Lost: Left Behind

Not to be trite, but the more I reflect on Lost: Left Behind, the more I thought about those awful Left Behind/Rapture novels. Not necessarily a fair, accurate or flattering connection, but I did enjoy the episode.

On to the bulleted list!

  • Forgiveness
  • Locke says The Others aren’t forgiving.
    Kate’s mother can’t forgive her daughter and vice versa.

    But Sawyer could earn forgiveness and Jack might not totally hate Kate, so there’s hope in the episode.

    Some characters who I wouldn’t have thought needed forgiveness or deserved forgiveness are being primed for just that event.

    I also think we saw a lot of self-forgiveness. Being able to admit our own (or Kate and Sawyer’s own) flaws, apologize, “make amends” and move forward.

  • Selfishness
  • I had never considered Kate’s actions particularly selfish until tonight. They certainly weren’t selfless, but I thought that survival was her paramount concern, and maybe that’s still true.

    Seeing her backstory through the lenses of her mother and Cassidy, however, makes me see just how juvenile her approach to life is. If Jack has a God complex, at least he had the power (or potential) to have a greater impact on those he was ostensibly trying to save.

    All Kate has is her own strength of will. She doesn’t think about consequences, just about immediate results.

    Where Jack is playing Chess, forgetting his broken heart and trying to save everyone by returning to the island after he’s escaped, Kate is just playing Checkers, ready for a jailbreak.

    Kate’s mom is right, she (Kate) wants to win/help for her own purposes and not really because she has any idea about actually supporting or helping someone else.

    Should she have killed the stepdad? I can understand her rationale, but the strategy of saving the mother could have been accomplished with less lethal tactics.

  • Leadership
  • Heavy is the head that wears the crown, or so the saying goes.

    I think that true leadership is a skill that can be learned and taught, but people have to want to grow into that role.

    Hurley’s role – lying to get Sawyer to be a better person – is on some level like Kate’s murder to create more harmony, but Hurley affected an entire island of people looking for hope and Kate just cleansed her own conscience. Maybe she could’ve/should’ve done more leading up to the gas leak, but hers was a permanent solution to a temporary problem, Hurley’s was the reverse and, the producer’s are telling us, the better way.

    It’s also true that you’re only a leader if people follow you. Hurley’s decision got folks behind Sawyer and Kate’s decision left her all alone.

  • Betrayal
  • This point builds off some of the others, but we see (yet again) folks getting betrayed by those they love/care about.

    Kate’s mom going to the cops.
    Locke’s dad pushing him out the window.
    Sawyer conning Cassidy.
    To a lesser extent: Juliet lying to Kate and Hurley lying to Sawyer.

    The point here, I assume, is that the betrayal either reinforces the behavior of the betrayer/betrayee or it forces them to adapt.

    Tonight we saw that subterfuge isn’t always a bad thing but, again, your aim must be some greater good. Not that I agree with this logic; it assumes somehow that others know better than you about your own life, but sometimes others (“Others”) can see us for who we really are.

    I’m reminded of Emily Dickinson:

    Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —
    Success in Circuit lies
    Too bright for our infirm Delight
    The Truth’s superb surprise

    As Lightning to the Children eased
    With explanation kind
    The Truth must dazzle gradually
    Or every man be blind —

    Some folks – Locke specifically – could see the island and their fates immediately. Others, like Sawyer and Kate, have been thusfar immune to changing despite the opportunity. Will that change?

  • Best Intentions
  • This one is strongly related to Selfishness and Betrayal and, heck, all the others, but I find it interesting that ALL Sawyer had was intentions. He didn’t actually believe any of it, he was just faking it, but his actions were the most powerful.

    It’s like smiling. They say just the act of smiling puts you in a better mood, makes you happier.

    Maybe the island is saying that you don’t need to believe it yourself, you just have to go along with it.

    The more I think about this episode, the more I believe that Locke is a genius and he is now the leader of The Others.

I’m all out of mortal sins-style bullets, but I do have a few additional points.

