Friday, October 31, 2014


According to author H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, somewhere sunken in the South Pacific there is a “nightmare corpse-city” called R’lyeh, “built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars.” 

In his house in this city, the great old god Cthulhu waits, dead and dreaming, for his return to power. In a story, a crew of sailors accidentally discover a risen part of the city, an island with a “coast-line of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry,” accidentally wake Cthulhu from his sleep, and are either killed or driven mad.

 Exploring the island, the sailors soon discover that “all the rules of matter and perspective seemed upset,” and they struggle to comprehend and describe their surroundings. “One could not be sure that the sea and the ground were horizontal, hence the relative position of everything else seemed phantasmally variable,” one of the sailors, Gustaf Johansen, wrote in his log. Even when they discover a simple door, the sailors couldn’t tell if it “lay flat like a trap-door or slantwise like an outside cellar-door” because the “geometry of the place was all wrong.”

Of course, none of it—the sailors, the city, the island, the dead-dreaming god—are real. If it was, though, would science be able to explain the weird geometry of the city? Benjamin Tippett, a theoretical physicist and mathematician at the University of New Brunswick, tries to bring fiction into science with a “unified theory of Cthulhu.”

After poring over the clues and descriptions left by Lovecraft’s characters and employing his “mad general relativity skills,” Tippett thinks that the geometry of R’lyeh was all wrong—not because the architecture curves and angles in strange ways, but because of the space the city occupies. R’lyeh, he says, lies in a “region of anomalously curved spacetime,” and the bizarre geometry of the buildings and changing alignment of the horizon are the consequences of the “gravitational lensing of images therein.” 

In a region of curved spacetime, Tippett explains, light doesn’t travel in reliably straight trajectories, so objects beyond the curved region appear warped and skewed, and the relative positions of two objects, or the flatness of a large object, in the region are difficult to discern. A visitor to R’lyeh, he says, would “see the outside world (and other distant objects upon the island) as if through a large fishbowl. Thus, the horizon would no longer be reliably straight, and the sun and moon would swing wildly through the sky depending on one’s position.”

Tippett thinks his “spacetime bubble hypothesis” can also explain the oddities of how time is perceived in R’lyeh, and maybe even address the “central myth of the Cthulhu cult.” Time, he says, passes slower inside an area of curved spacetime than it does outside of it. This time dilation is probably what allowed the sailor Johansen to “survive adrift at sea for nearly two weeks … in a state of helpless dementia.” It could also mean that Cthulhu, whose cultists describe him as dead and dreaming, neither alive nor truly dead, is simply “in a position where it does not feel the passage of time.” At the center of the spacetime bubble, the god could wait, unchanging, for aeons.

As to what caused or created the curved spacetime bubble surrounding R’lyeh, Tippett can only guess. “An exotic type of matter with which human science is entirely unfamiliar is required for such a geometry to exist,” he says. “Indeed, this is the very species of energy which is theoretically required to build a warp drive or a cloaking device. Only a people capable of crossing vast cosmic distances could have constructed Johansen’s bubble.”

Bubble. Spacetime. Time dilation from inside and outside the island. Exotic type of matter.

These are all elements in LOST.

Was the hidden foundation of the LOST mythology from Lovecraft?

As said in Hollywood, nothing is really new.

Is the smoke monster a version of Cthulhu, a dead and dreaming god?

It is a possible explanation. It has tangential elements of exotic powers, unexplained monster, and a time drift that defies conventional science.

The smoke monster is nothing we had ever seen. It takes the form of smoke, then transforms matter into various forms, including humans. It has the ability to read minds, reshape memories, and absorb personalities. It some ways it is parasitic. In other ways, it is intellectually aware.

Or the smoke monster could be the island god's leaking subconscious, a semi-dream state creating or interacting with castaways which shipwreck on its shores, and in turn, disturbs its eternal slumber.

If one part of the island is in actual dream state, the human beings on its surface are the new threads in the island's fantasy world. The castaways don't know that they are real elements in a non-human's dream. And with dreams, they can turn into nightmares. Also, dreams can often overcome the dreamer's normal moral compass and governors, and turn quite dark. 

But this premise does not explain the ending to the series. If the smoke monster was part of the island god's dream state, how could it be "killed?"  Why would even want to be killed?  The only way to stop a dream is to wake up (another strong theme in the sideways world).  So it is possible, that shipwrecked islanders came under a dream like spell while on the island, interacting with the unseen consciousness of the Lovecraftian god. 

Two possible outcomes of killing or waking up a slumbering god: first, it is angry and kills everyone who is on the island, or second, it is benevolent and gives each person their own "dreams" in the alternative afterlife world. Except, not everyone was happy and content in the sideways world. And why keep the island events hidden, repressed and unknown in the sideways world? Was it a final test?

Or was it just another level of the dream?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


One of the major aspects of the was the Temple. It was an Egyptian temple. It's importance seems to be immaterial to the overall LOST story line. But with so much work put into sets, hieroglyphs, and ancient custom, the island as a temple brings about a unique theory (or sub-story context).

Temples were bult for the pharaohs as their burial chambers. But under Egyptian death practices, the temple is not just a burial place, but a large complex to continually feed the king's spirit in the after life to make sure that his journey for under ground will be complete so he can join and become part of the Sun. In order to make this journey work, priests and servants would live in the temple complex, praying and making offerings to their dead king. Inside the temple, the king is buried with all the things he would need in the after life: food, clothes, gold, women, servants, spell books and preserved organs.

It was believed that a pharoah's body and soul would separate into two distinct entities. They would journey through the after life to be reunited in the heavens. But there was great danger, as the underworld gods would attempt to thwart the king's path.

The most important clue about this ritual is the hieroglyph under the temple wall which depicts the smoke monster sitting across from Anubis, the god of the underworld. This may mean something startling to the average LOST fan. Why would the smoke monster be sitting equal, eye to eye, with a god?

Because pharaohs were considered themselves as gods, children of the most important entity, Ra, the Sun god.

Because in order to control the people, a new pharaoh often sacked the old king's temple in order to "take" full command and loyalty of his subjects. But that was not always the case. In certain dynasties, the temples were controlled by loyalists who cared and protected the temple and its occupant. But since this ruling culture and customs lasted for thousands of years, many of the pharaohs and their tombs were lost literally in the sands of time.

Which brings us back to the LOST island.

The supposition is that the island contained immortal beings trying to control it from outsiders.

The island was the lost temple of an ancient king.

It is not unusual for king's to be lost in history. For example, recently  the remains of a previously unknown pharaoh who reigned more than 3,600 years ago have emerged from the desert sand at South Abydos in Sohag province, about 300 miles south of Cairo, the Egyptian antiquities ministry said.

The skeleton of Woseribre Senebkay, who appears to be one of the earliest kings of a forgotten Abydos Dynasty (1650–1600 B.C.) was found by a University of Pennsylvania expedition working with Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. It rested in a four-chambered tomb amidst the fragmented debris of his coffin, funerary mask and canopic chest. Such chests were used to contain the organs of an individual.

Senebkay's tomb dates to about 1650 B.C., during Egypt's Second Intermediate Period, when central authority collapsed, giving rise to several small kingdoms. It was found close to a larger royal sarcophagus chamber, recently identified as belonging to king Sobekhotep (probably Sobekhotep I, ca. 1780 BC) of the 13th Dynasty.

"It's exciting to find not just the tomb of one previously unknown pharaoh, but the necropolis of an entire forgotten dynasty," said Josef Wegner, Egyptian Section Associate Curator of the Penn Museum, who led the University of Pennsylvania team.

Badly plundered by ancient tomb robbers, the tomb of Senebkay is modest in scale. It features a limestone burial chamber painted with images of the goddesses Nut, Nephthys, Selket, and Isis flanking Senebkay's canopic shrine.

Other texts in the tomb identify the pharaoh as the "king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Woseribre, the son of Re, Senebkay."

If the island was the transposed "lost" temple complex of a pharaoh trying to get into the after life, that makes some logical sense in the Jacob back story.  If the island was the temple, then the guardian is the high priest whose duty was to protect and nourish the dead king's spirit. The priest would need to have followers, a cult, to help maintain this balance. So when Jacob brought people to this island, he was using them as substitute  worshippers and offerings to the dead king.

