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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Lost: OMG Charlie WTF!

Scuze the l33tspeak, for some reason this morning I had a bizarre faux conversation of how the average internet forum reaction to Charlie's behavior in last night's Lost would read. Something like "WTF troll! OMFG get yer own damn kid." came to mind.

Again, this episode felt a little like a lull to me. If I had missed it, I don't think I'd feel the pain too much next week. That said, I'm still glad I didn't miss it. For one thing, there were some great lines ... the best is when Charlie complains that Kate can see a horse and nobody blinks but when he has something weird happen, it must be ... well, the horse (as in heroin). The love triangle stuff is always so-so. Big net debate this morning seems to be whether Locke is moving in on Claire. My only response is ... who cares, there's a freaking invisible evil smoke monster with steel claws on the island. Or something like that.

Granted, I think there is no doubt that if I were on the Island ... I'd be the one freaking out. A lot.

Also, I'm a little cranky that American Idol ran over House for the second time in a row. So wrong on so many levels.

However, there was something important about this episode I think. It's what Charlie himself pointed out ... what happened to him isn't at all odd. Jack sees his dead father. Sawyer swears he recognized that boar. Kate sees a horse. Sayid and Shannon see Walt. And that's when they were awake. Hurley has a dream about an English talking Jin and a man in a chicken suit and now Charlie has a near biblical epiphany while apparently sleep-kidnapping. So seriously, WTF? Let's not ignore Locke's mysterious ability to walk ... which can apparently leave him just as mysteriously.

What can happen here? The Island, or it's keepers, is clearly capable of bringing in wild coincidences, from getting people on the same plane to crash on the same island as other people to finding random snippets of film. People can see and touch things we should assume would previously exist in their head (Jack's dad) or maybe even someone else's head (backward talking Walt ... which begs the question ... why backwards?). People can have powerful dreams and even be influenced to perform certain actions while dreaming. Oh, and if Michael and Charlie are any indication ... all of this could drive someone really batty. Let's not forget that Kate was acting odd before her equine moment.

Course, many of these things are similar in nature. Jack's dad, Sawyer's boar, Boone's Shannon, Kate's horse, Charlie's angels (sorry, couldn't resist) and even if we toss in Michael's text conversations ... are all key icons in the main issue of their specific life. In fact, the only one that comes to mind who doesn't fit is Walt appearing to Shannon/Sayid ... which might be why he was talking backward. He was a mixup, or came from a different source ... but the wires got swapped on his A/V connection or something.

The question I've got is ... is there a real difference between Kate's horse and say ... the Nigerian drug plane? Did maybe both of these items get spirited to the Island not for seperate reasons and seperate means ... but the same reason and the same mechanics?

Not sure where that long winded diatrabe was going. It sounds like I suspect Scotty is in some hatch beaming stuff all around. And who knows ... maybe that's right...

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Clamatius said...

I know what you mean - it was reminiscent of one of the "filler" episodes from old X-Files where nothing really significant happens. Here all the drama was created by Charlie rather than the island & associated mysteries.

I'm not sure I really buy his behaviour where he sets the fire and runs off with the kid, either - it just seems too weird a thing to do.

I still don't have a theory that makes sense for all the weird things happening. The only one that I did was that they were all lost souls in Purgatory, atoning for whatever they'd screwed up before the crash - but then I read an interview with one of the writers who said the characters aren't dead.

Maybe that writer was lying to screw with us. Who knows?

Anyway, if you've got a Grand Unified Lost Theory (GULT?) let's hear it. :)

Josh said...

GULT, like it. Nah, nothing edging into unified yet. I had a long conversation with someone last night who was also stuck on the purgatory notion, despite the producer/writer rebuff on the idea.

My problem with the notion of purgator is that both Shannon and Boone died and yet were fairly opposite. Boone had made a decent peace with his past while Shannon seemed still in a lot of conflict.

I kinda go with the that it's a utopian expirement gone horribly wrong. The Skinner references would support this, and it fits into some of the "good/bad" dichtomoy as well. Still, there is a huge swath of unknowns to bubble underneath that ... like what the evil smoke really is, how people vanish in thin air, how such grand coincidences get pulled off, etc...

I do think Zeke's group is not what we've been lead to believe. I think there is something more hidden and more malevolent about the island, and I think Zeke's group is almost as much at conflict with it as Jack's. Mostly that's a hunch, but there seems to be a distinction between modus operandi ... and Zeke did say they were having a misunderstanding.

