Archive for jacob

what they died for: just what i needed

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by eyeoftheisland

For an episode entitled “What They Died For”, I sure had a rip-roaring good time watching it. While last week’s epic “Across the Sea” was a heavy-handed mythological download, WTDF was a LOSTian romp, filled with Miles quips, Ben flips and the ever-persistent machinations of Hit-and-Run Desmond. 

Desmond Hume: He will run you over until you get the message

 WTDF was 43 minutes of everything LOST has ever been: tragedy (Jin and Sun had a baby, you know); medical drama (I’m going to sew you up now, Kate); romance (BEN AND ROUSSEAU OH EM GEE); comedy (everything Desmond did in this whole episode); schemes (Ben, again, FTW!); death (PEACE OUT ZOE); and an epic date with destiny (Jack’s accepting of the Jacob job). I would be exhausted just thinking about it, but I’ve just chugged a very large cup of coffee. Caffeine for the win! 

 WTDF was the antithesis to the whole first half of this much-maligned sixth season. For the first eight episodes we were stuck in the temple, twiddling our thumbs with Doo-gen and Stupidface McUseless (aka Lennon); there were two timelines whose connection was not discernable and we were not getting answers. Last night’s episode had more in it than those whole first eight (with a few exceptions, of course). We got a glimpse of most of the characters, and got a sense of where this epic tale might lead. 

 Also, can I say that I loved all the meta-references in this ep, from Flocke’s repeated mantra that “this is all almost over” and Jacob’s “we only have a certain amount of time left”? The latter example seemed like a Back to the Future reference; if only a disintegrating Jacob would break out into “Johnny Be Good” after telling the remaining candidates that one had to take the job: “Jack Be Good (And Become the Protector of the Island)” 

“Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you were supposed to act a certain way, but when you got there, you didn't know if you could go through with it?”

 Hey speaking of Back to the Future, check out this amazing shirt

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads… only constants. And windswept hair.

 And while there were many excellent players in this ep (can I mention my love for Buddha Desmond again? “Hey old buddies! Let’s break out of this van and go to a concert! Did I mention that I run over people in wheelchairs in my spare  time?”), the MVP of this episode has to go to Ben “I Always Have a Plan” Linus. 

 

Would you like some murder with your lemonade?

 Ben’s sudden turnaround to the side of the good guys was one of this season’s most shocking – and, dare I say, moving – moments. Could the master of manipulation really turn towards the light? After some grave digging and Ilana-sploding we were meant to think, yes, this guy has gone through Liar Rehab and has emerged as a better citizen. And that’s when Benji got boring. He lost his mojo! How could he just sit around, quipping about Ilana exploding and following Richard towards some C4? 

 But in WTDF, he had his “aha moment,” where we saw that the island was not quite done with the long-term project known as Benjamin Linus. He was standing right over Alex’s grave. The death of the only person he ever really loved, which he had caused, was right under him. He couldn’t just sit around and let Guyliner do the talking. 

 Speaking of Richard, the thorn in my side with this episode: IS RICHARD DEAD? He wanted to take the diplomatic approach with MiBs, but his Smokeyness didn’t have time for talking, so he just clotheslined the ageless other into oblivion. Jigga what? Could it be that our beloved RA, whose death has been faked out or talked about several times this season, could just be smoked away in .5 seconds and never heard from again? COME ON! You can’t have a whole scene dealing with Richard trying to kill himself and then just toss him out into the distance. HE DESERVES BETTER. I hope there’s more to this, LOST, or we’re going to have to sit down and have a chat. 

 But back to MVP Linus. In pure Ben fashion, he decides that he’s had enough of just blindly following people around and helping with their on-the-fly plans – and thank God! Everyone else this season has been way too go-with-the-flow, from the Temple disaster to the Smokey submarine heist debacle. Praise heaven for the Master Schemer, whose encounter with Alex’s grave finally woke him up from his rehab reverie. 

