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Sic transit repentia Nigerii

Is anyone else as irritated with the general degenerative spiral that Abrams et al. are putting every character through? I'm not talking about killings; I didn't complain when they killed off Ana Lucia and Libby, and I'm sure Mr. Eko's death will takt the plot somewhere. I'm taking about this apparent concept that people can only become less sympathetic - seldom, if ever, more.

Opportunities matter. If there was one character whose rehabilitation, if not redemption, I would like to have seen, it was Eko's. And so, to have him die, "unshriven" as it were, was a bit of a blow to those of us returning watchers, IMO.

What gives?



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
I remember reading something about his actor getting in some kind of trouble with the law (similar to Ana Lucia's actress), so it may have been forced upon them by external factors.

Then again, since you wrote this two weeks ago, you may know that by now :P
Nov. 22nd, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC)
I'm taking about this apparent concept that people can only become less sympathetic - seldom, if ever, more

This is why I've stopped giving a damn about the show; they're systematically taking away everyone I care about. Sun's an adultering ho; Hurley (after that brilliant and beautiful speech about why he didn't want to be in charge of the food and the resulting luau!) is hoarding food; Micheal is a two-faced murderer.

I think I'm just as glad that they haven't gotten back to Rose and Bernard.
Nov. 22nd, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
Yes and no - I was going to say that I agree, except for this: what goes around, comes around. They started the show by making some characters appear sympathetic (Locke by his mystical journey, Charlie by his fighting addiction, and most dramatically Eko by his repentance). Each of them has undergone a second fall and a sojourn in corruption. I think we're meant to shake our heads at them for these gradual revelations: Locke, for being not just an obssessive, angry man but a hypocritical and apparently arrogant one; Charlie for his betrayal; Eko for the failures of faith and conscience. The slow tarnish that accumulated on their images in flashbacks make them out to be flawed, but also more three-dimensional.

Also, I see the scale of redeemability as a spectrum: while the cast as a whole has undergone a downward shift, many people have fallen, and only a few (Sawyer? Jin?) have risen, and most (Kate, Desmond, Jack, Sayid) have pretty much meandered in place, it's not a monotonic plummet. That is, it's a net loss because the Others are s sore trial; that's realistic IMO. The way I view the show is that it's a test of Machiavellian and Randian principles (in the literal sense) versus Kantian and Mencian. Ostensibly the show has been "every survivor for himself vs. the societal good" and everyone has pretty much failed. If we take it to be "a boundedly rational humanistic imperative vs. the categorical one" or (oversimplifying) "realism vs. idealism", it becomes more interesting. We sympathize more with the idealists, and it seems to unfold likewise through the past. The show makes similar attempts to deal with faith and rationalism, and with socioeconomic models, but IMO they fall flat. Lord of the Flies told that story better.

I think that it does come down to how you viewed characters from the start: if you saw Kate as irredeemable for being a thief and killer (even in the first season, before her patricide was revealed), then she was never there for you to care about; similarly with Sawyer for his murder and Sayid for his vacillation and betrayals. Those three have stayed interesting for me, though, because I see certain redemptions as possible as long as one is still drawing breath (and thereafter, perhaps, as enabled by one's actions). Thus, I don't think Hurley is ruined - he had his struggle and he overcame. I see Sun as still redeembable, regardless of the paternity of her baby, although it's likely to get unpleasant for her first. I agree that Michael is definitely fallen for good and that death is the best way out for him.

My sentiments exactly regarding Rose and Bernard! Keep those two on the "Minor Characters" list as the wikipedians do, say I.

Nov. 23rd, 2006 03:20 am (UTC)
I always believe in the possibility for redemption. Long live Ebenezer Scrooge!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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