<p>There's a &quot;vas deferens&quot; between the Lockes in the two timelines this season on 'Lost.'&nbsp; Ahahahaha... get it?&nbsp; No, seriously, check out the dry erase board behind Terry O'Quinn.</p>

There's a "vas deferens" between the Lockes in the two timelines this season on 'Lost.'  Ahahahaha... get it?  No, seriously, check out the dry erase board behind Terry O'Quinn.

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Lost' 6.04 - 'The Substitute' offers the season's first real answers

Plus little connections start to make the alternative timeline feel important

Now that's more like it.

I enjoyed last week's episode, but I thought it was a pretty typical second episode of a season, setting things up and doing the legwork it'll take for us to really have fun with the rest of the season.  The more I thought about it, though, the more I liked an element of the episode that I initially dismissed as too coincidental, and that's the relationship between Kate and Claire in the off-island "Timeline A" storyline.  My first thought was that I didn't really buy the way they interacted, or the way Kate kept making choices that helped Claire but that put herself harm's way.  But what if what we're seeing off-island right now is all about the way these people find themselves drawn together by forces they don't understand, and what if Kate stayed with Claire because she was compelled to, without even understanding why?

One of the things that started me thinking on that was the scene in the two-hour premiere where Jack gave John Locke his card in the airport and told him to call for a free consult.  And it gave me real pause to see Ethan show up as Claire's OB/GYN.  I think the "Timeline A" stuff is throwing viewers because they don't have a handle on it yet, but I think when the game becomes clear and we realize what we're watching, all those little things like the cut on Jack's neck or the date on Claire's sonogram being a month off from when flight 815 crashed in the first go-round will add up in a way that will take off the back of our heads.

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<p>&nbsp;Casey James of 'American Idol'</p>

 Casey James of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - 'Hollywood Round #3' - Meet 7 of the Top 24

'American Idol' finishes Hollywood Week and the first seven Top 24 contestants are revealed

We aren't quite sure what's going to happen on Tuesday's (Feb. 16) "American Idol," nor why it will take a full two hours, nor what FOX means when the network boasts that "some" members of the Top 24 will be revealed during tonight's episode, but whatever happens, I'll be live-blogging the heck out of it.

[Click through...]

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<p>&nbsp;Freddie Prinze Jr. of '24'</p>

 Freddie Prinze Jr. of '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Day 8 - '11 p.m. to 12 a.m.'

With Jack captured by Sergi's men, Farhad learns he's not the only buyer in town for the nuclear material.

Jack Bauer doesn’t stop for the Winter Olympics, people. Nope, “24” just keeps on chugging along, pairs figure skating and biathlons be damned. Despite my Valentine’s Day wish, the Dana/Kevin plot inexplicably continued this week, more torturous than anything experienced by Jack in Sergi’s basement. Let’s find out what happened this week, shall we?

[Full recap of Monday's (Feb. 15) "24" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Matt Ross of 'Big Love'</p>

 Matt Ross of 'Big Love'

Credit: HBO

Recap: 'Big Love' - 'Under One Roof'

An old, familiar face returns to wreak havoc on the Henricksons in 'Big Love'

"Sometimes I get so angry at things I can't change. ... The way we grew up." - Nicki Grant

About midway through tonight's episode of "Big Love," Nicki Grant lets out an impassioned exclamation about how the way she and others from her religion were brought up, how it colors everything that they do and makes them unable to see straight sometimes, to free themselves from clearly bad situations. For a series that's mostly about the ways that individuals try to find ways to work themselves into larger communities that are deeply repressive, despite being welcoming to people who just long for a place to be, "Big Love" is always uniquely aware of the ways that you can never escape the secrets of your past, the ways they catch up to you when you're least expecting it and completely blindside you.

[Full recap of Sunday's (Feb. 14) "Big Love" after the break... ]

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<p>&nbsp;Brent and Caite of 'The Amazing Race'</p>

 Brent and Caite of 'The Amazing Race'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race 16' Premiere -- 'Nanna is Kickin' Your Butt'

It's off to Chile for Phil Keoghan, the beauty queen, the 'Big Brother' couple and more

You don't have to be brainy to win on "The Amazing Race." In fact, if you look back over the show's 15 winners, only a few of those champions could be categorized as "smart." The best you can say about most of the winners, really, is that they were able to minimize intellectual blunders along the way. And sometimes you can't even say that.

Over the years, misread clues, misapplied maps, in-challenge counting blunders, word-puzzle cluelessness and other mental gaffes have done in far more teams than physical inadequacies or crippling phobias.

It's actually a key part of the show's dramatic tension for viewers. Most of us, sitting at home, have no clue how we'd perform if asked to eat 15 pounds of whale blubber or if we were forced to do a free-fall off of the pointy top of the CN Tower, but we can all feel confident that even with reduced sleep, a questionable diet and at the end of a 15-day adrenaline rush, we'd still be literate, we'd still be able to add digits, we'd still eventually be able to unscramble the most foreign of five-letter words in a few hours. We can feel equal or superior on that front, smacking our palms against our foreheads in frustration and glee.

Get ready for a lot of that in this current 16th season of "The Amazing Race," which seems to have ample potential to be the dumbest season of The Race ever, "The Amazing Race: All-Stupids" if you will. I'm guessing this crop of contestants will lead to a split in the viewership, because as tremendously fun as Sunday's (Feb. 14) premiere was, I can easily imagine this level of dunderheadedness getting exhausting in a hurry.

[More on the "Amazing Race" premiere after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Nina Dobrev of 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

 Nina Dobrev of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'Fool Me Once'

Stefan and Damon get closer to opening the tomb and a discover in made

Big stuff goes down in Mystic Falls this week as our beloved “Vampire Diaries” leaves us with a doozy before going on hiatus (again!) until March. And while the “Will Elena turn into a vampire?” plot gets dropped with the quickness, it’s replaced with witchy happenings and emotional gestures and surprising turns galore, including the very best scene Katerina Graham’s been given all season. Read on!

[Full recap of Thursday's (Feb. 11) "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Fool Me Once," after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Anthony of 'Project Runway'</p>

 Anthony of 'Project Runway'

Credit: Lifetime

Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'Run For Cover'

One struggling designer rises – and a favorite falls

Okay, the promos for this episode look downright delicious. I mean, come on, they’re promising a friggin’ bloodbath on the runway! Is it too much to hope someone claws Mila’s catty old eyes out? I am breathless with excitement! This could be the best “PR” ever! Or, Lifetime could be yanking my chain. But they wouldn’t do that, would they?

[Full recap of Thursday (Feb. 11) night's "Project Runway" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Amanda Kimmel of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'</p>

 Amanda Kimmel of 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' Premiere - 'Slay Everyone, Trust No One'

Bones are broken, bikini tops are removed and an unlikely romance blooms on 'Survivor'

A pre-pre-credit proposal. Before we start Thursday's (Feb. 11) two-hour premiere of "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains," I want to raise a thought: Would the competition be more fun if, instead of being divided into Tribes of "Heroes" and "Villains," 10 of each had been selected by the producers and the teams had been integrated with the contestants only knowing they were there for an All-Stars season? Then you could have seen clearly if the Hero approach or the Villain approach was superior. We could have reached a merge with all Villains! Or all Heroes! Either way, the game would have been head-to-head from the beginning. That's just my thought...

[Now, a full and no-doubt epic recap of "Heroes vs. Villains" premiere is after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;'American Idol' Hollywood Week</p>

 'American Idol' Hollywood Week

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - 'Hollywood Round #2'

It's the second night for Hollywood and Ellen, but would group singing bring the favorites down?

9:00 p.m. ET Last night was a pretty good "American Idol" episode, wasn't it? Some good singing, some strong instrument work and a solid debut for new judge Ellen DeGeneres. How would "American Idol" top that? How about Group Night!

[Click through for a full recap of Wednesday's (Feb. 10) "American Idol"...]

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<p>Evangeline Lilly's Kate takes center stage in the third hour of the final season of 'Lost,' entitled 'What Kate Does'</p>

Evangeline Lilly's Kate takes center stage in the third hour of the final season of 'Lost,' entitled 'What Kate Does'

Credit: ABC/Touchstone

Recap: 'Lost' 6.03 - 'What Kate Does' marks time, lays pipe

A few puzzle pieces are offered up, but not many

And, no, I don't mean "lays pipe" in the sexy fun-time way.  I mean it more in the "lots of exposition" way.

"Lost" has always had trouble following up their typically-impressive season openers.  It's just the mechanics of storytelling on television, I think, because they have all summer to figure out exactly how they plan to punch you in the face right out of the gate, and then they have to settle into the business of actually telling the story for the season, and that requires a shifting of gears.  This year is no exception, and 6.03 ends up moving a bunch of pieces around the chess board without advancing much of anything.  There are a few tidbits of note, but for the most part, this is all about getting things in order for bigger episodes ahead.

It's interesting that there is so much disagreement between "Lost" fans about what is happening so far this season.  I'm seeing a lot of speculation out there that the storyline that takes place back in Los Angeles is actually the future, after the storyline that takes place on the Island, and that they aren't alternate timelines at all, but the same timeline at two different points.

I vehemently disagree.

I don't believe for a second that the two timelines are going to remain separate, but I think they are running parallel at the moment.  What's going to happen later this year if my guess is correct is that some event is going to have to take place that pulls the two timelines into one, merging them.  Neither will be completely erased, and the events we're watching will have ramificiations in both timelines.  I don't think the "Lost" producers would be cruel enough to waste giant chunks of the running time this year with something they'll wipe out later with a simple, "But that didn't REALLY happen" sort of narrative double-back.  No way.

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