Tag Archives: Alt World

ONCE UPON A TIME RECAP: I Dream of Genie

Cross posted at Agony Booth.com

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EMMA: “Of course, this Alt-World is real, Henry! What would make you think it is fake?” Henry: “Well, we are standing in front of a Green Screen . . .”

This week on Once, Emma gets “wished” into an alt-world, where her hair and makeup are better, but everything else about her is way worse. Also, Aladdin becomes everyone’s b*tch; the Evil Queen unleashes her inner reptile; and everyone who thought Belle’s kid was super creepy, and most likely The Worst, gets to say “I TOLD YOU SO!”

It’s the last Once recap of 2016, Fairytale Fans! Let’s do this!

Sword-of Good News

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In a quest to determine the true owner of the Sword That Will “Kill” Emma Swan (but not destroy that sword, mind you, because the plot requires it to remain in play, at least until the end of the season), Emma, Regina and Hook have a run-in with the Evil Queen in front of Robin Hood’s grave, because “foreshadowing.” There, Evil Queen literally taunts Emma with “your mama” jokes. And this makes Emma so mad that she stabs the Evil Queen in the face with her own death sword. (Talk about Anger Management Issues!)

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When it is plot convenient for them to be treated as such, Regina and Evil Queen are treated as the same person. This means that when Evil Queen gets stabbed in the face, Regina should also bleed. But when Emma stabs Evil Queen with her death sword, for some reason, Regina’s face is still as beautifully Botoxed and pore free as it was pre-Evil Queen Face Stabbing.

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Based on this impromptu experiment, Emma determines that she CAN actually kill the Evil Queen, without killing Regina too! And this would be fabulous, and extremely relevant, news, if the Evil Queen wasn’t rendered a complete non-entity by the end of the episode . . .Oh well! Better luck next McGuffin!

Wish-Y Washy

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When Emma tells the rest of her family that she’s going to use her own Death Sword to kill the Evil Queen, at night, out in the street, thereby basically mimicking the exact circumstances of the vision she had, in which she died at the end, her son Henry is the only one that thinks this is incredibly shitty idea. (Unless you happen to be watching a show geared toward eight-year olds, it’s generally a bad sign when the smartest character on the show isn’t even old enough to shave.)

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Ignoring Henry’s rather logical and intellectually sound warnings, Emma heads off with Hook, Daddy Charming, and her Future Death Sword to tempt fate, recreate her death scene from her vision, and maybe, but probably not, succeed in killing the Evil Queen. While they are en route, Princess Jasmine screams out frantically for help from inside Granny’s diner. It turns out that the Evil Queen has her very loosely tied up in a chair. And when I say “loosely,” I mean to say that, those Chinese Handcuffs we all used to play with as kids are probably more difficult to get out of than the Evil Queen’s half-assed chair knot.

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Nonetheless, Jasmine dutifully stays put like the good, not too bright, hostage that she is. And so, the Evil Queen promptly steals the genie lamp from Jasmine, summons New Genie Aladdin from it, and makes her first wish: that Emma Swan’s erstwhile wish never to become the Savior be granted. So thoughtful, that Evil Queen! Someone get this lady a Humanitarian Award!

Since, Emma Swan originally became the Savior, upon being shipped off to modern times from fairytale land, no-longer-the-Savior-Emma is instead portaled to an Alt World, in which she instead actually grew up in fairytale land with her super rich parents, a la Ivanka Trump.

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In order to rescue Emma from Alt-World, Regina conveniently uses the “Evil Queen and I are technically the same person” card (which appears to be working again, after the whole Death Sword glitch thing), so that she can be whisked to the exact same World.

Princess Emma: The New Disney Heroine that Feminism Forgot

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To say Alt-World is weird, and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as a viable alternate timeline, is a complete understatement. For one thing, Emma’s parents, the Charmings, are super old. (This part actually, does make sense, because while time stopped in Storybrooke during Emma’s first 28-years of life, in Alt-World, time continued normally, thus rendering Charming and Snow at least 28-years older than they currently are in Storybrooke).

What doesn’t make sense, is how nobody else in Alt World aged one iota. I let this slide, when it came to the dwarves, because, perhaps, dwarves don’t age like humans do. However, this fact particularly disturbed me, when it came to Granny, who, had she aged in real time, would have been roughly 110 in Alt World. And yet, there she was, looking not a day over 85! (Then again, maybe Granny is actually a dwarf, and nobody told me. Is that true? Did I miss a plot point somewhere?)

