Joe’s Not So Random LOST Thoughts

The Wait is Over

It was a long time coming, but February 2nd finally arrived, and we the audience were treated to genius writing, brilliant acting, breathtaking special effects and plot twists we never saw coming. Of course I’m referring to the latest “Movie Maven – Special LOST episode,” starring the lovely Tara Perry and myself. http://www.mania.com/video_27_4-lost-theories/

Here are a few emailed thoughts from Ms. Perry:

“ …good to see Sawyer/Jack hatred again. But so help me god if they force another love triangle between Jack/Kate/Sawyer again so soon after Juliet I will hurt somebody.”

“I wish Juliet and Sawyer could have had a little more time. Their goodbye seemed rushed.”

AND… “I liked the “sliding doors” flash sideways. I mean we did flash forwards, and flashbacks, I mean the next logical one was flash sideways. Right!?”

Oh Yeah, LOST Was Back Too.

Coincidentally, February 2nd was also the premiere of the sixth and final season of LOST, and that was pretty good too.

I have to admit I do feel a bit intimidated trying to make sense of what we just watched after an 8 month hiatus in which I somehow, for some reason managed to avoid most things LOST. I really didn’t watch any re-reuns, I didn’t even ask for Season 5 for Christmas so there was no long post Christmas weekend of laying in bed with my girlfriend as we caught up on the entire season. I think I’m just saying this because I normally feel I have a strong grasp on what I’ve seen, and what’s coming next, but after last night’s two-hour stake-raising mindfuck, while I’m not quite as confused as Benjamin Linus, I can at least empathize with the poor little bug-eyed guy.

So let’s get to it, shall we (he said with a mixture of both hesitance and desire.)

We opened last night where we ended last season; Juliet, bloodied and near death hammering the detonator with a nearby rock, and finally setting it off the bomb with one last Sheriff Brody-esque “come on you son of a bitch!”

Or did we? It seems to me that the white light we witnessed after the bomb theoretically went off could have only been just a time travel jump, or it could have been the time travel jump plus the explosion, or it could have been just the bomb. And since we can all agree the still island dwelling Losties did experience a time jump (because Jin told us and Miles suggested so) we now have to guess what year we jumped to.

What Juliet Did (or didn’t do)

Whatever Juliet did, or didn’t do when she did what she did seems to have set events in at least one timeline considerably different than the original timeline we have been accustomed to being confused by… now, it seems, we have at least one other entirely different story stream to try to comprehend. As if one alternating flash forwarding and flash backwarding, time-jumping universe wasn’t enough to wrap our minds around.

It could be 2004, but it could also be 2007, or it could be 2010.  Whatever did happen, whether it was by Juliet’s hand or not seemed to have a long reaching effect in at least one parallel timeline. (Apparently the producers aren’t comfortable with the word “alternate” when describing the different story streams, so I’ll heed their wishes and go with “parallel” as well.) Personally I’d prefer if the year was 2010, because this way if they ever do decide to revisit the Walt character, even if just in a brief cameo, we’ll all understand why he’s 6 foot four and has three kids of his own now.

Whatever year it is, obviously altered history to the point where Desmond is now an Oceanic passenger, but Shannon, Michael and Walt are not. That means, from my way of thinking, the core group (Jack, Locke, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, Jin, Sun, Charlie, and possibly Boone if we consider him core) could have still met up for the first time on an Oceanic plane from Sydney to L.A. in 2010.

Just from Jack’s hairstyle that makes sense, but also he looks older now than he did in 2004. As does Sawyer, Bernard, Charlie, and especially Kate’s marshal buddy, Eddie Mars. They all look around 6 years older, but maybe I’m just not suspending enough disbelief.

Anyway, we open on Oceanic flight 815 from Sydney to Los Angeles, and things are at once familiar and different. There’s Jack getting a free vodka bottle from the mysterious flight attendant, Cindy Chandler, except this time when the plane bounces around, it’s Rose who comforts Jack, just before she is (kind of) unexpectedly greeted by her lovin’ hubby Bernard from his harrowing experience of making a turbulent number two at 35,000 feet.

I have to say, much like Sun, I was touched by the old person love between these characters. I’d like to think no matter what universe you place Rose and Bernard; their genuine love for each other will always keep them safe from harm. Clearly this will not be case with many of the other passengers.

Mirror Mirror.

