Sunday, 28 February 2010

Lost - CaféPress Competition - Final Entrants List

Hola,

Just so you know, I have not forgotten about the competition! I am just clarifying with CaféPress how the winner can claim their prize... and to keep you all in suspense, I'm not going to announce the winner until that time!

The complete list of entrants are as follows. For those who entered the original competition ("How do you think Season 6 will end?") I have given you a bonus spot in the competition - everyone else gets one number. I will be rolling a randomly generated number in the next few days, and whichever one I roll gets the prize.

Entrants are:

1) RowanRaven*
2) Kelsi
3) random2502
4) Hyla
5) Michelle
6) ObFuSc8
7) Suzie-Q
8) sarah
9) Yuri
10) Anna N
11) anna
12) Fae V
13) iLostie
14) lucindaa
15) @fabro84
16) Erin
17) kaci jo
18) Sharon Rose
19) senyorcitoninja
20) RowanRaven*

If you believe I have missed you off the list - now is your time to speak up and make sure you are included!

Thanks to everyone that took part :) to tide you over while we wait to hear back from CaféPress, have a read of how RowanRaven thinks Season 6 will end, followed by what my answer would have been (had I not been running the competition myself!)

* RowanRaven: "I keep telling my fellow LOSTies that *everyone* will die. But, that's not what I want to happen -- I just think it would make for one unique and astounding television ending. No, it should not end as a dream, a la Bob Newhart, but instead it should end with widespread desolation and destruction. Okay, that's not very nice, I know! I see the ending as this:

The two divergent timelines are "healed" by something Jack finally does (not sure what that might be just yet). Most everyone else in "Original Flavor" Timeline will have died, including Sawyer. *sniff!* The loop finally stops looping; Jack's eye will stop opening (as it did in the Pilot of Season 1).

Oh! I could go on and on. Let's just say LOST is a tragedy, not a comedy, so it better not end with a wedding, dammit. Thanks for running a cool contest!"

Chris: "I would have Lost end in some way so that we could go back and watch Season 1 Episode 1 and experience a perfect cycle. I would have Hurley and Jack die - only to be reincarnated as the new Jacob and Smokey respectively, who would somehow engineer things to keep the "game" that Jacob and Smokey are playing going indefinitely, creating a loop, meaning we can re-watch the series again and again and feel like we are experiencing the one, eternal, storyline."


A Query

Which do you prefer:

The original font of typing, including BOLD, as well as italics?

Red font, also with BOLD, and here is how italics looks!

The darkest black, even DARKER with BOLD, but a bit lighter in italics!

Deep blue, deep BOLD blue, deep italics blue!!

Crazy purple, purple with BOLD, purple with italics!

Bright yellow, yellow BOLD, yeow italics!

Finally, dark green, BOLD, italics!



Help me pick the best colour please =) I trust your wise judgement.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Lost - S6E4 The Substitute - Analysis pt 3 - Bulletpoints

So, here we are at our final part of this Analysis: Bulletpoints. Please read the Theories and Episode Review segments if you have not done so already. These Bulletpoints are simply little details that wouldn't fit anywhere in either the Review or the Theories.


I'm Wondering, Fellas
If You've Heard The News


Off-Island
- Perhaps Locke just really likes the rain?
- The whole Locke/Helen/'Jack' scene was so beautifully one - expertly performed and brilliantly written, I just wish the writers could tie up all their loose ends in such a way (Walt, Libby). Here, the writers shrugged off the whole Locke & Jack connection in a simple and wonderful way - without the need to draw it out over 10 episodes, numerous flashbacks and multiple monologues.
- Did the 1977 Others have some mode of transportation (such as a boat)? Did the Island sink in 1977, or at another point in time (ie did the bomb cause the volcano to sink the Island in the 1980s, for example)? Finally, are the 'new' Ethan and Ben normal people in this timeline, or are they undercover Others? - These are three very related questions that should ideally be answered sometime soon.
- We really need to study Anthony Cooper's timeline and figure out how Locke can be in a wheelchair yet still have a relationship with this man.

On-Island
- Frank totally broke the 4th wall - he is like a Season 1-era Hurley, only far less subtle. However, like Ferris Beuller, his addressing the audience is forgivable.
- Smokey repeating Locke's "Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do" line (twice!) was a pretty cool moment, but totally left me all "WTF Mate?!"
- Finally, it has been said before, but the Ajira flight leaves me completely confused on all aspects. I am sure I'll need to re-watch several episodes to even begin to understand the entire timeline of events, but I wouldn't be surprised if there turns out to be more than two timelines running concurrently on the show. Even if this turns out to be the case, it still doesn't explain why Sun was left behind on the plane while everyone else flashed back to 1977. I could argue that she isn't a Candidate, but then neither is Kate, so that doesn't make sense. "WTF Mate?!"

Misc
- Speaking of the Locke/Helen scene, I really don't like Carlton and Damon written episodes. "The Life And Death Of Jeremy Bentham" was the perfect way to tie up Walt, and Abaddon's, storyline. I'm sure if the likes of Elizabeth Sarnoff had been the lead scribe, it would have been handled well. Instead, D&C dropped the ball completely. Even the highly emotional Ben-killing-Locke scene was a bit ridiculous. Ben saves Locke, just to find out that Locke has Jin's ring and knows Eloise Hawking's name, then kills him... yeah, what? Sorry, personal rant over - I just hope that D&C do not write the final episode. I have always been a bit hit-and-miss with whether I like the episodes they have wrote or not, and lately it has been no more than yes.
- On a more positive note, in honor of Sawyer's impromptu disco, all the titles across the three parts this week have been Iggy Pop lyrics. How many of you noticed? Leave your name in the comments section to win a NoPrize, but for now, it's time to -


Get Up
And Get Out

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Lost - S6E4 The Substitute - Analysis pt 2 - Episode Review

For this week's analysis, I have had to split my post into three parts - Theories, Episode Review and Bulletpoints.


Gotta Break It Loose

"The Substitute" wastes no time in providing great scenes to support my Nature vs Nurture theory. To surmise - I believe that this season, and in particular the 'new' timeline, has less to do with the practicalities of Destiny and more to do with the philosophical debate of Nature vs Nurture - whether a person's actions are defined by their surroundings, their upbringing and their peers (Nurture) or if we are all inherently born evil or good, if our soul exists deep within us causing us to act on an instinctual level (Nature). The two debates - Free Will vs Destiny and Nature vs Nurture - can be somewhat compared - is it our Destiny to live out our inner Nature, or do we have the Free Will to choose, to not let how we were Nurtured guide us through the rest of our lives?

For the first few episodes ("LA X" and "What Kate Does") I had firmly placed myself on the side of Nature in this debate. In Hurley I saw a man deeply depressed and putting on a brave show for the public, just as he had done in the 'original' timeline. I saw Kate, an angry and selfish murderer, Jack, a Doctor with a debilitating 'hero complex', Sawyer, always looking for the long con, and Rose, a woman I thought was lying to her husband about a terminal disease to save him from pain.

Upon closer inspection, I may have chose my side too early. In the characters Locke, Hurley, Rose and Ben we see good examples of Nurture being the deciding factors to our soul. This 'new' Locke - smiling face-down on the ground as the occasional cruelty of life rains down upon him in the form of a garden sprinkler, is smiling. He seems happy almost, able to take a look at his situation and see the humour in it. This is not the same angry-Natured Locke we knew before.

This time around, he has his Helen. He has a relationship, at least in some form, with his father. Fate seems to be stopping him from making bad choices - scraping Hurley's car, for instance - and rewarding him for looking on the bright side of life - with a new job. Although he still has his shortcomings, his feelings of shame, being unjustly put upon by life, his Nature to lie, he has been Nurtured and rewarded for leaving those bad feelings behind and trying to change for the better.

