One of those episodes that will have me plowing back through DVDs of the previous seasons. Spoilers after the jump ...
Couple of probably obvious things;
-- The ledger Penny's father bid for has to be something that affects "Lost." Ship on the way to Siam that disappears? I sense the original time anomaly on/around the island where the "Lost" group now is. (Update: I have since been told by people with better "Idol" memories that the ledger is from the ship on the island. Missed that line. But it will be interesting to see what sort of clues are in the ledger. I've been thinking more about the range of the time anomaly, since it clearly extends beyond the island itself into the water around it.)
-- Did anyone else think that Faraday's drawing of circles and time lines (yes, I froze the image) looked weirdly like a pattern for the Dharma pods on the island?
As for the overall plot, the one thing I want to go back and look at are the previous episodes with Desmond/Penny elements, to see if they're playing fair in terms of what has apparently been their lack of contact for eight years.
I say this in part because this felt like one of those "X-Files" where we're told that everything we have thought up to now is wrong, because the show (that is, "X-Files") had painted itself into a corner; and because this was one of those episodes which suggested that, when "Lost" started, they had no idea where they were going -- and are only now figuring out where they ultimately want to go.
But I was still thoroughly taken into it, and felt a tug of emotion when Penny and Desmond shared that 2004 telephone call. Only now the questions are sinking in, and not only the two I mentioned at the top.
The big one is regarding flashbacks (and maybe even the flash-forwards): Could those in some way be the other characters dipping through time because of the island's effect -- but they're not so strongly affected because of simple physical differences or because they, probably unknowingly, have a stabilizing person who keeps them from feeling the most brutal of the time-shifting effect?
Are there different sequences of events in different times (hence the need to stay precisely on course)? So the plane on the beach and the plane in the water both exist, just in separate time lines from Faraday's chart. (Another update: I know the producers said in the Entertainment Weekly interview that they're against alternative realities. I'm not sure I believe them entirely.)
Does that then mean the people exist simultaneously in parallel times?
Were the people on the island then chosen in some way to assess the impact of the time shift on different physical/mental/emotional types? Is this what Dharma was all about? And is Penny's father the Great and Powerful Oz, the man behind the curtain of Dharma?
It makes me dizzy. But I liked that the time-travel is basically mental (as we saw with the rat test). And, as I said, I was drawn in, as long as I don't get overwhelmed by my attempts at understanding the new logic.