Lost: Because You Left (season premiere)
(S05E01) "You're gonna have to die, John." - Richard Alpert
Time travel! The future is
now! later! here! gone! beginning! ending! OK, I give up. Lost is back and the future is... well, we don't know what the future is. Or the past. Or the present. All we know is what they were, because now they're just one big time travelin' mess.
As with seasons past of Lost, the fifth chapter of TV's favorite mindf*ck opens by presenting an entirely new storytelling technique - one that demands equal parts patience, attention, and imagination. More than anything, it's a test for true fans because the casual Lost viewer (do they exist?) probably had a hard time moving from A to Z (worst metaphor ever - I know) in tonight's season premiere. That being said, this whole hour gave me my own bloody nose.
- The episode opened with a shocker. Back in the early DHARMA days, Dr. Pierre Chang (or Marvin, or Edgar, or whatever you want to call him) was just a guy trying to make a living, raise a baby, and keep his wife happy. It was incredibly interesting to see the excavation of the orchid station, as well as that sonogram-ish print-out showing the Frozen Donkey Wheel. Three things to take from this whole sequence: 1) It opened the same way as season two did - with an unknown person putting a record on a turntable. Pierre here, Desmond in season two. Right off the bat, that's a huge clue that Desmond is going to be important this season. The difference? The record started skipping here, which related directly to what Daniel mentioned later in the episode regarding time travel. 2) Daniel was working the excavation site. Presumably, this happens later in the season, once they've made another jump to the past. I think that makes sense ... and 3) Faraday witnessed that one DHARMA grunt got a nosebleed just like Minkowski, Desmond, and now Charlotte.
- Locke was with The Others when the first flash occurred - then he was alone. This is where it's going to get confusing. In the past, he has now personally witnessed Yemi's plane crash, yet in season one, he dreamed about it and that's how he and Boone found the wreckage. So which came first? Has this happened before? Has Locke been here? When Richard found John in the future (shot in the leg from Ethan), he told John that John himself had told him about the wound. So is there an alternate version of John Locke - a future Locke - on the island, as well? How else would Alpert have known? This has more layers than a turducken, and I'm not done yet. Two more points: 1) I said that John was alone after the initial flash and Richard later told him "he didn't go anywhere." So are The Others (the original inhabitants of the island) immune to the time warps? 2) Richard gave John the compass - one of his six items that he presented to young Locke in "Cabin Fever." Even after everything that's happened, though, John, stubborn as ever, still relies on his knife - the one item that made Richard claim John wasn't ready yet.
- Back to Daniel Faraday. Clearly, he's going to play a huge role this season, along with Desmond. While describing time travel rules and whatnot to Sawyer, he made it a point to tell Sawyer that what has happened, happened - you can't change it. That's why Sawyer couldn't meet Desmond in the past - because they never did. Sawyer could have knocked all he wanted and Desmond would have never answered the hatch door. But he did for Daniel. Why? Because they met in the past - during Desmond's flash in "The Constant." The key here is Daniel's notebook. When Desmond returned from his flash, present Daniel (island Daniel) didn't remember meeting him - but past Daniel had written "Desmond Hume is my constant" in his notebook. You could make good arguments until you're blue in the face about which of Faraday's consciousnesses we're dealing with here, but the point is moot. He and Desmond had met and that won't/can't change now. He told Desmond to seek out his mother after leaving the island, creating the memory that future Desmond remembered. My guess on his mother? Who's the only other character we've met on this show who's rambled on and on about not being able to change events and time "course correcting" itself? Ms. Hawking! I love it - more logical than jaw-dropping, but just a guess.
Those were the biggest three issues presented over tonight's first hour, but in true Lost fashion, a hefty list of questions were presented, too:
- Who hired Dan Norton from Agostini and Norton to look into Kate and Aaron's mother/son relation? I'm guessing Ben. Giving Kate fear is the easiest way to make her run again - hopefully back to the island.
- I suppose the same answer could apply to the men who've been tracking Hurley and Sayid, although Ben seems too easy an answer for them. Widmore maybe?
- What were the "rules" that Chang referred to in the beginning of the episode? Are they the same rules that Ben said Widmore changed in "The Shape of Things to Come?" And speaking of those rules, how come Ben isn't trying to kill Penny?
- Why does Charlotte have a bloody nose now, but not anyone else? Is she prone to the same flashes that Desmond is? Or is it merely a result of the time jumps? Or could this relate to what many have speculated - that she was born on the island?
- Does Sun really want to kill Ben? I'm guessing no. Something tells me she doubts Jin is dead and that she's just using Widmore to help find the island.
One hour down and one to go tonight. See you back here in an hour for my analysis of "The Lie." I'll leave you with the funniest quote of the hour (from Hurley, of course):
"You know, maybe if you ate more comfort food, you wouldn't have to go around shooting people."