Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ripples in a Pond (LOST 6x1 and 2 – LA X)

All choices in life affect everyone else, even if you don’t realize it. Since stories reflect life, a way to put together a compelling narrative is to show how one character’s actions affect the rest of their world. An example would be how anything Superman does affects the rest of the world; because if he didn’t do what he does, the world would, well, be destroyed.

This theme of the ripple effect (everything affects everything else) is evident in the season premiere of LOST.

My review of character growth in episodes 6x1 and 6x2 - LA X after the jump. (spoilers)

One of the things that got me attracted to LOST was how they used flashbacks and flash forwards to show how the characters progressed in life, and why they did what they did. Another thing I enjoyed was seeing how different people affected each other’s lives before they even met on flight 815.
After the finale of season 5, I like every other fan, had the question “will they reboot time?” If they rebooted, all the character growth would have been for naught! And if they didn’t, Season 5 would have been a waste of time! I think the writers picked the best solution to this problem: do both! This way we can see how things have changed in the “sideways reality” (so called by the producers) while sticking with the already established character growth in the original reality.

The problem the Losties have ignored, is not realizing how much of the new world is changed by blowing up the bomb. They thought all it would do was cause their plane not to crash. However, it’s revealed that while a lot of things never change (cough, Kate, cough) some major details of the new lives are very different from the old.

JULIET – The person responsible for finally hitting the bomb was Sawyer’s beloved blondie. While we had to see her die way too many times, (once last season, and three times in this episode!) her death can be considered right for her character. In her last moments, she revealed the doctor side of herself. She blew up the bomb so Sawyer would have never come to the island, aka, skipped all the heartache and pain fate (or fish eating demi gods) had offered him. She wanted the best for her man, and it’s easy to see why Sawyer settled down with her for three years, and was ready to stop chasing other beauties to stay with her. Although her time in this epi was short, it set off all the actions of the next character.

SAWYER – Poor guy! Things had started looking up for him in the 70s. He had a career, steady girl, and all the dharma beer he wanted. But that wouldn’t make an interesting TV show, would it? The episode starts with him in a rage against the person responsible for the whole bomb fiasco, Jack. His anger, while justified, brings out his dark murderous side. Sawyer has a habit of killing those who killed the ones he cared about most, and it looks like Jack’s island time is up, when a faint voice of hope is heard. It’s quickly gone though, as Juliet dies in front of him once again. Twice in an hour, and nothing he can do to stop it. And with her, went all of Sawyer’s will and purpose in life. This time there’s no con to play, no next shot at glory or material things in life. He has nothing to do, except wander through the jungle alone. (Until of course, he gets hit over the head and kidnapped by the Others, again.) Now, in sideways world, Sawyer doesn’t seem too different than his original 815 self. He’s definitely eyeing Hurley’s money. He does seem happier than he originally was though. Did he find the right man in Australia to kill, or did he have a purpose totally different this go around? We’ll have to wait and see on him.

HURLEY – Speaking of Hurley, he’s still one of LOST’s most loveable characters. In LOST world, he’s been moved up Jacob’s food chain, and is now acting as the leader of the LOSTIES. His goal, help Sayid. Of course, as soon as Sayid is in the temple, and… dead, he reverts back to following Jack. In sideways world, his personality hasn’t changed, but his luck has improved. He remains humble though, just a guy eating his chicken nuggets, and not wanting all the attention his wealth has brought him.

KATE – Another character he doesn’t seem to change much is Kate. In LOST world, she didn’t do much this episode, still following the general plan of action (help save whoever’s currently dying) and still being overly friendly with Sawyer. And in sideways world, she’s still a fugitive on the run. (and that poor Marshall gets banged up and hurt no matter what world.)

JACK – A lot of meat from this episode came from following this Doctor’s non-sureness of himself. In LOST world, he is very much a man without a plan. He has previously believed in science, and then switched to faith. In all of these beliefs, he was sure that his plans would fix everything for everybody. Most importantly to him, was also redeeming himself. We could easily call him the worst doctor in the world, since his attempts at healing and mending just seem to lead to more pain. Now, after seeing another person (or two) die because of his plans, he really has nothing to do. All he can do is the immediate helping others, and only if he’s directed too. It’ll be interesting to see him regain his leadership status, since the man is naturally inclined to take charge.
In Sideways world, Jack also appears to not have the same drive in life he did before. His goal is still the same however, fix people. This is evident not only in saving Charlie (who didn’t want to be saved) but in also reaching out to wheelchair bound Locke. Whatever has happened in this Jack’s life, he still shows the need to fix others to redeem himself. (Since he offered to take a look at Locke for free.)

LOCKE – is dead still in LOST world. This character had been all about finding his purpose in life. He wanted to feel accepted, respected, and wanted. At the end of his life though, he found himself empty with no purpose and no understanding of why anything had happened the way it did. In sideways world, it at first appears he has all he wanted. His tale of camping in the outback gains a follower in Boone. (Some things never change.) However, it is revealed that he was lying, and is still bound to his cage on wheels. Nothing different it looks like in his life. He also still has his sense of spiritual-ness, as shown by his advice to Jack. (“They haven’t lost your father, just his body.”)

SAYID – What an interesting case. He also shares the same hopelessness his fellow losties have. He knows he’s dying, and is sure whatever hell is, that’s where he’s going. From his dialog, he still appears to be trying to find a thin strand of hope, hope that something will redeem him. Whatever is going on with him only gets more complicated though when he dies and comes back from the dead with no memory of what just happened. Is it really him, or is some kind of demonic possession going on? I don’t think Jacob is controlling him, because that would be very different than the way Jacob’s counterpart; the Man in Black did his taking over of Locke’s appearance. We’ll have to wait and see. In sideways world, nothing appears to have changed.

And, to top it off, we get Jon Lennon and Mr. Anti English language. The new temple Others are incredibly annoying in my opinion, and hopefully will stop being so “oh, we can’t tell you anything” soon. (And will stop shopping at the pirates of the Aladdin costume store!)

Well, that’s the general recap for the characters of LA X. coming soon, “What Kate Does.”

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