So the only mystery I've cracked here is what Tom Cruise's cousin, William Mapother, is doing on the island as creepy Ethan. Turns out J.J. Abrams is directing Mission: Impossible 3. And all that tells me is that nepotism reaches as far as 3000 miles off of Fiji. What I want to know is why he wasn't on the plane's manifest in the first place, what he wants with Claire's baby and why she would turn down $20 grand from a nice adoptive couple, only to accept her nutjob psychic's $12,000 bid to give the kid to some nonexistent family in L.A. Girl needs to get herself a calculator. And a clue, giving little Charlie the hand like that. As for this week's clues, aside from the daddy issues that put Claire on par with Jack, Sun, Walt, Sawyer and Kate, I'm picking up some more literary hints. Ethan's last name? Rom. Sounds like? Ethan Frome. Hurley's real name? Hugo. As in Victor. Which pretty much means... yeah. I still got nothin'. Except for happyhappy, joyjoy chills over ABC's new...

Alias promo
Hallelujah! "I'm, uh... I'm... I'ma kick you're a@*!" That's right, folks. The gods have smiled on me and rescheduled Syd and company right after Lost starting in January. They must have felt bad about taking away my O.C. Rat bastards.

America's Next Top Model
8:06 Wonderful. Ann is still bitching about Eva not being her friend. What's next? Calling her out after bio class?
8:10 Tea-ceremony lessons. Zzzzzzzzzz. I don't know how they do it in Tokyo, but someone should tell these people that American models really only drink whatever is sent to them by tables of ugly guys at bars. Then throw it up.
8:28 Eva calls Ann "whack." Do I smell a bitch slap brewing? Bring it!
8:36 Tyra Mail! It's time for the final five to watch Miss Banks rock a T-Mobile photo shoot and not learn a damn thing from her before their own botched sessions. Poor dumb pretty girls.
8:48 Jay Manuel's Beauty Tip of the Week? Red lips for the holidays. Really? Poor dumb pretty boy.
8:55 Tyra gets "age before beauty" backward by sending youngster Norelle home over the increasingly haggard Ann. Mama must want to see that bitch slap, too.

Jack & Bobby
Hello, shocking ending. What the hell was that? Jack just got the snot kicked out of him by a trio of thugs while some pudgy politico from the future voiced over about how President Bobby "never got over" a post-9/11 terrorist attack. As if things weren't tough enough for the unblemished one. Busted by his windbag mother buying condoms. Losing his virginity to cling-bot Missy. Finding out his cokehead uncle's been kicked out of the house. Did he really need a smackdown, too? Come on, writers. We already know the kid's marked for death. How about giving him a break while he's alive? And while you're at it, can we get a little more Bradley Cooper? It's nice to see Alias' former sexless wonder finally getting some. Work, that is.

Nick & Jessica's Family Christmas
Oh. My. God. As a proud and unrepentant Christmas geek, I have to say this was simply horrifying. A train wreck. No. A Polar Express wreck. Jessica looked like she was stroking out through half her songs, poor Nick has the comic timing of a cadaver and "The Little Drummer Boy" deserves better than that screaming match between Jess and her serial lip-syncing li'l sis Ashlee. And this is coming from a guy who ranks the ALF Christmas special as one of the greatest gifts TV ever gave us, OK? I get "fun bad." But when a 98 Degrees reunion stands as a high point, there's really no fun going on. Just some cringing. And a lot of channel surfing. Click.

Project Runway
Splendid. I'm about three weeks from kicking my Top Model addiction and Bravo throws me a new group of competitive camera hogs to obsess over. But here I am, loving the shabby chic of this Survivor-meets-sweatshop reality show and hatin' myself for it. It's just too much! As are some of these wannabe designers. I mean, please, Jay. Let it go. Even with a bum liver, Cojo has you beat in the fashionista freak department, OK? So step away from the faux fur shawl and man-pigtails. Thankfully, even the Farrah wings and Botox-froze brows that have Austin looking like the deranged spawn of Carson Kressley and Jocelyn Wildenstein couldn't overshadow his obvious talent. The corn-husk dress during that supermarket challenge was perfect. Nearly as perfect as egomaniac Daniel's ouster. If only for invoking Picasso and Duchamps as the inspiration for his lame butcher's-paper raincoat, the guy deserved to be cut. Preferably with something rusty. And I don't mean Heidi Klum's hosting skills, you know?

For real, this show freaks me out. Yet I can't look away. It's cool and gross. Sort of like Courtney Love before the breakdowns. And even if I could do without seeing a man get his face crushed in a pizza-oven door this close to bedtime, there's something so crafty about each week's crimes. Granted, they may not be juicing New York's tourism industry, but whenever you have the high-caliber talent of Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes cracking a "magic bullet" sniper attack on a mounted policeman and actually making it work, we all win. Except maybe the cop. And his horse, of course.