The most recent episode of LOST was good, but it also felt a little thin. I think that condensing the second half of the 16 episode season into five episodes might work out really well.
This episode focuses on Kate: how did she NOT end up in prison when she returned to the real world, and who is the mysterious "he" she told Jack she had to get back to in the finale to season 3; that "he" the commercial told us, would be the fifth member of the Oceanic 6 that we will see.
She gets out of jail time because her dying mother refuses to testify, in part because -- due to the obviously false version of events the survivors have been telling the world -- she is considered a hero. We learn she has a son, and because of the time she spends in this episode with Jack ("I know why you don't want to see him") and Sawyer (who she nearly sleeps with) we wonder whose it is. The big closer at the end, revealed after it almost looks like the kid has down-syndrome (did anyone else think that?) is that it is not her biological son after all, neither of them are the father -- it is Aaron, Claire's Aaron.
I love LOST, especially this season of LOST, but I found the sub-plot in which Miles demands a very specific amount of money from Ben to tell the world he is dead to be not as interesting as I think they wanted me to. I am sure we will find out what the money is for, but it felt a little time-wastey because it was so empty. I also feel like I already saw John Locke feeling lost and doubtful in the hatch. Locke is also my favorite character; this is not a complaint about the show but what I want to see -- I want to see Locke doing well.
The thing about this season is the building of dread for the event I assume we are headed to in the finale -- why the Oceanic 6? What happened to all those people? Are they living on the island in secret and want the world to think they are dead? Are they being held hostage? Or are they all dead, at the hands of the people from the freighter? What terrible thing made Jack crazy, make Hurley go back to the asylum, made Jack check if Hurley was going to tell anyone about "it", made Sayid kill for Ben, has Lt. Daniels hunting them all? LOST is doing a good job building that dread -- the fact that Claire is not with Aaron, that Aaron is being raised by someone else, is very dark. Also dark, but only implied, is that there is only one member of the Oceanic 6 we have not seen -- so Son and Jin, or Rose and Bernard, for example, did not make it out as a couple, or so we are left to think. The tension built here is serious, but it also feels a bit like we are hitting the same note every week, or variations on the theme every week, and the feeling produced is maybe a bit too similar for me. I prefer the free-wheeling LOST where any genre is up for grabs (Alfred Hitchcock presents, time travel, jungle adventure, prison break, sci-fi monster).
One thing I DO like about the new LOST is that we get answers quickly -- who are the people on the boat? what do they want? who is Kate's mysterious "he" -- and next week we find out something about the problem introduced this week: why did Sayid and Desmond fail to get to the boat, or why are they people on the boat claiming this (since we know Sayid gets to the mainland eventually)?