Two weeks in a row now, "Lost" has started without a "previously on" montage. I'm guessing that's because if you tune in at this point, and you haven't been keeping up, there's probably no way you're going to figure things out in ninety seconds of clips.
I'm afraid to go read anyone else's recap on this episode. Just watching my Twitter feed go by, I can see already that people are having polarized responses to this big fat plate full of exposition, all served up at once, a mythology download that explains a big chunk of the show's mysteries all at once.
That's a scary prospect for a show like "Lost." The time to put up or shut up for this particular game, and this season has been a long slow fuse that is paying off now in ways that I never would have predicted as a from-the-start fan of the show. Part of me is glad that it's really not doing anything I thought it would be doing at this stage in the game, and part of me is wondering what, exactly, it is that they're actually doing. There's one regular episode left, then the giant finale event. And that's it. That's all the time they have to wrap up the on-Island conflict, the flash-Sideways structure of season six, and everything else that's brewing, and I don't envy them the position they've written themselves into.
I've spoken to people who have intensely disliked this season's contributions to the show's mythology, and until tonight, I would have completely disagreed with them. I'm actually not sure what to make of the decision to tell an entire episode of backstory at this point in the game. This episode feels like something that we maybe should have heard at some point in season five as a myth told by the original Others on the Island, and it could have been much more valuable if it had been dropped on us then, if the show had been building to this longer. As it is, much of this year's legwork feels like it's been piled onto the top of the show here in the home stretch. Too much of it feels like it's just now coming into play.