PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.


Lost, Dazed and Confused

Theories, conspiracies, clues... these writers stumble blindly about on the little islands in their minds, tripping over things, becoming ever more disoriented -- seeing, but alas, never realizing...

Relax. We’re Just Going to Have a Little Talk

I was floored by the pilot episode of Lost and I've stuck with the show ever since, even spending hours following the off-season webisodes, teaser sites and dense thickets of polarizing opinions. When the creators quickly nixed "Purgatory" as the solution, my first oddball theory was that the group was actually patients in a mental hospital undergoing some radical version of group therapy. This seemed to validate children being removed, people appearing in other's fever dreams, and especially the occasional appearance of doctors in lab coats in the Others' camp (which I interpreted as the few moments of lucidity we were privy to).

So many twists and turns have happened since then that I've leaned towards the survivors as pieces in a board game, souls snatched before death and given another chance to live and parallel worlds ruled by destiny and free will intersecting like a Venn Diagram.

But I still like that first theory best.

Now I'm just holding on for whatever may come. As long as it isn't a snow globe in an autistic child's hand, I'll be okay.

-- Bill Holmes


Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

It struck me the moment Sayid pointed out that the foot of the giant statue has only four toes. There was already so much going on that this was essentially a throwaway remark, but it still seemed so intriguing, my mind couldn’t help but go in a million different directions over its meaning. What could it mean?

-- Emmet O’Brien


Run For It! They’re Zombies!

One early theory regarding the show was that dead characters could come back to life on the island. In a 2006 podcast, producer Damon Lindelof debunked this theory, stating that “when a character dies on the show, they’re dead.” However, the apparent resurrections of Christian Shephard and John Locke continued to fuel speculation that the dead could rise. (Of course, we now know that the “zombies” were actually various guises of the Smoke Monster/Man in Black).

Lindelof and fellow producer Carlton Cuse turned the zombie theory into a running joke on their podcast series, where they continually referred to a hypothetical season seven of Lost wherein all of the dead characters would rise… as ZOMBIES! A fake script featuring zombies was also leaked by ABC on the website OceanicFlight815.com: And right as your heart is about to BURST THROUGH YOUR CHEST one of the ZOMBIES shuffles through the door. Eyes glossed over white, shuffling, desperate for the blood that will never quench its unholy thirst. What are they waiting for? Why aren’t Michael and Jin firing their weapons to save themselves? Because this is no ordinary zombie… It’s WALT!!!

-- Andrew Shaffer


There Was Only One Polar Bear

I initially ignored Lost. Websites and magazines seemed to focus on things like the stupid Jack/Kate/Sawyer triangle, so as far as I knew it was a standard network drama with an interesting setting. I mentioned this in front of a fan, and she told me about the Numbers.

A desert island drama with The Illuminatus! Trilogy levels of headfuckery and The Crying of Lot 49's general sinister playfulness? One devoted to making its viewers go "wait, was that...?" What could it mean? Sign me up!

Then she told me about the polar bear...

-- Ian Mathers


It Was Just Another Long Day on the Set of The Party of Five

Watching the first season of Lost, I knew I was witnessing something epic. With so many questions and possibilities raised, I did what was most logical: I looked it up on the internet. Turned out millions of others were thinking the same thing, and I soon found myself spending hours of my workday reading the Lost theory fansite, The Tail Section. I was intrigued by how so many fan theories equally incorporated mathematics, religion and metaphysics.

Maybe it was the fact that this show came on the heels of The DaVinci Code craze, but everyone had ideas about God, heaven and hell, and purgatory, as well as extra-dimensional travel, the multiverse, wormholes and astrophysics. It was this weird blend of numerology, biblical allegory, science fiction, and quantum mechanics. Of course the show employs all these tropes, so it’s no wonder that fans were now exploring the physics of string theory via Wikipedia.

My favorite theory, however, is actually more of a joke between me and my brother, a play on The Wizard of Oz-like theory that Lost is all a dream. It goes like this: in the last episode Jack Shephard wakes up. Except he’s not Jack Shephard; he’s Matthew Fox, and he’s surrounded by Jennifer Love Hewtit, Scott Fox, Neve Campbell and the rest of the cast of Party of Five. It turns out that in some alternate timeline, Party of Five never went off the air and it’s now in its 16th season.

-- Dean Blumberg


Maybe It Has Something to Do With Santa Claus

In the first episode of season four, “The Beginning of the End” there are a few references to the letters “h” and “o”. A fan on a forum noted this and posted a theory. He cited that Hurley saw an apparition of Charlie while buying “ho-hos”. When Jack and Hurley play the game “Horse” they only reach the first two letters. In the institution in which Hurley is staying the words “ho, ho” are visible for the moment. The fan who noticed this believed it was a clue tying the island to a mythical part of the North Pole and mentioned how it could have something to do with Father Christmas.

It’s a bizarre theory that the above explained a lot better than I just did, but he was right about the “h” and “o”s which dominated that episode. Maybe he was on to something… Well, this is when I realised that Lost’s writers could use “Easter eggs” and background clues to really screw with the audience. Think about it: “h” is the eights letter of the alphabet while “o” is the 15th. These both tie into The Numbers. Hmm…

-- Emmet O’Brien


What Compels these Puppeteers to Do Their Puppetry?

I understand that since there has been such a dense tapestry of events over Lost’s six seasons, it would be impossible to provide clear answers for everything. We may never know why Mr. Friendly went through the trouble of wearing a fake beard, and that's probably okay. However, there are many questions the show once purported as critical information that are still unanswered. Why is Walt "special"? Who was in "Jacob's cabin"?

I've long been fascinated by the Ben Linus vs. Charles Widmore story, especially when we learned that Ben could come and go from the island at will. Widmore (in cahoots with Mr. Paik, Sun's father) seemed to be looking to reclaim the island for financial gain. Ben always saw himself as the protector until he was exposed as not knowing who or what he was dealing with.

There was a classic power struggle for control, there were "rules", many characters were used as pawns in their plan (and died for it!), and the mysterious Mrs. Hawking seemed to know everything that had happened and was destined to occur for both of them. They were like puppeteers controlling everything and everyone, but how? Why? What was at stake? Who will prevail?

I fear this epic storyline will get dusted under the carpet if mentioned again at all... because the only thing that the creators seem to think we care about is Jacob vs. The Man in Black. Wrong, wrong, so wrong! The creators had a three-year, 48-episode commitment for closure and they now only have two hours left to give us answers to these things! Agh!

-- Bill Holmes


It’s On a ‘Need to Know’ Basis

I’ve been obsessively intrigued by the lighthouse that Hurley (instructed by Jacob’s ghost) leads Jack to in season six. At the lighthouse Jack, a character who now believes in faith and fate – philosophies of life he cared little for, in the beginning -- is confronted by a strange machine with a wheel, a mirror, and a compass with the names of all the Oceanic passengers written on it. When Jack turns the compass and aligns it with his name the mirror shows his childhood home. Creepy.

That scene must be pivotal to the development of Jack from a man of science to a man of faith, but the lighthouse and this mystical device were then completely abandoned. Who made that thing? How does it work? How were the candidates of the Oceanic flight chosen, and why? Answer me, dammit! I need to know!

-- Dean Blumberg

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.


Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.


'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.


Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.


The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.


The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.


'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.


1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.


'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.


The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.


Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.


15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.


'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.


20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.


Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.


The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.


Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).


Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.