Tag Archives: the Numbers

Lost: A Show About Science or A Show About Faith? – Thoughts on the END of Lost’s Series Finale “The End”

Last night, I wrote a blog entry, in which I discussed some of the lighter aspects of Lost‘s generally feel-good Series Finale, “The End.”  In it, I, more or less, completely refrained from discussing the show’s controversial ending, and promised to tackle that issue exclusively in another post.  Well, I’M BAAACK . . .

One Man of Science.  One Man of Faith.  The Island wasn’t big enough for both of them . . .  or was it?

In the last season of Lost, there was much talk and broohaha about this image, and all the ideas it represents . . .

Light versus Dark.  Black versus White.  Good versus Evil.  Heaven versus Hell.  And while that dichotomy was certainly central to the battle between Jacob and the Man in Black . . .

 . . . our Losties, for the most part, resided somewhere in between.  Much like the rest of us non-television characters, their morality was covered in shades of grey.   For them (and for us), the REAL battle for control of Lost island was one that was a lot less clear cut, making it a lot less certain who we should root for.  And, ultimately,  it was this battle, that took center stage during the final half of the Season finale. (After they, you know, got rid of that pesky Black Smoke thing  . . .)

Jack v. Locke – The Man of Science versus The Man of Faith

Although Lost undoubtedly featured many characters and their respective stories of redemption, at its core were the journeys of two men.  When we first meet Jack Shepard, he is the quintessential Man of Science.  He’s a surgeon, and about as left-brained as a person can get.  There is not a creative or artistic bone in this man’s body.  So, understandably, when it comes to matters of faith or destiny, he’s a complete Doubting Thomas.  For him, if an explanation doesn’t appear in a medical reference book, it just plain doesn’t exist.

John Locke, on the other hand, is a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants, Man of Faith, guy.  He’s Mister “Nobody tells me what I can and can’t do.”  A guy who sees absolutely nothing wrong with signing up for a “walkabout,” despite being completely incapable of “walking about.”  Upon crashing on the island, he suddenly regains use of his legs, and, thereafter, becomes convinced that the Island is his Destiny.  He is absolutely certain that some higher power has brought him to the Island; and that he is, therefore, meant to remain and do great things there . . .

For the first Four Seasons of Lost, pretty much up until Locke’s “death,” we watched these two men battle it out with one another, arguing for the righteousness of their respective ideologies.  Neither man would budge an inch with respect to his position.  However, upon REAL Locke’s death, at the end of Season 4, things change for Jack Shepard.  During the last two seasons of the show,  Jack slowly evolved from a Man of Science into a Man of Faith. 

First, after escaping the Island as part of the Oceanic Six, he returns to it, believing he is meant to rescue the others who remained thereon.  In Season 6, when the Losties are once again ready to escape the island, this time on a boat, Jack jumps ship, convinced that the island “isn’t done with [him] yet.  Then, in the penultimate episode of the show, Jack LITERALLY drinks Jacob’s Kool Aid, and agrees to remain on the island, throwing away his promising surgical career in order to “protect” what, for all intents and purposes, was a Giant Lightbulb . . .

Scientific Answers versus Mystical Answers  – The SHOW About Science versus The SHOW About Faith

When it really came down to it, I think Lost‘s journey as a show, was similar to Jack’s journey, as a character.  Lost started out as a Show About Science (Science Fiction, perhaps, but, science, nonetheless).  In the show’s early seasons, many of the Island’s mysteries were explained through quasi-scientific means.  Flight 815 was initially thought to have been brought down, as a result of the Island’s unique electromagnetic properties, which were inherent to the Island’s location, but were also exacerbated by a Hydrogen Bomb buried beneath its surface . . .  These electromagnetic qualities also allowed the Island itself, and its inhabitants, to move freely through the time/space barrier and . . .  basically . . . time travel.

Those all important numbers, which Hurley chose in order to win the lottery, and which Desmond was forced to repeatedly punch into a computer screen to prevent the Island’s destruction . . .

