“Other times, you have to let them look out at the ocean for a while.”
“I’ll be your candle on the water. My love for you will always burn. I know you’re lost and drifting, but the clouds are lifting. Don’t give up; you have somewhere to turn. I’ll be your candle on the water ‘til every wave is warm and bright. My heart is here beside you. Let my candle guide you. Soon you’ll see a golden stream of light. A cold and friendless tide has found you. Don’t let the stormy darkness pull you down. I’ll paint a ray of hope around you, circling in the air, lighted by a prayer, a prayer… I’ll be your candle on the water. This flame inside of me will grow. Keep holding on; you’ll make it. Here’s my hand so take it. Look for me, reaching out to show as sure as rivers flow, I’ll never let you go…”
Yes, that’s right. I just quoted the entirety of Candle on the Water, from Pete’s Dragon. From memory, because I could sing that song in my sleep. Hearing that this episode was called Lighthouse, I immediately thought of the song, and I think now that whenever I hear it, I will imagine that Jacob is the singer, the one who puts out his beacon to summon his wayfaring chosen ones, who gently encourages them in their darkest moments although they are often unaware of it. And “Here’s my hand, so take it?” I mean, come on… Oh, and I love “A lighthouse? I don’t understand, how is it we didn’t see it before?” Hurley’s answer: “I guess we weren’t looking for it.” Seek and ye shall find, my friends. And Jack’s little speech about how his son can do no wrong in his eyes, how he will always love him, how he just wants to be a part of his life… That felt very Jacobean to me.
Who did Jacob want to summon? Well, as I’ve always associated this particular song with Desmond, thinking of Penny as the speaker, and as Eloise claimed that the Island wasn’t done with him yet - and this Scot-loving gal says it darned well better not be - my vote is with Mr. Hume, though I had to laugh because when Nathan and I compared notes, he immediately said Widmore. Maybe they’ll both come! Oh, wouldn’t that be a happy reunion?? Poor Charles. I strongly suspect that before this is all over he and Penny will reconcile, and we’ll find out that he actually has deep respect for Desmond, and only pushed all his buttons to get him to fulfill his Island destiny.
I loved Lighthouse. I loved how much we got to see of Jacob, first and foremost. Might he actually be a pretty regular character this season? That prospect excites me so much. I love that Hurley went ahead and compared him to Obi-Wan Kenobi, because I’ve been thinking that for a long time, since there was such an “If you strike me down now, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine” vibe to his last scene in The Incident, and since he now is appearing to Hurley much as Obi-Wan appeared to Luke. I love it because Hurley speaks for us. And because he loves Star Wars so much that he wrote his own version of The Empire Strikes Back. And because I think the first explicit reference to Star Wars on the show was when he congratulated Jack on his “Jedi moment” with Shannon when she lost her inhalers in Confidence Man.
Her inhalers. I am so glad that I watched that video of the LOST panel at Comic-Con, because I’m certain that was an inside joke just for the fans devoted enough to have attended that or watched the coverage. It was funny enough at the panel when Jorge, unleashing a barrage of questions on Darlton, asked, as an example of mysteries still left unresolved, “When Sayid tortured Sawyer to get Shannon’s inhalers, only he didn’t have them… Well, what happened to the inhalers?” We all had a good belly laugh over the idea of resolving such an inconsequential mystery. And then, lying there on the jungle floor just feet away from where Shannon probably had been… were the inhalers. I just about died laughing, unabashed by the funny looks Mom and Dad gave me. Priceless.
Of course, I was on the lookout for White Rabbit parallels, and I found them in spades. Both are about Jack dealing with his father issues. In this episode, he himself is a father, which is totally weird. And who is the mother? If it’s Sarah, they met in a very different way than in the original timeline. The fact that we didn’t see her rather makes me suspect it’s someone different.
His son’s name is David, which feels significant, especially since he kept repeating it, like they really wanted it to sink in. For now, all I can come up with is how utterly appropriate Hallelujah is to that fractured relationship: “I heard there was a secret chord that David played, and it pleased the Lord, but you don’t really care for music, do ya?” And there’s David clandestinely playing his music, not knowing his dad is there, and thinking he doesn’t care, or not wanting him to anyway, because he fears failure too much. Interesting that he attends a Catholic school, though since he mostly lives with his mother, that’s not necessarily indicative of a more faith-embracing Jack. Note, though, that David and Daniel, who seems a beautiful combination of Faith and Science, both played Chopin on the piano…
Coming upon the cave was, of course, another iconic White Rabbit moment. And the best? Jack staring out at the ocean, in unknowing communion with Jacob, just as he sat in silent communion with Rose at the end of White Rabbit. In that episode, Hurley wanted Jack to boss him around; he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t giving them instructions. Here, Hurley was calling the shots, while Jack meekly followed. (How perfect is it, by the way, that Shephard’s number is 23? And, for that matter, that bad-luck Hurley gets the magic 8...) And there’s Jack smashing his father’s empty coffin to pieces and the glass in his Island father’s empty lighthouse to pieces. Oh, and there was a rabbit with a white front, and Alice in Wonderland.
