March 2, 2010

LOST S6E5: Lighthouse

Filed under: Lost — DB @ 2:25 pm

Jack walks into his apartment to change out of his scrubs and notices a scar on his abdomen. As with the cut on his neck that he noticed on the plane, he doesn’t seem sure where it came from. Moments later, while on the phone with his mother, he asks when he got his appendix taken out. She says he was 7 or 8 years old. But is the scar from that long-ago operation, or is it somehow from the appendectomy Juliet performed on the island?

When I saw Jack driving up to a school, I remembered that his one-time wife Sarah was a teacher, and wondered if they were together in this timeline as well (though this would be a different school than the one we saw her at previously). But to my surprise – as I’m sure just about everyone else’s – Jack was there not for his wife, but for his teenage son David. Definitely didn’t see that coming.

David Shephard appears to be a typical moody, monosyllabic teenager, or maybe he’s just in a bad mood because Jack is late picking him up. Whatever the case, David thwarts all of Jack’s attempts to engage him. Back at his apartment Jack tells his son, “I’m just trying to have a conversation with you, David.”

“Why?” the boy asks. “We see each other like, once a month, can’t we just…get through it?” Ouch. That’s pretty brutal.

Jack has to go to his mother’s house and tells David he’ll be back soon for dinner. David doesn’t much seem to care. At his mother’s, she and Jack go through papers in his father’s office trying to locate his will. (The body, Jack tells her earlier, has still not been recovered.) She asks how David is doing, noting that he had a hard time at the funeral. When Jack says he can barely get a word out of his son, his mother tells him it was the same with him and Christian. Jack says that’s because he was terrified of his father. When his mother suggests that David might feel the same way about him, he can’t understand what reason there would be. “I don’t know, Jack,” she says. “Maybe you should ask him.”

Just after this, she finds the will and sits down to read it. As Jack ponders her remark about David, his mother, reading from the will, asks him if his father had ever mentioned someone named Claire Littleton. The scene ends there, leaving us without a follow-up to that thread…for now.

When Jack goes home, David is gone without a trace. Unable to reach him still hours later, Jack drives over to David’s mother’s house. No one is home, so he lets himself in with a hidden key and goes into David’s room. Desperate for clues, plays David’s voicemail and hears a message from a conservatory confirming a spot for David’s audition that very evening, at that time.

Jack goes to the audition site and finds his son on stage kicking ebony and ivory ass. His eyes well up with pride as he watches. When David finishes and exits offstage, Jack leaves the auditorium, but is stopped by another student’s father, who looks a lot like…wait…holy shit, that’s Dogen! This threw me, I have to say. Whatever the meaning of the sideways timeline is, I’m still assuming it connects to the island timeline and is not, well, an island unto itself. And for reasons completely invented in my head with no evidence whatsoever to back them up, I assume that Jacob is aware of both timelines and can maybe bridge the gap between them. So seeing Dogen there makes me wonder if, through his affiliation with Jacob, he is also aware of both and is crossing paths with Jack for a reason that the Island intends. Or is he really a part of this reality, like Ethan and Ben appeared to be, free of any history with the island? And again, the question may be moot since I’m making total assumptions about Jacob and the sideways reality. But still…weird.

As David gets his bike outside, Jack approaches and tells him how good he was, leading to a heartfelt exchange.

J: David, you scared the hell out of me.
D: You were at grandma’s. I thought I could get back to your place before you got home.
J: I didn’t even know you were still playing.
D: I made mom promise not to tell you.
J: Why?
D: It was always such a big deal to you. You used to sit and watch me practice. You were so…into it. I didn’t tell you I was coming here cause I didn’t want you to see me fail.
J: You know, when I was your age, my father didn’t want to see me fail either. He used to say to me that…he said that I didn’t have what it takes. I spent my whole life carrying that around with me. I don’t ever want you to feel that way. I will always love you. No matter what you do. In my eyes you can never fail. I just want to be a part of your life.

More so than anything else yet this season, this storyline with Jack and David has invested me in the sideways reality, which makes me nervous about what will ultimately become of it (more on that later).

Incidentally, I’ve heard that we will eventually find out who David’s mother is and that it is someone we’re familiar with. Whoever she is, they – or at least Jack – must have been pretty young when they had David, because he’s gotta be in 8th or 9th grade.

Jack’s sideways story may have thrown a few curveballs, but the island storyline sees us back in our comfort zone, with Jack emotionally crippled…just the way we like him. In the first shot we see of him, he’s staring at his reflection in the pond outside The Temple as a drizzle creates distorting ripples in the water.

Dogen comes out and sits with him, a little surprised that he’s still there. Last time we saw them together, Dogen described what he believes is happening to Sayid and said the same thing had already happened to Jack’s sister. When Darth Vader mentioned Luke Skywalker’s sister to him in Return of the Jedi, Luke flipped out and launched a brutal attack that culminated in cutting Vader’s hand off. Dogen’s mention of Claire obviously didn’t inspire a similar response, but what did it do? Jack is clearly in a contemplative state by the pond, so how much more did Dogen tell him about Claire and this “darkness” that infected her and now Sayid? Whatever he heard, Jack doesn’t seem too riled up about it.

Later, Sayid comes out to Jack asking why people keep looking at him and why Jack disappeared after advising him not to take the pill Dogen had prescribed. “What are you hiding from me?” he asks. Jack tells him that the pill was poison. “Whatever it is they think happened to you Sayid, they say it happened to someone else too.” Sayid asks who, but of course the scene ends before we see Jack’s response. Does he respond? How would Sayid take that news? How exactly does a conversation like that end? Where does Sayid go after learning that he’s surrounded by people who think he’s evil and want to kill him?

Nearby, Hurley and Miles are passing the time playing tic-tac-toe with leaves and sticks. When Hurley enters The Temple in search of food, he finds Jacob crouching on the steps of the spring with his fingers in the water…the water that apparently turned brown after Jacob died. He tells Hurley he needs his help and advises him to write down instructions. “Someone is coming to the island,” he says. “I need you to help them find it.”

We next see Hurley down a corridor with hieroglyphics on the wall. He’s looking for a certain symbol, and just as he finds it Dogen shows up and says he shouldn’t be there. Jacob appears and tells Hurley that he’s a candidate and can do what he wants. When Hurley says this aloud, Dogen asks with surprise how he knows that. Hurley tells him it doesn’t matter and to leave him alone.

Jacob tells Hurley that he is supposed to bring Jack with him on this “assignment,” but Hurley says you can’t make Jack do what he doesn’t want to. As Hurley expresses his frustration with Jacob’s complicated directions and with making him piss off a samurai, Jacob just looks at him with that blank stare he gave as Ben plead with him, just before killing him. “Look,” Hurley says, “if you have any idea how to get Jack to go on your little adventure, I’m listenin’ dude.” A small smile comes over Jacob’s face.

Hurley finds Jack alone outside and tells him there’s a secret passage out of The Temple that Jacob told him about. “He said you and me have to go…” but Jack cuts him off and says he’s not going anywhere. “He told me you’d say that,” Hurley continues, “so he told me to tell you ‘you have what it takes.’” This gets Jack’s attention. “He said you have what it takes,” Hurley says again. “He said you’d know what that meant.” Jack asks where Jacob is and Hurley says he’s dead and just shows up when he wants, like Obi-Wan Kenobi. But when he adds that Jacob will be at the place where they’re going, Jack agrees to the trip.

Early in their journey, Jack and Hurley run into Kate, who tells them that Jin went back to The Temple and Sawyer’s on his own. She says that she’s going to look for Claire, saying that she’ll try their old beachfront property first. “Kate, she’s not at the beach,” Jack says with certainty. “The people at The Temple said that something happened to her.”

“Do they know where she is?” Kate asks.

“I don’t know, they didn’t say.” And I’m sure you didn’t ask, Jack. Just like you didn’t ask Eloise Hawking who the hell she was and how she knew so much about the island last season when she spoke to you privately in her office. Like so many characters on this show fail to ask the obvious questions that any normal person would ask in all these crazy situations.

Kate says she has to keep trying. Jack tries to get her to come with them, but she says no and tells Jack she hopes he finds what he’s looking for. Jack watches her walk away, clearly pained to see her go…and to see that she doesn’t seem pained at all.

As they move on, Hurley asks Jack what happened with him and Kate; why didn’t they get married and have kids? “I guess I wasn’t cut out for it,” Jack says. Hurley says Jack would make a great dad, but Jack disagrees. Jack then steps on something that Hurley recognizes as Shannon’s inhaler. They realize they’re back at the caves which had once served as their living quarters. This visit was a clever way for the show to remind us of the Adam and Eve skeletons, one of Lost’s oldest mysteries. Hurley probably speaks for many of the show’s viewers when he says he forgot they were there. “Wait a second,” he wonders. “What if we time traveled again, to like, dinosaur times. And then we died and then we got buried here? What if these skeletons are us?” Some form of that question has been on fans’ minds for six years. Who will the skeletons turn out to be? I’ll come back to this…

Jack finds his father’s smashed coffin and tells Hurley how he found the caves in the first place, “chasing the ghost of my dead father.” If anybody could understand that, it would be Hurley. As they continue on, Hurley gets nostalgic…and Jack gets uncharacteristically introspective.

H: This is cool, dude. Very old school.
J: What?
H: You know…you and me, trekking through the jungle, on our way to do something that we don’t quite understand. Good times. Do you mind if I ask you something?
J: Sure.
H: Why did you come back? You know, to the island?
J: Why’d you come back?
H: Back in L.A., Jacob hopped into the back of my cab and told me I was supposed to, so I came.

Jack laughs and shakes his head, as if he can’t believe Hurley came back because some stranger got in his cab and told him he was supposed to.

H: What? If you have a better reason for coming back, let’s hear it man.
J: I came back here because I was broken. And I was stupid enough to think this place could fix me.
H: Dude…I’m sorry…
J: How much further we got, Hurley?

Hearing Jack judge himself so openly reminded me of how much he has changed since coming back to the island. In Season Four’s finale There’s No Place Like Home (Part II), Locke gives Jack a parting message before he and Ben descend into The Orchid to move the island. “Lie to them, Jack. If you do it half as well as you lie to yourself, they’ll believe you.”

It would seem Jack isn’t lying to himself anymore.

They finally emerge from the jungle onto a cliffside overlooking the ocean, not unlike the one Locke and Sawyer found themselves on, though this one has more grass and vegetation around, not just rock. Right on the edge of the cliff is a tall stone tower, which Hurley says is a lighthouse. “I don’t understand,” Jack says. “How is it that we’ve never seen it before?”

“I guess we weren’t looking for it,” Hurley says.

Jack and Hurley ascend to the top, and since I couldn’t find the best words to describe the contraption that greets them, I’ll steal from both Lostpedia and Doc Jensen’s column at EW.com to say that they find a giant dial surrounding a firebowl, with a panel of four mirrors to reflect the firelight and with a list of names handwritten all along the perimeter of the dial, each following a number.

Hurley says they should “get started” while they wait for Jacob. Following the instructions written on his arm, he starts pulling on a chain to turn the dial, asking Jack to tell him when he gets to 108 (one of the show’s magic numbers, of course: the total of 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42, as well as the number of minutes on the countdown to pushing the button in the hatch).

But as the chain spins the dial number by number, Jack sees reflections in the mirrors, then sees the names written on the edge, including Sawyer’s, Sayid’s and his own. He grabs the chain from Hurley and moves it to 23, the number next to his name. When they look in the mirror, Jack sees the house he grew up in. It dawns on him that Jacob has been watching them their whole lives. He can barely sustain the weight of knowing that Jacob may have been influencing events in his life since childhood. When Hurley can’t tell him why Jacob has been watching them and why his name is written on the dial, Jack grabs a spyglass and shatters the mirrors.

Now that I’ve recounted it, take a look at the real deal.

Maybe Jack hasn’t changed so much after all. Another great observation that was made about him came in last season’s Namaste, when Sawyer said that when Jack was running things, he didn’t think; he just reacted. Smashing the mirror seems to fit that side of Jack’s personality to a tee.

It’s all very sad. Jack looks angry and heartbroken as realization dawns on him in the lighthouse. Hurley looks sad and confused as Jack becomes volatile and smashes the mirrors. Jack goes to sit down a little ways down the cliffside, while Hurley sits alone by the lighthouse door. Jacob shows up, looking unconcerned when Hurley tells him what happened.

H: Wait a minute? Did you want Jack to see what was in that mirror? Why?
J: It was the only way for him to understand how important he is.
H: Well if that was your plan I think it backfired, man.
J: Jack is here ‘cause he has to do something. He can’t be told what that is, he’s got to find it himself. Sometimes you can just hop in the back of someone’s cab and tell them what they’re supposed to do. Other times you have to let them look out at the ocean for a while.
H: Well next time, how about you tell me everything up front? I’m not big on secret plans, okay?
J: I couldn’t risk you not coming, Hugo. I had to get you and Jack as far away from that temple as I possibly could.
H: What, why?
J: Because someone is coming there. Someone bad.
H: Dude…we gotta warn them.
J: You can’t warn them, Hugo. I’m sorry, it’s too late.

I don’t like the implication that Hurley is weak or easily manipulated, but what I’m more interested in is Jacob’s attitude about the person coming to the island.  It appears that the name at 108 on the dial, which Hurley was instructed to turn to, is Wallace. There has not been anyone known by that name on the show up to this point, so is Wallace (see here at a different angle) a new character of some unknown significance? Is he the person that Jacob said is coming to the island? Or is it possible that nobody is really coming to the island and that the purpose of the journey was entirely a ruse designed to get Jack to the lighthouse? And what will Jack do once he’s done staring at the ocean? What is Jack on the island to do? Might he be Jacob’s chosen one, the last candidate standing? Could that be why his name is written differently than all the rest on the dial? While most of the names have the first letter capitalized and the rest lowercase, “Shephard” is in all caps, the handwriting looks different and it looks as though it were written more recently, in darker ink.

There are other observations about the lists of names worth mentioning. For one, I wanted to pose the possibility, after seeing the name “Littleton” in the Jacob’s cave in the previous episode, that the name could refer not to Claire but rather to Aaron. More on him in a bit…

And what do the names on the dial reveal that the names in the cave did not? Well, this time we see Kate’s name, at #51 (and not crossed out yet.) Additional names I noticed were Linus (Ben or Roger?), Rousseau (Danielle or Alex?), Lewis (Charlotte, or perhaps one of her Dharma-member parents),  Montand (Rousseau’s team member who lost his arm at the Temple wall) and Friendly (as in Tom Friendly, The Other Formerly Known as Bearded Dude Who Took Walt). Now according to Lostpedia, there are a number of other familiar names which were seen either in the cave (C) or on the lighthouse dial (L) or both:

32 – Rutherford (Shannon, C & L)
48 – Stanhope (Goodwin or Harper, L)
58 – Burke (Juliet, C & L)
62 – Inman (Kelvin, L)
101 – Faraday (C & L)
124 – Dawson (Michael or Walt, C & L)
171 – Straume (Miles, C)
195 – Pace (Charlie, C)
226 – Carlyle (Boone, C)
301 – Mars (Edward, C)

I didn’t see any of those initially, and I did a lot of freeze framing and slow motion tracking through these scenes. Many names were just not clear enough to read, and maybe if I had an HDTV that wouldn’t have been an issue and I would have been able to make these out. But I’m not convinced. Lostpedia does offer a freeze-frame confirming Faraday’s name in the cave (lower right, a little above the ABC logo). They also claim that this picture shows Charlie’s name, and I’ll admit I can make out the number 195 starting just below the “A” of Mattingley, but there is no way you can tell that the rest says Pace, especially since it’s obscured by Sawyer’s torch. There are no other pictures on the site confirming the appearance of these other names, and frankly I don’t think they’re seen at all, so I don’t know where the Lostpedia people are getting their info. But just for yuks and giggles, let’s say I’m wrong and those names are confirmed. It should be noted, then, whose names aren’t on that list: Desmond, Ana Lucia, Eko (though we don’t really know his last name), Libby, Bernard, Rose, Frank, Arzt, Charles Widmore, Eloise Hawking and other miscellaneous characters who have been connected to the island.

Oh and finally, is it the Man in Locke who is headed to The Temple? Is that who Jacob is worried about? And whoever it is, he says it’s too late to warn them. So what’s in store for Sayid, Miles, Dogen, Lennon, Cindy and everyone else there?

While all this has been going, we’ve also been getting reacquainted with Island Claire…though reacquainted may not be the best word since she seems like an entirely new person. Last seen on a ridge saving Jin’s life from Aldo, she comes down looking all Jane of the Jungle with her dirty face, tangled, unkempt hair, plaid shirt and rifle. Jin asks how long she’s been out here. “Since you all left. How long ago was that?” she asks, casually. When he says three years, she doesn’t have much of a reaction. She doesn’t seem too surprised to see him and she doesn’t have questions about what happened to all of them. She helps him up and says she has to get him somewhere safe.

He wakes up later in a sort of thatched hut, a primitive structure of sticks and branches, partly covered by a tarp. He is alone, and sees that the hut is filled with all kinds of junk and materials, as well as a box of dynamite that must have come from the Black Rock. It seems that in Rousseau’s absence, Claire has won the role of the Crazy Island Lady who lives in the jungle and sets traps (she confirms that the bear trap Jin stepped in was one of hers). Need further evidence of Claire having flown over the cuckoo’s nest? How about the bassinet with the freaky animal skull and fur all made up to look like a baby. It looks like something Buffalo Bill would do in The Silence of the Lambs.

Claire returns with Aldo’s companion Justin, still alive. She ties him up across from Jin and says she plans to have a talk with him about where they’re hiding her son. She treats Jin as if no time has passed, as if it’s not strange that she hasn’t seen him in three years and he suddenly showed up. Where has she been? Did she move through time with the rest of the 815ers and freighter folk? She also doesn’t comment on the fact that Jin speaks fluent English, a completely new development since last she saw him. “Claire, have you been out here all this time, by yourself?” he asks her with concern. “Oh no, I’m not by myself,” she says, once again very casual.

As she stitches him up, Claire says she’s had to move around to avoid being caught by Justin’s people. When Jin asks what she’s going to do with him, Claire says, “He’s gonna tell me where they’ve got my baby. Where they’ve got Aaron.”

“We don’t have your kid!” Justin insists, but she is convinced he’s lying.

J: Claire, how do you know they took him? How can you be so sure?
C: How can I be so sure? Okay well first my father told me, and then my friend told me, so I’m pretty damn sure.
J: Your friend? Who’s your friend?
C: My friend. You’re still my friend, aren’t you Jin?

This exchange is the first time she calls Jin by name. Of course he’s still her friend, he tells her, but he is clearly freaked out by her personality makeover. After fixing him, she picks up an axe and begins questioning Justin. When Jin tries to calm her down, she says the Others took her to The Temple, stuck her with needles, branded her and tortured her. She says they would have killed her if she hadn’t escaped. Justin counters that they captured her because she was out in the jungle alone, picking off his people. He says she’s remembering wrong. She’s had enough and is about to go in for the kill when Jin shouts, “Kate took her! Kate took Aaron. She took him with her when she left the island.”

“What do you mean she took him?” Claire asks with confusion.

“He’s been with her, with Kate, for the past three years. Aaron is three,” Jin says.

Justin says Jin is telling the truth. “We had nothing to do with this.” Claire looks confused and distressed, not unlike the way Jack looks when discovering his house in the lighthouse mirror. Justin says if she lets him go, he won’t tell his people he saw her. But Claire suddenly swings the axe at him, landing a fatal blow. She walks outside, leaving the axe buried in his chest. Too bad. As Others go, Justin seemed like a nice guy and a straight shooter. He was willing to reveal info, even if Aldo kept shushing him Dr. Evil-style; he seemed to be looking out for Jin and Kate’s safety; and he was upfront with Claire, even if she couldn’t see it.

When she comes back in, she tells Jin that if she hadn’t killed him, he’d have killed her.

J: Claire, please, whatever you’re thinking…
C: Why’d you say that Kate was raising Aaron?
J:  I was lying.
C: Why?
J: Because I wanted to save his life. But you were right. The Others have your baby. Aaron is at The Temple. I know because I saw him there. But you’ll need me to get him.
C: How do we get in?
J: There’s a secret way. No one will see us.
C: Thank you, Jin. Thank you. And I’m so glad to know you were lying, because if what you said was the truth, if Kate was raising Aaron, I’d kill her.

At first she looks like she sees through him when he says Aaron is at The Temple, but she comes around so suddenly it’s like somebody flicked a switch inside her. Is Claire in command of her own faculties, or is she being manipulated by an outside force? Perhaps a force like the one who enters her hut at that moment: the Man in Locke. A quick look of surprise crosses his face when he sees Jin, who is equally surprised to see him. “John?” he says.

“This isn’t John,” Claire says with a smile as if it should be obvious. “This is my friend.” How does she know this isn’t John? And who or what does she think he is? What does she remember about previous events on the island leading up to her disappearance?

