Hey, I was right, everything went back to normal. Only it didn't. And everyone went back to the same time period. Only they're all in multiple time periods. Yeah, I have no idea what's going on. But let's see what we've got.
For starters, our Losties are done with 1977. The bomb went off, and they all ended up in present day 2007, on the island, with Sun, not-Locke, and everyone else. Sadly we are sans one Juliet, who is too busy dealing with aliens to fit any more crazy sci-fi shows into her schedule. She dies in Sawyer's arms, and our final message from her comes from the grave, where Miles tells us she said "it worked". Hmm. Meanwhile, Sayid is dying, Jacob appears to Hurley (I wonder if that'll become a recurring theme, when someone dies the first thing they do is go seek out Hurley so that they can talk to him), and tells him to go to the Temple to save Sayid. Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Jin take Sayid to the Temple, where we meet...more Others? But there are Others at the beach with Richard. Who are these people? Whoever they are, they don't mess around and are set to kill all the Losties until Hurley uses his last life line and throws out Jacob's name, and offers up the guitar case as his evidence (Since the writers decided to agonize us all last season with that mysterious damn guitar case, I really expected them to continue to toy with us this season; surprised they went to it in the first episode). Jacob's wooden Ankh (that he no doubt meticulously carved himself) and the mysterious piece of paper inside was apparently enough to save their lives. The other Others take Sayid into their mysterious fountain of youth, which is suddenly filled with cloudy water (Hmm.), and proceed to drown him until he's dead. Okay, not exactly
what everyone was expecting when Jacob said that Sayid could be saved at the Temple. While everyone's mourning the death of Sayid, Sawyer and Miles are brought in, while Hurley reveals to the apparent leader of the other Others that Jacob is dead, which is news to them. They immediately do what they can to defend against the arrival of the Nemesis, starting by dumping a large ring of ashes around the temple to keep it (him?) out. Finally, to cap things off, Sayid, who was clearly only mostly dead (as if there's such a thing as all the way dead on this island), wakes up, very much alive, and asks what happened.
Meanwhile, on the beach, we pick up where we left off with the Nemesis at the Foot of the Statue, and Ben sort of standing there a bit in shock. I don't think he much enjoys killing defenseless people who just sit there and take it as Jacob did, you're much less emotionally invested when you sneak attack someone or kill someone who's actually putting up a fight. The Nemesis orders Ben out to go bring back Richard so that he can "talk" to him, which probably sets off some red flags in Ben's mind given what just went down. Richard shows Ben Locke's dead body, and Ben comes back with some of Ilana's people. That went swimmingly, as the Nemesis changed from Locke into the smoke monster, and made quick work of everyone in the room. The Nemesis heads outside, knocks Richard out, and then carries him off into the jungle, destination unknown (I'd say the Temple is a good bet).
But wait, there's more! An alternate timeline! Where did it come from? I have no idea. Maybe the Incident worked and didn't work all at the same time. What I do know is that it's given us some funky new flashback transitional sounds (I heard they're being referred to as "flashsideways", even though we're technically flashing back to 2004. Details). In this alternate timeline, everything's crazy, dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria. Well, kind of. Actually, we're back on Oceanic 815 on September 22, 2004. We see Jack Shepherd on the plane, and Cindy the flight attendant giving Jack one of those mini bottles of alcohol, probably so he can stand there and hold it in his hand and feel like a giant. But wait, she only gives him one bottle, I thought she was supposed to give him two. Ah, there is Rose sitting across from Jack, as they discuss the turbulence. But wait, the ring she wore around her neck, it's not there. And the plane, it didn't crash. Why didn't it crash? Well, as the cameras take us outside, and into the ocean, we see that the island is completely submerged under water. We see the barracks, the ruins, even the four-toed statue (with plenty of algae on it to let us know it's been down there for a while). Hmm. During the rest of the plane ride, we see almost all of the survivors, save for a few (Shannon, Michael, Walt, Libby, Ana Lucia, Eko, and of course, Nikki & Paulo). The plane lands at LAX without incident, and everyone goes about their own business. Just like that. Where is this alternate storyline headed? I have no idea. My first thought was to think back to what Eloise told Desmond about the universe making course corrections, that you can't change things, which could mean that in this alternate timeline, things would gradually correct themselves, until that timeline eventually matched up with how things were supposed to be. Only problem with that is that the island doesn't exist. It's under a whole lot of water. So where this is headed, I have no idea.
-I thought the writing for the scenes on the plane were very well done. Lots of attention to detail with how things are sort of the same, but sort of different, as well as all the parallels to the interactions we saw on the island with what we saw on the plane. Jack looking for a pen to save someone's life, Charlie telling Jack he was supposed to die, Boone choosing to latch onto Locke should anything happen to the plane. Interesting to note the similarities and differences in everyone's lives. Jack still went to Australia to bring back his father's body, Hurley still won the lottery, but now has only good things happen to him, Charlie is still addicted to heroin, Locke is still paralyzed, Boone went to Australia to bring his sister back, but she stayed, Sun & Jin still have a trying marriage, Kate's still under arrest, but it's for killing her father's assistant, not her father (per the America's Most Wanted video at Comic-Con). I honestly have no idea where they're headed with this, but I thought they wrote the airplane scenes really, really well.
