Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Pre-Season Theories

This is the final pre-season stall blog. By the next time I write in this we will have seen two brand new hours of Lost. The end is quickly approaching! As mentioned in previous entries, the purpose of this entry is to share my hypothesis of what I think will happen this season. This is based on what I have gathered from the show and occasionally clues that the producers have alluded to. Spoilers have NOT been consulted to create my theories, so if I end up being right then it is purely coincidental based on educated guesses. Also, my theories are under the assumption that the hydrogen bomb went off last season, however, I do not think it will completely, permanently, change things. With all of this being said, let us begin.

For starters some pretty significant characters are going to die. I’m not really sure who they can afford to kill off but I would say Sayid for sure. Every character has had their chance at redemption and he took his but then soon fell back into a bad life of killing people. For goodness sakes he shot a young teenage Ben Linus. In addition he has nothing left to live for. His love, Nadia, was killed. There is nothing for him so he is expendable. I’d say that Hurley is safe; you can’t kill the lovable fat guy. Sawyer will probably do something heroic, but who knows, that would be very predictable.

Jack is probably safe as well, but I will discuss that later. The only reason he may not make it is that when they originally wrote the first few episodes the producers wanted to kill him off. I feel that Sun and Jin will be together in the end. They have had them separated too long and nearly run that story into the ground. Really I’m just babbling at this point as to speculate people’s fates so I will go on, but I feel that Sayid won’t make it.

I do not think that Locke is completely out of the picture. I am not sure if he is ultimately dead or what, but I’m sure that if he needs to be alive then the writers can find a way for him to be alive. Whether it was the fact that Jacob touched him and others or some other reason, Locke will probably be alive. Plus, the whole Man of Science, Man of Faith thing will be the culminating dynamic of the series, so I feel that Locke must come back to assume his role as the Man of Faith. I believe that Locke and Jack will become the new Jacob and Jacob’s nemesis respectively. They represent such strong opposing forces that if Jack does not continue to believe in faith like he was starting to in season five then he will take Jacob’s nemesis’ spot. Possibly Jack will end up taking Jacob’s spot, but someone will assume Jacob’s role, if not also his nemesis’.

I think the island has some sort of pattern that Locke and/or Jack will serve as for the next group of people that come, just as Jacob and his nemesis have for our people. It should be noted that Jacob and his nemesis wore white and black shirts in the one time we saw them together in what we believe to be their true forms. This goes back to the season one scene where Locke explains backgammon to Walt. Since then black and white has been a symbolic theme throughout Lost. Also, to help further the pattern theory, Jacob tells his nemesis that “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.” Now I don’t put a lot of stock in my speculation of this, but just a possibility.

While on the subject of Jacob, I’m not sure he is ultimately dead. I feel that he was careful to cover his bases. Either he knew he was going to be killed and that is why he touched everyone for some reason, to be resurrected or have something to bring him back. Now, go with me here, what if Jacob touching everyone is similar to Voldemort creating horcruxes in the Harry Potter series. (Lost draws on many books and movies for ideas, why not Harry Potter here.) This may be similar in the fact that maybe by Jacob touching people he can inhabit their body especially if they are dead now. Maybe Locke can come back again in the spirit of Jacob. Locke could be a pawn of both sides. Or the fact that Jacob touched Locke and the others means that they cannot serve as the “loophole” for the Man in Black (Jacob’s nemesis).

Even if Jacob is dead, he is not out of the picture. Too many people on this show can talk to dead people (i.e. Miles and Hurley). Hurley has been able to and it really has not served hardly any purpose yet, but I’m sure it will. Also, we cannot forget that the brief conversation that Jacob had with Hurley was about how Hurley is not crazy, that he really can talk to dead people, and that it is a blessing that he can talk to the dead. This little ability may help the characters as it can provide a channel to communicate with Jacob. Everything in this show has a reason and purpose and I think this may be the reason for Hurley’s ability to talk to the dead.

As the season progresses I believe that it will be revealed that the famous Adam and Eve skeletons belong to Rose and Bernard. They are expendable and will probably be left in the days of the DHARMA Initiative, die there, and be placed in the caves. If just makes sense for it to be them.

