L O S T

L O S T WITH AS I LAY DYING’S NICK HIPA: FATE VS. FREE WILL

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Greetings metal maniacs and L O S T enthusiasts,

I hope everyone had a rad past week and, for those of you who are into it, were able to watch “What Kate Does.” It wasn’t nearly as action packed or blatantly informative as “LA X”, but still there are some interesting occurrences worth discussing.

Fate vs. Freewill has been one of the central themes of this show since the get go. The introduction of the flash-sideways timeline is, at surface level, supposed to show us what life would have been like if the plane never crashed. The notion of fate, though, is becoming increasingly more “the point” as we are seeing the main characters fulfilling the destinies intended for them by (or at least on) the Island. From Ethan’s involvement with Claire’s pregnancy, to Kate being present when she initially goes into labor, to Locke’s potential “healing” via his encounter (and possible operation) with paralysis-reversing-surgeon Jack, we are seeing similar parallels to the timeline on the island. We haven’t actually been given any EXACT consistencies, however, just a bunch of “very-similars” to keep us guessing. On a side note, the woman who was assumed to adopt Claire’s baby was named Lindsey Baskum, which super nerds have decoded as an anagram meaning “Used by Malkins.” Richard Malkin was the psychic who played an extremely crucial role in getting Claire on the original Oceanic Flight 815. His involvement in this timeline is unknown for now, but the connection is worth mentioning just in case it gets the wheels turning for any of you.

If the flash-sideways timeline delves into fate, then I’m thinking the current happenings on the Island will explore the idea of freewill. The standout event that I’m using as the crux of my argument is Dogen’s (the asian dude that looks like Lo Pan) claim to Jack that the resurrected “Sayid” has to chose to swallow the poison pill; his infection cannot be remedied any other way. Some speculation has been made that the significance of this interaction between the two is to test Jack as a potential new leader for the Others, but I think it highly unlikely. We know there are rules that require loopholes in obtaining a certain end within this yet-to-be-defined-conflict, so perhaps manipulating the Infected Sayid into ingesting poison is a loophole in the rules. Furthermore, by establishing that Sayid is now “claimed,” we can be sure that not only are there two sides, but that there are multiple agents of BOTH (Jacob and the Others vs. Nemesis and the Infected).

I do not think that Infected Sayid is Nemesis Dude; Nemesis as Smokey can manifest itself into the likeness of the dead, but never occupies their actual bodies. The clearest and most recent apparition of a non-dead-body-occupying Smokey is in the form of False Metal Locke. We see him interact with others, possess the visage of the real Locke, and even physically pummel Richard Alpert, all while the original physical body lay in his casket. What that means, then, is that there is another element of/from the Island doing the infecting and that it is a kindred spirit to Nemesis Dude. I base my assumption on the fact that ash was used to detect it (yet it did not yield the same results as with Smokey), and also that the infection itself is deemed bad by the Others (who are on Jacob’s side).

The infection (or sickness) is an older mystery that is beginning to be chipped away at here, with our first introduction of it being Rousseau’s retelling of her entire team being taken over by it. As we saw thanks to Jin’s injection into Rousseau’s 1988 timeline, the three members who were not actually murdered by Smokey emerged from his lair “changed.” Danielle’s standoff with Robert after killing the other two literally sick dudes, is the only thing we have to gauge the effect being infected has upon the “claimed.” From their interaction, it is observed that the infected have their full mental capacity (Robert reasoning with Rousseau that Smokey is just a security system), are cunning (after convincing Rousseau to lower her gun, Robert attempted to shoot her with his rifle), and are still mortal (after recognizing Robert’s deception and attempt to kill her, Rousseau shoots him in the head). Dogen’s explanation of the infection is as a darkness growing that spreads to the heart, thus consuming all of that infected individual. All of Danielle’s team remained the same in likeness and coherence, but something of their nature had fundamentally changed, making them murderous and worthy of being murdered. My shot in the dark guess is that being infected transforms the fundamental core of one’s innate humanity (Jacob) into something that is more in tune and in conjunction with the actual essence of the Island (Nemesis). This makes sense to me in relation to the black vs. white battle that we are seeing, and hopefully the re-introduction of Claire on the Island (who we know is infected as well) will shed more light on the topic.

According to the previews for this week’s episode “The Substitute” at 9/8c tonight; questions will be answered, mysteries will be unraveled, and secrets will be revealed. There’s a thirty second sneak peak which shows False Locke claiming to Sawyer that he can answer the question as to why they’re all there; though I am almost certain this will not be happening concisely, I look forward to picking apart and analyzing this week’s clues with everyone in the week to come!

-NH

As I Lay Dying’s new album, The Powerless Rise, will be out this spring on Metal Blade. While you’re awaiting its release, why not get L O S T on AILD’s MySpace page?

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