Doc Jensen on ''The Variable,'' which puts Daniel in full effect, in both foreground and back story. Plus: Revisiting the Orientation Film from season 2, a couple of clarifications and corrections, and a little TOE tapping

By Jeff Jensen
Updated April 28, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: ABC

Welcome to the Planet Fiction that is Lost. My name is Doc Jensen, archaeologist of impossible possibilities, currently on temporary work release from the Santa Rosa Mental Health — err, I mean, Mental CRACKPOT GENIUS Institute. Please note the placard on the door of my office:

”To be a scientist is to commit to a life of confusion punctuated by rare moments of clarity. When I leave the office at night, the confusion comes with me. Ruminating over these equations, seeking patterns, looking for hidden relationships, trying to make contact with hidden data — it’s all uncertainty and possibility engaged in an endless chaotic dance. Every so often the blur resolves, but the respite is short lived; the next puzzle demands focus. This, really, is the joy of being a scientist. Established truths are comforting, but it is the mysteries that make the soul ache and render a life of exploration worth living.” —Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe, from the new issue of Wired, guest-edited by Lost co-creator and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams.

The ”endless chaotic dance” of (seemingly) infinite possibilities — that’s what I love about investigating the mystery matrix of Lost. Or, for those who speak High Geek: Think of this column as a trading ship traversing the channels that exist among countless alternative potentialities that glitter within Lost like a monolithic theoretical snowflake floating in 196,833 dimensional space, whose captain is fond of stopping on the most unlikely and obscure of many possible worlds. [A No Prize if you know the reference: is where you should send your submissions.] I promise you no answers in this column — just the crazy joy of Sherlocking through this deep and shifty show. Emphasis on crazy. Yeah, I know: It’s not like we’re trying to find the underlying order of the universe, or locate the sub-atomic super-strings that stitch together the fabric of the cosmos, or plant flags in the secret dimensions coiled in the folds of the observable universe. No, excavating the secret archaeology of Lost isn’t like that at all.

It’s wayyyyyyyy cooler!

NEXT PAGE: Previewing ”The Variable”

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