Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LOST S6 Premiere Analysis: Further Thoughts About "LA X"

I have been traveling quite a bit, and apologize for the delay with this second round. Right now I am in South America, so I do not have as much time as I would like and will focus on a few specific details rather than discuss each character individually. In addition, I will not be able to watch tonight's new episode (What Kate Does) for several days. Thus, this week's analysis of the new episode will also be delayed!

Traveling has inspired most of what I am about to explore below. There's nothing quite like a ten hour flight and sleepless night with turbulence to inspire further Lost analysis, especially after re-watching the S6 premiere and contemplating the reset.


Someone made a comment on my first LA X post that Darlton said not to refer to this new version of Flight 815 as an Alternate Reality. Because I do not read, listen to or watch any Lost articles/blogs, podcasts/vidcasts until weeks after they are released, I was unaware of that. So until there is a better name for it, I will refer to it on this site as a Reset from here on out.


One of my lingering questions about the Island has been whether or not the dormant volcano is significant. 

In addition to the fact that it was very briefly mentioned in young Ben's Dharma class during S3 (The Man Behind the Curtain), the word 'crater' was on Rousseau's map and Bernard's sorry attempt at an SOS on the beach was made using lava rocks....Black Rocks, in particular. 

I am now convinced that ash from that volcano, which erupted in an earlier century, serves a major and dual purpose on the Island. 

1) Ghost hunters believe that a mixture of ash and salt from the sea will provide spiritual protection. As we have seen, "the good guys" (Ilana & her crew and the Temple Others) use ash to protect themselves from Smokey/notLocke. 

2) Under pressure (as in a mineral spring), sulfur from volcanic ash bonds to water. This results in the healing of wounds and a healthy immune system. It also protects against the effects of radiation and slows down the aging process. 

I believe that Jacob built the Temple specifically and strategically in that location, perhaps over a volcanic vent on the Island; that the carefully guarded Spring inside contains volcanic ash, which has saved the lives of at least young Ben and Sayid. 

I also think that Jacob 'made' Richard Alpert ageless in that Spring, and that the Hostiles and Others over the years have used it to protect themselves against potential radiation risks from the electromagnetic properties on the Island. Perhaps that is why Mikhail is also seemingly immortal.

I am fascinated by the fact that the Man in Black took the form of Black Smoke, because I visualize raging plumes of it emanating from the volcano on the island...resulting in a widespread cover of ash that would then be used to keep him at bay. 


It occurred to me that Ben may never have been on the island in the reset, and then I started to ponder where he would be. 

That is when I recalled the photo of him that Miles first brought to the island. In that picture, Ben looks like a typical office drone. I would not be at all surprised if we see him as such in the near future, working in Ann Arbor or for Paik or Widmore Industries perhaps.


This is pure speculation, but here is how I imagine Alpert's history on the island began... 

In the mid-1800's, Jacob lured the Black Rock slave ship to the island, but it did not set anchor or dock in a traditional manner. 

Shortly after and because of the conversation between Jacob and the Man in Black in the S5 finale, the Man in Black 'moved' the island, submerging it under water. 

[This has happened on several occasions, one of which we got a  glimpse of it the S6 premiere.] 

When the island resurfaced, the Black Rock was positioned directly above it and became marooned in the middle of the jungle. 

There was a man in captivity on that ship named Ricardus. Jacob had a vested interest in this man, so he removed the chains and set him 'free' by taking him to the Temple for a dip in the eternal Spring. 

Shortly thereafter, Ricardus transitioned into Ageless Advisor Alpert. 

It is my belief that the Man in Black intended to use Ricardus as an initial Loophole attempt, but that he battled with Jacob and lost. Jacob took Ricardus under his wing and protection. When the Man in Black emerged as notLocke in the S6 premiere, Richard Alpert was shocked because he had not seen him since he first arrived on the ship, and because he was not only out of the cabin - he'd taken over John Locke's body.

When Horace Goodspeed built a cabin for his family in the 1970's (significant because this information came to Locke in a dream/vision), Jacob used it to keep the Man in Black inside with the line of protective ash surrounding it...thus, his plea with Locke to "help me." 

However, the spirit of the Man in Black was able to escape and wreak havoc on the island in the form of Smokey and other manifestations (Ghosts Christian Shephard, Yemi, Alex, etc.). Just as the 'rules' indicated that the Man in Black was not allowed to kill Jacob, Smokey was not allowed to kill Jacob or Alpert. Enter John Locke, the Loophole.


I did not notice this the first time around, but the names of those on Jacob's list inside of the ankh in Hurley's guitar case were people that Jacob had visited off island: Hurley, Jack, Jin, Kate and Sayid. 

So now I'm wondering why Locke, Sawyer and Sun were not on that list as well.


Like many others, I was thinking that perhaps Jacob was going to use Sayid as a loophole in the same fashion that the Man in Black used Locke. However, I looked back at my notes from the Lost panel at Comic-Con 2009, and confirmed that Darlton told us that Jacob has never (and will never) take the shape of another person. 

I have heard from a few people that they think Sayid's accent disappeared or changed after he was 'resurrected,' but after watching that scene a few times, I was unable to detect that. To be honest, I'm hoping that Sayid remains Sayid, even if he loses his badass tendencies and is cleansed of his sins. I would be very surprised if another takes over his body and soul, although the only potential candidate for that at this time would be the real John Locke...


I may not be able to watch Kate 2.0 tonight (What Kate Does) with the rest of you, but I highly recommend that revisit this promo, which aired last summer during the Lost panel at Comic-Con:


In the new version of Flight 815, it is clear that Locke is still in a wheelchair. Although we should not assume that it was a result of being pushed out of a window by his father, it seems that whatever happened, happened to the passengers on the plane, before departing on that flight..except for Hurley. [UPDATE, due to many comments: this is merely a guess on my part; I am not stating the below as fact.]

