Lost – Episode 6-5 Revisited

So last week’s episode of Lost received some mixed feedback amongst my family and friends who watch the show. And this surprised me a bit, as I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. Granted, I’m a confessed fan of Jack, so maybe my interest in his character made an otherwise lackluster episode seem pretty satisfactory. Or maybe I’m just too positive – something I’ve been accused of in the past. Those are distinct possibilities, but ultimately I think my philosophy for how I watch each episode explains it.

Basically, when I watch an episode of Lost, there are a few things I factor in when I determine how much I enjoyed it. Most importantly, was it entertaining? I mean, they can answer all the questions in the world, but if it’s not in an interesting manner, does it really matter? Which brings me to my next criteria: Does it answer any questions? I’m not naïve (or unfair) enough to think that they’re going to give us these massively significant answers in an episode that isn’t a premiere or finale, so – to me – I can find satisfaction in simply learning what Jacob’s list refers to. And last – and this is where last week’s episode comes into play – how significant is the episode in the grand scheme of things?

So at face value a lot may not have happened this past episode, but I have a big feeling that certain actions that were taken in this episode will play a big part in future episodes. There’s Jack’s quest, Hurley’s servitude to Jacob, Jin taking Claire to the Temple, Claire’s “friendship” with Locke, and so on and so forth.

Okay, there ya’ go. That’s my methodology. Shall we move onto the thoughts and theories of last week’s episode?

As many people have noted, Kate was on the lighthouse dial, next to the number 51. A lot of people are making a big deal out of the fact that she wasn’t on the cave wall, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily true. There were LOADS of names on the wall that the Locke Ness Monster didn’t mention, for one reason or another. I believe Kate was one of those unmentioned people. I’m intrigued by why she wasn’t named, though.

And for those of you wondering, the name next to 108 – which, if you recall, is the sum of The Numbers – was “Wallace.” As far as I can tell, we’ve never met this person before. Perhaps he’s the person heading to the island?

Now let’s discuss some of the comments left on my blog. The following comes from long-time contributor Kyle:

As for Christian, it’s also possible Smokey switched forms on her, ala him appearing to Ben as Alex and Locke right after the other. You may very well be right, but I’m not sure.

I just find it hard to believe that Christian is going to be written off in such an inconsequential way after playing a relatively significant role over the past five years. If Christian is the Smoke Monster, who we now know can only appear as Locke, that would imply that we’ve seen the last of Christian. I just don’t see him going out with such a whimper. Kyle adds:

Rewatching Season 5, and Christian specifically told Sun (according to her) that if she wants to see Jin again, she has to wait for John Locke. Who goes on to claim he has some ideas about finding Jin.

Seems like an odd thing for someone with Jacob to say, considering who Locke is at this point. Who knows, of course, but it’s something to think about.

I do not believe that Christian is Jacob, but I’m just not entirely convinced that he’s the Smoke Monster either. I’ll be discussing this aforementioned scene a little later, as well. Finally, Kyle brings up this point about Claire:

As far as Claire and time traveling goes, I’m not sure if it was the Temple or something else. Not everyone on the Island time jumped, I don’t think…or were all of the Others in the Temple at that point? I thought someone was out, but perhaps not.

I think Kyle is right about the Others not being in the Temple during the time traveling. I had initially assumed that they were, since they spent pretty much all of the prior season hiding out there. But I now remember that Locke met up with them in the jungle, where he began time traveling but they did not. This brings me back to a question I had been asking since the beginning of last season, which I hope we get an answer to, and that’s what determines who time travels and who doesn’t? The Oceanic survivors did, but those survivors that ended up with the Others (like Cindy) did not. Then on the Ajira flight, Jack, Kate, and Hurley did travel while Sun, Frank, and Ben did not. And Claire? Well, that remains a mystery at the moment.

