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Image Credit: Mario Perez/ABCOver the past few weeks, I’ve been waffling about the validity of Hurley’s spectral encounters with the castaway dead and other ghosts on The Island on Lost. Some weeks, I think Hurley is a Ghost Whisperer. Other weeks, like in last Wednesday’s recap of “The Candidate,” I’ve speculated that Smokey has been manipulating Hurley by appearing to him as the likes of Charlie, Isabella, and Michael. There now seems to be an official ruling on the matter. In their latest podcast, which you can find many places on the Web including at docarzt.com, exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof tell fans that while almost anything and everything on Lost is open to interpretation, it would be safe and logical to assume that the Man In Black isn’t messing with Hurley. Furthermore, the producers also say that The Whispers do not work for Smokey.
The bottom line is that there are four different categories it seems of something I will awkwardly label Experiences With Dead People:
THE WHISPERS The chorus of Island dead, invisible though audible to the living.
SMOKEY MANIFESTATIONS Occurrences in which in The Man In Black has posed as dead people to manipulate the castaways. The Man In Black has only ever copped to being Christian Shephard, and of course, he’s currently wearing the image of John Locke. But yes, he was probably Yemi, too.
HURLEY VISITATIONS Due to a special ability, Hurley can see and converse with Island dead (including and possibly exclusively The Whispers) that are invisible to everyone else.
MILES Due to his own special ability, Miles can hear and converse with the dead, but he can’t see them like Hurley can. Also, Miles does seem to need to be in proximity of the dead person’s body for his super-power to work, though in his first flashback scene on the show, he did make contact with a young, house-haunting spirit via some kind of ghostbuster device. (Miles has been MIA from the show of late along with Ben and Richard. I’ve been wondering: Do you think it’s possible that they were the ones who planted the C-4 aboard Ajira? After all, when we last saw them, they were heading to New Otherton to get explosives to blow up the plane.)
As I stated in my recap earlier this week, I suspect that when Lost is over, many fans and hardcore theorists will be reconsidering the entire series from Smokey’s point of view. It’s clear now that he’s been executing a conspiracy over many years, designed to culminate with the death of Jacob and his candidate-replacements and Smokey’s “escape” from The Island. (I put “escape” in quotes because I am becoming increasingly unclear what escape truly means to the Man In Black. Maybe he wants a shot at life beyond The Island. Maybe he has a specific place in mind when says he wants to go home. Or maybe he just wants to die.) So it’s cool that Damon and Carlton are offering these kind of clarifications here at the end, because it’ll help those of us who are interested in reflecting on the whole of their story to see it clearly.
Cuse and Lindelof also said they will record one more podcast this season before going into “radio silence.” As for when we may hear from them again after the finale, my guess is that they’ll surface when the season 6 DVD drops in late August. As I listened to them talk about working with their editors and “locking” the final and anticipating the dissolution of their “Darlton” identity, I finally felt it—the first sad pang of “This Is About To End.” No more mysteries. No more podcasts. No more Lost. Until a few minutes ago, I had thought I was ready for this to be over. Now, I realize I was deceiving myself. This is going to be hard. Harder than I thought. Crap! As if my end-of-Lost experience wasn’t complicated enough as it is! Which brings me to…
THE DEATH OF DOC JENSEN?
In the world of Lost, “The Sickness” is an elusive Island malady that destroys the mind, corrupts the heart, and even kills the body and soul. (I know many of you are wondering if Lost will ever address if Sayid truly had “The Sickness” now that he’s dead. I wouldn’t mind little more spelled-out elaboration on what was ailing Sayid post-Temple massacre, myself.) But the world of Lost theorizing has its own form of “Sickness,” a toxic taint known as spoileritus. And my friends, I have become infected with it. If you’ve purchased or received the new issue of EW, then you probably know that yours truly was on the set of the series finale. In fact, I visited the production on a night in which the cast was shooting a scene that you will see in the last 10 minutes of the last episode airing on May 23. I am forbidden from describing specifics of the scene. I am also forbidden from characterizing the significance of the scene, although even if I had permission to do so, I’m not sure I’d be correct with my analysis; I was told that the scene required knowledge of other scenes in order to be properly understood. Nonetheless, the implications of the scene were pretty clear. And the upshot is this: I’ve been compromised with inside information. As a result, it would be irresponsible and unethical of me to exploit the secrets I now possess to inform my theorizing about the parts of the saga that I know about.
At the same time, there is still a great deal that I don’t know. I feel like I can continue with this column and with the recaps and continue doing the things that I do in good faith and in good conscience. I give you three promises:
1. I’m not going to spoil ANYTHING for you. I’m not even going to be coy about this. No hidden clues, no carefully chosen words, no wink-winks and nudge-nudges.
2. I am not going to MISLEAD you. No games, no misdirection, no deception.
3. I’m not going to be LEADING you anywhere, either. I have no interest in “helping” Lost tell its story; I am only interested in thinking about the story and talking about it with you. I have always come by my ideas fairly. You can trust that this column will remain a safe zone of honestly earned insight… and foolishness.
I can’t wait for you to see what I saw. I can’t wait to share more of the behind-the-scenes experience with you. I’ll be posting a lengthy report about the evening a couple days after the finale.
Okay, enough about me. Let’s talk about you. And let’s talk about grief—and your lack of grief. Most of you were broken up by the deaths of Sayid, Jin and Sun in last week’s episode. Many of you were infuriated by them. And some of you have theories like this one from Don in Indy:
“I may be the only person invested in this show that wasn’t really affected by Sun and Jin’s death….and that is because I am totally convinced that everyone is headed towards Sideways world and none of them will be dead when all is said and done.”
Don’s view raises a good point: it is kinda hard to feel too broken up about Jin and Sayid when their Sideways counterparts remain alive and the possibility exists for their souls to find new life within their Sideways selves. Regardless, Don’s view clashes with many who believe that there’s something profoundly wrong if not evil about the Sideways world. Don doesn’t disagree, but he also thinks that the Sideways world can be fixed. Moreover, he advocates a version of a theory that many of you seem to have—that Smokey is planning to move into Sideways John’s body, that Smokey already has some small measure of control over John and is influencing him to not accept Jack’s offer of restorative surgery because he’s worried the procedure might kill the body or worse activate “Island Enlightenment” within John Locke. (It’s strange how that last sentence is both totally bizarre and yet makes some kind of sense.)
Another theory inspired by this week’s Sideways world story comes from Eddy Rivas, who found it conspicuous/suspicious that “The Candidate” revealed to us that Sideways Locke has a pilot’s license. Apparently anticipating a scenario by which Fake Locke would be able to tap Sideways Locke’s aviation skills, Eddy writes: “I’m calling this right now: Side Locke is going to fly the Ajira plane off the island.”
Interesting theories, guys. I’d comment on both, but wouldn’t you know it, I’ve run out of time and space. I know I promised you some Smokey/Sawyer thoughts, but they’re going to have to wait. I know I also promised you the results of my poll question, “What mysteries would you like see Lost answer before the end of the series?” I think we should take this matter up next week, especially since so many of you said something like “I want more answers about Jacob and The Man In Black!”, and it looks Lost is going give us some of those answers in Tuesday’s episode. I’ll be back on Tuesday myself with more of your thoughts on the Jin/Sun/Sayid deaths and more insights into season 6 from the cast and producers of Lost. Until then, have an awesome weekend, folks!
Be seeing you!