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TV Review: Lost – The Brig of Coincidence

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I've been saying for more than a year that the inexplicable coincidences in Lost's backstories hold the keys to what's really going on. Desmond and Jack meeting on the steps of the stadium, Kate's father meeting Sayid in Iraq — there is just no way such intersections of lives could have happened to a group of people whose only connection is they all wind up on a crashing plane. Such inexplicable coincidences point to some other, deeper reason, some other crucial component, for which the plane crash on the island is just the piece that is visible to the survivors and us, the viewers.

But what is this deeper reality?

Tonight's episode of Lost did not really provide any answers, except to point us, again, to the significance of inexplicable coincidence by giving us perhaps the biggest coincidence so far: Locke's father, the evil guy who stole his kidney and pushed him out of a window, is also the swindler responsible for the deaths of Sawyer's parents – the con-man Saywer went to Australia to kill.

What the explanation is for this and the other coincidences we still do not know – but now, more than ever, it is clear that such coincidence is the fabric that bundles together the characters and the story and what is really happening on the island. Tonight's story about Locke's father brought the inexplicable backstory coincidence to our maximum attention by literally placing it on the island itself – that's why there was no need for flashbacks off the island tonight.

We learned some other important details in this episode, as well. Jack and Juliet are definitely in cahoots about something. And Naomi – the woman who fell from the sky – is clear that she was told that Flight 815 is at the bottom of the sea, seen there with all the bodies aboard and dead.

Locke's father clearly believes – or wanted Locke to believe – that they are all in Purgatory. I don't buy it – it's just what the producers want us to maybe think, because Purgatory has all along been the most easy, likely explanation. And that's precisely why it isn't the explanation.

The next few weeks should finally give us some, if not all, answers — starting when Locke sees what is in that room…

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About Paul Levinson

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Add to this that Locke’s dad called Locke his “dead son,” implying that he’d seen the video footage — or at least the reports — of flight 815, down with no survivors. So there really is a plane out there, full of bodies, or at least what look like bodies four miles down.

    Then there’s the story of Locke’s dad’s “appearance” on the island. The way he tells it, it seems supernatural. But he’s skewing that way because he thought Locke was dead. He was in a car accident, and when he regained consciousness, he was on the island. Could be a month later, could be five minutes later; we don’t know. He could have been drugged that whole time, or not. One of the paramedics was grinning at him. He could have been the guy who drugged him and transported him to the island.

    Anyway, it’s all interesting, but I wouldn’t count on a lot of answers the next few weeks.

  • http://tvandfilmguy.blogspot.com TV and Film Guy

    didn’t Locke’s dad try to convince him it was hell, not purgatory?

  • http://tvandfilmguy.blogspot.com TV and Film Guy

    Nor do I, they’ve sworn up and down it’s not Purgatory, so I think it being Hell is splitting hairs.

  • http://reviewingwhatever.blogspot.com Laura

    I agree it’s splitting hairs, but that would be like them, woudln’t it? This is the same crew planting “foilers” to throw off the spoiler-hounds. I don’t think the Island is hell, but I don’t think the “It’s not purgatory” argument precludes it, either.

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    No, they’ve stated quite clearly that the castaways aren’t dead. Locke’s dad is just trying to make sense of what he sees: the dead come to life. Only we know they aren’t dead, so we have a different view of things.

  • Guy

    It’s obvious that Naomi is with the others – she told Mikhail (in Portuguese) that she was not alone… So if the plane full of dead bodies is a fake, she’s part of it too.

  • http://www.coyotemercury.com/blog1 James

    Of course, if there are multiple time streams, they could be dead in the one Naomi came from.

  • Jeff

    How did sawyer die?