Saturday, August 30, 2014


The old saying is "cats have 9 lives." It is not really based upon any actual science, but mere observation that cats tend to get in and out of trouble in McGuffin fashion. For some reason, cats that fall off building ledges always land on their paws.

What if people had this cat-like trait?

We clearly saw Patchy, the one-eyed Other, "die" numerous times only to come back and thwart the Losties plans. That seems to be an obvious writer's ploy to surprise the viewers, and add the taint of mystery about the island (why do some people die, and some do not?)  Ben was taken to the temple and was "reborn," but Sayid was taken to the temple waters - - - died and was reincarnated as an evil minion. Locke "survived" a 10 story plunge, an airplane crash, and being shot in gut. Pretty darn lucky; 9 lives cat lucky.

Like most things in LOST, story continuity and rules are very inconsistent. Who lives and who dies is probably more attached to the emotional viewer meter than anything else.

But if life teaches us, everyone comes across events that could change their path, for good or ill. Just like in Monopoly, some people tend to get more "Get Out of Jail Free" cards than other people.

But to put a more sci-fi spin on this concept, one could look at a person's life as having one of those sub-sandwich shop customer loyalty cards: after 9 meals, you get one free. But in the scope of one's life line, the card allows 9 critical events to pass that does not cost you your life. The grim reaper clicks off those events until you run out of freebies - - - then you have to pass on.

You can reflect on your own life to remember various events that could have gone badly.

One probably does not realize that this is happening. But a few, like Patchy, who did crazy stupid and clearly suicidal things, probably did know that he would return. With that type of knowledge, one would have great power to control any situation.

You can count on your own how many of the main characters survived car crashes, mental illness, alcohol /drug addictions, shootings, falls, explosions, fights - - - before, during and after their island dangers.

If you look at the characters as counting down not time, but their 9 lives in order to get to the promised land, then that may explain the dull attitude and lack of grasping their dangerous surroundings when they flew off into the jungle on crazy missions. Their subconscious must have been pulling them through the gateway of their own existence.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


There were many driven characters on LOST. But what really motivated them?

POWER. Widmore was hellbent on reclaiming the island. In his banishment from the island, he amassed a great deal of wealth in order to "find" "his" island.

His son, Daniel, was looking for a different kind of power. One that could control time, as his lab rat experiments at Oxford would show was possible. But in his search for intellectual power, Daniel severely injured his assistant - - - and stopped his progress to attain power and its prestige.

Jack held the power of life and death over his severely injured patients. As a surgeon, his skill level would determine whether he would help or harm at patient. As with his father's demise for medical negligence, there is a fine line between being a miracle worker and a fraud.

CONTROL. Sawyer wanted to control his life after his parents deaths. He wanted to control his future for one event: revenge on Cooper. It gave him a narrow vision; and ironically turned himself into the person he hated most. He learned the skills of control by being a con man - - - looking deeply into the greed and desires of others, to manipulate them to his advantage.

Likewise, Ben wanted control of the island, not for the power but for the respect he never gathered from his own father. He banished Widmore so the Others would look up to him as their sole leader. Ben tightened his control by surrounding himself with new hires loyal to him.

However, Locke had the same want of being able to control his future as he received no respect from his father. But Locke failed because he never could formulate a workable plan where other people would follow his lead. And during the course of failure after failure, Locke became a bitter person.

Eloise was also a control freak. She knew of future events, and manipulated people like Desmond to get her chess pieces in place so she could have her own after death fantasy family life with a doting son and husband.

But those actions above were not the true motivations of people seeking power or control. The real motivation throughout the characters were their fear of loneliness. Widmore, Ben, Jack, Sawyer and Locke all battled against the stress of loneliness.

Kate was a flirty, gregarious child who got into trouble in order to connect with other people. She turned into a loner because she wanted to run away from commitment. But she found that made her even more alone.

Hurley always felt abandoned and alone when his father left him. Then his one best friend left him after he kept a secret from him. Hurley felt that he could trust no one with his new found wealth so he was crazed with the fear that his life would be one lonely road.

Desmond never fit in because he really did not want to try. He feared commitment so he took to the idea of being a loner. But after he met Penny, he wanted to free himself from the chains of loneliness but could not bear the confidence of being able to support Penny or win over her family.

In order to combat their lonely existence, the main characters found new hope when they were thrown together in an island survival story. None could make it on their own. "Live Together or Die Alone." They needed the friendship of each other in order to make their lives meaningful. They needed their friendships in order to move on with their lives. This is probably the clearest theme in the series.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Continuing with the recent theme of multiple souls, there is another possible theory on the island survivors. Instead of dying in the plane crash, they survived but in a weakened state. In such a physical state that the whispers (the ghosts of dead souls who can't leave the island) attempt to enter their bodies in order to get off the island.

This is exactly what MIB/Smokey told the survivors when he was in the form of Flocke.

And it makes some deal of sense. If the island has a strange electromagnetic pull, and certain souls without redemption cannot navigate to the after life, the whispers would then have to find a way out. We know they have an intelligent core as whisper Michael had a conversation with Hurley.

Now, some may counter and say that the whispers were merely mental illusions or delusions, since Alpert's dead wife appeared to him even though she never died on the island.

The idea of Miles and Hurley being able to talk to the dead has two possible reasons. First, they are truly special people, mediums, to the other side. Second, they could have been contacted by the whisper souls directly in order to influence or change their actions so as to help those immortal souls  trapped on the island to escape. Perhaps in a roundabout way, this is the real conclusion to the LOST story as Hurley becomes the island guardian and "shuts it down" which probably would include releasing the souls to their own sideways reality.

So if dead souls could possess living beings, how did they get the survivors to do their bidding? There was a chain of influence spread down from Jacob to Alpert to Ben to Jack to the beach camp.

The problem is what is Jacob. Is he a god, an intelligent being with supernatural powers? Or is he a possessed soul who is granted immortality for so long as a whisper possesses his body? The only real supernatural force shown with any unusual power was the smoke monster, MIB. But he had the lone desire to leave the island, and during the course of the final episodes did everything in his power to recruit, destroy, scare and kidnap people in order for him to get his way. (Ironically, all of these missions and plans may have been a smoke screen; the smoke monster may never have wanted or could not leave the island.)

If the whispers are trapped on the island, was this a form of punishment? In Michael's case, it was since he killed two innocent people. In Alpert's case, he was tried and convicted of murder but sold in slavery instead of receiving his punishment. If so, then the island is a form of hell but no in the conventional fire and brimstone setting.

If the islanders were possessed by whispers, what happens if they are lucky enough to leave? For example, since Jack and Kate saw ghosts form their past on the island, we can assume that window was created by the whispers as a means of controlling them. Once they left the island, the whispers were not able to release themselves into the real world. It made them very unhappy. It caused Jack down a spiral path of personal destruction - - - and an illogical quest to return to the island (so his whisper could go back to its "home.") Recall, Jack's return to the island makes no sense since he had no idea that any of his friends were still alive after the island vanished. It was not Jack that wanted to go back to the island, but the soul who possessed his body and mind.

One can weave a good ghost possession premise to LOST because it is as good as any other theory in trying to explain the illogical motivations of some of the characters and the strong, absurd connection people had with the island.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Theoretical scientists are at the cross roads of quantum dynamics with the Higgs Bosom and particle string theories. Some believe that current information suggests that there are no parallel or multi-universes.

Parallel universes or alternative dimensions have been part of the human culture since the beginning. Ancient cultures had a clear understanding of cosmic planetary and star movements which was the foundation for after death dimensions where souls would go to live in paradise.

When the sideways story arc came into view, many fans thought that the sci-fi element of a parallel universe would explain it. It had its merits. One, there are many writers who believed that there are several parallel universes, like onion skin layers, that contain the same people, places and events but are shaped solely by the decisions individuals make at key points in time.  For example, if Jack did not ask out Sarah in universe one, then Jack would wind up with Juliet in universe two.

Two, other writers believe that scientists like Einstein calculated that there may be as many as 26 separate dimensions that compose of our known universe. The idea of another dimension was used to explain the anomalies in time and space formulas. It also may be a crutch to dream that if there are other dimensions, our laws of physics may not apply - - - which could result in objects going faster than the speed of light.

Three, other people believe that we live in a plain of existence that overlaps into other worlds. For example, people believe that somewhere on the planet there is your double, a doppelganger. Others believe that their sixth sense is actually caused by encounters with one's self from another dimension. Finally, some people believe there is duality within each of us: that the conscious and subconscious mind operate in two different universes in which they cross over when the mind rests in a dream state.

A multiverse explanation would diminish the poor writing and continuity errors in the sideways story arc. But it would be such a bad McGuffin that most fans really don't want to go down that tired road.

