Tonight was for all you people that said, “All those flashes of light are giving ME a nosebleed…how about we get off the Island for a bit, Lost ?” And for those of you thinking that, the show granted your wish, mercifully ending the semi-labored L.A.-based storyline and placing everyone exactly where they should be: on Craphole Island. We officially discovered a new Dharma station, learned why Locke had to die, and naturally had 400 new questions pop up in the process.
4) In Short
“Second crash, same as the last!”
8 ) Off the Island
Eloise Hawking lights a candle underneath Caravaggio’s “Doubting Thomas.” She greets Ben, Sun, Jack, and Desmond, same as the end of “This Place is Death.” She leads them all down a staircase to a large metal door with a Dharma logo on it. Once inside, all look around in wonder, even Ben: they see the pendulum, the blackboard, old electronic equipment, and a series of rotating numbers indicating longitude and latitude. According the Hawking, this is The Lamp Post: the way that the Dharma Initiative found the Island.
Get ready for your Dharma history lesson: the room was constructed over a unique pocket of energy, similar to various pockets all over the world. Those that built it wanted to find not where the Island was, but where it would be. Say wha’? Turns out some madman back in the day correctly presumed the Island’s boots were made for walkin’, and that’s just what they did. However, this movement wasn’t random, but fairly predictable based on equations derived at the time to more or less give highly educated guesses as to possible future locations of the Island. Predicting said locations leads to windows in time; and the Oceanic 6’s window closes in thirty-six hours.
Des has had just enough of this malarkey from the woman that cost him years of his life with Penny. He delivers Faraday’s message with great disdain, and leaves, scoffing at the others’ desire to go back willingly. When Hawking says the Island isn’t done with him yet, he explodes, confronting her over their encounter in the jewelry store. He tells Jack that they are all just pawns in some large game, and suggest he ignore whatever Hawking says. He declares that he’s done with the Island. Unfortunately, the Island won’t let him fully slam the door on the way out. Not the strongest exit on Des’ part.
How will they get back? By selecting a flight that just so happens to fly over the location it will be during that window. And behold, just such a flight exists: Ajira Airways 316, L.A. to Guam. The Oceanic 6 need to all return together in order to recreate, as best they can, the circumstances under which they initially arrived. The way she relates this suggests a ritual of some sort to appease the Island, which will then re-grant access to its awesomeness. Jack seems skeptical, but Hawking insists there’s a little more for Jack to do.
Hawking leads Jack alone up to her study in the church. She delivers to Jack Locke’s suicide note, which is inside an envelope marked “Jack Shephard.” Apparently, Jack didn’t know Locke committed suicide. Odd, since Sayid knew. Anyways. Hawking insists Locke will help Jack get back as a proxy for Christian. As such, Jack needs to find something of his father’s and give it to Locke. Uh oh, Hawking said the f word (“father”), which naturally sets Jack off. Hawking scolds him, and suggests that he accept this “leap of faith.” She says the quoted phrase as if she knows Locke once said those words to Jack in the Swan.
Inside the church, Ben is either praying or pissed off. Always hard to tell with him. After Jack sits near him, Ben gets up, lights a candle, and inquires about his conversation with Hawking. Jack wants to know why she’s so important, but Ben instead chooses to lecture Jack on the subject of Caravaggio’s panting. He points out that while Thomas is most famous for doubting Jesus’ resurrection, he also bravely suggested all the apostles return to Judea where death awaited them all. “We’re all convinced sooner or later, Jack.” Long story short: you’re a doubting Thomas, Jack. He then mentions a final loose end he needs to tie up with an old friend, and leaves.
Later, Jack, aka Suds Mackenzie, is at a bar trying to have a drink. He’s interrupted by a call from his grandfather’s nursing home. He visits Ray the next day, sparing him from a magician’s act involving a white bunny. The two seem to have a cordial relationship, which is a rarity in the world of Lost. Looks like Ray’s a fan of the “anywhere but here” school of thought. Guess it runs in the family. As Jack unpacks Ray’s suitcase, he finds Christian’s dress shoes inside. Shocked to the core, he asks Ray to take the shoes with him.
That night, he returns home. Again, he reaches for a drink, but hears someone entering his house. He wearily walks towards the sound to find Kate, lying on his bed. As we see her face, we see a very, very different Kate than at Slip 23. This Kate is Death, people. Her eyes are hollow, her cheeks pale, and she looks like she’s aged years. She tells Jack she wants to come with him to the Island. She’s so freaky looking that I can’t even make the “Kate always wants to come with someone joke.” When Jack asks about Aaron’s whereabouts, she makes him promise to never ask her that question again. She then engages in…well, it’s not pity sex…it’s not hate sex….it’s, um, the horrified horizontal bop, I guess. Good Gravy, that was weird.
The following morning, Jack makes Kate breakfast. Like you do after soul-crushing nookie. Kate notes Christian’s shoes, which launches Jack into a story of how he forewent shoes like these in favor of white tennis sneakers in 2004. He figured no one would look at Christian’s feet anyways, though now he notes that such a small effort to get dress shoes probably would have been better. The World’s Cheeriest Continental Breakfast ends when Jack gets a phone call from…an extremely bloody and scared Ben. Looks like the “old friend” beat the holy hell out of him, and now Jack needs to run to the butcher shop and pick up Locke’s body.
Jack stops by the shop to pick up the body. Jill leaves him alone in the meat locker as she pulls the van around back. This leads us to the first Locke/Jack scene of the year! Course, this is a little more one-sided than normal, but on the bright side, it’s much less argumentative. As Jack takes off Locke’s shoes, he says, “Wherever you are, John, you must be laughing your ass off that I’m actually doing this. Because this? This is even crazier than you were.” Heh. Jack made a kinda funny. He then puts the suicide note in John’s pocket, unwilling to read it.
Commercial Break: Ji Yeon shows me how she will use Windows software to enhance the picture of her fish. The fish’s name? Jeremy Bentham.
At LAX, Jack makes the arrangement for Bentham’s body with the Ajira ticket agent. While the agent explains the procedures surrounding caskets (including opening it for security reasons), he spies Kate approaching. On the way to the terminal, he runs into Sun. Aaah, the gang’s coming together. He also sees Sayid…accompanied by a female law enforcement agent. As he leaves, the man in line behind him offers condolences to Jack over his friend’s death. Let’s just say we should keep a close eye on these two new people, y’all.
One more to go…and there he is! Reading a Spanish copy of Lost scribe Brian K. Vaughn’s “Y: The Last Man,” Hugo Reyes, ladies and gents! He’s fresh out of prison and the new owner of 78 seats aboard Ajira Airways. Hurley rules all, as he’s potentially saved the lives of that many people. Hurley is da man. When Jack arrives, Hurley is less than forthcoming about how he ended up at LAX. Because God forbid, even at this point, people answer direct questions with direct answers.
One by one, they board, and it’s freaky to watch this unfold. Jack looks, quite frankly, ecstatic. Let’s run down the Oceanic 815 redux: Jack once again bears a body. Sayid’s now playing the role of Kate, handcuffed by law enforcement. Hurley=Charlie, with the guitar. Ben=Hurley, almost missing the flight. After a brief scuffle involving Hurley and Ben, the flight attendant hands Jack Locke’s suicide note. Looks like it popped out during inspection. Jack’s worried about the fate of the others onboard; Ben’s as sympathetic to them as he was to those aboard the Kahana.
Once in the air, Jack talks to Kate about all the coincidences that brought the Oceanic…well, 5, really, back together. Kate is now Jack, and Jack is now Locke. Woman of missing baby, man of Daddy’s shoes. (Not quite man of science, man of faith. Oh well. It’s not a perfect re-creation.) While they talk, the final piece of the Oceanic 815 re-creation falls into place as we learn the identity of the pilot: FRANK LAPIDUS. I spell that in all caps because that was so freakin’ obvious and yet I totally didn’t see it coming. Love. It. Lapidus is happy to see Jack, but after seeing everyone else, delivers the line of the night: “We’re not going to Guam, are we?”
Later that night, Jack frets as Ben reads James Joyce’s Ulysses. When Jack asks how Ben can read, he replies, “My mother taught me.” When, in the 8 seconds both of you were alive, Ben? Jack pulls out Locke’s note, and asks if Ben knew Locke killed himself. Ben denies it as my wife screams “LIAR! LIAR! YOUR PANTS HAVE LONG BURNED OFF!” at the television. Ben offers to give Jack some time alone to read it. The note reads merely: “Jack: I wish that you had believed me. JL.” Youch.
Just then, the plane goes a rumblin’ and a tumblin’. Jack looks excited. Kate looks nervous. So does Sayid’s chest hair. All of a sudden, the plane’s engulfed in a familiar white light.
15) On the Island
An eyeball. Belonging to a man. In a suit. No, it’s not the opening of the show’s pilot, but you’d be forgiven for having deja vu. It’s Jack, and he not only looks glad to be alive, he actually looks ALIVE for the first time all season. He looks at a piece of paper in his hand, which has, “I wish…” scribbled on it.
Hurley’s voice calls him away. He runs towards the voice, and sees Hurley struggling in the lagoon below. He Greg Louganis-es his way down below and pulls Hurley (and his guitar case) to shallow water. Across the lagoon, he sees Kate, unconscious on the rocks. He wades over and quickly revives her. She’s OK, but all three are confused as to what happened.
None of them remember crashing…all they remember is the white light. Jack suggests they look for the others, but just then, they hear a sound coming from the jungle. A pristine-looking Dharma van pulls up, and an unseen worker grabs a gun and holds them at gunpoint. That man? Jin! Dude’s a work man now! SHAMBALA, y’all.
Season 5 is so mythologically rich, it might be hurting my cholesterol levels. Good God. Let’s try and highlight the big topics.
