‘Lost’ (S3): What’s the ”purple sky” all about?
THE 10-WORD TEASE!
In which we ask the executive producers of Lost to give us a tantalizing tidbit about tonight’s new episode.
This week, the focus is on Claire — single mom to a potential Devil Child, Aussie object of obsessive male affection (see: Charlie, Ethan, and… Desmond?), and quite possibly the half sister of a certain castaway doctor.
Your exclusive EW.com tease from executive producer Carlton Cuse — who kinda went over-budget on the word count — is this:
”Claire becomes very interested in a Flock of Seagulls — and not the one-hit-wonder synth-pop band.”
Tune in next week when Doc Jensen turns ”I Ran” into his next mind-boggling new theory.
And speaking of silly songs…
DOC JENSEN LETTER OF THE WEEK
Ed Markel from Nebraska is a longtime Doc Jensen reader whose Lost mania/madness dwarfs my own delirium/dementia. See, I only write theories about Lost. Ed? Well, Ed writes songs about Lost. Ladies and gents, I present the world premiere of Mr. Markel’s Opus, which he sent to me in an e-mail slugged ”Namaste Means Never Having To Say You’re Dharma:”
“Sixteen Lost Candles”
(with apologies to Luther Dixon
and Allyson Khent and… everybody)
Marvin Candle’s got a lovely Flame,
But Mikhail Bakunin says Dharma is to blame (oh, whoa, whoa, whoa)
Blow away Ms. Klugh, yeah, but keep Mikhail alive,
They may need him, if they are to survive (oh, whoa, whoa, whoa).
It’s only TV (TV)
But it’s a pain to me (a pain to me).
It’s the craziest, most infuriating show I’ve ever seen (I’ve ever seen)
Marvin Candle in my head goes ‘round
Where weird flashing pictures and questions abound (questions abound).
It’s only TV (TV)
But it’s a mess to me (a mess to me).
It’s the most mysterious, furious show I’ve ever seen (I’ve ever seen)
Lost is a pain, yeah, ‘cause it don’t make sense,
But I’ll keep watching, ‘cause I’m awful dense. (I’m awful dense)
For I’m awful dense!
DOC JENSEN SAYS Ed, I think you just penned my new theme song.
(Come back on Friday when Doc Jensen devotes a whole column to your questions, theories, and novelty songs! Send to: JeffJensenEW@aol.com)
EXCUSE ME WHILE I… THEO-RIZE!
The Purple Haze Conjecture of Lost’s Purple Sky
Last season, when Desmond turned the failsafe key, light poured into the heavens, turning the sky purple. Since then, there have been repeated, conspicuous references to this ”Purple Sky Event,” almost as if the show is trying very, very hard to make sure we don’t forget about it. Is this some kind of clue? If so, what could it mean?
Initially, I considered writing a florid and forceful essay arguing that Lost is a political and spiritual allegory for forgiveness, atonement, and redemption in culture-war America, using as reference points Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Prince’s Purple Rain, and the whole ”Purple Haze” era of transcendental psychedelic rock. After all, red (states) + blue (states) = purple, the symbolic color of reconciliation!
But then I came to my senses, cut out all the purple prose, and came up with these four possibilities. In the words of Mr. Paisley Park himself: Let’s Go Crazy!
DEEP PURPLE POSSIBILITY #1
The purple sky is a playful nod to The Purple Cloud, an old science fiction novel that was the basis for the film The World, the Flesh, and the Devil and has reportedly been cited by Stephen King as a precursor to The Stand, a massive influence on Lost.
HUH? In M.P. Shiel’s novel, a global catastrophe wipes out life on Earth, leaving just a couple people to restart civilization. Will they follow in history’s awful footsteps, or will they build a better, more loving world?
THEN AGAIN… What do I know? I never read the book.
DEEP PURPLE POSSIBILITY #2
The purple sky is a cosmic red flag warning people that history is in the process of being rewritten.
HUH? In comic book fanboy jargon, a ”red sky event” is a cosmic omen denoting that reality is in flux and the history of the world is about to be changed. The term came out of the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline in DC Comics, in which a cosmic, time-altering battle between good and evil was preceded by a prolonged ”red sky” phenomenon. ”Purple sky” is the Lost equivalent.
