LAX Part 2 Review
February 11, 2010

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“LA X Part 2″ Review

The second hour begins with the main time line in the jungle on the island. Sayid is on a stretcher and Sawyer gets Miles to help him with burying Juliette. He gives Jack a vicious stare and Jack looks like he stepped in dog crap.

We’re next at LAX. Jack is in line to go through Customs when he’s paged to the Oceaniac courtesy desk where he’s told his father’s coffin is missing. Oceaniac, like all good airlines these days doesn’t have a clue where it is. And, no you can’t have an extra bag of peanuts.

IS THAT A WALL IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU GLAD TO SEE ME?

We’re back in the jungle and our group arrives at the temple. It’s a big wall. Hurley says they are to get in by going through the tunnel. Inside they find a chamber with a one-armed skeleton. Jin says Smokey tore the guys arm off. Nice. Kate makes a torch and they all shuffle around a hole.

There are strange noises and Kate goes to investigate. She disappears and Jack goes looking for her only to hear a disturbance behind him and then Jack gets smacked and wakes up and they are all prisoners of the Others and are taken to a ziggurat temple that is inside the wall.

BORN TO ESCAPE THE MARSHALL’S CUSTODY (EVERY TIME)!

Back at LAX, Mars declares a murder (Kate) to the Customs agent. Don’t know where that is exactly on the form. But then I never had to claim one so I never really looked that close. She has to go to the bathroom and reluctantly Ed takes her into a women’s restroom. You know this is a science fiction program because it is #1 spotlessly clean and, #2 empty. Mars checks a stall and in goes Kate with a 2 minute warning. She instantly produces Jack’s pen. Remember he was going to use it on Charlie, but it wasn’t in his pocket. Seems, Kate was a busy girl in that brush with our doctor. She takes it apart to use to unlock her handcuffs and drops the spring which rolls out from the stall.

Marshal Mars takes a minute to wipe the grime of 14+ hours in Oceaniac 815 off his face and doesn’t see the spring. But then he begins to give Kate hell for taking so long. Maybe she has froze up because he’s right outside the door. Just as Ed is raising hell because he’s found the spring from the pen under his foot (remember, the bathroom is spotlessly clean), Kate bursts out and does some really good whipass on our Marshal.

This girl just can’t be brought to justice, can she? We’ve seen Ed Mars lose her over and over again, and then when he finally gets her, he dies after a plane crash. In the alternative time line, Kate’s escape is completely ridiculous. Would Mars really take that moment to wash his face? He knows what a flight risk she is. This scene was a rare moment of “LA X” worthy of criticism IMHO.

She jumps into an elevator with Sawyer. Being the bad boy he is, he knows she’s up to no good, but there is honor among thieves and he helps her get out of a sticky situation with two security folks that board the elevator. I wonder if he was exiled from Australia?

WHERE IS MY OUIJA BOARD?

Miles and Sawyer finish putting Juliette to rest. Sawyer wants to know what the important thing Juliette wanted to tell him before she died. Miles feels like a cheap date. Sawyer throws him onto the grave and Miles makes contact. He has a startled/shocked look on his face. He tells Sawyer that she said, “It worked.” Sawyer looks confused and stomps off into the jungle.

YOU SAY PYRAMID, I SAY ZIGGURAT. LET’S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF

Back at the ziggurat, the Survivors are taken to the entrance when a Japanese guy in a long leather vest comes out with some hippie dude in very 60’s round glasses beside him. Vest speaks in Japanese and Hippie interprets, asking the Survivors who they are. Stewardess Cindy, looking good with some long hair that might have been dreadlocks, steps out from behind some of the other Others, and says they are survivors of the first flight, Oceaniac 815. Vest says something and Hippie says “Are you sure?” Vest turns, mumbles something in Japanese and walks away and Hippie says “Shoot ‘em.” Hurley yells out that Jacob sent them. Vest wants Hurley to prove it and Hugo points to the guitar case. Vest opens it and it’s a giant, guitar sized anhk. Vest breaks it in half and pulls out a scroll and reads it. He then wants to know all the Survivor’s names. Everyone identifies themselves and Vest talks to Hippie who tells them to bring Sayid into the spring.
It was cool to see a decidedly hippie-esque Cindy. Sawyer nicknaming her Amelia Earhart seems especially appropriate for her dramatic reappearance after three years of wondering where she was after being captured by the Others. She seems perfectly happy to let them all be shot by the Others.

