Archive for the eye

mirror, mirror on the wall

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by eyeoftheisland

Important Memo: I just learned that Lighthouse was the 108th hour of LOST! Holy polar bear shit, that is awesome! Considering that 108 was the hot number last night (when is it not a hot number on LOST), that coincidence (or is it?) is simply wunderbar. 108 would have made a great episode title.

Now, I hate to burst your bubble seconds after extolling the significance of 108, however… looking at the screencaps from “Lighthouse”, it appears that the person at 108 on the lighthouse wheel is… Wallace? And he’s crossed out?

Wallace who?

Wallace who?

To my knowledge there has not yet been a Wallace in the LOST canon. So, Jacob just sent Jack to the Lighthouse so he could see the Ultimate Spying Device, break it and then sullenly sit on a rock and mull it all over? Mayhaps. After all, Jacob did dole out some important life advice last night:

“Sometimes you need to get into somebody’s cab and tell them what to do, and other times you have to let them sit on a rock and look out at the ocean.”

Remind me to sew that on to a decorative pillow.

It’s also possible that “Wallace” itself is placeholder for someone else we know and love. Wallace. Like William Wallace. The famous Scottish freedom fighter. What’s that? Famous Scottish freedom fighter? DO YOU MEAN DESMOND HUME?! Okay, so “Wallace” might still be a red herring, but I do think the person that Jacob wants to come to the island to fix the cosmic jumble that it’s in is none other than Desmond. I can’t seem to find another way that the Hot Scot would worm his way into this business, and the fact that we saw him appear and then vanish on the plane reinforces the fact that he is singular. As the dearly departed Danny F once told us, Desmond is “uniquely special.” I’m cool with whatever – as long as he brings his half-buttoned navy blue shirt.

To round out the discussion brewing about the numbers and the corresponding names on the wheel (more wheels! I wonder if the island is really just a giant clock), I point you to extensive screencaps here, here and here.

So far we’ve got (of the significant patch):

4 – Locke

8 – Reyes

15 – Ford

16 – Jarrah

20 – Rousseau

23 – Shepherd

32 – Rutherford

42 – Kwon

51 – Austen

101 – Faraday

104 – Lewis

108 – Wallace

109 – Friendly (YES TOM!)

117 – Linus

124 – Dawson

We finally DO see Kate’s number in the mix and her name is not crossed out. Interestingly her number, 51, is the inverse of Sawyer sauce’s, 15. Significant?

You can also see many other names in the mix. These seem to correspond to those that were seen on the wall of the cave. Jack’s experience of discovery this week mirrors (more on that in a bit) Sawyer’s last week, where one of the island demi-gods shows his numero uno recruit the game plan for the season. Yet, both Jack and Sawyer are not instructed by te demi-gods themselved, but by stand-ins, by SUBSTITUTES. Flocke is a substitute for MIB and Hurley is a substitute (mroe like conduit) for Jacob. Actually, out of all the candidates, Hurley seems to be the best for the job;. He is the least self-interested and conflicted and seems to judge others fairly. 

Except both heroes’ reaction to divine guidance is different. Jack’s is violence, anger and destruction. Sawyer’s is much calmer, more accepting. Cool as a cucumber, decides he’s had enough and wants to break out of his island-prison with the Lockeness Monster. These two episode-ending revelations are setting us up for a season-long struggle between the show’s two heartthrobs. I’m hoping my Sawyer Sauce will see the light and not let MiB drag him in for a long con.

Back to Jacob and his Friend:  the existence of the wheel, as shown to us by Jacob, seems to be evidence that the cave we saw in “The Substitute” does not necessarily belong to Jacob-Woww, but perhaps the MIB. The methodical way that the names on the wheel were written and displayed seemed to contrast with the angry scrawl the sprawled all over the dark cave.

