Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Entertainment Weekly Interview...

Just a heads up to you all everybody that Doc Jensen interviewed me for his column this week over on EW.com.  My answers are excerpted below, but be sure to check out the full article for what may be Doc's best theory yet.  I know that many of you found Eye M Sick through Doc's columns, and I'm grateful for all his support over the past five(!) years.  As the Others would say, ago gratias tibi, Doc! 
How long have you been posting Lost theories?

Since the premier in 2004.  I remember logging onto imdb after the Pilot and speculating that the distress call was solar powered and the monster in the jungle was some kind of giant ape like King Kong.  I posted my first stab at a comprehensive theory of the show two months later.

Which of your Lost theories is your favorite?

Three Black Swans.  Jacob and the Man in Black were debating the fate of humanity on the beach with the Black Rock in the background.  Since ancient times, Jacob has brought people to the Island to create miraculous events that postpone our extinction, an exercise the Man in Black finds futile. Jacob hopes to avert our extinction for good by creating the Omega Point, a kind of global consciousness representing the next step in human evolution.  Aaron and Ji-Yeon are avatars of this Omega Point -- everything that rises must converge on a LOST wedding between them before 2031.

What episode of Lost made you go, ''Yep. I'm obsessed.''

I knew I was truly obsessed after Walkabout.  That episode was such a perfect balance of character development and mythological advancement.  Locke wiggling his gold-tipped toes in wonder after the crash will always be the defining image of the show for me.  It raised so many possibilities -- everything from cloning to resurrection -- capturing my imagination for good. 

What character do you relate to the most and why?

Locke.  I shave my head and don't appreciate people telling me what I can't do.  Plus, Locke's narrative arc is so profoundly tragic.  I still hold out hope for his redemption in Season 6, but suspect any such redemption will be bittersweet. And that's exactly as it should be...

How have you been spending your hiatus?

I've taken the opportunity to write about television besides LOST on my other blog, I Hate My DVR.  Despite -- or perhaps because of -- my parents' efforts to limit my consumption, I've been addicted to TV since childhood.  So writing about the medium generally was the next logical step now that I've built up some readership via my LOST blog.

Are you PRO time line reboot or ANTI time line reboot?

Both.  Miles is basically correct that the '77ers were always the cause of the Incident.  But there are currently two possibilities superimposed like Schr√∂dinger's cat.  There's the timeline depicted in Seasons 1-5, which actually depends on the bomb exploding.  And there's the alternative where the bomb fails to explode, erasing the timeline we know.  Someone -- my guess is Juliet -- will get to choose whether the bomb actually detonates.  Ultimately, she will opt to effectuate the future she remembers, rather than reboot it.

In 25 words or less: Explain the true significance of Jacob and Man In Black.

They're four-dimensional beings capable of transcending spacetime.  As Dr. Michio Kaku notes, such 4D beings would be god-like in three dimensions, just as 3D beings are in 2D Flatland.

In 25 words or less, answer this question: What is Lost?

LOST is a thoroughly postmodern work, ambiguous and referential like Ulysses and Watchmen.  That's what makes all three so much fun to analyze!

What will you miss most about Lost when it wraps up next May?

I'll miss the thrill of discovery most.  I've learned so much about so many esoteric subjects I might never have studied but for LOST.  Everything from theoretical physics to new age Gnosticism.  I still get some of this thrill when other shows reference these subjects.  But the sweep of LOST theorizing has been so broad that it's increasingly rare to encounter completely new material.  There's nothing quite like reading about something mind blowing -- e.g., the double-slit experiment in quantum mechanics -- for the very first time.

Source: Doc Jensen at EW.com
As always, you're welcome to post anonymously, but please identify yourself somehow, so I can distinguish between anonymous posters. Thanks!


neoloki said...

I can't believe none of the group has commented on this yet.

Well, congratulations. It was a welcome surprise to see your name on Jensen's article. This personally is the best site on the web for theories including all the participant's. A Lawyer? I should have known when you were so encouraging after I apologized for being argumentative. I have 2 Lawyer's in my family which makes gatherings loud and aggressive when you include spirits and the Irish.

I did not start following Lost till late in the 2nd season and did not start participating in the online community till the beginning of the 3rd. Jensen was the one who got me motivated to do further research and reading and I will continue to read his articles until Lost is done. J. Wood was next and eventually here. It was a while before I actually posted anything though.

again, nice article and congrats.

Thunderstorm said...

AWESOME!!! I would have recommended you, if asked.

