While an unexpected revelation about Jack‘s life in the sideways reality is revealed, his quest to find his purpose on the island takes a big step forward.

There were no big answers, and very few new questions, which made “Lighthouse” more of a character piece. But it was a hum-dinger, and it helped crystallize something I’ve begun to notice about the connection between these two realities…

Arriving home from work, Jack changes clothes and notices an appendectomy scar on his abdomen that puzzles him. He gets a phone call from his mother, regarding his father’s body, which still hasn’t been found. Jack’s mom reports that she can’t find her husband’s will, so Jack tells her he’ll come by later and help her look for it. Before hanging up, he asks her when his appendix was taken out; she says it happened after he collapsed in school when he was seven or eight years old, but Jack doesn’t seem to remember this. Just then he sees what time it is and realizes he’s very late.

Jack drives to St. Mary’s Academy, where he picks up a young boy named David. David is waiting for him on the school steps, all alone, the last kid still waiting to be picked up. Jack apologizes to the boy for being so late, to which David replies, “It’s okay, Dad.” David is Jack’s son!

Jack takes David to his apartment, where David has his own room. He listens to music through earbuds while Jack tries talking to him. Their relationship is clearly strained, as David shows little interest in anything Jack has to say. The two of them only spend time together about once a month, and David merely wants to get through it with minimal drama. Jack’s phone rings and it’s his mother again, asking when he’s coming to help search for the will. Jack hangs up and asks if David wants to go to his grandmother’s house, but David declines. Jack promises to be back in an hour or so.

Arriving at his parents’ house, Jack sets out to help his mother find his dad’s will. While they search, she pours herself a drink but he declines when she offers him one — a fact that pleases her. She asks about how David is doing, informing him that the boy was very upset at the funeral. Jack is surprised to hear this, pointing out that the two of them are having communication issues just now. Jack’s mother reminds him that he was much the same way around his own father at David’s age, but Jack argues that that was because he was terrified of his father back then. His mom suggests that maybe David is terrified of him, and that perhaps he should talk to his son about this. Just then she finds the will and sits down to read it. But a surprised look crosses her face, and she asks Jack if his father ever told him about someone named “Claire Littleton.”

When Jack gets back home, he finds David gone. He tries calling his son, but gets no answer. He ventures to his ex-wife’s house to see if David is there, but again has no luck. He finds a key hidden for emergencies and goes inside the house, and upstairs to his son’s room. He’s surprised to find evidence that his son has been working very hard on practicing his piano playing. He finds an answering machine message confirming David’s inclusion in a piano recital taking place this very night for admittance to the prestigious Williams Conservatory, and realizes that this is where David must be.

Jack drives to the recital, and walks in while David is playing. He’s astounded at what he sees: David is phenomenally talented, his fingers gliding over the keys, playing a classical composition as a panel of judges looks on. A Japanese boy nearby asks if David is Jack’s son, and Jack swells with pride as he confirms that he is. “He’s really good,” says the boy, and then he walks over to be with his own father. This man turns out to be none other than Dogen, the Temple master! After his boy walks away, Dogen casually asks Jack if he thinks their children are too young to deal with this kind of pressure. “Your son has a gift,” Dogen says. He asks Jack how long David has been playing, and Jack is forced to admit that he doesn’t know.

After the recital ends, David goes outside to unchain his bicycle. Jack finds him there, and tells him how great he was at playing the piano. David is surprised, but laments that he missed a few notes. Jack tells him that he was scared when David disappeared, but David says he thought he could come here, play at the recital, and get back to Jack’s place before Jack got home. Jack says that he didn’t know his son was still playing piano, and David confesses that he made his mom promise not to tell Jack. When Jack asks why, David says that his dad used to sit and watch him practice all the time, very intense in his interest, and David didn’t want Jack to see him fail tonight at this recital. Jack realizes in that moment just how much like his own father he is, but decides to change. Jack explains to his son how Christian used to tell him that he “didn’t have what it takes,” and that Jack has carried that with him his entire life, always trying to live up to his father’s expectations. But he doesn’t ever want David to feel that way. He promises to always love his son, no matter what. “In my eyes, you can never fail,” he says. “I just want to be part of your life.” Swallowing back rising emotions, David seems to relax a little at last, as he smiles and says, “Okay.”

Dogen speaks to Jack just outside the Temple, where he expresses relief that Jack is still there. Jack asks if he’s allowed to leave if he wants, to which Dogen says yes, though Dogen would have to stop him. Dogen asks if Kate, Sawyer, and Jin will be coming back; Jack says, “No, probably not.”

