BIG spoilers.

Lost Official Site

The Time:
Wednesdays, 9:00 PM, ABC

The Show:

Oceanic Flight 815 from Sydney to London went down somewhere over the
Pacific, the survivors of the crash found themselves marooned on a
tropical island.  But this is no ordinary island; it has
unusual magnetic, temporal, healing and seemingly supernatural
properties, and is fraught with constant danger.  There is
a mysterious black smoke-like creature, polar bears, and even
apparitions of the dead roaming the forest.  The island is
also the former secret haven of a group called the Dharma Initiative,
who were running experiments utilizing the unique properties of the
island via research stations that dot the landscape.  Now the
Oceanic survivors, led by Dr. Jack Sheppard, Kate Austen, James
“Sawyer” Ford, John Locke, Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, Sayid Jarrah and
others, seek a way to escape the island and its many dangers. 
But there are people, both living on the island and seeking the island
from outside, who are at war for control of it, and the Oceanic
survivors find themselves caught in the middle.  Told via
nonlinear fashion that incorporates flashbacks and flash forwards, Lost is one of the most unique and densely mythological shows on television.

The Stars:

•  Matthew Fox – Dr. Jack Sheppard
•  Evangeline Lilly – Kate Austen
•  Josh Holloway – James “Sawyer” Ford
•  Naveen Andrews – Sayid Jarrah
•  Terry O’Quinn – John Locke
•  Jorge Garcia – Hugo “Hurley” Reyes
•  Daniel Dae Kim – Jin Kwon
•  Yunjin Kim – Sun Kwon
•  Michael Emerson – Benjamin Linus
•  Henry Ian Cusick – Desmond Hume
•  Elizabeth Mitchell – Juliet Burke
•  Jeremy Davies – Daniel Faraday
•  Nestor Carbonell – Richard Alpert
•  Alan Dale – Charles Widmore
•  Reiko Aylesworth – Amy

The Episode:Follow The Leader”

Things are cooking, both in the past and present.  In 1977, Jack is determined to complete Faraday’s plan of using Jughead to neutralize the energy that will lead to “The Incident”, and thus changing the future.  And in 2007, Locke assumes his mantle as leader of the Others, much to Richard’s and Ben’s surprise and chagrin respectively.  He has two missions he has to see through, one familiar, and one mysterious.  Meanwhile, Sawyer and Juliet are tortured for info by the Dharma folk about Kate and what’s really been going on.

The Lowdown:

Good episode that featured action in both time periods.  In the past, we saw the return of a Jack who gave a damn about something again and in the present we saw the new John Locke, self-assured and with a definite mission in life.  In 1977 Dharmaville, Sawyer and Juliet are at the mercy of Radzinski as the secret of them not being who they said they were has come out.  Sawyer gets the Gitmo treatment from Radzinski while Juliet is forced to watch.  As that’s going on, Jin, Miles and Hurley are stalking from the bushes looking to see what develops and Jack and Kate are at the Hostiles camp, trying to deal with Daniel’s killing.  And in 2007, Locke, Sun and Ben return to the Others’ camp, with Locke looking to make a fateful arrival by the Nigerian plane, and then wanting to see Jacob.

Interesting to see Locke, who spent a good part of this season as a shell of himself now an ass-kicker and a name-taker, which is freaking the hell out of both Richard and Ben.  His taking them to the plane where he knew the past version of himself would appear answers the question of how Richard knew he was going to be there with a bullet in his leg.  Locke seems to have a hotline straight to the Island now and Ben doesn’t like it and Richard doesn’t know what to make of it.  Locke’s next mission after the rendezvous is finally going to take us to see the Wizard himself: Jacob.  And Locke’s plans for Jacob left Ben in a state of shock at the end of the episode.  Hopefully, considering there’s now only 19 episodes left, we finally get some answers on who and what Jacob is.  Is he a future version of Locke?  Is he Christian?  Is it Smokey having a bit of fun?  I saw something on the message boards that I heartily agree with: I want the confident, scheming Ben back soon.  This neutered version ain’t doing it for me.

Back in 1977, Jack and Kate are captured by the Hostiles, and Richard is there as usual.  We get some answers on what happened with Jughead.  We see that there are more tunnels, which is where they’ve been keeping the bomb.  And now that Eloise is hip to whom she’s killed and Daniel’s journal, it starts to make sense as to how she’s known so much.  I wonder if she kept the journal all these years, which might lend credence to when she told Penny that for the first time, she doesn’t know what will happen.

Two more instances where fans probably got their Kate-hate back on: when she turns away from the Hostile with a gun and when she climbed down into the submarine.  Safe to say any good will Kate had endeared from her turn in “What Happened, Happened” is gone again.  Daniel being stupid enough to walk into the Hostile camp with a gun was bad enough, but Kate thinking she could then just turn away from a hostile Hostile ready to blow her away is just as bad.  And seeing her later climb down into the sub just sucks all the life out of Sawyer and Juliet.  Hey more triangle shit!  Greeeaaat.  As for Jack, he’s been coasting on a wave of apathy since reaching the island, so it’s kind of nice to see him getting back to his old self.   I wonder how the bomb scenario is going to play out. 

And of course, hands down the best scene in this week’s episode is the Chang / Hurley interplay (paraphrasing from memory):

“What year were you born?”
“So you’re 46?”
“You fought in the Korean War?”
“There’s no…such…thing…”
“Who’s the President?”
“Okay, dude, we’re from the future…”

Deadpan comedy gold.  Chang discovering the Losties’ secret also explains why he sent his family away, which is a bit of closure at least for Miles.  I wonder if Sawyer, Kate and Juliet being off the island when the Incident occurs will lead into Season 6.  I just hope it doesn’t become a storyline that the other Losties have to now try to find them in the past.  AOh and FYI, that submarine animation was er, uh…Van Helsingtastic?

This was a moving chess pieces episode to set things up for the big finale.  Our resident Prognosticator made a prediction on the boards that I think is probably the best explanation of how things are going to play out next week: I’m assuming that the drilling begins, the magnetic energy starts
getting released, and then, in a dramatic scene, our heroes detonate
the bomb. Due to the weird energies the explosion is in some way
contained at the Swan site instead of destroying the island, and the
fallout from that is behind the thick concrete wall. As far as Richard
knows, everybody dies but they really get bounced back to the future.

I’ll buy that. 

8.8 out of 10