Monday, August 25, 2014


In the new British series, Intruders, the premise is that after people die, their souls can live on . . . by possessing a live individual. It is an interesting concept of demonic possession from ancient times (which in many instances was misdiagnosis of actual medical conditions like seizure disorders).

LOST did feature elements of multiple souls. In ancient Egyptian death rituals, the person's soul is divided at death into the ka and ba which separately have to journey through the underworld to try to be reunited in the after life. If souls were released upon death, sci-fi allows for these intelligent vessels to inhabit other human beings.

In a bait-and-switch type theory, the 815 survivors could have been "possessed" by lost souls, the whispers, trapped on the island. In fact, the only reason the survivors "lived" after the crash was that they were re-possessed by island souls.

For example, what if Jack was near death in the bamboo grove when dead Horace, the former leader of the Dharma group, possesses his body? There were many of the Dharma group that was purged by Ben's Others. And when the Others member died, they destroyed the body which may be so that that body could not be repossessed by an island soul.

If there were possession by island souls, that could explain why Jack immediately took to pushing back against Ben and the Others because deep inside he knew of their threat and danger because Horace's soul was influencing his decision making process. When they talked about "a war" on the island, it may be a never ending saga of souls reanimating their revenge with new visitors time after time for eternity (much like the reality of the Middle East conflicts).

The island souls could become the dominate personality in a person's body; repressing the person's actual soul until its "second death." The real soul may be in a sort of suspended animation, a dream state of confusion, during the island time line. Perhaps the suspended animation of souls is a better explanation of the sideways limbo state.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


The British television series, Doctor Who, has lasted for 50 years (with a hiatus period). Today marks another milestone as Peter Capaldi takes the reign as the Next Doctor. The picture above shows all the previous actors who played the iconic role of the The Doctor. As you can count, there are 12 men who have played The Doctor. The reason so many could do so was that early on in the series, the writers came up with the concept of re-generation.

When one actor left the show, a new one could replace him through this biological process that only seems to work with Time Lords. It is like a cat who is said to have 9 lives; in the Who universe, a Time Lord has 12 re-generations, or 13 lives in total.  In reboot Season 8, Capaldi becomes the 13th and final Doctor according to the show's own canon.

Now, I take the position that the producers should embrace the challenge of having the "last" Doctor because it would be a trans formative narrative for a complex character that is still shrouded in much mystery. But the BBC still calls the new Doctor only the 12th. And the producers seem to agree.

But with such intense fandom, and the regeneration process one of the few ironclad rules of the show, this is a potential Jump the Sharknado moment. Some believe that the producers will just concoct another cycle of regenerations (like some believe may have occurred during Matt Smith's final episode in Season 7). But that does not show respect for the original material, and the legacy of the prior creators who kept the series alive, fresh and interesting.

It is a very simple proposition when the current Doctor leaves the show. He dies. But what panic would occur in London if there was no new Doctor? Probably not much, for you see it would be just as compelling for the show to turn its axis point (temporarily) to the biggest mystery of all: who could replace the Doctor? The candidates could be more vast than the standard collection of Who villains. Another Time Lord? Another alien species? The Doctor's "daughter?" Or his last companion? For Doctor 2.0 to exist in the context of the original canon, he or she would have to be an extraordinary being (alien) compatible with Gallifreyan  biology and who would inherit the one item that would bind the new series with the old: the Doctor's pocket watch. The watch contains all the memories and information of the past time lords. It can imprint them on Doctor 2.0. Problem solved from a writing continuity standpoint.

But I find this solution highly improbable. It is too detailed; too "insider" for a network executive to grasp the nuisances. The production company has the brand of the Doctor and does not want to dilute it with a successor, even if he or she is a worthy one.

It is theme for successful shows, including sci-fi epics, that if set canon is violated, the trust with their audience is breached because successful sci-fi shows rely heavily on their own mythology to support the fantasy. Doctor Who is fast approaching such a breach. How the show runners will cope with this event is still unknown.

Friday, August 22, 2014


What if LOST was pitched today, not as a television drama series, but as a game show.

Not a game show theory that has been mentioned by fans as a premise to the series, but as an actual "game" show.

First, the contestants (characters) would not "know" they were on a game show. That takes the Survivor reward-reality concept off the table.

Second, the contestants would had to be placed in real danger to see how they would react. A small plane "crash" lands on a deserted Pacific island (which has been rigged with camera traps, odd set pieces and dangerous people). The pilots would be the only people in the know - - - and they could be easily "taken out" by The Others early on during the show. Without the pilots, the 40 odd passengers would be left to fend for themselves.

Third, there would be enough basic materials on the island for the contestants to survive. Wild animals, fruits, and tools to build things. During the filming, if there are people desperate to leave, depressed to suicidal, the producers could secretly intervene under the cover of darkness and take them off the island and back home.

The major problem with this premise is that the network would be charged with kidnapping the contestants. That would be a serious charge with no defense.

Ironically, one could say that is exactly what happened to all the characters on LOST. They were kidnapped and brought to the island, not realizing that they were part of some grand, diabolical experiment. 

Like with the show itself, how would a contestant(s) "win" the game?

Besides not hurting themselves or someone else, the reward would be "rescue." Like those wilderness survival shows, the host knows that there is a place where he can find a path back to civilization. It is highly unlikely that modern suburban folk have the skill set of their pioneer ancestors to forge a rescue plan.

Then, the bottom line is whether any network would call this game show "entertainment." With all the crap on television today, the answer is probably no because it cuts too close to the core of the ancient Roman Colosseum.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Researchers have made interesting inroads into the human brain thought process.

The BBC reported that brain neurons function by sending bursts of electric pulses to parts of the brain, which in turn form the basis of thoughts and memories. Scientists have begun to use these pulse patterns to make algorithm or formulas to determine how the brain functions.

They have used probed rats to run mazes to record the thought patterns of the subjects.

While the rat runs the maze researchers record where it is, and simultaneously how the cells in the hippocampus are firing. The cell firing patterns are thrown into a mathematical algorithm which finds the pattern that best matches each bit of the maze. The language of the cells is no less complex, but now science believes it has  a Rosetta Stone against which scientists can decode the thought process. Researchers  then test the algorithm by feeding the freshly recorded patterns back into the subject, to see if it correctly predicts where the rat was at the point that pattern was recorded.

It doesn’t allow a complete code crack, because scientists still don't know all the rules, and it can’t help them read the patterns which aren't from this bit of the brain or which aren't about maze running, but it is still a powerful tool. For instance, using this technique, the research team was able to show that the specific sequence of cell firing repeated in the brain of the rat when it slept after running the maze (and, as a crucial comparison, not in the sleep it had enjoyed before it had run the maze).

Fascinatingly, the sequence repeated faster during sleep around 20 times faster. This meant that the rat could run the maze in their sleeping minds in a fraction of the time it took them in real life. This could be related to the mnemonic function of sleep; by replaying the memory, it might have helped the rat to consolidate its learning. And the fact that the replay was accelerated might give researchers a glimpse of the activity that lies behind sudden insights, or experiences where our life “flashes before our eyes”; when not restrained, our thoughts really can retrace familiar paths in “fast forward”. 

This new scientific research plays very well in the LOST universe.

Look at the key reference points: flashes before our eyes, flash forwards, mazes, sleep and memory. These were all critical components in the story lines. So much so that it brings us to a new theory based on this science. 

When one is asleep, one can have vivid dreams. Dreams so vivid that they seem absolutely real. And once one wakes up, these vivid dreams seem like actual memories.

When one is in a dream state, the mind processes information 20 times faster than in one's waking state. This tends to give dreamers the impression that their dreams may last for hours, but in reality the REM sleep was only for minutes. This is a illusion of time displacement in one's mind.

What Daniel's Oxford experiment was similar to was the thought researchers experiment about a lab rat learning a maze. In Daniel's case, learning it before it ran it. But in a certain way, Daniel "programmed" his rat, Eloise, to run the maze by imputing the maze algorithm while at the subject was asleep. Eloise "learned" the maze in a dream state so vivid that she thought it was a real memory when she was put at the starting gate.

And this segment of the story line, glossed over by many viewers, is probably the key to unraveling a better explanation for the series sci-fi foundation. For if one takes the confusing "time travel" and "time skip" elements of the story lines and realize that they are merely metaphors for "thought coding" dreams, then LOST takes a whole different road to understanding.

In all the time travel segments, if one substitutes the fact that no real time travel happened - - - that it was all thought code imparted into a character's mind, then things start to make better sense.

Dharma was a research group looking into various components of mental applications. Room 23 was clearly a mind control chamber. But there is other evidence of mind and thought control. If one imparts new memories into polar bears that they are actually tropical animals, the bears would be more quickly adapt to their new environment. If Dharma found the way to implant new memories into human beings, then that control would be extremely important - - - and possibly a military weapon.

