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.

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.

This is slightly inspired by Hurley’s numbers almost hitting the Mega Millions this week.  Did any of you see Jorge Garcia’s opinion of the Lottery?  Very funny.  Check it out here: http://furtherdispatches.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/will-you-people-ever-learn/

I’ve given TV a chance.  Walking Dead shuffled off into hiatus.  Dexter came and went like a silent killer.  Boardwalk Empire was as fast as a group of guys robbing an Atlantic City Casino.  I have not found a single show that stimulates that primal “I need to figure this crap out’ part of my brain the way that Lost did.  I tried to watch the X-files on Netflix, but that just isn’t doing it for me.  It was really cheesy on the outside during the first season.  Don’t You think?

What should I do?

Well, I did buy the entire Lost collection on Blu-ray…

 

“We have to go back!”

 

 

That is it.  I’m going to go back to the island.  I’m going to re-watch from the beginning, and it is going to be in awesome Blu-ray crystal clear awesomeness!  But, I’m not going to attempt to watch it with fresh eyes at all.  Rather, I’m going to watch it with my already filled to the brim Lost theorizing mind and try to explain it as I go.  For every four or so episodes I’ll offer I Always Have a Plan annotated notes.  I’ll connect dots.  I’ll explain actions and reactions that the writers didn’t even know they had at the time of writing.  This show was probably such a happy accident by the end that the writers, producers, and directors had no idea where they were going at the premiere of season 2, but ended up steering an out of control Island castaway, Plane wreck, time traveling, philosophical, action/adventure story on a collision course with TV history.

Please, feel free to watch along with me, start or join the (a) conversation, and maybe we’ll find some theory, idea, or Easter egg that nobody saw yet.  I’ll begin watching this Sunday Jan 9th at 12:00pm EST with a tub of popcorn and a notepad.  See you back on the island.

 

Lost is over.

Some think “The End” suggested there were more tales to be told. Hurley and Ben remaining on the island was the equivalent of a western hero riding off into the sunset. You as the audience know there are still wrongs to be righted, evil to be fought, mysteries to be solved. But, we’ll never see these fights, because for us it is over. It was over right when they all crossed over into the great unknown in a Poly Faith sacred building.

I’ve embraced my other two blogs and have a new focus for the next few months—-Zombies!

Bite m--- I mean---Click me to read about zombies

I think we can all agree that the final season of Lost is one of the most argued about seasons of television ever. People are ravenous about how right they are and others are just wrong wrong wrong. If you’ve ever wandered through a Facebook message board on the subject of Lost, then you know what I’m talking about. I posted a link to one of my blog posts once, and it led to the near criminal level of harassment by a man ( I think it was a man) who conspicuously had the same name as a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy character, and even more conspicuously, looked just like Lou Feriggno. That was the first time that I saw how crazy this show was making people. This person decided that he was absolutely right about everything and was willing to take time out of his day to literally hunt down people on the internet and insult them via Facebook, Twitter, and any other venue he could uncover. I followed his harassment of other people for one afternoon and was amazed how crazed this person was.  It got pretty personal. I had no desire to be beaten up by the Hulk. Although he probably looked more like this guy though.

CYBER BULLY!

So, my point. People, not me, but people, are dissatisfied with the end. Certain people have pointed me in the direction of fan fictions that would have played out the final season in an entirely different manner. I looked at two of them. They weren’t horrible, but I enjoyed the final season more than these ideas.

I began writing a response to one of these hypothetical endings. It was only supposed to be a paragraph. ONE paragraph.

That wasn’t enough space to say what I needed to say.

That paragraph opened up to a one-page treatment of sorts. Still not enough.

That treatment then expanded into an outline with character descriptions.

Some of the scenes needed dialogue. So I wrote it. When I was through, I realized I had written fan fiction. Shit.

What I had written was an alternative “B” storyline which could have been in the place of the Afterlife/ Purgatory / Sideways / Happy Ending storyline. I don’t know how this happened, but it did. And (embarrassingly) here is the first couple parts:

What if this were season 6’s flashes?

Episode 1 – We open on a young man that we do not know (or do we?) on a small two-person sailboat in a large harbor full of giant cargo ships. He is looking for a crew to help him find a mythical island said to hold the key to the origins of mankind. He has no family. He is an orphan.

He has recurring dreams of violence and darkness. In these dreams a group of people are battling for their lives on an island that isn’t an island. This dream always ends with an explosion of pure white light that is engulfed in a cloud of darkness.

He wakes from the dream and walks up into the city from the harbor. He enters a bar, where a heavy-set man makes fun of him for not being old enough to drink, “Maybe you should go back to your mommy little man.”

