Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Record is Spinning Again

We're just not on the song we want to be on.
-Daniel Faraday, Lost

I've long had theories and questions about Lost, but now want to write some of these down. The new season starts February 6. We have 2 more episodes while we're catching up on the first five seasons. Lost has a ton of detail that's easy to miss and forget. Don't read this post if you plan to watch the show someday! I will, in trying to summarize my feelings about the show, have to talk about these things, so this will contain spoilers if you haven't watched seasons 1-5, already aired.

Show summary: A group of unlikely passengers aboard Oceanic  Flight 815 crashes on an island on their way from Sydney to Los Angeles.

Kate's Cage

Aboard are the main characters: Losties

1. Claire Littleton. 8 months pregnant. Boyfriend left her. Mother doesn't know about the pregnancy. We find out later that Claire's father is Christian Shepard, who was having an affair with Claire's mother. Claire had gone to see a psychic who encouraged her to keep the baby and not let anyone else raise it. He said great danger would come if anyone else raised the baby. Claire was perplexed and frightened, but not sure she believed the man, and had her heart set on putting the baby up for adoption, though was confused. This psychic seems to know the plane will crash, and pays Claire to get on the plane and head to LA where supposedly a couple will adopt the baby. Of course, the psychic knows this isn't going to happen, or is actually hired out by someone to get Claire on the island. Claire eventually gives birth to a boy, Aaron Littleton, considered one of the survivors.

2. Jack Shepard is a surgeon, and a good one at that. His father is Christian Shepard. We don't know the connection between Claire and Jack until mid-seasons, as Christian was married to Jack's mother. Jack finds out eventually that Claire is his step-sister, but I don't think she really ever knows. Of course, I'm writing this before season six begins. Jack emerges as the natural leader of the plane crash survivors. He has leadership abilities and, as a doctor, has always had a deep need to fix things and people. Jack had been  flying from Sydney to LA, where he picked up his dead father (Christian) to bring him back to the states. Christian had been in Australia visiting Claire's mother, when he got shot. Jack was actually returning on the plane with the coffin when the plane crashed on this mysterious island.

3. Kate Austen. Kate is a beautiful young woman who killed her father, who had abused Kate and was violent toward Kate's mother. Kate burned the house down while he was drunk and asleep, and left. From that moment on, she became an outlaw, constantly on the run and always getting into trouble with the law to hide her tracks. Kate's mother is not forgiving of Kate and turns her in, whereupon Kate is being tracked down by the same federal marshal who eventually is escorting her to be sentenced. He tracks her down in Australia, where, on the run, she has been helping an old man farmer run his land. The marshal is escorting Kate, in handcuffs, back to the states when the plane crashes. The man Kate thinks is her father is high up in the military; we see him in at least one scene, but aren't sure of his tenure or relevancy to the rest of the show. The man Kate killed is a man she thought was her step-father, but we find out later he was her real father. Kate becomes involved in a love triangle between Jack and James "Sawyer" Ford.

4. "Sawyer", or James Ford, has come to Australia somewhat on the run himself, but also on a false lead for the man who turned his life around. When James was a little boy, his mother was the victim of a conman's ploy to get money from her, and when James's father found out, he came home drunk one night and killed the mother and then himself. At the time, little James was hiding under the bed. Knowing a conman was behind this tragedy, when a little boy, James wrote a heartfelt letter to the conman, whose name was Sawyer. This sad little letter told how Sawyer had ruined James's young family life. James spent his life, pre-island, looking for this man, and finally took on his identity, name, and conmanship. James was in Australia on a false lead to find the real Sawyer, and then upon shooting him realizes he has shot the wrong man and has become what he so despised. While still in Australia, James meets Christian Shepard at a bar, and they have some philosophical discussions over drinks. James remains a conman on the island, after the plane crash, but is somewhat humorous in his witty remarks; eventually he becomes a more likeable character. One thing of note is that back when he was in the states, one of the woman he conned but then loved, Cassidy, got pregnant with his child; she later birthed a girl named Clementine. Kate met Cassidy in the early stages of her pregnancy when Kate was on the run herself. Together they aided each other in some things.

5. Hugo\Hurley Reyes: Hurley is an obese young man around college age who lives in southern California and works at a fast food joint called Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack. Hurley is a very funny guy; he is a gaming nerd, says "dude" a lot, isn't very smart, but has a heart of gold and wants to fit in with everyone. Hurley's dad, who had abandoned him when young but then later returned, is played by Cheech Marin, kind of a funny aside. Hurley doesn't have much going for him, but does have hopes and dreams, as we see him dreaming with one of his coworkers. Then Hurley wins the lottery, with the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

Hurley had been in a mental institution at one point, and one of his friends there had just repeated those numbers over and over, so Hurley used those numbers on a lottery ticket on a whim. Upon winning 15 million dollars (or something like that), bad things start happening and Hurley feels the numbers are cursed. After doing some research on the numbers, he ends up in Australia talking to the wife of a now-dead man who had won the Australian lottery with the same numbers years before, and eventually shot himself to stop what he believed were cursed numbers. This is how Hurley had ended up in Australia and on the same plane as everyone else heading back to LA. I will talk more about the significance of these numbers in a bit.

