Monday, 29 March 2010

Lost Blogging Collective Q&A - Week 8

As we reach the halfway mark of the final season of Lost, we also reach a historic period for the Lost Blogging Collective. When this whole thing began, my aim was to bring together a few, maybe 3 to 6, of my favourite Lost bloggers in order to chat Lost and share our opinions and theories.

That number rapidly expanded to the point where I made it my goal to achieve Lost number 16 members - that goal was met 3 weeks ago. Since then, the numbers have grown even further to the point where we now have 23 full-fledged members! So everyone, please welcome AJ into our fold.

Over the next two weeks, I aim to produce a Weekly Website review of each member's blog to show my appreciation for their support. I will also be moving away from finding other Lost blogs for your viewing pleasure and instead concentrating on my own blog. With 23 LBC members and over 100 links for our latest Round-Up, I have no intention of increasing my workload even further to try to reach 42 members. However, with that said, if anyone, Lost blogger or not, wants to join in, it is never too late. Email me at for details.

For now, I will be going on holiday soon, so expect Week 9 to arrive a little later than usual - however, it will feature a bumper 4 questions for you all to enjoy, so check back next weekend. In the meantime, there will be several Weekly Website and Lost Polls being posted by the Blogger auto-bots while I am away, so check back daily for your Lost dosage!

Now, onto the Q&A. Questions first, Answers second.

Question 1 - After 6 years of the writers insisting that the Island was neither hell nor purgatory, and that the survivors were not dead, would you feel betrayed if indeed it turned out that Jack etc ARE dead and ARE in hell/purgatory? Or would you be okay with the deceptive long-con, so long as the final episode is a good one?

Question 2 - It is impossible to know who to trust, what with the many manifestations of the dead, and shallow promises being made by all sides, so I will boil this whole thing down to one test to find out who you believe - was the Isabella that Hurley saw the real Isabella, or Jacob, or Smokey?

1) I would not be angry or feel betrayed; I seriously don't think Darlton owe us anything, and the fact that they've doled out their ideas and thoughts through the years is a bonus. BUT, I would personally be disappointed as I think the show has dwelled far too securely in exemplary shades of grey to embrace the notion of a hell or a pure good and evil. The Others like to throw out terms like good and evil, but we know darn well from watching LOST that there are no such absolutes. Take one look at the handling of the Ben Linus character to see where the LOST writers stand on these matters. So while good/evil and heaven/hell are convenient terms for characters within the show to use when labelling things with their own personal world-views, I would not be happy to see the show itself sink to that kind of simplicity. Regarding the characters being dead, again, it wouldn't be a betrayal (the ride's been great and I expect the end will be equally grand no matter how it pans out) but being dead already would just be too simple and/or obvious for a show that's been hinged on the unexpected.

2) It's the actual Isabella. Maybe there's a leap of faith component in believing that, but really I try to think there actually IS some sort of method to the madness of all the visions/manifestations seen on this show. It wasn't Jacob because even if Jacob at one time had the power to give people visions, he's dead now. I believe that despite Jacob being able to tap into the Island's power in life, dead is dead for him like everyone else. All he can do now to sway the tide of events is talk to Hurley. It wasn't the MIB because: 1) The visions the MIB imparts (like the one to Richard on the Black Rock, and I'm guessing the ones to Locke to get him to the Swan and Pearl hatches) INTERRUPT real life, while Hurley went back and forth conversing between Isabella and Richard; 2) He didn't have Isabella's body to physically transform into her and take her appearance as he did with Chrsitian, Yemi, Locke, and Alex, and even if he did, Ilana tells us he's stuck now; 3) He seemed pretty damn pissed at the result of Richard's conversation as he turned to the camera! So were left with her being either a "Magic Box" style manifestation (like Kate's Horse or the MIB's bloody-handed Kid) or an actual dead person talking to Hurley (like Charlie, Anna Lucia, and Jacob). I say no to the Magic Box here because it would be weird for the Island to pull something from Richard's subconcious and not let him see it, so that leaves us with it actually being Isabella. Some speculation included, but a pretty deductive process! At this point in the game, I think the obvious answers are sometimes the better ones! Now here's hoping the show will give us the last few connecting dots to help us match all of the Island's visions/dreams/aparitions with their proper sources once all is said and done!

