Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lost - so we're following the leader, but who IS he?


Wow - what a week. Stick with me here for a minute... I think this is big. If you want to skip my theorizing, my thoughts on this episode are at the bottom of the post.

Man of Science, Man of Faith is back?
TIME's Lost commentary noted that this episode brought us back around to the comparison of Jack and John Locke as a man of science vs. a man of faith.Ultimately Jack believes in Daniel's science and the ability to change how things happened.

On the other hand, Locke believes in the island, fate, etc. He's still a man of faith.

Or is he? I actually think TIME's analysis is off. Jack may believe in science, but he's sort of blindly believing a scientist who may or may not be crazy and know what he's talking about. Jack is, in my opinion, a man of faith... in science. Without good basis. Hmm... sounds familiar.

Who IS Locke and what is his goal?
And then there's Locke. He is not just a man of faith, as he was portrayed in the first few seasons. As he said, he has a purpose now. He is the leader. And... in a way, when he says he's off to kill Jacob, in the eyes of the people who have believed in Jacob, Locke is about to in essence kill their god. He's sort of the antithesis to a man of faith because he evidently is going to take down the element that I think Ben and Richard have used to control people so long. They have used fear to keep the people superstitiously following their orders. Locke is about to directly address this Jacob - and I bet that he'll show it's all a fraud.

So, in a sense, John Locke is that "man of science" guy. He's about to do away with blind belief.

However, if god (in Lost) were embodied and walking around looking like one of us, then him cutting down blind belief and acting with purpose would all just be him acting on what he KNOWS to be true, because he knows himself. Right? That is what I think "Locke" is doing right now. I think that he is the monster. I don't believe he's Locke at all, I believe it's the Monster in Locke's body. Click on the link to read more about that theory, which I wrote several weeks ago.

In any case, that's why I think the writers have so heavily leaned on the Christ metaphors and comparisons for Locke this season - because they know that he, like Jesus, would soon be the island "god" embodied and walking among the people as one of them. Not at all an actually Christian plot development, it's just a metaphor that hints and foreshadows using similarities in my Christian faith. It's interesting, because I think the monster will end up being real in the show, not some made up gimmick. And, speaking of Christian metaphors, one commenter mentioned that this week sure looked like Locke was Moses leading the Exodus, with Alpert as Aaron, who will be revealed as the guy that leads the people to worship false gods. Interesting, eh?

So - to lay it out, I think that within Lost:
-The monster is a real, mythical, god-like figure that actually had power and control.
- The monstor has taken over Locke's body, and is using Him to influence what happens
- Science is still true, it still describes what happens with time, and explains the unique properties of the island, and people can use it, but it can't control, it simply describes.

What I don't know:
Who is Richard Alpert and how does he relate to the island and the monster?
Ultimately, can the past be changed....i.e. is there some element of free will?

Best moment of last night:
Dr. Chang quizzing Hurley to see if he's from the future. Hilarious.

Oh, and P.S, this reminded me all over again why Jack has always been one of my least favorite characters and I have NEVER liked the romance between him and Kate. He's never been emotionally open, connected, and stable with Kate. Jerk. She should've stuck with Sawyer.

That said... poor Juliet. The past few weeks I've developed sympathy for her. She seems to think that as long as Kate is around, she can't keep Sawyer. Girl, start fighting for him if you really care!


  1. Besides the coming back to life thing (lol), which we had seen before with Christian, which other Christ metaphors have you noticed? And are you saying that you think the smoke monster is the god-equivalent? My only thing there is the carving in the temple, and the symbols that had the smoke monster positioned as a servant of the gods... but then I suppose we have nothing to prove that those symbols were meant to be interpreted as strictly historical, or even were telling the truth... In shows like this I feel like it's important to keep running around being like, 'that might be true... but only from his perspective.' There's always the chance that people are wrong, or lying... Haha we've seen that in Lost often enough so far, haven't we??

    Nice observations about the science/faith switches between Locke and Jack though! Funny isn't it, that "Jack" can be a nickname for "John" so in a way, they share the same name... maybe you can look at them as kind of two sides of the same coin. :P

    Totally agree that Juliet needs to fight for her man! I think it's all her insecurities talking at this point anyway...

  2. Wow, Kacie! That was very insightful! I'm actually going to have to read it a few times to absorb it all. I'm impressed that you could make that much sense out of that episode.

  3. Oh man, I was writing a long reply about where I saw the Christ-metaphors, but it was so long I just made a new post and scheduled it for tomorrow morning. :)

  4. Great insights and thoughts. The science vs faith argument is compelling. I would never have thought of that.
    As far Locke goes we think alike sister...he is something other than Locke!
    And Juliet better get her act together. I'm surprised her character changed this way.
    I'm surprised that both Kate and Juliet's characters seem to change to something different. hmm
    Great post!

  5. LOVE your thoughts on man of science/man of faith, and esp. your Smokey theory. Great thoughts!

    I’d be happy to post a link to your Christ-metaphors post over on the LOST Books Challenge blog. Just email me the link once it goes up tomorrow and I’ll get it posted – I’m sure lots of us will find it interesting.

    - Heather


  6. Interested to see your post on the Christ metaphors. I kept thinking when John was talking to the people that he is going to be a bridge between people and Jacob, like Jesus is a bridge between people and God.

    I think you're right on about the science v. faith thing. Funny how Kate thinks Jack now sounds like Locke? I definitely see the science v. faith issue being the driving force behind the creators' and writers' writing.

    Thanks for a great wrap-up!

  7. But the interesting is that Jack and John both were wrong in their beliefs at the beginning of the show, and they're both wrong now, I think. Locke had a cult-follower personality, blind belief in anything or Anyone who seemed to command faith. After the crash, his "faith" transferred to the Island itself because he thought some spiritual force in the island healed him.

    Jack, on the other hand, was a total skeptic. He didn't believe ther was anything good about the island, didn't believe in "faith-healing" didn't believe in the efficacy of the button. And he turned out to be wrong about all of that.

    Now, Jack believes he has a destiny: to blow up the island and make everything go back to normal, pre-crash normal. But I think he's wrong again. He's placed his faith in the Island's call to him to come back, but that "call' was made up by Locke when he told himself that they all had to come back. Circular reasoning, to say the least.

    And Locke is about to dstroy everyone's faith in Jacob and replace it with what? Faith in Locke? But I don't believe in Locke even if he is channeling the Smoke Monster or the Island or some god of the Island.

    So, it's not faith versus reason. It's blind faith in idols versus atheism or belief in nothing. Both are misguided and leaderless.

    Of course, I'll admit to a Christian bias which may be clouding my view of what the writers are trying to say in the show.

  8. Yeah, Sherry, I agree with you that Jack and John were both wrong in a way in the first couple of seasons.

    As for what Locke is about to do - I think he is essentially taking over. And, because Ben and Richard have long used the vague messages from "Jacob" to control the actions of the people, I think Locke will act with an Enlightenment mentality. I think he'll prove that Jacob is a superstitious figure only, nothing real, and convince them to follow his very physical leadership instead.

    It would be a trasfered faith from the invisible to the visible - the question is, will the people realize that this isn't the same John Locke, or will he mislead them?

    But really all of that is just conjecture as to what will happen. What IS happening right now is blind faith, for the most part. And we still don't know if it is based on anything or not because we have yet to know what is really true about the island.