6. Charlie Hieronymus Pace, played by our beloved Pippin from LotR, is a semi-famous guitarist from a one-hit-wonder English band called Drive Shaft. He is also a heroin junkie. Despite his downfalls, Charlie passes several tests of redemption on the island, and is a lovable and funny character. He befriends Claire during her pregnancy, and even falls in love with her. Charlie had been in Sydney trying to convince his brother Liam, also once a junkie but now clean and with a wife and daughter, to rejoin the band. The brother doesn't want to because of his new life, and tells Charlie he should straighten up his life too. Charlie is on the plane to LA when the crash happens. I think it's interesting that as a child Charlie had been given a piano as a gift from his mother. Another character named Daniel Faraday was also a young piano player, but his mother took the piano away to encourage him to focus on what she felt were his real talents: math and science. There's a lot of similar parallels in Lost.

7. Sayid Hassan Jarrah had been an Iraqi Republican Guard "communications officer". He nearly ends this career when he helped free a woman named Nadia, who he was supposed to be interrogating/torturing, but fell in love with. Nadia was safely free, but had left a photo with Sayid that said, "You will see me in the next life, if not in this one." Note, I think this is  very important, and is foreboding of the later time travel/alternative possibilities that happen on the show, and is parallel to Desmond's repeated "See ya in another life, brotha" sentiments. Soon after, Sayid got away with things, and was promoted to the Intelligence division. During Desert Storm, Sayid's base camp was captured by Americans, and Sayid was allowed to live since he spoke English. Interesting about this background is that it's Kate's father, Major Sam Austen, who asks for Sayid's assistance. Note that Sam isn't Kate's biological father; she thought he was, but found out later the guy she killed was her real father. Just for fun, further confusion, and other connections among the island survivors, another man working with Major Austen (Kate's dad) was Kelvin Inman, who had arrived on the same island the plane crashed on, yet years prior to the plane crash, and he worked with the Dharma Initiative, which I'll talk about later. Sayid spent some years as a chef in Paris, but authorities were still after him about Nadia's escape. At some point, Sayid was in Australia when he heard Nadia was alive and well, living in Irvine, CA. He was on a plane from Sydney to LAX when the plane crashed.

8. Jin and Sun: This is a South Korean couple who has had a tumultuous young marriage. Their young love had been innocent and non-traditional. She was from a rich family, her father Mr. Paik a corrupt but very wealthy industrialist. Jin was from a fishing village, his father a poor fisherman, and as we learn later, his mother a prostitute, leaving Jin to be raised by the father. When Sun and Jin fall in love and wish to be married, Jin is ashamed of his past and has already told Sun that his parents are dead. The only way he can get Mr. Paik's blessing to marry his daughter is to work for Mr. Paik's company, which is somehow aligned with the Hanso Foundation and the Widmore Corporation, which I'll talk about eventually. But both companies helped finance the Dharma Initiative, which had been on the island from the late 1960s until it died out in 1992 or so. So, there is this continuous connection these characters have with the island before they ever "crash" there, and we learn more about this as the episodes go on. Jin turns rather corrupt himself, and in doing so ceases to treat Sun very well. In time, she craves a more modern day feminist independence, which includes going behind her husband's back to learn to speak English and having an a affair while in Seoul. Sun almost leaves Jin at the airport from Sydney to LA, when at the last minute she sees him offer her a flower,  one of his earliest acts of love, and believing they still might have something to salvage, she boards the plane with Jin, and then crashes with the rest. On the island, we see a big evolution of these characters, with Sun asserting more and more of her independence, and Jin eventually coping with it and even starting to learn English too. Their love has great redemptive forces, and it's nice to see this evolution.

9. John Locke. This may be everyone's favorite character. The actor who portrays him is very strong and perfect for the part. We have to feel sorry for John Locke; he was abandoned by both his parents as a child and grew up in foster homes. As a young child, Locke is visited by Richard Alpert, a non-aging character we see more of later in the show, to figure out whether John has special powers or not. As a young boy, we see Alpert visit him and lay several items out on the table and ask which one belongs to Locke. These items are of note as they show up later in the show, on the island. One of these items was a knife, and when John picked it, Richard left, saying he was not ready yet.  Richard had also been in the hospital room when John's mother (only 15 years old) gave birth. John was premature and had a lot of health issues. As an adult, John reunited with his mother who told him (she had been paid to tell him) that his father wanted to meet him. John's strong desire to have close family and an identity was sated, and at the beginning, John and his dad, Anthony Cooper, seemed to get along well. But then we learn that the father is just using John to get one of his kidneys, without which he would die. This evil man turns out to later paralyze John by pushing him out of a window. And this same father has also been a conman all his life--in fact had conned John Locke's mother, as well as had gone by several names: you guessed it maybe? One of his fake names was Tom Sawyer, James Ford's protagonist. Don't worry: He gets his due in the end.

