Friday, October 27, 2006


Open how we left, with Desmond. Little soon to catch up with him, where/when he’s been. What’s the deal with him and Claire? Obviously an ulterior motive to move her out of her place, but what?

Wonder when that cartoon Jack was watching aired. “The sub is back, we have a situation.” Guess that answers the question of how they snuck up on Sayid two weeks ago. And of how Ethan crept through the guard to kill Scott/Steve, Locke looked out to the water but never occurred to me he might not have been swimming. Also, apparently there's some screenshot of the ocean in the first season that has a periscope. Haven't seen it but nice touch, if so.

Sawyer had a nice plan, too bad they’ve been monitored all this time. Looks like he’s the –centric after all. Meaning we shouldn’t believe a single thing about this episode. Henry plays Sawyer, asking the age/weight questions while stepping closer to the puddle. Tom says that in the two days since the sky turned purple (I saw white), the comms have been down.

Ben hates needles, bless his heart.
The direct PULP FICTION reference was great.

“I’m Scottish. Cheers.”

The bit with Ben and the bunny was genuinely disturbing. The pacemaker’s just another system of control that may or may not be true. Reminescent of the button even without the beeping watch.

Cassidy comes to visit Sawyer in jail. Forgot the actress was played by Joanie Stubbs from DEADWOOD, two of them in one ep. So, she pressed charges and got him here in this Florida prison? She was the Florida job Robert Patrick set him up with? but we saw a different guy acting like his partner. Is the daughter a con?

And Jack’s got to scrub up, nice bit there, didn’t actually see it coming. Ben tells Juliet “this is not why—”. Whose x-rays? Locke was the first person I thought about, but now I’m wondering if it’s Ben. He’s closer to 40 than Locke. Can’t the island just fix up whoever it is a la Rose? Jack says there’s a tumor in the L4 vertebrae but it’s clearly in the L2. Surely not a glaring prop error, they had to know that would be one of the big freezeframes of the episode.

And Colleen dies before we have time to stop calling her Trixie. Leading to serious drama involving Sawyer and Kate. Is Kate lying?

Sawyer’s prison ID# is 840, shocker there. That $10M man was like a five-minute con.

Kate was lying. Ouch.
Her quoting Jack’s mantra back at Sawyer after he reiterates the episode title was excellent.

Desmond rocks a Promethean experiment with the 5-iron. “Is that… art?” is great delivery from Hurley. What is Desmond up to and how does it relate to the chronological madness implied last week? Something to do with the interest in Claire’s roof? Is that where they were standing to watch?

(okay no, i wasn't getting this, so stuck on doc and marty, i thought desmond was trying to capture the 1.21 jiggawatts or something -- he saved claire with total nonchalance, saw the way they treated sarah connor in T2 and instead of going around preaching that the sky was about to fall just subtly manupulated events so that she and aaron wouldn't get hit by the lightning. this is like the coolest thing of the episode. cheers, chris kimbley, for pulling me out of hill valley. really hoping we get more desmond next ep, that could make things crazy pretty damn fast!)

And Sawyer gives his money to Clementine Phillips, the hypothetical daughter; he’s a pretty good person in spite of himself. I've read that warden was in a Sawyer flashback in the first season, they were exchanging money. Unsubstantiated, but a nice idea.

Sawyer quoting Steinbeck up the hill was great.

Ben shows Sawyer there’s nowhere to run. Then quotes Lenny and George right back at him with regard to Kate, really excellent writing there. No great surprise they’ve been off-island, thought the HYDRA was anyway. So, it’s just underwater next to Other Alcatraz?

I thought this was a solid episode. But was hoping for more ranging around, there are SO many disparate threads dangling, doesn’t feel like we have time to just focus on one or two characters anymore, especially since this is such a small chunk of the season. Only two episodes left. But I’m thinking it will pick up pretty seriously next week, needs to. We’ll see how much of an impact Colleen’s death has on Pickett/Others relations with the castaways. Previews unseen, I’m thinking John Locke will have to lift up his eyes and look north the way the Jesusstick told him to. Hope Eko doesn’t become the island’s latest spirit-guide before that happens.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


And Locke opens his eyes.

