I'll break this into three parts: the Flash-Sideways, the Jack-Hurley stuff, and the Claire stuff.
The episode begins by showing us a few framed photos of the Shepherd family, revealing that this is a Jack-centric episode, thus furthering the replica lineup of episodes from season one (plane, plane, Kate, Locke, Jack). That means next week should be a Sun episode, and since the episode is titled 'Sundown' I think that's pretty likely. But more on that later.
Jack prompty removes his shirt, as he does in all Jack-centric episodes, and walks around his house half-nude. Looking in the mirror he notices a scar that seems to confuse him, exactly the way he was confused by the cut on his neck on flight 815. This is the only hint the writers have really given that there's any connection between Timelines A and B.
Jack's mom calls to ask about Christian's missing coffin, and we don't find anything out except that it may be in Berlin. Momma Shepherd can't find Christian's will, so Jack volunteers to head over and look for it. But first, he has to pick his son up from school.
Wait, what?? Jack has a son now?? Of course he does.
So apparently Timeline B Jack got busy in his early twenties and had a son, and then named him after the most famous ‘shepherd’ in history, King David. (Who, like Jack’s son, was also a talented musician.) David positively can’t stand his father and I can’t blame him. Despite Jack’s sometimes good intentions, he would be one heck of an annoying dad. Demanding information all the time, drinking all the time, feeling bad about himself. All the time. Ugh.
Throughout the flash-sideways, Jack struggles with his failures as a father, and desperately wants to sit down and eat pizza with his son. Along the way, we find out that Christian left something to Claire in his will, which will be interesting since Claire is presently in Los Angeles and this will give her and Jack the chance to meet. We also see a couple references to LOST’s favorite literary work, Alice in Wonderland. Jack talks to David about Alice’s two cats, Snowball and Kitty. (Snowball was white. Kitty was black.)
We see some sheet music from a piano piece by Chopin, the same piece that a young Daniel Faraday played in ‘The Variable.” After finding Cristian's will but losing his son in the process, Jack goes over to David’s mother’s house, and while we don’t figure out who she is, my only guess is Juliet. Jack follows the clues to a piano recital, where he finds David and also runs into none other than his Japanese samurai friend from another life.
Dogan doesn’t say anything important but it was pretty cool to see him. So if you’re keeping track at home, we have now seen Ethan, Ben, and Dogan in consecutive weeks, all three of whom should have been on the island in 2004. Who will we see next? Jacob? Richard? A normal version of Rousseau?? The eyepatch guy? Horace? Phil? Roger Linus? The possibilities are endless. But we've GOT to see Juliet.
At the end of the episode, Jack finally realizes that the key to successful parenthood is just good old fasion love, and after confessing his unashamed love for his son, they finally set off to eat that pizza Jack has been thinking about all night. Happy ending for all.
As stupid and pointless as Timeline B is, I’ve decided to just go with the flow and wait for the big surprise moment. It may not be until the season finale, but I’m sure it will be awesome.
The on-island storyline begins with Jack and Dogan having an honest conversation, where they tell each other how much they appreciate each other’s honesty. Meanwhile Hurley and Miles play tic-tac-toe and Hurley decides to go in the temple for something to eat. Of course he does.
Hurley sees ghost-Jacob sitting by the dirty pool, and the secret mission begins. It's evident that Jacob is the master of manipulation and he knows it; in fact he seems to know just about everything there is to know about the loveable Losties, including the phrase that has haunted Jack Shepherd since childhood: "You don't have what it takes."
Jorge Garcia does an amazing job of balancing his role as a serious guy with serious issues and the best comedic relief character on the show. He is terrific in this episode. Particularly in the scene where Dogan tells Hurley to buzz off, but Hurley tells him in a totally unsure voice "I'm a candidate, I can do whatever I want." Brilliant.
In case you're wondering what Dogan muttered in Japansese as he walked away, it was something like "You're lucky I have to protect you, because otherwise I'd cut off your head."
So Jack and Hurley trek throug the jungle, and along the way the encounter Kate, who finally seems to have given up on chasing Sawyer. She states that now she's going to find Claire. Why Kate just automatically assumes Claire is alive, even though no one has seen her or heard from her in 3 years and she's on a freaky crazy island, is beyond me. But since when did any of Kate's actions make a shred of sense.