By this time, poor John Locke, also in love with a woman named Helen (played by Peg Bundy from Married with Children), has grown tired of dealing with John's ongoing naive trust in his dad. Having lost everything, John decides to turn his life around. Though now in a wheelchair, he decides to go on a Walkabout in Australia, a journey that he hopes will give his life new meaning. He is encouraged by, like Richard Alpert, a recurring man in Locke's life named Matthew Abaddon, who motivates Locke to go on this Walkabout. This guy appears often as a sort of messenger or aide in the show, and always to Locke--though he also helped to recruit other characters to the island, like Daniel Faraday, Miles Straume, Charlotte Lewis, and Frank Lapidas (pilot). He also later visits Hurley in the mental institution. Anyway, Locke gets to Australia but is declined by the Walkabout leader since Locke is in a wheelchair. Locke leaves, thoroughly dejected, but after crashing on the island finds new faith and hope after all, and miraculously can walk again. He turns out to be a sort of independent and mused leader of sorts, and a proficient hunter of boar meat.

10. Michael Dawson and son Walt Lloyd. Michael is the biological father of Walt, who was taken when young by Michael's ex-girlfriend Susan Lloyd, to Amsterdam where she wished to further her career. At that time, Michael was a poor artist and construction worker, and Susan had money to raise the child. Michael agreed but was unhappy about it. Years later, when Walt was a young boy, and when Susan had been married to someone else, the husband informed Michael that Susan had died and that Michael could have Walt. Michael picked up Walt in Australia and was heading to LA when the plane crashed.

We have an inkling that Walt has some sort of special powers, but this storyline hasn't been completely revealed yet. Walt seems like a typical kid, and even has his dog Vince on the island and enjoys the strange Spanish comic books with polar bears (an artifact from the Dharma Initiative days on the island--though Hurley was reading the same comic on the plane!), but something about Walt isn't quite right. Michael eventually builds a raft to attempt an escape from the island, and he, Sawyer, Walt, and Jin cast off in search of help. They get out on the sea, and after a few days see another boat. It turns out to be a boat by "The Others"--who have made vague appearances on the island, enough to scare this cast of survivors, but who now kidnap Walt and in turn blow up the raft. Jin, Sawyer, and Michael get back to the island with wood pieces from the raft, and realize they had not seemed to get too far after all. It is by now hinted that the island is really mysterious, not only by a strange "monster" in the jungle and whispering voices from The Others but seemingly an island that is hidden in time and place from the rest of the world. Michael ends up going after The Others on his own to get his son back, and eventually finds Walt. Michael gets himself and Walt off the island and gets back to the U. S. But he is ridden with guilt after having shot a girl named Libby. Michael feels like he needs to get back to the island, and is hired by one of Charles' Widmore's henchmen to work on a freighter just off the island; this freighter is named the Kahana.

Though Walt seems to have been written off the show, we do see him appear as a vision or apparition of sorts to both Shannon as well as via computer messaging to Michael. The last we see of Michael is that the Kahana gets blown up, and as far as we know at the end of season 5, Michael has died on it.

11. Shannon Rutherford and Boone Carlyle: These step-siblings also were on the plane that crashed on the island, along with all the above-mentioned characters, but their roles weren't as big. Shannon is a stuck-up, whiny, prissy blonde and her step-brother Boone, who we eventually learn was in love with Shannon (they are only marriage related), is a nice young man who eventually becomes John Locke's sidekick in exploration and the discovery of the first hatch:  the station, The Swan, where we find Desmond typing the same numbers on Hurley's winning lotto ticket, into an old DOS-based computer, every 108 minutes. At the same time Locke is assisting Boone in just getting over Shannon, Shannon is actually helping Sayid to translate a recurring French transmission that they hear on a radio they find; this transmission they learn is from a French woman named Danielle Rousseau who has been on the island for 16 years.

The transmission has some French on it, but also the same numbers: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. The numbers' significance here are some sort of coordinates that a pilot must use to get to the island, since the island is, well, mysteriously located in a different realm of sorts. Boone is the son of Sabrina Carlyle and step-son of Adam Rutherford. Want some more survivor connections? Here we go, Adam Rutherford was killed by the car that Jack's soon-to-be wife Sarah was driving that almost paralyzed her for life, but whom Jack fixed. His marriage declined later. The accident happened three years before Shannon and Boone were on the plane to LA from Sydney. When Shannon's biological father died, the mother Sabrina, not Shannon's real mother, did not give her any of the inheritance money and yet still supported her biological son Boone. This is just another example of the horrible abandonment issues seen over and over in the show, between parents and children.

Shannon gets killed on the show inadvertently by Ana Lucia after a brief love affair with Sayid. Boone dies after climbing up to a long-ago crashed plane that he and Locke found while exploring (the plane fell, crushing Boone's leg, and causing him to bleed to death), a plane filled with Virgin Mary statues, which were in turn filled with heroin. This plane, a Beechraft, had been previously been used to smuggle drugs from Nigeria and was a affiliated with a character named Eko and his brother Yemi, a priest.

12. Rose and Bernard Nadler were a couple who were part of the survivors of Flight 815, among all these others. We know that prior to the island, Rose had some kind of cancer and had given up on life, even though her newlywed husband Bernard loved her enough to marry a dying woman. Bernard insisted they see a faith healer in Australia, which is why the couple had gone there. Rose lied to Bernard after visiting the healer by herself, and said she was cured; she knew otherwise, he would insist on paying every quack healer in the world to come up with a cure. Ironically, on their way back to LA and having crashed on the island, Rose makes a full recovery, much like John Locke did with his legs. We do not know after the crash where Bernard is. He a survivor from the tail section of the plane,  so ended up on a different part of the island. He was found by the others who ended up on this different section of the island, and eventually he reunites with Rose, who has had faith the entire time that her husband is alive.

