RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

Dear Lost Fandom: Jack is not evil. Love, Me.

I have been reading lots of forum discussion and recaps concerning Wednesday's episode of Lost, and despite having already written about said episode, I feel a need to discuss some of the odd ideas therein a bit further.  Ideas such as

how Jack is CLEARLY a pompous asshat, and/or brainwashed by the Others, and/or a wholly selfish and cruel puppetmaster, jerking Kate around.  After about a million responses like that, I'm going to that same cranky place I went last November when I thought the triangle had OBVIOUSLY been soundly put to death and yet the next day all anyone could do was point out that Kate didn't say "I love you" back.

The official spoilers said that "Kate would be betrayed by one of her own" in this episode, but honest to God, if that's supposed to be a reference to Jack, I just didn't see it.  "Betrayed" would be if he caught her in the house and pinned her arms behind her back until reinforcements arrived to throw her in prison.  Anyway.  For examples, we'll be quoting from first, then the TWoP forums

"Just answer the question, Kate, he says. Man, there’s GOTTA be some kinda weird Thuggee cult brainwashing stuff going on here, because it seems that Jack’s totally lost it."
--Uh, no.  You heard his plea "Don't hurt her," right?  He knows that if she doesn't answer the question, that's exactly what they're going to do.  If he takes the time to explain that, they'll probably hurt her.  The fastest way out of this is to do what they say until they stop pressing the gun against your head.  These people are jumpy and short-tempered.  You have to learn how to deal with them.

"Jack tells her that this island is just where they live, and all the people they took, including the children, are here, and what’s more, they’re safe. Kate looks at him he like he’s a freakin’ loon (which he is)." 
--Really?  Because what he just said made perfect sense.  The kids aren't being held in cages and beaten up or used for slave labor or crazy ritualistic sacrifices.  They're living a pretty sweet life, it seems, what with the indoor plumbing, electricity, food, and actual houses. 
Also, I'm suddenly seeing parallels to white settlers vs. Indians here.  Though I can't figure out if the Others are the Indians who snatch the white children and adopt them, or the white people who force the Indian kids into reservations and 'civilized' English schools.

"'Are you with them now?' she asks. 'I’m not with anyone,' he says."
Again - this does not mean he's "betrayed" anyone.  Take it at exactly face value.  He's not going to start dragging people away with burlap sacks over their heads, but he's also not going to steal an arsenal of guns and dynamite and storm the Others' little utopia.  And it doesn't mean he's "sold out" either.  If he doesn't take the deal to get off the island, then NOBODY gets off the island.  It's unlikely he could broker a deal to get 40+ people off the island.  So it's him, or it's nobody.  Only a crazy person would choose to stay.  BESIDES WHICH, if he's off the island, at least he has a *chance* to tell people what happened, a chance at least to verify the living and the dead, as of the point he left anyway.  I don't know if anyone actually would find the island, but it would be a little hope to go on, you know?

"Jack tells her again that he specifically instructed her not to come back here for him, and it’s becoming highly apparent as to why he said that. His face explains it, his body explains it, and the sad look in his eyes that comes when she touches him on the arm says it the best of all. He told her to leave him here because he knew he could never have her, that it just wasn’t meant to be for the two of them."  Honestly, I thought it was highly apparent for a different reason - that Jack had his own plan for escape, and it did not involve Kate's propensity for getting captured by the Others and making his escape that much more difficult.  Because she didn't listen to him, she's a prisoner again - and he's going to feel like that's on his head, because she came back for HIM.

TWoP forum quotes:
I wonder how Sayid will feel, after getting his head knocked in, to know Jack left him and Kate there on Ben's word.
--to be fair, Ben promised to let Jack and Juliet go.  And Jack and Juliet were about to escape.  WE see how Ben twists everything, but Jack really doesn't.  And if you think about it, why wouldn't Ben let Sayid and Kate go?  He only held Kate and Sawyer to manipulate Jack (and arguably for slave labor, but that was just a side bonus).  Oh dear, have I been brainwashed by Ben?

Did Jack seriously blame Kate as his reasoning for making a deal with the Others? "I trusted them because you told me to, Kate, to save Sawyer."
--I fail to see what the uproar is there.  Once he figured out a way to help both Kate/Sawyer *and* himself - i.e. "as many people as possible" - he went forward.  But he's not going to tell Kate "Well, I didn't think Sawyer alone was worth risking my life for."   Kate was backed into a corner, fearing for Sawyer's life.  Jack's backed into a corner, fearing that he won't get off this island like he's clearly desperate to do, and again, I DON'T BLAME HIM.  You believe whatever seems like your best option, despite the lack of guarantees.

The Others can believe whatever they want about themselves; the objective fact is that they have committed multiple murders, even more kidnappings, and two acts of piracy. That's just the major, major stuff. Trying to sell that the Others really *are* the "good guys" on this show will not go well for the writing staff.

--*raises hand* See, I think I've been taken in by the Others because despite all that stuff laid out in black and white...I still think they could have explanations, could be redeemed. I just do.  I don't know why.  (and wait, what murders?  Aren't there "hostiles" too?  And I think Ethan was just insane.)

The problem is they wrote a scene where Jack basically said to Kate "Look you screwed Sawyer, which gave me the justification to enjoy the hospitality of the lovely people who brutalized you and were ready to kill you both. So it's your fault, bitch. And I'm taking off now, without any of you, because I can. On the one in ten billion chance that there's some way to get back to this uncharted mystery island, I'll come back for my hero parade. Which you can cheerlead in ... if they don't slaughter you tonight."
--Okay, that one's kind of amusing, and admittedly kind of true.  But I'm still going to argue it.  Except for Kate's scuffed wrists were as close to brutality as I saw.  the rock-hauling wasn't easy, but they weren't whipping them to make them go faster, either.  Most of the times Sawyer got beat up was after he'd started the fight, and the one beatdown with Danny wasn't sanctioned by the Others; that was a personal grudge.  Okay, and there was the whole faux-surgery thing, but he ended up with about a 3-inch cut.  No, the Others don't really have a right to kidnap people and force them to live by their rules and whims, but the prisoners are still treated about as well as wild mustangs rounded up by the BLM.  (Yes, yes, squawk and flail that Kate & Sawyer aren't animals) There's not a lot of intentional pain-causing-for-the-sheer-hell-of-it, is my point.  The Others clearly consider this island their domain, and thus outsiders are under their jurisdiction; it doesn't have to be fair or make sense to anyone else.

Well, that killed some early-morning hours.

Oh, and in an unrelated note, apparently we're not going to see Locke for another five weeks. Real time, not island time unfortunately, but still FLIPPIN' SWEET!
Tags: lost, tv commentary

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