>"LOST: The Last Recruit"

>DISCLAIMER: In a previous post, I discussed the importance of ABC’s “LOST.” Therefore, I am beginning a series which briefly explores thoughts on the show with respect to FITmedia and Truth in Fiction. Being as the posts are philosophical in nature, I will try to keep story spoilers to a minimum. However, because many of the philosophical pillars are tied to critical events, it is impossible to discuss without some spoilers. For those of you not following the show, I hope that these posts will be worthwhile on their own merit, and should they inspire you to watch the show, that they will not have ruined the plot for you. You have been warned.

“The Last Recruit”

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=fitmedia-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0036EH3XE&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrLOST has a history of creating titles with double meanings. Even the title of the show is a reference to both the physical sense of being lost on a “deserted” island and the metaphysical sense of being spiritually broken. However, this episode’s title has a vague meaning.

Most likely it is a reference to Jack, who was left in the care of the Man in Black at the end of the episode. (You did read the disclaimer, didn’t you?) The difficulty I have in being certain about this label is that the writers are normally very careful with their choice of words, using key words sparingly and with great significance.

The word “recruit” in the LOST universe refers to the DHARMA Initiative. The last recruit of the DI was Desmond, who was recruited by Kelvin Inman (“Live Together, Die Alone“). Desmond plays only a small role in “The Last Recruit” though we do see his boat once again—the boat we learned that Inman was prepared to leave the Island on just before the crash of Oceanic 815.

Far-reaching connections aside, there is one reference to the Man in Black “recruiting” people (“The Substitute“), when Ilana explains his motives for kidnapping Richard. In that episode, he fails to recruit Richard, but has a talk with James who goes along with him. James claims he isn’t with anybody (“Recon“), having made a deal with Widmore and reporting Widmore’s secrets to the Man in Black.

You’re With Me Now.

The other bit of ambiguity in this episode is the rules surrounding the Man in Black’s abilities. When questioned by Jack, he claims to have impersonated Christian Shephard. However, there are two problems with this according to my understanding of the Man in Black. First, Christian appeared to Jack off-Island in St. Sebastien’s Hospital (“Something Nice Back Home“). Second, he appeared to Michael on the freighter (“There’s No Place Like Home“). These references run contrary to the idea that the Man in Black cannot leave the Island, or even cross the water (at least in Smoke Monster form).

Following what must have been a long night of “catching up,” Claire tells Jack that he’s with the Man in Black now. When Jack says he hasn’t decided, Claire responds that “you let him talk to you.” This has been said of the Man in Black before, when Dogen tells Sayid to kill him (“Sundown“). It was also how the Man in Black warned Richard about Jacob (“Ab Aeterno“). Both men fell under the influence of the one they were warned against. I’m not sure what the significance is.

Nevertheless, despite going along with James’ plan to “ditch Locke,” Jack’s intuition tells him to abandon the boat and return to the main Island. There he meets “Locke” and his band of recruits. After Widmore’s bomb apparently kills off the red shirts, “Locke” carries Jack into the jungle and tells him, “You’re with me now,” a statement that leaves us wondering if Jack is about to be “claimed” like Sayid.

The Deal’s Off.

Everyone on the boat, accept Frank Lapidus, let the Man in Black talk to them. I’m not sure if Claire was referring to chit-chat or a specific sit-down talk, but I thought that was worth pointing out. Especially seeing as all of the people who made it to Hydra Island are going to be killed—at least that’s what it looks like. The deal that James thought he made might never have really been “on” in the first place, but if it was, it may also have been terminated given that Widmore would have known via Zoe that Sayid kidnapped Desmond—and Sayid would not have been sent if James had not shared information.

I’m putting my money on the assertion that the Man in Black is NOT the good guy, despite tantalizing nuggets that make him seem like he could be—like leading Jack to water. However, I’m less certain about Charles Widmore. To me, the archetype of the evil capitalist who wants to “exploit” the Island is both too overplayed and too overly simplistic for LOST. Besides we already have an unscrupulous industrialist in Mr. Paik.

Widmore knows far more about the Island and the cosmic game between Jacob and the Man in Black than perhaps anyone else. Though, if that were true, wouldn’t he know better than to try to kill him with artillery? Certainly this was largely effective in killing off the Man in Black’s men, but why exactly does Widmore want them dead?

FEATURED MEDIA: Reserve the Final Season!


0 Responses to “>"LOST: The Last Recruit"”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Get Involved

Promoting art on television starts with you. Take the Varolo user tour, and become part of the change!




"For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction."

- Kahlil Gibran

"All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching?"
- Nicholas Johnson, author:
"We need the media to be presenting pictures of possibility not just continuing to be prophets of doom and gloom."
- Kevin Kelly, Wired

"How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it."

- Adam Smith
"And the science is overwhelming that for creative, conceptual tasks, those if-then rewards rarely work and often do harm."
- Daniel Pink, author: Drive

"I wish we had a Problem-Solver Party because we have very big problems that need solving. And I think a lot of our attention is addressed to the wrong problems."
- David McCullough, author: 1776
"The goal shouldn't be to have a lot of people to yell at, the goal probably should be to have a lot of people who choose to listen."
- Seth Godin, author: Tribes
"The role of the media is to disseminate information, highlight important current events, and to essentially stand as a witness, an observer of cultural, political, community, and educational events. A healthy media provides a check on the government and increases the political astuteness of republican citizens."
- Stephen Palmer, The Center for Social Leadership
"Advertisers and politicians rely on a half-educated public, on people who know little outside of their own specialty, because such people are easy to deceive with so-called experts, impressive technical or sociological jargon, and an effective set of logical and psychological tricks."
- Robert Harris
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
- John Adams
"I know no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education."
- Thomas Jefferson
"Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise--as priests, prophets or philosophers are wise. Specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine."
- Allan Bloom, author: The Closing of the American Mind
"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
(Proverbs 13:20)
"If you are not a thinking man, to what purpose are you a man at all."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"I learn a lot from TV. Everytime someone turns one on, I go in the other room and read a book."
- Groucho Marx, comedian: Duck Soup
"There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."
- Charles Kingsley

%d bloggers like this: