Guest Blog in Which Jordon Looks at Lost as a Parable About Duality & Unity & Finds That Everything, in The End, is Redeemable.

17 05 2010

This episode of MyCrazyLostTheory is being brought to you by the great despoiler, who shattered your regular author’s hopes in relation to a very important theory regarding Smokey’s long con, Hurley’s Ghosts, and a jar of peanut butter.  Even though I’ve apologized, apparently I still have to do my penance, which is to guest host the column this week. 

Hey Jordon... So not mock the Peanut Butter. Charlie imagined it with Claire, then it was there. That is IMO, way more magical than that stupid My Little Pony cave!

 

Pauline (of MyCrazyLostTheory) and I regularly check in on Wed mornings to ecstatically exchange our theories and views on the previous nights info dump that is lost.  Last Wednesday was no exception…although we both started the conversation with a great deal more trepidation than normal.  I’ll sum up my initial feelings thusly:  Watching that episode was kinda like choking back a spoonful of REALLY awful tasting medicine, and slowly finding that the aftertaste is divine and sort of warms the guts.  Reading through various blogs and comments ’round the ol’ net, it appears this is one of the most divisive episodes yet.  I think that is completely understandable.  In a way, viewers are now going to be divided into the old Locke/Jack dichotomy.  Some are happy with a general mystic underpinning, and some need concrete answers.  Until the following theory occurred to me, I was a little bit on the ” oh come ON Lost!” side of the fence.  Now, I think I see the writers long con, and I think I’m in love. 

Or, in other words:  How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Lost as Star Wars Remake.  Ok, what?  Awkward.  My entirely revamped view of this show is that it’s Star Wars.  Well, at least partly.  In one big way.  At first we thought Star Wars was gonna be about Jack…I mean Luke. But as the series continued, and especially after the crappy prequels, we realized it had been about the MIB, oh crap, I mean Darth Vader, all along.  So this series is about the MIB.  And Jacob.  Of course.  But mostly the MIB.  And his redemption.  How can he be redeemed?  How can such a force of evil get redemption?  Well, Darth Vader blew up a whole fucking planet and somehow we forgave him at the end, right?  Seriously folks, stay with me, I swear this is going somewhere (it’s about now that Pauline is regretting asking me to guest host I imagine…). 

No Jordon, not at all. Keep going... this all sounds quite intriguing.

 

Before this episode, I had a series of huge questions:  What was the smoke monster, what was Jacob, what is the purpose of the Island, and why are these people candidates?  What is the sideways world, why can Hurly see Dead People, etc. etc.  We don’t have many more answers to those questions, but, as the episode pointed out in the cheekiest bit of meta-narrative yet, with each answer there are more questions. 

However, I think we’ve been played.  Here is my big gambit:  There is no Candidate.  Jacob’s entire ‘plot’ has been to redeem the MIB, and get him to accept guardianship of the Island.  No, seriously.  To begin to understand this we have to go back to this Episode, and Mommy Dearest. 

Once upon a time there was a lady who guarded a sparkly cave full of Care Bear magic, which she protected from big bad evil men who wanted to steal its power.  She had probably been doing this for centuries, and was waiting for someone to show up who could take her place.  Hunting boar and looking for poultices can get awfully boring after hundreds of years.  So can killing entire colonies as the smoke monster.  Wait, what?  That’s right.  I think Dear Old Mom was both Guardian AND Smoke Monster.  My evidence for this is direct and indirect.  First off, when she found out that Unnamed Brother had found a way to tap into the energy of the Island, she clearly got that sad look in her eyes of ‘here we go again, I’ve got to wipe out another batch of folks from the Island,’ and next thing we know, the entire village is wiped out…with prejudice.  Everyone is burned, maimed and otherwise indisposed, and also, guess what, the well has been filled in and destroyed.  Could little old Mom have done that?  Could she have thrown the MIB over her shoulder and hauled him out of the well?  Don’t think so.  I think only the Smoke monster could have done that.  Which leads me to wonder if the smoke monster was there in some other form (was the vision of MIB’s real mother the old Smokey showing his hand?  I don’t think so) or that MOM had that power…a decidedly smoke monster like destructive power.  The reason I think she was both, and not that there was another entity already extant on the Island in the role of smoke monster is because of what apparently happened to the source after MIB was sucked down that mystical water slide.  It went black folks, and we never saw it go light again.  Whatever caused THIS smoke monster to manifest caused a very very bad thing.  It was at this point that the Island ceased being the repository for the “source” of all warm and fuzzy (Mom’s explanation of the source and how each person in the world holds a spark of it inside of them is highly Cabalistic/Gnostic) and became instead a cork holding in the evil that was Smokey.   

