One of the big mysteries from the season 3 finale is, “who was in the casket?” If the person in the coffin is one of the “Oceanic 6,” why did the obituary not reflect this very important fact? We are told that these survivors are celebrities. Even Hurley was recognized as one of the Oceanic 6. Yet, this person died in virtual anonymity under suspicious circumstances. If whoever is in the coffin is one of the survivors, then leaving that fact out of the obituary would be a critical mistake.
What if the person in the coffin was not one of the Oceanic 6? This leaves two possibilities:
- There are more people that have left the island about whom they have to lie or keep quiet.
- The person in the coffin is not one of the survivors of the island, but is one of the rescuing party (not necessarily a member of the fascinating four).
This leads to one of the greatest dangers that the writers face right now. Will their attempt to conceal the answers to lost cause the producers and writers to paint themselves into a logic corner? There are huge answers awaiting the fans of Lost. But, the powers that be will resist exposing these answer until the most effective moment. But, they are writing a story’s past, present and future (or they are writing a future that is actually past) and telling all three parts of the story in a single narrative. This may lend itself to some logic flaws in the telling of the story.
There has never been a story told in this fashion. It is unique and ingenious. There were attempts at something like this, take ‘The Fountain’ for instance. If you haven’t seen it, skip to the next paragraph. It had to trick its audience. It was billed as a story that took place in 3 time periods. In truth, it was a story firmly rooted in the present. The supposed events in the past and the future were simply an allegorical narrative of the present. The future was not the future, the past was not the past, it was simply the painful acceptance of the present. This is a movie that one likes over time but vehemently dislikes immediately after seeing it.
With the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, Tolkien spent as much time or more on the back stories as he did on the books. He wanted to create a fictional reality that was cohesive, consistent and logical. It took many revisions to clean up the inconsistencies in the story. The stories from Middle-Earth benefited from a linear telling of its story. ‘Lost’ does not have the same luxury.
‘Lost’ is very much a postmodern story. The telling of the story is circular. The story is really more about the experience. Communities develop to share their experience. And the themes resonate across the various backgrounds of the fans. This gives the fans validity in their experience of Lost. But, a postmodern story rarely gives resolution. Because of this, I do not expect resolution to many of the mysteries of ‘Lost’. Just like life, some things are just unknown. Plus, not everyone will be satisfied with the answers. The resolution ultimately is about relationships not satisfying every question.
The endeavor that the writers have taken on after Season 3 is a dangerous one. It has the potential for logic flaws, for inconsistencies, and the potential for misleading the viewer. Even if the beholder has to take some leaps in logic, the ride for this story is well worth it.