Tuesday, December 26, 2017


There will always be a debate on what the characters were on the island: human or spirits (souls).

But a subset of this debate can be the theory that the main characters did not know they were ghosts or spirits, so they lived a continuation of their lives as humans. Another tangent would be that they were spirits but were on the island to redeem their souls to become human once more.

The latter would be an interesting concept. One of the themes were "second chances."  What if there newly deceased had a second chance to reclaim their human life?

How would one go about reclaiming one's humanity?

If you were an evil person, would you have to do something "good" as in sacrificing yourself to save another?

But if you were a normal person, would you have to do something different, to erase a haunting "regret" in order to be saved?

The island whispers were said to have been trapped souls, such as Michael, after he died. Trapped souls infer that the island was some kind of purgatory where spirits could not move on unless something changed or they were released from their bondage.

If the island was merely a series of "humanity tests," who were the people that passed - - - and left the island as humans? It is noteworthy that Ben and the Dharma group both had a keen interest in island pregnancies. What is human life more than a fetus? It is the start of human life. But children could not be born on the island because their mothers were not human. But the experiments tried to create humans from ghosts in order to find the key to transform back into their human bodies.

Frank survived the submarine explosion and was found by Alpert and Miles, who had decided to continue as planned without Ben who had joined up with Flocke. Frank suggested that they escape the Island in the Ajira plane instead of destroying it. Upon reaching the plane, they repaired its broken windshield and damaged hydraulic systems. This brought the plane into good working condition, allowing Frank to prepare for takeoff. As the plane was taxiing down the collapsing Hydra Island runway, it managed to slow down so that Ford, Austen, and Claire could be pulled aboard. The Ajira plane safely took off just as the runway began to crack; its occupants managed to escape the initially self-destructing Island.

Who were the final survivors? Frank was an alcoholic pilot who should have died in the original 815 crash. Miles was a mystic con man who befriended Sawyer. Sawyer was a vengeful con man who killed the man who ruined his life. Kate was a troublemaker who killed her father and fled from responsibility and justice. Claire was bad daughter (her negligence killed her mother) and bad mother (she abandoned her son and went crazy). None of these characters had any major revelations or changes in their personality or morals to deserve to be "re-born" as humans to travel back to their past lives.

Jack was the one who sacrificed himself so the others could flee the island. He took on the guardian role to defeat Flocke (even though it was Kate's bullet that downed the smoke monster human form.)

The Ajira survivors all had deep rooted mental issues tied to self-esteem problems from events early in their lives. They had a sense of abandonment by one parent; they had family secrets which made their skin crawl. They did not want to take full responsibility for their actions. They wanted to escape in their own fantasy image of themselves.

But everyone dreams about their perfect self. Hurley wanted to be a confident, witty, popular and successful businessman with a charming wife and adoring family. But in the end, he did not achieve that self-image.  The same is true with Locke. He also had a strong longing to have a sense of "family" but he had a hard time gathering the trust of even friendships. In the end, he was alone in the church. He never did find the family he was looking for through all the hardships of the island.

What was the greatest "asset" the Ajira survivors maintain during their island ordeals to gather their ticket home? Frank, Miles, Kate, Claire and Sawyer all kept away from making leadership decisions. They were soldiers not generals. They did not want to seize power or control. That fit into their plan of self-survival - - - but in reality, the thing that tied them all together was being selfish.  They generally lacked consideration for others; they were concerned chiefly with their own personal profit, pleasure or safety.

If true, then "self-sacrifice" was a death sentence on the island. It would be the opposite of common sense or a normal story trope. If only the selfish survived, that would be a bad moral to the story.

But LOST was never really about morals. Characters did dubious things for strange reasons.

If Frank, Miles, Kate, Claire, Alpert and Sawyer were ghosts who passed the island test to regain their humanity, what actually was the test?

They all did survive the judgment (and destruction) by the smoke monster(s). None of them really wanted to seize the island's magic powers away from the guardian. Some of them did kill other people while on the island so a good-evil, right or wrong judgment seemed not to apply. But all of them really had no one waiting for them when they returned home (except for Claire and her son who may be of the age to know his mother had abandoned him in order to reject her). The LOST main story could have been told without any of these five characters. So why did they get special treatment at the climax of the show?

Unless they were always humans trapped in a spirit world. All the other characters on the island were spirits. We know Alpert, who left with them, was a spirit. He became immortal by the gift (or curse) of the guardian to serve him as a go-between with the people he brought to the island. But once Alpert cleared the confines of the island, he began to age. He regained his humanity not by serving the new island guardian or fighting for the black smoke monster - - - he got lucky enough to find himself with an opportunity to leave the island.

And this is why LOST will always have mixed commentary and two sides to any issue. There was no clarity in character traits and story line answers. The ambiguity weaved throughout the series fed the imaginations of the viewers to the point where fan theories were more canon than the show runner's scripts. The stories themselves cast ghosts into the mythology of the series.

The idea that no one survived Flight 815 break up and crash was probable. The idea that the deceased souls could not pass over in the after life because of unresolved personal issues was plausible. The idea that the island ghosts could have a chance to reclaim their humanity is possible.

Saturday, December 16, 2017


Could LOST have been pitched to network television today?

The three main networks grasp on American entertainment has fallen by the wayside. Cable channels took over the edgy content market. Now streamers such as Netflix and Amazon are creating their own content on demand.

Would a concept show like LOST be able to be sold to any major distributor?

Let's check the initial reaction to a network programmer to the elements of the show:

It is about survivors of a high altitude airplane break up who fall to earth to land on an island.

Highly unlikely that survivors would survive such a mid-ocean crash.

It is about airplane survivors who wind up on a dangerous, unchartered island.

Probable. There have been many stories of shipwrecked survivors on unknown islands.

The survivors encounter hostile island natives.

Probable. There have been many stories of people finding dangerous tribes.

The survivors encounter a quasi-military industrial cult that begins to experiment on them.

Strange, but it could be feasible as much of the Pentagon R&D is under black ops.

The island has strange electro-magnetic properties which allow it to change time, disappear and time travel individuals off the island.

Though some elements may contain scientific speculative theory, impossible to accept time travel narrative as being true.

All the characters have secret and troubling back stories which slowly get revealed during the series.

Likely. Everybody has dark secrets or skeletons in their closets which they don't want other people to know about.

There are other characters who are immortal super beings who manipulate the main characters like pawns on a chess board.

The improbable fantasy element brings into question whether there is enough reality in the situation to allow the audience to suspend their disbelief to accept it as a possibility.

Near the end, the show splits into two different realms including a parallel universe or afterlife setting.

Confusing. Stories have a linear time line, but to put a second narrative concurrently with the unresolved story lines of the main plot is an unnecessary mess.

The main characters resolve their most pressing fear, anxiety, regrets in an afterlife reunion.

As most major religions believe in an afterlife, there is acceptance to that premise. Most viewers also want a happy ending to their favorite characters after a long journey during the series.

 So it would be hard to imagine that any network or cable channel would invest in a large ensemble cast shooting a mixed message series at expensive remote locations when overall viewership is in decline.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


New research by quantum physics infers that it may be possible, in theory, to time travel. However, the scientists believe that one could only go back in time.

LOST had a bad mix of time travel events. Did the frozen donkey wheel create the time travel episodes? Or was it the containment field from the Swan station? Or was it all a red herring by the writers?

The island's "rules" lacked clear continuity. In the Star Trek universe, Gene Roddenberry set down a specific set of rules, including science fiction elements, which carried the series through to today. LOST's showrunners did not take the time or have the patience to forge a realistic, compelling and believable sci-fi doctrine.

The weird science is explained by the strange electromagnetics of the island, inferring that those island experiences are in a different sequence in time and space. When Sayid gets the radio working, they hear a radio broadcast from the 1940s. When Sayid, Frank and Desmond left the island, they experienced events in a different sequence. When Desmond survived the Swan implosion, he began seeing future events. When the freighter doctor's corpse washed up on shore, it was out of sequence with the real time on the freighter (where he was still alive).

In the orientation film for the Orchid station, scientists talked about the island allowing DHARMA to conduct experiments to move rabbits ahead in time and in space. When Ben and Locke turned the frozen donkey wheel under the Orchid station, they found themselves 10 months in the future in a desert halfway around the world.

When the survivors left behind after Ben's wheel turning experienced a time travel change, there was a blinding purple flash (similar to when the Hatch imploded). After Locke fixed the wheel, there was one last flash, but this time the flash was bright white, rather than purple. In all instances, the travelers experienced severe head pain, most likely caused by the extremely loud noise occurring during the flashes. 