After a game of tic-tac-toe, Hurley leaves Miles in the courtyard to find something to eat. In the Spring room, Hurley spies an Other inspecting the Spring water, and asks if there’s a kitchen in the Temple. The Other turns and reveals that he’s actually Jacob, and Hurley asks why he’s there. Jacob says he needs Hurley to do some things, and that he should get a pen to write it all down. “Someone’s coming to the island,” says Jacob. “I need you to help them find it.”

In the Temple courtyard, Jack is approached by Sayid, who wants to know why the Others keep looking at him strangely. He knows Jack is hiding something and calls him on it. Jack admits that the pill the Others wanted Jack to give Sayid was poison, because they wanted Jack to kill him. Jack tells him that this infection he has, has claimed someone else already, and that’s why they believe it to be dangerous. Sayid asks him who this other victim was.

In the jungle, Claire’s trap has snagged Jin’s leg hard, and he’s bleeding heavily. Claire comes to set him free, but first she checks to see if Justin, one of the two Others she shot, is still alive. He appears to be dead and doesn’t react when she kicks him, so she releases Jin from the trap. Jin asks how long she’s been living out in the jungle, and she says it’s been since he and the other survivors left. Jin says that was three years ago. She tries to get him to his feet so she can take him somewhere safe, but he collapses from blood loss before taking a single step.

In a corridor somewhere inside the Temple, Hurley refers to Jacob’s instructions — which he’s written on his arm — to search for something. The walls are covered in hieroglyphs, and Hurley seems to be looking for a specific one. But when he finds it, Dogen confronts him and asks why he’s there. Hurley makes up an excuse, so Dogen tells him to go back to the courtyard. Jacob suddenly appears over Dogen’s shoulder and instructs Hurley to tell Dogen that he can do whatever he wants, because he’s a Candidate. Hurley does as he’s told, and Dogen’s ears perk up immediately. He asks who told Hurley he was a Candidate, but Hurley says it doesn’t matter, and that Dogen should go back to the courtyard. Dogen leaves him while firing off a tirade in Japanese. After he’s gone, Hurley asks Jacob what Dogen just said, but Jacob tells him, “you don’t want to know.” He asks why Hurley is here doing this alone, when Jacob told him to bring Jack with him. Hurley argues that it’s impossible to get Jack to do something he doesn’t want to do, but Jacob insists that Jack must go with him. Hurley asks if Jacob has any suggestions on how to get Jack to come.

Hurley finds Jack in the courtyard and sits next to him. He whispers to Jack that he’s found a secret tunnel leading to the jungle, and that he needs Jack to follow him there because Jacob wants him to. As expected, Jack isn’t interested, so Hurley relays a message from Jacob: “You have what it takes.” Jack reacts instantly to these words, as they echo words his father told him his entire life — only his father said the opposite: “You don’t have what it takes.” Jack demands to know where Jacob is, and Hurley explains that Jacob’s dead, but he “turns up whenever he wants, like Obi-Wan Kenobi.” But, he says, Jacob will be at the place where they’re supposed to go. So Jack agrees.

Jin wakes up alone in a lean-to where it appears that Claire’s been living. He finds plenty to be concerned about: a case full of dynamite sits nearby, as does a bassinet, inside which Claire has made herself a fake version of baby Aaron out of dead animal bones and skins. Jin is repulsed by the sight, realizing for the first time just how far gone Claire may be. He hears Claire approaching and quickly lays back down on the ground where he was. Claire leads Justin the Other — who was just pretending to be dead, after all — inside her home, at gunpoint. She ties him up to a post in the ground, and informs him that she plans to find out from him where the Others are hiding her son Aaron. Claire offers to clean Jin’s wounds and goes to sterilize some suturing supplies, but Jin asks if she’s been alone for the last three years. She assures him that she hasn’t been by herself at all. After Claire’s outside, Justin tries appealing to Jin to set him free, insisting that Claire will kill both of them if they don’t leave at once. Though Jin is alarmed, he’s unconvinced.

After Hurley and Jack have escaped from the Temple through the secret tunnel, they hike by a spring, where they find Kate, who’s stopped after her encounter with Sawyer to refill her water bottle. She reports that Jin was on his way back to the Temple when she saw him last, and that “Sawyer’s on his own.” Hurley instructs her on how to get back inside the Temple, but she says she’s going to find Claire instead. Jack warns her against it, revealing what Dogen told him about something having happened to Claire while they were gone. But this only makes Kate want to find Claire all the more. She bids Jack farewell by telling him that she hopes he finds what he’s looking for. The two of them share a long gaze before going their separate ways.

