Feb 03 2010

Lost Review: “LA X”

Published by at 1:15 pm under Reviews,Television

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It’s been a long, long journey, but here we are, it’s the final season of Lost, and we’re right on the verge of having all our questions answered.

Hah, yeah right.

If you’re going into this season expecting them to clear up every little mystery of the island, I have to say at the outset of the season, I believe you’re going to be disappointed. I might be jaded by the Battlestar Galactica finale, but I think the best we can hope for is “satisfying” rather than “conclusive.” And that might not be such a bad thing.

Well, if you’re like me, you watched the hour long series recap to remember just where the hell we were as it’s been about eight damn months since the show was on the air. In 1970, Jack, Sawyer, Sayid, Juliet, Hurley and Miles are at the Swan dig site, attempting to detonate a hydrogen bomb core which would prevent their plane from ever crashing. In the present, we’re learning that John Locke is no longer John Locke, and is instead someone with a long seeded hatred for light-side-of-the-force island spirit Jacob, to the point where he manipulates Ben to stab him in the chest.

Juliet, lying broken at the bottom of the pit, detonated the H-bomb, seemingly resulting in the episode’s opening scene of Oceanic 815 safely passing through a bit of turbulence on the way to LAX, and the camera pans down to show the island completely underwater. Whoa.

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How the hell do you SINK AN ISLAND?

This “alternate reality” was the most perplexing part of the episode, because you initially dismissed it as a dream sequence once the 1970s crew woke up in present day, still on the island, but no as the two hours went on, the dream persisted. It was a nice way for them to bring back some deceased characters including Boone, Charlie and even Artz, but what did it all mean?

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BOOOOONE!

After the end of the first hour, I was convinced it was simply meant to show that had 815 NOT crashed, all those involved would have gone on to live rather shitty lives in comparison to the ones the island gave them. That can still be the case I suppose, but with no clear ending to that timeline, I have to wonder if this alternate reality is going to continue on throughout this season, and if so, how it ties into what Juliet’s pre-death thoughts of “It worked.”

Yes, Juliet is dead, and it was a bit more of a noble end than being evaporated by an H-bomb. It was lucky she didn’t flash forward to being encased in cement underground, and it was equally lucky that the Dharma van flashed forward as well so it could pull the heavy debris off of her so that Sawyer could get to her (seriously though, why the f*ck did that van time travel?). And I have little doubt that her parting words will be gnawing at our heads until we figure out what the hell is going on.

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Bummer, you really grew on me blondie. 

After Juliet passes on to the great white smoke monster in the sky, the now-dead Jacob comes to Hurley via his death-vision and tells him to save the gut-shot Sayid by taking him to the temple that Jin was in during one of his flashbacks. Jack can’t save Sayid himself with his doctor powers, so he goes along with it, and they trek through the decaying temple we’ve already seen and arrive at a decidedly non-decaying temple filled with a whole new set of Others we’ve never seen before. Well, some we have seen before, 815’s flight attendant and the kidnapped kids from season three are there making cookies for everyone.

They dunk Sayid in a spring that is supposed to have magic healing powers, but it’s currently broken due to the fact that Jacob has been stabbed and rolled into a fire. Once the new Others learn this fact, they start manning battle stations in preparation for an incoming attack. And then Sayid dies and wakes up again. Good lord, I can only handle so much ridiculousness at a time.

Across the island, the man(?) they’re preparing to do battle with is the guy currently taking the form of Not-Locke. Ben tries to comprehend what’s happening, and before he can do so, Not-Locke transforms into the Smoke Monster and kills a platoon of Jacob’s bodyguards.

This proved my theory last season that the Smoke Monster was taking the form of all the people who had died on the island, whether that’s Christian, Ben’s daughter or most recently, Locke, and that man is also one and the same as the man in black we saw on the beach with Jacob. Was that his true form, or just some other poor dead guy he was possessing?

Richard realizes who Not-Locke really is and is told “it’s nice to see you out of your chains.” I assume that’s some sort of reference to him coming over as a slave on the Black Rock, but who knows, maybe he was the Smoke Monster’s bitch servant at one point. Not-Locke knocks him out, drags him into the jungle, after telling Ben what he’s after, he just wants to go home.

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Also it’s kind of sad that Locke himself is just dead and gone. The Smoke Monster might use his body for the rest of the season, but the real Locke is no more.

I’m starting to wrap my head around the whole “dueling gods” concept of last season, though there are still many mysteries to be cleared up on that front like, “how can you stab a god to death?” and “how can a body-morphing smoke demon go ‘home’?” Are these actually real people to some degree?

But really what I’m most curious about now is this whole alternate reality timeline and Juliet’s cryptic message (and how would she even know “it worked” anyway as she lies dying in the rubble?). I thought the show would cop out and just have the H-bomb be “The Incident” and stick with the whole “whatever happened, happened” theory of time travel. It appears I’ve underestimated Lost once again.

I’m buckling up one last time for one absurd season, and I’m liking the way things are starting off. Hopefully the crazy train can stay on the rails long enough for us to end up getting some real closure.

Bonus question: In the episode title, why is there a space between “LA” and “X”?





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18 responses so far

  • Sam

    I think the van time traveled because Sayid was in it at the time, so it just went with him the same way everyone still had their dharma jumpsuits

  • Ryan

    What if what we’re seeing on the plane isn’t an alternate reality? What if the end of the story on the island results in it being sunk underwater, and the timeline gets reset back to everyone being on the plane? So basically what we’d be seeing is a loop

  • Matthew

    Juliet’s cryptic message is pretty clear cut, I think. She was saying “It worked” because she was no longer “living” on the island as she was dying, she was in her flash-sideways “alternate reality” and she had just introduced herself to Sawyer and was asking him for a cup of coffee and then she asked for a kiss because she knew who Sawyer was in both realities.