And that brings up a point. Is it just me, or have the Others lost some of their cool factor? They’re so quick to shoot people that it’s just kind of annoying. But if anyone plays the Jacob card, then they turn into complete whimps. And these Others dress much more strangely than Richard’s group. I can’t imagine these people having ever lived in the Barracks.

Hurley, getting a little pissed about being the messenger that doesn’t know what the hell he’s carrying tells Vest that after dragging the damned guitar case all over hell’s half acre he has a right to know what the scroll says. Hippie tells him and the others that if Sayid dies they are all in a lot of trouble. He doesn’t mention that it begins with ‘T” and that rhymes with “P” and that stand for pool.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING TO DECLARE?

We whiz back in time and space to LAX where Jin and Sun are trying to clear Customs. The agent going through their bags looks like he’s pissed that he didn’t qualify for LAPD and had to settle for a Customs job and is taking it out on all foreigners he encounters. After dealing with the watch from his father-in-law, Agent doesn’t-like-foreigners finds a small bag in Jin’s suitcase with a buttload of US currency in it much to Jin’s chagrin. Jin hasn’t declare the money and it’s over $10 grand so he’s taken away. A nice female Customs Agent asks Sun if she speaks english and if this is all a misunderstanding to speak up now. Sun mulls it over and then says “No. No English.”

SPLISH SPLASH, I WAS TAKIN’ A BATH

Zipping back to the island, the Survivors are taken into the temple where there is a large bubbling spring that reminds me of the set where baby Moses was found in The Ten Commandments. Hippie is very concerned because the water is cloudy. It looks like there is blood in the water to me, but I’m not watching in HDTV.

Vest walks down some steps, produces a knife, slices his hand open and sticks it into the bubbling spring. He then tells the Survivors, through Hippie, that if they do this there are risks. Sayid is taken and put in the spring, face down by three big Others goons while Vest turns over an hourglass that looks like he stole it from the Wicked Witch of the West. Sayid begins to struggle and all the Survivors are screaming that he’s drowning. Our Iraqi friend stops thrashing and the sand runs out shortly thereafter. He’s brought up and put on the floor and Vest checks him over, sighs and says, through Hippie, that “Your friend is dead.” Everyone looks sad and Jack starts CPR until Kate stops him.

REMEMBER BAGS LOOK ALIKE, PLEASE HAVE YOUR BAGGAGE CLAIM TICKET

Sayid is in baggage claim at LAX looking at a picture of Nadia when the amazing – exploding Artz walks up and they share an awkward silent moment together. Kate brushes by them and manages to get outside.

And then after failing to steal Frogurt’s taxi (you caught him snoozing between Boone and Locke on the plane, right?), she uses the marshal’s gun and hijack’s a taxi with Claire in it!
We can assume that she was on the plane, though we didn’t see her. I wonder if she saw Charlie and had any vague feelings of recognition.

In the taxi, it was impossible to tell whether she was pregnant or not. I’m going to guess yes, though, because the possibility that Kate plays a role in Aaron’s birth and/or raising once again is too interesting to pass up. Of course, I’m not sure I can make myself care about the fate of a new Aaron when I’m still not sure if the original Aaron is going to see his mommy again.

This issue is kind of a problem with the alternative time line storyline in general, actually. I’ll admit that I love the potential, here, to wrap things up more nicely for some characters, to offer something more than redemption – an actual shot at happiness, for things to go right. But still, these aren’t the same characters. These are shades of the characters we care about. The real Claire isn’t driving in a taxi with Kate – she’s presumably been wandering the jungle for three years. It will be nice to see alternative Claire get a bright future, but I want something for real Claire, too.

