Again… we open with an opening of an eye.  But who’s eye this time?  Jack’s eye.  Again.  But this time it is young flashback Jack in a schoolyard, just after getting punched in the face.  This is the furthest into the past a flashback has gone yet, because we need to go further into the past to pave a way to the future.  To understand these characters, we need to know them intimately.

This episode is wonderfully Shakespearean.  All of the elements of a great play of the Globe are present.  An unsure leader is literally haunted!  Sins of the father are visited upon the son!  Insanity plagues the hero!  Magical islands!  A clandestine meeting with a wise old man in the woods!  It is all here.

“Stay down! Your choice. Walk away now and you won’t get your ass kicked.” Jack of course doesn’t listen.

From the schoolyard, we cut to present day on the beach.  Charlie runs up screaming for help.  “Somebody’s out there!”  He points to the water.  Jack being the hero that he is, without thought to his well-being, rushes into the sea as Charley eerily mumbles to himself “I don’t swim.”  We’re all going to find out the extent of your swimming capabilities soon enough Charlie…

Jack makes it to the thrashing person who is revealed to be Boone.  Momentarily satisfied with his heroism of the day, he is about to make for shore, when hark, he hears another scream.  Another person is even further out.  A woman.  Jack decides to bring Boone to shore before going back for the woman.  She drowns.  Her name was Joanna.

Jack has already established himself as the hard decision-making-leader…  He will do what it takes to keep the camp safe.  He will do what he can for people right up to and sometimes beyond rationality.  At that point he has proven that he is  willing to cross lines that doctors generally won’t.

In the next scene we see the foundation for Jack’s often times crippling fear.  His father Christian commits a horrifying crime in the study with his words, by offering the most terrifying advice to a young black-eyed Jack.  “Don’t choose Jack.  Don’t decide.  You don’t want to be a hero.  You don’t want to try and save everyone, because when you fail…   You just don’t have what it takes.”  Wow.  Talk about a mind screw.  Worst Father of the Year Award goes to Christian Shepherd.  What path would this encounter put a person on if they are experiencing a Joseph Campbell story arc?  The redemptive path to prove themselves worthy?  A path to prove he has what it takes.  I’ve been on that path of proving yourself to others, and it can bring you  far, but the aggressive fires of proving your self don’t last as long as fires created by positive enthusiasm.  Jack seems to, from this moment, take the path of proving himself, just to spite his father, and it leads to multiple complete emotional breakdowns as he tries to prove that he can be the hero who has what it takes.

Dad?

When the man who you NEED to prove yourself to is dead, what do you do?  You hope to crash on a magical island of course.  Jack has seen his dead father twice on the island.  Why has he not talked about this?  He is a man of science.  He thinks it is a head injury or post-traumatic stress.   Like Hamlet being led by the nose and the words of the specter of his dead father, Jack follows Christian into the jungle.  Rather than looking for words of wisdom, I think Jack is looking for a showdown.  He wants answers.  He wants to know:

1. “How did you die?”

2. “Why did you leave mom?”

3. “How are you alive?”

4. And that which he’ll never ask at this point in his Island life, “am I good enough for you now?”

The phrase “The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son” can be translated and interpreted many ways.  I like to think that it simply means that children learn from and mimic what they see in their parents, thus are doomed to repeat their mistakes.  Jack spends his entire life fighting this very natural urge.  He does follow his father into adulthood by becoming a doctor, but he wants to be more than a mender.  In one way, he simply wants to surpass his father, and prove that he is better than he.  At the same time, he wants to be a hero to his patients.  He wants to dispel the darkness others feel, and if he fails because he doesn’t have what it takes, he’ll deal with it.

John "Prospero" Locke

The use of a family squabble is wonderfully Shakespearean.  Every great play written by the Bard, at its heart, is simply a family squabble.  Some are more serious, like Hamlet, Richard III or Romeo and Juliet, but others are playful, like the Taming of the Shrew.  Like Hamlet, Jack can’t live up to the vision he thinks his dead dad had for him.   There is a plane crash in a far off land, which is very much like Twelfth Night, where people try to assume new identities and cast away old skins.  Also in the Twelfth Night, we had siblings that were separated for so long that they no longer recognize each other at first glance, similar to Claire and Jack.  The island is a magical place where transformations take place as they did in a Midsummer’s Night Dream.  Some can even harness the magic as Prospero did in the Tempest, or like Locke to heal his legs.

