Here is this week's recap from Erika Olson (aka "e") from LongLiveLocke.com .
The bad news: "Something Nice Back Home" was clearly a "set-up" episode. Its main purpose was to get all of the Lost players in position for the final four hours of the season (three of which technically comprise the finale) while filling in a few gaps in the story line (even though we had already figured out most of them). Necessary, but slightly boring to watch.
The good news: The next episode looks like it will rock the house.
While this latest installment of our favorite show was Jack-centric, I actually found the parts that had nothing to do with Jack to be the most interesting, especially the Miles/Claire/Aaron/Sawyer scenes. But I'm getting ahead of myself... Island events first, followed by Jack's flash-forwards.
CAN'T YOU SEE YOU'RE BURNIN', BURNIN'?
OH, DOCTOR, DOCTOR
IS THIS MY CLAMP YOU'RE FEEEELING?
So I wasn't too far off last week when I speculated that The Mad Doctor might try to perform surgery on himself. And I thought *I* was a control freak! I covered my eyes during Jack's appendectomy and apparently missed some extreme grossness. I personally can't believe that Juliet and Bernard even started the procedure while Jack was still conscious -- helllooooooo??? Anyone could've called that he'd be twitching around. At least they didn't dream up some contraption like the Amputron 2000 to hack Jack apart, like he had rigged up for Boone (RIP). This topic is disgusting, so I'm going to move on.
In my mind, there was really only one important thing that came out of the whole appendicitis drama, and that was what Rose said to Bernard:
BERNARD: Honey, I am sure Jack is gonna be OK. An appendectomy is just about the most common kind of surgery there is.
ROSE: That's not what I was thinking about. I was thinking, "Why did he get sick?"
BERNARD: Why? It's just--it's just bad luck.
ROSE: The day before we're all supposed to be rescued, the person that we count on the most suddenly comes down with a life-threatening condition, and you're chalking it up to bad luck?
BERNARD: Well, what are you saying, that--that Jack did something to offend the gods? People get sick, Rose.
ROSE: Not here. Here, they get better.
Rose voiced a question that has been on many fans' minds for a while now: Why does the Island seem to "cure" some people, like Locke and Rose, while others still get sick, like Benry and Jack? Perhaps the Island and its special electromagnetic properties have the power to make some people better, but can't necessarily prevent other illnesses. Or maybe those who have gotten sick were not "in sync" with the Island (so the Island begins to sing "Bye Bye Bye" to them. Sorry, I couldn't resist).
Believe it or not, this is one mystery that the producers have directly addressed. You can read their take on why some are cured and others get sick on the Island near the beginning of this article. If you want to read the second part of the article (an interview with the Lost producers by Jimmy Kimmel), it's here. (I have read the linked pages and feel that they are safe, so no worries about having a major plot twist revealed.)
If Rose is on to something and the Island somehow willed Jack's near-fatal condition into existence, the next question is, why? Does the Island not want Jack to leave? What "work" does he have left to do ? Maybe the Island doesn't want any of the Lostaways to leave, and it figured that if it disabled their leader, the rest wouldn't be able to figure out the means for rescue. This would tie into my theory that the Island influenced the fates of the surviving 815ers so that they got on that specific flight... because the Island isn't too pleased with the thought of having Ben or Widmore in control.
But now that I really think about it, the most likely explanation for Jack falling ill is that the Island is a "Skater" and doesn't want Jack to end up with Kate in the future. Kill The Mad Doctor and then Kate will have no choice but to go back to Sawyer! How romantic.
One last thing... to all of you who laughed at me for wondering if there was a possibility that Jack could somehow die in this episode even though we know he's alive in the future... I point to the previews for next week's episode. And to the hundreds of other inexplicable things that have happened on this show. We should all know by now that there are very few scenarios that can be entirely ruled out in this crazy series...
Elsewhere on the Island, Miles, Claire and Sawyer made their way back to the beach with baby Aaron in tow. Miles commands the group to stop, and we soon realize that he's hearing a replay of Karl and Rousseau's last moments. They are, in fact, dead and buried right under everyone's feet. Did anyone else think that those faces totally did NOT look like Karl and Rousseau? And why would Keamy and crew go to the trouble of actually burying the two? My take is that the faces were just bad props and that the Island "swallowed" the two bodies. But I do really think this means that they're both utterly and completely dead.
