Things I Noticed – Something Nice Back Home
The more Season Four LOST I get, the more I wonder what the hell happened with Season Three. Not that last season was bad, but these days we're getting steak and potatoes when all we had before was fish-biscuits and water. Things I Noticed:
Apparently there's no 'I' in Things I Noticed
I've noticed that people have noticed that the Things I Noticed has evolved from a more factual analysis of each episode to a lot more theory and conjecture. They've noticed, believe it or not, that sometimes my ideas are wild and out there. They've noticed that sometimes I'm even factually wrong about stuff. My response to this is an enthusiastic 'shit yeah I am'.
You put the quarter in, you get on the horse, it goes up and down, and around…
The voices calling Jack back to consciousness in the opening scene definitely seemed to belong to both Juliet and Kate. This type of duality saturated the whole episode, as did the circular feelings of everything having been done before. Operating on the beach. Going to the medical hatch. Aaron is taken again (enough of that already), and someone even gets busted for secretly knowing a language. Kate mentions she's going to be Jack's nurse, to which he points out "it wouldn't be the first time". I can't imagine the writers are fresh out of ideas, so this type of circulature has got to be intentional And yes, I just made up the word circulature.
Kate finally decides she wants to play house
I'm sure Kate's panties aren't the only pair riding high this week, as we were shown the crucial missing time period between Kate's acquittal and Jack's screaming assertions from last season's finale. The future looked rosy for the Jack/Kate hookup, at least for a little while, as they settled down with Aaron and began a post-island life together.
I have to say, it looked pretty genuine. Two people having been through all the things they were, it was only natural they'd end up together. Considering that, it would've been easy to weigh their relationship against a scale of need vs. love. But in all honestly, Kate didn't seem all that needy. And although Jack might've needed reassurance on a few different levels, his feelings were all there too. There was absolutely no trace of Kate's flight instinct or (at least initially) Jack's hero complex. In fact, it all looked a little too rosy and perfect – at least until Jack went to see Hurley. More on that in a little bit.
The proposal seemed a little forced, though. At that point it looked like Jack was trying a little bit too desperately to shove the entire island debacle behind him. Of course, he'd just come from seeing Hurley. The things Hurley told him had rattled Jack to the point where he rushed the proposal. Waking your girlfriend up from a dead sleep to propose to her might not be the most romantic way a girl imagines that scenario going down. But the way Kate accepted, it did seem she happily loved him. It wasn't like she was MapQuesting an escape route in her head, as old Kate would've done.
The Adventures of Super Sawyer and Stalker Miles
I'm not sure what the deal is with Miles' sudden interest in Aaron, but it's definitely more than he's letting on. While at first Sawyer seems overprotective, he's probably acting like one of the most rational people on the show right now. A certain wariness should go hand in hand with three months of being beaten, shot, kidnapped, drugged, imprisoned, and chased across a jungle island by monsters and gunmen – and Sawyer definitely has that wariness. It's almost comical sometimes, when the other characters lack it.
I have to say it kind of sucked to see that Rousseau was dead. She was always interesting and her story was only half-told. I'm not sure why Keamy's team would bury those two bodies, even in a shallow grave, considering they were on their way to intimidate Ben's encampment and they even wanted Ben to know they had his daughter. Looking at their bodies it was almost as if the island itself were swallowing them, taking back its own. In the grand scheme of things, Danielle and Karl were probably considered protectors of the island. Their faces were eerily mask-like, and they didn't look the same to me.
Someone needs to tell Dan the island is plane-crash casual
Maybe, just maybe, Faraday should take his tie off already. I don't think he's impressing Charlotte anyway. At first I thought his heroic offer to lead the way into the staff station was because he wanted to swipe something without the 815'ers noticing. Maybe it was, but it's still hard to believe Dan's in on any kind of conspiracy at this point – he seems way too naive. Charlotte could still be planning something devious, but at this point I really don't care. They're both annoying, and they're taking up valuable screen time that could be used on the more ass-kicking characters of LOST. Together they're becoming the new Nikki & Paolo.
