Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Let's get LOST! (Episode 6:1 & 2, LA X)

If you haven't seen this week's episode of LOST yet...
Don't say you weren't warned. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk LOST!

When Juliet hit that bomb and the screen went white, we spent the next several months wondering if the Losties were back in 2004 on a plane that didn't crash, or if they were still stuck in 2007 (or 1977). The answer is, yes. I have two words for you: Flash-sideways. First we had flashbacks, then we had flashforwards, and now we have what the showrunners have named "flashsideways". We're watching two possible parallel realities unfolding at the same time - one reality in which the plane didn't crash (2004 - what we see as the flashsideways) and one reality in which the plane did crash and they are still hashing it out on the island (2007 - what we see as the "present"). It's as if when they exploded the bomb they split time. I wonder which reality will win out? The title of the show, LA X, is like when you talk about math solutions and you solve for X. This is Los Angeles X or possible Los Angeles. (And, of course, it's a clever pun on the name of LA's airport.)

Ever since I watched the premiere, I've been trying to formulate my thoughts for this post and found it was nearly impossible. There were so many revelations and new developments shoved into those first two hours. Almost a week later, and my mind is still reeling. Could I just go ahead and give the LOST writers a standing ovation right now? (Stands up and claps.) I never saw any of this coming! The following are my three selected moments from the show, with more discussion after that.

I thought this was the most shocking moment of the night:
Not-Locke/Esau/Man In Black/Nemesis: "Sorry you had to see me like that..."
Tied with
Jack on the plane was NOT a dream...

First of all, can we decide on a name for the as-yet unnamed king of all evil on this show? At the end of last season, we were all calling him Esau. I've seen all of the above names given to him. Lostpedia is using Man in Black. Cuse and Lindelof are calling him the Nemesis. I suppose I'll go with that until we finally get a real name. So, we discovered this evil Nemesis and Smokey are one in the same thing. How scary was that scene and that look Not-Locke gave Ben? (Shudders.) I'm getting a lot of Narnia overtones in this story, in that the Nemesis's powers were somehow limited or put in check by the presence of Jacob. At the end of last season, Jacob gave himself up to be killed almost willingly, with a calmness that reminded me of Aslan submitting himself to death at the hands of the White Witch. Just like the witch, the Nemesis now thinks he's won, and is free from the "repression" of "good", but I have a feeling Jacob has something up his sleeve, and the Nemesis played right into the pattern of what was to happen, (again, just like Narnia). What I want to know is, where is home for the Nemesis, and why does he want to go there?

How many of you thought the initial scene of Jack on the plane was a dream, especially when things weren't going the way we've always seen them? Yep, me too. (Raises hand.) Especially after they cut to Kate waking Jack up, then I really thought it was a dream. But oh no, it can't be that easy! We are sooooo at the mercy of those writers! They know our expectations and play with them, tease us, wink at us, and drive us nuts! Did you notice all the subtle differences from the first version of the 2004 flight and this current version? Lostpedia has a nice breakdown here. You thought flasforwards were hard to wrap your brain around, with this latest development of flashsideways, I'm pretty sure my brain is going to explode while watching this show. ABC should provide complimentary Excedrin to all Losties.

I thought this was the most heartbreaking moment of the night:
Juliet: "We should get coffee sometime. We can go dutch."

So, this whole show was pretty heartbreaking. If I hadn't been in a room with a bunch of other people, I probably would have cried through most of it. I thought we'd cried enough with Juliet and Sawyer's tearful last scene in the season 5 finale. This scene just made it even more awful. However, I think Juliet got a glimpse of both possible timelines (2004 and 2007) and that's why her last message (delivered post-mortem by Miles) was "It worked." The bomb did re-write time and the plane no longer crashes. How does Juliet know this? I predict we'll see a scene, much closer to the end of the series, where Sawyer flirts with Juliet in the airport or something and she says they should get coffee sometime. Remember when we were flashing through time last season, and we discovered that if you don't have a constant, you can't keep your mind/soul grounded in one time and it bounces back and forth? Right before Charlotte died, she was flashing back to being a child, talking about eating chocolate before dinner? That's what I think was going on with Juliet, only I think she flashed to the alternate 2004 timeline. I can't wait to see if I'm right!

I wanted to cry when Charlie appeared on the screen, and when he angrily told Jack he was supposed to die. The 2004 timeline negates all the character development he went through and his heroic death - that's a sad thought. Seeing all the characters interacting with each other as complete strangers was weird and sad. Seeing Sayid die was REALLY sad. I'm so glad he's not dead, although I hope he's not possessed now by Jacob like Locke is possessed by Esau/Nemesis. But most of all, I really felt for Jack in this episode. I guess part of me really identifies with his need to fix things and make them right, to live up to the expectations of others, to please others, and of having all the burden put on you to be a leader, to be the responsible one, the one to make decisions, etc. It's a heavy burden to bear, especially when things don't work out. I think Fox portrayed this with some amazing acting, without many spoken lines. This reviewer describes my sentiments about this exactly. It's worth a read. Take some time when you're done here and go over there to read the review.

