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I am – Hercules!!

I got about a million emails over the summer from tough-talking AICN readers yelling at me about how they’re supposedly not watching “Lost” this season because it was such a wiener-tease in the season finale.

Yeah, it was a wiener-tease, but it was one of the best wiener-teases ever. Hurley’s hilariously disoriented reaction to Arzt’s bitching alone was worth the tune-in. And then … other stuff happened …

Anyway, you’re all big giant liars. Who’s not going to tune in to see what’s in that fucking hatch? I’m not strong enough and you’re not either, no matter how strenuously you posture.

Today, at least, we are all the bitches of the newly-minted Emmy-winner. Many thousands sat in the Oahu rain to watch the second-season premiere last Wednesday, and I think everybody there wrote in about it. 2.1 sounds way too good.

What follows is a giant set of spoilers for tonight’s episode, so toxic they had to be cloaked with double-secret invisotext. Do yourself a favor and don’t fucking read them. Don’t be a little bitch like me. Be a man and wait till tonight.

Here’s “JV,” who risked pneumonia to bring to you the most detailed summary of 2.1 posted to this site so far:

… The episode begins (after a recap) with a glowing green cursor (early 80's green monochrome) with an odd K-shape, and of course we are immediately reminded of The Matrix. We hear some typing on what sounds to be an equally ancient keyboard (sort of like the old IBM PC or Apple 2). Then some music starts to play, it's the chorus to Cass Eliot's (Mama of the Mamas & Papas) Make your own Kind of Music. Lyrics are here for those who want to assign meaning: It's very retro, very 70's, very out of place. Take a listen at Amazon and youll see.
… We see someone with blond long hair, fairly muscular, going through a morning routine that includes lots of excercise? Is it Sawyer? Nope it isn't, but we don't see a face. He’s surprised by a shaking explosion.
… Then we see him inject a drug intravenously, a liquid that is glowing ominously. Then things seem to go in fast forward and the theme changes away from excerise to something more sinister, we hear creaking chains and gears similar to the black smoke monster, he gets a gunand then the camera moves upward and we see a shaft, it leads up, and of course ends at hatch entrance with Jack & Locke peering down like owls.
… It's dark at night, and with torches, Locke, Jack, and Kate are looking down into the hatch, with Hurley standing back. The entire rest of the episode other than flashbacks will be dark because it all happens at night.
… Jack sees the broken ladder and announces their plan to hide everyone won't work. Locke & Kate ignore him and examine the bottom, dropping a rock, and hearing a splash, causing them to conclude there's a shallow water puddle about 40 feet down, Locke: 50 feet tops. Locke thinks they can rig a harness using cable from the fuselage, but Jack want to go back to the cave, and so does Hurley.
… Locke says 'we went through a lot to get here', but Jack is seriously skeptical and impatient and announces that we are done and everyone's heading back to the cave. He's almost itching for an argument with Locke, who thinks for a while, then surprisingly concedes defeat, but keeps bugging him and says: Why don't you want to go down there, Jack?
… Flash back to Jack's past. He has lots of hair and looks like a young Tom Cruise. He's in the ER, two patients from a car accident come in. One a woman, another a man. Jack tends to the woman, and is in cool control, as we hear the other patient dying, as Jack clearly hears but continues working. There's a long back story where this of course is his fiancée/wife to be, “Sarah” (Julie Bowen from last season). But the first thing he hears is the woman whisper tragically that she has to dance at her wedding, so she's already engaged to someone else at this point.
… Back at camp in the caves, Charlie and the survivors are arguing about the french woman and his skepticism of her claim that the Others are coming to kill them all. Shannon comes in stressed, and is looking for the dog, the only thing really entrusted to her: i lost the damn dog.
… Meanwhile the hatch crew are about to walk back, and Hurley is arguing with Locke! Whoa he’s really mad! Hurley's really mad at Locke for lighting the fuse as Hurley was running toward the hatching shouting don't do it. Locke doesn't give a damn, and almost amused, and carelessly dismissive. Locke claims he was just excited, everyone was excited right? Excited to get inside!
… Jack corrects him: to get inside, to save everyone's life, or maybe it was just our destiny, right Locke? Tension. Kate also discovers the hatch door, which had blown off into the jungle. She calls everyone to look, because it says QUARANTINE on the inside!
… Back at the caves, Shannon is increasingly stressed about the dog and explains to Sayid: watching the dog was the only thing anyone asked me to do! Sayid protests that she's too exhausted, but she is determined to go searching for Vincent out in the jungle in the middle of the night. There’s Vincent! Then dog runs off. She gets separated, falls, then hears whispering, and the camera angle is from above her, as if something is watching her. She gets up and sees... Walt (could be Michael, screen was dark) standing distressed in front of her, ghost like with arms down and palms out, much like Locke's old vision of bloody Boone. He looks totally solid.
… Sayid soon finds her, and the vision is gone, and she is very spooked. Walking back to camp, Kate & Locke are now discussing the hatch, and he tries to convince her that weird stuff is going on in the island, because everyone saw the black smoke. Locke says Jack saw it too, so how does he explain that? You can tell Kate is sympathetic.
… Meanwhile, Jack and Hurley are talking at length. These two talking so deeply is unusual too. Hurley says Jack should be more chipper, then Jack confronts him on why Hurley ran in toward the dynamite saying the numbers are bad the numbers are bad! Hurley is reluctant, thinking Jack will think hes crazy, then begins with: well I was in this psych ward, and there was this guy repeating these numbers.
… He continues to relate his story about the lottery win and how his life had become cursed, and that the numbers and therefore the hatch are cursed. Jack is unimpressed, and Hurley is angry Jack doesn't believe him and tells Jack his sympathy sucks.
… Back to more flashback on the Jack's history with the patient, and how he tells her her back is hopelessly fractured, and that her chances for walking are pretty close to zero. His father soon talks to him and tells him that even in hopeless cases, he should give his patients hope, some hope. Jack says he's a realist, and that to give hope would be false hope. His dad says that's fine, because it's still hope.
… Back at the camp, Shannon is still spooked about the whispering and her vision, and concludes that something happened to the boat party, and Sayid thinks she's just exhausted, and that the boat is fine. The hatch party returns to the caves. Everyone crowds in to listen.
… Jack relates to the survivors that don't already know that there is in fact a hatch in the jungle, and they had just returned to open it to hide everyone inside, and that the plan is now axed, and that Arzt didn't make it, and the survivor mob gets frenzied, asking about the Others. Confusion.
… Jack shouts, leader style, and tells everyone that everythings going to be okay. They have four guns, they'll stay together, post lookouts, and wait for sunrise in three hours. He promises they'll be ok. Jack then spots Locke getting cable to go back to the hatch. Jack tells him that's not smart. But Locke says that Jack is probably right, its probably safer to wait, wait for morning, wait for the raft people to get help, wait wait wait, etc, but that hes just tired of waiting. Hes going to do things himself.
… Jack & Kate start joking about the glass half full thing, (he tries a joke: there’s a glass?) then she announces what shes really trying to say: shes going to the hatch, and says she understands Jack has to stay. Kate says shes going to go help Locke in case Locke falls or gets in trouble. Jack says right.
… Back to flashback. Jack meets with the patients fiance, and tells him how bad it is. The fiance is really unhappy that she might not be able to go the bathroom herself, make love with him, and so forth. It's clear to Jack that the fiance will bail. Jack later meets with the patient, and they have a chat, and she lets him off the hook, he doesn’t mention the fiancé.
… Back at the hatch Kate catches up with Locke, she's surprised he isn't down there already. He proposes that he lower Kate on a cable. She's iffy, but he says she's lighter in weight. He lowers her down, his hands slip and she falls and drops her flashlight, but his now bloodied hands manage to catch the cable and arrest her fall.
… She's all right, and before she decides what to do, Locke lowers her again, and she shrugs her shoulders and says nothing as she goes deeper. Looking down, she can see the flashlight at the bottom of the shaft, and there's clearly a cave or passageway. It is horror movie spooky, and you expect someone to pick up the flashlight. Right on cue there is a bright light from the cave leading to the shaft, and as Kate screams, Locke wonders what to do. Locke sees a blindingly bright light shoot out from the shaft and the cable is suddenly pulled hard, and his bloody hands can't stop it. The chain goes slack, and the light shuts off with a slam. He pulls up the cable which is empty, and there is no reply from the now dark shaft.
… This might be out of order, but there is more flashback. Jack is running up and down to all the steps of a huge stadium. He see someone else doing the same thing one section over, and he is driven to compete, and runs harder, as if punishing himself. Then Jack stumbles and falls. The other man runs over and they chat and decide it is a sprain. The other man has an accent, and says he was almost a doctor, his name is Desmond. Desmond is training for an event but he gets out of Jack that Jack seems to be punishing himself for something. Its weird he seems to see inside Jack's head and teases him that Jack seemed to be trying to compete with him, and on and on they have a double conversation about Jack and his promise he can't keep to his patient, or is it the story about his sprained ankle. Desmond says miracles can happen. Hes almost talking like an evangelist. The other man offers him some water, and after more chatting, he leaves, saying very clearly, see you in the next life brother or something like that. Jack is bemused and watches him run off.
… After he returns to the hospital, he is still sweaty and Sarah mentions that he stinks as a joke. He says he was doing the stadium steps running thing and explains it when she doesn’t know the term for it. He starts to cry and says that he failed her and that the operation was a failure. He couldn’t fix her and that shell never walk again, shes paralyzed.
… She says, youre yanking my chain right doctor? Jack thinks that this is even more tragic, and is about to confirm that, indeed he is not joking and she will never walk again. But at that moment she says that Jack must be joking because she can wiggle her toes, watch! Jack watches in growing disbelief as she can wiggle her toes, and he cries even more as he gives more doctor-like tests: can you feel this? he press on her leg again, can you feel this? this? It’s a miracle.
… Back at camp, Hurley is surprised that Jack has changed his mind and has decided to go back to the hatch. Jack finds the hatch area dark and deserted, and he climbs down the cable. He seems a gloomy passageway with old containers of cement, a mysterious painting painted on the wall, and various lighted switches and pipes. He enters into a large domed geodesic like room with some ancient computers, its so silent and so weird! And suddenly that Cass Eliot song from the beginning begins to play, really loud. It's totally loud, totally out of place, and he's totally scared as he tries to stay calm. He sees the green computer cursor and is about to touch it, when you hear , I wouldn't do that. It's Locke. Locke has a gun to his head around a corner, and another voice says drop your gun or he dies. Jack doesn't seem to give a damn as he has been angry and suspicious of Locke all episode. The other guy comes into view and fires a shot into the ceiling to say he's serious, but Jack doesn't budge. He doesn’t trust Locke and is willing to take the chance that Locke will get shot. Eventually we see them pointing guns at each other with the other guy holding Locke hostage. His face comes into view, and Jack's jaw drops. YOU!
… Its the guy from the stadium.
… L O S T

Eeeee-wah eeeee-wah eeeee-wah …

9 p.m. Wednesday. ABC.

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