“Lost” Recap: Episode 5.9

It’s been a long two weeks since last we spoke here, “Lost” fans. Hopefully, absence made the heart grow fonder. While not as epic in scope as some other episodes this season, with “Namaste” the show nevertheless settled into what will undoubtedly be its groove for the rest of the season: comparing actions on the Island in 1977 with those in a (potentially alternate time line) modern day. But more about that below. Let’s get to the recap!

4) In Short

“I knew I should have read Eloise’s fine print.”

8 ) 1977

hurleyseason5.jpgWe pick up right where we left off, with Sawyer’s amazed look at his three former compatriots. Naturally, Hurley gets the first hug in, delighted to see Sawyer. He’s so delighted he admits missing Sawyer’s nicknames. Jack and Sawyer offer cordial greetings, and then he and Kate actually refer to each other by their real first names (for the first time in the show’s history, it feels like).

The mood changes as Jack informs Sawyer of Locke’s death. He doesn’t go into the whole “suicide” thing. Hurley asks about the Dharma jumpsuits, and it’s time to make the O6’s minds go ‘splodey: it’s 1977, and Sawyer’s in the Dharma Initiative. Hurley sums it up nicely: “Oh…what?” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said that while watching “Lost,” I could help re-stimulate the U.S. economy.

Sawyer spares us extensive exposition by catching the three up on things during the commercial break. He wants to bring the three in to the DI, lest they be labeled Hostiles. Love how Sawyer unconsciously speaks the 70’s-era lingo now. Jack wants to stick around and look for the others on the plane. Others? Plane? Say no more, says Jin in damn good English, and runs off to the one man who can help him locate the plane: Radzinsky. Oh…what?

Back in the Sheriff Station, Juliet asks Miles about Sawyer’s whereabouts. She’s worried after his quick disappearance that morning. Miles spies him back in their bungalow thanks to the omnipresent cameras in New Otherton. Upon returning, Juliet’s 30% shocked and 70% devastated (rough guestimate) at hearing who’s back…back again. Sawyer soon senses her angst, and delivers a line laced with double-meaning: “I gotta find a way to bring them in before someone else finds them and they screw up everything we got here.” Whew. Juliet mentions the imminent arrival of a sub, offering a way to help Sawyer and potentially sabotage herself.

Jin drives to the Flame. Inside? Radzinsky himself, building a model of the Swan’s geodesic dome over blueprints of said station. Looks like the Swan’s still in the planning phase at this point, and Radzinsky’s its architect. Well, hot damn and a stack of pancakes, that’s ridonkulously awesome. Radzinsky looks like Paul Giamatti if Paul Giamatti liked World of Warcraft. He’s insulted that Jin thinks he would be building a model if a plane actually did land. After getting pushed forcefully against a wall, Radzinsky checks in with the other stations for confirmation.

Back in the Barracks, Juliet snags the sub manifest from a sleeping Amy. Amy wakes up, which gives Juliet a moment of pause. Looks like Amy normally checks recruits in, but not today, with Pierre filling in for her. Juliet picks up the baby nearby, and asks if he has a name yup. “Ethan,” Amy replies, so kudos to all of you who insisted the baby was actually someone we know. Juliet suddenly looks like she’s holding a flaming bag of poo, and gently puts the future surgeon/plumber/kidnapper back in mommy’s arms. Amy asks when Juliet and Jim will have children. Unwilling to let Sawyer be the only one with a loaded line this week, she replies, “Timing’s gotta be right.”

While waiting for Sawyer to return, Kate and Jack wonder what to do about Hawking neglecting to mention the whole “31 years in the past” thing. Sawyer returns with clothes and cover stories for all of them. Jack wants to stay, but Sawyer notes it’ll be six months until more recruits come. Jack seeks the input of both Kate and Hurley, who both agree to follow Sawyer.

Back in the Flame, the last station (The Looking Glass, fully operational at this point) reports no plane sighting. All of a sudden, a red light starts flashing: movement in Grid 325. Yes, 325. CLANG. Jin runs out to discover the intruder, and finds…Sayid. Sayid looks…well, stoned, really. He’s first delighted to see Jin, until Radzinsky shows up. At that point, Jin turns cold towards his old friend, to maintain his cover. Sayid gets a look on his face which he keeps pretty much the rest of the hour. I can sum it up thusly. “Oh…what?”

On the way to induction, Hurley notes that the people Sawyer’s cozied up to are due to die in a Purge in the not too distant future. Why won’t Sawyer warn them? Well, looks like Sawyer’s taken Faraday’s advice about changing the past to heart. Hearing Faraday’s name perks Jack’s ears up, but Sawyer cryptically notes that Faraday isn’t around anymore. Once there, Sawyer informs them to get their jumpsuits and assignments inside. He promises to have their back, but Miles’ arrival complicates things. Looks like there’s a “14J” at the Flame. Aww, The Others kept all the DI’s security codes. So sweet. Jin informs of Sayid’s presence, so it’s off to the Flame for Sawyer.

