This week on Lost, all the adult O6ers are leaving on a jet plane, and they don’t think they’re ever coming home. Before they can go, Ben has to tie up a loose end, Jack goes to see his grandfather, and Kate forfeits her Mother-of-the-Year Award.
Jack’s eye opens and he looks around at the field of bamboo he is lying in. Aw, man. Did they accidentally replay the pilot? No wait, he looks kind of happy here. Jack’s back on the island! He realizes he’s holding a charred scrap of paper that says “I wish” on it. He hears a voice shouting for help. He drops the scrap and runs to a ledge above a lake and sees Hurley floundering around in it, using a guitar case for a flotation device. It’s a good thing Hurley didn’t know he couldn’t swim back when he did that cannonball last season. Jack jumps into the water, swims to him, pulls him about three feet and tells him to stand up. They look around confused and that’s when Jack sees Kate in a crumpled heap by the water’s edge. I know Jack usually likes things on the rocks, but this time: not so much. He rushes to check on her. She’s ok, and when she comes too she asks Jack, “Are we…?” He nods and says “We’re back.” Kate and all the rest of us ask “What happened?”
We pick up where we left off with Ms. Hawking, which is apparently 46 hours previous to Jack waking up on the island. She leads them down the circular staircase we saw in the Season Five premiere, and into the hatchey looking door. But this time we can clearly see the Dharma symbol, and it has a Lamp Post logo. As they file into the room with the pendulum, she explains that this is how they found the island. Jack asks Ben if he knew about this place, and Ben says he did not. So Jack, accustomed to Ben by now, or at least for now, asks Ms. Hawking if Ben is telling the truth. She smirks and replies, “Probably not.” Ben doesn’t seem insulted by this. Ms. Hawking speaks for the show as she first apologizes for being confusing, and then reminds us (and Jack) to pay attention. There will be a test on this, which will count for 50% of our grade. The Lamp Post Station was constructed over a “unique pocket of electromagnetic energy.” It’s connected to similar pockets all over the world, including one on the island. She says a very clever fellow built the pendulum on the theoretical notion that they should stop looking for where the island was supposed to be and start looking for where it was going to be. Make sense? Don’t answer too quickly. The Clever Fellow figured out that the island was always moving, and by coming up with a series of equations, he figured out how to determine where the island would be in a certain period of time. Finding when these temporary windows are available provides a route back to the island. The most recent one, the one the O6 needs, will be closing in 36 hours. Desmond finally remembers he’s auditing this class and doesn’t need to take notes. He can’t believe they are really going back to that God-forsaken place willingly. He approaches Ms. Hawking to deliver his message from Daniel and add a bit of a rant about how he lost four years of his life there, all the while storming back and forth in front of the pendulum. They way he dodges it without even looking is nothing short of impressive. I had to back up the scene because I wasn’t listening to a word he said waiting for him to be launched into the air by the thing. When the Season Five DVD comes out I’m going right for the blooper reel to see if there’s something from this scene on there. Anyway, he gives Ms. H. the message that Daniel needs her help. She reacts like he’s reminding her to balance the checkbook; she just nods and moves on with what she was saying. She adds that the island isn’t done with Desmond. But he has a message for the island: He’s just not that into you. During Desmond’s rant, he says he wasted those four years because Ms. Hawking told him to go there, that it was his purpose. Nobody in the room even bats an eyelash. Not even a, “Wow, you two have met before? What a coinkydink!” Des gives Jack some advice. He tells him that “these people” are using all of them as game pieces and that anything they tell them to do they should ignore. Why does that sound familiar? Oh right, it’s sorta kinda what Sayid said to Hurley.
Once Desmond storms out, Eloise gives Jack a binder full of information on flights that will go over the current location of the island in the time the window is open, but they only need info on one: Ajira Air Flight 316. She claims they need to recreate the circumstances of Flight 815 as closely as possible, with as many as the same people as they can get. If not, the results will be “unpredictable.” When Jack questions the simplicity of just having to get on a plane to get back, she mentions there’s more to be done, but not by him. That may come up later in the show.