Clamatius said...

It's the supernatural stuff that makes most conventional "real-world" theories go straight in the trashcan for me. The numbers. The smoke monster. Visions of the dead. And so on.

There's also some incredibly unbelievable happenings (surviving the plane crash, for starters) and coincidences (Virgin statues). Those can fit with a real-world theory but it isn't a good enough fit imho.

Another theory is that they're just making it up as they go along and there _is no_ GULT - I'm pretty sure that one of the Alias writers said that in the past about writing for Alias - and I know they have a bunch of the same people on their writing staff.

Josh said...

Supposedly JJ has "learned" from Alias, and so some of those things won't be repeated. They were rumored to have about three seasons outline when the pilot aired.

But you know, I think someone said that about John Doe ... and I swear that show was written by a drunk in a bar an hour before the film rolled.

They're definately walking a line. Supposedly, they're going for the "explainable" once all the "facts" are out. But I'm not sure how much that can be true.

I mean. We have a horse. Appearing in a jungle. Because it appeared in someone's memory. That you can touch.

It's like they're using God's Xerox machine or something. There might be a more Cartesian Demon approach going on ... where not everything on the island is as real as it seems, but it's indiguistable to the inhabitants regardless.

Not that such a thing is terribly technical possible either. Especially not with 60's technology and that music collection.

Still, I do get a sense of cohesion that I don't normally get with this kind of show (John Doe), so I'm willing to stick it out and try to put the clues together.

Clamatius said...

I know what you mean about John Doe. Started out looking potentially promising and then rapidly disintegrated - you could almost see the writer behind the scenery scrumpling up his script and then fishing it out the wastebasket. Threshold was a similar recent case.

Oh, thinking about it, I don't think that the Boone/Shannon thing swings it one way or the other. Bear in mind that Purgatory might have an up door and a down door. :)

The horse is by no means the only phenomenon - there's the polar bear from the comic, too. The whole thing is full of this stuff. Note that lots of it happens _before_ they get to the island, too.

60's tech? Ah, it's really tech from 2350, retro-stylized by your C. Demon. :P The "supernatural demon" kind of explanation I regard as a get-out-of-jail-free, it-was-just-a-dream way for a writer to get themselves out of a deep hole - and as such I call shenanigans. I'd be sad if that was their eventual explanation.

More likely is that they'll plow the show into the ground long before they give any real explanations out and so it'll stay a mystery. Always keep 'em wanting more, and all that.

Josh said...

Threshold was a similar recent case.

Yeah, I don't quite remember the precise moment when The Girl and I looked at each other and just sighed ... but after that we simply stopped watching Threshold.

Bear in mind that Purgatory might have an up door and a down door. :)

Sure, but I guess I don't see where Shannon fits either way. She was still definately in limbo. So if it's purgatory, it's being rather capricious.

The horse is by no means the only phenomenon - there's the polar bear from the comic, too.

Right, and Jack's dad and as I wondered in the post, maybe even the Nigerian plane. It's getting harder to determine what isn't phenomena at this point.

I regard as a get-out-of-jail-free, it-was-just-a-dream way for a writer to get themselves out of a deep hole - and as such I call shenanigans. I'd be sad if that was their eventual explanation.

Depends on the build-up, I suppose. Can they produce enough "evidence" to properly suspend disbelief, facts that fit with what they've shown before?

Or will there just be a little man behind a curtain, pulling a lot of levers and cackling as polar bears appear in front of people...

I mean, some of these things ... like polar bears and planes ... could be fabricated. Once you've taken the mind reading leap, it could be as simple as a great stageshow...

...except for Jack's dad. That's pretty hard to re-create without Jack being somewhat responsible, I'd think.

The other odd one is Sawyer's boar. Something which didn't take the "appearance" of something he knew, but still seemed like something he knew.

I gotta say though, that if they move too much into a religious explanation ... well, that seems like just as much of a copout. Depending on how much mythology they adhered to, I suppose, but it could easily just anything as just "God did it".

More likely is that they'll plow the show into the ground long before they give any real explanations out and so it'll stay a mystery

With it's ratings, we'll at least get the three seasons they had supposedly mapped out.

If we get into Season Four, and stuff just isn't getting answered, I'll probably stop watching at that point.

On a side note, I'm beginning to be reminded of Philip Jose Farmer's The Dungeon.