Music on Lost: Gouge Away, Losties

Man, I love Lost... there's not many shows that have me immediately searching for obscure references. Ok, perhaps I do that with a lot of shows -- but so few reward me with the payoff that Lost does, time and time again. Take the song that Jack listens to for a mere seven seconds or so before strolling into Hoffs/Drawler funeral parlor. Pixies' "Gouge Away" is blasting the jeep of the disheveled and bearded Jack, which syncs up nicely with Jack's previous angst-filled drive to H/D, in last season's mind-blowing finale ("Through the Looking Glass").

You'll remember that drive featured Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice," which was appropriate as it's played on the anniversary of Cobain's death, and is an ode to Suskind's Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, but I went over that all last year. How does it relate to this year's? For one, some would say that Nirvana's fame couldn't have occurred without the Pixies before them, just like Jeremy Bentham, the philosopher, might not have accomplished what he did without John Locke before him, linking the two names here in Lost land. Ok, maybe you think that's a stretch, a justifiable position ... so let's instead look at the content of the song.

Charles Thompson (aka Black Francis, aka Frank Black) has often stated that his lyrics are mostly meaningless, that he instead uses them more as syllables that sound good with the music accompanying it. That's probably true to a certain extent, but more often he's actually referencing some interesting themes. In the case of "Gouge Away," Thompson's revisiting the old biblical story of Samson and Delilah, the popular tale of a man of great faith who gets his strength from his hair.

Locke, much like Samson, is a man of faith, but instead of hair (he has none, to be sure), his source of strength is the island itself. On the island, he can be shot and left for dead and still come back. Off the island, under the alias Jeremy Bentham, the name we figured out via the last finale's obituary, his enemies are free to metaphorically gouge out his eyes -- he's murdered to look like a suicide, left only as our mystery stiff in a casket from last season. But is Locke really dead, or is it a proxy (or a fake "auto-icon") used to get the O6 together for an island reunion, ala Rescue from Gilligan's Island?

Elsewhere, the finale left lots for Losties to chew on in the coming nine months. When Ben finishes "moving the island," (apparently utilizing the "Casimir effect") he's transported ten months into the future, as we saw a few episodes back with "The Shape of Things to Come," dropped in the Tunisian desert with his Dharma parka and fresh wound to clue us in. That leads many to believe that the island was moved not across space, but merely time -- 10 months into the future. The big donkey wheel helped open up a wormhole (yes, wormhole!) that allowed the island to make the odd journey.

What might have been my favorite subtle thing in the show, was the relationship parallels between the lives of Keamy and Michael with the boat and the island respectfully. Keamy's literally tied the life of the freighter to that of his own, and it's no coincidence that Michael's there at the other end delaying the reaction. When he's delayed it enough to get the O6+ out of harm's way, the island allows his previously scheduled death wish to commence. Boom goes freighter. Speaking of the freighter, the new characters introduced from the crew really got the shaft, it seems, as far as the strike goes. The fact that Lost originally tried to get Kristen Bell for the role of Charlotte clues us in that their story was meant to be a lot richer. Fisher Stevens' Minkoski was reduced to one episode, while we barely even meet Zoe Bell's Regina before she dies. So it comes as some relief that more is revealed about the possibility that Charlotte was born on the island. Miles' reply was so perfect, dripping with both intrigue and his patented sarcasm: "what do I mean?"

Of course, we won't find out until next season, which has me singing "Gouge Away" at my eyes in frustration, thinking about the nine months or so we have to wait.

drake lelane
gouging away at the music/soundtrack blog thus spake drake