lost: flash forward

flash forward

LOST is totally based on this book!

I TOLD YOU THE ANSWER TO LOST WAS IN A BOX OF BOOKS.  Robert James Sawyer penned this book in 1999.  Part 1 of the book takes place in 2009.  Two scientists conduct experiments: pushing a button is most certainly involved.  The author is a Hugo award nominee.

A friend recently mentioned to me his theory that the character of Sawyer in the television series LOST was actually a writer.  He believed Sawyer made up his entire back story, made up his name, all of it.  Found it obvious since Sawyer is always reading.  My response was, "Then how could ‘the others’ know his whole back story?"  Good point.  I thought it over and took it a bit further.  The thing most important to Sawyer was a written note.  Maybe Sawyer is a writer… a real writer. So I googled it, found the book.  Found other sites saying what I’m saying here.  And, as I mentioned in these comments… the season 3 finale (in a flash forward scene, mind you) had the funeral parlor named Hoffs/Drawlar (anagram for Flash/Forward).

There’s of course DESmond, who doesn’t necessarily see the future as much as DEStiny.  And at the start of Robert J. Sawyer’s book we get this:

He who foresees calamities suffers them twice over.    — Beilby Porteus 

Pretty much explains why Jack’s dad in the flashforward.

And from lost-theories web site message boards: Dr.Theodosios Procopides,[from the book] who does not have a flashforward is presumed that he will be dead in 21 years, since that is how far in the future the rest of the world went …it is revealed so far that he will be killed by someone…so he posts a site as to who has any information on his death…..someone says they read a paper that he “will be survived by his son and wife”…. in flashforward episode jack shows kate the newspaper clipping …. now someone posted the clipping from lost … and it read “he will be survived by his teenage son…"

So let’s see… Michael has a teenage son.  Locke might have a son.  Who else might have a son and a wife?  Jin (but by that time, no way it would be a teenager).  And even if Kate were pregs with Sawyer’s guppy, it wouldn’t be a teen.  And the name with article on cover was Lathem… an important artist… which could be Michael… but the black neighborhood of the funeral parlor is too obvious.Maybe Locke is in the coffin.

From Publisher’s Weekly: A science experiment that unwittingly shuts down all human consciousness for two minutes is the catalyst for a creative exploration of fate, free will and the nature of the universe in Sawyer’s soul-searching new work (after Factoring Humanity). In April 2009, Lloyd and Theo, two scientists at the European Organization for Particle Physics (CERN), run an experiment that accidentally transports the world’s consciousness 20 years into the future. When humanity reawakens a moment later, chaos rules. Vehicles whose drivers passed out plow into one another; people fall or maim themselves. But that’s just the beginning. After the horror is sorted out, each character tries desperately to ensure or avoid his or her future. Trapped by his guilt for causing so much destruction and driven by a need to rationalize, Lloyd tries to prove that free will is a myth. Theo discovers that he will be murdered and begins to hunt down his killer, tempting fate as in the Greek dramas of his ancestors. Some people start on their appointed roads early, others give up on life because of what they’ve seen. Using a third-person omniscient narrator, Sawyer shifts seamlessly among the perspectives of his many characters, anchoring the story in small details. This first-rate, philosophical journey, a terrific example of idea-driven SF, should have wide appeal. (June) FYI: Sawyer is the president of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

There was a time, not too long ago, when Phil and I rented all the episodes of ABC’s television show LOST.  Neither of us ever watched it when it was on TV, so we began from the start, both of us amazed that viewers could sit through all the commercials (and weeks between episodes!).  Each was a cliffhanger.  For those who have never seen the series, the premise is this: a plane crashes, after being off course and out of touch for 1000 miles or so.  The plane splits into two parts, each landing on opposites sides of a seemingly unoccupied mysterious and magical island.  The series explores how each of the passengers of the flight are connected to one another through flashbacks. As an audience we follow many story lines: the current narrative (what’s happening on the island), and the flashbacks (what happened before the plane crashed, or while on the plane, etc.that perhaps led them to this island in the first place), and in the next season flashforwards. There are many theories out there (the island represents purgatory, it’s a land of redemption, it’s time travel, etc.) about all the mysteries (Is Jacob really Jack?)  Everyone wants to "solve" and understand, to come to some epiphany.  A ha!  I’ve got it!   

There were some nights we’d be up until 2AM.  A DVD of five episodes would end, and we’d look at each other.  "Another one?" we’d say together.  Then we’d load up the next disc. 

The other night, as I was falling asleep, I realized, "I miss LOST." I miss the bad acting, the parts where we’d roll our eyes, "get to the good part already,"  but mostly, I missed when I’d have to press ‘pause’ and declare aloud what would happen next.  "Oooh, you know what?  They are totally brother and sister!"   And once this was confirmed, many episodes later mind you, I did a touchdown dance.  "Who said it?  Who said it?  Uh, uh.  You know it.  I AM ALL POWERFUL!"

So the other day, a moving truck arrives at our house.  Some of the items we’ve had in storage have finally made it to Texas.  I unload my first box.  It’s chockablock with my tattered college books.  Philosophy books. Literature.  Elizabethan drama.  And as I’m falling asleep, with LOST on my mind, I can’t help but wonder, "Maybe I can solve it.  Maybe the answer to the theory behind LOST is in that box of books."

The end justifying the means. Books on science, men of faith, of reason.  Quantum physics–eh, well, no.  Though I couldn’t help but think about Plato’s Republic, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass, and then I took steps from there to recreational mathematicians.  I could go on, but I’ll spare you my nerdness and just say, I’ve read more about the philosophies of Hume, Rousseau, Locke, Hegel, and Kant than I did in Intro to Philosophy (a class I despised).  If you haven’t seen this show, I highly recommend you camp in for a weekend and catch up on the first three seasons via DVD, so you’re all caught up in February ’08 when new episodes air. 

And as an aside, the producers already said the island is not purgatory or hell.  I wish I had time to be more of a nerd and read all the message boards where people analyze every clip, lyrics to songs played in the background of scenes, symbolism, and discussed quantum physics.  If you’re looking for a new obsession, this show is it.      



  1. Oh yeah, we're so into Lost here. We think Jacob is Locke but that's only after carefully studying the frame by frame close-ups of him. February is WAY too far off for us.

  2. Jason and I love LOST too! We did the same thing, renting the DVDs, and spending countless nights watching one episode after another. I was a little let down with the final episode of the past season… I didn't want to know that Kate and Jack had made it off the island, and that he was having substance abuse issues. It's one of the many series we watch together… maybe we should get together and have LOST viewing parties! (Totally lame, but I will have the baby by then. Lots of lame things will sound fun just to have adult interaction!)

  3. The last episode of last season was the Sgt. Pepper's of TV drama. Holy cow. Whose funeral do you think that was. I say Walt's.
    And what guy on the show do you dig? I predict. . .Desmond.

  4. I LOVE Lost too!! Can't believe we have to wait until FEB.!!
    Try John From Cincinatti on HBO. They cancelled it but you can still get it on demand. Awesome show. Makes you think too. And better acting.

  5. I think the part where they show Kate and Jack making it off the island will turn out to be just one of several possible scenarios. I don't think the producers would let us off that easy.

  6. Watching series on DVD is the best! We can't stand all the commercials on TV so we mostly watch movies/series. LOST has been highly recommended to me so that one will likely be the next one to view. Some of the series that I loved were 'Carnivale', '24', 'Arrested development' and 'Sex in the city'. We just finished that one and I said to my husband when it was over " I feel sad that its over, I miss those crazy women!"

  7. Stephanie,

    I had the EXACT same experience with LOST. I missed out on all of the craziness when the first season premiered. Then I ended up watching it on DVD, just in time for season 2 to start. Now I'm hooked and can't wait for FEBRUARY!!! How crazy is it that it doesn't start until then?!?!

    I have to recommend that you and Phil do the same thing with Heroes! I swear, you will NOT be disappointed. You may even find yourself liking it MORE than Lost. I watched the first season this summer (because I just couldn't give in to the obsession that swirled around me during it's actual airing) and now I CAN NOT WAIT for the new season to start.


