Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lost Reaction - The Lighthouse

If we learned something from the "The Lighthouse" it was this: sometimes just sitting back and listening is the best way to find the most important answers. I can imagine Lost fans are reaching their breaking point. With every episode that goes by and some major question isn’t answered the more people are tuning in and thinking, “What the hell is going on here?!?! Get on with it already!” I was definitely right in the same boat. Every time a Lost promo promised to have “Questions answered,” I got my hopes up a little more that I’d learn everything Island-related. Typically I’d leave each episode frustrated. Until last night. I decided to take a new approach. Like a performing a trust fall where I needed to assume someone was there to catch me when I fell back blindly; I’ve decided to do the same with the Lost writers. I decided to just sit back, relax and trust that the writers would take care of the rest. “The Lighthouse” was the perfect episode to start this new line of thinking.

Jack-centric episodes are usually my favorite because he, and to some extent Locke, are the most complex, frustrating and tortured people in the Lost universe. For better or worse, and in Jack’s case it’s usually for worse, they make decisions based on this unrelenting need to find and fix something in their other’s lives. That Jack usually does the thing exact opposite of what he should makes episodes like “The Lighthouse” even that much more intriguing. But where “The Lighthouse” differs from many of these other episodes is that, for the first time, Jack’s machinations and choices seem to serve some greater, and hopefully more positive, purpose. When he and Hurley set off into the woods on Jacob's quest I couldn’t help but wonder what stupid, ignorant or misguided thing Jack would do to unknowingly f-up his current situation. I didn’t have to wait long because when he smashed the compass mirror I mumbled, “Here we go again.” But who can blame the guy?

If any character reflects the feelings of the entire Lost fan-base it’s Jack. He was the one, like us, that couldn’t wait to get back to the island. He needed to get back to island because “I was broken and I was stupid enough to think this place could fix me.” What Lost fan hasn’t thought some approximation of those words along the way? Jack is the one constantly, and fruitlessly searching for answers. And eventually he’s the one, who strictly out of frustration, smashes one of the most interesting devices (both physical and plot) we have seen on the island. Just when we are getting these imposed images of temples and houses and whatever else as the compass turns, Jack sees his name, loses his mind and smashes the thing to bits. And just when Jack’s actions seem unredeemable, rash and just plain stupid, we find out that his destruction of the lighthouse was exactly what Jacob wanted.

In the diagonal-Lost World (for lack of a better name) Jack’s character deals with David, his son?!!? I can’t help but think that Jack’s son is some sort of reflection of all the other characters on the island that Jack so desperately wants to help and save, even though he doesn’t have the ability to do so. Sure he wants to be a good dad, but he’s never been taught how. He doesn’t have the answers. But what we learned at the end of the piano recital, and what hopefully Jack learns as well, is that the answers sometimes come in the form of just sitting back and listening (and doing little else). That is a character trait Island Jack most definitely does not have. When he just appreciated David’s playing for what it was, brilliant, he actually formed one of his first good and hopefully non-destructive relationships in Lost history. I hope it leads to Island Jack mirroring some of the same things in his remaining time with Jacob.

“The Lighthouse” was chocked full of those “little” moments that would be easy to miss if the viewer is concentrated solely on “finding the answers.” I think the writers do this purposefully and use Jack as the message delivery man.

Will post some other random thoughts in a little bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment