washingtonpost.com
The 'Lost' Hour: Season 6 Premiere -- 'LA X'

Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" bloggers
Wednesday, February 3, 2010; 2:00 PM

Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney each Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET to talk about "Lost's" sixth and final season.

Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006. When not debating the merits of Sawyer's hotness, Liz Kelly writes the Celebritology blog and Jen Chaney acts as movies editrix and DVD columnist for washingtonpost.com. For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit washingtonpost.com's Lost Central.

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Jen Chaney: Boy oh boy, do you have questions today. And we don't blame you. The season premiere flashed us sideways and rattled our brains. And that was just in the first five minutes.

But we're here for you and ready to start talking "Lost."

Liz Kelly: I'm with you Jen, ready to jump in. Tons of questions and v. good observations await, so lets dispense with the preamble.

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White Marsh, MD: What did it mean when at the very end, the MIB said to Richard "so good not to see you in chains"? before he punched him out.

Jen Chaney: I believe it implies that Richard was indeed a slave on the Black Rock.

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Juliet, It worked: I was presented with an interesting idea regarding Juliet's pre-death babbling in another LOST chat I was having earlier today. If you recall, she made some comment about going out for some coffee to Sawyer which reminded me a lot of Charlotte's "I'm not allowed to have chocolate before dinner" comment -- her mind is somewhere else. However, what if what Juliet sees is a glimpse of the alternate timeline? What if she does meet up with Sawyer and that's how she knows what Jack did worked? Tender. :)

I know she's not set to be a regular this season, but I didn't expect to see her die within the first hour of the first episode.

Jen Chaney: Thanks for bringing up the coffee comment, one of the many little details we didn't get to touch on in the dueling analysis.

That also reminded me of Charlotte. And I love your explanation -- that maybe she was flashing to another time, or even the other timeline. And that's how she knew the detonation worked, at least in one universe.

Liz Kelly: Wait -- another "Lost" chat? Sniff sniff.

I'll forgive you, though, because your assessment of the coffee comment is a good one. Going into this final season, I have to think there just isn't room in the script for throw-away lines, so perhaps Juliet did have some inkling that she and Sawyer are indeed alive and well in some other reality.

Or maybe she was just babbling. Or maybe I'm just babbling.

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Vincent is my Constant.: I reallllllllllly don't like the way the temple is being played out. I understand that we are learning what happened to Ben and probably how Richard Alpert doesn't age, but the guy who doesn't like the way English tastes on his tongue? Too Pirates of the Caribbean for me.

I did, however, enjoy the MIB scenes. Especially the parts where he said to Ben "I'm sorry you had to see me like that," and when he made a reference to RA being in chains.

I am now more curious about the ash and how/why it has so much power over MIB/Smokey. We saw it at the cabin, then Bram spread it around himself in the statue before getting knocked off balance and out of his circle, then the temple folk were spreading it to keep something out. And why does the ash have the same protective properties as the sonic fence?

Anyway, I'm anxious to watch it again to see what else I may have missed.

Jen Chaney: I am not sure how I feel about the temple stuff either. It's a lot to process at a time when I think everyone wants to process all the backstory we've already built up, not add more people to it.

Re: the ash -- This may be an overly simplistic explanation, but I think it's simply something that wards off evil spirits. When I think of ash, I think of Ash Wednesday, for example, where ash is placed on the forehead to signify repentance.

To put it in more secular times, I think the ash acts in Lost the same way that garlic or a crucifix does in most vampire stories. It wards off the MIB, either trapping him where he is or keeping him away from where he isn't wanted.

Liz Kelly: I haven't spoken to one person yet who hasn't mentioned disappointment in the temple scenes. One friend mentioned that she just wasn't ready to welcome new characters at this point (was that you, Jen?) and another agreed with me that the entire thing looked like an amusement park backdrop. I was wondering when we were going to see the line for the log flume ride.

I don't think we should read to much into the why of the ash, but just know that it seems to work as a general MIB repellent and move on.

Jen Chaney: By the way, I meant secular terms not times. (Did we mention we're tired?)

And yeah, that was me, Liz. Although I am sure I'm not the only saying, "Thanks, but my Lost character dance card is full."

