Whew...these posts are getting intimidating, as the writers find new ways to somehow cram about 2-3 hours of material into hour long episodes. Let's get to it...
First of all, the title "316" obviously refers to the flight that our O5+1 choose as their vessel back to the Island, but I think we can also infer some deeper meaning, especially in light of Ben's Bible lesson that we will get to shortly (or...not so shortly, depending on the length of this post). This could definitely be a reference to John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." In this episode, we have one who has sacrificed himself for the good of his friends, and if they will simply believe in him, trust that his sacrifice has meaning, then they too might not "perish." And, of course, the sacrifice in our story is named John...obviously, John 3:16 refers to Jesus Christ the Son, but I think the writers were obviously going for symbolism in this reference, and the fact that the verse is found in the Book of John certainly helps that symbolism.
On to the show...
- OK, I'll admit that for a brief second I thought that we were back to the crash of 815 with the opening shot of Jack's eye that mirrors the opening shot of the Pilot episode. But only for a second...you could tell by Jack's reaction that this time was very different. In the Pilot, he was confused, disoriented, frightened...but this time he looks positively EXCITED to be back.
In the Chronicles of Narnia, even when characters have seemingly forgotten all about Narnia and have no desire to go back there, when they actually do get back they always feel a rush of excitement, rebirth, and the feeling that they are back HOME. Even though Narnia is not their birthplace, it somehow becomes their homeland. There are lots of C.S. Lewis references the last couple of weeks, and Jack's reaction reminded me of those children who have made it back to Narnia.
- And immediately, through this mini "flash forward," the stage is set for the episode: OK, they made it...but last time we saw the group trying to get back it consisted of Jack, Sun, Ben, and (maybe) Desmond...how did that group morph into this one? And how did they actually get back? Great storytelling technique.
- OK, more C.S. Lewis...the Dharma Station (and I definitely gave a little fist-pump when I realized that's what the lab was...our first off-Island Dharma station) is called The Lamp Post. In "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe", the gateway back and forth from Narnia to the "real world" was marked by...a lamp post.
- I could barely pay attention to what was being said (much like Jack, who was reprimanded by the suddenly very school-marmish Eloise) because I was trying to absorb all that was in that station. Even after looking at the screen captures, the most interesting thing I could come up with was that the 1954 Army photograph that Jack was looking at was taken almost 50 years to the day before the crash of 815 (9/23/54 vs. 9/22/04). Other than that, the only conclusion I could come to was that the place looked REALLY cool.
- JACK: Is he telling the truth?
ELOISE: (smirking) Probably not.
Heh. Yeah, is his mouth moving? Then he is almost definitely not telling the truth.
- Wow. That was a LOT of information we got from Eloise. Between this and the data dump we received on Battlestar Galactica last week, I feel like my brain is swelling.
OK, so we got some confirmation of a couple of things that have been theorized about quite a bit on the interwebs. Although she never actually said the words vile vortices, her explanation was certainly along those lines...that there are certain areas on the Earth that have a unique energy that causes "windows" between those places and others. This has been a theory used by many in the Lost community to explain how all of these vessels coming from vastly different places and heading to vastly different destinations (Flight 815, The Black Rock, the Nigerian drug plane, Desmond's boat) have all ended up on the Island, as well as both Ben and the Dharma polar bears somehow popping up in Tunisia. I'm not going to get into all of the pseudo-science here, but you can follow the above link the Lostpedia page dedicated to the theory and get all you want and more.
- Other info received: the Island is always moving. So if it's always been moving, why is it only now becoming a problem for our nose-bleeding Strandaways? Here's my theory: yes, the Island has always been moving in both time and space; remember Daniel's little experiment with the payload last year when we discovered that there was a 31-minute discrepancy in time between the boat and the freighter (that's moving in time), as well as the fact that only by staying on a SPECIFIC bearing could you make it on and off the Island (that's moving in space). However, whatever the Frozen Donkey Wheel is attached to was keeping those movements somewhat controlled. Now that Ben has knocked the Donkey Wheel off its axis, the movements are becoming more erratic, frequent, and seismic in nature, which is what is causing the problems.
- A "very clever fellow" realized the way to find the Island was to track it both through space AND time, rather than just space. Any theories as to who that "clever fellow" may be? Daniel? Pierre Chang? One of the infamous Hanso clan? Gerald de Groot (one of the founders of the Dharma Initiative)? Don't know yet, but I will bet we find out.
- Desmond's little rant is pretty much EXACTLY what I would have said if I was in his place, but I would have said it as soon as I walked in the door and saw Ms. Hawking. I never even would have followed her downstairs after what happened the LAST time he listened to her. Guess his curiosity level is higher than mine.
- "The Island isn't done with you yet." "Well, I'm done with the Island"
Oh, yeah? So was Michael...ask him how that turned out.