Were part of the Valenzetti Equation, derived by members of the Dharma Initiative, to determine the exact point in time at which all human life would cease to exist.  The Dharma initiative itself was, more or less, a scientific research group, which took advanage of the island’s unique electromagnetic properties in order to experiment with various facets of human life, from a woman’s ability to give birth . . .

 . . . to psychology, subliminal messaging, and mind control . . .

Then, Season 6 came around, and like Jack Shepard, Lost had to go and get all “Faith-y” on us.  Island mysteries, like “why the plane crashed,” which had once been explained by science, were now explained as being part of the “Master Plan,” in a battle between the God-like Jacob . . .

 . . . and the Devil-like Man in Black . . .

 . . . for control of the Island, and, by extension, the souls of its inhabitants . . .

Supernatural, and biblical-type reasoning was now used to explain Island mysteries such as why MIB couldn’t escape the Island, why Richard Alpert wouldn’t age . . .

 . . . why Jacob and MIB couldn’t kill one another, how Locke became Flocke . . .

 . . . and who Adam and Eve were . . .

The Last Ten Minutes of the Finale Episode of Lost – Flash Sideways of Science (Time Travel) versus Flash Sideways of Faith (Purgatory)

So, I guess, it shouldn’t really have surprised me (but it DID!), that the final Lost mystery, the reason behind the Flash Sideways, ended up being a faith-based reason (preparation for the afterlife / purgatory) . . .

 . . . as opposed to a science-based reason (an alternate universe created as a result of Juliet’s detonation of the hydrogen bomb at the end of Season 5).

And, I have to say, that the fact that this promo picture, released just before Season 6 began, didn’t give the religious implications of the finale away to me, makes me more than a bit mad at myself . . .

I guess, when it really comes down to it, how you felt about Lost’s final moments (MULTITUDE of unanswered questions notwithstanding), really comes down to which side of the Man of Science / Man of Faith debate YOU fall under.  Me, personally?  I’m a bit more of a “science” girl.  So, I was a little disappointed that the Flash Sideways World did not, in fact, end up being the hydrogen bomb-created alternate universe I had initially envisioned. 

Plus, Flash Sideways World just seemed so PERFECT!   And because I’d truly grown to love these characters, having spent six years with them, I really wanted this world to exist FOR THEM!  Because, without it . . .

Ji Yeon would REALLY be an orphan . . .

David Shepard would COMPLETELY cease to exist . . . Oh, and most of the Losties would already be DEAD!

 . . . including THIS GUY!

But, putting my personal feelings aside, the fact that the Flash Sideways World ended up being purgatory makes sense, BECAUSE everything was so perfect there.  In essence, Flash Sideways World gave our main Losties the oppportunity to redeem themselves from wrongs they felt they had committed during their actual lifetimes .  . .

Jack Shepard had a bad relationship with his father, who degraded his worth constantly, and always chose his work over him, so in Flash Sideways World Purgatory he was a supportive and understanding father to his son . . .

During his lifetime, Sawyer was a con artist, who shunned justice.  So, in purgatory, he was a detective, who fought hard to protect it.

Sorry! I know technically I should have found a “cop uniform” pic of Sawyer, but I just couldn’t help myself . . .

On the island, Kate unknowingly abandoned Claire, and ended up raising her child, Aaron.  But in Purgatory, she guides Claire through the birthing process, and allows her to raise her own baby . . . And, as for Claire, she gets to keep her kid, and not become a skanky haired wackadoo.  YAY!

In the real world, Sayid’s murderous lifestyle resulted in the death of the love of his life, Nadia.

In Purgatory, he lets his brother marry Nadia instead, and, in doing so, probably spares her life.

In the real world, Desmond loved Penny Widmore, but her father’s disapproval of him kept the two of them apart.  In Purgatory, Desmond works for Charles Widmore, and has gained his utmost trust and respect . . .

