Please, don’t grade me too harshly.
As a caveat, my theory won’t rely on the following:
- Use of the phrase “What?!”
- The extra hour we’re getting in the Season 4 finale. Yay!
- Tropes like “the whole thing is a television within a television show” or “snow globe”
I will say that I personally like this theory, but that’s just me. ;-)
Lost theorized in 200 words or less:
Just as man has tried (and failed) to build perpetual motion/energy machines, so has the Hanso Foundation, through the Dharma Initiative, tried to discover, harness and exploit the nature of spacetime. In their attempts to utilize spacetime to divine some essence of the divine and unlock human knowledge and potential, they have also created a schism internally that threatens to unravel not only the work they set out to do but also the very fabric of reality.
There are certainly references to great comic book works like Watchmen and Crisis on Infinite Earths that suggest both high-minded/nefarious plots to save the world by destroying part of it and also time-travel and alternate realities as a means to explaining the unexplainable.
Ultimately, though, it’s about control. The whole narrative is predicated on various groups (or one group: Hanso) having control of the island, losing control and (perhaps) ultimately regaining control through the manipulation(?) (fate? destiny?) of the Flight 815 lostaways.
I think the series ends with a giant reboot or some form of cycle repeating itself. The world is saved and the characters reach some kind of tenuous peace always waiting for the next onslaught. Kind of like the 108-minute counter only with the people on the island. We’ll reach a conclusion for ourselves but the island will be at a state of equilibrium where it can then recede or expand again.
Make sense? Maybe I should be including for my overuse or parentheticals (only slightly kidding).
That’s actually too many words by about 50 and not much of a theory but I’m sending it anyway.
Feel free to send your own or comment here.
Lost returns a week from this Thursday (so, April 24th)!
UPDATE: Here’s a second theory which I like better. Submitting this as well.
I think that Lost can be answered by some kind of grand unification theory currently outside the bounds of both science and religion. We see evidence of both great scientific advancement, technology and progress but we’re also continually reminded of the religious and the spiritual. What if the island embodies the physical manifestation on earth of that which we’d call “God”. You could measure it with instrumentation and run all kinds of wacky experiments (as they have) but you also get the ghostly, ghastly and ghoulish (Hello, smoke monster?) that really aren’t happily explained as nanites. Anyhow, I hope the ending is better than some Deus Ex Machina (though BKV is on your staff now) but I’d be OK with some kind of religion/science hybrid a la Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons as the explanation for everything.
UPDATE II: Here’s my last desperate attempt at getting some USA Today love by way of non-theory theory:
I really don’t care what the smoke monster is. I couldn’t care less about time travel. Or Jacob or the Valenzetti Equation or that four-toed statue.
What I care about is good TV and Lost is GREAT! Each week I spout off on my blog about vacillating and diametrically-opposed theories which are almost solely driven by twists and turns of the linear(?) narrative.
Don’t answer all the questions. Don’t give away the big secret. Reveal only as little or as much as will make for a satisfying and successful ending.
Leave us in shadow: not total darkness or total light. Half the fun of being a Lost fan is never *quite* knowing. Don’t take that from us. Give that to us.
Hopefully I’ll get published.