Here is the Season Six Premiere (Part 1) recap from Erika Olson (aka "e") from LongLiveLocke.com.
Note: I wrote this post on Sunday evening, before watching LA X (Part 2), so some theories have been rendered moot by the premiere's second hour. I'm leaving what I wrote as-is, however, in the interest of getting this published sooner rather than later. In addition, for reasons I will cover in the next week or so, there will be few or no pictures in my posts going forward, nor will I be able to include lyrical headings for every section. I have a good reason, trust me, but the explanation will have to wait for now.
First off, how good did it feel to watch a new episode of Lost? Very good, of course… but very strange as well. I mean, it’s been over eight months since the Season Five finale, so it kind of weirded me out to see our beloved characters back in action. Did anyone else feel that way? No? OK. I’ll shut up and start the recap then.
I don’t think I’m the only one who expected this episode to start off exactly as it did. The last few minutes of The Incident were replayed on the "Previously on Lost" segment, Juliet succeeded in making Jughead go boom, and then whaddaya know -- there’s Jack, drinkin’ it up as a passenger on what we can only assume is Oceanic Flight 815 (more on that later). He had a conversation with Rose that was similar to the one they had in the pilot, the aircraft hit turbulence for a few tense moments… and then the skies were friendly once again.
Because of hints given at this past summer’s Comic-Con convention, as well as on the Lost University site more recently, a lot of people figured we’d see an alternate reality play out. (The hints included commercials for Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack with Hurley as its owner, as well as an America’s Most Wanted clip featuring Kate -- an on-the-run criminal who had killed a handyman (NOT her stepfather) when she blew up her mother’s house. However, even though LA X’s opening airplane scene was expected by many of us, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t absolutely mesmerizing to watch unfold. I personally figured that we’d see the plane land A-OK in California, and that most of the characters wouldn’t end up any better off they’d been on the Island, but I didn’t expect freaky stuff to start going down on the plane. Like Desmond showing up. That was the #1 OMG moment of the night for me!
DO I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE?
WHY DO YOU LEAVE ME WANTING MORE?
WHY DO ALL THE THINGS I SAY
SOUND LIKE THE STUPID THINGS I'VE SAID
So the man that Faraday (RIP, sniff) deemed “miraculously and wonderfully special” plops down next to Jack… and Jack gets the weird feeling that he’s met the perfectly coiffed Scot before. But Des is like, “Nope… sorry, brutha” and gives Jack the crazy side-eye.
Now, it’s bizarre enough that Des is there in the first place. But what’s even more puzzling is that neither he nor Jack recall their meeting while running up and down the stadium – a meeting that they’d both remembered when they saw each other again in the hatch in the original timeline. Which, of course, probably means that they were never both at that stadium together.
If you were paying very close attention, you might have noticed that Des was wearing a wedding ring. Perhaps in this alternate reality he didn’t waste any time getting together with Penny. BUT WAIT -- if the Island sank after Jughead detonated, then that means Widmore and Hawking would've been killed... which means Penny would've never been born (same goes for Faraday -- noooo!!!). So I think Des ended up marrying someone else, and since Widmore wasn't around sponsor a sailing race, Des never wouldve been at the stadium to meet Jack in the first place.
But none of the above explains: 1) why he was on a flight from Sydney to LA, or 2) where he vanished to once Jack returned to his seat later in the flight.
I’M NOT THERE
What if Des wasn’t even there? No one else interacted with him but Jack… and from the looks of it, something mighty weird is going on in Jack’s head during this flight. When he went to the restroom and looked in the mirror, he was visibly shocked at his appearance. His actions seemed to imply that he thought he looked older – and he certainly didn’t know where that nick on his neck came from. When the plane leveled off, he was still bracing for impact, as Rose noticed. He also appeared to have subconscious memories of Des. So was it really Des that he saw, or a vision, courtesy of the Island or Jacob (who I assume would NOT have been killed by the blast, but would instead now be floating around the world trying desperately to undo the situation)? Was the Desmond vision meant to start planting seeds in Jack’s head about the life he left behind when he threw Jughead down the pit? And if Des was real, where did he run off to -- why’d he all of a sudden want to sit next to Snoring Guy again? I mean, did Jack have really bad alcohol breath, or what?