 But… do I think Ben has turned his back on his conversion? Nope. While he shot Charles Widmore to show the MiB that he meant business, that was a necessary (and desired) casualty on the road to his ultimate shot at redemption: killing MiB and sacrificing himself for the good of the others and the island. Ben is a wily guy and all, but I don’t think he could turn his back on his desire to change so quickly. MiB should see through that, except he never saw the conversation Ben had with Ilana. According to the MiB, Ben is still the power-craving mastermind he always was. I think the winner of the ultimate con-test (get it? Like a long CON…test?) will be Ben. After all, he has a MAJOR bone to pick with MiB for conning him into killing Jacob. But Ben may have to pay for that victory with his life. 

How many times does he have to tell you? He ALWAYS has a plan.

 I also give a tip of my hat to Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn for the excellent scene of Ben and Flocke on the porch, casually discussing murder and island domination. Get these guys their own show, STAT! 

 Oh, and Sideways Ben… ca-ching! Best. Surprise. Evar. Rousseau has really nice hair off the island! And she has the hots for Dr. Linus! Like… a lot. Those come hither eyes she gave him over the dishes were both creepy and amazing (creepmazing?). As a mother, wouldn’t you be concerned, not turned on, that your teenage daughter is so close to an older, single teacher? I guess Rousseau saw that PhD and those glasses (and that broken arm and busted face?) and had to lock that down. Many moons ago, I had suspected that Ben might be Alex’s actual father – somehow I feel like this theory has finally been vindicated. Right?! 

It must be the onions… or my strange attraction to you

 As a whole with this episode, I commend the writers for abandoning the LOST trademark move of dragging out conversations and decisions. I thought the discussion over who would take over Jacob’s job would take forever, even though Jack was clearly the guy who would step up to the plate. I also appreciated that, FOR ONCE, the characters decided to take a break from traipsing around the jungle and making from-the-gut decisions to sit down and actually consider what’s going on. Since Season 1 I have been screaming at the TV, trying to implore the characters to actually sit down and discuss what was going on with them; they finally figured it out… in the penultimate episode of LOST ever. Sheesh. 

 I also felt that Jacob really did owe the candidates some explanation even if, as usual, it was cryptic and incomplete. And yet, after all the ish they’ve been through, I don’t think the metaphysics of it all was all that important to the castaways. If you’re former friend’s corpse’s likeness is being taken up by an evil smoke monster, I think  you just have to go with the flow.  I mean, I always do when that happens to me. 

 Going into the finale, I am glad to see that we’ve been set up with a mission: stop the MIB from destroying the island, and maybe save the world at the same time. A current LOST-related Heroes-inspired mantra going around the internets is “Save the Cheerful Scotsman, Save the World!” I like it. Now Charles Widmore (I would say he was gone too soon, but, really… what else could that conniving Brit have to say? Once you whisper in MiB’s ear, you’re pretty much done) is out of the picture. But thankfully he did let us know that Desi is the island’s failsafe before doing so. That’s what you get for shooting Alex in the head. 

 Another great meta moment: When Widmore was whispering into Flocke’s ear – how conniving of you, LOST, to do that to us so late in the game! – Ben expressed the audience’s frustrations with such coyness by popping several caps into his secretive nemesis. You want to drop some frustrating secrets on us, LOST? Well, then I am just going to have to shoot you. Several times. 

 This is the part of the post where we rejoice that Zoe is dead. DING DONG THAT BITCH IS DEAD! SMOKEY TOOK A KNIFE TO HER HEAD! DING DONG THAT POINTLESS BITCH IS DEAD! The Lockeness Monster said it best himself, “If she wasn’t going to be able to say anything, she was useless to me.” Truer words were never spoken, MiBs. Now you can happily go back to your stripper workout videos, Zoe-lady. There is no more room for your useless whining. 

FIN.ALL.Y

 All in all I am fairly satisfied to this lead-in to the most epic finale of all time. I look forward to watching it again, if not only to watch Kate and Sayid’s reactions to Crazy Des in the back of the armored car (also: bribe-taking Ana Lucia! After all this time, I kind of wish you had stuck around, even though I hated you when you were on the show. My bad!). 

 LOST week continues with Darlton on David Letterman’s Top Ten tonight; the Times Talk LOST broadcast tomorrow night (I’ll be in my local movie theater); Darlton’s last live appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Fri night; the Paley Center on Sat (and possible visit to the NYC LOST-a-thon; donate here!); and, of course, the five-hour-long finale fest that will be taking place on Sunday (two hour retrospective beforehand, 2.5 hour episode, followed by Jimmy Kimmel special). It is the end, my friends. And, my, hasn’t it been a great ride? 

 Namaste. Check out my twitter over the week for thoughts, event updates etc.

across the sea: inheritance and legacy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2010 by eyeoftheisland

was it perfect? absolutely not. the winner of most satisfying mythology download episode of LOST goes to “ab aeterno” (and not just because of my raging crush on harlequin hero richard alpert). while viewers had high expectations for “ab aeterno”, the episode had a fairly defined area to cover; namely, the origin storgy of eternal consogliere richard alpert. what really brings “across the sea” down is that, effectively, the entire series (in the minds of the fan community) was resting on the promised reveals in this episode. but like bib (boy in black) and his mother before him, we were left unsatisfied; answering one question will only lead to another question.

[for an excellent summary of critical and fan reception to what may be the most polarizing episode in LOST history, i refer you to mysles mcnutt’s cultural learnings blog: http://cultural-learnings.com/2010/05/12/lost-the-morning-after-going-across-the-sea-with-critics/]

at first, this took a minute for me to digest. i have to admit that once this season started with a double whammy of an island storyline and a sideways universe storyline, i had given up on getting precise answers to certain mysteries. i had a sneaking suspicion that there was not going to be one be-all, end-all thing to tie together the dozens of mysteries this show has provided for us. in fact, the only thing that truly does tie the series together is that there are mysteries: some large, some small, some solvable and some we may never understand. and while we may seek out fictional stories to find some sort of truth, be they on tv, in a book through a console or in a song, ultimately fiction is our way of dealing with the unknown. to somehow define what the human experience is. in the end, despite how these stories may move us, we just have to shrug our shoulders and admit that we can’t be sure. that was the overarching lesson/theme/motif that i gathered from “across the sea.”

after all, is there much of life that we can be certain of? many LOST fans are complaining that the appearance of mother only led to more questions: who is she? how did she get to be in the position she’s in? and the people before that? etc. however, i saw her cryptic existence as being entirely fitting and strangely satisfying. throughout the series, we have been guided through a series of leaders, a hierarchy of supposed wisdom-keepers: did john locke have the knowledge? rousseau? ben? richard? jacob? mother? the answer is that no one really knows. nor can anyone know. and yet the sum of all human knowledge has been passed down to us by those who came before us. everything we know we learned from our parents and they from their parents, and so on. so what mother told bib and young j: she came from her mother and they came from her. that we can be positive about. our own personal light sources we protect — whether they be religion, morals, values, politics, history, all traditions — they come from our parents.

how they pass on this information intimately shapes us. this is another theme at the crux of LOST’s storytelling. we’ve been beaten over the head with parents and children and the various mommy/daddy issues that spring from them. in a recent interview with the nyt
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/arts/television/16weblost.html?ref=television, damon and carlton spoke of the path of redemption that the LOST characters keep going through: they are all victims of some sort when they crashed on the island, even jin and sun who were travelling together. but now, havin been through these experiences together, they are finding redemption for themselves both through and by helping others on their own redemption journeys. or, in short: live together, die alone. the only way for anyone to make sense of this mystery island known as life, we depend on the sympathy and compassion of others. our constants ground us to reality. and they help us shape the legacy that we might leave for those that come after us.

