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December 17, 2009

'How Sweet the Sound': Lost Gets (Even More) Religious

While 'Amazing Grace' plays in the background, new teaser includes many Christian allusions

With less than two months to go until the premiere of its sixth season, the TV show Lost has begun ramping up energy and excitement by releasing new promotional content around the world. In order to avoid spoiling the results of season five’s cliffhanger ending, promos for the final season have not revealed any new footage. Not that fans need any incentive to tune in — at this point, you’re either obsessed with the show or you could care less — but half the fun of following Lost is theorizing on every morsel of information, especially in these eight long months between seasons.

First we received an electrifying, original promo from Cuatro, the Spanish carrier of the program. That 45-second spot creatively repackaged old images into a narrative of epic proportions and puts the show’s overarching spiritual themes — of fate vs. free will, good vs. evil — into what seems like a very specifically Christian context:

It’s visually stunning and thematically clever: the chess board! The eyes! The Egyptian statue! A popular Lost blog identified the poem as an adaptation of a verse from the Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam – see their excellent analysis of the verse and its translations.

Then yesterday ABC released its own extended promo, perhaps less visually creative but just as thematically, and religiously, significant:

Set to Willie Nelson’s cover of “Amazing Grace,” this new spot also seems to suggest a rich payoff on the spiritual themes the show has nurtured over the years. See how many Christian allusions you can spot. My favorite: the image of Jack’s eye opening (the very first shot of the pilot episode) set to the lyrics, “was blind, but now I see.”

Are you excited for the return of Lost? What is your favorite religious "moment" on the show? How do hope to see the religious themes addressed in the final season?

Related Tags: Lost, tv

Comments

Can't wait for the last season. One of my favorite parts of the show was in season 2 when Eko and Charlie recited the 23rd Psalm while the plane burned.

By far the most explicitly Christian scene from the first five scenes is when Ben looks at the painting of the Apostle Thomas touching the wounds of Christ in the church with Jack. Ben was looking at the painting and said, “Thomas the Apostle. When Jesus wanted to return to Judea knowing that he might be murdered there Thomas said to the others, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him (John 11:16).’ But Thomas was not remembered for this bravery, his claim to fame came later when he refused to acknowledge the resurrection (John 20:24-29). He just couldn’t wrap his mind around it. The story goes that he needed to touch Jesus’ wounds to be convinced. Jack asked, “So was he?” Ben answered, “Of course he was. We are all convinced sooner or later Jack.” The character Ben assumes the historicity of the stories in the Gospel of John and assumes by his words that Jesus did rise from the dead and one day all will be convinced. The analogy Ben is making is with the resurrection of Locke (or so we thought), but the analogy was based on the foundational truth of Christianity. I thought the insight was powerful because I had never thought about the fact that it was Thomas who bravely went with Jesus to Judea believing he would die with him there. Throughout these last 2,000 years he was not remembered for this but for being a “doubter” of the resurrection. I do not think this was the author John’s purpose at all and yet this is what happened. Lost beautifully brings this out. I really hope Jacob ends up being a God/Christ figure. He sure seemed like it in the finale of Season 5!

The entire LOST series seems to be an allegory for Biblical truths. For much of the series, they've dealt with issues of faith and the question of whether their lives have a greater purpose than their own. There have been some literal references to Christianity sprinkled here and there throughout the series, though the events of the island and the stories of the characters are figurative, and paint a broader picture of what's at the heart of the show. One of the literally Christian scenes that stands out for me is from the first season when Rose comforts the deeply hurting Charlie by praying with him, "Heavenly Father,..." It is one of the most blatantly positive portrayals of Christian faith I've seen on any TV show. Rose exhibits faith in her own life, and we see that faith rewarded in season two with a seemingly impossible reunion. The scene that Justin referred to above is the other literal reference that really stands out in my mind. One character story that got me was the flashback scene with Jin and his father. Jin was so ashamed of him that he lied to everyone, including his wife, telling them that he was dead. Jin returns to see him after he faces some tough times in his marriage and his father welcomes him with open arms. He forgives him for being ashamed, demonstrating unconditional love, and instructs him on what he needs to do to save his marriage. For me, it was a beautiful adaptation of the parable of the prodigal son, or possibly Joseph and his brothers. I'm not sure if that's what the writers were going for, but that's how I saw it. There's much more I could go in to with the allusions to Biblical truths and themes, but this post would become a novel if I went into all of it. As for last season's finale, the scene with Jacob (in white) and the nemesis figure (in black) seems to suggest the greater war being waged on the island. It's a picture of spiritual warfare. The figure in black stands as the accuser of man, just as Satan does, while Jacob defends man and believes that we are not beyond hope. I'm guessing that this will become clearer in the final season, and we'll be able to see through some backstories how they've each affected the past events on the island. One thing that seems clear is that Jacob is responsible for bringing each individual to the island, and that his enemy sought to destroy him because of it, and devised a sinister plot to do so.

Best...show...of...all...time. The character Desmond is a religious "moment" all to himself (played by the actor who portrayed Jesus in the recent Gospel of John film). Also, every time Desmond and Penelope express their love for each other, it practically makes me cry. And I'm a dude!

The analogy Ben is making is with the resurrection of Locke (or so we thought), but the analogy was based on the foundational truth of Christianity. There have been some literal references to Christianity sprinkled here and there throughout the series, though the events of the island and the stories of the characters are figurative, and paint a broader picture of what's at the heart of the show.

Best...show...of...all...time. The character Desmond is a religious "moment" all to himself (played by the actor who portrayed Jesus in the recent Gospel of John film). Thanks...

I agree.Thank for your post

Can't wait for the last season. One of my favorite parts of the show was in season 2 when Eko and Charlie recited the 23rd Psalm while the plane burned.

Best...show...of...all...time. The character Desmond is a religious "moment" all to himself (played by the actor who portrayed Jesus in the recent Gospel of John film). Also, every time Desmond and Penelope express their love for each other, it practically makes me cry. And I'm a dude!

The scene that Justin referred to above is the other literal reference that really stands out in my mind. One character story that got me was the flashback scene with Jin and his father.

Thank you so much!

Thank you so much!

And they’ve all seemed life-changing, and they’ve all seemed important. ...

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post

I thought the insight was powerful because I had never thought about the fact that it was Thomas who bravely went with Jesus to Judea believing he would die with him there.

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