Archive for the LOST Category
It’s Really Over?
Here we are, on a Wednesday morning, a time that I would typically spend writing my recap of the previous evening’s episode of LOST. Afterward I would visit some of my favorite LOST haunts and recappers to get their take, like Doc Jensen over at Entertainment Weekly and Maureen Ryan for the Chicago Tribune, then I’d dash off to DarkUFO, the TV section of the John Byrne Forum, and I’d get around to listening to Jorge and Beth on Geronimo Jack’s Beard and, sometimes, Jay and Jack.
“Everyone dies sooner or later, kiddo…
some died before you, some long after.”
No more. LOST has said its goodbyes and while it’s hard to let go, we must. What will come along to fill the empty space where LOST once resided? Nothing. LOST was special. I can’t imagine anything replicating the crazed theorizing and dissection that it inspired. And I’m okay with that. As I’ve said, I look forward to revisiting the series on DVD, to reading the forthcoming LOST Encyclopedia, and keeping the show alive and well in my heart of hearts.
“This is a place you all made together so you could find one another.”
~ Christian Shephard
LOST fueled my imagination and played on my interests in fringe science, mythology, and literature. It seemed like it was tailor made for me. Years of obsessing over the works of James Joyce, William Budge, Umberto Eco, Michio Kaku, and Robert Anton Wilson (among many others) made me quite suited to submerge myself in LOST’s unique narrative.
“We’ve been waiting for you.”
~ John Locke
What troubles me now is not so much that LOST is over, but more that there seems to be a large number of so-called fans who, in the end, just didn’t get it. What I felt was a perfect endcap to the series has left some people cold. They say that LOST’s legacy has been tarnished. To those people all I can say is that you are wrong and I shed copious amounts of tears to prove it.
“We’ll be waiting for you, Jack, once you’re ready.”
~ Kate Austen
LOST ended as it should have, focusing on the characters, their redemption, and ultimately their final reward. Nothing could have been more beautiful and uplifting than the gift the writers gave us. I have been and, gods willing, always will think of myself as a spiritual person, first and foremost. It is why, from the very beginning, I was so drawn to the character of John Locke. His quest, I felt, mirrored my own. In the end, though, it was Jack Shephard’s long night of the soul that bore the weight of transcendence, and his journey, upon reflection, was the one that traversed the greatest distance… from Man of Science to Man of Faith to ultimately sacrificing himself to the very universe itself, a fusion of these ideologies, complete and whole, redeemed and accepting of whatever is to come in the hereafter.
“I hope someone does for you what you’ve done for me.”
~ John Locke
LOST gave me so very much, forcing me to look inside myself, especially in this final season. Aleister Crowley once wrote that every man and woman was a star and laid down the declaration that one was to “Do What Thou Wilt”, meaning that for each of us there was a path we were destined to walk, a destiny we were meant to fulfill. LOST addressed these themes that I hold near and dear. Perhaps our path does not lay out before in as epic a fashion as the one the characters on LOST traveled, but the destination is the same.
“I saved you a bullet.”
Nothing is ever truly over, there is only a series of new beginnings. Nothing is as magical or wondrous as life’s journey and LOST captured the essence of our spiritual struggle through this world, shepherding us toward a deeper understanding that we are not alone.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
~ Hugo Reyes
Me too, Hurley. Me too. But you know what, in the end, it’s all worth it.
As I bow out now, I leave you with this, a supposed posting by a former employee of Bad Robot Productions. Whether a hoax or not, the author shares with us some well-thought out ruminations on the finale and I found it matched many of my own thoughts on the subject.
Enjoy… and Namaste.
Good stuff on here! I can finally throw in my two cents! I’ve had to bite my tongue for far too long. Also, hopefully I can answer some of John’s questions about Dharma and the “pointless breadcrumbs” that really, weren’t so pointless …
It was real. Everything that happened on the island that we saw throughout the 6 seasons was real. Forget the final image of the plane crash, it was put in purposely to f*&k with people’s heads and show how far the show had come. They really crashed. They really survived. They really discovered Dharma and the Others. The Island keeps the balance of good and evil in the world. It always has and always will perform that role. And the Island will always need a “Protector”. Jacob wasn’t the first, Hurley won’t be the last. However, Jacob had to deal with a malevolent force (MIB) that his mother, nor Hurley had to deal with. He created the devil and had to find a way to kill him — even though the rules prevented him from actually doing so.