*There's quite a few other minor characters who we see in the first several episodes, who had survived the crash, including the marshal who was escorting Kate in handcuffs; he died from crash complications.

I don't want to list them here, as it would be too long.

13. "The Tailies" I'm just going to lump these together, because these are the minor characters who survived the tail section of the plane, including Bernard Nadler.

  • Ana Lucia was a cop in LA, who we had first seen in a flashback of Jack's from the Sydney airport. They have a drink and brief discussion at the bar. We later learned that Ana Lucia lost a baby (while pregnant) to a senseless shooting and then later shot the man after he got off free from lack of evidence. She was in Australia acting as a bodyguard to Christian Shepard, Jack (and Claire's) father. I want to mention her mother's name was Teresa, same name as Boone's nanny, who died falling down some stairs and who Boone was chanting about Teresa goes up the stairs, Teresa goes down the stairs" in Locke's dream. Michael accidentally killed Ana Lucia.
  • Mr. Eko was a Nigerian drug runner who fought inner demons when understanding the purity of his brother Yemi, a priest. It is the plane that Locke and Boone came across filled with statues of heroin that Eko had put on the plane. His brother Yemi, who had been on the plane was unaware of these drugs. On the island, when the Tailies finally meet up with the Losties (main survivors), Locke shows Eko the plane, and Eko finds the dead body of his brother (he actually was shot when boarding the plane), now a skeleton, but still with a necklace and cross around his neck. Eko is killed by "the monster", which I'll explain later, but is also known as Smokey, Cerebrus, and "security system".
  • Libby. This woman has several reveals but not explained connections to others before the crash. While on the island, she was among the group of tail section survivors, but when they meet up with the rest of the losties, Libby and Hurley develop a romantic relationship. Libby claims to be a clinical psychologist. However, before the island and from various flashbacks, we know that she has met Desmond (I'll talk of him in a bit) and was at the mental institution when Hurley was too. She meets Desmond after her husband dies and gives him a boat; he wanted to sail around the world. Libby is another inadvertently shot by Michael.
14. Miscellaneous:

  • Desmond Hume crashed into the island after a sailing race (on the same boat Libby gave him), and met Kelvin (see above) and learned about the Swan station and how these numbers must be entered every 108 minutes or else. Desmond accidentally killed Kelvin in a cliff beach incident, and became stuck in the Swan for 44 days pushing the mysterious buttons so something bad wouldn't happen. We don't know what will happen at first, but later learn the numbers (same as Hurley's lotto numbers) are a code to enter every 108 minutes in order to release some sort of magnetic buildup so the island won't blow up (i.e. move or create a loophole in time causing planes to crash,like Oceanic 815 did). Desmond's past includes a near-engagement to Penny Widmore. Once on the island, he has special powers to predict the future, but later we learn he is a time-traveler and these predictions are just really flashes of memory. He, for instance, predicts Charlie's death, and while tries to help prevent it, cannot change what happened. When Locke and Boone finally break open the hatch, they meet Desmond and Desmond befriending the Losties, especially Charlie. On an interesting note, Jack and Desmond met briefly before the Oceanic 815 crash, back in real life. The met jogging at a stadium and talked briefly. At the end of their conversation, Desmond tells Jack, "See ya in another life, brotha." This sort of foreboding language is stated often in Lost, supporting the idea that if these people are actually changing time by traveling through it, there might be alternate realities presented during the last season.
  • Danielle Rousseau: In 1988, 7 months pregnant, Danielle crashed on the island with a French science team. We know that her team, including the baby's father Robert, developed some sort of sickness and Danielle shot them all. Later when on the beach, after the birth of her baby Alex, Alex was stolen by Benjamin Linus. Danielle lived the next 16 years, before the Losties crashed, in a hermitage she and her team had built in an underground bunker. During these years, four of which were believed to be when the Dharma Initiative were still alive, before the big purge, Danielle was quite resourceful and collected batteries, guns, and food from the DI's old bunkers. Dannielle also jammed their old radio tower to attempt to get a message out; we see Shannon and Sayid attempt to decode this message later as well as realize the numbers are the same recurring numbers we see often in the show. Rousseau eventually somewhat befriends the Losties in order to try to reunite with her now teenage daughter Alex, who Ben Linus has raised as his daughter.

There are others, but they were minor.

The Others

I'll try to be brief here, but The Others were referred to by the Dharma Initiative as "Hostiles" or "Natives", supposedly having been on the island since its beginning. The Others appear to be in control of the mysterious "monster" that terrorizes the losties/tailies, and seem to have been hostile enough to kidnap Claire's baby (which the losties managed to get back)--but as the episodes evolve, some of The Others seem to be not so terrible after all. In fact, we see that people doing something for the "greater good" is often good or bad, depending on how you look at it and where your loyalties lie. The Others are mostly financed via Mittelos Bioscience.