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Arlington, Va.: I have to admit, I am one of those that was very disappointed in last night's premiere. I had been expecting something amazing, and instead I was left with a "meh" feeling. I guess I was waiting for an "ah-ha!" moment that just never came. There were just no surprises-and I did not watch or read any spoilers before last night. Non-Locke is also the Smoke Monster? Sure, seems logical and predictable. Sayid is going to wake up at the end? Of course! They aren't going to kill off a main character that doesn't have a new show in the works. I also thought the temple scenes were beyond cheesy. Are they going to be offered chilled monkey brains because it seems like they wandered onto the set of The Temple of Doom. And a powerless Ben is a boring Ben in my opinion. So here's hoping things improve from this point on. And I'll be lowering my expectations for the rest of the season just so I'm not crushed again.

Jen Chaney: I understand, Arlington. It was an intriguing premiere, to be sure, but it didn't completely blow me away either.

I like your Temple of Doom analogy. Maybe the guy who hates the taste of English on his tongue is actually a grown-up version of Short Round.

I'm hoping we don't spend a ton of time in the temple. I find myself much more interested in the alterna-L.A. timeline right now than what's happening with all these new age hippy dippies.

Liz Kelly: And here I thought I was a grown up version of Short Round.

Add me to the list of people who wasn't completely swept away by the premiere. But I'm not going to let myself get too down about it. It seems as if the writers had a lot of baselines they wanted to establish going into the season: MIB's position (he is indeed Jacob's nemesis and now, we know, the smoke monster), MIB's goal (to get back "home"), the supposed branching realities, the introduction of new characters. Now that they've done that, I'm hoping the rest of the season moves along a bit more organically.

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Alexandria: Did neither of you realize that Sayid had Charlie's voice when he woke up from the dead?

Liz Kelly: I just went back and re-watched. I'm not convinced. It sounded more like the voice of a Sayid who had been dead for about 30 minutes and came back croaking to life.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, I don't think that's Charlie's voice.

Let's not forget that Naveen Andrews has a pretty pronounced British accent, so that could have crept into the way he delivered that line.

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Anonymous: If Jack met Desmond running at the track before the crash, even if the plane doesn't crash this time, why doesn't he remember Desmond?

Liz Kelly: Well, but Jack did say that Desmond looked familiar. So that would take into account the meeting at the track.

That aside, though, we don't have much of a clue yet as to how different the characters in this alternate timeline are from the ones we've grown to know and love over the past five years. So at this point, it's still not outside the realm of possibility that alternate timeline (AT?) Jack never did have that trackside meeting with Desmond.

Jen Chaney: It's not at all. As a matter of fact -- and I think someone asked this in another question in our massive queue, but I can't find it -- I think the alternative timeline also includes altered back history.

If you remember the videos that were shown at Comic-Con (and then circulated online), Hurley appeared in an ad for his Mr. Cluck's chain and used an Australian accent. That's what Arzt was referencing, and that suggests that after winning the lottery, Hurley's life didn't turn into an extended, epic disaster.

Same could apply to Jack and Des. They may not have met before the crash.

I also suspect that Kate is under arrest for slightly different reasons than what she was arrested for in the original timeline.

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Alexandria, VA: Hello ladies! Oh my god - so happy Lost is back, your chats are back. You totally need to make these chats two hours - one is hardly enough to scratch the surface this season! Your Post bosses will say yes, right?

Jen Chaney: We're happy to have you back, Alexandria!

Given how many questions are here, the odds of this going into OT are pretty good.

And sure, what do our bosses care? It's not like we have other work to do or anything!

Liz Kelly: Or lives outside of Lost, really.

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Seattle, Land of Predictions: You asked for predictions. Here are a few: 1. The Temple will become an amusement ride at Disney 2. The Man in Black is lying about being the Smoke Monster 3. Our favorite Iraqi is dead - and it is Osiris/Jacob who is animating him now. 4. Libby will turn out to play a crucial role.

Liz Kelly: I like the way you think, though I put more faith in statements 2 and 3 than I do in 1 and 4.

Jen Chaney: Ditto.