The relationship between Widmore and Ben will finally be revealed this season and I have always believed this, both are good guys, relatively. They are both on Jacob’s side of the war and work for him, but there is one major difference. Widmore wants what it best for the Island. Ben wants what is best for the Island as long as he benefits and can lead. As soon as he had to give up his position to Locke he tried to kill him multiple times and was finally successful. There are some instances where Widmore seems a little excessively hostile, but I feel that his actions can be explained if we knew the whole story.

Another aspect we must cover is the new story telling form that Lost will undoubtedly employ. The producers have hinted that like the past few years they will employ a new narrative. Seasons one through three used flashbacks, then season four started and took advantage of the flashforward. Seasons five started a new thing where they toggled between the past and the future. I think that this season will have the characters flashing through alternate timelines. (This will include their bodies shifting through time, or maybe just their conscious, like Desmond’s conscious time jumping in season four. Maybe that is why Desmond’s mind did that in season four, to prepare us for this happening again later in season six). That is what will allow certain dead characters to “legitimately” reappear for a short while. I believe that is why Jacob gave Hurley a guitar when he was going back to the Island. Not only did it help recreate the circumstances of the original flight, but I feel that he knew that Charlie will briefly show up. My prediction: the season will open up with Oceanic Flight 815 (the original flight) safely landing in LA. (This will help meet the shock value that they usually have for the first scene of the season opener). From then on they will toggle through alternate timelines for a short while before they end up syncing up with the correct timeline.

I’m going to make a finale prediction now too. Each finale has an explosion, some bigger than others, but they are generally getting bigger and bigger. (1:the hatch door, 2:the Swan Station, 3:barrels at their camp and the window of the Looking Glass, thus flooding it, 4: a whole freighter, 5: the hydrogen bomb). With all that being said, what is bigger than a hydrogen bomb going off? How about a natural explosion? Maybe a volcano? Yes, there is a volcano on the Island. Like I’ve said over and over, they rarely do and say things for no reason. In the season three episode “The Man Behind The Curtain,” young Ben is told that there is a volcano on the Island that hasn’t gone off in a “very long time.” I’m not sure yet what the ramifications will be yet for it going off, but I think it will.

One last finale prediction, the series will end with the “pattern” I’ve already theorized about starting all over. Is no one else intrigued that the show has suddenly picked up a great number of kids? We already know Walt is special and goodness knows they talked Aaron up so much to be something special. If they don’t revisit that then that whole story arc and dilemma will have been made up just to scare and intrigue us for a while. Jin and Sun had Ji Yeon. Desmond and Penelope had Charlie too. I think due to the strange time abilities of the Island these children will show up at the end of the show grown up or we will see the future when they are naturally grown and they will have their turn on the Island. We’ve already seen how the Island likes to keep it all in the family. I may be off a little, but I’m sure the kids will be of the utmost importance.

Finally, a few quick thoughts. We cannot overlook the strong Greek mythological overtones throughout the series. I think that explains why a loophole was the only way for the nemesis to kill Jacob. The Greek gods used heroes to do their work; there were rules about how the gods could intervene. Will other characters be used as pawns by the Island “gods” to do things just as the ancient Greek heroes were? Look for Greek symbolism to help predict things. Also, if the Island ends up having a name I guess it would be Ogygia. This is an island in the Odyssey where Odysseus was kept for seven years by the nymph Calypso. It is said that you can’t find Ogygia twice. So, similar to the Island, it is hard to find. However, our Island differs since people have come to it multiple times. Not a perfect metaphor but a possibility. Although, I do not have a lot a stock in this postulation, however, I guess it could happen. My guess, they have gone this long without naming it, they will not now.

Now I do not know when the statue of Taweret was destroyed, Ben claims it was like it currently is (just a foot) when he first arrived on the Island, but who knows. If that is true then it will most likely throw this theory out the window. However, I cannot help but wonder if its destruction was what made it impossible for women to have babies on the Island. After all Taweret is the goddess of childbirth and fertility. It just seems weird for this possible connection to be there and it not really connect.

