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Black and white

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The colors black and white were often depicted together in Lost, perhaps to show the symbolism of contrasts, and in particular the contrasts between Jacob and The Man in Black's ideological battle.

Occurrences

Every season

  • The title sequence and end credits screens are a black background with white text. However, at the end of the season 5 finale, the title is shown with black text on a white background. ("The Incident, Part 2")

Season 1

Locke backgammon
Locke holding two backgammon pieces. ("Pilot, Part 2")
  • Charlie put white tape on 4 fingers of his left hand onto which he wrote the letters "F A T E" with a black marker. ("Pilot, Part 1")
  • When Kate was preparing to sew up Jack's wound, she asked him if he had a thread color preference for the stitches, and Jack replied, "No. Standard black." ("Pilot, Part 1")
Aande stones
Black and white stones found in a pouch on one of the bodies in the cave. ("House of the Rising Sun")
  • Christian Shephard wore a black suit and white shoes. ("White Rabbit")
  • Locke told Walt that backgammon is "Two players. Two sides. One is light, one is dark." ("Pilot, Part 2")
  • Charlie and Locke sit next to each other on the log, Charlie dressed in black and Locke dressed in white. ("Tabula Rasa")
  • Jack found a leather pouch in the pocket of one of the bodies of Adam and Eve. Inside were two small square shaped polished stones; one black and one white.("House of the Rising Sun")
    • Jack also put the stones back into the pouch he found them in as soon as Locke came into the cave, and they were not seen again until season six.
  • While visiting his brother, Charlie wore sunglasses while Liam wore clear reading glasses. ("The Moth")
  • Claire had a dream in which Locke had one black eye and one white eye. ("Raised by Another")
  • In Christian's office, when Jack confronted his dad about Beth's death, Jack was wearing white and Christian was wearing black. These colors also reflected Jack's 'good' and Christian's 'bad' thoughts on how to deal with the girl's death. ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")
  • Jin was hitting black rocks with the golf clubs. ("...In Translation")
Lockeyeblackwhite
Locke's eyes are shown black and white in Claire's dream. ("Raised by Another")
  • Mr. Paik's "assistant" wore a white suit while Jin, wearing a black suit, drove him in a black car. ("...In Translation")
  • A nurse told Michael the joke: "What's black, white and red all over?" ("Special")
1X19 SawyerGlasses
"Dude, it looks like Harry Potter got run over by a train." — Hurley
  • Sayid created Sawyer's glasses from a black frame and a translucent (white) frame fused together. ("Deus Ex Machina")
  • When Locke drove up his dad's driveway, there were three cars: one black, one white and one red. ("Deus Ex Machina")
  • When Sarah Shephard played the piano with Jack, she wore a white shirt with a black 44 on the back. ("Do No Harm")
  • When the raft launched, Sawyer was wearing a black shirt, Jin was wearing a white shirt, and Michael was wearing a red shirt. ("Exodus, Part 1")
  • Hugo was wearing a black shirt in his flashbacks of when he won the lottery. ("Numbers")
  • The light switches in Bryan's house were black and white. ("Hearts and Minds")

Season 2

Timer normal
The black and white countdown timer.
Collision
Clever use of cinematography to bring out the theme of light and dark in ("Collision").
  • When Ana Lucia was in session with her psychologist, she wore a white shirt, and he wore a black sweater (with a white shirt, incidentally). ("Collision")
  • Ana Lucia's police car was black and white. ("Collision")
  • When Jack and Kate were playing golf, the ball was white and the club was black. ("Collision")
  • When Sawyer returned to the survivors' camp, he was wearing a black shirt, while Jack's was white. ("Collision")
  • Jack and Ana Lucia confronted one another as the respective leaders of two groups who had once met. Ana was seen wearing black, while Jack was wearing white. ("Collision")
  • Mr. Eko wore a white shirt and black pants (and he was black).
  • While Kate was out gathering fruit she saw a black horse in the jungle, which was similar to the one seen in a flashback. ("What Kate Did")
  • John Locke (white) and Mr. Eko (black) watched the Swan Orientation Film together. Both characters were considered men of faith. ("What Kate Did")
  • The Monster was revealed as a moving plume of black smoke; however, Locke claimed the Monster appeared to him as a bright light the first time he saw it. ("Exodus, Part 2")  ("The 23rd Psalm")  ("The Cost of Living")
  • Eko and Yemi were seen wearing black and white priest cassocks. ("The 23rd Psalm")
  • Henry Gale's license was black, white and red. ("Lockdown")
  • Sawyer was separating the white creme from the black DHARMA cookies. ("Dave")
  • Bernard chose black volcanic rock for his S.O.S. sign, so it would contrast with the white sand. ("S.O.S.")
    Sos
  • A chess game with black and white pieces was seen at the listening station. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
Bunny2
The white bunny with a black "8". ("Every Man for Himself")


Season 3

3x21-charlies-shoe
Charlie's lost checkerboard shoe. ("Greatest Hits")
  • When Locke took a plate of chicken from the refrigerator in Ben's home, Ben informd him that he had already eaten the dark meat, leaving Locke with the light meat. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
  • Ben was often shown with his face half dark, half light, which reflected the ambiguity of his character.
  • Just before Locke talked to Kate and told her that he was leaving with the Others, Kate was shown moving white backgammon pieces around on a backgammon game board. ("Left Behind")
  • When Locke talked to Kate and told her that he was leaving with the Others, he had a (bruised) black eye. This recalled Claire's dream in "Raised by Another" in which Locke had one black eyeball and one white eyeball. ("Left Behind")
  • Ben's kitchen was red, white and black. ("One of Us")
  • Charlie lost his black and white shoe when he dove into the ocean. ("Greatest Hits")
  • The Looking Glass station was named after a Lewis Carroll book in which the main character Alice had a black mischievous cat, which was blamed for all the chaos in her dream, and a white cat, which was deemed innocent.
  • Juliet used white coral to mark the tents of the women to take. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
  • When Jack was crossing the street to the funeral home, a police car passed. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")