as a whole, the island gives those that land on it the opportunity to shrug off that burden of legacy. and yet, it is inescapable. jacob and the smokey form of the mib are still playing out the game they started as children: stay and obey the parent’s rule or rebel and escape the burden of inheritance. keep faith in what has always been or challenge the norm and step out into the abandon, across the sea.

enough of the philosophical. generally, the overarching themes and some key bits of writing in “across the sea” made it a success for me. it wouldn’t be LOST without asking questions as it was giving us answers. i did, however, have some issues with the execution, namely….

the glowing birth canal that lives in all of us.

i mean… really? are some fans of this show so dense that they need to see a literal glowing golden  gloryhole of global goodness? oh wait. yes. some people out there on the internets are moaning about not knowing exactly what it is and how it came to be. news flash: IT IS MADE UP. i think this calls for a

REALITY CHECK

dear nitpicky fans,
you will not get the answer to every question. we are not going to find out who was shooting at sawyer and co. on the outrigger next season. we may never learn mib’s name. why the whispers were whispering that thing back when shannon got shot: we’re not getting that. what happened with walt in room 23: prob not. at this point in the story we all just need to take a collective deep breath and accept that only what’s essential to the story of the survivors of 815 (and mayhaps ben… cause… he’s ben, i mean… COME ON!) will ultimately matter. at this point, we have to just relax and enjoy the ride. sometimes the best mysteries at all are those whose solutions are left up to our imaginations.

and when they’re not we’re left with a giant, glowing vagina of human life and rebirth.

love,
me.

other reflections:

— allision janney mom was both great and distracting. i could not stop staring at her hairnet thing. sometimes i was thinking about 10 things i hate about you. sometimes i just sat back and appreciated the mellow cadence of her voice.
— i am convinced that mother was smokey. she possessed within her both the light and belief of jacob and also the cunning and wilyness of young mibs. how else could she have filled out that well so fast and smoked (ha.ha.) all those villagers? my theory about her existence pre-across the sea is that she, like jacob would after her, had tried and failed many times to convert people into ideal candidates. however, once she saw the golden opportunity of two blank slates, she hopped on that (i.e. put a rock to mommy claudia’s noggin) and raised (as an OTHER) the babes as her own; two ideal, but distinct candidates. maybe it was her goal all along to have two protectors instead of one so that the burden was more evenly distributed.
— jacob could not be the man he is today without the ongoing influence of his smokey-brother. the jacob we saw in “across the sea” was childish and naive even in his adulthood; but the jacob we’ve seen so far in the series seems jaded and world-weary; maybe the game between himself and smoke-brother was the real training for him to be the proper protector
— however, there is a question of whether smokey is the soul of mib who is trapped forever on the island or, if by sending his brothers’ body down the well (a no-no by mother’s standards; you cannot go back up the birth canal!), jacob released the smoke monster into the world

there are so many other things we could get into in this episode… but it is late and i have thought too many complicated thoughts for a sunday evening. and i certainly have to save my brainpower for THE MOST EPIC WEEK IN LOST HISTORY. members of w.a.a.a.l.t. are finalizing their arrangements; i am going to my local theater to watch the live broadcast of the times talk discussion with damon and carlton on thursday AND THERE IS STILL A NEW EPISODE ON TUESDAY. i have to say that two out of every three of my thoughts has been about LOST lately. i can’t imagine that sickness will stop anytime soon.

hope you’re along for the ride on the crazy train, LOST friends. ONE. MORE. WEEK. AND. WE. WILL. KNOW. THE. ENDING.

GAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

heyyyyy brother

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 11, 2010 by eyeoftheisland

instant reaction: jigga… WHAT?