So the island vanishing and time skipping to the 1970s never really happened; the characters merely thought it did because their brains were re-wired with those adventures. The main characters were actually lab rats in some grand experiment on human beings. Perhaps Jacob was not the immortal demigod, but the guardian of the process in which he fed various events into his subjects to determine whether he could actually change a person's free will, good or evil personality or behavior patterns. Or whether those long term personality traits would "corrupt" the new mental programming which would lead to failure (or death). Instead of remembering the actual programmed events, the character's minds could short circuit and take those memories and turn them into twisted nightmares by merging with older memories. 

It also gets back to the unexplained big clue that the characters had to "awaken" in order to move on or be free. Awaken from what? The dream and thought experiments? 

What better way to treat a mental health patient than creating a new, better personality for him or her. For example, Hurley was destined to be a lonely, semi-skilled fast food worker filled with anxiety, self-worth issues and manic depression. But if he was re-programmed to be a lottery winner, a person with new found confidence, a business owner success, could that really change his life? If not, would the programmers ramp up the thought conversion process to shock his mind with an extreme plane crash island survival story in order to "cure" Hurley's mental state? 

It is a good theory but not a complete one because the sideways world makes a mess of most theories. Since the sideways world is death, plain and simple, then which memories are actually the "true" ones? One could say the reason the characters met in the church was that there one great shared experience that bonded them together was the collective thought control experiments - - - which led to actual deaths. But those strong memories were so vivid and clear, that it was those imprints on the characters' souls that matter most in the after life. 

Trouble real characters + failed thought control experiments with fake island events = death = sideways world reunion of souls bonded together by the memories from their experiments.


For some viewers, LOST was a romantic adventure series.

If we examine this theme, there are many nontraditional points played out between the main characters.

First, we have the typical "girl next door" stereotype, Kate. She is from rural Iowa. She is part tomboy, part charmer. She learns early on that her feminine wilds can make men do crazy things for her. She is the last person in the world who wants to settle down with her high school sweetheart, live in a white picket fence house, and raise of bundle of kids. She starts early in criminal misbehavior by trying to steal from a local store. She implicates a boy in her deeds, learning the lesson that he can control boys.

To add to her issues, Kate did not have an ideal childhood parental structure. The man, Sam Austen,  she thought was her father was not; and the abusive alcoholic mother's boyfriend Wayne was her biological parent. This confusion led her to not trust men. In an alleged abusive relationship where Kate never learned about nurturing love, Kate let her primal dark instincts destroy her home and father as a means of running away from the societal norms of family life. Her situation was not a Rockwell family painting, but a Manson family wall scrawl.

But at one point she did stop running and opted for a "traditional" marriage to a Florida policeman, Kevin Callis. We must believe that she was in love with him otherwise she would not have married him. But for her past being unraveled by Kevin's affection and rewards, Kate thought she found her perfect hideout. She had a new name, new provider and a new life. She started to live the suburban life as Monica, but after a pregnancy scare and Kevin wanting to have a foreign honeymoon (she could not get a passport), Kate fled without a word. She abandoned her future to run away from the past. She never spoke of Kevin again. One could argue that love to Kate was a mere commodity; a means to get to an end.

And on the island there was evidence that she used her female charm to get men to do her bidding; the deal with Ben, the affair with Sawyer, and her relationship with Jack in order to take the pressure off her past problems. These men cared for her, but she cared less about them. In some ways, Kate was a modern independent woman, who got what she wanted from men: security, comfort, affection without the cultural handcuffs of being a proper woman.

Second, we have the more modern woman stereotype, Shannon. She is a rich girl who was brought up to become a spoiled brat. She was daddy's little girl until daddy suddenly passed away leaving her stepmother in charge. Shannon only had one asset to get by in this world: her body. She used her charms to seduce boyfriend after boyfriend to be with her, to support her, to love her. But in the end, none of these relationships worked out. The men who were attracted to her lacked commitment. Shannon expressed herself as being needy, wanting and selfish. It was very difficult for her to find a person who could put up with her faults.

Trust fund children often have an aura of entitlement. Life was easy for them. Money took care of problems and buried the emotional pain of having real relationships. From what we saw of Shannon, her self-centered nature repelled against the notion of having a normal family life, raising children or having a single man in her life. She liked living on the drunken edge as a party girl. Her excitement was causing trouble. But like all stale acts, men grew tiresome of her.

On the island, she tried to use her past charms but she found a limited audience. The other beach survivors were more concerned about their individual welfare and rescue than fawning over a little rich girl who did nothing to help them in camp. We cannot say for certain that her very short hook-up with Sayid was meaningful in any way because at the time she was alone after Boone's death.

Kate and Shannon started off at opposite ends of the spectrum but basically wound up in the same place with men the initially never cared for, and attempted to use for their own benefit. Many viewers still question why Kate wound up with Jack and Shannon wound up with Sayid. If modern romance tells us anything, there are no clear rules.

So it is hard to tell whether LOST has enough classic elements to be considered an adventure-romance series since the main characters relationships were more like ships passing in the night.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Having grown tired with the Hollywood rewind, composite, formula television shows that lack special character, I have looked higher up the cable dial to the international stations new entertainment choices.  Since I have no problem watching and understanding subtitled shows from Korea or Japan, I look to this avenue as a means to find new stories based upon non-American cultures and folk tales.

One thing that I have noticed with foreign titles is that a show will have a more limited run. Twelve episodes a season, and perhaps maybe two or three seasons max seems to be the industry standard. As a result of knowing that the creators have a limited episode count before filming the pilot makes the story lines more well defined, crisp and easy to follow. It is not to say that there cannot be mysteries, drama, murders, betrayals, and character development in a 12 hour show run. It is interesting to see that writers don't have time to add "filler" tangents.

Even these shows can have their own cultural formulas, like Korean romantic comedies often show a young woman in a dead end retail job who faces societal pressure to marry before age 30 or she becomes an "old maid." This premise is used for various character themes and interpretations, including love triangles, defying social conventions, aftermath of divorce, the pressure of economics in single life in large, expensive metro cities like Seoul or Toyko.

But one aspect of the foreign dramas is that they must have a "happy ending."  One could go through 23 roller coaster emotional rides with the lead actor, to suddenly have all the story angst suddenly resolve itself in the last episode, where the lead gets what he or she has desired to go off to live happily ever after. Perhaps the government wants shows with happy endings because a happy ending makes happy viewers which is a less a protest problem for governments.

So looking at LOST's ending from a new cultural perspective from Asia, if LOST was a Korean or Japanese program, viewers would have expected the happy church ending and it accepted it as normal television.  Even if a thousand questions were left unanswered, and the characters did not desire a happy resolution to their problems, Asian television makes it so in nearly all the shows I have seen to date.

That is not necessarily good or bad. One tenet of entertainment is to give the audience what it wants. In the Asian markets, a happy ending must be a standard requirement viewers expect while in American cinema, the anti-hero may not be redeemed at all (and succumb to a brutal ending).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


One of the nagging small points was the myth that the island was hard to find.

Ben made numerous trips off the island and returned without a problem.
Ethan and Alpert recruited  Juliet and returned with her without issue.
So did Mr. Friendly from NYC with Michael.

So the island was never really lost.

But you remember, the island time-space skipped after Ben turned the frozen donkey wheel. That is why the island was lost; it moved. Except that Ben had turned the FDW wheel before, and landed in North Africa and stayed at the same hotel. And in those earlier time jumps, he returned to the island without the help of the Lamp Post station or Eloise.

So there is a major inconsistency in the story lines.

It was a plot convenience to add tension by making the island "vanish," but it runs contrary to pre-existing facts about the island and how it worked.

But then, the answer must lie with Jacob. He was the "only" person who could allow individuals onto his island. That would mean that Jacob would micromanage all the comings and goings of the Dharma Group, the Others, and the 815 survivors. But Jacob really was not shown as a "hands on" guy. In fact, he delegated any supervision of the island inhabitants to Alpert. Jacob may have allowed people onto the island, but gave them the free will to make their own choices to see if corruption would lead to their demise.

So if the island was never truly lost or hidden, what was the point of the O6 return?


We were shown more of the O6 mainland stories than the three years in 1970s Dharmaville.
It is probably because the writers had run out of island stories or were bored with re-running the Horace vs. Others theme.

