Have you seen Les Mis? It’s a wonderful musical show set in France in the 1800’s. What’s interesting is how it ties into Lost. Yes I know, it seems like everything I see ties into Lost but bear with me for a while. The two main characters are Jean Valjean and Javert. Jean Valjean is an ex-con who stole a loaf of bread for his family. After 19 long years he is set free from prison and wants revenge on being held in prison so long for such a minor offense. The other character is Javert. He is a detective who’s only goal in life is to see justice done. To him, all criminals have broken the law and must suffer the consequences by the divine laws of the universe.
What’s interesting to me is that both characters are chasing after what they think is right. Just as in Lost. We have Jack and Locke. Jack is desperately trying to get the survivors off the island and back to civilization. While Locke is trying to keep them there on the island. Locke particularly would like Jack to stay. Because he was meant not to leave the island. Which character is right and which one is wrong? Could they both be right?
Jack’s last name is Shepherd and it reveals much about his character. A shepherd guides and takes care of his sheep. It saves them from the dangers of wild animals and from being lost and separated. He is guided by an innate need to heal and save which makes him a great doctor in the real world and a great leader for the Lost survivors.
Locke, on the other hand, is guided by what he sees as divine forces. Just as Javert seeks cosmic justice, so does Locke seek island justice. When Boone dies trying to help Locke, he explains that it was a “sacrifice the island demanded”. When Jack gets off the island with six of the survivors, he soon realizes that his quest may have been in vain. He saved himself and his friends but what about the other people still trapped on the island. When Locke tells him that things went very badly after he left, Jack realizes that he was not to just to save the survivors but also to lead them.
In Les Mis, Javert realizes that his quest for justice was lacking in one thing and that was mercy. He saw justice only in terms of black or white (good people deserve life and bad people deserve punishment). But he did not realize that he too was not perfect and needed mercy as well. He would not accept mercy from the prisoner Jean Valjean which led to him making a tragic decision.
What will Jack do? Locke offered him mercy on the island. He could have killed Jack in the stand off by the radio tower. He let Jack go, which led to the tragic events that happened afterwards. Later Jack tried to kill Locke with a bullet but by Fate his gun did not fire.
In his life, Jean Valjean made a momentous decision. He made a bargain not to follow his own instincts but to follow the Lord’s direction instead. He received the mercy and strength he needed to carry on. He followed the true path of righteousness and was blessed for evermore. I wonder what Jack and Locke will do?