Inside the recruitment building, Jack and Kate watch the same welcoming video seen in “The Man Behind the Curtain.” Hmmmmmmm. Wonder if that’s a big honking clue to events later in the ep. Pierre Chang sits down and welcomes Jack to the DI. Holy crap, this is weird. After some talk, Jack gets his assignment: Work Man. Sawyer has a wicked sense of humor. As Jack waits, Phil talks to Kate. Turns out, she’s not on his list, or the sub manifest. Before things turn super ugly, Juliet arrives with a new, doctored list. The two speak volumes to each other while smiling and “greeting” each other.

sawyer.jpgSawyer gets to the Flame in a huff, and tries to figure out a way to talk to Sayid without Radzinsky. Radzinsky, for his part, is convinced Sayid arrived to spy both the model and its building location. C+C Music Factory would file that under things that make you go hmmmm. The Rad Man’s solution? Kill the Hostile, naturally. Well, that’s a bit much, Pale Giammati. Sawyer pulls Sayid out in the main room of the Flame and convinces Sayid to name himself a Hostile. Why? Because doing so means that, under the truce, the DI cannot shoot him. With that little bit of business, Sawyer takes him to the Barracks. Radzinsky thinks that’s a mistake, and insists on coming along.

Class photo time! Hurley’s a chef, and Kate’s in the motor pool with Juliet so they can co-stage a version of Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” at the yearly talent show. Sawyer pulls up with Sayid in tow, more confused to see Jack and company there than he was to see Jin and Sawyer. Sayid’s having a bad, bad day. Once inside the Sheriff Station prison, Sawyer orders Phil to bring his friend some food.

That night, Jack asks Phil where James LaFleur lives. After pointing the house out, Phil notes his boss hates the name “James,” and lingers just a biiiiit too long after Jack turns his head. Jack knocks on Sawyer’s door, but is confused to find Juliet there. He’s even more confused to see Sawyer reading a book, all peaceful like. Jack tries to go to the old “I’ll repeat the last word of what you say as a question, to point out how dumb you are” technique, but Sawyer absolutely SCHOOLS him. He tells Jack he’s going to THINK, not REACT, about what to do next. “That’s how I saved your ass today. And it’s how I’m gonna save Sayid’s tomorrow.” I’m kinda in love with Sawyer now. Yup, love it is.

Jack leaves with his tail between his work man legs. But Sawyer still doesn’t trust Jack not to do something completely stupid that will render asunder the complex, Jenga-like structure that is his fabricated life. While contemplating his old romantic rival’s return, he sees the woman that once stood between them in the near distance. He gives an almost defensive wave towards her, almost as if getting too close to her would cause a complete meltdown.

Down in Sheriff Station, a young boy delivers Sayid a sandwich. He informs him it doesn’t have any mustard, but such a topping could be provided if needed. Sayid gratefully takes the sandwich as is. The delivery boy? Ben Linus. And heeeeeeere we go: the storyline that either makes the show or completely destroys it.

15) 2008

We’re back to the end of “316,” with the remaining Oceanic 6 pondering their fate. In the cockpit, Lapidus’ co-pilot marvels that Hurley had the stones to re-enter a plane after the Oceanic 815 crash. Just then, the plane starts to shake, and Frank gets this great “oh hell” look on his face. We see the white light surround the plane, and then…we return to the plane, now without power and directly over the Island. File under “awesome.”

Frank reacts quickly, ordering his co-pilot to buy him some more power. As he tries to avoid crashing directly into one of the Island’s mountains, he notices something peculiar: a runway on the far side of the Island. File that under “planning ahead.” Lapidus manages to land on the runway, but too steeply. Rather than drive the plane straight into the ocean, he makes a hard turn into the trees. He wakes up soon after, groggily. His co-pilot? Dead, having been staked through the chest by an errant branch. Lapidus takes stock of those remaining. Caesar wakes Ilana up; she utters, “Sarah?” before fully awakening. Lapidus notes that everyone he knows is gone…except Sun. Ruh row. And Ben. Triple row.

416px-5×06_caesar_promo.jpgLater on, Sun plays with Jin’s wedding band as the camera pans over the survivors. Ilana asks Sun if she’s lost someone, noting Sun’s eyes darting around. Lapidus tries to calm everyone’s nerves, asking them to hold steady until help comes. Caesar don’t play that, and notes he’s already found a building nearby. Jesus, Danielle didn’t find a hatch for 16 years, and he found one in the first fifteen minutes. Gotta give a big FAIL to Rousseau on that one.

Word of a hatch and another nearby Island sends Ben into full “uh, I just remembered, I left the oven on” mode, and he sneaks off into the jungle. Sun gives chase, but Ben soon doubles back around her. He tells her he’s off to the other island; does she wanna split a cab there? Sun doesn’t like the idea, but feels it’s the best place to find Jin. Lapidus catches up with them, and pleads Sun not to go with Ben to the Island. Ben goes full snarky on Lapidus, noting Keamy’s Krew couldn’t finish the job and after proclaiming the exact location of a pier on the opposite shore, Sun clocks him good with an oar. Ah, so that’s how Ben ends up in Hydra Infirmary. Good to see Bad Ass Sun return.

Ah, nothing like a little boat ride lit by a full moon. Sun and Lapidus arrive at the dock that once held the final leg of John Locke’s 2004 Memorial TNT Tour. The dock is in disarray, with lampposts lying lifelessly on the ground. And Smokey is apparently lurking in the shadows. So much for an operational sonic fence, I guess. The two move into New Otherton, which is more like New Creepytown now. It’s in total disarray, with buildings damaged, windows barred, and ack a creepy light turns on in a house! I’m officially wigged. Who should be inside? Why, Cabin Christian, of course. And he knows where Jin is. Oh…what?

CC leads them into the disheveled recruitment center, looking for a photograph. He finds what he’s looking when he locates the 1977 class of the Dharma Initiative. As Lapidus walks over to them, the door opens up of its own volition, with wisps of smoke oozing through the doorway, almost as if caressing it. Gack, need…shower…now. CC shows her the photo, and notes she has a bit of a journey ahead of her. In the immortal words of Shakespeare: duh.

16) The Moment

Seeing Radzinsky building the dome made me squee. And I’m not normally prone to squee.

23) The Mythology

A few big ones this week.

radzinsky.jpgRadzinsky built the Swan! And more importantly, it looks like a late addition to the Dharma arsenal of hatches, potentially in response to finding the energy source below the eventual sight of the Orchid. The Looking Glass was in place, the Arrow was around, the Flame clearly there, but no Swan. And note how protective he was of the design? This could finally, finally explain why the Others didn’t take over the Swan after the Purge: they didn’t know about it!

Radzinsky’s blast door map now makes more sense!
Who you gonna put down into the Hatch to make sure the button gets pressed after the Incident? Your resident egghead, naturally. And I’m guessing he figured out too late that the 540 day time period mentioned on the orientation film was a farce designed to entrap unlucky people inside it. So, to pass the time, he hacked the override and let his increasingly demented mind travel back to his time at the heart of the DI’s infrastructure, painting away from almost autistic memory during those brief periods. Next up: figuring out why he made those edits in the orientation video…

The runway was constructed for a crash landing in 2008! Like I said before: that’s some forward thinking there. But seemingly predicated on the knowledge that Ajira 316 would enter at that trajectory at that place at some point in the future. Perhaps Jacob was buying himself a chance as the walls closed in around him? Speaking of walls closing in…

The 2008 version of New Otherton is closed for business!
Now, this will be the question that will potentially haunt the rest of the season, if not show: is the 2008 version of the Island that Sun, Lapidus, Locke, and Ben are in the result of what’s happened over the course of 4 normal years passing, or due to events started by Ben’s donkey wheel turn that somehow altered the past at a fundamental point that tipped the scales away from Jacob and towards Cabin Christian? The level of decay is striking in New Otherton, but it’s also easy to see how four years of Smokey messin’ up the joint could wreak heavy damage quickly. Leave your thoughts below! But I’ll have plenty more over at the blog in the upcoming week.

Ben lived in the DI along with our Lostaways! This to me is the ultimate test of “Lost”: can we look back on everything Ben has ever said or done and have it make sense that he knew these same people as a child? I hope the show can, but already, we have Sawyer as a head of security that seems unaware a child named Benjamin Linus is living in the Barracks. I’m quite frankly terrified of where this might all go. I’m not pessimistic, just scared.

42) Random Thoughts

  1. Not sure how I feel about Ethan Rom’s reveal. I suppose it’s freaky to have Juliet holding in her arms one of the men that will eventually recruit her to be an Other, and I get they are going for a “these people will unwittingly create the good and bad parts about their future” angle, but to me, the simple fact a successful birth occurred on an island in which that was all but impossible was enough for me at the time.
  2. Where is Faraday as of 1977? The “not anymore” line was cryptic, and the Incident hasn’t happened just yet. I’m assuming he’s some kind of Obi-Wan Kenobi hermit at this point, drawing Apollo Bars in his journal and missing Charlotte something fierce.
  3. Sun’s delivery of “I lied” completely slew me. Just awesome. How awesome? As awesome as Smokey’s slithering was terrifying. If that thing could have purred, it would have. Talk about the Army of the Dark having complete and utter rule of the Island, right down to CC’s mockery of Jacob’s lantern with the modern-day light switch to greet Sun.
  4. I wonder if those in 1977 left something hidden for someone in 2008 to find. Something that could only be completed in the future, free from the trappings of time loops and repetitive history.

108) In Summary

If “LaFleur” set the stage for the second half of Season 5, then “Namaste” started to place the pieces in motion. While Sawyer is clearly in control at this point, the show reminded us this week just how tentative that control really is. The three-year time of peace, love, and namaste is over. The time for epochal action has begun. And said action may save the Island once and for all, or tear it to shredded, decayed, monster-slithering pieces?

What did you think of the show’s return? Happy to have everyone back on the Island, or is the dual time frame too much for you? What happened to the Barracks? Is Ben there to save the Island or further damn it? Has Jack truly changed or is he already reverting to old habits? Leave your thoughts below!

One Comment

  1. ktz
    Posted March 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I thought Ilana said “Jarrah,” not “Sarah.” As in, what happened to the handcuffed dude who used to be sitting next to me?