Loved seeing number 108! Hurley's instructions are to rotate the lighthouse mirrors to 108 (the sum of the numbers). This is supposedly to help someone find the island (Hurley even suspects this is the kind of lighthouse that guides, rather than warns). But we never find 108 because Jack notices what happens at 23 - he sees his childhood house in the mirror. Jack tells Hurley it's "my house - the house I grew up in," but... is it his house? Is it not his father's house (by the way, another biblical phrase)? And with the name Shephard - as I discussed last week - perhaps having been written on the cave wall before the other names were written on the ceiling, was it perhaps not Christian who was a candidate long before Jack?

MIRRORS/REFLECTIONS

With the Lighthouse reveal, the mirror/reflection/Looking Glass theme of LOST finally has a raison d'etre. Has it been from the "other side of the looking glass" that Jacob looked upon his candidates throughout their lives? Earlier in the episode, Jack is looking in a mirror when he checks out his appendectomy scar. He clarifies the details with his mother but as we already are aware, it's the details, the small things, that are different in this timeline (what some other LOST bloggers are referring to as the "sideverse"). Jack doesn't quite remember, or has a different recollection than she does (Jack was 7-8 years old, Christian wanted to do the procedure after Jack collapsed at school).

Jack also stares at his reflection in the courtyard pond at the Temple, just another reflected image setting us up for the big reveal. Is the suggestion that perhaps this is when Jacob/God sees us? When we truly see ourselves?

GAMEPLAY / BLACK-AND-WHITE

"Everything is an option."

When Dogen says these words to Jack, we're again reminded of the bigness of the free will theme, the explore-and-figure-out-the-rules-as-you-go motif (see yet again Myst), and even of Paul's words that "all things are lawful, but not all things are profitable." On a personal level, it reminded me of a Sunday School lesson once where our teacher convinced a bunch of us teenage boys that "you never do anything you don't want to do." Boy has that concept had relevance to my studies of this show. The game may have rules and the interplay may be costly, but at heart, everything still must be decided on a personal level. Ben knew this, MIB knows this, the Serpent in the Garden knew this. When Hurley - prompted by Jacob, says, "I'm a candidate - I can do what I want," it's clear that free will not being impeded is even more of a big deal with candidates (see also letting Sawyer leave, Jack's convo with Dogen, Sayid needing to choose to take the pill).

I'm so glad they gave Miles something to do in this episode -- play a game of Jungle Tic-tac-toe with Hurley. One wonders why it was even worth the trouble of creating wreaths for Os and crossed leaves for Xs, as anyone above five who plays tic-tac-toe (or noughts-and-crosses as our British friends like to call it) knows you can force a tie in the game any time you like if you're paying a modicum of attention. Hurley and Miles even have the following interplay: "Tie again, dude. Shocker." From the perspective of viewing LOST as a game, it's another metaphor that speaks to a current state of stalemate; nobody's won or lost yet. But that would appear to be changing soon...

Speaking of tie games in tic-tac-toe, we used to refer to those as "cat's game"s. Did someone say cats? And games?

David was reading a very nice copy of the anotated Alice in Wonderland. Jack used to read it to Aaron, but in this timeline he used to read it to David as a child. Kitty and Snowdrop were David's fave characters, the ones he was most concerned about. They were cats. One was black, one was white. We can infer one has ties to the red queen, and another to the white queen. It's no accident that white rabbits, looking glasses, and chromatic-colored kitty cats have been so prevalent in LOST. In a show ripe with literary references, Lewis Carroll's stories reign above nearly all others. In Alice, critics have long noticed a life-as-chess theme, one which LOST also uses if not explicitly, then just a little bit differently in more of a life-as-backgammon way.