‘Lost’ (S3): Exclusive! Its link with ”Heroes”
DOC JENSEN’S LOST MYSTERY HOT SHEET
A weekly ranking of Lost‘s watercooler mysteries.
1. ”MY NAME IS BENJAMIN LINUS, AND I HAVE LIVED ON THIS ISLAND ALL MY LIFE,” a.k.a. ”IS FAKE HENRY FULL OF CRAP?”
LAST WEEK No. 6
ANALYSIS I loved everything about the last scene of last week’s episode, with its revelations — about Ben’s last name (”Linus” = the ill-fated son of the ancient Greek sun god Apollo = Apollo candy bars in the Hatch = uh… I have no idea); about the length of time he has spent on the island (”all my life” = maybe 35 to 40 years? = possibly a child of Dharma Initiative scientists = I wonder if Ben might have been conceived in the Hatch by a male/female button-pushing team?); about the fact that the Others have a connection to the outside world (according to the annotations on the Map found in the Hatch, Dharma had wired the island with telecommunications = the Others probably have Internet access) and also apparently an appreciation for baseball. (I loved how hyper-rational pessimist/fatalist Jack found it impossible to believe that the Boston Red Sox could ever reverse the curse.)
Perhaps more provocatively, Ben gave Jack a time frame for his Robinson Crusoe ordeal, telling the father-haunted spinal surgeon that the castaways had been marooned on the island for about two months. Ben’s disclosure pretty much nullifies the theory that Lost is actually taking place in the future, i.e. that the Oceanic 815 passengers all died in the crash, and that their brains were salvaged and preserved on ice, and that a sophisticated and enlightened future society transferred those brains into genetically engineered clones, and that the Others are agents in an elaborate psychodrama designed to spiritually evolve these old, unreconstructed personalities so they are socially suitable to live in the Brave New World that now exists outside the island. Which is really too bad. I kinda liked that theory.
THEORY Ben’s lying! The crazy future/clone/psychodrama/Brave New World thing is still viable! Hooray! Huzzah! Three cheers for Ben the Bulls—ter!
ESTIMATED CHANCE THAT BEN IS FULL OF CRAP About as likely as the Boston Red Sox ever winning the World Series again in my lifetime.
2. DOES NBC’S HEROES TAKE PLACE IN THE SAME WORLD AS ABC’S LOST?
(Too-Good-to-Be-True Conspiracy Theory of the Week!)
LAST WEEK Unranked
ANALYSIS Roughly 13 million-plus Americans have fallen hard for Heroes, television’s newest cult-pop sensation, and I am proud to say that I am one of them. My friends and family have applauded the expansion of my geek-TV interests; they were worried that Lost had begun to take over my life. Of course, Heroes isn’t much of a leap from Lost, considering how much they overlap: Both shows have a diverse, multicultural, interconnected cast; fixations with fate, coincidence and destiny; mysterious comic books; an inexplicable recurring motif (in Lost, it’s the Numbers; in Heroes, it’s a helix-shaped pattern); a mythology grounded in weird science and possibly sinister scientific experimentation; and even a potentially superpowered kid with estranged parents. Hmmmm…
In fact, after watching the most recent chapter in the unfolding Heroes saga, my conspiracy-theory senses began to tingle and twitch in that crazy Brad Pitt-in-12 Monkeys kinda way that makes my wife very, very nervous. Because it suddenly struck me that Heroes‘ fantastical premise — that human beings are breaking out with superpowers as an evolutionary response to environmental changes (overpopulation, global warming, war) threatening the survival of the species — is conspicuously similar to the sci-fi conceit of Lost‘s Hanso Foundation/Dharma Initiative mythology. And by ”conspicuously similar,” I am indeed suggesting that both shows occupy the same creative universe.
THEORY The mysterious island on Lost was a mad-scientist laboratory focused on accelerating human evolution that created the superpowered heroes on Heroes.
According to the Lost revelations disclosed this past summer through The Lost Experience (and if you haven’t seen the mother of all Lost orientation films, check it out here), the purpose of the Dharma Initiative was to develop radical scientific solutions that could save the world from an impending apocalypse, as predicted by a mathematical formula called the Valenzetti Equation. The Numbers belong to that equation; it seems that each digit in the sequence — 4 8 15 16 23 42 — is a value in the equation that corresponds to a key variable in Valenzetti’s recipe for disaster. Those variables include overpopulation, global warming, and war — the same environmental factors that are (allegedly) triggering Mother Nature to sire a world full of X-Men on Heroes.
Apparently, Dharma financier Alvar Hanso believed that if just one of the values in the Equation could be changed, Armageddon could be averted, or at least delayed. Dharma’s activities on the island somehow had the ability to have an impact on the rest of the world, perhaps via the ”unique” electromagnetic energy that radiates from the same section of the island where Station Three: The Swan was located. Remember the radio tower that was broadcasting the Numbers? It was basically a weather report, updating the scientists on the condition of the world; when and if they heard that the core values of the Equation had been changed, they would know that their work had succeeded. Alas, according to The Lost Experience, the Dharma Initiative failed to accomplish its mission.
But what if the Dharma scientists did have an impact on the world, one that defied calculation and measurement at the time? Remember, Dharma was active on the island during the ’70s — about the time that all the superpowered characters on Heroes were conceived and born. What if Dharma spiked the world’s gene pool with some superpowered hooch? According to The Lost Experience, Hanso is affiliated with a prominent confectionary marketer called the Apollo Candy Company; maybe one of those Apollo candy bars gave Nathan Petrelli on Heroes a real high-flying kick, if you know what I mean.
Okay, maybe I’m the one who’s high. But I think there’s enough reason to be suspicious, especially since the two shows in question share one unquestionable link: the creator of Heroes, Tim Kring, and the co-creator of Lost, Damon Lindelof, used to work together on Crossing Jordan and remain good friends. So: Are the brilliant buddies quietly engaged in some kind of clandestine creative collaboration?
RESPONSE FROM HEROES CREATOR TIM KRING Hey! Look at this! Turns out we’re onto something, at least in a wishful-thinking sort of way. Asked if Heroes and Lost are in a secret alliance, Kring says, ”Well… Damon and I did talk about a lot of stuff. And unfortunately, we’re on different networks, because otherwise, a lot of those things would have been really, really fun to have done.” By ”stuff,” do you mean you guys actually discussed the possibility of mythologically linked shows? ”Oh, yeah,” says Kring. ”We’ve talked a lot [in general] about how two shows could dovetail. But again, we are limited by the fact that we are on competing networks.” But couldn’t you guys conceivably do this idea without ever technically acknowledging it in any formal way? ”That’s true. That’s true,” says Kring with a laugh.
TRANSLATION Keep dreamin’, Doc J. (BTW: Thanks to Mr. Kring for kindly indulging my obsessions.)
ESTIMATED CHANCE OF A LOST/HEROES CONNECTION Oh, like they would ever admit it if this were true!
3. WHY IS THE JIN/SUN DRAMA SO IMPORTANT TO THE THIRD SEASON OF LOST?
LAST WEEK Unranked
ANALYSIS Among my fellow Lost-o-philes, last week’s Jin/Sun episode was something of a disappointment, not because it was a bad episode of Lost, per se (I would give it a solid B), but because it wasn’t as good as the exhilarating season premiere (which I would give an A+). And yet, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Jin/Sun backstory, which revealed the complicated nuances of Sun’s practice of deception, is light that can illuminate many mysteries involving the Others.
For example, I couldn’t help but wonder if the parable of the glass ballerina contained an example of parenting that the Others would admire. Sure, Sun’s dad was being mighty unfair when he fired the maid when Sun lied and blamed her for breaking the glass ballerina — especially since Dad knew Sun was lying. But I think Dad was trying to make a point to his young daughter, a point that really resonated with me, being a parent myself. Dad was trying to show Sun that the world isn’t all about her; that her actions have consequences. For Sun’s father, the issue at stake was bigger than seeking justice for a shattered bauble; he was trying to teach Sun that the quality of her character affects the quality of life of her community and culture. Which is a pretty ironic lesson for a rich and powerful and extremely corrupt businessman (mobster?) to be teaching his daughter, isn’t it?
Now, remember the scene in the season premiere when Mr. Friendly/Tom made the kid in the other cage (his name is Carl, by the way) apologize to Sawyer for involving him in his escape attempt? Seems to me that Mr. Friendly was merely trying to teach the same lesson that Sun’s dad was trying to teach her, albeit in a much more direct, blunt, and vaguely Western pop-psych sort of way.
DO I HAVE ANY KIND OF INSIDE INFO THAT SUPPORTS THIS CONTENTION? Not at all. Still, bookmark this idea in your mind as we move forward into the season.
ESTIMATED CHANCE THAT IN REALITY, THE JIN/SUN STORY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING 50%. I’m either right or I’m wrong.
4. WHAT’S THE TRUE PURPOSE OF KATE AND SAWYER’S FORCED LABOR?
LAST WEEK Unranked
ANALYSIS I don’t for a second believe that the Others are really building anything on that plot of rocky land they have Kate and Sawyer clearing — unless it’s a baby nursery. Or maybe the Others are pirates, and they’re looking for buried treasure, and they’re making Kate and Sawyer do the digging.
Or maybe we need to be parsing this along Biblically symbolic lines. Kate and Sawyer, both fugitives, are Adam and Eve after the Fall of Man. The rock quarry represents God’s curse on mankind. And the Others represent the demanding yoke of Old Testament law, which required unquestioning obedience lest the Lord let loose with some of that great vengeance and furious anger of His.
I should just stick with the crazy disembodied-psychic theories, shouldn’t I?
THEORY The Others want what Lost fans want — they wanna see Kate and Sawyer do it. And by ”it,” I mean ”It.” And by ”It,” I mean, ”Unprotected It.” That kiss between the two captives was no accident; the Others know perfectly well what kind of stimulating effect the sight of a hot and sweaty Kate in a revealing sundress would have on Sawyer. So why are the Others doing everything to create circumstances that will drive Kate and Sawyer toward each other, to push their love/hate relationship firmly on the side of love, to get them to finally do the deed?
Oh, and they need to get Kate knocked up. I’m guessing for some reason, the Others are incapable of reproducing. But because they are psychic animal/human hybrids (see last week’s ”Animal Magic” theory), they are instinctively driven toward survival and advancing the species. So they need babies to transfer their consciousness.
”Forced labor,” indeed.
ESTIMATED CHANCE OF BEING RIGHT 108%. Like the Numbers, my logic is adding up… to something that makes absolutely no sense.
5. ”GUYS… WHERE ARE WE?” (TAKE 23)
LAST WEEK No. 42
ANALYSIS I was greatly intrigued by Juliet’s reaction to the news that the castaways had a boat. While Ben was kinda freaked by this news, Juliet seemed rather amused by it, suggesting that letting them sail aimlessly in circles would give them something to do. Presumably, Juliet’s suggestion was a nod to last May’s season finale, in which we learned that Desmond could never get beyond the island in his boat, that all courses away from this tropical trap only led straight back.
THEORY Actually, I don’t really have a theory about Juliet’s comment specifically, but it did remind me of something I didn’t share with you last week about that Petula Clark song ”Downtown,” which Juliet seems to like so much. Back in the late ’80s, a British band by the name of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (or the JAMs) sampled Clark’s tune in their hit song ”Down Town.” Now, in case you aren’t up on your pseudoscience or fantasy literature, ”Mu” is the name given to a speculative place that some believe is the true cradle of civilization, an ancient civilization that colonized the world, which would then explain the curious similarities (hieroglyphics, astrology/zodiac blah blah blah) that exist among several other far-flung ancient civilizations. According to the Mu lore, the reason why archaeologists haven’t been able to dig up Mu is because Mu is located on the floor of the Pacific Ocean — a sunken continent, not unlike the mythic Atlantis.
Now: Remember those hieroglyphics in the Hatch? According to the Lost producers, they spell the word ”Underworld.”
”Downtown” = ”Down Town” = ”Underworld” = Mu?
Friends… could the island actually be the lost continent of Mu?
ESTIMATED CHANCE THAT MY MU THEORY IS CORRECT Oh, I don’t care. I just like saying the word Mu. Mu Mu Mu Mu Mu Mu!
Until next week —