Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Do-Overs"

All the talk about course-correcting this summer on our Lost blogs, has brought up a certain thought for me. If the way we are understanding and discussing this time-course-correction will actually be in the show, it begs a huge question: if all our island Losties or Others would get a choice of going back and course-correcting their lives, would they do it? If they could push a rewind button and accept a "do-over" somewhere, should they? If they got the chance to be someone other than who they ended up being, I wonder who would take the offer?

Only one person so far has gotten the opportunity to correct his life, but the gift got snatched away from him before he even knew what was happening. Poor Desmond did get the chance to undo his previous mistakes, but Mrs. Hawking would not let him for some reason that is still a bit unclear. I mean, we know what she wants Dez to do, but it didn't have anything to do with what he wanted, and he did not get to fix things with Penny on his second time around with her.

Charlie, Hurley, and Juliet might be open to changing some events in their lives. Charlie has been on a self improvement quest since the crash, trying to get back the idealism of his youth. And when he got to give his life for those ideals he did, if the ultimate self-sacrifice can be considered a life correction. I think it can since we are given the impression that Charlie wanted his life to have more meaning than the shallow existence of a bloody rock star. Our pal Hurley has come a long way since the crash as well, and would probably change a few previous mistakes such as, eating for comfort, playing the Lottery, and not realizing his self-worth. Where Juliet is in the story, it seems that she would not take the Mittelos offer again. And she would hopefully decide to not be such a little mouse in her second chance. But who knows, something might happen between now and the end of the series that could make her glad that she did go to the island after all. And Hurley might end up finding some good to do with his money somehow.

I'd hope that Michael would take back being an obnoxious parent and murderous maniac, undoing the backstabbing killing spree that he went on in his search for Walt. I don't know if Locke would change anything, since he believes that everything good or bad is meant to be, although I think that he's using this as an excuse sometimes. So far in island time, I don't think that Jack would accept a second chance, because I don't recall Jack ever saying that he was sorry for anything he's done. Before the flash-forward that is. He always seems to have trouble admitting his mistakes, and you have to admit that something was wrong or at least ill conceived before you can take it back or change it. He's been sorry that things got messed up, but not necessarily for his part in the mess.

Maybe that's what the FF is all about, Jack finally accepts that he has made a mistake and wants the "do-over". He wants to hit the rewind button and go back to the island and change whatever they did, that he thinks was a bad decision. Or perhaps in the FF he wants to go back to the moment that he steps out from the jungle after the crash to take charge in a positive way, not be a cry-baby, and handle the Castaways vs. Others War more wisely. Or when Jack says, "We have to go back," he means that they have to go back and do their lives over again? He wants to use his 20/20 hindsight and do it all over the right way. To be brave and not cowardly, wise instead of dumb, kind rather than harsh, or strong and not weak. Who could blame him?

28 comments:

Amused2bHere said...

I like the idea of a do-over, but where to start? How far back do you go, since most decisions lead to other decisions? Good questions, Capcom.

How far back would Jack go? Maybe not marry Sarah, maybe then he and his dad wouldn't have had that last fight in the AA meeting room.

Maybe Sun wouldn't have asked her father for hush money for Jin's mom. Perhaps Sun would have found another way to silence that woman. Chilling!

Would Locke refuse his father the kidney if he knew then what he knows now? Hard to tell. Or maybe he'd turn the ratfink in to the gangsters instead of meeting him in the motel with the money. Solves lots of problems!

Kate...I think she'd still blow up Wayne, but maybe not confess to her mom. Just walk away, and keep walking. Mom might suspect, but at least couldn't positively say it was Kate.

Thing is, if you change their past, they don't get on that plane. They never meet, and how bittersweet would that be? Claire and Charlie would never meet, Sun would never get pregnant, Kate and Sawyer, Hurley and Libby, Jack and Juliet (don't hate me), so many relationships would not have a chance.

