Lost is depressing.
This week, I asked a few friends a very simple question: “In your opinion, what would be a ‘happy ending’ for Lost?” Initially, it sounds like a pretty simple question. But once you start pushing further, it gets far more difficult. People would give the generic answer of “everyone getting off the
When you start looking at a character-by-character breakdown, and what would be their “perfect ending”, it’s pretty depressing:
- Jack – finding his purpose and reason for being on the
Island… and then what? Staying on the Islandforever to become the new Jacob? Getting back together with Kate? Having a child and proving that he’s a better father than Christian?
- Kate – realizing that she can’t bring Crazy Claire back to Aaron? Settling for Jack, who told her that she wasn’t worth all the crap that’s happened on the
Islandin last season’s finale?
- Sawyer – I’ve got nothing. If Sawyer gets off the
Island, he’s going to go on a drinking binge and be super angry at the world. If he stays on the Island, he’s going to go on a drinking binge and be super angry at the world. Maybe in time, he’ll get over Juliet, but it’s not like he has much to go back to in the real world… and I can’t see him ending up with Kate after it’s so clear that he loved Juliet.
- Sayid – he might already be dead and “claimed” by the dark side – but if not, I guess he can go back and build homes for the needy in exotic
- Hurley – perhaps if he went back to the real world, he would no longer be haunted by dead people / the
Island, and could live out a happy life – but would the Numbers still bring him nothing but bad luck?
- Locke – he’s dead, right? So there’s no chance for any sort of happy ending for his super tragic life, unless his essence can overpower Anti-Jacob and he “comes back to life” through this copy of his body?
- Claire – she’s gone crazy, might be possessed by the dark side, and her hair is a mess… but in theory, she might be able to be “cured” and reunited with Aaron off-Island.
- Sun and Jin – actually, they’ve got a shot. Reunite, get off the
Island, get back to Ji-Yeon. That’s a happy ending!
The point is, on the whole, things are looking pretty bleak for the remaining “core Survivors” of Oceanic 815… and we didn’t even get into all the characters that have died along the way (Boone,
Last week, I took a “big picture” look at Lost as a whole, trying to piece together the overall narrative of the Lost storyline. Looking back on it, it’s shocking how much of it centers around Jacob and Anti-Jacob, two characters who weren’t even introduced until last season’s finale. Even more shocking is how it seems as though our Survivors are nothing more than pawns in their game, with the possibility that nothing they could have done in their lives would have made any difference because these all-knowing beings have been guiding them to a certain destination all along.
It’s depressing, right?
And what is the end goal? To find a replacement for Jacob, since he knew that Anti-Jacob would eventually find his loophole? Did Jacob bring hundreds of people to the
The other thing is – from the start, we’ve been told by the Lost writers that the primary focus on the show is about the characters. The
Now, it’s looking more like it’s a question of “who will be lucky enough to survive?” with the possibility that they’re all going to be stuck on the
Happy Losting, indeed!
Why do I bring all of this up, and where in the hell is your “Lighthouse” analysis? It’s coming, I promise.
The reason I bring this up is because I think we’re looking at the season all wrong. We’ve become so focused on the big mythological on-Island storyline (revolving around Jacob and Anti-Jacob) that we’ve lost focus on the characters… to the point where most people (myself included) are completely ignoring the Off-Island storylines – storylines that actually offer some hope and happy ending for our Survivors.
The more I think about it, the more confident I am that the Off-Island, Flash-Sideways storylines are going to serve a very important purpose. I’m fully expecting a reveal on the same level as the original Flash Forward where our minds are blown once we understand what exactly they represent.
For now, they represent hope.
They represent the hope that no matter how depressing everything on the
Maybe it’s going to boil down to a question of “was it all worth it?” At the end of last season, Jack told Kate that it was not. At the end of this season, I’m willing to bet that his answer will change.
But I digress. Wasn’t there a Lost episode this week to be analyzing?
For an episode written by series masterminds Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, “Lighthouse” was surprisingly light on
Jack. “Lighthouse” was perhaps the first episode of this season where the Off-Island action equaled the On-Island action for the central character to the episode. What made the Off-Island action so intriguing for the first time this season?
The episode starts with Jack changing his shirt and noticing that he has an appendectomy scar. Remember, Juliet removed Jack’s appendix on the
So over the course of three years, the scar basically disappeared.
In the Off-Island action of this episode, we see Jack sporting quite a larger scar – from a surgery that allegedly happened when Jack was “seven or eight”:
Even more intriguing is that when Jack sees the scar, he doesn’t seem to remember it, very similar to how he looked so quizzically at the cut on his neck while onboard the Oceanic flight in the season premiere.
What’s going on here?
I had a long, thought out theory about how it may mean that the split between the two realities actually occurred around the time that the Island moved (since that was the only major Island event occurring in late 2004 / early 2005) – and that even though we all assume that it was our 1977 Time Traveling Survivors that got thrust back into the 2004 LA X reality – that might not be the case. Perhaps the movement of the
But then I deleted it in far of a much more logical explanation.
