In a similar style to J.J. Abrams's expert series Alias, each new season of Lost heralds a mini-reinvention of the show's narrative thrust. In this instance, it primarily involved the swift establishment of an 'alternative reality' story arc featuring the passengers of Flight 815 inhabiting a world in which the plane only experiences a spot of turbulence en route to Los Angeles and nothing more sinister. A procession of enjoyable cameos from the previously deceased likes of Boone, Charlie, Leslie and 'Frogurt' ensued, all of which were fan-pleasing and highly fitting for the last season of the programme. A Drive Shaft comeback tour is at least a possibility now, however remote!
The same cannot be said for Sawyer's final encounter with his beloved Juliet, however. Her death (presumably to allow Elizabeth Mitchell to nip off and film V) was conducted in the most schmaltzy and overly sentimental manner possible. One half expected a polar bear to spring up behind the couple and serenade them with a violin. After Juliet shuffled her mortal coil in her lover's arms, matters continued to disintegrate as Sawyer predictably let loose with a series of those squinty-eyed glares towards Jack and promised to 'ave 'im. It reeked of déjà vu and, thankfully, was the only real sore point of the generally brilliant season premiere.
The introduction of the island inhabitants who lurk inside the temple was well-handled, particularly their blunt leader - a man who refuses to speak the English language because he can't bear its taste on his tongue! He should try some of those stale Dharma Initiative cookies that Hurley stashed away. Significantly, the temple led us closer to one of the island's many mysteries - its healing powers. We witnessed Sayid return from the dead, leading us to wonder whether it is actually him or someone/something taking possession of his body. What if the coffin of Christian Shephard happened to land in the temple's spring after Flight 815 crashed? The possibilities are both endless and tantalising.
The former Iraqi torturer's first words after his miraculous comeback pretty much summed up the reaction to the double bill episode as a whole. "What happened?" he groaned. It's beyond us to actually explain what is going on, what is real, who is who and whether two realities are co-existing… yet it's all so much fun to watch and superbly made that one can only tap into its world and wonder what lies in store next. Lost is entering the home straight and shows no signs of slowing down. It's going to be an emotional and thrilling next few months.
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