<p>Terry O' Quinn's character John Locke may be dead, but as fans know, that hardly means he's off the show, and he played a key role in the season six premiere of 'Lost' tonight.</p>

Terry O' Quinn's character John Locke may be dead, but as fans know, that hardly means he's off the show, and he played a key role in the season six premiere of 'Lost' tonight.

Credit: ABC/Touchstone

Recap: 'Lost' season six premiere - 'LA X'

The two-hour kick-off to the final season breaks my brain

I'm going to have to watch that again.

Even taking notes, even looking at a few scenes a second time, I'm not 100% sure what I just saw, and I have a feeling that's exactly what Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were aiming for.  Mission accomplished, gentlemen, because I'm hooked right back in, a junkie who didn't even realize he was jonesing until that first taste, and now I wish I could just download the whole season into my brain tonight so I could start sorting out exactly what they're up to.

There's a short recap at the start of the episode, and instead of trying to condense the entire mythology of the series into a few minutes, they carefully just highlighted a few key ideas and characters, starting with Jacob and the Man in Black sitting on the beach.  I think this sort of proves they're going to be the lynchpins to this final season.  Then we see Ben and the Alterna-Locke in the scene where Jacob is killed, and we hear the ominous line, "They're coming."  Then quickly, we're at the end of last year, and we're looking at Juliet in the base of that shaft, the bomb next to her, and as she hits it one last time, there's a flash of WHITE...

... and we're back on Oceanic Flight 815.  There's Jack, looking out the window.  The moments before the crash that started this whole thing.  We watch the build-up to the crash as he talks across the aisle to Rose, and then the plane starts to shake.  Here we go.  The whole thing's going to happen again...

... and then it doesn't.  The plane levels out.  Jack looks over at Rose, relieved.  "Looks like we made it."

"Yes," she responds.  "We did."  Bernard comes back from the bathroom, shaken up but no worse for wear, and Jack goes to wash his face.  He finds an odd cut on his neck.  When he comes back to his seat, Desmond is sitting in his row now, tired of his seat where some guy's been snoring since Sydney.

Wait a minute... Desmond's on the plane?  What the hell is going on?  Obviously something's been changed, but how did Desmond end up on the plane?  That was never part of the timeline in the first place.  He and Jack have a moment of deja vu, but then as it passes, we look out the window, then race out, down through the clouds, into the ocean where the Island should be.  We keep moving.  Down.  Down.  And we realize that what we're seeing is the Island, but it's completely underwater now.  We see familiar buildings, completely submerged and rotten, and then just after the Dharma Shark swims by (nice callback, everyone), we finally stop moving, staring right at a giant four-toed statue's foot.

Boom.  "Lost."

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<p>&nbsp;Simon Cowell of 'American Idol'</p>

 Simon Cowell of 'American Idol'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Denver Auditions

Simon, Randy and Kara join the Mile High Club. But not in the way you're thinking. Pervert.

7:55 p.m. ET. Look, I know I don't get a vote on these things, but in the future, if it would be possible not to have Oscar nominations, "American Idol," the "Lost" premiere and Groundhog Day all align together on the calendar, I'd really appreciate it. [And yes, I'm well aware that "Lost" premieres are never, alas, going to coincide with anything else ever again.]

7:56 p.m. I'm just really tired. So if I come across as extra incoherent or extra catty, The former is more likely than the latter. But you've been warned. Anyway, on to Tuesday (Feb. 2) night's "American Idol" after the break...

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<p>&nbsp;Milo Ventimiglia of 'Heroes'</p>

 Milo Ventimiglia of 'Heroes'

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Heroes' - 'The Wall'

With Peter and Sylar trapped in a nightmare world, Claire learns of Noah's past.

Usually, in the penultimate episode of a season, the action builds to a boiling point, with the finale serving as catharsis for the built-up tension. Well, “Heroes” never does things the normal way. So instead of featuring an episode full of action, “The Wall” focused on two chamber plays featuring four of its major characters. On one side, Noah and Claire just went for another spin on the “Why Didn’t He Ever Tell Her Before” Merry-Go-Round, whereas Peter and Sylar went on a mental Moonwalk of forgiveness inside of Parkman’s twisted nightmare world.

Oh, and Samuel finally revealed his endgame, which should make Mayor Bloomberg happy. But more on that at the end.

[Full recap of Monday's (Feb. 1) "Heroes" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Since NBC has no episode-specific art for this episode, we're using this old &quot;Chuck&quot; promo.</p>

 Since NBC has no episode-specific art for this episode, we're using this old "Chuck" promo.

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Nacho Sampler'

Chuck has to play Sarah to a new Chuck, while Sarah helps the old Chuck with a 'BSG' t-shirt

"Chuck" is in the process of turning a corner these days. Or, at the very least, "Chuck" is in the process of giving the impression that it's turning a corner. And, as those of us who have occasionally been known to operate automobiles know, you can't turn a corner too quickly or else you're going to end up flipping over and over again as "Rocket Man" over the sound of crunching metal*.

[* I think that was a reference to the classic Steve Prefontaine biopic "Without Limits," but sometimes the references get all jumbled up in your head and you end up referencing half of one thing and half of another thing and it becomes sufficiently unlike either thing that nobody knows what you were talking about. That's the sort of experience Quentin Tarantin calls, "an original thought."]

Monday (Feb. 1) night's "Chuck," titled "Chuck vs. the Nacho Sampler" was the third or fourth consecutive "Look Papa, I'm a Real Little Spy" episode of the Chuck-as-Espionage-Pinocchio third season. And that means the third or fourth episode in a row of Chuck uncovering the dramatic responsibilities of being a real spy and the third episode out of four where we've had "Chuck Is Becoming Sarah, Leaving Sarah Missing Her Chuck" undertones (or, in this case, overtones).

