“If you want to live, you need to come with me.”
With those words spoken by John Locke (Terry O’Quinn) in the season premiere of Lost, the castaways found themselves divided. Some went with Locke, believing that the mysterious “rescuers” coming to the island wanted to do them harm, while the rest of the gang stayed with Jack (Matthew Fox) in the hopes that they could finally get back home. The particulars of this division left us with a lot of questions, mostly involving why certain people decided to stay or go. Now it’s time to examine the motivations of our favorite characters, and try to decide why some people chose survival and others chose rescue.
The fact that Hurley (Jorge Garcia) went with Locke was no surprise. Charlie’s dying message to Desmond was a warning that it wasn’t Penny’s boat on its way to the island, and of course Hurley would want to honor his best friend. However, in the final flash forward Hugo expressed regret over sticking with Locke and not going with Jack. Why?
We already know that Hurley makes it safely off the island, so what could have happened during his time with John Locke that would have forced him to regret his decision? Maybe Locke decides to make his followers drink some funny Kool-Aid, or maybe they all finally realize that he’s a few tomatoes short of a sandwich.
Sayer (Josh Holloway) goes with Locke because he sees it as his best chance for survival, though it’s somewhat surprising that he didn’t try to convince Kate (Evangeline Lilly) to go along with him. Maybe he knew there was no talking her out of staying by Jack’s side.
Rousseau, Ben, Karl, Alex
Rousseau definitely has no plans to get off the island, and she generally sees outsiders as people who need to be tied up and tortured for awhile. Ben (Michael Emerson) tends to feel the same way. I would expect that both Karl and Alex would like to leave at some point, but with Alex’s “parents” staying behind and Karl being in love with her, it makes sense that they’d want to stay.
Claire (Emilie De Ravin) would obviously listen to Charlie’s final message, even if it does mean teaming up with Locke and some of the Others.
When Bernard asked Rose if she wanted to go with Locke, her response was, “I’m not going anywhere with that man.” This is despite the fact that Rose wants to stay on the island due to her cancer, and also shared a nice moment with John in the past over the island’s healing properties. What changed her mind?
My best guess is that seeing Locke knife Naomi may have turned her against him. Though when it came down to risking her life with the mysterious people coming to the island or risking her life with John Locke, I’m surprised she stayed behind.
Perhaps the last person I expected to stay with Jack was Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick). He was the first hand witness to Charlie’s dying message, and you’d think he’d be offended that the “rescuers” used the promise of Penny to plan their arrival.
My only theory is that Desmond is desperately clinging to the hope that Penny is coming to the island. Even though it goes against what Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) wrote, love can be a powerful motivator. I just hope he doesn’t end up regretting his decision to stay behind.
Now that the division between the castaways is complete, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to these two factions as the season continues. Due to Hurley’s admission of regret, I’m expecting something to go terribly awry for the group that Locke is leading. As for Jack’s crew, I’m hoping that we get some more explanation behind the motivations of Desmond and Rose. Nothing happens on Lost without a reason, so I’d imagine that Rose and Desmond have more on their minds than what we’ve been made privy to.
As for the red shirts, well, I think it’s safe to say they don’t stand a chance, no matter which side they stay on.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of ABC)