LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 1- “LA X”


“When I die, what do you think will happen to me?” -Sayid


The anticipation… Such a big deal! Like being a kid… So exciting!

Yet now that the 23 millions of us have seen the first two hours of the final season of our favorite show ever, we’ve got our homework cut out for us. Watching LOST is a serious event. The whole time I’m taking notes, scene by scene.

Our predictions about the two different Last Supper promotional photos featuring the LOST cast were accurate: There are two main different timelines going on. No more flash forwards or flashbacks. It’s like those Choose Your Own Adventure books.  We are now dealing with the narrative device referred to as “flash-sideways”.

But by the finale, does only one of these destinies become the real one?  The writers of the show aren’t saying.  They don’t want to acknowlege either of the realities as the alternate one.  Until the finale episode, all we can do is just enjoy seeing what would have happened had the plane never crashed.  Because we’ve always been curious anyway about that.

There are two main parts from the episode that keep bouncing around in my mind.

The first: Who is in Sayid’s body now? Jacob. He told Hurley (in the new unknown year with the temple and the new Asian dude with long hair) to take Sayid to the temple (even though Jacob died an hour before in 1977). Sayid died at the temple (or was murdered by the men that were supposed to save him), then soon after comes back to life. That’s no coincidence.

In one of The Lord’s Supper parodies, Sayid assumes the role of Judas and John Locke represents Christ. Prediction: The new Sayid will betray the new Locke. In other words, Jacob will deceive Esau by making him think Sayid is still alive.

There is much irony in Sayid’s asking of what will happen to him when he dies. He was assuming and referring to his soul’s judgment to hell. But for us viewers, we now see this was a foreshadowing that the thing that would happen to him when he died is that Jacob would take over his body.

Going back to the fact that Jacob told Hurley to take Sayid to the temple in 1977, this solidifies a theory and anwers a mystery that we’ve been wondering since the 2nd season.  After a person has died on the island, and after Esau (or Jacob) takes the form of their body, they can appear as that person at any point in the past, but not in the future. Dying as that person prevents them from living on in present day.

When Jacob appears to Hurley and he had already been dead for an hour, remember that he was killed by Ben in the future.  Therefore he was able to go back in time and instruct Hurley to set up the takeover of Sayid’s body.

Pretty clever, yes?

The second thing bouncing around in my head is this: What year are Jack and Co. stuck in on the island? Based on the temple’s structure and the clothing, I assume sometime in the 1500’s, at the latest. I call this timeline “The Turban Times” because of the burgundy turbans worn by some of the temple mongers.

We’ve been introduced to two new bad guys. I think they’re bad guys. The Japanese dude with long hair. Until I learn his name and until I learn his actual ethnic background, I will call name him Emperor Miyagi. And his weird looking scientist friend, Dr. Hooknose. Both of them appear to be up to no good. But right now we’re still trying to sort out who’s good and who’s bad.

I hold true to my predictions that somehow in the end Ben Linus will end up being a good guy. Based on the fact that Benjamin in the Bible was righteous. Even the good guys are at least a little bad on LOST.

In closing, I have a feeling that the Egyptian cross, the ankh, will continue to have a major symbolic meaning for this final season. It is the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life” and represents the deities of the afterlife. The ankh was believed by the Egyptians to protect them against sickness, infertility, and a loss of psychic powers.

When it’s all said and done, the struggle on the island will all come down to Jacob and Esau’s struggle for eternal life, which they attempt to maintain through the appearance of the bodies of those who have died on the island. Sort of like on the movie The Skeleton Key.

And those who for whatever reason made their way to the island are forever exposed to the game of Jacob vs. Esau. That is, unless the alternative timeline proves to be solid. I have a feeling it won’t.

Read my recap from last night’s episode:

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 14- “Across the Sea”

LOST: Season 6 Pre-cap

We are just a few weeks away from the final season and we can hardly wait. There are 23 million of us Losties in the world. We are an underground society that no one else understands when we talk about the Dharma Initiative and Jacob and the statue. While others gave up after the first or second or even third season, we have continued to thrive on LOST thrills.

