"Deep inside of a parallel universe,
It's getting harder and harder
To tell what came first."
Parallel Universe, Red Hot Chili Peppers
(I waited to post this shot of Terry from the S6 premiere red carpet; his confident Man in Black look is perfect for this episode)
Good morning, LOST fans. That was certainly worth the wait! I don't know about you, but there were several times during LA X that I had to pause the DVR, take notes and attempt to
absorb some of the more astonishing moments.
Before we begin, I want to manage expectations for both new and existing readers, and let everyone know how this site works. I have a strictly spoiler-free policy, and that includes comments (which I monitor and approve). I never read other sites, tweets, message boards/forums or even articles about new episodes until after I post my initial thoughts and theories, because I want to ensure that what I share is fresh and directly from my notes rather than influenced by anyone else.
For the last few years, I have stayed up all night posting immediate thoughts and screen grabs following every new episode. That may still happen in Season 6, but not every week. In the interest of time, tonight's first round of LA X analysis will be more abbreviated than usual, but I plan to re-watch the episodes, provide more comprehensive thoughts later this week and add photos to this post.
I will be out of the country next week and unable to watch the second episode until right before the third. My plan is to post extensive, 2-episode analysis in week three of S6.
So let's get started, and break open this premiere to discover a few significant notes inside of it together...
ALTERNATE REALITY (BITES)
For your reference and to help sort out the timelines, I will be referring to the new flight 815 alternate reality as AR from here on out.
It is fascinating that instead of the flashback or flash forward sounds from seasons past, the transition from one reality to another is now the sound of an island time shift.
Juliet's death is not a surprise, but you have to wonder whether or not those on the island are going to be killed off one by one this season while those in the AR timeline continue living their lives.
When notLocke described real Locke as "the only one who realized how pitiful the life he left behind was," my gut reaction was that we are going to see the 815 folks just as miserable in the AR as they were on the island.
Not only have we never seen Alpert age, I don't think we've ever seen him injured. I assume that notLocke is taking him to the Temple. Clearly, Alpert's role as island Advisor is going to change...
In the S5 finale, it appeared as if Jacob and the Man in Black were looking out at the Black Rock slave ship. Given notLocke's statement to Alpert that "it's good to see you out of those chains," I can't wait to see a) how the ship winds up in the middle of the jungle and b) what the Man in Black's role was once the ship arrived on the island...because Alpert wound up working for Jacob after he made him ageless.
We've seen skeletons hanging in shackles in the Black Rock, so now I'm wondering if Jacob rescued Alpert and protected him from the Man in Black somehow.
Alpert was genuinely shocked by the Man in Black's ability to transform into notLocke, so clearly he was unaware of such a loophole.
I'm not quite sure why Ben lied about Jacob when he emerged from the statue to get Alpert for notLocke. Are you?
Judging by the reaction of fans on the beach last weekend who watched the first hour of this premiere, Ben as anything less than a manipulative villain will not be a popular concept. I love Ben, but I'm a huge fan of his possible transformation into a confused, broken man (a la early Locke).
When Charlie told Jack on the plane that "I was supposed to die," it certainly seems as if he was referring to his Looking Glass sacrifice...
I got chills when Rose said "you can let go now" to Jack on the plane, because Christian has said that to Jack on many occasions (S1, "you're just not good at letting go." S2, "let it go" via intercom when Jack was being held captive beneath the Hydra station).
Locke's prescient statement to Jack that "they didn't lose your father, they just lost his body" just may be the most important to contemplate as we try to figure out the logistics of the Man in Black manifesting himself both as Christian and then as Locke on the island...
We see Claire in a taxi at the airport, but not on the plane - so I don't assume that she was. We also did not see whether or not she was pregnant, which would have provided confirmation of WHEN this flight 815 landed. But I also did not see a baby or child with her...
I am convinced that if Claire is still pregnant and in LA to give the baby up for adoption that Juliet will wind up helping deliver Aaron, and that the couple her psychic arranged for the adoption will wind up being people we've met before.
My first question was going to be why was he on the plane in the AR, but then I had a possible epiphany. It is not mere coincidence that only Jack saw and spoke to Des, that he disappeared after Jack returned to his seat and that Jack is then told that his father's coffin is missing from that same flight. Taking Faraday's assessment of Des as "uniquely and miraculously special" into consideration, I have a strong suspicion that Des and Christian Shephard are somehow connected in this AR.
When Sayid pulled out the photo of Nadia, I thought for sure that we'd see Des do the same with his infamous Penny pic. However, given that he was on the plane rather than the island pushing the button down in the hatch (which Eloise Hawking told him would be the most important thing he'd ever do), we have no idea where his relationship with Penny stands at that moment in time.
I did not catch the name of the book that Des was reading when he sat down next to Jack, but of course I was hoping it would be Our Mutual Friend.
By the way, when Desmond appeared on the plane, one of the first possibilities that popped into my head is that he would run into Libby at the airport after they land. They did originally meet in an airport coffee shop somewhere in the U.S. after all...
When Jack told Locke that "nothing is irreversible," I thought about all of Faraday's talk of changing the past and the future. I certainly look forward to seeing Faraday pop up in this new AR, and somehow guide them toward their destinies.
Given that the 815 folks make it to Los Angeles, I hope we see the Lamp Post station again, as well as Faraday's mom Eloise Hawking...
Jacob didn't visit Hurley or Sayid until after their Oceanic 6 return. There has to be a connection or significance to the fact that Jacob chose Hurley to save Sayid back on the island.
I love that we've heard numerous times how Desmond and Walt are 'special,' but it turns out that Hurley just may be the most gifted of them all.
If the Hurley in the new AR is now a man of good luck and fortune, I doubt he spent any time at the Santa Rosa mental institution. So now I look forward to seeing him meet Libby in a different way...and if doing so causes him to have any deja vu as well.
She did not go into the statue to see Jacob herself, but sent members of her team instead. It seems she knows how and why Locke's body was both on the beach and in the statue.
I hope that we learn far more about her character, because I would love to find out how she sustained the injuries that put her in a Russian hospital, why Jacob wore gloves when he visited her (as opposed to purposefully touching some of the 815 folks) and how long ago she had been on the island.
Just as he did in the Pilot, Jack saved a life. And just as he asked Boone to find a pen but wound up not needing one to save Rose's life on the beach, he asked Sayid to find one but wound up saving Charlie by pulling the drugs out of his throat.
The nick on his neck could very well be a physical reminder of Jughead's detonation. Although I'm not certain whether or not Jack actually exists in both timelines, his random injury reminded me of the nick on Faraday's neck after he was grazed by a bullet in Dharmaville...
I can't believe that this thought never occurred to me, but the possibility of Dr. Jack fixing broken Locke in the AR is brilliant. When I imagine what Locke will do once he regains the use of those legs, I have to consider that it will somehow involve the end of the series.
It will be interesting to see if we will learn more about how Jacob's touch affected those he visited prior to their original 815 journey (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Jin and Sun), as well as if that even happened in the new AR.
JIN and SUN
Fate vs. free will alert! Sun makes a choice not to protect or help Jin at the airport. I look forward to finding out how their relationship turns out in the AR, and whether or not they still have fertility issues.
Can we just talk about how excruciating it was to watch her die AGAIN? If I never see her fall down that damn Swan shaft again...
Sadly, it seems as if Jughead was her intended role and legacy, that the island was done with her. That is why Jacob did not instruct Hurley to bring Juliet to the Temple to save her too.
When a seemingly delirious Juliet made the odd statement to Sawyer about going for coffee, I believe that was a hint that she and Sawyer eventually meet in the AR. And yes, I do believe we will see her again, alive and well in an alternate reality - regardless of the next paragraph.
My mind is still reeling from Miles' confirmation from the recently deceased Juliet that "it worked" (the reset, post-Jughead detonation) because I have to wonder how she knew.
I'm sure that the Skaters are thrilled for two reasons. First, that Juliet is out of the picture in the island timeline. Second, that Sawyer flirts with and then helps Kate out at the airport.
To be frank, although I had the honor of meeting Evie in person a few days ago and was blown away by her friendly enthusiasm, I am still not on Team Kate. To my new readers - this has been my stance since S1, and has nothing to do with Juliet.
Yes, that is the name of the new character - the hippie in the Temple. Someone on this writing staff is a Beatles fan with a sense of humor. He seems like an Alpert advisor to the mysterious man in charge of the Temple.
Still in a wheelchair on flight 815, it is safe to assume that Locke did not actually go on the Walkabout.
It was great to see Boone bonding with Locke on the plane, but I'm sure I wasn't the only one who laughed when he said that "if this thing goes down, I'm sticking with you." Run, Forrest!
Similar to how both Desmond and Christian Shephard seemed to disappear from 815, so did Locke's knives. All three HAVE to be related...
He MUST know that Jacob is now a walking spiritual advisor on the island. Yes?
I completely understand why Locke described Smokey as beautiful and 'light' now, but am still quite curious why the Man in Black flash scanned and then saved/spared Juliet and Kate when they were hiding in the trees a few seasons back. I don't believe that he ever appeared that way to anyone else, and it leads me to think that there is still something about Juliet that has yet to be revealed.
It is now safe to assume that when notLocke was the Man in Black, he resided in the Temple. Remember that Smokey was the Temple's security system, and he emerged to face Ben beneath there before manifesting himself into Alex.
I am a tad confused as to why notLocke is able to stop bullets but Jacob both bled and burned.
When notLocke told Ben that "I want to go home," I had goosebumps for several minutes. That we might see him as the Man in Black in the AR timeline is fantastic, and you just know that we will see him interact with some of the 815 passengers (just as Jacob did).
Our first clue that Sayid had not died should have been when Miles could not communicate with him (he responded "nothing" while looking at Sayid's body) after they thought he'd passed away.