People who weren't affected by the time travel appeared to be unaware of the blinding flash and loud noise. For example, Danielle didn't react to or mention the noise or light before Jin disappeared, and when he reappeared in her future, she thought Jin was sick because he disappeared.) It was the inconsistent treatment of people in the same situation which left the story weak and confused. There was no justification for allowing only certain people on the island to time skip while others did not.

For there to be a rational explanation for the differences in time travel on individuals, one must take into consideration that it may not have been time travel at all. How one experiences the passage of time is through consciousness and memory. If one can take an individual and alter, through mind control or neurologic drugs, their consciousness and memories, one could instill false memories including false time. It get backs to the possibility that much of LOST's story is not based in reality, but in the altered mind, memories or subconscious of the characters.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


There is a fine line between dreams and delusions.

A dream is a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person's mind during sleep. It is a state of mind in which someone is or seems to be unaware of their immediate surroundings. Dreams also include cherished aspirations, ambitions, or ideals; a perception of something or some one as being wonderful or perfect.

But if a dream is an unrealistic or self-deluding it becomes a fantasy.

A delusion is an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder. Or it can mean the action of deluding someone or the state of being deluded, for example,  what a capacity television has for delusion. Delusions of grandeur a false impression of one's own importance can cloud a person's judgement.

In LOST, the characters struggled along this fine line.

Jack had a dream to reconcile with his father. He could never meet his father's expectations. He felt that he was trapped in his father's shadow. He dreamed that his father would one day respect him as an equal. That seems to be a reasonable goal.

Kate had a vague dream about getting out of her boring, dull and suffocating rural Iowa life. However, her dream turned dark when she took the abuse her stepfather had on her mother to an extreme. She then went on a fantasy crime spree to hide from justice. 

Locke had a simple dream. He wanted to be reunited with his parents; to be part of a normal family. But the bitterness of being abandoned by his parents and bouncing among foster families led him to be disillusioned about his fate. He tried to fantasize about having a new life, with a wonderful spouse to being an adventurous outback hero. His outlook crippled him, literally and physically, when he was scammed by his con artist father. 

Ben's dream was from his lack of self-esteem and friends. He was blamed for mother's death. His alcoholic father never cared for him. He took his sorry lot of life for a long time until the island gave him an opportunity to feed a delusion of revenge and power. For Ben to be important and in control of his path, he believed that he had to be in charge, be the leader, to have control over others. He seized on the notions of absolute power against the conventions of normal human relations. He turned into a cold blooded killer and an absolute dictator.

Sayid had a common dream. He wanted to leave his war-torn homeland to live in peace with his true love, Nadia. His focus was to find her. In the end, we are unclear whether Sayid's affection for Nadia was real or imagined to cover up the pain of the tortures he made on others. 

Hurley had a dream to re-unite with his father. To pick up where they left off when he was a child. But that only happened after he won the lottery. His father came back not to love him, but for the love of his new found money. The dream of a happy, healthy and wealthy family turned into a personal curse that led Hurley into mental institutions. 

Sawyer had a mean dream. He vowed to kill the con-man who destroyed his family. His obsession with his revenge turned him into the man he hated - - - a con artist preying on the weakest. He began deluding other people by tapping into their fantasies of romance, wealth or fame. The fact that he was no better than the man who killed his parents made Sawyer believe that he was a worthless human being - - - in need of no compassion, friends, family or goals. Once he killed Cooper, his dream was gone and effectively, the focal point of his life was gone.

If you look to the island as the experimental extrapolation of each characters' dreams or desires, then many of them crossed the fine line. Jack's grief of losing his father before he could reconcile with him led him to madness (but not after showing the world he could be a good leader in a time of crisis.) But Jack's reconciliation only happened in a dream like state of the after life (or a projected version of it).

Kate's island dream was fulfilled because she never really had to account for all the crimes she committed in her real life. Were all those crimes merely unfulfilled fantasies of a young farm girl?

Locke had the opportunity to become the great outback hero, but his own personality flaws crashed and burned his own fantasy leading to his own projected tragic death at the hands of Ben.

Sayid's dream finish was confusing - - - as he re-connected with his long lost love, but then ended up with the exact opposite, Shannon, a spoiled rich girl with no talent and no ambition.

Hurley's island life contained more friends and finding Libby who would love him just as he was - - - but since Libby was seen as a pre-island mental patient in Hurley's day room, was Hurley's happy island ending just another delusion?

Sawyer's island life was only a means to an end. The end of his search for Cooper. And his fantasy revenge was fulfilled when Cooper was miraculously dropped in his lap. Once that occurred, Sawyer was merely a loner only looking out for himself. When he left the island, he had no prospects, no dreams, no aspirations. In one aspect, his life (purpose) died on the island.

Whether the island was a fantasy fulfillment zone is a question that viewers will continue to debate and theorize about. But it was clear that the island was the intersection of character dreams and delusions.

Monday, November 6, 2017


LOST means different things to different people.

But what is the word lost?

As an adjective, it means being unable to find one's way; not knowing one's whereabouts; unable to be found; (of a person) very confused or insecure or in great difficulties.

It also could mean something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered like an attempt recapture one's lost youth. Or an opportunity not used advantageously or wasted.

The word also means having perished or been destroyed such as a memorial to the crewmen lost at sea. 

It could also mean a game or contest in which a defeat has been sustained by a player.

However, the origin of the word "lost" comes from  Old English losian  for ‘perish, destroy,’ also ‘become unable to find,’ from los ‘loss.’

The above denotes the various layers to LOST, the TV show.

First, the characters each had a backstory that showed them unable to find their own way through their lives. They were very confused or had great difficulties in their lives finding true happiness.

Second, many of the characters had lost something or someone in their lives that put them on a dark path of regret, anger or hopelessness.

Third, many characters wasted opportunities or friendships that led them down the path of loneliness.

Fourth,  the main characters seemed to be both lost at sea and perished at the hands of the island guardian(s).  Whether they were merely pawns in a game by the island powers is a plot debate point.  But the word, as with the show, was about winners and losers in the struggle of power and conquest (the heart of business and personal relationships such as love).

Lastly, the origin definition may come the closest to telling what LOST was truly about: if you are unable to find (someone), you will perish and be destroyed by life.


Sunday, October 29, 2017


In the past weeks, Hollywood's dirty open secret of sexual harassment by powerful men has led to a landslide of resignations and terminations. The casting couch mentality is still prevalent in the entertainment industry. It is not exclusive to the United States as many stories are surfacing in South Korea about directors abusing actresses with non-agreed sex scenes in productions.

Sexism is a prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. This happens frequently in the choices producers make in casting and developing series.

In LOST, the character of Kate Austen was supposed to be the main focal point. She was the one with the troubled background who would become the leader of the 815 survivors. It would have been interesting to see her use her charms to manipulate the male characters to do her bidding (like she did in her flashback crime sprees). In some ways, her character could have been on a parallel track with that of Ben.

But after shooting the pilot, the producers dramatically changed direction. Jack Shephard, the good looking, caring doctor was supposed to be killed to show the "reality" and danger that the island posed to the survivors. But since Matthew Fox had a previous network series with some fan following, the producers decided to make him the lead character instead of newcomer Evangeline Lilly.

It is not that a female character could not lead a network series. For seven seasons, an actress led the crew of Star Trek Voyager on a dangerous quest to return home from the Delta Quadrant. Kate Mulgrew, a stage actress, could command the center stage of the bridge. She could be tough, decisive and kind or introspective during an episode. No viewer questioned her competency as captain because she was a woman.

The leader of a star ship or band of castaways on a remote island controls how a series can unfold its stories. It can show more growth from an underdog character such as a small town woman in Kate who has to learn on the job, balance the inequities and fight the demons of prior prejudices against her. Jack's character had already garnered respect as a talented surgeon from his colleagues and patients. He was used to being in charge of a group in the operating room. His growth as an island leader would not be as great as it would have with Kate.

LOST could have been a totally different series if the original plan of Kate was the 815 leader instead of her secondary role as being a supporter of whatever man she needed to use to continue her own personal survival.

Friday, October 20, 2017


There is a haunting story from the UK Sun.

A UK study on what happens to cardiac arrest patients (where the heart stops) that "come back to life" indicates that brain activity continues after death. Specifically, a person's consciousness continues to work after the person has died. In other words, your brain knows you are dead when you die.

Dr. Sam Parnia and her team from New York University Langone School of Medicine  set out to find the answer in a much less dangerous fashion, looking at studies in Europe and the US on people who experienced "out of body" death experiences.

