LOST Theories - DarkUFO

This “theory”, or analysis (mainly about Jack), is a continuation of my earlier posts available here: http://theoriesonlost.blogspot.com/2010/04/jacks-ongoing-evolution-through-looking.html and http://theoriesonlost.blogspot.com/2010/04/everything-that-rises-must-converge-red.html and other earlier posts on this site. Not that I expect anyone to have read them, but I did write this post on that assumption to avoid repeating myself. So if there are any gaping holes in this, I may have already covered it elsewhere.

The “New” Jack vs. The “New” LA X Losties:

The Jack at Locke's bedside is not the Jack we first met in Season 1. That Jack, so many characters were quick to observe, lacked bedside manner. But Jack is has grown over six seasons. Thus, the Jack in "The Candidate"--the LA X Jack-- is not a different person or some stranger we do not know. He is the man we saw him become over the course of six seasons. Jack has changed. We know LA X Jack as well as we know the Jack presently on the Island in 2007--either one represents the man we saw him become. He is now balanced.

Can people change? I think the answer to this for many characters on LOST is very unclear. Kate, for the most part, is a runner. Even after years raising Aaron, she still had wads of cash and guns hidden around her house. Certainly she is insistent on reuniting Aaron and Claire, not running from this so to speak, but is this “transformation” really that profound? S1 Kate and LA X Kate are not all that different—both still running just as both helped Claire.

Sawyer seems to have evolved somewhat more. S1 Sawyer was a con, LA X a cop. This shift started in the 1970’s, when Sawyer became a community leader as head of security…but let’s not forget he “conned” his way into that job. In LA X, he may be a cop, but avenging his parents is still his core issue. Rather than conning rich suckers (like not going after Hurley), he cons his partner about where he was. And Kate can still smell his BS.

Sayid, while he did come back to the “light” in “The Candidate”, was always a killer. As a child, he killed chickens. As a young man, he tortured the woman he loved. After the crash, slate allegedly clean, he tortured Sawyer over an inhaler. In O6 life, he killed for Ben. He tried to kill Smokie, who then talked him into killing Dogen and so on.

Hurley thinks he had bad luck, now its good. Profound? Maybe. But in either life, Hurley is just a good natured positive person who tends to make us smile. Claire is still the naive and unguided pregnant mom (and yes, this glosses “zombie” Claire, but she is less than central overall). Jin & Sun still love each other in both worlds, even if that love was somewhat strained. Jin, however, is no longer sterile in LA X…or is he? Could that be another man’s baby? Maybe…but theres not enough time left for this to be an issue. But this begs, will Helen still die and Ben still have a tumor? Who knows.

I wrote an extensive post (http://theoriesonlost.blogspot.com/2010/04/true-judgment-of-ben-linus-and-his.html)on Ben, whose LA X life resembles a person who thinks of ‘others’ over himself…so his shift is somewhat more profound. As for Locke, I am uncertain. LA X Locke just has not been given enough screen time.

Point is, Jack really has changed. He has evolved. A major catalyst for Jack’s change (and I think there are many), is John Locke. And I think what we are seeing play out, as the show nears “The End” is that Jack & Locke are now both “men of science” and both “men of faith”. And while I touch on Locke here, my real focus is on Jack—so pardon if my analysis comes off somewhat “unbalanced.”

Is Locke the father figure Jack never had—“The Substitute” for “The Candidate”?:

In "White Rabbit", before his "father" led Jack to the caves (and water), he nearly led Jack over the edge, literally (ironically, over that edge was another water source) In chasing his father—his white rabbit—Jack nearly fell to his death in a rocky riverbed. Was Jack being led to water or his death…or both? And just as Jack was about to lose his grip and fall (because Jack does not easily let go--not always a bad thing it seems), a hand reached out to save him. At first, I thought it was Christian’s hand, and I think Jack thought this too. But it was, as we know, Locke's.. Locke saved Jack's life.

If Jack really is "The Candidate" then Locke truly is "The Substitute." And I think that means Locke is a substitute for Jack’s father—not just a sub for the corpse, but as a father figure for Jack. I do think Christian turned out to be a good father, but Jack was unable to see this because he was too scarred from being told he “didn’t have what it takes” as a child. Christian tried to erase this self-doubt in Jack later, but the damage was done. Worth noting—Christian was drinking when he told young Jack off for being a hero…bottoms up, like father like son.

Technically, Locke was the one who first led Jack to water (catching it from the foliage). Not enough water for the survivors, of course, but enough for Locke to fill his water bottle before having a profound chat with Jack. Locke did not judge Jack in that chat either, which I liked. Perhaps Jack was seeing a hallucination, perhaps not. Locke discussed both sides with Jack, it was a ‘balanced’ discussion. Locke made Jack consider the seeming reality of his situation (i.e. one based in science), and also the surreality of what Jack was doing (i.e. one based in faith).

Jack is not “just” a man of science any more than Locke is “just” a man of faith. This may have been less clear in earlier seasons, but not now. They are both men of science and men of faith—Jack arguably tilting to faith now whereas Locke tilts towards science. As Locke got up to leave (in White Rabbit), he told Jack he could not go with him. Why? "Because a leader can't lead until he knows where he's going." Locke told Jack he needed to finish what he had started. And so how fitting was it, adding to the symmetry between the end of LOST and the beginning, that the last words we heard Smokie "Flocke" say in "The Candidate" was the he was going to finish what he had started?

First to Push the Button—Jack; First to Let Go of Daddy in LA X—Locke:

Jack's faith, like Locke's is continuously tested. Sometimes, their faith is tested at the same time and they take the test together. The Swan hatch was Locke's obsession, but he was not the first one to press the button (of the 815 folks that is). He asked Jack to do it. Locke could not, he told a distrustful Jack, do it alone. And so it was that Jack was the first one to enter the numbers—at Locke’s pleading. In that sense, Jack went (or “jumped”) first in a shared leap of faith.

In "The Candidate", however, the situation was balanced. Jack told Locke about how hard it was when the latter told him his father was gone. Hard for Jack to hear, but correct. So Jack returned the favor and told Locke that his father was also gone. The body was still there, the man was not. Whereas the body of Jack's father was always missing, with Locke it still remained. Either way, body or no body, each father was gone and each son had to let go. (to be fair, Jack could be mistaken on Cooper…Christian tried to convince Claire into unplugging her vegetative mother who he assured her was also gone…but then she showed up to Christian’s memorial service).

To be sure, letting go is not easy, Jack tells Locke in "The Candidate". But this time it was Jack asking Locke to go first. As with the button, this is something both men cannot do alone, apparently (and I do think Jack had already ‘let go’ of his father at that point). More and more, the two men are one--which I hammer home in my "Everything that Rises Must Converge" post (link at top).

"Letting Go" Sometimes the Thing to Do, Sometimes Not...Difficult Either Way:

The overall message on LOST is that "letting go" is something that often needs to happen. It's a "good" thing. And certainly for Jack, this is true 99% of the time. Letting go has been critical for Jack and its lesson he is still learning.

But as I point about above with the example of Jack not letting go, literally, to prevent falling to his death in "White Rabbit", the idea of NOT letting go can have merit—it can also be “good”. To be sure, it's rather obvious Jack needed to hold on (not let go) in that example because he would have fallen to certain death. Or would he? In "The Candidate", however, we see a better example of a situation where Jack is better off NOT letting go. Despite Helen telling Jack to do just that, "to leave it alone", concerning Locke's father and the surgery, Jack will not have any of it. Bernard was right, Jack is on to something. Jack is better off chasing this particular "White Rabbit" rather than letting it go.

I do think LA X Jack will operate on Locke again allowing for another miraculous Jack healing, like with Sarah. And that’s great…but I also feel that the effect this “miracle” will be to somehow merge “Flocke” with Locke’s true spirit, or the real Locke (will the true slim Lockie please stand up, please stand up). This would, in effect, balance Smokie and humanize him, perhaps physically. In short, merging with Locke will mean bullets no longer bounce off of him. Perrhaps a certain dagger will then be able to kill him. But I digress, back to Jack…

Going back to Jack and Helen’s meeting at Anthony Cooper’s place…the old Jack may have been willing to dismiss coincidence, not the Jack we know now be it on Island or LA X. Helen pleads with Jack, "You saved John's live, why can't that be enough?" Jack's response, "because it's not." Sometimes, it's just that simple. "It's not enough"--nuff said. Jack offered no other explanation, yet what he said was “enough”, at least, for Helen.

