Tuesday, November 10, 2020

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?

 AN OUT-OF THE BLUE QUESTION:

WHAT IN LOST WOULD YOU HAVE CHANGED?

 There were plenty of unanswered questions, plenty of angst about the final seasons direction, and curses about the Ending. But generally, what would you as a loyal viewer want to have changed in the original series?

PLOT ELEMENTS? 

Did the show have to have its start as a plane crash survival story? Could have it been set in a different location such as hospital, mental institution, a secluded university campus or secret military base?

Did the show have to have a mixed genre premise? Could it have been a straight drama? Or could it have been a straight action-mystery?

Did the show need to have unclear time travel rules and supernatural smoke monster elements? If you took away the Jacob and the Island story line, would LOST still have delivered on its character goals?

CHARACTERS?

Would you have pared down the ensemble cast into a smaller focus group? Would you have eliminated the Tailies from consideration? Would you have changed the Others from its Ben's cult status to something else (like pagan, primitive natives with special powers such as worshipping the smoke monster)?

Would you have not used flash backs and flash forwards to give us the main characters pre-island stories? Would you have given the broken characters a new chance to live out their lives in their set, reality pain (such as Locke and his paralysis)?

Would you have given a secondary character a bigger role in the main story? Would the Others been better served under Patchy? What if the pilot survived to take control away from Jack? 

THE ENDING?

What did you really want to see in the final episode? Did you need a happy ending or could you have lived with a bitter island bloodbath? Did you need to see a post-island epilogue of the final survivors trying to cope back in the real world (such as Sawyer maybe uniting with his daughter)?

Would you have wanted to erase the flash sideways world in its entirety? Would you like the island stories to end, in context, on the island?

Would you have wanted one last twist - - - such as Hurley in the mental institution playing with an island snow globe?  

Would you have accepted a Sopranos style ending (sudden end to black) which was considered by the show runners?



Monday, October 12, 2020

A WORD FROM THE CREATORS

 At a recent virtual panel at NY Comic Con, LOST showrunner continued his advocacy for LOST. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said there no plans for a reboot or spinoff of the series which had its 15th anniversary of its premiere. However, they would support another show in the LOST "universe" if someone had a great idea to convince Disney/ABC to do it.

 Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were asked what they both think about any possible reboot or spinoff. 

"It would not be a good idea for us to go back," Cuse said. "This comes up all the time and, I think, Damon and I have been very consistent and forthright on this topic. We told the story that we wanted to tell."

Over six seasons, LOST followed a group of survivors of Oceanic flight 815 who crash landed on an island. As they tried to go back home (and then get back to the island), it was consistently a top-rated show on ABC.

To this day fans love re-watching and discussing the series' few unsolved mysteries — including one Cuse and Lindelof said they'll never answer about the identity of the people on the Season 5 outrigger.

While they have no interest in rebooting "Lost" or exploring any spinoffs, Lindelof said he would be supportive of anyone who pitched a good idea. 

"If somebody else comes along who has a great idea to do something set in the 'LOST' universe and sells that to The Walt Disney Company, they will have our blessings to do that," Cuse said. "We see no reason to do it. It doesn't feel like there's anything that we have left to say that's worth saying. We did it."

Lindelof said Disney has never come to him with any other show pitches since the show wrapped up in 2010.

"For the three final seasons of the show — four, five, and six — we put so much emotional energy into ending this show," Lindelof added of why they have no need to revisit this world. 

After 15 years, the show continues to be a iconic series from the past. To re-create a show with that much detail and location shooting would cost double or triple the old budget (which was already high for its time). Another re-boot problem would be that it was a serial show, where each episode was linked to the next. This made it impossible for secondary revenue like television syndication, which demands intact single episodes of shows (in case people cannot watch everyone in a row).

The LOST universe itself is a cryptic concept. Fans still debate whether it was science fiction or fantasy. Fans still debate whether it was real, imaginary or a hybrid psychotic event(s). For all its flaws, it would be very difficult for another producer to re-create the magic of the Island and its mysteries.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

THREE AND OUT

Yahoo News reported on LOST's back story from one of its co-creators.