Beyond episode parallels, after waxing alchemical with my friend Beth, I was on the lookout for albedo images. Yet another person looking in the mirror in the bathroom, and with the water running. (And for sheer hilarity, can we include Old Spice dude and pretend LOST saw to it that he was there on purpose?) There was Jack and Dogen meeting by a reflective pool, and in a gentle rain no less, and Jacob sitting by the spring. More images of the ocean, out by the lighthouse. Kate by the creek. The waterfalls by the cave. For the second week in a row, one character offering another an alcoholic beverage, which the recipient does not drink. Of course, there was the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland, an essential LOST text involving a looking-glass. And you wanna talk about mirror imagery? Good golly, how about that shattered-into-a-million-pieces mirror in the lighthouse?
I like Dogen more with each passing episode, and I love the rapport he and Jack are developing. Two worthy leaders, from what I can see. So sweet to see them exchanging pleasantries in Sideways World, especially after their respectful conversation at the Temple. No Lennon this time, but while I really like him too, I can’t say I missed him much. Too much other great stuff going on. I was ecstatic to see Justin alive and semi-well… but oh, the synchronized scream from Mom and me when he got an axe to the abdomen! I imagine that Jin now changed his story because he wants to get back to the safety of the Temple, having realized that Claire is more than a little unhinged. But with Smokey showing up, I’m sure he’ll be trying to win Jin over with promises of a reunion with Sun.
Sideways Claire is a menace who strongly resembles the Rousseau we met in Solitary. Crazy hair, alarming traps, major trust issues, complete obsession with the abduction of her baby. Yes, she’s dark. But there’s also still a naivety about her, a sweet vulnerability, especially when she talks of her conspicuously nameless “friend” and asks Jin if they are still friends. She speaks as someone who’s been burned, who believes, as Ben does, that “It’s no use having friends you can’t trust.” She feels that she was abandoned. And she probably didn’t flash through time. She’s been living out in the wild, sometimes accompanied by Christian and Smokey, for three years. Question: Has she seen Smokey like John before, or are they now so connected that she can look right through his current skin to see the entity underneath? Oh, and her line “If there’s one thing around here that will kill you, it’s infection”? That ain’t the half of it…
We saw little of Sayid or Miles this week. Very interesting that Jack would just go ahead and tell Sayid about the poison pill. Good idea, bad idea? People seem surprisingly forthright in general this season. Everybody’s finally getting some answers. I loved the little tic tac toe game Miles and Hurley had going. What a hoot! But can we please see a little more of Miles? He’s being totally underused right now.
Given that I was sure I’d heard Jacob’s voice in the preview saying, “Someone is coming to the Island,” I figured we’d be seeing him again, but I still squealed with delight when he turned up at the magic spring. And I cracked up over Hurley writing notes all over his arm, especially after all the kerfuffle with Sarah Palin, especially knowing that this episode was in the can months before that happened. Synchronicity! And I love Hurley’s newfound sense of purpose, which gives him such conviction, though he’s not afraid to question and get a little agitated. But only a little. Hurley is the little child one must be to enter the kingdom of Heaven. So he follows, and he leads, and occasionally he asks Jacob the sorts of things we all want to know (and I especially loved his musings that Adam and Eve could be two of them after having traveled far back in time), but if he doesn’t get any very solid answers, he shrugs it off. It’s his way.
How fantastic was the score tonight? I was hyper-aware of it. All of the strains of Jacob’s theme from the opening scene of The Incident. The adventurish music that accompanied Hurley’s breakout plan, and later trekking through the jungle. And the way the score fused with David’s piano playing was soul-stirringly gorgeous, a perfect musical representation of what was happening between father and son. Also, I absolutely loved “You have what it takes.” Fist pump! Don’t listen to your dad, Jack; you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!
After the absolute mind-altering brilliance that was The Substitute, I wasn’t so sure how this episode would measure up, but it felt every bit as fantastic to me as last week’s, and I’m all aquiver with anticipation for Sundown. (And can we get some Gordon Lightfoot on the ol’ Dharma record player, please?) Aside from that happy thought, and the obvious pun on Sun’s name, the title feels ominous. Could this be the move into rubedo? I associate sundown with a blood-red sky. And we know a war is coming. Perhaps it starts next week. Shudder. And I’m guessing Hurley and Jack will go back; I don’t think they can leave their friends in the lurch, nor do I think Jacob honestly expects them to. So dangerous times ahead. And there’s also Hurley’s troubling red shirt, which I really wish he’d permanently retire. And yet… you know what else is red? Ketchup. Really good ketchup worthy of the song Anticipation. Oh yes, I am anticipating something amazing…