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.

Part 1: The Source


Jacob was the protector of The Island. He did that job in an overly complicated way until Benjamin Linus was manipulated into killing him. Jacob then gave the job to Jack. Jack’s first day on the job was a rough one. The Island contains the Source. It is the eye of the island. The Source, as I’ve come to understand it, is what gives every living thing… well, life. If that is the case, it stands to reason that it is the spark that caused the first cells to spontaneously combine in the primordial amino acid ooze of the planet.

Those cells multiplied and grew, and then split off, mutated, adapted, climbed out of the muck, grew feathers, gills, rooted itself in forests, giving birth to all LIFE. The Source, in itself (in the world of Lost) is the miracle of Life. When Desmond removed the ancient ‘cork’ in the Source, it began to overheat, and the miracle of life began to overheat too.

"Ship out of Danger?" "Needs of the one outweighs the... how did that go again?"

The Source might be something akin to a nuclear power plant, where heavy water is used to keep nuclear rods at a manageable temperature while also partially protecting the surrounding area from radiation. The sheer amount of power contained in the Source requires a coolant, to keep it from overheating, expanding, and swallowing up the entire planet. That was where the mystical waters of the island came in, flowing into the cave, and down into the mouth of the Source

OR…

I had the weirdest dream. I was in the cargo hold of a plane, for like six years!

The Source might be the energy left over from the past universe which precede Lost Prime.  The statement by Christian to Jack in the church at the end of “THE END” regarding everything that happened in the Sideways universe ‘being real’ as well as the island being real had me thinking in a karmic sort of way.  It is clear that they died in the Original Lost Prime universe.  Everyone in the Church had died in Lost Prime.  In the Sideways universe,  as a gift, they got to live out their lives with their loved ones with no island, smoke monster, and significantly less tragedy.  It is hinted that it is a purgatory-like place.  I would like to suggest that it is merely the next stage upward in the many different planes of existence.  As they all passed away in Lost Prime, their spirits graduated to the next plane of existence, and as a reward for all of their sacrifices in defense of all of existence, they were granted a lifetime reprieve to love one another.  If this were the case, I suggest that the cosmic cork in the source was keeping the universe that preceded the Lost Prime universe from overcoming Lost Prime.  It is most likely a dead universe, and all of its life had graduated up to Lost Prime.  A little crazy, but so is this show.

OR…

(This is where I get a little abstract) The hole in the ground on the island might be a small gateway to another universe all together. The source could very well be the exact point at which the energy required to act as the catalyst to begin life, spilled through into the Lost world. What if, on the other side of that hole, there was an alternate reality in which the entire Lost universe was a child’s third grade science experiment? What if there is a grand designer that planned the whole thing from start to finish, sitting right on the other side of that hole. That would make the hole a wormhole of some sort. From my many hours watching Sci Fi Science on The Science Channel,

along with my new obsession, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, I understand that in order to open such a fissure in the first place, it would take so much energy that the planet would be shattered. But what if it was opened from the other end? The Lost universe would just be dealing with the energy caused by the spill over. Maybe they would just need to cork it? Also, what if the actual Laws of Nature were radically different over there? What if there were energies at work that could cause miracles to occur? Hugely extended lifespans? Sentient Energy Monsters? Time Travel? The harnessing of the energy of a person after they die, and keeping them nearby, sort of like the ghosts of the island? What if those were the energies seeping onto the island?

THE COMIC BOOK ANGLE:

FROM WIKI: In DC Comics The Source (and it is really called that in the comics) is:

Darkseid has been after the Secret of the Source and the Anti-life Equation for pretty much ever.

“The Source can be considered a shared Consciousness in the DC Comics Universe, where it is the non-religious equivalent to Buddha-nature. It is the “source” of all that exists. Alternatively, it can be considered a description of the Creator God of the Universe, a science-fiction analogue based on Judaeo-Christian doctrine. Mostly associated with the New Gods, the Source was the supposed origin of the “god-wave” that is believed to have been responsible for creating and empowering the “Gods” of the DC Universe with their divine abilities. It also seems to be partially responsible for the ability of DC residents to develop super-powers, especially those that defy physics. Lying at the edge of the known universe in the Promethean Galaxy is the Source Wall, which protects the Source, and traps all those who attempt to pass beyond it.”

