Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1.05 White Rabbit

Follow along! The “White Rabbit” episode guide in Finding Lost is on pp. 33-37.

“White Rabbit” was the first of MANY overt references to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with Jack chasing the white rabbit deeper down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, where he eventually meets with the Cheshire Cat/White Knight/Mad Hatter… or however you’d like to characterize Locke. I think the scene between Locke and Jack was so integral to the entire series, I’m just gonna go ahead and quote the entire thing here:

LOCKE: Why are you out here, Jack?
JACK: I think I'm going crazy.
LOCKE: No. You're not going crazy.
JACK: No?
LOCKE: No, crazy people don't know they're going crazy. They think they're getting sane. So, why are you out here?
JACK: I'm chasing something—someone.
LOCKE: Ah. The white rabbit. Alice in Wonderland.
JACK: Yeah, wonderland, because who I'm chasing—he's not there.
LOCKE: But you see him?
JACK: Yes. But he's not there.
LOCKE: And if I came to you and said the same thing, then what would your explanation be, as a doctor.
JACK: I'd call it a hallucination. A result of dehydration, post traumatic stress, not getting more than two hours of sleep a night for the past week. All of the above.
LOCKE: All right, then. You're hallucinating. But what if you're not?
JACK: Then we're all in a lot of trouble.
LOCKE: I'm an ordinary man, Jack, meat and potatoes, 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 all 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.
[Locke gets up to leave.]
JACK: Wait, wait, wait, where are you going?
LOCKE: To find some more water.
JACK: I'll come with you.
LOCKE: No. You need to finish what you've started.
JACK: Why?
LOCKE: Because a leader can't lead until he knows where he's going.

How rife is that passage with meaning for the rest of the series?! First, how much do I love that Locke talks and Jack listens? That alone is worth watching this episode. I love that Locke saves Jack’s life by pulling him up the cliff (and therefore the lives of just about everyone else on that beach). Many people have forgotten that Locke did that early on.

Fun things I noticed:
• How many times so far people have been referring to “the others” to simply mean other people on the flight. Especially Jin, who refers to everyone aside from them as “the others” when talking to Sun. Then Locke says in the passage above that “the others” don’t want to talk about it. It sounds so strange to hear them use this phrase when it would later take on such a significant meaning.
• There are 45 people on the beach. You’d think news of the water disappearing would have spread like wildfire, and that the pregnant lady in dire need of water would have had everyone going completely nutzoid. So… why doesn’t Boone fess up and just give her the damn water? He took it because Jack just “left it out there” so some goon could take it… um, like BOONE, maybe?? God, I’m happy the Boone and Shannon show is officially over. I never realized how much they annoyed me until now.
• Jack running really fast and suddenly tripping hard was REALLY funny to me. Sorry Jack. You fall funny. Teehee…
• I’ve mentioned throughout my episode guides that Sayid probably has the most heightened b.s. detector of anyone in the group. And already you can see it: notice he is convinced Sun understands every word he’s saying.

Things that have new meaning:
• In “The Incident” we saw Jack do the infamous five-second-fear surgery, and we see Christian help him through it, and then Jack comes out into the hallway and freaks out on Daddy for actually treating him like a normal student and helping him save the woman’s life. Until that point we’d been led to believe Christian was some hard-ass father, but in that scene we realize it’s all about perspective. Maybe Christian really DID believe his son was smart as a tack and believed in him, but Jack just didn’t believe in himself and thought his father was constantly undermining him. So watching the scene where Christian tells Little Jack that he doesn’t have what it takes, I tried watching it as if Christian wasn’t the bad guy. And it turns out… you really CAN watch it that way. Aside from the awful, “You don’t have what it takes” crap, he’s suggesting he has a sensitive son who wants to help people so badly that he’ll take it to heart when he can’t, and he’s urging him to another life where his sensitivity could be a help, not a hindrance. But Jack becomes a doctor, and then we see when he talks to Rose a couple of episodes ago that he’s all, “I didn’t choose this career; it chose me.” Maybe not.
• I loved the beginning where the kid says, “You should have just stayed down, Jack.” How many times have we thought that about him since? And in season 5, that’s exactly what he does. Just lies on the ground while things happen around him and thinks, “Oh well. Not my problem.” But that doesn’t last for long.
• I said it at the time, but watching Charlie freak out saying, “I don’t swim” seems very strange when we saw him dive under the water to the Looking Glass station after announcing he was some sort of junior swimming champion. Guess the writers hadn’t figured that one out yet.
• When the hotel manager tells Jack that Christian was involved in an “incident” at a hotel bar, I thought, “OMG, he set off an H-bomb, too? Oh… wait…” Man, THAT word has changed for me!
• When Jack goes to see his father’s body, he just cries and falls against the wall, and can’t actually say anything to him. But in “316,” he actually has a moment where he talks to John Locke’s body. I think in many ways John really DOES act as a proxy, not just physically, but emotionally for Jack. Christian was the man who haunted Jack when he was younger, but now it’s Locke hanging over him. And when he puts the shoes on Locke – a literal hint that he’s like his father – he gets to tell him off in a way he never did with his father.

Questions that still need to be answered 5 seasons later:
• Why wasn’t Christian in the coffin? If the Man in Black possessed Locke’s body, but Locke’s body exists separately, then why is Christian’s body gone?

40 comments:

J.W. said...

