Austin Nichols says that John "could be an angel or a Greek chorus."

Executive producer Mark Tinker says, "John could be anybody at this point."

What do you think John is? Alien, angel, psychic, ghost, or just a really weird guy?

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  • I just noticed that on John's original black wetsuit, "The Beast" is written on the front left shoulder. Has this been discussed? Definitely leans to not an angel... [[User:wakeupkeo{wakeupkeo]] 21:31, 7 Jan 2008 (UTC)
    • It maybe one of those stinkweed suits branded after (and given to him by) Butchie "the beast". Raziel Anarki 10:53, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I suppose he could be an alien or a ghost but I'm leaning towards Jesus or an angel. Do you think it is better if the other characters and/or the audience get a definite answer to that question or not? I'm leaning towards the latter. Bluegreen 21:31, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't think that there'll be a specific, nailed-down "answer"; there won't be a cliffhanger at the end of the season where we find out that John was created in a laboratory. But it's built into the show that we're supposed to wonder about it. -- Danny (talk) 22:23, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I am also leaning towards his being Jesus. A few not so subtle clues lead me to this line of thinking; Episode Title "His Visit", "John from Cincinnati" (JC = Jesus Christ) (Or if you are familiar with Milch's most recent work Deadwood, JFC = Jesus *expletive* Christ)." BKP 00:28, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
  • In {{102}], it appears that John doesn't need to go to the bathroom, but there is a hint that he drinks water -- Bill plans to get John's prints from the handle of the police station water fountain. Does John's odd bodily functions mean anything? -- Danny (talk) 14:09, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Did we see him drink water? If he did, I bet there was a reason he did besides being thirsty. He might have been copying Butchie. I think he went to the men's room at the hospital so that he wouldn't be around when Shaunie came back from being brain-dead. Either that or he's very suggestible. He often repeats things from ealier in the day and might have been doing that when speaking to Kai, which caused her to think that he needed to use the men's room. Bluegreen 06:05, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Yeah, he's clearly playing at being human. In my opinion, there was too much toilet comedy in the second episode, but I think the point of all of that was that John is just faking being a person. -- Danny (talk) 11:46, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I think his upturned collar might be his halo. It reminds me of the movie Dogma where all the angels wore hoodies, which represented their halos. Usernameguy 04:08, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
  • My view is that John is the personification of Butchie's psyche/conscience/soul. His actions and statements tend to mirror Butchie's. Like one's inner voice, he appears suddenly out of nowhere and asks profound questions at the most stressful times of your life -- "What do you want, Butchie?" is what he asks over and over again. The series is in essence about Butchie's inner conflicts and his attempt to reconcile who he wanted to be (a successful surfing stud) with who he has become (a washed-up surfer, druggie and negelectful father living in squalor). This also relates to, and I believe is consistant with, the Jesus theory; one view of Jesus is that Christ himself represents man's true inner nature. There is also something of John the Baptist in him (name, water imagery). It is also significant that the first time we meet John is when he appears to have crossed a boundary (from Mexico), which symbolizes his ability to cross borders of all kinds (between real and surreal, between inner voice and outer manifestation, between human and divine). Crossing boundaries is an important part of this show in many respects (Shawn crosses from life to death and back again and Barry must deal with the trauma of his past that is symbolized by the boundary leading into the room of the motel where he was sexually traumatized as a child). RC 22 June 2007
John's pockets appear to have the ability to provide exactly what is needed by another. He comes up with $50 for Viet Nam Joe, $2,300 and a credit card for Butchie and later on a cell phone. Each time his pockets appear to be completely empty with the exception of the required item. dmaclean 23 June 2007
  • I'd be willing to bet John is a physical manifestation - sent by the universal energy/God/whatever you call it - to correct the path of the Yost family and friends. (You could say an "angel" of sorts.) If you notice (how can you not??!), this is one pretty screwed up family. Between the drugs, the cursing, the craziness, the dysfunctional relationships, it's a negative energy smorgasborg. However, they all seem to draw the sympathies and love of the people around them. This has created a black vortex into which those close to them have been sucked. However, as soon as John comes on the scene, Mitch starts floating, Butchie can't get properly high and has to face reality, Shaun is mysteriously healed, the dealer who came to kill Butchie has now decided to help the family, etc. I think the family's potential to be a force for positive change has been seen and "noted" by the Universe/God, and John was sent to help things along. He was given all of the abilities he needs, but nothing more so that he can be what and/or who he needs to be for whomever needs him at the time. rawillow 06:19, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
  • John is John the Baptist, proclaiming the coming of the savior (Shaun, who is Jesus). He even says "See God Kai," as they watch Shaun. John as John the Baptist fits with the roles others play as well, i.e. Mitch as God the Father (the Patriarch), Bill as the Holy Spirit (represented by birds), Butchie as the prodigal Son, Barry, Dickstien, and Ramon being Caesar, Heorod, and Pilate, The Doctor as Luke, etc., etc. ~jae
  • Yep - that's what I see John is John the baptist. Water imagery, etc. All the other main characters are the 12 apostles. -- User:

John seems to be a Herald, proclaim the news of the return. He can make people see god. Shaun Yost seems to be the second coming of Jesus. He gave life to zippy. He was brought back from the dead. Go to the site and search for god. Watch the sign in the background. Can anyone read the small print? But then again I could be off base. okco70 June 25,2007.

I uploaded pictures from The sign says FEAR GOD, and then when you mouse over it, it says SEE GOD, with a sound clip of John's speech from the hospital hallway in "His Visit: Day Two Continued". The fine print says: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the HOLY ONE is understanding." Under that it says, "Read the Bible: Luke 11:9-14, John 6:10, Romans 10:9-10". I think the point is that John's influence transforms the message from "Fear God" to "See God". -- Danny (talk) 14:05, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Here is a version: Mitch represents God the Father (per Cissy referring to him as "The Kahuna" and I believe "God" at one point). Cissy could represent the female form of God, the yang to his yin. Butchie represents mankind (what he is versus what he could be, potential for redemption) and Shaun is Jesus (Christ risen). I think that once the media gets a hold of it, they will make Shaun the savior and surfing the pathway. John is the Holy Spirit. It looks like Shaun is starting to gather apostles, Dickstein, Ramon, Barry, the doctor, Joe Vietnam, his furry buddy, Freddy and the ice cream man, perhaps the black reporter that they just had brief glimpses of. Bill and Kai could also be apostles - or Bill could be Joseph (Mitch referred to Bill, in the hospital, as having been more Father to Shaun than he ever had). Luke Perry as the devil, tempting everyone to the dark (commercial, nonspiritual)side of surfing. Between Shaun and John, they will probably save Butchie from himself.
I don't know who he is, but I can share the following thoughts...assuming that there is a reason why the creators of the show labeled him as being from Cincinati, consider this. Cincinati, the city, was named after a society of sorts that took its name from Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus of Ancient Rome, who left his farm to accept a term as Roman Consul and then served as Magister Populi for a short time, thereby assuming near-dictatorial control of Rome to meet a war emergency. When the battle was won, he returned power to the Senate and went back to plowing his fields. The Society's motto reflects that ethic of selfless service: Omnia relinquit servare republicam - He relinquished everything to serve the Republic.
