Thursday, August 28, 2008

Will The Shoeless Others and 815ers Merge?

Boy it really is starting to feel like Survivor isn't it. At this point lots of people have been voted off via death and now a new set of people, the O6 + Ben and Desmond and Lapidus have been voted off as well. So is it time for the tribes to merge?

On the one hand we have the Locke "led" Richard Others which should also include Cindy, Zach, Emma and a handful of other Tailies plus some of those who purged Dharma and any newer recruits to the cause that weren't taken out since 815 arrived. And then we've got I'd guess roughly 20 815ers most notably Sawyer, Rose, Bernard and Frogurt plus Juliet and Miles and Charlotte and possibly Faraday and 3 or 4 others. And we've got the ultimate Island wildcard in Claire.

So what sort of interaction do you predict we'll see in Season 5. Presumably those left in the 815 camp are not list-worthy, but is there even anyone at Richard's camp (I refuse to put Locke as the leader of that group) who can even communicated with Jacob? Is the really bad thing that happens that Richard or Jacob tells Locke that they have to purge those not on the list? But then where will Sawyer and Vincent hide? Those are really the only 2 I care deeply about, especially Vincent. I'm a big yellow lab fan.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sawyer -- Leader or Con Man?

I listened to The Transmission's recent Long Con podcast and they got into a discussion of Sawyer and his evolution. It led to speculation about what we can expect from Island-stranded Season 5 Sawyer and so I ask:

This is one of the things I'm really interested to see. Will Sawyer step up and assume the role Hurley created for him or will he remain an Every Man for Himself and allow Juliet to take charge? Who else might assume leadership? Rose?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Did The Island Jump Up In The Air?

I'm reading a novel, The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt that centers around Nikola Tesla. Tesla proposes an idea that he could build a ring around the equator that is not subject to Earth's gravity so that a person could stand on the ring and the rest of the world was pass by in the course of a day as it turned on its axis. This made me wonder if the Island is moved similarly. It "jumps" for some period of time and stays stationary as the Earth turns under it and then ends up somewhere else when it lands. Just a crazy idea I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why I'm Giving Up on the LOST ARG

Well, I had high hopes that the new LOST ARG announced during the Season 4 finale was going to be the thing that would keep LOST fans, and especially me, going until February 2009. So I waited the two months until Comic Con. Then I waited until the Monday after Comic Con. And I've waited and waited and despite saying it's coming today I'm still waiting and --

NOW I'M DONE!!!!!!!!!!

I feel like I've been waiting for the cable guy. This is worse than Bell South which gives you an 8am-5pm appointment. And after reflecting on what I learned from Find815 I now deem the frustration which this game is causing me in no way worth the amount of information I could possibly learn from the game. After all, Episode 4.2 gave us in 2 minutes what a month of playing Find815 gave us.

So I'm out. Good luck if you're going to keep playing. I'll still know when something happens given my current RSS feed subscriptions, but other than giving it a cursory glance that's it for me. Come end of January I'll check Lostpedia for the summary, but that's it. Later.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wolves of The Island

"[The] story has left me in a strangely disturbed frame of mind. I can't tell if it answers more questions than it raises, or the other way around." Wolves of the Calla p. 612

Book 5 of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Wolves of the Calla was probably the least LOST-like book so far in the series. It's a way station of sorts on the way to the Tower. A pregnancy project if you will. As Eddie realizes:

Even though their main goal is the Tower, they aren't exempt from participation in other "quests." . . . and had Eddie really thought there was no work left for the line of Arthur Eld in this mostly empty and husked-out world? That they would simply be allowed to toddle along the Path of the Beam until they got to Roland's Dark Tower and fixed whatever was wrong there? p. 144

But there are some large thematic things happening in Wolves that remind me of LOST and make me wonder if they are clues as to what's going on on our favorite Island.

The Nature of Time

The very nature of time itself, a commodity that has been slipping throughout the Dark Tower saga is very present in this book.

Time is a face on the water. . . . The saying might have been true when Roland had been a boy not much older than Jake Chambers, but Eddie thought it was even truer now, as the world wound down like the mainspring in an ancient watch. Roland had told them that even such basic things as the points of the compass could no longer be trusted in Mid-World; what was dead west today might be southwest tomorrow, crazy as that might seem. And time had likewise begun to soften. There were days Eddie could have sworn were forty hours long, some of them followed by nights (like the one on which Roland had taken them to Mejis) that seemed even longer. Then there would come an afternoon when it seemed you could almost see darkness bloom as night rushed over the horizon to meet you. Eddie wondered if time had gotten lost. pp. 45-46

It reminds me of the crazy way time seemed to act in Season 2 and also in Season 4 with Daniel Faraday's arrival. It was inconsistent. All of a sudden it was dark. It seemed like days on the Island before Sayid tried to call from the boat. The doc arrived before he was killed. Maybe time is running down on the Island too. Or it runs at different rates depending on external events as Eddie thinks. "When a lot of interesting shit was happening, time seemed to go by fast. If you got stuck with nothing but the usual boring shit, it slowed down. And when everything stopped happening, time apparently quit altogether." p. 48

And time is not the only thing that's blurry. Eddie remarks, "The people are real. . . . But the way stuff from my world keeps showing up over here, that's not real. It's not sensible or logical, either, but that's not what I mean. It's just not real. p. 215 It makes me think of the Nigerian drug plane in particular. I still can't wait to find out how that got on the Island.

Even another character the main ka-tet meets along the way has experienced this time problem. Callahan says "For months--sometimes even years, as I tried to explain to you--time hardly seems to exist. Then everything comes in a gasp." p. 403 This reminds me of what's happened on Island since 815 crashed. Since the Purge the Others carried on in their day to day Land's End life in New Otherton and now "bam" the last 100 days have been insane. Same for Desmond. For 3 years all he did was push a button and now everything is coming in a gasp.

And we finally get a hint at what's going on with time when Roland, Eddie and Jake visit the Rose in New York. Eddie . . . saw the Tower itself in the burning folds of the rose and for a moment understood its purpose: how it distributed its lines of force to all the worlds that were and held them steady in time's great helix. . . . for every hand stayed from violence, there was the Tower. And the quiet, singing voice of the rose. "There are two hubs of existence," [Roland said] The Tower . . . and the rose." pp. 250-51 Is the Island also one of these hubs?

Travel Through Time and Space

Another big component of Wolves is the traveling the ka-tet does away from the Calla to 1977 New York. They manage this travel in two different ways. This first is by going "todash" which is a kind of very real dream. When it occurs, they pass between two worlds, the World they were sleeping in and the world of 1977 New York. And as they were "todashed" to New York only the barest bit of them remained in the other world. Could this explain Jacob? While Jake and Eddie were todash they flickerd on and off.

What's more we meet a group of people, the Manni-folk who regularly engage in this sort of travel. The "elder Manni seek the other worlds[.] Not for treasure but for enlightenment[.] [Roland] also knew that some had come back from their travels insane. Others never come back at all. These hills are magnetic, and riddled with many ways into many worlds."  p. 533 I want to know if this is the sort of task that Richard wants to get his people back to.

There's even more time travel through alternate worlds in Callahan's story. While living in "our" world he often encountered "highways in hiding" that led to alternate Americas with different Presidents, different currencies and different town names.

And then there's a final form of travel and that's through a door, a door like those in Book 2 The Drawing of the Three, but to get through these doors you need a glass, Black 13 which was first introduced in Wizard and Glass. Using Black 13, the ka-tet and Callahan are able to direct their travels back to 1977 though there does seem to be rules.

Eddie believes that they can't go back in time via the door or todash to a point in 1977 New York they've already visited. If they were right about the rules, he couldn't go back to that day, not todash, not in the flesh either. If they were right, time over there was somehow hooked to time over here, only running a little faster. If they were right about the rules . . . if there were rules . . . p. 664

And as far as we can tell those rules do indeed hold, though they never really attempt to break them by going back to a day in New York they think has already past.