I’m now worried about Jin, not just because he’s with the Man in Locke, but for saying he saw Aaron at The Temple. What happens when they go there and she finds out he was lying? Just please tell me that Jin won’t die. After Sun thought he was dead, found out he was alive, came back to island but ended up in the wrong time and is now finally getting close to reuniting with him…if he dies before she reaches him, or just after, it will be beyond cruel.

Last week, I put a question to you all asking if you think Jacob is essentially a good guy and the Man in Black a bad guy, or if their presumed roles might be reversed. Thanks to everyone who sent me their thoughts. All three of you. Okay, so the responses didn’t come gushing in, but as I expected, each reply I did receive offered some great opinions and perspectives, so allow me to share.

We’ll begin with Denise B., who thinks we’re in for a wide-open ending:

I think we will get to a point where the writers will set it up so that the audience will have to decide for itself whether Jacob is the good guy and the Man in Black is the bad guy. And the new storytelling convention of the sideways timeline indicates to me that the writers want to show the fanbase the range of possibilities to please those who would want to see our favorite characters have a different life without a devastating plane crash on a mysterious island AND to please those who want to see most of the mysteries solved. I think the finale will leave it open-ended in way. I keep thinking it will end like The Sopranos where at first we’ll be like “WTF?! They ended it like that!” but then we’ll see the great genius behind it – we’ll just have to fill in our version of a happy ending – or not. I could be totally wrong and maybe they’ll resolve everything important but I just doubt they’ll be able to hit it all in the next 15 hours or so left.

I agree that not everything important is likely to be resolved, but of course we probably all have a different view of what’s important. But I don’t think we’re headed for as open-to-interpretation a scenario as Denise does. I think there will be some things to keep us talking after the final scene, even some big things, but I think Damon and Carlton have a pretty solid end in store. My guess is this will not be a Sopranos repeat. Also, I don’t think that the sideways timeline is just a way to please everyone. I don’t think the show would go so far to cater to the fans. In my mind, there has to be a significant reason for the sideways timeline and it has to connect to the island events that we’ve been observing all along. But Denise is onto something when she comments on the 15 hours that are left (only 13 actually, as we head into tonight); there’s an awful lot of ground left to cover.

Next up is Nic A., who drew some insightful comparisons between Jacob/Man in Black and a couple of minor characters from The Bible. I’m sort of reluctant to post his comments, as they’re smarter and deeper than anything I’ve written in three years of doing this. But I’m ready to have my thunder stolen:

Personally I don’t think we’re headed for a total flip of who represents good versus evil. I think they will stick to Jacob being the ‘good guy’ and MIB the bad. But to quote one of your comments, I wouldn’t be surprised if the overall message ends up being “often times, the water does get muddied.”


I also get the sense this feeds into the common Western myths of good and evil. Jacob’s agenda is ‘good,’ he cares and loves humanity. But like the God of the Old Testament he acts in ways that appear cryptic, at times frustrating.  Calculated, manipulative even. MIB of course is the other side of human nature: he appears more impulsive, passionate, genuine even in some sense. Someone (something?) we can all relate to, closer to the human animal.


It’s a notion commonly used to depict the way Evil lures us away from good: the Devil whispers in our ear that he is one of us, that he cares about us and is just another pawn in the game played by an uncaring God. All He wants is to return to the home He’s been cast from, take the power that should never have been kept to just one being and spread it among us all, where it all belongs. The ultimate man of the people versus the ultimate captain of industry.


And isn’t that almost exactly the story MIB tries to sell those he wants to ‘recruit’ That all he wants is to go home? That he was a man who could feel anger, love, sadness, just like the rest of us? After all, who is Satan but God’s once most powerful, faithful angel? The one whose original sin was only to question God’s omnipotence and demand the infinite knowledge be shared with all instead?


In his own version of the facts the Devil was struck by a vengeful, selfish God, punished and imprisoned. Merely for being human. Of course in the myth that’s a warped truth, the better to seduce us into giving in to our basest instincts.


And in that lies another critical device that is often used in popular myths (and in Lost) to help us examine the question of ‘free will’: Temptation.

That’s good shit, Nic. Good shit indeed.

