LOST Theories - DarkUFO

In my earlier posts about the Red, I have speculated on what the color may or may not be meant to symbolize. The posts that collectively make up my so-called “Red List” are available here: http://theoriesonlost.blogspot.com/2010/03/seeing-red-laxs-life-through-looking.html; here: http://lost-looking-glass.blogspot.com/2010/02/thoughts-on-jack-my-favorite-character.html; here: http://theoriesonlost.blogspot.com/2010/04/seeing-red-life-through-looking-glass.html; and here: http://theoriesonlost.blogspot.com/2010/04/everything-that-rises-must-converge-red.html

To the extent it is possible, I recommend at least skimming those posts because together, it’s a fairly exhaustive analysis and recap of when, where and the potential reasons why Red is the most prominent color on LOST after Black & White. For whatever reason, and to my delight, people seem to enjoy these posts and this is the main reason why I keep coming back to it.

General Idea’s about Red on LOST:

In S3's "Flashes Before Your Eyes", I think the suggestion is that Red represents time travel. This idea is somewhat supported by the color's subsequent appearances with Desmond and time traveling, even down to his Red stationary bike from the Swan Hatch. In fact, upon re-watching Season 2 recently, I noticed that the color scheme in the Swan used tons of Red. Since the Swan is so closely associated with time travel (like the Orchid), this may very well be what Red is meant to represent.

I said some time ago that the Red blood on Jack's neck in LA X part one was too similar to the Red paint on Desmond's neck in "Flashes" to dismiss, but even with that I am not sold on the time travel connection. And I think that the Red blood again on Jack’s neck in “Why They Died” weakens the time travel connection because, to my knowledge, Jack was not time traveling (I discuss this scene in greater detail later).

What I came to prefer was the idea that Red is used to symbolize a potential merging of the two (different?) time lines. All season long, the LA X world has been "bleeding" into Island existence and vice-versa. We saw this with Jack being confused about his appendix, Desmond & Charlie being "awakened" by love, Sun losing the ability to speak English for a while and her reaction to LA X Locke going into the hospital (if Island Sun was bleeding through, she likely thought it was Smokie rather than Locke). With Hurley’s behavior in “Why They Died”, it seems his consciousness/memory of Island life has completely bled through to LA X life. There have been other examples of such "bleeding", but I don't want to regurgitate them here.

The Red Queen? Claudia’s Red Dress:

Beyond the "bleeding" or merger of the time lines, I also think the use of Red could be seen as a signal of "merging" in a much broader sense. If Black is at one end of the balance scale and White on the other, I think Red could represent when they are coming into or going out of balance or even when they are balanced. What the hell does that mean? Consider Claudia's Red dress in "Across the Sea". When the two forces of "White" & "Black" were born, one representing good/light and one representing evil/darkness, we saw the first moments of contrast between these two opposing forces/notions, which became much starker as time went on. The crying baby, Smokie, was in black; the happy baby, Jacob, in white. Jacob is partial to telling the truth, Smokie is quick to lie. Jacob is hands off (no direct help, for example), Smokie is hands on (actually killing people himself on occasion). And so on and so forth.

(And I acknowledge many people take issue with Jacob being considered "good" and Smokie "evil", but I respectfully disagree with them. Because let's face it, you can make the argument that Darth Vader was also "good" (he did save Luke and killed the Emperor after all), but he was meant to be/represent evil. Vader, like Smokie, is always clad in Black, which is the literal color of darkness/evil. It can be this simple: good is white and black is evil. The writers love Stephen King, who wrote another masterpiece about good vs. evil with "The Stand." It's really starting to bother me that people are so vociferously arguing this. Like Jack, they need to let go.)

If Jacob and Smokie are, or have become, the two polar opposites of good and evil on the scale, it's fitting that this dichotomy was born out of a single, seemingly balanced source. And the One from which Black and White came, Claudia, was wearing Red. So here, rather than a merger, Red precedes a split of the two. It's just the converse of the theory.

In my prior posts on Red, I often find overlap between its use on the show and Alice in Wonderland themes, which almost always involve Jack. In Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There”, a major character is the Red Queen. And while its certainly not explicit, I am sure someone in the writers room saw Claudia as a subtle reference to the Red Queen of Alice fame.

I like the merger theory, but it is just that--a theory. Red could indicate death, time travel (as mentioned), change (either specific or broad) and so on. So again, while I am not certain of its meaning exactly, I am certain that it has meaning. Indeed, it is bold fashion choice worth noting.

