Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lost's Zombie Season Is Now, Part One

Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse, the two masterminds behind the critically acclaimed and successful television series LOST on ABC, have jokingly said that after the main storyline of the show was completed, an entire season would then be devoted to a crazy free-for-all involving all those characters killed off in previous seasons coming back to life to wreck havoc and mortify those few characters who manage to survive. This has been a joke. It's been said with tongue firmly planted in cheek. However, the best way to hide something you want to hide is in plain sight where no one would think to look. What if, after a fashion, this is precisely the direction the series has been going from the beginning?

It would be amusing if season six turns out to be "zombie season" after all.

Only, these wouldn't be zombies. They'd be manifestations of dead characters, but they wouldn't moan and lumber about with limbs falling off of them. They'd behave as they did when alive, and fool other characters into believing them the real deal. This may already be happening. In fact, some characters may already be dead, and unaware of it.

Many characters, if not all of them, have had brushes with death. Locke is the most noticeable example. We witnessed him fall several stories to his death, only to be resurrected by Jacob himself. It's entirely possible that from that moment onward, Locke was effectively, literally, undead. He died. He came back to life. That fits the direct definition of undead. It does not make him a zombie, but he has been animated in a manner that defies logic and physics as we assume them to be. Even his own legs seem to behave in a manner that defies logic and reason.

If all this is the case, Locke may still be sentient and self-aware, but his actions would not have entirely been his own. Instead, he'd be under the thrall of either Jacob or Blackie. He'd be susceptible to the rules of their game, as a pawn within it. Locke has admitted that the Island speaks to him, not in a literal manner of voices in his head, but through his dreams and visions and by showing him 'signs' or events that could be coincidental or fabricated but that he interprets to mean directives for his behavior. In this way he is obviously being manipulated, and at the end of season five it's possible we met the two culprits to this behavior modification: Jacob and his black clad friend/enemy.

If one were to go through the entire series, from a writing standpoint, it's very easy to explain that almost all characters in the series could be likewise pawns in this shadowy game of life after death. For example, Charlie could have had a drug overdose which killed him, but a timely visit from Jacob or Blackie would revive him. We haven't seen this yet, but with flashbacks, the writers have repeatedly opened themselves to the ability to go back any time they want and infuse into the overal folklore of the series new information that illuminates or perhaps even contradicts what we have assumed from past information. Charlie may have died long before we thought he did, and then died again before our eyes, but being dead already, the writers could easily have him just wash up on shore one day, bewildered and confused as to how he survived the underwater station.

Hurley fell from a pier that killed twenty-three others. We don't know the details of that day - might Hurley have had a near-death experience that he keeps to himself? Did this lead to his depression and other psychological aberrations?

Kate's life is far from exemplary, or safe. She could have also had an experience in which she almost died, didn't, and tries not to think about it. We witnessed her walk away from her father's house after having rigged it to explode. That's how she remembers it. What if that's now how it actually happened?

Sayid was in the Iraqi military during a time of war. Jack spent time alone in foreign lands living recklessly. Sawyer's lifestyle and career choice would have placed him in mortal danger on an irregular basis.

Finally, ALL of these characters experienced a plane crash. It's important to note that Kate claims to have remembered the entire thing. She said she was awake and cognizant the entire time of the crash. However, we were shown the events of the crash of flight 815 not through Kate's eyes, but from Jack's, and Locke's, and even Nikki & Paulo's. What we know appears to be complete, but there's instances we do not know. How did some of these characters survive the crash of a plane with little more than scratches and bruises? Why was Jack in the middle of a bamboo forest, far away from the actual crash site? He only sustained one wound that was critical enough to require stitches, but being thrown that distance during the crash should have broken bones if not killed him utterly - that is unless he was brought back to life by other means.

It's plausible the 815 crash killed everyone on board with the possible exception of Kate. Who would be witness to this entire charade but unable to tell anyone. She would have witnessed how the characters we know of as survivors were resuscitated. How some of them were left for dead and others were miraculously reborn, perhaps before her very eyes, completely unaware of the transformation that had taken place. This would explain why, repeatedly, when some survivors would wander off on missions and for one reason or another they'd tell her not to come, she followed behind them anyway. Because she didn't trust any of them.

Kate may be surrounded by the undead; a form of the undead so oblivious to their existence as to still think of themselves as alive. In fact even she may not fully understand the significance of this delineation. After all, alive is alive and dead is dead. However, what if you can't really die on the Island? What if some individuals are left for dead by the Island, until it needs them again?

If that's the case, season six could very well be our Zombie Season, just not in the way that one might think.

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