If the prop folks on Lost can accidentally put the wrong date on Claire’s ultrasound photo, how can we expect them to make a scar that matches one from two seasons ago? Maybe they intentionally made it more dramatic so that the audience (along with Jack) would notice it – since the other one is admittedly pretty tough to pick out.
The real question isn’t why the scar looks the way it does – but why LA X Jack doesn’t remember it. If you buy into the theory that once they save the world, our Survivors will be given the choice between their current lives (with all the depressing death and trauma) vs. having it all never happen, it looks like picking Door #2 results in wiping out and rewiring their memories – and there’s going to be a learning curve as their consciousness comes to grips with what is real and what is a seeming dream… the memories they have from their On-Island experiences. This may just make the decision all the harder for our Survivors, since it would mean giving up the friendships / love / lessons they learned On-Island. I forget, is it better to have loved and lost, or never to have loved at all?
If you think the “Choose Your Own Fate” explanation for the Off-Island action is lame, there’s another more interesting theory that may explain Jack’s confusion over his scar. Remember the Season Three Desmond-centric outing “Flashes Before Your Eyes”? What happened with Desmond turned the fail-safe key and imploded the Swan Station (which is pretty damn similar to what Juliet did when she set off the Jughead)? He woke up and re-lived his past, just like our Survivors.
The difference is that our Survivors blew up the Hatch in 1977, which meant that the world existed differently for nearly 30 years before they “woke up” on the Oceanic Flight landing in LA X in 2004. That’s a lot of time for things to work out very different, especially given how much we now know about each character’s connections to the
For Desmond, he blew up the Swan Hatch in 2004 and “woke up” in 1996 – which means he actually went backwards. That would explain why things progressed as they always did during his “flash” – because in 1996, he’s still 8 years away from potentially changing the future.
If you buy into this second theory, it opens up a number of really exciting possibilities – and a ton of questions. Eloise Hawking told Desmond that the universe has a way of course correcting itself – and if you found a way to actually change the past, it would kill us all (similar to the Dogma “prove God infallible storyline”). Well, it certainly seems like our Survivors landing safely in
I could totally get behind this theory for two reasons:
- It might explain Desmond’s re-introduction to the storyline. He’s apparently the only one who exists outside the “rules”, and might be the one can figure out what is going on, and in turn, who has to save the world.
- It would be ultra-cruel (and totally something I would do) to show all our Survivors life happily ever after in the LA X storyline only to have it come crashing apart and rip them back to the depressing reality on their lives on the Island in order to save the world.
Even though I have some rough sketches of how this would all work out in my head, even I don’t really understand it – so I’m sure there are a ton of holes in this theory as well. But I think I’ve given up on my original “Jacob’s Loops” theory in favor of one of these two – either the “Choose Your Own Destiny” or “Flashes Before Your Eyes” explanation for the Off-Island action… for now.
Okay, enough about the Off-Island stuff for this week.
Back to the
Adam and Eve. Low and behold, after being referenced out of nowhere during the “Lost for Dummies” Repeat of “The Substitute”, Adam and Eve made a special guest appearance this week. While the die-hard Lost fans clearly remember these two corpses, those slackers out there who don’t read the Blog probably needed that refresher so that once their identities are revealed, they actually care about it.
Hurley wonders aloud if they might be Survivors of Oceanic 815 that have been sent back in time – which of course, is exactly what most people have been guessing for the past five years. But who? Honestly, there doesn’t seem to be any characters on the show right now that “fit” into the mold. Remember, Adam and Eve were one male, one female - with one black and one white rock. The inclusion of the rocks hints at them being part of the same Island dichotomy as Jacob and Anti-Jacob… but unfortunately the only characters involved in any of the “Candidate” or “Recruiting” talk have been males.
My best guess, right now?
If the “Flashes Before Your Eyes” theory pans out, I could envision a scenario where Desmond (and Penny) have to go back in time to prevent the Incident and end up getting thrown back in time during the process, allowing them to live out their lives on the Island and eventually die together in a cave. It’s a happy / sad ending for their characters, but would fulfill Ms. Hawking’s promise to Desmond that the
It doesn’t really explain the black and white rocks, though.
If not, then we’re definitely due for at least a little more time travel on the Island, because there is no other explanation for the age of the bodies that makes any sense or ties to any of the characters on the show. All the other options are either too old (anyone associated with Richard, Jacob, or Anti-Jacob) or too young (anyone associated with our Survivors). These are people that need to die in the 1940’s – and we just don’t have anyone that fits that bill… yet.
The Visitor. Jacob told Hurley that someone was coming to the
There’s a lot to think about here.
For one, we’ve only got thirteen episodes of Lost left, and a boatload of unanswered questions / dangling storylines. The introduction of any new character now is absolutely insane unless they are going to show up and answer all our questions. I don’t see that happening.
Out of the existing characters who could return to the
Also, it’s not as though it’s easy to just stumble upon the
So while I still have hopes about Desmond and Widmore returning to the
What about the Lighthouse itself?
