Ratings update: Good news. The preem easily won its 9-11 p.m. time slot in adults 18-49. Average for the two hours was 5.6 rating/14 share -- a good number by any standard and up 12% from last year's opener. Total viewers topped out at 12.1 million. I can't believe that any one would want to watch anything else last night, but I suppose I'm biased.
Long live "Lost." The sixth season preem, "LA X," was worth the ten-month wait.
I can't begin to make sense of the storyline or where in space and time our heroes are (at any given point) but one thing that is clear from the two-hour opener is this final season is going to be stuffed with people-pleasin' moments, a payoff for the ardent fans who have stuck with Mssrs. Lindelof and Cuse through thick and thin, Nikki and Paolo, time travel nosebleeds and even Jack's goofy beard.
In the opener alone we got fresh material from Charlie, Boone, Cindy the flight attendant (then and now), Arzt, Frogurt, Claire, Rose and Bernard and even Zack and Emma. I'm sure Vincent is waiting in the wings for his big entrance in just a few segs.
We seem to be cruising into parallel universe terrain where our core characters are on the island, albeit back in 2004-ish 2007-ish time frame rather than 1977, and at the same time experiencing an alternate reality in which Oceanic Flight 815 never crashes but the characters' lives nonetheless intersect in unpredictable ways back in 2004. Or maybe the LAX and beyond sequences are still slightly in the future, at least the future as Jack, Kate, Sawyer, et al are experiencing it now on the island (now being circa fall 2004).
It's just all too much to figure out at the end of a loooong workday that started well before 9 a.m. with Oscar nominations. (Go Giacchino Go! Go "Up"!) I do know that the swooping shot from the plane through the clouds on down into the ocean floor where we zoom over the presumably sunken island was pretty darn breathtaking.
"LAX" overall had its share of gasp and holy crap moments as you'd expect from a seg handcrafted by the best of the best: written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by Jack Bender.
Even if I wasn't dead tired, I'd still have more questions than answers after just one viewing. As it should be.
** What's the significance of Hurley being able to see Jacob even in death. Is Hurley the new embodiment of good a la Jacob while fake-Locke is the embodiment of dark -- aka Smoke Monster, or the man in black who confesses to wanting to kill Jacob in the season five closer. Hurley has been the dumb angel throughout the show so it surely wouldn't surprise me. His mom will be so proud.
** "It worked," or so Juliet tells Sawyer through Miles. At least she and Sawyer got a proper death scene together. Much as I love Elizabeth Mitchell, it would have been hard to rationalize Juliet surviving such a violent incident. But then again, if she wound up being trapped at Desmond's old hatch, maybe she didn't experience the hydrogen bomb blast. Or more likely, it was the force of that blast that pushed our gang back into 2004. But "it worked" indicates that there's some explanation coming for the characters having parallel lives.
** What's up with Jin's stash of money found in his luggage at LAX? Was he perhaps hoping to escape the thug life in Seoul with Sun by hiding out from Mr. Paik somewhere in, say, Thousand Oaks?
** What book was Desmond reading when he was sitting on the plane next to Jack? I couldn't catch it on the first viewing, but these things are always significant, brutha. I noticed that Rose was flipping through "Weekly Woodsman" magazine during the scene where the turbulence first hits.
** "Looks like we made it," Jack tells Rose after the turbulence peters out. No, he's not quoting Barry Manilow. I suspect this will be an important theme of the season. But what does it mean when he goes into the airplane bathroom and finds the bloody spot on his neck.
** Who are the Taliban-looking people at the Temple? Does Ben know these people? Does Richard Alpert? Are they in 2004? Are Ben, Richard, Lapidus and Sun still in 2007? What language are they speaking? Sounded like a hybrid of Japanese and somethingerother.
** Fake-Locke to Richard: "Good to see you out of those chains" -- as in, Richard doesn't have to bow down to Jacob anymore?
** Could Terry O'Quinn get any creepier? That scene at the end with Ben: "I want the one thing that John Locke didn't want. I want to go home."
** Is Fake-Locke the "him" that the New Others are trying to keep out of the Temple?
** Speaking of temples, mine are throbbing. Good night.
-- Cynthia Littleton