Why LOST has risked it all in the final season. - Featured

This post includes spoilers of LOST's sixth season.


Let's be honest, ABC's once hit-show LOST has steadily declined in viewership over the past few years. Those who stuck with it were only hardcore fans, and a few people who drifted in and out of the happenings of the show. Probably the greatest reason for its declining viewership would be the incredulity and unanswered mysteries of the show. Fans assured others that it would all make sense in the end, with a reasonable conclusion. But with the beginning of LOST's sixth and final season, the producers and writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have risked it all. The new narrative technique of LOST could ultimately turn away everyone - including the fans. I have been a long-time fan of LOST, but I can already foresee that if these two narratives do not have an astoundingly good and sensible reconciliation, there will be countless fans who themselves cannot be reconciled, having been cheated these past years. Perhaps my apprehension for the conclusion is my unfamiliarity with the sci-fi genre. This is the only sci-fi show that I watch, and I rarely watch sci-fi films. Yet I have been captivated by LOST. It could be my inexperience in the genre that prevents me from laying all my trust in Lindelof and Cuse.


The problem I am foreseeing is of course the 'flash sideways', the new narrative technique that tells the story of the survivors having landed Flight 815 in Los Angeles in 2004. This story is simultaneously being told as a narrative in 2007, where the survivors endured the Incident in 1977 before travelling through time to 2007. I have tolerated flashbacks, flash-forwards and time travel on LOST, but the flash sideways has raised a red-flag. To me it feels like they couldn't decide what to do, and someone just said 'let's do both'. In saying this, I thoroughly enjoyed the episode. The reconciliation of these stories however will have to make sense otherwise their will be more annoyed fans than when The Sopranos ended.


The episode titled LA X told the dual stories of the survivors landing in Los Angeles in 2004, and the survivors still on the island in 2007. In 2004, Locke was paralyzed, Hurley was lucky, Shannon stayed in Australia, Desmond was on the plane not in the hatch. And just to make it more problematic, the island is underwater. WHAT IS GOING ON? In 2007, everything is 'normal' on the island, Juliet is dead and the survivors are taken to the Temple by the Others. Some people have suggested the two story lines are alternate universes. This is supported by the episode title, as apparently in the sci-fi genre 'X' is often used to signify the alternate reality. That is to say that our planet would be called Earth, but the alternate Earth would be called 'Earth X'. So by that rationale that would suggest alternate realities. But I don't think so. There has to be a connection between it all, why the island is underwater in '2004 X'. For years I have gone on blind faith that this will all make sense but this has just thrown it open further.


Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse explain the flash sideways and the "alternate reality".


But the greatest question the episode asked: "Why and when was Richard Alpert in chains"?

Comments

18 comments

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Feb 3, 2010 6:14PM EST

I guess I'm a hardcore fan, because I've been with Lost since the beginning, and the double narrative story line happening in season six is nothing but intriguing to me. I can't wait to see what happens!

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Feb 3, 2010 7:27PM EST

Me too, I am nothing but interested to see where they go and how they end the series. The flash sideways is just another way for them to explore the area of time/space. Im not so sure that these are two alternate realities or that it is in fact 2004 and 2007, judging by certain things that went on in the premiere I sort of think the two timeline have somehow merged or are staked on top of each other in the same realtive time/space. For example, Jack having a cut on his neck on the plane, Locke case of knifes being lost, Jack's dad's coffin not being on the plane. I think that somehow them using the hydrogen bomb propelled them and the island into that existing space, and one timeline will being somehow affecting the other, and vice-versa. Not really sure how they are going to explain all of this but I can not wait to find out. Great show, never lost me as a fan.
To answer the Richard Alpert question of when or why was he is chains, I think that can be explained away in either two ways, 1. The black smoke/Locke was talking metaphorically as in now that Jacob is gone Richard is no longer chained to him as his go-between/advisor or 2. Richard was a slave on the Black Rock ship that crashed on the island a long time ago and the chains he was referring to are actual chains that Richard was once in.

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Feb 3, 2010 7:47PM EST

i think lost jumped around time and space so much, that alternative universes aren't a surprise anymore to me... I think the explanation is a quite good one.
i just like that it's going at a faster pace now. now we have the finishline in sight.I can't wait to find out, why some of the "pirates" (jacob) became boss of the island, while others had to smoke around as a monster...
@ "chains"-topic:
I too think, that he refered to the chains on the boat. That way he wanted to show him who he was, without revealing it to the others.

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Feb 4, 2010 1:18AM EST

Im sure the writers know what their doing. when i read what rachel wrote it seams like she wants to stir up a controversy rather then belives what shes says. If you didnt realize beforehand after first reading the episode titles that they were gonna be back on the plane, and were so surprised that your gonna stop watching, then i cant take your opinion into consideration.

