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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Lost" recap: The Number 23


This post contains spoilers for this week's episode of "Lost." Don't click through if you haven't seen it.

Usually, I don't much care for the Jack-focused episodes of"Lost."
With the rare exception ("Through the Looking Glass" leaps to mind), the Jack episodes are plodding and dull -- mainly because Jack himself can be a bit of a drag. Yeah, count me among the show's many, many Jack detractors. The character is just so self-righteous, so controlling and such a pain in the rump that -- despite the always excellent work of Matthew Fox -- I find him a tough guy to spend the better part of 45 minutes with.
Yet, despite all this, I liked this week's Jack-centric episode "The Lighthouse." I have a weird feeling I'll be in the minority on this, just as I was among the few to really enjoy "What Kate Does." And frankly, I'm not really sure why I liked this episode.
Maybe it's because I find the Jack of this season -- too beaten, broken and desperate to be his jerky old self -- a lot more appealing. His swallowing of the poison pill in "What Kate Does" was a rare "cool Jack" moment and alt-reality Jack's kindness to Locke at the airport reminded me that Jack, for all his faults, does usually have good intentions.
Or maybe my affection for this episode comes from some fairly surprising moments in the off-island story (Jack has a son? Jack still has the scar from when his appendix was removed on the island?). Or maybe I just liked Hurley and Jack kickin' it old school as they journeyed into the jungle on the Jacob mission. I'm not sure. All I can tell you is that I liked it.
At any rate, here are some more thoughts on "The Lighthouse":
* By the way, did the appearance of the lighthouse near episode's end remind anyone else of that "Simpsons" episode when Homer thinks he's found his soul mate -- some guy named Earl who keeps sending him messages -- and it turns out to be a lighthouse beacon (E.A.R.L., as it happens, stands for Electric Automatic Robotic Lighthouse)? No? Then I'm glad I didn't name this post "My Name is E.A.R.L.," as I'd originally planned.
* So, as it turns out, alterno-Jack has a teen (or tween -- I'm bad at age-guessing) son named David. By who? Sarah? I don't remember how long they were together during the original timeline. Was it long enough to have had a kid David's age? Or does Jack have a totally different ex-wife this time around? Juliet, maybe? At any rate, it turns out Jack has as bumpy a relationship with David as he had with Christian. But, by episode's end, it seems David and Jack have made a tentative peace.
* From the "This can't be a coincidence" file: Jack read "The Annotated Alice" to David as a child. In the other timeline, he read "Alice in Wonderland" to his nephew, Aaron. Interesting, especially for an episode that also deals heavily with Aaron's mom, Claire.
* So what is up with the appendix scar? Jack's mom tells him he had his appendix out when he was a kid, but Jack clearly doesn't remember that. Also, it looks too fresh to be that old. So what's going on? I don't know, but my guess it that all the stuff that happened on the island still happened -- it's just that nobody remembers it. I don't know. I'm really no good at "Lost" theorizing. It just makes my head hurt and I'm usually wrong. Better just to take the plot twists as they come.
* Cameo alert: Dogen pops up in the off-island story this week, as the dad whose kid compliments David's musical talent. So, did Dogen always have a son? And we will get his backstory? Do we have room for it?
* Ok, so, let's talk about the on island stuff. I really didn't care much about the trek to the island, but I did enjoy Hurley's awkward attempts at playing spy ("Dude, be cool."). But Jack going on a mission, learning something uncomfortable then flipping out over it? Been there, done that. We did learn a little more about how Jacob "assigned" the numbers to his candidates. They correspond to degrees on the lighthouse wheel.
* Speaking of which, I can't be the only one who had deja vu when they started to turn the lighthouse wheel -- Frozen Donkey Wheel, anyone?
* So, Jacob showed up again. Does this mean he's NOT inhabiting Sayid? Or can he be two places at once? We know Smokey is trapped in his Locke costume, but I think there's a difference between the Locke Mess Monster and what's going on with Sayid. LMM looks like Locke, and has his memories and some of his personality -- but not his physical body. That was buried on the beach. But, with Sayid (and, we assume, Claire), it's more a matter of possession. The "infection," whatever it is, is easing its way into an existing body -- not creating a new entity. So, maybe the "infection" can be in two places at once, whereas the Locke Mess Monster can't? Sigh. I guess. Maybe. Probably not.
* And what's up with the person coming to the island? Is that real, or is Jacob just yanking our chains? And if it's true, who is it?
* Speaking of Claire -- girl has SNAPPED! Was that doll baby in the cradle the creepiest thing going or what? So what happened to her? Is she really sick? Did Christian and her "friend" (i.e. LMM) do this to her? Or is she just a grieving mom who went bat poop crazy after losing her son? Guessing that the latter is too simple, but not entirely convinced it's the former, either.
* Can I just say I feel super bad for Jin right now? That poor guy is gonna have to hustle to stay alive.
Well, that's it for me. What did you think?

1 comment:

MsRaeNYC said...

Never been a huge fan of Jack, but like you, I really liked his defeated self in this episode (until the end when he, as usual, loses his temper and decides to snap into destroy mode). Also, I liked it because I only saw Kate's annoying face for less than five minutes. BONUS.

I actually like your theory about the closed-off island memories...wouldn’t that be something? I wish I had theories…valid ones, anyway. I want to know about the wheel and the freaking mirror images corresponding to the names on the wheel!!!!! CANDIDATES is all Jacob gives me.

What else?! And who indeed is coming to the island? Why has Claire gone mad (I get that she's upset about Aaron)? Is it me, or did she mention something about her father (Christian) when she was talking to Jin?