Monday, August 20, 2007

A Wedding and

A Booneral?

When people think of Episode 1.20, Do No Harm, they
often think of the juxtaposition of Aaron's birth with
Boone's death. I think the more interesting parallel
though lies with Jack's story. Boone is dying; Jack is
determined to save him, and what flashback do we get?
A time when Jack miraculously saved (or even didn't
save) a patient? No. We get the story of his wedding.

Jack's vain attempts to save Boone lead him to remember
people in his life, his dad, his wife, who've called him the
most committed man they've ever known. The problem
we learn in the flashback, both from his dad and from Jack
himself, is that he can't let go. He doesn't want to
let go of Boone, and he doesn't let go of Sarah.

Without the rest of Jack and Sarah's flashbacks, it's
easy to get what's probably the wrong idea about Jack.
Jack's the hero in this flashback. Sarah describes how
he saved her after a car crash and how because of him
she'll dance at their wedding. Despite the fact that Jack's
unable to write wedding vows and seems to have cold
feet, he doesn't leave his bride at the altar. Instead he
commits to his new wife.

It's only after the next several Jack flashbacks that we can
more clearly see that while Jack can commit like no one
else, it seems that only applies to one thing at a time. With
the commitment to Sarah as evidenced by a ring checked off,
Jack moves on to the next commitment, saving the Italian
guy with the hot daughter. The exposition in Do No Harm
indicates it's less than a year after this wedding
that Sarah leaves Jack because his commitment to her has
been replaced with a commitment to something else.

One definition of the verb "commit" is "to do; perform."
This is the type of commitment that really drives Jack
Shephard. Jack accuses Kate of being unable to stand still,
but I think the accusation fits him as well. Jack needs
something to do and more specifically something to fix.

A dying patient and your wedding. Facially not a lot in common,
but for Jack, Boone's death is another instance where despite
his determination to commit, Jack has failed.


capcom said...

Very thoughtful points Memphish! I also kind of got the feelings that once Jack saved Sarah, he didn't feel the same about her. Maybe he knew that and maybe he didn't. I think the fact that he couldn't think of anything to compose for his vows as his reason for marrying her, should have set off some alarms in his thick head. Probably the only thing he could think of to say was, "I fell in love with her because she was a damsel in distress, and now that I've saved her I don't need her anymore."

I'm sure that Jack and Sarah's marriage is pretty typical of any marriage to a doctor, what with the long hours and pages 24/7. But there are lots of ways that he could have tried to make Sarah feel loved, if he really did love her. The one thing that you can say for him is that at least he told her what happened. I'm thinking that maybe the old dying man with the hot daughter was a set-up for Jack somehow? Who knows. Mabye the time lords wanted Jack's marriage to fail and sent a sick old guy to him to get obssessed about. OK, brain exploding now! :-O

I think that it's fair to say, especially the way that you put it, that Jack is in love with saving and fixing. Any other love he does not know how to do. Even his mother made him go save his dad in Australia, to also save their marriage one might say.

Good post!

Lisa said...

Capcom said..... I'm thinking that maybe the old dying man with the hot daughter was a set-up for Jack somehow?

I thought this too- it was just too contrived, too pointed, too much hey look at this! I guess we'll see in time!

memphish said...

Thanks for the comments guys. I don't think the Italian guy/daughter were course correcting Jack. I think it's more the case that somewhere along the way with Jack and Sarah they both got confused what with her hero worship of him; his need to be a hero for her; and her and perhaps his desire to have a wedding. I still wish Sarah's lover was someone we knew, but then again, we get contrivance.

capcom said...

Well, I was thinking that maybe it was a Hanso/Dharma/Widmore/Mittelos/Etc set-up so that Jack's marriage could be wrecked, he'd have nothing to live for, and he could be more easily manipulated. I know, it's a stretch. But that's how TPTB have me thinking now! :o)

And we sure do have a lot of eeevil corporations to choose from now don't we!

Yessifer said...

capcom I like the way you are thinking. The all powerful Hanso/Dharma/Widmore/Mittelos/Etc could have shaped the lives of all the survivors. You never know with TPTB.