Claire sharpens an axe blade outside her home while Justin continues trying to convince Jin to free him. But Jin won’t do it. Claire returns and sews up Jin’s wounds, explaining that she had to sew up her own wounds once when the Others shot her in the leg. She tells Jin that she’s had to move around a lot to keep hiding from them, and that she’s lucky to still be alive. Jin asks what she’s going to do with Justin, and she replies that she’s going to find out where the Others are keeping Aaron. Justin jumps in and tells her that they don’t have her son, but she argues, certain that he’s lying. Jin asks how she knows Justin’s lying, and Claire says it’s because both her father told her, and her “friend” told her, though she won’t say who this friend is. Once she’s done fixing up Jin, she grabs her axe and turns to Justin, while Jin watches in horror.

As they continue their hike, Jack steps on an old asthma inhaler, and Hurley recognizes it as Shannon’s. Jack notes that they’ve arrived at the caves where the survivors once lived, and they go inside. Hurley fixates on the two skeletons inside, having long ago forgotten that they were there. He muses that maybe the bodies could be the two of them or some of their friends, after having traveled through time again and gotten stuck there. Jack, meanwhile, focuses on the beaten up coffin nearby, and reveals to Hurley that he first found the caves because he was following “the ghost of my father,” which lead him here. And he destroyed the coffin because his father wasn’t in it.

Hurley and Jack move on, and Hurley makes conversation by asking why Jack came back to the island. Jack counters by asking why Hurley came back. Hurley reveals that Jacob came to him in L.A. and told him he was supposed to return. He again asks why Jack returned, and Jack replies that he came back “because I was broken, and I was stupid enough to think this place could fix me.”

They emerge from the jungle and come upon some bluffs overlooking the coast, where they find an enormous lighthouse has been constructed. It’s ancient looking, resembling the stonework architecture of the Temple.

Claire interrogates Justin, but doesn’t believe a word he says. Outraged, she reminds him that the Others once captured her and took her to the Temple so they could torture her (the same way they tortured Sayid), sticking her with needles and branding her with a hot iron. She tells Jin that if she hadn’t been able to escape from the Temple, they would have killed her. Justin tries to interject that Claire’s not remembering things correctly, but she cuts him off. She gives him one more chance to tell her where Aaron is, but Justin again says he doesn’t know. She rears back with her axe, about to kill him, but Jin shouts to her to stop, telling her that Kate took Aaron, and that he’s been with her for the last three years. Claire is shaken by this news. Justin begs her to let him go, promising to never tell anyone he ever saw her. But in an outburst of rage, she swings the axe into his gut and kills him.

Jack and Hurley climb to the top of the lighthouse, where they find an unlit fire pit, with a set of mirrors that rotate mechanically around it. There are settings for degrees of rotation on the device, and Hurley grabs a chain hanging from the ceiling to rotate the mirrors. He tells Jack to let him know when he reaches “108,” as this is what Jacob asked him to set the mirrors on. As he pulls the chain and the mirrors rotate, Jack sees unexpected vistas pass by in the mirrors: the Japanese building where Sun and Jin were married, and the church where the funeral for Sawyer’s parents was held. Jack shouts for Hurley to stop, not believing his eyes, and then looks back down at the degree settings on the giant device. He sees for the first time that there are names handwritten beside every degree on the wheel — the same names we saw in the previous episode, written on the ceiling of the seaside cave — and he recognizes names like Austen, Kwon, Jarrah, and Ford. He finds Shephard written in a darker ink than all the other names, in all-caps, at “23.” Jack asks Hurley to turn the dial to 23, but when Hurley wants to abide by Jacob’s wishes and move it to 108 instead, Jack grabs the chain and moves it to 23 himself. He’s stunned at what he sees in the mirror: it’s the house he grew up in.

Jack quickly understands what this means: Jacob used this device to watch Jack and his friends their entire lives. Growing agitated, he asks Hurley why Jacob isn’t there. Hurley doesn’t know. Outraged now, Jack insists that Hurley ask Jacob why he’s been watching him, but Hurley says he can’t just force Jacob to appear. Jack grabs an ancient telescope mounted on a brass tripod, and shouts at Hurley, demanding to know what Jacob wants from Jack, why he watched him his entire life and brought him to the island. Hurley doesn’t know, so Jack flies into a fit of rage, using the telescope to destroy the mirrors on the device.

Later, Jack sits alone on the bluffs, staring out into the ocean, while Hurley sits by himself at the foot of the Lighthouse. Jacob appears and asks Hurley how it went. Hurley is frustrated that Jacob didn’t appear when Jack wanted to talk to him, and that now the Lighthouse mirrors are destroyed. This means that whoever is coming to the island won’t be able to find it now, but Jacob calmly replies that they’ll find another way to get there. Hurley finally realizes that Jacob wanted Jack to see his old house in the mirror. “It was the only way for Jack to understand how important he is.” He explains that Jack is on the island “because he has to do something,” and that Jack isn’t the kind of person who can simply be told what that is. Unlike Hurley, who’s good at following orders, Jack has to reason these things out for himself. Hurley accepts this but requests that next time Jacob fill him in on the real plan up front. Jacob replies that he couldn’t afford to take the chance that he and Jack wouldn’t come; a secondary part of his plan was to get the two of them as far away from the Temple as possible, because “someone bad” is coming to the Temple. Hurley wants to run back and warn everyone, but Jacob says it’s already too late.

At Claire’s home, Jin stares at Justin’s dead body, still bound to the post, and contemplates Claire’s state of mind. When she enters, she sees Jin looking at the body, and says that if she hadn’t killed Justin, he would have killed her. She asks why he said that Kate was raising Aaron. Jin, knowing he’s on fragile ground, lies and tells her that he just wanted to save Justin’s life. He goes on to tell her that he was lying, and the Others really do have Aaron at the Temple. He says he knows a secret way in, and he’ll help her go there and get Aaron back. She thanks him, and says she’s really glad he was lying, because if Kate really had taken Aaron, she’d kill her.

Just then, in walks the Man in Black, whom Jin is stunned to recognize as John Locke. Jin calls him by name, but Claire points out that this isn’t Locke — “this is my friend.”

  • Jacob told Hurley that someone’s coming to the island. Who’s coming?
  • What does Jacob want Jack to do? Take his place as the island’s protector? Or something else?
  • Who is the “someone bad” that’s coming to the Temple? The Man in Black?

If you’re like me, your first “wait a minute, what?!?” reaction tonight was, “Jack has a son?!!” And that kid wasn’t young — he was like 14 or 15 years old. Just more evidence that the changes to the timeline in the Sideways reality go a lot further back than the safe landing of Oceanic 815.

I was tempted to add to the Unanswered Questions, “Who is David’s mother?” But I’m resisting the temptation, because I don’t get the sense that this is something we’re meant to fixate on. I’m not saying the show won’t address it, I just don’t expect it to be anything important if they do. Could it be Sarah, Jack’s old flame? Your guess is as good as mine.

It was cool that the Adam & Eve skeletons put in a brief appearance. This was an obvious reminder to the audience that this mystery is still in play, and that they’re going to get to it before the show ends. Hurley’s theory was fun, but I still think it’s going to end up being Rose and Bernard, having never traveled back to the present with the others when the bomb went off in 1977. Though I’d be thrilled if the answer was something bigger and more important.

In that same scene was a nod back to the unexplained status of Christian Shephard as well, and the fact that he started appearing on the island even though his coffin was empty. Most fans are assuming that Christian is just another form of MiB/the smoke monster, but I still think there may be a different explanation for him. I don’t doubt that he works for MiB — particularly after learning in this ep that Christian deceived Claire into believing that Aaron had been abducted by the Others — but I wonder now if instead of being MiB himself, Christian is infected. MiB has long taken on the form of dead people, but in the case of every one of those forms he’s assumed (Locke, Alex, Yemi, etc.), there was always a separate body. Yet the infected people (Claire and Sayid) don’t leave separate bodies, because they’re different, probably somewhere between dead and alive. The might even be dead people reanimated. Christian left no body either, his corpse having been missing since Season 1, so I suspect he’s not a manifestation of MiB at all — he’s infected.

What happens, exactly, when one becomes infected, is a growing mystery. Claire still has free will and can do as she chooses, so it doesn’t look like MiB is directly controlling her. She’s gone dark, though, so maybe that’s what this infection does: it makes you embrace your darkest tendencies. (And if that’s true, then everybody around Sayid had better watch out…)

I love that Jacob is becoming a regular presence on the show. When we first saw him at the end of last season, there was this sense of awe about it, like we were finally witnessing some monumental thing we thought might never get here. But now he’s appearing frequently on the show, and I hope it continues! And I love his rapport with Hurley. (Favorite line of the ep: “I just lied to a samurai!”)

