After last week’s slam-tastic Ben-centric show, it’d be hard for any subsequent episode to compare, let alone one focusing on the now-interminable love affair between Jack and Kate. I know, ladies, you love it, but wouldn’t you rather see giant clouds of black smoke violently uprooting trees and tossing commandos through the air whilst a middle-aged megalomaniac looks on in grim satisfaction? Wait, don’t answer that.
Anyway, despite my mild displeasure with the content of tonight’s episode, it does contain enough nuggets of interest to analyze exhaustively. No worries there. But in terms of tonight’s ‘A’ storyline, we now have a link to last season’s finale in which we saw a despairing Jack nearly kill himself. He and Kate lived happily ever after…for a bit, before Jack’s demons caught up with him and drove a wedge between he and his soulmate. Pretty cut and dried, yes? Not so fast, Sherlock…
I”m questioning everything we saw in the flash-forwards, based on some minor allusions made throughout the episode. Couple some notable quotes with the flash-forwards seeming to occur when present-Jack goes unconscious, and we could surmise that the whole thing was all in his head. Check out these quotes: “Was I the same when I got up this morning? But if I’m not the same, the next question is, ‘who in the world am I?'” (from the portion of “Alice in Wonderland” Jack reads Aaron); Bernard tells Jack, “wouldn’t you rather be imagining something nice back home?” just before he passes out. And don’t forget Hurley, who tells Jack his newfound happiness “all seems so perfect.”
(edit: watching the episode again during the course of taking screencaps, you can hear some sound effects shenanigans with Kate and Juliet’s voices in the opening scene, and in the subsequent shower scene. Kate’s voice is heard in the first scene, despite it being Juliet talking; and an amalgam of Kate and Juliet is heard from the shower scene later on.)
Now, knowing the Island as we do, perhaps the flash-forwards were slightly more significant than mere fever dreams; perhaps they were the Island’s way of showing Jack one possible future of his–and thus a form of urging him to stay ashore. If it could cure paralysis and cancer, I’m sure taking care of an appendix wouldn’t have been a problem for the place. I suppose it could be a form of the same time-traveling consciousness Desmond and Minkowski experienced. I go back to another quote from the episode, when Jack and Kate are talking about his father reading “Alice in Wonderland” (need I go into the plot details of that particular tale to make another allusion to the power of imagination?) to him as a child. “He was a good storyteller,” Jack tells her. Is this entire flash-forward another story Christian Shepherd is telling his son?
- As I no longer have DVR to rewind, and the show is on too damn late at night, I misinterpreted the baseball article Jack was reading in the opening scene, and thus prepared a 3-paragraph intro to this recap talking about that article being proof that the flash-forwards were all imagined or taking place in an alternate reality. Thankfully, I’m not quite ready to nod off yet, and a red-faced Jeff erased the three paragraphs before press time. They shall never see the light of day.
Anyway, the article does help us try and pin down the timeframe the flash-forwards (real or imagined) take place. The Yankees swept a regular season 5-game series over the Red Sox on August 31, 2007. That’s nearly three years after the 815 crash. That almost seems like too much time to have passed since they got off the island. I guess that leaves plenty of ground for seasons 5 and 6 to cover.
- Hurley doesn’t look to be doing so well in the Santa Rosa hospital, seemingly convinced he’s hallucinating once again, and that he, the other Oceanic Six members, and all those on the island have been dead and are in heaven (or hell, I suppose) for some time.
Despite that, he delivers a message from his Charlie hallucination, telling Jack he’s “not supposed to raise [Aaron].” This hearkens back to the Claire-centric episode a couple seasons back, where she meets the psychic who tells her that, no matter what, she must be the one to raise her son.
- If Charlie feels that way, whatever is taking the form of Jack and Claire’s dad feels differently, separating Claire from her baby at episode’s end. And whatever he or it is, it’s not a hallucination. Miles sees Christian as well.
I’m currently leaning toward Christian NOT being a corporeal ghost or smoke-monster-form; I think he may be the real deal, having somehow been resurrected from his shattered coffin by the Island…or Jacob, if his presence in the guy’s cabin is any indication.
