Friday, October 29, 2010

Notes on my Lost ReWatch

** Spoiler Alert: Major Spoiler's for Lost, Do not read unless you have watched the whole series or do not care about spoilers**

I have noticed a couple of things in my latest rewatch of Lost that I had not noticed before.  The wife and I are now through about 20 episodes of season 1.  The first thing I noticed is the characters' use of the term "the others."  This term obviously takes on great meaning in season 2 and beyond, but in season one it could be seen as a throwaway line.  There was one conversation in the episode "White Rabbit" where Jack and Locke throw around the term.  They are referring to those not in the "in group," that is, the main characters.  I think that the term means more for the entire series.  In many ways, the story arc of Lost is about identifying and coming to terms with "the other."  It is about learning to live with the difference of others.  It is also about the fluidity of the in and out groups as alliances often change.  In season 2, "The other's" are the enemy, but in later seasons this distinction gets blurred.  Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?  Ben, the ultimate "other," eventually becomes a very sympathetic character, arguably one of the "good guys," one of the in group, not the out group.  This term, "the others" takes on new meaning in season 1 if you have watched the whole series.

I also caught a fascinating conversation that on previous viewings could also be seen as an insignificant exchange.  It comes in the episode "Solitary" which is a Sayid back story.  This is the episode where we meet Danielle Rousseau for the first time.  Sayid is caught in her trap and endures torture at her hands.  We also see the flashbacks of Sayid as a torturer for the Iraqi Republican Guard.  We see his relationship with Nadia, along with his eventual facilitation of her escape.  At the end of the episode, when Sayid escapes from Rousseau's camp, Sayid and Rousseau meet up in the jungle and have a conversation, both pointing guns at one another: The conversation goes like this:

Danielle: (speaking about her crew mate Robert): I shot him.
Sayid: But you loved him?
Danielle: He was sick.
Sayid: Sick?
Danielle: It took them.  One after the other.  I had no choice. They were already Lost.
Sayid: You killed them?
Danielle: What would have happened if we were rescued?  I couldn't let that happen. (raising her gun toward Sayid) I won't.
Sayid (throwing down gun): I'm not sick.
Danielle: I know.
Sayid: They why kill me?
Danielle: I can't let you go. Don't you understand. To have someone, to talk to, to touch.
Sayid: You'll find me in the next life, if not in this one.
Danielle: What?
Sayid: The writing on the back of Nadia's photograph. I know what it's like to hold on to someone. I've been holding on for the past seven years to just the thought, a blind hope that somewhere she is still alive. But the more I hold on, the more I pull away from those around me. The only way off this, this place, is with their help. (Danielle lowers gun, looks sad, sinks to the ground). Come with me. (Danielle shakes head). You don't have to be alone Danielle. (Danielle touches Sayid's face, gets up and walks away).
Danielle: Your people, the ones you are determined to get back to. Watch them! Watch them closely.
This one exchange is so poignantly filled with foreshadowing of season 6.  First thing to notice is Danielle's fear that she and her "sick" crew members might be rescued.  Their sickness, I presume, is their being "claimed" by the man in black, just like Sayid and Claire were "claimed" by him in season six.  Much of season six is devoted to keeping the smokey on the island to prevent his "evil" from reaching the outside world.  Is Danielle foreshadowing this by fearing a rescue, and thus, smokey's influence through his "claimed" ones reaching the outside world.

The second thing I noticed was the comment of Sayid, quoting Nadia's writing on the back of her photograph: "You'll find me in the next life, if not in this one." And Sayid's subsequent discussion of "letting go" of Nadia, attending to "those around him," the best hope for getting "off this place."  In season six, in the sideways reality, the goal is to "find" each other in the next life, to "let go" and to move on.  It is only with the help of the other survivors of flight 815 that Sayid and the others are able to move on in the afterlife.  I find Sayid's comments very prescient of the ultimate ending of the show.

This raises the question: How much did the writers know at this point about the ending?  Did they know that the ending would include the main characters finding one another in the next life as a means of moving on?  Or, in writing the ending, did they perhaps come back and revisit this scene as a way of planning out the end?  Some food for thought.


  1. I think they did. When the series first started one of the authors said the book "The 3rd Policemen" had a huge influence on the series. It too is a surreal mystery in which the main character is trapped in an odd in between place. Good book. I recommend it. I read it two thirds of the way into the second series and it totally ruined the T.V. show for me.

  2. Hope you were still able to enjoy the show a little!