Spoiler-Free Review Of Lost Season 5's First 2 Episodes

Many shows mess with the space-time continuum to varying degrees, but few do it with as much head-scratching/mind-blowing aplomb as Lost. So when ABC let us peek at two new episodes, we expected greatness.

There's no shortage of time-hopping on TV these days — Life on Mars, Doctor Who and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles do it, among others. But last season, episodes like "The Constant" and flash-forwards rocked us like the hurricane that, for the merciful love of Jacob, never did befall The Island.

So we fully expected season five's first two episodes (“Because You Left” and “The Lie”) to dazzle us.

After all, last we checked, Sayid was a ninja/spook; Sun was a little bit gangsta; Kate was boringly domestic; and weirdy-beardy Jack, like Ben, was bent on reuniting the Scooby Gang and returning to the crash site with John Locke’s dead body in tow, Weekend at Bernie’s-style. Their mission: to save the other survivors left behind on the isle. Season 5 kicks off with a brain twister—quantum leaps!—and suffice it to say, we weren’t disappointed.

Spoiler-Free Review Of Lost Season 5's First 2 Episodes

Folks, we finally score some details about the secret behind the Island’s disappearing act. The skittish, bookish Daniel Faraday plays a key role in decoding this mystery, while we’re also given insight into the Dharma Initiative as well as Farraday’s own past and Desmond’s secret ability.

The requisite brawn to match Faraday’s brain, a gratuitously shirtless Sawyer smells a rat, so he keeps a close eye on the physicist (with Juliette mitigating, of course), as he and the castaways face a set of unpredictable collateral threats. Count on the ever-enduring Rose and Bernard to bring some warmth to this unsettling new world.

Spoiler-Free Review Of Lost Season 5's First 2 Episodes

Spoiler-Free Review Of Lost Season 5's First 2 Episodes

Back home, Jack and the mesmerizingly creepy Ben attempt to reassemble their team…which still includes Locke’s corpse. More pressingly, we find out why Jack shaves his bird-nest beard.

As the doc finally emerges out of his conspiracist-woodsman fog and returns to the clarity of adult civilization, Hurley regresses to a childlike innocence throughout these early episodes. He and Sayid team up for some thrilling, dangerous misadventures revealing, among other things, Hugo’s love of Shih Tzus and Hot Pockets. All of the above culminates in another one of those heart-sinking, puzzling secrets from Locke’s past, as well as an encounter with a powerful player in Ben’s Big Endgame. And we, of course, would expect nothing less.

Spoiler-Free Review Of Lost Season 5's First 2 Episodes

Lost’s season 5 premieres Jan. 21, 9-11 p.m.
(Images courtesy ABC and ABC.com)