Warning: If you still can't breathe and/or see straight after tonight's Lost premiere, 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 heartbreaking moments (Juliet!) 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?" And the answers will keep coming, thanks to a certain evil being who knows everything...
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 Has Been a Part of Lost All Along: Since the Man in Black can shapeshift from a dark energy force (the Smoke Monster) to a dead body (John Locke), we can only presume that the Smoke Monster/Man in Black (can we call him SMIB?) has been messing with the Losties since day one. Was Jack following his father Christian around the Island or was that the Man in Black? Is Hurley really seeing dead friends or is that the Man in Black? I'm guessing the Man in Black appeared as Alex to instruct Ben to do everything Locke says—all as part of SMIB's grand scheme to later get Ben to kill Jacob. Awesome.
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 lovin'. Boo! Shannon's new backstory, as well as Hurley now being "the luckiest man alive" and Desmond being a passenger on 815, illustrate that this is a separate, new reality and not a do-over of what happened before.
Easter Egg Hunt:
What's to Come
Sayid and Ben Were Saved the Same Way: 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.
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 battle 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 that I did not know was returning at all, and it's pretty stunning.
There Will Be Some Shipper Moments Next Week: Kate will have a tender moment with Jack and a revealing moment with Sawyer, and there will definitely be some clear indication as to where the romantic storylines (or lack thereof) are heading.
Richard Alpert Was a Slave?! SMIB mentioned that Richard was in chains. There has long been talk that the 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 Castmembers 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…
What did you think of the premiere? What does it all mean? Do you think Jacob is God? It would certainly explain why "Jacob Loves You" was written on my Lost DVD! Join me in the comments...
Follow Kristin Dos Santos on Twitter, @kristinalert.
(Story originally posted at 8:27 p.m.)