Thursday, January 01, 2009

Destiny Calls

It’s time to get excited. It’s also a time to be very, very afraid.

 

It’s exciting because we are three weeks away from the start of a brand new season of Lost, which is the happiest time of the year (aside from Christmastime and NCAA Tournament time, of course). But it’s also a scary time because apparently the first two episodes of the new season have been distributed to the media. While the “official media people” are somewhat sworn to secrecy about the contents of these episodes, inevitably these episodes will find their way into the hands of the various spoiler websites in the world. Therefore, it’s time to go on high alert, avoiding any potential spoiler sites for the next three weeks in order to maximize the enjoyment of the season premiere.

 

But that doesn’t mean we should just sit idly and wait for January 21st. There is still a TON of preseason hyping and speculating to do.

 

Over the past few months, there have been a number of officially released commercials / previews of the forthcoming fifth season of Lost, and a good number of them are worth discussing.

 

Before we get started, it’s probably a good idea to remind ourselves of exactly where we left things at the end of the fourth season. For those of you who own the Season Four DVDs, there is a “Lost in 8:15” feature at the start of Disc One, which tells the story of Lost in Cliffs Notes form, bringing you up to speed on the first three seasons before you start watching Season Four. It’s hilarious and informative. Thankfully, it looks like ABC released a similar video on the Internet last month, this time including everything from the fourth season as well.

 

So, before we get started, I present to you – 86 Lost episodes condensed down into 4 minutes and 51 seconds… even less if you take out the 20 seconds of ABC advertisements at the end. If you have randomly stumbled upon this website but have never viewed an episode of Lost in your life, here’s your chance to get the quick and dirty 100,000 foot view of the series:

 

 

 

Okay, so now that we are up to speed (as of May 2008), it’s time to review what’s happened since then. Let’s review the facts first, and then I’ll follow up with analysis at the end. It all started with this video that emerged from Comic Con over the summer…

 

 

A few notes from the video:

  • Marvin Candle’s real name is Pierre Chang.
  • He seems defeated, and is done with the “games”.
  • He only has “one chance at this”.
  • He was recruited to this “God-forsaken Island” to study the Kerr Metric solutions to Einstein's Field Equations – which is really complicated, but deals with funky forces acting on objects and black holes. If you are smarter than me, this might make more sense to you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerr_metric
  • Mentions “if I can keep this pinhole open long enough, you should be receiving my message roughly thirty years…”
  • Knows about George W. Bush, the Internet, and his death in the Purge (but is powerless to escape).
  • Time is not just of the essence… it IS the essence.
  • Hopes that we can find a way to save them – to change the past.

 

 

The Comic Con video, and a few others that emerged at the time, seemed to kickoff a new ARG for the fall – a terribly run ARG that unfolded far too slow, was far too uninteresting, and eventually died in a pretty embarrassing way. After the trainwreck, Damon and Carlton appeared to explain:

 

 

And shortly after followed it up with this, far more intriguing video:

 

 

The books they reference are:

 

Lancelot by Walker Percy – Sawyer was reading in Season Two’s “Maternity Leave”.

 

Lancelot is a novel that was written in 1977 by the author Walker Percy. The book is about Lancelot Lamar, a lawyer who, when he discovers that he is not the father of his youngest daughter, kills his wife by blowing up their house. He ends up being confined in a mental institution, where he then dwells on the memories of his frightful past. There is a surrealistic element, where reality blends with delirium.

 

Ulysses by James Joyce – Ben will be reading in the seventh episode of the season, which will be called “316” (or is it 3:16 – "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.")

 

I haven’t read Ulysses, but according to Amazon, it’s a book about “everything.” The author sees the universe in Dublin, Ireland, on June 16, 1904, a day distinguished by its utter normality. In it, two characters go about their separate business, crossing paths with a gallery of indelible Dubliners. The result is that almost every variety of human experience is crammed into the accordion folds of a single day.

 

The Stand by Steven King – referenced by Damon and Carlton in previous interviews, the Stand is the ultimate story of a superflu killing most of the world’s population, culminating in the final battle of Good vs. Evil with the few survivors.