After destroying the villagers and pissing off MIB, Mommy knew she had to make a choice…she had to pass the torch (which she literally did, by the way!) to Jacob.  Clearly Jacob wasn’t her first choice, but he was all that was left.  The other son had proven that he wouldn’t have any interest in that job, and would most likely just fuck it up.  My guess is that what she passed to Jacob was sort of incomplete, and that she was rushed into doing so.  She couldn’t pass on her full nature.  I don’t have the back up for that right now, although maybe it will come to me.  Basically, Jacob got all of the Guardianship without any of the Smokey aftertaste.  Now mom has become mortal, has passed that torch, and can die and be at peace.  She kinda wants this.  It’s pretty clear. Thankfully MIB is happy to oblige.  That dagger we’ve seen so much of this season finally ends up killing one of the supernatural characters after all…it just happens to have happened a long long time ago.  Jacob is super pissed, and decides to work out his feelings of inadequacy by throwing brother into the Care Bear cave.  Now, Mommy warned them about this, explicitly, saying it would result in a fate worse than death.  Clearly she knew about it in detail, and probably from experience.  I think it’s important to note, at least for my theory, that the MIB was mortal when he was cast in.  It was Jacob who had been given the gift of immortality by drinking the wine (the same wine by the way that he gave to Richard to drink…Richard, who became…IMMORTAL!).  So when a mortal man is cast into the Care Bear cave, all hell breaks loose, literally.  His soul is stripped from his body, and transformed into the smoke monster…or the other side of Mom’s split personality.  In mythic terms, this is the separation of the unity into duality.  And what do dualities always long for?  Return to the source, to be rejoined, to make sweet sweet love.  Ok, well, a bit too far there.  What used to be a singular role of protector is now split into two beings. And one of those beings is corrupted, pissed, and wants the hell off the Island.  And yet if we really look at the smoke monster over the course of the show, it has served as a sort of Island Security System for much of the time.  Hell, many people overtly called it that for much of the show.  So it seems that MIB can’t escape his guard duties entirely.  Maybe that’s part of his nature…but without the other side of his nature, represented by Jacob, he’s a much darker and more menacing force than he should be, and potentially deadly for the world at large. 

What if it’s more straightforward than I’m making it?  What if Jacob really does just want someone to come along and replace him, and take up his role as protector of the Island, someone to keep Smokey in check.  Isn’t the biggest risk there that Smokey will eventually find a way to loophole the next sorry sap into getting shived, and escape anyway?  The game won’t end, it will just be extended.  The only way to win the game, say it with me Mathew Broderick Fans, is Not To Play.  

Never trust a computer screen bearing greetings from Professor Falken or random dudes in the jungle of a mysterious island offering magic wine or daggers.

 

  

Now, this got me to thinking:  If my theory is correct, then why did Jacob choose these people?  I’m certain there is more to that to come in the last 3 ½ hours, but here is something to chew on:  We know that Smokey has been executing a long con throughout the show, manipulating events to get into Locke’s bod, and kill Jacob to eventuate his escape from Fantasy Island.  But what if Jacob has an even longer con going on.  What if he brought certain people to the Island whom he KNEW would compliment each other in such a way that when the MIB eventually found a way to inhabit one of them, there would be someone amongst the group who would be the perfect foil for the MIB avatar, someone who could bring him back from the Dark Side.  That’s why Kate isn’t a Candidate anymore…because MIB chose Locke…and the only true foil for Locke is Jack.  So, it is the MIB’s choice that solidifies Jacob’s choice of Candidate.  Although by Candidate here, I’m not talking anymore about who will take Jacob’s role, but the one who will be the catalyst for convincing the MIB to accept the role.  WHOAH!  What did I just do there?  Seriously.  I feel like this opens up so much, and lets so much fall into place, I’m literally reeling from it.  Why Jack?  Because of Locke!  If Sawyer had been chosen by MIB, then it would have been Kate!  If Jin had been chosen by the MIB, then Sun, etc. etc.

