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Marc Oromaner’s Lost In Myth: The Message of “Recon”—Learning to Let Go

By Marc Oromaner,

  Filed under: Lost In Myth
  Comments: 37

In “Recon,” James Ford learns a life-changing lesson from a TV show just as we are learning from Lost. The metaphor is clear: there are messages in the media that are meant to help guide us on our journey. All you have to do is let yourself see through to their true meaning in order to uncover the wisdom.

At some point in our lives, most of us have experienced a major trauma, loss or mistreatment that has scarred us. The question is, do we let this pain and hurt grow inside of us, causing us to become bitter our whole lives, or do we learn to let go?

Since he was a boy, James has been consumed with the guilt, pain, and hatred from a severe childhood trauma he experienced—his mother’s murder by his father and his father’s subsequent suicide before his eyes. This deep scar has made James obsessed with tracking down and killing Anthony Cooper, aka Tom Sawyer—the man who conned his parents out of their life savings and led to his father’s meltdown.

While this situation is hopefully so much more severe than anything we will ever have to experience in our own lives, the exaggeration exists for a reason. The reason is so that we may process the wisdom without consciously fighting it because its truth hits too close to home. In other words, like the issues of all the characters on Lost, James lesson is really for us.

When we first met James on Lost, his issues were so deep he had taken on the persona of Sawyer including his name and profession. His self-hatred was so intense, he was a masochist, looking for a beating whenever possible. This aspect of James’ personality was revealed when he claimed to have stolen Shannon’s asthma spray in Season 1. This led to his torture by Sayid until he finally revealed that he had, in fact, never even seen it. The message was that James simply hated himself and felt he deserved whatever beating he could get. He hated himself because he had become the person he hated the most—Sawyer.

James carried this pain around with him until he was able to exorcise his demons by killing the man he believed to be Sawyer in the Season 3 episode, “The Brig.” I say “believed” because it is still unclear who this man really was and how he got to the island. Whether or not the man James killed was really the actual man who conned his parents though is irrelevant. The important thing was that he believed that it was and thereby was able to resolve his issues.

As I wrote in The Myth of Lost, “In classic psychology, repressed hatred must be purged from the subconscious in order to alleviate its symptoms. One does this by bringing it to the conscious mind, coming to terms with it there, and finally disposing of it.” This may explain why many of the characters on Lost, from John Locke to Ben Linus, have had to kill (or witness the killing) of their fathers. They had to purge them from their minds. For James, the reasoning is the same, only his issue is not as much with his father as with the man he deems responsible for his death.

After killing Sawyer, James began to lose the self-hatred and anger he’d been carrying around with him for so long. No longer a bad guy, he became a very likable character. But while he had resolved his issues regarding the perpetrator of his parents’ deaths, he had never come to terms with the deaths themselves. He had been so full of anger, he had never let himself grieve. Instead, he channeled his pain into the letter he wrote at his parents’ funeral—a letter that Jacob helped him finish.  It remains to be seen if Jacob’s intentions were meant to help or hinder James, but I think overall, it helped him. At least the letter gave James a goal. Yes, it caused him to internalize his pain, but at least it was contained. And once contained, it could be eliminated.

After killing Sawyer, since James was still carrying around unresolved grief over his parents, the island tested him again. This time the test involved a love relationship—a relationship that would come to a tragic end with Juliet’s death in “LA X.” After Juliet’s death, James regresses to his pain-body self by blaming the death on Jack. Much like with Tom Sawyer, James swears to get revenge by killing Jack. Only, he doesn’t. Sure, he releases some pent up anger by beating on him, but stops far short of killing him. The reason is because he has grown. Not fully, but enough to lead to the life we see in his flash-sideways.

Regardless of when the flash-sideways are actually taking place, it makes the most mythological sense that they represent the epilogue of the characters’ lives—after their experience on the island.  Thanks to the growth he experienced on the island, James is a much better adjusted character than we saw from his original flashbacks. He has sublimated his conning abilities for good—working as an undercover cop to help the law bust other con artists.

The mythology is the same as the one from the movie Catch Me If You Can where the former con artist Frank Abagnale Jr. eventually comes to work for the FBI to help them uncover other con artists. Of course, in this case, the movie was based on a true story. All our life stories are based on mythology. That’s why the myths are able to help us. It’s just that some life stories are made into movies and some aren’t. But even if yours hasn’t been made into a film, there is a film with the same message. Or at least, a character on Lost.

Unlike Jack and Hugo (those who have sided with Jacob), James has not been fully redeemed on the island. If he is to be redeemed, he will need to do so in his flash-sideways. I am assuming that Jack will be redeemed while still on the island because his flash-sideways has shown that he has resolved his issues. While we haven’t seen Hugo’s flash-sideways yet, I feel that he too will be redeemed because he seems to have already resolved his issues while on the island. Perhaps not with food, but I’ll hold off on commentary about that until his centric episode. His bad luck issues though seem to have been resolved.  James, on the other hand, still has hang ups about Sawyer in his flash-sideways, so it would seem that he is not yet fully redeemed on the island. Perhaps this is because he sided with MIB/Locke, or, simply sided with no one.

Having lost someone very close to him, it is completely healthy for James to grieve for Juliet and let himself feel pain. But he must let himself feel this pain and not push it away, letting pain and bitterness consume him. He cannot project his feelings onto Jack, but let himself come to terms with them. Eventually, James must learn to love again. Mythologically speaking, that woman will likely be Kate, and that seems to be where his intentions are heading both on and off the island. (However, those intentions may wind up with Juliet off the island as insinuated with Juliet’s dying words about getting coffee some time.)

The challenges and experiences that James faces on the island are reflected in his flash-sideways. In fact, this is the case for every character. This reflection has been symbolically portrayed in every single flash-sideways so far by the central character’s reflections: James punching the mirror in “Recon,” Ben looking at his reflection in the microwave in “Dr. Linus,” Sayid seeing himself in the window at Nadia’s house in “Sundown,” etc. The message is that both the growth and unresolved issues that the characters face on the island will be reflected in their off-island lives. It’s just like how the issues our souls want to resolve before we come to this world are reflected in the life scenarios we play out on this planet. Our entire lives are set up in order to help us experience the challenges our souls want us to overcome, and in doing so, help others to do the same. Everything else is just details.

To help us on our life journey we meet the right people at the right time, and we get clues from the universe including messages from the media. Since Lost is a major clue-giver for us, it is letting us know that these messages can be very helpful. It does this in “Recon” by showing how James comes to learn a life-changing lesson by watching, Little House on the Prairie. Who would expect that a tough undercover cop like James Ford would watch a seemingly sappy seventies show like that? Once again, the exaggeration is meant to provide insight to our own truth. That if Little House can provide meaning for James, surely Lost can provide meaning for us. Chances are, you aren’t as cool as James, and Lost isn’t as sappy as Little House. So if the message works in that exaggerated scenario, surely it could work in one that’s even more believable.

Having not fully redeemed his character on the island, James still has issues to deal with off the island. These issues come to a head when he blows up at Charlotte after she “accidentally” discovers his file on Sawyer. I put “accidentally” in quotes because the universe created that event so James could come to terms with his issues. Just as Jacob gave young James the pen to finish his letter, just as he also showed Jack that he had been watching him, and just as those trying moments have happened in your own life to help you on your path.

I myself have recently experienced such a challenge. I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer last week after her 3½ month-long battle. Like all other challenges, I believe that this too serves a higher purpose. As I said at my mom’s funeral, she had taught her family many lessons during her lifetime, but her final lesson could not be taught while she was alive. That lesson was how to live without her.

Perhaps because I am so attuned to it, or perhaps because I live in the reality that only exists from my perspective (as yours exists only from yours), but I’ve noticed that each episode of Lost has focused on the exact issues that I have been dealing with that particular week.  Last week, when I was first coming to terms with my mom’s passing, Lost had an episode about coming to acceptance when your life doesn’t turn out like you thought it would. (See “The Lesson of ‘Dr. Linus’—What About You?) Like many people, I’d always assumed my mom would be around to see her grandchildren and that her affectionate and fun-loving personality would help shape their own personalities. Lost helped me begin to come to terms with the reality that this presumed scenario would never come to pass. This week, as I was going through the early stages of the mourning period, there was an episode about learning to let go from loss. And within that episode, a message from another TV show—one that I grew up with.

The words of Michael Landon’s Charles Ingalls were so timely and relevant, they seemed to be directed specifically at me. His message was that life is too short to be spent holding onto pain and worry. And that we should just take the positive lessons and memories of the people who have been close to us and let the rest go. And that in the end, just maybe, we’ll get to see them again. Perhaps I look too deeply into the messages of these episodes in personalizing them so much, but it’s hard to deny their synchronicities.

Of all the TV shows from the past that have ever had a message about dealing with death, Little House On The Prairie seems like an odd choice for Lost. I cannot tell you what relevance such a show might have for you, but I can tell you what it meant for me. Michael Landon was born Eugene Orowitz. In and of itself this is pretty interesting given that it shares a prefix with my own name, Oromaner. (“Oro” means “gold,” coming from the root for “light.”) Orowitz grew up in Forest Hills, NY where I lived for four years with my brother. This is also very interesting, but not quite enough to give me chills. After reading up a bit more on Michael Landon’s life however, this did: he died after a 3-month battle with pancreatic cancer. For me, the message was clear: a confirmation that the message of the episode was definitely for me.

One thing I hope to accomplish in writing these columns is to teach readers to do these interpretations for themselves. I can only interpret generalizations or how episodes can relate to me personally. As for how they can help you with the specific issues of your life, only you can figure that out. I’d like to think that I’m helping by providing the tools, but you’ll have to master actually using them. With the help of Lost and the other clues the universe provides, I think most of us will one day become master carpenters, building impressive structures that just might help keep this world together. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.


Marc Oromaner
is a New York City writer whose book, The Myth of Lost offers a simple solution to Lost and uncovers its hidden insight into the mysteries of life. He can be contacted in the discussion section of The Myth of Lost Facebook page.

The Myth of Lost is available on Amazon and barnesandnoble.com.

From TVFrenzy:

  • B.A.Y.

    Am very sorry your mother is no longer here. Michael Landon’s message was for everyone who has lost someone they cherish. My own mother died in 1981, and, when “Pa” said that we never loose anyone we love, that they live on in our memories until we can be reunited with them at the end of our own lives…I thought that was for me (even after all these years). Just as you knew it was for you.

    LOST has consistently and deliberately spoken to our hearts and souls, tackling the really big questions: What is the meaning and purpose of our lives (dharma)?
    What is dead, exactly? Can even the most sinful among us (Ben, Sayid) be redeemed, and, if they can, what does that mean? Does it mean this proves the existence of a loving, merciful God?

    I love LOST. I am grateful to this show for stimulating my mind, satisfying my need for a good story, comforting my heart, and stirring my soul toward redemption.

  • Ament

    I’m sorry for your loss Marc, great take on Sawyer and awesome writing.

  • Rams

    I am very sorry for your loss. It is good that you are able to process some of that grief by writing. I lost my mother three years ago suddenly, and I too felt the message about healing and grieving in Recon resonate with me.

    I agree that Sawyer is finally “growing up”. Even as he kept saying that he was on no one’s team, he still promised Jin he wouldn’t leave w/o Sun, and asked about Miles, etc. He will keep the lessons he has learned on the Island (in the Brig as you mentioned), with Juliet and Dharma, and will be a better man for it.

    • Thanks Rams. And yes, good catch–those are also some indications that Sawyer has grown.

  • dtruth

    Very sorry about your mother Marc.

    I do not agree with your analysis but I dont know where to start.

    I think off island, James was a loner because of his loss. Miles tried to make him give a damn. He decided to open up to Miles and Kate crashed into them while they were in the process. He seemed happy to see this handcuffed chic he saw and helped get away at the airport. We will find out why, later, I am sure.

    On Island, from that conversation at the dock, its clear that the overwhelming feeling James has is guilt. He made Juliet stay because he did not want to be alone. Parallels Charlotte off island, hence the flower. If he had let her go, she might not have died. So, James on his own got over the Jack issue by episode 3. So, you cant compare Jack to the real “sawyer” who caused his parents death. The latter is a long held veangance mission that formed the whole of James’s being. The Jack issue was brief and if anything, Sawyer has had issues with Jack from season one, so the Jack issue has so many components that it can never be one thing. Sawyer needs the littlest excuse to punch Jack so beating Jack in LAX was nothing special or unique.

    I am not saying that James does not feel loss over his companion Juliet. I am saying from dialogue, we needn’t search much to see the overwhelming feeling and I think some of us sussed it out at the end of season 5 anyway, when he wanted to make sure she got off even if it meant leaving his friends behind which is very unsawyer like.

    There are others who may want to dig deeper into the parallel of James parents loss and the loss of Juliet which gives validation to the oedipus complex allegation of the whole Sawyer and Juliet dynamic but I won’t bother because I don’t think its even relevant to get that deep.

