My two favourite shows came back from their respective hiatuses last week, both great examples of why Bad Robot are so good at what they do. Now, unlike Kirk Acevedo and many others, I don’t necessarily think that the two shows share the same verse. However, I was intrigued by the ominous mention of “The Rules” in last weeks respective episodes.
The rules on “Lost” are well documented to the avid viewer – they state that the past cannot be changed no matter what; Time-travel has laws which cannot be broken, because despite the fact that destiny is a “fickle b*tch”, she’s always got her eye on the ball. Oh, except when Charles Widmore changed those rules last season, when his merc, Martin Christopher Keamy, executed Ben’s beloved daughter, Alex. Brutal.
The “rules” on “Fringe” are far more ambiguous, but they’re becoming more apparent the further we journey down into the rabbit hole. According to “Mitch”, there are rules which explain his recent crooked actions (walking through walls, parasite infliction, teleporting David Jones out from his prison cell, infecting epidemiologists with viral, abducting Olivia – whew! Mitch has been busy!). He goes on to imply that there are “two sides” (hmm, that sounds familiar ), and that Olivia – the person whom they “saved” – has blown their one chance.
All very interesting. Generally, the rules thematic seems to signify a broader subtext – fate vs freewill. That’s clearly the case in “Lost”, where despite his claims that the past cannot be changed – “if it didn’t happen, it can’t happen” – Daniel Faraday has exerted at least some freewill by triggering a new memory in future Desmond’s head, due to his interaction with past-island-Desmond. Thus, the implication seems to be that even if you can’t change the past (which is still up for debate, in my opinion!), you can influence the future via an interaction in the relative past.
Oh but wait! The rules don’t even apply to Desmond because he’s “uniquely and miraculously special”. No wonder Penny went to the ends of the earth find him – he’s a keeper!
As for the rules that Mitchell mentioned, I think they date back as far as the “pattern” (which probably dates back as far as time itself); rules which have set the foundation for an eternal battle between various scientific groups, perhaps even mother nature herself – does she play dice? In the episode before the hiatus (“Safe”), Nina Sharp had similar urgency in her voice when she told her technician; “we’re up against highly motivated individuals”. Most of us assumed that she was referring to the David Jones and ZFT – whom the Loeb’s are affiliated with – but perhaps there’s a much bigger game going on, one in which mankind is not just playing the game..but where mankind is the game?
I always wanted to end on a cliff-hanger. Til next time