Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Review: Lost 6.5: Lighthouse
Jacob's a bit of a creeper.
Lost - Season Six, Episode Five - Lighthouse
Written between 19th and 20th January 2013

Jack is a character that, during the last season, embodied one of the worst possible paradoxes in character design and function. As our blessed hero protagonist dude, he was also one of the less interesting characters in the cast and almost every decision he made was at the detriment of those around him, culminating in his failure to understand very basic logic and the subsequent death of Juliet. Season Six, rather remarkably, pacifies the problems surrounding Jack by turning him into a follower instead of a leader, and a willing follower this time. The episode very much benefited from this development, and the character managed to shine through most of the muck I've spread about him on this blog.
     On the island, Jacob appears once more to Hurley and gives him instructions to leave via a secret passageway with Jack and take him to the Lighthouse, in order to supposedly guide some people to the Island. While initially reluctant to go, Jack agrees when Jacob pulls out a phrase that Jack's father Christian used to use to belittle him. They get to the Lighthouse, where there is a massive compass wheel with 360 names on it, lined up to each degree. Turning the lighthouse to each degree shows an image of that candidate's childhood home; this causes Jack to become angry at the fact that Jacob has arguably been using the Lighthouse to stalk him for his entire life. He smashes the mirrors, and Jacob tells Hurley that this was intentional; he's giving Jack a sense of purpose in his life. Elsewhere, and Clare returned, holding both Jin and one of the Others hostage. She appears to have gone insane, cradling a cow skull as a baby and believing that the Others have taken Aaron. Jin tries to tell her that Aaron is off-island with her mother, but she gets angry and kills the Other anyway, believing now that Jin was lying to her to save the other man's life. He is shocked to discover that the friend who has been feeding her all of these lies is in fact The Man In Black.
     In the flash-sideways timeline, Jack returns home and we find that in this world he has a son, called David. David is emotionally distant from his father and Jack, the product of a bad father himself, is at a loss as to how to deal with him. Jack goes to visit his mother, who despite Christian's body being missing has managed to find his Last Will And Testament, which mentions as one of its benefactors Claire Littleton. When Jack gets home, David is gone, causing him to worry. He goes over to David's mother's house, and using a spare key he is able to enter. Once inside, he discovers that David has gone to a Piano recital - travelling there, Jack discovers that David is still playing, and is a master. David later explains to Jack that the reason he didn't want Jack to see him play was because, like his father before him, he didn't want to appear a failure.
Claire is more paranoid than a noid that's been para'd.
(I'm running out of funny similies, people).
     As I said last week, there are a few things in the flash-sideways that we'll come to question once we reach the end of the series, this week's thing being the existence of David. I liked what the writers were going for here, and it was a neat idea to show how Jack deals with his own paternal issues by trying to be a better dad to his own son - a matter for closure that the Jack in our timeline never got. It's a real exploration of the things that the Flash-Sideways timeline can do, and completes a lot of our character arcs without having to lose drama in the main plot.
     It's probably the wrong attitude to have, but early in the series, I'm not finding much to harp on about and that's at least somewhat disappointing. So far, the only real issues have been a few random touches of mystique where none was needed. Lighthouse had some of that, with Jacob's Jesus-esque plan being well and truly in effect, but it's still caught in this apprehensive, "where is this all gonna go" haze that smoothes over any cracks. Lighthouse was entertaining and intriguing, and while it wasn't as powerful as every episode of a final season should be, it helped me to finally come to like a character I've had problems with for a long time.



  1. Poor Jack. He really failed to live up to your ideal of the male leading man, didn't he? Which is probably why I found him to be one of the show's most interesting characters. As the leading man, he wasn't ideal. And there is nothing more boring than the ideal leading man in a movie or TV show.

    1. Hi Rush Blog! It's great to hear from you again. I honestly do look forward to your comments; it often feels like you're the only person who reads these bloody things.

      As I've said before, the reason that Jack is not my favourite character (although having now seen the first three seasons I see that he is more well-rounded than I gave him credit for) is rather more because the show treated him like a messiah when such wasn't necessary. It was his selfish actions in Season Five and the way he was prepared to ruin everyone else's lives in order to avoid facing the fact that he was an abusive partner to the woman he loved.

      And, as I say in the review above, Season Six redeemed him in my eyes. I wasn't 100% happy with the way it went down, but Jack admitted his mistakes and made up for them, even if that meant relinquishing the control that he felt he had to have.

      I look forward to more comments from you as I finish Season Six and go onto the first three seasons. :)