When “Lost” went the way of “24” after the third season (starting the season in January and running uninterrupted until the season finale), it was bittersweet. Bitter, because we had to wait until January for a new episode, but sweet because once the season started, we knew we wouldn’t have to suffer through any long hiatuses.
Last night, the “bitter” part of being a “Lost” fan ended with the airing of the two-episode season premiere. It’s been eight months since Ben turned that huge wheel and moved the island, but it honestly felt like eight years. However, I thought the premiere was worth the wait. As I am often after watching “Lost,” I was scratching my head when the show ended last night. I have so many questions, I wish I could fast forward to next Wednesday.
So out of the 120 minutes of “Lost” I watched last night; here’s how many of those minutes I didn’t enjoy: zero. That’s right, I enjoyed every second of the show. It’s rare to sit through two hours of a show and like everything, but not once did I feel bored or annoyed with anything that was going on onscreen. It stinks that there are only 16 episodes in a season now, but it’s also good because the writers don’t have time to waste with meaningless stories. Every minute counts; that’s why there are so many quality cable series out there. Most of them only run 12 to 13 episodes a season, so just about every scene if meaningful.
Well, I guess that’s enough of the lovefest for last night’s show, let’s start dissecting it, shall we?
When the episode opens, we see an alarm clock go off at 8:15 a.m. I mean what other time would the alarm clock go off, right? You have to love the little winks and nods that go on with this show regarding numbers. We then see someone going through a morning routine without seeing his face, very similar to Desmond during the Season Two premiere. Part of that routine includes putting a record on, which probably means we’re looking at a scene from the past. That assumption proves true as we see Pierre Chang (AKA Dr. Marvin Candle) getting ready to film on of his Dharma Station videos.
Unfortunately, Dr. Chang is interrupted because of a strange occurrence at the next Dharma Station worksite. It turns out the workers are unable to drill through a wall that after seeing a picture is covering the huge wheel that Ben turned at the end of last season to move the island. Dr. Chang explained that behind that wall there was a mass of energy that could lead to time and space travel, and if the energy was released, well, God help us all. The workman who Chang explains this to thinks it’s a bunch of hooey and says as much to none other than time traveler extraordinaire Daniel Faraday. This scene sets up basis for the first of two wonderful hours of “Lost.”
As confusing as it was, I did enjoy the first hour and all of the time travel stuff. I’m very intrigued by the “When am I?” phenomenon. I assumed that when Ben turned the wheel last season, that the big flash was a one time thing. But it happened time after time and put our favorite survivors (not to mention us) in a state of confusion. When are they?
Regarding the time jumps, I enjoyed them the most when we got to see how they affected Locke. I was blown away when the plane that almost clipped him was the one that was carrying the drug-filled Mary statues and Mr. Eko’s brother. I was even more shocked to see Locke held at gunpoint by former Other, Ethan. I realized then we were in for some serious time travel tales when he popped up. Fortunately for Locke, he was saved from a second (and fatal) bullet when another flashed occurred.
After that flash, we saw which I thought was one of the best and most important scenes of the episode, Richard helping repair Locke’s bullet wound. I loved how when Locke told him that Ethan shot him, Richard replied, “Well what goes around, comes around,” an obvious reference to when Ethan was riddled with bullets by Charlie in Season One. Anyway, during this pivotal scene, Richard wishes he had more time to explain what was going on with the time flashes (we wish you did too, Richard), but simply tells Locke that what’s going on is happening because the Oceanic 6 left. Not only that, but Locke has to bring them back by, gulp, dying. Say whaaaat? As we know, Locke does die, but how and when I guess adds to the mystery that is “Lost.”
I liked the time jump scenes with Sawyer, Juliet, Faraday, et al too, but I thought they paled in comparison to Locke’s scenes. What their scenes did provide was a sort of explanation for what was going with the flashes. Faraday explained that when Ben turned the wheel, he knocked the island off of its supposed time axis. Another reason, I love this show: even the smallest insignificant things occur for a reason. When Dr. Chang’s record started skipping, it seemed like it was happening just because, but it turned out that was foreshadowing for Faraday’s explanation for what was going on with the island. It also provided a good visual for the explanation, just in case some viewers are too young to know how a record player works and what happens when a record skips.
Although their experiences with time were kind of bland, it did refresh some old memories like the hatch. It was very interesting to see it blown up one minute, and then back in tact with Desmond living there the next. Speaking of Desmond, I thoroughly enjoyed the scene between “past Desmond” and Faraday. It was very similar to Richard’s scene with Locke where he had to rush to explain what he had to do before the next flash happened. It looks like Desmond has another trip to Oxford on his hands. This time he’ll be looking for Mama Faraday.
Wow, I just realized I’m closing in on the 1,000 word mark and I haven’t even gotten to the off the island stuff or the second hour of the premiere. I’ll try to breeze through the (mis)adventures of the Oceanic 6 and the second hour recap.
*Kate and Aaron: Their storyline probably raised the biggest question of the “6”: who the heck wants their blood samples? My first guess would be Charles Widmore, but is anything what it seems on this show?
*Jack and Ben: I felt their storyline was the least interesting thing going on during the premiere. They were more or less stuck getting prepared to round up the Oceanic 6 and head back to the island. This might have been a total snooze, but Michael Emerson is so good as Ben, that my interested is piqued anytime he’s on the screen. I also loved his response when Jack told him Hurley was locked up in a mental institution, “Well, that will make him easier to convince than your other friends.” I’m paraphrasing, but you get the point.
Sun and Charles: The results of their little airport meet and greet remains to be seen. All we know for now is they have a common interest: Ben’s head on a platter. I loved how Widmore had Sun’s passport flagged and everyone at the airport was under his control. “They only do what I tell them.” It must be nice to be rich.
Hurley and Sayid: Every good “Lost” episode has at least some action in it, and this one didn’t disappoint. After Sayid got Hurley out of the institution, they stopped for some fast food and headed to the safe house that was anything but safe. Sayid luckily noticed that the tape he had over the door was broken, so he knew they had company. An all out brawl broke out which led to one guy being thrown off of a balcony and the other perishing by falling on a couple of knives in the dishwasher. Didn’t Sayid take Home Ec.? Put knives blade-side down in the dishwasher so you don’t accidentally grab a blade when you’re cleaning it out. Anyway, before Sayid took out the intruders, he was shot with a poisonous dart. Now it’s up to Hurley to get him medical attention. And, oh yeah, Hurley’s now wanted for murder.
Of course the most shocking thing to happen during Hurley and Sayid’s storyline was the return of Ana Lucia. Well, sort of. Hurley imagined her as a cop who pulled her over. She gave him some good advice about how to stay under the radar. When I heard Michelle Rodriguez was going to return, I wondered in what capacity. I assumed it would be a flashback, but a figment of Hurley’s imagination was even better. I also loved the, “Libby says hi.” line. I hope we haven’t heard the last about Libby. We never found out why she was in that institution.
Alright, on the Hour Two (“The Lie”) with a few quick bullets….
*The episode was pretty much all Hurley. I loved the t-shirt he bought at the gas station, and the “Weekend at Bernie’s” move he pulled by putting sunglasses on Sayid to hide the fact that he was unconscious. I also loved how he explained to his mom what really happened from the moment Oceanic Flight 815 crashed up until that point. It sounded crazy listening to it, but it was great that his mom believed him.
It’s such a shame that Sayid told him to do the opposite of whatever Ben tells him if they should ever cross paths again. Normally, I’d say that advice was sound, but this time Hurley should have listened to him since he was telling the truth for once. Unfortunately, Hurley took Sayid’s advice to heart and decided to turn himself in to the cops. Good luck getting him back to island now.
*I can’t mention Hurley without mentioning how great it was to see Cheech Marin back as his father. What a great casting job. I also loved that he was watching “Expose,” the show that starred former island dweller, Nikki.
*I’d never wish pain and suffering on anyone, even a fictional character, but I couldn’t help but love the irony when Neil was whining about not having any fire, and then seconds later he got hit with a flaming arrow.
*I enjoyed the scene with Sun and Kate at the hotel. I was happy that Sun said she didn’t blame Kate for Jin’s death, but I was surprised she told Kate that she needed to kill the lawyers who want her and Aaron to take a blood test. Jin’s death had made her cold!
*When Ben was in the butcher shop, the number he took was 342 and the camera stayed on it for an extra second. I was wondering if there was anything to that. The only thing I could think was that the last two “Lost numbers” are 23 and 42. So there’s your 342. I’m probably just reading too much into that though.
*Speaking of Ben, I assumed the woman he was talking to at the end of the episode about gathering the Oceanic 6 in 70 was being shown to us in the first time. It’s actually Miss Hawking, who first appeared in the Season Three episode, “Flashes Before Your Eyes.”
*It was great to see Locke come through and rescue Sawyer and Juliet from those soldiers.
*Just about every episode of “Lost” leaves me with more questions than answers. Here are my questions from last night:
-Why does the island keep experiencing time flashes? I thought it would have just happened the one time when Ben turned the wheel. Also, why will the Oceanic 6 coming back to the island make a difference?
-Who wants Kate and Aaron’s blood?
-Who were those soldiers who captured Sawyer and Juliet? When were they during that scene?
Well, “Lost” fans, our show is back. What did you think of the premiere? Was it worth the wait? What questions do you have? Feel free to comment below!
Joe Dyton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.