Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lost, Season 6, Episode 5

My post about the latest episode of Lost is up at Smartpop(Total Spoilers). Here is a sample -- click it for more.

One of the things Lost has been about from the beginning is bad parents, especially for “Candidates” (did everyone notice the sign in front of the piano audition said “All Candidates Welcome”): Jack and Claire and their dad, Kate and her mom and dad, Locke and his dad, Sawyer and his parents, Sun and her dad, Walt and his parents, Hurley and his dad, Ben and his dad (and surrogate father figure Jacob), Daniel and his parents (Mrs Hawking and Widmore), Desmond and his would be father in law Widmore, Miles and his dad Chang, Claire as a bad mom, Kate as a bad adoptive mom (with Jack as adoptive dad). Just as the alternate universe gave us a chance to see a place where John Locke could be happy, we also get a world where Jack can break the cycle started by his dad, and be a good dad for his son.

One more thought that I had after the show ended: in the season opener, I felt like Dogen hit so many cliched "Asian" stereotypes: he knows martial arts, and does bonsai, and hates English, and so on. I am not sure how much weight I want to put on it; Lost is after all a genre mixing show, and these are things movie Samurai do. But it is maybe interesting that in the alternate universe Dogen rejects the stereotype Asian dad role -- he says to Jack the child musicians are under too much pressure, when the cliche teaches us to expect him to pour the pressure on. It would not be significant, except for the fact that it is another, minor way, that the alternate universe gives us good dads where the main U has bad ones.


neilshyminsky said...

- On the issue of 'how far we've come' - Lostpedia points out that the order of focus characters of the flashsideways have been mirroring the order that we were given in the first season - Kate, Locke, Jack. Presumably, this means that the next episode will be Sun (or Sun and Jin) and, if they remain consistent, that the following episode would be Charlie(!) - or Sawyer, if they skip the dead characters.

- Like everyone else, I'm sure, I was thinking that David may turn out to be Kate's son. But that wouldn't make much sense - Kate would've been a teenager herself when he was born. So is mom's name withheld from us because it doesn't matter or because it will actually be shocking? (My guess is the former - surprises in the Lost X universe have not been of the jaw-dropping variety.)

- Jack's appendix scar speaks, I think, to my theory of how the two timelines relate to one another. And notice that his mom says he had the surgery when he was 7 or 8 - that places it right around the time of The Incident.

- About Kate being THE candidate: you could be on to something. David Hopkins pointed out on the SmartPop site that Kate's name was on the lighthouse's dial, so she's clearly *a* candidate. Interesting, though, that she shows up here but not, as far as we can tell, in the cave. Presumably, Jacob tracks the candidates from the lighthouse and The Adversary tracks them from the cave - but did we not see Kate's name in the cave because The Adversary didn't want us (or Sawyer) to see it, or because he doesn't know that she's a candidate? In either case, her absence sticks out as meaningful.

-The other comment on SmartPop was about whether the good/evil showdown was actually compelling, and I agree that good/evil is very banal and uninteresting as a theme. But I'm liking this season in spite of it, for at least two reasons: 1) it's not totally clear that this is a good/evil showdown, at least because Jacob has been a fairly amoral character, and 2) I've been totally sucked in by the big build-up to what promises to be a dramatic showdown between the Adversary's forces (FLocke, Claire, Sawyer... and Jin? And maybe Sayid?) and the Temple.

brad said...

Jack's ex-wife and the mother of his son will be Juliet. Any takers?

Vincent Caramela said...

I agree with Juliet being the mother of Jack's son and I have this strange hunch that Jacob is Aaron and the Man in Black is Jack and Juliet's Alternate U. son.

James said...

"it's not totally clear that this is a good/evil showdown, at least because Jacob has been a fairly amoral character"

I'm currently leaning towards this being key, with Jacob only being "good" in the cosmic sense that he's the opposite of Smokey, and the conflict itself being the thing our heroes have to overcome. If your theory about the new timeline is right, then the time on the Island is significant because it allows the potentially happy endings, but it also needs to be erased before those happy endings can take place.

Juliet says "it worked", so why are they still on the Island? Something's keeping this timeline extant beyond its natural life - the war, I'm thinking - and something needs to happen to close it down.