The highly anticipated first two episodes of Lost season 6, the final chapter in the hit series’ run, aired back to back this evening on ABC. The two-hour premiere was a virtual whirling dervish of activity and a pure icon of what Lost theories are made of: Two alternate realities, alternating; one death; one maybe-death followed by a maybe-resurrection; and a slew of divergent paths crisscrossing over and over again. Ready to know what happened on the Lost season 6 premiere and itching for some new Lost theories? Buckle up: I’m ready to recap, review and theorize.
Lost season 6 episode 1, appropriately and simply titled LAX, begins with Jack looking out the window of doomed Oceanic Flight 815. He’s seated across the aisle from Rose, a fellow crash survivor, but he doesn’t know her. The two have a brief conversation, and then there’s turbulence. It subsides, and then there’s more turbulence, and the average Lost viewer would expect the plane to crash at this point.
But it doesn’t. Bernard, Rose’s husband who we learned during Lost season 1 had been in the plane’s restroom when it went down on The Island, returns to his seat. And life continues on, suggesting that Juliet had successfully detonated the bomb at the close of season 5, and that all of the drama had been -poof! – erased with a bang.
Just to further the theory that the plan worked, the camera drops down below the plane, and goes underwater. After trolling around, it comes to rest on the foot of the statue that stood on The Island, completely submerged. Perhaps, to add to the treasure trove of Lost theories, in his new, altered reality, Jacob isn’t dead because John Locke never made it to The Island to begin with. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The next scene of Lost season 6 episode 1 introduces the second possible reality in equally confusing fashion. It opens with Kate high in a tree, her ears ringing and unable to hear. She calls out for help, and comes across Miles, Jack and Sawyer. They’re all dismayed to see that they seem to have traveled forward in time again: The destroyed Swan Station Hatch is still there. Sawyer is furious with Jack, which effectively extends the ‘Sawyer versus Jack’ drama we’ve all come to know and love. Kate hears a cry for help and the group begins digging, suddenly aware that Juliet somehow survived the blast as well and is trapped underneath the rubble.
From here on out throughout Lost season 6 episode 1, we’re treated to segments of one reality followed by segments of the other, jumping from the plane to The Island like pieces strategically moved on a chess board, with the characters living out their alternate lives in each place.
I’ll touch on Island happenings first. Although Sawyer is able to get to Juliet, she dies in his arms after asking for (and receiving) a kiss, and saying that there’s something important she has to tell him. (How maddening would that be if we weren’t aware that Miles, who is handily with Sawyer, could read the minds of dead people?) Miles later tells Sawyer that Juliet had simply said “it worked”, which although nonsensical, makes sense since we’re aware of the whole alternate reality deal. But how could Juliet have known that the bomb blast had worked, and that an entire second reality was out there somewhere? And why does she change her tune after initially lamenting to Sawyer that it didn’t work? Lost theories anew sprout.
Other Island sequence highlights include Hurley receiving a visit from the one-hour dead Jacob, who tells him to take the badly injured Sayid to the temple, and more bizarre drama from the faux John Locke, also known as Jacob’s nemesis. We do learn, definitively, that Jacob’s nemesis is indeed the Black Fog that plagued The Island, Ben’s Others and the members of the Dharma Initiative during the previous seasons of Lost. So naturally, this lends credence to the Lost theory that faux-John Locke is a very, very bad… well, whatever he is. In this reality, The Island and all of the people on it are probably in big trouble.
The alternate reality, which features the passengers of Oceanic 815 flying toward LAX and going about their lives as if the crash never happened, is surprisingly sad. Jack seems overburdened; Kate is in handcuffs; Locke is paralyzed; Jin and Sun are disconnected and unhappy; Charlie is un-dead and a drug addict. There are a few solitary points of light that shine through: Boone isn’t dead and Rose and Bernard are still happy and in love, but it isn’t enough to overshadow the sense of despair that hangs over most of the passengers of the no-longer doomed plane. All of the lessons learned on The Island, all of the personal growth, is completely erased, and it presents an uncomfortable dichotomy: Viewers know what these characters should be like, but the characters are unaware. It’s as if we’ve spent the past five seasons of Lost running in place, or worse yet, running backward.
Lost season 6 episode 1 ends in rather disturbing fashion as Charlie, who nearly choked on a bag of heroin during the flight but was saved by Jack, tells Jack that he shouldn’t have saved him because he was supposed to die. What does it all mean? Beats me. But I’m sure it’ll be important later.
The second episode of season 6, not so creatively titled LAX 2, aired immediately following LAX. It’s another tale of two realities, with the crash-averted and still-on-the-Island segments splitting air time. On The Island, Jack, Kate and Hurley take Sayid (who is still badly injured) to the temple, per Jacob’s request, and encounter The Others, who for once seem to want to protect them. Miles and an unconscious Sawyer show up as well. An of-yet unnamed man who speaks through an interpreter because he doesn’t “like the feel of English on his tongue” seems to be in control, and puts Sayid through a ritual involving a pool of disturbingly red water and a giant hourglass before declaring him dead. Kate cares for Sawyer, garnering more jealous looks from Jack, who feels guilt over what happened with the seemingly unsuccessful bomb blast.
Hurley tells the head honcho that Jacob is dead, which sets off a panicked response from The Others. They spread Black Fog repellent, and shoot up flares, which alert those on the beach. Of what? Lost theories abound.
On the beach, after sitting for a while with traumatized Ben, faux-John emerges from the statue and beats Richard, who recognizes him and looks alarmed, but doesn’t utter a name. Then he carries Richard off… somewhere. We don’t really know where, but we do know that The Others are scared, ostensibly of him, but we’re not sure exactly why.
The most startling moment of the night came near the end, when presumably dead Sayid sat up and asked what happened. Even on The Island, I didn’t see that one coming, and I have no idea what it means for the future of Lost season 6.
Meanwhile, the LAX storyline follows Kate as she escapes from her escort and maneuvers around the airport, encountering Sawyer, who, always happy to evade the law, sees her handcuffs and chooses to help her to escape the notice of security guards in an elevator. She finally winds up in a taxi with none other than Claire, and pulls a gun on the driver. Jack and John each wind up in the lost baggage area, as the airline misplaced Christian’s coffin and John’s suitcase of knives. Jack inquires about John’s injury and tells him that nothing is irreversible, and offers him a business card as well as the promise of a free consultation. The two men part with a handshake, which feels ironic given their challenging history and divergent points of view.
Those are the brass tacks of Lost season 6 episodes 1 and 2. There are connections between the two realities that will likely spawn many new Lost theories down the line. The cut that Jack finds on his neck during the flight that doesn’t crash as well as the loss of his father’s coffin and John’s knives are interesting inclusions that suggest that the realities aren’t actually as separate or as stand-alone as we might be inclined to assume.
But what does the submerged Island really have to do with the plane that doesn’t crash? What happened to Ben in that reality? What does Charlie mean when he tells Jack that he was supposed to die? Why was Desmond on the plane when he hadn’t been from the get-go? How did the dying Juliet know that “it worked”? Is it truly better that Oceanic Flight 815 made it to LAX? Why was Richard in chains and how does he know Jacob’s nemesis? So many questions! But it wouldn’t be Lost if there weren’t questions to be answered. Tune in next week for more drama from Lost season 6.