J & H keep walking, and they pass the caves from season two, where the audience is reminded of Adam and Eve and once again asks: who are they? Speculation about their identities has been all over the board, but don't worry, I have the answer.
A couple seasons ago, Damon and Carlton (the show's producers) stated that there is a secret anagram hidden in the episode "Not In Portland" that reveals the identities of Adam and Eve.
In that episode, when Carl is being brainwashed in room 23, there is a voice that when played backwards says "Only fools are enslaved by time and space." If you mix those letters around, it says "Bones of Nadlers may lay lost deep in cave." And since Rose and Bernard's last name is Nadler, we have our answer.
Especially because on top of Adam and Eve is a black stone and a white stone. You know, Rose is black, Bernard is white. It makes sense. Case closed.
Before they reach the lighthouse, Jack and Hugo share a quick heart-to-heart about why they returned to the island, and Matthew Fox delievers in a big way, which is a rare LOST moment. He tells Hurley "Because I was broken. And I was stupid enough to think this place could fix me."
Little do you know Jack.
After they walk a few more minutes they stumble upon a huge brick lighthouse which makes all LOST fans ask the question: How the EFF did no one ever see that before? Especially if it's a two second walk from where they used to live? Whatever, this show stopped making sense a long time ago.
Inside the lighthouse we saw one of the coolest LOST scenes ever, which definitely rivaled and maybe even surpassed the cave from the week before. The numbers and the mirrors and the dial ... Of course Jack had to lose his temper and break the magic mirrors with a stick. But we've come to expect nothing less from Jack.
Ghost-Jacob then shows up again and basically tells Hurley that he got exactly the reaction from Jack that he wanted. He also says that "someone very bad" is about to go to the temple (Flocke - in case you're a total nimrod) and he had to get them out of there.
There were a few candidate names and numbers that weren't seen in the cave, most important Kate Austen, number 51. We also saw Burke (Juliet), Rousseau, Faraday, Lewis (Charlotte), Friendly and Price (others), Dawson (Michael), and the ever-important #108 - Wallace.
Who is Wallace?!? I don't have any idea. But his name was crossed out.
Did you notice that Jack's name was written considerably bigger and bolder than the other names? Was that intentional? Is that because Jacob is more invested in Jack than the other candidates? Probably. Does that have anything to do with Christian Shepherd? Was Christian a candidate??
If there's anything major to take away from the Jack-Hurley-Lighthouse action, it's that Jacob is my new favorite character and everything he does is awesome. And that this whole "Candidate" business is more important than we even realized.
Maybe the best way to analyze these scenes would be by simply reading the script on paper, because watching Emilie de Ravin try to act is simply too painful and distracting. This was hands-down the worst acting performance in LOST history, closely followed by all the other appearances by Claire in prior seasons. Now I see why they made her disappear for two seasons. Good Lord was she bad. I couldn't even understand what she was saying half the time.
Honestly, they could have found any random girl in a shopping mall, let her memorize lines for 2 hours, messed up her hair and gave her a prop axe, and basically filmed the exact same scene. Poor Jin was stuck there watching that. Dreadful.
Forgetting about all that, we basically saw Claire act the way Rousseau used to - paranoid, delusional, angry. But with a twist of psychopathic. It was revealed at the end of the episode that she has actually been friends with the Nemesis for some time, and seems to be operating under his control. It's safe to say that Claire was his first "recruit."
But when Flocke entered Claire's camp, it made me wonder "What happened to Sawyer?!"
We'll find out soon hopefully.
There was a poster of the band The Who in David Shepherd's room. They had a song called "Smash the Mirror." He also had a poster of a band called Meat Coat - the band that Charlie was excited to open for when he was a member of Driveshaft.
Sayid and Miles are the only Losties left at the temple. Kate, Sawyer, Jack and Hurley have all snuck away. Man, those others are stupid.
Next week is a Sun/Jin episode which means we'll be seeing plenty of Sun's uninteresting storyline on the island. (Not that her flash-sideways is going to be a thrill either.) If her and Jin don't reunite, I might kill someone.