If "Lost" fans have not heard the good news regarding the writers' strike they must be living under a rock because the writers are back, baby, and with them they bring up to five new episodes of our favorite mystery Island. It will fall short of the originally expected 16 episodes, but 13 is better than eight. With that in mind, let's talk about how utterly stunning last week's episode, "The Economist," was.

A new member of the Oceanic 6 has been revealed, and it is no other than our "Rambo of the Losties," Mr. Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews). He does make it off the Island, and unlike the other Oceanic survivors we've seen, he is not exactly going on with his life as if nothing happened. He is Secret Agent Jarrah now, and his mission seems to be directly related to people involved with the Oceanic crash. The flash forward reveals him working for someone who he -- and the audience -- would never believe, and growing close to a young woman who he is using to get to her boss, the economist. Life certainly does not seem happy for any of the Oceanic 6, and I suspect that when the last two are revealed, they will continue this depressing, unfulfilled trend.

On the Island, Sayid makes a deal with the helicopter pilot Frank (Jeff Fahey): if he can return Charlotte (Rebecca Mader), the captive rescue member who Locke (Terry O'Quinn) has taken, then Frank will fly Sayid to the waiting boat. Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) is brought back into the story and requests to be flown to the boat as well since no one can tell him why Naomi had a picture of him and Penny. Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Miles (Ken Leung) go with Sayid to the Locke-ites and are bamboozled by none other than Hurley (Jorge Garcia). Kate and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) have a heart-to-heart, which persuades her to stay, and Locke agrees to trade Charlotte for Miles to Sayid, who promises he only intends to find out what these 'rescuers' are really after.

This sounds like a convoluted episode, and it was, although in typical "Lost" fashion more questions arise, and no answers are given. How did Sayid's story take such a turn after he returned to the real world? Who exactly is Ben (Michael Emerson) and why does he have piles of foreign money and dozens of passports? Why are they there for him? Who are the last two members of the Oceanic 6? Why do only six get off? How does Kate manage to keep Sawyer and Jack interested in her when she is so consistently inconsistent?

The plot thickens, but this is a show where the plot never thins. This season has been fast paced, and hard hitting: there is never a scene in this episode where you can get distracted and every moment counts. The intensity may stem from the depth and beauty of Sayid Jarrah, however, and the exceptionally skilled acting job by Naveen Andrews. Sayid is the most dangerous member of the Losties, yet he also has the capacity for the most compassion, empathy, and gentleness. It is Sayid who closes Naomi's eyes and sheds tears for a woman who tries to kill him. Or is he crying for the death of his soul?

Another very strange thing to keep an eye on was the scene with Daniel Farraday (Jeremy Davies) and the time difference revealed for the Island. He requests that the ship send a missile to his location. Some 30 minutes after it should have arrived, it lands, which proves ... what? Time on the Island apparently moves more slowly than that on the outside world. What this means for the Losties is beyond my idle speculation, but we may just hear more about this in the upcoming Desmond episode, since his visions of the future also mucked around with time travel.

Next week is a Kate-centric episode and from the previews will be another flash forward. I am certain that the audience is wondering how exactly the fugitive Kate managed to get off the Island and not end up in jail, so this episode will be dealing directly with that question. Also, it may answer the question: who is this 'he' Kate was referring to in the season finale? Is it Sawyer, or their child, or some other he?

Thursday always seems so far away now that "Lost" dominates it!

Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer