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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 1, 2008

New 'Lost' episodes sizzle with cool twists

By Mary McNamara
Los Angeles Times


Join Advertiser blogger Caryn Kunz and the other "Lost"ies in a discussion about last night's premier episode at www.blogs.honoluluadvertiser.com

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8 p.m. Thursday


Premiere episode repeats at 7 p.m.

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Attempting to describe the events of the first two episodes of the new season of "Lost" is a humbling experience. So much cool stuff happens that it is difficult to articulate properly — rescuers arrive, except chances are they aren't actually rescuers. And, anyway, Locke (Terry O'Quinn) killed one of them last season, so he's probably smart to heed the words of the long-lost Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) and high-tail it with as many as will join him to the compound that once belonged to The Others.

After all, Charlie's last words were "not Penny's ship," which means whoever is communicating with the survivors via that weird walkie-talkie, they definitely aren't who Jack (Matthew Fox) and Kate (Evangeline Lilly) et al. think they are, as the ever-creepy Ben (Michael Emerson) surely knows.

Even if you could explain such things in an orderly fashion, you would still sound insane. And you will see this reflected in the face of your friend as he or she slowly, carefully, edges toward the door.

That doesn't mean you can't enjoy this season just because you've missed what's happened before. What happened is not as relevant as you might think, because "Lost" is the ultimate postmodern television show, all about living in the moment.

The show is crazy, man, now more than ever, and I mean that in the best possible way. An hour's worth of emotion-churning chemical dump right in the old brain stem — horror, hysteria, regret, adrenaline, and what, oh what, will happen next? Who knows? But as Jack says to Kate, "Let's just let this play out."

There's so much spoiler potential here that it's difficult to offer a review except in the vaguest terms. Most important, the flash-forwards that brought so many fans to their knees last season — Jack, a drunken mess, insisting to a placating but ultimately dismissive Kate that they were wrong to leave the island — continue, making it clear that rescue is by no means the end of the story, or the show.

Meanwhile, four dubious newcomers land on the island with all sorts of high-tech gear and mixed motives at best. "Rescuing your people — can't really say it's our primary objective," says one (Jeremy Davies), a high-strung physicist (or so he tells us) by the name of Faraday.

The shack with the crazy ... guy? ghost? voice talent? ... is back in play, as are gas masks, polar bears and Locke's missing kidney. Seriously, the show is so whacked that, at one point, when it flashed-forwarded to an excavation site in Tunisia , I fully expected some blind priest to totter forward bearing the skeletal remains of a jackal. Yes, that's right, the answer to the mystery is: Ben is the Antichrist.

OK, it's not. At least I don't think it is. And, frankly, the answer to the mystery is now almost beside the point. It's enough that there are clearly events in play that will result in some sort of resolution, if only in the existential sense.