I love how the Red Sox are so often used to signify time in "Lost." When Jack looks at a headline that says, "Yankees bludgeon Red Sox in series sweep" -- and then mutters "A-Rod" under his breath -- we know we're in the midst of a flash-forward. And we know it's going to be some kind of nightmare.
To minimize spoilers, I'll save the rest of my giddy thoughts about this week's "Lost" for after the jump.
Here's what I really liked about this episode: While it didn't address any of the zillion questions raised last week (Ben, Sayid, the Smoke Monster, Charles Widmore) it did connect to some of the series' longtime themes, ensuring us that the writers do remember what they came up with a couple of seasons ago, as well as a couple of episodes ago. We got the visual flash on Jack's eye (it was Ben's eye last week, right?), a nod to the Juliet kiss, and a pretty chilling reminder -- in case anyone had forgotten -- that Claire and Jack have the same dad. We even got a reference to Jin's mafioso past, as he found a compelling way to threaten Charlotte. And we got some hint as to how Sun escapes the island without Jin.
(Edited to add: I had forgotten last night to mention the "Alice and Wonderland" read, a reference to last season's finale, "Through the Looking Glass." EW's Doc Jensen runs further with the Alice analysis, recalling a season 1 episode called "White Rabbit" that also featured Christian running amok. He also has an intriguing theory on the fate of Claire.)
And then there were the questions. By pointing out that Kate is not related to Aaron, is Jack saying that he knows he's Aaron's uncle? Are Christian and Jacob the same person? Is Claire finally gone for good? Was Kate talking to Sawyer on the phone? Or is he still on the island? Ir both? What sort of favor would she have to do for him -- and is it part of some long con? Is Hurley right in thinking they're all actually dead, or is he just the vessel the writers are always going to use to wink at fan conspiracy theories?
The one thing I know for sure is this: of all of the shows that were absent this spring, "Lost" is the one I missed the most. (And the absence wasn't even all that long.) Now that it's back, it doesn't disappoint.