I enjoyed White Rabbit, and I especially enjoyed Nikki's writeup of the episode and her decision to cover "Lord of the Flies" in this section. I've never read it, but it sounds like fascinating book that ties into this episode.

Things that struck me in White Rabbit:

Christian's hero speech was a great bit of writing. I love that the speech has many layers to it. Firstly, there are truths to the speech: it is difficult to try to be a hero if you can't stand failure, and so a guy like Christian can succeed where a guy like Jack can fail. And then it's interesting to wonder how a doctor can watch a patient die, then go home and watch TV and live his normal life. The speech also tells us about Jack's upbringing, and we realize in his head he always has this voice telling him he doesn't have what it takes like his old man.

I also enjoyed Sawyer's sexual harrassment of Shannon, after she treated Charlie the way she did regarding the fish. Maybe that makes me evil!

Speaking of Charlie, I agree that his line about swimming now seems out of place.

All in all, though, good episode!

Jazzygirl said...

Okay I actually made notes as I watched this one...I don't usually do that! LOL So I'll just list off things I jotted down:
The woman who drowned (I missed her name) - Charlie said she wasn't supposed to be there. She changed her flight due to a change in plans. Was the island course-correcting again?
Christian - alright, I'll go a little easier since I'm digesting what Nikki said. Because in watching this, I really felt for Jack. I felt his turmoil and pain of thinking his father never supported him for who he was. And he's spent his life trying to prove himself. That's his vice. That's why he's annoyed so many people watching the show...he keeps trying and trying. His father's words are like poison to a child. I get what you're saying, Nikki, but if that was the case, it would have been nice for Christian to perhaps encourage Jack to do something that he COULD do well. I understand that not everyone can walk away from a job like a surgeon, especially after the patient dies, and go on with their life. But it just seemed a crappy way to teach his son a lesson. I know I must sound like a huge Jack supporter, but this episode just struck me as cruel.
Now, onto the dead Christian. I noticed that when Jack was chasing him, there was white smoke everywhere. It looked like a mist but it was so prominent that I couldn't help but think that perhaps Christian IS Jacob, hence the white smoke, as opposed to Smokey. I noticed that both times Jack caught up with him, he led him to water. Then to the coffin. Now, I totally agree....why the hell wasn't the body in the coffin? If "Esau" took over Locke's body but the body was still in the coffin, what's up with this? It let me to think...was Christian's body even on the plane? I mean, Jack probably had some funeral place take care of the casket. Who's to say the body was actually on the plane?
Another thing that confused me. Okay so I get that he had to finish what he started, as Locke said. He finds the coffin and potentially had a chance for closure, right? I'm sorry but if I found an EMPTY coffin that was supposed to have a body in it, I am not sure I'd go back to the camp with a clear head, giving one of the pivotal speeches of the show (Live together, die alone), and be STRONGER and ready to lead. Anyone else think this is weird? I mean, why isn't he freaking out???
And yes, Locke's comment about not being able to lead unless you know where you're going....how many times will (did) we see Locke do that exact thing?
Lastly, when Sawyer makes the comment to Boone about him taking his place on the top of the most hated list, he says, "sucks, don't it?" I felt it was a glimpse into Sawyer's true feelings. That he doesn't want to be the bad guy. That he does have real feelings, etc.
Anyway, that's my soapbox. :)

joshua said...

I'm having such a blast with this, and really glad I haven't gone back to re-watch before now (though I've certainly been tempted).

I seem to remember Sawyer irritating the holy hell out of me early on, but now, with the perspective offered by five years worth of watching, he absolutely cracks me up. Speaking of perspective...

This was really the beginning of my true adoration of Locke, buoyed all the higher over the next couple of episodes. It's one of the reasons it broke my heart so when he fell into obsession about the hatch, the console, the island in general. I can't help but wonder how things could have been different if he'd continued to pay such careful attention to his fellow castaways.

Did anyone else think it strange enough to be notable that the 'Christian' Jack follows here never says a word? It seems like every other time he's appeared, he's spoken...

Susan said...

If John could look back on his life and pick one moment he regretted, it would be the one where he encourages Jack to be the leader. He spends the next 3 months doing his own thing and undermining Jack's decisions.

The thing that struck me about Charlie's comment was that he said "don't" instead of "can't" as if he can swim but doesn't choose to for some unfathomable reason.

And what about the rest of the Losties? We know that at least Sayid and Sawyer can swim (the scene where Desmond's boat comes back), why isn't anyone trying to help Jack? It's pretty dangerous to try to rescue a panicky drowning swimmer, and having Jack go back a second time when he's probably exhausted struck me as really strange. I guess it shows how most of the Losties were willing to just sit back and let Jack take care of things.

Jennifer said...

While I was waiting for this write-up, and for my book to arrive from amazon.com, I checked out the DocArzt/Lostpedia site. A lot of people over there seem to think that Charlie of Season 1 couldn't swim but with Desmond's help in the past, Charlie who swims to the Looking Glass can swim. Something to ponder... I would also like to compliment Nikki on this site because of the set-up with the fun things, new meaning, & questions. It really generates thought and discussion. And by the way, I like that Hurley says, "You look tired, Brother" to Jack. Holy shades of Desmond!

Jennifer said...

Oh, and why is Kate so hot to leave the island? Anyone?

Batcabbage said...

@Jennifer: I caught the Hurley 'brother' line too! It brought fond memories of Des, and made me wish for him to show up in the series sooner.