Season 4

FFBen
Ben's half shadowed face while visiting Charles Widmore in ("The Shape of Things to Come").
  • In Sayid's flash-forward, while he was playing golf in Seychelles, he was wearing a white glove, while Mr. Avellino, who was killed by Sayid, wore a black one. ("The Economist")
  • Locke played backgammon again, this time with the black pieces. Sawyer played against him with the white pieces. ("Eggtown")
  • The freighter was black and white. ("The Constant")
  • Juliet's Zen garden had two stones in the sand - one black and one white.("The Other Woman")
  • In Jin's flashback, he was delivering a Panda in the hospital, an animal with black and white fur. ("Ji Yeon")
  • In Ben's flash-forward, he confronted Charles Widmore in his bedroom where each of their faces was bisected by light. Ben's left side was illuminated in white, while his right side was dark. Widmore's was framed just the opposite of Ben's. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
  • In Jack's flash-forward, Aaron had a black and white orca (killer whale) doll. ("Something Nice Back Home")
DanielS4a
Daniel Faraday's white shirt and black tie
  • The young Locke drew a picture of someone being knocked down by a large curly feature which looked like the smoke monster, using only black ink or crayon on white paper. ("Cabin Fever")
  • Two individuals connected to the Island approached Locke in the past, Richard Alpert (white) and Matthew Abaddon (black). ("Cabin Fever")
WidNight
Widmore's half shadowed face while speaking with Ben in ("The Shape of Things to Come").

Season 5

Clock-bw
Dr. Chang's alarm clock with black background and white numbers.
5x16 Black rock
The Black Rock, with light sails and dark body
5x16 Jacob and nemesis
Jacob and his brother talk on the beach. ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2")
  • As Jacob and the Man in Black talk on the beach, the Black Rock in visible in the distance as having white sails and a black body. ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2")
  • In the scene when Ben was considering murdering Jacob, MIB confronted him, and Jacob spoke to him, each of their faces was bisected by light. MiB's left side was illuminated in white, while his right side was dark. Jacobs face was framed just the opposite of with the right side in light.
  • At the end of "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2", the Lost logo appeared as black text on a white background, as opposed to the traditional white text on a black background.
5x16 Inverted lost
The inverted Lost logo at the end of "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2"


Season 6

  • The Man In Black (In the form of John Locke) belittled Locke in the statue of Taweret; while he spoke, his face went from lighted to being in the shadows several times.("LA X, Part 1")
  • The spring water was black and murky instead of its usual clearness. ("LA X, Part 2")
  • The scale in the cliffside cave was balanced by a white and black rock. ("The Substitute")
  • The mug that Locke drank from while bathing was black and white. ("The Substitute")
  • The candidate list in the cave was written in white. ("The Substitute") The list in the lighthouse was written in black. ("Lighthouse")
Widmoredesmondscales
Black framed painting with Widmore and Desmond on either side. ("Happily Ever After")
  • During his meeting with Sayid, Keamy's face was shown with the left side brightly lit and the right side in shadows. In addition, his right eye and eyebrow were strikingly different in appearance from their left-side counterparts, giving that side of his face a demonic appearance. ("Sundown")
  • After, and only after Sayid killed Dogen, Sayid's right side of his face was shadowed and remained that way even into his conversation with Ben. ("Sundown")
  • When Dogen was talking to Sayid about the two sides (evil and good) of the scale every man has, he can be seen wearing only one black glove. So his hands were "black" and "white" while Dogan explained evil by raising his "black" hand. ("Sundown")
  • In 1867, Richard was given a white rock by Jacob, who then gave it to the Man in Black. As usual, Jacob was wearing white and the Man in Black was wearing black. ("Ab Aeterno")
  • Scenes in 'Locke's' camp all occurred at night, while scenes on the beach with Jacob's supporters all took place in daylight. ("The Package")
  • There were two paintings of scales in Widmore's office, one with a black frame and the other with a white frame. In both paintings there were black rocks on one side and white rocks on the other. ("Happily Ever After")  (Widmore's paintings)
  • Charlie's canvas shoes were all white when Desmond met him at the police station and rescued him from the water at the marina. But when he chased him down the stairs at the hospital, Charlie had black and white checkered canvas shoes. ("Happily Ever After")
  • When Jack came out of the forest and stared down Locke, Jack was wearing a black shirt and Locke was wearing a white shirt. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")
  • Jacob and his brother from birth to adulthood are shown always wearing white and black clothing, respectively. ("Across the Sea")
  • When Locke was kicked off the cliff, he was shown on a black ledge, backdropped by white sea foam in the ocean. ("The End")

Lost: Missing Pieces

ARGs

  • In the Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project, recruits were sorted at the end of the process into either of the groups "Black Swan" or "White Swan", depending on if the recruits used supplied cheats.

Producer commentary

  • In November 2009, executive producer and co-creator Damon Lindelof commented on the use of the black and white theme in the backgammon scene in "Pilot, Part 2", stating: "We did know that when Locke referred to the black and the white, that ultimately that concept was going to be personified by two individuals."[1]

References

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