Friday, May 1, 2009

A Lost conversation


Between two guys a hell of a lot smarter than you (me and my buddy James). He found some faults with my post about Lost on Wednesday. I am posting the (basically) full back and forth. Feel free to read and be amazed by our Lost acumen (unless you are one of those Lost freaks in which case we probably sound like idiots). Enough parentheses for you? You are about to enter a Genius-at-work zone.

For sake of fluidity James is in normal font and I am italicized

James
hey dude, i like the idea that lost has been all about motives...but don't you think you stopped 1 huuuuuge step short of what daniel's motivations were?

Why stop the hatch being built? Why stop desmond from failing to button push? Why stop oceanic 815 from crashing? Why stop his crew?

To save Charlotte! Forever he is like "yeah you cant change things," and then Charlotte dies, and he goes their all misty eyed telling baby charlotte to get on a boat and leave. It seems like at the very least he doesn't want her to get that time-travel sickness disease(possibly by avoiding the magnetic energy release).

And I guess I don't agree with the Daniel's mom motivation part. She has it in her memory of killing him. The one way to truly stop this from happening would be to ensure he doesn't go back to the island...and yet she convinces him to go back? And the exchange between her and Widmore, "He's my son too." And a HUGE slap in the face? That said to me, "don't pretend like this is as hard for you as it is for me." I don't think she'd be so touchy about it unless she knew that the worst would happen...but she knows it has to be done(or has at least agreed with Widmore that it must be done).

Channelup
Yeah I like your thoughts. And I like you. Lost has done it before where a character appears to die but actually does not (Ben Linus) so I wonder if Daniel is really actually dead and that Daniel's mom has something else going on. Why else send him to the island? What exactly has he accomplished so far there except to explain to all of us some secrets about the time travel aspects of the island? Maybe that was her reasoning, "The viewers wont get anything about this show if I don't send my son back to the island." But what else has he done exactly? I think he must be still alive and have some greater purpose to achieve. Am I missing something there? Maybe he has done something that I am forgetting.

Remember earlier in the season Charlotte (before she died) told Daniel that he had been there when she was a little kid telling her never to return to the island. So that still happened and he couldnt change it. Maybe his death serves a greater purpose. But remember too that Widmore has been sent away from the island against his will. He obviously understands Daniel going back to the island (he sent him there). Isnt Widmore's motivation to get back to the island (or to never have leftin the first place)? My head is spinning. this is one of the problems in trying to post quickly after an episode, especially problematic with Lost because it is such a mind-F#$%.

Also about Charlotte. he has known the whole time that she has been on the island. why not do something before the sh#t really hits the fan? Its cant be like he just noticed her all of a sudden. She told him she had been on the island before as a kid. God time travel is such a disaster.

I still think the most intriguing part of this show is the group "What stands in the shadow of the statue?" group that tried to get Miles to not go to the island and was with Locke, Ben and co. Who are they?


James
I personally think daniel is dead. I think the idea is that he hasnt accomplished anything yet, but he was the one person who might have the potential to actually change something. I think the big "point" of his character was to show the futility of trying to change such a major event...and actually to promise us that the whole show will not wind up being a "dream" that can just be erased by a well-meaning time traveler.

But the appears to die isnt actually dead stuff drives me a little batty. I think it's okay in the past tense sense...like of course baby ben couldnt die because that would completely rewrite history(and indeed, Ben follows the course of his life because of getting shot...Sayid unknowingly gives Ben the opportunity to become bad ben by having him be brought into the jungle as opposed to stopping bad ben from coming into being). But when people die in their "present" as Faraday would say, I think it's a little soap-opera-ish to have them zap back into reality. Of course all we know is that faraday has been shot. No one has said "yup, Daniel is dead." so you might be right in that maybe his mother sent him back there knowing that he wuold get shot, be hurt long enough for the cataclysmic event to take place(thus the hatch still exists, oceanic flight 815 lands, etc), but he winds up recovering and making some important contribution. Hmm, in writing this I might have talked myself out of Daniel being dead altogether. What a great show.

I do wonder about Widmore's motivation behind really wanting Daniel to go back. Part of me thinks that they just feel Daniel needed to die to keep the island as is. the other part agrees with what you are saying, that perhaps daniel going back will somehow impact the future of the island and make Widmore be able to return.

So I just thought of a fairly wild idea. As viewers we are meant to look at time this way: 1970s dharma is the "past", 2006 is the "present," but time travelers will experience wherever they are as their own "present." Like Jack's life experience starts in 1978, follows time consistently until 2006 when he goes back to 1973..but as far as Jack's perception is concerned, time has elapsed for him in a straight line.

Now, what if 2005 isn't the "present" at all? What if Widmore and/or Eloise's life experience starts in 1950, follows regularly until 2020 and then hops back to 2005 in a way similar to how Jack and the gang head back to the 1970s? Could this be what eloise means when she says "for the first time, I don't know what will happen next"(that is an approximation of the quote). Or they could have gone back and forth a few times, seeing a few different outcomes based on different ways things play out(i.e., if Faraday doesn't go back to the Island and die, the island explodes and destroys all of australia). We have seen a few people hop back and forth through time rapidly(when the island was off-kilter), but what if that ability were harnessed, or at least stretched out longer than it was for Sawyer and company? I can see in that case people feeling like they could alter one significant moment here and seeing the past and future as much more tenuous than Dan does. We watch the show from the perspective of the oceanic survivors, but it seems possible that they are not the only people who have shifted through time.

No idea on the "what stands in the shadow?" folks. I know I will be excited the next time a "Previously, on LOST" segment starts with that exchange between them and miles!

Alright, spent a solid 25 minutes writing a LOST email. Time to go try to be busy.

Channelup
I do it all the time where I think one thing and then by the time I am done explaining my reasoning behind the idea I have half convinced myself of the opposite theory. I tend to think Daniel is still alive only b/c lost didnt show his buried body. Until that point I will hold out hope for two reasons:
1. He is the only guy who has a clue about what is going on that seems willing to share information with others (unlike Widmore and Linus who are maddeningly cryptic)
2. He is just a really likeable character who adds to the show in a way few other characters can because he has this psuedo nerdy innocence that plays off the brashness and directness of charactes like Jack, Sawyer, Miles really well


I absolutely love the time travel part of Eloise and Charles in that their reality has skipped through a bunch of different times. Although i will amend it by saying that their knowledge of the future/past is now limited because either
A. Something that we do not know about has actually altered what they know as reality or...
B. This is when their knowledge of the time runs out. Like as an example Sawyer (if he were to stay part of the Dharma Initiative) would know everything that happened on the island right up until 2004? when the Oceanic flight originally crashed and then after that he would say the same thing as Eloise, "for the first time I dont know what happens next."

This may actually have been what you are saying originally but the time travel thing is so hard to harness even in just conversation. All in all I think Lost has handled it reasonably well but if we find out that time can actually be altered then all bets are off.

Another thing that has been interesting about this year from a production standpoint is that the writers have fractured the storylines and arcs to such a degree (purposefully I am sure) that the characters are working completely independently and it is easy to forget how it is all interwoven. Like for this last episode we totally forget about Locke, Ben and company. Also consider this: Eloise and Widmore seem to have felt as strongly about Daniel returning to the island as Ben and Richard Alpert feel about Locke's importance to their overall mission. I wonder how those two end games are interconnected because obviously Locke has a mission of his own. (basically given to him by others) Also while everyone keeps telling Locke how important he is as a way to motivate him, that was not done with Daniel. I dont necessarily think Daniel is as important as Locke, but I am sure there are parallels there.


More to come if James writes back
.

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