Lost has finally returned, and this episode was an odd mix of satisfaction and, at the end, frustration.
It satisfied because there was actually some sense of forward movement in the story. It felt like something was actually happening. The "rescuers" will soon be coming, there are actual conversations with someone on the freighter via the uber-satellite phone, the castaways learn that Charlie has died and that the rescuers may actually have some nefarious purpose related to the island.
The "flash forwards" are here in full force, showing Hurley freaking out for some unknown reason that is revealed near the end of the episode, and I did NOT like what was revealed at all. I'll refrain from major spoilers in this article, but feel free to discuss details of the episode, spoilers and all in the comments.
What more did I like? Hurley is finally starting to "man up" and it fits him. The death of Charlie hit him hard and that combined with his rescue of those on the beach last episode has caused him to grow (not physically, although that seems to be happening as well). It was a very Hurley-centric episode and one thing that bothered my wife after a while were all the extreme close-ups on his face. I'm sorry, but a dirty, un-shaven, nasty hair overweight face that close up on a big screen got to her after a while. :-)
So what wasn't satisfying?
The fact that just as we finally get to meet someone from the ship, the episode is OVER. I was waiting the entire hour to see some interaction with them or some sort of reveal, and just when it happens - BAM! Tune in next week.
Yes, I realize this is episodic television... but the soap opera techniques get to me. At least on 24, although every episode ends with a cliffhanger, during each episode we see plenty of significant things happening with the story.
Overall, it felt good to be back into the show, although it was in the nick of time. It was to the point for me that if it never returned I would have just forgotten about it - and I think that remains a problem for the series with the upcoming short seasons and long hiatus periods in between.
So, let's hear it, folks: Did you love it or hate it?