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Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Lou Sytsma, Aug 11, 2008.
Speaking of which, what the heck happened to Vincent???
Vincent is the smoke monster. -- H
That's what I was going to post!
I assume he's hanging out with Rose, Bernard and what's left of the nameless survivors.
One thing I found amusing and I don't think has been mentioned yet, is how when Kate pushed the code to disable the fence, she held back to make sure she wasn't the first one through.
Freckles is no fool. Joe
I realize these guys are not a big part of the show but I wish they would show us where they are at least once this season. Maybe we will see everyone together again in the finale.
LOST, as you know, has many, many viewers who don't feel this way. The simple truth is, to some degree, LOST is an intentionally esoteric show and you're probably going to find yourself at odds with this through to its conclusion. It does its best to keep everything tied together in a literal sense, but this can't always happen. There are fans who appreciate this and fans who are going to be frustrated by it no matter what. For the writers, consultants, creators behind LOST, creating this universe and spinning the many threads that tie it together was a process involving a multitude of inspirations. They were often simply paying homage to things they love when constructing the minutiae tying together larger themes. Sometimes things were chosen at random. Some characters started with one intent (for instance, Michael Emerson and several others) and ended up with something completely different than intended. The creative process for any writing team - unless you really are planning some kind of multi-season arc, with every element pre-positioned for maximum rational explanation - is evolutionary. LOST is no exception. As LOST barrels toward its conclusion, it's clear that some threads are simply not going to be picked up or explained fully. There isn't enough time left to run through it all. (Fan fiction is going to take care of that.) Through all the small detours and mysteries, some answered, some not, the larger themes were (and are) the focus of the show, and LOST's adherence and devotion to those larger themes is how I am going to judge the next season, and it's most important to the creators, who are trying to give all their characters closure, aside from giving the fans as much explanation as they can, given the way the show has evolved. This won't be enough for some people. To some extent, the numbers' origins are somewhat random. When the writers chose them, I don't think there was a master plan about their individual significance. 42 was a Douglas Adams reference, for instance. 108 has mystical significance in Buddhism and Hinduism. The numbers chosen for entry into the Swan computer added up to the number of minutes separating electromagnetic buildup in the wake of the incident. It is certainly possible, that someone at Dharma just 'noticed' the numbers stamped on the hatch and decided to use them offhand. Even if this is true, the numbers are directly significant to the operation of the Swan (108 minutes), so an offhand decision doesn't seem so offhand anymore, even if the person choosing is unaware. And how interesting that this very notion (of people taking paths unaware of how they connect with other things) has been a guiding principle on the show. The numbers - from a writing room standpoint - likely emerged from discussions about these very themes, like fate, numerology, mysticism, mathematical relativity. Their earliest literal, rational, in-show origins thus far, - let's say, as you suggest, nearly smudged on a Dharma work order - is far less interesting than what they're saying about relativity and relational mathematics and great thinkers who used numbers to predict the end of the world. There was and is apocalyptic significance to the numbers, both in their real-life world origins and how they were used to fend off great disaster. At some point, at least to viewers with my perspective, there comes a point where the literal significance - and the quest to tether the literal moments together into some kind of cohesive equation - stops being as interesting as the questions dealing with larger meaning, mysticism, etc. As illustrated by all of our theories, trying to make all the pieces fit is part of the experience and enjoyment of LOST, but there may come a point at which rational de-mystification undercuts a show's themes and deflate its mystical significance. Your mileage may vary, but that's the kind of viewer I am. There is a neat quote by someone who agrees with about this, in an interesting take on the numbers in LOST. He says: "There are some questions that are very engaging and interesting, and then there are other questions that we have no interest whatsoever in answering. We call it the midi-chlorian debate, because at a certain point, explaining something mystical demystifies it. To