The account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden shows one of the most severe cases of this idea. What were the first two humans promised by the serpent if they ate the forbidden fruit? That their eyes would be opened and they would know good and evil like God did. That is what they got, except not in the way they expected. They now knew evil as well as good because they, by disobeying God’s law, became evil. Instead of fellowship with their creator, they had to seek redemption. Instead of trusting God’s plan for their life, they tried to set their own path, and because obviously, they did not have God’s perfect knowledge, their new life, and the whole earth’s life, was horrible compared to what they could have had.
In last week’s episode of LOST, they explored the “It’s a Wonderful Life” aka “Be careful what you wish for!” theme. After the jump, my thoughts on episode 6x6: “Sundown”. (And this time, we have pictures!)
I have a theory about the purpose of the alternate reality of the Sideways storylines. The Sideways World is like George Bailey’s alternate world in it’s a wonderful life. Whatever the characters want or wish in the island life will happen in the sideways life. By doing this, the writers have a great chance to explore how each character thinks they know what’s best for them, but in “reality” it may not be.
So far, in Sideways Reality, we have seen the desires characters have in Island Reality get fulfilled.
Island Jack wanted purpose, reason, and to be fixed of his physiological problems. Sideways Jack now has a reason to keep going and live better, his son David. He also is learning how to take care of his son the way a dad should, and not be overbearing and controlling. His wounds are being healed.
Island Kate wants to reunite Aaron with his mother, Claire. Sideways Kate convinces Claire to keep her baby, instead of giving him up for adoption.
Island Locke wanted someone to believe in him, believe he could do great things, even with his disability, because he didn’t have any faith in himself. Sideways Locke is blessed with a woman who doesn’t care about his problems, and just loves him for being him.
Island Hurley would just like some good luck for a change. Sideways Hurley has it all.
Good things have been happening to the sideways characters lives do far… until Sayid.
“Sundown” revealed that characters have made Faustian deals with the island Gods. Dogen made a deal with Jacob; his servitude to the island for his son’s life. Claire, although a bit crazy, has made a similar deal with Smokey. She would do what he wants and she will get to see her son again. I’ts possible even Sawyer has made such an exchange; his service for Juliet’s life.
What Island Sayid wants, and has always wanted, is for his love, Nadia, to live. I think Sayid has made a deal with Smokey (the devil?) to do his bidding for Nadia to live. He believes he has no hope for his own soul, that he has committed too many sins to ever be redeemed. The only good thing he can too is to make sure his beloved is okay.
Well, in Sideways Reality, she is alive, though, definitely not “okay”.
Firs tof all, she’s married to Sayid’s brother. Quite an “ouch” for Sayid. Second, her husband has gotten himself into a shady business deal that threatens their family. Thirdly, she never really wanted this life, and would have rather been with Sayid. To quote one of my favorite movie lines: “That’s what you call ironic.”
The overall questions of the Wonderful Life theme are: if your life was different, who would it affect, and would everyone really be better off? Or, would things be worse for everyone? Do we have a right to be selfish, or a right to be charitable? Do we have the authority to know what is better for everyone? And if given the chance, should we change anything?
When Adam and Eve made their choice, they didn’t think all the consequences through. Not just for themselves, but for the entire world and future. As I blogged about a few episodes ago, people’s choices affect everyone else, and even the whole universe. So wishes and desires should be carefully considered, as they might affect more than just your life.
(Thanks to LostMeida.com for screencaps.)