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Potomac, Md.: The season premier raised many questions. My own is: why was it so vital to shlep Locke's body back to the Island? You'll recall that it was vital that the Oceanic 6 return to the Island to make things right, and Locke's body had to go with them. Why?

Jen Chaney: The explanation we got from Hawking was that they needed to recreate the conditions of the Oceanic flight so they needed a dead body on the plane.

But to bring the war to a head, MIB also needed Locke's soul as a host. I am not sure if Ben fully understood that. That's something I want to understand: why was Ben so adamant about killing Locke and putting his body in the care of Jill the butcher? He seemed to understand why this was necessary, but I am not sure if that was because, like Hawking, that's what he thought needed to happen for the flight to get back to the island, or if there was something else going on there.

I suspect there was something else going on there, just not sure what.

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No Nikki and Paolo on the plane...: but it sure was fun to see Rose & Bernard again. Why do I love them so much!?!

Jen Chaney: I forgot about our Nikki and Paolo campaign, the one that swept the nation ... all right, fine. The one that sparked a Twitter campaign in which maybe 10 tweeters participated.

You love them because they love each other. Which is nice, especially compared to alterna-Sun, who is all too willing to just turn alterna-Jin over to the police. What, just because he's engaged in unlawful activity and insists on telling her how to button her sweaters? What's the big whoop?

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What are Christian and Claire up to?: As nice as it was for them to show Claire in that cab for six seconds, I was really hoping to see more of Emilie de Ravin last night.

It would have been nice if the C&C ghost parade had made an appearance, no? I think figuring out how dead/not dead/possibly smoky Christian fits into everything, and whether Claire really meant that Kate shouldn't bring AARON back to the island (rather than an about-to-be smoky-cloned Locke) - I want THOSE answers, dammit, not new questions about dirty water pools and missing mini-vodkas.

Liz Kelly: Dude, give it time. We've got 16 episodes to go.

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New Lost Phrase: Instead of saying that last night's episode "Moved my island," can we say that it "Sunk my island?" As in, I was terribly disappointed!

Jen Chaney: Oh no! I don't like that new "Lost" phrase.

You're not the only person who was underwhelmed, but I am curious to know why.

Was it just the freaky temple or something else?

Liz Kelly: I'm thinking it was the incredible amount of hype that preceded this. It's been building for eight months. It's honestly not that surprising that we're all a little deflated.

Give it time. I predict the show -- and our enthusiasm -- will bounce back in the coming weeks.

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Rockville, MD: The title of the premiere distinctly has a space in it, "LA X," but I never really understood what that was supposed to mean. Thoughts?

Jen Chaney: My interpretation?

They wanted us to see the obvious -- "LAX" -- and assume that meant that everyone lands safely and life is good.

LA X just implies that they land in L.A. in -- what year is this? Oh yeah? -- 2010. Yes, I know it's 2004 in the show. Just humor me.

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Baltimore, MD: Was nobody impressed by the fact that, in the non-crash scenario, the island was altogether underwater, including the houses, playgrounds and the four-toed statue? This may suggest a third timeline in which some of the past happened but not all of it.

Jen Chaney: I didn't think of it as a third timeline, per se, just part of this overall alternate past in which the Losties have slight different backstories and the island does, too.

In this scenario, perhaps, the military really did detonate Jughead. Or perhaps someone moved the island and made sure it went underwater.

It definitely reminded me of those shots of the submerged, fake Oceanic 815.

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Arlington, VA: I just wanted to say that I agree with you, Liz. I think that people were so hyped about the season premiere that they were expecting more, and of course were let down. But I am not sure how much more you can expect. A foundation has to be laid and new questions have to be asked. I mean, ok, the Temple looked cheesy, but aren't you the least bit psyched to actually see THE Temple...the thing Smokey was "protecting," the thing that saved Young Ben, the thing that the whole world of the Others revolves around?

I think people just need to carm down.

Jen Chaney: Fair point.

I think it's okay to acknowledge some disappointment. But to get too bent out of shape and annoyed because we didn't get enough answers in the first episode is a bit much.

I wasn't happy with the tone of the temple scenes, but I am willing to be patient and see where things go from here before I start bashing the show.

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Re: Schlepping Locke's body: Since Man In Black needed a body as a host - who was inside Christian's body? Was it Christian? Man in Black? Jacob? What about Claire? She was Not Dead. Oy. My head hurts.

