Lost, television

Lost Forum: “LA X”

When Ben came home from work Monday night, Erin was reading in bed. Ben tossed the latest Entertainment Weekly, the one with Jack, Kate, Locke, Boone, Sawyer and Sun on the cover, over to her. She groaned.

“What was that for?”

“I’m not sure I’m ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“For this.” She held up the cover. “For the next four months, for all the obsessing, analyzing, reading and blogging.”

“Honey, is this about my electromagnetic time pendulum in the basement?”

“No.”

“My rat maze and time traveling experiments in the guest bedroom?”

“No.”

Ben softened his voice. “Is it because I accidentally sent Scooter Thomas to 1973 last week?”

“No. It’s just … I want us to go back to just enjoying the show, like we did with season 1. Not trying to figure out What It All Means–”

“Are you speaking in caps now?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm. Proceed.”

“Not trying to figure out What It All Means but just watching it, recording it, and putting it out there for others to comment upon. No convoluted religious/allegorical theories in doctoral thesis form. Just … two fans talking to other fans. Maximum one thousand words a post.”

“I see.”

“Can we do that?”

“I don’t know. Can we?”

———————

We’ve been telling friends who have never seen the show that, at this stage of the game, anyone could jump in and be on the same footing as the savvy “Lost” veteran who has been watching since day one. Especially if you’ve seen this helpful recap of seasons 1-5 as reenacted by an extended Italian family.

Good. We’re all on the same page now.

The question everyone thought would be answered in last night’s episode was if Jughead worked — i.e., Did the island reboot? And from the first five minutes of the episode, we would have answered, “Yes.” We find ourselves back on Oceanic Flight 815. Jack is seated across from lovebirds Rose & Bernard. Bernard’s in the loo. There’s turbulence. Just when you think we’re going to see a repeat of the plane breaking open, bodies flying out the fuselage, etc., etc. … the turbulence subsides. Bernard returns from doing his business. Jack goes back to looking out the window. The camera zooms out and down into a cheesy CGI ocean through schools of fish and the ruins of Dharmaville until it settles on the four-toed statue at the bottom of the ocean. The island has sunk. The plane never crashed. We have entered a new, alternate future. It worked!

Until it didn’t. We see Kate in a tree. Miles, Sawyer, Hurley and Jack all turn up, bloodied and time-shaken. We know this because their ears are still ringing. ( “Is there something wrong with the audio?” Erin asked. “Should we hit the TV?”) There is a crater in the ground, the hollowed imprint of the hatch. So it didn’t work. Time marched ahead as usual. And Sawyer is ready to kill Jack for ever suggesting the asinine idea that detonating a hydrogen bomb would be the proper solution to everyone’s problem.

And so goes the rest of the episode, alternating back and forth (or “flashing sideways“) between the Island narrative we have known all along and an alternate narrative where Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed at all. In other words, the one question we absolutely thought the writers had to answer — Which was it? Success or failure? Are we rebooted or not? — appears to be a question they have no interest in answering, at least not yet, or in terms we understand. (We didn’t think “both” was an acceptable answer.)

Take a deep, contented sigh. Yes. They’ve done it to us again.

What else happened last night?

  • Jacob appeared to Hurley to inform him he (Jacob) was dead. ( “I died an hour ago,” Jacob says, as if he were running an errand.) Jacob also instructs Hurley to take Sayid to a temple.
  • Ben discovers that John Locke can be both dead and undead. Undead (and bulletproof) John Locke — inhabited by the Man in Black — also has a nasty Smokey streak in him, bashing and throttling his would-be assassins like a cosmic three-year-old smashing his G.I. Joes together. ( “I’m sorry you had to see me like that,” MIB Locke tells a stricken Ben afterwards.)
  • In alternate time, Jack thwarts Charlie’s suicide attempt. Boone (BOONE!) and Locke make highly ironic small talk. And Desmond (DESMOND!) somehow turns up on the plane, reading a Salman Rushdie novel. (How did he get there? And where are the other castaways like Shannon, Eko, Libby and Ana Lucia?)
  • Back on the island, Juliet did not survive the blast. (As Sawyer pulled away the wreckage pinning her down, Erin said, “If they show mangled bone, I’m outta here.”) Before she dies Juliet tells Sawyer “We should get coffee” and then that there’s one very important thing he needs to hear. She then dies.
  • We flip over to NBC during commercial break to see if Voldemort Melissa will be voted off “The Biggest Loser” this week. Instead, ABC and NBC have nefariously synchronized their commercial breaks. We run to the kitchen for an ice cream break.
  • Sawyer buries Juliet and makes Miles “talk” to her. Miles says that Juliet wanted Sawyer to know that, despite all evidence to the contrary, “It worked.” (Unless she wasn’t referring to Jughead at all.)
  • In alternate time, Jack et al. unboard is dramatic slow-mo. (Never has a TV show imbued the everyday hubbub of air travel with such import.) Kate breaks free of her inept U.S. Marshal and tries to flee LAX. Arzt and “Frogurt” turn up at baggage claim and taxi curb, respectively. Jack is informed that his dad’s coffin never made it on the plane. He and Locke cross paths in Lost & Found (our favorite scene of the episode). Jack delivers the money quote: “Nothing’s irreversible.”
  • Hurley and crew deliver Sayid to a temple led by a Japanese dude who bears an uncanny resemblance to Maura Tierney.