Nice one reprinting that entire Locke/Jack conversation, Nik. Batkitty and I were sitting here watching that, going 'Wow, that's like Jack's whole thing in one exchange'. I've always liked Jack, less so when he gets all whiny, of course, but this episode shows the start of his need to save everyone, or at least some of the motivation behind it. It was weird to see Christian without silver hair in the flashback. Some of the Australian accents in this ep were strange, the guy in Christian's hotel room in particular. I'm Aussie, and my gf and I were sitting there following his dialogue, when all of a sudden we'd go 'What the hell did he just say?' It's weird, maybe we're just used to hearing US accents and Aussie ones just popping up sound strange (although we don't have that problem with Claire, who's accent does sound incredibly Ocker around all the US ones). Oh, yeah! And Jack's mum! I lol'd when Jack asks where Christian is and she whispers, like he's in a skull cave on some uncharted island, 'Australia!' DUN DUN DUN! Funny as.

kirathena said...

Great episode! I agree that the insight of 5 seasons really makes a difference in how I see this episode now.

The "you don't have what it takes" talk if especially meaningful & spot-on for Christian identifying his son's weakness. I think the issue isn't with the advice but the way he said it. It was at the best very untactful to say it so harshly to a child. At the same time, it was dead-on good advice for Jack. And Jack has been trying to prove his father wrong ever since. Which also kind of explains Jack's belief that his Father doesn't believe in him. I think Christian believes in his skills & abilities, just not in his emotional readiness for his chosen profession. So, him helping Jack not kill the girl in the 5-second scene later on is to protect Jack from himself in a sense. Jack wouldn't be able to deal with accidentally causing the death of his first solo surgery patient. He listens to his father but then becomes angry as it is another reminder that he can't measure up & deal with things as Christian as been telling him his whole life. Well, that is my take anyhow.

I am a big Locke fan so I also enjoyed his helping of Jack find his path as leader and Jack actually heeding his advice! If they had kept up this relationship with each other life would have been much less dramatic on the island.

The whole swim rescue scene I was yelling (seriously really yelling), "Why can't anyone else swim? Hello, anyone could have followed Jack out & brought Boone in?!” It really just didn't seem right even in the sense of dependence on Jack. Not one of them (some quite heroic in general & in other episodes) could have at least made an effort. Everyone just stood there. What the crap? It just didn't make any sense to me even based on their characters displayed thus far. Also, Boone is the worse lifeguard ever. He can't save someone from drowning & apparently doesn't know CPR. Is that even realistic? I mean I know it is Lost but really?

Also, we had a big discussion in my house about the lack of a body for Christian. The consensus was Jack really was hallucinating based on the lack of a speaking-Christian, Christian dressed in a suit as Jack always sees him & no one else seems to. The lack of body could be chalked up to the crash (falling out) or Others or something like that. The finding of the water was coincidental as he was running through the jungle & that is just where stuff landed. 2nd theory: If he wasn't hallucinating...The other option is the body was disposed of by Esau so it couldn't be buried and not used by him (if that is indeed the case which is a whole other discussion!) or to create more suspicion in Jack that he really did see his Father. We couldn't think of anything later that would disprove these theories but decided as we watched we would look for things like does anyone ever see Christian in a suit but Jack? As in are there two Christians? The Island one and the one from Jack's creation. Even off-island it could have been stress and pre-cognitive suggestion from Hurley that caused Jack to see his Father. Can anyone think of things to disprove this stuff from other eps I can't remember?

Gee, this is really long post but I love rewatches! There is so much to talk about!

Marebabe said...

@Jazzygirl: You made some excellent points. (By the way, the woman who drowned was named Joanna.) It was the last few items in your post that had me sitting up and saying, "I never thought of THAT before!" Regarding Jack, and how well he takes the discovery of the empty coffin, and then immediately delivers his great "Live together, die alone" speech, well, if he was an ordinary guy, they wouldn't have made a TV series about him! Seriously, though, most humans on the planet would be at least mildly freaked out by that whole missing body thing.

Of course we know Sawyer has real feelings. But his line to Boone, "Sucks, don't it?" reveals a tiny bit of the pain he's living in. I think it's because he was smiling as he said it, that I never paid much attention to this quick bit of dialogue.

@Susan: You said it! John wishes he'd NEVER encouraged Jack to be the leader!

I noticed one especially weird, out-of-place thing in an episode full of weirdness. What's with the sound of ice cubes swirling in a glass as Ghost Christian walks thru the jungle behind Jack? (It happens at about 33 minutes into the episode.) We heard that sound in the flashback scene after Young Jack was beat up, and he and his dad are talking in the den. Christian is holding his drink with ice in it, and the sound of the ice in the glass belongs in that scene. But in the jungle? Did the writers actually think that the viewers needed such an auditory clue that this was the same man they'd seen earlier? Don't get me wrong, I love this episode. I just don't get why that sound effect is in there.

studiorose said...

The ice cubes tinkling in the glass is what alerted Jack to Christian's presence behind him. It's a sound Jack associates with his dad. So maybe it was in Jack's mind. But then, we don't know whether Christian was merely in his mind or was a manifestation of Smokey.

I have a really strange theory that may or may not make sense. What if Smokey killed John Locke in the previous episode, and the Locke we're seeing now is a fake? What if he's been Faux Locke since as early as the first season? Because the Locke we know now, the wise and powerful and resourceful Locke, isn't the same guy who landed on the island. That Locke kept to himself and did things that made you wonder if he was a few cents short of a dollar, like that crazy orange-peel grin. And the more we see of his past, the more we realize he was pretty much the opposite of who he is now; gullible, lonely, angry, weak and uncertain, going nowhere in his career.