Boone: complicated relationship with his step-sister
Charlie: drug addict
Jack: is a doctor and an alcoholic, father deceased
Jin and Sun: he was delivering watch for Mr. Paik, they have a tense relationship (although not yet married; no wedding ring on either, and she is addressed as Ms. Paik at airport security)
Kate: felon on the run
Locke: paralyzed 
Rose: has cancer
Sawyer: con man

And although we are not sure if Claire was on that plane, after watching the episode again it seems that she was breathing hard and possibly going into labor...which should be a very interesting to follow because Kate joined her in the cab. 

I know I'm not alone when I question the year that this Flight 815 departed Sydney and landed in Los Angeles. The date at the bottom of Sayid's customs form in his passport seems to indicate that is is 2007 rather than 2004, which has fascinating ramifications (Claire would have already had Aaron and possibly given him up for adoption, for example). 

And as for the magazine ad above (which my brother found here in Chile), at first I was intrigued by the dates they chose for Charlie's life (1976-2010). But then I realized that ABC and Darlton do not really have much time or a real say when it comes to how every international market chooses to advertise the show. 

Of course my inner conspiracy theorist tends to believe that although Jack saved Charlie's life in 2007 on the plane, we might just see that he does indeed die in 2010...and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he chooses to sacrifice himself to save the lives of others. Again. 
I have pages and pages of additional notes, but not enough time to elaborate or expand. Thank you very much for reading through the thoughts and theories above. As I have stated before, all of it is mere speculation and I never offer up any of it as fact or truth. So of course there will be holes, and I only ask that you are constructive in the comments if you feel like poking through a few. :)

Enjoy tonight's episode, but please do not post any comments about it on this site or my Facebook wall until I have had the opportunity to watch it as well. Thank you in advance!



Lauren Roundy said...

I really like your spoiler-free, completely personal analysis of each episode. I will always continue to read these; however, I do find myself disagreeing with a few of the things that you have stated as opinion. Fortunately, I also can only state things as opinion, and so either one of us could be right or wrong. You are probably more right than I am.

I like your thought that the Volcano plays a bigger role than we yet have been revealed. And I like the thought that the spring in the temple is a natural part of the island (possibly similar to a hot spring over a volcanic area) that the temple was built over.

I really like the thought that Mikhail was healed by that spring the few times that we thought he was dead.

My personal opinion on Richard's seeming agelessness are that he often dips himself into the pool (like a fountain of youth) rather than it having been just a one time deal.

My biggest confusion, that I think you mentioned, but I'm not satisfied with, is, if the MIB was in-fact trapped in the cabin, how could he possibly get out to be the black smoke monster? Or to look like people like Yemi or others? I'm still of the opinion that there is more than one smoke monster. Since you claim Jacob hasn't appeared as anybody else, maybe there is a third entity (neither good nor evil) that is the "balance" between the two of them. The one who "judges" us for our sins. Also, nobody has mentioned this anywhere, but I swear the smoke monster in last week's premiere was more white than black, and I don't think that was a CGI mistake.

Finally, I don't think we know as much as you claim about some of the characters in the "reset." For example, do we know that Jack is an alcoholic or that Rose has cancer, or that Sawyer is a con man? We can infer those things, but none of them were said straight out.

I believe that the happy actions of Rose and Bernard would suggest that she was "healed" by that man that they went to visit back in Australia.

Those are just some of my thoughts! Thanks again for a lovely blog!

Dave Rambo said...

I Enjoyed reading your blog for the first time and look forward to it the rest of the season. I agree with some of the things you say and some I'm not so sure of. I beleve that String Teory is in effect with multiple versions ( Not limeted to two although "Bad Twin" is a buzz word)of each character living similar but different lives.

The Black Smoke Monster aka MIB has taking many forms including but not limited to Locke, Christian Shephard, Yemi, Alex, Horace Goodspeed etc. And possibly Dave, Kates Horse etc.

How do we know that only Hurley, Jack, Jin, Kate and Sayid names were on the list and not Locke, Sawyer and Sun? We never saw or where the names read. Anybodys name could be on that list.

How can we know if Rose has cancer?

I think a hugh storm picked up the Black Rock and set it down in the Dark Territory. I'm sure that one will we will find out for sure before the end of the season.

Just some thoughts and questions. Love the site! keep up the good work!!

Ed said...

Great thoughts Jo. Upon second viewing of the premiere, I'm thinking the "transition" sound between realities is a combination of the flashback/forward sound with the timejump sound. It almost sounds to me like it's tugging back and forth between the two sounds.

Ed said...

And can I say, one of my favorite things about the whole episode was seeing John Locke smile again. I missed that more innocent time in his life.

Megan said...

I’m on board with your ideas about the black rock’s arrival and the island’s submersion ;)

And maybe it’s because I’m a teacher, but I’ve always remembered that scene in the Dharma classroom with the volcano. Your connections to Bernard’s rocks, the ash circles, and mineral springs have really got me thinking!

Lauren said...

Hey there. Good stuff, but I have a question... how do you/we know that Rose has cancer on the ALT flight 815?

Also, check out the scene in ALT time where Kate is asking the guy at the garage if there's a place she can change. As the camera pans away, you can see a windshield on one of the cars has what looks like a date (you know how they put the date they towed the car on there in that removable paint/chalk?) that reads May 2007.

KP said...

Great post. You really do fantastic analysis!

The one thing I wanted to point out though, is that Rousseau has been dead for years. She was killed by Keamy's men in 2004 -- and it's now 2007 on the island, even though it's still 2004 off-island.