The Lost Symbol

the lost symbol tv show

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Emily Clark

TV Series Review

When Robert Langdon, a professor of symbology at Harvard, gets a call from his mentor, Peter Solomon, asking him to speak at a gala event in Washington, D.C., he hops on the first flight out.

However, upon arrival, instead of finding Solomon, he finds Solomon’s hand.

The phone call was a ruse by a shady character who calls himself Mal’akh. The hand is a clue—one of many to come. And Langdon’s willingness to follow those clues will determine whether or not Solomon lives.

Mal’akh wants Langdon to dive into Solomon’s research to find the location of a mystical portal and unlock it. The portal is said to contain the knowledge of the ancients.

But it’s not just Solomon’s life on the line. Oh no, because that wouldn’t be simple enough. Instead, Mal’akh is placing the fate of the world in Langdon’s hands.

Another Dan Brown Mystery

Robert Langdon is, of course, the protagonist of The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons and Inferno (all based on novels by Dan Brown).

Here we get a slightly more colorful version of the character previously portrayed by Tom Hanks. With Langdon’s brilliant puzzle-solving (and some claustrophobia that developed after getting trapped in a well as a young boy), comes a certain disdain towards organized religion (he was raised Catholic). Though Hanks’ Langdon never professed faith, he was at least sympathetic toward it. But Peacock’s version shows a man who practically despises it.

We also get a return of Langdon’s dedication to helping and protecting the young women who accompany him on his journeys. While this was never romantic in the films, this new, younger portrayal of Langdon was previously involved with Solomon’s daughter, Katherine. And since she’s helping him find her dad, their love may spark again.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a Dan Brown mystery without a little corruption in the would-be good guys. Agent Sato of the CIA is helping Langdon’s search for Peter Solomon, but Langdon suspects that she’s hiding something and that her actions may be more sinister. And truly, only time will tell if she’s truly evil or just a red herring.

The Lost Show

I think it’s safe to say that most professors of symbology aren’t asked to find the alleged “heir” of Jesus Christ and save the Vatican from the Illuminati and stop a mad scientist from wiping out half the population with a Thanos-like virus.

If I were Langdon, I’d retire. But that’s not Dan Brown’s plan for the hero he created.

Like the films directed by Ron Howard, The Lost Symbol is often gory and disturbing. Langdon and other characters get shot at (and some of those bullets land, killing their targets). And as I already mentioned, Langdon discovers Solomon’s severed hand, so it can only be assumed that similar gruesome brutalities will continue to make an appearance in the show.

Language can be harsh at times and there are some hints of sensuality (though that isn’t to say these elements won’t get more severe as the series progresses).

But I want to touch on the faith aspects of this show. If you’ve read any of Dan Brown’s books (or seen the films I mentioned above), then you already know that the author blends paganism and science with Christianity.

Langdon quite blatantly calls spiritual convictions “bulls—” and Katherine studies Noetic science, a branch of science that studies the reputed healing power of collective thoughts (read meditation and chanting).

And at least in the book version of The Lost Symbol, it’s theorized that the Bible isn’t God’s Word but rather a guide for humans to unlock their own god-like abilities.

But don’t take my word for it. In his review of Inferno, Paul Asay called The Da Vinci Code “a rollicking adventure” but also “a load of theological rubbish.”

And that pretty much sums up all you need to know about The Lost Symbol.

Episode Reviews

Sept. 16, 2021: “As Above, So Below”

After being summoned to Washington, D.C., by a friend, Robert Langdon finds that same friend’s severed hand. He begins a journey to find his friend as well as a mythical portal containing the knowledge of the ancients.

An evildoer named Mal’akh believes that the mystical portal will give him the knowledge to become a god. He talks about the A’raf (a “borderland” between heaven and hell). We see him covered from head to toe in tattoos—a tribute to his strange beliefs—and he meditates over an unknown symbol. We see many other religious and political symbols on the show. Langdon gives a lecture asking when religious beliefs infringe upon the pursuit of happiness. A man’s “reflection chamber” holds human bones and Langdon compares it to praying to Christ. Buddhist monks chant and meditate over a man to supposedly heal his cancer. Someone says “God bless you.” A man thanks “the gods.”

People discover a severed hand in a museum (and we see its owner handcuffed in a wheelchair later on). Mal’akh and people working for him brutally beat up Capitol police, killing several of them with guns. A man’s feet are whipped after he tries to escape from a Turkish prison. Other prisoners cheer as they look on, and we later learn the man was murdered. A woman hits a CIA agent with a fire poker, and she is shoved against a wall.

A man showers (though we see nothing critical). We see a couple sneak off to make out before they are interrupted. A man with claustrophobia remembers getting trapped in a well when he was a child. People drink. We hear that someone was arrested for drug trafficking. We hear uses of the s-word, “a–,” “h—” and “d–mit.” We also hear misuses of God’s name.

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Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

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