After spending some time thinking about that mindf*ck of a season finale, I've finally come up with a conclusion.
These writers are pretty damn brilliant.
No other show in the history of television (and I feel pretty confident asserting this) has inspired so many people to go collectively nuts.
Need an example? How bout this. In the season finale [SPOILER ALERT] Jack becomes unhinged by an obituary he discovers in the newspaper. The viewing audience is never told who it is. With most shows, viewers would just get a bit frustrated and wait patiently for next season to provide an answer. You don't see fans of Grey's Anatomy going through each episode frame by frame on their DVRs, looking for the best resolution view of the medical charts Katherine Heigl is carrying. Although some do freeze frame Katherine Heigl scenes for entirely different reasons.
However, in Lost, everything, no matter how small, is obsessed over by fans on the web. And strangely, the writers and directors of Lost seem to have anticipated this. Rarely is anything found in the background of a scene irrelevant to the story. Readers have found telltale pictures, pertinent books and other mysterious objects hiding in plain view. They're so obsessive they even uncovered the very few unintentional background props, like a flyer from a Hawaiian relief organization, and a Dharma symbol meant to be an inside joke, tattooed darkly on a shark.
And in the season finale, when the obituary was held, ever so briefly, crumpled in front of the camera, the split second was enough for die hard fans to get a very mysterious answer (are there any other kind on lost?) to the question: Who's death was it????
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According to one website, this is what the obit said:
"The body of John Lantham of New York was found shortly after 4 am in the 4300 block of Grand Avenue. Ted Worden, a doorman at the Tower Lofts complex, heard loud noises coming from the victim's loft. Concerned for tenants' safety, he entered the loft and found the body hanging from a beam in the living room. According to Jaime Ortiz, a police spokesman, the incident was deemed a suicide after medical tests. Latham (sic) is survived by one teenaged son. Memorial services will be held at the Hoffs-Drawlar Funeral Home tomorrow evening."I found this Wikipedia article on John Latham, an artist. The simularities between his concerns and themes and those found in LOST are hard to ignore. I'm not saying the dead person is the same John Latham, but I am suggesting the name hints at who the dead man is and where this enigmatic TV show is heading. The names of philosophers, artists, writers and biblical figures pop up again and again in Lost, and they allude to themes and issues integral to the show. This particular allusion is a brainout. Read Latham's real obituary. His piece "God is Great," seems to apply to the island's strange mix of different spiritualities. I've got to spend some time thinking how it ties in with my theory.
This person thinks the person in the coffin is Ben. I'm inclined to believe it's Locke, using his reasoning. We saw Locke nearly commit suicide when he thought he was paralyzed again. What if he was forced to leave the island, and was no longer healed? That would be enough to drive him to suicide. And the fact that they share the same first name is hard to ignore.
But one problem. Locke doesn't have a son. Not one we know of yet, anyway. If what we're seeing is 3 years after being rescued, the only "teenage son" we know about is Walt. Meaning John could be Michael. It stands to reason that if Michael was afraid of being found out for committing the murders on the island, he might take the name of one of the other plane crash survivors. He might commit suicide over the guilt he continues to feel. Hatred for Michael and what he did would explain the absence of the Losties at his funeral. Plus, we know Michael is from New York.
Finally, a less likely body could be Ben's. He has a habit of taking other people's names (Henry Gale). But it's sort of hard to picture Ben making it back to the real world and living in a New York city apartment. Can you imagine running into someone that creepy at the dog park?
My crazy theory isn't shot yet. Though we have a whole new bag of worms to deal with. What am I going to do until January 08???