Friday, May 02, 2008
Looking for Easter Eggs on Lost is not an easy task. It’s come to the point where I analyze every little detail to death, grasping to find some reason for a certain choice. In “Something Nice Back Home,” the difficulty came in the sheer volume of people introduced in the flash forward. There’s Dr. Eric Stevens, one of Jack’s co-workers, and two of his patients, Mrs. Berenberg and Ryan Laker.
Who are these people? I have no idea, but this is nothing new. We still don’t know who Mrs. Gardner and her drug dealing grandson are. Is this just Lost’s way of tossing in countless red herrings? Or is it something more?
In the first few seasons, we would frequently see characters reappear in other flashbacks, creating mysterious connections between everyone on the island. Now we’re getting new names and faces, and whether it has any relevance is unknown. Perhaps I am just tilting at windmills here, but I don’t believe these are dead ends. The focus on the photo of Mrs. Gardner’s grandson was so obvious that it must have been a clue, and last night, there was no reason for Jack to read us the diagnosis of “Ryan Laker” unless it will play a somewhat important role at some point.
My current theory is that, since we are now into flash forwards, the rules of coincidental connections have been reversed. Rather than seeing a close associate of one character who pops up in another flashback later, maybe we’re now seeing the character pop up in a future flashback BEFORE we see his or her connection to another castaway.
Perhaps I have too much faith in the show, but I would love for this to be the case. Maybe Ryan Laker is one of Libby’s patients who she had an affair with. Maybe Mrs. Berenberg is Daniel Faraday’s aunt. It sounds crazy, but I firmly believe the Lost writers are laying the groundwork for future reveals. Either that, or much like Hurley’s picture of an igloo in “The Beginning is the End,” it all means nothing and is just some cruel joke by the show to trick us into thinking something is important when it actually has no meaning.
What does have meaning, however, are these Easter Eggs, including some more Alice in Wonderland homages (this being a Jack-centric episode, we would expect no less).
#1 - How Old is Aaron?
When fans first learned that Kate is Aaron’s “mom” in the future, the biggest question (other than “Where’s Claire?”) was about Aaron’s age. On last night’s episode, we got the answer, sort of.
In the flash forward, Jack was disappointed by the Red Sox returning to their losing ways. Given the information in the article, there is only one viable date for time: August 31, 2007. Given Aaron’s birth on November 1, 2004, and ignoring any relative time distortions, this would put Aaron at around 2 years and 10 months old. So it wasn’t direct, but there’s one question down.
#2 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Some of you may have wondered what that book was Jack was reading to Aaron. Others probably assumed that it was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland base on the show’s fondness for associating Jack with that book. If you’re like me, you instantly recognized the lines Jack read as being from Alice, just as many of you assumed. The passage Jack read is from chapter two and is all about Alice, who recently ate a cake to get bigger, contemplating who she is.
#3 Through the Looking Glass
Another Alice reference was a bit more subtle and may not be a reference at all, but it jumped out at me. A looking glass, in case you didn’t know, is just a fancy old British term for a mirror, which caused me to wonder why Jack wanted to watch his own appendectomy “through the looking glass,” as it were. Was it just a harmless coincidence, an intentional reference, or something deeper? While watching the episode with a friend, he suggested that Kate was sent out because Juliet wanted to implant something in Jack during the surgery. I don’t buy it, but it’s just crazy enough to be worth mentioning.
Speaking of that surgery, I would assume that a haphazard island surgery would be pretty sloppy, and while part of me can accept that Jack might live through it, what I can’t believe is that there would be no scar leftover. How do I know there’s no scar? Well, thanks to that first flash forward scene with Matthew Fox in the towel, viewers became quite familiar with Jack’s abdominal region, and there did not appear to be a scar.
Part of me wants this to be a continuity error, a hasty mistake made just because some studio head urged the show to ramp up its male sex appeal, but in reality, it would make less sense if he DID have the scar. As Rose said, people get better on the island, not sicker. So while the appendicitis itself is a mystery, the healing of Jack’s scar isn’t so suspicious, just like John Locke’s bullet wound.
#5 - Kate the Nurse
I love it when a TV show references the show’s past. One quick exchange between Jack and Kate was a beautiful nod back to the Pilot. Kate told Jack she was going to be his nurse, and he responded, “Won’t be the first time.” It makes us all think back to that very first episode, when a squeamish Kate helped Jack stitch himself up.
#6 - Star Wars
J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof are admitted fans of Star Wars. Lost has featured many references, both overt and subtle, often involving Sawyer applying a Star Wars-themed nickname to someone else. In last night’s episode, the Star Wars love continued when Jack tripped over one of Aaron’s toys, a Millennium Falcon. Perhaps there’s some deeper hidden significance to this, but more likely than not, it’s just about two sci-fi geeks putting something they love in their show.