Friday, February 5Lost Friday - "LA X."
Season 6 - Episode 1/2: "LA X."
The first Lost Friday of the year is upon us, as is the final Lost Season Premiere ever. We have much to discuss; try not to get too misty-eyed.
The atmosphere in my home leading up to the first episode of Lost in nearly nine months was festive to say the least, unarguably obsessive at most. So much so, that even my birthday a day earlier took a backseat to the Season Premiere. Amongst the various well-wishings and complimentary appetizer coupons at several Madison-area restaurants, all I cared about was that clock striking midnight, knowing that Lost would soon be here.
Rest assured, if I’m fortunate enough to die in a bed, my final hours will be spent watching television instead of saying goodbye to loved ones. I’ve accepted this, and I hope they will, too.
(Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you...your hero.)
As far as Season Premieres go, this one was a good combination of entertaining, understated and lightning-fast. Unless you count the appearance of the alternate-dimension storyline, there was no big shock of a revelation that we’re normally accustomed to in these episodes. Most of us had accepted that we would see something to this effect during Season 6, and I for one, love it. Furthermore, the confusion of having two different Island timelines happening at once has come to an end (thanks, Faraday!), giving us an easier-to-follow Present Day Island story, running parallel with a Do-Over story that’s absolutely brilliant so far in its execution. More on that later.
Without further adieu…let’s KNOCK IT OUT!
(In Loving Memory of The Thick & Meaty: 2006-2009.)
IN 2004, WHEN THE PLANE NEVER CRASHED:
This storyline seems to follow the path that in 1977, the H-Bomb successfully destroyed the Island, theoretically banishing it to the bottom of the sea. Furthermore, either our heroes are on a plane different from Oceanic 815, or that 815 simply does not crash.
("Yeah, you probably forgot that I'm a major dick. Button that shirt.")
We see some familiar banter on the plane: Jack drinking heavily, chatting with flight attendant Cindy, making nice with Rose and Bernard. Jack excuses himself to tinkle, where he notices a bleeding sore under his shirt collar. Heading back to his seat, he notices Desmond sitting next to him. They both feel as if they’ve met each other before (and they had, in the stadium where Desmond was training for his sailboat race).
(Hurley comes to the painful realization that there is no more ham left on the plane.)
In the Original Timeline, Desmond was in the Swan Hatch at this exact moment, making the decisions that would eventually lead to the plane crashing. In this Alternate Timeline, with the Island never existing for him to wash his sailboat ashore, Desmond seems to be a passenger on the plane. However, when Jack returns to his seat later in the flight, Desmond is nowhere to be seen (even Rose states that she did not see him).
("AAUGGHH! IT'S THE MAN IN BLACK! HELP--oh wait, it's a mirror. Fourth time today.")
When Jack heads to the bathroom, we start to see the re-intertwining of the survivors, as he bumps into Kate, who steals his pen in order to later free herself from the Marshal’s handcuffs.
We then see Hurley, who seems to revel in his celebrity status as the owner of Mr. Cluck’s. He tells Sawyer about his lottery winnings and proclaims himself to be the luckiest man alive, while Sawyer warns him about being taken by con men such as himself. This is in contrast to the Original Timeline, where Hurley considered himself to be plagued by bad luck, and a silent owner of the Chicken Shack.
We then see Jin and Sun, who are still seething with tension. But check this out:
In the Original Timeline, we see Jin and Sun as a very unhappily married couple. Sun had already tried to flee Jin earlier, before deciding to gut it out and follow Jin to Los Angeles, where he was set to deliver a watch for Sun’s father. In the Alternate Timeline, however, we see Jin and Sun are not married (Sun is referred to as Ms. Paik, not Mrs. Kwon, and neither are wearing wedding rings). Furthermore, Sun doesn’t appear to understand English, and Jin seems to be carrying around an awful lot of American currency for an insignificant watch-delivering mission.
("Christ, Charlie, you're not supposed to eat heroin.")
