Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lost Re-Watch / Season 1 - White Rabbit

*If you haven't seen Lost, don't read further, go out and watch Lost. Major spoilers ahead for the newbies*

Probably the most important Jack episode right next to "316", at least in my opinion. "White Rabbit" sets Jack on a path that begins as the leader, and ends as the savior of the island. Which was a serious character transition that I didn't see coming.

Jack is the poster boy for character advancement. He's completely against anything unknown or mysterious, then slowly makes the transition into a true believer. When he finds out that John Locke committed suicide it pushed him over the edge. Finally completing his character development in "316" when he returns to the island. He absolutely finishes what John started and saves the island, always protecting the people that were important to him. He becomes a perfectly balanced character, both a man of science and of faith.

Thoughts / White Rabbit

"The survivors begin to struggle as they realize they are running out of fresh water. Meanwhile, Jack continues to see his dead father's figure on the Island. Flashbacks in this episode show a little bit of Jack's childhood and also what Jack was doing in Australia." - Lostpedia

We begin this Jack centric episode in a flashback. All the way back to when Jack was a young boy. Just like in the pilot episode, the first shot is on Jack's eye. He's on the ground while presumably a buddy of his gets beaten by a bully against a school-yard fence. He's told to stay down but then feels the need to fight back.

Not to try and over-analyze this scene or anything, but perhaps this bully situation is somehow Jack's fault, or at least Jack felt that way. He needed to make things right, which would fall right into Jack's theme of "fixing" things. Jack stands up despite the bully's warnings and takes a serious fist to the face.

Suddenly, back on the island, we hear Charlie yelling for Jack. Jack is staring out at the ocean once again and is in such a daze that he doesn't even hear Charlie's cries for help. A woman is drowning and Jack tries to swim out to save her. He heads out into the water but has trouble finding her. Jack mysteriously pulls Boone up out of the water and starts to head to the shore. Boone gasps for air and says "Didja get her?" Apparently Boone swam out to try and save the drowning woman. Jack looks back and hears her calling for help. Jack has to make the decision to leave her behind. The woman's name was Joanna and she disappears into the ocean as Jack swims to the beach with Boone.

Jack's life has always been full of tough choices. Being a spinal surgeon in general comes with life and death decisions all the time. He had to make the decision to operate on his future wife, Sarah, rather than save Shannon's father for example. Just another one of Jack's ongoing themes I guess. Making life and death decisions.

In the next scene Kate casually mentions that Joanna wasn't supposed to be on the plane. This got me thinking; Smokie killed the pilot, and knowing what we know from season 6, how was he able to do this? He can't touch the people that were chosen to be on that plane, but maybe that just was the case for a handful of the passengers. Well, as I said in my "Pilot" thoughts, Frank Lapidus was supposed to be the pilot, therefore Frank was potentially protected from Smokie/MIB interference and not Seth Norris, who got eated. Joanna wasn't supposed to be on the plane. perhaps Smokie lured her out to sea somehow and she drowned. Crazy? Maybe. The very next scene though is Jack seeing his dead father standing in the water. That's where the theory clicked for me. Just some thoughts I had. Amazing that even after sooo many viewings of these episodes over the years, I'm still cranking out valid theories.

Next we see Walt brushing his teeth, using the technique that Sun taught him previously. Michael is interested in where he learned how to do that and warns Walt not to swallow the sea water. Michael isn't much of a father yet. Not that I am a father, but this feels like common sense to me, to be a good father you need to have patience. Walt asks why you can't swallow the sea water, and Michael doesn't even attempt to explain it to him. He just gets upset and tells him not to swallow it. I clearly remember being a kid and questioning almost everything my elders told me. Go to bed early? Why? Eat all my dinner? Why? Can't have sweets before bed? Why? Can't parents just answer the damned questions? Walt's a good kid and deserves some friggin' answers.

It looks like Sun and Jin are still keeping to themselves. They, or at least Jin, wants nothing to do with the rest of the group. They probably still think they are going to be rescued soon. We do know that Sun understands English though, so she probably knows a little of what's going on.

Hurley and Charlie head to Jack to get answers. They want to know what to do with the last bit of water they have. Jack obviously wants nothing to do with making serious decisions and won't step up to the leader role just yet. "I'm not deciding anything!" Jack shouts. Then we're hit with another flashback. Jack returns home after the school-yard beating and attempts to get advice from his father. His father tells him "Don't choose, Jack. Don't decide." "You just don't have what it takes."

I love the transition to the flashbacks. In this case we have Jack telling Hurley and Charlie that he doesn't want to make decisions. In the flashback his father tells him to avoid doing just that. Also, what father tells his son that he doesn't have what it takes? This obviously stayed with Jack for the rest of his life up to this point. It's eaten him alive and created the non-believer Jack thinking that he'll never have what it takes. Always striving to do something more, never accepting what is there in front of him. You can take some good qualities out of that attitude, but overall it's not a healthy way to live. Sometimes you just have to let things go.

Jack sees his father again and chases him into the jungle. On any other show, Jack would most likely find nothing when he reaches the jungle. However, there's Christian Shephard. Jack even reaches out to touch his deceased father and Christian turns around. Jack falls backwards in disbelief. Jack chases him through the jungle and according to MIB during season 6, this isn't Jack's father. He admits that this instance was MIB posing as Christian. Makes sense to me since in this scene, Christian leads an exhausted and hungry Jack near a cliff. Smokie can't straight out kill Jack, as we all should know. Just some interesting thoughts I had while watching.

