February 2, 2010

LOST: Zero Days Away

Filed under: Lost,TV — DB @ 3:29 pm

The day has come.

Since last season’s finale, I have been attempting to do something that time and time again I prove to be no damn good at: coming up with a theory to explain this mindfuck show, or at least parts of it. There are who knows how many people out there writing about Lost every week. A lot. I can’t get sucked into all of that, so the one person I read regularly – after I’ve written the bulk of my own write-up, so as not to subconsciously (or completely consciously) steal from him – is Jeff “Doc” Jensen, a writer for Entertainment Weekly who covers the show both in the magazine’s pages and much more extensively on its website. As you know if you actually read these messages of mine, I reference him often. And through his own references, I’ve occasionally checked out other Lost fan sites. And these people spin theories like spiders spin webs. Complex, sometimes fun, sometimes cool, sometimes really stretching, sometimes absurd, but they keep spinning and spinning. And as much as I’d like to spin a little myself, I just trip up over myself.

For example, here are some things I’ve been trying to work out. So okay, Richard told Locke that to save the island he would need to leave, bring back all of his friends and die in the process. Christian Shepherd helps him get off the island, and tells him that Eloise Hawking can guide him back. Once off, Charles Widmore helps him track down Jack, Kate, Sayid and Hurley. So it all started with Richard, right? But consider – Richard told Locke what to do because that’s what Locke told Richard to do once he had come back to the island. And now we know that Locke wasn’t really Locke anymore. It would appear that Locke is now the Man in Black – or as I’m now going to refer to him in these instances, the Man in Locke (go ahead and giggle if you must). So it was the Man in Locke who told Richard to tell Actual Locke that he had to leave the island, bring back the Oceanic Six and die…a death that enables the Man in Black to become the Man in Locke. And that part where Christian tells Locke about Eloise Hawking is also important, because it is when Locke reveals his knowledge of Eloise to Ben that Ben suddenly jumps to action and chokes him to death…a death that enables the Man in Black to become the Man in Locke.

When Locke went to Jacob’s cabin at the end of Season Four and first met Christian (who was there with Claire), Christian said he could speak on Jacob’s behalf. But things we’ve seen since made me wonder in some Season Five write-ups if that was true. I’m thinking that Christian Shepherd’s body was somehow appropriated by the Man in Black for his nefarious scheme, the same way he has appropriated Locke’s body. Christian tells Locke to move the island because the Man in Black needs Locke off the island so that Locke can be killed, brought back and worn like a suit. And why can’t Man in Black just use Christian? Because only Locke – having been invited to lead the Others – can get close to Jacob. As for why Locke has been selected for leadership? Still don’t have that worked out. It goes to the question of why all these power players think he’s so “special.”

I think Eloise Hawking was using Ben to get the Oceanic Six back to the island. I think she’s trying to counteract whatever the Man in Black is trying to do. She’s with Jacob. Widmore is with the Man in Black. That’s why Bram tried to convince Miles not to go on Widmore’s freighter; ’cause he’s with Ilana, and Ilana – as saw in the season finale – is with Jacob. And Ben? Ben is clueless to the big picture. Whatever battle Ben thinks he’s engaged in, he will soon learn that there is a much larger game afoot, and he’s as much a pawn as the Flight 815 survivors and Desmond. When he finally comes to realize that, he’ll have to pick a side in the true war, and he’ll come down on the side of the good guys, fulfilling his conviction that that’s the side he was always on…and quite possibly dying a noble-ish death in the process.

I’m pretty impressed with myself for all of this spiffy theorizing until I realize that it doesn’t really get me anywhere, and has more holes than Sonny Corleone’s corpse.

Actually, I retract that statement. Nothing has more holes than Sonny Corleone’s corpse. They shot that poor bastard to bloody pieces. Damn you, Barzini!

Oh wait, I’ve got one last theory! Remember how Eloise told Jack that he needed to give Locke something that belonged to his father? Here’s why I think that. She’s trying to neutralize Christian Shepherd as an aid and a tool to the Man in Black. If the Man in Locke encounters Christian Shepherd while wearing the shoes of the real Christian Shepherd (who has not been wearing his own clothes, it would seem, since he began occupying Jacob’s cabin) then some kind of paradox will be created and Christian Shepherd as manipulated by the Man in Locke will be destroyed. It’s like that Van Damme movie Timecop! Wasn’t one of the rules in that movie that one could not occupy the same space as another version of oneself, or the person would die?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don’t spin theories. And for the record, I don’t really know that I believe anything I wrote above. I was just trying to play with the big kids.

Okay, to carry us through these final hours, here’s what I can offer. First, this updated version of Lost in 8:15, a mildly humorous but perhaps helpful summary of the entire series, whittled down to 8 minutes and 15 seconds.

I’ll supplement that with a brief recap of where we left everyone at the end of Season Five, in case your memory is hazy.

2007 – Ben and Locke went into the base of the statue to see Jacob. Jacob recognized that Locke was his old nemesis, the Man in Black. Now the Man in Locke, he had told Ben to kill Jacob, which Ben did. Before Man in Locke kicked Jacob’s body into the fire, Jacob said, “They’re coming.” This seemed to alarm Man in Locke. Outside the statue, Richard, Sun and a large group of others waited. Ilana and Bram and their people showed up, with Lapidus. They were carrying a large crate. Ilana asked Richard if he could answer the riddle, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” Richard answered, and relieved, Ilana and her gang spilled the contents of the box: it was Locke. Still dead. “I don’t understand,” Sun said. “If that’s Locke, then who’s in there?”

1977 – Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Hurley, Sayid and Miles went to the Swan site to detonate the core of the hydrogen bomb. Sayid had been shot in the gut and was bleeding badly. He and Hurley remained just beyond the perimeter of the Swan while the others went to help Jack. The drill at the site hit the energy pocket, busting open a can of electromagnetic whoop-ass that proceeded to wreak havoc on the site and pull everything metal into the chasm. Jack dropped the bomb down the hole, but nothing happened. Then Juliet was struck by a length of chains, which caused her to get sucked into the hole. She landed at the bottom, broken and bloody. She saw the bomb just in her reach and bashed it with a rock until it exploded. The screen faded to white. The season ended. Millions of Lost fans screamed, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” Or maybe that was just me.

Supposedly, things tonight will pick up pretty much from there.

Yesterday, I mentioned the scene from the pilot in which Locke talks to Walt about backgammon. It’s a great scene, and Doc Jensen recently asked Damon, who co-wrote the pilot with J.J. Abrams, about its relevance to the final season. Damon answered, “We can’t rewrite history and say that at the time the pilot was being constructed we were using phrases like ‘The Man In Black’ and ‘Jacob,’ but we can say that the overriding theme of The Island and what an endgame might look like — and that Locke was the character that was tapped into this almost instantly — was all sort of calibrated. Looking back on that scene, its intention at the time that it was written and its intention today is exactly the same, which is to basically set the stakes for the entire series. At the time that we wrote it, we didn’t think that there was going to be an episode two. At the time that we wrote it, it was a conversation about the good and evil internal in the people themselves. But obviously, as the show grew and blossomed out, that same conversation grew to encompass the nature of The Island and The Island’s effect on those people.”

Whether the scene is specifically referenced tonight or not I don’t know, but Jensen called it “the one scene you MUST watch before the premiere.” So here it is.

And with that, I bid you farewell until next week. Lost returns tonight with the requisite recap episode at 8:00, followed by the two hour season premiere at 9:00. Namaste…

Tonight’s Episode: LA X

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