Thursday ayem update: "Lost" ratings weren't spectacular, by the show's high standard, but they were solid by any other yardstick. The 9-10 p.m. hour pulled 11.7 million viewers and 5.1 rating/12 share in adults 18-49, according to prelim Nielsens. The second ep from 10-11 p.m. pulled in 11.1 mil and 4.9/13 in the demo. I'm sure the DVR viewing over the next week will swell those numbers considerably.
After the excitement of Tuesday's inspirational inaugural festivities and the excitement tonight of watching two hours of "Lost" in glorious high-def on a large-screen TV, my brain can't handle much in the way of deep thought and analysis. (And tomorrow is Oscar noms day.)
So I'm not even going to attempt to recap all of the slam-bang, pot-boiling action that unfolded in the first two segs that bowed tonight, "Because You Left," penned by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (pictured below, Cuse at left) and helmed by Stephen Williams, and "The Lie," written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and directed by the skilled hand of Jack Bender.
It's downright comforting to be immediately sucked right back into the epic saga of Flight 815 and the isle of mystery, after seven long months of waiting since the season four finale. Sure, you have to allow "Lost" some truly fantastic license at times, but if you lighten up and just go with it, there's no more cerebral thrill ride on TV. And there is no more ambitious production on the air today; the work these guys and gals pull off in a week is amazing.
All that said, I'm gonna take the easy way out and get out the bullets (points, not ammo) for a few observations, a few favorite lines/moments and a few questions:
**After three viewings (two on the media preview web stream), I'm starting to get the vibe that Sun had something to do with those supposed lawyers showing up on Kate's doorstep demanding a blood sample to determine if she really is Aaron's mother. The lawyers show up, send Kate back on the run (again) and then suddenly Sun's in L.A. and wants to have tea? Something fishy about all that whole scene as Sun recounts the incidents on the freighter before it went ka-boom. Sun's got a demented look on her face the whole time that she's talking to Kate.
**Trying to interpret the use of Willie Nelson's "Shotgun Willie" in the opening scene with Dr. Marvin Candle. Is it to set the time period? That album was released in 1973, though I suppose Candle could've been listening to a Greatest Hits collection. And who's the baby in that scene? Is it Miles? At first I thought I saw a hint of red in the baby's hair and thought it might even be Charlotte.
**The glimpse of Faraday in the Orchard Station while it's still under construction and the workers have just discovered the donkey wheel. Faraday looks like he's the contemporary bedraggled guy who's presumably found his way in there during one of their time travel skips (surely there's got to be a Billy Pilgrim mention coming soon), but does the fact that he is allowed by the "rules" to insert himself in that situation indicate that Faraday at one time was a Dharma Initiative dude? After all, he tells Sawyer that he's spent most of his adult life studying time travel and the D.I.
**"How did we get here?" druggy Jack says, speaking for the fans, while he and Ben are still conversing over Locke's body in the back of the funeral parlor.
**"Shut it, Ginger, or you're getting one too" -- Sawyer to Charlotte after he's punched Faraday for being condescending. Sawyer may not be a quantum physicist but the man demands respect -- especially when he's got his shirt off.
**Have we ever explicitly been told that Charles Widmore owns Oceanic Airlines? He sure acted like he owned the place in the scene where he has Sun taken to a back office when she tries to check in for her flight. Presume Sun's flying from London, where she approached Widmore on the street, to L.A. for her encounter with Kate.
**"Maybe if you ate more comfort food, you wouldn't have to go around shooting people." Words of high-carb wisdom from Hugo Reyes.
**Who puts carving knives blade side up in a dishwasher?
**"Everybody I care about just blew up on that damn boat" -- Sawyer
**"You're special." These are words you never want to hear coming from Richard Alpert. He says it to Locke. Faraday says the same to Desmond, and in seasons past Walt was described as "special."
**"What the hell were you thinking? What if I were real" -- the ghost of Ana Lucia. BTW, tell Libby we say hi back.
**"If there's anything in this life you want, it it in there because you're never coming back" -- travel tips from Benjamin Linus. Note that when Jack asks Ben to confirm that Locke really is dead, he gets no answer.
**"Cut the man some slack. He's been through a lot. We all have" -- the sensitive side of Ben Linus, speaking to the meat cleaver-wielding butcher shop gal, Jill. Have we ever seen her before?
**"RUN!" -- Sawyer, echoing Jack from season three, as he takes charge when the flaming arrows fly at the survivors on the beach.
**"Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?" -- Carmen Reyes
**"I don't blame you....So how's Jack?" -- Sun, sounding completely insincere, to Kate.
**The shot of Hurley sitting in front of the fruit bowl and the icon figurines on the table as he spills his guts to his mom -- that looked so specific, I wondered if it was a reference to a specific painting or something?
**A freshly nuked Hot Pocket is not exactly a lethal weapon though it sure made a mess when it hit the wall and splattered.
**"I'm not an easy person to trust," Ben, in a massive understatement, to Hurley.
**"Never, dude" -- Hurley to Ben, after failing to wound him with the Hot Pocket.
**So who were the Dharma-looking dudes, one with a British accent, who were trying to capture Juliet and Sawyer. One of them was named Jones, according to his jump suit, which looked fairly newish. Wonder if the island had skipped back to a time before the Dharma genocide unleashed by Ben?
**James...Juliet. Nice to see you" -- Locke, after helping them out of jam.
**"You'd better get busy. You only have 70 hours" -- the creepy woman played by Fionnula Flanagan to Ben. Are we to assume that she's Faraday's mother, the woman that Faraday told Desmond to contact at Oxford. And wait a minute -- I thought we had 32 hours of "Lost" left, after tonight's two-fer premiere.