Instead of lying to Helen, Locke makes the choice, utilises his Free Will, to tell her the complete truth of his situation, of his deceit - leaving himself bare to punishment and rejection. Instead, Helen rewards him, Nurtures him, reassures him, and he goes on to a better job and with a happy wedding looming in the near future. Locke, it would appear, is a case for Nurture truly defining a person.



All Aboard For Funtime

Hurley, at least this 'new' Hurley, is the embodiment of a man entirely comfortable with his surroundings and his life. I take back what I said previously - perhaps in this timeline he is genuinely happy and lucky.


Rose, it would appear, has come to terms with her disease in a more open an honest way than she had originally. Perhaps her and Bernard were visiting Australia for some reason other than seeking a healer. She at least appears to be exuding a happy and accepting disposition, one she had not truly developed until crashlanding on the Island during the 'first' iteration.

And then there is Ben. Although we have yet to see for sure, and although 'this' Ben retains some of the 'former' Ben's needling, needing, whining personality, I would be highly surprised if he turned out to be a mass murderer. Sure, he is an annoyance - much like Dr Arzt, who I hope to see pop up in these school scenes - but does he really strike you as a psychotic fiend?


So the argument has now taken a turn to the side of Nurture. Perhaps Smokey is right, perhaps with the Island gone and Jacob being unable to meddle in these fragile lives, our characters can experience a better Nurturing, can develop into mature, healed individuals, instead of the broken, Lost men and women we have come to know. For now all we can do is observe.


Seize The World
And Shake It Upside Down



Back now to the 'original' timeline, where we find a humbled and beaten Richard. Like Dogen and the rest of the Others, it seems the more humanised Richard becomes, the more endearing his character truly is.

For some reason, being humiliated, beaten up and left in fear of his seemingly-immortal life helps Richard connect with us, the mortal audience, without taking away any of his mystery and intrigue. I sincerely hope we get to see more of him this season, particularly I want a whole episode dedicated to Richard. In fact, he is my Do and Don't wishlist for the rest of the series.

Do focus on the following characters - Richard, Smokey, Hurley, Libby, Miles, Walt, Charles Widmore, Christian Shepherd, Mr Paik, Ben, Desmond, Claire, Charlie, Mr Eko, Daniel and Vincent. Well, one can dream.

Don't both with Jin, Sun, Sayid, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Ilana and Frank - not that I think these are all bad characters, I just feel I have seen all from them that I want to see.

As much as this is my personal preference, from a subjective point of view these are who I think will be getting focused on before the end - Jack, Jin/Sun, Sayid, Sawyer, Hurley, Richard, Ben, Ilana, Jacob/Smokey, Miles and Claire, with perhaps an ensemble episode thrown in there somewhere. Let's see how accurate I am when the final episode airs, and remember I want to remain spoiler free - that includes information on what episode titles are and who they focus on, so please, don't leave any information in the comments section!


Nothing Less
I Don't Want Second Best



Now, it doesn't take the most expect sleuth to deduce that the scales appear to be depicting who was 'winning' between white and black. Black seemed to be slightly ahead of white, but all that subtlety went straight out the cave door along with white's stone. Smokey certainly seems confident that he has won and now it is time to claim his prize.

I don't doubt for a second that Smokey is entirely wrong and that Jacob is still very much in this 'game', so, with the obvious out of the way, here is something a bit less obvious to ponder. Compare for a moment the drawings in Smokey's tunnel lair with the list in Jacob's cave, and what do you notice?




It's 1969, Baby


Something I immediately noticed about the List was the absence of Kate, as well as the inclusion of both Pace (Charlie) and Straume (Miles), both scored out. Now, either this means that death is not the only way to be stricken off the List, else it means that Miles is, technically speaking, dead. At least a little bit. Hopefully this will be tied in to his 'powers' in a future episode, but for now it serves for some good debating.

Now, it is my opinion that neither Kate nor Sun are 'good' people. The likes of Jack, Sayid, Sawyer, etc have certainly been driven to do 'bad' things throughout their life, but each one of them have at least repented and tried to make up for it by doing good. Kate and Sun have not.

I have stated my feelings on this many times before, so for now I will simply say that I think Jin (or Ji Yeon) is the Kwon in question.

On another note, I have to wonder - do Jacob and Smokey make the trip down the ladder every time they need to cross a name off the List? I would have loved to have seen a spooky 'auto-cross' feature happen when someone loses Candidate status, but I guess these guys like their chalk.


Then again, if your main hobbies are playing centuries-long games and making epic tapestries, perhaps a long trek into a dangerous cave to cross a name off a List falls under the category of "fun"?


No Fun
To Be Alone



A lot of people seem to have a problem with Ben's eulogy. I personally found it very poignant and beautifully revealing. I have high hopes that Ben can still come out of this season a winner, a hero, or at the very least repent somewhat and side with the 'good' guys, whoever that may be.

Then again, his immediate reaction when confronted by Ilana is to lie. Nature vs Nurture rears its head again here as, no matter how many times Locke, Jack, Smokey, 'Alex', Alex, Juliet etc try to convince Ben to change, no matter how many times he is humbled, been manipulated, and appeared to change, his essence will always remain that of schemer, liar, manipulator and shock merchant - selling sensationalist statements, such as killing Locke, without any hint of context or explanation. I can only wonder how Sun, Frank and Ilana are feeling right now.

Probably the same way the rest of us feel - we all have questions, but none of us have the answers. We're all very much still Lost.


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Lost - S6E4 The Substitute - Analysis pt 1 - Theories

What an episode this turned out to be! Normally I would have wrote about half a page of notes - this week it totals 5! As such, I have decided to split this Analysis into 3 segments - Theories, Episode Review and Bulletpoints.

As a new feature, I am going to begin each analysis with my Crazy Lost Theory Of The Week. This week, however, there is a quadruple dose of crazy! First off, I am going to go completely out on a limb and predict my own theory for the finale of Lost - Lost will end with Hurley accepting his calling as Candidate to become the new Jacob and protect the Island from evil, led by the new 'Smokey' - Jack!

Well, okay, maybe not that crazy, but I certainly believe that out of all the Candidates, Hurley is the most likely to be selected as the new protector of the Island. To begin with, he has an obvious relationship to all the Numbers (and I for one am very glad to see them coming back into the plotline! They have been sorely missed).


The rest of the characters have nothing more than a fleeting relationship with the Numbers, for instance Jack being seated in row 23 of the original Oceanic flight 815 (even that is a poor connection, as in this 'new' timeline he appears to be in row 24).

More importantly, Hurley clearly cares a lot about every single person on the Island - he has gone out of his way to integrate everyone into the group, even the likes of Sawyer and Charlie.

Since the beginning of Season 4, Hurley has made it his determined mission to change his status from lovable liability (Charlie: "You're too big! You won't fit in the boat!") to caring colonel (Miles: "Hugo has assumed the leadership position, so that's pretty great."). I believe it is no mere coincidence that Jacob chose him to lead the Losties into the Temple. If anyone is going to be taking over from Jacob, it is Hurley who gets my vote.


Though I Try To Die
You Put Me Back On The Line



My second Crazy Theory is hopefully a point that will raise some discussion - what if we have it all wrong? What if Jacob is the real 'bad' guy, or my personal belief, maybe both Jacob and Smokey are aspects of the same being. Fishbiscuitland puts it very eloquently, the gist of which is thus - Jacob represents Satan in his traditional form (an angel who believes that free will, even if it represents making all the wrong choices, is far more important than fate, even if your destiny is to make all the right moves). Smokey, in this context, represents the traditional Christian God - no will other than that of his.


