Before I get to this week’s review, I need to say a little something. Obviously, if I started a blog about this show, I really enjoy it. But really, I can’t express enough just how much I love watching this show and breaking it down every week. I wish I could personally thank everyone involved on the show, because I think they’ve crafted something that is absolutely head and shoulders above any other show now or since. Nothing on TV has captured my imagination like this, and I know that there’s going to be a true sense of loss when this show leaves the airwaves forever in just 2 short years. Enjoy it while it lasts folks!
Alright, let’s get started with the analysis.
Something Nice Back Home
Well, we’ve got a quote from Bernard and a flash-forward to a nice situation for Jack to thank for this week’s title. But is that all there is to it? I think so, but I also think that the writers don’t want us to simply shrug off the title. I think they want us to look at it more meaningfully, and once I did, I came to a conclusion that I had never really given much value to before. And that is, what if the events in the flash-forwards are not “real” in the traditional sense? Oh yeah, I’m going there, but let me build up to it a bit. Let’s start with
Or should I say, lack thereof? It could be easy to say that the shot of shirtless Jack in the first scene of his flash-forward could be about showing the ladies their man’s musculature. But I don’t think it’s that simple. I think they showed us his shirtless torso, from that specific angle (showing his right side), to make the more keen observer aware of the fact that he does not have a scar from his appendicitis. Sure, you could potentially chalk that up to the island’s healing properties, but I have 2 rebuttals. One, Jack’s not exactly in tune with the island, as evidenced by him having an appendix problem to begin with. And two, even Locke, after being healed of his inability to walk, still has a defining scar from the right side of his forehead to his right cheek. No, something else is going on here…something isn’t quite the same.
EDIT: I’ve seen some vidcaps of the episode where you might see a scar on future Jack if you look really, really hard. But I really don’t think that a *possible* scar, if you look really hard for it, is what the showrunners intended for us. Unless I see it directly in the show, or it referenced by Team Darlton in a podcast, I’m sticking to the idea that Jack *does not* have a scar in the future.
Kate decides to settle down
Well, she doesn’t really have much of a choice in the matter, but it’s interesting to see Kate trying to have a family life with Jack. Maybe she feels like she has to do it because she’s obligated to take care of Aaron, or maybe she really does love Jack enough to settle down. But it’s clearly a change of personality for the former fugitive. Just one more item to at least question the reality of everything going on in the flashforward.
Was I the same when I got up this morning?
Interesting reading from Alice in Wonderland in this episode. And almost right after, we return to the island and “present time”. Alright, there’s only fringe evidence to support this, but I can’t help but to think that maybe Jack is “remembering” his flashforwards in this episode…or perhaps that they’re not real events at all.
Karl and Danielle really are dead
That’s too bad, really. I, like alot of folks that write about the show around the net, were really looking forward to seeing Danielle’s backstory at some point. Not that we still can’t, but I personally feel as though it lessens the impact with her not a member of the living.
The island does not want the Oceanic 6 to leave
When I originally heard about Jack getting apendicitis in this episode, I thought we were going to see a little man of science versus man of faith stuff again. But instead, I think what we got was more about the island starting to impose its will on the survivors. Yeah, that’s kinda on the far-fetched side of things, but I think that’s where we are now. Maybe “the island” equals Jacob, maybe “the island” is something not quite real but something we don’t understand yet, or maybe the island really does have the ability to impose its will in the conventional sense. But it’s clear that the Oceanic 6 are not meant to leave. The island wants them or needs them for something, and will both try to stop them from leaving, and will do everything it can to get them to come back.
Jack didn’t want anything to do with Kate
A bit of a throw-away line from Hurley, but I think it foreshadows a falling out between Jack and Kate before they get off the island. Perhaps Kate and Sawyer share a big kiss before she leaves? That’s something to file away for the finale, I’m sure.
First, the island is purgatory, now off the island is heaven?
The writers sure love to play with our minds. Although this time, I’m not convinced that it’s totally off the mark. It would be just like LOST to make us think that the outside world *has to be* the outside world, when really, it’s something else.
“You’re not supposed to raise him.”
Glad to see that Claire’s visit to the fortune teller earlier in the series hasn’t been swept under the rug. Especially considering the events at the end of the episode, it does a great job of reviving an outstanding question from the first season, and promises us that we’ll get an answer before the series ends.
Jin still knows how to threaten with the best of them
Awesome deal for Jin to call Charlotte out. It re-establishes trust in his character, and perhaps buys a ticket for Sun to get off the island.
Wouldn’t you rather be dreaming about something nice back home?
And shortly thereafter, he does. Or at least appears to. The writers have always promised that island events are not some dream. But they never said anything about the “real world”. Is it really impossible to think that the Oceanic 6 are somehow connected to some Matrix-type device on the island?
First, he freaks out Hurley in Jacob’s cabin, then he pays a visit to Jack in the future, and now he’s taking care of Aaron while Claire sleeps. And note, he’s not just a vision. He’s holding Aaron and rocking him. Honestly, I have no idea what his appearance means, or what it ties into, but it sure is fun to think about.
“Jack kissed me. It was nice.”
I, for one, am thoroughly pleased that they came back to the Jack & Juliet kiss in this episode. That seemed so incredibly forced in “The Other Woman”, and it gets explained as much in this episode. With Juliet catching Jack listening in to the conversation afterwards, it looks like the whole Jack/Juliet thing is pretty much over.
“I was doing something for him…for Sawyer.”
It’s almost as if neither Jack nor Kate really wanted things to work. Kate can’t fully commit to Jack without feeling the need to do a favor for Sawyer and not tell Jack about it, and Jack can’t let it drop when Kate asks Jack for his trust. No wonder Jack starts on his downward spiral.
“You’re not even related to him!”
It certainly seems like Jack knows that he and Claire are half-sister and half-brother…perhaps Christian tells them at some point? He sure is making the rounds lately…
Seriously, isn’t he dead? How is he showing up off-island? (That would answer the Charlie question too, I suppose.) How is he showing up on-island? (That might be a bigger mystery.) I have no clue what’s going on here.
Is there more to off-island events than meets the eye?
Are they truly in the “real world”? And if so, how much influence does the island have on events on the mainland?
What the heck is up with Claire?
Did she just walk off with the ghost of Christian Shepard? Is she a ghost herself? Did she die in the explosion of last week’s episode? Why the heck would she not take Aaron with her? That was a very odd decision.
Nice episode this week…let’s see if the greatness of Season 4 can continue next week!