LOST Theories - DarkUFO

I've been a casual lurker on these boards for the past few months, but never posted a theory before. So, I thought I'd donate my 2 cents at least once before the show ends for good (assuming it IS indeed going to end for good!).

This is just a point I'd like to make about the "philosophy" (for lack of a better term) behind the show, what the writers intended the show to be (from the very beginning), etc. Its not very well constructed, but here goes...

Firstly, this may have been posted here before, but I haven't come across it (apologies for the repeat if it has). I'd like to point out this TED talk by J.J. Abrams given a while back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpjVgF5JDq8

It would be best if you heard it first before reading what follows.

I believe the central concept behind the show is his brainchild (correct me if I'm wrong). From what I've read, he and Damon co-wrote the pilot, but Abrams must have had a large part to play in adding the mystery aspect to the show, which originally was just supposed to be a Survivor like setting with just a bunch of passengers stuck on an island. I think the talk gives a pretty good idea of what JJ has been influenced by, his views on mystery, what aspects of a good mystery are the most intriguing for him, etc. Most interestingly (assuming the story in the talk is true...I won't be surprised if it isn't and was simply made up to make the talk interesting, but it still makes a point), he shows this mystery box given to him by his grandfather a long time ago, one that he has still not opened. His view is that this mystery about what is in the box is what is in fact mystical about the box. Once you open it, its as good as just any other box. Unopened, the set of possibilities of objects it might contain is only limited by the user's imagination.

I think the island in Lost is just such a mystery box. This might seem like a trivial observation, which it actually is, but something worth thinking about over a beer or two. There have been other such mystery boxes in film/literature. Often, the effect the mystery box has on its user/occupier is that the user's subconscious thoughts are somehow realized in reality. One example that comes to mind is the sphere in the novel Sphere by Michael Crichton; another example perhaps is the mirror in one of the early Harry Potter books - the mirror that shows Harry whatever he wanted to see at that time (or something to that effect - not that familiar with the harry potter books, but I do know there was a mirror somewhere). We've seen all kinds of different effects the island has had on different characters throughout the show. The effect on MIB was that he was turned into the smoke monster. The effect on the original Locke was that he got his legs back. The effect on Jin/Sun was that they started to love each other. The effect on Hurley was that he started to see dead people, Rose was healed...etc. You could argue what effect the island had on what character all day long, whether these effects were character specific, etc. but I think we all agree the island has had a part to play in each characters' lives.

I think this has been the basic idea behind the show all along. The island is a mystery box that has some integral properties of its own (the light, the fact that it moves through space/time, etc.), and has various effects on the people that are on it. The big mystery, of course, is WHAT the island is, WHO were the original inhabitants, HOW does it work, etc?

Going with the mystery box tradition in film/literature, I don't think we're ever going to be told explicitly the answers to these questions. I was originally in the camp that wanted all the BIG questions answered - what the island is, who actually is the Mother, what actually is the smoke monster, etc. But, I'm now slowly coming to the realization that it is in fact these big questions that will NOT be answered. It is perhaps for the best, because think about it - do you really want to be told what in fact the island is? At this point, whatever answer you might come up with for that question, its going to be cheesy - I can think of a few: it's a piece of some other mystical planet that came to the earth as a meteor some time ago (ha!), its some place that isn't a part of the earth/heaven/hell...just some loose hanging middle of no world place where deities pass judgements on people...I'm not going to go on, frankly, I can't think of one decent answer to the question. Probably the writers can't either. The best thing for all would be to leave this question as a mystery, so that forums such as these can remain active for a long time after the finale is done.

Also, I'd like to point out that the island isn't the only mystery box on the show. There are probably infinite other sub mystery boxes. Heck, the show itself is a big mystery box. It has different effects on different people, people love or hate it for different reasons. They see different themes in it, themes that their subconscious is telling them is what's going on.

So, finally, here's my suggestion for those who didn't take the last episode too well - just watch that J.J. Abrams talk, ponder the mystery box concept, and just watch the remaining episodes with a couple of beers and some friends, and just enjoy it, whether it answers any questions or not.

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