Other bloggers can diss Jack as being a sad-sack wussy but I can't wait for the writers to give him his final "moment" (just like Charlie) where he transcends all this. I think it will be a powerful moment, and I really hope the writers don't miss out on that opportunity, to give Jack the redemption he so deserves.

And finally, here's the funny moment of the night:
Sayid: "What happened?"

Sayid coming back to life wasn't funny, but the fact that the last line of the show "What happened?" is exactly what all us LOST fans were asking as the Bad Robot logo flashed across the screen IS funny. What just happened?!?!

A few more parting thoughts... I loved Jack's line to Locke about his back injury, "Nothing is irreversible." What a very telling and hopeful line! What do you think about the Nemesis telling Richard he was glad to see him out of his chains? Was he a prisoner on the Black Rock? Personally, I think he's referring not to literal chains, but to his bondage/servitude to Jacob, which is severed now that Jacob is dead. What do you think about the 2004 island being underwater and uninhabited? (Kathleen - that question is for you. I know you have the answer!) Why do you think Desmond is on the plane? What do you think about Sayid? I think Sayid is still Sayid, and that it just took longer for the magic spring water to heal him because it's lost some of it's power, since Jacob is dead. What do you think about Dogen (the leader in the Temple) and seeing the Temple for the first time? What do you think about seeing Cindy the stewardess again? So many things to discuss!

Here's one more theory of my own that I'd like to put out there, to see if I'm right when the end of the show comes. I think the protective ash is Jacob. After Ben stabbed Jacob, he was burned up in the fire pit. I think the ash they pour in a protective circle around them (i.e. at the cabin, Braum, at the temple) is the cremated remains of Jacob. Since he seems to be the good guy, the protector, and the one that kept the Nemesis and his evil ways in check, maybe his ashes would hold some of that power. But, how do they have the ash BEFORE he is dead? Well, maybe he's like a phoenix, and has died over and over again as part of a sacrificial/protective cycle? Just a thought.

What were your favorite moments? What do you think about the direction this final season is headed? Are you worried about them not answering all your questions, or leaving any loose ends? Leave me a comment and let me know.


Laura said...

grr... too late to write a lengthy comment so I'll just put a link here. This is a side-by-side run of flight 815 with the crash on the left and the "alternate time line" on the right. I was particularly impressed with Matthew Fox's acting in the new timeline.

What's surprising is that I didn't even notice it the first time around, but with the comparison of the crash going at the same time I am IMPRESSED with his facial expression and ability to get in that moment when the crash was going on. He's thinking "something IS happening"... but then it doesn't. I suspect something to come of this, but I can't even speculate what.

I am not a Jack fan, but Matt knocks this out.

D.L. White said...

No worries - the post isn't going anywhere, and we have a few hours until the next show - post at your leisure! ;-)

I like the video. Really interesting comparison. And you're right - Matthew Fox's acting was good in this scene, but compared to the original, you can really see the layers of what's going on in his mind.

I never watched "Party of 5" when it was on TV, so LOST is pretty much my only exposure to Matthew Fox. I'd be interested in seeing him in a movie or something else, to see what kind of actor he is outside of LOST. ;-) I saw "Vantage Point" but he wasn't in the movie for very long to be able to really see him act (plus it was kind of an action type flick).

It's interesting... I wouldn't say Jack is my favorite, even now, but he certainly has grown on me. When the show first started, I could have cared less about him...I thought he was your token generic hero/leader. How wrong I was...

Laurie B said...

Wow! So much to talk about.

I think the shocker for me was when Nemesis said, "Sorry you had to see me like that." Is it him who we see as Christian on the Island? What about Locke's father? I don't think he's Sayid now because he seems to have only "cloned" Locke so far. He isn't posessing him. Since Sayid's body was visible to us the whole time, he's not Sayid.

I think Nemesis is a judge and executor for Anubis. When he faced Locke, Eko and Ben, he flashed their lives in front of them before deciding if they would live or die. I think he was judging how useful they would be to him. Locke was motivated to stay on the island and a very physically strong man however very emotionally damaged. He is useful. He lives. Eko was now a man of God and so, not useful. He dies. Ben was completely evil and would do anything to keep his power, even let his own daughter be killed. Once he knew the truth about how Jacob used him he would kill Jacob. He lives.

I am interested in the flashsides episodes but don't really want to try to analyze them. It's just fun to try to catch the differences.

D.L. White said...

@Laurie - LOVE your theory about how the Nemesis/Smokey picked and chose who lived and who died! I think you're right on target.

