Friday, May 2, 2008

LOST 018: Jack Ass


OK, it's time for a friggin' rant.

FIVE? FIVE? You're telling me that the Smoketrain of Death hit Keamy and his soldiers, and there are still FIVE of them left?

You know what would have been a better number? None. Second best would be only Keamy, and him looking like he just wrestled Rosie O'Donnell for a delicious Hostess cupcake. Not this.

And four of them seem like they are doing OK, too. Which leads to the question: Did Smokey-boy actually kill any of them? Old Frank only wanted to let Sayid and Desmond and one other on the chopper, remember. Now he's going to be flying himself and five others. How many more came with him?

I'm forced to assume that Smoke killed nobody. This is very disappointing. It's like finding out that all the guys Darth Vader choked out with the Force made a speedy recovery off-scene. I'm just going to pretend they all got killed by the smoke and forget they're still on the show.

Also, Rousseau is dead, actual and factual. Man, that stinks. I was so hoping for a Rousseauback. Maybe we'll get her story in an upcoming Benback. Or maybe a Smokemonster-back.

OK, so this was a Jack episode with heavy Kate sprinkling, but even so it managed to not suck. Thank you flash-forwards, for all that lovely cool ranch-flavored relevance!

Let's have a quiz.

1. So, Jack and Kate future hook-up and play house with Aaron, but it all falls apart because . . .

A) It's all a dream.

B) Kate kills him and runs away.

C) Jack's character defects follow him wherever he goes.

Answer: C. Jack is actually a bit of a monster, and I'm finally starting to figure his character out. I said a few weeks ago that the problem with Kate is that she's a fundamentally selfish person that the writers continue to present as a hero. Conversely, Jack is a character that we've constantly seen as the hero, but who the LOST creators seem to understand is deeply screwed up in very non-heroic ways. We saw him as the hero because he kept doing hero-y things, but his motivations are just completely wrong. For Jack, doing the noble thing is about him being noble. It makes him a colossal dingus.

The island adventure confirmed it. Jack is a junkie, and his drug is control. When he starts losing that control, he spins out, freaks out, and self-destructs. When he needs his appendix out, he makes the doomed-to-failure decision to guide Juliet through it, simply because he can't trust anything outside himself.

In the future, this plays out when Jack gets a visit from his supposedly dead Dad. In an attempt to maintain control, he gets engaged to Kate in one of the glummest proposals ever seen. He actually seemed more excited about having Kate hold the mirror so he could look inside his abdomen. Kate doesn't seem to notice, but pretty soon she sees the Jack that manages to destroy relationships. He quickly morphs into a high-handed, suspicious, self medicating ass, acting out again, to try to impose some form of control.

I'd say the central issue for Jack, which will finally play all the way out sometime near the end of the series, is whether or not he''ll ever be able to let go. To trust. Man of faith, indeed.

Other things that are becoming clear:

* Jack has found out that he's Aaron's uncle. The "you're not even related to him!" line is what does it. Now . . . why ISN'T Jack taking care of his nephew? Maybe Claire decided that she didn't want him to? That instead she wanted the murderous fugitive?

That would stick in Jack's throat, I think. It might explain why he didn't want to see Aaron as of the end of Kate's trial.

* Jack constantly refers to a two-year-old as 'the baby'. Nice. Also: Idiot.

* The Big Lie of the Oceanic Six is killing Jack. Seems to be putting toys in Hurley's attic. Sun and Kate seem relatively unafffected. Sayid seems less concerned with the Big Lie and more concerned with putting a cap in Widmore's hiney. Where was I? Oh yeah. I'm hungry.

* Sawyer's metamorphasis as the noble defender of the islanders is nearly complete. Seems like he'll be filling the Jack-void pretty soon.

