Lost: The Incident

Lost likes “events” – twists or fast-paced, dramatic story-shifters – to end its seasons:

  1. The Hatch
  2. The Turning of the Key/Stopping of the pushing of the Numbers
  3. The Destruction of The Looking Glass
  4. The rescue of the Oceanic Six and their decision to return to the Island
  5. The Incident (which could be the electromagnetism/nuclear bomb OR the loophole)

If you haven’t listened to the latest (last) Lost Audio Podcast (dated May 11), do yourself a favor and start there.

Damon & Carlton (who penned the second hour tonight) talk a lot about “Good” and “Evil” as absolute concepts and Damon even hints that those of us fans who have been paying attention (that’d be you and me, friends) should have a good idea of how the series will end from watching The Incident.

I could just start blathering about plot points or themes or memes, but I’ll try to stay rational and organized.

From the very beginning, Lost theorists posited that the island was either purgatory or the garden of Eden. I think the producers are still tweaking us a little bit, dressing Jacob in white (good/God) and Man #2 (his name in the credits) in black (Devil/Loki/entropy?).

I think the major theme of the episode – if not the whole damn show – is fate/destiny versus free will. The whole series seems deterministic to me, but I think there are two camps obviously vying to push the powers of the island one way or another to satisfy their own agendas.

Put another way: the island itself is merely the manifestation of power and men will see fit to use/abuse that power to fit their own philosophies.

Or I could just be pulling this all out of my ass, but that’s what I think.

As to how I think the show will end or how they’ll deal with the final season?

I think most of our characters will wind up just like Rose, Bernard & Vincent: happy wherever they end up; happy with the lives they’ve chosen.

I think Sawyer (whose character really grew this season, I think) had it right: what’s done is done and we can only chose how to respond to what happens to it, not try and fix/change it. But maybe that’s my own personal philosophy bleeding through.

I also think (since I’m starting each and every sentence in the first person) that Jacob’s insistence that each of the people he encounters embrace their free will, their “choice” and do good with it is in direct opposition to Man #2, who may, in fact, be the one pulling the strings on getting everyone to the island.

I’ll admit to not having a clue about the exact conditions of the “loophole” but I think that, far from drawing people to the island, Jacob’s intercession in each of their lives was his reminder to them to live their lives better and embrace the choices they could make. That doesn’t quite explain why he’d intercede and get Sayid’s wife Nadia killed, but it’s my theory.

So picking up on the theme of big events outlined at the top, I think one of the other big changes from season to season is our understanding of all the interested parties – the constituencies – of the island.

What started as “Others” became “Others” and Dharma become “Others”, Dharma & Jacob then “Others”, Dharma, Jacob & Widmore and now “Others”, Dharma, Jacob, Widmore, Eloise, Man #2, Ilana’s crew (who may be aligned w/ Jacob) and the internal schism of Dharma folks (Radzinsky versus Chang).

So here, finally, are my good, old-fashioned bullets, now at the end of the post for your confusion:

  • Black & White
  • Can it really be that simple? Is there a good & bad? Is it as simple as “Live together, die alone”? Is happiness the same thing as acceptance of the happenings of life?

    Here are the clothing dualities I noted tonight:

    Jacob (White)/Man #2 (Black)
    Jacob (White/Locke/Man#2 (White)
    Chang (White)/Radzinsky (Black)

  • Colossus of Rhodes
  • It’s been speculated previously that the statue was Anubis because of some of the paintings in the temple, but some folks are now speculating that it is Taweret. Interesting theory, since the history of that Goddess literally moved her to be both good and evil and to have an influence on fertility & motherhood.

    Basically, she’s a good catch-all deity for island events, though why she guards the cost (a la The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world) is beyond me.

  • The Incident
  • The title immediately made me think of Ambrose Bierce’s An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge which is sometimes called An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge. Some eerie themes of false futures, death, twist endings and supernatural phenomena.

    I’m still debating if The Incident is a better reference for the bomb/electromagnetism or the death of Jacob/return of Man #2 via the “loophole”.

    What do you think?

    Speaking of which …

  • The Loophole
  • Any theories?

    Dead people who arrive via coffin get a free pass?
    People whom Jacob has saved (a la Locke after his great fall) get to come back/be reborn?

    And just where are Christian Shepherd and Claire and how do they fit into the cabin/ring of ash mythos?

