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.

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Part 4 – Where the Wild Smoke Monsters Are – Establishing villains

From the beginning the smoke monster was established as the ominous adversary.  The castaways saw it from afar ripping entire trees out of the ground, probably just going for a walk.  It was an unknown ‘thing’ that would randomly pop into the camp and terrorize, kill, and drag people off.  From a writing standpoint it seemed to be a Deus ex Machina given form, which is pretty funny.  It did become more.  It was given a face.  Actually it was given many faces over the course of the show.  Best of all, it was given motivation.  It was given a reason to be so angry.  It has been a prisoner for thousands of years.  A lifetime sentence has to be pretty rough when you are an immortal sentient cloud.

The purpose of the monster was to act as the antagonist to a group of people that would need to face the greatest threat that not just the world has ever faced, but all of existence.  Their test was such a mind-bogglingly huge task, that people will talk and write books about it for years to come.  Many people seem to see the conflict as being one of good versus evil, as Locke hinted at during season one while teaching backgammon to Walt.  “Light versus dark” was the exact phrase Locke used.  I do not think that is the correct phrasing for this conflict though.  It would be accurate to call the Lost conflict of the Castaways Vs. Smoke monster ‘People versus Evil.”  None of the Castaways were what anyone religious, agnostic, or atheist would ever call ‘good.’  Sayid was an interrogation torturer, Shannon slept with her half brother, and Jack was so conflicted that it drove him nearly to suicide.  The fight in Lost was one of human beings banding together to rise above their vices, prejudices, and petty hatreds to fight something that is beyond even their understanding.

Why did the monster choose Locke?  The monster chose John Locke’s form because very simply, it was a good fit.  John was an adamant believer in all of the goodness of the island and what it could potentially be to him and all people.  This steadfastness made him perfect for a guise that would allow the monster to enact his final gambit to get off that rock.  It is a slippery slope when you believe as strongly as John Locke.  It raises philosophical questions that people constantly ask themselves with regards to whether or not there is a god, like “If god loves us why is there war, famine, disease, hatred, guns, etc.?”  If Jacob loved them, then why was there a smoke monster?  When the resurrected John Locke appeared with a more extreme viewpoint, it was completely believable to the Others.  He was a new kind of leader that wouldn’t take Jacob’s ‘Look-at-me-I-live-in-a-foot-and-tell-you-what-to-do’ crap anymore.  Little did they know, that they were following their sworn enemy on a mission to kill the protector of all that they loved.  Locke’s likeness was a flesh-suit that the smoke monster wore with ease and died even easier while wearing.

“These pretzels are making me thirsty!”

There were other monsters to contend with on the island as well.  Greed.  It is man’s nature to want more than they have or need.  The source represented something that men would kill for.  It was a modern (and also ancient) fountain of youth, that men would travel time and space to acquire.  Men and women have died trying to discover trading routes across the sea.  What would they do to live forever?  Vices.  Charlie literally could not get away from heroin.  It was rather hysterical how much heroin was on the island.  Just when you thought he was clean and sober, another bag of heroin would pop up.  Jealousy. Jack loved Kate who slept with Sawyer who lived with Juliet in 1977 for three years, who fell for Jack.  All four of these people would live and die for each other, but they will always be looking at the other woman or man and wondering ‘what if?’  Infidelity – Sun was on her way to another man when the plane crashed.  Cruelty – Boone’s constant belittling of his sister. 

MURDER!

Murder – How many people did Jack kill on his rampages through the Other’s camps.  What about the people in the past that died in the bomb he dropped down that hole in the ground?  Sawyer was on his way back from Australia where he committed murder.  Kate killed her stepfather.  Charlie killed Ethan.  Desmond killed Kelvin.  Michael killed Ana-lucia and Libby.  Locke’s doubts all but killed Mr. Eko.  None of them were angels.

They all had a monster within, and that is what made them all so fascinating.  They had the capacity for true evil, but chose to fight it within themselves while fighting it externally on the Island as well.

I’m not quite retiring this site yet.  There is more to say, and I will be purchasing the season 6 set in a few short months and re-watching.  I’ll probably have some new thoughts at this point.  In the next few days I will have a new site up (URL TBA) and will post and link to it here.  I’m going to open up my reviews to encompass more than just Lost.

Keep an eye out for one more Lil’ Ben strip in the next few days!

Absolute favorite Finale moment: When Ben apologizes, and he means it!

And lastly, Links to the OTHER parts of this series of thoughts, recaps, reactions, sweet nothings, etc. about the final episode of Lost, “The End.”

And They All Existed Happily Ever After Part 1 – THE SOURCE

And They All Existed Happily Ever After Part 2 – Desmond is the Metal Fork in the Microwave of the Universe!

