Hello my dear friends -
Some of you may remember this article I linked to last fall in which Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan (one of the creative team members who signed my Season Four DVDs, yay for me!) proclaimed that Season Five was "definitely going to be the strangest thing that’s ever been on network television. Ever.”
I think we can confidently say at this point that he wasn't exaggerating.
"316" brought it. And that means there's a lot to discuss. Let's take things in order this time around, shall we? Or, almost in order. As the opening moments of the episode were replayed at the end of the hour, I'll address them later and instead begin with the meeting in Ms. Hawking's lair... or what we now know is/was actually Dharma's Lamp Post station.
THIS COULD BE THE END OF EVERYTHING
SO WHY DON'T WE GO
SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW
Anyone who took part in this past summer's "Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project" (an online game that gave hints for the upcoming season) had already gotten a glimpse of the logo for the first off-Island Dharma station we've ever seen: The Lamp Post. There have been shout-outs to C.S. Lewis before (most notably in the form of Charlotte Staples Lewis), and now we've witnessed another -- in The Chronic(what?)cles of Narnia (written by Lewis), a lamp post serves as a gateway of sorts between two worlds.
Hawking explains that The Lamp Post was built by the Dharma Initiative over an area of intense electromagnetic activity in order to find the Island. They had apparently gathered "proof" that the Island existed, but didn't know how to reach it. At some point after the station had been completed, "a very clever fellow" realized that by way of a series of exceedingly nerdy equations and a Foucault pendulum, they could figure out where the Island could be found at certain points in time in the future. As we've long suspected, the Island is also on an electromagnetic hot-spot and is continually moving.
The obvious question is: who's the "clever fellow"? (I'm calling him "CF" from here on out.) While my knee-jerk reaction was "Daniel Faraday," after thinking about it for a while I'm not entirely positive that theory could work. Here's why: the CF must be someone who would've been around in the outside world before Dharma landed on the Island in the 1970s.
When we saw Faraday in "Jughead," the year was 1954 and the Island had obviously already been found by the U.S. military. Someone on the Island at that point in time took this picture and then ended up bringing it to Dharma as proof that the Island existed. It was hanging behind Hawking on one of the chalkboards in The Lamp Post (and its date is almost exactly fifty years before the Oceanic 815 crash on 9/22/04):
When we saw Daniel in a Dharma uniform at the beginning of the season, we know that the time period was the late '70s (and there's reason to believe that's where the group is stuck now). In order to be the CF, Faraday would have to pass off his equations to someone in the outside world who was alive before Dharma ever came to the Island or go back in time himself while off of the Island. That doesn't seem likely, as we've never seen anyone time travel to a point decades in the past and off of the Island simultaneously. I guess I should add "yet" to that last sentence, huh? (Maybe, just maybe Daniel could turn the FDW and get thrown back in time to the outside world, but it doesn't seem like anyone would want to mess with the FDW ever again on purpose.)
I'm not totally ruling out the possibility of Faraday being the one who helped Dharma find the Island, mind you... obviously we've seen him writing down notes and equations before and he's certainly the character who seems to know the most about what's going on with the space-time phenomenon. However, right now I can't see how the timing could work out. If I'm missing something here, I'm sure you'll let me know...
So who could be the CF if it's not Faraday?
YOU DON'T KNOW ME
YOU DON'T KNOW ME AT ALL
Let me begin this section by saying that a lot of the information I'm going to reference comes from "The Lost Experience" online game, which filled out the backgrounds of a few characters that were otherwise only briefly mentioned in the show itself. So don't be worried if you don't recall some of the things I'm about to bring up... you're not suffering from the effects of watching too much time travel on TV, you probably just aren't as big of a Lost nerd as some of the rest of us. And that's certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
So back to the possible identity of the CF. We know that Widmore was on the Island in 1954 and was part of the group of Others who wiped out the American military's presence there. We also know that Widmore ended up leaving/getting kicked off of the Island and has been trying to find it again ever since. He was most likely back in the real world by 1970, and therefore the picture that's in The Lamp Post could've come from him.
