Saturday, May 03, 2008

"Something Nice Back Home" Analysis!

Before we start this week, I might as well go ahead and get these out of the way. I title them “What Something Nice Back Home Looks Like”:

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Ja bitte.

Okay – on to the more intellectual side of this episode…

Scars. One of the downsides of writing “Instant Reactions” is that they come after one viewing of the episode, in real-time, on my non-HD living room TV. To my naked eye, I didn’t notice any major appendectomy scars on Jack’s naked body at the start of the episode, which raised all sorts of timeline / alternate reality / dream sequence questions about the episode. But it turns out that I just wasn’t looking close enough. Check it out.

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It’s a little scar (tricky makeup people!) – but it’s a scar – which confirms that “Something Nice Back Home” was indeed a flashforward that took place after Juliet’s Island appendectomy surgery on Jack. This also confirms that Hurley was talking crazy talk when he said that they were all dead, even though Jack was living what many men would consider to be a “dream life” – hooking up with uber-hot Kate (note: does this mean that I am also currently living a “dream life”?)

This still doesn’t answer the Freighter Doctor (Ray) scar question from last week (man, am I glad I wasn’t here to have to figure that out last week!), which seems to raise some seriously tough questions. Ray’s cut on his cheek was merely a scar when Sayid and Desmond arrived on the Freighter, but was freshly cut and stitched when he washed ashore on the Island a few days later… even though the Freighter said he was fine when Faraday asked about him.

It boggles the mind. If the Freightors are serious when they say Ray is fine, it could mean that the Island is “in the future” relative to the Freighter. But since the body washed ashore with the fresh cut, that means the body is “in the past” relative to when Sayid and Desmond arrived on the Freighter… even though they talked to Jack which seems to indicate they are both on the same timeline.

Like I said, boggling.


Timeline. Speaking of puzzling, the newspaper article at the start of the episode seemed to give us the timeframe for the flashforward… but there were some unfortunate inconsistencies that are outlined on Lostpedia:

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By virtue of the Yankees/Red Sox and Indians/Mariners scores in the newspaper article, only one date is viable for the publication of the paper: August 31, 2007. Article states Yankees finish their sweep of the Red Sox with winning pitcher Chien-Ming Wang beating Curt Schilling 5-0. The only occurrence of this game is the date above.

However, the newspaper also lists "Angels 8 - Astros 4" but the Astros were playing the St. Louis Cardinals over these dates. As such, the newspaper most likely isn't able to indicate the correct date.

The Angels-Astros result is from June 20, 2007. The Angels are in the American league, and the Astros play in the National. This was an inter-league game, and the first time these two teams had played against each other since 2004. The box-score is accurate.

The other side of the fold of the newspaper has an article with the headline "Dodgers 8-4 win over Astros" which conflicts with the Angels-Astros box score on the opposite side of the fold.


Personally, I find it a little hard to believe that the Lost prop guys would go to the trouble of painstakingly reproducing an accurate account of the Red Sox and Yankees game from August 31, 2007 – but wouldn’t look and see what other games actually happened on that day… or would include the same team playing two different teams on the same day.

According to Lostpedia, Aaron was born on November 1, 2004. In the “Eggtown” flashforward, Aaron was listed in the credits as a “Three Year Old Boy” – which would put the timeline around November 2007. Since “Something Nice Back Home” takes place after “Eggtown”, it would have to be after that date – which seems to throw the newspaper’s accuracy into question.

Now, it’s always possible that we’re nitpicking here. Maybe Aaron was “almost three” in “Eggtown”, and “Something Nice Back Home” took place just a few weeks afterwards – in August 2007. Or, maybe the logical errors in the newspaper are actually clues that we shouldn’t be overly concerned about the specific date of the flashforwards – just the chronological order of them. I mean, does it really matter if it’s 2007 or 2008? As long as we know that the flashbacks in this episode took place after “Eggtown” and before “Through the Looking Glass”, from a storytelling perspective, we’re good to go.


Storytime. But speaking of storytelling, did you notice what story Jack was reading to Aaron at the start of the episode? None other than “Alice in Wonderland”, the second most referenced story on the show behind “The Wizard of Oz.” But this wasn’t just a fun easter egg – check out the specific passage that Jack was reading:

'Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!'

It’s so deep on so many levels.

It also speaks to all our Survivors – and how time on the Island has changed their lives – but more specifically I see it referencing the Oceanic Six and their return to the real world, finding that although they started out feeling find and happy – things changed, and they have all started to feel a little different. Likewise, they all had a very specific goal and purpose during their time on the Island – escape – but now that they are back in the real world, they’re questioning their purpose, who they are, and what they should be doing… but all are changed. Sayid’s an assassin, Hurley’s totally crazy, Kate’s pretending she’s a mom, Sun’s a widow, and Jack’s an alcoholic junkie obsessed with finding the Island… and this episode showed us how he got there.

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Hurley. Although Hurley was wrong about some things (the Oceanic Six aren’t all dead – Hurley thinking they are all dead, and are living in a heaven / dream world is actually pretty similar to the “Dave” episode a few seasons back), he did bring up a number of interesting points to Jack during their brief and uber-creepy conversation. He outlined the path that Jack’s life would take by comparing it to his own.

“I was happy too – for a while anyways. Then I saw Charlie.”

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This week showed Jack during that “happy stage”, living with Kate, raising Aaron, being a respected doctor and probably an international celebrity. However, once Hurley started seeing Charlie, he started to lose it. Perhaps he started feeling guilt about what happened when the Oceanic Six left the Island, or who they left behind, or maybe it’s as simple as the fact that they really weren’t supposed to leave the Island in the first place. But these thoughts either come from, or coincide with, the appearance of the dead Charlie to Hurley… and as we saw this week, Jack is starting to feel the same things once he starts seeing his dead dad.

So for those keeping track at home, we have Hurley haunted by dead Charlie, Jack haunted by dead Christian, and Michael haunted by dead Libby. You could hypothesize that Sayid is haunted by dead Nadia. But when we saw Kate most recently (in “Through the Looking Glass”), she still seemed to have it together – so perhaps she hasn’t started seeing her ghost yet (or Jin, for that matter). But Hurley’s conversation with Jack seemed to serve as a warning that bad times are coming for each of the Oceanic Six.


Aaron. The other thing that Hurley mentioned to Jack seemed to shake him considerably: “You’re not supposed to raise him, Jack”, referring to Aaron. As I mentioned in the Instant Reactions, it would be pretty awesome (and quite intriguing) if the writers actually pulled the Aaron storyline back to the forefront. We’ve had a psychic warn Claire that she needed to be the one to raise Aaron (ironically, he initially told Claire to give Aaron away to a couple in Los Angeles… and weren’t Jack and Kate living in Los Angeles this episode?).

I always assumed that Kate ended up with Aaron due to Claire dying… but if Charlie (who you could argue is an Island Spirit) is passing along messages that Jack isn’t supposed to raise him, does that mean that Claire is still alive and well on the Island? Is the Island calling Aaron back because Claire is alive there? Or because she is dead, but that it’s still important for Aaron to be raised on the Island? Otherwise, if Aaron wasn’t really important to the Island, and if Claire was dead, Jack would seem to be the next best candidate to raise him. I mean, they are related after all.


Christian. Which brings us to the big “whoa” moment of the episode – the surprise reappearance on Christian Shephard… who wasn’t even listed as a guest star this episode! Pretty sneaky ABC (why don’t you do this more often for surprise guest appearances?) Although I expected to see him appear to Jack in the flashforward, his appearance to Claire came out of nowhere – but served three very important points:

1. It reminded the average viewer about the relationship between Jack and Claire. Even for the most faithful viewer, this is a storyline that’s been on the back burner for so long that most probably had forgotten about it. But by having Christian appear to Jack in the flashforward and to Claire on the Island (accompanied by her exclamation of “Dad?”) it reminded everyone about the connection. In the flashforward, we saw Jack yell at Kate “you’re not even related to him” in reference to Aaron, meaning that he finds out about the connection before leaving the Island.

