Musings and random observations from the latest episode of Lost. Another stream of consciousness post. A long, stream of consciousness post. I do present some theories, and delve into some of the potential Biblical meanings of the episode.
If you don’t want to be spoiled about Lost, please don’t read this post. You’ve been warned. (SPOILERS BELOW)
I’m surprised. My initial thought is tonight’s episode is my favorite of the season so far. Before the season, I would’ve thought it’d be the Locke-centric episode. While I enjoyed last week’s episode, I wasn’t enthralled by it like some were. Tonight’s episode, from start to finish, was great. There didn’t seem to be a wasted second. And, somehow, Jack is becoming one of my favorite characters. (My friend Nathan puts it as “Matthew Fox isn’t mailing it in anymore”.)
Once again, the mirroring of season one continues. Tonight’s episode, “Lighthouse“, had similar themes to the first Jack-centric episode of season one, “White Rabbit“. Obviously, there were the Alice in Wonderland references throughout the episode, like with the book David was reading, Hurley telling Jacob how was he suppose to get “Jack to go on your little adventure”(Original title is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), the house key under the rabbit.
Other similarities between the two episodes? The caves were discovered in the season one episode, and revisited tonight. Father-son issues drove the narrative of both episodes. “A needle in a haystack.” Jack back in his dad’s home office. And, whereas in the season one episode we wondered if that really was Christian Shephard, the white rabbit Jack was chasing, tonight we know who Christian (probably) has been all along. As I’ve speculated, he’s the Man In Black. (I need to highlight the predictions I get right, since I get many wrong!)
A surprise right off the back in the flash-sideways timeline, Jack is a father. His son is David Shephard, who happens to be a talented musician. Obvious question, do you know of any famous male, teen shepherds that also were talented musicians? Obvious answer, King David of the Bible. David was part of the lineage from Adam and Abraham, and Jesus descended from David. In the previous episode, we heard Man In Black talk about Jacob looking for a replacement. A replacement in being the protector of the island. A shepherd. Someone to carry on the line of shepherds (protectors of the island), so to speak. (Thinking out loud here.) Is Jack Shephard the next shepherd of the island? What does this David’s future hold in the flash-sideways timeline?
Jesus was of the line of David. Jack’s son, David, attends St. Mary’s Academy. Saint Mary is the mother of Jesus, a descendant of King David. It all loops together, and we’ll touch on loops a bit later.
Jack had conflict with his father, Christian, in the season one episode, but in tonight’s episode he has conflict with his son, David. In the Bible, King David had conflict with his father-in-law, King Saul, and with his sons, Absalom and Adonijah. (King Saul even refers to David as “my son.”)
King David could often calm the torment within King Saul when he played music. When David plays the piano, his father Jack has a catharsis and seemingly has a moment of peace.
In the season one episode, Jack is told by his father “he doesn’t have what it takes” to be a leader. This is referring to Christian telling Jack he couldn’t handle/live with the ramifications of making life and death decisions. However, Jacob has Hugo tell Jack that “he does have what it takes”. I think this signifies Jack’s moral compass as opposed to his dad’s lack of one. Jack is hurt by not being able to fix people. He just can’t be emotionally detached. The Great Physician, Jesus, is similar. Jacob sees the good with Jack’s traits, where his dad, Christian, saw the bad.
2SAQ321 is the license plate on Jack’s car in the flash-sideways timeline. Translate to 2 Samuel 3:21? Probably not, but here’s the verse. Then Abner said to David, “Let me go at once and assemble all Israel for my lord the king, so that they may make a compact with you, and that you may rule over all that your heart desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.
We first see Jacob he is looking into the springs. The speculation is the springs became dirty after his death. Jacob needs Hugo. He needs the “candidates”. They are part of a bigger plan. Jacob’s hope resides in them, characters who are broken, sinful and clueless. In reality, Jesus’ plan and hope for the redemption of the world lies with humanity.
