It’s as if the writers of Lost have been reading this blog. They seem aware that there are problems with time travel and bringing people back from the dead without clearly defined rules to govern those exceptional plot devices. Lost has not fully resolved these concerns but the show has clearly acknowledged the difficulties. Perhaps for TV shows confession will bring absolution.
Two episodes ago (I know I skipped posting on Lost last week) in “Whatever Happened, Happened” Hurley and Miles articulate for us the paradoxes involved with time travel. Hurley stares at his hand expecting it to disappear like in Back to the Future.
And in the most recent episode, “Dead is Dead,” they directly discuss how strange it is to have people come back from the dead. Ben alternatively tells John that he predicted John would be resurrected and tells Sun that he had never seen the Island do something like that and that it scared the living hell out of him. John also admits to Sun that the idea of someone coming back from the dead is strange.
I suspect that the last two episode titles provide the Lost rules on time travel and resurrection. Whatever happened, happened tells us that time cannot be changed. And dead is dead tells us that people cannot come back from the dead. I know that Locke appears to have come back from the dead, but I suspect that he is no longer Locke. His emphatic statement to Sun that he is still the same person seemed strange and unnecessary, so perhaps he is lying. Perhaps he is not the same person, but an incarnation of the smoke monster or whatever supernatural force inhabits the island.
That is one other thing that Lost has made clear: there is a supernatural power on that Island that has a will of its own. Greg correctly described this weeks ago and correctly predicted that the central questions will become: 1) what is the will of this supernatural force? and 2) is what that force wants good or bad?
There is still ambiguity about the answers to both questions, but I’ll offer my predicted answers. I suspect that the Island may actually be evil. This may be the big twist of the show. The Island may be some Egyptian god that is intent on preserving itself and then eventually destroying the world. When the Island judges it doesn’t appear to punish evil and reward good. It lets Ben go despite his atrocities. It destroys Eko despite his apparent innocence. Its leaders, Charles and Ben, have been ruthless. As Charlotte said, “This place is death.” It, the Island, is evil and will eventually bring death to the whole world.
Ben and Charles may be struggling to be the Island’s representative, but there is a third group out there that is seeking to destroy the Island. They are the good people because only by destroying the Island will the rest of the world be saved.