  • John Locke looked into the eye of the island and saw… a glowing birth canal from which all good things come? I am convinced this is what he saw and what he was talking to Walt about in Season 1.
  • The Smoke Monster came to be because… his a-hole brother pushed his dead body down a water slide of DOOM?
  • Allison Janney Mom was the proto-Rousseau?! Does that mean all women who give birth on the island are bound to go crazy?
  • Now that the ole dead bro was slid down the glory hole, the light went out… but then came back on? Shouldn’t they get a gate or something for that ish? Is it out now that J-Woww is dead?
  • How does the frozen donkey wheel that Ben and Locke had to push to get off the island work? And who completed it?!
  • How does the Smoke Monster intend to escape his vapor-y prison?
  • And now… I totes magotes sympathize with the MiB? I think he should totally be allowed to go across the sea. And whiny Mama’s Boy jacob deserved to die.
  • Was Allison Janney Earth Mother both Smokey and the Jacob figure? How else was she able to fill up the well AND waste all those villagers otherwise? So now the good/evil being component is split between two entitites trying to cancel each other out?

Also, the island as mother imagery was a little heavy handed. I’m thinking the wpisode as a whole was a bit much — but LOST is officially letting it’s freak flag fly. GO INTO THE LIGHT, EVERYONE!!!!

PS 100th eyeoftheisland post! woot LOST woot!

mirror, mirror on the wall

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by eyeoftheisland

Important Memo: I just learned that Lighthouse was the 108th hour of LOST! Holy polar bear shit, that is awesome! Considering that 108 was the hot number last night (when is it not a hot number on LOST), that coincidence (or is it?) is simply wunderbar. 108 would have made a great episode title.

Now, I hate to burst your bubble seconds after extolling the significance of 108, however… looking at the screencaps from “Lighthouse”, it appears that the person at 108 on the lighthouse wheel is… Wallace? And he’s crossed out?

Wallace who?

Wallace who?

To my knowledge there has not yet been a Wallace in the LOST canon. So, Jacob just sent Jack to the Lighthouse so he could see the Ultimate Spying Device, break it and then sullenly sit on a rock and mull it all over? Mayhaps. After all, Jacob did dole out some important life advice last night:

“Sometimes you need to get into somebody’s cab and tell them what to do, and other times you have to let them sit on a rock and look out at the ocean.”

Remind me to sew that on to a decorative pillow.

It’s also possible that “Wallace” itself is placeholder for someone else we know and love. Wallace. Like William Wallace. The famous Scottish freedom fighter. What’s that? Famous Scottish freedom fighter? DO YOU MEAN DESMOND HUME?! Okay, so “Wallace” might still be a red herring, but I do think the person that Jacob wants to come to the island to fix the cosmic jumble that it’s in is none other than Desmond. I can’t seem to find another way that the Hot Scot would worm his way into this business, and the fact that we saw him appear and then vanish on the plane reinforces the fact that he is singular. As the dearly departed Danny F once told us, Desmond is “uniquely special.” I’m cool with whatever – as long as he brings his half-buttoned navy blue shirt.

To round out the discussion brewing about the numbers and the corresponding names on the wheel (more wheels! I wonder if the island is really just a giant clock), I point you to extensive screencaps here, here and here.

So far we’ve got (of the significant patch):

4 – Locke

8 – Reyes

15 – Ford

16 – Jarrah

20 – Rousseau

23 – Shepherd

32 – Rutherford

42 – Kwon

51 – Austen

101 – Faraday

104 – Lewis

108 – Wallace

109 – Friendly (YES TOM!)

117 – Linus

124 – Dawson

We finally DO see Kate’s number in the mix and her name is not crossed out. Interestingly her number, 51, is the inverse of Sawyer sauce’s, 15. Significant?

You can also see many other names in the mix. These seem to correspond to those that were seen on the wall of the cave. Jack’s experience of discovery this week mirrors (more on that in a bit) Sawyer’s last week, where one of the island demi-gods shows his numero uno recruit the game plan for the season. Yet, both Jack and Sawyer are not instructed by te demi-gods themselved, but by stand-ins, by SUBSTITUTES. Flocke is a substitute for MIB and Hurley is a substitute (mroe like conduit) for Jacob. Actually, out of all the candidates, Hurley seems to be the best for the job;. He is the least self-interested and conflicted and seems to judge others fairly. 