It also gets to an odd clue that the smoke monster as Christian told Locke when he turned the FDW. Locke had to die in order to return his friends to the island. Locke could not get his friends to voluntarily return. Eloise could not find the island location. But when Locke was killed, Eloise found the island and Ben with Jack reunited the O6 to return on Ajira 316. If there was a cosmic puzzle box to unlock the location, Locke's death was the key to open it. It is a sinister conclusion that a man must die in order for the island to be re-located. What a demanding toll for those travelers, who never realized what, if anything or anybody, was left on the island. It is these questions that show that it was not the island that was lost, but the continuity and forethought in the scripts.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Kate was a main character who divides opinion to far ends of the spectrum. Evangeline Lilly is a pretty, nice and spunky person in interviews and podcasts. On LOST, she was thrust into a lead position but with tentative traits. I wish that Lilly could have played herself more in the character.

Kate went from girl next door cute, sassy tomboy into a runaway loner criminal to a forced cheerleader love interest to a Mother Teresa peace corp worker on her return to the island.

In some ways, Kate being written into and out of corners mirrored the writers overall plot construction issues.

Her back story was confusing and incomplete to almost a stereotypical gangster babe like Bonnie. Perhaps the false, unbelievable and horrible legal writing on her character events ruined the character even before she would literally get away with murder in the wrong court and jurisdiction.

Many fans disliked Kate because she became so wishy-washy. First she was Jack's number one. Then, she went to bad boy Sawyer. Then she tried to get back with Jack, but there were trust issues. Then, out of the blue she got a bolt of motherly protection with Aaron. Then she abandoned the boy to return on a nonsensical journey to find his mother, Claire, not knowing whether she was still alive. And despite all of the inconsistencies in her back story and her treatment of the men in her life, Kate winds up with confused Jack in the church.

In the end, we really don't know who Kate really was as a person.

I suspect that if she was a feisty, independent woman from the very beginning of the series (a leader), then she may have been more liked as a character.  Instead, she was used more as bait to get another love triangle started or wedge between people like Jack and Sawyer.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


If one thing could have been improved or changed in the series, it could have been the representation and meaning of the Others.

The show's "native" people were not actually island natives. It seems that everyone on the island was brought to it by Jacob or his de facto followers. In Ben's reign, the Others were merely rebel Dharma-folk cloaked in the Others tribal costume.

A better alternative would have been to have the Others really be island natives who would naturally fight any intruder to their space.

The make-up of a lost civilization on an unchartered island would have led to more interesting conflict between the plane crash survivors and the Others.

A true small Pacific island would have limited natural resources. If suddenly 48 survivors begin to live on the island competing for food, water and shelter, the two groups would clash over resources. It is only human nature. Even a self-sufficient non-technological tribe has the will to survive against modern, technologically advanced people.

The alternative Others story would eliminate the need for scientific side arcs like the chemical weapons purge, the island's mysterious EM life force, the Hatch, the Numbers and the political diversions of the tussle between Ben and Widmore over the control of the island, and the Jacob-MIB story arc. It would be pared back to a bare knuckle survival story.

The alternative Other's leader, a king and cult figure to his people, could be as ruthless and cruel as Ben and Widmore combined. That could be represented by him wearing a child's skull as a necklace (even though it would be hard to get that past ABC's prime time censors).  You could add horror elements such as cannibalism, devil worship, tropical fever-madness and revenge warfare as concurrent themes of the natives as they push back against the invasion of Westerners.

Jack's group would be cast as a serious underdog in such a fight. Jack and the beach camp don't know the island and its resources. They are backed up against the beach without normal defenses (except one gun and six bullets). Can one man's military training and one man's delusional outback hero fantasy be enough to keep a violent native tribe at bay?

It would have been a pretty good story.

You could even capture a few of the early dropped elements of the Other's story. If there was an infection, could Jack save the natives and thereby saving his own group from genocide? If there was an issue of tribal women dying in child birth, could Jack save the babies and thereby saving the island population from fading away? Or if the island women were barren by the infection, would the Others kidnap the women and children in order to keep their genetic lines in tact (again, human nature is to reproduce another generation in order to survive)? These real tribal problems could give rise to the plots that the survivors are the solution to the island's issues - - -  from medical knowledge to breeding stock.

There would always be some faction in the beach camp that would want to attack and counterattack the Others in order to forge a place on the island. Another faction would want to seek a peaceful alternative. It is this flashpoint of opinion that could lead to drama, in-fighting and betrayal within the survivors' camp. There also could be a certain madness that would seep into those characters since they have been entitled, pampered, technology dependent individuals who have had their worlds turned inside out. Faced with a real threat by the natives, there would have been an urgency to get off the island and get rescued.

As for the filler arcs, a strong native population could have a back story of actually taking down earlier island visitors such as the U.S. Army (and worship the Jughead bomb as a iconic god) to a bizarre twist that one of the mother elders of the tribe who speaks English is none other than Amelia Earhart.

As a group, the Others were underwhelming in the original series. It was organized more like a street thug crew than as a cohesive group. It could have been used as a more dangerous adversary than as Ben's criminal followers.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


In television, the concept of a "cross over" is where a star from one show makes a guest appearance on another show, in character.

We have a similar concept in the LOST saga between the characters' island/flashback lives and the sideways presentation. There are some apparent irreconcilable differences.

For example, Jack.

In both worlds, Jack is a successful spinal surgeon.
In both worlds, Jack has had serious issues with his father.
In both worlds, Jack has gone to Australia to bring his father's body back home.

In the island world, Jack is divorced from Sarah. He is alone. He only has his mother left.
In the sideways, Jack is divorced from Juliet. He is not alone, he has his own son David.

For example, Locke.

In both worlds, Locke is paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair.

In the island world, Locke is bitter and hateful against his father for causing his injuries.
In the sideways, Locke has a relationship with his catatonic father.

In the island world, Locke has ruined every relationship he had including the one with Helen.
In the sideways, Helen is by his side as his loving spouse.

In the island world, Locke has bounced from meaningless jobs and has no career path.
In the sideways, Locke is a content substitute teacher who befriends a meek teacher, Ben.

There is such a continental divide between the character's foundational base in the sideways world as to question which realm is actually the true one.

It is more likely that the island/flashbacks are real because we saw them unfold for five seasons. The sideways world would be a collective fantasy, dream world for the island characters to deal with their anxieties, fears, stress and depression.

However, there is a possibility that the sideways world is the true foundation because the characters in that realm were basically good people living normal, good lives. And is that not the fundamental philosophy of all religions that good people can go to heaven or paradise after death? The sideways world was a place of death where the souls of the characters got together in the church.  But if their shown lives were continuations of their true past lives (which makes some common sense if their souls did not want to acknowledge their own mortality), then the island and flashbacks were the collective fantasy and dream world created by the characters to continue to experience their fantasy lives or come to terms with their own deaths.

So, which cross over is correct?

In a linear thought process, the real characters crashed on the island and the sideways realm was mere purgatory fantasy holding pen until everyone lived out their lives on Earth.

In a non-linear thought process, the real characters sideways back stories were true, but their nightmare-fantasy-escapist adventures were captured in the island stories. Just like when people go on holiday, they can create new persona's or let their guard down to live a different kind of lifestyle.

So, one can cut and paste the various character time frames as follows:

Island Back Stories = Fantasy/Adventure/Dreams/Nightmares
Sideways Stories = Fantasy Continuation of Lives until acknowledgement of own deaths.

This compares to the linear approach:

Sideways Back Stories = Fantasy/Adventure/Dreams/Nightmares
Sideways Stories = Irrelevant Filler until all survivors died in real life.

The former approach is much more complex, which makes it highly unlikely thought process for the show's writers who seemingly too the easy way out in throwing a sideways after life to clean up the plot.

Friday, August 15, 2014


Penn and Teller are Las Vegas' premiere magic act. They are in the genre of comedy-magicians who take their craft seriously, but try to entertain audiences by revealing some alleged secrets while at the same time going crazy illusions. They have crossed over into many television projects, like Fool Us, a television show which professional magicians attempt to stump Penn and Teller on their tricks.

The art of magic is the slight of hand, misdirection, and logical interruption of a person's perception to surprise them with an unexpected result - - - like finding one's card in shuffled deck to sawing a woman in a box in half.  The latter uses a magic box to create the illusion of a saw blade tearing a woman in half, then separating the box into two halves.

If you want to know how that illusion is done, the internet probably has the answer.

If you want to know how the LOST island "magic box" works, then that is a different story.

We were told by Ben that the island is like a magic box, and if you want something badly enough, your wish will be fulfilled. In Locke's case, it was revenge upon his father, Cooper, who was suddenly transported to the island, held captive, then later killed in another revenge moment by Sawyer.

But what was the magic box?

It was never explained in the scripts. It may be a writer's slight of hand to move the action along without any rational basis for it. It was a tool to accomplish a plot twist without explaining it.

There are several ways to view the "magic"of the island through the metaphor of the box.

1. It could be a wish fulfillment center. If one believes in the island like children believe strongly in Santa Claus, you wishes will be granted by the island. Examples: Ben got cancer and needed to cure, so the island fulfilled his wish by crashing Flight 815 with Jack on board.

