Many thanks to David Hale for the kind words and the linkage...in the immortal words of Wayne Campbell..."I'M NOT WORTHY!!! I'M NOT WORTHY!!!"
Believe it or not, even after writing what felt like a Stephen King-level opus yesterday (I mean length, not content...not enough gratuitous gruesome death or creepy kids to qualify as King-level content), I still later realized that there were a couple of things that I meant to address and didn't.
First of all, Shan brought up the point in the comments about what exactly the "rules" are concerning Jacob and MIB, especially in light of Ilana's comment to Sun that MIB was now stuck in the Smocke persona. We are all pretty much in agreement that we have seen Smokey take on other personas, right? Yemi and Alex for "sure" (at least as sure as we can be about this show), and maybe Dave, Christian, and the old guy that Locke saw in the cabin way back in "The Man Behind the Curtain".
So, what has changed? The only thing I can think of is that it revolves around the death of Jacob, and may be somehow related to the loophole that MIB had to find in order to kill him. He can obviously still go back and forth between Smokey and Smocke, so apparently it is only related to his ability to take on the personas of dead people.
Secondly, a more general comment regarding the "Sideways Timeline" plot device...I am certainly enjoying seeing the characters in this new environment and trying to figure out what's "different" about their personalities and how their lives have been changed. And, of course, I'm digging seeing so many of the people from the Island pop up when you least expect them. However, I think that at some point the novelty is going to wear off and the writers are going to have to raise the stakes a little bit. So far, we have not seen any real relevance to what is going on back on the Island, or any concrete consequences to the Jack Daniels plan of blowing up the Island, or even given any real reason to "care" about what is going on in the X timeline outside of just a "what if" scenario. We've seen little hints that some of the characters feel a little tugging at their consciousness that something is weird (Jack recognizing Desmond, Kate seeming to feel some connection to Jack, Claire just "knowing" that the baby's name should be Aaron, etc.), but nothing else.
I'm going to trust the writers, of course...I'm sure they are going to provide more context and stakes to the X timeline as we go along. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later, or I am going to start losing interest in that part of the story.
I'm sort of afraid that they may run into some of the problems that I have with "FlashForward"...as Shan pointed out in the comments to yesterday's post, one little thing (the fact that Locke and his dad appear to be on good terms) produces so many questions and possibilities that it's going to be extremely difficult to reconcile it all without fudging some of the details. How did Locke and Helen meet if he wasn't in anger management, is Sawyer still a con man if Anthony Cooper never conned his parents, and if Sawyer is not a con man why was he in Australia, etc, etc, etc...
The difference here from FlashForward is that we have established characters and plotlines that we as viewers are invested in...I think that if the writers can just get us to the point where the X timeline somehow has consequences or stakes related to the Island timeline, then it will all work out.
One more thing...Terry O'Quinn is a brilliant actor, and is giving an Emmy-worthy performance. What I love is the subtle differences between pre-Island Locke and X-Locke, contrasted with the calculating and dangerous Smocke character that he now is on the Island. Terrific stuff.
Programming note: We are down to the top 24 on American Idol, which means that those recaps will start back up next week. They are back to a two hour performance night on both Tuesday and Wednesday, unlike what they did last season, so I am going to be a busy little blogger with four hours worth of performances to recap every week. For that reason, the LOST recap will almost definitely be pushed back to Saturdays...hey, I have to talk to my wife and kids at SOME point.
This weekend, I plan to let you know my favorites based on what we've seen so far, as well as my thoughts on how this season is playing out with the judge shake-up (SPOILER ALERT: I do not miss Paula).
Hey, and maybe there might even be a few Dawg and other sports related posts thrown in there too, at some point. What can I say? I'm a Renaissance man...