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By RD Heldenfels Published: February 15, 2006

I'm not the best one at catching the little surprises on the show. I was happy when I spotted Kate's mom last week, but tonight I didn't recognize her dad (although he looked familiar) until we saw her picture. And I'm going to have to go back into my recording to see the images that replaced the numbers on the countdown device, although I suspect I won't know what they mean either. The refererences to the armory threw me at first, since we knew it had been cleaned out; I wondered if episodes were airing out of sequence.

Beyond my usual confusion over ''Lost,'' I had conflicting feelings about the episode as a whole. It was good to see more of Sayid again, and the flashbacks were effective, even if the CGI of the Persian Gulf were on the tacky side.

Always enjoyable to watch Clancy Brown; he's such a good choice for an ambiguous character like this one because he has played both good guys and villains, and blends of the two. (Seeing him also made me miss ''Carnivale'' all over.)

I wasn't so thrilled with the Sawyer/Hurley story, especially when Sawyer killed the frog. It pushed the idea of Sawyer's being-bad-for-his-image's sake too hard; he didn't really prove anything by doing it. And as much as the episode looked as if it was advancing the plot, at the end it seemed as if we had just moved a few baby steps. With this show, baby steps might be taking us backward.

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