From Camping to Polar Bears: 7 Green Themes in ABC's Lost
Photo copyright ABC via popcrunch
Ok, so you might not stop global warming, reduce your carbon footprint, or save endangered species if you tune into ABC's Lost. From a sentient island, to problems with space/time continuum....and...errr, polar bears...at times this Emmy-award winning show is all over the place. Which doesn't mean it has any fewer die-hard fans worldwide (if you haven't guessed already, I'm one of them). We're talking some 16 million viewers per episode in the first season.
In light of the start tonight of the first of 18 episodes in the 6th and final chapter, we bring you seven green themes in Lost -- with the hopes that you throw away civilization and move to a tropical island. Or...something. Think I've left something out? Put it in the comments. Warning: Spoilers follow.
Lost Green Theme #1: Making do With What They Have
Photo via ABC
The most consistent green theme in Lost is that it is one big camping trip. A plane crashes (not exactly a gold star for fuel-sucking air travel), and you have 71 initial survivors on what appears to be a deserted island. All means of survival come from the island. Naturally, food is sourced locally -- some from hunting and fishing, and eventually some from the hatches. The same with supplies -- the survivors must battle the elements and live without most creature comforts in order to live day-to-day.
What does this mean? Well, the typical survivor from Oceanic flight 815 has an extremely small carbon footprint.
But it also means -- like in the real world -- the islanders fight for control of limited natural resources -- the biggest 'natural resource' being the mysterious power of the island itself. Throughout the series, groups are trying to gain control over the island's power, beginning with the Dharma Initiative which seems to be looking for an alternative energy resource with electromagnetism as one of its main points of research.
Like in the real world, the desire to control the power leads to violence and conflict.
LOST Green Theme #2: The Sentient Island Rejects HumansPhoto via vakaruge.com
The whole sentient island theory is more than a little murky: It's hard to tell what the island really wants. Either way, the island -- which, for the sake of this roundup, we take to represent nature, the natural world, a virtually untouched tropical oasis -- is not pleased with humans. When the island is not pleased, bad things happen. These unpredictable terrors can range from the sudden appearance of endangered animals (see below), smoke monsters, unexplained events, and electromagnetic anomalies.
When the Dharma Initiative take to drilling deep into the island's core, the island fights back with a catastrophic event at the Swan construction site, otherwise known as the Incident. Although it is not absolutely clear that this is one of the electromagnetic anomalies...it could also be the explosion of a hydrogen bomb...perhaps season 6 will fill us in on this question.
Frankly, the island doesn't appear to want the survivors there, or any more people showing up. And one can see why, since all the humans do is fight -- the survivors verses the Others, the Others and the survivors verses Charles Widmore's goons from the tanker.
Or...could it be...the island is purgatory? Although there are still some believers holding onto biblical themes, Damon Lindelof, who created Lost with J.J. Abrams, went on record in 2006 to say it's not meant to be any kind of literal hellish incarnation, reports USA Today. But don't let that change your theories:
"What's cool about the fan community is that it doesn't seem to care what we say or don't say," Lindelof says.
Lost Green Theme #3: Animal TestingVideo courtesy of YouTube
Ok, so how did polar bears got on a tropical island? It seems the Dharma Initiative was just fine with testing on polar bears, and was conducting experiments to make them less aggressive and allow them to survive in warm climates -- apparently they were partially successful.
Although, we could also say the polar bear is just as 'lost' as the survivors are, since its habitat is slowly melting away on a daily basis? Either way, polar bears seems perfectly at home on the island until they runs into humans -- or specifically Sawyer, who shoots one dead.