My mind has been taken over by Lost this week–delightfully so, obsessively so. Regular readers of this blog may not care, heck, maybe no one cares what I think, but I am writing about it anyway–because today and tomorrow are the last days that we can write about Season Six without knowing anything about what is going to happen.
I just rewatched last season’s finale, “The Incident,” and I am not going to write a whole Doc Jensen-like dissertation right now, but I will start out by listing the pop culture references that the show is making me think of now.
[A Dharma-influenced] Wizard of Oz: The classic film was given a serious name-check in “Henry Gale,” Ben’s assumed identity, when he said he’d arrived on the island in a balloon. I think that the whole show’s eventual theme will turn out to be “There’s no place like home,” but “home” will turn out to mean accepting your life as it is and being comfortable in your own mind. Of course the characters are just as far away from this as they could be right now as they set off a hydrogen bomb to reset the future!
Star Wars: The episode “Some Like it Hoth” was a funny and self-conscious Star Wars homage but there were flashes of Star Wars in the finale–Sawyer shooting out the submarine communication system a la Han Solo in the original Star Wars. Jack giving Kate meaningful “I love you” glances without saying it, a la Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back.
Carrie: Not only was the Stephen King novel the book club selection at The Others’ camp, the finale with the magnetic flux disturbance that caused all the metal to fly around and impale people was very Carrie. Poor Juliet. (To this day, Carrie is still stands out in my mind. Very well done, not just a typical horror movie by any means, and scary as hell.)
The Rolling Stones: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” That’s basically what all these characters need to learn.
Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody:” The whole operatic saga and sense of reality/unreality, destiny/doesn’t matter any way, seems very Lost.
Raiders of the Lost Ark: Any time they go into the temple it reminds me of Raiders, especially the scene in which Ben gets judged by Smokey. He’s lucky his head didn’t explode.
As for the Jacob/Man in Black conflict, I am the first to admit that I am quite confused. Sometimes it almost all comes together in my head, but not in a way I could articulate! I definitely don’t think that Jacob is “good.” I think he’s meddling to prove a point, almost like a Greek God gone rogue (aren’t Gods supposed to avoid intervening directly in human affairs?). I think Jacob is on the one hand telling people they have free choice, but at the same time going and interfering with the past timeline to try to make things turn out differently this time. The Man in Black talks about a “loophole” and I think Jacob may have the castaways in a time loop. Who knows how many times they’ve been through this before, with similar outcomes, as Jacob tries to direct them to a “better” fate, not because he cares about them, but just because he can? He seems really old and bored to me, like he’s seen it all, and messing with humanity is his little project. In the flashback when Jack met Jacob in the hospital, and Jacob got Jack’s stuck Apollo bar out of the vending machine, Jacob said the machine was stuck and “Maybe it just needed a little push.”
I also think that the Man in Black has been the same spirit appearing as Jack’s dead father this whole time. He was also trapped in what was called “Jacob’s cabin” but was really the prison that Jacob created for the Man in Black. Not such revolutionary guesses, but there it is for the record.
I will say that I think that since Jacob knew of the Man in Black’s plan, namely that Jacob couldn’t be killed directly by the Man in Black but could be killed by a true believer acting on his own free will (Ben), Jacob put in an extra twist so that if this ever happened, he wouldn’t really be killed, but would transform, just like Obi-Wan Kenobi said to Darth Vader “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”
And that, my friends, could be the ultimate “Long Con,” a theme talked about in Sawyer’s story line. After hundreds of years of looking for a way to kill Jacob, the Man in Black thinks he’s found one, but he ends up giving Jacob the ultimate final victory, causing the very thing he is trying to prevent, as Miles wondered about Jack setting off the hydrogen bomb.
So where I get confused is thinking about Richard and the Others, Eloise Hawking, Daniel Faraday, Charles Widmore vs. Ben, etc. Categorizations will go beyond good or bad but not clear whose side will “win.”
I do think the show’s creators are intelligent and mature people who will come up with an ending that works and has a meaningful message. I do think they believe in destiny, or else the whole show’s premise and existence wouldn’t be worth exploring. But the resolution they choose and how they get there will be very interesting. And if they reboot the timeline, any character could come back and anything could happen.
I hope they are done with the time travel shifting storylines for now, but I would not be surprised in the end if Jack ends up being his own grandpa….