This, I think, is the danger of the alternative time line. It’s a diversion, a “what if”. But the main focus, at least in viewers’ hearts, or at least mine, will still be the island. Hopefully the show doesn’t forget that. It doesn’t look like that’s going to be a problem, though, with all the great on-island action.

SORRY, I THOUGHT YOU KNEW

In the temple everyone is sitting around in stunned silence. Cindy and a couple of the kids that were kidnaped in the first season bring in some food. Miles and an unconscious Sawyer are brought in. Miles says James knocked three of them out before he was hit with a rock.

Hippie comes and gets Hurley. They go to see Vest who, through Hippie asks what Jacob told him. Hugo says he was told to come where they are and that the people would save Sayid. Hurley figures out that Vest speaks English. Vest tells him he doesn’t like the way English tastes on his tongue. Hippie asks when is Jacob coming. Hurley looks at them oddly and says “I don’t think that’s gonna happen.” They ask why and he says, “Because he’s dead.” Vest and Hippie freak out and pandemonium ensues at the temple. Rockets are fired into the air, Gates are reinforced. People are pouring ashes around the perimeter. Hurley says “I guess we’re not getting out.” Hippie says “It’s not to keep you in, it’s to keep him out!”

LET’S NOT RESORT TO NAME CALLING

Locke is dragging the dead guys into a pile while Ben sits over in a corner wide eyed. “What are you?” He asks. Locke says he’s not a what, he’s a who. He apologizes to Ben that he had to see him that way. “You’re a monster!” Cries Ben. “Let’s not resort to name calling.” Replies Locke. “You used me.” Bemoans Ben.

Locke tells Ben that John Locke was very confused when Ben killed him. He tells Ben that the last thing John was thinking when he died was that he didn’t understand. The conversation continues with Locke telling Ben that John was the only one of the Survivors who didn’t want to go home. Evidently, Locke didn’t meet up with Rose and Bernard. Ben asks what he wants and with very effective lighting on his face, Locke says he wants to go home.

We only got a few of them, but these were easily my favorite scenes. As well-acted as John Locke was, I think Terry O’Quinn might play an even better villain.

GOODBYE DUDE

At the bubbling spring Hurley leans over a soggy Sayid and says “Goodbye, Dude. If you ever wanna talk, I’m around.” Miles looks very freaked at Hurley. Elsewhere Kate is reviving Sawyer. He tells Kate he “Ain’t gonna kill Jack. He deserves to suffer with the rest of us.”

MEETING AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME

Jack is talking to his Mom about his Dad’s coffin not arriving on his cell phone in an Oceaniac baggage claim office. I have to say, Jack’s upset about his father being missing, but he’s not SO upset. I definitely think the version of Jack we’re seeing here is more balanced. And I think this becomes apparent in a big way in his subsequent conversation with John. John, for his part, has lost some luggage too: his knives. He’s probably better off without them. He’s a farmer, not a hunter, right? And when he picked the knife in Richard’s test, he failed. Let ‘em stay lost.

John explains to Jack that though his father’s body might be missing, his father’s spirit is somewhere else entirely. Yes, that has island ramifications, but it’s also a nice thing for a John who strongly believes in faith to say. And you know what? Jack appreciates it. He appreciates this nod to faith.

And then the reverse happens. Jack asks about Locke’s paralysis and politely offers him a free checkup to see if there’s anything he can do to fix it. John accepts Jack’s card gratefully. And just like that, John has proven that he can be a man of science, too – he hasn’t totally given up on the idea that he can be physically healed. “Nothing is irreversible,” Jack says. Would this comment be the opposite of Whatever Happened, Happened? Is this a universe where Whatever Could Have Happened, May Happen?

