Analysis: Lost in My Thoughts: A Lost Dissertation – Season 6

Plot: All is laid on the table: the candidates are named, we learn about Jacob and MiB, we see the last of The Others being killed in the Temple or led astray by MiB and then killed by Widmore, Desmond arrives and goes between realities, Sayid turns evil, but turns good and dies, along with Sun and Jin, Claire returns and is crazy, and finally, Jack sacrifices himself for the Island and Hulrey becomes the new Jacob with Ben as his number one. Oh yeah, and the sideways/purgatory universe

Themes
God is Fallible/Man is God – Jacob, the “god” of the Island is caught up in his own flaws and imperfections. He was not the chosen one and he took up the mantle of guardian more out of obligation to his Mother than anything else. He even gets called out on his mistakes by both Sawyer, Kate, and Ben in the final episodes. He probably doesn’t know much about the Island past what Mother told him and he freely admits that he created the Smoke Monster. And later, when Jack and then Hurley take over the Island, we don’t see an instant transformation, a gift of knowledge. Instead we see them acting the same as they did before, with maybe the bonus of being immortal. Even the gods of Lost act like mortal men.

Mother Issues – We see it with Mother and Jacob/MiB. We see it with Crazy Claire. For most of its six seasons, Lost was all about daddy issues, but in its final season, it flipped the script and used mommy issues to drive most of the narrative between the good and evil, black and white sides that made up the conflict in this season.

What is Happiness? – We thought the sideways universe was an alternate universe where the characters got the chance to lead happier lives. Or perhaps it was a fake universe created by Smokey in fulfilling his promise (like to Sayid) to give these characters what they wanted, but with a Fautsian twist. Even the final reveal that it was a purgatory of sorts still asks this question: What is happiness? The sideways universe was a construct of those people in that universe. So why was Kate still on the run? Why was Jack battling daddy issues again? Why was Sayid still a killer? They had what they wanted: Kate might have really been innocent this time around, Jack had a son, Sayid could be with Nadia, though she was married to his brother. The reason why most of the sideways universe stories had a little kink in them is like why in the movie the Matrix the machines explain why they could not build a utopian world for the humans to live in the Matrix: humans reject that because they could not imagine a life that is completely happy. Likewise, in the sideways universe, characters had a semi-solid foundation of happiness (Locke is with Helen, Ben can be a father figure to Alex) but their issues, the ones they can finally admit to, manifest in this “dream” world and force the characters to confront them. It is only after they do and realize who they really are can they be one step closer to happiness and the white light.

Not coincidentally, Island Desmond thinks the sideways universe is his utopia (since he was able to see it while still alive). But Jack tells him that escaping there is not the answer and Desmond needs to live his life with Penny and his son. And what spurs Sideways Desmond to gather the Oceanic people and show them the way? His meeting with Sideways Penny and the realization that his perceived happiness in the sideways world is just masking who he really is: Penny’s soulmate and someone devoted to her, no matter the circumstances.

Letting Go – The last episode basically is a testament to the idea of letting go of your neurosis, of your worries and enjoying the life you have or destiny. Jack both embraces his messiah complex and lets go in finally sacrificing himself for his friends. He knows who he is and does not run from it. A similar catharsis is seen when Sideways Jack meets his father. He lets go both of his daddy issues once and for all and his desire to “live” in that fake universe. We see it in other characters as well: Locke lets go of his need to be in the wheelchair, Said lets go of his belief that he is a killer, and so on. Let go and move on is the sentiment of the final episode and could be extended to earlier episodes as well.

The People In Your Life Who Have Touched You and You Have Touched Are The Most Important – Long title for a theme, but like It’s a Wonderful Life, Lost’s final message is that no man is an Island and his influence on others and their influence on him shape the world we live in. The Oceanic 815 passengers needed each other to become whole. In the real life and the afterlife. Their bonds were strong. And maybe it is only at the end do we realize how important the people we come into contact with are. But when we do, it is sudden and it is like a light dawning. And it is good.

Mysteries
What Did the Nuclear Bomb Do? – It did not create the Sideways Universe. Rather, it did what Jacob’s final words echoed (“They’re coming”): it brought those who were stuvk in 1977 to the present for the final confrontation with Flocke.

