Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Good to see you out of those chains

Flight 815 flies over the new Lost underwater theme park attraction. Arzt and Frogurt compete for screen time. A mysterious Japanese man hates the taste of English. Kate napped in a tree. Jacob and Hurley are totally besties. Charlie gets caught rehearsing his new track “You All on the Potty.” Claire and Kate share a taxi to help with global warming. Ben practices opening his eyes super wide! Sayid die-id. Sayid wake-id. And Locke gives Richard a piggyback ride to the Temple.

LOST 6x01 and 6x02: LA X parts 1 and 2

It’s been a long 8+ months since the finale of season 5 when Juliet detonated the H-bomb. The premiere of season 6 – the final season of the series – was a two-hour event that had hype levels that were nearly impossible to satisfy. It wasn’t my favorite season opener, but it was some of the most compelling storytelling on television in ages and filled with plenty of WTFery. We’re apparently supposed to believe that we’ve abandoned flashbacks and flashes-forward for flashes-sideways. Though it remains to be seen if that is where the writers are indeed taking us this season.

Comment with your thoughts or theories below.

Alternate Flight 815

We open with Jack on the plane having his drink, just as during the original Flight 815. But immediately we can tell it’s not the original flight. Jack looks around as if something’s wrong. Rose is confident and reassuring to Jack (vs. the opposite on the original flight).

Nerd alerts:
There were several other key differences in this Oceanic 815 flight and the characters now vs. the original flight and the characters in the pilot episode. Among them:
  • The plane itself. The configuration during the pilot episode had 2 seats left and right and 3 in the middle. On this flight, it was 3-4-3.
  • Cindy, the flight attendant/Temple Other, offers Jack a single bottle of vodka, whereas in the pilot it was two.
  • On this flight, Jack spills the vodka (he didn’t in the pilot) and is the one who needs calming down by Rose. During the pilot, Rose was calmed by Jack.
  • Sawyer is concerned for Hurley and advises him to be careful vs. the every-man-for-himself Sawyer in the pilot.
  • Hurley is happy, convinced, apparently, that nothing bad can happen to him
  • Even our old buddy Arzt, the science teacher who exploded at the Black Rock, wasn’t a know-it-all, but instead was a gushing, inquisitive fanboy of…a guy in a chicken commercial?
Kate pops out of the bathroom and bumps into Jack (where she pick-pockets his pen). Our favorite obnoxious science teacher who exploded several seasons ago, Arzt, gets Hurley to talking, who admits that he won the lottery. Sawyer tells him people will take advantage of him, but Hurley says he’s too lucky for anything bad to happen.

Jin and Sun are together and Jin is back to being an English-deprived a-hole, asking Sun to button her blouse. (Question: Did Sun have a flash that was something was wrong here – she seemed to be surprised by this, though the Sun from the pilot ep would not have been.) Boone (alive!) strikes up a convo with Locke. Shannon isn’t with him on Alt815 and stayed behind in Australia with her boyfriend.

Desmond, who by the way was not on 815 and had been the indirect cause of the original crash, sits next to Jack.

Nerd alert: Desmond was reading Salman Rushdie’s children's book “Haroun and the Sea of Stories.” (thanks Andrea!) The book is set in a city so old, it has forgotten its name.

The camera pulls out of the plane and we follow it down into the water where we find that the island and everything on it – Dharmaville and even the 4-toed statue – have been underwater for what appears to be years, if not decades.

Cindy, the flight attendant from the tail section, asks for a doctor and they find Charlie passed out in the bathroom with a bag of heroin lodged in his throat. Jack asks for something sharp, Cindy says they can’t carry anything like that (post-9/11 realities even affect the Lost fantasy world.) Jack looks for his pen, but can’t find it, but manages to get the back from his throat and Charlie’s back to life.Charlie, now restrained, complains to Jack that he’d wanted to die.

Jack returns to his seat and asks Rose if she’d seen Desmond, who’s now gone. The plane lands successfully and they all exit, including Locke via wheelchair.

Nerd alert: Rose was reading an issue of Weekly World News with an ad (?) on the back for X-Files, with the headline “I want to believe” and an image of a pack of “Morley Cigarettes”, the brand that Cigarette-Smoking Man on X-Files smoked.

In a strangely empty bathroom at LAX (I’ve been to LAX at least a dozen times and never seen a bathroom empty there once!), Kate pulls out the pen she stole from Jack on the plane and tries to unlock the cuffs. She’s unsuccessful, but manages to drop the Marshall like a sack of potatoes. She escapes with his blazer covering her cuffs and gets onto an elevator with a cocky Sawyer. He sees her cuffs, but says nothing as two TSA agents get on and are radioed with a “341”. Sawyer asks what a “341” is as a distraction, but also because he wants to know what is up with the chick with the handcuffs.