Thus began Jacob’s plan to bring candidates to the Island to do the one thing he couldn’t do. Kill the MIB. He had a huge list of candidates that spanned generations. Yet every time he brought people there, the MIB corrupted them and caused them to kill one another. That was until Richard came along and helped Jacob understand that if he didn’t take a more active role, then his plan would never work.
Enter Dharma — which I’m not sure why John is having such a hard time grasping. Dharma, like the countless scores of people that were brought to the island before, were brought there by Jacob as part of his plan to kill the MIB. However, the MIB was aware of this plan and interfered by “corrupting” Ben. Making Ben believe he was doing the work of Jacob when in reality he was doing the work of the MIB. This carried over into all of Ben’s “off-island” activities. He was the leader. He spoke for Jacob as far as they were concerned. So the “Others” killed Dharma and later were actively trying to kill Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and all the candidates because that’s what the MIB wanted. And what he couldn’t do for himself.
Dharma was originally brought in to be good. But was turned bad by MIB’s corruption and eventually destroyed by his pawn Ben. Now, was Dharma only brought there to help Jack and the other Candidates on their overall quest to kill Smokey? Or did Jacob have another list of Candidates from the Dharma group that we were never aware of? That’s a question that is purposely not answered because whatever answer the writers came up with would be worse than the one you come up with for yourself. Still … Dharma’s purpose is not “pointless” or even vague. Hell, it’s pretty blatant.
Still, despite his grand plan, Jacob wanted to give his “candidates” (our Lostaways) the one thing he, nor his brother, were ever afforded: free will. Hence him bringing a host of “candidates” through the decades and letting them “choose” which one would actually do the job in the end. Maybe he knew Jack would be the one to kill Flocke and that Hurley would be the protector in the end. Maybe he didn’t. But that was always the key question of the show: Fate vs Free-will. Science vs Faith. Personally I think Jacob knew from the beginning what was going to happen and that everyone played a part over 6 seasons in helping Jack get to the point where he needed to be to kill Smokey and make Hurley the protector — I know that’s how a lot of the writers viewed it. But again, they won’t answer that (nor should they) because that ruins the fun.
In the end, Jack got to do what he always wanted to do from the very first episode of the show: Save his fellow Lostaways. He got Kate and Sawyer off the island and he gave Hurley the purpose in life he’d always been missing. And, in Sideways world (which we’ll get to next) he in fact saved everyone by helping them all move on …
Sideways world is where it gets really cool in terms of theology and metaphysical discussion (for me at least — because I love history/religion theories and loved all the talks in the writer’s room about it). Basically what the show is proposing is that we’re all linked to certain people during our lives. Call them soulmates (though it’s not exactly the best word). But these people we’re linked to are with us during “the most important moments of our lives” as Christian said. These are the people we move through the universe with from lifetime to lifetime. It’s loosely based in Hinduism with large doses of western religion thrown into the mix.
The conceit that the writers created, basing it off these religious philosophies, was that as a group, the Lostaways subconsciously created this “sideways” world where they exist in purgatory until they are “awakened” and find one another. Once they all find one another, they can then move on and move forward. In essence, this is the show’s concept of the afterlife. According to the show, everyone creates their own “Sideways” purgatory with their “soulmates” throughout their lives and exist there until they all move on together. That’s a beautiful notion. Even if you aren’t religious or even spiritual, the idea that we live AND die together is deeply profound and moving.
It’s a really cool and spiritual concept that fits the whole tone and subtext the show has had from the beginning. These people were SUPPOSED to be together on that plane. They were supposed to live through these events — not JUST because of Jacob. But because that’s what the universe or God (depending on how religious you wish to get) wanted to happen. The show was always about science vs faith — and it ultimately came down on the side of faith. It answered THE core question of the series. The one question that has been at the root of every island mystery, every character backstory, every plot twist. That, by itself, is quite an accomplishment.
How much you want to extrapolate from that is up to you as the viewer. Think about season 1 when we first found the Hatch. Everyone thought that’s THE answer! Whatever is down there is the answer! Then, as we discovered it was just one station of many. One link in a very long chain that kept revealing more, and more of a larger mosaic.
