Believe You Have What It Takes

Jack, you drive me crazy! Maybe it’s easy as viewers of the show to see things more clearly, but sometimes you don’t even try. You become impatient and demand immediate answers and then jump to conclusions.
Couldn’t you, at the very least, turn the damn mirror so the coordinates point at some different numbers/names first, especially to 108 degrees? As most everyone knows by now, 108 is the sum of the mysterious numbers…4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42. Didn’t you want to find out who is trying to come to the island? I mean, my guess is that it’s Desmond (or Aaron), but it would have been nice to get just a bit more information, don’t you think?!
Okay, can anyone tell me why I’m yelling at a fictional character in a blog? Perhaps it’s because as much as I hate to admit what many people tell me; I am a lot like Jack Shephard. As you can read from my frustration in this blog, I am impatient and anxious to get answers. Also, I have traditionally always tried to “fix” everything instead of just allowing things to unfold as they are supposed to.
Unlike Jack, I don’t behave those ways because I’m afraid of failing. The flash-sideways had a pretty clear message to me. Jack lived his entire life trying to make sure that he didn’t fail his father. He never wanted to let him down and that carried over into every other relationship he has had in his life and he puts the burden on himself to make things right, when they seemingly go wrong.
Seeing him as a father in the flash-sideways and hearing him communicating with his son David is everything we’re hoping for his character. When he said, “I will always love you. You can never fail. I just want to be part of your life”, I almost felt a conclusion to his storyline. It felt like an awakening and like he redeemed himself. Coincidentally, in the process, he didn’t fail his own son because he was there for him.
I like this flash-sideways version of Jack. He was patient with his mom while looking for his dad’s Will and he seemed to be in a pretty good place emotionally, especially considering his father’s recent death.
On the flipside, I have to say that I’m not in love with the flash-sideways version of Locke. We have known him to be a man of faith. Sure, he struggles with his faith, but he wants so badly to believe in miracles and I admired that about him. While acceptance of the cross he was given to bear (being paralyzed) can have its benefits, it was just as sad to hear him “give up” as it was to see him try to kill himself in Season 5 (before Ben finished him off).
I am very much looking forward to how these timelines will reconcile with one another. We can’t just watch this timeline without any emotional investment for the characters, but why are we seeing it? Some people have said that we might be seeing the actual end of the series and that the characters will somehow travel back in time and find a way to sink the island, thus changing history from a completely separate point and that’s why things are the way they are in the flash-sideways. I can kind of buy that, but there’s not much time left (pun intended) for these things to occur.
It’s not just Locke and Jack either. Claire’s flash sideways character seems pretty much the same in terms of how she behaves, but Kate is a little different because instead of being selfish and running, she actually returned to the airport to help Claire and even stayed with her in the hospital. She seems like a more nurturing and selfless character who actually might be innocent. A big character difference is Hurley’s flash-sideways persona. We’re used to seeing him feel cursed and now he’s Mr. Lucky.
Maybe it’s what I always tell people. In every situation, it’s always about perspective and the ability to see things from different perspectives can truly enrich your life. It seems that this flash-sideways, where we see how life would have been if Flight 815 never crashed, has provided this much needed perspective for all of our characters.
Some episode observations…
– The appendix scar. I can understand how life’s circumstances could have changed for the characters, but how does a medical need like an appendix removal change so drastically? We know Juliet removed Jack’s appendix in Season 4 when he is a full grown adult, so how is it that Jack had his taken out when he was 7 or 8 years old in the flash-sideways? Is there a medical reason that can bring this on due to some sort of trauma Jack may have experienced in the flash-sideways that he didn’t experience in the other timeline? Anyone?
– The Others all seem to understand what it means to be a “candidate”, so why can’t they explain things to them. Dogen seems to show appreciation toward Jack for staying so why not trust him and share some information. BTW – a great list of the numbers/names from the cave and in the lighthouse can be found here: The number 108 refers to someone names “Wallace” who is crossed off, but like I mentioned earlier, it is also a sum of THE NUMBERS.
– Hurley has embraced his gift of communicating with the dead and hasn’t lost a bit of his charm in the process. His conversation with Jack about why they came back was very revealing and mirrored what Jacob told him at the end of the episode. Jack came back because he felt broken and feels he was stupid enough to think that this place (the island) could fix him. He lost some of the faith that guided his return and needs more time to come around and see the “light” (yes, pun intended again). As Jacob said, some people believe a complete stranger in a taxi while others need to stare at the ocean for a while.
– Claire’s…um…condition is a strange one indeed. She mentioned that her father (Christian Shephard) and her friend (unLocke) told her that The Others took Aaron, but it is probably safe to assume that unChristian and unLocke were one on the same, but now we’ll only see unLocke. They’re really starting to lose me here and need to clarify who Smokey has appeared as pretty soon. It doesn’t look good for the folks in the temple right now with Claire, Jin, and unLocke heading their way through a secret entrance that is probably not secured with ash.
– The Adam and Eve skeletons FINALLY made a return appearance and were referred to in the pop-up episode as well. They even mentioned the black and white stones that Kate and Jack found on them in the pop-up episode. I hope that Hurley’s “explanation” doesn’t end there because I personally want to know who they are. The predominant theory is still that they are Rose and Bernard and Hurley’s theory of someone going back in time and dying there would help that make sense.
– Speaking of black and white stones, the dark versus light theme is also making a comeback, but we still don’t know for certain who is light and who is dark. It seems pretty obvious to me that those who believe that Smokey may be on the side of “good” might be reaching a bit too much, but I still can’t completely dismiss it. Just another reason that this show is so damn entertaining.
– What did we see in the lighthouse mirror? I believe we saw Sun’s home when the dial turned pass #42. It looked like the backdrop where Jin and Sun got married. That would indicate to me that it’s Sun (not Jin) that matches #42, but we still can’t be sure. I’m not sure if we saw anything else.
One other note of interest…I listened to last week’s audio podcast and anyone who read into Claire’s sonogram date of 10/22/2004 as being significant can stop thinking too hard. They said that it was just an unfortunate prop error and it should have read 9/22/2004.
Personal note…I will NOT be watching next week’s episode live due to a concert I’m attending, so please don’t expect a blog post immediately following the episode.
Next week’s episode is called “Sundown”, which would seem to indicate that it’s a Jin/Sun episode. It’s kind of interesting that this season is mirroring Season One in terms of character-centric episodes. The pilot was a mix of characters and was followed by flashback episodes for Kate, Locke, Jack, and Sun. This season has been exactly the same with the flash-sideways. The episode after Sun’s was a Charlie episode in Season One, so the mirrored sequence will end soon…or will it?