Except both heroes’ reaction to divine guidance is different. Jack’s is violence, anger and destruction. Sawyer’s is much calmer, more accepting. Cool as a cucumber, decides he’s had enough and wants to break out of his island-prison with the Lockeness Monster. These two episode-ending revelations are setting us up for a season-long struggle between the show’s two heartthrobs. I’m hoping my Sawyer Sauce will see the light and not let MiB drag him in for a long con.

Back to Jacob and his Friend:  the existence of the wheel, as shown to us by Jacob, seems to be evidence that the cave we saw in “The Substitute” does not necessarily belong to Jacob-Woww, but perhaps the MIB. The methodical way that the names on the wheel were written and displayed seemed to contrast with the angry scrawl the sprawled all over the dark cave.

I am also skeptical that Jacob used the lighthouse to spy on the LOSTies in the real world. My THEORY is that the Lighthouse is the key to the sideways world. In the Sideways plot, the camera intentionally lingered over the exterior shot of the Shephard family home. Maybe the Lighthouse is key to connecting the parallel realities? Oh wait, Jack had to go and smash it. SHEESH.

Generally, I loved loved LOVED Lighthouse. I totally agreed with Hurley’s sentiment that it felt like old times, traipsing through the jungle, and going to do something we don’t exactly understand. Look! There’s Shannon’s inhaler (foreshadowing of Maggie Grace’s return?)! And the caves! Remember that riot?! And ADAM AND EVE! Those two spoil sports, in the cave with their black and white rocks, rotting skeletons and all! What a gas! Hey, maybe those guys are one of US?! The identity of Adam and Eve has been long debated in the fan community: is it Jack and Kate? Sawyer and Juliet? Sun and Jin? My guess, at this point, is that it was the predecessors Jacob and MIB, the protectors of the island from ages past.

I also totally dug the Sideways story, where Jack was not just a crybaby spinal surgeon but a proud papa! I totally fell in love with David (who in the Bible is the second King of Israel and credited with composing many of the psalms from the Book of Psalms) and his beautiful piano playing/adolescent angst! After looking him up on imdb, I realized he is was the kid on Grey’s Anatomy who trick-or-treated for new ears and I fell in love with him all over again. Jack is not usually (aka ever) my favorite character, but I found him to be so much more well-rounded and interesting as a dad who’s trying too hard. I found it believable as well as a bit heartwarming and, again, it made it feel like Season 1 all over again.

The theme that really stuck with me from Lighthouse was reflection. The show itself is in the midst of mirroring itself circa season 1. The scenes in the sideways world are refractions of moments from Season 1, memories viewed through a prism. I particularly enjoyed when Jack asks Cindy for a pen “or something sharp” to help Charlie, as in Season 1, where Lifeguard Boone is doing bad CPR and Jack sends him away by asking him to find a pen. As an audience we are, too, experiencing a weird deja vu: yes, I do remember that interaction with Jack and Rose on the plane, but wait… wasn’t it a little different?

There were many examples of literal reflection in Lighthouse, mostly from Jack: first, looking at himself in the mirror (and wondering just when did I get my appendix out?) in the Sideways world; then looking into the swirling water surrounding the Temple (where am I, again?); to, finally, Jack gazing into the shifting mirrors in the Lighthouse, alternately seeing himself and visions of familiar and unfamiliar places (who else noticed the pagoda setting – perhaps where Sun and Jin were married?). But, of course, as he is staring into his literal reflection, he is also reflecting on his state of being.

“Who am I?” Jack asks himself. “And why do I cry so much?”

