Notes from around the Internet about the physics and metaphysics of the ABC series, LOST episode, “Through the looking glass”
BY SOUL’S CODE — You never know how good something is until you’ve lost it. For lost viewers, we’ll be without the show until February 2008, writes Entertainment Weekly. The end of the third season represents the mid-point of the show, which will run for another three seasons before its end.
J. Wood has a brilliant analysis of the episode, citing it as an an inversion point. “The narrative itself twists inside-out, with the locus still on the island yet the flashes happening in the opposite direction. Like the White Queen of Carroll’s text explains, we’re seeing the future and its impact on the present,” he writes.
Up until this point we see how the past has influenced the present. Each person has a back-story that has brought him or her to the Island and affects their decisions.
But now we see the influence the future has on the present. The episode is chock full of trippy flash forwards, showing life after the rescue. And for some, it’s not all that hot. But they may not have been “forwards” so much, explains J. Wood. “A physicist named Minkowski realized that by considering time as a component of space, Einstein’s special theory of relativity . . .. . . worked out just fine (and Einstein explained his theory through the twin paradox),” he writes. All time is, in fact, occurring at once. But, as some sharp-eyed Lost fans have pointed out, “Hoffs/Drawler,” the name of the funeral home in the episode, is an anagram of “Flash Forward.”
But time isn’t the only inversion that takes place. Again, J. Wood has a nice explanation: “Charlie was the drug addict who recovers and out-stares his own death with a samurai-like sense of purpose, while Jack becomes the formerly purposeful man who becomes a drug addict and accidental hero and can’t face his fate. In a way, Jack is like Moses; Moses was not allowed into the Promised Land, and when Jack gets there (off the island), he finds it’s not what it promised to be. For him, the Promised Land is hell.” Maybe that’s what cues Jack to consider suicide.
CPT writes that enlightenment for each character comes from self awareness and corrective thinking. It’s a strong vote in favor of the plasticity of human experience and a good explanation of Jack’s angst: “Until the actor “corrects” their trajectory, they may be destined to live their misery – Jack’s workaholic ways and marital problems, Kate’s revenge on her stepfather, Sawyer’s cons. Until they have achieved this self-awareness, it would be a mistake to leave – as Jack illustrated in his possible pre-self-awareness future at the end of the season finale.”
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