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“Lost”: Episode 1, “LA X”

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Ratings update: Good news. The preem easily won its 9-11 p.m. time slot in adults 18-49. Average for the two hours was 5.6 rating/14 share — a good number by any standard and up 12% from last year’s opener. Total viewers topped out at 12.1 million. I can’t believe that any one would want to watch anything else last night, but I suppose I’m biased.

Long live “Lost.” The sixth season preem, “LA X,” was worth the ten-month wait.

I can’t begin to make sense of the storyline or where in space and time our heroes are (at any given point) but one thing that is clear from the two-hour opener is this final season is going to be stuffed with people-pleasin’ moments, a payoff for the ardent fans who have stuck with Mssrs. Lindelof and Cuse through thick and thin, Nikki and Paolo, time travel nosebleeds and even Jack’s goofy beard.

In the opener alone we got fresh material from Charlie, Boone, Cindy the flight attendant (then and now), Arzt, Frogurt, Claire, Rose and Bernard and even Zack and Emma. I’m sure Vincent is waiting in the wings for his big entrance in just a few segs.

We seem to be cruising into parallel universe terrain where our core characters are on the island, albeit back in 2004-ish 2007-ish time frame rather than 1977, and at the same time experiencing an alternate reality in which Oceanic Flight 815 never crashes but the characters’ lives nonetheless intersect in unpredictable ways back in 2004. Or maybe the LAX and beyond sequences are still slightly in the future, at least the future as Jack, Kate, Sawyer, et al are experiencing it now on the island (now being circa fall 2004)

It’s just all too much to figure out at the end of a loooong workday that started well before 9 a.m. with Oscar nominations. (Go Giacchino Go! Go “Up”!) I do know that the swooping shot from the plane through the clouds on down into the ocean floor where we zoom over the presumably sunken island was pretty darn breathtaking.

“LAX” overall had its share of gasp and holy crap moments as you’d expect from a seg handcrafted by the best of the best: written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by Jack Bender.

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