Lost Their Way? "The End" 2

Posted by Charles Reece, June 13, 2010 11:06pm | Post a Comment
Continuing ...

Is not the ultimate American paranoiac fantasy that of an individual living in a small idyllic Californian city, a consumerist paradise, who suddenly starts to suspect that the world he lives in is a fake, a spectacle staged to convince him that he lives in a real world, while all people around him are effectively actors and extras in a gigantic show? [...] Th[e] final shot of The Truman Show may seem to enact the liberating experience of breaking out from the ideological suture of the enclosed universe into its outside, invisible from the ideological inside. However, what if it is precisely this "happy" denouement of the film [...], with the hero breaking out and, as we are led to believe, soon to join his true love (so that we have again the formula of the production of the couple!), that is ideology at its purest? What if ideology resides in the very belief that, outside the closure of the finite universe, there is some "true reality" to be entered?
--  Slavoj Žižek, "The Matrix, or Two Sides of Perversion

The only interpretation I've come across so far of Lost's ending in that church with Christian opening the doors to white light (why never neon violet?) is that the whole sideways timeline (ST) is a purgatory where all the characters are reunited (having died at various times in the original timeline, OT). Passing through those doors, they'll go on to discover the meaning of it all, reality ground zero. Chief apologist Doc Jensen's reading goes something like that: "the castaways moved into the ''afterlife,'' which I have called 'heaven,' [... b]ut upon reflection, [... m]ost likely, the castaways returned to the Source, the hub of life, death, and rebirth, and their energy was recycled back into creation." Contrariwise, I suggest another possibility, that the island functions like Bugs Bunny sitting at the drawing board, constantly manipulating poor Daffy Duck's environment with a pencil and eraser (thus the white light is nothing more than blank paper). As it is with the cocksure rabbit, Jacob's ability to create arbitrary rules for reality ultimately rests on the unknowable fiat of some other creator, opening a potentially infinite regress of stinkers. What this entails is that Jack's sacrifice wasn't grounded -- wasn't guaranteed significance -- through transcendent means as the other interpretation would have it. Instead, if his martyrdom has meaning, it's because of the material effects on his reality, the OT, what's constituted by his relation to the other characters involved in the Gordian plot of the first five seasons.

Among theists, there are those who filter all of reality through the promise of the afterlife, the transcendent Truth, and there are others who are more concerned with how their faith gets the believer to act. For the former, ontology is paramount; their religious belief is a description of the ultimate foundation. For the latter, representationalism isn't important; the value of their faith is grounded in realworld effects. It doesn't matter to the post-ontological theist if he's believing in a fiction, as long as it's a useful fiction. Paraphrasing David Byrne, who was paraphrasing Ludwig Wittgenstein, of that which he has nothing to say, his lips are sealed. Aren't these two positions similar to what we have with Lost's Alexandrian resolution? The existence of a god qua magical island was never much in doubt (theism was the default narrative strategy), so the theme of faith versus skepticism really comes down to: (1) Were the castaways really working towards some great Truth that justified all their struggles and sacrifices, or were they simply side characters in an old family drama? And (2) did that white light give a meaningful closure to what we, the audience, have been following for 6 years, or was it simply that the creators couldn't figure out anything else to put on the page?  

Like Neo in The Matrix, Locke had faith and chose the "red pill," but it turned out to be the Man in Black (MIB or UnLocke)'s game piece. So, nothing was revealed to him, and he died a mere pawn, asking why. At least, that's the skeptical reading, provided by UnLocke himself. The other reading was given by Jack as he pushes UnLocke into the water on his way to the sub ("The Candidate"): 

UnLocke: "Whoever told you that you needed to stay had no idea what they were talking about."
Jack: "John Locke told me I needed to stay."
In other words, Locke's death had meaning, at least to someone willing to accept it. As the culmination of his fidelity to the island, it was the event that reconstituted Jack's worldview, putting him on the path of accepting the candidacy. Locke's willingness to die for the island led to the central role reversal instantiating the show's major theme: Jack became the disciple to protect the island against its chief skeptic, MIB, embodied in the form of Locke. This ideo-theoretical division was one about existential purpose, not (as it often is in the real world) the existence of supernatural properties (which are a given in fantasy). And, also as it was with The Matrix, this debate gets reduced to a mano-a-mano fistfight (with Kate's bullet becoming the deciding factor). Where would religion be without violence?

