Friday, October 12, 2007

Was Goodwin A Better Other Than Ethan?

Prior to rewatching The Other 48 Days I thought
that Goodwin was an exemplary infiltrator Other and Ethan
was a screw up. Now I think that was an overly rosy view
of what Goodwin accomplished.

Ben tasked both Goodwin and Ethan with these instructions:

You're a passenger. You're in shock. Come up with an
adequate story if they ask. Stay quiet if they don't.
Listen, learn, and don't get involved. I want lists in 3 days.

Neither Goodwin nor Ethan were good at the "don't get involved"
part. In fact Goodwin's ultimate undoing was in large part
the way he called attention to himself due to Bernard's plight.
Goodwin was the only one who could make fire. He quickly became
a sort of second in command behind Ana, not exactly
an uninvolved role.

But Goodwin did seem to accomplish his mission. The Others
took 12 of the 23 Tailies, 13 if you count Cindy. The people
on the list had been identified (by Jacob?) as "good" and
removed. Goodwin stated pretty clearly if you weren't on the
list, you weren't good. So then why did he stick around?

I think the Others ultimate undoing is their hubris. Hubris,
per Wikipedia, is an exaggerated self pride or self-confidence
(overbearing pride), often resulting in fatal retribution.

The Tailies killed 4 Others with rocks and sticks. How did
they accomplish this? The Others failed to take precautions
because they viewed themselves as superior. The Others have
guns and tasers, but did they use them to subdue Eko, Ana or
the rest of the Tailies in order to take the "good" ones? No
they did not. They thought their stealth and speed would be
enough and it cost them 3 lives.

Goodwin's mission was accomplished, but did he leave the field?
No, he thought he was smart enough that he could change
Ana or at least the list maker's mind, and in the end he paid
with his life.

The Others' hubris, their repeated assertions that they are the
good guys, that they get it and no one else does, that the taken
people are better off with them coupled with their unwillingness
to explain arises over and over. And now there are very few of
them left. Will they finally be humbled, or will their pride
destroy all of them?


capcom said...

I don't know, but Goodwin's hair is so slicked back here that it looks like he could have a ponytail, which makes him look very sleezy in a Mittlewerk sort of way. :o)

It's interesting to think about how the Others got so confident and selfish. A few reasons come to mind though. It could have been the inherited attitude from the pompous hippie-commune-utopia-Dharma people ("we're saving the world, so of course we're special!"). Or, it could have been borne out of the isolationist environment that they have been existing in for too many years, which is very common. Or, they just got cocky after taking out the DIs and feeling all inflated about themselves. Or, they could have just taken on the personality of their leader, the self-righteous King Ben.

pgtbeauregard said...

In TOTC I was shocked to hear Ben's instructions because neither Ethan nor Goodwin followed them.

Ethan did a better job of staying in the pack than Goodwin, but Ethan just creeps me out, whether he's in the losties camp, in the medical station, or fixing Juliet's plumbing. He was creepy on the recruitment trip to get Juliet.

In any case, Goodwin called too much attention to himself. Both he and Ethan thought quite highly of themselves.

capcom said...

You know, this is a very good question and may link to Richard's actions and hints of going against Ben's wishes when he was talking to Locke on the hill about Sawyer. Perhaps Ben doesn't control his people as much as he thought he did, or at least by the time the crash happened he was losing control. Juliet was balking at the book club, and since we know that she and Goodwin were buds, he might have been on her side as well. Her flashcard video for Jack in the Hydra did say something about how "some of us are not happy with Ben". Ethan and Goodwin could have been among those who were already rebelling, and at least at that point, were not exactly following Ben's order's to the letter for their own reasons.

So Ben's got the ones who follow him by the book, and the ones that he thinks will, but won't. Hmmmmm.

Ange said...

You know, I thought about what I wanted to say to this post, then opened the comments and saw Capcom's fist one. So...yeah that.

I think that sometimes when people have been in a place, isolated for all intensive purposes, and separated from actuality reality, things can get weird. I also thing your idea of hubris is an exceptionally good one. AND, I think that with a leader like Ben and possibly Alpert calling the shots, it would be hard to not eventually play along with their frame of mind.

I really liked this questions today and feel sorry that it took me all weekend to get to it!