But it’s not the fault of Lost, mind you. It’s not you, Lost, it’s me. I’ve been ever so excited for this mobisodes/webisodes/teentytiny-sodes for weeks now, and nothing short of a home video from the DeGroots explaining their ultimate Dharma Initiative plan would have satisfied me. That being said, this is Lost, and lest we take this initial episode (entitled "The Watch") for granted, let’s leave no stone unturned. (Get it? "No stone unturned?" Because Jack’s throwing stones in this episode? That’s why they pay me the big bucks, fair readers.)
Onto the synopsis!
Jack Shepard’s on a beach. While we’re led momentarily to believe he’s on the Island, a quick pan around reveals a resort hotel and his father, Christian, approaching him. It’s the day before his nuptials to Sarah, placing the timeframe of this encounter around the time of Season 1’s "Do No Harm."
Christian gives Jack an early wedding present: Jack’s grandfather’s watch. Jack notes that he’s never seen Christian wear it, and Christian gives the reason why: Christian’s dad gave it to him on his own wedding day to Jack’s mother, along with a not-too-subtle message that he thought the wedding was a mistake. Thus, Christian kept the watch but never wore it. Jack wonders if Christian is trying to send him a similar message, but Christian insists that Jack is making the correct choice. Jack slips the watch on, at which point Christian implores Jack to be a better father than him should he and Sarah ever have kids.
Jack’s daddy issues have been a central aspect of his psychological makeup, with his father haunting him (often times literally, as in "White Rabbit") on the Island. Jack’s complicated relationship with his father drives the majority of his decision-making, both on and off the Island.
This encounter stands somewhat in stark contrast to the scene in "Do No Harm" in which a half-drunk Jack worried aloud to his father that he’s only marrying Sarah because he saved her life. Christian’s response? ""Commitment is what makes you tick, Jack. The problem is that you’re just not good at letting go.""
One can see every decision Jack makes on the Island as a way to either defy his father, differentiate himself from him, or atone for the guilt he feels over his father’s death. As such, the watch itself could become a physical symbol of his father.
Overall Importance to Missing Pieces
I’m sure its purpose will become clearer as further mobisodes appear, assuming these tiny morsels o’ Lost have a connective theme. I’ve long been curious about Christian Shepard’s role in the overall story of Lost. Given the fact that he appears in more flashbacks than anyone I can think of (please let me know if I’m wrong), his centrality suggests more than mere coincidence.
Add the fact that both his son and daughter were on Oceanic 815, and you have this potential: Christian faked his own death in order to place Claire and Jack on the same flight in order to protect his unborn grandchild.
Remember the words used to describe the people waiting in Los Angeles for Aaron: "good people." Those are the words used by Malkin, the psychic, to describe those waiting for her. Remember also that he was quite insistent upon the specific flight she was to take out of Australia. It stands to reason he was acting under instruction, potentially by someone with enough money to sway him from his original, vigilant instruction that she raise the baby herself. (A group of "good people" led by Benjamin Linus, perhaps?)
It also stands to reason that someone else might have gotten wind of this instruction, someone with ties to the Hanso Foundation, someone with an estranged relationship with his son, who knew truly explaining the situation would have seemed the mere ramblings of a broken drunk of a father. And so, a plan is hatched to bring Jack to Australia, to return on the same flight as Claire, in order to provide protection in the terrible days to come.
Or, you know, Jack just loses the watch in the crash and mopes a lot. That’s a possible outcome as well, I suppose.
What did you make of the mobisode? Did it meet, defy, or infuriate your expectations? What would you like to see in future iterations?
Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.