The Best Book I Ever Watched

September 19, 2008

I often find myself engaged in conversations with people who have never seen LOST and when I express how much I enjoy the show, they always end up asking me to explain what the show is about. My standard response is that it’s ultimately a show about faith versus choice, but I try not to say too much more than that because it almost always ends up sounding ridiculous to them.

Well, I think I finally found the best way to accurately describe the show and pay it the ultimate compliment at the same time. I simply tell everyone that it’s the best book I have ever watched.

Sure, there are plenty of television shows that tell a continuous story over a number of seasons, but none have been so meticulously planned out and none have had the depth of character development that this one has. It really does feel like a book and one that you don’t ever want to put down.

Anyway, it’s been a while since the finale and I promised a character by character analysis that details my opinion on how they are feeling and what their next steps will be on, off, and around the island.

Jack Shepherd – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. He may very well be a man of science, but get ready for a transformation in this character. My guess is that he still wants to “fix things”, but he’s going to go about it in an entirely different way this time and become a believer. It’ll be very interesting to see how the writers handle this transformation because of what we have grown to expect from the character of Jack, but I believe he will evolve into a man of great faith. He’s obviously already on his way by virtue of the fact that he’s going to work with Ben to try and get back to the island.

John Locke/Jeremy Bentham – He will be tested as the new leader of The Others. While Locke may have great faith and trust in those around him and in the island, I still think he lacks some faith in himself. He has a history of telling people, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do”, however he was still asking Ben WHAT he should do. Ben told him not to worry because he always finds his way, but as we know, Locke is amenable to coercion and needs to be cautious about whose advice he takes.

Benjamin Linus – So is he ultimately a good guy? Well, there are two sides to every story and right now it would seem that he’s a good guy because he wants to help Jack and the others get back to the island. However, Ben always seems to have an ulterior motive. After all, he’s also hunting down Penny because he wants to avenge his daughter’s death, eye for an eye style. He wants to hurt Charles Widmore my killing his innocent daughter. That still makes him a bad guy in my book.

Penelope Widmore and Desmond David Hume – I love that I can write about them together. There was a week that passed from the time Penny rescued Desmond, etc… to the time the O6 went off on their raft to the island of Membata. I’m guessing that Penny must have filled in some of the gaps for the survivors, explaining that her father is dangerous and providing more detail about why it’s important they lie about where they have been.

Charles Widmore – I believe he will become an even more prominent character on the show and I think he’s probably behind the resurgence of the Dharma Initiative (see their new logo in my new blog image above). I’m looking forward to when he contacts Sun.

Sun-Hwa Kwon – Still grieving from the apparent death of her husband, Jin-Soo, Sun seems to be on a mission. She has bought a controlling interest in her father’s company and is conspiring something with Charles Widmore alluding to the fact that “others” (Desmond) got off the island as well. Her character has always been a strong one, but not so outwardly strong. It’ll be an interesting scene when Jack/Ben asks her to go back to the island with them.

Mr. Paik – Sun’s father is the CEO of Paik Heavy Industries. As revealed in the “LOST Experience”, Paik Industries does a significant amount of business with the Hanso Foundation as well as with the Widmore Corporation. How prominently will he figure into Seasons 5 and 6 is still undetermined, but without the power that Sun just took from him, I don’t think he’ll be very significant.

Jin-Soo Kwon – He’ll apparently be on the show in Season 5 in “some” capacity. Is he dead or was he blown clear of the sinking ship and picked up by Faraday and company?

Daniel Faraday – If his raft did pick up an injured Jin then he’s off the island because there’s no way that he could have rescued Jin, turned the raft around, and made it back within the proximity of the island to be teleported, where and whenever it went, ahead of the helicopter. My guess is that the raft was still within the island’s teleportation circumference and, like the test rocket and the periodic ration drops; he’ll end up landing on the beach in what seems like hours to him, but will really be days or years to the other island dwellers. The executive producers have indicated that Faraday’s book will become increasingly important in the show. As for the other red shirts with him…who knows!