Jen Chaney: This is where things are a little confusing.

Christian's body was inhabited. Fine. But if Locke's was, too, why is there still corpse Locke in addition to MIB Locke?

Liz, can you explain?

Liz Kelly: Thinking this through...

In earlier seasons, the possessions we saw were a bit different than MIB's rebirth in John Locke form. Whenever we saw Christian, it was for a fleeting moments. He appeared in shadows, usually only revealing himself to one person at a time. He was downright ethereal.

Whereas MIB Locke seems to be every bit a living/breathing entity. There's a difference there.

Maybe until Locke's death and return to the island, Jacob was only able to assume ghostly forms for short periods of time.

Why that should be so, I don't know.

Jen Chaney: See? Confusing. Where's LindeCuse when you need 'em?

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LA X: I think "LA X" is also a nod to "The Variable."

Jen Chaney: Nice!

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Disappointment or Not.: OK, it wasn't the episode I expected, but I think the season would be so extremely boring if each week we just got answers and there were no new mysteries. Remember it's not the destination, it's the journey.

Liz Kelly: Now why does that sound familiar.

Did I mention that you can get our weekly analysis sent to your cell phone each week as soon as it is published? Just text "LOST" to 98999 and you'll be added to the distro list.

Jen Chaney: Thanks for those promotional messages, Liz Kelly! Now back to our program...

I agree, we should savor the journey. But during the journey, we also reserve the right to speak up if some things don't taste good.

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Alex., VA: They needed Locke's body on the Aljira flight - because MIB needs a physical vessal - not a soul. MIB used Christian's body the first time the plane crashed.

washingtonpost.com: Also, walking around as John bought him time to convince Ben to kill Jacob. Ben was willing to buy that John had been brought back to life, but that he just materialized on the island might have been too much of a stretch.

Jen Chaney: Okay, but if he needs a physical vessel, then why is dead Locke still laying there on the ground? The body should be gone, just as Christian's was.

Dangit, this is going to bug me until someone comes up with a good explanation.

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Favorite Line, Lost: Non-Locke to Ben: Sorry you had to see me that way! Whats yours?

Jen Chaney: I had two:

Sayid: "May I be of assistance?" Then kicks down the bathroom door like a total stallion.

And this exchange:

Ben: "You're the monster."

MIB/Locke: "There's no need to resort to name-calling."

Liz Kelly: I liked Hurley's "God this is gross" when trying to staunch Sayid's bleeding.

Also, Jacob's casual greeting to Hurley when he appeared at the VW bus: "Hello, Hugo, got am minute?"

That second line, by the way, illustrates a good point -- that Jacob didn't seem at all flustered by his own death. You'd think a guy at risk of possibly losing to his life-long nemesis would be a bit more harried or concerned. Not Jacob, though. Cool as a cucumber, that guy.

Jen Chaney: Also, is it sacrlegious or something to say that Jacob's kinda hot?

Liz Kelly: Not at all. At least not in my book.

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Leesburg, Va.: I'm not all broken up about it, but I was just kind of bored. It seemed like an hour's worth of show stretched out to two hours. There wasn't a whole lot of interesting stuff, IMHO. And too much "Sawyer and Juliet Death Scenes."

Angsty, Vengeful Sawyer doesn't do anything for me because I can't sympathize with his motivations for being all mad. Sure, Juliet is dead, but he's basically blaming Jack for being potentially incorrect in his assumption that a nuclear bomb detonating in concert with a giant magnetic field would correct the space-time continuum. I mean, really? GOD Jack! How could ANYONE not know that was going to work!?!

Jen Chaney: Absolutely agreed on the death scene, which Liz and I touched on in the analysis. We had that big emotional moment with them in the finale, and having another one was too much and took some of the zing out of the one we already saw.

I think we need to see Sawyer in a vengeful place to explain what motivates him in upcoming episodes. But I agree, it seems a bit much.

Liz Kelly: Hey, Sawyer's grieving. And we know when Sawyer grieves his mind tends to turn to vengeance. How did he mourn his parents deaths? By plotting -- from the time he was a child -- the death of the man he held responsible. He's doing the same thing now. Just substitute Juliet for his parents and Jack for Anthony Cooper.

