outside its room.

And this is the essence of the singularity principle: machine becomes aware of its surroundings to begin to take on human thoughts, emotions and dreams.

Perhaps, the smoke monster was trying to fulfill its long held computer dreams of exploring the world outside its hardware shell. But once outside its normal working parameters, it has a hard time understanding or interacting with the lower beings it encounters (humans).

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Astral projection is the ability to travel to places only with your consciousness and awareness. Yogis were able to achieve this ability by reaching one of the slowest frequency of their mind through meditation (the point between awake and asleep. In psychology known as Theta brainwaves). This ability can be very useful in many ways.

First, an industrial-military use of such a mental projection would be spying. To travel with just your mind to any place to retrieve information would be a huge benefit to a major corporation or a super power in developing strategy and responses to alleged threats.

Second, in a personal way, projections to spy on personal relationships would be both useful and creepy. If a person can mentally project his conscious into a private conversation with their significant other to glean information, feelings, thoughts (or infidelity), that could cause significant changes in the relationship.

Third,  the ability to know people's future actions could change the future. If one spies on Wall Street traders to get inside information, one could become extremely wealthy with no visible paper trail on mergers, acquisitions, or undisclosed information that could drastically affect stock prices.

This psychic ability seems more probable to Desmond's ability than the explanation of "mental time travel." Desmond's premonitions were mostly wrong. For example, he saw Claire being rescued by helicopter, which never happened. One thinks that there were some intervening events (such as saving Charlie) which changed those visions, but we can't be sure.

The ability to astral project into another's emotions and thoughts could be in play after Desmond was supercharged with island electromagnetic energy. With this new found power would come some confusion on how Desmond would read those emotions and thoughts. This also comes to explain why the smoke monster, or Man in Black, can re-create a human being's life and project things from their past on the island: the ability access conscious, emotions and memories of human beings.

Widmore may have tapped into this psychic ability while on the island to amass his large fortune. It was the ability to see into his competitors and crush any competition was the driving force for his return to the island.  Likewise, Eloise had some psychic ability to foretell Desmond's future, as well as the Oceanic 6.

If one can tap into the mind of another person to read it, one can also project the ability to tap into another person's mind and "reprogram it." We do it all the time in real life. In new relationships, we tend to go slow, get to know a person, gain their trust, capture their feelings in order to bond with them. With mental projection, it could be possible to avoid the hard work of interpersonal communications and just get to the end emotional bond attachment to you. This could explain the 180 degree emotional turns in relationship status during the island events, as the main characters feelings towards their closest friends would shift dramatically and without warning (the prime example was Kate's love interests).

If the main characters were manipulated by the island, the Others or Jacob and the smoke monsters, does that answer the big mysteries of the show? Not really. In the themes of free will vs. fate, the concept of mental manipulation is non-existent.

Monday, July 7, 2014


Season 5 can be considered a watershed for LOST, or where the series fell off the rails, or foreshadowed the confusion to come in Season 6.

The preview poster claimed "Destiny Calls."

Destiny means that the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future, i.e.  she was unable to control her own destiny. It is the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate. Destiny can be considered predetermined outcome that an individual cannot control.

The main plot points for Season 5 took the initial island survival story and slammed dunked it in the ocean.

Season 5 centered mainly on the people left behind on the island and the series  "bad things" that happened after Ben turned the frozen wheel. Major plot points and themes included:
  •  Time travel, the Island's unexplained erratic jumps through time, and whether it is possible to change the past or not, with the notion of "whatever happened, happened."
  • Death, featuring three episodes heavily concerning themes of death, third parties statements about being dead,  and the apparent resurrection of Locke.
  •   Leadership, especially concerning the history of the Others throughout both timelines;  the powerplay between Jack, Sawyer and DHARMA  in 1977 time travel arc, and the question of leadership of the Ajira 316 survivors.
  • The O6 survivors'  journey back to the Island, following the lead and direction of mysterious Eloise.
  • DHARMA Initiative ways of life, experiments and other activities on the Island, mainly Horace, Dr. Chang and Radzinsky trying to harness the island's "unique" properties. 
  • Ancient Island history, including the tunnels, the smoke monster's alleged place of origin, the statue of Taweret, an ancient Egyptian god, and the conflict between Jacob and the Man in Black. 
 The time travel arc did not solve any of the mysteries set forth in the prior four seasons. It just added a supernatural component to an island that was not an island in any physical sense. Despite the producers adamant cries that the characters "were alive" the constant scripts telling the viewers that they characters were actually dead leading many to believe that their souls were trapped in a secondary universe, arguments continue to this day what was real and unreal. Leadership was a theme, but leadership itself lapsed into apathetic following, especially in the beach survivor's camp. Why anyone who got off the island would desperately want to return to their probable demise is still a crazy notion that none of the characters could adequately explain. DHARMA and its purpose got the short stick because we were introduced to new characters, but only partial and vague explanations of their work. It seemed like more tangent filler than real source materials. It was the ancient island history that held the most promise - - - with the detailed backgrounds of ancient Egyptian culture and rites could have been the Big explanation to the LOST mythology. But, despite the time and resources devoted to these plot elements, nothing substantial came of them.

