Next: Season 5 Premiere

A domestic scene. A needle drop. At first familiar, “LOST” wastes no time disorienting then delighting us, and getting right to a central (and perhaps controversial) premise for Season 5: time travel. Jen and I will share our full reaction to tonight’s episodes on our podcast, but here’s our first take.

“Because You Left”

Jen: The opening scene of the fifth season pretty much left me speechless. I like it even better than the first glimpse of Desmond we got back in Season 2, and that’s saying something. The worker’s remark to Daniel, “Time travel… how stupid does that guy think we are?” verbalizes what the audience is thinking. They let you know right away that you’re in for a serious dose of sci-fi right from the beginning. No playing around. The reappearance of The Swan fuels the time-loop theory, as does Richard’s comment to Locke: “The next time you see me, I won’t recognize you.” I’m more convinced than ever that we’re going to wind up right back where we started, with Jack on his back in the jungle.

Ryan: There are rules. Time is like a record, or a street. If it didn’t happen, it can’t happen. Not only have we been taken straight into time travel, but we’re told up front how things work. Or should. I’m still not convinced we’re in a paradox-free narrative. I’m sure this development will drive some fans away (particularly those who believed the creators when they said “LOST” wasn’t a time travel show), but personally I’m happy to go along for the ride. Certain things just resonated. How Alpert observes, “What comes around goes around,” after Ethan shoots Locke. The compass that Alpert gives Locke (“It points north, John.”), which is one of the artifacts Alpert showed Locke as a young boy. The fact that Locke witnesses the crash of the Nigerian drug plane, when it was he who saw that same plane crash in a creepy Boone vision way back in Season 1. Come to think of it, from Daniel explaining what’s happening to Locke’s solo flashing, most of the best stuff happened on the island. Though it was good to see Desmond re-enlisted, we’ve done the “find me in the futurepast” before. And having followed the Oceanic 6’s long journey off the island last season, their mission to return now doesn’t seem as compelling.

“The Lie”

Jen: Is Sun evil? I am convinced she ratted out Kate. She’s as good an actress as Libby. It’s going to be Sun and Widmore vs. Everybody Else. “The Lie” is in many ways a much weaker episode, in my opinion. Apart from Ana Lucia’s appearance and Frogurt’s untimely demise, nothing about this episode really lingered in my mind. I cannot take Cheech Marin seriously. I don’t buy him as a concerned father, and the scenes with him felt like too much comedy shoved into what’s supposed to be an intense, dramatic episode. The scenes with Sayid sacked out on Hurley’s couch reminded me of “The Princess Bride.” I have to admit, though, that Frogurt’s death is pretty great in a shocking, twisted, hilarious way. We’re expecting Nikki and Paolo, but we get Dr. Arzt. Loved it.

Ryan: Agreed. Frogurt’s death makes it all worthwhile. It was telegraphed a bit, since they made him overwhelmingly and instantly annoying, but still. Best “LOST” death ever. And I actually hope Sun’s newly vengeful character gives Yunjin Kim a chance to relish seething evil. Compared to all the mythology in Episode 1, Episode 2 was character driven. And while I love, love, love Hurley, a lot of the drama rang hollow. Maybe the opening scene just soured me? First, Jack is just finishing up what must be a heck of an explanation of why they must all lie — an explanation that, frankly, seems pretty flimsy considering the toll it takes. Then, Hurley spells out exactly how he won’t help Sayid someday because Sayid won’t back him up, foreshadowing that’s about as anvilicious as any scene we’ve had to date. I did enjoy Hurley’s encounter with Ana Lucia, his 90 second recap of the whole series, and the flying Hot Pocket. But even the big reveal of Ms. Hawking didn’t hit me as hard as I feel it should have. The robe, the chalkboard, the old computer… the sequence felt like a mashup of Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz. At least we now know the Oceanic 6 will spend only three days running around before heading back.