“They’ll describe watching doctors and nurses working and they’ll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them,” Parnia said.  Their recollections were also verified by medical staff who reported their patients could remember the details.

Death, in a medical sense, is when the heart stops beating and cuts off blood to the brain.
This means the brain’s functions also stop and can no longer keep the body alive.

Parnia explained that the brain’s cerebral cortex — the so-called “thinking part” of the brain — also slows down instantly, and flatlines, meaning that no brainwaves are visible on an electric monitor, within 2 to 20 seconds.

This study adds a factual context to several LOST theories. For those who believe that the series premise was contained inside the mind(s) of a character, then the after death experiences (which could seem to last for a long time like short REM dreams) could explain LOST's mysteries and inconsistent parts. For those who believe that LOST was staged in the after life underworld, the vivid life and death dreamscapes could be from the moments right after death - - - the brain pulling memories, fantasies and information from a still-active brain after the body has died.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


The New York Post reports:

If you’ve ever tried out a virtual reality headset, you will understand the disarming sensation of pulling the headset from your eyes once it’s game over.

It’s incredibly easy to trick your mind into feeling sensations like fear, panic or even total calm and now — according to scientists in London — dreaming.

Scientists are beavering away at methods that can coax the brain into changing its perception of what’s real.

A group of scientists in London are putting volunteers into a dream state even though they are awake.
Carl Smith, director of the Learning Technology Research Center (LTRC) in London  that they have been successful in the process, called “context engineering.”

They can do this using a method called binaural beats, where a tone of a particular frequency is played into one ear and a different tone of another frequency is played into the other.

The brain tries to regulate the sound and creates a third tone that balances the two by creating an equal frequency.

Focusing on this third tone, a method called “delta entrainment,” allows people to drop into a dream state – without going to sleep.

Smith said:”When people want to go into a dream state they can do a 15-minute delta entrainment so their brain actually goes into the delta state, a sleep state, even though they’re not sleeping – and that’s just through listening to binaural sounds.”

It’s not just for inducing different levels of consciousness, these methods can help us regulate sleep patterns, calm us down and help us focus, they claim.

There are a variety of exercises you can perform to train your brain into focusing on senses we typically ignore.

This includes concentrating on your peripheral vision to gain a sense of calm, something athletes are adopting to focus their mind.

It’s part of a subculture called biohacking, which has gained notoriety among amateur scientists. 

The implications of this new process engineering the mind are intense. Tricking your mind to feel intense emotions such as fear and panic could be weaponized against an enemy. A soldier in a panic attack state is not concentrating on his training. He is vulnerable. A weak link.

The use of sound, a tone to stimulate delta sleep patterns, to force a waking person to go into a dream state seems like a plausible Dharma experiment. Viewers often questioned why the main characters were oblivious to their surroundings, the lack of questions to get answers, and a general malaise from the beach campers.

When Faraday remarked that the light on the island was "different," he was seeing it as being diffused or interrupted in its normal pattern. Like light, sound is also a wave form. It is possible that the island light refraction was a byproduct of tonal "context engineering" of the island inhabitants. In the last season, there was a strong hint that the characters had to "awaken" in order to be saved. Saved from what? An island experiment into mind control? The re-training of one's human brain to change into an altered state of consciousness to pass on to another dimension (as the ancient Egyptians believed in their burial texts)?

You can put all the characters missteps, misinformation, misguided missions and missed opportunities on the fact that they were sleepwalking through the series. Literally. Sleep deprivation by putting their minds into delta wave patterns mimicking sleep when they were not at rest. You could then "suggest" patterns of behavior like programming a computer to run simulations. For example, when Hurley's imaginary friend came to him in the island and convinced him it was all a dream - - - in his head - - - and the only way to "wake up" was to jump off a cliff, Hurley was going to do it until Libby showed up out of nowhere. And to keep Hurley grounded, Libby then became his unlikely girlfriend. This dramatic shift in Hurley's thought processes could be an example of how he was programmed to change course. And to keep him on the right path, Libby was constructed to give him a new purpose.

Is there a state of consciousness between being awake and being asleep? Does daydreaming create the bridge between those mental states. And can one scramble their defined positions to change a person's personality, thoughts, morals, goals and fears?

LOST was a series of manipulations. Powerful personalities were always looking to manipulate behavior in others. Some did it by intelligence. Some did it by force. Some did it by instilling fear. But the manipulation was to create order, obedience and leadership.

If these manipulations were a series of experimental biohacks, that puts the series in a new light. None of the characters were dead or truly alive. You could think you were immortal (like Jacob and Patchy) if those images were planted in your mind. They were lab rats in an open experiment.

But what was the end game of the experiment? If it was to get the characters to merge their collective thoughts to find the same finish line in the church, then they succeeded in that task. But what was the church? Was it the afterlife or was it merely the end of an elaborate video game? And the idea of the characters walking out into the bright white light (the symbolism of out-of-body death experience) could be the means of bulk erasing their memories by the scientists conducting the experiment.

Or it could have been a crazy military experiment to try to "expand" the territory of mankind by trying to find a way to "jump" into parallel universes or alternative realities (such as heaven after one dies and their spirit is released). One could have a great military advantage is one could control another world embedded in the present reality. People like Widmore saw the power in controlling the island (and its mind altering possibilities).

This news story sheds some more credence on a biohack premise to the show. The character(s) may have been mere test subjects outside the realm of Earth's physics and cultural common sense.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


When one looks fondly back at events during a lifetime, what stands out sometimes is the hardest thing to understand.

LOST. It was a show that ended the era of "must watch TV." There were no "binge viewing" services. There were no dark web pirated shows. Fans had to arrange their schedule to watch each weekly episode. You could record it for playback - - - to investigate the nuisances, hints, Easter eggs and theories.

LOST was an academic show. Fans went into chat rooms to discuss each episode. They began to post their own answers to the mysteries. The interaction between people after each show became more important than the show itself.

LOST was about building a community on a dangerous island. LOST fans built their own communities outside of the show because it was confusing, contradictory, fun, reckless, nerdy, nail biting and strange. The search for meaning when the show runners sought to do end runs around the truth was part of the show's charm (and down fall).

People researched to explain quantum physics to other fans. People investigated ancient Egyptian culture to translate the messages on the set props. People found meaning in the soundtrack song lyrics. The compelling back stories helped fuel speculation on what the characters would do on the island.

As weirder the story lines got, the more involved the fans got in the show. It was an addictive cycle of story, action, reaction and analysis. As one person's theory seemed to be vindicated, another tangent would make people's heads spin.

It was a roller coaster ride without rails.

Now, years after the last episode. Years after all the emotional autopsies. Years after the cast and writers said their final words. LOST continues to sit fondly in the memory banks of most viewers.

It is the legacy of the last grand network drama shows. Cable giants like HBO and start up streamers like Netflix have become the critic's darling content producers. But LOST would not be able to live in today's fractured digital landscape. Personal consumption of entertainment has become too personal. There is no longer a need to have a group watch and after-show discussion.  Most programs, including reality shows, are spoon-fed dribble lacking complex story telling.

LOST was a unique show with highs and lows, a rabid fan base, intelligent discussion and the atmosphere of college bull sessions in search of answers that really did not matter.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “The only journey is the one within.”

The basic structure of a good story is a good premise, strong character development, action, reaction, conflict, choices and a journey's end.

The quintessential story arc in this generation is Luke Skywalker's journey to become a Jedi. From humble beginnings, a tragedy propels a naive young man into a dangerous adventure across the galaxy in search of truth, purpose and family. But throughout, the journey was within Luke's heart and soul - - - the mixed emotions, conflicts, set-backs and new friendships that affect how he would become a man.

Did anyone in LOST have such an heroic journey?

Sun defied her rich and overbearing father by marrying a poor fisherman's son, but her life did not end well.

Locke tried to rebel against his miserable life without a family, only to be crippled by his own father which led to a lifetime of mistrust and failure. His life did not end well either.

Kate was a bored, troublemaker as a child who kept her selfish ways of manipulating others in the forefront of her personal survival game. She had an opportunity to change (as did all of the characters) but she did not. She could never find true happiness in her life.

Sawyer was a vengeful boy who turned into the man he despised for destroying his family. But when he could have had a chance to led a family, he turned his back and fled responsibility. He took the easy way out because his personal bitterness and torment was his own internal best friend.

Sayid led a life of struggle and burden of responsibility. He did the dirty jobs. It affected his mental state. When he left Iraq and found his true love, it was taken away from him. In his journey to find her, he failed the woman he claimed to be the love of his life - - - and wound up with a woman he had only a short affair.