I too would credit Walkabout, but also it's follow-up White Rabbit for the moment when I was hooked.

Although, I didn't spend much time online talking about the show until Looking Glass, and until I heard they had announced an end point for the series.

I guess that comes from The X-Files experience of Chris "no larger plan" Carter or perhaps from spending time doing much of the same with Carnivale, only to see it canceled. I even vaguely rememember getting online during the Season 2 hiatus and finding TLE and wondering what the hell it was all about. I didn't even know what ARG's were.

But yeah, congrats. This is pretty damn awesome. At least you know for certain Damon will probably read this and maybe check out your blog (if he hadn't already).

neoloki said...

Most people say Walkabout when asked the question what hooked them to Lost. Maybe if I had been watching episode to episode, week to week, at the time mine would be similar. However, I think I would go with a combination. The Pilot told me it could be a good story and had the elements of a story that i like, but it wasn't until White Rabbit that I fell in love. White Rabbit to this day is a singularly unique Lost episode. The pacing, the look, the atmosphere and the heady writing made me stop and shake my head. At that point there was no looking back.

Bigmouth said...

Thanks, guys! I actually don't do much lawyering, Neoloki. A while back, I negotiated a deal that allows me to work part time on a few areas that really interest me. In theory, this was supposed to free up time for more writing, but that was around the time Eye M Sick exploded. I haven't had much time since then for anything else, particularly when the LOST is in season LOL!

I'm actually surprised how many people cite White Rabbit as the episode that hooked them. I know Wayne Allen Sallee feels the same way as you both do. But I have to admit, when I look back on the show's mythology, White Rabbit was indeed a lynchpin, particularly the Christian resurrection.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Big! The attention and accolades are richly deserved.


f/k/a NetProphet said...


EYEMSICK has replaced Westlaw as the most frequented site on my desktop! (Only half joking!)Congrats on the well deserved recognition as well as your escape from the profession.

BTW - Walkabout is the perfect choice. I think I was hooked from the first time the gang on the beach heard the monster in the Pilot, but monsters, polar bears and strange coincidences notwithstanding, Walkabout was the first time the show delved into the miraculous.

Greg Tramel said...


Thunderstorm said...

I didn't even see the Pilot when it first aired.

Then it was all anyone was talking about, at work, on the various pop culture outlets, talk shows etc.

I had seen the previews for the show and thought...I'll check it out if I remember. Well, I didn't remember. At the time, the only shows I was watching religiously were all on HBO.

Anyhow, the first episode I saw was Tabula Rasa and I picked it up about half-way through. ABC showed the first 3 episodes in full that Saturday, I believe or else, I might have never stuck with it.

Didn't it seem like ABC was re-running a lot of episodes early on? I even remember missing Solitary (the Sayid episode) and catching it the next week. I think they were running two episodes every week that first season, IIRC.

But yeah, White Rabbit is easily one of my 5 favorite episodes. Walkabout and White Rabbit back to back, are IMO, probably the best or certainly among the best consecutive episodes I can think of.

Season 2 is still probably my favorite, I just loved, loved, loved the Hatch and maybe my single favorite scene in the entire series is when Jack first enters the Hatch with Make Your Own Kind of Music playing over the top. That was incredibly well done, IMO.

The Computer, the Geodome, WTF? Man...that was maybe when I was 'truly' hooked, if you know what I mean. The whole thing with the Hatch elevated the show, IMO.

neoloki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
neoloki said...


yeah, but is the show about miracles? or is it about the clash of ideas, the duality of belief and how human beings struggle for resolution and redemption. when jack and locke first sit down in the jungle and talk about the nature of the island and belief, that is when lost became Lost.

Greg Tramel said...

i didn't start watching Lost right when it premiered and can't remember when i stated watching every week but i do remember getting really hooked when Dez said "see you in another life brutha"

that's when i knew something was up and we were going to see something on a TV show we have never seen before

Thunderstorm said...

Big, I guess Doc has referenced this blog before, huh? I just re-read the whole piece again. That's awesome.

I can't even remember when I first ran into your blog.

Probably from the 4815162342 forum, I guess.

f/k/a NetProphet said...


I don't disagree with you at all -and I'm not saying that miracles is what Lost "is all about". Just that when it was revealed that coming to the Island somehow immediately healed John Locke's broken spine, it was the first truly awe inspiring moment that made people sit up and say "WTF is this show?!". Everything up to that point, including the monster, could have had some mundane explanation grounded in reality. But as you say, even elements such as healing miracles, time travel and smoke monsters are just part of the mosaic that make up this wonderful show. To the credit of the writers and TPTB, the characters and underlying story have never become secondary to such spectacular accoutrement.

neoloki said...

