Wrestling with Demons

NANOBOTS!

Confessing for one’s sins is the overriding thematic element in Lost’s latest episode, though exactly what sins one must confess for comes into question by the end of tonight’s show. An unrepentant Eko, when finally taking the chance to confess his sins to his “brother,” instead clings to the belief that he did what he had to do to survive and is proud of the choices he was forced to make in the life “he was given.”

Eko's Confession

But all his crimes, all the blood on his hands, all the corpses at his feet are not what the Island would like Eko to confess. For now, I think we have finally gained a full view of the Island itself–or it’s avatar at the least. The black smoke/Cerberus/security system/monster is that avatar. It is the voice and hand of the Island itself. Why it’s there and how it figures into the dynamics of the populations on the island have yet to be determined, but it seems clear to me that we’re seeing the Island in action.

Of course, the black smoke could simply be one of the Dharma/Hanso projects that escaped from its’ hatch and has been wreaking havoc ever since. But that explanation is much, much too logical.

In Greek mythology, Cerberus was the hound of Hades—a monstrous three-headed dog (sometimes said to have 50 or 100 heads) with a snake for a tail and serpentine mane.

He guarded the gate to Hades (the Greek underworld) and ensured that the dead could not leave and the living could not enter. His sister was the Chimera and his brother was Orthrus. He is the offspring of Echidna and Typhon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerberus

What we do know, aside from my delusions of grandeur, is that Cerberus can take the form of other humans and beings and entities and “heads,” and has been doing so for quite some time. It’s taken on the form of Jack’s father (which it undoubtedly plucked from his casket), Eko’s brother (plucked from the plane), a “bright light” (to Locke), the black horse (to Kate), and God knows what else (but I don’t think it took on the appearance of “Dave;” I think that was all in Hurley’s head). We also know exactly what happened to the pilot in the series premiere, made plain by Cerberus using Eko as its’ personal beat-stick.

Beat-Stick

It’s also unclear, as I mentioned before, what exactly Eko should have been confessing. What was the Island/his brother after, exactly? The fact that it said Eko was speaking to him as if he was his brother perhaps means that the Island doesn’t excuse what Eko did in his life. His brother would have understood what Eko was trying to say. The Island didn’t like that explanation; which you’d think meant the Island wanted him to confess for the killing he’d done. But that’s not entirely clear yet.

So, whether Cerberus is a Dharma experiment gone wrong or a supernatural manifestation of a land mass’ will, it will be interesting to see how it’ll figure in the future of our castaways, who are “next,” and in the pasts of those who’ve lived on the Island for some time (Rousseau’s crew, the Others, the Dharma Initiative).

Speaking of the Others, we get more concrete confirmation of the factions that lie within what once appeared to be a tight-knit band of mysterious tribal warriors in season one. Juliet finally lays bare her intentions to Jack vis a vis her taped video message. I didn’t expect this to happen so soon in the season, which makes me wonder where exactly we’re headed come February when the show resumes (after next week’s “Fall Season Finale,” anyway).

Juliet's Message

I’ve spoken about the Others clearly having contact with the outside world (“the comms are down,” the Red Sox tape, the food, etc.), but what seems apparent now is that they can’t leave the Island. I’m not sure whether it’s because of a set of precepts they live by or if they can’t physically leave the Island. Ben and the Others can’t return to the mainland, else Ben would simply check into the nearest hospital for some good, old-fashioned tumor surgery instead of having to rely on a “spinal surgeon who fell out of the sky.”

Of course, if Michael, Walt and Vincent were allowed to leave the Island (as far as we know), I’d lean toward attributing the Others’ staying on the Island to their own laws or beliefs. They must feel like they should never leave. But why? I’m wondering if Ben may know something the factions within the Others ranks don’t–perhaps Juliet and her band of rebels don’t know why they can’t leave. Perhaps Ben’s keeping them their for their own good. If I try to elaborate much more on this, my head is going to start to hurt.

