I love making lists -- Top 10 This, 20 Favorite That -- and I am often asked to rank my favorite television shows of all-time. And every time I do, I leave "Lost" off entirely. See, I can't possibly judge "Lost" until it's over. The final season will dictate how I view the entire series forever. If the final season blows, I will feel like I wasted six years of my life. If it delivers, I will feel completely vindicated. So for me, tonight's episode is the beginning of how I will remember "Lost" the rest of my life.
For all you "Lost" Diary newbies, here's how it goes: I gather with a group of friends watching "Lost," writing what happens on the show as it happens, and throwing in my two cents along the way. I plan on watching the final season of "Lost" with as many new people as possible this season, but tonight I am going old school -- just me and Ari.
Let's roll ...
9:00 -- I just watched an hour-long show that was essentially a "Previously on 'Lost'" -- do I need more? 9:01 -- Jack is back on Oceanic Flight 815 as we are, essentially, re-living the crash again (stewardess and all).
9:02 -- Will the plane crash this time?
9:03 -- "Looks like we made it." -- Barry Manilow, I mean Jack.
9:04 -- Am I wrong to think the plane still might crash? And what's the deal with the cut on Jack's neck? Where'd that come from?
9:05 -- That's weird -- Desmond is on the plane. Desmond wasn't on Oceanic 815. Why is Desmond on the plane?
9:06 -- Cue the creepy Tim Burton music as the camera whips around to show us the four-toed statue ... underwater.
9:10 -- Kate's eyes open only to find her hanging from a tree, ears ringing. Do not adjust the volume on your television.
9:11 -- Kate wanders around the jungle till she finds Miles. How many times do people on "Lost" wake up with no clue where they are? Once a week?
9:12 -- "We're back." So Jack is off the island, but Kate isn't. Interesting.
9:13 -- Ok, Jack really is on the island. Was the first scene just a dream? Damn you, clever "Lost" writers!!!
9:14 -- Jack was wrong about everything, it would appear, and Sawyer is not happy since Juliet was blown up by the bomb. Or was she?
9:15 -- Jack is back on the plane again. If you were wondering the first time I suffered a "Lost"-induced migraine in 2010, the correct answer was 9:15.
9:16 -- Back on the plane, Sawyer hears that Hurley is a lottery winner and he made that "I'm a con man and I am about to do con man things" face.
9:17 -- "I am the luckiest guy alive." -- Hurley. Of course he is -- no hatch, no numbers, no bad luck. But then ... how did he come up with the numbers to win the lottery in the first place. Second "Lost" induced migraine coming ... now.
9:18 -- Juliet is crying for help and now Jack and company are digging through rubble.
9:19 -- Sayid doesn't look good. Someone's in the woods -- my money is on Boone.
9:20 -- Nope, it's Jacob.
9:22 -- Back on Oceanic 815, Sun and Jin are chatting it up. Remember -- this is pre-plane crash Jin, so he's kind of an a-hole.
9:23 -- "If this plane goes down in the ocean way out here, I think our chances of survival are exactly zero." -- Boone.
9:24 -- Boone is on the plane, but Shannon isn't. Is that supposed to be right? And Locke went on his walkabout -- only he never crashed on the island, so he should still be in a wheelchair. Headache #3.
9:25 -- "If this thing goes down, I'm sticking with you." -- Boone.
9:26 -- Ben seems a little broken up about killing Jacob. Remorse? From Ben? Doesn't feel right.
9:27 -- Seeing Locke's body in the casket makes Ben make the same face I have been making for the last 20 minutes. Seeing as Locke is inside the temple AND in a casket, from now on I will be referring to Locke as Not-Locke, since it clearly isn't him and is instead the guy from the beach last season.
9:31 -- The search for Juliet continues.
9:32 -- "Your friend Jin won't be able to see me ... Because I died an hour ago." -- Jacob. Well duh.
9:33 -- So Hurley has to take Sayid to the temple and bring the guitar case with him. When Hurley asked Jacob "Who are you?" for a split second I thought he was going to say "Batman."
9:34 -- I'm going to say it -- I hope Juliet dies. If a giant bomb goes off, someone should die. Even on "Lost."
9:35 -- Since the plane didn't crash, Charlie got to do his beloved heroin ... and promptly OD'd.
9:39 -- Here I am, rooting for Charlie to die again. Just like old times.
9:40 -- "Yeah, you're alive." -- Jack to Charlie.
9:41 -- Sawyer and Juliet get the dramatic reunion music usually reserved for Desmond and Penny.
9:44 -- Jack says there is "nothing I can do for him (Sayid)" which gives Hurley the green light for Operation Temple.
9:47 -- The Not-Locke version of the Smoke Monster kicks ass.
9:48 -- "I'm sorry you had to see me like that." -- Not-Locke
9:52 -- "I have to tell you something, it's really important ..." -- Juliet. Fantastic timing.
9:53 -- RIP Juliet.
9:54 -- "You did this." -- Sawyer. Was he talking to me? Cause I only wrote I wanted Juliet dead, I didn't actually kill her.
9:55 -- "I was supposed to die." -- Charlie. Yes, yes you were.
9:56 -- Did Jack imagine Desmond?
9:56 -- As we begin our final descent into Los Angeles, I am reminded of all the people we could have seen on the plane -- Shannon, Michael, Walt, Ana Lucia, Mr. Eko, and Libby. If they all were shown, the GUEST STARRING credits at the beginning of the show would have lasted 15 minutes.
9:57 -- Soft music, slow motion montage ...
9:59 -- And Locke's wheelchair. Guess he lied about the walkabout.
10:04 -- "It's not a guitar, man." -- Hurley. Um, what?
10:05 -- "Jack Shephard, please go to the nearest courtesy desk." What are the odds his dad's coffin has gone missing.
10:06 -- "We're not exactly sure where it is." -- Oceanic guy.
10:07 -- Operation Temple encountered a brief obstacle (giant wall), but seems to be moving along well.
10:09 -- WHISPER WHISPER WHISPER and now Kate's gone.
10:10 -- WHISPER WHISPER WHISPER and now everyone is captured.
10:11 -- "Guess we found the temple." -- Hurley
10:15 -- Kate needs to go to the bathroom, no doubt to plot her escape. Poorly.
10:16 -- Kate escapes.
10:18 -- Sawyer is burying Juliet. Guess she really is dead. I feel kinda guilty.
10:19 -- Sawyer wants Miles to tell him what Juliet was trying to tell him before she died.
10:20 -- "It worked." -- Miles. Ok, so is it possible everyone is on the island ... AND off the island? Headache #4.
10:21 -- "They were on the first plane." -- Stewardess. She's had more lines tonight than in the previous five seasons combined.
10:22 -- "Jacob sent us!" -- Hurley
10:25 -- "Hey, excuse me. I carried that case across the ocean and, like, through time. I want to know what that paper says." -- Hurley.
10:29 -- So what are the odds Sun bolts now that she's in Los Angeles? That was her original plan, right?
10:30 -- "No english." -- Sun
10:31 -- The Temple's hot tub seems to be broken and isn't healing people properly.
10:34 -- RIP Sayid? That can't be right.
10:35 -- No, seriously -- that can't be right. Not Sayid. I don't even remember how he got shot in the first place.
10:40 -- Kate continues her escape. I always find myself rooting against her. Which isn't saying much -- she always gets captured.
10:42 -- Claire? I completely forgot about her.
10:43 -- Creepy Asian Guy totally speaks English.
10:44 -- "Cause he's dead. What, you guys didn't know?" -- Hurley
10:46 -- "Let's not resort to name calling." -- Not-Locke.
10:47 -- Hearing Not-Locke talk about Locke is kinda like hearing someone deliver their own eulogy.
10:48 -- "I want to go home." -- Not-Locke
10:51 -- "Goodbye, dude. If you ever want to talk, I'm around." -- Hurley to Sayid.
10:52 -- Seeing Locke and Jack together brings back Season 2 memories.
10:53 -- "They didn't lose your father, they just lost his body." -- Locke
10:54 -- "Nothing's irreversible." -- Jack
10:56 -- "I'm seeing it, but I'm still not believing it." -- Lawnmower Man.
10:57 -- "It's good to see you out of those chains." -- Not-Locke. Apparently Richard and Not-Locke have a long history.
10:59 -- Back at the temple, everyone is bummed out about Juliet and Sayid dying. Tough afternoon for the Losties.
11:00 -- "What happened?" -- Sayid
Season 1 of "Lost" has always been a bit of a conundrum to me. On one hand, it's the consensus best season (not sure if I agree, but I think it's a fair choice). On the other hand, if someone told you they were about to start watching "Lost" and they wanted to skip one season and still be able to figure out what's going on, they could skip Season 1, right?
I mean -- no Others, no hatches, no Jacob, no Ben, no Richard, no Desmond, no time travel. In a weird way, it's like it's own separate show.
But it's taken us all the way until Season 6, but we're back to a Season 1 type of story -- the What If Oceanic 815 Didn't Crash universe. It's just a bunch of characters, that we have grown to love, living normal lives (a la the flashbacks from Seasons 1 and 2). If you loved Season 1, you are no doubt loving this half of "Lost" -- the Flashsideways, as I believe they are being called.
So let's focus on the 815 universe, because I don't think I am ready to tackle what's going on on the island. Desmond is on the plane, they lost Christian (and Locke's knives), Charlie tried to swallow heroin rather than flush it, Sun hates Jin, Claire isn't going to give birth to her baby in a jungle and Hurley has good luck (think that's all the differences, off the top of my head, for now).
I've always said certain episodes get graded differently than others, season premieres being one of them. I give this episode a B+. It didn't knock me over with crazy revelations, but it set up Season 6 in an amazing way -- which, considering how high the stakes are, is pretty damn impressive.