Lost in Translation

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 30 2009 2:43 PM

Lost in Translation

The producers of ABC’s Lost fear that any glimpse of the final season will spoil too much. Even an innocuous scene could tell us whether a nuclear bomb changed history or just perpetuated it. Faced with this challenge, ABC has aired one bland promo after another. But Lost ’s Spanish carrier, Cuatro, has concocted a far better commercial—one that pays homage to Lost ’s roots. This weekend sl-Lost (the most indispensible of the many Lost blogs) posted the promo , sending Losties into a frenzy. Watch it below:

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Black-and-white juxtaposition ! That crazy Egyptian statue ! The hand of God! It’s like Cuatro made a mash-up video after slathering some of Locke and Boone’s magic paste on their foreheads.

Most interesting is the promo’s depiction of the castaways as mere pawns. The show is at its best when it wonders who, or what, is in control. Charles Widmore? Eloise Hawking? Locke’s bodysnatcher? Cuatro suggests that some kind of supernatural force presides over the series. Even Tawaret, the Egyptian deity whose statue has provided some of the show’s most successful conspiracy bait, is being manipulated by a higher power.

A literal, Judeo-Christian type God hasn’t factored into Lost since Eko dropped his Jesus stick and Charlie stopped having those lame visions . So who is this God that Cuatro is teasing? Perhaps it’s the Island itself. This would be a vindication of Locke’s ideology—that The Island has brought the castaways there for a purpose, for its purpose. (Of course that was before Locke died and had his body taken over by someone else’s soul.) The Cuatro narration goes on to say that even God has a destiny. Thus the thrust of Season 6 becomes: Does The Island realize what destiny it has made for itself?

This, at least, is what it all could mean. Carlton Cuse, Lost ’s executive producer, confirmed over email that he and his partner Damon Lindelof had nothing to do with the promo. These musings are crackpot, not canon. The joy of Lost , of course, is that there’s barely a difference.

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