Monday, May 11, 2009

Lost and the Dumbest Plan of All Time

So, about Lost.

First off, why do people not seem to be complaining more about The Dumbest Plan of All Time (DPAT) being hatched and inexplicably agreed to by Jack, Sayid, Eloise and Richard Alpert? I mean, it sounds cute and all, don't get me wrong. But Jack wants to "avoid all the suffering of his past three years", by doing what exactly? By killing himself in 1977. So even if his plan works -- which is a ludicrous leap of faith that you and I both know the character we learned to accept as "Jack" over the past six years of our lives would never, ever, ever be willing to make -- he will avoid all that three years of suffering, by surely killing himself now. Be standing right next to a frigging H-bomb when it detonates.

And yet you read around on the intertubes, talk to people, and this isn't bothersome to anyone? I mean, I get it, Jack has changed, Jack is now the "man of faith". But come on people. I'm having the same kind of moment here that I was having when Jack explained to the rest of the Oceanic 6 on Penny's boat why they had to lie and claim that no one else survived the crash. He's sitting there explaining how everyone will come searching for their friends and trying to find the island and how awful that will be, and I'm just sitting there thinking "Idiot! I just watched the island -- blip! -- disappear out of thin air, and you're worrying about other people finding it? That you have to lie, or people will know what? No one else knows about the island, and there's that little thing that it just up and vanished like a fart in the wind, right before our eyes." Well, that's me again now. Jack wants to save his last three years of suffering, by ending his life entirely back in 1977. That is just to really, really hopelessly dumb and not believable, that I just don't have a clue what to do with it.

And then Eloise goes along with it. Eloise, who believes as much as (or more than) anyone in the magic, the specialness of the island. Eloise who seemingly conceived her baby with Charles Widmore on the island. Who spent some indeterminate but not insignificant period of her youth living on the island. She loves that place, and she has seemingly devoted her entire life to studying it and doing things related to it. But now, in 1977, it takes how long for Jack to convince her to blow the whole place up, pursuant to the DPAT? Two minutes? Three? It's ridiculous.

Richard Alpert I might give a little bit of a pass to in going along with that plan, but only because he is magic and I'm betting he either (1) already knows what's going to happen here, and/or (2) knows that the island will not be destroyed by this move. But there is no way what we know about Richard would be ready and willing to go along with a plan that would be sure to destroy the island in 1977. And make no mistake, no matter what flavor of reality the Lost writers are going to try to foist upon us in this week's finale, the real truth is that a hydrogen bomb detonated as close to the surface as it took these four human beings to swim through, would completely destroy the island and surely sink it right into the water. But I'm betting Richard knows that isn't what's going to happen here, or he would be trying to stop the DPAT rather than going right along with it.

Sayid is obviously being a jackass in going along with this plan, but Sayid might just be desperate enough and sick and sad enough to do it. He's lost his life's one love, he's been betrayed by Ben into becoming a serial murderer several times over for no real purpose at all, he's just tried (and learned that he failed at) killing Ben back when Ben was a child, and he's recently been drugged and tortured by the Dharma Initiative as he has now been forced to relive his shadow of a life back 30 years before his time. It's dumb as fike, but maybe I'll give Sayid a pass too, on the theory that he knows how dumb this is, but he just doesn't care. Jack and Eloise, though, the writers get an "F" for convincing me this week that either one of those characters would actually go through with the attempted destruction of the island like this.

So what's going to happen ? Well, a few things.

First, I don't know. I mean, I have no effing clue whatsoever. How could you? They've taken this show in so many new and unpredictable directions just this year, that I wouldn't put anything past the writers of the show, in particular heading in to their last shot at a truly mind-blowing, last-you-another-nine-months season finale where I betcha they really try to knock our socks off.

I do think it is likely that the foursome now standing at the base of the Jughead warhead will find some way to detonate the device in furtherance of the DPAT. With the way the Lost season finales have gone in the past, they're not usually introducing a whole new plot line one show before the finale, only to have it be abandoned the very next week. Especially considering what a horrible job the writers did of creating a believable, sensible, logical (even for this show) story line to get us to the point where the people we know are going to try to blow up the island, I say there is just no way they go through all that trouble just to not have it play a major part in this week's ending to Season 6. So they're going to do something with that bomb, you heard it here 182,356th.

