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Alive Again – 1.03, 1.04 and 1.05 “Tabula Rasa”, “Walkabout”, “White Rabbit”

By Fishbiscuit,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps
  Comments: 41

“I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

After the Pilot episodes, we in the audience had to land on our feet trying to chase down this story that immediately began to race ahead of us. It got real weird real fast.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

These three episodes introduced the most profound and lasting themes of Lost. The first threads of the basic Lost themes – themes of Manhood and Destiny, of Magic, Mystery, Illusion, themes of Life and Death and Life beyond Death – all began to weave into the fabric that has become the great tapestry of Lost.

Not the least of these threads was the relationship that in Season One seemed destined to be THE central relationship in the story. Time has dulled that impression, at least for me, because Jack and John have only rarely shared screen time lately, divorced as they’ve been across the time space continuum. But Reset-Rewatching the early days of Lost, it’s hard to tell which guy we were supposed to be watching, which one was supposed to be dominant, which one – if either one – was meant to be our hero.

In the aftermath of the crash, Jack was in a state of shock,

but for John, it was more like a state of grace.

In the next three episodes after The Crash, all the survivors learned to accept the heavy reality that no rescue was coming. They were truly Lost. Abandoned.

They had to try and survive, however ill-equipped they might be for the task.

They looked for food.

They even began to commit small kindnesses to their enemies.

They burned the dead.

They tried to do right by those the Island had not chosen to save. In another touching nod to the then-recent 9/11 tragedy (or at least it felt like that to me) there was The Reading of The Names.

It was a good moment for Claire. While Jack griped about trying to “sort through everyone’s God”, his sister Claire simply remembered that each individual soul was special in his or her own way, even if it was just because she wore corrective lenses or he would have been an organ donor. Each of them had been special enough to love someone, and to be loved.

These early episodes were a time of discovery, a time of constant Firsts. There was the first Great WTF Shock Ending (which was also, incidentally, THE moment that hooked me on Lost for good).

The first of those fantastic Perpetual Tiki Torches.

First time Jack bitched out Kate!

First time Kate and Sawyer rolled around on top of each other in the jungle!

First Jears!

First Bunny!

But not everything we thought we saw in Season One turned out to be lastingly important.

Walt made the rain stop, but I have a feeling we’ll never find out what was supposed to be so bloody special about him.

We never found out why everyone was running around after Jack begging him to please Please PLEEZ! be TEH LEADER,

when Sayid already was one.

Not every budding theme we thought we saw in S1 was intended to bear fruit. There are boars in this story, but it’s not really like Lord of the Flies.

Sawyer used his wiles to harvest raw materials like an Ayn Randian hero of gloriously selfish capitalism. Meanwhile Jack was exhorting the proletariat to cooperate selflessly for the common good, with a line lifted straight from the great socialist anthem, “The Internationale”.

“Come greet the dawn and stand beside us
We’ll live together or we’ll die alone. “-

Unfortunately, Lost never went anywhere as a sociopolitical allegory. I know, I know, the whole point was just that Jack was Good and Sawyer was Baaaaad.

At first, when Lost was new, they pretended this stuff would be easy. They gave us a false sense of security that this would be a simplistic morality tale of black hats and white hats, good guys and bad. Sawyer and Kate connived the dubious mercy killing of the Marshall, but naturally, the worthless Sawyer fucked it up. On the surface, it only proved that if you want something done right on this damn Island, then there was no point in sending anyone other than Hero! Jack! to do it. But Sawyer’s anguish was one of those fleeting windows that opened in those early weeks where we glimpsed just for a passing second the human being inside the animal’s shell.

Plus Sawyer, of course, was right! He did see “the big picture” that Jack couldn’t. What was Jack’s plan? To pour all the antibiotics down the drain into the doomed man, stealing them from the living who were sure to need them later. It was a battle of earthy pragmatism vs. airy idealism, a classic dichotomy. But the audience mostly missed it, because we were being lulled into dismissing Sawyer as just a big handsome asshole.

Kind of like how we were misled into thinking that Jin was nothing more than an abusive control freak of his innocent, terrified wife.

Or that Hurley was only there for us to laugh at, as our fat, cuddly clown.

(Well, that one was kinda true.)

The misleads were there to distract us from just how plain and simple some of the themes really were. Kate’s episode was titled Tabula Rasa, a belief much favored by the 17th century philosopher that our hero John Locke was destined to be named after.

“Tabula Rasa” means literally “scraped table”. (Tabula is also the Roman name for the game of Backgammon, but we probably don’t have time to get into that one now.) In the writings of 17th century John Locke, “tabula rasa” was a term used to describe the mind of the newborn babe – empty, blank, an open space within which any possible spirit can build its castle.

If we all start out blank, then the thing we call personality, or identity, is just the random picture that happens to get drawn on each person’s generic slate. So who are these people, these spirits inhabiting these shells? For starters, who is Kate?

The historical figure Kate reminds me most of is Richard Kimble.

There’s even a One-Armed Man mixed up in the middle of the story.

Like poor old Doctor Kimble, Kate just seems too nice to be a most wanted criminal tracked across the globe by a relentless nemesis.

She saves the life of Farmer Ray, the guy who ratted her out for a couple of mortgage payments. She even saves the life of the Marshall when the plane is starting to crash. The group trusts her so instinctively that they give her their only gun. Of course, there is the inconvenient complication that, unlike Richard Kimble, Kate is basically….guilty.

Throughout the first season, we never found out What Kate Did.

We were left to try and helplessly imagine what this angel faced girl scout could possibly have done to earn the obsession of the hardbitten G-Man. What could she have done that was so bad? Was she a child molester, an axe murderer, a spy? Was her evil on an epic scale? Was she the Catwoman?

None of the possibilities seemed possible. Maybe Edward Mars was one of Kate’s jilted lovers?

Did he just really, really hate Patsy Cline music?

It was always hard to know what to think about Kate. It never seemed to me that they put much care into the writing of her. She said she was a vegetarian, but we all saw her chowing down on pork like she was Ponyo.

So was she lying? I mean the food supply on the Island consisted of fish, boar

…and toothpaste. Hard to see how a vegetarian could get enough calories to climb out of bed, let alone climb trees like Tarzan.

Probably, since it was Kate, just a girl in a story that’s all about men, it didn’t matter that much. It’s a small example, but it illustrates how the writers never seemed to try all that hard with Kate. The great intrigue about What Kate Did eventually went pffffft. Sure she killed her Dad in cold blood, but he wasn’t very nice, and besides – isn’t she purty? As we enter Season Six, Kate remains a sketch of a character that the writers seem never to have fully invested in. Sadly, the side effect has been that the audience, over time, has come to feel about Kate pretty much the same way the Marshall did.

In stark contrast, the characterizations of Locke and Jack were masterfully done. From the beginning you could see how much care and thought went into how the writers introduced these two,

their yin and yang,

fire and water,

light and dark.

Of course, which one was the light one and which the dark is never made entirely clear. We’re supposed to keep guessing. Are these guys the Good Twin and the Bad Twin?

Do they represent a dichotomy or a unity? Or is that question just another one of the many misleads we’re always getting lost on?

The eye is the window to the soul, and we enter each man’s soul just that way. We see his eye opening.

He’s flat on his back.

This splat position is one we’ll see both Locke and Jack in many times over the years, especially Locke.

In fact, in White Rabbit, we actually get a rare sighting of the difficult double back splat.

The two men are complementary. Together they instinctively provide for and sustain their fellow survivors. Locke finds food. Jack finds water. Psychologically, there is also some kind of desolate symmetry. Jack’s always been told he doesn’t have what it takes.

And everyone’s always telling Locke what it is he can’t do.

Although it seems they’re working together, there’s a sense early on that they’re not on the same side. In a story that just left us with a very foreboding sense of impending war,

(Translation: Only the dead have seen the end of war.)

we remember that we first met Locke as a “Colonel” playing Army board games in the lunchroom at the box factory.

Knives have always been important in Locke’s story. They are a symbol of manhood.

Of potency.

The opposite of the disabling wheelchair. Knives make people sit up and pay attention. A man who knows how to throw a knife is automatically Special.

The Knife is the symbol of John Locke’s DESTINY.

Locke may have been a sad, sad cubicle nerd stuck doing Totally Pointless Shit reports

for a Lumbergian little douche named Randy Nations.

(Speaking of which I wonder if we’ll see Lost’s low rent Zelig again in Season Six?)

Locke may have been reduced to paying a sex phone worker to pretend to be his girlfriend. And he may have been humiliated when he was rejected for the Australian walkabout tour because he couldn’t…uh, walk. But Locke was more than a whackaloon survivalist with delusions of grandeur, even if that’s exactly what he often looked like.

Locke carries the weight of the story’s most central theme on the shoulders of his bright white T-shirt. Locke believes in DESTINY, a theme even the ABC promo department can understand.

Destiny is the thing you can’t escape, the thing you can have absolute faith in. The things you are destined to do are the same as the things you have already done. With destiny, the future is irrefutable, irreversible, undeniable, just like the past. Locke had learned that the hard way.

The Island had come for John.

As he told Jack at the fireside, everything that had happened to them had happened for a reason. Everything. But in the early days, John Locke was the only one who understood that.

If the audience had been as tuned in as Locke, we might have noticed the signs all around us.

The toys and dolls in the wreckage were the first sign we received that Lost would also be a story about lost children. And lost childhoods.

And what about this?

When Kate tackled Sawyer, he was delighted to have his birthday wish fulfilled – the one he’d made four years before. That was a throwaway line at the time, but it reverberates a little bit now, when we’ve seen how capriciously these characters have scampered around the timespace continuum.

There’s also this. Does Charlie think FATE is LATE?

