I’m going to continue the model I did last year, which I thought was very successful and fun. I’ll post my immediate thoughts on the episode the night it airs, and over the next week I’ll collect comments and theories from readers and columns I’ve checked out, and post a “Revisited” column to be posted the following Monday. So you can e-mail me, visit my blog, or simply leave a comment on this page.
So after a hiatus that felt like it would never end, Lost finally returned with its final season. I think Murtz put it best when he referred to tonight as one of the two biggest nights in television, with the other night being the actual series finale. The premiere was most certainly a head scratcher, and I certainly enjoyed it, however I can’t help but get this sinking feeling that the overall prognosis will be that the episode was a “disappointment.”
Granted, the premiere for the final season was so incredibly built up that it likely would not have fulfilled most people’s expectations, but I also think a fair argument could be made that Lost should have returned with a rather significant “bang,” if only to assure viewers that yes, they will be making those immense revelations that we’ve all been holding out for.
But, again, that’s the skeptic in me. There are many, many fans out there that don’t want to wait and see where the show’s going. They just want answers. Like I said in the IPTV Lost roundtable, I’ve got a pretty optimistic attitude and I feel pretty strongly that we’ll get answers to all of the questions that matter.
Anyway, onto the episode. Like I said, it was a head scratcher and yes, it was awfully confusing. My interpretation is that we were seeing “what happened” and “what could have been.” But I’m not sure we necessarily know which reality is which. In one version we saw Flight 815 successfully landing at LAX. Now, was that what happened after the bomb detonated, which in turn negated the opportunity for the hatch to bring them to the island? Or was this merely a glimpse of what would have happened had Jack’s plot worked?
In this reality, Charlie (who is now alive) nearly dies choking on his drug condom, but is saved by Jack. However, he’s arrested for possession. Meanwhile, Kate manages to escape captivity. Sawyer sets his eyes on rich boy Hurley, perhaps planning on swindling him of his cash. Jack and Locke meet, and the possibility is set that Jack could possibly heal his spinal injury. Most curious of all, perhaps, is that Christian Shephard’s body is missing.
This is worth examining, actually. From all indications, everything is exactly the same, except that the plane lands. However, there were four differences I noticed: For some reason, Shannon decided not to leave Australia, Hurley is now really lucky, and, interestingly, Locke’s knives and Christian’s coffin are missing. What’s so significant about these differences?
In the alternate version of events, the Losties are catapulted back to the present day, where their plot failed. As a result, Juliet died and Sayid was at death’s door. Oh, and I can’t resist but to this up, as it was very telling and deliberate: Kate ran to Jack, and not Sawyer, when she saw both of them lying lifelessly on the ground.
Anyway, it looks like things are getting quite tense between Jack and Sawyer – and it brings me to a point I’ve been making since the end of last season. Yes, I’ve always been Team Jack/Kate, but in my view, the writers have done such an effective job of showing that Sawyer and Juliet are so madly in love with each other that, in my view, having Sawyer and Kate end up together couldn’t possibly be considered a “happy ending.” Especially so shortly after her death.
So it seems that even though Jacob is dead, he can still appear as a ghost. Hurley’s genuine and immediate “I’m sorry dude that sucks” in response to Jacob’s revelation that he was killed an hour ago was great. I also really loved his uncomfortable, brief, and exceptionally vague conversation with Jin: “Dude, if I asked you to take me to a hole in the wall where you went with the ‘French team,’ would you know what I’m talking about?” Long pause. “Yes.”
So if you read the IPTV Lost roundtable discussion, you’ll see that I asked about whether we’d learn more about Jacob’s list. It was something that was frequently discussed over the first two seasons, but was seemingly put on the backburner as Ben’s role increased. Well, the list was certainly alluded to tonight. My guess: The people on the list are people that have to stay alive in order to be present at a critical event in the future.
One thing that bothered me was the scene that Jack and co. made during Sayid’s healing. I mean, after all the insane crap you’ve experienced, is holding a guy under water really the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever seen? I think I would have just trusted the crazy ass island. And from a directional standpoint, I personally think it would have been more powerful for them to watch in silent and confused awe.
Now, again, the question is: Which of these realities is “real” and which is “the path not taken”? I’m tempted to predict that this entire season will follow this model, with one timeline following the lives of the Losties if they had stayed on the island, with the other chronicling their lives had they landed safely in Los Angeles. And perhaps we won’t find out until the very end which one is real.
Anyway, the episode did give us some fun tidbits of information. First and foremost, we got confirmation, in my view, that Fake Locke, the Man in Black, and the Smoke Monster are all one in the same. We pretty much already knew this, but I’m glad to get solid confirmation that Jacob’s nemesis is indeed Smokey D. But I have to wonder, what does he want with Alpert?
We also found out what happened to Cindy the Flight Attendant and the kids. I also daresay that these Uber Others are the whispers in the jungle that we’ve been hearing since season one. Who are they, though?
Here are some questions to consider for the Revisited column:
Which timeline do you think is “real” and which do you think is “what could have been”?
Is there any significance to Locke’s knives and Jack’s father getting lost in the “LAX” reality? If so, what are your theories?
Any significance to Jack having a cut on his neck? Was this a wound he suffered before getting onto the flight (I don’t recall)? Or is this some sort of hint?
Is there a certain reason why they attempted to revert certain characters back to their season one selves (notably Hurley and Sun), yet others were unapologetically looking like their current selves (Jack and Charlie)? And before you argue about changing hair lengths/styles, you should realize that they usually make an attempt to fake that, no matter how unnatural it may look.
Who are these Uber Others?
Was the piece of paper inside the symbol Jacob’s list? If so, what do you think the list represents?
Who is Ilana and who were her people (the ones who stormed into the statue)?
Any other thoughts or comments, you know how to reach me!
Note: I should probably set some ground rules as it relates to potential spoilers when you send your thoughts, theories, and comments. Basically, if you find something out that wasn’t revealed in the episode or the coming attractions at the conclusion of each episode, as a courtesy to me and any others who deliberately avoid spoilers, please refrain from revealing said information. Any theories you come up with that is purely based on what we’ve already seen are just fine. I didn’t run into any issues with this last year, so I appreciate everybody’s continued cooperation.
Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.