Bonus Tangent related to Q2 - On my latest blog entry I tried to categorize as many of the visions/dreams/aparitions on the Island into the categories discussed in my Q2 answer. The one that intrigues me the most is Harper appearing to Juliet in 4.06 (The Other Woman). We've really never seen this precise kind of behaviour from an Other before, and I really don't see how Ben could have sent her, so part of me thinks it would be cool if this was Juliet's subconcious testing herself via the Island's Magic Box. She knew about the Tempest station because of Goodwin, so maybe her subconcious brought Harper out to test her faithfulness to the Others and to ultimately allow her to finally reject them... Feel free to publish that last tidbit or not, it's just a thought that came to me when writing about the MIB's Kid being a "Magic Box" manifestation from his own subconcious.

1) I wouldn’t feel betrayed. I’ve been aware of the long con concept of the show since the beginning so I don’t think I’d be surprised. I have been one to gravitate toward the metaphor layer of the story and can see that a few of the castaways feel or even perceive they are “dead” and are in some type of “hell” and being punished. I for one am glad the writers have been able to keep the rabbit in the hat all this time, and whatever the reveal is I know I will be pleased.

2) Isabella could have been manifested by anyone of them. The “Island” presents “dead” people and items whenever the castaway in need seems to require it. But the scene with Hurley telling Richard that Isabella wants him to stop the MIB from leaving the island may be hinting to Jacob’s handy work there. Who knows… maybe Hurley is more directly involved in the game than anyone realizes.

1) I would probably be incredibly angry at first if it came to be that the characters were actually dead. Though I don't believe that they'll go that direction, I would most likely forgive them if the ending was, indeed, epic.

2) I believe that it was Isabella for the same reason that I believe it was Charlie that visited Hurley at the mental hospital. Though I can't begin to explain Hurley's ability to communicate with the dead, I believe it is a genuine gift and that Jacob is Jacob, just as Isabella was Isabella.

1) I think that if they end up being in hell/purgatory, etc., I will end up feeling a little bit betrayed.  It will just depend on how they play it I guess.  We have come to put our trust in them so much and they have been good about showing the fans of the show respect and love in return.  I guess for them to be playing us all along would hurt a little.  Having said that, I do not think that is what is going to happen.  Carlton has said he wanted the MASH ending, which was a very happy one IMHO.  I can't see a happy ending being that they are all dead and in hell.  That is what I am hoping for anyway.

2) This question kind of ties in to them not really being in hell in my opinion.  If they were in hell and everyone was dead, then why would Hurley be the only one who could see or talk to Isabella?  If they were all in that realm, wouldn't they all be able to see and talk to dead people?  Therefore, I think Isabella was dead and Hurley was communicating with her as only he can do.  Not Jacob and not MIB, in that instance.

1) Lost has always been about the journey, so the revelation in the final episode that all those characters were dead since day one would definitely be a big disappointment. That said, I don't believe for one second that would turn out to be the case. The island has been their own purgatory since they crashed. Every single fan has been emotionally invested since the beginning in those characters, watching them evolve throughout the seasons, and rooting for them to defeat their own demons from the past and earn a second chance in life. So to find out after six years that they are indeed dead and what we have been watching is just those people trying to earn their ticket to heaven or they were already in hell, wouldn't sit well with me.

2) I think Hurley definitely saw the real Isabella. The scene at the end of the episode with Richard was pretty emotional, so if that was Jacob's manifestation, then it would be downright creepy and maybe a bit of cheating the audience and lessening the overall emotional vibe that scene had. We can also assume that it definitely wasn't Smokey, due to message that was delivered to Hurley. But to me the real mystery is still Hurley's gift and how he is able to see the dead people, why exactly they choose him and is there any Jacob's influence behind the 'timing' of those appearances.