Speaking of Jacob, it seems like all the fans are talking about right now is the Jacob vs. MiB debate. As in, “who’s good and who’s evil?” And the talk of late has strongly entertained the notion that MiB is really the good guy, and Jacob is the bad one. I don’t get this. I mean, I know that we’re meant to be questioning this very thing. I get that. But how so many people can seriously entertain the notion that MiB is the good guy… I just don’t see it. Jacob demonstrates so much more wisdom, resolve, and strength of character. Yeah, I hear the arguments about him being manipulative and evasive (as seen in this ep) and about all that he’s put the castaways through.

But we all have memories of times our parents made us do something we didn’t want to do, and then when we questioned it, their answer was, “It’ll build character.” I think Jacob is using the same tactic. Sure, the castaways have been through a lot of pain and heartache and grief, but look at how much they’ve changed, and largely for the better. Sun and Jin rebuilt their marriage. Hurley has grown more confident and sure of himself. Sawyer matured and let go of his parents’ deaths as the defining experience of his life. And so on. A few of the castaways are still a work-in-progress (I’m looking at you, Jack), but the story ain’t over yet.

I’m convinced Jacob’s the good guy, because he’s more interested in the castaways’ character than their comfort.

Claire had the cheekiest line of the night when she told Jin that “if there’s one thing that will kill you out here, it’s infection.” Heh, heh.

So what’s doing with this new Claire? She got all up in arms at the thought of her friend Kate taking care of Aaron for the last three years, yet Claire was the one who abandoned the little guy in the jungle to run off with dear old dead dad. Obviously, she’s not firing on all cylinders. But is CrazyClaire a result of the infection “claiming” her? Or is her state of mind due to the effects of being out in the jungle alone (MiB notwithstanding) for three years? Maybe it’s both. If she’s been hanging out with MiB all this time, Lord only knows what he’s filled her head with.

If the Claire we know really is dead, and she’s been reanimated and brainwashed, then that would fit with the real Claire appearing to Kate in a dream at her home in Los Angeles, when she warned Kate not to bring Aaron back to the island. It would mean that Claire wanted to protect Aaron from herself.

You just know a confrontation is coming between Claire and Kate. Kate’s quite the scrapper; she can hold her own in a fight. But I don’t expect this new Claire to fight fair. When these two meet again, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

The big mythology news of the week was this Lighthouse viewfinder doohickey that somehow allowed Jacob to keep an eye on his chosen Candidates from the island. One wonders how often he must’ve visited the Lighthouse back in his heyday, spending hours on end watching Candidates. It made me think about how Jacob could come and go from the island at will, and how he visited all of the Candidates in their pasts. Why would he need to keep an eye on them remotely when he could go see them up close anytime he wanted? I don’t suppose it really matters. Just my brain trying to sort everything out.

What does Jacob need Jack to figure out on his own? The one clue we have is the fact that Jack saw his childhood home in the mirror. The only reason Jacob could have for wanting Jack to know that he’s been watching him his entire life is so that Jack would realize that his life has a very important purpose. And as I postulated last week, I still firmly believe that that purpose is to be the final Candidate — to become the next Jacob.

I’m not going to bother questioning how the Lighthouse mirrors work. Sure, I’d like to know, but I don’t think it’s something that’s meant to be explained. It was a fascinating addition to the significance of the Candidates and their corresponding numbers, but it didn’t lend itself to any new answers — or questions, for that matter.

I kept wondering whose name we were going to find at the “108” spot on the dial. Considering that 108 is a significant number to the island (it’s the cursed Numbers added together, as well as the number of minutes between when the Hatch button had to be pushed), one imagines that whatever name is there has to be a pretty big deal. But alas, it seems that Jacob never meant for Jack and Hurley to discover the 108 name at all. Then again, maybe this person that’s coming to the island is Mr. 108. Guess we’ll see.

Did you spot Kate’s last name on the Lighthouse dial? “Austen” was written in — and not crossed out — at 51. That’s not one of the cursed Numbers, so I wonder why she wound up there, and what it means.

So, even though the Lighthouse is big news, it’s not the thing that captured my attention most. For that, we turn to…

I’m starting to see a cohesive picture coming together of the castaways in the Sideways reality. Have you noticed it yet?