And the smoke monster was the spirit of the disembodied pharaoh. Because of the time shifting island physics, the dead king's soul could not find its path through the underworld and became trapped on the island. It needed to reunite with its body in order to move on. So the idea that the island had to be protected was true only in the context that the people on it had to serve the purpose of getting the pharaoh to the light of the after life.

And it makes sense, since the first incident shows the historical conflict that would doom ancient Egypt. When the Romans conquered Egypt, that signaled the end of the pharaohs. On the island, the arrival of Claudia's Roman boat signaled the potential end of the pharaoh's temple. The last cult member, Crazy Mother, had to make sure the Romans did not destroy the island (temple) because the king's spirit still had a chance to live and reincarnate.

What caused the smoke monster to become mortal again was the fact that the 815 survivors broke the historical chain that bound the spirits to the island. It was the actions of the survivors that caused a chain reaction which killed off the temple priests (Jacob and Dogen), which lifted the metaphysical chains tying the pharaoh's spirit to the island. Once his cult leaders were gone, and the castaways personal sacrifices were made, the dead king's soul reunited with a human body which would allow his dream to come true: the ability to leave the island. But the way he had to leave was simple: he had to die. He had to get out of the darkness (the smoke monster form) and into the light (human form) in order to transcend into the heavens. For thousands of years, he tried to accomplish this, but the island's unique properties kept him at bay.

This was the theme the smoke monster told many of the castaways, including Locke, that they had to die in order to protect or serve the island (pharaoh). The collective spiritual energy of dead souls on the island helped the pharaoh get the critical mass to become one in the after life.

The island visitors were spiritual fuel to re-launch a lost pharaoh back into his time and place in the ancient Egyptian Pantheon.

Friday, October 24, 2014


In just about every endeavor, there is a certain amount of "gold rush" fever.  People are passionate about what they are really interested in . . . so much so that it can become all consuming endeavor to find deeper meaning. In historical context, people left their families, jobs, home to rush to areas far away on the prospect of finding gold or silver or a better opportunity.  For the vast majority of those, these journeys were fool's errands, for the only people who got rich in these fevers were the suppliers of mining equipment, food and shelter.

So was LOST's main characters involved in a fool's errand of their own?

A sense of survival, to rescue, to friendship, to protection, to redemption - - -  all seem to be worthy of all consuming passion and intense enlightenment.

Did the characters actually have to "survive" on the island?

Did the characters really need to be "rescued?"

Did the characters have real friendships or merely truce by convenience?

Did the characters have to protect each other from the unknown?

And did any of the characters actually redeem themselves?

It is really a harsh analysis because in the final season, the story line changed so dramatically to put everything before it in question.  The Jacob-MIB backstory put a supernatural god like control over everything that happened on the island. Though Jacob said he gave any visitor "free will" to make their own decisions, but at the same time Jacob and MIB were constantly manipulating the characters - - - attacking their fears, personality flaws, emotional states and desires. Some could say that the island was training human circus animals to perform surreal plays for the gods amusement.

If the characters were trying to find their own souls, to reform and redeem their past sins, did they actually find that gold? Not really. The island ordeal was a harsh existence with many deaths, psychological breakdowns and inconsistent alliances. The real miners for the golden ticket was Jacob and his smoke monster buddy (who we learn is not actually his real brother but some supernatural shape shifting spirit being).

It seems that only Jacob and the smoke monster could "survive" on the island. They were both trapped on the island for reasons not really understood. They get bored with each other, and bring inferior humans to play a game of survival without rules. And when they don't play to the violent nature expected, the captors send their wrath upon them.

It also seems that Jacob and the smoke monster were the only ones who really, truly needed to be rescued from their immortal prison. The survivors really had no lives to go back to, as Jacob told them bluntly. They were picked to come to the island because of their various deep rooted faults. They were castaways from society before they even crash landed on the island. It was MIB who desperately wanted to find a "loophole" to get off the island - - - which probably was as simple as getting some stupid fool to accept the responsibility of becoming the next imprisoned guardian (which mirrors Desmond leaving the Hatch confines when Locke found him).

Whether Jacob and MIB were actual "friends" is debatable; but at least they were held as equals in their own minds, which is the foundation for any friendship. Though presented as being immortal foes, one does not get the sense of real anger between them - - - more a resigned sigh that their confinement is never going to end. It was only when Ben killed his mentor, Jacob, did MIB's fake blood boil as he burned Jacob's body. But we still don't know if that was a real death, or part of the loophole catch to make the other candidates believe someone had to step up and take Jacob's place (thus opening the lock of their island cage). MIB's performance convinced Ben that Flocke was truly evil and had to be stopped . . . . but from what? It was all an elaborate con on the humans to get them to act a certain way - - - to kill each of the immortals by sacrificing themselves in dangerous situations. What right minded individual would do such a thing? In the past, no one did (which frustrated MIB to no end).

Jacob and MIB did not need protection from each other because they were island equals. The only rule was that each could be killed (released from bondage) only at certain times and in certain places at the hands of an inferior human being. There was no redemption in Jack, Kate, Ben or anyone else killing off Jacob or MIB. It really did not solve any of their personal problems. It did not make their world a better place. All the finale did was release Jacob and MIB from their island hell. (Some could say that the island experience kept the characters spirits linked as one to be reunited in the after life, but others would say that is just a Hollywood trope happy ending with no logical connection to the show's own mythology).

No, the only true "winners" in the series were the two characters with the least scene time.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


When I heard about Hunger Games, I thought it was probably another food channel battle show. But it is a teen film with a familiar genre: the human hunt. I can see why the film was popular: it had an attractive lead in Jennifer Lawrence who teen girls could identify. She made a sacrifice to save her sister which starts the action toward a dystopian saga of human sport.  The ruling class look like arrogant French aristocrats who keep the peasant classes the outer districts in line by taking two people a year from their ranks to play a vicious winner take all contest.

This genre story line is fairly simple. A person is taken out of their normal routine, and placed in the position of being a hunted animal by some superior being, usually a pyscho millionaire hunter. There is no educational value to the exercise. It is pure kill or be killed mentality. Since humans are the clever ones in the food chain, hunting them is more appealing to the deranged masters.

In LOST, there have been several theories which involved the castaways being human subjects in various Dharma-like experimentation, from female reproduction to psychological evaluation such as watching monitors all day, and sending reports in tubes that go no where (unread). Or, Desmond being placed in a hatch to type in numbers every 108 minutes. Why would anyone need to video that cruelty? To measure the breaking point of the human spirit.

How people cope with the stresses placed upon them is something that scientists continue to try to measure. Even the benign folks at Facebook have been accused of secretly manipulating data streams in order to get reactionary information from its users. Toying with people's emotions seems to be fun sport for some, even in a digital world.

So let us assume the Dharma folk built their stations on the island for the purpose of human experimentation. The various stations were built to test the human operators tolerance for the mundane, the entrapment and the longing for home. Dharma had the ability to view its test subjects, and manipulate the controls to get reactions and more data. The facilities also contained Room 23, a mind control unit.

So what happens when the manipulated realize that they are being manipulated? They rebel, like in Ben's purge. But what takes the place in the new island order is really much of the same. Power corrupts, and newfound power is addictive. The captor leaders then use the same techniques to control their own subjects (the Others). Human nature is a endless loop.

As in the Hunger Games, there are rules, but they can be changed at any time to serve the purposes of the overlords. In an advanced society, technology is used to repress the lower classes. Also, in the Hunger Games, the key point of power to control the unhappy workers was to give them hope. For hope is more powerful than their fears.

Those in power will seek to maintain their power at all costs. So when an unexpected airplane crashes onto the island with survivors, the powerful believe that it is an immediate threat to their order. So spies are sent to the camps. The Others begin to kidnap the children. They spread "fear" through the new visitors in order to mask or destroy any hope they have for rescue or peaceful coexistence on the island. And thus the game of tug of war starts between the factions.

The survivors are like the district tributes, taking out of their normal world and placed in an unfamiliar and dangerous situation. They have to learn quickly, adapt or die. And the Others find hunting humans more fun than trying to avoid the confrontation with the smoke monster.

If one looks at the show as a battle between two factions, the old and the new, then LOST goes back to its pre-pilot roots of being a Survivor like drama show. Perhaps that was supposed to be the real direction of the show. But we will never know since the basic show outline quickly diverged from that path into sci-fi and supernatural mysteries.

