Wednesday, May 12, 2010

LOST Across the Sea, first thoughts

Well, the mystery of Adam and Eve has been solved, and I think that all of us were probably thrown by the red herrings that the show had thrown our way regarding this issue, including earlier this season when Hugo brought up the popular theory that Adam and Eve would be two of the main characters on the show that have been with us since season one.

Instead, it is Jacob's "mother" and his twin brother, who apparently has no name, and I will continue to call Esau because of the fact that they are twins just like Jacob and Esau in the Bible.

Whereas the last episode showed that Esau isn't the hero for this show, since it placed him directly in opposition to our LOSTies, this episode gives us the motivation for why he is acting against our main characters, and, I felt anyway, made him much more sympathetic. However, I still feel that it is Jacob who had the best intentions for our characters, and that it is still Jacob's side that we should be on.

I think that we should be on Jacob's side even over and above the side of the Island.

With the woman who stole Jacob and Esau away from their mother (killing her in the process), we see many of the qualities that we have also seen in Ben, Widmore, and Esau himself. In fact, she makes the point to Esau himself. Esau asks if Jacob told her about the game and she answers that of course he did, Jacob isn't like Esau and herself, Jacob cannot lie.

We soon see another difference between Jacob and his brother and supposed mother. Jacob, for some reason, wants to see the good in people, to believe in their ability to be good, like he himself is. Neither Jacob's "mother", nor Esau, shares this optimistic view of humanity.

Jacob goes out of his way to bring people to the Island, ostensibly to prove to Esau that there is good in humanity, which actually endangers his job and responsibility as the protector of the Source (described by the "Mother" as being the source of "life, death, and rebirth" and that there is a little of it in each of us, making it perhaps the source of humanity itself). But by trying to get more of it (which is supposedly impossible despite our unstoppable desire to try anyway) the light can go out. "And if it goes out here... it goes out everywhere."

By actively bring humanity to the Island, Jacob is risking his job and really, risking life everywhere. It reminded me of the incident that caused the button to be pushed every 108 minutes, there is a risk to life everywhere and a job held by someone (not necessarily an envious job, perhaps one that is completely unappealing and with no reward whatsoever). Jacob, like Desmond towards the end of his time as the pusher of the button, is risking everything in order to satisfy some personal curiosity.

Does this make Jacob evil, or does this make human?

I want to say that it makes Jacob human, because I cannot characterize Jacob as evil. As innocent, yes. As, perhaps, the wrong person for the job, yes. But not as evil. So, it seems prudent to simply describe Jacob as human.

And yet, we cannot actually characterize Jacob as human, regardless of the fact that he began his life as a human. He lived his life separate from humanity, with beings different from normal humans, and has continued to live separate from humanity throughout his unnaturally long life.

We know that this wasn't the case for Esau, who it seems clear to me was the better choice for Island protector, and we can probably believe that this wasn't the case for the "mother" as well, and both of them have a very negative and pessimistic view of humanity.

So, is Jacob's view of humanity so positive and optimistic simply because he has not lived among humans. Would his view of humanity be different if he had lived among humanity?

It seems that LOST is making an argument for a view of a very Transcendental view of God. If we want to believe that God has a positive view of us as humanity, LOST seems to be saying, God must not be immanent, must not be an active part of human life. Although Jacob is still very active, at least in the lives of our LOSTies, I think we can safely say that he remains remote from the lives of humanity, while remaining active in humanity.

I definitely think that the "mother" felt that Esau was the better choice for guarding the Source and the Island. It seems that the Island would rather have someone like Esau or the "mother" not someone who is innocent and good like Jacob. It is Esau that the Island gave the gift of communing with the dead, and the secrets of the Island, allowing him to construct the Donkey wheel (or have others construct it for him after he goes all Smokey).

That makes me wonder what Jacob intends from his chosen candidates. Is he looking for someone like himself, different from his "mother" and the person she would have chosen to replace her if she could have, or is the Island looking to replace Jacob with someone of the type that will once again focus on the task at hand and not worry about the possible goodness of humanity?

Personally, I think that in becoming Jacob's replacement, Jacob's faith in humanity will finally be rewarded. Somehow, in replacing Jacob, and reconciling the two realities, the belief that Jacob has in the inherit goodness of humanity will be proven.

How that will happen, I have no idea, but we are under 3 and a half hours away from finding out.

Until next time, thanks for the patience that most of you showed in waiting for this post. Being in class from 9-5 every day this week takes away from the free time a little bit. Next week, the post should be on time! See you then!

Josh Man

No comments:

Post a Comment