Monday, June 23, 2008

Whispers & Whisperers

I remember the first time I clicked on the Whispers topic at The Fuselage. My head just about exploded. Seriously. In a show full of mind-benders and mind-blowers, the whispers still stand out as either one of the biggest mysteries or the biggest mind-screws around.

There are different whispers on Lost. Some everyone can kind of hear: like that time Sawyer was hunting a boar in "Outlaws", or when we saw Keamy and his men attacked at the chopper in "There's No Place Like Home". Others are hidden in the soundtrack, under other sounds and noises. Only with special audio equipment can you weed out the voices talking beneath it all. But yes, they are apparently there on purpose and must, I hope, have a purpose.

I know some people don't really believe it, but the whispers are legit. One of Lost's soundguys had this to say in Home Theatre Magazine March 2007 (and I'm quoting LostLaura's opening post of the whispers thread):

Question: Do you guys have any inside dope about where Lost is headed?
Tom de Gorter, Supervising Sound Editor: "They do give us advance knowledge on certain story lines we need to know about, but we can't talk about them. I will say there are sound effects in some episodes that provide clues about stuff that will be revealed later on. You could call them Easter eggs for very careful listeners."
To see what I'm yammering on about, read the transcripts. There were whispers in S1 and there were still whispers (and presumably whisperers) around in S4.

Some of the whispers make it seem like it's a group of people watching the losties from far away somewhere. Others make it seem like there's a group almost right there, with them, in the jungle but unseen, even if they sometimes seem to fear detection. Like in this scene from "Outlaws" when Sawyer's walking around the jungle:
(Sawyer breathing)
There goes another poking his head in here
(could be 'There goes somebody')
Yeah, let's see what he's doing
Let's
Let me decide
Come back
Wait
I see another one
It'll come back around
(Frank Ducketts voice)
------
Oh my god there's a guy out there
Dennis (?) find out what's going on
Did he see us?
Maybe
Open it
Did you see what direction he went?
Right through those trees
Go and get him
There is an explanation (resolution?) and I bet you haven't thought of it
What is it?
He's been in a plane crash
Are you sure?
I know what it's like for a plane to crash
Complain, complain, complain
I want to get closer
I know what you said, but he's looking around
What if he shoots us or something
------
There may be something, but it may be slack (?)
Let's go
Has he seen us?
(Alarms go off)
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry
(faint...could be echo from alarm)
Intruder, Intruder
Hide against the bushes
Open the door
I know what it's like for a plane to crash
Complain, complain, complain
I know what you said, but...

Like they're right there, afraid to be spotted by Sawyer.

And remember when Shannon was shot in the jungle when she walked into Ana Lucia and her group? Here are the whispers from that scene in "The Other 48 Days":

Relax Dude, I think she likes the guy
You're life
Ich Weiss Nicht
(German for 'I don't know')
Look out
Ana’s the trigger
You're gonna kill her
Move on
(Gun shot)
See ya
(Like a chorus singing just after the gunshot)
------
Shannon
She likes the guy, she likes the guy
Shannon
Your life and and time is up
Help me
Shannon, meet me on the other side
Her song
('Ana-Lucia' when reversed)
(Gun shot)
------
Relax dude, she likes the guy, she likes the guy
Shannon
(In the background)
I know it all I know it all...
(In the background)
Dying sucks
Shannon
I don't think you should tell her when she comes
Obviously she likes you
Who's the guy?
I want to see Shannon
Eye to eye
(In the background)
Who's the guy?
Fire Lucia
The brothers that help us
Are you done with it?
Her song
('Ana-Lucia' when reversed)
(Gun shot)
Fire
Yeah. Crazy right. But the one scene which is probably crazier than any other whisper scene is the one from "?". When Eko is listening to the autopsy-tape recorded when the girl who has supposedly died from drowning wakes up on the autopsy table, there are whispers. Yes, OFF island. In a scene in a mortuary in Australia. WTF does that mean? That the whisperers are off island? That they are watching things take place in Australia too? And are the whispers on the tape, that is at the autopsy, or are they in the room with Eko when he listens to the tape?

Remember: the girl who "died" was related to the "psychic" who told Claire to take Aaron on the 815 flight. And the girl also told Mr Eko he would soon see his brother, claiming she had met Yemi when she was "dead".
Doctor: This is a Caucasian female. She's 161 cm, 51.3 kilos, body prepped and washed by the very lovely Valerie McTavish
Assistant: Ian, stop it
Doctor: Commencing with the post
Whisper: That's her (or) That's enough
Doctor: This is a clear case of drowning. I'll begin with a thoracic...
Charlotte Malkin: John! (screaming)
Whisper: She's alive
Whisper: How will we know
Assistant: Oh my God!
Doctor: Valerie!
Assistant: She's Alive!
Doctor: I think she's trying...
Charlotte Malkin: Let John Locke go (on)!
Whisper: She's not dead
Whisper: I found it
Doctor: Try and calm down
(Assistant screaming stop, stop)
Doctor: Valerie get... she's crying, don't just stand there do something!
Whisper: We’re sending them in (or) Let’s hear what she says
"I found it?" Found what? And how are they looking exactly? In another whisper scene from "Abandoned" when Ana Lucia and Eko are in the jungle, someone whispers "I'm in someone's dream". Which is a quote I love, but it's also seriously weird.

More recently, in "The Man Behind The Curtain", when Ben sees his mother in the jungle, there's a man whispering:
Man: "Ben, You're my prisoner and- (inaudible, but most likely: "and we are ready" or "and you are mine". Perhaps both in overlay.)
In the same scene there is this:
1. Talk to him (11.10)
2. Tell him that you're his mother (12.1)
3. Tell him to be patient (14.9) this mp3 also has # 4 on it...
4. That'll just make it worse (16.29)
{Ben: Mom?} (20.1)
{Mom Vision: Ben Don't!} (27)
{Ben: Mom...} (33)
Mom Vision: { It's not time yet, Benjamin.} (34.5)
Freaking me out even reading it now. What the hell are these whispers and who is whispering? Are they the Hostiles, as in whatever natives have lived longest on the island, like Alpert for example? Are they alive? Are they somehow directing and shaping events? Are they time travelers somehow? In short: W T F?

Thoughts
Considering this season's addition of Miles the Ghost Whisperer, I do wonder whether the whispers are what he hears. He seems to be able both to communicate with the dead and to "read minds" in some capacity (knowing Michale and other people on the freighter were lying, knowing Charlotte had been looking for the island).

Regardless, once I read the transcripts and realized that this stuff is actually real and somebody on staff at Lost is putting this into the show... well, that really bends my mind and twists it into a pretzel. I really hope this is explained somehow in the coming two seasons of Lost. If it's not, I'll be kind of pissed off. Because that autopsy whispering? Is totally making my skin crawl when I think of the implications of it being off-island.

Screencaps of Sawyer from "Outlaws", Ana Lucia from "The Other 48 Days" and Miles from "Confirmed Dead", thanks to Lostpedia.

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