Back to John Locke. He strikes up a conversation with Boone, who tells him that he tried and failed to get Shannon out of a bad relationship (she’s presumably still in Australia). This is different than the Original Timeline, where Shannon agrees to follow Boone home. Furthermore, in the Alternate Timeline, John Locke was allowed to go on the walkabout, whereas in the Original Timeline, he was not.
("I know, I should be in the Swan Hatch right now, accidentally crashing this very plane, but I'm not. You see, when you detonated that hydrogen bomb back in 1977, you sunk the Island, which meant I never washed ashore there during my race around the world, which meant that I never had to be trapped there, which means that this parallel universe had damn well better be the right one, otherwise I'm going to carve one of your gonads out with this tiny liquor bottle.")
Meanwhile, Charlie decides to swallow a baggie of heroin in the lavatory, to which Jack and Sayid respond to save him. Charlie doesn’t appear too happy to be alive, beginning what seems to be an over-arching theory that the past cannot be changed once the future has already been decided. In the Original Timeline, Charlie merely snorts some of the junk and flushes the rest of it down the toilet.
(He's been looking at Desmond and making this face for the last 20 minutes.)
It should be noted that while Michael and Walt are not seen on the plane in the Alternate Timeline, I wouldn’t rule out that we’re merely supposed to assume that they are there. Same goes for all of those Tail Section folk like Ana Lucia and Mr. Eko.
The plane lands safely, authorities cart Charlie away for his shenanigans, and everyone else begins to disembark. Afterwards, we find out that Oceanic Airlines cannot locate his father’s coffin, which was supposedly checked into the cargo hold. Similarly, they have also lost John Locke’s case of knives. They have a conversation about Locke’s paralysis, where Locke states that his condition is irreversible. Jack tells him that ‘nothing is irreversible,’ essentially reversing the ‘Man Of Science, Man Of Faith’ conflict that has followed Jack and Locke for years now. In the Original Timeline, both the knives and the coffin successfully stay on the plane while it crashes.
("Oh, hey...excuse me. I was just, um...DO YOU WANNA HAVE SEX AND GET MARRIED!?!?")
Finally, we return to see Kate and the Marshal. She picks the cuffs in the bathroom with Jack’s pen, knocks the Marshal out and escapes with his gun. She flees to an elevator, where she runs into Sawyer, who seems to be keen to what she’s up to. This seems to set up a future storyline where they work together in a satisfying and semi-attractive life of petty crime and thuggery.
Escaping the airport, Kate gets into a cab, pulls a gun on the cabbie and commands him to drive. We then see that he already has a passenger: Claire.
(Locke's not even paralyzed here, just unabashedly hammered.)
IN PRESENT DAY, WHERE THE DETONATION WORKED:
Here’s all you really need to know about the first few minutes. Juliet’s detonation of the bomb put everyone on the same page, Island-wise. No more 1977, just present-day stuff, although complete with the Dharma vans and some other confusing remnants.
(If you don't listen to Al Gore, this will be Nashville in 10 years.)
They spend the next few minutes attempting to save Juliet, who eventually dies from her injuries. According to Miles, she wanted to relay to Sawyer that the detonation worked.
Meanwhile, Sayid is fading from his gunshot wound. Jacob appears to Hurley (who can see dead people, remember), telling him that he can save Sayid if he takes him (and his guitar case) to the Temple.
(These are the remnants of the Black Hole Of Suck created when Jerry Jones high-fived George W. Bush at Dallas Stadium. There were no survivors.)
At the Temple, the Others are surprised to see our group and nearly shoot them, before Hurley announces that Jacob had sent them, along with the case. Dogen, the leader of the group, smashes open the ankh stored in the case, revealing a piece of paper while asking for the survivor’s names. Afterwards, Lennon (Dogen’s translator), informs Hurley that the jist of the transcript was that the Temple folk will be in trouble if Sayid dies. Through this, they decide to help heal him.
("Everyone I've ever loved either gets shot or is Kate! Sick of this crap!")
The Temple folk drag Sayid back to a Fountain Of Youth-style pool, where it appears as if it’s no longer working (no thanks in part to Jacob being killed). That being said, they still manage to dunk Sayid and seemingly drown him. This bums everyone out.
(Juliet secretly hopes that by detonating the H-Bomb, she can go back in time and not choose to star in V.)
Hurley decides to have a chat with Dogen, who can speak English. Hurley reveals that Jacob is dead, which sends the Temple folk into a tizzy, laying black powder down and sending out rocket flares, presumably a measure to protect themselves from the now-unstoppable Smoke Monster.
Oh, and Sayid? Totally alive.
(The Smoke Monster represents the line in the sand when it comes to 'Totally Awesome' and 'Totally Asinine.')
IN PRESENT DAY, AT THE STATUE:
Jacob’s Nemesis/Man In Black/Lockelganger/Smoke Monster tells Ben that Jacob is now gone, after being murdered by Mr. Linus himself. He also wants a word with Richard inside in the statue, and sends Ben out to summon him.
(I'm just going to go ahead and say it: Worst. Marshal. Ever.)
Ilana and Bram are outside, discussing entering the Statue with Richard. Richard claims that you can only go into the Statue unless you’re summoned by Jacob (which, let’s face it, won’t be happening anytime soon). Ben comes out and is immediately attacked by Richard, who shows him Locke’s corpse. Ben pisses himself, realizes just what happened, and goes back into the Statue with Ilana and her men.
(Sawyer's such a pimp, he can even nail Kate in an alternate dimension.)
Back inside the Statue, Jacob’s Nemesis informs the crew that Jacob is dead, and deflects a few of their bullets as proof of his power. He then assumes the form of the Smoke Monster, killing damn near everyone in a remarkable display of awesomeness and idiocy. After the melee, Smokey assumes the form of Locke again and apologizes to Ben for “having to see him like that.”
(Geddy Lee shows up to set us straight on a few things. A few proggy things.)
The flares from the Temple are seen from the beach as Ben and Jacob’s Nemesis (as Locke) exit the Statue. Those outside attempt to fire at the Lockelganger, but are halted by Richard. The Nemesis tells Richard that it’s good to see him “without his chains.” A stunned Richard replies with “you?”, and is promptly beaten soundly. The Nemesis then turns to the rest of the Others, including Sun and Frank Lapidus, and states that he is “very disappointed with all of you,” before making his way past the real John Locke’s body, a battered Richard in tow.
Smash cut; episode over.
(When you look like this, you're contractually obligated to be a Shaolin Kung Fu master.)
On one hand, I feel like this episode didn’t mess around. We picked up right where we left off at the end of Season 5, and shot ourselves right into the aftermath. On the other hand, I honestly feel that the Island portion of the episode didn’t tell us too much stuff (besides the link between Smokey and Jacob’s Nemesis), and they coasted a little bit in an attempt to get everyone on the same page as far as the parallel storylines were concerned. Either way, I quite enjoyed it.
Alright, enough with the overview, it’s time to BREAK IT DOWN!
1 – There were a lot of great quotes this week, from Charlie’s “I’m supposed to be dead,” to Jack’s “nothing is irreversible.” However, the one that got the biggest reaction out of me was during Locke’s Baggage Claim conversation with a corpse-less Jack Shepherd:
“Well, I hope you find that coffin.”
I laughed straight through to the commercial.
(Waaaait a minute...an Ankh in a guitar case? A mysterious temple? Geddy Lee? Is this all leading up to a cross-promotion with Rush? A Grace Under Pressure re-release, perhaps?)
2 – Out of all the things that happened in the Alternate Timeline, the one that struck me most interesting was the brief appearance and disappearance of Desmond. In the Original Timeline, he had already been on the Island for three years at this point, pressing the button in the Swan Hatch. How he ended up on Oceanic in the Alternate Timeline is still anyone’s guess, although his mysterious disappearance from the flight might prove that he was merely a figment of Jack’s imagination.
