Lost has always addressed as one of its main themes the nature of identity. Whether in an overt way, as Sawyer’s “real” name being James Ford or Hurley’s being Hugo Reyes, or in a more subtle manner, as when Boone tells everyone he’s a lifeguard when trying to revive Rose in the pilot but later tells Jack he’s a businessman, roles and duplicates and opposites are a main function of character.
Last night, something Mimi said during the episode, coupled that we know “they’re coming” certainly means Desmond and Walt and the widespread rumor that the actors playing Jack and Walt filmed a scene years ago for the series finale… makes me think the person called “Wallace” at the significant number 108 on Jacob’s wheel is none other than Walt himself.
Back when I was a younger man, my resume was filled with jobs I’d call “suits and boots.” I’d have an advertising job where I’d have to wear a suit and tie every day until I got burned out and get a “boots” job; something where I’d need work boots, like cutting granite or medicine formulation. Then I’d get another suit job; then a boot job, then a suit job. Like that.
So, obviously when LOST is done, it’s done. But the way corporate entertainment works… Disney’s not going to soon let go of this award-winning, critically-acclaimed cash cow so easily. But there’s no way to create such a layered, intellectually-satisfying, emotionally-stimulating show in this vein again. Witness the less-than-successful attempts at similar “mythology” shows such as Daybreak and FlashForward. I was talking with Bigshot Hollywood Producer and Super-mom Samantha Olsson yesterday about this; you just can’t follow the same recipe with different ingredients and expect to bake the same kind of cake.
So let me offer up to Disney right now: when you finish up this egghead only-for-English-majors show, give it a year to rest and then call up Sam at Kickstart and the two of us will write you a kick-ass X-Men-meetsThe A-Team action show starring Alex Rosseau leading a team of no-nonsense adventurers — master of disguise Aaron Littleton, Machiavellian beauty Ji-Yeon Kwan, electronics expert Zach and his sister Emma — cascading through time and space in an almost Sisyphean mission: to reunite loved ones and stop the rampaging mad scientist Pierre Chang from altering history as they know it. Add in Rousseau, Kurt, and Hurley. Black smoke? We’ve got dinosaurs! Whining, ineffectual lead characters? Ours solve problems with quick quips and faster fists! We’ve got hot chicks and buff guys… with guns! OK, Lost has that, too, but the difference is all in the title. You guys are all wandering about aimlessly in a liberal arts student’s nightmare, where our guys take action! They’re…
OK, maybe not. One thing from a few eps back, and then observations on last night’s:
1. SOME FOLKS LIKE TO GO OUT DANCING; OTHER PEOPLE LIKE US, WE GOTTA WORK: What the heck is Desmond doing in the poster behind Locke at Hurley’s temp agency in the season premiere? Is he a famous ad model in Dimension X? Or has the Lost-Is-a-Game Guy been right all along and the game can only draw so many characters and avatars? That certainly would explain Charlie’s green-and-grey rugby shirt gaining and losing sleeves (sometimes in the same scene!) and all the various interlocutions and intersections of character and coincidence. I can’t believe this is all over in thirteen episodes, I just don’t.
2. THE BIRD, THE BIRD, THE BIRD IS THE WORD: When Sayid is driven up in the cab to Omer and Nadia’s house, the cabbie says: “Meter doesn’t stop until you get out, pal.” So? Oh, yeah; it’s Hurley’s voice.
3. I STILL CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU, CAN’T YOU SEE IT IN MY EYES: Dogen tells Sayid of every man’s balance and that his “tipped the wrong way.” That’s pretty significant for the end of this episode, keeping things as ambiguous as you can for as long as you can, what with all the nature-of-identity stuff going on. And in colored-eye news, during the samurai vs. soldier kung fu fight, Dogen’s got one black eye and one brown eye when the baseball hits the floor. Knowledge of alternate dimension? Good/evil decision to be made? I still don’t know. The next scene doesn’t help, either, because when Claire asks the Locke-Dressed Monster “Are you gonna hurt them?”, she has one blue eye and one green eye.
4. SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL: Miles confirms Sayid was dead-dead-dead for two hours… which semi-confirms Jacob might be a Sayid-Dressed Monster. Fake Locke has only killed sinners and people who’ve threatened him or his agenda, and Jacob… man, Jacob has no trouble letting his faithful die and whatnot. And with Dogen’s story of saving his son by being Jacob’s minion parallelling Fake Locke’s offer of seeing Nadia again to Sayid (not to mention it was Jacob who got her killed by the bus in the first place)… Well, there’s a lot to be said for both sides using similar means to advance their ends. So what’s “evil Incarnate” at that point? Just a matter of perspective.
5. “Hello, Sayid”: Hey, Sayid! Didn’t Dogen say if The Locke-Dressed Monster speaks, it’s already too late? Nice work; from Team Jacob’s POV, you stabbed him for nothing.
6. IT’S EASY TO FORGET THEM WITHOUT TRYIN’: Every time some fool sings “Catch a Falling Star” in this damn show, it annoys the spit out of me. Yes, Claire tells the adoptive parents to sing it to Aaron as her father did to her, fine. Then Christian Shephard is revealed to be her father. Oh, ho, OK. Then the damn song is the tune in the Dharma medical station nursery airplane mobile over the cribs. I might not have seen that one if we didn’t have a kid ourselves, and that’s when it started to annoy me. And then Kate is singing it to Aaron, for God’s sake, when she goes to see the dreamy Kim Dickens. And then, Crazy Claire is singing it in the hole to herself. Is this the only song they could get through Rights-and-Clearances? Come on! Play some Violent Femmes or Psychedelic Furs for once.
7. FAC UT GAUDEAM: My man Lapidus is earning his pay this week with an awesome tough-guy quote: “We’ll play catch-up later; you wanna live, you better move your ass.”
8. THEY’RE COMING: I love how when The Locke-Dressed Monster is assembling his army, he gives the nod to Sayid and Claire who give him “We’re in” looks back… and then he sees Kate on the outskirts of the group and gives her the tiniest of little scowls. If Terry O’Quinn doesn’t get an Emmy for his work this year I do not know what you have to do.
When you’re done here, click on over to EJ Feddes’ awesome wrap-up. Between the two of us, we might just figure this sucker out yet.