Circumstantial flummery from a would-be spoonbean hustler.

The Goodwins I adore

So, last post was posted about five minutes after the Season premiere of LOST began- prompted by that most awesome and random teaser that launched us into season three. The episode had a ton of things ripe for analysis, theory details and deaths, and just everything that is always there in the chock-full-o-awesome episodes. I could probably address those, but I’d rather expound on why I like Goodwin and why his two second appearance made me all happy! happy! joy! joy!

A lot of it probably has to do with the fact that Goodwin is still a fairly mysterious ‘Other’ and looks fairly normal and non-insane unlike 50% of the ‘Others’- cause seriously, some of those dudes look totally whacked. Goodwin looks normal and played admirably by Brett Cullen with his floppy island hair, is fairly attractive for the jungle dudes. He’s also a pretty straightforward guy (aside from that whole kidnappy thing) who now unfortunately suffers from STAKE IN THE CHEST! Which means we’re not likely to find out much about Goodwin over the course of the show- unless he’s cloned, which will be awesome- Goodwin’s going to be pretty much open to interpretation.

Therefore I have just decided to interpret him as Archie Goodwin from Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books. Which is what I immediately thought of when Goodwin appeared named, well, Goodwin. Archie Goodwin is the quintessential “Good One” and the model for all smart-mouthed, attractive boyscout types in my own mind. It’s fairly obvious that many of the characters on LOST have literary names, Jack, Locke, Desmond, etc, etc. If you didn’t know this, go read Lostpedia – which you’ll note indicates that oh-ho! he may be named after fictional Detective Archie Goodwin! And NO, I did not submit that edit to the wiki! So someone else out there is thinking along the same lines.

Archie has become my most favorite of all favorite fictional characters. Ever. I may conceed to liking other characters who are equally awesome and badass and whatever, but I would be wrong. It will always be Archie. Sure this is typical obsessive Nicolle talking, but I present an excerpt from Rex Stout’s Trouble in Triplicate, the first paragraph of the story ‘Instead of Evidence’:

AMONG the kinds of men I have a prejudice against are the ones named Eugene. There’s no use asking me why, because I admit it’s a prejudice. It may be that when I was in kindergarten out in Ohio a man named Eugene stole candy from me, but if so I have forgotten all about it. For all practical purposes, it is merely one facet of my complex character that I do not like men named Eugene.

Unfortunately for Archie, he and Wolfe end up with a client named Eugene in ‘Instead of Evidence’. But for that, you need to check out the story, I only present the paragraph here to give you the measure of Detective Archie Goodwin as he appears in Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books and stories. All the stories are told first person with Archie as narrartor for whichever case comes along and he neither short nor tiresome in doing so. The random and wry humor in that paragraph is a good example of Archie and his temperament and when I initially read it, I lost it. It cracks me up. In every story I’m guarenteed to run into some bit of narration, anecdote or smart-mouthed wisecrack that leaves me floored with amusement. Which is why I love Archie!

The story turned out to be one of the weirdest and funniest Wolfe stories I’ve gotten through, and oddly enough turned very dark at the end with a discernable affect coming over Archie as he told the story, as well as how it’s written. Which is completely typical of Archie Goodwin- he brings comedy and emotion into his telling and it’s at least 51% of why the books have been so damned addicting to me. (I’d give him more, but Wolfe might get huffy.) There are even times when Archie breaks the fourth wall of his telling the story and waltzes right up to the fourth wall of reality and starts tapping on the glass, which is the brilliance of Stout.

So, if you’re at all inclined toward the detective/mystery genre please give the Nero Wolfe stuff a look. If I’m very good from now until Christmas I can only hope Santa will bring me further LOST-canon proof that Goodwin is somewhat modeled after my wholesome, lady-killing, milk-drinking leg-man Archie. If not, oh well, crazy-ass delusions seem to be what LOST is all about.