Thursday, February 04, 2010

6x01 "LA X, Parts 1 & 2" Review

And we're back! Sorry for being a little bit late with this one, but we've only just come down from the huge high of the Season 6 premiere, LA X.

As usual, this premiere began with a mind-blowing scene that sets the path for the rest of the season. As many had predicted, we're seeing an alternate timeline where the Island is underwater, and therefore Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed.

This is hinted at by the title of the episode, with many believing the "X" is a reference to the comic book world, suggesting TPTB are following the trend set by series such as "Earth X". But's what's in this Lostverse X? Or more importantly, what isn't?

As the opening scene revealed, the Island is completely submerged. The barracks and statue, however, are present. This would suggest that the Jughead explosion, or an event around DHARMA time, caused the Island to be destroyed. And this seems to have had some effect on our Losties' lives, who always seemed to have a destiny leading towards it.

Hurley, for example, is "the luckiest man alive", a complete turn-around from his tragic original past. My guess is he won the lottery with completely different numbers, as he would've never met Leonard, who would've never been admitted to Santa Rosa because he never heard the numbers. Different numbers meant no curse, meaning Hurley was lucky as...well, a lottery winner.

This is only one of many opposites shown in the "flash-sideways" as Darlton calls them. The conversation between Locke and Jack hinted the opposite perspectives on science and faith between the two men. Charlie is a depressed, suicidal wreck. Rose remained calm throughout the flight, and Bernard returned from his otherwise-fateful bathroom trip.

As well as these differences, the other highlight of the alternate timeline was the constant reintroduction of familiar faces with Boone, Arzt, Cindy, Frogurt, Edward Mars, Claire, Desmond and probably more I can't remember all reappearing. And in the case of Desmond, disappearing.

Desmond was perhaps the most interesting part of the alternate reality for me, he gave us a suggestion that all was not as it seemed. As well as Jack's feigned recognition of him, and the cut on his neck, Desmond's disappearance from the plane raised many questions. Why was he on the plane at all? Why was he wearing a wedding ring? Where did he disappear to, and why?

Compare this to Juliet, whose message from beyond the grave was simply, "It worked." My theory? As we've seen, Desmond is unique and miraculously special, possibly from his exposure to electromagnetism in the Swan, especially at the fail-safe. Juliet also would've got a whopping amount of electromagnetic goodies when she detonated Jughead, perhaps making her "special" as well. And what does this speciality lead to? Well, to steal an Faranology, imagine time as a record. Anyone can move back and forth on a track, but only the special ones: Juliet, Desmond, and possibly more, can move BETWEEN tracks/timelines. Point out any flaws/praise me in the comments.

Now, let's make this post miraculously special and move between timelines ourselves, to the just-as-exciting original timeline, where our 77er Losties have jumped to as well. As the A-Team try to save Juliet from her entrapment under the Swan wreckage, Jacob appears to Hurley telling him to take Sayid to the Temple. Unfortunately, Juliet doesn't make it, so Kate, Jack, and Hurley head off to the long-awaited Temple, leaving behind Miles and Sawyer.

Miles does his thing, and we receive another sign that some connection exists between the two timelines, not only from the "It worked" message, but also the sound effects of the "listening", with the plane crashing/time flash sound effect used to cross between timelines being heard by Miles.

Meanwhile, the others go to the Temple wall, where Montand, albeit dead, makes a brief cameo. This is only the start of the mythology-fest, with the return of the creepy whispers, the ragged Others, and our first view of the Temple. It continues again with the Egyptian ankh inside the guitar case, and then what seems to be another one of Jacob's many lists. We're not over yet, as we see the (unclear, both literally and figuratively) healing spring. The Temple then jumps from mythology madness to chaos, with Jacob's death announced and Sayid's treatment failing. But, in true Lostian manner, we get a last minute twist where Sayid sits up and asks "What happened?" Good question. Is it really Sayid? Or a reincarnation of Jacob or the Man in Black?

Speaking of the Man in Black, or should I say the Monster (but let's not resort to name calling), we had plenty of excitement statue-side. With one of the most badass reveals ever when Locke disappeared and Smokey came in, and some of Terry O'Quinn's finest acting, the third plot-line of the episode was just as amazing as the other two. We see that the circle of ash outside the cabin, which Bram terribly tried to replicate, was definitely to keep Smokey out (or in?) of the cabin in Season 3, as hinted by the Season 5 finale.

Following this, we had one of the most insightful monologues of the show, as the MiB discusses the tragedy of John Locke, and his dying thought: "I don't understand", one all Lost fans can sympathise with. Smocke followed this up with his own goal, to "go home." Where or when home is my favourite question of the episode, and unless the answer is "Mars", I can't wait to see where Darlton go with it.

The last thing to cover is Richard's "chains". My first thought was definite foreshadowing of a Black Rock backstory, but Lostpedia raised the possibility of metaphorical chains to Jacob. What answer would be cooler? I'd have to say both.

That's all from me, leave your thoughts about the episode and any questions/theories raised above in the comments section.
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