Tuesday, February 23, 2010

LOST: Season Six


-LA X Part 1
-LA X Part 2
-What Kate Does
-The Substitute

In every season of LOST thus far, the main concept of the season has been revealed in the first moments of the first episode. Season one: plane crash. Season two: the hatch. Season three: the others. Season four: rescue. And season five: time travel.

So what is it for season six? So far I would say it can be summed up as: alternative timelines. To which my response was at the time, and still is: What the heck? Really? All the drama of season five and the explosion and Faraday’s research and the result of everything is … alternative timelines, which no one is even aware of except us the audience. For real?

I’m trying to fight off the disappointment and trust the writers that this is going somewhere, but I have to admit I’m not thrilled through the first four episodes. Granted, there’s a lot of LOST remaining and I like the direction we’re headed in with Smoke-Locke and Jacob and the immanent war. But still, Timeline B has about two more episodes to start making some sense before I start punching innocent puppies.

To summarize the events in Timeline B, we begin on the flight of Oceanic 815 where most things are the same, but there are a few subtle differences: Shannon is gone, Hurley claims to be lucky, and Charlie appears to be suicidal. Whatever. The keys in my mind are these: Desmond appears on the plane (possibly only seen by Jack), Christian Shepherd’s body is not on the plane, and Jack seems to be experiencing some sort of déjà vu and has a weird cut on his neck, similar to the bloody spot on Desmond’s neck from when he was time traveling around in The Constant.

We saw Kate miraculously escape from an armed US Marshall using only a pen and her wits, then hijack a cab, befriend it’s frightened occupant, and then escort said occupant to the hospital and help her give birth to a healthy baby boy. I can’t decide what’s less realistic: a time-traveling, monster-infested island in the Pacific, or Kate Austin’s character. Kate tells Claire she’s innocent. Is she? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I just hope we don’t see any more Kate-centric episodes this season.

Elsewhere in Timeline B, John Locke is still paralyzed, still pathetic, but on a happier note, he’s engaged to Helen Norwood and seemingly on good terms with his father – which begs the question, how did he get paralyzed this time? I also wonder, what led him to Australia to go on a Walkabout, since Matthew Abaddon, who works for Widmore, wouldn’t have been there to nudge him in the Walkabout direction, since we can only assume that Widmore is dead. Since landing in LA, Locke has randomly encountered Jack, then Hurley, then Rose, and then Ben Linus, and he won’t let any of them tell him what he can’t do.

Where is Timeline B going? I assume we’ll see episodes centric on Sayid (who will be happy with Nadia), Sun and Jin (miserable as ever) and Sawyer (conning his way through life), but each with little changes here and there. And of course the super-doctor Jack episode, where we’ll find out why Christian’s body wasn’t on the plane and hope it has some relevance to the island and to Jacob. There may be a Hurley episode (although I’m not sure I can handle seeing his mother again) or a Claire episode or even a Ben episode. Frankly, I don’t care about Timeline B until a connection with Timeline A is established.

And with that, let’s move on to the events of Timeline A, beginning at the foot statue with Jacob’s Enemy, also called Flocke (for Fake Locke), Nemesis, Smokie, Dr. Loophole, Esau, or simply The Monster. Early in the first episode, it was revealed beyond any and all possible doubt that Locke and the Monster and Jacob’s Enemy are all one and the same. Not sure if he is possessing him, or using him, or inhabiting him, or simply the Monster has become him. Whatever word you want to use, doesn’t really matter, the bottom line is Locke=Smoke Monster.

Now there’s a slim, 1% chance that the Monster is actually the good guy and Jacob is actually bad, and that would be a cool twist. But I don’t think that’s the case.

Flocke turns into Smokie, destroys ‘Jacob’s bodyguards,’ including Bram, and is impenetrable to bullets. He then delivers the best line of season six: “Sorry you had to see me like that.” Boom!

