Room 23

A gathering place for those who love the ABC TV show Lost. This blog was started by a group of Fans who kept the Season 3 finale talkback at Ain't It going all the way until the première of the 4th season as a way to share images, news, spoilers, artwork, fan fiction and much more. Please come back often and become part of our community.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Controversy: Where is Vincent?

Ok - while this isn't really controversy, it is a concern for those of us who either love dogs, believe Vincent has a bigger role to play in the conclusion of our story, or both. And anyway, who couldn't love the trusted, lovable lab of Lost?

He's gonna need some therapy if he ever goes home due to abandonment issues, however.

First. Good News! I talked to Bucky the other day and he says he found him! Here's the two of them messing around in another abandoned Dharma station.

The bad news is, he doesn't know where or when they are.

Ok. all kidding aside, Vincent is alive and well though currently hanging with a redshirt - which is never a good thing where survival is concerned. Unless Mr Bentham decides to bring him along, which I doubt, he looks to be a permanent part of the island for at least the 3 + years it takes our Losties to get back. Wil they finally take him with them, then? Will he want to go? Is he the new leader of the Others?

If you look in the top, left corner - you see our favorite Lostie

The Controversy: Locke's Coffin

During the next several, awful, Lost-Less months, I am going to lean upon those in and out of Room 23 to come up with their favorite controversies regarding the Lost mythology. When one is brought up, I am going to use whatever down time I have from work and play to do a little research and see if I clarify it a bit. And with friends like I have around the world of Lost - there are lots of bright minds to help me put something together.

The first "Controversy" I jumped on is far from the most prevalent - but it is the most recent. There has been some chatter that Jeremy Bentham

has two less legs than John Locke. The evidence for this is the coffin.

I'm not sure about you, but from the times I have been to viewings, the deceased is placed in the coffin so that the larger/longer lid can be lifted to view the person from the waist up. The lower half of the body is situated under the shorter lid that is usually not opened. I could be wrong - its not something you think of at a viewing. But it is what my mind's eye tells me is true.

I think it is clear by this picture, however, that the coffin is not shortened for an amputee - it is a normal sized coffin. And I'm not quite sure it would be appropriate to pick out half a box because someone has lost their I never really understood this line of thinking anyway. Do they make the coffin thinner if he loses his arms? Obviously, there are smaller coffins for the horrible event one has to bury a child. In this case, however, I am in the opinion one would have on prosthetics for the viewing, wearing a full suit in a normal coffin. And this coffin looks as normal as one can possibly look.

So - if Locke lost his legs, there is no clue here to establish that fact. If you! That is what makes the world go 'round. Let's hear about it in the comments section. And if you have a Controversy you'd like looked into, drop a note there as well and my crack Room 23 team and I will get cracking on soon as our real jobs let us!

Regarding the Death of Martin Keemy and Vacation of Claire Littleton

I just wanted to point out with pride our Room 23ers may not be the biggest of the website groups...but I contend we are the smartest. Once again...results from the - Who gets to end Keemy's Miserable Life poll:

1. Ben 27%
2. Sawyer 22%
3. Sayid 16%
4a.Xiphos 12%
4b.Danielle 12%
5. Michael 10%
Locke, Smokie, and Other <10%

And thanks to Kristen Dos Santos, we unfortunately now know Emilie de Ravin will have Season 5 off, to return in Season 6 (gods be damned!). What did the Room 23ers have to say about this a week before the announcement?

Who is getting the unfortunate, Michael-style vacation?

Claire Littleton 74%
Rose Nadler 4%
Sun Kwon 2%
Kate Austin 1%
Madison 1%

Many more examples to follow. I am waiting for Pa to tell us Darlton is shutting down the site due suspicion of Walt like psychic abilities of our guests here. Maybe I should just put up a poll..."How does it all end?" But then again - who really wants to know that answer now?

Where did everybody go?

I made a number of polls on where different people ended up. discuss your theory's in the the comments section.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Michio Kaku Explains the Physics of Time-Traveling Bunnies

Many thanks to Gotilk who sent me a link to this Popular Mechanics article.

Time-Travel Expert: Lost Finale Opens New Trap Door in Space

After last night's mind-bending episode, it's a question only this heady physicist could answer: How do you move an island, then show up halfway across the world? Let's just say the Looking Glass has nothin' on Ben.

By Michio Kaku

Something very strange is going down on the island. People suddenly appear out of nowhere, then vanish. A doctor is found dead, a day before he is actually killed. And finally, the entire island itself suddenly vanishes into thin air.

With space and time turned into a pretzel every week, you know that this is not your ordinary Robinson Crusoe adventure. That's one reason why Lost has made addicts out of millions of loyal viewers—and why I've advised the Popular Mechanics team for their "Lost Watch" on more than one occasion.

In last night's season finale, a video tape finally reveals the most scientific secret behind the series. There is a top secret laboratory on the island, the Orchid Station, in which a "pocket of exotic matter" was discovered that has created a kind of "Casimir effect" that has warped "four dimensional space-time." But is this all Hollywood mumbo-jumbo? Actually, there's a kernel of truth to all this techno-babble.

A pocket of "exotic matter," if it exists, would have truly remarkable properties. First of all, it would fall up rather than down. It would have anti-gravitational properties, so that, if you held it in your hand, it would rise and float into outer space.

But remarkably, it might also rip the fabric of space and time. For example, both Shakespeare and Isaac Newton adopted the picture that all the world is a stage, and we are actors making our entrances and exits. But then Einstein showed that the stage of space and time is not empty and flat, but actually curved, so that any actor walking across the warped stage would feel a "force" (i.e. gravity) tugging it to the left and right, like a drunken sailor.

The new wrinkle on all of this is that exotic matter, if it exists, could allow for trap doors in the stage of space-time. People can suddenly fall through these trap doors and re-appear in a different space and time, like the characters on Lost (particularly Ben). These are "wormholes," or shortcuts through space-time. The simplest example of a wormhole would be Alice's "Looking Glass." Another example would be a folded sheet of paper: By punching a hole in the folded paper, you can show that a wormhole is the shortest distance between two points. (So the Orchid Station was probably built around a meteorite made of exotic matter that hit the island.)

But unlike exotic matter, negative energy has actually been created in the laboratory. It was first predicted to exist by Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir in 1948, and actually measured in 1958. For example, two uncharged parallel metal plates would normally be stationary. This is a state of zero energy. But Casimir showed that quantum effects within the vacuum push the two plates together. Since you have extracted energy from a system with zero energy, you have created negative energy. However, the Casimir effect is very tiny; in the experiment, the force was only 1/30,000 the weight of an ant. So all the bizarre electromagnetic disturbances in Lost are due to somehow creating a large Casimir effect with electric plates.

But what would a wormhole machine that can bend space and time into a pretzel look like? It would be truly gigantic. First, you would need the equivalent of a black hole to create a hole in space, and then negative energy or exotic matter to stabilize the hole so it didn't collapse on itself. The amount of exotic matter necessary to build a time machine would be about the mass of Jupiter. So the machine, instead of moving just the island, might have unintended consequences, such as actually eating up the entire earth!

Michio Kaku is a professor of physics at the City Unversity of New York and author of the book Physics of the Impossible.

Other Articles of Interest:



SOD for Mr. Burrows. SOD for Mr. Burrows.

UPDATE: I know you are a Mp4 kinda guy Paul, so you might want this. It is my torrent for all 3 parts of the finale in one video. For anyone else who would like a smallish file for all 3 hours of the finale to have during the hiatus:

I tried to shove these in an email for you Paul but it keeps getting booted back. Then I thought, hell, this is your Blog. If you want some pictures, you want some pictures. So - here are a couple shots at different angles and it covers everything revealed in the box.

What if Matthew Fox was...Sawyer?

Those of you who invested in the Season 1 DVD have already seen this, but I just stumbled upon it for the first time. I have to think maybe others haven't. So here it is, the audition tape that almost cast Dr. Perfect as Mr. Bad Boy.

The MISFITs Dares TO ask!! - WHy has LOCK only GOT 1 EAR!!

HELLO people of LOST!! It WAS a great EPISODE last night and I cannoT wait till NEXT week!!

