Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lost Episode Review 6.05: "Lighthouse"

"I was chasing the ghost of my dead father. He led me here."

(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).

I was a little disappointed this week, especially in comparison to last week. The lighthouse itself I thought was kinda silly; it has to be a magical Jacob lighthouse that no one can see for them not to have ever noticed it, just another example how everything can be explained away with Jacob around. Of course, every scene with Jacob and Hurley was great - I guess if you're going to make a deus ex machina, it's good to at least make him extremely likable. I also liked Infected Claire - thought she was terrifically creepy and the ending with her "friend" made me clap out loud. And jeez, when Jin looked in the crib all I could think was "get out of there, Jin - get out of there now!"


Alt Jack stuff was fine, just kinda boring (with one very interesting exception - see below) in comparison to everything else going on. Much like Alt Locke, Alt Jack also seems to be happier in this universe. He still has daddy issues, but he's able to get over them. He has a talented son (who happens to look a lot like him - nice casting there). He's not an alcoholic, another rejection of his father's life, and generally seems to have it together. He does seem kinda lonely, but that's better than being a suicidal alcoholic, right?

And in answer to my previous question, about what the Lighthouse in the title stands for, Bigmouth offers a suggestion:
I also think Lighthouse is a reference to To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf's novel in which a house is a character like the Island on LOST.
This nicely dovetails with the idea that Jack is really the lighthouse - the last beacon of hope on the Island. Let's face it, Jacob's options are dwindling here. Locke is dead, Jin is captured, Sawyer's been recruited, Sayid is infected and it looks like the Temple is about to become under siege. Jack and Hurley are really the only two left. Quite the odd couple to save the world, eh?

Five Questions:

1) Is the fact that Alt Jack doesn't remember getting his appendix taken out significant?

Caveat here: I may be totally reading into this. It could be nothing, just another example to show how the two realities are different. But this, to me, was the single most interesting scene of the entire episode. In case you've forgotten, Juliet took out Jack's appendix on the Island in Something Nice Back Home. Since Alt Jack doesn't remember having it taken out, I do wonder if this is a hint the two universes are related.

Now Jack may be a special case. None of the other members of Flight 815 have so far shown any shred of memory of the Island or the present day timeline. But this is actually the second hint we've gotten from Jack - he also seemed to remember Desmond (another Alt anomaly) when he encountered him on the plane. Now at the time simply I chalked this up to Jack remembering his encounter with Desmond in the stadium. But Jack was doing that stadium run in the present day universe after he operated on Sarah, which led to them getting married. But here it certainly doesn't seem like he married Sarah at all, meaning perhaps he either he didn't do the operation or he wasn't successful.

I'm starting to think that all the candidates are pieces of a Jacob-constructed Rube Goldberg machine, one where if everyone is placed in the correct spot at the correct time Smokey will be defeated and a new Jacob will take the Island's helm. The side-effect of all this is that all the candidates' lives will have been made miserable up to that point because of Jacob's machinations in getting them there; Jacob essentially sacrificing the good of the few or the one for the sake of the world. That's why, without Jacob's influence, everyone's lives are better in the Alt universe (except for Kate, perhaps).

So let's say that's true - that Jacob essentially made everyone's lives miserable because it was necessary to defeat Smokey. In that case, I can see Jacob being responsible for Jack fixing Sarah, Locke having issues with his Dad, Hurley thinking he's cursed, etc... all these awful things that Jacob was actually responsible for in order to get them to the Island. Now with Jacob's influence gone in the Alt, everyone is actually a lot happier, but the Island is destroyed. What the ramifications of that are for the world we just don't know yet.

So what would it mean if Alt Jack has some buried memories of the present day timeline? It might be something along the lines of my Dark Tower scenario - where these memories eventually start to drive Jack insane until he corrects it, likely by time traveling to the past. Perhaps Alt Jack is going to be visiting Oxford at some point with Desmond, eh? But it could also mean that the correct timeline, the one that's supposed to solely exist, is the one where Flight 815 crashes on the Island. If that's true, maybe the Alt universe has done something bad to the space-time continuum, something that may need to be eliminated before it deteriorates entirely.

2) So what was the real purpose of the lighthouse?

At first glance, it seems that it's a tool Jacob used to watch all the candidates and make his decision. It certainly looked like the magic mirrors focused on whatever candidate degree Jacob wanted to observe. But this seems a bit odd to me, given that Jacob seemed to be able to materialize at will around any of his candidates. Of course, I guess he doesn't want to make himself to noticeable to them - they might think he's some kind of stalker (which he really is).

Another nice nugget of info this provides, though, is that if totally all of the candidates were written on the lighthouse turntable, then there are only 360 total. Lostpedia has an updated list of all the candidate numbers from Jacob (or Smokey's) Wall. Looking it over, there's only one number above 360: Daniel Faraday. And even that could be wrong, given how illegible some parts of the wall were. Also note: Kate's name is in the lighthouse at #51 and is NOT crossed out. Interesting, eh?

Does the lighthouse actually work as a lighthouse though? Seems like it did before Jack smashed the mirrors. Is this how Jacob brings ships to the Island? Can only people he wants to bring here see the light, which is why the Losties never noticed the lighthouse before? Maybe the lighthouse is how Jacob brought the Black Rock to the Island too.

3) Who's coming to the Island and what does Jack have to do?

Several potential candidates (ha!) here.

It certainly seems Jacob is gearing Jack up to replace him, but you never know. Maybe Jack just has a role to play in getting the new Jacob to his (or her) new destiny. But there are two people who immediately spring to mind who could be coming to the rescue:

1) Desmond - When last we saw him, he was in the process of getting shot by Ben in L.A., seemingly saved by an errant jug of milk. As far as we know, he, Penny and little Charlie are still in L.A. living on a boat. On a boat? Hmmm... Eloise did say to Desmond that "the Island isn't done with him," right? Methinks whether he wants to or not, Desmond's on his way back to the Island. And since he promised never to leave Penny again, I'd guess his family's coming with him.

2) Charles Widmore - Last season, Charles seemed genuinely trying to help both Locke and Desmond and seemed to regret his feud with Ben after putting Penny in danger. Now the fact he helped Locke suggests he may be in cahoots with Smokey, but his concern really seemed genuine to me. Perhaps he was duped just as much as Locke was and, if that's the case, maybe he'll try and make things right. He certainly has the means to do it.

4) So what exactly IS Claire now?

I really, really liked Claire this episode and props to Emilie de Raven for playing crazy as well as anyone on the show. The sickness has turned out to be one of the most interesting things about this season. Smokey's appearance and the fact Infected Claire knew that he wasn't the real Locke certainly suggests the sickness is something caused by Smokey.

But what exactly does it do? In Sayid's case, he definitely died and came back to life infected. In Claire's case, we're really not sure. It certainly seemed she died from wounds inflicted in the attacks on the Barracks, after all, the Claire Locke saw with Smokey in Jacob's cabin seemed eerily calm - much different from this Claire. And Sayid certainly seems normal so far as well. Whatever is does there's a definite progression. But are they really dead, zombie-like creatures or merely corrupted souls (something like a Ringwraith perhaps, an evil servant of Smokey)?

Regardless, methinks Kate is going to have her hands full - now there's an axefight I can't wait to see! :)

5) So who's David's mom?

Guess off the top of my head: Juliet. We know it can't be anyone from Flight 815 - Jack certainly wasn't flying with his ex-wife and somehow I don't think it's his present day ex-wife, Sarah. So if it's not someone from the plane, it seems likely that it's someone we've seen before (otherwise why conceal it) and Juliet, I think, would have to be #1 on the list.

Dark horse candidates: Libby and Ana-Lucia. They were supposed to be on the plane, but we didn't see them. Any other guesses? Gabriela, perhaps?


- Jack smashing the mirrors paralleled Locke smashing the computer in the Swan, a kind of big FU to destiny tantrum. Remember how well Locke's tantrum turned out.

- There was a lot of quality Jackface this episode. Nice to see. Jack at David's audition was very "Party of Five"

- I also loved all the homages to the first season: the caves, Adam and Eve, Shannon's inhaler. Jacob's message for Hurley to give to Jack, that he has "what it takes," was a reference all the way back to the fourth Lost episode, White Rabbit:

A young Jack lies on the ground in fear as a bully threatens him, while his friend, Marc Silverman, is being beaten by another bully. Jack attempts to intervene, resulting in him getting a black eye from the bully.

Later on, Jack explains the fight to his father, who tells Jack about his day at the hospital over a glass of whiskey on the rocks. Christian says that he's able to cope with the difficult job of surgeon because he "has what it takes." He claims that he can make life or death decisions daily, because even when he fails, he can live with the consequences. He concludes that Jack should not "decide," because if he failed, he wouldn't "have what it takes".

- Jacob wanted the lighthouse turned to 108 degrees.

- David is enrolled at St. Mary's Academy

- Dogen says "You're lucky that I have to protect you, otherwise I'd have cut your head off" to Hurley. :)

- Symbol on the Temple wall Hurley stopped in front of. Haven't been able to look it up yet. Anyone got it?

- Note that Jacob seemed saddened over the state of the Temple Spring when Hurley found him.

