SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen the episode airing March 23, 2010, don't read this.
It seemed to confirm what has been clear for some time: This show is a variation on the oldest story of all time. Good vs. evil. God vs. Satan. Dark vs. light. No news there, really.
It was terribly interesting to see Richard's back story (and really, to quote my favorite movie, "when it comes to suffering, he's right up there with Elizabeth Taylor.") The tug of war between Jacob and MIB (Man In Black) is fascinating.
Both Jacob and MIB stop short of being true representatives of God vs. Satan, in the traditional sense. We saw a pretty wimpy version of Jacob tonight--if he's meant to represent God, he does so in a very stand-offish way, wanting people just to "be good" without having to tell them to. He seems to hesitate to become too intimately involved with the people he "calls", appointing Richard as his intermediary. He can't even absolve sins. Similarly, the Smoke Monster/MIB/Fake Locke is a generally weak imitation of Satan--since when could a sonar fence stop pure evil? For that matter, how could an island serve as a "cork" to keep evil locked in?
That's why I don't put too much stock in this whole allegory thing, even though it's interesting to consider. I guess when one actually believes in a story as ultimate Truth, any shadowy allegory to it (even a good one) won't be as satisfying as the real thing (of course). For that very reason, the allegorical aspect of this show is not my favorite part of it, and I'm hoping the writers plan to flesh out some of more non-allegorical plot elements before it's all over.
A few questions/comments come to mind:
- An earlier episode indicated the way to kill MIB was to put a knife in his chest. Tonight's episode indicated the same thing was true of Jacob. If this is the case, and MIB and Jacob are enemies, why haven't they attempted to kill each other in this way?
- When Ilana was in the hospital at the beginning of the show, it was clear she and Jacob already had an established relationship. What was it? Who exactly is she?
- In light of tonight's episode that was so heavy on the power of the Smoke Monster, I thought of Mr. Eko, and how he seemed to be able to stop Smokey in his tracks, at least for a time. What's the significance of that? And how utterly happy would I be if we got to see Mr. Eko again?
- I continue to read and hear speculation that perhaps Jacob is the bad guy and the MIB is actually the good one. Maybe the writers are planning a big switcheroo to make a statement about how good and evil can never really be all the clearly defined. Can I just say that I really, really hope that's not where this is headed?
- This week I listened to a podcast with the Lost producers. They answered one of the fan questions by saying that a particular question would be answered, but not necessarily in the show. Which leads me to presume a book is forthcoming. And I'll be dad-blasted if I won't be there the day it hits shelves.