Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow.

Tonight’s "Lost" was not only thrilling at times, it was bursting at the seams with nougaty goodness.

Let’s skip right to Truths I’m willing to wait to find out, that you’re probably on your way to figuring out.

1) Who is RG, the initials on Naomi’s commitment bracelet, which was similar to the bracelet worn by Sayid’s future paramour/pursuer/pursuee Elsa (Thekla Reuten)?

We know he or she’s a big deal, big enough to have Sayid proactively killing for Ben in the future-present in an attempt to protect survivors from the island. But who will he turn out to be?

2) What is RG’s connection to Penelope?

The well-trod picture of Penny and Des was in Naomi’s possession when she was killed. And yet, Penny claimed at the end of last season she knew nothing of a rescue boat.  Who’s zooming who?

3) What’s up with the 31-minute delay in real time and island time, as shown by Daniel’s payload experiment?

4) "A war is coming, that we will be powerless to stop."  How bad does that sound?

5) But that’s a problem for another day.  How dangerous was the final helicopter ride, ’cause it sure seemed dangerous?

Highlights: This episode was filled with them, starting with Sayid’s future identity as Oceanic 815’s Jason Bourne. But for the second time in three episodes, Hurley played a huge emotional role. 

His failure to get Locke to compromise over the fate of Charlotte, combined with the regrets we know he will have about Locke once off the island, made Hurley’s being tied up and gagged in the closet convincing. (It also provided laugh-out-loud lines, such as this response after Miles insulted him: "Oh awesome, the ship sent another Sawyer.") Then, when it was revealed Hurley was complicit in the ambush of Sayid, Kate and Miles, Jorge Garcia played the beat perfectly.  It’s a hard-knock life, for him.

Jeremy Davies, who seemed more quirky than endearing in his debut appearance last week, bloomed tonight with his thoughtful nervousness. He’s a spiritual brother of Hurley, one of the few people on the island who reacts to tension with more than dead seriousness. (And I’m still loving Jeff Fahey as Frank.)

The exchange between Sawyer and Kate, when Sawyer explains why he doesn’t want to leave the island and questions why Kate would, was on the money. Sawyer feels things, man – to the point where you really have to wonder whether Kate is sensitive enough for him. 

And finally, every time a gun went off, I nearly jumped off the couch. I’m telling you – thrilling. I suppose if one were trying harder than me to guess the future, one might have seen those shots coming. But one of the reasons "Lost" works so well for me is that what’s going on in a given moment can be so pure, so enjoyable in and of itself, that my mind doesn’t even care to try to outguess the show.

Lowlights: None per se, but there is one thing I’ll put in this section since it wouldn’t really belong anywhere else. When Sayid, Desmond and the late Naomi went aloft in Frank’s helicopter, it made me immediately recall of the final scene of "MASH," when Hawkeye leaves Korea in the chopper and views the "Goodbye" that B.J. has spelled out in rocks.  It was bittersweet, perhaps, but it was also cathartic.  I have to admit some sadness that when the parallel moment came tonight, when people who have been trapped on this island for 100 days (as Jack mentioned) finally got up, up and away, I couldn’t be happy for them. Too much tension; none of that exhilaration that we had when Michael and Co. took off on their rickety raft at the end of the first season. Again, it’s not a problem with the show – it just reinforced in me that amid all the excitement, I’m still rooting for these people to be saved.

– Jon Weisman

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