The dark side of Jin scares the crap out of me
Although this started off as a really cool scene, Jin's bargain with Charlotte to get Sun off the island seemed kind of forced too. We already know Sun makes it back, but the writers felt the need to canonize Jin further by making reference of his sacrifice for her and Ji Yeon. Considering the rock-solid past heroics we've all seen of Jin, this wasn't really necessary for me.
You had me at 'Flat on your back with my head in your abdominal cavity'…
Much like the new Transformers-esque tattoo on his shoulder this episode, there was more to Jack's appendectomy than meets the eye. Much, much more. Because if you thought it was all simple episode filler, you missed Rose's words to Bernard completely.
Rose doesn't get much dialogue, but when she does speak it's usually pretty important. This episode she questions why the island would make Jack sick, especially now, when in the past it's made people better. Keep in mind that Rose has always been attuned to the island in a Locke/Walt sort of way; certain in her assumption that Bernard was alive, and somehow knowing her cancer was gone.
A long way back, I pointed out how often unconsciousness seemed to play a role in visions, flashbacks, and even appearances of the smoke monster. To speak with the island, Locked ingested his home-brewed trip paste, and even gave it to Boone in season one to invoke visions. Eko's Yemi-sightings came while sleeping at night, and Charlie's visions came during dreams. It seems to me that the more withdrawn from consciousness the mind gets, the more it can communicate with (or be influenced by?) the island.
Now take Jack, who for some reason is adamant about staying awake during the procedure even though Juliet's performed dozens of appendectomies. The last thing he screams before Bernard chloroforms his ass: "I don't want to be unconscious!" Jack goes out, and then… white light (Hurley's heaven?) Suddenly, Jack's in his flash-forward – and at a very crucial point in his flash-forward too, because this is exactly when his father not only appears but actually calls to him.
This time Jack doesn't shake his head, rub his eyes, or try to disbelieve his dad is there. He locks his eyes firmly on Christian Shepherd and walks pointedly toward him. In the past, doubting things have always made such apparitions go away. Hurley had an entire conversation with Charlie until he counted to five and wanted him gone. Michael blinked in disbelief and Libby disappeared. Incredulity it seems, or lack of faith, shatters the tenuous connection between reality and island-induced illusion. But Jack has finally figured this out. He's going to get to the bottom of it… up until Dr. Stevens sneaks up behind him and screws it all up for him (and us!) I also think her final line to Jack had some meaning behind it: "You should talk to someone".
So the big question becomes why would the island want to put Jack under? And the only answer to that, I think, is because it needed to communicate with him in a way it normally couldn't. Sleep wouldn't do it, the island needed Jack under under… perhaps to get to him on a future level. Week one of this season I took a lot of heat for suggesting that Abbaddon was the smoke monster coming to see Hurley. Yet this episode it's no coincidence that a smoke detector goes off right before Jack sees his father. The island IS influencing the flash-forwards, just as I've always suspected it's been influencing the flash-backs. Hell, I'm so confused I don't know what's past, what's present, or what's future anymore. Maybe in the circular world of LOST, it's all the same.
Last big point here would be the story Jack tells to Aaron. "I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think… Am I the same when I got up this morning?" Is Jack now somehow changed? If so, when? After the operation? After leaving the island? After the plane crash? Hell, the entire SHOW begins with Jack waking up. "If I'm not the same the next question is: who in the world am I? That's the great puzzle". It sure is. Especially considering the cryptic meaning of Jack's tattoo: "He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us". Seems that Jack is Alice and the island is Wonderland.
Jack and Kate have some interesting home décor
While the rest of you were watching Jack maul Kate's fine little panty-covered ass, I was checking out the strange painting on the wall behind them (that's not to say, of course, that I didn't re-wind that part and ogle Kate's ass also). At first glance it looks like a small sailboat on a big sea. But looking again, I see a dark figure on a winding white road, surrounded by a white circle (Jacob, imprisoned by ash?) On the right side of the painting is a similar circle, but this one is dark. There's no corresponding white figure inside it, so it looks like something got out (Jacob, free of the ash?). Maybe I'm stretching here.