 

But perhaps more interesting is the logo that flashes at the end of the video:

 

Photobucket

 

 

To me, that sure does look like some sort of light, which I’ll call the “Lighthouse Dharma Logo” because it sounds like the name of a Dharma station.

 

With this next video, Damon and Carlton answer a little Q&A. While there answers are usually very vague, I’m a believer that they hand pick the questions that they answer because they want to remind us about things that haven’t been referenced on the show in a while – or minor things that we didn’t pay much attention to the first time.

 

 

The noteworthy items:

 

When Ben mentions, “you all have to go back”, it was worded intentionally ambiguous, but will be answered… I’m guessing in Act One of Episode One of the Fifth Season.

 

They respond to a question about the Others building the runway in Season Three. It’s either one of those things that they will never talk about again and pretend it never happened, or will be essential to plot of Season Five. Damon bets that it is irrelevant, but then follows up by making a bet with Carlton that the LOSER of the bet gets to punch the winner… meaning it’s probably pretty essential to the plot.

 

Confirm that the Smoke Monster came before the Dharma Initiative.

 

 

Initially, this appears to be a fun, throwaway video… but I picked up one very big possible point - Future Damon and Carlton tell us that it is impossible to change the future.

 

The video ends with one second shots of what appear to be two new characters for Season Five. We’ll worry about them later.

 

 

Two brief takeaways from this one:

 

The reason Christian Shephard is wearing white shoes will be answered this season – which is a good question, I suppose – and one that I personally never asked.

 

The four toed statue will be seen in Season Five, but more extensively in Season Six.

 

This video ends with an Ajira Airways commercial

 

Get Lost in the world.
Destiny calls.

Fly Ajira Airways.

http://ajiraairways.com/

 

Visiting the website, there are a few references to Lost (such as the hieroglyphics from the 108 counter in the Swan Hatch, Lost-relevant locations like Los Angeles, Portland, and Baghdad, and the phrase "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" hidden in the code), but so far nothing earth shattering has been discovered yet.

 

It is intriguing that Ajira is Hindi for "island" or "isle", or Arabic for "Eternal life after Death".

 

That brings us to the new commercials that have been airing over the past month, which feature some noteworthy scenes if you watch very closely.

 

 

  • We see Juliet, Sawyer, and Locke shielding their eyes from a bright light.
  • Locke is shown falling off those big vines / roots – like the ones near the Pearl, and later seen clutching a bloody compass.
  • Someone uncovering a vine-covered hatch opening in the jungle.
  • Sawyer and Juliet running from flaming arrows.
  • Someone wearing a Dharma haz-mat suit (like Kelvin wore) pointing a gun at Faraday near what looks like the Swan entrance.

 

Next, there is what I deemed the “Freakout Trailer” that I posted on the Blog before Christmas…

 

 

Among the freakout-worthy scenes were:

 

  • Strangers getting pulled through the jungle similar to how Smokey dragged Locke in Season One)
  • A baby being born.
  • Locke all alone asking “is anyone there? Anyone?”
  • A pendulum swinging over funky charts / graphs / maps.
  • A person writing all over chalkboard that reminds me of Faraday busily writing on his chalkboard when Desmond visited during Season Four… or is it Radzinski creating the Blast Door Map?
  • Desmond leaving Penny.
  • Claire telling Kate “you can’t bring him back” via telephone.
  • Stuff blowing up in the water and on land
  • A computer that looks similar to the one inside the Swan hatch.
  • A man catching on fire in front of Charlotte and Faraday.
  • Sawyer threatening Faraday since everyone he loved blew up on their boat.
  • Person typing at computer that says “EVENT WINDOW DETERMINED”.

 

Finally, there is this commercial – just released last week:

 

 

In it, we see:


  • Desmond and Penny WITH BABY!
  • Sayid strangling someone.
  • Sun pointing a gun at someone.
  • Locke dodging the Beechcraft plane.

 

Okay, so add it all up and what do you get?

