Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Jacob's Foot: 'LA X' PTS 1&2 RECAP!
Fantastic! Here we were wondering whether they would be a reboot of time or not and it turns out that it's both. I love it! I feel relaxed and calm now that season six has begun. I was consumed by the final scene of "The Incident." Absolutely consumed. I just wanted to find out what happened. I just wanted season six to begin It has and I feel much, much better. As for the episode itself...well, I really, really enjoyed it. It's the show I know and love. But where do I begin?
I'm going to begin with the teaser of "LA X." The bomb goes off, white, and then it dissolves into clouds as the camera pulls back to reveal Jack looking through his window at the sky. The year 2004. The date: September 22. Oceanic 815 in flight to Los Angeles, California. Everything seems to be leading to the crash again but the turbulence the plane and its passengers experience is just a passing thing. Bernard returns from the bathroom to his seat. Jack rises, visits the bathroom, and notices blood on the low part of his neck. He returns to his seat where Desmond David Hume is sitting, reading Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Jack experiences deja vu but shakes it off and he and Desmond exchange handshakes and names. And then we see the Island at the bottom of the ocean and it looks like it's been there since 1977.
HOLY MOLY! WHAT AN OPENING! I'll discuss my thoughts on the whole 2004 stuff later on in this recap but I got goosebumps very early on and they kept coming. I think my jaw was dropped wide open as well. I mean, I knew anything was possible and it's just something to witness it. I had been re-watching a ton of season one stuff lately. I don't know why. I particularly watched the final montage in "Exodus" a few times because of the musical score but I felt compelled. I have a very specific dream I'd like to relay later on as well (and who knows who will actually believe I actually dreamed this).
Following that doozy of a teaser, the final sequence of "The Incident" is seen and then Kate's left eye opens and she's in a tree and...they are in 2007, shifted through time. 2004 and 2007. This is going to be one interesting season.
The most confounding thing is the 2004 timeline in which they never crashed, the characters don't know one another, and everyone who died lives. Jeff Jensen describes it as a "parallel" universe. I love the narrative device. I'm not sure where it will lead but I'm, of course, excited to experience this final chapter and this totally weird yet cool and utterly fascinating narrative device. The EPs have asked for patience and trust. They've hardly had that from me. I can't wait for the story of this Sideways world to unravel and unwrap...like a Christmas present (you know how Damon and Carlton have described this season as a Christmas present!).
I have this gut feeling that cannot quite be conveyed in words because I'm not sure how to write it in words but I feel like these timelines will drift into eachother and dance with eachother and that's going to be important and great as the hours of the show dwindle. Yes, indeedy.
Jack wanted things to be different, for things to change. That's why he took Faraday's plan and ran with it. Things are different in 2004. Boone is free of the Shannon obsession. Hurley declared himself the luckiest man in the world. But the plight of the characters seem to be in tact. Sun feels trapped in her marriage. Jack just wants to bury his father and can't. Kate's a fugitive. Sawyer still, most likely, has a bunch of unresolved issues. But, again, what it all means...that's for the show to explain. I'm not into speculation. I'm into the story. Hopefully, by now, the show has taught you patience. More on 2004 later.
The 2007 stuff thrilled me and broke my heart. The immediate aftermath of detonating Jughead was amazing. Lindelof and Cuse didn't skip a beat in terms of finale to premiere. There's a whole heck of a lot going on, now. The war has begun. It seems like NotLocke aka The Man in Black wants to go to The Temple. He wants to go home. For a second, I thought he'd say that he wanted to destroy the Island. We met The Others who resided in The Temple and finally found out where the kids were. I think there's going to be so much mythology too.
Now, for me to really dig into this premiere, it's time for the bits:
--Juliet, Juliet, Juliet. I love that character so much. Elizabeth Mitchell plays her so beautifully. The new narrative device gives the viewers hope for a happy ending for Juliet and what she said to Sawyer as she died gives me hope that we'll see her again. Plus, Miles telling Sawyer that she said "It worked" is HUGE. The scene between her and Sawyer, beneath the wreckage of The Hatch, was beautiful. Josh Holloway played the grief and agony and anger so well. What a performance.
--I think this season is going to be an incredible season for Jack. He didn't make any excuses for still being on The Island. He simply apologized to Sawyer and he helped in any way he could. Jack really does need redemption. For a moment, I thought Jack would pound and pound on Sayid's chest like he did with Charlie in "All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues." But he didn't want to give up on Sayid. The one image that stuck with me, throughout the episode, was Jack's aloneness. In every scene, he is, at one point, alone.