Moving right along, then…. Did I forget to mention Eko’s dead? Didn’t see that one coming! It looks like Cerberus granted Eko access to the “underworld” and sent him off to be with his brother. Before he died, we found out why he was so intent on building that church during a flashback, when the nurse in his village told him he “owed [his brother] one church.”

Quick Hits

  • Despite the producer’s insistence that Cerberus is NOT made up of nanobots, what else could it be, dammit? I’m constantly reminded of Michael Crichton’s Prey, a novel about nanobots up to no good. The security system’s behavior (especially if it is taking on human form) is pretty much ripped right out of that book’s plot. Whoops, I may have just ruined the book for whoever hasn’t read it yet. Don’t worry, it ain’t that great anyway.
  • Who is One-Eyed Willie? I will need the aid of Photoshop and a magnifying glass to see if I find any recognizable features in the Dharma pirate we glimpsed in the Pearl Station TV screens.

    One-Eyed Willie

    He look kind of like Ron Perlman to you? I’ve seen some guesses that it may be Radzinski, Kelvin Inman’s former Hatch-mate down in Swan Station before he blew his head off and left an unfortunate stain on the ceiling. Kelvin certainly wasn’t honest about a lot of things to Desmond; maybe he lied about Radz as well. He’d probably have reason to lie if he attacked Radzinski and poked an eye out (his mother told him not to horse around!).

  • Jack sure looked comfortable in the cult-wear Ben gave him. Seasons one and two often put Locke and Jack at odds trying to gain the hearts and minds of the castaways they were among. That inter dynamic seems to have shifted to Jack and Ben now. Jack may be at the driver’s seat of the Others bus before too long if Juliet has her way.

    Cultwear

    Still, in the back of my mind, I haven’t ruled out that Juliet’s taped message and Ben’s weakness isn’t just part of the manipulation on the Others’ part. Ben’s proven himself time and time again to be a master at twisting perceptions; making Jack think the Others are a group divided certainly isn’t beyond his abilities.

Other Stuff from Other Sites:

  • The glass eye! How could I forget the glass eye the castaways found in The Arrow?! I’m guessing said glass eye belongs to ole’ One-Eye. He might want that back. In fact, this lends more credence to the fact that One-Eye IS Radzinski. The snippet of film taken from the Swan Station orientation film was in a bible in The Arrow. The presence of both the glass eye and the snippet of film being in The Arrow makes me think Radz left Swan at some point with that snippet, perhaps after a fight with Inman.

    For those of you who have no earthly idea what I’m talking about, when Michael, Sawyer and Jin were first taken to the Tail Section survivors’ hatch (The Arrow) at the beginning of season two, one of them was sifting through a box that contained a Bible and a glass eye and a few other odds and ends. That Bible contained the missing piece of the orientation film from Swan Station, and I think, again, the glass eye belongs to our Dharma pirate.

  • From the Lost podcast: Sun’s tutor was not murdered. It was a suicide.

Next week, “we’re next.” Or I’m next–er, they’re next–er, Locke’s next. Someone’s next, and they better bring a big-ass stick if they wanna go toe-to-toe with Mr. Cerberus.

Updated: November 2, 2006 — 12:24 am

4 Comments

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  1. First off, I believe that only Eko has “seen” the black smoke. Last night, and once before. Also, perhaps the smoke is “evil”, or Eko’s conscience. I agree, maybe it just appears to take on other forms. Now, with the exception of the mixed couple, they have taken away all the blacks in the cast!!! Eko was superb, in so many ways. His character had so many dimensions…I’m dissapointed, too.

  2. Jack, Kate, Locke, Hurley, Arzt and Sawyer have seen it, if I’m not mistaken.

  3. And it occurs to me that every cast member that’s gotten a DUI in Hawaii has now been killed off. HAHAHA.

  4. I disagree….I think only Eko had an encounter with the smoke directly. If it takes on other forms, as you imply…the horse, Jack’s dad, etc. then ok, they have seen “it”, too. But Eko looked it in the “eye”, and of course then was thrown about by it!!! I still think it may just “represent” something, as opposed to being “real”. However, the people in the hatch could hear the chaos above, so it must have power, too.

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