I am BUSY writing MY review of !There IS a bit of plaice BACK home!!" BUT this Question MUST be answered NOW!!

Latest from Kristin

According to my sources, our Claire-bear (Emilie de Ravin) will not be a regular in season five, but rather she will be on a "holding contract." However, after her sojourn in the underworld, or wherever she is, she will return to us for season six.

Source: E!Online

LOST Season 4 Finale-Alternate Endings

I'm Surprised

You know, I've been saying for about a year now that the sci-fi stuff was the trees not letting us see the forrest. I think there was a line last night confirming that.

Silly Dharma Experiments

Dharma in all their wisdom, were able to move a bunny ahead in time milliseconds. If you think about it, the frozen donkey wheel without being frozen is a relic from ancient times (I'll come back to this later). When Ben turned it he and his parka and his cut arm vanished. In a previous episode Ben and his parka and his cut arm show up in a desert. And low and behold, he's got some vapor coming off of him.

When you go from freezing cold to extreme desert heat with no buffer, vapor will rise from you too.

Then Ben shows up at a hotel desk and asks the date...wanting to find out the year.

Yes, there is time travel. But...

This is minor folks. It's dressing to make this journey fun. The real clue as to what the show is was at the end.

He said things had gone bad on the island and I was the reason.

If Jack has not been on the island in 3 years, why is it his fault. More to the point, why does Jack believe it's his fault?

Because Jack is Locke's balance.

Locke is faith. A ruler cannot lead by faith alone. Just because one believes something to be true, that does not make it true...or false, for that matter. Because Locke will lead from a standpoint of faith only, he will be a bad leader. In his heart he knew that, and that's why he asked Jack to stay. And because he led that way, things went bad on the island. And because his "balance"...his constant, per se, left him, it's the balance's fault.

Now, let's go back to the donkey wheel. That ancient relic. That ancient relic that somehow can make an island vanish...move.

It was ancient, wasn't it? Why and how could something so time dated cause such a "god-like" event? What in those times where this ancient artifact would have been used...been common place...could make such a primitive relic do such an incredible thing?

OMG...The gods!! They would use ancient tools. They were capable of spectacular achievements.
So if you're looking for what is to come, consider this. Faith and reason will have to balance out in order for things that went bad on the island to be corrected. Seems like a big problem if you consider...

  • Faith/Locke appears to be dead
  • Reason/Jack has to convince everyone to go back
  • Kate has been told by a dead Claire vision not to take Aaron back
  • Sun looks to be hooking up with Widmore
  • Sayid and Hurley are at an undisclosed location
  • In order to set things straight, Jack has to team up with a lying, conniving bug eyed bastard he can't trust.
Sounds like a hell of a journey, huh?

One more thing. Why did things go bad on the island? Well, in addition to Locke being a bad leader, Juliet and Sawyer think freighter went boom with Jack and Sun and Jin and so forth all on the ship. So they're all dead...except their not. Then the island moved and they realize all this stuff that went down this year with the rescue and non-rescue and the mercenaries et al could possibly be blamed on whoever it was they think moved the island. And his name is...

Faith Alone

More S.O.D.

Or - ScreenGrabbage On Demand.

If there are some screencaps that any of you folks wish to see, I will be happy to scan the There's No Place Like Home: Parts 1-3 to snap some images. Once I collect a couple, I will post them here or send them to you via email if you wish (please include your email in the request).

If you can provide the Episode name and season and a ballpark figure of when the event happened (and a bit more time), you may also request anything else for the four seasons, including the Missing Pieces. I am here to serve. And anything I can do to soften the blow of the thought of 8 months with no new LOST...well we do what we can.

I'll check the comments section to this post often for your requests. The other option is to shoot me an email at
I have enjoyed the website and what a pleasure it has been participating in something so special - this shortened season of LOST is still one of the best season of television I have experienced. Organized watchbacks are being planned and we will post a schedule soon for those that wish to participate (and once we talk RB into doing it again!). See you around the blog!


As peaceful as you will ever see John Locke.

EW Doc Jenson Article: ''Lost'': A Moving Ending

While Locke and Ben succeed in their mission to displace the Island, we learn why only the Oceanic 6 escaped, why they lied, and why Jack feels the need to go back

By Jeff Jensen

Jeff Jensen, an EW senior writer, has been despondent since the cancellation of ''Twin Peaks''
The season finale of Lost was a major leap backward for the show, and I mean that with a big wink and much admiration for a powerful conclusion to a bold, winning season. ''Rewind'' was the operative word for ''No Place Like Home (Parts 2 and 3).'' An orientation film mysteriously looped back on itself. Old moments were revisited and re-examined, if not reinvented. Heck, the whole show was rebooted from the beginning, with Jack the Hero falling from the sky and rising to action and building a community out of lost souls, just as he did in the pilot. The final moments even ironically echoed the first season's famous twin cliff-hangers, with a raft at sea and two men peering into the abyss of a dark box — the coffin of one Jeremy Bentham, who looks a lot like a certain boar-hunting bald man we've come to know, love, and fear the past four years. ''No Place'' wasn't the magic act of last year's flash-forward fake-out, but it was more meaty, more emotional, more epic, and, with a gulpy leap into WTH? sci-fi, maybe more ballsy.


Here's what I mean by rewind: The episode began where last season's flash-forward fake-out finale left off, with Kate driving away from Beaver Pelt Jack, and then — screeeeeeeeeeech! — the former fugitive came to an abrupt stop and floored it in reverse. Apparently, Kate had a few things she wanted to get off her chest — stuff she forgot to unload on Jack in last year's finale. She told him that his ''we have to go back!'' crap was galling, especially in light of what happened on their final day on the Island; that a man they both knew — the man in the obituary, one Jeremy Bentham — had come to her a few days earlier and tried to make the same wacko ''going back'' argument; that Aaron still doesn't quite understand why Jack isn't around anymore to read Alice in Wonderland to him before bedtime. She slapped him and told him to keep his distance and then drove off in a heartbroken huff.

I'll keep the Wikipedia-informed digressions to a minimum in this TV Watch, but a couple words about Jeremy Bentham, another classic loaded Lost name. Bentham was a 19th-century philosopher associated with utilitarianism and liberalism. He also designed the ''panopticon,'' a cylindrical-shaped prison that requires minimal security and facilitates intense paranoia. He was also buried in a bizarre box designed for public display called an ''auto-icon.'' Bizarre. Clearly, one must consider comparing and contrasting philosopher John Locke to philosopher Jeremy Bentham, but one should consider those things when one is not falling asleep at his computer at midnight.

More interesting to casual Lost fans is this: The name Jeremy Bentham all but confirms as legit the obit text that has circulated throughout fandom since last year. There are many more curious details in this notice — including the suggestion of suicide that was raised by Sayid later in the episode — but why don't you go over to and read the obit yourself. We'll analyze the implications next Friday in my last Doc Jensen column of the season.


Desmond, Jin and Michael tried to prevent an intricately wired bomb from going boom by freezing it with liquid nitrogen. We learned that the explosives were linked to a dead man's switch strapped to Keamy's arm. If his heart stopped beating, the bomb would explode. In other words, Keamy had forged a symbiotic relationship with the freighter — kinda like the way the Island has formed a symbiotic relationship with all these castaways who it won't let die until they complete their destined service. And how about all that ice? Later in the episode, we saw that the massive gears in the bowels of the Island were covered in frost. Was that ancient machinery deliberately frozen to keep the Island from going ballistic, as with the freighter bomb?


The cliff-hanger from the previous episode resolved itself pretty quickly when Richard Alpert and the band of merry Others ambushed Keamy's men and liberated their once-exalted leader. Did you hear the Whispers start their whispering just before the Others made their move? (We'd hear them one more time in the episode, and in a more unexpected, unprecedented locale.) I liked Keamy's Hacky Sack action with the grenade, expertly kicking it over to another mercenary, who was then blown away by it. Ultimately they were all subdued, with Sayid taking down Keamy in a nicely choreographed mano a mano struggle marked by quit cuts and bloody loogies — but it ultimately took the last-second intervention of Alpert to settle the matter. ''Thank you for coming, Richard,'' said Ben, sounding a touch surprised that Alpert even bothered. After all, last season, Richard tried very hard to manipulate Locke into taking over the Others from him. Indeed, and judging from his halfhearted acceptance of Ben's salutation, Alpert wasn't wild that the devilish Dharma kid was still in the picture. But he'd get his regime change soon enough.

