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Reflections

“The Lighthouse” was rich, and it felt like they were telling us we should all go stand in front of a mirror (or water) and stare for awhile to process everything we saw. The word “reflection” instantly takes on multiple meanings after this episode.

We’ve referenced how events in the two timelines we have been witnessing this season have mirrored each other in many ways…some events have happened just like we’ve seen before (the missing coffin, the lost knives, Jack CPR’ing Charlie, etc.) and some events are obviously quite different, yet familiar. In each episode so far a character has stared into a mirror in the Sideways timeline and now we have an entire episode strung together with scenes of Jack physically looking at his reflection somehow and ultimately culminating with him thrashing the mirrors of the lighthouse.

— WHAT JACK DOES —

Watching this episode was like watching “What Kate Does” in some ways. Yes, all you “What Kate Does” haters can go ahead and disagree…oh well, whatever. ๐Ÿ™‚

Once again, what one Lostie is searching for (trying to do) in one timeline occurs in the other. Lets just quickly remember that “broken” Jack is on island with alcoholic tendencies, an ‘I can fix everything’ mentality (even though it is slowly eroding) and a past/present haunted by his “You don’t have what it takes” father and their messed up relationship. (Oh yeah, and his mirror bashing was good old reactive Jack at his “best.”) Sideways Jack foregoes the drink offer from his mom, says “I don’t know mom, there’s nothing we can do but wait for the information” (SERIOUSLY, is this a Jack Shephard line???) and ultimately spends the whole Sideways episode reconciling and moving forward in his own parent-son relationship, letting go of how his dad screwed him up and making the best of it (even undoing it in a way) with his own son.

Just like Kate found Claire and urged her to keep Aaron in “WKD”, Sideways Jack has redeemed himself in some of the most profound ways he has needed to but hasn’t in lost-island Jack. And yes, the image of his childhood home in the lighthouse mirror showed us/him how this guy is still so hung up on the brokenness that started there. Again, I think to fully process where they are leading us with Jack and his role involves more reflecting for all of us. But it’s still interesting to repeatedly see these central characters coming to resolve the issues that have been plaguing their past but it’s part of Sideways timeline/universe/thing instead. Which brings up…

— INTERTWINED BUT PARALLEL TIMELINES —

SO about those “mirrored” timelines. I know some people (including myself) have referenced the overlap that is now looking more and more like a “bleeding through” or deja vu type of remembering (or in Jack’s case “forgetting”) between the two timelines. How this all could work is interesting to talk about but I’m not necessarily going to go there here. (AES has some good posts/comments about how there are certain overlaps such as Christian’s missing coffin/body that is integral to the connection between the storylines. Read those.)

There was something that bugged me about “The Substitute” that only got more intriguing after watching “The Lighthouse” but I could be totally and completely missing something everyone else is seeing. (Too many unintentional puns in this show!)

It actually all began last season in “The Incident” when Sun, Frank and Christian meet up in the Dharma processing office. At that point, we knew that things were ‘off’ on the island, because it felt like it they were in Dharmaville and not “New Otherton.” Perhaps it’s just a simple, “the Others never used THAT particular room” or something and they were cool with leaving out Dharma stuff and this picture of the new recruits of Kate, Jack and Hurley. But seriously, no…that just doesn’t make sense to me.

So it would seem like thatDharmaville was from a time/place where the Purge never happened.

Now to “The Substitute” scene where Sawyer goes back to his place with Juliet and gets the engagement ring. Was there any indication given that his house had been occupied by the Others and 30+ years of new residents in there had passed? Perhaps he was too grieved or drunk to care…or maybe not. Maybe it was his place, and just like in the scene with Sun & Frank, it was still Dharmaville. If so, and the purge never happened, this fits in the Sideways timeline since we see “Mr. Linus” teaching at the school Locke is substitute teaching at…but how does this fit in the island’s timeline?

One last scene to consider. It’s back to the dang coffin. We saw Jack go to the caves and see his father’s smashed coffin. (He’s got serious issues with smashing things when he can’t find the person he thinks will give him answers/peace/clarity, no?) Anyway, since we saw the caves, Shannon’s inhaler, Adam & Eve, we see the island as it was in the 815-crashes timeline.

