Finally got something right about ‘Lost’

I’m a little late with this — the semester starting this week and all, plus coping with a particularly vicious hangover — but I finally got around to watching the most recent episode of Lost (“Constant”). Five minutes into it, this overwhelming sense of joy hit me. Finally, after all my lame guesses that always turn out wrong, I managed to get something right, and it’s a big one.

As always, unless you’re caught up with Season 4, don’t continue reading…

The flashbacks and flash forwards are not a narrative construct of the show. They’re not just there to give us back story. They’re diegetic*. They happen in real time, within the space of the story itself. We saw that with Desmond in this episode. I guessed this might be the case early on in Season 3.

We don’t know how they work yet. They’re somehow the result of the radiation around the island. But we don’t know who the observer is. As I mentioned in a previous post, I think the flashbacks/forwards are triggered by Jacob, who somehow manages to control the forces at work there. I think he uses the same power as the black smoke to peer into people’s minds and see their pasts and their possible futures.

I think that word “possible” is the most interesting part of this. Desmond went back and changed his past. I think the characters can also change their futures. None of what we see in flash forward is real. It’s a possibility. Maybe there is no Oceanic Six, maybe there is no one lying in that coffin. Maybe Jack never grows a beard.

Maybe I’m thinking about this too much again.

* I love interjecting that word. In the geek club of sound academia (we have badges and everything), we relish any opportunity to throw that word around.

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