Posted by: cousinbrandon | February 3, 2010

LOST – Season 6, Episodes 1 & 2 (Part 1): “LA X”

There’s way too much to post as a single entry, so I’m breaking this week’s recap into Parts 1 and 2. Click here for Part 2 of “LA X.”

I won’t lie. This is gonna’ take a while. I mean, it’s the season 6 premiere and all, and a two-hour one at that. What does that entail? Three straight hours (including the recap episode beforehand) of me staring at the screen, pen in hand, feverishly scribbling every relevant item I could muster while simultaneously trying to watch (and involuntarily gush) over every single second of “LA X.” Before we get started, a quick observation: LOST premieres are never as good as LOST finales. Furthermore, LOST premieres are often times, well, disappointing in relation to most episodes. Why? Because the expectations can never be met. I mean, freaks like me spend the hiatus coming up with every conceivable explanation for every facet of the show, banging our heads against walls trying to figure out just how in the hell the writers will address the previous season’s cliffhanger. And let’s face it: the final scene of season 5 was fucking amazing! All we’ve done in terms of LOST since then is speculate as to how in the hell the writers would launch the final season. Well, they did just that, beginning with…
 
1. I’m On a Plane.  So it’s a plane and not a boat. Sue me. Either way, you get the idea. We open with Jack in his familiar spot on Oceanic 815, where we quickly realize we are “re-watching” his encounter with the flight attendant, Cindy, who brings him a small bottle of vodka. In other words, we’re re-watching the scene from season 1 before the plane goes down. Right? I mean, did anyone else think that, just for a moment, Jack was self-aware? That is, Jack realized he’d managed to “reboot” time, and found himself back on the plane pre-crash? Clearly that was the intent, only it didn’t last. Not really, anyway. (And by the way, why was I thinking/remembering that Jack took the bottle from Cindy the first time around and stuffed it in his pocket, whereas here he actually poured it into his drink? Am I wrong on that? Help me out.) Jack has his familiar conversation with flight-mate Rose, who is soon joined by her husband Bernard. Clearly this didn’t happen the last time out, so we can safely assume that reality has, in fact, been altered. Or has it? I mean, is this “reality” or simply a parallel timeline? More on that later. Jack goes to the bathroom where 1) he seems to have that aforementioned moment of awareness, where he looks into the mirror and seems to be wondering, maybe, what happened to his beard. That is, it’s as if he doesn’t recognize himself, and isn’t seeing the Jack he expected to see; and 2) he notices he’s got some blood on his neck. Is this the result of a shaving accident? What do we make of this? Jack returns to his seat to find a shorn Desmond sitting in the aisle seat, reading a book. The two seem to experience a similar sense of deja vu, wherein they know one another but can’t place the faces or names. (And by the way, what do we make of the fact that Desmond is even on the flight? After all, he was never on Oceanic 815. Does this suggest that this isn’t really happening, or instead that, in this alternate timeline, Desmond truly is on the flight as he never went to the island, and didn’t spend three years pushing a button? I have to assume the latter.) After their exchange, the camera pans from the plane down through the clouds and into the ocean, where it scours the sea-floor of the island to show us the ruins, the shark, and, finally, the foot of the Taweret statue. Thud. Clearly this gives us a nice separation between realities, so to speak, in that “Oceanic Jack” is not bound for the island. Not this time. This brings us to the post-commercial opening, in which we find…
 
2. The Season 5 Finale? We see Jack drop the bomb down the well, yet failing to detonate. Juliet, at the bottom of the well, strikes the core and causes an “explosion” resulting in a white screen, behind which we find the opening eye (Motif, people!) of Kate, who wakes up in a tree that is still very much on the island. In other words, failure. Sort of. Kate scales down the tree and has a ringing in her ear, which is a result of the explosion (so it did explode?). Miles emerges from the jungle and is suffering from the same ringing effect. We cut to the site of the explosion, only it’s not the pre-Swan site we’re looking at; rather, it’s the post-Swan site, after it was blown up. In other words, even though detonating the bomb didn’t get them off the island, it forced yet another time jump in which the Losties are, to quote Sawyer (later), “right back where they started.” And, yeah, Sawyer and Jack are there, too, and Sawyer immediately attacks Jack for “killing” Juliet. We then cut to…
 