Locke often faces the same dilemma as Jack...to let go or not. Usually it’s the best thing for him to do, but not always. And that's a big part of why letting go is so hard to do--it's not always easy to know when, if ever, to do it. At the same time, it may very well be that one should let go even when life is on the line and have faith that things will work out. The leap of faith. It seems obvious that Jack, of course, saved his life by not letting go on the cliff. Or did it? When Jack "let go" in the Black Rock and let the dynamite fuse burn, it did not explode. Letting go did not kill him. A leap of faith is just that. It's a leap of not knowing. In the submarine Sawyer thought Jack was insane for wanting to let the bomb count down. And for a second, it looked like Sawyer made the smart move and that Jack was crazy.

More on the Issue of Trust as Compassion:

In my last major post about Jack (link at top), I discussed the issue of trust in some detail. In "Everyone Loves Hugo", Hurley put some doubt in Jack's mind and his seeming willingness to find bliss in "not knowing" and making leaps of faith. But what if letting go, Hurley asks, gets them all killed? In response to this, Jack tells Hurley that he had asked Jack to trust him, "this is me trusting you" Jack said. Perhaps the biggest reason so many people got off the Jack bandwagon is because he lost their trust. It's understandable. Jack descended into addiction and was self-destructive; he seemed hell-bent on getting off the Island to the point he was willing to kill for it. And as yet another example of symmetry, whereas Jack was willing to kill to leave, he is now a pacifist bent on staying.

The old Jack put a gun in Locke's face and pulled the trigger. Fortunately for both, the gun did not go off. I think true compassion is the willingness to trust again, no matter how many times that trust is violated. But this requires believing people can change. Sadly, most people don’t think this. Or do they? But Locke does.

If any person on Earth has a right in not trusting Jack, it's John Locke (gun to head and all). Locke, however, did not hold a grudge. He “let go” and was rather quick to trust Jack again. Locke knows people can change. He has compassion. And true compassion is being willing to trust someone, no matter how insane that may seem. That’s my opinion anyways. Following Hurley seemed like an insane thing for anyone to do. Trusting people can be insane, no doubt. So what. Insane? Perhaps. But also compassionate. And sometimes, trusting that—trusting and showing compassion--pays off. It did for Jack when he allowed himself to trust and follow Hurley and for Locke to do it with Jack.

Come on Sawyer, Give Jack Another Chance and “Trust” Him:

Put yourself in Sawyer's shoes. He trusted Jack enough to go along with allowing him to drop a nuclear bomb down a hole. How was his trust rewarded? Juliet was killed and Jack's plan, it seems, did not work. Of course it's understandable for Sawyer to never trust Jack again. And so he hasn't. He heard what Jack had to say about letting the bomb in the submarine go off, and dismissed it as insane.

This lack of trust, on Saywer's part, is what ultimately gets Sayid, Frank, Sun & Jin killed. Does Jack hold a grudge against Sawyer for this? It seems not. Perhaps another lesson learned from Locke. Jack, once again, saved Sawyer's life and swam him to shore. Trust in others, even when they do not trust you. We see this with Jacob…even though almost everyone brought to the Island, over hundreds (perhaps thousands) of years was dead, he still had faith in them.

I think this also explains why Jack allowed Sawyer to pull the wires from the ticking bomb. He still allowed himself to trust Sawyer's decision. Fighting Sawyer, as Jack knows, is what Smokie wants him to--just as leaving the Island is. Just as Jack did not fight Sawyer on the sailboat, he does not do it on the submarine. Fighting Jack wanted to leave, hippie pacifist Jack is determined to stay. In the past, Jack was more willing to throw a punch, or pull a trigger.

Shame, I think, on Sawyer, that Jack had not earned back his trust. Without question, Jack followed Sawyer's orders to meet him at the sailboat. Sawyer even thanked Jack for going along with the plan. And rather than fight him about turning the boat around, Jack again followed Sawyer's order and got off the boat. Rather than abandon Claire and Sayid, Jack went back. Despite that, Jack still went back and helped spring Sawyer from the bear cage...and Sawyer made a point of thanking Jack, again.

At a certain point, however, saying the words "thank you" without showing any thanks renders the words meaningless. Don't tell Jack that you are thankful Sawyer, show him. Of course I expect Sawyer to say "thank you" again when he wakes on the beach, but I also hope he shows it. Show it like Sayid did.

