LOST: Something Nice Back Home

Maybe someone can explain to me what the episode’s title means, because I’m not feeling it. For whatever reason (and not just Bai Ling), I’ve never cared a lot for Jack-centric episodes, and this one was no exception. But it’s still LOST, so it’s still the best thing on TV, even if it was something of a let down from last week.

Spoilers from tonight’s episode and more after the jump.

Links and Miscellanea:

  • TV Squad (relying on this post at the DocArtz blog) takes a closer look at that weirdly archaeological-looking stone door that Ben entered to summons the Smoke Monster.
  • Yet another Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof article. But if you were to only read one Cuse and Lindelof article this week, I’d recommend this interview with Popular Mechanics.
  • This week, ABC.com (which is actually abc.go.com, for reasons I’ve never understood) posted both a video podcast (with Lost’s set director) and an Cuse/Lindelof audio podcast. Tidbits from the audio podcast:
    • The title of last week’s episode was taken from an H.G. Wells novel. H.G. Wells, of course, was an early science fiction writer of such books as The Time Machine and The Island of Dr. Moreau (both of which could be used a reference points for LOST).
    • Ben appearing in the Sahara is a “long set-up” for something that will develop later in the show.
    • It’s fair to say that Ben did “summon the Smoke Monster,” but he doesn’t totally control it.
    • The scene with Ben and Widmore was actually shot in England because Alan Dale (Widmore) is appearing in a London production of “Spamalot.” That scene was one of the few scenes from LOST not to be scened at a location in Hawaii.
    • There is a “larger force” governing the interactions between Ben and Widmore.
    • Fish and birds are also subject to the time warp effects of the island (?). This was in response to a fan question, and perhaps given tongue-in-cheek, but they did refer to the migratory bird that Claire attached a message to in the episode “Par Avion” last season.
    • When Harper appeared to Juliet in “The Other Woman” that was actually Harper, not some Smoke Monster-generated image.
  • Finally, Ain’t it Cool News has an excellent long interview with Michael Emerson, who’s performance was a real tour de force in last week’s episode.

Observations and speculations:

  • This episode opened like the series opened: with a close up on Jack’s eye. But this time Jack didn’t open it immediately. Apparently, appendicitis affects Jack more severely than falling from the fuselage of a jet plane into a bamboo forest.
  • Bernard is gaining credibility. He treats Charlotte and Faraday ina very realistic way, given the circumstances. Meanwhile, Rose is learning that the island doles out its healing powers capriciously.
  • The book that Jack is reading to Aaron is Alice in Wonderland. It’s the latest of several references to Lewis Carrol on the show, including the titles for a pair of episodes, one from the first season (“White Rabbit”) and one from the third (“Through the Looking Glass”).

    I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!

  • Early in the episode, Claire says, “I’m not seeing things anymore.” When Sawyer rescued her in last week’s episode, she said the name Charlie. Was she seeing Charlie, or was it Christian Shepard she saw earlier?
  • Now we know that Danielle Rousseau and Karl are, in fact, dead based on the existence of their corpses in shallow graves. We also know that Miles is pretty good at what he does. And that he didn’t “sign up for” killing innocent people as part of his freighter cruise.
  • Protective Sawyer is kind of interesting. He’s the guy who’s gonna put a boot in your face. I like the chemistry that Miles and Sawyer have together.
  • Hurley’s in a bad way in Santa Rosa. He’s convinced that the Oceanic 6 are all dead (which was also a popular fan theory during the first season). The message from Charlie sort of parallels the message given to Claire from the psychic during the first season. Aaron is not to be raised by another. Does that mean that Jack is an Other? Or just that only Claire can raise him?
  • Hurley name checks a Cure song, “Just Like Heaven.”
  • Lapidus and Miles aren’t aligned with the more militant element on the freighter (Keamy and his guerrillas). They are both willing to help the Lostaways. The jury’s still out on Faraday and Charlotte, but Faraday, at least, seems to be more friendly than hostile.
  • How did Keamy and his men survive the Smoke Monster attack relatively unharmed, anyway? They were a little bloodied, and one looked lame, but they didn’t get the full Mr. Eko/co-pilot treatment.
  • Although I like Jack, and I like Kate, somehow I don’t really care for them together. The proposal kind of made me nauseous.
  • I like that Jin can still call up his old-school thug skills when the occasion calls for it.
  • When Jack sees his father, Chirstian, he is wearing the same black suit with white shoes that he was wearing when Jack saw him on the island. Presumably, these are the clothes that Christian was buried in.
  • I found the Christian scene very anticlimatic. I suppose Christian visiting Claire on the island was fitting, but if Jack was going to have a visitor, it would have been nice to hear what it was Christian wanted to tell him.
  • So what’s the deal with Christian, anyway? He’s dead, yet he’s walking around the island, and visiting Jack off-island. He’s even holding Aaron. Is he a ghost, or something like a ghost? I’m not sure what to make of it, and I’m not that crazy about this development.
  • Who was it that Kate was visiting for Sawyer? I’m guessing it has something to do with Sawyer’s ex, Cassidy, and her daughter, Clementine.
  • Jack tells Kate, “Your not even related to him!,” referring to Aaron. Yet, whether he knows it or not, Jack is related to Aaron. Nice touch.
  • One key plot point we didn’t know about previously: Sawyer had the opportunity to leave the island, but “chose” to stay. Also, he was apparently still alive when Jack and Kate saw him last.
  • Why in the world would Claire leave Aaron at the foot of a tree?