It appears as if the effects or events in the Sideways timeline are somehow actually bleeding into the island timeline where the “present” Losties are in the non-crash timeline, rather than only vice versa.

— “HE WAS PRETENDING TO BE DEAD” —

We’ve been told “Dead is Dead” yet two lines were thrown out as bait to reconsider the process and place of death on the island:

– Claire’s line about Aldo “pretending” to be dead was slightly funny and slightly disturbing coming out of her mouth.

– Hurley’s line to Jack about Jacob: “He’s kind of dead.”

No answers there obviously, but sure seems like reminders for us to define things loosely.

— PANOPTICON —

Someone referenced the Lighthouse and its mirrors being like a panopticon. Do a quick wiki search and see that the panopticon was a “type of prison building designed by…Jeremy Bentham.” At first glance it just seems like another nice Lost type of reference thing to do. But then it made me think that perhaps Jack destroying it was very much a part of what Jacob hoped he would do.

Ready for the s-t-r-e-t-c-h of an idea? Maybe that lighthouse, mirrors and such were not Jacob’s but in fact related to MIB, so the destruction of it serves an important purpose. At first it seemed to make sense that Jacob would have a (somehow) secret lighthouse, a typical object helpful for directing or bringing people to the island. That seems like Jacob, since he brings people there and MIB seems to want the opposite. But a panopticon is like a prison, and the whole imprisonment thing seems to be correlated to MIB… and, after all, MIB’s altar-altar ego recently was “Jeremy Bentham.”

So yes, maybe it was just for Jack to see a bit more into himself, his purpose, the Shephard family importance and his connection to the island. But maybe not.

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Written by

kimberly

I really am from Portland.

19 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. Very nicely written. Reflections and mirrors have been a major recurring pattern in this season so far.

    As you say, we’ve seen all of the main characters looking at their reflections somehow. In mirrors, but also in the reflection of water.

    I really love how those patterns keep coming back, and especially because it reflects the main issue of this season; the reflections of the two timelines.

  2. Very nice work, Kimberly. I like the way you focused on the characters and their humanity rather than getting all tied up in the details of time travel, etc.
    And yes, the Shephards are VERY important to the island!

  3. Hi kimberly, I will go directly to your last paragraph regarding Jacob wanting/needing Jack to destroy the mirrors in the Lighthouse.

    Both Jacob and Nemesis are purposely ‘playing’ their cards very close to the vest. Nemesis states that ‘the island’ doesn’t need protecting, which I believe is a lie, and the exact opposite is true, otherwise why would Jacob and Nemesis be there in the first place.

    Jacob isn’t upset about the mirrors being broken. He tells Hurley that the people coming to ‘the island’ will find another way, leading Hurley to believe that the mirrors are not important, when clearly they hold the ‘key’ to every name on the wheel and background information. I believe his motives serve his higher ‘agenda’ in some manner.

    Here we have the two most important people on ‘the island’ and neither of them are telling the truth….Hard to know which one to trust.

    There is definitely a lot of ‘smoke and mirrors’ surrounding Jacob and Nemesis, which I find quite fascinating.

  4. It’s interesting to think of the mirrors in the lighthouse as a panopticon… it’s been assumed by many that they lighthouse is how Jacob spied on his candidates… in fact that’s what Jack assumed. But what if that’s not the case? I don’t remember all of the other things that he saw in the mirrors as he turned to the different degrees but on 23 (Jack’s number) he saw his childhood home and on 15 (Sawyers number) I believe he saw the church from Sawyer’s dad’s funeral.

    Maybe the lighthouse isn’t there for either Jacob or MIB. Maybe it’s there for the candidates. It shows them what their personal prison is… it shows them what it is that’s holding them back and what they need to break free from. Sawyer’s issue is original conman named Sawyer and what he made his father do… Jack’s issue is with his father and his childhood, growing up thinking he wasn’t good enough and that he didn’t have what it takes.

  5. The lighthouse being MIB’s never even crossed my mind. Not sure I can agree with it, but I like your connection involving Jeremy Bentham nonetheless.

    I’m finding it interesting that the list of names on the wall in the cave seem to match the Lighthouse’s….round…..spinny thing, name-wise. I’m wanting to know why one person, one seemingly immortal person, would need two lists of names in two different locations.

    That’s the only reason I believe that Jacob used the lighthouse, and MIB used the cave with the scale. Although, like Dabs is saying, they’re ALL lying to get their way, so who knows of course. I had to write a post about it it’s so frustrating.

    Remember, Jacob hates technology, so maybe the lighthouse (if it’s considered technology) IS MIB’s. I did it again, I totally proved that I can’t make up my own mind for shit.

  6. I thought you meant that 60s song – and how it applied …

    Through the mirror of my mind
    Time after time
    I see reflections of you and me

    Reflections of
    The way life used to be
    Reflections of
    The love you took from me

    Oh, I’m all alone now
    No love to shield me
    Trapped in a world
    That’s a distorted reality

  7. Yes, I’m slow on the response time here. Sorry…

    @ waycurious – nice song connection! That’s awesome!

    @ stone – I like the patterns, too. If they aren’t clues, the it’s still great and thoughtful storytelling. Glad you liked it.

    @ imisscharlie – I tend to focus more on the characters and leave all the science stuff up to the smart people. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been looking forward to this season in the hopes that these kind of characte development/focus storylines help us to put the science/mysteries into context.

  8. Dabs – nice use of the “smoke and mirrors” metaphor! ๐Ÿ™‚ I completely agree with how fascinating it is to watch Jacob and Nemesis maneuver and make their moves with the Losties. I also agree that the trust issues in the show should be another clue to us viewers towards caution.

    To me, “trust” is one of the most interesting themes right now, especially highlighted in Jack’s line of “why should I trust you when I don’t even trust myself?!” and how meaningful that proves to be again and again. At some point the characters are going to have to choose to believe in something, and it will be back to the power of their relationships compounded with all the choices that they have made in their pasts to help them figure out what to do next. There is just so much gray area…

  9. One more thing about the lighthouse that I forgot to mention above.

    Did anyone else think when the big dial type thing first appeared,”hmmm, another thing you have to TURN…” and it has some power to bring people to the island?

    I’m not sure what to make of it, but it didn’t seem coincidental.

    @ Chief, you can’t make up your mind on all this and yet you hate Kate? ๐Ÿ™‚ Just kidding.

    I agree that everyone is withholding the truth. But perhaps strictly applying our definition of truth is part of the problem in our expectations for what it will take to understand. I agree that MIB saying that the island isn’t anything is a flat out lie. (We’re not that dense to believe that line.) But there are so many other things that seem like they will have conflicting definitions, much like the conversation at the start of The Incident between MIB and Jacob.

  10. Love your theory, Kimberly!

    The prison from Sun and Jin could be the marriage they needed to work out. They have had some serious problems, which they resolved on island before leaving. Now they are struggling to find each other (literally) and so their marriage (which the place of marriage could represent) is in fact still a trial to overcome, in a way.

    I really don’t know who to trust as far as MIB/Jacob goes, but after this episode I am again leaning towards Jacob. I don’t deny the fact, though, that they are both in it for a hidden agenda. The intention of that agenda, I think, can be assumed to be somehow good on Jacob’s part and evil on MIB’s part.

    As far as the bleeding timelines – awesome observation and I agree that they are very connected. These connections are diverse, though, and unpredictable so far. If anyone sees a pattern, i’d love to know about it.

  11. Thanks mojo!

    I like your thoughts on what Sun & Jin have had to work through. It fits well with what Jacob said at their wedding, too. I’m sure Highbrow could just say, “yeah, that’s it…” so way to let him off the hook. ๐Ÿ™‚

    “Intention” is a very good word to bring up about Jacob and MIB. MIB’s “I’m trapped and want to go home” is about as cryptic as things come in terms of an explanation. And of course we really don’t have a specific one from Jacob, only tidbits of the immediate things such as getting Hurley and Jack away from the Temple. Otherwise anything about Jacob’s intentions or motives have really come from MIB.

