Lost in Thought: You Won't See Me


Due to my computer problems this is late, haphazard, and uninformed by any online discussion. But it's still my first thoughts on...



While I didn't get to jot down as many memorable lines as usual, an early one made a lasting impression: "How do you lose a body?"

Jack's mother said this in the Alternate Universe as they discussed Oceanic's misplacement of Christian Shephard, but I thought immediately of Locke. He suffered unimaginable indignity in death — he was despondent to the point of suicide, only to have Benjamin Linus "save" and then murder him, after which his body was brought back to the Island but
he was not; instead, Smokey manifested in Locke's likeness. (Now that's identity theft.)

The episode's flashsideways focused on Jack as he connected to the son we never knew he had, partly because until now he didn't necessarily exist. Even his name surprised me. David? I figured it would be
Geronimo. And am I the only one who thought he looked eerily like the love child of Matthew Fox and The Jonas Brothers? For her part, Jack's mother Margo — seen briefly at Christian's Original Universe memorial in Season 4 and in a Season 1 flashback — looked like a cross between Morticia Addams and an aging Lynda Carter; as it turns out, she's played by another raven-haired siren of bygone TV, Hill Street Blues' Veronica Hamel.

Sure we've seen it before, but the climactic piano recital was touching — credit Fox for showing his range once again, from angst to pride to fierce anger across two realities — and it reminded us that, for all the potential Island enlightenment the AU versions of our castaways may have "lost" by never having
become castaways, their lives as untouched by the Island's influence seem whole.

David's existence and that appendectomy scar of Jack's are further evidence that when the Island sank in AU 1977 the butterfly effect of the event extended not just to those in the immediate vicinity, like the presumably evacuated Ben or Ethan Goodspeed, but future "candidates" or other persons of interest to Jacob, who now have led lives as different in some ways as they are similar in others to their OU versions. Hurley feels lucky and
happy; John is with Helen; what AU Kate did is apparently different from what OU Kate did, although I think that's still technically extracurricular info not yet covered in the show. Some of this may be due to lack of human interference from the likes of Charles Widmore, but much of it likely stems from either the absence of Jacob or at least a different approach necessitated by the H-bomb explosion. Yet destiny or something like it still brought many of the OU castaways together on Oceanic 815 in AU September 2004, and located Ben, Ethan, and Temple leader Dogen in the same Los Angeles environs as the Oceanic travelers. (Dogen's appearance bolsters my hope that we'll see Alex Rousseau talking back to Ben in one of his history classes. "Shove it, Mr. Linus! You're not my father!")

The subplot of what happened to Christian's missing coffin and, more importantly, what may or may not be inside is likely going somewhere big, but in this episode it served mostly to do two things: (1) Inject the name Claire Littleton into Jack's AU existence, by extension linking those scenes to Claire's present-day OU Island adventures as well as Jack's, and (B) cause me to all but shout at the television, "Let's see if Dad's will is filed neatly on the mantlepiece bookshelf behind his desk — right after we dig through all these boxes!"

Despite the fact that we last saw her sitting serenely in Jacob's cabin with Christian, Claire's evidently been living like half-mad Frenchwoman Danielle for some time. Her piercing blue eyes still shine out through her paranoia, grime, and crazy jungle pseudo-mullet — bird's nest in the front, electroshock therapy in the back — but whether it's due to Smokey's influence, some kind of undead state, or just the trauma of three years without any human companionship, Claire isn't quite right.

The crib and its contents were sure a strange sight, partly because Claire
does understand that Aaron's not with her and partly because that makeshift totemic baby came complete with an animal skull whose snout made it resemble the Island's statue of Taweret. Speculation on not just where Claire was but what she was has been simmering for a couple of seasons now; one thing she doesn't seem to be is beyond the physical realm, although in that place and with these storytellers we can't be sure. The house where she resided when the castaways succeeded the Others as occupiers of the old Dharma Initiative lodgings was blown up good by Widmore's freighter mercenaries, but she seemed unharmed at the time. Miles saw her walk off into the jungle with Christian in the middle of the night, however, leaving Aaron behind near Miles and Sawyer; her only appearance since then in the Original Universe was in the cabin, placid and unconcerned about her son. Lots of folks have wondered if she didn't actually die when her house was attacked, but if she did she got up and kept moving right away without benefit of the Temple's healing pool. Her change of heart or mind over Aaron's whereabouts is puzzling, as is her exact interaction with Christian or whomever he may be and the figure she knows not to be Locke and simply calls "my friend".