Nerd alert: a 341 is a police code frequently used for discharged firearms, but this was a little more interesting to me, even though a stretch beyond belief, I’m sure: In the year 341, the Roman Emperor Constans banned pagan sacrifices and magic rituals under penalty of death. Related? Doubt it. But I looked it up anyway.

Oceanic’s customer service pages Jack, and they tell him they have no idea where his father’s body is. The coffin simply wasn’t on the plane. How is this possible? Is Christian’s body and coffin somehow on the island despite the fact none of the other passengers made it to the island?

Jin and Sun are at customs in LAX and Jin produces a letter from Paik Industries regarding the watch he was carrying, but the agent finds a pouch with lots of cash in it and Jin is taken back for questioning. Sun denies him help and pretends not to speak English.

Kate eludes the police and manages to sneak out of the terminal through a secure area. Frogurt chides her for trying to cut the taxi line, and the Marshall sees her and runs after her. She hops in a taxi – with Claire!! – and forces the driver to take off at gunpoint.

Jack’s on the phone with his mom about the missing coffin, when Locke tells him that he lost a bag filled with knives. He tells Jack that they didn’t lose his father, they just lost his body. (Funny since we have two Locke bodies back on the island, neither of them with Locke alive in them.) Locke tells him that his injury is incurable, and Jack offers a free consult. Here, Jack was the man of faith, encouraging Locke to believe – a reversal of their traditional roles.


On the island

Kate wakes up – in a tree! She’s lost her hearing and is hanging on for dear life like one of those posters 11-year old girls hang in their bedrooms of kittens hanging on to trees.

She finds Miles and they discover the “hatch”. They’ve somehow wound up in the post-Desmond-imploded Swan Station time. Jack gets kicked in the face by Sawyer who’s pissed that Jack’s plan didn’t work. Sawyer blames Jack for Juliet’s death.

Jin and Hurley are still with Sayid, though the flash has taken them to nightfall. Suddenly they hear Juliet calling for help from below the metal scrap pile and they rush to get to her.

Back in the foot of the statue, Ben, having just killed Jacob, looks catatonic. Jacob’s body is gone. UnLocke tells Ben to get Richard. Richard is not sold at all on this, and drags Ben over to see the body of Locke that Ilana and crew carted through the jungle to bring there.

Question: What do we call this Locke? Flocke (Fake Locke)? Mocke (Mock Locke)? UnLocke? Smocke (Smoke Monster Locke)? I’m not sure, so I’ll flip flop.

Jacob comes out of the jungle and tells Hurley that he’s dead. He instructs Hurley to take Sayid – and Charlie’s guitar case – to the Temple to save Sayid. Jacob disappears. Jin comes back and they chain up and move the metal beam keeping them from getting to Juliet. Sawyer threatens to kill Jack if Juliet dies.

Sawyer climbs in and finds Juliet alive, but badly injured. Juliet seems to “flash” to another place or time. Sawyer kisses Juliet as she tells him she has something very important to say to him, and she dies. Again. Thanks, Darlton for ripping our hearts out twice.

Alpert asks Ben what happened to Jacob, and Ben lies. Bran and his men head in and they find UnLocke sitting in Jacob’s rocking chair. He tells them Jacob is dead and asks them to leave. They begin shooting at him and suddenly Smokey appears and kills the whole lot of the mercenary crew. Bram surrounds himself with ash, but Smokey is angry and figures out a loophole to make Bram fall outside the ash circle and he gets played with like a ragdoll. Ben remains unscathed. Unlocke walks back in and apologizes to Ben for looking like that.

Jack, Hurley, Jin and Kate make their way off to the Temple with Sayid in a stretcher, as Jacob instructed Hurley to. They arrive at the Temple and go down the hole into which Montand (the Frenchman who arrived with Danielle Rousseau) was dragged, where they find his corpse.

Nerd alert: Montand was holding a copy of Soren Kierkegaard’s “Fear and Trembling”. Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher (naturally), who published the book under a pseudonym, John the Silent. The work’s title is a quote from Philippians 2:12. Fear and Trembling, according to the Wikipedia listing, "presents a highly original and provocative interpretation of the Binding of Isaac story as told in Genesis Chapter 22, and uses the story as an occasion to discuss fundamental issues in moral philosophy and the philosophy of religion, such as the nature of God and faith. The work begins with a meditation on the faith of Abraham when he was commanded by God to sacrifice his son Isaac...Silentio gives four alternative re-tellings in which Abraham fails the test of his faith and contrasts them with his own interpretation of the story of Abraham and the faith therein demonstrated. Silentio professes to admire Abraham's faith, but he is utterly incapable of comprehending it." The idea of four alternate re-tellings is, I believe, the key to this Easter egg and plays into the alternate realities we’re seeing now.