try and have a character come and say, "Here is what the numbers mean," actually makes every usage of the numbers up to that point less interesting. You can actually watch Star Wars now, and when Obi-Wan talks about the Force to Luke for the first time, it loses its luster because the Force has been explained as, sort of, little biological agents that are in your blood stream. So you go, "Oh, I liked Obi-Wan's version a lot better." Which in the case of our show is, "The numbers are bad luck, they keep popping up in Hurley's life, they appear on the island." ... But if you're watching the show for a detailed explanation of what the numbers mean—and I'm not saying you won't see more of them—then you will be disappointed by the end of season six." The person speaking above is Damon Lindelof. Based on his comments, I'd say his approach to the show and the meaning of the numbers is not going to satisfy anyone looking for a literal, rational explanation that somehow eclipses the discussion about meaning, purpose or mysticism, which is an integral part of the show and has been since day one. I agree with Lindelof. While solving the mysteries is greatly important, laying those mysteries down together - the numbers, the characters, their common struggles with family and legacy and struggles to overcome emotional impotence - and watching the ways they interact, has been the source of most enjoyment for me. Diagramming how and when they interact is fine, but for me, focusing on it is somewhat dull and does a disservice to what makes the show so great. I'm sorry to have gone on about this, or if I've sound pedantic or condescending (not my intent), but I'll just end with a neat little piece of trivia. Our discussion about answering questions in LOST reminds me of an episode of one of my favorite shows ever, "The Prisoner." In 'The General,' a supercomputer keeps the Village in thrall with stores of vast knowledge that can answer any question, connect any thread or equation posed to it with startling accuracy. The question that Number Six poses to The General at the end of the episode - one that leaves it in smoking ruins - is 'Why?' Such a question removes the focus from measurable, rational explanation to something broader, and more humanistic. Such was the overall intent of McGoohan when he devised "The Prisoner," and Cuse and Lindel, both huge fans of 'The Prisoner,' are clearly offering up thematic homages.
I love that explanation! It only deepens the mystery! Who created the equation, and why? How will the world end, and when? It also provides an explanation of what the Dharma Initiative is actually doing on the island! It's a shame, because this really is something that should be incorporated into the show. I didn't play the Lost Experience, but my understanding is that it is considered "canon" by the show's creators. I am holding out a slim hope that it still will appear in the show itself, but I doubt it will happen.
It may not be "pure mysticism" -- and I doubt any of us are arguing that it is -- but nothing in the show is intended to have a purely scientific explanation, either. To read that "mystical" analyses have "no signifiance" in the context of "Lost" makes me wonder if we're all watching the same show. I'm a strict rationalist myself, but I suspend my disbelief. I would argue that avoiding mystical interpretations of the numbers will result in an imbalanced analysis of the puzzles provided by this little piece of entertainment. The show itself always attempts to plant itself in the middle of both interpretations. Clearly. That's why the creators have always stated that there will be scientific explanations for all strange events on (or off) the island. Some fans misinterpreted that to mean that they are eschewing all supernatural explanations, when it's just a question of providing balance for the unexplained.
The "Lost Experience" is definitely considered canon by the show's creators, although some sections of it are a little more "off-canon" than the Valenzetti Equation portions. However, if the show (and its characters) are still questioning the meaning of the numbers, or the true purpose of the island, then it's fair game for the audience, too. I personally love the Valenzetti explanation myself, because it it enters that shady area between physics, mathematics, and mysticism that all modern quantum theorists have entered. We really know so little about things like "social equations" and time and relativity experiments that we might as well be talking about rain dancing when we talk about quarks. To be a true physicist in the 21st century, you have to be sort of a quasi-mystic anyway - I've always liked the quotation (something along the lines of: the supernatural is only science we don't understand. That's why I accepted Daniel's belief in variables, even if I personally think he's wrong - who isn't mystified (or intrigued) by the idea that our own observation (much less actions) can uniquely alter the physical universe?
That's an excellent point, David. I agree that the numbers should be revisited before the show ends, but probably in the context of Hurley. Hurley is the only character on the show to have a real symbiotic 'relationship' with the numbers. Others have dealt with the numbers in numerous ways, but Hurley's the only one to really stand up and say 'these numbers mean something!' That said, if that aspect of the mythology of the show is addressed in more detail, it makes dramatic sense for it to be revisited in the context of Hurley. You see, I care about the numbers insofar as Hurley can resolve resolve his long, active conflict with them. They've caused him so much distress. It's that micro-scale through which the writers address the large issues - through characters, in other words. When Lindelof talks about de-mystification, I didn't feel he was outright dismissing the viewers' need for more explanation. I feel he's saying, if your focus is on getting a rational, scientific explanation for something, you deflate it, and you will be disappointed by what drew you to the mystery in the first place. That explanation provided by the numbers is a far cry from midichlorians - it's filled with mystic connotations and I am as intrigued by it as you are. There's more to be mined from it. Lindelof's point may be, it might be addressed further but don't watch the show for the purpose of having this particular question addressed fully, otherwise you will be frustrated. He's not saying it isn't important. It's just one aspect of the show that hasn't fit in LOST's trajectory for some time. The waters they've chosen to set course through may not emphasize things that all viewers want to see covered, but that's the drawback of helming such a broad, multi-faceted and popular television series. For what it's worth, I think the show does the best it can to cater to its eclectic audience. With the number of characters and the depth of the mythology, it's a wonder the house of cards hasn't come crashing down, with the limits of having to stick with a formula and keep all the balls in the air. With all this talk of the numbers, I look forward to seeing what the next two episodes have in store for us. I can't wait.
I absolutely agree with this. Hurley is definitely the show's gateway to the mystery of the numbers, and any "resolution" of that mystery should come through him. Excellent point.
Wow, with that right before the last commercial, every single thing we know becomes much more questionable and gets turned upside down. The only reason Richard told Locke that he had to bring everyone back is that Locke told Richard to tell him that? So, for all we know he could have it all wrong yet again? Good thing he told Sun not to come along. Weird how that's another self-fulfilling prophecy that Locke told Richard, like the fact that he'd be the leader.
Hurley saying that he was born in 1931 was one of the funniest lines in the history of the series.
Hurley's exchange with Dr. Chang was great. I love all the scenes with Miles, Hurley and Chang -- they're my favorite from the end of this season. The three stooges! There is some wheel-spinning going on, too, what with all the filling-in of time travel loops and so forth. Jack is really frustrating me now. It would be pretty stupid to "reset" the time lines of these characters, and negate all the events and sacrifices they've made - even if that's what Jack wants, I think as a plot device it would be too much of an audience betrayal, and I don't think it will happen. And so Jack is thrust into the role of impotent villain, because no one in the audience really wants him to succeed, and no one really believes he will, either. (Do you?) It is hard to believe that -- even if they manage to set off the bomb -- it will do what they think it will do. That no one has considered that possibility is very distracting. However, at least the two Losties on board with the plan, Sayid and Jack, have much to gain by landing safely in Los Angeles in 2004. (Sayid has more to gain than Jack.) We got a nice generic promo for next week. I can't wait until this season is over. I hope they're through with the time travel paradox loops - they're cool, but distracting us too much from the characters.
Does anyone have any idea what the origin of John's compass is? It really appears as if there isn't one, and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that concept. The way I understand it: Time-jumping-Locke gave it to Richard in 1954 (ep: Jughead). Richard held onto it for 53 years until resurrected-Locke asks for it in 2007. In 2007 they leave for their journey to the Beechcraft and resurrected-Locke gives it back to Richard to give to time-jumping-Locke. Who then--after the time-jump--gives it to Richard in 1954. Where the Eff did that thing come from?
So, Locke wants to kill Jacob? Did the island tell him so? And why on Earth did he tell Ben? Eloise Hawking also said that they all needed to come back, though whether that was because Jack told her or not is another question. Richard said he saw them all die in 1977. I am going to guess that he thought he saw them die, but what he really saw is them being sent forward in time. I guess we'll probably know one way or another by this time next week. I wonder how much information Sawyer told Radinsky. I wish I hadn't seen that promo. There was way too much information given away as far as I was concerned.
The way I'm enjoying Lost lately, it could run 52 weeks of the year and I wouldn't get tired of it. This week's episode was one where I was completely a passive viewer watching a story unfold. I didn't have any of those moments where I subconsciously thought, "That doesn't make sense," or "That's boring," or "They're spinning their wheels," etc. I simply sat back and watched story unfold, and I was completely willing to follow it wherever it led. The only thing that could have made it better is no commercials.