Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lost ReWatch Week #2: White Rabbit, House of the Rising Sun, The Moth & Confidence Man

(Thanks to my friend and fellow Lost fan Hillary P for designing a new Rewatch logo!)

Welcome to round two!

My Weekly ReWatch Caveat

There are 8 other sites participating in this project. In order to provide the most fresh and honest perspective here, I do not read the recaps and anaysis posted on my fellow ReWatch friends' sites until after I post my own. We all have different writing styles and are bound to experience similar epiphanies throughout this process. So if you come across any, please keep in mind that we've all seen these episodes multiple times and have analyzed them under relatively kindred microscopes for five years. Also...I am not perfect, nor is my memory; there are bound to be small mistakes here and there as I revisit and discuss all five seasons. So please excuse any errors in advance.

Just a reminder that this is a strictly Spoiler-Free site; I consider casting news to be spoiler information, so please refrain from referring to what you've heard or read if you leave comments. Thank you!

Without further ado, let's re-examine episodes 5-8 of Lost, Season 1...

Compared to the first few episodes, I did not find as many hidden gems and relevant chunks of dialogue. We've been spoiled by the heightened intensity and pace of Lost since Season 4, and that has never been more obvious as I'm rewatching from the beginning.

Relationships & Foreshadowing

White Rabbit

  • Claire bonds with Kate while folding and sorting clothes on the beach. The two would later bond (S4, Eggtown) while hanging laundry in New Otherton, when Claire asks Kate to hold Aaron but Kate admits to not being great with children.
House of the Rising Sun
  • Regarding Charlie's guitar, Locke tells Charlie that "you'll see it again. Because I have faith." Locke already knew where the guitar case was when they crashed the first time, but we have yet to discover the significance and contents of his guitar case when it returns the second time (with Hurley on Ajira 316). That Jacob was the one who gave Hurley the case makes it all the more intriguing.
  • When Locke finally decides to show Charlie where his guitar was, he simply said "look up." Shades of the inscription on Eko's Jesus stick that Locke later uses as a virtual compass, "lift up your eyes and look north, John 3:05."
  • Locke tells Charlie that "this island might just give you what you're looking for, but you have to give the island something." In the future, all Charlie wanted was for Claire and Aaron to get off of the island, and he sacrificed his life because he thought it would result in their rescue. So if Locke's words are true, we just might see mother and child get on that helicopter before the end of S6.
  • I had to laugh at Michael's exasperated assertion that "time doesn't matter on a damn island." As we later learn, that is far from the truth.
The Moth
  • Locke explains to Charlie that "butterflies get all the attention, but moths...they spin silk, they're stronger, faster." I instantly recalled the first scene in the S5 finale, where Jacob was spinning thread in the foot of the statue. So would that make Jacob the moth and Mystery Man the butterfly?
  • Jack dislocates his shoulder and has Charlie put it back in. In S3 (Left Behind), Juliet dislocates her shoulder and has Kate put it back in. Which reminds me...we never found out how the hell Juliet had dislocated her shoulder three times prior to that. That was one talented and mysterious fertility doc.
Confidence Man
  • After watching Jack calm Shannon down when she's having an asthmatic panic attack, Hurley dubs it a "Jedi moment." Our first hint that the big man is a Star Wars fanboy comes long before S5 (Some Like it Hoth).
  • We see Sawyer reading the letter that he wrote to the real Sawyer, the very letter that we now know he finished writing using a pen provided by Jacob. He kept that letter for years, and his pursuit of the real Sawyer is the reason that he wound up on Flight 815. This gives credence to the theory that Jacob brought James 'Sawyer' Ford to the island.
Adam & Eve Skeletons

In House of the Rising Sun, Kate discovers a male and female skeleton couple in the cave, whom Locke refers to as "our very own Adam and Eve."

