Monday, January 25, 2010

Everything Happens for a Reason

More on Lost that I got too tired of writing about the other day. Spoilers if you haven't seen seasons 1-5. I got so tired of writing the other night that I had to save my overall theory about this show. I may be wrong. I can't quite see the writers going this direction in today's world. But we'll see.

Film location from Hurley's van scene

Summary Overall

There's a lot of implication in the show that when the plane crashed in 2004, when the show starts out, the crash was meant to happen with these particular people on the plane. The people on the plane are there for a reason. Many have pre-existing relationships that sometimes they barely recall or don't know the overall picture of. For instance, Kate gets close to James\Sawyer on the island, but not through the entire five seasons does she know that a woman named Cassidy she befriended in the past was carrying Sawyer's daughter, Clementine. We also know that Christian Shepard was also Claire's father, knew Ana Lucia, and had met Sawyer before the crash. Jack knows none of this until later. Jack's previous wife Sarah was in a car accident with Shannon's biological father and Boone's stepdad, but I am not sure that Jack, Shannon, or Boone ever know this fact about their connection. Libby was in the mental institution with Hurley, and we know this but Hurley doesn't as far as we know. Kate's stepdad Major Sam Austen worked with Sayid at one point and also with Kelvin, who had been on the island previously. There are a lot more of these connections that we know, but that we're not sure the people on the island know because they aren't seeing the flashbacks that we get to see, nor the overall picture. In the last episode of the last season (so far) we see that Jacob has come to Hurley, Kate, Sawyer, Jack, and possibly others as well. He makes lists. These seem to be people on the lists.

Who else made lists? It reminds me of all the begats in the Old Testament. Testament meaning a recording of the chosen people. Just like the people on the island. These people not only have previous connections, but in some cases blood relationships. I think we will see more of these revealed in the sixth season. The reason I think this is that the fathers and in some cases mothers on the show are vaguely revealed or not at all. We find out that Christian Shepard is not just Jack's father, but Claire's. We find out that Charles Widmore is not just Penny's father, but Daniel Faraday's. 

There are so many issues with parental abandonment that I think in season 6 we'll be treated to a real surprise of just who is related to whom. 

My theory is that the people who crashed on the island probably fall under at least one of these categories:

1. They are the sons or daughters of previous "magnificent" people who have inhabited the island.

2. They have some sort of special power. This is implied about Walt and John as well as Desmond.

3. They are on the island because they themselves have been there before and didn't "get it right" the first time. 

I think time is not  linear on the show and that despite Desmond saying you can't change what happened, you can in an alternate universe, and I think Lost is a time warp of alternate universes until someday, someone gets it right and does the right things to save the world. So what is getting it right, and how does the world need to be saved?

The numbers hint at this, as they are "countdown" numbers, i.e. a date to point at which humanity extinguishes itself. We know that the Dharma Initiative, financed by Hanso Corp, Widmore Corp, and Paik's company, has tried to research these numbers and this doom countdown, and tried to change the date, which also, if you think about it, changes the course of humanity. I honestly think that The Others are more accepting (or something) of the countdown and think that fate cannot be changed, and if we do, it might be dangerous.

We do see the recurring theme of fate and destiny vs. free will quite a bit. We get glimpses at something terrible happening unless the plane crash survivors do what they are supposed to do. I think these survivors of the Oceanic  flight 815 are called together to correct an anomaly that either they themselves or their ancestors had messed up. 

Call it "history repeating itself" and "people getting another chance."

When the original survivors are finally rescued, they eventually all go back to the island because they learn it is their destiny. When they go back, most of them don't go back to the modern date, but go back to the 1970s when the Dharma Initiative was around. Why? Because whatever they did on the island in the modern day messed up destiny, and they have to go back to the 1970s to fix it. Or what they did in 2004 somehow altered time. They did, for instance, stop pushing the button and alter what was supposed to happen.

Why is everything messed up? It's pretty simple. There is no one leader on the island, and there are two opposing forces. Nobody ever really knows quite what to do, and reasoning behind doing one thing or the other is always vague. Benjamin directs a lot of the action, but is hardly ever truthful. John Locke is a leader but is off in some sort of mystical la-la land we don't really know about. Jack was the leader who had to let go since he could not fix everything. The "greater good" is constantly changing, and perspectives of people open up when more is revealed about them. This show does a lot to prove that it's best not to judge appearances.

The saving the world part from its own self-destructive destiny is also confusing. What does this have to do with a hydrogen bomb on the island or with some mysterious half organic, half metallic sounding monster?

Finally, along with point 3 above, these people who've inhabited the island since the beginning, The Others, go back supposedly to 1900s. But then there's all this early mythology as well as Biblical naming stuff going on. Which means, this island may have existed in the beginning of time, and all the people who have lived on it have not been able to start a course of destiny that will seal mankind's survival OR fix their ancestor's mistakes. 

I think the people coming to the island that fall in at least one of the three categories above are a) told they have a destiny to save the world and b) are constantly within struggle about how to fix things, either by mandate or by free will.

What could this possibly allude to other than the Biblical story of Eden and the constant disorder in the world that arose from the original sin, and human's incapability to ever do the right things? The Bible contradicts itself and was interpreted by different men. People still interpret things differently and make laws based on those interpretations. Or people just think it's hogwash altogether. I think this allusion is a statement of our times, that science drives some and faith drives others, and that ne'er the two shall mix. And it's too bad, because the two can mix, but such division arises between them there is always strife.

If not Eden, then another theory I have is "the lost tribe" theory. There are so many names in Lost that are associated with the 12 tribes of Israel's patriarchs: Jacob, Benjamin, Aaron, Dan, and possibly more. These twelve tribes were given lots around the Jordan, and later 10 of these tribes go missing. (One of the tribes was the tribe of Levi, and they were a priest class and didn't own any lots; not sure about the other tribe, so I may have to research that someday. Actually, I think there was a division in these kingdoms and these broke down into two main groups.) The 10 lost tribes are still being talked about today. Where did they go? I think the island is a theory (of course, fictional), and calling this show "Lost" would be pretty obvious. 

The lost tribes of Israel fanned  out into the world. In short: whatever it is, we are LOST because we cannot possibly really know what we are supposed to do all the time, and it's hard to know without knowing this great truth; we are born into contradiction and those of us trying to free ourselves from it get lost.

Anyway, this self-fulfilling destiny of humanity cannot be fixed. It hasn't, on the island, for millions of years, and all the progenitors going back to fix things fail and end up in time warps and on this island that has been around forever. And in fixing things, or the attempts to, I think the Lostie crew really develops alternative lives--for instance, how is it that Libby, who lost her husband but appears "together" after that when talking to Desmond and giving him a boat is the same Libby that looks completely torn up in the same hospital as Hurley? Is it the same Libby? Does Libby's destination have alternate possibilities? Things like that happen often in the show.

There are quite a few cyclic (repeated) dialogs and scenes on the island too. How many times have we heard Richard say, "Have we met before?" or "Have we been here before?" The other recurring sayings are "Live together, die alone," "See you in another life," "What's done is done," and so on. I can think of one example of recurring warp as if time is just being played out again and again: the scene when not-Locke asks Ben to kill Jacob. This is very reminiscent of the scene where Ben asked John Locke to kill his father. In the John Locke scene, Ben used an audience as a tool to encourage John to kill his father. He said something along the lines of "You will never change if you don't do this." In the later scene with un-Locke (or Esau/black shirt, nemesis), un-Locke does the exact thing to Benjamin. Now, if we realize that the biblical father of Ben is Jacob, it would be the same scene repeated in time, but with different players.

Season 6, come on!!

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