Hurley was an introvert scarred by his father's abandonment. He felt he was unlucky at life and that he was the sole cause of his own problems. But when he got lucky and won the lottery, a life changing event, he willed himself into more bad luck. In order to keep himself together, he invented his own best friend and checked himself into a mental institution to be safe from the world that brought him only bad luck. Even when he tried to change his life (by finding the meaning of the numbers), his plane crash lands on a dangerous island. He has an opportunity to re-invent himself but he never does. We don't know how much of Hurley's experiences and thoughts were real or imagined as some theories believe.

Jack may have been the closest to a clear path journey. His story starts as being a highly successful surgeon. He is at the top of his profession. He is well respected. He holds life and death decisions in his hands. But his demon is the lack of love from his father. His relationship with his father eats away at his soul to the point of jealousy, ire and mental breakdowns. The fact his father dies in a Sydney alley causes Jack to begin a journey into a downward spiral of personal torment. He becomes the reluctant leader of the survivors. His decision making becomes fragmented between himself as being the leader and good of the group. He decides to hide his island past when he is rescued, causing even more pain and suffering to the people around him. When Locke is killed, Jack has his final mental breakdown - - - the illogical quest to return to the island to fulfill some unknown reason. At this point, objectively he lost his ability to be rational. But since he left enough of the old Jack in the minds of his island mates, they joined him on a fateful journey back to the island. But the resolution on the island did not solve any of Jack's life problems. It was merely murky waters of his own discontent to the point of a suicide pact with the Man in Black as they went down into the Light Cave. Jack did not die a hero's death, but a foolhardy attempt to runaway from his problems. He did not have a personal redemption. He did not find the solution to save his friends. He did not get them off the island or home.  Jack's journey was the reverse path of Luke's. Jack did not find his journey's end with true answers to make his life great.

Friday, September 1, 2017


The Korea Herald had a long interview with a LOST alum.

Daniel Dae Kim is widely credited with having broken barriers for Korean-American actors in Hollywood. Since his debut in 1992, Kim has starred in popular series, including “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0,” and has been outspoken in his advocacy of racial equality in the American entertainment industry.

Kim, who was born in Busan, South Korea but was raised in the United States, told reporters that he is branching out into producting Korean drama titles in the US. Next month, “The Good Doctor,” a remake of the hit 2013 KBS drama of the same name, written by Park Jae-bum, is set to air on ABC on Monday evenings.

In the original series, actor Joo Won is a pediatric surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. The ABC series will feature Freddie Highmore as Shaun Murphy in the role. The show also has a multi-ethnic cast of Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu and more.

Kim said producing has given him a “surprising” amount of satisfaction and newfound freedom.

“As an actor you can only get the roles that you are given. As a producer you can create a world from the ground up and populate it with the types of people you want to see, ones that reflect the actual reality around you,” he said.

Kim is hopeful that more Korean TV dramas will be re-adapted for American television in the future -- his production company 3AD has several projects in the works -- but says they need to be tweaked for the American system and audience.

“You can’t just rely on romance. For a show to succeed in America you need something beyond a love story -- an engine that can keep it going for several seasons maybe," he said. Korean dramas tend to be hyperfocused on the intense emotions of characters, he noted. “I remember watching ‘Winter Sonata.’ There was a lot of ‘I love you but I can’t be with you.’ ... In Korean dramas, (the characters) feel everything 100 percent. If they’re in love, they’re deeply in love with their whole body, their whole being.  These things are, I think, unique to Korean culture and the way (Koreans) express (feelings). That’s one of the dangers of trying to bring a Korean format to America. Relationships are different in America. Things like divorce and family are treated differently.”

Regardless of the adaptation process for remakes, however, Kim feels original Korean dramas “shouldn’t change at all” and should remain true to their distinctive identity.

“That’s the character of K-drama.”

A growing hot topic in Hollywood is diversity. Many imported content from Asia has gotten whitewashed by casting non-Asian actors in main roles. Kim pointed out that many Asian-American actors get “tired of just waiting and hoping that someone will write” a multidimensional, fulfilling role for them, so they venture into the creative process themselves.

Recently, Korean-American actor Justin Chon of the “Twilight” film series wrote and directed the film “Gook,” which released in the US on Aug. 18. The film centers on two Korean-American brothers and a manager running a shoe store in Los Angeles when a riot breaks out and upends their business.

Kim predicts more of such movements will take place. He also believes that a gradual transition toward racial equality is taking place in Hollywood, though it may feel slow to many.

“I think it’s changing. We’re having roles for Asian men where they get to be sexy and funny. ... But it’s ridiculous that we still have to face those obstacles.”

Kim had a breakthrough role in LOST. His character did not speak English. He spoke Korean in the series. No viewers complained about it. It added to the realism of the show. It also emphasized the lack of communication between different cultures can lead to misunderstandings and problems.

South Korea's major export is K-Wave - - - its entertainment culture in film, TV and music. It is just getting started in America.

Friday, August 25, 2017


With so many unanswered questions about LOST, time have given latent fans more science information to construct new theories about the show.

A new study published in eLife journal states that scientists have developed a way to remotely control your brain. By controlling the brain, scientists can send messages to your muscles that the person does not authorize. 

The experiment was done on a small scale but it has big implications.  Scientists stated that they were even able to prompt their test subject to run, freeze in place, or even completely lose control over their limbs. 

The effort, led by physics professor Arnd Pralle, PhD, of the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences, focused on a technique called “magneto-thermal stimulation.” It’s not exactly a simple process — it requires the implantation of specially built DNA strands and nanoparticles which attach to specific neurons — but once the minimally invasive procedure is over, the brain can be remotely controlled via an alternating magnetic field. When those magnetic inputs are applied, the particles heat up, causing the neurons to fire.

The study included experiments where were performed on mice. Using the new technique, the researchers were able to control the movement of the animals, causing them to freeze, lock up their limbs, turn around, or even run.

Despite only being tested on mice, the research could have far-reaching implications in the realm of brain research. This research could very well be an important step towards that future for neurological treatments and re-stabilization of movement for paraplegics.

It is interesting to note that the methods used in this research mimic some of the plot points in LOST. Dharma used human experimentation as a means of control. Surgical implants and mind control rooms were shown to have been used by Ben to control the Others and the 815 survivors. The idea of electromagnetic research to alter brain activity was a theme in series.

By piecing these elements together, one could forge a theory about the island's role in the characters development. If one can control a person's movements through DNA infusions (remember the virus plot line with Clarie?) with EM transmissions (which was the Swan station control center), the next level of experimentation would be using this system to manipulate mental processes as well as physical actions.

For example, the mad Russian Mikal happened to throw himself in the path of bullets and explosions at the whim of Ben. Perhaps, it was involuntary. Ben could have been controlling him through EM/DNA. Over time, he had to submit his free will to serve his master. 

The theme of free will and character choices were strong in the show. But certain power brokers like Ben and Widmore used mental manipulation to control people. But a scientific way to control people would be more efficient. Hacking a person's brain to manipulate their will and values would have been a powerful tool that anyone seeking power would want to possess.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Television is a sausage content factory that continues to re-boot old product.

One reason is that it is cheaper to produce if your company already owns the original content.
Second, if the original was popular, the theory is that you have a built in audience.
Third, executives love the concept of "evergreen" shows that continue to sprout spin-offs (like Star Trek).

Damon Lindelof was asked about the possibility that ABC would in the future re-boot LOST.

He understood the concept of the reboot, but he would not want to be part of it. He said his team tried their best to give closure to their characters. Any reboot of the series, he said, should not include the original characters for that reason. He said it would be interesting if another show runner took the mythology of the island and did something with it.

To be honest, a LOST re-boot would be a terrible idea.

For the two ends of the Ending spectrum, those who loved the character finale to those who hated it, those fan bases would have no compelling interest to watch a new LOST with their lasting strong feelings remain from the old LOST.

And if someone really wanted to do something different with the LOST castaway shell, well TBS tried and failed with the comedy, Wrecked.

ABC would like to try to re-mine the series "brand" for some profits. LOST was never a series that lent itself to syndication. As an hour long drama with twisting maze of plot lines, people cannot get into the series if they miss an episode or two. Half hour sitcoms like Seinfeld or MASH are syndication gold because each episode is a self-contained story.

Part of the problem with re-doing LOST is that much of the big premise foundation items are subject to open debate. A new LOST would probably have to answer those basic story elements which in some way would undermine the original series.  For example, if the reboot is about the Island, the new show runners will have to state what exactly is the Island: a UFO, a dimensional riff in time-space, a magical place, purgatory, the afterlife, hell, a military base like Area 51, virtual reality grid, the imagination of a comatose patient, the madness of a mental patient, or something else.