Dogen told Jack that his sister had been "claimed" as Sayid was, and if that's true she could count as another body lost. "If there's one thing that'll kill you 'round here, it's an infection," she told Jin in a comment as pregnant with meaning as she was with Aaron when the series began. Of course, Aaron is lost from Claire's perspective, believed to have been taken by the Others when in fact Kate has traveled back to the Island to bring Claire back to her son in LA. Jacob has also lost his body, or at least the only body of his we've seen, but that hasn't kept him from appearing to Hurley, this time to direct Hurley and Jack to that lighthouse with its magic multifaceted mirror. You could even stretch the association to include Alternate Universe Jack's feeling of losing touch with his own body, first staring into the mirror in the airplane lavatory in the season premiere and now having to ask his mother about his appendectomy scar. Will he ever learn that there's another one of him out there, through the looking-glass, still chasing his own white rabbit?

12 comments:

El Qué said...

bird's nest in the front, electroshock therapy in the back
Wahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! You rock, Blam.

Joan Crawford said...

Poor Claire. We (as in me cornering anyone who is foolish enough to get in my path) have been discussing Claire and her sickness a lot these past few days. I don't think she is all that crazy. That's not right...she's crazy with a point. Lucid Crazy. That dude was going to break her neck! That's crazy. Chopping him in the stomach is crazy too but...girl's gotta get by in this crazy work-a-day world. Plus, he started it!
And her skull baby - we all thought Rousseau was a NutBar when we saw her and her weird self and her traps. And she wanted to steal Claire's baby. Rousseau wasn't infected...and even she had no idea that Alex was 16 and not a baby anymore. I bet from years 4 to 10 that she had a Skull Baby too. A Skull Baby isn't that weird. Ha! No really, it isn't - look at Tom Hanks in Castaway. He was there for like a mildly unpleasant 16 hours and he made a doll person. He was lucky and got a bloody ball (which is weird) but maybe Claire doesn't have that much available to her. Look at the penguins for God's sake! The adorable penguin will lose a baby and it will try to steal a baby from another one! We don't call that crazy, we call it grief. I am so sick of penguins and their free ride.
Also, what a dummy Jin is. Here is a lady with no concept of time or history who is obviously more than a little crazy (but not sick) and you tell her "Kate took Aaron". Smooth move Jin.

Teebore said...

Smooth move Jin.

To be fair, his foot was pretty mangled; that had to hurt. The whole time he was in Claire's hit he was probably thinking "damn, I miss the 70s..."

Keen insights as always, Blam. It definitely seems like the threads of the two realities are drawing closer together. It'll be interesting to see how they meet and what happens when they do.

"Shove it, Mr. Linus! You're not my father!"

That would be AWESOME!

Teebore said...

Claire's *hut* rather, not her hit.

Though hit isn't too much of a stretch...

Worf verif: wow, really? 'Butholed'.

I'm just going to leave that one alone...

Joan Crawford said...

Ha! I know you're a fan of Ms. de Ravin and I assume you're a fan of Evil Santas (who isn't though, really)- I think I just found you a new favorite movie!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa%27s_Slay

Jenn said...

Awesome post, Blam.

I also didn't find Claire "crazy," but at the same time I found her "crazy." It's weird. It's like Joan said…crazy with a point.

Blam—I agree! Jack's son did look a lot like Jack! (okay, and a little like a Jo Bro). It made me think of young Ben. The casting directors do an excellent job of finding kids to play young versions of the characters!

Arben said...

This was Episode 108, by the way, Blam. (I know you know that now, actually, but was surprised you didn't mention it.) All the stuff you brought up was insightful, but for me the biggest, most obvious motif was the reflections and the revelation of that magic mirror just knocked my socks off. You should check out screencaps of the wheel when you can (and Claire's totem baby if you dare).

Arben said...

@Teebore: "Worf verif:" Great typo!
"So how do I know you're really Worf?"
"If you were any other man, I would kill you where you stand."
"Let 'im through."

Arben said...

I don't know if Claire's beyond-the-pale crazy, but it's hard to know if she's "legitimately" loopy due to her isolation and perceived stolen child because of the other factors. Sure, as a mom, this is a nightmare, but she also seems kind-of kind of content with her "father" and her "friend". Her mood swings seem pretty severe. And since at least her "friend" is Man in Black, plus there's the whole infection/claimage thing (likely but not for sure connected to him), we can't just look at this and say, "How would you be alone on the Island after three years?"

Joan Crawford said...

Good evening, Blam Stoker's Dracula! I see you have posted two new articles but they aren't showing up :(

Blam said...

I'm workin' on it, Joanie Crawford Loves Chachi...

Joan Crawford said...

Ha! Is it really "forever hold your piece"? I though it was "peace". If it is piece, what are they referring to? Your piece of grievance? Or it is something infinitely cooler like pistol?