--Speaking of Jack, the 2004 Jack story fascinated me. He seemed vaguely aware of The Island. The most intriguing part is the missing coffin. I loved the scene between he and Locke especially what Locke told him about Jack's father, that only his body is missing. Locke delved into the spiritual side of death as well which echoed Sayid as he spoke to Hurley in the jungle about what would happen to him when he dies. I particularly liked Jack offering Locke the possibility for him to fix Locke's irreversible condition. "Nothing's irreversible," Jack told Locke. Hm indeed. I think this coffin story is going to be terrific as well as the final journey of Jack Shephard.
--The rest of the trip to LAX for Oceanic 815 was something. I'll focus on Oceanic 815 and 2004 for a bit before diving into 2007. I mentioned above some of the differences and I'll continue: Jack took one less mini-bottle of vodka. We didn't see Michael or Walt and, apparently, they were not on the plane (as confirmed on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night). In fact, I think those difference like the absence of Michael and Walt will be a major plot point in this timeline. I in now way fully understand what the writers are doing but, as I wrote earlier, I do think there will be a drifting and dancing into the other. The explanation for these differences is one word: "fate." Damon and Carlton used it last night on JKL. But then they use coincidence. Very interesting.
--The idea of fate dominated the exchanges character had with one another. It's goosebump inducing. Boone and Locke had a nice talk as Frogurt slept in between them. Boone told Locke that he had been in Australia to save his sister from a bad relationship. Locke told Boone about his walkabout. Boone told Locke that if the plane does go down, he's sticking with him. When Jack saved Charlie's life by removing the bag of heroin, Charlie told Jack that he was supposed to die as he was led off by cops. When Oceanic 815 began going insane in the Pilot episode, Charlie was forced to throw all of his bags into the toilet and it saved him from what we saw happen with no electromagnetic energy bringing the plane down. In LAX, as Kate began her escape attempt, she and Sawyer shared an elevator together. Sun and Jin were together but with all of the problems they had pre-cash. Remember: in "Exodus," we see Jin threatened by one of Paik's men about losing his wife if he doesn't deliver the gold watch. Jin's as good a man as we know him to be but he's trapped. Sayid is simply searching for Nadia and is still being badass (example: when he kicked in the door on the plane). Finally, there's Kate and Claire (oh I know the Desmond thing is biggest of all but let me have my moment with Claire!). I anxiously awaited to see Claire. I really wanted her to show up on the Island but that came up empty yet again. But I'll gladly take Claire in 2004. She and Kate ended up in the same cab. I wrote about their connection in the "Whatever Happened, Happened" recap so it makes sense they are together. I'm really looking forward to this story.
--Desmond being on the airplane is biggest of all. He disappears when Charlie appears. Darlton called that a coincidence. I'll take their word for it. Desmond's reading Haroun and The Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. This is what I've got gleaned about Haroun and The Sea of Stories: the main character is Haroun. His father is a famous storyteller who drinks stories from the ocean of stories. Haroun doesn't believe that this is true; however, the world Haroun knows find itselfs in danger when his mother elopes with with a mean clerk who has questioned the significance of Haroun's father's stories. The famous line seems to be: "What's the use of stories that are not even true?" Haroun embarks a journey to the world of Kahani. Kahani contains two worlds that are opposite of the other. The first is the land of Gup, a land of perpetual light. The second is the land of Chup, a world of darkness and coldness. Two sides. One light. One dark. Sounds like this show I'm writing about. Furthermore, the two worlds are ruled by two men who are enemies. I dare write Rushdie's inclusion in this episode is important. I wonder how much it informs the viewers for the 2004 timeline. I'm never going to call it an alternate reality and Damon himself seems to not want it refered to as an alternate reality. Anywho, Desmond's special. We've known this since season three. What part he plays in the possible reconciliation of these two worlds remains to be seen but we'll see more Desmond.
--I loved the end of part 1, when the airplane lands safely at LAX. The music reminds me of the montage of everyone getting on the plane at the end of "Exodus." The final shot, on a sad John Locke, who lied to Boone rather than tell him the truth. I don't think John Locke's beyond saving even in death.
--Time for 2007! We've finally seen The Temple. Now here is where I relay my dream to the world. I dream about the show often before a premiere or a finale. About a week or so ago, I had this dream in which the story was focused on this stone structure (that now looked very much like The Temple). Was I subconciously thinking about The Temple? The big difference was that it was located on the beach so it might've been my subconcious not drawing a great portrait of the Foot. I don't know. Moving on: I'm glad we've got more Others. They seem like the real Other deal. There's two new characters. One is Dogen. The other Lennon. I'm just not sure which. The leader seems to be the Japanese man. We were introduced to what saved Ben after Sayid shot him as well as a whole lot of other things which I'll get into. Before that, I have to admit: I have more questions about the smoke monster now that he seems to be confirmed as The Man in Black. The Others are absolutely terrified of The Man in Black. Why would Smokey take people underneath The Temple? The Man in Black apologized to Ben because Ben had to see him like Smokey. It's all very intriguing.
--Back to The Temple and The Others, the biblical significance of the spring wasn't lost on me. The Spring was once clear but is now brown. The healing process seems to include near drowning. An hourglass is used in the healing process.
--As they entered The Temple, they came across the skelton of Montand and a book. Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling. It's a meditation of faith through the story of Abraham and Isaac. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. When Abraham was about to, an angel intervened. It was a test of faith. Isaac didn't need to be killed. The narrator admires Abraham's faith but doesn't understand it. The book is meditation on the absurdity of faith.
--Hurley took the lead as the leader. After Jacob visited him and told Hurley he needed to take Sayid to The Temple, Hurley went into action. After helping Sawyer free Juliet (though sadly it was too late), Hurley asked, after Jack examined Sayid, whether or not he could fix Sayid. Jack said no and Hurley took the lead.
--Sayid died though. The piece of paper said that if Sayid's not saved, they are all in trouble. But then Sayid wakes up at the end of the episode and asks, "what happened?" Fans have jumped on "Is that Jacob reincarnated?" People are wondering, and I'M wondering, whether Jacob told Hurley to take Sayid to The Temple for that very reason. Or maybe, as Doc Jensen suggested, Sayid is simply Sayid. I hope so. Sayid's one of my favorites. By the way, I loved how Jorge Garcia played the scene when Jacob tells him his name. It was fantastic. Back to Sayid, though, that entire scene he tried to save him and then he died was so powerful. Speaking of significant, Miles hearing nothing from Sayid IS significant.
--I wonder if Jack and Sawyer's whatever-you-wanna-call-it-ship can be fixed. I wonder if they can get past the death of Juliet. I was touched by Jack's reaction when Sawyer emerged from the hole with Juliet's body. He and Juliet shared so much. He protected Juliet when she came back to camp with him. She saved his life by removing his appendix. She made him all of those sandwiches when he was trapped in the Hydra. She once loved Jack. The two even kissed in "The Other Woman." But she knew he only had eyes for Kate. Jack's face expressed sadness and regret when he saw the lifeless Juliet. I wonder if Jack can come back from this. Not just Juliet but the failure of detonating Jughead but, again, Juliet told Miles that "it worked."
--Speaking of that scene, the sound of an airplane seems to be present as Miles communicates with Juliet.
--Back to Sawyer and Jack. The first thing Sawyer did was kick Jack square in the head that sent Jack into the hole. They beat the living daylights out of each other in "The Incident." Sawyer swore to kill him if Juliet died. Thankfully, he decided not to. I'm glad Kate defended Jack, telling him Jack only tried to help.
--Sawyer had no interest in following everyone else once he had buried Juliet. He just wanted to disappear, alone, into the jungle but The Others had other plans. I wonder if Sawyer can come back from Juliet's death, from his entire world crumbling. These characters are still as broken as ever. I want some level of happiness for all of them.
--Loved how Jin did whatever he could to help. He owns that Dharma van. He's so close and yet so far from his wife.
--The 2007 story opened on Kate's left eye. Throughout the two-parter, I think she was great helping both Jack and Sawyer. Also, the sound team deserves some props for the effect of Kate's hearing. She was the first to walk around the hole in The Temple floor. She quickly investigated when the whispers began (oh how I love those whispers!). I ALWAYS get goosebumps and then when The Others were running around. So freakin' awesome! Back to Kate: she offered to help Sawyer bury Juliet but he said no. I imagine she was hurt by that. I do think she and Sawyer will end up together but who knows.
--I want to return to Hurley for a moment. There's been a lot of speculation and theories about the fate of Hurley. Speculation about whether or not he will replace Jacob. I don't know about any of that. That's not my thing. I think his first meeting with Jacob had a huge effect on him. Remember the conversation: Hurley told Jacob about how he's cursed and Jacob says no no no you aren't. Perhaps that singular moment effected both past and present. Hurley was much different in season five. More together, far from the man he was off-Island and in Santa Rosa. But again, in 2004, there was no Island to transmit the numbers. But then why would he be in Australia? His only reason for being there was to get answers about the numbers. The answer: Mr. Cluck's. Back to my point: I think Hurley's arc is in no way about becoming a supernatural diety like Jacob and The Man in Black. I think it's about his self-actualization, to feel blessed rather cursed. I think his role is huge in the endgame of the show. I just hope he's not being used by Jacob.
--Bernard and Rose were seen on the airplane but were not accounted for in 2007. Adam and Eve...
--I'm stunned it's taken me this long to write about Benjamin Linus. Michael Emerson absolutely owned every scene he was in. Goodness he was good! I don't know if Ben will have a happy ending. I hope there's some redemption. I've been writing a lot about how one gets past a certain event in this recap. I think it's a question the writers want us to ask. I hope so at least. Ben was horrified AND bewildered. He wanted to know why Jacob didn't even fight back. His reaction when he saw John Locke's corpse or heard what his final thought: "I don't understand" was truly memorable and amazing. Where does Ben go from here? He killed his leader, Jacob. The Man in Black doesn't seem to have any interest in letting Ben get away from him. The scene in which they discussed John Locke had fantastic lighting. The Man in Black kept shifting from darkness into the light that came through the Foot. Ben is in a place I thought he'd never be in and I'm loving it. I love this show.