Jack stares into mirrored surfaces and sees what may or may not actually be there – remember in LA X, where Jack looks at his reflection in the airplane bathroom mirror, touching a scar on his neck that we only see in the reflection. There is, too, the title of the Season 3 finale, “Through the Looking Glass” (notice Alice was name dropped again last night). In Season 6, Jack has now through the looking glass. The parallel worlds are two sides of the same reality coin. But in the Season 6 Island Reincarnation of Jack, he is no looking for answers — how to fix others– but how to fix himself.  He tells Hurley he thought the Island would fix him. But it appears he has to do a bit of self healing,  apart from roles as leader, hero and doctor. In the lighthouse, it appears Jack was finally the one able to see through the looking glass, but he was not happy with what he saw – his childhood home, the emblem of his lifelong strained relationship with his father. He had already visited the site of his father’s empty coffin; seeing the home they shared was the last straw.

Memories themselves are reflections, how we see our past. The mirror does not always provide a clear picture, however; our mind’s eye distorts, exaggerates, and molds them. In the Sideways world, Jack sees himself as being the opposite of his father when, in fact, he’s just like him without realizing it. He is a reflection of his father, as all children are inevitably some kind of reflection of their parents.

Parents and children are a central theme to the LOST story and it is interesting to see how each character is often explored through the similarities or differences to those who raised them. The distinction is also made between biological and adoptive parents. Which, of course, makes me think of RAMBO CLAIRE / CLAIRE-SSEAU who busted on to the scene with her crazy out on display for all to see. Note to Emilie de Ravin: love the mumbling, love the distant gaze, love the CRAZY MONKEY BABY. Actually, that scared the shit out of me. But jokes aside, I thought it was interesting that Jack’s sideways story about parenting complementing Claire’s fierce and nutso desire to be with her son. Both parents wanted to be with their estranged children, who had both been taken away from them somehow. Reconnecting for Jack was a bit easier; i don’t think the heart-to-heart by the bike rack is gonna cut it with Claire-sseau and her off-island offspring.

Okay, now I’m just thinking about that creepy baby thing.

cute? more like terrifying.

cute? more like terrifying

Much to think about for what’s coming up. In fact, LET’S REFLECT.

(pun love)

Namaste and see you at SUNDOWN (Episode 6×06).

two sides: one light, one dark

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 15, 2009 by eyeoftheisland

although i had some issues with the pacing of “the incident” (along with a few questionable character motivations — mainly jack’s “i’m doing this for kate” tantrum), as i have had time to process the mythologies that it revealed, i am becoming more and more intrigued about “what it could all mean.” clearly the opening scene (my favorite moment) of the episode was important. i want to argue that it is the most revealing moment in the whole series. to recap:

oh, brother

oh, brother

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Morning.

BLOND MAN: Mornin’.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Mind if I join you?

BLOND MAN: [Shaking his head] Please. Want some fish?

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Thank you. I just ate.

[The gray-haired man sits down not far away.]

BLOND MAN: I take it you’re here ’cause of the ship.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: I am. How did they find the Island?

BLOND MAN: You’ll have to ask ’em when they get here.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: I don’t have to ask. You brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren’t you?

BLOND MAN: You are wrong.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Am I? They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.

BLOND MAN: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.

[The gray-haired man stares at his compatriot.]

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Do you have any idea how badly I wanna kill you?

BLOND MAN: Yes.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: One of these days, sooner or later… I’m going to find a loophole, my friend.

BLOND MAN: Well, when you do, I’ll be right here.

GRAY-HAIRED MAN: Always nice talking to you, Jacob.

JACOB: Nice talking to you, too.

whoa dang. still get chills reading this. what is sort of outwardly displayed here are two forces: one is light and one is dark. jacob, with his sandy tresses and white linen and mr. nameless (although from here on in i will be referring to him as esau, jacob’s brother in the bible) with his dark, hairy demeanor and black shirt. two forces: one open, optimistic, progressive; the other angry, vengeful, pessimistic. oppositions are lost’s modus operandi, but it seems like all the point/counterpoint relationships we’ve encountered so far (jack vs. locke; ben vs. widmore; even kate vs. juliet) are mere blips on the radar compared with the two immortal collossi we have here.