This throws up some really interesting juxtapositions. For starters, having the wild, punk-loving, free-living conman Sawyer teaming up with the fate-enforcing Smokey is an interesting pairing, especially considering that possible former-slave/errand boy Richard turned his back on Smokey in favour of the more choice-giving Jacob, which brings up my next point.

Jacob and Smokey are two parts of the same person. It seems to me that in "The Incident", Jacob was rooting for a definitive endpoint to the looping/game playing ("It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.") whilst Smokey was trying to convince him that nothing will ever change - the game continues on forever ("They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.")


Now though, it would seem that Smokey is trying to find that definitive ending ("I want to go home.") and if Smokey is to be believed, Jacob is trying to find a Candidate to take over from him and continue the loop. If we try to analyse these two characters in the context of Free Will vs Fate, Jacob seems to firmly be on the side of Fate, having touched these characters at pivotal points in their lives, points that would ensure their arrival upon the Island.

But, when the highest price was at stake, his own life, Jacob gave Ben the ultimate choice - to kill him, or walk away ("I want you to understand one thing. You have a choice."). Smokey as well seems to be all about the choices - giving Sawyer 3 of them in the Cave o' Names - simultaneously painting Jacob as an uncaring puppet-master, pulling at the strings of Fate and destiny. One thing that shines through both of these examples of choice - just like with many of the choices Sawyer, Locke and Ben have given each other throughout the course of the series - these are very manipulative moves dressed up as choice.


The similarities between Smokey and Jacob remind me of the rather famous anime/manga series "Dragonball". To put it shortly - the main villain in Dragonball is the evil side of the God character, who has been expunged and taken form as a separate being.



I'm The World's Forgotten Boy



If it is true that Jacob and Smokey are one in the same, then perhaps this mysterious boy represents a time when the two were consolidated into the one. In "Dragonball", an unnamed character tries to ascend to the role of guardian of Earth (commonly thought of as the God role). However, he harbours too much evil inside of him, as all beings do. To try to make himself worthy, this person splits himself into two separate beings - Kami, the good side, and Piccolo, a being of pure evil.

This allows Kami to become guardian/God, but the Demonic Piccolo wreaks havoc upon the world. Throughout the series, Piccolo stages many attacks on Earth, before being eventually defeated. As he is dying, however, he creates a spawn/child called Piccolo Jr. This new Piccolo is even stronger than the first, and causes even worse havoc on the heroes of the Dragonball world. Eventually, mostly through proximity to the 'good' guys, Piccolo reforms as an anti-hero figure, and in a moment of desperation, the two sides, Kami and Piccolo, finally merge to harness their complete power and become whole again.

This, simply, is the basis for my theory - Jacob and Smokey were once whole, and are now two separate beings constantly at war with each other. Neither represents Good nor Evil, Fate nor Free Will. They are the ultimate contradictions of each other.

(On a sidenote, if you completely disagree with me on this point - perhaps then this kid is some kind of "Referee" figure in this game, ensuring the rules are adhered to? Let's just hope he isn't another Sheriff!)


What we do know of Smokey makes little sense until we begin to consider how Jacob could factor into things. We first meet "the smoke monster" as a terrifying Judge, Jury & Executioner figure, slaying the likes of Eko for refusing to repent, while saving Locke. There is also the matter of the "flashes" - he has subjected Eko, Kate and Juliet to these "flashes", yet we are still not sure what they exactly are. We originally believe them to be the 'monster' judging the persons soul, deciding if they deserved to live or die. Then, as we began to understand that Smokey can take on different forms, we considered whether it was scanning the victim, stealing their identity for later use. Now, I wonder if he was double-checking whether the person was a Candidate or not, and thus 'fair game' to be slaughtered.

The pilot, Seth Norris, certainly didn't seem to get much of a judgement. I wonder if Frank (assuming Bram is correct and he is a Candidate) would have been subject to the same mistreatment, or be given a 'free pass'? (I also like to think that if Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had wished to stay in the show, Mr Eko would have been a Candidate and thus saved from this smoke-based demise).

Smokey is later revealed to be somewhat of a slave to his own destiny - being at the beck and call of Ben Linus, described as a 'security system' for the Island and serving to protect it. But wait, isn't that what Jacob is supposed to be doing?


Perhaps SmokeLocke is correct, perhaps there is nothing to defend. As Benny Biggs at Finally Lost puts it, what does the Island need protected from if no-one can see it or reach it without Jacob's permission?

Perhaps this has all been one huge game - a game of Chinese whispers, with each "Jacob" choosing candidates simply because the previous "Jacob", or indeed "Richard", figure told him to do so. It has long been believed that Jacob and Richard represent the Dalai and Panchen Lamas - each one seeking out the reincarnation of the other.

Imagine being a child, a young Locke or Ben or Richard, and being told that great things are expected of you, that you are the representation of an old and mysterious ruler. Imagine being a Charles Widmore, an Eloise Hawking, a Dogen - how would you react, faced with decades of apparent evidence?

I'm sure many would continue on the lineage as they have been instructed, but consider for a moment the Richard/Locke/compass paradox - Richard presented a compass to a young Locke as part of the "Lama" test, which Locke failed. Later, Richard forces the compass on Locke, at the behest of Smokey, who he is obeying as at one point in time Locke proved himself to be the Leader and Richard believes Smokey to be Locke. Following along so far?

Now, Locke travels back in time, gives Richard the compass and proclaims that he will eventually be the Leader. This sets Richard in motion to try to find Locke and discover if he will become the Leader and, although Locke fails every test put in front of him, Richard blindly believes him to be the Leader and follows his words, even when he is no longer Locke, he is Smokey. This blind following leads Richard to hand over the compass to Locke and start the loop all over again.

At no point was the compass introduced or removed from the loop, and at no point was Locke ever supposed to be the Leader. Smokey has manipulated something at some point in time to create this loophole and supposedly win the game, and all of this based on Chinese whispers and blindly following those that came before you.

This craziness in particular is tough to wrap the mind around, so we will be leaving it behind shortly. I appreciate we have drifted from the theory of Jacob and Smokey being the same person and into the land of Crazy Chinese Whispers Theory, so it is almost time to move on. First though, consider this more linear timeline - at some point, there was an Incident and a Button was created. Radzinsky pushed that Button, and told Kelvin Inman that the Button must be pushed. Kelvin doubted Radzinsky slightly, but passed on the knowledge to Desmond. Desmond doubted it even more, but passed on the knowledge to Jack and Locke, who continued to doubt. Locke in turn passed on the knowledge to Mr Eko, who believed it to be true. This created conflict, furthered along by the manipulation of Ben Linus and the revelation of the Pearl Station - one designed to make the Button seem untrustworthy.

Removed far from the original source, it was left to Locke and Eko to argue blindly about whether the Button should be pushed. Eventually, Locke won the argument and the Button was not pushed. He was wrong.


Remove yourself far enough from any source, no matter how genuine, and it is hard to believe anything. Jacob tells Richard to tell Ben to tell Locke to tell Jack that the Island needs saved - eventually someone is going to go out on a limb, test their faith, and start hijacking helicopters and blowing up atomic bombs.


Perhaps there is nothing to be saved, perhaps there is everything. Does anyone know who the original "Jacob" was and how we can contact him?


