We’ve watched about half of the first season of “Lost” on DVD. The mysteries of the island are a lot more engrossing than the conduct of the characters. I wouldn’t want to be stranded on an island with any of these people. It’s nice that they have a doctor and a guy who can fix radios, but overall they are a frighteningly dysfunctional bunch, so I’ve drawn up some ground rules for them.
- It doesn’t matter who you were and what you did before the crash. They’re pretty good about following this rule, though Jack lets his curiosity about Kate get the best of him.
- If it belonged to you before the crash, it is yours. If not, it is for anyone to borrow. As wrong as Sawyer is to hoard supplies, individuals tend to negotiate with him as if anything was theirs to negotiate for. They should negotiate from a position of moral strength — that is, as a group.
- Don’t go anywhere alone or without notifying someone else where you’re going and when you’ll be back. They seemed to observe this on the first couple of days on the island, then forgot about it, though the jungle didn’t get any less dangerous.
- Don’t jump to conclusions. I don’t even know where to start with this one; it’s a universal character flaw on the island.
- Right and wrong are the same as before the crash. I would add the Golden Rule as a useful corollary in the event of a disagreement about right and wrong.
- Don’t keep information secret if it concerns the group. This is where the “leaders” fall down. How are others supposed to contribute if you don’t tell them what’s going on?
- Do no further harm. Jack should know this one as a doctor, but he seems to have forgotten it.
Even though Jack is emerging as their leader, I don’t have a high opinion of him in that capacity. He’s broken all of my above rules in ten quick episodes. There is a reference to the book “Watership Down”, which is also a story about survival. Jack is the exact opposite of the leader in the book. I hope he picks it up and reads it when he gets a chance.