L: "You've having a bad month."
W: "I guess."
L: "Backgammon's the oldest game in the world. 5000 years old. Older than Jesus Christ." Tells Walt they had dice made of bones, and "Two players, two sides. One is light, one is dark."

I do believe that wedging this scene into the mayhem of the first two episodes meant much more than having a way for Locke to tell Walt a secret, more than giving them something recreational to do, more than anything. It established - so subtlely - the entire context. Also, why even bother with the line that backgammon is older than Jesus? It's SO much older that from a historical perspective it seems like a bit of a dumb comparison... unless there's another reason, like putting religion into the equation and putting in mind struggles and religions that way, way, way pre-date Christianity.

Later on, Locke plays A GAME with a co-worker along the lines of a military fantasy game (Axis & Allies, maybe?). "I'm just playing a game, Randy."

Locke complains about what is "fair." Fairness is important within a game, but not always followed, or practical for one who wants to win.

Religious References & Themes

"My brother. God's friggin' gift to humanity" (Shannon in 1.2). Boone is Jesus? Wow! Actually, in a future episode, he does, according to Locke, become "a sacrifice" which the island demanded...

"Doesn't matter, Kate, who we were, what we did before the crash. Three days ago we all died. We should all be able to start over." (Jack)

Jack is absent from the memorial service, sitting away from it looking out to sea. Early indication of his dislike for anything related to faith or religious tradition, setting him up as a proponent of reason/science.

Rose possesses some sort of deeper knowledge beyond Jack's facts that tell her Bernard is alive.

Backgammon is revealed to be "older than Jesus Christ." 

Sayid: No respect for their wishes, their religions?
Jack: We don't have time to sort out everybody's god.

Walt: Mr. Locke saide a miracle happened to him.
Michael: Well, a miracle happened to all of us Walt. We survived a plane crash. I don't want you hanging around with him.

Right from the start, questions of religion, destiny, miracles, theology, faith, and eternal significance have been tantamount.

Mysteries or Questions Since Solved

  • What is 'the Monster'? (see below that this also remains an unsolved mystery). We know in its general form it looks like thick smoke, moves fast, can tear up trees, is some sort of 'security system,' hangs out beneath the temple, is probably called "Cerberus" like the mythological 3-headed dog who guards the gates of Hades (interesting note: this was to keep the dead from escaping rather than to keep anyone from entering), Ben can summon it, it appears able to read one's memories, and more.
  • Who recorded the French transmission, and from where on the island does it originate?
  • What did Kate do to become a fugitive?
  • Was Locke always in a wheelchair? If not, how did he come to be in the wheelchair?
  • Where did the polar bears come from?
  • Is Rose's husband really alive?

Mysteries or Questions Still Needing Answers

  • What is 'the Monster'? We don't know from where it came, what it's protecting, exactly whose bidding it does, or exactly how it is summoned, or why it can take human form. There are theories, of course (like it being able to take the shape of those who are dead or have died on the island).
  • How did Jack get into the bamboo forest so far away from the crash when nobody else did? Any parallel to him ending up there in Season Five?
  • The pilot explains the standard Northeast route they were taking like every flight between Sydney (on Australia's East coast) and Los Angeles. They turned around to land in Fiji. The question that needs to be answered involves something we don't know about until much later - the faked crash site. It's in the Indian Ocean... west of Australia. Why did anyone back in the real world believe this? There should have been no way this flight would ever have been in those coordinates.

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