Just how did Locke know that Charlie was using heroin? He barely spoke to Charlie before this and now all of a sudden he knows all about it and knows how to help him kick the habit. How did Locke know to be at the edge of that cliff to save Jack? It could be argued that the island changed him after his encounter with Smokey, but he seems to have suddenly acquired knowledge, abilities and character traits that were certainly never evident in his past.

SonshineMusic said...

@Nikki: Why wasn’t Christian in the coffin? If the Man in Black possessed Locke’s body, but Locke’s body exists separately, then why is Christian’s body gone?

And this is one of the reasons that I think Smokey is completely separate from MiB or Jacob. I think Smokey reanimates things in a different way (i.e. Rousseau's crew). Perhaps MiB stole the general idea from Smokey, but couldn't do it in the same way whereas Smokey actually takes over the body.

Or of course it's not Smokey, MiB or Jacob, but some other force at work. Hopefully the Rules of Death are explained in some way next season.

@Jazzygirl I'm sorry but if I found an EMPTY coffin that was supposed to have a body in it, I am not sure I'd go back to the camp with a clear head, giving one of the pivotal speeches of the show (Live together, die alone), and be STRONGER and ready to lead.

That's a really good point. I would think Jack WOULD be freaking out. If he'd found the body he could have just been like, okay, I was tired and dehydrated and seeing things, but obviously there's nothing to be concerned about. What's he thinking now? Oh good, the coffin's empty, so I really saw my dead father brought back to life and appearing to only me. This means I can be the great leader he always told me I wasn't !!

Re: the whole Christian's speech to Jack thing...

A couple of things concerning this, 1. As much as Jack gets on my nerves, this scene really ticks me off. Instead of being proud that his son was brave enough to stand up against bullies beating someone else up he rips into him with some retarded story about how he'll never have enough. Why? Just because he got beat up instead of beating up the others? Grr.

Then later, when Jack's mother was laying into him, I thought hmmm... We all know that Jack rewrote the story of "count to 5" and I realized that Christian rewrote the story of how the girl died because of previous injuries, not because of his drunken incompetence. And then I wondered if the story of the boy dying on the table actually happened that way or if Christian regularly rewrote history. If so, then Jack learned how to do it from the best and it put a little different spin on his own rewrite for me.

Other things...

1. As much as Jack needs help dangling from the cliff like that, Locke's hand sliding into view at first with no view of the rest of his body always has creeped me out!

2. Awwwwwwww.... Claire and Charlie

3. I LUV Sawyer's comment, "It's gonna rain sooner or later, and hell, I'm an optomist!"

4. Is it just me or does anybody else find it odd that a coffin could survive a violent plane crash, but immediately turn to toothpicks when whacked once with a bat or stick or whatever Jack uses?

5. In his infamous speech Jack says, "We have to stop waiting" and I thought, yes, Jack really does stop waiting. He acts, he never waits. He always has to be doing something, going after something, trying to change something. In contrast Sawyer never stops waiting. He is always waiting for Kate to come back to him, he waits to see how things will play out before he makes his move, in season 4-5 he settles in to wait for Locke, even though it takes 3 years.

I just think it's an interesting commentary on one more way he and Jack are polar opposites.

Anonymous said...

I think the best explanation for I alwasys thought that Charlie's "I can't swim" line is doe to the fact that that he realized as drugged up on heroin as he is he'd never be able to get out there and save her.

He was trying to hide his habit so "I can't swim" was easier to say than "I can swim but I'm high so I don't think I can make it".

-Tim

variabull said...

DEAR NIKKI
I thought the writers may have hinted about Charlie's evolving swimming abilities in "Greatest Hits" as part of Desmond's ability to "consciousness time travel", possibly creating a new timeline or reality. In showing us Charlies "hit list" I thought the writers intimated that Desmond was there (in a new timeline and as a child) to push Charlie to jump to his father (who was waiting for him with open arms in the water) at Butlin's. I thought Faraday had stated that Desmond was immune to the "whatever happened, happened rule" and managed to create changes in the timeline that had not happened before turning the "failsafe key". These might also have included talking to Charlie and Donovan about the Island, the creation of two Penny/Desmond photographs instead of one ("Flashes"), and the Christmas telephone call to Penny ("The Constant").

V said...

I can't explain why there is no body but after watching it again I'm sure of two things. 1) Jack convinced the airline clerk to let Christian's body on the plane. There is no way he would've flown back to LA without it. 2) Christian has been "reanimated" in the same way as Season 5 Locke. Remember when Ilana explained to Cesear they had found "a man?" She said he was standing in the water, wearing a suit. That is how Jack saw Christian in "Walkabout" the 2nd time he saw him. It's too big of a coincidence not to be linked.

I also believe Charlie was telling the truth, he can't swim. This Season 1 Charlie has been dying for anyone to recognize him from Driveshaft. He wants notaryity. If he could swim he would've jumped at the chance to be a hero. Later, when Desmond asks him if he really was a swim champ, Charlie replies "Does it matter?" And it really didn't matter, he just had to get to the bottom.

