The most innovative show on television is back with a vengeance, and it is promising to be better than ever. "Lost" is one of the few that always delivers, and although what it delivers is not necessarily answers or explanations, it does keep us hooked, fascinated, and emotionally invested.

This highly anticipated season four premiere was named "The Beginning of the End" in reference to Ben's (Michael Emerson) comment to Jack (Matthew Fox) that it would be the beginning of the end if they called the believed rescuers. Never had the dangerous, manipulative leader of the Others seemed so sincere, so terrified, and after Charlie's (Dominic Monaghan) dying message 'Not Pennys Boat,' Ben might just be telling the truth. What we know about these rescuers is that they already lied about who they were sent by, and due to trailers for future episodes, we know that rescuing the survivors is not the priority.

I am getting ahead of myself, but it is difficult not to get drawn into the complex plot and start speculating. This episode takes place precisely after the season three finale, and it also involves a flash-forward rather than the regular flashback. This marks the first premiere that is not Jack-centric but rather Hurley-centric, and for good reason since the most significant things that happen in this episode circle around our favorite lottery winner.

In the future, Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is arrested and begs the officer (Ana Lucia's [Michelle Rodriguez] former partner) to put him into an insane asylum, the same one he was in before. He seems to be racked with guilt and fear like Jack in the third season finale, and he believes that "It" wants them to come back.

In the present, Hurley goes quickly from happiness to deep sorrow when he finds out that Charlie is dead. Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Hurley, Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), Bernard, Sayid (Naveen Andrews), Juliet and Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) decide not to warn Jack over the radio what Charlie said and instead walk up to meet them. On the way Hurley is lost, and he stumbles upon that creepy Stephen King-like cabin we saw Jacob in last season. Locke joins the group, and a clear division appears between Locke and Jack - now in a murderous rage - and our Losties are split into two. What this means for the show, and for the possible danger they are in, remains to be seen.

This is only a small overview of a very detailed, subtle episode, and it should be watched thoroughly in order to pick up on the various clues we are given. "Lost" is always about the little things that come back episodes later, and if you are not careful, you'll miss it altogether. It was a very emotional episode, and the loss of Charlie was heavy on all shoulders. This was the first character that was there from day one and really engrained himself into the hearts of the Losties and to the audience. He went out a hero and left behind at least two people that genuinely loved him, Claire (Emilie De Ravin) and Hurley, and in Hurley's flash-forward it is clear that his best friend's death haunts him years later.

Some highlights/questions that may be important to keep an eye on:

-Hurley can see Jacob, where Locke only heard him. What does that mean about Hurley?
-Jack was prepared to shoot Locke. When did the doctor become so bloodthirsty?
-Kate and Sawyer are on separate sides now, and that may mean something for all you Jack and Kate fans out there.
-Who is Naomi's sister? Why are these people really here?
-Who are the other three of the Oceanic 6?

"Lost" is eternally bringing up questions and answering little, but let us hope now that the end is in sight we will get more insight into the mysteries.

One side note to bring up is the delightful performance on the part of Michael Emerson in this episode. Ben is now a captive of the Losties, but that does not make him any less of a danger. This is the man who fooled them as Henry Gale, and he can manipulate his way out of any given situation. To discount him as less of a threat would be a serious mistake. His sharp, mocking remarks in the premiere were both hilarious and a reminder that he is not to be ignored. We have not seen the last of the Others, and this may not be the end of Juliet's side jumping either.

Basically, this was a brilliant beginning to a new season. Each season of "Lost" is different than the last, and this feels like it might be faster paced, brutal, and desperate. No one is playing nice, and it is about time the Losties stop being victims and start taking some action. My only regret is that there will be only eight episodes due to the writers' strike, instead of a full 16.

Next week tune in to ABC on Thursday at 9 pm EST for the second episode of "Lost." More of the rescuers are found, the Losties are still divided into two, and the ultimate goal of the people on the boat is revealed.

What did you think of the return of "Lost?" Make a comment!

Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer