June 16, 2010

Circling Back Around

Hi Losties!
Let's talk about LOST... AGAIN!

To read original episode notes without being spoiled, click on:
PILOT Part 1 and Part 2

On September 22, 2004 Dr. Jack Shephard was a passenger on board Oceanic flight 815 en route from Sydney Australia to Los Angeles; he was transporting the body of his father, Christian Shephard back home to be buried.  Jack wakes up in a bamboo forest on a mysterious "Island" where his plane "crashed".
We witness a specific group of people who become a close circle of friends via the adventurous journey that brought them together.

Your orientation:
For LOST fans that are new to the detailed episodes at Karen's LOST Notebook,  I'd like for you to see how to utilize the original notes; I bold type and/or underline words and phrases, as they MAY BE potential clues, items of importance, or they are indeed an established continuing clue line.  You will also note dates on the bottom of those notes/posts to see when they were originally posted.

For the re-watch I will always link you back to those original notes for each episode, as I stand by those detailed recap observations, so click on those links.  I feel they contain valuable information and must be read first.
I'll incorporate the Missing Pieces Mobisodes and ARG information as well.   The posts I make with the yellow post it note at the top (like the one above) will be additional information for each episode (which may spoil you).  So you have a choice on which way to use my notes for your re-watch.

It will become obvious that I always spotlight the metaphor of LOST, as it is the essence of the story.
This post is really a short overview through these three episodes. 

A tip before you begin Season 1:  Season one mirrors season six, and remember Jack was not on "Jacob's List".    It is very important to really look and see, listen and hear and keep an open mind to what you are shown.  Our lesson is..."Careful observation is the only key to true and complete awareness".
Now let's have some fun!

And so it begins...
To start down the rabbit hole of this epic tale we must start at the earliest moments of its narration. The "Missing Piece" titled So It Begins depicts the moments before we're introduced to Dr. Jack Shephard. It is important to watch this clip and to read my brief notes on it. {Click the link for notes}

Pilot: Part one and Part two
Jack wakes up in the bamboo forest.  He has an injury that required a couple of stitches with standard black thread, from Nurse Kate Austen. Jack's tiny travel bottles of liquor that were in his pocket from the plane were not broken upon his supposed "impact".
We learned through the six seasons that stubborn Jack was indeed an alcoholic and drug addict with emotional issues and pain, yet even with addiction we never saw him boozing it up or hitting the heroin and drugs on the "Island".
While watching those opening moments I cannot and will not take back the feeling I had the very first time I saw Jack open his eye and make his way to the chaos and the screams for help from survivors on the beach. To me it still was as if he was "placed" in that spot, as were the other castaways.  As we go through the story we learn that Jack indeed had to "start over" in the same starting position more than once.
Jack assumes the role of the "Island" hero.   He literally breathes new life into Rose.
Jack clues us into how he copes with fear with is "counting to five" method, and that he also is familiar with flying a plane as he took flying lessons.
We are introduced to the mysterious monster that sounds more mechanical in nature than organic. But whatever it is, is appears to be huge.
Jack, Kate and Charlie head out to retrieve the transceiver from the cockpit. Along the way we learn that Charlie is the bass player for the one hit wonder band "Drive Shaft".     Poor Altar boy Charlie is a heroin addict.

It's important to note that Jack runs past the white tennis shoe in the jungle yet we see Christian wearing both shoes in So it Begins.
Vincent the wonder dog plays a role in this the way...he's a "lab".

Shannon sunbathes while the other castaways sort through wreckage and belongings because she feels "You're wasting your time. They're coming."   Mind you Jacob whispers "They're coming" after Ben stabs him, utilizing the "loophole" in The Incident.  There are a lot of connections between Pilot and The Incident including Jack's "count to five" fear trick.

Tabula Rasa
Here on the "Island" everyone gets a new start, a do-over.  But is the concept based on the idea that they don't know each other and their past histories, or is it based on the "starting the adventure run through" again? 

In this episode Kate's name is Annie and she's from Canada.  We learn she is indeed a fugitive on the run from Marshal Edward Mars.  She seeks refuge in one-armed Ray Mullens pen on his farm in Australia.

Michael attempts a new beginning with his son.  Sun and Jin also take advantage of this "do over".
Jack searches the fuselage for medicine while Sawyer is there taking whatever he can get his hands on for future trade leverage in the wild.

When I first saw this episode six years ago I realized that Locke shared a connection to the "monster".

I'm adding the "Missing Piece- Jack, Meet Ethan?" here because there really isn't a more distinct episode to place it in.

This awesome episode sheds light on the fact that the great white hunter, Mr. John Locke is misrepresenting himself.   Locke is also keen on playing games, especially military strategy games.
Here again we hear "monster sounds" linked to Locke when he uses his adding machine.

Kate shares with Jack that she's a vegetarian when she offers to go boar hunting with Locke and Michael; She claims to have experience with this particular type of hunting.   But I call fucking shenanigans on Kate claiming to be a vegetarian as she ate bacon and eggs with Ray Mullens in Tabula Rasa.

The moral of the story thus far...You have to learn how to walk before you can run.

The following are just a few of the topics,themes and layers that we'll explore over the course of our re-watch.

What is the likelihood that these people "crash" on an "Island" and survive, sustaining superficial physical wounds?
There is a "loop" concept to the entirety of the story, so with that said...If Jack and the castaways have to run through these adventures over and over until they "get it right", it makes sense that "rescue" won't be coming because they have to "heal/fix" themselves first.

