Lost, Fringe Science, Alternate Universes, Balance and Dogs.

26 02 2010

I’m just going to go ahead and get a little personal in this post.  I’ve been feeling a bit depressed lately.  I haven’t been able to pinpoint the reason but in thinking about possible whys, it got me thinking about recent events. But not in my life…  on Lost (of course).

This season on Lost we’ve been dealing with two universes.  We’ve got the the original timeline that I’ll refer to as the Island Universe and then we’ve got an Alternate Universe where we are watching events unfold in Los Angeles. The two universes are alike in some ways and very different in others. The Alt Universe seems to treat the Lostaways differently than the Original Universe thus extracting different types of responses from its inhabitants. But what did this have to do with my life?  Plenty. 

Last month my Alternate Universe persona died in an earthquake in Manhattan. How do I know this?  I watched it on TV.  And she wasn’t just my Alt Persona, she was my TV Alt Persona from an Alt Universe.  And since then, I’ve felt a bit… oh, I don’t know…  Off?  

Delusional?  Me?  No, I’m not delusional.  I am quite sane.  I’m just someone who has an old friend who writes for the show Fringe and when he needed to come up with the name of a character who had to die in the first scene of an episode, he thought of me.  I tuned in that night and watched “TV Alt Pauline” talk about being from California (like me) and make comments indicating that she too was a coffee nut. I watched her say goodnight to her coworker, then another earthquake hit and bam, she was dead.

Here, perky TV Alt Universe Pauline gives Ted the "Call Me if you get extra coffee" signal just moments before her death.

 

It was an awesome moment for me.  Well, an awesome moment for this universe’s Pauline… not so much for TV Alt Universe Pauline. And it was a nice feeling for about a week. I felt somehow lighter.  But then something changed and I got a bit depressed.  I felt empty… but why?  My friend posted a comment on his FB page and said, “Pauline already died a horrible death in episode 14 and seems none the worse for wear for it.” 

But was I none the worse for the wear?  I was feeling disconnected to life. I couldn’t seem to feel passionate about anything.  What the hell was wrong with me?  What if my Alt Universe death had some sort of effect on me on some kind of molecular level? Perhaps it threw off my brain chemical equilibrium? Think about it…  I used to be a nice mix of pessimistic/optimistic and suddenly I was just pessimistic. And so quickly after my happy-go-lucky, Alternate Universe self died. WTF?!

And then I did something stupid.  The very LAST thing a person should do when they’re feeling depressed.  I googled myself. Needless to say, that only made matters worse.  I found that even though I’ve started this very important Lost blog…  TV Alt Universe Pauline was getting so much more play than me.  Her google hits to mine were more than 2:1.  And she was DEAD! 

This all got me thinking, of course, about that episode of Fringe and about the physics involved when dealing with more than one universe.  Walter, Fringe’s scientific genius, had put it like this, “The universe seeks balance. We sent a car over there, so a car of equal mass came back. Now, a building from the other side appeared here. The laws of physics demand both sides of the equation balance. I calculate that a building from this side will be pulled over there, inhabitants and all…”

So, with TV Alt Universe Pauline dead… what did that mean for me?  There was only one place for me to turn to seek out these answers.  Season 6 of Lost. Like Lost’s Alt Universe, my TV Alt Reality self had similarities with me; she was from California, LOVED coffee…. but she was also upbeat to a point where she was almost chirpy.  Have a look for yourself: 

(a group of alternate universe business people work into the evening at Dodst & Rathje Architecture Ltd.)

PAULINE HESS: Hey. Thought you were getting out of here.

TED PRATCHET: Afraid not. It’s gonna be a late one.

PAULINE HESS: Wait a second. Is that — is that real coffee? Where did you get that?

TED PRATCHET: I don’t know. I have my sources.

PAULINE HESS: Aha.

TED PRATCHET: I’ve got a cousin in Hawaii. She has a secret stash. She sends me stuff every – (building shakes) – this is getting nuts. What is that, six since yesterday?

PAULINE HESS: Yeah, well, I’m from California, so I’m used to it, you know?

TED PRATCHET: But this is New York. Don’t you think it’s strange?

PAULINE HESS: Hmm.

TED PRATCHET: What are they saying on the news?

PAULINE HESS: That they’re just these little quakes, you know? Microquakes. Probably just some byproduct of global warming. Well, see you tomorrow. Oh, and if you, uh, have any extra coffee… call me.

TED PRATCHET: Good night, Pauline.

PAULINE HESS: Night.

The Pauline in this universe… I mean, Me…  I wouldn’t have been so dismissive of microquakes in New York City!  I wouldn’t have let the media make up my mind… I would have researched it and had a much better answer than shrugging it off on global warming.  I would have also said, Climate change.  But perhaps Fringe’s Alternate Universe has better journalists who dig deep and get all the facts to a story leaving its citizens able to just accept what it’s told?  Or perhaps there are severe consequences for being a snarky, anti-mainstream woman?  Who knows? But despite the fact that things look so similar… I’ve noticed that the universe acts differently, sparing some and harming others. Shaping lives in different ways. 

I’ve also noticed this in Lost.  In Lost, it seems that the people in the Alt Universe seem to act differently or at least respond differently than the people on the Island do or would have.  Just like how TV Alt Universe Pauline just accepted she’d be going without coffee, I would have tried to scam some off my co-worker…or at least schmooze myself a sip. It’s just like how Alt Universe Locke laughed when he fell off his hydrolic lift onto the lawn while Island Lock would have pulled his knife out and stabbed that lawn like it was a rogue boar trying to eat him. 

This led me to wonder… what if the Lost TV Universe shared things in common with it’s sister show Fringe?  What if the two universes had to remain balanced at all times? And that of course got me thinking about Charlie.  Or, more specifically, Chayid. Yeah, you knew that was coming. 

In the Island Universe, Charlie is long dead.  In Alt Universe, Charlie is still kickin’. That seems pretty  imbalancey to me  BUT…  Charlie died on the plane just before they landed in LA.  He swallowed a bag of Heroin and stopped breathing. Then Jack yanked the dope out of his throat and brought him back to life. He got mad at Jack telling him he was “supposed to die.”  (wonder where he got that idea?  Did he talk to desmond on the plane before going to the bathroom?)

Meanwhile, in Island Universe, Sayid was being drowned by a bunch of Others. And when he woke up, he wasn’t quite right…  and oddly he sounded just like Charlie when he asked, “Wot Happened?” He also thanked Jack for saving his life.  But Jack didn’t saved Sayid’s life… but he did save Charlie’s… on the plane… in the Alt Universe.  

Basically, what I’m getting at is that Charlie was dead in Island Universe so Alt Universe was going to let him die in an attempt to balance things out but Jack stepped in and disrupted that balance.  And resurrected Island Universe Charlie back in the freshest available island body. Also allowing Island Sayid’s Skin suit, a tiny bit like Locke’s being up and about. Not including FLocke though… could this be what the illness is?  The resurrection of  spirits into unburied bodies in an attempt to achieve some sort of body count balance?  (Living body count, that is). Makes me wonder about Adam and Eve and the new skin suites they might be wearing. 

I realize that this theory of mine is as holy as swiss cheese… especially because there are more people alive on the plane than there are on the island. Many people on the plane in Alt Universe are dead in Island Universe.  Locke, Boone, The Federal Marshall and of course Charlie. But one thing is constant.  Jack’s dad’s body is missing in both timelines.  Another constant?  Desmond.  What is Desmond doing on that plane?  He would have been on the island when the plane was flying over… he may have even been under water. But one thing we know about Desmond is that he is special.  And, as labeled by Faraday…  he IS the constant. Would that make him the center of the scales that balances both universes? And speaking of time travel… I mean, Faraday…  

I remember a young Faraday playing piano just before his mother Eloise Hawking told him he should focus on science.

 

Jack plays piano… so does Jack’s son David in the Alt Universe.  I have no idea what that means but there has been a lot of time travel going on in this show… who knows whose seed has been spread and where?  But three piano playing brunette’s boys can’t be all that coincidental can it?  But I digress… 

It sounds nuts, this Universe Balancing Theory of mine, no..?  but the way I see it…  we’ve got more people alive in the Alternate Universe than we do in Island Universe and if it keeps going like that, Alternate Universe is going to grow so heavy with people and souls that it’s going to crush poor little Island Universe. But this can’t happen can it? I mean, what’s going on in Island Universe is far too important for the development of the Lostaways as people, as souls… for them to get crushed by another universe.  So… according to what Walter over there in the Fringe Universe believes, we need to start sending some of the Alt Universe people to the Island Universe otherwise the island will sink from just from the weight of sheer loneliness. 