Ben is freaking out, Richard is freaking out, and Frank Lapidus stands off to the side and makes sarcastic remarks like “Another day in paradise…” or “Guess we’re in for the ride of our lives.” I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty ready for Frank to meet his end. He’s not a terrible character, but what good is a comic-relief guy if he’s not funny? Nemesis then punches Ricardus in the throat, tells the crowd that he is disappointed in them (weird), and insinuates that Richard was originally a slave on the Black Rock, which I’m sure we’ll see in about 7 or 8 episodes. He then carries him off into the jungle, ties him up, and goes “recruiting.” He picks up Sawyer, chases after a 12 year old blond kid (either young Jacob or old Aaron - or both?) and successfully ‘recruits’ Sawyer through some classic LOST-style manipulation.

How freaking awesome was the cave? Beginning with Jacob’s ladder (Genesis reference anyone?) and the white-black scale (reference to Locke’s famous words from all the way back to early season one), and the names on the wall and the numbers. That scene has to be among the greatest of all “Holy Crap!” moments in LOST history. The numbers! They actually mean something! Not sure what … but apparently they correspond to the characters who have stayed alive, and are “candidates.” Are Jin and Sun linked as one ‘Kwon’ – is that why Jacob told them to always value their love and stay together – or does the fact that there’s only one ‘Kwon’ on the wall mean one of them is about to die. Why wasn’t Kate’s name on the wall? Did we just not see it, or is there something to that? Maybe she’s never been a candidate because Jacob knows that she’s a stupid idiot and a terrible actress.

Maybe the reason Kate and Sun aren't Candidates is because they didn't do what Jacob told them to. Remember he told Kate not to steal again, and he told Sun (the cheating whore) not to ever take her love for granted. Maybe that's why their names weren't on the wall?

Now that Sawyer has agreed to “get off this damn island,” what next? They surely aren’t just going to waltz onto a cargo ship. The ticket off the island is through the temple – at least that’s my thought. The immanent war between Jacob and Smokie is going to be over the temple, and fought at the temple. I believe Flocke’s recruitment is for the war, and that would pit Sawyer against his fellow 815ers. And I don’t rule out the possibility of him actually fighting against them, since they are responsible for Juliet’s death. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Sawyer kills Kate!? Oh my gosh!

So that about sums up the Flocke storyline thus far. Which leaves the temple folks, the most important but also most confusing part of season six. Let’s start with this question: how did the blast send 8 individuals to 2007 – but also send them into an alternative timeline? I understand them being sent to their actual present time, but if a second reality was created, how does that factor in? I think season six desperately needs a cameo appearance by Daniel Faraday so he can explain all this to us.

So why was Kate halfway up a tree? That was ridiculous. She shimmies down, Sawyer kicks Jack in the face, Juliet dies right in front of Sawyer’s eyes (for the second time in ten minutes!) and “it worked.”

How did Juliet know it worked? Did her consciousness flash to Timeline B? Is that why she said some weird thing about going out for coffee? Anyone else have the feeling that we’ll see Juliet utter that same sentence in Timeline B, maybe even in Sawyer’s flash sideways. That would be pretty excellent. Maybe that will trigger Sawyer to realize that his ‘other’ self is still in Timeline A, sort of like Juliet acting as his constant, and maybe his mind will start to bounce from one Timeline to the other. Would that not be awesome if the whole constant idea was re-introduced, since that was everyone’s favorite episode?

Meanwhile, Sayid is dying, Jack can’t save him, so ghost-Jacob shows up and informs Hugo how to save Sayid using an Egyptian artifact that Jacob stuffed into a guitar case. Brilliant. So when the temple folks capture the 815ers, it was part of Jacob’s plan, and thanks to Hurley’s quick thinking the crew is saved from the firing squad. What’s up with Lenin and Dogan? Should we care about them? Why is LOST introducing new characters so late in the game? Both of those dudes bug me for some reason.

Why is the pool dirty? Because Jacob is dead, and Flocke is in charge now, that’s why. Which is why the whole ‘drown Sayid’ routine doesn’t work out how they hoped it would. Dogan doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing, does he? He’s always one step behind. He can’t even manipulate Jack to do what he wants. That was elementary for the Others’ other leader, Ben Linus.

