Lost - Season 5 premiere
Starring: Naveen Andrews, Henry Ian Cusick, Emilie de Ravin, Michael Emerson, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia , Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Elizabeth Mitchell, Terry O'Quinn
Created By: Jeffrey Lieber and J.J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof
Premieres: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.

Here’s the thing about Lost. Since around season 2, I’ve never fully been able to watch an episode without feeling like I’ve missed something. Oh, I’m not just talking about all of the big mysteries and other unanswered questions. It’s more that I have a hard time deciphering the things I either missed or forgot about from previous episodes and the things we’re not supposed to know yet. That said, as we embark upon the fifth season of the series, I’m still just as much a fan of Lost as I was when the plane first crashed on the island.

I’ll do my best to avoid any specific details about what’s to come in the first two episodes of the fifth season of Lost titled “Because You Left” and “The Lie.” All the same, there are some spoilers in this review so consider yourselves warned.

The Lost world has been split in half, as you already know, if you were keeping up with last season. We’ve got the Oceanic 6 plus Desmond, Ben and dead-Locke out in the real world while the rest of the Losties, and a few others are back on the island that as of last season, vanished in a puff of bright light.

Things are completely craptastic for the Oceanic 6. You would think getting off the island would’ve cheered them up a bit but their lives are in complete disarray. Sun wants revenge for Jin’s death. Kate’s trying to pretend Aaron’s her son, though it looks like someone out there knows the truth. Meanwhile, Sayid sprung Hurley from the mental institution but their escape has a body count. As for Jack, I have great news. Spoiler alert: He shaves the beard. The big twist with these guys involves Ben’s desperate attempt to get everything back to the way it should be. Given that I’m not all that sure life really is better for the Oceanic 6 off the island, I’m inclined to side with him.

Speaking of the island, where did it go? More like when did it go. There’s a lot of time travel involved in that story. Don’t fret though. If you’re one of the many who’s found themselves frustrated by the random time-travel twists we see so often in Heroes, it seems the rules about time travel as it relates to Lost are a bit more fixed. Thanks to Daniel’s genius-level knowledge of how time travel works and what’s happening to the island, we’re explained most of the rules pretty early on. Kind of. The island is hop-scotching through time, taking its present-day inhabitants with it. Considering everything that’s happened on that island, including the people who’ve lived there in its history, the Losties aren’t safe. Well, they’re less safe than they were before the flashes of light started. So as you can imagine, their situation’s pretty bad. Though Sawyer, who’s in the anger portion of his grief, believing Kate to have been killed when the freighter exploded, spends a fair portion of the season premiere with his shirt off, so we have that going for us.

The best part about the time travel aspect of the new season is that we get a blast from the past in the season premiere. I won’t reveal which character you’ll be seeing but rest assured, if you’ve been watching the series from the beginning, you’ll recognize this person’s face immediately. And speaking of old characters brought back to life (ok, not technically…) Back on the non-island, Hurley has a little reunion of his own with one dead character.

While we’re on the subject of Hurley, I need to just say it here and now: more Hurley! The first two hours of Lost include an ample portion of Hurley. One of his best moments is when he essentially recaps the plot of the series in a conversation he has with someone. He breaks it down so well that I wish the writers would consider letting Hurley do the “Previously on Lost” segment before every episode rather than showing us clips from random episodes and forcing us to try to remember where they all fit in to the series and how they’re going to factor into the episode we’re about to watch.

I don’t consider myself a die-hard Lost fan in that I don’t remember every random characters’ name or every specific detail of every main characters' back-story. That said, it’s the characters in the show and their stories that make the series worth watching, especially for those of us who sometimes feel a bit lost when we’re watching Lost. Season 5 looks to deliver more of what we’ve come to love about the series, which is personal drama twisted up in a sci-fi-ish story about a wacky island and a group of stranded human beings, most of whom have pasts riddled with mistakes, missed opportunities and other drama.

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