For example, if the new LOST states that the Island is actually an alien base used for centuries  to experiment on human beings (with the guardians as the immortal beings whose technology equates to "magic" to humans), then the themes of free will, self-determination and redemption of the original LOST characters are diminished since they were basically lab rats for superior beings. The "happy" ending may just as well have been a mental image implanted prior to extermination and autopsy.

If the new LOST was to follow the blueprint of the old series, would anyone really watch it? If another plane load of characters crash lands on the Island, what would be different? And the new show would challenge the alleged canon that the Island "was closed down" by Hurley and Ben.

It would be hard to take the DVD extra to create an entire series about Hurley and Ben closing down the island. Where is the drama in that?

Lindelof was clear he did not want his old characters or even any of the actors return to a reboot. He said the writers tried hard to complete each character's journey. Sending them back for another try on the island would lead to confusion between the stories. (In Star Trek universe, different spin offs kept their story lines apart but through the science-fiction manual of the Federation principles and technology. In LOST, there was not a deep set of iron clad rules and sci-fi principles to build a new tangent series.) So a hard reboot with the old characters would not work. And a series that focused in on the early days of the island would be fraught with open questions that were not answered in the original series, like who were Crazy Mother, Jacob and MIB?

Nostalgia for the series is fine. Continuing debates on show theories is fine. But to recast the show into something else seems to be a terrible idea.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Every major religion has a creation myth that has elements of gods creating human beings on Earth. Several religions also believe that once a person dies, their spirit will be reincarnated into another person (or form).

The ancient Egyptians had a complex view of reincarnation. Their belief system is founded on two gods coming to Earth to begat mankind. The subsequent Pharaohs were believed to be the reincarnated souls of those original gods. Since they were gods, Pharaohs ruled with impunity.

But the incarnate god was not reserved just for royalty. The Egyptians believed that when a person died, his "ba," the spirit associated with one's character and personality, leaves the body to find a new vessel in which to be reborn. The souls of the departed continue to return to new bodies for an infinite cycle.

There have been several research papers on the subject. Scientists interviewed various people from different parts of the globe who claimed to have remembered clear details of their past lives. Scientists then would take this information and try to independently verify the recalled facts. In several instances, researchers concluded that the interviewees remembered things that they could have not known (personal information, names of relatives, phone numbers, houses, etc) that were not accessible to them in the present time.

There has always been a puzzle when reproduction happens in people. When the egg and sperm fuse, historically it was said there is a "spark of life," some form of energy which gives rise to fertility to the newborn. Theorists think that spark of energy may be a soul that the fuels the rebirth of a spirit.

On the other extreme, in the realm of B-movie sci-fi, science knows of all the elements of a human body, its chemical composition and structure. In theory, what is missing from the base elements is a form of electrical current that makes the human organs (including brain) function. In Frankenstein, the mad scientist uses lightning bolts to jump start "life" in a corpse. This "re-animation" is different than reincarnation since the former tries to re-use the old vessel to bring back a person's life.

It is not as far fetched as one would assume since emergency room personnel routinely revive cardiac arrest patients with electric stimulation. But in the re-animation world, it is assumed that the brain functions as a storage device for all memories, personality, speech, etc like a turned off hard drive. Turning the brain back on would revive that person's personality.

But the Egyptian view would say no. The dead person's character and personality is not located in the brain but in the spirit (or soul) of the individual. And once the person dies, their soul leaves the body so re-animation will not work.

In the Egyptian dead scrolls, it is said that the deceased spirits have to journey through the underworld to be judged before being reborn. And since one spirit can be reborn more than once, the journey could be fraught with danger.

In LOST, the island could be a representative underworld where souls travel to begin their journey to the after life. This would explain why certain characters, Mikhail Bakunin, could apparently die over and over again on the island. It could also explain how Desmond survived the Swan station implosion to be found naked wandering around the jungle (symbolic "reborn.")

One of the story principles in the series was giving the characters "a second opportunity" in life. Reincarnation would be a means to give a person (especially a tortured soul like Locke) a new beginning, a new life.

Friday, July 28, 2017


One of the great unsolved mysteries of LOST is the Island.

Some believe that the Island was its own character. That it may have been a supernatural being in its own right - - - so foreign to modern humans as to be "magic."

Others have tried to rationally explain the Island.

We know of few facts about the island:

1. It can move. During Faraday's rocket test, it was shown that the island was moving away from the ship. A real island cannot move across the ocean.

2. It had special light properties. When Faraday landed on the island, he remarked that the light was strange, that it may be bent. One of the theories of stealth technology is that the bending of light and reflection could cause an object to "disappear" to the naked eye. When the helicopter left the doomed freighter, Jack and those on the copter saw the island vanish without an ocean ripple.

3. It has unique electromagnetic properties. The Swan station was created to try to manage the EM properties so the island would remain in balance. When it was not in balance, the large purple flash would occur sending the island out of phase with time or space.

If you tie all three of these facts together you can come up with a plausible theory.

The island was a UFO.

Since earth islands are volcanic mountains that begin at the base of the ocean to crest above the water line, they do not move. Therefore, the Island is not an island.

Electromagnetic energy can be used as propulsion system. Several countries have been using technology to support monorail trains riding on a cushion of magnetism. The movement of the Island could be made as a result of the electromagnetism. This means that the Island has a powerful engine, probably underground in the forbidden zone, which allows the guardian to pilot the island to safety.

Stealth technology is also researching the use of bending light waves to mask radar patterns. Magicians use mirrors to make things disappear by light wave cancellation techniques. In a larger scale, the Island could mask itself by using EM energy to "bend" light waves to make the island disappear.

So what would be the purpose of a space alien having a stealth UFO in the Pacific Ocean?

Just as in other sci-fi shows like Star Trek, advanced space travelers would often create "observational posts" on primitive planets to gather data on the inhabitants, cultures and technology. A UFO disguised as an uncharted island would provide cover for any human wandering to it.

Further, mere observation could lead to more advanced testing and experimentation on humans. It was said that the guardian was the only person who could bring people to the island. The guardian must have been the captain of the ship. What better way to observe how humans interact than putting them in a survival situation on a dangerous island?

What would space aliens gain from such encounters? Information on human behavior, science experiments including DNA enhancement, mind control tests and possible allies in the off-island world. Wealthy people like Widmore may have been recruited by the Island aliens to obtain information that they could use (especially in defense technologies). The aliens could have given Widmore technology to make him rich, and in turn Widmore used his wealth and power to provide the Island with any resources it needed to survive, mostly human subjects.

UFO researchers believe that since the atomic age, at least 60 different space aliens have visited Earth and have been in contact with national governments. It may be too difficult for isolated ships to "conquer" the planet. But it probably easier to infiltrate world governments if aliens are after the planet's resources, such as gold which many scientists believe is a key element in deep space travel.

The UFO theory in LOST also answers the question about the long life of Jacob - - - he was not a human being. The smoke monster was not a human being. The aliens tried to breed human-alien hybrids on the island but those experiments failed (and why Juliet was summoned to the island). Space aliens could colonize Earth by interspecies procreation which would take human elements (compatible with Earth's environment) with the longevity of the alien races.

The UFO theory also can support the reason why Jacob and MIB wanted to "leave" the Island - - - they were so far away from their home planet their mission was a death sentence. They would rather die and end their existence than deal with the "never changing," corrupt and primitive humans.

Finally, with the real aliens gone, the Island ship would have been scuttled - - - which would explain the images of the Island resting on the ocean floor.

The Island as a UFO has some merit as being a plausible premise to the series.

Friday, July 21, 2017


There is a never-ending curiosity in people when confronted with an unanswered mystery.

People want to know what happened. It gives closure. And ending.

Without an ending, it leads to speculation, conspiracy theories, accusations and unprovable myths.

There have been a recent rash of stories on one of the great aircraft mysteries of the 20th century: the disappearance of famed female aviator Amelia Earhart. 

Many theories have been told about her ill-fated last trip across the Pacific Ocean. Some researchers claim that human bones have located a site on a remote Pacific atoll where  Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, may have died on their ill-fated attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937.

Search dogs were taken to Nikumaroro, part of the Republic of Kiribati, as part of the latest expedition to the atoll by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) and the National Geographic Society.

TIGHAR believes Ms Earhart managed to land on Nikumaroro - which was at the time an uninhabited British territory known as Gardner Island - but soon succumbed to hunger, thirst or illness. Evidence from this area includes parts of an aircraft hull, plexiglass from a cockpit, a zip made in Pennsylvania in the mid-1930s, a broken pocket knife of the same brand that was listed in an inventory of Ms Earhart's aircraft and the remains of a 1930s woman's compact.

