Sacrifice OR I’m reading too much into this scene

I thought I would address something I noticed a little while back which is rather minor in the whole scheme of things, but with two weeks to spare with nothing to do but think and wait – I thought I would throw it out there.

So in the Season One Pilot episode, Jack was working on saving Rose, and Boone was all like shall we get a pen?! And Jack’s facials told us “err, no”, but he politely humoured Boone by saying sure that’s a great idea and Boone runs off looking for one and Jack finally gets to work on saving Rose in peace.

In Season Six’s “LA X”, Jack is working on Charlie and he’s all like “I NEED A PEN?!!” (maybe not those exact words, but he desperately wanted a pen) and they couldn’t find one and Kate had stolen Jack’s so there was no pen to be found but he saved Charlie another way anyway.

So the easy correlation here is that this scene with the “I need a pen!” moment was just mirroring what happened in the Pilot episode. Also to show us that Kate had stolen Jack’s pen. Easy, done.

Now here’s my what if…

What if, alt timeline Jack isn’t a very good doctor. We know that original timeline Jack was a spectacular doctor, he miraculously fixed his Sarah, he fixed Ben, he fixed stuff up and he fixed it really well.

The way Jack treated Boone in that minute where Boone was all like, shall I get a pen?! Jack appeared as if he was thinking that was the most ridiculous idea in the world. Yes we’ve seen it happen in the movies but the point of Jack’s “pfft” reaction was that using a pen was a second-rate option for him being a first-class doctor. Plus Boone was doing resuscitation all wrong anyway.

But then in LA X, Charlie is choking and asking for a pen is the FIRST thing Jack asks for. Second-rate option for a lower-class doctor, perhaps? Yes he is still a spinal surgeon, but in the original timeline he was special, he could do things that other spinal surgeons couldn’t do. What if he is just a regular spinal surgeon, another dollar another day – just doing his job.

A lot of people have commented on the fact that everyone’s lives seem better off in the alt timeline (maybe except for Kate’s!). If this is true, and what I am speculating turns out to be true, why isn’t Jack a special doctor anymore? Maybe his specialness was sacrificed, to be a good father, to ensure that he did not turn out like his own father. In order to be a fantastic special doctor, you are most likely to be a workaholic (which he was in the original timeline). Good father = not a workaholic = not a miracle-worker spinal surgeon.

So what does it matter if he’s not a fantastic doctor anymore? Well, he’s about to start working on John Locke, and Locke’s spine looked pretty mangled in those x-rays in “The Last Recruit”. But if everyone is getting all flashy-backy now anyway, maybe what I said above doesn’t matter and has no bearing because maybe Jack’s spectacularness will come back in time in flashback-fashion to save Locke, or not, or will it…..?

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3 thoughts on “Sacrifice OR I’m reading too much into this scene

  1. But then in the last episode the other surgeons paged Jack cause they said they were out of their depth, as if he was more skilled than they were? Maybe Charlie choking on a bag of heroine could be solved with a pen, whereas the girl in the pilot (don’t recall what was up with her) needed a different technique?

    I think this is an interesting point to pick up on, though it could just be a production incontinuity/oversight or them trying to throw us off once again!

  2. I am certified in CPR, allow me to shed some light. In the pilot episode Boone was giving Rose CPR incorectly so Jack stepped in.

    Boone recognized that Rose was not breathing, she was not choking on anything. Boone thought about how a hole can be penetrated in the throat to allow oxygen to get to the lungs – something only really done in the movies, anaconda for example.

    Jack asked for a pen on the plane so that he could do what is regularly called a finger swipe, to check the back of Charlie’s throat to see if/what he was choking on.

    Jack is still a good doctor hence why he was called specially to fix Locke.

  3. Ah great thanks for that Josh! It had been quietly bugging me for the last few weeks, I just couldn’t accept that the pen scene was merely just a mirror to the Pilot (and to show that Kate had stolen Jack’s pen) but now I do. I haven’t done my re-watch of the last episode so forgot that Jack was called specially to come work on Locke, thanks guys! 🙂

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