Yesterday. 9:30 a.m. I was moments away from spending the day at Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth, when a certain EW colleague, whose name rhymes with Shmichael Slausiello, tipped me off that the first two episodes of Lost’s fifth season were now available to lucky media dorks like me for reviewing. Suddenly, the House of Mouse (and really, any other locale that wasn’t my laptop DVD player) was not the happiest place on Earth, but the most hellishly inconvenient. ARRRRGHHH! A long day of standing in life-stealing, long-ass lines became even more criminal and assish as I counted the minutes before I could rip into the most awesome of delayed Christmas presents. (Although I must say, The Pirates of the Carrbbean — a masterpiece of experiential narrative on any other day — was almost compelling enough to distract me from my furious angst. ALMOST.)
Finally, at 10 p.m. last night, with exhausted family passed out, I sat down and broke the seven-month Lost fast with the first two helpings of season 5. Both went down well, one more so than the other. A few thoughts in advance of a more thorough discussion to come, once the episodes air and we’re all on the same page.
Lost’s tradition of opening the year with a killer, capture-the-imagination sequence is honored and upheld, though the thing I loved most was how it was brazenly frank (and engagingly funny) about the heady high-concept conceit that will define the season. Almost everything that followed that opening passage was pretty cool, too. Remember the non-linear structure of Pulp Fiction, which toggled between a number of storylines whose chronological relationship to each other is practically a puzzle for the audience to solve? Well, the season premiere is kinda like that. The first two episodes will have the audience — and the show’s characters — trying to make sense of shifts in time. They demand active engagement, and I found it to be a lot of fun. Especially the first hour.
Lots of Sawyer in the first two eps. Lots of his naked chest, too. Lots of Hurley, and as for his chest, it is covered…with a very funny T-shirt. Sayid also has mucho screen time in both episodes, though he sleeps his way through one of them. Literally. And Daniel Faraday emerges as a huge player in season 5. The eps are dotted with cameos and extended cameos from peripheral but important figures crucial to the Lost mythology and much-loved by the Lost fan community. A polarizing character from Lost’s past returns, earns some redemption by participating with wit and humility, and delivers one of the best lines of either episode. Once again, all things Ben just rock. And if you’re familiar with the rather disturbing crush that Doc Jensen happens to have on a certain rarely-seen Lost someone, then you can imagine how I swooned when I saw her re-appear at long last in the second episode.
In short, it was worth the wait, and certainly the perfect tonic for a day at Disneyland. I can’t wait to see if you agree — or disagree — with me when Lost premieres on Jan. 21. In the meantime, tell me: What are you most looking forward to seeing in season 5? What are your burning questions? Let me know…because I’ll be able to soon answer them for you, in the most unexpected of ways…
Good to be gabbing Lost with you again, friends. Look for the first official Doc Jensen column next week. Namaste!
More ‘Lost’ News:
‘Lost’: The teases continue
‘Lost’: Season 5 countdown! New toys! Geek heartbreak! Videos!
‘Lost’: The season 5 promo
All about ‘Lost‘
‘Lost’ season 4: DVD review
Ausiello scoop: A new ‘Lost’ mystery girl