Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost combining the sacred and the secular

If you watch Lost, you might enjoy this review of last night's eposide by Paste Magazine. Here's how it begins:
"Lost has a long, complicated relationship with religion. While the show is not overtly religious, it is decidedly metaphysical, and not just as a sci-fi nodding to whatever else is "out there." Smoke monsters, ghosts, baptisms, churches and priests with rosaries and biblical walking sticks have all populated the island's lush environs since Season One.

It's highly personal, but this has always made me slightly uncomfortable. Perhaps it's our rigorous separation of church and state that disallowed me from saying the Pledge of Allegiance in middle school, or the music industry's black-and-white genres, marketing Switchfoot to a completely different audience than Iron and Wine. With a divider like the island's electric-fence security system, I want my religion over here and my entertaining sci-fi over there, never the twain to meet.

But in a world where polar bears roam the tropics, this doesn't seem a realistic option. And it probably shouldn't be. Last night's Lost pulled religious (primarily Catholic) themes into the mix again, and I started to settle into it, realizing that this show is all about that twilight zone between the real and imaginary, the sacred and the secular, the bizarre and highly mundane. It pushes us into those uncomfortable places, and perhaps therein lies its brilliance."


  1. Maybe this is old news, but what about all of the supposed Narnia references. My Narnia knowledge is lacking, but I have picked up on a few obvious hints.

    The character named Charlotte Staples Lewis (maybe not the subtlest of nods to Mr. Lewis but a clever placement).

    In episode six of this season, “Momma” Faraday said that the room containing the cool pendulum was called The Lamp Post. If I remember correctly, Lucy first met Mr. Tumnus at a lamp post. Is this mere coincidence? I think not.

    Even the desire for some of the Oceanic 6 to return to the island has sprinkles of the Narnia story on it.

    If ever there were a master of combining the secular and the sacred, it was Lewis. Then again, maybe I am just reading what I want to see.

  2. loved this episode, as it did bring the sacred front and center more than ever. All that talk about the resurrection, and I have a feeling that's going to be more of a theme this season...but before that the talk of Locke being a substitution...clear parallels to Christ. I just loved though how they brought the whole Faith vs. Science theme between Locke and Jack full circle in this episode.

    good call on the Lewis' references, Bailey. I had seen it in Charlotte's name, but hadn't noticed the lamp post reference. The island does seem to be more and more like Narnia...just a smidge spookier though

  3. Scott,
    I definitely agree with you on the debate between faith and science. It definitely helps make Lost subversive and interesting each week.

    For those who are interested, a friend of mine writes about Lost each week for Creative Loafing. Her posts usually generate some interesting discussions among fans.

  4. Good thoughts Bailey and Scott. Though I haven't read the Narnia books, there does seem to be some similarities. Bailey, I didn't know you knew that girl. I read her review every week. You're right, it's good stuff worth thinking about.