LOST Marathon, Milepost 1: A Better Game than Checkers
- Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Deaths: Gary Troup, a.k.a. the guy who got sucked into the turbine in the first few minutes, causing it to explode; the Pilot; the U.S. Marshall who was escorting Kate (his death brings the fuselage Survivor count from 48 to 47). We don't learn Troup's name until much later, as the author of a manuscript called "The Bad Twin" that was among the crash rubble. Sawyer is reading the book in a future episode. Troup also - we learn through some of the "extras" several LOST geeks (I am actually not one of them) have gotten into, such as "The LOST Experience" alternate reality game - had done much research on "The Valenzetti Equation," which has much to do with The Numbers. Note: In these recaps, I don't intend to spend much time on extras like The LOST Experience. Mostly I'll just be looking for what can be found on the DVDs themselves, with any exceptions to be noted.
Themes Established or Revisited
Jack and Kate discuss fear being "sort of an odd thing" and he tells the story of his surgery in residency where he rips the dural sack on a 16-year-old girl. He "let the fear in" for 5 seconds. Sets up either fear or leadership or both as important themes. "I knew I had to deal with it, so I made a choice." Kate will use the 5-second trick later in the episode.
Charlie identifies himself as a "coward." Kate tells him he's not, but his flashback reveals he just may be.
The idea of "Fear vs. Leadership" is also established as a theme. Jack illustrates it in his story to Kate while she is stitching his wound. "I knew I had to deal with it, so I made a choice."
2. Fresh Starts (or "Born Again"-ness)
"I get it, you know. Everyone deserves a fresh start." -- Ray (Kate's rancher friend).
Restarts and reboots, of course, are what you do every time you play a new game, ala chess -- reset the board.
3. Lying (a.k.a. Not Telling the Whole Story)
Sayid doesn't want to tell the rest of the Survivors what they heard/know from the transmission, because, "We take away their hope. And hope is a very dangerous thing to lose." Kate: "So we lie." Very interesting that Sayid believes The Truth can take away hope. Much later, Ben will take away Sayid's hope with lies.
Michael flat-out asks Locke about 'The Monster' having been headed right for him, and whether he saw anything. "No," Locke flatly lies.
Thought: Through the lens of game-playing, might lying be important and perhaps better labeled as "Bluffing"? Through the religious lens, lying is not a good practice, especially for folks who have a second chance, a blank slate, a fresh start. So why include it as a motif? Might only be because it fits into The Game. Then again, religiously speaking, the Bible does speak of a "father of lies," a description that also will come to apply perfectly to an island resident we've not yet met.
"Don't tell me about fair!" Locke yells at the Aussie who won't let him come on walkabout. "Don't tell me what I can't do!" he screams numerous times throughout the episode.
More than just establishing that Locke is determined to meet what he believes is his destiny no matter what, the line suggests the idea of RULES, i.e. things that can and can
not be done with a construct like a Game. One must play fair.
5. Different Points of View / Paradigm Shifts / Pursuit of and Problem of Truth
Walt comes across Locke setting up A GAME.
W: "What is it, checkers?"
L: Not really. It's a better game than checkers."
Walt reveals his mom died a couple weeks ago.
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