I have to admit, a part of me was dreading the resumption of Lost due solely to having to write these recaps each week. Staying up ’til 3am every week to write a mountain of stream-of-consciousness ramblings can wear on you. Of course, something keeps me writing these regardless, right? Oh yeah, almost forgot; Lost is a hell of a great show. It took all of about 5 minutes of tonight’s premiere to get me all juiced up again, ready for another full season entertaining you all with that aforementioned rambling discourse on everything from the Smoke Monster to Hurley’s t-shirt choice. Let’s get right to it.
I didn’t consider tonight’s premiere to be of the “mind-blowing” variety, but that’s likely due to everything we’ve absorbed over the previous 5 seasons. We’ve seen enough bizarre events that defy reason to have become accustomed to stuff like springs that bring one back to life or a giant cloud of black smoke kicking the crap out of gun-toting zealots. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the hell out of it, though.
Each season of Lost has had an underlying conceit that governs the narrative flow of each episode: flashbacks for seasons 1-3; flash forwards for season 4; time travel for season 5. Season 6 has given us an alternate/parallel dimension to flash to. I’ll dub this “flash sideways-es.” (I’m sure that’ll catch on quickly and take the Lost portion of the Interweb by storm.) Many have thought the final season would somehow tie in directly with season 1, particularly in light of last season’s finale, in which the castaways attempt to reverse three years and change of pain and suffering after having crashed on the island in September of 2004. And we get just that to start with – our castaways en route from Sydney to Los Angeles on Oceanic flight 815.
The castaways plan worked, after all. They’re all back aboard 815 and, aside from a brief bout of turbulence, will make it safely back to Los Angeles. It’s as if that previous three years never happened. Well, almost. Not all is quite as it was on the original/primary timeline flight. No, I’m not referring to Jack’s haircut. Inexplicably, none other than Desmond Hume is on-board, apparently having never taken that sailboat trip around the world and shipwrecking on the Island.
Desmond’s always had a unique relationship to the timeline; the standard “rules” of time travel don’t seem to apply to him, if you actually can bring yourself to ponder such rules after last season’s mind-bending temporal narratives. Perhaps he’s onboard as some sort of “course correction,” as Eloise Hawking referred to the phenomena of the timeline adjusting itself to ensure what’s destined to occur actually does come to pass. Or, as he has in the past, maybe he’ll serve as the “Constant” that will set this whole timeline right when all is said and done. Jack himself seems to sense something isn’t quite right – the very first shot of the episode shows him reacting almost if he had just woken up from a dream, slightly “off” and trying to get his bearings for a moment.
And, of course, there’s the blood on his neck. Did someone miss a spot while cleaning him up after his fight with Sawyer in last year’s finale? Is this all another elaborate machination of Charles Widmore (remember his faking the Oceanic 815 crash under the ocean in season 4)? Perhaps he and the others on-board 815 were plucked off the Island, cleaned up, and inserted back in 2004. Just a theory at this point, but I’m not convinced this new alternate reality is actually reality. Keep it in mind as we progress through season 6.
Back to Desmond for a moment – at one point he simply disappears from the plane. I suppose he could have returned to his original seat elsewhere on the plane, but odd that his disappearance seems to have coincided somewhat with Charlie’s having been brought back to life by Jack when he removed the heroin bag lodged in his throat. Charlie, tellingly, tells Jack he was meant to die. Was Desmond a replacement-of-sorts on 815 to maintain some sort of equilibrium during Charlie’s brief bout with deceased-ness (I think I just made that word up)?
Boone returns to Lost, albeit without sister Shannon, who chose to stay in Australia with her meat-head boyfriend. Boone doesn’t seem too broken up about it either – perhaps Boone 2.0 isn’t as gung ho about incest as his previous incarnation.
2.0 seems to share his original’s deference for Locke. Having been led to his death in the alternate timeline in Locke’s single-minded quest to open the Hatch, Boone was always attached at the hip with the bald wilderness warrior. Boone 2.0 shares that willingness to follow Locke anywhere, telling him he’d “stick with him” if the plane went down.
There’s Hurley, who’d encountered more bad luck than anyone’s ever had after winning the lottery with the cursed Numbers (4 8 15 16 23 42). Hurley 2.0 (I’ll start using version numbers to differentiate between primary timeline castaways and those in this new timeline) apparently couldn’t be luckier, or so he tells a seemingly honorable Sawyer (who learns Hurley wins the lottery and advises him to be cautious about who he tells that to, rather than start another one of his long con jobs). If he is telling the truth, one wonders why Hurley was still on Oceanic 815. The purpose of his original trip to Australia was to find the origin of the Numbers from a military buddy of one of his fellow patients in the nuthouse (remember the Connect-4 guy in season 1 who kept repeating the Numbers?). So why had he been in Australia?
Christian Shepherd’s coffin/body and Locke’s bag of knives, both missing from 815 2.0.
I found Locke’s comment about Oceanic having no idea where Jack’s father was – highlighting the fact that Christian’s body was just that – his soul and consciousness are what gave that body life. The flesh and blood are just a vessel to house it. If we extrapolate that a little farther, I’m inclined to think that’s a metaphor for this alternate timeline – there is only one version of our castaways consciousnesses, and they’re flashing “sideways” to their alternate 2.0 bodies. I’m going with that for now.
We don’t have a whole lot more to go on quite yet in terms of what’s behind this new timeline, but there are enough oddities so far to make me thing all is not as it seems. Like I have to tell you. Did Faraday’s plan work and reverse history, as the now-dead Juliet tells Sawyer (vis a vis Miles)? Or have the castaways tumbled further down the rabbit hole?
And, of course, I haven’t even addressed our introduction to Island 2.0, submerged beneath several hundred feet of water in the Pacific Ocean. Better I get to the Quick Hits to keep us moving along.