Kate gets separated from the crew, then Jack, and they’re all taken into the Temple area, a large walled fortress with a pyramid inside. There are dozens of Temple-dwellers there – virtually none of whom we’ve never seen before.

Sawyer and Miles bury Juliet and Sayer begs him – and then forces him – to find out what Juliet was going to say before she died. He listens and all he hears is “It worked.” Confused, he walks off.

Theory: Had Juliet jumped realities and known that Jack’s plan to detonate the H-bomb worked? Was she having coffee with Sawyer in this alternate reality where they agreed to go Dutch? Will she return from another reality?

Outside the temple, there are a number of people, including Cindy, the flight attendant from 815. A leader named Dogen, who appears to speak only Japanese (we later learn he only chooses to speak it) and is translated by a hippie named Lennon, orders them shot until Hurley proves that they were sent by Jacob by producing the guitar case Jacob told him to bring. Inside the case was a large wooden Ankh which Dogen broke open to reveal a note from Jacob including a list of the 815 survivors who were to be saved and a note that Sayid had to be saved or they’d all be in a lot of trouble. They take Sayid into the Temple to give him a bath in the spring.

Nerd alert: Dogen shares the name of a Japanese Buddhist philosopher who founded a variety of Zen – “oneness of practice-enlightenment”

The waters in the spring aren’t running clear – their pool guy has been sleeping on the job! - and they don’t seem to heal Dogen’s wound, yet they submerge Sayid anyway for the time frame of an hourglass, and proceed to drown him. As he’s carried out, he’s in a Jesus Christ pose and is laid down on linens. Dogen walks out of the room clearly disgusted that it didn’t work, as Jack tries CPR unsuccessfully.

Cindy, Zack and Emma (the kids who were kidnapped from the Tailies’ camp after the crash) bring in some food and drink for Jack, Kate, Hurley and Jin, and more of the Temple-folk bring in Miles and an unconscious Sawyer. Dogen asks Hurley what Jacob told him, as he trims some bonsai trees. He asks when Jacob is arriving, and Hurley tells him Jacob is dead. The Temple-folk panic and rush to secure the temple with a ring of ash and set off fireworks in the sky.

In the foot of the statue, Mocke is cleaning up the mess of Bram and his men, and he taunts Ben that he killed a confused man when he strangled Locke. Mocke is talking to Ben leaning in and out of the light, and admits that unlike Locke, he actually wants to go home.

Hurley is saying goodbye to Sayid, and Miles appears to not be able to hear anything from him. Or perhaps he’s hearing something that has him more confused than if he was actually hearing Sayid. Kate wakes up Sawyer who says that he wants Jack to suffer, knowing that he was responsible for Sayid and Juliet’s death.

On the beach, Alpert sees the fireworks go off in the sky above the Temple and appears about as panicked and confused as we’ve ever seen him. Mocke walks out of the statue and tells Richard, “It’s good to see you out of those chains.” “You?”, he asks. “Me.” And he clocks Richard, tells the rest of them that he’s very disappointed in them (huh?) and carries Richard off.

Lennon says he needs to speak with Jack, who refuses, and as they’re scuffling, Sayid wakes from the dead and asks, “What happened?”

And… cut to black.


Is Sayid Jacob? It seems likely that Jacob inhabits Sayid’s lifeless body now that he had a vessel. During “The Incident”, Jacob and Esau are debating whether humans will ever change – stating that the same pattern is inevitable. Jacob says, “It only ends once. Everything else is just progress.” So does the pattern of humans screwing up the island and not being content there include Jacob inhabiting new bodies whenever Esau manages to find his loophole? Or does another person now inhabit Sayid? John Locke? Christian Shephard? Or has Sayid indeed been resurrected with his innocence lost (à la young Ben Linus) in the waters of the Temple?

Is Richard Alpert upset that Jacob was killed? What would have happened if Jacob were at the Temple when it was discovered that Jacob was dead? Might Jacob have inhabited Richard instead? Or would he have become the leader?

Are we indeed flashing sideways? If we are, what explains the submerged island for years? Would an H-bomb really have caused an island to sink?

Is the Alt815 timeline actually the end of the series? Are we seeing the future there, post the Mocke/Temple timeline? Or will these two realities somehow merge by the series finale?

