Friday, May 2, 2008

Sorry, Skaters; Jack Has "Something Nice Back Home"

You're just like a dream
...I must have been asleep for days.

And moving lips to breathe her name,
I opened up my eyes.
And found myself alone, alone,
Alone above a raging sea;
That stole the only girl I loved
And drowned her deep inside of me.

Lost and lonely,
Just like heaven.
(The Cure, "Just Like Heaven")

Here are my initial thoughts, theories and questions about "Something Nice Back Home," the tenth episode of of Season 4.

First things first. I'd like to start with my Crazy Theories of the Week:
1. When Jack refused to go under before his appendectomy, Bernard asked "Wouldn't you rather be dreaming about something nice back home?"

What if the entire scenario with future Kate was a dream that took place while Jack was knocked out during surgery on the island? It started off too good to be true and ended like a nightmare, but that could have been the affects of the medicine wearing off. One of the clues (at least to me) was the extended scene with Jack in a towel at the beginning, with no appendectomy scar. It seemed quite purposeful to show him for that period of time, walking around with just a towel on. I had my appendix removed when I was 12, and the scar is huge. Imagine the size of a scar from the same procedure that took place on a remote beach at the hands of a fertility specialist and a dentist, with questionable tools in a less than sterile environment. My point is that Jack's scar should have been visible and it wasn't.

Another clue that this whole thing might have been a dream? Hurley's statement to him that "they're all dead," and that "it all seems perfect, just like heaven." The first few scenes between Jack and Kate certainly seemed that way.

While the episode played out like a traditional flash forward, only time will tell if this particular section was real or imagined...

2. Charlie's message to Jack, "you're not supposed to RAISE him," could be referring to Christian rather than Aaron. As in, you're not supposed to raise the dead. Your father is gone. Let it go. Let him go. Move on.

3. Kate was not off running an errand for Sawyer. She was on a mission for Ben, and is working with him and Sayid to protect their loved ones and those still on the island. Hello, you can take the girl out of the orange jumpsuit, but you can't take the criminal out of the girl.

4. The Oceanic 6 are rescued, but not via helicopter, at least not Frank's from the freighter. If Sawyer chose not to be rescued, and that was an option for other survivors, there had to have been more fuel, more than one chopper and/or other modes of transportation available for the rescue.

5. Christian came to get Claire because she was about to die (either from her injuries sustained in the house explosion or by Keamy). That is why Miles was eyeballing her at the beginning, and why he didn't follow her when she left in the middle of the night (Miles is a ghostbuster who communicates with the dead; he just knew). So Claire left Aaron for Sawyer, and Kate will wind up taking him with her when she's rescued.
And now, back to thoughts and questions:


Seems to me that she was hand-picked by Matthew Abbadon for this mission not because she was an archaeologist, but because she spoke Korean, among other languages. That comes in handy when you are sent to an island where a Korean couple are marooned, even though you've been assured that there were no survivors from Flight 815.


Claire saw Christian, but so did Miles. So is he really alive and well, or could Miles see him because he sees dead people?

If he were really there with Claire, he'd never leave his grandson alone in the jungle.

He made the rounds, visiting his kids in this episode. Well, at least the ones we know about.

When Christian appeared in the last flash forward of this episode, Jack's co-worker Erika did not see him. Yet a mental patient at the institution saw Charlie when he appeared to Hurley...


When Claire was pregnant with Aaron, before leaving on Flight 815, she consulted with a psychic who told her that she must raise Aaron by herself. Charlie's message for Jack was "you're not supposed to raise him." Was Charlie able to communicate with the psychic (or vice versa) after death? Charlie cared for Aaron and may still be protecting him in the afterlife.

She made reference to "seeing things" after she survived the house explosion. Will the force of that impact cause her to have future flashes like Desmond did after he survived the Swan hatch implosion?

