Warning: Spoilers ahead. If you did not see tonight's "Lost" premiere yet, do not read further.
Television's most intriguing, exciting and maddening program returned tonight with a two-hour season premiere which, despite the producers' assurances to the opposite in the hour before, asked far more questions than it answered (as if any of us die-hard fans really expected anything else, anyway).
Why is the island so unstable? Why are only some people moving back and forth through time? Who shot the flaming arrows? What the hell is Ana-Lucia doing in Hurley's head? Who ordered the blood tests on Kate and Aaron? Who attacked Sayid and Hurley? And why? What was Daniel doing back in the Dharma Initiative? Who were those military-type guys who captured Sawyer and Juliet before they were rescued by Locke?
My one theory about tonight's episode, is that the jeweler, Ms. Hawking (an obvious nod to Stephen Hawking -- the writers are obsessed with naming characters after physicists, philosophers and authors) is actually Daniel's mother, and it is she that Desmond must seek out to help save those left behind. We got a brief glimpse of her at the end of the episode, though it looked to me like her eyes were solid black, like some alien (?) or demonic being.
I love the way the show plays with time, and it sure did a lot of that tonight, too. Of course, the best time-travel episode ever was "The Constant," in which Desmond had to travel back in time to convince Penny to call him on Christmas Eve. I am starting to think that Desmond may be the key to the whole thing after all. Daniel told him tonight (in the past) that he was "unique." Does this mean that Desmond is a natural time-traveller? Or that he is unaffected by time travel in the same way that Daniel's rat was (and Charlotte now appears to be)? Locke may be (as his name obviously suggests) the lock, but I'm pretty sure Desmond is the key.
Of course, there are still a million questions unanswered from previous episodes. What the hell is Christian doing on the island, alive? And why was he last seen with the supposedly dead Claire? Is Christian the mysterious 'Jacob?' How did Ben manage to get Locke's father on the island? Who built the giant four-toed statue? Who buried the mule-wheel beneath the island's surface and why is it so cold down there? Why did Dharma choose the island in the first place? Why is Widmore so desperate to have the island for himself? We do know that all of the characters are connected in ways we can't begin to imagine, but what is their connection to the island? Will we ever find out everything? There is only one season left after this one. That's an awful lot of wrapping up to do.
Needless to say, I am hooked and will watch to the bitter end. Commercial television doesn't get much better than this.
Oh - one last thing. Did anyone else notice the connection between "Lost" and J.J. Abrams' newest show, "Fringe?" In the last episode of "Fringe" before the holiday break, a series of bank deposit boxes were being robbed in order to build a time machine. The boxes' numbers seemed random at first, until Bishop realized they were his boxes, and he had hidden those components years ago. But the numbers on those boxes? Yup. The same numbers that figure so prominantly in "Lost;" the infamous Fibonocci (forgive my spelling) Sequence. The shows may air on two different networks, but I love that Abrams is willing to play these kinds of games.