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Review: 'Lost' - 'LA X, Parts 1 and 2' (Season Premiere)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 3rd 2010 1:43AM
Lost premiere
(S06E01/S06E02) "We're back." - Kate

Did you hear that? That was the collective sound of TV fans across the country all brain-farting in unison. 'Lost' is back for its final season and I've gotta be honest -- I'm not really sure what to think about 'LA X.' In four or five months time, once the series has concluded, I'm positive I'll think differently about it. However, right now, 'LA X' was easily one of the most confusing hours of 'Lost' yet, and despite ABC's promos promising that "questions would be answered," all it gave us was a jumbo-jet (literally) chock full of new ones. Whatever ... I still loved every second of it.

We last left our favorite Losties as Juliet finally got Jughead to explode. The big question coming into the final season was whether or not the explosion would be the key to resetting events and allowing Oceanic 815 to land safely at LAX on 9/22/04. Well, we got our answer... sort of. The two hour premiere was split into two distinct threads, and as most fans predicted, one of them appears to be an alternate reality. (Lostpedia has already wisely dubbed this a "flashsideways.")

We saw events unfold on the island post-Jughead with no effects and we saw events on Oceanic 815 post-Jughead, but pre-island, with lots of changes. Of course, the question at this point is which side of the story is real? Did Jughead do what Faraday said it would? For argument's sake, and until we get some real answers, let's assume that the world in which Oceanic 815 lands safely is the alternate reality.

Watch 'Lost' full episodes online at SlashControl

The biggest observation to be made is that despite the plane not crashing, all these people were just as intertwined (if not more so in some cases) off the island as they had been on the island. Boone and Locke made small talk, Jack saved Charlie from choking on his baggie of smack, Jin and Sun made comments about Rose and Bernard. But then it got even more interesting after the plane landed. Kate was able to escape from Edward and ended up trying to take a cab from Frogurt and eventually got into another one with Claire. Jack offered to give Locke a free consult to address his spinal injury. Different time-line/world, but something was still pulling these people together.

Anther thing worth noting is that stuff we thought we knew about these characters and who was on Flight 815 changed as well. Shannon stayed in Australia. Locke claims to have actually gone on the walkabout. Jack's father's body/coffin were never loaded on the plane. Hurley said he was lucky! Desmond was on the plane because he couldn't possibly have been on the island. Why? It was all underwater. Everything was backwards, or to make a 'Lost' reference, black is white and vice versa. Even odder was the strange feeling that Jack seemed to know something was off. He seemed to recognize people or at least give them a double-take. There are really no questions to ask here because we're watching a whole new story unfold.

On the island, things became slightly easier to follow if only because everyone is now in 2007 -- no more 30 year back and forth jumps. The Jughead detonation sent everyone into the future and the disappointment that it didn't work (or did it?) faded fast as survival very quickly became the order of the day. Sayid was still bleeding to death and Juliet was buried in the rubble of The Swan (from Desmond's explosion, not Jughead's).

It was interesting that they brought Juliet back because it certainly wasn't just for the heart-wrenching scene where Sawyer had to say goodbye to her all over again as she died in his arms. No, it seems the only reason that Juliet made the jump as well was simply so Miles could commune with her post-death. Her message? "It worked." OK... so does that mean that the events on the island are the alternate reality? Or are both of these realities happening at the same time? Could a person from each side eventually share some sort of co-conscience, meaning could Jack 1 warn Jack 2 about something? Whatever is going on, it seems that Juliet got some clarifications in the afterlife.

