LOST in Translation: Once more, with feeling

My Endgame Theory of LOST
(or, why I have no idea what the hell is going on anymore)

Make no bones about it, I am totally lost (pun completely intended). I have spent the last five and a half years theorizing, speculating, and down right guessing as to the who, why, how, and what fors this television show inspires. And after five and a half years I am more in the dark than ever. Oh, I’m enjoying the hell out of the ride, but truth be told, I don’t think there is any way to explain everything that’s going on. The writers have painted themselves into a corner and the only way out is to chalk up some of the biggest mysteries to being a true and undefinable enigma.

For the most part I’ll be alright with that. You don’t have to tell me how it happened so long as you tell me why it happened, and that is a very real and palpable distinction.

LOST is, first and foremost, about the characters, and for good or ill, I want resolution. I don’t need every little detail as to the nature of the universe and the cosmology of supernatural beings laid out for me. Some mysteries are well and good. I just want a satisfying conclusion to this story that I’ve invested myself in for almost as long as my son’s been alive.

What is the Island?

Somewhere, out there, is a very special island, unique and transcendent. Call this island Atlantis, Mu, Lemuria, or Eden if you will, for it is the source from which these legends sprang. You’ll not find it on any map because it exists out of phase with our reality, accessible only through brief “windows” that open up when the the island and our world are in sync.

On this island is a temporal anomaly fueled by a pocket of electro-magnetic energy that imbues this isolated paradise with wondrous and magical properties that defy all but the most extreme imaginings of fringe science.

In a sense the island is a magic box, or as I like to call it, a wish-fulfillment island. I would not be surprised to learn that the island is home to a sentient and possibly schizophrenic god, but regardless this will be mute speculation, because as much as we’d like to know the answer, we will not, because the producers will leave this information ambiguous at best.

The true nature of the island is, and will remain, a mystery… as it should be.

Who are Jacob and the Man in Black?

For centuries, individuals have been drawn to this island, and a complex mythology was born over time as temples and monuments were erected. A philosophical conflict arose within the priesthood about the nature of human existence, a debate over the nature of mankind and the duality inherent from the union of divine spirit and primal, animalistic instinct. The unique qualities of the island allowed these concepts to take shape and become manifest and anthropomorphized.

On one side is the belief that man is destined to rise above his instinct and become in tune with his surroundings. On the other is the belief that man is a primal and violent creature motivated by fear and self-preservation.

Jacob and the so called Man in Black are brothers brought to the island as so many before and after them. How is it that they have become avatars for the island gods? If we look at the greater themes of the show, it has to be related to a conflict with their parents. Jacob, the good son and a mama’s boy? MIB, so much more like his father, a ne’er do well and black sheep? What better vessels to house these eternal spirits whose conflict is mirrored in these two boys?

Over here we have Jacob, believing in the inherent goodness of the human spirit, that in the end, we all have a choice to make and it should always involve self-sacrifice.

Over there is the Man in Black who sees man as a corrupting, destroying  force of nature, capable only of self-preservation.

But then again… maybe it’s something else…

At the Heart of What I Really Think is Going On
(or just who in the hell are Adam and Eve?)

Rose and Bernard, of course. But there have always been other possibilities bandied about by Lost theorists:  Sun and Jin, Jack and Kate or Sawyer and Kate, or Sawyer and Juliet, etc ad nauseum.

But what if Adam and Eve are tied to Jacob and the Man in Black? What if their conflict stems from something darker? Here’s where I submit that the Man in Black is Adam and Eve is his lady love. Could Jacob have been the cause for their demise? Could he have also been in love with this Eve, circuiting the original Jack-Kate-Sawyer lover’s triangle? Did the Man in Black rise from death as a pillar of judgmental and vengeful black smoke? Did Jacob sacrifice them to become the Island God, shepherd and protector of its power, and in an attempt at redemption for his crime, seek to elevate mankind to a greater purpose… something that the Man in Black finds to be the very height of hypocrisy?

And there it is, in a nutshell. That is what I really think is going on here. everything else is smoke and mirrors and fun little divergences that will be swept under the rug in favor of a very human story.

I have speculated that the final scene of the series will show Locke and Ben having become the avatars of the island’s conflicting philosophies, but now I could see it as potentially becoming Jack and Sawyer at opposing ends.

The wonderful thing about all this theorizing is that if you were to ask me tomorrow what I thought you just might get a totally different answer… right up to the series finale and, I presume, beyond.

One thing I’m sure of is that the writers have been very fond of the cyclical nature of the show, hence this most recent run of speculations. Flight 815 mirrored Rousseau’s expedition while Flight 315 mirrored that of 815. I expect that when we learn the story of the Black Rock there will be mirrors there as well.

In this epic tale of a fall from grace and the quest for redemption, will the cycle finally be broken?

For more, you can always search through the LOST in Translation Archive on this site, or stay tuned for more analysis and speculation as we march toward the end of what I feel has been the most intriguing and captivating series in the history of network television.

And now, as a reward for your continued patience, I leave you with another sneak peek from next week’s LOST.



Bob Freeman’s Occult Detective collection, That Olde Black Magick, is now available direct from Bandersnatch Books for a mere $13.00… FREE Shipping and Handling. Includes a signed bookplate with each purchase.


Coming in August of 2010.
by Bob Freeman
Belfire Press

Hell is empty and all the Devils are here…


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