Wednesday, February 3, 2010 815 (or fewer) words: "LA X"

Welcome, dear readers, to 815 (or fewer) words. This is a variation on last season's series of Lost posts on Red Pen, Inc.--the main difference being that these posts are less rambly. However, I'm still counting on the rest of you to talk to me in the comments about your thoughts/theories about last night's season premiere--so ramble on, you guys, OK? ;)

Lost is a thinking person's show. It's not for those who are content to revisit the same crime dramas, hospital dramas, or laugh track shows that have been done ad nauseum. It's for people who like to be bombarded by questions and need substantial stuff to think about. Simply put, Lost is for those of us who crave braingasms on a regular basis.

Last night's season premiere was, in terms of braingasms, the cerebral orgy of the century. Unsurprisingly, Team Darlton gave us more questions than answers. (OK, maybe you were surprised, but I wasn't--I couldn't keep my paws off the spoiler sites, and I'd learned a couple weeks ago that the premiere was question-heavy, answers-light.) To their credit, they tossed quite a few gems our way (hey, look, there's Arzt! And later--hey, isn't that Cindy and those two scruffy kids who got snatched off the beach in season 1? Now we know where they went...). But the questions...oh, the questions!

The big picture: Last season they tackled the issue of time--in particular, time travel. This time around, I'm wondering if they're tackling the issue of space--particularly in terms of parallel, or at least multiple, universes. (Update: And this article confirms the basic premise, at least, of my theory...) We've sort of seen them flirt with parallel/multiple universes a wee bit before, but now it's gone past mere flirtation and now they're making out with it, complete with groping and lots of tongue. In the premiere, we saw a different on-the-plane scenario where the plane did not crash, collected $200 and passed Go on its way to LAX, and on its way, we saw what looked to be the lost city of Dharmalantis hanging out on the bottom of the ocean. Kate, Jack, Hurley, Locke (real Locke), Sawyer, Sayid, Sun, Jin, Rose, Bernard, Charlie, Boone, Desmond, the marshal, the pilot (or some version of them)--we saw or heard all of them in this off-island space. We also know that Kate, Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Miles, and Jin (or some version of them) exist in an on-island scenario (what time period that is, I'm not entirely sure--but it seems to be post-Hatch-getting-blown-up, so maybe they got sent to 2007 as well?). And we know that fake Locke (Flocke), Ben, Richard "Maybe He's Born With It" Alpert, Ilana, and Sun (or a version of them) exist in an on-island scenario that seems to have picked up right where the season 5 finale left off, so that would mean that version of those characters exists in "present time," which for them would be 2007.

Is it possible that what we're seeing now is a series of parallel universes, where characters can exist in multiple universes at the same time? Did Juliet setting the bomb off do something to make these universes exist? (Is this what Juliet wanted to tell Sawyer right before she died? How could she have known that, though?)

In sticking with the "a version of that character" theme, here's my theory on Sayid: the on-island version of Sayid is now Jacob. Much like Flocke is actually Smokey in disguise, I'm betting Jacob, from what happened at that bizarre ritual at the temple (were they reversing the sands of time?) is now disguised as Sayid. We already know the real Locke is dead. Is the real Sayid also dead?

We know that going into the final season of Lost, there's a focus on redemption. At the beginning of the episode, Sayid asked, "What do you think will happen to me when I die?" and then followed it up with "Wherever I go, I doubt it'll be very pleasant" due to all the people he tortured in his career as a member of the Republican Guard. Is this a chance for Sayid--or, at least, his body--to be redeemed? To allow himself to be a vessel for Jacob, who wants to protect the island?

Speaking of Jacob, Ben articulated a Jacob-related question that's been preying on my mind for, oh, the last 8 months or so: "Why didn't he fight back?" When Jacob saw Flocke, the look in Jacob's eyes indicated he seemed to know exactly what was going to happen--he had almost a defeated look going on. But why'd he just stand there and let it happen? Aren't god-types supposed to be powerful? What's Jacob up to that he just let himself get killed without putting up a fight?

Also on the redemption theme--I've always felt that Hurley is one of the most good characters on the show, and he's less in need of redemption than some of the others. In this premiere, while he may not necessarily have been going for redemption, he's certainly on a bit of a path to hero status. He was the only one Jacob could communicate with, and therefore he put forth the idea of taking Sayid to the temple to save him. When it was clearly a futile effort for Jack to keep trying to save Sayid, Jack--always the leader, always the hero-type--had to defer to the often-bumbling Hurley.

One more point before I let you crazy kids take over in the comments. One of my favorite moments in tonight's premiere was this line from (real) Locke, which he said to Jack at LAX after the plane had landed: "They didn't lose your father. They just lost his body." And if that doesn't speak to the theory of people existing in multiple realms--ie the parallel universes point I made a few paragraphs earlier--then I don't know what does.

OK, now it's your turn! Talk to me in the comments section. What did you love/hate about this premiere? What are your burning questions? What are your crazy theories? And are you gonna be able to make it another week without your head exploding in some supermassive Lost-induced braingasm?


Anonymous said...

Nice post! I like how you used Locke's comment to Jack about the loss of Christian as supporting evidence to parallel universes. I am including the theories that I mentioned to you before. Keep up the good work!