As far as I can tell, MIB was correct in every way. There was no reason he couldn't leave the island other than the controlling demands of his possessive Mother. Jacob could've changed the rules as the island's guardian, making it so that candidates didn't have to be dead for his brother to leave, but he was too much the mama's boy. Candidate after candidate died for 2,000 years just to keep the suffering bastard on the island. Even worse, when the island's cork was pulled by Desmond, shutting down the power source, UnLocke changed into an ordinary mortal. That kind of diminished his ability to wreak havoc on the mainland, so why couldn't Jack (as the new guardian) let him go? Revenge for killing Jin, Sun and Sayid, I suppose. Of course, they wouldn't have been killed if it weren't for Jacob's fucked up rules in the first place. And I guess UnLocke might've had his powers turned back on, once Jack replugged the cork, but like most everything else in the finale, all the audience has to go on are ad hoc speculations, since the show didn't provide any ground rules that it stuck to.[*] All we know for sure is that Jack made a commitment and he died sticking to it -- admirable, in a hate-the-war-but-support-our-troops kind of way.

What I dislike about the onto-theological reading of the ST -- despite granting that it's a valid interpretation -- is that when taken by itself it reduces Lost's entire shambolic story arc to the ideological yearning that  Žižek points to in The Truman Show's conclusion. The mere promise of a transcendent Truth (behind the curtain, outside of the OT) is supposed to free the characters of choices made and acts committed. Similarly, the audience is supposed to forget all the dangling plot threads, finding closure in the characters having finally discovered their purpose, whatever that might be. So, my more skeptical (post-onto-theological) interpretation of the ST is that it's a dying dream granted to Jack by the island for service rendered -- a way of making him feel as if he died for something, even if he didn't. Of course, both Juliet and Desmond tapped into this same dream, but are influenced by the same magical island that can read and influence all the characters' thoughts. Think of it as Matrix-styled A.I. software being implemented in their wetware at different times. The ST is thereby rendered an illusion. However, because "The End" is ambivalent (however imperfectly) between these two interpretations, it doesn't require what Žižek demanded of The Matrix, a third pill to get past the forced choice of pure ideological manipulation (the Matrix) versus the unveiling of base reality (the grimy burned out husk of Earth with humans as they really are, atrophied and plugged in). Instead of the red pill enabling Neo to see the reality behind the illusion, the third pill would enable him to see reality's dependency on its ideological/fictional/fantasmatic support. Is Lost's OT the enabling fiction, or is it the ST? As much as I hated the distraction that was the ST, to its credit, the finale seems to answer, "both."

So I ain't satisfied, but that's the most favorable reading I could think of.

Free at last!

[*Since I was pretty sick of picking apart with friends all this season's problems in plot construction, I left them out here, but a raging geek over at Ain't It Cool News' talkback gives a pretty good stream-of-conscious rant that lists many.]

Lost Their Way? "The End"

Posted by Charles Reece, May 30, 2010 11:07pm | Post a Comment
If much in the world were mystery the limits of that world were not, for it was without measure or bound and there were contained within it creatures more horrible yet and men of other colors and beings which no man has looked upon and yet not alien none of it more than were their own hearts alien in them, whatever wilderness contained there and whatever beasts.
-- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, p. 138

Let's start off with something positive. I'm hard-pressed to think of a better filmed death than Jack's. As someone who's experienced the passing of a loved one after a arduous, painful struggle, I found the serenity in his letting go pitch perfect. Undoubtedly, it's one of Lost's best scenes, sharing a similar timbre with my other favorite death scene, that of Twin Peaks' Leland. Going back to their comment on one of the early blu-ray extras, the showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse knew exactly how they wanted to end their story. According to actor Matthew Fox, they told him the fate of his character during the first season. Unfortunately, what wasn't so planned out was how Jack would get there. "The End" leaves us with five seasons of dangling plot threads that don't add up to much. Instead of having all of that leading to Jack's death, this sequence is constantly interrupted with a bunch of treacle involving almost all the main characters, both alive and dead, meeting up in a church in the alternative "sideways" world to head off into cliché, the afterlife's white light. Evidently, the finale needed an extra half hour just to include a bunch of flashbacks (previous seasons instead relied on audience intelligence) and all the hugging and smiling that goes on in the church. Thus, through parallel editing, the best and worst are presented simultaneously.

