LOST: One Columnist's Mind #1
Season 6, Episode 1: “LA X”
Earlier this week, “Lost” fans rejoiced at the return of the show for its final season. Now that the big premiere is out of the way and we’ve had a few days to digest its events, Post-Game’s ready to get its Dharma on. We’re going to eschew the point-by-point recap this time in favor of addressing a couple of main points, then diving into five significant questions that have been answered, as well as five new questions.
Flash Sideways: This season’s new big narrative conceit appeared right away. The producers called it a “flash sideways” at Entertainment Weekly. Really, it’s a branching timeline/alternate reality brought on, apparently, by our cast’s effort to detonate Jughead at the end of last season. Juliet’s dying thought, “It worked”, seemed to confirm that.
And with that . . .
Locke: As if there was any doubt, Locke is your Man in Black. HOWEVER, it appears that the Man in Black is ALSO the Smoke Monster (“Sorry you had to see me like that”). That raises some interesting questions, including previous references to the Smoke Monster as the island’s security system. Apparently, it’s an involuntary security system, as MiB Locke just wants to “go home”.
The Temple: Referenced repeatedly by Ben (recall his instructions at one point for Richard to get the Others and their children “to the Temple”?) and others, the Temple finally made its appearance. At its heart was a Lazarus Pit of sorts that seems clearly in retrospect to be the thing that healed young Ben Linus in the ‘70s.
It Worked: While we don’t know the full nature of the apparent time/reality split, it’s clear that Jack’s Jughead plan DIDN’T end in the group being incinerated. That’s something, right?
The Guitar Case: The Guitar Case ended up holding a giant ankh that itself was merely a vessel for a note from Jacob. Essentially, it seemed like the note was Jacob’s version of a “These guys are cool” list. Or, at least, a “don’t let these guys die or I’m screwed” list.
The Ash Protects You from Smokey, but Not from Slabs: We knew fundamentally for a while that the ash is supposed to hold the Smoke Monster back. We got to see Bram hold him off for a minute before our billowing pal outsmarted him via rubble. This does point back to the cabin, though. If Jacob had vacated the cabin in favor of the statue, then who was actually in the cabin that was using the protection?
Juliet: Juliet apparently saw the other side in some capacity. One wonders if her reference to meeting Sawyer for coffee is actually something that she saw her other-side self say? It’s also interesting in this context to note that EVERYONE has an “Other” now, in the form of an “other side” duplicate. Similarly, when Charlie mentioned that he was supposed to be dead, did HE see a glimpse of his “other side” fate wherein he died heroically warning Desmond?
Plane Seat Shuffle: Boone noted that Shannon did NOT get on the plane in Australia on the “other side”. And while we didn’t see all the possible passengers, conspicuous absences included Michael, Walt, Eko, Ana-Lucia, and Libby. If they didn’t get on the plane, where were they?
The Kids: Dammit, I still want an explanation for psychic kids and the importance of Aaron. Can we get a fine point on the story of Walt? WAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLTT!!!
Richard: With the mention of Richard in chains by MiB Locke, I’m pretty certain that more on Richard is coming soon. Frankly, his story is one of the things that I’d like to see addressed the most in this final season.
Under the Sea: Say, why did the island SINK on the “other side” anyway? We know that it was after Dharma built the houses at least.
I’m thinking that Jack’s Jughead plan worked too well. I’m guessing that the event not only affected the branching reality, but caused ripples BACKWARD in the timestream. Consider this: if Sayid, for example, never went to the island in the first place, what event replaced Ben getting shot as a youngster after Sayid time-travelled? By removing the castaways not just from the island in 2004, but from the eventual travel back to the ‘70s and so forth, how did all of THAT impact the island? Did Jughead actually blow because it was leaking, something that Faraday helped them avoid in the prime timeline? Food for thought.
All right, campers. What did you think? Have you had any of YOUR questions answered? What answers do you need? New theories? Have at it.