    James told juliet to stay because he did not want top be alone. At some point, they grew to love each other and started living together. However Juliet was never sure that James was truly over his first love Kate and James tried to convince himself that he was. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you are with.

    Unfortunately for Juliet, Kate returns. It is clear to everyone but Kate, that James is actually not over her. James continues to fight it but when Rose and Bernard spoke of eternal love, he forgot to think. He just felt and when James feels, its all about Kate. Juliet witnnesses this. James does not deny it in any satisfactory manner, but continues to emphasise his loyalty which is not good enough for Juliet. She proceeds on a fatal course and she dies…and that LOOK alone is part of Sawyers guilt. He made her stay and he literally caused the reason she agreed to go ahead with Jacks cockamiemie plan. Thats why it didn’t take long to forget killing Jack. He knew if anyone alive, was to blame at all, he had to start with himself.

    I don’t think James became remarkably different after killing Cooper on islnd in season 3. Infact, he became worse. He had become better, via Kate and Hurley. Juliet was not the 1st time James was experiencing love on that Island, so I am not sure that canon supports any assertion that their relationship kind of redeemed him. I think you alluded to that and I disagree but if I misunderstood, then forgive me.

    According to Canon, KATE was his first love. James had said he had never been inlove before but he said atleast 2 times that he loves KATE. He struck up a close friendship wirth Hurley. After killing Cooper he became a selfish man again and decided to go off with team Locke. To cut a long story short, Miles became Hurley and Juliet became Kate.

    …but as we saw from the end of season 5 and as has just been reconfirtmed in RECON, mythologically, Kate is his soul. She crashes into him off island as he is opening up to Miles and on island, as he visits the cage, and goes through the beautiful process of fondling Kates dress as he we the audience are meant to think, he is remembering all they had been through together, and cage sex ofcourse 🙂 he seems to accept that he is not gonna try fighting his feelings for Kate anymore. He is going to try and not feel guilty about it anymore. As Josh Holloway himself said, sawyers feelings for Kate make him feel ashamed and thats because it shows Juliet was right which James is trying to deny. However, Juliet is gone. Whats done is done. He wants to live as he showed throughout his grief, he never once wanted to die…Sawyer wants to live and at the end, instead of staying away from Kate as some might have imagined, he sought her out and told her that “u and me” are getting off this island. He used that old nickname “freckles”.

    So, I think we agree that the message is life is for the living. Don’t let trauma and loss stop you from living life. What we disagree on, is the process James went through to get there. You seem to be looking at the last 2 seasons and ignoring poignant details from the entirety of the show and I am simply saying, LOST is not a 2 season show. We have been watching this very James for 6 years now…there is more to him than that.

    • Thanks for sharing all that dtruth. I don’t really think our analyses are so different. Lost is a complex show with complex characters. For the purpose of mythological analysis, I bring up the archetypes of each. Like any character, Sawyer has certainly had many events that have helped mold him into the person he is. His major issue however, is being unable to let go. Killing Cooper helped him deal with this, but not fully. That was why he was retested with Juliet. Like Cooper, he blamed Jack for the death. Yes, it is not the same level and I did not mean to imply that it was. But really, while Cooper had evil intentions and Jack had good intentions, both were only indirectly responsible. Sawyer’s reactions were much different too. The reason is mostly because he grew himself. He only blamed Jack for a short time, then went through the stages of grief eventually blaming himself. But, this is a natural process that he needs to go through. Not carry it around with him his whole life.

      As for Kate, as I wrote in “The Myth of Lost” (and alluded to here) I too believe she is Sawyer’s mythological match. But he was not ready for Kate until he grew up with his relationship with Juliet.

      As for ignoring older seasons, I’m not really sure where that’s coming from. Discovering Sawyer’s childhood issues from his parent’s deaths came from Season 1. That was also when he was a masochist which I also referenced. He killed Cooper in Season 3 which was a major focus of this column. Sawyer’s arc has pretty much been: selfish jerk–>rogue–>ladies man–>one-woman guy–>(temporary?) regression–>?? I think that covers most of the series. Yeah, he was also that angry guy until Ben gave him the make-believe pace maker, but that wasn’t really the theme of this column. I usually just stick with the character’s main issues.