The apologia began well before the finale aired, with the showrunners preparing the line of argument by which the most ardent fanboys could defend the ad hoc denouement. Somewhere along the way Lindelof and Cuse must've realized what a non sequitur the sideways timeline was going to be, so they created a preemptive defense that went something like this: This was their story, and they were going to end it the way the saw fit, namely by focusing on the main character arcs and answering only those questions that pertained to this goal. It wasn't their job to spoon-feed us all the solutions to the narrative riddles they'd created. (From what I hear, those wishing to be babied will have to buy the box set, which will include an explanatory extra disc.) And this condescension is pretty well followed in Jeff Jensen's blog, propaganda central for the show. I also heard something similar from friends who were more fulfilled by the ending than I. Isn't that what I was wanting, for an air of mystery to remain?

Well, let's get something cleared up: mystery and plot resolution are not mutually exclusive within a narrative. Fallaciously assuming the contrary is exactly the basis on which Lindelof and Cuse attempt to rest their defense. It's helpful here to consider Noam Chomsky's distinction between a problem and a mystery. The former is a question to which we have a reasonable expectation of an answer somewhere down the road (e.g., who killed Sally?), whereas the latter exceeds all current constraints on our thinking, inviting speculation and/or faith (e.g., why is there something rather than nothing?). Fiction isn't scientific experimentation, so a writer can, of course, play about with what's a narrative problem or mystery. A major problem with Battlestar Galactica was the reduction of all of its mysteries to a jerry-built deus ex machina explanation. To its credit, Lost doesn't have an episode of a talking head revealing the grand design. But its creators, not wanting to do that kind of story, seem to believe mystery alone freed them from basic plot construction.

It served the show well to keep the nature of the island and its properties a mystery (ontologically ambiguous between scientistic explanations of electromagnetism and pure magic, the more muddled attempt at questioning the distinction between free will and determinism, as well as the island's ambivalent status as an allegory for the foundation of morality). In finally committing his life to this mysterious island, Jack provides an example of what's at stake in fidelity to a cause, where there is no clear cut contract with numerous contingencies laid out in fine print. His conversion is a far more convincing case for the need of faith as revealed through grace than you'll ever see coming from stories told by conservative Christians (e.g., The Passion of the Christ). This arc alone is, to me, justification enough for watching the entire series, but it doesn't excuse the faulty construction of the final season. 

If one introduces a narrative element, regardless of whether it's a place, character/group, or even motif, and regardless of whether any of those is supernatural or natural, the audience has a reasonable expectation that it'll serve some purpose to the story unfolding. That is to say, its function is as a problem, not a mystery. And I'm not talking about certain stylistic choices, such as film's shot construction, color palette, or the look of actors (although they can and do have narrative implications), but plot elements (and by 'plot', I mean what the formalists call fabula, an element's status in the cause and effect chain, if you're the type who considers such things). So, when season after season, the fate of Lost's characters is interwoven with the shadowy organization known as DHARMA, or what's left of their presence on the island, expecting some payoff to that isn't a case of wanting to be spoonfed a conclusive interpretation of what it all means. Similarly, when a major character like Juliet is introduced via her role in attempting to solve why babies can't be conceived on the island and that element is tied into numerous other subplots (such as the kidnapping of Claire's child), the audience has a reasonable expectation that all this baby stuff is somehow more significant than just giving the writers a baroque technique for introducing a character. Instead, those threads were cut in favor of introducing the sideways timeline, which then became the primary plot to be resolved in the finale. Obviously, the creators didn't consider wrapping that up as crass demystification.  

Continued ...

The Lost Weekend: "The Candidate," "Across the Sea," & "What They Died For"

Posted by Charles Reece, May 23, 2010 04:31pm | Post a Comment
The scorecard. Note that Desmond wasn't included in this pic, either.

Welp, "The End" is tonight. I've been less than enamored with Lost's final season, not because of unresolved mysteries (which is how I wanted it), but poor story construction. Rather than the forceful movement towards the finale that all the other seasons possessed, there's been too much dicking around, deflating the momentum. It wasn't until the third to last episode that the reason for all the castaways being on the island was revealed through the origin of Jacob and his nemesis, the man in black (MIB), aka his twin brother. 