The off-premise that the survivors would be pitted against the Others in a battle royal (Jacob vs. MIB as game masters) where sacrifice is badgered on individuals "for the good of their friends" like ghost Christian told Locke in the FDW pit.  Like in the game of Senet, the immortal island rulers could have set up the conflict in order to eliminate players. The game was finally over when Jacob's last ally, Jack, died on the island after the other survivors flew overhead.  (Both Hurley and Ben were technically followers of Flocke at the end). How this actually represents a "game over" moment is quite unclear because we don't know what the actually was the Jacob-MIB game.

Actually, LOST could have worked as a cooking show. Deposit 24 cooks on a deserted tropical island to fend for themselves, and make occasional "offerings" or tributes to their judges (in exchange for needed supplies). The contestants would have to live off the land, and survive the elements and each others if there were "no rules." If the stakes were high enough (one winner only), and losers were destroyed or sacrificed, would the nation view such a bloody spectacle? Probably. There was a undercurrent of cruelty throughout the series that taps the subconscious and whispers that it is only entertainment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


One of the early LOST theories, and some still suspect one of the "craziest," deals with fan favorite, Hurley.  Hurley was universally the most likeable main character in the series.

But a popular fan theory was that Hurley is still in the mental institution and that each character is a part of his personality.

This is slightly different than Hurley (or some other character) was dreaming this all up (like a real bad Dallas cliffhanger solution).  This theory supposes that it is not a dream, per se, but a multiple personality disorder coming to life.

There is a bridge between the two places. Both at the mental institution and on the island, Hurley's "imaginary friend" Dave appears. In fact, at the mental institution, Dave tries to coax Hurley with food in order to escape the institution. Hurley hesitates, then stays (which is also odd, because Hurley was not committed so he could leave, supposedly, at any time). Then on the island, Dave tells Hurley that everything is all "in his head."  Only a last second intervention by Libby (who is also seen at the mental institution as a whacked out patient) saves Hurley from jumping off a cliff. In Dave's world, this would break the mental cycle in Hurley's head. From the show perspective, we are led to believe that Libby saved Hurley from certain death. For some reason, Libby's coaxing of Hurley off the ledge was not that of a lover, but like a nurse. But we know Libby is not a nurse, but a troubled patient. It is after that that Libby begins to reel Hurley toward her. If Libby was also an imaginary person, with some psychotic self-awareness that a multiple personality could manifest, then stopping "Dave" would be the only way to "save" herself in Hurley's complex mental world.

Libby could represent the caring person missing in Hurley's real life. Libby represents the romantic feelings that he cannot express to real people. On the other extreme, Dave appears to be Hurley's adventurous alter-ego, someone who is willing to take chances, risks, in order to get the nerve endings to tingle. If these two mental institutional characters are two ends of the spectrum, that sets up a linear character development plot line to dissect the series.

If we assume that Hurley is truly a troubled person, then the one event that set him over the edge was the alleged porch collapse incident where two people were killed. Hurley blamed his weight and presence on the porch for its collapse and resulting deaths. (However, we are never told that Hurley was actually injured in the incident. Some say that this may have been the gateway event for Hurley's own personal journey in purgatory; dying as a result of the porch collapse.) If Hurley truly blamed himself for two deaths, what if those two people were Dave and Libby? Since Hurley never acknowledged Libby as a patient when she came out of the jungle, could she also be "imaginary" like Dave? If so, then that squarely puts the island in the realm of mental illness and not a real place.

Then let's explore the some of other main characters in relation to this premise.

If Hurley was on the porch when it collapsed, killing two people, it is highly likely that he would have been injured as a result. We know he had some disdain for his regular psychologist who told him Dave "was not real." Hurley could have conjured a more sympathetic, miracle working alter ego in the form of Jack Shephard, who was similarly affected by serious daddy issues. Jack takes the form of internal healing for Hurley.

Then, we have Kate, who could be the musical persona of Hurley's mental state. As the girl next door character, Kate could function as possible love interest like the record store clerk, but real Hurley knows that he could never have such a girl. While Hurley is introverted, shy and dower on his prospects, Kate is the opposite - - - hard hitting, aggressive, manipulative and can put men on a string and pull them like a yo-yo. Kate takes the form of yearning for an exciting, adventurous personality.

Locke ties in with Jack in more ways than one. Locke could be the embodiment of two things: Hurley's actual porch injuries, and Hurley's internally perceived deficiencies in making friends, keeping a job, a lack of focus - - - the embodiment of all the darkest fears, such as dying alone. While Locke can scream "you can't tell me what to do!" Hurley cannot make such statements because he has repressed that will to stand up (even for himself).

Sawyer can represent luck. Sawyer was the one character who can make things look too easy. He can con money, change tacts, be quick witted and humorous, but also be cunning and strong. He is a
Robert Mitchum style "man's man" something that Hurley knows he could never be in real life. It is why the fire and gasoline combo of Kate and Sawyer would never work, because only opposites attract (or so that is the rules of relationships).

By "solving" his inner personalities with each other, Hurley can find some mental balance on his island. Remember, Hurley is the last man standing - - - in control - - - of the island, which could be symbolic of his mental state. And when the ending church scene is put together, it is another stage in Hurley's mind to come to a cliche "happy ending" for his imaginary friends.

A multiple personality disorder also erases all the plot line and continuity errors in the series because the events are not real but all in Hurley's head.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Kate was The One.

Kate was the first character with a complex back story.
She was the first character guys immediately attached to: the cute, girl next door.
Kate was the most troubled character.
She had done horrific things in her past; she was a classic woman on the run.

And Kate was the One who really got everything she wanted, on her own terms.

For those looking for an alternative solution to the many tangled plots, Kate may be your answer.

She was in the center of most of the action, but she never got hurt.
If she wanted something, men jumped to her aid (no matter the consequences, which ran the gambit to sex to death). She was never accountable for her desperate actions. Other people took the brunt of the punishment that should have been directed toward her way.

Women envied her freedom. Men adored her spunky tomboy appeal.

If there was a series puppet master, it would be Kate.

We were told that Jacob was the island guardian, whose "touch" brought the candidates to the island. Jacob was manipulating people to replace him. Kate was a candidate, but somehow conveniently taken out of the equation because she became "a mother." But that was not true. She took Aaron off the island, and "pretended" to be his mother, but gave him back to his grandmother to return to the island. Jacob should have known that - - - but maybe he was also being manipulated by Kate.

Since it is best to be hidden in plain sight, Kate walked among all the interests and conflict groups. She got the adrenaline rush of the missions, but none of the dire consequences of being killed by the Others or the smoke monster. Everything seemed to fall her way. She was the luckiest person ever, or her thoughts and dreams manipulated and controlled island events.

The dream is the only way to explain the laughable, implausible and totally wrong legal resolution of her murder case. The whole O6 story arc was fraught with childish story lines and illogical conclusions. Why would Sun abandon her daughter to go back to find Jin, who everyone believed is already dead? Why would Jack turn into a madman after leaving Kate alone with Aaron? Why did not her Florida husband come to her side when her trial-of-the-century was being broadcast to the nation?  None of those items makes any common sense. They are more the delusional thoughts of a classic spoiled adult who turns away responsibility for personal adventure.

LOST was an adventure story, but it was Kate's adventure. She was used to gathering "red shirts" like the bank robbery gang who would die for her. She gathered up enough "red shirt" survivors to keep the blood pumping and tension high. She was an adrenaline junkie. That is why she volunteered for all the dangerous missions, knowing that she would get the rush but not bad consequences. The island was her own haunted house, a dirty trick she made for her new friends to experience.

Who is not to say Kate was not a supernatural being like Jacob or MIB? If past island history was true, then the real guardian of supernatural world would have been a woman. The gods who ruled life and the bounty of life were women, like Taweret, the goddess of Birth, Rebirth and the Sky. Sound familiar? That was close to the definition of the "life force." The island was the creation and re-creation of a woman-god. Kate is the only character who meets the criteria of being able to rule the island in plain sight. She is the one who gets off the island, but returns to re-connect her bonds to Jack - - - her only hope is that they can overcome the greatest obstacle, together, which would be defeating MIB. Once that happens, Kate does not stay - - - she leaves the island and Jack dies alone. A normal caring person in love with Jack would have stayed by his side to the bitter end. But this moment was a trap, set by Kate, to capture Jack's soul in the after life. For what is a few more moments on Earth compared to an eternity together in the stars.