Aside from its Dharma-shaped base, Aaron's mobile has six planets – one for each of the O6. It has six stars too, reminding me sharply of a very old but cool theory that the crash survivors were all gods and they had corresponding constellations and/or stars. The fridge art includes a shark and a house surrounded by snow – same exact stuff as was hanging behind in the Santa Rosa asylum. It's safe to assume Aaron didn't make them, and it would be pretty strange for Hurley to give them away as gifts during one of his friend's visits. To me this just lends more and more credibility to the idea that the island's consciousness is not unlimited, which is why everything is always being recycled.
The map on the wall during Kate/Jack's argument might be one of the maps from Jack's apartment in last season's finale. Come to think of it, the center 'planet' in the aforementioned mobile doesn't look like a planet at all, but more like a plotting wheel to calculate flight plans. There was one of those in Jack's apartment too. Another painting on the wall in that scene depicted a man and a woman sitting in a café, which made me think immediately of Desmond's meeting with Libby. Screenshots of that scene don't match up at all, so I tossed that idea out. Then it looked to me like they were both going over lists! That idea was shot down when I realized they were probably reading menus. J At this point I realized I was grasping for straws, so I disregarded the little red light that blinks on in the corner of the room behind Jack's head when he says "I'm the one who saved you" as camera equipment.
See ya Claire
Claire's vision of her shared dad forces her down the same path as Jack, wandering off into the jungle. A sort of reverse baby-napping occurs here, as Claire vanishes and Aaron is left safely on the palm fronds. Miles seems to have seen Christian, which would be important, but not as important as if someone else had seen him. Considering Miles gift to commune with the dead, it would be less of a stretch in the storyline. Then again, at this point who hasn't seen Christian Shepard?
The view of Sawyer calling for Claire in the jungle was dark and shadowed in a way we've never really seen before. We could've easily been looking through the smoke monster's eyes here, or even Jacob's. It reminded me a little of when Eko was killed, and the whole scene was shot with vibrant greens and darker blacks. The smoke monster was present then, too.
Mirrors, Reflections, Shadows, Duality
This episode contained an abundance of duality, all related to Jack. From the opening scenes Jack was mirrored in the bathroom, looking back at a reflection of himself. Later on he makes Kate hold a mirror so he can watch the procedure, and begins to lose sight and freak out when her hand falters. During his consult with Ms. Berenberg, Jack is noticeably reflected in the walls of the hospital. And as he walks through the corridors of Santa Rosa, he is reflected perfectly in the floor.
I also noticed that Jack cast two shadows, in at least two different scenes. When Jack is speaking with Hurley, the lighting seemed overly intentional. Watch him cast a double shadow as he gets up to leave. Also check out the scene where Jack climbs up to remove the smoke detector. Jack's double shadows do some very strange things there, especially with his arms.
Hurley – The rain on Jack's parade
Finally, we were shown Jack's post-island turning point this episode. The catalyst to his downfall had nothing to do with Kate, or Jack's misguided assumptions that he was once again being two-timed. Instead, it was Hurley.
Everything is perfect for Jack until Hurley pees in his soup. Kate's been acquitted, work is going well, and Aaron hasn't been kidnapped in years. He's clean-shaven. Adorable panties litter his bedroom floor. Things are looking up… until Hurley's tales of speaking with dead Charlie sharply remind Jack as to who he is and where he's come from. Mentally and perhaps even physically, the island looms over everything and will not go away. One by one it shatters the illusion of heaven that Hurley refers to. It happened to him, it happened to Sayid, and it happens to Jack now too, as we know the only future that exists for him is a downward spiral of jealously, drugs, and alcohol.
From this point on, everything changes. When Jack tells Kate he thinks Hurley is crazy, he doesn't believe it. If he fully believed it he wouldn't be staking out the bench on the lawn outside the hospital. And once Jack starts believing in Hurley, it's a one-way trip. Because as we know, belief is everything when it comes to LOST.
Next week's preview looks unbelievably awesome.