      • dtruth

        I said *poignant details”. Not that you were ignoring the seasons as a whole. Sawyer spent his entire life trying to kill Cooper. He then killed the wrong man. THAT is what made Sawyer feel that he deserved nothing good and deserved to be punished. He became Sawyer in his quest to kill Cooper. Conning women and ending up killing the wrong guy and abandoning his child. So, Sawyer was a mess when he got to that Island. He was no longer that much of a mess and had started the slow and steady progress to some kind of normalcy until Locke resurrected the beast in Sawyer. That was the regression because after he did that, he hated himself even more…..and decided he wasn’t good enough even for Kate, who we all know has those “good/bad” issues as well….but he tried to “survive” with Team Locke in Othersville and even asked Kate to “stay/play house” in the very house he ended up sharing with Juliet…but Kate had her own growing up to do. She had to learn to stay put. (Enter-Aaron)

        Sawyer wanted to get off that Island. He got on the plane saying, its time we get off this rock, Freckles. So, lets not pretend like Sawyer willingly stayed back at the end of season 4. After all Bens teasing about who Kate would choose in the real world, it was no surprise that even if he shared looks with Kate in the copter, Sawyer still felt no good, and he felt Kate wanted to get off that Island more than anything, so he jumped.

        The rest is history…so I am not sure where you have linked Juliets death into this as some kind of “retesting”. Retesting of what exactly? Sawyers growth with Juliet was in realising that he was good enough to be loved by a woman. That he did have leadership qualities. With the safety of Juliet and their environment and no competition for Juliet, he was able to flourish as a man, a boyfriend etc etc. That is why he fought tooth and nail to keep that little bubble going. Juliet dying is not a retesting of sawyer letting go. Juliet dying as far as Sawyer is concerned, is just confirmation that he is not meant to have anything good in this life. He lost his parents at an early age. He never believed Kate loved him and even when he thought of giving it a shot, those old insecurities came back and he “lost” her. Then he thought he had found some sort of Calm with Jules and she dies.

        Sawyer hung on to the guilt and his initial reaction was to kill Jack but I don’t think he let go of that because he had “grown up”. Cooper destroyed his parents. Jack had a plan that they all agreed to go with. Juliet agreed to go with the plan because SAWYER did something that confirmed her fears. So, thats the difference I am pointing out to you.

        There is no similarity b/w Cooper and Jack. IMHO. If anything Sawyer is more the Cooper in Juliets demise because he actually did things that affected her that led to her death. Jack simply had a plan, and Juliet was collateral damage. Should families that lose loved ones in wars carry out vengeance on the ministries of Defence in whatever country undertook the war? NO. Juliet was collateral damage and if anyone should really be blamed it is Juliet herself, who chose to go ahead with a plan so that she never gets to meet Sawyer, so she never has to lose him. I don’t even know where to start with that but its redundant now.

        I don’t see Juliets death as a test on Sawyers ability to let go. I don’t see “letting go” as a Sawyer major issue. Self hate is a bigger issue for Sawyer and there Juliet played a part in the tapestry of the sawyer story because she helped in making him realise that he was worth loving, and she had his back and they were loyal to each other. Sawyer is seeing that he may have caused the death of this person because of his uncontrollable feelings for a woman who he doesnt think loves him or ever did and thats what is eating at Sawyer. Meanwhile, we as the audience know better. We know Kate loves Sawyer but again, Kate no longer believes Sawyer loves her and that for me is what makes the Sawyer and kate story this season a pleasure to watch….but I digress….

        In summary, Sawyers issue is not so much letting go, its self hate. Jack and Cooper are not similar. Juliets death was not to retest Sawyer.

        • Since it hasn’t been specifically called out by the show, I think Sawyer’s masochistic/self-hate evolution is really a matter of opinion. I believe it began when he realized he had become the thing he hated most, and that happened when he was conning the family with the little boy and decided to forget the whole con. Sawyer’s self-hate seems to be tied to calling himself Sawyer. I do not think he has this self-hate in his flash-sideways. There, he is not a masochist or a con man. Nor does he call himself Sawyer. However, he still has not learned to let go of his family or the real Sawyer. It seems to me that he did not complete the healing process on the island.

          Ultimately, I don’t think the details really matter. My point it that Sawyer came to the island with an issue that the island is trying to solve. His issue is learning to get over his grudge and healing from a major loss. This is a two-part healing process that would involve him purging the hatred (killing Sawyer) and getting over losing a love (Juliet).

          I’m not sure if you’ve read my book, but my arguments might make more sense within the context of the bigger theory I explain there–whether it be the literal explanation of the show, or just the metaphorical explanation.

