Saturday, July 25, 2009

1:21 The Greater Good

-The title "The Greater Good" refers to a basic tenet of utilitarianism: the idea that the useful is the good; the goal is the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Through his notions of tabula rasa and empiricism, John Locke (the philosopher) provided a starting point for utilitarian ethical thought, and it was later developed extensively by none other than Jeremy Bentham. LOST's John Locke is definitely a utilitarian.

-Locke believes that Boone was "a sacrifice the Island demanded." Was Boone's death really for the greater good? Or is Locke being duped by a force on the Island?

-Why does Locke decide to tell the truth about how Boone died? And why does he continue to lie to Sayid about the hatch? I'm still not sure about his motivations here.

-Kate drugs Jack, just like she drugged her husband Kevin in a season 3 flashback. (I just realized that Kevin is also the name of Sarah's fiancé when she meets Jack. Definitely not the same guy though.)

-In an episode all about the greater good, it cracks me up that Hurley sang "I Feel Good" to baby Aaron.

-Walt worries about a shark attacking them on the raft and Michael assures him that won't happen. It turns out Walt's concerns were pretty valid.

-Shannon tries to take revenge on Locke but is thwarted. I can't help but wonder if Locke being killed would have resulted in the greater good after all. (Can you tell I'm on a Locke-hating streak? I was so disappointed by him in the season 5 finale. But more on that later.)

-Sayid's extremist friend Essam is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good, but he's unsure about whether the task he's been given will really accomplish it. In contrast, Locke seems much more sure of himself.

-My favorite lines:

LOCKE: Why don't you trust me, Sayid?

SAYID: For one thing, you've been carrying a gun you've told no one about.

LOCKE: [taking the gun out of his pocket and giving it to Sayid] We found one of the smugglers about a half a click West of here dressed as a priest -- Nigerian currency in his pockets, and this. Now you're armed and I'm not. Does that earn me any trust?

SAYID: You gave this to me because I caught you concealing it. That earns you adaptability.

-Locke reveals that he was the one who knocked Sayid unconscious when he was trying to triangulate a signal. He claims it was to protect the group, but the real reason is that he doesn't want to get off the Island. I think he really believes that staying on the Island will accomplish the greater good, but I'm not sure he's right.


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