Sunday, January 24, 2010

DAY 6 - Geeking Out On LOST


LOST is not a show that you can watch with half your brain. You need to stay awake, if only to keep track of the mythological labyrinth it sucks you into. Just trying to remember the various chronologies and functions within the Hatch system is enough to drive you round the bend. Then there's the peculiar bureaucratic social structure of the Dharma Initiative ... who became the Others ... after they were colonized by the Hostiles. There's the Widmore Corporation. And Paik Heavy Industries. The Smoke Monster. Polar bears. The Black Rock. Jughead. The Temple. He Who Lies in the Shadow of the Statue ... Who (also) Protects Us All. Not to mention the freakin Numbers! Trying to keep it all straight is enough to drive you batty.

But we're committed here to trying. After all, this is the last big roundup. Once the new season starts (in just SIX short days!) we're going to be swamped with a whole new set of details and interwebbing connections and minutia and insanity. So I thought it might be helpful to put together a little reference material. To ponder over now and maybe come back to for refreshers as needed.

This amazing video is a real time rendition from several perspectives of the crash of the ill-fated Oceanic Flight 815. Televisionary has described it as "the single greatest ancillary video for Lost yet." I concur. Simply awesome.

Think of the attention to detail that video required from its maker. He could only have been a LOST fan. Because attention to detail, minute, excrutiating, ever evolving and differentiating detail ... that's what keeps us LOST fans going.

Like those apparently random and yet possibly significant connections the Losties have with each other. Like how Kate's not-dad Sam Austen served with Desmond's not-friend Kelvin during Desert Storm. Or how Locke's box factory manager Randy also managed the Cluck's restaurant that sponsored the balloon flight of the Real Henry Gale. Is this stuff intended to amuse us or mock us? Don't they realize apophenia is a disease?

If you've got an hour or two to kill, check out the following diagram. It's a touch out of date, but still fascinating reading:

Or if you've only got a few moments to kill, try this handy dandy very basic interactive map that I found at Doc Arzt's. Simple and fun.

The mother of all LOST mysteries is the meaning of Time. Trying to accurately parse out the timeline of LOST is like trying to take apart a Swiss watch ... while you're really drunk. But there's one fan out there who gave it a shot.

click to enlarge

If you want a more comprehensive rundown of the Lost timeline in text form, look no further than this Lostpedia "Timeline" entry which helpfully breaks it down to pre-crash, post crash, and diverging timelines.

Remember the Hatch blast door from Lockdown? And how when that thing was backlit for a couple of seconds the entire fandom went to a happy place? Who knew it would be filled with cryptic bromides like "The wrath of the gods may be great but it is slow" or inspirational poetry like "Lift up your hearts lift up your hearts lift up your hearts." Here it is for you to enjoy again with Latin to English translations, so you can really knock yourself out. Just remember: "A mouse does not rely on just one hole." OK?

click to enlarge

The topology of the Island is something a lot of fans like to get into. Here's Rousseau's map (translated). Just in case you ever want to research the geographic relationship between "the place with a large quantity of coconuts" and "the most dangerous place (damned phenomena/freaks of nature) ". I know I never realized there was a Robert Island or an Alex Island off the coast. Will we ever need to know that? I've never been good at the geography of the Island. I always find myself wandering off and wondering why, if Rousseau was able to measure that "the beach is a metre deep for 1.5 km", she somehow managed to miss the fact that the Dharma Bums had built their very own Jonestown dystopia right next door to her local cave. I guess sometimes you really do miss the forest for the trees.

click to enlarge

And then there's Daniel's map, which has helpful hints like 8° N, 33° E and 0° N, 21° E. I mean I don't find that stuff too useful, but you really never know. It might turn out to be the key to the whole magilla. Daniel's map showed up in two different episodes. Between the first time we saw it ("The Other Woman") and the second ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"), it had acquired hieroglyphics, which have been helpfully translated as "Northward Travel" and "Time of kings/ancients" respectively. Do those mean anything? Maybe. At least as much as anything "means" anything on LOST. So here it is, for future reference.

(click to enlarge)

One thing we can say about these writers is that they're good at baiting a hook for those of us looking for intellectual stimulation along with our slice of action, adventure and romance. It's a good bet that they're just stringing us along with most of it, but it's still a helluva lot of fun for those of us so inclined. So brush off your thinking cap, get out your magnifying glass and get ready to go back to work. It's almost TIME!


Anonymous said...

I could stare at that Rousseau map for hours and not get bored.

BTW your "click to enlarge" blast door map and Lost timeline images don't. Enlarge, I mean.

Fishbiscuitland said...

Thanks. Fixed!

Anonymous said...

I imagine the Lost writers must have a huge database with all the details they need to keep track of, and numerous white-boards filled with diagrams for current topics. I admit to personally letting some of it slide by, due to sheer volume. Aside from needing obvious mysteries like the numbers and the smoke monster solved, I hope that the off-island connections serve a purpose.

That crash time-line video is incredible; what an editing job!

I'm really looking forward to your recaps this season!

Kyle from Kentucky said...

Greg Nations