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Feb 4, 2010 1:23AM EST

Read the article at this link Rachel:
It actually addresses a lot of your concerns. I wouldn't say answer... but at least they have them in mind.

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Feb 4, 2010 2:29AM EST

Rachel didn't write the article, she just edited it, you comments should be directed at the author, connor12

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Feb 4, 2010 4:28AM EST

I never said that I wanted to stop watching, I merely said I would be disappointed if they cant connect the two timelines/universes/narratives effectively. I am a hardcore fan and would never stop watching, regardless of what happens.
RE: The Chains - I had thought of the Black Rock, and what a cool idea. I think Richard coming on the Black Rock would be awesome, I'm definitely keen to hear more on that front.

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Feb 4, 2010 4:35AM EST

@Patty157 - I also realized that they would be on the plane, but I certainly didn't (and I seriously doubt that anyone else) guessed that they would simultaneously tell both stories.

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Feb 4, 2010 6:45AM EST

apparently the flashes will end near the end of the season so maybe then we will get an idea of which is the true alternate time line because the flash sideways also makes you wonder which is the real time line did the bomb go off and they really are at LAX? or did it not work and the LAX is the alt world

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Feb 4, 2010 6:46AM EST

I am really liking the new narrative, its really interesting and i want to know how there connected.
Also i feel like everything is sort of going to pan out similarly than it did in the island over the last five years with them being off the island, like a shadow of it. For instance jack saved charlie from chocking to death similarly to when he was hung by Ethan. The conversation between Locke and Boone mimicked there relationship on the island (Boone sticking with him). Bernard returning to Rose after all the turbulence like he returned to her after the crash.
And Locke could end up with his mobility back seeing as Jack believes he can fix him....
So my theory is that maybe everyone will die in the same order, meet the same people, go through the same pain because it is their "destiny". Just in a different place

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Feb 4, 2010 8:59AM EST

I completely agree, on having to briefly explain the new LOST series 6 to someone I called them flash 'sideways' . I mean what are they any way?? Out of all the people I know I am the only one who has truly stuck with LOST, as each series progressed the people I knew just stopped watching it one by one. So to be honest it is a bit of risk with the opening two eps... but having said that if you have watched LOST up until now you are gonna stick with it to the end, depite some peoples scepticisim I will watch it until the end I just hope it won't disappoint!

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Feb 4, 2010 9:29AM EST

Howeyguv...I also noticed those subtle similarities between what happens on the plane and what happens on the island between the characters...It was sad to see though how Sun would've fared had the plane landed in LAX...She is such a strong character because of all that happened to her and Jin, as individuals and as a couple...Kate still pisses me off though...I like her character less and less as the seasons have progressed...She's poison to Jack and Sawyer...Pardon my little sidebar rant...And ak10 that whole Richard being on the Black Rock in chains is a pretty cool idea...My question is how long has he been alive or rather on Earth...was he, like everyone else, brought to the island by Jacob or did the ship with him on it, presumably, stumble onto the island?...and what is up with flight attendant chick that they took her into the Other fold so quickly and intimately along with the two kids?...ok I'm done for now...

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Feb 4, 2010 6:11PM EST

Did you notice that Sun and Jin weren't married in the new version of LA? She was called Miss Paik right? Her maiden name.

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Feb 5, 2010 10:37AM EST

good shot, connor12...

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Feb 6, 2010 9:48AM EST

Richard was probably a slave at the Black Rock.

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Feb 7, 2010 4:01AM EST

i think we see a richard centric episode some point this season so we most likely will find out

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Feb 10, 2010 2:31AM EST

From what I can tell the alternate reality is what would happen had the bomb worked but I could have sworn that the directors were going to answer some questions but from what I see they just opened a box full of more questions. I think them not landing on the island is somehow supposed to show that all of them are linked regardless of whether they are on the island or not.
Now that I think about it though, if the island is underwater I would assume Jacob never made it to the mainland so technically John shouldn't be alive because from what I saw he was the one who brought him back when he fell out of that building.
Sun and Jin were only really close because of the events on the island and I don't see their relationship lasting in the alternate reality, I'm still waiting for an explanation as to what Juliet meant when she said it work, maybe she knows of the alternate reality somehow.
That flight attendant surprises me too she seems to jump in with whoever her latest kidnappers are and who are the new "Others" anyways were they always a part of the first group?

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Feb 14, 2010 3:21AM EST

All the questions and flash sideways will point to the much needed answers, I am looking forward to it. Hoping that some of others will too!

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