My final prediction before the season starts deals with a medical procedure that many may have forgotten about that took place a little over halfway through season four, Jack’s appendectomy. When writers strike happened during the fourth season the producers went on record saying they had to put off some things they wanted to do in season four until season five, like furthering the freighter folks’ flashbacks. They said though that they needed some things to happen in season four, like Jack’s appendectomy. My question: why is an appendectomy so important? I thought it would end up being more important when he was off Island, like somehow it would be revealed that he “lost” his appendix while allegedly being lost at sea for 3 months, thus exposing up their lie. That never happened though. I have two ideas. One, if they do start flashing through alternate timelines, it will be like their whole bodies are shifting, he’ll notice a scar on his body which will affect these alternate timeline flashings. Call it a constant. I don’t know; a weak theory I know but go with it. Or maybe that story is finished and it simply was done to show that Jack had fallen out of the Island’s good graces and allowed to get sick which is unusual since it normally heals you and prevents you from being sick. The second is probably most likely, but who knows!

That is all! I know this has been a very lengthy post but I hope you enjoyed it and I hope it got you thinking. Please, respond with any comments, questions or theories of your own. Until next week when we have seen a little bit more Lost, Namaste.


Friday, January 22, 2010

What Exactly Has Been Going ON

The purpose of this entry is to remind us all of what has happened on Lost so far. Undertaking that feat would take hundreds of printed pages to do so I am just going to hit the highlights, particularly moments from last season that I believe we might need to know for this coming season. My next blog entry will use this one to help explain my hypothesis for this climactic final season.

Before we delve into this I want to take care of a few housekeeping items. Occasionally for quick references I might use or It should be noted that I do not view these as scholarly and absolute but this is just a blog and I will use the reference section on the two sites to make sure what is mentioned is factual. Using these sites make it quick and easy to check things (so long as they are used correctly) and will help in the discussion.

Season five (last year’s season) proved to be a total game changing performance. Since Lost has been scheduled since 2007 to end after six seasons I expected the fifth season to be a stall, however, it was anything but that. The producers decided to introduce a new form of narrative. For the most part they abandoned flashbacks and flashforwards and told the story from two timelines’ perspectives with half the cast in 1977 and the other half in 2007.

The season began with those who remained on the island flashing through time on the island. What I don’t understand is did only our survivor flash through and not the Others. Even Juliet who had been an Other flashed through time with our survivors. Why was she not immune? Does anyone else think Jacob might have had a hand in the time traveling of our characters? A famous line from the series does say, “What if everything that happened here, happened for a reason?”

Anyway, those left on the island ended up residing on the island from 1974-1977 by integrating into the DHARMA Initiative. This was an incredible way to allow the viewers a more detailed picture of what the DHARMA Initiative was about. Those who escaped the Island spent the first half of the season figuring out how to get back to the Island and once they returned some were split between 1977 and 2007. Those in 1977 spent the remainder of the season trying to figure out how to get to the correct timeline to reunite with their other people.

In short, let’s sum up some of the mysteries we have gotten major light shed on or altogether resolved during this past season.

The purpose of the DHARMA station The Arrow was revealed to be a place where defensive strategies were developed.

We have gotten closer to seeing the temple.

We have seen more ancient sites on the Island including some ancient tunnels, some of which that lead to the Smoke Monster’s lair.

We learned how Rousseau got to the Island, that the monster is what she thought was the sickness and how Montand lost his arm.

Radzinsky was shown to be the mastermind behind the Swan. We knew this name because he worked with Kelvin Inman (who made Sayid interrogate his own people during Desert Storm) in the Swan station. Inman went on to work with Desmond in the Swan as well and told him about Radzinsky.

It seems that John Locke was only ever “special” because he said he would be and people such as Richard Alpert believed him. He self-promoted himself like none other. (This all happened before Locke was born due to the time skipping effects of the island.)

We saw that John Locke may not have been resurrected on the Island but he was when he first became paralyzed.

This season we finally saw how John Locke died, as a pawn in an increasingly dark plot by some unnamed ominous, presumably evil figure.

It was finally revealed how Dr. Chang lost his arm as already alluded to in the old DHARMA station films we saw in Season 2.

Apparently Jacob has the Others in his service as well as Ilana and her people who are off the island but knowledgeable about it. Have they been there before?

The cabin was burned.

The four-toed statue was finally seen in all of its glory and revealed to be of the Egyptian goddess Taweret.

Jacob was finally seen as well as his apparent rival. Also, Jacob was documented as having a “touching” history with many of the survivors of Oceanic 815.

