Director: Jack Bender
Writer: Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse
Over the course of five seasons of Lost we’ve been thrust backwards and forwards in time, and with every passing flashback or flashfoward we’ve learnt something new (or not) about the Lost universe. It’s been a heady experience, one that has been has frustrating as it has been rewarding. But now, as the show enters its sixth and final season, we’re being pulled in a totally new direction – sideways.
With the previously mentioned narrative tricks well and truly jettisoned, season six’s opening double-bill flits between two alternative timelines. It’s a neat trick, one that compounds all of the suspicions fans had about the plot of this season. Yes, the nuclear bomb did work, and in the 2004 timeline we see Jack and co all landing at LAX unscathed. Back on the island, however, and rooted in 2007 we see a totally different outcome where the bomb plot in fact failed. This timeline is perhaps the most complex, and with the introduction of the temple (yes, a new location) we have yet another locale to learn about. Still, Jack and Sawyer are now bona fide enemies, which bred some great drama, the Smoke Monster has finally been revealed and Sayid came through a tricky situation, so there is still much to enjoy from this period. As the episode progresses both timelines became relevant to one another, and you really get a feel for how they both could merge in future episodes. A true highlight remains the conversation between Jack and Locke in customs, and with the simple passing of a card Locke’s fate is given a totally new twist. Cameo-wise fans also got to enjoy Charlie and Boone as well as Claire making her long awaited return.
As far as season launches go this is up there with the best Lost has ever had. There is a real sense of purpose to proceedings, and this instils confidence that showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse can end this series on the high that it deserves.