FSE: Smoke Monster, Joan Actors

Last night, I watched Lost, Criminal Mind, and the new ABC series, The Unusuals.

1. Last night’s lost was about the judgment of Ben Linus, who had some humanity within him when he refused to kill Alex Rousseau. Over the years, however, he degenerated to become much more cruel and heartless, leading to the death of Alex (whom he was raising as his own daughter). In last night’s episode, he went to the temple to summon the smoke monster, who would judge him for his sins. He entered the building not knowing whether the monster would kill him or allow him to live.

I can’t really express what I think about the smoke monster. It appears to be immoral or amoral because it has killed so many innocent people, yet I see from last night that it has the moral sensibility to confront Ben Linus about his past behavior. Maybe it’s like the shooter in Phone Booth: he’s immoral in the sense that he kills innocent people, yet he has enough of a God-complex to judge Colin Farrell’s lifestyle.

Is the smoke monster like God? Going into the temple not knowing whether one will live or die reminds me of the Old Testament’s tabernacle protocol, in which a person was not allowed to stroll into God’s sanctuary unannounced, lest God would kill him. As far as I know, it really didn’t matter if the person was good or bad: if he disobeyed the sanctuary protocol, then he lost his life. Consider Uzzah, whom God killed for merely trying to stabilize the tumbling ark!

At the same time, God did appear to people in some capacity, and they were usually shocked that they were alive after seeing God. They’re like Benjamin Linus, who is relieved that the smoke monster has allowed him to live.

Another tension is that there are times in the Bible in which God preserves the innocent from his wrath, and then there are times when he destroys the innocent along with the guilty (punishing the group, transgenerational punishment, punishing a man’s family for his sins, etc.). Similarly, the smoke monster appears to kill the innocent, yet there are also times when it regards people according to their individual moral merit. I think that God differs from the smoke monster in the sense that God doesn’t go around killing people for no reason, since the innocent perish when he is carrying out an act of judgment on an immoral group.

2. I watched The Unusuals because it has Amber Tamblyn from Joan of Arcadia. She looks good, even if she was a big-time Hillary supporter (which part of me actually admires because at least she wasn’t going with the Obama fad but dared to be different). But what was interesting was that I got to see another Joan of Arcadia actor: on CBS’ Criminal Mind (which I ordinarily don’t watch because it’s on the same time as Lost, but my dad has DVR, so I got to see both last night). Criminal Mind has the guy who played Will Giradi, Joan’s dad. So I got to see two Joan of Arcadia actors in the same night. How cool is that?

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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