So, we’re a little more than a third of the way through the final season of LOST and like folks eying up their NCAA Basketball Tournament brackets, now seems like a good time to make some observations and predictions.
Overall, I’ve been really excited with this season. I think the “Sideways” storyline has been great and a great plot device complement to the flash-backs and flash-forwards of previous seasons.
The Big Dance
I think the writers have tried to set up a traditional good versus evil stance between Jacob and the Man In Black. And throughout this season, my thought was not necessarily Good versus Evil, but more Free Will versus Fate (or perhaps Order versus Chaos).
Jacob represents Fate. Remember, we saw him at the spinning wheel (traditionally associated with The Fates). He is the tinkerer. The scientist. He has gadgets like the Lighthouse. He has maneuvered his chess pieces (the Oceanic crash survivors and a few others, no pun intended) into place. The island is an experiment which has played out before, as when the MIB sees the Black Rock sailing towards them and accuses Jacob of bringing them to the island even though it “would only end in fighting, destruction and corruption as it always had…” I think that Jacob thinks if he can manipulate the pieces correctly and get the desired outcome, he can predict and thereby control human behavior – thereby making things better.
Of course, “better” is only a viewpoint of the person doing the guiding. If you’re having some near-omnipotent being nudge you to certain outcomes, that seems a little like slavery – that you aren’t necessarily acting of your own volition. The MIB is the answer to this. He is chaos and free will and randomness. For me, the great Locke-centric episode “The Substitite” was the deal-sealer here, when both MIB as Locke and Sideways Locke both exclaimed, “You can’t tell me what I can’t do!” In other words, I have free will. I’ll do what I damn well please!
So how will the Losties team up for the upcoming fight? I think ABC spilled the beans with the pre-season release of this promo pic.
Let’s look a little closer.
Is it an accident that all the “good guys” are on one side of the table and the “black hats” are on the other. Unfortunately for my theory above, this looks like a classic Good vs. Evil set up. The wildcards being Ilana and Richard on the “chaos” side. Perhaps their loyalty to Jacob is broken. Alpert certainly seems a little disillusioned with his former boss, don’cha think?
So, what’s with the sideways world? From comments from the creators, it seems clear that this arc is more than just a “see how things turned out if 815 didn’t crash”. In fact, I think this arc is “see how things might have been if Jacob didn’t start experimenting with your destinies”. At some point, the two arcs are going to collide – already some of the people can sense that something’s a little “off”. Oh, I think we can all be sure that in sideways LA, Jack is divorced from Juliet, and when she wasn’t home during her son’s piano recital (nice job mom), she was off having coffee with her new beau, Sawyer.
The Final Four, okay, well Two
Jacob needs a replacement. And I think that the MIB will have to be replaced too. Why? I’m not sure, but there’s symmetry to the proposition that I like. Two seasons ago, I would have said that it would be Jack and Locke, but no. The two antagonists that are going to take their order/reason vs. chaos/free-will feud into the next several centuries are Jack and Sawyer!
A couple of other things and questions:
I believe Ben’s redemption is real (and one of the most heart-rending scenes in memory – enjoy that Emmy next season, Michael Emerson), but because he’s been such a dirtbag for so long, he’s going to have to die. Probably at the hands of Charles Widmore.
Kate gets a big question mark on my picture because I have no idea which way she’s going to fall. Her position (if such things are to be believed) suggests that she’ll be in line with Smokey. But who knows – I’ve grown a little weary of Kate’s rugged selfishness… oh I mean independence — at everyone else’s expense and makes me miss Juliet.
Walt? Back or not?
Remember that giant bird that Hurley saw in Season 2? Think it will be back or was that a throwaway?
And if Jack and Sawyer become the new antagonists that mean that the cave people are probably Rose and Bernard.