'Lost' Wednesdays: 'Hugo here has assumed the leadership position.'
Perhaps it was that the long hiatus unleashed a perfect storm of "Lost" fan fever. Perhaps it was the bad weather nationwide that kept people inside last week. Perhaps it was just the fact that "Lost" fans are less charitable toward Kate episodes than they used to be. For whatever reason, the huge frenzy of "Lost" stuff that showed up online after the premiere this week dropped down to a low simmer, as "What Kate Does" inspired some interesting discussion but wasn't the huge bombshell of discussion that last week's episode was. But that's OK. There's only one last ever "Lost" season premiere, and this was not it.
Now, there's been plenty of theorizing on just what the alternate timeline means, but one of my favorite theories comes from Jim Connelly over at Media Loper, who theorizes that the alternate timeline will end up playing out roughly similar to the way last season's time travel played out. Writes Connelly:
"And you also know that the 'Sideways' timeline is a) slightly different from what we’ve previously seen about Oceanic 815 (a neat way to get around some of the cast availability issues), and b) did NOT replace the original timeline: those who were on the Island in 1977 are still there, albeit in 2007.
"So now what? To me, the answer lies in those two sentences at the top of this post, said by a dying Juliet to a shaken Sawyer: 'We could get coffee sometime. We can go dutch.'
"Here’s my theory about what’s going to happen: the two timelines will start bleeding into each other, and eventually characters in both timelines will be fully conscious of their doppleganger. And the closer a character was to the epicenter of the hydrogen bomb, the faster and/or stronger that bleeding is going to be."
Read the whole post. It's some great stuff.
I'm also quite taken with the theory of Ryan McGee over at Zap2It. He's saying that it's time for us to start looking for the numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) minus one. It's a fascinating notion, and he backs it up with the occurrence of one of the numbers minus one in "What Kate Does."
"OK, here's where everything goes crazy-go-nuts awesome with Unbelievable Scene #1 of the night: Claire arrives at the hospital with Kate, declaring that the contractions started three minutes ago. (Three is the new four, people. Seriously. Start keeping track of The Numbers Minus 1 in this universe.) The obstetrician on call at the hospital to which Kate took Claire? Ethan Rom! Excuse me, Ethan Goodspeed in this universe, keeping the birth name he shed in the other one. What follows is an insanely clever play on everything from "Maternity Leave," with Ethan taking care of Claire in similar ways to the ones he performed inside The Staff on the Island. As they discuss treatment for the child, Claire decides that she's not ready to give birth just yet, opting for drugs to delay the eventual birth. Just then, monitors start buzzing, and so does the activity in the room. Claire starts to panic: 'Is everything OK? Is Aaron OK?' Whoa. Ethan finds the unborn child safe and sound inside, and declares that Aaron will be a 'handful.' No diggity, no doubt, Ethan. A relieved Claire holds Kate's hands tightly. Bravo, 'Lost.' That scene was freakin' outstanding."
And Ryan's got so many other cool observations about what was going on in the episode that it rather puts my mild theorizing to shame.
Plenty of folks noticed that the date on Claire's ultrasound in Tuesday night's episode was Oct. 22, 2004, a whole month after the original Oceanic 815 flight. Why is everything one month later? There's no good explanation just yet. (And the first person I saw to mention this was Twitter's own @lindseycathryn, who also wants you to know that Ben Linus wishes you a happy Valentine's Day.)
And, finally, Jo Garfein's always worth a read, particularly this week, as she noticed a lot of stuff I missed and managed to catch all of this while watching an iTunes download of the episode while in Chile. Nice work, Jo.
But let's turn to your comments.
The TV Obsessed both links to his cool "Lost" review and points out that Sayid takes the position of Judas in that famous Last Supper promotional photo that was sent out before the show's final season. In light of last night's events, that's very interesting.
I forgot to mention last night that I'm not so sure I want the show to turn into a simple tale of good vs. evil, where people can be "turned" to one side or the other like it seems Sayid will be. But commenter jocelyn finds way more ambiguity in all of this than I do. She writes:
"this infected thing might also get to some of the answers about what DID, in fact, make rousseau's team sick ... we start to think it's the smoke monster, right? that's what infected them and made them some island version of the movie 'the crazies?'
"i'm still not convinced that it's esau (man in black) taking over sayid ... isn't he already rocking locke? i'm also still not convinced that jacob is all good ..."
Interesting thoughts, jocelyn. I hope that the show can keep from making the characters choose sides between good and evil, Locke and Jack. The show's always been cannier than that, and I hope it can keep it up this season.
BobW points out that the authorities' search for Kate was a little "anemic," in his words. And he's probably right. You'd think a wanted murderer would have a much harder time evading recapture. Maybe Kate's just really good at this.
And while Steve's sick of characters not giving straight answers (though I thought Dogen and Lennon were pretty upfront with Jack when all was said and done), Frogurt's thankful that the show didn't follow its original plan and kill Jack off in the pilot so Kate could be the leader. And, man, can you imagine Evangeline Lilly having to carry this show on her lonesome? Not sure it would work nearly as well. Say what you will about Matthew Fox, but he's proved a solid center, even when the scripts are having him do some wacky things.
Finally, joel brings up the specter of a show that "Lost" used to get compared to frequently but one that it hasn't been compared to as often in recent years. He writes:
"I'm not entirely thrilled about the Island illness concept either. It seems very convoluted to me right now. If Claire was 'infected' previously, have her other ghostly manifestations been just the Island or Smokey? And if she's been "infected" running around the island this whole time, why hasn't anyone seen her before? Since MiB is actually a copy of Locke in his current form, then Locke was not 'infected' (because obviously his corpse wasn't animated), so MiB-Locke is different from 'infected' Claire and Sayid. So how does this fit in with Christian and the other ghosts on the Island? Or the apparitions of Walt?
This reminds me of the "X-Files," where the various alien races that Mulder and Scully ran into eventually all just became plot machinations with no discernable agendas between them, other than what a specific episode dictated. I hope the "Lost" writers have a more coherent grasp on this than Chris Carter did. If Sayid turns to the camera for a close-up and has black ooze in his eyeballs, I quit.
Look, I love "X-Files," but I just might be there with you if that happened, joel.
And that's this week's "Lost" Wednesday! See you this weekend, and remember you can always e-mail me or reach me on Twitter.
--Todd VanDerWerff (follow me on Twitter at @tvoti)
Photo: Evangeline Lilly's Kate hung out in two different timelines last night on "Lost." (Credit: ABC)