  • dtruth

    ….sorry, I meant to end with, there were more people and more losses that made him the man he is today than just Juliet and the loss of his parents.

    We even saw Sawyers sadness at Ana Lucias death. He doesn’t deal well with loss.

    So, the loss of his parents, the loss of Kate, made him believe that he could never have anything good but then came Juliet and just when it seems that he just might be okay after all, the 06 return, drama ensues and Juliet dies. Sawyers grief is more than Juliet. Its that life keeps knocking him in the teeth. In a nutshell, WTF?!

    Sawyer jumped off the helicopter and sacrificed his own freedom, before he ever started any relationship with Juliet. Sawyer saved Aaron and even went back for Claire, before he started any relationship with Juliet. So, Sawyer was becoming the man we saw in Dharmaville, well before we got to Dharmaville. Juliet was a smart woman. She would have had no tolerance for Sawyer season 1(Kate is a busybody so she had time for him. lol) but thats not who she met. She met a Sawyer who was inlove and had already bonded with his fellow Losties. She met a Sawyer willing to help. Her relationship with him even made sawyer improve further but the way some recappers analyse, you would think Sawyer was one big evil and only became this angel in episode 7 of season 8. Lost is a serial show that spans 6 seasons. Its not a movie or some two season mini-series special. I am speaking in general now, Marc. Not to you. I would just like to read final season recaps that remember the whole show. This is a season of conclusion of stories that started years ago. It shortchanges readers if I keep reading people talking like the reader did not watch the first few seasons of LOST.

  • Bezmina

    So sorry for your loss Marc and glad that Lost is bringing you solace when it feels a bit like the rug has been pulled from you. Namaste

  • dtruth

    *episode 7 of season 5. (correction)

  • spacebender

    Marc, my heart goes out to you in your loss, particularly since I lost my mom last year after a brief period of cancer. Thank you for sharing your reflections, and may you find richness of comfort and joy during this time.

  • summerrain

    Marc, I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. I, too, lost my mom from cancer, and know well the empty feeling in your heart. I loved your writing this week (and every week) and your good thoughts for James and his redemption. Take comfort in Michael’s words that we will see our loved ones again someday. I pray it is true. God bless you.

    • Thanks for your kind words SummerRain. I believe our thoughts have a lot to do with our experience on this world so I will continue to believe that all this will result in some ultimate purpose for a greater good. Namaste.

  • Sorry for your loss Marc.

    Although I find it hard to believe that Darlton planned these episodes to be so deep, if you think about it the whole show could be a way for the universe to guide us towards our correct paths.

    I enjoy reading your articles, they always make me feel so philosophical. Thanks for your time.

    • Thanks Sleepy. I totally believe that this is a purpose of the show.

      In my book I talk about how writers are modern-day shaman. They likely don’t even realizing the extent to what what they are channeling. Ultimately though, like Star Wars and the Matrix, they are helping to weave the tapestry that is our modern-day mythology. We are outgrowing the stories from thousands of years ago but keeping their inner truths. The souls of those stories are still being used with our new ones, but now the containers they fit in are more in line with updated concepts that make them easier for us to understand based upon our current level of scientific and spiritual understanding. Our modern myths can now talk about multiverses and alternate dimensions and proxies whereas the stories of the Bible could only allude to them with metaphor and hidden meanings. We are getting closer and closer to understanding how the world really works and one day our modern myths will no longer have to be metaphors at all but completely on the story surface because we will be ready to understand it.

      • Wow. I almost choked, but I managed to swallow it. Amazing explanation, I agree.

  • eve

    I too am deeply sorry for your loss, Marc. I lost my mom to cancer many years ago and am grateful to know that she is watching out for me and my family. I also want to thank you for all of your many inspirational and enlightening posts. I get something from every one. And yes, LOST is teaching us some valuable lessons as well. That is, some of us who able to hear. In the immortal words of Michael Hutchence from INXS, “we all have wings, but some of us don’t know why.”

    • Thanks Eve. Glad they have been able to be meaningful to you. As for Hutchence’s quote, I would alter it a bit to say that many of us have wings, but are getting frustrated trying to swim.

  • Hmmm.