- OK, so I understand (sort of) the pseudo-science behind having to fly through a specific "window" in order to get back to the Island, but I don't understand the necessity of recreating the 815 crash. Obviously, there are powers other than science that must be appeased somehow...like Daniel said last week: empirically, it makes sense, but once you start talking about bringing those people back you leave science behind.
Or, as Eloise puts it later...stop thinking about how ridiculous it is, and just decide whether you believe enough to take a leap of faith. Once again, just like in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" when she described the anti-parodoxical "course correction" version of time travel that we were going to be seeing in the Lost universe, Ms. Hawking is tasked with being the voice of Darlton. In a nutshell: stop trying to figure it out, trust us, and come along for the ride.
I'm down with that.
- OK, how is it that Ben is sitting in a church, either praying or pretending to pray, and NOT being struck by lightning?
- Loved the Bible lesson on Thomas, especially his conclusion that "We're all convinced, sooner or later." This is another in the many indications that we have been receiving this season that Jack is going to have to make the transformation from the Man of Science that he was in the first four seasons into the Man of Faith in order to fulfill what the Island has dictated as his Purpose.
The creepy part for me, personally, was that I used this same example for my Sunday School class a few weeks ago, making the point that you never know which of your decisions is going to be the one that makes your reputation (in Thomas's case, he is not known as Brave Thomas or Loyal Thomas, but instead Doubting Thomas). So Ben and I are on the same page, when it comes to Biblical doctrine. ::shudder::
- Put me FIRMLY in the camp that believes that Ben left with the intention of killing Penny. A "promise to an old friend" about a "loose end that needs tying up?" Yep, that reeks of the conversation we saw him have with Widmore last season, where he promised Widmore that he would kill Penny in retaliation for the murder of Alex.
- OK...that whole scene with Jack's grandfather was just really weird, even after viewing a second time. I can't put my finger on it yet, but I think his "grandfather" is going to end up playing some sort of role in this whole thing. First of all, I'm not convinced he is his "granddad," as he seemed awfully young. Second, what is he even doing in a home? Seems to be the picture of health, both mentally and physically? And then those shoes just "happened" to get mixed in with some of his own things? The shoes of his dead son? Not buying it, sorry.
On top of all that, it just seemed an awfully long way to go in order to get to some shoes. It would have been MUCH easier, and made more sense, to just say that Jack's mom sent JACK a box of his dad's things, and the shoes were in there. No, this character and this scene are here for some other reason, we just don't know what it is yet.
I think the magic show portion of that scene was there as some sort of clue, I just don't know what it means yet...we even saw another white rabbit. Remember, the episode where Jack first sees his father and tracks him through the jungle is called White Rabbit, and of course we've seen white rabbits show up in other crucial moments in the show (Ben's little trick on Sawyer, the Orchid video where Chang sends a white rabbit forward in time).
- "Don't ask me any more questions about Aaron." "OK."
WHAT???? Kate shows up at his house virtually catatonic, obviously upset, without Aaron (Jack's nephew), and he accepts her insistence that he just not ask about him anymore? Really?
Well, Jack may not be allowed to ask, but I sure as heck am: WHERE IS AARON? Did she give him to Claire's mother, or maybe Cassidy? Did Claire show up to claim him? Did she throw him over a bridge? And if so, did he somehow levitate back to safe ground, since the Island is not "through with him"? (I just made that up, but how cool would THAT scene be?)
I think that the first possibility is the most likely, especially since Claire's mother is in LA oh so conveniently. I just thought it was awkward writing that Jack simply accepted that request at face value. But...we're not done with Aaron, obviously. He may not be going back to the Island with them at this point, but I still think he is going to be of some major significance to the storyline later.
- And we finally find out why Christian was traipsing around the Island in a suit and tennis shoes, rather than dress shoes. Now we just need to figure out where the Club Med casual wear he is currently sporting came from. Maybe he and Jacob both wear the same size, and he just borrowed something out of Jacob's closet.
- "Why hold on to something that makes you feel sad?" Umm...I think maybe Kate's not just talking about the shoes?
- BEN: "I've been, uh....sidetracked." Yeah, looks like it. Looks like you have been sidetracked by a woodchipper, and then tossed in the water.
Speaking of water, he's calling from a marina. Where you park boats. Like what Penny would be on.
So, who beat the crap out of him? Desmond? Sayid? Widmore, or (more likely) somebody Widmore sent to protect Penny? Penny herself? (Hee)
Maybe it was Little Charlie: "Stay away from my Mum!!" as he beats him about the face with a Transformer and tosses him over the side.
- And, as we see Jack putting his dead father's shoes on to dead Locke's feet, we see that Jack has indeed come full circle. He is now a Man of Faith. Couldn't help but think of all of those great debates that Jack and Locke have had, in which Locke has always been trying to convince Jack that he was indeed a believer, he just didn't know it yet. I agree with Jack...if Locke IS seeing this somehow, he is thoroughly enjoying himself.