Jack finds a pouch on them containing a black stone and a white stone, and visually I return to the scene in the Pilot with Locke showing the black and white backgammon pieces to Walt. {Add these stones to the black and white theory that permeates the entire series; my count is now two after last week's shoe symbolism}

The popular theory is that Bernard and Rose will wind up as Adam and Eve. Given that Jack's estimate in 2004 was that the skeletons had been there for 40-50 years, and that Rose and Bernard had time shifted back to 1954, I can see why many are on board with that thought. I am still not convinced (unless an alternate reality is introduced in S6), and to me, the stones are not necessarily an indication that the couple would have been interracial.

CHRISTIAN SHEPHARD

When we get a glimpse of Ghost Christian in his suit and white tennis shoes in White Rabbit, it is only natural to now question WHO he is at that moment.

Mystery Man/NotLocke? Jacob? Smokey? There are arguments in favor of each.

JACK

I love that White Rabbit begins with Jack making a choice; he chooses to take a beating and fight for his friend in the schoolyard.
We've seen him struggle and waver with difficult choices throughout the entire series thus far, from hesitant hero in the Pilot to resolute ringleader in the S5 finale.

In this episode, Jack chooses to save Boone in the ocean rather than the woman who was drowning. We will see very soon in an upcoming flashback that Jack chose to save his future wife Sarah rather than Shannon's father when the two were in a car accident.

It is when Jack is unable to 'fix' someone, when fate intervenes and choice/control is removed, that his life begins to unravel. He saved Boone...this time. He will not be able to do so in the near future after Boone's fatal fall in the yellow Beechcraft plane. It is shortly after Jack failed to save the Marshal that he started to follow his ghost father Christian in the jungle.

Consider Christian's relevant and rather cruel advice to his young son during a flashback:
Don't choose, Jack. Don't decide. You don't want to be a hero. You don't try and save everyone. Because when you fail, you just don't have what it takes.
Later, Jack's mom demands that he find his father in Sydney:
I want you to bring him back. Bring your father home, Jack.
Though Jack is talking about Boone here, this statement could just as easily refer to his father (whom he sees standing in the ocean immediately after saying the following):
I thought I could bring him back and still have the time. I was there. I didn't try.
LOCKE

In White Rabbit, I had to pause after Locke's prescient statement that "a leader can't lead until he knows where he's going" and reflect back on the last few episodes of S5. Many believe that after Ajira 316 landed on the island, Mystery Man used Locke's deceased shell to gain eventual access to Jacob (thus, the loophole). But Richard Alpert's instincts were correct - Locke was never meant to be the true leader of the island. Even after taking on Locke's form, Mystery Man/NotLocke did not know where to find Jacob; Alpert was the one who led him, Ben and the Others to the foot of the statue.

I realize that reconsidering exactly who Locke was in the earlier episodes of the series is a very hotly contested debate right now. Personally, I am leaning toward Locke being Locke up until Ben kills him in S5. That being said, I am now viewing him in a different light as I rewatch S1...

It is not mere coincidence that when the beach contingent ran out of water, Locke voluntered to go into the jungle alone to retrieve some, and the very next time we see him he is saving Jack over the ledge.

Locke had said "I know where to look," referring to both the water and Jack's exact locale. This event is immediately followed by one of the most significant conversations to ever take place on the island:

Locke: I live in the real world. I'm not a big believer in magic. But this place is different. It's special. The others don't want to talk about it because it scares them. But we all know it. We feel it. Is your white rabbit a hallucination? Probably. But what if everything that happened here happened for a reason? What if this person that you're chasing is really here?
Jack: That's impossible.

Locke: Even if it is, let's say it's not.

Jack: Then what happens when I catch him?

Locke: I don't know. But I've looked into the eye of this island, and what I saw was beautiful.
[Considering that Jack said 'when I catch him' and not 'if,' I am hoping that we will be treated to a father and son reunion in the final season.]

By the way, it merits discussion that up until he meets Benjamin Linus in S2, Locke walks around that island with an alarming overconfidence, quite sure of himself; there are definite shades of future Mystery Man/NotLocke. As soon as Ben begins to target his weaknesses and push those buttons, Locke acquiesces into an insecure and emotionally unstable man. It seems as if the tables have turned at the end of S5, with Mystery Man/NotLocke in control and Ben in a new and vulnerable position after Jacob dismissed and exposed his value as a pawn.

SAWYER

Watching the amazing transformation of Sawyer over the course of five seasons, I have a new appreciation for Confidence Man. After reading his letter, Kate tells Sawyer that he wants to be hated by everyone, and is the first to realize that his tough-guy facade is a fraud. This episode is the first that offers us a peek at the softer side of James Ford, as he calls off one of his cons when he sees that the couple he's scamming have a young son.

p.s. I am not a huge fan of Kate, but I will say this...that first kiss that she begrudgingly gave Sawyer in Confidence Man when she thought it would result in him handing over Shannon's inhaler? Way hotter than all of the makeout sessions and sex between any of the characters we've seen since (including the now infamous cage match). That is my $.02 assessment.

SUN

Even though I have yet to read it, I thought about the title of the book that Jacob was reading in the S5 finale ("Everything That RISES Must Converge") while watching House of the RISING Sun. There is probably not a correlation, but worth a mention anyway.

S7?

In The Moth, when I saw Charlie's hand emerge out of the dirt, I laughed out loud and thought of Darlton: zombie season?

So there you have it. I appreciate your time and eyes, and look forward to your minds. Bring on the comments, but please be constructive if you have vehement disagreement with anything I've speculated or stated.

We'd love for you to follow our ReWatch group on Twitter and join our Facebook group. And don't forget to bookmark and check out the fantastic analysis of the other participating sites:
  1. All About Lost
  2. DocArzt & Friends
  3. Houston Chronicle's Tubular
  4. Jacob's Cabin
  5. The Joshmeister
  6. Lostaholics
  7. Lostpedia Blog
  8. Sledgeweb

17 comments:

maven said...

Jo: Great observations, but there doesn't seem to be an "aha" moment yet! Here are some things that stood out:
"White Rabbit" -- Charlie really emphasizing he doesn't swim. Jack is constantly trying to be the savior/hero. John knows where the water source is...spooky again. Locke just happens to appear when Jack goes over the cliff. Locke seems to be pushing Jack to be the leader. If Christian's coffin is empty and is being "used" by Smokie/MIB, why was Locke's body in that big box in S5?

"House of the Rising Sun" -- Locke looks very worried when Charlie asks who was here before us re Adam and Eve skeletons. Locke seems very concerned.

Is Locke the only one without bee stings?

"The Moth" -- Sayid questions why they survived the crash. Kate's answer: "Some things just happen."

Drive Shaft's song, "You are Everybody" made me think that Smokie/MIB can be EVERY BODY! lol

Is it possible the Locke causes the cave-in? A point is made that Locke is missing out in the jungle killing something.

"Confidence Man" -- Locke seems to manipulate people's suspicions (ex.: Making Sayid think Sawyer hit him on the head.) He seems to put ideas into people's head.

Todd W in NC said...

Charlie said he could swim, but in a later season (4, I think), he was able to make it down to the Looking Glass. Did he learn to swim in the interim, or was that a continuity mistake?

I know this show has a lot of major surprise moments, but at the time, Locke being in a wheelchair before the island and Sun speaking English were both really shocking -- two of the best moments in early season 1.

paulsvoboda said...

Hey Jo.
First of all, I really enjoy reading your posts and hearing your thoughts on the episodes - It truly is amazing how well thought out the show has been as is evident by the clues the creators spread across the very first episodes of season 1.
After watching White Rabbit for the second time, one thing that keeps on coming back to me is at around the 20 minute mark when Jack sees the back of his father in the jungle, there is a trail of smoke that goes past him and then later on, there is fog/smoke all around Jack. This made me think that Jack's 'hallucination' of Christian was definitely the smoke monster.
This also begs the question, is Not-Locke and therefore Esau the smoke monster - probably not because Locke's body was still in the casket where as Christian's was not.
(you can see the pictures here: http://i709.photobucket.com/albums/ww95/paulsvoboda/Picture2-2.png and here: http://i709.photobucket.com/albums/ww95/paulsvoboda/Picture3-1.png)
Oh well, that is what I saw and it has probably been picked up by a lot of people - I haven't read it anywhere though so just felt like pointing it out and am wondering what you think.
Enjoy your post a lot.