I think another unanswered question is "How did Christian really die?" It's always bothered me that we don't know more about his last moments, especially now that he's such a significant character. Jacob's spokesperson died of a heart attack in a dark alley?! There's got to be more to that.

Nikki Stafford said...

Jazzy: Interesting theory on Christian as Jacob. Why do you think that Christian was helping Locke, and leading him to end up dead so that the Man in Black could fulfill his task? Christian is the guy in the cabin who tells Locke about the Orchid, and then he leads him to the FDW when Locke drops through the well. I think that's why I was thinking Christian was actually the Man in Black (that and Ilana makes a comment that Jacob hasn't been in the cabin for a very long time and that "someone else has been using it"). But then again, Jacob is the guy who brings Locke back to life in the first place when Locke has his big fall. So maybe you're onto something!

Nikki Stafford said...

joshua: I wonder if Christian doesn't speak to Jack because he's the only one who actually knows him really well. He does speak to Claire, but she could be dead, or maybe it's because she's only met him once. If the Man in Black or Jacob or whoever is inhabiting that body is imitating him, maybe it would be given away if Jack picks up on it. And Christian needs to talk to the others -- they don't know him at all and he needs to instruct him -- whereas he doesn't need to talk to Jack: his very presence will cause Jack to follow him and he can lead him to where he needs Jack to go. Hence him appearing in the hospital later and not talking to Jack then, either.

Nikki Stafford said...

Susan: Excellent point on the "don't" vs. "can't," which is why I quoted it specifically. In my episode guide for Greatest Hits (page 182, Finding Lost S3) I pointed out this very thing, and wondered if it's not that he couldn't save Joanna, but that he didn't because he was a coward.

Jennifer: Great catch on the "Brother"! :) And I'm delighted you're enjoying the blog!

kirathena: I agree with you completely on the how he said it, which is why I said that, too. Up until the point where he says, "You don't have what it takes" it could be taken as an advice scene. But this is also a writing thing: at this point they need us to think Christian was a hard-ass and Jack is held down by him. By the finale of season 5 they're starting to show a different side to that story, that Jack leaves out details, that he misunderstands things and misreads people all the time, and maybe he misread Christian.

I still think Christian is a problematic father, and that he could have treated his son better, for sure. And this scene definitely proves that. But with the hindsight of the S5 finale, you can watch it a little differently.

Nikki Stafford said...

studiorose: Re: Did Locke actually die already? It's definitely a possibility, and I know others have already suggested that Locke seems very confident. But it's not that same kind of confidence he has in season 5. I agree he's a loon in the first couple of episodes, but many of the characters aren't like themselves in that pilot ep, either. And, I keep thinking of season 2 and how he'll lose that confidence, break down, lose the use of his legs again, ask too many questions, not know what's happening, do stupid things, question himself and those around him, and all of those things are consistent with the Locke we know. So I'm leaning to him not being dead yet.

Besides, I think it would say a lot more for the character if he were actually alive throughout all those seasons and really had to develop into the person he is now. If I find out he was dead all along, I'll be deeply disappointed.

@Sonshine: Perhaps MiB stole the general idea from Smokey, but couldn't do it in the same way whereas Smokey actually takes over the body.

Good explanation, and I particularly loved this line. I can just see Man in Black going, "Ooh, cool trick! I'm totally stealing that one from him." Heehee!!

Nikki Stafford said...

Re: Jack finding an empty coffin and then giving the speech.

You know, for some reason that's never bothered me. Jack is the Man of Science, the Man of Reason, and I don't think it's even crossed his mind that his dad is alive and walking around the island. Despite listening to Locke, I don't think he believes it for a second.

Notice the locks on the coffin were undone. He doesn't have to unlock it to lift the lid, he just lifts it. So I'm thinking Jack's probably assumed the body fell out in mid-air and is lost somewhere. The key line to this is when he's at the airport and says, "I just need it to be over." The reason he smashes the coffin is that he NEEDS to see that body for it to be over, and when it's not there, when it's presumably in the ocean or hanging in a tree and he'll never find it, he can't handle it. He then heads back to the beach with more resolve, as if to say SCREW him and his idea that I don't have what it takes, I do, and I will lead.

So that's how I see that scene.

The Shout said...

The Others seem to have a thing for corpses -remember Richard asking how well the bodies were buried in 'Le Fleur'- so maybe they took Christian's body, possibly to prevent what would eventually happen to Locke.
We don't know for sure if Christian's ghost(?) is allied with Jacob or his nemesis, so maybe certain burial rights have to be preformed when laying a dead body to rest.

joshua said...

Nik: Excellent point about Christian's silence. If he didn't sound like himself, then I'd think Jack would absolutely pick up on it. Additionally, I suppose if they had actually conversed, then Jack would have been quizzing him, to a degree, possibly asking "Him" to answer personal questions for which he'd have no answers.

Then again, he's always seemed to know whatever else he needed to... Perhaps it was just a writer's tool to leave us guessing whether or not Jack really was hallucinating. (Not to say that he couldn't have hallucinated a conversation, too...)

Jazzygirl said...