I highly doubt the bomb ends up going off at full blast, though. They could go down that route, make the island destroyed back in 1977, and then I guess just focus next year on the future (2004/2007) timelines where I suppose the island could still be in existence, on some different branch on the space time continuum ($5 on the over/under as to whether or not the word "continuum" is used at all during Season 7?). But I don't think that's as likely as the notion that the four of them figure out some way to release some of the energy stored inside that warhead, and probably do some solid damage to somebody or some thing as a result. At this point I just don't know how I can ignore anymore the fact that the Jughead is already buried underground, that we know there was an incident in this spot on the timeline that caused major fallout on the island, took Marvin Candle's arm and much other badness, and we also know that in 2004, there was this button that had to be pushed every couple of hours or else we saw the very bad,and very real, results that ensued. I can't help but connect the dots here. I think it's likely that this week we will see the four DPAT characters collaborate to move the bomb through the tunnels to under the Swan station, and then somehow do something with it to set it off in some way. Exactly what happens to intervene and cause the bomb not to unleash its full destruction on the island remains to be seen. Maybe Richard does something to protect the island. Maybe the island does it itself. Maybe there is a way for the island to "freeze" time over the explosion of the Jughead and allow the tremendous energy released by the detonation to be "leaked" out every 108 minutes by the push of a button that somehow releases such bursts in amounts not lethal to the island's remaining inhabitants? Who knows. And how it happens isn't as important, really, as the fact that it does happen. I think there's a high likelihood that the bomb gets moved under the Swan, and ends up being the very incident that keeps being referred to over the past several weeks.

All this said, they've been dropping hints for a while now that Jack might not survive this trip, and I don't foresee him surviving next week's show, at least not in the form we know him. Ben was very clear to Jack when they returned together to the island Ajira airlines that this would be Jack's last trip to the island, and that he would not be returning. Even Jack has seemed to accept that this is where his story ends, not back in 2004 where he truly has no one and nothing of real value. So I'm guessing that Jack perishes next week, at least in the meaning of that word in island terms. Eloise should not die, as we've seen her repeatedly as an old woman in the future, and we know Richard is around in the 2000s. Sayid, I don't know, and frankly I'm not sure if it matters if he is alive or dead at this point, does it? But my guess is that Jack dies in the Season 6 finale coming this Wednesday night.

A few quotes I keep thinking back to as I look ahead to the end of this season, which people don't seem to me to be making a big enough deal about. First, last week, 2007-Richard walks into the area with Locke, Sun and the rest of the Others and says something like "Whoa! I just saw all of your [1907s] people die." I've seen and heard theories over the past week that this wasn't that important, or that Richard might be lying, or flat-out mistaken. I don't get it. We've seen Richard about a hundred times on this show now, and while I won't deny that he may be opportunistic -- independently suggesting to Locke that he have Sawyer kill Locke's father, for example -- I don't think we've seen him lie or be in any way disingenuous with anyone of the Losties yet. Take it from me -- and this is something I imagine we will see clarified this week -- Richard is not lying when he says he just watched all of the 1970's Losties die. I betcha he did. I bet it's related again to the fallout from The Incident, that is likely going to be the direct result of the DPAT detonation of the Jughead under the Swan station. Maybe all the people at or near the bomb die from the radiation or other fallout from whatever detonation they do manage to set off. Maybe they find a way to direct the radiation in a certain direction or to certain people. Maybe the detonation throws everyone within close range hurtling through to various points in time during the island's history -- Locke back to Egyptian times where Richard came from, eventually leading to the Egyptians building the four-toed of him way back when, Jack to 1996 when he serves as one of these Christian-type reincarnated apparitions with increased awareness of the island and its secrets, and Richard forward to 2007 where he is with Locke, Sun and the Others. I don't know the details, but I believe Richard 100% when he says he just say the 1970's Losties die, and I bet that sight plays a major part near the end of this week's Season finale.

The other quote that keeps coming back to me as I look ahead to Season 7 is back earlier this season, when they flashed back to when Naomi first recruited Miles to join the freighter expedition to the island. He's like "Why me?", and she pauses before explaining in very matter-of-fact terms that "there are a number of deceased persons living on the island we will need your assistance with" or something to that effect. Deceased persons living on the island? And a number of them? I mean, we have long suspected that Jacob is some sort of non-corporeal spirit, perhaps of someone who was formerly alive. Christian we are told was dead as of the pilot episode, but has shown up every season in some form, talking to people, helping them along their way. So we know of at least one and potentially two "dead people living on the island". But a number of them, and living there back in 2004 when the freighter was first sent to find the island?

