Get Lost

Eduwonk may have his Friday Fish Porn for end of week entertainment.  This blog has “Get Lost” — an end of week comment on the latest developments in the TV show Lost.

If you haven’t been following the show, just forget about it.  There are too many details to catch up on unless you are willing to sit there and watch past episodes online or scan Lostpedia.

For the rest of you fellow nerds… The main questions raised in the most recent episode, “The Shape of Things to Come,” are 1) What are the Rules and how did the murder of Alex represent a change in those rules? 2) Why can’t Ben kill Widmore? and 3) Why did the Morse code communication from the freighter say the doctor was fine when he was found dead?

Here are my best guesses.  The Rules could either be an informal understanding, like that they won’t go after each other and family members, or a more formal restraint, like Michael being unable to die because he still has work to do.  I’m inclined to believe that it is an informal understanding, not a hard constraint.  The competition between Widmore and Ben is long-standing and they may have developed understandings of the boundaries of that competition.  If it were a hard constraint, it is not clear how it would be possible to break it.

Second, Ben probably can’t kill Widmore (or vice-versa) because they are each other’s constant.  Killing the other would destroy oneself. 

Third, the mystery of why the freighter reports that the doctor is fine is probably not a time travel issue, since the only time travel we’ve seen with the freighter is of one’s consciousness, not body.  My guess is that it is Sayid controlling the radio and who is falsely saying that the doctor is fine.  We know that he is the only one who was able to get the radio on the freighter working again.  He may have been lying to cover that he attacked the doctor.

Tune in next week.

8 Responses to Get Lost

  1. Greg Forster says:

    First of all, I could have sworn it was Whitmore, but Wikipedia says you’re right – and if it’s on Wikipedia, you know it must be true.

    I’m inclined to think that *nobody* can kill Widmore. Think about it: For a guy with unlimited cash and an army of goons who’s made tons of enemies and tampered with terrifying occult powers, he doesn’t have much security, does he?

    If Michael can’t kill himself because the island still needs him, maybe nobody can kill people whom the island still needs.

    Which raises the question: Is Widmore right that it’s his island? Or does the island permit him to live for its own purposes?

    On another topic: Did you notice that when Ben encountered Sayid in 2005, for the first time after they left the island, Ben took it for granted (correctly) that Sayid believed Widmore was behind the faked crash? The thing is, in 2004, the “present” for the main storyline, Sayid believes that Widmore is the good guy and the Others faked the crash. (OK, he hasn’t said explicitly that he believes this, but he turned in Michael to the ship’s captain so it appears he’s decided to trust the captain – and the captain is the one who told him Widmore is the white hat.)

    So sometime between “the present” and when the Oceanic Six get off the island, Sayid changes his mind about Widmore.

  2. Good theory, Greg. But I doubt that Widmore *can’t* be killed. Why would Widmore ask Ben if he was there to kill him if he knows that is not possible? My guess is that Ben could kill Widmore but he would also destroy himself by losing his constant. When Ben says “we both know I can’t do that,” it is short for “can’t do that without killing myself.”

    On the other hand, greg raises a good question about Widmore’s light security.

  3. Greg Forster says:

    Hmm. Perhaps “Are you here to kill me?” was ironic?

  4. Stuart Buck says:

    FYI, there are usually some interesting Lost discussions on this guy’s blog:
    http://sepinwall.blogspot.com/2008/04/lost-shape-of-things-to-come-smokey-and.html

  5. Stuart Buck says:

    Hey, I left a comment here, but it had a link and seems to have disappeared.

  6. Sorry about that, Stuart. The spam filter accidentally removed your comment. I’ve restored it and hopefully that won’t happen again.

  7. Stuart Buck says:

    No problem!

    Didn’t know you were a Lost fan too . . . . I’m glad they set an end date for the series — like Samuel Johnson’s remark about being hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates the mind (of the writers and producers, that is). When a series goes on too long (X-Files), it just ends up floundering around as the writers run out of ideas but are desperate to string out the various mysteries.

  8. Greg Forster says:

    Actually, as I understand it, it was the creators who demanded an end date. ABC wanted the cash cow to go on indefinitely. Of course that doesn’t negate what you’re saying; it’s just that this is a case of self-discipline rather than external discipline on the part of the creators.

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