Season 6 and “The Stand”

Damon and Carlton have said a lot in times past about how they used Stephen King’s “The Stand” as a template for Lost. This was quite evident in the earlier episodes moreso than until the start of S6. But now with S6 and how the way the flash sideways is functioning, it seems more clear than ever that Lost is heavily paralleling The Stand.

That book is a classic example of how good writing always puts characters under pressure in order to test them — to see if they will make the right moral decision. But it goes one step further. After about 99.6% of humanity is wiped out, the few survivors struggle to survive in the wilderness of their new reality, and drift towards an allegiance to one of 2 key figures — An elderly black woman and an evil, dusty-heeled devil.

Characters are all painted in shades of grey to one degree or another, so it’s a really insightful read about how “good” or “evil” is defined by people’s actions when there isn’t necessarily any law or society about.

Now in Lost we have a (supposedly) good Jacob not making it to the end, as per The Stand, and meanwhile Smokie’s forces are gathering strength. People are taking sides, and just like in King’s book, it is their choices of conscience that define them. This is the key reason I am bored with the show at the moment — for anyone who has read the book we are now in VERY straightforward territory.

The alt timeline is clearly primarily functioning to define character — and is taking a very longwinded path to do so. I was expecting our writers to take things up a notch rather than so literally repeating The Stand so faithfully. Over and over, the alt timeline is demonstrating that your character is consistent insofar as you’re going to fall on either the good or evil side no matter what the circumstances.

I hope that this is a mini arc that will be over once our main characters’ “positions” are established; and then some REAL game-changing events w(and actual progression of plot!) will start to occur.

Anyone else out there who’s read The Stand got thoughts on how much this feels the same?

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14 thoughts on “Season 6 and “The Stand”

  1. So I was late on coming into the whole Lost scene. I didn’t watch live episodes until nearly the end of season 2 based upon the recommendation of a friend. From that point on, I went crazy. I have never been into a show in this manner and have analyzed and over-analyzed everything, looking for connections where there probably isn’t any. I can no longer discuss this show with my friends because they are Tuesday night only fans but I did recommend other shows for them to watch.

    This site has discussed other works, literary and cinematic, and I have watched three other shows due to recommendation from here. I have watched Primer, The Prisoner, and The Stand.

    Yojimbo, I couldn’t agree with you more about recognizing The Stand during the curent episodes. One of my alleged “friends” just asked me the other day what I thought of the Lost season so far. I replied with “It is very Stand-ish.”

  2. Yep. It’s the Stand all right – and anyone who hasn’t read the book – go. Read it now. EXCELLENT book (even if Mr. King doesn’t think so.) It doesn’t even start off slow! Better than the 6-hr. mini-series (that isn’t all that bad).

    It’s not exactly the same, but has that interesting mix of characters you THINK are bad may move to the good and vice versa … which is good ‘cuz it keeps you on your toes.

    Not all the choices are made because of ‘pure character’. Some (like the stewardess) may have a good heart but are driven by fear.

    This season is supposed to be about destiny, so Sidewaysville must reflect that. Hurley a zillionaire. No-Walk-Locke. Kate drops everything to help Claire/Aaron.

    But, it also mirrors the fate-sealing-choices made on the island.

    Don’t want to say characters for those who read the book, but, yep I see ’em.

    If it is, I’ll enjoy the rollercoaster that is to come.

    And, no one’s safe.

  3. The similarities between The Stand and Lost: Season Six are evident… I think it’s interesting to note something that the two obviously have in common and that’s that the story isn’t just about good vs. evil or free will vs. control but a combination of the two.

    I think the stories try to show that free will = good by having the leader of that side be present in the beginning to offer guidance and then being killed and leaving the characters to make the choices (for good) by themselves. At the same time the leader of the evil side remains throughout the story and uses his control, pushing his “team” towards his own evil ends. Apparently it’s easier for one to be corrupt than a group. This is important in the argument about free will and good vs. evil… we cannot be good without free will.

  4. A random note for all you King fans who have read the Dark Tower. Henry Gale’s balloon has a Nozz-A-La Cola decal! I’m sure it’s just a nod toward one of the creators’ major inspirations, but I love Lostpedia’s explaination:

    King seems to indicate that since his Dark Tower is the lynchpin of all realities, its decay is causing all realities to bleed into each other, even the fictional ones created by other people as well as our reality, where Stephen King, Lost, you, and I exist.
    The appearance of Nozz-A-La in the Lost reality seems to indicate that either King’s Dark Tower is connected to this reality through this “bleeding”, or that somehow reality has become unhinged in the Lost universe (the Apocalypse Dharma was trying to stop) and it is collapsing, just like the Dark Tower, and therefore allowing other fictional worlds, such as Stephen King’s, to touch it.
    It could also indicate that Lost takes place in a Stephen King-created universe.

  5. @waycurious: Yeah – there are functional reasons, but its the way they’re handling those characters that feel so familiar (Sawyer comes very much to mind). Good point on Cindy – very much like the “good” people in Vegas who are just too timid to resist.

  6. Highbrow – Absolutely. This is part of the reason why I posted this thread- it all FELT so much like the Stand but I had forgotten so many of the details. Yes – huge Abigail and Flagg parallels.

  7. Whataboutme – Yeah there are so many mythical connections. If you check out Campbell’s “The Power of Myth” you can open it to any page at random and find Lost parallels.

  8. They are all going to die. Maybe not all but we are going to have some serious crying moments coming up if The Stand parallels continue. The death of Hurley will be really sad and I think they will go there.

  9. Yeah, I think give it a few more episodes before they start dropping like flies. Out of, what, close to a dozen main characters in the stand only 3 live…

  10. @Yojimbo – OMG!!! Your theory about The Stand comparison is amazing. You are awesome. I never read the book or saw the movie so I was intrigued and looked it up. For all of you who know all about The Stand, please forgive me for typing what you already know. I just flipped out and found it worth typing here

    Yojimbo – I am just floored.

    Wikipedia came up first so I clicked on that and I almost croaked –

    “Intertwining cross-country odysseys are undertaken by a small number of survivors” and “They are drawn together by both circumstances and their shared dreams of a 108-year-old black woman from Hemingford Home, Nebraska, whom they see as a refuge and a representation of good in the struggle of good versus evil” and “The stage is now set for the final confrontation as the two camps become aware of one another, and each recognizes the other as a threat to its survival, leading to the “stand” of good against evil.” “Trashcan Man arrives with a nuclear warhead and a giant glowing hand–”The Hand of God”–detonates the bomb.” There’s even a baby born.

    Survivors? Drawn togther? 108? (Hello? 108!) Good versus evil? nuclear warhead? flu? labs? security breach?

    Yojimbo – thanks for providing incredble food for thought.

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