This theory is allegedly supported by British colonial records in Fiji reporting the discovery of the partial skeleton of a castaway who perished shortly before the island was settled in 1938.

The TIGHAR expedition has coincided with the airing of a documentary on The History Channel in the US that claims a photo discovered in US archives proves that Earhart and Noonan were captured by the Japanese and transported to Jaluit in the Marshall Islands. The theory adds that they were both later executed. Les Kinney, a long-time proponent of the theory that  Earhart and Noonan were on a spying mission for the US government shortly before the outbreak of World War II, told the Associated Press the image shows Ms Earhart sitting on a sea wall with her back to the camera, Mr Noonan standing with a group of islanders and a Japanese survey ship identified as the Koshu towing a barge carrying the Electra.

Other researchers and government officials say they have been aware of the photo for several years but have discounted it for a number of reasons. The picture is too blurry to make any positive identification as to any subject.  TIGHAR also points out that the ship is too small to be the Koshu and that what Mr Kinney claims is the aircraft on a barge "is just an indistinct blob."

It has also been pointed out that the photograph is marked as being taken in 1940, three years after Earhart's disappearance. Recently, The Guardian reported that military history blogger Kota Yamano published the photo in its proper context, finding it after about 30 minutes of looking through Japan’s national library, on a page from a Japanese-language travel book on the South Seas. The book was published in 1935, two years before Amelia Earhart’s ill-fated plane took off, so she could not have been depicted in the History Channel story.

The Pacific islands have been an aircraft and vessel grave yard for centuries. During the war, island hopping for intelligence in military shipping lanes was a dangerous but vital activity. Because of the large scope of the Pacific Ocean, many planes had to ditch because of weather or fuel issues. Many remote islands could contain aircraft debris or human remains.

These stories are compelling because there was a famous person who went missing over the Pacific. No one truly knows what happened except for the fact that Earhart's plane did not arrive at its destination. Whether she crashed her plane or safely landed it, no one has any clear proof. Whether she survived an island plane crash is also speculation.

This is not unlike the fan speculation in LOST as to the origin story of Crazy Mother, the island guardian who "stole" Jacob and his brother from their mother when she was shipwrecked on the island. Crazy Mother killed her in order to raise her sons as future island guardians.

One fan theory was that Crazy Mother was Earhart, the long lost aviator. In the context of her plane traveling over the remote Pacific, Earhart may have had the same experience as Flight 815. She crashed on the island. She would have survived the crash like the 815ers. Her co-pilot may have succumbed to the smoke monster as it took Rousseau's crew. (It seemed that the smoke monster was more violent toward men than women.) Since time and space principles did not apply to the island, it is theorized that Earhart went back in time before the ancient Romans arrived on the island.

This would also pre-suppose that there was an island guardian before Earhart arrived in her 1937. That guardian must have also been trapped in the purgatory of guarding a timeless island from intruders. That guardian must have transferred his or her power to Earhart, making her an immortal being. But being immortal, as noted with both Jacob and MIB, has a terrible downside: the inability to live a normal life - - - being captured on an island with a limited to no purpose. You cannot even kill yourself to end the loneliness and frustration of being different.

The idea of having Earhart as an early guardian makes sense if you believe that her mental power channeled into creating later plane crashes on the island. It would have been something that she was familiar and could make survivors of a crash. She would have had to pass along this information to Jacob, as it appears he was the one who wanted and needed to have people come to the island so he could become mortal and die.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Gizmondo reports that rapid developments in brain-machine interfacing and neuroprosthetics are revolutionizing the way we treat paralyzed people, but the same technologies could eventually be put to more generalized use—a development that will turn many of us into veritable cyborgs. Before we get to that point, however, we’ll need to make sure these neural devices are safe, secure, and as hacker-proof as possible.

Researchers from the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva Switzerland have published a new Policy Forum paper to raise awareness of this new breed of neurotechnologies, and the various ways they can be abused. Importantly, the researchers come up with some ways to mitigate potential problems before they arise.

No doubt, work in neurotech is proceeding apace. Researchers are developing brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) that are enabling quadriplegics to move prosthetic limbs by using their own thoughts to patients who cannot communicate normally to spell out messages from mental impulses. With each passing breakthrough, we’re learning a little bit more about the brain and how it works. Most importantly, these tools are giving agency and independence back to amputees and paralyzed individuals.

Ghost in the Shell is a anime that broke new science fiction ground by imagining a world where human beings routinely implanted cybernetic modules to enhance their physical limitations. An individual with a cyberbrain could connect to the world wide web easier than logging in your social media site.

Just as Star Trek spawned many 21st Century inventions (including the iPad and smart phone hand held communication devices), the concept of technology upgrades to human beings is driving medical research and development.

There were numerous theories about what LOST was about. A few believed that the entire program was a fantasy inside the head of an individual(s), whether it be a coma patient, a dying patient, a mentally ill person or a computer simulation (like Avatar immersion.)

If one can access the human brain (which still is the most complex organic "computer" known to man), then in theory it is possible to hack it. We hack the brain all the time. When we use simple aspirin, we are hacking the brain's pain receptors to shut down. When we use recreational drugs, we hack the brain's pleasure zones to produce highs.

So it is theoretically possible to hack a human brain to take over or control the human mind. And once that occurs, one could send messages, images, sensations to a person's conscious state that could include everything that we saw in LOST.

Would such a program have any therapeutic effect? Maybe. If you had an individual who was unable to move, communicate or in a vegetative state, some people (parents) may want to have them (their child) at least "experience" humanity even if it is not reality but an elaborate illusion. Even elaborate illusions can create strong memories. For example, people still fondly recall when they first saw the original Star Wars movie.

If LOST was merely a study in character development, then a computer simulation run through a normal or abnormal subject could lead to interesting results, like all the story lines in the show.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Psychologist Brene Brown wrote, "Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they are never weakness." 

 In most dramas, there is at least one character who the audience can relate to in the clearest sense of being vulnerable. It helps enhance the "fear" factor viewers see when that character has to confront uncomfortable situations.

Who were the weakest characters on LOST? And did the audience gravitate toward them in an empathetic way?

Clearly, Hurley was a fan favorite. His back story of being a loner, overweight, not popular pulls on the heartstrings of most people as they themselves probably experienced similar things during their childhood. Even the demanding but loving stereotypical mother put context in how Hurley retreated into himself (to the point some say into mental illness.)

But when he won the lottery, most people believe he would have changed his personality because wealth solves most problems in life. But in reality, 90 percent of all major lottery winners lose it all within five years of winning. Most can't handle the money or fame. They spend without thinking. They are taken advantage of. Many families get torn apart. They regret ever playing the game.

The only significant change to island Hurley was that he was more open and social with the people around him. He felt comfortable in being the nice and funny guy in the group. But he kept the barbs and uncomfortable secrets about his past hidden. He did not want people to know he was a loser. He wanted to fit in. And in the beach survivor camp, he did fit in. As a follower. He did not want to face danger. He did not want to be a leader. He just wanted to make friends. The only time he went out-of-character was saving his friends from the Others by running over the bad guys with his van.

In the end, it is still not clear whether Hurley did change. His relationship with Libby may still have only been an illusion (from his days at the mental institution).

Locke had a different kind of weakness. He did not know his own limitations. He wanted to be a great man, a leader, and adventurer. But he washed himself of his one asset, his intelligence, in an attempt to become a popular-jock character. But he was never good at that. He was lanky, awkward and not very social. He moved from foster home to foster home so he could never learn how to make and maintain friendships. His lack of a real family caused him mental anguish to the point where his imagination took over reality in a quest to find his new family. It led him to a cult only to be betrayed as a stooge in a drug running operation. On the island, he started off as a father figure - - - a provider of food. But simple jealousy with Jack's quick ascension to the leadership role doomed any level of friendship between the two. Locke felt Jack was his rival; but Jack could care less about Locke.

Locke sought appreciation and acknowledgement with the enemy, the Others. He was too narrow minded to realize that he was being manipulated by Ben and Widmore to do their bidding. Once a fool always a fool. Locke died a foolish death at the hands of Ben. But the island inhabitants did not feel a great loss (even though a drug induced, panic stricken Bearded Jack used it as motivation to return to the island). Locke's image, as Flocke, after  taking over his body by MIB was the only time that people listened and feared him. But again, that was an illusion. The real Locke had no dreamlike victory he sought his entire life.

