Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Lost Recap: Vanity Mirror

Abandon hope, all ye who recap here.

I smashed my mirrors after this episode, infected with zombie rage. After last week's upswing, this episode managed to get all my goats, what with Jacob's smirky puppeteering, Hurley's meta-remarks about Lost clichés, a heretofore unseen giant lighthouse, and a plot that did not so much explore the central character as repeat everything we knew about him in more bathetic terms: Jack has Daddy issues. Jack is uptight, longs to be special, fears failure, kicks in doors, loves Kate.

The Claire-as-Rousseau plot just made me miss the actual Rousseau.

Okay, I did love one thing: the dissolving memory issues in the Sliding Planes timeline, but I fear that will end once the explanation eventually appears. That and Claire's creepy baby fetish. I'm all for the scary baby plots.

In the Sliding Planes timeline, Jack has family pics and a belly scar. When his mom calls about the lost coffin, he asks, "When did I have my appendix out?" At 7 or 8, she replies, something he should remember. And then he thinks he does. It's nicely spooky.

Spookier still when he picks up a young boy from school. David. His son!

Meanwhile, back on Lost Island, Jack gazes into a pool. He and Goatee chitchat: trust, free will, yadda yadda yadda.

Miles and Hurley play tic-tac-toe.

Then Hurley gets the munchies and Jacob offers up a tutorial. Someone is coming to the island. He needs Hurley to find him.

FLOATING PRETTY LOST LOGO.

Like father, like son, as David stonewalls dad with headphones (listening to "Cat's in the Cradle"? or maybe Drive Shaft) and a refusal to discuss Alice in Wonderland. "We see each other once a month, can't we just — get through it."

Sayid's getting cruised by Others for his zombie allure. He buttonholes Jack, and they repeat the backstory for anyone who missed the previews, just to lead up to the revelation we also already know about, that someone else has the infection ...

Which is to say, Claire, in Phil Spector's old wig. She extracts Jin from her bear trap.

Hurley is following hieroglyphs on his arm and the walls. Caught by Goatee, he fronts: "I'm a big fan of ... temples and history and ... Indiana Jones Stuff." Jacob tells him to say "I'm a candidate," which causes Goatee to storm off, muttering in Japanese and probably annoying Logan Hill.

Jacob and Hugo bicker about bringing Jack along. Jesus smirks. (The shortest verse in the Bible.)

Claire's furious wig berates Thug Two. Her claim: They tortured her with needles. Thug's claim: She killed their people. Jin tells Claire that Kate took Aaron. Thug Two begs her to let him go. No dice: As in Big Love, the blade swings.

Jin wakes up, bloody legged. There's a crib with a veil: He lifts it to reveal a truly unsettling furry fetish.

And Claire is officially Blonde Rousseau, ranting about her lost child and the possibility of infection, threatening to torture Thug Two. Jin's loyalties are torn, oddly, since while Claire is clearly crazy, isn't Thug Two basically his jailer?

Hurley and Jack, hiking. Jack spots Kate, who points a gun, then everyone recaps their goals: go to mysterious place versus find Claire. Jack invites Kate along; she says no and there is treacly eye contact.

Jack and his mom wrastle the legal papers. (I'm having John Carter flashbacks, people! Wasn't there a scene just like this on ER?) Mom drinks, is proud he doesn't. And she reveals that David was upset at his granddad's funeral, but Jack didn't notice, because That's So Jack. Jack argues that he couldn't communicate because he was terrified of his dad — and his mom asks if maybe, just maybe, his son fears him? Oh, there's the will: Claire's in it. Claire who?

Badass Claire stitches Jin's leg gash, muttering about torturing Thug Two. "How's she know they have Aaron?" asks Jin nervously. Well, (a) her father told her — and (b) then her friend told her, Claire explains reasonably. "You're still my friend, aren't you, Jin?" Jin says yes, the way you do to crazy lunatics with axes.

Related: Could Next Week’s Lost Promo BE Any More Infuriating?