He continues to the bar where a woman’s voice speaks to him from behind, “You’re Aaron, right? I’m Anise.”

He turns.

“Do I know you?”

“No. But I know you. I dreamt about you.”

Episode 2 –

Aaron repeats, “Do I know you?”

“I’m Anise, and I’ve been dreaming about you since I was a child”

In her dream, Anise is always standing with Aaron, and holding his hand as the white light explosion erupts towards them.  They establish that they remember each other from when they were children.  They remember being on a plane, then on an island.

Next time—–  They find a charter and a man named LaFleur.

Unexplainable pseudoscience technology has been the MacGuffin or catalyst for many good character driven sci-fi stories over the years. Storytellers have formulated hypotheses regarding the future of mankind ever  since Verne and Wells first wrote their tales of trips to the moon, time travel, underwater adventures, etc. I recently watched the film TiMER, starring Emma Caulfield of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. TiMER is a film set in a very near future, in which Scientists have been able to break down our auras, or time-lines, or pheromones, or something, so they can pin-point the exact day in your individual future that you will meet your honest to goodness soul mate. A TiMER, seen in the above picture, is then implanted in your wrist, which will count down until that day.

Damn it! I'm thirty!

The concept of the TiMER, in the wrong hands could have easily become a Logan’s Run, as thirty-year-olds obviously rebel against the stigmas that goes with age. Instead, it is a wonderful character film, which does–actually— like Logan’s Run, follow 29-year-old Oona as she approaches her thirtieth birthday, and worries that she will be alone forever. You see, Oona’s TiMER is blank. Which can mean one of three things: 1. Her soul mate doesn’t have a TiMER. They both need to have one for some reason. 2. She missed her chance. Or 3. She doesn’t have a soul mate.

The opening weekend gross of ROTK was strategically placed in the news scroll placing the intro of the TiMER in 2003.

The technology in TiMER is handled in such a wonderful and simultaneously ‘as a matter of fact’ way that it really needs no explanation, just an introduction.  The film opens with a series of news clips introducing the TiMER circa 2003.Through this montage, we arrive at the future, or rather the present of the film and a TiMER TV commercial, which markets the TiMER eerily like an  Apple product. Now, I do love my Mac, but it did not introduce me to my wife— who also has a Mac— Oh crap. Did we meet because of the Apple Corporation?! Digressing too far. The technology is simply stated at the beginning of the film to be what it was. Nothing else was necessary. The rest of the film is character driven.

Like the TiMER, Lost introduced several technologies and sciences that were simply stated for what they were. Like Han Solo declaring that the Kessel Run record-breaking ship the Millenium Falcon is the fastest ship in the Galaxy because it has a hyperdrive.  We just accept these scientific impossibilities because a character told us it was so, and it has been established in their universe that these things are possible. Some of these pseudosciences in Lost were as follows:

  • An Arctic Station to detect and pinpoint specific EM radiation bursts with amazing accuracy.
  • A Rat that is bathed in radiation so it’s mind travels into the future and it knows a path through a maze that it never ran before.
  • A magic button that will release magic electromagnetic energy every 108 minutes, thus saving the planet and maybe universe from annihilation.
  • Healing waters of a jungle temple protected by a hippie cult.
  • Time and space shifting donkey wheels.
  • Teleporting Islands.

Some Lost Science

But, my favorite was the time travel and characters becoming unstuck in time. The characters accepted the Time Travel with such ease, that I as a viewer accepted it as well. One day they were wandering the present day jungle, a flash of white light washed over them, and they found themselves in the 70’s. They accepted the shift, why wouldn’t I?

Another recent viewing, which, while amusing, could have played up its reality shifting goodness A LOT MORE, was Hot Tub Time Machine. I mean, come on, lets talk about a ridiculous time travel technology. They spill an illegal russian red bull called Chernobly on the controls of a hot tub, and their consciousnesses travel in time like Elly the rat! Whatever, I buy it. That is what I came here for. I rented this film knowing what I was getting into.  The only real problem I had with this film was that it felt like it was written by some kid that never experienced the eighties. He or she was probably a teen in the nineties and just wiki’d the eighties.  So they included the highlights of the 80’s, i.e. “Where’s the beef?, Poison,  Jessie’s Girl, flourescent clothing, etc.  There was so much more to the 80’s to make fun of.   Since it was at a Ski resort, I was hoping that Cusack’s character Adam would run into Lane Meyer, whom Cusack played in 1986’s Better Off Dead, another 80’s ski comedy.  That meeting would have been like a triple paradox!   Instead, they created way too much drama for four characters (A broken marriage, a suicide attempt, a shattered Cusack who ominously says “I didn’t do anything”) when it really should have been hilarity right through the whole thing.