LOST launched a television phenomenon by creating mysteries and Easter egg hunts like the numbers, the hatch, and The Others.  It had high ratings from the 2004 pilot right up until the finale in 2010.

A common debate has been when the series jumped the rails to go out into filler tangents and story line dead ends. Some believe the middle seasons were merely filler episodes which distracted from the original intent of the show.

Co-creator Damon Lindelof  all but admitted it when he recently said the original outline for the ABC series was a three-season run.

“There were all of these compelling mysteries and so we were saying, ‘We wanna have this stuff answered by the end of Season 1, this stuff answered by the end of Season 2, and then the show basically ends after about three years,’” Lindelof told Collider. “That was the initial pitch.”

“[ABC] were not even hearing it… they were just like, ‘Do you understand how hard it is to make a show that people want to watch? And people like the show? So why would we end it? You don’t end shows that people are watching.’”

Eventually, ABC allegedly agreed to set an end date for the show – but on its own terms: 10 seasons.

That never came to pass, as Lindelof eventually reached a compromise during negotiations around Lost’s third season.

Lindelof was set on a longer fourth season to wrap the story up which still involved “a number of the characters” getting off the island and later returning for the final run. When ABC offered just nine episodes, the two parties settled on slightly shorter seasons up to season six, a marked departure compared to the 20-plus episode seasons we got in the show’s first two years.

Despite the apparent directional conflict with the network, LOST moved forward, with all its flaws, to the controversial finale. Would have a concentrated LOST series have been better? Would more mysteries been solved? Would the End be different?

 Let's look back at the first three seasons as a guide with the help of lostpedia:

Season 1 concentrated on the middle-section survivors and their fight for survival and rescue. This was the modern update of the Robinson Caruso shipwreck story. It is a classic premise to hook viewers with a familiar story told in a new way.

Major plot points included:

Finding a suitable camp location.
Half the survivors, including Kate, Sawyer, and Sayid settled on a beach near the crash site.
The rest, led by Jack, chose to live in the caves which are located in the jungle, near a source of fresh water.
Investigating the Island (searching for food and water, discovering the caves, and learning about the Black Rock).
Confrontations with The Monster.
Getting to know and trust each other (see especially Kate, Locke, Sawyer, and Jin).
There is a relatively long-standing animosity between Michael and Jin: the latter attacked the former in order to get his watch back, which Michael had found in the wreckage of the plane.
The survivors (especially Jack and Shannon) begin to question Locke's intentions due to his lie about Boone's injury and consequent death.
Trying to leave the island.
Building and launching the raft.
Hunting for Claire, after she was taken by the Others.
Opening the Hatch found by Locke and Boone.
Started to tell the survivors' story by introducing and using Flashbacks.

The early story was basic survival: food, shelter and water. Also, a means of rescue.
But the survival group was not unified so individuals personal instincts were more important than uniting around  common leader. This was the early character conflict between those who thought they would lead.

The mysteries were unusual: the Black Rock ship found in the middle of the island; the Smoke Monster, the Others and the Hatch.  The story pivoted from basic survival to danger from Monster, the Others and the Island itself.




Season 1 Finale: As the castaways brace themselves for an attack, Claire's baby is kidnapped, leading Charlie and Sayid on a dangerous chase into the jungle. While the threat of the Others bears down on the castaways, the raft crew continues their flight from the island - but when the hope of rescue appears on the horizon, they will soon learn that appearances can be deceiving. Charlie and Sayid stumble into a trap as they race to confront the kidnapper. Jack and Locke argue as they prepare to blow open the hatch. The raft crew is overjoyed to be discovered by a passing ship, but their elation is short-lived when they realize things are not what they appear. The hatch is opened, and what is inside it stuns the survivors.
 

Season Two focused on the Hatch. To find something scientific and out of the ordinary on the Island filled the castaways with hope (and food and protection) but also doubt (what was its purpose on the island). The writers were praised for effectively using flashbacks to flesh out the secrets of the characters.

Major plot points included:

The Swan, the Numbers, and pressing the button, all of which appeared to have been resolved by the end of the season.
The tail-section survivors, whose stories began and ended in the season, with the exception of Eko and Bernard.
The Others, including Tom, Goodwin, Klugh, and the fake Henry Gale (Ben).
The DHARMA Initiative stations/
Continued to tell the survivors' story by using flashbacks

Finale: Live Together, Die Alone: After discovering something odd just offshore, Jack and Sayid come up with a plan to confront "The Others" and hopefully get Walt back. Meanwhile, Eko and Locke come to blows as Locke makes a potentially cataclysmic decision regarding the "button" and the Hatch.

Season 3 mainly focused on the Others who had become the biggest danger to the castaways survival.

Major plot points included:

The Others (including Juliet Burke, Tom Friendly, Ben Linus and Richard Alpert), who they are, why they are on the Island, the way they live their lives and who leads them.
Contact with the outside world, including Penny; the Flame and Galaga being destroyed.
Desmond's future-telling powers, going back in time and Charlie's imminent death, and to a lesser extent, time.
The mysteries of the island, mainly pregnancy issues and the healing properties (see Mikhail).
The arrival of Naomi and the freighter.
Continued to use Flashbacks and during the final episode of the Season 3 they first introduced the Flash-forward idea that was used throughout all of Season 4.

Finale: Through the Looking Glass:  Jack and the castaways begin their efforts to make contact with Naomi's rescue ship.

"Through the Looking Glass" means where nothing is quite what it seems. In Lewis Carroll's book, it can mean clocks that work backwards or "... a poor sort of memory that only works backwards."
Alice again enters a fantastical world, this time by climbing through a mirror into the world that she can see beyond it. There she finds that, just like a reflection, everything is reversed, including logic (e.g. running helps you remain stationary, walking away from something brings you towards it, chessmen are alive, nursery rhyme characters exist, etc.).

At the end of Season 3, current reflection shows series turned to pure fantasy and not reality.


But by the end of Season 3, LOST could have wrapped up its main stories without jumping the shark (literally and figuratively) with the entire Jacob Temple worship story which attempted to merge ancient religions with an old Greek surreal tale of sibling rivalry.


A three season run would have boiled the LOST story universe into easily absorbed plots:

1. The conflict and tension in the 815 survivors camp on leadership and direction for survival. A passenger class struggle between the middle section and the tail section who had more contact and suspicions about the Others.
2. The external conflict and combat with the Others who claim the Island and its magical properties as their own. The story would have concentrated more on the science cult's obsession with time, pregnancy and mental experiments (which could have easily explained the Monster as being the physical manifestation of mentally ill minds through the Island's unique electromagnetic fields). In other words, the Smoke Monster would have been the island Frankenstein, roaming the island after breaking out of its captivity.
3. The realization that the only way to leave the Island was through the Others assets (boats, communications, etc.) or through rebellion (the freighter coming back to dethrone Ben as the island leader.) It could have been an interesting dynamic on whether Widmore would be as evil as Ben or whether he would have rescued the 815ers then restore the "real" original research of the Island. This would have been a cleaner and more logical ending to the series as it avoids the pitfalls of supernatural beings and clear evidence of a purgatory premise. The main characters would be given an opportunity to "go home" on the freighter or "stay" to live a new life on the Island.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

THE END REVEALED BY A SLIP OF THE TONGUE

When the Sopranos ended its television run, it did so in such a fashion that it had its fandom up-in-arms, cursing and wondering what the hell happened to their favorite show. It ended with a hard cut to black. No one knew what would have happened next even though the episode built up to a climatic ending. Boom, without warning, the series ended.

With this type of controversial ending now possible, LOST fans worried that its show runners would also try to pull a large "fake out" to avoid answering the calls of diehard fans for answers to the key mysteries.

