Welcome to Jack Shephard’s world, where all that matters is what Jack Shephard wants — or at least that’s what he seems to think. This is a familiar spot for regular “Lost” viewers, as Jack has always had a tendency to lead his fellow castaways from the “because I said so” school of thought. Still, he really outdid himself in his latest adventure.
When deceased, but oh-so-active, honcho Jacob prompted Hurley to lead Jack to the island’s hidden lighthouse, he told the big guy to lure Jack with the phrase, “You have what it takes.” Why? Because Jack still has daddy issues — huge ones — and those words were the exact opposite of what Jack’s pop, Christian, used to tell him back in the day.
Evidently, Jack’s been waiting a long time for the right father figure to come along with that ego-stroking message, and what the heck, Jacob would do just fine. Wow, Christian messed that guy up something fierce.
So, of course, it was no surprise that Jack reacted like a petulant kid upon learning Jacob was a no-show, and that big lighthouse of his? It was more of a giant spy cam into the lives of each candidate who might one day take over for Jacob — including No. 23, Jack. It could have also been a massive clue to the island’s power structure and Jacob’s role it in, but an overly emotional Jack decided to smash the mysterious looking glass all the same. Because, as we all know by now, that’s how he rolls. At least on the island.
Flash on over to L.A., where Jack found himself wrestling with the same old daddy issues, only this time Jack was the daddy. Somewhere along the alternate reality timeline, the good doctor fathered David, a broody tween who feared Jack’s judgment. Why? Who knows? David wasn’t really clear about that point. But for some reason we’re supposed to feel sorry for the child prodigy because, darn it all, it’s tough to be a Shephard male.
At least there’s no need to worry about multiple seasons’ worth of wrecked relationship references with these two — partly due to the fact that Jack and son completely healed their rift with one round of “in my eyes you can never fail,” and partly due to the fact the show’s almost over.
Which begs the question, why dillydally with L.A. Jack’s son at all? Other than bookending Jack’s old-school family woes and opening the door for a future reveal of David’s maternal figure, the only other point of interest in this side journey was Jack’s brief encounter with Dogen and his son.
Yes, even the Temple of Doom master Dogen has an alternate reality. And, no offense to the fine writers of “Lost,” but with only 13 episodes remaining before the castaways call it a day, maybe delving into the off-island activities of Dogen or Dogen Jr. isn’t the best use of your time, either.
How about focusing on a little more attention on Jack’s bugged-eyed crazy island-based half-kin? Sure, Claire made a gun-totting, man-axing appearance in her brother’s family reunion story, but that was just a taste of what she has to offer. Three years solo on the island turned the sweet mother into raging mama bear who wants her cub back.
Heck, in one episode alone, Claire went from a trap-setting Rousseau 2.0 to feral killer. Throw in the fact that she’s filled baby Aaron’s old cradle with a skull-headed Teddy Frankenbear creation and she considers Smokey (Smocke? Not-Locke?) her BFF, and you’ve got some quality “Lost” right there.
It’s still to soon to say whether this creepy Claire works for the long haul, but she’s a heck of a lot more entertaining than her senior sibling and his second-generation pop problems.
Ree Hines is a regular contributor to msnbc.com. Follow her on Twitter at .