"The Shape of Things to Come" might have been the greatest episode since Lost premiered almost four years ago. It was the perfect mixture of everything that makes Lost work: strong characters, heavy action, tense moments, moral choices that sometimes go wildly wrong, all the major bits of Lost mythology (DHARMA, Jacob, Smokey to name a few), a bit of humor... and the notorious Lost penchant for flipping the tables completely over on what we're expecting.
I think I accidentally muttered a mild profanity at least three times in this episode. Especially after Ben made his little "call".
Something I caught early in the episode: take a look at the name that's embroidered on the jumpsuit that Ben is wearing when we find him in the Sahara Desert. It's a familiar one to anyone who's watched the DHARMA Initiative's orientation film for the yet-to-be-seen Orchid station. Some theories pop into mind about why Ben was there, wearing what he had... but I'm going to withhold those for the time being ('cuz I got friends who might read this and they haven't seen this episode yet :-)
I think this might also be the Lost episode with the biggest body count since the pilot episode. Don't think I've seen that many people die one-by-one on camera since the final episode of Blake's 7 (a show which is being brought back, incidentally).
So... anyone else now have their feelings about Ben totally changed? Maybe even feel that he's a character to sympathize with (barring what he's now planning to do per the episode's final scene)?
Best show on television right now. And the way things are going, it might someday rate widely as the best show ever made. Can't wait for next week's episode.
By the way, Lisa had gone on to bed (curse this new timeslot!) but after the prologue and the title, when it went to its first commercial break I went into the bedroom and told her "I wish your piano stool was as cool as Ben's!" She won't know what I'm talking about until she watches it from the DVR tomorrow :-)