Which leaves Desmond.  I have no idea. Don’t get cute with me, damnit.  We still have 3 ½ hours left for that to play out. 

But this idea of the merging or healing of dualities can play into the sideways world mystery also.  For here again we see a reflection of a fractured world, two realities, which need to be merged into a single reality.  Sideways world/Island world, Jacob/MIB, Locke/Jack.  Things will come together.  And they won’t come together in a way which just perpetuates the game, a simple exchange of actors…they will come together in a way which redeems.  And Locke will have his redemption too.  He was a man of faith, a man whose faith was tested sorely, who got played by a cynical being intent to destroying meaning.  Jack, a man who refused to see meaning in anything, who clung to the pragmatic even in the face of the miraculous.  Now, their roles are reversed, and the two are inexorably being drawn into a singular orbit.  What will come of their collision?  What will this new unity be? 

And what I like best about this idea is that it brings the Island back in as a character.  Behind these ideas is one in which the Island itself is wounded…wounded by Jacob’s violent sin.  The source has been tainted.  If Flocke is redeemed, and accepts the guardianship from Jacob and his smokey nature, then perhaps the Island gets healed, redeemed as well. 

Stay tuned.  We have 3 ½ glorious hours left to find out.  And I for one can not wait.

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Let’s Talk About Candidates, Shall We?

3 03 2010

So… this whole candidates thing has been bugging me since FLocke told Sawyer, “He thought he was the protector of this place. And you, James, have been nominated to take that job.” and went on to say, “It means you have three choices. First, you can do nothing and see how all this plays out. And possibly, your name will get crossed out. Second option. You can accept the job. Become the new Jacob. And protect the island.” 

Flocke Explains it All...

 

So, from that I believe many concluded that there is only one protector of the island at any given time.  This has given rise to many a mental image of Jack and Sawyer, the Island Protector and his Nemesis (not  respectively I might add) in the last scene of the series sitting on a beach together contemplating the next ship on the horizon. But could that actually be the case?  I mean, think about it… what has Jacob been doing to “protect” the island?  

Jacob has been stalking people all over the world, weaving tapestries, fishing, visiting people off island and manipulating them at often their most desperate moments in life all for the sake of getting them to the island to do what?  Observe what they do in heightened state of survival and then decide who gets to be the protector? That doesn’t sound like he is doing much to protect the island.  I mean, on his watch, what has happened?  Smokey found the loophole and killed him. Was he even watching the island at all…  or just picking people to do so? 

What do we think we know about the list of names? Well, we saw that 6 of our Lostaways are listed on the wall in the cave and have not been crossed out. (There are also some of the same names in the lighthouse including the addition of AUSTEN for Kate.)

We saw FLocke cross out the name  Locke, who is now dead and having his body being used as a meat puppet by Smokey.  So, by this we assumed that Locke was being crossed out either because he was dead or because he was being used by Smokey. And somehow from their we assumed that anyone who was on the wall and had their names crossed out were either dead or not worthy of being a candidate.  But wait a minute.  How did we get there from that?  Let’s take a look at that list shall we and as we do so, let’s look at who is still alive and just what they are doing on (and in a couple cases off) island. 

On the wall (and not crossed out) we have REYES, FORD, JARRAH, SHEPHARD and KWON. We know that each of these people are alive and previous the “Substitute” episode none of them had ever heard the word “Candidate.”  And what have they been doing on the island over the last 5 plus seasons?  They’ve been trying to survive in a harsh and hostile environment, trying to protect each other in some cases and trying to figure out what the hell was going on.  