    Juliet can be a big role in the next few episodes. Being able to reconnect the people from Oceanic Flight 815, as she was in the process of dying during the explosion, she might have the capability to remember what had happened.

    Any thoughts?

  • http://paul@unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Ohhh, good call on that cup of coffee line. I forgot about that. Yeah, I expect we’ll see her in the alternate future soon.

  • Ugo Strange

    The “X” is comicbook jargon. Often times in comicbook universes for alternate realities they’ll title them Earth X or Universe X.

  • LAO

    I thought Juliet was referring to her secretly being pregnant.

    And the LA X is a subtle clue that “Los Angeles X(variable timeline)” as well as the name of the airport.

  • http://paul@unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Yes, you have answered the X question correctly.

    As far as I know.

  • http://www.sitewebbuilder.com jefe

    I think that Sayid is dead just like John Locke and now Jacob is in his body.

  • LawlessClutch

    I was with you in thinking that the Fake Lock/Man In Black was the Monster/The Fake Alex/etc. I can’t help but love how, in classic Lost fashion, as soon as we get a single answer, we’re given six more questions.

    So that guy’s the monster… but who is that guy? What’s his name? Where’s he from? Are they gods? Immortals? Aliens? Where is home? When is home? And if he can take the form of dead people, which would explain a ton, what was up with Walt appearing to both Sayid and Shannon (if I recall properly) when he wasn’t actually dead?

  • http://animeprincess.kokidokom.net/ lostty

    No matter how many questions this show manages to throw at you and no matter how many times you get frustrated by it all, Lost always manages to draw you back in and now that its coming to an end, I am sort of relieved and sad. I am definitely going to miss this show when its gone…
    So far with this episode, I think it left us with a promising season ahead. Seeing all the old characters was definitely a treat and it seems that they will probably go on with the whole “what if the plane never crashed?” scenarios for the rest of the season. Now that I’m back in the Lost mood, I can’t wait for the next episode!

  • Lagrange

    Is it just me or seems Jacobs Nemesis to be quite a nice guy? He is not your typical Opponent, I was always more afraid of Jacob. I’m thrilled to see what will happen next, but at the same time I thought the end of season 5 would have been a good end to the series as a whole.

    “…who had died on the island, whether that’s Christian, Ben’s daughter or most recently, Locke.”
    Locke didn’t die on the island but whatever. Did Christian die on the island?

    @Ryan: I really like your idea, that the alternate LAX timeline is just the beginning of the end of the Season. I wouldn’t have thought of that. But I kind of doubt it anyway, because the season wouldn’t be so interesting if both realities wheren’t connected in any way. Which brings me to my main quastion, which is how can you connect these two stories?

    I also think that there is more to it, because the new timeline was very different, than the actuall one. Not just the scar of Jacks neck or Hugo calling himself a lucky guy – no, Desmond was on the plane!

  • Ashweee

    Someone pointed out to me that in the first time we see Jacob and he is fishing he catches a red herring, so maybe “black shirt” is really the good guy and we are just rooting for Jacob because we have been told to.

    Also I don’t see why the van going back in time is a big deal? it seems to have followed them everywhere else, the hatches go back in time with them, when the island moves in time, everything on it goes with. I just don’t understand where the questioning of that comes from.

    Also, I thought Juliet WAS going to Sawyer she was pregnant and then when she died she told him that instead because she knew. But I think Matthew has a good theory going on.

  • chelsea

    Neither Christian or Locke died on the island… plus, i don’t think that the smoke monsters (yes, i believe there is a white and a black one represented by Jacob and The Man in Black) need a body to manifest themselves to others. think back to when Locke was hallucinating Boone while Boone was still alive in season 1. they don’t inhabit a body but just reveal themselves as someone that will be listened to or will earn a reaction.

    i think that you have to “die” on the island to get back to reality. the alternate realities will collide eventually, however i had hoped that they would show the plane land safely while the original survivors would still have the memory of the crash and the island.

    whatever transpires on the island this season will affect more than the crash. we see that in the alternate reality. Hurley was in Austrailia opening a new Mr. Cluck’s Chicken, not researching the supposed cursed numbers therefore we can assume that he did not use the numbers or they lost their effect. also, Desmond was on the plane, so we can assume he and Penny never broke up, he never raced around the world and crashed on the island.

    i would like to see the events on the island change everyone’s lives from day one. i was expecting Locke to be out of his wheelchair, so it’s not as though everyone’s lives were changed.

    i’m excited and i trust the writers and producers to give a satisfying ending, even if it is open-ended. it would be awesome to have the show end and people can still talk about it forever and make their own conclusions as to what happened.

  • Ashweee

    @Chelsea

    yes, Desmond was on the plane, but then later Jack asks Rose “Where’s the guy that was sitting next to me?” like he disappeared…dun dun dun….when has he gone?

  • Jonnymicros

    What confuses me is, didn’t Ben used to control the smoke monster? as in, he released it to attack everyone on the island. and now the smoke monster is ” Not-Locke ” hmmmmmmm

  • Sam

    @jonnymicrons: Ben only thought he controlled the smoke monster he would call it but it didn’t always work. Remember when he tried to summon it last season so it could judge him for killing Alex? Well, it didn’t come because “not-Locke” was with him at the time and when he finally did show up under the temple Locke is suddenly gone and when the smoke monster leaves John is right there.

  • Mark

    If I were going to chance a theory on the purpose for the space in “LA X” I would say that it’s Spanish for “the X” referring to the X factor (or unknown factor) in an equation.
    One way of this fitting with the story is that an unknown factor in Faraday’s equation was that his “fix” wasn’t a perfect reset and it split things in an unpredicted manner.

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