  • Things in plain sight
  • Charlie’s DriveShaft ring
    An Apollo Bar
    Anything else I missed?

  • Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge
  • A morality story (really a series of shorts) that plays with the duality of individuals, their own personal hypocrisy and the interconnectedness and similarity of apparently disparate folks.

I’m sure I’m missing a ton and I’ve got loads of questions, I’m sure you do too (I sound like Mr. Rogers).

I want to know Locke’s fate, and I don’t mean that in a “purpose” kind of a way, I mean I want to know if the death he got is the final story arc for his awesome character.

I want to know who the Ajira folks work for and who eventually “wins” control of the island and what they “decide” – if that’s even the right word – to do with/for it.

I want to know if the island has any philosophy of its own apart from what those who use its power have deigned to do with it.

I want to know if the change our characters seek is possible, probable or in their best interest.

I want to know that some folks (maybe all the folks) find happiness.

I’m bad at this now. It’s nearly 1am.

Leave better questions and theories and notes than mine. Teach me.

Good night and I’ll see you next season.

Weekend Recap

Since Jenn’s purse was stolen, I don’t have a credit card with which to renew my Flickr Pro account. For this reason, all the weekend recapping photos are brought to you by TwitPic.

I started the weekend out right, having a Terrapin 30 Strong at Taco Mac Austell on Friday, the day it was launched. Brilliant.

I followed this up with a Victory Hop Devil. Equally enjoyable.

We spent the entire day on Saturday at Zoo Atlanta – and I have a ton of great pictures to share – but the view of our clan relaxing with our afternoon refreshment is one of the best.

Started Sunday – Mother’s Day – with my awesome wife, the mother of our 2 great kids, at J. Cristopher’s for brunch. Good food but great company.

Ended the day on our back porch drinking a few beers together, amomng them a shared bottle of Terrapin Side Project Volume 5: Monk’s Revenge.

All in all a fantastic weekend with folk I love dearly and beers I drank heartily.

Lost: Follow The Leader

This was another runaway freight train episode where all the action was breakneck and just had to happen in the exact order at exactly the right time (quickly) or things wouldn’t/won’t work out right.

Rather than try to recap or bullet everything, I’m just asking questions.

  • Per Jenn, why are the hostiles so hostile?
  • Who do you think is successful in their attempts to “change” things? Locke killing Jacob? Ben (and Richard?) trying to stop him? Jack and Eloise detonating the bomb? Kate, Sawyer & Juliet trying to stop them? How will Ilana/Bram figure into the big season finale next week? How much of a wildcard is Sayid?
  • Do you think the map that Sawyer drew for Radzinsky is the map that keeps being used throughout other points in the island’s history?
  • If Richard is to be believed when he tells Sun that he “saw them die” in reference to Jin/Hurley/Kate/Jack/Sawyer/Juliet, is that an indication that both “sides” of the fight over the hydrogen bomb/Swan argument fail, OR is it an indication that their success doesn’t make any difference? Timetravel discussion is hard!
  • Is Eloise’s motivation anti-Dharma or pro-Farraday?
  • Why is Radzinsky so concerned about the timeframe for The Swan?
  • What is Richard Alpert’s official role within the Others? Why hasn’t he had more control/input/guidance/direction for the “leaders” over the decades?
  • Would you attempt to change the past/get rid of any pain in the future if you could (or thought you could)?

I’ll leave you with one this thought: I really liked the Black Rock as ship-in-a-bottle moment. Subtle, but welcomed.

I also really dig the casting of all the “younger” versions of all the Others, specifically Widmore & Eloise who are spot-on.

Lastly, I continue to be impressed by all the ways the show illustrates how much people can change and yet still be the same and vice versa. In an episode on leadership, it was nice to see Locke, Jack, Sawyer, Ben & Richard all act in ways both familiar and new. Makes me think I’d like to be a real writer when I grow up one day.

Sleep-deprived and ready for this year’s cliffhanger. Hoping we don’t get too much information and really wishing these seasons were 22-24 episodes, if only so the storytelling didn’t seemed rushed sometimes.

Add your questions, answers and annotations in the comments.


Weekly Recap

In an effort to put something family-focused on the blog with some degree of regularity, I’m going to start a new weekly feature here, a “weekly recap” post.

I’ll collect and connect some of the random Twitter messages and pictures along with some of the shorter, funnier anecdotes from the kiddies and try to develop a cohesive narrative.

Failing that I’ll just blockquote something from a song, add a wistful *sigh* and end with an iPhone picture of my backyard.


Here goes:

The big developments of the week were our trips (plural) to the dentist. I had to get some cavities (plural. again.) filled and Raelyn had her 6-month check-up.

Here’s the photographic evidence (non-gory) of my experience:

"The goggles do nothing!"
The goggles do nothing!
A god-damned sexual Tyrannosaurus
A god-damned sexual Tyrannosaurus

Jesse Ventura approves, by the way.

Raelyn’s visit featured a distinct lack of crying. No tears or complaints about x-rays, cleaning or fluoride. We’ve either turned a corner, dodged a bullet or turned a corner to dodge a bullet.

She did find out that two of her teeth were loose (how could she not know?) and saw the x-ray evidence of new teeth yearning to breath free. We had to make four separate phone calls to let grandparents and uncles share her surprise.

Here she is spreading the joy:

Raelyn on the phone

Then there’s Owen. This week, on the ride home from work, we did our best Bugs & Daffy impression while reading a book.

Owen: It’s a cow!
Me: It’s a sheep!
Owen: It’s a cow!
Me: It’s a sheep!
Owen: It’s a cow!
Me: It’s a cow!
Owen: It’s a sheep!

And of course the love of my life, Jenn, is doing well. She’s continually reminding me of all the reasons why I married her: her wit, her charm, her humor & love in the face of adversity. Oh, and her willingness to lounge on our back porch after work and drink a beer while the kids play.

Loving everyone (even you) this Friday. See you next week!

Lost: The Variable

I thought I was going to have to do math this week – functions and binomial equations were mentioned during pre-screening – but luckily what we saw was the equal and opposite of “the constant”.

I may go a bit unorganized here and just do a running list of questions. Let’s go.

  • Who is Penelope’s mother?
  • Maybe it’s Eloise, which means Daniel & Penelope are the Luke & Leia of Lost. Or maybe I’m projecting based on the “Hoth” reference from two weeks ago.

  • Who else in the narrative – outside of those on either flight (Oceanic 815/Ajira 316) and the boat folks – is experiencing their linear lives out of calendar order?
  • I really don’t have an answer here, but my gut tells me that there are others who are unstuck in time based on the events of the island. Plus, how hardcore is Eloise’s belief in destiny that she would send her own son to his death at her own hands.

    BONUS: who else guessed that Widmore was Faraday’s dad? Show of hands (be honest).

    Also: loved LaFleur/Sawyer calling Faraday “H.G. Wells”. Gotta love The Time Machine.

  • What do any of these numbers mean?
  • 141717

  • Who are the other women in Faraday’s life?
  • “They’re all going to get hurt.” Or kill you 30 years in the past. Nice touches though to tie in all the previous Faraday flashbacks.

    Theresa, Carolyn and Charlotte, for sure, plus Eloise. Who else?

  • Can the past or future be changed?
  • I’m still listing this item as “TBD” but it’s interesting that Faraday changed his mind on the subject.

    In all fairness, he seemed sick and suffering some memory loss when he was dependent on “the constant”. On the other hand, he walked right into his own death, probably a little bit aware of what his mother might do.

    Which begs the question: did Faraday have some kind of death wish to escape any “destiny” his mother had “planned”?

    Would fulfilling your purpose in the face of supposedly being smart enough to avoid it count as a revolutionary act?

    Did Eloise expect him to change anything or is she firmly in “the constant” camp (especially since she told Penelope she didn’t know what would happen next).

    Working against Faraday: his own words: “I tried to avoid saying this (to Charlotte). I didn’t think I could change things; maybe I can.”

    Gut check time: if you had to write the final scene in the entire series (just over a season away) do the events on the island ever “happen” or is there some kind of global reset that isn’t quite Newhart or a Snow Globe or Purgatory but is somehow satisfying? I’m leaning that way myself but I’m willing to entertain alternate theories.

  • Belonging
  • Related to the “big question” above, where do our characters belong?

    Together? (Live together, die alone)
    Apart? (Whatever happened, happened)
    What will happen?

    Very existential, I know, but nice to see the greatest themes of Lost front and center.

Good episode. Only two left this season.

See you next week and in the comments!