‘Lost’ Starts Fifth Season With Fantastic Pair of Episodes

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HollywoodChicago.com Television Rating: 5.0/5.0
Television Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGOABC’s “Lost” returns next Wednesday, January 21st, with a pair of episodes that more than live up to the expectations and the high bar set by season four, one of the best of 2008.

Perfectly balancing a healthy mix of answers to questions set up by the end of last season and asking new ones for what promises to be an excellent fifth season, episode 5.1, “Because You Left,” and episode 5.2, “The Lie,” are very likely to satisfy everyone who tunes in.

Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Jorge Garcia, Naveen Andrews, and Josh Holloway are back and one of the best shows on television has returned from its time off without missing a single complicated step.

Matthew Fox, Michael Emerson
Matthew Fox, Michael Emerson.
Photo credit: Copyright © 2009 ABC Studios/Mario Perez

Before we go anywhere with this review, something needs to be clarified - there will be less plot details in this review than average, so spoiler hunters should look elsewhere. Part of the genius of “Lost” is in the way that its brilliant creators choose what to reveal, when, and how. There’s no way we would ruin the joy of learning the focus of season five of “Lost,” but trust me when I tell you that you will have a much better idea of what that will be by the end of the first two episodes of the penultimate season of this great show.

Naveen Andrews, Jorge Garcia.
Naveen Andrews, Jorge Garcia.
Photo credit: Copyright © 2009 ABC Studios/Mario Perez

It’s not much of a spoiler to reveal that the first two episodes of the fifth season of “Lost” focus mostly on two groups, the “Oceanic Six” that left the island and those that were still on it when it “moved.” The flashback structure of the first two seasons may be gone, but the show still bounces seamlessly between different characters in different times, including opening in one that you’ll never expect. In the history of great pre-credit scenes for “Lost” season premieres, this is one of the best.

Speaking of time, the true “meta” genius of season five may be, at least in part, that a show where time was always such a factor has made it one for its characters as well. The questions viewers have constantly been asking, especially during season four - Who is that? What role do they play in the overall picture? Is this taking place on the island or off it? When is this taking place in context of the crash? - aren’t too different from the questions that the characters are forced to ask themselves in the new season.

Another element of the first few seasons of “Lost” was that most episodes revolved around a specific character. That structure has changed over the years but is certainly not completely lost. “Because You Left” could be called a “Daniel Farraday episode” and “The Lie” belongs to a “Lost” fan favorite, Hugo “Hurley” Reyes. Jeremy Davies does the best work he’s done on the show to date in the former and Jorge Garcia does his best in years in the latter.

As for other cast members with prominent roles in the first two episodes, Evangeline Lilly does excellent work with a few Kate scenes, Josh Holloway drives most of the action with the people left on the island as Sawyer, and, of course, Michael Emerson continues to rock as Ben, arguably the true center of everything that has happened on “Lost”. His final scene is a stunner.

Terry O'Quinn.
Terry O’Quinn.
Photo credit: Copyright © 2009 ABC Studios/Mario Perez

Something that’s clear in the first two episodes of season five of “Lost” is that the surreal nature of the show is going to be even more so in 2009. The blend of themes, characters, and plotlines are starting to come together. Let me just say that there are several familiar faces in the new episodes that diehard fans never thought they would see again. The history of the show is folding in on itself like one of Hurley’s crazy visions and it’s mesmerizing even when you have no idea exactly what’s going on.

So, what questions can you expect to be answered or at least developed in the first two episodes of “Lost: Season Five”?

What does it mean to say the island “moved”? Who is trying to go back to the island and why? What happened to the “Six” immediately after they got off the island? There are even a few questions answered or raised again that you may have forgotten you once asked. More than any other season premiere, you might want to refresh yourself on the first four seasons. These episodes have references to them all.

In the end, the two big questions surrounding “Lost” haven’t changed.

One, where is it going?

I feel like I know more than I did before “Because You Left” and “The Lie,” but still have dozens of tantalizing questions. That’s the best compliment to pay these episodes - that they answer enough questions to satisfy but ask the ones to keep you counting the days until the new episode.

Two, will we be satisfied when we get there?

I’m becoming more and more convinced with every episode that we definitely will be.

‘Lost,’ which airs on ABC, stars Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Terry O’Quinn, Michael Emerson, Henry Ian Cusick, Elizabeth Mitchell, Jeremy Davies, Ken Leung, Rebecca Mader, Nestor Carbonell, and Jeff Fahey. The premiere of season five airs on January 21st, 2009 at 7PM CST.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

MJ's picture

Between the premiere of Lost

Between the premiere of Lost and the inauguration, the anticipation is killing me.

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