Sunday, 7 February 2010
Season 6 - Episode 1/2 - With great paradox, comes great responsibility
And so we arrive at the end of all things, with all it's Parallel Universes, Fountains of Eternal Life and Lost Cities of Atlantis. Lost has returned from it's extended Summer holiday, and appears eager to tell all to it's returning friends. We have confirmation that Un-Locke is the smoke monster, that Richard arrived a slave aboard the Black Rock, and that there are now multiple realities where a whole separate timeline of events are being played out.
Oceanic Flight 815 didn't crash, but Jack looks very confused, like he thought it would. He's talking to Rose, and Bernard is having a poo. However, his hair is longer, and one-time hatch dweller Desmond is sitting next to him. A full comparison of the differences in this opening scene is shown here. Woah, people posting Youtube clips trying to solve Lost, this season really is going to be mimicking it's former glory. Charlie is in the bathroom taking some heroin like it's 2004, but this time he's hinting at a suicide attempt. His hair is also shorter, but I fear that's more to do with his appearance being a short cameo than anything to do with alternate realities. He can't grow a floppy fringe for Flashforward during it's hiatus, or he'll lose his new-found villainy.
Anyway, nobody dies on the plane, and yet it's still very exciting to see. Locke chats with Boone, even though he's now in Vampire Diaries and could have told ABC to fuck off like Shannon obviously did. Kate and her cartoon jailer bicker and fight a bit, Hurley is a confident lottery winner and owner of Mister Clucks, and Artz over-eggs the first acting gig he's had since season 3. It's pretty much all fun for everyone in this reality, apart from Jack. You get the feeling he knows he's in an alternate realty, and has memories of the people around him. Later in the episode he speaks to Locke about his condition, who's sadly still paralysed despite having raved about his Walkabout tour to oblivious Boone. Jack has a crazy idea he can cure Locke, which must come from suppressed island memory as off-island he seems to kill everyone he operates on.
This reality is obviously quite different to the one we remember, and not just because of the actors they could convince to come back. As the camera leaps from the plane and down into the ocean, we see a badly-CGI-ed island, with all the familiar huts, sonic fences, four-toed statues and Windows 95 Screensaver-era fish swimming about. Let's assume this is the state of the island post Hydrogen bomb, and that none of the events off-island since 1977 have occurred since the island sunk. Faraday wasn't born, as Ellie would be dead. Desmond doesn't live there, as the hatch was never built. Richard Alpert, Jacob and Ben must be dead. But if that's the case, Jacob hasn't been back for his creepy trips to all the 815ers as children. How come their lives still lead to them boarding the plane if what we were shown at the end of last season was so significant? Also, did Hurley win the lottery with the numbers? If so, how? He can't have gotten them from his friend in the mental institute. Not only did he not stay there, but his friend couldn't have lived on the island.
Meanwhile, we have another more familiar reality to deal with, where everyone's acting like surviving a Hydrogen Bomb blast and landing thirty years in the future is entirely normal and that Jack's plan hasn't worked. Juliet dies again, and we've supposed to be impressed once more about how far Sawyer has come these past five years. He's sad and angry, which means somehow conveying two emotions at the same time. He says he'll kill Jack! Sawyer Maaaaaaaaadddd!!! It's clear why they're trying to force his character to revert to his pre-redemptive season one self. They sold this whole final season to fans as being a re-boot not only in possibly re-visiting the events immediately following Flight 815, but of everyone running through the jungle, not knowing what's going on. I'm sure we'll see Kate and Jack face their original demons once more, as the show returns to it's original themes in the coming weeks.
At the temple, we meet a new group of Other Others. I guess Ben's crew have lost a lot of their mysterious spiritual credibility in the past couple of years, what with all the book groups and generally being rubbish at fighting. So now the ragtag bunch of ex-hippies with goatees and denim cut-offs (have a look! They do wear them!) is upgraded to a load of Chinese people with guns. John Lennon is there too, dressed as the chap from Apocalypse now, but we don't know if he's magical yet. We know all Chinese people are though, and that most of them have the ability to live forever so it's no surprise they have a fountain of eternal youth in what must be the Temple's living room. They've all probably been living there bathing in it every night for the past thousand years, so God/Jacob knows what's in it. Richard Alpert's used it, Sayid's used it. Maybe Sawyer will give it a go and he'll infect the whole of the island with some sexually transmitted disease he's picked up from his conman days.
Forget all that hocus pocus though. The introduction of stereotypical Chinese people in Lost can only mean one thing: karate! After years of Sayid always coming out tops in season finales it seems we'll finally have a real challenge once Head Chinese-man has taught our 815ers how to fight properly, possibly after a montage scene where he gets them to re-paint the Temple, Mister Miyagi style. Not a bad idea. As my friend Henry pointed out, it does all ook a bit 'Crystal Maze'.
With a puff of flare-smoke, we get confirmation that the 1977 DHARMA folk have indeed returned to the timeline of Un-Locke, Richard, Ben, Sun and the recently deceased Jacob. Un-Locke beats Richard up a bit, mentioning something about 'chains', and is generally quite aggressive to the group we can now assume originally arrived on the Black Rock. It was very exciting to see Terry O'Quinn (Locke-actor) relax, and play the villain that's he's so often been hinted at becoming. I'm sure we'll see a lot more of this in the following weeks, before Original-Locke's inevitable ACTUAL re-birth in the Temple around episode 16, as he leads the ex-Others/Black-Rockers on some nasty quest against the 815ers.
Joining together the two groups after a season and a half does mean there'll be some exciting conflict. (Following Lost-lore, it'll be around episode 8, in that difficult mid-season section). Jin and Sun will re-unite at last. She's assumed him dead for three years, far outweighing the Penny and Desmond ordeal in the reconciliation stakes. She's definitely had botox during their time apart, and he's learnt a whole new language, so if she's not pregnant from his English-speaking seed by the end of season six there's definitely something affecting pregnant women on the island.
Oh yeah, what ever happened to that?