Just as intriguing was Ben's reaction to the arrangement Alpert had made with Kate and Sayid to secure their help in springing Ben: He had agreed to let them go. Ben affirmed the deal with a casualness that was almost glib. ''Fair enough,'' he said. Even Kate was shocked. ''We can leave the Island, and that's it?'' she said hopefully. Ben gave her one of his patented bug-eyed stares and line readings that suggest layers of meaning. ''That's it,'' he said, clearly not meaning a word of it. The whole sequence echoed the end of season 2, when Ben fulfilled the bargain his people had made with Michael. Ben is a shifty dude, but he does good by the people who risk their lives for his — even if he never quite fills them in on the fine print that stipulates that those who leave the Island never really leave it until the Island itself is through with them.


While the liberation of Benjamin Linus was under way, Jack and Locke met in the ruins of the old Dharma greenhouse to discuss ''leadership stuff,'' as Hurley put it. Once again — for the final time — the man of science and the man of faith had one of their super-heated philosophical smackdowns about design and chance, mysticism and science. The battle was specifically about the whole notion of miracles and whether such things were possible or credible. And wouldn't you know, it just so happens that season 4's author-philosopher in residence, C.S. Lewis, wrote a book called Miracles that tackled the empirical debate that Jack and Locke embody. I'll let you investigate that one at your leisure.

Spooky how Locke was able to see the dark road that lay ahead for Jack. He told his rival that he was going to have to lie about the existence of the Island and the remaining castaways, and he knew that doing so would eat away at Doc Integrity. I also thought this was painfully catty: ''If you do it [lie to the world] half as well as you lie to yourself, they'll believe you.'' Rrrowww! Frankly, it's that kind of insight — and button pushing — you usually get from Ben. Guess the Other is starting to rub off on John. The Jack-Locke standoff climaxed with their eyeballs blazing at each other. ''You're crazy!'' ''No, you're crazy!'' But I got the sense that something like doubt was beginning to creep into Jack's position.

One last observation: I have often made the mistake of articulating the ideological conflict between these two in ways that suggest Jack and Locke are exemplars of their respective stances. That's wrong. Rather, I think Lost has used each to dramatize the limitations of adhering dogmatically to either worldview. Jack is a humanist who believes solely and foolishly in his own agency, while Locke submits himself to an external, exotic agency he doesn't even understand. I love how Matthew Fox and Terry O'Quinn don't play the heady ideas but rather the desperate, murky psychology underneath them. Jack stubbornly refuses to believe in anything but himself, while Locke has a hard-on for the purpose and power his exalted Island status has brought him. For Locke, the moment at hand held the promise of rectifying an entire lifetime of being kicked in the nuts by that ''fickle bitch,'' destiny. ''Just wait until you see what I'm about to do,'' he declared. Be very afraid.


Damn, did that kid get big or what? There have been rumors that actor Malcolm David Kelly's real-life growth spurt has impacted the show's ability to use him, and now we can see why: There's no way he can play the Walt we knew when he left the Island. He can only make sense in the far-future flash-forward scenes, now the show's present, which happens to be our present: spring 2008. Chaperoned by his no-nonsense grandma, Walt paid a visit to Hurley in the mental hospital. ''I was waiting for one of you to come visit me, but nobody did,'' he said, sounding almost hurt, if not downright neglected, and I couldn't help wondering if some winky meta-resonance was intended in light of so much ''Where's Walt?'' wondering this season. The moment was brief: more cryptic Bentham name-dropping, more justifying the lie of the Oceanic 6 cover story. But it made me wonder if this scene was a setup for Walt's joining next season's Island search party. And we still need an explanation for the kid's spectral appearance in last year's finale. So hopefully not the last we've seen of Big Walt. PS: This is where you guys tell me about all the drawings on the wall I'm not talking about, like the ladybug painting, which, yes, I know, has been a recurring motif this season, but it's already 2 a.m. and I'm only this far into this freakin' thing. Another time, I swear!

As the last of the beach castaways were ferried to the freighter, we got some cryptic moments with the season's much heralded new arrivals, the freighter folk — scenes clearly meant to set up arcs for next season. Psychic hustler Miles Straume announced he was staying on the Island — all the better to give Lost someone who can make sense of the show's mounting infestation of poltergeists. Miles also confronted Charlotte on her big secret: that she's been to the Island before, and was perhaps even born there. (I let out a whoop when I heard that bit of business, as this has been my Charlotte theory all season long, dating back to my recap of the second episode.) When Charlotte played dumb and asked Miles what he meant, the quippy ghost whisperer responded with perhaps one of the best line readings in Lost history: ''Yes...what do I mean?'' We'll talk about Lapidus and Faraday in a minute, but allow me say, one final time, that the freighter-folk story line got screwed by the strike, but I'm glad that the show gave us reason to believe that these promising characters will get their respective due next year.


We come now to what will probably be the most debated parts in the finale, as it involved sci-fi stuff that I know scares a chunk of the viewing audience. Deep below the dilapidated greenhouse (how deep? ''Deep,'' Ben said) lies the laboratory level of the Orchid, a Dharma station devoted to time travel. This whole sequence was dotted with great humor the Ben-Locke bit about not knowing what anthuriums look like; Ben sitting Locke down in front of the TV to watch the orientation video while he loaded metallic objects into the Vault — all the better to ease us gently into the weirdness to come.

The newest orientation film included a laundry list of sci-fi buzz terms: Casimir effect, space and time, electromagnetic energy, negatively charged exotic matter. All of these are necessary ingredients for wormhole theory. Or in the quippy-smooth words of Ben, it means ''time-traveling bunnies.'' The most baffling part of the orientation-video experience was how it stopped and rewound before the narrator, Edgar Halliwax, could demonstrate how the machine was used. But this is a staple element of all the Dharma videos: the possibility of mind-game tomfoolery, which invites the viewer to question the legitimacy of the narrative.

Before Ben and Locke could get down to moving the Island, an interruption. A not-dead-yet Keamy crashed the party and tried to flush Ben out by bragging about his bomb and mercilessly taunting him about his daughter ''bleeding out.'' Ben cracked, allowing emotions to get in the way of ''command decisions'' (or so he claimed; you never know with this guy), and beat and stabbed Keamy. The merc died soon after, activating his heart-monitor detonator. Locke castigated Ben for dooming the freighter, which may have been his intention all along. ''So?'' Ben said. (My wife wanted to know why, when Keamy passed, Locke didn't just quickly transfer the heart monitor to his own arm.)

After coming to his senses, Ben dropped a whopper on Locke. Yes, while Jacob may have told Locke he had to move the Island, Ben reasoned that the actual work fell to him, because (1) Jacob never told Locke how to do it, and (2) ''moving the Island'' has a consequence to the mover — he or she must leave the Island — and Ben figured Locke, being Jacob's new golden boy, was indispensable. He told John his destiny was to become his replacement as leader of the Others, a coronation that would bring a proud, dangerous smile on Locke's face later in the episode but in the Orchid made him a little angry. Wasn't it his job to move the Island? Once again, Ben had pushed him aside. ''Goodbye, John,'' says Ben. ''Sorry I made your life so miserable.'' That's pretty provocative wording for all of you who've speculated that Ben and his minions have been using the Dharma time machine to meddle with Locke life since the beginning.

Ben then donned a Dharma parka and descended further, into a subterranean region that was either ancient (the remains of Atlantis?) or extraterrestrial (the engine room of a big spaceship?) in nature. Maybe it was both. Inside an icy cave, Ben beheld something that came as no suprise to him: a massive stone wheel embedded in a glyph-spotted wall crusted over with frozen snow. Spitting some bitter words to an unseen Jacob, Ben started pushing on the wheel, activating energy on the other side of the wall. As he did, Ben whimpered, and for the first time ever on Lost, I found myself not totally convinced by Michael Emerson's performance. Then again, maybe I'm just not used to seeing Ben playing big emotional moments that are unquestionably genuine, especially when he's pushing on giant sci-fi donkey wheels. But basically, it was a breakup scene; the deep, profound symbiotic relationship he had with the Island, apparently already weakened by his faithlessness, was now being severed.