I am also skeptical that Jacob used the lighthouse to spy on the LOSTies in the real world. My THEORY is that the Lighthouse is the key to the sideways world. In the Sideways plot, the camera intentionally lingered over the exterior shot of the Shephard family home. Maybe the Lighthouse is key to connecting the parallel realities? Oh wait, Jack had to go and smash it. SHEESH.

Generally, I loved loved LOVED Lighthouse. I totally agreed with Hurley’s sentiment that it felt like old times, traipsing through the jungle, and going to do something we don’t exactly understand. Look! There’s Shannon’s inhaler (foreshadowing of Maggie Grace’s return?)! And the caves! Remember that riot?! And ADAM AND EVE! Those two spoil sports, in the cave with their black and white rocks, rotting skeletons and all! What a gas! Hey, maybe those guys are one of US?! The identity of Adam and Eve has been long debated in the fan community: is it Jack and Kate? Sawyer and Juliet? Sun and Jin? My guess, at this point, is that it was the predecessors Jacob and MIB, the protectors of the island from ages past.

I also totally dug the Sideways story, where Jack was not just a crybaby spinal surgeon but a proud papa! I totally fell in love with David (who in the Bible is the second King of Israel and credited with composing many of the psalms from the Book of Psalms) and his beautiful piano playing/adolescent angst! After looking him up on imdb, I realized he is was the kid on Grey’s Anatomy who trick-or-treated for new ears and I fell in love with him all over again. Jack is not usually (aka ever) my favorite character, but I found him to be so much more well-rounded and interesting as a dad who’s trying too hard. I found it believable as well as a bit heartwarming and, again, it made it feel like Season 1 all over again.

The theme that really stuck with me from Lighthouse was reflection. The show itself is in the midst of mirroring itself circa season 1. The scenes in the sideways world are refractions of moments from Season 1, memories viewed through a prism. I particularly enjoyed when Jack asks Cindy for a pen “or something sharp” to help Charlie, as in Season 1, where Lifeguard Boone is doing bad CPR and Jack sends him away by asking him to find a pen. As an audience we are, too, experiencing a weird deja vu: yes, I do remember that interaction with Jack and Rose on the plane, but wait… wasn’t it a little different?

There were many examples of literal reflection in Lighthouse, mostly from Jack: first, looking at himself in the mirror (and wondering just when did I get my appendix out?) in the Sideways world; then looking into the swirling water surrounding the Temple (where am I, again?); to, finally, Jack gazing into the shifting mirrors in the Lighthouse, alternately seeing himself and visions of familiar and unfamiliar places (who else noticed the pagoda setting – perhaps where Sun and Jin were married?). But, of course, as he is staring into his literal reflection, he is also reflecting on his state of being.

“Who am I?” Jack asks himself. “And why do I cry so much?”

Jack stares into mirrored surfaces and sees what may or may not actually be there – remember in LA X, where Jack looks at his reflection in the airplane bathroom mirror, touching a scar on his neck that we only see in the reflection. There is, too, the title of the Season 3 finale, “Through the Looking Glass” (notice Alice was name dropped again last night). In Season 6, Jack has now through the looking glass. The parallel worlds are two sides of the same reality coin. But in the Season 6 Island Reincarnation of Jack, he is no looking for answers — how to fix others– but how to fix himself.  He tells Hurley he thought the Island would fix him. But it appears he has to do a bit of self healing,  apart from roles as leader, hero and doctor. In the lighthouse, it appears Jack was finally the one able to see through the looking glass, but he was not happy with what he saw – his childhood home, the emblem of his lifelong strained relationship with his father. He had already visited the site of his father’s empty coffin; seeing the home they shared was the last straw.

Memories themselves are reflections, how we see our past. The mirror does not always provide a clear picture, however; our mind’s eye distorts, exaggerates, and molds them. In the Sideways world, Jack sees himself as being the opposite of his father when, in fact, he’s just like him without realizing it. He is a reflection of his father, as all children are inevitably some kind of reflection of their parents.

