Well, I made my LOST post this morning, and it's not that I was dissatisfied with it, but I guess it felt incomplete. After the episode aired, I found a lot of different thoughts racing threw my head, and I knew that this was a pretty deep episode, with implications that run deep through the show's history. But then when I wrote out my post this morning, I ended up using most of my energy focusing on the weaknesses of the episode, namely the timing of it and the ambitious goal of focusing 100% of the origins of Jacob and the Nemesis. And while that was a point I wanted to make, at the end of the day I still really enjoyed the episode, and I don't feel like my post reflected that, and I also think there were other things I wanted to talk about, but neglected to mention. So I guess that means you're getting a second post out of me today. I actually sat down and re-watched the episode, something I haven't done...well, I'm not sure if I've ever rewatched an episode the next day, so I guess that must mean something. Anyways, consider this sort of an extension of what I wrote about this morning, and I will try not to repeat myself too much.
I live at Lostpedia
, frequenting the site many times a week. I ran across something I found a little interesting when reading about the wheel, which I think has since been edited out. Basically, someone had claimed that the hieroglyphics found in the cave where the wheel was were a major continuity error by the writers, almost implying that they had just been put there by accident, and decided later that they would drop the whole Egyptian theme from the show. An absurd notion for sure, but it did get me thinking a bit about the idea as a whole. The idea of their being some sort of Egyptian history to this island has been around since Season 2, when we saw in the hatch that after the timer reaches zero, the numbers are replaced with hieroglyphics. We have also seen the statue of Taweret, where Jacob lived, which is the Egyptian goddess of pregnancy/childbirth. There are also hieroglyphics found in the chamber where the wheel is, as well as in the Temple, which refer to resurrection of some kind. Also in the back of the Temple, where Ben went to face judgment from the Smoke Monster, we saw an engraving of the Egyptian God Anubis with what appeared to be the Smoke Monster.
Now, LOST has always given us references of other cultures, or other religions throughout the show. The term Dharma references Hinduism and Buddhism. We've seen a number of references to Christianity, from Eko's history as a 'priest', to imagery of Locke as a Christ-like figure, Charlie's life as a Catholic, the idea of the island being Hell. We've even seen hints of Roman culture, from the Latin spoken on the island, to the dagger that the Nemesis carries with him, which is a pugio, a dagger worn by Roman legionaries.
But overall, Egyptian mythology seems to be the most prevalent on the island, and I find myself wondering where it came from. Perhaps we'll never get a straightforward answer on the subject, it almost seems more interesting to be able to speculate on whether or not Egyptians were the earliest inhabitants of the island, but I do feel like the topic carries a certain amount of weight when discussing the origins of the Smoke Monster. As I mentioned this morning, we're not entirely sure what happened when Jacob threw his brother into the pool of Light. He was sucked in, and then out comes the Smoke Monster, dropping his brother's body by the river. Some people think that we saw the creation of the Smoke Monster, but I'm less inclined to agree. I think the depiction of Anubis with the Smoke Monster in the lower level of the Temple would indicate that the Smoke Monster is much older than anyone we've seen on the island. Or maybe, the idea of a Smoke Monster is much older than anything we've seen on the island. Maybe being the Smoke Monster isn't a singular phenomenon, but rather a transformation, or an effect on someone when something happens to them. Could being pulled into the Light cause this? Maybe. But if that's the case, then maybe the Nemesis isn't the only person that has ever been able to turn into black smoke.
I mentioned before how Jacob's mother was apparently responsible for killing all of the villagers, carrying Jacob's brother out of the well, and filling it all in, and she did all of this in a relatively short amount of time. Clearly there is something special about her to be able to pull this off. The destruction in the village really reminded me a lot of the destruction in the Temple. And the more I think about it, the more I can't help but think that was done on purpose. My buddy Goat alluded to this
in his post (Seriously, read his post this week, it's outstanding), but what if Jacob's mother had been in the Light? How else would she know what would happen to someone that went in there? And what if it allowed her to behave as the Smoke Monster does? Wouldn't that make her destruction of the village and the well a little more understandable?
Their real mother.
One thing that really makes me think is the appearance of the Nemesis' real mother. Dead people appearing on the island is nothing new. We've seen Isabella, Michael, Yemi, Christian, Locke, Jacob, etc. What they mean, and what their purpose is, isn't always the same. So what does Claudia's appearance to the Nemesis mean? Because let's face it, when she showed up she really threw a wrench into everything. She told him that only he could see her because she was dead, she told him that the other people on the island are where he came from, she told him that there is more in the world away from the island, she told him that she was his real mother. Basically she went out of her way to disprove everything that his "mother" had taught him growing up. But why? Something that just occurred to me, going with Goat's Garden of Eden theory. I made a note of how innocent, ignorant, and pure Jacob and his brother were growing up. Their mother was very careful in controlling any and all knowledge that they obtained, and wanted them closed off from the rest of the world, to the point that they didn't even know that a world outside of the three of them existed. It worked for a while, until they saw the Others (see what I did there) killing their boar. Shortly thereafter, the Nemesis saw his real mother. Claudia deprived him of his innocence in a way, by opening his eyes to the truth of the island and the world around him. Reminds me a little of the serpent in the Garden in his dealings with Eve.
There's more to this tangled web that isn't quite clear to me yet aside from Claudia's intentions (and what exactly she is). I mentioned their mother anticipating her death, and didn't fight it when she knew that the Nemesis would kill her. But let's take that a step back. She passed the power and responsibility of guarding the light on to Jacob because she knew her time was coming to an end. And let's take a step back from that. She attacked the Nemesis in the well, filled the well, killed the villagers, knowing it would prevent him from leaving the island. She did this, essentially sacrificing herself so that the Nemesis couldn't leave the island. So ultimately I guess it goes back to his mother's desire to keep him on the island at all costs, even if it meant her losing her life. But she didn't kill the Nemesis. And she waited until absolutely necessary to kill the villagers. If the villagers were a threat to her plan to keep Jacob and his brother innocent, why not wipe them out years ago? Here's an "out there" theory. What if she wanted to create this conflict? What if she wanted the Nemesis to defect to the villagers? What if she appeared to him as his dead mother to convince him? What if she knew that her death would enrage Jacob into throwing the Nemesis into the Light? What if this was all a set up on her part, to make Jacob the guardian of the island, protecting the Light, and the Nemesis the guardian of evil, trapped on the island, unable to leave? I don't know what her motivation for this would be exactly, but I find the idea intriguing.
Something I wanted to touch on, and Goat talked about this a little bit, was the always mysterious 'rules'. You can't do this, it's against the rules, you can't do that, it's against the rules, blah blah blah. But what are the rules? We don't really know, and we probably won't ever get specifics. But I thought one scene was poignant to the discussion, when Jacob and his brother were playing their game, and he told Jacob that something he did was against the rules, which Jacob found absurd since he made up the rules. So he told Jacob that one day you can make up your own game and everyone will have to follow your rules.
I think there's a lot of truth to that. Things played out on the island according to his mother's rules, because she was the guardian of the Light. Once that responsibility was passed on to Jacob, he began to make the rules, and the Nemesis is bound by those rules. What they are we don't know, but I do think that the rules can and do change depending on who is in charge.
Alright, I'm sure I could find more to talk about in regards to this episode because really, the more I think about it the more I feel like this episode really sets a foundation for the plot of the show (which sounds funny considering it's the third-to-last episode of the series), but instead I will implore you again to please go read Goat's latest post
on this week's episode. The man is much better at mincing words than I could hope to be, and his analysis of what we saw this week is some fantastic, fantastic stuff. See you next week.