“Get” Lost

entry #13, Jan. 18, 2009

Dear Kid,

Once again I failed to wrap up my observations neatly in the off-season. So, stragglers:

Time Lines, Imputed vs. Real: When I started working your puzzle, I had no idea it would partly be a jigsaw puzzle. By collaborating with the conspirators in presenting events on Poo in the order they wished to present to the world, you've discouraged viewers from taking the pieces apart and re-fitting them into real time, because the apparent fit, although slightly off and producing an odd picture, seems to work comfortably enough for them, provided they fudge with time travel, which you and the characters took many opportunities to encourage.

I still haven't figured out what went wrong that made them decide to go back, but Jack must've either taken it upon himself or been assigned the task of finding a new imputed crash location consistent with the place they were “rescued” from. In just one example of what I love about Lost, you slipped a curve ball past me in the concluding episode of season 3 when, so innocently among MOS shots ostensibly to establish “crazy Jack using downers and booze to try to still his obsession”, you gave us one of him poring over the maps spread out all over. Of course the real site they went back to to play out revised island scenes was still Equatorial Guinea. The Sunda Trench wreckage did not fit a Sydney-LAX flight path, so I don't know where they were ostensibly flying from or to, but Kate said she was on her way to Bali. Naomi's and Cooper-Seward's account of that “crash” had to have been part of the revision, which means so was the latter's “death” at the hands of Sawyer, whose red file had to be burned to avoid contradiction and who had to be told he'd “killed” the wrong man in Australia. Sawyer must've forgotten that his “letter to Mr. Sawyer” was on 2 sheets of paper, not 1, so I no longer have need for either to have contained a secret message to Kate or Cooper-Seward; rather, it was just one of the many continuity errors introduced by “going back”. (Hey, Sayid, where's your “You would remember!” now, huh? Sawyer couldn't even remember how many pieces of paper his prop was!)

The “rescue” info at the Oceanic 6 press conference could not be contradicted, but Christian's “funeral” (minus the body, heh) was a closed affair so his death could be erased. I now see Jack's angry-frustrated destruction of the coffin as reflecting his disgust with having to destroy all the work he and his friends had put into what was being revised out of existence. I had to read Act One for English class, but somehow I suspect dramatists like yourself would be familiar with it. Remember how Moss Hart wrote that he vomited at the sight of an elaborate set they were disposing of because they'd decided to cut out an entire scene after tryouts?

I have a lot of work ahead finding the continuity errors and re-splicing the film, but one obvious place to look is the props in Swan. In all those “teaser” shots at the beginning of season 2, those faceless body parts didn't necessarily belong to Desmond. Even if they did, the conspirators must've originally intended a different plot with him or whomever. And of course the whole idea is a cute commentary on the difficulty of making a TV serial before you knew its length.

The Title: It's short for Lost Tribe. I expect the closing slide as the final curtain rings down to say, in two stages, “[Bmph!] LOST [Bmph!] TRIBE”. Depending how the story ends, maybe a 3rd drumbeat so it reads after the last word appears, “LOST TRIBE FOUND”.

Mouse Trap Parts: Adding to previous observations, I now see the forearm and hand carried by Vincent represented (as suggested by someone at The Fuselage, I think) the Helping Hand; the VW minibus, the ball bearing that the hand hits; and the switchback road on the map inside, the Rickety Stairs down which the ball rolls. And those respective “parts” on Lost did operate sort of that way and in that order. We've seen too much loose footwear for me to pick out any as corresponding to the Boot that hits the stick attached to the hand. (For anyone playing at home, yes you do need both the spring and just that rubber band to make the hand work right. Maybe that's why they needed to “go back” — failure to include a part.) Are you sure you don't need my bath foam to go in the equivalent of either the suspended bathtub or the bucket the daredevil dives into? I've read of models and actresses who've gotten rashes from hours of sitting in water with dish detergent or conventional bubble baths. Or did Sawyer already represent the Daredevil by diving from the helicopter?

The Iconoclastic Controversy: This was represented by the smashing and discarding of all those Maries. Tricky because Charlie was the one smashing them, but also cherishing them, while Locke was the one who ostensibly wanted them discarded. Because of the Terry O'Quinn character's “Eastern” mystic stereotypy and because he liked Russian author Dostoevsky, I'll take him as representing Eastern Orthodoxy, and Charlie the Western Papacy — as befits a Charles here on general principles.

Superheroes: Superman and The Flash as invoked by Charlie's & Hurley's discussion of having them race represent two messiahs. Their being “in a race” suggests their both being Jewish. Charlie's prediction of Superman as the winner projects to his backing Aaron, and Hurley's backing Ji Yeon, just if I go by general indications of friendliness and concern as shown on screen. I don't know whether the wall Hurley brought up corresponds to any particular barrier the Messiah Babies will face, or if so what it could possibly mean for Ji Yeon to vibrate thru like The Flash and Aaron to be precluded from smashing if they follow Hurley's rules. Maybe you can arrange some way for it to be represent the wall of Jericho too. Or was that the sonic fence, by inverted allusion: sound's ostensibly being essential to the operation of the barrier rather than its destruction? (Eh...fair...nowhere near as good as the one in the movie Gangs of New York, where Abe Lincoln's on stage while somebody else gets shot in the audience.)

We also got a pair of superheroes in the comic book in Spanish, whose English title I've read was Fast Friends. So first you picked out that comic book as a symbolic clue, and then because it had a polar bear in it you decided to help lead the audience astray (although it does add to the Merovingian-Romanov bear symbolism, which leads us back) by including polar bears in Lost; and once again, the characters themselves may have intended both elements as inside jokes. More importantly as a clue, nobody has suggested that in a race between Superman and The Flash they would come to blows, and the title of the comic book reinforces the friendliness of the situation. From this I'm committing to a belief that the competition between supporters of Aaron and of Ji Yeon as Messiah is, or at least started out, friendly — more like betting a few Euros over a golf shot than like putting a bullet in one's opponent. (Unless, of course, something happens down the road to un-friend them.) Maybe the kids'll eventually make a nice couple.

Classics: I loved the way you ramped up the unbelievability to absurdity, having Benry “move the island” by turning Axis Mundi under the Earth, which presumably spins the universe.

Best Wishes,

Robby-Bobby (Charlie & Nadine's code name for me)