Jenn calls foul on the whole Fence/Monster stalemate. She contends it would have “flown” or “smoked” over. I’m not so convinced it’s fundamentally smart enough to figure that out and/or I’m willing to allow for a sci-fi/backstory explanation.

Love the parallel story of Sawyer holding Aaron as we find out Cassidy was pregnant.

Juliet’s subservience/need for approval/acceptance is going to be key.

A funny little Lost comic

Dwight Schrute’s Lost/Battlestar Galactica crossover blog post

That’s all I’ve got. Leave a comment (this means you).

5 thoughts on “Lost: Left Behind

  1. Hunter Maxin says:

    I actually start with a question(s), hopefully to lead to a discussion concerning Juliet, the handcuff key, the fence, and being left behind:

    First…Juliet ‘s handcuffed to Kate and thrown outside the turned-off fence, has a key, the code to the fence, and they wake up a full day before Jack…um, not to quote Buffy Summer, but suspicious much?

    I’ve only watched the one time so far…but what was Juliet’s rationale for the decpetion? She didn’t want who to leave her behind again?

    The whole thing SCREAMS plant, spy, whatever…but is also too obvious.

    How deep was the deception on the “monster?” By the end we are aware she is obvious aware of it, but how much so? Could this have been her first real encounter with it?

    Of course, where did the Others go?

    And while Jenn’s “foul” on the smoke is probably techinically correct, to me the bigger concern is how much was Juilet telling the truth? They know about the monster, but not what it really is?

    Assuming there are grains of truth here, how much can we infer then about who the Others are? More evidence for them NOT being at all Dharma, while the monster is Dharma created? Vice Versa?

    Wrapped up in the themes so aptly mentioned by our gracious host above, don;t we have the larger overarching themes of GUILT, PUNISHMENT, WORTHINESS (in the Left Behind series sense, though a-religious…at least I hope), SALVATION, and JUDGEMENT.

    Also, don’t you just want to punch Locke in the nose?

  2. Cindy says:

    I was intrigued by the possiblilities that Juliet had the key to the handcuffs the whole time she was “stuck” with Kate. What other keys could she have? It makes me think that Juliet may have been left behind as a Trojan horse. And I wondered how did Jack know she was left behind after Kate woke him?

    Wow, who would have hought that Smokey had a camera? What was with those weird flashes?

    Another connection I found interesting was Kate’s source for her aliases – Catholic saints. Saint Monica is the patron saint for abuse victims and mariied women. Very fitting. There’s quite a few Saint Maggies (Margaret) and I haven’t sorted thru them all. But one of them battled against a dragon; maybe Kate will battle against Smokey and win.
    And lastly, Saint Lucy was blinded as a punishment, but she could still miraculously see. Kate was blind, but now can see. Will it be that Kate was once Lost, but will be found? sorry couldn’t resist the pun.

  3. Hunter Maxin says:

    Quick response to Cindy:

    My interpretation was the Jack asked if Juliet left as well because he could not believe that she (too) would turn on him. Whether he is ultimately proven right or wrong, Jack believes (or rather really wants to believe) that Juliet actually cares about him (in one way or another) and would not consciously choose to be hostile to him as he would perceive the rest of the Others to.

    Unlike Jack’s attitude towards the Others in general – that they cannot be trusted, that they are enemies to be fought, bargained with, and distrusted – he chooses to separate Juliet from them in his mind.

    The question is, are Ben, Juliet, the Others (and perhaps “Jacob”) using Jack’s (possibly misplaced) trust against him and the Lostaways?

  4. Hunter Maxin says:

    1 other topic for discussion for now: Government/Organization

    My main (I don’t want to say) complaint up until this point is the total lack of formalization of the society of the survivors. Hurley actually pointed this out without pointing it out, but isn’t it about time the dominant Lostways organized themselves formally into a leadership structure THAT SHARES INFORMATION and pools their resources for a common goal (survival, getting home, fighting the others, whatevs)?

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