 

A lot of evidence that the Island “moved” back into the past.

 

I’ve been racking my brain and annoying my wife with philosophical questions about how this would all work for the past few days. Here’s my best guess, so far:

 

When Ben turned the FDW, he sent the Island back in time. Since it “disappeared” in the present to the Oceanic Six, I’m guessing the Island moved in space as well. I’m also guessing this is not the first time the Island has moved, which provides handy explanations for how the Black Rock and Yemi’s airplane ended up on the Island.

 

Since Chang referenced 30 years in his Comic Con video, that seems like a good estimate of exactly how far back in time it moved… although 23 or 42 would be more “Losty”. That puts the Island in the 1970’s, which conveniently is when “The Incident” occurs and the Dharma Initiative is created.

 

Here’s a crazy, mind-blowing thought: what if the Island moving back in time, IS “The Incident”? From what we learned from Kelvin and the Blast Door, the Incident dealt with a big electromagnetic blast. In the past, when we’ve seen one of these electromagnetic blasts (like when the Swan imploded), the sky filled with a bright light – just like we see Juliet and Sawyer shielding their eyes from in the previews.

 

We’ve all been hoping to someday see more of the history of the Island and the Dharma Initiative – what better way than to experience it firsthand through the eyes of our Survivors still on the Island? It’s totally genius.

 

The intriguing thing is that the Island also seemed to “reset” somehow, and this is where it gets confusing. The videos seem to show the Swan Hatch rebuilt (and occupied) and covered by the jungle – the way Locke found it back in Season One. We also see our Survivors under fire (literally) with flaming arrows. Who could these be coming from? Would the Others, who have been in hiding at The Temple for more than a season, suddenly launch some huge offensive against our Survivors? Seems unlikely. It’s almost like they are just stumbling upon them for the first time – or it’s a different group of people attacking, who weren’t on the Island in 2004.

 

What better defense could the Island have than totally resetting itself back 30 years, before any of its current threats even existed?

 

But here’s where it gets sticky.

 

Our Survivors weren’t on the Island 30 years ago – but clearly they are now. How could some portions of the Island reset and others remain the same? I’m assuming our Survivors still have total knowledge of everything that has happened to them over the past few months, but it seems like potentially the Others do not. If someone is manning the Swan Hatch, that would mean either Kelvin or Radzinski were brought back to life with the move. Does this mean that people would revert back in age as well? What if they weren’t alive in the 1970’s? Would they disappear? What if someone was on the Island in both 2004 and 1974? Would there be two of them, a la Back to the Future?

 

These questions stumped me for a while, and delayed this post by a few days – but here’s my best guess:

 

Only the Island originals reset – any “outsiders” like our Survivors simply move along with it. This could be used to explain the seeming eternal life of Richard Alpert as well as the reason that the Island doesn’t allow babies to be born on the Island – getting older or younger when the Island moves – or having people suddenly appear or disappear would muck up the cosmos and create potentially impossible (and confusing) scenarios.

 

I still don’t know what this would mean for someone like Ben – if he goes back to the Island, will young Ben be there? That would be weird.

 

The other thing that this could lead to is our characters having some residual knowledge in the present about the past. Remember how Faraday was crying when he saw the video of the Oceanic 815 crash but didn’t know why? If he is now existing on the Island in the 1970’s, would his 2004 self know everything that already happened with him on the Island, since it “lived through it” thirty years prior?

 

Could a character like Ben return to the Island and suddenly be viewed as some sort of all-knowing God since he knows exactly what is going to happen before it does? Is this the reason why Ben always seems one step ahead of everyone? Or why Alpert was checking Locke out as a kid, since he knew that he would eventually end up on the Island as a potential new leader?

 

It gets really confusing really fast. But this just goes to show how critical Faraday is going to be for Lost at the start of this season. He’s going to be the one to explain this all to the Survivors and to us, the audience. Here’s hoping he can dumb it down enough for me.