I don’t get it. Unless we’re supposed to read it backwards – in a mirror, through the looking glass – where it becomes ET AL, which translates from Latin (the language of The Others) as … And Others. Get it? OTHERS!

It was always Charlie’s Fate to be done in by Et Al. He didn’t know it then, but there was no way he’d ever escape it.

By the end of this group of episodes, even Jack had bowed to his Destiny and embraced his fated role as Boss of Everyone and all around Mary Sue.

Locke describes a Walkabout as “a journey of spiritual renewal, where one derives strength from the earth. And becomes inseparable from it. ” That’s an incomplete description. A Walkabout is the rite of passage, the ritual of manhood for adolescent Aboriginal males.

A Walkabout traces the Songlines and follows the Dreamtracks of ancestors who have died, but who still dwell within the ancestral landscape of the earth. We know that Locke is a great dreamer.

And we’ve also seen him embrace the soul of his ancestors in ways we could never have imagined back then.

But just when did this conversion take place? There’s a moment in Tabula Rasa that is striking and scary. Locke uses the whistle to finally bring Vincent, the invincible dog, back to his mystical young master Walt. He generously allows Michael to be the hero, knowing that he desperately needs to build some cred in the eyes of his boy.

But, as Locke watches over what was a deliriously happy moment for the little family, his expression is not happy at all. In fact, it is downright sinister.

It’s almost as if he is – suddenly – someone different.

We can’t yet read what Locke might be thinking as he scowls over this happy scene. But it’s one of those scenes that means a lot more on the Rewatch, because of all the things we know now, or things we don’t know. To tell you the truth, I’m so openminded on this story right now, I even wondered if there wasn’t something going on there between Man and Dog.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” said Alice.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the cat. “We’re all mad here.”

Locke ends up on the Island because he desperately needs to take a Walkabout, but it’s Jack who hears the Dreamsongs while he’s seeking his manhood in the wilderness.

“And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall”
Jefferson Airplane, White Rabbit

The White Rabbit that Jack chases is the ghost of his father. The dear old dad he was bringing home to bury. Christian is someone we’ve come to know almost as well as we know Jack, but we still don’t know why he won’t leave Jack alone.

The clue may be hidden somewhere in the symbol the writers have chosen to represent him. Lost is about lots of things, but throughout the years, it’s always been About Bunnies.

Rabbits represent fertility. Rabbit’s feet bring good luck. Rabbits are used in magic tricks. And in a Game like Lost, images of rabbits have turned up in all kinds of tricky places.

Can you find it? You have to really keep your eyes peeled when you watch this show. It’s not that hard to find this bunny:

But this one’s a toughie:

But by far the main way Lost has used rabbits is as part of its ongoing Through the Looking Glass metaphor.

Like Alice, Jack chases his white rabbit down a hole into a world where logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

Jack’s Dad has been bringing the crazy into Jack’s life for a long time. We saw Jack laying on the ground as a boy

his head turned exactly as it was when we first saw him on his back in the jungle.

We see that Jack’s dad decided to write on his son’s blank slate with a poison pen.

“Don’t choose, Jack, don’t decide. You don’t want to be a hero, you don’t try and save everyone because when you fail … you just don’t have what it takes.”

See? The way Christian talked to his kid in his Scotch soaked study wasn’t all that different from the way the hookah smoking caterpillar talked to Alice from his mushroom. He didn’t say Jack would fail because he didn’t have what it takes. He said that he couldn’t fail because he didn’t have what it takes to fail successfully. Like Jack was destined to fail even at failing.

You can see why Jack didn’t have the warm and fuzzies for his dad, even if it turns out that Christian had it exactly right about his super successful overachieving failure of a son.

Jack had been chasing his father figure for a long time before he ran into him in the Jungle of Mystery.

“I fled Him down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him down the arches of the years;
I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind “
– Francis Thompson, The Hounds of Hell

He thought he had finally put an end to it when he ID’d his pop’s sodden corpse in the King’s Cross morgue. King’s Cross. What a wonderful place for Christian to die. It’s a name that reminds us of another King who died on a Cross to redeem mankind from sin.

And while King’s Cross – Sydney’s red light district – is an appropriate place for a sinner like Christian to die, it’s also a nice shoutout to the same place Harry Potter goes when he needs to transition away from the world of Muggles to the world of Magic.

Now that Jack has made that transition through the looking glass of the Island, he’s going to have to go back and forth a couple of times before he gets it. What happens when he does catch up to Christian? That’s a part of the story that’s still ahead of us. We’ve gotten so jaded with all the Daddy Issues on Lost that it’s hard to remember how profound and mythic this first encounter with the Big Dad really was. Jack puts out his hand to try and touch the illusion of The Father

but he only ends up tumbling off the edge of a cliff, hanging at the end of his rope. And at the very last second, just when he’s about to fall to his death, what does he see? A hand reaching out to bring him back to life, a hand belonging to the unseen …


Locke has a long heart to heart with Jack, then leaves him alone in the middle of the night, in the middle of the jungle, with the monster growling out there in the darkness. After all, it’s not a proper Walkabout unless you’re by yourself. There’s a sound…of clinking ice cubes in a Scotch glass…and a whitish figure passes through the trees behind Jack. He leaps up to chase it. He doesn’t catch Dad this time either, but he does find the thing he’s been looking for, the thing they all need, the source of life itself. Finally. Water.