"You wanted me to go back...I'm going back." (Cue huge lump in Scott's throat, not to mention ginormous goosebumps)
- Both the man behind Jack in line and the officer escorting Sayid in the airport are going to be recurring characters. They are actually listed on the cast list as "Caesar" and "Ilana", rather than "Wee Little Middle Eastern Looking Fella" and "Lady Cop Who Looks Enough Like Ana Lucia To Make Everybody Look Twice". The few mini-spoilers I read before the season started included that these would be recurring characters...no idea what part they will play, but look for them to show up again somewhere.
- Speaking of Lady Cop, why was Sayid arrested? And why were they transporting him to Guam? Well, there are any number of reasons that Sayid could have been arrested...he IS an assassin, after all. Maybe one of the people on Ben's People Who Must Die list were killed in Guam and Sayid is being extradited there? Just a thought...
- Just like Hurley to buy up all of the remaining seats to put as few people in jeopardy as possible.
- OK, so...who did Hurley talk to that told him a) which flight to be on, and b) to bring a guitar. To me, the guitar obviously is a "proxy" for Charlie (as they are trying to recreate the original flight), so did Charlie pay him a visit? If so, that blows my earlier theory about Hurley out of the water (that Hurley is in fact delusional, and the hallucinations he is having are simply hallucinations born out of his own delusion, not instruments of the Island or some other force). But it would be really cool, so I would be glad to be wrong.
- So, the Hurley with the guitar represents Charlie. Sayid has taken Kate's place as the "prisoner." Ben takes Hurley's place as the late arrival. Locke is Christian. Can any of you think of any others that I'm missing?
- Wait, one more...maybe Kate is pregnant after her roll in the hay with Jack, and she is now representing Claire?
- I love how every time you start to think Ben may be a little bit sympathetic or (gasp) human, we're reminded of just what a psycopath he really is. "What's going to happen to all of these other people?" "Who CARES?" Nice.
- "We're on the same plane, Jack. Doesn't make us together." OUCH. That was harsh.
- "This is your Captain, Frank J. Lapidus."
OK, this would be cool enough just on its face...but remember, Frank was SUPPOSED to be the Captain on 815, but he called in "sick" (Heinekenitis, probably...same thing that used to inflict Bob Horner when the Braves had day games). So now, as they go back, he takes his "rightful" place as the Captain. Awesome.
- And Frank gets the line of the night: "Wait a second. We're not going to Guam, are we?" HA!!
- "How can you read?"
"My mother taught me."
Another great line, perfectly delivered by Michael Emerson, and yet another lie by Ben, since we know his mother died during childbirth.
Remember, in "Man Behind the Curtain," Ben saw his mother out past the Smokey fence and told her he wanted to be with her, and her answer was "Not yet." So maybe on some other timeline, maybe the one Ben is trying to correct somehow, Ben's mother really DID teach him to read.
Yeah, I know, far-fetched...but too far-fetched for this show? Who knows?
- So Jack's fear is that Locke blames him somehow, and Ben assures him that it is not his fault. So, what does the letter say? "I wish you would have believed me." Yeah, that ought to soothe his conscience.
- Wow, that flight attendant took quite a shot when she was thrown into the plane wall.
There has been some question in what little I've read (I try to stay away from recaps until I've written mine, so as not to start mixing up my thoughts with someone else's and forget to give credit) as to whether the plane did in fact crash or whether our folks simply flashed out of there. Based on the violence of what was going on in that scene, along with the previously mentioned new characters who were on the plane, I think the plane did in fact crash SOMEWHERE. But, like Ms. Hawking said, the fact that the 815 crash could not be replicated perfectly has led to "unpredictable" results. So now, Jack, Kate, and Hurley are in one place (and one time, apparently), and who knows where Sun, Sayid, Ben, Lapidus, and the rest are?
- By the way, the shot on Jack's eye that we saw again here reminded me of when he looked over and saw Vincent in the Pilot episode, which reminded me to ask again: WHERE IN THE &!%*$ IS VINCENT??? I swear, if anything happened to that dog, Darlton and I are going to have harsh words.
- Another classic "LOST" goosebump moment, when the Dharma man is revealed to be Jin.
So, here's my theory on that...when Locke turned the Donkey Wheel the last time, we saw another flash. I think at that point Jin, Daniel, Sawyer, Miles (as well as hopefully Rose, Bernard, VINCENT, etc) flashed into late-1970's Dharma world. We have already seen Daniel working in the Orchid station, and Charlotte already told Daniel that she saw him back in her Dharma days as a young girl. Now Jack, Kate, and Hurley have flashed into that same time. I have no idea, however, where or when the rest of the passengers on the plane are right now, or how they are all going to meet up.
I can't wait to find out.
Tune in next week as we see what my favorite TV character of all time has been up to.