Nikki, I see what you're saying regarding the missing body. For myself, I still don't think I could go back and take charge like that. I'm a person of logic, science, etc. I'm extremely left-brained and logical. But that's pushing the limits of anyone's logic! LOL! But then again, we know now that Jack does have a strong resolve in what he "believes" in and will stand by principle to the death.
To answer your other questions
"Why do you think that Christian was helping Locke, and leading him to end up dead so that the Man in Black could fulfill his task? Christian is the guy in the cabin who tells Locke about the Orchid, and then he leads him to the FDW when Locke drops through the well. I think that's why I was thinking Christian was actually the Man in Black (that and Ilana makes a comment that Jacob hasn't been in the cabin for a very long time and that "someone else has been using it"). But then again, Jacob is the guy who brings Locke back to life in the first place when Locke has his big fall. So maybe you're onto something!"
Well, I have one answer: Ben. LOL I do believe Christian was leading Locke to do certain things... to try to influence the outcome of things. But Ben interfered. Locke dying was not part of Jacob's plan. Could Jacob have known that Ben would kill Locke? Apparently not if I'm right (which I don't proclaim to be). This is, for me, one of the biggest pieces of irony in the show. Ben is going around doing things in the name of Jacob, but Jacob had no part of it. Ben was doing what he THOUGHT Jacob wanted, when in the end, Jacob wasn't telling Ben do anything at all. I think the Man in Black recognizes this and uses it to his advantage when he possesses Locke's body. From the minute Locke is with Ben, he is manipulating him, knowing he can goade Ben into doing his will. Hence, the loophole.

Teebore said...

Oh, and why is Kate so hot to leave the island? Anyone?

I too have wondered about this from day one.

For a wanted fugitive, living on a hidden island while the world believes you dead, ESPECIALLY after all the modern conveniences and amenities of Dharmaville are discovered, seems like a sweet gig.

And yeah, I get it, Kate always needs to RUN...but yeesh, Kate, just run from one side of the island to the other for awhile. It's big. That's gotta be better than running off the island and getting caught.

variabull said...

Sawyer: Well, its about time.
Kate: For what?
Sawyer: I made this birthday wish four years ago.

1. Is this just Sawyer being Sawyer.
2. Was Sawyer in prison for conning Cassidy four years before, and that might be the kind of wish he would have made in the joint.
3. Is this another Lost conversation (like Charlie's "I was dead and Jack pulled me up" "Pilot Part 1") that could be about another time and place?

Fred said...

I am splitting this into 2 parts as it's so long.
A unique aspect of this episode is he way key words or phrases repeat themselves in association with various characters throughout the episode. One such word that appears a number of times and is informative of the character of Jack is the word ‘can’t’. When Jack’s mother confronts Jack about her husband’s running away to Australia and tells Jack he has to go after him, he responds, “I’m sorry I can’t.” Margot angrily retorts, “‘I can’t?’ You don’t get to say, ‘I can’t.’” Later in the episode after Jack is rescued by Locke and the two begin to talk about Jack’s White Rabbit and how other are looking to Jack for leadership, Jack says to Locke, “Me? I can’t.” In a flashback, when Jack is at the Sydney airport wanting to take his father’s casket on board, he says to the ticketing agent, “Look, you can’t do this to me. I’m ready to go now.” In the emotional speech he give the agent, he repeats the word ‘can’t’ twice more: “Chrissy, why can’t I just bring him to a funeral home and make all the arrangement? Why can’t I really take my time with it?” Jack’s life is one in which he can’t make the choices he would like to, it has been one dictated by others, his parents, circumstances, the way the other survivors look to him to give them direction. Unlike Locke, whose life has been one in which others have told him you ‘can’t’ do this or that, Jack’s life has been one in which those around him have told him what he ‘can’ do.
The word ‘can’t’ appears twice more, at the end of the episode, when Jack confronts the survivors ready to attack Boone for stealing the water, and Jack makes his stirring speech about live together or die alone. At this moment Jack has taken on the leadership role that he will hold for much of the next two seasons, and when he says, “We can’t do this . . . . if we can’t live together, we’re going to die alone,” we know and so do the survivors that it is Jack that will hold them together. But like many of the promises made in Lost, this one too will begin to fail with the appearance of the Others and later Keamy and his mercenaries.

Fred said...

Another phrase that has resonance with the end of Season three is Boone telling Jack, “You gotta go back.” This follows from when Jack rescues Boone from drowning, and Boone asks Jack if he saved her. Jack’s failure to rescue Joanna parallels his inability to rescue Marc Silverman from being beaten and sets him up for his father to criticize his son. The key in looking at this scene with hindsight later seasons is how often Jack fails at his rescue attempts. But perhaps the line is most poignant when considered with Jack’s plea to Kate at the end of Season three that they all have to ‘go back’.
Some lesser and interesting parallels occur when Sawyer throws the badge to Kate and calls her the new sheriff. Later Sawyer calls himself the new sheriff in town, even becoming one as the head of security for the Dharma Initiative. At this time, Kate’s role is becoming one of keeping tempers at bay, and she will play the role of sheriff when she finds Sayid and Jack have been torturing Sawyer. Still another when Boone tries to justify his own self-worth by pointing out to Jack that he runs a business. When Jack is dealing with the hotel manager and he tells Jack no one would rent a car to his father in his condition, Jack retorts, “My father is a Chief of Surgery.” We later learn Jack had his father ousted for alcoholism, making his claim less than truthful—the foreshadowing of Christian’s alcoholism in the tinkling of the ice in his glass, a sound closely associated with him (the sound is repeated twice, once when we see Jack confronting his father after being beaten, and once more when Jack is looking round for his father in the jungle, the sound occurs and we see Christian walk past in the background). But this little scene shows how some survivors still see themselves in the life they held before the crash. Clearly they have not started over again, as Jack had said to Kate, earlier.

