Lost recaps: Season 6, Episode 1
‘LA X,’ Or: Many Worlds, Or: Nothing is Irreversible

Published February 5, 2010 on

Here's the basics of what you need to know to fake your way through a watercooler conversation about last night's Lost.

Have you ever heard of the Many Worlds theory? It's a physics theory developed by Hugh Everett III -- father of the Eels' E -- that basically states that whenever you come to a decision, you create separate universes for each possibility. I'm doing a very poor job of explaining it. If you want to get into it, check out the Nova episode "Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives," in which E goes on a quest to understand the theory and, possibly, his father. All you really need to understand is that Juliet detonating the bomb created a splinter universe in which the whole scheme worked, and the Oceanic flight never crashed. Unfortunately for our crew, the Losties we've been following aren't in it. So instead of having flashbacks or flashforwards in our timeline, it looks like we're going to be following two sets of Losties: The ones on the island after The Incident; and the ones on the plane that didn't crash.

So, here's what happened last night, or at least enough of it to get you through the morning watercooler conversation.

On the island:

So, bomb goes boom; screen goes white. And when it clears, we're at the blown-up Swan station, Juliet's nowhere to be found, and Sawyer's blaming her presumed death on Jack. And then it turns out she's alive, and they have to excavate her from the hatch. She lives long enough to ask Sawyer out for coffee (?!) and gasp that she has something important to tell him, but not long enough to tell him what it is. Fortunately, they have a guy who can talk to dead people. Juliet's message, via Miles: "It worked". Except, you know, not for them.

Sayid is in bad shape. Jacob walks up to Hurley, who recognizes him, and gives him instructions to take Sayid to the temple; they make no sense to Hurley, but Jacob assures him that JIn will understand; and, by the way, Jin won't be able to see Jacob 'cause Jacob's been dead for about an hour. Oh, and bring the guitar case.

While Sawyer and Miles are attending to Juliet, Hurley, Jack, Jin and Kate bring Sayid to the temple. (Kate and Hurley find some books in a dead man's pouch. The titles may be important, but I couldn't quite see them. Anyone?) They're apprehended by a bunch of acolytes, some of whom were on the plane. Among those is Flight Attendant Cindy, who describes their captives as being "on the first plane". The Japanese-speaking leader is ready to have them all shot until Hurley says Jacob sent him and points them to the guitar case. Inside is a big wooden ankh, which the leader breaks, revealing a note. The note, we're told via the leader's translator, says to cure Sayid. So, after explaining to Sayid's friends that there are risks, they take Sayid to the spring (which looks an awful lot like an Egyptian-themed mikvah) and drown Sayid in what looks like a baptism gone awry. Jack tries to save him, but it's pointless (Oh, Sawyer and Miles get captured somewhere along the line and brought to the temple, too. They toss off a one-sentence explanation and get back to the drama at hand.) Everyone is very somber and sulky. Hurley mentions to the leader and his translator that Jacob is dead. As the news is broadcast, everyone starts running around, setting off flares and ringing the temple with ash. Meanwhile, Sawyer is still pissed at Jack. And, whaddaya know, Sayid isn't dead after all. Is he Jacob, reincarnated? Or just really lucky?

Meanwhile, NotLocke is explaining to Ben that it was still Ben's choice to kill Jacob. Ben spends most of the episode trying to comprehend that NotLocke really is not Locke. When a few of Widmore's crew burst in, Smokey follows them and goes all temper tantrumy. Bram cleverly circles himself with some ash he brought in, but Smokey throws a rock that knocks Bram out of his circle, and that's quickly the end of Bram. And then we find out that Smokey and NotLocke are one and the same. Ben looks like he really needs to lie down. And that's before NotLocke goes on this tangent about what Locke was thinking when Ben killed him ("I don't understand"), and that, quite differently from Original Recipe Locke, NotLocke just wants to go home. Wherever that is. Also, Terry O'Quinn scares me.

This whole time, Jin and Lapides have been on the beach outide the statue with Richard, his group, and the Widmore people who brought Locke's body. Just as Richard sees the flare, NotLocke walks over to him, Ben trailing. Richard realizes who NotLocke really is -- apparently, Richard was in chains the last time they met, for whatever that's worth -- and NotLocke beats him up and carries him into the forest, right past Original Recipe Locke's body.

Alternate Timeline

So there's a buch of people. They're on this flight. The flight encounters some turbulence. It does not crash.

The non-crash may be related to the fact that the whole island is now underwater. Or it could just be an excuse to do an awesome CGI tracking shot graced by the Dharma shark.

Anyway, as far as we can tell, all the original Losties are on the flight, except for Shannon, and with the addition of Desmond. (Or maybe not; he vanishes mid-flight, and Jack's the only one who spoke with him.) And Hugo says he's lucky, and nothing bad ever happens to him -- which, you'll recall, was exactly the opposite of before. Michael and Walt are nowhere to be seen, but I wouldn't read too much into that: Child actors have this annoying habit of growing up and not being available for resets. Boone and Locke strike up a conversation. Jack has what looks like the world's worst case of deja vu. Also, there's an odd nick on his neck, which may or may not be important.

During the flight, Charlie chokes on a baggie o' drugs, and is not happy when Jack saves his life. We're reminded that Jin is still an ass to Sun at this point. Kate, accompanied by the marshal who apprehended her in Australia, swipes a pen.

They land, and everyone gets off the plane (Charlie in the company of a couple of guys with badges) and goes through customs. Jin has only declared a business gift, and doesn't understand or speak enough English to talk his way out of having several hundred thousand dollars in his suitcase. Watching her ass of a husbang getting carted off by security, Sun chooses not to reveal that she knows English.

Kate gets her accompanying marshal to let her go to the bathroom, where, once in a stall, she tries to pick her handcuffs with ballpoint pen components. The marshall figures out what she's up to, so she goes with Plan B: Knock him out, take his gun and run. She ends up in an elevator with Sawyer, who noticed her handcuffs on the plane, and here gets between her and a couple of officer-types. Once outside, with the marshal and half the airport security force in pursuit, Kate snags a cab, which has already been snagged by Claire. Claire is a bit taken aback when Kate pulls a gun on the driver and orders him to leave. Which he does. 'Cause, you know, gun.

Jack and wheelchair-bound Locke meet in Oceanic's lost baggage office. Locke is nonplussed about the airline losing a suitcase full of knives. Jack's a bit put out about the airline losing his father's body, what with the funeral being that afternoon and all. They get to talking, and Jack asks what put Locke in the wheelchair, hastily expositing that he's a spinal surgeon. Locke says his condition is irreversible. "Nothing's irreversible," Jack says, and offers him a free medical consultation.

Nothing's irreversible. Unless you have a hydrogen bomb.

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