It’s in the eyes. It helps when Hiroyuki Sanada has long hair too, like he did last night. Just sit with it. You’ll see it eventually. Trust us.

  • Hurley et al. are going to get shot until Hurley name drops Jacob and says Jacob gave him a Very Special Guitar Case. Inside is a hand-carved ankh. Inside the ankh is a scrap of paper, presumably with names on it. Japanese dude and hippie cohort agree to save Sayid, although their idea of “saving” him looks an awful lot like drowning.
  • MIB Locke tells Ben, “I want to go home,” and says to Richard, “It’s good to see you out of those chains.” (?)
  • Sayid, who sure looked dead, turns out to not be dead. (We got a hint this was coming when Miles looked quizzically at his body, as if to say, “I can’t hear his deadness.” It takes a very special actor and a very special show to pull that off.)

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And so we march on into parallel worlds, two timelines running side-by-side. Will they meet? Does what happens in one touch the other? Will Jack ever get his mojo back? Has Hurley become the new leader? Is that really Sayid who came back to life? Did we squeak in under 1000 words? (That’s the only question we can answer definitively: No.)

We’ll link to other recaps as they become available throughout the day.

In the meantime we turn it over to you — one fan to another.

x

(Oh yes — Voldemort Melissa survived to see another week. Just three weeks removed from a weigh-in in which she gained a pound, she took her husband Lance to task for only losing four pounds. You’re a lucky man, Lance!)

UPDATE: Recaps from Doc Jensen and Scott Guldin’s favorite, It Happened Last Night.

MORE UPDATE: Vozzek69 at DarkUFO finally chimes in with his recap.

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13 thoughts on “Lost Forum: “LA X”

  1. This is the recap I like best. It’s quite long, but gives reasonable (for Lost, anyway) explanations for the Richard-in-chains thing, Desmond, and Jack’s bloody neck.

    http://bit.ly/ayM1oQ

    I thought the whole Sawyer-pawing-Juliet’s-bloody-face scene was really gross.

    1. Good stuff. Funnier than the Doc. We also like “notLocke” more than the regrettable “FLocke” moniker that now seems irreversibly (?) embedded in the Lost commentariat’s vocabulary.

  2. I would agree with Erin Voreblog about the “not ready for this”. It’s quite exhausting to watch this show when you do try to figure it out. I thought that this final season might start answering more questions for me, but watching the first episode isn’t giving me much hope. Do I still love the show – absolutely. But these days, I’m too tired to keep up with the thinking. Finally, last night Andy Cashmere made a good point and told me to just “let it all happen” and stop trying to figure it out. As for your post, nice recap Vorebloggers. I enjoyed Erin’s side marks along the way.

  3. Two hours to start a season is too much. I’ve bitched about that for years and (as usual) didn’t get my way. One hour would have been plenty last night.

    I’m fully prepared to be royally pissed off when the series ends.

    1. We forgot about your little “two hours is too much for the season opener” hobby horse. You’re pretty worked up about it. Why do you not like good things, Mike? Did Carlton Cuse kick your dog or something?

  4. I guess this post will be for those that love the questions as much as the answers, love trying to figure out what is coming next and why, and cannot help but discuss these things with anyone willing to chat about them. For those along for the ride and not interested in going though these machinations, please feel free to page down past this entry…

    The premiere was so fast-moving in many ways that I had a hard time putting all of the answers we received together at the time. And we did get some of import:
    – MIB (who I have always preferred to call Nemesis) is definitively Locke 2.0.
    – An ankh was in Hurley’s guitar case.
    – The ash ring around Jacob’s cabin was not to keep an entity trapped within but to keep one out. Bram took a beating to show us that one.
    – The reason the healing water in the temple wasn’t clear was because Jacob had died an hour prior. (Question and answer all in one episode!)
    – Jacob truly was killed by Ben.
    – It seems to be strongly implied by Nemesis saying “it’s good to see you out of those chains” that Richard was one of the slaves from the Black Rock. I expect we will get absolute confirmation of that over the next few episodes, when I hope we will see his backstory.
    – The Whispers in the temple, when Hurley and crew first entered through the hole, seem to confirm that it means the Others are coming. Which they did moments later.

