Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lost, "316": We're putting the band back together

Spoilers for tonight's "Lost" coming up just as soon as I take in a magic show...
"These people, they are just using us. They are playing some kind of game and we are just the pieces. Whatever she tells you to do, ignore it." -Desmond
While I've had some reservations about previous outings this year, "316" is the first episode of season five to leave me feeling wholly unsatisfied. After that great in media res opening -- which had Jack in a suit, waking up on the jungle floor again, in a way that briefly suggested we were seeing a flashback to the series pilot (though his haircut's different and I think his shirt and tie were as well), before finding Hurley and Kate in the lagoon by the waterfall -- it was an awful lot of narrative throat-clearing, punctuated with lots of teases for what I hope will be more interesting episodes down the road. Given that opening, and the fact that "Lost" showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were the credited screenwriters, I was expecting a whole lot more than what I got here.

The problem was the decision to tell the episode from Jack's point of view. The issue isn't Jack's relative worth as a character. Lord knows I've complained about Jack-centric episodes in the past, but I think they've done some very interesting things with him in these Oceanic Six episodes. The issue is that Jack was the only character among those who wound up on Ajira Airways Flight 316 who had neither reservations about returning to the island, nor any logistical obstacles towards getting there, and so there was no story to tell here.

The others? They've got stories to tell, and ones I'm sure we'll see in the coming weeks. We know Hurley had to get out of jail and be told by someone (Matthew Abaddon? Charlie's ghost?) which flight to be on. We know Kate made some sort of fateful decision about what to do with Aaron. We know Sayid linked up with the mystery woman played by Zuleikha Robinson, who's influential enough to bypass airport security. We know Sun likely wrestled with the decision to go back, and/or to potentially orphan Ji Yeon. And we know that Ben got into some kind of bloody conflagration while fulfilling a promise to an old friend, and just barely made it to the plane on time.

I look forward to getting answers on any and all of this, and to finding out whether the 316 passenger played by Saïd Taghmaoui(*) was on the flight as a coincidence, or if he -- and the clean-shaven Frank Lapidus, for that matter -- fit into the island's larger plans.

(*)I'll always remember Taghmaoui as the guy asking Mark Wahlberg, "What is the problem with Michael Jackson?" in "Three Kings." Great, great movie. Has it really been 10 years since it came out?

But there was no dramatic tension in Jack's story to speak of. No practical difficulty in getting to the flight. No hesitation about going. No real character arc to speak of, in that whatever guilt he felt over Locke's suicide didn't feel strong enough to carry the episode by itself. I know the man of science/man of faith schism has been one of the show's driving forces going all the way back to season one, so in theory Locke's simple "I wish you had believed in me" suicide note should have had more weight, but Jack's been on board with Locke's intentions for a season and a half now (from our point of view), so even though there's some bitter irony in Jack not coming around until after Locke died, we already saw Jack's grief about that play out in episodes like "Through the Looking Glass." This was, essentially, an hour of watching Jack pack for a trip to the airport, and while that's a cut above finding out how he got his tattoos, it felt like the show was dragging its feet -- or deliberately walking down the wrong path -- at a time when it needs to be running towards the finish line.

It didn't help that the action on the island with Sawyer, Dan and company, has been by far the more compelling part of this season, and we only got a brief glimpse of Jin at the very end.

I was so disappointed with this one, in fact, that it's time to move straight to the bullet points:

• Though I obviously missed Sawyer's crew tonight, Jin pulling up in the magic bus, complete with Dharma jumpsuit and Dharma-issued AK-47, was a nice touch. I'm assuming that he, like Dan in the teaser to the season premiere, will wind up going undercover with the Dharma folk during a time-skip back to the '70s, and that the others will be there, as well. Sawyer's current haircut should fit right in with those Dharma hippies, shouldn't it?

• Note that the caption near the start said that the scene in the church was 46 hours before Jack finding Kate and Hurley in the lagoon, but that Ms. Hawking said they only had 36 hours to get back. Were they all passed out for 10 hours? Did something else happen?

• Ben's line about how his mother taught him to read was the funniest thing in the episode, not least because it's yet another Ben lie, since we know his mom died in childbirth.

• Raymond J. Barry was good genetic casting as Jack's grandfather, in that he looks a lot like John Terry. On the other hand, Barry's only 11 years older than Terry, who is himself only 16 years older than Matthew Fox. Lot of fast developers in that Shephard family, no?

• It's also clear that Locke at no point told Jack about seeing Christian on the island, which means Jack's motives for wanting so desperately to return are something else entirely.

• While I doubt we're going to be seeing those anonymous coach class passengers again -- Cuse and Lindelof didn't go to the trouble of killing off all of the random Oceanic 815 survivors just to replace them with a new batch of "socks" -- I sure hope Lapidus winds up on the island, because I dig Jeff Fahey, beard or no beard.

• I was about to suggest that, for all our fears about Desmond being in a room with Ben, he managed to make it out unscathed. Then it occurred to me that Ben's promise to an old friend was almost certainly about him going after Penny -- Widmore being the only "old friend" we know of to whom Ben promised anything -- and I think about the blood on his face and I don't feel very good at all. Sonuvabitch.

What did everybody else think?

187 comments:

Carmichael Harold said...

Alan,

I had thought that Ms. Hawking had said that they had to catch the flight in 36 hours. If so, then 10 hours in the air to get over wherever the island is isn't unreasonable.

groovekiller said...

I thought Ben's promise to an old friend was his promise to Widmore to kill Penny.

I thought it was totally obvious...

Carmichael Harold said...

As to your larger point, I liked the episode more than you did, though I did find it irritating that they left out all of the presumably interesting character arcs that got the O6 on the plane. It also makes me think they're are going to go back to the alternating Island story/flashback to pre-Island time structure, which I was happy they had left behind so far this season.

jcpdiesel21 said...

Now I'm thinking about the blood on Ben's face and his injuries in a completely different light, and am totally worried about Penny.

I agree that this was an underwhelming episode. I hope we get the holes filled in during future episodes, such as what happened to Aaron and how Sayid and Hurley managed to make it on the airplane.

studda said...

i hope taghmaoui is gonna show up more,that guy's awesome.was an ok episode.bens' who cares line to jack about the other passengers of 316 was hilarious.

joy said...

Thank you for placing that guy in Three Kings for me - I was distracted the whole time trying to figure out where I knew him from.

And, no, I can't believe it's been 10 years, either. So tonight, I've found out that it's been 25 years since Yentl, and 10 years since Three Kings. Any other milestones I need to know tonight?

Greg said...

I thought that was a really dishonest episode. I know that the whole show is based on artificial mysteries based on a lack of knowledge, and I’m generally OK with that, but by intentionally not showing a whole bunch of sub-plots, this took it to a new, annoying, level. Now people get to spend weeks wildly speculating on what happened to make everyone get on the flight! I’m sure the producers are happy.

As for actual events in the episode, it seems that the survivors might be spread out over time. We know that stuff from the Ajira plane showed up in the “present” or “future” from when Sawyer et al. found the discarded campsite.

I immediately realized what “old friend” met by I took all the blood and Ben’s demeanor to imply that he did not succeed, the fact that they didn’t show the confrontation shows they just want us to think he might have.

groovekiller said...

Ooops...totally missed the last bullet before posting. Sorry, Alan.

I wonder if

a) all the O6 got similar letters from John (or someone claiming they're letters from John)
b) I wonder if they didn't crash at all but rather went through a time flash that left the plane passengers unscathed but transported the O6 (which would kind of be crappy since the plane should have gone with them Langoliers-style the same way the boat went with the I6 a few eps ago).
c) I'm sorry but I was kinda hoping that Kate had brained herself on that rock
d) I was half-convinced the ep would end with Jack finding another empty coffin near the lagoon and John, alive, standing behind him saying "Hello, Jack". (Black screen, LOST)

Josh said...

I had a lot more fun with this episode than you did, Alan, but I agree that, for a Jack-centric episode, it was lacking (though, compared with the infamous tattoo story, this one is perfection).

With regards to the other storylines, I feel like this was meant to be a "end-of-1st-act" episode, setting us up for what compelled the others to come back to that flight. Either way, there was more than enough for me to love in the episode (Ben's cold snark, the Jin reveal, the suicide note) to give this one a pass.

JoeE said...

I kept hoping that Jack's hitherto unseen uncle would appear so that Raymond J. Barry could tell him that the wrong kid died.

I figure that the emphasis on Jack had something to do with the shoes and his father. I'm assuming that the shoes are going to become items of some significance on the Island, somehow.

That said, I wasn't really all that hot on the way the trip back to the Island was handled. We had the build-up and tension for five episodes leading us to believe that everyone needed to be at Mrs. Hawking's place that night for them to make the trip, and then we learn that surprise, they have a day and a half to sit on their hands and wait for a plane.

I also was a little disappointed (in the characters, not the writers) to see Hurley being the only person who really cared that they were going to bring down a plane full of innocent people to get back to the Island. I expected Ben to not care, but I was surprised to see Jack, Sayid, Sun and Kate so OK with it. Wouldn't stopping the plane have been the right thing to do?

And how dense is the crew of Ajira 316 (and apparently the federal marshal escorting Sayid, as well)? Five out of six of the Oceanic Six (who've been on TV for months and whose faces would surely be recognized by anyone working for a major airline) coincidentally show up on the same flight, one of them books half the seats on the plane and gets into an argument with a late arriving passenger who was obviously beaten up very badly within the last few hours, and no one raises a finger? If ever there was a candidate for a grounded flight, it was Ajira 316. And why didn't Lapidus just turn the flight around? This is Heroes-league stuff, I expected the writers to handle the return a little better than they did.

It's a good thing the off-island stuff is going to be behind us within the next few episodes, because it just has not been the strongest part of this season.

groovekiller said...

All good points, JoeE...then again, I, an Indian male, made it through 4 checkpoints at Heathrow with "Mrs. Judith Lewis" on my boarding pass (1st row from the cockpit door) a year after 9/11. Logic & airport security aren't exactly peas in a pod.

J said...

Totally with you. Great gotcha opening, nifty last scene, nothing in between. Jack is just awfulness.

And Three Kings was a great movie. I wondered if Saïd Taghmaoui - so iconic South Park recreated him - would replace Sayid. But nevermind on that, I guess.

Bitsy said...

Ben seemed unusually shaken up, and I'm starting to think he might have killed Charlie, but of course, who knows. I love that actor from Three Kings and I was floored when I saw him. There's no way he's not going to be a relevant character in the future. Also, last week John asked Christian who his son was, and never got an answer, so of course he didn't tell Jack that he saw his father on the island. This was also the first time in a long time that I was compelled by Jack and Kate's romance, because there were a lot of complications in that sex scene, which made it a lot more interesting than the restrained but clear attraction between them in seasons 1-3, and then the similarly dull romance and anger in season 4.

Figgsrock2 said...

I've got a baaaaaaaaad feeling about Penny.

But I have a good feeling about the set-up for the rest of the season. I bet the flashbacks about those 36 hours will be interesting.

groovekiller said...

Thinking about it, I bet they landed on the infamous "other island" that was revealed in the bunny episode. I wonder if they took Dharma boats to get to the main island and that's what we saw a few episodes ago in that scene on the water.

Anonymous said...

You mention Jin going undercover like Faraday during a time skip. It seems to me that perhaps the skipping will have stopped, and they will be stuck in the time of Dharma (at least temporarily), and that the O6 were sent to that time specifically to link up with Sawyer, etc. Make any sense?

christy said...