I thought this was one of the weaker episodes of the season, especially in contrast to last week’s excellent installment. For the first time, we saw the suspense-suck brought by the flashforwards. It’s hard to get too worked up about Jack’s life-threatening appendectomy when we see he’s more or less doing fine in the future. If not for Michael Giacchino’s excellent music, those scenes might have put me to sleep.

Anyone notice anything I missed?

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29 thoughts on “LOST: Something Nice Back Home

  1. I actually kinda liked this one.

    Jack and Kate together do = nausea.

    Is Kate communicating with Sawyer back on the island?

    I find Charlotte’s character so odd because in her first episode she was such a different person.

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Is Aaron some sort of anti-Christ?

    Jack saying “You’re not even related to him!” is an odd way of putting it, unless he knew that he IS related and has some sort of higher moral ground. You just wouldn’t put it that way otherwise.

  2. Greg,

    Maybe someone can explain to me what the episode’s title means, because I’m not feeling it.

    It was something that Bernard said to Jack as he was going to go into the surgery, that wouldn’t he want to be put under so that he could dream of something nice back home? Since it was a flash-forward episode, we saw what the “something nice back home” eventually was.

    (which is actually abc.go.com, for reasons I’ve never understood)

    This stems from long long ago, like in 2000, when ABC’s website (along with ESPN—you’ll find them a part of the “Go” network as well) were run by the “Go Network.” It was a big thing back then, before google.

    Apparently, appendicitis affects Jack more severely than falling from the fuselage of a jet plane into a bamboo forest.

    Hey man, don’t you know those pharmaceutical commercials that show you this driven businessman that gets fallen by the smallest of germs?

    It was an interesting reference, but I don’t get the connection. Again, I think the writers have been rushing season four.

    Now we know that Danielle Rousseau and Karl are, in fact, dead based on the existence of their corpses in shallow graves

    I think they did this specifically to quell the rumor that Rousseau perhaps survived the gunshot to the chest she received. Goodbye Rousseau. We hardly knew thee.

    The jury’s still out on Faraday and Charlotte, but Faraday, at least, seems to be more friendly than hostile.

    Hey, give poor Charlotte a break. She happens upon the more militant Locke group first. Ben shoots her in the chest! They fully mistrust her, thinking she’s there to kill them. I would be sardonic too, frankly.

    I like that Jin can still call up his old-school thug skills when the occasion calls for it.

    Yeah, that was awesome. I had forgotten, over the last several Jin/Sun centric episodes that Jin was quite ruthless in his day.

    Is he a ghost, or something like a ghost. I’m not sure what to make of it, and I’m not that crazy about this development.

    Christian Sheppard is dead. What Jack is seeing is an island-created ghost.

  3. -This episode would have been better with 75% less Jack & Kate.

    -Overprotective Sawyer is kind of fun. Almost as good as frog-squashing Sawyer.

    -I liked the Jin/Charlotte interchange, even though it was obvious she understood Korean.

    Why would Christian’s Ghost bother appearing to Jack if he’s not going to say anything?

  4. I liked that Juliet(te?) told Kate about the kiss/blah, blah while Jack was awake. That poor woman has been screwed so many times; Juliet deserves better.

    And speaking of stupid Jack, he’s a self-sabateour, that one. It doesn’t seem to matter if there is any good in his life, he just can’t seem to want happiness. It’s as if the mere thought of his father turn him into a similar man (abusing substances, etc.). I think he already knows that Claire is his sister –I’m betting he finds out and that’s why he ends up seeing Kate and Aaron after the trial (even though he said he couldn’t do it), and the “you’re not even related to him!” remark.

    I agree that the whole Kate/Jack thing was kind of bothersome. The proposal seemed forced. I really wanted to see some more Ben/Locke. That Ben is creepy-evil and I just love to hate him.

    I wouldn’t have minded more Sawyer/Miles/Claire time, either. I hope we see more of Miles and his “gift”.

  5. I think he already knows that Claire is his sister –I’m betting he finds out and that’s why he ends up seeing Kate and Aaron after the trial (even though he said he couldn’t do it), and the “you’re not even related to him!” remark.

    I’ve considered this possibility, and I think I could be persuaded.

  6. Perhaps the reason it’s Christian Shepard appearing is because he (or more precisely, his body) is actually on the island.