3. Secret Agent Man. Back on Oceanic 815, Jack is outside the bathroom with the very much alive special agent who is bringing Kate Austen to justice. The bathroom door opens and Kate “falls” out into Jack. Once seated, the agent is bumped into by Sawyer, who is returning to his seat on the plane next to Hurley. Dr. Arzt, he of Jay Leno/The Late Shift fame, is talking up Hurley, trying to get him to do one of his famous Mr. Cluck’s ads. In an interesting exchange, Sawyer cautions Hurley not to tell people he’s won the lottery, as people will take advantage of him. Here, though, is the more interesting bit of the conversation: “I’m the luckiest guy alive,” says Hurley. Again, in this reality, Hurley still considers himself lucky. That is, we can assume that his uncle hasn’t died, that he’s still riding high on his Mr. Cluck’s fame, that he isn’t, well, cursed. And if we’re to believe that’s the case, do we take Sawyer’s cautioning Hurley as sincere, or consider it straight grifter-speak? Honestly, I’m not sure. For now, we return to…
 
4. The Hatch. Well, what’s left of it, anyway. Sawyer is fuming, when suddenly a faint voice emerges from the rubble. Immediately they realize it’s Juliet, who is still alive at the bottom of the well. Frantically, they attempt to remove the debris and metal objects covering the well. Hurley, meanwhile, is tending to Sayid, who is still bleeding rapidly and near death. Sayid asks Hurley what will happen when he dies, as he was a torturer all his life. Hurley does his best to calm him and reassure Sayid he’ll be fine, when suddenly he hears movement in the jungle. Hurley grabs a gun and threatens the unseen assailant (in a rather funny manner, actually), only to see that it is Jacob who emerges from the woods. We cut back to…
 
5. Jin and Sun, Together. Outside of the wedding sequence in which they were visited by Jacob, this is the first we’ve seen the two of them together since season 4, I believe. Granted, we’re looking at a flashback here. Well, sort of a flashback. I mean, we’re looking at them on 815, so it’s a flashback in terms of the timeline only. Again, though, this isn’t the reality we’ve come to know on LOST, so it’s hard to know what to call this. We’re looking at a flashsideways, I guess, but I digress. Sun is watching (and admiring) Rose and Bernard. Their love, that is. We then see Locke, who is reading the plane’s pull-out card on survival in case of a crash. Two seats over from Locke sits a still-living Boone, who explains that he’s returning from Australia sans sister (Shannon), who he couldn’t convince to come with her. (Again, we know that in the “real” storyline Shannon did, in fact, board Oceanic 815 with Boone and would later die on the island after seeing Walt repeatedly and laying down with Sayid.) Locke explains to Boone that he was in Australia on a walkabout, where he lived off the land and hunted with knives. In an obviously intentional (yet comical) moment, Boone asks if Locke is “pulling his leg,” a strange choice of words considering Locke’s paralysis. (Keep in mind, we don’t know at this point if this version of Locke is, in fact, in a wheelchair.) (And by the way, sitting in between Locke and Boone is none other than Neil Frogurt, the “Redshirt” who was killed via flaming arrow. And speaking of Locke, we then cut to…
 
6. The Foot of the Statue. Well, inside the foot of the statue, where Fake Locke picks up the bloody knife Ben Linus just used to stab Jacob. Twice. Fake Locke cuts away part of the tapestry and uses it to clean the blood from the knife. A shell-shocked Ben stares into the fire, wanting to know why Jacob didn’t fight back. Fake Locke reassures Ben, in a manner of speaking, and tells him to bring Richard inside. Ben wants to know why, but Fake Locke adopts a sort of “Because I said so” attitude. Ben exits the foot of the statue onto the beach, where Richard, Lapidus, Sun, Ilana, Bram and the rest of the no-names have been waiting. Ben emerges from the statue and is immediately grabbed by Richard, who throws Ben down onto the sand, where he finds himself face-to-face with the corpse of the real John Locke. We then move to…
 