Hey! Wait a minute! What if that scale indicates whose Universe is winning? What if the way FLocke is going to get off the island involved crushing Jacob's Island Universe with the new Alt Universe? Wow... I think I like the sound of that.

 

And I’ll just go ahead and apologize now. I really don’t know how this post about the mechanics of Alternate Universes turned out to be another resurrection of my Chayid theory…  okay, yeah… I knew it all along but give me a break… I’ve got a bad case of Alt Reality Angst of my own here. And I think that makes me uniquely qualified to talk about this stuff. Though… I guess that depends on what Universe I’m currently in… which I’m not quite sure of myself.  

But all of this led me to a few predictions I have for upcoming episodes.  I think that the people coming to the island are of the group Desmond, Faraday and Hawking.  Not sure if they are all coming but some configuration of the group.  I also think that some of the Alt Universe characters need to either die or that there needs to be some more jesus style resurrectin’ going on in Island Universe.

I would also like to put out there that I think Jack might make a trip from Alt Universe to Island Universe. He is the one character in Alt Universe that we’re seeing with missing memories. This I think will cause Alternate Universe to slowly unravel on him and he’s going to remember that he has someplace else to be… just like Sarah in Labyrinth the numerous times she’s tricked by Jareth into thinking she’s in a better place.

And lastly.  I do actually know what is missing in my life.  I lost my dog a month ago tomorrow.  I’m sure that is why I’ve been depressed.  It’s coming from feeling like a lesser person.  Dogs bring out the best in us, in fact, they demand that we be our best. And when they suddenly aren’t there…  it is easy to not be your best and just sink into being sad and crabby and not really passionate about much.  

And on the off chance, I just hope while TV Alt Pauline died just as my sweet dog died, that she is taking care of him for me so he won’t miss me as much as I am missing him.  And if perhaps she too had a dog over there in TV Alt Universe… I hope that I’ll somehow be able to find him so he won’t be missing her so much either. 

The sweetest dog ever, waiting for Alt World Pauline to get home.

 

Until Next Time: All work and no play makes Claire a dull girl…

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Lost Goonies: When fantasy worlds collide.

25 02 2010

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: 

ASTHMA. 

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: 

A MAP

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… 

A LIGHTHOUSE

 

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: 

BLACK HATS! 

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:

FOOD ISSUES

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:

A WELL

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: 

BOOBY TRAPS

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: 

RANDOM PIANOS

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: 

SCALES

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: 

A HOBBIT 

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.





Lost: New Argument for Chayid.

14 02 2010

 

I know, I know… I’m in the minority with all my squawking about Charlie having come back in Sayid but come on!  There are some interesting audio and visual clues from recent episodes as well as some from episodes in the distant past.  I’m going to try to make my argument again. Part of the following, is taken from a comment I made over at John Cabrera’s Blog, that I believe are  interesting clues about this “infection” that Dogen is all atwitter about.  

So, I’m sorry but when Sayid first wakes up at the end of LAX part 2, I think he sounds exactly like Charlie when he says, “What Happened?” Especially the epmphasis on the word happened.  Again in “What Kate Did,” When Sayid asks, “Jack, what happened to me?” listen to how he says “Jack” and draws it out.  sounds just like Charlie when he’d get all bitchy and whiny about things around camp. I tried to find some video of these scenes to post here but I couldn’t. But, again… I check my recordings and they still sound like Charlie to me. Rewatch them and tell me that doesn’t sound like Charlie.  Compare it to clips of Charlie on youtube when he’s talking to Jack. Do it. I dare you.

Now… Let’s just look at a couple of photos of the two:  

Sayid just after he was drowned.

 

Charlie just before he was drowned.

 

What you’re supposed to see in the comparison I’m not sure.  But there is something similar.  To me there is anyway… but I like to read symbolism into old Captain Caveman episodes and on boxes of Fruity Pebbles so, what do I know, right?  But wait!  There’re more! 

People keep mentioning that Sayid looks as if he had been crucified because of the position he was in when he the templites took him out of the water after drowning him. I looked for a screen cap or video of this but could not find it…  I did check the episode that is still on my DVR and yes, it’s true.

