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Thoughts on LOST–“Lighthouse”

Posted by Andrew Zercie on February 25, 2010

"Lighthouse" focused on Jack Shephard, and his fractured father-son relationships.

I’m not going to write an in-depth analysis or an episode recap of “Lighthouse,” because there are many, many others out there on the web who do a great job and will do into much more detail.

What follows, instead, is a collection of random thoughts based on what I saw in what was another instant classic episode for one of TV’s best-ever series.

–In the closing minutes of the episode, I turned to my wife and said, “I bet David [Shephard] is in Ben Linus’s European History class.” At the moment, it seemed to make sense. Of course, my better half reminded me that Jack had picked up David at a private school, not at the seemingly public school that Ben and John Locke were working at. My wife’s always got my back.

–Staying with David Shephard, my money is on Juliet as the mom. I know there are many speculating that the mother is Kate or, perhaps, Jack’s pre-Island ex-wife Sarah.

Let’s rule out Kate on age alone. David looked to be around 13. A conservative guess on Kate’s age is under 30, perhaps closer to 25. This would mean Kate would have been anywhere from 12-to-17 years old when David was born. That would certainly paint Jack in a different light.

Sarah was from Jack’s former reality. I am ruling her out on the belief that the Jack Shephard we see in the parallel reality depicted on LOST at the moment. It seems that the Islanders are more connected in the parallel reality than they were in the “flashback reality” shown in previous seasons. Sarah was not an Islander. I could be way off on this, but she just doesn’t fit.

This brings me back to Juliet. I’m going on the assumption that she and Jack meet in med school. Jack grows distant or whatever. They divorce. She’s dating Sawyer now. Maybe they go dutch on coffee…

–Something else that many people have focused on were the names scrawled out along the dial inside the lighthouse. Through the magic of the pause button on my DVR, I went back to sneak some peeks at some of the names that were listed.

#108 was “Wallace.” My guess is that Wallace is someone we know already but haven’t seen in a while, like Walt or Desmond. Perhaps it is someone else I’m not thinking of. Maybe it’s someone who’s on the show all the time, and they’ve simply gone by a different name for years. Mostly, I hope the folks behind LOST don’t introduce another new character into the mix this late into things. That’s the last thing we all need.

 Some of the other names listed on the dial there:

109?: Friendly…he’s the guy from the Others who took Walt away from Michael at the end of season one. Mr. Friendly. It was an ironic name at the time. His name was crossed out.

117?: Linus…Ben, or his dad? Either way, it was crossed out.

51: Austen…Kate. Not crossed out.

20: Rousseau…the crazy French lady or her daughter? Either way, crossed out.

42: Kwon; 15: Ford; 16: Jarrah; 23: Shephard. Same as in the cave.

–Back to Jack and David…their relationship reminded me a lot of how Michael and Walt interacted during the first season. Michael didn’t know how old Walt was and wasn’t a part of his life. Michael didn’t understand how important Walt’s dog, Vincent, was to him.

We saw some of that with Jack and David. When asked by Dogen how long his son had been playing piano, Jack said he didn’t know. David insinuated that their relationship was non-existent when he said to Jack at one point, “We see each other once a month, let’s just get through this.”

While many (if not all) of the characters have significant issues with their fathers, Jack’s is the most glaring, and his fractured father-son relationship was reflected in his interactions with David as well.

–And yes, I used “reflected” purposefully, because I want to highlight the use of reflections early in this great, final season. All of the characters (Jack, Kate, John Locke) who have been featured prominently in the parallel reality off the Island looked at themselves in the mirror, and were reminded in some ways of their Island selves. This brings new meaning to “Through the Looking Glass”.

Jack saw his appendectomy scar in this last episode. This occurred on the Island, with Juliet performing the surgery. While Jack momentarily wondered how the scar came to be, his mother reminded Jack he had his appendix out when he was a child. On the plane in the season premiere, Jack had a fresh cut on his neck, which then mysteriously disappeared when he returned to his seat.

After Kate fled the authorities in the airport and found her way to a mechanic’s shop to change, she looked in a mirror for a second before going through a bag she picked up out of the taxi she had commandeered. It was Claire’s bag, and the first item she grabbed from inside it was the stuffed killer whale that she had given Aaron when she had cared for him.

As for Locke, he was mulling over his life as he looked into the mirror. Should he call Dr. Shephard, the nice man he met in the airport, and schedule a free consult for his spinal condition? After pushing the mirror aside, Locke was prepared to move on with his life, continuing to stay in his wheelchair rather than schedule an appointment with the good doctor.

–The reflections got me thinking about the idea of the “parallel reality.” Are these really glimpses into some kind of reality? I no longer believe this.

I view it more as wish-fulfillment. Each of the three characters who have been featured in this other realm have gotten the one thing they weren’t able to grasp or understand before.

Locke gained acceptance, support, and love from Helen, something he pushed away previously. Kate gained the ability to put others ahead of herself, something she was never capable of doing before. Jack gained a son, and a better understanding of the fears of his father, and why his own father-son relationship was not good.

Questions linger though: what do these “other reality” moments do for these characters on the Island? How will the off-Island stories connect with on-Island action?

–One of the other big developments in “Lighthouse” was Claire basically becoming Rousseau, Version 2.0.

I don’t think Claire is crazy though. I think she’s doing what she needs to do to survive and she’s putting on a good show. Maybe she even got instructions from NotLocke and/or Christian Shephard on what to do, how to handle herself. Or perhaps that Dogen guy (whose interaction with Jack in the parallel reality was short, but felt loaded).

 –Hurley, as usual, stole the show for me. Comparing Jacob to Obi-Wan Kenobi was great. His interactions with Dogen and Jack were funny. His evolution from the Man with the Punchline to a leader with some charisma, both on the Island and in the “wish-fulfillment reality,” has been one of the great changes to the show. The fact that Hurley’s confidence in both realities is similar furthers my belief that the two places are intertwined somehow.

–One of the many things I’m wondering: when Jacob tells Hurley not to go back to the temple because someone bad was going to the temple, was he talking with 100% certainty about Fake Locke? Because it’s possible that the real evil isn’t Fake Locke. Ben Linus has consistently played the villain, and always seems to have his own agenda. Ilana, being new and mysterious, also has me wondering if she could be the source of Jacob’s worry.

I know Locke is now the Smoke Monster; there is no question he is bad. But my question at the end of this episode is if he is really the one that should be feared, or if someone worse is laying in the weeds, so to speak.

–Lastly, there was this exchange between Jack and Hurley, upon encountering the lighthouse:

Jack: “I don’t understand. How is it we’ve never seen it before?”
Hurley: “Guess we weren’t looking for it”.

Talk about saying everything without saying anything at all. Hurley’s loaded answer to Jack’s information-seeking question implies that only those who have been directed by Jacob to find the lighthouse will do so.

Now, large structures such as lighthouses don’t just appear at the whim of a seemingly all-knowing spirit so, like the four-toed stature foot and the temple, the lighthouse has always been there. However, since the Island itself has the capability to move when someone turns a frozen donkey wheel, who’s to say that the location of the lighthouse can’t be manipulated by Jacob or someone else?

I could go on for another couple thousand words on various theories pertaining to the Island, the show, the characters, etc. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed my contribution to the LOST universe. Thanks for reading.


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