Key Points from "Lighthouse"
Season 6, Episode 5
Episode Air Date: 02/23/10
Jacob is a tool.
I knew someone who pulled similar nonsense. Lots of faux wisdom and "you need to learn your own lessons." Total crap. Truth was, this person didn't know how to communicate so they filed all their failings under "Zen Teaching" and fancied themselves quite clever.
Jacob does the same thing. All those smug looks. All those ridiculous lists. Someday -- someday soon -- I hope he regains corporeal form so each castaway can kick him squarely in grapes. No wonder Flocke wanted this guy dead.
But enough with my Jacob rant. Let's dive in to this week's episode.
The 2007 timeline is a trip down memory lane of sorts. Hurley, per Jacob's request and instruction, convinces Jack to tag along on a trip to the island's lighthouse (yet another island landmark we've never seen). Jack is initially reticent to leave the Temple because, medically, he's never seen a zombie transformation and Sayid's brain-eating apotheosis could be quite the show. But Hurley -- again, via Jacob -- tells Jack he's "got what it takes" and this activates the Dr. Daddy center of Jack's cerebral cortex. He's powerless to fight it. So off they go to the lighthouse.
Here's what they see and do along the way:
-- There's a brief Kate sighting. Jack tries to convince her to tag along on the lighthouse adventure, but she's hellbent on finding Claire. (A quest she might want to reconsider ... more on that in Point 3).
-- While traveling to the lighthouse, Hurley and Jack come across three island props that haven't been seen in quite some time: Shannon's asthma inhaler, the shards of Dr. Christian Shephard's casket, and the petrified remains of Adam and Eve. None of these crack open a new chapter in the island's mythology, but the casket prompts Jack to admit he once chased the specter of his dead father around the island. Adam and Even cause Hurley to ponder timeline implications.
-- Upon reaching the lighthouse, Jack offers an incredulous and appropriate remark about its sudden appearance on an island they've traversed many times. Given that -- and Hurley's "maybe we weren't looking for it" response -- I'm wondering if Jacob has / had the ability to create or alter physical structures. Either that or the castaways are just incredibly dense.
The lighthouse looks like it was built by Da Vinci -- or maybe a "Da Vinci Code" set designer. It's got the requisite weathered rocks and ancient creaky gears. Hurley has been instructed by Jacob to use those gears to point the lighthouse machinery to 108 degrees. But as Hurley cranks the contraption, Jack notices numbered castaway names written along the edge of the lighthouse hardware. It's the same name-number combinations written on the walls of Flocke's cave. Jack pushes Hurley aside and calibrates the device to the "23 - Shephard" setting. He's stunned to see his childhood home reflected in a series of mirrors lining the lighthouse.
And this is when Jack realizes he and his fellow castaways have been played all along.
It's a pretty significant conclusion, actually. A bit out of character for Jack, too. He's usually too pigheaded to understand mystical answers -- or those that require a wee bit of outside-the-box thinking. But you really can't expect too much from Jack; it's always one step forward, one step back with this guy. As such, he celebrates his intuitive conclusion by destroying all the lighthouse mirrors in an epic temper tantrum.
-- At the end of the episode, as Jack sulks on a cliff, Jacob reappears to Hurley and tells him two important things: First, the entire lighthouse adventure was orchestrated to help Jack understand how important he is (again ... that's such a lame thing to do). Second, Jacob also wanted to get Hurley and Jack safely away from the Temple so they'll be gone when "someone bad" pays a visit. That certainly doesn't bode well for Sayid, Miles, Dogen, Lennon and the temple denizens who have dedicated their lives to the great and mighty Jacob. It's yet more evidence that Jacob, like Randy Nations, is a huge douche.
The flash-sideways timeline appears to hinge on a question: what would the castaways lives have been like if Jacob hadn't intervened? That's probably evident to everyone else (I'm a little slow these days), but I found it to be a fairly big shift. Maybe the bomb wasn't the catalyst. Or maybe it wasn't the only catalyst. Perhaps Jacob's death and the '77 explosion combined and mixed to create the alternate timeline.
The flash-sideways are also going well beyond what I perceived to be the original idea. Instead of simply showing differences in castaways' lives after Oceanic 815 arrives safely, we're also seeing that pre-Oceanic events differ considerably in the alternate universe. Last week, we learned that Alt Locke is engaged to Helen and appears to have a decent relationship with his father. That's a big shift from Real Locke's pre-island existence.
We see more of the same this week in Jack's alt-timeline scenes. For starters, he has a teenaged son named David. (Note: David's mother isn't shown -- Jack is clearly not involved with her -- but the boy has bright blue eyes that resemble those of a recently-departed fertility doctor.) We also see that Alt Jack has an ability to get past his daddy issues. Much as Alt Locke achieved an emotional breakthrough when he admitted there are things he can't do, Alt Jack bonds with his son by moving past the paralyzing fear of failure Christian Shephard instilled in him. Real Jack can't even think of Dr. Daddy without punching something.
Anyone holding out hope that dirty and disheveled Claire would bear some resemblance to sweet old Claire had those dreams squashed this week. New Claire is a hot mess. And not in a good way. She might be nuttier than Rousseau ever was.
Beyond the insanity, we discover a number of other disturbing things about Ms. Littleton this week:
- At some point, Claire was taken to the Temple, poked with needles and branded. It looks like she endured the same test Sayid faced (and failed). How she got out of the Temple is not clear.
- Flocke and the specter of her father, Dr. Shephard, convinced Claire the Others stole Aaron and are holding him in the Temple. Nice.
- Claire deals with her pain by killing Others and playing mother to an animal skull tucked into a bassinet. (Good thing we know Vincent is with Rose and Bernard ...)
- Jin, in a moment of panic, tells Claire that Kate has been taking care of Aaron for the last three years. But after watching her dig an axe into the gut of Justin the Other, Jin backtracks and confirms her suspicions that the Others kidnapped Aaron. It's a survival lie.
- Claire's quick acceptance of Jin's revised story suggests she's a couple sandwiches short of a picnic.
- Claire vows (theoretically) to kill Kate if she's been raising Aaron. That'll make for an awkward reunion!
A few closing questions and observations:
- Best Line: "I'm a big fan of temples and history and Indiana Jones stuff." -- Hurley to Dogen
- Second Best Line: "I just lied to a samurai." -- Hurley
- Is another batch of candidates en route to the island? That's what Jacob tells Hurley, but the entire lighthouse adventure was really just an elaborate teaching mechanism. So it's possible no one is coming. Or maybe this new group is the "they" Jacob referred to moments after Ben stabbed him in the season five finale ("they're ... coming ... aaaagggguuuuu)".
- Alt Jack briefly crosses paths with Alt Dogen. Maybe Dogen is Jack's new Desmond.
- David's piano audition was on Friday the 24th, which supports claims that the 10/22/04 date on Claire's ultrasound was a mistake rather than a clue. 9/24/04 was a Friday. 10/24/04 was a Sunday.
- I hope Sayid and Jack tie a bow around Shannon's inhaler and give it to Sawyer in the series finale.
That's all I've got!
"Sundown" -- Sayid confronts post-death complications (zombie!). Airs Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
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