Lighthouse. During my “big picture” analysis last week, I mentioned my hope that Jacob wasn’t some all-knowing, omniscient being – but instead was just an average guy who doesn’t age and can jump around the space-time continuum using the funky powers of the
Initially, it seemed as though “Lighthouse” showed that Jacob had indeed been watching our Survivors from the start, making him more of an all-knowing, godlike character than I had hoped… but the more I think about it, the less sure I am about that. After all, Jack (and Hurley) were both able to see the weird images in the Lighthouse mirrors – which may mean that the magical powers of the Lighthouse are simply tied to the mirrors / funky Island powers, and not to Jacob. Jacob is just the guy who hung out there and watched the action in the mirrors. With no TV on the
But does this prove that Jacob has been watching our Survivors from the start? Did he know, in 1976, that Sawyer would grow up to be a Candidate on the Island, and touch him to ensure he “bumped him” towards the
I still come down on the side of “Jacob isn’t all knowing”. If Jacob was truly all-knowing, he wouldn’t have “guessed wrong” on the first 354 names written on the Lighthouse Wheel. I think the Lighthouse was Jacob’s way of gathering information on those characters that arrived on his
It’s also appears that the Lighthouse is something built by Jacob, that was only intended to be used by Jacob. Even before Jack went smashy on the mirrors, it didn’t appear as though there were any open slots on the Wheel, and outside of our Candidate-Survivors, he wasn’t picking up a mirror TV signal for any of the other names. So I’m guessing the Lighthouse was built by Jacob to be used by Jacob – and the Next Jacob is going to be on their own when it comes to creepily spying on little kids around the world.
In the end, I think Jacob brought Hurley and Jack to the Lighthouse for two reasons – to help Jack realize that he was indeed “chosen” by the Island, and has some greater purpose there – and to get them the hell away from the Temple, where very bad things are about to go down.
Crazy Claire. A few weeks ago, Dogen told Jack that Claire had been “claimed by the darkness”. Although we still don’t know exactly what this means, or what happened to Claire, a few things are clear after this week’s episode. First and foremost, she’s batshit crazy. Her makeshift baby might be the creepiest thing we’ve ever seen in Lost history:
So what do we know?
- Claire explains that she hasn't been alone in the jungle for the past 3 years (and God only knows what happened to her during all the time traveling last season), but has a “friend” who told her that The Others have Aaron. She also claims her father corroborated the story.
- The Others claim that Claire is crazy, and that the Others captured her (and apparently administered the same “test” as they did to Sayid, based on her hot poker scar on the shoulder) because she was “picking the Others off” in the Jungle.
- At the end of the episode, Claire knows that SmokeLocke isn’t Locke – but is instead her “friend”.
When you add it all up, a story comes into view. Claire died in the Barracks Attack of Season Four. Afterwards she acted fairly normally at first – although Miles seemed to sense that something was off about her… we’ll see if he begins to sense the same about Sayid – but eventually was totally “claimed by the darkness”. This coincides with Claire walking off with Christian Shephard in the middle of the night, leaving Aaron behind.
Who is Christian Shephard? “Lighthouse” reminded us that his coffin ended up on the
Anyways, it seems like “The Claimed” (oh – that sounds like a creepy horror movie title, I’m going to keep using it) retain some of their prior knowledge and traits. Claire is still obsessed with finding Aaron, just as she always was. However, there also may be some sort of transfer of knowledge from Anti-Jacob to The Claimed, since there’s no way in hell Claire would be smart enough to set traps / survive on her own / kill an Other without considerable influence from something else inside her. Maybe Anti-Jacob is only sharing the brain, or maybe it’s like the “Dark Passenger” from the Dexter novels.
The important thing is that Claire has spent the past three years killing Others, looking for Aaron, and sees SmokeLocke for who he is – her “friend” Anti-Jacob. You can argue the “good” vs. “evil” debate for Jacob and Anti-Jacob all you want, but there’s some pretty hard evidence here – Anti-Jacob lied to Crazy Claire to make her think the Others had Aaron, in an effort to trick her into killing them. Conversely, the Others clearly had her at some point (based on the evidence from their “tests” on her), but couldn’t kill her – just like they couldn’t kill Sayid, even after he failed the tests. In my book, killing people makes you more of a “bad guy” than those who refrain from killing… except in the case of Dexter, of course.
Jacob told Hurley that “someone bad” is about to arrive at the
Wow – what a strange, meandering, only semi-logical Blog post this has been! As you can tell, it looks like my attempts to understand Lost have finally fried my brain (or it could be the whiskey I started drinking mid-post).
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I am still as confused about Lost right now as I’ve ever been. It makes for super entertaining episodes, but super frustrating Blog posts. To quote Damon from the latest Entertainment Weekly:
“All we can say is, Be patient. You’ve come with us this far…whether you like it or not, you’re in the car and we’re driving. If you’re feeling sick, roll the window down and throw up. But don’t get out of the car.”
Until next week!