Sherylm said...

Good points, JO. As for Charlie saying he couldn't swim, when, in fact, he could, my daughter said,"Oh, Mom...he's drugged out and afraid so
I now have very ambivalent feelings about Locke and his sudden appearances/disappearances and strange attitude as if he were two different people.
And Kate was so much more likable at the beginning. Is it just me or did her freckles fade as the seasons went on (in contrast to what would really happen out there in the sun)?

lostalot said...

Love your new logo! Very Central Perk meets Lost! Watching these episodes has made me miss Claire. She was so central to most of Season 1. Hopefully we'll get more of her next season.

LotteryTicket said...

Now we're having fun! Yes? Just a few notes from White Rabbit:

Boone to Jack in water "we gotta go back."

Shannon's nickname: lightsticks. The use of flashlights, pen lights, etc. is a running theme.

There was "an incident at the hotel bar" last night. I thought that was funny. Was Juliet in town?

Tripping, falling, hanging . . . saving, converting, controlling. If this is MIB as fLocke then what is the 'eye of the island' and why is it 'beautiful'. And speaking of eyes . . . Jack's go from brown to blue. Hmmmmm. . .

And all those darn watches. Even the camera angle of the scene with fLocke and Jack at the cliff's edge gives some importance to fLocke upturned watch face.

Charlie has changed his FATE to LATE. But in White Rabbit, we see him specifically turn this message towards Claire as she is telling him that people are afraid of her because she's "like a time bomb of responsibility just waiting to go off." What I saw as this L ATE. Locke ate. Remember MIB says "I just ate." Creepy.

" . . . there's no latitude." Oceanic ticket agent to Jack regarding the rules.

Super-great-awesome music.

Jo, thanks for the non-recap recaps!

Nurby said...

The part that really stood out to me this time around was Kate saying that Sawyer "Thought they had a connection" I love that line, because in the end it seems they all have a "connection".

ErinAshley said...

Just stumbled across this and I love it!

2 things:

First of all, how awesome is it that there is a show in which we can go back 5 seasons previous and look for signs of what is to come? I have never heard of another show in my life with so much forethought and continuity. In any other show, you'd go back 5 seasons and wonder what in the world you were watching and how it ever became what it is now. Props to the amazing writers for giving us something to do with all of our extra brainpower. ;)

Also, thanks for throwing in that bit about how the Kate/Sawyer kiss in Confidence Man was the best. I agree that it is the hottest moment the show has ever had.

Anyway, thanks for doing these recaps!

Much love,
the only Kate fan left. ;)

Ernie said...

Great analysis once again. I think the John Locke debate will be the biggest one fans wage this offseason. Trying to analyze when/if the man in black took over his body. If he did it sooner than the return of Flight 316, then where does corpse Locke come from? Besides that little point, its a fun debate.

Here's my take on Week 2. I'm doing more of previews than reviews/analysis now. My week 3 one is up as well at gulfcoastoffense.blogspot.com

Rene said...

What got my attention was the scene where Locke tells Charlie you have to give the island something and then the island will give you what you want. Charlie gets his guitar and Locke gets the use of his legs. But I kept wondering, "what did Locke give to the island?" Or did Locke receive his gift first and then give to the island later? Was it when he met the smoke monster or much later when he was killed by Ben? Was that his gift to the island?

Reversearp said...

"...Mystery Man/NotLocke did not know where to find Jacob..."

But in the S5 finale, after MIB says that he'd really like to kill Jacob, doesn't Jacob say that he'll know where to find him? How can MIB/fLocke not know where Jacob is? MIB and Jacob were hanging out at Jacob's "house".

There are some things not accounted for in the fLocke theory. I'm very interested in seeing the evidence for and against as we keep watching.

Capcom said...

Really good post and comments!

