“Get” Lost entry #5
Aug. 7, 2006
Why, Johnny, why did you have to do it the hard way, the Melbourne method? If you'd done it the quick way with Hugo – fishing the world for lucky people, then arranging things after the fact (in his case planting The Numbers after he'd won the lottery with them) – he would've been just as hooked. But the Melbourne method – involving Libby before he won the lottery, rigging the lottery so The Numbers would hit when he and nobody else played them – is just so cruel and long, it means you must have picked him out long ago, Johnny. He must already have been special. But we didn't know this until you revealed Elizabeth's meeting with Desmond.
And that revelation calls into question the whole idea of picking out lucky people like Jack and taking advantage of their recent past. Now I have to wonder again whether Sarah's cure was rigged as the lottery had to have been. But Johnny, you know a “force” is not the only way to do magic tricks. Just because Damon used a force on Charlie R. doesn't mean you had to do it with these characters. You didn't have ready made Penn & Teller props this time, so convenience was not the reason, and I know lack of imagination was not either. So I must look deeper into motivations, and that will require more show.
You were lucky that the smart one who thinks he knows how TV mystery writers write fell for the trap of thinking Kate was acting with Desmond in the bunker the same way she acted in the bank job. We now know that Desmond was not acting, and the whole to-do with them and Locke and Jack was sincere, which means the terminal was simply “broken” by remote control. If his gun had not gone off when Kate hit him from behind, some other excuse would've had to be manufactured for the equipment's appearing disabled. And he could have killed someone with that gunshot!
We see now that Desmond was gotten by the same means as the Losties -- knocked unconscious in the Pacific (probably by a boarder), then taken halfway around the world. And Kelvin really existed. But does the chain go back farther? No, because I don't see how Kelvin could have been made to drag Desmond off the beach, nor to put on the charade about the biohazard, while being as innocent as Desmond. We did not get enough of his activity in Iraq to determine his role there, but I have to mark him as a shill on Poo with this evidence. So Radzinski either did not exist or did not match the details given by Kelvin.
Presumably Kelvin was tailed to the USA by Elizabeth, and we have reason to think she and Charles Widmore were acting together. This is the second bit of clear evidence of knowing antagonists in Lost (the previous being Goodwin vs. Nathan), because I can't realistically rationalize Libby and Penelope cooperating. At least one side knows about the other side, but both sides act with more knowledge than the Losties or the TV audience. It will be interesting to identify the sides as evidence accumulates, but for now I can't even tell if Goodwin was on Libby's side and Nathan on Penelope's, though that's the way I'm leaning.
Desmond's meeting Jack in the stadium must also have been rigged rather than being researched after the fact. I can't tell whether Penelope was responsible for that or not, although I think not.
Kelvin's death was real and accidental. I don't see how it could have been rigged or simulated under the circumstances. Desmond was supposed to be allowed to see his boat and know it was sailable or practically so, but Kelvin wasn't supposed to die in the process. This leads me to believe that Kelvin was to have been Kate's contact after she entered the Hatch, and that Kate's scream then on meeting the unexpected Desmond was sincere. (She does have a good scream, doesn't she, Johnny?) Meanwhile the timer was adjusted by remote control so that Desmond just missed 0:00, giving him a demonstration of “system failure”. This depended on Desmond's not having a working watch. His not having an independent way to tell time also means he could not contradict 9/22/04 on the Pearl printout as the day of “system failure”. We don't know how long the Losties were “out” between flight 815 and their waking up on Poo.
Elizabeth (the boat, not the character) had to have been rigged to get Desmond back to Poo. Of course if he's in the Atlantic thinking it's the Pacific, he wasn't getting to Tahiti anyway. I think he was towed in the other direction when he slept. Not by a yellow submarine, I hope. But he had to be kept offshore until Libby was out of the way, because that meeting (on top of the previous one with Jack) would have strained his credulity too much. However, they had not intended Libby's death at the hands of Michael.
Ms. Clue gave Michael his final exam, and he flunked. No way they intended him to kill Ana Lucia or Libby. Shooting himself might've won him a few points for subterfuge, and he scored well on motivation, but not enough. It does not suit their purposes to have someone who shoots his way out of situations like that. They'd hoped he'd've done something more devious. So he was let out of school. He could be allowed to reach land in Nigeria or intercepted at sea, but he's gone. Most likely outcome for “Walt” I see is getting back to his real family after this acting gig.
You said that from the final episode of season 2 we would learn what happened to flight 815, but you didn't say how we would learn it. You gave us the answer by giving us Desmond's full name, Desmond David Hume. When the smart guy wrote to you last summer on figuring out that Lost was an adaptation in theme of Watchmen, he said the resulting questions, such as of epistemology, would be very heavy stuff for TV. He didn't know you would present it in such a manner that it would provoke laughter and serious thinking at the same time. By invoking David Hume's very name (and as Charles Widmore said, his "sentiments"), you reminded us of his critique of inductive reasoning. Humean philosophers in the age of virtual reality machines have put forward an example of the sort of pathologic reality he warned of: a device whereby someone was in complete control of someone else's experience. Under those conditions all our observations about cause & effect would come to naught.
And so it was in the Swan bunker. All of the machinations were really controlled by someone else remotely. Pressing the button, or not pressing the button, did nothing unless the real unseen controller wanted it to. I'm sure Henry Gale told the truth that he didn't press the button. (He probably didn't even go thru the trouble of crawling thru the ducts.) And it was all for show. That magnet was Looney Tunes powerful, but still couldn't pull down a plane.
In the process we learned of the symbolism of the snowman riddle. It's another way of putting the situation posed above. The snowman doesn't know he's an artifact, his nose made by someone. He thinks the smell of carrots is a reflection of the outside world. But he's wrong.
