Review: 'Lost' - 'LA X, Parts 1 and 2' (Season Premiere)
by Jonathan Toomey, posted Feb 3rd 2010 1:43AM
(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.
- 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.]