LostZone: Claires (Freaky? Psychotic!?) Return and Sideways Significance with Jack Shephard


LostZone:
Claire’s (Freaky? Psychotic!?) Return and Sideways Significance with Jack
Shephard
By

Louis Bedigian

 “Lighthouse”
redeems the island doctor and brings dignity to the sideways universe.

In
the series premiere of Lost, viewers were introduced to Jack Shephard, a flawed
but caring (and committed) man who would lead the castaways to safety. During
the entire first season, Jack was slowly developed as a complex man with a lot
of emotion. When he was upset, you could feel it. When he started to fall for
Kate – but reluctantly turned away from her – you could understand why. For all
intents and purposes, Jack wasn’t just the leader of the castaways; he was the
leader of the show.


This was not the Jack we experienced in Season Two and Three (the seasons in
which Jack went a little crazy), nor was his strength – or any sign of
respectable acting – present in the “We have to go back!” moments of Season
Four.


But in “Lighthouse,” an episode many of you were likely afraid to watch after
the atrocious sideways scenarios of “What Kate Does,” the writers brought Jack
back to reality and gave his sideways alter ego a story that was true to the man
we first met in 2004.

 

In his sideways
story, nobody cares about the origins of Jack’s tattoos
.


Still Divorced,
Now a Father


“Lighthouse” reinforces the significant (but still mysterious) connection that
the parallel worlds have. More importantly, it all but confirms that the flash
sideways scenarios are permanent. 


In the new world, Jack has a son, David, and – surprise, surprise – their
relationship isn’t the best. Numerous connections to Jack’s island self are
thrown into the sideways scenarios (Jack can’t remember having his appendix
taken out – how interesting!). But the best moment comes when Jack is talking to
his son, who is keeping his love of music and his talent as a pianist a secret
because he didn’t want his father to see him fail.


“You know when I
was your age, my father didn’t want to see me fail either. He used to say to me
that, he said that I didn’t have what it takes. I spent my whole life carrying
that around with me. I don’t ever want you to feel that way. I will always love
you, no matter what you do. In my eyes you can never fail. I just want to be a
part of your life.”


There couldn’t have been a more honest thing for Jack to say to his son. Simply
beautiful.


Jack is still divorced in this scenario, though we don’t know his ex-wife’s
identity since she was not shown. That could be due to Julie Bowen’s (who played
Jack’s original ex-wife) hectic schedule with the hilarious Modern Family.
Another, more interesting reason could be that he was married to someone
different, most likely a woman from the island. Who? It can’t be Sun (who is
still with Jin), and it can’t be Shannon unless some major time shifts have
occurred (she’d be too young in 2004 to have a pre-teen son). Kate would be too
young as well, though her status as a fugitive confirms it’s not her anyway. Who
does that leave?


Juliet. In the sideways world, there’s no island for her to come to, but
wouldn’t it fit that she and Jack meet anyway? They’re both doctors, they fall
in love, have a kid together, and slowly realize they weren’t meant for each
other. It starts with Jack’s subconscious longing for a sexy fugitive and
concludes with Juliet’s perpetual pining for a guy who was a con man in another
life.

 

If Sayid is indeed
infected, we should get an answer (or at least a clue) in next week’s episode.


Claire as a
French Woman


“The part of Danielle Rousseau will now be played by…” Alright, so Claire’s
Other-hunting, Aaron-seeking escapade didn’t completely mirror the life and
death of the island’s leading French woman. But, like Rousseau, Claire looks
like she could use a shower. She believes the Others have taken her child (not
true for Claire, though it was in Rousseau’s case). And she’s willing to kill
anyone responsible, and will likely shoot anyone who stands in her way.


The biggest differences, of course, are (1) it didn’t appear that Rousseau was
“infected,” and (2) Rousseau wasn’t friends with the Man Formerly Known as
Locke.


If you noticed that the word “infected” is still being written with quotation
marks around it, there’s a reason for that: I’m not yet convinced that Claire is
truly sick or infected with anything. The Others are notorious liars – Claire
wasn’t wrong to assume that her hostage would have killed her if given the
opportunity. We know from experience with Ethan (who was so dedicated to
“helping” Claire’s baby that he hung Charlie by the neck and left him for dead),
Goodwin (who had no qualms about killing castaways), Ben and virtually every
Other we’ve encountered that they will kill anyone. “We’re the good guys”
doesn’t mean much of anything when they’re the ones pulling the trigger.


Which begs the question: why should we believe the Others now?


Whether Claire is sick or not, however, doesn’t change the fact that she is
friends with a madman. She wouldn’t actually say his name, which is probably a
clue to who she believes he is – and perhaps who she sees when she looks at him.
Could it be that Fake Locke has the power to disguise his image to her? And if
so, does this go back to my

original theory
that the infection is merely a way for New Locke to
influence/take control of someone?

 

A part of me is
really starting to believe that Hurley will become the new protector of the
island.


The Sideways
World, AKA Destiny


It seems the producers are doing everything they can to make the sideways world
the most appealing outcome for our beloved castaways. Which makes me wonder…what
if they haven’t happened yet? What if the sideways scenarios are essentially
flash-forward scenarios for what’s going to happen when the castaways complete
their island missions?


Think about it: just because we’re seeing them now doesn’t mean the flash
sideways have occurred yet. As far as we know the parallel world was created the
moment Juliet ignited the bomb. But with the way the story is developing, it
feels like there’s more to it than that – like all of our castaways are going to
be led down a path that eventually guides them to the sideways world – not to
erase their island identities but to ultimately take them to the world in which
they truly belong.


Last season we learned that time is a changing element on Lost. Thus, it is not
without reason that the flash sideways timeline – the rebooted timeline – will
actually begin when the island world concludes. Does that mean the show will
end with the island under water?
Not necessarily. In fact, there’s a good
chance that Jacob’s replacement will do something to prevent the island from
going under while keeping the sideways world intact.


What will become of the rest of the castaways? We’ve known since 2004 that
Claire was meant to raise her child; perhaps that isn’t the only certainty.
Maybe Jack was always meant to have a son. Maybe Kate was always meant to be
innocent (of killing her dad, at least). Maybe Locke was always meant to find
(and hold onto) true love.


If so, then the results of the sideways world could be explained with one simple
word: destiny.



LostZone – Previous Installments


February 18, 2010:

Giving Meaning to the Numbers, 4 8 15 16 23 42


February 11, 2010:

Season Three Stall Tactics and Claire’s Disappearance Explained!?


February 4, 2010:

Thoughts and Theories From the Mind-Blowing Season Six Premiere


February 1, 2010:

Are Lost and Final Fantasy VII Unofficially Connected?



LostZone is a new, ongoing feature on GameZone aimed at discussing the show’s
most breathtaking moments (and, if necessary, its most depressing bombs) while
dissecting its most intriguing mysteries. Stay tuned for new installments.