By Annie Barrett
Updated November 02, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST

Wow, The Nine really picked up the pace last night. Nearly everyone’s story lines advanced, and we got a bunch of flashback scenes (arguably the most intriguing in the series) right away. Just a few minutes in, I couldn’t believe the opening credits were still rolling because it felt like so much had already happened. (Looking back, the credits appeared a whopping 16 minutes in. Very chic, very Lost. I like.)

Quick recap. On hostage day: Nick and Kathryn both noticed tics in Eva’s behavior that suggested she might be in on the crime. Eva and Nick spent a quality “first date” handcuffed to poles, even though Nick’s not really into bondage. In present day: Kathryn found out Eva had planned on leaving the city the day after the robbery. As a witness in The Nine’s case against Randall, Felicia admitted she visited his brother Lucas in jail because she felt they were “connected” and that he might have “saved” her from his bro. Lizzie made the most awkward pregnancy announcement in post-traumatic-group-of-strangers history. Malcolm threatened to blackmail his bank if they didn’t offer security guard Tom’s widow more settlement money for his death. Egan wore cowboy boots, hat.

I’m loving where the show’s going because everything’s up in the air. We still don’t know if Eva was involved — Franny’s explanation that she shifted her departure date around because she was hoping Nick would ask her out was sweet, but she easily could have made that up. I’m psyched that The West Wing’s Will Bailey (Joshua Malina) has been reincarnated as the prosecutor for The Nine. And I love the rare glimpse of Kathryn’s mom (Susan Sullivan) we get once per episode. “Why can’t [the robbers] make up their minds,” indeed. But for now, it’s working.

What did you think?