Hello my dear friends -
Curse Chicago germs! I'm pretty sick, people. That's why I was kinda glad that -- in my opinion -- there wasn't a ton to talk about in "Lighthouse." (Unless you count all the mirror/reflection symbolism and little nods to recurring themes in the series, like Alice in Wonderland and rabbits -- but I really have no energy for that kind of stuff at this point - sorry!)
My nasty illness is also why I'm keeping this post more succinct than usual -- though I did throw in a section at the end about "the big picture."
But first, the flashes.
WHEN YOU COMIN' HOME, DAD?
I DON'T KNOW WHEN
BUT WE'LL GET TOGETHER THEN, SON
YOU KNOW WE'LL HAVE A GOOD TIME THEN
The biggest surprise of the night was that Jack has a teenage son, David. That means in the alternate timeline, Jack would've had to have hooked up with the kid's mother in the late '80s or early '90s for David to be in junior high in 2004 (this is of course assuming his son was not adopted at an older age). We can figure that Jack was born in the early '70s, which probably means he became a daddy right outta high school. (Remember, I'm not talking about Matthew Fox's age, I'm talking about the presumed age of the character Jack Shephard.) So it most likely wasn't Sarah that he married, had David with and then divorced, because in the original timeline Jack and Sarah didn't meet until her accident in 2001.
If you're confused about the timing of everything, just know that my point is that Sarah probably isn't Jack's ex. We might never find out who that ex is (though you can bet I was like, "Oh my gosh, who's going to be in that house?!?! Juliet... PENNY?!?! Did ALTJack dig the older chicks and get with Ms. Hawking!?!?!") because the writers have bigger fish to fry at the moment and there are already a lot of other 815 connections in the flash-sideways. To play devil's advocate with my own theory, though, it could still be Sarah that Jack married because -- hell, why not? Enough has changed for our characters in the alternate timeline that really, anything is possible. But I still think that either way, the identity of David's mom probably doesn't matter.
(If anyone could follow the above two paragraphs and is NOT on Nyquil, you should be very worried.)
I think the bigger question to ask about Jack's flash segments is, why would he have a son in this version of events in the first place? That's part of what I'll talk about at the end of this post.
WELL WE'RE ALL IN THE MOOD FOR A MELODY
AND YOU'VE GOT US FEELIN' ALRIGHT
After helping his mom find Christian's will (which listed Claire... who might be the connection that brings Jack and Kate back together in this timeline -- remember Kate still has Claire's credit card and could easily find her again), Jack returned home to find that David had vanished. After a little investigative work, Jack tracked him down at an audition. (I got a chuckle out of the "Welcome All Candidates!" sign in the entryway.)
I can only assume that David's character name was a shout-out to pianist extraordinaire David Helfgott (whose life was the basis for the Oscar-winning movie Shine). 'Cause he was tearing it UP on the stage. My first thought was that maybe this kid is the one who ends up programming the musical code into the Looking Glass station, but that doesn't really make sense since he's not in the same timeline, so forget I even mentioned it. My second thought I voiced aloud to my husband: "Oh crap, that kid is going to glance into the audience, see Jack there and then totally blow it and Jack will NOT be able to 'fix it.'" Thankfully, that didn't happen. What did happen is that David finished his piece successfully, and while Jack was waiting in the wings, who does he meet but Dogen. That was the second-biggest surprise of the night for me. You all know that I was not in love with Dogen in the previous episodes, but dammit if he hasn't grown on me. I was hoping he'd have the scroll necklace thingy on, but his shirt was too buttoned up to tell.
Will the Jack/Dogen encounter amount to anything more, or is it just another neato run-in in the flash-sideways universe? I'm thinking it's the latter -- I'm failing to see another circumstance that will bring those two together. For now I think Dogen's purpose was to remind Jack that, um, he's like the worst dad ever. David's in junior high and Jack has no idea how long he's been tickling the ivories? For shame!
Ah, but it was all made right in the end, when Jack had a very moving and heartfelt talk with his son in the parking lot. His words weren't quite up there with "We have to go BACK!" or "Why do you find it so easy?!?", but overall this scene is certainly a contender for one of the Top Ten Jack Moments of the series. He stopped himself from becoming like his father. Better late than never, right?
OK, Island time.
I KNOW YOU CAN
WON'T YOU DO IT FOR ME NOW?
After Jack and Dogen stopped being polite and started getting real with each other, and after Miles and Hurley grew tired of playing tic-tac-toe (?!?), Hurley went back into the Temple, and there was Jacob, totally pouring something into the spring. No idea what it was -- maybe something to make the water run clear again?
Jacob's like: "What up, dog? Can you run an errand for me since I'm dead?" Said errand is soooo complicated that poor Hurley needs to scrawl instructions up and down his arm. Do you know how hard it is to wash off pen ink? Hurley's a good sport because I wouldn't have done it. Anyway, the point of the errand is to help someone find his or her way to the Island.
While Hurley's dealing with Jacob, Sayid's upset that all the Others are giving him the stinky side-eye. "Are they jealous of my tank top collection? I mean, they're pretty fitted to my body but I will totally share if that's what's causing the problem here." Jack tells him that no, it's actually that they think he might go loco at any given moment and that they'd wanted Jack to poison him with the little green pill. Jack also shares that the Others have seen this happen to "someone else," but stops short of naming Claire.
Now Hurley's trolling around some hallway o' hieroglyphics and Dogen catches him and demands that he leave. Jacob materializes (only to Hurley, of course) and tells Hurley to say "You are not the boss of me and I can do whatever I want so nyah nyah -- deal with it!" In response Dogen reverts to spewing Japanese and takes off. Then Jacob's like, "Uh, I told you to bring Jack," and Hurley says, "But he's such a freakin' DOWNER all the time," and Jacob replies, "Sorry, dude, them's my rules."
SINKING LIKE STONES
ALL THAT WE'VE FOUGHT FOR
ALL THESE PLACES WE'VE GROWN
ALL OF US ARE DONE FOR
Hurley gets Jack to come along by uttering the magic phrase, "You have what it takes." That's just like somebody telling Locke all of the stuff that he CAN do. It works.
Along their trek to god knows where, they run into Kate. She does NOT want to tag along with them for once -- she's dead set on locating Claire. "I hope you find what you're looking for," are her parting words. I think that sentiment could apply to all of the characters at this point, don't you?
Next thing we know, Jack's stepping on Shannon's inhaler and Hurley's gazing upon the Adam and Eve skeletons, last seen near the beginning of Season One. He wonders aloud something that we've of course all been theorizing about: with the insane amount of time-traveling that's transpired, couldn't those skeletons be two of the 815ers? Why yes, Hurley, I imagine we'll find out that they are and that's exactly why Darlton wanted to plant that seed with the audience. "Normal" fans of the show would have forgotten all about Adam and Eve, so they needed to be reminded.
One note about the skeletons, since their identities are one of the mysteries I've been the most curious about: I rewatched "House of the Rising Sun" to be sure, and my memory served me correctly -- the skeletons did not used to be next to each other. Now they are.
If you want to see for yourself and have your Season One DVDs nearby, pop in Disc 2, go to HOTRS, and the scene in question is at the beginning of Chapter 4. Or you could 1) just trust me or 2) infer that the skeletons are not near each other in that episode because of Jack's comment (from the transcript) that I've bolded below.
KATE: Who is he? How'd he get here?
JACK: I can't exactly perform an autopsy but there doesn't seem to be any major trauma to the bones. There's another one over here. Someone laid them to rest here.
. . .
KATE: Any idea how long they've been here?
JACK: Long. It takes 40 or 50 years for clothing to degrade like this.
Let me first say that I do not think the movement of the skeletons is anything to get all worked up about. I think the easiest explanation is that their repositioning might've simply been a conscious production choice, most likely because the characters those skeletons belong to will end up being a couple. And it would seem kind of weird if a couple had been laid to rest across the cave from each other. The vast majority of Lost fans would've never noticed the difference, and if/when the skeletons are revealed to be Bernard/Rose, Jack/Kate, Sawyer/Kate, Desmond/Penny, Widmore/Hawking, Jin/Sun or some other couple then it will make more sense that they're side by side.
As for who *I* think the skeletons are? I've never bought into the Rose and Bernard theory because that would've meant that Rose and Bernard died immediately after we last saw them in 1977 at their retirement beach home. (And 40-50 years haven't passed since then, either.) I think it's more likely that the characters in question died in the '50s, or maybe there is something so bizarre happening with the time warp on the Island that it was impossible for Jack to be correct about how long the people had been deceased. All I know is that Jack was the last one seen with the small black and white stones in the pouch he removed from one of the skeletons, so he's still Suspect #1 in my mind. Thoughts?
LET IT SHINE ON
LET IT SHINE ON
LET THE LIGHT FROM YOUR LIGHTHOUSE
SHINE ON ME
(Shout-out to Kyle C for suggesting this section's lyrics!)
Lots of big revelations from Jack in this episode, huh? We've already talked about his "I love you no matter what!" speech to David, and then at the caves he not only told Hurley that his father was NOT in his coffin after Flight 815 crashed, but he also copped to returning to the Island because he thought it would "fix" him. I think that all of this self-reflection on Jack's end is clearly necessary in order for him to be able to fulfill his ultimate destiny, which is of course what Jacob also refers at the end of the episode.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Next, Jack and Hurley reach a lighthouse that nobody's ever seen before. Even though they had Jack acknowledge that fact, I was still kind of annoyed -- I mean, come on -- somebody would've seen this lighthouse by now. But I'm over it.
