As Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons once sang, "Oh, What a Night!" Was there any way "Lost" could even begin to match the expectations created for the final season? If, like me, you were rusty on your last few "Lost" episodes, ABC abided by the "no geek left behind act" prior to the season opener with a handy guide to the first five seasons. And in case you still didn't really feel the emotional resonance of that final season 5 episode, you were treated to seeing Juliet heroically sacrifice herself over and over and over again, detonating the bomb a total of four times by my count. As if the epic factor needed to be raised!
Last night's episode occurred in two parts - Part One was essentially a name check. It's helpful after the detonation of a hydrogen bomb to use the buddy-system to determine who is still alive here, where the bomb was detonated, and elsewhere, in an alternate time scape. Who didn't learn that in Scouts? So let's get that check list out of the way: those aboard the plane (Jack, Kate, Hurley, Rose, Bernard, Artz, Jin, Sun, Locke, Boone, Sayid, Desmond -or his ghost-, Cindy, Sawyer, Charlie, and later Claire in a cab outside LAX), and those on the island (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Sayid, Miles, Jin, Hurley, Ben, Lapedus, Not!Locke, Richard and Jacob's ghost). Missing? Christian Shepard. Can't keep a hold of that guy.
If the first few minutes left you gasping for breath just as it broke for commercial (one of 50 or so in the first hour, so it felt) after ending with a wonky CGI rendering of a destroyed island at the bottom of the sea, the next 45 minutes were probably somewhat of a letdown. As much fun as it was to say "Hey, Charlie's overdosing in the bathroom!" and "Hey, Artz is being a jerk to Hurley about the chicken thing!" plus a little "Aw, Rose and Bernard!", the sheer number of characters (past and present) paraded through "Lost's" first hour last night left little time for anything to actually happen. Per usual, things on the island were much more interesting than elsewhere, and the Part Two/second hour that got us off the plane and back to delving into the two alternate realities was far more satisfying.
The major movement in island mythology in "LA X" (purposeful space there) centered around Locke and Not!Locke (a.k.a. the Man in Black). He succeeded in having Ben kill Jacob, apparently unleashing untold horrors all over the island. Not!Locke is also revealed to be the Smoke Monster ("Let's not resort to name calling" - Not!Locke). Elsewhere on the island, "Lost" writers killed off the one truly positive female character on the show (Juliet) in a slow and agonizing death, likely unleashing untold hatred from some viewers (You Correspondent as one). Without missing a beat, Kate was right in Sawyer's business, offering to help bury Juliet's bones. Honestly Kate, what's the rush? The woman is dead. Have you no decency? Or can I take some hope in Juliet saying "let's get coffee sometime?" Is she speaking to Sawyer in the parallel universe?
Speaking of bones, Sayid also faced resurrection last night, and hopefully for good ... but is he now inhabited by Jacob? As Jack said, "nothing is irreversible." We've seen that anything is possible in Darlton's world. I'm not entirely sure what to make about the plane/LAX reality, though. It will have to eventually mesh with or overtake the island reality. As with Harry Potter and Voldemort, I cannot imagine one can live while the other survives. And what was with the Legends of the Hidden Temple situation? The fountain of youth? I dare not begin to consider.
Next Week: Pretty sparse trailer, but it appears some questions will be answered ... although the trailer showed nothing but people asking questions. Stay tuned!
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