(SPOILERS LURK BELOW)
The return of Lost makes me very excited. It is one of just a few shows that I can usually sit back and just enjoy the show without much snarky commentary or constant bickering or complaining. The character arcs are often well thought-out, the stories usually well executed and we know enough by now that any season will have just one big over-arching theme (The Hatch, The Others), so going into this season expecting a limited focus of the island's multiple questions helps a lot.
Is there anything else on Thursdays at 9? Because I won't be watching it live, I can guarantee you that much. But enough yammering. On to the very eventful show.
Recap: Desmond warns those on the beach that Naomi's people are "not Penny's boat," per Charlie's last warning. And he tell of Charlie's death. (A very moving moment, no lie.) Hurley is motivated now to not get rescued and gets very angry and moody. By the radio station, Jack gets the crew ready to leave to meet the freighter when he notices that Naomi's dead body has disappeared. Naomi is actually alive, long enough to get the correct coordinates for the freighter to find them, then dies. How helpful of her!
Hurley gets separated from the crew and becomes lost. Get it, Lost? Ha ha? Anyways, he wanders upon the place where Ben took Locke to see Jacob. Hurley looks in the window and sees Jacob. Then Locke. Locke and Hurley make an anti-freighter alliance. Jack & co. meet up with everyone else on the show, and the camp divides between those who are getting off the island and those who are fleeing to the barracks (the Other's pylon-protected houses) for protection. Sawyer joins up with Locke, Hurley, Claire, Ben and the Rousseau's. The rest of the castaways wait for rescue.
In the end scene, a helicopter drops out a parachuter, who finds Jack and asks "Are you Jack?" and then the two of them stare for a lifetime before the cliffhanger music plays.
This week's flash-forward tried to trick us. It made us think it was going to be about Jack, but it was all about Hurley! The poor guy is living a miserable life once again. He panicked after seeing a vision of Charlie in a convenience store and took off driving as fast as he good - and became a high speed chase. (Which Jack saw, and recognized the familiar Camero as Hurley's.)
In a mental institution, Hurley is visited by a "Matthew Abbadon," who claimed to be an attorney with Oceanic Airlines, who promised to "upgrade" Hurley to another institution. Hurley quickly recognized that he wasn't an attorney, prompting Matthew to ask: "Are they still alive?" Hurley panics and Matthew leaves. CREEP-Y.
Hurley is later sitting outside when he sees Charlie. And by "sees Charlie" I mean hallucinates Charlie. Just like Dave in Season 2. Charlie tries to get Hurley to work through his issues, because "they" need him, but Hurley just counts to five and then Charlie is gone. Jack later visits Hurley (for real) and they play basketball. Hurley figures out that Jack is there to see if he went crazy. He apologizes for going with Locke (!!) and says that he thinks that the island wants them to go back. Jack laughs and says "no," prompting Hurley to say "never say never, dude."
What worked: How angry everyone was at Locke. I had forgotten that Sayid never really saw Locke after he blew up the submarine, but the writers did not. That was a nice touch. Seeing that Jack was nice, normal and happy shortly (?) after he got off the island was nice to see; it took a while for him to descend back into madness, which seems to be keeping with his character. Hurley also reverted back to his pre-island life, which has me anxious about the others in the "Oceanic Six". And Rose telling Claire to give Charlie "some" was awkward but hilarious.
What didn't work: The rain machine was very obvious in a wide shot. And this is a personal gripe, but did Juliet have any speaking line? Was she not the emerging star last season? What gives, show? In one scene, Jack reached into Locke's pants, looking to pull out a gun. I SWARE. I cannot make this stuff up if I wanted.
Questions: Can anybody see Jacob? Who are the others in the Oceanic Six besides Hurley and Jack? Is Kate one of them, or are they protecting her from people like Matthew? Are Naomi's people good or bad? Is Naomi's sister on the boat, or was that a throwaway line when she died? How come the House of Jacob appeared in a different spot for Hurley? Who is Matthew working for and why does he want to know about the other survivors? Are there other survivors? Are they all on the island? Did only six people leave?
Next week: Meet the freighters! They look to be creepy, yet ambiguous, so they will mesh well with the Others.