Jack and all those in 1977 just detonated the hydrogen bomb in order to keep the Swan station from ever being built and thus hoping to unravel time so that their original flight from 2004 would land safely and none of the misery from the last 3 years of their lives would have ever take place. Ignorance is bliss! Or did they create the incident that we heard about in the Swan’s orientation video?

Jacob was killed by Ben Linus under the orders of Jacob’s nemesis who has apparently been posing as Locke since Locke’s corpse came back to the island midway through the season after himself being killed by Ben.

While all of these mysteries are very fun an entertaining Lost, at its heart, is a character show. On that note perhaps the most important thing to take away from this season is the change in character dynamics, most importantly Jack. The season two premiere entitled, “Man of Science, Man of Faith” has aptly encompassed the relationship that existed between Jack Shephard and John Locke respectively. Jack has to see things to believe them, does not believe in destiny or anything that is out of the ordinary. Locke is not afraid to embrace the mysteries of the unknown and has faith in the island’s power and will. However, due to Locke’s death, letter to Jack, and Jack opening his eyes to things, he slowly started to become a man of faith as season five progressed. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic carries out through the final season.

Next week I will use much of what was just covered to make my hypothesis and theorize about what we can expect this year. Until then, Namaste.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Way Things Are Going To Go Down

ABC's Lost has been a show that has, well for lack of a better term, captivated the minds of people all over the world for the last six years. It has imprinted itself as a dynamic force in pop culture that is about to come to a close. The point of this blog will be to analyze and hypothesize about the show during its final climactic season.

Lost is a show built on multiple levels. If you like action stories, you get that. There are guns, fights, and explosions (even a hydrogen bomb!) around every corner. If you like character stories then you definitely get that. From its inception, Lost began with an interesting format of having each episode focus on a character’s life. For the first three seasons this meant that you would spend each episode toggling back and forth between the present and a flashback to better understand a character’s story and development. However, in true Lost fashion, they changed the game by introducing a rare technique, the flash-forward. After introducing the concept of toggling between the present and the future of a character we were able to be teased to see how they will get from their present state to the future story that we are seeing unravel. Lost’s choice of storytelling devices never ceases to amaze, perplex and keep its viewership guessing.

Certainly if you are interested in mystery stories then Lost is for you as well. The franchise has made a living off of mysteries. The whole show is based around an airplane that crashes on a remote island believed to be in the South Pacific. This island is steeped in a history, mystery and mythology that draw on many elements of real history, mythology and literature. Many of the common mysteries that bug the audience are as follows:

Where is the island and what are its powers?

What is the deal with all of the Egyptian hieroglyphics and references?

Why does a certain character, Richard Alpert, never age?

Who is this seemingly omnipotent and omniscient character known as Jacob?

What is the smoke monster?

What are the whispers that are occasionally heard in the jungle?

Why is there a 19th century slave trade ship known as the Black Rock located in the dead middle of the jungle?

What is the whole point of the show? For what purpose are the characters brought to the island?

All of these and more have had us guessing for years now, but no more. We will soon have all of our answers, and that is the point of this blog. As already mentioned, Lost is built on multiple levels. You can enjoy the surface level of watching people try to accomplish a mission. However, I find that the smarter and more knowledgeable you are, the more you get out of the show. Lost is full of allusions and allegories to literature and pop culture beyond number. Some character’s names are biblical or literary. Even story lines are sometimes near copies or at the very least allusions to other stories, some of which are fiction, others historical. Lost thrives off of religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and so much more.

I hope to analyze and give my take on the week’s episode. Sometimes outside sources will be consulted, references and listed to aid in better understanding what is going on so that we can best understand and enjoy this final season to what I believe to be the best show on television (I know, I’m a little biased).

This was just an introductory post. From here on out the usual post will appear on Wednesday or Thursday. It will analyze the literary worth and allusions in each episode and show what mysteries we have gotten answered so far. I will also be hypothesizing as we go along. The show starts on February 2nd, which means we have two more weeks without Lost. Next week I plan to give a brief recap of last season and list some things we should take away from that one to get ready for the new season. The week after that I will give my hypothesis on what I think will happen for season 6. From then on each week’s format will be the same, analyze and hypothesize. I hope you feel free to comment on anything as we make the journey to the end. Until then, Namaste.