<EM>Lost</EM> Lost

This week, May sweeps goes out with a bang... or two... or more. Here's a peek at the jaw-droppers to come!

Airing tonight at 8 pm/ET, on Fox
After a season of kidnappings, presidential comas and CTU turmoil, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) ends Day 6 by taking on…his dad. The final (and two-hour) showdown pits our hero against Phillip Bauer (James Cromwell) in an endgame on an offshore oil platform. Somehow Jack finds time to profess his love to Audrey (Kim Raver). Quite a change from the numb Jack of the season opener. Says Sutherland, "He's gone from total indifference to thinking in terms of what he needs and wants in life."

Tonight at 9 pm, NBC
The massive cast and sprawling plots finally collide in Manhattan, but does anyone really think they'll see that much-prophesied nuclear apocalypse? Nah. "But how it all winds up is pretty unexpected," says series creator Tim Kring. "I don't think anybody will say ‘I saw that coming.'" The episode's final 90 seconds will reveal next season's theme, focusing on the hidden ancestry of Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka). As for who stays and goes, Kring says, "I have to make room for new characters, but I'm easing up on the slaughter — not everyone's going out in a casket. Some will simply go away, others are still around but we just won't see them. Sorta like life."

Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Tonight at 10 pm, NBC
Sure, there were the usual ripped-from-the-headlines cases, but the real news on CI this season was personal, as Det. Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio) dealt with his troubled brother (Tony Goldwyn) and grieved the death of his schizophrenic mother (Rita Moreno). Now Det. Logan (Chris Noth) gets his turn: The L&O vet falls for a neighbor (The Practice's Kelli Williams) who may not be all she seems. "It's one of the more existential episodes we've had," says executive producer Warren Leight. "I'd call it a spiritual cliff-hanger for Logan."

Tuesday at 8 pm, CBS
DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly) and his long-covert girlfriend Jeanne (Scottie Thompson) are taken hostage by a vicious drug dealer. "The biggest secret of all will be revealed in the last 10 seconds," NCIS creator Donald P. Bellisario told TV Guide shortly before he resigned as show-runner. (He'll remain the show's executive producer.) The fallout from the cliff-hanger will change at least one person's life — and we don't mean Bellisario's.

Law & Order: SVU
Tuesday at 10 pm, NBC
Mud will fly when alleged murderer Darius (Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) returns to the show with a ruthless attorney (Steven Weber). "Darius and his lawyer dig up dirt on everyone," says executive producer Neal Baer. "Secrets are revealed that will have an impact on several characters." And who'll be dishing the dirt? Let's just say Nancy Grace and Star Jones Reynolds play themselves.

Wednesday at 9 pm, ABC
It's war between the beach folk and the Others. And before the two-hour season closer is over, several people won't be breathing that fresh ocean air anymore. "The finale is very emotional and character-driven," says exec producer Damon Lindelof. While Jack gets the flashbacks, the episode also explores the ramifications of Sawyer killing Locke's father. As for the cliff-hanger — code-named "The Rattlesnake" by producers because, as Lindelof says, "nobody expects a rattlesnake in their mailbox" — the reveal will signal seismic changes for the drama, laying the groundwork for Lost's recently announced final three seasons. You won't see the show again until February 2008, when it returns with 16 consecutive episodes, so this finale should be one to remember... for eight looong months. (Check back with TVGuide.com Interviews & Features on Thursday morning for a Q&A with an important player in Lost's season finale.)

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