12 Responses to Believe You Have What It Takes

  1. cjblost says:

    Well, it looks like “Sundown” might be Sayid-centric and NOT Sun-centric based on this short clip by Damon and Carlton.

    Slight spoiler as it provides a basis for the events of the next episode. No surprise to me and I don’t think anyone else will be too surprised either.

  2. CK says:

    I’m enjoying seeing how sideways Jack and Locke are taking on some of the other man’s traits. Faith vs. reason.

    I’m still on the fence about who I think/feel is light or dark (Jacob vs. MIB). Last night, it seemed to me that Jacob wanted Jack to go to the Lighthouse and destroy the mirrors. The look on his face at certain times made me think that.

    I’m also thinking that the Lighthouse list and the Cave list may be for different purposes. Jacob and MIB may be considering each of the people as candidates for different reasons (whatever they are).

    They set the stage last night for a Shannon reappearance. It will be interesting to see what happens there. I know the skeletons will be someone we know…I don’t want them to be Rose and Bernard for some reason.

    I can’t wait to find out who Wallace, David’s mom and the visitor to the island are.

    Also, Claire and the thing in the bassinet are scary.

  3. cjblost says:

    I agree that it seemed like Jacob knew that Jack might destroy the lighthouse. I’m not sure he necessarily wanted him to, but he seems like he’s got a lot of faith that things will work out for the best in due time. I’m seriously hoping that Jacob is on the “light” (good) side because I’d hate to see Hurley so easily manipulated by something evil. It’s sad enough knowing that Locke is dead after being manipulated by everyone.

    Good point about Jacob/MIB using the list for different purposes. As for who is GOOD and who is BAD, I think everyone has a little bit of both in them and manipulation can only go so far. Everyone still has a choice. They simply need to weigh the good and bad and make the best decision they can.

    I’m not sure we’ll ever find out who “Wallace” is, but we better find out about who is coming!

    WTF was that in the bassinet? It looked like a small animal skull, some kind of ancient pilot’s cap, and a teddy bear.

  4. Elaine says:

    I don’t like the definition of flash sideways:

    “A flash sideways is not a flashback, flash-forward or an alternate timeline. It posits what would have happened if Oceanic flight 815 didn’t crash on the island but instead landed in Los Angeles.”

    It can’t be just about what might have happened if the plane didn’t crash because there are way too many differences in the peoples lives that took place long before the crash did or did not happen.

    Am I missing something here?

  5. cjblost says:

    Nope, you’re not missing anything. The executive producers came up with the term because they don’t want people to call it an “alternate timeline” or a “bizarro world”. And I think the only reason to be kind of vague about the definition is so that they don’t give away what we have yet to see.

