Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sundown - in which Sayid turns out to kill people everywhere

Wow. What an episode. Poor Sayid, he seems to end up committing crimes no matter what the timeline. Maybe that's the point? He can't be saved regardless of what anyone does or what happens?

 Dogen's story about how Jacob came and offered to save his son if he came to work for Jacob on the island... I wonder, does that mean that Jacob saved the son in that timeline, or that Jacob needed Dogen ON the island in order for the alternate timeline to be created by the losties? It reminds me of how Ben told Juliet in S3 that Jacob had cured her sister's cancer. Another bargain.

It certainly seems that both Jacob and Smokey are offering people "their heart's desire" in return for service. At the end of last season, that is what it said on the tapestry in Jacob's house inside the statue, a quote from The Odyssey: "may the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires". There's more on tapestry:

Across the top of the tapestry is emblazoned a quote from Homer's Odyssey in upper case ancient Greek: ΘΕΟΙ ΤΟΣΑ ΔΟΙΕΝ ΟΣΑ ΦΡΕΣΙ ΣΗΣΙ ΜΕΝΟΙΝΑΣ. The original sentence, modified to lower case, is σοὶ δὲ θεοὶ τόσα δοῖεν ὅσα φρεσὶ σῇσι μενοινᾷς (transcribed as theoi tosa doien hosa phresi sēisi menoinais), belongs to Book 6, line 180 and means, "may the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires". [1]
Another passage is woven into the middle of the tapestry. In full, it reads, ΘΕΟΙ ΔΕ ΤΟΙ ΟΛΒΙΑ ΔΟΙΕΝ. The original sentence, modified to lowercase, is θεοὶ δέ τοι ὄλβια δοῖεν (transcribed as theoi de toi olbia doien), which means, "may the gods grant thee happiness". It occurs twice in the Odyssey: Book 8, line 413 and Book 24, line 402. [2] [3]
A third passage is at the bottom of the tapestry. The part that can be seen reads, ...Σ ΜΟΝΟΙ ΤΟ ΤΟΥ ΠΟΛΕΜΟΥ ΤΕΛΟΣ ΕΟΡΑΚΑΣΙ (sic). In lower case, it should read ...ς μόνοι τὸ τοῦ πολέμου τέλος ἑωράκασι (transcribed as "...s monoi to tou polemou telos eōrakasi") which seems to be the following quote misattributed to Plato: "Only the dead have seen the end of war." If so, the word missing could be ΘΑΝΟΝΤΕΣ or ΤΕΘΝΗΚΟΤΕΣ, in lower case, θανόντες (transcribed as thanontes) or τεθνηκότες (transcribed as tethnekotes), meaning "those who have died".

So can Smokey actually bring about the things he promises his recruits, or is he just evil and a deceiver? I think it is fairly safe to assume that Jacob's role wasn't just to protect the island (like Smokey told Sawyer), but to contain Smokey.

 And Dogen's explanation to Sayid about the scale, and good and evil inside every person... sounds a lot like the Egyptian version of judgment after death, which was discussed a lot over at the Fuselage last season: weighing the dead person's heart to decide if they should live on in the afterlife or "really" die.

In the Hall of Two Truths, Anubis weighed the heart of a person against Ma'at, the goddess of truth, who was sometimes depicted symbolically as an ostrich feather. If the heart was judged to be not pure, Ammit would devour it, and the person undergoing judgement was not allowed to continue their voyage towards Osiris and immortality. Once Ammut swallowed the heart, the soul was believed to become restless forever; this was called "to die a second time".

I wonder what will happen to Kate. I doubt she'll end up siding with crazy-killer Claire and Locke and Sawyer. What would Smokey offer her? Jack? Sawyer? Sayid??? ;) What is her heart's desire? I hate that triangle crap with a vengeance, but maybe that's how this will somehow play out for her: she has to "choose" not just sides but men. Finally! Just stay celibate!

A showdown between her and Claire should be interesting. And btw, what will Claire think now about Smokey? If she believes Kate took Aaron, then that means that Smokey lied to her about The Others taking him.

I also wonder where Sawyer is. Still in that cave?

What was up with the knife Dogen gave to Sayid? Did he really think it might kill Smokey or was it a ruse? But then why have the knife hidden away?

How will Smokey bring Nadia back? Or was he talking about Shannon for Sayid? Shannon died on the island after all...

Another thing: is Smokey in a hurry maybe? Maybe he can leave the island now, since there is no Jacob. But what if someone steps up as the new Jacob? Is he trapped again then?

Poor Sun. She's reduced to a prop these days. Jin gets a bit more to do, but Sun is just scenery. Too bad. Last season when she was badass for like 10 minutes I had high hopes for her character.

Thought of the day: does the island exist outside time and space as we know it somehow? Is that why it still exists even though the bomb blast created the alternate reality? We know there's something funky with light, time and space on the island and how you can get to it. We know there's a pocket of weird energy. And we know there's a donkey wheel on it that makes it move and skips some people through time. Is the possible redemption of ALL the losties and ALL the people on the island ONLY available in that new timeline? I am starting to think so.

Can Smokey also create another timeline? Is he even aware of the alternate timeline the bomb created? Maybe not. Maybe his machinations with tricking Locke (and through him Alpert) means that that version of the timeline is doomed to be "bad". But maybe he hasn't understood that Jack and Juliet and the losties actually made a new reality where the island is drowned and none of his machinations ever took place?

In essence:
  • The timeline we've followed since the beginning of the show is Smokey's doing. He created it by manipulating Locke and Alpert and others. 
  • The new timeline created after the bomb is somehow Jacob's "doublecross". He knew Smokey was looking for a loophole and would do anything to find it or create it, and instead he manipulated other events to cause the Losties to set off the bomb and create a timeline where the island is drowned and most likely neither Jacob or Smokey has manipulated them.
One final thought: What if the whole creation of the alternate timeline means that there is no way off the island for Smokey or anyone else? They exist there like in a bubble, but there's nowhere to go unless you are in that alternate universe? And that will be "closed" to Smokey?

Whoa. What a damn show. Can't wait for next week.

Screencaps thanks to Wikipedia, Lostpedia and Lost-Media.

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