"Lost" (9 p.m., ABC) returns for the second half of its third season, but not before a recap clip episode (9 p.m.) brings viewers old and new up-to-date on the island intrigue.
For a show with more than its fair share of mysteries, the biggest head-scratcher may be ABC's decision to put the show on hiatus for a few months. Hopes that "Lost" fans would migrate to "Day Break" were dashed quickly, and that show was canceled after a few episodes.
Building a buzz for a show like "Lost" is like catching lightning in a bottle. Did ABC drop the bottle?
As "Lost" resumes, Jack has just made a potentially fatal incision in Ben's spine, threatening to let him die unless the Others allow Sawyer and Kate to escape. But as "Lost" fans know, the best-laid plans do not always go smoothly, nor does the narrative unfold in a linear fashion. Much of the episode is told in flashbacks from Juliet's perspective, allowing us to find out how and why she got caught up in the strange doings of the Dharma Initiative.
It would be remiss to reveal much more. But look out for a strange scene when Kate and Sawyer stumble onto a mind-control experiment right out of "A Clockwork Orange." It's up to individual viewers to decide whether this episode of "Lost" was worth waiting for, but, like the best of the series, it provides more questions than answers to the series' central enigma.
¢ Predictions about the car of tomorrow have been around almost as long as the automobile itself. It's fun to look at the Futurama predictions from the World's Fairs of 1939 and 1964. It's also impossible not to breathe a sigh of relief to see that such visions did not come to pass. So we should take "Futurecar" (7 p.m., Discovery) with at least a few grains of salt. The four-part series will visit with designers, manufacturers and test-drivers to discuss the styles, technologies and fuels of the vehicles in our future.
¢ "The Sci Fi Boys" (10 p.m., Sci Fi) examines the evolution of science fiction and fantasy film and the advances in film special effects. It takes an affectionate and nostalgic look at old B-movies and 1930s creature features and how these films inspired boy geniuses named Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Peter Jackson to make their own experimental movies with homemade special effects.
"Boys" also recalls the influence of the magazine "Famous Monsters of Filmland," published by Forrest J. Ackerman, as well as the visionary work of stop-action special-effects master Ray Harryhausen ("Jason and the Argonauts").
Tonight's other highlights
¢ On two episodes of "Criminal Minds" (CBS), on the trail of serial killers (7 p.m.), a case hits close to home (8 p.m.).
¢ A callous statement threatens team unity on "Friday Night Lights" (7 p.m., NBC).
¢ Brennan gets a new partner as Booth undergoes tests on "Bones" (7 p.m., Fox).
¢ Auditions continue on "American Idol" (8 p.m., Fox).
¢ College secrets on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS).
¢ A skeptical Texas Ranger turns to Allison on "Medium" (9 p.m., NBC).