Another week, another new episode of Lost. Jack is back.
Spoilers and more below the fold.
Links and miscellanea
- Someone has compiled lots of scenes of Ben getting the crud kicked out of him.
- The Dharma Bear Initiative has serious overcute potential.
- Jorge Garcia (Hurley) and his girlfriend have started an insiders LOST blog/podcast called Geronimo Jack’s Beard. It’s worth checking out for tidbits like stuff in the script that didn’t make it to screen. Also, this logo is awesome:
Garcia is also occasionally updating a blog called Dispatches from the Island.
- TV.com categorizes the five types of Lost fans. (Despite recapping for KB, I’m not sure I fit into any of these categories.)
- Lost has been nominated for 8 Saturn Awards.
- As much as I enjoy some college basketball, I would not be happy if my local affiliate decided to do this. As a former North Carolina resident, I can understand the thinking that probably went into this decision. But I’d hate to be on the receiving end of all those embittered Lost fans’ fury.
- And finally, who hasn’t felt like this now and then?
Observations and speculations
- At the opening of the episode, we see two framed photos in (LA-X) Jack’s apartment. In one photo is Jack and his parents, with Jack in a tux (taken at the time of his wedding?). The other is a photo of the Drs. Shepard. In both photos, Christian Shepard is wearing white, which may be an allusion to the first episode he appeared in, “White Rabbit,” referenced again by the appearance of Alice in Wonderland later in the episode.
- Jack moves into the bathroom where he notices his appendectomy scar in the vanity mirror. (Recall that Juliet gave Jack an emergency appendectomy on the island in episode 4.10 “Something Nice Back Home.”) This is the second time we’ve had Jack react strangely to some scar he sees in a bathroom mirror. Jack then asks his mother on the phone when he had his appendix out, and she tells him that it happened when he was seven or eight years old and that Christian wanted to do the procedure himself, but “they wouldn’t let him.” So LA-X Jack has a different medical history than Island Jack, going back many years.
- LA-X Jack has a son who attends a private prep school called “St. Mary’s Academy.” Saints are a recurring theme. In addition to the heroin smuggling Virgin Mary statuettes, we’ve seen Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute (where Hurley, Libby and Locke’s mother all spent time), St. Sebastian Hospital (where Jack works) and St. Francis hospital (where Kate’s mother was a patient).
- In Jack’s SUV, he is listening to some blues song that I wasn’t able to identify. Jack’s LA-X son, David, has inherited all of that fantastic Shepard charm.
- Dogen tells Jack that “everything is an option,” but that he would have to stop Jack if he tried to leave. Apparently, candidates can do what they want, although Dogen doesn’t necessarily want them to know that.
- Hurley and Miles are playing tick-tac-toe in the Temple courtyard (shades of beach golf and ping-pong). Hurley is inexplicably surprised that the games end in a tie. Hurley goes off looking for the food court. Jacob, kneeling by the spring and still dead, tells him where it is. Then he tells Hurley, “Someone is coming to the island. I need you to help them find it.” We don’t ever find out who it is, but apparently, they are No. 108 on Jacob’s list. (That can only be Desmond, the one who had to push the button for so long every 108 minutes, right?)
- Back in LA-X, Jack tells David that he used to read “Alice in Wonderland” to him when he was little. Remember that Jack also read Aaron from the same book during their time as part of the Oceanic Six. (The Lewis Carrol references in Lost are probably too many to list here, so I’ll just link to Lostpedia in the interest of time.) Kitty and Snowdrop, incidentally, where Alice’s cats. They only actually appear in Through the Looking Glass, as the black and white (another recurring theme alert) kittens to Alice’s cat, Dinah.
- Jack’s advice to Sayid (“just ignore them”) is exceedingly lame and patronizing. Although Jack’s character has grown a lot, somethings never change, it seems.
- Knowing what he does, I’m betting that Sayid isn’t going to stay at the Temple long. I know I wouldn’t, if it was me.
- We finally get to see Claire in her full-on Rousseau-mode. In fact, she’s completely out-crazied the Crazy French Lady and for the first time in a long time, we see what island living will make a person look like for real—no carefully styled hair and good makeup here. Claire uses a piece of rebar to pry open the bear trap where an injured Jin lies bloodied. I wonder where she got it? From the imploded hatch site?
- The ink on Hurley’s hand is hard to read, not because we didn’t get a good close-up of it, but because Hurley’s handwriting is almost indecipherable. The instructions begin with push and then the what appears to be the hieroglyph “shen ring,” which refers to a protective circle, perhaps like the ash circle that the Others use to protect themselves from the Smoke Monster.
