Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lost: Dr. Linus (and The Chosen)

I've had a lot of stuff on my mind that I don't really want to be thinking about, so to get my mind off of that stuff, I spent a lot of time thinking about LOST. I even re-watched last night's episode today and took notes. Just call me Nerdy MckNerderson.

There was a lot I wanted to mention, but I sort of got side tracked by something I saw in the background, and what I came up with probably doesn't answer any questions as to the mysteries of the island, but I did find it interesting. And time consuming. And it took me back to my days as an English major in college.

And it took my mind off of other stuff, which I will discuss here at some point, when the time is right.


First of all, Michael Emerson did an amazing acting job in last night's episode!

Illana, Lapidus, Sun, Miles and Ben go back to the beach where the Losties had originally established their camp. Ben is looking for things they can use, and the camera pans momentarily to a book in the sand. The book is The Chosen by Chaim Potok.

So. I Googled The Chosen and read a synopsis.

The Chosen revolves around the friendship of two Jewish boys who meet after a baseball game when one, Danny, hits a line drive that hits the other, Reuven, and sends him to the hospital with an eye injury. Eventually, Danny tells Reuven that he did, in fact, want to kill him when he hit the ball, but he can't explain why.

Danny is Hasidic, and his father is the leader of their sect. Danny is supposed to follow in his father's footsteps but doesn't want to. He is extremely smart and spends his time in the library reading books his father does not approve of. He wants to become a psychologist and even learns German so he can read Freud. Danny's father never speaks to him except when they study Jewish law together.

In the novel's climax, the two friends learn Danny's father's purpose for raising his son in silence. Danny's father had discovered early on that his son's intelligence was far outstripping his sense of compassion for others. He wanted his son to understand the meaning of pain and want, so he shut him out emotionally.


My interpretation of tonight's episode in relation to The Chosen:

Ben represents Danny. Jacob represents Danny's father.

Ben was supposed to follow in Jacob's footsteps and protect the island just as Danny was supposed to follow his father as leader of their sect. However, Ben lost all sense of compassion for other people as evidenced in so many ways throughout LOST. He killed his own father, for Pete's sake. Jacob did not communicate with Ben at all, much to Ben's dismay. He was hurt and disappointed by Jacob's lack of contact with him.

By the end of last night's episode, Ben had learned compassion both on the island and in the flash sideways. On the island, he admitted to Illana that he killed Jacob because he was angry about Alex's death and that in the end he realized that power was not what mattered to him, the only thing that mattered (Alex) was gone. In the flash sideways, Ben gave up his chance to take the principal's job in order to preserve Alex's chances to go to Yale. So, Jacob's silence did, in fact, instill some compassion in Ben.

I'm pretty sure Locke represents Reuven, but that theory isn't as clear. Ben did kill Locke, and I'm not sure he knows exactly why. I do think he regrets that decision as well. And while Danny and Reuven became close friends, a true friendship never really developed between Ben and Locke.

Then again, if Ben hadn't killed Locke, maybe they could have been friends.

Other points from this episode:

* Have we seen the principal before? And do Yale graduates really end up as high school principals?

* I don't think Sayid is dead because when Jack asked Richard about Sayid and Kate being at the temple, Richard said they weren't there.

* Apparently Richard was "in chains" when he arrived on the island on the slave ship, The Black Rock.

* Jack has finally become a "man of faith".

* Jacob's touch is a gift/curse. Richard's gift/curse is immortality (sort of, he doesn't age, and can't kill himself, but apparently he be killed). What are the gifts/curses Jacob bestowed on the others he touched? Hurley's seems to be that he can see dead people. What about Jack? The fuse on the dynamite went out, could he have the same gift as Richard? Will he actually take over Richard's role (whatever that may be) on the island?

* We seem to all be working out our Daddy issues.

* I don't have a good feeling about Miles' future after seeing him with that diamond. It sort of seems like he's stealing from the island, which can't be a good thing. Sort of reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean. Then again, the mention of East India Trading Company when Dr. Linus was tutoring Alex already had Pirates on my mind.

* The reunion on the beach was super sweet and had me feeling quite emotional!

* Did anyone else totally expect Ben to be blown away by Widmore's submarine people at the end? Wouldn't that have been very LOSTish. He finally redeems himself, then BOOM!

For more LOST reviews, go to Rocks In My Dryer.


the J in PJs Til Noon said...

Yeah, I expected Ben to get his, but from Ilana. As much as I love that scene when she redeems him, as soon as she walked away, I told my hubby, "She's gonna shoot him now." I'm glad she didn't.

Pajama Mama said...

Remind me not to read that book.

What is flash sideways?

Holly said...

Good recap! Interesting thoughts on the connection between the characters and the characters in The Chosen.

This one was one of my favorites so far this season. Somehow it managed to be *happy* even though it dealt with heavy topics. I see Ben in a different light and enjoyed both timeline stories.