2. It is a dream catcher. The island EM fields can tap into human memories and recreate them in physical forms. This would explain Kate's horse, Walt's polar bear comic and Jack's father being present and seen on the island.  Instead of theater of the mind, it is actual theater of the island as memories become props. (Perhaps, this is how the smoke monster was created, through the nightmares of children about things attacking them in the dark.) The stronger the emotional tie to the memory, the faster the island conjures up the prop.

3. It is a Pandora's Box. The island is the mythological repository for the jar of all evils that the god, Pandora, sent to Earth to create pain on mankind. For those who have evil in their heart, like Ben, they could access the evils inside the box. Locke was so hateful toward his father, that he wanted to kill him, so the box provided Cooper to Locke.

4. It is Room 23, a mind control experimental lab. Those who were held captive or part of Dharma could have been exposed to the techniques of mind control. As a side effect, or part of the program, vivid memories are implanted into subjects which seem real to them outside the laboratory. Hurley can talk to dead people because those conversations were implanted into his memories.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


You are what you are.

And . . . you can't tell me what to do!

The lasting frontal lobe demons that lurked inside the skull of John Locke.

Of all the passengers on Flight 815, Locke was the most angry and bitter. His final dream, an outback adventure, was ruined by his paralysis. He knew then he would be nothing but a cripple. He felt helpless, alone and betrayed by his father, his mother and the world.

In the after math of the plane crash, we first see Locke on his back, struggling to get up. There is a weird expression on his face (and a new non-bleeding scar on his face) as he begins to move his legs.
For no apparent medical reason, the plane crash "caused" or "healed" Locke's permanent paralysis.

Which leads to two plot points of polar opposite conclusions.

First, if Locke was "alive" and survived the plane crash, the miracle had to be chalked up to a) the island's alleged healing properties or b) magic.

Second, if Locke did not survive the crash, his body may have been "taken over" by a smoke monster (which we saw later on in the series by MIB).

The evidence gets option one is compelling since a) pregnant women died on the island; b) people died of gunshot wounds (lesser trauma) than the plane crash; and c) Locke was shot by Ben in purge pit and should have died there.

If Locke's character was a smoke monster from the very beginning of the show, it would cast the series in a different light. Locke's theme was a man of faith. He was reckless, not very smart, impulsive and emotional. The exact opposite traits of Jack who was cool, collected, smart, with medical skills and detached emotions.

Like Locke, Jack's was found after the crash lying on his back. He was shocked or surprised that he had survived. So, like Locke, there are two ways to interpret Jack's awareness of the island: as a plane crash survivor or as another smoke monster.  The latter would balance out the black and white; faith verus science themes of the show.

And like a childhood game of make believe, if two island smoke monsters inhabit the bodies of two dead humans (and use their memories and skills to play a clever game of island senet), then LOST becomes a very complex and deep science fiction epic.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


One of the mysteries that is in the background but potentially explosive was the appearance of Libby at critical times in the series.

She was seen as a mental patient in Hurley's day room, but Hurley had no memory of her when the tail section survivors made it to the beach camp.

She was also instrumental in getting Desmond on his epic sailboat journey. The Desmond coffee shop meeting was one of the more forced coincidences in the series. While Libby was in a coffeehouse in California,  she offered to pay Desmond's bill for a caffeinated drink, as he only had British currency. Desmond jokingly asked her for $42,000 to pay for a boat.  Libby asked why he needed a boat; Desmond replied that he was going to participate in a race around the world, thereby proving to Penny's father, Widmore, that he was not a coward. Libby proceeded to tell him that her husband, David, had passed away a month prior, was an avid boating fan.  David had purchased a yacht, which he named the Elizabeth after Libby herself, intending to sail in the Mediterranean. Libby encouraged Desmond to take it, saying that it was what David would have wanted. Desmond promised her that he would win the race in the name of love.

This apparently was the same time and place where Desmond met Jack running up the stadium stairs. So Libby was at the epicenter of two critical meetings.

Now, some may say that Libby's role in these chance meetings with other characters prior to the island as suspicious. Was she working for someone, like Jacob or Widmore? Was she a conduit to get people to do things, such as Hurley believing in imaginary friends like "Dave," or getting Desmond out into the Pacific to perish on the island? Or was she a guardian angel type, leading an individual to their destiny?

What if Hurley's Dave, his best friend, was the person killed when Hurley went out on the party porch that collapsed because his alleged weight? It was that traumatic event that put Hurley into a mental institution. He blamed himself for causing death and pain. And his weight gain was to remove the pain and guilt of his father leaving him as a young boy.

So if Dave was killed in the overloaded porch collapse, it could be that Dave's ghost was still around Hurley. Hurley could communicate with dead people, so that is consistent with the future story lines. Dave was probably ghosting Hurley so he could a) get Hurley to realize that it was not his fault; or b) to get revenge for dying; or c) pushing Hurley to take care of his loved one.

If Hurley was devastated by losing his best friend in an accident, likewise Libby could have been traumatized by the death of her husband, David. If Libby's David was the same person as Hurley's Dave - - -  what a connection! Dave's haunting Hurley at the mental hospital, getting him to try to break out and leave, could have been a means of keeping Hurley away from institutionalized Libby. But that does not explain how Libby was manipulating the other characters to the island, and once on the island, keeping Hurley from following Dave off a cliff (and certain death). Maybe Dave was haunting Libby at the same time - - - unable to let go of her, to the point where she went insane. And the only way to get over him was to move on with Hurley.

But Dave does not seem the type to be rich to have a sailboat in pricey Newport Beach. So maybe there was another David for whom Libby shared her life. There is one other known David in the series, and that was Jack's son from the sideways world . . . a boy he allegedly fathered with sideways Juliet. It would be weird and bizarre if Libby's David was Jack's after life son - - - but since time does not make logical sense in the series, anything is possible. So Libby giving a boat to Desmond to push him on his quest to sail the Pacific got Desmond to the stadium to give Jack the advice that would push him to leadership on the island and fulfill his destiny by becoming a caring father in an alternative universe.

Or, it all could be an elaborate mental fiction crazy Libby created in order to end her lonely existence by finding a sweet, gentle, introverted rich man like Hurley. But another odd point is that Hurley's live for Libby was really solidified when Libby was killed by Michael. So Hurley and Libby could only find their happiness if they were dead. (Some would say that is a sad commentary on how the main characters were actually treated by the writers.)

 The Elizabeth was a vessel that carried Desmond to the island; it represented hope of escape; and it was used to ferry characters on missions around the island. But it never like the snow globe pull of the island itself. It could be symbolic of the show itself: it was an object that had great promise and purpose, but it was shipwrecked and lost at sea. It was rebuilt and served its sailors once again. But it never left the island, just like the main characters.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Red Dots: Characters are Dead. Green Dots: Characters are Alive. White Dots: Unknown.

In a further attempt to understand the time frames and two worlds of LOST, the above chart was created to help identify when and where the main characters were alive in the series. An early theory was that no one survived the plane crash (and the show was all about lost souls in purgatory). At the end of the series, the sideways world turned out to be an after life realm so initial indications of character deaths was nearly confirmed. Since the Sideways world was absolutely identified as a place of death, there are three time signatures in that world: when 815 "landed" at LAX, the last 7 days those dead souls lived in their sideways world, and the church reunion.

Then, comparing the four major time zones (the crash, the time skips, the O6/island disappearing time travel and the post-Incident/time returns to normal) in the island chronology to the sideways compressed time sphere.

If one supposes that the characters all died in the plane crash, then the two worlds are merely dream sub-sets of lost dead souls.

If one supposes that the characters did survive the plane crash, then one can imagine that the island characters were "alive" during the critical final 14 days of island existence (which is about 7 days run time in the sideways universe).

But things get confusing when looking at the major island time events. When Desmond used the fail safe key and the Hatch exploded, imploded, it is unclear whether anyone survived based upon the fact Desmond should not have. If Desmond's appearance after the Hatch destruction was his dead soul manifested as a whisper or a smoke monster or a lost soul, then were the other main characters also dead? (If Desmond was dead at that point, but living with living beings, is this why he was able to awake first in the sideways world?)

Then, there was the major event when the O6 were in the helicopter and saw the island disappear. Did that mean everyone on the island was dead? It certainly looked like it. The same was true when the freighter blew up. And then, there is the possibility that when the helicopter was ditched in the ocean, the passengers did not survive so the Penny rescue was another Desmond fantasy or dream. So at this point in the island time line, it is unclear who is alive or dead.

Likewise, the post Incident 1977 jughead/construction site implosion would have had the same effect on Juliet as it previously did with Desmond. She should not have survived. And the people on the island, ripped from various space-time locations, would likely not have survived either (because the emotional cure of having a "constant" would likely not overcome the laws of quantum physics).  But if one believes that the characters could have survived this time reboot, then there is the final ambiguity.

