Wednesday, February 3

LA X (S6, ep. 1)

The Column for "LA X" has been revived in a mysterious spring for your reading pleasure on

I liked it. I liked it a lot. People have already pointed out a number of things I missed, and they're worth relisting. Here are a few of them:

1) Sun is called 'Ms. Paik' when she's off-Island. Are they not married in this "universe"?
2) Apparently, Sayid's passport was Iranian, which is consistent with the "mirroring" theme.
3) The character of Bram is staked through the heart in this episode, which is a pretty sly allusion if it's purposeful.
4) This is speculation, but I like it (from commenter "antilucid"): "My theory on the spring is that it can reverse time in a way that heals the person. Sort of rewind them to a time when they were not hurt....When Sayid wakes up and asks what happened, I am willing to bet his last memory is going to be from during their trip in 1974."

That's pretty brilliant. Nice theorizing, "antilucid." Feel free to post other things I might have missed in the comments!


  1. Excellent! I cannot wait to talk about this!

  2. Appreciate the ffort Morse. Please, please clarify the following for me:

    Is it just be, or do the writers seem to have completely forgotten Season 3's "Stranger in a Strange Land"??

    I mean, I loved, loved 6.1, but in 6.2, the "Other Others"' reaction to Jack coming to the Temple (and even saying out his name so that there couldn't be any confusion!) just strikes me as wrong. In Season 3 he was being hailed as some kind of Messiah by these people, now they either don't know him or are totally "whatever" about his appearance (the Stewardess and kids). Is this a major plothole?

  3. I just got the sense that the Temple Others were indifferent to the day-to-day goings-on. It's been more than 3 years since Jack saved Ben, but it was clear that Jack was not interested in helping the others, but helping himself and the 815 survivors and stealing Juliet. He caused a lot of trouble and mess for them since that time. Cindy clearly had already switched sides when she talked to Jack at Hydra Island (and at that time it had only been about a month since she was taken).

    Anyway, they have a lot of reason to be indifferent or even resentful of him by this point.

  4. Morse, any idea on the appearance of your premiere recap on CHUD? Surprised to see that it isn't up yet since you posted yesterday.

  5. What do people think about the black ash? Can it be used to keep MiB only at bay or is it powerful enough to entrap him? The smoke monster has been around since the pilot, so the ash circle that surrounded the cabin was broken pre Ben/Lock visit 1. I also believe the reason MiB grabbed Alpert was to bring him to the temple healing spas. Somehow Alperts agelessness is tied to whatever chains are keeping the MiB trapped on the island.

  6. Hey, all. All I know is that the column's done and submitted. It's long, so my guess is it's taking a bit to format.

    I don't think Stranger In A Strange Land has been neglected, but I don't think the writers would feel particularly compelled to revisit it. We've seen that Jack walks among them, but isn't of them. The castaways all regard him as a stranger to anextent at this point.

  7. Thanks Morse, I should have been patient another hour. It's up now. great stuff. Two thoughts to questions you raised - one I think i've mentioned recently. And then I have one follow-up to one of those.

    1) The Shallow Depth of the hole Juliet was in: None of the castaways seemed to be in the exact same spot. Jack and Sawyer were in the construction pit, Kate was too. Here Jack and Sawyer were on the ground away from the exploded Hatch and Kate was in a tree. All of them were seemingly literally higher up in 2007 than in 1977. So Juliet's less than perfect placement at the bottom of a shaft (which had likely been sealed up until Desmond turned the failsafe key in 2004) in 2007 isn't inconsistent with the rest of them. Just a shame she wasn't on the ground in the pit instead of under more stuff.

    2) How MIB knew what Locke was thinking: He didn't know what Locke was thinking until after Locke's body arrived and he was able to access it and read it. He had been reading him all along, but needed the body to get the mental and emotional residue. This appears to work EXACTLY like Miles' ability to read the dead. Both MIB and Miles told us the last thoughts of a major character who had died in this episode. It seems that the show has gone out of its way (Some Like It Hoth) to make it clear that Hurley and Miles have VERY different abilities when it comes to communing with the dead. Miles reads spiritual residue. Hurley has conversations with Spirits (or is it an echo/comminique from friends who have died and largely merged into their selves in the crashless timeline?) but largely receives messages from them when they deliver them. Hurly can get complex thoughts but only from conversation. Miles seems to be able to take a photograph but only has the evidence at hand.