We know the Nemesis is inhabiting Locke's body, so he doesn't need another body... but I'm worried that since Jacob was killed, he needed a new body and inhabited Sayid. I hope the writers don't do that, because I want Sayid to be Sayid. But I guess it would make sense...

Suddenly this is starting to feel less like "Back to the Future" and more like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". Ha ha!

Laurie B said...

A thought about the ash. Smoke comes from fire and so does ash. Are the ash and Smoke Monster from the same fire?

Laurie B said...

A thought about the ash. Smoke comes from fire and so does ash. Are the ash and Smoke Monster from the same fire?

D.L. White said...

Whoa... interesting angle...

hyacinthinemoon said...

My thoeory on Smokey from last season was that he is Anubus' pet, and perhaps exiled to the island, but I think Laura B has refined that to the judge and executor of Anubus. We know the Egyptian gods play some kind of role in this because of the hyrogliphs and statues/temples, so I think we are thinking along the same lines.

Davina, I know why the island is underwater perhaps. ;) My theory still fits. I never know what they will do on this show though....

Laura said...

Ok, time for me to unload some of my questions/theories/insights:

Jacob's cabin: I'm pretty sure when Ben brought Locke there for the first time that it wasn't Jacob in the cabin but the Nemesis. Remember, he said "Help me" to Locke, that could have been an authentic request for help like Laurie said (good theory Laurie!) I also think the ash was used to contain the Nemesis in the cabin in whatever body he was using, but that doesn't explain why Smokey was out killing the pilot/Eko if there was a body still in the cabin. What if the "incident" had more to do with the smoke monster escaping than we think? This needs more thorough analysis in my brain. :)

Disappearing Island: I think that when Ben moved the island the first time, it sank. We saw a giant "blp" in the ocean like a drop of water, maybe that was the ripples from the island submerging. There's some line up with the timing of this that I haven't fully put together. Again, I need more thought on it.

Sayid's Death: Remember that Mrs. Hawking told everyone at the Lamp Post that ALL of the Oceanic Six had to go back (including dead Locke)? There is something significant about that as the note in the ankh said if Sayid dies they're all in big trouble... so I don't think he's dead. I got nothing beyond that.

Temple "holy" Water: I suspect all the water on the island holds special power except rain water. This might explain why some people on the island are healed while others are not and some never age, like Richard. It might be a nod to Jesus saying in John "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." Maybe LOST is using a literal understanding of living water leading to eternal life on earth?

Well, I guess I don't have any answers, just more questions. All this info keeps muddling around in my mind and then jumps to my conscience and I think, "ah-ha, that's it!" Only to check a timeline on Lostpedia and find I'm way off with a sequence of events rendering my theory impossible. But I still love to speculate and wonder about what the writers have planned next.

Oh, how I love this sweet torture!

D.L. White said...

@Kat - Time for us to brush up on our Egyptian mythology! I know quite a bit, but it's been a while since I've looked or thought about it, so I'm a little fuzzy as to who is who. Of course, none of it may matter, because the showrunners have said the island is "older than time" and pre-dates any signs of ancient civilization that may be there.

@Laura - I like your idea about the water. When they first showed us the pool, I thought about the fountain of eternal youth, especially since the temple looks Aztec/Mayan from the outside. It would explain why Richard doesn't age.

First it was Egyptians (which, personally, I think Richard looks Egyptian) now it's an Aztec/Mayan temple, run by a Kung Fu master. Mythic worlds are colliding! What will LOST do next?!?!

On a completely seperate thought, Shawn and I now both believe that Bernard and Rose are the "Adam and Eve" skeletons in the caves. If they remained in 1977 and lived out their lives on the island, it would make sense that they'd be dead and gone by the time the plane crashes in 2004. Funny thing... Bernard and Rose never went to the caves - they were part of the group that stayed on the beach. But how weird would that have been if we were right, and they'd gone to the caves and seen the skeletons, they would have been looking at themselves.

Ouch! I think I just pulled a brain muscle.

Laurie B said...

Sayid is not Jacob. He and Nemesis have to duplicate dead bodies not posess them.

The temple water was not clear but why? Was it Jacob's life that kept it pure? I think it changed when he died. Or maybe his spirit was in it.

What about Richard's chains? Were they figurative, as in now being free of his servatude to Jacob, was he once Nemesis' prisoner or was he on the Black Rock as a slave? If the third was true it would mean Nemesis hadn't seen him since then.

When Richard told them not to shoot Locke as he came out of the Temple, I think it was because he thought it might be Jacob. But he knew as soon as he looked in his eyes it was Nemesis.

Has anyone else noticed that the bullets in the Temple bounced off Nemesis? If Jacob could be stabbed, why not Nemesis shot? I don't think Jacob and Nemesis can kill each other but it was Braum doing the shooting.