Perhaps John is somewhat similar, or will be revealed to be...a person who comes to help deal with a crucial problem (perhaps something will be revealed that threatens the world) and then returns from whence he came when he has finished his labors. (Posted by Rod Underhill) 23:25, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm surprised most of you watchers are not familiar with the concept of the Monad... it is pretty much the answer to this topic's question. John is, simply, the One. Blicero 03:56, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
That mistates Monism...John wouldn't be "The One" but rather, part of the One...we are all part of the One, a universal one. Sort of like how Heinlein's Smith characte from Stranger in a Strange Land stated. "Thou art God." Or, perhaps it could be better said by a retort from another character in the same book: "Thou art God? Sure. Who isn't?" 19:24, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Or the opposite of God ... John is the Devil ... Look at all the symbolisms ... rising from below and crossing borders ... shape-changer ... conquering death ... aiding in sin ... see god ... pain and hurt and burning ... Kai says don't ever do that again ... Bill is God ... it wasn't John that saved Shaun it was Bill ... Bill is John's nemisis ... Bill is humble and protective anf forgiving ... Shuan may be considered the second coming but John is the tempter and trying to mislead him so that Satan will prevail ... I got my eye on you! ~mg User: 5 July 2007
  • Just to throw in some more trivia as to who John is, have you noticed him staring at something wherever he is at the pier? It is an HF (High Frequency) radio antenna array there in San Diego. You can see an image of one here: [1] He seems to be staring at it as if receiving information. Arrays like this are used by the military and national command authority to talk to aircraft and ships, I got my eye on you....Jlday1256 19:21, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
  • and another thing: Security Watch: Is The First Vista Virus Here? "Danom" is a series of script viruses targeting a new, as-yet unreleased Microsoft Command Shell (MSH) called "Monad" (notice that Danom is Monad spelled backwards), which, some thought, was going to appear in next year's Windows Vista operating system release...some things I know, some thing I don't...Jlday1256 19:28, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I am in support of the theory that Shaun represents Jesus Christ. I think that John is definitely an instrument of God. Perhaps he's John the Baptist or perhaps he's some sort of angel, but I definitely believe this is about redemption. I also have a theory that Link's character is either an instrument of Satan or he's temptation personified. For instance, if Link were the snake from the Garden of Eden, Cass would be the delicious fruit that he tempts Mitch with. Except in this case, the fruit has her own conscience and will. Since it appears that no one has done this yet, I also thought I would look up the bible quotes from the billboard sign behind John in the photos on the right side of the page. I'm using the New King James Version of the bible for this. They are as follows:
  • Luke 11:9-10 - "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." This is why John repeatedly asks, "What do you want, Butchie?" It also explains his magic pockets that can produce anything someone requests.
  • [edited] John 6:18 - "Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing." Could this be in reference to the wave that injured Shaun? Considering the next quote is about rising from the dead, that make sense. [I edited this item because I originally thought the quote referenced on the sign was John 6:10, but upon looking more closely, it appears to be John 6:18.]
  • Romans 10:9-10 - "...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." This lends to the theory that Shaun is Jesus Christ. This show seems to be about redemption and salvation. Apparently, confession is the key.Tonuab 18:00, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Agreed, to some extent. Or, perhaps more likely, I think that the audience is being led to believe that. The whole Christ thing is a bit of a red herring, in my opinion, but the allusions are there. One thing that hasn't come up here so far is the fish symbolism. Bill at one point wonders aloud "Maybe [John] is a fish?" Then, Joe, while fishing on the pier, has his realization about what happened between John and him. Further, it seems every time Bill leaves a room he shouts "Jesus Christ!" As if, by sheer repetition, the audience might get the point. In the end, I don't think that it fully answers the question. I'm not familiar with Monadism but as an explanation it seems a bit more comprehensive in this instance. Hendo1769 19:53, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
  • all very good thoughts, but after episode six, John is no doubt the son of GOD. Gonpaddelin 22:22, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I think there's still some question about whether John is the son of God, or a son of God. He talks about "my father" (presumably meaning God), but there's also a sense in which we're all children of God. I think the worldview of John From Cincinnati leans in that direction. -- Danny (talk) 22:31, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
