The big problem for the producers of Lost, as they contemplated the end of the season, is that they set the bar awfully high with last season's conclusion, which was clearly the biggest surprise on TV in years. But give them credit: they have not sought to lower expectations, promising another true stunner. But what could be weirder than finding out that for some of the island dwellers, getting back home was not the end of the story?
Tonight's two-hour episode (ABC, 9 PM) is preceded by a repeat of the first part of the finale. It's known that we do see the Oceanic Six leave the island. That leaves numerous other questions, such as what's going to become of the explosives-rigged freighter, and will anyone currently on it not live to see a fifth season? And what of the Orchid station, which is apparently key to the island's power? How does Hurley, still with Locke and Ben, wind up with those rescued? And is it really possible to move an island? The answers to all of these, and the new questions prompted by tonight, will keep message boards a-hum for the next eight months.
Live From the Red Carpet (E!, 8 PM): The premiere of Sex and the City: The Movie is getting covered by the TV Guide Network and the Style Network, in addition to E! -- not surprising, since the competition to dress the actresses is nearly as fierce as it would be for an Oscar telecast.
911: The Bronx (Discovery, 8 PM, 9 PM, and 10 PM): Yep, three straight hours of random mayhem. At 8:00, Dr. Zambito helps a patient fights for his life after falling four stories. At 9:00, a mom and her infant are in a terrifying car crash. At 10:00, a woman accidentally drinks cleaning fluid. That's one hell of a mistake.
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, 8 PM): A third night of auditions. Last night did not seem to have as many contenders as the debut episode.
Last Comic Standing (NBC, 8:30 PM): Auditions in Houston with Alfonso Ribeiro and Neil Flynn (the janitor on Scrubs) as the talent scouts, and in Los Angeles with The Office denizens Angela Kinsey and Oscar Nunez doing the culling. Based on the first week of auditions, LCS is still as maddeningly arbitrary as ever when it comes to who gets picked and who doesn't. And what is Dan Naturman doing back on the show?
At the Death House Door (IFC, 9 PM): A documentary about the Rev. Carroll Pickett, a chaplain in the Texas prison system who tended to the souls of nearly 100 executed prisoners and over time became an opponent of capital punishment.
Engineering Connections (National Geographic, 9 PM): The massive telescope at the Keck Observatory has connections to sandblasters and refrigerators. The Keck is located on a dormant volcano. Call me crazy, but I don't know that a volcano could ever be dormant enough for me to want to work on one.
Gangland (History, 9 PM): The Bloods: even their name says they mean business.
The First 48 (A&E, 9 PM): The only survivor of a Cincinnati shooting tries to assist with the investigation; two men are killed on a residential street in Miami.
Wedding SOS (Fine Living, 9 PM): A groom prepares to convert to Judaism in preparation for his wedding day, and his bride-to-be is stressing too, since her beloved has asked her to quit smoking.
Celebracadabra (VH1, 10 PM): The amateur magicians are forced to face phobias. All of them have seen their careers disappear at some point; what greater phobia could there be for a celebrity?
Crime 360 (A&E, 10 PM): A man is found beaten to death, and the investigation leads to one member of the victim's family providing key evidence against another.
House Hunters (HGTV, 10 PM): A renter is ready to buy, but insists on a home that's energy efficient.
Playing to Win: Inside the Video Game Industry (CNBC, 10 PM): As a non-gamer, I'm finding myself shut out of an increasing amount of cultural chatter. This special takes a look at this massive industry, which covers both the technological and the social impact sides of things.
Step It Up and Dance (Bravo, 10 PM): Television's glut of dance shows will dwindle further by next week, as this series begins its two-part season finale tonight with an attempt to nail the choreography in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. It's funny that "Thriller," now 25 years old, is still considered the epitome of hip dancing. It always seems dated to me.
Tougher In Alaska (History, 10 PM): Logging in Alaska's rugged southeast panhandle, where roads are few and it essentially never stops raining.
True Life (MTV, 10 PM): Here's something I would know absolutely nothing about: people who lead another life online. What about those of us who only have a life online?
Reno 911! (Comedy Central, 10:30 PM): This should solve all our problems in the Middle East: the deputies are assigned to train police for Baghdad.
Into America's West With Jeff Corwin (Travel, 11 PM): Montana: where the Plains meet the Rockies. And where Jeff spends this week's hour.