I didn't think you would disagree, just doing my best to explain what hooked me. I have a really hard time pin pointing it. It kind of goes in layers starting with White Rabbit then Live together, Die alone then The Man From Tallahassee and finally J, Wood articles. With hiccups in-between each successive moment has thrown me deeper into the Mythology. There were moments in season 2 and the beginning of season 3 that I had my doubts.

Bigmouth said...

I actually think miracles are a perfect metaphor for the show. Such phenomena lie at the intersection of science and faith, which is a major theme of the show. Locke said it best -- the Island is a place where miracles happen. And as physicist Brian Greene might say, the Island is like the Quantum Cafe -- i.e., a place where the rules of quantum mechanics, which ordinarily describe sub-atomic interactions, apply macroscopically to everyday people and things.

3D said...

For the record, since we're talking about White Rabbit, how do you feel about Christian's appearances in that episode with regard to the info we now have with Jacob and MIB?

Was he leading Jack to the caves with the water, so that they'd survive long enough to get the loophole implemented? Something else?

Bigmouth said...

I think MIB was trapped in the Cabin at that point, but could still control Cerberus to an extent. That control was imperfect, however, nearly causing Zombie Christian to lead Jack off a cliff.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I'm here, Big, mildly checking for spoilers first, ha ha. Now that everyone else but KoreAmBear and me knows your real name, will you be going all James LaFleur on us?

@3D. WR works on SOOO many different levels. Yes, Christian led Jack to the caves and the water. Then he promptly let Jack almost fall to his death only to be saved by Locke. And this is the scene where Jack & John have their first talk. In light of MIB and all, what if Christian just became Locke in order to save Jack? My pet theory is that Locke was dead after the crash, and that Jacob or MIB brought him back to life. But in WR, the biggest thing is the exchange between Jack & Locke--well before we knew how important each would be to the storyline--about the Island.

Something about Jeff Jensen's article, though. He mentioned "deceased heroes" when talking of the daemons. I'd consider Locke a hero because he turned the wheel unselfishly (if my pet theory is wrong). But then, the guy who moved the Island was...Ben. Seems to me there was that bit about Ben#1 seeing Ben#2 on one of Big's posts. Just saying, is the portal to Tunisia a type of death you come back from, hence the gulping of air and the selling of Buicks? (Still my favorite way of skirting around the word vomit, just by the car pronunciation.)

Oh, and neoloki, I have mentioned here before that I had never seen S1 until summer reruns and a later air time. I was hooked with Walkabout, but because of my being crippled, it goes without saying that that was the logical leap of faith.

Great job, Big. Too bad about the Expose on your name. Razzle Dazzle!

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Oh, and seriously, go over to Lostpedia and read up on the Truce.

MikeNY said...

How cool!

I can't think of a better Lost fan to highlight.

ehem, "superfan" :-)

KoreAmBear said...

I just found out about this. Big Ups to, uhhh, Big Mouth!

Greg Tramel said...

i've already forgotten your real name, your still just Bigmouth to me

GREAT answers Big, looking forward to spending S6 with you and all the commenters here

lostmio said...

Awesome interview!
(which makes me think of awesecond, hmmm)

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Of course, Big's name is an anagram. He confided in me while we were stationed in Panama. You were there to, KoreAmBear.

The anagram is quite simple, guys. LAW WARM DINER. Hurley is the chef, Lefleur is the head of security. Those are two of the patches in the boxed DVD set.The third is for the motor pool. Big is telling us the ending of S6. It involves one of the minivans.

Greg, neoloki, take it from here. I shouldn't even be around, I'm just protecting William Shatne--ah, "Andrew's" real identity.

neoloki said...

Wayne, no need to check for spoilers here Wayne. Safe zone.

Has everybody read the article over at Dark's site about re-shooting some scenes because of spoilers?

Big, I agree about Miracles being the intersection of science and faith, especially when quantum mechanics has started breaking down what we thought was possible. My main point about White Rabbit is that it was the episode where the whole defining discussion that is Lost, science vs faith, was articulated.

KoreAmBear said...

@Wayne I met Bigmouth when we were both at Git'mo torturing some prisoners. I now affectionally call him "Sayid". Panama was fun Wayne. Good times.

Capcom said...