Very thought provoking, Capcom. Good work!

memphish said...

Fun post to speculate about Capcom. The hardest one for me is Sawyer because the thing he'd want most to do-over, his parents' deaths, he couldn't control in the first place. Choosing to be Sawyer, that he could do-over, but I doubt he would given the thing he couldn't control.

I guess you might say that's the case with Kate as well. What she'd really like to do-over was her parents' divorce and her mom's adultery. But again that's Diane, not Kate's do-over.

Jack as well would want to do-over who his dad as as would Locke as would Sun.

Of course, all this leads to your next post -- What's wrong with these people's parents? :)

And A2BH makes a good point about timing. I think even in the 90 days they've been on Island, some of them would like a do-over. Sun's lying about her English. Michael and his raft. Jack and his non-belief of Claire's attack story. Sayid's brilliant plan with the boat.

I'd guess the real road to redemption for these people is not so much making the same choices differently, but like Charlie, finding a way past though choices to redemption.

Lisa said...

"I'd guess the real road to redemption for these people is not so much making the same choices differently, but like Charlie, finding a way past though choices to redemption"

Memphish.... I couldn't agree more, nor could I have said it better.

A2BH- excellent points. Sometimes, the things we think we'd go back and do-over to avoid the "tough times", the things that hurt us, etc.... are really the things that shape us the most allowing for opportunities that wouldn't have come about otherwise. Without them, we wouldn't grow, become aware of ourselves and what we value, or change... island or no island, each one of these characters are faced with that.

If given a do over, would they arrive at the same place, in otherwords, IS there a "Path" with a given end? (ex. course correcting) would they, along the way, have the same amount of learning/growth despite different choices? would they have the same opportunities and decisions to make? or would they make new mistakes, maybe even worse ones?

does the island provide a unique opportunity (or multiple opportunities) for a "do-over" WITH hindsight? (ex. your desmond example) if so, how far into the future does each character get to go in order to obtain that hindsight? (ex. Jack's perspective/hindsight would be drastically different at rescue time, vs. in the flashforward)

memphish said...

though = those in both my post and Lisa's. :0)

capcom said...

Wow, excellent ideas everyone! That's what I was thinking as well, how far back would they go, if they could go back? And as you say, they already have their hands full with just the actions that they have taken since crashing! They came to the island with baggage, but if they leave, they'll be departing with even more baggage!

Well, maybe the limits of the Casimir bunny machine restricts the amount of time that you can go back. :o) Maybe the dial only goes to "negative 20", whatever that is. But Dez did get to go back a few years, eh?

And to ditto Lisa's ditto of your comment Memphish, right, they should choose to be like Charlie and redeem their pasts with future actions, that's the most positive thing to do. And probably what TPTB are trying to convey in their stories of redemption on the island. I think that Sayid is trying to do that as well, the way he has talked about wanting to leave his torturing past behind him. And perhaps Hurley too in the way he has stepped up and led the Losties confidently behind the scenes as an ivisible leader, rather than eating his way out of his insecurities when trouble happens.

I always have a better understanding about the show and the show's philosophies after I talk to you all, thanks!

capcom said...

One more thought about the ultimate do-over, i.e. reliving some or all of life. I never really understood why it matters if I become a different person, if I could go back and change things in my past. I'm not particularly attached to the self that I am today, if improvements could be made. If I could correct or take more positive or logical paths in the past, I would do so, just as I try to make more logic decisions for my future today to change myself for the better for tomorrow.

Some people say that they would not change anything, because then they would not be the person they are today. But who's to say that I am "better" in this present, than I would be if I took a different path? I would most surely be different, but of course the change could switch for the better or worse (see Butterfly Effect) theoretically.

Lots of people (Yul Brenner for example) have said that if they could go back in time and not smoke and get lung cancer, they would. A dying addict would likely have the same sentiment. I wouldn't be afraid to change my past to change my today, anymore than I would be afraid to improve today so that I am a better person tomorrow. To me it's kind of the same.

