White Rabbit (S1, ep 5)
Boone continues to prove himself excellent Monster-fodder with his bookending idiocies. He gets a drowning woman killed by almost drowning himself, and he decides to quietly take the entire camp's water without, you know, actually telling anyone he's doing it - despite the fact that several people run around all day looking for it in a panic.
The brief shots of Christian from Walkabout are expanded on and we witness the origin of Jack's Legendary Daddy Issues.
How wonderfully strange/eerie is that shot of Christian, fuly dressed in a suit, standing knee-deep in the surf?
In the Pilot, we learned that Claire's baby hadn't moved since she'd woken on the Island. Given what we know now about the fertility issues on the Island I'm assuming that was the first hint of the problems to come. We get (potential, uncertain) hints again in this episode. Claire gets suddenly, alarmingly sick. It's attributed to heat-stroke/dehydration, but Kate makes that call, not Jack. It's left ultimately ambiguous. She recovers, so it could easily have been the heat. But it could also have been a symptom of the Island-hates-preggers-chicks plague.
We learn Claire is into astrology. She asks Kate for her sign. Kate's answer: Gemini, a sign associated with the Roman figures of Castor and Pollux, who were twins. Twins and twinning play an important part in the subtext of this show, and this is the first mention of the concept, albeit a veiled one.
We see John Terry (who looks wildly younger in this episode than he does in any other) tell Jack that his son 'doesn't have what it takes,' but it's not clear what this means. Christian claims to be able to walk away from work at the day's end, and that this means he has what it takes. Only, as he's saying this, he's drinking and pouring several whiskeys at the same time, explicitly showing the lie of that claim. Jack's inability to let a problem go is painted as, and arguably is, a real liability. But Christian's expressed ability to let the same problems go is painted as, and arguably is, a falsity.
And speaking of Christian, Jack spends much of the episode running around pursuing his 'ghost.' The same ghost that will later tell Locke that he's Jacob's emissary. I like that Jack is chasing his father in multiple senses throughout the episode. (1) while in the jungle, looking for his apparition, (2) all the way to Sydney, in order to bring him back after what Jack 'did,' and (3) professionally and personally, as if to prove and disprove his father's opening judgments all at once.
White Rabbit lends serious credence to the notion that Risen Christian is the MiB. As a result of following him through the jungle, Jack comes close to plummeting from a cliff and dying similarly to the way in which 'Dave' comes close to tempting Hurley off a cliff in Season Two. Then again, Risen Christian also ends up leading Jack to the caves - a locale I haven't thought about in years.
It's interesting to note that Locke is the one who saves him. Locke further gives Jack a pep talk on leadership, and at this moment in the show it really does appear as though Locke is untainted by the notion that he's 'special.' Locke will spend later seasons increasingly convinced of his own self-worth, but where he's happiest, most in-tune with the Island, and most sure of himself is in these first episodes, where his own ego is abandoned almost carelessly in the face of the miracle he's recieved. In a microcosmic sense, Locke here seems content to be Jack's Richard - advising, but not in control. Then again, this is the same man who wandered off for boar while his companion was bleeding from the leg, so I'm not going to claim that he's perfectly balanced here either.
Great Locke Line#1: "Crazy people don't know they're crazy. They think they're getting saner."
Jack and Locke talk very briefly about the Island itself, adn about what Locke saw. He looked into the eye of the Island, and what he saw...was beautiful. Did Smokey recognize Locke from 'the past'? Did the Monster 'read' something in Locke that was useful? If the Monster is the MiB or a servant of the MiB, did it recognize an instrument essential to the MiB's apparent 'master plan'?
At the end of the episode, Jack finds his father's coffin and it is empty. We know that Anti-Locke didn't actually possess Locke's corpse because we see it at the end of Season 5. So what happened to Christian's body? Did it land elsewhere?