31 May 2009

Bury My Heart at Hoffs/Drawlar Funeral Parlor

My great friend Lorin has a podcast, and on the latest edition, his co-host, Fritz, said the following: "I try talking to people about 'Lost,' what's going on in Season 5...there is always going to be someone in the room that's only on Season 2 or hasn't seen it." He is, of course, one hundred percent correct. One of the problems with "Lost" is that there are so many people catching up on it, and this show, more so than most others, requires a minimum of spoilers before venturing into new territory, and so veterans must be careful when discussing it in public. Therefore, I advise all those who are not caught up on "Lost" to stop reading, and to immediately begin watching whatever they need to watch to catch up, so they can sit in front of the television in January 2010 and follow along with the rest of us. THIS IS YOUR OFFICIAL WARNING.

It will be worth it.

For the rest of you...

It is difficult for me to put into summation how much I fucking love "Lost." Let us just say that, like most other fans, I fucking love it. A lot. I am a "Lost" fan and a "Lost" nerd, and when it is operating on all cylinders, it is one of those events where I begin to doubt my ability to enjoy other forms of entertainment. It's one of those feelings I remember experiencing most acutely after finishing the fourth book in The Dark Tower series (an influence on "Lost"), Wizard and Glass. I can easily recall the moment where I closed the book and thought "There's nothing else out there. This is my world, I live it now, and I must fucking know what happens next." It wasn't a book I fell in love with, and it's not one of my favorites, and yet while reading it, the spell was cast, and I was enmeshed entirely within its universe. When it was all over, it was a day or two before I was able to shake off its world and move on to other things. I was able to move on, enough, in fact, to more or less ignore the next book in the series when it came out until I happened to stumble across it in the "reading library" of my main school post in Japan.

With "Lost," however, we don't have the same ability to ignore the follow ups. Books have not (yet?) reached the point where, upon their publication, everyone is talking about them, and Twittering plot points, and creating Facebook quizzes about them. Only the Harry Potter series has truly approached that point, and perhaps, maybe, the Twilight series, but who really gives a rat's fuck about that poorly written collection of inane tripe? No, with "Lost," when an episode comes out, if you're not caught up, you have to shut yourself up into a veritable media cocoon. During Season 5, I would discuss episodes with a couple of my coworkers, while noticing that a third, who was not caught up, would don his earplugs and try to concentrate on something else while we talked about the latest bit of mindfuckery.

I watched the first three seasons of "Lost" on DVD, and after the finale of the Third Season, probably one of the greatest moments in all of televison history, I knew I could not wait any longer for subsequent seasons to be released before watching them. I knew I had to start watching them right then and there, when they aired, just so I could join the conversation, and so I would not have to wait to find out "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE?!" It took some adjusting. I had to learn to tolerate the constant and frequent commercial breaks, and had to accept the waiting period between episodes, which, at the very least, was a week. But oh sweet Lord, was it worth it.

I even learned to embrace the commercial breaks. I am now faced with seven months of not having to see promos for execrable ABC programming, whether it is the latest "Grey's Anatomy" where a four-year-old has shot her father into so much Swiss cheese or the summer programming phenom "Wipeout," which had to create CGI promos for what is, essentially, a reality game show, which just makes me feel tired somehow. At least it's not "Eli Stone," RIP.

So while we're in the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad time between "Lost" seasons, we're left with the exercise of having to guess and predict what the hell will happen next in that far off date of January 2010. And those predicitions really hinge on one question:

Did the time travelers' actions affect the timeline?

There are two ways to answer this, and within those answers, a great many subsequent questions and answers. But to begin, let's consider the answer I think is false: NO.

If the answer is "no," and the detonation of the thermonuclear device was truly the original "incident," and all known "Lost" history extends from that moment, then where does that leave us in January 2010? Watching Jack wake up again, and running out onto the beach in the aftermath of the crash, and doing the exact same things he did the first time around. Because that will mean that the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are caught in a time loop and don't know it, and they keep repeating the same actions that will lead them right back into that time loop, and things just keep repeating themselves ad nauseum. Which is possible, of course, but as far as television goes? Boring as fuck. It's not happening.

Therefore, I think the correct answer is: YES.

But that doesn't mean that the survivors AREN'T caught in a time loop. Perhaps they were, and they kept repeating the same things, but the detonation of the device did, truly, change everything. This seems like the true response because when you forget about the world of "Lost" and think about the world of how "Lost" is created, the production factors and what not. This makes you realize that the producers are more than likely not going to get Dominic Monaghan to return to the show because the past repeats itself, nor Maggie Grace nor Ian Somerhalder nor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje nor all those other actors who have died themselves off.

So: the bomb changed things. Now we must wonder where the 1977 characters end up. As I see it, there are three possibilities:

1. The initial 815 crash, but changed
2. The moments where Jacob visited and touched them (those he did touch)
3. 2007, right after fake-Locke kicks Jacob into the flammable flames

Reading back these possiblities, I pause, and consider that there may (must) be other options I have no hope of considering. Mostly because of the bodies in the cave. Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have stated that the bodies will be proof to future generations watching "Lost" for the first time that, in fact, the creative team did have an idea of where all this will be going. Which means that at some point in the forthcoming season, at least two characters (probably a male or female) will have to be in the past and live and die before the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors ever end up there.

Well...I will consider those three options up above anyway. Because I love doing so. And hopefully it will give more food for thought.

1. I don't think our heroes will end up at this point, mostly because, again, of production factors. A good many of the characters who were here in the Pilot are now dead and gone, or grown up, and a television show cannot so easily resurrect that many characters. It is possible, though, that all those characters who died will end up being dead in the crash, and the survivors will only be those who were meant to be survivors, i.e., Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Jin, Sun, etc.

2. Jacob touched most everybody he visited in the past, and that must be significant in some way. EW's Doc Jensen suggested that Jacob's touching of each person created, in Harry Potter terms, a horcrux, and that after the detonation, each person will return to whatever moment Jacob touched them at still possessing their knowledge of the future. They will, therefore, be able to alter their forward path and change things as necessary....

I don't think that will happen, though, and again, it's a production factor for me. Consider witnessing all those people jump into their past lives that suddenly, and ask yourself how are we going to watch so many disparate lives cohere into a single thematic whole, whilst also remaining under budget? Ay, there's the rub. If every week they have to have a separate young-Sawyer, young-Kate, young-whoever storyline? No way.

3. I consider this the most likely action, because of Jacob's final words ("They're coming") and because it would be fucking awesome. All these people chillaxing outside the foot, and then WHAM - Oceanic 815 motherfuckers causing some serious mindbending. But other things would also have to have changed - it would, after all, be an alternate future. So if, in 1977, they make it so their plane never crashed, and yet the important parts of Oceanic 815 are sill on the island in 2007, how did they get there, and why?

....Sigh....I wouldn't have these questions if the season finale had just given me a little taste, a wetting of the beak, of what would go on in Season 6. It wouldn't be hard: rather than the white-out to the "Lost" logo, they could have cut to a scene of whatever comes next - maybe the 815 on a beach, or Jack waking up, or...whatever. It wouldn't have lasted long, it just would have been those few precious quiet moments of what is next, a minute, or even a few seconds is all we would need, and then the stark cut to the logo.

Fuck...that just makes it what it is, doesn't it? Well, here's to 2010. May we all survive that far into the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment