Lost season 6 episode 5 review

The first Jack-centric episode of Lost's final season rolls around. And hecky thump: it's actually a good one...

6.5 Lighthouse

How do you know season 6 is awesome? We’re so far through the looking-glass that even Jack’s episode isn’t just watchable – it’s actively good.

The surprise introduction of Jack’s son David not only proved that Jack/Matthew Fox can display an emotion other than ‘spoiled whingebag’ on occasion, but it also illuminates the rocky relationship he has with his father in a way that, for the first time in six years, feels almost sympathetic. It’s always enjoyable when Lost can provide a flashback (or forwards, or sideways) that provides a satisfying emotional story on its own, and if it genuinely complements the story beyond that, as this one did, so much for the better.

For a change, too, the on-island story followed right up on its most recent revelations. Admittedly, we didn’t see a lot of Sawyer and Smoke-Locke, but as for the news about characters who were “candidates” to replace Jacob, well, that got plenty of time spent on it. Especially with the addition of the magic lighthouse and its wheel of fortune, which is a fun new piece of the Lost puzzle.

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Of course, that begs the question: who is coming to the island? Perhaps it’s whoever’s name is number 108. But who could that be? Attentive viewers have already picked out the name “Wallace” – already crossed out – so is that who it is? Or is 108 merely a ‘reserved’ number for making the light visible to those arriving at the island?

Whoever’s coming, you know that the fact that the Lost writers haven’t explained it straight away means that it’s going to be, at the very least, a surprising choice, Wallace or not.

And speaking of surprises, there can be few bigger than the moment when Jacob looked up and we realised who it was. Jack and Hurley’s excursion was a fun trek across the island, with a few moments of season one-referencing glee as they tripped over Shannon’s inhaler and rediscovered the skeletons of ‘Adam and Eve’, although it did feel like they gave Dogen et al the slip rather too easily.

Hurley’s ability to see the dead has always seemed like a strange one for the character to have (even in the context of a show about a time-travelling island), but in this episode, well, it almost makes sense that it exists.

The flash-sideways, however, are making less and less sense. Or rather, they are less and less what they initially appeared to be. Jack’s appendectomy scar might have been done when he was 8, according to his mother, but there’s a chance – and an increasingly likely one – that it’s the same scar he received when Juliet performed an appendectomy on him, lending more credence to the idea that these flash-sideways aren’t actually a result of the bomb being set off, but of something else entirely.

Personally, I’m still going on the theory that the flash-sideways are, instead, the ‘happy endings’ for the Lost characters, and are intended to following the season 6 finale, which will result in the destruction of the island in the past.

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It explains why they’ve all been fairly upbeat stories, it explains why they’re mirroring the structure of season one in terms of who gets a flashback, and it explains why the changes the timeline exhibits are apparently far greater than the island being destroyed could account for. It’s by no means a certain theory, but at this point, I’m waiting for any evidence that suggests otherwise.

Finally, the review can’t pass without mentioning Claire, who has become Rousseau Mark 2. The “sickness” she is striken with is, apparently, a kind of madness, although we’ve yet to see the specifics of it. Luckily, Jin is used to being separated, captured, and placed with mental people, so he handles the situation expertly.

As someone who was never much of a fan of Claire, I prefer this new insane version, and I’m particularly pleased to see an answer to the question of how she managed to survive outside the temple when Smokey was around. They’re flatmates! Brilliant.

Overall, another fantastic episode. It’s been a while since Lost had such a good run of episodes, and when the weakest part of a series is the first episode, you know good things are in store. Can they keep it up indefinitely? At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me.

Check out our review of episode 4 here.