As he was hellbent on finding his old home again, he could've hooked up with Alvar Hanso (who, as reader DML reminded me, was a munitions dealer during WW2... hello, Jughead bomb) and persuaded him to get some scientists working on the effort. Let's not forget that: 1) Widmore may have witnessed Locke disappearing in the middle of his talk with Richard, and/or 2) Ellie could've told him that Faraday said his group was from the future... which she'd probably be very inclined to believe once they all disappeared in front of her eyes. Armed with that information, Widmore could've realized that the reason the Island was so hard to find was because something funky was going on with its location on the space-time continuum. He could've told Hanso that an "out-of-the-box" approach must been taken to finding the Island because it might be moving through time.
Enter the DeGroots... scientists from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) who founded the Dharma Initiative in 1970 thanks to financial backing from Alvar Hanso. We've seen them briefly before in some of the hatch orientation films. On a related note, Dr. Chang/Halliwax/Wickmund/Candle is probably also connected to U of M, as he stated in the video aired at last year's Comic-Con that he was an astrophysicist from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The shakiest part of this whole theory is why Widmore would specifically go to Alvar for help once he left the Island. That I can't really explain. We do know that Alvar was the great-grandson of Magnus Hanso, who the Hatch Map tells us was buried on the Island and was possibly a crew member (if not a commanding officer) of the Black Rock. Perhaps Widmore knew this and that's the reason he connected with Alvar back in the outside world.
Regardless, I'm going with either Alvar Hanso, Gerald DeGroot or Pierre Chang as being the clever fellow who built the pendulum in The Lamp Post. I get the sense that a lot of this season is going to revolve around the history of Dharma, so it fits that any of these three characters might appear on the show again soon.
I CAN'T GO FOR THAT
NO CAN DO
Yikes... after all that, we're still only a few minutes into the episode.
So Ms. Hawking is blathering on about the Island and Desmond is having none of it. He starts stomping around the room and saying that Jack and Sun are crazy for wanting to go back, and that Hawking's already caused him to lose four years of his life. His take was that he and the O6 are just pawns in a game that Ben, Hawking and others are playing. He's probably not too far off, is he? But quite frankly, I couldn't really concentrate on his rant because I was so nervous that the swinging pendulum was going to knock him over, American Gladiators-style.
Thankfully, that didn't happen (though it would've been hilarious). After delivering Faraday's message (to which, oddly, Hawking had pretty much no reaction), he stormed away, despite being warned that the Island "wasn't done with him."
Eloise remained unruffled after Desmond's departure and handed Jack a binder containing information on various flights that would be on the right course to catch "the window" back to the Island. I'm not really sure the binder was necessary, however, as she told him that they really only had one option: Ajira 316 (so much for my 316 bearing theory). Maybe we were just supposed to notice that the binder's colors were maize and blue and it had a very University of Michigan-looking seal on its front? Maybe binder design is one way the DeGroots chose to show their love for the Wolverines? Hail to the Victors, baby!
Next, Hawking takes Jack into another room -- alone -- and gives him Locke's suicide note. Since he's so freakin' stubborn, he of course does not rip it open and read it immediately like any other normal human being would do. Consequently, we're left to wonder what the note said... and, perhaps more importantly, why Hawking was the one who had it.
The last bit of advice the mysterious Eloise doles out before Jack takes leave of The Lamp Post is that he must do his best to recreate the original conditions of Flight 815, and that he could start by getting something of his father's to put in the casket with Dead Locke.
DON'T BELIEVE IN FEAR
DON'T BELIEVE IN FAITH
DON'T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING
THAT YOU CAN'T BREAK
Still reeling from the ridiculousness of the conversation he just had, Jack busts out of the station and finds Ben in the attached church. Ben avoids Jack's questions about Hawking by instead explaining the meaning behind "The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" painting that's displayed prominently on the wall. Kudos to reader SKID, who left a detailed comment last week about this piece of art after it had been briefly shown in "This Place is Death." Clearly, there are parallels to be drawn between Jack and ol' Doubting Thomas, enriching and complementing the comparisons that have already been made between Locke and Jesus. I'm really wishing I could remember more of went down in Sunday School right about now...
I was also cursing my memory in the next scene when Jack went to visit what turned out to be his grandpa. Before Jack ever addressed the older man as "granddad," I was going crazy thinking that I had somehow blanked on who this character was. Turns out we've never seen him before (though he was briefly mentioned in the mobisode "The Watch").
The bunnies in the retirement home's "magic show" and the comment that Grandpa Ray made about going somewhere that "they won't ever find me" definitely made me think of the Island... and of course it was pretty darn weird that Ray just so happened to have a pair of Christian's shoes in his suitcase. Is this yet another Shephard who's been to the Island before? Will he come into play again in the future? Will he ever find out that he has a great-grandson (Aaron)? Will all four generations of Shephards ever be on the Island at the same time? I have no deep thoughts on this subject, but I can't shake the feeling that Ray wasn't inserted into the storyline simply so Jack could get a pair of his dad's shoes.
I DID IT ALL FOR THE NOOKIE
We've now arrived at my least favorite scene of the episode. Jack's back at his apartment for what could very well be his final night in a real bed. He's like, "Ah, what the hell... Ben took all my pills -- one last little drinky-drink couldn't hurt, right?" But his Party of One gets busted up when he hears strange noises coming from elsewhere on the floor. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who braced for another Zombie Dad appearance -- or something even freakier. Instead, it was Kate, who not only refused to tell Jack where Aaron was, but also made him swear he'd never ask her about the boy previously known as her son ever again. The Mad Doctor's all, "Aaron who? Let's get it on!"
Now, I could easily go off on a long, long rant right now. But there's still too much more of the show left to cover, so I'll keep my disgust with this scene to a few short comments:
1) Less than 24 hours earlier, Kate accused Jack of only pretending to care about Aaron in order to get her to the marina to reunite with the rest of the O6 and Ben. Quite frankly, I think she was on to something. If he's willing to forget all about the existence of his nephew in order to score one more notch in his off-Island bedpost, he probably never cared about poor Turniphead in the first place.
2) As for Kate... well, I don't even know where to begin. She should know that just because Jack shaved off his hillbilly beard does not mean the reasons she broke off her engagement to him are no longer valid. The Oxycodone bottle's not even cold yet, for God's sake. And you can't tell me that part of the reason she's going back to the Island isn't to help save Sawyer... so, um... what did she need from Jack? A last-minute romp in order to "compare" the two again after she has her inevitable reunion sex with Mr. Ford? Somebody has issues!
And where does all of this leave poor Aaron? The prevailing theory right now is that Kate saw another vision of Ghost Claire, who warned her yet again not to bring Aaron back to the Island and/or gave her some other instructions. Kate realized -- especially after Ben's harsh reminder at the marina -- that she'd never be able to keep up the charade with Aaron over the long-run, so she took him to Claire's mother. I'm on board with this theory simply because I would hate to think that Claire's mom showed up in the series again solely to throw Jack and Kate off the trail of the lawyer's mystery client for less than half an episode.
Kate's weird behavior does (kind of) support this theory, too... if someone had forcibly taken Aaron from Kate against her will, I think she would've been frantically begging Jack for help. Instead, she seems resigned and distant -- like she's given up after an exhausting fight and did something that broke her heart because she knew she had no other choice.
