Thursday, February 25, 2010
Very Old School
Now that was more like it. Last night's episode of Lost, "The Lighthouse" was everything I had been waiting for this season. As Hurley said to Jack, it was "very old school." About the only thing missing was Julie Bowen, but c'est la vie. Before we get into the details of last night's episode, a brief addendum about last week. In my recap, I complained that Sawyer seemed way too gullible. But Doc Jensen at EW.com has set me straight. In his analysis of that episode, he posits that Sawyer is just going along with FLocke's plan so that he can ultimately protect his friends. He's in fact hatching a long con of his own. I like this theory, and its very consistent with the new "hero" Sawyer that we saw last season. Sawyer may be in a really dark place right now, but I just don't see him selling out his fellow castaways, even Jack and Sayid, but especially Kate and Hurley.
But forget Sawyer, this episode was about JACK. Finally, Jack was front and center again, the way he was throughout the first season. I'm convinced that he, not Locke or anyone else, is the central character of the show. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and predict that Jack is not only a "candidate," he is the candidate, whatever that turns out to actually mean. The man who has spent the whole series fighting against the Island will ultimately find redemption when he fully embraces the Island and accepts the role that Jacob has for him. And last night we saw that Jack has come along way, but he also has a long way yet to go.
I liked the way that Jack has come to terms with his flaws and failures. He confesses to Hurley that he's "broken" and accepts that he wrecked his relationship with Kate. He can openly admit that he chased his father's ghost to the cave (in the past, he wouldn't even admit to himself that he had seen visions of Christian Shepherd). On the other hand, while he was drawn back to the Island in pursuit of his destiny, he is once again doubting the Island's significance. But he is clearly searching for answers, as evidenced by his eagerness to follow Hurley once Hurley passed along Jacob's message. And Jacob has Jack's number. He definitely knows what buttons to push to get under Jack's skin, and he seems to have a limitless faith that Jack will eventually end up where Jacob wants him. So what is the Lighthouse? Is it really a signal to outsiders, or simply Jacob's spyglass to the world? Or could it be something that reflects the person using it? Maybe it only exists to provoke Jack. Are there really people coming to the Island or was that part of Jacob's ruse? I was reminded that Jacob whispered to FLocke when he died that "They are coming." I assumed he was referring to our time travelers, but maybe not. Regardless, I thought the Lighthouse was far more impressive and fascinating than the cave that FLocke took Sawyer to last week.
In the parallel world, Jack was dealing with the same father issues that have haunted him on the Island, but with a twist. Jack's a Dad! That's crazy! (Who's the mom -- Sarah, or someone else?). Jack was determined to escape the shadow of his father and forge a new path. He told his son that he didn't want to pass on the same lofty expectations and fear of failure that Jack felt burdened with from Christian. In that moment, Jack seemed to make peace with his father in a way that he has never been able to in the other timeline. For the second straight week, I loved the parallel storyline. I loved that Jack seems so discombobulated, as if his Island memories are lurking in his subconscious somewhere. He couldn't remember when his appendix was removed. Was it when he was a 8 or 9 years old, as his mother reminded him, or was it on the Island when Juliet removed it in the tent?
So many other great things to touch on in this episode. Hurley is quickly becoming the MVP of the season. He makes every scene better. I love the dry comedy of his conversations with Jacob, and I love that he worked in both an Indiana Jones reference and an Obi-Wan Kenobi reference. I chuckled when Hurley echoed fan hypotheses regarding the Adam and Eve skeletons in the cave. And then there's Claire. She's just all kinds of crazy. What does her association with FLocke signify? Did FLocke/MIB/Smokey lure her into the jungle that night so that she would be "infected"? Did he prevent her from time travelling with the other castaways? Does this confirm that the Christian that we've seen on the Island is just another manifestation of FLocke? Do we need to be nervous for Jin? My hunch is that FLocke will use Claire and Jin to infiltrate the Temple.
All in all, I thought this was a packed episode that really moved things forward. The roller coaster has begun, and I'm definitely ready for the rest of the ride.