Parents and children are a central theme to the LOST story and it is interesting to see how each character is often explored through the similarities or differences to those who raised them. The distinction is also made between biological and adoptive parents. Which, of course, makes me think of RAMBO CLAIRE / CLAIRE-SSEAU who busted on to the scene with her crazy out on display for all to see. Note to Emilie de Ravin: love the mumbling, love the distant gaze, love the CRAZY MONKEY BABY. Actually, that scared the shit out of me. But jokes aside, I thought it was interesting that Jack’s sideways story about parenting complementing Claire’s fierce and nutso desire to be with her son. Both parents wanted to be with their estranged children, who had both been taken away from them somehow. Reconnecting for Jack was a bit easier; i don’t think the heart-to-heart by the bike rack is gonna cut it with Claire-sseau and her off-island offspring.

Okay, now I’m just thinking about that creepy baby thing.

cute? more like terrifying.

cute? more like terrifying

Much to think about for what’s coming up. In fact, LET’S REFLECT.

(pun love)

Namaste and see you at SUNDOWN (Episode 6×06).

REEEEEMIX!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 19, 2009 by eyeoftheisland

last week i observed that lost seemed to be working through some season 1 motifs in order to point us to this season’s larger themes.

but now, with 316, not only is lost echoing these moments but REPEATING THEM. we are now seeing a literal replay of events that have already occurred; except this time, the whole shebag has been recasted. it’s LOST: the remix.

i nearly had a heart attack when this was the first image of the episode:

for a moment i thought: is this the pilot again? no it wasn’t.

BUUUUUT — YES IT WAS! to bring daniel’s “skipping record of time” analogy in slightly more modern terms, it was like the cassette tape had been forwarded so much that it skipped right back to the beginning. the show opens; jack’s eye opens; the mystery of “where are we?” begins.

(notice also that some of the scenes here looked almost exactly the same: e.g. jack drinking at the bar in “316” vs. jack drinking at the bar in “exodus.”)

but this time around, things aren’t so cheery. i felt like there was a certain heaviess about this episode. there is something cruelly absurd and dark about these characters having to go through a reenactment of the traumatic experience. when kate said, “we may all be here, but we’re not together” i got a chill. it was like an inverse of jack’s repeated mantra “live together, die alone.” the bonds that made these characters find the will to survive have been completely corroded. the oceanic 6 are now just bare bones, shells of their former selves, going back to the island willingly but not happily.

perplexing, of course, is the notion that they have to go through this weird play-act in the first place. if the island is visible for a moment, why not sail there? take a ferry to the island? take a private jet? why ajira airways? why go through the trouble of a commercial airliner that will attract attention? although 316 seems to be suggesting to us that the plane itself may not have crashed, i’m not totally sold on this whole “proxy” business.

but, putting that whole doubt thing aside (after all, st. thomas could never live his down), if by flying on this ajira flight, the O6 are recreating the original oceanic crash, who is standing in proxy for whom? what role are they playing in the remix?

buzz from the boards on this subject:

— locke is playing the role of christian shepherd: brought to the island in a box and, apparently, not staying there for long.

— sayid seems to be taking on kate’s position as a prisoner being escorted by a marshall. (notice the male:female ratio stays the same)

— hurley may be channeling his good dead pal charlie with the guitar case (although what is in said case is yet to be seen. nontheless, my money’s on the idea that the deceased driveshafter is the one who tipped hurley off about the plane).

— ben, then, usurps hurley’s role by barely making it on the plane.

— sun becomes rose, who clutches her husband’s wedding ring during the flight.

— kate… well, perhaps she has taken over claire’s role as the pregnant woman. after all, her creepy catatonic-at-one-moment-needing-to-jump-jack’s-bones-at-another episode did lead to those two gettin it on. baby aaron may be MIA, but kate may have her own bun in the oven to deal with.

