Yes, yes, I got a Lust for Lost, and I don't care who knows. When we last left our island of well-cast-castaways, the ever-evolving and always compelling John Locke (Terry O'Quinn, o'course) had finally unearthed "The Hatch" on this island of Survivors. He naturally named the Hatch "Richard" because... okay, I'm sorry.
Time is of the Essence because "The Others are coming!", which is a phrase ten times more ominous than "I'll be Bach!". The whispers rise in the wet jungle, the fear grows in the hearts of those who survived, and Kate, Jack, Locke, Hurley and a few tiny pieces of Arzt use black rock dynamite to blow that hatch to kingdom come only to find... THAT YOU HAVE TO WAIT TILL NEXT SEASON TO FIND OUT!
Hully Gee! The summer was longer than a wide-lens pictorial of John Holmes. At last, the Season Premiere "Man of Science, Man of Faith"
What about Jack and his romantic side??? Subtle hints and allusions from last season have led right into this episode's flashback arc, showing Jack's scientific body slam into the world of faith-inspired Miracles. Which... leads us right back to the island and the mystery just under the surface. Something's going on here, and it's a something that makes Twin Peaks look like Ernest Saves Christmas and The X-Files look like an episode of PBS' Nova!
That doesn't even scratch the surface (no pun intended) of Hurley's hurling of himself at Locke when he finds "THE NUMBERS" etched into the hatch just as it's about to become the lid to a Jiffy Pop canister.
If this episode has any flaws it's the waiting. For a show so thick and rich in mystery that takes its time and pacing, it's impossible to keep up with all 43 (remaining) islanders in each episode, n'est pas? C'est! With the (near) exception of Hurley (Jorge Garcia) most of the rest of the cast plays virtual greek chorus to the main events of Jack, Locke and Kate as they storm the Bastille. There's just enough of a goofy line from Charlie (Dom Monaghan) here, a tired look from Claire (Emilie de Ravin) there, and the occasional fearfully beautiful glance from Sun (the incredible Yunjin Kim) everywhere. Naturally Sun's worried about Jin (the ever-excellent Daniel Dae Kim), but aside from the bizarre apparition of Malcolm David Kelley's Walt [who presents himself during Shannon (Maggie Grace) and Sayid's (Naveen Andrews) hunt for Vincent (Madison, the dog)], there is hardly even a mention of the raft-escapees.
Two things to consider, though: 1) We know of Lost by now that even the smallest, most insignificant moment can lead to a huge revelation in a coming episode (like a butterfly's wings giving birth to El Nino!) and 2) That's only until the second episode of Season 2: "Adrift"!
"Adrift" picks up the second nail biting cliffhanger from the end of Season 1, the escapees from the island on the raft designed by Harold Perrineau's Michael. In what could have been the "hope" for the new season (but let's face it... they can't end this show that easily), the raft-ers meet with a gang of seafaring rough-necks they so hope are going to be rescuers. Instead, they are apparently something... well... Other! Sawyer (Josh Holloway) takes a bullet in defense of Walt, Jin takes a header into the old Briny for the rescue of... Walt, and Michael (Walt's dad) dives from his watercraft just as it blows up, which prevents the pursuit of... well, you know who by now.
What's amazing about "Adrift" is how much of a story J.J. Abrams and crew can tell in such a short time, and still end up in the exact same chronological point in the story at which "Man of Science, Man of Faith" ended. If anything, I'm not ready for each episode to end, and the wait from Wednesday to Wednesday is like sitting on a splintery bench. I will also say that because this episode featured a brief glimpse of Jolene Blalock in a cameo, I'm jonesing like a methadone-deprived smack addict.
This is a Michael-centric episode, to say the least, and the meat of the flashbacks surrounds the custody battle between Mom and Dad over toddler-era Walt. For the faithful viewer, we all know how that one panned out, therefore the entire thread is a painful mirror for Mikey of... LOSING WALT! If "The Others" are the ones who took him, does this mean that Walt was "the child" they were coming for? And if so, what the hell about old Ethan Rom? The world may never know... until later this season.
But despite the centrism on Michael and Walt, this is an excellent episode for seeing more of that Human Side of Sawyer, often as elusive as Jerry Mouse from Tom Cat! As old "James Ford" revives the drowning Michael (unquestionably saving his life) he actually smiles at the victory and hugs Mike like a returning prodigal son. It's only when our boy is blamed for the whole shebang that he becomes surly old Sawyer once again. Two problems (well, two more problems): Jin is nowhere to be found, and in his place has arisen a Shark so nasty he makes Bruce look like Nemo! Of course, by contrast Bruce II actually continues to make Sawyer seem like a nicer guy.
Back in the Hatch, we're given a much deeper view of the man in the hole, and in full surround-vision. We see the events from the POV of Locke and Kate, who see a lot more than Jack does. Jack's revelation is marginal compared to what Kate and Locke see, and what our newest character reveals just in his questions! Naturally "questions" are the name of the game on Lost and even the most hidden and minor vision within the Hatch feels important (what's with the I-Ching, and is that a serpent dividing the Yin Yang therein?).
Again, we just don't know yet, and because "Adrift" ends precisely where "Man of Science, Man of Faith" did, we have another week of la tortura ahead of us. Well, let me revise that statement... "Adrift" ends chronologically at the same point, but it does give us one larger view of that time, whetting our adrenal appetite for the season to come... it shows us something different... something... Other.
Another full Five Stars go to the first two episodes of Lost's second season. But you knew that, and you still might be asking... why bother reviewing it then? Addict, methadone, smack... get used to it! Lost is great, and is going to be remembered as being great, as they haven't dropped that proverbial ball just yet. Of course, if we go down a corn-ball path that reveals the supernatural elements to be something we've seen and snored at before, then we might have to prune the remaining seasons. I doubt it though. There are still a number of tricks coming up through that hatch! Huzzah! Now if only we could get a repeat of that blue bikini fan dance Mrs. Kwon (AKA Mrs. Kim) treated us to last season. Mister Wind was a lucky man that day. Again, I say HUZZAH! So, until the ground opens up to swallow Locke, only to reveal Agents Mulder and Scully to pop out in that plume of black smoke, only to reveal that it was merely boiling black oil, and "The Cancerman" has been behind the island the whole time, with Gibson Praise in tow... I will most assuredly, rabidly, passionately, and (lets face facts) nerdily see YOU... in the next deserted reel!
If you were trapped on a deserted island and you could only bring three things...
I would hope you would click HERE for more reviews, and print some favorites out just in case!
(I'm pretty sure that's what Sawyer is reading... not some phony letter!)