Back to the people who are still alive... I am betting that this dialogue from early on in the jungle-trekking scenes will turn out to be important:
SAWYER: You okay?
CLAIRE: Yeah, just a bit woozy.
SAWYER: How's your head?
CLAIRE: It's better. Bit of a headache, but at least I'm not seeing things anymore.
MILES: Yeah? What'd you see?
Between the exchange above, Miles' interest in Claire and Aaron, and Zombie Dad beckoning to Claire in the middle of the night, you can be sure that all is not as it appears to be with Claire.
From what little I read on the message boards this week, I gathered that a good percentage of viewers strongly believe that Claire is already dead. Here's how that would work:
1) Claire died when her apartment was bombed.
2) The Claire that Sawyer rescued was not Claire at all, but rather an apparition of the young Australian mother, similar to others on the Island, such as Eko's brother Yemi. "Claire" is really Smokey or Jacob or the Island possessing Claire's body.
3) Miles is either completely aware that Claire is undead, or suspects that something is up. That is why he keeps staring quizzically at her, and why he made the "I wouldn't be so sure" comment last week.
4) Since Claire is not really Claire, she had no qualms about walking off into the jungle with Zombie Dad and leaving poor Aaron behind.
A very intriguing theory, I must admit. I don't totally buy it, though, because I feel like Claire must remain alive since there's still the whole issue of "who raises Aaron" in the future. I feel that Hurley's ominous message for Jack would apply to Kate as well--neither of them are supposed to raise Aaron because he shouldn't be "raised by another." If Claire was dead, however, there wouldn't be too much they could do about the situation... obviously someone would have to raise Aaron who wasn't going to be his mother. The mystery around Aaron would be greatly diminished if Claire were no longer in the picture.
So if Claire isn't dead, what else could be going on? Here's another possibility:
1) Claire was behind her apartment hanging clothes (again) when the bomb went off, hence her survival (many people claim that Sawyer stepped outside of the house's foundation and was clearly in the backyard when he found Claire--I didn't re-watch it to check). So she really is alive.
2) When Sawyer woke Claire, she said "Charlie?" In this latest episode, she referenced "seeing things," and Miles wanted to know more about what she saw (before Sawyer cut him off). Many believe that Dead Charlie came to Claire before the bomb went off to get her out of the house (she was supposed to be napping, as Sawyer mentioned). (And there was apparently a scene filmed where Claire had her visions, but it was cut. I do not know for sure what her visions were of, though.)
3) Miles senses that something is special about Aaron, and/or is also getting a weird vibe about Claire, and that's why he's staring after them in the jungle.
4) Since Claire wanted nothing to do with her father (Christian Shephard, who's also Jack's dad), it does seem a little odd that she would leave willingly with him and put Aaron under a freakin' tree. While Claire is not aware that Christian died, she should still be sufficiently shocked to see him pop up on the Island. But Miles claimed that she simply "walked off" with him... not that Christian dragged her away. What is going on here? Why would Claire abandon Aaron? Who/what IS Zombie Dad? Does the actor who plays him get paid as much as the main Lostaways, because he appears just as often? We're just going to have to wait to find out.
No matter what you think is going on with Claire, you probably agree that after a few fake-outs, we now have finally seen (at least part of) how she came to be separated from Aaron. And those final moments with Sawyer screaming in the jungle? Chilling.
Geez, I almost forgot to mention the brief appearance of Enemy #1... Keamy. I was all, "Oh no oh no oh no oh no oh no oh no..." when it seemed like Aaron's gurgle had alerted Keamy and crew to the hidden group's presence. I could hardly stand to look at the screen and watch what was going to happen, and felt a flood of relief when the evil freighties (and Frank) went on their way.
Speaking of Frank, I think it's now safe to say that Frank, Miles, Charlotte and Daniel are not "bad" in the sense of ever intending to kill anyone. While they're not totally innocent, either, they at least seem to want to distance themselves from Keamy and his group now that things are getting ugly. I have decided that I really like all of them, except for Charlotte. She's still way too snooty (Snooty? Snotty. Snotty?) for my taste.