A highly charged, highly complex series of events that one can consider one long blind date?

If a smoke monster can manipulate both matter and energy, why can it manipulate human emotions such as love?

When Christian states that everyone in the afterlife church is there because the island was the most important thing in their collective lives, one still has to question that viewpoint. Under normal circumstances, the most important things in one's life is family (parents) and loved ones (children and spouse). Is this the lonely losers club?

Kate was the most estranged from her loved ones: she killed her father, dismissed her mother, abandoned her Florida husband (and as a runaway committed various acts of adultery). Her character would have been the most likely to have been "alone" at the pearly gates (or the opening of hell's fire pit).

For example, Hurley was extremely close to his mother. As a momma's boy, don't you think she'd be in the final scene to comfort Hurley in the afterlife? Jack had his estranged father, but not his mother. He got along with her fine, so there is another disconnect to the church ending.

To alone Kate, Jack needed to see, speak and reconcile with his father in order to be with her. So one could argue that the church reunion was only stage dressing for Kate's spirit to get what she wanted: Jack, so you would not be alone forever. In some respects, the island was Kate's best life moment, not anyone else's. She needed friends and lovers in order to create some self-esteem, some self-worth. But at the same time, she was an unaccountable spoiled brat in how she dealt with people and problems. The church ending was her solution to her eternity problems. How interesting that she could have choreographed the events on the island (remember we never got the full beach deal conversation between Ben and Kate) in order to increase her status and control of her own immortality. If she was the puppetmaster, she put herself into the action, in a secondary role, to help guide the character developments and affection for her. She needed friends in order to survive the pit of damnation. The island could have been her cosmic con. She had the most to gain by the final union. Perhaps, this explanation will help smooth out the bitterness of why Kate wound up with Jack.

Monday, October 20, 2014


I came across this interesting diagram. In the pyramid of Life, you get two choices.

Applying this to LOST should be a simple mental exercise.

Money was rarely the central motivational factor. It was more a means to an end. Widmore used his wealth to find a way to get back to the island (which led to his death). Hurley used his newfound wealth to find the origin of his Curse, the Numbers (which led him to the island and the unknown).

Children were never treated well in the series. There was one plot about how women died in their third trimester, and that the Others were kidnapping children for some unknown purpose. We were told that Walt was "special." And as a child, Locke was told the same thing. But having a child, even an apparent imaginary one in Jack's case, was fairly irrelevant to the story.

Time was used and abused in island story lines. The use of conflicting time travel theories did nothing to shed light on the understanding of the underlying LOST mythology. Time was a messy contrivance to create a faux sense of danger and drama.

How would a normal purpose balance the choices?

If one had children as a priority, money would give them the comfort and support. But on the other hand, people would want as much time as possible to be with their children.

If one did not care about children, then the focus would be on money and time. Time to make money as a singular goal does not make you a better person. More like an obsessive Scrouge.

What is missing from the chart is one component that everyone wants in their lives: happiness.

And a simple question to LOST viewers: were the characters really happy during the course of the series?

Sunday, October 19, 2014


There is circumstantial evidence that a person's soul weighs approximately 5 ounces. This measurement was done immediately before and after a person passes on. Philosophically, death releases the soul and hence, its weight.

But man has weighed the concept of the soul since the dawn of time. Man's own origin stories, even from days of pre-religion, felt that man was more than an animal; that man had a higher purpose; that looking at the infinite stars at night - - - we had to have a sense of immortality.

It would seem logical that the soul would reside inside a person's heart. The heart is the engine that keeps one's body alive by circulating the blood and plasma to all the various organs. Literary circles have described a person as having a "good heart," or a "black heart" to characterize a personality.

Is the physical heart and the metaphysical soul work concurrently to make us special?

The LOST characters arrived at the island with hearts in various states of disarray. It must have been a burden upon their troubled souls.

One could consider that a person can only mend their heart by using his or her soul (enlightenment).

Purification rituals began from the earliest tribes and civilizations. The act of cleansing was deemed to be an important means of connecting to one's self, family, community and the heavens. To cleanse the burdens of the soul requires soul searching, understanding and change.

For whatever reason, the island was the laboratory for such soul searching. Jack grappled with his feelings and guilt of his relationship with his father. Locke grappled with his feelings of abandonment and loneliness. Kate grappled with her feelings of guilt and responsibility. Coming to terms with these basic but overpowering emotional states was the key to their character development.

LOST may have been an exercise in mending one's heart and soul. One has to look outside one's self to others in order to cure what ails you.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


There are several important things captured in this image.

First, a pensive to surprised expression on Locke's face. He is looking down at his legs, which we would later learn were not functioning when he boarded Flight 815.

Second, he has facial scar above and below his right eye.

Third, he was ejected from the plane and landed on his back. Such a fall would be worse than the one from the building that caused his paralysis.

If time is not linear, but circular, then this moment in the series is a prime example of reliving the past in the present. But the one difference is that this fall from the sky reversed Locke's paralysis, which in most circles be a true miracle.

In the future, there was a deep theme of Egyptian mythology. Locke's scar could be a symbol of the connection to those stories. For example, Horus was an ancient sky god usually depicted as a falcon.
His right eye was associated with the sun god, Ra, the most important god. The eye symbol represents the marking around the eye of the falcon, including a teardrop marking sometimes found below the eye. The mirror image, or left eye, sometimes represented the moon and the god Djehuti, Thoth, a god the underworld.

In one myth, Horus and his brother, Set, are fighting for the throne after Osiris' death. Set gouges Horace's left eye. The majority of the eye was restored by another god magically, probably by Thoth. When the eye was restored, Horus offered it to Osiris in the hope of restoring his life. Hence, the eye of Horus was often used a symbol of sacrifice, healing, restoration and protection.

Sacrifice, healing, restoration and protection were all themes tied to Locke's character.

But the scar on Locke's face is on his right eye (the moon or underworld) and not his left (the sun). One could argue that this is reverse symbolism - - - that in the underworld non-sacrifice, infliction of pain, destruction and self-preservation are the goals. In fact, those reverse themes pair well with Sawyer's character, one of the few who got off the island alive.

For some reason, the island "healed" Locke to give him back the ability to walk and run. The purpose of this gift was to allow Locke to disrupt the groups he was associated with: first the survivors camp and then the Others. He did not restore order to these groups, but created conflict. He decided not to protect his friends or fellow castaways, but to protect the island for no apparent reason other than he saw its inner beauty. He took it upon himself to become a guardian of the island, which the island did not need for it had a powerful god named Jacob. So the island decided that Locke would be the anti-symbol of the myth of the eye of Horus.

Which means that the other survivor found waking up on his back in the jungle, Jack, would be symbolic of sun god, Ra. In Egyptian mythology, it was the sun god that took a dangerous, nightly journey through the underworld. If he was able to get through the perils and pitfalls of darkness, the sun would rise the next day. This captured the circle of life.

It was also a miracle that Jack was not severely injured when he fell to the ground. The island also gave him the miracle of life to begin his island journey. The camera focused on Jack's eye opening . . . . . . symbolic of the journey's beginning. Jack's first steps were to heal other injured passengers, to restore order in the group and protect them from the perils of the island, such as the Others attacks. It is questionable whether Jack sacrifices anything to the island (except his own life at the end of the series). As Locke's death was a small catalyst to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island, Jack's death on the island had no closing bargain. When his eye closed for the last time, the journey was over and if Jack was the symbol of the sun god, the sunrise would never happen again. The island would be no more.

When Locke arrives at the sideways church, he is in a wheelchair just as he was as he boarded Flight 815. But he is reminded that he does not need that wheelchair to enter the church. This may be the connection between the sideways world and the island plane crash. Some have argued that Locke's ability to walk on the island meant that he had died; and that Locke's inability to walk in the sideways world was his punishment for being unable to move on from the baggage he left behind during his mortal life. In both places, Locke was looking a miracle cure. But it seems only in death could he achieve that miracle.

Friday, October 17, 2014


The Four Fates: luck, miracle, chance and shrewd opportunity.

Put them together, LOST's island adventure was serendipity.

Serendipity means an the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. It was originally coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

Sounds LOST-like.

The four characters each made strange discoveries, by accident and some shrewd bets, but often their main focus was skewed away from their central quest: rescue.

Hurley's quest was to find the source of his curse, The Numbers. Instead, he found friendship and love of his after life, which is kind of sad when put in that context.