But the writer’s took it even further this season by contrasting this Sideways “purgatory” with the Island itself. Remember when Michael appeared to Hurley, he said he was not allowed to leave the Island. Just like the MIB. He wasn’t allowed into this sideways world and thus, was not afforded the opportunity to move on. Why? Because he had proven himself to be unworthy with his actions on the Island. He failed the test. The others, passed. They made it into Sideways world when they died — some before Jack, some years later. In Hurley’s case, maybe centuries later. They exist in this sideways world until they are “awakened” and they can only move on TOGETHER because they are linked. They are destined to be together for eternity. That was their destiny.
They were NOT linked to Anna Lucia, Daniel, Rousseau, Alex, Miles, Lapidis, (and all the rest who weren’t in the church — basically everyone who wasn’t in season 1). Yet those people exist in Sideways world. Why? Well again, here’s where they leave it up to you to decide. The way I like to think about it, is that those people who were left behind in Sideways world have to find their own soulmates before they can wake up. It’s possible that those links aren’t people from the island but from their other life (Anna’s partner, the guy she shot — Rousseau’s husband, etc etc).
A lot of people have been talking about Ben and why he didn’t go into the Church. And if you think of Sideways world in this way, then it gives you the answer to that very question. Ben can’t move on yet because he hasn’t connected with the people he needs to. It’s going to be his job to awaken Rousseau, Alex, Anna Lucia (maybe), Ethan, Goodspeed, his father and the rest. He has to atone for his sins more than he did by being Hurley’s number two. He has to do what Hurley and Desmond did for our Lostaways with his own people. He has to help them connect. And he can only move on when all the links in his chain are ready to. Same can be said for Faraday, Charlotte, Whidmore, Hawkins etc. It’s really a neat, and cool concept. At least to me.
But, from a more “behind the scenes” note: the reason Ben’s not in the church, and the reason no one is in the church but for Season 1 people is because they wrote the ending to the show after writing the pilot. And never changed it. The writers always said (and many didn’t believe them) that they knew their ending from the very first episode. I applaud them for that. It’s pretty fantastic. Originally Ben was supposed to have a 3 episode arc and be done. But he became a big part of the show. They could have easily changed their ending and put him in the church — but instead they problem solved it. Gave him a BRILLIANT moment with Locke outside the church … and then that was it. I loved that. For those that wonder — the original ending started the moment Jack walked into the church and touches the casket to Jack closing his eyes as the other plane flies away. That was always JJ’s ending. And they kept it.
For me the ending of this show means a lot. Not only because I worked on it, but because as a writer it inspired me in a way the medium had never done before. I’ve been inspired to write by great films. Maybe too many to count. And there have been amazing TV shows that I’ve loved (X-Files, 24, Sopranos, countless 1/2 hour shows). But none did what LOST did for me. None showed me that you could take huge risks (writing a show about faith for network TV) and stick to your creative guns and STILL please the audience. I learned a lot from the show as a writer. I learned even more from being around the incredible writers, producers, PAs, interns and everyone else who slaved on the show for 6 years.
In the end, for me, LOST was a touchstone show that dealt with faith, the afterlife, and all these big, spiritual questions that most shows don’t touch. And to me, they never once wavered from their core story — even with all the sci-fi elements they mixed in. To walk that long and daunting of a creative tightrope and survive is simply astounding.
On March 29th I posted a LOST in Translation entry titled “There Can Be Only One” in which I threw out my theory as to who the candidate would be and who I thought it should be.
“Who better than Jack Sheppard to be the culmination of that progress? From a Man of Science to Man of Faith, Jack is on the verge of becoming the balance between these two disciplines.”
I went on, however, to add:
“I have envisioned another scenario, one in which a different candidate assumes the mantle of Island God. That man? Hugo Reyes. Imagine if you will a distraught Hurley on the beach, saddened by the sacrifice of his friends, all having died in the struggle between Jacob and the Man in Black. Hurley’s unique gift would find him not alone on the Island however, and everyone who had died would be there with him, keeping him company. The beach would be filled with his lost friends… all ghosts speaking in whispers.
The Flash-Sideways is our doomed candidates reward for fighting the good fight. Hurley will hit the reset button, the Island will sink into oblivion, and all his lost friends will begin life anew in a mirror world where all that they’ve learned from their Island adventure will set them on a path of redemption.