Sounds really really familiar doesn’t it? I’m sure a few Issues of the New Gods were passed around the Lost Writing rooms.

The Source is something that can be theorized about for years to come.

More  tomorrow, with …

“THE END” And They All Existed Happily Ever After: Part 2 of 4

On a personal level.  The episode was amazing.  I laughed.  I wept.  I got a few emails thanking me for my  writing over the past few months and that was very touching.   I never thought what I was doing was ‘thank worthy.’  I was also told by one person that I was a part of the Lost phenomenon and that IS SO COOL THAT ANYONE THINKS THAT!  Thank you.

One of My Favorite moments:

"I'm giving it right back to you after you get that light back on!"

Just a few Labels to help you have the best possible Lost Party.

Click the link to download the perfect Dharma Beer Label as a pdf.  Below is the same as a Jpeg, but it is not as nice.  The pdf is perfectly sized to fit a beer bottle or can.

BeerOutlinedType

Or, if you are a wine drinker…  How about a bottle from Moriah Vineyards, where Desmond spent a bit of quiet time?

Enjoy an Apollo bar?

Hope these help!

No Lostie should be without some mementos from the show, and while I probably can’t afford any of the props going up for sale later this summer in auction, I can at least get a t-shirt.

I just bought:

108 Objects from Flight 815 by Nathan W. Pyle, on the http://www.threadless .com website. Cool T-shirt.

I also like the smoke buster shirt at threadless:

Then, of course there is http://damoncarltonandapolarbear.com

Where you can buy T-shirts that are limited to 815 shirts, or Limited edition prints of iconic moments from the show. I just bought This one today:

Cafe Press has a lot of cool stuff by fans for fans: http://shop.cafepress.com/losttv

For example this Standard issue Dharma Pillow…

Enjoy tonight’s episode!

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?

So, where were we?

Oh yeah.

Buffy is queen of raising the stakes.

We were talking about stagnation, story arcs, Buffy raising the stakes season after season, and the ripples this ‘stakes raising’ made in TV production ever since.  Outrageous story-lines are fine, as long as they are not impossibly outrageous within the universe you establish your story in.  In fact, if you have good writing, the more outrageous the better…

I don’t think studio execs would have ever accepted the drastic changes Lost went through from season to season, if Buffy the Vampire Slayer hadn’t set the precedents it had.  Up to that point, TV audiences had not been exposed to a show that was willing to up the ante in such an insane way, or conduct game changing tactics that completely shift the focus of the show, say to 1977 or an alternate universe.  The major difference being, Buffy was reacting to not being cancelled each season, and was continuing from where they left off last, and Lost does in fact have a larger plan.

LOST: UPPING THE ANTE –

When you start a story with 40 or so people surviving a midair catastrophe that ripped a plane in two, your work is going to be an uphill battle.  How do you top that in terms of excitement?  For starters, you establish that the plane was hundreds of miles off course.  Then you introduce strange ominous ghost-like whispers emanating from the jungle.  If you toss in a strange smoke monster that drags castaways to their apparent doom, then you are almost there.  The last two elements immediately established which elevated the stakes were the mysterious Others and the hatch.  Season one culminated with the first attempt to escape the island being thwarted by the others face-to-face on the open water.  They destroy the castaway’s raft, and kidnap Walt, a child.  Meanwhile, on the island, Locke blows open the hatch.  There is no Denouement.  This is a cliffhanger in every sense of the word.

