While I missed blogging my immediate impressions of the season premiere of Lost due to a) three frickin’ hours of Lost in one night and b) being a lazy-ass, I’m going to try to keep up throughout the rest of this season.

After acquiring tonight’s episode and tearing through it… woah. While nothing was “answered” tonight, it really feels like endgame; most revelations tonight were much more along the lines of “a-ha!” instead of “wtf?!”

Off the island:

It seems to be a Lost tradition now, since the 2nd season, to do a Desmond episode early in the season. His kid is mad cute, and how sweet that he named him Charlie despite it being the same name as his hated father-in-law. The girl in the bed whom Faraday abandoned – her name escapes me – seems to be going through the same thing Desmond & Fisher Stevens went through last season, except it’s not making her brain explode, just catatonic. Lack of surprise that Widmore was Faraday’s financial backer in the 90s, as his inclusion with the barge crew showed some connection between them; also a lack of surprise that Faraday was erased by the Oxford institution after we saw how popular he was back in the old days. I was slightly confused that Desmond couldn’t remember when he met Faraday; surely the year or two he was in the military must have an associated date range in his mind. Widmore/Des confrontation was unremarkable, other than showing that Widmore does have a soul and is clearly more concerned about Ben’s threat on his daughter’s life than whom she is sleeping with. But then, there was never much question about his affection for his daughter anyways, this just proved it doesn’t have to be a controlling one.

On the island:

The meat of the episode was the stuff on the island. A number of surprising revelations were made; it’s 1954 for the majority of the episode; Juliet and the Others apparently all speak Latin; Richard Alpert is, indeed, one ancient mofo and not just bouncing around in time; and Charles frickin’ Widmore is the loudmouthed punk who likes to snap his buddies’ necks and point guns at people. That Widmore was once an Other was a stunning revelation, one I didn’t see coming from a long way off. As a member of the Cult of Alpert, Ben’s simplistic portrayal of him as a greedy capitalist who wants to exploit the island is shattered. Maybe he still does want to do so, but it’s clearly much, much more complicated than that. And it was interesting that Richard said the American GIs were killed by the forest – presumably by the smoke monster – and that either this decision, or the forest/smoke monster is higher than him in the hierarchy. Jacob IS the smoke monster, maybe? Who frickin’ knows, I suspect the secrets of Jacob and the smoke monster will be revealed only very near the end.

Some answers were given. Why has Locke been someone the Others have long waited for? Because they first met him in 1954 (and I doubt it’s the only time they’ll encounter him in the past). Why did Richard give Locke his “which of these items belong to you” test as a kid? Because Locke told him to, 2 years before he was born. (Wasn’t one of the items Richard laid out during that test the compass, incidentally?) There weren’t really any new questions posed, either, at least any that weren’t answered within the episode itself, though we now know that there is very likely an unstable nuclear weapon (!?) buried somewhere on the island. I doubt we’ve seen the last of Jughead.

Speaking of Jughead, I expected that the mercurial Mrs. Eloise Hawking would turn out to be Faraday’s mother; while her L.A. location still fits, since we met a little blonde chick named Ellie on the island and Faraday hung out at Jughead’s with her quite a bit, it seems hard to believe he wouldn’t recognize his own mother, even at that young age. Still not off the table, though; Faraday may have even recognized her, but was playing the fool.

The questions that particularly came to my mind tonight: Why is Locke now the leader of the Others if he apparently failed Alpert’s childhood test by choosing the knife over the law book? When did Sawyer become so uptight? Why is Charlotte being affected adversely by the time jumps in a way none of the rest of them are? Why do these time jumps not affect the Others, especially if Locke is one of them? Where did all these redshirts come from to get skewered by flaming arrows and blown up by claymores, and are there any 815 survivors left we don’t know? Where’s Bernard and Rose? And, of course, since there was a jump… when are they now?

Lost is delivering this season just as I hoped it would, the breakneck pace, mind-twists are still there, but it really does feel like the beginning of the end, rather than an endless series of unanswered questions. Can’t wait until next week!