'Lost': Course Corrections for 'Lighthouse'
It's time for "Course Corrections," my weekly series in which I look at the latest episode of "Lost" again to amend, defend, or augment my original recap. "Lighthouse" seems to be dividing fans down the middle, and at this point, I imagine every episode is going to do that in some form or another. All I ask is that people try to be civil in the comments: Defending one's position is fine; outright attacking another person's opinion is not. If everyone had similar thoughts on the show, it wouldn't be a very good one, would it?
As always, here are eight more thoughts about this week's episode.
I read all the comments that people leave on my articles. I feel like it's good for me to see what people are saying, contribute where I can, and duck when virtual eggs come flying my way. But I got a little annoyed by the intense focus on the names on the compass in the comments section. I didn't really address it in my recap, not only because I figured a site like Lostpedia would have every name up within the hour, but also because I was focused on Jack, not the compass, at the time.
Now, I'm not saying that those names aren't important. But I feel like in the search for either the tiniest of images onscreen, we're losing the forest from the trees here. John Lennon, a man after whom "Lost" named one of its new characters this year, famously said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Well, here's my new formulation for the show from now on:
"Lost" is what happens to you while you're busy analyzing The Numbers.
It's great that people noticed Kate is No. 51 on the Compass. But I have no idea what to do with that info. I have plenty of ideas of what to do with the fact I saw our nominal hero take a huge leap forward emotionally in the sideways timeline, a leap that will directly impact the man staring out into the ocean at the end of the episode on the Island. I'm not ignoring the small stuff: I'm just trying to correctly prioritize it during the show's stretch run.
Speaking of that compass, my favorite, giggle-inducing theory that I read today? The name at 108, "Wallace," refers to William Wallace. As in Braveheart. I can just picture him staring Smocke down in the season finale: "You may take our Island, but you'll never take our freedom ... of personal agency!"
I joked in my recap that most of the audience shared Jack's shock that he's never seen that big honkin' edifice on the Island before. But I am fine with this building appearing at this point in the show. Why? Charlie Pace's guitar. Here's what I wrote about the moment in which Charlie rediscovers it in "House of the Rising Sun": "You can look at this scene as Locke simply moving Charlie into the perfect position, or you can look at it as the Island literally giving a gift to a man willing to give something up in return." What Jack gave up in this episode? His hubris. The man who thought he could fix anything realized he couldn't fix himself. Then, and only then, could he see the lighthouse.
My early season 6 MVP? Jorge Garcia. In some ways, Terry O'Quinn and Josh Holloway are doing better work, but I expected them to do so. Garcia's work has not only grounded the show more than ever, but it's also developed beyond his usual schtick to include moments of real maturity and leadership. Not only did he bring the funny and the humane in "Lighthouse," but his short scene in "The Substitute" betrayed a casual gravitas I'm not sure I've ever seen in that character. Because both Garcia's work and role have surprised me the most to date, he's my current vote. Who is yours?
I glossed over the Tic-Tac-Toe game last night, which was a mistake. The fact that that game always ends in a tie is important, and possibly more important than Australia being the key to another game we've seen on the show: Risk. Season 6 is all about centuries of Island Tic-Tac-Toe stalemates finally coming to an end. The last time Tic-Tac-Toe was involved in a potentially world-ending struggle was the movie "WarGames," in which a computer program named Joshua learns that global thermonuclear war = bad after playing a million iterations of Tic-Tac-Toe against itself. I mention all of this because clearly the energy source at the heart of this Island is powering the W.O.P.R.
Many of you have astutely reiterated a theory that I never really bought until last night: that Claire Littleton died during Keamy's incursion on New Otherton. I never bought it because I had no plausible context in which to analyze Claire's death until "LA X." The gist, if I have it right, goes like this: Claire died in that attack, much like Sayid died in the Deep Fryer of Resurrection in the Temple. By the time Sawyer got to her, she had awoken, much like Sayid eventually awoke to everyone's great surprise. But during the aftermath of the incursion through the visit by Cabin Christian, she was actually infected, with the darkness overtaking her during the night thanks to CC's arrival on the scene.
Augmenting this theory: this video below: a deleted scene from Season 4.
Couple that with Miles' generally weird attitude toward her in the aftermath of the RPG attack, and you have a pretty compelling case that 1) those people that thought she "died" in the attack were right all along, and 2) Darlton really, really planned ahead with some of their storytelling. I didn't think Claire died in that attack, but given recent events on the show, it would be silly to still dismiss it outright. I'm not saying it's a given this is what happened, but I'm re-introducing the theory while admitting I wasn't always its strongest backer.
(What will REALLY cinch this theory up? If Nadia or Shannon appear on-Island to tempt Sayid to the dark side.)
Example No. 56,752 of why writing recaps the night an episode airs isn't usually the best way to catch everything: I had a thought to look up other examples of Chopin's music in "Lost" to see if Faraday had played it in "The Variable," completely forgot to do so, and realized today thanks to others such as Jeff Jensen that yes, two "Lost" characters in two timelines both love that particular piece of piano music, "Fantaisie-Impromptu." Getting everything in an episode of "Lost" into a recap is obviously impossible, but that's still an annoying miss on my part.
Speaking of music: Your mixtape for "Lighthouse" is here! First up, listen to all of The Who's "Tommy" start to finish. Not only is it one of the best albums ever, but its mirror imagery coupled with the protagonist's inability to truly see, hear, or interact with the world around him mirrors Jack's struggles on the Island immensely. Into a more '80s vibe? Try The English Beat's "Mirror in the Bathroom." More into the grunge scene? Pearl Jam's "Rearviewmirror" will do the trick. U2's "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" is not only their most underrated song, but also totally applies to this episode. ("I wanna get it wrong/Can't always be strong/And love, it won't be long.") If you're looking for some Claire-centric tunes, try Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," The Rolling Stones' "Anybody Seen My Baby?" and Pink Floyd's "Careful with That Axe, Eugene."
That's what I have 24 hours later. What's on your mind one day later, "Lost" fans?
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Photo credit: ABC