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The Oceanic 6, a coffin, and painting into a corner?

By ErasedSlate,

  Filed under: Lost News
  Comments: 18

erasedslate.jpgOne 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: 

    1. There are more people that have left the island about whom they have to lie or keep quiet.
    2. 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.

  • Matt McGuire

    There’s actually several more possibilities for who’s in the coffin I can think of:

    1. It’s someone from the island, but not one of the crash survivors: Desmond, Ben, Juliet, Danielle, Alex, Karl, Richard… basically any of the others… None of them would be considered the “Oceanic 6” because they weren’t on Oceanic 815… There may actually be more than 6 people that escaped the island… all they’ve said is that there are only 6 oceanic survivors… So there’s LOTS of room for improvisation there.

    2. It could be someone that made it off the island between when the initial Oceanic 6 made it off and when we next see Jack… We really don’t know how much further in the future Jack’s flash-forward with Kate really is… and that may have been enough time for more people to make it off the island…

    3. It could be either of the scenarios you mentioned… Either it’s one of the “rescuers,” or it’s another oceanic survivor that made it off the island, but didn’t want to be known…

    4. It’s Michael… He did make it off the island before the “Oceanic 6…” and as far as we know, he’s not considered to be one of the Oceanic 6… So it could be him…

    I just hope I made it a little more obvious that there are still SOOOOO many possibilities… I don’t agree that the writers are pushing themselves into a corner at all… In fact, I think they smart as hell for finding a way to make us think that’s what they’re doing… we think they’ve given us so much information, when in reality… there’s even more we don’t know now… because before “Through The Looking Glass,” the only questions we had were about the past and present… now they’ve added a whole other “tense” to ask questions about… 🙂

    -Matt- (First post, by the way)

  • DocArzt

    I don’t think it is Michael. He would be too recognizable after the crash to get away with living in secret.

  • Rulito

    I dunno this may be a stretch but i think it could be a possibility that this person in the casket may be Abbadon? Judging by The Beginning Of The End he obviously knows more than he lets on.

    One of the clues most people noticed was that the funeral was in a black neighborhood. It could also fall into the category of neither friend nor family that jack declared to the funeral director. Maybe it is a possibility that he was one of the few if not only person(s) on the outside world that knew the islands location and/or how to get back? If he really did hang himself like the obituary suggested maybe what he does in this coming season or later down the line (he’s being set up as a villian of sorts right now) overcomes him with guilt to what he’s done and takes his own life as a result. What are everyone’s thoughts on that? I believe it’s a legit possibility.

  • ErasedSlate

    Matt welcome to the community. This is what it is all about people gathering together and sharing their thoughts.

    I ‘think’ I covered all the options that you have mentioned with option one. I was trying to keep the options broad enough in scope to cover many possibilities. Mainly, if the person in the coffin is one of the “6” then there is a consistency problem.

    Option one in the entry covers any person that is on the island currently whether they were on Oceanic 815 or Pre-815 crash (the others, Desmond, Danielle, and Dharma leftovers). The “Oceanic 6” have to keep quiet about anyone else that made it off the island. So, the person in the coffin could be from the island, but is not considered one of the “6.” The goal of the “6” is to coverup the existence of the island and their experiences there.

    You are right, these writers are great, but no matter how good they are the task of writing this show has become even more difficult because they have to write in all three tenses.

  • Lolo

    If your option 1 is true, then we have no confirmation that Kate is one of the Oceanic 6 do we? She met Jack privately. We know Jack and Hurley are celebrities, but do we know Kate is? She has good reason to need to keep her return private, unless she somehow (and I think this unlikely) assumed another identity upon her return.

  • gusteaux

    ErasedSlate said:
    “The goal of the “6” is to coverup the existence of the island and their experiences there.”

    I would have used the word “requirement” insdead of the word “goal”.

    They are certainly not keeping quiet and covering up voluntarily. It would seem that someone has attached a dire consequence to them saying anyhing publically about the island and/or additional survivors. That’s why Jack knows that it is up to him and/or any combination of him and other O6ers to return and either a) rescue those who remain on the island and want to come back or b) return to the island to change a sequence of events that their having left the island has triggered.

    I still hold to my initial belief that Michael is in the coffin.

  • gusteaux

    Actually, I’m going to take that a bit further. I read someone’s post within the last couple of weeks who theorized that ALL of the 815ers who “escaped” the island would need to get on the same plane together again to have the plane crash on the island again. Maybe Jack’s reaction to “Latham’s” death notice caused him to now believe that doing so would be impossible with one of them now dead (assuming that the person in the coffin was an original passenger, i.e. O6 member or Michael). If that’s the case, maybe we’ll see Jack once again begging to load a coffin on an Oceanic flight.

  • themachine

    i was just thinking that gusteaux.(ABOUT THE O6 all needing tro be on same plane) i remember reading that last week too, and it reminded me of that post. i think it might be Ben in the coffin, but I definetly dont think it is Michael in there though.

  • gusteaux

    I’m just thinking that if future Jack had come to the conclusion that they ALL had to be on the same plane again to get back to the island (“Kate, WE have to go back…”), that if he learned that one of them had died and thought that would now make a return impossible, it just might be enough to make him want to jump off that bridge.

