Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ABC Attempts to Make 'Lost' Timeline Clearer

In another attempt to answer critics' lamentations that Lost has become too complicated this season -- specifically with regard to the whole time travel bit -- ABC folks have created a timeline for its web site. But I'm not sure that the timeline succeeded in making things any clearer.

On page one of the timeline, you see the Dharma logo and the following text:

The Dharma Initiative -- Orchid Station

Time is constant, but the island is a special place, where the impossible has become possible -- where temporal shifts are a reality and time skipping like a record is an even harsher reality. Here you can follow the history of the island and its inhabitants as mysteries are revealed. Time is shifted and what was lost becomes found.

(The pages that follow simply recap episodes, starting with the pilot ep.)

"What was lost becomes found."

What have our original characters lost? Well, going by the folks who left the island and then returned:

Jack: Pre-crash: His father, his relationship with his alcoholic father after Jack turned him in for drinking before operating on a patient, his wife who left him. Pre-island return: His focus, his relationship with former fiance Kate, his purpose in life as the former island hero was lost in a haze of booze and drugs and, apparently, his desire to shave.

Kate: Pre-crash: Her freedom, her relationship with her mother for whom Kate started a fatal fire that killed her mother's abusive husband. Pre-island return: her relationship with former fiance Jack and then, just before returning the island, toddler Aaron, whom she called her reason for living.

Sun: Pre-crash: Her relationship with her husband Jin. Pre-island return: Her husband and the father of her toddler, whom she thought was dead.

Hurley: Pre-crash: His sanity, compromised by his overwhelming feelings of guilt. Pre-island return: His sanity, compromised by his overwhelming feeling of guilt and fear.

Locke: Pre-crash: The relationship with the love of his life, his relationship with his scam artist father, his ability to walk. Pre-island return: Faith in himself.

Sayid: Pre-crash: The love of his life whom he couldn't locate, his humanity (because he'd become a torturer during the Gulf War). Pre-island return: The love of his life who'd been killed, his humanity (because he'd become an executioner for Ben).

So is that the purpose of the show, the grand scheme of things, that the island is a place where you can find what you've lost and helps you do so by moving you around in time like a chess piece?

I must admit that I have been puzzled as to why, for example, Sun, Ben and Locke wound up in the "current" time, 2007, and why the other returning Oceanic 6 folks are stuck in 1977. Am I to surmise that the reason has to do with them finding what they've lost?

Image credit: ABC.

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