They climb up to the top and Jack grows increasingly pissed off because Jacob hasn't graced them with his presence yet. Hurley said that they're supposed to turn the big wheel in the middle of the room to degree 108. As they start doing so, Jack notices weird reflections in the series of mirrors behind the wheel. Let me just tell you that I was SO excited when I saw those buildings flashing by -- I thought it was going to be a portal into another dimension, kind of like in the His Dark Materials books. I thought the characters would be able to leap through the mirror -- you know, "Through the Looking Glass" and all that. Instead, Jack put the names on the degree markings together with the images in the mirrors and turned the wheel to his own name. Once he turned the counter to 23 and subsequently saw the home he grew up in, he decided that Jacob had been using the contraption to spy on him and -- like an exceedingly frustrated Lost fan -- demanded answers right then and there.
Jacob failed to materialize and dole out answers, so Jack did something I thought was kind of dumb -- he smashed all the mirrors. No otherworldly portals for YOU now, Jack -- good job. I'm not fond of when the Mad Doctor does things without thinking them through first. But, like the presence of the lighthouse, I'm over it.
The funny thing was that Jacob DID actually appear, it's just that 1) Jack was off sulking and 2) couldn't have seen him anyway. Jacob told Hurley that some peeps can just be told what to do ("Not that there's anything wrong with that, Hurley..."), while others need to be influenced a bit more subtly. Jacob said that Jack has "something to do" and that he needed to understand how important he was, so basically the entire errand he'd sent those two on was a set-up. Hurley's like, "But what about the person who needs to get to the Island?" I thought Jacob would say that there wasn't actually anybody coming, but instead he said that whoever it was would "find another way."
AND I WON'T TELL 'EM YOUR NAME
I'm sure most of you thought the same thing I did once you saw the lighthouse: "Oh, it must be Desmond who's sailing to the Island. YESSSSSSSS!!!!" He's been known to sing "I'm on a BOAT!", right? But when pausing on the wheel's 108 mark, the name there was "Wallace" (AND it was crossed out). Not "Hume."
Hmm. We know of no Wallace. Here's the thing, though... since Jacob really just wanted Jack to realize he'd been tracked his whole life, I don't even know if we can trust that Person #108 is who's coming to the Island in the first place. It sounds like the lighthouse wasn't even necessary to get that person ashore. So I'm still rooting for Desmond's return. And I'm definitely rooting AGAINST yet another new character being introduced.
Elsewhere on the Island, Jin was bleeding out thanks to Claire's bear trap. Man, those scenes were gross. He's resting in her Rousseau-ish tent and she's out retrieving Justin the Other, who wasn't actually dead like we thought he was. She kept interrogating Justin about where Aaron was, and he kept saying he had no idea. Finally when she was about to bludgeon Justin with an ax, Jin shouted, "Kate's had Aaron for the past three years... and, for what it's worth, he looks NOTHING like your little Frankenstein doll over there!"
But Claire still gives it to Justin in the chest. D'oh.
Then Jin has to cover and say that Kate did NOT in fact have Aaron, but rather the Others had him over at the Temple, and that she'll need Jin in order to get there. At that point Fake Locke pops his head in the tent and Jin's like "What the..." and Claire introduces him as "her friend."
The main question I have about all this is whether or not Claire's seeing "her friend" as Locke or as someone else, since it seems as though her friend has been guiding her for the past three years and the Man in Black has only been in Locke's form for a few days. I'm not sure we'll ever get an answer to that one, though.
Jacob did warn Hurley that some eeeevil was on its way to the Temple and that it was too late to do anything about it, so now we know that he was most likely referring to Team Clocke going in to 1) retrieve the baby who is not actually there and 2) raise all sorts of holy hell. It will be interesting to see what happens if/when Sayid and Fake Locke come face to face, if Fake Locke is indeed the entity that put a "claim" on our favorite Iraqi. And, you know, since the previews couldn't show us ANYTHING since the next episode is going to be SO CRAZY (seriously, how ridiculous was that preview?), I guess we'll just have to wait and see if that's what goes down.
That's it for my episode analysis. Now here's what I think is going on overall.
THE BIG PICTURE
Before the season began, I figured that we would see an alternate version of events -- what the Losties lives would've been like had they never crashed on the Island. I also assumed that all of their lives would be significantly worse in that scenario. While we have yet to see what everyone is up to, so far -- with the exception of perhaps Rose and Bernard (since they were REALLY happy at their Retirement Beach Hut and Rose no longer had cancer) -- that prediction has not panned out.