I GET KNOCKED DOWN
BUT I GET UP AGAIN
YOU'RE NEVER GONNA KEEP ME DOWN
The next morning, Jack and Kate share an awkward breakfast -- he's clearly not having any regrets about their tryst, but she seems less than thrilled to be there. They have a stilted conversation about Christian's shoes and we finally learn why Zombie Dad had been wearing those godawful white Keds around the Island. Why/how he later changed out of a suit and into the more comfortable duds we saw him sport in both Jacob's shack and the FDW cave, however, remains a mystery.
Kate sees her chance to leave when Jack's phone starts ringing, so she does just that as The Mad Doctor becomes preoccupied with his call. It's Ben, who says there's been a change of plans and that Jack must go retrieve Dead Locke. What Jack doesn't know -- but we do -- is that Ben looks to be back at the marina and has been delivered a severe beat-down. I gotta tell you, I wasn't expecting to see the little guy so bloody and swollen. It made me realize that -- even if Ben turns out to be playing all of the Lostaways and is truly, truly evil -- I'll be thoroughly depressed if he ever dies. Because I was certainly distraught over seeing him in such a bad state.
The most obvious theory about why he's so messed up is that the "loose end" he had to take care of was the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: he found Penny and took her life in order to both fulfill his vow of revenge on Widmore for murdering Alex and give Desmond a reason to chase him back to the Island, since apparently Des was supposed to return, too. Ben could be battered because Penny put up a fight or because Desmond and/or some of Widmore's goons intervened.
One other possible explanation that has nothing to do with Desmond and Penny is that Ben and Sayid had it out -- there was obviously some sort of bad blood between them for reasons we don't yet understand. This may be why Sayid now has a police escort. It doesn't really explain why Ben would be calling from the boat docks, however. Besides, let's face it, if Sayid and Ben ever got into a physical fight -- even for a few seconds -- I don't think Locke would be the only one returning to the Island in a casket.
HERE I AM
JUST LIKE I SAID I WOULD BE
I'M YOUR FRIEND
JUST LIKE YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE
Jack follows Ben's instructions and goes to get Dead Locke, and we see Jill again for a few moments. I forgot to mention this little tidbit in earlier posts this year, but Jill's place of employment is "Simon's Butcher Shop." We had learned in the episode "Fire + Water" in Season Two that Charlie's dad -- Simon -- was a butcher. Is there a connection? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'm certainly always looking for reasons to keep hope alive that the illustrious Darth Hoodie will grace the show with his presence once again.
When Jack was alone with Dead Locke in the freezer room, I had to cover my head with my blanket because I was so scared that Locke's eyes were going to fly open and he was going to jump up and attempt to eat Jack's brain or something. I mean, that's what zombies do. So that may have been the only time that I was actually glad Locke stayed dead.
Even though I thought the whole "recreate the 815 flight" mandate from Hawking was kind of lame (more on that shortly), I did enjoy watching Jack put his father's shoes on Locke. It was weird on so many levels -- and I'm glad that they had Jack acknowledge it out loud. Can you imagine what filming that scene must have been like for Terry O'Quinn and Matthew Fox? I hope the Season Five DVDs have a few outtakes for us -- I can't imagine that both of them didn't burst out laughing at least a few times.
Next, we see Jack in line for Ajira 316, and much like what happened when he was at the counter for Oceanic 815, he is questioned about the coffin he's escorting. What I found oddly touching was that when Jack was asked his relationship to the deceased, he said, "a friend." Just a few days earlier when the Hoffs-Drawler funeral home manager had asked Jack if he was "friend or family" of Locke/Bentham, Jack had replied, "Neither."
Finally, Jack's done with check-in and turns all aww-shucks when he sees that both Kate and Sun showed up. So much so that he kind of disses his co-star in Vantage Point, who was trying to "offer his condolences" about Jack's friend in the coffin.
But those aren't the only four who will be getting on the plane...