Here is one of my theories that I was mulling over as I was trying to fall asleep. I still think that the scenes we saw of everyone on the plane and in LAX is a tangent universe, that was created when Jugghead was detonated. I also think that the events in both universes are happening simultaneously, and that the characters are somehow ‘tethered’ to each other in each universe. I think I started thinking this might have some validity once I saw how some of the characters reacted to seeing each other for the ‘first’ time on the plane, especially Jack and Desmond. I think further proof of this comes from Juliet’s unspoken final words to Sawyer, that Miles needed to translate – ‘It worked’. Maybe at the time of her death in one universe, Juliet catches a glimpse of the tangent universe that was created, OR, her consciousness merges with the consciousness of the Juliet in the tangent universe. If this is true then it will be interesting to see what course each universe will take. Maybe the characters will at some point need to interact with themselves in the tangent universe or vice versa, in order to help fix the massive space/time anomaly they created.
Here’s another though – What if the disappearance of Christians coffin in the tangent universe somehow represents the key to linking both universes? I will be interesting to see what happens with that.


Thanks, and excellent theories! ...I just read another interesting theory. You know how the water in the temple was no longer clear? What if that was affected by Smokey? What if Sayid is now inhabited not by Jacob, but...also by Smokey? What if we now have a Flocke...and a Fayid?

Dave said...

Crap - I forgot to put my name in the last post...oh well you knew it was me anyway haha. I also think the water in the temple has something to do with Jacob/MIB. You can tell that some of my theories are heavily influenced by Donnie Darko. It will be interesting to see if any of them actually happen to be true. 'Maybe He's Born With It'


This season's gonna be a wild ride, that's for damn sure.

Maybe it's Maybelline! :)

April said...

"the cerebral orgy of the century" is now my most favorite phrase, ever.

Onto the show.

Holy crap what a ride!

I loved the scenes with the characters on the plane and at the airport. Nostalgia city. Though it was depressing actually to see the old dynamic of Sun and Jin. For all that is bad that's happened on the island, they are the very picture of how good things come out of bad situations.

The scene with Jack and Locke is going to prove to be epic in the future I believe. There was an undertone there of a bigger picture. This isn't just 2 guys talking, this is the very nature of the show: man of faith, man of science. We see it again and again.

And I believe that the ultimate battle between Jacob and the Man in Black is about the very same thing we have seen mirrored in Jack and Locke: science vs. faith

I have wondered why Jacob didn't fight back as well but I don't think it's as mysterious as all that. I see Jacob as the ultimate Faraday - what will be will be. Or maybe it's part of their rules. I also think he already knew of a loophole he could exploit as well. He was obviously very interested in getting Hurley to the island - Hurley, who speaks with the dead. And the first thing he does after being killed is to locate Hurley and direct him to take Sayid to be resurrected. Sayid is Jacob's loophole.

I found the scene of fake-Locke emerging from the statue and approaching the group to be one of the most interesting but least talked about scenes of the show. That was significant. The way he confronted Richard and then as he was taking him away telling the group he's disappointed in them. Like a father scolding a child. I think the writers are going to try to make us question our loyalty to Jacob over the next few episodes by making us question the groups loyalty to Jacob. Much like the Ben/Widmore feud, forever unclear on just who the good guy is here.


April--yeah, I also believe the Man of Science/Man of Faith thing is a theme we'll be dealing with this season. Love your idea that Jacob already was sort of planning out how to use a loophole of his own. And I, too, wondered what was going on with Flocke yelling at the crowd by the statue, telling them he was disappointed in them...

Bridgete said...

Lost is a thinking person's show.

Obviously I am a thinking person...but I don't watch the show. Why? Well, I think all day. When I get home, I need a thinking break. I tried to watch it for a while, but my brain started complaining about all the thinking. And going by your description of this episode...I think I made the right choice. I'm pretty certain my brain would have quite literally exploded. Legal doctrine and parallel universes just don't mix. ;)


Bridgete, that makes sense. But I still highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend LOST to you...once you're done law school, anyway. ;) If you tried to start watching it now, it would totally distract you. But sometime when all the DVDs are out and you can just watch all the episodes in a row over the course of a couple weeks...I think you'd really enjoy the show. (And Sawyer, of course. But also the show. ;)

michael said...

Personally, I don't think Jacob is inhabiting Sayid. Think about it - Nemesis took on Locke's form, but Locke's body still exists. Jacob may have something to do with it, but if it were him I don't think the first thing he would say is "what happened." Jacob knows what happened.

What I really want to know is, if Nemesis was Smokey the whole time, and he was trapped in the cabin until just recently, how was Smokey running around the last five seasons? Also, if Nemesis was the one in the cabin, does Ben have ANY idea what's going on?

On a side note, other than Juliet and Christian's body, I'm not convinced that there is a link between the Universes. Jack and Desmond had met before, doing steps in the stadium. That was just before Desmond left on his boat. On second thought, though (stream of conscious commenting?), Desmond was motivated by Whidmore, and would think that that relationship would have been slightly influenced by a Hydrogen Bomb on the island. So I could be full of crap.

It's going to be a looong season.


Hi, Michael!

So now I'm reading some theories that are even crazier tha the "Jacob is inhabiting Sayid" theory. Now I'm hearing that there's 2 smoke monsters--MIB is one, Jacob is another. God, my brain hurts. I really like your point about how if Jacob were inhabiting Sayid, he wouldn't have come to and and "What happened?" But--and this may be reaching, but I think it's a valid thing to consider--what if that was Jacob and he said that because he wants to keep his identity secret right now? If he was pretending he was actually Sayid, "What happened?" would be a logical choice of words.

One thing I'm starting to like is that for several seasons now, we've seen Ben always have a plan. He was rarely ruffled. And now he seems to have no plan, mainly because he appears to have no idea what's going on. I'm really interested to see what he'll be up to now.

Maybe the 2 universes are linked due to something we're unaware of at this point. Christian's body and Juliet definitely seem to be links, but there's gotta be something else. Does/will Faraday play a role in this at all?

A long season, indeed--but it's gonna be a damn good one. :)