the final chapter begins

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I watched last night on LOST. JT has already offered up a few thoughts, and, as always, I have enjoyed reading the episode recaps of EW’s Doc Jensen. Chris Seay has also posted a video blog with some great food for thought. In the spirit of these fine ruminations, I can’t help but share a few thoughts on what we were presented with in the first two hours of season six. *Disclaimer: post contains spoilers.

Oceanic 815 – An Alternate Reality
When I first saw Jack on board Oceanic 815, I thought to myself ‘OK, they’re playing the reboot card.’ But very early on, you get the sense that something is different. The flight hostess (seen later on in the episode) offers Jack one drink instead of two; a few moments later, he is joined by Desmond, who he seems to recognize but can’t put his finger on it. Yes, they have seen each other before (stadium run), but maybe there’s a deeper connection there. Jack goes to the bathroom, and finds a cut on his neck, signaling that maybe this alternate reality is not as ‘clear cut’ as it seems. When he returns to his seat, Desmond is gone, and Rose begins to chat with him. Unlike the original flight, it is Rose who seems calm in the midst of turbulence, and Jack is the white knuckled one, possibly subconsciously expecting the worst to (re)occur. Apart from that, there are other significant differences that can be noted. Shannon is missing; Hurley considers himself lucky; Sawyer tells Hurley to watch out for people who might take advantage of him as opposed to setting him up for a con; Jack saves Charlie’s life and he’s clearly pissed about it. And on it goes. After the plane ride, we wonder if Claire is still pregnant, if Sun can speak English, and, most of all, we marvel at the conversation between Jack and Locke, and the great line from the ‘science’ man on the show, “nothing is irreversible.” I’ll be honest, I was a bit unsure of this alternate angle during the first hour, but it seems to be taking shape, leaving us to wonder if this storyline and the one going on back at the island will indeed intersect and how it plays into the narrative of the show and its character.

The Island
The biggest thing that stood out to me about the island scenes were the emergence of Hurley as the new leader. Jack clearly has taken a step back, and for whatever reason, Hugo Reyes (I see dead people) has been chosen to assume that mantle of leadership. Sayid’s thoughts about what would happen to him after death were very revealing (although I must say I was not that affected when it appeared as though he did die), and this has to be seen in light of Jack’s comment about irreversibility. Redemption is a huge theme on LOST, and, whether in this reality or the alternate one, viewers are rooting for positive change in the character that we have become so attached to. We are not defined by what has occurred in the past; to steal a line from the great movie Vanilla Sky, “every passing day in another chance to turn it all around.”

Locke as the Man In Black is also another intriguing storyline carried over from the season five finale. I had kind of thought that he would be revealed as the Smoke Monster, but what remains to be revealed is the true character of both he and Jacob – who is good, and who is bad? Remember, Locke looked right into the eyes of Smokey in season one, and appeared to have been illuminated by the power of the island, increasing his great faith in it. (sidenote: I really hope the real Locke returns at some point). Are Jacob and his temple people really the good guys? Was the healing water in temple made murky because of his death? Clearly the ashes were meant to protect people from Smokey, which makes me think of the old cabin – was that ring meant to keep MIB in or out of it? We saw last season that it was burned to the ground – maybe he was contained in there, at times taking the form of Christian Shepherd, and has now been loosed to battle his nemesis? Lostpedia says of the cabin that Ilana had said ‘that “someone else” had been using it and that Jacob had not been there in a long time.’ Interesting. It was also interesting to see the shift in Ben’s state of mind – as Chris Seay points out, Ben was the one who used to be seen as the master manipulator, the one who held all the cards, and now, after seeing John’s body, he seems completely baffled as to what is really going on.

There are loads of things that can be taken away from last night, and I have barely scratched the surface here. I look forward to seeing how it will all play out, and am hopeful that answers will be revealed in due time. Just when you thought it was going to get clearer, they throw in the ‘flash sideways.’ Wow. Can’t wait for next week.

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  1. Ok, how’s this sound.

    John Locke returns from the dead to take on John Locke (nemesis) thus fulfilling his destiny.

    Locke vs. Locke! DUDE!

    Also, Desmond. I added an update to my blog. It’s interesting that Des is a central character who is currently (in the “future-present”) NOT on the island. So, in both the future-present and the past-present Des is off the Island.

    I think this could be key (didn’t Des have the literal “key” to the island?!) to these two presents reconciling somehow.

    Anyways, time will tell.

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