Finally, Taryn I. didn’t say much about this Jacob/MIB question, but had some interesting thoughts on the blonde kid who showed up in the jungle. First, this:

When the blonde kid says “you can’t kill him,” isn’t he talking about James because he is one of the candidates? It seems like the kid shows up because he knows Man in Locke might kill the people he’s not supposed to (Richard and James) and is reminding him of the rules.

This is interesting to me, because while in some ways it definitely makes sense that the kid would be there to warn Man in Locke that he can’t kill Sawyer (or Richard, earlier), I never got the sense that Man in Locke asked Sawyer to accompany him so that he could kill him. From their initial encounter at Sawyer’s house, I absolutely got the impression that Man in Locke did want to show Sawyer the cave and then enlist his help. Now maybe he is planning to use Sawyer for his plan and kill him later, and the boy detected that. But I didn’t think that his intention was to kill Sawyer at this time. Maybe I’m in the minority, though. Nic got the same feeling that Taryn did:

Cool to see how the same moment can be interpreted by different people; when ‘Young Jacob’ tells MIB “You can’t kill him” I didn’t think for an instant he was referring to anyone other than Sawyer. A writer’s trick to draw out the suspense and make us anticipate MIB’s intentions re: Sawyer – but you’re right, he could in fact be talking about any number of ‘hims.’ Interesting.

Taryn’s second musing on the mystery tyke also sparks my interest:

I like the idea that the kid is little Jacob, but if that’s the case, why would Man in Locke tell James that Jacob is dead? The blonde hair reminded me of Aaron, but that might be a stretch. You’ll remember what the build up was about Aaron when Claire saw the psychic…wasn’t there some gravity to what Aaron could become? The fact that they never really played that out fully makes me think that he’ll have a bigger role in this final season, especially with Claire back.

She is definitely correct in saying that Aaron has been built up over the years. In the past, I’ve cited a comment from J.J. Abrams going way back to Season One that Aaron is supposed to factor into Lost’s conclusion in a pretty major way. Now that was a long time ago; Abrams hasn’t been directly involved with the show’s storyline since Season One, and lots of things could have changed since then as Damon and Carlton have plotted the meta-arc. Still, the idea that this kid could be Aaron…I dig that.

Thanks to Denise, Nic and Taryn for stepping into the spotlight. The rest of you are condemned to obscurity.

Feeling the pressure to compete with Nic, I decided to share something I was going to hold off on. Don’t get overexcited, but I’m pretty sure I’ve solved a huge piece of the Lost puzzle. Are you ready to have your minds blown? Here it is: Remember Field of Dreams? Well take out the word “Field” and replace it with the word “Island.” In Field of Dreams, protagonist Ray Kinsella built a baseball field on his farm so that his late father’s hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson of the Chicago White Sox, could return from the dead and play ball. But really, Ray was trying to make peace with his father, who he’d had a contentious relationship with since his teenage years, even refusing to play catch in the yard. His father died before they made peace, and that has affected him ever since.

Okay, now stay with me. At one point in the episode What Kate Does, Jack finds Dogen sitting at a desk and rolling a baseball around. When Jack asks him what it is, Dogen answers directly: “It’s a baseball.” Then in the preview for tonight’s episode, I saw a quick shot of that baseball falling onto the ground. And it hit me! Jack just wants to play catch with his dad! This whole thing is about Jack trying to make peace with his father!  The whole damn thing is a delusion playing out in Jack’s head. He “built” the island and created this complex mythology because he was never able to deal with Christian’s disapproval head-on. Now that Christian is dead, Jack has created this elaborate fantasy as a coping mechanism.

It’s all gonna fall into place. Just watch.

You’re welcome.

-For the record, I do not actually think that (well no, I do think there’s a little bit of truth to the Jack-needs-to-make-peace-with Christian thing, but the whole Island of Dreams scenario is just me wasting your time). And because I feel guilty for subjecting you to my mostly dumb, mostly fake theory, I’m going to make it up to you with some real intel about the rest of the season. For starters, and you may have heard this one already, it has been confirmed that Shannon will return to the show before all is said and done. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg o’tease. What else have Damon and Carlton said lately?

