Thursday, March 4, 2010

"LOST: Sundown"

DISCLAIMER: In a previous post, I discussed the importance of ABC's "LOST." Therefore, I am beginning a series which briefly explores thoughts on the show with respect to FITmedia and Truth in Fiction. Being as the posts are philosophical in nature, I will try to keep story spoilers to a minimum. However, because many of the philosophical pillars are tied to critical events, it is impossible to discuss without some spoilers. For those of you not following the show, I hope that these posts will be worthwhile on their own merit, and should they inspire you to watch the show, that they will not have ruined the plot for you. You have been warned.


At last, evil is revealed! That is, if we are to believe Dogen, who calls the Man in Black "evil incarnate." Also, Sayid is revealed to be more evil than good, despite any progress he might have made in earlier seasons. The sides are fairly clear, as are their natures. What remains uncertain seems to be only their individual fates.

This episode marks the first flash-sideways to end on a down-note. Despite Sayid's insistence that he has changed, he kills in cold blood. This is a shift in Sayid's character which started in Season 4 flashforwards with Ben's plot to assassinate Widmore's associates, and which was officially introduced in "He's Our You." I feel that this represents a break in the integrity of the character. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that a "torturer" is not the same thing as a "killer."

What is interesting to note—and why I bring it up now—is the fact that it took some evolving of the character to bring him to the point of being a killer in the normal timeline, which is fair. However, it "jumped the shark" to portray him as a killer from childhood (and also made the presumption that killing a chicken is the same as killing a person). The flash-sideways exacerbates my sense of disbelief, because it expects us to accept that Sayid was a killer by nature at the time when he would have landed on the Island.

Another thing this episode gives us to ponder about the nature of good and evil in the LOST universe, is the fact that the Man in Black seems to be able "resurrect" the dead—at least in some unknown manner—and Jacob seems to be able to preserve life. This is strange, at least from a traditional view of good and evil, because evil usually represents death—especially from a Judeo-Christian view. This may support the theory that the two sides are more like chess pieces in that they are merely distinct from one another and not necessarily good or bad.

It is likely that we still have yet to see the true faces of good and evil, and equally likely that we never will. If ultimately Jacob and the Man in Black are merely the "kings" of the chess board, then the real players may be only implied, but never revealed. Like God and Satan.
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