LOST Theories - DarkUFO

First, I want to say that a great many of the theories on this site show great foresight, imagination, and critical thinking. I always enjoy coming here in the days after the show to see what people are thinking.

Still, I've noticed a lot of theories and comments lately that tend to be grasping at straws. Many people seem to be caught up in a long-standing debate of WHH vs. ALT. While this debate is interesting, I think it is misguided. What I REALLY believe is at the core of these arguments is NOT WHH vs. ALT, but this: Have the writers really known where this show was going since Season 2? Or has each season simply flowed from the previous one in the a way that TPTB hope will be dramatic and draw viewers?

I firmly believe that, while a very, very, few ideas have remained consistent from the beginning of Lost, most of the show has been written from moment to moment. At the most, the writers have only known what the end goal of each season has been. I'm pretty confident that time travel was NOT originally a part of the show's plot. Same with ALT. SAME WITH MIB BEING SMOKIE. I would go so far as to say that the MIB/Jacob storyline wasn't even thought of until sometime in Season 4 or 5.

Why do I think this? First, to have a concrete idea of a TV series' plot arc for an entire 6 seasons would be incredibly difficult. All kinds of problems could possibly result from this: an actor who was a major piece of the puzzle quits or dies, the story is leaked and everyone know the direction of the show, etc. Second, as other people have noted, if the show WAS planned this way from the beginning, there has been some really sloppy writing.

Some examples - the smoke monster's actions throughout the first 4 seasons are very peculiar if MIB is Smokie. The cabin makes almost no sense. Most of the early interaction with the others is rendered meaningless if there are some others 2.0. Aaron??? I think the idea for Aaron's character has been vastly changed since season one. My prediction is that a careful re-watching of the series after the finale will show huge amounts of plot that simply don't logically work.

To really understand the problem, though, it's important to understand what kind of show Lost is. Lost is either a sci-fi show (if the island has some kind of scientific explanation) or a fantasy show (if Jacob and MIB are gods, and mystical powers rule the day) or a mixture of both. Fantasy or sci-fi, Lost is the perfect kind of show for using deus ex machina. (Heck, they used it for an episode title!) In both fantasy and sci-fi, any and all plot holes can be filled in and smoothed over with a new character with a new power, or some kind of divine/scientific intervention. Thus, you get mind-bending, ILLOGICAL plot devices like "course correction" (how many theories have used this to explain contradictory events!?), a healing spring, ALT universes, compasses with no beginning or end, a submarine that can go back and forth from an unreachable island, some sort of mystical ash that repels smokie, etc.

The Lost writers know that they have created a fantasy world where anything is possible, and they have used this to their full advantage. And they will continue to do so. Is Sayid now carrying the spirit of Jacob? I think this is the direction they will go in, but it is entirely possible that he is now the envoy of some new, even more powerful being that we haven't even met yet. In order to get us to the end of the show, we WILL see more plot devices that simply make no sense.

In the end, the writers know that the mythology, the mysteries, the theories are all just icing on the cake. The real meat and potatoes (mixed metaphor?) of Lost are the characters and their journey. This is where the Lost writers shine, and why most of us stick with the show. When John Locke turned the FDW, the real impact on viewers didn't involve the physics of time travel or why he ended up in Tunisia. The real impact came from the fact that this character had grown and developed to the point that he was able to make that decision.

When Lost is over, we will all be able to look back and see gaping holes in plot, and we will all be upset that some details just don't fit at all. Still, a careful re-watching will reveal that the characters we know and love have been written artfully and carefully, and each one has traveled a special road to redemption.

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