Someone who didn't get a ticket to the afterlife was Sayid. Just when you thought he was a goner, Hurley started seeing dead people again. Jacob to be precise. He told him to take Sayid to The Temple and they would be able to save him. And they did just that, after drowning him first. Whatever, he's alive. Time for questions. Are The Temple dwellers The Others too? Or are they another faction? Why are the Confucius-y dude (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Lennon (John Hawkes) running the show? How did Cindy, Zach, and Emma gain membership in this group? And just what the hell was on the list that was in the giant Ankh that was in the guitar case that Jacob gave Hurley? I doubt very much it was just a note that said if Sayid dies they're all in trouble. That being said, why is Sayid so valuable? And why did dead Jacob choose Hurley as his living mouthpiece? Brain... melting...

Over at The Statue, things got even crazier. Ben, stupefied over what he'd just done, stumbled out of the statue and came face to face with the real John Locke. But Jacob's bodyguards (Bram, Illana, and friends) were too late and Jacob's adversary (aka "Locke") did a little shape-shifting. The man in black is the smoke monster! It also definitively proves that he was every other dead person on the island too: Christian Shephard, Eko's brother Yemi, etc. But why does the circle of black ash protect you from Smokey? And why does he want to go home? Where the hell is home for something like that? Was he trapped on the island by Jacob?

Once "Locke" came out of The Statue, he beat the crap out of Richard. But Richard now knew who it was and "Locke" said "it's good to see you out of those chains." What chains? I can't wait to get the back-story on these two.

Final thoughts/questions/observations:

  • Did you see the DHARMA shark when the underwater island was shown?
  • Why was the water in the temple dirty looking and not clear? What were the risks involved with using it in this state that Lennon was talking about? Could Sayid still be in trouble since dirty, and not clean, temple water saved him? What color was the water when young Ben was healed there after being shot by Sayid?
  • It was telling when Jack told Locke that "nothing is irreversible" at LAX. We'll see, won't we?
  • How come no one in The Temple knew that Jacob had been killed? And what exactly are they protecting in there?
  • Is Richard the key for "Locke" to get into The Temple?
  • Why was "Locke" disappointed with everyone on the beach?
  • Sucks to be Montand -- still in The Temple, rotting away, with one arm.
  • Assuming The Temple has underground routes throughout the island, are the whispers just the voices of The Others carrying through?
  • I loved when Hurley told Sawyer about his lottery winnings on the plane. You could hear Sawyer's gears turning.

OK, that's all I got. I know for a fact that I've forgotten stuff (I didn't even bother to address all the allusions to past episodes), so have at it in the comments. We've got a lot to talk about. Oh, and wrap your head around this -- next week's episode is called 'What Kate Does.'

[Watch clips and full episodes of 'Lost' over at SlashControl.]

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Was that Laura Dern as one of the women who walked into the washroom after Kate knocks out agent Mars?

February 10 2010 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have read every comment here and have come to some conclusions.

1) It is very interesting that MIB has constantly inhabited a man called 'Christian', very interesting indeed.
2) "I am very disappointed in all of you". He is constantly doing things to liberate these people, but they constantly allow themselves to be tricked into coming back by Jacob.

Basically, Jacob represents the plight of humanity and our obsession with order and higher power and free will. This is very endemic of this shows commentary about religion. (Cf All the various borrowed religious symbols) Remember, all the characters are named after mathematicians, philosophers and scientists. I believe that the show is a social commentary about the evils of established ecclisiology. This is evidenced by the awful acts the others have committed for the 'greater good'. Ben represents the blind leader who is willing to blindly follow the orders of his 'god'.

I cant say anything else for sure as i dont think we've been given enough detail yet. MIB represents the fate argument. Him and Jacob have been having an eternal discussion about the nature of man.

The whole point of this show is that it is an exploration of right and wrong, good and bad and ultimately free will and fate. Jacob believes that people have the capacity to be good all we need to do is to be directed to make the right choices. MIB disagrees, he believes once differing societies clash we ultimately show ourselves to be evil. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF.

Alpert is the messenger ignorant of who is instructing him. As such MIB and Jacob instruct him in a manor that keeps their disparate identity secret.

EVERYONE IS A PAWN. They take it in turns to influence the actions of the LOST people. I emphasize this word because the only people who they bring to the island are people who arent set in their ways.

