“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. 🙂
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.