--The Man in Black is not a Richard Alpert fan. He made a comment to him about chains (I'd try to quote it but I don't want to botch it). Two thoughts for that: The Man in Black is referencing the cabin he had been trapped in by, presumably, Richard by Jacob's decree or he's referencing The Black Rock whose skeletons were still chained. Perhaps both. All I know is Richard got his ass kicked and will be going with the Man in Black.
--Poor Bram. We hardly knew thee. He tried to save himself from Smoky but Smoky was acting like a pissed off giraffe.
We now know he and Ilana and the others were Jacob's bodyguard. None of them succeeded in their job.
--I'm still excited for Ilana's story and her role in all of this. She's different from Bram. I just know it.
--Not much for Frank and Sun to do. Frank spoke about his confusion. Sun's still confused. I wish Frank had mentioned his candidacy.
--The Others at The Temple sent out fireworks to alert the other Others that the man in black lurks about the Island and that Jacob is dead. The look on Richard's face when he saw that looked like pure 'oh crap!' and utter agony/fear. The bad man's out of the cabin indeed. The mobilization to protect The Temple and, perhaps, The Island is under way. Why? Who knows. That's why I'm watching.
The theme of death has always been a big part of this show. Doc discusses the ruminations of the after-life of this episode, dives into the world of Dante's Paradiso, and does an incredible job applying it to the show. In the past, where I had seen death, I kept thinking of life. Last year, in particular, when death dominated the show and Charlotte yelled that this place was death, I thought we were being set up for 'this place is really life because Locke's resurrection is inevitable' but then dead is really dead as we learned in season five's "Dead Is Dead." The Sideways world (doesn't that sound better than me referring to it as 2004/2004 timeline? Thanks Doc!)
I even had a moment last night that I can't keep to myself. In The Temple, when Kate disappeared and Jack asked where she went, I, for a second, considered this: "what if she's dead?" For a second, perhaps I bought into the Purgatory theory. She was there one moment and gone the next. Hurley saw her leave and no one else. I don't think any of them are dead though but anything's possible with this show. ANYTHING.
I started writing about LOST and Finnegan's Wake but experienced much trouble composing the piece. I wrote a bit and would like to share one piece with you which seems cool considering what we're considering: thematically speaking, Finnegan's Wake concerns itself with the Fall and resurrection of man. Ian Pindar writes, author of Joyce, about Wake as a "potent meditation on the Fall of man and the Resurrection and to celebrate the ability of frail, culpable mortal humanity to be re-born again and again." Just think about that.
I feel really good about the direction of the final season. I feel extremely confident that we'll get an emotional journey that, possibly, won't ever be matched by a television show. I want people to be patient with this show. Don't get frustrated with the two worlds we are seeing. Trust in the vision of Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Trust in the last five years of stories we've been given. There's only 16 hours left. The series airs its final episode on a Sunday night in May. May 23, 2010 to be exact. Savor each and every scene. Each episode. Each revelation. Each question.
One final note: I implore everyone to read Doc Jensen's recap of "LA X" because the man is great. Here's the link: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20313460_20341211,00.html. He covers things that I do not and wish that I had but I'm still getting my bearings with this season. He offers some pretty cool opinions on The Sideways world, the Man in Black and his own individual endgame (Doc suggests the man seems hell-bent on answers and honesty. Very interesting: his take on the man in black's opinion of John Locke).
Lastly. Fantastic writing by Damon and Carlton, fantastic directing by Jack Bender, the entire cast&crew totally delivered. I can't wait for next week.
More lastly: the episode is here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/125502/lost-la-x-part-1. And watch Damon and Carlton on JKL: http://www.hulu.com/watch/125542/jimmy-kimmel-live-damon-lindelof-and-carlton-cusepart-1
LET'S GO TO THE RANKINGS!
THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS!
Me and STEVE brainstormed how to go about these rankings for close to an hour. We are ranking The Sideways world and the 2007 world. No Boone and Charlie in these rankings YET (it's a waiting game). Lennon and Dogen will not be ranked either. I'll bet they are included for episode 3's rankings. There's a whopping 18 characters which will most likely go up to 20. John Locke has returned to the rankings but it's proven to be an interesting thing ranking the Sideways world. Desmond remains in the fold AND remains number one for both me and STEVE. But enough! HERE THEY ARE:
AFTER EPISODES 1&2
13. John Locke
17. The Man in Black
11. John Locke
14. The Man in Black