Monday, February 8, 2010

Thoughts on Lost - LA X 1&2

Sorry this is schedule, Super Bowl, blah, blah...let's get to it!

For new readers, I basically go through the transcript of the episode after multiple viewings, so these thoughts are (for the most part) chronologically congruent with the way the episode aired.

- Between the recap special before the premiere and then the actual episode, I felt like I watched Juliet get pulled down that hatch-hole about 15 times. Kind of took away the emotional impact of both that scene and the later one between her and Sawyer.

- OK, here's the deal on the "new" Flight 815 thing...Damon and Carlton have said in multiple interviews since the premiere and again in the podcast that this is not an ALTERNATE reality, because that implies that one of the realities is not real. This is more of a parallel reality...both of them real, just...different. The "X" in "LA X" is probably a reference to a common comic book practice of referring to parallel realities as "X" (Earth vs. Earth X, for instance).

The Jack Daniels plan of blowing up Jughead assumed that the only real result would be that 815 would never crash. In fact, there are probably going to be huge ramifications on all of our characters because of this (still idiotic, in my opinion) decision on Jack's part to blow everything up to keep from having to meet Kate (I agree with the motivation, just not the decision).

So this explains the differences we see between the two flights, most of which you can find on, HERE. I probably won't note all of them, just the ones that I found the most interesting and/or important, and I'll revisit some of my questions/observations at the end.

Side question: Carlton called this new plot device a "flash sideways" rather than a flash forward or flashback. But...on the Island, the year is 2007. Is this new Flight 815 also in 2007, and therefore three years "late"? Lostpedia is saying that Flight 815 X is happening in 2004, just like the original one did, so I guess we'll go with that until we hear otherwise...

One thing that I noticed throughout the "flash-sideways" was that Jack seems noticeably discombobulated. He seems to realize something is wrong before the turbulence ever starts.

- On the other hand, Rose seems almost preternaturally calm. This time, she is the one who calms Jack down instead of the other way around. Nice callback to have her tell Jack, "You can let go's OK, you can let go", since we know this has always been Jack's problem.

And maybe I'm reading too much, but her response of "Yeah...we sure did" when Jack tells her they "made it" seemed to have deeper meaning than just the turbulence.

- Bernard: "I almost died in that bathroom". Heh...yeah, if you only knew.

- I think it's safe to assume that Jack didn't just nick himself shaving. They wouldn't have focused on that wound if it didn't mean something. Is it a callback to the wound that he received in the original 815 crash, the one that he got Kate to help him stitch up? a weird scenario I came up with on the it the gunshot wound that Daniel Faraday had in his last days on the Island? Has Daniel somehow been reincarnated as Jack in this parallel universe? Crazy, I know. Then again: Smoke Monster, Taller Ghost Walt, Dead Christian Shepherd, Eyeliner Guy who never ages, etc, etc....

- And then...hey, there's Desmond! This was the first real clue that other things have changed than just the plane not crashing. Desmond is supposed to be on the Island, forgetting to push the button.

- The book he's reading is "Haroun and the Sea of Stories". I'll let you do your own research HERE as to how it relates to LOST, but I will say this..."Haroun" is the Arabic version of "Aaron".

- Jack seems to remember Desmond, but Des doesn't remember Jack (or does he?...more on that later). But, does Jack remember Des from the Island reality, or from when they met at the Stadium? Or, did they even meet at the Stadium in this reality? Des, you remember, was there training for his boat race around the world, which is how he got to the that boat race still real? (this is where the nosebleeds begin...don't worry, it's normal).

- That was a really cool shot that took us to the underwater Island, complete with Dharma shark.

Just based on what we saw there, the Island did in fact make it through 1977, and presumably was sunk by Jughead. So...what happened to all of the other people who were on the Island at that time, and what are the ramifications? Eloise? Ben? Charles Widmore? If they all died, then what about Faraday, Penny, etc?

- And, AGAIN with the Juliet death scene...

- At the time that Sawyer was kicking the crap out of Jack, I was getting a real vicarious thrill from it...I pretty much felt the same way. By the end of the episode, though, I actually started feeling a little sorry for Jack, believe it or not...I think his character has reached rock bottom with the belief that his "plan" didn't work, and now he has dead bodies on his conscience.

(Again, for new problems with Jack and Kate have nothing to do with the actors portraying them...I just find both characters to be extremely annoying, in their own special and unique ways. I am a "Jater" in that I think they should wind up together in order to avoid subjecting other innocent people to their misery).