In Purgatory, Hurley isn’t a loveable loser who won the lottery and STILL can’t accomplish anything.  He’s a loveable WINNER, who get’s the girl and is rich enough to employ the ENTIRE CAST OF LOST!

Purgatory Ben is a kindly history teacher who saves Alex’s future, by sacrificing his own personal success to ensure her entrance into an Ivy League college, instead of . . . you know . . . GETTING HER KILLED!  And Purgatory Locke is a pretty nice guy too, and Ben’s BFF to boot!

And, as I mentioned before, Jin and Sun, actually get to raise their kid Purgatory World.  Plus, they successfully ditch Sun’s Asshat Dad.

Matthew Fox probably explained the whole “purgatory thing”  best, in his post-finale interview with Jimmy Kimmel, when he said something to the effect of: “There’s a school of thought that, after you die, you go to a sort of ‘waiting place’ in which you encounter everyone who was important in your life.  Once you have reunited with, and reconciled with, these people, you can truly accept your own mortality and . . . move on.”  (And you just KNOW Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse fed him those words, because Matthew Fox may be smart, but not THAT smart!)

I’ll have to admit that when Christian Shepard (and if THAT’S not a “Man of Faith” name, I don’t know what is) . . .

 . . . . appeared in that Non-Denominational (or, rather, ALL Denominational) Church / Temple, OUTSIDE of his own coffin, and replied to Jack’s question of “How did you get here?  Aren’t you dead?” with . . .

 “How did YOU get here?”  . . .

I screamed at the television . . .

“YOU PROMISED THEY WEREN’T DEAD THIS WHOLE TIME, J.J. ABRAMS!  YOU LIAR!  I JUST WASTED SIX YEARS OF MY LIFE FOR YOU!”

But then, when Christian explained that, “Everything that happened on the Island was real . . . Everyone dies eventually . . . Some of these people died before you, some long after you .  . .” I calmed down a bit . . .

And in the penultimate scene of the show, when Jack stumbles out from the cave, lays down on the ground next to doggie Vincent, watches his fellow Losties successfully escape the Island on a plane, and, subsequently, CLOSES his eyes in death, just as he had opened them so many times during the LIFE of the show, I thought to myself, “What an appropriate ending . . .”

But then they HAD to show me this . . .

While the producers didn’t go as far as I feared they would, by showing me a heap of dead bodies lying amongst the wreckage, they showed me enough to make me wonder if I was being f**ked with.  And I couldn’t help but be reminded of ANOTHER intriguing, but unnerving, Open-Ended Series Finale that left me with more questions than answers . . .

(Special thanks to njean666 for this fabulous clip)

They never make it easy for us, do they?

6 Comments

Filed under Lost

“DUDE! It’s Me, Hurley!” – The Drinking Game!

Everybody loves Hugo!  Don’t believe me?  Just check out the episode title for next week’s installment of Lost.  And, really, what’s NOT to LOVE about Hugo “Hurley” Reyes?  After all, he’s cuddly  . . .

and funny.

He’s good with kids . . .

 . . . and dogs.

No matter where he is, Hurley can always be counted on to bring the party . . .

. . . and the good food.

And our main man Hugo is ALWAYS down for a good road trip (even if you forgot to take the Dead Guy out of your van).

Speaking of dead people, did I mention that Hurley sees (and talks) to them?

Or that he’s a lotto winner?

So, in honor of this week’s Hurley-centric episode, I propose, for all you Lost fans out there, a little Hurley-themed drinking game.  The game should last throughout the duration of “Everybody Loves Hugo” (assuming you don’t pass out before then).  All you need? An alcoholic beverage of your choice,

(Beer or wine will work best.)

a bottle of hard liquor,

and your favorite snack (or snacks).

Here’s how to play:

(1) Every time Hurley says the word “Dude,” you take a shot.  To get an idea of just how many shots you will likely have to take, check out this lovely video.

(2) Every time Hurley says “The Numbers,” or utters any of those ever-important numbers, recite the numbers out loud, and take a sip of your alcoholic beverage.

