As always, Lost kicked off a new season with a great, revealing opening scene:
An alarm clock sounded, a man awoke (in a home seemingly from a few decades ago), fed his baby and then went to work... filming educational Dharma Initiative videos! That's right, it's Dr. Marvin Candle, who began to hastily film an orientation film when he was interrupted by a construction worker. Something was wrong at one of the hatches.
When the doctor arrived on the scene, he was told that a man was suffering from an incredible headache, while the team had run into a problem: it came upon some sort of structure inside a wall it was drilling into. Should they continue to drill? Not another inch, Candle warned them. He said an energy source unlike any in the world was contained inside that wall and the purpose of this hatch was to study it.
This source, Candle added, could lead to time travel. This was a notion scoffed at by the foreman of the crew, of course, who relayed his consternation at the time traveling concept to a fellow worker... who happened to be Daniel Farraday! And, with that, we're off on season five...
Let's review the rest of the two-hour premiere by posing a few plot-based questions:
What has Sayid been doing for Ben? We know Sayid has been a globe-trotting assassin for Benjamin Linus, but who has he been killing? We ended season four with him and Hurley on the run from the mental institution after Sayid killed an armed man outside of it; now, this pair is headed for a supposedly safe house, but they encounter more enemies there. Sayid takes them out, but not before two things happen:
He is shot in the neck by a dart; and Hurley is photographed holding a gun outside the apartment. These two are now fugitives, as news reports say Hurley is wanted for three murders (including the one at the mental hospital). Sayid is passed out from the dart, of course, so Hurley frantically drives them to his parents' house (and has a vision of Ana Lucia warning him not to get arrested on the way, of course). Once there, his father helps hide Sayid in his car and drives him out to Jack for help (the police have stationed themselves outside the residence).
Jack revives Sayid and these two are in a hospital room when the episode ends. Hurley, meanwhile, is confronted at home by Ben, who claims he wants to take him to meet up with Jack and Sayid (gotta get back to the island as a unit, remember!), but Hurley doesn't trust the shady bug-eyed man. Instead, he surrenders to the cops outside.
Who is after Aaron? Early on in the premiere, Kate answers her door and is handed court documents that demand a maternity test. She tells the lawyers to come back with the sheriff. Instantly afraid of who is trying to secure Aaron away from her, Kate and Claire's son escape. They're on the road when Kate receives a phone call. It's from Sun. Kate drives to meet her at a hotel.
Once there, Aaron lies asleep on the sofa as Kate tells Sun about the incident with the lawyers. Sun - who we previously saw confronted by Widmore at an airport and who told him they both have the same goal of wanting Benjamin Linus dead - acts strangely cold. She lays a guilt trip on Kate for not helping to rescue Jin from the freighter, while also encouraging her to keep running with Aaron. What is Sun up to? Does she blame her fellow survivors for Jin's death?
What the heck is happening on the island? Sawyer and Juliet receive a crash course on time travel from Farraday. These three, along with Miles and Charlotte, are told by the physicist that the island is undergoing time leaps every time the huge white light flashes. They are jumping around time - either the island, or the people on it - yet they cannot go back and change anything. Farraday is emphatic: if something happened, it must still happen. Fate makes sure of that.
As a result, the survivors' camp isn't actually gone - as it appears to be when the premiere kicks off - but it simply hasn't been built yet. The flashes continue a few more times, as Farraday sets off to determine WHEN they are.
He better hurry, though, because all is not right on the island: Charlotte is experiencing a nose blood and it seems as though Farraday knows what this means. And it ain't good. As a result, when he's alone, Farraday knows on the hatch door and actually talks to Desmond (the latest white flash must have sent them back in time). He quickly tells the hatch resident that he has to help them: when time changes again, Desmon is told to go to Oxford and look up Farraday's mother. Jump to present day and Desmond wakes up in a bed with Penelope. He says he's had a memory and they must go to Oxford.
Meanwhile, the final white flash of the night lands Sawyer and Juliet in trouble: they are apprehened by a team of British soldiers (seriously, WTF?!?), who are about to chop off Juliet's hand when Locke intervenes. He makes quick work of these mercenaries and is reunited with his former pair of survivors.
What was Richard telling Locke? Before Locke assisted Sawyer and Juliet, he was approached by Richard in the woods. Locke had just been shot in the leg by Ethan (who was killed by Charlie seasons ago, of course) and as Richard pacted him up, seemingly calm and completely aware of the time-traveling phenomenon, he told him the following: Locke must gather the group that left the island. They all must return, or nothing will ever be the same. How is Locke to do this? He's gonna have to die, Richard says.
Why is the jewelery store lady back? Remember the woman that tried to sell Desmond an engagement ring during his first flashback episode involving time travel? She's seen near the conclusion of this premiere, frantically typing coordinates on a computer as some sort of machine appears to be mapping out a location. Is this Farrady's mother?
When she goes upstairs, Ben is there, lighting candles. Earlier, he successfully transferred Locke's body to some woman in a butcher shop (who goes by the name of Jill and who is in on whatever Ben is up to), while leaving Jack at a hotel (prior to his helping of Sayid, referenced above) and saying he'd pick him up in six hours.
The lady tells Ben he has 70 hours to get everyone together. He panics. He tells her about Hurley's arrest and asks what happens if he can't gather the survivors in time. Her response? "God help us all."