I felt exactly the same way, Alan. There were a lot of tiny details that I found interesting or fun or sad, (man, there's something about an old man's neatly packed suitcase that just gets me for some reason), but overall it was unsatisfying. I remember looking up and thinking, there's only ten minutes left? Nothing's happened yet!

I'm also...unconvinced by the whole "you have to recreate as much as possible from the original crash" thing. First of all, why? And second of all...what's the threshold? Obviously it can't be exactly the same. Would the plane still crash if Sayid hadn't made it? If Jack had given Locke Christian's tie instead of shoes? Would they have been MORE likely to crash if Aaron had been there? If Ben hadn't? It all seems so arbitrary and just weak. Most of the time with the puzzle pieces, they either fit together nicely, or they're mysterious and fascinating, or both. These questions are neither, really. Not at this point anyway.

I'm getting really tired of the lack of Sayid, too.

lungfish said...

Since the entire Oceanic 6 wasn't on board the Ajira flight (no Aaron) wouldn't the "something random" that Mrs. Hawking described have occurred?

christy said...

I felt exactly the same way, Alan. There were a lot of tiny details that I found interesting or fun or sad, (man, there's something about an old man's neatly packed suitcase that just gets me for some reason), but overall it was unsatisfying. I remember looking up and thinking, there's only ten minutes left? Nothing's happened yet!

I'm also...unconvinced by the whole "you have to recreate as much as possible from the original crash" thing. First of all, why? And second of all...what's the threshold? Obviously it can't be exactly the same. Would the plane still crash if Sayid hadn't made it? If Jack had given Locke Christian's tie instead of shoes? Would they have been MORE likely to crash if Aaron had been there? If Ben hadn't? It all seems so arbitrary and just weak. Most of the time with the puzzle pieces, they either fit together nicely, or they're mysterious and fascinating, or both. These questions are neither, really. Not at this point anyway.

I'm getting really tired of the lack of Sayid, too.

christy said...

Oh, darn. Didn't mean to comment twice. My internet connection's being wacky. If you get the chance, Alan, feel free to delete one of those (and this).

jim treacher said...

So is this the episode with the fewest flashbacks/time jumps/whatever we're calling the writers' crutch? If not, it's close, right?

Felt like sort of a fulcrum episode (sorry, Chuck). Kind of a pivot point between the two halves of the season. But yeah, first real letdown of the year. We did get an explanation for Christian Sheperd's dumb sneakers, but I wasn't really losing sleep over that one. Oh, and Ben's line about what was going to happen to the other people on the plane: "Who cares?" That was great. Just when you start liking him a little, they remind you who he really is.

Hey, wasn't Jack a totally messed-up drug addict, like, yesterday? Oxy must be easier to kick than I thought. And he hired a cleaning lady too, right?

That dude whose name I'm not going to try to spell was great in Three Kings. He was also in Vanishing Point along with Matthew Fox, which was not very good.

I think you're right about Ben's errand, Alan, and I do not like it one bit. Whatever happens/happened, at least Ben took a beating for it.

P.S. Fionnula Flanagan is a GILF.

Steve said...

I wonder how many toes Christian Sheppard has.

I thought the episode wsa great for television, but okay for LOST.

Loved the Lapidus and Jin moments, and I thought it was refreshing to go back to the obstinate man-of-science Jack.

EOTW said...

HOLYF'NCRAP—they’re (Hugo, Jack and Kate) back!!!

So, that’s how the DI got on the island in the first place? Explains a lot! Um, wait…no.

Good for Desmond. Someone needed to say it, even if he ends up back there anyway.

Ok, is anyone else already sick of Eloise? Props for giving her Helen’s “leap of faith line” from the second season ep focusing on Locke and her.

Locke hung himself. WOW!!! For the folks who felt that Locke being told he has to be a sacrifice was a let down moment, pretty tough to believe that now. As I said, Locke knew what he had to do and knew that death was his destiny, what the island needed from him and the island is the only thing he is faithful to. Suicide, especially by hanging, is a something only the strong can do. WOW!!!

I don’t know WTF that speech meant, but Michael Emerson could sell me crap and I’d think it was gold!

Ben’s going to tie up a loose end (Penny?) he told an old friend (Widmore) that he would? Please, no!!! Des & Penny forever!!!

Kate took Aaron to hi grandmother, obviously. Who else could she trust him to and keep him safe?

K&J getting’ it on? WTF? Jack does know that she’s just gonna jump Sawyer as soon as she gets the chance? Right?

Ben covered in blood at the marina? MOTHERF’CKER!!!!!!

More than halfway through the ep now. Can we all just agree that the Island6 is definitely more interesting than th Oceanic6? Although, to be fair, this is EASILY the best ep off island in a while. Really impressed, especially with Jack. Fox is really bringing it tonight!

And the Indian airliner that the I6 came upon a couple of eps back is the one carrying the O6 back to the island. Falling into place…

How can you not love Sun and Jin?

Hugo buying all the seats on the flight. Brilliant and right.

“We’re not going to Guam, are we?” Possibly the single funniest, greatest line ever spoken on the show. EVER. Fahey OWNS!!!

I’m only going to say this one time: If they don’t explain Ben’s injuries, then they better not bring it up. I got a feeling that when Eloise told Desmond the island wasn’t through with him, maybe she was talking about Ben’s revenge. I don’t know. Just speculating but I just have a bad feeling. One last segment and I don’t think we’re going to learn what happened this week and might not until Desmond show up back on the island somehow. I don’t know anything but I just don’t want that to be true.

Jin in the DI!!!! This is awesome. What a great ep.


I’m trying process most of this and still can’t. Obviously, Jin got into the DI, somehow. Who was the broad Sayid brought on the plane with the badge? Who’s the Kiwi guy on the plane?

Rick said...

I wonder if the flashbacks to those missing hours will contain a trip to the bank for nin9 hours...

Calling the church basement the Lamppost has to be a Narnia reference, right?

Was Hurley carrying Charlie's guitar? If so, my guess is that Charlie sent him to the airport.

Does Sayid have a girlfriend, or was she an Air Marshall extraditing him to Guam, a la Kate?

Does Ben somehow work as a surrogate for Aaron?

And finally: Hooray for Lapidus! That was the most pleasant surprise of the episode.

Sandwich of Ham! said...

i think they had to tell it from Jack's point of view because he was the only one convinced, this way, they can still cut away to those 36 hours off island to show the others motivations. We are going to get at least 4 or 5 episodes to fill in the details.

Hurley had a guitar, which obviously has something to do with Charlie.

So, Kate was willing to leave all her possessions and money behind and run away with Aaron. A few days later, she is just dropping him off with whoever? who could have convinced her? anyway, I am guessing Claire's mother has Aaron.

Does Sayid's lady cop "represent" Ana Lucia?

Ben called from the dock, he obviously was up to no good.

None of this, though, explains how Libby was in the mental hospital with Hurley. What was that about?

MattB said...

I think there were two big reasons why this episode felt so frustrating:

1. As Greg pointed out above, the mysteries of "why/how did so-and-so get on the plane?" feel totally artificial and contrived. We get in-depth views of what each of the O6 are up to in the preceding days, but suddenly we as viewers are removed a layer? It completely felt like a way to invent mystery and suspense - and none of the answers will be as interesting as the overall mysteries which we already knew of.

2. Of all the annoying ways in which characters astoundingly don't ask each other questions, this episode seemed the most extreme. No character thought to ask Mrs Faraday how she knows what she's telling them? No character thinks to ask her why they need to recreate the details of Oceanic 815? No one thinks to ask her or Ben how they know each other? Jack would really accept not ever knowing what happened to the child Kate treated as a son for 3 years, essentially so that he can sleep with her again? Jack finally gets the bright idea to ask Ben the questions all viewers are thinking, and when Ben ignores the questions and gives Jack a metaphor about the apostle Thomas, he doesn't insist on getting answers to his questions? And no one wonders how Ben got so bruised and beaten overnight?

And of all the questions not asked, I think the largest and most astounding of all is: "what are we supposed to do AFTER we get back to the island?"

I'm sorry, I know this reads like a long rant, and that after 4 years we should all be used to this non-question-asking phenomenon, but I think this episode - and the plan, or lack of caring about what the plan is to get back to / then off the island - took it the furthest.

I thought Hurley bringing a guitar on board a la Charlie was a nice touch though.

jim treacher said...

Does Sayid have a girlfriend, or was she an Air Marshall extraditing him to Guam, a la Kate?

Yeah, he had his jacket over his hands to hide the handcuffs. Maybe a future episode will be called "What Sayid Did."

EOTW said...

AS said:

While I've had some reservations about previous outings this year, "316" is the first episode of season five to leave me feeling wholly unsatisfied.

EOTW said:

Alan, really? WOW. I'm more blown away that you disliked this ep than I am at how good I think it is. I understand your issues with Jack but i think that maybe this was the ep that put him back into my good graces. It just felt the old Jack we knew and loved from bygone seasons. He wasn't moping and he seemed genuinely back to normal. I liked it.

AS said:

Ben's line about how his mother taught him to read was the funniest thing in the episode,

EOTW said:

Double wow. Frank's line about not getting to Guam is one of the greats of the show, maybe ever. Just the funniest delivery not given by my man crush Josh Holloway.

As i said in my first post, this is THE BEST O6 ep, bar none and I am aleady in mourning for Penny. I loved her with Des so much. Please say it ain't so DL/CC.

christy said...

Maybe it's wishful thinking but if Ben attacked someone they seem to have done quite a job fighting back. Perhaps if it was Penny, she escaped.

Knowing Ben, I think he'd be more disturbed by failing at his goal than accidentally killing a child. Or, really, much of anything.

Again, maybe wishful thinking though.

Leopold Bloom said...

I agree with you Alan. While watching this episode, it just felt like I had missed the earlier week's episode which explained how all the loose ends had been tied up. It just seemed all too easy.

I did like the episode title/flight number--I presume it's supposed to be a reference to John (Locke) 316

Greg said...

Jack really knows how to dress for an anticipated plane crash, doesn't he? And I liked how Hurley seemed like he was preparing for sleep when the turbulence started.

Sandwich of Ham! said...

Oh, and Eloise was obviously speaking directly to the audience, (using Jack as a Proxy, one could say)....

Stop asking yourself how ridiculous it is, and start asking yourself whether or not you believe it will work.

Anonymous said...

Since when has Sayid -ever- been regularly featured on this show. People have complained about it from the start, and he's still the most background of any of the main characters.

shaane said...

Is it too obvious to say that I think the mysterious woman with Sayid is mirroring the fed that accompanied Kate in the first season? Since the Oceanic Six had to recreate the circumstances that surrounded their first arrival on the island, it seems to make sense.

It also explains her close contact with Sayid, the ease in which she got through security, and it is a perfect reason to get Sayid on the plane (since he wanted nothing to do with Ben and Jack.)

Also, is it possible that because Aaron didn't join them, the unpredictable part of the return to the island is that they didn't return to the current time?

Hoosier Paul said...

I'm usually not a fan of TV shows that reference other works by the shows' writers (i.e. "hey, look! He's reading a Dennis Lehane book, and Dennis Lehane is a writer on 'The Wire!'". That kind of meta-reference tends to pull me out of the story.