If you forget to recite the numbers, or fail to recite them correctly, take a shot.

(3) Every time Hurley is shown eating, take a bite of your snack and two sips of your alcoholic beverage.

(4) If Hurley is shown running, run in place for ten seconds, and take a sip of your drink.

If you FAIL to run for ten seconds, take a shot.

(5) If Hurley sees or talks to a dead person, take a shot.

If the DEAD PERSON is JACOB, take two shots.

(6) If Hurley makes a meta-reference to science fiction or the mythology of Lost, cup your hand to your chin, and say “Hmmm, verrrry interesting,” with a European accent.  If those comments are made to MILES, take a bite of food, and a shot.

(7) If a reference is made to Mr. Cluck’s Chicken, stand up, do the funky chicken for ten seconds, and stuff your mouth with a wad of food.  (Oh, and take a shot, of course.)  For those of you who don’t think this will come up, check out the faux-commercial that debuted at this past year’s Comic Con.

And for those of you out there who DON’T watch Lost, but suffered through this post anyway (There may be one or two of you out there.), here’s a little treat for YOU!  It’s those old school Muppet Babies, with a Hurley-inspired twist . . .

Happy Drinking!  See ya Tuesday, DUDES!

[Note: My pal, Amazon Annie, says, “Play ‘Dude!  It’s Me, Hurley’ at your own risk . . .”]

10 Comments

Filed under Drinking Game, Hurley, Lost

It’s The Locke Comedy Hour! – A Recap of Lost’s “The Substitute”

This week’s installment of Lost kind of reminded me of a sitcom, complete with running gags, a catchphrase, and Peggy Bundy from Married with Children.

Here’s the pitch.  Charlie Brown is all grown up, and is now suffering the slings and arrows of late middle age.  (Then again, Charlie Brown has been bald since age 8.  So, at least that part of the aging process is easy for him.)  Unfortunately, due to a freak accident involving an ex-girlfriend and a football, he has been confined to a wheelchair . . .

But that doesn’t mean he can’t have madcap adventures!  This groundbreaking new sitcom is called . . . wait for it . . .  “You’re Getting Old, Charlie Brown.”

Starring John Locke as Charlie Brown .  . .

Hurley as Pig Pen . . .

Rose as Marcy . . .


With special guest star Benjamin Linus as Linus!

So, without further adieu, let’s roll the credits, sing along to the cheesy theme song, and tune in for The Locke Comedy Hour!

Nobody Tells Old Locke What He Can and Can’t Do (Except Everybody Does)

When we last left our bald-headed friend in Flash Sideways World, he was at the airport, filing a claim for his lost luggage  (a case containing his spiffy knife collection), and gabbing it up with spinal surgeon, Jack Shepard, who offered the wheelchair bound “Man of Faith” his business card.  Now Locke is heading back to his cute little ranch home in the suburbs.  In a running joke that pops up throughout the episode, the thingamajigger in Locke’s car that raises and lowers his wheelchair to the street, gets stuck, causing him to face plant on his freshly mowed grass (insert laugh track here).

Eventually, Locke rights himself and enters his home, where he receives a warm welcome from his fiancé Helen (Peg Bundy in the flesh!). 

Just a sidenote . . .

If you recall, in Original Lost World, Helen left Locke when he refused to break ties with his con man biological father, Anthony Cooper, who had  convinced Locke to donate him his kidney and then promptly abandoned him after he did so.  After Helen disappeared, Locke became involved with Cooper again.  The latter pushed Locke out of an 8th story window when Locke tried to intervene in a con Cooper had orchestrated.  It was this fall that resulted in Locke being confined to a wheelchair.

In Flash Sideways World, Locke is already in a wheelchair, but Helen is obviously still in his life.  It is unclear when, in the context of this universe, Helen returned to Locke.  Additionally, when discussing their upcoming nuptials, Helen mentions having a small wedding with both her own and Locke’s parents.  Presumably, Helen is referring to Locke’s adoptive parents and NOT his sociopathic biological dad.  Yet, as all bets tend to be off in Flash Sideways World, we cannot be too sure.

