Tuesday, April 08, 2008

TV's Lost & The Wounded Warrior

"Every boy in his journey to become a man takes an arrow to the center of his heart in place of his strength. Because the wound is rarely discussed, and even more rarely healed, the wound remains. And the wound is nearly always given by his father." -John Eldridge, Wild at Heart (and the quote that inspired lifechurch.tv's most recent sermon The Wounded Warrior taught by Craig Groeschel)

My wife and I are sitting in church during a sermon about the role a father has in the life of his son, and the father can easily "wound" the son. The sermon was good, and if you're interested, you can watch it here.

Since my wife and I were watching Season 3 of Lost on DVD, I couldn't help but realize that practicly every male character on the TV show Lost are dealing with or driven by "wounds" given to them by their Fathers.

Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) obviously is the main character with the father-wound, following his father's footsteps not just as a surgeon but as an alcoholic. Jack's dad told him at an early age that he would never make a great leader, and those words plague his life, even on the island.

But Jack is not alone with the Father wound. Almost equally central to the story is the father-wound story John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) experiences. Locke having been in foster homes desperately wants to have a father figure, and has a great void in him having grown up with out a father. Yet after hiring a private investigator and finding his father, he is ultimately conned into donating his kidney to a man who doesn't want to reconnect with his son at all. Over multiple episodes and situations you are able to see what great pain (physically, emotionally, relationally) this experience has caused Locke.

Sawyer (Josh Holloway) is not alone in his father wound, especially since his father killed him mother and himself when Sawyer, or rather James Ford was a young boy. This one moment characterizes the life and path that Sawyer takes his entire life.

Hugo/Hurley Reyes (Jorge Garcia) has a father wound that occurs when his father leaves the family, and the show makes a strong suggestion that Hurley's over weight and unhealthy fascination with eating comes from the moment his Father leaves expectantly. After Hurley won the lottery his father returns, seeking money and calling Hurley "fat boy." You can tell this stuff torments Hurley and he experiences some redemption when he fixes up the van on the island.

Or what about Jin-Soo Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim), who pretends like his father's dead, even though he's alive...I'd call that a father wound. And the relationship he strives to work-out with Sun's father is equally a response to his own father wound.

Even the "head-of-the-others" Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) has a father-wound...his dad blamed him for the death of his mom, one of the factors leading Ben to kill his own dad.

Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder) seems to have a father-wound as well as he latches onto John Locke and wants to experience hunting, fishing, and being "a man with him," seeming to have lacked a real male role model.

Another to quickly bond with Locke in the attempt to find a real-father-figure is Michael's son Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) who's estranged father he refuses to listen to or respect. While Michael may be trying hard, the father wound is clearly developed and developing.

The effect of the father on the son is a huge theme that plays out in various ways in the male characters of ABC's TV show Lost. I think part of the reason is because this relationship is a challenging one, and because people can relate to wounds in there own lives.


Terence Towles Canote said...

I'm not so sure Jin-Soo Kwon pretending his father is dead a father wound. More like a son wound. I mean, it is simply a case of Jin being ashamed that his father is a fisherman. I'd say the problems lie more with Jin than his own father.

RC said...

@ mercurie...that's true but Jin's back story as it relates to his own dad and childhood still has gaps. His mother was a prostitute. But I do agree, it could certainly be more of a "son wound."

Amy said...

and Desmond has a potential father-in-law wound. :)

Good observations.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting! I never noticed that with the show. Which is dumb of me actually, because the whole father/son relationship thing in books/film/whatever really interests me ALOT.

This keen interest obviously has something to do with my own woeful story of never knowing my father and the decision I still have yet to make as to whether or not meeting him is something I want or am ready to do. There's a reason why "October Sky" was at one point my favorite movie, and still is one of my favorites. The last scene when the father and son reconcile still moves me in ways I can only hope other people don't have to experience.

The movie "Magnolia" also delves heavily into the father/son/daughter relationship thing, and I love that movie, in many ways just for that reason.

Anyway, thanks for the post. I now have an additional lense through which I can watch the many layers of the show "Lost" unfold.

And I'll check out that sermon tomorrow after work. :) Thanks!