Reviews TV

Lost: The End

Yet another brilliant television series has come to an end and I’m left without a single bit of must-see television now that Lost has gone the way of The Wire, The Shield and Six Feet Under.

However unlike those three series which had really satisfying finales I was left feeling slightly unsatisfied with how Lost ended. But then on reflection I’m not sure I could have ever been entirely satisfied however many loose ends the producers tied up and in fact if they explained every single thing I would be dissatisfied that they’d chosen to do that.

I was emotionally satisfied by the ending and there were some extremely moving moments in it, especially for me when Sawyer and Juliet were reunited. The bit with Hurley and Ben at the church was quite touching as well.

It seems to me that the idea of the flash-sideways as a way for the characters to learn to let go was brought to another level with the finale which became about us the viewers learning to let go and move on with our lives too.

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Lost 6.15: What They Died For

The Man in Black has changed his plan and now intends to destroy the island using Desmond’s unique gift. Perhaps he succeeds and the result is the parallel timeline where the Island was on the ocean floor seemingly sunken.

The proverb “Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true” occurs to me and the Man in Black causes his own destruction when he destroys the Island because their natures are intertwined. He is part of the Island.

Everyone seems better off in the parallel universe. They might not be perfectly happy in their lives, but they are on the whole happier and not suffering as they have in the primary universe. The only exception I can think of is Bernard and Rose, perhaps Desmond and Penny too, but there seems to be some hope for happiness for them in the parallel universe.


Lost: Which dead people are really the man in black

It has been established that the Man in Black is the Smoke Monster and has now taken the form of Locke.

Illana says that since Jacob is now dead that the Smoke Monster cannot taken any other form other than that of Locke.

Back in episode Ben follows his mother into the jungle and then has a meeting with Richard who asks whether his mum died on the island?

We now know that the Man in Black can take the form of dead people whose corpses are on the island

But what about people who died elsewhere?

Can Jacob perform that feat but the Man in Black cannot? Was the vision of Emily Linus a manifestation of Jacob?


Time travel on Lost – the science bit

A post on Metafilter reveals that Caltech physicist Sean Carroll recently tweeted that he was meeting up with Lost producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. This was posted to the forums at Lostpedia, prompting immediate spoiler complaints … so Carroll signs up and drops in to the thread to clear up the confusion, also offering some of his thoughts on the use of time travel in the show and referencing a longer blog post he wrote shortly before the start of the final season.

Qvantamon in a reply to the thread on Metafilter gives a rather homicidal theory of time-travel which addresses the notion of paradoxes.

Painquale, depends on how much you want to split hairs. You cannot alter your past (in the broadest sense – all the history of the universe as it played to cause your current state). Or, alternately, you cannot alter your past (same broad sense).

For example, let’s say 50-years-in-the future Painquale is just about to enter a machine that will, in fact, just disintegrate him at the sub-atomic level into pure entropy (his existence is not really a necessary condition). There’s a non-null chance (never mind the amount of decimal places) of, right now, 2010, zillions of sub-atomic particles just tunneling all at the same time into the exact same configuration as 50-years-in-the-future Painquale (supposing memory/thought process/sentience is a physical phenomenon). With a strong many-worlds interpretation, since that’s possible (no matter how infinitesimally improbable), that’s necessarily one component of the universe’s wave function (that is, one “parallel universe”), so, there’s definitely one branch where it just happened. If you ask that particular “time-traveling” Painquale, he’ll tell you that he sure is a time traveller, he disappeared from the future and appeared here. Never mind that there’s no causal relation between new-Painquale showing up and old Painquale disappearing, in his mind it’s solid. He can of course, go ahead and kill present day Painquale, and it won’t do shit, as there is no actual causal relation (as I said, that future where he thinks he came from may even have absolute zero chance of existing). Of course, he can decide to disintegrate himself again, and THIS pretericide-Painquale configuration can again also just show up randomly 50 years later, in another infinitesimally improbable branch of this same branch of the universe (again, no causality violation here). Again, no time travel, just particles tunneling around. But 2060 pretericide-Painquale of course has the whole causal relation in his mind. And no one around him will have any idea who he is (aside from being the guy who said he came from the future and killed Painquale), which is exactly his expected outcome of a time travel. Success, for all he cares, and no actual causality laws broken.

This is pretty much how I believe time travel would work if it were more than merely theoretically possible.