  7. Yeah his yelling “you’re not even related to him!” just didn’t seem like the vicious insult that it was supposed to be. She’s hte adoptive mother, she hasn’t told Aaron yet, maybe she’s waiting until he’s old enough to understand? Pffshhht.

    abc.go.com. Infoseek, early search engine, was acquired by Disney, and they made this portal, “go” which was suposed to be the end-all place on the internet for all your wants and needs. Online properties at Disney now run off of the old Go network, except thos acquired later, like espn. (used to work there). I have a really cool big Go mug! Weird how things go around- everyone’s all pumped about iGoogle now, as a portal. I’d be happy if people just stopped calling them portals.

    I like the idea of Hurley’s that everyone’s a ghost, but then he foils that theory by caring what happens in heaven, re: Aaron. I mean, if they’re all dead, why does he care? Hurley’s good as a dramatic hero. Juliet, though, is just silly. “I need you to wake up.” She’s always needing people to do things. It’s all so very serious.

  8. Yeah, I agree with Steve, bodies on the island are ‘resurrected’ by the island. The producers have long said that the dead stay dead. But the jokes about zombie seasons probably have more truth to them than it appeared. At least judging by the preview for next week and Jacob’s comments.

  9. BTW – this episode is much more meaningful if you think back to Hurley’s flash forward. I think this is the key episode where Jack stops being the empiricist and starts being the faithful person. Sort of the inverse of the arc Locke went through last year.

  10. Few thoughts

    Bad ass Jin = Awesome

    Does anyone else think that Claire died when her Other Hut blew up, and it’s why Miles is so infatuated with her?

    Sawyer is now one with the island, seems like he’s been the only one to actually overcome his ‘daddy’ issues.

    Everything other than the main Jack/Kate story rocked this ep, too bad it was 75% Jack/Kate….

  11. Does anyone else think that Claire died when her Other Hut blew up, and it’s why Miles is so infatuated with her?

    Interesting theory. I’d sure like some indication of where they are going with all these ghosts walking around.

  12. I’ve heard a few people pushing the “Claire is dead” idea around. I personally don’t buy it. But there are lots of reasons to argue for it.

    1. She goes off with her Dad’s ghost and leaves the baby.

    2. She didn’t look that great when Sawyer rescued her.

    3. She has to have some purpose in this whole thing (ditto with Charlie) otherwise a lot of the last seasons make little sense.

    4. Miles is curious about her.

    The reasons against it are:

    1. If she was a ghost why would she be unconscious and bloody under a board? Wouldn’t her body be there and she be out somewhere else?

    2. Wouldn’t she know she was dead?

    3. Can ghosts carry babies and interact like that? (Yeah, I know – Charlie)

    4. I think Jack’s being told that Claire is supposed to raise the baby. That was the big issue about Claire’s first flashback and was, as I recall, part of her second flashback when we first learned she was Jack’s half-sister.

  13. 3. Can ghosts carry babies and interact like that? (Yeah, I know – Charlie)

    Also, the Ghost of Christian Shepard was holding Aaron in last night’s episode. (I refuse to believe the “Christian Shepard is alive” theories.)

  14. Ah. Good point. I missed that.

    Still I think the whole “Claire has to raise the baby” bit is the real key point. Both in her flashbacks and then in Jack’s flashforward.

    The baby is going to end up being more important than we first thought. Hopefully it’s not a Cylon hybrid. (grin)

  15. The whole thing is a figment of Hurley’s imagination. In the final episode of Lost the characters and events of the show will be explained by people and events in the mental institution, a la Wizard of Oz. The show’s final twist will be to demonstrate that all of the audience held captive by this tv show are as crazy as Hurley is.

  16. I was pretty let down by this episode, though I did like the ending for two reasons:

    1) It brings things back a bit to some of the mystical stuff that I liked from the first 2 seasons

    2) Less Claire is always good in my book

  17. The whole thing is a figment of Hurley’s imagination. In the final episode of Lost the characters and events of the show will be explained by people and events in the mental institution, a la Wizard of Oz. The show’s final twist will be to demonstrate that all of the audience held captive by this tv show are as crazy as Hurley is.

    You’re joking, right? At least, I think you are.

    Just in case you’re not, the writers have already stated that they won’t resort to this sort of ending, citing the St. Elsewhere snowglobe fiasco.

  18. Question:

    Does anyone have an HD shot of Jack putting on his towel at the beginning? Does he have a rather obvious appendectomy scar? Or, perhaps more pertinent, does he rather obviously not have an appendectomy scar?

    Also, the fact that Charlie made Hurley write down his message is highly relevant to whether the message says “another” or “an Other.”

  19. Wait, oh ye who know the ins and outs of this show so much better than I, why would Jack be related to Aaron?

  20. Kevin Barney,

    Jack’s father, Christian, had an affair with an Australian woman who gave birth to Claire. So Claire is Jack’s half-sister. That makes Aaron Jack’s half-nephew.

  21. Thanks Dan. I’m afraid I don’t have the full grasp of the details others here do.

  22. Jack + Kate = awesome.

    I’m glad we got to see them together for just a bit.

  23. If the scar is missing that might just be attributable to the island. (Or maybe just fans demanding too much of consistency and makeup)

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