Jack's quest was to get his father's approval. Instead, he had to go collect the remains of his lost father, knowing that he could never reconcile the past until after he died, which is kind of sad when put into that context.

Kate's quest was to run away from her problems and not get caught in being accountable for her actions. Instead, she found the one person, Jack, who could ground her in normal society, but could not be with him until after they were dead, which is kind of sad when you put in that context.

Sawyer's quest was to track down and kill the con man who caused his parents deaths. Sawyer actually fulfilled his quest by killing Cooper on the island. And he was rewarded with three years of time traveling happiness with Juliet in the Others camp. And he was reunited with her in the after life. So things actually worked out for Sawyer. Huh.

Of these main characters, Sawyer got it. Only a shrewd opportunist like Sawyer got what he was after on the island. He conned, manipulated, badgered, stole, and fought just about everyone around him. He was his own island on the island. Perhaps his narrow focus was his actual strength of powerful will, stronger than the other characters. Something that the island could not break through and seize control over.

And Sawyer was one who left the island on the Ajira plane without any lingering baggage. One could say of all the main characters, except for Rose and Bernard, Sawyer got the best island deal.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Ben, Hurley and Locke had the deepest connections to the island. Yet, they all played the fool as their personal stories unfolded over the six seasons.

Ben had a Napoleon complex: he wanted power, control and respect as many small minded leaders throughout history have come to grasp.

Hurley had an inferiority complex: he wanted love, respect and a purpose in life but he had no drive or ambition to live his own life.

Locke had grandeur issues: he believed he had a higher calling than what society and authority targeted him for; he was a dreamer who had no skills to make his dreams come true. He had a self-destructive personality.

So why was the island's connection to these three men so strong?

The island made fools of them.

Ben worked his way up from a lonely school boy with an abusive, drunken father to a mass murderer psychopathic leader of the Others. But in the end, his loyalty to Jacob, his perceived father figure, was a farce. This led to Ben becoming a broken man.

Hurley was a lonely boy who put himself in a shell because he blamed himself for his father's abandonment. He had only one true friend, who betrayed him after Hurley kept his lottery winnings a secret. Hurley believed he was cursed by the Numbers, and that led to his growing psychological problems, including the ability to speak to the dead.

Locke was a lonely man who could not find acceptance and a real family. He bounced from odd job to odd job, to being an outcast in a commune, to a pigeon taken advantage of by others, including his own father. His desire to be a part of a traditional family structure literally crippled him, making him a bitter man who could not see the hope that Helen could have given him.

If the island was an intelligent being as many have suggested, then it used its magical resources to build up and tear down these three men. It raised up the inferiority complex Ben into a limitless, powerful tyrant, only to pull the rug from underneath his reign and give it to a real monster, MIB. Hurley's mental problems were enhanced while on the island - - - the reoccurring Numbers sounded like bullhorns in his head of his Curse. The ability to talk to dead people. And the new friends around him started to die - - - including the one woman who found him interesting. It was like he was a mental punching bag. Locke seemingly was given the greatest second chance of all time. The plane crash allowed him to walk again. He could become the outback hero on the island. He could find the respect, admiration, loyalty and affection from the castaways. He could lead them to his promised land. But Locke was merely a prop in other people's plans. When things did not go well, Locke tried to rationalize his failures as new opportunities, even though it cost him colleague's lives such as Boone. He was told that he had to sacrifice himself for the island. Martyrdom was not the goal for a young John Locke, so he balked at the notion - - - but was killed anyway. He was barely a footnote to other people because he had lived a measly, stupid life.

The island must have had a cruel sense of humor.

It gave Ben, Hurley and Locke a glimpse of what they most wanted, then tore it from their grasp.

So why would the island intelligence be so childish, so cruel?

Because it is probably a childlike intelligence. It connected to Ben, Hurley and Locke because it too was an outcast from its own society. It had the same deep, dark emotional issues of Ben, Hurley and Locke. The island could not express or vent its anger so it had to act through visitors and its smoke monsters. The island was the puppeteer who smashed its playthings together to release some of its own repressed abandonment feelings.

The island as a lonely, supernatural child lost in space, trapped in the Earth's gravitational pull, is an intriguing side story. Could it be the last of its kind? Could it have been abandoned by its parents or world much like the origin story of Superman? How could such a being with immense power want to hide in plain sight instead of ruling an entire planet? It may have never been instructed on what to do - - - or it was told about certain rules to follow. Or, worse, it was trapped in island form and unable to make a physical transition to our world. That could be just as frustrating as what was going through the minds of Ben, Hurley and Locke.

And this can explain why many aspects of LOST have a theme of cruelty. Unsupervised children often can be cruel, in their play and their outlook on life. A magnifying glass to burn ants may have been a human curiosity, but an island superbeing doing the same to human adults is another thing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


On the blast door map and a few conversations, people were warned against travel in the Dark Territory.

The Dark Territory was an region that featured the Black Rock, Rousseau's camp, and the Temple. It was supposedly the area where the smoke monster was most active. It attacked the survivors on their mission to get dynamite to blow the hatch. The blast door map indicted that "primary nexus of Cerberus related activity" in close approximation to the Black Rock. 

Rousseau's crew was killed and taken by the smoke monster at the temple's outer wall. One of her crew said the Monster was security system that was guarding the Temple.

It was also the place were the "Hurley bird" made its first appearance. The bird was thought to be a warning device to Hurley that danger was present.

Warning devices, security guards, and danger in the Dark Territory should have allowed for more detailed stories instead of miscellaneous mission treks through the jungle.

Was the smoke monster a temple spirit? Or was the smoke monster created from the dead damned souls of the departed Black Rock crew? Or was the smoke monster more than just a thing, but a growing conglomeration of dead souls - - - which increase its knowledge base, but add more mental confusion and anguish with the emotional fears of the deceased's memories.  Then one could speculate that the smoke monster's existence could have been to absorb the minds of any island intruder, which in itself could have made a fascinating case study of a supernatural being.

Yes, the one true and great back story that was never shown on the series was that of the Smoke Monster.  The writers always claimed that they wanted to leave certain mysteries for the fans to figure out on their own, but this one is really too big to avoid. There were not enough clues for fans to connect any dots to determine what the monster was - - - and there is a high probability the writers had no idea either. It was merely a plot device, the dark shadow creek under the bed, to scare the childlike innocence in the viewers.

The slow reveal of the island mysteries should have included the smoke monster, who came to default prominence as Flocke in Season 6. We still don't know why the smoke monster had to take Locke's form (or have Locke's body on the island in order to do so). So was the monster merely a mechanical projection of the dead, or it is a spiritual evil construction of life force energy? Since we don't know if it was good, bad or malfunctioning, the smoke monster embodies the weakest link in the island mythology.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


The series could have had a major story arc with the raft. It represented what the pilot episode stressed as the focal point of the show: rescue. The idea that four survivors would had the ability to build a raft, let alone sail it, across the Pacific to find rescue would have upped the ante.

It would have given the audience time and episode space to get a better understanding of an early character that was exiled from the series: Walt.

In the confined space of the raft, Walt could have been the center piece of the story. He really did not want to leave the island, because he really had nothing to go back to. His mother was dead. His adopted father abandoned him. Michael, his biological dad, gave him up when he was a child. Walt was totally alone. But, we were told he was "special."

If he was indeed special, why did Ben let him go so easily after Michael's final betrayal? Did Ben's science stations extract Walt's special qualities like draining a battery?

But the raft portion of the series was very short lived; interrupted quickly by a rescue fishing boat, with the quick twist of kidnapping Walt, shooting Sawyer and destroying the raft. It could have been a real cost saver to kill off three main characters.

But they wound up washed on shore into what some consider a filler arc of the show, the Tailies. Besides Bernard, the other 48 tail section passengers were merely red shirts - - - fodder for grisly deaths to come.

It would have been better to run a half season of raft episodes (or cutaways) than the Tailies and their back stories. The show did not need new characters, but better development of the ones we were told were important clues to unraveling the series.

The tension was there for the taking. Sawyer would have gotten on Michael's nerves. Walt would have looked to rebel against his new father's orders; so Walt would have been drawn to Sawyer's rebel attitude. That would have further inflamed the situation. The odd part of the raft was Jin's presence - - - for he would be the silent provider, fisherman. It also could be comic relief if the only English he learned was from Sawyer's verbal jabs.