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2. It separated Claire from Aaron. This is actually a strong argument why dead Christian doesn’t represent the Island, or that the Island doesn’t really care about Aaron – because if it did, wouldn’t it have made certain to bring Aaron along wherever he was taking Claire? However, this puts 5/6 of the Oceanic Six on their way to, or already on the Beach – with Hurley sure to follow after leading Locke and Ben to Jacob’s Cabin. This might explain why Aaron leaves the Island without Claire – because Claire isn’t around when rescue comes.

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3. It showed that dead Christian / Island Spirit can physically interact with things. Christian was holding Aaron. We’ve hypothesized that this was possible in the past, but this proves it’s possible. This means that anyone that we’ve seen on the show (including our Survivors or the Others) could theoretically be dead or just be an Island Spirit. Once this hit me, my first thought was “did Claire really survive that explosion at the Barracks?” followed by “could the non-aging Alpert already be dead?”

Something tells me that a lot of these answers are coming next week. For those that missed it, here’s the episode preview that aired immediately following this week’s episode that has people floored:



It’s tempting to start letting my mind wander about the possibilities of next week’s episode – but I think I’ll save that for my episode preview… otherwise I’ll have nothing to write for it.


Sawyer. One last thing for this week. You can read a lot into the brief conversation between Jack and Kate at the end of the episode where he starts to lose it. Sawyer chose to stay on the Island. This either means that it was a logical decision about who left and who stayed (as opposed to a hectic, mid-battle escape where those nearby became the Oceanic Six and all others were left behind). Jack is responsible (or thinks he is responsible) for saving the Oceanic Six. And most importantly, for all the ladies out there… Sawyer is still alive on the Island. The way that Kate and Jack were talking was in the present tense, that “Sawyer wouldn’t want Jack to know” rather than “Sawyer didn’t want Jack to know”. Note that the differences between this and the Sun / Hurley conversations about Jin a few weeks back.

So officially, I’m thinking that Jin dies (sad!), Sawyer is alive and well on the Island, and Claire has maybe been dead for over an episode - and is living with the other dead people on the Island with her daddy.

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We’ll see. Like I said, next week should be huge.

Discuss.

http://facethewoods.com/lost/index.php?topic=304.0

34 comments:

Stef said...

Great analysis, Brian. I'm starting to really like the idea that Claire's already dead, which could explain why Miles was so weird around her. (Doc Jensen on EW.com is really promoting this theory).

SAWYER LIVES!

Renee said...

I like the theory as well. I wish we could have seen her hallucination that they had to cut from last week's episode. I guess they had to cut it for time. Do you think she saw Christian? I never saw that one coming, Christian appearing to Claire.
I like the idea of island "ghosts" appearing to the Oceanic 6. Who would Kate see, her horse?! Ha!

Jason said...

Did anyone else notice the Millennium Falcon that Jack steps on? Interesting parallel:

Aaron = Luke Skywalker.

Both of their Mother's are dead, and their father's are out of their lives. Leaving them to be raised by their relatives. Also, they both clearly have a higher calling in relation to their story lines.

Now we just need Aaron to learn the ways of the force, return to the Island, and rescue the survivors from the Galactic Emperor: Charles Widmore!

amber said...

I just thought Miles was looking at Claire because of her "at least I'm not seeing things anymore" comment, & wondering if she was "special" like he is. I hope she's not dead.

Anonymous said...

Totally unrelated to this episode, but any new thoughts about who the guy in the coffin is that Jack goes to visit? Some people had speculated Ben, but with all we've learned, he's probably ruled out.

Brian said...

