First off, a correction. Not from me, but from Team Darlton. In this week’s podcast, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse confirmed that the ultrasound photo in “What Kate Does” was a prop error. It was supposed to read “9/22/04,” and not “10/22/04.”
Next, an observation. Recall in “What Kate Does,” when Justin tried to warn Aldo not to kill Jin by pointing out that Jin was “one of them,” and Aldo responded, “he may be one of them”? It’s now clear what Aldo meant was that Jacob’s list is unclear as to which “Kwon” is a candidate. But my big question is…how did Aldo know this, when Richard didn’t even know what a candidate was?
Also, thanks to the “enhanced” version of “The Substitute” for pointing out that the weird temp agency lady who Locke2 dismissed before meeting Rose2 was the psychic Hurley’s dad paid to try to convince him he wasn’t cursed.
Finally, one further observation, dating back to Season 1. Recall that, in the first season, the episodes went in a certain order: (1-2) whole cast; (3) Kate; (4) Locke; (5) Jack. See a pattern...
But enough about the past and the present. We’re living the future now (10 points if you get the reference).
Jack2’s sideways world has an unexpected addition! Claire goes Rousseau!! The weirdest island artifact yet!!! All this, plus an ax to the chest, in “Lighthouse.”
Alternaverse – Jack 2
Jack2 undresses and examines his appendix scar. He contemplates it carefully. His mother calls, and we learn that Jack2 doesn’t remember having his appendix out (reminiscent of his lack of recognition of the shaving cut on the plane). His mother reminds him that he had it out when he was a young child. This leads to some more heavy thought by Jack2, even as he (apparently) covers and tells his mom that, oh, yeah, he remembers that he dad wanted to be the one to take it out, but they wouldn’t let him.
Aside #1 – of course, island Jack had his appendix removed just before the Freighterites arrived, by Juliet (with Bernard acting as an anaesthesiologist). Query why the lack of an island somehow caused Jack2 to lose his appendix earlier, or why his memory was so muddled.
But of course, the big reveal is that Jack2 has a son – David (no “2,” because he has not island counterpart). Judging from David’s age, there’s no way he’s the product of a marriage between Jack2 and Sarah2 (which probably never happened, because, with no Jacob manipulating things, Sarah2 never would have crashed into the father of Shannon2). The episode seemed to go out of its way not to show us David’s mother (as Lost often does with a quick glance at a framed photo). As Doc Jensen writes:
BURNING QUESTION: Who's David's Mom? Who's the female participant in the creation of this inexplicably conceived Sideways child? Who's this phantom woman that Sideways Jack was once with and now isn't? Wouldn't if be totally ironic and fitting if she was the Sideways iteration of Lost's resident fertility doc/Jack dumpette, better known to us as Juliet? And you wanna know why she wasn't home last night? That's right, kids: Going dutch on coffee with new boyfriend Sawyer. (Your goosebumps? That's right, I did that.)
Gotta say, I like the Doc’s theory.
Jack2, after being late to pick up David from his private school, tells David he hooked up cable in his room, so can watch the Red Sox. David's less than thrilled response indicates how clueless Jack2 is to think his son shares his sporting affiliation. Jack2 tries again to bond when he sees David is reading
Jack2 pulls in to his mom’s house. They search for Christian2’s will in boxes and desk drawers. She offers him a drink (there’s McCutcheon on the shelf!). Jack2 says no, and she says, “good for you.”
Aside #2 - Is Jack2's mom happy that Jack2 gave up drinking, or has the alterna-Jack never followed in his father's footsteps? Of course, if Jack2 never married Sarah, then he never suspected Christian2 of cheating with her, which means he never disrupted Christian2's first AA meeting, which probably means Christian2 didn't drink himself to death. So then what killed him?
Mom tells Jack2 that David was upset at the funeral, but Jack2 didn’t realize this. He says that communication is not his strong suit, to which his mother quips, "well, it runs in the family." Jack2 suggests his situation with Christian2 was different, because his father terrified him, which prompts his mother to suggest perhaps Jack2 terrifies David. As he contemplates this motherly wisdom, she finds the will. "Jack, did your father ever mention a Claire Littleton?"
Aside #3 - It kind of stood to reason that the same people in alternaverse would have the same parents, but what surprised me was that, in island world, either Jack's mother never looked for the will, or Christian never included Claire in it. The only other explanation was that she found the will, but when Jack got back from the island, didn't want to burden him with the knowledge of his half-sister (only to have Claire's mom spill the beans at the funeral).
Jack2 brings a pizza and some sodas home, but David’s gone. It gets dark out, and Jack2 calls David’s cell. He goes to look for David at his mother’s house (where, frustratingly, we see still see no identifying items). Under the rabbit is a key.
Aside #4 - remember my observation of the parallel structure between season 1 and season 6? The first Jack episode in season 1 was entitled "White Rabbit," another Alice in Wonderland reference, in which Jack searched for his father (and found the caves). Here, the search for his son leads him to a rabbit.
David’s room doesn’t look recently used. Jack2 finds sheet music, and pictures of the two of them together (that David's wearing a Dodgers, and not a Red Sox, hat, illustrates just how clueless a dad Jack2 is). There’s a message on David’s machine. He has an audition at the Williams conservatory, right at this very moment. The next message is Jack2 calling from
Aside #4 - Doc Jensen elaborates on the music David was playing: The piece: ''Fantasia Impromptu in C-sharp minor'' by Chopin. Last season on Lost, another child prodigy played the same number for us. I am referring to Master Daniel Faraday in ''The Variable.'' We remember his fate: how his mother cut him off his from art; how she redirected his brilliance toward physics in a doomed bid to save him from her future bullet; how she drove him and rode him and smothered him. He died, anyway. A failure, anyway.
David walks out to his bike, where Jack2 finds him. "You were great in there," he says, and David, terrified (as opposed to just startled), whirls around, and responds, "you saw me? I missed a couple of notes." It's clear that David is rather down on himself over his imperfection. Jack2 comments that he didn't realize David was still playing, and David says he made his mom promise not to tell him he was still playing, since he was too into David’s practice. He didn’t tell Jack2 he was going to audition, because he didn’t want him to see him fail. At this moment, Jack2 fully rises above his own paternal baggage, and gets it right where his own father got it so horribly wrong. "When I was your age, my father didn’t want to see me fail, either. He said I didn’t have what it takes" (a shout-out to the first scene in "White Rabbit"). Jack2 promises not to make David feel that way. "In my eyes, you can never fail. I just want to be a part of your life." David bites, and they happily leave together to get some (probably really cold) pizza.
Aside #5 - Doc Jensen's take on this scene is worth noting: Jack the Born Again Father engaged his son and connected with him. How? By allowing himself to feel the pain of his frayed relationship with his father — and then redeeming that painful past by applying what he could learn from it. David shared that he felt the weight of his father's expectations and fears upon him — exactly what Jack felt about his father. And so he told him: ''When I was your age, my father didn't want to see me fail, either. He said: I didn't have what it takes. I spent my whole life carrying that around with me. I don't want you to feel that way. In my eyes, you can never fail. I just want to be part of your life.'' I was moved by Jack bid at reaching out to his son — and I was struck that his words included some extraordinary grace for his father. To me, it sounded like Jack understood his father loved him, even if he had a clumsy way of showing it, and that he himself bore some responsibility for choosing to believe in his dead father's judgment. Regardless, what I heard and saw in that scene was the forgiveness and catharsis that the Jacks of both Lost worlds have been chasing after for five seasons. Sideways Jack had finally gotten his, and walked into the future of his life finally liberated from the shackles of his past.
And so it would seem that Jack2 has his happy ending, and is able to have a real relationship with his son in the way Jack never did with Aaron. But this most likely is not the end of his story. Of all the alterna-versions we've met, Jack2 seems to have the most of a nagging sense of the history his other self has had, and if these two timelines will indeed meet - and the producers insisted in this week's podcast that they should not be considered separate realities - I think Jack2 will be a major impetus behind this.
Island – Claire and Jin
Claire checks Justin the Other for movement, and he doesn’t budge. She releases Jin from the bear trap. Jin asks how long she’s been out there, and Claire responds, "since you left." She asks how long that’s been, and he tells her 3 years. She says she’s leading him somewhere safe, but his leg is messed up, so he can’t walk.
Jin wakes on a mattress in a dilapidated tent, his leg is all bloody. Claire has a box of dynamite, and some surgical tools, as well as an empty baby crèche. Ok, not emptry – there’s a bizarre doll made out of a monkey skull and other random parts. Claire brings in Justin, who's not really dead. She ties him to a post, and asks where he’s hiding her son. She looks at Jin and syas they need to clean up his leg – "one thing that will kill you out here is infection." Jin asks if she’s been by herself all this time, and she smiles that she’s not by herself. When she steps out, Justin insists Claire will kill them both.
As Claire boils her surgical instruments, Justin tries again to convince Jin to loosen his ropes. Claire comes in. She apologizes about to Jin getting caught in the trap. Claires says she had to stitch herself up after the Others shot her once. Claire insists Justin’s going to tell where they have Aaron. Jin asks how she can be so sure the Others have Aaron. Claire responds, "first my father told me, and then my friend." Jin asks, "who’s your friend?" A momentarily paranoid Claire suspiciously asks, "You’re still my friend, aren’t you, Jin?" Jin nods. "Good. I’m glad." Claire grabs an ax and dangles it over Justin. Claire reveals who she (like Sayid) was branded, and poked and prodded by the Others. As she's about to swing, Jin stops her, and tells her that Kate took Aaron off the island and has been raising him for 3 years. Processing this, Claire buries the ax in Justin's chest anyway (yowza!)
Jin then insists that he was lying about Kate and Aaron to save Justin. He says Aaron is at the temple, but she’ll need him to get her there. She agrees to go with him. "I’m so glad you were lying," a relieved Claire says in a frighteningly casual tone, "because if what you said was the truth, if Kate was raising Aaron, I’d kill her." (And there's no doubt she means it!). Flocke suddenly walks in, and asks if he’s interrupting (query where Sawyer is...). Jin, looking confused, asks,“John?” Claire, smiling at her poor, silly, confused buddy, Jin, says, "that's not John. This is my friend." And Flocke smiles at Jin.
Aside #6 - E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos says - Claire Has Been "Claimed" by Her "Friend," the Man in Black: Since Claire was last seen hanging out with Christian Shephard and now is with Fake Locke, we can safely assume that the Man in Black was running around as Christian for quite some time, including when he pretended to be Jacob in the cabin. Also, the Island/Jacob is making sure that babies stay away from wild and possibly crazy mothers--first Rousseau and now Claire--and, remember, prevents pregnant women from conceiving and surviving on the
The Rousseau comparison obviously looms large, but I question how much Kristin got right about the rest of this. I'm still not sure that Flocke/Smokey is also Christian. My primary reasons for doubting it are that (1) when Hurley first saw Christian at the cabin, he was in there with someone else, and (2) if Smokey's MO is to appear as someone who will motivate the people he interacts with, why on Earth did he appear to Locke, Sun and Lapidus as Christian Shephard? Also, now that we know there is a "good" and an "evil" on the island - and for now I still assume Jacob, for his Machiavellian proclivities, is still the "good" guy - why do we think Jacob caused the fertility plague? Doesn't that seem like something Smokey would do to prevent Jacob replacements from popping up amongst the Others?
Island – Jack and Hurley
As strong as the Jack2 and Claire stories were, however, "Lighthouse" really lived in the Jack and Hurley adventure. It begins in the T
Hurley, tiring of tic tac toe with Miles, looks for food in the spring chamber, but instead finds...Jacob. He says he has something he needs Hurley to do, and that it's complicated enough for him to need a pen to write it down. In a nutshell, Jacob tells him, "someone is coming to the island, and I need you to help him find it."
Sayid seems to scare the Others as he walks around the Temple courtyard. Jack says to ignore the stares. Sayid wants to know why Jack was hiding. Jack tells him about the poison, and how the Others think, whatever happened to Sayid, also happened to Claire.
Hurley has Jacob's instructions written on his arm. He checks hieroglyphs until he finds a ringed symbol (a Stargate?). Dogen comes in, and says Hurley shouldn’t be here. But Jacob shows up and tells him Hugo to say he can do what he wants, because he’s a candidate. Hurley repeats this. Dogen, wide-eyed, asks who told him that, and Hurley says, "doesn’t matter. Why don’t you go back to the courtyard." Dogen mumbles in Japanese. Jacob insists Hurley doesn’t want to know what Dogen said, and then scolds him for not bringing Jack along, as he was instructed.
Hurley approaches Jack in the courtyard. Jack smiles as Hurley acts like a secret agent on a mission. "Be cool, man. Act natural. We need to get up and go. Wait 10 seconds and then follow me. I found a secret tunnel." Jack is less than motivated to join him, even when Hurley says Jacob told him they should go. Hurley says he told Jacob Jack would say that, and that Jacob told him he'd have to tell Jack, "you have what it takes."
Aside #7 - Doc Jensen's analysis of this scene is spot-on, as well: Hurley succeeded to motivate Jack to more by uttering the magic words given to him by smirky, all-knowing Jacob: ''You have what it takes.'' Jack did that eye flutter thing that he always does when he's profoundly flustered and rose to his feet full of piss and yearning. Take me to your Jacob. Take me now. It didn't need to be said what it was — or rather who it was — that Jack also hoped to find at Hurley's mystery meeting place. But in case you find me totally obtuse, I'll spell it out: I'm sure Jack was hoping for a rendezvous with dead papa — the long-delayed fulfillment of his failed ''White Rabbit'' hunt.
Hurley says Jacob is dead, and turns up whenever he wants like Obi Wan Kenobi. Jack bites – "let’s go see Jacob." In the jungle, Hurley chooses a direction. They stumble upon Kate by the water. Jack asks where Jin and Sawyer are. She says Jin went back to the Temple, and "Sawyer's on his own." Kate says she wants to check the beach for Claire, but Jack tells Kate that Claire is not at the beach, and that something happened to her. Jack invites her to join them, but Hurley insists, per Jacob's instructions, she's not invited. Kate doesn't push the issue, and says she's going back to the Temple, presumably to find out what they know about Claire.
Hurley apologizes to Jack for wrecking his "game" with Kate. He asks what happened to them. Jack says he guesses he wasn’t cut out for it. Hurley laments that he thought they'd have had kids, to which Jack scoffs, "I’d make a terrible dad." (and as we saw in Alterna-verse, unless he lets go of his own daddy issues, he's probably right). He finds Shannon's asthma inhaler, and they realize they’re back at the caves (another "White Rabbit" parallel). Inside are "Adam and Eve." Hurley, speaking for the audience, says he forgot they were in there. Hurley ponders a future time travel back in time which would make the skeletons the two of them. Jack asks if he ever mentioned how he found the place. He reveals how he was chasing the ghost of his dead father, and how he smashed the coffin to pieces because he wasn’t in it.
Aside #8 - I wonder if Jack means to bond with Hurley over their mutual "I see dead people" moments, or if he's just being supremely insensitive by acting like anyone who would follow a dead guy must be crazy?
Hurley calls their trek “old school.” "Us trekking on our way to do something we don’t understand. Good times." Hurley asks why Jack came back. Jack asks him back. Hurley tells him about Jacob getting in his cab, telling him he was supposed to. Jack laughs. Hurley defends himself, "if you’ve got a better reason for coming back, let’s hear it." In the most self-aware moment Jack has had on the show to date, he says, "I came back here because I was broken, and I was stupid enough to think this place could fix me." Alas, the self-awareness did not last long.
They come out of the jungle, and find... a lighthouse. Jack can’t figure out why they’ve never seen it before. Hurley surmises, "I guess we weren’t looking for it."
Aside #9 - I liked Jensen's take on this scene, too: Jack was baffled. How come they had never noticed this thing before? Hurley's loaded response: ''I guess we weren't looking for it.'' I might refine and narrow Hurley's response even further. I very much got the sense that the Lighthouse may have existed solely for the benefit of one person: Jack Shephard. And my guess is that he never had eyes to see it before because he was not yet the kind of man to admit the following: ''I was broken.'' There was more to the statement, but let's just begin with that phrase, an extraordinary admission of humility from a once-proud man of science who spent years arguing for the strength and supremacy of his own agency. But Jack's full statement was: ''I came back here because I was broken, and I was stupid enough to think this place could fix me.'' Jacob would later suggest to Hurley that Jack couldn't be more wrong, but the good news was that Jack had grown enough in his journey to summon a magical beacon, one that could to light the way to the his journey's homestretch. Literally.
I think the truth lies somewhere between Hurley's simple shrugged response, and Jensen's more metaphysical "the landmark only appears when you're ready." Recall my biggest complaint over the years about Jack - how can this guy think he's helping anyone without taking a few moments to try to figure out what the hell is going on with this island? The truth is, the Lostaways in general, and Jack, specifically, have been awful at trying to explore the island. To me, more surprising than the fact that Jack had never seen the lighthouse was the fact that this surprised him. When did he ever look for anything, or just try to piece together this strange place? Umm, never.
Jack asks if Jacob’s inside. Hurley assumes as much, but says, first, they have to turn it on. But the door is locked. Jack, whose sarcasm gets a little off-putting after a while, mocks, "it doesn’t say anything on your arm about the door being jammed?" then kicks it in.
They reach the top, into one of the most truly awesome locations we've seen on Lost. But Jack, always one to question why he isn't getting out of each adventure rather than trying to figure out what he is getting, demands, "where’s Jacob?" Hurley's only response is, "he’s not here yet." Initially, Jack helps Hurley turns the mirror assembly to 108 degrees. But then Jack sees names written on the wheel, one next to each bearing, many of them crossed out.