As we anticipate the final episodes, we do have one major concern: Will the final episode be a cliffhanger just like every other episode? Or some dumb cop-out like, it was all a dream or just the imagination of an 8 year old Autistic boy? (Those were actual final episodes for some shows back in the ‘80’s…)

The answer: no. I have been keeping up with all the interviews of the Lost writers. It is very important to them that the characters’ stories have a beginning, middle, and end. And that the LOST journey will be a satisfying one. So we can enjoy February through May with ease.

As far as hints for the final season of LOST, I have collected a few from the interviews I’ve read. The final season will most resemble the first. Charlie, Claire, and Boone will be back. As far as Juliet’s fate, by reading between the lines it sounds like she actually died at the end of the Season 5 finale. But at the same time, she will still be on Season 6.  But without Juliet, Sawyer will go back to being the old Sawyer.  And less emphasis on The Dharma Initiative, more on the Dharma-Michigan Connection, whatever that means.

A new change is that instead of relying on flashbacks and flash-forwards, there will be a new narrative device that is common in Bollywood movies. And since the only movie I’ve seen in that category is Slumdog Millionaire, I don’t have much insight on what it will be like.

Today ABC released two new promotional pictures for the new season, since they refuse to tease us with any video clips. The two separate, yet similar photographs make me think they will be two separate timelines for the same characters in which one will become the final by the last episode.   I entitle them, “The LOST Suppers”.

In this parody of The Last Supper, Sayid assumes the role of Judas the betrayer, Jack is the doubting Thomas, and Esau (in the form of John Locke) symbolizes Jesus. Is this to say that Esau is actually the good guy? Is he there to lead the inhabitants of out the wilderness island like Moses led the Israelites of their “lostness”? Was Jacob the true deceiver?

I want to confirm another major prediction about LOST. All I ask is that you give me credit for being the first to discover this once it becomes official in a few months. Promise you won’t forget it was me:
Season 1- September 2004 = real life 2004-2005
Season 2- October 2004 = real life 2005-2006
Season 3- November 2004 = real life 2006-2007
Season 4- December 2004 = real life 2007-2008
Season 5- January 2005/ “Three Years Later” (January 2008) = real life 2009
Season 6- February 2005 = real life 2009-2010

Notice that the furthest we have seen into the future on a flash forward on the show so far is 2008. In May when the series ends, in real life it will be 2010. That means that the years of 2009 and 2010 will not be accounted for (according to the “one season of the show equals one month for the people on the island” rule) unless they started flash forwarding to 2009 and 2010. My prediction is that in the finale of Season 6, the words “2010: present day” will flash on the screen. Something very important happens in 2009 and 2010. You heard it from me, people.

Christianity and Wine

Wine not?

Taboo is an interesting thing. As the opening line to the theme song of the classic inter-racial sitcom Diff’rent Strokes goes, “Now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum: What might be right for you, might not be right for some.” From the society of a small family, to a town, to a nation, certain collective behavioral beliefs help unify a group of people to identify as one, bringing a sense of safety in numbers as well as vindication that their own viewpoint really is the best one.

As I researched for my epic “Beauty and Self-Worth aren’t the Real Issues, Lack of Will Power Is” last week, I learned some interesting things about food and drinks that are considered taboo by certain cultures. For example, throughout the centuries coffee has been banned by different countries (including our own) and religious groups (at one time Catholics and currently Mormons). Caffeine is an addictive drug and many people have seen coffee as a controlled substance, as it causes its consumers to become dependent on a drink that can change their demeanor simply by its consumption or lack of it, after the tolerance is built up.

It’s hard to imagine that drinking coffee (and other caffeine-laced beverages like tea and Red Bull) would be taboo to anyone. But considering its addictive qualities along with its mood-altering and heart rate changing abilities, it does have some similarities to alcohol, which is more easily condemned by religious groups. Muslims, Hindus, Rastafarians (though they encourage/require marijuana use), and Mormons are the most solid in their shunning of alcoholic beverages.

As for Protestant Christians, it’s namely Baptists and Methodists that have a stance of little to no tolerance for alcohol, often stated in their church by-laws. (Being that my hometown is almost completely represented by Baptists and Methodists, the sell or purchase of alcohol was illegal in the county until 2006.) However, because of their proximity to the Catholic Church, Episcopalians and Presbyterians tend not to look down on alcohol consumption.