"...God knows how long we're gonna be here. But if we can't, live together... we're gonna die alone."

The Alice in Wonderland references of “chasing a white rabbit” were a little blunt, but perfect at the same time.  It is a universal story that evokes a very broad reaction, whether it is Hunter S. Thompson yelling “White Rabbit!” uncontrollably or John Locke speaking calmly in the woods like a kind grandfather, we get the point.  We are all searching for something.   It really was a perfect way to spell it out for the audience, because who doesn’t love Alice in Wonderland or  feel like they are on the other side of the Looking Glass and looking in from time to time?

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Added bonus! (sort of)  In 1999 I chased a white rabbit that led me to making the short film Alice Underground.  It was an experimental film shot entirely in still photography.  We used actors and print models to transmute Lewis Carroll’s tale to the streets of NYC.  It screened at various film festivals between 1999 and 2010, including The Hampton’s International film Fest.  Here is the trailer for that film, because I won’t torture you with the whole thing.

Tabula Rasa is possibly the most over used episode title in the history of television.  There was an episode of Buffy that used that same title where the Scooby gang suffered from temporary amnesia.  Then there was a Battlestar Galactica episode, a Law and Order episode, Criminal Minds, Justice League, Stargate, and even Heroes.  I’m sure there are even more.

Why this fondness for the title? Is it because it sounds cool?  Well, I think it is particularly apt in the case of Lost.  Tabula Rasa means ‘Blank Slate.’  As far back as the fourth century Aristotle wrote of the unscribed tablet, or blank slate with regard to the human mind in his De Anima.  However, it wasn’t until, no surprise here, John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding in the 17th century, that the idea became popular in modern philosophy. Simply put, the theory states that at infancy we are a blank slate.  Our personality, behavior, and intelligence are products of the many experiences that we absorb and make part of ourselves over the course of our lives.  Basically he believed that from birth we have all the potential in the world, we just need to strive to do better and be better.

Interestingly, over on good old Wiki, I was reading about the Roman tabulas, which were made of wax.  After use, these tablets were heated and wiped clean so they could be used again and again.  Is this more applicable to our castaways?  Were they wiped clean by the fires of their ordeal?  I think they were.  Like human etch-a-sketches, their sins were shaken away by the turbulence and crash.

The focus of the flashbacks in Tabula Rasa is Kate.  Kate desperately wants a go at a new life.  She can’t have that blank slate though. There are two loose ends that tie her to her past, Agent Mars and a WANTED flyer in his pocket.  She is so close to her fresh start when Mars opens his eyes and starts talking to Jack, that it must be infuriating!

When she returns to camp, as a viewer you start to wonder which side of “Right” Kate is going to fall on.  The one man who can spoil her chance is at death’s door.

Kate goes to Jack and asks him “Can you put him out of his misery?”

Just the suggestion gets Jack’s goat!  He stomps right up in her face and taunts her.

“I saw your mug shot Kate! I’m not a murderer!”

Has Kate Lost Jack’s trust?

The episode progresses to the last few minutes, where Kate talks to Mars alone.  She wants to make sure that Ray, the man who turned her in, got his reward.  Through this moment, we see the redemptive qualities of her character.  She’s done something horrific.  Something so bad that it caused her to run all the way to Australia, and for someone to go after her!  Still, she still has the capacity for caring, love, and understanding.  She can’t be THAT bad.  Can she?

But then Mars asks if he is going to die?

Kate, tears appearing a little, replies “Yes” while nodding.

With the question “Well are you going to do it?” Mars establishes what he thinks of Kate’s capabilities.  He thinks a mercy kill should be easy based on whatever she’s done.

The climax comes when Jack realizes that Kate is in with Mars, and she has a gun.  He suddenly thinks the worst.  He thinks that she’ll do anything to protect her secret.  Running to the tent, he sees her casually exit.  Relief washes over until…. BLAM.  A shot rings out and Sawyer exits the tent declaring that he’s done what Jack couldn’t while territorially peeing all over the camp.  He claims that Mars “Wanted it, and hell, he asked me.”

What’s that?  Then they hear a gurgle from inside the tent.

Mars is still alive.

Crap!

Jack enters the tent and does what needs to be done.  He euthanizes Mars with his bare hands.  Jack once again proves that he will always do what it takes, even if it eventually leads to horrible beards and too many pills to dull the atrocities he will commit in the name of doing the right thing.

In a cathartic moment the next morning Kate offers to tell Jack what she did.  She wants to come clean.  Jack stops her, saying “I don’t want to know. It doesn’t matter Kate.  Who we were… What we did before this…Three days ago we all died.  We should all be able to start over.”  So, their tabulas are rasa’d.

I’d like to take the musical montage at the end and break down the just visuals for a moment.  The song is ‘Wash Away’ by Joe Purdy.

Watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmWDN9-ySyk

Lyrics here:

I got troubles oh, but not today
Cause they’re gonna wash away
They’re gonna wash away

And I have sins Lord, but not today
Cause they’re gonna wash away
They’re gonna wash away

And I had friends oh, but not today
Cause they’re done washed away
They’re done washed away

And oh, I’ve been cryin’
And oh, I’ve been cryin’
And oh, no more cryin’
No, no more cryin’ here

We get along Lord, but not today
Cause we gonna wash away
We gonna wash away

And I got troubles oh, but not today
Cause they gonna wash away
This old heart gonna take them away

The lyrics are a pretty perfect fit with the tabula rasa motif.

We start with Hurley.  He is literally washing something, pouring the sand from his shoe.  He is serving a dual purpose here.  Hurley is listening to the music in this scene which makes it diegetic, meaning that it is within the narrative and not external to the story.  So, by listening to the song, he seems to have control of the environment, like he will in the END….  really big stretch I know, but who’s to say they didn’t have the basics to the end figured out right in the beginning.

Cut to a nice tracking shot of Jin.

Jin walks up to a sleeping Sun and shows unconditional love for the first time.  Why can’t he do this in front of others, or even in front of her?  The relationship is so strained, but you see a slim chance for happiness for the first time.  Are Jin’s troubles rasa’d and washing away?

Cut to Shannon in a medium shot sitting on the beach.

Boone gives his sister a pair of sunglasses the he repaired for her.  They too have a chance at happiness.  What would make them happy? I don’t know.  But it seems that there could have been a chance.

Cut To Sayid walking.

Sayid throws Sawyer an apple as he walks past.  They might hate each other, but there is a respect that Sayid has for a person that does what needs doing.  He respects Sawyer’s willingness to act.

Cut to.

Charley changes his writing on his fingers from “Fate” to “Late.”  What is late?  His self-respect?  Him getting to California?  Is he late for a date?  I know he’ll be late for his destiny… or at least put it off for a bit.

The camera pans down to Claire.  Maybe he feels that he was meeting her too late?

Cut to:

A beautiful family reuniting.  Michael walks up with Vincent the dog on a leash.  Walt is ecstatic!   They frolic for a moment in the island sun and everyone is happy!  BUT, this is a tainted reunion.  Michael has established something about his character.  He is weak.  He has taken credit for this ‘miracle’ of finding the dog.  He is willing to live a lie as long as it gets him what he wants.  In this case, it is the love and respect of Walt, but later it will be a lot more, and it will cost other characters A LOT more….. and someone notices this.

Cut over to and track around a pensive Locke.  Locke orchestrated this beautiful family moment, and he doesn’t seem to care for it.  He seems to see what his meddling has done.  He sees that Michael might be useful to him…   He might even know at this point that Walt is special.  After all, the island talks to John.

Side note:  As I watched this episode I kept feeling Deja-Vu.  I finally figured out what it was after a bit of brainstorming…  It reminded me of the Gilligan’s Island episode “Not Guilty” when a crate washed up in the Lagoon that had old Honolulu newspapers as wrapping for coconuts.  On one of the pages was a story stating that each of the castaways is wanted for questioning in relation to a murder that took place the day that they left!  I wonder if the writers’ room talked about the parallels while they were brainstorming?  That would be funny.

 

They come, fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same."

It begins again.  Eight months later, I’ve gone back to the island with the knowledge of everything that is to come.  While re-watching the pilot, I paid close attention to two elements: Introductions and the concept of fate as applied to the castaways.

1. Introductions – I wanted to keep a close eye on who latches onto who first.  Boone and Jack saved Rose’s life.  Jack paired Hurley with Claire so Hurley could keep her safe.  Sayid enlisted Charley to build a fire.  Shannon took care of herself and her own needs.  Locke, on his new magic legs, rushed to help Jack pull people from wreckage.  And when the dust had settled, Jack wandered off into the woods like a hurt cat so he could tend to his own wounds.  That is when Kate comes walking out of the forest to complicate the rest of his life.  And, of course, the Smoke monster was heard but not seen going for a walk through the jungle.