One could say that LOST could have skipped Season 5 entirely and jumped from the end of Season 4 directly into Season 6 without that much more confusion.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


A 1937 Miami Herald photograph may have solved one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

The picture, snapped right before Earhart made her ill-fated second attempt to fly around the world, shows a patch of aluminum bolted onto Earhart’s plane that appears to match a piece of aluminum discovered by investigators on a remote Pacific Island in 1991, the Herald reports.

The metal plate, which experts assumed was used to cover a broken window, does not appear in any other known photos of Earhart’s plane, according to the report.

The photo adds another twist to the controversy surrounding Earhart’s death. The aviation pioneer disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 during her second attempt to circumnavigate the globe by air.

Dozens of theories about the nature of Earhart’s death have sprung up over the years. It remains one of the most debated unsolved mysteries in America even today.

In Miami in 1937, the press gathered to see Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan embark on their flight around the world. Earhart’s plane had been undergoing repairs in Miami for a week before its departure. Ric Gillespie, a prominent Earhart investigator, believes that these repairs included the patching over of a broken rear window with an aluminum plate. The window had been specially installed so Noonan could navigate via the sun and stars but may have sustained damage during Earhart’s rough landing in Miami.

Gillespie, a prominent Earhart investigator, is convinced he and his team discovered the same aluminum plate on the tiny Gardner Island in the Pacific in 1991. Upon the plate’s initial discovery, forensic analysis revealed it was made from a type of aluminum that was commonly used in the manufacturing of American airplanes during the 1930s.

Despite this evidence, the case remained open when further investigation showed the rivet patterns on the scrap did not match those on the metal used to make Earhart’s plane.

However, the Herald photo suggests the plate was not part of the plane’s original structure, but an add-on installed shortly before Earhart’s departure from Miami. If this piece of metal is in fact the same one Ric Gillespie and his team discovered, it would debunk the popular theory that Earhart simply crashed and sank into the Pacific Ocean, suggesting instead that she died after crash-landing on Gardner Island and finding herself stranded.

“The replacement of that window had to be done in Miami, at a Pan Am facility that was helping Earhart,” Gillespie told the Herald. “They may have used different materials than Lockheed ... If we can match that rivet pattern in the photo, I don’t see how anybody can argue against this anymore.”

During LOST's TV run, there were a few fans who speculated that Earhart would turn up on the island in a major plot twist. Some thought that Ben's school friend, Annie, could have been Earhart's granddaughter. One could speculate that Eloise could be Earhart since she knew how to navigate and find the mysterious island.

Despite all the investigations, no one ever found identifiable crash wreckage of Earhart's plane, or any remains of the crew. This leads to the remote possibility that the crew survived a landing on the water or on land. But as the world is currently aware, the oceans are vast places where planes can disappear without a trace.

An Earhart story line could have been used to try to tie the knotted story lines about the island's past into some sort of relevant perspective.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


There is a new cable show called The Leftovers that promises that it will be different than LOST: it will have an ending.


But that still is a litmus test for shows that start with a huge mystery that is supposed to be answered through the various show characters as they move toward the end.

The premise of The Leftovers, where 2 percent of the world's population has just disappeared without any explanation. There's no scientific or religious narrative that can make sense of the event; it just seems random. It is an apocalyptic story that didn't involve a nuclear holocaust or a zombie invasion. The Leftovers takes place in a world that looks exactly like the world we live in now. It's not about how we survive when there's no food and no clean water, but how we endure when everything we believed has been, if not obliterated, then seriously challenged.

