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A ‘Lost’ fanatic’s view on where the show is heading

I’m not a huge fan of watching TV. In fact, I canceled my cable because I was spending nearly $40 a month to watch a show that would be released on DVD a few months later. DVD is how I pretty much watch TV these days, and when I first watched “Lost” on DVD, I was hooked.

For the uninitiated, Lost tells the story of a group of passengers on Oceanic flight 815 who crash – and, for the most part, miraculously survive – on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere. While to some people sick of Maine winters this might sound like a great vacation (the “crash” part aside), these unwitting characters have to contend with a mysterious cloud of black smoke that makes Cujo look sweet, as well as a tribe of islanders – known as “The Others” or “The Hostiles” – who have been there for a very long time and have kidnapped and killed the survivors at various times but have now, as the Lost story has unraveled, become more like allies than enemies.

Totally confused? You should be.

This isn’t a show you tune into halfway through season three to “check out.” If so, your sanity may check out of your mind. This is a show to be watched from the very beginning and paid close attention to. While this may sound daunting, it can actually be really rewarding and one of the best roller coaster rides of your TV-watching life.

It has been for me, anyway. And remember, I’m not a huge fan of TV.

The question we fans have been asking recently is whether “Lost” has “lost” its way (cute, huh?). Has its usually awesome convoluted nature finally caved in on itself, rendering this show too difficult to follow? While most of the first four seasons seemed relatively true to life – the black smoke monster and Hurley’s inability to lose weight aside – the most recent fifth season tossed time travel into the mix and probably caused more head-scratching than ever.

Even Newsweek was starting to give up hope, as they noted in their Conventional Wisdom section. And when they do, you know it’s time to bail out, even before the women and children.

Then came the season finale. While I’ve heard some say it was two hours of their life they can never get back, I thought it was great and answered a lot of questions. For one, who’s this Jacob character that’s been mentioned frequently in the show for the past couple of years? Finally seeing Jacob was about as enlightening for me as it is for those people who spot the shape of Jesus in a cookie – even if he does sort of look like the man on the street as opposed to the Boris Karloff I expected. I was finally getting more answers than questions, and that sent me and other fans – both in this office and the online community – scrambling to fit together the final pieces of the puzzle which will be revealed in the next and final season of the show.

If you’re not into theories and spoilers, you may want to stop reading at this point. I’m going to share a theory about the framework of the whole show from compelling ideas that I read online, and a few of my own. Consider yourself warned.

In the complex tapestry that is Lost, Jacob is none other than God, or perhaps moreover a God-like being with incredible power. The guy dressed in black who was chatting with Jacob on the beach in the most recent season finale? The one who told Jacob he’d someday find a loophole through which to kill him? Yeah, that’s Satan.

Keep in mind that I’m not saying God is just a character in a TV show. I’m just guessing about what the show’s creators might be intending as an extended parable.

The island itself is the Garden of Eden. Beautiful but, as the story of Genesis tells us, not without its taint of evil. We’ve seen Mr. Black (as I’ll call him) change shapes – after all, he’s portraying John Locke at the end of the season finale, while Locke lies dead in a box. Remember the supposed “Locke” saying he’d finally found that loophole to kill Jacob?

As you may recall, Satan could change shapes. Some will debate whether Satan was the Serpent in Eden, but the Serpent was a means of judging Eve’s purity through the apple. Smokey (as I’ll call it), which we’ve seen change shapes, also acts as something of a judge, as it did with Ben Linus in a recent episode.

Since Smokey can take on the forms of other people, and Mr. Black took on the form of Locke, one might conclude that Smokey and Mr. Black are one and the same. And its mission is to take Jacob down.

Satan, as I recall from my Bible studies years ago, had once been close to God but ended up a fallen angel, cast from Heaven. All through the Bible Satan is rallying up allies against God.

While Ben tried to be a disciple of Jacob, he ultimately loses faith and turns against him, seeming to kill him. I’m certain, though, that Jacob will be back. If he isn’t, my God theory is shot all to heck.

Maybe Ben is a Judas Iscariot figure. Satan used Judas to bring about Jesus’ downfall, just as Mr. Black used Ben.

The characters of Oceanic 815 who make up the main characters of the show seem to be Jacob’s “chosen people.” He has met all of them at one time or another in their lives, touching them in some way, and it’s likely that their crash on his island was completely orchestrated by him.

In the beginning of the finale we see a ship on the horizon which looks like the Black Rock, the vessel which somehow ended up well inland on the island as far back as the 1840s. Jacob and Mr. Black see the ship, and Black asks Jacob why he keeps drawing people in; they only lead to destruction and corruption. But before those maladies comes progress, Jacob says.

Maybe Richard Alpert was on board the Black Rock? If so, it could be a nice flashback with which to open season six.

Anyway, those are some of the more interesting theories I’ve come upon or tweaked together. I encourage you to offer your own thoughts, and let’s get a discussion going!

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. He runs screaming from the room like a madman every time he sees his clock flash “8:15.”