- Loved Hurley and Miles playing Tic-Tac-Toe. "Tie again, dude"

- Claire to Jin: "The one thing that will really kill you around here is infection." Ha!

Summary: I was set to give this episode a 3.0 and I gave it an "average" in my poll, but on further reflection I think it might be a bit better than that - after writing this review, there certainly were a lot of things I really liked about it looking over the episode as a whole. Let's say 3.75/5. Next episode is called "Sundown," suggesting Smokey's about to go full Smoke Cloud on the Temple. But the title also makes me wonder whether they're hinting that Jacob = Ra. Will we see night descend on the Temple of the Sun God? Discuss. :)


Missie said...

Make no mistake about it- these timelines will be crossing. They opened a show with a shot of the appendix scar- there is no way that's a throw away.

Desmond and Widmore were my #1 and 2 choices for who's coming back as well.

Claire's baby cradle may be the creepiest thing I've seen thus far on the show. She totally made this episode.

I liked the call back to Daniel's childhood with David's piano playing ability. Another piano prodigy may end up being sacraficed for the Island.

I'm sure David's mom is going to be a big reveal. Also, I rewatched last weeks episode at 8pm just because it was such a good one. I usually don't pay any attention to the pop-ups. However, I thought it was interesting that there was aboslutely nothing said during the scenes with the kid and Smokey Locke. It would seem his identity is also being kept quiet. I'd assumed it was Jacob when I first saw the episode. But there seems to be a 50/50 split on it also being Aaron. Arguments could be made for both, and the lack of commentary made last night suggests the ambiguity is intentional.

Jay said...

Yeah, that shot of the scar just seemed a little too prominent for me not to be important.

Totally forgot that Daniel was a piano prodigy too - good catch. Maybe David's mom is Eloise? Ew, no. Though seriously I do wonder what happened to Eloise, Charles and Penny in the Alt. Is it possible Charles died on the Island and Penny was never born? That would give Desmond a LOT of incentive to change things back.

Good catch too on the no popup comment with young blondie - that makes me think it's really Aaron. They wanted us to think it's Jacob, but if they didn't comment, it's got to be Aaron.

Missie said...

So I looked it up on a whim because of the poster in David's room. David and young Daniel play the same Chopin piece on the piano.

Jay said...

Oh, that's an awesome catch!

I went looking for screencaps of David's mom's house and it really doesn't show much. Anyone know if Juliet had a stone rabbit outside her house in the Barracks? I wonder if that was another Alice reference in the show (along with the fact David was reading it). Has Jack gone Through The Looking Glass again?

Missie said...

Somebody needs to dress up as creepy Claire baby for Halloween!

Missie said...

Didn't Ben tell Jack at some point when they were being held prisoner that Juliet looked like his (Jack's) ex-wife? I'm going to go with her as David's mother.

mastaiti said...

I really liked this episode. I got over the annoyance of the lighthouse not being seen with all the Hurley, Jack scenes. I also really liked Claire, I agree that the her creepiness was really cool! I also find myself enjoying the alt timeline. I like seeing what is going on with all of the characters if they were not on the island. This has been a great season so far!

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to think that all the candidates are pieces of a Jacob-constructed Rube Goldberg machine, one where if everyone is placed in the correct spot at the correct time Smokey will be defeated and a new Jacob will take the Island's helm. The side-effect of all this is that all the candidates' lives will have been made miserable up to that point because of Jacob's machinations in getting them there; Jacob essentially sacrificing the good of the few or the one for the sake of the world.

Holy shit. This made me suddenly think of Kelvin and Desmond. What if Jacob is ALSO trying to escape the island - doing something he thinks is vital to save the world, and unable to leave until he finds a replacement?

Anyone know if Juliet had a stone rabbit outside her house in the Barracks? I wonder if that was another Alice reference in the show (along with the fact David was reading it).

The trend in season 6 seems to be to echo characters' episodes in season 1, and Jack's first one was "White Rabbit."

Ness said...

Pretty sure the symbol Hurley stops in front of is an Omega symbol, denoting most commonly "the end".

Jay said...

Y'know I thought of that, Ness. I was even going to make a crack about the Temple being sponsored by Alpha/Omega, just like James Bond. But I thought it would be silly to have a Greek Symbol stand out so prominently in a seemingly Egyptian temple.

Of course, I've been scanning Glyph charts all over the place and I can't find it, so maybe it really is Omega. Seems kinda silly if it is - I would have to think there's a hieroglyph that means "the end" out there, right? (I don't know, I'm asking). :)

Ness said...

Heh, I don't know either! Just cos we've only seen Egyptian glyphs so far doesn't mean they can't have Greek symbols too, I guess! After all, the tapestry Jacob was weaving did have quotes from the Odyssey, right?