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What happened to Widmore?: Remember the Ben v. Widmore thing? That was the theme of a whole season, it seemed. What happened to all that? Now it turns out that Ben was essentially a pawn of Jacob. Does that mean that Widmore was a pawn of MIB?

Also, if MIB is Smokey, how was he summoned by Ben when he killed those mercenaries? Why would MIB/Smokey do the bidding of Jacob's Pawn?

Jen Chaney: I don't know if Widmore was a pawn of MIB or not. I think we need a lot more information on the Widmore stuff, which I hope will be explained in coming weeks.

Re: Smokey -- I think MIB may have been messing with Ben a bit. After all, it worked to MIB's advantage for Ben to think he had all kinds of power and that he was getting that power via his relationship with Jacob.

The whole time, though, MIB was really manipulating him, which is probably why Jacob didn't so much care for Ben. That image of Alex that he saw, when she told Ben to do whatever Locke said? That was totally MIB assuming her form and giving him orders again. And Ben simply didn't see or understand that big picture, something that is rapidly dawning on him now.

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the nerd herd will know: that comic book writers would often put "X" after something to differentiate two worlds/realities. So there'd be "Earth" and "Earth X," etc.

washingtonpost.com: and that Sayid was dipped in a Lazarus Pit!

Liz Kelly: Calm down, Paul.

Jen Chaney: Ah! Another good call!

That name has so many interesting connotations.

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LA X: Maybe the title refers to versions of the story, and this is the 10th iteration of Oceanic 815 making it to LA.

Liz Kelly: We've got tons of "LA X" interpretations pouring in...

Jen Chaney: I retract my 2010 statement for its sheer stupid simplicity.

Clearly there are more interesting interpretations.

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LA X: I think you can do better on that answer for the title!

I think that they are X-ing out the fact that they are going to LAX.

Or, they are doing the two separate realities--one is LA, and one is X. And what is X? Well, that is the question. And perhaps, they will merge in the end.

You all spend so much time with this, you can do better than that! (And I say that as a huge fan of you both)

Jen Chaney: Okay, okay!

Sheesh.

(Did I mention before that we're

tired

?)

Liz Kelly: What she said.

I'm thinking that X is a wildcard. Isn't X a pretty standard notation for a variable? In this case, the alternate reality is X (the variable). So although the spawning of that alternate reality may not have solved everyone's problems, that is where change can actually be made. Jacob and MIB will keep at their war forever on the island, but in our new variable reality there is potential for true change. It just hasn't happened yet.

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Rockville, Md.: I've always liked Terry O'Quinn, but his portrayal of MIB/non-Locke and sideways-Locke in the same episode was great; really good acting, in terms of body language, mannerisms, everything.

Jen Chaney: Absolutely.

I watched the scene between him and Jack again and it's just lovely. I really love the idea of the two of them meeting again with a clean slate and being on good terms.

I have to think Locke will indeed get back in touch with Dr. Shephard for a consult.

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Loophole: I think the important change in all the deaths/embodiments - killing off Jacob, etc. is Ben. Ben is the one that killed both Locke and MIB. Ben was at one point brought back to life in the Temple. This gave him powers no one else had. Not sure why or how. But that's gotta be part of it.

washingtonpost.com: And he was killed by Sayid...who also was brought back to life there.

Jen Chaney: That's a very good point.

Liz Kelly: And reminds me of something else I forgot to note in the analysis. When Sayid is taken to the temple spring for healing, the dude who doesn't like English in his mouth tells Jack "If we do this there will be risks. Understand?" Jack, like an idiot, says yes. But me, I'm wanting to know -- what risks? Because something similar was said before Jacob took Ben to the temple for his own salvation. He told Kate and Sawyer that Ben would never be the same. So what exactly happens to the essential makeup of those who experience those healing waters?

Damn that Jack Shephard for not asking then and there for a detailed explanation.

Jen Chaney: He always does that. Just takes information in and doesn't ask the follow-up questions.