Jazzygirl said...

Variabull: YES, I DID notice that! I was "huh?" when he said it but then forgot to mention it. The problem is that we don't know how much the writers had thought ahead so we might be overanalyzing (US? really?) these small things, but I do agree it was weird.

variabull said...

Astronomy?

After Jack has discovered "The Caves" they show us a night shot of their location which appears to be moutainous. The night sky has what could be The Big Dipper asterism only its missing the "double star" Mizar and Alzar and it is reversed. They use this establishing shot again in "Special". If it is the Big Dipper the Island would either be in another location (galaxy that is) or another time. None of our survivors has stated that they have noticed any anomalies associated with the moon or the night sky. Then again except for Sayid, none of them are very questioning. Later we see a star chart on the wall in Ben Linus's bedroom in his house at the barracks ("Otherville). In "Stranger in a Strange Land" Alex's boyfriend Karl says they made up names for the constellations as children. The name he mentions is Ursa Theodorus. Is this their name for Ursa Major (The Big Bear) that The Big Dipper is a part of. I am no astronomer, but is Ursa Major even visible from the South Pacific?

variabull said...

Astronomy edit

I meant the other side of our galaxy not another galaxy entirely. Sorry.

ashlie said...

Okay, things I noticed (with notes!)

- Now, I don't think this was mentioned in Nikki's book or anything, but was that an empty bottle of MacCutcheon's in Christian's drawer in the hotel room? Sure looked like it to me!
- You would think Jack would have found more appropriate island clothes by now. The part with him trying to pull himself back up the cliff, it looks like he's still wearing his fancy suit shoes.
- And the question of Christian's body. I suppose the simplest answer is that Jack was hallucinating Christian (but that Christian is an actual manifestation later to Locke, etc. Notice how Christian talks to the other people, and is dressed differently when he is representing Jacob) I think the simplest answer is that Jack was hallucinating and that Christian's body was lost in the crash, maybe even fell out of the coffin and was dragged away by a polar bear or something. Maybe the casket wasn't even intact when Jack found it, he was just hallucinating it as being intact and that's why it broke apart so easily. Or maybe it's much more complex than that and I'm oversimplifying! ;)

Katey said...

@variabull:

Reading your post was really exciting for me because I've recently read a Lost-theory that addressed exactly that (well--the astronomy was just a part of it but it mentioned the reversal of the Big Dipper and the two missing stars!) and while it was impressive, I was skeptical that the star thing wasn't just a coincidence that this person was imagining in order to prop their theory. But hearing you say the exact same thing makes me interested! Here, I'll post a link to the theory--it's very, very...strange and by no means an answer to "what's going to happen" type things but it does point out some fascinating things about Lost that I think you'll enjoy since you noticed the star anomaly.

Link: http://mirrormattermoon.blogspot.com/

variabull said...

@Katey

Thanks for directing me to the mirrormoon theories.

Unfortunately at the end of Season 4 when Ben moved the "donkey wheel" and thus the Island, the Oceanic 6 + Desmond and Lapidus did see the Island dissappear. It's dissappearance also seemed to leave a ripple effect in the ocean.

I have been trying to generate a unified theory (excuse the pun) to take into account Faraday's rocket time dilation experiment, the night to day time changes with Oceanic 815 and Ajira 316 arrivals, the time differences in the helicopter trips between the Island and the Kahana, Dr. Ray's body wash-up, Desmond's and Juliet's snow globe/sailing in circles comments, possibly Moonlight Serenade on WXR radio, bearings 305/325, Faraday's and Chang's Kerr metric equation mutterings, Hawking's Lampost chalk map, anomalous astronomy, Penny's electromagnetic monitoring station, time traveling the 70's (some folks moving in time, some folks "apparently not") Jack's bamboo grove landings, Locke/Ben's Tunesia landings, the volcano, exotic/black rock....it's enough to give you a Boone headache with a whaky paste chaser. Let's not even start in on the metaphysical Jacob/notLocke, premonitory dreams, Cerberus, whisper mysteries.

Guess I have gotten way ahead of the rewatch. You have to wonder why so many of the Others have willingly given up their lives for the big secret (Or have they?). How Juliet could accuse Sawyer of Duckett's murder (how did she even know), witness him kill "Mr Friendly" in cold-blood (a coworker for 3 years), and then fall in love with the guy. So they have a relationship for a good part of three years and he didn't ask, and she didn't volunteer as to "what the hell" had been going on. She must have had an inkling. Thats beyond me.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm very late here, but the simple and un-interesting reason the body was not in the coffin is that the airline told Jack they would take care of it, then removed the body and shipped the empty coffin. Jack would have been none the wiser until arriving in L.A. Hence he is furious with Oceanic for duping him.

Celandine

SenexMacdonald said...

Opps! Sorry I am late for the party! :)

Did anyone else notice that when Charlie, Hurley and Jack are talking about the water supply - that when Jack turns to respond, there are two people who walk by in the background?

After it cuts back to Charlie and Hurley, and then back to Jack - the same two people walk by again in the same direction. Opps!

SenexMacdonald said...

kirathena re.: "The finding of the water was coincidental as he was running through the jungle & that is just where stuff landed."

Again sorry for being late to the party. Am enjoying the rewatches.

I do not believe that this was just a coincidence. One of the themes of this ep. is water - the lack of water for the survivors, water that can kill as in the ocean, etc.