    3) Miles reading Sayid: When Miles was confused with Sayid, Hurley asked "What is it?" and Miles answered "Nothing." But i didn't hear that as "it's nothing, i don't want to talk about it" but rather "i'm not able to hear or ready anything. I've been actively trying and I can't read this dead person." Which means maybe Sayid wasn't dead, maybe there was nothing left of Sayid in the dead body, maybe it was already occupied by another, or some other thing.

    Anyway, thanks for all the hard work. It's an awesome read and was really a great evening of TV.

  8. Hell, maybe Miles has his gift because he is a candidate to replace the role pre-corrupted role of the MIB. Maybe it's Miles and Hurley sitting on the beach in the final scene rather than Ben and Locke.

  9. I've seen a lot of theories floating around about the 2 timelines: alternate, parrallel, dream, etc, so I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring too. I think Darleton is (are?) messing with us - I don't think it's 2 different realities at all, just 2 different points in the same reality. See if this makes any sense:

    When Juliet blew the bomb, it "worked," per her dying comment, and everyone ended up back on 815 which landed as scheduled in LA, in 2004. Now, somehow over the course of this season things will go quickly to hell for the off-Island crew, and whether they remember outright or through some other serendipity they'll realize that they shouldn't have changed things and have to figure out someway (Faraday? Hawking? If the Isand sank shouldn't they both be dead?) back to 1977 and NOT blow up the bomb. This will allow the "incident" to happen as it had before and the resulting elctromagnetic discharge will trigger a time shift for Jack's group, putting them in 2007 where they can catch up with Sun, Lapidus, Ben, et al and bring the series to a close.

    I'm probably wrong (I'm about 50% for Lost theories) but I'd love to hear your thoughts on this idea.

  10. Morse,

    Two comments on your writeup of LAX (great work on a great episode)

    1. My theory as to why we never see the MiB/smokey "transform" is less a question of mythology and more one of budget and FX work. You've commented numerous times (rightly) on how bad Lost's CGI effects look for scenery, etc. Think how ugly it would be if we were subjected to watching Anti-Locke dissolve into black smoke. I think it would totally strip any of the menace out of the scene. They likely are simply trying to avoid that.

    2. You comment both on Christian's coffin going missing and Locke losing his knives. I drew a connection between the two. Both Jack and Locke, off-island, have "lost" that which they used to define themselves. Jack has lost his father, first to death, now literally, and he always has defined himself by his father's sense of his worth. Locke has lost his knives, that which made him a "hunter," something he continually sought to be despite life throwing up every conceivable roadblock. Notice that both of these defining things have brought Jack and Locke significant pain and emotional stunting.

    The question is whether these are merely meant to be metaphorical losses, symbolizing that these characters now can shed these shackling aspects of themselves and move forward unimpeded in this off-island timeline, or whether there is actual Lost mythology at play here.

    I'll take the example even further. Boone was unsuccessful at retrieving Shannon, the person who was holding him back (as we saw in season 1) so he "lost" her and the hold she had on him. Charlie was arrested, his drugs confiscated. Jin may very well have Paik's watch and money (making an assumption here) confiscated as well, symbolically severing that chain as well. I think these things are very specifically chosen and all representing the same theme.

  11. I do think that the black ash can be used to trap MiB, because it could have been the MiB in the cabin - remember, the cabin was surrounded by the black ash.

    Or - both Jacob AND the MiB can be stopped by the ash, and it WAS Jacob in the cabin. This still suggests that the same strategy can be used on MiB in this way. There's a good chance that if the MiB is "defeated" in the show, the use of the black ash to trap him will come into play.