It also could been an avenue to smooth over the rough edges of the Sawyer character. He could have communicated his rough childhood to Walt, so he could understand the problems he would face.  It could be an older brother moment.

But the real lost opportunity was to focus on Walt. Since he had the ability to communicate (and kill) birds and possibly other animals, he could have been a magical provider of food on the long voyage. Or he could have contacted the Dharma sharks for assistance. Since at this time we had no idea about Jacob and why visitors were brought to the island, Walt's abilities would have been critical clues into the island's purpose.

There could have been several paths this long raft arc could have taken. One, the raft could have met a horrible fate in the open seas. A storm could have crushed the small vessel. The heat could have boiled the men to madness, conflict and death. Two, the raft could have made it to another island, where a) they could have found native people who (i) greeted them warmly or (ii) captured them for cannibal sacrifices; or b) been rescued by a container ship heading towards America. Then their story of survival would have made the O6 story arc pale in comparison. It could also set off a rich man's war to find the island between Sun's father and Widmore. It would have been an expensive America's Cup race to find the island, which could have brought in the mysterious Eloise to manipulate both sides to her own game of betrayal.

So, the raft island escape was a missed opportunity for deep story development and character spotlights.

Monday, October 13, 2014


The media conglomerates like to have franchises. Character stories that can run off a series of films, spin-offs, sequels, prequels and merchandising. Disney is the king of the franchise.

J.K. Rowling is the independent franchise queen. Late last week, the twitter world was a buzz over the potential that there may be another Harry Potter (Harry Potter centric) book, film or project.

The world that Rowling created is layered enough where she can explore various aspects of it with both new and old characters. Since it was a magical place, rules don't really apply. But in the case of a lasting franchise, she did make a complex set of rules, within its own language, which fans have absorbed like sun light.

LOST was never a franchise. It may have been ABC's television flagship for a couple of seasons, but it did not have the basic parts to become a spin-off, sequel, merchandising machine.

It would have been possible to have made a prequel to show the beginnings of the island, but then again "Across the Sea" was one of the least liked episodes in LOST's history. Further, in order to work, the writers would actually have to explain what the island was - - - in enough detail to hook the audience in like Rowling's wizard back alley.

It would have been possible to have made a sequel to show Hurley's guardianship of the island, but the DVD short with Hurley and Ben was a major disappointment. It showed that after the ending, the show was really over and done. For some, you can't reheat a burned steak.

However, there were a few that wanted the show to continue. They missed their characters. That is why many followed the cast members to their other TV projects (which for the most part failed after a half season). So there still is a deep connection to the show, but there is no real outlet for it to continue.

A spin-off of just the sideways world would have met with tremendous push back because fans were trained to think that the series was not about purgatory. A follow up series about purgatory would rub some people the wrong way. But then again, for this to work the writers would have to explain why the after life characters "forgot" about their most important part of their lives, the island.

When you have a final story with so many holes it could be a poster for Swiss Cheese, it is hard to imagine another LOST inspired series.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


The attempt to unify the various story aspects of LOST is a difficult chore.

One cannot be positive about anything.

As Oscar Wilde wrote,  “All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.” 

Exactly. What was the true peril in LOST?

What was the one fear that bound together everyone?

It may be a basic human inner terror: dying alone.

The composite feature of any of the main characters were that they were basically loners wandering through life with little or no true friendships. Some say that it is not how you perceive your own life, but your life will be judged by those who attend your funeral.

Human beings have a tribal instinct to belong to a family, a community, kindred spirits. But during one's life, those connections can get lost - - - trampled by the pressures of work, obligations, derailed by alcohol, drugs or quests for power, or tortured relationships including rejection.

That is a heavy dose of DOOM that people think is shadowing them throughout their lives.

If we examine what was below the surface of the island, we find two things. First, we find the ancient Egyptian temple complex, with a drawing of the smoke monster sitting across from Anubis, the god of the underworld. Second, we find the mysterious light force which is said to bring life, death and rebirth through supernatural powers which includes moving both time and space. Despite what is shown on the surface of the island, below is the clear symbolism of death and the after life. And the smoke monster is clearly depicted as part of this underworld realm.

Attached to the subsurface of the island are the roots of the plants, including the banyon trees which some believe have magical powers to ward off evil because spirits reside in their roots. Juliet and Kate were saved from the attacking smoke monster by hiding in the tree roots. What also is tied to the surface of the island? We would learn from Michael that the whispers are trapped spirits who cannot move on in death. Michael was one of those trapped spirits when he spoke to Hurley.

So we could conclude that the island itself is symbolic border between the living and the spirit world. We can also conclude that the smoke monster is a form of a spirit that is trapped on the island. As a spirit, it has magical abilities to change matter and form, to probe the minds and memories of human beings, and to destroy or kill. In all natural systems, there is a balance in order for the system to sustain itself. If the smoke monster is a evil, dark force, then the light force represents the counterbalance of good. It would have its own representative shape or smoke monster form on the island - - - which probably is symbolic of the island guardian such as Jacob.

Jacob being an energy being, a spirit, can explain why he could give Alpert the gift of life on the island because he was connected to the life spirit who can give life and rebirth. Thus, it is fair to assume that there are more than one smoke monster on the island. This could explain why Rousseau's reanimated dead crew members came after her, to turn her into another smoke creature. It could also explain why there was an obsession with new born children. Evil spirits who are trapped or chained to the island because of their evil past may believe that taking a new born, free from sin (pure goodness), absorbing that soul could be the key to releasing their bonds to the island underworld.

We have an island filled with symbols of death and the rituals of the underworld. We have an island inhabited by immortals and spirits. Indeed, the island is thus a magical place not fully of Earth.

If spirits are energy beings, the uncontrolled release of the EM pulse such as Desmond's failure to input the containment numbers causes the spirits to surge into time and space to attach themselves to human beings or to draw them (shipwreck them) on the island. So we can have the 815 plane crash survivors being live, human beings living in a spiritual realm that seems, on the surface, just another Pacific island. 

There has to be some sort of unwritten bargain at play. The trapped spirits need to have humans come to the island for their own redemptive purposes, so their chains can be released so their souls can move on. But redemption is not what happens to any of the main characters on LOST. In fact, no one really has a defining revelation and life changing redemption on the island. There was no more compass that judged good or evil in their hearts. So what could the island spirits give the castaways that was so important, so valuable, that it could redeem them?

Since the spirits are dead, they had experienced the human frailty of dying alone. The island visitors have not gone through that end life moment. The spirit world would give them one last chance to find true connections with other human beings to avoid the fate of the whispers. Friendship, which includes affection, love, respect, trust and deep memories, was the passport for the 815 survivors to reach the sideways church, which was symbolic of their own group funeral.

When Christian said that "they" created the sideways universe, he was probably mistaken. It was the released spirits who created the supernatural alternative sideways world to hold departed souls in a state of ignorant limbo until everyone in the group was ready to "move on." The freed island spirits created the sideways world as their last penance before they themselves could move on. When know MIB could shape shift forms, so we can assume other spirits can too. And using the memories of the human visitors, the spirits and the island magic could create a realistic alternative world. And this could explain why it was slightly different, because a person's memories contain both factual recollection of past events as well as a person's dreams. So that may be why the spirit sideways world had Jack married to Juliet.

The bargain was simple: if the trapped island spirits could change human beings to be good, then they could be released from their island purgatory, and thus helping the humans from their inglorious fates of dying alone (and being unable to move on, like trapped spirits). The theme of redemption had little to do with the main characters, but it was the stake for the invisible characters, the island spirits.

This bargain unites two major elements of the series: life and death. How one lives their life is important, but it is also how one lives in death that is just as important. It answers the question of why people were brought to the island (to release trapped spirits). It answers the question why MIB was frustrated (most humans became corrupt-evil and turned into more whispers trapped on the island like himself). It also answers why an unlikely bunch of diverse people from Flight 815 could do something no other visitors could accomplish - - - because they truly changed their lonely paths and made strong friendships and bonds with unlikely people which enhanced the goodness in the island's life force.  The reward for this bounty was the release of the whispers, who in turn rewarded the castaways with something they could only dream about: dying together, and not alone.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Showtime has announced the return of the series of Twin Peaks. It will have a short, 9 episode run in 2016.

In 1990, Twin Peaks was an avant garde TV show. It was a mystery with surreal elements unseen in television dramas. Creator David Lynch used his indie, art film techniques to the small screen. The story was simple: a beloved, high school sweetheart is found murdered along the shores of a lake. This murder is the catalyst for the viewers to slowly peel away the onion skin of a seemingly nice, quaint and peaceful community to the center pit of darkness.

Despite its brief run, Twin Peaks’ immense influence was visible almost immediately. Lynch had proved that viewers would tune in for big-screen quality production in a weekly format, and in the process they ushered in a new age of televised drama. Two years later Fox would debut The X-Files, which relied on a similarly elaborate mythology to sustain its nine-season run.

When ABC’s Lost premiered in 2004—constructed around an ever-unfolding course of otherworldly (and largely forest-based) mysteries—it drew immediate Peaks comparisons. “Twin Peaks was a huge impact on me,” LOST''s co-creator Damon Lindelof told an audience in Manhattan a few days before the series finale in May 2010. One of the lessons he learned? That a show doesn’t have to solve every mystery it sets up.

More importantly, Twin Peaks proved to fans, critics, industry gatekeepers, and film creators alike that television would no longer live in the shadow of film—it could actually be good. Little by little, TV shows were becoming every bit as worthy of close attention and deconstruction as films—a shift that wouldn’t just make for better water-cooler chatter, but would also open up a new venue to which writers and bloggers could devote entire careers. And none of that might have happened, if one daring network hadn’t gambled on this series.

But the real difference between Twin Peaks and LOST is that Twin Peaks did solve the compelling, focal mystery of the show: who killed Laura Palmer. But the show left with the strange taste of supernatural realms (lodges), portals to dead spirits, evil doppelgangers, and twisted versions of the truth since everything was put into surreal conflicting clues and McGuffin dead ends. Lynch and co-creator Mark Frost twisted the normal murder-mystery into a mystery about normalcy in television. The confusion was so ripe that the audience did not care to figure things out; it went along for the bizarre roller coaster ride.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Perhaps we must look beyond our modern viewpoint of the world, society and culture to find deeper answers to life's questions.

Ponder this: ancient civilizations created massive stone temples which today, modern man cannot replicate.

Throughout history, man has known it was different from other members of the animal kingdom. Man's brain function was far superior to the creatures that inhabited the same environment. With thoughts and observations came memories. And memories led to applied knowledge of how the world around them functions. In time, man learned to manipulate the environment around him which was the seeds of civilization.

But at the same time, man knowing it was different, tried to figure out if there was something more to living on Earth. If man was special, is it possible that there was something unique inside him and her that would live beyond our mortality. In order to live, man are dead animals. But at the same time, man learned live poisonous plants could kill man. It was one of the first paradox.

Many ancient cultures believed in a higher order of existence. Some thought that there was a spirit in everything: man, woman, child, plants, animals, earth, sky . . . every object contained a spirit. And if the spirits lived in harmony, all was well in the world.

Some narrowed the view to limit spirits to human beings, the special inhabitants of the planet. They called their spirits "souls" which gave them to prospect of immortality after death. Civilizations began to study then worship the concept of the soul. It changed the perspective of time. Time usually meant one thing: the harvest cycle which was symbolic of life itself - - - since the harvest was the real means of survival. But if one's soul could live beyond our mortal coil, then they looked to the stars and the long cycle of cosmic events. People began to view their place not in their physical location but a part of a larger universe.

Thoughts of the unknown led to philosophy. Deep thinkers who wondered, speculated, formulated then told stories about us and our place in the universe. As such, no one could actually challenge the formation of opinion of the unknown realms. And in certain respects, personal belief systems have cast mankind in reverse, to a more primitive and violent shell of their enlightened selves. The concept of one "true" religion has little place in a pure spiritual world.

Love, honor, community, family, trust are all elements of an enlightened human being. They are markers that most people believe help feed and comfort their mind to live a proper life in order to receive a proper reward after death. A person's spirit or soul is merely in a pupa stage of existence. In the end, it will release itself from the host body to a) reincarnate into another spirit animal or b) become energy and pass through a portal to a different dimension.

As stated in previous posts, there are wide gaps between facts, science fiction and fantasy plot lines in LOST. But one could argue now that the mortar that could fill those story spaces is the spiritual world. The producers remarked that Season 6's turn was toward a bigger question of spirituality, but without actually answering the question. It is not obvious, but probable that the pre-island represents reality, the island represents the transition between humanity and the spirit world, and the sideways world the spiritual after life. But the odd thing is that the main characters personality never changed in any of those plains of existence. Even ancient philosophers would be puzzled by that fact.

Monday, October 6, 2014


The ultimate quest is to find a unified theory to LOST.  In the last post, we started to pull the key elements from each season as the starting point to try to link everything together.

The result depends on how one views "realism" in their story genre:

Drama and mystery: factual clues to evidentiary conclusions.
Science fiction: factual points and applied science theories into plausible conclusions.
Fantasy and supernatural: events tied to purely fictional components, environments, and unknown.

Depending on how one views the overall premise of the show, it is hard to even agree on basic facts.

Flight 815, Sydney to LAX.
      If you believe that it was a dream or virtual reality premise, then this fact is not real.

Flight 815 plane crash on the Pacific island.
     If you believe that it was a dream or virtual reality premise, then this fact is not real.
The polar bear.
     If you believe that the characters on in a different realm of existence, like the after life, then the polar bear is not real.

The smoke monster.
     Is the smoke monster mechanical, alien, spiritual or an illusion/nightmare in a dream?

The characters on board Flight 815 survived a plane crash.
    If you believe that the show was all about the after life, then they did not survive the crash, per se.

The ghosts of dead people on the island, including Dharma Initiative, leaders.
   If you believe people can communicate with the dead, then it is science fiction. If you believe it is not possible, then it is fantasy.

Time travel elements that changed throughout in the series.
    If you believe that time travel is an application of future knowledge and technology, then it is sci-fi show. If you believe the time travel elements were not applied science theory, then it is fantasy.

The island moves in time and space.
    Factually, we know islands do not move. If the island is not an island, then it is either a ship (factual drama), or a beast (alien) or something else (fantasy world).

The two concurrent time lines: one current and one in the 1974 where characters are living in both time lines.
     Science fiction is full of time travel stories, but if you believe that the series failed to follow "time travel rules" or was not consistent in applying some principles to its time travel trope, then it falls into the fantasy world which could include supernatural or dream states.

The concept of killing immortal beings like Jacob and MIB.
    Immortality is a concept that humans believe (faith) but is not proven by science, so a fair amount of people will conclude that immortal beings are supernatural or fantasy. And the ability to kill immortals without rules muddles various opposite premise genres.

The concept of humans becoming immortal island guardians by volunteering.
    Human beings cannot transform themselves. And there appears to scientific explanation why Jack then Hurley became immortal guardians unless they were already supernaturals (such as dead spirits) or that the whole guardian story was part of a fantasy game or dream world.

The flash sideways universe where Flight 815 never crashed on the island; an after life limbo.
    This is the classic chicken or the egg paradox. Which came first? The sideways after life world and the character spirits sent to the island for redemption, or the island world where humans lived in a fantasy realm, for the possible amusement of immortal beings, prior to their individual deaths.

It is hard to get the pieces could fit together. It needs a game of rock, paper, scissor rules to help figure out what is the dominate element to try to find the path to a final solution.

What element beats the other element?
Does science fiction trump factual-drama?
Does supernatural trump science fiction?
Does factual-drama trump supernatural?

Without enough clarity, i.e. answers to the mysteries (whether factual, sci-fi or supernatural explanations), we fall to the point of personal perception and opinion.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


It may be like trying to chisel the statue of Crazy Horse with a metal toothpick, but the final epic quest is to try to find the center piece, the keystone, the Rosetta Stone, or the Holy Grail that perfectly merges the desperate elements of the series into one cool unified theory.

Yes, it is like trying to obtain world peace.

In order to figure out this major puzzle, we need to find all the pieces.

In season one, the key elements were:

Flight 815, Sydney to LAX.
Flight 815 plane crash on the Pacific island.
The polar bear.
The smoke monster.
Rousseau being crashed on the island for 16 years, sending out a looping SOS in French.
Locke finding the Hatch

In season two, the key elements were:

The conflict with the Others.
Control of the Hatch between Jack and Locke.
The Numbers.
The other survivors, the Tailies.
The ghosts of the Dharma Initiative, and its scientific experiments.
Desmond being trapped in the Swan pushing a button every 108 minutes to avoid a catastrophic event.