People will point out that there's some similarity to Lost in that the characters are dealing with a profoundly mysterious situation. But it's not set on a desert island; it's set in a recognizable suburban town. But the show's creator understands that  The Leftovers will probably provoke some of the same reactions from the audience—the excitement of exploring the mystery through the lives of a broad range of characters and, possibly, some frustration when the show doesn't produce a simple explanation for what happened.

Friday, July 4, 2014


In reading an article about ancient neurosurgery, I came across an interesting sidebar on how some South American cultures used the process of cutting holes in skulls to treat "spirits" inside a person's head.

It seems strange that ancient priests would crack skulls to release spirits that had taken over a person's mind and body. It could have been a way to explain a person's seizures, epilepsy or swelling of the brain casing to a primitive people.

Many medical researches do not believe ancient cultures performed neurosurgery. However, several archeologists and medical doctors have concluded that ancient people  had trepanned skulls, under the cultural significance to release spirits trapped inside the brain. Forensic archeologists claim that by using sharp glass, one can open the skull of a recently deceased 2-year-old in four minutes. Cutting a similar hole in an adult skull required 50 minutes.  The studies fall back on various finds in Central and South America where skulls had various holes in them. These holes did not have the signs of being from blunt trauma like a pick-axe or spear, but a deliberate round opening in the skull.

However, other researchers have come to the conclusion that that ancient neurosurgeons were removing bone fragments from injuries sustained during combat. Modern research has provided strong evidence for this, especially among the Inca. For one thing, far more males than females had trepanation holes, likely because most warriors were males. For another, the holes were usually located on the left side of the skull—where a right-handed assailant would aim a slingshot or smash his club.

If the spirit theory is that trepanation released evil spirits, it plays into stereotypes of ancient people as described by the first European explorers who called them savages, even though their cultures had vast knowledge of astrology, mathematics and engineering. Many tribes—despite wildly different supernatural beliefs—probably did trepan people to treat epilepsy and hallucinations, maladies often associated with spirits.

From a modern medical perspective, the idea of making holes in the skull makes sense: Doctors today still trepan people to reduce pressure on the brain after injury. The practice is meant to reduce swelling and the buildup of blood and other fluids, which can kill brain cells.

But if you take a primitive belief system of ancient people, who believed that various spirits lived in every living thing—a logical treatment to release evil spirits trapped inside a person makes sense if the process was to cure a 'cursed" person.

This has an application to LOST. One that is new spin on the main characters. We have discussed the possibility that the characters were under mental stress, hallucinations, mental illness or coma in order to explain the events that they encountered on the island. Some have even suggested that the characters, having perished in the plane crash, were reincarnated as smoke monsters and the island was just one big smokey playground of illusion and make believe.

Likewise, if spirits invaded the characters brains - - - either in an attempt to infect, control or manipulate a human being - - - does that help explain the disconnected story lines of the series? Perhaps. Many ancient cultures, including several modern religions, believe that there both good and evil spirits in our world. Some are messengers, some are guardians and some are tricksters that like to make misery on human beings by allowing them to make bad choices. Those spirit elements could be applied throughout the LOST story sphere, but we don't have a strong clue about it except for the re-creation of MIB by the smoke monster, who could have been an evil spirit.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Another popular fan theory to explain LOST was that somehow Flight 815 went through a time-space portal during its flight from Sydney to LA.

Fan Theory: Flight 815 flew the vortex of a time-space portal which allowed it to crash land on an island in a different dimension.

Once the viewers were told that the island was capable of moving in both time and space, theorists speculated that the cause of the island's properties had to be beyond the confines of Earth physics. Some thought that the plane could have gone through a wormhole, and instantaneously traversed the galaxy to a parallel universe. In a similar vein, the portal or vortex moved the plane into an event horizon bubble near a wormhole that was fairly stable, but shifting within our known universe.

The idea that the castaways were released from the boundaries of nature was helpful to explain away the inconsistencies and paradoxes of the time travel arcs. It would have to have some bearing on the fact that the off-island world was a duplicate of the characters' prior lives. When the first glimpse of the sideways world came into existence, fans thought that was confirmation that the characters were somehow connected to different but parallel lives in two different universes.

That would also come into play with the mental instability of many characters. The longer one would have been connected to their "other self" in a different dimension, some of dementia could logically follow.

Scientists do not believe that wormholes are stable. It would tear a part any object, including space ships and people, just beyond the event horizon. Wormholes are capable of consuming entire galaxies.