  • "A" son of God, that is what I love so much about this show. All this to be determined, no to get too much off the topic here; but what was the connection last night in the sermon when John was talking about 9-11-14, the towel heads will be erradicated, circles and lines? After the first three lines I was in overload. My Tivo is broken so I couldn't watch a second time, there was some very telling lines @ the very end last night. I cant't wait until Sunday....again. 00:25, 17 July 2007 (UTC) 00:22, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
  • Everytime I read Monad, I see NOMAD. John the Baptist, anyone? He lived in the desert and had no home, he traveled from place to place preaching and baptizing people. People thought he was crazy, not right in the head. How many times has John been refered to as slow? or crazy? Also, does no one remember when Bill says "Judas Priest!" and doesn't John say something along the lines of "My father is Judas Priest's father". I thought that was a pretty telling little bit. Ohcleo 06:25, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Water...John...they are coming in 2014 clearly this is john the baptist for the 21st century...but who is his cousin? Jesus or the anti-christ? -- User: 13 August 2007
  • I'm thinking that after Episode 7, we can now be certain that John is receiving messages (instructions?) from his "father" through the elephant cage array. He tells Cass in the beggining that he's "going to be with" his father today, and he stays there almost all day and appears to be listening. It tends to support the idea that he's an alien. (Presumably, God wouldn't have to use radio waves to communicate.) -- Room45 23 July 2007
  • It would seem to be a mistake to look for a definitive answer to the basic question, but the modern-day jesus christ theory is almost undeniable at this point. I find John's repetition of language as Man creating God in his own image. -- Attydog 24 July 2007
  • I think John is ....................... JOHN...... The Baptist. And that Sean Yost is more then likely Jesus, and the other charachters are the 12 disciples... -- Piratewake 27 July 2007
  • I have a contrarian view that John is not meant to be Jesus Christ. I think that it's easy to start saying the characters are just representations of Jesus and the people surrounding him, and start guessing who's who. I don't think the show is like that at all. I looked at the YouTube clip of David Milch's appearance on Craig Ferguson's show, and he says the show is about "if God were trying to reach out to us, and teach us something about the deepest nature of matter, and He felt a certain urgency about it." I would take him at his word here. He is, I think, doing a creative version of exactly that. John is not Jesus. John is the creative vision of David Milch, imagining a manifestation of God's reaching out to us and teaching us something, in today's context. MyDogHasFleas 15:17, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
  • What is John about? He is a mirror, he reflects people's words back to them. He is a dumb-yet-deep question asker. He is a provider. He is a rescuer. He is a catalyst for change and growth. What he is NOT is a preacher who tells people the answers or even gives anyone direction, as Jesus was. MyDogHasFleas 15:17, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
  • I've enjoyed watching John wander through life in Imperial Beach over the last seven episodes. It's been interesting hearing people's impressions of John and guesses on who he might be. I love it that everyone has their own opinions on who John may or may not be. Being a student of theology and one who has spent a great amount of time in exegesis and biblical scholarship, in my opinion John is none other than "John the Beloved". Please consider this brief argument.
1. John from Cincinnati shares the same first name as the disciple that Jesus loved most
2. John from Cincinnati's last name in Monad, which as described earlier means "Nomad" or wanderer, John the Beloved wandered through life after Jesus' accenting
3. The Most Significant Clue in my opinion comes from a passage at the end of the Book of John. Context: Post-Resurrection some of the disciples are spending time together fishing on the beach of the sea of Galilee. Early in the morning Jesus appears to the disciples (3rd time) and spent time togethering eating just like old times.
Significance: The book ends with Jesus and the disciples walking on the beach. As Peter and Jesus talk, John trails behind them...wandering, possibly not paying attention to their conversation. This what the actual scripture (John 22: 20-23) has to say,
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?"
Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." Because of this, the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?" (NIV)
Now in my opinion I don't actually believe that John still wanders the earth today. Just as it says, Jesus did not say he wouldn't die...he merely stated that if it Jesus wanted John to stay...why should Peter even care. In Mormon theology the belief is that John is still present, living on earth.