* The Oceanic Six are being haunted, it seems. I think the reason Charlie appears to Hurley is that he's scared to appear to Jack. If I were Jack and I saw Charlie, I think I'd crush his windpipe a little, while thanking him for throwing all the heroin into the ocean. Could have used some of that heroin while you were having your appendix out, eh Jack? Thanks a bunch, Charlie.
* Christian is . . . a ghost? Ghostlike tendencies include disappearing in the office lobby when Jack's colleague showed up, and being seen by Miles. But then again, he was holding Claire's bay-bee, which is pretty corporeal.

Nevertheless, the context of juiced-up Jack's statement at the end of Season 3 (that they could go upstairs and find his father, who would also be drunk -- and even MORE drunk than Jack) is coming into focus. At the time, I thought it meant that in this world, Jack's dad was still alive. Now, it seems like it may have been further evidence to the chief of staff of Jack's deteriorating mental state. By the time he's a suicidal wreck, he's actually talking about the voices in his head, or the ghosts in the lobby.

Of course, it would seem that Ghost Dad is still a drunk. Sounds corporeal to me. So, who is Christian an agent of? Ben or Widmore?

Clearly, Christian's involvement in the story is just beginning, and is key to unravelling much of the mystery. He's been walking around 'alive' since episode four, season one.

Last year, I was begging for a Ben-back and a Rousseau-back like a sad little puppy. This time around, it's the Christian-back I crave.

* Way to turn on the finger-breaking, Jin! The odds of Jin actually still being alive just lept up about 30% or so. I still think he dies heroically, though. At least one major somebody is going to lose their life, no doubt.

Odds of Dying (Maybe Even Heroically) Before the End of Season 4:

Michael: Even (shot by Keany)
Keany: Even (killed by extreme smugness)
Jin: 2-1 (mauled by polar bear)
Frank: 4-1 (helicoper mishap)
Bernard: 4-1 (scurvy)
Claire: 5-1 (eaten by Walt)
Juliet: 10-1 (burned as a witch)
Charlotte: 12-1 (killed by the Predator)
Rose: 12-1 (accidentally sees Made of Honor starring Patrick Dempsey, kills self)
Locke: 15-1 (but he becomes the Smoke Monster across the 8th dimension)
Miles: 20-1 (nobody cares)
Daniel: 25-1 (gangrene after Jin breaks his fingers)
Sawyer: 50-1 (trampled by a hoss)
Desmond: 500-1 (not until he reads that Dickens novel, brotha)
Ben: 1000-1 (even if he's the man in the coffin, I don't trust him to be dead)
Oceanic 6: 700,000 - 1 (killed by parobolic timewave backlash)
Westley: 1,000,000 - 1 (only mostly dead, and death cannot stop True Love)

Join us next time, when Sawyer says:


And Michael says:


And Sawyer says:


And Michael says:


And The Tick says:




Mary said...

Love The Tick comment!

Did you see this post about Jack's hairiness or lack thereof? Odd.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

It is pretty silly seeing how Sawyer has suddenly completely changed from the selfish rat bastard we all know he is to this caring, nurturing lover of others.

I'm not buying it.

KajaPoker said...

goat, your recaps are the only ones i read, so i don't know what others are saying about the show.

with that said, i think a big clue to what's going on is what hurley said - they are all dead. that's why they see other dead people, that's why the smoke monster didn't kill anyone (or did and they are now part of the walking dead), that's why the island won't let them die, that's why they never get sick, etc.

we obviously know they are time travelers, and that also works well if you're dead.

i think what ben does is control the levels of death. who can reappear and when, who can be seen by others, who can seem live and when (like christian holding the baby). this is the control that ben and widmore are fighting over, because it's a god like ability.

what do you think?

Julius_Goat said...

Kaja, I hope they aren't all dead, or at least I hope it's handled in a way that's not lame. Anything that goes to a Sixth Sense sort of place or an It Was All A Dream sort of place is unwelcome.

It's pretty clear at this point that we do have a certain element of the living dead on the island, though.