Theoretical scientists and science fiction writers believe that there is nothing in our knowledge base to refute the possibility of multiple universes co-existing in the same space and time. For example, a digital television signal can contain several different channels broadcasting at the same time.

This theory is still discussed as a better explanation for the show's end game, if one tries to refute the clear statement that all the characters in the sideways church were dead. But what is "dead" in another universe? Are the rules the same or different? They must be different if the second universe's projection to our universe caused an island to disappear.

There were clues to the mechanics of a time-space portal in the series. In the frozen donkey wheel room, there were hieroglyphs which stated certain positions or "Earth gates." A gateway to another place or dimension, besides the teleportation to North Africa? It is possible. It follows ancient religions that stated that a person's soul must go on a journey to another world. It is possible that these different concepts were pooled together at some point to try to create a story line to try to end the show on some sci-fi bearing. But this line of thinking was never wrapped up into a coherent story.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


The BBC reported on a recent study that has LOST like aspects to altered reality, the observation of time and how certain people's brains may view time differently. It is something scientists refer to as "temporal trickery." The brain apparently freezes motion to make the world around you slow down.

The concept that certain people see things differently is not new. Professional athletes such as baseball players have keen eyesight and perception to pick up the spin and location of a 95 mph fastball within nanoseconds of release. Ballet dancers train their brain to allow them to perform pirouettes without feeling dizzy.

In a case reported in the NeuroCase journal, doctors recount the experience of a patient who one day had a headache, went to take a warm shower to relax but found himself staring at the water droplets hanging in mid air like something out of the Matrix movies. The patient said he could see each droplet hanging in front of him, distorted by the pressure of the air rushing past. The effect, he recalls, was very similar to the way the bullets travelled in the Matrix movies. “It was like a high-speed film, slowed down.”

The next day, the patient went to hospital, where doctors found that he had suffered an aneurysm. The experience was soon overshadowed by the more immediate threat to his health, but in a follow-up appointment, he happened to mention what happened to his neurologist, Fred Ovsiew at Northwestern University in Chicago, who was struck by the vivid descriptions. “He was a very bright guy, and very eloquent” says Ovsiew, who recently wrote about Baker in the journal article.

What authors, scientists, doctors and individuals observe in daily life is an assumption that time flows at the same rate for everyone; that time is a constant of nature and physics. But what if that assumption is wrong, or it has variables.

It’s easy to assume that time flows at the same rate for everybody, but experiences of the patient show that a person's continuous stream of consciousness is a fragile illusion, stitched together by the brain’s clever editing. By studying what happens during such extreme events, researchers are revealing how and why the brain plays these temporal tricks – and in some circumstances, they suggest, all of us can experience "time warping."

Although the journal's subject is the most dramatic case, a smattering of strikingly similar accounts can be found, intermittently, in medical literature. There are reports of time speeding up – so called “zeitraffer” phenomenon – and also more fragmentary experiences called “akinetopsia”, in which motion momentarily stops. Such experiences almost always accompany problems like epilepsy or stroke.

The question is why a person's condition affects time perception.  Some clues could come from studies that have attempted to pinpoint the regions responsible for our perception of time. Of particular interest is an area of the visual cortex, called V5. This region, which lies towards the back of the skull, has long been known to detect the motion of objects, but perhaps it has a more general role in measuring the passing of time. When Domenica Bueti and colleagues at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland zapped the area with a magnetic field to knock out its activity, her subjects found it tricky to do two things: they struggled to track the motion of dots on a screen, as would be expected,  but also found it hard to estimate how long some blue dots appeared on the screen.   One explanation for this double-failure is that our motion perception system has its own stopwatch, recording how fast things are moving across our vision – and when this is disrupted by brain injury, the world stands still. For the journal patient, stepping into the shower might have exacerbated the problem, since the warm water would have drawn the blood away from the brain to the extremities of the body, further disturbing the brain’s processing.

Another explanation comes from the discovery that our brain records its perceptions in discrete “snapshots," like the frames of a film reel. “The healthy brain reconstructs the experience and glues together the different frames,” saysresearchers at the French Centre for Brain and Cognition Research, “but if brain damage destroys the glue, you might only see the snapshots.” We may all experience the normal smooth picture breaking down occasionally. For starters, if you’ve ever looked at overtaking cars on the motorway, their wheels appear to be standing still.   This happens because the brain’s intermittent snapshots fail to capture the wheel’s motion fully. If, for example, it has made a full rotation between each “frame," it will seem to be in exactly the same position each snapshot, giving the illusion that it is stationary.

And users of LSD often report “visual trails” following moving objects, a bit like the trails of bullets in The Matrix movie. VanRullen suspects this might arise because the brain "overlaps" so sensory snapshots,   rather than refreshing its picture anew to capture the actual motion.
Reports of time standing still are also common during a life-threatening accident; in one survey of people who had skirted close to death, more than 70% reported the feeling that the event occurred in slow motion. Some researchers claim that they are simply an artifact of memory, since intense emotions led people to remember more details,  so that we believe that the event lasted for longer only in hindsight. But the descriptions certainly sound close to those reported by the neurological patients, suggesting there may be some overlap. In stressful situations,  many subjects also report abnormally quick thinking. As one pilot, who’d faced a plane crash in the Vietnam War, put it: “when the nose-wheel strut collapsed I vividly recalled, in a matter of about three seconds, over a dozen actions necessary to successful recovery of flight attitude."  Reviewing the case studies and available scientific research on the matter concludes that stress hormones trigger an automatic brain mechanism that may speed up the brain's internal information processing to help it handle a life or death situation.   “Our thoughts and initiation of movements become faster – but because we are working faster, the external world appears to slow down,” researchers says. It is even possible that some athletes havetrained themselves to create a time warp on demand;  surfers, for instance, can often adjust their angle in the split second it takes to launch off steep waves, as the water rises overhead.
For the journal subject, the experience was a one-off, and after surgery to remove the damaged blood vessels, he has now made a full recovery. The experience of time freezing around him, meanwhile, has given him new wonder at the fragility of our conscious experiences. “It was a really concrete example of how something very localised in brain can change your whole perception of the world,” he says. “One minute I was fine, the next minute I was in an altered reality.”

All of the elements of time warping, slowing down events in a life or death situation, and medical conditions affecting the brain and its processing, were part of the fabric of the LOST story. Real science has opened up the possibility that the altered reality that the main characters experienced "on the island" may have been caused or contributed by brain trauma, illness and/or massive stress hormones released by a person. So the show could have been set in the time altered illusion inside someone's mind during a major stressful event, such as a plane crash.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Another popular fan theory from later in the show's run: the Chess or Game Theory.

Fan Theory: The Chess Game Theory 

At the end of Season 5, we not only saw Jacob for the first time, but also a mysterious Man in Black. He suggested that Jacob was bringing people to the island, "still trying to prove me wrong." He says: "They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same." Jacob counters with: "It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress." Their dialogue suggests that Jacob was the one who brought the plane to the island as part of some long cosmic battle between these two entities, turning the Oceanic 815 survivors into nothing but pawns in a huge chess game of the gods.

This was a clear that Jacob and the Man in Black would be  two key figures in the last season, and their epic war is definitely part of the show's end game. Or that is what we were led to believe.

In the Jacob back story, we would learn that Jacob and his brother were shipwrecked in vitro on the island. Their mother gave birth to them and shortly thereafter was murdered by Crazy Mother, the island guardian. Growing up, the boys found a box which contained the ancient Egyptian game of Senet, a very early board game. In the game, the goal is to roll a counter or dice to move your pieces (black or white) off the game board.

Viewers have tried to match the parallels of the Senet game with island events. Some believed that Jacob played white (good) and MIB wearing black was bad. Yet, the whole Jacob story line really fizzled into a mishmash of gray.

If there were two teams and the pieces were represented by the loyalty of the characters to a specific leader in Season 6, then what was the key moment of the game? Who won? If the character pieces needed to be removed in order to win, did that mean the candidates had to die in order for someone to claim full victory? But in the end, several of Jacob's crew (Sawyer and Kate) left the island - - - did that make Jacob the winner (but he died) or MIB (who was really the smoke monster taking the form of his dead brother)? It is quite confusing considering the grand build up and introduction of two major players near the end of the series.

Some believe that the writers threw in the Jacob story arc as a means of trying to find a way out of their hopeless prior plot twists that were supposed to lead us to a logical, rational and clear explanation for all the island events. An immortal man and a smoke monster are playing a board game on the beach . . .  . just does not provide the answers promised by TPTB.

Again, if this was just a game, there was nothing important by the characters actions, reactions or decisions because they were mere pawns in a chess game run by supernatural beings.