If people were still alive on the island, such as Ben, how could he be "dead" in the sideways world. How could any character who was still alive on the island to the very end, like Jack, be concurrently "alive" in the dead sideways world? Logically, one cannot be alive and dead at the same time. Christian's excuse that the sideways world is only "now," with no past, present or future time, is a white wash explanation that explains nothing.

It seems like the final 14 days on the island, after allegedly three years after Flight 815 crashed, are the most important part of the time inconsistencies. The strongest arguments could be made that the characters on the island were still alive, but someone the events of the first 7 days "created" the entire sideways matrix - - - an alternative, complex world with characters in totally different lives, careers and situations in minute detail - - - which again makes little sense if the trauma of the final days of island life was the last thing the characters would have remembered before their deaths.

Monday, August 11, 2014


One small idea in the theme of mental or computer game theories of LOST was that what we were show on the television was "Avatar" like simulations in a virtual reality setting. \

Now science is coming through the sci-fi concepts to add another theory to the show's premise: robotic brain functions.

CNET reports IBM today unveiled what it's calling the world's first neurosynaptic computer chip, a processor that mimics the human brain's computing abilities and power efficiency.

Known as TrueNorth, IBM's chip could cram supercomputer-like powers into a microprocessor the size of a postage stamp. Rather than solving problems through brute-force mathematical calculations, like today's processors, it was designed to understand its environment, handle ambiguity, and take action in real time and in context. Plus, it could be among the most power-efficient chips in the history of computing, enabling new types of mobile apps and computing services, IBM principal investigator and senior manager Dharmendra Modha said in an interview.

Modeled after the human brain, the TrueNorth chip incorporates 5.4 billion transistors, the most IBM has ever put on a chip. It also features 1 million programmable neurons and 256 million programmable synapses. That's far lower than the 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion to 150 trillion human brain synapses but still enough, Modha said, to run devices that could, for example, proactively issue tsunami alerts, do oil-spill monitoring, or enforce shipping lane rules. And all that happens while consuming just 70 milliwatts of power, about the same as a hearing aid.
The TrueNorth chip is the core element of IBM's cognitive computing program, which is known as SyNapse.

IBM thinks other potential applications include powering small search-and-rescue robots; helping vision-impaired people move around safely; and automatically distinguishing between voices in a meeting and creating accurate transcripts for each speaker.

As with the leading question in the Terminator franchise, what happens if computers get the same brain processing skills of human beings - - - do they become self-aware?  And if this realization is true, then do robotic brains begin to use "emotions" to help process information?

Then we get to the dream theories of LOST. Some believe that all the action in the series was inside the dreams of a character (most likely Hurley). But if one goes Ghost in the Shell, one can postulate that if robots had human brain capacity, then they could also dream.  Then, what would robots dream about?  Would they base their programs on human literature, culture, television and movie cliches? If so, they could dream a realistic adventure series like LOST. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014


What is a Jack?

It is a playing card, the third most powerful one in a deck. It is a metal object that one picks up in a game of jacks. And it is the fictional hero in the LOST series.

In the series, Jack suits a card analogy because he had a Heart with Kate; he was a Club trying to get everyone to work together as one; he was a Diamond because he was a valuable person due to his medical skills, and a Spade, a worker who did not mind getting his hands dirty.

But throughout the various time lines of the Jack character, a different pattern emerges.

There were actually several different Jacks:







Just to add a bit of confusion, they may not have all been the same person. We know that because Dead Jack was not "real" Jack but the alleged embodiment of his soul.

Pre-flight Jack was a dutiful son. He was a respected surgeon at an LA hospital. He was a miracle worker. He married Sarah, a patient, but soon jealously ruined his relationship. His marriage failed and then his professional reputation was tarnished trying to cover for his drunk father. Then, there may have been the odd Thailand/drug/runaway period of Tattoo Jack which may be the signal that his "perfect" life was going to get very, very dark.

Island Jack was still a troubled and upset person. He had trouble returning his father's body back to the States. He felt regret. But when the plane crashed and people were injured on the beach, his ER training took over and he began to lead the shocked passengers to safety. As a result, he was cast as the reluctant leader (something his father said he could never be because he could not "let go" and let patients die). On the island, he was challenged, manipulated, captured, beaten, right and wrong.

O6 Jack was not the same man before Flight 815. He put in place the great lie with an illogical construction to tell the world of their rescue which made no sense in protecting his island friends whom he had to believe were dead when the island disappeared. His life turned south very quickly; another failed relationship with Kate. He became addicted to drugs to the point of suicide.  At his lowest point, he felt determined to return to a place, the island, for no apparent reason.

Upon his return, Time Skip Jack turned into a meek follower, a janitor who could care less about changing his situation. He was resigned to his fate at that point. He saw Sawyer change in the three years since the O6 left.  Even though he had his old friends around him, he was distant and cold.

Upon the time skip to normal island time, Post-Skip Jack slugged along as a follower not knowing what to do. He was upset with the fact that he was an unwilling candidate in Jacob's game. He felt pressure to conform to someone else's rules. In order to get Jack out his funk, it appears that the danger, death and destruction elements were ramped up by the island (Jacob and MIB). Near the end, Jack relented an volunteered to be the next island guardian. He went into the cave to save Desmond and to reboot the island. As a result, he helped defeat MIB and allegedly save the world from something bad. But the cost, apparently, was his life.

Dead Jack probably had the best life of all the Jacks, which is quite ironic. Dead Jack had a good marriage with Juliet, which led to a son. Even after his divorce, Juliet and Jack were still good friends and sharing parents (even though Jack's son resented his father's long work hours and lack of interest in his life). Jack was again on top of his career path, head of spinal surgery. And just as Jack reconciles with his son, the Dead Jack story line abruptly ends at the Widmore concert when Kate shows up to bring him to the church where he finds out everyone is dead. It is actually a cruel trick that Dead Jack's idyllic sideways world life was totally fake. But Jack's reaction was equally confusing: he was merely numb by the fact that he was dead. He did not seem happy or content. He only briefly mingled with the island characters before sitting in the first pew, staring off into nothingness.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Many entertainment choices come with a build up of hype. Other entertainment choices come under the radar and surprise audiences. Hollywood films have built in PR machines to sell their summer blockbusters (which this year came off well under expectations at the box office), while smaller distributors hope for word of mouth or favorable reviews to jump start a good run.

LOST came in to the American culture in the latter mode.  It started off simple enough: survivors of a plane crash land on a Pacific Island and have to work together in order to survive and be rescued. It is a familiar story with an ensemble cast of interesting people. Audiences were familiar with the survival story from literature (Robinson Caruso) to reality TV (Survivor). So it was fat worm thrown out into the airwaves for audiences to grab onto - - -  and the hook was set with the appearance of a charging polar bear on a tropical island.

Whether the show began at that moment to lube its shark to prepare to jump through inconsistent plot twists is a minor debate point. But certainly, the philosophy of the show was set up the audience with familiar setting and island survival story elements, but then throw a tangential mystery at them. This diversion interrupts the normal viewer thought process of what they typically expect will happen next. This is fine in a murder-mystery story context, where different things that don't seem connected when first seen, somehow are woven into a complex fabric of story telling to build the final reveal and answer the big questions.

So when the show started off as a typical shipwreck survival story, then went down the path of a mystery novel, it further diverted down a path of science fiction, then jumped a gorge into the field of magic-fantasy, and then seemed to try to turn back to the beginning. But along the way, the main story context got lost. Yes, it seems ironic that LOST itself got lost in its own story lines.

But if one tries to diagram the various story lines like elementary school children used to do with sentence construction, I believe you'd find a bowl of messy and tangled spaghetti. The show could have been more palatable if the final season did not add more questions than answers. Or, at least, one big answer to tie together what the island was in relation to the sideways world. 

The explanation that the sideways world as a purgatory of dead souls does not answer the overriding six year question of "what" the island was (as Charlie put it early on). No one can make a definitive answer to any of these questions:

What was the island?
Where was the island?
How does the island exist?
Why does the island exist?
When was the island created?
Why were the characters important?

The Show is like a poker player makes a huge bet during a game. The viewer then sees that bet and  raises "all in."  This is the climax of the game. The viewer has the rush of the gamble; will it pay off? But instead of seeing the cards, The Show folds leaving the viewer wondering whether it figured out the Show's hand or whether the Show was bluffing all along.