  • Benjamin Linus. He is one of the show's main characters. His mother Emily died in childbirth, and his father Roger treated little Ben horribly, always blaming the boy for his mother's death. After Emily died, Roger moved himself and baby from Portland, OR, to the island where he was hired to be a janitor of the Dharma Initiative. In a time-traveling fiasco, as it was really in the 1970s when Ben was young, Sayid and others returned to the island, and Sayid shot Ben the boy. Kate and Sawyer helped the boy get to the group they called The Others, whereupon Richard Alpert took little Benjamin to the temple to be healed. Benjamin was then stationed back in the Dharma Initiative as a spy, and then helped to purge this group of people in a mass murder with toxic gas on the island, somewhere between the mid-1980s and 1992. I'm not clear on when the purge happened. When Ben grows up, he meets the Losties and we never quite know whether he is conning them or being truthful. His loyalties remain to the island, and he thinks it's magical. Though after the 2004 crash with all the main characters, and the original ones not dead are rescued, it is Ben who helps to gather them all up to return to the island saying it is their destiny, and they must go back to help the others who did not make it back.
  • Juliet Burke was a fertility specialist in the U. S. who was hired by The Others, namely Richard Alpert, to help figure out why women who get pregnant on the island cannot give birth and die. Juliet's research is why Claire's baby Aaron was ever kidnapped, to help save him. Juliet really gets dejected after years of not being able to save pregnant mothers, and she wants to go back home. Benjamin, however, makes her stay. When Jack, Kate, and crew attempt to infiltrate The Others' camp on the island, Juliet eventually aligns with the Losties. She also has a slight love triangle, but only kisses Jack once and then ends up with Sawyer when the crew time travels back in years to the Dharma Initiative time period.
  • Mikhail Bakunin, the Russian field specialist in charge of the Flame station.
  • Eloise Hawking: We meet her in an early episode when Desmond is buying an engagement ring for Penelope Widmore (Charles' Widmore's daughter). Eloise is the jewelry saleswoman and says that Desmond isn't supposed to marry Penny if he knows what is good for him. Later we see time-traveling Desmond hook up with Daniel Faraday, who warns Desmond to find his mother, who can save everyone. This is around the time Benjamin is moving the wheel of time, and Daniel, Sawyer, Charlotte, et al are experiencing time flashes and nosebleeds. Desmond finds Eloise, along with Jack and others, and learns that she is somewhat knowledgeable at this whole island thing. She shows them a room in a church that has a lot of time-like dials and tools in it. We find out later that Eloise is Daniel Faraday's mother, and Charles Widmore is his father. In fact, the next time we are introduced to Eloise is back in the early years on the island. She and Charles were both part of The Others; both eventually went back to the states. We see her as young "Ellie" when Daniel goes back to talk to his mother to avert a huge crisis with the bomb in the hatch.
  • Charles Widmore: I've mentioned quite a bit of him; we know he is financing something on the island, and hired Michael to go back to the island. We know he is Penny's father as well as Daniel Faraday's father, and was ultimately responsible for Alex's (Ben's adopted daughter's) death. Ben and Charles are enemies. Charles appears to be completely corrupt. He plants a plane in the ocean after the disappearance of Oceanic 815, so that nobody will ever look for the plane or the island. He wants the island to himself. But later we see he seems to be doing one of those "for the greater good" things. Is it truly because events on the island can save the world, or is it because Charles Widmore is a wealthy, powerful man who wants to be in control of the mysterious healing and magical properties of the island? Hopefully to be answered in season 6.
  • Richard Alpert is in a leadership position with The Others. He never seems to age. I've spoken of him often here, and he has reappeared often in flashbacks, such as with John Locke and Juliet Burke. He is still on the island in the modern day of the Losties, too, not having aged at all.
  • Jacob/*Esau: We don't know a lot about this Jacob figure yet, only that he is probably the leader of The Others, and an elusive one at that, possibly taking on various shapes or appearances. We know he can heal (healed young Ben, Juliet's sister supposedly, and saved baby Alex) and he's ageless. We found out during the end of season 5 that Jacob has been on the island since the 1900s and lives inside the statue of Taweret, which we see the foot of as the Losties begin to explore the island. Tawaret is an Egyptian goddess of birth and fertility, and she holds an ankh in each hand. Traditionally ankhs have hieroglyphs on them, and some fans have stated that these symbols represent life. Other Dharma glyphs in the various stations around the island also represent the numbers countdown and names of the stations (i.e. swan, flame, etc.). Since women on the island have trouble with fertility and birth, this old broken statue with a foot and four toes remains a symbol of a better time? In season 5, after John Locke has been killed by Benjamin Linus back in the states, he appears to be resurrected and returned to the island, but then we learn that he is not Locke but Jacob's nemesis, Esau (not his real name), who has a final (at least so far) conflict with Jacob and kills him. Of course in the Bible, Jacob and Esau are famous conflicting twin brothers, and in essence the patriarchs (Abraham's grandsons) of Old Testament men. According to a Wiki article, Esau became a hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a simple man, a dweller in tents. There is one scene where Locke/nemesis comes up to The Others on the beach, who are all in simple tents and plants down a huge boar he has killed. Jacob's antagonist is also nicknamed "nemesis" and "un-Locke". We won't know the identity until next season. In the Bible, the evolving nature of the brothers was different, and thus competitive. In fact, their mother Sarah was told her pregnancy was so difficult due to the twins fighting in the womb. I think these two brothers just represent the duality of the island, and the two forces fighting for the island, represented in The Others and the Dharma Initiative and later between The Others and The Losties, though this is just a minor thought here! I'm sure Season 6 will show more.