Pretty statue... or Heroin? Tough choice for Charlie.

 

Well, for me, I think that if anyone would have taken over Sayid’s body… or was to be resurrected in his body in a Christlike, ‘rolled the boulder from the crypt’ style  resurrection  it would have been the Catholic raised Charlie based on all of the Christian iconography that was part of his journey on the island. Plus, his middle name is, Hieronymus which translates to Jerome and possibly making him named after Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus translated to Saint Jerome, who was the guy who translated the bible into Latin.  He was famously baptized late in life for the time circa 366 AD. He could have also been named after the patron saint of Orphans, St. Jerome Emiliani, since Claire eventually died and left Aaron an Orphan.

More importantly, however were Charlie’s signs and visions while he was on the island. There were the Virgin Mary statues filled with heroin (as seen above) and the vision he had on the beach where he saw Claire and his Mother posed as in  Verrocchio’s painting: Baptism of Christ on the beach (see left) Please note the dove flying out of the jungle.  The Dove in Christianity is the symbol for the Baptism of Jesus and his eventual resurrection and in ancient Greek mythology,  the Dove was the bird of Athena and represented the renewal of life. Then of course, interrupting Charlie from the vision of his mother and Claire…   Hurley comes out of the jungle dressed as John the Baptist. (see below, right.)

Hurley appears to Charlie as John the Baptist.

 

Yes, I’m sure all these things could be big fat Red Herrings designed to make me think that Charlie is back in an incredibly yummy Sayid package. But what about the other little things?  

Like, who was that annoying little gnome who was always following Jack like a puppy and asking him questions to the point that the slashfanfic people had to make them lovers.  Oh, yes, that was Charlie.

Also, did Sayid ever trust anyone enough to say…  ‘Hey Jack, if you think I should take that black capsule filled with something that will probably kill me… that’s cool.  I’ll take it… whatevs.’  No.  That sounds, again, like something Charlie would do.  So yes… I’m officially in camp Chayid until I find out otherwise. Anyone with me?  Oh come on now!  I thought I presented a well researched and reasonable argument. Oh well… If you want to think it’s Jacob or Smokey or some sort of virus…  that’s fine… But what if the infection isn’t something that’s not supposed to be there but someone who’s not? Think about Rousseau and now Claire.  Our sweet Claire Bear looked awfully Rousseau-like when last we saw her, didn’t she? Could the infection be just the presence of someone who was supposed to die but somehow came back? And while in the eyes of the temple people this is BAD. Jacob seems to be down with it…

 Sure, it’s all just baseless conjecture on my part but hey, what else have I got to do?  Live a life?  Nah. It’s cold outside. 

Oh, but hey… doesn’t the healing pool at the temple (see below) kinda look like, say…

Healing pool looking a tad murky.

 

a fancy version of, this baptismal pool? (below) British archaeologist Shimon Gibson believes this large cistern in a cave found near KIBBUTZ TZUBA, Israel was where John the Baptist anointed many of his disciples. Sure, it’s not as fancy as the Lost Temple but hey… it’s old.

Again, thanks for your attention… now let the stoning begin.  (I hope you all have bad aim.)   

Until Next Time, “That douche is my dad,”





Just Turned on Lost… Is that Charlie?

9 02 2010

Is that Charlie in Sayid? Really sounds just like him… especially when he said “Jack.”

Edited to say: 

Charlie did visit Hurley a bunch. He seemed to be flesh and bone. You could say that perhaps he’d been smokified like Locke, but we’ve never seen Smoke off the island. Also, I just am not sure about the idea that there is going to be an army of smoke men vs. the Others as the final season. Charlie and Claire went through so much and Charlie’s story of redemption was perhaps the most powerful on the island and for him to have been possessed by badness and then popped into Sayid who has had a similar journey toward redemption. Hmmmm…

So, how great to see Claire.  She went all rogue like Rousseau.  I reckon those were all her traps.  Must have been what Justin was going to tell Kate… that it was Claire who set the traps.  And wasn’t that Justin guy pretty cool?

OH! And how awesome is Hiroyuki Sanada as Dogen? Apparently the role was written especially for him… according to TPtB. 

Until next time: “That douche is my Dad.”