They’re all more mature than their original reality counterparts were in 2004.

At first glance, the folks on Sideways Oceanic 815 seem an awful lot like the people we know. And the producers have said repeatedly that these individuals are, at their core, always going to be who they are — regardless of the circumstances or timeline they find themselves in. In other words, they can change and grow, but they’ll still be them. Sawyer is a perfect example; he “did a lot of growing up” in his own words, in the three years he spent alongside Juliet in the 70s. But at his heart and soul, he’s still Sawyer. He’s just a more mature version of Sawyer.

What if these differences we see in the Sideways characters are a direct result of some tiny part of their souls remembering their time as castaways on the island — and all of the changing and learning and growing they did during that time?

Look at the evidence.

In the Sideways timeline, John Locke was able to move past the anger and inadequacy issues he always struggled with because of his paralysis and his evil father, and find true happiness despite his lot in life. He’s on a clear path toward a long, content life with Helen, and has dropped the “don’t tell me what I can’t do!” attitude, perhaps once and for all, graciously accepting a substitute teaching job. The John Locke who first landed on the island would never have settled for that, but Sideways Locke seems… wiser. He’s more mature.

Look at Rose Nadler. In the original reality, she was already in a pretty good place about her cancer, having accepted it and moved on. Likewise, Sideways Rose has already demonstrated the same kind of peace regarding her condition. But one glaring difference we’ve seen between the two versions of Rose is that the original Rose was very nervous on Oceanic 815. She gripped her seat rests and her breath caught in her throat at every shudder of turbulence. Sideways Rose was the complete opposite: she was downright tranquil on Oceanic 815, and she actually assuaged Jack’s fears instead of the other way around. Might she have picked up that extra serenity from her time on the island?

Sideways Hurley seems a lot more centered and happy with himself and his life than the Hurley we know. Aside from the obvious difference between his bad luck vs. this new ultra-good luck he’s found in the Sideways reality, I sense a lot more going on with this new Hurley. He’s always been a fun guy, but now he’s showing a confidence and self-assuredness that he’s only in recent days begun to demonstrate on the island. Is this because Sideways Hurley picked up those traits in the original timeline, on the island, before history was changed? And now that tiny part of his soul has retained those qualities? There’s more to Sideways Hurley’s story yet to be told, and I’m looking forward to seeing how deep the changes go.

A lot of fans picked up on small differences between the original Sawyer and Sideways Sawyer, even though “LA X” tried to lead us to believe that the two were very much the same. If you watch carefully, you can see that Sideways Sawyer is overall happier and more content with his life, demonstrating a relaxed amusement and a stronger sense of humor than the angry, smoldering, social malcontent we remember from Season 1. Sideways Sawyer reminds me of the Sawyer we saw in 1977, who had found maturity and happiness. I have a sneaking suspicion that when Sideways Sawyer’s episode rolls around, we might just find out that he isn’t a con man or a criminal at all. Wouldn’t it be a cool twist to find that he’s doing something on the right side of the law, just as he was in 1977? Maybe he could be a security expert/consultant or something. Regarding his helping Kate to escape on the elevator… Let’s face it: Sawyer will always be Sawyer, and if he sees a pretty damsel in distress, he’s going to help her out, regardless of which side of the law she’s on.

Jack was nervous on the plane, instead of being calm, like he was the first time. Was some part of him remembering the plane crash the first time through? And then there’s that appendectomy scar, which he couldn’t remember getting. Original Jack had his appendix removed on the island by Juliet back in Season 4. Was the Sideways history somehow altered to accommodate this event that happened on the island? But back to the matter at hand — Jack is demonstrating a new level of comfort within his own skin as well, such as when he reached out to his son David and became the father the boy needed. Also interesting is that he turned down his mother’s offer for a drink. Did you notice the odd look on his face when he said “no thanks”? It made me wonder if he instinctively knew that he shouldn’t go near hard liquor, because in a different life, he’d become an alcoholic. (Yeah yeah, I know he had a drink on the plane, but it was a tiny one and he was anxious about the turbulence, so I don’t think it counts.)

I’m not quite sure yet where Kate fits into this theory, as her behavior in the Sideways reality matched up pretty well with what we remember of her in Season 1. In a sense, she got a fairly happy ending to her Sideways story, just as everyone else we’ve seen so far has. But my gut tells me there’s more of Kate’s Sideways story to be told.

Are the Sideways characters carrying parts of their original selves with them, without realizing it?

I think they might just be.