But there are exceptions to everything, so I've gotta say: Hurley reading a Spanish-language copy of Brian K. Vaughan's "Y: The Last Man?" Awesome.

EOTW said...

Did no one else getthat Kate left Aaron with his grandmother? What else could she have dom with him?

Jeff H. said...

In the podcast where this episode was prehashed, Cuse and Lindelof said that 316 and next week's episode were written together (by C&L), and 316 was originally intended to come second.

That may account for some of the dissonance of this episode.

Leopold Bloom said...

Did no one else getthat Kate left Aaron with his grandmother? What else could she have dom with him?

Which dovetails with Claire getting on the flight to give Aaron up for adoption.

MattB said...

Shaane: yes, it was obvious.

Bryan said...

I'm torn- so much of this was so good (opening, what's wrong with Ben, Hurley buying the tickets - which I thought was great) But then parts of it were so season 3 (Eloise Hawkings speech, Kate's stupid "don't ask me about Aaron" rant)-

I think this is going to be an episode that will get better - or worse - based upon the explanations in the episodes that follow it. (eg. as much as I love Penny and want no harm to come to her, if we find out Ben is on his way to the boat and slips on steps going down to the dock and smashes his face on the railing I'll be a little pissed)

the2scoops said...

After digesting this episode, I could only think of the BSG line "this has happened before, and it will happen again". Interesting totems of other characters represented on the flight: Christian's shoes aside, I'm sure that's Charlie's guitar with Hurley. The spanish edition of Y-The Last Man reminded me of Walt. Sun had Jin's ring. The Kate/Claire parallels are probably there.

groovekiller said...

Well, apparently, Said from Three Kings will be in next week's episode according to IMDB. His character's name is Caesar. Tangentially interesting because Sayid's captor, the weirdly hot Zuilekha Robinson, played Titus Pullo's slave on Rome.

Anonymous said...

Alan, you completely missed the point of the episode. This was classic Season 1 LOST. You dismissed Jack's arc as "packing for his flight". That is grossly unfair to the writers and the character, you are ignoring all the great moments in the middle, I mean by these standards 'Walkabout' was just a packing episode for Locke as well. Seeing Jack put his father's shoes on Locke based on faith alone eventhough he knows how ridiculous it was, knowing Jack's history, a great moment for us. Locke's note was in reference to the island events in the first 4 seasons, it was in reference to the numerous shouting matches Jack and Locke have had about destiny, the most memorable are the season 1 finale, the pushing the button arc in season two and the their confrontations in the Season 3 and Season 4 finales, that note was the ultimate nail in the coffin for Jack that he has ALWAYS been wrong. Jack already knows that but seeing that those were Locke's last words would have been one more dagger in his heart. It was a great character focused episode, I have enjoyed the past few episodes as much as the next guy but it was nice to just sit back and catchup with a character. If you people want all plot no character development then I suggest watching a little show called 'Heroes' which I hear provides exactly that.

Nate said...

I thought the first half hour was kind of lame... made me think about the good ol days of Nikki and Paolo.

And Lapidus? Shouldn't he be more worried that former One Life to Live actors that have been dying lately? Is there a curse?

And maybe Ben's injures are because he went back to the island and got beaten up when he was held by Sayid and Locke after they caught him from the earlier season??

Anonymous said...

Oh I forgot to add in my post: You Alan and some other commentors here just hate Jack which clouds your judgment about this episode.

Dirk Digler said...

Alan, you ignorant slut ;)

I think this was a great pacing episode...it suited two purposes: 1) take a breath 2) line up the pins

I think there are three approaches to serial storytelling:
1) High Burn: See "24". Every episode is doused in an amphetamine-fueled fury of energy. The result...burn-out and numbness (along with a general feeling of being preposterous).
2) Slow Burn: See "The Wire". Every episode has its pinnacle, but you rarely climax. Results in low ratings as most viewers don't have the attention span for something like this.
3) Sprint and Drift: This is both a reference to a Tom Clancy submarine cruise technique and how I ran most of my cross country career in high school. It's perpetrated by episodes of big climax and high energy (the sprint) and then followed up by slow or low-impact episodes (the drift) that are setting up for the next sprint. Lost and BSG definitely fall into this category, which is a hybrid, somewhat-pleasing version of the two previous approaches.

I think this episode cannot be faulted for being a "Drift" episode in that it was setting up all of the pieces for a series of successive "Sprints". It's a bridge of sort, but to read your review you seem to accuse the writers of losing their way with this episode (though also acknowledging the Sprints to come). Episodes like this are necessary and functional, and dare I say critical. Don't be a hater.

Great call on Three Kings...a somewhat underrated/forgotten movie that was spectacularly good (and my gods has it withstood the test of time).

Bryan said...

the pushing the button arc in season two and the their confrontations in the Season 3 and Season 4 finales, that note was the ultimate nail in the coffin for Jack that he has ALWAYS been wrong

Lockes been wrong as often as Jack if not more so. He admitted as much last week when he was talking to Sawyer about the hatch light.

LOSTinMD said...

The only saving grace for this episode was the Jin reveal at the end. I found the "you have to recreate the original flight" idea only opened up more questions and holes than needed to be opened at this point in the story.

Here's what I take from the vision of Jin in full Dharma Initiative attire (and Alan, I think this is what you're suggesting as well)...

* We know that three years had passed between the time the O6 left the island and the return flight on 316.
* From the perspective of the I6, despite their jumps through time, only a few hours/days had passed between Ben turning the wheel and Locke turning the wheel.
* Assuming Locke's turning the wheel stopped the jumps through time, the I6 were left at a time sometime before the Dharma Initiative arrived (remember the well disappeared).
* I think what we'll see in the coming episodes is that three years have passed as well for the I6. For Locke those 3 years were off the island trying to get the others to come back. For the others, they are on the island for the arrival of the Dharma Initiative sometime in the 1970s. They integrate themselves in the Dharma Initiative, maybe in the hopes of getting answers about the island.

This would explain why Farraday was in the mine in the first episode of the season, and will give Farraday the opportunity to come across a young Charlotte to warn her to not come back.

Anthony Foglia said...

Alan wrote, I know the man of science/man of faith schism has been one of the show's driving forces going all the way back to season one, so in theory Locke's simple "I wish you had believed in me" suicide note should have had more weight

Score one for us non-widescreen TV folks. The note was cropped to read "I wish you had believed". Much better, if you ask me.

I had read and interview with Cuse and Lindelof, where they hinted the first part of the season would be done soon. That made me expect this to play like the first part of a two parter. Under that (mistaken) impression, it worked much better. But as you and others have pointed out there are still problems.

What are the Oceanic 6 going to do now? Did Ben know about the time jumps? (The O6 obviously didn't.) Assuming they stop the jumps soon, what's the rest of the series going to be?

Jennifer J. said...

Jim Treacher: you beat me to the punch on mentioning Said Taghmaoui being in Vantage Point. However, I found the movie at least fun and entertaining. Three Kings...it *is* hard to believe it's been 10 years. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I found there were many things to enjoy in this episode. I particularly liked the way the characters dodged their way around Mrs. Hawking's huge, swinging time pendulum, like it was going to knock anyone of them out of the game at any moment.

While I had lots of questions, it was great fun and I still felt quite satisfied at the end of the episode.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I mean by these standards 'Walkabout' was just a packing episode for Locke as well.

No, because "Walkabout" told us all kinds of things we didn't already know about Locke, about the island, and about what kind of show this was going to be. "316" was all teases. Not comparable at all.

that note was the ultimate nail in the coffin for Jack that he has ALWAYS been wrong. Jack already knows that but seeing that those were Locke's last words would have been one more dagger in his heart.

As you say, "Jack already knows that." His conversion to Locke's side of the science/faith argument happened in between episodes -- and, depending on whether there are flashbacks to Locke's world tour as Jeremy Bentham, we may never get to see it -- but having been converted already, him putting the shoes on Locke, or reading the note, didn't have nearly enough of an emotional wallop to carry an episode that deliberately left so much of the other major developments off-camera.

If you people want all plot no character development then I suggest watching a little show called 'Heroes' which I hear provides exactly that.

Yawn. If you think I want only plot and no character -- or that I have any remaining fondness for "Heroes" -- you haven't been reading me for very long.

Anonymous said...


Lockes been wrong as often as Jack if not more so. He admitted as much last week when he was talking to Sawyer about the hatch light.


Yeah but Locke's mistakes don't get the people on the island being thrown around in time inches away from their death. Yes Locke has made mistakes but on a fundamental level he has been right whereas Jack has been utterly and completely wrong. If Jack only listened to Locke's numerous warnings about leaving the island they would not be in such a crappy situation, Locke would not have had to kill himself to correct Jack's mistakes.

TheWeave said...

Anyone else notice the date of the US Army photo that Jack sees at the beginning? 9/23/54. 50 years after Oceanic 815 crashed.

david said...

hmmm. i wonder if penny is no more if widmore and desmond team up in their grief to go after ben which is how desmond ends up returning to the island.

LOSTinMD said...

Yeah but Locke's mistakes don't get the people on the island being thrown around in time inches away from their death.

Actually, Christian suggested last week that Locke was in fact to blame for the island jumping in time, because he let Ben turn the wheel instead of turning it himself.

Anyone else notice the date of the US Army photo that Jack sees at the beginning? 9/23/54. 50 years after Oceanic 815 crashed.

I would think that was 1954, not 2054.

Ben's Bloody Face said...

There's a flight that's crossing the Pacific Ocean and there's only about 100 seats on board?

(Presuming Hurley's 76 tickets bought up most of the plane)

No wonder Ajira Airlines has filed for bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...


Actually, Christian suggested last week that Locke was in fact to blame for the island jumping in time, because he let Ben turn the wheel instead of turning it himself.


But that only happened because Jack made the phone call at the end of season 3, which Locke warned against. If Jack had listened to Locke then, mercenaries would have never landed and there would never have been the need to turn the wheel

Bryan said...

Does Sun's behavior strike anyone else as being very odd? I understand she loves her husband but I've got to believe the only way she is going to leave her baby and go back to the island is if she believes she'll be coming home soon. If not- if she just abandoned her child- she's going to lose an awful lot of sympathy.

Also, I found it very odd that as distraught as Kate was over whatever happened to Aaron she was in the mood for some lovin'. Unless.... Kate knew she was NEVER coming back and if she wanted a kid she'd have to conceive before she left.

Anonymous said...

With his white glove and his chop up face?

JAMMQ said...

I immediately had to write a comment as soon as I saw that you acknowledged the 316 passenger as the same guy from "Three Kings."

He's a great actor off the strength of his performance in that scene alone . . . "my mainman, what iz de problem wit Amichael AJackson?"

John F. said...

Having read the comments, did anyone else not feel as if the thought Jack had upon reading Locke's note was that Locke felt he had to kill himself in order to get Jack to believe him. Jack and Ben were just talking about whether or not Jack felt guilty for Locke's death, almost like Jack's disbelief "caused" Locke to comment suicide.

On another note, does anybody think Kate may now be pregnant. That way they have another similarity between the flights and the writers could eventually use that as a reason to justify Aaron not being on the flight. Let's face it, they were probably thinking how difficult it would be to have a 3-yr-old running around the island and they can now just hand wave that problem away.

Oh, and if something bad happened to Desmond, Penny and Charlie I'm going to be really upset.

Anonymous said...

There was one more time jump after Sawyer is left holding the rope in "This Place Is Death."

When Locke turns the wheel [and presumably fixes it] the light flashes again. We do not see what happens. This could be the jump that leads the Sawyer/Jin/Juliet group to the Dharma timeframe.

Desmond's rant was awesome.

dvlman said...

I was so worried about Penny and so bored by the obvious stalling that I didn't enjoy anything in the last half hour of this episode.

I did like the back-to-back one liners by Lapidus and Ben, though. Great deliveries. Made me laugh.

JAMMQ said...

-Ben being at the docks(where Desmond's boat would be) is not a good sign.

-Whomever said it earlier is right, none of these people ask questions . . . like "Listen old lady, who are you and how do you know this stuff?" or "Hey Ben, what happened to your face/arm?"

-Sayid looked like he wanted to warn Jack about something when he got on the plane, but couldn't.

-Don't go to IMDB, it will ruin any surprises you don't want to spoil for next week.

Toby O'B said...

"Sawyer's current haircut should fit right in with those Dharma hippies, shouldn't it?"

Based on the album cover for Geronimo Jackson, I've always believed that one of the band members was James Ford's father. He had to make a great wad of money somehow to gain the attention of the original Sawyer....

While it wasn't gripping over-all, still this episode is one of those "Is it next Wednesday yet?" types of episode because of my fears for the safety and well-being of Penny.....

Withnail said...

I frakkin' loved this episode. This wasn't about "how they all got on the plane" but - how Jack did.

not "how", like, get the flight and get the body on the plane, but how he got to the place where he accepted it. So what did he do with his last day of freedom? Visited family - realized that there's still a thousand things between him and Kate.

BUT there were so many great mysteries. Where's Aaron? What happened to Ben? Is Penny okay? Is Charlie (the baby?) How did Sayeed get arrested? Who convinced Hurley? I hope that they all get their own episodes, their own path to the plane.

And the scene with the Coffins and shoes - man, that was beautiful. The man of science doing an uncanny act of faith.

And if Locke fixing the wheel stopped the time skip - are the now STUCK in the 70's? That would be horrible.

... cause the 70's had bad hair.

belinda said...

Ah, they had to have a dud sometime in this season.

Things I found awkward:-

- Ms. Hawking's speech at the beginning, which I kind of cringed listening to it, because the wording was very odd and overly expositional. I don't know. It was not a good speech. Then, the explanation itself. I guess I was expecting a more scientific explanation than "hey, go get your dad's shoes and put them on Locke. Then you can get to the island with almost the same group of people!"

- I loved the opening credits, but after a lackluster story, to have it REPEAT in its entirety right towards the end made me dislike it. Perhaps we've been too spoiled with the quick paced episodes all season, and now they're punishing us.

- Yes, the fact that just about everyone on the plane could have been a more intriguing story than Jack's "have a drink, get some shoes, get laid, get Locke, and board the plane" story was a strange and somewhat disappointing choice for the writers.

- Jin's in Dharma? Wowsa. Now, that I loved. Too bad one of the few highlights (or perhaps, the only) happened at the end of the episode instead of at the beginning.

- Oh well, it's ok. It'll be back on its track next week, from the looks of it.

- btw, does this mean Locke will no longer be on the show for the rest of the season? (Supposing they do end up sticking to one time period on the island)

Ben said...

Maybe this is very obvious, but I had not seen this mentioned yet...that story that Ben was going on about the guy who needed to believe, needed proof of the resurrection...that was what Ben's deal with Locke; he was told that Locke was the "chosen one" and he didn't believe it. He needed proof.

Maybe that is why he shot him at the end of season 3, to see if he had the powers (ben later told Hugo that "he should have known he couldn't kill him" or something like that).

Also, it sets up the return of Locke on the island...just like Christian Shepard

*** Also, if that is right, Locke is shown alive (or again, whatever stare Christian is) on the island , then Locke and Christian will almost form a Obi Won/Annakin type meeting, guiding young Shephard...

Anonymous said...

So I guess we now know how Charlotte came to learn Korean, right?

Michael said...

The first time, Walt was reading a spanish language copy of a Flash/Green Lantern comic book. This time it was Hurley reading a spanish copy of "Y The Last Man".

I'm familiar with the premise of that series, but I've never read it. Does anyone recognize that particular issue/trade, and is there anything in there which is relevant?

jim treacher said...

Vantage Point was kind of like an entire season of 24 crammed into 90 minutes. Some of the narrative tricks were pretty clever, but that much dumbness in that small period of time...

I'm familiar with the premise of that series, but I've never read it. Does anyone recognize that particular issue/trade, and is there anything in there which is relevant?

The writer of it now works for Lost.

Gish said...

Michael,

I've read the entire series of Y but don't recognize that particular cover. The relevence, however, is that the author of Y, Brian K. Vaughn, is now a writer/producer on Lost.

james said...

I enjoyed the depiction of Jack as a Man of Science and Locke as a Man of Faith but I can't stand to see Jack succumb to such selfish emotions. Where some people see Jack finally at peace and coming to his senses in this episode I see a disgusted man that has only turned to faith because his post-island life has been miserable. And, that's where I think this episode succeeds. I don't feel good for Jack. In fact I think he's more pathetic then he's ever been. There's a clear disconnection between everyone and Jack. This is emphasized during Kate's distance to Jack when he attempts to talk on the plane. She isn't happy to be there nor is Sayid nor is Hurley. Jack is selfishly pursuing the island and I can't see any reason why besides a guilt he's carried with him since he's departed. I miss the Jack of the old days.

When Jack and Locke meet together what will we have next, a circle jerk in dedication to the island?

At the end of the series I want Desmond to be right. I want THE OTHERS to be using everyone for selfish reasons and not for some noble cause.

Anonymous said...

In regards to Y the Last Man...I don't think it has any real hints bout the show...it's really just a shoutout to Brian K Vaughn fans as he's now a writer/producer on the show...

Count Screwloose said...

I also loved the BKV shout-out. But the fact that Ben was reading Ulysses on the plane, an intentional allusion to Desmond and Penny, made me feel less than secure about their well-being.

RG

Tyroc said...

I really liked the episode (yes, Mrs. Hawking's speech was a little goofy, and the coincidence of Jack's grandfather having something that belonged to Jack's father a bit much too, but the island works in mysterious ways...) I was horrified when Ben said he was going to fulfill his promise to an old friend. That freaked the hell out of me. Please be okay, Penny!

The trade paperback of Y-The Last Man (Volume 3) is the one where (SPOILER) Yorrick and the his gang find out about a space station with astronauts on it will be crashing to Earth, and a lot of it is about planning for the crash.

Much like this episode is about planning for a crash of sorts.

And while that's a bit of a stretch, as others have mentioned it was of course a shout out to Lost Producer BKV for us comic geeks. (END SPOILER)

I was prepared for the suicide note to read "Don't go back, Jack." Right before the crash. Like a Twilight Zone ending. Ah well...

Loved the Lapidus moment.

Anonymous said...

1. Is there any chance that the guy who figured out the island equation isn't Farraday?
2. My theory on Aaron: when Sawyer whispered in Kate's ear on the helicopter he told her about his daughter in Albuquerque, at some point Kate met with the mother, and trusts her enough to leave Aaron with her.
3. Alia Shawkat was in Three Kings.

Maggie said...

In the podcast where this episode was prehashed, Cuse and Lindelof said that 316 and next week's episode were written together (by C&L), and 316 was originally intended to come second.

What I recall them saying was that they wrote them at the same time, and either could have been aired first, but they decided to flip them and air this first. Which makes me wonder - does the next episode show us everyone else's story? It seems a little lopsided - Jack gets an entire episode, Hurley/Sayid/Kate/Sun/Ben have to share one... But any of those other stories seem more interesting than Jack's (as Alan points out, we already knew he was ready to go, the question is about everyone else) so it would have been a massive letdown to see a plot-packed episode of, say Sayid, and then do the Jack one. Just about the only intriguing part of this episode (skipping Jin in the final scenes) was wondering about the others as they boarded the plane.

re: Aaron, it sounded like they needed to recreate the circumstances of the crash. He was not on that flight as a little boy, so why would he need to be there this time? (Although somewhere flight attendant Cindy is still hanging with the original Oceanic kids, presumably.) But of course, why isn't Walt there, then?

I also hadn't thought of Claire's mom, but I bet you are all right - why else was she in L.A. a few episodes back, where Kate could see her, if not to serve as a safe haven for Kate to leave Aaron? The red herring ploy of making us think she was the one behind the attempt to take Aaron was okay, but it felt like there was more coming. Still a question, though, is the coincidence between her lawyer being Ben's - is it possible Ben orchestrated that so that Kate would eventually do what she winds up doing, making it easier for her to leave Aaron and go back to the island as Ben wants?

One last thing has me puzzled, though - if Mrs. H. knows which flights are going to be flying over the island within a band of time, why couldn't the 06 (with their money and Hurley's winnings) charter a flight and go on their own? Why the need to take a commercial flight and presumably put so many innocents at risk?

Lizbeth said...

Yay, Frank Lapidus is back -- all cleaned up and handsome as he was 20 years ago.

I think Ben's speech to Jack in the church told us a lot about where all this is going. Is there any doubt that John Locke will be resurrected? And once he is, doesn't this mean that Jack will finally believe what Locke once told him (and I'm paraphrasing): "this isn't just an island...it's a place where miracles happen."

Alan Sepinwall said...

2. My theory on Aaron: when Sawyer whispered in Kate's ear on the helicopter he told her about his daughter in Albuquerque, at some point Kate met with the mother, and trusts her enough to leave Aaron with her.

Hmmm... and, of course, Kate and Cassidy (Sawyer's baby mama) have their own history together, from the flashbacks in season three's "Left Behind." Hmmm...

Alan Sepinwall said...

My guess -- and this is just a guess, as I haven't watched the previews(*) or read anything else -- is that next week's episode will be entirely set on the island, show how Sawyer's bunch wound up infiltrating Dharma, and end with Jin making a pit stop in the magic bus to find Jack, Kate and Hurley -- ala the multiple perspectives they showed Jack and Desmond's "You?" encounter from (and the multiple episodes they took to get us there) at the start of season two.

(*)We're 80 comments through, and nobody's broken the rule yet, so it probably doesn't need to be said, but just in case: no talking about the previews.

Clevelle said...

Last week I was thinking that there was a deeper connection between "Jacob", Christian and John Locke and that given all the time travel and time loop potential that we'd learn that maybe Christian and John Locke somehow become one and the same. NOw I'm even more convinced since both of Jack's fateful plane trips involved him transporting caskets - first Christian and then John. The whole "shoes" thing seemed to add strength to that idea given that John Locke has had his own storied history with legs and feet.

Even though this show has a finale date written in stone, you still need these episodes that fill in the gap, so I wasn't nearly as bothered with the pacing or the gaps in this episode as most of you. For better or worse, Jack has been at the center of this show, so I thought it appropriate that we get the return to the island from his point of view, and I'd rather them parse out the other LOSTIES' returns by character than try to fit several things in one episode (especially considering some of the hurdles some of them obviously had to overcome to find themselves back on that plane).

This week we get Jack's point of view, next week we get another. Loving every minute of it.

Beebo said...

Given that Hurley grew up in the States, and seems to speak English more than Spanish even when alone with his parents, why are all his comics in Spanish translations? The only Spanish titles I see in NYC comic stores are material originally in Spanish. And you see cheaply printed superhero translations and comedy titles in barrio variety stores. But I'd have to dig hard to find Spanish trade paperbacks.

