Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Moth

My all time favorite television show is Lost and I am currently re watching it from the beginning. For anyone that hasn't watched it, every season is available on Netflix instant watch so you have no excuse. I can remember back to 2004-2005 when the show had just begun and having to download episodes off of Itunes for the brand new Ipod Video. We've come a long way. For the Lost haters out there I'd like to let you know that as I see the episodes for a second or third time it just reconfirms to me how powerful the show actually is, so go watch Glee or something and leave me alone.

Anyway I recently watched episode 7 of Lost season 1, it is titled "The Moth". The whole episode deals with two of my favorite characters in the series; John Locke, a once wannabe adventurer and an armchair general restricted by a spinal injury who has all his dreams fulfilled on the island, and Charlie, a church boy turned rock star who has always been in the shadow of his older brother and turned to heroin as a crutch.

The characters of Lost have just found freshwater and a series of caves on the island, two resources they needed dearly, shelter and freshwater. Also in the cave is a small chunk of the survivors downed plane with more supplies they may need. Locke and Charlie both volunteer to stay and survey the caves for two very different reasons. Charlie wants to be able to use the very little heroin he has left in peace, and Locke wants to "get to know Charlie better". But the wise Locke knows Charlie uses drugs and wants to break him of his addiction.

Every time Charlie goes to use his heroin Locke interrupts him warning that the jungle is dangerous and he shouldn't venture off. Eventually Locke confronts Charlie and convinces him to hand over his drugs in exchange for Locke to search for Charlie's guitar, which he misses being a rocker. Being an addict Charlie starts going through terrible withdrawal and asks for his drugs back. Locke tells Charlie to have faith and that if he wants his guitar back from the island Charlie is going to have to give the island something. So he agrees and Locke points up to the sky, where you see a guitar case trapped in a tree. Locke also tells Charlie that if he asks him three times for his drugs back he will return them.

The second time Charlie asks for his drugs is what is in this video I have added.

I found these quotes very powerful and inspirational. The moth metaphor is very clever. I thought it must have been said before, or at least a reference to something. But after scouring the internet I could not find a quote just like the one in this clip. Good job Lost writers. But what I did find that I believe is more powerful and intelligent than remixing scenes from other television shows or movies, is the similarities between the philosopher John Locke and the character in Lost of the same name. We owe John Locke respect because many crucial decisions in the Declaration of Independence were based on the 17th century philosopher. He has several quotes that I believe the writers of Lost used to come up with this piece of dialogue.

"It is one thing to show a man that his in an error, and another to put him possession of the truth."

A drug addict does not believe he is in the wrong, especially someone addicted to heroin. Even if he knows he is wrong he still needs his fix. But to show him the truth by explaining how giving up drugs will make him a stronger individual, a strong moth, could fix the issue.

"To prejudge other men's notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes."

You learn later the extent of Locke's own pain before he was on the island, but I won't spoil that for you. I will just assure you it is way more intense than a drug addiction.

"What worries you, masters you."

As all the other survivors are panicking, demanding drugs, starving, dehydrated, wounded, consumed by fear, Locke is chilling there cutting up his fresh kill, the happiest he's ever been. He has faith, no worries, he is his own master.

I admit I need to watch a lot more old television and movies to get the references that are brought up in class that influence all modern day media. But I find it refreshing that Lost goes very big with its references. It draws from philosophers, scientists, multiple religions, as well as classic tales.

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