Hurley apologizes for cock-blocking, but Jack shrugs it off. They have a meta-discussion about what kind of dad Jack would be. And when Jack finds an asthma inhaler, Hurley, the stand-in for every lunatic Lost fan, recognizes it's Shannon's. He also suggests that the skeletons they see might actually be them — if they time-traveled back to dinosaur times, a reference to a common online hypothesis, suggesting Hurley has some secret source of Wi-Fi.

Jack nostalgically recalls chasing the ghost of his dead father, then recaps that day he smashed the coffin to pieces. Ah, first season!

Jack brings pizza home, but David's gone. He calls David's cell phone, then goes to David's mother's house — there's a little rabbit statue outside, Alice-style. David's room is messy with Chopin sheet music, a photo strip of him with his dad, and a hilariously retro answering machine, on which Jack hears two messages: one confirming an appointment at a music conservatory, another from Jack, calling from Sydney, saying he just wanted to hear David's voice — spooky, since isn't that the message Jack's dad left for him in the original timeline? Or am I misremembering?

Hurley remarks that they're once again trekking through the jungle, doing something they don't understand, which is no less annoying if there's a meta-joke about it in the dialogue. Hurley asks why Jack came back and we get more revelations of the already known: Hurley was nudged by Jacob, Jack was "stupid enough to think this place would fix me."

They arrive at the Lighthouse. How is it they haven't seen it before? Guess they weren't looking for it. Uncool, says me.

Claire's furious wig berates Thug Two. Her claim: They tortured her with needles. Thug's claim: She killed their people. Jin tells Claire that Kate took Aaron. Thug Two begs her to let him go. No dice: As in Big Love, the blade swings.

The door jams at the Lighthouse. Jack kicks it in.

Jack marvels at the beauty of his son's Chopin performance. It's August Rush! Meets Ordinary People! Jack tears up. "Is that your son?" asks a mysterious young Asian boy, who turns out to be the child of ... Goatee, who is sinister in this timeline, if only as a rather unctuous helicopter parent. Jack doesn't know how long his son has been playing, which is odd.

Hurley and Jack are atop the Lighthouse and Hurley explains that it uses a mirror to attract ships. Gears grind. Compasses turn. Jack gazes uneasily at his reflection, especially when he notices something in the mirror — and their names on the wheel, next to numbers. When he turns it to "Shephard," he spots the reflection of the house he grew up in.

"I haven't lived in that house since I was a kid," says Jack, freaking out that Jacob's been watching them. He wants to know why. He wants Hurley to ask! Jack does his furious sweaty petulant face and — smashes the mirror.

"You were great in there," Jack tells David, post-audition. Even without the presence of Judd Hirsch in a cardigan, they process like lesbians: David hid his musical skill because Jack was too into it, making him afraid to fail. But perhaps that's because Jack's own Dad was coldly critical, telling him he "didn't have what it takes," and that won't happen here, because Jack loves David unconditionally, he could never fail, and it's all good.

Back on the island, Jacob is zen about the the smashed mirror. "Wait a minute, did you want Jack to see what was in that mirror?" says freaked-out Hurley.

"It was the only way for him to see how important he is," says Jacob, ignoring the other option: impress him with miracle appearances, then tell him directly.

Anyhoo, someone's coming to the temple. Someone bad.

Claire asks Jin about Kate, and Jin lies, claiming Aaron is at the temple and she'll need Jin to get in. Man, he's a terrible liar. Claire adds that if Kate is raising Aaron, she'll KILL her, a threat I find as convincing as Sawyer's recent threat to kill Jack. Then Claire's "friend" shows up: It's Smokey-as-Locke.

What We Know Now:
• Claire is crazy, like a fox, but a really crazy fox.
• There's this big Lighthouse that had a mirror and a wheel with their names on it.
• In Planelandsia, Jack is a dad.

The Wha? Factor:
• Who is David's mother?
• What's with all the Alice in Wonderland references — and the gazing into looking-glasses, for that matter?
• Is Jacob good, or evil, or chaotic neutral, or just kind of full of himself?

Related: Could Next Week’s Lost Promo BE Any More Infuriating?

Photo: Mario Perez/ABC