Very nice Big! :-D

I didn't even watch the first couple/few eps myself. I assumed that it was just some kind of fictional ripoff version of the Survivor fad. Then when I began my physical collapse from chemo and couldn't do much more than watch TV constantly I began watching Lost. I was very thankful at that point for the early reruns, so I could catch up on what I had missed before we got farther into the season. I can't really remember which was the first ep I watched, but I remember that it featured a bald guy a lot, so it probably was Walkabout. But whatever it was, I was immediately interested, expecially after the pilot reruns.

I instantly knew Locke's Gold-Toe brand socks too, my ex used to only wear those. :o)

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

KoreAmBear, I caught the passing reference to your own Walt-like skills in MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS.

neoloki, I'm likely going to just repeat things certain people have talked about already, though I know nothing about a certain structure that a certain episode is titled.

But I did catch that people were talking on Jacob knowing of the DI, or even bringing them to the Island. First, without the Swan being built, 815 never crashes. Now, when I was avoiding EMS, I was linking certain pages on Lostpedia, and it now says Horace and Olivia arrived on the Island in 1964. Granted Ben was born just around then, but the article seems to imply that the DI were actively working towards and or actually being on the Island in the 60s. If this info is from an interview or another site, you got me. But I find it interesting that in the mid to late 60s, the only important character alive is "old man" John Locke. So if Jacob (or MIB, to throw something else at the wall) was the smart man who created the Lamp Post, the whole plan was set in motion once Richard found out Locke chose the knife over the compass. Jacob knew of the DI and pushed them along so they could get to the Island, build the Swan, etc.

If they do this right, during the Richard-centric episode promised to us, we will see what happened directly after Richard leaves Locke in 1962. I'd think that maybe Jacob was not that far away.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Hey, Capcom. I think Gold-Toes black socks are fairly common if you are buying in regular stores. They are the Levis of socks. At least here. But how many people would know if any guy was wearing those type of socks aside from a family member? The coronor, maybe. Dum dum DUM.

I think that by making Walkabout the third episode, it meant a hell of a lot more than if we saw it directly after the crash, because we'd have seen the Jack/Locke dynamic right away. White Rabbit front-loaded so much, though. This was the episode where Jack and Locke converge (Locke rises from the sand in the first episode, then 'lifts up' Jack from the cliff, and yeah, its easy to read too much into scenes) and have that science vs. faith talk. How different everything would have gone if Locke had reminded Jack that the flight attendants carried him right past Jack during boarding. Was it pride or was he already trying to hide the magic even as he told Jack about that same magic?

Capcom said...

I just read a vague spoiler that sooo might answer that question Wayne. Here's hoping!

Wayne your thoughts make me wonder if perhaps Jacob touched Dr. Valenzetti to give him the doomsday equation, that set in motion Hanso's desire to use it to save mankind, for which he created the DI and put them on the secret island containing special properties. I know, there I go mixing show-mythology with ARG-mythology again.


Capcom said...

Oops, the Q I was speaking of was your RA/Jacob question.

I've never seen anyone but my ex wearing GoldToes, I didn't know that they were that popular. :-)

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Maybe its just me, but if I'm wearing black socks, I'm pretty much keeping my shoes on. White socks, no problem. So they are among us, those sock-wearers.

I've always had a problem with the Valenzetti thing and much of the ARG info because I've always seen what is offered is a nudge towards thinking in a way that cannot be contained in the show. LOST is pretty much the Island, the ARGs are never about the Island per se, just background info. That's why I've never seen the equation as anything more than telling us that we need to choose science over faith. More so now because it was never referenced once in S5, which would have been the place to mention it. It would have been in Faraday's notebook from his Ann Arbor days. I agree that it exists, that there is some arcane math equation, but Omega Point or not, it comes down to this: changing a number in the equation is like changing a survivor's number on the Island chessboard. Charlie was 42, but he died. Desmond became 42, then the 06 left the Island to fulfill their destiny. The equation=the survivors. Or Kwon is 42, per that hangman game that I know next to nothing about.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

And re: RA/Jacob, I don't need no spoilers, I make them up on my own, ha ha. Seriously, though. There is so, so much that needs to be answered in eighteen hours, its easy to look at a way to combine several potential questions into one very-revealing scene. I'm trying to look at S6 this way as much as I can.

Has ANYONE read up on the Truce over at Lostpedia yet? I want to talk about it, guys. Right after KoreAmBear, LawWarmDiner, and I get back from...hey, gotta go. The black helicopters here to pick me up. West Coast here I come.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Well, I just stopped by the last post and read about (I'm assuming) the big RA/MIB reveal. I know, no one twisted my arm. That sound you hear is me bashing my Dharma beer bottle against my head.