Being Baptist my entire life, I always thought it was weird that Catholics actually drink wine during the service, in particular for the Lord’s Supper. Obviously Jesus and his disciples drank wine for the Last Supper, but we always used Welch’s grape juice (a company that got its start by offering non-alcoholic grape juice to the American Christians who saw drinking wine as sinful). After high school I moved away from my “dry” hometown and graduated from a one year (Baptist affiliated) Bible college in Florida then earned my English degree from Jerry Falwell’s (openly Baptist) Liberty University in Virginia, both saturated in an “alcohol is taboo and prohibited” culture.

Then I moved to Nashville.

An interesting crossbreed between churches and bars. A culture where drinking beer is in the same category as drinking soda. In other words, it’s just another beverage. Like in Europe. And I quickly learned that judgmental attitudes towards alcohol were nowhere to be found, even in Baptist circles. A person could actually sincerely love both Jesus and beer. In fact, last Fall my Sunday School class took a tour of Nashville’s own Yazoo Brewery as a fun activity.

When I finally accepted the fact that alcohol was no longer a moral issue to me, a revelation I had was this: Alcohol use does not necessarily equal alcohol abuse. Before, my mind saw any consumption of alcohol as an instant link to drunkenness and alcoholism. That is a stigma that has since been dissolved from my mind.

An interesting exception to the alcohol ban in Christian circles is best expressed in a quote I would always hear from my friends growing up: “My parents don’t drink, except for a little wine on their wedding anniversaries.” The alcoholic content of the average beer is around 5%. However, wine typically starts between 12 to 15%. Why was strong wine overlooked for special occasions but weak beer condemned?

There are several reasonable answers to this paradox, just like there are many understandable points on why certain religions prohibit alcohol. And because good cases can be made for both acceptance and rejection, it’s remains taboo for some and completely normal for others.

Ironically, the same parts of the Bible that caused me to believe alcohol consumption was wrong before, are now the same verses that give me confidence that for me, it’s no longer a moral issue. In fact, some of the best spiritual growth I’ve done in my entire life was during the time period that I figured this thing out for myself. Whereas before I was either too young to drink, banned by my college, or a part of a culture that shunned alcohol, the independence I found by sorting out my view on the issue helped me become aware of the spiritual side effect that a “no alcohol” lifestyle had on me: I was secretly judgmental of those Christians who drank.

But in the classic case of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, I realized that I had been treating the issue like some of the Jewish leaders did the law of Moses. They judged Jesus for healing sick people on the Sabbath. Even though the law more generically instructed the people to make the Sabbath day a time of rest and remembering God, the Jews stretched this and in their own interpretation added to the law, stating exactly how many steps a person could walk on the Sabbath, considering anything more than that to be work, therefore breaking the law of Moses. Judging the people by a higher standard of the law than God actually gave to the people.

I allowed myself to believe that the wine of the Bible was different than wine today. Because that excused Jesus of drinking it. And that helped me better accept the fact that Jesus’ first miracle was turning the water into wine at the wedding, and that he knew enough about wine that he might the good kind, and people at the wedding noticed it. But even if there was less alcohol content in the wine of Biblical times, it couldn’t have been much less. Jesus drank real wine. I finally stopped judging Jesus and others for it. And once I joined the crowd, not for reasons of peer pressure but because of personal conviction, I realized my walk with Christ matured.

Now I know that a person can have a daily personal relationship with Jesus, can read and study the Bible, can pray for others, and appreciate good wine and beer, because I have become that person. After daily praying for years that God would show me my flaws and my sins, my prayers were answered when I, in a sense, took real communion for the first time.

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Here are some excerpts from Paul’s letters to the church in the book of I Corinthians regarding eating food sacrificed to idols. These are the quotes that have bounced around in my head as I’ve established my own beliefs regarding food and drink:

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not from your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (6:19,20).”

“But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak (9:11).”

“For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ (8:11,12).”

“Whether, then, you eat or you drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (10:31).”

Water2Wine