Can You Affect Time

But despite these forms of time travel, there are problems. For example, Black 13 tries to mess with you. It tempts you to in fact go back and do things differently.

Black 13 tempts you into going back and change things making you believe you will make them all better. Callahan says "I believe it lures people on to acts of terrible evil by whispering to them that they will do good. That they'll make things not just a little better but all better." p. 608

And these ideas continue to play out in the concept of ka and when you should meddle with it. For example, Roland tells Jake this advice from Roland's dad. "[W]hen you are unsure, you must let ka alone to work itself out." p. 508 Jake says this sounds like passing the buck. Roland emphasized again the "when one isn't sure about ka, it's best to let ka work itself out. If one medles, one almost always does the wrong thing." pp. 509-10 Sounds a lot like a Locke/Jack confrontation, though Locke is much more passive than Roland.

This is something I worry about with the O6 going back to the Island. The ka-tet discusses going back to prevent the Kennedy assassination and the fact that might have led to a worse person or people than Lee Harvey Oswald working to course correct. It makes me wonder if Desmond saving Charlie made things worse. And will Jack and the O6's return in the face of the "bad things" that happened when they left result in good things or just another form of bad things?

General References

Finally, a list of basic similarities.

There are magic numbers in the book. Nineteen appears over and over in the tree branches, in the clouds, in the number of petals of the rose and the number of letters in peoples' names. Also 99 and combinations like 1999. They also add other numbers up to 19 like the most rabid of LOST fans.

Susannah compares their experience with crossovers between worlds as a Dickens novel.   

There's a reference to the Red Sox winning the Series. They had not at the time.

There are several businesses that show up in all worlds, LeMark Industries, Sombra Corp., North Central Positronics. It reminds me of the everpresent Widmore.

There's a message on a loop.

There's a reference to George and Lennie from Of Mice and Men.

When the Low Men finally catch Callahan, they do it at an office building. Callahan remarks that most of the people there seem to be "extras," "stage-dressing," "a set-up . . . as elaborate as a Hollywood movie."

Callahan dies by falling out a window -- 32, not 8 stories.

Callahan crossed with Roland and Jake all the way back in Book 1 much like Jack crossed with Shannon at her father's death.

Susannah sneaks off from the group at night. This reminds me of Claire getting up and wandering off with Christian in the middle of the night.

The Jafford's special child is named Aaron.  

Twins are the focus of the Calla story.  And I'm still waiting for Bad Twin to be relevant.

In the Cave of the Voices/Doorway Cave you hear voices of people from your past. "The voices are coming from your own head. The cave finds them and amplifies them somehow. Sends them on. It's a little upsetting, I know, but it's meaningless." p. 662 This is a lot like Sawyer's encounter with the boar in particular and sometimes the Whispers.

Eddie refers to himself as being exiled from New York, yet he can return through todash and the door. Will that be true for Ben too?

The technology left behind by the "Old People" is technology of our world, of 20th century America. Reminds me of DIs left behind tech and that left behind by the 4-toes.

Jake finds a monitoring station full of TV screens fed by hidden cameras a la The Pearl, The Flame and The Hydra.

Andy the robot is tired of being dissed. Reminds me of Roger Workman and later Ben Workman.

And finally, we are briefly introduced to the Breakers who are telepaths and psychokinetics, i.e. "special."

So my quest for the Tower continues on. I'm going to have to add Salem's Lot to the reading list now. The general plan is to read Book 6 before the start of Season 5. Then read Insomnia and Book 7 before the start of Season 6. Until then, remember the face of your father.

Monday, August 11, 2008

How Does Locke Know the O6 Are Alive?

It dawned on me as I speculated about the O6's return to the Island, how did Locke know he could leave the Island and go look for them? Last those on the Island knew was this:

which drove Juliet to drink and I'm begging you writers, not into the arms of Sawyer. Why would anyone on the Island have any reason to believe 6 people survived?

The couldn't watch the O6s return from the Flame:

This guy's not around to rig up something:

Nor this one:

So were they able to communicate from this location?

Or did these folks see the helicopter escape?

What's your best guess?