Ms. Hawking brings Jack into her office. She hands him a letter with his name on it and tells him it’s John’s suicide note. Jack is shocked to hear Locke killed himself. And I know he’s shocked because he staggers a bit and starts blinking furiously. I wonder how he thought John died. Isn’t that a fairly common question when someone under 100 dies? So of course he rips open the letter and reads it right away, right? Oh, well, no, I guess he’ll read it the minute he’s alone. Then the man who almost threw himself from an overpass because he was so sure they had to go baaaaack wants to know why in the world Locke would kill himself. If only there was a letter from the man that might explain, maybe he could read it and know the answer. Eloise says that is not important right now. The important thing is that Locke helps them get back to the island by being the stand in, er, lie in, for another corpse. Apparently Jack needs to recreate, as best he can, the conditions of Flight 815. So in addition to bringing a dead guy in a coffin overseas, Jack will need to bring along something he got from his father. And the crippling alcoholic tendencies gene doesn’t count. Jack kind of freaks out at this instruction, and says he thinks this is ridiculous. Which part, Jack? The part where you have to find something from your father? Or the part where you have to put that item in the coffin with Locke? Because, dude: you’ve been drinking yourself into a stupor and flying around trying to crash planes into this island that can just get up and move, and that contains a killing machine made of smoke and this is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard? Well, all I can hope for is that you retain your sense of outrage for the next time something unbelievable and incredulous happens. Ms. Hawking tells Jack to stop being so analytical and just go with the flow on this one. She thinks he should take a “leap of faith.” Wait, is she talking to him or to us?
When Jack leaves her office he enters the church to find Ben in a pew, praying. Sun has gone, he tells Jack. He also says that Locke is being looked after by a friend, and that Ben will pick him up on the way to the airport. Ben walks over to light a candle and asks Jack what Ms. Hawking said to him. Jack says, “Nothing that matters.” Except how to successfully get to the island. You know, crazy stuff like that. Jack asks Ben who she is, why she’s helping and how does she know what she knows. Ben answers by doing that annoying move of answering a question with a story. He explains that when Jesus wanted to return to Judea, even though he knew he would be killed there, Thomas the Apostle said to the others, “Let us also go that we might die with him.” But, Ben tells us, the thing Thomas is known best for is not that bravery, but his doubt. He refused to believe that Jesus was resurrected until he could touch the wounds himself. Only then would he be convinced. Jack asks if Thomas was convinced. Ben looks at him like he’s an idiot and says, “Of course he was. We’re all convinced sooner or later.” So the wound is a metaphor for the island? Jacob? Ben? Does Ben want Jack to touch him? That would explain a lot, actually. Ben starts to walk out when Jack asks him where he’s going. Ben says he made a promise to an old friend, which is a loose end that needs “tying up.”
Jack trades his seat in the church for a seat at the bar. He stares off into space until his phone rings, and he asks the caller “He did what?” Great, what did Ben do now? We jump to Jack walking and talking with a doctor who is saying that if he does this again he will need to be placed in a fully assisted facility. Great, what did Hurley do now? But no, it’s Jack’s Granddad, who is sitting with a sour look on his face, watching a magician do a trick with a non-numbered white bunny. He and Jack walk back to his room and it’s clear that Ray Shepherd is not happy where he is. He packed a bag and was trying to get a bus out of there, no matter where it was going, because anywhere is better than where he is now. He says that one day he’s going to go somewhere that no one will ever find him. Jack starts to unpack the bag as Ray grills him about his love life, specifically Kate. Jack has to admit they’re not together any more. When Ray says that’s great because now Jack can come visit him more often, Jack says he’s going away. Gee Jack, you’re going somewhere that no one will ever find you, why can’t your grandfather? Why don’t you invite him to go to “Guam” with you? While he’s unpacking Jack comes across a pair of wing tips at the bottom of the suitcase. He staggers at the sight of them. I would think that fumbling every time one sees something surprising would be a bad trait to have when one does surgery for a living. It turns out the shoes belonged to Christian. Jack asks if he can have them. Ray says yes.
Jack goes home and pours himself a drink. He hears something and goes to the bedroom to investigate. Kate is laying across his bed and the way it’s lighted she looks dead. She’s not, but something is wrong and she is obviously very upset. When Jack says he’s still going to the island she tells him she’s going with, and that he can never ask her about Aaron, or where he is, ever again. Wow, that sounds unbelievable and incredulous. Then she jumps up and kisses him, and let me tell you, something other than a window is opening here tonight, people. So I guess Jack only gets outraged by ridiculous news from women he doesn’t want to boink. Of course this begs the question: What happened to make Kate go from “I’m taking my son and not going anywhere with you nutjobs” to “Hey, sexy, when do we leave, and what son?” in about 24 hours?