 

The logical question to ask at this point is “how can the Oceanic Six possibly return to the Island, if it’s now in the past?” Would they actually travel back in time to get there, or would they arrive at the Island in 2005 and find our Survivors have lived 30 years on the Island waiting for them? All the shots of the pendulum swinging over weird lines and the phrase “EVENT WINDOW DETERMINED” makes me think they’re going to go back in the past, but who knows. It seems pretty clear that getting back is going to involve Ajira Airways – possibly landing a plane on the runway on Alcatraz - but from there, it’s a mystery. Maybe there that “Lighthouse Dharma Station” exists off the Island, and provides a way to reach to it? Maybe this is also how people like Alpert travel on and off the Island (and in time).

 

But one important takeaway for all this comes from Damon and Carlton – YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE FUTURE. It’s been a theme of Lost from the start – fate, destiny, things happen that are supposed to happen. Even if the Island “resets”, is there anything that anyone can do to prevent the same terrible things happening the second time around? This is precisely what Dharma was trying to do – solve the world’s problems before it’s too late – and being able to rewind thirty years and try again seems like a pretty handy way to keep trying even if you fail the first time. Chang seems to be pleading for us to try and change the past in his video, while noting that it may be impossible to do.

 

Okay – enough mindless rambling. Let’s wrap up my thoughts:

 

It seems as though Desmond will be involved in returning to the Island, since he is shown leaving not only Penny – but also a NEW BABY! This still doesn’t answer if people like Walt or Frank would need to go back, but as long as Desmond is still going to be heavily featured, I’m pumped (even though this puts Penny in big danger since Ben vowed to kill her if he could find her).

 

I’m hopeful that the shots of Sun with a gun mean that she is working with Widmore to return to the Island for his purposes, which would create an awesome counter to Ben and Sayid.

 

With the introduction of all this time-travel stuff, I’m pretty sure Adam and Eve will end up being Jack and Kate. I’m also thinking that we might go even farther back in time in Season Six, when we learn more about the four toed statue.

 

Okay – that’s all for now. We’ve got three weeks to discuss all this, and that is precisely what I’d like to do. Here’s an official Message Board post to kick things off:

 

http://facethewoods.com/lost/index.php?topic=354.0

 

I suppose my next post will be the episode previews for “Because You Left” and “The Lie” sometime in mid-January.

 

Get pumped! Destiny calls!

 

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome Post. I think that if some of your theories are correct, we are in store for the best season of Lost yet. We are so privledged to have this show. Seriously, what other show in history can continuously be so awesome and get better every year?

Jabbadoo said...

Wow! Santa came late this year! Thanks Brian! I'm so very excited about this season... great thoughts about going back in time, I think you are on the mark with that.

I can't believe how stuck on this show I still remain!

tkap91 said...

I think your idea on the going back 30 years is great (and pretty much the only legitimate way to explain a lot of things), but i still think that it will create way too many holes. For one, if they went back in time, what would happen to henry gale's balloon, or yemi's plane, for that matter? they were both there for less than 30 years, so wouldn't they technically not be there in 1970's island? Just reading back, I may just be confusing myself, but I don't know. Now we just play the waiting game....

VictorC said...

Fascinating stuff Brian.
To try and answer one of your questions:

"The other thing that this could lead to is our characters having some residual knowledge in the present about the past. Remember how Faraday was crying when he saw the video of the Oceanic 815 crash but didn’t know why? If he is now existing on the Island in the 1970’s, would his 2004 self know everything that already happened with him on the Island, since it “lived through it” thirty years prior?"

No, I don't think so. First his 2004 self time traveled to the 1970's (so there aren't 2 Faradays - one in the past and one in the present, just the present one living in the past) and is now living through it, if they somehow move the island back to the present time then yes, he'll remember everything. But technically he won't remember it until he goes back in time and actually lives through it. I guess.

All this stuff can get pretty confusing.

Katie Kat said...

OY VEY. This could be the most confusing (and greatest) LOST season yet! Great post, as always.