    The definition should probably say that “it posits what would have happened if “some variable” from the past changed drastically and affected everyone’s lives in the future including the prevention of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815.”

    As for what the variable was, we all assume it’s the bomb detonation in 1977, but it might be something else.

    Anyway, think of it this way. Marty McFly was almost never born because when he traveled back to 1955 in the Delorean, his mother fell in love with him. He was able to course correct things so that his mother still fell for his father, BUT also changed his father by giving him the confidence to stand up to Biff. So…when he returned to 1985, some things were the same, but other things changed like his father becoming a published author, Biff working for him by polishing up his cars, and Marty getting the kick ass wheels.

    I think that’s kind of what we’re seeing here, but I don’t think the major variable change has occurred yet and what we’re seeing won’t happen until the finale. That’s just my theory though and it has LOTS of holes, the latest of which is Jack’s appendix.

  6. Michele says:

    What about the biblical connection? In the bible, Jacob, David and Aaron were all shepherds…Jack Shephard? We know Aaron and David are connected to Jack. What about Jack being Jacob? Kind of like the Trinity–Father, Son and Spirit. Ok, so maybe I’m thinking too much now! But, isn’t everyone in some way connected to Jack?
    Regarding the appendix removal…sometimes scar tissue can form after removal that can be problematic later. But, Julia being a doctor should be able to tell the difference between the two.

  7. MJParsh says:

    Heard an interesting scenario on the radio, although I’m sure it will be immediately debunked…

    Sawyer is the “MIB-in-training”, speaks for itself. Jack is “Jacob-in-training”. Hurley is “Richard-in-training”, being that Jacob has him do all these things (lighthouse goose-chase, going back to the island in the back of the cab) without a significant reason.

  8. Lauren says:

    Ok, best line of the night…”I can eat” by Hurley. Hilarious! Maybe because I say that all the time or maybe because it’s so obvious he CAN eat.

    Like last week, I loved this episode. I thought the flash-sideways (love the term) of Jack was great. Jack was everything we all hope for him, kind, patient, a good father. But we have to ask, what happened prior to this? Why is his son so distant? Why did he need to hear his son’s voice so bad from Sydney? And where did his son get those amazing piano skills? Most of all, who is the mama? Since the flash sideways so far have shown their lives to be more “ideal” I’m thinking several things. 1. The mom is Sarah, but I honestly think that’s too obvious. Plus, the kid doesn’t look like her. I think he looks more like Kate. Perhaps in Jack’s flash-sideways he and Kate were together…I know it’s a long shot but you never know. 2. I was thinking that each of their flash sideways are independent of each other. But that’s a long shot too since we’ve already seen Kate and Claire cross paths. But maybe this would explain Jack’s appendix being taken out when he was a kid, as opposed to by Juliette on the island. Perhaps when they did the reset, they “reset” their lives??? How’s that for a curveball?
    Did anyone notice how people from the island keep popping up in the flash-sideways? Like the Samuri-guy (forgot his name). His son was also at David’s recital. And did you notice that Jack did not know “how long” his son had been playing? It’s like there’s a blank space in their lives. Can’t wait to see how this all plays out and how they all end up being linked (if at all).
    Ok, so I have no idea who is coming to the island. The Aaron or Desmond theory is good, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is just some random new person. Plus, didn’t Jacob say whoever is coming to the island isn’t good? Hmmm…who isn’t already on the island and isn’t “good”? Unless they are in a different time period, unLocke is already there, Sawyer, Ben, unClaire…Unless everything we know about Desmond and Aaron is wrong or we were misled, I doubt they are evil. Here’s a thought, what about Whitmore? He isn’t on the island yet and has been searching for it. (again, long shot)
    So, what’s up with Claire being such a bad ass?? I liked sweet innocent Claire who loved Charlie. This one is an axe-welding murderer! Who believes the Others took Aaron. Which leads to why did unChristian/unLocke tell Claire lies? Or maybe Aaron really IS on the island. And why would Claire want to kill Kate if she took him and kept him safe? UnClaire has clearly been misled. (and perhaps so have we?)

    Gosh, for every new episode I have a ton of new questions! Next week, they say, “Questions are answered” We’ll see…

  9. cjblost says:

    Michele – We definitely cannot dismiss the biblical ties or names associated with the characters since thye really don’t just choose names willy-nilly on this show. Jack being associated with the #23 is interesting because Psalm 23 is “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” As for Jacob, check out one of my previous blog posts –

    Mike – good find, but I hope they don’t end the series like that. If they did, we’d all be wondering what happens next with them on the island. I believe that the characters stories will be wrapped up a little neater than that, but who knows.

    Lauren – we already spoke about how Kate cannot possibly be David’s mother, but with regards to some of your other comments…wow on the reset of their entire lives. not sure I like that either, but it makes about as much sense as anything else I’ve heard and can’t be disproved…yet!

    Also, I don’t remember Jacob saying that the person coming to the island isn’t “good”. I’ll have to re-watch. Haven’t done so yet believe it or not. LOL

    I’m not loving this new Claire, but she is “infected” as they say and it has taken her over. I liked her better the other way and can’t help thinking back to the Season One episode “Raised By Another”, which is probably still in my top 5. In that episode, Dr. Malkin (the psychic who later made a reappearance when his daughter came back from the dead in an Eko flashback) told her that it was important that Aaron be raised by her and by no one else because her “Your nature, your spirit, your goodness, must be an influence in the development of this child.” Ummm? If he was right, then Aaron may be a freaking mess! As for unClaire being misled…I think that’s a pretty safe bet.

    BTW – They say “Questions WILL Be Answered” almost every week. LOL We’ll see!

  10. jbond says:

    Great recap as usual, Chris. This is really a very character driven show and you manage to grasp that every episode why’ll the sci-fi nerd in me is busy geeking out to all the neat monsters, time travel, and explosions. I’m a sucker for all that.

    I think we’ve been barking up the wrong tree trying to figure out who’s bad and whose good between Jacob and Nemesis. If there’s one thing this show has stressed from day one is that there’s good and evil in us all. Dark and Light. Unfortunately for Jacob I think his dark and light are OUT of him…..

    Man in Black = Nemesis = Smoke Monster = Teen Jacob (from ‘The Substitute’) = JACOB

    They’re all one in the same!

    This ‘guy’ has been alone and going mad, for god knows how long, on an island with time travel properties bending and manipulating those properties for quite some time now. (Wouldn’t you given the lonely circumstances and the time travel gift?) Now. He’s knee deep in the time travel paradox and he’s now dealing with it’s reprecussions. He’s time travelled so much that there multiple versions of himself in certain time frames. I’ll be the first to admit that the man we saw Jacob speaking to on the beach in last season’s finale and Jacob look nothing alike…but let’s not forget his ability to live live on by duplicating the bodies of the newly deceased. Their conversation always seemed oddly cordial for 2 people that are at eachothers throats. This is because, in essence, he’s speaking to HIMSELF!
    I believe one of the reprecussions of the overuse of island time travel or coming into contact with oneself too many times is somehow causing Jacob to be flitttering around as the gaseous ‘smoke monster’.
    Would also explain why Jacob doesn’t age or up until recently, truly die. Because he’s able to manipulate time to correct anything that goes wrong. If he cuts off a finger accidentally…he can just go back in time and tell his younger self not to chop at any trees that day.
    I also feel like he probably has kept a version of himself in a timeline (the present) he felt comfortable in for companionship. Jacob has somehow course corrected his own death for himself, probably yet again, using the time travel properties and he is is wandering around the island’s present existance as teenage Jacob from the past. Smoke Monster/Locke-Jacob is surprised to see that time travellin’ Jacob-Jacob has returned yet again when he sees this teen Jacob wandering around annoying him about the rules he himself imposed on Smoke Monster Jacob so that some sort of order could be maintained. Smoke Monster Jacob is trapped in Locke suit because Jacob -Jacob is the only one with the time travellin’ knowledge to allow him out of it….but Ilana doesn’t know Jacob-Jacob is back yet! Smoke Monster Jacob is amazed to find out Sawyer can see Jacob-Jacob. But all candidates can! They saw him in their pasts. This is what helps MAKE them candidates. Jacob-Jacob allowed them to see him because he needs there help cleaning up his paradox mess he has created for himself on the island.
    Jacob’s cabin, the Lighthouse, the hideaway in the statues foot and even the dark cave. They are all property of the island but residents of both Jacob and MIB…the same being! Forgive him if he speaks about his other selves in 3rd person. Technically they are.

    Hey it’s a snow day, I’m bored.

    Did anyone else get the feeling that when Jin lied and said Aaron was back at the temple that this would ultimately be proven true once they get back there. I know Jin is lieing now, but I just get the feeling that he’ll be as shocked as we are when they finally get there and someone says ‘Down that hall Aaron’s waiting for you.’

    Thanks for listenin’ to my verbal diaharea.
    Til next week!

  11. Kat says:

    Okay, so, who’s hosting a Finale Fiesta, and, can I come?!?!?!

    : )

  12. cjblost says:

    Not sure yet Kat. May be a late season decision. Sure you can come, but not sure if I’ll be hosting anything. I may want to watch the finale in solitude. haha

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