HOW THE HELL DOES THIS APPLY TO LOST? In their recent podcast, producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said that Desmond did indeed go back in time during ”Flashes Before Your Eyes”; that he did indeed change some things in the past; and that history (past, present, and/or future) is being/has been ”course corrected.”
MORE COMIC BOOK FUN! You know how green kryptonite can kill Superman? Well, in the Man of Steel mythos, there are many different colors of kryptonite. You know what purple kryptonite does? It temporarily gives normal people super-powers!
THEORY When fate ”course corrects” itself, it does so through people by giving them the power of precognition — flashes of future events that they are responsible for fixing. Ms. Hawking, the creepy lady in the ring store that knew all about Desmond’s future, could belong to a secret society of people who serve as time-mending/time-preserving agents. Their symbol is the ouroboros — a snake chasing its tail. The circular shape represents time; the snake represents knowledge.
DOC JENSEN PREDICTS There will be another purple sky event when Fate finishes its course correction, denoting that history is no longer in flux. And it will happen… when Charlie kicks the bucket in the season finale!
DEEP PURPLE POSSIBILITY #3
A purple sky is a clue suggesting that spiritual forces with possibly sinister agendas are at work on the island.
HUH? ”Purple sky” is clearly a reference to the Jimi Hendrix song ”Purple Haze.” Reportedly, Hendrix said that he got the title of the tune from Night of Light, a science fiction novel by Philip Jose Farmer set on a planet called Dante’s Joy where ”spiritual forces are made manifest in the material world,” according to Wikipedia.
MOREOVER… Hendrix reportedly claimed that the key to understanding the song is the line ”whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me.” I’m sure Penelope-smitten Desmond and Claire-fixated Charlie can relate.
THEN AGAIN… Isn’t the song really about drugs? And don’t I sound, like, really high right now? Tune in next week when Doc Jensen will explore the links between Smokey the Monster and Deep Purple’s ”Smoke on the Water,” the novelty tune ”Flying Purple Eater,” and Prince’s ”I Would Die 4 U” from Purple Rain.
BY THE WAY You guys should really check out Farmer’s Riverworld series, because it’s loaded with Lost resonances. Does reincarnation explain it all? Do ”the Others” = ”The Ethicals”? Does ”The Mysterious Stranger” = ”Ben”? Is it just coincidence that Mikhail Bakunin is a character in the third season of Lost AND the third Riverworld book The Dark Design? And how WEIRDLY COINCIDENTAL is it that the recent Jack episode ”Stranger in a Strange Land” is also the name of a sci-fi book by Robert Heinlein, which was dedicated to… Philip Jose Farmer! C’MON, PEOPLE! There MUST be a CONNECTION!
DEEP PURPLE POSSIBILITY #4
A purple sky is a clue suggesting that the miraculous Second Coming of…, something is imminent.
HUH? In Christianity, purple is the symbolic color of both Advent, when believers anticipate the birth of Jesus, and Lent, when believers mourn the death of Christ but also anticipate his resurrection.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LOST? It could mean that someone dead is coming back to life. I suspect it’ll be Boone or Shannon or both. Don’t worry: They’ll be ”course corrected” back to death very quickly.
COULD IT MEAN SOMETHING ELSE? Yes. It could mean that Doc Jensen’s very first mega-theory, ”The Evil Aaron Theory of Lost,” is still plausible. In that theory, I speculated that the castaways were brought to The Island to help facilitate the reincarnation of a powerful and possibly evil spirit. The Button was keeping that spirit bottled up in The Underworld. Now it’s been set free, thanks to the implosion of The Hatch.
THAT’S STUPID. COULD IT MEAN ANYTHING ELSE? Yes. It probably has something to do with ”The Second Coming,” the apocalyptic poem by William Butler Yeats, famous for its lines ”the center cannot hold; things falls apart” and its horrifying image of a monster that ”slouches towards Bethlehem.”
THE APPLICATION TO LOST By blowing up The Hatch, the unstable center of the Dharma Initiative’s plan to save the world fell apart — and now an era of apocalypse and judgment is about to be unleashed upon the world like a rabid pit bull from hell.
IN OTHER WORDS Mankind, say hello to Cerberus the Smoke Monster!
Until Friday, when Doc Jensen shakes the Reader Mailbag and exposes your crazy thinking to the world —
(For more about Lost, see AOL TV's coverage.)