LOST Season Four, episode 10
On the island, Jack undergoes “island surgery” (my friend Jill’s least favorite thing to watch) to remove his appendix; Jin, Sun, and Charlotte and Daniel go for supplies and Jin threatens Charlotte if she does not get Sun off the island; Clare disappears into the jungle following what appears to be her dead father and leaves the baby behind. In a flash-forward, we chart Jack’s progress from the sane guy who visited Hurley in the hospital early in season four to the pill popping Jack we met at the end of Season 3 – it turns out he and Kate tried to raise Aaron together, but fell apart due to ghosts and pills. I love Lost.
Here, for me, is the key to this episode and season four, if I am not imagining it. When we first see Jack in the flash-forward he gets out of bed naked, slings on a towel low on his waist in such a way as to show off his body to the audience (heavy but muscular). I was not looking for it at the time but I saw no appendectomy scar. Now the island has magical healing properties to be sure, but on the other hand this was meatball island surgery and you would expect one. The appendectomy scar is famous thing, and I swear movies in the past have used it to distinguish clones or whatever from originals (though I cannot think of any titles right now); it does seem important that Jack shows off his body so dramatically at the beginning of his flash-forward, and Hurley makes the claim that the off-island time is somehow not real. I may have just missed the scar. I may have been there but I did not see it because I do not have HD or was not looking. It could be a production mistake – but the last time I thought I noticed a production mistake it turned out to be a clue: in the season three finale Jack is on a Razor cell phone that would not have been available if it was, as it appeared to be, a flashback (necessarily before 2004). My friend Jason insists that all these flashbacks and flash-forwards are, as he calls them, “flash-sideways” -- a multiple/possible reality thing, surrounding the island which he sees as some kind of singularity. I am not ready to go there yet, but certainly the “copy” rabbit in the season four teaser YouTube clip, and the ship’s doctor – reported fine on board the ship at the same time his body washed up on shore – suggests there is some kind of copying, antimatter people, clone, ghost thing going on. It may even be thematic: if they are going to reveal copies or something, Jack would be the one to start with since he was our original POV character with the appendectomy scar; the fact that the other possible copy is another doctor chimes. And the kind of “where the hell is his appendix scar oh my god this is not OUR Jack, this is a different Jack” moment would be a great ending beat for the season. And Abrams, if you have ever seen Alias, LOVES the clone-copy twist (at least three major characters are doubled at some point). Or I missed the scar and I am writing this whole paragraph for no reason and wasting everyone’s time. [UPDATE: AND I AM! See Mike in the comments to this post -- Jack has a scar. Sorry everybody. I am leaving this up anyway, as a reminder to myself not to over-read.]
A few more things to mention:
Jack as Aaron’s uncle – which always seemed kind of random to me – played out in an emotionally powerful way in this episode when Jack and Kate fight.
It seems like my prediction was right, and that there is a Daniel-Charlotte romance thing (though I am not sure it is a pre-existing one).
Something I should have mentioned last week – Surely this was not planned but I like how Desmond and Ben’s plots are so central, even though they were not introduced until season two. It makes all of the castaways POV characters for us – they stumble on the island and the real story is what was going on with the people they found there, and how they get caught up in that story.