May 25 2010

The Themes and Theology of Redemption and Interdependence in the End of LOST


Of the contest between good and evil Carleton Cuse said that he and Damon Lindelof wanted to “make if feel different than in other big mythological tales…there is that sort of fundamental conflict between good and evil. And what we feel is really interesting about Lost is that the central way that plays out is… within each character their own struggle to find – win the battle good versus evil is the thing that fascinates us most as storytellers.”  So after all the complicated plot lines, the science, the references and clues, ultimately Lost was about relationships and redemption.  I sort of understood the idea of the sideways as a kind of Purgatory, but for some characters that redemption arc came through experiences on the Island itself, while for others it came in one of the flashes (back or sideways).  Beyond the redemption theme, what strikes me is that nobody does it alone.

What I found most interesting about LOST is the interdependence that is part of the mythology. In the final episode, the reunions between the couples were intense and sweet. I’m glad Cuse and Lindelof were brave enough to chick-flick it. It was a bold move.

Throughout the series there has been a science vs. faith tension and the last episode clearly took a more philosophical bent. I’m still sort of hung up on the quantum theory aspects of LOST, specifically symmetry, pairs, and the concept of interdependence.  We are used to the idea of independent, individual redemption.  In the Lost universe moving through the process seems to need to occur in groups. Even when one character seems to have a specific quest or purpose it often takes more than one to accomplish it.  In some cases everyone needs to be together; and within the group each person seems to have a specific person who is his or her constant. Continue reading

Mar 25 2010

Lost Hell, Good, Evil, Book of Job, Seven Deadly Sins and More… Part 1 as Season 6 Progresses


(Other Sinema7 blog posts about Lost are available at

The Smoke Monster, the Man in Black, and Fake Locke are, we now know, all the same and I will call that being, Smokey. The conversation between Jacob and Smokey (Man in Black currently inhabiting Locke’s body) is reminiscent to the conversation between God and Satan at the beginning of the biblical Book of Job. There seems to be a long history between the two. Jacob describes Smokey to Hurley as “an old friend who became tired of my company.”  In Jacob and Smokey there seems to be a representation of good and evil.

Jacob keeps bringing people to the Island to prove that humans are not innately corruptible.  Smokey works to prove him wrong.  Jacob tells Richard that he doesn’t help the people he brings to the island because he wants them to do the right thing without being told what it is.  In his conversation with Hurley in the cab he emphasizes that returning to the Island is a choice.

According to Smokey, Jacob is the protector of the Island. Smokey seems to be trying to escape the Island but Jacob seems to have been able to come and go. He visits various Flight 815 survivors prior to their arrival. We now know that these people are candidates to replace Jacob. In earlier episodes we are led to believe that Jacob speaks only through Ben but later we find out that Ben has never seen Jacob, but Richard has. We don’t actually see Jacob until the final episode of season 5. Some of the things the Others claim he directed them to do caused me to spend at least 5 seasons thinking the Others are the bad guys and that Jacob might be a force for evil. As the story unfolds we find out Jacob is Smokey’s adversary. Continue reading

Feb 1 2010

Lost TV Characters and the Seven Deadly Sins—Will Season 6 Change How We See Them?


(Other Sinema7 blog posts about Lost are available at

Lost starts Tuesday. Hopefully some of the questions that have built up over the last five years will be resolved. I recently came across this article from 2008: Get Lost in the Seven Deadly Sins by Amelie Rosseau, on the Lost Media fan site.

And here is a YouTube video called The Seven Deadly Sins of Lost:

I agreed with many of the assessments in these. I think each of the characters, like most of us, have more than one sin that motivates his or her choices. Here is my take on which characters seem to be driven by which sins:

Pride – Benjamin Linus &  Charles Whitmore are in a power struggle for the island. Pride is probably the besetting sin of leadership and power. When someone thinks they know what’s best for other people and is willing to lie, manipulate, and maybe even kill to further his own agenda that’s driven by pride. Jack is prideful, but not even close to being in Ben and Charles’ league. After years of feeling rejected and victimized Locke’s ego has to be stroked by feeling special and chosen. Juliet is just a bit sanctimonious about being right, and she’s pretty sure that she’s right on just about everything. It is ultimately Eko’s pride that drives his unwillingness to repent of his sins which apparently leads to death by smoke monster.

Envy – Jin’s insecurity pushes him toward envy. Charlie struggles with the same sort of thing. He’s jealous for Claire’s attention. He’s trying so hard to restore his image and wants so desperately to be a hero that he tags along with those that might be considered leaders hoping to be identified with them. Continue reading