"Across the Sea"  is one of the season's best episodes, as it takes the old prime mover argument for a god's existence (that everything has to have a beginning, so there must be an ultimate beginning) and narratively plays out the problem with that: the positing of a first cause runs counter to the reason for it's use, that everything has to have a cause. Thus, we find out how Jacob and MIB became who they are, but we don't know squat about the one they call Mother who condemned them to the island -- so goes the most quoted bit from the episode: answers only lead to more questions. Ontologically, that makes me happy. Likewise, I like the way Jacob doesn't have any real possession of the Truth, either. He just chooses to believe the ad hoc mumbo-jumbo of this woman who admittedly killed his real mother, because that's really all he's got. He's learned something over the subsequent 2,000 years about the island's mystical mechanics, but seemingly very little about the what for. That he has to protect the island and keep his brother's smoggy avatar imprisoned are matters of faith. At its core, the show demonstrates the blurry distinction between faith and its seemingly more rational counterpart, inference to the best explanation. Thus, Jacob is following the law of his Mother, a person who believed it necessary to not only kill his real mom, but murder the other people on the island, because they were trying to harness its central power source. Or, then again, derailing the MIB's attempt to get off the island by razing the village was just a ruse to get him pissed off enough to end her eternal drudgery as protector. She even thanks him for killing her. ( And, I could be mishearing, but it sure seems like she calls him José as she lies dying. Being a variant of Joseph, favorite son of Jacob, that would fit this Oedipalized passion play. Joseph's dying wish was to have his bones returned to Israel, the MIB wishes to return home as a disembodied spirit of sorts. The inspiration for the character's names never determine their arc, but just allude to some analogical similarities.) It's all perfectly ambiguous, but it does provide what's at stake for the remaining candidates should they find the faith to make the same decision as Jacob. 

However, the placement of that backstory felt like a drag on the main storyline, coming right after "The Candidate," in which we witnessed the deaths of Sayid, Jin and Sun. (Lapidus is still alive, since his death wasn't shown and his piloting skill is the most logical way off the island for whoever survives.) Why wasn't Jacob's origin story placed somewhere at the beginning of the season, where it would've added some dramatic point to all the characters flailing around in both timelines? Instead, it's been more characters and mysteries introduced with viewers waiting to see what the point of it all is. The dramaturgy behind the sideways timeline has been little more than reminding the viewer what the characters were like at the beginning of the journey with inverted twists on their lot in life -- sometimes surprising, but who cares? Although I admit that the interactions between sideways Locke and Jack deepen their characters (so it definitely hasn't been all bad). Had "Across the Sea" come earlier, the creators could've restructured the narrative so that all the decisions being made had some relevance, were contingent upon, the primal act established therein. When said deaths occurred, it felt haphazard, like a gimmick just to convey that this UnLocke guy, whoever the hell he is, meant business -- whatever business that might be. Which brings me to the problem of rule-following in a fantasy.

It doesn't matter why vampires incinerate in sunlight, only that once it's established that they do, you don't see any tanning on a beach. Earlier in the season, Jack proved his hard-earned faith that he's on the island for a reason by lighting a stick of dynamite in front of Richard and watching it fizzle out. Similarly, in a previous season, Michael couldn't kill himself with a pistol. As the rule goes, the island wasn't done with them yet. Considering this rule, alongside all of the convenient coincidences, is what makes "The Candidate" one of the clumsiest and most poorly told episodes of the season, if not the entire series. 

First, let's take all the contingencies that UnLocke would've had to consider in advance (foreseen?) for his plan to kill the remaining candidates to work: (1) Jack had to change his mind about not leaving the island, an idea he was so committed to that he jumped off a boat in a previous episode, willing to let his friends leave without him. (2) Jack had to take off his backpack at the right moment, so that UnLocke could switch it out with one containing a C4 bomb hooked to a timer. (3) Because UnLocke can't directly kill the candidates (just as he couldn't kill Jacob), the timer going off without anyone's awareness would've have amounted to diddly. Thus, Kate had to be conveniently shot, so that Jack would need the medical supplies in his pack, thereby discovering the bomb. (4) Related to 3, UnLocke had to count on the group not finding any first aid kit in the sub. (5) Sawyer had to be counted on to not trust Jack's faith in not dying should the bomb go off, so that he'd mistakenly try to dismantle the bomb, making him the direct killer of the surviving candidates. Okay, maybe that last one wasn't so hard to predict given Sawyer's opinion of Jack, but it points to the problem of rule-following I mentioned.

Second, why should it matter if one of the group tampers with the bomb? If Michael could be off the island, put a gun to his head and pull the trigger, only to have nothing happen, then Sawyer's pulling the wires should've had the same result. I guess the island could've been done with those that died, but it's unclear why the bomb would've gone off even if true, since at least some of them were still needed (cf. the Richard and Jack scene alluded to above).

Finally, even granting all of that as part of the rule system, why didn't UnLocke allow for the group to get aboard the plane that was wired with C4? Lapidus isn't a candidate, isn't beholden to whatever rules UnLocke, Jacob, Whitmore et al. play by, so if the island was done with the group, his starting up the plane would've accomplished everything the bombing of the sub was supposed to do, but in a simpler, much more efficient and easily predicted manner. Even if UnLocke can't fly far enough to escape the island (he supposedly can't fly over water, although Jack proved he's not harmed by it), he would've had the submarine with which to leave. In other words, all of this was some piss-poor plotting on the writers' part.

So, back to what's this all about, or, as the penultimate episode puts it, "What They Died For." As it turns out, not much that we didn't already know. A whole episode pretty much wasted on explaining to the four remaining main characters that they're candidates for Jacob's job. (These are the same characters who were selected by the Others in exchange for Walt back in season 2: Hurley, Kate, Sawyer and Jack). Why did he select them? Because they were like him, alone. He fails to mention the fact that he's been with them at various times in their life. How did he know back then that they'd always be alone? This line only works if the show remains committed to determinism. That is, how could Jacob have known to have picked them otherwise? This leads to another question (big surprise): why not just select the guy you know is going to work out, rather than having all those other deaths on your hands? Perhaps Jacob's prescience is limited in the same was as Desmond's, seeing different possible futures. But that doesn't really work, since metaphysics according to what Desmond learned is that all possible paths lead to a single predetermined outcome. He knew Charlie was going to die, just not exactly how or when. So, applying that to Jack as the new protector means that it was a foregone conclusion that he'd "choose" and all the others who died are pretty much meaningless casualties. It's possible that Jacob is simply following orders, taking whomever the island sends his way without seeing anything himself, but that goes against his statement that he was the one who chose them. And Jacob, according to Mother, isn't capable of lying. My guess for how the writers will attempt to get out of this depressing worldview, or at least its miserable effects, is to let UnLocke blow up the island, shifting all the original timeline consciousnesses into the parallel bodies on sideways Earth. But who knows? I'm rooting for miserablism.

I still don't trust Jacob. He might not lie, but sure does leave out a lot of crucial information (much like this season's writers). He's seen walking with Mother right after the village was destroyed. He was there when Locke was thrown out of an eighth story window. He distracted Sayid just before Natya (the latter's wife) was hit by a car. And, although he wasn't present, his right-hand man, Richard, had a big part to play in Ben's slaughtering all the DHARMA members back in the early 90s. (Speaking of which, was all that DHARMA stuff nothing more than the world's most elaborate MacGuffin, something that just kept us watching for a few seasons until the real narrative point is finally revealed?) Jacob has sensitive eyes, but he's a real bastard.

I've rambled enough. I'll be back after the finale to see if my skepticism was justified. I do still have hope that all the piddling about turns out to be more significant than the show's let on so far. 

Lost in Translation: "Sundown," "Ab Aeterno" & "The Package"

Posted by Charles Reece, April 4, 2010 10:13pm | Post a Comment

A subjectivist would say that evil, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. However, cross-cultural psychology tells us that beauty preferences for bodily proportions remain pretty consistent across cultures -- e.g., the alignment of eyes to the nose or the ratio of hips to waist to bust might differ in our preference for how big or small the body parts, but percentage-wise, the preferred numbers are statistically close. Is the subjectivist also similarly wrong about evil?

In "The Package," the latest episode of Lost, having been captured by Whitmore's team, Jin turns on a brainwashing video in the cell where he's held. Along with the psychedelic montage are two inscriptions: "we are the causes of our own suffering" and "everything changes." Both respectively comment on two of the show's main themes, the nature of evil and determinism. Given that the narrative relies so heavily on fate and time travel, where the present has been determined by the actions of characters shifted into the past, we viewers should read irony into the Heraclitean message that you can never step into the same river twice. As is taking shape in the alternative timeline, the river might look different in the particulars, but it's always leading to the same place. Likewise, a grain of salt should be applied to the other message suggesting a subjectivist determination of evil. 

If memory serves, the video is the same one that was forced on Alex's boyfriend, Karl, by the Others (then led by Ben). Thus, it was either created by them, or they appropriated a DHARMA Initiative's video for their own purpose (since the room was definitely created by DHARMA). Either way, there was a good reason for the Others to use the video on a wayward member, to repress any suspicion that much suffering has been wrought by Jacob's will (and, of course, Ben's wish to punish the boy for dating his adopted daughter). Jacob pays a lot of lip service to free will, such as when he meets Richard for the first time in a flashback sequence of "Ab Aeterno." Just before offering a Richard a job as his liaison, he explains his purpose in bringing all the people to the island is to prove to the Nemesis that they can freely choose to do the right thing. However, the right thing isn't freely chosen by Jacob's candidates, but by the dictates of the island and/or Jacob. Thus, however justified the suffering of those who find themselves on the island might or might not be, one thing is certain, the evil effect isn't subjectively determined. What remains for the characters, as with the audience, is to determine the true nature of evil.

