Idol Chatter

Does Jack have a Messiah Complex? As recounted by Donna, the latest “Lost” episode revealed Jack, the doctor who prides himself on rational, scientific thought, as a man under pressure to perform medical miracles, even as he doesn’t believe in them himself. In a flashback, viewers hear his wife’s haunting words before she leaves him: “You will always need someone to fix.”

Ironically, even while Jack dismisses miracles and faith, he is a modern-day Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulder. Out of an unexplainable need to look after everyone and fix everything, Jack takes control: He leads the expedition to find Michael and fiercely prevents Kate from following. He also has the need to be the martyr–he wants to be the one who sacrifices his time and his energy for others. In the first official encounter with one of the Others, it is Jack who wrestles spokesperson control from Locke.

As the only resident doctor, Jack’s need to take care of everyone (at least, physically) is intense; he is the only one who has the bandages and medication to help Sawyer. In a rerun of last week’s episode, we glimpse Jack carefully doling out pills to Sawyer: Jack is the savior carefully rationing everything to prevent anarchy and to further assert his authority. Even as he pits himself against Locke, he tries to find faith in himself to save everyone from the island’s dangers.

In other “Lost” news, last week’s episode (rerun last night before the new episode) was overt in its Christian references: Priests. Virgin Mary statues. A golden cross necklace. Confession. Psalm 23. Mr. Eko’s “Scripture Stick” (or, as Charlie refers to it, the “Jesus stick”). Mr. Eko’s reputation is cemented as the resident man of religious faith. We see the arc of his faith journey and see him find his redemption even as others are searching for theirs. He is a man with nothing left to lose, and in finding the crashed plane with his dead brother’s body, we see him close a chapter in his past.

In a flashback, even though his brother, Yemi (a priest), proclaims that God will never forgive Mr. Eko for his sins, he is ultimately forgiven by the island. The island reunites him with his brother’s dead body to give it a proper “burial.” As he recites Psalm 23 and puts the gold cross around his neck, he becomes a man with a restored soul who is starting his path to righteousness. He has gone “through the valley of the shadow of death” by confronting Yemi’s death and facing the mysterious black smoke that is the island’s monster, and he has come out of both events fearing “no evil.” With his “Scripture Stick,” Mr. Eko has the rod/staff that will comfort him as he continues to cement his salvation.

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