I'LL ALWAYS BE
KING OF PAIN
When Sun, Jin, Daniel and Charlotte went to the medical hatch to get the surgical tools necessary for Jack's procedure, nothing much happened, except for the fact that Daniel reminded us that no one knows where in the hell the Island gets its electrical power from. (I took this to mean that we'll soon find out.) We also learned that Daniel supposedly has a crush on Charlotte, though I totally don't see it (denial?), and sincerely hope we never have to witness those two getting romantic. There is no chemistry between them and I couldn't imagine a more awkward pairing. The nerd never gets the girl, come on!
But Charlotte must at least care a teensy bit about Daniel, because she caved to Original Gangsta Jin's demands when he threatened to hurt her fellow freightie. While many people didn't seem to like Jin's return to treachery, I was cheering at the screen. All that mob training had to be good for something on the Island, right? You nasty, nasty boy, Jin!
Besides giving Charlotte a much needed smack-down, Jin's warning to "Red" served two other purposes:
1) It set up Sun's escape from the Island, and showed that Jin had expected that he may not be able to leave with his wife and unborn child.
2) It revealed that Charlotte knows Korean. "So what?" you say? Why would she know Korean, of all languages? Sure, perhaps it's because she's a highly educated anthropologist who's had to learn a lot of languages because she travels all over the place studying cultures and digging up polar bear skeletons. But maybe, just maybe, it's because she works for someone who is Korean. Like Sun's father, Mr. Paik. Through great feats of translation, as well as participation in The Lost Experience game, fans have pieced together a connection between Paik Heavy Industries (Sun's father's company), Widmore Corporation and the Hanson Foundation. Could Charlotte be working for Paik? I think it's a strong possibility.
That's it for the Island.
THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I COULD DO
THAN GO WITH A BOY... OR TWO
For fans who were rooting for Jack and Kate to get together, this episode was probably quite the roller coaster:
"Kate's in his shower!?!"
"Holy crap, he proposed!?!"
"Is she cheating on him already?!?"
"This isn't going to end well..."
I would also imagine that the brief lovey-dovey scenes were ultimately unsatisfying to the Jaters (Jack + Kate fans) of the world, as we already knew that these two were no longer together after Jack had to go and grow his damn hillbilly beard. (Kate likes her doctor clean-shaven--hence the new razor!)
As I've stated before, the love triangles/quadrangles on the show are extremely uninteresting to me, so I'm not going to spend much time dissecting whether or not Kate ACTUALLY, TRULY, ONCE AND FOR ALL, FOREVER, OMG OMG OMG ends up with Jack versus Sawyer. Because I don't really care.
What I do care about is why Jack had kept away from Aaron for a good chunk of time after the Oceanic Six left the Island. Or what exactly Kate is doing for Sawyer back in the real world. Or why they're letting a very young child play with the Millennium Falcon. I mean, it did make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, so I'm not denying its awesomeness, but the toy's packaging clearly states that it's for older children. Bad parenting!
Of the early Kate/Jack scenes, there are only a few things I deem worth mentioning:
- The timeline: Between the August 31, 2007 Yankees/Red Sox article that Jack read, Kate's comment that she was glad Jack "changed his mind" about seeing Aaron, and Jack's entrée into the world of drug abuse, we can place these flashes after Kate's trial ("Eggtown") but before the season three finale scenes ("Through the Looking Glass"). (By the way, if you are confused about the April 2007 date on the clipping Jack read in last season's finale (about the funeral), it is being considered a prop error by most people. It's happened before... the producers have copped to screwing up the date on the newspaper that Nikki and Paulo read in their flashback). Lostpedia has updated its post-Island timeline here, and I agree with how they've pieced things together so far.
- Intentional shout-out: Most people believe the Millennium Falcon toy was not only yet another shout-out to Star Wars, but also a shout-out of sorts to Sawyer. Jack muttered, "Son of a bitch!" when he stepped on the toy, and as we all know, that's totally Sawyer's line. And we saw later in the episode that Jack is indeed still jealous of our favorite bad boy. I would also like to point out, however, that perhaps it was a small hint that they chose the Millennium Falcon as Aaron's toy rather than, say, a Hoth Wampa. Because what is the MF known for? Traveling through hyperspace... a form of time-warping. (Sawyer has also been compared to Han Solo, captain of the MF, numerous times on the boards.)
