This is the season of time travel, as Lost made very clear last week. The episodes “Because You Left” set up a wild ride where the island – or those on it – are hopping through time, while Ben has only a limited time to get the Oceanic 6 back. But this week, the Oceanic 6 don’t even make a cameo. For Lost fans, they didn’t mind as “Jughead” brought a whole new chapter of the island’s past to light.
This week, Lost went even further into sci-fi territory by bringing the atomic age into the island’s history. Well before the DHARMA Initiative came to battle the Others, the U.S. military stopped by – along with a very big bomb that serves as the Jughead of the title.
In “Jughead” not only are Locke, Sawyer, Juliet, Daniel, Charlotte and Miles around to discover this, but so are some very familiar people. Richard Alpert isn’t the only familiar face that was living on the island a long time ago, as “Jughead” explains. There is at least one other person we know on the island in 1954, and maybe even two.
Desmond was once on the island, but finally got to give it all up with Penelope Widmore. “Jughead” introduced the ex-time traveler as a dad, as he got set for his “one last job” for the island. But his search for Daniel Faraday’s mother hits a few dead ends – and uncovers some rather unsettling elements of Faraday’s past.
For the second straight episode, Lost gave fans a chance to get settled in by not jumping around in time so much. “Jughead” furthered the notion that this time travel plot, rather than being designed to be confusing, is a way to find out new important parts of the island’s history.
But with the 70 hour deadline approaching for the Oceanic 6 to go back, the time jumps could very well get worse. They certainly got worse for the already ailing Charlotte, who’s still suffering from a condition which Daniel had better explain to her, and us, soon.
Along with all the new answers, clues and familiar faces, “Jughead” tried to balance time-travel and new island info with traditional, character-centric action for Desmond. Lost tried this with Hurley in “The Lie” last week, and got some mixed results.
But the formula works better with Desmond, who is now right back at the center of island mystery, where he didn’t want to be. Worse yet, it may put his new family in the worst place imaginable – Ben’s crosshairs.
“Jughead” gave Lost fans an overload of new theories and possibilities to chew over for a week. When next week comes, the action will return to the mainland, as Kate continues to try and protect Aaron while Jack and Ben’s Oceanic 6 reunion tour continues.
TV Squad- “Lost: Jughead” www.tvsquad.com/2009/01/28/lost-jughead/