Although in the season’s premiere episode, Locke spoke with Boone on the plane about attending the Australian walkabout, when Locke speaks to Helen and his D-bag boss Randy, he only refers to a “conference” that he attended while in Australia.  D-bag Randy (1) catches Locke in a lie about this “conference;” (2) determines that Locke attended the walkabout instead; and (3) promptly fires him.  In the parking lot, a recently unemployed Locke AGAIN can’t get his chair mover thingamajigger to work, because another car is parked too close to his own (insert laugh track here).

Fortunately, the owner of the car comes to Locke’s rescue.  And it’s . . . HURLEY! 

Not at all peeved that an angry Locke tried to bash in his car, Rich Lottery-Winning Hurley, who just so happens to own the box company that just fired Locke, passes him the number to a temp agency that he also owns (Who knew this guy had such an entrepreneurial spirit?) and promises  Locke a new job.

Locke travels to the temp agency and promptly asks to speak to the supervisor there.  And I bet you can’t guess who it is?  Time’s up!  It’s ROSE!

Locke demands that Rose give him a job at a construction site.  In support of his job qualifications, Locke shouts what will no doubt become the hottest catch phrase in television history.  “Nobody tells me what I can and can’t do!”  (Insert audience applause).

(OK, maybe the second hottest catchphrase . . . Sorry Arnold.)

Rose, however, WILL NOT be won over by catchphrases.  She puts Locke in his place, stressing the importance of accepting one’s limitations in order to lead a full life.  Her admission that her life is “better” now that she has come to terms with her terminal cancer diagnosis is both ironic and poignant, seeing as BOTH Rose and Locke have been cured of their respective ailments in Island World.  (Then again . . . in island world Locke is dead . . . soooo . . .)

Locke ultimately takes Rose’s advice.  He comes clean to Helen about the humiliation he experienced when he was denied the opportunity to participate in the Australian walkabout.   He then, tears up Jack’s business card, determined not to spend his life seeking treatments he knows will not cure him (so much for the Man of Faith . . .).  Ultimately, Locke accepts a job from the temp agency as a SUBSTITUTE teacher  (See how they used the episode title there?  Clever right?). 

In the teachers’ lounge, Locke encounters a curmudgeony history teacher bitching about the other teachers’ failure to clean the coffee pot after usage.  And that curmudgeony teacher is . . . 

BENJAMIN LINUS (Insert thunderous applause for our special guest star!)

And that ends our flash-sideways portion of the evening.  As you can see, not too much happened here to advance the general plotline . . .

Nobody Tells Nu-Locke What He Can and Can’t Do (No . . . Really . . .  NO ONE!)

Back in our original timeline, Nu-Locke is traveling around in style, using his favorite mode of transportation, a black cloud of smoke.  And I have to say, I’m a bit jealous.  Walking to the subway station on the way to work can be so time consuming and tedious sometimes.  All those darn people are always getting in my way!  Now, if I could travel Smokey style, that would be a completely different story.

According to the remaining female survivor of Jacob’s followers (Nu-Locke killed the rest under the guise of Smokey, two weeks ago), Nu-Locke is now “trapped” in Locke’s form and is “looking for recruits” to help him get off the island.  Locke’s first candidate for a recruit is Richard Alpert.  Unfortunately, Alpert is a no go, because he is on . . .

Next, Nu Locke turns to Sawyer, who is still moping over Juliet, and is busy getting wasted in the cabin where he and she used to live.  Unlike Richard Alpert, Sawyer doesn’t need to be on Team Jacob, or any team, for that matter, because he looks like this . . .

With nothing to lose, now that the love of his life is gone, Sawyer follows Nu-Locke into the jungle, enticed by Nu-Locke’s offer to show him the answer to the question that has been plaguing Lost fans for 6 seasons now: Why is Sawyer [or any Lostie for that matter] on this crazy Island?

