Tuesday, February 2, 2010

LOST Season Premiere: Episode 6.1 "LA X"

Wow. That was a good one, folks. Ready to get the LOST conversation going for one last season?

My wife and I agreed that was one of the best episodes yet. And I was glad that even though we started getting answers to our questions (somewhat) it didn't feel as checklist-y as last season's rushed question-answering dash through time. But now the main question is... what the heck's going on? Let's take a closer look.

JACK ON A PLANE: Well, we opened with Jack on a plane. A very familiar sight. And, for a second, Jack seemed to have his own Deja Vu moment as well. Things appear to have started over, but are now slightly different. How long before Jack or someone realizes it? It makes sense to start the story on the plane, because all the characters are gathered in one place and we can see how things are going to be different this season. And they sure found a cool way to show us how things are different in this timeline. Because not only did 815 NOT crash but also, hey guess what....

THE ISLAND IS UNDERWATER!!! Wha? This was a great scene, and even though it felt a little computer generated it was still super cool to see our favorite landmass now buried undersea. And quite shocking. Twists like this are why I love this show. I also noticed the shark swimming by the four-toed foot was none other than the official Dharma-stamped Dharma shark (nicknamed Ezra James Sharkington, according to the producers).

So, how did the island get underwater? And, what timeline are we viewing? I'm assuming the explosion of the bomb caused an alternate reality, and that the rest of this season we'll be flashing between this new reality and the one from before. More importantly... what will we call this reality? It's not a flashback. An Alternative Flash? Sounds a little like a bad 99x FM radio show. FlashAlt? Hmm. Too computer keyboard. I'm gonna stick with just a Flash. Hmm, just googled it and apparently the producers are calling them FlashSideways. Sounds doable. In this reality, did the explosion at the Incident cause the island to to sink to the bottom of the sea?

I was so excited about the underwater scene that I forgot to mention two small things that happened right before it:

JACK CUT HIS NECK: And I think he thought about crying about it for a second. That's one dude that always looks ready to get his cry on. How did he cut it? During the turbulence? That doesn't seem very likely. Maybe we've seen him get cut there in a past episode sometime before? Maybe having an alternate reality version of yourself is hard on the skin? Also, this is weird:

DESMOND'S ON THE PLANE?? Why is Desmond on the plane? Shouldn't he be in the hatch? But, if this version of the island is underwater, then I guess he can't be down there making the plane crash. Though, he did disappear strangely later in the episode. I will say I was surprised to see that Desmond didn't appear to be aware of what was going on, timeline wise. I always assumed if the writers went an alternate reality route that Desmond would be the only one aware of it because he's "special". Still, I bet the next Desmond-centric episode will be pretty informative.

KATE IN A TREE: So, after all that we go back to 2007 time in our more familiar timeline and see Kate up in a tree. It looked to me a lot like the tree that the pilot's dead body was in back in the very first episode. Why was Kate in a tree? All the other guys got to be sleeping comfy on the grass below but the flash throws her up in the air? Remember when she flashed onto the island from the Anjira plane and how she flash landed onto some sharp rocks? Maybe the island just doesn't like her. I'd have to agree. Anyway, she meets up with everyone else, who's right where we left them after "the Incident."

SAWYER BEATS UP JACK: And I don't blame him. Jack's whole plan was to blow up a bomb so he wouldn't have to meet Kate because she hurt his feelings. Jack is maybe lamer than Kate these days. I thought Sawyer deserved a few more swings at the ol' five o'clock shadow.

JACK, MEET KATE, AGAIN: Next we flash back to Flight 815 and Jack's headed back to the bathroom (yet again), and this time the US Marshall/Tommy Lee Jones-wannabe guy is standing there waiting on Kate to come out. I can't say I was thrilled to see that guy again. Kate comes out and bumps into Jack. Jack smiles like a dork. I'm guessing this must be the moment that Kate steals Jack's pen in order to plan her great escape later. Back at their seats, the U.S. Marshall takes away Kate's dangerous silverware but still lets her have the lasagna. I can only assume this leads to a great deleted scene on the Season 6 DVD where Kate has to eat a messy Italian dish with her face. (SIDE NOTE: Apparently in this alternate timeline there are still meals on flights. Ba-da-boom!) Sawyer walks by and sees Kate's handcuffs, smiles, and the Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle starts all over again. Except, with two timelines now I guess the writers have actually devised a way that Kate can end up with Jack in one timeline and Sawyer in another. Let's hope for a more definite answer to the whole Jater/Skater debate so that fans of the show in the future don't have to hear the terms Jater or Skater ever again.

LUCKY HURLEY: Right after the lasagna scene, we see good ol' Doc Arzt (who I am glad to see return) talking to Hurley about owning all the Chicken Shacks, and Hurley professes to Sawyer that he's the luckiest guy alive. I'm guessing then that the numbers are now not cursed. Or whatever happened to the island after the explosion in this timeline did not allow the numbers to happen. Or did Hurley even use the same numbers? I'm starting to see how this alternate reality can later answer questions for us in a backward way by showing us what could have happened. Or I'm really confused.

JULIET'S NOT GONE YET: Back in the future, by which I mean at the site of the exploded Swan hatch site in 2007 (this show is getting harder and harder to write about clearly), Kate starts looking for something in the rubble. Here I have to give my wife props, because she called it right away that Juliet was still alive. I disagreed and guessed that Kate was looking for a medical kit for Sayid among the hatch rubble, but I'm glad I was wrong. Finding Juliet was way more interesting. (Guess it's good I'm not a writer for Lost: "Here's a medical kit!" "Great, Sayid will be fine." "Let's fix him, then maybe go sit down somewhere? Or something.")

JACOB APPEARS TO HURLEY: This scene was cool. That's really all I have to say. I'm glad Jacob's back in some form, he's a really great character. He tells Hurley that he died about an hour ago and that he was "killed by an old friend". They're going to have to give us the name for the other guy soon, because they kept working around it this entire episode and they can't keep that going all season. Can they?

BOONE IS BACK: Meanwhile on Flight 815, Boone is back on the show, but without Shannon. Everybody okay with no Shannon? Yep, thought so. Also, Jin is back to being a jerk that doesn't want anyone to see the top of his wife's bosoms.

BEN STANDS IN SHOCK: Now we finally get back to Ben and Fake Locke (or Flocke) and Ben is standing in shock (rather awkwardly) over the burnt remains of Jacob. (Except I didn't really see any remains. Jacob must have been highly flammable.) Ben is suspicious that Jacob didn't fight back when he stabbed him. I can only assume Ben's realizing how similar his fight was to Darth Vader and Obi-Wan's brief fight in the original Star Wars movie and now he's thinking, "Oh crap, in this scenario, I'M DARTH VADER." Which is a sobering thought for anyone. Locke wants to talk to Richard, so he sends Ben out to fetch him. Richard, by this time, has had enough and finally loses his ancient s***, throwing Ben to the ground next to Locke's body. I love Richard.

DIGGING FOR JULIET: The gang continues to try to dig for Juliet. Sawyer strains mightily to lift giant metal beams in a struggle with time to rescue his lost love–and if you go back and watch it, Jack mildly bends at the waist a bit to see if he can help out a bit without overly exerting himself. Sawyer eventually gets under the rubble and finds Juliet and tells her, "We're all going to go home together" and of course Kate, listening from above, ruins the tender moment between the couple by yelling "Sawyer?" at the top of her lungs at the worst possible time. Then Hurley and Jin drive over with the Dharma van to pull off the beams and I wondered for the first time why the Dharma van flashed in time with everyone else. I guess it was the same as when the paddle boats flashed in time with Sawyer, Locke and Juliet back when they were jumping around in time in the early part of Season Five? Apparently the time flashes take into account the convenience of getting around the island quickly for the writers' sakes.