Anyways, there was a big sound and a blinding flash and the Island disappeared, and with it a whole bunch of people, including Locke and the Others. Combined with the freighter explosion, that left a lot of characters in drastically changed circumstances:

Sawyer sacrificed his spot on Lapidus' chopper to make it lighter to save fuel. But before he jumped into the drink, he tasked Kate to execute an errand for him in the real world — presumably, I think, checking on his daughter, Clementine — and then planted a big kiss on her. And now we know why the ladies love Sawyer. As an added bonus, when he returned to the Island, he emerged from the surf sans shirt. (The yin to this yang: plenty of Kate cleavage shots for the guys.)

Juliet stayed behind to help everyone get to the freighter — then had a front-row seat on the beach to watch it blow up. Last seen chugging rum with shirtless Sawyer. You sense a setup for romance next season?

Faraday was last seen taking a raft of castaways to the freighter when the Island disappeared. Since the smaller Hydra Station island also disappeared, I have to assume that the move extended beyond the Island into the ocean. So I'm betting Faraday got caught up in that.
Jin was last seen on the freighter when it exploded. But if he survived and swam into the circumference of the move, he too could be wherever — or whenever — the Island is now.
Michael the castaway traitor earned his redemption by staying with the bomb. Moments before the blast, however, he heard the Whispers. Looking around, he noticed what appeared to be a videocamera in one corner (was it on?) and the ghost of Christian Shephard in the other. ''You can go now, Michael.'' Then: Boom!

As for Ben, we now know how he wound up in his Dharma parka in the Tunisian desert at the start of ''The Shape of Things to Come'': Apparently, that's where he landed after he moved the Island. The date: October 24, 2005, or about 10 months from when Ben moved the Island. So...where did the Island go? Nowhere. My guess is that it's in the same spot where it's always been — it just rematerialized in reality 10 months in the future, just like Ben.

It is now 4:10 a.m. Pacific time as I write these words, and I am denying the East Coast early birds the chance to get on these boards and start discussing. So let's blow through the rest of the episode quickly:


According to a sound file sent to me by reader Russ Boyd, the backward voice on Kate's phone said, ''The island needs you....You have to go back before it's too late.'' The dream encounter with Ghost Claire — who told Kate, ''Don't bring him back'' — suggests that each of the Oceanic 6 is getting a ghost to haunt him or her. Kate and Aaron get Claire; Jack gets Christian; Sun would get Jin (though I hope not); Sayid would get (?) (he's clearly the flaw in my theory); and Hurley has Charlie and...


My other favorite line of the night — even Sayid seemed to smile. In Hurley's second flash-forward scene, Sayid killed a mystery man keeping tabs on Hurley and persuaded the troubled castaway to come with him to a safer location. Hurley asked him if he was taking him back to the Island. Sayid said no. Was he telling the truth? Unresolved Season 4 Hurley Mystery: In the season premiere, Hurley told Jack he wished he had stayed with him instead of going with Locke. Now that you've seen all of season 4, if someone asked why Hurley felt that way, how would you respond?


The season finale included two great Sun moments: her out-of-her-skull hysteria over watching Jin's apparent death and her attempt to form an alliance with Charles Widmore in the flash-forward future. (We finally got confirmation: Mr. Paik and Widmore are buddies. How much did Sun's dad know about the Island before his daughter crashed there?) The anguish clearly established a lady with desire for vengeance — but who is she really after? Widmore? Ben? Jack?


After getting to the freighter for fuel, and then following the most suspenseful gas-pumping scene in recent pop-culture history, the Oceanic 6 (plus Lapidus and Desmond) took to the sky to escape the soon-to-explode freighter, then watched the Island disappear in a flash of light, and then crashed into the water. Everyone survived, thanks in large part to Jack. Repeating his lifesaving from the pilot, the good doc revived a waterlogged Desmond. Later that night, amid yet another conversation about miracles in which Jack flat-out denied the extraordinary event his two eyes had beheld earlier, the Island's disappearance (this guy is as stubbornly scientific as Dana Scully), Lapidus spotted a boat approaching, evoking the Others' tugboat advancing on the raft at the end of season 1. The castaways would soon learn that the boat belonged to a much friendlier entity, Penelope Widmore, setting up an emotional, smoochy reunion between the two time-tossed constants. But before that happened, Jack came around to Locke's way of thinking: They would have to lie. About everything. The plane crash, the Island, their friends. I had a little trouble following the logic. The primary motivation for covering up is to protect their friends. But how can they even be sure if their friends still exist? I just wish Jack had rallied around the best, simplest argument for lying: No one would ever believe the truth. Of course, there's a whole psychological theory for why someone like Jack would concoct this lie — but that's analysis for another day.


Why is Locke in it? Why is he calling himself Jeremy Bentham? How did he get off the Island? Did he really kill himself? What happened on the Island after he left? How are Ben and Jack going to motivate their friends to go back to the trippy tropics — with a dead body in tow, no less? What are Ben's ideas? And was it me, or did Ben did look unnaturally Alpertesque young? Do ex-Islanders start aging backward once they leave?

My mind, as you can tell, is now mush. I'm going to let it congeal, then think anew and return next week with more cogent analysis. It's been a blast TV Watching with you this season; I hope to see you again in this space in eight months.

Until then, a prediction: I'll bet you 20 bucks that either the teaser or the final scene of the season 5 premiere episode will feature one character — I'm betting Sawyer — renewing one of the oldest Lost mysteries by repeating the iconic question of the pilot episode. As they wrap their minds around the riddle of their mysteriously displaced Island, Sawyer — or someone — absolutely must say:

''Guys...where are we?''


Johnathan Locke, RIP

Poor Johnny, picked on as a child, betrayed by a parent, rejected by a woman, refused admittance to a walkabout, failure as a leader. At the moment of his great triumph as he's supposed to save the Island he can't find the latch to the secret door, then Ben treats Locke like a child and lets John watch videos while he does all the work. Somehow in spite of it all Locke ascends to King of the island... and in a matter of years - we'll no doubt find out how next season - he dies and gets badly painted in a little box. It's a hard life of a man of faith who never knows quite what to believe in.

"The Man Who Killed Martin Keamy"

Lots of good theories about Danielle booby traps and Vincent going for the throat, And the fight with Sayid was awesome. But ultimately it was Keamy with a knife v. Benjamin with a baton - three blows to the skull, two stabs to the throat with his own knife and Ben Linus for the win!

The Time Traveling Bunny Closet

No home should be without one.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summer Polls

Are you going to Comic-Con this year?


What Movies have you ether seen or will see this Summer?

Leave a comment if you checked Other on the Movie poll.

"We Don't Know Jack" @ Slate
In this Slate article entitled "We Don't Know Jack" writer Juliet Lapidos takes a smart but superficial look at Lost and puts forth a convincing argument on why the Flash-Forward format has made Season Four of "Lost" not only the best year ever of TV's best show, but the first season to really deserve the accolades the show has earned over the years. Even though ratings are still down. On the down side, she references the "making it up as they go along" theory which all "Lost" fans and even most of the fans critics are way over.
The humorous highlight of the article is her breakdown of the first three years:
"1) Are there other people on this island?
2) There are other people on this island.
3) Oh, my God, the other people on this island are way mean!"
The article takes an overall positive tone without being a fanboy rave. Probably not worth cut'n'pasting here, but worth a read for the open minded fan.

Doc Jenson'Lost': Ready to 'Move' the Island?