Well I don't know if this makes any sense, but i'll post it anyway. :-)

Lisa said...

You make sense! It's just a hard sell I think depending on the amount of clear cut consequences to what you change- your example Yul Brenner- very good example! Other situations might be a little more gray..

Yes, personally, and on the show, there are things I/characters would certainly go back and change IF (and this is a big IF) when I went back I was assured that I wouldn't make even BIGGER mistakes along the way. While I'm quite sure (100% in fact) I would like to be be a better person today- I'm also, unfortunately sure, that without a few hard lessons, I/our losties could be a lot worse! I like your choice of the term "version"- maybe the potential "do-over" me/you/character- can't be compared to the reality as better or worse... just different.

I think any potential do-over change in our/LOST characters lives also becomes the proverbial pebble in the lake. What we messed up, might have been an example/lesson to others and saved them from the same heartaches or completely changed their circumstances. With the connections between our Losties- there's also that to consider. Say, Des marries Pen- what ripples does that create!

I also really think in addition to how far back would we/characters go.... we should also consider, how far forward is far enough to get a picture of ones life that will turn out well in the end? Much like Des's jigsaw puzzle descriptions of his visions...when do we have enough of the picture to safely go back and say what it right/wrong, etc? I'm quite convinced that at this juncture of my life... I have no where near the information or wisdom to go back and make most things better foor sure! To get it right, you'd almost have to "test drive" every option.... (hmmmm, maybe Des has done this?) Sigh.... deep topic for LOST and life!

capcom said...

Wow, nice points Lisa! That's kind of interesting about an assurance that the do-over would come out better. Like the Butterfly Effect movie, it was creepy, the more he tried to get it right the more he messed it up.

And the pebble in the lake is also very important as you said. Everything that we do starts a ripple. I also like the way that God can make good come from whatever happens to us. "... I will give you beauty for your ashes..." (forgot the book and chapter).

I just got back from seeing the new Edith Piaf movie, and of course her trademark song was "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien", "No, I Regret Nothing", and the lyrics say basically that she's forgotten all the bad things and is starting over fresh, or something to that affect.

memphish said...

Ditto on the props for do-over not necessarily equaling better. In fact if you buy Mrs. Hawkings universe course corrections, do-overs could lead to worse as that slip in the shower avoided leads to some more drastic way for you to die the next time.

This makes me wonder, was Christian Shephard a time guardian like Mrs. Hawking with his words of wisdom about the Red Sox? Did it take the universe 18 years to course correct Bill Buckner's bobble with a 0-3 comeback against the Yankees or was it merely their fate not to win until 2004? I know Buckner wishes he had the do-over, but would that have only made someone else the scapegoat?

capcom said...

Right Memphish! But I'll take the do-over instead of being found dead and nekkid in the shower any day! :o) Just my personal preference, heheh.

Maybe the Red Socks were being punished? Fate. Hmmm.

capcom said...
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Amused2bHere said...

Good points. I like the way the movie Butterfly Effect was done, with the multiple ripples and how messed up things can be if you don't get the key moment corrected.

Capcom, it's not just that you would become a different person. I guess what we're all saying is that going back to change a decision will not only change what we regret, but any good that has come of it would change too. It would change who I am, which might be a good thing, but it might also change the things I love. Example: if you go back and decide not to marry, you'd never have your children. The good things you've experienced would change too, not just the bad effects of past choices.

Memphish, don't assume Buckner's bobble was the reason the Red Sox lost the series in '86. It was only game 6, and they could have won game 7 against the Mets and won the series. Game 7 was not Buckner's fault. The Red Sox did not win the World Series because of the curse of the Bambino, not because of Bill Buckner. (So the course correction of the universe took 86 years, not 18).

But I guess Buckner still wishes he could have a do-over!

memphish said...

LOL A2BH, it's not Buckner, it's the Babe. I stand corrected. So it's the guy who traded Ruth who wants the do-over. :D

capcom said...

You're absolutely correct Amused! And all the good that God did after picking up the mess, would not exist either.

All I mean is that, if we didn't have these kids, we have different ones and love the other kids just as much as we love these. Which brings to mind a question I've always had -- if your parents met and married someone else, which parent would your soul be born to? Could our souls be assigned to parents when we are conceived, like that old Shirley Temple movie where the kids get shipped off in a heavenly boat to be born to their parents? Or would we end up being two different people, because of our current parents being with two other people? These are the kinds of questions that have bugged me since I was a little girl. I guess that I was definitely meant to be a LOST watcher! :o)

Hey, I love the baseball talk. Don't know anything about the Red Socks, but what you have been saying is very funny, and good examples of the course-correction possibility!

Lisa said...

I thought that several of you (us) often had a Biblical/Christian take on things (A2BH, visited your other blog- very parrallel topic!). Beauty for Ashes, yep (I think Ezekiel)- but also the verses that state that what was meant for evil God can use for good (Romans I think, I should get bible and dig, but I'm terrible with a concordance!)- I like the acknowledgement that there is sometimes a "greater good" that comes both to the individual (or group) from mistakes and suffering. I think when we look at real life and our LOSTIES- you gotta wonder what would happen if they got the chance to see the good and the bad on the scales... what would they ultimately do? Maybe we see that decision play out in Charlie's final episode.

Sorry, never saw the Butterfly Effect- if I seemed to spin the idea from there, but ignore your post- I promise I wasn't stealing... I just didn't know what it was!

capcom said...

Right Lisa, I like that verse as well. And Joseph also said to his brothers that what they meant for evil to him, God meant it for good. And there sure are many crossroads of decisions that the Losties approach, where they don't really weigh the choices out. Charlie's choice was the best exception to that.

FYI, I've only seen Butterfly Effect in previews and commercials. :-) I tried to watch it once, but it was very dark and depressing, so I clicked on to something else.

memphish said...

There's also Romans 8:28-29 that God works all things for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose. And the kicker is that our "good" is to be made like Christ who didn't have a rose-strewn life of luxury existence here on Earth. In fact you might argue that a Sovereign God is the ultimate course corrector who is clearly not enslaved by time and space. Despite our choices and particularly our bad choices we wind up exactly where He intended us to end up.

capcom said...

Whoa! That's awesome Memphish! I totally agree. And I do believe that you have summed up the essense of LOST in a nutshell! :-)

Lisa said...

Memphish said....

In fact you might argue that a Sovereign God is the ultimate course corrector who is clearly not enslaved by time and space.


Summed up LOST? Capcom, I do believe she's summed up life! ;-) Thank the Creator He has a lot more in mind for me than what I could do on my own! And equal praise for His course correction!

One quote has always stuck with me from the book "The Purpose Driven Life". It was something to the effect of God will do what it takes to get your attention....be it a tap hammer or a jack-hammer.

Whatever our LOSTIES (or we ourselves) have been through- at what point do we become aware the need for the do over? At the little tap hammer, or does it take some of us/LOSTIES a good drilling with the Jackhammer??? I dare say our LOSTIES have experienced someone's version of a jackhammer.... how many taps were ignored....?????

Excellent conversation again! I will miss this when my time becomes more sparse!

capcom said...

Good question Lisa. In hindsight I can see places (but not all of them I'm sure) where God has had to keep hitting me on the head to get my attention, definitely.

The little taps could be like when that synchronicity thing happens where a specific idea, word, or phrase suddenly keeps coming up in your life as if God's giving you gentle nudges or reminders. The sledgehammer could be like when you get in a car wreck when God REALLY wants you to change your direction in life, and you've not heard (or heard but ingnored) His little taps. :-) Been there, done that.

We see in the flashbacks a lot of places where the Losties "zigged when the should have zagged". Must keep those Time Lords very busy correcting things!

Lisa said...
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Lisa said...

This is such a good question! Here's a spin on it:

I just watched the epi where Sawyer kills Cooper. By killing Cooper, Did locke and sawyer just create a "do over"? or change history?

Here's the conversation post Cooper's death:

Sawyer asks Locke, "IS IT TRUE? Did he really push you out a window? WERE you a cripple?"
Locke replies, "Not anymore"

Notice that Sawyer asks Locke about being a cripple in the past tense? "Is it true.....WERE you a cripple"---- he's not referring to what Locke is now.... and Locke replies to that question pertaining to his past with "not anymore".

Does that mean, "I'm not a cripple anymore, the island cured me" or does that the whole series of events (window, wheelchair, etc) is no longer true because they've changed the way it happened by killing Cooper? Does this wipe those deeds/that person out of reality off island? (If so, what does that mean for Sawyer? Are his parents alive? Did he not kill the guy in Austraila?)

Or, am I being far fetched.... and it is Locke's "not anymore" reply really just as simple that Locke is no longer in the wheelchair- and I'm reading too much into the dialog?

capcom said...

I wondered that very same thing when he said that! I have no idea what we are meant to believe, but I believe this....that TPTB purposely had Locke say it like that to make us wonder about it and drive us crazy no matter what it's supposed to mean! :-)

I mean really, it's such an ambiguous way to write what he said in a script like that. We know that TPTB aren't sloppy about things such things on this show, but maybe an iffy statement about such a critical piece of the puzzle could have slipped through. I dunno. I really got the shivers when he said it like that. Shivers from the implication, and shivers from the thought that what Locke said just dug the mystery hole a lot deeper!

Lisa said...

You have no idea how much I hoped you'd say, "Nah, your're reading too much into it!" Yeesh! It was always such an odd dialog, it wasn't till your question that I saw it from this perspective!

The implications of it being a type of "do over" are immense....

capcom said...

Puh, you have no idea how many times I wished I'd say that to myself! :o)

cool_freeze said...

REDEMPTION

It all goes back to that, I swear. :-)

Jay said...

Excellent questions to be sure. Given that "only fools are enslaved by time and space" it seems like our Losties are going to have the chance to correct their past mistakes sometime in the future (especially Jack's most recent one).

But the interesting thing here is Desmond and Eko. Desmond had the chance to change his past, but was specifically told he could not. But Desmond definitely wanted to change it, even if it was bad for a lot of people around him. This says to me that you can only change the past if it's for the overall good, not for personal gain.

Eko, on the other hand, was asked if he was sorry for his past and he said he wasn't. Would he have been given the opportunity to change things if he had repented? Will future Jack, now that he realizes the error of his ways, be allowed to go back and correct his mistakes?

I think you're right that do-overs will be important in the overall scheme of Lost. Question is, will everyone be allowed a do-over, or only those that are doing things over to correct something in their past that they're truly sorry for that will lead to the benefit of mankind?

Great post! :)

capcom said...

Yes I agree, even TPTB said at the very beginning of the show that redemption was a big theme, if not the main one.

I have been very bugged by the way that Smokey killed Eko because he supposedly didn't repent. I felt that since Eko did do so many repentant acts -- the not speaking for 40 days, the ceremonial cutting off the beard and apologizing to Fenry, building the church for Yemi, and deciding to really become a priest -- that he DID repent, and that Smokey was wrong! I felt it was a situation of Eko thinking, "Well if all the repenting that I did already wasn't enough for whoeveryouare, then I'm not repenting anymore." He already made ammends for his past, why was he being asked to do it again? I really have never understood that at all. You could not have found a more repentant Lostie than Eko, but yet......? If there is not a lot more to this that will be explained later, IMHO, TPTB messed up with this one.