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Coincidence for fate, fate for coincidence

Mittelman January 31, 2010 User blog:Mittelman

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As we approach the season premiere, I find myself thinking about the tagline: Destiny Found. And it's obvious it could mean many things. One thing the writers love to do is set us up to think one way, then flip the perspective on us. Since this is the last season, it's very likely we're in for the biggest perspective-shift of the whole run.

There's always been a lot of talk about destiny on Lost. Ever since the first season, when Locke told Jack they had all ended up on the Island for a reason, we've wondered about that. The characters have discussed it. A lot of the manipulation by MiB and Jacob involves fate in some way. Jack has lately become convinced of his destiny to go back to the Island, then to blow up a hydrogen bomb. Little stuff like that.

So, considering these two things, I have to ask: could it be we're in for a change regarding the idea of fate in Lost? What if they were having characters say "Do not mistake coincidence for fate" because that's precisely what we were supposed to do?

Time travel is an interesting wrinkle where fate is concerned. If I know the future, and I know what you're going to do, I can talk all day to you about destiny. You might not believe me, even when I tell you about things I know will absolutely occur. And when what I told you would happen happens, well, then you're putty in my hands. Which means I can do with you pretty much what I damn well please.

It would carry a lot weight for these characters who have been through so much to find out they are - at least where they have a choice - the makers of their own destiny, rather than that they simply followed a path. Obviously, wherever they end up is their destiny; but what if the whole point of this show is to illustrate the unity of things rather than opposition? We've seen so many people versus so many others, not the least of which seems to be Jacob and the Man in Black. What if the answer to the show is not "either/or" but "both/and"?

What if the whole point of Lost is to show that in life, coincidence is fate?

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