As season 4 concludes tonight, Doc Jensen speculates on the fate of the Oceanic 6...and everybody left behind

By Jeff Jensen

Jeff Jensen, an EW senior writer, has been despondent since the cancellation of ''Twin Peaks''


The last Doc Jensen of the year? No, that's next week, when we'll wrap up some unfinished business before hugging and waddling into our caves for hibernation. But tonight does mark the last Lost of 2008, which is pretty weird for me to fathom. My memory of recapping this season's premiere, ''The Beginning of the End'' — clacking away at my computer while watching some hired help install carpet in the family room; my wife screaming ''Noooooo!'' as that distracted-obsessive Lost look settled into her husband's eyes — was only minted yesterday, or so it seems. And now it's almost over. Here, with the final tease of the season, is executive producer Carlton Cuse, coauthor of tonight's two-hour extravaganza, ''No Place Like Home (Parts 2 and 3)'': ''Our characters' fates and our story for the season all comes down to this: Who's right about the island? Jack the empiricist or Locke the man of faith?''

Which reminds me of something I was thinking about the other day...


Last season at this time, we got an epic story about how Jack's moment of triumph on the Island (beating Ben; staring down Locke; procuring rescue for his fellow castaways) was juxtaposed against a future-set story that saw Jack at his lowest moment, all boozy and delusional and suicidal. Meanwhile, Locke was a proverbial dead man walking. Beckoned from the Dharma mass grave by Ghost Walt and bleeding from the gut, Locke tired to prevent Jack from bringing doom upon the Island.

This season seems to be ending with a role reversal. Now we have Jack staggering through the jungle with a bleeding gut, thanks to a recently removed appendix. (One wonders in retrospect if that bit of business at the beginning of the season, in which Locke explained to Sawyer that his daddy-swiped kidney helped him cheat death, was intended to foreshadow the current extracted-organ drama of his Island mirror twin, and could this sentence be any longer or more artlessly mouthfully?) (Yes.) Meanwhile, Locke appears to be getting his big hero moment. He's going to descend into yet another Dharma portal of sci-fi hell and ''move'' his beloved Island. Whatever that means exactly, though it appears from Cuse's tease that a defining moment is upon us — and by ''us,'' I do mean the fans. For quite some time now, a debate has raged in Lost fandom about which kind of worldview should win out when it comes to resolving the show's many mysteries: Scientific or Sci-Fi? Naturalistic or Supernatural? Stephen Hawking or Stephen King?

I doubt tonight's episode will fully resolve the debate — but I wouldn't be too surprised if the episode causes the debate to boil over. All to say, the message boards should be quite frothy tomorrow.

I BOW AT THE FEET OF YOUR FANDOM!How Lost Fans Are Celebrating the Season Finale While at church last week, my wife and I passed a group of people talking excitedly. No, not about a particularly tasty Communion service — they were Lost fans plotting a viewing party. A costume party, at that. I know many of you are planning on doing the same. To add to your fun, I offer this party game, sent to me by Karen and Joe of Portsmouth, N.H. Karen wrote the following (deeply appreciated) e-mail:

''Hi Doc: We are so excited about the finale on Thursday that we decided to make an event out of it: costumes, food, decorations, and, of course, our own very special edition of Lost Bingo! We thought you might get a kick out of it and might even want to play along. The boxes are filled with some of our best guesses about what might happen, but you could always insert some ideas of your own. We know you've got a few. Namaste, Karen and Joe (and our dog Ben, who will be appropriately costumed as Vincent on Thursday!).''

So here's their Lost Bingo sheet (right). I recommend a can of Dharma peanut butter for the winner.


Last week, I asked you for your guesses as to what tonight's episode might reveal about the fates of the non-Oceanic 6 castaways. This week, I revel in your geekery! ''Here is what I think the season finale will reveal about the 'On-Islanders.' When Ben moves the Island, it won't be to a different time, as you have speculated, but to a different place, one very far from the South Pacific: the arctic! I am thinking that the Orchid Station controls the location of the Island, that it has moved before, and that it has been in the arctic — hence the Polar Bears. Also, if the current Island moves to the arctic, it would explain why flash-forward Ben was wearing a Dharka, and may be why Penny's people were looking for Desmond in the arctic. Plus, what a season-ender it would be to have Ben push some buttons and suddenly the Island is covered in snow!'' — Rob Nuttall from Halifax, Nova Scotia

DOC JENSEN SAYS: All I can say is that if I have accomplished anything this season, it was introducing the word ''Dharka'' into your vocabulary. We're changing lives here, people! And we're global, too! Check this one out:

''Your column is a great must-read for me over here in Germany. Thanks for all your complicated thoughts! About the fate of the non-Oceanic 6 castaways, I'll stick to a thought I had the very first second this season started. Remember the pile of fruit Hurley drove through in the first shot of the car chase? To me, this pile of fruit looked like an exploding volcano! And why did they even tell us about the Island's volcano back in season 3, if the writers didn't intend to go somewhere with it? So, I might be completely off course, but my finale prediction: volcanic eruption (caused by Island moving and/or Keamy's explosives), which would of course lead to all kinds of running and screaming amongst the left-behind castaways. Can't wait to see, if I'm right!'' — Martin from Cologne, Germany

DOC JENSEN SAYS: Martin is my most favorite person on the planet right now. Meanwhile, reader ''Xicon'' has more theories than I do! One week, he sends me this:

''The Oceanic 6 leave the Island as Keamy and his mercenaries lay waste to the Temple, prompting the other Islanders to take refuge in the [Dharma] underground of the Island, via places marked on the blast door map as ''CVI, II, and III.'' The final moment of the season finale features Ben leaving the island by using the ''teleporter/time travel'' device, leaving Locke in charge of the remaining Others and Islanders.''

But then one week later, he sends me this:

''Locke enters the Orchid station and prepares to ''move the Island.'' The Oceanic 6 are rescued. Then, Locke ''moves the Island,'' but gets an unexpected result — the Island itself does not move. Rather, everyone on it gets teleported off to a random location and time.''

DOC JENSEN SAYS: It seems Xicon kinda got cold feet after his more radical prediction and dialed it back to a place where most of us reside: His latter prediction is a high-concept gloss on the prevailing conventional wisdom that once the O6 leave the Island, Locke will move it, and then...something happens. Here's the simplest, most creative articulation of this idea that I received, including a snippet of speculative dialogue:

''Simply, they become lost. We don't know what's happened to them because they're — gone. I suspect events will transpire that collect our O6 on the freighter zodiac and send Jin, Desmond, Michael, Lapidus, and Faraday to the Island in the helicopter. The freighter goes kablooey, and the O6 are left floating in the ocean. Sayid, knowing the way back, heads that way — only to find that the Island is gone. JACK: What's going on? SAYID: Our position is correct,, Island! JACK: What do you mean? Where is it? SAYID: That's what I'm trying to tell you, Jack. It isn't there. It has...totally disappeared. JACK: What? How? HURLEY: John Locke.'' — Tom Tennant from Cleveland, Ohio

DOC JENSEN SAYS: Very creative. But so very conservative! I prefer the time-travel zaniness of my friend Steve at, who writes:

''The Island will move in the present and past, causing 815 to crash into the ocean, since the magnetic pulse never happened. Those versions of the 815ers all die, leaving their counterparts alive on the Island. The Oceanic 6 are told their friends can't return or the paradox will endanger the world. Locke replaces Ben, who ends up in the coffin, and Aaron will be foretold to be Locke's replacement.''

I love the way you think, Steve, because (1) I've been predicting something close to this for most of the season; and (2) it makes no sense.


And with that, I'm going to cut the column short today so I can go take a nap and recharge my batteries before tonight's two-hour finale. If you're feeling short-changed, check out my picks for the 15 best moments of Lost season 4. (See? I'm not slacking!)

I'll be up until the wee hours, writing my recap for an early Friday post — so please, feel free to e-mail your thoughts/instant reactions to

And check in at next week, when I'll have some final thoughts on the season, plus bring you some recommended viewing from the producers of Lost for the long hiatus to come.
Naptime begins...NOW!



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The clues from the 5 episode watchback

I did a marathon Monday of the 5 episodes, and since it's Wednesday, here's my thoughts on how these 5 episodes may give a clue as to what we should see tomorrow night.

Before I get there, in case you missed it, Darlton told us to watch 5 episodes leading up to the S4 finale, indicating that's where the clues are buried. The 5 are...

Pilot Season 1
White Rabbit Season 1
Live Together, Die Alone Season 2
Through the Looking Glass Season 3
The Shape of Things to Come Season 4

So what's the common theme in all these? I found 2.