- Another intentional allusion: If there's one story that's been referenced in Lost more than Star Wars, it's "Alice in Wonderland." That's what Jack was reading to Aaron.
- Jack's appendectomy scar: It IS there in his flash-forwards, but just very, very faint. Many on the boards found this to be suspicious. People also wondered why The Mad Doctor has apparently taken to shaving his chest in the future (I'm telling you, that's Kate's doing!)
- Jack's back tattoo: Some people think it's new, some claim in was in the pilot episode. Some people think it looks like a Transformers symbol and that Jack is really a Decepticon. I'm going with that theory. Does that mean my boy Shia LaBeouf is going to guest-star soon?
AND I'M HERE
TO REMIND YOU
OF THE MESS YOU LEFT WHEN YOU WENT AWAY
This is the second flash-forward in which Jack has gone to visit Hurley in the medical institution. This time, Hurley's not doing well at all. He's convinced that the Oceanic Six are all dead, and now I'm convinced that the producers are laughing their asses off, having just revived the "are they all in Purgatory?" theory that we long-time fans despise.
Anyway, Hurley tells Jack about the visits from Dead Charlie, and also goes on to read a note from the one and only Darth Hoodie: "You're not supposed to raise him, Jack." Hurley then forewarns Jack that he's about to get a special visitor of his own. This sufficiently freaks The Mad Doctor out, to the point where he ends up sitting in his car outside of the mental institution, waiting to see if Dead Charlie moseys on over. Alas, he doesn't.
So here's what I don't understand. Does the Island want Aaron to be raised by Claire, or "by another?" When the psychic warned Claire that horrible things would happen if she wasn't the one to rear lil' Turniphead, and then went so far as to put her on Flight 815 (which he may have known was going to go down), was he working on behalf of the Island? Contradictory things seem to be happening, so I can't figure out what's going on. Consider all the evidence to date (well, I'm sure I forgot something, but here's what I remember off of the top of my head):
- Claire is pregnant pre-flight and considers giving her baby up for adoption.
- She visits a psychic, who warns her that Aaron must NOT be "raised by another."
- She goes to sign adoption papers anyway, but her pen keeps running out of ink (the Island's doing?). She has a change of heart and decides to keep the baby.
- Then the psychic calls her at home, repeatedly, and begs her to see him again. He tells her he's found a wonderful couple in L.A. and that she should give her baby to them. Claire questions his about-face:
CLAIRE: You spent the last 4 months telling me I have to raise the baby myself. Now you're giving me money and saying I don't have to?
PSYCHIC: I found a couple in Los Angeles who are very eager to adopt. The baby will be safe in their care. Now, I've foreseen. . .
CLAIRE: Heh, Foreseen? I don't even know why I'm here. I'm sorry.
PSYCHIC: I know this sounds ridiculous, Claire. All this psychic business, and I appreciate that you must think I'm a raving madman. But this is what must happen.
CLAIRE: So you're giving me 6,000 dollars to give my baby to a couple of strangers in Los Angeles?
PSYCHIC: 12,000. The other 6 when you arrive in Los Angeles. And they're not strangers, Claire. They're good people.
... but she takes the ticket he's bought for her for Flight 815, and then realizes once she's on the Island that the psychic KNEW she would end up stranded with her baby, thus forcing her to raise him and thereby preventing the doom that had been foreseen.
- The Others try to steal Aaron, unsuccessfully. As does Rousseau.
- Zombie Dad takes Claire away from Aaron in the jungle.
- Jack gets a life-threatening illness right before he leaves the Island.
- Aaron is taken from the Island with the rest of the Oceanic Six, for reasons as-of-yet unknown.
- Off-Island, Dead Charlie claims that Jack should not be raising Aaron. One could assume this goes for Kate as well.
- Off-Island, both Hurley and Jack end up wanting to go back to the Island.