I'm Face To Face
With The Unknown



Third (or fourth? Fifth? I'm losing count!) Crazy Theory Of The Week brings us to the physical aspect of the Rules of the game. It has been a long-held belief of mine that Smokey cannot take the form of any living person, nor any corpse that has been buried. This is why we have not seen Libby or the Marshal running around the Island, yet Yemi, Christian and Locke are fair game.

Now that Locke has been buried, apparently Smokey is "stuck" in Locke form. I would like to believe that this is due to Locke being underground, but then it would make no sense for Ilana to care so little about burying Locke. It also doesn't make sense to think that this is due to Jacob dying, as Ilana was bringing Locke's corpse to the Temple to show everyone what they are facing. Like I say, the whole Ajira aspect confuses me a lot more than even the time travel does, so I am going to take a leaf from the Lost writer's "Book Of Walt & Libby" and completely ignore it for the time being.

To get back to the point, while Smokey cannot take the form of the living or the buried dead, I believe that Jacob can, to some extent. This may explain Hurley's visions of Ana-Lucia and Mr Eko, as well as Shannon's visions of Walt. There are a lot of inconsistencies in the Lost world of visions, ghosts, zombies and whispers, but I think this theory has some legs to it.


I'm The Kid That No-One Knows



This final Crazy Theory comes from Dave at the Finally Lost comments section, and it is (thankfully) a short one - literally.

Dave posits that, as Jacob touched both Sun and Jin, the "Kwon" on the list is actually neither of them - it is Ji Yeon. I personally doubt it, but I wanted to leave you on a lighter note while you await part 2 of this mammoth post.

Lost Blogging Collective Q&A - Week 3

What Is The Lost Blogging Collective?
The LBC is the title I have given to a group of fantastic Lost bloggers which includes Anna @ The Four Toed Foot, Izi @ Not Confused Just Lost, DarkUFO @ DarkUFO, Karen @ Karen's Lost Notebook, Vozzek69 @ Things I Noticed, Benny Bigggs @ Finally Lost, Paul Burrows @ Room 23, Fiona @ Fishbiscuitland and finally myself @ here.

Next week, we may have a few more names to add to that list. As ever, if you are interested in taking part, drop me an email at lostquestions23@gmail.com

Now please, get yourself acquanted with Week 1 and Week 2, if you haven't done so already, then continue on with Week 3:


Week 3!
This week's questions are:

- Do you think any of the candidates (Hurley, Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Jack, Locke) will become the next 'Jacob'?

- Who/what is Richard?

Now, on with the Answers!

Izikavazo @ Not Confused, Just Lost
http://ncjl.wordpress.com

1) If "Locke" was telling us the truth and the candidate thing is what he says it is then I predict that Hurley will take that role. Our of all of these people I think he is in the best state of mind, and I think he's the person who cares most about other people. Plus he's the only person who Jacob still talks to.

2) He's the butler of the Island. He's there to let you in the door or invite you in and he calls everyone "master". Essentially he's just a servant, he does what he's told because he owes Jacob or the Island something. Probably he was dying and Jacob saved him and made him swear to protect the Island.


Vozzek69 @ Things I Noticed
http://www.thingsinoticed.com/

1) Jack will become the next Jacob. There are some really cool parallels and even some dialogue that I think points to this.

2) Richard... he's nothing more than a man who's been given a gift. I've got a feeling he'll lose that gift before the end of the show. Hopefully he won't shrivel up instantly and turn to dust, like in other movies. That would be way too cliché.


Paul Burrows @ Room 23
http://lostroom23.blogspot.com

1) Well when Flocke said “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” it made me start thinking that just maybe MIB taking the form of Locke is having a detrimental effect. What if Locke's personality is going to slowly take control of MIB and there will be an eventual war of emerging personalities with the original Locke eventually being reborn in the Flocke body and vanquishing MIB. Then eiher Locke or Jack will take Jacob’s role and the other will take Richards role.

2) Well we know that Richard has been a recruiter for the Others/Jacob. He met with little Ben on a few occasions and even saved his life in the Temple Pool. He recruited Juliet and he made a number of attempts to recruit Locke.

Lostpedia says on Richards page: "In the Season 3 DVD commentary for "The Man from Tallahasse”, Richard Alpert is described as someone who is not interested in leading the Others but is very influential in finding and selecting a leader. He is described as being similar to a Panchen Lama choosing the next Dalai. He and Ben keep each other in "check" by having the power to pick/veto each other's replacement on the Island. Ben's role would be to pick the next Panchen, should the need arise. This keeps the two in a sort of balanced power relationship. They are allies, yet they have some measure of control over the other should one get out of hand."

I would assume that he had the same relationship with Widmore and Eloise and if Locke had not flashed he would have had the same relationship with him. As for Richards’s origins I would assume that the Black ship that Jacob and MIB saw was the Black Rock and that Richard was probably the captain of the ship. He probably was given the gift of immortality after agreeing to be Jacobs’s advisor and go between to the current leader of Jacobs people (The Others).


Karen @ Karen's Lost Notebook
http://karenslostnotebook.blogspot.com

1) I’m not sure that becoming the “Next Jacob” is completely the point of the war or even if the goal to “win” the “island” is the end all prize either. I do see the ugly war coming, sides being chosen, alliances being made and it seems that certain candidates are positioned to take on a certain role; one very well may be to become the new “Jacob”.

I trust the battle is to ultimately bring peace back to the “island” under the leadership of the rightful leader. I say this because it is very possible the people of the island have been following false gods or in other words the wrong guy, for a very long time. After all there can only be one leader at a time.

I feel Hurley may be very important to the end game but that wouldn’t make the roles of Sawyer and Jack any less important. We learned over the past couple of weeks that Hurley is in a role of leadership, so that could be important info to keep close at hand. I feel Jack will step up his game as he inches closer to “Home”.

And of course there is Locke who is on a mission and may still be in the running to not only save himself but save them all. But what the heck do I know?!

2) At this point I only know that handsome Richard is a guide, advisor and a recruiter. He takes his role very seriously. And whenever he decides to bottle up his “fountain of youth” formula, I’ll be first in line to buy it!


Benny @ Finally Lost
http://finallylost.wordpress.com

1) I think Jack is destined to become the next Jacob. The show has clearly been all about Jack from the start. He was the original leader, he has had the most "centric episodes" and all the connections seem to go through Jack. If you've read my blog then you've witnessed my painful Jack-Journey and you understand how difficult it is for me to anoint Jack as the next Jacob. During the course of 5 seasons, Jack has done a Sawyer/Jin-like turnaround only in the wrong direction! He went from, "Cool it's Charlie from Party of Five" to "Why isn't he leading??" to "Why doesn't he listen to anyone??" to finally, "Damn he cries too much and I'll never forgive him for killing Juliet!". Despite his shortcomings this show has always been about Jack and I think convincing everyone to allow him to set off the nuke solidified him as Jacob's number 1 stunna.

2) Clearly Richard Alpert is the former top model for the island's Maybelline Eyeliner Contest. Jacob chose Richard but the Man In Black thought Dogen was the better choice. In the end Jacob's man edged out Dogen in the voting by a score of 16-15 and a bitter MIB has been trying to kill Jacob ever since. QED. This is Lost so anything is possible, however, I think the right answer is that Richard was a prisoner on the Black Rock while Dogen its captain. For whatever reason Jacob decided Ricardus would be his dotted-line advisor (*cough* admin) leaving Jacob enough free time to spend the next two centuries looking for a successor. A friend of mine once noted that he'd love to see an Island Org Chart and I think it would be a great exercise to put one together.