- We bear witness to another facet of Miles Strom’s supernatural ability, when he hears the gunfire and shouts of the encounter between the mercenaries and the Family Rousseau in a clearing. The past instances in which we’ve seen Miles’ display his ability, it seemed more as if he were able to communicate with the dead, rather than actually hear (and maybe see) the past. Early in the season, he spoke out loud to whatever “spirit” inhabited a dead drug dealer’s room in his mother’s home, and later on the island, he seemed to be talking to the ghost of Naomi. The strike-shortened season means we don’t get the Miles-centric episode that was planned until next year, so this’ll probably be the last we hear from Mr. Strom for a while.
Of more interest in that scene is confirmation that both Danielle and Karl are dead as doornails. So much for my theory about Mommy coming back to avenge her daughter’s death. Though I’m sure Smokey has enough scanned memories of Danielle to assume her form and lay the smack-down on the man who killed her daughter.
- Smokey might need some help, though, because Keamy and his team seemed to make it out of what looked to be certain death last week with nothing more than a few bumps and bruises, and maybe a broken nose or two.
- Jack overhears Kate talking to a “Noreen” over the phone, a name we’ve not heard before. The only reference I could find was as the possible name of Michael’s mother (Walt’s grandmother), but only during the process of casting the actress who played Michael’s mother a few episodes back. During the actual episode, we never heard that name.
Based on what we find out about Kate’s subterfuge–that she was fulfilling a promise made to Sawyer, “Noreen” may somehow be related to the former con-man’s world. The woman who had Sawyer’s baby (Clementine) is Cassidy Phillips, for the record.
- Also for the record, Jack is examining the x-rays of a “Ryan Laker” just before he hears the smoke alarm beeping. Mr. Laker appears to have a tumor on his spine, much like Benjamin Linus once did. Coinicidence, I’m sure. Jack is a spinal surgeon, after all.
- Jack has “Erica” write him a scrip for clonezepan after he sees his father in the hospital lobby, the same anti-depressant Hurley was on during his first stay at the Santa Rosa insititute, back when he hallucinated “Dave.”
- I couldn’t forget to include an Eye Shot.
Other Stuff from Other Sites
- A possible translation of the hieroglyphics on the door to Smokey’s lair: “to summon protection.” Sounds about right. Check out DocArzt’s site for the full analysis.
Bill Geoghegan, who writes: ”Hi Jeff! After re-watching ”The Shape of Things to Come” for the third time I had a minor epiphany about Charles Widmore â€” or should I say Captain Hanso?! Here goes: ‘That island’s mine, Benjamin. It always was. It will be again.’ When Widmore makes his claim to the Island during the bedroom scene with Ben, it’s frustratingly vague, leaving so much unsaid. It hints at a history that may stretch back …well…further than would seem natural. Like the ageless Mr. Alpert, Charles Widmore may be a man whose appearance might seem downright youthful when given his real age. Exactly what is Widmore’s connection to the Island and when did he come to call it his own? Drawing a conclusion based on the clues we have right now, I’d say that Widmore’s real identity is…Magnus Hanso! Yep, Captain of the Black Rock. He found the Island by accident, shipwrecked maybe, but eventually he mastered its secrets. For a time he ruled it as his own, but ultimately, somehow, got expelled from its life-preserving shores. [EW]
Works for me!
- Is Claire dead?
With all of the walking dead, there is one scene that got my attention and I am sure yours too. Christian is holding Aaron by the campfire. So, the ghosts have the ability to manipulate their surroundings.
Also, Miles was very interested in Claire throughout the episode. Since Miles can commune with the dead, I wonder if he knew something? Did we just witness a Sixth Sense moment? Did Claire actually die in the previous episode when her house went kaboom? Could it be that her connection with Aaron allowed her to be manifested physically until she met with dear old Dad? [DocArzt]
I hadn’t thought of that possibility, but damn if it doesn’t sound plausible.
From next episode on, stuff’s gonna start hitting the fan, so look for some super-sized recaps in the next three weeks. Huzzah!