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By RD Heldenfels Published: September 21, 2005

I thought the season premiere of ''Veronica Mars'' (which hasn't aired yet) was pretty mind-blowing. But ''Lost'' was up there, too, in tonight's telecast. (No, I didn't get to see it ahead of time. I was watching it in real time, like all of you.)

The opening was a great jump-start, we really did get to see what's down the hatch (even if we don't know what it all means), the Jack flashbacks gave us some insight into the whole empiricism/faith thing that executive producer Carlton Cuse calls the underpinning of the show and the closing shot -- well, the voice is a giveaway before we see the face, but it's still cool to see the face.

I know I'm being vague here. I'm trying not to cross the line from analysis to spoiler, and to write more about what it felt to watch ''Lost'' than to write about what it showed.

I've been hot and cold about ''Lost,'' and I was again within this episode. (as in, Opening: Hot. Arguing among castaways: Cold. Finish: Hot.) I was caught up not only in the end-of-episode cliffhanger but the cliffhangers before commercials. (''Lost'' really loves those, and they create jagged seams in the commercial-free DVD episodes. But they sure work on regular TV.)

And, finally, to save you some searching, here's the link to the song of the night. Cut three, folks...

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