*Note that Benjamin was one of the sons of Jacob in the Bible.

There are many more of The Others. Also was Ethan Rom (who kidnapped baby Aaron and was later shot by Charlie).  The Dharma Initiative (DI) This group of people was around from the 1970s to I think 1992, when the DI was purged by toxic gas that The Others released.

  • Pierre and Lara Chang. Pierre is the Chinese guy narrating the orientation training video that the Losties see in the Swan, which tells about the Dharma Initiative as well as instructions on how to enter the numbers every 108 minutes. They are also Miles' parents. I'll get to the Kahana crew in a bit, but when the Losties reunite on the island and trip back in time to the 1970s, Miles is with them and runs into the father he thought abandoned him. Turns out Pierre was a good dad, but then the DI were purged and he likely died.
  • Alvar Hanso. He is the CEO of the Hanso Foundation, which helps to finance the Dharma Initiative. He went from weapons development to "preserving life on Earth for a better tomorrow", which was the motto for the Hanso Foundation, which worked with science and technology. I think his work is important in understanding where the numbers come into the story. He learned about the Valenzetti Equation, which fictionally is formula that predicts the exact number of years and months until humanity extinguishes itself. Of course, these are the same numbers that Hurley and the Australian guy, both of whom won lotteries from those numbers, believe to be cursed. These numbers are also related to various hieroglyphs on the island and were being chanted by Hurley's crazy friend in the mental institution. I'm not sure how much of this equation is part of the Lost ARG (alternate reality game) or part of the actual show.
  • Gerald and Karen DeGroot: These were the founders of the DI, and when Gerald was young, Alvar Hanso stayed with his family briefly. We don't know a lot about these founders yet, only that, according to the Wiki, "The alleged purpose of the Initiative was to create a large-scale communal research compound where scientists and freethinkers from around the globe could pursue research in meteorology, psychology, parapsychology, zoology, and electromagnetism."
  • Horace and Olivia Godspeed: This couple found Roger Linus and his dying wife and newly son born Benjamin near a highway in the woods around Portland, where Roger's wife had gone into labor. They got them to a hospital, but too late, for the new mother had died. There is a point in time where the Losties see a vision of Horace on the island cutting down a tree. He keeps repeating this action of saying hello then cutting a tree down, like in a time warp. Horace is a good name: meaning timekeeper. If Horace is stuck in a weird time loop, then something is off with time.
  • Stuart Radzinsky: head of research of the DI. I think he is going to be revealed as pretty important in season 6, though in season 5 he comes across like a jerk.
  • Annie. Annie is a girl who befriended Benjamin Linus when young, and remembered his birthday when Ben's own father would drunkenly forget. Annie gave Benjamin a doll for his birthday; she had made likeness of herself and Ben in dolls, and gave Ben the doll of her. It was hinted that Annie would become important later, but there has been no reveal yet. Though, I will get to to other names stuff in a bit. Annie was also one of Kate's nicknames.

There are many of the Dharma Initiative, but those are the main ones, and the Losties who time-traveled back to the island in season 5 begin to interact with these people. Before then, in Lostie "modern time," all of the Dharma Initiative had been killed off by Ben and The Others around 1992 in a big toxic gas release.

Members of the Kahana

Charles Widmore sent a crew onboard the Kahana, a freighter in the sea near the island; they flew from the freighter to the island in a helicopter piloted by the cool and funny guy Captain Frank Lapidus, to recapture the island from The Others. The main characters on this crew are Daniel Faraday, Miles Straume, Charlotte Lewis, Naomi Dorrit (hired by the mysterious Abaddon mentioned above), and a few others.

Perhaps the most interesting of this crew are Daniel Faraday and Miles Straume, who survive the island and the time-traveling nosebleed head traumas; and there is Charlotte, who Faraday has fallen in love with. She fails to survive. We meet this crew when some of the Losties spots a helicopter, piloted by Frank Lapidus, that nearly crashes into the island. The Losties think this is their rescue crew, and the people have walkie talkies, food, and guns. It turns out this isn't exactly a rescue team, though they want to help. This is a crew hired by Widmore to get the island back from The Others.

Daniel Faraday, whose mother must've had at one point had an affair with Charles Widmore, is actually Widmore's son, though we don't learn this until season 5. Faraday is a likeable nerd who came up with many of the time-travel formulas and coordinates needed to understand the mathematics of the island. Faraday is the same guy Desmond must seek aid from, in order to survive his own headaches and near death potential. It is Faraday who says that if you are traveling through time too much, you need a constant. Desmond's constant was Penny, which in the end worked out. It is Daniel's special genius in math that everyone relies on to set things right with the island.

Miles is a witty person, and as mentioned earlier, travels back through time and meets his long-lost father on the island in the Dharma Initiative camp.

Charlotte unfortunately dies, but we understand later that she lived on the island when little, and wanted to come back to it. She had majored in anthropology and linguistics in order to find this island again someday. When Faraday and crew travel back in time to the island, Faraday sees Charlotte as a little girl and warns her to never try to come back to the island after she leaves it. Charlotte admits to faintly "remembering" this as she is dying.

