Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Justice or The Greater Good?














Episode 1.21, The Greater Good, is full of ethical
dilemmas.

First, we learn Boone wanted Jack to stop trying to save
him in part so that he, Boone, wouldn't use up the group's
antibiotics. Boone refused Jack's efforts for the greater
good of the group.

Jack in contrast is a man out for individual justice.
Locke lied to Jack, and in Jack's mind Locke must pay for
that. Jack's beatdown of Locke at the funeral and his
failure to offer medical care when Locke is shot reflects
his sense of justice and sets the tone for Jack and Locke's
interactions in Season 2.

In the flashback Assam, Sayid's friend, questions whether
the greater good of his cause and his desire for revenge for
his wife outweighs the innocent lives that will be lost in the
pursuit of those ends. Sayid in contrast has determined that
his chance to find Nadia outweighs the greater good of both
Assam's cause and Assam himself.

Locke tells Sayid that it was for the group's greater
good that Locke destroyed the transceiver and implies
that likewise putting hope in the raft is not in the
group's best interest.

Shannon like Jack is only concerned with revenge
against Locke in the form of eye for an eye justice.
(Maybe the Others should have taken her. :D)

And in the end, Sayid disagrees judging that Locke
and his skills are necessary for the greater good of the
group despite the possible injustice of Locke escaping the
consequences of Boone's death and even at the personal
cost to Sayid of Shannon's trust.

I kept expecting this notion of the greater good to
come up with respect to the Others in Season 3. But
we still haven't learned what possible greater good
Ben's Others represent in light of the actions they've
taken with respect to the survivors of Flight 815.

Their own system that we glimpsed with Juliet's trial
seemed to place higher value on justice than their own
greater good given that Juliet seems to be their last
doctor.

I know, I know, it's complicated. Still, will the Others
or the Island represent a greater good than living in
the real world? I can't wait to see.

2 comments:

capcom said...

Very thoughtful commentary, Memphish! And thanks for reminding me of what a self-righteous SOB Jack is! Heheh. :o)

Yes, what is this greater good that the Others (and Locke apparently) supposedly know about that we don't?! I'm dying to know, but I suppose that's a big secret part of the puzzle that can't be revealed just yet. TPTB sure did hint about it in the S3 finale. As in, what could be better than being rescued? The Big Secret Greater Good, that's what.

That would have been interesting if they took Shannon instead. Would she be calling Room 23 the Rape Room? :o)

You also bring up a good question as to why they were supposedly going to kill Juliet if Ben needed her so badly. Was that all another "show" to make Ben look like Mr. Magnanimous? "Ooo, lookee, The Great Ben spared someone's life!" Now that you mention it, it looks as if Juliet's kangaroo trial was all a big show, in the vein of what Ben explained to Locke about how he has to look to his peeps.

Keep up the good questions Mempish!

Yessifer said...

Not only Juliet, but even Ethan. Why would they send their only surgeon on a dangerous mission?

Ben is always 20 steps ahead so Juliet's trial could have just been for show. To make Jack save her in order for them to get closer and for her to use him. But, then I see the scared faces Tom and Alex have when they find out Juliet will be marked.