Frank, Ilana, Miles and Claire will not receive sideways-centric storylines, though they will feature prominently in other character’s sideways experiences; Jacob was telling the truth about someone coming to the island; we will learn more about Libby’s backstory, like perhaps why she was in the mental hospital with Hurley; we will see Charlie again; we will see Vincent the dog again; we might see Walt again; we will find out whether Desmond was really on Sideways Flight 815; we will probably not find out what happened to Ben’s childhood gal pal Annie; we will probably get an answer about the Hurleybird (if you don’t know what that is, check out these brief clips: uno, dos, tres); and they wouldn’t say whether or not we’ll learn why pregnant women were dying on the island. Episode 15 is currently shooting, and the series finale – episodes 17 and 18 – are being written right now. Quite possibly as you read this, Damon and Carlton are holed up committing the finale of Lost to paper. So far off, and yet so close.

-I want to come back to the skeletons in the cave and a few other things related to them. There is an interesting pattern unfolding this season, which Doc Jensen predicted last year in his EW.com write-ups. Back in Season One, the flashbacks in the two-hour pilot episode didn’t focus on one character in particular. Then beginning with the third hour, the character-centric flashbacks began. First Kate. Then Locke. Then Jack, in the series’ fifth episode, which was called White Rabbit. So far, this season is following the same course: a two-hour premiere with no central figure in the flashes. Then a Kate-centric sideways episode, then Locke, and now Jack. It was in White Rabbit that Jack discovered the caves and his father’s empty coffin. Now in this episode, we re-visit the caves and the coffin. The bodies weren’t actually seen until the following episode, House of the Rising Sun, which centered on…well, take a guess. And then see tonight’s title below for a clue as to whether this pattern might continue.

So in House of the Rising Sun, Jack, Kate, Locke and Charlie go to the caves and discover the bodies. Jack examines the remains and says that as far as he can tell, there is no trauma to the bones. He also says it takes clothes 40 to 50 years to degrade to the point of the rags on these corpses. And in a pocket on one of the bodies, he finds a pouch. And in that pouch he finds this.

Just after Locke dubs them Adam and Eve, the scene cuts away…to Jin and Sun.

I’m just sayin.’

Oh and one other thing. When Jack goes to his ex’s house to see if his son is there, he lets himself in with a key that is hidden under a little ceramic statue. A statue of a white rabbit. Just one of many direct and indirect uses of rabbits over the show’s history. But still…pretty cool.

-If there was still any question as to whether the Man in Black has been using Christian Shepherd, this episode settles it, right? After all, Claire was last seen on the island in Christian’s company, and now she tells Jin that she’s sure the Others have Aaron because first her father and then her friend told her so. And seeing as her friend is the Man in Locke, it all connects. But why did the Man in Black/Christian go after Claire? And if the Man in Locke is now stuck in the form of Locke, as Ilana told Ben in the previous episode, will we see Christian again? All those times we saw Christian, was it really the Man in Black, just as it’s him when we see Locke now? Or was it actually Christian, somehow quasi-resurrected and being controlled indirectly by the Man in Black? I have to think that we’ll see Christian again, especially as whatever is in store for Jack unfolds. Maybe they aren’t really headed for a sentimental game of catch, but “father” and son have to meet, don’t you think?

-On a related note, in the opening scene, Jack tells his mother over the phone that Oceanic thinks Christian’s coffin went through Berlin. Should we assume this is true, or is the airline just saying that to cover up that they still haven’t found him? Even in this timeline, could the island still have a role to play in Christian’s vanishing…even though Ben and Ethan’s (and maybe Dogen’s) presence in the sideways timeline suggests that the island is “inactive” and possibly on the ocean floor?

-Cheers to Matthew Fox for a great performance in this episode.  Whether assuring his son of his unflagging love and support, admitting to Hurley – and to himself – that he’s a broken man or pleading with Hurley to tell him why his name is on the dial, he gave us Jack at his most vulnerable and broke our hearts each time. Check out the clip of the lighthouse scene in the link further up, if you can. After seeing his house reflected in the mirror and realizing that Jacob has been watching them, he asks again, “Hurley, where’s Jacob?” Fox’s delivery in that three-word moment – the quiet desperation in his voice, the redness of his eyes – is pitch-perfect. And Jorge Garcia deserves praise too, as he always does, for matching Fox in those scenes.

It’s the line Dogen says when Hurley hesitantly stands up to him and sends him away. According to Lostpedia, it translates as, “You are lucky that you are protected. Because if you were not protected, I would cut your head off.” Ha! Love it.

Tonight’s Episode: Sundown


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