Also on the wall are a ton of names that have been crossed out and many of them we know to be dead but some could actually refer to the countless others who are never called by name in the show.  I guess we would call them ‘Extra Others.’  Think about it… for all the work that Jacob (or Jerkob as I like to think of him) did to draw candidates to the island, I doubt that there are very many random people who’ve made it to the island who were just happening hoping to try a cup of that delish, perfectly roasted DHARMA coffee that is all the rage these days.  Afterall, we’ve seen that people who showed up for on purpose to preform actual scientific studies, like the french science team, and even they had their names on the lists.

But for my purpose here, I must steer us toward Benjamin Linus.  His name (I must assume because his dad was pretty much useless) was on the list and then crossed out and he is still alive.  And just what has he been doing in his entire tenure on the island?  Well, let’s see… he has been completely allegiant to Jacob.  Yes, he was, at times, manipulated by the smoke monster and broke rules… but he was doing his best to follow the instructions given to him by Jacob.  He was given lists of things to do, orders from Richard Alpert, Jacob’s Administrative Assistant in all things protectory.  So… okay.  Ben has, in essence been protecting the island.  He has been, the island’s protector.  He thought he was anyway.  How many times has he mentioned protecting the island?  

Ben's final words to Widmore as he exiles him from the island: Because I won't be selfish. Because I'll sacrifice anything to protect this Island.

 

After Miles informs Ben that Keamy wants to speak with him about a hostage, Ben replies, "Ben: Well, then they've badly miscalculated, because every single one of my people is prepared to die in service to this island."

 

This all leads me to believe that those who have been crossed off the list are not just of the dead and those found unworthy because they are on team smokey….  but also because they have already fallen into their roles as island protector.  Dogen would be one of these people as well… and while we didn’t see his name on the list, we can’t be sure that Dogen is his real name.  Perhaps he took a different name when he left his life behind so he could bring his son back to life.  

The reason that our Lostaways haven’t been crossed out is because they are still in play.  They haven’t been recruited to either side yet.  Well, Sayid now, obviously but IMO, Kate, Jack, Hurley, Sun, Jin and Sawyer are still up for free agents (Well, Sayid not so much after last night’s Sundown).  As for Miles?  He might have been crossed off the list when he signed on to work for Widmore who was clearly a protector of the island.  Think about Widmore too…  His name isn’t on the list but who knows  if Widmore is actually his name?  He has been around forever and a day… and has been known to say things indicative of his role as island protector: 

Widmore tells Ben to kill Baby Alex then explains, "You might find this difficult to understand, Benjamin... every decision I've made has been about protecting this Island."

 

I’d also like to state here that we can surmise the same of Eloise Hawking.  (Who knows if that is really her name.)  Though off-island this woman is clearly one of it’s protectors as she guides people there from the Lamp Post station and was a sort of co-team-captain with Widmore when they were both on-island. 

So now, why did FLocke seem to want Sawyer to believe that the whole island protector gig was a one man job and not a team building exercise?  Perhaps in singling him out FLocke was trying to manipulate Sawyer into thinking he was special thus stroking Sawyer’s rebellious rule breaking inclinations in effect swaying the con-man in his less savory direction?  I don’t know.  

And what of FLocke’s claim that everyone was now free and they were to go with him to get off the island?  Will our last shot be of the empty island, now inhabited only by transparent ghosts?Or better yet by wild boar and polar bears amidst howling winds? Or just an island sitting there in silence like a haunted vessel in the Bermuda Triangle just waiting for Luke Perry, Dan Cortese and Olivia d’Abo to stumble upon it while cruising the seas in their salvage vessel?  We still have quite a road to travel to find out all this stuff. That is if Darlton is ever going to explain any of it.  

So… can anyone find the 90’s Nickelodeon Sit Com reference in this post?  I’ll let you write a guest blog post if you can find it! 

Until Next Time: All work and now play makes Claire a dull girl.





Jacob Dax: A ‘Lost’ Argument for Symbiosis.

