Over the six seasons of Lost, Dr. Jack Shepard has undergone an amazing character journey. From an annoying man of science with meaningless tattoos, Jack has seen enough miracles and other amazing things happen on the Island to turn him into a man of faith who is somewhat tolerable. At least on the Island.
As seen in tonight’s episode of Lost, The Lighthouse, the off-Island/sideways Jack is still an unsufferable bore.
But he is a candidate.
The deeper we get into Lost’s final season, the more is seems like we’re coming full-circle. Not just in the pattern of flashbacks and character-based stories, but also in the places the characters go. For the first time since Season Two, we’ve revisited the Caves, an important on-Island location that got ignored once DHARMA stations started popping up everywhere. Jack and Hurley came across the caves while on their Jacob-directed journey, which seemed to be just as much about getting them out of the Temple than it did to get them to the Lighthouse.
The discussion between Jack and Hurley while in and after the Caves was the biggest evidence of Jack’s character growth. he admitted as a person that he was broken (even if he didn’t say it was Ben’s influence that got him out of his drug and alcohol-induced haze). Jack also didn’t run after Kate when she made it clear she had no interest in traipsing across the Island with Jack and Hurley.
No, Kate had something better to do. She was about to start the mission she had when she decided to go back to the Island. She’s going to find Claire. Little does Kate know that Claire is now the resident Island crazy, influenced by the dark forces which infected Rousseau and Sayid. Claire’s no longer the innocent little Australian girl. No, she’s a killer, friend and follower of fLocke and survivor who wants to be reunited with her bay-bee. And fortunately for us, she’d be more than willing to kill Kate if Jin’s “lie” about Kate raising Aaron was true.
But back to the main story-Jack and Hurley’s journey to the Lighthouse. After being told by Jacob that he had more work to do, Hurley lied to a samurai and snuck Jack out of the Temple, ending up at a mysterious Lighthouse that was seemingly near the castaways’ caves, but had never been noticed before.
Inside the Lighthouse was a dial with numbers similar to last week’s reveal in Jacob’s cave (which may end up belonging not to Jacob, but to fLocke). Each number had a corresponding name, with most of the names being crossed out. Turning the dial to certain names allowed Jack and Hurley to view an off-Island location, which Jack interpreted as meaning that Jacob had been watching him his whole life. So Jack broke the mirrors and stared out at the ocean. Jacob told Hurley that this was necessary, Jack will know what to do next and everyone in the Temple is gonna die. Well, he didn’t say that in those words, but it’s sometimes pretty easy to put two and two together.
Off-Island we saw more events of Jack’s life, including us meeting a son that he never had in the on-Island dimension and Jack meeting Dogen (the samurai Other). Jack meeting Dogen (even if it lasted all of 20 seconds) was interesting. On the other hand, I had no interest in spending time on a character we’ve never seen before and who doesn’t exist in the reality this show has been based on the past six years. Sure, the Sideways reality has some promise, but eventually, they’re going to have to start telling us why we should be invested in it. We get it, people’s lives are different. But this has to go somewhere. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time as the Island story marches on.
That being said, I liked the on-Island story this episode.
And I’m scared of Claire.
Some other thoughts:
-Jack’s a putz as a father. Big surprise there.
-I don’t know which Hurley line was better: “I just lied to a samurai” or his likening Jacob to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
-A lot of interesting names scribbled on the Lighthouse dial. For instance, here’s Jack:
Last week, I was ready to celebrate because we didn’t see Kate’s name on the cave ceiling. My hopes are now dashed (although she’s not one of THE numbers):
But the most interesting parts of the dial were two crossed-out names in the 100s:
-And finally, a name from another series makes an appearance at 119:
-Yup, I think Tony blew his shot at being a candidate when he betrayed Jack Bauer. Jacob sees all, knows all.
-As far as the important numbers go, it’s curious that Kate wasn’t one of the six main numbers. Also, 108, the sum of the numbers (and another Lost-important number in its own right) is someone named Wallace. I guess I expected Hume.
What did you think?