The Island – It’s probably the most important character on the show. The producers have definitively said that the island did NOT move when Desmond turned the fail safe key, but they didn’t say that it hasn’t moved before. I believe that it moved at least two other times. I believe that the reason the Black Rock is shipwrecked in the middle of the island can be explained by the island’s ability to move. The island must have appeared right underneath it when it moved in the 1800’s. I also think that Ben must have had someone move it after the purge to become invisible to the other people (Widmore, etc…) who were trying to find it. I’m looking forward to a little island history lesson once we get to see the “Temple” that’s been referred to, how the volcano on the island shaped its history, and the reason why the statue only has four toes.

Richard Alpert – A question was posed to the executive producers about Richard Alpert. They asked how old he is and how many toes he has. They answered by saying that we will see his shoeless feet in Season 5. I think we’re going to enjoy seeing The Others in a new light as led by John Locke with Richard Alpert as his main adviser.

Annie – The producers have said that Ben’s little girlfriend is said to be “very significant in Ben’s life and that even the island’s volcano will be slightly less important than Annie, but still seismic.” There are some people who theorize that Annie did not die in the purge and that perhaps she was off the island during that time. There is also a theory that suggests that Charlotte is actually Annie and that time travel would explain her youthful age. I’m going to run with that theory for a minute and suggest that perhaps she turned the frozen donkey wheel (like Ben did in the finale) during the purge in 1994 and transported to the future. Now she’s back on the island with the alias. Now that I’ve said that, I don’t buy this theory. I think Annie probably died before the purge and sent Ben off the deep end. Much like he wants to avenge Alex’s death now by killing Penny, he probably wiped out Dharma because of Annie’s death.

Charlotte Staples Lewis –She is NOT Annie. Don’t forget that they saw each other in Season 4. If she was Annie, that meeting would have gone differently for sure. Regardless, she said she’s looking for where she was born and didn’t want to leave the island. There’s more to this cultural anthropologist than meets the eye and by the way, I think she’s freaking hot!

Miles Straume – It’s obvious that he has some special spiritual ability and Naomi had referred to him as a Ghostbuster. If he shares the secret about his abilities with the rest of the island gang, he could come in quite handy.

Rose Henderson-Nadler – She’s got her eye on Miles because she knows there’s something about him that he’s not sharing. We’re still left wondering if her cancer will return if she leaves the island. It’ll be an interesting reunion when/if the beach group joins Locke and The Others because Rose is not a big fan of Locke’s right now and knows his secret about being paralyzed prior to coming to the island.

Bernard Nadler – Didn’t even have a role in the season 4 finale. I’m curious if he and Rose will be featured more now that they are among the few remaining original castaways.

Pierre Cheng – Who is he? He’s a professor of Theoretical Astrophysics from Ann Arbor Michigan who was a part of the Dharma Initiative. He is also known as Dr. Marvin Candle, Dr. Mark Wickmund, and Edgar Halliwax. These are the names he used in the various Orientation videos where he appeared both with and without a prosthetic arm. During this summer a video was “leaked” when someone infiltrated the new Dharma Initiative and in the video he says his real name is Pierre Cheng and that he’s sending the video from 30 years in the past. Both of his arms seem to be functioning in the video and he says that he and his colleagues all die in a violent Purge that they are powerless to escape. I guess we’ll see where this goes.

Sayid Jarrah – His reunion with Nadia lasted less than a year. We know that the O6 washed up on Membata 108 days after the crash of Flight 815. That puts us into January of 2005 and we know that Nadia was killed in October of 2005 because that’s when Ben teleported to the Tunisian desert. The work he’s doing for Ben is taking a new path now that they are going to try and get back to the island. It’ll be interesting to see how he works with Hurley in toe.

Hugo (Hurley) Reyes – While he still may be wearing a bathrobe from Santa Rosa Mental Institute, he’s now Sayid’s ghost-seeing sidekick. Who knows who else he’ll see and speak with from the beyond in Season 5?

Kate Austen – She wants absolutely nothing to do with going back to the island and knowing what a strong-willed person she is, it’ll take quite a bit to convince her to even try to go back, especially with Aaron.

