(Note: I'm only separating this episode into two parts to be strict with the format. Every other publication I've seen lists this as one episode, but for the purposes of syndication, I'm going to give it a little latitude. Here we go.)
In a symbolic gesture, the episode begins with everybody save for Jack shedding their Dharma coveralls. This is especially painful for James, who effectively is completely numb. When Kate tells him, they'll leave him a trail, he tells her quite bluntly he has no intention of following him. He hasn't just fallen back to the old Sawyer, he's probably back to where he was after killing Anthony Cooper way back in season 3. All that seems to be holding him together is finding out what Juliet' wanted to tell him, which is why he holds a very reluctant Miles back. Miles finally tells him, and for once the message he gets is unclear: "It worked." At the time I took this to mean that somehow Juliet had gotten a glimpse of the sideways world, and that's what registered in her last moments. Having realized what she meant, I can only say ignorance is bliss.
The rest of the group finally make it to the wall around the Temple, find the remains of the French team, and once again encounter the whispers., which means that the Others have taken them again. We finally make it to the Temple, which we have heard about as early as Season 3, but have never seen until now.
It doesn't really make much sense to introduce us to yet another bunch of new characters as we head to the homestretch, but that's what happens. The only familiar face is Cindy, who has really gone native, and recognizes them all instantly. A bearded Japanese man looks at them, and more or less says "Shoot them." This time, it is only the actions of Hurley that save them, as he says the right thing, and shows them the guitar case. We finally see what's in it --- an ankh, much like the ones we saw the statue holding in Season 5's finale. But the Others don't seem to view it with reverence, as the first thing they do as break it. We never get a clear answer to what's in it, but I think it's fair to say we finally found one of Jacob's lists. And seeing that finally persuades them to do what Hurley wanted them to do: save Sayid.
Inside the temple, they find a huge spring, but the water is dirty (they are clearly troubled that its 'not running clear.'. They ask Jack, who seizes his leadership mantle one final time, if they want to try this. And just like he has in every major decision since coming to the island, he makes the wrong choice. They immerse Sayid in the water, and start an hourglass. He seems to start recovering, but they keep him down despite his struggles, and the protests from all the Lostaways. When the clock runs out, they remove Sayid, and he's clearly dead. Jack tries to fix things one more time, beginning CPR on him, just like he did to Charlie when Ethan seemed to have hung him by his neck. But this time, he seems a lot less committed, and when Kate tells him to stop.. he does. Jack has finally realized he can't fix things any more, if he ever could.
The Others then demonstrate their cruelty in a number of ways. Cindy brings them food (like she no doubt would've if Oceanic 815 hadn't crashed) and has Zach and Emma, the two kids from the tail section who were taken by the Others way back in Season 2, do the same. This is the final straw convincing me the Others had no souls. They took two children who just wanted to go home to their mother, and have not only raised them without their parents, they've turned them into servants. They then bring in Miles and James, who we're told beat up four of them before they knocked him unconscious. And do they seem any more inclined to give answers? Of course not. They just take Hurley aside and demand that he tell them about Jacob. (Hurley seems to have gotten smarter in three years, as he quickly realizes that the Japanese man speaks English after all.) And boy, do they panic when they hear Jacob is dead. They do the equivalent of establishing a perimeter around the temple, and send off a rocket to warn the Others on the other side of the island. None of which prepares us for the episodes final scene, when after appearing completely dead, Sayid suddenly and without warning rises from the floor. And given what happened the last time a character seemed to rise from the dead, I am really worried.
Meanwhile, under the foot, a major continuity error occurs. When UnLocke killed Bram and the rest of Jacob's bodyguards, it was still dark. Now, it's the middle of the morning, and not only is UnLocke still just moving the bodies around, but no one else has come in. Maybe they're still obeying the rules of no one entering Jacob's sanctuary, but that doesn't explain what was happening inside.
I let all of this go, because we get a magnificent scene. Ben, still in shock, demands to know what he's dealing with, and calls him 'the monster', using the words that only Locke did. UnLocke is mildly offended at this, calling himself 'not a what, but a who", and waving off that he manipulated Ben into killing Jacob. He then utters the coup de grace, saying that John Locke was very confused when Ben killed him. The last thought that went through his mind (and I shudder to think that the Man in Black knows this now) was "I don't understand." "Isn't that just the saddest thing you've ever heard?" And even delivered disdainfully, it is. Locke was the only person on the island who knew that there was a higher purpose to them being there. For his faith,. he was taunted, abused, beaten up, shot at, and ultimately killed, and now it seems he was used just so that he could kill the man he was desperate to serve. And as an added irony, he now seems to be possessed by an entity, whose only wish is the complete opposite of Locke's: he wants to go home. We don't know what it means, or why, but we can pretty much tell already, it won't end well. So when he comes striding out of the pedestal, all games are over with. Richard finally seems to recognize the man he thought was Locke, and now UnLocke seems determined to carry out his business, and it will be far more unpleasant than any of us can imagine.
But what has been happening in the sideways world, you ask? The revelations are far less expository on the ground. Jin and Sun are held up at customs, with the watch that he was going to give to someone in LA. But they also find several thousand American dollars, and Jin is clearly baffled by this, as much as he seems unable to understand English. Sun is referred to as Ms. Paik, meaning she isn't married to Jin in this world, and when a stewardess tries to ask her for help, she just echoes him by saying: "No English." Has she given up on him, and left him to rot? Or is she as baffled by this as he is?
Kate, in the meantime, does what she always does--- she runs. She breaks out of the Marshal's handcuffs, knocks him cold and takes his gun. She runs into James in the elevator, and though we can't be sure of it at the time, he seems to realize that she's a fugitive, and not only doesn't turn her over to security, he helps her get away. This will take on a great deal more significance when we learn who James Ford is in this reality.
Meanwhile, Kate gets outside the airport, jumps in a cab, pulls the gun on the driver, and realizes she has a passenger ---- Claire! (Double Yeah, though it would be nice to know if this is the only place we're going to see her.)
As always, the characters who seem the most important are Jack and Locke, and the two end up meeting near the episodes end in baggage claim. As we learned earlier, the coffin carrying Christian didn't make it on the plane, and they don't seem to have any idea what happened to it. Considering how much of Jack's emotional baggage revolved around his father, we can't help but think that this might be a positive thing. We realize this when Jack and Locke speak about it.
In an episode filled with remarkable things, perhaps the most remarkable is the conversation they have. It is... civil. There is no gamesmanship, no anger. Jack and Locke always pushed each others buttons on the island; here, talking about his dead father, Locke offers him spiritual advice... and Jack seems comforted by it. When he sees Locke in a wheelchair (something he never knew about in the 'real' world) he offers him a consult, telling him: "Nothing is irreversible." Could it be that the two men who were at loggerheads might finally be able to fix each other in ways they couldn't on the island? This was one of the reasons this was a high point of the episode.
'LA X' seemed like it was going to offer us one last way of telling a story. It was one of the reasons I left this episode feeling hopeful that maybe the writers knew what they were doing after all. We were finally getting secrets revealed on the island; redemption seemed possible off it.... was it possible, despite my misgivings that this might actually work. We'll see when things began to flicker, but right now like the characters in the sideways world, we had reason to hope.
Baby on board
Beyonce will be giving Blue Ivy a sibling in the near future.Get the details