Last episode, the most telling quote was Hurley's about Australia being the key to everything in Risk. This time, that distinction belongs to the concluding line from the Alice in Wonderland passage that Jack reads to Aaron: "Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!" As we know, one answer for both is "a Shephard." I found it interesting that Jack apparently knows this, too, judging by his comment that Kate isn't "even related to him!" My hope is still that they're building to the scene I predicted last week in which Claire and Jack travel to Jacob's cabin, where they learn from zombie Christian that they're related.
But there's another important dimension to Alice's rhetorical question. Did you catch that star mobile above baby Aaron's bed? That's now the second "star" reference associated with the tot -- his mobile in the Caduceus Station played the lullaby "Catch a Falling Star." As suggested in the Star of Jacob, I believe these are clues that Aaron is the great great grandson and quite possibly the reincarnation of Jacob, who was himself a Shephard. The star references also point to the possibility that Aaron is a kind of Island Messiah. But will he save the world or end it?
As described in the Lost Bible, the Book of Revelation tells how a false Messiah will appear bearing the mark 666. Claire learns she is pregnant with Aaron "six...sixty six" seconds after taking the home pregnancy test. Thomas Plantard de Saint Claire is the current Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, which readers of the DaVinci Code will recall is devoted to protecting the blood line of Jesus. For a variety of esoteric reasons, Thomas Saint Claire is often cited as a likely candidate for the false prophet predicted by by Revelation. It's telling, therefore, that Aaron's parents were Thomas and Claire.
Aaron is so totally the Anti-Christ! My guess is that visions of his apocalyptic rise to power are the nightmares of which Charles Widmore speaks. Natas! Redrum! Here are some other thoughts and questions I had about Something Nice Back Home:
* I laughed out loud at the way Rose barked at Charlotte: "Just watch your tone, Red!" Oh snap! Reminded me of Stanley's hilarious outburst on this week's Office. "Did I stutter?!"
* Jack states that "I said that I would get us off this Island...I promised that I would" just before collapsing with appendicitis. Obviously, the Island will inflict illness upon those who violate its wishes. As I suggest in the Cancer Man's Con, Jacob gave Ben that cancer. The Island's ghostly patriarch also took away Locke's ability to walk when it wasn't his destiny to climb up into the Beechcraft. Like Rose said, people don't get sick on the Island, they get better.
* Interesting...Jack's hospital knows they should reach him at Kate's place even before they're engaged.
* Just in case you didn't get the Star Wars reference last week with Evil Emperor Ben wielding his lightsaber, Jack stumbles over the Millenium Falcon.
* Yanks Bludgeon Red Sox for Sweep -- the perfect metaphor for how things regress in the flash forwards.
* They maintained my support for the 10pm start time with plenty of panty-clad Kate...
* Claire mentions she's no longer seeing things. Apparently, this refers to a scene that was cut for time from The Shape of Things to Come. According to Doc Jensen at EW.com, Claire was supposed to experience some sort of prophetic vision or hallucination after her brush with death.
* Why is Miles so interested in Claire? It's her aura, just like the psychic Richard Malkin said. Miles can read them, like he did Michael's in Meet Kevin Johnson. Miles is attracted to Claire's goodness as much as anything else. This is further confirmation of Malkin's prophecy that Aaron must not be raised by another. Natas! Redrum!
* Miles heard the replay of Rousseau and Karl's death. This fits with my belief that the Island is basically haunted by a Chorus of the Dead made up of everyone who ever died there. Is that why Cerberus didn't kill Keamy's men?
* Digging up the bodies was creepy but left absolutely no doubt they're dead. Again, here's to hoping we still get a flashback to what happened to Rousseau's crew from the perspective of Ben.
* Jack forcing Kate to hold the mirror so he can watch his own operation (to his own detriment) foreshadows their relationship in the flashforward perfectly.
* Hurley is right -- the Oceanic Six are all dead. Or rather, they should be. No one was supposed to survive the crash of Oceanic 815. They have to go back to the Island because they no longer belong in the world, which is about to end anyway. Like Doc Ray's corpse shows, the Island is a place where paradox can exist.
* "You're not supposed to raise him, Jack." Obviously, Hurley is correct that Charlie's message refers to Jack raising Aaron.
* Love that Charlotte speaks Korean. I'm reminded of the creepy Hawaiian-shirt guy who confronted Jin in the restroom right before Oceanic 815 boarded. Does this mean Charlotte works for Mr. Paik? Some faction from the future or even the Chronology Protection Agency?
* "Where do you suppose all this power is coming from?" My guess would be zero point energy generated using the Island's natural Casimir effect.
* My first reaction was that Jack's abrupt proposal was all wrong from a storytelling perspective. Then I realized that was kind of the point -- it's supposed to feel wrong to underscore that Jack isn't supposed to be doing this.
* Charlotte's Korean accent is only slightly worse than Jin's...LOL!
* Bernard cracked me up with his no-nonsense line "I'm sorry, Jack, but I agree" just before knocking the latter out with Chloroform.
* I figured that was the Island/Jacob calling to Jack when Christian appeared in the lobby. The malfunctioning smoke detector reminded me of the broken intercom in the Hyrdra where Jack heard his father's voice urge him to "let it go..."
* The appearance of Christian fits with my prior speculation that he will haunt his son, driving Jack to drink and drugs. Interesting that Jack asks for clonazepam, the same anti-anxiety drug Hurley sought from Sawyer after seeing Dave on the Island.
* Kate's mission presumably involves Sawyer's illegitimate daughter, Clementine. I can understand her wanting to keep that aspect of her mission secret out of fidelity to Sawyer. And Jack's jealousy and controlling nature will obviously be the driving force behind their breakup. But I can't help thinking she's partly to blame for not sharing at least the Sawyer connection with Jack. Maybe something really bad happens between those two during the escape from the Island. Why does Sawyer decide to stay?
* Interesting that Christian Shephard doesn't appear to be wearing a suit when he appears to Claire by the campfire.
* "She wasn't alone." Miles saw Christian too. The question is, why did they leave Aaron behind. Is it his destiny to leave the Island and destroy the world? Or is this part of some plan to create a bond between Sawyer and Aaron?