-So, Desmond was on the plane...or was he? I thought it awfully convenient that Desmond basically showed up right around the time the plane was flying over the island, and yet when Jack came back from saving Charlie, he was gone, and the only other person Jack asked about Desmond was sleeping (Rose), so no one else but Jack saw him. I don't know where Desmond was, but I don't think he was on that plane. And on that note,
-Jack seemed to have a bit of deja vu when Desmond called him brother. But the whole reason Desmond met Jack the first time was because Desmond was training for a race around the world, a race (as theorized by Julius Goat
) that he was possibly pushed into by Charles Widmore to make sure he ended up on the island, because it was his destiny. Well, if there's no island, then there's probably no race around the world, which means that Jack and Desmond probably haven't met before. Hmm. And what was wrong with Jack's neck? His neck just happened to be randomly bleeding for no reason? He also seemed to look at Kate for a second too long, as if he recognized her, as well. In general Jack seemed to be doing a bit of a double take, but he seemed to be the only one that felt like anything was out of sorts.
-That US Marshall that caught Kate is a pretty big moron. How many times has she escaped from him, or at the very least managed to get some shots in on him? Idiot.
-Christian's body has gone missing? Of course it has.
-Any thoughts on if Sun can still speak English? I'm voting yes, although it's tough to tell. The first time around, she waited to reveal she spoke English until Jin was basically facing a life-or-death situation. If she's hiding it now, it wouldn't be out of character at all for her to do so.
-I see Kate finally found Claire. Granted she's a hostage in the taxicab Kate's in, but hey, it's better than nothing, right?
-Touching scene between Locke and Jack, interesting to see Jack reach out to Locke like that to take a look at his back. I also felt like Locke had a very positive aura about him in general, which is not what I would have expected from him. His mood in his wheelchair life was noticeably different from how he acted on the island. Perhaps he got to go on his walkabout after all, although once I saw them bring the wheelchair out for him, I assumed he was just making that up when talking to Boone.
-Back on the island, look who we have, it's Cindy and the kids. Good call on my part claiming we'd never see them again. Way to go. I wonder why they weren't with the group with Richard that went to see Jacob.
-We have a dead Locke, who, upon returning to the island, is manifested by the Nemesis. Now, we have Jacob die, a dying Sayid, a dead Jacob telling Hurley how to save Sayid, upon said attempt at saving Sayid in the Temple, Sayid dies, only to come back to life several hours later. Oh, and whatever's on the mysterious piece of paper that Jacob wrote said that if Sayid died everyone would be in a lot of trouble. I mean, I'm not saying that Jacob is taking the form of Sayid, but...well yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Locke dies, the Nemesis takes his form. Jacob dies, Sayid dies, Sayid comes back to life after Hurley does what Jacob tells him to do to save Sayid. Just connecting the dots.
-So, this fountain of youth (that's what I'm calling it until I see a better term for it), seems like it's a natural spring that flows up from the island itself. I wonder what, exactly it's capable of doing. One can only assume it's how Richard saved Ben's life as a child. Does it help people heal faster? Does it prevent people from aging? I have a mental picture in my head now of Richard going and hanging out there after a hard day's work like it's a hot tub.
-We finally have some kind of sense of purpose from the Nemesis. He wants to get off the island, and he wants to "go home". Here's a guy who's hundreds of years old and has been on the island for a long, long time. What "home" could he want to go to? We don't even know what he is, for that matter.
-I liked the line from the Nemesis about Richard not wearing any chains. I know a popular theory out there is that Richard arrived to the island on the Black Rock, which was coincidentally, a slave ship, so it's certainly possible that Richard was once a slave there.
-I'm still a little confused by the limitations of the smoke monster, and the ring of ashes. It's very apparent now that the Nemesis can't cross over a ring of ashes (I don't know if these have to be specific kinds of ashes or what), which is why one of Ilana's people created a small ring around himself, and the Temple people put a ring around the Temple. Clearly the first time we saw this was outside of "Jacob's" cabin. What's interesting about this is that the Nemesis seemingly escaped from the Cabin when Ilana & Co. came across it, because the ring of ashes had been broken. But if the Nemesis was captive inside of there (Which would be why he told Locke "Help me"), then how is it we saw the smoke monster roaming freely around before that? If the Nemesis and the smoke monster are the same entity, then wouldn't they both have been captive inside the cabin? We don't know all the pieces to this yet, so I'm sure it will be cleared up in the future, but for now it's still something I'm trying to wrap my head around.
-Can we get Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane on the show too? I think we've had everyone else from Deadwood on the show so far. With the addition of John Hawkes as Lennon (the translator for Dogan, the Japanese leader), that ups our Deadwood count to five, if I'm remembering correctly (Edit: I wasn't remembering correctly, I forgot about Cassidy, who played Joanie Stubbs on Deadwood, so that makes six!). Let's just go ahead and get the rest of them on the show while we're at it.
Alright, that's all I've got for this week. Lots of new stuff going on in the premiere to take in. We've got a new alternate storyline that's heading somewhere unknown, we've got a new location to take in on the island (the Temple), we've got the Nemesis in a new body, and perhaps Jacob as well. If it keeps Terry O'Quinn and Naveen Andrews on the show, I'm all for it. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you all next week.