Ep. 01-02 – LA X

What an incredible trip it’s been – and this is only the beginning of the end. From the moment the episode LA X (a double feature, thank you very much nice people at ABC) started, I was sure it’d not only be a mood setter (like “Because you left”, the fifth season premiere), but a nailbiting, action-packed question answerer. We’re back for the swan song in the final season of LOST.

The Episode…

As per tradition, the season opener dropped us right into the action, confusing the hell out of us. At first, seeing Jack on the plane kind of disappointed me – after all, you know who you’re watching and when you’re watching, but as soon as he went into the bathroom (right after the crash didn’t happen) and spotted blood on his neck, I was sold. But the real shocker only came afterwards, when we were literally thrown out the window, into the water and witnessed what happened to the island: the bomb blew up in 1977, sinking the island and killing everyone. So it worked!

Or did it? Apparently, in some other timeline – or, actually, in the right timeline (meaning the one we’ve been following for five seasons), the explosion didn’t work. Apparently, the bomb’s explosion didn’t sink the island but used the electromagnetism in such a way that it tossed our survivors back to 2007. I guess this is the Schrodinger’s cat principle, only with a deep underground shaft as a box and a hydrogen bomb as a cat. Time cannot decide whether the bomb prevented or caused the incident. Obviously, this is faux science, but if you’ve been swallowing this stuff for five seasons like I have, you learn to let go and just roll with it.

It has to be said that, without the shadow of a doubt, the faux-2004 story was the more interesting one throughout the episode. The first hour was riddled with copies of Season 1, only slightly changed to make it feel irritable. Most notable amongst these moments was the introduction of Desmond, whom noone seemed to have seen other than Jack. Interesting.

On the other hand, the happenings on the island were much more of an introduction than a continuation of the story: Jacob is dead, there is Smokey Locke, we’ve reached the insides of the Temple (not entirely convinced about this yet, by the way: sure, they used to be pirates, but I’m not too fond of the Asian guy), they revived Sayid (duh)… It all felt a bit like set-up. Except for one thing: our black guy is the monster.

The Questions…

Looking at the questions, I’m amazed at how many were addressed in some way. My favourite one is the obvious nudge towards Desmond’s story: apparently, Henry Ian Cusik is a credited cast member for this episode. That’s pretty interesting, considering he had less lines than Boone or any other former cast member (safe for Claire). Does that mean Eloise will have been right all along, and Desmonds trip is not over yet? Oh please, let it be so!

What happened after Juliet banged the bomb is still a bit of a mystery. There are two timelines, but how will this play out in the end? Is one line real and one fake? What is this building towards? I’d be pretty disappointed if fifty percent of the season turns out to be fake, but I’m sure they have something interesting up their sleeve.

And hurrah: the faux timeline means that Locke is still alive and well (even if paralysed) somewhere! I’m very excited about the idea of Locke and Jack becoming the best of friends, I hope they pursue this idea further. On the island, in 2007, however, Locke is really and truly dead. His place has been taken by… someone, who happens to have the power to change into a smoke monster. Interesting! This is hinting towards an explanation I’d been hoping to get for ages now: how Locke “looked into the eyes of the island” and “the beautiful thing he saw there”. Was this our black man playing a trick on Locke?

Finally, on a less interesting note: yes, Richard was one of the passengers aboard the Black Rock. A slave, apparently. I hope we get a flashback about this; I’d love to see Richard in that time period and how it came to be that he stopped aging. But if we never see this, I can live with it aswell; the crumbs we’ve been getting suffice.

Next week…

Next week’s episode is titled “What Kate Does”, an obvious nudge towards the Season Two episode titles “What Kate Did”. Did she do something different in the Faux 2004? And why? I’m not too fond of Kate episodes, but seeing her get in the cab with Claire was an interesting idea. That means we will see Claire again – certainly off the island, but maybe in the 2007 timeline as well.

I’m also very intrigued by this “Lennon” character, mostly because he’s performed by John Hawkes, an actor I love very much. Most people seem to know him from Deadwood, but I immediately recognized him as “the guy who put his hand on fire” in Me and You and Everyone we know by Miranda July. This role’s completely different than that movie, though. So I vote: less Asian guy next week, and more Lennon!

In All…

It’s great to have LOST back for one last time. I’ll be glad when it’s over, but I love it when new things get introduced: they always do it so graciously, in typical LOST style – even if the things they introduce are always very, very different. I mean, with the introduction of the “faux LA X” (a false flashback or a flash sideways, we don’t know yet), I think we’ve seen all possible narrative ways of playing with time now, right?

In this way, the show has increasingly become a series about narration; about how to pursue a concept so far that it becomes an idea of its own. Maybe that’s why, despite the obvious flaws the show has, I like it so much?

Favourite Quote: JACK: Nothing’s irreversible.