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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Lost" Quick Thoughts: "Nothing is irreversible."

Of all the nights to work a late shift ...

While fellow "Lostie" Adam Reinhard stays away from all forms of communication today for fear of having last night's two-hour "Lost" premiere, "LA X," spoiled, I'll attempt to connect some dots in rudimentary "Quick Thoughts" form. We're officially back, folks, and it feels even more refreshing than a dip in the ol' Temple pool of rejuvenation.

* Just a quick note about the hour-long refresher, "Lost: The Final Chapter." A nice, succinct character-by-character breakdown that re-established some important puzzle pieces as the final season winds down. Then again, you can certainly skip it if you need to get crackin' on that DVR.

* Looks like an alternative timeline/parallel universe is a reality, though it's hard to wrap your head around that mind-bending concept when the show flips from the new/not-so-original Oceanic flight to island time near the blown hatch. One thing "Lost" has always been able to master is guiding viewers through complex multiple storylines, in multiple times, in multiple locations on the island and beyond. Last night was a classic example of making all three main threads coalesce with ease -- Jack and crew landing on the island in 2007, Jack and crew on an alternative Oceanic flight (one that safely lands at LAX), and finally, the Man in Black's smoky business near the foot statue following Jacob's stabbing.

* What if the Oceanic flight landing at LAX is a actually a flashback and everything -- and I mean everything -- will eventually lead to course correction, therefore placing everyone on the island again in the exact same predicament? That'd be a bummer.

* Annnnnnnnnnnnd ... the island is underwater in one reality.

* Very cool reveal once Richard sees the flare shot off by the temple dwellers following Hurley's news that Jacob is dead and told him so as a ghostly jungle apparition.

* Man, what becomes of Ben now that he's been used up? Redemption, thy name is Linus!

* The temple waters turn brown following Jacob's death and can no longer heal Sayid. However, our favorite Iraqi torturer awakens at the end for a patented cliffhanger. Jacob inhabiting his body? Just a really good napper? Any theories?

* If Jacob could take over Sayid's body, wouldn't that be a good thing? Yet the new guy -- Lennon -- said everyone in the temple would be in trouble if Sayid passed away. Plus, when the Man in Black took over Locke's body, the old one remained. Where's Sayid's real body then? I'm confused.

* Why is Hurley the Ghost Whisperer? Will this special Jennifer Love Hewitt quality be explained at some point during the season, or is it something we should simply accept like Miles' ghost-busting prowess?

* One big mystery, one minor mystery solved: Man in Black is not Johnny Cash, but in fact, the smoke monster. Why he takes the form of a smoke monster remains to be seen, but his interaction with Ben -- "Let's not resort to name-calling." "I'm sorry you had to see me like that" -- was incredibly funny. His destruction of Jacob's "bodyguards" is probably a new Top 10 Holy Crap entry when all is said and done. Second mystery: an ankh with a list of special names was inside Hurley's guitar case from Jacob. Gotta have those names.

* One can never have too much black powder. Buh-bye, Bram.

* Nice goodbye turn with Saywer and Juliet, though probably unnecessary given the gravity of last season's tearful farewell down the noisy hole. But it allowed Miles to speak to Juliet's grave and hear the words, "It worked." The bomb going off? Yeah ... but how does Juliet know? Then again, revelations like that are usually swerves in the Lost-verse.

* Gotta love that Terry O'Quinn gets to play a complete bad-ass now.

* Boone! Charlie! Arzt! Frogurt!

* Great conversation with Boone and Locke. "If the plane crashes, I'm sticking with you."

* Another nice touch: Charlie was "supposed" to die. Jack gets no thanks for saving Charlie's life on the plane and gets all the blame for killing Juliet. Tough being Savior Shephard, that's for sure.

* Still missing: Christian Shephard's body. Still in a wheelchair: John Locke.

* Desmond is on the new plane, but no Shannon, Walt or Michael. Subtle differences added an almost "Where's Waldo?" element to that scene as I looked desperately for faces and clues. And why did Des disappear? Is he a "constant" for both timelines?

* Richard was once in chains and not only knows, but greatly fears, the Man in Black. Slave on the Black Rock? Can't wait for his past to finally be revealed.

* Did I mention the return of Arzt?

* "Nothing is irreversible." Powerful parting words from Jack. How this parallel universe business plays out should be interesting -- can't say I'm an expert on this particular topic -- but can worlds eventually collide? Will everything come together cohesively, or are we, in essence, watching two shows simultaneously -- with the kicker being that we know what could have happened? Can Kate 1 be with Jack and Kate 2 with Sawyer so that everyone is happy in the end?

I'll add more if anything revelatory comes to me this afternoon or upon second viewing in the coming days. What did all you guys think? Please leave your thoughts below.

-- Thomas Rozwadowski, trozwado@greenbaypressgazette.com

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4 Comments:

My thoughts on the "It worked", revelation. I'll need to watch it again but Juliet said some strange things to Sawyer regarding coffee before the "I have something to tell you" and then dying act. My guess is that her consciousness was flowing back and forth through time like Desmond and she was meeting Sawyer in the alternate timeline for coffee thus completing her "constant" interaction.

I think the alternate reality is a story telling device. It did work but they want the story to unfold throughout the season instead of a finale to tie things up. These "separate" timelines will eventually meet up much like the flashback and flashforwards did.

Thanks for pointing out Michael and Walt were missing. I wasn't even looking for them. I kept thinking where is Claire and then boom , she ends up in the taxi cab with Kate.

By Blogger rozilla74, At February 3, 2010 at 3:26 PM  

Great call on the coffee talk. I hadn't even thought about Juliet's babbling being meaningful (partly because I couldn't hear her), but you may be right about some sort of mind-travel where Sawyer and Juliet meet in the second timeline.

And from a storytelling standpoint, I see this as a similar device to the time travel elements of last season. As Lindelof and Cuse have said, instead of having a character in the present say something like, "Oh, this is where the hydrogen bomb is," they wanted to actually show viewers the bomb being buried in the '50s, the hatch being built, etc.. So yeah, I totally get where the two tracks are going and how they may end up reconnecting. I don't have a problem with that.

So much to explore. Should be fun.

-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At February 3, 2010 at 3:40 PM  

I also anticipated that Juliet's coffee talk will occur with Jimbo in the LA-X reality. In fact, I'm banking on it.

I'm just impressed that Lindelof and Cuse managed to make good on their anti-paradox promise from two years ago (on EW.com, Feb. 22, 2008):

LINDELOF: We're not going to tell you that we're against bending the time-space continuum. We are very for it. Carlton and I are PRO time-space continuum bending! But we're ANTI-paradox. Paradox creates issues. In "Heroes," Masi Oka's character travels back from the future to say, "You must prevent New York from being destroyed." But if they prevent New York from being destroyed, Masi Oka can never travel back from the future to warn you, because Future Hiro no longer exists. Right? So when we start having those conversations at "Lost," we go, "This show is already confusing enough as it is." To actually have characters traveling through time has to be handled very deftly.

And they did handle it deftly. If Jack & Co. from 2007 create a new reality stemming from 1977, they no longer exist in the same way in 2007 and are unable to go back to 1977 and create the new reality. That's a paradox. But it isn't a paradox if the "original" versions of themselves still exist in another reality. I'm not enough of a sci-fi nut to know the fine points of such mechanics, but this other-reality stuff is extraordinarily satisfying to me ... and not only as a great storytelling device.

By Blogger Andy Behrendt, At February 3, 2010 at 4:09 PM  

Right on, Andy. They aren't "looping" through time anymore. If the bomb did work, then a lot of things wouldn't happen the same as before. This is going to be one hell of a season.

One other item about Sayid's resurrection, Mile's reaction. Did Sayid really die? Or is he sensing Jacob?

By Blogger rozilla74, At February 3, 2010 at 5:45 PM  

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