“Lost” is back and better than ever. That eight-month wait was a killer, but it was well worth it, thanks to a stunning 2-hour season opener, “LA X – Part 1” and “LA X – Part 2.”
Since there was so much going on in these episodes, I’m going to break it down by section like I did with last year’s finale.
The Opening / Alternate Timeline
Okay, so it looks like Jack succeeded with his plan and managed to reset time. Oceanic 815 doesn’t crash, and this time around things are different in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Subtle in the sense that it is Rose reassuring Jack that the plane is fine during the turbulence (in the Season 1 pilot of the show, it is Jack who reassures Rose), and the fact that Cindy the stewardess gives Jack only one extra bottle of vodka to strengthen his drink instead of two, as she did in the original timeline. The not-so-subtle: The island is underwater. Why would detonating a hydrogen bomb to negate the island’s electromagnetic properties cause it sink? Well, that’s the questions, isn’t it.
I’m not yet sure of the significance of this alternate reality where Oceanic 815 didn’t crash. I feel it must have some bearing on the main storyline, but I can’t see the writers keeping this up throughout the entire run of the final season. While it’s interesting to see what might have happened if the plane didn’t crash, and if certain characters hadn’t died on the island, it doesn’t feel like it’s adding anything to the primary narrative. I can’t speak for other viewers, but at this point in the show, I’m much more interested in what the Man in Black has in store for the people on the island versus what the Losties would have done with their lives if they hadn’t gotten… well, lost.
Sawyer and Juliet
I think everyone knew Juliet was going to die, if only because she had signed on to star in the ABC reboot of “V.” Fortunately they were able to give her a proper send-off in “LA X,” and she and Sawyer were granted a final, touching moment together. I also liked the added bit of Sawyer using Miles and his ghost-whispering ability to find out what Juliet’s final words were going to be. She was trying to tell Sawyer that “it worked,” referring to bomb, we assume, although it’s not clear how Juliet would know this. Perhaps her impending death gave her a glimpse into the alternate timeline.
Btw, did anyone else notice the number of times Sawyer made evil eyes at Jack? I stopped counting at about eighteen. All I can say is, Jack, you better watch your back. At best, Sawyer has crossed you off his Christmas card list. At worst… well, if I were you I might be looking for a way to get off the island again.
The Love Triangle
I have too much faith in the writers of this show to believe that they killed off Juliet so they could put the Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle back on track. Not only would it be an insult to Juliet’s character and her relationship with Sawyer (which turned out to be the best thing about Season 5), but it would be putting more emphasis on a plotline that has been tired and boring for many, many seasons.
I’m sorry, but if the only reason you’re watching “Lost” is because you want to find out the answer to the question “Who will Kate pick?!” then you’re just not a real fan. There, I’ve said it. The love triangle is not what the show is about. It’s not even close. I’m hoping now that Juliet is dead there will be a scene in some upcoming episode where Kate will try to get with Sawyer and he puts her in her place. Sorry, kid, it ain’t gonna happen. If we’ve seen anything from this infatuation ping-pong game, it’s that Kate doesn’t really fit with Jack or Sawyer. And let’s face it, Kate can’t commit to anyone or anything, so even if she did pick one of these guys for the long run, it would only be a matter of time before she split anyway.
Here’s hoping the love triangle is put on the back burner for this season, or even better, put to rest very early on so we can get back to the actual story of the show.
So we finally got to see the Temple. Complete with a new batch of Others. We also found out what Hurley was trucking around in that guitar case. So it wasn’t Charlie’s guitar after all. Of all the guesses floating around the ‘net for the last eight months, I don’t think anyone thought it was a giant ankh. Very cool.
I also liked the healing spring where Sayid was bathed, which presumably was where young Ben was taken when he was shot (by Sayid), and the fact that the colour of the water had changed, probably because Jacob is now dead. I guess this means the restorative powers of the spring are now kaput. So how did Sayid manage to return from the dead? I’m thinking that when he was touched by Jacob in his flashback (along with Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Sun and Jin), Jacob planted a piece of himself inside Sayid. I think that’s what the lead Temple Other meant when he said they would all be in a great deal of trouble if anyone on that list should come to harm. Each of those six Losties are carrying something important inside themselves, something that might be the key to resurrecting Jacob, or defeating the Man in Black, or both.
The Man in Black
The season opener confirmed something fans have been theorizing for the last eight months: the Man in Black and the Smoke Monster are one in the same. (As much as I feel sorry for Bram and the rest of Jacob’s bodyguards, it was pretty cool seeing them getting flung around by a very pissed-off Smoke Monster. Bram’s ash circle was very clever, as well, even though it wasn’t enough to save him.)
This also confirmed that in last season’s episode, “Dead is Dead,” when Ben went to confront the Smoke Monster and spoke with his dead daughter, who told him to obey everything Locke told him to do, he was in fact talking to the fake Locke in his true form. A deliciously circular manipulation that allowed Fake Locke/the Man in Black to talk Ben into doing anything he said, resulting in Ben murdering Jacob.
But did Jacob see this coming? Probably. He certainly didn’t stop Ben from killing him. And the Others at the Temple seemed to have some sort of contingency plan in place (the fireworks, the protective ash) for this eventuality. It’s interesting to me because the Smoke Monster seems to “live” in that chamber underneath the Temple wall. So if this entity was always a threat, why did the Others live so close to it? Perhaps Jacob was keeping it in check, and now that he is dead, the balance is upset and they need to protect themselves from it. Either way, it looks like they may be going to war with ol’ Smokey. Place your bets, people. Five people were killed in this first episode of the final season, and I think the body count is only going to rise.
One Reply to “Ian Rogers, The "Lost" Boy — Whose Timeline Is It Anyway?”
Great season premiere and great to have this column back!
The body count is definitely going to rise and I'm not sure if I see any of them making it out in one piece by the series finale.
In fact, I have visions of Jack and Sawyer sitting on the beach, alone with each other – echoing the image of Jacob and the black-clad man. The series ending just as it began, really.
Still, I hope Hurley has a happy ending. Out of all the major characters, he's the only one that never did wrong.