Getting “Lost” in biblical allusions

Getting “Lost” in biblical allusions

In a post yesterday I mentioned that I’m a fan of the TV show “Lost”. I think it’s a smart TV show that doesn’t insult its audience and I enjoy trying to crack the mysteries. It’s also interesting because of the many religious and spiritual allusions running throughout it as well as the very high production values.

A recent character was the gangster brother of a Catholic priest who was killed. The brother assumed the priest’s office in atonement (ignoring for the moment the fact that one can’t simply take up the role by your own choosing). In atonement for his brother’s death, he resolved to build him a new church, which he was doing on the castaways’ island. He also carried what another character called his “Jesus stick” into which he had carved scriptural references. He had renounced his violent ways, but because he killed two men in self-defense, he carved verses related to penance into the stick as a reminder.

(I’m thinking that the discussion from this point will interest only fans and viewers.) Anyway they had a mini-season finale the other night (the show is on hiatus until February 7) and there was a reference to a new, off-camera character called Jacob. A reference on this Lost blog got me thinking about the biblical name. Benjamin is the current leader of the bad guys we know as the “Others,” who come across as a kind of personality cult or quasi-religious group. (Incidentally, don’t they remind you a bit of the marijuana-growing hippies we saw that Locke was a part of in last week’s episode?) Anyway, a quick line in this week’s episode referred to Jacob: “Shephard wasn’t even on Jacob’s list.” That implies that Jacob is higher up in prominence than Ben, who had once before referred to the Others’ leader as a “great man, but an unforgiving man” or something like that.

Jacob and Benjamin and Genesis

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  • Interesting theory. I don’t have time to go back and read the previous articles, but I wonder who the “spy in their midst” named Jacob is supposed to be.

    I go the impression that Jacob was in charge (i.e. the Man) and not just another mole among the castaways.

  • I’ve been following the official podcasts and watchign the DVD extras and it’s pretty clear they do have a plan. There are no loose ends, they say, and everything has a purpose. We won’t know that for sure, of course, until the end.

    Look at the killings that the smoke monster showed him in the visions before he died. They were the ones of the bandits in the church. I think he was saying that he wasn’t sorry for those. It was self-defense after all.