"Kate, meet the Smoke Monster. Smoke Monster... Kate."

2.The Idea of Fate – The first night on the Island Charley writes the word FATE across four of his fingers on pieces of white tape.  People often associate fate with something bad.  The phase “accept your fate” carries with it a connotation that you have to accept something less than desirable.  This is because so few of us actually have a fate in store for us that is something like, say, King Arthur.  He needed to accept his fate after freeing Excalibur, but of course his fate meant he got to be king, marry Guinevere and rule from Camelot.  His fate also entailed his wife cheating on him with his best friend, having an incestuous bastard child, and then killing that child.  It was a tough life and a sorry fate but a grand fate nevertheless.

While paying attention to the featured characters in the first part of the pilot, I noticed that regret and acceptance are huge plot points.  They all seem to have a guilty look about them as they tend to their wounds.  What do they have to feel guilty about?  Well, maybe EVERYTHING!   They all think the crash is their fault in some sort of karmic way.  Hurley believes that the cursed numbers crashed the plane.  Sun believes that her cheating led her to this place and she deserves all the horror of the island.  Claire thinks that she is on the island because she chose to give her child away.  Kate is on the island because she is running from her crimes.  Locke believe this was the price to regain his legs.

Then there is Jack.  Jack carries the literal weight of the world on his back.  He is the King Arthur of this story right from the start.  He might not believe that it is all his fault, but he believes he can fix it all.

In an ensemble story, it is always important to introduce your characters early.  If I’m writing a screenplay I like to get all my primary characters into the first five to ten minutes.  Sometimes it is difficult to do that.  To convincingly weave all of your characters into a story efficiently and quickly might feel contrived.  One tool that I used recently was having all the primary characters in their various homes, jobs, offices, all watching the same television program about the main character of the story.  So, I was able to link all of their interests and knowledge of the subject, and as they meet, it is already established that they have this common thread.

Lost introduced all the primary characters with organic ease.  All of their quirks and traits were prevalent right from the start.  Using the crash as the event that relates all the characters is brilliant in that the writers can constantly go back to that one moment and tell another character’s story of who, what, where, when and how they found themselves on flight 815.  All at once it is simple and brilliant.

I’m going to have fun re-watching.

I have a new Lost theory…  I know it doesn’t matter anymore…  but who cares.  I’ll share it after watching part two of the pilot.

I watched “Live together Die Alone,” the finale to Season 2, last night, because I wanted to watch the implementation of the fail-safe key again.  I saw it, and had a whole slew of other thoughts including a few theories about what we’ll see in the “The End” episode on Sunday May 23rd.

SNOWGLOBE!

1. The boat “The Elizabeth” is discovered adrift off the coast of the island with an extremely intoxicated Desmond within.  Desmond wearily returns to the beach camp to declare “We are stuck inside a bloody snow globe!”   What an interesting metaphor.  A Snow globe is what?  It is a keepsake from a journey.  They sell them in gift shops at tourist attractions.  Is the island a keepsake of a higher being?

2. I found another reason why I sympathize with Desmond:  Desmond is being released from his court martial jail sentence.  Revealed as he retrieves his personal belongings are the picture of himself with Penny in better times, as well as a copy of Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, which he brilliantly has saved for a poetic and dismal reason.  He states that he has “read every wonderful word written by Mr. Charles Dickens,” and he wants this book to be the last book he reads before he dies.

I can really appreciate this sentiment.  I recently bought the Antoine Doinel Box set of DVDs by Francois Truffaut.  Five films made over the course of a lifetime and career about one character living life, falling in love, failing at love, succeeding in business, and basically being a flawed human being.  I watched the first four, and could not bring myself to watch the fifth for fear of reaching the end.  Truffaut is dead, and unfortunately in our world, dead really is dead.  There will be no more Doinel.  I waited until a perfect Sunday afternoon and with a good glass of red wine I watched it, and I can never do that again for the first time.  I appreciate Desmond’s calculated patience.

Familiar Grouping to the "What they Died For" Episode?

3. Jacob’s Influence and The grouping of characters – Jacob gave a list to Richard, who in turn gave it to Benjamin, who then gave it to Michael.  What was on this list?  Four names.  Jack Shepherd, Kate Austin, John Ford, and Hugo Reyes.  Jacob knew it would come down to them.  Jacob wanted Ben to take them so he could test them.  Further, the other grouping of candidates in this episode, that fails in their task, mirroring the final season, is Sun, Jin, and Sayid.  Taking Desmond’s boat around the island in a effort to obtain the upper hand against the Others, turns out to be a wild goose chase.

