Lost Book Club: 'The Wizard of Oz'
A Monthly Dissection of the Books that Matter to 'Lost'-ophiles

Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
washingotnpost.com Staff
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 12:00 PM

Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly -- co-authors of washingtonpost.com's weekly "Lost" analysis (in season) -- continue the "Lost" Book Club series with a discussion of "The Wizard of Oz," one of several books that may offer some clues into the past, present and future of "Lost."

A transcript follows.

Liz Kelly's day job is Celebritology blogging, while Jen Chaney presides over washingtonpost.com's Movies section. Both consider "Lost"-watching a passion.

Visit washingtonpost.com's new "Lost" hub.


Liz Kelly: This was my first time actually reading the actual Baum text. But, I thought at the outset, how different can it be from the movie -- which remains a favorite from childhood. As it turns out, a lot different. Gone are the eerie Kansas links to Oz -- the Wicked Witch as Miss Gulch, the trio of the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow as farm hands Hunk, Zeke and Hickory and Oz as traveling fortune-teller Professor Marvel and gone is the main thrust of the movie -- Dorothy's progress through Oz bedeviled by a Wicked Witch who knows this child from the sky may mean her undoing. So no "My little pretty," no "And your little dog, too" and no "Surrender Dorothy" painted across the sky. In fact, the book even lacks the movie's quintessential quote: "There's no place like home."
Still, I enjoyed the book very much. As described in the 100 anniversary edition I read, "Oz" really does read like the first American fairy tale. Still, I think we owe shout outs to Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf, who adapted "Oz" for the big screen. They managed to preserve the flavor of the book while adding details that only made the experience richer. And, I can't help but wonder if the movie is also an influence on our little show. After all, the book is relatively straight-forward, where the movie adds foreshadowing.
But back to the book -- shades of "Oz" are definitely visible all over the "Lost" island, which maybe we should start referring to as Oz. Many are laid out nicely in the first question Jen will answer below, so I won't rehash here.
I think one important plot point to remember -- from both the book and the movie -- is that the Wizard turns out not to be a wizard at all. In fact, he himself says: "I am a humbug." Actually, the quote I was really looking for is: "I'm really a very good man, but I'm a very bad Wizard." So is "Lost's" man behind the curtain -- whoever he may be -- also a good man who has made bad choices? It remains to be seen.

Liz Kelly: Oh, and of course, at the end of today's chat we'll announce the next title in our Book Club series -- along with the name of a special guest who will be joining us to discuss it.

Jen Chaney: We are very excited about the special guest, so we can't wait to reveal.
Liz introduced us very nicely, so I say we just jump right into the discussion.


Washington, D.C.: The last time I read "The Wizard of Oz" I was 10 years old and I was amazed at not only how much I had forgotten but also by how much the memories of the movie have taken hold. For instance, I had forgotten that the Wicked Witch of the West had an eye patch! Shades of McPatchy! You don't suppose Mikhail is the Wicked Witch in drag or vice versa? If so, it seems the evil Charlie killing b---- has gotten over his aversion to water.

While I was wondering just who is the man behind the curtain is (Henry? Jacob? Christian Shepard?) while reading, I also wondered is The Island Oz? The version I read for the Lost Book Club was "The Annotated Wizard of Oz," edited by Michael Patrick Hearn. In one of Hearn's notes, he stated that "in Baum's unproduced and unpublished play "The Girl From Oz" (1909) a character says that Oz is "some island far away in the Pacific.'" We also have to remember that Oz is a popular nickname for Australia. One last quote from Baum via Hearn from "The Scarecrow of Oz:" "it is astonishing how many little countries there are, hidden away in the cracks and corners of this big globe of Earth. If one travels, he may find some new country at every turn, and a good many of them have never yet been put upon the maps." Sure sounds like the Island to me! I wonder if future Jack's desperation to get back to the Island might not stem from a longing to get back to a lost land like Oz or Shangri-la. After all I do remember that Dorothy also longed to get back to Oz in the sequels, so much so that she eventually moved Aunt Em and Uncle Henry there.

Keep a look out for falling houses!

Jen Chaney: Wow, so many good comments in this, thank you.
For starters, I totally thought of McPatchy during the description of the Witch's single eye. I have no idea exactly how the two might connect, but it suggests that maybe Mikhail is more important to the story than we think. Perhaps that's how he kept surviving; he used his magic hat and the Flying Monkeys hooked him up and revived him. Next season, I hope he comes back to life, then melts while shouting "What a world!"
More interesting, though, is the notion of the island functioning as Oz. I thought about this, too. As you imply, the flash-forward at the end of the season suggests the flipside of the movie's (and the book's) conclusion: It's not that there is no place like home. For Jack at least, there is no place like the island. Or, to take it a step further, maybe the island is really the home our castaways were always meant to experience.
You mentioned the Oz sequels, which I have not revisited at all since childhood. (And only a little bit back then.) But if you look at the plots -- conveniently described in this Wiki entry -- they actually take Dorothy to Australia, where she apparently falls overboard (in "Ozma of Oz"). In the next book, she goes from Australia to California. Come on, how freaky is that? The journey the Losties take certainly parallels Dorothy's journey, the question is whether we can take anything from Baum's stories and apply it to figure out what will happen on the show.


Alexandria, Va.: Have you heard Rick Polito's movie review?

"Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again."

Liz Kelly: Yes. I love it. Only imagine what he could do with the Grimm bros. oeuvre.
By the way, my favorite characters were the Hammer Heads. Maybe it is just WW Denslow's laugh out loud illustrations, but I love the little guys with no arms who launch their heads at any comers.

Jen Chaney: Those Hammerhead dudes scared me.
It is odd, isn't it, that a child should not only be asked to commit murder but be commended for it? Odder still that it never struck me as odd when I was a kid.
Speaking of strange creatures, the spider/elephant/generally freaky creature the gang encounters in the forest reminded me a bit of the smoke monster, only because he sounded so elusive and bizarre. The Lion was able to overcome him. But who is the Cowardly Lion on "Lost"? I think maybe Sawyer, the seemingly savage (not to mention sexy) beast who masks his insecurity.


Seattle, Emerald City: To me "Lost" seems to draw more upon the later books in the Oz series, especially those about the Gnome King and other such books. Do you think we'll see some magic eggs and talking chickens?

Liz Kelly: Are you telling me I need to keep reading the series?

Jen Chaney: As my previous post indicated, I think you are on to something. Hurley did, during a dream sequence, say "Have a cluckity cluck cluck day." (A reference to his gig at Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack.) Doesn't make him a talking chicken, but it's close enough.


Liz Kelly: Oh, and for anyone out there lurking for lack of reading the book, we're game for straight up "Lost" questions, too. So bring 'em on.
And, on the flip side, we're also happy to talk "The Wizard of Oz" on its own.


Bethesda, Md.:

Wow. I feel bad that I never realized that this Liz is the same as Gene's Chatwoman. I am a dope.

Did you listen to Carlton and Damon's podcast from the San Diego Comic Con? If so, did you glean anything useful from it (other than Michael's return, obviously)?

Liz Kelly: I did not listen to the podcast, but I'm betting Jen did. Lots of casting news lately. The latest is the addition of Jeff Fahey ("Lawnmower Man") to the cast. Here's EW's scoop.
Oh, and speaking of scoops, Politico last week had this scoop: Terry O'Quinn (Locke) visiting Annapolis.

Jen Chaney: Liz, you know me too well. I listened to the podcast, but only after watching video of the Comic-Con panel as soon as I could dig it up online.
Two useful things I gleaned (and don't read this if you don't want spoilers): That Claire will find out this season that she is Jack's sister. And that Libby will return at least briefly to tie the loose ends of that storyline. Was particularly excited to hear that.
By the way, I am also willing to have a side conversation about how "Heroes" and "Lost" are interrelated. Since I reviewed the "Heroes" DVD, I crammed through the whole season. I knew there were parallels there, but they were pretty stunning, especially when watching the whole season in a chunk.


I'm off to see Ben Linus: So aside from the Henry Gale/Wizard connection I was having trouble seeing links between the book and the show -- although much like "Watership Down" this book involved a journey to find "home."

I also thought it was interesting to think of Dorothy as the "castaways." Trying to figure out what she needs to do in order to get back to Kansas. (Which if you think about "Not in Portland" is a nice parallel)

I wonder, however, if this latest attempt to get home in "Through the Looking Glass" is much like Dorothy's failed attempt to get on the Balloon with the Wizard at the end of the book. Maybe our Losties need to find thier Glinda -- and some silver shoes (or ruby slippers) to find their way home.

Okay, maybe I did find more links than I thought I did...

Incidentally -- I thought the Land of China was hilarious!

Jen Chaney: A couple of thoughts here. Re: the "Lost" gang finding their way home: Remember, Dorothy had the ability to get home all along. She just didn't realize it. That could hold true for the castaways. I think the home all of them are seeking is a metaphorical one, found in redemption for their past sins and the notion that they can start over. Perhaps they don't realize they have always had the capacity to redeem themselves.
And I actually think the Wizard is more like Jacob, not Benry. As the episode "The Man Behind the Curtain" proved, Ben thinks Jacob is running the show. And the description of Oz in the book being able to take on any form he wishes really reminded me of Jacob. This is why I think he looked like Locke (I'm standing by this, darn it) when Locke saw him. He's a shape shifter and presents himself in different ways to different people, much as the "wizard" does in Baum's book.

Liz Kelly: Yes, but it turns out that it is all smoke and mirrors, Jen. Oz is not able to take on any form he wishes -- he's cobbled together those forms with papier mache and string. He's a hack. A humbug.
Which doesn't really jell with the supernatural encounter we had with Jacob last season. Unless, of course, that too was a sham -- one successfully perpetrated on Ben, too, since he was a child.


Liz Kelly: Riffing on Jen's answer above, too, about the Lion killing the spider/elephant thing and Dorothy killing the witch. I think one thing that was off-putting about the book was the anti-climatic scenes of triumph. As children of the celluloid/video/DVD era and writers like Stephen King, we tend to expect building tension, a plot twist, then ultimate triumph of good over evil.
In the case of the deaths of both the Wicked Witch of the West and the spider thing, both are dispatched in a matter of a paragraph. The lion, after hearing about this menace who has terrorized the forest, merely claws its head off while it sleeps. Dorothy, in the book, accidentally splashes the witch with water while cooking and calmly continues as if to say, "Now that that's out of the way..."
I don't think this has much bearing on our show, but did make for a different reading experience. I mentioned Malory above. Oz is written very much in the same fashion -- straight-forward recounting of adventures, with all of the adventurous spirit left out.

Jen Chaney: I agree, Liz. The movie handles the death of the witch much more climactically. I also thought the book ends really abruptly. Dorothy gets home, but we don't know how she felt about our trip, whether Henry and Em think she's a wack job when she talks about Oz, how Toto feels about the whole situation. The prose is almost maddeningly straight-forward, I think. Which, in a way, is a testament to how strong and inventive the story is. Even a somewhat lame literary approach can't squelch the basic narrative's power.


Washington, D.C.: Admittedly, I've never read any of the Oz books, so I'll open it up to Lost questions...

The one thing my mind keeps coming back to: who's in the coffin? Walt? Vincent? Sun's baby?

And we know Nikki's eyes opened as she was being buried alive. Will she and Paolo dig their way out?

Jen Chaney: Harold Perrineau made a comment during the Comic-Con panel that strongly suggested Michael was in the coffin. I think that's because the obit Jack reads on the plane says that the deceased is survived by a teenaged son. That doesn't necessarily limit us to Michael, though.
Re: Nikki and Paolo, I believe LindeCuse have said they are definitely dead. I had the same thought, too, though.

Liz Kelly: I think we have seen the last of Nikki and Paolo. No matter how influenced the producers and writers may be by cultural touchstones like the books we're reading in this series, they are also incredibly aware of ratings and public reaction to their choices.
The public reaction to Nikki and Paolo was instant and lasting distaste. They shortened their arc on the show because of that.


Munchkinla, ND: I think Hurley is the Cowardly Lion, if anyone. Sawyer is the Tin Woodman. Sawyer thinks he has no heart, but is actually rather tender.

Liz Kelly: So Hurley may someday surprise us by being the only one able to vanquish a powerful enemy? Maybe Hurley is more of a Toto.
Who, I wonder, is the scare crow? Is it Jack, who takes it upon himself to lead the "Losties?" And where does Locke fit in to a "Oz"-ian interpretation?


Not in Kansas Anymore, D.C.: Has anybody every noticed the resemblance between "The Wizard of Oz" and "Heart of Darkness"/"Apocalypse Now?" Someone must make a physical journey (down the road or up the river) that is a metaphor for an internal journey to find someone from the traveler's home world who has set himself as a demi-god among less sophisticated natives.

So the opening scene of "The Wizard of Oz" should have been an extreme close-up of Judy Garland's eye with her muttering,"Kansas. I can't believe I'm still in Kansas."

Liz Kelly: Good observation, D.C., though I think the metaphorical physical journey is a pretty commonly used device in literature traceable all the way back to Beowulf and "The Holy Grail." (If only LindeCuse would work in some Malory, I'd be set).
The difference, I think, between Oz and Heart/Apocalypse is the entity discovered at the end of the road. Oz turns out to be a benevolent, if selfish, kind of man. While Kurtz has been twisted into a depraved tyrant.
But I think I see what you're saying, which is that what "Lost" needs is a little drunk Martin Sheen.

Jen Chaney: This is a valid comparison. But there are also many others that could be made. That's how influential "Oz" is.
"Pan's Labyrinth" is an "Oz"-esque journey. And Anthony Lane of the New Yorker once wrote the most beautiful piece of film criticim I've ever read, which proved that "E.T." is essentially "The Wizard of Oz." Would explain why I adored both movies so much as a child.


Manassas, Va.: I think Hurley is the lion, and Sawyer the Tin Man (no heart). But who is the Scarecrow?

Jen Chaney: I don't think Hurley is the lion because he's not ferocious enough. I'm going to throw this out there, with the knowledge that this theory will be torn to shreds. I think Kate is our Dorothy, Sawyer the Lion (again, outwardly ferocious but a scared little boy on the inside), Locke the Scarecrow (he is obsessed with more cerebral issues) and Jack the Tin Man (definitely trying to reconnect with his heart). But that's just me spitballin'.

Liz Kelly: I dunno. I kind of had Jack figured as our Dorothy. Even though "Lost" has an ensemble cast, there is definitely a greater emphasis on the story as told through the prism of Jack's experience.
So, if we look at it that way, perhaps that makes Kate our tinman. She, too, has lost her heart, but tends to act out emotionally anyway.

Jen Chaney: Good point. You're right, Jack is the center. And Matthew Fox would look fab in a gingham dress.


Munchkinla, ND: There are serious scholarly analyses of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a political-economic allegory. The general idea is that Dorothy represents the United States population, the Cowardly Lion is the government or sometimes William Jennings Bryan, the Tin Woodman is industry or the industrial worker, and the Scarecrow is the American farmer.

In order for prosperity to be restored after the economic upheaval of the 1890s, the government must find the courage to regulate the economy, industry must acknowledge the humanity of its workers, and farmers must learn to intelligently apply modern methods. Then the country can follow the gold standard (yellow brick road) to prosperity and riches (Emerald City).

The silver slippers (not ruby as in the movie) are possibly the silver standard. The wicked witches, the Wizard, and Glinda have corresponding political figures. The cyclone is a metaphor for economic upheaval and revolutionary changes.

I think this sort of thing would appeal to Perdidophiles.

For other interpretations, and more information, start with the Wikipedia article, "Poliitical interpretations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Jen Chaney: I have read some of these theories, yes. Baum says he intended this as a children's story and nothing more, but these interpretations are certainly interesting and historically relevant.
Not sure they can apply to "Lost," but I do think the show has some political implications for sure.


Washington, D.C.: Do you think the writers/creators/whoever for Lost actually had all these books and connections in mind when planning the series? Are they that well read that they can pull from all these sources? Have they acknowledged connections to any other stories? Or is this all just coincidence or overanalysis?

Liz Kelly: Hard to say. I've said before that the writers/creators strike me as incredibly literate. English majors who read the basic required texts but have managed to re-awaken their relevance by inserting strategic references in "Lost."
Do I think every similarity we and others notice is/was intentional? No. But I think some were. And what better place from which to draw dramatic story lines than the great classics of yesteryear?

Jen Chaney: I'm with Liz. I don't think any decent writer could sit down and craft a narrative while saying to him/herself, "I'm going to create a story that's a hybrid of 'Watership Down,' 'The Wizard of Oz,' etc. etc." A person could do that, but I don't think he'd create a particularly great story.
However, I do think that the "Lost" writers may draw from certain narratives at key points in the story to provide hints to the viewer. Showing "Watership Down" so early on, for example, provided a preview of things to come for those who were paying close attention.


Spoilerville, USA: Season 4 has started production already in Hawaii. Since only 16 episodes are being produced, I suspect primary photography for the entire season will be done before the premiere in February. This should lead to lots of spoilers on the Net. Already there are spoilers up indicating which character will be the focus of the Season 4 premiere.

Just wondering how you (and the chatters) are planning to deal with spoilers for Season 4. Last season, I followed them until the last few weeks because I didn't want to ruin the big surprises of the finale. I'm glad I did. I'd like to avoid them this fall and early winter as well, but I'm afraid waiting until Feb. for the premiere will leave me desperate for Lost fixes, and I won't be able to resist!

Liz Kelly: We haven't actually decided how to deal with spoilers this season.
Maybe the thing to do is have one of us follow spoilers and watch the shows with them in mind while the other remains blissfully unaware of what's to come. And since I'm blissfully unaware most of the time anyway, maybe that person should be me.
Seriously, though, I hate spoilers. Beyond knowing basic things like casting decisions, I'd rather enjoy the show in real time, then as per usual, spend the next week over-analyzing and dissecting.
Why take all the fun out of it?

Jen Chaney: Ooh, that's going to be a touch fight, Liz. I tend to dig into spoilers but I also really don't want to. I agree that it ruins the show.
Re: the question about production, you're dead-on. The entire season will be in the can before the first episode even airs. And that will make clamping down on spoilers that much more difficult this season.
Having read your posts, I swear, my brain is going, "Need to go look at spoilers ... RIGHT NOW!" At the same time, it's saying "Must resist ... must resist..."


Washington, D.C.: I realize this doesn't relate exactly to the book club, but do you know exactly when our favorite show is going to return. I hear 2008, but that's it. Thanks!

Jen Chaney: It's back in February. I have not heard a specific date. Does someone else have that info?


Surrender Dorothy: I thought that was from the movie After Hours?

Liz Kelly: Another fabulous movie, "After Hours."
Actually, "Surrender Dorothy" is also from that Beltway overpass near the Mormon temple in Maryland. So apt. What idiot removed it?

Jen Chaney: Not the same at all, but "Surrender, Dorothy" also strikes me as a predecessor to Save Ferris. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" -- yet another magical journey.


Bali, Indonesia: I almost cried when the Wizard's hot-air balloon took off without Dorothy in it -- I honestly wasn't prepared for that. I got goose bumps when Oz said, "I can't come back, my dear ... Good-bye!" It was just so typical of the "Lost" experience. And I'm thinking, maybe that part of the story gives us a hint that not all of the Losties will end up being rescued -- the helicopter -- or whatever -- will fly off and leave some of them behind, because of lack of space or maybe some mid-rescue mishap.

And speaking of hot-air balloons, wasn't the real Henry Gale supposed to have crashed on the island in a balloon? (My memory of that is a bit fuzzy. Good excuse for me to go and re-watch Seasons 1 and 2, though.)

Liz Kelly: Right you are, Henry Gale -- the real one, that is -- did indeed crash into the island on a balloon. Ben Linus merely borrowed his identity. So yet another point to add to our list of similarities.
And thank you for mentioning the helicopter. The show ended just as the helicopter landed amidst our Losties. Obviously someone will leave the island via it. If we continue our line of reasoning of Jack as Dorothy, it will be him.
By the way, Bali, I'm reading a book about Indonesian cooking right now called "Cradle of Flavor" (courtesy of food blogger Kim O'Donnel) that is fabulous. I think Indonesian/Malaysian cuisine has now supplanted Indian as my favorite. Can I come for a visit?