Notes & Notions

  • Before he’s interrupted, Marvin Candle explains that The Arrow is to defend against and conduct surveillance on “The Hostiles,” the indigenous population of the island. Given the four toed statue, I think this brief mention suggests we’re going to get a lot of pre-DHARMA history this season.
  • Daniel says that the time is dislodged in time, the way a record skips. I can only imagine that this doesn’t happen indefinitely… else this show may become entirely impossible to follow. As Charlotte’s getting the Nosebleed of Doom already, a timer seems to be set on solving the whole flashing problem.
  • Lots of great lines. “By the way, Libby says hi.” Sawyer yells, “I’m the ghost of Christmas future!” Miles says, “That chick likes me.” And Sawyer’s nicknames, of course (Dilbert, Ginger, Whiz Kid), including one that Miles corrects (Mr. Wizard). Both Jack and Sawyer say, “Son of a bitch,” but only Sawyer’s utterance is separated by a span of, oh, several years. And the phrase, “God help us all,” first from Marvin Candle at the start of Episode 1, and then from Ms. Hawking at the end of Episode 2.
  • Sawyer seemed a bit erratic, but entertainingly so, and he lets slip that he’s broken up over losing Kate. His reaction to all the flashing, frankly, seemed most realistic. Though I thought the slap he gave Daniel was a bit odd.
  • Locke’s leg is injured once again. There seems to be a pretty explicit and unsubtle connection between Locke’s faith and resolve and his ability to walk.
  • Music: “Shotgun Willie” by Willie Nelson opens the season. “Dream Police” by Cheap Trick plays in the gas station where Hurley gets his shih-tsu T-shirt.
  • Locations: We see the famous Rainbow Drive-In, in a wonderful onymous cameo. The safe house is in Makiki (1818 Anapuni St.). The airport is inside the cruise ship terminal at Pier 2, at the Foreign Trade Zone makai of Restaurant Row. Hurley is pulled over by Ana Lucia on Waialae Ave. in Kaimuki, about two blocks from the gas station where Hurley gets his shirt and where Kate gets a call from Sun. Hurley’s dad meets Jack in an underground parking lot in Waikiki (below Niketown), and takes Sayid to Hawaii Medical Center East (2230 Liliha St.). And we returned to Kate and Hurley’s homes in Kahala.

“The Transmission” is powered by you! Please share your thoughts on the Season 5 Premiere (both “Because You Left” and “The Lie”) by calling the LostLine at (808) 356-0127, e-mailing us at, or by commenting here, by Friday, Jan. 23, 2009.

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132 Responses to Next: Season 5 Premiere

  1. ManilaRaf says:

    Yet another comment, or a question rather:

    Does this mean that Claire is truly dead? Or is she jumping along with everyone else?

  2. Norseman says:

    MJ from Midwest
    That was not the Swan, It was the orchid station.

  3. paintergirl1 says:

    Agostini and Norton (the firm represented when the two men come to visit Kate and Aaron) is an anagram for “attaining donor son.”

  4. WindexChugger says:

    I haven’t read all 100+ comments but here’s my take on the season premier.

    1st scene was amazing. Loved it, couldn’t stop grinning for a few minutes. The whole first episode was awesome. I’m definitely more interested in the Islanders than the OffIslanders.

    2nd episode: definitely the lesser of the two. I’m not sure what to think of MsHawking showing up and being…a leader?

    I think you got it wrong, saying that Sun sent the lawyers to Kate. I think it was Ben. Kate, from what I’ve seen, is pretty opposed to Jack and going back to the island and VERY protective of Aaron. So how would Ben get her to want to go back? Make her think that the only way to keep Aaron is to hide. Where’s the safest place in the world…the island.

    I love Hurley, probably one of my favorite(Daniel took Hurleys top spot from me) characters, but sometimes… . Dunno how Ben’s going to get him out of jail. We’ll see.

    Speaking of Daniel, why can’t my favorite characters EVER be happy? Charlie…drugs out first few seasons and then dies when he finally gets things going good. Locke…went crazy season 3 and even crazier in season 4. Hurley’s gone crazy…again. And now Daniel…stuck on a island with the girl you love…too bad she’s gonna die! Ben is now the only favorite(I guess I might put Juliet up there in my ‘favorite character’ list) who hasn’t died or had life go horrible. Okay, his daughter was killed infront of his eyes and the last thing he said to her was something like “She’s a pawn, nothing more.” He’s been banished from his only true home. After all he’s done for the island it decided he wasn’t good enough, and even after he gets shoved off the island, he’s got more work to do. Still…at least his situation will get better(he’s gonna get the people back on the island, saving all the Others) unlike Daniel’s, since Charlotte is dying soon.

    Ben can never come back? But he’s the driving force to get people back to the island…will he die trying to get back, or just decide not to go back to island, OR have some force separate Ben from the OffIslanders.

    Thanks for the post, you two. Are you still doing the PodCasts? I love them; but keep the spoiler free! I haven’t watched/read/listened to any of the ComiCon stuff since last year they had a kinda big spoiler. I can’t stand spoilers…I don’t even watch the “Next time on LOST.”


  5. Stefani says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the Transmission which I discovered during this ETERNITY of a hiatus.

    Though you probabily recorded your podcast today (Saturday) – I just wanted you both to know that I an super-psyched for this season… I anticipated this premiere almost more than the birth of mykids (and waited practically as long) – and was pleasantly surprised by the episodes. Thought the 1st was better than ‘The Lie’ – I liked knowing of the Time Travel element right from the start… Darlton IS answering SOME of the questions… but there are SO MANY MORE TO ANSWER!

    Keep up the good work – you are truly appreciated!

  6. Deevo from HI says:

    What a ride!! I wanted to know if someone had any thoughts on something: In the scene where Locke and Alpert have a discussion after he gets shot by Ethan and then the island skips through time, could it mean anything that Alpert says,”what comes around goes around” and not what goes around comes around (as the saying really goes)? Wondering if anyone else had caught that and if anyone had an opinion.

  7. My Adam and Eve story — they are Rose and Bernard!

  8. Also if Yemi’s plane crashed on the island then that must mean that the island moves in space as well as time which can explain how the plane got all the way from Africa to it. In other words, I think the island is not just time skipping but space skipping too and Yemi’s plane happened to be over water when the isaldn “skipped” to that location.

  9. eEditor says:

    Daniel needs to lose the tie already. Either that or I start wearing a suit to watch. I can’t be upstaged in my sweat pants any longer.

  10. DaRealDeal says:

    I am going to say that Desmond didn’t remember what Daniel told him before that moment, because it hadn’t happened until that exact moment. Daniel states that he hopes that this works. Because, it had never happened before that moment!

    So, once it happened, the memory was created, and then Desmond remembered their conversation and what Daniel asked him to do.

    I also agree that Ben sent the lawyers to Kate based on his statement that everything was going as planned.

    I don’t think Sun truly blames Ben for Jin’s alleged death (we all know deep down he is alive) and that she is playing Widemore (keep your enemies close) The Oceanic Six have to be on the look out for Widemore as they know he knows they are not telling the truth and may want their assistance in trying to find the island again.

    I don’t think that Ms. Hawkins is Daniels mother, I am pretty sure Ben was still on the West Coast during that last scene and Daniel said his mother was at his school.

    And the probable reason Juliet is moving with the Locke and the rest of the Losties is most likely, because she is not an original other, she was brought to the Island just like the passengers that crashed.

  11. Faisal says:

    Ryan and Jen,
    Love the commentary and I agree wholeheartedly that the first episode was better than the second, though both still quite good. On “The Lie”, what I didn’t like that much or was confused by/thought unplausible:
    1. No real explanation was given as to why the flashing just stopped. We had about 4 or 5 flashes in the 40 minutes of the first episode and then none. It just felt too forced a plot contrivance and especially when we had the two episodes back to back. “Because you left” had us skipping at a dizzying pace and then “The Lie” just stopped doing so cold turkey.
    2. I agreed on the Mrs. Hawking scene being a bit too Harry Potter-esque.
    3. But the biggest problem was that they just pushed the gas way too hard on Hurley as comic relief. That is tolerable in small doses, when Hurley is not at the center of an episode. And I felt it was something of an effort (for both audience and perhaps for Jorge Garcia) to finally give Hurley a bit more depth as a character. It genuinely felt by “Something Nice Back Home” and the Season 4 finale scenes with Sayid that Hurley was mentally wrecked and, indeed, totally lost. And now suddenly the first thing he wants to do is hit up a chicken shack, tell Sayid to have comfort food, and amp up the court jester and dude factor by 10. And this was all sort of worsened by having him go back home, which didn’t make sense and it required Cheech coming back on screen. And fumbling the dramatic/character aspect in this way was all the more noticeable what with the new narrative structure that no longer has a flashback or flashforward to illuminate what the focused-on character is doing in the main island story (as was always the case in seasons 1-4). All the character elements about Hurley we now had to get only from the present tense story that was totally separate from what we also saw on island and it just made it all the more apparent how poorly Hurley’s character and the episode were being served by the dialogue, comic delivery, and kind of poor plot elements that were woven together to do the Hurley on the run comedy opera. Anyway, I think it is also time to cut way down on the ‘dude’s’ and try to do some more realistic acting. Hurley is supposed to be not only a moral wreck (b/c of the lie) but also a psychological one; his turnabout should be a bit slower.

  12. FC says:

    Great write up! I kind of disagree with the idea that the Oceanic 6’s feeling they had to lie is all that implausible. Afterall, consider *their* argument: Widmore was looking for the island for 20 years and when he found it he, indeed, was going to kill everyone on it. Just b/c the island ‘moved’ did not hardly guarantee that he would no longer be able to find it. How did he find it again in the first place? And, especially, given that the Oceanic 6, upon being rescued, really had no way of knowing **what** happened to the island or how permanent it was it was totally reasonable for them to err on the side of caution and think they had to lie.

    It is true that no lie they were going to tell was going to somehow also pull the wool over Widmore’s eyes. But recall that this was never the reason why they thought he’d be deterred by their lying. Obviously, if he put the false wreckage on the bottom of the ocean, complete with passengers, he knows that they didn’t/couldn’t have gotten to Membata in the way their lie claims. But the thing is that the Oceanic 6 are ***going with Widmore’s own lie*** and their reason to do so does make sense. If they were to have out and told the truth it would have only made Widmore all the more determined to find the island and, definitely, kill everyone else on it so as to a.) prevent the outside world from confirming the true story, b.) possibly expose Widmore as the source of the false wreckage, and c.) worse than that (from Widmore’s perspective) motivate that same outside world to, itself, start searching for the island. The lie the oceanic 6 both made it possible that Widmore might, indeed, believe their lie or just feel less concerned with others racing him to find it. Either way the lie would then work to protect the Losties b/c it would work to slow Widmore’s pace and determination.

  13. Jack in Tokyo says:

    hi Ryan & Jen, love the podcast. Have been a listener since the beginning, but this is my first post. Just as an additional thought to ManilaRaf’s comment on the soldiers with the british accents…. I remember that in Desmond’s backstory, he was in the brig/military jail for something to do with ‘abandoning his men’or his duty to his men….maybe its possible that in a ‘bermuda triangle’ sort of way that his regiment of men that he failed are the guys we saw in the jungle and they went missing or something. Seems to make sense as they haven’t yet explained what it was that happened to Desmond’s men that landed him in the brig…

    Thanks for the wonderful podcasts, keep ’em coming!

  14. ManilaRaf says:

    I apologise if I’m annoying in the way that I post, but I post as soon as I have an idea or insight. So I’m sorry for my random, irregular, disjointed posts. I write as they come to me.

    Okay, you know how people seem to appear and disappear to our LOSTies? Examples:
    -Kate’s Horse
    -Jack’s Dad
    -Jacob’s Cabin
    -Harper (Goodwin’s wife)
    -The Nigerians that appear to Eko

    What if they are not manifestations of the Smoke Monster? What if they are just people who are skipping through time as our LOSTies are?

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  16. The premiere was mind-blowing! I can’t wait for the next episode.

  17. Tori says:

    I’m sad to say this, but I felt the first two epis were kinda shallow, as if Carlton and Damon listened too hard to people who said they needed more clarity, action, answers, etc. To me the beauty of the show has been the mystery, unanswered questions and slow unfolding of the characters. I’m hoping they aren’t taking the tack of spelling everyone out for us…. that would be a bummer. On the other hand, maybe it seemed this way because they had to establish so many new ideas and actions. Still, it’s fab to “see everyone” again!!

  18. kaseygirl106 says:

    okay so my theorie on the compass is that alpert said “show me the compass” right? and when he went to locke as a little boy and he didnt “show him the compass” he was like crap.
    something went wrong with the space time stuff and locke was supposed to have known about the compass and he didnt.

    does that make sense to anyone but me?

  19. kaseygirl106 says:

    also, i find Kate as a mother really unconvincing. i dont hink Evangiline Lilly has adjusted to her new role yet. i mean she went from kick ass convict on the run to domestic house wife. certain moments just semed really akward “look at your book baby.” “were goig all the way to the top, so i want you to press three one, do you see it?” maybe its just the fact that i’m not used to seeing kate as a mommy, but then again ive never really thought Evangiline Lilly was very good at nonflirtacius happy scenes.

    and am i the only one to notice that sawyer seems less muscular than he was before?

  20. Halley says:

    Hi! I love the podcast! It helps me keep everything straight, and I have an interesting theory to talk to you about. My teacher and I think that the plane, when it originally crashed, crashed in the past. That’s why Locke could walk, and Rose had her cancer cured. I think that if they remained on island without all the time traveling stuff, Locke eventually would have lost his ability to talk and Rose would contract her cancer again. I haven’t thought it completely through, and I was wondering if you had any ideas about it! Thanks

  21. ManilaRaf says:

    @Halley: Interesting theory. However, you’ll need to reconcile:

    1) The scene after the crash where Ben visits Mikhail in The Flame station where they are watching contemporary news reports about the crash.
    2) The fact that Ben showed Jack the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004 which fits in the timeline, if they crashed in the (then) present day.

  22. Ben says:

    I have a possible theory about Locke being “dead” off the island but his conciseness being on the island… is it possible with all the flipping around in time that his conciseness could have been absorbed into another dead body that is on the island? Possibly Christian Shepard’s body which would continue the theory that Jacob is Locke is Christian Shepard… Just a thought.


  23. Carol says:

    First of all, it’s great having Lost back on the air. It was my birthday and having two episodes to watch was a great present. Is it wrong I rushed my family through cake and opening presents so I could watch the show?

    re time travel: If the rules of time traveling state that the past cannot be changed, why did Ben say “He just changed the rules” after the death of his daughter. At the time I thought there had been an unwritten rule between Widmore and Ben not to go after family. But now I wonder if the breaking the rules meant changing the past.

    Great episodes, and re: Cheech, it is the curly hair that keeps throwing me off. It just looks so unlike him that it never makes his character as Hurley’s dad believable. I just keep staring at that hair.

    re: the British soldiers, I thought that this might be from a time that a British Widmore was on the island and was in charge at the time.

    Keep up the great podcasts, I am really enjoying them. Plus it is fun getting some inside Hawaiian info.

  24. SM says:

    Ok, I am re-watching the episodes. I swear, it looks exactly like Sun’s mom in the beginning of “Because You Left” with Marvin Candle.

    Has anyone else noticed this???

  25. RedPolygon says:

    That WAS Sawyer behind the camera during the orientation filming. It’s gotta be. And I thought the woman in bed with Chang at the beginning was Sun, but after a second viewing, I’m not sure. She does appear to have some ageing makeup on though, so perhaps we’re going to see her again in a flashback.

  26. Dave says:

    ManilaRaf — if they truly can move through time and space, and the itmes they bring with them don’t change, one could make a tape of October 27, 2004 and bring it back in time.

    I’m not sure how well a VCR tape would work when exposed to enormous amounts of electromagnetism though…

  27. Sir Lost-A-Lot says:

    Don’t know if anyone has proposed this, but what about Miles being the son of the Dr. (his name escapes me at the moment) on all of the training videos. I don’t think they showed a baby for no reason, and that would put miles at about the right age. Just a thought.

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  29. Nadia says:

    Faraday and Mrs. Hawking……Isn’t there a little bit of a resemblence to faraday in the photo of Brother Campell? Without the hair and beard….??? I was just looking back at old screenshots and that is what that forced photoshoped look reminded me of.

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  31. Dorothy says:

    Like Lindsay asked earlier, what was Ben hiding in the vent of the apartment?

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