As such they experiment and make a wager. A slave ship filled with LOST souls is brought to the island. Jacob (wearing white) takes the first turn. What will men given their freedom do, and religion do? I cannot say whether he liberates the slaves or not, but ultimately Alpert does something which acts to prove Jacobs point about man and he is rewarded. Jacob wins round one. As such as part of the wager he can do as he sees fit without interference from MIB and he establishes the temple society we see who are all rewarded with eternal life. MIBs turn (after all white moves before black). This takes place quite a considerable time late. The Dharma scientists arrive and as it is not Jacobs turn he cannot interfere. Lets see what the established society will do when they are met by their polar opposites. Subsequently Ben is enticed into the others camp by the whispers (MIB) and he kills of the entire Dharma crew and subsequently rousseaus team. MIB wins this round. Jacobs punishment is his imprisonment in the cabin. (Notice how he only starts to appear when the line is broken).

As with when it was Jacobs go, MIB is now allowed a period of time to influence the people. They form a hardline religious sect of people who are the others we know today.

Final round. Are science and religion reconcilable?

You will notice that all the things that happened in Jacobs turn were firmly routed in mysticism and religion (Smoke judgment monster, baptism pool that heals, immortality in eden). All the things that happen in MIBs turn are more science fiction (the ability to move the island, time travel etc). This goes back to my earlier point about scientific and religious discussion about free will and destiny.

Final round. Are science and religion reconcilable?

Its winner takes all this time. I am not sure at this point if they take turns anymore. They draw various people to the island who all have very different outlooks on the world. Particularly interesting is the juxtaposition of Locke, the naturist, and Jack, the scientist. They are fate and free will personified.

The game of chess is about to come to its conclusion. This obviously is not representative of the entire show there are loads of things i havent even touched on, but i believe this is close to the general themes of the show and the motives of Jacob and MIB. Neither are good or bad, they just have different outlooks on life.

Let me know if you think at the very least what ive said is interesting or if its complete nonsense!

February 09 2010 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lado's comment

intriguing thoughts.

I totally agree that good and bad is not the question here. Science vs. faith has always been one of the main concepts in this play. The idea of two people playing this game alternately is interesting. There are indications for certain rules they have to stick to (beyond the fact that they can't kill eachother personally) and there are long and short term strategies. The comparison to a chess game is striking indeed but I am not quite convinced that they have to sit back and watch when it's not their turn.

But to spin this a little further: there is this ancient Egyptian game named Senet which is played on a chess-like board and there are certain rules that don't allow the opponent to a move when the player has created a specific constellation. Certain squares are named House of Rebirth or House of Water. The Egyptian background of Lost is obvious and maybe you are really onto something.


February 10 2010 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Sayid comes back to life as Sayid. There's a short season 6 preview video circulating that shows the new Japanese character appearing to be torturing Sayid and Sayid, strapped to a table, or whatever, asking "why are you doing this to me?"

Charlie wasn't the only one who looked different... Jack has enough hair to part on the side on the plane that landed, which is way more than he had when the plan crashed. Sawyer's hair is also much longer than it was in the pilot episodes. Not that it matters... like others have said, something in the past changed their paths and that could easily include keeping people from getting hair cuts if it can keep people (Shannon) from even getting on the plane.

I think Smokie has always been the man in black. When Ben went back to the main island to be judged, he summoned Smokie then went outside to wait for it. He told Sun to go inside because what was about to come out of the jungle was something he couldn't control, then Fake Locke walked out and the monster never showed. When Ben was being judged, Fake Locke left to get rope/vines. Just like in the foot... Fake Locke disappeared then Smokie showed up and killed Jacob's bodyguards. After Ben was judged, Smokie disappeared, then his daughter showed up telling him to do as "Locke" says... it wasn't his daughter, it was Fake Locke pretending to be his daughter essentially telling him he had to kill Jacob, since that's what Fake Locke's intentions were to begin with. It'd be easy to get Ben to kill Jacob if his daughter told him to do as Locke tells him.

