Kicking Television: Lost – "The Beginning of the End"

Welcome to Kicking Television, our new regular (at least while LOST is on) TV column. While I have plans to write about some other things, for now it’s going to be a LOST column – and by “LOST column,” I mean I’m going to freak out about stuff and we can theorize together and it’ll be good times all around. Spoilers, obv.

Minor concerns:

> No one really explains the extremely important thing Charlie wrote on his hand to Jack. This is one of the show’s most infuriating constants: characters have obviously valuable evidence or knowledge which should immediately be handed out to Jack, Sayid, etc. but because somebody has feelings, this somehow never happens. Instead, Hurley says that the supposed rescuers aren’t who they say they are and then Locke divides everyone before Jack has a chance to react, much less figure out what to do. Argh.

> Dying Naomi, who’s been lying on the ground bleeding, takes the time to make a fake trail but then decides not to kill Kate after a couple lines of relatively unconvincing dialogue? “His name is John Locke!” Whatever.

An Awesome Thing:

> Hurley the unreliable narrator. In a particularly clever twist for a show built on keeping its ambiguity as foggy as possible, we know the guy’s a bit bonkers. He’s spent time in an institution, where he had an imaginary friend (played by a bald Jew from Sex in the City, the weirdest part of the whole thing). So we question the guy’s sanity when Dave (the friend in question) appears on the island throwing coconuts at him during season 2; is he a manifestation of the island, or an overwhelmed Hurley’s mental problems rearing their ugly heads? So when Hurley sees Jacob’s cabin and in the flash-forward, Charlie alive again, there’s a shadow of doubt if what we’re seeing is real or imagined. [Continue reading…]

The island, of course, is full of these manifestations: Jack’s dad (who might actually be alive), Kate’s horse, Mr. Eko’s brother and even Walt. Some of these have supposed explanations – Walt appears via his own unexplained powers, Eko’s brother is the cloud monster/spirit of the island – but it’s foolhardy in anything LOST-related to assume we know what’s going on. In Hurley’s case, we have a few clues. One of his fellow patients sees Charlie first and points him out; Hurley’s denial of his existence is effective in getting him to vanish, but not in convincing me we weren’t seeing the island reaching out to him under the guise of a close friend.

And Hurley has never seen Jacob’s cabin (which seems to have a random second person approach the window and according to Doc Jensen, Jack’s dad sitting in Jacob’s rocking chair. Textbook LOST, huh?) before, so he can hardly be expected to imagine it. Though it disappears after he convinces himself it’s not there, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t, despite its change in location. That’s nothing that’s out of the range of Jacob’s powers, presumably. While we can’t necessarily make the connection between the island and Jacob, we know Locke has both seen Jacob and was rescued from death by some personification of the island; Locke’s sudden appearance (and shit-eating grin) moments after Hurley sees the cabin is too perfect to be coincidence. Was Jacob merely leading Hurley to Locke – setting in motion the chain of events that splits the survivors in half – or is something more sinister at work? Is the island playing an elaborate trick on him or is Hurley just crazy? I doubt it. Perhaps time will tell, but knowing LOST, probably not.

What did you guys think? Fire away.


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