"Hey, that's my belt!" That is also awfully familiar to MIB throwing his knife through the air to show Jacob the magnetic power near the well...

4. The philosophical conflict –  of whether or not to push the button in the swan station between John, Desmond, Mr. Eko, and Charlie, is mirrored in whether or not to let Smokey/ MIB leave the island. The castaways are divided.  John and Mr. Eko face fundamental differences over what to do in the hatch.  Faith versus Science versus faith in science versus man in the hatch.  John has switched modes of thinking, not because of any sudden transformation into a realist, but because he is having a crisis of faith.  He doubts himself and that terrifies them.  The all around lack of focus and determination leads to a stalemate that ultimately costs them their precious hatch.  The only thing that saves all of their lives and the entire world is Desmond turning his fail-safe key.  OR did it just blow them all up, so they could all start over again?

"What is that?" "This is the only other way out partner… It’s the fail-safe."

5. The fail-safe key.  Kelvin, when explaining underneath the Swan Station, asks Desmond if he would have the courage to take his finger out of the dam and blow the whole thing up instead?  The panel over the fail-safe lock reads:

What is the system?  The Computer System?  The Swan Station System?  The entire Island System?  The Entire Solar System?  The Entire Dimensional/Universal System that skewed off because of the ‘The Incident?’  A Pocket Universe growing off our own like a bubble?

In the sideways universe, Desmond is enacting a FINAL fail-safe.  Being unique in the entire world with his immunity to electromagnetic energies makes him perfect in his singular ability to enact this plan.  He subconsciously retained all his memories of the former existence/ universe.    All he needed was the right jolt, in the form of a deja-vu like experience almost drowning with Charlie, to bring them to the surface.  The plan that he foresaw when Charles Widmore trapped him in the EM chamber and bathed him in deadly levels of electromagnetic energy is at his disposal once more.

So, one could say, that in the Sideways universe Desmond himself is the Fail-safe key, but is Locke the lock that needs opening.  He did say that He was ‘trying to free’ Mr. Locke as he beat Ben in the School parking lot.  Does Desmond need Locke?  Does John hold some necessary element to the Fail-safe Protocol in the Sideways Universe?  Will it take the two of them together to set the world right?  Can they work together?

As I predicted very early on this season (Link) it seems that the island story is going to play to the end, and the Sideways story will begin from that end.  So it would benefit any true Lostie worth his or her weight in Dharma Beer to go back and watch all of the sideways stuff again…

But, what is the plan in the Sideways universe?

I have an idea…  I think Jack, on the island, is going to fail spectacularly.  I think it is all going to go sooooo unbelievably wrong, that the island is going to be utterly destroyed, and Smokey is going to get away into the world.  In this second and final incident (in the original Lost universe at least), brought on by the destruction of the source, so much energy is going to be released that it will create the sideways universe, a mirror universe in which things happen slightly differently than in the original universe.  (In a past entry posted before the premiere this season, I go into the concepts of brilliant Physicist Michio Kaku and how much energy it would take to create a parallel or tangent universe.  You could read that, or go watch below)  A new universe will be good for some, because they are alive now, but not for everyone, because Smokey is loose, and will have tainted the entire universe.  A bit of him is in everything in the sideways universe.  Eww Gross.

So, that said, I think the new fail-safe plan is quite simply how to get the djini (or smoke monster) back in the bottle in the Sideways Universe.

Another (probably not last…) theory – Desmond Can’t die because of his love for Penny.  The Source (as I think I understood it) is the parent of all life.  A bit of it is in every living thing.  To give a piece of itself to us all is a sacrifice of love.  When it comes in contact with Desmond turning the fail-safe key, it says to itself “You are so Awesomely in Love!!!  You are not going to die!  I am going to put it all back together again, and I’m just going to place you a few hundred feet away from where you were when the hatch imploded….  And TaDa!!!  Oh yeah, and I hope you don’t mind, but clothes are too complicated right now…”

"So the hatch like blew off your underwear?"

What a crazy and fun show this has been…

I’ll leave you with a clip attempting to explain Inflation Theory (You need to go to Youtube to watch it…  They disabled embedding.  It is really worth it though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qVU2ea57GQ&feature=PlayList&p=55A0D60754E059FE&playnext_from=PL&index=3

I’d like to take a look at who is still standing as we enter the final week of Lost and look forward to the next to last episode, “What they Died For.”.

