What is that beautiful house?
You may ask yourself
Where does that highway lead to?
You may ask yourself
Am I right?... Am I wrong?
You may say to yourself
My God!... what have I done?
Time isn't holding us
Time isn't after us
Time isn't holding us
Time isn't holding us
-Once In A Lifetime (Talking Heads)
Jack has a kid, Hurley has an invisible friend, and Claire does a hatchet-job on an Other...
The 5th episode of Season 5, Lighthouse, was a Jack-centric tale that was full of surprises, new faces, and bloody ankles. As I was cruising in my phat ride earlier today, I heard the Talking Heads song I have an excerpt from above, and I thought it couldn't be more appropriate for LOST as a whole, and specifically this season so far.
Time isn't holding the story of LOST, as we are being treated to peek into the lives of our favorite castaways both in the here-and-now, and also in some side-by-side, alternate reality.
Jack saw his beautiful house, and didn't like that Jacob had been Peeping Tom-ing him all this time.
My God! Jack, what have you done to those mirrors? Eeek!
I'll stop now.
I thought Lighthouse was a splendid episode and really helped move the story of Season 6 along. As usual, let's take the two story-lines separate from each other.
Because the original crash in Season 1 happened in September of 2004, so we can safely assume that it is September 2004 in this alternate reality. Jack is still a doctor, as we know, but what we didn't know is that he has a kid. A boy. David. King David. David vs. Goliath. David the SHEPARD Boy. Getting the reference yet? We have Christian Shepard. Jack Shepard. And now David Shepard.
But who is the mother of young David? Who is Jack's ex-wife? My money is on it being Juliet. The episode in Season 4 when Jack has his appendix taken out, it was Juliet that did it. I know it's not a lot to go on, but have some man-of-faith.
Jack's kid is a piano prodigy, but is afraid of disappointing his old man. David sneaks off to play for the Williams Conservatory. Thankfully Jack is good at spying on people (see: calling every number in his wife Sarah's phone), and he tracked his kid down at a big tryout. He bumped into Samurai Dogen, whose own son was waiting to jam for the selection committee. Dave and Jack made amends and Jack said all of the things that his dad never got to say to him before boozing himself to death in The Land Down Under.
There's more to dissect (I guess) from the off-island story-line, but I don't feel like getting in to it. It was interesting, and I'm excited to see who David's mom is, but it was all fairly self-explanatory. It was nice to see Jack make good with his son. That's always good to see, even in a tv show.
On-island reality (the good stuff):
Things kick off with Jack staring at himself in the pond outside the Temple. What do you see Jack? Dogen comes out, they chat, and the most important thing to come from that exchange was when Dogen said if Jack had tried to leave, he'd have had to stop him. Why? Why can everyone else leave (i.e. Sawyer, Kate, Jin), but Jack's departure is such a big no-no?
Later in the episode Jacob says to Hurley "Jack's here to do something." We can assume that this "something" is special and unique and more important than whatever minimal service Jin is serving. Jacob said as much.
Hurley is hungry and heads to get a snack when who should appear but Jacob the Stabbed. He directs Hurley to recruit Jack for a special mission to the Lighthouse. He tells Hurley to tell Jack "You've got what it takes" and the Shepard Man is on board for a little jungle excursion. To get past Dogen, Jacob tells Hurley to say "I'm a candidate...I can do whatever I want, kemosabi." Dogen seems shocked that Hurley knows so much, and says something to him in Japanese that Jacob reassures Hurley he doesn't want to know the translation.
But you and I do.
What Dogen said was: "You're lucky that I have to protect you. Otherwise I'd have cut your head off.
Temper, temper. What I want to know is why doesn't Dogen or anyone else know anything about Jacob? Has he really kept himself that secret?
Jack and Hurley head off and soon almost get shot by the dumbest girl on the island, Kate. She is single-minded in her quest to find Crazy Claire, and tells the boys that she hopes they find what they're looking for. Jack and Hurley share a few poignant moments together as the trek across the island, culminating with an emotionally-vulnerable Jack explaining that he came back to island because he thought the place could "fix" him. (Cue Coldplay music.)
When you try your best but you don't succeed (You don't have what it takes)
When you get what you want but not what you need (Ben killing Jacob)
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse.
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace (Like your baaaaby, Claire)
When you love someone but it goes to waste (Sorry about Juliet, Sawyer)
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
You can find more of your own allusions in that little ditty. The simple truth is that, like good music, good stories contain big themes like love, redemption, pain, suffering, good, evil, death, and forgiveness. LOST isn't re-inventing the wheel when it comes to subject matter, merely in how those subjects are brought to we the viewers.
The pair of dudes reach the Lighthouse and Jack asks the obvious question: "Why the H haven't we seen this thing before?" Hurley, as only Hurley can, drops an obvious-bomb on all of us: "Maybe 'cause we weren't looking for it."
Oh, I almost forgot...Jack and Hurley dropped by the caves for a trip down island memory lane. Just like when Jack was led to those caves in Season 1's "White Rabbit" episode, two bodies are found side-by-side and the thought comes creeping back that maybe "Adam and Eve" are two of our castaways "sent back in time." Who could it be? When Jack first found the pair, he pointed out that it was a man and woman. Jin and Sun? Dez and Penny? Bernard and Rose? Nikki and Paulo?
Back to the Lighthouse...Jack does his best Steven Segal impression and kicks down the door so that he and a breathless Hurley can ascend the stairs to and find yet another wheel of destiny (this one much less frozen than the last). On this wheel are 108 numbers, each one corresponding with a different name. Jack realizes that the mirrors aren't just there to reflect the fire out on to the open sea, but to spy on people. He's one of those people, and when once the wheel has been turned to his number (23), he is shown an image of the house he grew up in.
Jack assumes, and it appears correctly, that Jacob has used these magical mystery mirrors to monitor potential "candidates" their entire lives. He's not too happy about it and ends up smashing the mirrors in a fit of Jacob-induced rage. Hurley's confused as to why Jacob never shows up to stop Jack, but after Jack wonders off to cool his jets, he does show up and lets Hurley know that things are chill. Jacob wanted to get the boys outta the Temple because "someone bad" is about to arrive there. That's got Flocke written all over it.
Speaking of Flocke...and Claire...elsewhere on the island the new Rousseau stitches Jin's wounds back up and hacks the black Other guy in the sternum. She says she was tortured by the New Others with a procedure that sounded awfully similar to the one they conducted on Sayid earlier this season. They also said that Sayid was sick like Claire was. Claire makes the dubious statement "Infection is what will kill you out here".
My boy Dan H pointed out to me that the whole shock therapy thing both Claire and Sayid went through with the New Others is similar to what Rousseau originally did to Sayid when she caught him back in Season 1. Was she testing Sayid back then after seeing what happened to her French peeps after they went in to the Temple? Or was it just torture, ironically perpetrated on a torturer who had just tortured someone (Sawyer) who was innocent?
Claire keeps referring to her "friend", who predictably ended up being Flocke. The interesting thing was that even Claire knew Flocke wasn't Locke. How is that? Why is that? Why doesn't that scare her? She was just about the most emotionally weak/fragile woman on the planet for so many seasons of the show...and now she's 'illin in the jungle, picking off Others, sowing up flesh wounds, and rollin' with other-worldly beings that look like her friend John Locke?
Jin lies to her and says that Aaron is back at the Temple with the New Others, and Claire says that his story about Kate raising Aaron back in the real world was no joking matter and that had Kate really taken her baaaaaaby...she'd kill her. Seems extreme. Maybe if you hadn't bolted in the night with your pops (who was actually the guy inhabiting your new "friend's" body), Kate wouldn't be anything but your gal-pal who helped deliver your kid.
Jin actually might be telling the truth and not knowing it...if that kid running through the jungle last week was Aaron somehow. Just saying.
And so we've reach the end of the episode re-cap and move on to...
-When Jack bumped into Dogen at his son's tryouts, Dogen said "It is hard to watch and be unable to help." I think this speaks to a bigger plot-point in the show. Even though Ben and Richard said they were trying to help Locke become the leader of the Others back in Season 3, they couldnt kill Locke's dad for him. He had to do it on his own. Jacob operates the same way with many of these people. He intervenes from time to time, but this week he told Hurley that with some people you have to sit back and let them figure things out. It can be a frustrating feeling, as we all well know.
- This might seem like a crazy theory, but I'm liking it the more I think of it. Desmond stole Jack's dad's body and is bringing it to island so that Jacob can come back as Christian Shepard to fight Smoke Monster/Flocke. Desmond is working for/with someone (maybe Charles Widmore, maybe Jacob). Jacob sent Hurley and Jack to the Lighthouse supposedly to prepare it for someone who is coming to the island. That person is Desmond. Jack's dad = Jacob. Just you wait and see.
-This was the 108th episode of LOST. Gotta love the numbers, brotha'.
-For about the 10th time, Alice in Wonderland is referenced in this episode. The characters that Jack mentions to his son David when he finds the book on David's desk, Kitty and Snowdrop, are cats; one is white, one is black. Just like the stones Jack found in the front shirt pocket of Adam and Eve. Just like Walt and Locke playing backgammon. Just like Jacob and Esau/Flocke.
-Hurley compares Jacob to Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi master from Star Wars. Obi-Wan isn't the best Jedi or the most important character, but he is the wise, older conscience of the entire Star Wars story. I think Jacob is important, and obviously knows more than anyone else we've been introduced to thus far, but either Jack or Locke or Aaron (or someone) is going to end up being the most important, "greater" character in this whole tale. Just like Anakin (and then Luke) were greater than Obi-Wan. Oh, and by the way, Luke Skywalker had a sister (Leia) that he didn't initially was his sister. Sound familiar?
-I found a cool literary reference connected to the title of this week's episode. It's a book called To The Lighthouse, and is described by Wikipedia as follows:
To the Lighthouse (5 May 1927) is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psychological exploration.A novel about the power of childhood emotions? Set on an island with a Lighthouse that holds keys to the characters past? Themes of loss and the problem of perception? You do the math.
To the Lighthouse follows and extends the tradition of modernist novelists like Marcel Proust and James Joyce, where the plot is secondary to philosophical introspection, and the prose can be winding and hard to follow. The novel includes little dialogue and almost no action; most of it is written as thoughts and observations. The novel recalls the power of childhood emotions and highlights the impermanence of adult relationships. Among the book's many tropes and themes are those of loss, subjectivity, and the problem of perception.
-Almost everyone reading this had been asked to read Lord of the Flies in junior high or high school, so hopefully you picked up on the allusion to that story when Jin found a boar's head in Claire's tent. Chick's batty.
-As a relatively new Classical Music addict, I loved the Chopin piece ("Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor") that David Shepard was playing at his audition. It's the same piano piece that Faraday was playing when he was a young tyke. Dogen tells Jack that his son has a special "talent", just like Faraday was told when he was young, and Michael heard about his son Walt from Juliet and Ms. Klugh.
-Next week's episode is entitled "Sundown", so I think we all know who the main focus will be on. Vincent.
-Flocke has been recruiting Claire because he knows that she, Jack, and Christian Shepard are "special" in a special way. As in, not just candidates, but bigger, more important figures.
That's all I got for now. Hope you've enjoyed, and I'd love to hear any additional theories you may have, so leave 'em in the Comments section below.
Stay out of the deep end.