7. Hurley’s Mission. While Sawyer and crew continue to remove rubble from the well, Hurley follows Jacob back to the DHARMA van. (Again, Hurley knows this man only by their meeting in the back of the taxi; he doesn’t yet realize who Jacob is.) Jacob explains that Jin can’t see him because he “died an hour ago,” which is actually super-cool considering the “real time” overlap that is taking place. Jacob tells Hurley that he needs to save Sayid by taking him to the temple, and to bring the guitar case with him, before finally revealing to Hurley that he is, in fact, Jacob. We then strap back in and move over to…
 
8. Charlie. Back on the plane, passengers are being asked to notify a flight attendant if there is a doctor on board. (Seriously, does that shit really happen or is it only in television and movies?) Jack naturally identifies himself and as asked to follow Cindy to the bathroom, where a passenger has locked himself inside and isn’t responding. (Immediately I remembered it was Charlie who was more or less chased down the aisle way back when.) Sayid offers his assistance and kicks the door in (which, by the way, would be the first of two bathroom doors kicked open in this episode, oddly), where we find a nearly comatose Charlie. Jack tries to resuscitate Charlie, only to discover that his airway is being blocked (and, yeah, it was obviously being blocked by Charlie’s big ol’ pouch of heroin). Jack removes it and Charlie regains consciousness. Again, we know that Charlie was supposed to die, according to Desmond/fate. At least, in the timeline we know. But in this timeline, if Oceanic 815 never crashes and Jack is there to “save” Charlie, is Charlie still fated to die? That is, are the same events going to transpire in this timeline only in different ways/at later times? We then drift back to…
 
9. She’s Alive! Back at the hatch, Sawyer and company tie chains from the van to the steel beam covering the well. While driving the van to the hatch site, Hurley asks Sayid if he knows about the hole in the wall and how to get there (per Jacob’s instructions). Jin says that, yes, he knows. (Okay, stop right there. This is one of those moments where I call “Bullshit!” and my head nearly explodes. Now, I could see, maybe, if after only 108 days on the island the survivors of 815 hadn’t had a chance to explore every inch of the island in hopes of finding rescue, food, shelter, etc. But keep in mind that Sawyer, Juliet, Jin and Miles have been there an extra three years, albeit in the past. Do you mean to tell me that, after all this time, Jin hasn’t shared his awareness of the temple and the “hole in the wall” with anyone? What’s more, Jin was the one frantically searching for his wife after he realized that she was on Ajira 316. Um, you mean to tell me he wouldn’t have mentioned to Sawyer that, hey, we should check out that big ol’ wall with the hole in it? Sorry, but that kind of shit kills me.) After finally removing the beam, Sawyer climbs down the well and finds Juliet, alive! Juliet explains that she detonated the bomb, and she’s clearly distraught that Jack’s plan didn’t work. Meanwhile, Jack examines Sayid but realizes he can’t save him. Hurley, in a moment of leadership not often displayed by him, tells Jack he wants to take Sayid to the temple to be healed, per Jacob’s instructions. Clearly Jack doesn’t know what to make of this plan, but since he can do nothing for Sayid himself he has no choice but to agree. We then move to…
 