1) I really wouldn’t be that disappointed if the island was Hell. This has been such an awesome journey and I trust Darlton. But having said that, Jacob said that the island was more of a cork which was keeping Hell, Evil, or whatever you want to call it from escaping this prison. So I still think that Darlton’s 'The island is not Hell' still stands.

2) The Isabella that Hurley saw was a Ghost. **POTENTIAL SPOILER REMOVED - SEE END OF POST TO READ, IF YOU DARE** Also Hurley would have been able to tell if it was MIB or a ghost and he acted as if it was a real ghost.

1) I would be pretty pissed.  I wouldn't have a problem with the Island being Hell, Purgatory or anything like that if it wasn't categorically denied.  But since they went out of their way to assure us that it wasn't, well... we've based all of our theories around that assurance.  Darlton could have easily said 'no comment' to our theories that the Island was Purgatory, that's what they usually do.

2) I think the Isabella Hurley saw was the real ghost of Isabella.  If Isabella isn't real then that would mean that Hurley's power is pretty much meaningless.  We'd have to ignore all of Hurley's conversations with the dead. 

I don't think it could possibly be Smokey masquerading as Isabella.  Hurley has been seeing dead people for a while now, some of those rendezvous with the dead have occurred off the Island.  Mr. Smokey can't get off the Island.  Plus, what does Smokey have to gain from convincing Richard not to join his, Smokey's, side?
And I really can't imagine what would make Jacob want to use Isabella's image to influence Richard.  He could have just appeared as himself.

1) You know, I was just chatting with someone about this today and they said, "So, IS the island purgatory?? Because if so, that would suck." And I said while I'd be surprised if it all came down to something the fans had figured out by episode 4 and the writers had been denying by episode 5, if it's handled well, I wouldn't be upset at all. It could come off as perfect television if it was so well crafted that you could see the seeds of it right from the beginning. These are the same guys who said there would never be time travel on the show, so I don't look to their dismissal of the idea as canon. What I do look to is the fact they've carried this show beautifully for five and a half seasons, and if anyone can pull off the island being purgatory, they can. It's always been a great theory, despite being one of the first, and I wouldn't be upset at all by that. (I'd be a little sad that the characters are all dead, obviously...)

2) I believe that the Isabella that Hurley saw was the real one. That scene at the end with Richard not seeing her but so desperately wanting her to be there was SO powerful, so beautiful, deep, and rich, that if it turned out to be nothing more than a manipulative hallucination the power of that scene would be completely erased. And I just don't see that happening. We've seen such lovely romantic moments in the series before -- think no further than Desmond and Penny finally connecting by telephone, or being reunited on the Searcher -- and I've suggested from the end of season 2 that maybe it'll all come down to some sort of "all you need is love" thing, and if that's the case, then I believe what Hurley saw was the real Isabella. Man, just thinking about that scene makes me want to cry again!! 

1) I don't think conning a viewer is cool, but I guess that's always a possibility. I still don't think Lost will go the route of Hell or Purgatory because I don't think anyone on the island that's supposed to be alive, isn't. I would feel completely betrayed, let down, and every other word for that kind of feeling if we find out otherwise. I'd probably go the length of not even purchasing the show on DVD if this were the case.

2) I vote real Isabella. Could be any of those choices though, as both Jacob and Smokey seem to be able to read the mind of a character, and know their whole past. 

1) My answer is that I would be very upset if it turned out that all of this has taken place in hell/purgatory, even though this makes me a total hypocrite. I have said all along that however the writers want to end the story is fine with me, because it's really THEIR story... however they choose to end it IS the proper ending, because it's their story that they are telling (these are conversations born out of the Battlestar Galactica finale, BTW).

The reason I would be upset is that the writers have point-blank told us that the hell/purgatory explanation is not where they are going with it. I don't mind when the writers are vague or misleading in their communications with the fanbase, but I wouldn't like being outright lied to.

