(Btw, everyone has been positing who the Oceanic 6 are based on the new season's poster and we know now who at least three of them are: Hurley, Kate and Jack. Who are the other 3? Would Sawyer have stayed? Sun and Jin? Claire and her baby?)
But oh! That flash forward! It's Hurley's story and we find him in a mental institution after leading LA cops on a wild chase and crashing his Camaro. He apparently got spooked when he saw Charlie in a convenience store and took off. Then later, after having been visited in the group home by someone who claimed to be from Oceanic Airlines (and who wanted to know if there was anyone left alive on the island - who asks that? Someone from DHARMA?), he sees Charlie! Charlie tells him yes, he is dead but he is also here with Hurley. Wha?? He looked cleaned up and distinctly undead with his fancy sunglasses and cool rocker clothes and he was apparently visible to at least one other mental patient. But then when Hurley "makes" him disappear, he does.
Was that a reveal or not? Was that meant to indicate Charlie is in another dimension, an alternate world where Oceanic 815 did NOT crash? Or that it did and they were not rescued? He tells Hurley that he has to "help them." Does that mean the people left on the island?
Meanwhile, back on the island in 2004, Jack has arranged for the freighter to find them and rescue them. Yay! That's great, right? Until Desmond returns and tells Sayid, Sawyer, et al down on the beach that Charlie's dying message was that the boat was not Penny's. These people who are coming are not who they say they are. Well, since Locke killed Naomi, they can't exactly confront her about that, can they?
(A minor quibble: why did Hurley throw the walkie into the water? A poor choice to deliberately prevent communication between the two groups. Wasn't there a better way to do that?)
After the groups split and go their separate ways - which obviously don't stay separate if at least one of them from Locke's group ends up off the island - a man parachutes into the jungle from a helicopter and meets with Jack and Kate. Is he there to rescue them? According to stoic Ben, everyone will be killed when these people arrive but he won't say why or how that will happen. Curse you and your taciturn ways, Ben!
(I love how he asks permission from Jack to go with Locke's group. I'm sure Jack was thinking, "Go ahead, I'm just gonna beat you up again if I have the chance.")
(And ooh! What about Jack pulling the trigger on Locke's gun? Thank god it was empty! I couldn't believe he would actually kill him!)
Okay...I have read that the writers designed the first 8 episodes of this season to open up a whole bunch of new questions and then the second 8 would answer some of them but alas, we will only be getting the question-raising episodes due to the strike. These next two months promise to be a most frustrating time for LOST fans.
But hey, at least we have a few weeks of brain-teasing fun.
Your Hollywood connection,