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Havre de Grace: I wasn't disappointed in the premiere. I thought it lived up to the hype. Alternate plane trip. Hurley meeting up with Dead Jacob. Flailing Others using magic ash to not so good effect (they've been watching/reading too much fantasy stuff). Richard looking nonplussed. Sayid being mostly dead.

I worried about two hours of eps dragging, because no matter how good the show, it invariably does, and I found myself enjoying the ride the whole time...okay, maybe Juliet's second/third death scene was a bit much, but overall...good show.

Just wanted to offer a counterpoint because I've been surprised at the disappointment.

Jen Chaney: Duly noted.

I liked much of the show, it was just some of the temple stuff that as I said X -- I mean, 10 -- times before I just needed some time to adjust to.

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Alex., VA: If there's no such thing as a throw away in Lost, why is Rose reading "Weekly Woodsman"? on the plane - and it wouldn't be Bernard's either, he's a dentist.

Liz Kelly: Well, I said no such thing as a throwaway line to be specific. But I have to assume the Weekly Woodsman, much like the Frogurt cameo, was just the writers having a little fun with us.

Jen Chaney: Also, Bernard WAS a dentist. Doesn't mean he is in this version of events.

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Damon/Boone: Can I point out, a propos of nothing, that for someone who is undead on two TV shows, Ian Somerhalder has the most beautiful eyes?

Liz Kelly: I'm not sure anyone here would be interested in this kind of analysis.

Jen Chaney: Least of all me ... actually, pardon me for a second. I think I need to consult my DVR to verify just how beautiful they are...

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What was expected?: So, I'm getting a lot of negativity in this chat so far. I guess I don't share that. There are going to be things during the course of the final season that people may have guessed at - Smokey/MIB, for one - but that doesn't make it any less powerful. I think we all suspected that they'd have to get back to the temple, too, so I can't really understand that criticism.

Just because the some questions weren't answered right away doesn't mean that they won't be or that Damon and Carlton aren't setting up something even more mind-blowing later on. Remember, we have the perspective of putting every single other season-opener in the larger context of that season and the show as a whole.

Patience, grasshoppers.

Jen Chaney: Fair enough, fair enough.

And you're right about the temple. I think some people are already fearing that this will be a temple season, where we spend as much time there as we did in the Hatch. Way too early to know.

I also think there is just a lot more invested in this season because we know it's the last. And no one wants to be disappointed by a single second, which is an insane standard to live up to. But it speaks to how much people have loved the show up until now and really want to feel good about the way it ends.

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St Paul, Mn: what was up with the healing/non healing water, they said it wasn't "clear" did a test on it by cutting his hand, it didn't work. they put Sayid in anyway and apparantely it works??!! come on .....

Jen Chaney: Well, I don't think it worked to heal Sayid.

I think they purposely drowned him so that Jacob would have a soul to inhabit. The fact that they carried Sayid out of the water in full-on Jesus pose would also seem to support that.

And they tested the water -- which I think normally does heal, Fountain of Youth-style -- to make sure that it wouldn't work that way this time.

The fact that this is starting to make sense to me is a more than a little frightening, BTW.

Oh, and did it bother anyone else that, apart from Jack, no one really took serious action to save Sayid? They all shouted "No!" and "Stop!" but they didn't try to jump in the water or anything. Thanks for nothing, Hurley.

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Indiana: Jack is obviously going to perform surgery on Locke, is this a way of "the universe correcting itself", meaning rather than the island fixing Locke's legs, Jack will? And do you think this correction will apply to other characters?

Liz Kelly: It certainly could. Take Kate for instance:

We already saw her make a stateside escape from the federal marshal. And not only did she meet Sawyer, but at the end of the show stepped into a cab with none other than Claire -- the exact woman she said she'd gone back to the island to find.

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Was Not Schlomo: Now that we know the Smoke Monster is the Anti-Jacob, it's interesting to recall Smokey's past encounters and exploits. Didn't Ben himself have the power to invoke the Monster? Didn't he sent Smokey to smite the Freighter Folk when they killed his daughter? Did Ben serve two masters?

Liz Kelly: That's a really good observation. Ben was indeed able to summon the smoke monster on a couple of occasions. I'm not sure he knew exactly what he was playing with, though. Only that if he released this entity it would chew up anything in its path.