One thing that may have gotten lost (pardon the pun) in the two hours of information overload is the (probable) shaving nick on Jack’s neck as he bewilderedly gazed at himself in… THE MIRROR.

Hey I’ve been hawking my mirror theories since Charlie’s left-handed sign of the cross, and later after Ben’s reverse bullet wounds. You think I’m not going to mention a mirror in an episode where we are potentially observing mirror universes? Maybe Other Side of the Mirror Joe wouldn’t mention it, but This Side of the Mirror Joe doesn’t want to stop talking about it.

Ok, enough gazing at my own potential brilliance, and let’s look at Jack’s new airplane neighbor, Desmond – or more specifically, let’s check out what ol’ Des is reading these days. A quick Tivo freeze frame shows us the author is none other than the famed novelist and Muslim target, Slammin’ Salman Rushdie – he of the Satanic Verses controversy. The book in question happens to be a children’s story entitled “Haroun and the Sea of Stories.”

Let’s Let Wiki Do Some Work

I’m just grabbing from Wikipedia, because I’ve never read this book (though now my interest is certainly piqued.)

“The larger part of the plot occurs on a fictional satellite of the Earth’s, named Kahani, whose orbit is controlled by “Processes Too Complicated To Explain”. These processes enable it to fly over every single point on Earth. Kahani itself consists of a massive Ocean which itself is composed of an infinity of stories, each story taking the form of a current or stream of a unique color. The colors, therefore, encompass the whole visible spectrum and extend beyond into spectra that are not known to exist. Various islands and a continent are also shown on the moon. The name “Kahani” itself means “Story” in Urdu and Hindi, and is ultimately revealed to be the name of the sad city; a revelation that removes the sadness from the city’s people.”

Earth One, Earth Two, Earth Infinity

Multiple story streams. Well that explains everything and nothing at once, but allow me to use this Ocean(ianic) segway to delve into what’s at rest below the Pacific…. Why it’s the island, Dharma logo sharks and all.

So now we know we have at least two distinct possible timelines. That or it’s still possible that the Oceanic flight that lands safely is actually a flashforward from the island dwelling reality. Would it be interesting or unsatisfying if plane landing we saw last night happened in the future for the island bound Losties?  (I say the middle, because we’d still have to pay off Kate’s escape and her fateful meeting with the pregnant or not pregnant Claire.)

Holy Haroun! I’ve already written more than two word doc pages, and I really haven’t even discussed Jacob vs. the Man in Black – and let’s be serious, this is after all, and has always been their show. Jack, Kate, Ben, Locke, Sawyer et al, are really just extras.

Let me write up a few important details from last night so we can discuss them in the comment boxes below, before we move on to the real stars of the night.

Talking Points

• Kate lifts Jack’s pen in her brief bathroom encounter. Uses it later to escape from the always escapable Eddie Mars. Man, even in a quick meeting in another plane of existence Kate uses Jack for her own needs.

• Arzt can’t get over how weird it is that the owner of the Mr. Cluck’s Chicken franchise sits in the back with the rest of the schlubs. Meanwhile I can’t get over how roomy Oceaniac’s coach seating is. Hurley is huge, but he seems more than comfortable. If it weren’t for their well-deserved reputation for losing passengers on mysterious islands, I’d consider Oceanic for my own air travel needs.

• This version of Hurley (the “Mirror” version, screams This Side of the Mirror Joe) proclaims himself to be the luckiest guy alive. Quite a difference from the wealthy but tortured Hugo Reyes who in another world went to Australia to figure out why those damned numbers kept popping up in his life. This leads us to wonder, did Hurley play the same numbers to win the lottery?

• Sun and Jin: It’s hard to tell if these two are a happily married couple in this universe. My guess is no. My guess is Sun really thought about abandoning her controlling husband at the airport just as she did in Season One, and she did cheat on him, and she does speak English, despite of what she told airport security. The real question for them becomes, will they ever find the happily ever after that seems to await Rose and Bernard at every turn, or because of Jin’s inability to have children, will Korea’s sweethearts never have the chance to rediscover their love.

• How ‘bout that Frogurt, huh? I really don’t even remember why we all call him Frogurt, but glad to see whatever world he’s in, the guy is always a low-level prick.

• Charlie. He is not happy to be alive in this other place. He died a hero’s death, and atoned for his sins, now he’s just a washed up ex rock star with a mountain of remorse and a serious horse problem. Love his lines;  “Am I alive?” and “I was supposed to die.”