23 02 2010

Can we talk about the candidates for a moment? Because frankly, the whole concept is confusing me. First, let’s talk about what we know. 
We know, and this is according to Flocke:
Jacob's Island Rules according to Flocke (in pictographs)

1. Jacob had a thing for numbers.
2. Jacob visited the people who were written on the wall at some point in their lives.
3. If your name is on the wall, you are a candidate
4. Jacob thought he was the protector of the island
5. A candidate is someone who has been nominated to become protector of the island Flocke also implies that if Sawyer wanted he could accept the job, right there, when he says, “Second option: You can accept the job, become the new Jacob and protect the island.”

What else do we know?
Well, Miles’ name “Straube is on the wall but is crossed out, so you can still be alive but no longer a candidate.
Apparently, Jacob has been looking for a candidate for a long ass time. We saw him in the 1800’s pulling people toward the island looking for candidates.
There are people (perhaps like Linus and Whidmore) who have been following Jacob’s orders for years who didn’t even know about the candidacy and are crossed out yet still doing the job of protecting the island. What the hell is up with that? Jacob already has island protectors… ones who would do literally anything to protect it. What more does the guy want?
And how does one actually take this protector position? Well, I have a theory. It is totally insane and proof that I’ve watched far too much Star Trek in my life, but here goes.

Jadzia Dax of ST: Deep Space Nine

 

What if Jacob is like Jadzia Dax, a jointed Trill on Deep Space 9? For those not in the know… Dax is the result of a Symbiont (a symbiotic life form) that was joined with a humanoid Trill through a surgical procedure where the Symbiont is placed inside the humanoid shell where they share a melded consciousness. For a Trill, becoming joined with a Symbiont is a great honor. It takes a special personality and a lot of mental strength to even be granted a candidacy and there is lots of training and testing to even be considered and beyond that there is years of more training. A Symbiont is a funky little organism looking like a cross between a carrot and an eggplant who, when not joined with a Trill, lives in the caves of Mak’ala, a place on Trill where Symbionts swim in pools of murky liquid, lovingly tended to by unjoined Trills called Guardians who have dedicated their lives to protecting these lifeforms. (Hmmmm…. These guardians sound a bit like a docile version of Others.)

The Dax Symbiont

 

When a candidate has passed all the tests and has been matched to a Symbiont, the two are joined. The Symbiont is surgically placed inside the trill and after an adjustment period, the joining is complete. The Trill becomes a hybrid of not only her personality and that of the Symbiont but of all the memories and personality traits of all the Trill hosts who came before her.

We have seen that Flocke appears to have John Locke’s memories and some of his characteristics as well, “”Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” Was a good example of a Locke-ism that carried over into the Flocke. And like a joined Symbiont, Ilana said that MIB is good and socked in John Locke’s body… trapped there. With a jointed Symbiont, the trill must die before it’s taken out… it can’t be transferred from one host to another all willy nilly. It’s dangerous to the mental and physical health of both the host and the Symbiont it will kill the host and endanger the Symbiont.

Of course, the Star Trek version of Candidacy is much more scientific and a process full of order and tradition while the Candidacy of Lost is well, really kind of inconsistent, intuitive and really kind of crazy. But could the two campaigns be so different? Or at least the results. What would this mean for Jacob’s end game?

Is that what this whole process has been? Jacob looking for a new host who could handle all of the memories and personality traits of all the other Jacobs that came before? By accepting the job of Jacob, would Sawyer become some funky Jacob/Sawyer hybrid? Does this position come with an unmentioned downside; the losing pieces of yourself and gaining those of another or even others? And perhaps this “home” that Flocke is talking about is a place of tepid water where he can shed his skins and float around, contemplating all of the dark shadows he picked up, moving from host to host? Yeah… I’m grasping… but it’s fun to grasp. Just wait until I start comparing Flocke to Tess Harding of the Teen Sci Fi Drama Rosewell. Yeah… I’m going there. Next week maybe.

One more question… sort of related… sort of not. “The Others:”  

OTHER whats?

Until Next Time: “That douche is my dad.”