This is a recap of the Lost Season 5 premiere, Episode 84 entitled “Because You Left” and episode 85 “The Lie,” originally airing January 21, 2009. If you continue to read on and you haven’t seen the episode, then you die tomorrow, BWE is not liable.
TIME WARPING, OR, AS THEY MIGHT SING IN THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, “THAT ISLAND SURE IS TRAVELING THROUGH TIME A LOT”
We learned in the Dharma-flashback cold open that a section of the island consists of pure energy, which, when harnessed by the frozen donkey wheel, allows the island and/or its inhabitants to travel through time. This prompted the Dharma worker to ask, in a Hurley-esque representation of the viewers’ questions, “So we can go back and kill Hitler?” to which Dr. Chang shot back, “Please…there are rules. Rule #1 – You can’t go back and kill Hitler. Everyone was always like ‘oh, let’s go kill Hitler’ and we were never getting any work done, so we banned that one right off the bat.”
In the aftermath of Ben’s island-moving, the remaining islanders (Locke, Sawyer, Juliet, Farraday, Miles, Charlotte, and “Next Hit Character” Neil, plus extras) are dealing with the island fluctuating through different time periods of its existence, with the manmade features on the island and its array of inhabitants randomly changing after frequent fade-to-white Finalcut transitions occur.
Locke then briefly encounters unaging Alpert, who tells him that the only way he can stop the island’s movement is to “die” and bring the Oceanic Six back to the island. He then gives Locke a compass and, when Locke asks what it does, he replies “It points north.” So even Alpert is a smartass now? We already have Ben, Sawyer, and Hurley — the show’s pushing a 40% characters-are-smartasses quotient, the highest for a non-Aaron-Sorkin show in decades.
KATE, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST…REALLY LONG AGO
Someone knows that Aaron isn’t Kate’s baby and hired two CBS-looking dudes (one of whom kept looking directly into the camera) to grab a DNA sample from her. First simple mystery of Season 5: Who’s behind this? Could it be Claire’s mother, who stroked Aaron at Christian Shephard’s funeral and cryptically declared “what a beautiful baby”? Could it be Charles Widmore, who wants to explore the depths of the Oceanic Six’s lie and possesses the means to hire these agents and is also generally evil? Could it even be Sun, who seemed unfazed by Kate’s news and perhaps wishes to use Kate as a stepping stone to exact revenge on Ben?
As usual, I’ll assume Rose is behind everything until the show proves otherwise.
Speaking of the Kate/Sun convo… Sun receives our Passive Aggressive Player of the Week Award after slipping in “Kate, if it weren’t for your tough choices, we might all be dead, instead of just my husband,” followed by a not-so-loving, “So how’s Jack?” I imagine a deleted scene of Kate winging a wine glass at Sun will appear on ABC.com at some point today.
SPECIAL GHOSTS. GUESTS.
The episode concluded with a surprise re-emergence of Ms. Hawking, the woman who once refused to sell Desmond a wedding ring because it wasn’t his destiny, who is now a nun with a science lab and a pendulum in the basement of her building. She’s apparently one of Ben’s many agents (/ mistresses?? Maybe???), but could Ms. Hawking also be Farraday’s mother in Oxford whom Desmond is supposed to find? She is pretty sciencey…
The premiere also contained a distinct lack of ghost appearances (with one notable exception), with no sightings of Claire, Jack’s Dad, Charlie, Jin, or Michael. I predicted yesterday that Miles’ ghost-talking ability would prove useful this season in unraveling the Claire mystery, but we certainly didn’t see any of it last night, besides Miles finding a dead boar (My friend texted me, “if all Miles can do is talk to dead boars, they should call him ‘Dr. Deadlittle.'” I agree with this and have already sent a letter to Sawyer explaining why he must use this nickname in future episodes. Not to Josh Holloway, I sent it to the character Sawyer).
The notable ghost exception, of course, was the SNL-like self-deprecating reappearance of Michelle Rodriguez, playing a Jacob manifestation of Ana Lucia, who delivered the knowingest meta-line in Lost history:
“Whatever you do, stay away from the cops. DO NOT get arrested.”
BEST MOMENT OF THE NIGHT
Hands down, Hurley whipping the Hot Pocket at Ben (cue Jim Gaffigan – “Projectile Weaponnnnnn Pockeeeeeeets….”) Ben was as schemey as ever last night, and despite Hurley’s flashback mention that sometime in the future he ‘wouldn’t be there’ for Sayid, Hurley ultimately took Sayid’s advice and did the opposite of what Ben said (Ben should’ve said, “Don’t come back to the island with me.”) This turn of events was one of the episode’s strongest character moments, and given Ben’s patronizing conversation with his butcher friend about manipulating Jack, it seems that Hurley may not have been entirely unjustified.
Ben also clearly stole this move from No Country For Old Men, meaning his hotel scene had to have taken place later than November of 2007:
Someone in our room correctly shouted out, more like, “No Country For Old Ben!” (P.S. — we are geniuses.)
Second best moment of the night? Hurley’s attempt to explain all of Lost to his mother, including admitting even he didn’t understand the whole button-pushing thing. My formula continues to hold true: More Hurley = Everything Is Awesomer.
Another friend of mine predicted “Frogurt” Neil’s death from the moment he walked on screen, pointing out that the Lost producers deliberately place expendable side-characters in red shirts as an homage to Star Trek, the flagship show of expendable characters. Also, could the flaming ARROWS have something to do with the baby AARON? Alright, I’ll stop.
R.I.P. Neil – we hardly knew ye. Except from this:
“… Then God help us all.”
Really? The most creative, unique, and puzzling show on network tv possibly ever, and they conclude their season opener with a borrowed line from every Jerry Bruckheimer movie trailer ever made?
Ahhhhh, whatever, Lost, I can’t stay mad at youuuuuu. Glad to have you back.
Your turn, folks — Episode thoughts, analysis, theories, predictions, and token exclamations about Sawyer’s shirtlessness in the comments, if you please.