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16 July 2007 @ 04:38 pm
The White Rabbit  
Apologies that this is a day late!





episode

The White Rabbit

summary

Dehydrated, sleep-deprived, and chasing hallucinations of his deceased father, Jack is forced to make a decision on whether he will become the leader of his fellow survivors. Flashbacks show Jack searching for his father in Australia.

discuss
  • Do you think Jack wants to be the leader of the group?
  • Lost & all of its Alice in Wonderland references

Schedule can be found HERE.

**Note: Using subject lines in your comments is always helpful!**

 
 
 
amantium_irae: Jack&Aaronamantium_irae on July 17th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
Follow the White Rabbit
Dehydrated, sleep-deprived, and chasing hallucinations of his deceased father, the first thing that Jack asks Locke when The Crazy Mofo finds him by the fire is "How are they?", meaning the other losties. That right there tells me why he's the one everyone looks up to for solutions. People ARE sheep and while I won't go into leader endorsment in social dilemmas and whatnot, it's that herd instinct that tells them that Jack will never sacrifice them to the island, that if a guy runs around pulling people out of a burning wreckage, he's probably the one who won't sleep at night thinking about your safety, pouring his own blood into you, etc.

No, I don't think at this point Jack wants to be a leader and he tells us why himself: because he's afraid he'll fail them and won't measure up to the task, that he's not what those 40 people need in a leader. "And yet they all treat you like one."

In between that moment and him smashing the coffin, Jack is trapped once again between fighting his nature because he's been told every one of his insticts is wrong (don't try, you'll fail, sticking up for the little guy isn't worth it) and the more pressing needs of the group. He does what needs to be done because nobody else will (as illustrated with Joanna's drowning.)

Once he's accepted this responsiblity, I don't think Jack particularly enjoys it (Matthew Fox acted the hell out of that rescue scene in the finale this year, you could actually see the weight being liften off his shoulders), but Christian was right. Commitment is what makes him tick. His father never stuck around to see anything through (unless it benefitted his own person): he abandons his marriage, abandons his daughter, forsakens his relationship with his son in the name of some grandiloquent greater good, nothing but codespeak for living vicariously through his son, etc. It's rather common among children of alcoholics to rebel against this type of behavior and become uber-responsible instead.

Jack follows his own White Rabbit into the jungle, which begs the question... actually it begs several questions:

1. Is the island evil or good (we'll go with Smokey as Christian for now because it's been hintted at repeatedly by the writers)? Was it trying to kill Jack with that cliff, or was it just messing with him? It did end up leading him to the water.

2. Was Jack scanned by Smokey in the Pilot, right before we see him open his eye?

There's a very nice cut to flashback where Jack hears the clinking of ice cubes in Christian's glass while he's still in the jungle. It reminded me of Leo McGarry's chilling account of alcoholism on The West Wing: "I like the little things, the way a glass feels in your hand, a good glass, thick with a heavy base. I love the sound an ice cube makes when you drop it from just the right height. Too high and it'll chip when you drop it. Chip the ice and it'll melt too fast in the Scotch." That kind of memory gets imprinted into a kid's psyche forever. As does being told by the most important authority figure in your life that you shouldn't make choices because you'll fail.

I got a very XFile vibe from the scenes in Sydney when I first saw the episode. I kept waiting to see why Christian went to drink himself to death in Australia, what "the incident in the lobby" was all about... I blame Chris Carter if I still have flashes of him sitting in a smokey room with Paik and Widmore.

So... erm... yeah. I really liked this episode. It's the conclusion of Act One of season 1. The group coagulates when Jack tells them to get their shit together, finds means of survival and their first major split happens next episode

Jack can cry on my shoulder anytime, btw. ;)