The episode title is a reference to the book Alice in Wonderland.
When Alice is chasing him in the Village of the Doomed, he (the White Rabbit) shrinks and goes down a hole. Alice follows him by shrinking herself with a hand-made potion. They meet again in the Wonderland Woods, where he tells her to find Caterpillar. Later, he is killed by the Mad Hatter after being squashed under his foot. Like all the murdered characters in the game, the rabbit is restored at the end, when Alice regains her sanity. (wikipedia)
In the Season 4 episode “Something Nice Back Home”, Jack reads to Aaron from the book. Here is part of what he reads:
I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? But if I’m not the same, the next question is, ‘Who in the world am I?’ Aha, that’s the great puzzle.”
This episode is when things really start to get strange on Lost. Sure you can have your monsters but when we see a guy wearing a suit and tennis shoes, and turning around to creep out Jack then you know you have had it. (Or you could be hallucinating on Phil Collins:)).
This episode is about Jack’s reluctant role as leader.
There are a couple of subplots of note: Jack swims out to sea to save a drowning woman, but somehow saves Boone instead (he seems to show up out of nowhere). Boone claims to be a life guard, so when Jack saves him, he is ticked off. Jack then feels guilty for not doing enough to save the girl who drowns, caught in a riptide. Boone accuses Jack of usurping the leadership role on the island.
In the other subplot, we see the survivors running low on water. They gather what they can find and put it in the tent. Claire collapses from the heat but there is no water to be found (someone has pinched it). Of course they accuse Sawyer who just so happened to give his last bottle to Jin in trade for a fish. Kate follows him to find the stash, but in her attempt to get the water gets pinned by Sawyer. Sayid arrives, but not before Sawyer says his wish from 4 years ago ( to romance Kate I guess), is coming true. Charlie and Claire have a nice moment. Boone gets her the water (acting like the hero), but he stole the water fearing someone would take it. Enter Jack for his famous speech. But first back to the main story.
Jack sees a man dressed in a black suit and tennie’s and follows him into the jungle. When he turns around Jack sees its his father. In the flashback his father tells young Jack (who was in a fight) that Jack should not be the leader because when you fail… you just don’t have what it takes. The white rabbit (Jacks dead dad) leads jack to the edge of cliff to hang there until Locke saves him. How did Locke know where Jack would be at that exact moment? No way is that a coincidence. Jack laughs hysterically.
Later Locke tells Jack that everyone treats him like a leader even if Jack won’t believe he is. Locke tells Jack he saw the “eye” of the island and it was “beautiful”. Does he mean he saw Smokey? Was this like when Eko saw Smokey and brilliant flashes of past life images could be seen in the smoke? Locke tells Jack to continue following the thing he saw. “A leader needs to know where he is going in order to lead”. Jack’s dad leads him to a coffin.
And in the flashback, Jack says, I need to bury my father. The coffin is empty and Jack goes insane – smashing the coffin to bits. But he finds a source of water and heads back to camp.
When he gets to the beach, he gives his famous “If we can’t live together, we will die alone” speech. Hey! no Nikki and Paulo in this version! Jack and Kate have a nice moment when he tells her about his father dying in Sydney. LOST.
The White Rabbit metaphor was perfect for this episode. Was Jack hallucinating or did he really see his father? The audience was left to wonder, but Locke hinted it may be real. This was Jack’s first flashback episode and it highlighted his struggle over whether he really wanted to take up the mantle of leader. Both the scene where he gets beaten up by the bullies, and the scene with his dad telling him not to get personally involved, only made Jack more determined to “fix things”. But is he doing it for others or only to justify his anger over what his father said about his character?
Sawyer is playing the bad guy again. He seems to make everything difficult and wants people to intentionally hate him. Probably because deep down he hates himself for inadvertently becoming the person who killed his parents. He even says as much to Boone, who is also hated by the group for trying to be a hero and take charge when no one really asked him to.
Jack is told to bring his father back from Sydney. In a later episode, we find out why his father was there, and why he left his wallet behind in the hotel room. Jack’s mom makes reference to an incident caused by Jack that led his father to go to Sydney, but it’s not just Jack that made him go.
Jack says he needs to “bury” his father right away. It seems like things that aren’t buried can by be used by Smokey and/or Jacob’s nemesis.
What do you think? Did Locke just happen to be at the right place and the right time to save Jack?