ROSE and BERNARD
My only real question and concern about these two is whether or not Rose has cancer in the new AR...
In the new AR, James Ford does not appear to have changed much, and you just know that he's going to target Hurley and attempt to con him.
Out of anyone, why does Jacob need and save Sayid? That I can recall, he's one of the only characters who has never been referred to as 'special.'
Sayid wondered out loud where he would go after he died because of his torturing, murdering past. When the Temple Others announced that "your friend is dead," my better half turned to me and said that the Spring was 'cleansing Sayid of his sins.' I'm totally on board with that idea, and wonder if the newly revived Sayid will indeed be a different man. Then again, after young Ben Linus' life was saved by that same Spring water, look how he turned out...
Given that she opted to stay in Australia, I am curious about when and where we'll see her again this season.
In the AR, are he and Ben still enemies with rules? I am also looking forward to seeing the nature of his relationship with both Penny and Desmond.
The ankh has been said to symbolize both eternal life and the afterlife, which certainly applies to Alpert and Jacob. We learned last season that Alpert was ageless because Jacob made him that way, and given Sayid's new importance to the Temple Others - I wouldn't be surprised to see him become the new Alpert.
Previous ankh appearances include the Tawaret statue (which had an ankh in one hand) and Other Amy's husband Paul, who was wearing one around his neck when he got shot.
ASHES, ASHES, WE ALL FALL DOWN
I have mentioned in previous posts that ghost hunters and witches have used ash to protect themselves from evil spirits, and that seems to be the case on the island.
Prior to the S6 premiere, I was convinced that the line of ash around Jacob's cabin was keeping the Man in Black trapped inside, but it seems I was heading down the wrong path. The ash was indeed protecting Jacob, but I'm curious to find out when notLocke broke that line and left the knife in the wall with the piece of fabric with the statue on it...
I absolutely love that notLocke-as-Smokey tricked Bram and knocked him out of his ash circle in order to kill him. Clever little smoke monster man.
Was the island submerged under water as a result of the Incident/Jughead's detonation, or a turn of the Frozen Donkey Wheel? Remember that it went "ploop" and disappeared beneath the ocean while its occupants traveled through time...
Although we appeared to see the Black Rock in the distance when Jacob and the Man in Black were chatting on the beach, I tend to think that the ship winds up intact in the middle of the jungle when the island resurfaces after a brief disappearing act/time shift.
LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS...
When the Temple Others revealed the hourglass near the Spring healing water, I immediately thought that the granules inside resembled those inside the vial that Alpert presented young John Locke with at the foster home. For the record, I do not believe that it was simply sand from the island.
PILOT vs. CANDIDATE
It was good to hear Greg Grunberg's voice as Captain Seth Norris on flight 815. Consistency points.
And then I started to ponder what Lapidus' role will now be. He was supposed to be piloting 815 when it originally took off, wound up on the island after the freighter mission and was kept alive by Ilana because he's a "candidate" for something. If Ilana is indeed on Jacob's side (allegedly one of the good guys), Lapidus may wind up helping her and the Temple Others fight against notLocke.
I am now wondering why Ben did not go to the Temple when he was diagnosed with the spinal tumor. Can the Spring only heal someone once, or from wounds not caused naturally?
When Alpert brought young Ben into the Temple to heal from his gunshot wound, he said that Ben would never be the same and would not remember what happened. Will that be the same for Sayid?
The Temple Others discover that the sacred Spring water is not clear. I have to believe that Jacob's recent death had something to do with it. Although Sayid survived after being submerged in it, I paused to contemplate whether or not the water was murky because Sayid was the one who caused young Ben's injuries (which the Spring healed).
I incorrectly assumed that the Man in Black resided in the Temple, and that as Smokey, he was its security system. In fact, it seems as if he was attempting to get inside the entire time and lingered beneath the Temple (dragging in poor Montand and facing Ben as Alex, etc.).
TIME AFTER TIME
Did this version of Oceanic flight 815 depart on September 22, 2004 as well? Are we sure that this alternate reality is set in 2004? Because the Pilot debuted on 9/22/04, so I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this flight departed on 2/2/10...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I now believe that Jack, Kate, Hurley, Jin, Miles, Sawyer and Sayid are in the same time on the island as notLocke, Ben, Alpert, Sun, Ilana and Lapidus. After all, Jacob told Hurley that he just died "an hour ago."
Miles told Sawyer that Juliet's big secret was that "it worked" - so is that our confirmation that they do exist in two separate timelines realities? Someone page Daniel Faraday, stat. I have a headache.
It is now 3am and I must get some sleep. Thank you SO much for taking the time to read through my initial thoughts and theories about the S6 premiere! Due to the hour, I hope that you please excuse any errors/typos above.
As always, I encourage and appreciate comments and constructive feedback, but please keep in mind that this is all purely speculation; I do not publish personal attacks or disparaging comments.
Enjoy and absorb what you've just experienced as the final season began - I will see you back here soon with further thoughts about 6.01 and 6.02!