You know from the first second that he’s in the jungle, a nice recapitulation of Jack in the first seconds of the show. And he CAN walk. Guess the opposite was too obvious. Cue naked Desmond running past. The fact that he’s naked turns out to be the most interesting aspect of tonight’s episode (and not cause e’s hanging to the left, brothah!). The Jesusstick falls out of the tree, somebody read last week’s entry and they threw it at me right away! Locke checks it out, we have the numbers carved along the bottom as well as some new scripture. Let’s see:

Genesis 13:14 – And the Lord said to Abram after Lot had separated from him: Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are – northward, southward, eastward, westward.

Habbakuk 1:3 – (this one’s on page 823!) Why do you show me iniquity and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife and contention arises.

John 3:05 (why the 0?) – Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
(is the 0 a clue implying episode? such as in season 3 episode 5, john locke will maybe lift up his eyes and look to the north? head out to save the trio? enter "the kingdom of God"? watch for it in just two weeks.)

Acts 4:12 – Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which he must be saved.

Romans 6:12 – Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.


So out of that, I get that the surrounding world can be a bad scene but purity of mind and spirit will get you in to the chosen land and also look to the north shore, time to deal with those Others.

[sophisticated Biblical analysis ends here]

I’m ready for Locke to look up and see Eko dead in the tree, same shot as when the monster got the pilot…but he goes back to camp instead. Whoa, does the island want him to work on the church now? Charlie’s pretty slow on guessing “island” during Locke Charades. A sweat lodge, all right we’re going to get psychedlic and have some visions, always a good idea on this show.

Locke’s hitchhiker is a weirdo. Locke’s gun permits place him in San Francisco, that’s a new one.

Yas, Locke is grinding up something like he was when he dosed Boone. It is time for a visionquest in the sweat lodge. Ought to be good. Hey, the writers found another flashback for Boone, I wondered if he might ever come back through Locke. ‘I’ve come to help you find your way so you can bring the family back together again.’ Great to see all the characters there in the airport. Dig Hurley behind the counter on the Swan computer. And Desmond as Captain, Boone says he’s helping himself. The tension builds, we know Eko’s the one in danger. Ben wanding Jack and getting the trio through the security checkpoint is a nice touch. And blood on the torch, no time. Great sequence, felt surreal and wrong in all the ways it should have.

So now Locke’s going to save Eko. This would ring a lot cooler if he hadn’t morphed into such a bitch last season. But good, yes, go save him.

“By the polar bear”! Oh, now the bears are back. It would be nice if there was a reason other than story necessity to revisit one of those three dozen dangling threads.

John’s friend Mike looked familiar. Hank Jennings from Twin Peaks? Oh and Eddie’s rocking the Geronimo Jackson tee-shirt, Mike’s good enough to point that out for the less observant. Geronimo Jackson is of course that classic power trio from the 60s whose debut Magna Carta Sayid and Charlie found in the Swan while the A-team was out chasing Michael back in THE HUNTING PARTY, and it’s speculated that Gerald and Karen Degroot comprise 2/3 of that particular classic rock ensemble.

Nice shot of the imploded Swan, didn’t think we’d get that tonight. How did those dudes make it out of that network of force without getting mangled? Funny how everything’s fine then…it’s time to run again! Ah, the first season. Then Locke almost takes out Hurley, that would’ve been unfortunate.

Polar bears are the Einsteins of the bear community. I bet these are even smarter than usual. And they have a taste for fish biscuits.

Wow, Locke sure turned into Willard from Apocalypse Now pretty quick there. Go get him.

The return of Naked Desmond! Glad he wasn’t off running for half of the season. Funny shot of him and the tie-dye, the look on his face.

And the bear cave. That Tonka truck is ominous, same effect as the teddy bear last season.

Eddie’s a cop. ID# 84023, even. Does Locke have the stones to take him out to save his new family?

Back to the cave. A bunch of skeletons, including one wrapped in a DI blanket from the Pearl. That station sure caused a bit of trouble. Oh, they mess with you on that first shot, show what looks like a bloody stump of bone and cut right up to Eko. He’s got his right arm chewed off! But no, that’s a bloody stick he’s holding (read that back to yourself in Charlie’s voice). Okay, blowtorch the bear, looks like Eko’s got all of his limbs intact.

Hurley reprises his role as Voice of the Audience. Yes, the failsafe key was convenient. It IS a good question, why didn’t they use it sooner? Desmond doesn’t give a satisfactory answer but then he doesn’t/shouldn’t really have any.

“You’re not gonna, like, turn into the Hulk or something?”

That’s a pretty big comment, the way things shake down. Desmond has the slip, shares the contents of Locke’s speech before he gives it. What, is he unstuck in time now, like ol Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim? If THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE shows up in Sawyer or Juliet's hands this season, that will be a pretty big deal. Doesn’t seem like he’s living backwards or anything. This is a lot of fun, Paranormal Weirdness Instance #19 or so. Interesting to see where it goes.

Thought Locke was going to shoot Eddie, he seems to’ve rocked bad decisions for the most part. But no, he’s a good person.

Yes, Locke, you are sorry. Welcome back on track. Weird how Eko went right back to sleep the second Charlie walked up, like the whole conversation was in Locke’s head or something.

And back at camp, meet Paolo and Nikki, figured we’d get a couple new faces holding down the fort. Locke does exactly what you’d expect him to and dives right into the vacuum created by the absence of those dominant personalities. And gives the speech. See, Desmond barely pays attention to it, throwing stones in the ocean. Is he crouched somewhere else listening, doubling up and in hiding a la McFly in Back to the Future II? Or is it more of a Groundhog Day repeating loop thing? Hurley is wondering, at least, that’s a good thing.

They did it again, answered a 154-day-old question with another that will probably take the rest of the season to unravel: What happened to Desmond when he turned the key? Or refine it, Where did Desmond go?

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Open with the glass ballerina tumbling, falling. I’m already sure it’s Sun, not Kate, for some reason. We return to the typical domineering paternal model. The significance of this flashback and the episode title is already obvious and bad news for those who don't like the notion of Jin as cuckold. Sun is a lying liar, always has been.

Then flash on the Koreans and Sayid, still rocking the black smoke. O hell, we’re not going to get the Swan this week either, are we?

Looooooong exhalation.

Well at least we’re building on last week not spending this whole episode over off the northwestern coast. Jack has got nothing to say and Juliet brings in the meal right off the bat, that was a bit of a surprise. Then she knocks twice, must be some kind of automatic thing because the door unlocks but there’s no one there. We have Ben behind the second door however, looks like he might be a bit near-sighted.

And Trixie climbs down the ladder.

If you don’t love DEADWOOD, this doesn’t matter to you at all but it just goes to show how important it is what the viewer/reader brings to the table, was almost as shifty of a trick as bringing in Brother Justin as Kelvin, just totally threw me. More bewildering still, Catherine, who can be relied upon to outrun my synapses and call out the name first, wasn’t with me for the first eight minutes so I try to listen about Alan and following and a boat but just kind of totter there on the end of the bed. Trixie? Al? I mean, it's practically stunt casting from where I sit. But on the level of Knievel. But back to the plot, Ben wants the boat.

(I should say here that as much as I had my filters up this week, word seemed to be creeping in from everywhere – the paper left in front of my hotel room, other comic book fans – that one or both of the Koreans might be doomed. This made for a very tense viewing experience. I felt like a General who had ignored a vulnerable flank by concentrating on casualties elsewhere)

(and when I say ‘elsewhere’, I am in no way referring to snowglobes)

(and I did have to double-check Paula Malcolmson on imdb at the break, just so I could holler when her name came up in the credits)

Come back to Sun waking up. And it hits me, O hell we’re going to have it confirmed, she definitely learned the syllables whore-is-on-tall from the English teacher. And that smiling wizened bald head pops up from behind her right away, they don’t waste another second messing with us. Sunsunsun, you lied, you lied. So, it’s his baby? Or do we still believe in miracles?

Sawyer and Kate get let out to work. Trixie/Colleen loves or at least kisses Dave, who more than resembles that paragon of virtue Buck (who’s here to…) of Kill Bill fame.

And Mr. Paik rocks the serious setup, gets his ‘son’ to go knock out the Other Man (just now realizing the lockup with last week, if Locke finds out Peg Bundy was cheating next week [for example], we’ll have the hat trick to open the season) none the wiser to the reason why, nice unquestioning parallel with a button marked, wait for it, EXECUTE.

Hahaha, I think, if I let myself, I could just sit and think about this show all the time, and laugh.

But no, onward, great chain gang scenes. Sawyer gets wonderful interactions with Juliet and Kate, finally ties the Doc by laying one on her, really goes ahead on the scoreboard, if you count getting shocked and screwing Ana. Which I do. Then I really thought he was going to make a run for it or plug a couple of them or both. And we mustn’t forget Alex in there, all but confirming Carl as not-a-mole. The pair of star-crossed kiddos must’ve gone rogue or done something since The Hunting Party (2.11) to necessitate skulking. This doesn’t point to Carl being in a good place, physically if not spiritually, since his jaunt off to the woods.

(longer than you think…)

so, the Others are returning to the dock and Sayid is laying an ambush for them. Smart money on the Iraqi. But he completely blows anticipation of the enemy’s angle of approach, they hit the boat first. Thought there was no way Sun was getting off that boat alive but never saw her gut-shooting Trixie. Dead already? Tom misses two shots and Jin and Sun both live to fight another day. And Ben gets his boat.

And the flashbacks, can’t believe Jin almost killed the English teacher, then let him go. I was already thinking the dude made it to America and Sun was sneaking off in Sydney to join him when he smashed into Jin’s windshield clutching the pearl necklace. Figured Sun would find about that, Jin’s role, but apparently not. Good funeral scene. Paik’s not going to tell. Does everyone realize that Paik-Heavy Industries builds boats for the Hanso Foundation? It’s true.

And the trio is going to walk back south. Unmolested? Guess Tom and crew are rushing Colleen back to medical supplies. We didn’t get even a line about the four-toed statue. Pretty cool story there, waiting for next season, betcha.

Dug Sawyer saying he couldn’t help himself, she looked so damn cute with the pickaxe. If those two ever got off the island and started robbing banks we would forget all about Bonnie & Clyde, I tell you what. That’s another priceless aspect of this show, all the great stories that it implies, who wouldn’t watch a season worth of well-written war stories with Sayid as the lead? Or Eko dominating the Nigerian underworld? Desmond in the Queen’s Army? Or Sawyer & Kate, racing the road to the horizon. The very best stories blaze on and around indiscriminately, fork off wider into more tributaries than anyone has time to follow.

But I digress.

Of course they’re being monitored. Ben needs his glasses because he’s got a Pearl-type monitoring station that really works. Located down in the Hydra, yes? Because then he walks to Jack. But that’s just a ladder’s climb down from the cages, seems. Just orienting myself.

And orientating Jack. Knew it was going to be great when old Ben walked in. Benjamin Linus, born on the island*. You want to think his parents were Dharma Initiative but the timeline doesn’t match up. He’s in his early 40s at least, I’m thinking, born at least a decade before the Degroots got Hanso funding for their grad-school project. Was there an opposing party of natives already in place on the island? The remains of the survivors of Magnus Hanso’s Black Rock, the improbably beached pirate ship from the first season finale? Remember, no Dharma logos in the village we saw last week. Wheel in the TV/VCR and tell us, man. So happy to see that, give us another film, take us another level down into the rabbit hole.

Great trick to hit us with the real world instead. It’s 11/29, we’re officially on Day 69. I knew Thanksgiving had just come and gone but nice to hear him just lay it out like that. That was so well-done, gleaning the most improbable events, the Death of Superman, Reelecting That, the Breaking of the Curse of the Bambino, I guess it was a pretty wild couple of months.

I didn’t notice at the time, was really wondering when that monster was going to come back and eat everybody.

So the tape is revelatory not to an audience of 12 million (or whatever we’re down to, heard the show shed 23%) (really) but only to Doctor Shepherd, whose father said the Red Sox would never win. And Ben will get him off the island, take him Home.

Why? What unique skill set or motivational factor does Jack possess? Long odds are on them magic hands but I’m thinking this further points to Christian Shepherd as a very-much-alive and dominant force on the island, most likely aligned with the lingering DI/Hanso interest in the island. Maybe it’s just because we’re hot off last week but it seems like the most probable reason that they’d be interested in Jack and Jack alone.

(hey wouldn’t it be great, don’t think there’s ANY chance of this, really, but just saying: to me, the Big Answer, or one of them, has to involve the numbers and probability manipulation. Like the reason why we have so many random interactions between these people [see Jack’s wife killing Shannon’s dad, Jack running into Desmond right after Penny found him, those numbers embedded freaking EVERYwhere etc etc] so wouldn’t it be funny if Old Man Shepherd got his hands on something after the crash, some hunk of paranormal Hansotech from the 70s that MADE the Sox win? Because they couldn’t could not do it on their own? Unlikely, but fun.)

I wonder about Eko.

And now feel that we’ll be hearing Desmond say ‘brothah’ for some time to come.

147 days of waiting in the can. Coming up on half of ’06 I’ve been worried about those dudes. Maybe they will freaking throw me a Jesusstick next week.**

*and who the hell WAS Henry Gale anyway?
**hey, it’s 1:08***
***and, full disclosure, just realized that i have consumed 4 tallboys of lone star which are, yes, 16 oz each.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


and it begins.

we get the classic eye opening closeup that opens 2/3 of the episodes, looks female. she goes for the CDs. looks like penny widmore, i'm thinking we're mirroring the desmond opening from last season premiere. this is borne out by Downtown, an old tune with a similar beat, tempo, and chord progression to Make Your Own Kind Of Music. Then the beeping, an oven this time, not the computer. and the chorus swells, nice parallels to the beats in the first minute last year.

and the book club. the old dude doesn't like the book, 'no metaphor, by the numbers religious hokum, science-fiction'. i think that line's supposed to mean more than it does on the surface. the criticized book, which is this chick's favorite (and she's turning out not to be Pen, but the resemblance is uncanny), winds up being Brother Stephen King's 1976 debut Carrie, as evidenced by a blink-and-you-miss-it shot of the original hardcover 1st edition (during which the Ladies Bass and Mann did not blink). don't know when this is or who this chick is, but if she's pissed and willing to go to bat for Brother King, we're on her side. even though ben can't stand it and doesn't show.

then, shaking. which makes me think these are all others and we're on the island, that's the swan a-trembling, maybe this is the original incident from the orientation tape. yep, outside, looks like the island, there's ethan and there's the artist formerly known as henry gale. when everyone looked to the sky, i figured the aliens were landing and was already wondering whether or not that was a mistake. but no, much better. that shot of 815 breaking apart in the sky was beautiful. love the way TAFKAHG immediately dispatches ethan and goodwin 'you're one of them, i want lists in three days.' hardcore. nice little village they got there, gazebo and all. so what, they living the utopian ideal, based on the notions of the original john locke?

amazing opening, top drawer.

all these new names in the cast, crazy to see emerson and gainey, such great guest stars (TAFKAHG and tom) there in with the regulars.

whoa, nonono, what's this? jack flashback? no, we're doing the others flashback this time, that's the way they led. i'm questioning that right off. maybe lots of different flashbacks zinging around? yeah, he's dreaming, maybe it'll be all right.

sawyer in a cage. outside. immediately suggesting a difference between his and jack's state of quarantine (infected/immune, either one could be either state). sawyer sees another new logo, looks like an octopus or squid. as soon as you see the picture of a fork and knife on that big old red button, you know conditioned response fun is on the menu.

and juliet introduces herself before the commercial break. is her last name widmore? i think, yes.

oh no, back with a jack flashback, can't stand his ex.

and right away juliet tries to dominate him, get him off the chain.

and the obligatory seasonal kate-bathing scene. WEAR THIS was creepy in an alice in wonderland DRINK ME sort of way. knew she was going to see TAFKAHG. what a performance, my second favorite scene of the evening, their meal. so polite and measured he is. kate says sawyer's name first. 'i did all those things so you would have something pleasant to hold onto because, kate, the next two weels are going to be very unpleasant.' cripes, we get a timetable, that's not good news, should take up at least this first stretch of episodes.

jack finds his pop's # in the ex's cell, seeming to confirm what was set up christian chose the name sarah for his new friend ana-lucia.

was that christian's voice on the intercom talking to jack? sounded like 'let it go, jack'. jack sums things up pretty well by asking juliet 'what the hell is going on here?' yes, that is the question. i the answer comes in a subsequent scene: 'it's pretty much about everything.' that is the correct answer. but what does it mean? douglas adams fans will recall 42 is also the correct answer.

was carl, the kid who let sawyer out, a tailender? or another mole? ominous how they carried him off into the woods like that but we do know they have a penchant for the theatrical.

hey, open on jack and juliet after the break. i wonder what's going on at the swan. if anyone's alive. but, no let's make jack do what we want to then turn around and give him no food, walk right out of the room.

man, sure bought that christian was going to see sarah. of course not. a freakin support group, can't believe locke wasn't off to the side. the flashback pretty much paid for itself when jack screamed 'i won't let you sleep with my wife!' and then divebombed his father. some think the patient jack was working on when he saw his dad take the call (the nurse asked jack if he was sure the patient was capable of taking his own meds) was tom, the not bearded. there IS a resemblance.

then jack takes juliet prisoner. with that door, i thought the whole big deal was infection. never saw torrents of water coming, no. seems obvious now, the wheel on a submarine door he was turning. right before the flood broke, you could hear a sound previously associated with the monster in the early episodes, that sort of mechanized keening.

then sawyer uses a black rock to win himself a DHARMA fish biscuit. i love it. he and kate get to share a cellblock in the island zoo, nice last shot there. hey, wonder if eko survived, or if he's lying broken and bloody, mangled and crushed under tons of metal?

let's check back in with jack.

so, we're in the hydra, an underwater DI station, juliet tells us. 'THEY called it the hydra' is an interesting distinction, 'they' being the operative word, but then she kind of dances around it when jack tries to nail her down about being what's left of them. so, those two stacks of paper are jack's life. bet they've got stacks for everyone, too. implying a connection between this crew and the security system/black smoke monster/cerberus that flashed eko's life at him when he confronted it on 1/11.

who was the dude waiting for sarah after she posted jack's bail? the flash we get of him, his eyes and mouth look reminiscent of TAFKAHG. but not him, i don't think. second uncanny resemblance of the show, though. BAD TWIN was all about widmore twins, could this guy and/or juliet be widmore twins? just stabbing in the dark now. really just looking/needing sarah's Other Man to actually be an Other Man from the island, to justify all this time spent back here.

jack asking if sarah was happy then crying is not the way i would've powered the big ending home. left me a little cold.

great last little bit, though. emerson can do so much with just a line and that face. and TAFKAHG's name is ..... ben. the stephen king hater! villain most foule! this casts his 'what, no stephen king?' crack when locke tries to lay some dostoevsky on him in a different light.

soooooooooooooo, wonder what happened at the swan. can't believe we have to wait another week to find out. if they even give it to us then. overall, i found this a very enjoyable episode but less than it should've/could've been and i'll tell you why. i felt like they broke the covenant, man. after that unbelievable opening, they stick us with yet another jack flashback and we still don't even know who sarah's Other Man was. nice moments with the captured trio, just can't beLIEVE we have to twist in the wind another week wondering about all those great characters who got blown up.

