Monday, September 17, 2018

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, episode 11, All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

Events: Jack learns of Claire and Charlie's disappearance, which he takes personally as he had blown off Claire's stories of being attacked as pregnancy stress and paranoia in the previous episode (Raised by Another). A search group sets out but there are more disagreements about where to look and whether or not the camp can spare Jack, the survivors' only doctor. In one direction, Boone observes Locke's abilities as a gifted outdoorsman; in the other direction, Jack and Kate find Charlie's finger bandages, a threatening Ethan, and later, Charlie hanging unconscious from a tree, whom Jack revives. As Boone and Locke attempt to return to the camp, they stumble upon a strange metal structure in the jungle.

"That's how you shape a soft metal into steel."
Through flashbacks we learn that Christian and Jack worked at the same hospital and that there was an issue during a procedure where Jack was ordered, by Christian, to stop heroic measures to save a patient. After the woman dies, Jack confronts Christian about his drinking, which led to the error that then caused the death, but Christian convinces Jack to back him up with a pat on the shoulder. Later, Jack sees Christian use the same gesture with the patient's husband, who is threatening to sue the hospital over what happened. When a board member reveals that the patient had been pregnant, Jack refuses to lie about what happened and exposes his father's responsibility for her death.

Greater meaning: Jack continues to be stubborn when it comes to problem-solving, needing resolution immediately while putting his own health and safety at risk. Jack and Locke are at odds with each other as Locke seems more comfortable on the island and better able to appreciate Jack's worth as a healer. In many ways this echos the father/son dynamic observed in the flashback sequences---Christian, more experienced and who often thinks he knows better, tries to change Jack's mind but cannot just as Lock, also older and more experienced tries to get through to Jack and cannot. We can assume that Jack's bombshell admission had negative consequences for Christian (although we can't be sure that the comment in White Rabbit by Jack's mother was in response to this act---"You don't get to say, 'I can't,' not after what you did,"), we know that Christian died in Sydney just before Flight 815 crashed, and we know Jack seems to have unresolved issues about his father's death. Going after Claire and refusing to give up on reviving Charlie speak to Jack's unwillingness to give up and his constant need to be the savior. Out of guilt? Out of desperation? His role as a doctor fits with the needs to fix and save, but we also see that Jack is a very different doctor than his own father, Christian and that the issues he's faced with on the island are very different than those of a typical medical professional.

Further questions: 

1. Is Claire safe?
2. Did Christian Shephard get fired after Jack ratted him out?
3. Was Christian's death caused by this issue?
4. How does Locke know the island so well?
5. What is the metal structure that Locke and Boone found?