Also on my blog, DaBooty offered this (I’m going to respond to each point individually):

I was surprised that Jin didn’t explain the whole “Kate was raising Aaron” thing a little bit more. Like hey remember when the Dharma barracks blew up and then you disappeared and left Aaron alone in the jungle? Well we weren’t going to let Aaron just lay there and die so we SAVED HIM! Then again, maybe talking rationally to Claire wouldn’t have worked.

While it did seem a little odd that Jin didn’t try to explain the scenario a bit more rationally, I think he recognized that Claire wasn’t quite right, and that for his own protection – not to mention Kate’s – he’d be better off lying, taking her to the Temple, and hoping that they have some way of “curing” her.

I loved this episode, mainly because of Hurley and Jack’s interactions. It did feel very old school except Jack is not quite the same. I guess because he is still “broken”.

I still think Jack is the candidate and not Christian. That is why Jacob needed to get him and Hurley out of the temple. Jacob seems to be putting all his eggs in one basket with Jack and Hurley (or 2 baskets i guess) by separating them from the rest.

Yes, but for all we know, Jacob needs Jack as a means to getting to Christian. In fact, I could totally imagine Jack believing the hype and thinking that he’s something special, only for it to all come crashing down when he discovers that his father is actually the special one.

I love how the writers answer the question of “how have we not seen this giant lighthouse that isn’t too far from where we lived for a while” with “i guess we weren’t looking for it”. Maybe it wasn’t there before? Who knows. i wish Jack was a little more intrigued by this magic mirror instead of instantly angry and smashed it. It would have been nice if he stopped on some of the other names so we could take a peek.

I agree, his reaction was a bit annoyingly impulsive and arguably selfish, but I guess that’s the reaction Jacob was expecting and perhaps hoping for.

So now we know that the numbers are degrees, but i still want to know what they have to do with the hatch.

I’m not quite sure we do “know” that the Numbers are degrees. In my view, this is just another example of the Numbers popping up. I don’t think we quite know what the Numbers are yet, though.

Looking in the mirror in the ATL is clearly important, and Jack definitley remembers or feels something. Remember, he got his appendix out on the island, which is why his attention was drawn to it.

Yes, but I find it curious that only Jack seems to be aware of the fact that something just isn’t right. And for that matter, the only other character who appeared to experience déjà vu was Kate….when she saw Jack.

Alright, now let’s take a look at the always enjoyable review at EW.com. The first idea actually coincides with the appendix issue above:

Consider this: If we assume that Jack is about as old as Sawyer, then that means it’s very likely that Sideways Jack had his school collapse/appendix episode the very same year that a certain group of time traveling castaways were blowing up Jughead on the Island. What if Young Jack’s collapse was caused by Castaway Jack’s mind/soul getting blown into him? What if Young Jack’s appendicitis was reflexive a psychosomatic response to the appendix-free Castaway Jack’s sudden psychic migration into his mind? What if Castaway Jack’s mind/soul has lain dormant within Sideways Jack ever since, but now is starting to stir and take hold?

Eh, not sure I see this coming to fruition, but it’s a fun little observation. But one thing about Jack that did seem curious was the fact that his son’s mother – presumably his ex-wife – went specially unmentioned. No mention of her name. No photos of her at her home. Was it the same ex-wife he had in the “regular” universe, or was it somebody different? The reviewer proposes this possibility:

Who’s David’s Mom? Who’s the female participant in the creation of this inexplicably conceived Sideways child? Who’s this phantom woman that Sideways Jack was once with and now isn’t? Wouldn’t if be totally ironic and fitting if she was the Sideways iteration of Lost’s resident fertility doc/Jack dumpette, better known to us as Juliet? And you wanna know why she wasn’t home last night? That’s right, kids: Going dutch on coffee with new boyfriend Sawyer.

