Lost is a show about time travel and I couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve always been a bit of a geek when it comes to time travel. Doctor Who has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid and recent shows like Journeyman have only heightened my excitement for this often used but rarely mastered sci-fi mechanic. Recently we’ve seen Heroes completely fail when it comes to using time travel so I was happy to see the writers of Lost use Faraday to establish very specific rules in “Because You Left” – Irish lasses will sleep soundly tonight. Now that it appears our time-hopping island dwellers will be thrown about in the fourth dimension for the next few weeks, it’s going to be interesting to see if the writers of Lost can properly infuse this new development into the series.
If you thought that after the first couple of episodes the constant barrage of major developments was going to slow down – you would be wrong. We learn quite a bit both off the island and on the island this week about Charles Widmore, Daniel Faraday and Desmond Hume. The veil is lifted on what could be the motivation for both Faraday and Widmore while we also learn why Desmond might want to take a step back and not pursue Faraday’s request for help.
Almost every scene in this episode contained some sort of surprise, development or unexpected twist that had my mouth gaping. If you loved “Before You Left” but found yourself slightly disappointed by “The Lie,” this episode will renew your excitement. It still amazes me that this show can throw so much “shock-value” at its audience and still keep much of its core mystery intact week after week. I’d be astonished if the rest of the fifth season can maintain this pace but I suspect that it just might.
Along with all the hair-raising twists, “Jughead” does reveal one frightening new bombshell that could spell doom for the survivors who have been left behind. Obviously I’m not going to reveal what it is, but it’s another layer of danger that the survivors will have to contend with.
One thing that surprised me is that only two of the characters who appear in this episode were actually in the show’s first season. This alone is a testament to the wonderful array of new characters that have been introduced to the show. Jeremy Davies as Faraday continues to amaze me with his performance. His offbeat, nuanced style is wonderfully entertaining to watch. Also, for those who love Desmond and Penny, there are a few moments here that will leave you very pleased.
Time travel opens up a plethora of opportunities that weren’t previously available. While “Before You Left” cemented the rules and the nature of time travel in the Lost universe, “Jughead” is the first to capitalize on the concept and have a little fun. There is one encounter that completely caught me by surprise and it wouldn’t have been possible without time travel. So, how long until the island sends its inhabitants back to the Jurassic Period? Sawyer riding a dinosaur would be the greatest moment in television history. For some reason, I suspect we’ll learn that traveling that far back isn’t possible.