80's things to make fun of: Sweat bands, John Travolta, One-man-army films, John Hughes, Ollie North, a Character that might be a Communist, a shopping montage, a training montage, someone randomly breaks into dance, nerds become cool, nerds get the girl, Jocks are evil, Principals or Deans are the devil, The Brat Pack, a robot with personality, and it should have ended with the entire resort gathering around someone doing something truly good and heroic and they would all applaud.

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

Part 3 – The Peripeteia

A peripeteia is a sudden reversal dependent on intellect and logic, essentially changing a person or character’s mind. From Wiki, Aristotle defines it as “a change by which the action veers round to its opposite, subject always to our rule of probability or necessity.” According to Aristotle, peripeteia, along with discovery, is the most effective when it comes to drama, particularly in a tragedy.

Over the past 6 seasons Lost has been called a brilliant Sci fi show, a moving drama about survival, a time traveling adventure story, and many other descriptions suit it as well. No matter what it was to you or the person sitting next to you, it was dependent on one constant, Characters. Lost was populated with a cast of wonderfully flawed characters. But did these characters reach their moment of peripetia, where they could evolve and achieve a full metamorphosis into something ‘more’ than when they began 6 years ago in their harrowing survival of the Oceanic flight 815 wreck? I think some of them did.

I CAN see my house from here.

Jack Shepherd was a hard-edged man of science. He was confident and sure of himself when in front of others, but fragile and given to vices when left to ponder his actions. Jack desperately wanted the love of a father who died. While traveling home with his father’s remains, flight 815 crashed on the island. He resisted belief in the mystical nature of the island. As a doctor, he could not wrap his rational mind around it. Even through EM flashes, smoke monsters, underwater bases, the endless coincidental connections between the people on the plane, and seeing his deceased father walking around the island, he still declared himself a practical man of science and had every intention of obtaining rescues for all those men and women that would follow him, but he would do it with a phone, and a gun, and a boat or a plane. There was never any consideration given to any of the otherworldly occurrences on the island, or how they could be utilized for escape or rescue.

Jack is reminiscent of King Arthur pulling a sword from a flaming wreck of a plane and declaring that everyone should follow him, but he refuses to admit the powers of Excalibur. The peripety came for Jack in L.A. after the Oceanic six had been saved, in the form of a dead Jeremy Bentham. Jack felt overwhelming guilt over his being home, while his friends remained behind and faced hardship without his leadership. He was a King that abandoned his kingdom. He declared “We need to go back!” But that would not be the only reversal. Jack was the character equivalent of a car doing donuts in a field. He would go back and forth between leader with unstoppable forward momentum and wallowing pill popping alcoholic and even a ‘let’s wait and see’ person. The final reversal came at the end of season five with his sudden determination to detonate Jug-head.

"How is this for faith Locke? I'm going to blow us all up in order to make it all right."

Jack decided to give himself over to fate and faith. Science got him nowhere, and he knew that. The living embodiment of Science, Daniel Faraday, was executed thirty years before he arrived on the island by his mother who had not even conceived him yet! (Which raises a very interesting question: If Daniel died before he was born, was his soul eradicated?) That moment gave birth to the Jack that would lead and ultimately save his friends (the ones still alive at least) in the final season. Jacks transformation from ‘daddy issues boy’ to Arthurian leader willing to sacrifice himself for his people was complete.

What happened was just this. The wind began to switch the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch. Just then this this b!#ch caught me in a net and I've pretty much been here all night...

Ben Linus – Ben was introduced under the guise of a lie. The lie was told to the castaways in the hatch as well as the audience. Nobody knew who this man was. He told everyone that his name was Henry Gale, and he was on a balloon trip around the world with his wife. Their Balloon crashed on the island and his just finished burying his wife. This was a series of half truths. Half true, because they happened to someone else. Henry Gale did crash on the island, but he was already dead. From there, Ben would be established as the ultimate manipulator on the Island. He would do anything, say anything, hurt anyone that got in the way of his ultimate goal, which was to protect the Island at all costs. This duplicitous nature created many enemies for Ben. Even amongst his own people, they were constantly waiting for a sign of weakness to dethrone him as he pointed out in the Season Three Episode where Ben thanks John for Destroying the Submarine. He told him that to let Jack go would have been a sign of weakness, but to kill him would have been unacceptable as well, because that would have been going back on his word. And if they sensed either, his status as the leader of the others would be in jeopardy. Where or when was the moment of peripeteia? I think it occurred during “The End,” but it originated some time earlier in “Cabin Fever” Season 4 Ep. 11, where Hurley shares an Apollo bar with Ben. So, this reversal would actually take years to fully develop.