Locke asks Walt "Do you wanna know a secret?"    What exactly is this secret?  Walt only shares with Michael in Tabula Rasa that Locke feels a "miracle" happened to him.
Every one of them has secrets and skeletons in their closets. 
Apparently the major question of "Guys, where are we?" wasn't going to technically revealed.

There is no doubt the game element is given to us right from the start and encompasses not only the "Island" game and John Locke's role in it, but the metaphor and literal struggle within Jack and the castaways.
It is important to understand the concept of the first game we're introduced to as many clue words connect to it. We explore other games along the journey.
Backgammon:  Two Players, two sides, one light, one dark: playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice. Players win by removing all of their pieces from the board. Luck and strategy play a part.   Players roll the dice and choose from numerous options for moving their pieces and anticipate possible counter-moves by their opponent.  You can raise the stakes during the game.
Each side of the board has a track of 12 long triangles, called points. The points are considered to be connected across one edge of the board, forming a continuous track in the shape of a horseshoe, and are numbered from 1 to 24. Players begin with two checkers/pieces on their 24-point, three checkers/pieces on their 8-point, and five checkers/pieces each on their 13-point and their 6-point. The two players move their checkers/pieces in opposing directions, from the 24-point towards the 1-point.  Points 1 through 6 are called the home board (inner board), and points 7 through 12 are called the outer board. The 7-point is referred to as the bar point, and the 13-point as the mid point.
The tree of positions expands rapidly because of the number of possible dice rolls and the moves available on each turn. There are cheating methods used.

Word Games and puzzles:
Continuing in the line of "games" it is important to note when "word play" is present.  This happens all the time.   Words will prove to have another/multiple meanings other than was originally assumed and anagrams are given.   We also witness characters doing crossword puzzles on the "Island".

Science - Faith:
The first person Jack seeks the assistance of right after he "arrives" on the beach is John Locke.   Jack is a man of science and Locke is a man of faith.  It seems to me that the "faith" part of the story was addressed in the finale but the science part really wasn't.  Regardless, one goal seems to be finding balance between the two.

John Locke is Jack's opposition throughout the entire story.   There are many times throughout the story they seem to be two halves of a whole in need of balance.  There is a constant pulling at both sides.

The Metaphor:
When you watch the show in this manor, even with its veiled cryptic symbolism, you can still see that we're told the story of "lost" people who have been cast away from their lives and need to find themselves.   They are on a "Walkabout", a journey of self discovery, the path to enlightenment.   Zen Buddhism plays a large role.  I mean after all, we're introduced to the "Dharma Initiative"!

The Mythology:
When you watch the show to learn about the Delphian puzzling bits about the "Island",  I found that most of the time it ended up being smoke and mirrors, a distraction from the truth.   But the mythology will be explored nonetheless as there is pertinent ties.  (And I have hope that they will come back around.)

The Magic:
Yes, the magic!  Illusions and make believe.   You must tap into your imagination along this adventure.   After all we can't explore "Wonderland" and all its fantastical imagery without understanding the power of a magic box.

People, names, jobs, roles, items, clothes, images, places, scenarios, and dialogue are repeated over and over throughout the experiences of Jack and the castaways.
One tiny example is Kate admits to Jack she sewed the drapes in her apartment and in Raised by Another, Claire connects drapes to feeling grown up.   You'll see many more examples with clear connections.

Mental and Emotional Issues:
Behavior, addiction, depression, distress, shut down, suffering, misery,  problems, insane,  paranoia, catatonic, delusional and Santa Rosa all have a place in the "Island's" bloody snow globe.
Jack and the Lostie's carry a lot of baggage and for some it literally cripples them.   The lesson on this journey is to let go of the things that hurt, fix themselves and find their way home. A lot of their pain seems to stem from childhood trauma.

The Heart:
What is in the heart?  Who has murder in their heart?    Can a  broken heart be healed?

The Mind: 
Head. Consciousness, subconscious, sleep, dreams, lucidity, nightmares, hallucinations, hypnosis, visions, dizzy, headache, head injury, vision, memory, remember, forget, pass out, knocked out, and drugged out and brain washing.

Are choices made with the heart or the mind?

Numbers, colors and symbols:   
The colors can connect to the colors associated on the Bagua.   Colors are emphasized in every episode either by the common clothes colors that are worn by the "Island" residents or literally by color washing over the entire scene.  It's fascinating.  Be warned to watch out for changing eye colors throughout the characters; this happens all the time.
We get "symbols" and images referencing important hints all the time.  Be on the lookout for those Dharma-Zen-Buddhist symbols, i.e. wheel, temple, fish, spiral, Dogen, etc. 
The "Island":
All roads lead to the "Island" and events and experiences always blur together.   Does the "Island" fit into "science" or "faith" of the story?

At times the show can feel like a game, or a puzzle or even a riddle.  It can make you feel like you talk yourself in circles when trying to explain to your friends what the show is about.  But the  experience with this story cannot be solved by reason alone, but instead forces us to solve it through flashes of insight. 
We will get into many more themes and layers as we journey along with the rest of the castaways, some of you for the very first time and for others like me...all over again.

Love to all who are "LOST"™


  1. Karen, again and again I must say that I love these posts. So much of what you say and see resonates with me. :)

  2. I really enjoyed reading this analysis. Lost is truly an amazing show, because no matter how many times I watch the episodes or read someone's thoughts about them, I always discover something new.

    I am very intrigued by your suggestion that Jack's position in the bamboo forest seemed very precise and planned. Do you think that what we watched between "The Pilot" and "The End" was the last cycle for these characters on the Island, a successful completion of their mission? Or do you think that they are bound to repeat it again, perhaps until they are all able to survive and grow and live peacefully together?

    You have given me something brand new to consider. Thank you!


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