Lost: Down the Hatch – A little intermezzo
As you all may have noticed, there was no new Lost this week. I know, I’m getting the withdrawal shakes already. That doesn’t mean, however, that I need to shut up about it. Today’s feature won’t be as chock full of the usual wild-eyed speculation, but I did want to put down a few thoughts that had been rattling about. Just a little appetizer for thought, if you will. So, without further ado …
WRITE LIKE AN EGYPTIAN… AGAIN
So, and thus, I’ve had some comments from a few people who want to know if I’ve dug up anything new on the hieroglyphs and the statue. The good news is, I have. The bad news? It’s all just as confusing as ever. But, hey, confusing is what we do best around here, so let’s jump in!
If you’ll all remember in last week’s analysis, I speculated on the identity of the giant statue, as seen at the beginning of the episode by Sawyer, Juliet & Co.
From various key visual clues, as well as narrative tie-ins with existing knowledge of the Island and its history, I speculated that the statue could be 1) Horus, 2) Anubis or 3) Tawaret. The most likely head, belonging to Tawaret, and the most likely history and body belonging to Horus.
Just to be thorough, and to see if I could tie any of the existing hieroglyphs that we’ve seen on the Island to the statue, I cross-referenced the glyphs against the names of the primary Egyptian gods. There was only one thing that really stood out, but it was interesting …
The highlighted bit of glyph here appears in both the glyph titles for Horus and his wife, Hathor. Taken as a stand-alone grouping, the glyphs roughly translate to “master” or “head.” Combined with the other glyphs, they become the symbols for Horus and Hathor, with the falcon glyph completing the mark for Horus in both. Now, as you can see on the Temple, we don’t know what this full glyph might be, as part of the wall has been worn away and cracked, taking any glyph that may have sat there down with the crumbling block.
Just for a comparison between an existing Egyptian temple and The Temple on the Island, here’s the Temple of Hathor in Dendera, Egypt, and a picture of where Ol’ Smokey lives.
Part of Temple of Hathor:
The Temple on the Island:
The architecture isn’t too far off, as far as ruins go. Of course, the Temple on the Island seems to be constructed from a volcanic rock, whereas the Temple of Hathor is probably constructed from compact rudimentary masonry, limestone or sandstone. The Island Temple reminds me a bit of an amalgam of various Asian temples like Angkor Wat and many more in Southeast Asia.
So, does any of this prove a single thing? Not really, but, as usual, it’s all fun to think about. Personally, I think that this statue may be Egyptian-influenced, and possibly related, but we may find out that it’s much more than we could have imagined. It’s totally possible that the Island is a whole other dimension, and the statue is a development of an alternate timeline. It could be a long, lost Egyptian god that was worshipped solely on the Island. It could also be a statue that is the culmination of many cultures over time – Egyptian, Sumerian, Greek, Roman, all the powers of the ancient world. The speculation could be endless.
This week’s drink recipe is perfect for those Wednesday nights where there’s no new Lost on and you don’t know what to do with yourself because there’s nothing worth watching on TV, so you turn on the TV and settle in for yet another …
Pour one shot glass full of each of the four liquors on the table. Line up the shot glasses within close reach. Grab some chips or your favorite snack, and settle in to play the “Oh My God It’s a Rerun! Lost Drinking Game.” This game also works for Lost DVD parties, but this particular version is optimized for fifth season!
Take one shot if:
Down all four, one after another, if:
Before I go and, just as a side note because I looked it up, the Egyptian god of time is Thoth. He is usually depicted as a man with the head of an ibis bird, and carrying a writing tablet and utensils. He is also the god that the Egyptians believe gifted them with hieroglyphs. Cue the thonk!
IT’S A BOY!
I hadn’t really put much thought into Amy and Horace’s son, born last episode; that is, until our own Joel Murphy kicked me in the brain with a theory out of left field – their son could be Jacob. In a fine bit of narrative congruity, it makes a certain amount of sense. He is the only child we’ve seen that was definitively born on the Island, which makes him pretty special. There are other characters that we assume may have been born there, but we only know about Horace’s baby, for sure. Horace also built the cabin where Jacob resides, and it’s possible that Horace lived there for a time with Amy and the baby – presumably, Jacob.