As of right now in the flash sideways timeline:
- Kate is on the run, but not in jail like she'd feared she would be. And since there's a chance she didn't actually commit the crime she's accused of, she might escape prison (or at least get a light sentence) if she is ever caught. Plus, she made a friend in Claire -- awww!!!!
- Claire will most likely keep Aaron.
- Jack just turned a corner in the relationship with his son. And, um, Jack HAS A SON.
- Sayid appeared happy and was most likely going to meet Nadia after he landed.
- Hurley is the luckiest guy in the world and totally happy and chill.
- Sun and Jin... hmm, things aren't that rosy there, but we haven't seen much more of them so I'll reserve judgment for now.
- Sawyer we haven't seen enough of yet to know what's going on with him.
- Rose has cancer but is at peace with it.
- Locke is confined to a wheelchair but has made peace with it, has what appears to be a good relationship with his father, and is getting married to Helen, who rocks.
- Charlie - A drug addict, but presently still alive.
- Boone - Still dopey, but presently still alive.
- Arzt, Frogurt - Still alive.
- Ben's a teacher, Dogen's a dad.
So then I started thinking, "OK, they're showing us these two versions of how the 815ers lives could have been, and eventually each character is going to have to choose one version to stick with." But then I realized that that could never work, because it's not like off-Island Locke could just remove himself from the Island events and not have it affect what happened with/to the characters who might've chosen to stay with their Island lives. It's got to be an all or nothing scenario.
Then I thought that we just haven't seen enough of the off-Island events yet and that perhaps things are going to head south for everyone and it will be clear that the original timeline was what was "supposed to happen." Another idea was that events in the off-Island timeline would start (or eventually be able to) affect things on the Island -- but I'm still having trouble figuring out how they would communicate that to viewers now that we know the off-Island flashes are in 2004 and the Island events are years later. I guess they could always just cover 2005-2007 in the alternate timeline, too, and then everything would be synced up.
Most recently I got very worried that they're headed toward making ONE character -- Jack -- responsible for deciding everyone's fate. My problem with this scenario is absolutely nothing against Jack -- it's more with the fact that this would seem to fly in the face of the series' whole "free will versus fate" battle. It's not free will or fate if one person decides the fate of many. But since Jack had the nick on his neck, the weird reaction to his appendectomy scar and the faint memory of Desmond, I started thinking that he might end up being the only one who eventually has full recollection of BOTH timelines for ALL characters and then has to ultimately decide which one timeline should be kept and which one should cease to exist.
What gives me hope is that Kate also seemed to have a spark of recognition with Jack outside of the airport, and was also moved by the whale stuffed animal of Claire's (which, as I discussed in my "What Kate Does" post, she bought for Aaron herself in the original timeline).
So right now I'm just hoping that it's going to end up being the type of thing where all of the characters -- TOGETHER -- make a conscious choice to choose their Island existences over their No Crash existences. As my brother pointed out to me, when Jacob and the Man in Black had their infamous talk about how "it always ends the same... but it only ends once," what if the difference between the Losties and all of the other people Jacob's brought to the Island is that a subset of the 815ers actually chose to come back? So in a way, they've already taken a step toward deciding which life they want to lead.
Anybody got any other ideas? Like I said at the beginning of this season, I'm totally just rolling with things and am not getting too crazy about the various theories, but I figured now that we're 27.78% of the way through the season I'd let you know where my head was at.
BEST LINE OF THE EPISODE
"I just lied to a samurai." - Hurley
- In my last post I told you about how a fire consumed fellow blogger Vozzek's home. And I told you to buy his book already! He would like to thank everyone who did, and I wanted to pass along an update he gave recently on The ODI's podcast. I mentioned that Vozzek is one of the most positive people I know, and I think his upbeat personality really shines through in the linked clip.
- My husband and I went out to eat recently and were amused by the first cocktail listed on this bar menu. Of course we had to try it.
- My boy Zach D, LLL reader and writer, interviewed Michael Emerson (aka Ben) for GQ.com and it's an absolute must-read -- totally hilarious and, of course, spoiler-free. Here it is!
- Matt R, a LLL reader who had a "super-fan" interview with Entertainment Weekly's Doc Jensen a few months ago, is best known for making incredible videos that serve as invitations to his Lost viewing parties. They're like movie quality, seriously. Now he's extended his creativity to a t-shirt design revolving around the Dharma Shark (that's Ezra James Sharkington to listeners of the Official Lost Podcast) and I thought it was very cool. If you want one for yourself, here's his CafePress page.
And with that, I'm off to find a spring to dive into that will hopefully cure my own personal version of "the sickness." Wish me luck.
Until next time,