When Hurley is in the hallway looking for the hidden tunnel out of the temple, he is looking for a specific hieroglyphic. He finds it, it is the Shen. According to this site, Shen is a loop of rope that has no beginning and no end, it symbolized eternity. The sun disk is often depicted in the center of it. The shen also seems to be a symbol of protection. It is often seen being clutched by deities in bird form, Horus the falcon, Mut the vulture. Hovering over Pharaohs head with their wings outstretched in a gesture of protection. The word shen comes from the word “shenu” which means “encircle,” and in its elongated form became the cartouche which surrounded the king’s name. Eternity. A never-ending loop. Two similar concepts that are laced throughout Lost. Shen is clutched by birds. What bird have we witnessed on Lost before? The Hurley bird. It all comes back together, like a loop.
“I’m a candidate and I can do what I want,” says Hugo to Dogen. The Others revere candidates. We’ve seen it before when Locke came amongst The Others in season three, and was greeted with hope by most of them. (All except Ben and Mikhail.)
The Others, they are chosen by Jacob to be separated. In the Bible, Israel was Jacob’s new name. The nation Israel was picked by God to be his people amongst the nations. They were separated. The nation Israel was always looking for the coming king, redeemer, savior. My new theory on the candidate? He is like the coming king, redeemer, savior. Jesus is called the Great Shepherd. In Lost, I think Jack Shephard will be THE candidate. (Hurley says to Jack that he thought Jack and Kate would get married and have a dozen kids. Dozen fits conveniently with the twelve tribes of Israel.)
Claire’s character was great. The doll she created to be the substitute Aaron? Creepy and believable considering everything. Why did Jin keep quiet about Aaron initially? Hard to blame him considering the craziness he found himself in with Claire. (Anyone else have a flashback to the movie Cast Away and Winston?)
“One thing that’ll kill you around here is infection”. The infection still hasn’t been explained, but maybe that comes next week?
Claire and Jin have random scenes together, but they’re good. I still like their scene, in the series premiere, where Jin gives Claire some food to eat, and it causes Claire’s baby to start kicking again. Their connection is due to Aaron.
When Jack and Hurley are at the caves, Jack reminisces about how he originally found the caves. While it’s true they were found while he was chasing his “white rabbit”, during that chase he almost died. He tried to tackle what he thought was his father, and nearly fell over a cliff. He was saved by Locke. So, was Man In Black, posing as his dad, trying to kill a candidate, in Jack, back then? And then a fellow candidate saves him?
Why did Jack come back to the island? Because he was broken. He thought the island could fix him, but now he thinks that was stupid of him to think. Often, people turn to God, or the divine, when they are broken. Jack turned to the island.
Jack echoing many when he says, “I don’t understand. How come we’ve never seen it (the lighthouse) before”? Hurley’s response was beautiful. “Guess we weren’t looking for it”. In a Christian sense, Jesus calls himself “the light”. He is all around us, the light is around us, but if you aren’t looking for it you’ll never see it. Often, after one becomes a Christian, they look back upon their life and see how God was trying to get their attention.
In the flash-sideways timeline, you see these coincidental connections between the characters that are not coincidental. They don’t know it at the time.
The lighthouse. In the middle of the lighthouse contraption is black rocks. When we first see the arrow pointing to degrees, we see names. Some names that are crossed out? Linus, Almeida, Friendly, Lewis, Rousseau. Names that are not crossed out? Kwon, Austen, Ford, Jarrah, Shephard. (Kate’s name, Austen, doesn’t line up with 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 or 42.)
Jack surmises that Jacob’s been watching them all along. He wants to know why he’s been watched his whole life. He wants to know what Jacob wants from him. The fury Jack has is palpable. It’s a fury people have had when asking God similar questions about their own lives. Such as, “If God is God, and knows all things and has been observing my life, then why did (fill in the blank) happen in my life”? It reminds me of something along the lines Dan Allender says. “Did God author the evil and sin you experienced in your life? I don’t know, but I do know that God can author the redemption of it.” The evil in our lives can be used for good and to defeat evil.