The writers did try to get out of years of story layers when they thrust upon us the flashforward universe, where the characters were living different lives but apparently in the same island time frame. It began to call into question whether the flashbacks were actually truthful portrayals of the characters prior to the crash landing on the island. For if the flashforwards were not "real" in the sense that that universe was merely a holding world until the souls of the friends could reunite in the after life, then the same could have been true of the flashbacks (which contained some serious medical and legal errors). If the flashbacks were a dream state, what was the island? A collective dream state or purgatory as speculated by some season one viewers.

LOST viewers never got the clarity from the producers about the last season. We were merely told that the show was always "character focused" so they did not have to answer the complaints.

After many years of debate, Soprano fans got their answer. From recent NY Post article:

The Sopranos” creator David Chase accidentally spoiled the finale during a leaked interview for  his book celebrating the Emmy-winning HBO mob drama.

At the end of 2007’s final episode, titled “Made in America,” Tony Soprano (played by the late James Gandolfini) is eating out with his family amid a turf war between the New Jersey and New York Mafia families while an enemy hit man waits in their midst.

The screen then fades to black as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” blares on the soundtrack, leaving it ambiguous whether the show’s star gets whacked — until now.

Spoiler alert: In the roundtable discussion, co-author Alan Sepinwall asked Chase, “When you said there was an end point, you don’t mean Tony at Holsten’s [the diner], you just meant, ‘I think I have two more years’ worth of stories left in me.’ ”

Then Chase, 74, dropped the bombshell: “Yes, I think I had that death scene around two years before the end … But we didn’t do that.”

Noticing his epic leak, co-author Matt Zoller Seitz chimed in: “You realize, of course, that you just referred to that as a death scene.”

“F - - k you guys,” replied Chase upon realizing his blunder.

Monday, May 25, 2020

TEN YEARS AFTER

As Yahoo UK recently published:

"In the end, it was a Shephard — two of them, actually — who led the lost flock home. Ten years ago this week, the hit ABC series, Lost, brought it’s time-and-reality hopping narrative to a conclusion in the super-sized series finale, appropriately titled “The End.”

The final moments of the final episode feature the show’s hero, Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox), reuniting with his fellow Oceanic Flight 815 castaways in a heavenly dimension as they prepare to move on to whatever realm lies beyond death. “Where are we going?” Jack asks his father, Christian Shephard (John Terry), whose specter had haunted him throughout Lost’s six-season run.

“Let’s go find out,” Papa Shephard replies. At that point, father and son take their place in pews surrounded by the entire cast — even those who died early in the show’s run — and they collectively step into the light.

That may sound final, but “The End” turned out to be just the beginning of the debate over Lost’s place in the pantheon of all-time TV greats. Certainly, the show’s 2004 premiere was a seismic pop culture event, with action that rivalled big-screen blockbusters and ratings to match."

The first takeaway is that LOST was the first epic series that had a complicated mythology and Easter egg fan service to make it the pioneering show for the internet commentary community. Fan sites devoured each episode like an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Fan theories became more complex than the LOST writers best imagination. It was the first interactive television program, some of it in real time chat rooms. Today, some YouTubers live stream commentary during k-dramas, but that pales in comparison to the national media dedicating columnists for weekly recaps.

It was a critical and viewer juggernaut. But as the seasons progressed and the tangential story lines got more convoluted, the show runners hubris took the series down split road to a dead end. The biggest complaint was the land fill sized pile of unanswered questions. When one weaves an elegant story, with mysteries, viewers expected show worthy answers. Rambling into the series finale, Cuse and Lindelof acknowledged there was no way they’d be able to craft an ending that paid off every plot thread and satisfied every viewer.


“We have to have the answers to the mysteries so that there is something to work towards, but what we don't have are the stories,” Lindof said in a 2010 Wired interview.  “J.K. Rowling can sit down and say, ‘Here's how Harry Potter's parents were killed, and here's who killed them,’ but how am I going to reveal that information to the audience in the most emotionally impactful way? So we know what we want to do, but we have very little idea of how and when we're going to do it.”

Second, this confirmed in some people's minds that at a certain point, the writers were making things up on the fly. There was no concrete ending from the beginning. The show drifted on the ocean of fan support. In the end, the show runners confessed they decided to do was to design a finale that emphasized "character over mystery."