i'd give the opening top points, but score the remainder of the episode a bit lower because i felt cheated we jumped from what looked to be an juliet/others flashback to what they've been doing offscreen for the past two seasons to, instead, the Slow Death of Jack's Doomed Marriage part IV. they dropped the ball there, feels like now, though this sort of thing has been known to arc back into worthwhile later on.

but, spectacular opening and breakfast with ben and kate aside, seeing the four big white letters hit at the end, i kind of felt like jack, sitting there with my back to the wall like they told me to before turning around and walking out of the room with my grilled cheese sandwich.

i'm sure the first three eps (or maybe all 6-7 here will all be strung together in a single burst) will be amazing, but the week-to-week is hard.

it's only been 140 days i've been worried about those dudes. another 7, then.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

>: 3rd Season Ascending

well, the time is upon us.

will we meet new characters as compelling and well-acted as desmond or eko or (not) henry gale? will we be given another new song to shake our fists up at the heavens to with the power and emotional depth of mama cass's "make your own kind of music"? logic would indicate that the bar has already been raised too high, but i believe there is a chance.

i'm going to spitball some predictions, just for fun.

Q: who will be our featured flashback performer?
A: i'd go with jack, but he was the leadman last season and his flashback was more recent than either of his fellow prisoners. probably kate or sawyer, thinking it's got to be one of the prisoners. yeah, KATE.

be really cool if they led with flashbacks of (not) henry or tom the not-bearded man, but thinking they'll hold that close to their vest until later, if not forever.

Q: will we get present-tense off-island shots of penny widmore as she reacts to the news that brothah hume's anamolic location has been determined?
A: i feel like we'd be lucky to get five minutes of this chick in these first 7. but they might surprise me.

Q: will we find out what the DEAL has been with (not) henry and these others?
A: my guess is: yes, i bet we get a pretty good talk about it. would be so cool if the flashback was all-others, even threading back through 1st season stuff. i think they've GOT to produce some more concrete answers out of the gate or people are going to get pissed and bail. and lindelof knows this.

(and i realize this counteracts the end of my first answer. don't care. i, like the universe, abide in a state of quantum indeterminacy)

Q: what's the deal with that statue with 4 toes left over from peter jackson's set of middle earth, first glimpsed by sayid and the koreans?
A: i think we're going to have to wait some time to get down the road on this one. when he saw it, stephen king rolled his eyes and called "too many mysteries!" but i guess my upper threshold has not yet been reached

(or even sighted, maybe)

Q: what...actually happened at the end? (or, what's the deal with the failsafe/white flash?)
A: it seems to me like it dispelled the ridiculous geolocational electromagnetic energy that the swan and button-pushers maintained for lo those many years. why they didn't just do that in the first place rather than set up a button with 13.3repeating chances of failure daily is a plot point requiring explanation, if so.

what a wonderful lead-in for...

Q: what is the final fate of eko, desmond, and locke?
A: honestly, seems like they should all be smashed into paste. anything that could kick that QUARANTINE door 45 minutes over to try and smash claire should have ground those boys up.

BUT, allowing that there are survivors, i'm going to go with:

eko: alive. the character's just too good and he is one hardy-looking dude. certainly the odds-on favorite to survive the Great Crunch. plenty of room for character growth and he still needs to build that church.

locke: if he's not the latest sacrifice the island demanded, i'm thinking he's certainly lost the use of his legs. maybe that's too pat of a plotpoint, but it's impossible to ignore.

desmond: almost certainly toast. they could pull an eye-of-the-storm type manuever and keep him around but he got a hell of an arc in a single episode's worth of flashbacks and you could sure say his story was over, unlike for instance libby. he served his purpose. + think about the finale's title, we don't KNOW of anyone who died, but of the contenders, brothah hume was the only one alone.

Q: what is the big plan jack had before he even left camp?
A: no idea, we'll see.

Q: have we seen the last of walt and michael?
A: SURELY not. that would be madness. bet they don't make the premiere, though.

and the question MOST on america's mind...

Q: jack or sawyer, freckles?
A: i'm going to go with the scruffy southern longhair with a penchant for nicknames. and jack dies.

i should really wait another half-hour until 1:08 to post this but what the hell...