I thought of one thing though, - when Ben says that "everyone" has to return to the Island, does he mean EVERY SINGLE SURVIVOR? Some of them died after getting there (like Boone, et al) and some got off the Island onto the freightor and then died (like Jin). Or, does he just mean the main players (like the Oceanic 6).

Also, I just love (NOT) how Carlton and Damon wimp out by answering every question with the standard "That question will definitely be answered in Season 5" answer! Makes me wanna throttle them! :)

Brian said...

Anonymous - Yep, during my marathon Lost viewing over the past few days, I think I'm ready to officially declare it as my favorite show of all time. Sorry, Buffy.

tkap91 - I think those things are still going to happen, but now our Survivors will experience them firsthand. Note the airplane that looks a lot like Yemi's plane dive-bombing Locke during the one preview.

VictorC - This thought popped in my head as I was rewatching "Confirmed Dead" and "The Constant" this week. Faraday clearly is having some issue in remembering things on the Island, and I wonder if it's because Desmond made contact with him in 1996.

Maybe it's a long shot - but I'm hoping all this time travel somehow ties back in with the concepts from "The Constant".

Katie Kat - if I had to make a guess, I'd say that The Oceanic 6 + Locke + Desmond + Frank have to return to the Island - basically all the people who spent some time on the Island, but are now off of it. It could be the Island's way of protecting itself, since they "know too much" about it to be in the outside world.

But we'll get into this more with the Season Premiere Preview...

VictorC said...

Brian I agree with you on Faraday's memory issues, though it seems that he was forgetting things instead of "remembering" new memories, which I can't fully understand why.
Like you, I think it's because of Desmond contacting him, but logically you'd think he'd be remembering new memories, yet instead he's forgetful.

I don't think it's a long shot to say it ties back with the concepts from The Constant. It's all time travel, only that it's not just their mind time traveling to the past, but their whole body as well.

I've already arrived at the conclusion that this is my favorite TV show of all time as well. Hands down.

annie said...

note that there is a voice sounding very much like Faraday that says 'I know what's happening' six seconds into the the freakout trailer video. that might be an answer to your question to whether or not he 'lived through it'... or a clue to unravel the mystery.

Katie Kat said...

Brian: I don't know if this is even something you can help with, but I'm having trouble logging on to the Lost and Gone For Awhile forum. I tried to get my password emailed to me, but it won't do it, and now it says I've tried too many times to login! ARGH!

Oh, and I think Farraday's memory problems DEFINITELY have to do with time travel, moving the island, etc. He's the ultimate constant, I think.

Christine said...

SO GLAD you are back Brian! I think Walt, Des, & Frank will all have to go back, it just makes sense. They didn't seem to deal with Walt's "abilities" as much as they could have.

Also, during Marvin Candle's video: a crying baby is heard in the background ... what 30 years ago? Could this be baby CHARLOTTE?! It just seemed that this baby would be important somehow...thoughts?!

Sawyer's Optician said...

Brian, thanks for gathering all the info and for your insightful comments.

Christine, I also thought that the baby crying was important. If the video was filmed on the island, where did the baby come from? Maybe another like Aaron who was well on his way when it's mom arrived, or something else?

It's great to be obsessing about Lost again!

adamgibson11 said...

Great post Brian, can't wait for the new season to start. Do we know how many episodes will be in season 5?

Anonymous said...

according to lospedia.com season 5 and 6 will have 17 episodes each !

Stef said...

Brian! Thanks for doing all this theoretical heavy lifting, it adds so much to our enjoyment of LOST!

Brian said...

Christine - good catch on the baby crying - but I'm pretty sure that Pierre Chang says "get HIM out of here", which would eliminate Charlotte from the mix.

Anonymous said...

http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5b-kLvppdg&feature=related

its just part 1 of 9 but in part 4 or 5.. its look like he talk about LOST ! its fun.. must see

Anonymous said...

and John Titor.... another LOSTIE ??
Google is name

Steve said...

specially when he talk about The Looking Glass !

Christine said...

Brian: RIIIIIGHT ... "him" ... didn't catch that ;-) SEE! That's what I keep you round for :D

ninja raiden said...

