Monday, October 24, 2005

Are you LOST? You should be.

Ok, surely by now you’ve heard the brouhaha about the television show LOST. And hopefully, you’re watching it. It’s a second season show, that has been an enormous hit. It has a very broad fan base, and has sparked plenty of “official” fake websites (for organizations and companies mentioned throughout the episodes), and discussion forums where people debate and discuss every tiny detail imaginable. This television program actually makes you think…how often does that happen with tv these days? Now, don’t worry…you don’t *have* to think if you don’t want to. You can sit and wait week by week as more things are explained, and more questions are brought up, and ultimately (hopefully), everything wraps up.

The basic gist is this: There was an airplane crash (or was there?), although the airplane was off course, so they don’t know where they are, and the plane broke into pieces and crashed into an island (or is it?)….only, decidedly NOT a deserted one. Even since the miraculous (?) survival, several more people have died. Those remaining have found caves to stay in, and a small group took off on a raft.

Ok, so that’s about the briefest overview possible…crash, dig in, try to escape. However in addition to this “normal” shipwreck storyline, there’s a lot more to learn and explore on this island. There are “Others” who we think are bad guys (although…are they? Are they the good “others“ and there are also “bad“ others?). There’s Danielle, the French chick in her own little world who definitely comes across as a “crazy” guy, if not a bad guy. According to her, the Others took her daughter, who was born 16 years ago (when Danielle’s crew was on the island ) There are also…polar bears. Yes, polar bears, on a tropical island. And…random plumes of black smoke. There’s a shark with a logo on it, and a hatch with decades-old computer equipment, but a state of the art washer and dryer. Are you intrigued yet?

A couple of our “lostaways” came upon the hatch in the ground in the middle of the jungle… Nothing strange there, right? Big metal, windowed, metallic thing buried in the ground? So, our fearless “hero” (unless he’s a bad guy and in on it all) decides to try to get into it. Somebody dies before the hatch gets opened, and the first season ended RIGHT before we could get a look into the hatch, and right after the boat-people (the Others?) took …someone… off the raft that left the island.

Now we know (or do we? Basically all we really KNOW is what we see happen with our own two eyes on the island, and even THAT can be misunderstood or faked as well) that “everything happens for a reason” but what does that mean? Does that mean that everybody is *here* for a reason? A specific reason per specific person, or just some vague idea of a “reason” for people to be there? Have the characters been guided and directed to being on that particular plane knowing that the "crash" would take place? Are some of the people we think of as peripheral characters in flashbacks really the powers that be? The producers have “officially” debunked the hell/Purgatory idea, so supposedly the lostaways aren't trying to make their way to Heaven, Dante-style. They've officially debunked some other theories as well.

All that we think we know within this show, we have to question, since we haven’t yet established which sources are reliable. The flashbacks (each episode is “someone”-centric, and focuses on that person’s flashbacks) could be “tweaked” to the point of view to the person in them, and who knows who’s telling the truth when someone says something on the island. The flashbacks chosen could also just have been chosen to show some small part of a character, while actually misleading us to the personality as a whole.

Now that the hatch has been opened and we’ve seen the orientation film explaining the experiments that are supposedly taking place, here or elsewhere….can we believe it? Is it a plant? Is the hatch-dweller telling the truth about his experience? Do they really *have* to push the button every 108 minutes to prevent something drastic from happening (Oh, and for those of you who are fans, and have made it this far, you might appreciate this link) And why the emphasis on “pushing the button” rather than inputting the code?

Now that the raft people have returned to the island (it *is* our island right?), what are we going to learn about the Others that the rest of the lostaways have encountered?

Don’t forget the whispers in the woods, the significant numbers, the hatch dweller meeting a lostaway in the past.….the drug plane, the recovering drug addict who just found the stash, the handicapped man who was able to walk as a result of the crash or the island….and more.

Who is connected to whom? There are an awful lot of possible connections to be made back in the "real world." We see some characters in each other's flashbacks in passing. Are any of them actually significant in the earlier lives of other lostaways? Could any of them have a hand in what has happened here on the island, and what is going to continue to happen?

Tens of millions of viewers can’t be wrong (ok, so they COULD be, but we’re not!)

Now’s your chance to catch up…there isn’t another new episode for two more weeks! The first season is available on DVD. It’s also being made available for purchase, along with the second season through an offer from ABC, Disney and Apple. You can download past and current episodes from Apple’s iTunes Music Store. The current episodes will be available to purchase the day after broadcast.

Get watching! Get LOST!