Episode Review: One of the great things about these early episodes of Lost is that with one flashback, you pretty much got the idea of what each character was all about. Kate’s showed that she was a girl always on the run. Locke’s showed that he was a guy who was always put down by society around him. In “White Rabbit”, we learned that Jack had some serious leadership and daddy issues. While there is much more to each character (as we find out later), each episode served as a nice little summary of their major life drama.
This episode also dealt up another realistic on-Island dilemma for our Survivors – a lack of fresh water. There are hints of their happy little society falling apart Lord of the Flies style, with characters hording supplies, losing their tempers, and blaming each other – but luckily Jack steps up and provides one of the signature speeches of the series, his “Live Together or Die Alone” manifesto.
All in all, it’s another very solid episode that realistically moved the plot forward on the Island. But early on in Lost, it’s clearly the flashbacks that drove the storylines, not the on-Island action. If you think about it, what really happened over the course of “Tabula Rasa” through “White Rabbit”? Our Survivors have started to form a little society and are dealing with base physical needs while getting to know each other. If we had a series of episodes with this little action nowadays, people would flip out and claim the show had lost its way. But back in the day, we were all gently easing into the story – learning the players and setting the stage before the huge mythology of the show would start to appear.
Deeper Meaning Explanation: Locke comes out and explains the meaning during the episode, but “White Rabbit” refers to Jack’s Dad. One of our first (of many) references to the Alice in Wonderland, the white rabbit leads Alice through a hole into Wonderland – just like Jack’s Dad leads him to some much needed fresh water on the Island. Locke tells Jack that “I looked into the eye of the Island… and what I saw was beautiful”, hinting that maybe his father is alive, and wondering what would happen if Jack were to catch him. In a way, it’s symbolism that the Island itself just might be a type of “wonderland”, and the vision of his father might be the Island’s way of leading Jack into it.
Original Thoughts: Wa wa wa. One more week without original thoughts.
New Thoughts: A few good things to ponder this episode, starting with a question that lingers to this very day…
Jack’s Dad. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – but here’s where I said it first – Christian Shephard is Dead. While there were a few tidbits that probably appealed to the “Christian Shephard is Alive” theorists out there – most notably the empty coffin and Locke’s “what if your dad was alive” speech – I think the truth is much simpler.
Flashbacks show that Jack was unable to get his father’s body onto the plane due to proper paperwork not being filled out. Yet he is adamant with the lady at the ticket counter that he needs the coffin to be on the plane. It seems pretty clear that the airline simply put the coffin, sans body, on the plane as a means of appeasing Jack while adhering to the rules. The episode also shows that Jack hasn’t really slept since the crash, probably explaining him suddenly having visions of his father. His mind is playing tricks on him due to exhaustion.
There’s always the possibility that Christian Shephard was a manifestation of Smokey (you could argue that it intentionally lead Jack to the water – but it also almost killed him – so maybe both were just coincidental?), but the simplest answer is that it’s all in Jack’s head.
Jack. Speaking of Jack’s head, it’s ironic that this episode featured his father telling him “Don’t try and save everyone. You don’t have what it takes”, especially when you consider that Jack tried to save everyone during the Season Three finale by calling Naomi’s Crew – and it looks like that plan is going to backfire terribly. Maybe father knows best after all?
Locke. Lastly, we have John Locke who continued to be a little creepy, and seemingly knows more than he’s letting on. He continues his mission to save everyone from their own demons during his talk with Jack (which convinces Jack that he needs to be a leader for the Survivors), but also makes the comment about “knowing where to look for water”. He doesn’t find it however – but instead is conveniently around to save Jack from a cliffhanger-death.
If the Island and Smokey are working on the same side, this pretty much eliminates the possibility of Jack’s Dad being Smokey, doesn’t it? Assuming that the Island is giving Locke “all-knowing” powers, why would it try and kill Jack only to have Locke turn around and rescue him? Seems like a waste of time and effort to me. Yet another reason I’m chalking up Christian Shephard to a hallucination.
Short and sweet this week. Comment on the Board here, or below below.
(No pressure, but every passing week with little to no comments increases the likelihood of me pulling the plug on the Lost Rewinds and focusing my attention elsewhere… )