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I’ve got to save Locke from… ooh, a candy bar!

When the second episode of a show ends almost exactly the same way the first one did, suspicions arise. The last few seconds of the season premiere revealed that the man living inside the hatch was someone that Jack had met in his past, but just exactly who he is remains unknown. Instead of revealing that information, we got a chance to see what happened in between the time Locke went down the hatch after Kate, and Jack arrived.

Nothing too amazing, I’m afraid, except for some more paranoid talk about people getting sick and why this guy (Desmond) is still hiding inside the hatch. Just a whole bunch more questions with no foreseeable answers. When Desmond hears another person sneaking around, he orders Locke to tie up Kate and lock her inside of a large closet, but not before Locke is able to slip her a knife. When they leave the room, Kate cuts herself free and discovers that she’s inside a food pantry, but wastes little time in escaping through an air vent. Well, maybe there’s enough time for a tasty candy bar. Mmm… chocolate. Maybe I should grab a few more for the road?

Meanwhile, Sawyer and Michael are lost at sea and there’s no sign of Jin. To make matters worse, a shark is circling the tiny remains of the raft that the two are currently sharing, Sawyer’s experienced quite the loss of blood from his gun wound, and Michael is throwing a fit about his missing son. Sawyer decides to be productive for once and promptly digs the bullet out of his shoulder, while Michael recalls the first time he lost his son in a custody battle with Walt’s mother. Again, nothing amazing, especially considering that Michael is probably the least interesting character on the island. I don’t care about his whiny mood swings, and I don’t care about Walt’s magical powers.

And getting back to the finer points of the episode, Sawyer and Michael are carried back to the island on the ocean’s current (would that be considered good luck?) only to find Jin alive and running out of the woods towards the beach. After they untie Jin from his restraints, Jin mumbles a bunch of Korean before finally muttering… the others. Lo and behold, these guys really do exist. The producers of this show must have been waiting for this moment forever: “Four seconds of the show remaining? Can we show them yet? I think it’s safe. Okay, I’m gonna do it.” Ta da!

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Caesar, keep your pimp hand strong

Remember those shitty terms that Caesar offered Pompey? Well, Pompey decided to accept them. Caesar avoids peace by balking on the truce, blaming Pompey’s decision not to agree to a sit down. Meanwhile, Atia finds out about Octavian’s little foray in a storage closet with Caesar and is actually excited about the idea of her boy seducing the mighty leader – talk about horrible parenting. Octavian denies the rumor and lets it slip that Caesar has a condition. He says no more, but the cat is clearly out of the bag.

Titus sleeps off a rough night of drinking on Lucius’ doorstep and realizes that he forgot his slave girl somewhere. Lucius joins him on a brief search and ultimately pays Titus’ tab at a local establishment to get the girl back. Titus can’t keep the girl, so Lucius takes her in as a slave, much to Niobe’s chagrin. Lucius goes to check on his other slaves only to find out that they have all died, save for a single boy, whom he brings into his home until his illness has passed – yeah, that’s a great idea. Atia hires Titus to tutor Octavian in swordplay, but it is Titus who asks the boy for counsel surrounding his suspicion of Niobe’s wrongdoing. Lucius, out of money, takes a job as a bodyguard to a loan shark and finds the work distasteful. He ultimately rejoins the army, having to swallow his pride to ask Mark Antony for his old job back.

Caesar and his mistress, Servilia, have a nice time until some naughty graffiti pops up on walls all over Rome. Caesar’s wife gets pissed and he has to break it off with Servilia, who is none too happy about it. During the breakup, slaps are thrown and Caesar lets his mistress know that he won’t have it by giving her three hard ones to the side of the head. Servilia is now super-pissed and, after finding out that Atia is behind the graffiti, lays down the mother of all curses on both Atia and Caesar. Caesar heads out to take on Pompey only to find that he’s sailed for Greece. Meanwhile, Titus and Octavian corner the father of Niobe’s baby (whom Lucius believes is his) and after a little torture, the guy spills the beans. The duo decides to kill the man in the sewer and never speak of the incident again – not even to Lucius. My guess is that this little nugget is going to endanger Titus’ friendship with Lucius, especially considering Titus’ inability to keep a secret.

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“She’s a bitch, but she’s family. That makes her OUR bitch.”

Truer words were never spoken, but Andrew Van De Kamp speaks them about his paternal grandmother–not, surprisingly, his mother Bree. Grandma Phyllis (played by Shirley Knight, in what will hopefully be a frequently-recurring role) shows up Chez Van De Kamp just bursting with messy, melodramatic, uncontrollable grief over the loss of her son–and gets in a few sharp digs at Bree while she’s at it.

Already straining to keep her own untidy emotions in check (and to refrain from calling her friends with the unfortunate news before the etiquette-appropriate hour of 9 A.M.), Bree manages to hold her tongue at Grandma’s disparaging remark about Bree’s less-than-buxom chest. That orange prep-school tie, however, she just cannot abide. Its color offends Bree’s exquisite taste, and its symbolism–representing “the happiest time of Rex’s life”–is an attack on her performance as wife and mother (and therefore, her very existence) for the better part of two decades. Grandma is nearly sent packing over the issue, until the two hyper-controlling women in Rex’s life reach a détente–which is then broken when the tie shows up around Rex’s neck at the funeral.

Elsewhere on the street, Tom Scavo throws his back out on Day Two of Mr. Mom duty, forcing Lynette to bring her infant daughter along on a second-round job interview. Lynette wows her time-starved prospective boss with a multi-tasking extravaganza, changing the baby’s diaper and outlining a new strategic direction for the company in under sixty seconds. Meanwhile, Gabby spurns Hot Lovesick Gardener’s advances, and seeks a paternity test–preferably faked–to appease Carlos.

Since Susan and Mike are not allowed to be happy together for any length of time whatsoever, Susan freaks out about Mike being Zach’s father, and breaks up with Mike. Of course, the fact that Zach held Susan prisoner at gunpoint probably had something to do with that. Also the obsessive shouting match he started when Susan refused to let him see Julie. And, gosh, that breaking-and-Christmas-decorating incident last December may not have helped, either. If only that dead body Mike and Susan had to identify had actually turned out to be Zach (instead of a youth who looked remarkably like American Non-Threatening Purveyor of Mush Clay Aiken), all their problems would be solved.

And, speaking of problems, Wisteria Lane newcomer Alfre Woodard seems to have hers under control at the moment. Or, more specifically, under physical restraints. In a locked basement dungeon. With a gun held on it, for added security. Can’t wait to find out what that’s all about… but, of course, we’ll have to wait, anyway.

Might as well stock up on popcorn in the meantime: Looks like another great season.

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Come on down, the close is… Ahhh!

Leave it to J.J. Abrams and Co. to conclude the season premiere with more questions than answers. But at least they weren’t lying about one thing. We did finally get to see what was inside that damn hatch. Was that Alfie? Maybe not, but it’s definitely some dude making breakfast in an ultra-chic kitchen while listening to Cass Eliot’s “Make Your Own Kind of Music.” The guy completes his daily exercises and then shoots himself with some sort of medication just before a giant explosion goes off somewhere nearby.

It’s actually the dynamite just set off by Jack, Locke, Kate and Hurley, and after further investigation, they discover that the word “QUARANTINE” has been stamped on the inside of the door. Well… that can’t be good. That barely concerns Locke, though, who runs off to grab some cable so he can shimmy down the 40-ft shaft. Jack doesn’t seem as content with the idea of actually entering the hatch – even though that was the main reason for blowing it up twenty minutes before – but Kate decides to join Locke in the adventure. This, of course, results in some more bad luck for Locke for our favorite ex-handicapper. This guy cannot be trusted alone with another castaway, but it’s hardly his fault when this kind of stuff happens. As can be expected, Kate disappears into the hatch and a bright light blasts into the sky before promptly turning off.

Meanwhile, Jack is back at camp trying to call down the red shirts, but it appears that he’s not one for making promises. Jack’s reluctance spans back to the days where he met his future fiancée, a car crash victim who miraculously recovered a broken backbone. Jack’s not one to believe in something like Faith, but her incredible recovery occurred only a day after talking to a Aussie stranger about miracles. We finally learn more about Jack’s relationship with this girl, and the reason behind shaving his head (1984 called, they want their hair back), but there’s still no explanation as to why he’s no longer married.

Finally, Jack decides to return to the site of the hatch to help, but when he arrives, no one is around. Being the hero that is, Jack enters the hatch only to discover the very setting from the beginning of the episode. And just as he’s about to press a button on the nearby computer, Locke yells at him to stop. But it’s really less about what Lock wants, and more about the guy holding the gun to his head. And who could he be? Alfie? No! We already told you that it wasn’t him, but none other than the Aussie from Jack’s past. Now how exactly that fits in to everything is a bigger question than what was inside the hatch itself. I expect that we’ll know more about this situation by next year’s season premiere.

By the way, what the hell is going on with the raft? We’d like some answers please. Please?

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It’s all about the bling-bling

Caesar is in Rome and he’s paying people for their loyalty. Only problem is, he’s running out of gold. Caesar has the city under martial law and decides to throw a party at the house of Julie Cooper (Atia) to negotiate loyalty fees. Julie is Caesar’s niece, but I don’t think she’s blood because she wants the spot at Caesar’s side – and on top of him and beneath him and so on. But those positions are already taken by Servilia, whom Caesar invites to a party at Julie’s. Meanwhile, Lucius is starting a new venture and throws a party of his own. Things get weird when his sister-in-law arrives with her husband (also the father of Niobe’s baby, whom Lucius believes is his grand-daughter). The sister-in-law gets drunk, causes a scene and she and her husband are banished from Lucius’ home. Later, Pompey’s son arrives with a band of men and questions Lucius at sword point about the location of the stolen gold. Conveniently, Titus arrives (stupidly, with pomp and circumstance, basically announcing his crime) and he and Lucius dispatch the band of men. Lucius convinces Titus to give the gold and Pompey’s son to Caesar and hope for mercy. Caesar takes it easy on Titus and sends Pompey’s son back to his father with an offer of truce, which is impossible for Pompey to accept. With the offer, Caesar tried to divide Pompey from the Senate, and based on their respective reactions, it worked. After sending Pompey’s son off, Caesar has a seizure (try saying that ten times fast) to which young Octavian and Casesar’s right hand man are the only witnesses. The duo pull Caesar into a small room to let the seizure pass and one of the servants listens to Caesar’s grunting at the door. Later she only sees Caesar and Octavian leave so she likely suspects pedophilia. Ah, just another day in Rome!

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