Friday, August 8, 2014


On another tangent on the theme of Time, if one overlays the pivot points of the series time lines around the Flight 815 trip, this comes into focus:

 One thing you notice immediately is that the sideways time line starts at two different points on the main island story time line. The sideways beginning point is the 2004 safe landing at LAX, but in the island time line the arrival is 7 days before the island time line ends in 2007, more than three years later in that relative time frame. Since island time memories were the key to the characters revelations in the sideways world, one can conclude that the sideways time line is not chronological.

Now, when the island time lines reunified, the island events lasted another 14 days; while concurrently the sideways time events lasted only 7 days. But even those characters, like Locke, who died  before the time merger, retained their memories in the sideways world which apparently was "created" by the island time lines merging after the Incident.

What fed the strong personal memories that created the sideways holding station? One could assume that it is the time riff itself that caused strong emotional bonds to be severed (and thus strongly remembered) until they could meet again. This philosophical approach parallels the ancient Egyptian burial ritual where the soul and body are separated then reunited in the after life. So the concept of Time was not really actual time in the show's construction, by a emotional capsule to capture the strong character bonds in order for them to good friends to help them move on in the after life. Perhaps there is an alternative time for a collective soul to acquire enough life force energy in order to make it to the next level of existence.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


After composing the last post, and specifically the reference on how Dogen became trapped on the island through his "bargain" with Jacob, there may be another explanation on the concept of Time.

I recall detailed discussions with fellow posters during the series run about the question of time travel, time shifts and the unique electromagnetic properties. A few theorized that the FDW was a control mechanism for a tiny wormhole, which was the center of the island. The power of a wormhole to pull galaxies into its center is immense. To lose control over it would have been the literal end of the world.

Wormholes have strange physics. It is postulated that the edge of the wormhole there is an event horizon. Time and space act strangely in this area as the forces pull matter into the wormhole.

Since Dogen came to the island in a deal to save his son from certain death caused by his car accident, one could consider Dogen paying the penance of his bad act on the island, if the island was hell.  And if you start to look back at the big island players, everyone has something major to repent.

Instead of looking at Time as a linear concept, one should try to look at it as a whirlpool sucking people and their lives into its drain at the center.

Crazy Mom who stole Jacob from his mother was living her own personal hell on the island as the guardian. Her punishment for her sins must have been an eternity guarding the light source. It is a thankless job with no reward, not even death. Until she found her own loophole, finding a candidate, a sinner, to replace her. When Jacob killed his brother, he became that new sinner trapped in the island hell for eternity. That is why he continued to bring candidates to the island to succeed him. Alpert was a sinner most likely killed for his crimes (or died on a slave ship) who found his soul trapped in what he immediately thought was hell, and Jacob being the devil. Likewise, Dogen's story of giving up his life for his son's means that Dogen's soul had to go to a place of punishment, the island. Dogen served Jacob, but did not replace him. We then get the Dharma group, who may have done human experimentation and sinned against nature in the quest for new technologies. Horace found his demise and eventually became a ghost on the island. Then we have Flight 815 characters who each had their own sins to atone.

From this perspective, the island is like a toilet swirling the lives, memories and sins of various people toward their own personal end. As such, the various time line of personal events can interchange, cross connect and flow past each other in non-linear fashion. Each person's event horizon in the island hell is separate and distinct from the real world linear time line.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


One of the gnawing questions that remain in the LOST mythology is the concept of Time.

It is hard to understand how the writers viewed the concept of Time other than a convenient Deux Machina plot twist.

 We were almost in a real time mode for the first four seasons. We saw the daily struggles of the main characters on the island. Time was a linear constant. Events followed a cause and effect pattern. Time seemed to pass normally.

Then the unexplained time and space shifts. The island disappears and the O6 survivors make it back to the mainland in late 2004 or early 2005. However, only a selected few of the island characters are time skipped to 1974 to live with Dharma for three years, while the ones left behind, especially Claire, have to fend for themselves on the island during that time period. We know Claire goes crazy in her fight against the Others. We know Sawyer becomes the new sheriff in the barracks past, and meets a young Ben before he is corrupted.

The O6 live for three years off the island. Then in 2007, they return to the island when the Ajira plane goes through the same island net. Again, for some unexplained reason, several of the passengers get time warped to 1977 Dharma while the rest crash land on the Hydra Island in 2007.  However, is another side time realm, the ghosts of the characters created the sideways world living their lives as if it was 2004. And once the 1977 crew reunites with the 2007 island time line after the Incident, we get back to about 14 consecutive days of island events to the conclusion.

Besides the criticism that the whole time shift to the 1970s was irrelevant to the characters survival story, the 7 days that are the 2004 sideways event time line is still different than the 14 days island time line after the time shifters reunion.

Since the sideways world was an after life place for the dead, if it was created in 2004 at or about the plane crash time, why did it only move along for a week when the characters were living at least three years (1,095 days)? And since the sideways world moved along on a daily basis (we saw the events unfold in a normal order), does that really mean that the sideways world was actually created in late 2007, one week after the 1977 folks returned to the island?

So what happened on Day 7 in 2007 on the island to create the sideways world?

The main episode was called "Sundown." In it, the following events occurred:
  • Sayid barges into Dogen's chamber, demanding answers. Dogen tells him that he believes him to be evil, and the discussion escalates into a fight, after which Dogen tells Sayid to leave the Temple and never come back. 
  • As Sayid is preparing to leave, Claire enters the Temple at the behest of the Man in Black, and tells Dogen to come out and speak with him. Dogen refuses, and sends Sayid instead, giving him and dagger and telling him to kill the Man in Black.
  • Sayid leaves the Temple to meet the Man in Black, and on his way encounters Kate, who intending to return to the Temple and proceeds to do so. Upon encountering the Man in Black, Sayid stabs him with the knife given to him by Dogen to no effect. After this the two talk, and the Man in Black tells him that he can resurrect Nadia and to return to the Temple and tell everyone inside that if they do not leave by sundown, they will be killed. 
  • Upon returning to the Temple, Kate learns from Miles that Claire is there, and finds her, having been captured by the Others, in a hole inside the Temple. She tells him about Aaron and the fact that she raised him, and says she is here to save her. Claire responds that she is "not the one who needs saving." 
  • Sayid returns to the Temple and delivers this message, resulting in many Others leaving the Temple, including Cindy and the children. He then goes to the spring inside the Temple, where he meets Dogen. Dogen reveals to him that in his past life off the island, he was driving drunk with his son in the car and crashed. While he was in the hospital, Jacob came to him and said he would save his son's life if he came to the island. After he tells Sayid this, Sayid throws him into the spring and holds him under, drowning him. Lennon then walks in and is killed by Sayid with the knife given to him by Dogen. 
  • Immediately after Dogen's death, the Monster enters the Temple and begins killing everyone in sight. Just as he arrives, Ilana, Ben, Sun and Frank arrive at the Temple as well. The group sans Ben, who has went to find Sayid, meets up with Miles and escapes the Temple through a hidden passageway. 
  • Ben finds Sayid sitting over the bodies of Dogen and Lennon, and Sayid refuses to come with him. Meanwhile, Kate finds Claire, and together the two of them, along with Sayid, exit the temple to meet the Man in Black, along with the Others who left the Temple before Sundown. Then, led by the Main in Black, the group leaves the Temple.
  • Escaping the Temple, Ben encounters Ilana, Frank, Sun and Miles some distance outside. Miles communicates with Jacob's spirit via his ashes, which Ilana took from the statue, and learns that Ben killed Jacob. After this they leave, heading for the beach camp. 
 The Temple showdown was the main action during this time period. And the smoke monster came through after Jacob's death to wipe out all of the non-followers of MIB. Was Jacob's death or the smoke monster's ransacking of the Temple the catalyst that created the sideways world? There is a problem with that theory because at the time, Desmond and Penny were not on the island. They were living their own life with their son, Charlie. Yet, Desmond was a major player in the sideways world (without Penny or his son).

We also get a window into Jacob's capture of Dogen's soul. It seems that Dogen was placed on the island as punishment for nearly killing his son in an auto accident. It seems like Dogen made a parental bargain with the devil - - - his life for that of his son's.  So this adds a clue and a question of whether the island time was actually real, or in a different dimension like the sideways world.

The various time events do not synch up in any logical fashion.

Time, it appears, was merely used as a plot device to throw new dangers at characters or to misdirect or confuse the viewers who were seeking answers to the big questions.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


There were more than a few hair-pulling screams at the TV screen during LOST's run. Many commentators threw in the towel when none of the main characters would ask each other important questions. Many commentators spit out their adult beverages when characters would do 180 degree personality turns.

One explanation for these dumb character turns is mass psychology.

Mass psychology isn't a new science. In 1895 a French social psychologist named Gustav LeBon wrote a book called The Crowd: a Study of the Popular Mind.   The author basically concludes that people tend to do stupid things when operating as a group.

Well, that is a concise statement of fact.