Jack first sees his father standing in the ocean. A portent I am sure since it follows his saving Boone and then being unable to save Joanne.

He then is finds out about the short supply of water for the castaways from Charlie and Hurley. He fights against being seen as the 'leader' and it is after this that he again sees his father.

Where does Christian lead him to? The river. Of course, it was not Christian's fault that Jack tripped and almost ended up IN the river. And I agree, Nikki, what a great fall. LOL

I did find it funny also that when Jack and Locke are talking after Locke saves him, that Locke says he is off to find water. Did he not notice the river down below Jack? Maybe he did not lean out far enough to see it! haha

Hmmm, could this be the same river that the Others follow (along with everyone else it feels like) when our Losties see them walking along while watching from the forest floor?

So that water was not enough, I guess. What would Christian do? Use something that Jack knows very well - the clinking sound of ice in a glass - to get him to follow once more. And where did Jack find himself? At a waterfall (probably fed by an offshoot of that same river).

And doesn't he find something else... part of the cargo section. Now, I do not find that unusual. After all, a lot of pieces fell from the plane. Remember the large piece on the forest floor behind Walt when he went looking for Vincent? From that attitude, things would fall farther than just on the beach.

Of course, the coffin would be there. In hindsight, it had to be. Of course, we would not have thought that then. Now? It might still surprise us but it had to be there.

I agree that it was already empty. It shows signs of damage when Jack approaches it. The exterior box is in pieces and you can see some of the interior material sticking out of it. Yes, it is closed but it wasn't always that way. I agree that the body fell out during the crash. I am reserving what happened to it to another post later.

I watch this scene now and think that once Jack saw the coffin that he intended to finally talk to his father - maybe even say all the things he needed to say and never did before this point. I do not think Jack attacked (yes, ATTACKED) the coffin because there was no body. I believe it was the catharsis he needed. If he could not talk to his dad, even if he was dead, then Jack could take out his need to deal with his dad in some other way. He needed to do something.

Now, regarding that speech. I believe that after Jack had his catharsis, it was him finding Charlie and Sayid surrounding Boone (remember that opening scene?) just like a schoolyard fight. Jack steps in because as a child he could not stop what happened then. He can now and this time people will listen to him. :)

Benny said...

Quick note on Christian's appearances. It may or may not bring things into perspective.

-He appears to Claire in the night in plaid, talks to her and brings her with him (S4);
- He appears to Locke twice (cabin, cave) in a plaid shirt and laid back posture and talks to him as 'speaking for Jacob' (S4/S5);
-He appears to Micheal on the freighter and tells him he "can go now" (S4);
- He appears to Not-Locke and Sun in Dharmaville after 316 and talks to them normally, seemingly knowing what is happening (S5);

-He appears to Jack in a suit on the island, all zombie-like (S1);
-Jack hears his voice through the Hydra telecom (S3);
-Hurley sees him in a suit and white shoes when looking through the cabin window (S4); and...
-He appears to Jack OFF-ISLAND at the hospital wearing his suit and white shoes and TALKS TO HIM, monotonically.

Are there two different Christians? The suit/white shoes wearing zombie who can go to Los Angeles, and the plaid/boot wearing guide who tells Locke/Not-Locke what to do!

SonshineMusic said...

Benny, that is such a fascinating idea bout Christian. I'm gonna have to think about that now.

My sister says she thinks it is quite an interesting idea as well and that you deserve warm fuzzy socks for thinking of it. (I know she's weird :P)

Benny said...

Thanks, as we all know there is more to Christian than we know and it just gets the gears rolling. I think I'll try to spend some time on that (and the Alpert reference).

I'd also forgotten, the obvious one from the mobisodes:

-Christian (suits + white shoes) tells Vincent to go wake up his son.

The interesting thing here is that he is wearing the zombie-associated clothes, suit and white shoes (as per my previous comment), but talks all normal to Vincent. This mobisode started from Vincent's perspective and could suggest something about the nature of the dog and its relationship with Christian/the Island/etc.

Could it also represent a pure undead Christian. The unpure being two Christians separated after an unseen encounter (monster, Jacob, Jacob's nemesis). The creation of two corporeal identities out of a singular individual.

I point to Locke's extreme confident/broken personalities on the island. He never seems to be in-between. That does not confirm two Locke bodies on the island, but two strongly separated personalities within one body, something that will be corrected once Locke dies and returns to the island.

More fuel on the fire... there's time to think about it!

Teebore said...

Benny, I love the idea of dual (conflicting?) Christians.

It's certainly a simple explanation for the different actions taken by Island Christian throughout the show (and might even be a neat way to cover up the fact that, maybe, the producers weren't quite sure where all the Christian stuff was going when he popped up in White Rabbit).

This one's definitely worth some thought.

RosieP said...

I loved the beginning where the kid says, “You should have just stayed down, Jack.” How many times have we thought that about him since? And in season 5, that’s exactly what he does. Just lies on the ground while things happen around him and thinks, “Oh well. Not my problem.” But that doesn’t last for long.


And it's a good thing, too. The problem with Jack . . . and well, the majority of human beings today is that they believe that they have to take one path or the other. They tend to be extreme in their choices and reactions. There were times when it was better for Jack to simply leave things alone. And there were times when action on his part was called for. Jack . . . and well many of today's humans needed to learn that when making a choice, one has to listen to instinct or an inner voice and determine if action or lack of action is required for a particular situation.