One problem with this: David’s mother was “out of town” not “out on a date.” That’s not to say I don’t see this being true. I’m just not sure why they’d hold off on this revelation. Why not show a photo of her in her home, and later on we find out she’s dating Sawyer? But as a few people noted, do we really need to see Jack and Sawyer competing over the same girl in yet another reality? Shifting gears to the island world:

Along the way, Jack tried to pick up some baggage: Kate. But Hurley said No, that Jack had to come to Jacob alone. It made sense: Kate is now part of the painful past that Jack has to learn to let go of, part and parcel of the Something (Allegedly) Nice Back Home dream/nightmare that he has to grieve and detach from.

I don’t have much to add to this idea other than the fact that I dig it. Jack has always had issues with letting go of the past – a character “flaw” that seems to be true in both universes (this must also make us wonder: What ended his marriage in the alternative reality?) I was further intrigued by Hurley’s resolve to make sure Jack takes this journey by himself. This Jacob-guided-Hurley is no pushover.

The Lighthouse doesn’t cast light outward. It casts light inward, and reveals the state of your heart. For Jack Shephard, his heart is still locked up in his childhood home, his father’s house, his past, and he won’t be free and realized until he leaves all of it behind.

Possible. Although I still prefer my theory, that Jack’s childhood home is more an allusion to the senior Shephard. Here’s another interesting observation:

The episode was filled with conversations about truth telling. It began with Jack and Dogen praising each other for their mutual honesty. Claire demanded total honesty from Justin the Other as well as Jin, who told the truth about Aaron, then lied about telling the truth to save his life. The episode ended with Hurley scolding Jacob for not playing straight with him. Interesting: the Lockeness Monster professes to be the straight-shooter of the two Island deities, and after this episode, we have no reason to doubt him; the revelation of the Lighthouse didn’t contradict anything UnLocke told and showed Sawyer last week in the cave. Meanwhile, Jacob has resorted to lies, puzzles, and possibly supernatural coercion to get people to do what he wants them to do. And yet, I STILL find myself thinking that Jacob is the good guy and Lockeness is the bad guy in their feud. What do you think?

Somebody in the EW.com comments section responded to this idea far more eloquently than I would have:

MIB gives people the “truth” to shape their choices. Jacob allows people to discover the truth to make their own choices………..alternately known as free will……….

This is indeed an excellent point. Sure, Smokey tells people the truth – at least, we assume he does – but he’s doing so with the intention of manipulating them so that they can do his bidding. He convinced Alpert to tell Locke to kill himself. He influenced Ben to kill Jacob. He managed to get all of the Others to confront Jacob – something they had never done (that being said, he’s also not completely honest – he lied to Claire about the Others having Aaron). While Jacob appears to mislead people, it seems evident that he’s leaving the decisions up to his followers. Like he said to Ben in the statue, he has a choice and he doesn’t have to do this.

tonight’s episode almost guaranteed my theory that Jacks story arc is leading towards him not being the new Jacob but to ending “the game” breaking the endless stalemate (tic-tac-toe). he has struggle since season one to breaking the cycle from turning into his dad now that was mirrored with him breaking the cycle with his sideways son

I’m not entirely positive I see Jack and Sawyer becoming the new Jacob and Man in Black, if only because I don’t foresee them ending the series with Sawyer in such an obviously villainous role. However, that’s not to say the series will ultimately end with two characters (perhaps familiar ones, like Locke and Christian) taking over those roles, essentially saying that this cycle will continue on and on. As another commenter said in response to this remark:

Good observation. I think you are right. Did you notice Hurley and Miles playing tic tac toe and tying every time?

Oh, and that scene with Christian, Frank, and Sun? Consider this observation:

Not only does Christian talk to Sun and Lupidos, doesn’t he point out John Locke outside. Doesn’t JL give one of those signature smile/nods? I don’t think MIB can be two places at once.

That may be the biggest bit of proof that Locke and Christian are not both incarnations of the Smoke Monster. For that matter, if you recall that Christian seemed more or less unaware of the fact that Locke needed to die in order to bring the Oceanic Six back to the island. And we now know that Smokey – as Locke – came up with the plan to begin with.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back Tuesday night with my next review!

Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.