• Sawyer and Juliet: Man, Josh Holloway ripped my heart out again. That guy plays agonized lover as well as anyone.  I was really hoping for Juliet to get better, but we all knew that wasn’t going to happen even if she didn’t already have the starring role in “V.”

• Sawyer thinks it’s Jack’s fault and wants to kill him, but given time Sawyer realizes he’s just as culpable as Jack by allowing Jack to make the decision to explode the bomb in the first place. Sawyer showed what a hero he was back in the glory days of the 70’s. All of his plans worked out back then. The guy is a born leader who got dealt a shitty deck as a boy, and made all of his bad career choices while he was an inconsolable grieving 8-year old child. Let’s cut a murdering conman some slack.

• Poor Jack. Wow, never thought I’d actually write that and feel it at the same time, but speaking of the “same time,” poor Jack has managed to get blamed for dooming the life of one person in one timeline (Juliet) while simultaneously getting blamed for rescuing another person in a different timeline (Charlie.)

• So if Charlie really died in the original timeline we’re all familiar with, but was also able to physically strike Hurley at the Santa Rosa Looney Bin after he drowned, is it possible that this very much alive parallel Charlie is actually the guy who dropped the smackdown on our favorite mental patient last season? That said, will these two worlds, eventually collide at some point during this season? Smart money says yes. Place your bets in the comment boxes below.

• Speaking of smackdowns, did FLocke, aka the Man in Black, aka The Smoke Monster lay down a beating on Bram and the rest of Jacob’s bodyguards or what? I haven’t seen that much skull clunking since Moe in a recent Three Stooges marathon. Loved that Bram thought that silly ash was going to protect him. It seems the ash does have a function, but it’s hardly a foolproof fail safe.

• How ‘bout that Boone? Nice to see Boonie again. I was never a big fan of the pussy-whipped brother/lover, but I’m just happy that he didn’t have to spend a day on the set of that lame ass Vampire Diaries show. So was Locke actually “pulling Boone’s leg?” Did the walkless Locke somehow go on his walkabout in this other life? Or was he just too ashamed of his handicap that he couldn’t bring himself to tell Boone the truth?

• Does Safe Landing Rose still have cancer? If Safe Landing Locke is still wheelchair bound, maybe Rose still has cancer. Then again, if time was reset back in 1977, maybe Rose never smoked, or inhaled asbestos, or hung out at a wi-fi infested Starbucks, and in turn, never was claimed by the deadly disease.

• Red shirts. Yeah, we all know Juliet wore a red shirt in last season’s finale and look where it got her. This saddens me to type it, but everyone’s favorite bit of comedy relief, Hurley, was wearing a red shirt, albeit a red shirt that would have covered up a half a dozen or so Juliet’s. Does this fashion choice foretell Hurley’s inevitable fate as one of the next casualties of the island, or will the “luckiest guy alive” (even though that’s what the other Hurley claims) be able to avoid certain crimson-clothed death?

• Bitter adversaries in one life, possible lifelong friends in another; I’m hoping Jack cures Locke’s disability and the two go on to have a mutually respectful relationship. We’ve always seen them as two sides of the same coin, but we’ve also always suspected they might enjoy each other’s company if both weren’t busy clashing over which way is right while so much was hanging in the balance. I enjoyed Locke soothing of Jack’s troubled soul with talk of Christian’s own immortal soul being now safe from mortal interference.

• Why did Marshal Ed let Kate have a potty break. I wonder if there’s a single universe in all the infinite story streams where Ed doesn’t wind up getting owned by Kate. Seriously Ed, maybe you should have just let the girl mess herself. I guess the only problem with that is on one of the myriad of timelines Kate probably beats up Marshal Ed with her own soiled panties Perhaps a delight for some of the readers on this site, but I’ll take a pass on that particular fetish.

• Jack presents his card to Locke and offers him a free consultation. The hospital Jack works at is St. Sebastian. St. Sebastian is a martyred saint and perhaps best known in religious paintings as that guy who is also shown tied up with arrows piercing him. By the way, he died twice.

• Sawyer doesn’t seem all that “conny” to me on the Safe Landing Universe. He could have been sizing Hurley up for a long con after the mention of his lottery winnings, but I’d prefer to think that this particular version of the hero/anti-hero never had to take up the nom de plume, “Sawyer,” because in this separate reality, his parents never got scammed. He has been and will always be “James Ford.” Sure he’s a bit of a harmless flirt, but ol’ charming Jimmy Ford had some business down under, but he’s flying back to be with the love of his life, his darling wife, Juliet. (I really like this idea.)