He may have had more insight than even he realized, though. Remember last season in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" when he goes to release Smoky via the tunnel underneath his Dharma compound house? He comes back out and tells Sun to be wary about whatever is about to come out of the jungle. He assumes it will be Smoky, but instead we get MIB in Locke form.

Jen Chaney: As I said before, I think it's more that Ben thought he was serving one master, but instead was serving another without realizing it.

At least that's my guess right now.

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dre7861: "Whoa. Dudes."

I'm still trying to scoop up my brians from where they melted into a gray slush from last night's show.

You mentioned that LAX Locke seemed more at peace than the Island Locke (We have Locke, MIB Flocke so I guess this on is LAX Locke is Lox.) Well I think the same thing can be said for LAX Sawyer, who definitely did not seem like the angry bitter con-man of Season One. Things are definitely different in this alternate universe from different haircuts, Sun not knowing English, Desmond on the plane while Shannon is not, etc.

Speaking of naming things - So what do we call the whole LAX scenes? They're clearly not flashbacks or flashfowards. Given the fact that the flashback "whoosh" sound effect makes a hiccuping noise now do we call them Flash Sideways? Any other better suggestions?

I don't know if someone has already mentioned this in the Lost fandom world but look at last night's episode title, "LA X" and consider it numerlogically. L is the 12 letter of the alphabet. 1 + 2 = 3. A is of course the first letter or 1. X is the 24 letter or 2 + 4 = 6. 3 - 1 - 6. Now where have we seen those numbers before?

I'll say it again:

"Whoa. Dudes."

Jen Chaney: That is fantastic.

Hadn't done the numerology -- well done!

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a good explanation: Somebody said that they needed Locke in the Box on the 316 plane for the same reason that they needed Christian's body on the 815-A plane -- that the bodies in some way contributed to the cause of the crash.

However, in the alternate timeline, Christian's casket never made it on the 815-B plane. Therefore, no crash.

Liz Kelly: I think Jen made a similar point in our analysis. But my head hurts when we start trying to go down that road. If all that was needed was a dead body, then why would that body have to be Locke's? And why would Locke need to be wearing Christian Shephard's shoes?

Jen Chaney: Locke needed Christian's shoes -- at least according to Hawking -- to simulate the first 815 as much as possible.

I also was thinking about the reasons why Christian's body might be lost. The Oceanic employee who explained the situation to Jack -- something about that struck me as odd on second viewing.

Could that guy be working for Widmore? And might they have lost the body accidentally on purpose? Don't know, just throwing it out there to cause further confusion.

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Temple, Redux: So: a few years ago, wasn't the temple the font of all evil? Good people were sucked in there by smokey, and came out all changed, like Rousseau's crew? And yet now, it seems to be home base for Jacob's supporters, who seem to be the good guys? Whu-huh?

(not that that's the first time I've said that about this show)

Liz Kelly: Okay, good point.

Jen, can you explain?

Jen Chaney: I love how we both throw questions to each other when we don't know what the heck to say.

"Um ... I am sure Liz has a detailed explanation for this. Take it away!"

In this case, I actually do have a theory, albeit not fully formed. I think Smokey probably did live in the temple at one point. But he was booted out -- by Richard and Jacob.

With Jacob dead, the supporters are alarmed, rightly, that MIB now sees an opening that will allow him to get back in. When MIB says he wants to go back home, he does mean the temple.

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Kids?: Were the 2 kids who brought the food to the temple the same ones who were kidnapped by Others in Season One?

Jen Chaney: Sure were!

Emma and Jack. So chatty, those two.

Liz Kelly: Yeah, cute kids. But I was too distracted by the hippie-dippie back-to-nature-meets-Mad Max outfits the temple denizens were wearing. Are those get ups issued on arrival? And is there some requirement that they live primitavely -- making catapults out of bamboo and whatnot? I mean, we know these people have access to generators and tools.

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Most important question ever still unanswered:: In season one, Hurley finds a cache of delicious ranch dressing from the Dharma Initiative storage that he sneaks away to eat. In season five, Hurley has traveled back in time and is a cook for the Dharma Initiative. Was Hurley in fact eating his own Ranch dressing? I need to know before this all wraps up.