(Frogurt represents every Lost fan that has ever asked Damon Lindleof a dumbass question at a comic book convention. Looks like one, too.)
3 – Allowing a storyline where the entire series can start over from the beginning is absolutely brilliant for a show as deep as Lost. Just when you think they can’t tell the story from any more angles, they continue to heap on the layers and intrigue. While it’s debatable that Lost is the greatest drama in TV history, there’s no arguing that it’s been the most well-written. No other show has even come close to dissecting the narrative as much as Lost has over the last six years.
What I think we’re going to see in the Alternate Timeline is the fact that the lives of these people are not better off now that the plane never crashed. Their lives are still going to intertwine, but the bulk of them are not good people (or are not in good places), so it’s silly to reason that they will get (or deserve) a happy ending.
("Cab dry-vah, please take me to MY BAYY-BEEEE!!!")
4 – As much as I don’t want to talk about the On-Island portion of this episode, I suppose it’s extremely important as far as the ‘Good v. Evil’ battle that we’ve seen brewing for so long. You know by now that I’m more interested in the plausible mythology of the show, as opposed to fountains of youth and clouds of smoke that sound like dot matrix printers. That all being said, they’re building to something epic, that’s for damn sure.
5 – Will we ever, EVER, get a flashback episode that tells us what has happened to Cindy, the flight attendant, over the last few years? Her story, to me, is the most intriguing part of the mythology that we’ll probably never get a definitive answer to.
Time to analyze the subliminal, quirky and creepy, with…THE NUMBERS.
4 – When Desmond quickly exits the conversation with Jack on the plane, you can see that he's wearing a wedding ring. Presumably, this means that he's already married to Penny Widmore at this point.
8 – In the Alternate Timeline, Boone tells Locke that if the plane goes down, he's sticking with him. In the Original Timeline, this is what leads to Boone's death.
(Wait, did I say Geddy Lee? I meant Amy Sedaris.)
15 – This is the first episode of Lost to air on a Tuesday in the United States.
16 – The voice-over of Oceanic pilot Seth Norris (played by Greg Grunberg) was done by Greg himself for continuity purposes.
("Hello, can you please connect me with Corpse Baggage Claim?")
23 – Remember the Halliburton suitcase that Kate was so obsessed with retrieving from the Marshal? You know, the one that contained Tom Brennan's toy airplane? Well, in the Alternate Timeline, Kate merely leaves it in the bathroom with the beaten Marshal, not even giving it a second look.
42 – In the Alternate Timeline, Sayid appears to have an Iranian, not Iraqi passport, while sitting on the plane.
Cover your ears! Spoilers ahoy! It's time for THE PREVIEW!
Next week’s episode (06x03) will be titled “What Kate Does.” We will be following Kate and Claire’s taxicab ride, which will focus on a pregnant Claire determining what to do with her still-unborn Aaron.
Well, there you have it; the very first Lost Friday of the year in the books. I had some rust to shake off, but I think it turned out relatively well. I tend to get better the angrier I get with the series (typically by episode 5). Sound off in the comments section, enjoy your weekend and be sure to come back next week. Thanks much.
"ZzzzzHobbitHobbitHobbit...ZzzzzHobbitHobbitHobbit..." made me LOL --- literally! Also "Lockelganger" is the best made up word in the history of the world - well done! I also thought when Jacob appeared to Hurley in the jungle that it was going to be Vincent --- I was sooooooooo wrong. Unless of course, Jacob is Vincent (he is light colored) in which case I am AWESOME.
CAITLIN - Every now and again, I'll think of some supremely silly joke that I'm certain nobody but me will find funny...'HobbitHobbitHobbit' was one of those jokes. I can't tell you how happy (and relieved) I am to know that someone found it funny. Same with 'Lockelganger!'
You know, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if they hinge a serious plot point around Vincent. I mean, he's been bouncing around time and space as well, right? Dude's got to have a story to share.