While Nu-Locke and Sawyer are heading off on their madcap adventure, back at the beach, Jacob’s sole surviving follower convinces Ben, Sun, and Lapidus to travel with her to the Temple where the rest of the Losties are currently stationed.  Before they can go, however, they have to dispose of Old Locke’s body.  The gang dig a hole and perform an impromptu burial of their sort-of friend.  However, when it comes time to provide a eulogy, no one seems all that excited to speak on Dead Old Locke’s behalf.

Finally, Ben decides to say a few words.  “John Locke was a Believer,” he says.  “He was a Man of Faith.  He was a better man than I will ever be.  I’m sorry I murdered him.”

Haha.  I have to agree with Lapidus when he says, “Weirdest funeral ever!”

Back in the jungle, Richard Alpert tries to warn Sawyer to stay away from Nu-Locke, but Sawyer ignores him.  Sawyer isn’t the only traveler to have to cope with an unwelcome visitor, however.  Locke keeps seeing a ghostly blonde boy in the jungle.  The boy approaches Locke and says, cryptically, “You can’t kill him.”

It is uncertain who this little boy is, or to whom exactly he is referring.  Is it Jacob (who Nu Locke seemingly already killed) or Sawyer?

Nu-Locke is apparently as confused by these remarks as we are . . . confused and pissed.  Angrily, he responds, “No one tells me what I can and can’t do!”  (And there’s that catch phrase again . . .)

When Nu-Locke informs Sawyer that the answer to his “Why You Are Here” riddle is at the bottom of a steep cliff overlooking the ocean, I start to think that the little boy was referring to Sawyer after all.  I instantly became very worried that Nu-Locke was about to take his “Can Do” Attitude to a whole new level of evil  by offing Sawyer (which would be awful, in my opinion, because Sawyer is way too hot to die).  Understandably, I was pleasantly surprised, and more than a bit relieved, when Nu-Locke rescued Sawyer, after the latter ran into some trouble climbing down the cliff. 

Once on the ground, safe and sound, Nu-Locke leads Sawyer into a tunnel adorned by a small scale with a white ball on one side and a black ball on the other.  Nu-Locke smiles cryptically before tossing the white ball into the ocean.  “Inside joke,” he explains to Sawyer, causing us Losties to recall Old Locke’s “Backgammon is Life” analogy from season 1.

Fitting isn’t it?  After all,  Jacob’s Nemesis/ Nu-Locke  is typically referred to as the “Man in Black.”

Once inside the tunnel, Nu-Locke shows Sawyer that it’s walls are filled with the crossed out names of former Island inhabitants.  However, SOME names have not yet been crossed out.  Nu-Locke explains that these names represent the “candidates” that Jacob manipulated to come to the Island and protect it.  Each name is accompanied by a number because “Jacob had a thing for numbers,” says Nu Locke.

Of course, the “numbers” that accompany the names are none other than those special numbers that have been plaguing Losties for six seasons.  Here are the names that weren’t crossed out and their accompanying numbers:

4-Locke (Nu-Locke crosses this one out himself – CAN DO, CAN DO!)

8-Reyes (Hurley)

15-Ford (Sawyer)

16-Jarrah (Sayid the Zombie)

23-Shephard (Jack)

42-Kwon (Jin?  or Sun?)

Noticeably absent from this list are Benjamin Linus, Miles Straume, and Kate Austen, all of whom are still very much present in the Lost universe.  I’m not sure whether this bodes well for any of them . . .

So, there you have it folks.  What did you think?  Will Sawyer join forces with the Mysterious Man in Black to get off the island?  Are Ben, Miles and Kate, long for the Lost world?  Will the Locke sitcom make it past its pilot episode? 

Tune in next week, where, undoubtedly, none of these questions will be answered, but a few more will be asked . . . Although, it is the last season, so maybe I’m wrong . . . I hope so!

2 Comments

Filed under Lost