If there is anything we know about Lost, it’s that the shows creators, producers and writers have an incredibly diverse pool of references in which to draw from. They pull from classic literature, world religion, mythology, philosophy, math and science and pop culture not limited to movies and television shows.
The subject of this blog is about the latter. Specifically, the movies, even more specifically, The Goonies. What follows is a pictorial comparing the hit show Lost and the 80’s movie The Goonies. I’m not saying this was intentional… but you never know do you. Please enjoy this trip through TV/Movie magic.
In the beginning of both shows, There was:
Mikey: "Hold up guys, I mean, shit, you know I can't hunt treasure without my inhaler."
Shannon's Inhaler. You know Boone wanted her to choke on it most of the time.
Where you are looking for something, whether an enemy camp or a pirate’s booty… you always need:
One-Eyed Willie's Treasure Map: Solve the map = Find the Treasure, = Keep the Goondocks as home.
Solve Rousseau's Map and win a trip home... or at least find the location of the Others' decoy village.
The first step in figuring things out usually starts with illumination of some sort and what better place to find illumination than…
Many forget that the first stop on the Goonies' quest was the Lighthouse Lounge.
Conversely, after his visit to the Lighthouse, Jack most likely feels his quest is over. Booty-less.
And what hero’s journey would be complete without:
The Fratelli's caught a whiff of treasure and tried to foil the Goonies at every turn.
On Lost... there are The Others. And who knows what the hell they're up to but whenever possible they hold Lostaways captive and torture them with Other-Wear fashion shows.
Back at the Lighthouse Lounge, Chunk is faced with a decision… eat tons of ice cream and thus stay in the freezer with a corpse or scream. He and Hurley are faced with many food decisions throughout their journeys. They’ve both got:
Chunk would have never been left behind (and captured) had it not been for his love of Ice Cream.
On the island, Hurley must confront his food addiction head-on when Jack leaves him in charge of a huge stockpile of DHARMA foodstuffs.
Both the Goonies and the Losties have their own dilemmas to solve. There are many routes, many clues and many passages both on One Eyed Willie’s trail and on the Lost Island and sometimes they are as ubiquitous as:
It is underneath a wishing well that the Goonies find a Doubloon, signifying that they are on the right track to the pirate's treasure.
Somewhere in island past, Locke discovers that the well is the entryway to time travel treasure. He shimmies/falls down and turns the donkey wheel which stops his friends and the island from blooping through time.
Here Spielberg may have done it first but now no JJ Abrams production is complete without:
A LOVE TRIANGLE
Andy "accidentally" kisses Mikey and them breaks his heart, choosing his brother Brandon over him. What a heartbreaker.
Kate "accidentally" kisses Jack in the jungle but goes on to get down with Sawyer in a bear cage. Heartbreaker.
The goonies must navigate their way through a cave system while the Lostaways must navigate their way through the jungle. Both are rife with:
One Eyed Willie... Wild about booby traps, practically kills several goonies to protect his treasure.
Rousseau is CRAZY (and crazy about booby traps). She injures a few Lostaways with her traps as she tries to protect herself from the Others.
Both the Goonies and the Lostaways are faced with symbols of parental tyranny, missed opportunities and lost youth through:
Music lessons were a part of Andy's childhood she thought she'd left behind, until this musical One Eyed Willie Trap makes her dance.
Charlie's childhood issues swim him down when the piano his mother gave him washes up on Lost shores... it was only a dream but still so random.
And speaking of childhood… what is one of the most iconic symbols of Rockwellian America?
THE WHITE PICKET FENCE
Chunk is not allowed inside the faded picket fence of Mikey's Goondock home until he does the Truffle Shuffle.
DHARMA, giving their kids a taste of Americana while far from home with a playground picket fence. (ignore the bomb going off... it was the best fence photo)
Every movie and TV show needs one of these:
A MISUNDERSTOOD VILLAIN
Restrained in a basement by his family, they treat him like a dog until Chunk liberates him and we find out he has a heart of gold.
Trapped on an island far from home, MIB/Smokey/FLocke could be the most misunderstood character on television... or just a jerk with anger management issues. Time will tell.
The biggest mystery in both The Goonies and Lost:
IMPOSSIBLY PLACED SHIPS
How in the hell did One Eyed Willy get his ship in that cavern?
How in the hell did the Black Rock slave ship end up in the middle of the island?
Both The Goonies and Lost are battles of light vs. dark and one of the most obvious symbols we see of this:
Mikey instructs Data to leave the treasure on the scales for his foe turned kindred spirit, One Eye Willie indicating that the scales of justice are now even; both sides equal for the upcoming battle to keep his home that he must face after his Goonie adventure is over.
FLocke removes the white rock from the scale in the names cave, removing the symbol of his nemesis and perhaps pretending that it was just an inside joke, therefore downplaying the importance of the game between he and Jacob.
At the end of the day though… it’s all about finding a place to wind down. It might be your home, or if you don’t have a home right now, it might be someplace like say…
A GOLF COURSE
For the Goonies, home was the Goondocks, which they save from becoming a golf course when they find One Eyed Willie's Treasure.
For some of the Lostaways, they find shades of home on the Golf Course they create on the island.
I don’t think there are any implications here that give us all that much insight into unraveling the mysteries of Lost. I do hope to eventually find out the motivations of FLocke/MIB and hope that he is more like Sloth than he is like that mean Mama Fratelli. I hope to find out what the island really is, which I guess you could call the island “treasure.” And I guess I hope that the Lostaways figure out a way to get passed their flaws and hang ups, just like Mikey did when he met the skeleton of One Eyed Willie and was able to finally give up his inhaler. Perhaps knowing the flaws of MIB and Jacob will help the “Candidates” of Lost leave their inhalers behind too? Again, only time will tell.
But the one thing we can be sure of… There is one undeniable thing in both The Goonies and Lost:
The Goonies' Mikey was played by Sean Astin who played Hobbit Sam Wise in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Lost's Charlie is played by Dominic Monaghan who played Hobbit Meriadoc 'Merry' Brandybuck in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
and Hobbits are always noble and good. And that right there… that is made of awesome.