Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lost Update - The Christ-type of John Locke

This show is incredible. It's amazing how complicated the plot gets, and how rarely the producers make mistakes. AND... everything seems to mean something... eventually...


Anyways, it has been intriguing to watch the Christ-type that the producers are making out of John Locke. In college my favorite lit. professor taught a class called "The image of Christ in the Novel", and I've spent a lot of time making the same type of observations about movies and tv shows.... and the last couple of weeks on Lost have intentionally milked that metaphor.

The theme for this week was resurrection. John Locke, a tortured savior who gives his life to save others, and then comes alive again.

Interestingly, the place of his body on the plane takes the place of Christian Shepherd, whose very name is all metaphor.

Last weeks episode was chock-full of themes that screamed religious imagery and metaphor. Locke's body was returned to the island on flight "316". Most relevant is Ben's conversation with Jack (the prototype of a skeptic) in the Lampost station (which is inside a church), in which Ben is characteristically evasive and talks about doubting Thomas.

"BEN: Thomas, the Apostle. When Jesus wanted to return to Judea, knowing that he probably would be murdered there, Thomas said to the others, "Let us all go that we might die with him." But Thomas was not remembered for this bravery. His claim to fame came later [pauses] when he refused to acknowledge the resurrection. He just couldn't wrap his mind around it. The story goes that he needed to touch Jesus' wounds to be convinced.
JACK: So, was he?
BEN: Of course he was. We're all convinced sooner or later Jack."

Well, if that is the metaphor we're running on, and Jack is doubting Thomas, then is John Locke the dying savior? Apparently, considering this week Locke is suddenly alive again on the island after his death in real-time. When Locke is facing hanging himself he is clearly distraught, confused, and agonizing (he always is... well... either that or stubbornly acting on blind faith).

I loved this comment from's Lostwatch:
"I was going to write that this undermines the Christ parallels that some have drawn for Locke, but thinking about it, it makes him more Christ-like--in the sense that you can feel him wishing, if I remember my Gospels correctly, that this cup could pass from him. Faith for him isn't some Zen-like impermeable armor. It's an ill-fitting burial suit. Faith is hard, and O'Quinn's every-nerve-ending-exposed performance shows us that. You can feel every hurt, from the physical pain to his heartbreak over Helen."

Interesting the Ben is essentially the crucifier, and then there's the scene of him kneeling before the body...

I love the Christian imagery - even in media where the imagery is thrown about randomly it still gets my attention. I mean, Lost has an Aaron, a Matthew, a John, a Jacob, Benjamine, and... what in the world is it all sybolizing?? Nothing is a perfect metaphor, of course, but it's the subtle message that we STILL don't know... and probably won't really know until the end of next season.

I still have so many questions. Has John replaced Jacob now that he's returned to the island? So - they have to save the people by returning to the island. They have now returned to the island... now what? What is the ultimate point of the island and their apparent destiny to be on it?

We still have some big holes from Jeremy Bentham's fake life. Several things that have been said by Hurley and Jack indicate that they had another visit from Locke, and it seems like Walt must have seen him again too. Hmm...

I do so love that there's so much payoff every episode these days. The character development at the beginning of the show was fantastic for hooking people in, but eventually it got frustrating to those of us who were desperately waiting for some answers to all of the mystery!

No comments:

Post a Comment