  • trey

    for some reason, I believe that John Locke is inside the coffin. I think that there must have been a huge falling out(more than already) between the survivors and John. As evidenced by Hurley resenting the fact that he went with john instead of jack. it seems the island has an almost nefarious plan with whomever it communicates to the most which has already seemed to show a possible tension between John, Hurley and Ben(when john found out he could see the cabin). Its almost like a greed of power. If john did make it off the island for whatever reason. I could see him not being one of the oceanic six since his connection with the island is strong he would probably be kept a secret or go into hiding in order to not be found. I think that maybe something bad happened that drove john off the island due to guilt and if the person in the coffin killed himself it would be john driven by guilt and the inability to cope with life off the island(back in a wheelchair, i would think). If all survivors had to be back on the plane to bring it down on the island again I can see why jack would be in a state of depression if the one person with the most connection to the island has died. I have a feeling that the writers will still play heavily into jack and johns rivalry (man of science vs. the man of faith). however I think Micheal would be the most likely person to be in the coffin but I find that this conclusion would be disappointing and i have faith that the writers have something in store with a twist or at least something less predictable.

  • Ashley

    My money’s still on Michael. If he was able to make his way back to the real outside world, I think he could have passed into annominity easily if he didn’t want people to know he was on 815. he and Walt don’t really seem to have anyone left in the outside world besides Walt’s step dad. So there wouldn’t be anyone waiting/hoping for their return. It seems plausible to me that he could sneak back into the real world quietly, unlike the oceanic six who probably had a very public and heralded return by the outside world.

  • Eric

    Michael had his mother as seen when he was on the phone with her in the airport.

  • manofscience

    Sorry if this is already out there, but I feel that there is significant evidence right now pointing to Ben being in the coffin. Jack is obviously distraught throughout his flash forward by his inability to get back to the island. I think it makes sense that whatever was in the obituary, which subsequently compelled Jack onto the bridge ledge, had to do with him losing a possible way back to the island. Ben has/had a special connection to the island, so Jack could be in dispair over this loss of information/insight/connection. Though I admit that Ben is a pretty crafty guy, it appears that his reign over the island is coming to an end and Locke’s time has come (though I was more sure of this at the end of season 3 than after these two episodes). So, it’d wouldn’t be too hard to imagine the island without Ben i.e. Ben gets off the island (most likely with the oceanic six). When he gets off the island, maybe his cancer comes back and he ends up dying within a “short” time off the island. Ben, having grown up on the island, really has no family or friends off of, so it fits that his funeral would not draw a crowd. He qualifies neither as a friend or a family member of Jack’s and it is reasonable to consider that Kate would be taken aback by Jack thinking she’d show up, given that he tortured her (and her possible man off the island, Sawyer). oh, also to bring it back to the thread, he’d fit ok in the story line because he wasn’t on oceanic six/ maybe won’t be as known in the media.

    It just doesn’t make sense if it’s Mikey. He just doesn’t carry the weight in the show or significance to the island that is necessitated in this most pivotal of moments/episodes. Plus, they just introduced him back. I don’t know, that just doesn’t feel right for Jack to get so upset about Mike dying (even if he also presents a possible way to get back).

    And I don’t think it’s Locke either. Locke and Jack (Faith and Science) have been at odds the entire series. it’s obvious that faith has the upper hand right now given the state we saw both them at the series midpoint: Jack has completely lost it and Locke has just found his groove with taller ghost walt. I personally can’t see the writers ending the show with anything other than a compromise between these two extremes (I’m sure people will disagree with that, i guess I’m just an optimist). Both will go too far, both will admit their wrongs, and both will reconcile. If they kill off faith, that’d be a pretty bold statement, one which I don’t think the writers are trying to make with the series. Thus, i’d be surprised if it were Locke.

  • tremendouspie

    I have to agree with everything manofscience said. Locke will not be killed off because faith and science will come to an inevitable compromise which is why Jack and Locke are the two characters that will for sure stick around until the shows end. Right now I think the best bet is for Ben to be in the coffin. With this new picture the fantastic 4 have of him it appears that he might have been off the island more than he likes to admit. I am confident that he will leave the island with the oceanic 6. I am not as confident that he will end up in that coffin.

    Have we ever thought about the fact that no one died? That the coffin is more of a symbolism than anything else? They did play the everyone died in flight 815, and now they are alive deal. But that was never a trick on the real audience but a trick to the fake people in the lost world. What happens if the death was a symbolism that the person went back to the island. Maybe jack knew this was the case. Ben “dies” in the real world, is his way of residing back on the island.

    I do have to disagree with the all 6 need to be on a plane for it to crash back on the island idea. I think that Penelope will get in touch with Jack and the two of them will work together to find the island. Jack needs to get back to Juliet, Penelope to Desmond, Kate to Sawyer…and so on.

    Tom P—-first post

  • M Bizzle

    Just wanted to add a small comment to say that even tho this is just a short article it was really well written…I don’t have anything to add to the theory at the moment but it’s great to read coherent and articulated ideas, especially in the age of text-speak and typo-mania..thanks to the writer and thanks to Doc Arzt for a consistent standard of quality posts every day 🙂

  • The Cackler

    Could the corpse in the coffin be Jack’s Dad?

    Maybe Jack’s Dad was dead, but alive again when Jack emerged into a different future timeline (see last season’s Finale).

    But then Christian commits suicide (or did he??) as the universe “course corrects” to the way things are supposed to be.

  • milo

    If it were Michael, wouldn’t Walt have attended the funeral (assuming he’s not killed or ends up back on the island)? And you would think there would be some friends or relatives who would be there.

    I also think it’s likely Locke survives a long time, he seems to be most in touch with the island and a central figure in its mysteries.

  • soopafly

    Maybe Ben?
    As far as we know, Ben has never been in the ‘real world’ after he went to the island for the first time.
    = no one knows him == no one will come to the funeral