So I was burned when I got all invested in the Tailies, and they basically all got killed off. And then I got all wrapped up in the Others, and all we’ve got left from them is Ben, Juliette and two teenagers. But, dammit Lost, I don’t know how to quit you. You’re introducing to me a bunch of nefarious new characters, and I’m falling for it again! I’m sure by the end of the season two of them will be shot or they’ll all have disappeared in some wacky diversion, but for now, whoah! Lost is back to blowing my mind and I’m just taking it like a lady.

So we have four members of Naomi’s helicopter crew parachuting down to the island. The first one we meet is Daniel Farraday, who we met briefly last week when he emerged out of the island and asked “Are you Jack?” He gets the shortest flasback of the bunch, just one shot of him seeing footage of Oceanic flight 815 at the bottom of the ocean and sobbing. A voice from offscreen asks “Why are you so upset, Sam?” and he says “I don’t know.” Sam, eh? Looks like we have another lying liar on our hands.

Daniel traipses with Jack and Kate through the jungle on a hunt for his comrade, Miles, who is--I shit you not-- a ghostbuster. See, he’s all mean to Jack, pointing a gun at him and everything, but in a flashback we see him in California, visiting an elderly woman and asking for $200 for an unknown service. He plugs in what appears to be a dustbuster, talks to himself in the room of the woman’s murdered grandson, and finds a whole bunch of cash-- and cocaine!-- hidden behind the dresser. The implication is that this machine is a ghost machine, and Miles has some kind of sight? Gift? Whatever.Then, of course, he absconds with the cash. Not exactly the nicest guy, this Miles, but if you don’t mind me saying, he ain’t bad looking.

The third member of Others Part Deux has the misfortune of landing near Locke and his troupe. Locke, you remember, threw a knife in the back of the last newbie he saw. Her name is Charlotte, and we see her in flashback in Tunisia, at an archaeological dig. It’s a dig that has found a bear skeleton... a polar bear skeleton. Oh, and what’s that by the skeleton? A collar... bearing the Dharma logo. This is the point at which my boyfriend’s roommate resignedly sighs, “OK, Lost is awesome again.” Damn straight.

And our fourth man looks a whole lot like Locke, but when the footage of Oceanic Flight 815 at the bottom of the ocean is shown, he’s hanging out in the Bahamas. He calls a hotline and tells them that he was the pilot who was supposed to have been flying the plane that day. He was also the one flying the helicopter that nearly crashed in an electrical storm over the island, causing the rest of the crew to bail out. Now he’s landed and has met up with Jack, Kate, Miles and Daniel, who have also been joined by Sayid, Juliette and the rest of Team Jack. And now they have a helicopter! And, for the time being, Locke hasn’t blown it up!

And what’s happening with our Losties? Well, with Jack and Kate, not much-- they’re pretty much just sounding boards for the Others Part Deux. When Miles refuses to stop pointing a gun at them, though, Sayid and Juliette pull off a pretty nifty rescue mission, getting the dude to chill out by hiding in the jungle and tipping Jack off. This begins my hope that Sayid and Juliette will become a killer espionage team.

Note: Where the hell is Desmond? He was not in this episode, we have no idea whose team he went on, and I’m starting to get worried.

Also note: We see Naomi in a flashback, being shown photos of these four people by none other than the creepy dude who visited Hurley in the hospital last week. He reiterates to Naomi that there will be no survivors of the flight on the island. Well well well. It all ties together.

Back on the island, Team Locke is where things are really interesting. Ben perists in using his mouth as a weapon, tormenting Sawyer about the fact that he went on a different team than Kate, and pointing out that he won’t have a chance with her versus Jack back in the real world. Sawyer has to be talked down from killing ol’ Bug Eyes right there, but Locke says not to-- because he has a plan. He also admits for the first time that it’s Walt who told him this plan-- but a taller version of Walt. So hey, at least they’re going to acknowledge that Walt has aged four years over the course of 90 days.

But Locke changes his mind about offing Ben once Charlotte shows up. She’s still busy hearing about how they survived the crash-- taking a lot of interest in Claire’s baby, for the record-- when Ben up and decides to shoot her. In the chest! Luckily, Others Part Deux are smarter than everyone else on the island and wear bulletproof vests. Even as Charlotte is getting her breath back, Locke has a gun pointed at Ben, ready to kill him for real. He even tells Alex to look away, and tells everyone who doesn’t want to see it to turn away. Unlike the time he tried to shoot his dad, he means business. Ben repeats that he has information they need, which, honestly Locke, you need his info! Don’t shoot him! Then he proves it. He knows Charlotte’s full name, where she’s from, where she studied. He knows who else is on her team. He knows what they’re there for: Ben. And how does he know? He has a man on their boat.

WHAM. That’s it! Fastest Lost episode yet. It’s remarkable how many new characters they introduced and still answered a lot of questions. Locke even asked Ben with the gun pointed to his head, “What is the smoke monster?” Ben didn’t know, which I’m taking for his word for now. And now we’ve seen for ourselves the announcement that everyone in the world thinks the flight crashed at the bottom of the sea. Who faked the footage? And why? And what on earth do all these people want with Ben? Why so many secrets?

Six more episodes. Can you believe it?

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