"The boy is coming with us"

Season two offers a game change.  Every season is a game change actually.  The Losties have a hatch now.  They have food, laundry facilities, a shower, beds, of, and a button that needs to be pressed every 108 minutes or the world will come to an end.  I have some crazy thoughts on that here if you are interested.  This season introduces wonderful pseudo-sciences that the majority of the losties have no chance of understanding.  Faith and science collide as characters come to terms with personal reason as to the “Why” the button needs to be pressed every 108 minutes.  The explosive finale leads to the loss of the hatch, the deaths of two castaways, and the capture of three castaways by the Others.

Season three does the only thing it can do to continue upping the stakes.

Fate is a jerk sometimes

It gets crazier.  Desmond can ‘see’ a constantly changing future that he constantly attempts to thwart.  Locke is told the strange analogy of the island having a room that is a box… and whatever he wants can be in that box.  A boat is on its way to the island, and it might be there to rescue them.  Charlie needs to press another button, or switch, or something in an underwater base that is worthy of a Bond Villain in order to open communications with a freighter that is looking for the island and might provide rescue, all the while avoiding a possible future in which Desmond saw Charlie dying in said underwater base.  Whew!  That is crazy!  Crazy Awwwwwesome!

Season four.  The freighter has arrived with new cast members, and lots of new dangers! These new characters force every character on the island to choose what side of a line hastily drawn in the sand they want to be on.  The ‘B’ storyline takes place three years in the future where we discover that Jack. Kate, Sayid, Hurley, Sun, and Aaron got off the island!  A writers’ strike causes an abbreaviated season, but not before we see a freighter explode, a raft adrift, Desmond re-uniting with Penny in the middle of the ocean, and a magic wheel… in a frozen cave… that moves the island?    Okay.  I buy it.  I’m cool.

Season five.  Time travel.  Quantum Physics. Wormholes. 1977. Mythology. Hydrogen Bombs. Murdered by your mom before you were born!  Un-aging Lackeys.  Jack discovers Faith.  A really big explosion…. And here we are in the very metaphysical, super-science, theoretical and hopefully comprehensive Final Season.  And hopefully the denouement won’t be too heavy handed; I like to be left with something to think about.

It has been a great ride.  Lost, Buffy, Twin Peaks, Carnivale, all the shows I’ve ever loved have come to an end.  Some ended before their time, some ended right on time, and some stumbled into cancellation.  I’d make my own show, but I like to be surprised.  (I actually did do a TV pilot about a year and a half ago…  maybe I’ll share it one day.)

More Buffy / Lost Connections:

  • Sunnydale is destroyed in the finale, swallowed by the Hell-mouth
  • It looks like the Island is going to sink/ be destroyed…
  • Buffy’s mom – Joyce Summers – A fan of the occasional whiskey on the rocks, more than once throws a glass at the wall when upset with her daughter’s demon fighting career choice.
  • Jack’s dad – Christian Shepherd – heavvvvvvy drinker.  Operates drunk.  Lost license
  • Joyce and Christian Die suddenly, alone, and without closure with their children.
  • Both shows feature elaborate alternate reality storylines – Buffy has the ‘Willow became a vamp’ universe, and Lost has sideways.

So, a storm that is being compared to a nor’easter tore through my town last Saturday.  Trees were down, lights were out, rivers crested, food spoiled, and the beer was warm.  It was one of your basic ‘not fun’ situations.  Our power came back on Tuesday, with a mere two hours before Lost was to air.  I was prepared to barge into a friend’s house, and am glad it didn’t come to that, because I like my TV.  It was great that they got the power back on, but at the same time (for me at least) it was sort of annoying, because the speed at which the PSEG workers accomplished it was astounding.  They rolled onto my street with two massive utility trucks with two cherry pickers and around eight workers.  I thought they needed to evacuate homes, rip up the street, re-wire the whole block.  It just took one guy a moment to shimmy up a pole, reattach some wires, and climb down.  Electricity had returned!  I was plugged back in and could rejoin the memetically-controlled masses. Hurrah!