Who will Live?

Who will Die?

Who will Live forever?!?!

Jack – The everyman in every sense of the word.

Jack embodies our best and very often our worst.  If Jack was to die we would lose our connection to the story.  He is not always the narrator or voice of the tale, but he is the most human.  Will he be the final replacement for Jacob?  It seems a little too pat and dry to me.  Everything points to Jack being the new protector, and I’ve learned from years of this show, that you can not trust these writers or producers to take the obvious or easy way out.  I would say that the chances of Jack being the replacement are slim to none, but the chance of him sacrificing himself at the last moment to save the remaining Castaways are pretty good (3:1) because he has been looking for absolution since the first frame of the show. Jack being the immortal replacement…  5:1.

Sawyer – The conman who is simultaneously on the road to redemption and the bumpy road to revenge.

Sawyer may not want redemption.  It might have been Kate’s influence that put him on the less traveled redemption road in the first place. Take Kate out of the mix and his need for revenge might overpower his desire for redemption.  He is the most likely to be manipulated into ending the lives of a few more castaways.  In the heat of the moment, Sawyer has been known to cross over to the Dark side.  Sawyer’s death is very likely in my opinion.  I foresee Sawyer committing some sort of atrocity and in the midst of his self-loathing he will end his own life to save the remaining castaways. (Dead?…  even odds / Sawyer being the immortal replacement? Not a chance in the island)

Kate – America’s Sweetheart.

Story-wise, Kate has been treated like ‘the prize’ since the beginning.  Now we have ‘the source’ as Jacob’s mom called it as well.  Who will get the source and who will get Kate?  Is Kate the second place prize?  So, from a writing stand-point, I think Kate will make it to the end, relatively unscathed.  However, Kate could still be used in the cosmic game of MIB and Jacob.  Even though she is not a candidate, she still has a position of power.  Multiple candidates like, love, and respect her. If Kate dies, it will really be the beginning of the end.  Everything will come unhinged.  More on this below, but it has to do with Claire. (Odds….  I just don’t know.   Kate is like winning three consecutive rounds in the card game Asshole, and getting to make a rule.  Kate makes her own rules and odds)

Hurley – The guy everybody loves.

Hurley was born for this adventure.  He is right where he belongs.  His ‘luck,’ be it good or bad, has led him to this moment in time.  He will be integral to how everything plays out.  Will he survive though?  I don’t know.  When the island no longer needs you, it tends to toss you aside pretty easily.  I think there is a very good chance that Hurley could see all of the souls stuck on the island gathered to thank him for listening as they welcome him to the afterlife.  On the other hand, Hurley is such a fan favorite, that it could be too much for the writers to off Hurley.  I’m on the fence here.  I say 10:1 chance of Hurley dying, but he will be very important to how it plays out.  I do, however think that there is a very good chance that Richard will finally be able to join his wife in the afterlife, leaving Hurley to mediate between the living and deceased island residents for the extended future.  (Dying 10:1, Living forever as the new Richard Alpert mediator EVEN)

MIB/ Flocke / Smokey – The Disney Villain.

His time is done.  He will die.  That is what he wants anyway.

He has had the time to plan this out to the tiniest detail.  I think it will all begin with MIB/ Smokey giving Claire a very serious order.

(Dead?  Even odds)

Richard – The Mediator.

Richard has been afraid of paying for his crime of passion for hundreds of years.  Someone is going to tell him it is all right to let go.

Richard will be allowed to pass on into the afterlife.

(Dead?  Even.  Immortal?  Not for much longer.)

Claire – The crazy one.

Claire lost her marbles.  She’ll need to get them back to survive the coming conflict.  If she regains her senses, there is a good chance of her getting off the island to where she can be reunited with her son.  If she remains crazy, she is a goner.  She is the literal wild card that MIB/Smokey has kept nearby, just in case his well laid plan goes awry.  Which it has!  MIB will let Claire off her leash for the purpose of killing Kate.  Kate is the glue that holds the castaways together.  With Kate gone, I give it ten minutes before they start killing each other. Also, hear me out here; there is a slight chance of Claire living forever. The MIB and Jacob were siblings.  They were perfectly suited to guard each other as they protect the source from the outside world.  Clair and Jack, who have very different worldviews at this point, might be fated to assume those roles for the foreseeable future.  Clair, the yang, could potentially be the new smokey to Jack’s protector Yin.  (Dying 20:1, Eternal Life 5:1)

Miles

Miles is perfectly suited as a sacrificial lamb.  I predict that the next time we see him will be in the jungle.  Hurley will see him and walk off to say “Hey dude!  Where have you been?”  At which point, we will discover that he died off camera (EDIT) at some earlier point.  Which is great for Hurley!  Because Miles is perfectly suited to inform Hurley on what is actually going on in the afterlife on the island.  It will be like having a man on the inside of Hell!