Liz Kelly: I'm going to make a call on this one and say, no, the ranch dressing Hurley ate in season one was probably part of a supply load air-dropped onto the island courtesy of Dharma's backers.

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The Real Best Line of the Episode: Hurley: "Dude, that sucks."

In response to Jacob explaining that he had been killed an hour earlier.

Liz Kelly: So true.

Jen Chaney: Even better? Jacob's low-key response.

"Thanks."

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Portland, OR: I liked that Charlie's first line was the same thing he had written on his hand at the Comic-con, "Am I alive?".

Also, for the record, people keep saying that he was OD-ing, but seems to me he was choking more than OD-ing.

Question - I didn't take note, but was Ilana in the chamber when Smokey went all... Smokey? Is she still alive?

Jen Chaney: Yes! The "Am I alive?" thing was a nice touch.

And agreed, he was definitely choking. Although I think he definitely intended to kill himself in some fashion -- he did say to Jack, "I was supposed to die."

Re: Ilana -- no, she was not in the chamber with Bram and the other strongarmers. So she's outside with Sun, Lapidus, Richard and the rest of the random extras.

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Rockville, MD: Do you think any in the LA world has memories about the island world? Or deja vu? Jack had this weird look on his face when he saw himself in the mirror and that cut can't just be a throw-away, maybe something that will be explained in a big "a-ha!" moment later in the season.

Liz Kelly: My first thought when Jack looked at himself in the mirror was that he recognized a difference in himself. As if the man looking in the mirror at him differed slightly from the Jack Shephard who got on the flight in Sydney. His hair, for one thing, is longer than it was in that first season and I could swear he registered that. Then there was the matter of the wound on his neck. Unless I'm suffering from some kind of severe memory loss, that open wound wasn't something Jack had when we first saw him get on the plane five seasons back.

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I didn't mean to be mean :) : I adore your chats and think you all are the best! Thanks! And I love the variable X-planation.

(Ok so maybe in your tired haze you'll think that's funny :) )

Jen Chaney: I know, no worries! And we deserve to be kicked in the pants every now and again. It's good for us.

Seriously, last night at 11:30 when Liz and I started our analysis, I could barely form a coherent thought.

I honestly considered starting the analysis Ralph Wiggum-style: "So, do you like ... stuff?"

Liz Kelly: It has been a long 24 hours. But, hey, there are worse fates.

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Help Me!: Isn't that what "Jacob" said to Locke when Locke first went to the cabin. Perhaps that was MIB saying help me by giving up your body so that I can escape.

Jen Chaney: I think you might be right.

Know what I really love about this? It almost proves that I was right when I said that the guy in the rocking chair looked like Locke. Sure, it wasn't Jacob. But it was MIB, and he eventually ended up looking like Locke. So I was very close to being correct.

And that is why, in conclusion, I rule.

Liz Kelly: Well, glad that's settled. Now we can all rest easy.

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No way: You write: "With Jacob dead, the supporters are alarmed, rightly, that MIB now sees an opening that will allow him to get back in. When MIB says he wants to go back home, he does mean the temple."

Hey, Smokey has been in the temple. That's where he assumed the form of Alex to get Ben to do his bidding. ...

Jen Chaney: Shoot, you're right. Well, there's another theory blown all to hell. Told you it wasn't fully formed!

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Liz Kelly: It's become apparent that there's no way we're going to get through all of the truly good questions and comments we've received today. We have to cut out, but please, go back to the blog and continue the discussion in the comments section. Some really good back-and-forth going on there.

We'll be back next Wednesday with another analysis and another chat. In the meantime, check out the revamped "Lost" Central, sign up for the text alerts (

Text "LOST" to 98999 to get The Post's latest "Lost" news -- and our weekly post-show dueling analysis -- sent directly to your phone.

) and, if you're not completely overwhelmed, follow us on Twitter:

@WaPoLost

.

Jen Chaney: Yes, thank you so much. Regardless of temple issues and timeline confusion, it really is nice to be back and chatting with you about episodes that actually have just aired, instead of ones that first aired months or years ago.

We'll see you here next week when, hopefully, I'll be making a little more sense.

Thanks, everyone!

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Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.

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