I'm more convinced than ever that it is Ben in the coffin, actually. He's the only one who knew how to get to and from the Island. His death presents a huge obstacle to Jack getting back to the Island.

While we've seen that Ben is alive and well during his Sayid assassination missions, who is to say that he doesn't die by the time the events of "Through the Looking Glass" take place?

Rebecca said...

Great analysis, I'm so excited about this coming episode - hoping for more answers than we'll probably get. I am really hoping that preview doesn't take place at the end of the epi and leave us hanging. Based on the newspaper strip I was even more convinced that Michael (aka Kevin Johnson) was in the coffin but then I heard that the newspaper clip wasn't as important as we thought it was so now I don't know. I hadn't thought of Claire being dead, with next weeks epi who knows I guess. Things are going to get a lot more interesting on the island I'm sure!

Anonymous said...

OMG...I am so confused now...specially with next weeks commentary from that guy to Locke...Is Claire already dead!? And if thats the case, then who is alive and who is dead for real!?? Wow...what an incredible show...!

Sawyer's Optician said...

Good catch Jason. I did see the Millenium Falcon, but didn't take it to the next level of nerdiness and draw the Luke Skywalker parallel! :)

Anonymous said...

interesting idea that Claire is dead. But, I would think that her being dead would be very obvious to Miles.

Becca said...

Exactly, which is why Miles continued to stare at her and act weirdly.... That's awesome!

phishpac said...

The episode was good and all, but what a let down after the previous week's!

Anonymous said...

Okay.. I have a question I cant seem to answer on my own....
This episode with Jack and Kate....Is their relationship happening before or after the episode where Jack was gonna jump off the bridge/called Kate and they met at the airport with him saying "we have to go back" ..I am kind "Lost" on this...Thanks!!!!
Celeste

Anonymous said...

does anyone think there is a connection between Ben getting sick (last season) and Jack now getting sick with his appendictis?
As Rose said, the island heals sick people.....is there some type connection as to why Ben and Jack took ill?

ChickamaugaChick said...

Am just resistant to the idea that a "ghost" or "spirit", immaterial by definition, can become corporeal enough to hold an infant.

davis said...

2 things:

1) I have been convinced that it is Ben in the coffin for quite a while, for precisely the reason Brian just mentioned. Jack is obsessed with getting back to the Island, Ben dies, Jack has no way to get back. Plus, we now know it isn't sawyer since Kate still has a good relationship with Sawyer and would have gone to the funeral. BUT, what about all the Ben/Widmore stuff going on? Doesn't that seem like the overarching storyline? Wouldn't Ben's death be premature? Or perhaps Locke is destined to pick up the torch.

2) Claire might be dead, but regardless, I was thinking about something.. You know, we had all the warning about how aaron couldn't be raised by anyone else from the psychic. we all sort of concluded that this would mean Aaron was special. But what if it was actually Claire that is so special and that's why she needed to raise him. Maybe Claire has a higher purpose on the island than we ever thought...

VictorC said...

Great job as always Brian.

Though I wouldn't be so quick to say Claire died in the explosion.
When Sawyer found her she was clearly outside the house, by the hanging clothes.
You can see a screenshot of that in lost-media.com.

Anonymous said...

i am starting to agree with some of you folks that Claire could be dead. it is curious how Miles interacted w/her

Anonymous said...

A note of interest on this theory that Claire is dead. Commonly when the dead/spirit is shown or speaks to someone on or off the island in past episodes, they only reveal themselves to a single person (i.e. Christen appears to jack or Claire or Charlie pears to Hurley or Libby appears to Michael) not to a group of people,a slclaire has to Locke, Ben Sawyer etc. If you look at the next weeks preview you see Sun laughing as she is handed a water bottle on the beach by someone and Claire is sitting next her as people prepare things and are waiting to be rescued presumably. So we know from this that Claire does make it back to the beach and shows herself to others on the beach which is uncommon for dead spirits to interact with multiple or all characters at once.

Anonymous said...

