LOST Rehash: Flashes Before Your Eyes

I want everybody to tell me I’m wrong —and why I’m wrong. However, I think the LOST guys have messed up big time. They haven’t read enough science fiction or theology. First of all, however, I give the obligatory SPOILER ALERT. Probably there are spoilers here. I don’t know. If we live in a self-correcting universe, then the spoilers get corrected, too. Right?

Either everything is predestined or determined or nothing is. A basic law of science fiction and of theological speculation is that you can’t have it both ways. Right? If the guy in the red shoes is meant to die under a falling building, then in a deterministic universe, he has to die under the building. He can’t die in a car wreck the next day, as the universe “self corrects,” because that would affect other people and their predetermined fates. What about the guy who’s driving the other car? Was he meant to kill Red Shoes in a car accident? Won’t the accident, or the lack thereof, affect his life in profound ways? If Charlie was supposed to be struck by lightning, then who was supposed to save Claire when she was drowning? Not Desmond; he just stepped in to save Charlie. Or was Claire supposed to drown? In that case, Claire’s fate is messed up, too, and the Universe will have to do some more self-correcting. The universe can’t “self correct.” There are too many factors. An impersonal force like the Universe can’t make everything work the way it’s supposed to as people make choices in opposition to the Will of the Universe. Shoot, the Universe can’t even have a will in the first place.

So maybe Desmond is crazy, and the universe is not predestined. Desmond is just using predestination or determinism as an excuse for his own cowardice. But that can’t be so because Desmond really is having flashes of true precognition. Claire really does almost drown. The soccer team on TV really does win the game. So Desmond must be seeing things that really are planned to happen or have already happened. By whom? The Universe? If so, why don’t they happen? How can Desmond prevent something that is supposed to happen without changing the Plan completely?

There is a Third Way. But I don’t think the writers of LOST have left room for a God who is in control of the Universe and yet allows human beings to make real choices. A God who is powerful enough and intelligent enough could weave corrections into the predetermined plan for the universe without making human choice into a farce. It’s the only path I see between determinism and chaos. But I’m no philosopher.

I’ve just read a little sci-fi and a lot of Bible.

Aside from all that philosophical junk, I think Desmond has a great accent. And Pen’s father is a particularly nasty villain —the kind everybody loves to hate. Very satisfying.

Oh, and they can’t kill off Charlie. If the Orcs couldn’t kill him and Saruman couldn’t get him, then what chance has a puny old universe that can’t even keep Desmond from buying a ring that he wasn’t supposed to buy? And if the universe self corrects, what was the white-haired lady so upset about? It would all get corrrected anyway, right?

I give this episode a C-. Was Henry supposed to die of cancer, and is Jack messing around with the universe?

“Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.”

(I wish I knew how to do accent marks. It bothers me to see it without the accents. Maybe the Universe will correct it for me.)

4 thoughts on “LOST Rehash: Flashes Before Your Eyes

  1. FOURTH WAY:
    What if the LOST characters move through a universe of multiple realities like a ship moves through currents in the ocean? They could be passing in and out of deterministic and self-determined realities everyday. I don’t watch LOST, though, so what do I know.

  2. I’m trying, Ian, but I can’t quite wrap my finite mind around the concept. How do the determined and the chosen realities work together? Or don’t they?

  3. You’re right, but I love this new storyline. Very interesting. I don’t want Charlie to be killed off, though! They sure do kill off a lot of characters.

    I do watch a lot of sci-fi, but a lot of times I don’t care if things are possible or not. I just want a good story.

    Doesn’t Desmond sort of look like Dustin Hoffman? I paused it during the show last night during one of the scenes, and he strikingly reminded me of a young Dustin Hoffman. Maybe it’s just me.

  4. Pingback: Semicolon: Twelve Best Posts of 2007 at Semicolon

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