    As I stated on AES’ post from a few days back, for as much as Jacob has interfered with the Losties throughout their lives, MIB has flat out been more deceitful even though he is claiming to be ‘straightforward’ and that kind of thing. At this point, to me at least, he is the less trustworthy one. Oh but only time will tell…

    I’m so glad you brought up the bleeding timelines. This is actually the thing that is bothering me the most. As interesting as the lighthouse was and all the imagery there… I still think there is a weird thing happening on the island where some things are different and some are the same (so much like the Sideways timeline!) But again, I totally could be misconstruing something that isn’t actually happening.

  12. Was the cradle that had Claires freaky little doll in it the same one that John built for her? I’m only asking because we already saw it once in the Incident where Sun found Charlies ring.
    Most of characters seem to be coming to terms in the sidereal time but from the little we saw of Sun and Jin the opposite looks to be happening.
    Great stuff by the way, Kim!
    Speaking of things bleeding thru. I know I wouldn’t have to call my mom to find out where a certain scar came from. Especially something where I had to have an operation. I know where every scar I have came from, even the ones I got as a kid. Jacks mom wasn’t even sure when it happened. It seems to me that some things are being made up as the different timeline progresses.

  13. Great follow up Kimberly…I love the emphasis on reflection.
    For every one of the characters who have had a main story off island have shown themselves staring into a mirror trying to figure out who they really are.

    I think back throughout the entire show, all the “eye shots”…and then I think about a parallel timeline now running off island, possibly interacting with the original one we already saw.
    I cant help but wonder if there is any connection in them…if they are somehow looking at themselves in the mirror while staring through the looking glass…

    One thing I have said several times that seems to be coming back to plat is how Smokey judges people.

    He shows them a reflection of themselves…what they really are…it makes me wonder what someone like Ben or Jack would see now if they were judged…I wonder if Kate would see her helping Claire…or if Hurley would see his name on all his bank receipts. Would Jack see his broken life with Sarah…or his recovery with his son?

    We constantly rack our brains trying to figure out how they will merge consciousness back into one…maybe the monster is the key?

    My one disagreement is the idea that New Otherton is still Dharmaville.
    I know there are various things showing the differences in terms of a sign and the room whereChristian is…but we see Ben and Flocke in what Ben describes as “my office”…and its riddled with Dharma garb and he doesnt seem to notice any difference.

    Alexs room is another give away that it is New Otherton. Ben recognizes it as his house and Alexs room.
    If there were differences on that manner he most definitely would have taken notice in his own home.

    I think when Sawyer and Kate go to his old house, and she sees him with the box, it shows him get it out of a floorboard, meaning it could go either way…but leading me to believe that it was done in that manner to show that he didnt just walk into the room and open a drawer, a sure give away.

    Great review all around though…and think you covered Jacks struggles extremely well.
    I really think reflection will be a large part of the final season…either way, we have been watching them reflect on their past for going on 6 years now…so why not reflect sideways now…maybe they will see something they like better…

  14. AES, sorry in the slow response to your comment. Seriously…thank you for helping shed some light on the Dharmaville cabins.

    Great great thoughts on Smokey, judgement, reflections…even the idea of “who would they see?” at this point if they were to face Smokey! I like it.

    The more I have thought about this episode, the more I realize that these kind of images and connections are probably going to be the way that ‘answers’ look as the season moves on. Yes, I presume they will do some big ‘answers’ like who the key players are and reconciling timelines and such…but I think some things like drawing these connections are going to be what they leave up to us as the viewer. In a weird way, it is like what you have pointed out with Smokey… that we will get to judge the characters and their choices and decisions, too, and in doing so it will help us to understand how things get resolved. We have said that kind of thing all along, but for me it was cool to see an episode that really portrayed it on various levels with Jack’s storyline. (Still not a Jack fan, but I liked how they wrote this one.) There is my late not stream of consciousness making no sense.

    And again, thanks for your comment. It was helpful. ๐Ÿ™‚

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