Consider this theory along with the long line of other excellent and well thought out ones. Also remember that the disciples context was one in which they regularly referred to God as "Father", this wasn't a title or reference used exclusively by Jesus. They all understood who The Father was and prayed to Him accordingly. Please also remember that John isn't actually performing miracles. Miracles are taking place all around their community, John's presence and faith may just be a part of why they are taking place. --Zeteo 00:58, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Although nobody is likely to talk about it, except in private - it is well known in the entertainment, arts, and political communities that John and the entire series is based on the IO Psychic TV story. Interview with IOPTV The references are just blatantly obvious. "The zeroes and ones make the Word in Cass' camera", for example. Ones and zeroes were part of their street art scene. The guy makes broadcasting cameras glow. There are all kinds of crazy stories about the guy, and there's no doubt that the story has been covered up - it only gets exposed through media that is inspired by it, such as this show, because of the guy's incessant media/political interventions. I know it's going to provoke some arguments, but somebody has to point this out. This series is not merely a construct of Milch et al's imagination. It is homage. Grace powers 15:55, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I find it interesting that nobody has brought up this point: we still don't know that his name is John Monad or that he is from Cincinnati. Butchie says he looks like he should be from Cincinnati and John simply repeats it. Also, John pulls out the credit card and it just happen to have John Monad on it. There is an interesting article where Ed O'Neill is quoted, "The only thing we know for certain is that his name ain't John, and he's not from Cincinnati." [2] I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.Kzoohardyboy 17:09, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm still trying to figure out who John is, but I do find it an interesting study in social behavior that his vocabulary is comprised of only words and phrases he has heard others use. It's an interesting lesson to be careful what we say to others. John also reminds me of an autistic person. Could it be that the devil is autistic??? MaryfromSD
  • John is Jesus, and I don't think it's very subtle. Beyond the initials and the "my father" references, John performs at least three miracles referencing Jesus in the New Testament: resurrecting the dead, the loaves and fishes (pulling endless stuff out of his empty pockets as needed), and "walking on water" (surfing perfectly without any prior lesson). And the stick figure (a man standing, as if on a surfboard) references the cross (a man crucified). Another observation-- Linc is not the devil. He has been Saul of Tarsus, persecuting the Yosts. "His Visit: Day Nine" was his conversion at Damascus; his long conversation with John, in which he felt he could almost understand him, followed by giving up his company. If there is another season, Linc will become St. Paul, the great proselytizer of John and/or the Yosts. -- Gasuelbe 02:20, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Interesting, but a little too predictable, IMO. And, if John is Jesus, who is John's Father's Father? I do agree about Linc, though... he is not the devil, far from it. — Greg (talk) 02:36, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • In support of Linc=St. Paul, this is from"Effective immediately, Mr. Stark is moving into the personal management arena, representing IB’s legendary Yost family -- as well as a newcomer to the surfing sport, John Monad from Cincinnati." Just as St. Paul was the "manager" of the early Christian movement...Gasuelbe 02:41, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Two lines came together for me in the last episode that perhaps John is ('My Father' references aside) is the Archangel Gabriel. The scene where John tells Kai..."see God Kai" and then she passes out and has those visions and the last line in the season finale "Mother of God Cass-Kai" as he watches Kai surf. The Cass-Kai name may be an artifact of his calling Cass, Kai in episode 4. It's a stretch but I thought interesting. Otherwise, I don't know, Butchie instead. --Azretan 18:07, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • John is an intelligent life form that has taken on the image of man so we can "see" him. He is also what would be called 'Jesus' in human terms. His language and voice would be unrecognizable, so he uses the character's (our) words to communicate. He had visited the earth tens of thousands of years ago (before we were homo sapiens) to plant the seed of imagination and intelligence. He left to let it grow. Then he came back over two thousand years ago...and people tried to explain using their current knowledge and imagination...hence the bible. We grew. Our imaginations allowed us to see past the 'stories' and start to find real 'truth' through science and technology. "The Internet is big". He explains how our inventions are getting us closer to 'finding God'. When we as a species can live in harmony with technology, when we can combine all of our knowledge of spirit and science...we will become what we all have been trying to obtain since the beginning. To be pure imagination and be everywhere at be freed of our monkey shell and be pure light. Wikiwola 00:47, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Since he refers to the words of his father's father, that might make John the son of Jesus. -- User:Hugh123 15 August 2007
  • I met David Milch at a talk recently and he told me that John was Jesus. - MrJimC 27 June 2015