Jen Chaney: Can I come to Bali, too?
As Liz said, you're right about Mr. Gale. And I think you're right about some of them being left behind. In the flash-forward (if memory serves) Jack refers to a deal that he and Kate (and maybe some of the other people) made to get off the island. I suspect that Jack's sense of guilt and urgency is related to the fact that some people were indeed left behind.
The fact that he keeps flying on planes, hoping they will crash, is his way of clicking his heels together and saying "There's no place like home." But in his case, tragically, it isn't working.


Have a cluckity cluck cluck day: Okay, I'm down with many of the comparisons, but this seems like a stretch.

Jen Chaney: Of course it's a stretch. I was joking.
I stretch when I have to just to keep things interesting.


Annandale, Va.: Can you give us some examples of the Lost-Heroes parallels?

Jen Chaney: How much time have you got?
Both shows feature lots of hopping through time. Both include comic book homages. Both have a young boy with special powers (Walt=Micah). At one point on "Heroes," Adrian Pasdar's character even says that if he knew where all the people with superpowers were, he'd "round us all up and stuck us on a lab on an island in the middle of the ocean."
Most importantly, as EW pointed out long before this chat, Damon Lindelof and Tim Kring, creator of "Heroes," worked together previously and have talked about having their two shows dovetail mythology-wise. But apparently they could not fully pursue the idea since "Heroes" is on NBC and "Lost" is on ABC. Stupid separate corporate entities.


Falls Church, Va.: Watership Down? Oh, do tell. I didn't start watching LOST until the second season, so I missed that reference... and that has to be one of my fave books of all time. Thanks!

LOVE these LOST chats!

Liz Kelly: You must have missed last month's discussion, durn it.

Jen Chaney: But not to worry. Go to our "Lost" hub and you can catch up very quickly and easily.
We aim to please, Falls Church.


Washington, D.C.: Unrelated to "Lost," I was struck by some noticeable similarity between "Oz" and Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." The forest where trees come alive and capture those wandering through. The one-eyed witch with telescopic vision and her lust for the powerful shoes being worn by a naive, innocent being. I wonder how much influence Baum had on Tolkien's work.

Jen Chaney: That's very interesting. I also was struck by similarities between "Oz" and the "Harry Potter" books. The notion that Dorothy is marked by having defeated the evil witch reminded me a lot of the scar Harry earned after battling Voldemort.

Liz Kelly: Good point. I didn't pay that Good Witch lip mark much heed. But it does keep Dorothy safe -- the Wicked Witch is unable to kill her because of it.


Munchkinla, ND: I think you miss the point of the things the characters are seeking when you say things like, "Sawyer the Lion (again, outwardly ferocious but a scared little boy on the inside)."

The Lion actually already HAS courage on the inside, the Scarecrow actually already HAS intelligence (note how he figures things out), the Tin Woodman actually already HAS a tender heart, and mostly Dorothy already HAS the ability to return home. I don't think the parallels to Lost characters are very good here, but in any case, the quests are both to know oneself, not to win something new.

Liz Kelly: I don't htink we're missing that, Munchie.
Jen made reference to the fact that Dorothy had the ability to go home all along and that maybe our Losties do, as well. They need only be helped to that realization.
And I think the "Lost" creators have done a bang up job of creating layered, complex characters who don't always realize the mettle (no pun intended), heart or intelligence they already possess. As alluded to earlier, Sawyer is both brave and has a huge heart, though he would be the last to realize that. Even Sun and Jin, when they first arrived on the island, thought their love (aka hearts) had been excised. They were trapped in a loveless marriage. The island helped both to see that the love was there all along. It only needed a little coaxing to reassert itself.
I think, too, that we've yet to see some of the qualities possessed by the Losties reveal themselves. We're bound to find out more about Walt since at least Michael will be back -- why did the Others want him and is he really able to see things/make things happen?