for those of you who aren’t familiar/weren’t in a production of joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat in seventh grade, in the bible jacob and esau are twin brothers. (twins are a concept already embedded in the mythology of lost with gary troupe’s bad twin, a book that came out as a companion to the series; supposedly, the author was aboard 815 with his manuscript about a mystery involving the hanso foundation. click on the link above or the lostpedia entry to read more). when the twin boys were emerging from their mother, rebecca’s, wombthe first that came otu was the hairy esau, whose heel was being clutched by the wily jacob. jacob eventually steals the birthright that esau had earned for being the first born. having made jacob a ruler over his brothers, their father, isaac could only promise, “by your sword you shall live, but your brother you shall serve; yet it shall be that when you are aggrieved, you may cast off his yoke from upon your neck.”

resentment between them runs deep (esau vows that he will kill his brother), so they split and start two different tribes. eventually, jacob moves his family to egypt to avoid a famine in canaan. egypt, you say?

anyway, that is my gross oversimplifying of this historic brotherly feud. yet, we all know that lost likes to play with these traditional themes in its overarching theme: is man naturally good or evil? can oen change one’s nature? what is the effect of the environment upon human nature? the above conversation seems to indicate to me that we have two brotherly forces who have been engaged in this debate for eternity. one tries to prove one’s point to the other until both sides are proven correct — a positive plus a negative yields neutral results — and they are back to square one; back to “reset.”

and, i think, this is exactly what happened in the finale.

now that we know that “locke” has not been quite himself this whole season (let’s call him locke 2.0), we have to call into question all of the “apparitions” we’ve seen in the series thus far. i certainly think that the esau figure could be all the apparitions/visions of people we’ve seen before. thinking back on it, visions on the island have always manipulated people to do bad things, i.e. christian, kate’s horse, dave. and remember that it was “christian” that told locke to turn the wheel and locke 2.0 who sent richard to tell locke he had to die.  

 esau assumes he’s won by having ben kill jacob (ben would be the ultimate exhibit on jacob’s side; the son killing his father), but then, simultaneously, jacob wins with his juliet victory in the past. before the episode, i was in the miles camp and thought that what jack’s plan was going to cause was the incident (“whatever happened, happened”). now, with the “two brothers” plot, i am thinking that juliet’s actions have changed the course of history. like they always say in schmaltzy sci fi — you can predict everything except for human emotions. so because she loved sawyer and because she had the power of choice she changed things. essentially, her love for sawyer could save them all.

 thus with both a jacob win and an esau win (however temporary), we are back to square one. the brothers are in a constant stalemate. maybe. as i’ve said before, i am willing to roll with the punches as long as those punches are entertaining. i could make the complete opposite argument that jacob is the dark and his brother, the light. while jacob’s “touchy-feely” encounters with the losties in their pasts seems to indicate that they are the chosen (and may just save them), he also provided the means for many of them to destroy their lives. he kind of told kate it was okay to steal; he gave sawyer the implement to begin his revenge obsession; he allowed nadia, the person that was keeping sayid “good”, to die. the scenes are deliberately ambigous. what dreams may come?  bring it on, season 6!

and yet, the two opposing sides, the “light” and the “dark” have been around since episode one. as iconic as the opening scene of “the incident” was, we also have the following scene from “the pilot: part two” where two different sorts of players had a similar conversation:

the light and the dark

the light and the dark

LOCKE: Backgammon is the oldest game in the world. Archeologists found sets when they excavated the ruins of ancient Mesopotamia. Five thousand years old. That’s older than Jesus Christ.

WALT: Did they have dice and stuff?

LOCKE: [nods] Mhhm. But theirs weren’t made of plastic. Their dice were made of bones.

WALT: Cool.

LOCKE: Two players. Two sides. One is light … one is dark. Walt, do you want to know a secret?

i can’t help but wonder what secret locke might have whispered in walt’s ear. what exactly did locke see when he looked into the eye of the island? and can the beautiful that exist there defeat the terrible, or will this cosmic tug of war last forever?

only time will tell.

namaste, friends. happy theorizing!