Stef said...

I really loved this episode. I'm normally a Jack-hater, but like a few other commenters I'm really liking the character a lot more now, as Jack appears shaken and filled with doubts. What's always driven me nuts about Jack was his self-righteousness and certainty when he shouldn't be, and making him move from being the man of science to the man of faith -- complete with doubts -- makes him so much more compelling to me. So, finally, I didn't hate a Jack episode.

And I didn't think having all the other O5'ers appear was contrived, I thought it was eerie -- in a way that made me eager for future episodes to see how it all happened. If they'd told all of those stories in just this episode I think they would've felt rushed, but I like the mystery and anticipation, and I agree with others who say that this season feels very reminiscent of season 1 for those reasons.

And since they didn't fully recreate the circumstances, something "unpredictable" happened -- which may be that they went back in time and now are catching up with the Island gang. I for one can't wait to see how this all develops. Considering I expected the O6-makes-it-back storyline to take all season, the fact that they've made it back midway through opens up all kinds of storytelling possibilities for this year let alone season 6, and I'm psyched.

And I REALLY hope Ben was a big failure and got his arse kicked by Desmond, and that D&P&C are all safe and sound. But I don't think that's likely.

BF said...

So many questions that still haven't been asked:

* Why is a 737 being used on a TransPacific route?

* Is Frank the only Anglo working for Ajira?

* Exactly what crime must you commit in order to get extradited to Guam?

* Why did Sayid shave?

* Now that Jin has (presumably) been in for a while with the Dharm-ites, will Daniel Dae Kim be able to use his normal speaking voice?

PS: I'm convinced now more than ever that the final shot of the series will be a closeup on Jack's eyelid as he dies/goes to sleep.

Lester Freamon said...

I think this episode holds the record for least time spent on the island. The only ones I can think of with as little are "Meet Kevin Johnson" and "Flashes Before Your Eyes".

Lester Freamon said...

* Exactly what crime must you commit in order to get extradited to Guam?

I'm sure there are plenty of transpacific flights that stop over in Guam on their way to other countries. Perhaps Sayid had to whack someone in Singapore or Malaysia or something, and Ben (or the Island) saw to it that it caught up with him in time for him to end up on that flight.

Bryan said...

And since they didn't fully recreate the circumstances, something "unpredictable" happened

I think they did exactly as they were supposed to do and it worked out the way it was supposed to. It was only unpredictable to the 6- the island brought them to where they needed to be to meet up with the rest.

I'm a little confused about a couple things though. According to Hawking the island is ALWAYS moving through space, that's why they weren't rescued. When Ben moved the donkeywheel it (or them) THEN began moving through time. My question is this- Ben, Richard and some of the other Others used to come and go from the island as they pleased- and they had a submarine - but according to Hawking you could only get back to the island (space jumping island, not time traveling island) by this formula, this pendulum and flying a plane over top. What gives? What am I missing? Ben and Richard didn't have to go through all this to get back to the island did they?

Jess said...

Maybe I'm mistaken, but didn't Saïd Taghmaoui show up in a Sayid flashback episode in season 2? It took me a minute, but I thought he may be the same guy Sayid interrogated on behalf of the Americans during the Gulf War. Instead of answering Sayid's questions, he just kept berating him for betraying his country. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Anyone else get distracted about whether or not the pendulum was going to hit Desmond?

Kathy said...

I *loved* this episode (with the exception of Kate, as always) and was thrilled to see Jeff Fahey back: "We're not going to Guam, are we?"

BF said...

Bryan,

my theory is that the Island was always floating around in time (and space?) until Locke "locked" the island into place by putting the donkey wheel back on it's axis. It thus stayed put from that time all the way through WWII and the Dharma era up until Ben activates it again in December 04.

Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

For me, what slowed the show down was the exposition-laden opening sequence with Mrs. Hawking. Shows like LOST are usually more fun when they're creating mysteries, not solving them. So Mrs. Hawkings lenghthy and awkward explanation of the "Lantern" station (do I have that name right) felt--well, gee. A little silly.

Then, the wild goose chase to get--drum roll please-- A PAIR OF SHOES! Which we get from--another drum roll--JACK'S GRAMPA, whom we've never seen before! Call me an old fart, but after five wonderful but long years, my heart no longer skips a beat when we send Jack and all his Non-Charisma to get--drum roll again--a pair of shoes from a nice ol' fella we've never seen before.

I'm dreading upcoming episodes if they're all more flashbacks about how everybody got on the plane. Since we've known "We've got to go back!" since the end of season 4, it was a cool delight to wake up on the island with jack with this awkward, endless business at last come to pass. Alas, I fear we'll be "going back!" for months to come, in flashback, even though we finally are back.

I'm also feeling a little grim if we're now stuck in Dharma time.

Finally, now that we're back, and we're presumably solving the problem of nosebleeds and time-shifts once and for all, a new question emerges: WHAT IS THE SHOW ABOUT NOW? If, for seasons 1-3, the goal was to get OFF the island, and seasons 4-5 it's been to GET BACK, I now wonder: what possible future are we moving toward now?

If they're all back for good, and in the wrong time, what can we possibly hope for these characters now? What can we as viewers hope for at this point?

All I want in this life anymore is to see Vincent again.

Undercover Asian Man said...

This show is now officially a self-parody. How they chose to deal with the "Aaron Question" is just about what I expect from the two jokers Lidelof and Cuse. Just skim over it and not explain anything. If she left Aaron with Sawyer's gal, why keep it such a secret? Ohhh, because it's not "mysterious" that way, being cryptic allows them to gloss over how irrational it is for Kate to abandon Aaron so suddenly (or Sun / Ji-yon), and hopefully the audience forgets to ask that question later anyway.

Even if they address Aaron's easy abandonment in some flashback, I expect it to be as dumb and inconsequential as having Charlie kidnap Sun (no repercussions), or Sayid torture Sawyer (no repercussions), and have everything forgiven and forgotten an episode later.

I wonder if they are going to use pouty Kate to send all their plot-holes into the cornfield:

"If you want me to go back to the Island, Jack, don't ever ask me about the viruses again"

"If you want me to go back to the Island, Jack, don't ever ask me about why the Others wear disguises again."

"If you want me to go back to the Island, Jack, don't ever ask me about the Numbers again."

Undercover Asian Man said...

Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

For me, what slowed the show down was the exposition-laden opening sequence with Mrs. Hawking. Shows like LOST are usually more fun when they're creating mysteries, not solving them. So Mrs. Hawkings lenghthy and awkward explanation of the "Lantern" station (do I have that name right) felt--well, gee. A little silly.

Then, the wild goose chase to get--drum roll please-- A PAIR OF SHOES! Which we get from--another drum roll--JACK'S GRAMPA, whom we've never seen before! Call me an old fart, but after five wonderful but long years, my heart no longer skips a beat when we send Jack and all his Non-Charisma to get--drum roll again--a pair of shoes from a nice ol' fella we've never seen before.


I forgot to mention the SHOES!! And all that DRAMATIC MUSIC surrounding the SHOES! Self-Parody, I tell ya.

Jennifer, marry me. We'll go live on an Island together. It's paradise - except for the button we need to press every 108 minutes.

Mookie said...

Is this weird?

Desmond is by far my favorite character on the show. So when Desmond told Mrs. Hawking that he's done with the island and stormed out, I told my wife that I hope this is the last time we ever see Desmond on the show, that he just take Penny and Charlie and disappear. I would miss him greatly, but at least I would know he and his family are safe.

Anonymous said...

316 Flight question:

If Syiad and that lady = Kate and Constable

and

Sun holding Jin's ring = Rose holding Bernard's ring

and

Hurley with the guitar case = Charlie and his guitar

and

Kate giving up Aaron (possibly?) = Claire giving up the unborn Aaron to adoption

Than who are the awkward, semi-incestual brother/ sister pairing? Frank and Ben?

Devin McCullen said...

I won't say anything about the previews, but if you want to know the focus of next week's episode, find out the title.

BTW, I'm a bloody idiot. Somehow, it never occurred to me what Ben was up to that left him in that state. (I assumed it was related to Sayid getting grabbed.)

Kristi said...

Granted, this was definitely not one of my favorite episodes of LOST; however, after the breakneck speed of the first five episodes of this season, I thought it was a nice "slow-down" episode.

It's been such a thrill to have so many of our questions from the previous seasons answered in these first five episodes, but the weight of the fact that this series will be over hit home hard with last week's episode, so I think that "316" reminded me of how I came to love LOST so much- for all the unanswered questions. As opposed to many others who didn't enjoy this episode because we didn't get to see how the rest of the O6 wound up on Ajira Flight 316, I like the fact that we don't yet know what led each of the O6 back as it's obviously going to be explored in future episodes. Did Dead Charlie come to Hurley and tell him to go back? What happened to Aaron? The fun is in the unknown, not necessarily the answers. I guess that despite some missteps throughout the series (that whole Tailies story arch that, for now, seems fairly irrelevant), I have faith that this episode, although slow and lacking as seen by many, is all part of the grand plan in how the rest of the LOST story is told.


Other observations-
*The "random" other dude in first class who was in line behind Jack (the "Three Kings" guy)? He can't be good news.

*Nobody wanted to know how or why Ben got the s*@! kicked out of him?

*Kate and Jack nookie? Total grief sex on Kate's part. As much as I was a Jater to begin with, she's meant for Sawyer. And I'm sure Jack probably realizes that, but what man is going to pass up sex? LOL

debbie said...

I agree that after the rapid-fire pacing of all the previous episodes this season, it was a little jilting to feel like all of the interesting stuff was going on offscreen. BUT, I really like how this episode made it more relatable to reality...the fact that life can seem like you're doing the same thing over and over, all the while either learning from mistakes or making them again.
With that said, it also feels like the Oceanic Six (Perhaps, Walt's riding coach) will team up with Sawyer's crew to do a little Quantum Leap action on the island...to right what once went wrong.

ksquard said...

Alan - I tried, I really tried to read all the comments, but I tapped out at about the 80 mark. Don't block me, kay?

Why hasn't anyone (has anyone?)mentioned that when Ben turned the wheel, he told Locke that doing so meant that he, Ben, could never return to the island? Remember how Ben cried as he turned the wheel? I always thought that was because he knew he was saving the island but exiling himself from it in the process. Except now he's on the plane to return to the island. Will that mess things up and/or what might be the ramifications of his return?

I thought from the start that Kate had taken Aaron to Sawyer's baby mama. I never even thought of Claire's mum. Both would work...

I think DL and CC would have to be crazy mad to off Penny or Charlie at this point in the game, but obviously something happened at that marina. I can see Desmond kicking Ben's tush to the back end of beyond and Penny's no shrinking violet herself, but I'm definitely worried. I figure Desmond's headed back to the island one way or another...

Sam Hobart said...

It was interesting to see them drop an old school Lost episode into the middle of this sprint of a season. I think it's pretty emblematic of what we're about to see now that most of our cast is in the same time zone, which is a return to the more familiar flashback structure of the first three seasons. It seems tradition, if boring to some viewers, to use Jack episodes to pivot like this and I suspect that this episode may fall into the "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" category of being better once you've seen the whole season. While "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" was more enjoyable on its own merits as a standalone, I enjoyed watching the pieces fall into the place, just like they were supposed to, even if we have to wait to see just who and what gave them that forward momentum.

It actually reminded me quite a bit of the season one finale as we watched everyone boarding 815, except this time we don't know what got them there.

I'm also not nearly as bored by Jack as most commenters seem to be, particularly when we can see him accept his evolution from Doubting Thomas to Man of Faith. And then to see him smiling upon his return to the island and slip right back into in charge Jack, making a plan to find everyone else just before Jin shows up.

Then again, my favorite X-Man was always Cyclops so I must be fascinated by boring characters.

christy said...

"Lantern" station (do I have that name right)

Lamp post, I think.

One of Dharma's lamer-sounding station names, if you ask me. But it's a pretty clear allusion to CS Lewis. The lamp post is the place where you can figure out how to get back. How to move from world to world. You can only find the wardrobe if you start at the lamp post.

I guess Aaron could also be with Kate's mom or Sun's mom. But Sawyer's baby mama is the most interesting theory, I think.

MikeD said...

I liked the episode, and loved the Jin reveal. After reading Alan's synopsis, and the comments here, I can see some of the flaws. I liked it anyway though.

Here's a lil theory for you - Christian became the Jacob surrogate when 815 with his coffin crashed on the island. So, Locke will become the surrogate when his coffin ends up on the island. What implications this has, I don't know, but just wanted to throw this out there.

christy said...

Yeah, the resurrection/doubting Thomas stuff was a little "OK WE GET IT." Anyone who has watched this show from the beginning doesn't need a long speech from Ben to see the parallels between Jack and Thomas and certainly not the ones between Locke and Jesus.

Jess said...

ksquard said: Why hasn't anyone (has anyone?)mentioned that when Ben turned the wheel, he told Locke that doing so meant that he, Ben, could never return to the island?

I chalked that up to the fact that while he can be pretty entertaining and almost likeable at times, we pretty much shouldn't trust anything Ben says. He's proven himself to be a master manipulator and liar over and over again. I think Ben convinced Locke that he needed to turn the wheel as part of some elaborate scheme to get off the island, possibly so he could kill Penny, and had always planned to return. I have a growing suspicion that everything Widmore and Ben have told the Losties is for the purpose of influencing them to do whatever they need them to do next, like pawns in a game (see: Desmond's quote at the beginning of Alan's recap).

Brian said...

So what do we think happened to the rest of the passengers on Ajiri 316? My theory is that the plane actually did crash, but it crashed in the present day. When the plane entered into the island's energy field, Jack, Kate, Hurley (and I'm assuming Sayid and Sun also) made the time jump back to the 1970s so that they could be in sync with Daniel, Sawyer, etc. Also, I'm guessing Lupidis made the time jump too based on the fact that Daniel, Miles, and Charlotte were included in the other time jumps on the island. Ben's kind of a wild card because he's an Other, and the Others weren't time jumping before.

Anyway, this would explain why Sawyer and co. found the camp with Ajiri Air water bottles (they were in the future) and who the F those people were who were shooting at them from that other boat in the distance (survivors of 316).

Merrylegs said...

Mookie, ditto that, brotha!

Ryan said...

I didn't think of this until reading the House Next Door recap, so all due credit, but let's suppose Ben was headed after Penny, and did succeed, could Desmond's "special" time-travel abilities enable him to prevent it from happening? We know he's the one guy who can actually change the past, so ... maybe? A guy can dream?

Anonymous said...

I read the comments (searching for coffin) and I didn't find anything about this, so if it was mentioned elsewhere, I apologize...

Is it possible that the empty coffin that Jack found in the first season was actually Locke's coffin?

Jason Fisher said...

I did like the episode title/flight number--I presume it's supposed to be a reference to John (Locke) 316

Oh, yes, I'm sure of it. I said the same thing to Jennifer J. last night. Locke sacrificed himself, and will apparently be resurrected next week. Making him a Christ figure is a bit of a tricky gamble, maybe, but interesting. Remember, in the "suicide" note, Locke wrote, "I wish you had believed me"; compare that to John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Bryan said...

Ben's kind of a wild card because he's an Other, and the Others weren't time jumping before.

I really like your theory on the plane crashing in present day.

As for Ben though he's technically not an Other and we don't know how he's going to be effected by the jumping - he's been off the island the entire time.

Joe Beach said...

Ms. Hawking says that if they can't get everyone back, then "God help us all." but...why? Why is it so important for them to return? And if she was able to know when the Island would appear, why not just wait until it popped up next time?
Also, she said that the Island isn't done with Desmond. But maybe it is done with Walt? Which is why he doesn't seem to have to go back. (Which is disappointing. I feel that tthere's plenty more of his story to delve into. Besides, didn't "Jeremy Bentham" visit Walt at one point?)

jimmy said...

I thought this was largely a fine episode but I think without question that Penny has to now be dead. Desmond's story on this show is clearly not over and there is absolutely no reason for him to go back to the island except for revenge for Penny's death.

Desmond has been way too included in this season for him to just disappear from the show but he's not really connected to anyone who is now on the island for him to go back for any reason other for revenge on Ben.

If anyone can think of a single reason other than that I would love to hear it. I don't really want Penny to be dead - they are my favourite couple on the show.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else find it a little odd that mass-murderer Ben was on his knees in the church/timeplex, apparently praying?

And why all of the Catholic images and references all of a sudden? For a moment there, I thought I was watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Maybe Garrett Dillahunt will show up as Cromartie The Terminator. After all, he's already killed Penny once...

Jennifer said...

What a TERRIBLE episode. So badly done. Hated it. C/L can do so much better, especially at this point in time. As Alan pointed out, making this a Jack episode was weak. Who CARES about meeting his suspiciously young grandfather now (thank you, Jennifer Finney Boylan, for summing this up so well)? Who CARES about the damn shoes? I'm far more concerned with Kate losing Aaron AND REFUSING TO SAY WHERE HE IS. And Jack going along with that. It's his nephew, for god's sake, and even beyond that, who just brushes off the absence of a 3-year-old? Oh, wait, SUN, APPARENTLY. Gah. Gaaaaaaaaaah. At the very least, doesn't Aaron "have" to be there, by the stupid rules?

I hate the patchiness of this. We have to wade through a bunch more flashbacks to find out where Sayid's chick came from and the other big ol' plot holes? And we have to wait through at least another episode (or five or six for all I know) to find out? This is lame and stupid. We could have seen those things rather than Jack going through his cabinets.

Ben's "Who cares?" figures. The only one who ever cares about the innocents is Hurley (and he plays guitar now? Well, probably not after it got soaked). I am not surprised that nobody is that fazed at him showing up beaten up, though- god knows he's always doing something to deserve it.

Was amused at Lapidius showing up, though.

I am assuming that Ben went after Penny and got a thorough beat-down by Desmond. I'm confident it's all Ben's own blood, because he's always the one getting beat up. Also, he wasn't walking around smugger than shit afterwards, which you know he would have done if he'd gotten to kill someone.

I wonder if the Ajira crew has even heard of the O6. Maybe they were all in India when the 06 returned or something.

I don't get the "re-creation" thing at all. It's not like you COULD really do it all that much in the first place. And is Sayid supposed to be in handcuffs in order to re-create Kate and the federal marshal?

The only thing I liked about this was Jin in the brand-new Dharma van.

I agree with MikeD that Jacob will take over Locke's corpse when he returns.

Mark Madel said...

So I guess we now know how Charlotte came to learn Korean, right?

Nice catch!

RKS said...

Because I love the Hume family healthy and intact, I'm going to assume that Ben went to the marina in order to kill Penny but didn't go through with it once---another assumption---he saw little Charlie.

Ben has shown, in his own self-serving way, that he has some serious mother/abandonment issues. It wouldn't surprise me if he couldn't bring himself to kill Penny seeing she was now a mother.
I'll definitely bet it was Desmond who knocked the stuffing out of him and rightfully so.

On another note, I was so glad to see Frank Lapidus again. I wasn't sure he'd be back. He's probably the most laid-back character in the Lost universe with his "guess we're not going to Guam" comment.

Looking forward to seeing how life in Dharma suits the Losties. I hope we get to see young Ben again. Despite Ben being Ben, I'm fascinated by him.

dez said...

I'm assuming that the shoes are going to become items of some significance on the Island, somehow.


If this whole thing was about Christian getting himself a new pair of shoes, I'm gonna be pissed :-D

Sayid is the new Kate? I hope he doesn't turn into an annoying drip, too!

And Lapidus? Shouldn't he be more worried that former One Life to Live actors that have been dying lately? Is there a curse?

Both Clint Ritchie and Phil Carey were quite old, and Phil was very sick. That's hardly a curse.

I wonder if Ben's errand involved subduing Desmond and smuggling him onto the plane? That doesn't alleviate my worry about Penny, but it's possible he could have grabbed Desmond without ever coming across her, right? RIGHT!? ARRGH!!

Adam said...

. Perhaps Sayid had to whack someone in Singapore or Malaysia or something, and Ben (or the Island) saw to it that it caught up with him in time for him to end up on that flight.

You mean, like the golfer ("Mr. Avelinno") that Sayid killed in The Economist?

Mark Madel said...

So assuming Locke fixed the wheel with his pull and stopped the time-jumping, the group left behind has been living either as Dharmites or Others for 3 years - to bring the time-lines back to 'equal-time passed'.

We know Daniel and Jin are with the DI (Jin teaching Charlotte Korean and Daniel scaring her with stories and visiting the construction of the Orchid), but what about Juliette, Sawyer, and Miles. Are there any substantial past events in DI or Otherdom history that might have been initiated by one of these characters?

Kathie said...

This was an okay show, not edge of your seat excitement, but it moved the plot along.

Ben can be funny in that deadpan way of his "my mother taught me how to read"

Good casting on Jack's grandpa, although we will probably never see him again.

I don't think we have seen the last of Locke.......agree with who said Locke should be standing next to the coffin-that would have been a great ending.

Nothing was mentioned about who was PAYING for these last minute flights to Guam........that's gotta be about $1000 each. Do they all have big bucks? Their free lifetime flights probably didn't include this small Indian airline.....

Hope Penny is okay!

Bryan said...

Desmond has been way too included in this season for him to just disappear from the show but he's not really connected to anyone who is now on the island for him to go back for any reason other for revenge on Ben.

If anyone can think of a single reason other than that I would love to hear it. I don't really want Penny to be dead - they are my favourite couple on the show.


I think they are a lot of people's favorite couple - with less than a couple dozen eps left I wouldn't mind at all if a few of them centered on the two of them.

As far as Desmond coming back to the island - he's floating around on a boat in the South Pacific where there so happens to be space jumping island with a mind of its own - maybe the island will come back to him.

Beth M. said...

In the room with Eloise there was a panel of numbers indicating lat/long - those reminded me of the numbers they had to keep punching in. Could it be they had to keep entering the numbers to keep the island in place/time?

Jennifer said...

Actually, the 06 all have big bucks now, thanks to the settlement.

Anonymous said...

Jin isn't sporting an AK-47; that rifle looks more like the 1950s/1960s-era M-1s or M-14s we've seen Richard Alpert's people carry, and a new one at that. An AK-47 would carry an entirely different set of assumptions. Just sayin', is all...

christy said...

. Do they all have big bucks? Their free lifetime flights probably didn't include this small Indian airline.....

They also got big settlements from Oceanic. And, of course, Hurley is very rich anyway. Jack and Sun weren't exactly low on cash before all this, either.