  • The Smoke Monster

    Two points to make – and I’m not trying to be harsh, and this isn’t “flame bait”: First, I would expand on your own write-up’s self-suspicion: “Perhaps I look too deeply into the messages of these episodes in personalizing them so much…” That’s exactly correct, you and others are just latching onto shared themes of personal tragedy. You’re simply finding meaning in others’ similar experience but the issue I have is that you’re somehow amazed by that when in fact it’s a very common, daily experience all over the world. LOST is a multi-faceted multi-year drama with dozens of characters so it’s eminently likely that the portrayed characters are going to resonate with large parts of the viewing audience – there’s nothing special or magical about it. It’s simply people (writers) telling stories about people (characters) based on the human condition whether expressed as mythology or personal experiences.

    The second issue builds on this last statement. Many people are viewing “LOST” as something bigger than it is. They’re thanking LOST for showing them this, that, or the other, when in fact, it’s just a well-constructed fictional drama penned by people just like you and me. They have no special or privileged insights that anyone of us already have. LOST is not a supernatual knowledge source, though to read many comments in these and other fora, you’d think it was. Again, it’s just people (writers) telling relatable stories to other people (viewers). It’ll do everyone good, especially as the frenzy builds towards the Finale, to remember this basic fact of reality. Enjoy the show, just remember, it’s only a fictional show.

    • I believe that all of us have the same access to answers that the writers are channelling. Some of us are just more open to hearing them and sharing them. Obviously, we do not share this belief.

      Ultimately though, what difference does it make if the show really provides answers channelled from another source or is just a well-constructed TV show if either way it is helping people with their own lives? Why do you take issue with the reason why people feel they are being helped? However people feel they are being helped, let them believe that. If your god is science and you like to believe that everything can be rationally explained using the laws of the universe that we can decipher and this makes you feel better then go ahead and believe it.

      I’ve read and/or watched a lot of well-constructed stories that have not spoken to me in the least. Most of the Academy agreed that “Hurt Locker” was a much better movie than “Avatar.” I found it well made but forgettable and I did not resonate with its message. To me, “Avatar” had a much richer mythology and was far better at communicating an important message to audiences.

      I don’t see why it is necessary to view LOST as just a show, and definitely don’t see why it should matter one way or the other to anyone. I write from my perspective. If it resonates with someone and helps them on their journey, great. If not, then perhaps they can find that source elsewhere.

  • JDR

    I also am sorry for your loss.

    I enjoyed this recap, it was very moving and insightful. I partially agree with ‘The Smoke Monster’, who said that you may be looking too deeply; but if you can find that kind of truth in a TV show, more power to you.

    I think the theory that the flash-sideways is the epilogue of our characters makes a lot of sense. I don’t read many theories, but this has been mentioned a few times by various writers. If it turns out to be true, it’ll be interesting to see how the writers execute the reveal without it seeming too much like “reincarnation”. That said, I don’t see how the flash-sideways could be anything else and still be meaningful. We’ll find out soon enough.

    • Thanks JDR. I offer one explanation for how the reveal could happen without it being reincarnation in my book. You can also go to The Myth of Lost Facebook page and under the Discussions section there is a posting for “Season 6 Spoiler Free Theories” Theory #7 is basically The Myth of Lost theory. Here’s a link:

      http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=34096821137&topic=10905

  • DRush76

    “James carried this pain around with him until he was able to exorcise his demons by killing the man he believed to be Sawyer in the Season 3 episode, “The Brig.” I say “believed” because it is still unclear who this man really was and how he got to the island. Whether or not the man James killed was really the actual man who conned his parents though is irrelevant. The important thing was that he believed that it was and thereby was able to resolve his issues.”

    If killing Anthony Cooper was the only way for James to resolve his issues about his parents’ death, then he didn’t learn shit.

  • DRush76

    In fact, I don’t think that James has resolved his issues at all. He has not recovered from his grief over Juliet’s death. And if fans actually believe he has, I suspect they are in for a surprise. As for Kate being his “soulmate” . . . I don’t believe in the concept. I don’t care how much a person might love someone else, if he or she is incapable of being happy with that person, any love between them is not going to solve anything. Right now, I don’t feel it between Sawyer or Kate. I believe that Kate is better off without Jack or Sawyer. Jack is learning to let go of Kate. Saywer, at the moment, seems incapable of letting go either Kate or Juliet. In fact, I get the impression that he is simply running . . . from himself and his memories on the island. And those memories include Juliet.

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  • You’re not a baby it’s a heck of a long drive. Thanks for the pictures and the blog post. I was hoping that you’d chronicle your trip. I’ll be checking in!