When Sun and Lupitas got to the main island, Smokie was rattling the trees, then Christian appeared in Ben's old house. Christian confirmed what Richard told John, that he was going to have to die to get his people to come back. Now we know that it was Fake Locke that told Richard to tell Locke that when he was taking the bullet out of his leg. And, since fake Locke needed Real Locke to die in order to take over his "body", it seems to me that Christian is the man in black or the man in black has been appearing to be Christian, rather.

I'm also starting to think that they're misleading us into thinking Jacob is the good guy and Smokie is bad. Smokie didn't like the fact that people came there fighting, corrupting, etc. That sounds like someone who wants peace and tranquility. The others (Jacob's people), don't forget, were going to cut Claire's baby out of her, which is why Alex made her leave...dragged her into the woods. Jacob's people, the Others, are friggin' awful people. If Smokie has been appearing as Christian, then he saved the survivors by leading Jack to the cave where there was fresh water. He/it attacked the mercenaries who were there to kill everyone and take Ben. Then Lupitas said "in my experience, the people who say they're the good guys are usually the bad guys. Then he said to Sun that "they say they're the good guys... I ain't buying it either" referring to Jacob's bodyguards. Oh, I forgot how the Others, Jacob's people, purged every man, woman and child still living in Dharmaville.

I think Smokie is the "good" "guy" and that he wants his temple back... his home.

We'll see, I guess... I hope.

February 09 2010 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I assure you, when it's over, The Oceanic 815 crew are going to take the places the doomed crew of the Black Rock (i.e., The Others) who have been stranded on the island since their boat wrecked. In the end, they will realize the only way to go home is to strand some other "crew" on the island--like when Desmond was stranded on the island by the former hatch inhabitant.

The only questions left are which characters from 815 take the places of the "Others"?

February 08 2010 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All I have to say is that this better not be like Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which had the stupidest ending of all time. All of the buildup was destroyed by total incompetence. If all they (the writers of LOST) know how to do is create drama and suspense without the ability to end it with and equally good and satisfactory ending, then it will all be for naught. I am appealing to the writers to PLEASE END THIS SEASON WITH A COMPETENT, INTERESTING AND SATISFACTORY ENDING! Don't keep us hanging on for something that peeters out in the end. Don't make it like the LAME 2nd season! Don't be like Pirates 3! PLEASE!

February 06 2010 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have the answers you all are looking for.
LA X. There is a space between the LA and the X for a reason.
X is a greek letter that means Christ (or something like that I read, which is why we say Xmas).
LA is for Los Angles...but REALLY means LOST ANGELS.
The Losties are Angels, maybe the twelve disciples?...Jacob is Jesus, obviously...he LET BEN KILL HIM just as Jesus let the Jews kill him (well, knew it would happen and didn't try to "save himself")
The guy in Black, who IS nameless, is evil incarnate...or the devil. Charles Whitmore is the Anti-Christ, and the battle at the end is Armageddon.
This is all quite intriguing, but also, makes so much sense now, I don't know why I didn't see it before.
This whole show is about JJ Abrahms vision of how the Battle of Armageddon comes to be. I mean, think about it...Locke is able to walk...Jesus' miracles included getting the lame to walk...as well as bringing them back to life.

Who's with me here? Email me at markjwillis@comcast.net

February 05 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Jacob's greater plan is still unfolding and being killed by Ben was part of it from the beginning -which might actually be a very long time ago: "It only ends once. Everything that happens before that is just progress."