• Boy that Jacob loves to write lists. I guess he’s just old school…. Thousands of years old school, because everyone else nowadays emails their lists. Nice to see the ankh was just a Trojan horse inside the Trojan guitar case. (And conversely too bad Charlie swallowed Trojans filled with heroin.)

• Who’s Jin delivering this watch to, and could there be a more obvious metaphor for time?

• Sayid seems pretty happy to get off that plane in Safe Landing Universe. I’m pretty sure he’s dead in Island Bound World.

Lets’s Hear it For the Stars of Our Show…

And now ladies and gentlemen, you’ve waited long enough. It’s time for the stars of the show. Allow me to introduce a man who bears a striking resemblance to a certain bald, sad, pathetic, confused and deceased former island-communing hero, and now a lifeless corpse. He’s vengeful, he’s powerful, and he’s got Ben Linus shitting enough bricks to build another temple, he’s the man without a name….. The Smoke Monster, aka the Man in Black.

Our next guest hardly needs any introduction. He’s dead, and yet he’s not. Outwardly he’s a peaceful fisherman, but below the surface he has a few secrets. He wears a lot of white, and seems like a very nice guy, except when the storytellers want to confuse us, and then he appears capable of very bad things. Here he is, the one and only Jacob…. Jacob and Smokey ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Jacob and Smokey.

First of all, I have to remind everyone here that we still can’t automatically assume that Jacob is good and Smokey is evil, or even vice versa. I believe we’re talking about a more nuanced idea than simple plain good and evil, and with that said, man I just want Jacob to be good. At this point I want to know whom I’m supposed to be rooting for. I know it seems obvious, but these brilliant little fuckers love to mess with us, and I refuse to believe anything until it’s proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt at the base of an ancient statue.

O’Quinn. Oh Yeah.

Hard to believe it has taken this long to mention this, but Sweet Baby Aaron, how freaking good was Terry O’Quinn in his dual role as the frustrated and raging demigod and the insecure and damaged human? Terry O’Quinn won’t need Jacob to include his name on any lists after this show runs it’s course, O’Quinn is going to be writing his own ticket in Hollywood for years to come.

Here’s another two-word phrase I never expected to string together, but, poor Ben. That guy hasn’t had many breaks his whole life. Mom dies giving birth to him, dad resents him for the death. Moves to an island as a young boy, takes a bullet in the heart, or in the exact opposite side of his heart, depending on the week, commits genocide on a small neighborhood, and personally murders his own father, and now it looks like he’s been reduced from detested leader of the Jacob-loving Others to Smokey’s frightened lackey. And yikes did he bitchslap Richard! Chains? Slave ship? Egyptian slave… how old is this Richard anyway?

And where is Jacob all this time? When last we saw him, he was dead and chatting it up with Hurley and informing the always rotund but recently turned man of action to bring Sayid to the Temple. (Which reminded me a whole lot of the Planet of the Apes – the set, the clothing, the background music.)

I Hope This Nickname Sticks

Here at the Temple we get to meet the Other Others. The ones who likely healed and forever changed young Ben Linus. Into what, we’re not sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion along with many of you, that after retrieving Sayid’s lifeless corpse from the healing/drowning/healing waters of the murky and malfunctioning water of life like Jesus removed from the cross, the man that rose from the dead was not completely Sayid and not completely Jacob. Let’s, for the simple sake of article writing call him, Saycob. (Because I prefer that to Jacyid.)

Will Saycob, with the help of the others, and the Other Others be enough to eventually take down the ostensibly all-powerful Man in Black? Only time(lines) will tell.

Until Next Week

So until next week, fire up your Hi-Def TV, (Imperative if you’re expecting to make out Dharma logos on cheesy yet cool underwater CG graphics.) make sure you hit the record function on your TiVo, (For multiple viewings, purposes immediately after watching the show the first time.) keep your laptop nearby, (You’ll never know when you might need to Google the philosophical works of Soren Kierkegaard. Seriously, Google Fear and Trembling. It’ll help you out if you’re trying to solve this mystery.) load up that bong, (For some of us, LOST isn’t our only drug of choice.) and get ready to get LOST.

Joe Oesterle writes his LOST blog and many other columns for Mania.com

http://www.mania.com/

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