Up to this moment, not a single character has ever openly shown Ben an ounce kindness. As a child his father got drunk on his birthday and reminded him that his mother died in childbirth. But this exchange between Ben and Hurley placed a glimmer of love in Ben’s heart. In Dr. Seuss terms, you could say his heart began to grow right there, and it had three sizes to grow.

The first growth in size would come during his heartfelt confession to Ilana regarding his daughter and murder of Jacob. He looked within and realized he has made some horrible mistakes, which he would most likely take to his grave with no chance for atonement.

I'm going to do something redefining for my character right now, because you shared a chocolate bar with me Hugo!

Amidst the island ripping itself apart during “The End,” Ben sees a massive tree limb falling towards Hurley. Ben selflessly shoves Hurley out of the way only to be pinned under it. His heart grew one more size when Kate, Sawyer and Hurley work together to save his life.

And the Third Size came just after Jack turned the light of the source back on. Hurley did something which nobody ever did for Ben. He asked Ben for his help. Right then, Ben completed his reversal. He went from rampaging lying monster to nurturing father. He became what he always wanted from his father. He reassured Hurley and told him that he can run the island how he sees fit. How Jacob ran it was not the only way. Ben really had a wonderful story of redemption and the search for acceptance and love.

Part 4 of 4 on Friday.

Favorite Finale Moment #3

When Kate said she missed Jack so much.

Part 2 – Desmond is the Metal Fork in the Microwave of the Universe (s)

I'm not a fork! I'm a man!

We can all agree that Desmond is unique.  In all of the Lost world, he is most likely the only person that can withstand the reality shifting trauma caused by exposure to extremely high levels of electromagnetic radiation.

I propose that Desmond always had this ability.  It was innate, but untapped, like Luke Skywalker living on Tatooine, and having no idea what the hell a midi-chlorian ever was. He was chosen by Jacob to come the island because of this preexisting condition.

Driveshafted

His survival at ground zero of the Dharma Swan Station blast was the first major exposure he experienced with this otherworldly electromagnetic (em) radiation emitted by the Source.   He survived, but it came with some unpredictable side effects.  He was able to glimpse the future.  Not his future though.  Additionally, these glimpses were not random by any means.   They were very exact glimpses he was meant to see of Charlie Pace dying.  This situation harks back to an idea that I’ve mentioned more than once, regarding a sentience to the Lost universe.  The Lost Universe/ Island is self-aware and is able to problem solve and provide fixes for itself.  In this case the fix was Desmond.  The Island saw the series of events as they needed to happen and fate was standing in the way of it’s and everyone’s continued existence by attempting to end the life of Charlie.  To combat this problem, Desmond was granted his flashes, so he could keep Charlie alive until he could perform his ultimate act and sacrifice by shutting off the jamming device in the Looking Glass Station.

“The island isn’t done with you yet Michael... I mean Desmond.”

The Island was by no means done with Desmond after Charlie’s death though. The Island has a mortal enemy in the Smoke Monster  (more below on why they are enemies).  It knew that it would need a person of Desmond’s ability to shut off the magic of the island, because the only way to kill the Smoke Monster was to shut off the Source.  The Source nearly sacrificed itself to finally remove the threat of the smoke monster.  Desmond was the failsafe key to the lock that extinguished the source (for a short while) and made Smokey mortal, so Jack could rough him up and Kate could put him out of his misery.

With regards to Desmond’s glimpses of the Sideways universe – I think that after Charles Widmore gave him his second bath in EM energies, the side effect wasn’t that he could see Charlie’s fate.  Rather, he was seeing his own fate, or at least beyond it into his next life. He thought he was supposed to turn off the light so he could traverse to another place where they all get to be with their loved ones.   It was all a mistake, but it wasn’t a mistake at the same time.    He was supposed to shut it down.  Snuffing out the Source made Smokey mortal, and allowed him to finally be killed.  It was all meant to be, and it was Desmond’s destiny.

The Underverse

Why did the smoke monster become mortal when the door was opened? Guess what?  I’ve got a theory.  The smoke monster is the last remaining survivor of the universe that preceded the Lost universe.  It’s home died.  Everything it ever knew died.  It has been here since the beginning of time in the Lost Universe and it hates it.  It holds the Island responsible for replacing and eradicating it’s home.

Finale Favorite moment #2

Jack’s expression when he sees Vincent

This is good TV

More tomorrow with Part 3 of 4

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!"