Jen Chaney: Amen to everything Liz just said.
Look, obviously we have to stretch a little to find the character parallels. The strongest ones in "Oz" are the overall journey, as you describe, and the issues related to Jacob.
Character-wise, I thought our bunny friends in "Watership" tracked much more closely with the characters on "Lost." At least, as Liz rightly points out, as far as we know thus far. Part of this whole book club exercise is just to have some fun, too. Hence, the cluckity-cluck-cluck day comparison, which shall go down in washingtonpost.com "Lost" analysis infamy.


Do you think the writers/creators/whoever for Lost actually had all these books and connections in mind when planning the series?: No, they are making it up as they go along, based on our chats. Just one opinion.

Jen Chaney: Yes, these chats are transforming what happens on the show even as we speak.
If that were true, Sawyer's shirt would be off for the duration of each episode and Boone would have permanently returned from the dead. Not that Liz and I watch the show for the attractive men or anything...

Liz Kelly: Ha. Speak for yourself, Jen!


Silver Spring, Md.: I don't recall the helicopter landing amid the Losties at the end of the Season 3 finale. Didn't the interior island (radio tower) plot end with Jack radioing the freighter, and whoever answered the call saying they would send a helicopter? I believe the freighter and its crew are still a big unknown.

Liz Kelly: You're right. I assumed the copter was a done deal and somehow that became part of my "Lost" memories. I should have said "As our Losties" awaited a helicopter rescue." Jen will chastise me appropriately and take my "Lost" fan club badge.

Jen Chaney: An understandable mistake. No one will revoke your badge (or your book club bookmark -- print it, use it, love it!) anytime soon.
Wouldn't it be awesome if the pilot of the helicopter were Henry Gale? Or the somehow reincarnated pilot from the plane, who happens to be Greg Grunberg, the cop on "Heroes"? Man, my head would explode into many, many pieces if that happened.


I didn't start watching LOST until the second season,: Borrow 1st season from Netflix or download from iTunes. I think you need some of the background.

Jen Chaney: I agree. This is a show where seeing every episode is crucial. And season one rules.


Quadling, Oz: Locke would be the Tin Woodman, no? Once crippled, now able to walk, but still vulnerable to injury that might put him back in a wheelchair. And he's pretty handy in the woods/jungle, too. The heart thing maybe be his quest for what the powers of the Island are all about.

Liz Kelly: Good point -- Locke was indeed crippled and was made mobile again when Dorothy arrived and intervened.
Here's one difference to consider between the two texts: Dorothy and Toto arrive in Oz alone and meet the other main characters (Tinman, Scarecrow and Lion) along the way. They are a part of Oz, not of Kansas. Does that signify anything for our interpretation? Should we be looking at different characters from the show as their equivalents? What of Juliet or Alpert?


Alexandria, Va.: Will all the book club books start with a "W"?

Liz Kelly: Yes. In October we'll be reading Why Men Marry Bitches: A Woman's Guide to Winning Her Man's Heart. It really informed the creation of Kate's character.

Jen Chaney: Then in November, it's "Where the Wild Things Are." Can't wait to make my case that Jack is Max and Jacob is his mother.
(Liz, they are going to take us seriously. Should we set them straight? Nah....)


Rochester, Minn.: There is actually an Oz/Apocalypse 'mashup' movie out there called: 'Apocalypse Oz.'

Apocalypse Oz. The plot summary is...odd!

"A cineclash film hybridizing the screenplays of "Apocalypse Now" and "The Wizard of Oz." Dorothy Willard, delinquent Amerasian offspring of the Vietnam War, lives very out of place in Kansas with her abusive aunt and uncle. Deciding that "there's no horror like home" she accepts a dream mission, one that takes her deep into the desert to hunt down and "terminate with extreme prejudice" an insane, renegade U.S. Army colonel -- codenamed 'The Wizard'..."

Liz Kelly: We'll have to trust you on this one and watch after the discusison ends.
Speaking of which...

Jen Chaney: We do need to bring this chat to a close. Thanks, as always, for so many thought-provoking observations and great questions.
For those of you who don't already know, our next book will be ... "Watchmen."
I'll let Liz share the news of our super-exciting special guest...

Liz Kelly: We'll be joined by EW's "Lost" guru, Jeff "Doc" Jensen, who -- it could be argued -- wrote the book (or at least reams of articles) on both "Lost" and "Watchmen."
See you here next month.

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