So somehow Sawyer escapes, and Kate (of course) chases after him, hoping to win his heart so that she can crush it again. Jin comes along too (probably to look for Sun) and then who shows up … Jungle Claire! According to Dogan, she is possessed by a darkness, the same darkness that took Sayid. Or rather, the word used is ‘claimed.’

Is Claire the new Rousseau? She looks just like her, but was Rousseau claimed, or just crazy? It seemed she was the only Frenchie who wasn’t claimed. Will Claire remember the Losties, or Aaron, or anything? Not sure. Will she still be a terrible actress? For sure.

So the Kwon reunion is postponed for a while, now that Sun is headed to the temple, and Jin is headed away from the temple. Blast! But before Jin can go anywhere he must deal with crazy Claire.

Back in the temple, Sayid died but then came back to live. His first words: “What happened?” A brilliant reference to the episode title “Whatever happened, happened.” Or a clue, because when Richard took Ben into the temple and healed him, Ben’s first words after waking up were “what happened?” Does Sayid know that he is claimed? Or has the darkness not yet reached his heart? Is there any way to stop it without killing him? And apparently he has to be killed voluntarily, much like the way Jacob had to be killed by one of his own people, someone who was baptized into the pool of Jacob-ness. Now Sayid has been baptized into the dirty pool of the Monster, so does he have to be killed by one of the Monster’s people?

Or does this mean that if the Losties can keep Sayid from being “claimed’ by the darkness, that he can be the weapon used to kill the Nemesis, since he is now one of the nemesis’s followers. That’s a theory that makes sense to me. Sort of like the loophole killing. Plus Sayid does have it in his nature to kill, and wouldn’t it be redeeming if the torturer ended up being the one who ultimately killed the bad guy and saved the day?

In the rest of the temple action, we’ve seen Cindy and the kids after a four season absence, and Hurley and Miles continue to provide perfect comic relief at just the right moments. Jack has relapsed into his annoying, demanding, cocky season two self, and I don’t know if that’s because the bomb didn’t work and he no longer believes in destiny, or if Matthew Fox is just an awful actor and doesn’t know how to act any other way. It’s a shame that the two central characters of LOST, Jack and Kate, are played by the only two actors on the show who display no character depth. Especially when they are pitted next to constantly brilliant performances by Locke, Sawyer, Ben, and even Hurley and Sayid on occasion.

The Temple Others are panicking and scattering ash around like crazy, preparing for the impending war against Smokie. They know it’s coming, because they know Jacob’s dead. But something tells me Jacob has an ace up his sleeve, and it might have something to do with Timeline B. Or his ace might be Ilana, his mysterious follower who was smart enough to let Bram and the boys get killed by Flocke while she stayed outside. She definitely knows something that she’s not telling the rest of the gang. Like, how did she know to be on Ajira 316 in the first place? And how did she know that Nemesis would take over Locke’s body? In my opinion she’s definitely been to the island before. If she didn’t have that annoyed lisp, I’d say she’s the most interesting new character in a while.

So that about sums up the action so far.

I’d like to ask a few questions, starting with this one: who the heck was the little boy that Flocke saw in the jungle? Why were his arms bloody, and who was he referring to when he said “You know the rules. You can’t kill him.” Was that not one of the creepiest and coolest scenes in LOST history, when Flocke chased him through the jungle, and seemed genuinely freaked out by both his appearance and his words of warning?

I think the boy was a young Jacob, and I think he was referring to not killing Sawyer, but it could just have easily been Richard, I'm really not sure which. I think Jacob and Esau are like the captains of a team, and they pick teams by touching people, or manipulating people, or maybe some join the team voluntarily. When the final war begins they (Jacob and Esau) aren’t allowed to fight, like captains who aren’t allowed to play. Since Flocke recognized the boy Jacob, I think it stands to reason that Esau and Jacob knew each other as kids, or at least Jacob was a kid and Esau was an adult. The bloody arms make me think that the kid was murdered, presumably on the island, by the Nemesis. But if the kid is a young Jacob, does that mean Jacob was dead all along? I guess that could be why he never ages. Or maybe the arms were bloody to symbolize that Jacob is now dead, after being stabbed by Ben. Maybe the fact that there’s a kid Jacob implies that there’s a kid Monster, thus furthering my theory that Smokie is Aaron.