I just have this feeling that the newly crowned Island God has set up this flash-sideways world, filled with cliched homages to various television genres, because that’s exactly what Hurley would do.”
Well, some of the particulars were off a bit, but the heart of it’s there. Of course, as I told my wife last night in the aftermath of the series finale, if you throw enough darts at the board eventually some of them are going to stick.
I still haven’t processed the weight of it, you know. LOST has been such a huge part of my life, probably more than any other television program has been. For the majority of that time, I have been a part of the “greater LOST community”, actively dissecting and theorizing about this “pop culture phenomena”.
It’s been one helluva ride.
There will be those who are dissatisfied with “The End”. I am not one of them. I felt that the writers delivered a fitting endcap to the series, servicing the characters and delivering a loving finality to their creation that was as much a love-letter to the fans as it was to the wonderful cast that helped bring their vision to life.
Were there glaring omissions? A few. It would have been nice to catch a glimpse of Mr. Eko, Walt, Michael, and others at Jack’s “Moving On” Party, but that’s a minor quibble.
As to all those “unanswered questions”… You know what? I’m okay with what we got. A bit of mystery is not necessarily a bad thing. In the end we are left to allow our imaginations to soar and fill in the gaps for ourselves. As an author, I can appreciate that.
It’s hard to let go, as LOST so succinctly dramatized. But is LOST now truly over? As Christian Sheppard told his son, “There is no now here.” We’ll always have our DVDs to turn to, reexperiencing the wonder of it all, but differently, because I imagine that knowing what we do now, the entire series will be cast in a new light. I’m looking forward to revisiting the show in the near future, with the added weight of prescience as I reacquaint myself with these old friends.
“The End”, in all of it’s two and a half hours of glory was full of spectacular moments. As I prepare to leave you now, I want to address three.
Kate. Damn it Freckles, you were on fire last night. Finally, this character, largely vilified by LOST fandom, was redeemed. Not that I ever had a problem with Evangeline Lilly, but many did, and she really elevated her game in the finale. “I saved a bullet for you” was one of the best lines in television history and her delivery was glorious.
Juliet and Sawyer. Yes, dammit, I cried. They were my favorite couple on the show and Josh Holloway and Elizabeth Mitchell twisted my soul in knots with some stellar acting.
But the highlight for me, in an episode filled with them, was the return of John Locke. Gods, but I missed him. He was the character who I most identified with from the beginning, and to have him die as he did… well, it didn’t sit easily with me. Then they had to go and toy with me through his presumed resurrection. Having the Man in Black wear the mask of John Locke was brilliant in that every time FLocke was on screen it was a painful reminder of the man we’d lost. It felt so good to have him back last night, especially in his final scene with Ben Linus.
And there you have it, kids. LOST is done. Kaput. The fat lady’s finished her song and left the building. Thank you for joining me here at the Occult Detective and putting up with my inane ramblings and theories. It’s been an honor and a privilege to share this with you.
But we’re not done. I’m sure there will be plenty more to cover in the weeks and months to come, but for LOST itself, the music’s over. Turn out the lights…
to be continued
IN LOST, MYTHOLOGY TRUMPS MYSTERY
by Mike Hale
As the end of “Lost” approaches — an extravaganza that will stretch from Sunday night into Monday morning on ABC — the natural urge is to join in the final frenzy of speculation. Who will live, who will die, and what did it all mean?
In recent months “Lost” has felt less like a television series than like a gigantic international parlor game, in which the goal is to find answers to questions that often have no real connection to what’s happening on screen. You need to take a step back, or 5 or 10, and look past this extraneous (if diverting) exercise to assess the actual show and its legacy.
Since “Lost” itself favors oracular pronouncements, here’s one more: The show had one good season, its first. It was very, very good — as good as anything on television at the time — but none of the seasons since have approached that level, and the current sixth season, rushed, muddled and dull, has been the weakest.
Continue reading HERE
Season 6 / Episode 16
“What They Died For”
written by Kitsis, Horowitz, & Sarnoff
directed by Paul Edwards
I have to keep reminding myself that this is not my story. It’s the bane of being a writer I suppose, but I have caught myself in these last few weeks being over-critical of LOST. The producers have been quite clear that they are “telling the story they want to tell”. My job, at this point, is to allow them to do so.