Any ideas on what favor you think Kate was fulfilling for Sawyer? Most of Sawyer's life obsession or purpose was with finding his mother’s killer & was resolved when he killed Locke’s father in the Black Rock.

Anonymous said...

Brian, did you or anyone ever create a list of questions or topics that need to be answered before the last episode that the writers have promised to answer or fill in the blanks. Please post them. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

good bet to say that the favor had to do with Sawyer's daughter or his former lover.

Anonymous said...

I dont understand..... Claire is suppose to be with Christian and not with Aaron... but in next week previous she is at the beach with Aaron... maybe next week is a flashback...?!?

Administrator said...

I'm glad to see a shot of Jacks' scar. I had thought it wasn't there, which gets the mind going on alternate reality possibilities.

Claire and Aaron: My wife and I watched seasons 1-3 in a matter of weeks, so things from years ago still stick out in our minds. Remember Claire’s extremely creepy dream from season 1? She sees the rocker Lock made with the airplanes from the medical station (which later has this bloody goo inside), the table from the psychic with Lock sitting in it. Lock's eyes are replaced with the black & white stones and he says something along the lines of "You gave him up; now we all have to pay." Then a small child (3ish?) runs in the bushes). I think something big is going to happen with that dream.

Steve said...

Brian,

Argument against Ben being in the casket(Coffin is one of those things from vampire movies that slope out at the shoulders)

We KNOW that ben jumped the the future in October 2005.... we know that Sayid has been killing people much after this. OK.. so he could be dead in 2007..

BUT, he can't be killed by Widmore.. right? But my theory is that the the Island won't let it happen. If the island is also causing the Ghosts that Jack/Hurley are seeing, why oh why would the island want to kill off Ben? The person who could help them get back.

That keeps me from thinking that it's Ben, but if not Ben, who? I'm sure it will be a shock, but we have either 1 week and 3 days, or 3 weeks and 3 days to find out for sure. Should we start a pool on who's in the casket?

Steve said...

I agree, if claire is dead, Miles would notice.

Steve said...

I agree, if claire is dead, Miles would notice.

Anonymous said...

does any meaning exist as to why Jack's chest is shaven in flashfoward and on-island, he's pretty hairy? maybe just a way to call attention so viewers can see his scar?

sheryll said...

That scene from next week's preview where Claire and Sun are sitting on the ground and Rose is standing next to them, with the water bottle...that's actually a scene from a previous episode. Either last season's finale or the first of this year, I don't remember. When they hiked to the tower and the helicopter is coming, and they are happy, waiting to be rescued.

Renee said...

Sheryll, I agree! I knew that scene looked familiar!

Anonymous said...

Great point Sheryl. The ABC promo people, at times, can be slick in throwing us off with the trailers for future episodes. This may be a good example of such - especially assuming Claire is shown to completly throw us off and offer shock value if we learn she was killed in the explosion.

Anonymous said...

I think Jin is still alive on the island. I would expect Sun & Hurley's conversation to be different, considering that they were out in public at his (fake?) grave, whereas Jack & Kate were in their private home.

Liza said...

I think Miles is in the coffin.

Juanita's Journal said...

"I always assumed that Kate ended up with Aaron due to Claire dying… but if Charlie (who you could argue is an Island Spirit) is passing along messages that Jack isn’t supposed to raise him, does that mean that Claire is still alive and well on the Island? Is the Island calling Aaron back because Claire is alive there? Or because she is dead, but that it’s still important for Aaron to be raised on the Island? Otherwise, if Aaron wasn’t really important to the Island, and if Claire was dead, Jack would seem to be the next best candidate to raise him. I mean, they are related after all."



Considering that the Oceanic Six (Jack, Kate, Sayid, Sun and Hurley) lied about Aaron being Kate's son, it looks as if Aaron is being raised by the wrong woman. In fact, the next best person should have been Aaron's grandmother, who had a glimpse of him in Kate's arms . . . but was never told that she was meeting her grandson.