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Also in Alt World, Princess Emma somehow still met, boned, and ultimately married Baelfire / Neal (who was a knight in Alt World?), resulting in her giving birth to erstwhile fairytale author Henry.

And what I’m still trying to wrap my head around is how all that could have happened, seeing as Neal had left fairytale land, and was actually in Neverland around the time “the original curse occurred.” If there is someone out there with a way better understanding of the timeline logistics of this show, who could explain to me how this could be possible, by all means, chime in.

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When Regina shows up in Alt World, everyone is super frightened, because they assume that she’s the Evil Queen, (who, in this timeline, Charming and Snow White defeated and banished from the kingdom pre-first curse), who is now back to enact her revenge, and rightfully so! Alt-World Emma is concerned too, but she’s too busy singing showtunes, and picking flowers in the forest, to really give the whole thing much thought or concern. This is because, apparently, had Charming and Snow White actually had the opportunity to raise Emma from birth, they would have turned her into a pampered prissy simpleton, incapable of defending herself. Sorry Baby Neal! This is most likely going to be you in 28-years!

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It looks like Regina has her work cut out for her, if she wants Emma to remember who the heck she is, and get the two of them back to Storybrooke in one piece. Did I mention, the episode is only half over at this point?

A Charming Failure

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Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, the B team is proving themselves to be even more useless than Regina in their attempts to rescue Emma from Alt World. First Charming tries to take the genie lamp from the Evil Queen, so he can wish Emma back home. But instead, he just wishes that the Evil Queen will “get what she deserves.” It’sa super vague, and dangerously objective wish, one that anyone who has ever read a fairytale, let alone starred in one, would know not to use under any circumstances whatsoever.

Not surprisingly, Charming’s wish accomplishes precisely nothing in either defeating the Evil Queen, nor in getting Emma back. So, Charming returns the Genie Lamp to Jasmine, since she’s most likely boning the guy inside it, after all. And when Jasmine offers to use her first wish (She does have three, I might add) to wake up the Sleeping Snow White, and break the curse that prevents the pair from being awake at the same time. Charming’s response is, “Meh, I don’t really need her anyway. You guys do what you gotta do.”

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And so, Jasmine and Aladdin wish themselves to Agrabah, taking with them, the gang’s seemingly best chance at getting Emma back from Alt World and/or waking Snow from a potentially eternal slumber. GO TEAM!

Robin Hood-winked

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Regina, for her part, is fairing slightly better in Alt-World, as she seeks a captive Rumpelstiltskin’s help in awakening the currently completely useless Emma’s memories of her life as the Bad Ass Savior. Rumpel gamely suggests that Regina do her best Evil Queen impersonation, in order to scare Emma into turning heroic again. He even offers Regina a bean that will open a portal to get her back to Storybrooke with Emma, in exchange for his freedom from captivity. Regina accepts this deal, because making deals with the Dark One always ends so well for everyone on this show!

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Dressed in her Evil Queen finery, Regina puts on a Super Sassy Show at Henry’s knighthood ceremony, even going so far as to kidnap Charming and Snow White, because that should really piss off Princess Emma. Right?

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Wrong! Prissy Emma responds to Regina’s Evil Queen’s taunts by . . . wimpily giving the Evil Queen the key to the city, in exchange for her parents’ lives. Yikes! Growing up with the elderly Charmings in Alt-World has made Princess Emma super soft. Regina is going to have to up the ante, if she wants Bad Ass Savior Emma back.

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And so as the Evil Queen, Regina KILLS THE CHARMINGS by thoughtlessly crushing their hearts in her bare hands. (This version of them is old and fake anyway. Plus, they clearly did a crappy job raising their kid, and, therefore, don’t deserve to live.)

Does the death of Princess’ Emma’s parents snap her back into action? Nope, it just makes her sit on the floor and cry like a total b*tch. Knight Henry though, he’s ready to kill Regina / Evil Queen. And worse, he’s going to do it with the all-powerful Emma Death Sword, which somehow made it to the Alt World along with Emma.

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Now, while Regina would gladly kill the Fake Charmings, she can’t bring herself to kill Fake Henry. So, instead she just stands there, and awaits her demise. And THIS . . . THIS is what finally causes Emma to snap out of her Wishy-Washy stupor and return to herself. She uses her magic to freeze Fake Henry just in the nick of time, and, in doing so, saves Regina’s life and the fake version of her son’s soul.

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Then, Regina and Emma head to meet with Fake Rumpel, pick up the portal bean and prepare to go home. So, of course, just as the two are about to enter the portal, Regina comes upon Fake Robin Hood, who is alive in this fake timeline, and conveniently about to rob them. Not willing to pass up time with her sweetie, even a fake version of him, Regina lets the portal close, and with it, her and Emma’s only chance to get home and kill the Evil Queen.

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No worries. The Evil Queen is about to disappear as a problem anyway, at least temporarily.

Blue Fairy, You Had One Job!

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Meanwhile, back in Storybrooke, Rumpel uses some magic hair to attempt to track down his newborn child. Understandably he is super disturbed to find out that the kid completely off the grid. Predictably, Rumple comes to Belle with this conundrum. Shortly thereafter, the two learn from a thoroughly beaten-up Blue Fairy, that Fairy Lame-Mother was able to care for Baby Gideon, for all of two minutes, before she lost him to the Ultimate Evil. Great job, Blue Fairy!

In worse news, Rumpel’s mom, the Black Fairy, was apparently the one who kidnapped Gideon. And this means either that she’s going to eat him, or he’s going to turn evil. Maybe she’s going to turn him evil, then eat him?

Anywhoo, a man in a black cape, who looks suspiciously like the guy who kills Emma in her vision, appears from a portal, and promptly turns the Evil Queen into a snake in a cage, because, why not?

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He then removes his hood, revealing himself to Belle and Rumpel, as Gideon, their “son”, a.k.a. the same creepy guy who kept hitting on Belle in her dreams, and convincing her to give the baby version of him away to the useless Blue Fairy.

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And this just goes to show you that you should never trust a guy with a bad Julius Caesar haircut, who haunts your dreams, and claims to be your son, but still hits on you like he’s your boyfriend / your stalker. Words to live by. Trust me, I know from experience!

Until next March 2017, Oncers!

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Hot Box Time Machine – Lost’s “Happily Ever After” Q & A

Tonight’s episode of Lost marks yet another chapter in the tale of our favorite Scottish time (and dimension?) – traveler, Desmond Hume.  This is our seventh Desmond-centric Lost episode. (For those nitpickers out there, I am counting the two hours of “Live Together, Die Alone” as separate episodes . . . basically, because I like the number seven, DAMMIT!)  To me, Desmond’s episodes have sort of a different feel than the episodes we typically see on Lost.  While all Lost episodes deal with themes of love, destiny, good versus evil, and science versus faith, Desmond-y episodes seem to express those themes in a more heady, philosophical way.

Desmond episodes = Advanced Placement Lost (for “gifted” TV watchers)

 Tonight’s episode was no exception.  During “Happily Ever After,” we definitely learned a thing or two about our hero, as well as the overall mythology of Lost.  Here are just some of the questions that were answered during this hour:

Why is Desmond “The Package?”

Desmond is The Package because he looks like this . . .

 . . . oh, and I almost forgot .  . . HE HAS SUPERPOWERS!

Superpowers?  Cool!  Can he leap tall buildings in a single bound, like Superman?

Ummmm  . . . no.  But he CAN be shocked with thousands of volts of electromagnetic energy without, you know, dying.  He can also toggle back and forth through time and alternate dimensions, without having to take a dip in a Hot Tub, or jump in a DeLorean with a young Michael J. Fox.

So what does that have to do with Charles Widmore?  Why does HE need Desmond back on the Island?

Two words: Course Correction.  If you recall (Of course, you recall.  Your a Lost fan.  You remember EVERYTHING.  And have the screencaps to prove it), back at the end of last season, Juliet detonated a bomb on the island back in 1974, in hopes of preventing Oceanic Flight 815 from ever crashing on the island.  Instead, her actions set off a major chain of events (i.e. that whole flash-sideways business) that left a lot of Losties extremely UNLIKELY to get laid in the foreseeable future. 

For starters, in Flash-Sideways World, Desmond’s not with his “soul mate” Penny, which means she can’t bear his child.

