Wednesday, July 18, 2007

John the Baptized

One of my all-time favorite John Locke moments on LOST comes very early on, when a large cloudburst catches him and he stands grinning up at the sky, the very epitome of joy. More than anyone we meet in season one, there's a sense that John is supposed to be on this island and that he has been healed so that he might fulfill some grand purpose there. Though this obsession with destiny has led John into some pretty dubious decisions, I still think there's something to it, and I love the feeling of rebirth encapsulated in this scene.

John the Baptized

The looming rain clouds open and spill their drops upon
The man whose face is turned up toward the sky.
The splendor of existence alights once more on John.
A miracle has touched him. Who knows why?

John doesn’t understand it, but, certain he is meant
For dauntless deeds and visceral delight,
He grins in exultation. He’s more than just content;
He’s vindicated, gratified and right.

His life is one of purpose, no matter what his boss
And savage, scheming father had to say.
Now, looking back, he wonders if he sustained the loss
Of movement for the glory of this day.

The blessed restoration has heightened every sense.
Oh, what exhilaration just to feel!
The water rolling off him takes with it every tense
Emotion, every ragged plea to heal.

A falling sunlit droplet becomes a tiny prism;
A rainbow, shimmering, comes into view,
The sealing of a promise that comes with this baptism,
That life abundant has begun anew.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Of Sacrificial Death and Life

Through the Looking Glass, the finale of LOST's third season, has really stuck with me this summer, and while I was contemplating what good could arise from Charlie's demise, it occurred to me that each of the seasons has essentially ended with a character laying down his life for the other castaways.

Boone's death came a little earlier in the first season, and while he failed in his aim of securing rescue with the plane's radio, his death sent John into a tail-spin of misery that ironically kept Desmond from killing himself, which might well have resulted in the deaths of everyone on the island. Granted, Jack could have saved Boone in the meantime, but it was the life-threatening degree of Boone's injuries that sent John off the deep end; I don't think he really had much chance of recovery.

At the end of season two, it certainly looked as though Desmond expected the hatch implosion to kill him, and common sense might dictate that it should have. But he survived, only to appoint himself Charlie's personal savior but ultimately lead him to his own sacrificial death. Now we're all scratching our heads and wondering whether there really was a point to it, but I suspect the positive ripples from Charlie's heroism will one day be as evident as Boone's, though quite possibly very different than anything he might have anticipated.

Desmond is the curious link between the two, another indication of the deep significance his character has for the progression of the show. In a sense, while Boone and Charlie are condemned to die, Desmond is compelled to live, plucked from the jaws of death every time it approaches, for which he's not likely to be too grateful while calamities follow him. Why him? There must be a method behind the madness...

Of Sacrificial Death and Life

The sanctity of sacrifice
Propels the island's grim events,
For death has taken heroes twice
And spared, for reasons yet unclear,
Another who, in brave defense
Of all, dispatched the dread device
Whose purpose John, bereft of sense,
Had doubted, making doom draw near.

'Twas John who led the youthful Boone,
Whose eagerness to make his mark
Encouraged him to stay and tune
The radio. Boone's fateful choice,
Embracing risk to snatch a spark
Of hope, cost him his life, but soon
The anguished John dispelled the dark
Despair of Desmond with his voice.

And hence, though Boone could never know
The consequences of his fall,
In causing Desmond to forego
His suicide, he did as much
As anyone to save them all.
Now Desmond, in the eerie glow
Of liquid light, has ceased to call
To Charlie, just beyond his touch.

His soul has left the fragile frame
That Desmond labored to protect,
The ending of a grievous game
Whose architect he can't forgive.
And yet someday in retrospect,
When wisdom takes the edge off blame,
He'll see how martyrs intersect
As catalysts so others live.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Humble Fisherman (House of the Rising Sun, Traditional)

Of all the flashback characters we've met in three seasons of LOST, I think my very favorite may be Mr. Kwon, the gentle fisherman who probably wasn't Jin's biological father but lovingly raised him anyway, apparently on his own. I liked him very much the first time I saw him and even more after his revelatory scene with Sun this season. Here's a little tribute to him to the tune of The Animals' The House of the Rising Sun.

The Humble Fisherman

There is a humble fisherman
Who Jin has hid from Sun,
But he raised up Jin as his own little boy.
Oh, what a saint to shun!

Jin's mother, the blackmailer,
Cast out her infant son
And left him in the gentle hands
Of the fisherman.

Now the only thing a peasant needs
Is some skill and spunk and brawn,
But he felt ashamed, so Jin denied
His ties to Mr. Kwon.

Oh, will he tell his children
What he long concealed from Sun,
That their grandpa still lives by the sea,
Working hard as a fisherman?

Jin believed he'd been a bad son;
Decrying his disdain,
He hugged the humble fisherman
Before he caught that plane.