 But when you base six years of story on mysteries, many fans thought that was a cop-out. Especially true when the show's producers vehemently denied during the first season that the show was set in purgatory. But the End showed a mixed religious message that main characters had died in the past and the island was some other dimension (further complicated by another universe of the sideways world).

Third, LOST did get into the surreal story writing genre by not only having character flash backs but also "flash sideways," a different  timeline where apparently Jack and the rest of the castaways were back in the real world, albeit leading different lives than what we saw in the flashback sequences that were a major part of previous seasons.

But these did not add a layer of mystery more than one of confusion. A few critics thought this was mere annoying filler episodes. Others thought the writers "stumped" themselves in their original time frame ("painted themselves into a corner") so they tried to "re-boot" the series with another time line.

The evolution of the Man in Black as the personification of dead Locke really did not answer the confinement of Jacob and the Smoke Monster to an island where human beings were used as chess pieces in a sadistic game. But if you look to the religious elements, especially ancient Egyptian culture, one could find a potential answer that the island was the underworld which a soul would have to navigate dangerous tests in order to be judged by the gods in the afterlife.

But the show runners did not want LOST to fall into that realm. They wanted LOST to stand on its own mythology as pure fantasy. They decided that they did not have to answer all the questions or defend their creative choices because enough fans were fully invested (with their own ideas) it did not really matter.

Fourth, there was a sour taste of being hustled by a three card monte boardwalk shark. The End did not tie up loose ends. It made them more tangled as we see Jack "die" on the island while  Hurley and  Ben Linus remain on the island as "new protectors" only to "shut it down" in a hasty DVD epilogue. It did not explain why pilot Frank Lapidus miraculously gets everyone else — including Kate, Sawyer, and Claire off the island. Why were these characters "saved?" What did they do when they returned "home?" How did some find their way to Christian Shephard's church?

In the final scene, Christian opens the church doors to engulf the inside with a bright white light, symbolizing the moment between death and the after life. In the real world, “The End” wasn’t exactly the end that a lot of viewers were waiting for with half the fans found it a comfortable, happy ending while half felt it was a disappointing conclusion in a Hollywood trope way. It did bring to the forefront the debate on whether  the “Flash sideways” universe functioned as a kind of purgatory between life and death — the same theory that was advanced about the island itself when the show first launched. As one commentator put it: “I think the overall lesson is that we're all going to die eventually, so we may as well surround ourselves with as many attractive people as we can.”

Fifth, the LOST legacy may truly be the backtracking by the show runners.  Lindelof heard the criticisms loud and clear, and responded to them in public. “There was a very early perception… that the island was purgatory and we were always out there saying, 'It's not purgatory, this is real, we're not going to Sixth Sense you,’”


But three years later, he said  “Lost was all about mystery and questions and answers and [I wanted] to try to answer a mystery the show hadn't even asked up until that point… A portion of the audience was like, 'Oh, that wasn’t on my list, I'm not interested in that.' But we were.” Even as he stood by “The End,” the online reaction clearly took its toll.

Despite its still-divisive ending, the early success of LOST remains something that TV networks would love to emulate in an increasingly fractured TV landscape. In 2019, ABC hinted that it would not be adverse to rebooting the series.  But do not expect any of the original creative team to return for a potential revival. "I, personally, am not going to be involved with other versions of Lost because we told the most complete version," Lindelof said last year.  "I feel like I spent four years of my life begging them to end it and when they finally said yes, the ending that we did probably should stand as our ending."



LOST was highly entertaining, addictive and mentally stimulating but with all first loves, it had its bad points, questionable choices and nasty arguments.  As a series of intertwined and related episodes, LOST could never handle syndication re-runs because viewers missing episodes would themselves become lost. Syndicated viewers demand self-contained episodes like Star Trek.

It is hard to believe that it has been TEN YEARS since LOST concluded its run. There are very few blogs or sites that still contribute new content to the LOST community. But there are occasional posts of nostalgia about the series. And that is one of the hope's of any television production - - - a nostalgic memory.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

THE BIG SIM

One of the Big Theories for the premise of LOST was that the entire series was an elaborate mental dream, a collective dream or a computer simulation. It was not real. It was pure imagination.

