"Lost" spoilers coming up just as soon as I run a fade route...
Another solid but not spectacular episode that managed to balance Wacky Beachfront Hijinks with the latest adventure plot with The Others.
I remember interviewing Carlton Cuse at a press tour event in July, and when I asked about Christian Shepard being Claire's father, he about had a heart attack; it was like it had never occurred to him and Damon that the fans would be able to decipher that scene in Ana-Lucia's death episode where Christian visited a blonde, blue-eyed Aussie woman and demanded to see his daughter, when in fact everyone did. So I'm glad that they didn't try to make that revelation into this episode's big moment, instead doing it around the halfway point. They went out of their way to have Christian not tell Claire his name, so there must be some plan in place for how Jack and Claire -- who, back in the days when all the characters lived on the beach, already had a nice sibling-style bond -- to find out how they're related. They already went the "Jack drops a familiar Christian turn of phrase" route with Sawyer, so I'm guessing this time the intel will come from The Others, who know everything about our castaways, up to and including the fact that Locke was para(lyzed) before the crash.
And by getting Claire's parentage out of the way quickly, the producers were able to deliver a real surprise at the end: Jack and Tom/Zeke are now BFFs, casually tossing around the pigskin and putting the first real smile Jack's shown in the last two and a half years. For the first time in a while, I'm actually interested in seeing what's been happening with The Others, though this could just be an absence makes the heart grow fonder thing.
I'm also glad to see that Locke's recent bumbling may not be an attempt to turn him into this show's Gilligan(*), but is instead back to pursuing his own agenda no matter what that means for his friends, season one-style. Is it just that he's afraid again of the prospect of rescue? Does he want to join up with The Others? Is he going insane without a button to push?
More season one nostalgia: Kate and Sayid working together as a great team. They've barely had an screen time together in the last year and a half, and I wonder if part of that is because the producers didn't want us to notice that Evangeline Lily's chemistry with Naveen Andrews is so much better than with either of her designated fellas, but they're a good pair, even platonically. The tree climb over the sonic fence was a strong example of how much the "Lost" score adds; I didn't for a second believe that Kate was going to get fried, but those ominous strings had me feeling nervous anyway.
(*) By the way, if anyone wants to do a "Lost"/"Gilligan's Island" character comparison chart in the comments, feel free. Important questions: Is Hurley the Mr. Howell, or is Jin? Is it possible for Sayid to be both the Skipper (always getting annoyed with Gilligan) and the Professor (always fixing up impossible gadgets)? And since Kate's a dead ringer for Mary Ann, who's Ginger?
What did everybody else think?