'Lost' - 'Lighthouse' Recap
by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 24th 2010 4:18AM
(S06E05) Jack took center stage this week, in more ways than one. The character of Jack has always been frustrating to me, and I've realized it's because he's so well written and well-rounded. With many of the characters, you can safely anticipate their behavior, but Jack has thrown in a few surprises along the way.
Yes, his default setting seems to be stubborn, bull-headed anger, but we see enough of the introspective and thoughtful Jack that it's frustrating to see him succumb so completely to that mule side of his personality. Through the use of the Jack story we saw in tonight's flash-sideways, we actually got to witness both versions of Jack in one episode.
We don't know what differences Jack's relationships had in this reality, but it definitely took one different turn as he now has a pre-teen son named David. The only clue we got about the relationship between Jack and David's mother is that Jack knew where the spare key was to get into her house while she was on vacation. It's fairly safe to assume they're on fairly good terms, as these things go. Unless, perhaps, she doesn't know he knows the key is there and has just never moved it.
But while it's cordial, there are clearly darker undertones. Both David and his mother colluded to keep his piano playing from Jack, for fear that he would be disappointed if David failed. How intensely was Jack "really into" David's playing that they would go to such lengths to keep such a wonderful gift from him.
It would seem that despite his best efforts, he's become about as terrible a father as Christian was to him. His son was terrified of disappointing him, and absolutely resisted even talking to him as the episode began. That said, the repair work done on the relationship toward the end netted quick results, though I'm not foolish enough to believe all is well in the Shephard household now. It was a sign that at least this Jack is capable of making some better choices.
The rest of the sideways didn't really hold much of interest, but might prove to if we come back to Jack at some point. Particularly the mention of Claire Littleton in his father's will. At this point, the audience already knows all about that particular secret, so it's a detail that makes sense to us, and offers no real "Oh my!" moment but could make for some fun dramatics later.
A moment that did seem to stand out was Jack's appendectomy scar. In the alpha-verse, Jack's appendix ruptured on the island, leading to an emergency surgery. Here in the beta-verse, that pesky thing was taken care of as a child. Inconsequential difference perhaps, but it was Jack's reaction to the scar -- even going so far as to ask his mother about it -- that tells us something.
Put it up there next to that knowing glance he shared with Kate. I don't know if it's impacting other characters as much, but our Jack seems to be realizing that something is off about the beta-verse. Juliet said the bomb worked, and Lindelof and Cuse have promised the beta-verse is real and not just an alternate look at what could have happened. So these two realities must need to collide at some point. Will things start to fray between them? Maybe alpha-Jack was thinking about his appendix while staring out at the ocean.
More likely, he was just sitting there being angry and pissed off at Jacob and Hurley and the whole damned situation. He wanted the island to "fix" him, but that's just not the way life works. Jack doesn't want to look within himself and make the changes he needs to do to fix himself; something beta-Jack seems willing to do in order to mend his relationship with his son. It's similar to how Beta-Locke was willing to accept his handicap, when Alpha-Locke 2.0 still is running around shouting at people not to tell him what he can't do.
That brings me nicely to Claire 2.0. Much like Locke 2.0, this Claire is very different from the Claire we lost track of. Dogen has told us that what's happening to Sayid is the same thing that already happened to Claire; a darkness clearly took her over. But there are traces of the old Claire in there, just as there are traces of the old Locke in his 2.0 version. It seems to be their most passionate traits: Locke's obsession with limitations, and Claire's motherly instinct over Aaron.
I'm with Jin on one thing, though. Little Claire is scary as hell now. She axed that Other, and has apparently been torturing them for years, convinced that they have Aaron at the temple. Presumably he's alive in the alpha-verse off the island, but we don't seem to be going there anymore. Aaron is pretty important to the story, so I have a feeling we're not done with him. Perhaps he is at the temple somehow, or he's who Jacob wanted Hurley to help guide to the island. Jacob's warning to Hurley that something horrible is coming to the temple would seem to indicate Claire and Locke, as Jin has already agreed to take her there.
With Kate heading to the temple, along with Jin, Claire and Locke, it should make for an interesting confrontation. Particularly if Sayid is truly heading down a similar path of darkness. Is there more than one smoke monster? Can it manifest in other people? Had it infected Rousseau, or are the similarities between her and Claire 2.0 just coincidence? I seriously doubt that.
Jack and Hurley's journey to the lighthouse was an interesting one, with a reminiscent return to the caves the castaways used to live in. Remember how simpler things were then? With Hurley bringing up the skeletons again, it does make you wonder who they might belong to. Nikki and Paulo (HAHAHA!).
We now know about as much about the numbers as we may get. They're not completely random; they're representative of their corresponding numbers in the lighthouse. Turn the mirrors to a certain number and you can watch someone. And apparently Jacob sent them there solely so Jack could realize how important he was to whatever is coming up that Jacob insists on still being cryptic about.
Was Jacob serous about wanting Hurley to help bring someone to the island? He seemed to tell him to turn the dial to 108 degrees, all the while knowing that Jack would look at his own number and then smash the mirrors. Considering 108 is the sum of "the numbers," I would have definitely liked to know what showed up when the dial was turned to there; another reason to be frustrated with Jack's stubborn temper. Why destroy the mirrors? It could have been a useful tool for information gathering.
So far, the pattern seems to be a somewhat slow episode, followed by a great one. This was the slower one, so next week should be insane, right?
LOST AND FOUND (REVIEWS AROUND THE NET)
- "It seems that bits of fact and fiction are colliding, that history is fixing itself - that the universe is course correcting, as Eloise Hawking would say, to fix a rupture in the space-time continuum." [MTV]
- "I was unsure about how this timeline would work when it began; now, I don't want it to end." [Mass Live]
- "Even though it was technically a Jack- and Claire-centric episode, Hurley was on fire. From his line about Jacob only appearing at certain times like Obi-Wan Kenobi, to telling off Dogen because he's "a candidate." [Wall Street Journal]
- "The sideways timeline does not represent a "do-over," and it does not represent a "what if." It represents a spectacularly unique way in which people can learn from their mistakes, apply them to a unique situation, and somehow bring that newly acquired knowledge back into their lives in order to be a better (not perfect by any means) self." [Zap2It]
- "I think the other thing impressing me is how the characters are embracing honesty. From the moment we see Jacob telling Hurley to get a pen to write down what he had to do, to the exchange between Jack and the Samurai and then Jack and Sayid, it is refreshing." [Toronto Star]
[Watch clips and full episodes of 'Lost' over at SlashControl.]