I was prepared to give a scathing review of last night’s penultimate episode. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, because I most certainly did. But — and there’s always a but — there were some things that just felt wrong to me. Maybe it’s because I’ve invested six years in the story. Maybe it’s because of preconceived expectations. The story seems smaller on many levels than it did a mere season ago. To be honest, it’s a practical mirror of Supernatural, boiling down to a feud between two brothers with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Hell, Jacob was even there for both…
You know what? I’m going to let it go. I’m going to enjoy it for what it is, and what it is is the best show on television, maybe even of all time. Yes, it’s flawed, but then isn’t that the whole point of the series? Despite it’s flaws it can rise above them, find redemption, and <gulp> save the world?
So I’m not going to dissect “What They Died For”. Instead I’m going to hold off until Monday and view the endgame in its entirety, but before I go…
My favorite bit from last night?
Surprisingly enough it came from the flashsideways. Desmond’s epic jailbreak, springing Kate and Sayid with a little help from Anna Lucia and Hugo, had me grinning from ear to ear. Sure it was preposterous, but then I think it’s supposed to be.
A close second would be, and yes I know this is evil of me, seeing Zoe get iced like she did, and Widmore being sniped by Ben as well… that was especially satisfying and seeing Ben’s redemption song hit a sour note kind of fits in nicely with my finale endgame scenario…
My final theory?
We’ll discover that Jack’s Jacobing will have been merely to hold it until the true Island Protector shows up…
Flashsideways John Locke will cross over from the mirrorverse and throw down with FLocke. The Island will sink, killing everyone but Desmond who will reunite with Penny and Charlie and live happily everafter in an Islandless world.
In the elseworld, all our castaways will awaken, remembering their Island life and the sacrifices they made. Jack and Kate will be together, as will Sawyer and Juliet (who we’ll learn is Jack’s ex-wife and father to David).
The show will end in the sideways, with the Island rising up from the ocean and John Locke sitting on the beach. Ben will sit down next to him and say, “Do you know how badly I want to kill you?”
The LOST Finale Event
It’s hard to believe it’s all almost over. Two and a half hours remain (minus the 50 minutes of commercial time that has been sold). Of course we have the two hour prequel recap show to look forward to and the Jimmy Kimmel: Aloha to LOST special immediately following the finale…
It’s been a marvelous ride and regardless of how it ends, it been quite an experience.
It’s all over but the crying, kids. This is it, the dash to the finish line of what is arguably the finest series in television history. It has been one helluva ride, but now we’ve come down to the final week… Let’s see what’s on tap:
Matthew Fox on David Letterman
Jorge Garcia on Jimmy Kimmel
LOST: What They Died For
Matthew Fox on Jimmy Fallon, Regis and Kelly, and Good Morning America
Jorge Garcia on The View and Lopez Tonight
Michael Emerson on The View
Dinner Impossible LOST Special
Josh Holloway on Jimmy Kimmel
Jorge Garcia on Jimmy Fallon
Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse on Jimmy Kimmel
LOST: Pilot (enhanced)
LOST 2 hour Recap
LOST: The End
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Aloha to LOST
Wow. That’s a whole lotta LOST.
Something occurred to me. What if He Who Has No Name is not the Smoke Monster? Could it be that Jacob’s act of brothercide… he casting nameless bro into the Tunnel of Light… merely released the Smoke Monster — the dark force opposed to the divine light which all men possess a sliver of? Is every appearance of MIB after this incident merely the Smoke Monster wearing MIB’s form?
Were MIB and Jacob candidates — potential replacements to their Faux Mother’s role of Island Protector?
Was MIB the special one and Jacob merely the spare?
That revelation could do wonders to the bad feeling I got from this episode. That would make the ghost of Claudia Smokey in disguise. Smokey could have been whispering sweet nothings in MIB’s ear, initiating the creation of the frozen donkey wheel.
To what end? The extinguishing of the light, casting all the world in Smokey’s dark shadow.
Suddenly “Across the Sea” seems a little more epic in scope, especially if this is addressed and plays out as such.
It would fit with the mirror of Jacob’s and Island Mother’s welcomed demise and dances with the way in which Smokey seems to be able to download memories from the dead…
Food for thought as we march toward the final chapters of LOST.