Chris @ SuperDuperStream
http://superduperstream.blogspot.com

1) I'll be going into this in more detail for my write-up, but definately Hurley. I have always had him pegged as the most important character in the show, and in terms of this List he is the only one with a full connection to the numbers. He has also transformed himself from the comedy role into a bona fide leader. Hurley gets my vote.

2) Richard is as much of a fool as Locke and Ben. He is another human who, I guess, suffered from some form of lethal ailment - compare to Ben's tumour and Locke's paralysis/gunshot wound. He was healed by the Island/Jacob/Smokey and has dedicated himself to blindly following their plan(s) ever since. He is nothing special, unfortunately - just another pawn, only older and more blinded than the other pawns.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Lost - Round-Up #2

Hey all,

It is looking unlikely that I will make my Sunday deadline for the write-up. A lot of real-life developments hamper my way, including the fact that I have bought a new car! (Go me!)

To help pass the time, I have compiled a bumper issue of "Weekly Round-Up", with the write-up to follow most likely Monday evening.

Time constraints again tie me down to more of a list format this week, but what a list it is! Here goes:

Episode 4 - The Substitute Write-Ups
Not Confused, Just Lost (Lost Blogging Collective)
Karen's Lost Notebook (LBC)
Fishbiscuitland (LBC)
Finally Lost - initial thoughts (LBC)
Devastate Boredom
LongLiveLocke
Shapusens On TV
Get Lost With Jopinionated - initial thoughts

Random Blogs -Recently Updated
Ben's Frozen Donkey Wheel
Gulf Coast Offense
It's About Bunnies (Wordpress)
Jimmy's Lost Blog
Lost Is Gain
Lost Island Time
Lost Reflections
Lyly Ford
M1ke's
Nik At Nite
Pop Culture Addict (Lost section)
Sam's I Am
Scott Furrow
Sublime Lazy
The Stuff Of Legend


Random Blogs - Archive
Philly Girl (last updated - September 2009)
Musings Of A Lost Fanatic (last updated - May 2009)
Thinking Lost (last updated - April 2009)
blandestk (last updated - January 2009)


Remember to return back here once you are done visiting these awesome sites! (And remember to tell them I sent you ;-) )

I haven't had the opportunity to read each and every one of these blogs, but they all seem pretty cool! If you have any you would like mentioned in future weekly round-ups, or are interested in joining the LBC, chat back through the comments section!

A final note - some LBC shops and competitions you should check out - The Four Toed Foot has a new store, as does Room 23 (also featuring an awesome shot of young Kate "shopping" as their header image!), Vozzek69's awesome book is available here (and after his very unfortunate news, now is as good a time as any to purchase a copy, I think) and finally, my own free t-shirt competition will be ending this week - enter while you can!!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Friday Fight Night - Stoke Review - Leva Kirakosyan vs Scott Lawton

Tonight was a night of domination, peppered with some hard-fought, close calls.

First up we had Russia's Leva Kirakosyan facing Britain's Scott Lawton for the vacant European Super-Featherweight title. Lawton never stood a chance, with Kirakosyan delivering perfect shots filled with power and accuracy. Every time Lawton got hit flush, his sense were robbed from him, evident when within 40 seconds he was knocked to the floor.

In the second round, Kirakosyan again caught the Brit and, were it not for the ropes, chances are Lawton would have been knocked down and out. However, the ropes saved the man from falling, the referee delivering a well-deserved 'standing 8 count'. I personally feel that the fight should have ended here, but Lawton was saved by the bell and went on to fight a further 20 seconds of the third round, before the referee finally, and wisely, called a halt to proceedings.

36 year old Kirakosyan is now 32(22)-5(2)-0 while 33 year old Lawton stands at 27(6)-6(4)-1.

Continuing with the domination theme, Danny McIntosh made light work of defending his English Light-Heavyweight belt against Tony Oakey. Although lacking the precise style of Kirakosyan, McIntosh was heavily in charge of this bout, knocking Oakey down twice in the second round. In a stunning display of foolishness, Oakey remained on his knee while being counted by the ref, continually looking over to his corner, and then attempted to rise at '9'.

It is very debatable whether Oakey made the count or not, the fact remains that he had no control over the fight. Chances are he could have went on to mount a stunning victory, but I highly doubt that. McIntosh finds himself at 11(5)-1(1)-0 and hopefully the 29 year old can sharpen up his technique and precision and find himself back in British/Commonwealth/European rankings after suffering his first, and only, defeat last year to Nathan Cleverly.

Meanwhile, 34 year old Oakey is expected to take on Isaac Chilemba next month for the WBC International Light-Heavyweight belt. Whether he can shake off the pangs of defeat and rise up to the occasion remains to be seen, but judging by tonight's performance, he simply hasn't got the legs nor stability to stand up to any real pressure. His record now reads 29(8)-5(2)-1.

Moving on from the brutality of domination, we were treated to a few fights that managed to last the distance tonight. Chris Edwards (14(4)-14(3)-3, 33yr) managed to win the vacant Commonwealth Flyweight title by besting Abmerk Shindjuu (7(2)-3-2) in a very close unanimous decision - all judges scored it 115-114 to Edwards.

In a fantastic display that essentially ended in both fighters going head-to-head in a battle of rolling shoulders and a balanced act of defense and offense, Gary Buckland (18(6)-1-0, 23yr) faced Sam Rukundo (15(6)-1-1, 29yr). Although Buckland had a great start in the fight, I felt that the scores were very close towards the end, and certainly the fight should have ended within 3 points. However, the official judges felt differently and awarded Buckland the unanimous decision with scores of 117-111, 117-111 and 116-112. This fight was an eliminator for the Commonwealth Lightweight title.

Finally, one last word for domination - Scott Quigg (17(11)-0-0, 21yr) knocked out Nikita Lukin (10(3)-18(1)-2, 26yr) in under one minute. With an impressive record, hopefully Quigg will next face an impressive opponent.

Friday, 19 February 2010

A Pre-Update

Hey all,

This has been a pretty crazy week - PC problems, real life busy-ness, etc. However, I have set myself a challenge - I have just watched Lost Season 6 Episode 4 - The Substitute and will attempt to post my recap before the Americas get to see Episode 5. A lofty challenge during a busy weekend, but there it is.

I am also aware I have the weekly Lost round-up to post, as well as the last few weeks of boxing results. In the meantime, I have something small in the way of filler for you - check out Erika @ LongLiveLocke's awesome Hatch, then read the rest of her awesome blog.

Now I'm off to work on my first draft. Here goes nothing!

- Chris

Weekly Image - Big Brother Lives


Yup, it's another pun.

Source: unsourced, you should know the drill by now.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Dude, I've Got Some Arzt On Me!

Thanks to everyone who has already entered into my Lost CaféPress competition.

As you know, I recently extended the closing date for this competition, partly because of a lack of response, but partly to ensure that everything went smoothly with my own CaféPress transaction. I wanted to make sure that everything went okay with the shipping/quality etc, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when my t-shirt arrived.

I couldn't be more happy with it. It looks, and feels, amazing. All credit to everybody involved in the designing and creating of it!
Remember, if you want one of your own, you now have 8 more days to enter!! Get there fast - there's already 12 entrants, and with only one t-shirt to give away, you'd better get yourself in the running!

To sum up - simply click on the above link to get taken to the NEW competition page - there you will find a link to the Lost CafePress webpage, featuring loads of great t-shirts. Just choose the one you like best, post a link to it in the comments section and voila, you are in the running to win. No cost, no mess, no fuss!

Thanks to all that have entered so far - it's great to see such a positive response :) soon one of you will be joining me in celebrating our inner geek and watching Lost in the comfort of our awesome t-shirts!

