Thursday, January 07, 2010

The "Lost Supper"

It starts.

This week, I received not one - but TWO Emails from Fans of the Blog (FOBs) with different requests, a sure sign that people are not only starting to think about "Lost" again, but are visiting the Blog again! I guess it's time to get the ol' gang back together and get some original Lost content back up on the Blog in preparation for the sixth and final season of the potentially greatest television program of all-time. Here were the requests:

From FOB Heidi: "I'm sure you've seen the Lost Supper advertisement. In addition to being awesome, I'm sure it's full of hints / clues / things to drive us crazy with. If I may be so bold, can I request a post on this?"

From FOB Nate: "It's sometimes hard to find older articles on your Blog. It would be awesome if you had a page that listed each episode and provided a link to the Blog post(s) for that episode."

Never one to disappoint my fans, let's tackle the first request.

Here is the "Lost Supper" promo in question:


Let the record show that there was also a second, similar but not Last-Supper-y promo released at the same time:


So what do I think?

First, I agree with FOB Heidi - the "Lost Supper" one is awesome. Yes, it's been done before. Both Battlestar Galattica and Sopranos did something similar... and you could argue they did it better by more accurately recreating the true Last Supper painting by DaVinci. For those of you who forget your high school art history books, or haven't visited Milan lately, here it is for a point of reference:


As you can see, the true Last Supper painting depicts Jesus with his twelve apostles, chilling for one last meal before all the events of his betrayal and crucifixion go down (also known as "The Stories at Church Right Before Easter" to the Catholics). According to scholars (and by "scholars", I mean Wikipedia) the painting portrays the reaction given by each apostle when Jesus said one of them would betray him. Since most of us aren't familiar with who each person in the painting represents, here's a quick rundown, starting at the left and moving to the right (matching them up with their corresponding Lost character):


James the Lesser







James the Greater





When you start comparing the Biblical figures to Lost characters, you'll stumble upon the first issue with the "Lost Supper" - there are too many Lost characters. Everything to the left of Ben matches up nicely:

Bartholomew = Ilana

James the Lesser = Alpert

Andrew = Claire

Judas = Sayid

Peter = Kate

John = Sawyer

Jesus = Locke

Thomas = Jack

James the Greater = Jin

Philip = Ben

But then you run into issues with Hurley, just like if you were having a crowded deck party and he showed up.

In the Last Supper, the apostles all seem to be gathered in groups of three. In the Lost Supper, Hurley seems to be the fourth member of the Jack / Jin / Ben group. So does that mean we make him the next apostle, Matthew - or that we skip him and start back up with Sun as Matthew?

The good news is, based on the blatant deviation from the original painting, I don't think there is any important symbolism between Hurley, Sun, Miles, and Frank and their potential apostle counterparts. Let's focus on the rest.

Locke. There are a few obvious references here. Locke as Jesus is a no-brainer. He was dead, and seemingly came back to life for most of Season Five, until we found out in the finale that he was dead all along and the "New Locke" was really just a shape-shifting Anti-Jacob. So the question becomes - does this painting hint that Real Locke might come back to life in Season Six? It would be nice for Locke to have a happy ending to his life story, where he was repeatedly kicked in the groin at every turn instead of it ending with him being tricked into committing suicide, thinking it was the only way to save the Island (the ultimate groin kick). Bringing the dead back to life seems a little out there, even for Lost - but there's a chance that if Juliet changed the future by exploding the Jughead, in the new reality, Locke would be alive and well.

On the other hand, what if the painting is actually just showing us the Anti-Jacob Fake Locke as Jesus? He is giving a sort of devilish, "I know exactly what I'm doing" grin, like he just found a loophole he's been searching for for hundreds of years. In that case, should we re-examine who is "good" and "evil" on Lost? Maybe, contrary to my Season Five analysis, Jacob is the "bad guy" and Anti-Jacob is the "good guy"? Or is this proof of Carlton and Damon's shocking religious beliefs that Jesus Christ was actually a "bad guy" because of all the holy wars and such carried out in his name?

Probably not. There are a number of options available here, but until we find out the nature of Season Six (alternative reality, more time traveling, zombie season with the dead coming back to life), it's impossible to settle on any definitive answer for the symbolism as "Locke as Jesus".

Jack. Here's a much simpler one, Jack as Thomas... aka "Doubting Thomas". There was an interesting scene last season of Jack and Ben inside a church. Ben is praying in front of the painting "The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" and tells Jack the following story:

When Jesus was going to return to Judea, where he would likely be murdered, Thomas wanted to go along, to die with him... but he isn't remembered for this brave act. Instead, he is known as "Doubting Thomas", who refused to believe that Jesus had come back from the dead until he saw it with his own two eyes and put his fingers in the wounds. Jack asks if Thomas was convinced, to which Ben replies "we're all convinced sooner or later, Jack."

For most of Seasons One through Five, Jack was the "Doubting Thomas" about the power of the Island. He represented science and logic, and was the counter-balance to Locke's faith and belief in the power of the Island. However, we saw Jack shift from his doubting ways in Season Five, as he seemingly became a full-fledged believer in the power of the Island and our Survivors' destiny there. Keep in mind that when Jack last saw Locke, he was dead. Jack ended up in the 1970's, Dead Locke (and Fake Locke) stayed in the 2000's. Again, depending on what happens this season, Jack might finally come face to face with Fake Locke. Will he once again be "doubting" of the authenticity of Fake Locke, which may once again put Jack into the "hero role" if Anti-Jacob truly turns out to be evil? Or will the Real Locke come back to life in the new season and resume his role as the "Man of Faith", once again pushing Jack back into the real of being a "Man of Science"... or will the two have their roles flip-flopped in a huge twist of irony?

Kate. Initially, Kate as Peter doesn't seem to have any obvious connections. Peter was "the Rock" upon which Jesus built his church. He is acknowledged as the first Pope and one of the prominent early leaders and voices of the Catholic Church. Seeing as Kate pretty much hates Locke and never believed any of his ramblings about the Island (see: Kate circa Season Four and Five), she doesn't seem like a potential future leader for Locke's "Island Believer Movement". But then I was reminded of Peter's actions in the "Easter Story". Although he was basically number two in command amongst Jesus's crew, he denied Jesus three times while the acts of the crucifixion were going on. Then he realized the error of his ways. Perhaps we'll see a similar change in Kate. I mean, after all, she's going to have a hard time denying Locke's claims about the power of the Island after being magically sent back in time upon returning to it, right? Maybe once (if) Kate returns to the 2000's, she's going to be a full-fledged believer in the Island, and be a crucial part of carrying on Locke's mission? Or this could just be a subtle reference to Kate's "rock"in' body. Zing.

The Rest. There's not as much to go on with the rest of the characters. Sayid as Judas seems like it should have some deeper meaning, but how did Sayid betray Locke? If anything, Sayid denied the opportunity to kill Locke in Season Two (at Shannon's request). Sayid as Judas would work if Ben was Jesus... but Ben is Philip. There's not much there either. Philip was crucified with Bartholomew (Ilana), where his preaching prompted the crowd to set Bartholomew free. So maybe Ben is going to sacrifice himself to save Ilana at some point? It's a stretch. James the Lesser is only mentioned in the Bible three times, so there's not a lot to go on in looking for connections to Alpert. John (Sawyer) is the brother of James the Greater (Jin) - but something tells me those two characters won't suddenly find out they are related... and that's it. At least as far as the Biblical references are concerned. Now let's turn to the picture itself.

Picture Pages. The Lost Supper acts as a really cool "summary of the series" type of picture.

The Oceanic 815 acts as the table. The characters are all using airplane-style trays and plates. Everyone is consuming Dharma Foodstuffs - beer, pop, peanut butter, wine. The remnants of the Swan Station Hatch are in the background. The table is comprised of those who figure to be the "main players" in Season Six, characters who we've picked up along the way. But is there any "deeper meaning" to be pulled from the props?

There are skulls positioned below Sayid and Hurley, which may mean their lives are in danger... or they could have just been cool-looking props. The inclusion of the Swan Hatch and 815 wing could hint at a "repeat" of Seasons One and Two, proving that our Time Traveling Survivors did change the past... or they could have just been cool-looking props. In the end, that's kinda where I come down - they threw some stuff in the picture that looks cool and represents the series as a whole - but there isn't a lot to be learned from it.

As for the second picture, this looks like a much more traditional Season Six promotional image. There are a few minor changes, most notably the order of the characters. Claire goes from being buddies with Ilana and Alpert to being next to Ben. Does this represent her switching sides from working with the Shadow of the Statue to helping Ben? Sun and Jin go from being separate in the first picture to being reunited, couple-like in the second. You have to hope this means that they'll finally get their reunion in Season Six. Hurley moves down next to Frank, and Miles moves in between Alpert and Sayid. Is this an effort to group our happy, humorous characters together on the right, and keep the ones with mysterious connections to the spirit world / Jacob on the left?

You could spend a lot of time analyzing yourself in circles about this (Doc Jensen) - but I don't think it's worth it. I think there may be some small deeper meaning hints in the Lost Supper picture, but I think the second picture is the stock Season Six promotional picture, using the cool set they had already constructed. Remember how people spent hours analyzing the Season Five promo with Faraday's missing foot and the vines growing all over? Nothing has come from that (yet), and I kinda think the same is true here.

Instead of wasting our time on that, I think we should get down to the bigger questions... like the Top 10 Unanswered Questions on Lost, along with their likelihood of being addressed in Season Six. But that's a Blog for another day. Coming soon. Teaser!

(Oh - what about making a page that would have links to everything I’ve written about each episode? That seems like a lot of work – but I’ll see what I can do when time allows. I guess I should have said “I only disappoint my fans 50% of the time” at the start of this post, huh?)


'sarah' said...

I guess the fact that Juliet is not in the picture is an obvious confirmation that the character didn't make it. Sad. :(

Nate said...

Np, maybe I can makethe page for you ;)

pfmbsantos said...

Nate, dunno if this is what you want, probably not, but it's fairly easy to find posts using the archives, just open the year, month, and, since Brian names the posts after the episode titles, it's pretty easy to browse them.

Sawyer5665 said...

Great to read some original Lost insight from you again! I can't wait to read your thoughts before and after each new episode. I read a lot of Lost stuff, but I enjoy your posts the most!

Renee' said...

It's so good to be back! :)

Sam said...

No Desmond! This kills me that he is not going to be a major character in the final season. Ilana, and not Desmond?!?! Really? After last season, I was hoping for a lot of screen time for Des this year.

skeeterbug said...

"But then you run into issues with Hurley, just like if you were having a crowded deck party and he showed up."

Ha-ha! Love this.

jack said...

what about Desmond????

Rebecca said...

YAY 3 more Tuesdays and we'll be counting down the HOURS until the premiere!!! :D :D :D

Did you hear that Darlton announced yesterday that Libby & Michael would be back for season 6?? I'm really excited about this because I'm one of those that still wants to know WHY Libby went to crazy town and curious if Hurley ever realized that he saw her there. So maybe we get to find out?

Steve said...

I don't know... I'm usually reading a lot of stuff out of lost that isn't there, but I doubt that much thought went into who fit into who in which place at the table..other than lock.

Renee' said...

Brian! There is a new third Lost Supper photo released today!!!,,20337090,00.html

Anonymous said...

SAWYER is the Judas in this picture. While he IS out of place in order... the dead giveaway is the iconic right hand that is stabbing, whats his face in the back, in this case, he's directly stabbing Locke/Jesus in the back.

You need to get a version of the ORIGINAL Last Supper as your's is an updated one, with Judas' right hand positioned backwards


carol said...

Brian, this one's for you!,%202010%2010:51%20AM

Shawn Writes said...

posted about this blog in my blog today. Hopefully it sends some more lost fans your way.