Aside #10 - Here's what Kristin had to say about the second straight reappearance of the numbers - The Numbers Are Ever More Important: Once again the almighty 108--the sum of 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42, and the number of minutes Locke had to push the button--showed up tonight, as Jacob instructed Hurley to turn the lighthouse wheel 108 degrees. It might be a good time to remind you that the numbers proved to be evil in the world away from the
I suspect this last quip from Kristin comes from some inside knowledge she's managed to crib from Darlton. Not sure what it means, so we'll file it away as a hint to keep track of. Now, some observations about the wheel. First, we now know that the numbers are not quite random, but in fact are bearings, one each from 1 to 360. More on the meaning of each person's bearing shortly.
Then there's some very interesting new names to point out. First, and foremost, there's #51, "Austen." Kate's surname is quite conspicuously not crossed out. But then, it's not one of "the numbers," either. While we can't assume that we saw everything in the cave last week, I'll go out on a limb and say "51 Austen" does not appear there. If it did, Flocke would have pointed it out to Sawyer. What does this mean? As I suggested before, I think Kate is Jacob's ringer, and she remains in something of a blind spot for ol' Smokey.
There are some other interesting names on the wheel. There's 20 - Rousseau.
Doc Jensen then describes what follows next brilliantly, so I won't even bother doing it myself: As the mirrors turn, Jack sees things in the mirror, including certain buildings. He finds their names are written corresponding to the numbers. He turns the lighthouse to 23 degrees (Shepard), and, in the mirror, sees his mother’s house. Hurley sees it too. He’s been watching us, the whole time, all of us, he’s been watching us. Jack asks agaon where Jacob is. Hurley – just assuming he’d be here. Jack demands to see him. Jack – why was he watching me? What does he want from me? With no answers, Jack smashes the mirrors.
Aside #11 - among the scenes Jack sees en route to his own childhood home are the church that held the funeral for James Ford's parents...
Jack sits out by the ocean. Hurley gives him some space. Jacob appears and asks how it went. (I loved Hurley's "mission un-accomplished" response). Hurley's concerened about their apparent failure - "whoever you said we need to help find the island is totally screwed." Jacob confidently says he’s sure they’ll find some other way. Hurley realizes - Jacob wanted Jack to have the experience and reaction that he did. He tells Hurley that Jack can’t be told what he needs to do. "Sometimes you can just pop in the back of someone’s cab and tell them what they need to do. Sometimes you have to let them look out at the ocean for a while." Jacob insists he couldn’t risk Hugo and Jack not coming, which was why he didn’t tell the truth. He had to get them away from the Temple, because someone bad was coming there. Hurley springs to action to save Sayid, Kate, Miles, and the Others, and Jacob says he says they can’t warn them. It’s too late.
Aside #12 - a lot happened here. First, Jacob didn't drop the "someone is coming to the island" story. Which begs the question - who is coming? The two most likely answers are, of course, Desmond and Charles Widmore. Given how Bram, Jacob's guy, told Miles that joining Widmore put him on the "wrong side," I don't think Jacob wants Widmore to come back. So that leaves Desmond, who heard from Eloise Hawking that the island isn't done with him. But it could also be Alterna-Locke. Or Faraday2. Or...Wallace?
Then there's the threat at the Temple. Jacob could have told Hurley to bring Sayid. Or to find Kate or Jin or Sun. But he didn't. Does this mean that "4" and "23" are the last candidates standing? Has Jacob written off the others, as they're all making their way back to the Temple now (assuming Sawyer was with Flocke, and will join Jin and Claire on their trip)? Of course, Flocke most likely is the bad guy headed to the Temple.
Finally, what do we now know about the numbers? These are the 360 people Jacob could watch with his lighthouse mirror. As his observations (or their deaths) ruled people out, Jacob crossed names off the list. The remaining candidates (except for Kate) got assigned "the" numbers. And yet somehow those same numbers, as Kristin said, "leaked out" into the world, and found themselves in the post-war Valenzetti equation, then pinged onto the Swan hatch, then turned into the Swan code. How did these numbers spread out that way? And how doomed was the DHARMA missio to "change" one of the numbers? Was DHARMA really trying to arrange for its own candidate to emerge?
And with that, I leave you. Next week's episode is entitled "Sundown." If it follows the pattern of mirroring Season 1 - and the title suggests it will, next week will be a Jin/Sun episode (Episode 106 was the Sun-starring "House of the Rising Sun," another parallelism. But before we go, I leave you with another tease from Kristin. It's not particularly revealing, except in the timing...
What Is the