Namaste

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Sad News From Vozzek69

News has reached us that Lost Blogging Collective member Vozzek69's home has been destroyed in a fire.

Thankfully, everybody is safe and okay, but unfortunately he will have to rebuild essentially his whole life from scratch. I don't know about you, but apart from death and injury, that is one of the worst things that can happen to a person.

Updates can be found via DarkUFO.blogspot.com. I don't know how much good it will do, but to show support I am going to order a copy of Vozzek's book "Things You Never Noticed About Lost" - I have been a huge fan of Vozzek's writing, so I hope this will go some way towards helping him rebuild his home and his life.

From the sounds of things, Vozz has a lot of support around him in terms of friends and family and has already began rebuilding, but if you have never had the opportunity to check out Vozz's work, I suggest you begin now and discover what a wonderful person and writer he is. You can find his work at:

http://www.thingsinoticed.com/ (Vozzek's website)
http://darkufo.blogspot.com/ (Vozzek's recaps/analysis)
http://the-odi.blogspot.com/ (Vozzek is a regular guest on The ODI's podcasts)

My best wishes and hopes are with you Vozzek.

Lost - S6E3 What Kate Does - Analysis

Just as I had guessed, this week's episode was yet another re-tread of the same old "Kate on the run" storyline.

Repetition leaves very little new ground for a Lost analyst like myself to unearth any new theories, however rather than see this as a negative thing, I think "What Kate Does" feeds in quite nicely to the overall vibe this year of destiny vs free will - does Kate go on the run out of choice, or does she harbor some deep instinct, one that is constantly forcing her into fugitive status?


Homework:
This video is from 2009's Comi-con, traditionally the home of Lost's first mentions of the coming season and videos portraying the overall theme of each season. This year's Comi-con featured three videos - 1) an advert for Oceanic Airlines (in the air since 1979; a perfect safety record), 2) an advert for Mr Cluck's featuring new owner Hurley (remember those numbers? The Outback Roasters meal costs 4 42) and finally 3) America's Most Wanted - Kate Austen on the run.

Let us analysis Kate's video for a second. As in the 'original' timeline, Kate had planned to kill her father/step-father Wayne by way of arson, only this time instead of blowing up his house, she blows up his place of work, and instead of killing Wayne, she kills his apprentice, Ryan.

Fate, as the host so subtly puts is, intervened.

"Fate,
Up against your will, Through the thick and thin, He will wait until,
You give yourself to him."

I do not believe the use of the word fate here is unintentional. Perhaps it has always been (What Kate Did) and will always be (What Kate Does) Kate's destiny to try to kill Wayne, but this time around, something has changed. Wayne lives on.

Does this make Kate a less sympathetic character? There was always a small part of me that could relate to Kate's story. None of us can, or should, play "God", but there are people on this Earth that you can't help but think deserve to die. Whether Wayne was one of them is debatable, and also a moot point. In this scenario, Kate is nothing more than a foolish killer, not to mention arsonist. Wayne lives on, but his innocent employee does not. How can we justifiably call Kate a 'hero' in this world?

One final question - isn't it strange that her exact weight and exact height are listed, yet her age is "late 20's"? Makes you wonder whether these alternative scenes are in the 2004 we think they are.


Further Research

Dogen
I feel it is worth mentioning that the Others are calling their pool of water a "spring". Traditionally a pool is man-made, and it would make sense that one of either Jacob or Smokey made this pool, but a spring, on the other hand, traditionally comes from a natural source. So the question is this - is the Island a product of Jacob and Smokey, or are Jacob and Smokey a product of the Island?


The Others
Before we get into Kate going on the run (twice! Hey, it's what she does!) let's first look at the other characters. We had: Sayid being tortured; The Others being mysterious; Jack being the hero/martyr; previous Season shout-outs; Jin understanding; Sawyer reminiscing; and the return of Danielle.. oh, wait a minute!


We'll return to Claire Rousseau before the end, but first let us talk about Sayid. My thoughts on his test are that whatever they did to him had the power to knock out/kill a normal human being. The fact that he survived this test proves that he is "infected" - infected with what, or whom, is another matter.

Now, assuming Sayid is Smokey (or Jacob). Perhaps the pill that was made for him is truly poison for a normal human being, but for a person in Sayid's position it could perhaps be medicine. Dogen never outright said it was universally poison, he just said "poison". (Is it an unwritten rule in the Lost universe to never include context when discussing something important?)

However, the fact that the pill was presented to Jack in a paper sheet (for protection, or mere aesthetics?) points towards it being a universal poison. Miss Scarlett, regular commentator over at NCJL, started my gears moving when mentioning Sayid playing on Jack's guilt - both Sayid and Dogen had a little game of Jack-tennis going on, batting him back and forth between the two and using his guilt as leverage. Perhaps Sayid really didn't want to take that pill, and playing on Jack's hero complex was the most subtle way to avoid taking it.

((I'm going to break the fourth wall slightly here - I think the Lost team did a poor job in the lighting/framing department with this episode. Personally, I put it down to director Paul Edward's style - looking at his previous episodes is like watching a show about shadows. A few things that needed to be more clear were what Sawyer pulled out of the ground (more on that later) and whether Jack swallowed the pill or not. At least the former was cleared up with some later dialogue, but the latter was only further muddied by Lennon's "He swallowed it?" line. This might just be my personal opinion, but I wonder who else felt the same way?))

Anyway, on a lighter note - Jack sure seemed overly willing to accept the tea, despite the Others poisoning left, right and centre. I wonder just what it was they made Zack and Emma feed them earlier?

Despite all of this, my instincts were telling me that Sayid is an idiot for trusting Jack (hey, the man doesn't even trust himself!), and that Jack was an idiot for not trusting the Others (hey, they did bring Sayid back from the damn dead!). Sayid has always been 5 steps ahead of Jack in the smartness scale - when he revealed to Jack back in Season 2 that he knew Michael was a spy, Jack should have just resigned as leader that very second.

Whether these Others are worthy of my trust remains to be seen but, like Erika over at LongLiveLocke, I loved Jack's "step aside" scene and don't feel very threatened by these Others. Discovering that Dogen was "brought" to the Island "like everyone else" certainly went a long way towards humanising them. I can easily see the likes of Jack eventually joining their ranks, continuing on the cycle of psychotic recruitment practises and being sent running through the jungle to infiltrate and kidnap another group of survivors the next time a plane/boat crashes - what a scary visual that would be!


Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


"In this world of hate and shallowness,
Where enemies become your consolation,

And those of us who win the game give up their minds,

I don't call that winning."


As I mentioned previously, I don't think they handled the Sawyer-box-retrieval scene very well. I first thought that he had pulled out a baby's sock and almost began bawling at the thought of Juliet having a miscarriage some time previously adding to Sawyer's woes. As it turns out, it was merely an engagement ring and what should have been a solemn scene seemed almost lessened by that.

It also didn't help that Kate was also there, stealing the attention as always. I'm beginning to disbelieve that she ever came back for Claire to begin with - if Sawyer had been willing to forget about Juliet and play happy families on the beach with Kate, would she have even mentioned blondie?


She's Going The Distance


Meet Claire Littleton. Claire is a young, pregnant, Australian woman on her way to L.A. to meet a couple who are ready to adopt her unborn child.

