Post-Game: 'Lost' 5.1 & 5.2

Episode 5.1 “Because You Left”

Episode 5.2 “The Lie”

Need I say it? SPOILERS ON!

Seriously, if you haven’t seen the first two episodes, stop now.

Okay. All in? Let’s rock.

Far and away, my favorite moment of the two-fisted return of Lost came early in the second episode. A freaked out Hurley, driving an unconscious Sayid, pulls over in a panic at the flashing police lights behind him. The cop walks up to the window to admonish him, and it’s long-dead Ana-Lucia. Awesome. Not only is that a massive head-spinner in its own right, Michelle Rodriguez is the most likeable that she’s ever been in the role as she a] lectures Hurley on being street smart and manning up, and b] confirms that, yeah, Hurley sees dead people. Her “Libby says Hi,” line is just icing.

For me, that whole bit encapsulates what’s great about Lost now. Nearly anything, anythingcould happen, and it could still make some kind of demented sense. Amazingly, between the time flashes and mercurial location shifts occupying the bulk of the narrative, the creators managed to roll out revelations and connections that were occasionally mind-blowing in their own right. Let’s face it: the show is now for people invested in the mythology of the show; casual viewing is not rewarded.

One example: when Faraday [the terrific Jeremy Davies] encounters Desmond in the past, he tells Desmond to find his [Faraday’s] mother, as she could help. If you were a devout viewer, you immediately knew that Faraday’s mother had to be the elusive Mrs. Hawking, Desmond’s original time-travel guide. And by episode’s end . . . there she was. Perfect.

Granted, I’m just pulling out moments right now. And that’s partially because the overall tapestry is just so, well, huge. The writing and acting was top-notch throughout, and I was particularly impressed by Yunjin Kim. Sun has actually had a lot of layers over the past few seasons, but now we’re seeing her in a new mode: righteously pissed. Her conversation with Kate [and the skillfully woven flashback to the freighter] makes it seem that she also believes that Jack bears weight with Ben for Jin’s death. And that could have huge ramifications.

So, in big picture terms, where are we now? Let’s run down the key players.

The Island: Locke, Sawyer, Juliet, and the survivors of the flaming-arrow attack on the beach [Roman Candle Neil Frogurt, we hardly knew ya’] are apparently in the Dharma-controlled ‘70s. Faraday has insinuated [or will insinuate] himself into the crew building The Orchid, and Charlotte Staples Lewis is apparently in early-stage Time Travel Sickness [get this woman a constant, stat!]. Richard Alpert is aware of Locke’s ongoing displacement in time, and maintains a dry sense of humor [when Locke asks the significance of a compass, Richard says, “It points north, John.” Nice.].

Off The Island: The Oceanic 6 and Ben are all in or around L.A. Kate’s on the lam because someone wants Aaron. Ben has a network of people helping him, including a mysterious butcher. Hurley gave himself up to the cops. Sun’s in town on [sinister?] business. Jack and Sayid are on the move. Desmond [remembering his conversation with Faraday in a dream] has himself and Penny headed to Oxford to find . . . Mrs. Hawking? Well, she’s in L.A. furiously calculating, because it looks like the gang needs to get back to the island in 70 hours or the world itself is screwed.

People? That’s how you start a season. Let’s talk. Whatta ya’ think?

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