- I liked it when Hurley told Dogen, “Why don’t you go back to the courtyard.” Yeah, that’s telling him. Because candidates, they can do what they want.
- My best translation of what Dogen tells Hurley in response (in rude Japanese): “I have to protect you? That’s just great. If I don’t leave now, I’d probably separate your neck from your body.” Or words to that effect.
- Great Hurley line: “It’s bad enough you ordered me to write down way too much stuff, and I just lied to a samurai.”
- Jacob told Hurley to tell Jack, “You have what it takes.” Jacob knows that this will get under Jack’s skin because Christian used to tell Jack, “you don’t have what it takes.” Here’s a snippet from Christian’s monologue to a young Jack in season one:
I had a boy on my table today. I don’t know, maybe a year younger than you. He had a bad heart. It got real hairy, real fast. And everybody’s looking at your old man to make decisions. And I was able to make those decisions because at the end of the day, after the boy died, I was able to wash my hands and come home to dinner. You know, watch a little Carol Burnett, laugh till my sides hurt. And how can I do that, hmm? And even when I fail, how do I do that, Jack? Because I have what it takes. Don’t choose, Jack, don’t decide. You don’t want to be a hero, you don’t try and save everyone because when you fail â€¦ you just don’t have what it takes.
- Hurley says that Jacob “turns up whenever he wants, like Obi-Wan Kenobi.” I love it. I made the observation a couple of weeks ago that Jacob’s death, then the fact that his body burned up in the fire, almost seemed like a Obi-Wan move. It’s nice to have Hurley backing me up on that.
- Island Claire’s lair looks very similar to Danielle’s lair, and Jin’s situation is similar to the situation Sayid found himself in when he was taken by Rousseau during season one. Claire has a box of dynamite from the Black Rock, something Danielle was also fond of using. The second most disturbing thing about that scene, however, is that Jin appears to be wearing black boxers with red hearts on them. The most disturbing, of course, is the bizarre animal skull (probably boar) baby doll that Claire keeps in a bassinet—if that won’t bring the nightmares, I’m not sure what would. Also seen: some surgical clamps, a can of DHARMA ginger ale, a small selection of childrens’ books (Quack, Quack; an anthology called Best Loved Stories and another called Bedtime Hugs, and Wish Upon a Star), a boat’s oar, a computer motherboard, an old lantern,
- During Hurley and Jack’s Big Adventure, they run across Kate filling her canteen by the river. Kate is on a quest to find Claire, but Jack gives her useful information like “something happened to her” and that the Others “didn’t say” where she is. Thanks, Jack. Kate doesn’t seem all that anxious to be reunited. She tells Jack, “I hope you find what you’re looking for,” which is the same thing that Locke told Jack in the LAX lost baggage office.
- Back in LA-X, meanwhile, Jack arrives at his parents’ house to help his mother look for his father’s will. The house is the same one that Jack later sees in the Lighthouse mirror, the one he says he hasn’t lived in since he was “a kid.”
- In Jack’s father’s home office is a variety of liquor, including a bottle of MacCutcheon 60-year scotch, the kind that Widmore says Desmond is unworthy to drink, and that Charlie and Desmond get drunk with on the beach. LA-X Jack seems to be able to resist alcohol.
- Books spotted on Christian Shepard’s bookshelf: Robin Cook’s Terminal (a medical thriller), The Codebreakers (a non-fiction book about cryptography), Good Carbohydrate Revolution (a diet book), Diagnosis of Diseases of the Chest, and some other generic-looking medical books. There is also a framed copy of the photo with Christian and Jack, apparently taken at Jack’s wedding.
- Christian Shepard’s will is in an envelope addressed to him at 233 Bastian Drive in Beverly Hills. (Remember that Jack is No. 23.) It’s also from the law firm of Borowitz and Woodruff, LLP. Christian mentions Claire, his daughter and Jack’s half-sister, in his will. This comes as a surprise to Jack’s mother. Jack seems to get that deja vu look at the mention of Claire’s name.
- Meanwhile, back at Island Claire’s compound, she’s sterilizing her medical tools over a campfire and sharpening her axe. It may be the same axe that the Oceanic survivors had during season one.
- Claire says she’s sure that the Others took her kid because “first my father told me, then my friend told me.” This seems to suggest that the Man-in-Black is manipulating Claire to take revenge on the Others. It also suggests that the Christian we saw with Claire last season was a manifestation of the Man-in-Black.
- Claire doesn’t seem surprised that Jin can now speak pretty good English.
