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Terry O'Quinn, Lost

ABC/Bob D'Amico

Warning: If you haven't seen tonight's Lost, do not read another word.

Also, if you still can't breathe and/or see straight, please consult a doctor before reading any further, 'cause I'm about to explain why tonight's episode will change the game of Lost forever (you saw Terry Freaking O'Quinn, right?!), and why your heart's going to stop even more next week, plus an exclusive interview with producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse...

What We Learned:

Lost Got Its OMG Back. The magic is back, baby! Tonight's season premiere served up enough gasps, shrieks and poignant surprises to make it feel like a season finale--and it is only the beginning. Not only does the alternate reality of Oceanic 815 serve as a fascinating reminder of how far these characters have come, the island storyline is serving up big answers to the questions we've asked since the very beginning, like, oh, "What is the Smoke Monster?"

Terry O'Quinn = the Man in Black = the Smoke Monster! How jaw-droppingly insane was that scene where TOQ morphed into the smoke monster and back? Just so we're all on the same page: The Man In Black is the guy we saw with Jacob on the beach, who is presumably pure evil (the Devil?) and he is now taking the form of John Locke. This explains why Terry O'Quinn told me his black shirt is a spoiler (he is the Man in Black), and that his new nemesis is neither Jack nor Ben (it is Jacob). In case you missed it, one of Jacob's bodyguards' bullets ricocheted off of the Man in Black/Smoke Monster, so this Big Bad cannot be shot. Quick, somebody, git a rope!

The Man in Black Has Been a Part of Lost All Along. Since the Man in Black can shapeshift from a dark energy force (the Smoke Monster) to dead bodies (John Locke), we can only presume that the Smoke Monster/Man In Black (can we call him SMIB?) has been intermingling with the Losties since the very first season. Was Jack following his father Christian around the island or was that the Man in Black? Is Hurley really seeing dead people or is that the Man in Black? He certainly is crafty: SMIB appeared to Ben as Ben's daughter Alex to tell him to do everything John Locke says, all as part of a genius master plan to later get Ben to kill Jacob.

Poor Shannon! Since Maggie Grace has been too busy shooting movies to come back to Lost, Shannon is stuck in an abusive relationship for all of eternity--and will never get the chance to cozy up to hot Naveen Andrews/Sayid for some island lovin'. Boo! Shannon's backstory, as well as Hurley now being "the luckiest man alive" and Desmond being a passenger on Flight 815 illustrate that this is a separate, new reality and not a redo of what happened before.

Easter Egg Hunt:

  • There was a Dharma shark in the underwater footage in the beginning which showed the entire island under water.
  • The "captain speaking" on the alt-Flight 815 was Capt. Norris, aka Greg Grunberg himself. Grunny lives!
  • Freaky little Frogurt was on the alt-plane sitting between Locke and Boone! Now we just have figure out what happened to Steve, Scott and Sullivan—that guy with the rash.

Sayid Was Saved the Same Way as Young Ben: Last season, Richard Alpert agreed to take young Benjamin Linus to the Temple to bring him back to life, but warned that he would never be the same, would lose his innocence and "will always be one of us." That said, sorry! But don't get too excited about any kind of happily ever after for Sayid.

What's to Come:

Next Week Will Blow You Away: After you see the final 10 minutes of next week's episode, it will become increasingly clear what the entire final season of Lost is leading up to. (I smell a war coming on!)

Get Ready for Two Surprising Reappearances: (1) A certain someone you thought was dead will be back, and how he or she returns, and what it means for the future of the other Losties on the island, will have your brain spinning. (2) Someone else appears in Los Angeles next week that I did not know was returning at all, and it's awesome.

There Will Be Some Shipper Moments Next Week: Kate will have a tender moment with Jack, and she'll also have a revealing moment with Sawyer, and there will definitely be some clear indication as to where the romantic storylines (or lack thereof) will be heading this season.

Richard Alpert Was a Slave?! The SMIB mentioned that Richard was in chains. There has long been talk that crew of the Black Rock (allegedly a mining vessel) were slaves, and when we've visited the ship in the past, skeletons were found shackled together. So was Alpert on the Black Rock? The good news is we will find out. Nestor Carbonell tells me: "You're going to get all your answers: Why doesn't he age? Where's he from? What his powers might be? Who he is? And there is one specific episode that deals with all of that. I was blown away by what they wrote." Can. Not. Wait.

Claire and Sayid Will Have Something in Common. Something big.

Will Maggie Grace or Any of the Other Old Cast Members Return? And Is Michael Emerson Getting a Spinoff? Check out my interview with Lost producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, and ABC President Steve McPherson from the premiere party in Hawaii right here for the answer to that and more…

What did you think of the season premiere? What does it all mean? Join me in the comments...

 

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Follow Kristin Dos Santos on Twitter, @kristinalert.