I thought of the whole lifetime of free flights thing and their fame when Jack was talking to the guy in the airport. I know it's an Indian airline, but seeing how famous the O6 seems to be in the United States, you'd think people in the airline business from other countries would be pretty familiar with the story. Think of the flight attendant. "Hmm, I only have seven people in first class and five of them are famous crash survivors. Great."

Archie said...

Ok - I did it right this time - I read all (ok, ok, most) of the comments. And for one of the first times, i disagree with Alan!! Who knew it could happen?

It's just - I agree with Josh. It was very obviously an "act-1" kind of episode. It reminded me of when they kept showing us the Oceanic 6 on the mainland - and then kept going to tell us how.

Now, and this is just a guess - we're back on the Island. Now we'll find out how and who made it and all the gory details, including the why's and how people were convinced (including Jack) to come back, where the kids are - and why Sun seems sssooo calm - it did seem like she knew she was only going temporarily, like she knew how to get back off.

Thanks to whoever pointed out about Des and Pen - please, God, don't let it be true!!!!

And as for all the stuff that's unanswered - well, it just seemed too good to be true, didn't it?? They've been giving us quite a few answers - they HAVE to hold stuff back!!!

And John's suicide note - I don't know scripture, but it did seem like Ben was right - Jack didn't want to think John blamed him - and that's almost what that sounded like. "I wish you'd believed in me" .... almost an accusation and a pardon - all at once.

Can't wait for the next few episodes. I have faith in DL&CC - they haven't let us down before now. How about we all just enjoy the journey, for a change?? They have given us an amazing show we watch with sssooo much ardor 5 seasons in - can't we trust them to know better where they're going??

Have a little faith??

And yes, I agree with whoever said about Eloise Hawking's comment - You need to stop worrying about how this is all going to work.

Beebo said...

Jack's business with the shoes doesn't necessarily prove that he's wholly bought into the "man of faith" side of the ledger. When I'm among people praying, I go along and bow my head. Doesn't mean I buy their whole mumbo jumbo. It's not like Jack violates a lifetime of shoe-shunning to humor Mrs. Hawking.

At least one parsing of the Numbers describes a latitude/longitude directly on a path from Australia to L.A.

Wouldn't the flight crew have some reservations or at least questions before boarding the badly beaten Ben?

I believe Locke's note wishes Jack had "believed" him -- NOT "believed IN him".

Stef said...

Hey, Jennifer Finney Boylan! My book club read your book a few years back and had a great discussion. Glad to know you're a LOST fan, too! :-)

JamesG said...

I second the frustrations over the characters lack of question-asking. Jack knows that Ben and the others used to leave and return to the island via submarine. Shouldn't this be a logical question when being told that the only way to get back is to get on some plane and pray for a crash? The island couldn't have only started moving when Ben turned the donkey wheel, as Mrs. Hawking explains that its movement was why they were never rescued.

And as mentioned, none of the characters asked what they're supposed to do when they return. Why not? Even if the act of returning is the gesture of faith and belief, shouldn't this be something that at least one of them considers?

I have no problem with suspension of disbelief on a sci-fi show, but I do take issue with suspension of common sense.

Anonymous said...

I didn't dislike the episode and hopefully appreciate it more once the flashbacks play out that were set up in it.

It's just that there was so much set-up for future flashbacks that it was a bit cluttered and didn't really stand out as anything more than a set-up episode. And I'm not sure I bought the characters going along with the setting up and not talking to each other more about what was going on.

I'm also bummed that Kate and Jack are on the outs. I think it would have been stronger for the Kate/Sawyer/Jack love triangle if Kate and Jack were on better terms.

The Ben stuff though... always compelling.

My biggest gripe overall was the reason all Oceanic 6 had to return to the islands. I seriously hope there is something more to it than recreating the original crash conditions as best as possible. That was a total disapointment.

Anonymous said...

For the record -

all we need to do is examine what John 3:16 says:

For God (Christian Sheppard) so loved the world (the island) he gave it his only son (Jack)

Anonymous said...

I'm worried this show is moving to fast and the last few episodes will be a cluster F%#* of answers, so much so they won't be able to tell them in a way that stays character based. This episode felt a little too expositional, which has bugged me since they cut the seasons down to 16 episodes.

Some of this stuff... they just need to let it play out more and breath. If that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Ben's kind of a wild card because he's an Other, and the Others weren't time jumping before.

. . .

As for Ben though he's technically not an Other and we don't know how he's going to be effected by the jumping - he's been off the island the entire time.

Ben probably will time jump, because Juliet has been time jumping and they are both non-Other Others.

MPH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Commish Rawls said...

this is not on you sepinwall. because if it was, i'd be the first to tell it to you.

but come on! who else would this episode follow? all of the 05? Then you would have said, oh this seems rushed! Were obviously going to learn how/why each one made it to the plane and we'll be able to focus on each character.

and people can hate on the shoes, but its like locke said in season 1, one set white, one set black.

awesome episode.

these are for you sepinwall.

annie said...

Enjoyed the slow pace of the episode and the set up to reveal more of the O6's motivations to return to the island. Jack has got to be the main guy of the whole show, so I tend to like Jack episodes for what they reveal. Really, when it's not a Jack, John, or Ben centric episode, I feel like we're stalling and just filling in gaps. What I don't like is how unlike a surgeon the Jack character is written - he should have much better critical thinking skills. I know, he's supposed to be evolving from logic to faith, but still, ask Mrs. Hawking and Ben some relevant questions!
So, how is that Sun was able to leave her child behind? I'm a mother - just could never do it.
Kate leaving Aaron. I'm sure she rationalizes she's protecting him, but why not just not go back?
Hurley flew to Korea and visited Jin's grave with Sun and the baby. How could they see each other on the plane and not acknowledge one another - Hurley always seems so warm and demonstrative.
Ben is evil. He's deliciously evil and so well acted.
Mrs. Hawking - her motivations and source of info is a mystery to me.
Desmond is the soul of the show. Can't imagine his despair if Penny or Charlie is dead.

Redsmom said...

Okay, I read all but about the last 10 comments and no one has mentioned this. When did Sun get the "proof" about Jin that she went with Ben and Jack in the car to get? Did I miss something at the beginning (they run our commercials over the show here, sometimes). When did Ben give her Jin's ring? Was there a pod cast or something that I missed or am I getting senile?

Anonymous said...

Jack knows that Ben and the others used to leave and return to the island via submarine. Shouldn't this be a logical question when being told that the only way to get back is to get on some plane and pray for a crash?

Locke blew up the submarine in Ep 3.13 and the the others' sonar beacon was taken out when the hatch imploded. I think we are also supposed to believe that the island's movements have become more jarring since the wheel was turned.

Susan said...

I kept thinking that since Ben supposedly could never get back to the island... wouldn't it have been funny if the final shot of the series was Ben waking up on the plane, being welcomed to Guam? And looking around at the rest of First Class and seeing the rest of the O6 gone?

Liz said...

You know, when Eloise started talking at the beginning, I thought we were about to get our "No Exit" episode (a la BSG). No such luck.

I love Lost, one of three shows I really care about on TV. But I didn't like this episode. Sure, Ben had some great lines (Michael Emerson is very watchable). But it annoyed me that we didn't learn a thing about Kate, Sayid, Sun, Hugo, or even what Ben was up to, to get so beat up. Nope, they skipped right over all of that and went straight to the flight. Meaning that we might have to wait weeks to find out, in out-of-order bits and pieces, what happened.

Just my opinion, but it would have been much more satisfying to get this whole part of the story, leading up to Flight 316, in linear fashion.

Peter D Bakija said...

While I'm usually 100% behind Alan's reviews, I kinda feel like you are missing the boat on this one. Yeah, ok, Jack's particular story wasn't the most gripping of the ones that got everyone on the plane, but it set up everyone getting back on the plane. Everyone else went through something to get back on the plan, and they couldn't have had that all in there. Jack's POV was kind of the set up--it gives us the "Well, they all get on the plane and end up on the island" structure. Everyone else's story is coming later.

-Hurley gets out of jail, someone tells him what he has to do, including (presumably) get Charlie's guitar.

-Kate gives Aaron away. To grandma?

-Saiyd has a whole adventure that ends with him handcuffed to a marshall. On a plane...

-Ben goes to kill Penny. Which likely (hopefully) goes very wrong.

These are all episodes in and of themselves. They couldn't have this all in one episode. And Jack's story, as comparably dull as it was, is the framework. It is set up. For a lot more stuff we are clearly going to get later on.

The Rush Blog said...

My theory on Aaron: when Sawyer whispered in Kate's ear on the helicopter he told her about his daughter in Albuquerque, at some point Kate met with the mother, and trusts her enough to leave Aaron with her.


I hope that DIDN'T HAPPEN. I hope that Kate left Aaron with his grandmother.

Jennifer said...

It can't be Charlie's guitar, that would have been left on the island (certainly didn't make it to the helicopter). And it's not like pre-island Charlie left it to Hurley in his will. He has to have gone out and bought it.

Devin McCullen said...

Redsmom,

Ben gave Sun the ring at the end of the last episode, right before they went in to talk to Eleanor.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Charlie's other guitars are being sold as memorabilia and that Hurley bought one of them, possibly a while ago, so he could have "a piece" of Charlie with him.

Anonymous said...

where is walt???

Anonymous said...

Beth M. said...
In the room with Eloise there was a panel of numbers indicating lat/long - those reminded me of the numbers they had to keep punching in. Could it be they had to keep entering the numbers to keep the island in place/time?
Beebo said...
At least one parsing of the Numbers describes a latitude/longitude directly on a path from Australia to L.A.

I think you're both on to it. Parsing the numbers as 04 08 15 latitude (South) and 16 23 42 longitude (east of Intl Dateline) gives you 163 36 18 West of Greenwich. Plot that and you're in the South Pacific 1000 miles or so Northeast of Fiji, just where the Oceanic pilot said they were when they turned back.

So long as they put those coordinates into the computer in the Swan, the Island stayed in one place. So it was "good to go" at the point when Desmond hit the Fail Safe switch at the end of Season 2

LOSTinMD said...

...but what about Juliette, Sawyer, and Miles. Are there any substantial past events in DI or Otherdom history that might have been initiated by one of these characters?

I wonder if Juliette causes whatever it is that prevents the birth of babies conceived on the island.

Think of the flight attendant. "Hmm, I only have seven people in first class and five of them are famous crash survivors. Great."

Nice -- had me hysterical!

Mark B said...

It has been bothering me that Alex was not actually Ben’s daughter, but that her death by Widmore’s minion is the reason Ben declares revenge against Penny. I don’t believe Penny’s mother has ever been identified, so the possibility remains that she is no more Widmore’s offspring than Alex was Ben’s biological child. That said, the show has repeatedly made the point that a person can not be killed at the wrong time but neither can that person be ultimately saved from that fate.

Anonymous said...

I may have missed this in all the comments and/or it may be too obvious but the parallel here between Jesus and John Locke continues in this episode -- first he is the one brought to save the others and the island (the chosen one) and now he has sacrificed himself voluntarily to save the "sinners" who left the island when they shouldn't have as well as the rest of the people on the island and island itself. The title of the episode is 3:16 which as someone mentioned may be a reference to John 3:16 which is about God giving his only son so those that believe can be saved. Then you have the story about Thomas that Ben tells, a parallel to Jack who doubted. I would imagine there will have to be some sort of resurrection to complete the parallel.