Who is Real and Who is Fake in the Sideways Universe? I think it is safe to say anyone on Oceanic Flight 815 is real in the sideways. So Ana-Lucia and Arzt. But Baby Aaron would not be real, because though he was technically on 815, he was not “aware” of anything that happened on that flight or on the Island, being too young to remember. He is simply a construct in the sideways universe to help make Claire remember who she is, as previously mentioned. On the subject of children, David, Jack’s “son” is not real and is merely a construct used to help Jack resolve some of his daddy issues.

Additionally, anyone who spent a lot of time on the Island or had a profound experience on the Island and had contact with the Oceanic people were real: Juliet, Desmond, Penny, Miles, Charlotte, Daniel, Mrs. Hawking, Charles Widmore, Ben, Alex and Rousseau. The maybes out of this group are Ethan (in Claire/Kate’s tale), Keamy and his crew (in Sayid and the Kwon’s stories) and Dogen (appeared in Jack’s episode). Everybody else is a construct.

The Light at the Heart of the Island – What is it? Intense electromagnetic energy. That is why only Desmond could uncork it and survive.

Who was Mother? – Mother raised Jacob and MiB and wanted MiB to be the guardian of the Island. She spoke Latin and killed their real mother. It is implied that she had lived on the Island for a long time but was not the first guardian. She, like Jacob, probably saw her death coming.

Would MiB really destroy the world if he escaped? – Probably not. Remember, Mother told this to Jacob, to get him to protect the Island. It may have been a lie so that Mother could both keep MiB near (being her favorite. “Don’t let him leave me!”) and enlisting Jacob to succeed her. Mother may have felt that Jacob needed a “Villain” to keep him motivated. Over time, this statement becomes “fact” to Jacob and drives him to get candidates, which he then tells about how hell will come if Smokey leaves. The candidates, not knowing any better and seeing Flocke kill and manipulate, believe it. If you take a step back and remember the theme of “God is Fallible” it might be a sly commentary on religion as a whole: we, as man, take things at face value or hold onto beliefs for so long that they become “truth” and, ultimately, it doesn’t matter if it is true or not.

What Happened to the Man in Black in the Cave – Since Jacob could not directly kill his brother, due to the rules set forth by Mother, the Cave may have transformed MiB into the Smoke Monster to circumvent death. Mother did tell Jacob that going into the cave led to a fate worse than death. I think Smokey proves that the warning may have been true if you were a chosen one. Something similar almost happened to Jack: he was spit out of the cave near the spot Jacob found his dead brother’s body, but he did not turn to smoke, possibly because the light had no completely recharged or because he was back to being normal at that point, having passed the torch to Hurley

Side note: In a script, MiB’s real name was revealed to be Samuel. The producers decided to keep his name a mystery to add to the drama.

And that’s it…at least for now! The epilogue found on the Season 6 DVD of Lost, titled “The New Man in Charge” actually sheds more light on some of the subjects touched upon in the dissertation. I won’t go into that now, as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Suffice to say, I was right (and wrong).

I want to thank Life After Lost for linking to my posts. For one day out of the week, this blog was popular! 🙂

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3 Responses to “Analysis: Lost in My Thoughts: A Lost Dissertation – Season 6”

  1. Doug Says:

    Beerman,
    You are welcome! I used to do a podcast called All About Lost and this would make great material for that! Would you be interested in podcasting this with me or letting me use some of the material? I sorta promised my listeners when Lost ended that I would do a themed based podcast or two on the whole show and viola I found your posts. Sometimes “we should not mistake coincidence for fate” – I am sure you know where I got that quote from.

    TLE/Doug
    Life After Lost blog
    All About Lost podcast

    • Beerman Says:

      Feel free to use this material in your podcast! I would be honored. Let me know when you are thinking about doing it, and if I have some free time, I will “call in.” Never done a podcast before, so it will be interesting. But either way, you can use what I have written.

  2. Analysis: Lost in My Thoughts: A Lost Dissertation – Season 6 (via Creative Bender) | Life After LOST Says:

    […] Plot: All is laid on the table: the candidates are named, we learn about Jacob and MiB, we see the last of The Others being killed in the Temple or led astray by MiB and then killed by Widmore, Desmond arrives and goes between realities, Sayid turns evil, but turns good and dies, along with Sun and Jin, Claire returns and is crazy, and finally, Jack sacrifices himself for the Island and Hulrey becomes the new Jacob with Ben as his number one. Oh … Read More […]

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