Interesting Names

Before going on with much of my theory stuff , I have found the names to be quite fascinating in Lost. Not sure if there's some generational stuff going on or alternate storylines and flashes that would make some of these people actually the "same" if that makes sense. In other words, why is there more than one character with some of these names? Are they the same people but looped in time? Are they related somehow?

  • Annie: Little girl who befriended Ben, one of Kate's con aliases and real middle name, and also a variation of Ana Lucia
  • Charlie: Charlie Pace, Charles Widmore, and Penny and Desmond's son Charlie (of course baby Charlie was probably named after Charlie Pace or less likely after Penny's estranged father, Charles Widmore)
  • Elizabeth: Variations: Crazy Libby in the mental institution, Libby on the island as part of the tailies (claimed to be a clinical psychologist), Elizabeth as name of the boat Libby gave to Desmond, Beth who died after being operated on by Christian Shepard, and Beth who was a Drive Shaft fan
  • Teresa: Boone's nanny, also Ana Lucia's mother, also Tricia Tanaka
  • Michael/Mikhail: Similar names. Michael was Walt's dad and Mikhail one of The Others.

There are many more similar names like these.


What is the island really?

We are led to believe that the island has magical properties, but also learn that the island is rich in natural electromagnetic resources, which aid in something. Either the island itself or the scientific technology developed by either the Others or Dharma Initiative makes it so the island has some sort ability to be moved in time. This is done by an old wheel beneath the ground, one that can be physically maneuvered. But also, an eruption of this time occurs when a number is not entered every 108 minutes at the Swan station. The island we know exists within the natural world since people can travel to and from it either by following coordinates and crashing or more easily by a submarine.

Despite this, the island has been referred to as heaven and as hell in various episodes. It appears to have traveled around the world and in time, and has had polar bears even on it (though the DI studied zoology and had those cages). Does the island exist in various habitats and pick up local flora/fauna, or were these bears imported for research?

Then there is a very biblical essence to the island, and not just biblical but mythical. We have allusions to the Old and New Testament, Buddhist symbols, Egyptian numerology, and hieroglyphs, etc. Seems to be a place where time is not only changeable but preserved.

The island's true nature may or may not be completely revealed in the sixth season, but I think many fans want to have a little ambiguity left. While people equate the Lost island to Atlantis, Shangri-la (coincidentally from the Lost Horizon), or other magical place--well, it seems possible that the writers would allude to these other places. But I'm hoping the Lost island is really not related to any other previous literature. I do think the story of Jacob and Esau might be investigated further, especially Jacob's ladder, which is said to bridge the gap between heaven and earth.

However, this particular island is special. The weather is unpredictable and comes up at once. There are healing properties here. There is a monster, though it's probably a creation of The Others (or is it?).

The monster "judges" both Eko and Ben at different times, and acts as a negotiator. The island has whispers and dead people. There are numerous hallucinations and/or realities of this magical island: Kate sees a black horse, Shannon sees a wet possibly dead Walt warn her, and so on. The island may also be "whatever you want it to be" in some respects. John Locke and Rose sure seem to be confident the island is where they were supposed to be, as it has cured them of their ailments.

What I think the island is, is just a place that is lost in time and space, and thereby hard to get to unless you have great minds discovering how. And in this case we do. The island can be moved through time, and thus space, and therefore has all sorts of possibilities. We know Jacob's been around since the 1900s, but with the Egyptian statue on the island, I would think this island has been around a lot longer than that and is a magnificent representation of imagination and dreams and hopes.

The island seems to have a few people attached to it, who can help either save the island or use some of the island's resources to save the world from war (as is hinted). I do think that once someone has lived on this island, even if they want to leave, they will want to come back or will have unsated lives
outside the island.

What's up with the numbers?

4 8 15 16 23 42

These numbers appear often in Lost, so do they mean something?

First off, these numbers are used in the coordinates that Danielle Rousseau repeats over and over, most likely heard by Sam Tooney (who later won the Australian lottery with the numbers) and his Navy pal Leonard Simms, later in the mental institution with Hurley, same numbers Danielle's crew heard as well, all over long-wave radio transmissions in the South Pacific.

These numbers have appeared on winning lotto numbers, are on the Swan's blast door and hatch door, are the code to enter in the Swan computer, appeared once on Hurley's dashboard, might have been on the white rabbits, were on the vial that Claire was injected with, were on the medicine that Desmond injects into his arm, comprised Kate's trial number, were on Eko's stick, were the transmission numbers heard on the Aijira flight, were the mileage numbers on Hurley's restored car, were the LAPD numbers, were girls' soccer uniform numbers in a Hurley flashback, and etc. They are part of one of the early Dharma Initiative videos, which mentions the Valenzetti Equation, which is an equation, as I mentioned earlier, that tallies when mankind will extinguish itself. One of the Dharma Initiative's goals was to change at least one of the numbers in this equation in order to change mankind's fate and alter the course of self-destruction so that humanity might survive longer.

With the Egyptian allusions seen in Lost, including the statue and some of the hatch symbols and hieroglyphs, we can also see a pattern in the hieroglyphs of ancient times used for "counting down". Also, it has already been determined on Lost fansites, that these symbols represent the following:

Swan: countdown timer Hieroglyphs are: "folded cloth", "curl", "redrill", "vulture" and "stick", which correspond to symbols S29, Z7, U29, G1, Z6 from Gardiner's Sign List.

Raymond O. Faulkner's A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian, translates a virtually identical
sequence (below), substituting only U29 for U28, as "die" Ben's secret door: "summon", "grief", and "protection"

Frozen wheel chamber: travel, time, and vicinity

Ajira airways: underworld

Temple wall: resurrection

Daniel's map: northward travel or travel downstream and time of kings/ancients

Statue of Tarowet: eternal life to deceased (also artwork of this hieroglyph was on The Others' Geronimo Jackson album \Dharma Lady")

Paul's necklace: life or breath of life

Cerebrus chamber (across from Anubis god): religious meanings?
Dharma classroom: hieroglyphs relate to "Egyptian writings" and also "Writings of the words of God"

Jacob's tapestry (late 5th season): appoint lords, or lords give/grant; Egyptian seasons: inundation, winter, summer

So my only theory about these numbers and hieroglyphs is that the island is decidedly seeped in mythology, mostly Egyptian/biblical it seems, with some of the numbers also being rather Buddhist in nature (ie Dharma). And, like the island itself, these symbols go way back, so may be a once-upon-a-time ritualistic method seen with real indigenous people on the island and adapted by the Dharma Initiative and Others. I can't say what they mean, other than what they represent, some of which is stated above: life is treasured, eternal life and resurrection is believed in, travel and time are in kahoots, and there is something about very early men and God, and if we look at some of the other biblical allusions in names, such as first patriarchs (Esau, Jacob) and further heirs (Benjamin and other biblical names like Daniel, James, Jack--a form of John, actually), Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, etc., etc., you kind of get the idea that the island's visitors and inhabitants are sort of coming back to their Eden (?) or world after having ventured out into life itself and failing.

Almost every single character, especially the Losties whom we know well enough to somewhat judge through the reveals, have some sort of redemptive value that the island gives them. My theory is sort of vague, but I think obviously the people on the island are there by not coincidence but fate, and that they are there to do something, of which we are not yet sure. Though we see them trying to save the island in season 5, which we're still not sure will alter their realities or change the future from whence they came. I think, and this is far-fetched, that these people who are not there by accident, have been there time and time again through the ages, or at least are the heirs of ancestors who have been born on or raised on the island, but whose children were sent back to the world due to the fertility problems on the island cropping up. The time warp repetitive scene with Horace exemplifies this in a microscopic way.


Well, my hands are getting tired from all this typing, but one theme that keeps cropping up is that life is:

  • Either coincidental or fate
  • Can be exemplified via science or faith
  • Is a path by which free will or destiny decides

In Lost, the paradox seems to be that neither of the above items is always right: that coincident and fate may be both at work; that there may be a scientific explanation of "what", and faith being the reasoning for the "why"; that destiny may be an overall picture but free will is the path to that destiny, and there are variables that change the little biological/chemical realities while other variables do not change the overall fate of a master plan (ie God). At least I think this is what Lost is trying to resolve.

At the end of the fifth season we really get to see the dilemma between Jacob and mystery man (Esau?) who is in old John Locke's body as they battle the old "You must do it this way" versus "You choose how you want to do it" juxtaposition.

There is always a choice to be made, and people will choose based on beliefs and for "the greater good", no matter how awful it looks to someone else. I think Lost does a great job at presenting evil/good as a very fine line. Even Eloise Hawking admits to now knowing now how things will happen.

There's also a huge recurring issue on the show of parental abandonment. Hurley's father abandoned him for years. Jack's father was not really there for him when growing up. Sawyer's father killed himself. Kate's father was a drunk. Claire didn't know her father was really Jack's father. Shannon and Boone's father died, but seemed to be distant to them. Sun's father was cold and distant and a corrupt business man. Jin's father was loving, but out of embarrassment, Jin abandoned his father. Some fathers we don't know much about. It's kind of odd that Lost would present how these two patriarchs of mankind (represented by Jacob and Esau, and to a lesser extent by their descendants) that there is such a large gap in parental and progeny relationships. Looking down the line, nothing much changes.

Desmond seems to be a good dad, but you can tell he has to get back to the island and leave little Charlie with Penny. Kate gives up Aaron to Claire's grandmother. Sawyer has never kept in touch with Clementine. Sun has to leave her child behind since she's going back to the island. Michael goes back without Walt. Etc. Even Juliet seemingly never gets to see her sister's child grow up. Danielle loses her baby to Ben. We are not sure what happens to Claire, but she just goes missing, and Kate at least starts to raise Aaron.

Is Lost just a "lost story" of humankind abandoning our loved ones and repeating that cycle? Regardless, despite all that, there's a lot of hope and beauty in this show and a constant struggle to do what people think is right. And there is no simple justification or excuse when people do what they later deem wasn't right, but there is thought and regret and learning and conditioning and redemption.

Kate learns she can settle down. Sawyer does too, as he takes on the role of partner with Juliet. Jack stops drinking and does what he thinks is right in going back to the island. Etc.

Whatever it is, I believe this island's inhabitants are largely based on special people, mostly kinship based relatives. Also I think similar conversations are repeated. Time is repeated. Lost seems to move through time. The island is cyclic. How many times do we hear "See you in another life," or "Have we had this conversation before?"

Okay, now I think I'm babbling. I'll be sure to write more when the final season starts! Sorry for typos. This was too long!

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