10. Old Smokey. Ben (curiously) follows Fake Locke’s orders and tells Richard to go inside the foot of the statue to find out what happened to Jacob. Again, Ben insists that Jacob is fine at this point. Bram, not buying it, grabs Ben and drags him inside the statue, where Fake Locke is sitting in wait, and explains that Jacob is dead. Bram pulls his gun on Fake Locke and shoots him, only to watch him “disappear” as he and his men try to corner Fake Locke. Furthermore, he finds the bullet on the ground. Not a good sign, people, as we then hear an all-too-familiar sound, akin to screeching horns. And, sure enough, Smokey appears and immediately attacks Bram and his men as Ben cowers. Bram quickly pours a small ring of ash around himself, which was pretty goddamn cool actually, as it calls back to the (broken) ring of ash around the cabin. Unable to penetrate the ring of ash, Smokey dislodges a stone from the statue wall that jettisons Bram up and out of the ring, where he is quickly impaled by a plank of wood. Through all of this, Ben is spared. He emerges from hiding, turns around, and stares into the face of Fake Locke/Smokey, who tells Ben, “I’m sorry you had to see me like that.” Awesome. Look, for quite some time it’s been clear that Fake Locke and Smokey were one in the same, as LOST made it pretty clear a la the Clark Kent/Superman technique. That is, neither were ever in the same place at the same time. If you recall, Ben and (Fake) Locke made their way to the temple (I think) in season 5. Ben descended alone, and before you know it Alex was there telling Ben to follow (Fake) Locke. Clearly this was Smokey inhabiting several different “characters,” both dead, mind you. (And by the way, Smokey has only appeared as dead characters, be it Locke, Alex, Christian, Yemi, etc. In every instance, we must assume it’s been him, yes?) Anyway, seeing as how the season 5 finale made it clear that Fake Locke was also the “Man in Black,” we now have confirmation that Smokey = Fake Locke = The Man in Black, which I guess I already knew. From here we return to…
 
11. Juliet. Sawyer finally manages to expunge Juliet from the wreckage/debris. Juliet appears only semi-conscious, and talks to Sawyer about having coffee with him, indicating that either A) she isn’t lucid; or B) her mind is “wandering,” a la Charlotte and the “chocolate talk” right before she died. The two kiss, and Juliet tells Sawyer she needs to tell him something “very, very important.” Before she gets the chance, though, she dies. Sawyer, crushed yet again, emerges from the well and tells Jack, “You did this.” Oof. That’s a lot for a guy to handle, no? Granted, Jack’s got the blood of quite a few people on his hands by now. We then get back to…
 
12. The Final Descent. Oceanic 815 is making its final descent. Charlie is put into custody on the plane. Jack returns to his seat but finds Desmond is no longer there. He asks Rose and Bernard about his whereabouts, but Rose says they’ve been asleep. Sayid stares at a picture of Nadia, while Jin stares at the watch he’s brought with him overseas. Oceanic Flight 815 lands safely in Los Angeles without incident. The passengers are met onboard by policemen, who are there to escort Charlie off much to the relief of Kate, who is still handcuffed. It is only now that we realize Locke (with Jack) is the last passenger on board, as he is clearly waiting for assistance in order to deplane. A makeshift wheelchair is brought on board and Locke is helped out of his seat. The (once again) defeated look on Locke’s face says all we need to know: he didn’t go on a walkabout in Australia. He lied to Boone. He’s still living a life of quiet desperation. This brings the first hour to an end, followed by a cut to…
 
13. The Burial Plans. Sawyer is carrying Juliet’s body and intends to bury her. He asks Miles to hang back with him to help, while Jack, Kate, Hurley, Jin and the nearly-dead Sayid make their way to the temple. We then move to…
 
14. The Missing Body. Nice cut, by the way, from one body (Juliet’s) to another (Christian’s). Jack is in LAX and receives a page over the intercom. He proceeds to the Oceanic help desk where he is informed that not only was his father’s coffin never put on the plane, but that the coffin is, well, missing altogether. Jack, shall we say, ain’t so pleased. And then it’s back to…

Click here for Part 2 of “LA X.”

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Responses

  1. […] what if “Across the Sea” was the first hour of season 6, followed by part 1 of “LA X“? By inserting “Across the Sea” so late into the game, it felt, well, misplaced. […]

  2. […] (I point out the two bottles as I know this became a point of discrepancy in the season 6 premiere “LA X,” as Cindy brings him only one bottle of vodka.) Rose is seated across the aisle from Jack, with John […]


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