1. EPISODE: ”A Tale of Two Cities”
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Oct. 4, 2006
PLOT SUMMARY: A sad-eyed woman named Juliet opens her eyes, cues up ”Downtown” by Petula Clark, and hosts a book club meeting about Stephen King’s Carrie. When the house starts shaking, they sprint outside and see… Oceanic 815 breaking apart in the sky?!? No, Toto, we’re not in Kansas — we’re in the suburban enclave of the Others. In the present, Jack, Kate and Sawyer find themselves caged at the Hydra, Dharma’s zoological facility, inviting speculation that the Others themselves are Dharma. (Wrong!) Jack stews over the memory how he became obsessed with thinking his ex-wife had been sleeping with his father. (Wrong again!) Realizing he must let go of the past, the emotionally-defeated doc bonds with genial Juliet, pleasing Henry Gale, heretofore known by his real name: Ben.
MYTHOLOGY ALERT: Hydra was experimenting with polar bears, sharks, and dolphins. Mr. Friendly tells Kate that she’s not his ”type,” inspiring Web speculation over the husky Other’s sexuality.
CRITIQUE: The book club sequence alone is classic. A satisfying, saga-expanding premiere diminished in retrospect by the frustrating storyline it launched.