- OK, this was funny...on the initial viewing, I thought Jack and Kate were having a little "moment" on the plane when she came out of the bathroom, and I think Jack did, too. Turns out she only let her hands linger on his chest to lift his pen for her later escape plan.

- The next two scenes (Kate talking to Mars, and Hurley's conversation with Arzt) are a good opportunity to remind you what we saw at Comic-Con. In two separate videos, Hurley is now the owner of the Mr. Cluck's franchise, and obviously living a great life. Kate, on the other hand, saw her plan to kill her stepfather blow up in her face (see what I did there?) when she accidentally blew up his plumbers apprentice instead. Does it make a difference now that Kate actually killed an innocent bystander, rather than the alcoholic wife-abusing cretin that she killed in the original timeline?

- They were obviously trying to make us think that Sawyer is going to try to con Hurley out of his lottery money. But maybe in this timeline, Sawyer is just a guy who is looking out for Hugo, rather than trying to establish trust so that he can pull off another long con?


Nah, he's totally going to con him out of his lottery money. Poor Hugo.

- Funniest line of the night that shouldn't have really been funny: Hurley, tending to Sayid, who is coughing up blood: "Oh, God. Oh God, this is gross..."

- Unfortunately, Sayid kind of has a point about his eternal destiny. He IS a torturer. He IS a murderer. Even when given an opportunity at a "Tabula Rasa", he still keeps going back to his old ways. He tortured Sawyer way back in Season 1. He tried to murder a 12 year old Ben Linus. He became Ben's hit man in the O6 days. As much as I love Sayid, he is not a good guy, and this Island seems very concerned with the whole "good vs. evil" thing.

- "I've got a gun....and I know how to shoot it!" Hee. I love Hugo.

- Hmmm...apparently, Jin is still a jerk in the new timeline. That stinks.

- OK, either Boone is MUCH more confident and self assured in this new reality, or Ian Somerhalder has a hard time losing his Vampire Diaries persona (no, I don't watch the show...but I have two tweenage daughers, and a wife with tweenage tastes. This Boone looked and acted a lot like Damon (the vampire, not the producer)).

- I really, REALLY wanted Locke to be telling the truth when he told Boone about the walkabout. Dang.

- Another cool little "inside joke" type line - Boone to Locke: "If this thing goes down, I'm sticking with you". Heh.

- Locke seemed...different, somehow to me. He seems happier and more at peace now than he did in the initial timeline, although he is still living in a fantasy world sometimes (lying to Boone about the walkabout, similar to his role-playing as the "General" in the initial timeline). Maybe they were just trying to throw us off by having him appear more "whole" to make it more of a surprise when he was revealed to still be wheelchair-bound?

- And because it can't be said enough, Terry O'Quinn is probably the best actor on television right now. He not only played two vastly different characters in this episode (mysterious and dangerous Man in Black, broken yet wise Locke)...he INHABITED those two characters.

- As always, there is so much subtext in conversations between Ben and Locke (even Fake Locke) that it is almost impossible to discuss it all. But I definitely think there is something to this exchange:
Ben: Why didn't he fight back? Why did he just let me kill him?
FLocke: I guess he knew that he was beaten. I don't think that's it. Jacob LET Ben kill him, and the writers just confirmed that for us on purpose. He had a reason.

- Bram seems like a real jerk. Or SEEMED, whatever. (Oops...spoiler alert!). But he was part of the team that came with Ilana, who was brought here by Jacob, who I am still assuming is a good guy until we are told otherwise.

- Frank ain't buying it, though.

- Loved how Ben tried to get a little of his Liar Mojo back with the whole "No, everything's fine...John and Jacob are just hanging out in there and they want to talk to Richard...nothing to see here" thing, only to have Richard rather unceremoniously dump him on top of Locke's dead body.

It's always interesting to see Ben genuinely shocked by something that happens on the Island, normally because it doesn't happen very often. Sure does seem to be happening a lot more frequently, doesn't it? Anyway...the body of dead Locke was apparently the LAST thing he expected to see, based on his reaction.

- Another funny exchange:

Jacob: I died an hour ago.
Hurley: Sorry, dude...that sucks.

- So Hurley thinks Jacob is going to ask him to do something crazy, and Jacob says no. He just wants him to get Jin to take the almost dead Sayid to the hole in the wall where he went with the French team, which will then take them to a Temple, where Sayid can get help...and oh, yeah, bring that guitar case I gave you.

So, yeah...nothing TOO crazy, right?

- I'm kind of breezing past what is going on at the Swan...short story is that they think they hear Juliet and are trying to dig through the rubble to get to her. And Sawyer is still pissed at Jack. And Jack is trying not to cry a lot.

