The Season 3 finale of Lost took its title from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland (referenced many times on Lost – see my post here).
Through the Looking Glass finds Alice dreaming again. This time she travels through a mirror into Looking Glass World where she has adventures traveling through a sort of live chess game in which she encounters Tweedledee & Tweedledum and Humpty Dumpty as well as an assortment of live chess pieces and talking flowers. She also discovers the wonderful nonsense poem Jabberwocky. It’s a fun and clever read, though not quite as entertaining as Alice in Wonderland.
The most obvious connection with Lost is the fact that the underwater hatch discovered at the end of Season 3 is called the Looking Glass Station. I’ve already theorized about the idea that the Looking Glass Station acts as a kind of portal between timestreams much as the actual looking glass that Alice enters takes her into a different world/time. Rereading Through the Looking Glass only reinforces my thinking about the Season 3 finale, which is that Lost has finally shown its hand as a show about travel between alternate timestreams/realities.
The island exists between timestreams or parallel dimensions/universes (“snow globe, brotha”). The only way on or off the island is to go through the looking glass station (or possibly also along a very precise set of coordinates which would explain the Dharma food drops and Michael and Walt’s escape last season).
We know this because Charlie talked to Penny Widmore in the looking glass station – the link to the original timestream – and Penny had never heard of Naomi. I actually believe Ben is telling the truth when he says that Naomi isn’t who they think she is. Ben knows she didn’t come through the looking glass station and therefore can’t be from the universe/dimension/timestream that the survivors came from before being sucked onto the island when Desmond let the counter run down in the Swan Hatch as revealed at the end of Season 2.
In Carroll’s book, Alice finds characters who live their lives out of chronological order, she finds things are the opposite of how they should be in the world she left. In fact, Looking Glass World is not quite a mirror image of Alice’s normal world, it is a reflection through one of those twisted funhouse mirrors that distorts and changes things beyond all recognition. The only constant is that the rules of Alice’s normal world do not apply.
Of course, it is all just a dream. Hopefully Jack’s flashforward in the Season 3 Finale was something more substantial, but I think Jack is in Looking Glass World and Season 4 will be about him getting back, where he will hopefully not realize that the whole thing was just a dream he had while playing with two kittens.
Check out my other Lost Book Club posts here.