I DON'T WANNA BE HERE
Another bit of bizarreness on the flight was the chaos in the bathroom. I’ll tell you the truth – I thought it was going to be Juliet in there. I thought that her death on the Island was going to parallel her death in the alternate timeline… but I was wrong. It was Charlie who was unconscious in the loo. Don’t lie to me and say you didn’t think he’d just OD’d! Because I did, you did, and everyone else did, too. So what a surprise it was to see that he’d actually tried to kill himself by stuffing a bag of heroin down his own throat. (Or if he was just trying to hide it by swallowing it, once he was resuscitated he still didn't seem too happy about the fact that doing so didn't end his life.)
Jack leapt into Hero Mode as expected, which I thought was kinda cool, since if the flight had crashed, we know he would’ve been busting into Hero Mode on the Island right away, too. And that he'd eventually save Charlie from death by hanging courtesy of Ethan. In this timeline, however, Sayid came to Jack’s aid, and Jack discovered what Charlie’s real plan was. How eerie was our Rock God’s “I should’ve died,” by the way?
AND I SCREAM FROM THE TOP OF MY LUNGS
WHAT'S GOIN' ON?
So let’s do a rundown of the main 815ers and what seems to be going on with each of them in this new reality:
- Jack: He’s still a hero, still a surgeon (or else that was really rude to push the call button when Cindy asked if there was a doctor on board), still liking the drinky-drink, and still one to rise to the occasion in an emergency. But that’s about all we’ve got. Can’t tell if he was coming home with his dad’s coffin, or if Christian’s disappearance was even the reason he was on the flight.
- Rose and Bernard: They’re still happy as clams. The happiest of everyone, just like they ended up being on the Island. But does Rose still have cancer? That is the question. My guess is that she does, and that therefore those two would’ve preferred their Island retirement digs, if given a choice.
- Hurley: Damn, Hurley’s gotten a bit overconfident, eh? He still won the Lotto, but instead of feeling that the numbers are cursed, he thinks he’s the luckiest dude on the planet. He’s running his biz, getting to live out his dream of whipping up secret sauces and spices – he’s happy. But … if this plane was coming from Australia, why was Hurley on it? Surely it wasn’t to go visit Sam Toomey's widow to learn the background of the numbers if the numbers weren’t haunting him. And did he even play THE numbers in the first place? Because if the Island was destroyed in 1977, there would've been no transmission for Sam or Leonard to have heard. Hmm. Either way, it was still Hurley's destiny to win the Lotto.
- Sawyer: I dare say Sawyer is still a con man. You caught that smirk as he followed Hurley off the plane, yes? Sawyer knows a good target when he sees one. There’s a chance Sawyer is living life on the up and up since he did try to give Hurley advice about watching out for people who might want to take advantage of him… but that smirk has me convinced (for now) that he’s still pulling scams with the best of them.
- Sun and Jin: SO awful to see the return of Evil Jin! Yick. And even worse to see Obedient Sun again. Boo.
- Boone: A miracle happened in this episode – I didn’t hate Boone! In fact, his “If anything happens to this plane, I’m stickin’ with you” to Locke made me all verklempt.
- Charlie: He wasn’t happy when he was on the original Flight 815 as his bro just shot down his dreams of a reunion tour/new album, but he wasn’t trying to off himself at that point, either. Looks like things have taken a much darker turn for the Drive Shaft bassist.
- Sayid: He knew where Nadia was and appeared to be on his way to see her. And he still kicks ass, phew. (Him busting down the bathroom door was one of my favorite parts of the episode.)
- Michael/Walt: Not shown. I’ll chalk this up to the fact that Malcolm David Kelly is not a little boy any more and will refrain from going crazy with theories for these two.
- Shannon: Not shown. But Boone explained why – he couldn’t convince her to leave Australia.
- Frogurt: Surely you caught him napping in between Locke and Boone. No flaming arrows back on the mainland, I figure. He will return to Fro-Yo-in’!
- Arzt: No age-old dynamite back on the mainland, either. Back to teachin’!
