Wednesday, February 03, 2010

LOST 6x1 - 6x2: "LA X" Thoughts, Speculations, and Theories

To echo the Internet: "Wow."

This was truly an incredible season opener, for one of the most fascinating TV shows ever. I say this with no hyperbole. I can't remember any other show that so drastically played with time and space. In the first few minutes of this episode, we have 5 seasons of drama and action reset, only to have that realization blown out of the water, and "our" characters back, almost where we left them. Over the summer break, the big question running around was: "Did it work??" The incredible answer: "Yes it did. And it didn't!"

This totally fulfilled my wildest speculation about how the season will unfold. I was hoping Faraday's gamble would work - that would give a lot of weight to the previous season. But I also didn't want to lose our characters, the drama and heartbreak of Jack and Sawyer and Kate and Juliet. I could not conceive of losing them and their history. So the creation of an alternate reality (as opposed to changing the past) is a perfect solution!

And then we get the added benefit of bringing back some old favorites who died on the island, like Boone and Charlie. This was a great touch and I hope these returned characters are dealt with well and not killed off quickly in a fulfillment of their "destiny." Especially Charlie.

The first episode spent a lot of time with Not-Dead-Yet Juliet. This was a little crazy since she died dramatically in the season finale and here she is, yelling for help. Awesome, right? Well, kinda. I'll echo the complaint that with the recap episode and the Previously On segment and then a few of the final minutes of last season replayed early in the episode, we watched Juliet die many times and it was getting a little old before Sawyer even managed to free her.. Only to watch her slip away.

BUT, not before revealing an important tidbit of info. Right before Juliet dies, she whispers a few words that seem to be random ravings of a dying woman. She says, "We should get a coffee sometime. We could go dutch." And she smiles. This confusing bit of dialogue has an extra weight later in the episode when Miles is able to communicate with the deceased Juliet and we find out that she wanted to tell Sawyer: "It worked."

My brilliant and beautiful wife had an incredible theory that I believe will turn out to be true. Basically, the idea is that somehow, in her final moments, Juliet was able to tap into the OTHER Juliet, from the newly created alternate reality, and a scene sometime in the past when Alternate Juliet met Alternate Sawyer and they flirted briefly. So even though our Juliet has died, she was happy because she knew that their gamble had worked. We will probably see that scene between Juliet and Sawyer in the alternate reality late in the season. Props to Shawn for figuring it out early.

The other main conceit during the first episode was the differences between the new alternate reality and established backstories. Some glaring differences are Desmond on the plane. Boone alone, without his sister Shannon. But the really interesting ones are the tricks that the writers pull on us harmless viewers to try and trick us into thinking things were MUCH different. For instance, Locke tells Boone that he actually did go on his walkabout. Hurley claims to be the "luckiest man alive." But as the episode ends, we see Locke being put into a wheelchair and we wonder..How different is this new reality from what we know?

The second episode spent more time on the Island, in the present. This part is glossed over a little in the first episode and left intentionally vague, but Jack and Kate and other time traveling survivors are now back in the present, where Jacob, Locke, and Ben have begun their war. The revelation about the Man In Black/Jacob's Nemesis/Fake Locke is the Smoke Monster is pretty huge and explains a lot about the dynamic of the island, including the significance of the ash surrounding Jacob's cabin. I've also always been curious about the Sonic Fence that surrounded New Otherton, why would the Others, led by Jacob, need to protect themselves from the Monster if the Monster was just a manifestation of the Island (like I assumed). Well, he's not. He's this guy, whoever his name his. It still doesn't explain how Ben was able to use the Monster to defeat Widmore's soldiers, but we may get some explanation for that in coming episodes.

But the big deal was The Temple, finally! After years of this Others hideaway being cloaked in mystery, we finally get to see it, and it's very impressive! At first I thought they traveled through time again, the Temple looked so ancient and yet well preserved. But no, they're in the present, led by an Ra's al Ghul-looking mofo and his Jewish translator (Played by John Hawkes from Deadwood. That's the sixth actor from Deadwood in a minor role on LOST. Awesome!). I didn't mind the other language or the weirdness of the situation, it actually felt more "right" with the strangeness of the Others. For awhile there, at the end of Season 5 with Locke leading the Others, the people looked a little too much like young survivors of a plane crash, not the wild indigenous population who have been on the island for a long time.

Meanwhile, in the alternate reality, landing in LAX may not have been the best thing to happen to our characters. Charlie is arrested. Jin looks like he's about to be arrested. Oceanic lost Christian Shepard's coffin. Only Kate seems to come out well, freeing herself from captivity and then stealing a cab with everyone's favorite Australian: Claire! It should be very interesting to see what happens next in all these storylines.

The ending of the episode, while satisfying, left me with some definite questions and some confusion. The scenes with Sayid in the Spring were very confusing, but I'm happy with the end result. What is Sayid's importance to the Others? And what will the Others do now that Jacob has seemingly died? On the beach near the Statue, the scene with Fake Locke and Richard was also confusing because I could not understand why the Others did not leap to defend their defacto leader, Richard? They all had guns, but they stood there like dumbasses. I wonder if there's a real reason for that or that was just to serve the overall story.

I can't wait to see what happens next!


Shawn said...

Great Recap! I think you have touched on a lot of interesting things that can happen in this final season. pretty exciting! And knowing that this is the last season each episode is going to be packed with stuff to tie everything up.

And thanks for the props on my theory :)

Elad said...

Thanks Shawn. :) Although I wouldn't cross your fingers for tons of reveals every episode like we got this week.

You know, there's an interesting thing that happens in the last season of a popular show. Basically, people go fucking nuts. They think every precious episode needs to contain X amount of revelations/resolutions and when that doesn't happen, viewers freak out.

Perfect example was the final season of Galactica. Fans were so hungry for answers that sometimes episodes that diverged from the main story were met with harsh criticism, but Galactica redeemed itself with an epic finale that answered everything. Still, it left many fans bitter.

LOST, I believe, will be the same. We've got 15 episodes left this season. Not every episode will be as dramatic and revealing as "LA X." I intended to fully enjoy the ride and not worry about whats being revealed or not. The series finale is what's going to really blow our socks off.

Anonymous said...

great article. I would love to follow you on twitter.

Elad said...

hey Anonymous! Thank you so much!

I don't have a twitter account, unfortunately. I tend to be a little verbose (as I'm sure you've noticed), so I need more words than twitter allows, I think.