In a recent recap for Grey’s Anatomy, I wrote that Grey’s was like an old friend to me. And, with 5 seasons under my belt, I also consider Lost among my dear friends. And yet, they are very different, these two buds of mine. You see, Grey’s Anatomy and Lost aren’t exactly hanging out together at parties. After all, Grey’s is that annoyingly pretty and popular friend you have that’s a little bit needy, more than a bit self absorbed, and always seems to be whining about her cheating boyfriend.
(“McDreamy is so going in my burn book . . .”)
Lost, on the other hand, is kind of a nerd. He likes to read comic books and obscure science fiction texts. He engages you in endless conversations about time travel and the philosophy of life. He’s constantly nodding and winking at you about inside jokes the two of you have together . . . even if you don’t really understand all of them. In short, he’s Hurley.
Tonight’s two hour season premiere of Lost did not disappoint. It introduced us to some new faces (the Other Others), and reintroduced some old ones (Boone! Yippee! Charlie and Claire! Yay! Flight Attendant Cindy and those kiddies from the tail section . . . ummm . . . OK). It answered some questions. (We know what was in Hurley’s guitar case! We know how they healed young Ben Linus! We know who the Smoke Monster is!).
It asked some others. (What’s the deal with Alt World? Where did Jack’s dad’s coffin and John Locke’s knife set go?) And, of course, it pointed and winked at us a lot, with inside jokes . . . some of which we actually understood!
(“Oh that Hurley, he’s such a jokester!”)
It would be WAY too ambitious for me to even begin to cover everything that went on in this episode. Therefore, I’m simply going to review a few key plot points, by highlighting some of the episode’s more quotable moments.
Juliet: “It Worked.”
For a few seasons now, we have known that time travel has a lot to do with the mysteries of Lost island. What we didn’t know was what theory of time travel Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof had chosen to dominate their universe. Is time linear, such that any change you make in the past, causes a ripple or butterfly effect in future?
(“Go away Ashton! They didn’t choose “The Butterfly Effect.” So there!)
Or is time fractalized, so that every potential outcome of every event in our lives is played out in full in some alternate world? Based on this episode, it appears that Lindelof and co. have opted for the latter theory. Juliet’s setting off of the hydrogen bomb during the 1970’s began a new timeline.
In this new timeline, the island was never made electromagnetically volatile. Therefore, Desmond was never needed to press the infamous hatch button to prevent explosions. Subsequently, he never neglected to do so. Hence, Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed back in 2004.
In Alt World, Hurley considered himself “the luckiest man in the world.” Boone tried to rescue his sister from her boyfriend, but “she didn’t want to be rescued.” And Desmond was a Flight 815 passenger. Quite a unique place, that Alt World.
(See? Boone isn’t really dead. He’s merely turned into Vampire Damon from The Vampire Diaries . . .)
And yet, Jack and the rest of the Losties remained on the island after the incident . . . except in the present day. Thus, at least two distinct timelines are going on concurrently.
Before Juliet died after the “bomb incident,” she muttered some things to Sawyer about going out for coffee and “touching.” She had a big goofy smile on her face when she said all this. Juliet then told Sawyer she had something very important to tell him. Unfortunately, she never got the chance to say it . . . at least while she was alive. When “I Speak to Dead People” Guru Miles communicated with her posthumously, Juliet reportedly informed him that, “It worked.”
My take on this? Somewhere in the Alt World timeline, Juliet, who perhaps, like the rest of the Losties, never made it to the island in this timeline, meets Sawyer and hits it off with him. Because she was about to lose her life in her current timeline, Juliet was able to catch a brief glimpse of the alternative timeline, where she continues to exist.
Charlie: “I was supposed to die.”
In Alt World, Doctor Jack Shepard is called on to help an unconscious passenger in the airplane bathroom. It ends up being Charlie, and when Jack clears out his airway passages to help him breathe, he finds a heroine-filled balloon. Bad Charlie! What would Claire think?
Once conscious, Charlie is by no means grateful to the Good Doc for saving his life, and utters the above-referenced line before being placed in handcuffs. But why did he say this? Is it possible that people in Alt World retain some memory of their other existences? Juliet’s behavior back on the island, as well as Jack’s sense of déjà vu while on the plane, would seem to suggest that this is the case. After all, on Lost island, Charlie too knew that he was meant to die . . .
Jack: “Nothing is irreversible.”
In Alt World, Jack lands safely in L.A. only to find that his father’s coffin has not. While waiting in customs, he comes upon a wheelchair-bound Locke, who’s knife collection was also lost mid flight. When Jack inquires about Locke’s paralysis, the latter smiles ruefully, and explains that his condition is irreversible. An unusually optimistic Jack passes Locke his business card before uttering the above-referenced line. And perhaps he is telling the truth . . .
After all, in a single episode we have already seen any number of people coming back from the dead . . . which is, after all, the ultimate irreversible.
Head of the Other-Others: “Your friend is dead.”
With Sayid quickly bleeding out, Ghost Jacob, who was recently murdered by Ben at the behest of Not-Locke, informs Hurley that he must bring Sayid to “the Temple” in order to save his life. Hurley and the gang comply and are met with the Other-Others and Cindy, the flight attendant from the plane. We recognize the temple as the same place where young Ben, also near death at the time, was taken and revived. Other-Others want to kill the Losties until Hurley informs them that he is following Jacob’s orders.
To prove his point, Hurley shows them the guitar case Jacob left for him. As it turns out, the guitar case contains a giant onyx with a message for the Other-Others regarding the importance of keeping the Losties alive. Surprisingly, as Kate says, “These Others are actually trying to protect us.” The question is how effective are they as protectors? Sayid is taken into the Temple and held under some muddy-looking water. However, once the Other-Others have finished doing there thing, Sayid still looks pretty dead, and the Head of the Other-Others proclaims as much. And yet, at the episode’s conclusion, Sayid miraculously awakens. But is it the same Sayid we know and love? Only time will tell . . .
Non-Locke: “I want the one thing the real Locke didn’t. I want to go home.”
After getting Ben to kill his nemesis Jacob, turning into the Smoke Monster and killing Jacob’s body guards, and decking the never-aging Richard Alpert, Non-Locke was pretty tired from his busy day. So, he took some time to wax poetic with Ben about the fate of the world. In doing so, he discusses the sorry fate of the real John Locke, who in present day is dead and in Alt World is still paralyzed. Either way, being the real John Locke kind of sucks right now. For his sake can only hope that Jack is right and “nothing is irreversible.”
And there you have it. The Final Season of Lost has begun in earnest. And I don’t plan on getting much sleep until it’s over . . but that is a good thing!