Jack and John both seem to be more complete characters in the ATL. It’s not Man of Science, Man of Faith here. They respect each other immediately – they acknowledge each others’ philosophies. I hope – I really, really hope – that John goes to see Jack and Jack fixes his paralysis. And that they play backgammon together every Tuesday thereafter.

Enter the really tricky questions like – is the Christian Sheppard that walks around in the main time line the body from the missing coffin of the alternative time line? Not that they need an extra body, since Jack found the body-less coffin in the main time line. IS Christian Sheppard even dead now?

GOOD TO SEE YOU OUT OF THOSE CHAINS

Outside the statue, the Temple has signaled Richard’s group of oncoming danger. Locke emerges from the Statue, delivers Richard a cryptic greeting, “It’s good to see you out of those chains”, beats him unconscious, reprimands the Others, “I’m very disappointed in all of you!” and disappears with Richard slung over his back.

This gives enormous credence to the views of Richard as either a prisoner aboard the Black Rock or a slave from ancient Egypt. In either case, Richard knows man in black, but it seems like they haven’t encountered each other for quite some time.

I’M FEELING MUCH BETTER NOW

Back at the temple, Hippie asks Jack to join him for a conversation. As they argue Hurley yells, “Jack!” Everyone turns to see Sayid sitting up. “What happened?” he says. You know the answer to that Sayid! Whatever Happened, Happened!

But is this really even Sayid? Can Jacob take the bodies of dead people, just like the man in black? There’s a chance that this Sayid actually is the man in black, although it’s a slim chance. If this body was someone other than Sayid, experience tells us the real body would still be around, too. And we know that Ben has undergone a similar procedure as a child without having his body taken over by some other force. It will be very interesting to see what Sayid is like from now on. I’m pretty excited about this development – it could be just what Sayid’s character needs to really break out of his doomed shell.

CONCLUSIONS

So there it is. The stakes are obviously high. We know for sure the face of the enemy, though we wish we knew its real name: the Man in Black/Black Smoke Monster. What sort of defenses will the Temple be able to employ against him? What will Ilana and Richard’s Others do? It seems like it might be a good idea to meet up with the Temple Others, though Locke might get to them first.

In one reality, the island stands ready to be the battlefield between ancient competitors: the forces and belated guardians of Jacob vs. The Dark Enemy. In another reality, there is no island. We have two groups of characters – those we have come to know, love and hate, and those who share traits with them but aren’t quite the same. Let’s see how both turn out.

Learning what was in the guitar case so early in the season was a pleasant surprise, and the giant Ankh was certainly an impressive prop, regardless of the fact that a sealed envelope would’ve probably worked just as well.

Finally, we see the temple, and meet a whole new group of characters. It’s a good thing Hiroyuki Sanada is so good at being the mysterious Vest, because these original recipe Others (shunning technology and performing rituals) could very well have been too much, too late. Instead, Sanada seemed a perfect disciple and ally of Jacob, and through him, the Others again seemed to be a tribe to be reckoned with. An intimidating air that was reminiscent of the first two seasons, before Kate found the costumes.

What of the temple spring? Apparently it’s supposed to heal, as the Island itself does, though that power went missing as the water turned cloudy. Sayid, instead of being revived, apparently died. But that was likely always Jacob’s plan. I bet that Jacob now has a new agent or vessel in Sayid, given the unfamiliar voice with which Sayid asked, “What happened?”

But with word that Jacob is dead, the Others at the Temple prepare for battle with “him.” Their flare alerts Alpert, who’s sadly pummeled by Unlocke/Man In Black, and I guess the battle is on.

NOTES

From beyond the grave, Juliet says, “It worked.” So can she see the other timeline? Is it even, really, another timeline? After all, in Los Angeles, it’s 2004. On the island, it’s 2007 or so. Maybe the writers can somehow connect the two into one single timeline? Does that even make sense?

