Lost is back, and I couldn’t be more excited. Even just watching the one hour recap show reminded me how much I’ve missed the Island and all its inhabitants. There’s nothing else like it on television. There’s a lot of ground to cover from last night’s two-part season premiere. I’ll start with an assessment of the three main plot threads, and then move on to my theories, questions, rants, and raves.
Same Song, Different Lyrics
- It was fascinating to see the parallel world created as a result of the bomb (if the bomb was, in fact, responsible).
- The few seconds that the screen was white at the beginning drove me crazy! After so many months of waiting, those few seconds of waiting to see what happened were very intense.
- What was with the cut on Jack’s neck? Was that just to indicate that he had recently shaved off his beard, or is it some hint about something else?
- What was Desmond doing on the plane? And where did he disappear to when Jack returned from saving Charlie? Weirdness all around. If nothing else, those two incidents were like a repeat of history in the original timeline, only in a different location: Jack saved Charlie after Ethan left him for dead, and Desmond had a habit of popping up in unexpected places.
- How creepy was it to see the island, the Dharma village, and the giant foot under water, in ruins? That was our confirmation that Juliet succeeded in setting off the bomb, destroying the island, and changing the course of history.
- The cameos of dearly departed Losties were fun: Artz, Charlie, Neil, Boone… I wonder if Mr. Eko, Ana Lucia, Libby, and Shannon were missing for a particular reason, or simply because they weren’t available at the time of filming.
- Apparently in this reality, Hurley is “the luckiest guy alive.” Winning the lottery was a blessing, not a curse. I wonder if he used the same numbers?
- A few things that happened in this parallel reality were like echoes of previous events. After Jack saved Charlie, Charlie told him, “You shouldn’t have let that happen, man. I was supposed to die.” Just like he was supposed to die (and did) on the Island, despite all Desmond’s efforts to save him… Another echo was how Dr. Shepherd’s body disappeared. In this case, it was apparently never put on the plane, while on the Island, the coffin and the body were separated from the other wreckage.
- It was interesting to see the Losties in this parallel universe pick up where we’d left them in their original flashbacks: Jack dealing with his father’s death, Kate still trying to escape from custody, Sawyer looking for his next con, Sun and Jin trying to keep up appearances, Rose and Bernard enjoying life together, Sayid hoping to reunite with Nadia, Charlie struggling with drug addiction, Hurley figuring out what to do with his lottery winnings, Boone dealing with his bratty sister Shannon, and Locke trying to maintain his dignity despite his paralysis. But fate seems to be interfering with the “natural” course of events, since all these characters are crossing paths: Sawyer helped Kate elude the security officers, Jack and Locke struck up a conversation about how “nothing is irreversible,” Desmond and Jack literally saw each other “in another life,” which are the words they parted with when they first met while running stairs in L.A.
Back in the Saddle Again (aka How Jack’s Plan Led Them Back to Where They Started)
- But the premiere wasn’t as straight forward as “now the Losties are on a different path, one on which they never came to the Island.” Instead, after the first commercial break, the writers threw us for a loop, showing Jack and the gang still very much alive on the island, but apparently back in the present rather than still stuck in the 70s.
- Hurley’s ability to talk to dead people came in handy, as Jacob delivered that message that Hurley needed to take Sayid to the Temple in order to save him from certain death. I wonder if Jacob will continue to communicate with the Losties via Hurley.
- Juliet’s death was hard to watch, but at least she and Sawyer had a better goodbye than the heart-wrenching one when she let go of his hand last season. Josh Holloway got to show off his acting skills, as Sawyer agonized over Juliet’s fate, and said his tearful “I love you’s” and “goodbyes” to her.
- Juliet’s final words were perplexing: “We should get coffee some time. We can go dutch.” Just the incoherent ramblings of a woman near-death, or something else – perhaps she was slipping away to the parallel reality where she and Sawyer weren’t on the Island, where their plan to change the course of events had worked. We have reason to suspect this, based on her next words being “I have to tell you something. It’s really, really important,” and based on Miles’ message from Juliet’s spirit that “it worked.” Regardless of the answers to these questions, Juliet’s death was one of the most memorable on the show.
A Tale of Two Lockes (aka On the Waterfront)
- The events on the beach in the present didn’t seem to be affected at all by Juliet’s efforts. But that didn’t make them any less interesting.
- It was fascinating to watch Ben’s rollercoaster of emotions: he went from horrified that he actually murdered Jacob, to disturbed when he saw the real Locke’s dead body, to full freak-out mode after he realized that not-Locke is the one and only Smoke Monster. The master manipulator couldn’t believe that he had been outmanipulated, and he was clearly nervous about just what sort of creature he helped unleash on the Island.
- Not-Locke is turning out to be a fantastic villain. He’s so calm, collected, and matter of fact: “I have good news. Jacob burned up in that fire. You have nothing more to protect…” Plus, he’s practically invincible – speeding bullets bounce off of him, and he can turn into his destructive smoke form to become a thoroughly efficient warrior. The only defense against him is encircling yourself with ashes.
- I was hoping his conversation with Ben at the end of the episode would at least reveal his name, but it didn’t happen. Instead, not-Locke tormented Ben, telling him that Locke was very confused as he died, thinking only “I don’t understand.” His description of Locke was spot-on, and thus sad, especially in light of his tragic death, which allowed this Monster to rise to power. And we were left with yet another intriguing question: not-Locke wants the one thing that John Locke didn’t: “I want to go home.” Where is home for this Smoke Monster?!