- Off-Island, Jack's suicide attempt is interrupted when a car wreck occurs right behind him (the Island's doing?)
WHAT IS GOING ON??? If the Island wants Aaron to be raised by Claire, then why did Zombie Dad (who I can only assume is one with the Island) take her away in the first place? What would the Island need Aaron for anyway? This is one huge mystery that I really hope they have a good explanation for. Does anyone have any non-spoilery ideas?
I WANNA BE SEDATED
Just like Hurley predicted, Zombie Dad starts popping up in Jack's hospital. I LOVED the fact that the smoke alarm started beeping before Christian appeared in the lounge area (Smokey, anyone?). But I loved even more that the doctor who wrote Jack the prescription that represented the beginning of his descent into madness was named Erika. Erika Stevenson. Not too far off from... Erika Olson. Erika is behind The Mad Doctor's downfall! Hee, hee. Oops, I probably just invited the rage of thousands of Jack fans. You know I love me some Mad Doctor and would never wish him harm!
While many people guessed that Jack, like Hurley, would start seeing visions which would lead to his drinking and drugging, it was nice to see that hunch confirmed. What was curious was that in the mental institution, other people saw Dead Charlie, whereas in Jack's office building, Dr. Stevenson didn't see Zombie Dad. I'm not sure if there's any significance to this discrepancy. But now we know why Jack kept referring to his father in "Through the Looking Glass." HE was seeing Dr. Christian Shephard, even if no one else was!
Back home, Jack grows suspicious of Kate. I was as well. I was like, "Damn, girl! Are you already cheating on him? That was quick!" It turns out that Kate was off running an errand for still-on-the-Island Sawyer... something secret that she had promised him she'd do. Most people think that Kate was checking in on Clementine, Sawyer's daughter. Perhaps Kate transferred some of her Oceanic Six settlement over to the young girl or something? I'm sure we'll eventually find out, so I'm not going to obsess over it.
But whatever Kate did, just the mere mention of Sawyer's name was enough to push Jack over the edge. He was all, "That's it! I AM going to grow a hillbilly beard! You're not the boss of me!"
OK, so that's just what I wish he'd said. What really went down was this exchange:
KATE: Jack. You can't--you can't do this. If you have problems, you need to figure them out. Alright? 'Cause I can't have you like this around my son.
JACK: Your son? You're not even related to him!
Normally I wouldn't think much of Jack's line... when people are all drunk and mad and in fights, they tend to say what they know will hurt the other person most. However, considering the fact that Zombie Dad just walked off with Claire into the jungle, and the fact that WE know that Jack and Claire are related (making Jack Aaron's uncle by blood), AND the fact that we still aren't sure why Jack refused to see Aaron after leaving the Island, I'd say that Jack's words to Kate mean that there's a chance Jack has found out about his connection to Aaron. Would his anger about his father having an affair that resulted in another child (Claire) be enough to make Jack refuse to see Aaron? It seems like a weak excuse... I mean, it's not Aaron's fault. I don't think we're going to have to wonder about this one too long, though. There are only four more hours left in the season, and I think a lot of loose ends like this one are going to get tied up before the credits roll on May 29th.
BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE
CHARLOTTE: How are we supposed to know why they're not answering?
ROSE: Oh, who's talking to you?
CHARLOTTE: And in case you haven't noticed, we're not on the bloody boat, are we?
ROSE: Just watch your tone, Red.
JACK: Listen to me.
ROSE: Jack, are you all right?
JACK: No, I'm fine. We just have to be patient, OK? I've gotten us this far. I said I was gonna get us off the Island--all of us. I promised that I would.
(Jack proceeds to keel over in the sand)
SAWYER: How's your head?
CLAIRE: It's better. Bit of a headache, but at least I'm not seeing things anymore.
MILES: Yeah? What'd you see?
SAWYER: Back off, Donger.
JACK: When was the last time you did this?
JULIET: An appendectomy or shaving a man's stomach?
That's it, folks. I think we're in for a wild ride this week, and I can't wait. The best thing is the next episode's title: "Cabin Fever."
Bring on Jacob!
P.S. If you missed my bonus post on the latest official podcast, you can read it here.