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Quick Hits: On LOST Season Premiere Titles

February 4th, 2010

OK, so I admit I’m a little slow.  I just assumed the season premiere Tuesday night was named “LAX”.  It turns out it was “LA X”.

One way or another, we know they’re not talking about lacrosse; however, I’m not buying the automatic jump to conclusion that the “X” is a reference to the roman numeral for 10.  In fact, I think there’s a hint that Cuse and Lindelof were looking at something entirely different.

My thoughts, after the jump.

Toward the end of the second hour of “LA X”, in baggage claim’s “Lost Luggage” section, Jack and Locke meet for the first time in a world where Flight 815 makes it to LAX.  Jack notes that nothing is impossible (or was it irreversible, I’m not sure).  It was a stark reversal of the characteristics of the Man of Science and the Man of Faith.

Jack handed Locke his business card, which card is shown above.  There are two clues that go to the title of the episode.  The first is between the “St.” and “Sebastian” on the Hospital name.

St. Sebastian, the patron saint of soldiers, athletes and plagues, was a martyred early Christian.  But his actual person is not what is significant there.  What is significant, perhaps, is the Cross that appears faintly in the somewhat hard to see Heart.

Similar to the Cross, when taken out of its religious context, is the word “Exchange”, which is used on the card in place of the more typical indicators of “Switchboard” or “Main” telephone number (as opposed to a “Direct” telephone line).  In fact, the use of Exchange is an indicator of an Easter Egg of sort, as a telephone exchange in the US telephone system indicates the three numbers that follow the area code.  It is entirely out of place on the card, as used.

So how do a Cross and the use of Exchange tie in to the title “LA X”?  “X” is a symbol for a crossing or an exchange.  “La” is the feminine article “the” in Spanish.  In Spanish, the exchange is “el excambiar” and the crossing is “la travasia” or “la pasada”.

More importantly, the crossing or exchange is an indicator, here, perhaps of the point at which one changes from one point, track or plane to another.  In this case, the exchange, drawing from “The Incident” (the finale of Season 5), is perhaps where the survivors split off into the two planes of the multiverse (or flash-sideways).

I’m still formulating and there’s no down that “X” could also very well mean “Ten” or “X” as a variable or unknown or “X” as in “X marks the spot.”  In other words, just as with the earliest seasons of the show, the wheels are churning in my head and I’m not entirely clear where they’re going.

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