'Lost' recap: Meet the press
Ominous signs of impending doom abounded in last night's Lost. There was Flash-Forward Hurley's T-shirt, the one that said ''Ace of Spades'' the death card, the card of war. There were also his accursed Lotto numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42), taunting him from the speedometer of his symbolically loaded Camaro, causing the soon-to-be loony-bin returnee to run like a proverbial madman. And there was the Orchid, our newest Dharma station, also known as ''the greenhouse,'' perhaps the most foreboding omen of all. Operation Greenhouse was the code name for America's A-bomb testing program in the South Pacific during the 1950s a terrifying allusion in an episode where we learned that the freighter is a ticking bomb and that ''moving the Island'' could be a perilous, possibly catastrophic endeavor. ''Doing it is both dangerous and unpredictable,'' said a glibly cryptic Ben. ''It's a measure of last resort.'' Whatever it is that the Orchid can do, it was enough to cause Faraday to make an I-think-I-just-peed-myself face: ''We have to get off this island,'' he told Charlotte. ''Right now.''
It's probably premature to be jumping to conclusions about what any of this could mean: We've only seen part 1 of ''No Place Like Home''; the rest of it will air in two weeks. Then again, since when have these recaps been governed by common sense? ''No place like home'' comes from The Wizard of Oz, of course, though the line is actually found in (Numbers alert!) chapter 4 of L. Frank Baum's book, not at the end as in the Judy Garland movie. The title of that chapter? ''The Road Through the Forest.'' Perfectly fitting for an episode that saw much jungle trekking and emphasized the importance of following carefully marked if treacherous paths, be it the route from freighter to beach or the scripted lines of the Oceanic 6 cover story. The episode ended with Ben getting knocked out in the greenhouse and whaddya know, if we continue to use the Numbers as a guide, chapter 8 of Oz, ''The Deadly Poppy Field,'' finds Dorothy passing out in a field of flowers. Perhaps the two-hour finale will correlate with chapter 15 (could ''The Discovery of Oz the Terrible'' = Jacob?), chapter 16 (could ''The Magic Art of the Great Humbug'' = Ben's twisty, tricky secret plan?), chapter 23 (could ''The Good Witch Grants Dorothy's Wish'' = Charlotte fulfilling her promise to Jin to make sure Sun gets away), and chapter 24, which is 42 backwards (''Home Again'' is clearly a reference to reincarnation/eternal-recurrence theory I mean, clearly). (You're going to miss me during the impending hiatus, aren't you?)
Factoring in the flash-forward story, the second to last episode of the season mirrored the second episode of the season, ''Confirmed Dead.'' Where that story whooshed into the near pasts of five new characters (Faraday, Charlotte, Miles, Lapidus, dead Naomi), ''No Place Like Home'' whooshed into the near futures of five familiar faces: Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, and Sun. Moreover, each of their scenes was tethered to iconic life-trajectory markers. We had Hurley's birthday. We had the Sayid-Nadia romantic union. We had pregnant Sun's fortune-making career move. We had Jack eulogizing his dead (?) father. ''No Place Like Home'' cycled through the whole circle of life and, possibly, beyond, if I'm reading the winks and clues correctly. I'll explain as I recap.
NEXT: The big lies