Early in the episode, when Jack is failing to save the drowning swimmer, the shot pulls back as if to show us the viewpoint of an unseen figure who observes very closely…

…as Jack fails.

Now the hand of the unseen Father has once again,

through the barely heard whisper of a mysterious songline,

led Jack to the water that will keep them all alive.

At first he thinks it has also led him to the thing he was really looking for – his father’s body. But the grave of the Father is empty.

“And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” – Mark 16:6

Of course Jack is never really alone during any of this. When Jack first spies Christian on the edges of the jungle, he chases him inside only to see him disappear behind a bush…

…a bush that seconds later, Locke stumbles out of, wrestling the meat he has just killed to feed the people.

Considering Christian didn’t appear to lead Jack to water until after Locke left him alone by the fire, it’s fair to ask…did Christian lead Jack to the water, or did Locke? After all, Locke did say very clearly, earlier in the episode, that he knew where the water was. Just what is the connection between Christian Shephard and John Locke? We have seen Jack escort two corpses to the Island, that of his father, and that of Locke.

A Father is a Protector, and we have recently learned that What Lies in The Shadow of The Statue

is He Who Protects Us All.

We’ve got a pretty good sense that the Island houses at least one free floating spirit that can impersonate whoever it chooses, can inhabit any physical shell that Death has turned into a Tabula Rasa. What we don’t know, however, is whether this spirit is a good twin or a bad twin, whether it’s a God

or a Monster.

When Jack is chasing his White Rabbit, he calls out to him, “Who are you?”

The same thing Eko called as he chased the mirage of his brother Yemi.

Who are you?

That’s the million dollar question. At one point, Jack tells Kate very matter of factly, “Three days ago, we all died”. I didn’t take that literally when I first heard it. Probably no one did. It seemed like another one of those drippy motivational lines in one of those many, many lame JackandKateSitandTalk scenes that are littered throughout the early episodes. But what if that’s exactly what it meant?

When Locke wakes up, his shoe is off. He struggles to grab it and put it on. I’m not sure of this one, but don’t dead men wear no shoes?

There’s a Twilight zone episode where a bum puts on the shoes of a murdered man and is inhabited by the dead man’s vengeful spirit. “Who are you?” is a question maybe we should have been asking all along.

“For should the soul of a prince enter and inform the body of a cobbler, as soon as deserted by his own soul, everyone sees he would be the same person with the prince, accountable only for the prince’s actions; but who would say it was the same man?” – John Locke, On Identity

Is it possible, just maybe, that the Locke we’ve known has always been dead? Since the fall from the window. Or since the plane crash. Or since his mama got hit by a car and then gave birth when she was only a few months pregnant. There’s always been something magical about Locke. How many times has he died and come back to life, really? A commenter at my blog (thanks J. Hall, great pickup!) mentioned the possibility that Locke’s eye scars mark him as the Norse god, Odin.

It’s definitely an interesting concept. I realize the writers seem to have settled on the Egyptian motif for their ancient, pre-Abrahamic deities, but the Norsemen’s Odin is a god that makes a very neat fit with our man Locke. He’s the god of Poetry but also the god of the Hunt.

And the Spear.

And of War.

He hung himself for nine days from Yggdrasil (literal translation “Odin’s horse”), the sacred Tree of the World, the Tree of Life.

But Odin, like our good John Locke, was alive again after that long death.

So Odin, like many of mankind’s most popular gods, from Bacchus to Christ, is a god of resurrection, a god that dies and lives again. He’s also a shapeshifter, who takes on the appearance of both people and animals.

What’s more, Odin is a one-eyed God, having sacrificed his eye to the Well of Wisdom, in return for…wisdom, I guess.

And eyes, single eyes, eyes being opened, are maybe the single most identifiable motif in the whole grand tapestry of Lost images.

What does it mean when an eye opens?

Well, it means that you have to see reality, for one thing. You can’t be lost in illusions, trying to take the easy way out. And yet we’re in the middle of a story that feels most of the time like one big grand illusion. One that gets curiouser and curiouser by the year. When Locke is waylaid by the Smoke Monster on his Walkabout, he escapes unharmed.

He looks terrified.

But he says later that he has looked into the Eye of the Island and he saw that it was beautiful. It’s a fascinating idea, that the fearsome, terrifying Monster is described by Locke as an Eye. A beautiful one. It adds another layer of potential to the eyes that we are so used to seeing on Lost. On Jacob’s tapestry, the Eye of Horus, the symbol of Ra’s protection and power, watches over the blank human slates who seem to be lined up against one another on opposite sides. What Game is being played with the human playing pieces? We don’t know yet. We just have to wait and see it all play out. Like most games, the rules are probably very simple.

“Begin at the beginning,”, the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

We can do that.

  • Great writeup! The images and text fit perfectly.

  • Handsome Smitty

    Where do you find the time?

    Cool post. Seems to me, what I personally see, Locke may in the end be more bad than Ben. Ben was born bad, brought up in a horrendous environment that shaped him into what he is (just what happened to the gunshot little boy in that temple?). Locke seems to have been surrounded with good choices but always makes the selfish one, the Hunter dream. In a sense he seems to have corrupted himself. Ben’s corruption was inevitable, wanting to be loved and to belong but not knowing just what Love is.

    You gave us a lot to thing about and showed us again that Lost might well be the best television series ever.

  • Jana

    This was one of the most enjoyable posts I’ve read in a long time! I’m a Lost fan that joined late (middle of Season 4) so it hasn’t been that long ago that I was watching it all for the first time.

    This was a GREAT reminder of how awesome this show really is!


  • Funback Joe

    You captured the almost incomprehensible brilliance of ‘Lost’ very nicely in this post. The men and women making this show are master storytellers and the very definition of what it is to be an artist.

    You’re no slouch yourself. Excellent writing. I hope you find the time to give us more of these wonderful write-ups in the future.



  • Sunshine

    I know some will disagree with me, but I didnt like the article. Take away the pictures and its just a boring, poorly written article.

    • Chester

      Sunshine, your name should be Sad Rain Cloud.

      • Sunshine

        Please chester, would you politely involve yourself in solitary procreative endeavor.

    • MoniquE

      Are you kidding? It’s a picture essay so why would she leave out the pictures? Would you leave chocolate chips out of chocolate chip cookies? And if you think this is bad writing, I’d hate to see what you consider good.

  • Jack’s Sidekick

    I have to agree about the scene in “Walkabout” being what first most intrigued me. From the start, the show was incredible but this was the first great epic mind blower. I’ve talked many people into watching this show and I tell them all the same thing, which turns out to be very true: The first three episodes give you what you need to know before the show begins it’s long journey, you meet all of the important characters, you get the sense and feel of what to expect, you get the feeling that something weird is going on, though it’s unclear what. Then you get to the fourth episode. I call this the insurance episode. The episode goes on and it’s just like the last three, only you’re finally getting to know Mr. Locke a little better. Then they give you this incredible climax and this makes the audience want to go on watching. As I said, watch the first three to get the flow then the fourth insures everything. As for the writers never having done as good a job on writing for Kate as they have for the other characters, keep in mind that Jack was originally going to die in the pilot and Kate was going to be the leader/hero. She wasn’t the criminal then either. She was married and her husband had been in the tail section of the plane when they crashed. Sound familiar? Then the creators decided to keep Jack alive,making him the hero/leader and the wife losing her husband idea was reincarnated into Rose and Bernard. I guess they knew they still needed an important female character so they kept Kate but made her a fugitive. I still think this worked out for the better. Hell, Jack’s my favorite character. If someone dropped a “Jughead” at ABC, changing the creator’s second idea. Maybe Jack would have been played by Michael Keaton as originally intended and he’d be killed before we ever met him and Kate would be the star. Who knows, maybe I might have not been so hooked and would not be here writing this now and would never watch Lost.

  • lost4evr

    Great article. I really enjoyed reading this and especially liked the idea of Charlie’s LATE=ET AL. I was always curious about the meaning of changing FATE to LATE and never really got a satisfactory answer from anyone as to the meaning. Your interpretation finally makes sense of it. Thanks for that and thanks for the great read 🙂

    • marc

      the fate to late thing has always bothered me too.. maybe that is the big clue that is in the pilot episode which damon and carlton have referenced in the past who knows.. if i recall they show him writing fate in the pilot then show him writing late later on .. is that right? or do they show him writing fate then later it just says late? either way curious and cant just be an oversight.. it has to mean something and be important.. i think we will be finding out what it means this season..pure conjecture.

  • Mib815

    Dude!!! Great article!!!

  • et al… haha, awesome.
    Now I’ll go back to practising the double back splat while listening to Jefferson Airplane!

  • Great job, as always, Fish. However, shame on you for not crediting George Harrison with the line, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

  • DM

    As usual, I’m not a fan of Fishbiscuit. I think she’d have a hard time really pressing that “manhood” is a central theme in LOST. Even defining what it might mean within the context of the show is nebulous.

    The anti-Jack bias is boring, and she seems to really stretch her intentional misunderstanding of his character for whatever strange agenda she might carry. Why do the survivors define Jack as their leader instead of Sayid or Locke? I believe the first few episodes clearly establishes this. Under pressure, Jack is decisive and professional. He puts the safety of others before himself. He can attend to the needs of survival. He is not strange or other like Locke (whose agenda does not coincide with the survivors) or Sayid (who is immediately cast with suspicion due to his ethnicity).

    I don’t say this because I am a rabid Jack fan, only because the comments are lazy and ignorant and this kind of writing, under the guise of authority, taints useful discourse.

    There’s a lot more to say about the flaws or irrelevant throughout the review. I wish people were more critical when reading the numerous LOST reviews flourishing on the internet. I don’t think many of them stand under even the slightest scrutiny.

    • SharkTaco

      I totally agree with you and Sunshine. Lets face it internet, fishbiscuit is not a good writer.

    • MoniquE

      You’re critical of the hard work people do to try and add something for other fans, DM, so I’d like to see the reviews you write. Where do you post them?

      What I love about these reviews is they try to take a different look at things. Who wants to read the same old “jack is great” and “locke is weird”? What does that add to understanding anything? The show is obviously a lot more outside the box than that. How can anyone stomp on a fan who donates free work to trying to see new angles and perspectives? I guess it’s easy to bash, not so easy to create.

      I hope Fishbiscuit never reads the comments sections because I’d hate her to give it up, though I wouldn’t blame her. I’d just miss having at least one creative, original voice like this out there.

      • SharkTaco

        How about the review of fishbiscuits article that he posted here?

        If fishbiscuit gave up because a few people did not like her work, then boooooooooooooooooooo at her. She’d be even lamer than her articles. Never give up what you like doing regardless of what your haters may think.

        Who wants to read the same old “jack is great” and “locke is weird”? What does that add to understanding anything?
        Hmmm….with that said, who wants to read another “Jack sucks” or “i dont like kate” article? What does that add to understanding anything?

        Honestly, Id just like to her write a real article and not just a bunch of comments underneath some screen caps.

        • MoniquE

          DM wrote a review of a review? Huh? Where?

          I don’t understand why you guys who don’t like these reviews stalk them just to bash them. Why not just let people enjoy them and go enjoy whatever it is you like about Lost? If all you get out of these fun, brilliant write ups is “jack sucks” or “i don’t like kate” then clearly they’re wasted on you anyway.

          • Andy

            Great post. And it clearly demonstrates that this is what really bothered them. That she’s not kissing Jack’s ass like they want her to. So they go on to whine about the pictures and “bad writing” but god knows they can’t stay away from reading all her recaps.
            I don’t blame you guys, they’re good.

  • DM

    It’s called criticism. A person isn’t given a free pass because they invested time to create something.

    FB draws ties in multiple pop-culture references into her reviews and this is fine. It gives a history of where themes develop even if the ideas expressed in the references are irrelevant to what is being said in LOST’s narrative. But most of this stuff is obvious. We aren’t breaking new ways to approach LOST by discussing Alice in Wonderland. We are only given an accessible account– and this is also fine. You just have to acknowledge who might comprise the FB audience: people who are not educated in literature, philosophy, and cultural studies. I think it’s great she writes for this audience; however, the content of her reviews/articles is betrayed by willful omissions so that she might spin characters as horrible (Jack and Kate) or god-like (Sawyer). The inaccuracy either comes from a dim viewing (read the review for “The Variable” for instance) or an determined effort to misrepresent characters (I don’t know why anyone would want to do this).

    Sometimes words or ideas are also misrepresented. I just caution readers to not take it at face value because many of the arguments are extremely weak.

    For those so upset that I would even think about contradicting FB and wondering about any sort of episode review that I might write– I’ve been considering starting a review blog. I only need a little time away from my current studies. I’ll keep you updated.

    • Andy

      You lost all credibility when you basically called anyone who enjoys reading her thoughts ignorant and uneducated. And then you come to this post to proclaim that you’ll keep those very same readers “updated”?

      You want us idiots to read your genius analysis? I’ll pass. Condescending smugness is not appealing to me.
      The great thing about a show like LOST is that everyone will watch and get something completely different out of it. To look down on people who do not share your interpretation is disrespectful.

      • DM

        I think you missed my point.

        Even if I dislike FB’s reviews, I read them because I’m curious how the “unread” (for a lack of a better term) approach the storytelling or assess the thematics.

        Much of what FB writes shows a willful ignorance to what happens in the story while replacing scenes with fantasy. This provides for poor interpretation.

        I don’t know how often this needs to be repeated, but the disapproval of these reviews does not come from an admiration of Jack’s character. I just find the bias and misreadings tiresome. I kind of hold FB to be the Glenn Beck or Fox News of LOST analysis.

        • MoniquE

          Ha, then I guess you’re the Bill O’Reilly then. Seriously dude, you sound like you are in dire need of rescue from your studies. The “unread”? Holy cow, you really have no idea what a pompous ass you sound like. This is mainstream tv. You don’t like someone else’s opinions, so you declare them propaganda? Propaganda about a tv show that can be interpreted a hundred different ways? Or is YOUR way the only proper way?

          You really need to stfu until you find a away to get out of that library, honey. If you ever wrote anything, which I doubt you ever will, I can almost guarantee it would be dull, self important and completely uninspired.

          People are having FUN with this show. I find FB’s ideas invigorating. I don’t always agree and I don’t get the impression I’m supposed to. She’s throwing ideas out there and reminding us of all the richness of the show and how mind blowing it is.

          Do you even realize that you have done nothing here but put down not only this review, which obviously took a lot of hard work and creativity, but you’re also putting down everyone who enjoys it as being less than YOU. No wonder her Jack criticism offends you. You sound like his clone.

          I think the best suggestion I could give to you is to stop reading something you clearly detest. Or is there some kind of personal issue here? What’s your problem?

          • DM

            This isn’t about disliking opinion. There are many reviews whose content I find disagreeable, but they do not rely on distortions and superficial readings to promote a bias. I think you missed that with the comparison. There is a world of difference between substantiated opinion and much of what FB claims. It’s not about who is right or wrong, but what is supported.

            I don’t really understand your stake in this– the defense, the “LOL”s, the referal to FBs greatness. I don’t care if you disagree with me; you’re just stuck on a personal tangent that really has nothing to do with what has been written. I don’t want to play shepherd to your insecurities. You like her; I don’t. But what about the content? What has been disputed?

  • MoniquE

    LOL, are you serious? You’re “cautioning” us? Pompous and condescending much?

    Maybe we don’t all have your superior intellect but I think we’re all perfectly capable of evaluating Fish’s arguments for ourselves. In fact, I think we can evaluate and appreciate any blogger who puts the actual WORK into writing something, unlike yourself. Sounds like you can’t even be bothered to argue a single point, since it’s self evident (to you) that yours would be superior.

    Just accept that you don’t get these reviews. They’re obviously supposed to be irreverent and accessible and a free association of pop culture references, just like Lost is. If you want to go write a PhD thesis on Lost when you get a break from your studies (LOL!) then go right ahead, but in the meantime don’t get bent out of shape because not everybody takes this show as serious as you do.

  • DM

    You’re not listening.

    Reviews are not immune from criticism just because one has not authored a review. That’s just silly.

    I already offered an argument against one point in this review: FB’s refusal to acknowledge why Jack had a leadership position. Was he a good leader? Not entirely. His failure is his story.

    LOST is not a free association of pop references. The references are intentional in providing influences, like a wink or nod. Is the review community a free association of pop references? Yes– especially since bloggers write about what the show could be rather than what it is.

    I do understand these reviews. They are just not good, and like I said earlier, they do not stand under scrutiny.

    • MoniquE

      It sounds to me like you’re the one who isn’t listening DM. Just because Fish doesn’t share your very commonplace interpretation of Jack doesn’t mean you are automatically correct. The Lost fandom is filled with pompous fanboys who think their opinions are fact. People like you are a dime a dozen. People like Fish, who actually contribute something to the fun for other fans, are not. Pretty simple though I guess there’s no point in talking to a brick wall.

      • DM

        If I want to read something fun, I’d read the misfitfire or whatever that blog is called. It never attempts to take itself seriously and it’s funny because it pokes fun at those who are so wrapped up in trying to unlock the story that they completely get everything wrong.

        Much of what is said in FB reviews cannot be supported by evidence within the show(I don’t know if I can stress this enough). FB’s perspective isn’t exactly anything but “commonplace.” In fact, it is the consensus view of what might be described as the reading of the mass man: vulgar, trite, and myopic (something like the layman who insists Moby Dick is a story about Ahab’s quest for revenge). I guess some people find comfort in knowing their lazy and superficial readings are not so rare. I just don’t find pleasure in wikipedia research, weak irony (you know, the kind that isn’t actually irony) and empty satire.

        About the caution I advised earlier: It’s a warning to those who are not searching for “irony” and obvious pop-culture referencing (a boring example of post-modern gaming that illuminates nothing but trivia houses), but looking for insight into the show. It’s not for you, Monique, who I imagine likes to snort and “LOL” when reading childish remarks. That’s your gig. Keep it.

        • PraxiusLost

          I’m sorry for barging in on what seems like a personal fight, but since this is a free blog with the anonymous names and identities, I hope you don’t begrudge me from expressing my opinion.

          As far as I can tell, you both have made valid points during this conversation. DM, you are correct that even free blogs like this one can and should receive some forms of criticism. When constructive, criticism allows us to improve our skills, and can lead to personal benefit as well as personal connections. MoniquE, you are correct in stating that interpreting and experiencing different sides of this show is fun for us fans. It’s the reason that the show is as popular as it is. Everyone has a right to discuss, explore, debate, and ultimately enjoy Lost anyway they choose.

          Andy and SharkTaco… Well… you guys actually didn’t make any real points, you just insulted the other people in this conversation with hypothetical slights. However, you accurately expressed your opinions tersely and cogent, and for that I thank you.

          In my personal opinion, I have to agree with MoniquE and Andy. I like Fishbiscuit’s work. Some people have mentioned that if you take away the pictures, it’s a ‘just a boring, poorly written article.’(Sunshine). But, the article was written with pictures to accent Fishbiscuit’s points with visual conformation. Is he/she always right? Of course not. That’s impossible. But his/her theories are backed up with visual evidence and logical thoughts. Something that can be hard to find in some Lost theories. For example, I disagree with him/her about Kate. Sure, Kate’s not my favorite character, but I find her as well flushed out and written as every other character in Lost. But, unlike other Lost fans (Not necessarily pointing fingers here); I don’t see the difference of view as a personal attack on my own beliefs about the show. Because it isn’t.

          DM, you said ‘I think she’d have a hard time really pressing that “manhood” is a central theme in LOST.’ Well, maybe not “manhood”, but certainly “adulthood” is a theme of Lost. After all, we had three seasons of flashbacks establishing what events shaped the survivor’s personalities and a growing Walt. At this point, DM, you make some rather vile comments, like ‘…acknowledge who might comprise the FB audience: people who are not educated in literature, philosophy, and cultural studies.’ Ouch. That was mean. Sure, anyone who’s been online on any Lost website has probably read something about how Alice and Wonderland ties into Lost. But that doesn’t mean we cannot repeat it. There are always new theories and connections we can find in Lost (that Late is Et Al backwards BLEW MY MIND… even if it’s not probably what was meant by that.)

          However, you next comment was basically unforgivable, and I hope is not your true opinions on this subject. You said you read this blog because ‘…I’m curious how the “unread” (for a lack of a better term) approach the storytelling or assess the thematics.’ Are you kidding? How could you possibly know Fishbiscuit, myself, MoniquE, Andy, SharkTaco, and every other person who reads this blog is ‘unread’? You can’t. I’m not a literary intellectual with a degree, but I’m fairly well educated and have been reading near constantly since I was five years old. What makes me unread? It sounds like you have a heightened view of yourself, and believe yourself intellectually superior to everyone. That is quite an assumption to make. You then state ‘Much of what FB writes shows a willful ignorance to what happens in the story while replacing scenes with fantasy.’ Where is that in the above entry? I looked several times, but couldn’t see any fantasy. In fact, with the pictures as visual proof, I can barely see any leaps of faith at all in the above blog.

          Then you said some REALLY vile stuff. ‘Much of what is said in FB reviews cannot be supported by evidence within the show.’ Like what? A semi-retorical question about why Jack is the leader? Or are you referring to the statement that the survivors ate toothpaste, because that is CLEARLY an attempt at humor. Then you say that Fishbiscuit’s writing is‘…what might be described as the reading of the mass man: vulgar, trite, and myopic (something like the layman who insists Moby Dick is a story about Ahab’s quest for revenge).’ Vulgar? Trite? You at least used an example of myopic correctly, but that doesn’t make it true. These are opinions, not facts, yet you are advertising them as if they are undisputable. Just so you know, the Narrative of Moby Dick IS about Ahab’s quest for revenge. While there are other themes, too many to name, it’s not necessarily wrong that a person focuses on the revenge. It’s the most prominent, after all.

          I think I’ve made my point by now… Several times, most likely (I do tend to ramble…). DM, you’re only being rude and petty, and nobody will listen to your opinions because of it. I suggest that you attempt to read these exchanges as a third party, and attempt to understand the viewpoints of others in this conflict. I’ve tried to be as un-insulting and impersonal as possible. At least consider my points DM. After all, it is Constructive Criticism.

          • DM

            First: The narrative of Moby Dick is not about revenge. Ahab even says (to Starbuck, I believe) that if you think his quest for the Whale is about revenge, you’re not paying attention.

            The pictures provide very little. They are usually out of context and then supported by FB strange fantasy.

            That’s the short of it. I need to be somewhere in a few minutes.

          • DM

            Okay, my return:

            I don’t think it’s “vile” at all to state that there is an audience who has not studied literature, philosophy, or cultural studies. I have not studied physics or chemistry, so if someone made a blog discussing introductory physics and chemistry and its relation to LOST, I would be its intended audience. There is nothing demeaning about this. Nor is it a slight to say there is an audience who is ‘unread.’

            Returning to evidence, fantasy, and the issue of vulgarity and triteness: I’m discussing FB’s output as a whole– not just this one review. All one needs to do is experience any moment of her weird Jack vs Sawyer obsession (which has been the focus of many reviews). When she asks that question about leadership, she is leading the viewer. It’s not even an interesting question because the answer is obvious.

            I don’t know if I can really support “adulthood” as a theme, as it is also somewhat broad in what it might entail.

            Crap, I have to get back to work.

  • Wow. Speaking of Moby Dick, what a long comment.

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