1 - Drugs and Alcohol

Probably a minor part, but Jack drank on the plane, got extra alcohol, used it as an antiseptic, Charlie and the heroin, Christian being on a binge according to the hotel guy, Des being a sod at the beginning of LTDA, Jack on a binge in TTLG, and Widdy and the bottle of Scotch on the nightstand.

How does that become a clue? I dunno, and somewhat doubt that it does. If I had to fathom a guess it would be how abuse of that separates you from the ones you care about...and from finding what you are really looking for.

Which leads me to #2

2 - Do you do things by yourself or do you depend on others

In LTDA Penny in her letter to Des said something like you just need to find 1 thing in this world...or maybe it was find meaning. Des had his one thing in Penny. Jack had his one thing in fixing things. Kate finds her one thing in raising Aaron. Locke......hmmmmm.

I know people will say Locke's one thing is protecting the island, but I disagree. Ben's thing was protecting the island, but it wasn't his key thing as we saw when Keady shot Alex. The island is all Locke has. He has no family, no one he cares about constant.

So to me this is the clue. Locke cannot do this alone, but he's going to anyway. He will turn his back on logic, reason, and rely singularly on faith.

I've argued since last year's Room 23 watchback that Locke was misguided, easily conned/coerced. I think rely solely of faith is misguided. I also think to a degree that may add to the political statement noted by Assuello...I think it was him...a few weeks ago. And I think the booze thing with Jack will play into this idea as well.

So the main clue we should see in the S4 finale is this. You can't find what you need if you separate yourself.

If you do not live together, you will die alone.

Monday, May 26, 2008

NEW POLL: What are your plans during the break?

Actually, the question is a little (little?) wordier than that. But you get the point. Make a funny or be serious...log in and throw a comment here about what you are planning if the 5 choices don't seem to apply (Number 3 is a special option for our Founding Father - Pa know we'll be checking on you Paul!).

The poll will be up a couple months...I'm sure we'll break our post record of 51 (we better!) with all the buzz the next few days and as the last 2 hours of the season sink in. You can choose more than one 8 months you just may get around to doing a couple things. Unless you choose method acting Jack. Addiction is a full-time job. Especially if you can't break into hospitals or write your own scripts.

I hope you all enjoy Parts 2 and 3. The hours and minutes are counting down. Enter the numbers or don't. Either way, it promises to be a hell of a ride!

In Less Than 72 will be OVER (for 8 months). What Will You Do With The Time/Energy/Brain Invested in LOST Since January?

  • Start from the Pilot and begin my rewatch while searching the internet for any Lost news.
  • Hope Summer movies keep me distracted until Dexter.
  • Download the full 4 seasons of that crazy Battlestar Galactica everyone raves about.
  • Hit the pharmacy, refill the pills and beer, and pretend I'm O-6 Jack until at least Christmas.
  • Read a book, step outside, explore a social life, shower, etc...
  • Other

POLL Results: Who gets Season 5 Off?

The Poll has closed for the question that will annoy many of us Emilie de Ravin fans for eight months...or at least until some sneaky folk grab some set shots in a few months. She is now an integral part of the island mythology and a major motivation for Jack to get back. Though she will never admit it, Kate probably would like nothing more for Claire, the true mother to Turniphead, to stay Lost. Will the writers put Claire on ice until season 6? A total of 31 people voted, and it is clear most are thinking along those lines. Unfortunately, I think they are right.

Kristen Dos Santos states that one of our beloved Losties will be taking Season 5 off, to return in season 6. This person: (1) Has been with the show since season 1, (2) Is a female. Who is getting the unfortunate, Michael-style vacation?

Claire Littleton 74%
Rose Nadler 4%
Sun Kwon 2%
Kate Austin 1%
Madison 1%

I would laugh my tail off if Darlton gave Vincent (Madison) the season off and made a big announcement like it was going to be Evangeline Lilly. But, the trusty Lab has his/her own flashback yet and will prove to be the biggest hero of the island I foresee many scenes in seasons 5 and 6 for DOG.

Where's My Agent!!!

UPDATE: At least it is an update to me. I just saw our lovely Ms de Ravin is filming with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale in the movie Public Enemies, due out in 2009. It explains some of the photos of her on IMBb, with the new "do". Our girl is working with Michael Mann in the 30's era drama right now - I wonder if that means our poll is right.

MSN: Q&A: Evangeline Lilly of 'Lost'

On the eve of the season finale, the actress who plays Kate, dishes on island fever, how Losties are different than Trekkies, and on her newfound love of Bjork

By Dave LakeMSN TV

MSN TV: Does spending so much time in Hawaii ruin it as a lovely place to be?

Evangeline Lilly: It's true, but you still recognize how lovely a place it is, and in some ways you realize more than a visitor would how lovely it is. But, like anywhere in the world, every place has its downfalls and frustrations. At the same time as being an incredible place to live, it can be a place that makes you want to slit your throat sometimes. It's a tiny, tiny, tiny island where there's really nowhere to go. There's no nightlife. It's a very slow, relaxed culture, which is ideal when you're on vacation because it forces you to relax and to stop and smell the roses. But when you're working hard and you're very, very busy, that can start to get frustrating.

What is it that you find makes you most crazy when island fever kicks in?

When you're a busy person who's trying to efficiently run your life but everything around you is run inefficiently, that starts to eventually wear you down.

"Lost" fans are incredibly passionate about the show, and William Shatner famously hated "Star Trek" fans for being so devoted to the minutiae of that show. Do you ever get tired of talking about "Lost" ad nauseam?

I don't, really. I can honestly say that I'm kind of sheltered from a lot of that because I'm a bit of a recluse. But when I do encounter it I don't find it as frustrating as most people. And I also think that there's an awareness amongst fans nowadays that maybe wasn't there in the 1970s, because we've gone through some fanatical times with Trekkies. But the Losties are aware of the fact that they don't want to repulse the people on the show they are so much enjoying. People are careful about being more respectful of their space and sanity.

Might we be seeing you at any upcoming "Lost" fan conventions, perhaps?

They absolutely exist! Losties is the term for the fans, and they have conventions and Web communities and all sorts of stuff out there. It's actually a rabbit hole that I'm slightly terrified to go down.

Matthew Fox has kept a high profile during the show's hiatuses by making films. Is that something you've considered as well?

I've definitely considered it because it's there and it's the obvious option, but I'm very focused on "Lost" and give it all of my attention. I read scripts and I'm always looking for one that might blow me away so much that I'd want to spend my spare time -- which I have very little of -- working. But they don't come along very often. I did a film last summer because I found a script that was so beautiful, and I really believed in the story and the message behind it. It does happen, but it's very rare.

Since you're done shooting now, have you figured out what you're going to do until you start up again?

I'm doing some press for about another week, and then when that's over I'm going to relax and then I'm going to take a vacation.

Where are you going to go? Do you know yet?

I'm going to probably be in Europe and then maybe Latin America after that.

Is it accurate to say that you're a reluctant sex symbol?

I think it's very accurate. I think reluctant may not be strong enough of a word. I fight it really hard. I feel like this culture that we live in where women aspire to a certain aesthetic standard -- that I happen to think is boring because its one tone, one idea of beauty -- I don't like to feed into that. So I fight it really hard.

I imagine that's hard when there are paparazzi hiding in the bushes and you feel like you have to put makeup on to leave the house. Do you find that to be a nuisance?

I find the paparazzi to be a massive nuisance because I appreciate my privacy. But I never wear makeup when I leave the house for them. If they take a picture of me when I look like hell, good!
Are people ever terrified when they sit down next to you on a plane?

Well they mock looking terrified that something will happen, but mostly what they're doing is just trying to find a way to make conversation.

What's on your mp3 player?

Oh, lots and lots of good stuff. Recently I've been getting into Bjork. I love Eisley. I love Radiohead. I'm a big fan of Damien Rice, the Postal Service. I stay true to my Canadian roots -- Sarah McLachlan is one of my favorite artists of all time. Oldies, classical, R&B. I kind of just run the gamut. If I had to say I lean in one genre more than another it'd be singer/songwriter stuff.
"Lost" has a lot to live up to in its finales. Last season's was one of the best episodes of the series, and I know it's important to the writers and producers to make the show's finales memorable. Do you think this year's stacks up to the finales of seasons past?

I think it blows them away. I think the Season 3 finale was really good, but I think this season, our finale is the most hard-hitting finale we've ever done. It completely revolutionizes the face of our show. I have no idea what my show is going to look like next year based on the finale. And that's really exciting as an actress. It keeps you interested.

The two-hour season finale of "Lost" airs Thursday, May 29, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

What are the Hostiles going to do with Kate & Sayid? Poll Results

Take them to the Temple
5 (15%)

Start a Rock Band called Richard & the Hostiles
1 (3%)

Go to the Orchid to save Ben & help move the island
26 (81%)

Go to the Orchid to help Keemy kill Ben
0 (0%)

Votes so far: 32

Sunday, May 25, 2008

LA Times Lost Article 5-25-08

I'd scan in the photos but they weren't anything that we haven't already seen & newpaper photos aren't very good.

LOST Flash-Forwards in 8:42

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Time on Lost: Less Lost is More

Big thanks to BigE for the link to this article.

One other question that needs asking as I post this picture, I realize you wear jeans for hiking in a jungle, but considering much of their time is on a hot beach, why is it none of our Losties since Shannon wears shorts? Kate, Sun, Claire, and Juliet in Daisy Dukes. Just sayin. On to the article....

The producers of Lost have found the secret to resuscitating a great TV show: make less of it. Last year, in the middle of a third season that was criticized by fans as slow and aimless, they proposed to end the hit show after three more seasons of 16 episodes each, six or so fewer than a typical TV-drama season. ABC, stunningly, agreed, though it had the contractual right to frog-march the lucrative property ahead for as many seasons as it liked.

Plotting its own demise was Lost's best innovation yet. Some big-network hits, like Mary Tyler Moore and Seinfeld, have gone out on top but not with an end planned years in advance. Others limp to the finish; next season is the last for ER, which began airing back when physicians used leeches to drain the body of ill humors.

But Lost, whose Season 4 finale airs May 29, is not like a sitcom or a doctor soap. An elaborate sci-fi/fantasy thriller about plane-crash survivors stranded on an island, it has told a single, wildly complicated story involving--deep breath--time travel, conspiracies, a monster made of smoke, a utopian experiment gone bad, ghosts, polar bears in the tropics, philosophy, metaphysics and a mystical set of numbers that may have to do with the end of the world.

As such, it was vulnerable to the X-Files syndrome: a complex story vamps aimlessly, adding shaggy-dog tales and swapping out stars for years too long. ABC's decision--which made the show more like a limited-run British series or The Sopranos--freed Lost to launch an endgame. In last season's finale, the show threw in a mind-blowing twist, jumping forward in time to reveal that several characters made it off the island. The move expanded the canvas yet pointed to a conclusion and made the series compelling again.

Then the writers' strike hit. Season 4, which debuted to fans' and critics' raves, had to pause after eight episodes and cut two of its planned hours. Disaster, right? Wrong. Early seasons of Lost tended to get slack and digressive in the middle. At nearly half the length of previous seasons, this one couldn't afford to. It was focused and propulsive, hurtling the action forward on the island (where the survivors have been found by "rescuers" of murderous intent) while revealing new dimensions to the characters in the flash-forwards to the future (where we learn that six castaways escaped, at a yet unspecified moral cost).

Setting an end date has obvious plot benefits. In a show with a finite run, actions can have consequences, major characters can die, questions can be answered. But it's even better for the show's emotional impact. Lost is a good sci-fi yarn, but what makes it a great story is that it is about the struggles of people: about faith vs. reason, fate vs. free will and, especially, redemption. Jack (Matthew Fox) is haunted by his relationship with his father--literally haunted, as Dad may have come back from the dead. Locke (Terry O'Quinn) balances his faith, which gives him a connection to the mystical island, with a lifetime of having been lied to by loved ones. Even villain Ben (Michael Emerson), leader of the cultlike "Others" who inhabit the island, is driven by a twisted sense of morality. "We're the good guys," he's fond of saying, and Lost holds out the possibility that he just might become one.

But redemption depends on change, and traditional network TV depends on characters staying more or less the same for as many years as it takes for the ratings to give out. The time-bending sci-fi premise in Lost--certain characters become "unstuck in time" and can re-experience past events in their lives--dramatizes a human dilemma: Can you change your future, or are you fated to make the same mistakes forever? In a meta-way, that's the dilemma of traditional TV characters, who are damned to repeat the same patterns, trip over the same ottomans, forever. The revitalized Lost has offered them an out.

And it may just offer a way forward for TV. It may seem insane for ABC to leave money on the table by limiting Lost to six seasons. But Lost is a series that harnesses intense interest--for instance, to sell millions of DVDs because fans want to watch the complex episodes repeatedly. In an era of smaller audiences, networks need programs that can monetize a devoted fan base. But that requires assuring the fans--as limiting Lost's run has done--that they won't be jerked around forever. TV may be an excessive medium, but the brilliant, groundbreaking Lost may just show it that quality can beat quantity.

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Original Article from Time:,9171,1808641,00.html

POLL: What is Meant by, "Moving the Island"?

In the Two-Hour Season Finale, we see a Confident (Nay, Cocky) John Locke proudly proclaim that he is about to unleash an honest to God miracle.
It is assumed he is referring to the little trip the Island is about to make. Unless Locke is planning to get out and push, I'm not quite sure what he is so smug about. My thinking is that Dharma Technology is going to do all the heavy lifting. But on to the poll:

47% - Felt the island will be moved in both Time and Space.
31% - Believe the Island will be moved Temporally only.
5 % - Said the Island will only move physically (surprising!)
2 % - Had another answer.
1 % - See the Island heading for another dimension.

Once again, if you have any ideas for a poll, write one up in the comments section below and we will consider posting it for you.


Friday, May 23, 2008

EW Guesses who is in the Coffin

I found this in the newest Entertainmant Magazine. The Summer Music Preview issue with Usher on the cover.

EW's Jeff Jensen Has "Deja Vu All Over Again"

No Lost. No tease.

But I got theories. Man, do I got theories. And only one of them is certifiably crazy.... But we'll get to the drugs-and-Jesus stuff later.

First: news!


The Mystery of the Missing ''Off Course'' Debate
The producers of Lost react to a burning question about the season finale.

Trolling through the message board responses to my recap of last week's episode, ''No Place Like Home,'' part one of Lost's season finale, I noticed an ongoing debate: Why didn't the Oceanic Airlines publicist and/or the Oceanic 6 address the whole baffling business about Oceanic 815 crashing in the Indian Ocean? This was a Sydney-to-Los Angeles flight; the route goes over the Pacific; Indonesia is too far away, even for a plane that went off course. How come the journalists at the press conference didn't ask the question many of you have been asking for four years: ''What happened?''

Personally, I was less perplexed. In the season's second episode, ''Confirmed Dead,'' we learned that a salvage vessel searching for The Black Rock in the Indian Ocean had found the remains of Oceanic 815 in the inaccessible depths of the Sunda Trench near Indonesia. Since the discovery of the wreckage predated the return of the castaways by at least a month, the culture had probably already vetted the riddle of why Oceanic 815 veered so far off course. All to say, I doubt the matter would have been an urgent talking point. Perhaps the reporters could have asked the Oceanic 6: ''Were you aware that your plane was...lost?'' And maybe they did: My interpretation of that sequence was that we were shown selected moments from the briefing, not the whole thing.

But because it's very possible that my reasonable analysis isn't satisfying enough, I asked executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof for an explanation. Their responses fell just short of a deep sigh. ''As for the issue of the wreck's location in the Sunda Trench, we'll let the show speak for itself,'' said Lindelof. He then added the following emoticon: ;)

Cuse was a tad more expansive: ''Obviously, the location of the supposed wreckage of 815 has been known by everybody for a while — that's not news. Beyond that, Damon and I don't want to say much more. More info on all this will be forthcoming, but not until next season.''