Mark Madel said...

Has it ever been stated specifically on the show whether the Dharmites could or couldn't have children on the island?

In other words, I can't remember if they've established when the fertility problem actually began.

Andy said...

So where is Ben when the plane is hitting turbulence and the white light flashes? Just before all this happens he tells Jack he is going to give him some space and walks toward the front of the plane....

Sure Ben probably went after Penny. He did call Jack from a pay phone at a marina. But he looked pretty roughed up. My bet is Dez got in the way. Dez is the MAN!

Anonymous said...

"I wish you had believed in me"
"I wish you had believed"

It was actually "Jack, I wish you had believed me. JL"

Not IN Locke. Just... believed him. At the Orchid/overall. Best wording of the three.

christy said...

So where is Ben when the plane is hitting turbulence and the white light flashes? Just before all this happens he tells Jack he is going to give him some space and walks toward the front of the plane....

Yes! I noticed this too, then forgot.

(The more people say they bet Desmond beat up Ben, the more I really hope it was Penny. Heh).

Anonymous said...

Ben was in the forward bathroom of the flight 316 plane, just like Charlie was on flight 816.

Caroline said...

AHH thank you Alan, I couldn't remember where Taghmaoui was from. Wow, need to watch Three Kings again asap.

Anna said...

Because Hurley has a guitar case, I'm inclined to think that it was Charlie that told him to return to the island.

Andrew said...

I finally realized what I found so unsatisfying about this episode was that it was only questions. It didn't have the parallel narratives that the best Lost episodes do-- where one story teaches us something about the character's actions in the other story. (e.g. Walkabout or Through the Looking Glass).

Here, we just had holes in the narrative that will obviously get filled in later by flashback episodes that tell us how Kate, Sayid, Hurley and Ben all get to the flight to Guam which parallel some event they're involved in on the island.

Kensington said...

The theories that some have espoused about what Kate did with Aaron are all interesting except for one detail: why on Earth wouldn't she tell Jack? What would be so unspeakable about either giving Aaron to his grandmother or to Sawyer's baby mama?

Her refusal to tell Jack, combined with his agreement, may well constitute the dumbest moment of the entire season. It was the kind of pointless mystery-for-the-sake-of-mystery moment that I'd hoped were left in LOST's past.

So irritating.

Kensington said...

Also, I loved Frank's resigned response to seeing all the 815 survivors: "we're not going to Guam, are we?"

I laughed out loud.

bflora said...

Kate telling Jack he couldn't ask about where Aaron is serves as a big clue to what she did with him. What's the only other thing that Jack's not allowed to ask Kate about? What Sawyer asked her to do when she got back.

Translation: Aaron's with Sawyer's baby mama.

There's NO WAY she gave the kid to Claire's mom. She'd have to explain that Claire didn't die in the crash, that she gave birth on the island etc etc.

With Sawyer's woman, who she already knows, she just has to say she's leaving and might not come back and needs this favor.

Still, it has NEVER made sense why Kate refused to tell Jack about what Sawyer asked her to do. Sure, Jack's a control freak, but what's the big deal? It's not like Jack would care about it. Kate's refusal to placate Jack's insecurity a bit ended up tearing them apart, which was a big, dishonest piece of writing.

And Ben's hit on Penny didn't got as planned. That much we know.

MattB said...

These are all episodes in and of themselves. They couldn't have this all in one episode.

My problem with this is that these stories of "What made them decide to get on the plane? What happened to them in the 36 hours since we've seen them last?" all sound like really boring episodes.

P@ said...

If everyone is now on the Island in the 70s Dharma time...isn't The Purge coming up? Hmmm.

Mark Madel said...

If everyone is now on the Island in the 70s Dharma time...isn't The Purge coming up? Hmmm.

Well, I don't think it's going to be that late in Dharma's island history. Otherwise there might be two adult Ben's running around. More likely it will be, at the latest, around the time that Ben was a kid (which would fit with Jin teaching Charlotte Korean, and other things).

christy said...

Still, it has NEVER made sense why Kate refused to tell Jack about what Sawyer asked her to do. Sure, Jack's a control freak, but what's the big deal? It's not like Jack would care about it. Kate's refusal to placate Jack's insecurity a bit ended up tearing them apart, which was a big, dishonest piece of writing.

Sawyer would care. She was putting her loyalty to Sawyer above her relationship with Jack. I find that pretty believable. I probably would have done the same.

Commish Rawls said...

"My problem with this is that these stories of "What made them decide to get on the plane? What happened to them in the 36 hours since we've seen them last?" all sound like really boring episodes."

You do realize that will not be the whole episode? There will be on island stuff too. How will it be boring seeing what Ben did, or how Kate got rid of Aaron, or Sayid gets arrested, how Hurley gets out of jail?


these are for you MattB

Redsmom said...

I watched the previous episode twice - when brodcast and from the tape of it that I made and I didn't see the part about the ring. My local network affiliate IS overrunning the show with the commercials. Greedy suckers.

dez said...

What would be so unspeakable about either giving Aaron to his grandmother or to Sawyer's baby mama?


Nothing. Maybe she handed Aaron over to Ben's goons/lawyers instead?

Kensington said...

"Nothing. Maybe she handed Aaron over to Ben's goons/lawyers instead?"

Fine, but why wouldn't she want to tell Jack about that? Why wouldn't she want to tell all of her allies. This is nothing but Idiot Plot. Having people keep their mouths shut unnaturally/unrealistically is not the stuff of good drama.

Mark Madel said...

Fine, but why wouldn't she want to tell Jack about that? Why wouldn't she want to tell all of her allies. This is nothing but Idiot Plot. Having people keep their mouths shut unnaturally/unrealistically is not the stuff of good drama.

She looked pretty freaked-out when she was at Jacks. It's possible that an imminent threat of some kind against Aaron is what's motivating her. I think we need to hold judgment about possible 'unrealistic' reasoning until we actually know what it is.

Mark Madel said...

Withhold, that is.

Matthew L said...

One thing bothered me about the episode that I've not seen anyone comment on - Jack was surprised that Locke committed suicide, and Ben claimed to be as well. But I could have sworn we already knew he killed himself. Was that really not revealed any earlier?

Kensington said...

"She looked pretty freaked-out when she was at Jacks. It's possible that an imminent threat of some kind against Aaron is what's motivating her. I think we need to hold judgment about possible 'unrealistic' reasoning until we actually know what it is."

Hey, if that's the kind of storytelling you like, then enjoy it with my blessing. Me? I'm sick of it. It's cheap and artificial. LOST isn't a daily soap opera; it's a weekly drama that's supposed to be racing full force toward a conclusion, not indulging in more "What's wrong?" "I CAN'T TELL YOU!!!1!!" nonsense.

If a plot requires characters to stay silent in order to stall progress, it's a bad plot.

Kensington said...

Seriously, I hope that wasn't too douchey; I mean no offense. It's just not my thing.

Anonymous said...

What about the military picture briefly shown in a scene with Jack looking at it. We know there is an old atomic bomb on the island and testing done by the military in Pacific islands.

Peter D Bakija said...

MattB wrote:
My problem with this is that these stories of "What made them decide to get on the plane? What happened to them in the 36 hours since we've seen them last?" all sound like really boring episodes.

I dunno--I'm looking forward to seeing how Hurley gets out of jail and ends up on the plane ('cause Charlie will possibly be involved). And how Desmond hopefully foils Ben's murder attempt. And while most Kate centric stories tend to be pretty high on the lame scale, at least what she does with the kid might be relevant to the story as a whole. Ooh! And Saiyd clearly has to do something badass in his 36 hours...

Mark Madel said...

Kensington:

Hey, if that's the kind of storytelling you like, then enjoy it with my blessing.

I am, even without your blessing. But seriously, I know they've pulled some asinine tricks in the past with plotting, and I would be the first to yell foul if this doesn't pan out somehow, but one has to assume that they have a master plan to the end at this point, and we don't know yet how imperative it is that Jack (or we, the audience) not know this information until further down the storyline.

Anonymous said...

Being that this was the first ever " Lost" episode, I actually found it to be a very good episode.

It's just odd that Jack would have such a very young grandad, whom I reconized from the show " Cold Case".

There was a lot of symbolism in this storyline which appealed a lot to me

Andy said...

I love this show, but Jack has always been the weak link of Lost in my opinion. I've only ever seen Matthew Sheppard in Lost and what little I could stand to watch of Party of Five, but there doesn't seem to be much difference in the way he has portrayed those two characters. It seems to me that he's a one trick pony as an actor. It gets really predictable after awhile. I don't think there's much we need to learn or would be surprised about the way his character reacts to events at this point. I don't want to sound negative, but at this point in the series I think the less the show focuses on Jack the better the show is.

I almost felt like this was an episode which served an actor's ego or was based out of loyalty to an actor who has been with the show from the beginning. Otherwise, I agree with Alan who said that any of the other characters' points of view for this episode would have been far more interesting.

And I believe like many of you do that Penny is dead. The reveal on that may not come for awhile, but I think that is what happened. I also predict that Desmond's lust for revenge will drive him back to the island, and he will be the end of Ben.

Anonymous said...

Re: "Still, it has NEVER made sense why Kate refused to tell Jack about what Sawyer asked her to do."

Because Sawyer obviously asked her to keep it from him/anyone else.

Re: "If everyone is now on the Island in the 70s Dharma time...isn't The Purge coming up? Hmmm."

No, the Purge was in the 90s, wasn't it?

Re: "how Hurley gets out of jail"

Ben already talked with his laywer about that: they knew the judge, they knew they could get him out easily. Why Hurley's on the plane, aside from saving 70 lives or so, is a better question.

Greg with One g said...

In season 3(?) when Kate and James were captured by the "others", they were working crushing rocks and making a landing strip... any chance this was for flight 316???

Michael said...

Is it possible that Ben killed Desmond and his body is on the plane (like John's)? The killing of Desmond would hurt Penny and cause her to "suffer".

He is the only one missing besides Arron, and we do not know what happened to him yet.

J.J. said...

I actually liked the way we ran the episode from Jack's perspective.

Having all the people show up despite Jack having done nothing to convince them (or understand their being there) was, in a weird way, kind of an interesting.

We stepped into Jack's shoes, to see what it's like to have things materialize around us without us knowing what the hell was going on.

Now we know what it's like to be as stupid and oblivious as Jack is much of the time.

My one complaint was the show's teaser. This would have been a classic episode, in my mind, if they didn't reveal right off the bat that they would end up at the island. If they saved that for the final moments, it would have been beautiful.

Since it's not a season finale or anything, and since they didn't show us everyone being convinced to come along, and since Mrs. Hawking's explanation was so flimsy (that they should take a flight and HOPE it crashes there again), I would have been totally sucked into expecting this flight to be a failed attempt. Honestly, who expected them to get bakc to the island before the season finale?

It would have been a huge surprise for them to make it back to the island in a middle-of-the-season episode where the whole episode seemed to be centered around them failing to meet the criteria that were going to take them back. And instead, they gave it to us up front.

Anonymous said...

I always wonder if people go back and re-read blogs like this, and see how ridiculous they sound now that more pieces of the puzzle are revealed.

When the series is done, all those people complaining are going to jump on the bandwagon. LOST is a 6-year story, intricately woven, and all will be clear. You are simply one of the Chorus of the Impatient.