Lost Season 1: "White Rabbit"

This episode certainly continued Jack's problems with leadership. With flashbacks into his childhood and relationship with his father, we see his father telling him he doesn't have what it takes, that he will fail, and this is what he's going through on the island. He doesn't know what to do, he doesn't believe in himself, he's tired of the responsibility to decide everything for everyone, and most of all he's afraid of failing and having so many lives in his hands when he doesn't rust himself at all.

It's interesting though, that these issues manifest themselves in visions of his dead father on the island. He's haunted byt the fact that he couldn't save his father, and now he's haunted by this recurring image of him in a suit, looking sternly. Is this man real? The coffin was empty, so did the island bring him back to life? But only Jack sees him and he acts more like a ghost than a resurrected man. And Jack's lack of sleep lends itself to hallucinations. Still....

Whether the visions are visions or not, Locke still helps Jack believe in himself. He believes they at least aren't hallucinations. His encounter with the beast in an earlier episode apparently allowed him to see the magic of the island, and he believes that anything can happen. But it's not magic Locke is dealing with, he's just helping Jack realize he can lead, that he does have what it takes. And when this happens, Jack is no longer haunted by his father (though I guess we may find out...)

Jack is then able to lead everyone again. He knows they have to stick together if they are to survive. They will either work together or die alone. Wow, what a profound truth. We need each other as humans, no one can survive on their own. If Jack can lead the band of survivors to look beyond themselves and work together, they can make it. If they fend for themselves, it's not only them vs. the island, but them vs. the island vs. themselves. We must limit our adversaries in this life!

Other thoughts this episode brings up:

The Koreans have a very interesting relationship, both between themselves and the fact they stay away from the others. They seem to be able to fend for themselves pretty well so far, but whether their isolation will last will have to be found out.

Also, the flashbacks are an interesting addition to the storytelling of this show. While often the exposition follows closely with what the characters themselves know, with the flashbacks the audience is given information about the characters no one else knows. While they explain a lot, there is also some separation happening between us and the characters.

Finally, a thought that my girlfriend pointed out, and I think is key to the story, is that while Jack is certainly the physical leader, Locke is emerging more as the spiritual leader of the group. Who ultimately leads? I guess we'll have to wait and see (or you'll have to hold your tongue and let me find out) but I think the answer is key to unlocking the worldview of this show.

(Want to read more of my thoughts on Lost? Check out my series!)

(Want to read more of my thoughts on Lost? Check out my series!)

Ben Brandt

Ben is a front-end developer with a love for all things web. When he isn't coding for his 8-to-5, he's usually running, watching movies, or playing with new web frameworks and languages.

Portland, OR

Subscribe to Ben Brandt

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox.

or subscribe via RSS with Feedly!