Tuesday, February 17, 2009

LOST Some Thoughts on Jacob and Christian

So, is Christian actually working on behalf of Jacob or is he somehow taking the Island over?

Is the person we see walking around saying he is Christian even actually the man who was Christian Shephard since Christian Shephard died in Sydney?

Why when we first saw Christian walking around the Island was he always in a blue suit, but since we've seen him in the Cabin he's wearing something else?  Are these actually two distinct characters using the same face?
Christian's body is missing.  This was established in the Season 1 episode White Rabbit in which Dr. Jack found Christian's coffin amongst flight 815 wreckage in the Caves.  The coffin was intact, but it was empty.  In fact, Dr. Jack was led to the Caves by the vision of his dead father.  More and more, this early episode appears to be important as many characters have since seen dead characters around.

If you'll recall last season, when the O6 were telling their story to the press in No Place Like Home Part 1, Dr. Jack mentioned three other survivors who didn't live to get rescued and claimed everyone else had died.  The three that he cited were Charlie, Libby, and Boone.  What is interesting about that, is those are three characters who have been seen since their death.  Charlie has been conversing regularly with Hurley, Libby guided Michael back to the Island, and Boone has helped out Locke a time or two since biting it.  At that point in the series, those were the only confirmed dead (also a title of an episode last season) characters from flight 815 who had been seen since their death.  (I still maintain that Claire is also dead and had at that point been seen afterwards, but we haven't yet gotten confirmation that she died in that bungalow explosion).  In a way, this points out the importance of seeing characters who have died interacting with our LOSTies.  It also makes me more certain that Locke will be able to walk and talk again as soon as they get him back to the Island.

But, are the appearances of Charlie, Boone, and Libby (and appearances by Benry's mom in Man Behind the Curtain, Horace in Cabin Fever, and Ana Lucia in The Lie to mention some others) the same as the appearances of Christian Shephard?  Most of those characters appear only to one person specifically, no one else has seen them, but Christian has appeared to not only Dr. Jack, but to Miles, Michael, and Locke as well, and has been shown holding Aaron (Something Nice Back Home), petting Vincent (the mobisode So It Begins), and in last week's episode holding and hanging a lantern (very similarly to how Benry did last season when he turned the Donkey Wheel) none of those other characters have been shown able to actually manipulate real world items.  No, it seems to me that Christian is a different animal then the other dead characters that we've seen (and perhaps only Clair is similar).

But why have we seen him in different garb?  Did he get redressed somehow when he began to speak for Jacob?  That is after all when the change in clothes took place.  I do think that the Christian we've seen in the blue suit and the Christian we've seen recently is the same person, and his new job has necessitated this change in clothing.

But I'm still not sure that I trust that he is actually working in Jacob's interest.  Remember the one time that we saw Jacob prior to Christian inhabiting his cabin, he asked John to help him.  Benry asked John what he heard and it seemed to me then (and still does) that Benry wasn't able to see or hear Jacob himself.  This leads me to believe that either for some reason Benry lost his ability to see or hear Jacob (possible as it would indicate he had fallen out of favor, helping to explain how he could get cancer on an Island where people don't get sick, they get better) or somehow Jacob was fading away and losing his ability to control and manipulate the Island (hence his asking Locke to "Help me").  The second seems to me more likely to be the truth because if Jacob were somehow losing his connection to and control of the Island, that could also explain the fact that Benry got cancer.

I also believe this to be the case setting up either Jacob needing a surrogate (Christian) or someone being able to attempt to replace him (again Christian).

Let's take a moment to think about the religious aspects of this part of the show.  Jacob is clearly a religiously significant name.  In the Judeo/Christian (and Muslim for that matter) histories, Jacob was the son of Issac, grandson of Abraham, and the twin brother of Esau.  Jacob tricked his father into giving him the birthright that was legally his brothers (a con worthy of Sawyer or Locke's dad).  He also famously wrestled God (or in some translations an Angel of God) and won (or at least didn't lose).  His twelve sons became the twelve tribes of Israel.  One of his son's was named Benjamin and he had a great great grandson named Aaron (the brother of Moses).  It seems pretty clear to me that this person is where the show got the name of Jacob.  Also the bible talks about how "God loved Jacob" and that was also a direct quote shown in Room 23 when Karl was being held there by the Others.

Christian Shephard is also pretty clear in it's religious significance.  Christian is self explanatory and Jesus is often referred to as a Shepherd and uses shepherd and sheep metaphors in many of his parables.

Again, I'm not sure what this might mean.  I'll be honest, as I'm watching I feel like Christian is not working on behalf of Jacob, but looking at it from a purely analytical bent, I'm inclined to think that he is.  Either way, this is definitely one of the most intriguing mysteries on the show right now and one I will be keeping a close eye on.

Until Next Time, let me know your thoughts on the Christian/Jacob situation and what it all might mean.

*EDIT* Check out my post following the episode Follow the Leader for some more thoughts on Jacob and Christian.

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