John Locke's Red Scar Between "Light & Dark"in the Pilot:

The idea that Red could represent the mid-point, balance or merger between Black and White was on display all the way back in the very first episodes of LOST. In the pilot episode when Locke explained backgammon to Walt, he held up the two pieces (black & white). There is a shot of him holding up the two pieces, one in each hand with a close-up on his face. Between the two (Black & White) is the bright Red of Locke's then-fresh trademark scar.

Like Claudia's Red dress, the Locke scene in S1 is another example of Red at the center, suggesting many things, including merger or balance. Locke is not one extreme or the other. Rather, with Locke it's a struggle of the two. Sometimes he is a man of supreme faith and sometimes not...hence his Red scar. We could say the same about Jack, or perhaps any character. Each has their respective black/white balance issues. When Sayid really tilted Black and killed Dogen, the episode was appropriately titled "Sundown", or light going to dark etc. Generally the black/white struggle is an internal one…but with Jacob and Smokie I am starting to see them more as tilting 90% toward their respective color, or side of the scale. Hence, their conflict is an external one with each other rather than one focused on their own internal scales that Dogen spoke of.

That said, I do think it’s a stretch to credit the writers for knowing what they were setting up that early on (with Locke’s red scar in the pilot) with something like making Red a key color. But who knows?

The Red blood on Young Jacob's arms in "The Substitute":

Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of this. For most of the season, we weren't sure who the boy Smokie saw was. But after last week, we can confirm it was a young Jacob. But why were his hands and arms covered in Red, presumably, blood? We never saw young Jacob spill any blood. Sure, he gave his brother a couple of beat downs, but the amount of blood on young Jacob’s hands made it look like he came from the scene in Nightmare on Elm Street when Johnny Depp is spit out of his mattress as a geyser of blood. It could have been a boar's blood. Perhaps the "blood" (if was blood) was, like young Jacob himself, meant to be more metaphorical. Not totally or purely metaphorical, because otherwise I doubt Sawyer could have seen him also.

In a comment on one of my earlier red posts, one person saw the Red blood on Jacob's hands as potential proof that he is a killer, or at least was in the past. Certainly, this is possible. What's not? But I doubt Jacob had "blood on his hands" because he was a murderer. Technically, he didn’t kill his brother…he was told specifically that the “light” would not kill you. But, I admit, the fate was allegedly worse than death.

And yes, I do "assume" Jacob is good. I think this is now painfully obvious and beyond serious dispute...were the writers trying to hammer us on the head with the crying baby vs. the happy baby or trying to put the "who is good and who is evil" debate to rest? I think it's the latter, as the Jacob as Good notion has tons of detractors who, as I said, will not let this one go. So maybe they are right, but I hope not. At this late hour, such a cliché bait and switch of ha ha....white is really evil and MIB is really the good guy would be really disappointing and incredibly lame.

Perhaps the red blood on young Jacob's hands is meant to represent the constant struggle between good and evil and the Red is pointing towards some eventual "balance" or merger as the show comes to "The End". Another potential example of this struggle, one person pointed out to me, could have been the wires on the Ajira plane for the bomb Smokie took. The colors of the three wires, of course, were White, Black and Red.

Achura's Red Dress in "Stranger in a Strange Land":

Who the hell is Achura? For those that may have forgotten, she was Jack's fling in Thailand, the woman whose gift it was to "see" people for who they really are and then ink them with the appropriate tattoo, hence the explanation for at least one of Jack's tats. That all happened in S3's "Stranger in a Strange Land," which is not regarded as one of LOST's finer episodes. But as a solid "Jack guy", I liked it. In one of her many scene's with Jack (clothed and unclothed), Achura is wearing a Red dress with matching Red shoes and Red purse etc.

Granted, Achura's Red attire could be one example where I am arguably overstretching to find meaning for the color. However, Achura was clad in her Red only attire when she inked Jack. In short, she was in Red for the episode's critical moment--when she "sees" Jack for who he is..."a great man, a leader" etc. Of course Jack's struggle over six seasons has, at its core, been about his own struggle with thinking of himself as a leader/great man or wondering whether he has "what it takes." Now that Jack has, for the most part, resolved these issues and found balance within to become the man Achura saw him to be, the Red dress could be seen as foreshadowing the merger of Jack's black vs. white struggle.

This is also supported by last night’s “Why They Died,” when Jack officially became the new Jacob, or Island protector. He really is the One after all, which I have been arguing for some time now. Like the good/evil debate, so many people were, to my surprise, dead set against the notion that Jack was the one destined to take Jacob’s job. Um….he’s been the Hero from the opening scenes of the show. Jack is LOST’s Luke Skywalker. Jack-haters be damned. Dude has been the coolest character on the show since lighting sticks of dynamite on the Black Rock, if not sooner. But I digress.

