Tuesday, April 20, 2010

LOST: Ray Shephard

5.06: "316"

In my previous LOST post, I commented on how I believe that Christian Shephard was part of an off-Island cabal dedicated to finding-stroke-reclaiming the Island. However, I neglected to mention how the Shephard bloodline seems entwined with the Island for more than one generation back.

Remember when Jack visits his Grandfather at his rest home? Before he leaves for the Island on Ajira 316? He's been told that he needs to escort Locke's body as a proxy for his father's, and to complete the re-creation, he needs to give Locke something of Christian's. Soon after he learns that granddad has made yet another attempt at "escaping" his home...
JACK: Will you at least tell me where the bus was headed?
RAY: Doesn't matter. Anywhere I go is somewhere better than here.
JACK: You packed a bag?
RAY: Of course I did. One of these times, I'm actually gonna get away. They won't ever find me either.
And of course, at the end of Jack's visit, we discover that Ray just happens to have just the thing Jack needs to properly accessorize his John Locke action figure—a pair of Christian's shoes.

Ray's just so... knowing, isn't he? Like Santa Claus when a kid surprises him by the fireplace on Christmas Eve, wink and a nod, y'know? Gotta say, it was nice to see Jack be so at ease around his dad's dad, a comfortable manner he lost so completely with his father, if he ever had it.

Anyhow, Ray packed a bag. He's ready to get away in a serious way. Of course, this time, he HAD to get caught, so that Jack would have to come see him and happen upon his father's shoes, but he DOES have a bag packed. And he boasts that when he does get away, they'll never find him. Sound like the Island to anyone else?

In such a short scene, a brief interaction, Ray's character and demeanor impressed so much upon me about a possible backstory and history with the Island. That perhaps he was part of the military contingent sent there in the 50s. Maybe he was judged "good," his name on a list, spared, and allowed to live with the Others for a time. Maybe he was born into Otherhood on the Island. In any case, I imagine he was made leader, and had to turn the wheel to prevent the military from returning. He's since made a home and a family for himself in the world, but understands that the Island isn't done with him, and is content to play his part and perhaps press his son and his son's son into its service.

Seeing him in that home, speaking to Jack the way he does, he reminded me of Captain Pike in "The Menagerie," from STAR TREK, the original series. He is biding his time, doing what needs doing, content with knowing that in the end, he will be rewarded with a return to the paradise of the Island.

Or, kinda like Wilfred Brimley and friends in COCOON, y'know?

Keep on keepin on~

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