2) I think that was almost definitely Isabella that Hurley was talking to. Hurley has shown the ability to talk to dead people before, both on and off the Island, and I think this was just another example of that.

To me, the bigger question is whether that was really Isabella that Richard was talking to on the Black Rock. He was talking to her right in front of him, but then we heard the tell-tale sounds of Smokey outside... have we ever seen Smokey be in two places at once? Hmmmm....

1) A part of me would be unhappy that this was the theme all along...still hoping for something a little bit more "unexpected". But, in keeping with "You're good (audience) but we're better", if they had to "con" us to have the story 1) be on network TV, 2) to have us remain interested and enjoying the other aspects of the show, 3) not be spoiled for us, and 4) the writers staying true to what story they want to tell... then I can cut them some slack. It's LOST, after all. :)

2) I think that it was Smokey that had Isabella show up on The Black Rock, to lure Richardo. But with Hurley being so close to Jacob now, I'm leaning towards Jacob being responsible for her showing up in 2007. Two players, two sides.

1) I don't know exactly how it would work, but if the writers could properly pull off a Purgatory storyline, I think I would love it now. Ask me this question in Season 3, 4, 5, then I would be royally P--ed off. When Naomi landed on the Island and started telling them all that they were dead and on the ocean floor, I was pretty much screaming at my TV, feeling robbed. Got to keep in mind that, at the time, I was reading every interview, featurette, DVD commentary, podcast, etc that I could get my hands on. This year, in order to avoid spoilers, I have distanced myself and, looking at the actual show without thinking about the behind-the-scenes stuff, I would totally buy into a Purgatory/Hell storyline, if it was done to the quality of the past 5 seasons-worth of storylines.

2) Oh, it's a toughy. I'm regretting asking that question now - my opinion has flip-flopped between Jacob, real Isabella, and even at times thinking it was Smokey.  In order of least plausible to most, I'd say Smokey (because he has some master plan), real Isabella (because she loves Richard THAT much) and Jacob.

To be honest, why in the heck would Isabella want Smokey dead? The real Isabella had nothing to do with Jacob and, if we have learned one thing this season, it is that both Jacob and Smokey are master manipulators. Smokey has already killed Jacob, so now it is Jacob's turn. I highly doubt Richard (even combined with Ilana, Hurley and Miles) has the skill-set needed to kill the Smoke Monster, but I'm sure Jacob has some kind of plan in mind. So I guess what I have learned from this Q&A is that... I don't trust anybody anymore, not even Hurley. Chances are it was the real Isabella, and he just added in that "kill Smokey" message of his own accord. If so, the signs are pointing towards Hurley becoming the next Jacob/master manipulator.


**POTENTIAL SPOILER** - "Darlton stated at Comic-Con that Jacob does not take the shape of anyone."

Sorry for removing, but I personally feel that counts as a spoiler and don't want ANYONE to have ANYTHING unnecessarily spoiled for them. :)



  1. My favourite pair of Answers comes courtesy of Nikki - the Time Travel lie is a good call-back, and the "all you need is love" theory is a lovely one, one of the nicest and most positive.

    A close second and third place for Q1 goes to Karen (SIA) and Izi - I too would be upset as they could have just said "no comment", but I don't believe that is the ending they are going for.

    Second and third place for Q2 goes to Sagacious Penguin (for the long thought out conclusion - I love me some long posts!) and Helena for the, very correct, words "downright creepy" xD

    As for everyone who mentioned Hurley's "ability" to see dead people off-Island - I always thought that was his hallucinations, like Dave, as opposed to the actual dead - like, WHY would Eko be playing chess with him from beyond the grave?

    Opinions and debate, anyone?

  2. 2) I think that hurley saw smokey! Still dont know who 2 trust tho sooo confusing lol :) Cant wait 2 c the next episode :)


Leave feedback - both positive and negative are greatly received! =)