Jack, You Are the One--"Zombie Sayid" Pointing Out The Obvious:

After Sayid returned from the dead in the Temple, he tried to thank Jack for saving his life. Jack told Sayid he didn't, however. He tried to, but it didn't work. That helped Jack earn Sayid's trust, which was even better than saving his life. Jack leveled with Sayid and told him the truth. He told Sayid what Dogen had said about him. Jack told Sayid what the “other” Others thought he was. And maybe Jack thought the Others were right...but he was not sure. Maybe, maybe not. Jack is more balanced now. Like Locke did with Jack “White Rabbit” by seeing both sides, Jack is now willing to do the same with Zombie Sayid. Man of Science and Man of Faith.

Jack even told Sayid about the pill they wanted him to take—poison, not medicine. And so Sayid tells Jack that while he may not know or feel much, he does know what he trusts. Sayid trusted Jack. After the bomb started ticking faster from Sawyer's lapse in trust (and even Sayid looked shocked at Jack's idea, I admit), Sayid saw the light. Inspired by Jack's actions, Jack's faith, Sayid was brought back from the dark side, as Hurley might say. Sawyer does need to watch Star Wars again. Clearly, Desmond helped this process along by questioning Sayid from the bottom of the well, Jack finished the job. Sometimes all it takes is a little push, after all.

Sayid's last words to Jack were "you are the one." Jack is, literally, "The Candidate." Jack is willing to sacrifice everything for a higher purpose, to keep evil at bay and keep Smokie on the Island. In the Black Rock, he put his life on the line. In the sub, he was even willing to put Kate’s life on the line—this is something Jack never did. Jack even pulled the same switch the backpack trick Smokie did with him when he prevented Kate from carrying Black Rock dynamite. Again, the symmetry is wonderful. Jack is not meant to leave, which he explained to Kate. Could Jack's purpose on the Island be staying there? He certainly thinks so. Jack even told Smokie that Kate, Sawyer, Frank etc., were not “his people.”

Stranger in a Strange Land…has Jack changed his mind on the meaning of his tattoo?

In S3's "Stranger in a Strange Land", Achura, a woman whose gift it was to see people, see their true identity, told Jack that he is "a leader, a great man." Jack, at that time, did not agree with the translation "he walks amongst us, but he is not one of us" offered to him by one of the Others. But now, as we know, Jack has changed. By telling Smokie that his friends were not "his people", Jack is acting like he believed the "Other" translation. He walks among them, leads them and loves them, but he is not one of them. Not only does this notion apply now apply to Jack, it also applied to Jacob. That Jack was also a healer, like Jacob, is far from the only thing the two have in common. At last, Jack now has “what it takes”, at least according to Jacob, who to my knowledge doesn’t lie.

I still can't decide whether the LA X world is meant to last. I still see a merger, but have tended to think a world where the Island did not sink is more likely than one where it did. Maybe the line were never separate and the LA X time is a flashforward for the Island folks. That 2004 is before 2007 matters not, if the LA X version is in the future for the Island folks. If that’s true, the whole notion of the “alt” goes out the window. They were always One, so to speak. I can’t rule that out. I still have issues with David, who I like. But if David were "real", a true part of who Jack is as a character, then surely something as fundamental as this would not have been left out of his narrative until now, the final season. I never bought the idea that the flashbacks we saw in S1-3 and even after were somehow fake, imagined or also a glimpse of the so-called LA X alt. Those scenes gave us a history, something lacking for David and LA X.

Just as Jack's "memory" of his father removing his appendix seems fabricated in his confused mind, so too does David. That said, David is much to endearing and significant to Jack to be dismissed as "imaginary." So what is he? Right now, I am thinking David is another manifestation of Jack's father. In LA X, the lesson Jack learned about letting go of his father is put into practice with his "son." Jack does not allow himself to make the same mistake he did with his father (we also saw this with Ben, who did not allow Alex to be sacrificed again). Perhaps Christian still just wants to be a part of Jack's life, hence David. He needed to become the son to do what he never could as the father. But I can’t be sure on this, it just sounds nice.

In sum, I think Jack’s transformation has been the most significant and profound on LOST. If Jack’s change were going to be as cosmetic as Sawyer’s (profession wise at least), he would have been a janitor in LA X rather than a doctor. Change isn’t even an appropriate word to describe Jack…its more of a metamorphosis.

Thank you for reading. If you liked this post, please visit my blog: http://lost-looking-glass.blogspot.com

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