Dharma started a lot earlier than we thought! I’m guessing The Lamp Post orientation video would feature it as Hatch 1, given that it predates the Initiative ever finding the Island in the first place. Given the photograph on the blackboard (taken ostensibly by the crew that brought Jughead there), we can assume a 1950’s-era start to the work on rediscovering the island found by accident by the military. Either the Initiative incorporated this mysterious mathematician’s long-running research into their search for a unique laboratory for their work, or once again the orientation videos previously seen are largely works of misdirection.
The Island likes symmetry! Why do all of the Oceanic 6 have to go back, and why does Locke have to die? Because flying over the Island during a known window is only half the battle, G.I. Joe. For some reason, known only to Hawking and apparently Alpert, the Island will only pull them in if conditions are similar to the Oceanic 815 crash. Given that the plane didn’t crash so much as fly into one of the Island’s time flashes, I’m not even going to waste your time coming up with hypotheses as to why the Island wanted the equivalent of a Broadway revival. So, the $42,000 Question: for whom was Christian Shephard a proxy?
There’s dissension in the Others’ ranks! So, Ms. Hawking knows about The Lamp Post, and has for an unknown period of time. Know who didn’t know about it? Ben. Know who else? Widmore! Why else would Widmore purchase the Black Rock journal if he knew about room that could mathematically predict where and when the Island would be? Can’t help but wonder if Widmore sent Des to find out exactly what his old friend Ellie was up to in L.A. Speaking of Des…
Looks like Ben had his encounter with Penny! The dude’s bloody, beaten, and broken armed on the freakin’ dock where Des and Penny were anchored. Moreover, he’s pretty shaken to the core. Did he fail in his mission, or did he achieve his goal at a cost he’s only now understanding? I’ll be over here, lighting a candle for Penny’s well-being.
Looks like Hurley had an encounter with Charlie! Who else would tell him to show up at the airport…with a GUITAR?
Goober’s either suddenly very important or tossed aside like so many Tailies! Season 2 featured a completely forgettable episode entitled, “What Kate Did.” I want a Season 5 ep entitled “What Kate Saw,” which explains why on earth she showed up at Jack’s place walking around like the living dead. Did Cabin Claire pay her another visit? Is Goober currently watching his ‘toons in a motel near the airport? Or did she and Sun make a pact to give Ji Yeon the playmate she was promised? Cabin Christian separated that child from Claire for a reason, and without Aaron’s return, I just can’t see good things coming from the return of the others.
Hawking put other people on that plane! Now, let’s suppose that Hawking is in fact right: that having the Oceanic 6 makes that flight more attractive to the Island. Now, knowing that, wouldn’t you populate said plane with a few people that could serve your interests upon it? Hawking is operating outside of both Linus’ and Widmore’s interests at this point, that much is clear to me. How else would you explain the Ajira water bottle in the outrigger on a seemingly trashed beach? I used to think it was the Oceanic crew desperately trying to keep their friends from flashing, but now I’m not so sure. After all, Widmore’s not the only one who can put an airline in his or her back pocket.
Looks like we flashed into the DI’s heyday, finally! Remember that opening shot of Season 5, with Faraday deep inside the Orchid? Looks like the lot of them found jobs inside the Initiative. I’m looking forward to seeing both the name and logo on Jin’s jumpsuit, personally. Another $42,000 question: are the rest of the Ajira passengers in the same time as Jack, Kate, and Hurley? Or were they brought back to perform specific tasks at specific points in Island history?
23) The Moment
Seeing Frank made me ridiculously happy. Which is amazing, cuz the guy’s a Yankees fan.
42) Random Thoughts
- Loved that Frank was the pilot, not only because I want more Lapidus as part of my balanced breakfast, but because he was originally supposed to fly Oceanic 815.
- Aaron’s absence: totally fine, as he wasn’t born yet first time through, or ultimately catastrophic? You be the judge.
- I enjoyed the show finally paying off the white tennis shoes on an emotional, not mythological, level. Only goes to show just how much active will plays a part in the show’s events. The Island can only lead a person to a place, but it can’t take them the whole way.
- Did Locke actually write that note? I can just as easily see Hawking or Linus penning it. The note caused a rift between Jack and Locke, doing the work a normal conversation between them usually does. It’s my assertion that these two men working together will ultimately help the Island; so who would want to prevent that from happening?
108) In Summary
Finally, off-Island action that comes close to approaching that on the Island. For the entire season, everything in Los Angeles has largely either bogged down the story or fit awkwardly into it. Glad to see the show is no longer putting a square piece into a circular hole. Now we can get down to Island-centric business. We will no doubt down the line learn what happened to Hurley, Kate, and Sayid that fateful night before boarding Ajira Airways, but it will be done so in the context of good ol’ fashioned Island living.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did the lack of Island-based action hurt the show or help focus the storytelling? What is Hawking’s true agenda? And when are the others aboard Ajira 316?