    Of course many new questions arose, among them:
    – Who are all of these previously-unseen people living in the temple?
    – We knew that Ilana had some affiliation with Jacob, but it seems to be a powerful one – one perhaps so old that even Richard knew nothing about it or her or her group of allies. What, when and how?
    – Since Christian directly assisted Locke in leaving the island by turning the donkey wheel, and this seems to have been the direct path by which Nemesis gained his physical body, does this mean that Christian is an aide to him and his machinations? Will Jack eventually overcome his daddy issues by outwitting his pop during the upcoming “war”?
    – Will Sawyer’s character growth be stunted by Juliet’s death and his blaming Jack for it? Or will he find the better man in himself and overcome?
    – Was Desmond really on Oceanic 815 in the alt timeline, or was it just something Jack saw/hallucinated?
    – Where is Nemesis’ “home”?
    – Other original flight members that we did not see include Michael and Waaaaaaaallllllttttt. Where are they?
    – Was Charlie’s near-death experience a suicide attempt? Or just a poor attempt to swallow the drugs he was afraid to get caught with? His saying something like “I was supposed to die” and being bitter at Jack for his survival don’t seem to shed light on either option.
    – Why was Jack’s neck bleeding on the plane?
    – Will alt timeline con man Sawyer try to make Hurley his next mark? When they departed the plane, he certainly was smiling and eyeballing Hurley…
    – What does it mean that people in the alt timeline are missing noteworthy items, such as Locke’s knife case and Jack’s dad? Will we find out that other people on the plane are missing items of importance? Sawyer’s letter? Hurley’s fruit rollup?
    – Is recently-dead Sayid now inhabited by Jacob? Is that why it was so important that he be taken to the temple?

    Other notes:
    – It was cool to see Cindy, Zach & Emma for the first time since season 3’s “The Brig.” I’m glad to know that the kidnapped children are alive and well. Snarky side note: Cindy does not appear to have aged gracefully in the 3 years since the crash.
    – Arzt is still terrifically annoying. I’d almost rather have seen Phil on board the plane.
    – Sayid’s alt timeline passport was Iranian, not Iraqi.
    – Jacob’s willing death was very similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s in “Star Wars”. And Darlton loves Star Wars. But I don’t know what that correlation means, if anything.
    – Bram was killed by a piece of wood in the chest/heart region, much like a vampire. Stoker reference?
    – And certainly not least of all, we find that (so far) Locke appears to have been not only a much-beloved and important character to Lost but perhaps the biggest patsy in all of television history – a sad impotent man who lived a life of weakness. When he finally seemed to be in a magical place that would free him of being always controlled and pushed around, he was then unknowingly led around by the nose by Nemesis – all so that his only truly important role in life (and death) was to allow an evil being to get back his mojo and start a war that might hold the future of humanity in the balance.

    Favorite quotes of the night:
    – “I’m sorry you had to see me like that.”
    – “Nothing’s irreversible.”

    Final unanswerable questions: Why did I write so much about this premiere? And why do I not want to stop even now? (sigh) I did, however, stay under the 1000-word mark of Voreblog, so will take that silver lining and run with it.

  5. Yowza! That’s an impressive recap. You filled in a lot of gaps for us. And we like Nemesis much better than FLocke and notLocke.

    You’re right to note that, in spite of the flood of new questions, many were answered. If last night’s episode was any indication, it’ll be a breakneck pace from now until the end.

    We’re more inclined to say that Sayid has been reincarnated as Jacob as opposed to something malevolent (akin to Locke 2.0). Again, we’re assuming that Jacob is good. This would go back to the finale last year when Jacob touched various characters in off-island flashbacks … sort of like a Voldemort/Horcrux scenario, only good. (Since it’s good, perhaps a better analogy would be a Jesus/Holy Spirit parallel.) Because Jacob touched Sayid, did that enable him to reincarnate in his body?

    We share your wish for more on the Richard Alpert/chains/Black Rock connections. Richard Alpert really needs his own episode this season. Please, guys — just give us that much.

    We’ve also spent more time today replaying Nemesis’s commentary on Locke. On one hand he pitied Locke that he “didn’t understand” and called Locke’s confusion “the saddest thing you’ve ever heard.” But he also seemed to admire Locke for embracing the island and the life it gave him. What to make of this? Besides the fact that Terry O’Quinn is a delicious baddie who’ll probably have the best lines of the season?

    Erin also wanted to add for good measure: DESMOND!

  6. Word around the office today is that Erik Brueggemann was not impressed with the episode, going so far as to say “Lost” has jumped the shark. Was he misquoted?

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