Sunday, 31 January 2010

Lost - Do We Have Unreliable Narrators?

Recently I watched (or rather, I listened) the Lost Season 5 Boxset audio commentaries. The one that concerns me is Episode 1 - "Because You Left", written and narrated by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.

Damon, left, Carlton, right.

This commentary had a good flavour of the three sides of the D&C personality:

- humour (discussing Pierre Chang moving off-island and founding a chain of restaurants)
- informative (that the episode is actually a flashback and flashforward, as it is Chang/Mile's past, yet Faraday's future, relative to the "core" story - an idea I had never pondered)
- reality (that the episode had to be written in such a way to both wind-down from Season 4 and begin the ending of Season 5 all at one time)

(well, I suppose both of the last two are informative, so perhaps call the first one "Entertainment Information" and the latter "Real Life Information" - I don't know, now is not the time for syntax!)

Now, I have heard many hours of D&C - podcasts, interviews, commentaries, etc - and they always help inject humour and reality into Lost, taking away from the seriousness of the hardcore theories. But beneath this veneer of the helpful adults, guiding us children through the puberty of the seasons, I can't help shake the feeling that D&C are unreliable narrators.

As much as we like to believe there is an almighty attention paid to the details in Lost, I have to wonder - do D&C (&JJ Abrams) actually have ALL the answers? Heck, do they even have more than we do?

I can buy that they had the main plot points in mind when they began this adventure, but so much has come to pass that undermines their credibility that I find it hard to even believe them now - the fact that Ben was originally written as such a small role, their persistent promise that Lost would not become a sci-fi show/that there would be no time-travel (throws up the question - can we believe them when they say "They aren't all in purgatory"? Always good to stoke those flames ;) ).

And what of Penny. Was she seriously written with such mystery, simply to be killed off. The many, many promises of Penny, Walt, etc coming back and finishing their arcs. There is so much unanswered, and that will probably remain unanswered, that D&C frankly don't seem to care for answering - I have to wonder, are we all watching the same show?

Anyway, these aren't particularly new topics of discussion. I'm sure you have asked these questions a hundred times yourself - and you'll find no answers here folks, just something to chew on and keep in mind going into Season 6.

(Also, listen to the commentaries - good entertainment :) )

((A couple of specific points - I received my first Season 6 SPOILER!!! (I will explain it at the END of the post - it isn't dramatically huge) in this commentary. Also, D&C go into a lot of detail about things we should all be aware of - a lot of the "rules" of Lost have never been explained or shown to us by the writers, simply theorised by the characters - ie a lot of the things we take as fact, especially a lot of Faraday's musings (Desmond being a wildcard, Whatever Happened, Happened, detonating the atomic bomb being a GOOD thing) shouldn't be taken as fact, it is merely another human's theory, no more fact than our own theories. Keep that in mind as we try to digest and dissect Season 6 together))

(((Season 6 SPOILER!!! - Jack will take a much more active role in Season 6 - D&C: "We decided to let our main character (Jack) take a break in this Season, considering what is going to happen in Season 6" - I'm paraphrasing, but that is what I got from the commentary)))


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