-Sean Salo


Andrea said...

since i'm gainfully unemployed, i spent some time today trolling the interweb and found out that the book that desmond was reading on the plane was apparently Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which even after reading about it, i'm not sure what it's about. which is pretty much the only useful information i have to contribute at this time.

cheerios said...

is it just me or is kate the most annoying person in the world? i really cant stand here. i totally see a Jack1 meeting Jack2 moment coming up...not sure how i feel about that. something is def up with sayid -i mean the water isnt even clear!! also, are you serious about his name being lennon? because damn it he is john lennon.

more asians. please. abc has to have some asian production executive, am i right??

Sean said...

Hmmm so wrong book. I'll check into that one Andrea. And credit you with any edits. ;)

cheerios - Yup. Lennon.

Sean said...

Hmmm so wrong book. I'll check into that one Andrea. And credit you with any edits. ;)

cheerios - Yup. Lennon.

Marcus said...

Always the keen eye for detail Sean - I'm diggin' the recap and this season so far, and definitely agree that Jacob has now inhabited Sayid's body! It's going to be like Clash of the Titans.

Phil said...

I totally vote for smocke to be the nickname. Great recap!

CootieGirl said...

I think the H-bomb worked and that they never crashed on flight 815 and that is why everything is different. Instead of flash forwards (which will all be different now) we are seeing flash backs to the flight then up to the present which is 3 years later. They all somehow end up going to the island anyway because they are drawn to it. Desmond was on the plan because his boat never went to the island so he could have finished his boat trip and been on the flight. I think they are all in the present now - not the time when the hatch blew that is why the people on the beach saw the fireworks. Jack, Kate, Sayid, Locke and Hurley were on the 2nd plane so that is how they got back to the island - I am not sure how Miles, Sawyer, Juliet and Jin got there. flaw in my prediction but it made sense to me all day yesterday.

Chris said...

I think the bomb did work and we are seeing two resulting realities; One where the island was sunk for whatever reason so therefore could not cause the plane crash. And the 2nd where the bomb blasts combined with the EM build-up cause our castaways to be sent forward in time so everyone's on the same page as it were.
Desmond was only shown on the plane for a brief time, I think it is because of his time/space issues where he is pulled to different times and places (he had this before the island).
I didn't know that Jacob's companion was named Esau, I always thought of him as the man in black, also because I thought he was Smokey, so I've been using 'Black Locke'.
I don't think Jacob is inhabiting Sayid, he wouldn't need to ask 'What happened?" when he woke up.
Also, anytime we see dead people (sorry, had to be said) I think it's Esau, because in my recollection they've always said something to his ultimate benefit; Ben's daughter, Christian Shepard, etc.
But I think Hurley seeing dead people is different.
I like the idea that Hurley might be the new Locke, as he has the most connection with the Island's other-worldly goings on.

DJWildBill said...

Wait a minute, we've been shown alternative timelines for at least three or more seasons, possibly all six seasons reflected alternative timelines and they are just now coming to the forefront. An example would be when we first met Miles at grandma's house where he was talking to the dead grandson. The pictures on the wall of her steps changed frames, images, and locations when he returned with the stash. This was no continuity error, it was a noticeable alternative timeline.

Also, you have to think back to the many moods of Jack and Locke. Jack was a nervous drunk, a leader, a strong and confident doctor, and a blithering idiot at times. Locke was a confident hunter one minute and a scared loner the next. These were written into the show to let us know that even though the characters were the same, the situations were different. In Lost there are no continuity errors.

Did you ever notice how the principal character's eyes changed colors quite frequently? They had to wear contacts to achieve this and Terry O'Quinn admitted that he had worn contacts. Each time their eyes shifted from green to brown to black or blue you were seeing a different timeline.

This all has to be wrapped up and the timelines merged. It will be interesting to have the enhanced pop up hints for all episodes to see how the timelines merge and converge. My thought about that is that it will involve jungle whispers and barefoot Others who steal children to take them to a healing pool.

Speaking of the pool: the reason the water wasn't clear was that Jacob was dead. Jacob was the source of the healing all those years and now he was out of the game. Without Jacob's healing the waters only drown. Sayid then is left to die and have his corporal form inhabited by Jacob as a walk-in spirit.

Which leads me to ask, if, like Christian Sheppard and John Locke, Sayid is now a man-in-white or man-in-black form in one of the alternative realities, then would Claire also fall into that category and will she also be shown as one of the walking walk-ins?

And then! We still have to re-encounter those Medusa spiders! The writers did not incorporate that storyline simply to off two drop-in and failed characters: we will have to see them again. They could be causing one or more of the characters to be dreaming all this stuff up as alternative timelines... Or it could be just my own suffering after having been bitten by a hitherto unknown spider... Nah... makes too much sense.