After she saw Christian and disappeared, Sawyer found Aaron by himself in the jungle. There is no way that she'd abandon that child, so either Keamy took her or Christian was yet another manifestation of Smokey.

Is she going to die, or will she remain on the island? I feel like we're being set up to expect her death with every new episode, but something tells me she'll sacrifice her spot for Aaron in the end, and have to stay there.


He and Charlotte knew each other before this mission; he was a professor at Oxford and she earned her PhD there. She treats him like a little brother and he has a crush on her, but has their relationship always been that way? Did he agree to go on this mission because she was signed on to?


I have to say, I was very surprised to find out that she's actually dead and buried. Hopefully we'll find out her back story and see her again in flashbacks.


Why would his conscience only come into play now? He's the one who brought Keamy and the mercenaries to the island, knowing the harm they intended. So why help Sawyer, Claire, Aaron and Miles? Where was he when Keamy killed Alex and started the war with Ben, Locke and the survivors?


[Despite the fact that we see him in flash forwards]...does the island keep Jack alive? Is that why he also failed to kill himself on that bridge in the future, a la Michael's many attempts and failures to take his own life?

Does the island only heal pre-existing conditions, like Rose's cancer, Locke's paralysis and Jin's infertility? It seems to be that way, because Ben developed a spinal tumor and Jack went down with appendicitis, both on the island.


Why would Charlie warn Jack that he's not supposed to raise Aaron? Why not warn Kate? Or has he?

Did Jack find out that Aaron was his nephew before or after leaving the island?

Jack told Kate that "I'm the one who saved you." As opposed to Sawyer? He then said, "I'm the one who came back." From? Was Jack the first to be rescued and refused to go unless Kate was with him?

Was Jack originally resistant to be around Aaron because he reminded him Christian, or because of how Kate obtains him?

There were many indications that Jack was living with Kate; he received a work reminder call on her home phone and not his cell, he knew where the laundry hamper was, he made coffee and hit the machine with the familiarity of someone who makes the same pot every morning, etc.

At what point after the trial did he move in with Kate, and what prompted him to do so?

What happens between this future time period and scruffy drugged out beard Jack in the flash forward with the mysterious coffin? Does Hurley's warning become a reality, does Jack receive a visit from someone that changes the course of his life?

I know he was on drugs in the future when he referred to his father in the present, but tonight he acknowledged him in the past for the first time (to Kate).


We are to believe that Sawyer chose to stay on the island, but if there were room, why wouldn't Jin join his wife and future child? He either dies so that Sun gets rescued (like Charlie for Claire), or is forced to remain there.


It was nice to finally see the softer side of Juliet. It seemed like she was telling the truth during the entire episode, which might be a first.

Juliet had Jack's complete personal file, back when she worked at the Hydra station with Ben. She must know that Claire is his half-sister. Will she be the one to inform him, or will Ben play that card when he needs something?

When she told Kate that Jack only kissed her to prove that he wasn't in love with someone else, it was obvious foreshadowing; Kate was with Jack in the future to prove that she wasn't in love with Sawyer. Given that she went behind Jack's back to do a favor for Sawyer, jeopardizing their relationship, we all know that she fails miserably.

Does Juliet get off of the island, and if so, does Ben arrange for it? She wouldn't be considered one of the Oceanic 6, but she certainly wouldn't want to remain under Ben's employ and evil eye, so it will be interesting to find out her fate.


How and why did Keamy and his crew escape the Black Smoke Monster? Either they somehow fit Ben and the island's definition of 'good' guys, or Keamy had previous information about Smokey and knew how to evade it.

Why would they take the time to bury Rousseau and Karl? It wasn't like their arrival and presence were subtle.

Ben said that he sent all of his people up to the secret Temple, where Rousseau and Karl wound up being shot by Keamy and his boys. So did they also murder the remaining Others? What about the Tail Section kids?


Miles jokingly asked if Sawyer was Claire's big brother, and we all know that Jack really is. Sawyer has really taken on Jack's leadership role and is unusually protective of Claire and Aaron.