My inquiry reached the producers the morning after a late-night editing session to complete next week's two-hour opus. ''We had a toast of Dom Perignon in cheap plastic glasses with the four editors and about a dozen post support staff to celebrate,'' Cuse said. ''Today, I'm experiencing elated exhaustion, the elation from both completion of the work but also the hopeful feeling that people are going to like this finale. It's nerve-wracking because the bar is set so high, and if we don't finish strong it's sort of like the Patriots losing the Super Bowl: It sort of negates all that came before it, especially with an eight-month hiatus looming.''

Next week, we'll see if they hit the mark. And as for that dispiriting gulf of time that's about to separate us from a new season of Lost, Lindelof and Cuse have some suggested viewing to pass the hiatus; more on that next week, too.


The downside of posting next-morning recaps is that no matter how hard you try, you can't digest an episode in three hours — especially when those three hours take place between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. I envy recappers who take a day or two to think through the episode, like J. Wood at and Vozzek69 over at My cap doffed in respect, I launch this week ''Things I Missed.''


Anyone else noticing that in the flash-forward future (soon to become ''the present''), the gender politics are dramatically reversed? On the Island, the men have the power. Jack. Locke. Ben. But off the Island, sisters are doing it for themselves. In her relationship with Jack, Kate is firmly in control; she sets the boundaries and terms of engagement. Meanwhile, Sun has staged a coup in her family culture, overthrowing her father in a hostile takeover of his company. The men? Weak, leveraged, spiritually neutered. Jack is on pills. Hurley is convinced he's dead. Sayid is stuck playing Ben's bitch. More on this next week when I give you my final Big Theory of the season.


It's ironic that Kate is now a fraudulent parent when she herself was raised amid confusing ''Who's my Daddy?'' circumstances. Sun seems set to morph into the same kind of ruthless godfather her father is — just call her Sunny Corleone. Jack is doing a pretty good imitation of his own boozy pop. Hurley? Last week, the lovably unlucky lug had a bonding moment with Cheech, but then abruptly sprinted away after seeing the Numbers on the speedometer of the rehabbed Camaro. But this mirrors the Camaro-set scene in ''Tricia Tanaka Is Dead,'' which ended with Hurley's troubled padre running away, albeit more figuratively. The show has never delved deeply into Sayid's childhood, so we can't pull him into this trend — but we can place him in another:


I have often entertained the theory that Lost is an analogy for addiction psychology. You have a bunch of people hooked on self-destructive behavior; we've seen how said behavior is a product of past damage; and they've all been given the chance to rehab on the Island. But the example of the Oceanic 6 proves yet again that old issues never die, they just fade away...and then come back hard when you least expect them.

Indeed, what we've seen so far is that the castaways are living new versions of their old lives:

JACK: workaholic surgeon; drives away woman he loves; father issues
SAYID: loses true love Nadia during war; manipulated into becoming a hideous kind of soldier by his former enemy
HURLEY: food; Numbers; mental institution; dead people guilt; seeing people who shouldn't exist

We're still getting to understand the flash-forward lives of Sun and Kate, but the seeds have been planted for old unhappiness to grow anew. Before the crash, Sun felt trapped by a corrupt, unfulfilling life, not to mention her own secrets and lies. Once again, she's bargaining dangerously with her father for respect. Remember what happened when she came to her senses last time? She tried to run away. Similarly, Kate seems to have finally gotten what she's always wanted: a secure, stable home life. But like her fleeting marriage to that nice-guy cop, this idyllic life is built on a lie. It's only a matter of time before the Aaron deception gets smoked out. I have a hunch it won't be long before Kate is on the run again, pursued by a new iteration of that dogged dead marshal — her ex-husband.


I know some of you don't buy my theory that the smack-stuffed Virgin Mary idols were an encoded reference to Karl Marx's critique of religion as the opiate of the masses. But what do you make of the golden Jesus statue belonging to Hurley's mom — the one he almost employed as a club in last week's episode? According to a simple Google search, ''Golden Jesus'' happens to be street slang for heroin. Explain THAT one, non-believers!

Okay, fine: coincidence. But what about ''Oceanic 815''? Ever do research into that? ''Oceanic Feeling'' was Sigmund Freud's famous term to describe the (misunderstood) yearning for/belief in God. But almost as a parry to Freud's thrust, there's ''8:15,'' which correlates to the Bible's most famous oceanic survival tale, the story of Noah's Ark, in which God destroys the world, then rebuilds it through a ''chosen one'' and his family. The verse, Genesis 8:15, is famously one of the shortest in the Bible: ''And God said to Noah:''

And then there's ''Bearing 305,'' which is the directional heading the freighter needs to take to the Island, lest it get lost in the time-storm anomaly. This surely links to John 3:05, which was also one of the Biblical citations on Mr. Eko's stick. It reads: ''Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and spirit.' This verse is part of a larger passage that serves as the foundation of ''born again'' Christian theology. However, it should be noted that the story of this verse involves a discussion between Jesus and a learned man named Nicodemus, who walks away from his initial encounter with Christ deeply confused.

Taken together with ''Christian Shephard'' (Jesus) + ''Empty Coffin'' (Empty Tomb) – ''Christian Shephard was a boozy, emotionally abusive, untrustworthy, adulterous jerk of a man,'' and the sum total is a show that is supporting its ongoing thematic debate between science and faith with cleverly constructed symbols and allusions that mirror that discussion — and specifically grapple with the most critical, non-negotiable elements of the Christian faith: the claim that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead.

Am I wrong?


The Land of Oz is a magical place. It is a land of witches with wands and charmed slippers, of walking, talking tin men, scarecrows, and lions. But it is also a place where not everything is as enchanted as it seems. Indeed, it is a land where its all-powerful namesake deity is an illusion — mere smoke and mirrors, invented by a clever little man hiding behind a curtain, fooling a lot of people into believing a very big lie that distorts a proper understanding of their world.

The Island on Lost appears to be a lot like Oz — but how far does the comparison go? Supernatural phenomenon abounds: ghosts, time travel, miraculous healing, Smokey. Nonetheless, an ill wind of hucksterism blows through the jungle. See: the self-serving manipulations of Benjamin Linus and mind-game madness of the Dharma Initiative. The show's storytelling reflects the ambiguity of the Island, where meaningful allusions and coy red herrings combine to create a tricky text that's challenging (and great fun) to interpret. Lost loves to wink at its audience — and curiously, in L. Frank Baum's book, there's a section of Oz called ''Winkie Country.'' More curiously — or ominously — it's the part of Oz ruled by the Wicked Witch of the West.

The role of Dorothy has been split between Locke and Jack. Locke yearns for adventure somewhere over the rainbow; Jack is the one that gets to pine, ''There's no place like home.'' Locke, the walkabout explorer, gets the magic slippers — that is to say, his new legs. Jack, the hyper-responsible doctor, gets Dorothy's basket, which held apples, the Tin Man's oil can, and a blankie for Toto — a proverbial physician's bag of ointments and comfort.

But in the past two weeks, Locke has carried most of the Dorothy load. He's gone to Jacob's cabin, received a mission to move the Island, and traveled to the Orchid to complete the task — though first he'll have to get past Keamy and his goon squad. Translated into The Wizard of Oz, we've just seen Dorothy go to the Emerald City, leave with a mission to swipe the witch's broomstick (that's the movie version; in Baum's much darker book, she was ordered to slay the wicked witch); and arrive with her friends at the witch's castle, teeming with soldiers and flying monkeys.

What will happen next? Well, let's look at Oz. Dorothy got the broomstick (and killed the witch); went back to see the wizard only to discover (and expose) the fact that he was just a big hoax; and after a failed attempt to return home by conventional means (a hot air balloon), uses magic that was always at her disposal. How might this apply to Lost, if at all?

We'll find out next week, won't we?


Last week, I asked you for predictions on what the season finale might reveal about the fates of the non-Oceanic 6 castaways who were left behind. In retrospect, it occurred to me that I should have asked you for your predictions AFTER you had seen last week's episode. So...that's what I'm doing now! I freed up some extra space in the Doc Jensen mailbox (, so send away — we'll talk about them next week, in the (Sniff!) final Doc Jensen column of the season.


Doc Jensen

P.S.: (Sniff!) = (Tears), not (Another Drug Reference) (Sigh.),,20201750,00.item1