CHARLIE IS BACK BUT NOT THRILLED ABOUT IT: Jack gets called up to the bathroom again (he can't stay away) by Cindy the mysterious flight attendant and is asked to help them with Charlie, who's locked himself in the bathroom. Somehow Sayid–the middle eastern guy on a plane in 2004–is allowed to rush up to the front and kick in the door without getting tackled by a racial profiling group of nervous passengers and Charlie falls out, choking. Jack can't find his pen to perform some hasty surgery (thanks, Kate) and decides to just dislodge the item with his finger instead. Makes sense. Maybe I'd start with the finger, then progress to the pen, but what do I know? During the long search for a pen, I really expected Boone to pop in and offer Jack one since that was a joke from the pilot episode. (Again, good thing I don't write for the show.) Charlie revives and says "Am I alive?" which is kinda neat because that's what the actor Dominic Monaghan had written on his hand when he appeared at Lost's ComicCon panel last summer as a surprise guest, revealing that he was returning to the show this season. I did think it was interesting that Charlie said to Jack that he was supposed to die. Is there ANOTHER timeline that's the RIGHT one, where Charlie dies on the plane? I can't even go there. Just one alternate timeline please. Also, why does Charlie want to die? I've seen the show FlashForward. He should stay on Flight 815 as long as he can.

FAKE LOCKE GETS SMOKIN' Back at the Four-Toed Statue, Richard asks Ben what happened in the statue and Ben resorts to lying and being evil in his classic Ben way. The big guy Bram (who I really liked, sadly) is not having it, so he grabs Ben and takes him inside the statue, where Fake Locke reveals his true nature by releasing the smoke monster all over everyone. Bram tries to hide inside some magic ash but is prevented by some cartoon-like trickery from the Smoke Monster and is eventually killed. Weird. But cool. I guess we know for sure now that the ash around the cabin was keeping the bad guy trapped inside. We don't know how he got out, but I think that he somehow got out in Locke's body. The question is how long has Locke been carrying around the smoke monster guy inside of him? My guess is since the very first time he went in the cabin and heard "Help Me" way back in season three. That would explain how he survived Ben shooting him and why he stabbed Naomi in the back without a second's hesitation. I think at that point he was half Locke and half smoke monster but the Locke half didn't know it. Kind of like a possession that could trick Locke into doing things because he was in his mind all along. It was interesting to finally hear the smoke monster guy admit that he could hear what John Locke was thinking as he died. That could explain how the ghostly apparitions we've seen on the island so far have been able to know things about the people who's body's they've been using. (SIDE NOTE: I think in a way, this is somehow connected to Miles' power to hear the thoughts of dead people. Miles' power used to seem to be coming from nowhere plot-wise, so it's nice to see that the writers have known that communing with the dead is a key part of what happens on the island, at least in connection with the smoke monster.)

FAREWELL, JULIET, BUT FOR REAL THIS TIME, MAYBE: Back at the hatch, Juliet and Sawyer spend a last few moments together. I totally misheard one of Sawyer's lines during this part and was really confused. This is what I heard:

JULIET: (dying breaths) James, kiss me. SAWYER: But you're really bloody.

when in reality, as my wife pointed out (in a voice that seemed to imply that I ruined a moment) the lines were actually:

JULIET: (dying breaths) James, kiss me. SAWYER: You got it, blondie.

which I guess makes more sense but is maybe not as funny or memorable. Again, probably good I don't write the show. Juliet then said something really vague about going dutch and grabbing some coffee with Sawyer, then told him she had to tell him something important, then died. I would have cried fowl at this somewhat cheap cliffhanger if they hadn't resolved it soon thereafter with Miles getting the message for us, which was "It worked." So apparently for a moment as she was dying Juliet could somehow get a glimpse of the alternate reality. Does that mean when Sayid dies briefly later this episode that he sees his alternate reality as well? I think Juliet's somewhat random line about coffee will definitely come into play later this season. Maybe she and Sawyer will meet somehow near a coffee shop and get flirty in the alternate timeline?

LOCKE BACK IN THE WHEELCHAIR: We cut back to the plane to see everyone land at LAX in slow motion, and Locke climbs back into his wheelchair. Jack glances at him, and again I have to give my wife credit because she said "Jack's going to offer to fix Locke's back" and I was all, "No, he wouldn't do that" but sure enough it happened before the night was out. It could be cool to find out Jack was meant to heal Locke all this time, and not the island.

SAWYER BURIES JULIET: I liked how during this scene Sawyer called Kate "Kate" and not "Freckles". Kate was already trying to make a move (literally over Juliet's dead body), so it was good to see Sawyer draw a boundary or two and basically tell her to get lost. My guess is that's all over next episode, though.

CHRISTIAN SHEPHERD'S BODY IS MISSING: In LAX, Jack gets paged and learns that yet again Christian's body has gone missing. This is really cool and intriguing, and I have no idea what it means. It definitely seems like Christian is a really important part of understanding the mystery behind the island.

THE TEMPLE! So Hurley leads the Losties to the temple to save Sayid, and we finally get to see what's behind the wall. I was shocked to see so many new characters in there, but it was kind of cool. Also worth noting was that we heard the whispers for a few seconds before the Others started grabbing the Losties in the corridors. I think that whatever the Whispers are we now know for sure is directly related to the Others. But how do they do it? And why? Two new others finally open Hurley's guitar case. (I think these two new guys are named Lennon and Dogan, from what I can tell on Lostpedia. Lennon is the one with Lennon glasses. Dogon is the Asian one who tastes distasteful English on his tongue.) Dogon finds a really crappy 70s Ankh wall hanging in the guitar case, and is so angry at Jacob's crappy gift that he cracks it over his knee and finds one of Jacob's lists inside. I thought at first that it was the same list that they had back in Season Two (when the Others sent Michael to bring people to them in exchange for release from the island) but that list was Hurley, Sawyer, Jack and Kate. Jin and Sayid where not on that list. Guess this is a new list. There have been several mentions of lists on the show, read up on them here.

SUN SAYS NO ENGLISH: So, customs gives Jin a really hard time for carrying his mobster Father-in-Law's cash around, and Sun chooses not to intervene. Probably in order to make the escape that she failed to make at the Sydney airport. It's also possible that she doesn't speak English in this timeline, but I doubt it. It's much more interesting if she chooses to let Jin go to jail in order to get away from him.

SAYID'S BAPTISM: So Sayid gets taken to a spring inside the temple, which is dirty for some reason (I'm guessing because Jacob's dead.) Dogon tries to purify it with his blood, then they hold Sayid in until he can't breathe anymore. This is very similar to a Christian baptism, which is a symbolic representation of dying to yourself and then rising again, alive in Christ. (Except at most churches they let you up to breathe actual, non-symbolic air after being dunked. The better churches, anyway.) This is all pretty interesting. Jacob died first in a sacrificial manner (much like Jesus) and then appears to Hurley (much like Jesus appeared to his disciples after his death.) Afterwards, Sayid is baptized in what looks like a bloody pool and then is dragged out with his arms laid out on both sides like a cross before being brought to life again. Now that he's "reborn", is Sayid now one with Jacob? Will we get some good Sayid and evil Locke standoffs later this season?

KATE'S ESCAPE: Meanwhile, back in the Flash Sideways, Kate escapes from the Marshall, meets Sawyer in an elevator, fails to hide behind Hurley (which seems pretty easy to do) and is spotted by the Marshall yet again. She hijacks a taxi with Claire in it and takes off. It was nice to see Claire again. She's a regular this season so we should be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

THE OTHERS SHOOT A FIREWORK: Hurley tells Dogon and Lennon that Jacob is dead, and in response they freak out, fire a rather unimpressive firework, and start spreading ash all around "to keep him out".

WHO IS HIM? Then we cut back to fake Locke who tells Ben how he could hear Locke's thoughts, and how he used Locke because Locke was the only one who didn't want to leave the island. I'm guessing that means he was the only one he could convince that the island was good and to do what it said. Which he claims is ironic, because he's using him to get OFF the island and go home. So, that's crazy. The smoke monster wants to get off the island?

RICHARD IN CHAINS? Outside on the beach, Richard sees the firework and somehow knows that the ash has hit the fan, so to speak. Fake Locke bursts out from the foot, sees that Richard now knows who he really is and says "It's good to see you out of those chains". Richard says "You!" The mystery dude responds "Me." Then punches the crap out of Richard's neck. I thought the "chains" comment was interesting. This could mean that the last time they saw each other, Richard was literally in chains, maybe even as a slave on The Black Rock? But I think it might also be taken figuratively. Richard was in the service of Jacob who gave him immortality, so maybe Fake Locke is just saying that now that Jacob is dead, Richard is free from both his servitude and his immortality. I think that's probably what he meant. Sounds like something the devil would say after killing Jesus. Or causing the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. I'm not sure why Fake Locke carries Richard off on his shoulders, but I'm sure he's not up to anything good. Before he leaves, Fake Locke yells that he's "very ashamed of all of you". I'm confused by that. Is he still pretending to be Locke to all the people that followed him to the statue, and telling them he's ashamed? Or do they all recognize him now as someone from the past?

SAYID WAKES UP: The last scene of the night is Sayid waking up, which we've already discussed. Is he now Jacob? Did he see a glimpse of the alternate timeline like Juliet possibly did? Also interesting...why was Miles being all freaky for a second? Hurley noticed and asked him what was wrong. Did Miles sense that Sayid was coming back? Or is he hearing something else?

All in all it was an amazing episode. I'm not sure where it's all heading but here's a rough guess. I think that the bomb caused an alternate reality (obviously) but that something's bad about having two realities coexisting that's dangerous for life as we know it, and the direction of this season will be trying to end the alternate line and join it back in with the other to keep the galaxy from exploding. Or something like that. Kind of a similar take as Donnie Darko's alternate reality premise. Although I'm not sure which time line will turn out the be the correct or "right" one. Is the new one what should have happened all along? What are your thoughts on it all?

Next week's episode is entitled "What Kate Does" which is a twist on the season two episode title "What Kate Did". Whether it's what Kate "does" or Kate "did" I guarantee it will be done in a pout that displays her disdain for everyone around her.

Here's what I saw in the preview for next week's episode (MILD SPOILERS): Sayid, Jin & Hurley try to stop a fight breaking out in the temple (probably Jack vs. an Other, he was in a fightin' mood at the end of this week's episode.) Sawyer says he's leaving the Temple and tells Kate "Don't come after me." (Yeah, I'm sure she'll listen.) Frank & Sun walk through a graveyard with makeshift crosses on the hillside. (Will Jin and Sun find each other soon? They're in the same time zone now. Hopefully Frank and Sun won't fall in love first, creating another unwelcome love triangle.) Jack asks the Others "Who are you?" Kate says "You think they care about any of you?" And Jin gets sassy and says "What do you care about?" Then Kate says she's going after Sawyer. (It's not even the end of the preview and she's already going against Sawyer's wishes.) Anyway, should be good, despite the Kate-centric nature of it all. This is going to be a great last season of Lost.


Angela said...

Wes, I don't know what I was excited about more: The actual return of Lost or your blog posts. Great stuff.

Couple of points:

Of COURSE we have to see Kate in a tree again! Man, I would've given anything to see her eat her lasagna in handcuffs with no fork. Priceless.

I also thought that Sawyer said Juliet was "bloody"!!!! Thanks for that clarification, Erin. :)

Was the scene of all of them getting off the plane, with Kate being taken away in handcuffs and Locke being picked up and wheeled off, the most DEPRESSING SCENE EVER?!?!?!

I have to disagree with you on one point. You exaggerated slightly about Jin wanting Sun to button up, so as not to expose her bosoms. I didn't really see the top of her bosoms only her COLLAR BONE! Man, this FlashSideways had me really thankful for the newer, kinder, English-speaking Jin.

I totally wondered why Ben was standing that way!!!

Also, I too wondered if Sayid would now be a vessel of Jacob somehow.

Question: Do you think that Dogon was trying to purify the water with his blood? I thought he was trying to see if it still had its healing properties, thus why he looked a little doubtful when he pulled his hand out of the water and it was still bleeding. A minor point I'm sure. But just my thoughts.

Thanks for giving us Losties something to talk about!!!

Stevens said...

Glad LOST is back, even happier that lostmindgrapes is back.

I think you should refer to Fake John Locke as "Non Locke".

Well done, Whiteners!

Amber said...

