Friday, May 25, 2007

Lost finale approaches Nirvana

Jace over at Televisionary already recapped the season finale so eloquently, but I've been obsessing over it for 30 hours now and have some more to add - and naturally they include the use of music. Two songs make appearances that lend themselves to all sorts of theories, The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" and Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice."

In the flash forward Jack is driving out to the funeral parlor (whose name is Hoffs/Drawlar - an anagram for 'flash forward,) he's blasting Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice," a which lyrically is a reference to the Patrick Süskind novel Perfume. The book's tale of alienation speaks to the future hermited Jack in some degree, but really it's more parallel to Ben's character: a child who's birth helps cause the death of his mother. In an earlier flash forward sequence, though, there's another clue for the song's inclusion. When Jack reads the LA Times on the plane, it's headline is from the real life April 5 edition from this year. That is also the 13-year anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death.... coincidence?

Meanwhile, the code that Charlie has to enter in to turn off the signal jammer is set to The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations," which is a song who's place in history has some parallels to what's going on here. When Brian Wilson recorded the song, he was already spiraling out of control, spending hours upon hours and countless rolls of tape to finish the three and a half minutes of pure bliss, all in an effort to top Pet Sounds and whatever The Beatles came up with next. The recording (and Pet Sounds) is rumored to have inspired Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and more specifically the song "A Day in the Life" (that the album has an anniversary coming up next week, I'm certain is not lost on anyone - even Macca's tired of hearing about it.) This upped the ante for Wilson and in an attempt to top it, he descended into depression, drug use, and paranoia while trying to finish the album/project SMiLE. For the one punching the tune, the future is not so bright - I guess there won't be a Driveshaft reunion in the future afterall.

More: Who's in the coffin? Folks who frequent the Lost Screencaps and Easter Eggs blog have been pouring over the torn-out obituary, and it seems to spell out the name John Bentham, which means it's an alias, or a character we've yet to meet (or an intriguing placeholder for fans to obsess over during the offseason.) Bentham is the name of a 18th-19th century philosopher (Jeremy Bentham,) which fits in with the pattern of Lost names (Locke, Hume, Rousseau and more.) The philospher has a few interesting parallels to Lost. He was influenced by Locke and Hume, and he invented the Panopticon prison design, which allowed the guards to observe the prisoners, without them knowing - as Bentham put it "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind..."

Previously: Shambala, Fate and Free Will

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Anonymous said...

See my take on the finale at

Paul Levinson said...

Enjoyed your review. I actually pretty much predicted the flip from flashbacks to flashforwards in my review of Charlie's Greatest Hits the week before. But I thought the finale was a mastepiece. Flashforwards...