Well, this is LOST, there are no rules really.

I was discussing what I am doing with this site with my wife over the weekend, and she made a very good point.  She told me to be careful not to spoil anything for people who might be watching Lost for the first time on DVD, Blu-ray, iTunes or whatever.  She told me I should have a Jerry McGuire style Mission Statement, so, well, here it is:

I Robert Lee of frenzied mind and exhausted body, do hereby promise to re-watch every episode of LOST.  I will write about this show as I view it.  Any and all writing will assume that you, the reader has seen Lost all the way through to the end.  My writing will be done from the standpoint and presupposition that you know that:

–  Desmond and Penny are in Love.

– Daniel Faraday is a brilliant mumbler.

– The Numbers are Bad!

– The Dharma Initiative is awesome and accepted applications at Comic con.

– Jack likes to drink and take pills sometimes.

– Henry Gale is more than just a character from The Wizard of Oz.

– Time Travel is a real and present threat.

– Submarines are a practical mode of transportation.

– G.I.Joe style underwater bases are not silly.

– You can’t escape your fate, but you can run from it for a while.

– Deja vu can be a real pain in the ass.

So, If you’ve never watched Lost, you might want to leave this site for later.  This is not Spoiler Free.  In fact, this entire site should now be treated as a massive LOST spoiler to those that have not watched it yet.  Bookmark it, and come back after you’ve reached the end and want to go back and see how a crazy person like myself has waded neck-deep into good TV.  Thank you for you Time.  If you do continue on, I only ask that you join in on discussing the crazy thoughts that I have rattling through my head regarding this show, and feel free to share yours as well.

Thanks!

Robert Lee

 

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.

Boone – Boone had to die so John Locke could mature as a character.  Up to this point John had only played war games at work with a colleague during his lunch hour.  Boone’s death made the ‘war games’ real for the first time.  A decision John made led directly to the death of another person.  His death also led directly to the emotional collapse of his sister.

Shannon would have been a great Hitchcock character.  She is a person that we have all met at some point.  She is the person who buries her fear, frustration, and lack of ability to adapt deeply, behind a thin veneer of self-indulgent actions and an air of arrogance.  Shannon died in the story so we as the audience would feel the total polarization of the two camps from flight 815.  The Tailies were fighting for their lives, while Sayid and Shannon were going on a romantic picnic.  Her death added a tension to a meeting that could have been so joyous.

Damn it Leslie! Be careful with that!

Leslie Arzt – Leslie was very simply a red-shirt.  What is a red-shirt?  A Red Shirt is a term from Star Trek …

From Wiki: Redshirt is a slang term for a minor stock character of an adventure drama who dies violently soon after being introduced in order to dramatize the dangerous situation experienced by the main characters.

He was introduced so he could die.  They only gave him real character later.

Mr. Eko, while a new and interesting character, seemed like filler while Jack had more important things to do than debate philosophies with John Locke.  Eko, and his preacher stick, had no place in the story after the freighter storyline was conceived.

The "Not Penny's Boat" thing is good and all, but it is his expression in this moment that tears me up.

Charlie – Charlie had to die so the audience could understand the power of fate, purpose, and destiny in the Lost universe.  It is clear now that if the universe wants you out, then you are out.  It was also the beginning of Claire’s descent into crazytown.

Charlotte – Charlotte had to die so Daniel could change his mind with regards to his “Whatever happened happened” mantra.  The loss of the woman he loved made him look within not for a scientific formula to resurrect her, but hope.  He placed faith in science, and faith in variables.  It was a bit of a reach, but it did pay off to some degree.  His actions in the past detonating Jughead led to the sideways timeline and Charlotte once more being counted amongst the living.

Mom, you are such a jerk.

Daniel Faraday – Daniel had to die to illustrate how much of a bitch time travel can be…

And sometimes that bitch can also be Daniel’s mom Eloise…

Sun and Jin – Died to pave the Way for Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley.  Their death fuels the rage that the remaining castaways feel as they walk towards the end of the show.  It gives them a reason to pull the trigger.


Sayid died to re-establish the grey zone again.  This show has always been very grey in terms of right and wrong.  Sawyer kills, but is considered a good guy.  Jack is a pill popping alcoholic doctor.  John Locke is a philosophical leader apple-crate preaching about the ‘goodness’ of the island, yet stabs Naomi in the back, arranges his father’s murder, etc. etc.…  Sayid desiring redemption brought back the ‘moral grey’ in this season that has been all about black and white/ good and evil.  Out of all of the Castaways, Sayid has strove for redemption, even as he committed more wrong.

And Last, but not least at all, Eloise the Rat – Died to foreshadow what was to come, with the castaways becoming unstuck in time.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy ‘THE END’ tomorrow!  Swing on by when it’s all done, and let me know what you thought!