Hey Brian! I've been reading your post for a while and think it's great. I wanted to say that maybe the effects of the radiation on Faraday's mind during the experiments with Eloise may have something to do with his recent memory loss.

He expressed that earlier with his question of whether Desmond was exposed to extreme amounts of radiation in "The Constant".

I also believe the rules of the Constant will have to do with Jack and Kate, being that eventually the two will have to be connected in the past and the future and once again reinforcing their relationship as the major romance of Lost.

Their relationship leads to my theory of the nature of Jacob, if your interested in hearing it.

Thanks again for having one of the more level headed Lost blogs where people can come to enjoy the show rather than tear it apart.

Rebecca said...

And now I have a headache, the kind that only a good LOST analysis can bring on. o_o

Anonymous said...

the baby crying, i predict, will turn up to be Milos (the Asian guy).

Anonymous said...

Faraday's memory problems were related by the writers when he was playing cards with Charlotte early last season. What this means and how it happened should be seen this season.

GeeWhiz said...

Yeh definitely Miles is the crying baby - which is why he wants to GET Ben and come to the island. Perhaps being conceived?born? on the island gave him his ability which is really to do with funky island time stuff.

Also thanks Brian reminder to not go to other sites - only you can be trusted! Even if they don't give details they always give things away by saying things like 'shocking ending'; 'explosive action' or whatever.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed something - sorry if it's already been discussed. They have been on the island for 108 days/the counter had to be pushed every 108 minutes. There are lots of meanings for 108 in many religions - see http://www.hknet.org.nz/108meaning.html

Personally I like the one that says the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey...

Any other thoughts on the significance to 108?

Anonymous said...

yes,, 1+0+8 = 9 !!!

like 9 planets !! haha just kidding

Anonymous said...

very interesting if Miles is proven to be the son of Asian Dharma guy. What would this explain? The Asian guy said "if you are watching this video, it means I am dead". (sic). thoughts?

Anonymous said...

*Asian Dharma guy = Marvin Candle

Eric said...

Excellent job like always. I am still torn between Lost and HBO's Carnivale as my favorite show ever. Both shows have very similar characteristics. There is always some unknown and both shows seems to introduce more questions than they answer. I also like how both shows are "secretly" intellectual. What I mean by this is that there are a lot of religious and various historical references. The average watcher would not even realize this but many do.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian, did you notice that in the Comic Con video the voice telling Marvin Candle (Pierre Chang!) to hurry up and stuff sounded v v like Faraday?

The jumpy style of what he was saying and how he said it fitted that too imo.

Anonymous said...

also just a crazy thought but can anyone imagine some ridiculous finale where a plane is trying to land as people on the island try and move it through time so that the runway for it to land on exists??

maybe a possibility

Anonymous said...

the voice speaking to marvin candle in the comic con video is most absolutely Faradays. I recognized it immediately. Future Faraday is working on time travel because of his work in the past on the island. He remembers the island and marvin in the future and it brings him to tears.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to call the new dharma logo, "The Beacon." No reason, I just do.

Anonymous said...

agreed. no doubt the voice we hear on Marvin Candle's video is that of Faraday. hard to wrap ones' mind around this time stuff!

Anonymous said...

To add to your thoughts that the island does "move" back in time, the scene in the season previews of someone burning may be them watching the purge happen right before them. That would be awesome if all the sudden they appear in the season premier back in time and in the midst of a purge. But then would they see Ben as a young boy? And if he came back to the island at the age that he left, what would happen? hmm.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA ONLY 2 DAYS !!! YOUHOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Anonymous said...

WE WANT A PREVIEW POST!

Seriously though, great work. I appreciate the thoroughness of it.

Anonymous said...

Are you going to be posting a preview post for the premier of the new season?

Anonymous said...

He said he will.. so trust Brian !

Brian said...

Sorry guys, I was sans-Internet this weekend while painting the office. The "Because You Left" and "The Lie" post will be up tonight, I promise! It'll be a good appetizer for during the day on Wednesday, in preparation for the season premiere that night :)