Much like last year's season opener, Lost kicks off with a confusing bit of misdirection set to classic pop music. In this case, it's Petula Clark singing "Downtown" over a bafflingly acrimonious book club meeting. The meeting is broken up by an earthquake-rumbling, but it's not coming from the ground. As the passionate Stephen King lovers and haters make their way outside -- "It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...yup, a plane!" -- to see the final airborne moments of Oceanic Flight 815 as it breaks apart and crashes somewhere near their bucolic Craphole Island community, populated by Ethan, Goodwin and Henry Gale, known here as Ben, who appears to be the former squeeze of the book club hostess, Juliette. He orders Goodwin and Ethan to make their way to different parts of the wreckage and to pose as survivors.
In the present day, Jack, Kate and Sawyer are facing various trials. Kate has a long, hot shower and then gets to play dress-up for a beach breakfast with Henry Ben-Gale, who insists on handcuffs. Later, her wrists are raw and bleeding, but we don't see what happened, although Hen-Ben warns her that the next six...sorry, two weeks will be very unpleasant. Meanwhile, Sawyer is proving himself to be a very poor lab rat, as he is bested in a push-the-button, get-the-food test by bears, apparently. And Jack engages in mind games with Juliette, who recently should rethink her method for delivering food to prisoners. Then again, she can't even keep her CDs organized. Jack jumps her -- no, not that way -- but his escape is thwarted when the door he tries, to Ben and Juliette's dismay, turns out to let in the whole damn ocean. Juliette clocks him good.
The flashbacks are about a very unhinged Jack, who obsesses over finding out who Sarah's new boyfriend is. It gets so bad that he starts suspecting his dad, and follows Christian to what turns out to be an AA meeting. And it's not long before Jack attacks his dad. Fortunately for the both of them, the Rageaholics Anonymous meeting was just down the hall.
None of the other Lostaways is even so much as mentioned, possibly because Hurley is still making his way back to camp. Since this wasn't one of the most action-oriented episodes ever, I was kind of expecting a big cliffhanger ending. Which turned out to be Jack asking Juliette, who has a dossier on him, not what Sarah's new man's name is but if she's happy. Screw Sarah! Make me happy!
Closeup on an eye, which turns out to be scanning a CD rack. A hand reaches out and grabs what is recognizably the case for Speaking in Tongues by the great Talking Heads, and since I am one of those guys who have to know these things and let everyone else that I know these things, I immediately announced, "Cool! Talking Heads!" to everyone watching with me. Much to my chagrin, Petula Clark starts warbling "Downtown," instead. That is not a song I hate. But it is not Talking Heads. And I can only surmise that either a) Lost planned to use a Talking Heads song but couldn't work out a deal or b) this person is a natural enemy to music geeks like myself: that person who takes CDs from the player and puts them in the case of the CD they now want to listen to instead, such that none of the discs match up with the cases in their collections, and when you want to listen to something, you have to work your way backwards until you suddenly find the Talking Heads CD in, like, the My Bloody Valentine case or some such. And forgive me if it sounds like I'm exaggerating, but those people are the greatest evil mankind has ever known.
Besides, for this show, the Talking Heads album you want is Stop Making Sense.
Anyway, this woman is now looking at herself in the mirror, and I thought it was Penny, but it turns out it's another blonde woman for me to get mixed up with the rest of them. She looks like she put on "Downtown" to try to cheer herself up about something, but she almost breaks down anyway, and then resolutely starts bopping her head, forgetting all of her worries and all of her cares.
She's rearranging furniture, putting chairs in the living room and propping up the sofa cushions, before a buzzer alerts her to the fact that she's apparently smoking some muffins in the oven. She grabs an oven mitt to futilely wave the smoke away, and she grabs the muffin tray with it but burns her hand anyway, dropping the tray. Muffins roll every which way. This is when the doorbell rings.
The muffin mangler opens to the door to an older woman, who notices -- oh, let's just call her "Juliet" -- the towel wrapped around Juliet's hand. "I burned my hand. On my muffins," she sighs. They both glance around the side of the house, where we see the lower half of someone tinkering on something. "He still hasn't fixed the plumbing?" says the visitor, and the indignant repairman yells out that it's a work in progress.
Inside, some douchebag is asserting his alpha male status all over the book club, which doesn't exactly make me afraid of him. He's grouching about how the book isn't even literature, it's religious hokum pokum, science fiction, etc. "Now I know why Ben isn't here," says "Adam," which snaps Juliet out of the daze she's in. "Excuse me?" she says. Adam says he knows that the host picks the book, but Ben "wouldn't read this in the damn bathroom." Well, not everything can be Bad Twin, I suppose. Juliet sticks up for her selection, saying it's her favourite book, and she's thrilled he hates it. The older woman smirks at the Book Club Bully being taken down a peg. Juliet sarcastically calls herself silly for picking a book Ben wouldn't like, and starts going off about "free will," but before these two can paper-cut each other to death, the house starts shaking.