“Lost”: Episodes 16 and 17, “The Incident, Parts 1 and 2”

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Son of a bitch!

(Stop immediately if you haven’t seen the “Lost” finale yet.)

Thursday update: “Lost” finale averaged 9.3 million viewers and 4.3 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 demo from 9-11 p.m. Not bad, but I still find it hard to believe that 12 million people thought “CSI: NY” was more compelling!

Straight up, folks: I can’t do these two atomic hours of television justice without a second viewing. Just can’t be done. My skin was tingling and my heart was racing for the last 15 minutes of “Lost’s” fifth-season finale, “The Incident, Parts 1 and 2.” I could barely catch my breath as I watched Juliet fall down the Swan’s rabbit hole.

For now, about all I can handle is noting some of the great moments, killer lines and what the #$$%@ just happened bits that we’ll be pondering all summer and fall. It almost seemed like ABC was rubbing it in with the title cards flashed over the end credits: “Destiny Found” and “2010.”

Oh how I dig this show. The auspices of the finale don’t get any better: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wrote the first hour while the credit for the second hour was flipped to Cuse and Lindelof. And both hours were helmed by Jack Bender, for whom I am on record as raving about, and tonight was no exception. As I said to one keen-eyed “Lost” fan in an email a few weeks ago: “Jack Freakin’ Bender. How can he be so talented?”

In fact, “Destiny Found” is a pretty good summation of one of the big plot threads we dealt with in this finale. With Jacob now appearing to us in the flesh (?) in a mysterious, Zelig-like way, we now seem to have evidence that our core group of characters are connected not at random but for a larger reason. We don’t know what that reason is yet, but it’s no accident that Jacob encountered them in their pre-island pasts (all but Hurley), at pivotal moments in their development.

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