How Slow Can Lost Go? “Lighthouse” Recap

02/24/2010 11:20 AM |
Go to the mirror, boy
  • Go to the mirror, boy

Spoilers, duh.

Questions will be answered. Next week. For now, Lost is biding its time.

The first half of last night’s episode, “Lighthouse,” was spent dispensing information we already knew and theories we had already considered. For starters, that pill Jack offered to Sayid? It was poison! (No!) Hey, did Jack ever tell us how he found the caves? No, but we saw it for ourselves. Could Adam and Eve, the cave’s original skeletal residents, be dead versions of our time-traveled heroes? Didn’t we all have the same idea, like, a season ago?

I imagine that, for posterity, Season Six will play fine on DVD. But week-to-week, it’s going infuriatingly slowly—sometimes a dude’s just gotta stare out to sea, man—asking us to take certain things on faith (that Reality X will pay off) while being patient about the disclosure of anything we might actually care about. Fine, I’ll be patient—I have no choice—but Lost is starting to sully its legacy by drawing to a close like this.

At least “Lighthouse” was jampacked with warm Hugo hilarity. His easy rapport with Jacob and Jack[ob?] kept me from going bonkers during this episode. What didn’t? The new character, David, despite the intriguing Biblical allusions his name provokes.

But seriously: who the fuck is David, and why should I care that Jack X is having trouble getting along with him? OK, so Lost did answer that first question: David, of course, is Jack’s son in Reality X (and a concert pianist; notice the piano has two sets of keys: one light, one dark). But the show did absolutely nothing to answer that second part, especially not the second-rate Tokyo Sonata knockoff climax, or the reveal that Dogen is in Reality X, too, intersecting with Jack. If I didn’t care about Dogen, the Orientalist caricature, in the timeline that matters, why would I care about him in the one that doesn’t?

As for the real timeline (there, I said it), the episode’s second half did have a classic, awesome Lost mythological mystery moment: the magic lighthouse mirrors that allow Jacob to monitor his candidates off-island. (Lostpedia’s page about the “candidates” warrants reading.) Or do the mirrors look into Reality X? We’ll probably never know, as Jack smashed the mirrors. Did you feel his temper rise rise rise rise? Anyway, have our heroes been manipulated all their lives, as Flocke suggested last week? Will it turn out that free will doesn’t exist? Lost is strong when it dramatizes such religiophilosophical conundrums.

Still, The Lighthouse that gives the episode its title was, as a storytelling device, a cheap means of buying time. As Jack asks when he and Hurley stumble upon it, “how is it we’ve never seen it before?” Excellent question, Jack! To which Hurley’s response, essentially a shoulder shrug, was insulting. Why not, “because the writers didn’t need to use it in order to buy time until now”? Kinda like Hydra Island, maybe. I suspect we won’t hear much about it ever again.

But the episode dropped plenty of references to things I’m sure we will hear about again: who’s on their way to the Island? What’s about to happen at the Temple? Is Krazy Klare, with her Frankenbaby monster at her Krazy Kamp, going to kill Kate? (Oh please oh please oh please?) Was Kate’s “Jack, I almost shot you!” a bit of foreshadowing? (Oh please oh please oh please?) The promos promise some answers next week. But don’t they always?

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