The Man in Black’s tribute to the late John Locke was a bittersweet one. He spoke the truth about our sad, defeated friend, and our would-be hero. But perhaps not surprisingly, Terry O’Quinn’s “menacing” look is incredibly effective, and I’ll gladly let John Locke go in favor of seeing what the actor does with a whole new soul.

The Man in Black wants to get off the island, and go “home.” I guess it’s fair to ask where or what “home” is, but I think the real story is why he (and likely Jacob) are trapped on the island. His reference to Alpert’s chains, meanwhile, hint strongly at the suspected link between Alpert and the Black Rock.

Hurley can see Jacob, but Jin can’t, though Jacob touched them both. Therefore, Hurley is special, and seeing the dead is simply his thing. Indeed, he seems almost too suddenly fine with it, barely reacting when Jacob tells him he died three hours prior, and talking warmly to the recently deceased Sayid. Miles, too, got to let his freak flag fly, and this time his communion with the dead came with a great deal of dramatic flourish. Sometimes, I can’t believe this is the same show we were watching in Season 1.

Great lighter moments. Hurley saying he knows how to use a gun, or arguing about trademarking the word “Outback.” Locke telling Boone he’s not pulling his leg, and Boone telling Locke he’d follow him to stay safe on a plane. And, of course, a Sawyer nickname: Earhart.

Richard said, “Asking me what’s in the shadow of the damn statue doesn’t mean you’re in charge.” He flippantly referred to a line that, up until now, was infused with significance and weight. Kind of like, “Live together, die alone.”

Fun with pointy things! Jack was again looking for a pen to save someone’s life. And how great is it that a character named Bram dies via a stake through his heart?

Book: “Fear and Trembling” by Soren Kierkegaard, a retelling of the biblical story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac.

In case you missed it, one of Jacob’s bodyguard’s bullets ricocheted off of the Man in Black/Smoke Monster, so this Big Bad cannot be shot and seems to be invincible. Quick, somebody, git a rope!

OTHER THOUGHTS

1) Was Charlie trying to kill himself? Did he accidentally swallow the package during the turbulence? I didn’t get it. Yes I understand the parallelism of Jack having saved Charlie before, and in the current storyline him failing to save Sayid… but this seemed weird to me.

2) How much is different? Is it just these character’s lives? Have other things turned out differently? For instance, will the Red Sox win the series and George Bush be re-elected President (as Ben explained to Jack during his captivity in the MTL). I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if the show never goes in that direction, but you gotta wonder.

3) We didn’t see Michael or Walt on the plane. Was that because they couldn’t get the actors to show or because Michael and Walt were no longer on the plane? It seems like Walt is too important not to be touched on in either the ATL or the MTL, and the ATL might end up being a better place to do it. Then there’s the Tailies – what about Eko, Ana Lucia and Libby?

4) I’m not willing to believe that Sun doesn’t speak English. Sun is the second biggest liar on Lost. Only Ben tops her.

5) Poor Shannon! Since Maggie Grace has been too busy shooting movies to come back to Lost, Shannon is stuck in an abusive relationship for all of eternity—and will never get the chance to cozy up to hot Naveen Andrews/Sayid for some lovin’. Boo! Shannon’s new backstory, as well as Hurley now being “the luckiest man alive” and Desmond being a passenger on 815, illustrate that this is a separate, new reality and not a do-over of what happened before.

6) This also confirms that Hurley truly does have the power to talk to dead people, as this is the first dead person that we can unequivocally say is NOT the Man in Black.

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Glenn Moss
Born in 1952 (you do the math), making me one of the proverbial "old farts" involved in toys, comic books, and other juvenile activities that everyone said I should have outgrown decades ago. Fortunately, my wife of 36 years is an understanding soul. A firm believer in the philosophy of Groucho Marx, George Carlin, Robin Williams and Chris Rock. Am now indoctrinating my grandchildren to carry on so that when I finally fade away there will be another generation of odd neighbors who seemed nice and kept to themselves.
Read other articles by Glenn Moss.

 

 

 

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