But the episode had Sarah in a "Frak Off" belly t-shirt, Weap-Con, a Mexican cantina called Two-and-a-Half Amigos and Kristin Kreuk in a jaunty tie. So there were myriad pleasures to be found...

More on "Chuck vs. the Nacho Sampler after the break...

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<p>&nbsp;Kiefer Sutherland of '24'</p>

 Kiefer Sutherland of '24'

Credit: FOX

Recap: '24' Day 8 - '9 p.m. to 10 p.m'

As Jack tries to keep Renee alive, the peace accord at the U.N. threatens to unravel.

So far, Season 8 hasn’t exactly gained much by moving the action to New York City. I guess I should be pleased that the show’s not exploiting overexposed landmarks in order to consistently remind viewers of the setting, but given the rather generic settings so far (The U.N. being the notable exception), the city itself hasn’t leant anything new to the proceedings. Did this hour bring anything new to the table? Not much, except to bring its female protagonists down even further. Here’s what went down.

[Full recap of Monday's (Feb. 1) "24" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Ginnifer Goodwin of 'Big Love'</p>

 Ginnifer Goodwin of 'Big Love'

Credit: HBO

Recap: 'Big Love' - 'The Mighty and Strong'

'Big Love' embraces the tragedy in its latest episode.

In its long run, "Big Love" has never defined Margene Heffman as handily or specifically as it has Barb Henrickson or Nicki Grant. Both Barb and Nicki are wonderfully complex characters who can't be easily pinned down, but both have had their complexities plumbed and examined by the series. Margie has always played around the edges of the show. She's the youngest wife, the one who most obviously turned to Bill because she just needed somewhere to belong. She's the one who's often able to build bridges between the different family members. And Ben has a crush on her. We know other things about her, obviously (like the fact that she has a sometimes alluded to dark past), but the writers have chosen to keep Margie mostly in the background throughout the series.

[Full recap of Sunday's (Jan. 31) "Big Love" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Jon Hamm</p>

 Jon Hamm

Credit: AP

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Jon Hamm strips down as Scott Brown and Michael Buble croons

In his second 'SNL' hosting stint, the 'Mad Man' star keeps things funny

There are four types of “Saturday Night Live” episodes: episodes where you’re legitimately excited about the host, episodes where you really like the musical guest, episodes where both the host and the musical guest seem to hold promise, and episodes where the expected quality of the episode is anyone’s guess.
If the show surrounding the variables is in good shape, none of this should matter: there will be some political satire, a few Bill Hader impressions, and your usual slew of Weekend Update jokes. However, right now the show is at the bottom of the barrel, leaning on fart jokes and Kenan Thompson more than I would have ever imagined just a year or two ago.

So it means that I’m tuning into "Saturday Night Live" tonight for Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Jon Hamm only: if the rest of the show happens to pull together in his presence, then consider me pleasantly surprised.

If, however, it ends up the television comedy equivalent to Michael Bublé, then consider me destructively cynical.

[Full recap of Saturday's (Jan. 30) "Saturday Night Live" after the break]

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<p>&nbsp;Eliza Dushku and Dichen Lachman of 'Dollhouse'</p>

 Eliza Dushku and Dichen Lachman of 'Dollhouse'

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Dollhouse' Finale - 'Epitaph 2: Return'

'Dollhouse' almost pulls off a perfect series finale.

I'd like to sit here and tell you that "Epitaph Two: The Return" is an unmitigated triumph, an episode of television that will singlehandedly push future generations to realize that "Dollhouse" is nothing less than a stellar 26-episode miniseries and one that will redeem even some of the series' weaker outings by revealing their place in the overall scheme. And, actually, it does some of that. It's a very, very good episode of television, notable for the fact that it looks like it was made with whatever pocket change Joss Whedon found in his couch. What's more, the script itself here is quite well done, bristling with heady ideas and a forward momentum that never lets up. But some of the episode's execution is off. Not so much that it ruins the experience but enough that this won't sit proudly alongside the "Angel" finale as one of the all-time greats.

[Full recap of Friday's (Jan. 29) series finale of "Dollhouse" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;Eric Stoltz of 'Caprica'</p>

 Eric Stoltz of 'Caprica'

Credit: Syfy

Recap: 'Caprica' - 'Rebirth'

As Caprica City comes to grips with the train bombing, Zoe Graystone comes to terms with her new existence.

Last week’s premiere of “Caprica” was a relative one: chances are, many of you that watched it might have already caught it via DVD in the time since its release last Spring. But tonight marks the start of the series good and proper with its first hour-long episode. It’s fitting that the title of this episode was “Rebirth.” After all, the theme of this week’s episode centered around alternative parent/child relationships in the wake of the train bombing. Dr. Phil would have a FIELD DAY in Caprica City, methinks.
Let’s look at the lost children of “Caprica,” one by one.

[Full recap of Friday's (Jan. 29) "Caprica" after the break...]

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<p>&nbsp;The gang from 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

 The gang from 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'Unpleasantville'

Elena’s new vampire stalker is unveiled at the school dance!

The ladies of Mystic Falls (who aren’t lucky enough to be dating a Salvatore) get turned down left and right this week on “The Vampire Diaries,” while Stefan, Elena, and Damon team up to track down the mysterious hooded vampire guy from last week. Best of all, Elena gets her first taste of female empowerment…and she kinda likes it!

Read on for the full recap.

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