- The closing scene had Richard reuniting with an old acquaintance (not-Locke said “Hello, Richard, it’s good to see you out of those chains.”) I for one am ready to know Richard’s backstory. The “chains” part still makes me think he came to the Island on the Black Rock. Not-Locke quickly and easily knocked Richard out and carried him away, scolding the rest of the beach Others with a stern “I’m very disappointed in you!” What is going on?!
Hugo Reyes and the Temple of Doom (or Hope?)
- The Temple – In typical Lost fashion, we met yet another group of island inhabitants that we hadn’t seen before. Actually, I guess these are just more Others, but we’ve never seen these particular ones, except for the flight attendant and the two kids (Zack and Emma) that were taken from Ana Lucia’s group. I wonder if the Temple will be this season’s Hatch, pivotal to the ongoing plot. It is appropriately mysterious, and the passageways beneath it are creepy, with all the whispering and crumbling ruins.
- Jacob instructed Hurley to take the guitar case and its contents to the Temple. It contained a wooden cross of sorts, which in turn contained a piece of paper. I assume it was a list that included the names of Jack, Hurley, Kate, Jin, Sayid, Sawyer, and Miles, but one of the Others told Hurley it said “If your friend there dies, we’re all in a lot of trouble.” Perhaps if Jacob wrote all their names on the list, that means all of them must survive in order for some plan to work.
- The Temple contains a healing pool known as “The Spring.” Apparently a dying person has to be held underwater for a certain amount of time (determined by the sands in an hourglass), and has a chance of being healed. Initially, the Others thought it hadn’t worked, but they were acting very strangely. By the end of the episode, after lying still and not breathing for several minutes, Sayid suddenly sat up and said “What happened?” So did the spring save him, or something else? We don’t have a clear answer yet.
- “I don’t like the way English tastes on my tongue.” The apparent leader of this group of Others used a translator, but he does speak English. When Hurley informed him that Jacob was dead, the Others sprang into action, setting off a flare, and securing the Temple “to keep him out.” They must know what they are up against.
- I’m also curious why the Others wanted to talk to each Lostie individually. They are a very mysterious bunch.
- At the end of the episode, Sayid rose from the dead, or so it seems. Not sure what to make of this yet.
- Not-Locke is the Smoke Monster – Upon confirmation that the Smoke Monster can appear as people who have died, Lost fanatics everywhere rushed to their archives last night to study all the scenes from previous seasons involving dead people appearing to the islanders: Christian Shepherd “advising” various people, Mr. Eko’s brother, Shannon, Claire, etc. Can we assume that all these visitations were actually the Smoke Monster, and that they were all part of its plan to find a loophole? One of the more recent occurrences is when Christian guided Locke through the subterranean passageways and told him he had to move the island again to stop the time flashes. A lot to think about here… Another visit that comes to mind is Claire’s appearance to Kate in L.A., when she warned Kate not to take Aaron back to the island. If that Claire was actually the Smoke Monster, then it would seem that Aaron’s return to the Island would be a good thing for the Losties. But can the Smoke Monster appear off the Island, and is Claire even dead?
- Jacob Leads the Losties to the Temple – Apparently all hope is not lost just yet. If that spring can bring Sayid back to life, then maybe the Others and the Temple have some more tricks up their sleeves.
- Flash-somethings – In the early seasons we had flashbacks, and then last season we had flashbacks, flashforwards, and some flashes that were hard to label as either one. Apparently, this season we will have inter-reality flashes. (Producers Cuse and Lindelof refer to them as “sideways flashes” in this interview.) Whether it’s a parallel universe, a simultaneous reality, or whatever you want to call it, there seem to be two Jacks, two Kates, two of everyone. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it all, but I can’t wait to see where we are headed. This new storytelling device leads to all sorts of questions, but one big one is this: will these two worlds somehow converge, and if so, what will the results be?
- Not of this World? – Where is “home” for the Smoke Monster, and will his/its name ever be revealed? The only “out there” theory I am considering right now is that the Island is alien in origin. Remember that “Little Prince” episode early last season? Check out this excerpt, in which I theorized about what it would mean if Locke were the Little Prince in question (the text in blue seems especially relevant now that we know the whole Not-Locke angle):
- Locke – At the end of The Little Prince, the Little Prince tells the Narrator that he must return to his home planet, and explains to him that “while it will look as though he has died, he has not, but rather that his body is too heavy to take with him to his planet” (I gathered this info from Wikipedia, since it has been years since I read this novel and I’m foggy on the details.) This reminds me of Locke, who has to die in order to make everything right again. Will Locke be reincarnated in a different body, or has his body been left behind while he’s actually still doing the Island’s work? One famous quote from The Little Prince sounds exactly like something that Locke would say: “One cannot see well except with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eyes.”
- Just some food for thought… You can check out that full post here.
I could go on and on with my questions, but I’ll save some for the rest of the season, as we learn more. My favorite characters in the premiere were Sawyer (dramatic flair) and Hurley (comic relief). What did you think of the premiere? What questions are you dying to have answered? Any theories to share? To read more about the episode, check out the following:
- Lostpedia’s Recap and Evaluation of the Premiere
- Interview with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse
- Linz McC’s Reaction to the Premiere