Sunday, February 19, 2006

Lost Agenda?

Is Lost pushing an agenda? It never occurred to me until a few weeks ago when the local TV writer complained about the baptism episode pushing religion down our throats. This caught me totally by surprise. To me, the episode was "Charlie goes crazy, has visions, and totally screws up." That it ended in a baptism was a minor plot point. Lots of people are baptized and you expect that on an island with a priest (sort of) that this will come up.

Granted one of Charlie's visions had some religious significance but the others didn't. My bigger question was if he had kept his word and had not broken open any of the statues or if the visions were drug-induced?

The next new episode was straight-forward, Sawyer conned everyone with Charlie's help.

Then we come to the Sayid episode. [spoiler] The backstory is how Sayid came to be a torturer. During the first Gulf War, the Americans needed to know what happened to a downed flier. They found out that Sayid spoke English and sent him in as translator, except we discover at the end that the commanding officer speaks perfect Arabic. What the Americans needed was someone they could outsource torture to.

The situation was a bit contrived. The Iraqi officer was not only uncooperative, he was also responsible for using poison gas on Sayid's family, not that coincidences are unusual in Lost. One of the soldiers was Kate's adopted father.

The outsourcing of torture has bee an issue in recent months which makes its inclusion in Lost questionable. The other question is what we are to make of it? Should we be outraged at the trick that the Americans played on Sayid? Should we look at this as an example where someone needed torture even if we are not allowed to do it? Or did they simply toss it out as an example of what happens in war?

It has been noted that Americans are often outraged in principal about torture but we expect our TV and movie heroes to do whatever it takes. This appears to be such a situation.

A few other observation:

Jack is a losy leader. He cannot be trusted. Not long after agreeing with Locke that neither would open the safe without consulting the other, Jack broke his word. If Jack could be trusted then Locke would not have felt the need to move the guns. Jack also broke his word to Kate about who would carry the dynamite. He is ready to start a war with the others but is not ready to torture a possible other to verify his identity.

It appears that you have a few seconds to press the button after the counter counts down but something was happening. We saw hieroglyphs and it sounded like the blast doors were closing.

Sayid blames the others for Claire's death. He was also conducting a poor interrogation. This may be because he was rushed but the proper way would be to ask lots of questions while taking notes and keeping the prisoner on edge. If the prisoner was lying then his answers would not be consistent.

Speaking of the prisoner, Henry Gale, I think that he was lying. Crossing the Pacific in a balloon is not something that you do for a lark. It is very difficult and dangerous. It can only be done with a high-altitude balloon and a pressurized gondola. Gale didn't mention that. You also have to have a ground crew constantly tracking you since chances are pretty good that something will go wrong. Also, when asked how he became rich Gale answered that he was into mining. Minnesota Mining (aka 3M) is the state's best known business. That seems like word association.

Finally, Sawyer does not get along with the island's wildlife. First a wild boar messes up his camp and pees on his stuff, then a tiny frog drives him crazy. Chances are that the island will get him back for crushing the frog.

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