- Back on Flight 815 X, we get another scene that has a couple of cool little callback moments:

  • Jack is saving Charlie's life, just like he did after Ethan hanged him in Season 1.

  • Jack is saving somebody's life and looking for a pen, just like he was in the pilot.

  • And, of course, we find out later why Jack doesn't have a pen...Kate lifted it in when Jack thought she was flirting with him.
- So in the original timeline, Charlie was "just" snorting heroin in the he is apparently trying to commit suicide by swallowing a bag of heroin instead.

- My very favorite scene of the entire episode...Bram and his team of "bodyguards" try to kill "Locke" only to have him disappear....followed by the familiar clickety clack sounds that can only mean one thing...SMOKEY!!

We all pretty much assumed that Locke=Man In Black=Smoke Monster after the finale last season, but it was cool to have it so obviously confirmed.

Plus, I loved the scene where Bram tried to protect himself with the ash (which answered another mystery...the ash was used to repel Smokey, so the ash around the cabin was probably meant to protect Jacob (or whomever was in the cabin)), and it worked for a few seconds...until Smokey basically threw a chunk of ceiling at him, knocking him out of the circle of ash, and then impaled him on Jacob's loom). Hilarious. I watched that part about 5 times in a row. :-)

And then, official confirmation: "I'm sorry you had to see me like that".


- OK, I have changed my mind on the Sawyer/Juliet deathbed conversation since I wrote my initial post. When Juliet is trying to tell Sawyer that "It worked", it's because she gets a glimpse of the X timeline in her dying moments. I thought she was just talking gibberish to Sawyer when I first saw the episode, but upon rewatch I noticed what she said: "We can get coffee some time....we can go Dutch".

I'd bet my paycheck that we will see Sawyer and Juliet meet in the X timeline, and they will have this exact conversation. And I will most likely cry.

So? Shut up.

- And on Flight 815 X, Desmond is nowhere to be found. So was he ever there in the first place? Remember, Faraday said that Desmond is "uniquely and miraculously special". I wonder if Desmond is able to pop back and forth between the two realities?

By the way, one other Desmond note...he is wearing a wedding ring. I can't really see how he is with Penny in this X timeline. Maybe he is still married in the "original" timeline, but still bouncing back and forth? Hmm....

- And Rose's "Oh, we were sleeping" excuse just didn't seem genuine to me. I'm either reading too much into Rose, or the writers are using her as a red herring, or the part just wasn't very well acted...because almost everything Rose said on this flight rang false to me.


Whew....deep breath, crack the knuckles...back to work.

- Even before Hurley copped to it later, we know he's already looked in the guitar case, since he tells Miles it's not a guitar. Not that I blame him or would actually be weirder if he DIDN'T look at some point, right?

- Good matter which timeline we are in, Oceanic SUX. They are either crashing planes hundreds of miles off course, or they are losing passengers' dead family members...and referring to them as CARGO.


- Did anybody else find it strange that Jin was OK with just heading on down into that hole? Last time he was there, he saw Smokey drag armless Montand down there, and he was sure to make sure Danielle didn't follow. I think this was just a plot hole...

- So, the whispers are apparently this new group of Others? The Temple Dwellers? Is that confirmed? Regardless, Kate continues her habit of wondering away from the group and getting snatched as a result.

- How big is this friggin' Island? Nobody ever found this Temple, with all of the running around they did?

- Agent Mars is still a jerk, and still incompetent, and still getting his butt kicked by a girl. Nice to know some things are the same.

- Speaking of things that are the same, Sawyer still has the hots for Freckles, and whether we know he is a con man or not, we know that he is not above bending the law for a hottie.

- I haven't mentioned it, since I haven't been giving much attention to this story line, but Josh Holloway killed it in this episode, too. His mixture of anger, grief, and utter brokenness was pretty guttural, and it came to a head in the scene with him and Miles at the gravesite.

Although, he did come across as a little slow: "What worked?" Seriously? What do you think she may be referring to James? The Obama stimulus package? Todd Grantham's 3-4 defensive schemes?

- VERY interested to see what the deal is with Cindy the stewardess. She has obviously been hanging out at the Temple for a while, but she really seems to be a part of the group.

- Lostpedia has the translation of the head Temple-Other, and what he says before he tells them to shoot the Lostaways is, "They should not have come here. Seeing this place is unforgivable. Shoot them." Which is further evidence, to me, that Cindy was one of "Them" all along...otherwise, why didn't they shoot her when she got there, if she was just another Lostaway?

