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?


  1. Bernard didn't seem to mind too much that his wife was dying and also chatting up the young doctor opposite.

    The flying through water scene wasn't very good - was it. It looked like the windows 95 fishtank screensaver with a weird foot in it.

    Looks like they're sticking with the many worlds theory of time travel.

  2. I'm convinced that the only way to un-un-locke is by moving the 'real' Locke from the alternative version, else… what will be the point of the alternate people story wise? what does it add?

  3. I wonder if anyone is still in the Swan in the Altantis version of the island? I'm guessing it would be waterproof, and if the Dharma village is there, along with their sonic fences it would make sense that the Dharma stations are too. They've always got their lovely submarine to get around in, and that might explain why the Swan hatch has two exits the way it does (a design feature which I guess was originally there due to that big drill shaft, but didn't seem to serve any purpose after that), in fact they have a lot of underwater stations. the only land based one of significance is the medical station, which appears to cater solely for the problems they have with child birth when the island is above water.

    The child birth stuff might come back into play, given how closely linked that is with un-locke, the weird fountain of 'not being dead after we've drowned you' and notions of people's mother's not existing any more - as in the case of Faraday, and even of Charlotte.

    I'm sure it's all just to do with that smoke monster thing being an alien that 'wants to go home'.

    I hope Jack and Swayer spend the rest of the season being really angry because I've started to find it less irritating, and actually highly amusing. I propose a drinking game based on every occurrence of either of them getting ridiculously angry at any little thing that happens.


    FFS Sawyer, let's hear your plan to nuke the past back into line then.

  4. Think it's a bit funny how they've glossed over the fact that Ben was working for the 'good guys' all along. The ambiguity of his evilness was the crux of the first few series, and now he's just a bit pathetic and it's all been brushed under the carpet. In my mind this sort of thing is proof they were making it up as they went along.

    Surely the none plane crash timeline and the current island timeline (2007?) will come into contact with eachother. Are we going to see a scene a bit like that bit in Sean of the Dead when the two groups meet whilst fleeing the zombies? JJ is a big fan of SOTD - it could happen. Hell, it could even be funny. Jack telling himself that he's put on weight, and off island Kate telling herself that she's let herself go.

    Aparently you can see a Dharma logo on one of the sharks in the Windows screensaver underwater island bit. When are we going to see more of these island animals and the polar bear?

    Maybe someone will get their commupance in a 'you tortured me for years, and now |I'm going to eat your spleen'. Either that or the polar bears will waddle on screen, sit down and drink a bottle of coke, and we'll find out that LOST was just one big advert for coke with the island being the inside of the vending machine.

  5. I wonder what would happen to the smoke monster underwater?
    He'd probably be all sludgy, and not very happy.

  6. Could the SM get any angrier?

  7. Great write up, as ever Toby, I too think that Crystal Maze zones will start to appear,"originally Aztec, Futuristic, Medieval and Industrial; Industrial was replaced by Ocean from series four onwards"

    Since we're in series 6, it's ok to have the Ocean zone.

    I may be stating the bleeding obvious here, but I was reading a book recently "Stumbling Upon Happiness" and it talks about John Locke, a philosopher, I looked him up, and it seems that Mr Abrams did too, have you read any of this?!

    I'm loving the island references:
    "His writings influenced Voltaire (WALTER?) and Rousseau (ROUSSEAU), many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers,(DESMOND?) as well as the American revolutionaries (815ers?)."