It’s hard to fathom that Lost’s fourth season begins in just a little over three months. I guess it’s true that after a few months in seclusion, you acquire a sense that all things are eternal. From this day forward, all Lost geeks can reset their internal cycles and pretend they are just waiting out a slightly longer than normal summer hiatus. And hey, the Lost Season 3 DVD set is coming out in a month, in Blu Ray nonetheless, and Blu Ray players have even come down in price. Not that we endorse that format, or any format as far as that goes, but good enough for Lost, is good enough for me. While we’re waiting for Lost to return, though, maybe it’s time for us to break a little radio silence of our own and do a little theorizing on some of the latest intel to leak out of Lost island.
As you may or may not know, I was recently a visitor to the island that Lost was filmed on, Oahu. Was I there on ‘official’ business, as in business related to the actual production of Lost? That, I seem to have forgotten. Maybe I’ll remember in a month or two. What I can tell you is that during my ‘journey’ there, I did find myself privy to some rumors which seemed ludicrous at the time, but now may be a little closer to reality.
Some of it is not so off the wall. In case you don’t remember, the masters of Lost, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, publicly unleashed a new orientation film at this years Comic-Con that introduced us to a new station called “The Orchid.” At first, the fan base wrestled with whether or not to accept the film as canon, mostly because of Dr. Marvin Candle, under yet another pseudonym, famously dropping the f-bomb.
A new, not so authorized, picture has shown the world that “The Orchid” not only exists, but will be featured around midway through the fourth season. It’s purpose is still unknown, but a curious set of dinosaur-sized bones sticking from the ground stirs memories of a four-toed foot, and questions over just where the rest of that statue is.
In the video, a bunny is apparently duplicated by accident. Now, what is important about this is that Lindelof and company have made a few promises. They have promised no clones. They promised me no twins, or at least that twins were of no importance. But they never said no duplicates from alternate timelines. Although, they have told us that the future, as seen in flash-forwards, is set.
I’m not saying that by process of elimination the producers have begun to present us with the bare bones of the more fantastic elements of the story, but they may have. Then again, there is another aspect to television, particularly of the mystery variety, that is sometimes overlooked completely. It is an illusion.
A good mystery is like a good magic trick. I had a friend who was into street magic. He used to talk about part of the art being creating the question of whether there was a genuine paranormal force involved. If the audience only thinks of it as a trick, they look for the moment they are fooled, or wonder when it took place. Good magic, in other words, depends on good lies. When I found out that the best mind reading acts involved stooges, I thought that was a bit disingenuous. But the trick, according to my friend, is to make the audience wonder how you were able to pull that off without a stooge. If they believed the lie that the stooge wasn’t in on it, the trick was successful because what the magician wants the audience to believe is that he somehow used trickery to create the illusion of mind reading, and not just used a stooge who was in on it. Two principles of magic that translates very well to the way a story is effectively predicted in a production as open to the media as Lost is.
The point of all this? Lindelof and Cuse will never lie to us, but they are masters of semantic illusion. Many theorists are stopped dead in their tracks by what Lost’s writers tell us is accurate, and not. But it would be a mistake to assume that there are any absolutes when it comes to how fine a grain Lost’s-story smiths will winnow out the details of their epic in progress. With The Orchid being canon we know that at least some variation of the concept of duplicating, cloning, or twinism exists in some parallel sensibility, and we also know that the writers have used sly tricks of semantics to avoid admitting that this element exists.
Take comfort that no matter the fact that our crazy theories are shot down, only to be validated through a loop-hole of language, the mission of the Lost crew is to excite, dazzle, and amaze us with a story that in its purest form springs from the unexpected. Even if that requires a little verbal slight-of-hand.
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of ABC)