For those of you non-Losties, I promise I’ll be blogging about lots of other shows again soon, but for now I’m continuing my catch-up with a look at the 108th hour of Lost.
Hmm… so far in season six we’ve a two-hour first episode with flashes involving lots of characters, and then a Kate episode, a Locke episode and now a Jack episode. Sounds familiar. Last year, Damon and Carlton said that we’d find the final season to be quite similar to the first, and it seems it’s not just in terms of the feel of the show and the return of old faces. We’re seeing the “flashsideways” in the same order as the original flashbacks, too.
In this episode, there was more evidence that things aren’t quite what they seem in the timeline where Oceanic 815 didn’t crash, and also that there’s a lot more that has changed. We’re with Jack, who notices that he has an appendix scar, something he casually assumes he’s forgotten about, surely signifying some sort of blurring between the two realities. He goes to pick his teenage son David up from school. There’s no clue about who the mother might be (the boy’s age means it’s clearly not Sarah) but whoever it is, they’re no longer together. The father-son relationship, like practically all on the show, isn’t great. While Jack wants to be a good dad, there’s no communication or common ground between them. Jack goes to help his mother look for Christian’s will, which they eventually find, discovering that he’s left money to Claire, his secret daughter. When Jack returns home, he finds that David has gone to audition at a music school, for which he is a “candidate”. He arrives just in time to see his performance. Dōgen is there too, he previously said he was brought to the island, so like many of the Others from Cindy to Juliet he must have had a normal life on the outside world, which here he’d carried on. In the end, Jack reconciles his differences with his son, wanting to be a better father than his own.
Back on the island in the 2007 reality, Claire frees Jin from the bear-trap and takes him to her ramshackle camp to have his nasty leg wound treated. There, he finds a cot containing macabre doll fashioned from an animal skull and some fur. She brings Justin, who is still alive, back to be tortured. She asks him where Aaron is. He, of course, doesn’t know, but she is certain that the Others took her baby, saying that her father and her “friend” told her so. Just as she’s about to kill him, Jin says that Kate took him and raised him in LA. Unfortunately, that still meant an axe in the chest for Justin. Jin later lies, perhaps in the hope of being brought back to the Temple, saying that Kate didn’t really take Aaron and the Others have him. Claire says that’s good, because she’s have killed Kate if it were true. The smoke monster, still in the guise of John Locke, appears with a chilling smile and Claire introduces him as her “friend”. He’s still recruiting.
Back at the Temple, Hurley is visited by Jacob, who gives him precise instructions on where to take Jack, which Hurley writes on his arm. As he looks around the tunnels, he’s threatened by Dōgen, and Jacob tells Hurley to say that he is a candidate, which makes Dōgen immediately back off, saying in Japanese “You’re lucky that I have to protect you. Otherwise I’d have cut your head off.” He eventually persuades Jack to come with him, following Jacob’s advice to tell him “You have what it takes”, something his father always said the opposite of.
Although the episode was Jack-centric, Hurley was the real heart it, and you could tell his genre-savvy lines were written by Damon and Carlton. When asked why he’s looking at the Temple wall, says he likes “all that Indiana Jones stuff”, when Jack asks to talk to Jacob he says he appears whenever he chooses, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, and as he walks through the jungle, he mentions how the mission is “very old school”, as it felt just like season one. The route they took, which was given by Jacob, seemed very specific. Along the way, they pass by Kate, who says she’s going to see Claire. Jack finds Shannon’s inhaler and then walks by the caves. Remember the caves, the place Jack persuaded half of the survivors to come and stay at back in season one? Seems such a long time ago now. Inside, where they were left, are the bodies of “Adam & Eve”. Hurley speaks for all viewers when he ponders whether the bodies belong to two of them after a trip back to “dinosaur times”. Jack, meanwhile, thinks about his father’s coffin, which he discovered here to be empty.
They arrive at the Lighthouse, another of the island’s ancient structures which, as Jack points out, they’ve strangely never noticed before. At the top is a fire pit with mirrors, which can be turned to point in different directions, surrounded by a dial with the 360 marked. Next to each number are the names from the cave last week. Hurley says Jacob told them to turn to 108 degrees. As it turns, Jack briefly sees the place Jin & Sun got married reflected in mirror. He asks for it to go to the number marked Shepard, 23, and sees the reflection of the house he grew up in. Jack realises that Jacob has been watching him, watching all of them, all their lives and not for the first time flies into a rage, stupidly smashing up the mirror. Afterwards, while Jack is sitting and thinking as he looks out to sea, Hurley apologises to Jacob for everything going wrong. Jacob explains this it was all planned, Jack is here to “do something” and first he needed to see how important he is. He also says that he had to get them away from the Temple, because “someone bad” is about to arrive there. As Hurley is about to rush back to warm everyone there, Jacob tells him that it is already too late.
Although they helped to reveal more about the nature of the new timeline, the flashsideways were mostly recalling the flashbacks in season one, character-based drama which doesn’t particularly move the main story along. While there’s an audience for that, I think most of us are more interested in finding out what the heck is going on, so it was the island stuff that was the most interesting here, with Claire making Danielle Rouseau look completely sane and Jacob sending Hurley and Jack on a mission. The Lighthouse itself was particularly revealing, with a big part of the answer to one of the biggest questions of the whole series. It was, though, the final nail in the coffin for anyone’s hopes that the series exists within even the most extreme boundaries of science. We’re very much in the realm of divinity and the supernatural, there’s no explaining this with quantum physics.
After the pilot, Kate, Locke and Jack episodes, the sixth hour of the first season was House of the Rising Sun, a Sun-centric episode where we first discovered those two bodies in the caves, Adam and Eve. This week’s new episode, tomorrow at 9pm on Sky1 HD, is called Sundown, so I wonder if the pattern will continue…