(Dead? EVEN. Immortal? No way)

Charles – The Bad Guy?

Charles will stand revealed as working with MIB the whole time.  He will pay for all of his evil ways with his life.

The island will never be his.

(Dead?  Definitely!  Immortal?  Never.)

Desmond – The Saviour?

Desmond has been a man of science, a man of faith, a military man, a lover, a husband, a father, and now a saviour.  He has followed fate blindly and he has attempted to thwart fate.  He has a plan at this point and intends to follow it.  I can’t wait to see how it plays out.  He will survive right up to the end.  He will be reunited with Penny and his son.

(Death? 50:1.  Immortal?  Not the way this character drinks)

Ben – The man that always has a plan.

I think Ben will be one of the last men standing.  He is a survivor.  Will he ultimately pay for all of his conniving ways?  Probably, but I think he is the morally grey character that will indeed live to fight another day.  I think that when the world morphs into the sideways universe, Ben will be one of the few that fully retains his memories of what went before.  He will stand at the center of what is coming.

(Dead 100:1, Immortal? Nahhh.)

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ALSO!

I want to know what you think! We are in the home stretch! Love has been found and Lost. Babies have been born, while heroes and villains have met their demise. Miracles have occurred and horrors endured. The god-like beings of the island have had their fun.

Now, I want to know what you think.  In 100 words, or less, tell me how YOU think Lost will end!   The Lost Universe is pretty outrageous, so go wild!

Will Jack be the new Jacob?

Will Sawyer and Kate end up being Adam and Eve of the caves?

Will Desmond be able to just chill out and live the rest of his life in peace with Penny?

Will Ben be the new smokey?

The #1 Theory will receive (drumroll..dadadadadadadadadadadadadada) a guest appearance in a Lil’ Ben comic Strip!  Just forward me a pic and I’ll draw an exchange between you and that nefarious Lil’ fellow discussing your theory.  If you want, I’ll even send you the post-it that it is drawn on.

I welcome any and all ideas, and look forward to reading them. You can either post your idea as a comment to this post, or email me at ialwayshaveaplan.lee@gmail.com

I’ll post the top three on Tuesday May 18th before the episode that night.

Thanks, and enjoy tonight’s episode, “Across the Sea.”

-Rob

How will it end?!?

The following can only be considered Spoilers, if you did not watch Lost’s episode, “The Candidate” of 5.4.10. If you did not watch, please proceed directly to your couch, do not pass go and do not collect two hundred dollars, turn on your TV, fire up the DVR or On-Demand and watch immediately! Then you may come back here and we’ll talk.

I REPEAT:  DO NOT READ IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THIS PAST WEEK IN “THE CANDIDATE” EPISODE.  IT WAS REALLY GOOD.

That said… A reaction to “The Candidate” followed by with seven whys and wherefores.

Tuesday’s episode was nothing short of amazing. From beginning to end it was non-stop adventure. It is really feeling like “The Final Season.” The band was all back together again, even if it was for a very short time. There was none of that hurry-up-and-wait attitude that was plagued Lost for some time.

“Hmmmmm? Whattaya wanna do?” “I dunno. Let’s go back to the beach.”

The group finally said “enough is enough we are getting off this damn island.” With the determination of a shark they stormed the Ajira plane, only to find out it wasn’t safe to fly… That dirty rotten Widmore rigged it to blow! Okay, that’s fine. They know where the submarine is! With the same determination, they walk on to the sub, plant their castaway flag, and say, “This submarine is mine! Get me the hell off this island!”

Of course it is never as easy as that though.

Blam! Kate is shot!

Smokey takes a dip!

Sayid is blown to hell attempting to save the remaining castaways! DEAD!

Lapidus is crushed by a flying door. Assumed DEAD!

The remaining castaways find oxygen tanks and begin to swim through the tear in the sub.

