Beware of spoilers big and small below!
The season six premiere of "Lost" gave us the show at its mind grape-exploding finest: alternately head-scratching, frustrating, tense, cool as heck, cheesy, scream-at-the-TV-cause-you-gotta-be-kidding-me crazytown. Quibble all you want with certain things — Jack pounding on dead Sayid's chest in that hoariest of TV doc clichés, Sawyer saying goodbye to a dying Juliet, like, six times — but those two hours delivered. When it comes to the elements of Island mystery, we got meaty clues about the Smoke Monster, the old school Others and the implications of the white flash-inducing nuclear explosion. Then there were moments of nail-biting thrills, from Kate's airport escape to Sayid's force-fed swim session.
All in all, I argue the "Lost" brain trust has set up what promises to be a killer season, full of conflict, mysteries answered and left unsolved, tight storytelling and a chance to commune with the characters we've come to love in two different realities wherein they're largely the same but the circumstances of their lives are vastly different.
Not everyone agrees with me, of course. Here's what our other "Lost" addicted staffers had to say about the premiere.
The Truth of the Smoke Monster
Evil Locke (aka The Man In Black) is not the Smoke Monster. There, I said it. I realize what he said last night when Ben asked him who he was. Something along the lines of, "Sorry you had to see me like that," but I believe The Man in Black wants people to believe he's the Smoke Monster so they're afraid of him. The truth is the Smoke Monster is a separate entity entirely, and there are plenty of facts to support that.
I feel like this was a great premiere - mainly because it managed to capture everything about the series that got me hooked in the first place. There were elements of fantasy and science-fiction sprinkled liberally over the drama and action. However, with all of these returning characters, I can't help but ask: What are Nikki, Paolo, Mr. Eko and the polar bear doing right now? Where's THAT alternate timeline, "Lost" crew?
All I know is I woke up this morning with a splitting headache. I think it's because my mind was blown last night. Now that the season is underway, I find I have more questions than I did during the break between seasons five and six. Yup..."Lost" is definitely back.
Though it's very entertaining, I'm not sure I'm buying this whole "simultaneous alternate reality" thing. Mostly because I can't understand why the bomb would have changed some of what happened to the Flight 815 passengers before the crash: Hurley's the luckiest man in the world, and Shannon stayed in Australia. Really, Maggie Grace, you couldn't take just a minute out of your very important film career so that the show that gave you a career wouldn't have to mess up its (arguably already flawed) space-time continuum? Guess she's still bitter. Love me some angry Sawyer and bad-ass-escape-artist Kate, though.
Look, I've seen every episode of this show, some multiple times, and like everyone else, I get super turned on whenever the Smoke Monster graces us with its presence in any context. That said, this episode felt super gimmicky. Why not have Eko ride out of the temple on a polar bear? They're giving us what we want, but not what we need. No more new weird crap — this is the last season, I want answers, dammit. How many parallel realities are we expected to keep up with/care about? Get it together, "Lost."
Either the "Lost" writers are brilliant by making the series ten times more confusing from the last season, or they're masochists. Introducing another group? I have my hands full trying to remember what Hurley's chicken franchise is called.
[Submitted without comment]