Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost: Final Season Premiere is Complicated to Say the Least

Lost – Season Six Premiere – “LA X”


That was some crazy shit, wasn’t it?

The writers are seriously letting their freak flag fly as they start their final run of episodes.

I’ve watched this show from the beginning and immediately fell in love with the characters (the acting ensemble was one of the best ever assembled for a show). Then the weird stuff started happening: crazy transmissions that had been broadcasting for 16 years, polar bear attacks on a tropical island, the hatch, the Others, the numbers, the Dharma Initiative, a cripple walking again, and a giant smoke monster. And that was all before they embraced time travel and started messing with our heads that way.

Now, John Locke is dead and he’s been replaced by Someone Else. This other-Locke goaded Ben into killing the mysterious, ageless Jacob, leader of the Others. Jack’s plan to detonate the atomic device in 1977 to change history and make sure Oceanic 815 never crashes into the island…worked.

The premiere had a great opening scene onboard Oceanic 815 at the moment just before the plane is torn apart. We see the same turbulence rock the plane for a moment, then it’s over and the plane continues on its way. The camera pushes through Jack’s window and dives into the ocean, racing along the floor until we see familiar landmarks, like the Others homes; it comes to a stop at the base of the four-toes Egyptian statue, with a shark swimming nearby.

From there it gets weird as we follow two timelines: one after Oceanic 815 touches down at LAX and another on the island as we follow our heroes – Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Hugo, Jin, Miles and Sayid – who are at the hatch but now in the present day.

I must say I wasn’t as impressed with the LAX scenes, except for one: when Jack and Locke meet at one of the Oceanic offices after Locke’s big box of knives goes missing and so does Jack’s dad’s coffin. Their brief exchange was so much more memorable and interesting than Kate’s newest attempt to escape from her marshal. We’ve seen Jack and Locke butt heads over and over in the previous seasons and here they had a civil chat, with Jack, a spinal surgeon, even offering Locke, who says his condition is irreversible, a free consult.

The story on the island was full of surprises and twists. They rescue Juliet at the bottom of the hatch, only to have her die in Sawyer’s arms; he vows to kill Jack over her death. Hurley gets a visit from the now-dead Jacob who tells him they can save Sayid, who took a bullet in the previous episode, by taking him to the temple. Jin knows the way. Once they get there they find a band of Others, lead by a no-nonsense Japanese man. They take Sayid to a special pool that is supposed to have healing properties, but appears to be on the fritz. They put Sayid in the pool and drown him. Our Iraqi interrogator is now dead, despite Jack’s attempt to revive him.

Meanwhile, at the temple of the big statue, other-Locke shows Ben his true nature when Jacob’s bodyguards enter the temple looking for Jacob and other-Locke turns into the smoke monster and kills the men. Other-Locke beats up Richard and carries him away at the end, telling those assembled, including Sun and Frank (Yunjin Kim and Jeff Fahey) that he wants only one thing: to go home.

Then Sayid sits up, alive. Or is he now Jacob?

See, didn’t I tell you, some crazy stuff.

Along the way we get to see some old familiar faces, with Boone, Desmond and even Claire showing up. Why couldn't Vincent have been running around baggage claim, tail wagging?

I felt sad for Naveen Andrews as Sayid was unconscious the whole two hours and didn’t say anything until the last moment. I think they will make up for that next week. They really need to start explaining the whole Jacob (Mark Pelligrino) and his rival (played briefly by Titus Welliver last season). When other-Locke walks up to Richard (Nestor Carbonell), Richard cries out, “You!” WHO TALKS LIKE THAT EXCEPT IN A COMIC BOOK? I bet that was your doing comic book fan and episode co-writer Damon Lindelof.

Evangeline Lilly’s Kate looks exhausted all the time. In interviews Lilly’s said she wants to quit acting. I hope she keeps it together this last season and really delivers the goods as her early work in the show was quite moving. I like that Sawyer (Josh Holloway) has a new reason to hate Jack (Matthew Fox) with Juliet’s (Elizabeth Mitchell) death.

I wonder what being the leader and making the hard decisions will ultimately do to Jack. Will the man of science ever have some faith?

With all the sci fi stuff, I wonder if they will explain Miles (Ken Leung) and Hurley’s (Jorge Garcia) abilities to hear and speak with the dead. Or what, exactly, Jacob – who seems to get around in time - and his rival truly are. My money’s on not, at least not big chunks of it. But it should be great fun getting to the end.

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