Series of Tubes: Lost “LA X” Reaction

In the past week, I watched all of Season 5 of "Lost", including the season finale twice. I then watched the recap show leading into last night's season premiere. So I felt like I was in a good place mentally heading into Season 6.

So why am I more confused than ever?

After watching "LA X", the two-part season premiere, I'm not sure what to believe on the show anymore. But I'm going to try to work it out here anyway.

In the Season 5 finale, "The Incident", Jack dropped a hydrogen bomb at the future site of The Hatch, and after Juliet fell down the shaft, she was able to get the bomb to go off. Jack and crew assumed that would re-set history, and they never would have arrived at the island, but when Season 6 started, that's right where they were, except instead of being in 1977, they were in 2008 -- where across the island, someone pretending to be John Locke had manipulated Ben into killing the mysterious Jacob.

Only, while Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Hurley, Jin, Miles and Sayid were suddenly in 2008, some of them were also in 2004, on Oceanic Flight 815, which hit some turbulence, but stayed intact as it flew over a completely submerged island, presumably sunk by the detonation of the bomb.

What the fuck?

OK, let me try and make some sense of this, understanding that I remained as spoiler-free as possible since the end of Season 5 and I have no inside information regarding the thoughts of the creators of "Lost."

One of the biggest themes running throughout Season 5 was "whatever happened, happened". It wasn't possible for the people traveling through time on the island to change anything that happened in the past -- even when Sayid shot Ben to try and kill him in the past, before he'd ever meet the Losties, he survived. However, toward the end of the season, Daniel Faraday became convinced that a big enough event would change what happened, but it had to be something massive, so time couldn't do a simple course correction (like it did with Charlie, time and time again).

In last night's premiere, Miles was able to read Juliet's last thought after she'd died, and he said "it worked". So how were Jack and co. still on the island if "it worked"? Well, maybe you can't change what happened, but you can make something else happen too. Rather than changing time, the bomb fractured time, creating a new alternate history where the island sunk in 1977, resulting in a ripple effect. A lot of things in this new timeline happened the same, but a lot turned out different.

For example, in this new timeline, Shannon didn't come back from Australia with Boone (and how awesome was it to see Ian Somerhalder on "Lost" again?), Desmond might have been on Oceanic 815 (his appearance was something of a mystery, which I'm sure will be answered at some point this season), Hurley referred to himself as the luckiest man in the world, Sawyer wasn't clean-shaven (he was back in the pilot episode), and Jack's father's coffin wasn't on the plane. I'm sure these differences will play a major part in the series.

As for the on-island timeline, we finally got to see the mysterious temple, where Richard took Ben last season and where Jacob's followers seem to live. Also, we got some serious answers as to the nature of not-Locke. He confirmed that he was Jacob's old nemesis (the one we saw at the beginning of "The Incident") and he's also the black smoke monster (though he doesn't like being called "the monster"). Given that we've seen the monster take the form of dead bodies on the island before -- Eko's brother and Alex, and we can assume Christian and Claire -- that leads us to the logical explanation of why Locke had to die and his body had to be brought back to the island -- so the smoke monster/Jacob's nemesis could take his form, in which he'd be trusted by both Ben and Richard.

There was definitely a lot of confusion in last night's episode, but things are definitely happening. Hopefully by the end of the season, the two timelines will converge and we'll get some real answers on what actually worked.