"Dizzying" is the only way to describe tonight's installment of "Lost." Or maybe it should be "scrambled," given that the title of the seg is "Eggtown."
This 43-odd minutes of television, written by Elizabeth Sarnoff and Greggory Nations and helmed by Stephen Williams (the Michael Curtiz of "Lost" directors) raises so many questions and drops so many clues that it might help to state the obvious about what we've learned (think we've learned?) upfront.
**Most tantalizing was the apparent confirmation that Jack and Kate are lying through their teeth in the flash-forwards about what really happened after the crash and during their time on the island. What's all this nonsense Jack's spouting in the courtroom scene about there being only eight survivors, and how he was hurt and dying in the water and that Kate saved his life? (BTW, anybody else intrigued by the last installment of the "Lost: Missing Pieces" webisodes that showed Christian Shepherd on the island, shooing Vincent the dog off to go rouse Jack from his post-crash shock-slumber because "he has work to do." Haven't been able to stop thinking about that one.)
**Naturally, this business about Kate having a son is from way-way out of left field. Very chilling at the end when she picks up the tow-headed tyke from bed and he calls her "mummy" with what sounds like an Aussie accent. Say it ain't so, Kate? She couldn't have actually snatched Aaron from Claire, could she? Either my ears are broken or Kate deliberately mumbled the last word of the episode. Did she call the kid Aaron? (The steady, noisy rain that pounded L.A. tonight didn't help the sound quality in my living room.)
**Back on the island, in what used to be the Others compound, Kate tells Sawyer she's not pregnant -- with the kind of certainty that comes only after a girl gets the incontrovertible evidence that the natural 28-day biological order for those who are NOT in the family way is proceeding. (In the cold light of the morning, a few people have pointed out the obvious that I probably dismissed too quickly: Kate IS pregnant, despite her denial to Sawyer, and the tow-headed one is his son.)
**By the age of the kid in the flash-forward, whether he's Claire's or Kate's or perhaps from still another source (immaculate conception?), it would seem that the flash-forwards are taking place about three to four years after the crash. Like right about now.
**Jack said on the stand that there were only eight survivors, and yet there's been persistent references in the flash-forwards to the miracle survival of "Oceanic 6." The six of them obviously become media celebs after their return, judging by the paparazzi mob that awaits Kate as she enters the courtroom and her lawyers comment that she has "one of the most recognizable faces in America" when arguing that she is not a flight risk.
**It's very clear that John Locke, for all his Col. Kurtz-ness, is not a born leader. He has trouble bearing the burden of responsibility for others. He second guesses himself and makes hasty, erratic decisions that he almost instantly regrets. He's a lone wolf, not a modern major-general. Nice work in this seg by Terry O'Quinn. When Locke told Kate that she was no longer welcome in the compound, he was so insufferable and sanctimonious, I wanted to hit him. "My name is John Locke and I'm responsible for the well-being of this island," he tells Miles, sounding very much like he wanted to say "...and I approve this message."
** Jack loves Kate. Jack doesn't love Kate. Jack lies about loving Kate to protect her -- this time in a federal courtroom in L.A. These two have got to break the vicious circle of indecisiveness. Get it on, already, or move on.
**Sawyer once again proves he has a few shreds of decency in him that Kate has a way of bringing out. He always, always comes through for her, most recently by distracting Locke by taking him to check on the hostage Miles so that Kate could bring Miles to Ben for his 60-second pitch -- which turns out to be a bid for extortion in exchange for Miles telling his employers that Ben is dead. (Not sure if I buy that as a genuine offer from Miles, but I loved Ben's response of "why $3.2 million? Why not 3.3? Or 3.4?")
And Sawyer respects Kate's insistence that they not go "all the way," even when she snuggles up to him for the night in lacy panties. Anybody else notice that she calls him "James" a lot in this seg? I've said it before, I'll say it again: Josh Holloway has grown tremendously as an actor.
Now for some of the big questions raised by the seg. Let's focus on the really big questions, not the myriad head-scratchers dropped during the hour.
**What do the people on the boat want with Ben? Revenge for the Dharma-cide of 20-plus years ago?
** How did Kate get ahold of that great-looking house? A sub-prime foreclosure? Looks kinda like it's in Pasadena, with the foothills so prominent in the background. Suppose it could be the Hollywood hills or parts of the Valley.
**What the heck, or where the heck, is "Eggtown." The only overt reference to eggs that I caught was early on when Locke fixed the two fried eggs for Ben and informed him, "those are the last two eggs." I missed the title of the book with the rainbow-colored cover that Locke put on Ben's breakfast tray, darn it. (I blame the rain.Special thanks to reader Oh whatever for reporting that the book is "Valis," by the great Philip K. Dick) Seemed like Locke's line about "I just killed a chicken" had to have some significance too.
**Where'd the helicopter go? This may sound crazy but I've had my doubts about whether Naomi is not merely dead but really most sincerely dead (as the coroner in the county of the land of Oz would say).
I'd be remiss without noting that kudos are again due to the "Lost" makeup crew. You can just feel the sponginess of Ben's bruised and swollen face in the scenes where he's locked up in his old basement. In the scenes where Kate is plotting the Miles-Ben rendezvous, you can feel the sunburn on her shoulders, and the blotchy redness of her face only adds to the sense of urgency.