The consensus of Lost watchers has been that the first four hours of this final season have been a roller coaster ride, from great heights ("The Substitute"), to quite low lows ("What Kate Does"). This week's installment, "Lighthouse," was like the part of the roller coaster where it corkscrews around and around horizontal to the ground. It's definitely fun, but you're a little dizzy and disoriented afterwords, headed for a huge incline that will eventually send you screaming towards the ground. There was a lot to like in "Lighthouse," but I don't think it got to the heights of "The Substitute." However, I see it putting all the characters (and the audience) in the proper place for an ascent that will lead us to the final, breathtaking descent. Darlton have said that this 18-hour season has been structured in three 6-hour blocks, with the first six hours getting all of the pieces in their proper places. "Lighthouse" was hour number five so we have just about completed the set-up portion of the season. In the opinions of many Lost watchers, this section of the season can't end soon enough, but I'm willing to give them the time they need. I've trusted the Lost Powers That Be until this point, it would be folly to stop doing so now. On that note, let's take a look at "Lighthouse":
*I really enjoyed Sideways Jack's story. From the gasp that Jack has a son(!), to his heartfelt confession that David could never fail in his father's eyes was some great dramatic television, especially in light of what we know about the other Jack. For a man who, admittedly, obsessed over his father's critique of him (and never got over it in the "real" timeline), it was poignant to see Sideways Jack confront, and be at peace with, his limitations as a man and father. Further, he received from David, what he never gave his father: acceptance. It will be interesting to see how 2007 Jack comes to these same realizations and be finally redeemed on the Island.
*We saw that 2007 Jack hasn't had these realizations yet during his trek with Hurley. He states that he wasn't cut out for having a family and that he would be a terrible father, assumingly because he fears he'd turn into his father. The question is whether Jack has now come to the same conclusions Sideways Jack has after his tantrum in the Lighthouse. When Jack saw the image of his childhood home in the lighthouse mirror, and demanded form Hurley, "What does he want from me?!?" I don't think he meant Jacob. After his visit to the caves and his father's coffin, and subsequent sight of his home, Jack has reached the breaking point with his inner demons regarding his father. "What does he want from me?" succinctly sums up Jack's lifelong attitude towards his father. Perhaps smashing the mirror (and representative image of his old self) and staring out at the ocean will allow this Jack to come to the same conclusions as Sideways Jack. It's clear Jacob wants Jack to lead his troops against Smokey, but only a self-activated Jack. It has to be Jack's choice. When Jacob said that (or at least implied it), I released a large sigh of relief because, as I have complained about before, I was put off by the idea that they are all just pawns with no active choices. Instead, Jack must choose to be the leader, must choose to prove he "has what it takes." My fears are assuaged. At least for now.
*It was great to see crazy Claire, and I thought she was wonderfully played by Emile de Ravin. The question I was left with (and I think Jin as well) is whether she's crazy because she's been out on her own for three years and missing Aaron, or because of whatever sickness she may be infected with. Undoubtedly, it's a little bit of both. Probably the most intriguing thing I took away from Claire's story in "Lighthouse" was the fact that she was told Aaron was taken by the Others by both her father and her "friend." The implication is that Christian and her "friend" (wonderfully revealed to be Smokey, "That's not John. That's my friend!") are two different entities. Now, maybe Smokey has the ability to be in two places at once, but I'm going to assume that Chsitian is not Smokey. I think this is backed up by the scene in Season 5's "Namaste" when Sun and Lapidus are shown the 1977 Dharma photo of Kate, Jack and Hurley by Christian. Yet, at the same time, Smokey (as Locke) was back on the beach at the Ajira crash site. Who Christian could be then, I have no idea. Any thoughts? Lastly, I think Claire will eventually be converted back to the "good" side at some point. With all the torture (both literal and figurative) Claire has gone through in this series, I imagine she will turn out OK in the end.
*Hurley and Jack's trek was certainly fun for it's being "old school," as Hurley described it. Although, it did kind of remind me of some of the worst parts of Lost, namely what Hurley said, them walking around in the jungle to do something they don't quite understand. I could understand Hurley's anger with Jacob that it would be preferable if they were just told what to do, but as Jacob explained, different people need different types of pushes to reach their self-activation points. Further, Jacob had the purpose of getting the two of the them away from the Temple and keep them safe from Smokey's impending attack. What does that mean for Sayid and Miles? I'm not sure, but I can't wait to find out.
*Mirrors, mirrors everywhere. Is there significance so that we'll care (about the Sideways timeline)?
*Loved that Hurley continues to be the voice of the audience. His take on the Adam & Eve skeletons was spot on. I now believe they are not any of the Lostaways, but actually two people associated with Smokey. Perhaps the woman Smokey "lost" and the man she actually loved? I don't know. I assume Rose & Bernard are out there in the jungle in 2007 like the rest of them, so I just can't see how Adma & Eve are anyone we know already.
*Did you catch the sign at the conservatory auditions? "Welcome all candidates." Hehehe.
*Sideways Dogen's line, "It is hard to watch and be unable to help," stuck out to me. Does that mean Dogen is some kind of consigliere like Richard and can't take an active role in whatever game Jacob and Smokey are playing? Something to watch.
*How the hell did Claire escape the Temple? If they were that concerned about her potential evil, how did they let her escape? Did Jacob or Smokey have some hand in her release? Is there a double agent in the Temple?
*The name at 108 on the Lighthouse dial was someone named Wallace, and was crossed out. I know there is speculation that this Wallace will have some significance, but I don't think so. I think Jacob knew that as the dial passed 108, it would reveal the images Jacob wanted Jack to see. Incidentally, those images were, to my eye, were that of the place where Jin and Sun were married, and Oxford or the abbey where Desmond was a brother. Significance of these places? I don't think any other than they are pretty easy to recognize, making sure the audience realized the mirrors were showing places of importance.
*What poison has been fed Claire to make her that upset that she'd kill Kate for taking care of Aaron? I mean, Claire literally abandoned Aaron in the jungle. Shouldn't she be thankful someone took care of Turnip Head?
*There has also been a lot of speculation over who is David's mother. A lot of people are assuming it is Juliet, as David has blue eyes. I was starting to lean that way too, but why couldn't it just be Sarah? Then again, David appeared to be about 14, meaning Jack probably had him in his mid-twenties, before he would have met Sarah. I don't know, but there's a good possibility there will be no significance to this at all.
As far as my predictions on what we'd see in this episode, I was so far off, it's embarrassing to even mention them. So, we'll just move on. Nothing to see here!!
OK, that's what I've got. I know there is still some major consternation over the seemingly unimportance of the Sideways timeline, but I tell those people, have faith. There is no way they are leading us down a path of meaninglessness. Yes, I would like more clues to the Sideways' meaning then Jack wondering about his appendix scar for a minute, but we just have to take that timeline for what it's worth: an insight into how the 2007 characters might be redeemed. What have they found in the Sideways that they are still seeking in 2007? Make sure you check the usual places for more detailed recaps (DocArzt, Doc Jensen, Jay and Jack, Erika). Please take a look at TVOvermind for all of your TV news and recap needs. I'm writing recaps of Chuck, Modern Family, Survivor, and FlashForward over there, and would appreciate you checking it out. I'll be back early next week with a preview of "Sundown," which I can only imagine is the parallel of Season 1's "House of the Rising Sun." Until then, Namaste. I'm off to hide a key under a rabbit.