- Jacob does love his lists, doesn't he?

- I know, I know, the Ankh is the Egyptian symbol for eternal life...but couldn't Jacob have found a smaller version to put one little piece of paper in? If I was Hurley, I'd be pretty ticked. Jacob really needs a stationary set. He could get envelopes with a little Ankh symbol on them. Much easier to carry.

- What WAS Jin doing with all of that money? Did he have that in the original timeline? And...does Sun speak English, and she just sees this as her opportunity to ditch Jin? Or, in this timeline, has she not worked up the courage to leave him and therefore not learned English?

- Why isn't the water in the spring clear? My guess is it's because Jacob is dead...more on that shortly.

- "If we do this there will be risks". Probably things like memory loss, a loss of innocence, stuff like what Richard said would happen to Little Ben.

- I love this show SO know how long they held Sayid under water? 108 seconds. I love that the show paid that much attention to detail, and I love that they knew their fanbase well enough to know that they wouldn't even have to point it out on the show...we would figure it out ourselves.

- And another cool callback...Jack continuing to do chest compressions, even after the patient is obviously dead. He gave up on Sayid a lot quicker than he gave up on Charlie, though...could it be that Jack is learning to let things go easier?

- Another thing that hasn't changed in the X timeline...Frogurt is still an annoying little tool. Yeah, Kate cut in line, but he didn't have to be a jerk to somebody he doesn't even know. Unless, of course, he has met Kate, in which case his behavior is forgiven.

- CLAIRE! Good to have you back! Couldn't tell whether she was pregnant or not, though...

- Did Hurley seem more leader-ish to you guys, or is it just me? Maybe it's just because I love the character so much and would really love for him to be involved in the ultimate "answers" as to what is going on?

- Obviously, Jacob was somehow protecting the Temple from Man in Black/Smokey, because they freaked when they found out he was dead. Plus, I think that's why the water turned dirty, too...Jacob wasn't around anymore to keep the Temple operating correctly (not sure how else to word that...hopefully you get my meaning).

- Another awesome Michael Emerson/Terry O'Quinn scene. These guys should just agree to only do projects together from now on.

- So Smokey has some residual Locke-ness to him...he knows what his last thoughts were. And, yes, I agree...that is about the saddest thing I have ever heard. More than anything else, I am rooting for Locke to somehow have a happy ending out of this new timeline. I still hate the way he went out...confused, angry, broken, humiliated. Ugh.

Great description from Smokey:

I'm talking about John Locke. Do you wanna know what he was thinking while you, choked the life outta him Benjamin? What the last thought that ran through his head was? "I don't understand". Isn't that just the saddest thing you ever heard? But it's fitting in a way, because when John first came to the island, he was a very sad man. A victim, shouting at the world for being told what he couldn't do, even though they were right. He was weak, and pathetic, and irreparably broken. But, despite all that, there was something admirable about him. He was the only one of them that didn't wanna leave. The only one, who realized how pitiful the life he'd left behind actually was.

- And, what does Smokey want? He wants to go HOME. He's been trapped on this Island for thousands of years, probably held somehow by Jacob. Now that Jacob is out of the way, he can finally get out. Obviously, I'm not clear on the details, but that's the great thing about recapping this season...I'm not going to break my brain theorizing any more. Answers are gonna come sooner rather than later.

- It looks like Sawyer is getting his wish...Jack is definitely suffering.

- Another great scene between Jack and Locke in the Lost Baggage section. I miss wise old eccentric Locke.

Is there any significance to what the two men "lost"? Jack lost his father, the man who Jack hated and idolized at the same time, a symbol of everything he loved and despised. Locke lost his knives, a sad reminder of what he had lost because of his injury, a symbol of unfulfilled hopes. It's certainly worth paying attention to. Needless to say, I don't think Oceanic is to blame for either man's lost "cargo".

- "Nothing is irreversible". Goosebumps.

- How awesome will it be when Jack repairs Locke's spine and he starts walking again?

- Back to the Island...was that confirmation that Richard did in fact come over on the Black Rock? "It's good to see you out of those chains". I know this...whatever Jacob was doing to protect the Temple and its inhabitants, he was doing the same thing for Richard. And Richard is now FREAKED.

With good reason, apparently....New Locke is a bad mamma-jamma.

- For some reason, this cracked me up: "I'm VERY ALL OF YOU!"

I have no idea what it means, but it made me sounded like my 6th grade teacher the day after we terrorized a substitute.

- And now Sayid is alive. Three possibilities here, listed from least possible to most possible, in my opinion:
  1. It's Sayid, and he's exactly the same. All the water did was bring him back to life. period.