  12. I've been reading your analysis with great interest. I was completely surprised when someone mentioned the character Bram was staked through the heart with a piece of wood. I saw it but didn't put 2 and 2 together. I did notice another reference to Dracula in that same scene. Bram surrounds himself with the "ash" powder, making a circle with himself in the center to protect himself from the attacking Smokey. In the novel Dracula, Professor Van Helsing surrounds himself and Mina with a "holy circle" made of crumbled communion wafers to protect them both from the three vampire women who are attacking them. Later Van Helsing leaves Mina within a holy circle so that he can enter Castle Dracula to stake the three vampires.

  13. Awesome catch Greg! Many of the characters had something significant lost in the episode. Charlie also had hid guitar taken away. What will Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid loose in the coming episodes? I also noticed the stake thru the heart but didn't think about it at the time. Weird coincidence?

    I am somewhat disappointed with the CGI on the show as well. It's can't be a question of money. I am guessing it is due to time constraints? I mean, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had better effects, and that was ages ago LOL.

    I agree with Miles, everyone at the Swan site seemed to have "leveled-up".

  14. Any additional significance to Dharma having a submarine? Could a sub dock with the hatch?

  15. The looking glass station might still be operational in underwater-island-world. Recall Ben lied to the others about the functionality of the station... Mikhail thought the two women stationed there were in Canada.

  16. Hey, thanks for these great recaps Morse, I always find them entertaining and insightful.

    Thoughts on LA X:

    First, regarding the title; there's a space in there, making it 'LA X'. The space is very intentional. Is there a 'Los Angeles 10', (sort of) echoing the Oceanic 6? If so, is it the O6 plus four more (Charlie, Jin, Boone and Claire, or whoever)?

    Secondly, regarding Desmond; is it possible that he "flashed" off the plane, in the same manner as the O6 being "flashed" off of Ajira 316 as they flew over the island? If so, is this possibly also what happened to Christian Shephard's body?

  17. About Sayid's passport: Although it does seem to be an Iranian passport, it is important to note that on his customs form-thing it states "Iraq" as his country of citizenship.

    Also, not that LOST has been 100% accurate about Korean culture...traditionally, Korean women keep their maiden name when they're married. This does NOT explain the absence of Sun and Jin's rings though. However, they are still intimately connected together. Does the Airport Officer refer to Jin as Sun's husband at all?

  18. The comment about Bram getting staked got me thinking about Ilana: Remember when we see her all wrapped up in bandages? Is she a mummy? Have I jumped the dharma shark?

  19. I think the DHARMA shark will be jumped if they are not human.

  20. Mr. Moo,

    No confirmation or reference to them as a married couple. My first impression was that Sun lied at LAX about not knowing English, but now I'm on the side that she never learned.

    I think that, other than family backgrounds (as in actual lineage), we can toss out a lot of what we think we know about Jin and Sun. If so, this may be an interesting way to address Mr. Paik's connection to the Island and Widmore. If the island was destroyed in the 70s, and Widmore never left and created a business empire, and didn't in the process involve and possible enrich Sun's father, then maybe Jin was never his goon. Maybe he's a loving father.

  21. I think its also important to note that, when Jack is on the plane. He is not in row 23 anymore, he is actually in row 24. I think this too adds to the differences between the two realities.

  22. I agree with you Miles. I think we can probably throw away everything we think we know about everyone. Example, Hurley is the luckiest man alive. I am curious where tonight is going to take us. 10 minutes and counting!

  23. Was the time jump caused by detonating Jughead, or was Jacob/the Island/the MIB just waiting until that exact moment to bring them back to the present?

    Kate appearing in a tree reminds me of Kate climbing a tree to get Sawyer some fruit back in "What Kate Did."

    Does Sideways Jack have a more active bladder? Because he visits the bathroom twice in what appears to be a short span of time.

    When Jacob says he was killed by "an old friend who grew tired of my company," does he mean the MIB, or Ben?

    I thought the Shadow group knew what they were dealing with. Apparently not. They ask Anti-Locke who he is, and they try shooting him, which if they knew who he was, they would know it would have no effect.

    Why didn't Sawyer have Miles do his thing before he buried her?