In the end, it was clear that Locke's fate was always to be alone. He was with the island people in the church, but he was by himself in the pew.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Cracked had an article trying to answer the great unsolved mysteries of television.

Of course, LOST was one of those TV enigmas.

This is how it summed up the series and its ending:

What The Hell, Lost?

It begins with the basic premise question:  were the characters time-travelers, incompetent aliens, sexy magicians or spirits in the afterlife? Was everyone on the show dead? Was it all the dream of an autistic child?

Their  Explanation:

It's not the afterlife, and the island is magic. As for every other question, some were answered in an epilogue on the Season 6 DVD set, though they too can easily be summed as everything was an experiment by DHARMA.

Some DVD question and answers were referenced as support of their argument:

"What's with that giant bird from Seasons 1 and 2?" DHARMA experimented on animals!

"Why do women have pregnancy problems on the Island?" It's the electromagnetism!

"What was that weird thing in Room 23 that looked like a brainwashing video?" A brainwashing video! DHARMA used it to erase memories!

"Where did the food drops come from?" A warehouse in Guam!

"Why polar bears?" They were good candidates for testing!

>>>> Except, what about the elements not tied to the Dharma folks. Namely, all the island inhabitants, including the immortal guardians Crazy Mom and Jacob?  Does the island magic come from these immortals trapped on the island (for what reason?)? See, the question within the question madness?!

Sure, one can logically state that something out of the ordinary would seem to be "magic" to a primitive culture. For example, an isolated  island tribe with no contact with modern, western civilization could consider a helicopter as "magic" since they have never seen aircraft. But the pilot could "explain" to the tribe the basic principles of flight. In LOST, the explanation of "magic" has no basic principle in which viewers could believe. It is purely used in this context as a broad brush for a fantasy story (which intentionally did not want to explain its elements).

Friday, June 30, 2017


Harville Hendrix wrote, "Nature doesn't care that you are comfortable, only that you evolve."

LOST's creators continually stated that the show was more about character development than solving the myriad of  mysteries the writers threw at viewers.

In a typical character development, a person is put into an unfamiliar, often dangerous situation. The person then has to reflect on what is happening around him. He must determine based upon internal conflicts (experience, dreams, goals, etc) on how to proceed. It begins a journey of discovery, enlightenment, change and growth. Throughout the journey, he is tested, choices made, doubts created, strengths pushed to the limit to reach a final realization of one's self.

Weaved in this journey are themes we call life lessons. They can be coupled with moral tones, vices, bad choices, blind spots, naive behavior or self-destructive tendencies. But in the end, the character has to change, for better or worse, of the journey itself was meaningless. And the reader is left with a bitter taste of wasting time investing in a story with no true end.

Did LOST's main character have great personal development?

That remains an open question.

If we start with Locke as a young boy, we find that his life was a journey of mistakes, bad choices, social awkwardness and inability to find his place in society.

He was a miracle premature baby who survived his mother's car collision in rural, 1950s America. He was abandoned by his birth parents to grow up in foster homes as an outsider. He was smart, but wanted to be a jock. But he was not good enough so he fit into neither group. He became a loner. The more he grew up, the more sullen he became since he was missing the one thing other kids had: a family. So he spent much of his time trying to find a family unit. He would bounce from entry level job to job trying to find a permanent connection. But his deep seeded fears of abandonment and mistrust sabotaged most of his relationships. His fears were realized when he re-connected with his parents only to have his father steal his kidney and cripple him for life by pushing him through a high rise window.

So Locke's past contained so much baggage that he was a prime candidate for a character's "hero journey" of evolution. But did he did a hero's ending?

Sadly, no. Locke's sad life turned into a sad death.

The island "magic" apparently "cured" Locke's paralysis when he crash landed with the other survivors. He took it personally as a sign, a "miracle," a chance to be the person he dreamed he was going to be as a boy. Locke wanted to be a respected, swashbuckling, Outback, adventure-loving leader of men and lover of women.

Everyone on the island had an opportunity to shed their past and create a new self image.

In Locke's case, he started strong as being a hunter-food provider. But when the majority of the castaways gravitated toward the charismatic doctor, Jack, for survival, Locke became upset. He retreated to become a gregarious loner. Sure, he got along with many of the characters but most merely tolerated his ramblings. He never received the respect or admiration he thought he deserved.

He had an opportunity to become the leader of the 815 survivors, but Jack and Sawyer were chosen over him. He had an opportunity to become the true leader of the Others, but he could not bring it upon himself to kill his own father. 

Even when he "sacrificed" himself at ghost Shepherd's suggestion, only then did Sawyer give him faint praise after Locke turned the FDW to reset the island time skips.

When he returned to the States, Locke had several choices. He could have turned his back on the island and its harsh surreality. Or he could find himself back living a lonely existence in his new wheelchair. Instead, he was manipulated by Widmore like he had been manipulated by Ben to do someone's else's bidding. But Locke failed in his quest to get everyone back to the island.

In a seedy hotel room, Locke decided to commit suicide, a coward's not a hero's way out. Before he was about to do the deed, he was interrupted by Ben. Ben convinced him that his life still had value. That he was needed on the island. That he had to go back with him to make everything right. He had to go back to save his "friends." But after Locke slipped with the information on how he could get back to the island, through Mrs. Hawking, Ben strangled Locke whose last thoughts according to Flocke was "I don't understand."

Most viewers did not understand why MIB, the smoke monster, needed to inhabit Locke's corpse or assume his identity in order to overthrown Jacob. MIB did take Locke's memories to begin to manipulate the survivors, including those who let live after the Temple massacre. But if there was still a part of Locke in MIB's use of his memories, image or character - - - Locke failed to fight back or control MIB.

In the end, Locke winds up in the sideways church. He seems happy at the reunion, but how could he be? He sat in a pew alone. There was no one special present for him. Not his late girlfriend. Not his mother. No one. Throughout his life, Locke failed to make a special bond with any one person in order to "move on" in the after life. Locke's journey did not end in a hero's quest or salvation but as a sad footnote.

Monday, June 26, 2017


Recently, a Korean television mystery-drama did the unthinkable - - - it fooled its fans with a crazy bad ending.

Queen of Mystery was a standard 16-episode drama. It had typical elements of a standard police drama: an unhappy police officer trying to solve a personal mystery, a civilian wrought by the murders of her parents, power brokers who manipulate the system for their advantage and a spider web of connections between the parties.

SPOILERS ahead for those who want to watch the program.

The police officer was born into a rich and powerful family. However, he sheds his status to become a police officer in order to find the true killer of his girlfriend who was murdered 17 years earlier. The murder was pinned on man with a snake tattoo by a working class cab driver, but the police officer, Wan-seung does not believe the official reports.

Seol-ok, a housewife of a local prosecutor, has turned into a mystery solving sleuth. She uses her deductive skills like Angela Lansbury's character in Murder She Wrote.  However, Seol-ok is really trying to track down the real killer of her parents. She was left an orphan who was taken in my a well-off family, eventually marrying their eldest son. His family does not treat her well, but Seol-ok is such a kind person she lets it all go.

Wan-seung was studying to be an actor. He was in a theater troupe where he met Hyun-soo. He fell in love with her. They planned to spend the rest of their lives together. But Wan-seung's powerful lawyer father did not approve. He wanted his son to join and run the family law firm. But Wan-seung does not care about power or privilege, just Hyn-soo. Then one night, she is abducted and killed. Wan-seung never believes that she is dead - - - that she was forced to leave Korea because she found out something bad about someone in power. Even though the police and prosecutors have closed the case file, Wan-seung is convinced that she is alive (her body was not found).

Wan-seung and Seol-ok cross paths to begin an uneasy partnership in solving other crimes. In one respect, they are both outsiders in both their professional and personal lives.

Throughout the series, their mysteries begin to intertwine. Seok-ok's father was the one who reported the man who killed Wan-seung's girlfriend. As the key witness, he and his wife were killed and their case was never solved. Seok-ok's husband had told her that he would look into it, but he never did. We would learn later that he may be part of a cover-up, orchestrated by Wan-seung's own father.

Whenever they get close to solving it, something blocks them. When Wan-seung finally tracks down the tattoo killer, who asks to meet him to tell all, he finds the perp already dead on the ground. Then Wan-seung is quickly arrested by Detective Go for murdering him. It was a classic trap. In order to get his freedom, Wan-seung has to surrender to his father's will to leave the police force and take over the family law practice. He leaves to study abroad then returns to Korea to begin what it seems to be a new life.

But in reality, he is still trying to track down all those responsible for Hyun-soo's death. His little band of detectives, including Seol-ok, have an off-the-grid command post to try to connect the dots.