  2. It's not Sayid, it's Jacob. This theory is making the rounds on the interwebz. I can see why you might think that, but I don't really see the reasoning. Jacob is not like Smokey...we've seen him come and go as he pleases, both on the Island and off it. He's still around on the Island in his old form, talking to Hurley. Why would he need Sayid's body? Also, if this IS what happened, it's obviously different from the Fake Locke scenario, because Smokey didn't inhabit Locke's BODY....the body was still in the coffin. He just somehow took on his persona.

  3. It's Sayid, but he's not the same. To me, this is the most likely. I think it is similar to how Ben was saved as a twelve year old...he is even experiencing the memory loss. But how is he changed? Ben was an innocent 12 year old boy, and apparently the healing process stole his soul (as best as I can tell). Since Sayid is a murderer and a torturer, will it have the opposite effect? And what is the significance of the fact that the water was not clear?

Whew...that was a long one.

Couple of more thoughts...

- People we did not see on the "new" Flight 815:

  • Michael and Walt - unexplained
  • Shannon - explained - she didn't want to leave her "bad relationship"

  • The Tailies - maybe just because we didn't venture to the back of the plane, but this includes some (Ana Lucia, Libby) who we have heard confirmation that they will be in season 6

  • Claire - we saw her in the taxi, and presumably she was on the flight, but we never saw her
- What does this mean for Lapidus? Captain Norris was once again the 815 captain.

- Where is Christian's body? Absolutely no clue...

- Based on last week's podcast, it sounds like we aren't going to get a definite answer on what makes Walt "special", we just have to accept that he is. I'm OK with that. I mean, we never found out why the Force was particularly "strong" with Anakin Skywalker, did we? Some people are just special.

That being said, I DO think we find out why Desmond is so unique...maybe that will give us a clue as to why Walt is, as well.

Guess that's all for now...the recap for this week should go up by Thursday night, barring any unforeseen obstacles. No out-of-town trip this week, and only one hour to recap!



Shan said...

Great write up, as usual. A few random thoughts:

Could the mark on Jack's neck have been red paint (like Des had in "Flashes Before Your Eyes")? Probably not - it does look more like a wound of some sort, but I can't figure out the significance yet.

Early leader in the Emmy Clubhouse: Terry O'Quinn (on a show with an abundance of good acting).

On Desmond's ring: Presumably, Penny was still fathered off island in the X timeline (before her pop presumably died on island in the 1977 explosion/sinking), so events could have happened such that they still met at the monestary and fell in love. Things only got tricky between them when he went to meet Charles, who told Des he wasn't good enough for Penny (setting off the chain of events leading to his army stint and sailing excursion and eventual turn on the island in the hatch).

Funny (and I'm guessing intentional) that a guy named "Bram" gets a wooden "stake" through his chest.

Jacob needs a blackberry. (Looms and lists and cave paintings and ankhs and hauntings are just so cumbersome for communication).

Director Jack Bender did a GREAT job throughout this. One subtle moment that stands out is in the scene with FLocke and Ben, where FLocke keeps leaning in and out of the shadws, when he's talking about how sad the real Locke was. Haunting, moving stuff.

Speaking of what Jack and Locke lost (Thanks, Oceanic!), those specific items are ALSO what "made them who they are" on the island. Jack's dad popped up, spooked him, and spurred him to think in ways and take actions that he wouldn't have dreamed of before. Locke's knives helped establish him as island badass and a new man, separated from his sad off island life.

All in all, a great opener.

Scott said...

Thanks, gonna be doing recaps once you're able to watch an episode uninterrupted by a Snowpocalypse?

Yeah, your Des/Penny timeline makes sense. If we assume Penny was born 1970ish, then she's probably OK in either timeline.

I don't think I even believe my crazy "Jack-is-Faraday" theory...I saw somewhere else that the wound was similar to one that Faraday had, and that got the wheels turning. But you gotta throw it out there, just in case. :-)

Shan said...

Not sure if I'll be doing recaps or not for this season. I may just post some "thoughts" and tagalong here. My blogging has been light lately, while I sort out some things.

Good news: DirecTV dude is scheduled to come tomorrow, to fix things AND do the HD upgrade.

Bad news: My dish is on a 3 foot pole, mounted 3 stories down on the ground, and there is still snow up to the bottom of the dish. Plus, it's supposed to snow
AGAIN tomorrow and Wednesday. Sigh.

I'll be interested to see how things start to "combine" between realities (since, as everyone in power has stated, this isn't just "what if" or "fantasy" scenarios).