Telling Hurley to take Sayids body to the temple so he can enter his body after Sayid drowns makes good sense and was well prepped by equipping Hurley with the guitar case and the ankh list and all. Perhaps Jacob's and MIB's physical forms have always been taken from passing characters throughout the centuries and their real form is some sort of dusty energy (smokey, the darkened water). Although I believe Jacob and MIB (if they have similar powers) can do both, takeover dead bodies and mimic the forms of dead people (Alex, John, Christian). And in that form they apparently can't be hurt.

It would need an explanation though, how Jacob managed to get into the temple spring after (satisfactory to MIB) being killed inside the statue. Wouldn't MIB know if there was a stay-alive backdoor?

It might as well still be the actual Sayid who gets to play a greater role in Jacob's mise-en-scène as himself. But from what it looked like, the powers of the water were gone (not healing the leader's hand).

I wonder if the new timeline is also part of Jacob's plan and I wonder how it will interact with the real timeline. I remember a conversation between Jack (?) and Eloise Hawkings "What if we don't get everyone back on the island?" "Then God help us all." Was one of the purposes for them to get back on the island to create the additional timeline?

What does Eloise know and did everyone from 1977 (and their offspring) cease to exist after the explosion? Did the explosion really sink the island (while leaving the village intact) or was there an event in the new timeline (after 1977) that lead to sinking the island - which would allow Dharma and the Others to appear in the new timeline?

In the new timeline there is definitely something strange going on with Jack. The unreasonable bleeding, the missing pen "I had a pen in my jacket but it's gone", vanishing Desmond (apparently only to him), the lost coffin. Not sure what to make of that.

Logic says when they entered the plane, all parameters were similar to the original timeline and when they passed the location of the island the timeline would divide. But since there are characters missing on the plane, I'd say the explosion has taken more effect on their individual lives which would lead to the assumption that everyone on the island died in 1977 and could not have influenced their lives before (i.e. Jacob visiting Kate). Then Widmore had died too on the island and Desmond would not have trained for the ocean race in the stadium and he and Jack had never met. But so he says.

I have the feeling Jack has a foot in both timelines and that events are changing in real time - due to events elsewhere. Maybe the new timeline is adjusting itself towards a mutual future of both timelines? What will be done, will be done? K, I guess I am far off here. But maybe there are still constants and variables involved.

Where is a Faraday when you need one?

February 05 2010 at 8:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chuba's comment

Jack's pen is missing because Kate stole it from him when she bumped into him coming out of the restroom.

Surprising that the (obviously incompetent) FBI dude lets her use the restroom AGAIN when she had just gone on the plane. Doesn't he have any brains? How did he get through "FBI school"???

February 05 2010 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"It's good to see you out of those chains". I wonder if perhaps Richard Alpert was slave/prisoner on the ship Black Rock and therefore the guy in dark-blue shirt recognised him. Anyone else think so? And also I wonder if the smokemonsters "chain"-sound has something to do with that. But that doesnt explain why he then would be at the beach with Jacob watchig a ship, which might be the black rock, approaching the island...

February 05 2010 at 8:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone notice "new" flight 815 was a different aircraft than the original, which was a 747 ?

February 05 2010 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that the bomb went off and created two parallel universes. The bomb went off in 1977 and the result was that the island sank. When it went off, Kate, Jack, Sawyer, et al., were also sent forward to the year 2007, reuniting them with the survivors of Ajira 316. In this universe/timeline the bomb never went off. The hatch was destroyed by Desmond.

Now we have this other storyline. The bomb goes off in 1977 and sinks the island. But it is only 1977. Oceanic 815 will not take off until 2004. But in this universe the island is underwater so the plane can't crash. Desmond can be on the plane because he, in this universe, never crashes on the island.

What I find interesting is that they, or maybe just Jack, assumed that detonating the bomb would have no other side effects-- the island sinking, Hurly having good luck, Jin getting in trouble for having too much cash, Shannon not being on the plane, to name a few. What I think we will see in the parallel universe of the plane landing are the consequences of trying to change your past/future.

Just a few thoughts. I hope this all makes sense.

February 04 2010 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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