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