But not all of them make it out alive. *Sniff sniff*

I’m Glad Jin did not leave. If he had left her after all he did to get back to her… To say the least, I would have been angry.

After all of this, the moment that really broke my heart was Hurley sobbing uncontrollably on the beach. That poor guy needs a hug.

This episode raises 7 issues for me

1. Dead is dead right? Are they all dead? Will the universe be reorganized to become the sideways universe, and will it course correct to re-insert living Jin, Sun, Lapidus, Boone, Shannon, Eko and Sayids? I don’t think dead really is dead anymore.

2. Smokey – Whose side is he really on? This seems to be at the point of a quintuple cross. If we can’t trust ANYTHING that he says, then I feel pretty manipulated. from a writing stand-point it’s almost annoyingly misleading. The only way to balance the story at this point is to have Jack outsmart the smoke monster, and re-trap him in an ash ring again.

3. Redemption – Is it enough for Sayid to commit one selfless act at the end? Will that make all of his ‘evil’ acts over the course of his life not matter anymore? I realize this is a little philosophical for TV, but so is this show sometimes.

4. Sentient Universes – In Lost, the universe is established to have a sort of grand design and/or intelligence to it. It corrects itself when something or someone is not adhering to the grand scheme of things. Example. Charlie was supposed to die at some point before drowning in the Looking Glass Station. Desmond assisted Charlie in repeatedly avoiding his rather gruesome fate(s). (The same way Desmond saved the entire universe over and over again by pressing the hatch button?…. more on that here) The universe wanted Charlie dead. He was no longer allowed to be a part of the game. This got me thinking. If the universe wanted Charlie dead, then what if the universe needed certain people alive that have died? One thing that has been eating at me about Lost is the first ten seconds of the pilot. Jack is deep in the jungle, lying on his back, and he gasps for air as his eyes snap open. How did Jack survive being thrown through the trees and landing that far from the plane? I would like to suggest, very simply, that he didn’t. Jack died in the crash of flight 815. He was dead in that very first shot, and what we saw was his resurrection. The sequence is very similar to Sayid’s resurrection in the temple. I suggest that in both cases, Jack and Sayid had not yet reached their ‘fate’ that the universe had in mind for them. And the Universe itself said “Oh crap! You’re not supposed to die yet! You still have lots of stuff to do!”

I know what you’re thinking, “MIB/Smokey/Flocke resurrected SAYID! He said he did!” Why would we at this point believe anything that MIB/Smokey/Flocke says? He has never been truthful to the castaways, the Others, or the audience. At this point we have to assume that everything Smokey says is a lie.

Eternity - The personification of the universe in Marvel Comics

5. The music box left to Claire in Christian Shepherd’s Last Will and Testament – is it the Lighthouse’s Magic Mirror/ Looking Glass of the Sideways universe? And, if it is, how much did Sideways Universe’s Christian know about everything that was going to happen, AND did that drive him to drink himself to death?! (A lot of ‘what ifs’ there)

6. One candidate will have to make a big decision soon, or maybe it will just be the last candidate standing who remains on the island with the smoke monster for the rest of his or her life, or a century, possibly a millenia? I still stand by my thoughts on Hurley’s fate. I believe he will take the place of Richard Alpert, and Richard will be released to join his wife in the afterlife.

7. More on Smokey – Nature or Nurture? Are villains created or born? Smokey has been trapped for a very long time. Of course he is going to be angry and willing to do whatever it takes to get off that island. He has been treated like a prisoner for, well, EVER. Was his evil brought on by his imprisonment or was he born that way? In the realm of comics villains and heroes switch sides constantly. Good and Evil often are not as polarized as John Locke would have you think while explaining backgammon to Walt on the beach. There are shades of gray to everything. Wolverine was a murderer when Charles Xavier brought him to the x-men. Charles saw the potential for good in him. Lex Luthor has stepped up time and again to save the world, but always reminding us that if Superman were not around he would be able to focus on doing ‘good’ by aiding mankind achieve greatness. Charles gave Wolverine the support he needed when he needed it by giving him a spot on the x-men. There was still hope for him. I bet nobody ever offered Smokey support or even a hug. He is the child locked away in the basement (or island) like in a Clive Barker story.  He was made the monster that he is today by those that locked him away. That  rhymed, so I’ll end with that today.

Thanks for reading!

More Lil’ Ben soon.  Is there anyone you’d like to see Ben meet or confront before the final Lil’ Ben?