What about the rules? Who made the rules? Did Jacob and Esau make them together? Or is there a higher power, maybe the Island itself? What are the rules? Who knows about them? Ben and Widmore talked about rules, but do either of them really know what’s going on?

I think the rules are designed to give people free will, and to keep the fight fair. Or possibly, to make the fight more interesting. Similar to the rules of chess, and all the people on the island are pieces. And like we saw on the cave wall, certain pieces get captured, and some stay in the game. In fact, the word used in chess for taking an opponent’s piece is “claimed.”

What about the fact that the when the boy appeared, he was shining with a sort of golden glow? Usually when an apparition appears in the jungle, it’s the smoke monster? But it obviously wasn’t, since Flocke was standing right there.

Or maybe it was a different kind of smoke monster. A WHITE smoke monster? Have there been two smoke monsters all along, claiming pieces and getting to know the players so they can recruit them for the war? Remember when Locke saw the Monster is season one, only it was from the monster’s perspective and we didn’t see what Locke actually saw, and then later he told Jack “I have looked into the eye of the island, and what I saw was beautiful.”

Could that have been the white smoke monster?

I’m torn on this theory, and won’t be shocked either way. I’d love it if there were two smoke monsters, but it’s not vital to the story if there are.

Ilana says that the Nemesis is now stuck in the form of Locke, and won’t be able to turn into anyone else. Why is that? Is part of the rules? It must be because Jacob is dead, and one of them has to have a permanent body at all times, or something to that affect? What is the significance of the temple? What is in there that Flocke wants so badly? Is it the healing pool of water? A way off the island? Or a way to possess final and absolute dominance of the island?

Based on the original 1850s conversation between Jacob and the Enemy, we know that they disagree profoundly on human beings and having them on the island. Smokie doesn’t seem to think too highly of mankind, which makes me nervous for Sawyer. Jacob seems to trust people and continues to bring them to the island, even though they continually fail. Maybe he doesn’t just want them around for random decoration, but maybe he’s been searching for his replacement, for the Candidate, for centuries and that’s why he keeps bringing more and more people to the island. Maybe all the people he touched in the real world (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, etc) are now Candidates.

Doesn’t it just seem inevitable that Jack will become the new Jacob? Oh man …


  1. Nice thoughts. I share your frustration with the Alt storyline, but I feel there has to be a connection, somehow. I have a feeling it's going to be a total WTF moment when they merge, or something.

    Here's my off-the-cuff, probably easily disproved theory of the day - maybe the Losties we have now on the Island in 2007 are actually the same Losties who did land and have alternate lives? Has anyone on the island, post-jughead, said anything about their past lives? That doesn't make sense yet, but would qualify to me as a WTF.

    Thoughts - Do you think Sawyer is conning Flocke? Did you notice that Sun is referred to as Ms Paik in the alt? Was Flocke lying when he said he used to be a man?

    Also, I think I disagree with you on Matthew Fox. He's shown a great range, and I don't think it's his acting that's flawed. I think it's Jack that's flawed - in a completely natural way. Jack's never done anything that seemed out of character to me.

    Kate on the other hand seems to change character on a weekly basis, sometimes changing into a entirely different person during commercials!

  2. i don't think sawyer is conning flocke. i think flocke is unconnable.
    i did notice that about sun plus they weren't wearing rings. hmm
    i think flocke used to be a man is true. he used to be aaron.

    matthew fox does have his moments. he was solid in 'lighthouse.' i just dont like his character i guess. kate is awful, no one can disagree with that.

    not sure i understand your theory on the al. lives losties. youre saying that this jack on the island actually does have a son and this hurley is lucky and this ben used to be a teacher? etc? off the cuff i would say no because jack said 'i would make a terrible dad' implying that he doesnt have a kid.

    question - did rose and bernie skip to 2007? or maybe they really will be adam and eve after all, if they died naturally in the 70s. maybe neither of them were candidates and thats why they didnt skip to 07. black stone -rose, white stone -bernard. makes sense.

    you're right, the timeline connection has to be a WTFer or else this whole season is garbage.