To me this strongly suggests that we're going to get one or more people island-dying on the island back in the 1970s, and potentially still there as similar such incorporeal spirits for the future. Jack is the most likely candidate, as they have written his character more or less out of the story here in Season 6, and making him alive as a spirit on the island in 2004 with some foreknowledge of things and working with Ben and the Others would certainly be a way to make him interesting again. And try as you might, you just can't ignore the Jack - Jacob name tie, can you? Sayid is another person who could be island-dying here along with the Jughead incident in 1977. Like Jack, we don't see him playing any major role in the future back on the earth other than being tricked into coming back to the island in 2007, where the ultimate future could lie for the former torturer, a murderer many times over with also no ties to anyone, no family or friends that we know of. Richard and Eloise seems to have major contributions still in the future as people with actual bodies, so somehow I suspect they do not suffer this fate, but I'm thinking the Jughead / Swan Incident is going to island-kill some of the Losties this week and lead to some serious clarification regarding people like Jacob and others like him for the final season next year.

Also, they could not have been clearer in the scenes from the finale that Sawyer is right there on the island with his friends, so since he ended last week's episode in the sub, some shit's surely gonna go down with him in short order next week. My guess is that he knows the sub stops at the Looking Glass station when it departs, and he will plan to bust up out of there at that time. Hopefully when he does he will find a way to do it without letting Kate or Juliette disembark, thereby saving the two women he loves from the horrors of the Incident, and also sparing me from having to see one more sad-scared-jealous look from Juliette's annoying mug and any more of the strained relations between Sawyer and his beloved Freckles. But Sawyer will be back on-island for the Incident as well, which could always prove to create some fireworks depending on what his plan is. If anybody might know about the tunnels, the temple, the Swan and where the Jughead is, it could certainly be the former head of Dharma Security for the past three years, so if Sawyer wants to he might be able to get himself damn close to the action underground when the DPAT comes to its much-awaited conclusion this Wednesday night.

Oh yeah and one more thing, I was speaking with someone this weekend who pointed out that they said in the scenes for the finale that "the action starts at 8pm ET", not specifically that the finale begins at that hour. So with Lost, you never know what that means. Originally I thought "oh cool, a two-hour finale next week!", but the more I think about it, the more likely I think it may be that we're in for a 1-hour finale from 9-10 ET, preceded by one of those famous Lost moves -- either the feared "Lost for Dummies" clip show, or maybe a "Pop-Up Lost" for all those people who haven't watched the past 102 episodes and want to know everythhing that's going on heading into the finale and only have about 42 minutes of actual television time to learn it all.

Good luck on that one.

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Blogger Chris said...

The final is 3 hours long (8-11)
There's a 1 hour "clip" show starting at 8, and the final episode starts at 9 and goes to 11

10:38 PM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

Ever since Faraday returned it seems like they are hurrying to get things wrapped up, and its kinda making me crazy.

Eloise shooting Daniel bothers me a lot. Dont pop out and say "hey, here i am, drop the weapon" just shoot to kill. Makes sense.

Will she be judged for that?

11:13 PM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Jack is not thinking straight, but not (I think) for the reasons you are putting out there. He's falling for variable time theory instead of closed loop, and he's doing so based on Daniel's say-so.

If you believe in closed-loop time theory (which Daniel did), then you believe that time is a constant, and your efforts can't change what is to come, but only bring it about. This theory pre-supposes that, if you move back in time to the seventies, it means that you were there in the seventies. This isn't some new different 1970s, one in which you were there. Anything you do is what you did. It's hard to think this way because we live linear lives and DON'T jump back to the seventies. But the fact is that whatever actions you take are the actions you always took. They can never result in a different "future", they can only result in the future that you came from.

If you believe in the variable option, then you believe that there was a 1977 that didn't include you, and, now that you've time-traveled back to 1977, there is a 1977 which is a new thing, because now you are in it. Therefore, whatever actions you take can change what happened. Daniel I think made himself believe in it because he lost Charlotte. Jack believes in it because he lost almost everybody who survived Oceanic 815. So, if you blow up the island in 1977, then it can't have an electromagnic anomoly in 2004 that makes Oceanic crash. You're not buying that as Jack's motivation, but is that because you don't think Daniel explained that process sufficiently? Or is it that you don't think the show has presented Jack with enough reason to want to try to change the "future" Oceanic crash?

In any event, the problem is it creates a paradox, because if Oceanic doesn't crash because Jack blew up the island, then Jack never went back to blow up the island.

Therefore, Jack is wrong. But I think it's pretty clear that losing half the main characters and all the redshirts weighs heavily on his mind. If a variable time travel law is in effect, you could conceivably stop the plane from ever having crashed.

6:06 AM  

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