Key Points from "LA X, Parts 1 and 2"
Season 6, Episodes 1 & 2
Episode Air Date: 02/02/10
There's a certain level of comfort that comes with TV shows. The behind the scenes machinations often reveal certain things, like the length of a star's contract or the chances a show will be renewed. If you know that stuff, you generally know how a season will play out. Not always, but usually.
With "Lost" now in its final season, none of that behind the scenes stuff applies. It's all up for grabs. They might do an entire episode in Esperanto. Jack could be killed by a can of bad Dharma yams. Kate could elope with Ben. Any of this could happen because the rules are all gone.
What we've got is a true wildcard. And that's a special thing indeed.
So let's get to it!
I'm not sure how long we're going to have two realities, but I hope it's a short diversion because I'm already at the outer limits of comprehension. One more timeline twist will lead to The Full Minkowski -- thumb sucking and blood spurts galore.
For now I think I've got it. Basically, the bomb forked time (I think ... I'm just riffing here; I've got no inside info). The explosion created a 2004 timeline in which our intrepid castaways aren't so intrepid. Nor are they castaways. In this kinder, gentler timeline, Oceanic 815 encounters a patch of rough turbulence en route to Los Angeles, but the plane lands safely.
It'll be interesting to see if the pull of fate (or the pull of the island, if those two can still be considered separate things) will recalibrate 2004 events so the same key people somehow come back together. You'll notice I didn't say "go to the island." That's because -- if this revised 2004 timeline is to be believed -- the island is now submerged beneath the ocean. I have no idea why. Nor do I know what that means. But they spent considerable resources crafting sorta-crappy CG for that underwater scene, so they obviously wanted us to notice.
Anyway, here's the 2004 roster:
Jack -- He experiences five notable events in the 2004 timeline:
- He gets his flirt on with Cindy the stewardess.
- He saves Charlie by plucking a bag of heroin out of the depressed rocker's throat.
- He has his pocket picked by Kate (she takes a pen).
- Oceanic "loses" Dr. Christian Shephard's body. Jack pouts and complains and calls his mommy.
- Jack offers John Locke a free spinal consultation within 30 seconds of meeting the guy. Even in this new rendition of 2004, Jack's compulsion to fix things knows no bounds.
Update, 2/4/10 -- Clementine pointed the way to this fantastic split-screen "Pilot" vs "LA X" video. Beyond the plane not crashing, the most notable difference I can spot is that Cindy gives Jack one bottle in "LA X" and two in the pilot.
Locke -- This was a heartbreaking episode for Locke fans. We get confirmation that our once-beloved Obi-Locke is officially dead in the 2007 timeline, and we have to watch as pre-island Locke slogs through his pathetic life. In the '04 timeline, he's back to being the same paralyzed, daddy-hating slob.
Kate -- As noted, she procures a pen from Jack's pocket and later tries to use said pen during an escape attempt in the Los Angeles airport. The pen proves unnecessary when Kate opts instead for brute force. She slinks through various hallways and doors and eventually bulldozes her way into the back of a cab. And that's when she runs into ...
Claire -- Yes, Claire. That young mother we haven't seen since the end of season four has returned. She appears for only an instant, but it's definitely her. For now, I'm assuming she was on Oceanic 815 with the rest of her comrades. I'm also assuming she's still pregnant (but maybe now it'll be Erin instead of Aaron).
Sun and Jin -- Remember how horrible Jin was to Sun at the very beginning of the series? Remember how much that sucked? Remember how wonderful it was when the island brought these two together? Yeah, forget all that. In 2004, Jin is a control freak asshat and Sun is a manipulative liar. Lovely.
Bernard and Rose -- Good lord. Get a room.
Boone -- For now, Boone's most interesting attribute is what's missing: Shannon. She wasn't on Oceanic 815.
Sayid -- He gets approximately 30 seconds of screentime in the 2004 timeline, but he makes the most of it. He stares wistfully at a picture of Nadia and he goes all Action Sayid when Charlie locks himself in an Oceanic lavatory.
Charlie -- He tries to commit suicide by swallowing a bag of heroin. Or maybe he wanted to overdose ... but you'd think he'd remove the plastic coating if that was the plan. Either way, Jack thwarts the effort and Charlie is arrested. He gives Jack the ol' Driveshaft Stink Eye as he's hauled out of the cabin by the LAPD.
Sawyer -- He's his old wisecracking, devil-may-care self in 2004. It's a nice contrast to the scowling Sawyer we see in the 2007 timeline (more on that in a bit).
Hurley -- Of all the castaways, Hurley's shift is the most dramatic. He now deems himself "the luckiest guy in the world." The facts back him up: he used his lottery winnings to buy Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack, which has in turn made him a minor celebrity. He's pleased with all this.
The Marshall, Cindy, Arzt and Frogurt -- All appear in 2004. None have discernible long-term roles. Sadly, Arzt was not sporting his bandana cravat.
Desmond -- Now here's where things get interesting. Desmond, as we all know, was most certainly not on the original Oceanic 815. In 2004, he'd been holed up in the Hatch for a couple years. And it was his neglect that actually crashed the original Oceanic 815. But in this alternate reality, Des is a passenger who settles in next to Jack for a portion of the flight. But he also disappears mysteriously. So the question is: Was he really there at all?
One last thing ... Desmond's presence led me to believe that the 2004 timeline is tentative. Maybe Desmond was really there -- that's entirely possible -- or maybe he was some sort of timeline-correcting, fate-directing repositioning device. A Mrs. Hawking disciple, perhaps?