Claire is also possibly involved in some psychic trickery designed to force her away from her home country and her mother (who may or may not be in a coma) and to face up to her responsibilities as a mother. Or was it designed so that Claire would ditch her responsibilities as a mother and instead hand her baby over to this woman:

sorry, I mean this woman:


A lot of possibilities, and only one definite - the baby was, is and always will be, called Aaron, no matter who the 'mother' eventually turns out to be:


Now it is here that Fishbiscuitland is one very large step ahead of us all - she has deduced that the woman who was going to adopt Claire's baby, one Lindsey Baskum, is an anagram for Used By Malkins, as in Richard Malkins, the psychic who saw Claire and convinced her to go on Flight 815. Now, either he is a very, very unlucky conman or he is a very, very smart psychic. Taking a leap of faith, I think we can glean from this episode that Claire is always destined to raise Aaron, or at the very least to deliver him to Kate. Only time will tell.


She's Going For Speed
Although she was on the surface the lead character in this episode, I actually have surprisingly little to say about Kate. Her handcuff scene with the mechanic was just strange. For starters, I don't think that was really a bathroom that she went into:


Secondly, there was a wasted opportunity here to show Tom aka "Mr Friendly" once again. (Kudos to Miss Scarlet once again for raising this notion). Besides flashing Jack a weird glance of recognition, not a lot happened with Kate in LA "X".

I did laugh out loud at one scene though - when Kate and Claire turned up at Mrs Baskum's home, as bad as I felt for both Lindsey losing her husband and chance at a happy family, and also Claire, who certainly deserved at least a phone call, it was Kate who once again stole the scene:


"Lady, I may have murdered someone back home, but you let this woman fly all the way to America without even a phone call?! SCANDALOUS!!! I may have held her at gunpoint mere moments ago, its true I may have induced an early and dangerous labour. I stole all her belongings, left her stranded in a dangerous, foreign city with no food, clothes or money, but you have suffered a major shock and you have acted slightly selfish about the whole thing. You, woman, are pure evil. I have half a mind to burn down your home/place of work!" - Kate Austen, defining double standards.


She's All Alone
All Alone In Her Time Of Need



On-Island Claire, finally you make your triumphant return. It would appear Claire was in the right place, at the right time for Jin. There are obvious parallels to made with Danielle here - the hair, the off-Island pregnancy/on-Island birth, their children being raised by "another", even the name are similar (Aaron/Alex). Are the writers setting us up for a brief Claire/Aaron reunion, perhaps ending in a horrific helicopter-related (Desmond/Charlie shout-out) death in front of Kate? I sincerely hope not.

One thing I was wondering about - when the Others told Jack his sister was 'claimed', did they make any mention of his father? Do they even know about Christian? I personally find him fascinating - was he an off-Island other, or just another soul dragged to the Island? Is he claimed by Jacob, or Smokey, or both? And what is his ties to Vincent? (I still maintain that Vincent will be revealed to be far more than a dog by the end of the series - perhaps he was killed and 'claimed' during the plane crash? Which brings me to..)


When There's No More Room In Hell
The Dead Will Walk The Earth


The Lost writers have always joked about there being a 7th "Zombie" Season. Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees. So far we have had Christian, Yemi and Locke as bona fide confirmed zombies, but on top of that we now can count Claire and Sayid (the confused glances that Miles was giving Sayid reminded me of his trek through the jungle with Sawyer and Claire in Season 4 and the looks he was giving her then) as possible zombies.

Throw into the mix the complete unknowns such as Walt, Vincent, Richard, Ilana, Harper and Ben, all of which have hints at powers, if not full-on zombification. Finally, you have the 'ghosts' of Hurley, Miles and Michael, including Libby, Ana-Lucia, Charlie and Mr Eko and you now have the makings of a true zombie show (looks like The Walking Dead may have to wait a while).

Finally, could all of this perhaps explain Mikhail's resilience? Probably not, but he is worth a mention. So, for those of you keeping score at home, we now need to decide who is alive and who is dead, and who is claimed by Smokey and Jacob and who remains unclaimed. Who is an Other and who is a candidate? The mind boggles, but I have one theory pushing to the front - if a body is buried, it is 'safe' in this game, but while it lays vacant on this Earth (or burned in the case of Yemi) it is fair game for Smokey to inhabit it.


The Sun Has Gone Down
And The Moon Has Come Up


Poor Jin. All he wants to do is protect his friends, find his Sun and get the hell home to see his daughter. If there is one character you can say has changed for the better, it is Jin. Far more so than Sawyer, who immediately reverted back to his old self the moment Juliet died, Jin just may end up being the epitome of change on the show. I hope his character gets a lot more focus soon - I would love to see a purely Jin-centric episode, however I imagine Sun will still feature heavily in his "X" story.

Looking back, there was not a lot of mystery to delve into this week, but there was certainly a lot more to this episode than many give it credit for. There is never a great deal of story movement going on with the more character driven episodes (think Kate, Jack, Sayid, Jin) but I personally love any episode that involves Claire for the very reason being that she seems to take no notice of the madness going on around her - she takes everything and everyone at face value, and that is a good attitude to adopt for this kind of episode.

One final note - Fishbiscuitland has posted this amazing video, and I think we all owe it to ourselves to take a minute to breath, watch this video and remember - Lost wont boil down to one singular answer - it is the experience, the questions and the emotion that has made this journey worthwhile.

Until next week, adios!

(PS. I will be very impressed if anyone can name all the musical references I have made in this post. I'll give you a hint - there are more than 2 of them. Give it a go and see how many you can find!)

The Lost CaféPress Competition - Extension

Hi all,

Due to underwhelming response, the previous CaféPress competition has been scrapped in favour of a new format.

Taking a leaf out of The Four Toed Foot's book, here is how the new competition will run:

1) Head over to the LOST Cafe Press shop for LOST shirts designed by fans at http://shop.cafepress.com/losttv?src=SMLST

2) Browse the designs, pick your favorite, and post a link to it in the comments section here.

3) On Friday, February 26th, one winner will be picked at random from the comments section to win the shirt they picked out.


Simple!

Lost Blogging Collective Q&A - Week 2

What Is The Lost Blogging Collective?
The LBC is the title I have given to a group of fantastic Lost bloggers which includes Anna @ The Four Toed Foot, Izi @ Not Confused Just Lost, DarkUFO @ DarkUFO, Karen @ Karen's Lost Notebook, Vozzek69 @ Things I Noticed, Benny Bigggs @ Finally Lost, Paul Burrows @ Room 23, Fiona @ Fishbiscuitland and finally myself @ here.

Each week I raise a question or two for the Collective to answer. You can read last week's Q&A here.

This week's questions are:

Games have been mentioned continually throughout the series - from Locke's backgammon allegories, to Jacob's talk of a "loophole". This week, Sawyer described Sayid's resurrection as him earning "another go around".

Do you believe the Lost characters are taking part in some kind of game/test, and if so, how can they possibly win/pass this scenario?

and

On a lighter note, Kate just can't stop following Sawyer around!! I know it is a question that a large part of the fandom love to ask (and an equally large number loathe to hear), so let's get it out of the way.

Who will Kate finally "end up" with?


Now, on with the answers!!


Vozzek69 @ Things I Noticed
http://www.thingsinoticed.com/

1) Maybe Sayid's resurrection wasn't so much another go-around as his job wasn't finished yet... or the island wasn't finished with him. Like Michael, Sayid might still have work to do. Juliet on the other hand, had reached her happy place. She was allowed to move on.

2)
Hopefully Claire and Aaron. The love triangle doesn't seem as important as it once was, and I don't think we'll see the cut & dry answer we always thought we'd get. Sawyer seems to belong to Juliet - hooking back up with Kate now would kinda cheapen that. As for Jack, I'm not sure he's getting out of the show alive. I've always seen him as sacrificing himself to save everyone in the end.


Paul Burrows @ Room 23
http://lostroom23.blogspot.com

1) I don’t believe that it’s a real game exactly, but the idea could be a loose interpretation. I really love the Spanish promo a few months ago that had a giant chess board and compared the characters to playing pieces. Locke was telling Walt while playing Backgammon that there were two sides, light and dark. Darlton every season sets up the characters to be on a certain side and over the course of the season some switch sides.

Season 1 had the castaways vs. the Others then season 2 had the Main castaways vs. the Tallies until most of the Tailies got wiped out. Season 3 was the Castaways vs. the Others to a greater degree and by the end Juliet switched teams and a lot of the Others died. Season 4 the Castaways split into two teams with people switching back and forth a lot. Plus the added team of the Frieghties which also broke into two groups of Mercs and good. The science team joined the Castaways and the rest got killed along with the Mercs. Now we see the final pieces gathering. It looks like possibly Claire, Sayid and Sawyer are going to be joining The Man in Black with Jack, Kate, Hurley and Miles on Jacobs’s team. But Darlton has said recently that people will be switching teams throughout the season.

There’s also the idea of redemption all throughout Lost which points to the test/pass/fail aspect of the series. So far it seams that Jacob is all about free will and MIB seams to be about controlling people to get them to do his will or manipulation. But that could all change since we don’t really know what twists that Darlton will spring on us. We think that we know Jacob to be good and MIB to be bad which most likely is true, but maybe it might just be the opposite.

2) Well it’s going to take a long time and a lot of set up work for me to be able to see Sawyer with anyone other then Juliet, but its possible. I recently posted an E! Kristen interview with Evangeline Lilly where she said that Kate has tried both Jack and Sawyer and doesn’t really fit with ether for different reasons, which the only way might be through the Flash Sideways. Also Matthew Fox said that he doesn’t really think that Jack and Kate will get together. Frankly I would like to see Sawyer somehow sacrifice himself in the finale and be with Juliet in some sort of afterlife and that Jack and Kate find redemption/character conclusion that’s separate from each other.


Karen @ Karen's Lost Notebook
http://karenslostnotebook.blogspot.com

1) LOST is a living breathing chess game and puzzle. There are bits of many other games that make up what we see such as Backgammon, Mouse Trap, even horse shoes and playing cards. We have witnessed the “loophole” or “cheat” utilized more than a few times before. As much as fans don’t like when I use the principles of video games to describe certain situations in LOST, here is exactly where I need to use it again. “Another go-around” in the metaphor layer of the story is very “Dharma”. But as the game layer it may be showing us that the players/subjects have to do-over the levels/scenarios until they get it right. They seem to need to truly see themselves and to face the truth, to heal from past pain, suffering, behavior and addiction, to forgive themselves and others and to learn. These two layers seem to work together. In other words, when they’ve completed these steps and enlightenment has been reached, maybe it is then they can leave the game.

2) Kate needs to stop playing ping pong with these two men. Until she can see her true “self” she won’t end up with anyone.


Izikavazo @ Not Confused, Just Lost
http://ncjl.wordpress.com

1) I certainly hope it's not some kind of game. But there's no doubt that it's a test. Morality is one of the main themes in Lost, and all of the characters have faced many tests over the last five plus seasons that have tested their moral fortitude. They've all been given a second chance (in some cases a third or fourth chance) to start their life over. So to pass this test they have to put their past mistakes behind them and become better people.

2) I'd like to think that Sawyer will end up with Juliet off the Island so I guess I want Kate to end up with Jack on the Island... and then I want Jack to die.


Benny @ Finally Lost
http://finallylost.wordpress.com

1) Absolutely! Locke and pre-puberty Walt set the tone for the entire series during their backgammon scenes. At first we thought the Losties were the pawns of The Others with Ben pulling all the strings, but as the wise Richard Alpert says, "Everyone has a boss", and clearly Jacob and Smokey are the Tony Danza on this island. The writers keep telling us not to prejudge which of our mysterious "friends" are good/evil but I'd throw my hat in the ring with Jacob. Besides the fact that he pals around with my boy Hurley, Jacob has done a much better PR job simple by not randomly turning into black smoke and killing Losties (will we ever learn why Smokey did that??) Now just because we know who the players are doesn't mean we understand the game, this IS Lost after all. Hell I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the series Jacob pulled out a dollar bill and handed it to Smokey "Trading Places" style and said, see I told you Kate would go for Sawyer!!!

2) On the "Official Lost Video Podcast", Evangeline Lilly (Kate) said she thought that Aaron is really the man in her life and her Jawyer relationship was almost moot. If you look at Aaron being the reason Kate's returned to the island and Aaron being the crutch she leaned on to mend her Sawyer-induced broken heart, then I think it's clear she's right. I don't any of us think it's a coincidence in the flash-sideways that Kate ended up in that cab with Claire and helped her out with an Aaron problem. Aaron is the reason Kate stopped running and Aaron is the reason Kate doesn't have room in her heart for Jack or Sawyer. In an Aaron-less world I think Kate would have picked Sawyer, like any sane woman that's seen him without a shirt. Unfortunately for Kate, in timeline Prime (where the island is still above the ocean) Sawyer's known 3 years of a life with a woman who didn't constantly lie and who wasn't bouncing between men like a employee at the Vegas Bunny Ranch. That unfortunately leaves her with a consolation prize of Jack "the crying man" and we all saw how those off-island romances work out...


Chris @ SuperDuperStream
http://superduperstream.blogspot.com

1) Every time I read those three letters that describe Smokey/NotLocke - MIB - I am instantly thrown into a terrifying recollection of the Will Smith movie Men In Black. No, I'm not saying I dislike that movie (for the record, I'm indifferent) instead those letters constantly remind me of the final scene. In a very 'burbs-esque move (read: plagiarism), the camera pulls back, waaaaaaaaay back, and shows us that our world is nothing more than a marble in a game played by beings we have no ability to comprehend. I fear that Lost will end in such a way - our characters (read: human beings) are trapped in a pre-destined game between beings we can't understand, be they gods, angels or aliens. In simple terms, this is a game - to go deeper, this is an extended discussion on nature vs nurture, free will vs fate; a TV show that will be dissected for years to come.

The second part of this question asks how the characters/game pieces can possibly win. I don't think survival is merely enough. Hopefully by the end of the show - whether it is the original show or this "X" show - we will see our characters fundamentally changed in a manner no other show has dared attempt. We know that Jack is our hero with a hero complex, Hurley is our depressed comic relief, Sayid is our tortured torturer, Kate is our villainous heroine, Sawyer is our sympathetic anti-hero. This is who these people are - conflicted, sure, but fundamentally the same people they were at the start of the show. I think they "win/pass" when they finally settle into one aspect of their personality - will Kate become an honest hero, will Hurley ever find happiness, will Jin raise a happy and stable family? These are the things I hope we find out.

2) I've never found it easy to like Kate. Sure, there are arguments to be made that for every bad thing she does, she does something good. But the problem there is that she always does bad things - she murders, she lies, she puts lives at risk, she ignores the requests of others, etc. I find it hard to root for her being with anyone, but I think her and Jack could be good for each other if they dug past the surface - this isn't about the Doctor and the female lead getting together, this is about two tortured souls who try to do good but fail to realise that true "goodness" sometimes lies in letting others make their own choices, whether you agree with them or not. So I guess I am on the side of the Jaters, but traditionally I have felt she was more suited to Sawyer (until Juliet came along).


That's it for this week - tune in next time for more Questions & Answers (and wild guesswork!). If you are interested in taking part, pop me an email at lostquestions23@gmail.com - the more the merrier, and you don't necessarily have to be a Lost blogger to join in (although it does help!).