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February 1, 2010

Who Decides If We're Lost or Found?


Have you seen the 24-version of the Oceanic Flight 815 crash? This YouTube hit takes all the action happening around the time of the crash and puts it chronological order. It's fun. But it also helped stress something to me. The final words Juliet says before hearing the crashing plane? "Here I am thinking free will still actually exists..." (See this at the 6:40 mark).

I don't believe there are too many coincidences in Lost. And this statement clearly fits with Jack and Locke's long-running debate about destiny vs. choice. In fact, as we look back, we can see that theme growing stronger and stronger throughout the series--culminating with last season's "Whatever happened happened" missive, Jacob's repeated assertions that characters have a choice and the huge cliffhanger leaving us wondering, "Did Jack's plan work? Did he change everything on faith?"

So where does Lost go know with it's exploration of free will? Co-producer Carlton Cuse told Entertainment Weekly that “this notion of predeterminism is something we’re very actively exploring this season." I'm expecting a lot of redemption in this season. Who stays lost and who gets found? And in that mix will be the ever present underlying question: Were their paths laid out or do characters truly choose their paths?

What do you think? Where is Lost going with free will? Will it affirm it? Or will it turn out that Jacob and his nemesis have been using the characters as pawns all along? Does Jacob have to touch you for you to be saved? Or can you choose him?

Will any of this actually be answered or left for us to decide?

Todd Hertz, a CT movie critic, is also a regular contributor for ThinkChristian.net where he'll also be writing about Lost this season.

Related Tags: ABC, free will, Lost


I was most fascinated by the clip of Christian telling Vincent to go wake up Jack because "he has work to do." I definitely didn't remember that from the first time around--I think it's from the Missing Pieces webisodes. Very interesting, especially in light of Doc Jensen's "final theory of everything" that the show is ultimately about the Christian-Jack dual redemption story.

Yah, Laura. That clip of Christian with Vincent is from the final Missing Pieces episode, my favorite. It really foreshadowed the idea that someone (Smokey? Man in Black?) is masquerading as Christian and pulling strings.