So, I had some time to think in the dark about Lost as I ate my Whole Foods organic ice cream sandwiches, which I refused to allow to melt.  I came up with a few thoughts/ ideas that are worth mulling before Richard Alpert’s episode on Tuesday.

The island, what is it really?  There are of course many religious and mythological themes on and relating to the island.  The hieroglyphics, design of the temples, the Eden-like quality of the island granting health and rejuvenation all lead us in a very Biblical direction.  The island must be the seat of some being that began it all, right?  God is from the island, and it a sort of heaven on Earth, right?  Maybe.

You could even theorize that the island itself is God, or a god at least.  On numerous occasions, the island has spoke to John and whether it be blatant communication or subtle prodding, the island has shown a sentience.  Could the island be the being/ place/ primordial ooze from which mankind emerged?   Possible.

In the ancient world mankind created gods for things they didn’t understand.  There was a fire god, an air god, a god of death, a sun god, a fertility god, we could go on forever.  These were concepts and forces of nature that man felt helpless before, and needed to apply some sort of personification or human control to, so as to alleviate their fears and frustrations when a crop was barren or a flood took their home.  Or—-, in the Lost world at least, these gods did exist.  They were beings of magic that helped mankind evolve and grow into the American Idol watching people that they become in the 21st century.  As man grew and discovered science, mathematics, etc. the need for these beings lessened.  They faded into obscurity and became passé.  Who needs a god of the sun when we can send a man to the moon, or a god of the harvest when we have hydroponics?  But, what if one of these deities just said ‘no’ and chose to not fade away.  Further, what if it/he/she chose to remain in a place where this deity’s ‘powers’ would still be necessary to the people around it, saaaaay on a deserted island?  The people on this island would feed its ancient ego by acknowledging it’s protection, food, shelter, etc. and being thankful for it.  The island deity, to prolong the love felt by the followers and believers would grant back to the people, extended life spans, health, and even the love of a parent?  I realize I’m getting a little abstract here, but so is Lost.

Magic as applied to the Lost universe:

Magic, once it was a common excuse for what was wrong in the world.

A frost killed your harvest?  Hmmmm.  I bet it was old Mary Steward on the next farm.  I heard she was a witch and she put a hex on you!

Was it that simple though?  Every culture in every corner of the planet has similar magics in their histories.  It might be Chinese dragons, or Merlin consulting with the king, or trolls under bridges, or witches eating children in the woods.  Where did all of these stories come from.  Was magic real at one point?  When you are a child Magic is as real as the lessons you learn in school.  In one class you might learn reading and writing, and later at home you watch cartoons and actually believe that a Woody and Buzz Lightyear go on adventures together.  When I was a kid I read a lot of comics.  The X-men was my favorite, and I tried on more than one occasion to move an object with my mind.  Whenever I had a ‘falling dream’ and woke to a shock as I hit the bed and my heart was thumping a million miles an hour, I wondered, “Was I floating over my bed in my sleep?”  Crazy?  Not to a kid with an active imagination and a complete X-men collection!

What if the collective ‘growing up’ of the human race led to the scientific method, logical thinking, problem solving skills, and an independence that no longer knee jerked to the conclusion that a wizard or witch is responsible for all of my problems.  And, what if that ‘growing up’ of the world in the Lost universe led to the elimination of magic?  It no longer had a place in everyday life.  Who needs magic if you have facebook?  If magic existed, it would be a sort of energy.  Where would all that energy go?  Maybe it would all go to an island, an island where it is still needed and that island would be a Never-Never Land where people still play pirates, and Indians, and go on adventures, and miracles would happen, and no one would ever have to grow up.  Hmmmm?  But what if the children of Never-Never Land did grow up?  What if they had magic their whole life and they grew up and had all of the hang-ups, shortcomings, and pettiness that adults grow to have.  They would want all the magic for themselves.  They would probably be named Charles Widmore.

Well, that’s it for today.  I have a Pulp Fiction/ Lost idea that I’ll share next time.

Thanks for reading!  Sorry if I rambled…