Since the last time I blogged about the show, I've been happy to discover that it hasn't gone the route of a dualistic struggle between good and evil. Sure, it continues to play with the iconography of a Star Wars metaphysics (black and white, two teams, etc.), but I think the writers have shown enough of their hand that the audience can be assured the moral outcome isn't going to be so simplistic. Take, for example, the parallel that's been drawn between the bargains proffered by Jacob and the Nemesis. As the personally chosen representative of Jacob and protector of the Temple, in "Sundown" Dogen offers the resurrected Sayid a chance to redeem himself and prove his goodness by killing UnLocke (the Nemesis) with a sacred dagger (sacred because it continues to get passed between the two island deities through the ages).

Using Jacob's typical rhetorical technique, Dogen only tells Sayid enough to get him to do the task at hand. It is hardly indicative of someone who respects the will of another, but rather the work of a satanic trickster. No mention is made of the likelihood that the dagger will have no effect on UnLocke -- and it doesn't. Furthermore, Dogen insists that Sayid must strike before UnLocke says anything, effectively robbing the opponent of any chance to prove his humanity to the contrary of his being characterized as "evil incarnate" (possibly another of Dogen's deceptions, since the Nemesis has been robbed of his body). On the other side, the Nemesis (as the Man in Black) gets Richard to go after Jacob with the dagger by tricking him into thinking the latter is the devil ("Ab Aeterna"). Richard is convinced he's in hell for killing a doctor, and due to the Nemesis' machinations, the only way to free himself and his wife is to kill Satan. Once again, the blow is to be dealt before the opponent has a chance to speak. Thus, the Nemesis has no more regard for a man's right of self-determination than Jacob. These methods suggest that the only good that will come out of following either Jacob or UnLocke is a utilitarian ratio where the final good outweighs all the evil means.

Having failed to kill UnLocke, Sayid makes a Faustian bargain to help the former infiltrate the Temple if he will bring the latter's dead wife back. Certainly, UnLocke makes a better argument for killing Dogen than the latter did in reverse. Would anyone else be convinced by "if you want to be good, kill this guy, no questions asked?" UnLocke gives a biblical choice to the Temple residents, either follow him or die. And a lot of them are murdered.

Jacob's temptation for Richard isn't all that different from Sayid's. He wants his wife back. No can do, says Jacob. Well, how about absolution? Nope. Alright, how about eternal life, so he'll never have to face eternal punishment? Jacob grants him that with a touch. In return, Richard helps line up candidates and followers for the next century and a half in whatever plan Jacob and the island have in place. As we've seen, and as Jacob explains, a lot of people have suffered and/or died for not having properly followed this agenda. Just like with UnLocke, either follow him or suffer the consequences. For their respective service, Sayid loses his emotional ties to his humanity and Richard loses any sense of purpose. The latter is brought back into Jacob's fold through Hurley communing with Isabella, Richard's dead wife. Keeping in mind that Jack once saw his dead father off the island where the Nemesis cannot be, it's posible that Jacob can impersonate dead people, too. Additionally, we never see "Isabella" actually telling Hurley to pass along the message to Richard that he must stop UnLocke from getting off the island. It might be that all of Hurley's ability as a medium is more of Jacob's shenanigans.

Jack has now found Locke's sense of purpose, but I'm betting on Sawyer's anarchic spirit. The latter has little concern for which side is correct or will win the game, and is more committed to playing them against each other for the sole purpose of getting himself and his friends off the island. Ultimately, the evil seems to be island bureaucracy. On the other hand, the possibility of freely choosing to go against the island's game has been severely undermined with all the deterministic courses everyone is on. Whatever, a Hollywood happy ending ain't likely. And I have no idea how the DHARMA Initiative fits into all of this (but it probably started with the owner of the Black Rock, Magnus Hanso -- was he on the ship?), or why Ben and Whitmore have to play by similar rules to those guiding Jacob and his Nemesis. 

Watching Big Brother: Russia under Global Capitalism

Posted by Charles Reece, February 12, 2010 09:27pm | Post a Comment
Insight into another culture, or the Russian Big Brother is some crazy shit:

"[W]hen people stop being polite ... and start getting real":

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