In season three, the key elements were:

Benjamin Linus, the sociopathic leader of the Others.
Time travel elements begin to appear in the series.
Desmond is believed to be "unstuck" in time.
Survivors make contact with the Kahana freighter.

In season four, the key elements were:

Widmore's army arriving on the island.
The strange time differential from the ship to the island; the nose bleeds.
The frozen donkey wheel chamber and its apparent ability to "move the island."
The Oceanic 6 survivors and the plan to return to the island.

In season five, the key elements were:

The two concurrent timelines: one current and one in the 1974.
The three year gap to the reunion of the time lines in 2007 with Ajira flight 316.
The mission to assassinate Jacob, the island guardian.
Flocke, the MIB's impersonation of dead Locke.

In season six, the key elements were:

Back stories of Jacob, his brother, Crazy Mother,  MIB/smoke monster and Alpert.
The final conflict between MIB and Jacob with the rebooting of the "cork."
The deaths of Jacob by Ben, and MIB by Jack and Kate.
Hurley becoming the last island guardian.
Several 815 survivors take off on Ajira plane to leave the island.
The flash sideways universe where Flight 815 never crashed on the island; an after life limbo.

To get how the pieces could fit together, they need to be sorted into categories.

The factual pieces are:

Most visitors to the island came via crashes, and shipwrecks.
Many people like Rousseau, the castaways and others were trapped on the island.
The island was used for various experiments, including on polar bears.
The island contained various stations, such as the Hatch.
If one did not input the numbers into the Hatch computer, an alarm would sound and an incident would occur.

The science pieces are:

Rocket experiment and the doctor's body coming ashore showed the island was moving at a different time than the freighter.
One can only leave the island by a precise bearing or using the FDW.
The island caused inconsistent illness and death to visitors.

The supernatural elements were:

The smoke monster.
The immortal Jacob and Alpert.
The island moving in time and space (especially after Ben turned the wheel).
Certain characters were transported to 1974 while other characters in the same time-space did not.
The island's light source has unique properties (said to contain life, death and rebirth).
The sideways world was an alternative or parallel after life limbo where the characters did not remember their past island time.

So what was LOST? Based on the ending, a supernatural show. Based on the beginning, a survival show. In the middle, a science fiction mystery. There different genres trying to play well together like three spoiled toddlers fighting over one seat on the swing set.

Let's take the weekend to ponder what this all means.

Friday, October 3, 2014


If there was one element, set, storyline and place that showed the best LOST to offer and then the worst, it was The Hatch.

In the first season the castaways are thrown many mysteries,  but the build up was the greatest with a mysterious metal hatch found buried in the ground. While Locke and Boone tried to force the hatch open, Michael and three other survivors  attempt to leave on a raft that they have built. Locke had started off on his own vision quest that somehow his destiny was tied to the island and its secrets. Locke had been set aside in his brief power struggle with Jack over the leadership of the beach camp. Locke's desire to be acknowledged, respected and followed was answered when he found the mysterious Hatch.

Locke discovered the Hatch after an unsuccessful hunt for Ethan Rom. Returning to camp, he tossed Boone a flashlight, which fell on the steel hatch with a clunk. The two men spent the weeks excavating the hatch in secret, uncovering a large round steel tunnel leading down into the earth, topped by a steel door with a small rectangular glass window. They built a trebuchet to try to break the glass open, but it failed to damage the glass, split apart on impact and wounded Locke's leg. The next night, after taking the dying Boone to the caves, Locke banged furiously on the Hatch door, questioning the Island's demands of him until a light turned on from within, restoring his faith.

At this time, viewers were just like Locke, in the dark as to the purpose of the Hatch. Was it a shelter? Was it nothing? What was the light? Was this the Other's base camp?  What danger lied below?

Locke did not realize that he had alerted the Swan's occupant, Desmond Hume, that life continued outside the station. Desmond felt that he was a lone on the island, trapped in the Hatch, and unable to leave to return to his girlfriend, Penny. The banging on the Hatch door stopped Desmond from killing himself and convinced him to continue the station's essential protocol of entering The Numbers every 108 minutes.

Thus, the elements of the prison aspect of the island came into the story. Desmond was trapped on the island. There was no escape. The Numbers became an overwhelming clue that baffled viewers because it could not be a coincidence that the Numbers were now showing up everywhere. It led to another great mystery of why a computer control needed manual input of numbers every 108 minutes in order to avoid something bad.  Computers can be programmed to send signals at stated time intervals. Why is a man needed to run this simple task? Was it really needed or was it a psychological test of a prisoner's will? It would seem that people on the island may not control their own destiny.

Jack decided to open the Hatch to use as a safe hiding place for the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815, following a warning from Danielle Rousseau that the Others were coming, ostensibly to kill them. Jack, Locke, Dr. Arzt, Kate, and Hurley went on a dangerous mission to recover several sticks of dynamite from the shipwreck of the Black Rock to blow the Hatch open. Hurley protested at the last second, noticing that the Numbers that he considered unlucky engraved into the side of the Hatch. In the final shot of Season 1, Locke and Jack gazed down the Hatch into the long, dark, narrow vertical shaft below. 

Locke lowered Kate into the Hatch. Soon after, she was pulled down as a large beam of light came out of the shaft entrance. Desmond had used the beam to blind Kate while he captured her and brought her into the Hatch. Locke descended after her, and Jack lowered himself in soon after. In a stand-off, Desmond remembered Jack from his run at the LA stadium. Desmond took the chance to educate then abandon the station to the castaways.

But instead of using it as a safe, secure and armed place to protect everyone in the beach camp, Jack used the Swan station as a leadership command center. It never made sense not to bring everyone to the Hatch. It was also unnecessary to keep it a secret for so long since it had the supplies for survival. The idea that leaders would keep the luxuries to themselves shows human behavior corrupting them; some people are more equal than others.

While the second season dealt with the growing conflict between the survivors and the Others,  the theme of the clash between faith and science (Locke vs. Jack) continued in the operation of the Hatch.  A power struggle between Jack and John over control of the guns and medicine located in the hatch develops, resolved in "The Long Con" by Sawyer when he gains control of them. New characters are introduced, including the tail-section survivors (the "Tailies") and other island inhabitants. The hatch is finally revealed to be a research station built by the Dharma Initiative, a scientific research project that involved conducting experiments on the island decades earlier. 

The third season had the Hatch being the turned into the scene of horrible violence. In a gripping twist, Henry Gale was revealed as a spy for the Others under the brutal torture of Sayid. This guest appearance led to Michael Emerson becoming a regular cast member. The Hatch was also the scene for the senseless violence, when Michael killed Ana Lucia and Libby, then covered it up by saying Ben did it in his escape.

But the Hatch also served as the conduit for confusion. When Locke decided NOT to put in the Numbers, believing that it was all a cruel joke, it brought down the doors revealing at first the Blast Door Map, another monumental clue for fans, and later the fail safe key protocol that Desmond used to destroy the station. Now, how it worked was never explained as there was a giant explosion with the Hatch door landing on the beach, and a giant implosion which left the Swan station a crater. Despite the massive explosion-implosion, Desmond was miraculously not killed - - - but suddenly had vivid premonitions (which many turned out to be false like Claire leaving the island by helicopter).

The Hatch was also a focus in the muddled time travel story arc. When flashing through time after Ben turned the frozen wheel, the survivors hiked to the hatch crater as a reference point to determine the date. When they arrived, the hatch was still a crater, but after time shifted again, the hatch returned to how it had been before the survivors discovered it.

When the survivors found themselves in the 1970s, they got to see the Swan's construction by the DHARMA Initiative. Hurley and Miles witnessed DHARMA workers engrave the Numbers onto the Hatch, and were able to see the shaft itself being constructed. Following the Incident, where Juliet attempted to activate a bomb, but the work site imploded instead, the survivors returned to 2007, where they found themselves near the Hatch, an imploded crater once more. 

The Hatch contained some of the best moments and some of the worst story lines. For some critics, the LOST adventure veered off course in Season 3 and fell off the cliff in Season 6. Whether the Hatch itself was a missed opportunity to actually answer the big questions is a point of endless debate.