In LOST, the "group think" was always in play. And many dumb things happened as a result. It was always odd that the group split in half when Jack wanted to move the camp to the safety of the caves (and a fresh water supply). That seemed to be the most logical and sound plan. But the group division was made when most of the survivors preferred to stay on the beach in the hope of rescue. But that same group did nothing to help the cause of rescue (such as a signal fire, an SOS, or building a raft until much later).

One of the strangest group think missions was journey to the radio tower. Why the entire group had to go on a long, dangerous jungle trek to a malfunctioning radio tower made no sense. In the past, a few survivors would trek into the jungle on a mission to find dynamite, a kidnapped person like Walt or Claire, or to hunt for food. But having the entire camp march up the mountain to see the tower and listen to a signal wasted time and resources. The dumbness was revealed when after reaching the group goal, the entire group then turned around and marched back down to the beach.

Then there were the oddest group decision. When Jack's gang is rescued by Penny's boat, he made the suggestion that they all "lie" about the events in order to "protect" the people left behind. This was dumb for many reasons, the first and foremost was that they all saw the island vanish - - - so there was no evidence there was anyone left alive to protect. Then the group decision to create an elaborate back story of survival to throw rescuers from the island also made no sense since the group had no idea where the island was in the first place. If the O6 really wanted to save their friends, they would have told the authorities the truth and led their own mercenary force to liberate the island.

Another strange decision was the group cult status of the Others. They followed Ben, but did not trust him. They worshipped Jacob, but Jacob really did not care about them. They lived like gypsies in the wild while their leaders took over the Barracks. Alpert said that the Others had a different mission than Ben's, especially on the pregnant women dying issue. So why did the Others remain loyal to an outsider like Ben? Out of fear, tradition or just dumb group think?

One explanation of the dumb group think is that all of the people coming to the island have some traumatic events in their lives, including surviving shipwrecks, plane crashes and kidnapping. It is also possible that the "infection" affects the mind to numb the primal instincts and curiosity as a means of controlling people on the island. Likewise, the unique electromagnetic energy source could affect mental abilities.  Or it could be sloppy writing and a lack of continuity.

Whatever the cause, there was a mass psychology event playing out in the series. Whether the final phase of this was the characters "creating" a false after life in the sideways world is unclear.

Monday, August 4, 2014


With all the time shifting devices, DVD box sets, and people having a little too much time on their hands, "binge" viewing of television shows is getting more in vogue.

WIRED Magazine recommends one show to binge this summer, but couches its recommendation like that of a roller coaster, abusive relationship. Here is how the writer "sells" LOST:

If nothing else, let J.J. Abrams go down in history for his singular knack for torturing his fans. From the aughts’ Felicity and Alias to Fringe and the Star Trek from which we expected so much more, the Hollywood impresario has for decades kept audiences, all of them millions-strong, leaning forward on their couches, howling at unbearable cliffhangers, and convening in huddled enclaves to debate intricate theories and minute plot details. But perhaps the best brain-bender he ever orchestrated was his and Damon Lindelof’s profound, infuriating, terrifying, bizarre, exhilarating philosophical thriller Lost.

When it began, the show attracted viewers by masquerading as a clean-cut adventure show about an airplane full of people who crash-land onto a seemingly deserted island and have to figure out, as protagonist Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) puts it, how to “live together or die alone.” Of course, that simple intrigue was short-lived, and before you could say, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” the show’s turbine engine had sucked you into its vortex of insanity, a nonstop barrage that kept audiences’ jaws on the floor as they turned to one other to ask in disbelief: “What the hell is going on?” Thanks to these infinitely cryptic puzzles and mythologies, Lost quickly and easily became one of the prototypical “prestige” dramas that truly cultivated the kind of raging, passionate online discussions that have only accelerated in Lost’s wake to become an inextricable cornerstone of how audiences consume television today. (Its intellectualism even made it into the halls of the academic elite.)

But of course, that kind of breakneck velocity and teeming volume has a cost, one that has, in in the four years since the show ended its final season, become somewhat of a cautionary tale, even to its creators. What with electric black smoke monsters that violently murder people (but sometimes choose not to?), polar bears that menace the survivors for a season and then inexplicably disappear, confusing deities that have been waging war on each other for centuries, time-travel and parallel universes, curses, haunting numeric patterns, and general existential despair, there were so many things happening on that damn island that by the show’s final season audiences were overtaken by the sinking realization that there was absolutely no possible way that every question stuffed into every corner of this beloved hellhole could possibly be answered. That, of course, is why Lost has gone down in history as one of the most frustrating, fascinating, and ultimately doomed shows of all time.

Which of course, isn’t to say you shouldn’t binge-watch the hell out of it anyway. While its narrative waxed incredibly heavy-handed at times (a bunch of characters are named after philosophers and characters from The Wizard of Oz, for example, just in case you were in danger of forgetting just how much attention the Lost writing staff paid to completely meaningless details), Lost’s insanity is what makes it so incredibly fun, especially for intrepid television adventurers. As long as you go into this show with the expectation that you won’t know all the answers, and you won’t know which details are important until the very end, not only will you successfully side-step having to talk about the ending in therapy, it will be one of the most fun shows you’ll ever watch.

Why You Should Binge:

Listen, I’m not going to lie here: There’s a very good chance you’re going to come out of this with more than one chip on your shoulder about having to spend over three straight days of your life on this infuriating piece of television history. Still, as I mentioned before, keeping this fact in mind will make it better. It’s still a fantastic ride, one that has become, in just a few short years, a classic. It’s also got a deep, involved, and kind of scary fandom who have put together any and all materials and answers you might need—philosophical, academic, narrative or otherwise. Plus, it’s important you know these references!

Well, if that does not get a curious "new" LOST viewer into the fold, what will? Anyone who wants to know American culture needs to watch a "prestige" show and LOST will be "one of the most frustrating, fascinating, and ultimately doomed shows of all time." 

WIRED also gives a potential viewer some clues on how much investment is needed to watch the series. The time requirements are 90 hours (3.75 days). Each episode averages about 43 minutes, so if you clock 10 hour-days (600 minutes, or about 14 episodes) on Saturdays and Sundays, it’ll only take up a cool 4.5 weekends, or nine days, of your life. Wanna stretch it out? Watch four episodes per night (that’s three hours) for 30 days. (That’s without going back and re-watching episodes to pick up the minutiae, in which case, may the gods have mercy on your—nay, our—souls.)

Sunday, August 3, 2014


If you are secular and scientific in your view of how mankind has evolved on this planet, the dreadnaught moment has to be when we became sentient.

Sentient means to be able to perceive or feel things such as a woman who had been instructed from birth in the equality of all sentient life forms.

There was a recent comic strip that had a religious figure shut the door on all other lower life forms when he became sentient. He found his self-awareness and declared himself to be alone in the world.

I always said that on LOST knowledge was power. Those characters who controlled things knew how the island operated and used personal information to gain an advantage.

Those characters (Ben, Widmore, Eloise) clearly dominated characters who were more emotionally based such as Jack, Sun, Michael, Hurley, Sayid, Kate and Locke, who at some point felt that they were alone in the world.

The ability to perceive that one is not truly alone, even in the midst of personal despair, depression or loneliness, is one explanation of the theory that the show was merely a "character study" and not a drama. If one looks at the series as a quilt of personal relationship studies, like medical studies for the observation of new treatments, then when if at all did the characters come to the understanding of where they fit in the world?

Clearly, some of the characters never matured in any fashion, like Shannon.
Clearly, some of the characters continued to be haunted by their past actions, such as Sayid.
Clearly, some of the characters never wanted to take responsibility and grow up, like Kate and even Hurley.
Clearly, some characters were motivated by revenge which took away any pursuit of happiness, like with Sawyer and Ben.
And clearly, some characters took on leadership duties which caused them to become isolated and lonely, like Jack.

The plots merely swirled the characters personality traits and flaws in a primordial soup to see if anyone would evolve beyond their faults. Most of them continued to believe that they were vacant islands in the world. They were loners who only had to deal with others at arms length. It would be an open debate on whether anyone did evolve.

Kate continued to be runaway Kate through the bitter end at the sideways church.
Jack continued to be flawed Jack as he wound back up with broken Kate in the end.
Why Hurley and Sayid would become soul mates with women that they only met for weeks before their demise is a puzzling fiction - - - or is it an emotional lesson that the last person you cared about is the only person who will ever matter in eternity? That seems not to be a perception, but desperate clinging to someone you could not have. That sort of explains Sawyer and Juliet.

Many viewers had their emotional attachments to certain characters and certain storylines (such as Desmond and Penny relationship) which was enough to perceive LOST as a great show (for them). Perhaps, that is why many people are satisfied with the ending because their favorite lonely characters found some form of happiness in the end.