We also learned that at least some of the dynamite from the Black Rock was real. And we learned why Sayid's line to Jack in using a piece of the “wreckage” to attempt to cut into the wall of the Swan, to the effect that it was made of titanium, with practically no magnetic attraction, was included. The clue glared in the rerun. Johnny, did your director know?
The real John Locke thought God could not make the world as in the Swan bunker, to mislead. Your John Locke was just one snowman to another snowman, Desmond, in a Humean fun house. “I was wrong.” Well, yes and no. Locke was wrong that nothing would happen, but right that it wasn't as it seemed. And so false messenger Mark Wickman of the false god, tempted Locke to disobey real messenger Marvin Candle of the false god, resulting in the loss of Paradise. How convenient that the high magnetism that was turned on erased the video that Locke had brought in from the Pearl. In fact Locke's bringing that video cassette in there may have been the real cause of someone's switching on the Looney Tunes magnet. As the smart guy wrote a year ago, whatever was of significance under that Hatch, the evidence of it would be destroyed.
Todell in The Fuselage called attention to another bit of Biblic parallel which may be even more fundamental to Lost: the hardening of Pharao's heart by the Lord to show people what happens next, so they would tell of it to others. And when you go naming a character Penelope even I tune in to the Greek symbolism, but tdciago in alt.tv.lost has done so much more thorough a job at it, I defer to him. Still, at least I caught the white screen when the key was turned as alluding to the end of the next to last chapter of Watchmen with its white frame. At that time the Hatch cover was flung skyward by AC induction using the same solenoid that with much less DC going thru it attracted the flashlight Locke tossed to Boone. And you give us another Illuminatus! allusion: Sayid's surveying the statue “ruin” from his boat the way Hagbard Celine looked at the ruins of Atlantis from his sub. That makes Jin your Howard the Dolphin, being interpreted by Sun just as Hagbard's ship interpreted to & from its dolphin guide. I suppose the statue itself could be considered by some an indirect Watchmen reference via “Ozymandias”, but not even the smart one would take the connections that far.
But Illuminatus! is not the only novel to be honored recently on Lost. You also have a whole Atlas Shrugged thing going there with Henry Gale, whose name so closely resembles that of John Galt. We could fairly say that John Galt was from Wisconsin, and the persona adopted by this Henry Gale was from the neighboring state of Minnesota. Both characters were held captive, and each wound up helping his captor with some technical difficulty they had with their respective equipment. John Galt believed in deals, and Henry Gale told Michael he keeps his bargains. The plot surrounding Henry Gale hints at Poo's having the same condition of being hidden from the world as Galt's Gulch, and the obliquely depicted light and sound catastrophe following Desmond's turn of the key recalls the terrible sonic weapon in Atlas Shrugged.
The smart one could have run out the clock at half time, but chose instead to take that long shot which we now have reasonable assurance (To the extent this show ever gives any!) missed, reducing his percentage. But now he has to account for the great swiftness and specificity of the recent visions received by Mssrs. Eko & Locke regarding events we were shown unfolding. Mr. Locke and Rose he has committed to explanations of involving surgical implants, but with all the dreams going around on Lost recently (Charlie's was another), would the smart one assume they all had surgery, as at least one other poster at alt.tv.lost has guessed? The opportunity presented while everyone was unconscious. I think, however, that would make for such inelegant plotting that you would not resort to it. Therefore we must fall back on the clue given by the sign on the hospital door, “Magnetic Resonance Imagining”. Losties are being informed, or disinformed, via direct wireless transmission to their brains, without the intermediation in other than Locke's and Rose's case of an implanted receiver. [snipped] has invoked the work of MichaelPersinger as precedent, although he is not the only one to have explored such methods, whether by microwave, UHF, or long wave. I first saw it footnoted in DC comics, and then we heard the accusations about the US embassy in Moscow. Of course you would use such methods, Johnny.
But why use one method to get into the heads of some Losties, and another method on others? It's not for lack of directionality by Magnetic Resonance Imagining, because they were able to beam into Charlie's head without anyone else in his sleeping area reporting a similar dream. Seems they can point & shoot, and even find their target at night. So I conclude that this method was developed recently, while they had been relying on receiver implants as recently as Rose's surgery.
I also appreciate the self-referential promotions of Lost. The audience is being worked on with the ancillary material the same way the Losties are being worked on by their own exposure to the ostensible Dharma Initiative, with the same combination of confirmation and denial.
I agree with all of the above observations by Dr. Einstein save for his snide characterization of me and one other item. I see a way that Penelope and Charles Widmore could have been on the same side. If, rather than actually helping Penny detect an electromagnetic anomaly, the workers in the cold weather station were actually among those to be deceived, to provide “evidence”, then there would not necessarily be any cross purposes between Libby and Penny. Suppose for instance Desmond had been used as a dupe in a plot where phony evidence was first planted in Iraq. Penny's letter to Desmond reads suspiciously like the sort of thing that would have a meaning hidden from the audience but known to Desmond, wherein he bears the weight of knowledge of some terrible weapon he'd uncovered and disobeyed orders to cover up. But Penny might well know it's all fake.
It is too early to commit to such an explanation of events and motivations, but not too early to bring it up as a possible loophole from the conclusion we are led to otherwise about there being (at least) two knowing sides behind the scenes with Penelope on one side and Libby on another. If that opposition is thusly explained away, it might not be too hard to explain away the Goodwin-Nathan affair as the termination of a free agent. It would be interesting to reveal in flashback that one of the characters had filled the role of intrepid and ruthless investigator Rohrschach, but had been eliminated earlier in the plot. Stephen King would get a chuckle.