I feel like I need to spoiler-binge right now.

Greg Tramel said...

wayne, you were playing dangerously their dipping into the deep end of the spoiler pool

Greg Tramel said...

but your ideas about the knife are not negated by the spoiler

Greg Tramel said...

wayne, i guess those black helicopters brainwashed you into becoming a spoiler fiend

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Actually, Greg, I'm thinking a trip to Room 23 might help. I had gone back to the previous post to line up what I was saying to neleoki and I had the big Razzle Dazzle pulled on me. I'm cool with it. But, thunder and mud, what a fool I was. And I'll bet that was one of the biggest reveals for the season. Self-lobotomy time, Greg.

Out of curiosity, how the hell long has everyone else known about this scene?

Greg Tramel said...

i think it just came through yesterday but it was only a reveal for me, everybody else pretty much already felt they knew in the flesh interactions have happened

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Ah. I just recall neoloki mentioning an RA/MIB scene way back when and I thought the whole thing went back that far. In which, I was thinking, wow, I really did dodge things, but not if this is fairly new.

Greg Tramel said...

maybe there was an earlier scene but i don't remember it all, i could have missed it my brief skimming

be careful not to mention spoiler details here on this post

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Right on the spoilers, Greg. But this had nothing to do with what is on the last post, back in Sept or Oct there was that first little tidbit about, well, two characters meeting who we hadn't seen meet before. Wasn't tying this in to the last post, so that's why I wasn't thinking spoiler.

neoloki said...

Wayne, yeah, that was one of the first we got, but I will continue this on the spoiler section.

Capcom said...

Yeah Wayne, maybe those black-helos are transmitting mind melting microwave emmissions! But don't be sticking any ice-picks up your eye sockets just yet! Even when we get spoilers, many of them end up being so twisty that we never could have guessed how it would have worked anyway.

Capcom said...

BTW, I haven't found anyone who's looked into the "new" tapestry yet, although I haven't looked very deep. In fact, I can't even find anyone interested in it period, like you and I are Greg. Maybe most people haven't noticed that the glyphs on this one are totally different....and the fact that the pictures look as if the figures on it are being treated very badly. It could possibly reference the slaves on the BR that Jacob was taking note of in his tapetry story.

f/k/a NetProphet said...


We've been discussing the new tapestry under the Spoiler banner. Have discussed the multi-arm creature tearing people apart as representing Smokie. Also have a bit translated. The middle line appears to from the Iliad - "the Earth/ground ran red with blood." Some words in the other portions appear to be "war", "death" and even "cloud"!

neoloki said...

Is there only one picture of the red tapestry? Are there any detailed screen caps of the pictographs?

I was waiting to buy the dharma kit before I read the truce, but will probably break down this weekend and go to lostpedia.

Bigmouth said...

I think this is still the only screen cap of the Red Tapestry. The Truce stuff didn't excite me the way it did some. I did wonder if the "ruins" references were to the Temple, which has a DHARMA symbol on Ben's map that he gives to Alex.

Capcom said...

Oh thanks for the redirect Net! I keep forgetting to check on that thread.

That damm Televixen site chews up my dinosaur computer's brain.


Greg Tramel said...

i also have the tapestry posted on my facebook page as Greg Tramel

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I haven't looked over the tapestry much, as I figured I'd hear more about it on Jeff Jensen's column.

I only wanted people to read up on the Truce so I could say one little thing. What if Horace's cabin was built directly above one of the tunnels? Could be an easy way to see MIB get imprisoned, he leaves through a Cerberus Vent but this time he is in the cabin. The ash could have already been around the cabin. I just didn't want to mention the ruins or tunnels as mentioned in the Truce yet, though actually, I suppose I could have at that. Oh well. And, if this WERE the case, then MIB might only have been imprisoned since the early 1970s.

Another reason why I haven't looked at the tapestry (past attempting horribly to keep this as a Christmas present to myself from my niece), my meds and code concentration don't often work, particularly when it is twenty below wind chill. Popping a rod in my head is the best I can explain it, and it also might be the red color, not like decipering a code on a one-time pad in B&W.

@neoloki, I'll check the last post now.

Bigmouth said...

I just had a whackadoo thought. What if the Man in Black has a tapestry, too, and this is it?

Capcom said...

That's what I was thinking Big, since this images on this one are so warlike.