The season finale of Lost was a major leap backward for the show, and I mean that with a big wink and much admiration for a powerful conclusion to a bold, winning season. ''Rewind'' was the operative word for ''No Place Like Home (Parts 2 and 3).'' An orientation film mysteriously looped back on itself. Old moments were revisited and re-examined, if not reinvented. Heck, the whole show was rebooted from the beginning, with Jack the Hero falling from the sky and rising to action and building a community out of lost souls, just as he did in the pilot. The final moments even ironically echoed the first season's famous twin cliff-hangers, with a raft at sea and two men peering into the abyss of a dark box — the coffin of one Jeremy Bentham, who looks a lot like a certain boar-hunting bald man we've come to know, love, and fear the past four years. ''No Place'' wasn't the magic act of last year's flash-forward fake-out, but it was more meaty, more emotional, more epic, and, with a gulpy leap into WTH? sci-fi, maybe more ballsy.
''OH, AND ONE MORE THING: YOUR BEARD SMELLS LIKE WET VINCENT!''
Here's what I mean by rewind: The episode began where last season's flash-forward fake-out finale left off, with Kate driving away from Beaver Pelt Jack, and then — screeeeeeeeeeech! — the former fugitive came to an abrupt stop and floored it in reverse. Apparently, Kate had a few things she wanted to get off her chest — stuff she forgot to unload on Jack in last year's finale. She told him that his ''we have to go back!'' crap was galling, especially in light of what happened on their final day on the Island; that a man they both knew — the man in the obituary, one Jeremy Bentham — had come to her a few days earlier and tried to make the same wacko ''going back'' argument; that Aaron still doesn't quite understand why Jack isn't around anymore to read Alice In Wonderland to him before bedtime. She slapped him and told him to keep his distance and then drove off in a heartbroken huff.