- Jack steps on Shannon’s asthma inhaler, signaling Jack and Hurley that they are near the Caves. Once again we see Adam and Eve, though they seem more fleshy than I remember them. Hurley, as he is wont to do, gives voice to fan speculation when he hypothesizes that maybe they time travel again and Adam and Eve are their dead bodies. We also see Christian Shepard’s empty coffin and Jack confesses to Hurley about smashing it up.
- Back in LA-X, Jack has lost his son. He drives over to David’s mother’s house (which also has the street address of 233) and lets himself in using the key hidden under the decorative rabbit (recurring motif alert).
- In David’s room are: a poster for a rock show featuring the band Meat Coat. Meat Coat was previously mentioned in the show when a reunited Drive Shaft was scheduled to open for them. There is also a poster for “M. Gold,” “Stillborn Skies,” “Justice Calling,” a Beethoven poster, and a Who poster. On David’s desk is some sheet music for Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu. On the mirror are some photo-booth snapshots of Jack and David (wearing a Dodgers cap rather than a Red Sox hat).
- Back on the Island, Hurley and Jack are hiking old school through the jungle, “on the way to do something that they don’t quite understand.” Hurley says he came back because Jacob hoppen in the back of his cab and told him he was supposed to come back. Jack came back because he was “broken” and thought the Island could fix him.
- Island Claire apparently was tortured and branded much the same way that Sayid was. Obviously, she failed the test as well.
- Jin tells Claire that Kate took Aaron off the island, but later says it was a lie and that the Others had Aaron all along. I’m not quite sure what Jin’s rationale for the truth-followed-by-a-lie strategy. Maybe he panicked. But we do find out that Claire’s not that happy with it. For the record, I think Claire probably made the right call in killing the Other.
- Jack and Hurley finally arrive at the Lighthouse, a conspicuous Island landmark that somehow we’ve never seen before. Jack even comments about that odd fact. Lucky for Hurley that he brought Jack along because Jack’s pretty good at kicking down doors.
- Meanwhile in LA-X Jack arrives to see his son, David, audition for the Williams Conservatory. There he meets the LA-X version of Dogen, who tells him his son has a gift. Jack and David make up and seem on their way toward an actual, functional father-son relationship.
- At the top of the Lighthouse is a giant wheel on gears, with the names of “candidates” arranged in numerical order with corresponding degrees of the circle. When the mirrors in the lighthouse align with the candidate’s number, the mirror apparently shows the home of candidate. Hurley’s arm instructions read: “giant mirror pull chain @ 108 degrees.”
- Lots of crossed out candidate names here: Owens, Dawson, Freed, Rodriguez, Almeida, Chavez, Linus (Ben!?), Bargas, Horten, Srogzynski, Cohen … the list goes on and on. I’m sure Lostpedia will have a complete list up soon. [UPDATE: Yes, indeed. Lostpedia has updated its candidates list to reflect names found on the Lighthouse wheel.] Significantly, Austen (Kate) is on the wheel, and her name is not crossed out. Kate’s number is 51. Jack’s name looks like a late entry to me. The handwritting in “Shepard” is different from the rest. Also, Rousseau is clearly listed as No. 20. Apparently, candidate no. 108 is named Wallace, but we don’t have any idea who that refers to yet.
- Jack sees a temple from the Far East in the mirrors, then what looks like a European-style building or possibly a church. Finally, Jack figures out that Jacob has been watching each of them. Hurley seems remarkably undisturbed by this. Jack, on the other hand, goes nuts and destroys the mirrors with a brass spyglass.
- The scene with Hurley and Jacob at the end was pretty funny. “I have ink on my forehead! That’s all you have to say! Jack broke your lighthouse, dude!” I have to agree with Hurley that Jacob’s plan doesn’t seem all that good. If he’s trying to convince Jack that he’s special, it might not be great to see his name along side hundreds of other names, many of which are crossed off. But then Jacob drops a fairly interesting bomb—the Temple is no longer safe. Someone bad is going to visit and cause havoc. And it’s too late to warn them. Jacob seems sort of indifferent to the fate of his followers.
- Claire tells Jin she’d kill Kate if what he said was actually true, then Not-Locke shows up. Claire introduces him as “not John. This is my friend.” And that’s it. Closing title.
This was a pretty solid Jack episode. I found the LA-X scenes surprisingly moving, even if they didn’t move the ball much. The Island stuff was all interesting and the episode kept everything going, despite little or no screen time for Sawyer, Locke or Ben. It also seemed to set things up nicely for next week’s episode.
No complaints here. What did y’all think?