And They All Existed Happily Ever After Part 3 – The Peripeteia

Thanks for reading!

-Rob

ialwayshaveaplan.lee@gmail.com

I saved this to my hard drive, but never read it.  Very strategic right-clicking…

I looked at it finally today.  It is cool to check it out now after the finale.

Contest Winner Buffy’s Theory of how the show will end is discussed with Lil’ Benjamin Linus!

Please Click the image to see the Full Size Comic Strip

Thanks Buffy, that was a lot of fun!

Lil’ Ben’s other Adventures:

Part 1 “A New Universe”

Part 2 “Chicken Sandwiches”

Part 3 “Dr. Reyes”

Part 4 “I’m a Corporate Symbol!”

Part 5 “Apocrypha Now and Later”

Part 6 “Kill Charlie”

Part 7 “Serenity”

Part 8ish or 4815162342: “The Epilogue”

Part 9 “What was your Favorite Part?”

Part 10 “Why are we Here?”

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.)

Not too late to be in the Lil’ Ben Contest!  Click HERE to check it out.

I’m on the same page as Jimmy Kimmel. Why show an episode about Jacob and MIB in the last three episodes? They really don’t matter in the grand scheme of the show. They are the MacGuffin(s). They are the unimportant catalyst that set all of our characters, conflicts, and resolutions in motion. I would have loved to see a Rose and Bernard centric episode before “The End” but I suppose that is just not in the cards.

“Across the Sea” was the equivalent of Hans Gruber in Die Hard stopping for a half-hour towards the end of the film to tell us in a expositional fashion, why his life brought him to this moment in Nakotomi Plaza on Christmas Eve. He would go into the socio-economic climate in which he was raised. He might talk about the first girl to break his heart, high school embarrassments, college drug experimentation. The scene could go on and on, and would be entirely unnecessary, not unlike this episode…

Interviewed in 1966 by François Truffaut, Alfred Hitchcock illustrated the term “MacGuffin” with this story[i]

It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men in a train. One man says “What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?”, and the other answers “Oh that’s a McGuffin”. The first one asks “What’s a McGuffin?”. “Well”, the other man says, “It’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands”. The first man says “But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands”, and the other one answers “Well, then that’s no McGuffin!”. So you see, a McGuffin is nothing at all.

A MacGuffin is a plot device that draws the audience in and often times makes them feel like they are a part of the story even as it initiates the forward momentum of the film or show or story.

From Wiki: “Sometimes, the specific nature of the MacGuffin is unimportant to the plot, and the MacGuffin can sometimes be ambiguous, completely undefined, generic or left open to interpretation.”

Examples of MacGuffins:

The Secret Government Plans in the 39 Steps

The briefcase in Pulp Fiction

The Maltese Falcon in The Maltese Falcon

It's an Automated Kitchen!

The Greatest Object in the universe in Time Bandits

The $40,000.00 Marion steals in Psycho

On the positive side, (because I do love this show)  I have to admit it was a fun episode. There were a few great moments that were really just the producers twisting the knife in an audience that are already writhing in anticipation of the looming END. The whole “Don’t ask anymore questions, as they’ll just lead to more questions” made me sort of “Yelp” with laughter. It was a great moment for the producers to slyly warn us that they will not be explaining everything. Which is fine by me.

Allison Janney as Jacob’s predecessor was fantastic. Her ability to emote with just a glance is amazing. I would go to a movie that had her and Morgan Freeman simply staring at each other for an hour and a half.

Story-wise, it was interesting that MIB became Smokey because of Jacob’s crime of passion.

Or did he?….

Smokey is a shape shifter. He/ it can become whoever he/ it wants. We saw MIB’s body. He was dead, and ‘Dead id Dead,’ right? Not really anymore though. I would like to offer one of my final theories before the end. Smokey is the island’s equivalent of Cerberus guarding the gates to Hades. Cerberus is bound to his post. He serves a purpose that is not complicated. He simply guards. When Jacob sent MIB’s body down the river into the light, a dying MIB touched Smokey. Smokey at that moment learned an unfortunate lesson. He/ It learned what it is to be human, and he/it liked it. Smokey embraced all of the pettiness that comes along with the free will of being a human. In addition, Smokey said to himself/ itself “Screw this job! I want off this island!” and that has been his focus ever since.

Before it is all over, the ghost of MIB will come to Hurley and tell him how to end it all, how to win, and how to fix what they have broken.

Thanks for reading!

And, don’t forget about the Lil’ Ben Contest! Tell me briefly how you think Lost will end and YOU can appear in a Lil’ Ben comic discussing your theory!


[i] Gottlieb, Sidney (2002). Framing Hitchcock: Selected essays from the Hitchcock annual. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 48