According to Jack, Sawyer chose to stay on the island rather than get rescued. So was that same option open to Rose, Bernard and the remaining survivors?

If Kate was telling the truth, what favor was she doing for Sawyer, and why did she wait so long to do it after rescue? Did it have to do with his daughter, Clementine? Will she reunite with Cassidy (Clementine's mom, Sawyer's ex, and the con woman who helped Kate see her mom)?


The love triangle with a medical angle looked familiar and yet switched up; Jack and Kate took care of Sawyer in the Swan hatch when he was shot, and now Kate and Juliet are sharing that responsibility for Jack.

The opening shower scene with Jack and Kate was also reminiscent of Jack first walking in on Kate as she showered for the first time in the Swan hatch. She told him he could use one, and he said "another time." Looks like he finally took her up on the offer.

In yet another nod to Star Wars, Jack steps on Aaron's toy Millenium Falcon in Kate's kitchen.

Jack was reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Aaron, which is very fitting to the entire Lost story:
  • That book was followed by Through the Looking Glass, and if it weren't for Charlie unjamming the signal in the Looking Glass station on the island, Aaron wouldn't be there.
  • One of Jack's first flashback episodes in Season 1 was called "White Rabbit," when he chased what he thought was a hallucinatory vision of his father on the island.
  • Last season we witnessed Ben and his little white bunny obsession, and saw him encounter his deceased mother, dressed like Alice in Wonderland.
That is all for now. I'll be back with more Friday and/or Saturday. Thank you for reading, and feel free to leave comments!


Anonymous said...

Great post! I don't think Christian is alive because Jack saw him too. I think Miles could see him because he's a ghostbuster. :)

I missed Claire's reference to seeing things. Good catch. Hmm... What if she's actually dead now, and Sawyer rescued a ghost? (Insert creepy music)

Anonymous said...

Another great post!

jog33 said...

I watched the scenes with Jack in a towel FIXATED on his right lower quadrant - I knew frrom the coming attractions about his appendix and having PERFORMED the surgery I was looking for that tell-tale sign. I didn't see one either and said so to my husband right away. Tonight, I re-watched it with my son and started to point it out and - Lo and Behold - it's there. It's faint, it's extremely well-healed, and only visible a few times (watch when he picks up the toy off the floor and stands up), but it IS there. Perhaps Juliet was a plastic surgeon in her last life?

jog33 said...

One more - though "out there" - thing: Jack yells the "you're not even related to him" thing in response to her statement about "being around MY SON". He never actually mentions that HE is. Is that splitting hairs? It was a strong reaction but could it have been an overreaction to Kate's "my" son when he knows she's not really his mother or guilt surrounding why Claire isn't there?
Just throwin' it out there. Thanks for such a great re-cap!

Kyle Scribner said...

Great insight, Jo, especially on making the connection between what Bernard said and the name of the ep. I was convinced you were right until I just read jog33's comment about the scar apparently being there, just very faint. Still could be a dream, though. But, one thing that bugs me about your dream scenario is that the whole 'dream sequence' thing is so intentionally misleading (not to mention hack) that it doesn't feel like something the LOST gang would pull -- they've got enough confusion already inherently built into the whole thing. Thanks for the invite on Whitney's blog, too. If you're not against shameless plugs, and into the natural world at all, I'll ask you to check out Green Among Gray, my blogspot site.

theo said...

He has an appendectomy scar during the fast forward.

You can also clearly see it in the bathroom scene, after he walks to the mirror and picks up the razor. It's framed and well-lit in the mirror, on the right-hand side of his body beneath the navel.

Jo said...

Dr. Jog33 - thank you for clarifying! And I agree that Jack's response to Kate is guilt-based.

Kyle, you're right - a dream seems too obvious and contrived in retrospect (and after more sleep). And I will totally check out your blog!

Theo - thanks for the photo proof of Jack's scar!