- Claire: HUGE omission. Where in the heck was she? Did she never get pregnant, and therefore had no need to go to LA to give her baybee up for adoption? Was that creepy psychic guy truly a psychic and knew that the plane wasn’t going to crash this time around, so he made up another scheme that would either force Claire to have to raise Aaron on her own?
- All the other tailsection peeps (Eko, Libby, the kids, Ana Lucia, etc.): None of them were shown.
- Locke: Yes, of course I had to save Locke for last because dammit if I didn’t think he was going to stand up at the end. And triple-dammit if I didn’t start crying when I realized that he was still in a wheelchair. He looks as miserable as ever. I died a little inside at the end of the episode when it zoomed in on his absolutely pathetic expression. NOOOOOOOooooooooooooo!!!!!
UNDER THE SEA
Exhibit A in the case against the Season Six Special Effects Budget was the camera dive down into the Pacific, which showed the Barracks resting on the ocean floor, along with the four-toed statue. I’m trying not to dwell on the straight-outta-my-1998-screensaver fishies. I guess this scene was meant to absolutely, undeniably confirm that in this timeline, the plan Faraday (God I miss that tie, sniff) devised to reset the course of events actually worked. The Island was decimated in 1977, meaning that Juliet was never lured into going there (I’m SURE we’ll see her eventually in this new reality), and Desmond never crashed there, and therefore no one was around to bring Oceanic 815 down by forgetting to push the Countdown Timer o’ Doom button. Buh-bye, Island.
I have a few more thoughts on the Bizarro Oceanic 815 timeline, but it’s probably best to switch over and talk about the present-day Island events first. And yes, before we go any further, I’m running with the notion that the Lostaways who’d been stuck in the ‘70s have now rejoined the rest of the group pretty much right where they left off at the end of Season Five. Jacob told Hurley that he died “an hour ago,” and that’s good enough reason for me to believe that the time jumps are now over for good. This might be an appropriate time to mention that my guiding principle for theories this season is going to be, “Considering that there are just 18 hours left, will this theory help bring the story to closure or not?” And everyone being back in the present day sets up a Sun and Jin reunion, as well as a Jack versus Fake Locke showdown.
I GOT THAT
BOOM BOOM POW
Good lord, how many times are we going to have to watch Juliet die? She gave it her all to make Jughead detonate in order to return Sawyer to what she figured would be a better life, and this is the thanks she gets? I can’t take it anymore. (It’s actually that I can’t take watching Sawyer’s heart burst into a million pieces anymore, but don’t tell that to Juliet fans, OK? Our secret.)
When Kate heard Juliet yelping from the bottom of the pit, I was like, “You have GOT to be kidding me.” Then, just like how I wrongly thought it was going to be Juliet dying in the bathroom on the plane, I got this weird feeling that Sawyer was going to find someone else down there once they’d dug out all the wreckage. But alas, it was his “blondie,” and she was not in good shape. (Anyone else cover their eyes because they thought her bottom half was going to be missing when Sawyer removed that pipe that had fallen on her? Glad they didn’t go THAT route!)
“Suliet” at least got their good-bye in this version of events, but it was pretty awful that she couldn’t tell him whatever it was she’d so wanted to say. She seemed to have been experiencing the same deadly time-travel effects that Charlotte fell victim to last season. Too sad.
Now what we have is the Return of Pissed Off Sawyer. Remember how angry he was during Season One? Stomping around, stealing supplies, fighting with everyone, and just pretty much being an ass? I fear that side of him is going to come out again. Because Hell hath no fury like a man whose woman was dragged down into a pocket of electromagnetic energy and crushed by tons of heavy objects but still managed to make a bomb go off and then died… all for nothing. If I were Jack, I’d start running.
LET ME HELP YOU WORK IT OUT
I'M THE ONE WHO'LL ALWAYS CARE
WHEN YOU NEED ME I'LL BE THERE
LET ME HELP YOU WORK IT OUT
While the rest of the time travelers were trying to rescue Juliet, Jacob came to visit Hurley at the Dharma Van. He announced that this time, he was in fact dead, but that he knew of a way Hurley could save Sayid, who had been bleeding out for approximately 15 hours at this point. (Seriously, guys, where’s the love for Sayid? It’s kind of ridiculous!)
Did you notice that it looked like Jacob was debating a bit about Sayid when he hunched over him? I couldn’t tell if he was just trying to figure out if he could be saved at all… or if he was trying to determine whether or not Sayid deserved to be saved. Either way, it was probably a good thing that Sayid seemed so remorseful in the last words we heard him speak. Jacob instructed Hurley to get his buddy to the Temple – the same temple Richard took Young Ben to after Sayid had shot him (oh, the irony). When Jack came back and confirmed that there was nothing he could do for He of the Flowing Locks and Black Tank Tops, Hurley was all, “I can fix him.” There were two moments on the beach in Oahu when the crowd of 15,000 erupted into applause. That was one of them.
I really hope we get to see what in the heck is IN that temple that can save everyone, by the way! ‘Cause at this point, I don’t think it’s Smokey. Speaking of…
YOU'RE NO GOOD
YOU'RE NO GOOD
YOU'RE NO GOOD
BABY, YOU'RE NO GOOD
Back in Jacob’s old home, the foot-toed foot statue, Fake Locke wasted no time putting the rest of his plan to (assumedly) take control of the Island into action. Ben was trembling and staring open-mouthed at the spot where Jacob had disappeared into the fire, prompting Fake Locke to holler, “Hey, snap out of it, fool! Go get that guy with the eyeliner.” So Ben obeys, and as soon as Ageless Richard sees Ben, he grabs him by the scruff of his neck like a naughty little puppy and demands to know what happened in there. Ben lies (of course), and then Richard throws him down in the sand next to Real Dead Locke.
Now, this next scene was the only one that didn’t sit well with me. Why – after seeing that Fake Locke was clearly not who Ben thought he was – would Ben still go along with his plan? Why continue to lie to Richard when he knew that Fake Locke most likely intended to kill Richard? What in the hell has Richard ever done to offend Ben, except look extraordinarily stylish in his tailored pants and Egyptian cotton (get it?) shirts? Jealousy takes many strange forms.
The good news was that Richard knows the old adage, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” He wasn’t born yesterday (get it -- again?). Richard was not stupid enough to face Fake Locke… and neither was Ilana. Instead, they sent Bram and a few other thick-necked goons in to kill Fake Locke, but Fake Locke pulled the ol’ Houdini on ‘em after displaying that he was actually bulletproof (that thing Bram picked up off the floor was a smushed bullet).
And then that familiar sound of ticking and clanking chains returned and a billow of black smoke burst forth, and that, my friends, was the second time the fans on Waikiki Beach went nuts. People love them some Smokey, I tell ya. So Smokey/Fake Locke goes to town on his three attackers, and even though I literally cringed at how poor the effects were once again, how could anyone not help but laugh when Smokey knocked Bram out of his circle of protective ash and then took him out?
Finally, we were delivered the best line of the night when Fake Locke reappeared. “I’m sorry you had to see me like that,” he said solemnly to a once again gape-mouthed Ben.
AH, I'D LOVE TO WEAR A RAINBOW EVERY DAY
AND TELL THE WORLD THAT EVERYTHING'S OKAY
BUT I'LL TRY TO CARRY OFF A LITTLE DARKNESS ON MY BACK
TILL THINGS ARE BRIGHTER
I'M THE MAN IN BLACK
I think that scene served as an official ANSWER about Smokey, don’t you? Sure, there’s still a lot we don’t know, of course, but if the show ended right now, I would feel satisfied with the information we’ve been given on the black smoke and wouldn’t feel cheated. We have confirmation that Smokey is the Man in Black, aka Jacob’s Nemesis, aka Fake Locke. At the beginning of The Incident, when we first saw Jacob and the Man in Black (MIB), MIB mentioned he “just ate.” A lot of people guessed that he ate A PERSON as Smokey. Methinks they were right.
In The Incident we also learned that the circle of ash around Jacob’s old cabin had been broken, and that Ilana guessed that “someone else” had been using the shack for quite some time. That was surely MIB in there – heck, he might’ve even been the one who said “Help meeeee” to Locke… all part of his master plan to manipulate Locke into returning to the Island in a coffin so that he could assume his form, just like he most likely did with Zombie Dad, Alex, Eko's brother Yemi, etc., etc.. That might be why Locke was the only one we’ve ever seen Smokey spare – the MIB could sense right away that this was a man so desperate to be special, so desperate to be a leader, so desperate to MATTER, that he was the perfect person to carry out The Loophole strategy.
SO NOW WHAT?
Lapidus and Sun think everyone around them done lost their minds, so they’re scheming about what they should do. Ilana probably knew that Bram and crew would be destroyed upon entering the statue, so she might be a little shadier than previously expected. Remember that we still don’t know why she was all burned up in that Russian hospital when Jacob visited and asked for her help.
Then we’ve got Ben, who’s decided it’s a good idea to side with Fake Locke. ?!?! I guess maybe that might be the best way to stay alive in the short term, but I am still left wondering why Ben didn’t tell Richard the truth about what happened to Jacob when he had the chance.
But speaking of Jacob, don’t forget that his last words before crumpling down into the fire pit were, “They’re coming.” And did you notice how Ben called out the fact that Jacob didn’t even fight back when he was stabbed? Uh, yeah, that’s because JACOB, not Ben, appears to be the one who “always has a plan.” I’m positive that the “they” who are “coming” aren’t Bram and Ilana’s people. I’d bet good money (OK, maybe just like $5) that “they” are the 815ers Jacob visited in the past and physically touched. (If you watched the enhanced version of The Incident that aired last week, you saw how the pop-up boxes noted every single time Jacob made contact with one of the Lostaways. That means it’s important, people!) With his touch most likely came some sort of power that will help them fight against the Man in Black now that Jacob’s out of the picture. The enhanced version of The Incident also specifically stated that Jacob looks to have not only touched Locke after his eight-story fall, but also to have actually brought him back to life. I have faith that that means there’s a chance that we’ll see Real Locke some how, some way, alive and kickin’ again on the Island before the series is over. He got the extra-special dose of Jacob’s powers, yahoo!
Back to the “so now what?” question… I think the next thing we’ll see is the time-traveling 815ers fixing up Sayid in the Temple so that his Badassometer is back to 100%, and then those peeps will all eventually find their way to Fake Locke, and that’s when things will get REALLY interesting. Every one of them has been touched by Jacob, except Miles. That probably doesn’t bode well for Miles.
THE TIMELINES – PARALLEL OR NOT?
OK, since I have a sinking feeling that a lot of what I just spent 3 hours of battery power on during my flight back from Oahu will be totally negated once the second hour of LA X airs, I’m going to end with my thought about the timeline of the alternate reality. Since the Island events are still going down a little more than three years after the original Flight 815 crashed on September 22, 2004, I think we have to wonder whether or not the new flight scenes we were delivered are also in 2004 like the Pilot episode was… or if they are concurrent with the late 2007/early 2008 timeline. Remember that cut on Jack's neck? Perhaps that was a hint that AlternaJack is experiencing some of the same things that Original Jack is... at the same time.
Quite frankly I think it might make it easier storytelling-wise if both streams were moving along in parallel. It could still be Flight 815, just three or so years later – would that really change anything? No, it just would mean that, when compared with the original timeline, in the "Flash Sideways" scenes, Locke tried to go on his walkabout three years later, Jack's dad died three years later, etc., etc. Then we'd have both versions of all characters moving along together in parallel in early 2008 or so. That might set things up to converge in some whacked-out way for the series finale -- like maybe someone will cross over to the other timeline, or do something in one version of events that affects the other version. Hopefully we'll see a date in one of the Flash Sideways scenes in an upcoming episode that will clear this point up.
OK folks, I'm posting this Wednesday afternoon and don't anticipate starting to write about Part 2 for a while, but my post for that one will be up before the next episode, of course.
Hope you liked the premiere! I know I did.
Here is the Season Six Premiere (Part 1) recap from Erika Olson (aka "e") from LongLiveLocke.com.