  8. Yeah… hands down LOST is the best show on TV in a long time. The acting isn't the greatest (but I wouldn't say it's bad) and they've had a few missteps (Nikki and Paolo anyone?) but the show is amazing. I've had time to listen to the producers' podcasts while at work and delve a little into the lost.wikipedia.com to see if there are "easter eggs" that I missed. It's just pure genius. And the season 3 finale did not disappoint whatsoever. Loved it.

    One thing I don't understand about casual viewers of LOST is how they want it to "get to the point already!" I guess that's what makes them casual viewers and not fans, but if they "got to the point"… the show would pretty much be over. And the show isn't just about getting off the island anyway.

  9. Totally lost with this Lost. Haven't seen any. Although it is here in South Africa. I lose it often enough, so best I avoid Lost.

  10. I missed the first season, but caught it when it ran during the summer. My best friend/roommate are totally hooked and don't miss an episode. We DVR and miss all the commercials, though. I can't wait for February!!

  11. Beth – it really is THAT good.
    February is way too far away..I read two blogs daily, Stephanie's and thelostdiary.com. It's amazing!

  12. Are you kidding me? LOVE LOST. LOVE IT.

    Hey Freckles.

    Best ever stupid term of endearment. My boy and I use it all the time now. Just for the fromage factor.

  13. I am all about bad boys. I know lovin' on sawyer is so cliche but I can't much help myself & the coffin is probs Michael… As for kate and jack in future…it's not the last flashforward…meaning that won't be the end. And when kate says she has to get back to HIM I don't think it's to sawyerpants but back to her stepdad before he realizes she's gone. jack's dad is alive in flash forward. I too watched orchid video with still frames. and I listened to summer podcast. when I said "get to the point already" I meant when certain flashbacks seem to drag on, no clues, just slow. I realize getting off island isn't point. And if I were to have a thing for anyone on lost it would TOTALLY be Penelope.

  14. I still REFUSE to believe it's not purgatory. I know they've denied it, but I think that's just their way of throwing us all off. I know I'm right, and, when I am, I'll do my own little touchdown dance all the way to foresight glory!

  15. Welcome to my world!!!

    LOST is one of my favorite things … I knew great minds think alike!

    Oh: from your shiksa fan on the North Shore… L'shana Tova to one and all!


  16. Just to get some idea about what I'm speaking, in a funeral scene of the show, that's a flashforward, the name of the funeral parlor is "Hoffs Drawlar" which is an anagram for "flashforward." This is the level of detail in the show. I love it!

    Although it sounds obvious, I think Michael is in the coffin.

  17. Oh my GOD Stephanie I'm so glad you posted this…I've been slowly pining away from lack of Lost. I got my boyfriend hooked for a while, until his ADHD couldn't get him through the second season.

    And I agree…is it just us, or does the second season SERIOUSLY slow down for a while? It's like they're playing too much catch-up. Same with the first 6 ep's of season three.

    There is no WAY Charlie can be dead….:( :( :(

    I've always had a thing for Jack…every since Party of Five…

    And one more thing…does it drive you NUTS that they never explain the polar bears???

  18. Beret,

    What frame by frame close-ups are you talking about? Jacob is invisible to everyone but Ben, although Jack was able to hear him – we've never seen Jacob.

    As for marathon viewings, we're anxiously waiting for season 3 to come out on dvd next month so we can watch them all over again in preparation for February! I hear we only have 2 seasons left to look forward to.

    FROM STEPHANIE: No, Jessica. Ben can seem him, and don't you recall, Locke saw him too… Jacob said, "help me" to Locke. Online people have taken screencaptures of the scene, so you can look and see exactly what Jacob looks like.

  19. I couldn't agree more. I'll admit I locked myself in my lock for a week watching the DVDs.

    February is so far away…until then I can just dream about Sawyer. I don't know people can seriously prefer Jack over him? yum.

  20. i absolutely love LOST. i didnt even realize the name of the funeral parlor was an anagram! just shows how un-detail oriented iam.

  21. Ooops! See, this is why I need to review season 3 dvds! That's right – Locke made Ben take him along and then Ben shot him later. I just looked up those screen shots of Jacob and w-o-w! Creepy.

  22. I'm cracking up, because my hubby and I have a habit of doing the same marathon thing with Buffy and Angel.

  23. Ditto what Buffy said – Haven't watched a single episode.

    I cannot allow myself to get sucked into even more TV. With Damages, Rescue Me, and Grey's Anatomy — I am at my limit.

  24. I totally got into The Sopranos like this, watching episodes live, buying the past seasons DVDs, and reading and posting to blogs about it. I don't need another show like that in my life because I need…. a life. :)

  25. Another "Lost" fan here!!

    Are you sure it's only two more seasons? I thought I had heard that they wanted to spread it out so it lasted through 2010 or 2011? Maybe I'm wrong though.

    P.S. L'Shanah Tova! A very SWEET, happy and healthy New Year to you and your family :)

  26. I also love Lost, I have been watching it from the beginning and have had to suffer week after week and sometimes months in between episodes. For me it started with Alias, another great JJ Abrams show. I wasn't overly fond of the second season, but loved the third one so it made up for it. I love all the cool "stuff" in it too. Good for you guessing they were brother and sister. I am looking forward to when it is done to see it solved, but will be sad as well.

    My husband and I did this with Six Feet Under.


  27. My vote would be for Prison Break, even though I've only seen a tiny sliver of one episode. Why? Because Wentworth Miller is a superfine hottie with an Ivy pedigree, beautiful abs and the most arrestingly serious, thoughtful expression that is borne out by his sounding articulate and smart in interviews rather than mindless eye candy.

    He has it all over Matthew Fox, I'm sorry.
    Prison Break.

  28. I love Lost! A great blog to check out is http://www.thelostdiary.com. My husband and I were on a Carribean cruise when the first episode of Lost aired. We got some drinks at the bar and the show came on. We were hooked. It's hard to imagine a tv show being more exciting than the party that was going on around us. But Lost is that good!

  29. After reading your opening paragraph, I'm debating whether to read the rest of this post. Sure I'm anxious to find out what happens and entertain theories, but on the other hand, I don't want anyone to spoil it for me. When I go to a movie, I don't like knowing any of the details. I don't watch trailers or read reviews. I like to be surprised. So I guess for now, I'm gonna pass on reading this the rest of the post.

  30. I had to stop myself from reading beyond the first few lines because you have convinced me to give Lost a shot. I've never seen one episode, I don't know any of the characters and have never read any of the blogs or message boards dedicated to it. My Lost adventure begins friday…1st episode, 1st season.

    Once I'm completely current, I'll come back and read this post to see if I agree or if you've touched on something I missed.

  31. Really interesting about "Flash Forward"…

    But I don't remember anyone saying or hinting that Kate's stepfather or Jack's dad are still alive…

  32. Impressive work. I randomly tuned in once in the middle of some episode and some guy was doing terrible things to a bunny and that was it for me. My friends have urged me to reconsider as they are all addicted. But this post made me think of what my mom would say, "Is Moose finished young lady? GO DO your homework!"

  33. LOST…what a success also in Italy!Unfortunatelly we are just a bit on late with the episodes. That is the tragedy!!!

  34. Brett…in the season finale Jack kept going on and on, "Go get my father." "Go upstairs and ask my father!" Was he just hallucinating on the Oxycontin or was his father still alive?? And then there's the whole thing about the empty coffin (in "White Rabbit" season one).

    I'm totally a Sayid and Desmond girl. I couldn't care less about Jack, Sawyer, or who Kate picks.

  35. What about that episode with flashing back to Hurley in the mental hospital, where they showed that girl Libby there? Are they every going to answer that one?

  36. also in terms of the answer being in a book, when they discover the hatch in season 2, locke pulls out a book (can't remember the name off the top of my head) in the bookcase. the book is about a person that is supposed to be hung and the rope snaps and he runs away and its all about his exploits. at the end of the book you realize it took place in the seconds in his mind before he died. maybe lost is all in jack's head (hence his eye in the openers) before the plane crashes. just a thought.

  37. I live in Austin and am a huge fan of LOST. I watched most of it on DVD until this past season, where I watched it ‘live’. And man, that was torture. If you ever want to meet up sometime…

  38. Has any one ever considered that the island in Lost is a sub-time-machine captained by John Lock?

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