Let me start off by noting that I have not forgotten The Candidate. I loved the episode and just haven’t yet had the time to write up my Quick Hits on it. I’m skipping it to get to this week’s because… well… I love me some LOST mythology.
The episode was one dealing with Genesis and touched on the ideas of fraternal twins in creation mythology.
I know many fans tire of the mythology and are bored with Smokey and Jacob’s back story. But LOST is ultimately not a show about action. It’s an examination of people. One wonders how the open questions on the main characters will be answered in the 3.5 hours remaining, but I enjoyed an opportunity to look at Jacob and the MIB this week. And as an avowed CJ Cregg fan, I loved having Allison Janney this week. In fact, given that her character is never named beyond that of “Mother”, I will refer to her as Janney, throughout.
Even more so than any of the prior episodes, this was about Genesis and creation mythology. We are granted, as we were with Ab Aeterno, a view into the Island’s creation, or more accurately, that of Jacob and the MIB. We’re reminded almost immediately of that by the appearance of a sea turtle, a deliberate reference to the Iroquois Turtle Island myth. That myth involves the support of a world upon the shell of a turtle and begins as such:
Long before the world was created there was an island, floating in the sky, upon which the Sky People lived. They lived quietly and happily. No one ever died or was born or experienced sadness. However one day one of the Sky Women realized she was going to give birth to twins. She told her husband, who flew into a rage. In the center of the island there was a tree which gave light to the entire island since the sun hadn’t been created yet. He tore up this tree, creating a huge hole in the middle of the island. Curiously, the woman peered into the hole. Far below she could see the waters that covered the earth. At that moment her husband pushed her. She fell through the hole, tumbling towards the waters below.
More on that myth can be read here, but the crux of it is that the twins include Sapling (the good, Jacob-son who creates nature) and Flint (the dark son who creates evil and thorns). Many Genesis myths, including those I have discussed before, involve a duality of the good son (in the Dogon mythology, Nommo) and the prodigal son (Yurugu, the name I will adopt for the MIB). Janney spoke of Jacob as not being able to lie and Yurugu as special and complex. As Janney and Yurugu discussed Yurugu’s capacity for sin, it was somewhat clear that Janney regarded Yurugu with favor, a theme that is often repeated in literature – favoritism for the son who does not appreciate parents dutifully.
More on LOST Genesis and my Quick Hits, after the jump. Read more…