Lost Update Season IV 05/22/2008
As promised, the Grassy Knoll Institute is ready to explain the mysterious Jacob, the old man that lives in the cabin. The same man that Ben takes orders from. The same old man that seems to have powers beyond our comprehension.
The answer to this mysterious entity can only be found in the Twilight Zone. For those not familiar with the Twilight Zone, it was a science fiction television program created by Rod Serling that aired in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s with each episode exploring outlandish events and ending with a twist. Tonight’s Lost update will explore the 1963 Twilight Zone episode titled, The Old Man In The Cave. You will quickly see the relevance and similarities between Lost and the Zone.
As usual, we will start with the Prologue. (How each Twilight Zone episode began)
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.
Next came the opening Monologue by Serling himself.
What you’re looking at is a legacy that man left to himself. A decade previous he pushed his buttons and, a nightmarish moment later, woke up to find that he had set the clock back a thousand years. His engines, his medicines, his science were buried in a mass tomb, covered over by the biggest gravedigger of them all: a bomb. And this is the Earth ten years later, a fragment of what was once a whole, a remnant of what was once a race. The year is 1974, and this is the Twilight Zone.
In a thinly populated town set in 1974, ten years after a nuclear war, survivors of the town discover some canned food and other supplies. As hungry and desolate as they are, they don’t eat the food. Instead they wait for the old man in the cave to tell them if the food is fit to eat or contaminated with radiation.
One time they didn’t listen to the old man and the townsfolk planted crops where he said not to. (Contaminated soil) The harvest turned out to be a bitter one leaving them with little food to survive on. They learned the hard way to wait for an answer from the old man, and from Goldsmith. (The towns leader) Goldsmith was the only man who went to the cave to talk to the old man and waited on his word whether or not to plant or eat.
As usual, Goldsmith took a can of food with him to the cave and returned a short time later. Goldsmith said the old man declared the food unfit to eat and for it to be destroyed immediately. Just as the people were ready to destroy the food, a group of renegade soldiers pulled into town. They started asking questions on who was in charge, did they have any food, water, supplies, gas. When the towns people said they had no food it angered the soldiers for they saw the crates of food that were deemed unfit to eat by the old man in the cave.
The soldiers asked who the old man was, and did anyone ever see him, how they knew he was alive, and tried to make the towns people believe he didn’t exist. That he was made up by Goldsmith so he would always be in control of the town. To prove their point, the soldiers went to the cave and called the old man out. Goldsmith told them that he is the only one that sees and talks to the old man.
The soldiers stormed the cave and instead of finding the old man, they find a computer. Goldsmith was using the computer to analyze the food and soil to see if it was contaminated or not. The towns people got angry, and as a mob, destroyed the computer and decided to eat the food. All the people for the first time in a long time got their fill of food including the soldiers. They all shunned Goldsmith as he was the only one who didn’t partake in the food.
The next morning, all the towns people and soldiers are dead laying in the street and yards, killed by contaminated food they ate the previous night. Goldsmith was the only one left alive.
Mr. Goldsmith, survivor, an eye witness to man’s imperfection, an observer of the very human trait of greed and a chronicler of the last chapter—the one reading ‘suicide’. Not a prediction of what is to be, just a projection of what could be. This has been the Twilight Zone.
Go ahead, take a breather. I’ll let it all sink in. Let me know when you are ready to continue. (tick, tock, tick tock, all the time I need)
Before we begin comparing the Old Man in the cave and the Old Man in the cabin, lets look at what this Twilight Zone episode was about.
The story is set in a post nuclear war future, the human race almost completely destroying itself. As fate would have it, the survivors finish the job that nuclear war started by a lack of faith, greed, and a dependence on technology that may lead them to ruin one day.
Onward to the comparisons of this Twilight Zone and Lost.
This Twilight Zone episode depicts isolated survivors from a horrific event. Lost begins with a horrific plane crash leaving a small group of survivors stranded on an unknown island.
This Twilight Zone episode has the people relying on Goldsmith, the town leader, for survival, guidance and direction. The Lost castaways also rely on Jack for the same. But when Ben is introduced, he becomes the focal point, the man in charge, with their very lives hanging in the balance.
In the Twilight Zone episode, people found food and wondered if it was good to eat. The Lost castaways also found food in the jungle with Dharma decals all over it and wondered the same, if the food was good to eat.
In the Twilight Zone episode, the townspeople were arguing about what to do, how to proceed. There was a distinct split of opinion between them. So can be said about the Lost castaways. In fact, they split into two groups as some decide to stay on the beach and the rest moved further inland.
In the Twilight Zone episode, only Goldsmith sees and talks to the old man in the cave. On Lost, only Ben sees and talks to Jacob, the old man.
in the Twilight Zone episode, the old man lives in a cave. Is mysterious, intelligent. On Lost, the old man lives in a cabin. Is mysterious, intelligent.
In the Twilight Zone episode, what Goldsmith tells the people is the law, handed down by the old man. No one questions that authority. On Lost, Ben commands the people, handed down by Jacob, the old man in the cabin.
In the Twilight Zone episode, renegade soldiers enter the town with an agenda all their own. On Lost, renegade soldiers land on the island from the freighter with an agenda all their own.
In the Twilight Zone episode, the towns people force Goldsmith to reveal who the old man in the cave is. On Lost, the castaways force Ben to reveal who Jacob, the old man in the cabin, is.
In the Twilight Zone episode, the townspeople revolt against Goldsmith and the old man in the cave. On Lost, the castaways revolt against Ben and Jacob.
In the Twilight Zone episode, all the townspeople died failing to heed the warning by the old man leaving only Goldsmith alive. On Lost, Ben was the only survivor as all the “Others” were killed. Seems to be going in the same direction once again with the new castaways.
For the Twilight Zone episode, the twist of the episode was that the old man was not a man, but a computer used by Goldsmith to analyze soil and food for contamination. The computer, or old man, kept the townspeople alive. On Lost, it has yet to be revealed who Jacob, the old man in the cabin, really is. And, it appears that Jacob is being used by Ben to keep the castaways alive, using Jacob’s knowledge to hide the island, control the smoke monster, and defeat the renegade soldiers.
Twilight Zone episode, a look into the near future and the horrors of man being left to his own vices, and devices. Annihilation of the planet and human race. Goldsmith was attempting to keep humanity alive and rekindle it’s spirit. He failed. On Lost, perhaps Ben is attempting the same. Wide speculation has it that the Hanso corporation and Dharma Initiative are involved in time travel, genetics, and several other medicines strange to a private group and island.
I think this is the part where Rod Serling appears on screen saying, “Submitted for your approval” and explains the evenings offering.
After watching the pilot episode of Lost way back in 2004, I formulated two theories, Virtual reality experimentation which is the main theme of this section or a remake of the Twilight Zone.
For tonight only, staying in theme with the Twilight Zone, Lost is a modern day remake of the Twilight Zone. Each and every week, Lost mirrors a unique Twilight Zone episode sans the Rod Serling narration. Each week, the Lost characters confront their inner most demons, horrific events, twists of fate, and supernatural entities just as the original Twilight Zone episodes did.
One final tidbit. The Twilight Zone was written allowing the audience to be privy to supernatural events unfolding on the screen but at the end, twisted the story offering a logical natural explanation leaving it up to the viewer to decide.
Until next weeks season IV finale, Get Lost!
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LURKING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL