Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nothing is Irreversible

-Jack, Lost

Second Beach Camp, Film Location
Well after seeing the premiere of the final season of Lost last night, I am still under the impression that this is an important show for our times. And it got me thinking along the lines of water.

The premiere last night treated us to two paths: what is going on on the island still in the 1970s after Juliet hits the bomb from last season, and an alternate reality that "fixed" the island and had everyone returning to LAX without having ever gone to the island nor crashing on it. We see the miserable lives people are going back to: Jack is returning home with his father dead, Kate is in handcuffs, Sawyer is not changed and still a conman, Claire is confused and pregnant, Sun and Jin are back to their old male-dominated relationship, Hurley may be slightly different (he says he doesn't have bad luck), Sayid is going back to Nadia (not so pathetic), Charlie is hooked on heroin, Rose/Bernard are evidently still faced with her cancer, John's legs are still broken, and Boone is this time without Shannon and faced with her using him for money. 

But, as we've been reminded from island lessons before, you cannot change fate. Things that happened on the island still may happen in this alternate reality, albeit via different means. There are two things slightly different: Desmond shows up on the plane, and Shannon is not there. We assume Desmond is time-traveling, but the whole thing is not clear.

Back on the island, what happened after Juliet set off the bomb? Big spoiler: she dies. She is still alive for a little while, enough to let Sawyer know she loves him and "it worked"--so we are wondering what worked and how she knew. We're assuming that the bomb fixed things and Juliet knows this somehow. 

Meanwhile, big spoilers!: Jacob's nemesis parading now in John Locke's form, whom I have referred to as Esau and UnLocke before (or Flocke--fake lock), successfully talks Ben into killing Jacob. When the gang outside finds out, a few henchmen with guns come into the statue foot, where Jacob had lived, and attempt to murder whom they think is Locke. UnLocke disappears and ports to smokey monster form, killing them. 

Ben is left speechless. Jacob appears to Hurley on the other side of the island (since Hurley can see dead people), and tells Hurley to take this guitar case Jacob gave him in a taxi in season 5 and take a dying Sayid to the temple.

Sayid has been shot, from last season, and has been bleeding for a long time. He gets somewhat ignored as Sawyer, Jack, Kate, and Miles attempt to clear debris to save Juliet, who was alive for a little while. After they bury her, the gang takes off toward the temple, along with Hurley and this mysterious guitar case.

Temple--the rest was CGI
At the temple are some new characters: a guy who looks like John Lennon and some Kung-fu looking dude, as well as some others. Inside the guitar case is a large ankh. The Others break it apart to find a list written by Jacob inside, and directions to save Sayid in the healing waters of the temple. On this list were the same people Jacob had come to and "touched" in the last episode of the last season: Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, Locke, Jin, and Sun. To each he gives commands to relay to others (reminiscent of biblical prophets). 

We finally get to see the temple, which appears to be like a pyramid or ziggurat-type structure, and is primitive with some healing waters inside, in which Sayid (dying from wounds) is immersed. This is the scene I was really interested in, because it had so much symbolism in it. First, on the temple walls were the same hieroglyphs found in other Dharma stations on the island. Second, there are healing waters in this temple, to which they take Sayid to be healed. In some strange combination ritual of baptism/ablution/drowning, he is quite literally carried out of the water, with his arms spread out to resemble a cross, and then dies. 

Jack, of course, tries to save him, but doesn't. However, Sayid's cleansing gives him new birth, either that or someone takes the form of his body. We will find out soon!
We also find out in the beginning of the premier, that due to the decimation of the bomb on the island, or due to something, the island is under water now. By "now" I mean assuming the timeline the main cast is going back to LAX. The statue of the foot is underwater, and so are the pylons and everything else.

I just want to talk a bit about water as a healing source. Long ago, as described in documents, including the Bible, baptism was a ritual with a few different meanings. One was basic ablution, or cleansing. People often washed others' feet in shows of honor or respect; it was courtesy to wash your hands before eating. Of course we now know the practical reasons for this. Then there was deeper cleansing of the soul known as baptism. 

Different religions have their takes: some practiced an immersion in water, such as a river. I remember my Mammaw being baptized that way. Others, instead of completely immersing the body, either dip feet or other body parts into the water or trickle water over the body. In some religions, like the one I was brought up in, you got baptized by choice. I did when age 13. In other religions, like Catholics, babies are baptized without their choice. These sorts of baptisms really ensure a type of cleansing that promises eternal life, or after life. Or like when Clare gets Aaron baptized in season 2, it's "insurance for heaven".

The idea of a drowning type of  baptism, as I've read, is brought up in the book series A Song of Fire and Ice. It just takes the rebirth part of the ritual that much further! I guess I just love the idea of water as cleansing, and cleansing as not just physical but spiritual. 

Even today are so many healing properties associated with water, some scientific and others more mystical. My second cousin's daughter is some sort of modern day thing like that. Hot/sulpher springs, spas, hydrotherapy, etc. are all really popular of course, not to mention water sports. It's sad that water quality is so bad now, but that's another post and another day. 

I also think the whole temple idea is really neat in Lost. Some have said the temple resembles something from Mesopotamia, though I don't think so. Regardless, I found a well-written summary on Ezekiel's restored temple from a Swedish online library. It seems to resemble some ideas of Lost's temple and the ideas of healing waters. Plus, from some past episode I remember them having to go down through an underground water tunnel to reach a Dharma station. Read this Ezekiel story from the Sweden Borg Digital Library.

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