The Red Blood on Jack’s Neck in “Why They Died”:

Where did that come from? Is Jack just so bad at shaving now (after getting lazy in Island life) that he nearly kills himself with every shave? Probably not. Jack seems as clueless to the blood (on both occasions) as we are. There is nothing in the LA X story that we know of that could explain the wound and even the Jack on the Island is neck injury free, even after the bomb went off on the sub. As I mentioned above, if Red represents a merger of the two realities or time lines (whatever they are), then perhaps the blood is literal representation of this so-called “bleed through.”

The other odd thing about Jack’s neck wound involved David. Is it common for teenage boys to enter their father’s bedrooms in the morning to tell them they prepared breakfast? It just seemed a little weird. More than that, David just went ahead and charged into Jack’s bathroom, likely because he noticed Jack was not in bed. But if he saw Jack was awake, then let the man finish in the bathroom, David, and he will join you for cereal in a minute. It almost felt like David was trying to distract Jack from looking and/or thinking about his neck. Even though Jack’s cut was plainly visible to David at the breakfast table, he didn’t bother to ask what had happened to his beloved dad. I just thought it was strange. I like David, but the whole idea of him as Jack’s son has bothered me since we met him. Who is this kid? He has no history.

The Red apples in "The Last Recruit":

Like the Red on Jacob's hands or Jack’s neck, I am not sure what to make of the two Red apples in Sawyer and Kate's police station scene in "The Last Recruit." Many people observed that the Red apples were contrasted with the all-black clothing of Sawyer and Kate (and I think even the background people as well). I'm not going to touch the black issue, as I am not sure if it accurately reflected either character at that point. Maybe it did, maybe not. I can't say. But the apples?

The suggestion that it was a "Adam and Eve" hint was convincing, but now we know that was MIB's body and crazy Mother's remains in the caves--not Kate and Sawyer. But it was a good guess. Sawyer ate his Red apple, but Kate didn't touch hers. Should we bother trying to derive meaning from that? Others have. Is Sawyer eating the forbidden fruit mean he will be departing the Island (or Eden) soon and that Kate will not? Again, I can't say.

One reader thought I was being rather silly for pointing out the Red tomato Jack gave to Sun earlier this season. I stand by what I said, however. Perhaps the Red apples and/or the Red tomato have no meaning whatsoever. Many things are Red after all. But I think the Red apples are a great example of what I mentioned at the start of this post: I don't know what it's supposed to mean, but I do think it means something.

Horace's Red car in "Man Behind the Curtain":

This addition to the Red list may seem superfluous, but I can't leave it out because of its seeming prominence at such an important moment of LOST mythology, like Jack getting inked by Achura (bad episode or not, it was important). In S3's "Man Behind the Curtain" we got to see the birth of Ben Linus. Ben's birth came at bad moment for his parents, who were hiking in the Oregon woods. The panicked couple ran to a nearby road for assistance and who happens to pull up in a bright Red classic convertible? Horace Goodspeed, who went on to become leader of Dharmaville as a mathematician who likely knew a few things about time travel.
So in one scene, Ben was born, his mother died, his father was scarred and Horace Goodspeed is introduced driving an awesome Red car (oh, and we met Olivia, who I think was Penny's mom--see earlier post for that one). True, Red convertibles are not all that rare in Hollywood creations. But this is LOST, and the events were pretty freakin major. For Red to be nothing other than a coincidence would itself, I think, be the actual coincidence.

Here again, like Claudia's Red dress, the color is prominent during childbirth, though not of twins. Since it was Horace's car, it could also represent time travel notions or the "shape of things to come", so to speak. Or it could represent change or death or any number of things. Again, I am not sure what it means...but I do think it means something.

Hurley’s Red Camero with the White Stripes:

Other than Jack’s neck, the other major use of Red in “Why They Died” was the appearance of Hurley’s Camero (and of course we saw this car in earlier seasons as well). It’s painted Red with White racing stripes. I also liked that Desmond was the one who was going to use the Camero, as his character more than any other has the most connections to Red. Perhaps the white could be seen as representing whose side he is on, which seems like team Jack/Jacob. The use of the color here also supports the general merger idea, because that is exactly what Desmond is doing—merging the two seemingly separate realities into one.

I hate to end this post rather abruptly, but I am spent. Anyone have any additions to the Red list that I missed with this and earlier posts? If so, let me know.

Thank you for reading. If you liked this post, feel free to visit my blog at: http://lost-looking-glass.blogspot.com

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