I was never happy with the solution for the grandfather paradox that some physicist put forth (I want to say Stephen Hawking because I’m surely I’m vaguely recalling a passage from A Brief History of Time) that somehow the Universe would conspire to prevent you from killing your own grandfather so as to maintain causality.

The discovery of the theory of parallel worlds suggested to me a better solution that you could indeed kill your grandfather (if that was your bag) because the man you’d be taking the life of would be from an alternate reality to the one you’d left.

I think that the notion of ‘whatever happened, happened’ can be preserved at the same time as that of being able to change one’s past like Back to the Future’s Marty McFly.


How did Hurley get out of his car?

With all the mysteries that are confounding people in Lost it seems that for many people that THE most important question of Season 6 is:

How did Hurley get out of his car after parking so close to Locke’s van?!

To my mind that’s an easy one, he got out on the passenger side.

In this parallel timeline his best friend Johnny instead of deserting Hurley when he found out about the lottery win and running off with Starla, the girl Hurley was in love with, instead remains his best friend and becomes his driver.

Hurley is such a nice bloke that he gave his arsehole former boss Randy a job – of course he’s going to have given Johnny a job too. And what better job than getting to hang out with your best friend and drive him around all day. Johnny is Turtle to Hurley’s Vincent Chase. And Johnny is a pretty skinny guy so would easily be able to get out of the driver side after having parked so close to Locke’s car.

When Hurley meets Locke in the car park Johnny had probably just gone off to get some fried chicken or something so the scene looks a little incongruous.


A Timeline of the ‘Lost’ Universe

The New York Times have produced an interactive Timeline of the ‘Lost’ Universe to help us Lost addicts keep straight in our heads the non-linear flow of the events of the previous five seasons.


Lost Season Six Promo

Lost returns to our screens this week for its sixth and final season and ABC has released a promo that of course poses more questions than it answers. Like who are the two new characters with the large hourglass and who are they giving a chance to redeem themselves?

Also The Guardian asks Matthew Fox How will Lost end?

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Lost Re-View: Season 1 episode 5 – Jack’s hero complex

We start to examine Jack’s need to be a hero and his strained relationship with his father, his father believes that Jack rushes into situations beyond his control and doesn’t have the character to cope with failure.

Jack again glimpses his father once more and in rushing after him into the jungle he almost dies when he careens over a cliff to then be pulled to safety by Locke. We now know that Jack’s father Christian Shepherd (and there has to be some significance to that name surely) is really on the Island after a fashion. Whether he has been resurrected (like we now know Locke really hasn’t been) or is a ghost or some other supernatural creature is unknown, but we do know that whatever he is he does identify himself as being Jack’s father unlike say the manifestation that appears to Eko as his brother but states he is not. I’m still not certain which side Christian is on, is he an aspect of Jacob?

Locke asks “How are they? The others.” Different context to how the phrase The Others will be used later but again it is setting up a dualism the idea of them and us. There is a lot of conflict over the course of the series both between different factions and within factions.

As Jacob’s nemesis puts it “They come. Fight. They destroy, they corrupt. Always ends the same.”

Jacob’s response is “Only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

Whatever progress Jacob means it doesn’t seem to be an end to conflict as that seemingly has been going on right up to the present day.

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Lost Re-View: Season 1 episode 4 – Locke’s wheelchair

Rose is of course correct about Bernard and the tail section but Jack et al are disbelieving. As Boone will pick up Bernard’s message via the walkie talkie only a few episodes from now it seems that the producers had intended all along for Rose to be reunited with her husband.

In the first major indicator that there is something supernatural about the Island Jack glimpses his father.

Locke has an encounter face to face with the monster and then lies about it.

Then with one of the most shocking revelations about a main character of the entire series we learn that Locke had been in a wheelchair just prior to crashing on the Island. There really is something supernatural about this place.

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Lost Re-View: Season 1 episodes 1-3 – The Crash and Kate’s a fugitive

The first few episodes establish some of the significant themes of the series. The backgammon game with light and dark pieces and the idea of two opposing sides.

Having an Iraqi former Republican Guard as a sympathetic major character in 2004 on US television was a bold move and it reinforces the idea that we need to discard whatever notions we might have of who the enemy is in this show.

Sawyer starts off as a bit of a rogue who is somewhat of a tragic figure and who initially tries to do the right thing, but is soon diverted along a different path when people start thinking of him as an antagonist so he continues to act this part that has been foisted upon him.

And with Locke we seem to have come full circle over the series as he starts off in these three episodes as quite a sinister and potentially dangerous character.