Another great flashback transition, "He's gone Jack" says Jack's mom. Jack drove his father away and they don't reveal all the puzzle pieces quite yet. We don't know why Jack was in Australia or why Christian was there. In this scene we find out that Jack drove him away. Jack's mom is pissed about it and convinces Jack into bringing him back. He's runaway to Australia. Which we know is where he goes to try and visit his daughter, Claire

Back on the island Walt runs up to Kate and tells her that "That pregnant lady fell down." They rush over and Claire has fainted, most likely from the heat. They try to bring her some water but someone has pinched it. With Jack gone, Sayid and Kate go to speak to Locke about what to do next. John Locke heads off to find Jack and retrieve a little water in the process.

Jack is still running through the jungle. You can clearly see that Jack's head is playing tricks on him. He can hardly see straight and is stumbling all over the place. "Where are you?!" he shouts. Awesome flashback transition once again. We're in a hotel and Jack is looking for his father here as well. He finds out that Christian was drinking heavily and also left his wallet behind. "Who leaves a wallet?" Jack questions.

How interesting would it have been if we found out that Jacob encountered Christian at some point around this time? Somehow convincing him that it's his destiny to die in Australia. Setting in motion a series of events that lead to the saving of a very important island. Which would be the only reason someone would leave their wallet behind and drink themselves silly.

The flashback ends with Jack once again asking the question "Where are you?" and we're back on the island again. Jack chases Christian and trips, stumbling down a steep hill and right off a cliff. Jack clutches onto a root and hangs on for dear life. When he begins slipping, a hand emerges from above the cliff. John Locke has tracked Jack and arrived just in time. Most likely to the dismay of MIB.

"Living is easy with eyes closed" - Charlie's Tattoo

Here we have a great scene with Charlie and Claire. One of my favorite relationships on the show begins to bloom here. Charlie finds a small amount of water for Claire and does some smooth talking. She assumes her pregnancy would scare him off but Charlie clearly shows that he's interested in her, and everything that comes along with her.

Seems the "Chinese people have water." so Sayid and Kate head over to Sun to find out what's going on. Sayid begins interrogating Sun, showing signs of the angry torturer within for the first time. Jin steps in and points to Sawyer as the source for their water. Kate is about to storm over to Sawyer when Sayid stops her, thinking up a better plan to follow the "rat to it's hole."

It's pretty ironic that Sawyer tosses Kate the marshal's badge in this scene, for fairly obvious reasons I think. Kate being the fugitive and all that. I guess this scene is there mostly to show us hints of Sayid's past in the republican guard, as well as Sawyer keeping secret stashes of items he's collected.

Now for another one of my favorite scenes in Lost. The first time Jack and Locke really talk to each other. "They need someone to tell them what to do." says Locke. Jack doesn't want to step up and take the leadership position. It's at this point that Locke begins to convince him that "Whatever happens here, happens for a reason." and that he should take the role of leader. I've posted some favorite John Locke quotes from this jungle conversation.

"I'm not a believer in magic."
"This place is special."
"I've looked into the eye of the island, and what I saw was beautiful."
"A leader can't lead until he knows where he's going."

You know, John's life was tragic and to some people it may seem almost pointless. He ended up becoming a body for MIB to use in the end. But in the grand scheme of things, it was because of John Locke and who he was that Jack was able to come around and see things differently. I used to always have the theory that Jack and Locke would end up working together and leading the island. In a way, that is exactly what happened. John had a huge impact on Jack when all was said and done.

We get a flashback of Jack finally finding his father. He died of a heart attack due to alcohol abuse. Jack breaks down when he needs to identify his own father's body and ever since watching this episode for the very first time, I've always felt that Jack feels very responsible for his father's death. As we see in later episodes and flashbacks, Christian was sober for awhile. It was because of Jack's obsession with his ex-wife Sarah that Christian started drinking again. Then Jack get's him fired as chief of surgery and because of those actions, Christian dies. Jack's story is pretty bleak actually. Jack and Locke have eerily similar back stories when you really get down to it. Serious father issues.

Jack finds the caves and a fresh supply of water for the group. We see a quick flashback and Jack is trying to get his father's body through customs to get on the plane. He convinces receptionist by telling him how badly he "needs to bury his father." Then we go back to the caves and I remember assuming he'll find his father's body and bury him and he'll be able to move on. Of course, this isn't a generic television show, so of course there isn't a body in that casket and Jack flips out. Smashing the casket to pieces. It's impossible that his father is actually walking around the jungle and Jack just can't comprehend what's going on.

We find out that Boone was the one that stole the water earlier on after decides to try and give some to Claire. Charlie outs him to the rest of the group and Jack shows up to break it up. He gives his famous "Live together or die alone." speech and fully takes on the leadership role once and for all. It's pretty ironic here that he's giving this speech considering how he dies. Not exactly dying alone, since Vincent stayed with him until his last breath. At least he was able to save those that mattered to him and prove to himself that he had what it takes.

Thanks for checking this out. Please leave some comments if you have anything to at all to discuss or comment on. Even if it's about my writing skills, or lack thereof really. Whatever crosses your mind. Also, re-posting any of my articles on Facebook or Twitter would be super sweet. Thanks!