Aaron Littleton/Austen – He’s known to the world as Kate’s son, but we know he’s really Claire’s and of course he’s also Jack’s nephew. He’s also probably “special” like Walt, but that’s yet to be seen.

Claire Littleton – From what I understand, we’re not going to find out what’s up with her abandoning Aaron with Sawyer in the middle of the night or if she’s dead or alive, for quite some time. From what I have heard, she may not even appear in any Season 5 episodes. That’s not too frustrating, is it?

James (Sawyer) Ford – We know that he asked Kate to do a favor for him and that it has something to do with his daughter (Clementine Phillips), but other than that we’re not sure where or when he is. Regardless, one of the first decisions he will be involved with is whether the beach crew join Locke’s crew of Others. What a combination of people left on the beach though – Sawyer, Miles, Charlotte, Rose, Bernard, Vincent (the dog), and Juliet.

Juliet Burke – This complicated woman is enough to drive any man crazy, but she and Sawyer should make for some comical dialogue as they both constantly lie and try to con each other. All the while there’s sure to be some sexual chemistry between the two. Will she be willing to rejoin the Others and will they accept her back after everything that has happened?

Walt Lloyd – Our “special” little boy is growing up. Since it’s been over three years since the crash for the O6, it no longer seems odd that Walt has grown and I believe he (and maybe Aaron) will be key players in getting everyone back to the island.

Frank Lipidus – His story may be done or perhaps since he left with the O6, he needs to go back as well. This adds an interesting spin to the “Ben wants to kill Penny” scenario because Desmond may need to go back too. Who knows, but my gut tells me Frank’s story is over.

Cindy/Zach/Emma – Three Others worth mentioning because they were on Flight 815 and now that Locke is running the show, perhaps we’ll see more of them.

Matthew Abaddon – With a full-time role on the new TV hit ‘Fringe’, I’m not sure how much we’ll see him, but he seemed to be shaping up as a major off-island character. I guess we’ll see is the answer to this one.

Libby (No Last Name) – We still have yet to see what her back story is all about. Why was she in the Mental Institute? Was she paid to give Desmond her boat? Why was she on Flight 815? Was she a part of the Dharma Initiative? Has she always been a chubby-chaser? Okay, the last question is a joke, but you get the idea. We WILL find out some of these answers at some point in the final two seasons.

Danielle and Alex Rousseau – Yes, they are both definitely dead, but we have been promised a Rousseau back story and we’re apparently going to get it soon. We know she was with her lover, Robert, on a six-person expedition when they came to the island sometime in 1988 (16 years before the crash of Flight 815). That means she was on the island during The Purge, but we don’t know how she survived while her other companions died. Alex will most likely appear as an infant who is stolen by The Others in the back story.

Dead Flight 815 Passengers – Charlie Pace, Michael Dawson, Shannon Rutherford, Boone Carlyle, Ana-Lucia Cortez, Eko (Mr. Eko) Tunde, and Nikki & Paulo.

Christian Shepherd – Technically, he was aboard Flight 815 as well, but he was already dead. What is the deal with him? We know he’s dead, but he’s one mighty cognizant apparition! Why was his body NOT in the coffin? Why is Claire hanging out with him? What’s his relationship to Jacob?

Jacob – I don’t know who he is, so don’t even ask.

The Monster – Quite possibly the most hated part of the show for many fans, the monster’s name is probably Cerberus, who was the three-headed dog responsible for guarding the gates to hell in Greek mythology. Most fans theorize that there are Underground Vents throughout the island and the blast door map from Season 2 did show a note that said Cerberus Vents Underground. It’s also referred to as the island’s security system, but alas, we won’t know what it is until the end of Season 6, the show’s final season.

I could go on and on (and I already have) with a listing of Others and others who have died or have been seen in Flashbacks and may reappear. Most notably, Cassidy and Clementine Phillips (ex-GF and daughter of Sawyer), Helen (Locke’s ex-GF), and so on, but this is getting long enough. Just remember that anyone can come back at any time on this show in one form or another though it should be noted that the producers say they will be steering away from flashbacks.

Until January/February of 2009, we can only speculate, but this much we know – the season premiere is titled, “Because We Left”. Namaste!