Now, let’s run with that assumption before we speculate about anyone else. If the baby IS Jacob, then he would have to be around 27 years old when Locke runs into him in the little cabin in the woods. Of course, that’s also assuming that the cabin, and Jacob, are part of the normal time stream. Way back in 1954, we know that Jacob’s name is well known, because Richard Alpert recognizes the name when Locke mentions it upon their first meeting. Now, either Jacob was born prior to 1954 and he and his cabin have become part of the Island in a way not previously experienced, or he’s another time traveler. When we introduce time travel, or slipping sideways out of the timestream (more on that, later), Jacob could, theoretically, be any age and of any time. Hell, if he’s existed outside the main stream of time long enough, he could exist at several times simultaneously – a true quantum being, who has learned to perceive time in a non-linear fashion. Of course, I’m getting way ahead of myself here, and probably too complex for the time being. Let’s stick to figuring out how Horace’s baby could be Jacob using the temporal theories I’ve introduced up until this point.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Jacob’s cabin was built in a specific location for a reason. It may be a spot on the Island that has a high electromagnetic resonance, most likely the exact vertex of a ley line (you’ve heard me talk about those many a time). At any rate, this spot equates to the exact opposite of a spot like the Great Wheel. When the Great Wheel is turned, it sets the Island in motion through time, and anyone in the interior of the chamber is transported, through time, into a spot in Tunisia, probably directly on the other side of the Earth (as seen in the analysis for “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”). Anyway, let’s assume that there’s a spot on the Island that is precisely attuned to wherever the Island will reappear into the original space-time continuum. It is a spot that is eternally connected to the Island and will always “leap” when the Island leaps. Basically, when the Island is “moved,” the cabin stays right where it is, but may shift around the island because of the leaping and the physics of popping in and out of the space-time continuum with a spinning Earth and all those things I’ve gone over before.
ANYWAY, that’s not really important to our argument. What IS important is that this cabin is set up in a spot that is set to jump every single time the Great Wheel is turned. Essentially, Horace and Amy could have set the cabin up in that spot in order to protect themselves and little Jacob from The Hostiles. Before the “incident,” the Island was moved. Someone turned the great wheel. This catapulted the cabin backwards in time to sometime before 1954, where Jacob grew to be a man and met Richard and the Others. He may have settled in the time where the cabin jumped, and grew old in a linear fashion. We know he’s older in the “present” of the Island, because John sees Jacob for a second when he enters the cabin with Ben and Jacob appears older.
Jacob’s image. That’s not a 27-year-old man, at least that I can tell. He’s been around the block a few times
The simplest explanation for Jacob’s appearance in the past, if this theory holds true, is that the cabin was catapulted back in time during a turn of the wheel sometime before “the incident.” In all likelihood, that turn of the wheel was by Daniel or one of the other survivors trapped back in 1977, because we see Dan down in the bottom of the Orchid station in the season premiere. It’s very likely that the Island was shifted, along with everyone else, when that wheel was turned, and the Island may have leaped back to around 1881, right under The Black Rock as she was sailing. This would explain a couple of things about the ship: 1) how it came to be run aground in the middle of the island, and 2) how Horace had never heard of the ship when Sawyer used it as part of his backstory for being on the Island.
This second part picked away at my brain the moment it was uttered, mostly because there’s no way that one of the leaders of the Dharma Initiative hadn’t come across a derelict ship in the middle of the Island, when they have stations scattered all over the place. Of course, Danielle mentioned that it was in a bad spot, probably eyeball-deep in Other territory – so it’s possible Horace, or anyone, had never come across it.
At any rate, if the Island did leap back to 1881, it may have stayed there for awhile, trapping some of the crew. The crew may have eventually joined with any of the other indigenous peoples of the Island, forming the bulk of the descendants that formed the modern Others with Richard. However, at some point after the Black Rock was grounded, the Island and the Black Rock may have jumped together into just after The Incident that killed off Dharma, and this is why Horace had never heard of it. It’s just a theory – a roundabout thing that popped into my head while I was talking about Jacob. Wow, I just got waaaay off topic.
That’s a lot of jumping around, and loose quantum theory thrown out there, and I didn’t even get to quantum phase shifts. Oh well, that’s a topic for another column, it seems.
For now, I’m just going to go over the main characters that Horace and Amy’s baby could be, if we factor in linear timeline, as well as some time travel magic. If any of you have good reason to believe that any of these are more plausible than others, I’d love to hear about it.
- Hurley. Linearly, Hurley is the right age – he’s around 27 when he crashes with Flight 815. Does it make a ton of sense? Not necessarily. But, his mother in the outside world could really be his grandmother, and it may be one of the reasons that she is so ready to believe his story in the premiere. Perhaps she has hidden his past from him for so long. Although Horace is certainly not a Latino, it’s possible that Amy has Hispanic heritage, and it’s also possible that Amy and the baby left the Island before The Incident.
- Caesar. Along the same lines as Hurley, Caesar could have been born on the island and then removed later.
- Richard Alpert. Horace and Amy’s son is the only child known to be born on the Island. Richard never seems to age, which could relate to how closely he is tied with the Island and its history. It’s possible that he was involved in a time jump when just a baby that posited him way back prior to 1954. It’s also possible that he was part of the jump to 1881 that I mentioned, involving the Black Rock. He may have become the de facto leader. There is no tidy explanation for his ageless form, other than existing in another quantum phase than those around him. Again, we’ll go over that in another analysis.
- Any member of the cast whose parents are an unknown factor. Yep, that’s right – anybody who has a mysterious past, or whose parents may not be their real parents could be this baby, if we factor in time travel. That’s the can of worms that has been opened now that the writers have introduced time travel. It’s freaking awesome for theorizing, but it’s going to be maddening to keep up with for the rest of the season.
I think I’ve rambled on long enough about all that. Sorry to get all stream-of-consciousness there, but the ol’ time travel theory tree has a lot of branches. Feel free to shake a couple and let me know what y’all come up with.
TAKE A LOOK, IT’S IN A BOOK, A READING RAINBOW
I’m going to close out this very random, very rambling feature with just a thought I had a few weeks back during the episode “316.” It’s a moment that really made me chuckle at its subtle brilliance, and symbolized one of the many things that I love about watching Lost. I’m talking about …
Ben reading Ulysses.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with Ben reading Ulysses, and at first glance it’s not that funny, but it typifies how the creators of the show have really embraced having fun with the diehard fans. They know that a certain number of fans are going to head straight for Amazon and order Ulysses, and they are going to be mired in one of the most difficult and challenging books ever written. It’s a sick sort of in-joke in one sense; in another, there are some themes that run through Ulysses that are very applicable to the same themes in Lost, most notably the father-son dynamic between the main character, Leopold Bloom, and Stephen Dedalus. Is it so pervasive that Lost fans need to read it to gain some deeply-needed insight into the show and its characters? Not at all.
Personally, I think all these literary references are just a way that Lindelof and Cruse are trying to improve the literacy of the viewing public. Of course, they could also have stock in Random House or some other publisher, and they’re boosting their portfolios. No matter the complete reason, I still think it’s pretty hilarious, and I appreciate the details and in-jokes that the creative team pepper through each episode. It shows they care about the show, and about us.
As usual, there’s a ton more I could have talked about, but that’ll do, for now. I love the ideas that some of you throw out there, so keep it up, and keep those wheels turning. Remember, if you have an epiphany, tell me something good.
Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. Michael Emerson, Lost’s Benjamin Linus, called Kirkman’s recaps “one of the smartest articles I’ve ever read about what goes on on our show.” Kirkman is still hoping that Lost will end when Bob Newhart wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette, complaining of a strange, strange dream. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris – Another great column entry this week. It’s especially nice that you used the hiatus this week to reflect and expand upon some ground already covered. The depth and variety of genius instilled in this show becomes more apparent as time passes following each episode. Metaphorically, I liken it to a video sequence (as seen in the closing scene of Men In Black, for example) that starts very tight – maybe someone’s pupil – then pulls back ever-wider, showing how all parts of the picture interrelate, concluding with a panorama of the multiverse.
Lost has many of these metaphorical “scenes” happening on the show in concurrence and then, of course, with the show as a whole. As we draw closer to the end of the series, these perspectives and mini-plots begin to overlap more and more, revealing connections that weren’t “visible” before.
The intriguing part is that the overlaps began in the pilot, but the evidence of them is just now coming into focus.
PS – You’re eluded to quantum phase states having some relevance in your various temporal theories. In a quasi-related vein of thinking, are you familiar with Schrodinger’s Cat? There are some interesting possible parallels between this area of physics, quantum physics, and the show.