THERE'S BEEN A CHANGE
THERE'S BEEN A CHANGE OF HEART
When the gate agent announces that there are a ton of open seats on the flight, it's revealed that Hurley is also in the waiting area. He'd been reading the comic Y: The Last Man (created by Brian K. Vaughan, who I mentioned at the beginning of this post), but jumped up to ensure that his purchase of the seventy-eight remaining seats on the flight had gone through. As Hurley looked around at those hoping that they'd get to ride standby -- whose lives he was probably saving --that's when it really hit me: "Holy crap, they are going back!" It also hit me that Hurley's pretty much the only 100% decent (meaning in no way selfish or evil) character left on the show. OK, so maybe Aaron and Ji Yeon are still fairly innocent, but seriously, that's about it. I think even Vincent has a devious master plan to outlast everyone else at this point.
As we know that Ben's lawyer was already planning to spring Hurley from the slammer that morning, the biggest question around Hurley's presence at the airport now becomes: who/what convinced him to show up, since he was previously so opposed to going back?
Most people believe that Dead Charlie paid Hurley a visit (again) and that's why he's not only on the flight but also lugging around a guitar. It may even be one of Charlie's old guitars, thus serving as a proxy for the Drive Shaft bassist. Hurley didn't listen to Dead Charlie's past pleas to help those left on the Island, however, so I hope we get to eventually see exactly why the multimillionaire changed his mind and decided to take the fateful flight.
On a related note, do you think that Dead Charlie and Ghost Claire got together to develop a strategy for scaring Hurley and Kate into returning to the Island? I do. To reward themselves for a job well done they're now eating off Invisible Peanut Butter at the Spirit Café -- ah, just like old times... kind of.
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Just before the plane pulls away from the gate, Ben huffs and puffs his way on board, much to Hurley's alarm and Sayid's surprise. Oh, that's right... I almost forgot -- though he didn't utter one line in this episode, He of the Black Tank Top and Overflowing Chest Hair was also along for the ride. We don't know what kind of crime he would've had to commit that would warrant a police escort to, uh, Guam... but hey, let's just roll with it.
So here's how the circumstances of Flight 815 were recreated for Ajira 316:
- Five of the Oceanic Six were accounted for. But some of them may have also represented other people besides themselves...
- Kate, who had just lost Aaron, was much like Claire, who was preparing to give In Utero Turniphead up for adoption. Further, shout-out to reader AS who told me about the theory that Kate may be pregnant from the previous night's hook-up with Jack... which I pray is not the case but would indeed make her even more similar to Claire's situation in September of 2004.
- Jack now represents Locke, as he's clearly made a leap of faith about the need to go back to the Island.
- Hurley had been reading a comic book -- as he also did in '04 -- and now has a guitar with him, presumably in honor of Charlie.
- Sayid's in handcuffs and has a police escort just like Kate did.
- Ben showed up in the nick of time, just as Hurley had, and didn't have full use of all of his limbs, like previously wheelchair-bound Locke.
- Dead Locke's wearing Christian Shephard's shoes.
- Sun is separated from her husband, as Rose was separated (on the plane) from Bernard (that one's a stretch, but hey, I'm just reporting the ideas out there...)
And then of course we learn that good ol' Frank Lapidus is in the cockpit. If that's not a course-correction, I don't know what is. He was supposed to be the pilot of Oceanic 815, after all. If we find out that something went drastically haywire in the Lostaway's return, I'm blaming it on the fact that Frank shaved his beard. Certainly the universe prefers him a little scruffy, just like we do.
To me, the biggest missing piece is Aaron. If he wasn't supposed to be "raised by another," what's going to happen now that he's not making the trip back to his birthplace?
As I alluded to before, I think this whole "recreate the circumstances of 815" thing was kind of forced... there were a ton of other people on 815 (Michael, Waaaalt, Boone, Shannon, Ana Lucia, Eko, Libby, Frogurt, Scott, Steve, Artz, Nikki, Paulo, the kids, etc., etc.) that are not represented (on that note, why shouldn't Waaalt have to return, too?). I would've probably been even more blown away by the Ajira scenes had we been left to come to the conclusion ourselves that the conditions of 9/22/04 were eerily similar to what we were seeing in "316" rather than having the idea so explicitly forced into our minds by Hawking.