The next morning, Jack makes coffee and orange juice. Kate makes a face like she was hoping to get the hell out of there but now is stuck drinking coffee and orange juice. Jack moves his Dad’s wing tips off the table. Kate mentions that those shoes aren’t a good choice for the island. She thinks he should consider hiking boots. I’m sure he’s planning on picking some up once he gets there. There’s bound to be an outlet store, or a convenient dead guy lying around from which he can snag a pair. Jack then tells us all the story of how he put white tennis shoes on his dad before they got on Flight 815. So if it takes four and a half seasons to clear up that simple little question, we may not learn who Jacob is until roughly two years after the show is over. Jack’s phone rings and Kate uses the interruption to bolt, saying she’ll see him at the airport. It’s Ben on the line and his voice is shakey. When we see him at the pay phone from which he is calling, he is covered in blood, and he looks soaking wet, despite the sunny weather. He tells Jack he’s been detained and he needs Jack to pick up Locke and take him to the airport. It looks like the loose end didn’t take too kindly to Ben’s plan of tying it up.
At the butcher shop, Jill lets Jack in and brings him back to where she’s keeping the coffin. I wonder if Locke is stamped USDA by now? I almost expected him to be hanging on a meat hook. Jill goes to bring the van around back, and Jack opens the coffin. Somehow Locke has grown beard stubble since last we saw him in the coffin. Jack removes the shoes John is wearing and replaces them with his Dad’s. Jack says, “Wherever you are you must be laughing your ass off, because this is even crazier than you are.” Then he sticks his finger in him. No wait, he sticks the suicide note in Locke’s jacket and closes up the coffin.
At the airport Jack is talking to the ticket agent about bringing the coffin along on the plane. He is trying so hard to act casually about it that he just screams “security threat!” He catches sight of Kate coming into the airport looking like death warmed over, and he can’t take his eyes off of her. He is barely listening as the ticket agent tells him that they will be conducting a search of the coffin for security measures. Jack signs his consent, gets his ticket and starts to walk away but he is stopped momentarily by a nice man who offers Jack his condolences for the loss of Jack’s friend. Over at the security area, Jack looks around at all the people that may be on the plane with him. For a split second I expect to see Ben dressed like a security guard, thus having Locke’s vision from “Further Instructions” come to fruition. But alas, no. Jack hears his name and turns to see Sun. He is surprised to see her, and she is surprised that he would think she might change her mind. She feels that even if there is a slight chance of finding Jin, she has to take it. While they are talking they see that there is a man being led past the security check point accompanied by a marshall. That man is Sayid. Now Jack is really surprised. Meanwhile over at the gate, Hurley is hiding behind and/or reading a spanish comic book. He hears the gate attendant make an announcement that there are plenty of standby tickets available, so he jumps up and stops her. He tells her that there are no empty seats, that he bought all 78 remaining tickets. She is exasperated as she asks him why he won’t let anyone else get to their destination, and he looks around at all the people and families waiting to get on board the flight that he is taking for the sole purpose of crashing onto the island. He tells her it doesn’t matter and those people can take the next flight. Then he runs into Jack, but avoids telling him how he knew about the flight. Hurley has with him a guitar case.
As Jack enters the plane Sayid looks genuinely shocked to see him there. He almost says something but remembers the marshall sitting next to him and stops himself. I wonder if he saw or noticed Sun and Kate on there? Jack is followed on by Hurley, and we also see the man who offered his condolences back at the ticket counter, whose name is Caesar. The marshall with Sayid makes the count two non-Losties, plus the five O6ers as the only passengers in First Class at this point. Just as they are about to close the door they hear a shout to hold the plane, and Ben runs on, his face looking like it was hit with a cheese grater and his arm in a sling. Sayid really looks uncomfortable when he sees him, and Hurley leaps up and yells that Ben can’t come. “No one told me he was going to be here,” Hurley says, and Ben counters with, “Who told you to be here, Hugo?” The flight attendant comes over to check if everything is ok, and when she realizes Jack is Jack Shepherd of seat 8C, she gives him something security found while “screening his cargo:” it’s the suicide note. He shoves it in his pocket. The plane takes off.
When the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign turns off Jack moves over to sit beside Kate. He can’t believe how fortuitous it is that Hurley and Sayid ended up on the same plane with them. He’s convinced that all of them being together means something. Kate deflates him by saying that just because they are all on the same plane, doesn’t mean their together. Just then, the Captain makes his welcome speech. And of course, it’s Capt. Frank J. Lapidus. Who, in case you missed it, was supposed to be flying Flight 815 back in 2004 when it crashed. Jack runs up to the front and asks a Flight Attendant to tell Frank that he’s on the flight. Frank pops out of the cockpit, cleanshaven and looking a lot less drunk than we’re used to. As they chit chat about his new job, he catches sight of Sayid, Sun, Kate and Hurley. At that point he looks at Jack and says, “Wait a second. We’re not going to Guam, are we?”
It’s now some time after dark, so they’ve been traveling for awhile. Jack is restless. Ben is sitting in the seat on the other side of the aisle with a little light reading. Jack looks at him and asks him how he can do that, how can he sit there and read. Ben: “My mother taught me.” Ha ha, that crazy Ben, always joking about the mother that died while giving birth to him. He points out that at least reading is better than the fidgeting Jack is doing, waiting for Something To Happen. Jack asks if Ben knew that Locke killed himself. Why does he keep asking Ben questions and then accepting the answer? Jack says he has the suicide note and can’t bring himself to read it. He says that because it keeps following him around, it feels like Locke needs Jack to read the letter. I don’t know. I’m sure that John wrote a letter to Jack, addressed it to Jack and had someone give it to Jack because he did not need Jack to read it. Ben asks if Jack is afraid to read the letter because he’s afraid that Locke will say it’s his fault. He points out it was not his fault and leaves him to read the letter in private. Jack opens the letter and reads:
“Dear Jack, ZOMG! DON’T COME BACK TO THE ISLAND! Lolz, j/k. Anyway, G2G. Love, John. P.S. It was totally your fault.”
Jack stumbles. While seated. What a talent. Actually what the letter said was “I wish you had believed me.” Possibly significant, when Ben got up, he sort of disappeared. He didn’t go to another seat and in the next scene he isn’t shown at all. I wonder if he’s doing what else needs to be done, that which Eloise mentions to Jack in the beginning?
The plane starts to shudder and jump, and I love how Frank not only turns on the “Fasten Seat Belt” light, he goes right ahead and throws on the “We’re not getting to Guam so get ready to use that seat bottom for a flotation device” light. Hurley looks over at Caesar and tells him to fasten that seat belt. Then Hurley pulls an eye mask over his eyes, grabs a hold of the guitar case and leans back until the ride is over. The plane keeps jumping and a Flight Attendant gets thrown into the wall. At the same time, a bright light fills the cabin and those time jumping sounds from the island start playing. The screen goes completely white for about five seconds and then fades up to the opening scene of this episode: Jack waking up in the bamboo. They rush through the basics of what we’ve already seen, like jumping in to save Hurley and waking up Kate. Then they talk about the plane crash, or lack thereof. They don’t remember crashing, and there’s no wreckage. They start to formulate a plan to search for the others, when the sound of a vehicle is heard. It comes closer and music can be heard playing out the window. The trio watch as a nice, clean, new blue VW minibus with a Dharma logo on the front drives up. A man in a Dharma jumpsuit grabs a rifle, gets out of the van, and points it at Kate, Jack and Hurley. They don’t look scared, they look completely confused. Not about the gun pointed at them, that’s the kind of thing you get used to on the island. It turns out, they recognize the man holding the rifle. It’s Jin, and now it’s his turn to look confused.
And boom… L O S T.
Despite the amount of sarcasm I use in the review it really was one of the best episodes Lost has done. I wasn’t the only one blown away by this one; it garnered rave reviews from all over the web. The producers have admitted that next weeks episode, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” was supposed to run before “316” but decided to switch them at the last minute. So we probably won’t be getting any information about what happens after they land on the island in the next episode, but we will hopefully be finding out what happened between the time Locke leaves the island, and when Kate returns to Jack the night before the flight. Especially, one must hope, what happened to Aaron.