— which leaves jack, who is… is… well that one is up for debate. he could be john locke, a man of faith. he could be sawyer, carrying a loaded letter. or maybe he is the constant. jack shepherd remains the same. even in the remix, he wakes up exactly where he was last time and starts the journey all over again.

the essential thing is that which is not visible to the eyes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 6, 2009 by eyeoftheisland

in tenth grade, my fourth period french class spent three months reading the 78 pages of antoine st.exupery’s “the little prince.” although after three months we did not actually finish the book (i did that on my own), our teacherfriend mrs. brescia kept bringing us back to the message of the book. you know, beyond the grammar. and though there are many parts of the book that i love, the line that pops into my mind immediately when i think of this book is:

“on ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur. l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”

one only sees with the heart. the essential thing is that which is not visible to the eye.

pfox1

to be fair, this line is probably the most famous line from saint-exupery’s novella.  a line which the writers were probably very aware of when coming up with the title for this episode, but more on that in a bit.

interestingly enough, saint-exupery himself was, like the narrator, a pilot. on a journey from paris to singapore he and his partner crashed into the sahara desert, where they lived off of meager rations for five days before being rescued. a castaway, he was.

from the very opening of the show, LOST has been fixated on the eye. the very first image we see is jack’s eye, opening for the first time since being in the crash. we are immediately launched into the notion of point-of-view, which, as you know, lost takes in many directions though flashbacks, flashforwards, time-travel of the consciousness. the theme of the eye repeats throughout the show, as we are treated to close-up images of other characters’ eyes, including locke, claire, boone, aaron and “jacob” (whose eye appears as the banner image of this blog).

(a full list of “eye-shots” can be  found here: http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Eyes)

there is, too, locke’s famous statement “i’ve looked into the eye of this island, and what i saw was beautiful.” what exactly locke saw is unclear at this point, but he identifies with the island as living; an entity which possesses an all-seeing, all-knowing eye. the “eye” too is tradtionally identified with clairvoyance, premonoition. there are “seers” who are able to predict destinies. interesting that the man obsessed with destiny worships the “eye” of the island; what he “sees” is beautiful.

and yet, what the little prince reference here might be pointing to, is the fact that our vision, that which we so rely upon to tell us what is “real” and what is not, can be extremely unreliable. the island is plagued with visions… or are they real? does kate see the horse in the jungle? does jack see his father christian shepherd? is the white rabbit they’re chasing really there? could be. could not be. a prime example of this is “taller ghost walt”; while this moment was humorous for those of us who know that the actor has aged significantly since his full-time run on the show, locke calls attention to the fact that walt appears to be older. is this walt projecting himself on the island from the future? is he really there? is locke just seeing him because he wants to see him?

(btw, if you want to see walt, check out his new hot pockets commercial. it’s hysterical)

the eye is a tricky thing. yet even ore tricky is the “i.” oh yes, i’m going there. during his conversion experience, locke looks into the “i” of the island: himself as the island; the role he sees for himself in the island; the potential for belonging. and for locke, a man who, before he got to the island, has been beaten so low, dragged to the depths of self-loathing, that is beautiful. on the island he is the most powerful, important version of himself. he is the philosopher-king.

“the little prince” values the inner eye/i above the physical eye. identity issues are crawling all over lost, this most recent episode being no exception. i won’t go into the whole “kate’s search for herself” in this post, mostly because, frankly, the off-island plot did not grab me much at all. yes, the plot was advanced, but the whole thing felt a little forced to me.

regardless, the title of this episode was conspicuous; with the reference to the eye here, the lost powers-that-be might also be giving us a cue with how to decipher the coming seasons. in the past, lost has emphasized “easter eggs”: secret images that can only be picked apart with a quality screencap. but as the show is reaching its end, we seem to be moving a way a bit from the nitty gritty and into the philosophy and greater mythology of the show. what is important here is not necessairly what we can see with our eyes.

… we havent actually seen jacob yet, have we?

food for thought. namaste.