All I can figure is that we needed to understand that since not exactly everything on Ajira 316 is as it was on Oceanic 815, the end result of the aircraft flying over the window to the Island is going to be "unpredictable."
GET BACK TO WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED
Just because I wasn't all that interested in the 815/316 comparisons doesn't mean that I didn't get a big thrill out of watching the Ajira flight scenes. I loved them. What I appreciated in particular was how tense it was when the flight took off... then things seemed normal for a bit there and everyone relaxed -- Ben's reading, Kate and Jack are having a nice chat -- and then, BOOM. The turbulence hit and it was on.
Before all hell broke loose, here are a few things I took note of while our Lostaways were cruising the friendly skies:
- Jack was supposed to read Locke's note, dammit! It was going to keep finding its way to him one way or the other. While I was expecting it to be a very long letter chock-full of critical information, it was quite the opposite. "I wish you had believed me." Wow. What a stab to the heart! Absolutely perfect. It gave me chills.
- We saw a shot of Ben's choice of in-flight entertainment: Ulysses (a novel with several obvious parallels to Homer's Odyssey). I won't repeat what I said back in my write-up for the Season Two finale, but if you haven't been with me for that long, you may be interested to review this theory about the entire series being an Odyssey-type adventure revolving around Desmond. (Since the publish date of that post we have even been delivered a cyclops... in the form of Patchy.)
- Staying with Ben for a moment... did you notice how nervous he seemed, not only about the suicide note but also about what Hawking had told Jack during their alone time? He was like a little boy feeling left out of the Cool Kids' Club: "What did she say to you -- huh, huh, huh? What's that letter -- huh, huh, huh? Can I play with you guys at recess -- please?" Here comes the most obvious statement you'll read all week: Something is definitely up with Ben. I'm sure he knew about The Lamp Post. I'm sure he knows the circumstances of Locke's death. I'm sure he knows exactly what happened on the Island once he turned the FDW. As I've said before, I'm confident he's inserted himself into this whole process of getting the O6 back to the Island because he wants to go back. So I'm dying to understand more about his relationship with Hawking, and her possible relationship with Widmore, and how all of these off-Island Others interact... and how The Economist and Abaddon fit into everything.
- That dude (Saïd Taghmaoui) who was Matthew Fox's co-star in Vantage Point (and who was also in Three Kings and more recently Traitor, among other things) is obviously going to be seen again. I have absolutely no idea what his story could be except that perhaps he was sent by Abaddon. The good news is that he's a great actor, so I'm excited he's on the show and very pleased I hadn't read that casting spoiler beforehand.
- Sun was a little too happy for my liking. She was sitting there, playing with her wedding ring and smiling as if she was on her way to a romantic weekend with Jin at Club Med in Turks & Caicos. Um, helloooooo.... did you not leave your daughter behind? Do you not realize that you probably won't ever see her again? How exactly are you going to explain all of this to your husband if/when you see him?
It's too late for Sun to reconsider her actions now... because the turbulence that the O5 and Ben were expecting did come to pass. But this time, we didn't see a plane get ripped in two. We didn't see anyone get sucked out of their seat and into the ether. We didn't see passengers bloodied and bruised by falling objects and runaway drink carts. Instead, we were delivered the scene that many of us thought we wouldn't see again until the final episode of the series: Jack, splayed out on the jungle floor in a suit and tie, opening his eyes in dazed confusion.
I'VE WILLED, I'VE WALKED
I'VE READ, I'VE TALKED
I'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE
But this was no crash-landing all over again. Jack knew where he was and still clung to part of Locke's haunting last words to him: "I wish." I liked that quick shot of those two words, because one of my favorite aspects of the show over the years has been when things have gone right for some of the characters only after they really, really, really believe/wish/hope/pray for them to happen. Like how Jack seemingly willed Charlie back to life after Ethan hung him from a tree... or how Walt wished it would stop raining so that they could look for Vincent and then the downpour ceased... et cetera, et cetera.
Jack sprung into action just like he did when directing the troops in the midst of burning 815 wreckage, only this time he was saving someone he already knew -- Hurley. Not too far away was Kate. All of them had the same question: what just happened?
KATE: The plane... where's the plane?
JACK: I don't know. After that light, I... I woke up in the jungle.
KATE: So this is it? It's just us?
JACK: I'm not sure. Do either of you remember crashing?
HURLEY: Crashing? No. One second, I'm being tossed around. The next thing I know, I'm in the lagoon.
Ajira 316, however, was directly in the path of a space-time window that was open above the Island. It might still be on its way to Guam, for all we know. I believe it's possible that the Island could've just -- for lack of a better term -- plucked certain people it wanted out of the plane while they were within the bounds of the window. OR... there could be a crashed Ajira aircraft on the Island... in a different year. Remember that the Ajira water bottles we saw in "The Little Prince" were at a point in time clearly after 2004 because the Lostaways camp was still there. So someone who was on an Ajira flight landed in that timeframe. Whereas, judging from the final moments of the episode, Hurley, Jack and Kate clearly didn't.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
'CAUSE YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT
I don't know who I was expecting to get out of that Dharma van, but it wasn't Jin. While his split-second half-smile of recognition -- the very last thing we saw before the credits rolled -- was awesome, I'd argue that the looks on Hurley, Jack and Kate's faces were even more priceless.
Maybe I'm just getting way too used to writing and thinking about time travel, but to me what's going on is pretty clear: when Locke turned the FDW, the remaining group took one last jump through time and landed in Dharma's heyday on the Island in the 1970s. They've infiltrated the Initiative and are just trying to blend in and learn as much as they can while they wait to find out if Locke had any success back in the outside world. This explains why we saw Daniel in a Dharma jumpsuit at the beginning of "Because You Left," and why Jin's in the same get-up now.
Jack, Kate and Hurley landed back in the '70s, too, or else they couldn't be face-to-face with Jin. As for the other passengers of 316... well, I'm assuming we'll find out soon enough where/when they are. I definitely don't have enough brain-power left to imagine how the slew of characters could ever reunite if they're currently all on the Island but spread out across several points on the space-time continuum. So I'll leave that for Faraday to figure out.
I stated in my first post of this season that I wasn't going to nitpick any of the time travel stuff because I simply don't care if it doesn't all make sense. That's still how I feel. For me, there's really only one huge mystery that I hope gets resolved: was there a single action or a single decision by one character that set off the course of events that Richard, Ben and Hawking all deemed to be catastrophic for the Island? And if so, what in the hell was it, and why do they think they can change it? Are we watching the "first" iteration the Lostaways' actions, or is what we're seeing in the show the ten millionth time Ajira 316 took off with the O5 and Ben on it -- possibly all for nothing? If Ms. Hawking was right and the universe always finds a way to course-correct, then why is she one of the people so freaked out about everything that's transpired?
I could go on and on listing out questions... but there's not much point in that. Every episode this season has been great and so I'm content to just enjoy the ride. While I won't mention any specifics since I know several of you out there avoid the "Next on Lost" previews, I dare say this coming Wednesday's installment will blow the lid off of everything Season Five has dished out to date. As Hurley would advise, "Dudes... You might wanna fasten your seatbelts."
BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE
JACK: [Putting shoes on Dead Locke] Wherever you are, John... you must be laughing your ass off that I'm actually doing this.
JACK: And the other people on this plane--what's gonna happen to them?
BEN: Who cares?
JACK: How can you read?
BEN: My mother taught me.
LAPIDUS: ... Wait a second. We're not going to Guam, are we?
Until next time,