When Jacob shows up on the scene, Hurley starts asking him what he’s doing and thinking the whole plan has failed. Our ways are not God’s ways, and it starts to become clear that what Jacob wanted all along did come to pass. Jacob wants Jack to know how important he is. Jack is on the island because he has to do something, but he has to find out what that is himself. This is another method of God. How often we find out our calling in bits and pieces. We want to find out what it is immediately, but it is usually doled out to us when we are ready for it. In the process of finding out our calling, we are refined, we are prepared, we buy into it…we find it when we are ready for it. And, we find it at a point where we can act upon it and accomplish it. Jack is walking through his own “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4) to become a man of faith. He is on his way to playing the Locke role.
As Jacob says, sometimes the calling is easy and clear, like when Jacob told Hurley directly what he needed to do. It’s that easy sometimes.
Jacob wanted Hurley and Jack as far away from the temple as possible. Why? Man In Black is coming. Claire will be in tow, and she’s “infected”. Also, Sayid is “infected”. Not really a place for the candidates. Man In Black is looking for the candidates. The same candidates that Jacob has identified. I wonder if the lighthouse is Man In Black’s? Jacob never said the lighthouse was his, and we saw black rocks there. I wonder if Man In Black has also been spying on the lives of the potential candidates? I wonder if this is similar to the bet God and the Devil had with Job? Jacob and the Man In Black could be referring to this in their dialog in the season five finale.
JACOB: I take it you’re here because of the ship.
MAN IN BLACK: I am. How did they find the Island?
JACOB: You’ll have to ask them when they get here.
MAN IN BLACK: I don’t have to ask. You brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren’t you?
JACOB: You are wrong.
MAN IN BLACK: Am I? They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.
JACOB: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.
We are all part of a bigger plan. Is it fate, or of our own free will? In a sense, we are pawns in the chess match between good and evil. We play the role of Job, to a degree. Both sides are watching us, monitoring us, doing whatever they can to win us to their side and thus show the other side to be wrong. In the end, the Bible says God (and thus good) will triumph over evil. As Jacob says, “It only ends once”.
- Dejavu moment of the episode, Jack looking at his appendix scar and wondering when it happened. It was taken out in season three, but in the flash-sideways timeline it was taken out when he was “seven or eight.” (I’ll go with eight.)
- Miles and Hurley playing tic tac toe was great. Hidden meaning? Who knows. Those two are comic relief together, but they keep playing the game and no one wins. Who else is playing a game that apparently hasn’t had a winner? Jacob and Man In Black, as discussed in the opening scene of the season five finale.
- Boston Red Sox, a team with its own mythical history. Baseball has its own mythology, so it is apropos that the sport plays a bit role in Lost. David is apparently a Dodgers fan.
- Jack, always trying to please his parents to the detriment of others.
- Hurley is often the voice of the fans, I think, with some of his quips, questions and thoughts.
- Hurley’s pop culture references make me smile. “Big fan of…Indiana Jones stuff”, “I just lied to a samurai”, “Turns up whenever he wants like Obi Wan Kenobi”, Awesome.
- What if the skeletons in the caves are the two original island inhabitants, and the successive “candidates” are from those skeletons lineage?
- It probably is nothing, but why have a person moving boxes, at night, when Jack pulls up to David’s mother’s house? I’m so use to those kind of random details popping up in later episodes. It’s probably nothing. Just like how one of the numbers appeared in the house’s address. 233.
- Another mirror to season one? Hurley telling Jack it’s “old school” with them trekking through the jungle again.
- Does Dogen know more than he is letting on in the flash-sideways timeline? One could think that with the conversation he had with Jack at the conservatory. I’m not ready to go there yet.
- In the flash-sideways timeline, Jack carries the scars that were inflicted upon him by his father’s traits, yet he is trying to not pass along those traits to his son. Breaking the cycle of sin and reminding David that no matter what he does he’ll always love him. In the Bible, David failed many times yet he was always loved by his heavenly father. As Jack says, “I just want to be a part of your life”. Sounds a bit like God to me.
How many of us, that recorded this episode on DVR, watched next week’s preview in slo-mo? I did.