In the fight between good an evil, the first thing you’ve got to do is pick a team.
What is the most important thing that we know so far about the show Lost? In my opinion, it is that from the beginning this show has been set up as a showdown between what I will heretofore refer to as light and dark.
As the first sentence of this post indicates, some might consider this to be more of a fight between good and evil but I think that would be presumptive. One thing we’ve seen throughout the series is that people are complex and have both good and bad qualities and seem to struggle between the two. There isn’t one character on Lost that is wholly good or bad. There might be some red shirts and black hats that might seem that way, but we never had a time to see their good qualities or bad qualities but of the main characters, they all struggle or have struggled with choices between right and wrong.
We’ve seen each character that Jacob brought to the island struggle with one or more of the seven deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and jealousy. These struggles were seen both on and off the island but how do we take what we know about the characters and divide them up on the chess board between the black and white teams?
During a conversation this morning with my good friend Jordon, we got to talking about these teams. Through this conversation, Jordon helped me realize that most if not all of the inhabitants on the island believe that they are on the side of good and to them, that means Team Jacob.
In a way, current world situations serve as examples of this. It is evident in the wars we are involved in now as well as throughout history. They are called Holy Wars and each side is fighting in the name of God. Each side of these wars see themselves as doing righteous work in the name of their God, a god who in my opinion, is the same God as everyone else’s but there are just different laws and social morays for each faction that makes them disagree and even hate each other.
All sorts of heinous acts are carried out in the name of God. And who is to say that there isn’t a Smoke Monster lurking in the camp of every religious faction pulling the strings, making people act on their fears in order to car bomb a market place knowing full well it is full of their own people, or lauch missiles over a wall trying to take back their homeland that isn’t theirs anymore or order a drone attack on a target that may be full of a hundred innocent people who’s only crime is that they live next to an asshole? Yes, I’m so oversimplifying several real live and complex situations but it’s all to make the point that people, ever in the real world make heinous decisions every day because they think their God is more righteous than yours or they think they know better than someone else. I’m just saying.
Though, I’ve realized while writing this post that my reflection on religion-fueled reactionary world view doesn’t have much to do with certain Lostaways, who often operate in survival mode, only knowing that they want to stay alive, help their friends stay alive and most importantly, not get eaten by the Smoke Monster.
So, all of this got me thinking. We’ve seen through the conversation from The Incident, Part 1 & 2 between Jacob and the MIB that Senior Smokey would rather sit back and wait until Jacob forced him into another game of war. So then, that leaves it up to Jacob to pick the players and as the sole recruiter, he’s probably picking sides for both teams. And since he chooses people who already have issues choosing between what is right and wrong because he is a believer in free will, I’m sure he’s hoping that Team Jacob is larger than Team Smoke.
This makes me wonder who is on Team Jacob and who is on Team Smoke. In figuring this out I think it’s important to go over what I already know.
While we know that everyone has been brought to the island for a reason (I’ll call these everyone folks “Team Island”) of Jacob’s recruits there is a special All Star team that consists of:
Locke, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hugo, Sayid, Jin and Sun.
I call these folks All Stars because these are the people who the show’s producers allowed us to watch as they received visits from Jacob where they were “touched” by him (Thanks Sarah Samudre for pointing out that Jacob physically touched each of these team members with seeming purpose).
With the exception of Locke who is dead and whose image Smokey is using as the template for his shape shifting, and Sun who is hanging out with Lapidus over near the foot, these All Star recruits are currently under protection at the Temple by a faction of the others who have, it appears, always considered themselves followers of Jacob, these All Stars don’t quite realize they are in a two-sided game of war. They’re more concerned with simple survival as well as the personal/romantic dramas they have going on with their Teammates rather than any affiliation to a mythical dude named Jacob.
They are the island secularists (Team Secular anyone?) and that’s not to say they aren’t an important part of this strategic equation. I believe they are. Team Secular will think with their heads, hearts and guts instead of making quick decisions about who they should defend and support based on whether or not they are a follower of Jacob or the fear of going against him. Mostly, I think their decisions will be based upon their own judgment despite forces from the outside that might try to manipulate them. Some have been manipulated already but have come through on the right side due to the guiding star of their conscience. I’ll talk about this in a future post.
So now… the teams. We’ll start with the obvious:
Team Secular: (the all star team)
Dead Locke, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hugo, Sayid, Jin and Sun
Team Jacob consists of:
If I were to compile a list of everyone who believes that they are on Team Jacob, it would include almost everyone on the island including Ben and Dead Locke. (The exceptions we know of would be Team Secular of course) Though, we have no real way of knowing without some closer inspection of the past to see who may have been an unknowing agent for Team Smoke.
Team Smoke consists of:
Without a proper look back at every important decision that each Team Island member but it is my perogative to propose that the most obvious Team Smoke member is Ben Linus. He might not have known it, but he has been being manipulated by the Smoke man since we met him.
In a post in the near future I’ll talk about Ben’s cha cha cha with Senior Smoke and how he became Team Captain.
Until then, check out Sarah Samudre’s blog as well as John Cabrera’s in which part I of II of his S1 Premiere Blogs is an amazing exploration of the alternate reality and when it actually might have split from the normal reality as well as some interesting realizations about the nature of the island and how it deals with the bloops, blips and reboots caused by the electromagnetism that lies within.
So, if anyone has any suggestions for members of Team Island who might be clear agents of Team Secular, Team Jacob or Team Smoke, please let me know. I’m sure in this final season the factions will become more clearly split. I mean, we can’t have an entire season of Team Jacob vs The Smoke Monster and Team Secular Vs. Team Secular. Just like any battle of biblical proportions lines must be drawn clearly in the sand… or do they? It is Lost after all and they just keep making up the rules.
And a final note… I’m thinking of changing my team names. Here is what I’m thinking:
Team Jacob would become The Yogi Yahooeys
Team Smoke would become The Really Rottens
Team Secular would become The Scooby Doobies
I like it, but would that be too confusing?