Charlie never met Claire . . .

No, I’m NOT taking about the bat-shit crazy version!  (NO ONE wants to meet HER!)  I’m referring to the  sweet, innocent, hygenic version from the first three seasons . . .

(Sidenote:  Was it me, or has Charlie’s hairline receded IMMENSELY since we last saw him on this show?  Perhaps hair loss is another side effect of living in Flash-sideways World, because Jack Shephard seems to be having the same “follicular” issues, of late.)

“I’m not LOSING my hair!  I’m just GROWING out my forehead . . .”

Speaking of Jack, in Flash-Sideways World, he and Sawyer never made out with / screwed (in a bear cage) Kate

Oh, the humanity!

Sayid’s not with Nadia.  Jin’s not married to Sun, so her and their child may DIE.  Daniel never met Charlotte.  Hurley never met Miles.

Catch what I did there?  Pretty clever, huh . . . 

As for Widmore, a permanent existence in Flash-Sideways World will undoubtedly result in the loss of his daughter Penny, his grandchild, and his son.  Oh, and did I mention that he will be stuck married to this scary biatch?

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, you and I would be stuck watching Friends reruns on Tuesday nights at 9 . . .  It’s a dystopian society, indeed!  And so, understandably, Widmore has hired Time-Traveling Desmond to merge the two timelines created by the bomb’s blast back into a single timeline, where they belong.

How the heck is Desmond going to do that?

One word: The Constant.  (well, that’s actually two words.  Sorry?)  Remember when Desmond was doing all those weird mind-warp time traveling things back during Season 4?  (During the episode conveniently entitled “The Constant.” )  Do you also remember how Daniel Faraday, who was experimenting with time travel at the time, had written in his journal – “Desmond Hume will be my constant?

(Presumably the aforementioned statement meant that whatever year it happened to be, Desmond would provide Daniel with the personal connection he needed to gain a necessary foothold in his current timeline)

“Oh, hey look!  Desmond is wearing a neon jumpsuit.  I MUST be in the 80s . . .”

Well, it seems that Widmore would like to hire out Desmond to be The Constant for everyone on Oceanic Flight 815 . . . well, at least everyone that mattered.  Presumably, Desmond will do this by making all of the passengers AWARE of the original timeline, the memory of which, as we learned today, lies buried in all of their subconscious minds.

How exactly is Desmond going to convince the other Losties about the original timeline?  Because if some stranger walked up to me and told me (with a Scottish accent, no less) that I was stuck in the wrong dimension, I would run in the other direction FAST!

I have one more word for you: LOVE 

Charlie (perhaps unwittingly) awakened Desmond to the existence of the original timeline, when the car the pair was driving, swerved off road and went underwater.  When Desmond tried to free Charlie from the drowning car, Charlie’s hand pressed against its window, revealing this message:

Of course, this was the same message, Charlie showed Desmond before dying during the Season 3 Lost finale episode “Through the Looking Glass.”  The message was intended to inform Desmond that the “rescue” boat that had been sent for them, was not sent to the island by Desmond’s lover, Penny.  Rather, it was a trap.  Seeing this message again, triggers Desmond’s alt-timeline memories of his love for Penny.  These memories come at him full force, later on in the episode, while he is receiving electromagnetic pulses to his brain during an MRI.  Likewise, both Charlie and Daniel Faraday began to recall THEIR alternate existences, upon seeing their respective Lostie lovers Claire and Charlotte in person.

Presumably, armed with the Oceanic Flight 815 manifest provided to him by former fellow alt-world time traveler, George Minkowski  (a chauffer and lackey for Charles Widmore in Flash-Sideways World) . . .

time traveling + NO superpowers = insanity, lots of nosebleeds, and a painful death . ..

Desmond will find all the Losties in Flash-Sideways World and attempt to trigger their memories of Real World, by tantalizing them with suggestions of lovers from another dimension . . .  which, leads me to my last question: 

Who’s YOUR Constant? 😉

Next week on Lost, we get to watch loveable Lostie Hurley talk to more dead people, make more dry (but hilarious) comments about the current state of the show, and (probably) eat some tasty treats along with way.  Awesome!

Until then . . .

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A “Blast” from the . . . Other Past: A Recap of the FINAL Lost Season Premiere

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!

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