So Rae Hanson was in town this week, and day before yesterday I treated her to a celebratory lunch for her crushing Lark win last season. I also presented her with this trophy… I’m showing you all simply to make you jealous.
Anyway, we naturally spent a good portion of our lunch Losting la vida loca. She and fellow Larker Amrie (who was also in town for the week) seemed to share my feelings that the episode was kind of a wet sock. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s how I’ve felt about all this temple stuff, to be honest. I mean, wet socks are just really annoying… right, Rae? Amrie, I know you absolutely hate them.
My beef, once again, was that there just didn’t seem to be much new information. I mean so much of what we saw, we already knew was coming… perhaps with the exception of The A-Team’s entrance there at the end. I mean, Smokey on his way to the Temple; Smokey manipulating someone into doing his bidding; Dogan trying once again to kill Sayid on the sly; me making the same A-Team joke I made the other day during our lunch.
I didn’t even really know what I’d write about here. I just wasn’t inspired.
BUT…… there was a turn for me that day. I wound up talking more and more about the episode with others… and a bit to myself. (Sure, I talk to myself. Who doesn’t?) It culminated at a birthday party later that evening, where about 6 of us were standing around intensely sharing our theories.
And suddenly, I can’t explain it… I sorta loved the episode. It was strange. It was as though… I don’t know… I was consumed by the need to get my show back; to be finally reunited with it. And if I was to find out Kate, God forbid, was raising this show…
My friend Stevie made an interesting comparison to Myst, a video game the creators admit being influenced by. If you don’t know the game, it’s about an Island with strange properties: scientific anomalies, teleportation, time travel, hatches… but most interestingly (and I guess I’d never really thought about this until Stevie mentioned it)… the plot heavily revolves around two brothers who are vying for control of the Island. But at the start of the game, they both seem to have been ensnared by the other… trapped within the pages of two different books. And each brother is separately imploring you for help; warning you against the other.
The question you find yourself asking is… who’s the good guy? The answer, it turns out, may be much more complicated than a simple black or white (or in the case of the game, red or blue).
And this question forms the core of many similar Lost conversations: Who to believe here on the Island. Ben? Locke? Widmore? Hawking? Christian? Richard?… and now, more relevantly, our two opposite “pseudo-sibling” forces… Jacob or FLock? Which one is Good? Which one is Evil?
Or is there really any Good and Evil in this world at all? Aren’t most of these actions just rooted in reasonable human need? Doesn’t it all just depend on which side of the game board you’re viewing it from. We don’t sit down at a game of chess or backgammon and say, “I’m gonna play the evil side today.” Black and white are just the colors we use to distinguish the two sides. They both adhere to the same set of rules for gameplay.
But there is an infection. Right? I think at this point, it’s pretty clear something’s growing inside a few of our Losties. Or perhaps just more obvious in them than others. But I guess it isn’t clear what exactly. And where does one “catch the bug”, if you will.
Well, I can’t help noticing all the “Lord of the Flies” similarities lately, another clear influence on the show. Particularly this “seed of evil” theme. The idea that a small piece of evil sits dormant in all of us… been there since our birth… original… waiting for the right conditions to germinate… and once it does, if left unchecked, on say a lost Island, over 1000 miles from civilization, it will grow and eventually consume the person.
When Sayid woke from death, it was thought that something had changed in him. That he was somehow infected by something that wasn’t there before. Now, it’s obvious he’s sick. And that most likely it’s the same sickness that consumes Claire. But I think it’s interesting to note, that until Sayid came in contact with FLock, there really wasn’t anything out of character with the guy. He was a little discombobulated, sure; seemed confused by the torture, understandable, although I’m sure also reminded of how capable he is of the same. He was still loyal to his friends, though. He accepted Dogan’s deal to prove his virtue. I suppose, to prove to himself, more than anyone, that he is “good”. I mean, that has always been a theme for this character, right? So in a way, this “sickness” isn’t new. It just goes in and out of remission.
And every time it comes out, whether it be in his real life or his Alti-life, it’s used as a sort of bargaining chip. Or perhaps the deal is what brings it out at all. Observe:
“If you torture these traitors, you will see glory.”
“If you torture Sawyer, Shannon will live.”
“If you assasinate for Ben, you will save your friends.”
“If you kill this boy, he will not grow into a monster.”
“If you plunge this dagger into this evil incarnate, we will accept you here at the Temple.”
“If you kill these men, you will help free me of my debt, brother.”
“If you kill the protector of the Temple, I will give you your Nadia back.”
But is Sayid really alone here. It’s likely Claire was made a similar deal to get her Aaron back. Because for Claire, that’s what it would take. It’s not about her being exposed to a contagion. This is who she is, always. Under the right circumstances, that is how her seed will germinate and how the cancer will consume her. Both on the Island and off… in this universe and in every other parallel universe that exists.
In a sense these “seeds” are a universal truth about these people. They link every story that has, will, or could be told about them. If the deal is right, Sayid will always kill. And from his side of the game board, those deals will always seem reasonable, even if a bit brutal. A pretty effective way to move a game piece, wouldn’t you say?
In fact, think of it like this: an infected game piece, may simply be a piece that’s… “in-play”.
Because make no mistake, on the other side of the game board, similar deals are being made that seem equally as reasonable… or unreasonable depending on where you’re sitting.
“Protect this Temple from the evil incarnate at all costs… that goes for lying, kidnapping, inflicting emotional and physical pain, poisoning… do these things and I will give you your son back.”
Whoa, that’s… kinda… extreme… wouldn’t you say?
“You have a choice, though. You still have free will.”
Really? Because that doesn’t sound like free will to me. That sounds like powerful manipulation. It also sound like the infection is just a convenient way to explain to your “game pieces” why the other side’s “game pieces” are behaving so… unreasonably.
Anyway, blah blah blah… You know where I’m going with this.
As for big jaw dropping theories, I’m still working with my two biggies:
1.) The Island is a ship that wrecked on earth a long time ago. Its stranded sailors teaching primitive humans the knowledge needed to form civilizations.
2.) Jack, Christian, and Jack’s new Alti-son, David, are somehow, through all of this time traveling… the same person.
I’m actually doing some intensive work on that second theory… I know it’s not quite there yet. But I do need to get it ready for a gentleman’s bet with James Gunn. Believe it or not, he thinks I’m out of my mind; tried to get me to accept a $5 wager night before last. I’ll admit, I got a little nervous in the moment and backed down.
But I think I can do this.
I really do.
Oh, by the way, I’m listening to this song by Vandaveer right now. I thought you’d like to hear it, if you haven’t already… even though it has absolutely NOTHING to do with Lost.
Rev your engines
Cross your hearts
We’re sailing off to mars
We’re the travelers from afar
Pass cast aways on ship wrecks stars
Dark in empty bars
We’re light years on this cruise
You wait half your life for a brand new start
You learned your lines, you end your part
You’re all battered up and bruised
You always had a roman candle for a heart
Now you gotta firm grip on things for a start
I suppose that’s a part of growing old
Oh oh growing old
See?! I’m more than just Lost and So You Think You Can Dance! I’m a very complex dude!