Several things in the “We Are Both” episode reminded me of LOST. I don’t think they were deliberate shout-outs (such as the LOST references here and here, which were intentionally placed to amuse LOST fans), so instead I am calling them “echoes.” Perhaps they were inspired by some of the story-telling techniques of LOST, or maybe they are just themes that so fascinate OUAT’s creators (former LOST writers) that they revisit them again and again, even in different shows.
The Reluctant Leader
In LOST, Jack was a reluctant leader, who struggled against his destined leadership role. In OUAT, Charming is a reluctant leader in both worlds. In fairytale land, he didn’t want to be a Prince — he just wanted to save his mother’s farm. Post-curse David gets flustered when the townspeople turn to him — just as the Losties had turned to Jack — to be the one to guide them. But we know, just as we did with Jack, that David will be the one to lead the way.
We’ve always known that Storybrooke was isolated from the rest of our world and that terrible things would happen to any of the cursed inhabitants who tried to leave. But in “We Are Both,” when a literal line is painted at the edge of town, that point is brought home in a vividly new way.
Storybrooke, in other words, is just as much an island as the island in LOST. It’s a self-contained society of people who are stranded in a strange place — just as the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 formed a self-contained society stranded in a strange place.
The Flight 815 survivors wanted to go home, but couldn’t. The Storybrooke inhabitants want to return to their home, but can’t.
Flashbacks and Flash Sideways
The use of flashbacks in OUAT — and their echo to LOST — was clear from the start. But this season’s discovery of a part of fairytale land that exists in our own time creates a new echo.
The flash sideways in LOST gave us a chance to see how familiar characters might have reacted in unfamiliar settings. In OUAT, Emma and Mary Margaret are likely to exhibit new aspects of their characters in their new setting.
The analogy is not perfect, though. Unlike the LOSTies, who existed in both dimensions, Mary Margaret and Emma are only in one place at a time (at least so far!).
OUAT is now unfolding across three pieces of space/time: Storybrooke, Fairy Tale Land present, and Fairy Tale Land past. Very LOST-ian!
The Others and the Tailies
The village at the end of “We Are Both” reminded me of LOST’s village of Others. The sudden unexpected appearance of new survivors of the curse in FTL reminded me of LOST’s sudden unexpected appearance of a new group of Flight 815 survivors from the back of the plane.
Did you catch any other “echoes” of LOST in this episode?