I've always had trouble understanding Locke's seemingly dual personality on the island. One minute he's a big crybaby, and the next he's George of the Jungle. Or, sometimes he's open and honest, and other times really secretive. Now that we saw the reason for him acting like that in Season 5, I don't know what to think about his personalities in 1-4. It makes me wonder. And good question, Rene.

Hillary said...

**warning! It’s past 5am, so I may ramble and go off on crazy tangents before my Diet Dr Pepper supply runs out and I fall asleep. Also, this is the first time I’m posting my comments without reading everyone else’s first, so please forgive and dupes**

we have yet to discover the significance and contents of his guitar case when it returns the second time (with Hurley on Ajira 316).

But when it returns it’s not he same guitar case, …right?

Adam and Eve

What if ‘Adam & Eve’ are ‘a sacrifice the Island demanded’ for some reason to be explained later? Or possibly the parents of the offspring we now know as Jacob and ‘The Man in Black’, ala Cain and Abel? And perhaps not even blood brothers, but the first sons of the Island? Considering how fast people can heal, it’s possible decomp slows and those bodies had been there much longer.

Selections from Wikipedia: Abel is here thought to derive from a reconstructed word meaning "herdsman"

Jack *Shephard* anyone?

Cain, on the other hand, is thought to be mid-1st millennium BC South Arabian word qyn, meaning "metal smith".

My first thought was Locke and his knives.

It continues: This theory would make the names merely descriptions of the roles they take in the story—Abel working with livestock, and Cain with agriculture.

Is this further proof that Locke is truly a farmer and not a hunter? (S3 “Further Instructions)

When we get a glimpse of Ghost Christian in his suit and white tennis shoes in White Rabbit, it is only natural to now question WHO he is at that moment.

I wonder if the white shoes determined what happened with him, as in who reanimated or ‘possessed’ him? If that is the case, then maybe Jacob is working through him.

Up until he meets Benjamin Linus in S2, Locke walks around that island with an alarming overconfidence. As soon as Ben begins to target his weaknesses and push those buttons, Locke acquiesces into an insecure and emotionally unstable man.

Perhaps because Ben knows what buttons to push, and knows who Locke has been throughout his life, as opposed to the 815-ers who have no idea who he is which allows him to establish a new identity for himself.

After reading his letter, Kate tells Sawyer that he wants to be hated by everyone, and is the first to realize that his tough-guy facade is a fraud.
I found myself thinking that we’re seeing how they fell in love. That he endured being tortured just to kiss her was highly dysfunctional, yes, but also touching. And she was there when he woke after being stabbed and opened up to her about “Sawyer”. Jack is still steeled off in his way of needing to fix, and daddy issues and oblivious/in denial/whatever. Despite her being drawn to both men, what Sawyer offers is much more honest than Jack is yet capable of.

Mike said...

re: Adam and Eve, wouldn't it be interesting/cool if that turns out to be Jack and Kate at the end of the show? Didn't Jack take the bag with the black and white stones off the bodies and put them in his pocket? If he never passes those on, then at some point he could time travel backwards and actually be the Adam body.

walkaboutbrotha said...

I really enjoy reading your posts.. keep up the good work.. I agree with many of your insights and I'm excited to hear more!

Anonymous said...

Mike, exactly what I was thinking re: Jack and Kate being Adam and Eve. Jack is never shown doing anything later with the rocks, therefore it's assumed that he still has them. How creepy that they'd come across their own future/past selves. It makes Kate's comment about not wanting to be Eve even more spooky and ironic.

noelfiser said...

I know I'm very late to the game but I saved up all of Season 5 to watch right before #6 started... :) And now having been jazzed by the end of #5, I'm rewatching from the beginning. Anyway, I'm suddenly wondering if in "White Rabbit" MIB attempted to kill Jack and take his form, much like he did with Locke. Basically Jack's dad (MIB) takes him deep into the forest and lures him to the area where he trips and nearly falls over the cliff to his death. Then MIB could become Jack (already the leader) and either sew dissent amongst the survivors, or even start the move against Jacob. This would make a good parallel for the whole Locke-must-die storyline.