Hurley was the perceived imagination engine. He was the one character that actually had vivid, structured and strong imaginary friends. One almost got him to jump off an island cliff, after telling him "none of this is real."

There were other clues that Hurley's mind was in control. The Others lab featured rooms that were based on psychological manipulation to mind control. The lab people were dressed and functioned like the doctors and nurses at his mental institution. Likewise, Hurley was able to move in and out of the institution like he owned the place.

Another strange thing was that Libby was in Hurley's same day rule at the mental hospital, but he did not recognize her when she showed up on the island. Hurley was friendly with everyone at the hospital; just like at the island everyone was his friend. The idea that Libby would fall in love with Hurley is something he could have longed for - - -  recall, he lost the clerk young woman to his best friend.

The idea of the "collective coma" was a theory I stated when the series was still running along. It was basically that a series of coma patients were hooked together on a local area network to track brain wave activities. However, the coma patients minds are much more active than the patients outward appearance, so they have created their own virtual world (all of which predates our current AR and virtual reality headsets). Bits and pieces of the patients memories could have been used by Hurley and others to create the island world, the adventures and action which none of patients could fathom because of their medical conditions.

Locke's miracle recovery when he landed on the island is another example of "mind over matter" imagination. Locke believed he was an Australian outback hunter, but the wheelchair made that dream an impossible nightmare. He created his own path and adventure in the island world.

There is also a possibility that the main characters major accomplishments may have been embellished. Jack had a huge daddy complex. He suddenly became a miracle surgeon, to surpass his father's hospital status. But what if he was not an accomplished surgeon - - - but a mental patient who has hallucinations of his dead father. In order to patch things up, he dreams of a way to show his father that he was worthy of his praise.

It is the same motivational theme with his father's abandonment of him. It was something that stuck in Hurley's mind. He turned to eating to cope with the abandonment. It made him unattractive and unmotivated to succeed in life. He dreamed of being a rich and successful man. The only way that could have happened was the miracle win of the lottery - - - which in turn was his curse that he tried to runaway from.

Kate's own daddy issues made her runaway from reality. Her back story was one of manipulation and adventure but she never suffered any true consequences for her crimes. The unbelievably wrong trial was clearly the outcome of a delusional criminal.

All the bits and pieces of the LOST tangential story lines can be easily merged into one big mental simulation of events. An adventure for those who cannot adventure. Those people who wasted their lives without accomplishment, true friends or a path to enlightenment. Yes, LOST had its sci-fi fantasy elements but those can also be created in the imagination of one or more main characters.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

SLEEP

Sleep literally cleans your brain. During slumber, more cerebrospinal fluid flushes through the brain to wash away harmful proteins and toxins that build up during the day.

Harmful build up of proteins and brain toxins can lead to neurological damage. Many dementia patients have a difficult time sleeping. They can never "switch off" their brains in order to rest. The brain is in constant "on" mode which can lead to hallucinations, temper and mood changes.

Throughout the series, the castaways were shown constantly on the move, day and night, mission after mission, worn down by lack of sleep. The physical strains of island survival took a mental toll on them. They became irritable, possessive, paranoid, abusive and sly. Even level headed Sawyer showed those various traits as the days and weeks passed on the island.

If the first theme of the show was the standard "how would you survive on a deserted island," then the basic survival instincts would take charge of your body. The gut instinct of fear of the unknown would be front and center in your mind. What is behind the bushes? What is that noise? Is something out there that can harm me?

That is why the castaways felt compelled to stay together; strength in numbers. That is also why they chose the beach to set up camp; they only had to worry about the land side at night.

Getting past the fear, castaways in this situation would have four things on their mind: food, water, shelter and rescue. The island seemed to have sufficient plant life to provide some basic nutrition. Water was the first problem that needed to be solved which led to exploring the island. Shelter was from the airplane debris which kept the castaways focused on something else besides their plight.

The one issue that did not take center stage was rescue. It was more an afterthought than a compelling mission. Even when they found a way by finding the cockpit radio, things stopped by a tragic death. Only when the Others created a more dramatic need for survival did the main characters, as leaders, tried to find a way off the island. Michael's boat was really the first and last chance. When the freighter arrived, a second set of danger emerged which left most of the castaways unable to escape.

Throughout the incidents, it seemed that main characters stopped thinking rationally - - -  asking the key questions to their colleagues. Information was sparsely communicated on a need to know basis. This led to jealousy and splits among the group. The island began to assert a deranged assertiveness in both Jack and Locke which drove a stake between a combined effort to leave the island.

At one point, Hurley hallucinations became so real that he almost killed himself by jumping off a cliff. His friend, who may have been imaginary, almost got him to buy into the premise that the only way to leave the island was to die.  In some respects, this was a true statement. (Anti-purgatory theorists will not fixate on the Ending church as anything particular to island life.)

Hurley was the world in which the other characters orbited. Hurley was the only character to truly fit into all the castaway sub-groups and with the Others. (He was let go without any torture or retribution.) Some theorists believed that the entire show was within Hurley's own mind. A sleep depraved mind that got the story line farther and farther away from reality as each season ended. Hurley was a known mental patient - - - who seemed to get along with all the day room patients just like he did with the island people. He was not special. He was not a forceful personality. He was not a danger. He was the perfect observer.

Or, in the analogy to another fantasy, he could have been the Wizard behind Oz's curtain.

Collective dream theorists think that Hurley could have been the "thought engine" that connected the various characters subconscious dreams, desires, thoughts and issues to "life" on an imaginary island world. Dreams and a weakened mental state was suggested as the reason why the story lines had so many continuity errors and dead ends.

With so many tangents weaved into the LOST episodes, it is not difficult losing sleep over trying to figure everything out.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

THE SICKNESS

It takes a pandemic to put the microscope back on the deadly Sickness that haunted part of the LOST story. In today's world, people fear the coronavirus. It preys on people with pre-existing medical conditions and immune disorders. It is a novel virus which means there is no past immunity. It can spread quickly as it is a respiratory virus.

Characters in LOST were deathly afraid of The Sickness.

The Sickness manifested as a severe mental change on the part of the afflicted. In 1988, shipwreck survivor Robert tried to kill Danielle, his financee. In fact, except for Danielle, her entire party was taken over by the Sickness, which we thought was caused by the Smoke Monster attacking them at the Temple. Danielle began exhibiting what appeared to be similar paranoid delusions, though she claimed to be the only crew member to escape the sickness. Danielle personally killed all other members of her expedition and other characters wrote her off as insane. Sayid, after his infection, killed even more readily than usual, and he said he could no longer feel emotions. The Others were paranoid about the infection. The medical labs were obsessed with reproduction and Claire' baby. They injected her with an alleged vaccine, which did not work.  Claire post-infection became a mentally unstable, paranoid murderer and cradled a boar's skull to replace her baby.


Dogen, the Temple leader, tortured Sayid in order to measure his level of good and evil. According to Dogen, the infection was irreversible. As a result, he tried to trick Jack into poisoning Sayid.


What is believed the infection was in reality a demonic mind possession by MIB (Smoke Monster). It was part of his plan/game to get back at Jacob, who kept his "imprisoned" on the Island. If MIB could develop an army of infected followers, he could take down Jacob to get his freedom. In the last season, MIB was succeeding in the role as fake Locke when he massacred the temple occupants. Those who survived but not directly infected, were controlled by fear. Once there free will was compromised, they could be manipulated against Jacob.

It is a natural human instinct to fear the unknown. Death is the greatest unknown. Something you cannot see in the darkness, is a great unknown. A virus so small it is invisible can enter one's body to reek havoc. In today's panic world, daily updates of confirmed cases and fatalities has the world on edge.

People are told to stay at home. Shelter in place. They have panic purchased supplies including a vast run on toilet paper. It gets to a point of irrational behavior.

Just as in LOST's story line, it plays out in a similar fashion in real life.