Near the end, we see the diligence of the sleuths working together to unravel the conspiracy. Finally, they smoke out another police detective as Hyun-soo's murderer. Detective Go knows he is in trouble when the great "fixer," Mr. Kim contacts him asking to see her body. Go claims that he buried her with his own two hands. But Kim's benefactor wants DNA evidence (not available at the time of the crime) to confirm that Hyun-soo is dead. The benefactor is Wan-seung's father. They all met in the forest where Go has uncovered a shallow grave of human bones. As they take samples, the forest bursts of police officers. They arrest everyone for conspiracy.

Wan-seung goes to the grave to see the engagement ring still on the finger of the victim. He breaks down and cries while Seol-ok watches from the ridge.

It would seem that the two mysteries were wrapped up by the arrest of Wan-seung's father and his associates for the cover up of several murders.

But in the last moments of the last episode, the mysterious Mr. Kim is walking down a hallway when a young woman passes him then stops to ask him if he was looking for her. Kim is confused. Then the woman smirks that she is Hyun-soo. Bam. End of series.

Viewers were stunned by the twist. So much so, that they were angry. Several days later, the producers had to make a statement about the show. They claim they did the ending in such a manner because they were planning on a second season.

Reviewers were quick to point out that K-dramas rarely have second seasons. They are usually 16-20 episodic features (and long run series can go up to 52 episodes). And in the case of Queen of Mystery, the network had not ordered or committed to having a second season.

Viewers felt betrayed by the writers. How can you do a complete 180 degree turn of the story line at the end of the series. Wan-seung found the remains of his long, lost love. (DNA would prove the identity of the body - - - but it was clear that the ring was enough for Wan-seung). Who is this new mystery woman claiming to be the dead Hyun-soo? No one knows why she was killed in the first place. Wan-seung's powerful father is in jail but it appears that he was merely a fixer like Mr. Kim. And why did this mystery woman come after Mr. Kim? Who is he working for? 

It was a mean trick to play on the viewers. If writers give us mystery plot lines and clues, it is their responsibility to provide conclusive answers to those mysteries. Queen of Mystery's ending was actually worse than LOST's. LOST may have not answered all the burning fan questions about the island, its powers, the afterlife, etc. But Queen of Mystery threw the entire series in chaos with a massive new mystery in the last seconds of the show.

Monday, June 19, 2017


The first attempts to bring people back from the dead are slated to start this year.

This controversial plan was thwarted last year in India.
Bioquark, a Philadelphia-based company, announced in late 2016 that they believe brain death is not 'irreversible'. According to the Daily Mail, CEO Ira Pastor has revealed they will soon be testing an unprecedented stem cell method on patients in an unidentified country in Latin America, confirming the details in the next few months. 

To be declared officially dead in the majority of countries, you have to experience complete and irreversible loss of brain function, or 'brain death'.  According to Pastor, Bioquark has developed a series of injections that can reboot the brain - and they plan to try it out on humans this year.
They have no plans to test on animals first. 

Medical science has tight protocols before experimentation can begin on humans. There must be peer review on research, animal trials, then clinical trials. At each stage of the process, the results are published and reviewed by authorities before permission can be granted to proceed. Here, the company is going straight to the end game without any factual foundation. 


1) Harvest stem cells from the patient's own blood, and inject this back into their body.
2) Inject peptides into the patient's spinal cord.
3) Fifteen days of laser and median nerve stimulation - while monitoring the patients using MRI scans.

The patient needs to keep oxygen pumping through the body to  keep the brain stem functioning - for example, by keeping a person on a ventilator. It means that most countries today, including the US and the UK, identify death as permanent loss of brain stem function. The researchers are looking to stop families or doctors from pulling the plug on their brain dead patients.

There is no precedent for what researchers plan to do. It may be a very expensive (the article did not say) method with no chance of success (but some families will pay anything in the hope of getting their loved ones back).  So critics and cynics have raised concerns that the company is not going through normal protocols to test their theories before using human beings as test dummies. That is the reason why the medical boards in India stopped the company from doing work in that country.

The ramifications of re-booting a brain dead patient can be severe. What if it only partially works and the patient only has minimum brain activity (such as in a deep coma state with no communication skills). Is that really a quality life? What if it does not activate brain memories, speech, eyesight or senses but merely pain? Then what happens to the patient? What are the unintended consequences of playing god?

It seems LOST also played fast and loose with medical ethics on the island. It used mind control and chemical weapons experimentation which hit its evil zenith after Ben's coup.  The concept of immortality by regular brain reanimations is in the realm of science fiction. But there appears to be some researchers who dare to try it in real life.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


The curse of the pharaohs refers to an ancient alleged curse believed by some to be cast upon any person who disturbs the tomb of an Egyptian person, especially a pharaoh or king. This curse, which does not differentiate between thieves and archaeologists, allegedly can cause bad luck, illness or death. Since the mid-20th century, many authors and documentaries have argued that the curse is real in the sense of being caused by scientifically explicable causes such as bacteria or radiation.

When a tomb is opened after hundreds of years, it contains dust and bacteria that have not seen the light of day. Those bacteria or dust can contain pathogens that modern man has no immunity form.

The Book of the Dead contained passages to ward off people from disturbing the tombs. Religious beliefs stated that those possessions in the deceased chambers were needed in the afterlife. Grave robbers knew that the rich were buried with vast treasures of gold, silver and gems.

The curse legend grew in the 1920s and 1930s when Howard Carter's archeology team uncovered the best tomb of all time, King Tut's. After excavating the tomb, several members of the team died mysterious deaths, one from a mosquito bite and one from blood poisoning.

For those who still seek a unified theory to LOST's mythology, the curse theory may be the one.

The island was filled with Egyptian references, including columns of hieroglyphs in the Temple to Jacob's textiles. And if you review LOST's elements as an allegory to ancient Egyptian rituals and practices, you can weave a good theory.

In order to protect a pharaoah's afterlife, he would have gathered loyal subjects, his priests, to make continuous offerings and to protect his tomb from raiders. These priests were powerful men in society. Many were viewed to have magical properties and direct contact with the gods.

When people do not understand what they see, they call it magic or supernatural.  The magicians can use unknown science, illusion or slight of hand to deceive, manipulate or shock people. Some people know that one way to control people is to create chaos, fear or expectation of death.

We have Jacob as the island guardian. He is the high priest of the island. The island contains a temple - - - and temples were created for the specific purpose of burial of powerful people.

The smoke monster could be viewed as the deadly dust that is the manifestation of the curse for those foreigners who came to the island to disturb the temple rites.

Why did Jacob allow people to come to his island? Just as in ancient times, a pharaoh, dead or alive, needed subjects to protect him and his remains. The Flight 815 survivors could be unwittingly recruits for the pharaoh's subjects. They were placed in the way of raiders such as Widmore's men who wanted to take control (and plunder) the island.

One can see that the smoke monster's deaths were not indiscriminate. It killed people like Eko because he did not believe in the island's religion. He was wrapped up in his brother's religion out of guilt. As such, Eko had no role in protecting the temple or the island. Eko was then expendable.

Likewise, converts like Locke were used to try to recruit loyal subjects to return to the island. When he failed, he was killed because he had no value to the island high priest.

The one concept that stood the test of the series was that the island had to be protected (from the unknown). That was the reason and excuse for all the conflicting behaviors and story lines. 

Just as in Egyptian mythology, the smoke monster may have evolved to rival the high priest - - - to overthrow him to create his new cult. That is why Flocke did not kill Widmore's men in mass; he used the alleged conflict between the sides in order to oust Jacob from his position of power. Flocke's background was one of science (MIB was into Roman culture and technology as a young man) while Jacob was schooled in the metaphysics of religious beliefs tied to the island's mysterious past. The theme of science vs. religion was common in the series. It seems that it was tested at various stages in time, from the military coming to the island to challenge the inhabitants to Dharma's uneasy truce with the natives. There were two different views of the island. One was to keep the religious tenets in place (Jacob). The other was to abandon the old ways (MIB) and abandon the island.

In some ways, the latter prevailed just like it did in Egypt. Egyptian cult religion or worship its pharaohs died off to be replaced with modern religions in a secular government structure (with intermittent civil wars and political upheaval.)

Just as modern archeology triumphed over the safeguards of tomb construction, LOST's major change was the loss of the island's long standing structure and purpose.

When it was said that the characters had to "let go" in order to be free, it could mean that they had to let go their own past personal principle structures (which commonly is called religious beliefs) in order to embrace their own free will and their thoughts on morality and mortality.