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'Lost' finds a way to keep you hooked

In the season premiere episode, "Man of Science, Man of Faith," one of the castaways is chosen to descend into the mysterious hatch, and Shannon stumbles upon a shockingly familiar face in the jungle.

Did they tell us enough? No. But do we want them to tell us more? No again.

Last night on the second-season premiere of ''Lost," the makers of the mystery series continued to be thrilling teases. Which is what so many of us love about them. Just as they handed us juicy clues to the show's big secrets (more about that later, brother), they raised new questions and revealed mind-boggling new coincidences. ''Lost" picked up where if left off in May, with its irresistible game of giving out bits of information while taking away all assumptions.

The hour started with a look deep inside the hatch -- a well-earned look, since fans have been waiting months for a glimpse. And it wasn't exactly a Wonderland down there. A man wakes up alone in bed, stops at his computer, exercises on his stationary bike, and showers, all while ''Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Mama Cass Elliot blares in the background. It has the trappings of a typical yuppie scenario, complete with electricity and plumbing, except it's taking place many feet underground, without the usual high-rise city views. Think dark basement apartment.

Meanwhile, upstairs in the rough jungle, our dueling heroes Jack and Locke face off. The episode is titled ''Man of Science, Man of Faith," and as the two leaders bicker about whether or not to enter the hatch, it's clear Locke is the latter. Gazing beatifically into the hole in the ground, our beloved bald man appears to be drawn like a water dog to the ocean. Ultimately, though, Jack, Kate, and Locke all end up inside the hatch, where they encounter the subterranean yuppie, who has rigged a blinding-white-light warning system to alert him to intruders.

Every episode of the ABC series is built around a flashback story, matching past puzzles to those on the present tense of the island. Last night, we saw the tale of how Jack met his future wife, Sarah (Julie Bowen), having operated on her after she was in a car accident. During the flashback, a despairing Jack is shown venting steam on a jog, where he meets a stranger named Desmond who likes to call people ''brother." After a chitchat about Jack's injured ankle, Desmond makes an enigmatic comment about believing in miracles and then leaves him with, ''See you in another life, yeah?"

It appears to be a non sequitur scene except, well, this is ''Lost," and everything has significance. Not only does a miracle occur when Jack goes on to save Sarah from paralysis, but Jack does see Desmond in another life -- in the hatch. Yes, that sure looks like Desmond standing behind Locke and yelling, ''Lower your gun or I'll blow his damned head off, brother."

Who is Desmond? And where are the raft people? Oh, and did Shannon really see Walt, or was it a hallucination? After last night's absorbing episode, I'm definitely in for another season of cat-and-mouse. Let's hope all good resolutions ultimately come to those of us who wait.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at

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