Thursday, October 30, 2008

Song of Claire?

I finished Book 6 of the Dark Tower series, Song of Susannah and I can't even answer my own question given the cliffhanger ending of the book. Song of Susannah was that episode before the season finale. You know Born to Run, Three Minutes, Greatest Hits, and There's No Place Like Home, Pt. 1; that episode which is good, but in all honesty just resembles the five moves on the chessboard that precede the final three checkmate death blows. People who eventually have to end up together are scattered and you don't know how they'll get back together. And then with three minutes left, something starts to happen and then you have to wait to find out what. I'm somewhat fearful all of Season 5 may resemble that episode.

But there were a couple of ideas in Song of Susannah that I'm interested to see if they play out on LOST. The most interesting has to do with do-overs. Time travel has been very present in The Dark Tower series. From the very beginning we've known that there are other worlds than these. But here we are introduced to the idea of the true world, the "only one where, when things were finished, they stayed finished.” p. 176 What's more in this world you can never come back to an earlier time and get a do over. You have to get it right the first time. pp. 217-18

The new Season 5 promo and it's use of props that we've seen in the past have many speculating that some form of do-over may be where we're heading. Heck, that's been an idea ever since beardy Jack first started raving about going back. How could going back undo or make up for the bad things that happened after the O6 left, unless the O6 get some sort of do-over? I'm not a huge fan of alternate universes, but I'm willing to give TPTB one go at it. Just one though. We'll see. Will Jack and crew get on last chance to get everything right?

Another very LOST-ian idea is the role of magic/faith vs. science/rationality. Mia explains to Susannah that the world was formed by magic but then the magic receded and was replaced with machines. Now the machines are failing. Mia claims the same is true for Susannah herself. "You doom yourselves, Susannah. You seem positively bent on it, and the root is always the same: your faith fails you, and you replace it with rational thought. But there is no love in thought, nothing that lasts in deduction, only death in rationalism." p. 147 And to top it off Mia claims the only thing that can save the world is the return of magic.

Now this is the kind of explanation I'd like to see for the Island and what's going on with it. The Island is a magic place, then Dharma arrives and tries to harness that magic mechanically. As a result the magic departs. Then those maintaining the machines are purged, and now the machines are failing to control the Island resulting in rogue Smokey, moving Jacob and the inability of women to carry a pregnancy to term. And the only thing that will save it is the return of the magic. Well, a girl can hope at least. Or it could be an attempt to merge the science and the magic. That was something that happened in the Dark Tower world as well, but it failed in all but one remaining place, and the health of that place is pretty questionable too.

Finally, there's the repeated notion of twins. It arises in two key places in Song of Susannah. The first is in this duality of science and magic. Susannah calls them Tweedledee and Tweedledum in addition to rational and irrational, sane and insane. In the second instance Eddie is called the twin of Roland's childhood friend Cuthbert. But the idea isn't really so much that they are twins, but in fact the same reincarnated soul turning on the wheel of Ka.  I'm still looking for that bad twin.

I've only got one book to go in MY quest for the Dark Tower. I'm not sure when I'll get there, but I'm certain ka willing that it will be before the start of Season 6, my goal. 


lost2010 said...

I've always thought Susannah was very much like Locke. She wants to have faith but she just can't quite hold onto it. Then there's the walking - SofS is the one where she gets back to one version of New York and is able to walk right?

But the walking comes with a price, she can't fully be herself and have the walking - she must sacrifice a piece of her autonomy to have back that gift. Very Locke to me.

The Mia character is very interesting to me as well. She isn't another split of Susannah's personality but an actual separate entity who has taken advantage of the way Susannah's brain is wired to be able to both give and take from Susannah. She gives her legs for a time but only until Susannah accomplishes the purpose that the legs were necessary for.

So, to me, Susannah in Dark Tower is both Claire and Locke - but more Locke I guesss. And I did think that Claire's sojourn in the cabin wasn't unlike Susannah's adventure back to New York. . .although I think Susannah took a few detours first. I still hope we'll get to see Claire's detours.

Does Susannah have the baby in this one? Because I was thinking no. . .

Have they explored the concept yet of whether the people that come from the worlds that aren't "true" are even real people? Because that gets pretty existential there for a while. That's an interesting concept to tie into Lost - are some of the people from "Real" worlds while some of them may have only accidentally crossed over into this world to get onto this flight.

It's all so very 19. . .


memphish said...

This is the one where Susannah gets to walk, and she even loses feelings in her legs once when Mia starts to check out. Reminded me of Locke and Boone at the drug plane. Of course her Mia legs are white and the implication is that Mia will take over Susannah's body completely and turn from Susannah into Mia. I'm not really sure what to make of that.

And no she doesn't have the baby yet, nor is there the not real people thing. I like that idea about people from worlds crossing.

My most giant complaint about this book though is Stephen King writing himself into it. I could even put up with the stuff with Roland and Eddie, but the last 30 pages or so where he recounts the saga from his own viewpoint while leaving us hanging as to the outcome for the actual characters really ticked me off. I think now my worst outcome for LOST will be a pull-back to the writer's room as opposed to a pull-back to a boy looking at a snow globe. Self-referential authors is a huge pet peeve of mine.

Capcom said...

Ugh, that would be awful.

lost2010 said...

You may hate the last book. I got a kick out of him writing himself in. But rest assured the final outcome of Dark Tower isn't an image of King. :)

There is an idea in the books that people cross from world to world and sometimes the worlds are so similar that they don't even realize they've crossed. The character Calahan explores it the most deeply I believe (maybe in W of C). I was pretty sure that SofS was the one where Roland and Eddie sat down with King and they learned that geography was slightly different in Eddie's world than in King's world. So we learned that they weren't so much time traveling as traveling to alternate universes. In some of those universes time wasn't constant, but in others time only moves one way. In those, you had to be very careful of the choices you make because they couldn't be undone.

For instance Roland's katet aren't even from the same universe/timeline necessarily. What if the Sydney airport is a Way Station of sorts - a place where people have crossed over and come together. . .or maybe it's the island that's a way station of sorts. . .maybe Dharma, and Ben's people and the losties aren't from exactly the same universe. . .but they've crossed over. . .it's kind of a fun idea to play with.

I've always thought that the end of Lost might be very like the end of Dark Tower. But I know you're not there yet.

memphish said...

I like the idea of the Island as a Way Station. It would go a long way to explaining Richard Alpert.

lost2010 said...

And if it is a way station and Jack and Co. have left - was it like when Jake fell over the cliff. He left and goes back to New York but it isn't exactly the same New York he left. And Roland's world beckons to him. A lot of the wierdness that the Oceanic 6 encountered could be explained by it not being exactly the same world as the one they left - very nearly the same but not exactly the same maybe.

Maybe in the reality they returned to Kate really did conduct all her criminal activity in California - -:)

memphish said...

LOL. Oh if this could only be used to explain that lame Kate post-Island story. And I do think the O6 are feeling crazy like Jake and Roland did at the start of the The Waste Lands when they are aware that there are at least 2 different scenarios they have or should have lived.