Adding further credence to the flakiness of the new '04 timeline, Jack clearly senses something is amiss. And we see him dab at a fresh cut low on his neck. Is that a shaving nick or residue from the bomb?
And now we come to the other fork in the road ...
The 1977 timeline that concluded in a flash of light at the end of of last season jumps forward to 2007. We know it's 2007 (or thereabouts) because the hatch is now a crater -- as opposed to the tree-covered patch of earth Jack was hoping for -- and we see that a flare/firework sent from the Temple-based others is observed by '07-era Richard Alpert.
This '07 story revolves around three big developments:
No. 1 -- Juliet Dies (for real this time) -- It pains me to write this since Jules was one of my favorite characters, but the time has come to bid farewell to our dear doctor. In a stunning bit of survival, she manages to persist through a 200-foot fall, a hydrogen bomb explosion, a time leap, and an extended period trapped beneath the Swan station's wreckage. All so she can give Sawyer a final kiss and die just before she tells him something "really important." (Thank God for Miles and his ghost whispering -- if we had to go through the entire season debating what did Juliet need to say?, I'd shoot myself).
Beyond being mighty sucky, Juliet's death promises to send Sawyer to A Very Dark Place. I expect Vader-worthy angst from him this season. Her demise also gives the '07 castaways the first hint that a second timeline now exists. Miles is already pondering that tidbit (he was the one who translated Juliet's "really important" postmortem message). It's also a Post-It Note on Sawyer's consciousness, too.
No. 2 -- Inside the Temple -- Freshly-dead Jacob wisely meets with Hurley early in the episode. That proves important because, without Jacob's info, the visit to the Temple would have ended badly. Turns out, that bizarre guitar case Hurley lugged around for most of season five contained one of Jacob's famous lists. Jack, Kate, Hurley, Jin and Sayid all made the cut, which is how they're invited to the Temple's super exclusive Jacuzzi area.
The Temple is home to a host of new characters and a couple of oldies we haven't seen in quite some time. The notable newbies include Lennon, a bespectacled translator who would have gotten on famously with Horace Goodspeed had Dharma not been in the way, and a Nameless Japanese Leader (Hiroyuki Sanada) who knows English and can speak it, but chooses not to. Both guys answer to Jacob, and both are stunned to learn of their boss' passing.
As for the oldtimers, we see Cindy sporting the latest in Other casual wear (no scarf that I could see, though). And, lo and behold, we get a quick look at Zach and Emma! The two Tailie kids abducted by Others oh so long ago.
No. 3 -- Sayid dies (but then he doesn't) -- I'm going to have to re-watch a lot of the second half of "LA X" because I'm not entirely sure what happened when Sayid was reverse-baptized in the murky waters of the Temple. Based on the reactions of the Temple's Unnamed Leader, Sayid's rejuvenation initially failed. Jack's more traditional form of resuscitation also failed. So for a good portion of the episode it really looked like Sayid was a goner. But in the final moments, as Jack tussled with a couple Others, Sayid props up on an elbow and scares the bejesus out of everyone. If the Temple didn't save him, and if Jack didn't save him, then who/what did? Did Jacob pull a Smokey and dump his life force into Sayid's body?
We can safely conclude the following about Fake Locke (hereby known as "Flocke"):
Flocke is the enigmatic, Jacob-hating, Man In Black (this was established in the season 5 finale, but it's worth repeating).
Flocke = Smokey. Therefore, Smokey = Man in Black.
This revelation is worth mulling a bit: If we assume that the the Man in Black has been Smokey all along -- and it's possible that's not the case -- then how does this shift perspective on Smokey's past interactions with castaways? Locke (the real one) was deeply influenced by his early encounter with Smokey. Was this a set-up from the start? Smokey also tried to suck Locke into the catacombs. What was that about? Mr. Eko felt the sharp end of Smokey's stick, but I'm not sure why Smokey took him out. Was Eko a threat? And of course there are those run-ins with Oceanic 815's pilot and Rousseau's team. I'm not sensing a pattern to any of this. Anyone see something else at play here?
Moving on ...
Flocke and Richard have known each other for a long, long time. Flocke alludes to Richard's past spent "in chains" (that's got to dovetail with the Black Rock).
Despite their history, Flocke isn't all that fond of Richard. He concludes the episode by punching Richard in the throat, kicking him unconscious, then tossing Mr. Guyliner over his shoulder for a (presumed) trip to the Temple.
Now that he's facilitated Jacob's death, Flocke is turning his attention to the one thing he desires most: to go home. And of course this leads to all sorts of questions: Where is home? What is home? How long has Flocke been on the island? And perhaps most pressing of all, what happens if Flocke gets home?
A few closing questions and observations:
- Best Line: "Remind me to hold it next time, will ya?" -- Bernard to Rose, after a hazardous experience in an Oceanic bathroom.
- Second Best Line: " "I'm not a 'what' Ben. I'm a 'who'." -- Flocke.
- Third Best Line: "We got caught by the Others again?" -- Sawyer to Kate.
- I'm racking my brain on this one, but has Jack really never heard of Jacob before?
- The whispers are clearly tied to the island's tunnel system, but I'm still not entirely sure how they work. Do the Others activate them? Are they a precursor to an attack?
- Mental note: When attempting to thwart Smokey with a circle of ash, sit your ass down! Bram qualified for this year's Darwin Awards by letting Smokey pull the old "hit you with a rock" maneuver, which sent him beyond the confines of his ashy haven and into the clutches of a homicidal dust cloud. Well played, Bram.
That's all I've got!
"What Kate Does" -- Assumptions: Kate episode, criminal activity, daddy issues, childhood talisman. Airs Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
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