Next to LOST being back on the air, reading your blog again is the next best thing that has happened this week.

Also, I vote for you to refer to Fake Locke strictly as "Flocke".

Amber said...

Also, I agree with Angela about the eternal-life-bubbling-pool thing. I think Dogon cut his hand and put it in the pool to see if the pool still had healing qualities. After it didn't heal I was surprised that he still put Sayid in the water (I guess at that point it was either Sayid dying of a gunshot wound or drowning...either way he was a goner). This makes me think that Sayid "coming back to life" is not a good thing since obviously the properties of the water have been changed since Jacob was killed.

Davis said...

Good stuff, man. One mystery you didn't mention was the Flight Attendant being one of the new Others. Although, I want to say that we've seen her before, so "new" may not be entirely accurate. But at the Temple she mentions something about the "first plane, the one I was on." A minor mystery, perhaps, but was she already an Other when Flight 815 originally took off, or was she just immediately accepted into their culture with the Tailie kids and their Teddy bear? Also, I think we can (and should) all now safely agree to refer to the Fake Locke as "Smokey." I know I will.

Anonymous said...

Grant here....

How about how they can't find the body of (the) Christian Shepherd? Huh? Huh? Yeah? Or just one of those red herrings?

Plus, I think we'll see Juliette again in the 2004 timeline. She was going dutch on a cup of coffee somewhere in south FL in 2004 when she left her mortal coil in 2007.

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed. I felt like they are trying to wrap up too much in one season. All of you are smarter than me, I think. I like to ponder on one thing a bit before moving on with it. Like, I loved the recording of the French woman and the mystery of wondering what that was. You know, introduce a polar bear or a smoke monster here or there but not so much at one time.
It was cool (and yes! depressing! Ange) seeing everyone in the alternate reality on the plane. I would've been in the "let's enjoy life as we have it" camp with Sawyer, I think.
I loved that the island is underwater but wasn't exactly fond of the cgi stuff.
I loved the scene with Kate in a tree and the sound effects. I'm sucker for her as a badass- I know! what's wrong with me?
Look, I know I can't even be called a Lostie having admitted all this but I'm going to keep up with your blog and maybe it'll help think more rapidly and a.d.d.-like during the episodes.

Amy said...

I agree with Ange on the spring situation. I thought he cut his hand to see if it would still heal. It didn't, Dogon looked frustrated. I kept wanting to see if his bullet wound was still there while JAck was trying to revive him. Anyway -- since the spring didn't seem to have it's healing powers any longer, I, too, am wondering if Jacob is going to be able to "use his body" like mystery bad dude uses Locke's. OR has mystery bad dude found a loop hole into the temple and gotten into Sayid's dead body?
AND...why was it that the smoke monster "lived" in the temple in season 4? I am confused by that --
I am SO stinkin' excited for the rest of this to unfold. I have so many questions, but I am hoping that they, most of them anyway, end up satisfactorily answered in an intelligent way.

P.S. -- Wes, Shane totally thought Sawyer said "bloody" too to Juliette. I was like, "WHAT? NO...he said, 'you got it, Bondie.'" Sheesh...
I am so excited that your blog is back on, man. Good thing Erin is around to translate for you, though!!

Erin said...

Just wanted to chime in here before the episode tonight. I LOVED this episode. I knew as soon as we found Juliet alive that she was just as quickly going to die. We'll catch up with her in the flash sideways.
Sayid - seems like his body is gonna be used for evil since he was not immediately revived in the pool.
Jacob - so sad he died. I heart him. But I'm sure he'll still be calling the shots from beyond the grave as we've already seen.
Richard - fake/evil Locke - leave him alone! I love Richard - and he has kept his shirts starched and the pants pleated for years and years on that island. He won't be taken down so easily. I hope Richard gets a scene where he lays down the law on fake Locke or at least Ben.
Kate - I was happy to see her on the plane because it was a nice change from tired, sulky jungle face. She might redeem herself this season?
Shannon - I think my enjoyment is because I have been married to a nerd for quite awhile now and that has acclimated my thinking to this sci/fi fantasy world. You are still a true Lostie, never fear.
I think that's all!