Well, there is a humble fisherman
Who Jin has hid from Sun,
But he raised up Jin as his own little boy.
Oh, what a saint to shun!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Here's a tribute to Vincent, my favorite canine character on LOST. (Now that's a pretty safe assertion! Though I suppose he has some slight competition in Sun's pup...)


You fascinate me, Vincent, mysterious and mute.
The flashbacks are reserved for those who speak,
And so your past is shrouded. You're furry and you're cute,
But you refuse the insight that I seek.

You've wandered through the jungle. What have you seen and heard?
If you could share its secrets, would you tell?
Could you decode the whispers made not by beast or bird
But Others who we don't know very well?

First lost and then abandoned, did you let out a moan
To indicate you hate to be ignored?
Or did you like the freedom of being left alone,
Returning to the shore when you got bored?

Just like the plucky Samwise, you tailed the raft-bound Walt,
Who couldn't seem to shake his loyal friend,
But tides conspired against you. His fate was not your fault,
And you'll be reunited in the end.

Meanwhile, you, just as busy as any castaway,
Helped Charlie ditch his hapless druggie role,
Led Hurley to the bus that he used to save the day,
Tried sparing foolish Nikki from that hole.

There may be more heroics, but even if your paws
Are idle on the island from now on,
You'll make me happy, Vincent. Accept my firm applause.
A light would leave the show if you were gone.

Monday, July 9, 2007

In That Hatch (Bridge Over Troubled Water, Paul Simon)

I have very little idea of what the fourth season of LOST will offer, but I have an expectation that early in the season, we'll see Desmond return to the beach, where he will be forced to tell whoever is there what happened to Charlie. Whether she hears it from him first-hand or gets the bad news from someone else - probably Hurley - I suspect Claire's reaction will echo her season one hysterics when Danielle snatched Aaron and that it's going to take a while to get Desmond on her good side again.

While Desmond really did do everything possible to preserve Charlie's life once they had reached their destination and, later, down in the hatch, if it weren't for him, Charlie wouldn't have gone there at all; since Claire not only knows Desmond was with him but knows about his clairvoyance, I think he can expect an accusatory welcome from her. Maybe not. Claire does have a pretty charitable personality, but after suffering such a profound loss, she'll probably want to rail against somebody... Desmond, meanwhile, will probably be so miserable that nothing Claire might say can make him feel worse. But before the season's over, I think she'll find it in herself to forgive him.

Anyway, I appropriated my favorite ode to friendship - Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water - for Claire's charge that Desmond failed his friend in the critical moment. Charlie knows differently; maybe she will eventually too.

In That Hatch

Don't come near me,
Standing tall.
I hear right through your lies.
You deserve to crawl.
You may have tried,
But not enough.
You'll never calm me down!
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You let Charlie drown.
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You let Charlie drown!

We both dared to doubt
The flashes you'd seen,
Believing your regard
Would pull Charlie through.
Was it so hard
To guard your chum?
Some flimsy friend he found!
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You let Charlie drown.
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You let Charlie drown!

I am still his girl;
He's the guy
Who I'll have on my mind
Till we meet again someday.
Dreams can be kind,
But when slumber ends
My sorrow's all I'll find.
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You left him behind.
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You left him behind!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Pilot in the Pilot

Here is a little ode to that poor unfortunate fellow who bit the dust in the first episode of LOST. Long may he live on in our memory...

The Pilot in the Pilot

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot
Who meets an all too swift and violent end.
First we hear his feeble voice,
Then we see him and rejoice,
But the writers have it in for our poor friend.

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot
Who doesn't know the Scotsman caused the crash,
Who must shoulder all the guilt
For the blood that has been spilt
And the bodies that have vanished into ash.

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot
With crucial information to impart.
He announces that they're lost;
Moments later, he is tossed
To the trees, and Smokey rips the guy apart.

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot.
Will anyone recall his bloodied frame?
When the rescuers arrive,
Those who last see him alive
Won't be able to provide them with his name.

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot,
Killed off before we know what makes him tick.
Yes, that pilot's lot is tough,
But he's with us long enough.
The Pilot pilot's piloting will stick.

Monday, July 2, 2007

EW Loves Elizabeth Mitchell

Recently, EW listed Elizabeth Mitchell as one of the 100 people they love, and I was wishing they'd focused on one of those lovely lads I have a crush on, but Juliet really is a major player in season three. 
Season one starts with Jack opening his eyes in the jungle, and it's definitely fair to consider him the main character in season one; certainly many of the events we see stem somewhat from his leadership.  Season two starts with Desmond doing his thing down in the hatch, and while I wouldn't say he's the main character of season two - since he only appears in four episodes - the hatch is the main preoccupation, and he's the character most associated with the hatch.  Then season three opens with Juliet putting on the music for the book club, and while she's representative of the Others, who come into much sharper focus, she herself really is a crucial character, with much of what happens in season three hinging on whose side she decides to take.  So I wonder who we'll be meeting in the first moments of season four...